Zoom is making its automatic closed captioning feature free for all users

Zoom has today announced that it is extending the platform’s Live Transcription capability to all users, both free and paid. The company – which recorded a massive boost in its user base as work and education shifted to a remote collaboration format in the pandemic era – has announced that Live Transcriptions will be rolled out for all users on its free service tier in the fall season. 

Coming in the fall season, but you can request an early preview

However, if you want to try the feature prior to its wider rollout, you can request early access to the service by filling out a form. To recall, Live Transcription has so far been exclusive to the paid Pro, Business, Education, and Enterprise accounts, as well as approved K-12 accounts on both its desktop and mobile clients. However, it appears that the accessibility feature in question is limited to supporting the English language only at the moment.

READ MORE: Google is at work to improve the Meet and Zoom experience on Chromebooks

Additionally, Zoom has also highlighted a few pre-requisites for the Live Transcription feature to work properly. The company says that the performance of its real-time automatic transcription feature depends on factors such as the level of background noise, how loud and clear the speaker’s voice is, and if the speaker is proficient in the English language. Additionally, dialects and words limited to a particular region might prove to be limiting as well. 

Factors such as background noise and how good an English speaker you are, will affect the performance

And in case the Live Transcription feature is not proving to be particularly useful due to any of the aforementioned limitations, Zoom already offers a manual captioning feature to all users. A meeting’s host can either take the responsibility of closed captioning the ongoing interaction on himself, or he can assign the duty to an attendee of his choice. Moreover, Zoom also allows users to rely on a third-party closed captioning service as well. 

READ MORE: Zoom’s ambitions expand to email and calendar service after pandemic surge: Report

Zoom itself recommends a manual captioner for a higher degree of accuracy instead of its AI-based solution whose efficiency is dependent on a variety of external factors. The Live Transcription feature is currently available on v5.0.2 (or later version) of Zoom for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. 

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Xiaomi’s Redmi K40 trio debuts with flagship silicon and beefy specs at a bonkers price

Xiaomi is back doing what it does best – launching well-equipped phones at an almost unbeatable price. Today, its Redmi sub-brand has introduced its flagship portfolio – the Redmi K40 series – that will most likely make it to other markets too, albeit with some rumored rebranding in tow. The company has launched three phones in total – Redmi K40, Redmi K40 Pro, and Redmi K40 Pro+ – all of which look identical and share some of their internal hardware.

A choice between two of Qualcomm's best - Snapdragon 888 and 870

Actually, the innards are almost identical too, save for the primary camera at the back and the silicon at their heart. The Redmi K40 Pro and the K40 Pro+ draw power from Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 888 processor, while the Redmi K40 comes armed with the Snapdragon 870 SoC.

Another difference in the main rear snapper’s megapixel count of each phone – Redmi K40 rocks a 48MP sensor, the Pro sibling has been equipped with a 64MP shooter, while a Samsung-made 108MP was reserved for the Redmi K40 Pro+.

An AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and stereo speakers

You get a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display on all three devices, complete with a sweet 120Hz refresh rate, 1300 nits of peak brightness, Gorilla Glass 5 protection, and centered-hole punch housing the selfie camera. A fairly large 4,520mAh keeps the lights on, with a 33W charger in tow to juice it up real quick.

The main camera at the back of all three phones is accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 5MP telemacro camera as well, while selfie duties are shouldered by a 20MP snapper. Authentication is handled by a fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button.

Up to 108MP rear camera, fast UFS 3.1 storage, and 33W charging

The rest of the bundle includes dual-mode 5G support, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and a ton of camera tricks including the ability to capture 1080p super slo-mo videos at 960fps. MIUI 12 based on Android 12 handles things on the software side, and you get to choose between three colors – Glossy Black, Icy White, and Dreamland.

Redmi K40 series pricing and availability

Now, coming to the pricing part, the Snapdragon 870-equipped Redmi K40 starts at CNY 1,999, which roughly translates to $310 based on the current conversion rates. For that asking price, this phone offers an insane value.

As for the Redmi K40 Pro, its base variant will set you back by CNY 2,799 ( ~$434) – again, an amazing price for a Snapdragon 888 phone – while the Redmi K40 Pro+ will leave a CNY 3,699 (~$573) sized dent in your wallet. The vanilla Redmi K40 and K40 Pro are now up for grabs via all official Xiaomi sales channels in China, while the Redmi K40 Pro+ will go on sale later in March.

A look at the specifications

Redmi K40Redmi K40 Pro Redmi K40 Pro+
Display6.67-inch AMOLED
FHD+ (2400 x 1080)
120Hz refresh rate
360 Hz touch
sampling rate
1300 nits peak
brightness
Gorilla Glass 5
6.67-inch AMOLED
FHD+ (2400 x 1080)
120Hz refresh rate
360Hz touch
sampling rate
1300 nits peak
brightness
Gorilla Glass 5
6.67-inch AMOLED
FHD+ (2400 x 1080)
120Hz refresh rate
360Hz touch
sampling rate
1300 nits peak
brightness
Gorilla Glass 5
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 870Qualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAM6GB / 8GB / 12GB6GB / 8GB12GB
Storage128GB / 256GB
UFS 3.1
128GB / 256GB
UFS 3.1
256GB
UFS 3.1
Battery 4,520mAh
33W wired charging
QC3+ / PD3.0
4,520mAh
33W wired charging
QC3+ / PD3.0
4,520mAh
33W wired charging
QC3+ / PD3.0
Rear Cameras48MP primary
8MP ultra-wide
5MP tele macro
64MP primary
8MP ultra-wide
5MP tele macro
108MP primary
8MP ultra-wide
5MP tele macro
Front Camera20MP 20MP 20MP
Connectivity5G
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
NFC
5G
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
NFC
5G
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
NFC
SoftwareMIUI 12
(Based on Android
11)
MIUI 12
(Based on Android
11)
MIUI 12
(Based on Android
11)
ColorsGlossy Black
Icy White
Dreamland
Glossy Black
Icy White
Dreamland
Glossy Black
Icy White
Dreamland
(Note: This table is best viewed in landscape mode on mobile)

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Which Amazon Echo Show should I buy?

The Amazon Echo Show 10 went on sale today, February 25 after being announced in September 2020. The 3rd gen Echo Show 10 takes some inspiration from Nest Hub when it comes to design. However, the device has a rotating 10-inch HD display, which relies on computer vision and audio-based localization to detect the movement of users, and keeps the user in the frame. Hence, if you are moving around during a zoom call, the display will rotate as well. But do you really need to spend $250 to get the most out of your purchase? Which Amazon Echo Show should you buy? Here’s our comparison of the available Echo Show devices.

When to purchase the Amazon Echo Show 10

Echo Show 10

The Amazon Echo Show 10 features two one-inch tweeters and a 3-inch woofer, which deliver an excellent sound quality. It is powered by the MediaTek 8183, which is accompanied by a second processor with Amazon AZ1 Neural Edge. The latter is said to be present for better speech recognition in the future. It has a 10.1-inch HD screen with 1,280 x 800 resolution.

Purchase the Amazon Echo Show 10 if you need the best media consumption experience and if you move a lot during video calls. It will automatically turn to face you when you’re on a call or watching content. It allows you to connect with anyone who has the Alexa app, Skype, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show. There is a 13MP camera with a shutter for better privacy controls. It is the best Echo Show for entertainment.

Additionally, if you want your smart speaker to double as a surveillance device, you should purchase the Amazon Echo Show 10. It comes with a Guard Plus security system that allows it to call emergency services with the Alexa command. It can also monitor the sounds of smoke and glass break alarms via your speaker mics. You can set up home automation that responds to motion alerts. It can automatically pan across a room to seek out and warn you of any motion. Further, its screen can turn 175 degrees in either direction.

When to purchase the Amazon Echo Show 8

Amazon Echo Show 8

The Amazon Echo Show 8 is the middle child. It takes the best feature from the high-end and low-end devices. It is bigger than the Echo Show 5 and smaller than the Echo Show 10. The sound quality is better than the smaller Show 5 as it comes with double the number of speakers (two 2-inch speakers at 10W per channel vs. one 1.7-inch speaker at 4W per channel). The display, however, remains the same at 1280×800 pixel resolution.

It also comes with a built-in camera shutter and a microphone/camera off button. These enable the users to physically confirm the device is not watching or listening to them. Thanks to Amazon’s Certified for Humans program, you can set up and control your smart home devices  “struggle-free, tinker-free, and stress-free.” However, you don’t get the best video call experience with the 1MP front-facing camera.

We think the Echo Show 8 is perfect for most people. It is cheaper than the Echo Show 10 and can deliver great sound quality.

When to purchase the Amazon Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Show 5

The Echo Show 5 is the smallest of the Echo Show bunch. It features a compact 5.5-inch display that is ready to help manage your day, entertain at a glance, and connect you to friends and family. You can watch movies, news, and TV shows, and listen to songs, radio stations, and audiobooks. However, don’t expect the experience to be as good as the Echo Show 8.

The video calls won’t be very good on this one either as it sports a 1MP sensor. You get a 1.65-inch built-in speaker. 3.5 mm stereo audio output for use with external speakers. Further, Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from your mobile device to Echo Show 5 or from Echo Show 5 to your Bluetooth speaker. With the Echo Show 5, you get a device that can fit anywhere.

Purchase the Echo Show 5 is you want your Alexa-enabled smart speaker to be as small as possible while still delivering a fine display experience.

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Microsoft is making a website builder that’d allow you to import info from FB page

Microsoft has announced it is foraying into the website building business. It will be part of the company’s Digital Marketing Center, which is Microsoft’s ad platform, which helps in creating, executing, and managing advertising campaigns across social media platforms and search engines.

Microsoft hopes to help small businesses with its upcoming tool. It would be a free service as the company hopes to remove the barriers of cost and lack of time by providing a free and simple solution to small businesses. It will allow the businesses to import their website information from a Facebook page or an existing advertising campaign. Microsoft will take care of formatting the layout of their page.

Digital Marketing Center’s new website creation service will enable small businesses to expand their digital marketing efforts. There is no expertise required to build websites with Microsoft’s upcoming solution. To create your website, you can begin by signing up for a Digital Marketing Center account. Select to option of ‘I don’t have a website. Help me build one for free.’ You just need to decide the website URL at this point, and you’ll be able to continue with your campaign creation. After this initial setup, you can begin creating the website.

Microsoft’s solution will then use this information to fabricate a website complete with a relevant layout. You’ll of course be allowed to modify any of the content and choose another template to customize your website, before publishing it. However, Microsoft hasn’t specified how it aims to monetize its upcoming service.

“According to the Small Business Association, more than 36% of small businesses do not have a website. This is a problem given a recent study that shows that 80% of customers will research a company online before visiting or making a purchase with them. Without a website, a small business is at risk of losing this potential customer,” wrote Microsoft.

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Realme GT could be the cheapest Snapdragon 888-powered phone at under $500

Realme recently revealed that its upcoming “Race” flagship smartphone will be named Realme GT. It will launch the device on March 4. Ahead of the official unveiling, the company has already revealed the rear design through teaser posters. Now, the company has posted another teaser, which claims that the device could be the cheapest Snapdragon 888-powered smartphone. The teaser says it will be priced under 2,999 Yuan (~$465) in the home market.

The teaser poster also reveals that Realme GT will feature a 120Hz refresh rate on its AMOLED display. It will be paired with enhanced versions of LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. The smartphone is seen sporting a triple rear camera setup housed in a vertically-aligned rectangular camera module in teaser posters. It seems like the rear of the device has stripes on it for better grip. Furthermore, we get a look at the bottom where you can see a headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and speakers. Another poster has revealed that the Realme GT will come equipped with a 64MP primary camera.

The Realme GT will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. It is said to feature an OLED display a resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels and a 20:9 aspect ratio. There could be a 64MP primary rear camera. The other two cameras on the back are tipped to be 13MP each. The device could have 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Realme GT might be launched in three storage versions like 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It is said to pack a 5,000mAh battery, which might have support for 125W fast charging. It is likely to run Realme UI 2.0 based Android 11 OS.

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Amazon Echo Show 10 vs Google Nest Hub Max

Amazon announced its Echo Show 10 with a rotating display last year. However, it is finally going on sale now. The device relies on computer vision and audio-based localization to detect the movement of users. It takes some inspiration from Nest Hub Max when it comes to design. Hence, it is natural to compare the two. Here’s our Amazon Echo Show 10 vs Google Nest Hub Max comparison.

Amazon Echo Show 10 vs Google Nest Hub Max: Specs comparison

Specs
Amazon Echo Show 10Nest Hub Max
ProcessorMediaTek 8183 main processor + Amazon AZ1 Neural EdgeAmlogic T931
Smart AssistantAmazon AlexaGoogle Assistant
Touchscreen 10.1″ HD10″ HD
Speakers2×1.0″ tweeters, 1×3.0″ woofer2x.7″ 1 tweeters, 1×2.95″ woofer
Camera13MP + Shutter6.5MP with 127º FOV
Privacy controlsPhysical cover for the mic, electronic switch for micPhysical cover switch for mic and camera
WiFi802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), dual-antenna (MIMO)802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)
BluetoothA2DP, AVRCP5.0
Chromecast built-inNoYes
Smart Home IntegrationZigbee + SidewalkWorks with Google Assistant
Moving camera+/- 175° rotation physically rotates deviceThe camera zooms in and moves to track the person speaking
Face MatchNoYes
Voice MatchNoYes
Gesture controlsNoYes
PhotosAmazon or Facebook photos can be displayed on home screenCan display Google Photos on home screen
Low Power ModeUses less power when not in useDims screen to ambient lighting when not in use
Security systemWorks with Guard PlusWorks with Nest Aware
Weight5.64 lbs2.91 lbs
Size9.89″x9.06″x6.77″9.85″x7.19″x3.99″
Price$250$230

Sound and Performance

The Amazon Echo Show 10 features two one-inch tweeters and a 3-inch woofer, which deliver an excellent sound quality. The sound levels are room-filling and you can adjust the bass and treble by telling Alexa. It is powered by the MediaTek 8183, which is accompanied by a second processor with Amazon AZ1 Neural Edge. The latter is said to be present for better speech recognition in the future.

On the other hand, the Google Hub Max makes use of 10W tweeters, accompanied by a 30W subwoofer. It offers powerful bass with equally good mids and highs. Further, you can adjust the bass and treble through the Google Home app if you want a more personalized experience. Under the hood lies an Amlogic T931 processor.

Display

Amazon Echo Show 10 vs Google Nest Hub Max
Echo Show 10 in Charcoal color

The Amazon Echo Show 10 sports a  10.1-inch HD screen with 1,280 x 800 resolution as compared to the 10-inch HD screen with 1280 x 800 resolution found on the Google Nest Hub Max. Both are big and bright displays. You will enjoy media consumption on both devices. The Google counterpart also comes with Ambient EQ technology that adjusts the screen’s look to make it look more life-like. 

Camera

The Amazon Echo Show 10 features a 13MP camera with a shutter for better privacy controls. It’s better than the camera on the Nest Hub Max. The Google counterpart comes with a 6.5MP camera with a 127-degree field of view, auto-framing, and face-match technology. It can identify you and bring up your personal calendar and other items when it sees you near the speaker.

On the other hand, the Echo Show 10 can automatically turn to face you when you’re on a call or watching content. However, the Nest Hub Max has advanced features like familiar face alerts when paired with a Nest Aware subscription. The Amazon offering allows you to connect with anyone who has the Alexa app, Skype, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show. In contrast, the Google device connects you through Duo.

Features

nest hub max zoom video call
IMAGE: Google

Both the smart speakers offer Bluetooth support for streaming from your devices and dual-band Wi-Fi for voice assistant command processing. However, only the Echo Show 10 has MIMO support and dual antennas. That said, Google’s offering has a neat feature up its sleeve. It offers a built-in Chromecast, which provides faster connectivity than Bluetooth syncing can offer. It also has support for Face and Voice Match, which lacks on the Amazon device. Additionally, the Nest Hub Max has some limited Quick Gesture support as well. On the other hand, the Echo Show 10 has a new Low Power Mode setting that uses less electricity whenever the Echo isn’t being actively used.

Both the smart speakers can double as security cameras. The Echo Show 10 comes with Guard Plus security system that allows it to call emergency services with Alexa command. It can also monitor the sounds of smoke and glass break alarms via your speaker mics. You can set up home automations that respond to motion alerts. It can automatically pan across a room to seek out and warn you of any motion. Further, its screen can turn 175 degrees in either direction.

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