All-new Amazon Echo devices launched in India starting at Rs 4499

Agencies
September 25, 2020

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The new line-up of Echo devices, featuring completely new designs, enhanced audio, and more powerful hardware, will start from Rs 4,499 in India, Amazon announced on Thursday.

Echo Dot with a new spherical design to produce crisp, full sound and powerful bass will cost Rs 4,499.

Echo Dot is available on pre-order starting today, and will start shipping later this year. 

Echo will be available in black, white and blue for Rs 9,999 while Echo Dot with clock will be available in white and blue for Rs 5,499.

One can sign up to be notified when Echo and Echo Dot with clock are available for purchase, the company announced.

"With the new range of Echo devices, we are making it more natural and convenient for customers to interact with Alexa," said Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices, India. 

"The new range of Echo speakers are completely redesigned for an improved audio experience, and seamlessly merge into the home decor. We are proud to share that these are our most sustainable products yet," he added.

The new Echo sounds significantly better owing to a 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing that delivers stereo sound with clear highs, dynamic-mids, and deep bass.

The all-new Echo Dot has the same spherical design and fabric finish as Echo. 

It's compact but packs in a powerful 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker, producing crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound. 

The new Echo Dot with clock comes with the same enhancements as the new Echo Dot, plus a simple LED display so you can glance at the time, outdoor temperature, timers, and alarms. 

The tap-to-snooze feature that customers love on Echo Dot with a clock will also be available on Echo Dot and Echo, the company said.

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Agencies
October 8,2020

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Google is set to roll out a new safety feature that will automatically issue an alert within the Google app people are using and help them address it, and the users don’t need to check email or phone alerts for a suspected hack or a compromise.

The new alerts are resistant to spoofing, so the users can always be sure they're coming from Google. 

"We'll begin a limited roll out in the coming weeks and plan to expand more broadly early next year," said Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Vice President of Product, Privacy at Google.

Currently, Google uses Android alerts to notify people about critical issues with their Google Accounts, like a suspected hack. 

"The tech giant saw a 20-fold increase in the number of people that engaged with these new notifications within an hour of receiving them, compared to email," Roy-Chowdhury said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Safe browsing protects more than four billion devices, Gmail blocks more than 100 million phishing attempts every day, and Google Play Protect scans over 100 billion apps every day for malware and other issues.

Google said that its refreshed Safety Centre is now live in the US and coming soon globally.

In Google Assistant, the company is going to introduce a Guest mode -- a new way to use Assistant on home devices. 

"With an easy voice command, you can turn on Guest mode, and your Assistant interactions while in this mode won't be saved to your account," said Roy-Chowdhury.

You can turn off Guest mode at any time to get the full, personalised Google Assistant experience again. 

"In addition, you always have the ability to go back and delete what you said to the Assistant just using your voice".

Google answers more than three million privacy and security questions per month, globally.

In Android 11, Google will now generate Smart Replies, including emoji recommendations, from on-device system intelligence, meaning the data is never shared with Gboard or Google.

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News Network
October 17,2020

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Paytm users will have to pay a 2 per cent fee on the amount added to their e-wallet using a credit card.

Until now, users had to pay 2 per cent fee if they loaded more than Rs 10,000 in their e-wallets via credit card in a month.

A message saying "Nominal charge of 2 per cent is applicable on adding money using credit card. Nominal fee is applicable since we pay high charges to your bank/payment network when you add money using a credit card. Please use UPI or debit card to add money for free" is displayed when customers attempt to add money to their Paytm wallet via a credit card.

Paytm is also providing an offer, wherein users will get 2 per cent cashback up to Rs 200 on adding minimum Rs 50 using credit card, as per the message.

When contacted, a Paytm Payments Bank spokesperson said customers have the flexibility to add money to their Paytm wallet from any of their preferred funding source, including UPI, net banking and cards.

"The banks and credit card companies charge a fee for loading money into the Paytm wallet from any of these sources. The 2 per cent charge is passed on to customers, who use credit cards for adding funds to their wallet. For all other sources, we will continue to absorb the cost of loading money," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further said the company has temporarily waived the 5 per cent charge that is levied on money transfer from wallet to bank accounts as a promotional offer for the festive season.

"The amount added in the wallet can be used to transfer money to another wallet or bank account, to make payments to online and offline merchants via QR codes, to process bill payments, do recharges and multiple other forms of transactions. All such transactions will also continue to be free of cost for our customers," the spokesperson said.

In 2017, Paytm had introduced a similar fee on amounts added to wallet via credit cards, but had rolled back the decision after pressure from users.

At that time, Paytm had said the fee was aimed at curbing misuse of its platform to transfer interest-free credit card funds to bank accounts of users at zero transaction cost.

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