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Google wants to assist users without depending on the Internet

And Google Pay just got more exciting!

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Google is by definition an “internet” company. Every part of its business depends on connectivity, whether its Google Search or AdSense. The company has penetrated every developed market and now intends to grab the untapped markets of India and other Southeast Asian countries.

Google Assistant

Courtesy: Bhardwaj

At its Google for India 2019 event, the company announced the launch of a special helpline that users can call to have their questions answered. We usually use Google Assitant on the go via any Android phone, but it depends on internet connectivity. How do you reach out to a feature-phone user who barely has a 2G connection?

A 24×7 healpline. Teaming up with Vodafone India, users will be able to dial 000-800-9191-000 and they won’t be charged for the call or the service. Early this year, Google also worked with KaiOS to integrate Google Assistant on entry-level 4G phones like the JioPhone.

Google Assistant was launched in India a couple of years back and Hindi is now the second-largest language globally. You can also switch languages by a simple voice command now.

Google Pay

Courtesy: Bhardwaj

Usually, you can use payment solutions like these in the US via NFC. Your cards are saved on the app and a gentle tap to a PoS machine will initiate the transaction. However, in India the app leverages the countries universal UPI protocol to transfer money. Up till now, you had to add your bank account in the app and scan a QR code to send money.

Google has now announced support for NFC cards. This will make the experience much simpler and streamlined. Though your phone needs to have an NFC reader and only HDFC, Axis, Kotak, and Standard Chartered bank are supported for tokenization at the moment.

The company went on to share a few interesting stats about its position in the country. The app handled 918 million transactions a month in the country.

New AI Lab

Courtesy: Bhardwaj

A new artificial intelligence research lab is being set up in Bengaluru to create India-specific products. Google has tied up with state-run BSNL for expanding Wi-Fi hotspots in villages in Gujarat, Bihar, and Maharashtra. They’ve already deployed more than 5,000 WiFi hotspots in partnership with Indian Railways.

Apps

Studio Ghibli films coming to Netflix!

Starting February 2020

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Netflix’s anime library is about to get a major boost as the films from the award-winning Studio Ghibli is set to join the streaming platform.

Starting February 1, 2020, selected films from Studio Ghibli will be available for streaming globally (except US, Canada, and Japan). This was made possible through distribution partner Wild Bunch International.

Renowned titles like Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service will be making their way to Netflix. A total of 21 films will all eventually come to Netflix. They will be available in 28 subtitled languages and dubbed in up to 20 languages.

The films coming to the Netflix are as follows:

February 1, 2020:

Castle in the Sky (1986),
My Neighbor Totoro (1988),
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989),
Only Yesterday (1991),
Porco Rosso (1992),
Ocean Waves (1993),
Tales from Earthsea (2006)

March 1, 2020:

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984),
Princess Mononoke (1997),
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999),
Spirited Away (2001),
The Cat Returns (2002),
Arrietty (2010),
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)

April 1, 2020:

Pom Poko (1994),
Whisper of the Heart (1995),
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004),
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008),
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011),
The Wind Rises (2013),

What’s your favorite Studio Ghibli film?

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McDonald’s introduces their new mobile app

Get exclusive offers when you sign up now

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McDonald’s Philippines starts the new year with a bang by announcing their new and fresh mobile app.

No, this is not the replacement for the existing McDelivery app. What it does is give customers special offers and discounts that can be availed through front counters, take-out booths, and drive-troughs in all McDonald’s stores nationwide.

The interface of the new McDonald’s app

By downloading the new app through the App Store or Google Play, you can get deals such as the Buy One Get One Cheeseburger for PhP 99 or the Big Mac for only PhP 75. Registration is free and doesn’t require any special membership to get future discounts and promos.

Another feature is the Store Locator which helps you find the nearest McDonald’s store in your area. You can also book your next big party at McDonald’s through the McDo Party website.

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Twitter won’t give us an edit button

@jack says they will “probably never do it”

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There have been many demands made of Twitter but perhaps one of the most requested feature is the addition of an edit button, but Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says it’s likely not happening ever.

In a video Q&A with Wired, Dorsey answered several questions but addressed once and for all the loud majority clamoring for an edit button on the bird app. “The answer is no,” said Dorsey with absolute finality.

“The reason there’s no edit button [and] there hasn’t been an edit button traditionally is we started as an SMS text messaging service. So as you all know, when you send a text, you can’t really take it back. We wanted to preserve that vibe and that feeling in the early days,” Dorsey expounded.

He added that not adding an edit button lets users feel at ease that anything they retweeted or quote tweeted would be the same messaged and won’t be altered later on.

Dorsey did add that they thought about adding something like an “undo send” feature similar to the one found on GMail but ultimately decided against it. Dorsey that if we have other ideas, we’re free to mention him on Twitter.

SEE ALSO:
Twitter is banning political ads
Twitter is cracking down on sexual and violent content
Twitter isn’t sure how to remove inactive accounts

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