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India

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Samsung announces Galaxy C9 Pro in India with 6-inch AMOLED, 6GB of RAM, and a 4,000mAh battery

Samsung sometimes reserves low-power hardware for the phones it launches exclusively in India, but the new Galaxy C9 Pro looks downright respectable. It's big, has a ton of RAM, and the battery is huge. It even has a fancy new USB Type-C port. It is a little expensive, though.

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India launches BHIM app to replace cash with digital transactions


Just in time for the new year, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has today officially launched the BHIM app, the country's new mobile payment solution. BHIM (which stands for Bharat Interface for Money) is India's bet to push the switch to a cashless economy, requiring nothing more than a smartphone to make any sort of transaction.

On stage at the DigiDhan Mela in Delhi, Modi used a Google Pixel to showcase the app, demonstrating how easy it is to send money to anyone in just seconds with nothing more than a phone number or payment address. After plugging in the recipient's identification, validating the transfer is a simple matter of typing in a pin code or using fingerprint authentication.

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Direct carrier billing starts going live for Airtel and Vodafone postpaid customers in India

Users in India have a couple of options when purchasing content from Google Play: credit or debit cards, gift cards, the newly added Netbanking payment method, and direct carrier billing on Idea. But more alternatives are on the way for customers of Airtel and Vodafone.

The news was actually announced in October at the Google Playtime event in India and was tweeted by attendees at the presentation. Over the past couple of weeks, users have started seeing the option pop up in their payment methods on the Play Store. We've received reports of both Airtel and Vodafone (postpaid) showing up, though the authorization SMS doesn't seem to be working just yet according to our tipsters.

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Moto G4 and G4 Plus owners in India are seeing their Nougat updates in a slow rollout

Tis the season for timely Android OS updates. Most of the phones that get bumped to the latest version of Android before the end of the year are flagships and other high-end devices, but it looks like Motorola may be bucking the trend a bit with the latest G-series phones. Reports from a small number of users in India indicate that the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus are seeing over-the-air Nougat updates.

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InBrief
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'Netbanking' is showing up as a payment method on the Indian Play Store

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PSA: Android 7.0 Nougat is NOT officially out for the Moto G4 and G4 Plus

Android Nougat is still relatively new, and very few phones have officially been upgraded to it thus far. However, in the past few hours, we've been seeing reports by multiple tech sites that the mid-range Moto G4 and G4 Plus are now receiving Android 7.0 Nougat in various countries; this is completely false. While the G4 Plus has received a Nougat soak test, the software has not officially been released in any region yet.

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Samsung India is offering Galaxy Note7 pre-orderers some nice freebies with S7 and S7 edge purchases

While carriers in the United States and other countries have been dealing with returns and refunds of the now-discontinued Galaxy Note7, customers in India haven't had much to deal with, largely because their Note7 pre-orders hadn't even shipped. Now, to thank those who waited all this time for their pre-ordered Note7s, Samsung India has churned up a pretty sweet offer to customers who choose to grab a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge instead.

Originally, Samsung intended for the Note7 to go on sale on September 2nd in India, but supply shortages caused that date to be moved back significantly - so significantly, in fact, that those who waited for the Note7 still didn't have their phones before the phone's complete cancellation.

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[Finally] Google Play Music now appears to be available in India

Five years - that's how long Indians have had to wait for Google Play Music to come to their country. However, it appears that the massive delay may finally be over. Several India-based AP readers have tipped us that Play Music is now showing up on their devices with songs available for purchase. This news comes just a day after Google's big announcement regarding the Indian market.

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Google News & Weather 2.8 adds Lite mode, optimizes pages for slow connections

Google News & Weather has an interesting history. After years of being included on Android devices with almost no changes, it moved to the Play Store and received a Material Design facelift in 2014. Now Google has added a 'Lite mode' to the application, designed to save bandwidth for users in India and other regions where data is at a premium.

As indicated in the screenshot, you can set Lite mode to activate automatically, or force it on or off. When Lite mode is on, the application won't load as many images on the main screen. More importantly, opening a link in Lite mode causes an optimized version of the page to load instead of the full content.

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YouTube Go is a data-friendly version of YouTube, rolling out gradually in India

The YouTube team has been making lots of efforts over the past couple of years to bring its service and millions of videos to more users worldwide. This involves those who have access to fast internet connections and plenty of data, but also those who have very little data bandwidth and are still limited to 2G or congested 3G. Video, by default, doesn't fit well with the latter, but through conscious efforts like YouTube Accelerator and YouTube Offline, it can reach more of those devices and people who would seemingly be off-limits.

YouTube Go seems to be the culmination of these efforts.

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