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India

43

Moto Z Play update to Android 8.0 Oreo is starting to roll out in India

Moto Z Play update to Android 8.0 Oreo is starting to roll out in India

Lenovo-owned Motorola isn't always that fast when it comes to updating the OS of its older phones. It took a critical post from us late last year to get the company to honor its promise of releasing an 8.0 Oreo update for the Moto G4, for example. The Moto Mod-compatible Z Play from 2016 received Android 7.1.1 Nougat last summer, and now it's finally getting Oreo.

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28

Google Home and Home Mini launch in India for Rs 9,999 and 4,499, respectively

Google Home and Home Mini launch in India for Rs 9,999 and 4,499, respectively

The signs have been popping here and there and everywhere and now it's finally official: Google is bringing its smart speaker duo, the Home and Home Mini, to India. But before you get ahead of yourself and jump in excitement, you may want to do a double check on the prices: Rs 9,999 for the larger Home (approx. $154) and 4,499 (approx. $69). As always, prices outside the US are higher, and the sting is even more palpable in this case when the Home is over a year old and has been discounted to around $80 a few times and the Mini to $29 in the US.

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12

Google Home gets support for Saavn and Gaana music streaming services in India

Google Home gets support for Saavn and Gaana music streaming services in India

Google has just launched English support in India, but that's not all. It's also rolling out support for a few region-specific music services. Users of Saavn and Gaana can plug their accounts into Home and make them a default music streaming service. It only takes a few taps.

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139

Mid-range Pixel for developing markets could land this summer (joined in India by Home, Nest stuff, practically everything Google sells)

Mid-range Pixel for developing markets could land this summer (joined in India by Home, Nest stuff, practically everything Google sells)

Whether you're selling phones or powering the platforms behind them, there's little that's more exciting for a company seeking out growth opportunities than a rapidly expanding market. As other markets around the globe see slumping projections or sales threatening to plateau, India's doing gangbusters, and last year sales of smartphones were up 14 percent. This growth hasn't gone unnoticed, and today we're checking out some signs of Google's increasing interest in India, including rumors of a possible new Pixel phone targeting India and other “price-sensitive” markets.

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9

Google Maps shortcuts are live for some users with 14 quick actions to choose from

Google Maps shortcuts are live for some users with 14 quick actions to choose from

In Cody's past teardowns of Google Maps, one option popped up a few times: Shortcuts. Until now, we hadn't seen the feature yet and hadn't received any tips about it, but it looks like it's starting to go live for some users. Our tipster has it in his Google Maps v9.72.2 but we can't replicate it on our versions yet so it seems to be a server-side update.

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29

शाबाश! Google Assistant now speaks Hindi

शाबाश! Google Assistant now speaks Hindi

Even though we have some gripes with it, all of us at AP love what the Google Assistant is capable of and it doesn't look like its evolution is slowing down anytime soon. At MWC, Google announced that Assistant is coming in 30 new languages over the next few months and now, Google India has unveiled that Assistant is proficient in Hindi.

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8

Galaxy S9 and S9+ will go on sale in India on March 16

Galaxy S9 and S9+ will go on sale in India on March 16

India is one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, but a large portion of flagship devices don't arrive in the country until weeks or months after initial release. In the past, Samsung has typically launched new devices in India a little while after they come out in other markets. For example, the Galaxy S8/S8+ went on sale in the US on April 21 of last year, but the phone didn't arrive in India until May 5.

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33

BlackBerry 'Ghost' leaked with sleek bezel-less design, will be available in India

BlackBerry 'Ghost' leaked with sleek bezel-less design, will be available in India

BlackBerry isn't really known for selling good-looking phones, but that might be about to change. Evan Blass has just leaked his third phone of the day: the upcoming BlackBerry 'Ghost,' which is being produced in partnership with Optiemus Infracom. The phone is described as a "premium Android handset," and it's headed to India.

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26

[Update: Available now] Google's Tez app will soon be able to process bill payments

[Update: Available now] Google's Tez app will soon be able to process bill payments

A couple of months back, Google introduced a brand new mobile payments app exclusive to India. The country's banking landscape is a little different to many of the territories that currently have access to Android Pay, and so it needed a different approach. Until now, Tez has only been able to pay participating merchants or transfer between users, but it will soon be possible to pay utility bills, too.

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9

Echo and other Alexa speakers are now officially available in India

Echo and other Alexa speakers are now officially available in India

Last October, Amazon announced that its line-up of Echo speakers was coming to India, but only for those who requested an invite and got approved. Later in the month, the Echos started shipping to those who pre-ordered them and now the invite-only system is over and anyone can purchase an Echo or an Alexa speaker straight from Amazon.

There are 3 Echos to choose from and 2 Alexa speakers from other brands as well:

  • Amazon Echo (2nd gen) in black, grey, or white: ₹9,999 ($156 approx)
  • Amazon Echo Plus in black: ₹14,999 ($234)
  • Amazon Echo Dot in black or white: ₹4,499 ($70)
  • Harman Kardon Allure in black: ₹22,499 ($352)
  • Eufy Genie (still only by invitation):  ₹5,000 -> ₹3999 (momentarily discounted).
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