About the Author
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
North Korea’s Samhung Information Technology (IT) Exchange Company recently updated its Netflix-style “My Companion” app to include, among other features, a voice search function, the state-run DPRK Today reported this week.
“My Companion 4.1” is available for smartphones and Tablet PC, the report said.
“The search function using voice recognition — which wasn’t featured in My Companion 4.0 — is newly added… and the image quality of the video has been improved,” the media said.
Hundreds of new videos, 162 e-books, 11 new games, and four programs were added during the upgrade, the report said, noting that the app can be used on the North Korean-produced “Pyongyang 2419 and 2421” mobile phone.
Photos provided by North Korean media showed that My Companion 4.1 has upgraded its karaoke program, enhancing the functionality of the accompaniment tracks, background and lyric screens, and adding around 500 tracks and screens.
The users can also adjust the tune, volume, and speed of the song.
State-run outlet Dawn in March reported that a previous version of the app had received favorable reviews from users, who “are able to sing a song easily at any place” by connecting their mobile phone to a wireless Bluetooth microphone.
DPRK Today first reported on the release of “My Companion 4.0” in November last year.
The upgrade included Netflix-style services enabling users to purchase and watch video content including movies, soap operas, performances, sports matches, cartoons, broadcast recordings, educational programs, and others.
A previous version, “My Companion 3.3,” contained more than 1100 e-books and carried “novels, music, radio dramas, poems and common sense at the book for the convenience of the users,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported in October.
“My Companion 2.0,” KCNA reported in August 2015, featured “more than 600 publications, ranging from socio-political to cookery and science and technology books.”
State media this week also reported further details and pictures of the North Korea’s new Arirang 171 smartphone – first unveiled earlier in the month.
The new phone has reportedly “scored a hit with users,” according to the DPRK Today, and features a dual-rear camera and front-facing LED flashlight setting, which enables the users to take “3D” photos, as well as new picture editing features.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: DPRK Today