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Government mandates support for Indian Languages in all Mobile Phones from July’17

Using the regional languages in mobile phones have been opposed by the Indian Cellular Association

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Representational image. Flickr

New Delhi, October 28, 2016: The Centre has decided to support for Indian languages in all the mobile phones that will be sold in the country from July 1, 2017. The Ministry of Electronics and IT has mandated a standard that is required by the phone companies to support a third (regional) language along with the usual English and Hindi.

According to PTI report, this step of the government has been opposed by the Indian Cellular Association. The new standard will meet the objectives of Digital India.

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“Although there is expected to be an increase of 10% in the cost of the phone and there would be certain challenges in developing requisite testing facilities, it is suggested that we may mandate the standard with effect from July 1, 2017, as proposed,” said an official to PTI.

The mention of the support required to input text in any one of the Indian languages in mobile phones by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in August had already sent a wave of tension among the phone manufacturers.

In opposition, the companies have argued that though this movement is well intentioned but it is difficult to implement it especially when it comes to feature phones because the companies decide the logistics and inventory are planned and decided on a global level and will have to be specially customized for India- in fact for each state with regard to the new standard.

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As per the given rough estimate- there are approximately 1 billion mobile phone connections in the country, out of them around 70% are feature phones and the remaining are the Smartphones.

“It was felt that vernacular language support will help further penetration of mobile phones in rural areas, where the people may be more literate in their vernacular languages than English,“ said the official to PTI.

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NITI Aayog has advised the ministry to rethink their decision because there are several challenges with the new standard which have been noted by the ministry which will increase the cost of the phone for the citizens. For instance, the RAM capacity of the phone will have to be heightened and several design changes also will have to be done to support the third language.

– prepared by Chesta Ahuja, NewsGram.  Twitter: @ahuja_chesta

 

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Amazon Brings Plug-in Smart Speaker ‘Echo Flex’ in India

As a limited period offer, customers can avail a Wipro smart LED bulb (9W) worth Rs 2,099 for no additional cost on the purchase of every Echo Flex on Amazon.in

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Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

Amazon on Wednesday introduced the Echo Flex, a plug-in smart speaker that saves on space by plugging directly into a standard electrical outlet, in India.

Available for Rs 2,999 in online pre-order mode, Echo Flex also has a built-in USB-A port so you can easily charge your phone or other devices, all while using only one outlet, the company said in a statement.

“We are happy to introduce Echo Flex for users in India to access Alexa even more conveniently now from any room in the house,” said Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices.

“With its compact form, Echo Flex can be plugged in directly into an electrical socket to provide all the functionalities of an Echo device,” he added.

Amazon
Alexa and Fire TV devices are constantly improving over time and now on Monday Amazon announced that a user can connect their Echo devices with their Fire TV. Pixabay

Echo Flex works with devices such as smart lights and plugs from brands including Philips, SYSKA LED, Oakter, TP-Link and more.

Just like other Echo devices, users can connect Echo Flex to preferred speakers using Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm audio cable for a higher audio output.

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Echo Flex is available for pre-order starting today and will ship next month.

As a limited period offer, customers can avail a Wipro smart LED bulb (9W) worth Rs 2,099 for no additional cost on the purchase of every Echo Flex on Amazon.in. (IANS)