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Amazon Alexa can now help kids read, here’s how – Times of India

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Amazon has launched a new Alexa feature called the Reading Sidekick. The feature is designed to help kids improve their reading skills with Alexa. With the new feature, kids can read physical as well as digital books with Alexa, each taking turns. Alexa will listen to the reading and help the kids if they struggle while reading. The digital voice assistant will also encourage the kids if they succeed.
“Reading Sidekick is designed to complement the time kids spend reading with grownups. So even if you’re busy cooking dinner or working, Alexa is available to read with your child” says Amazon.
The Reading Sidekick feature works with most Alexa-enabled devices — Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot Kids, Echo Plus and Echo Show smart display. It is also available for its Kids Plus service on Fire tablets.
How to use the feature
To start using the Reading Sidekick feature, enable the Amazon Kids mode and then say “Alexa, let’s read”. Users will then be asked to choose a book on the Fire tablet or in the Kids Plus app for other devices. They can choose from options like read a lot, a little or take turns.
With the ‘read a lot’ mode, children will be expected to read four pages consecutively. The ‘read a little’ mode is opposite of this. A child is expected to follow along in the book and read one page of paragraph every few pages. While the “take turns” mode will enable reading between the child and Alexa consecutively.
Alexa will listen to the child’s reading and help him in pronunciations and other challenges. Amazon has over 700 books in the system now and more will be released in the future.
Amazon is also rolling out Alexa Voice Profiles for Kids later this week. The feature will allow Echo to recognize the voice of a specific child. It will then personalize the experience to them. Users will be able to set up to four unique voice profiles.

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Samsung is already updating its Good Lock modules with Galaxy Z Fold 3 exclusive features – XDA Developers

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Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 in a mega Galaxy Unpacked event next month. Both phones will undoubtedly bring along many hardware improvements across the board. They will also be the first to run the newest version of Samsung’s custom skin: One UI 3.1.1. Ahead of the official launch, Samsung has already started updating many Good Lock modules to support One UI 3.1.1 and Galaxy Z Fold 3/Flip Z 3.

Reserve your Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

New modules that have been updated (via TizenHelp) for One UI 3.1.1 and the new foldables include NavStar, MultiStar, Theme Park, and Nice Catch. Some of the newly added features will be exclusive to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3, including the new media volume muted history in the Nice Catch module, the ability to import icon packs in the Theme Park module, and so on.

The NavStar module has also been updated with a new Show task stock feature which will allow the Fold 3 and supported tablets on One UI 3.1.1 to quickly switch between apps from the navigation bar.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 may not be an ‘Ultra’ phone, but that’s the right move

Although you can download these new modules right now on your Galaxy device, some features might not work until you update to One UI 3.1.1. We don’t know what kind of new features and improvements One UI 3.1.1 will bring along, but it’s safe to assume it will likely be a minor update. In any case, with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 launch is just a couple of weeks away, we won’t have to wait long to find out what Samsung’s new skin has in store for us.

The Galaxy Unpacked event is scheduled for August 11, and besides the new foldable hardware, we also expect to see the new Galaxy Watch 4 series with Wear OS 3, new Galaxy Buds 2, and Galaxy S21 FE.


Screenshots courtesy: TizenHelp

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OxygenOS 11.0.2.1 for OnePlus 7/7T series brings Widevine L1 fix, June patch – 9to5Google

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OxygenOS 11.0.2.1 is now rolling out for the OnePlus 7 and 7T series with a notable fix for Widevine L1 issues plus the June 2021 security patch.

The OxygenOS 11.0.2.1 update was confirmed as rolling out on the OnePlus Forums(1) with this OTA providing quite a few fixes for common issues. With regard to the Widevine L1 problems, some OnePlus 7/7 Pro and 7T/7T Pro owners were unable to view videos in apps like Netflix at resolutions higher than 480p due to this issue. While this patch does resolve the problem, you might actually need to clear your device cache for it to resolve things. It’s annoying, but not quite as annoying as having to watch videos at low resolution.

Also included in the OxygenOS 11.0.2.1 update are fixes for battery and power consumption, better management of device overheating, and blurry viewfinders when launching the camera app in certain conditions. OnePlus has pushed the outdated June 2021 security patch here too, which is a bit disappointing to say the least. You can check out the full changelog below:

  • System
    • Reduced Power consumption
    • Improved overheating control management
    • Fixed the issue of not being able to play high-definition videos on some video platforms
    • Upgraded Android Security Patch to 2021.06
  • File Manager
    • Fixed the crash issue of the application
  • Camera
    • Fixed the issue that the camera is blurred when shooting on fullscreen size
    • Improved the stability
  • Phone
    • Optimized the dialpad UI display effect

The OxygenOS 11.0.2.1 update is rolling out in stages with a small selection of users getting access first before a wider rollout in the coming days. If you are happy to sideload the update ZIP, then it may be worthwhile giving the excellent Oxygen Updater a try.

More on OnePlus:


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Apple iPhone sales jump 50% despite chip shortage ahead of fall iPhone 13 launch – CNET

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Not siding with Nvidia on Arm

2:57 p.m. PT

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia’s planned $40 billion acquisition of British chip design firm Arm has been a touchy subject around the tech industry lately. In April, regulators in the UK spoke up against the acquisition on national security grounds.

Apple uses Arm designs to for its iPhone and Mac chips, and it doesn’t have the most friendly history with Nvidia, so it’s no surprise the company may not be wholly supportive of the idea.

“I think that that acquisition has lots of questions that people are asking and I’ll sort of leave that up to everyone else,” Cook said.

Early innings of 5G

2:47 p.m. PT

That law of large numbers thing I mentioned earlier? Yeah, Cook says maybe forget it. 

Despite the iPhone’s success, he believes “we’re in the very early innings of 5G.” He noted that most places around the world don’t have it broadly available, despite being “nine months or so into” the iPhone 12’s launch. 

“We feel really great about the momentum, but at the same time we recognize that the 5G penetration is quite low around the world,” he added. “We’re at the front end of this.”

It’s not just Apple fans

2:39 p.m. PT

A popular trope about Apple is that its fans are rabid and willing to spend endlessly on the company. To counteract that perception, Apple’s highlighted how many new people are coming to its products. Worldwide, for example, the company said that even though the Apple Watch was first released six years ago, 75% of the people who bought one in the three months ended in June were new to buying one.

Apple didn’t offer similar data about its phones, but Cook said it was strong. “We had strong double-digit growth for switchers, and for upgraders, and in fact it was our largest upgrade quarter for Q3 ever,” he said.

Chip shortage isn’t so bad anymore? Or it’s worse?

2:31 p.m. PT

Apple warned in the past that Mac and iPad supply were dictated by how many chips the company could get hold of, setting up the possibility sales could underwhelm in the future. Instead, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the company’s been able to set records despite those troubles. “It is remarkable that the last four quarters for Mac have been its best four quarters ever,” he said. “This exceptional level of sales success has been driven by the very enthusiastic customer response to our new Macs powered by the M1 chip, which we most recently brought to our newly redesigned iMac.”

Despite “significant” supply constraints during the quarter, he added, “we also started shipping our new iPad Pro powered by the M1 chip and customer response has been outstanding.”

He said supply constraints will be “higher” during the September quarter. 

Apple CEO Cook said he’s “paying more for freight than we’d like to pay” but component costs continue, as an aggregate, to decline.

“In terms of supply constraints and how long they will last,” he said. “I don’t want to predict that today. We’re going to take it sort of one quarter at a time and, as you would guess, we’ll do everything we can to mitigate whatever set of circumstances we’re dealt.”

COVID-19 isn’t just going away

2:11 p.m. PT

Apple’s CEO kicked off the company’s conference call talking about how much people have turned to his company’s products. But he also noted that despite a positive spring and summer, things may be getting tougher again.

“As the last 18 months had demonstrated many times before, progress made is not progress guaranteed. And uneven recovery to the pandemic and the delta variant surging in many countries around the world have shown us once again that the road to recovery will be a winding one,” he said. “As we look forward to more in-person interactions in the future, we’re doubling down on innovation and doing all we can to help chart a course to a healthier and more equitable world.”

While Apple’s business appears to be humming, the rest of the world is decidedly less steady. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier Tuesday recommended that vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors again where transmission is “substantial or high,” for fear the coronavirus could spread even further among children who can’t yet receive a vaccine and the people who’ve opted against receiving one so far. 

Even Apple has already told employees it’s delaying return-to-office plans until October at the earliest, mirroring moves from 2020 when companies began shifting schedules in response to worsening conditions.

Analysts and industry watchers will be watching for any signs from Apple about the future.

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