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Spotify Launches a ‘Lite’ Version of its App in India

Spotify has 217 million monthly active users and 100 million of these users are Spotify Premium subscribers. The platform adds approximately 40,000 new tracks globally each day

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Spotify Music still leads outside of the US, tallying 75 million subscribers as part of its first earnings report in May.
Spotify Music still leads outside of the US, tallying 75 million subscribers as part of its first earnings report in May. Pixabay

Swedish music streaming app Spotify on Tuesday launched a “Lite” version of its app for the Indian market that is just 10MB in size and helps people control listen songs while controlling data and storage on low-end Android smartphones and in areas with poor Internet connectivity.

With Spotify Lite, users in India would be able to search and play favourite songs and artistes, save them, share with others, discover new music and enjoy playlists with extra features for older devices and operating systems, the company said in a statement.

“We announced the availability of Spotify Lite Beta in India a couple of months ago to gauge user interest, which was high. As a result, Spotify Lite is now out of test mode, and available as an app for all users in the country,” said Amarjit Singh Batra, MD-India, Spotify.

Lite can be downloaded separately, both for free and Spotify Premium users, and used either alongside or independently from the main Spotify app on all Android phones running version 4.3 or higher.

The small yet fast app will make millions of free songs more accessible to anyone who may have an older mobile device, limited storage on their phones, are in poor Internet connectivity areas, or just don’t want to spend excess data on listening to music.

“We are committed to the long-term development of the music streaming industry, and the launch of Spotify Lite is another strong step in that direction,” Batra added.

Spotify Lite also comes with the ability to set a data limit and get a notification when users reach it.

spotify, testing, first, hardware
Spotify is testing it’s new feature. Pixabay

The app also allows users to control cache and clear it with a single tap.

“Spotify Lite was built from the ground up based on user feedback from around the world, allowing millions more to enjoy the world’s best music experience — especially in areas with limited bandwidth and phone storage”, informed Kalle Persson, Senior Product Manager at Spotify.

Spotify Lite is now available in 36 markets across Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa on Google Play with more markets and features to follow.

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The main Spotify app came to India is February and amassed one million followers within the week of its launch.

Spotify, offering more than five crore songs and 300 crore playlists for music fans in the country, is available across 79 markets.

Spotify has 217 million monthly active users and 100 million of these users are Spotify Premium subscribers. The platform adds approximately 40,000 new tracks globally each day. (IANS)

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Developers Can Now Start Building Hindi Skills for Alexa in India

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between

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Alexa, Amazon, Virtual Assistant
Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018 (Representational image). Pixabay

Amazon on Tuesday announced that developers can now start building Alexa skills for customers in India with the new Hindi voice model available in Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).

Developers would get a headstart and submit skills for certification as the company prepare to offer engaging experiences for Alexa users in one of the most spoken languages in the country, the company said in a statement.

Commercial hardware manufacturers who want to develop Alexa Built-in products for Hindi-speaking customers in India can request early access to the invite-only Alexa Voice Service (AVS) developer preview.

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa.

Amazon last year launched a new category of skill called “Cleo” that enables customers in India help Alexa learn Hindi and other languages. The idea was to improve Alexa’s language model and help her gradually speak in local languages.

Lawsuit, Amazon, Alexa
The lawsuit alleges Amazon of saving ‘voice prints’ of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa-enabled smart devices. Pixabay

Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages.

Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 language variants.

One can sign up for the first webinar on Hindi skill building scheduled on July 24. Developers in India who have their Hindi-language skill certified for publication in India before July 31 would receive exclusive early bird Alexa merchandise.

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Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, told IANS recently that the company is working on infusing regional languages capabilities in Alexa for the Indian market but these are early days.

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between. (IANS)