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Android Auto New Interface, Suggested Replies Soon; Cars With Google Built-In to Get YouTube, Other Video Streaming Apps

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Google has announced that Android Auto — the platform which allows drivers to access music, media and navigation apps on car infotainment system screens, and cars that have Google built-in — will be getting a string of new features later this year. Android Auto features include a new user interface, and support for suggested responses that are based on Google Assistant’s contextual suggestions. For those who have cars that have Google built-in will be able to enjoy watching videos through the YouTube app in the coming months.

As per the announcement made by Google at I/O 2022, Android Auto will get a new user interface that will essentially put all the important functionalities that drivers prioritise in their cars — navigation, media and communication — on one single screen. Google says that this change will help in making the driving experience safer. The new look, which is expected to roll out later this summer, will show maps, media player and communications apps on the same page.

The apps will be placed adjacent to each other in a split screen mode. Google says that the new Android Auto interface design is able to adapt to different screen sizes — widescreen, portrait and more. This will mitigate the need to return to the home screen and/or scroll through a list of apps in order to open a desired functionality.

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In the current scenario, it becomes difficult for a person, who is using Maps for navigation on Android Auto, to return to the home screen and open another app, say WhatsApp for checking messages. By doing this, the Maps navigation interface goes in the background and the chances of missing an important turn are increased. With navigation and media ‘always on’, the chances of missing a turn while shuffling through other apps will be reduced.

In the case of the second feature, Google seems to have found a way to further integrate the power of Google Assistant in Android Auto. With the virtual assistant’s contextual suggestions, drivers can now choose suggested replies for messages, sharing arrival times with a friend, or even playing recommended music more efficiently in the car. This feature will be available alongside the already present voice replies functionality.

For cars that come with Google built-in, the company is preparing to roll out two new functionalities in the coming months. Building on its previous announcement of bringing YouTube to cars with Google built-in, Google said more video streaming apps, including Tubi and Epix Now, will join the queue. This will help drivers to watch videos directly from their car display. Although the details are not clear, it seems that drivers will only be able to watch videos when their cars are parked, and not while they are driving.

The second feature for cars that have Google built-in is giving the drivers the ability to browse the web directly from your car display, and cast their own content from their smartphones to their car screen.


How is Alexa faring in India? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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NAS, the Best Private Cloud Storage for Photos

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Gone are the times when you could simply purchase a decent amount of storage, and forget about it for years. In today’s age of high-resolution smartphone photography and media consumption, you can never have enough storage. 

One solution most of us consider is using an external hard drive for offloading and backing up some files. But it’s not an ideal workaround considering today’s hyper-connected computing environment. You don’t want to carry an external hard drive with you all along.

A good network-attached storage (NAS) device can not just solve your storage needs, but also provide you with a number of highly useful value-added features. NAS is high-capacity storage that can connect to your home or office network, allowing you to access your files from just about anywhere. NAS can do everything from backing up your files to becoming a public cloud alternative. 

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Synology is a trusted name in the world of NAS enclosures. The company has transformed the way users around the world manage their data on a daily basis. If you’re looking for the perfect NAS enclosure for your home or small office, you should definitely consider one from Synology. Their NAS enclosures are packed with advanced features, while still being highly user friendly. Today, we’ll tell you about an amazing and useful use case for your NAS – an online photo management tool. 

Giveaway: Let Synology know your storage challenges and take a FREE Synology home

Link: https://sy.to/yn5q8

The perfect alternative to commercial cloud-based solutions – NAS
While cloud storage seems easier at first, once the bills start stacking up, it becomes quite expensive in the long run. What if you could host your own cloud storage service to upload or access your files from anywhere? NAS can help you get there with a lower overall effective cost structure. You only pay for the NAS device, storage drives, and it can use your existing Internet connection. 

No subscription fee, free applications
With a NAS device in your home or small office, you can easily keep backups of all your important data and even complete backups of local machines. As we said above, you only incur a one-time set up fee for the hardware when you purchase a NAS device. After that, there are no hidden charges in the form of subscription or application access. You can download and install any application depending on your requirements completely free of cost. These applications receive regular updates that bring you fresh features and regular security updates. 

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Scalable storage
One big advantage of using a NAS device is that you can scale your storage setup. If you’re a home user, you can start off small, and when usage increases over the years, you can install higher capacity drives to store more data. Small office or business users can start off with higher capacity storage drives and continue to expand based on their needs. Installing and setting up hard drive in a NAS enclosure is extremely simple, and takes only a few minutes. 

Data ownership
When you’re on a cloud-based plan, you’re bound by data ownership policies of a third-party. If you value privacy and security, a NAS could be an ideal solution for you. With your own NAS device, you’re in complete control of who gets access to your data, at all times. Data ownership is extremely important considering how we’re all working and learning remotely in the new normal. 

Best photo management tool comes free with the NAS – Synology Photos 
Screenshot 2022 05 12 at 95407 AM photos
In this age of smartphone photography, you can never have enough storage on your phone or PCs. Your special memories deserve a special place where you can back them up, and access them from anywhere. While cloud based photo storage solution services have been here for a while, you don’t want to pay high fees or be at the mercy of another provider’s data ownership rules.

You can not only back up your photos and videos using Synology Drive but also access them in a more efficient manner. The app comes with a set of highly useful filters and organisation features that can help you find your favourite photos and videos quickly, and share them with your loved ones. 

Synology Photos is an extremely powerful photo management solution that was introduced with the company’s DSM 7 operating system. The new tool replaced the previously available Photo Station and Moments apps. Synology Photos can become your personal cloud storage platform, letting you back up and manage your photos from just about anywhere. If you’re looking for a bigger, better, more accessible photo management solution, you should check out Synology Photos. 

Why should I get Synology Photos? 
You can think of Synology Photos as Google Photos or Photos on iCloud, but only better because you’re hosting the files on your own hard drive. The NAS handles everything in the background, letting you manage your photos and videos from a PC or a mobile device. Synology Photos app is available on both Android and iOS. The app is extremely simple to use, and lets you back up and access all your photos and videos via a Synology NAS device. You can also upload photos via your computer using a web-based interface. 

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How to upload photos and videos?
IMG 3327 upload
Synology Photos can help you free up space on your mobile device or a computer by uploading and backing up all your multimedia content. Synology Photos comes with a feature called Smart Upload that lets you choose whether you want to backup new photos or all the photos on a device. This makes it easier to manage your photos and videos while making optimum use of the storage space on your NAS. The app can generate thumbnails on the fly, letting you browse through thousands of photos and videos on the go. It feels like having a native Photos app on your device, only more useful. 

Customisable albums 
Screenshot 2022 05 12 at 95000 AM album
A photo management tool is useless if it cannot organise your photos in an efficient way. Synology Photos comes with a feature called Automatic Albums that can automatically generate albums, grouping together photos using important filters such as facial recognition, geolocation data, tags, file types, upload time, and more. 

That’s not all, with Conditional Albums and Custom Albums you get to have even more control over your photo albums. Conditional Albums lets you create albums automatically using a specific condition such as range of dates, geolocation data, or even faces. Custom Albums lets you select photos and videos from a folder, and create a single album with it. 

Intuitive Photos and Videos Browsing
Synology Photos makes it easy to navigate through your media so that you can find the specific photo or video you’re looking for. When you have TBs worth of photos and videos on your NAS drive, you don’t want to spend hours looking for a photo or a video. Synology Photos makes it easy to find that exact photo using a simplified interface that’s cleaner yet highly advanced and packed with innovative features.

There are several ways you can browse through your media on Synology Photos. Timeline View can display your photos and videos based on creation data, irrespective of the folders they’re placed in. This makes it easy to scroll through photos if you’re looking for a specific time period. You can easily trigger a time indicator by hovering over the scrollbar, and even jump to a specific date. Folder View makes it easy for professionals to view files based on their folder hierarchy in File Station. 

Another neat way to browse through your massive library of photos and videos on Synology Photos is through Map View. This feature places your photos on a virtual map so you know where you took a photo or a video, making it easier to access and share. 

Facial Recognition
Screenshot 2022 05 12 at 95149 AM facebook
One of the key advantages of using a cloud based photo management tool is the availability of facial recognition. But what if you could get it on your NAS device too? Synology Photos can automatically recognise faces and group photos in an album named People. If you have multiple users accessing your NAS, you can allow each user to decide if they want to enable facial recognition. Facial recognition is useful if you want to organise your photos by people, and search for them later on. 

How to backup photos on mobiles?
backup backup
As we mentioned earlier, Synology Photos app is available on both Android and iOS. The app can help you free up space on your mobile phone and store all your photos and videos on your Synology NAS drive. The companion app on iOS and Android is easy-to-use, and can be set up in minutes. Once you’ve enabled photo backups on the app, you’ll need to grant permissions to the app to be able to access all your media. A recently introduced feature called Sleep Time Backup lets iOS users to upload all their pending photos to Synology Photos using a sleep mode that keeps the device awake while the photos are being uploaded. 

How to share photos in Synology Photos?
Synology Photos isn’t just great for backing up your photos and videos, it’s also handy when it comes to sharing photos with your loved ones. You can share a single photo or a group of photos. You can set up your privacy settings for your media. Sharing in ‘Private’ allows only a select invitee to access a photo while photos set ‘Public’ can be accessible to anyone. Link Protection adds to the security by asking for a password when a link is being accessed by someone. 

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Should you use Synology Photos? 
Synology Photos is the ultimate alternative to any major cloud-based photo management service. It’s packed with fancy features that make everything from backing up photos and videos to sharing them so simple and efficient, you’ll wonder how you did it before. Synology Photos can make it easy to share complete photo albums with your family members and friends without worrying about a complicated technology setup. It can also help you free up all that precious space on your mobile device or personal computer. Synology Photos is the perfect use case for getting a NAS drive for your home or small office. 

Giveaway: Let Synology know your storage challenges and take a FREE Synology home

Link: https://sy.to/yn5q8

 

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Flipkart Says Pay Later Credit Facility Has Crossed 6 Million Users in 7 Months

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E-commerce marketplace Flipkart on Thursday said it has experienced a strong adoption of ‘Flipkart Pay Later’ credit facility, where user base has doubled to over six million within seven months. The company, in a statement, said Flipkart Pay Later offers affordability as well as a convenient shopping experience to customers and is witnessing an upward trend in monthly sign-ups.

Flipkart Pay Later crosses 6 million customers witnessing a strong adoption and growth in seven months,” it said.

Having recently expanded its offerings, Flipkart Pay Later provides customers credit up to Rs. 1 lakh, depending on the user’s credit profile.

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“Customers can shop any number of times throughout the month and pay the total bill amount in part within 30 days or through EMIs,” the statement added.

According to the statement, Flipkart Pay Later facility enables customers to manage cash flows better through a credit facility with no physical paperwork and zero down payment.

The 30-day credit product has seen “significant adoption” in repeat purchase categories such as grocery, lifestyle, general merchandise and home.

“The longer-tenured EMI options have seen strong adoption in high-value categories such as mobiles, consumer electronics, and large appliances. This payment option currently processes more than three million transactions monthly, 90 percent of which come from repeat customers,” it added.


How is Alexa faring in India? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Instagram Stories Layout That Will Show Only 3 Posts From Users Tipped to Be Testing

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Instagram is said to be testing a new Stories layout that will hide excessive posts from a users stories uploads. The feature will reportedly show only the first three stories, whereas all the stories after that will be hidden. Users can currently post up to 100 images or videos on stories at once, which can take a while for others to see through. Therefore, the new feature, if implemented, will make viewing all user stories faster. Users will have the option of tapping the ‘Show all’ button to see the rest of the stories, as per the report.

The new feature is currently in a testing phase and is available to limited users only, according to the leak. A Brazilian Instagram user Phill Ricelle first noticed this feature and shared a glimpse of it through a tweet, where Instagram is seen displaying only the first three stories of a user. As mentioned, if the new feature is released, users will reportedly need to tap on the ‘Show all’ button to see the rest of the posted stories. If the users don’t prefer to do that and just swipe the screen, Instagram will directly jump to the next user’s story after the first three posts.

This update could prove to be significant because instead of automatic navigation of opening the stories and just playing them non-stop, it will now tend to show stories from more users, but fewer posts per user. On the other hand, for creators or influencers, this seems to be a piece of bad news as this update will likely allow having a lower number of views on their stories after the third post.

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Moreover, the new Stories layout is likely to be made widely accessible once the testing receives positive feedback from its users. However, these changes might never take place for everyone, if the testing is unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Meta-owned-Instagram recently announced that it is gearing up to support non-fungible tokens (NFTs), built on four blockchains — Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Flow.


How is Alexa faring in India? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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