Saturday 28 April 2012

EBay shifts gears in India as rivals step up.

EBay Inc is stepping up investment in India to boost its share of a market dominated by domestic players such as Flipkart and fend off encroachment from arch-rival The e-commerce company dipped a toe into the Indian market seven years ago and stuck with a cautious approach, even as local upstarts made splashy grabs for business in a tiny but growing market. "The talks of us having missed the bus are exaggerated," Muralikrishnan B, country manager for Silicon Valley-based eBay told Reuters in an interview in Mumbai. "Most of the new business models are just waiting to implode. We have chosen the cautious route, unlike a lot of Indian businesses who are blindly investing money without having an eye on sustainability or profitability," he said.
The company hopes to bring its online payments business PayPal into India soon, which would help draw more online shoppers in a country where most online retail merchandise is sold on a cash-on-delivery basis. EBay India, which started in 2005, clocks six transactions per minute, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India. By comparison, fast-growing Flipkart, founded by two former Amazon employees in 2007, sells 20 items per minute. Muralikrishnan, 36, joined eBay shortly after its entry into India. He does not believe eBay has ceded an early mover advantage. "We waited for the right moment because we didn't want to get caught up in the clutter. We were sure a lot of this new money will dry up and that has already started to happen." Amazon Looms India's $10 billion e-commerce market, dominated by online travel portals led by and, is seeing a flurry of promotional activity from startups that sell everything from electronics to clothes, shoes and fragrances. Besides Flipkart, aggressive local players include HomeShop18, OLX, Quickr and Snapdeal. Online shopping is still in its infancy, but it has struck a chord with time-constrained middle class shoppers in India, where rising incomes, aspirations to own brands, and an underdeveloped brick-and-mortar retail network are pushing many to shop from their homes. Consulting firm Technopak expects the market to hit $70 billion by 2020. EBay, which started in India selling flowers and chocolates as gift items to love-struck couples, now sells a variety of products including phones, mountain climbing gear and collectible stamps, either via auction or at fixed prices. Muralikrishnan, who helped Sify Technologies set up shop in India before joining eBay, acknowledges there are worthy competitors. Its much-larger global rival, Amazon, recently entered India through the acquisition of a local price comparison platform called and is expected to launch an international online store. "At some point of time Amazon will enter India and they are a credible threat to us," he said. EBay plans to invest millions of dollars in advertising in coming years, although Muralikrishnan did not give specifics. It is also investing in strengthening its supply chain and distribution by tying up with courier services, and it hopes that PayPal will clear regulatory hurdles at the Reserve Bank of India soon. "PayPal should enter India soon and then we will have a lot more people making payments online because that's a globally trusted name," Muralikrishnan said. REUTERS

Actress Sunny Leone appointed as the new face of Chaze Mobiles

Chaze Mobiles may be a mobile brand that may not fly off everyone’s lips but the same cannot be said about their recently appointed brand ambassador, Sunny Leone. The brand, Chaze is a new entrant in the Indian mobile handset industry and they have recently announced the signing of the already popular actress of Indo-Canadian origin. Sunny Leone has been roped in to endorse a slew of CHAZE’s mobile handsets, which are positioned as products with mass appeal. As a part of the association, Sunny Leone has recently completed her first ever TVC for CHAZE Mobile, which shot at exotic locales of Bangkok, is ready to hit the screen soon.

Chaze details their target audience and states that their handsets are meant for the ‘Common Indian Youth.’ The brand’s press release states that their mobile phones are designed for varied audiences with superior and trendy handsets like C123 and Jewel a big battery entry level handset. Their C555 model has a large screen and is loud as well, the C234 is a touch and type handset while the C99 is a full soft touch multimedia phone. Chaze Mobiles go on to claim that their handsets are powered with avant-garde features such as dual SIM, auto call recording, answering machines, multimedia, big speakers, spy camera alongside other additional user friendly features and attractive games and applications like Angry bird and Astro Pack etc.

Commenting on her endorsement with Chaze Mobiles, Sunny Leone said, “I am very excited to be associated with such a young and vibrant brand like CHAZE. I chose to associate with the ‘Brand Chaze’ because I am really impressed by Chaze’s ideology of bringing out mobile technology for the masses and personally feel connected with their vision. This is my first TVC for any Indian brand and I am very charged up shooting for it. I am confident that the masses would like using the Chaze range of phones as it is very trendy to look at and offers true value for money.”

Keshav Arora, CEO, Chaze Mobile said, “Chaze is one of the most promising players in the country and we are very pleased to have associated with Sunny Leone, another rising star of Indian Cinema, for endorsing our mobile handsets. Chaze envisages reaching out to the masses across every nook and corner of the country through its strong distribution network and a high-quality after sales services network with 600 plus service centers support pan India. Targeting to achieve a studious growth in the coming decade by providing ‘Quality and Assurance’, Chaze Mobile intends to ensure pertinent satisfaction to all its customers across the country. Chaze Mobile is also planning to set up a unit in Himachal Pradesh at a cost of Rs. 200 crore for assembling of mobile handsets.”

Chaze mobiles are strategically priced between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3500 for Indian consumers and are available through a strong distribution network spread across states like Uttar Pradesh, J&K, West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujrat, M.P, Maharashtra, Bihar, North East and Andhra Pradesh. To know more about these offerings from Chaze Mobiles, click here. Hopefully, the mobile brand will make an impact as significant in the market as the actress has.

Buffalo launches new AirStation wireless ‘N’ router, the WCR-G300

Buffalo Inc. provider of networking, storage and multi-media solutions for the home and small business environments as well as for system builders and integrators, has announced the launch of the AirStation wireless-N router, the WCR-G300 in India. This compact yet powerful AirStation wireless-N WCR-G300 router and bridge with double adjustable 5 dBi antennas is a great way to wirelessly connect networked devices, including smartphones, at home or office to the Internet. The double 5dBi adjustable antennas and 802.11n standard on the router combine to simultaneously transmit dual data streams for improved performance and higher data transfer rates of up to 300 Mbps, providing faster, reliable delivery of streaming video and other digital content. This improves range by allowing the signal to bypass obstacles, helping to reduce dead spots that block wireless transmission in your home. This also makes the router the optimal way to link smartphones into a home or office network for trouble-free streaming of video and music. The Wireless Distribution System (WDS) on the router further expands wireless coverage with other BUFFALO routers supporting WDS, reducing or even eliminating dead spots that hinder and may even prevent network functioning and Internet access. This helps in home and office environments where interior walls, corners, and other obstructions reduce or block signals from less powerful conventional routers. Key features include: Improved, easier setup?simple and quick with the web-based setup wizard 802.11n standard for higher data transfer rates up to 300 Mbps Double 5 dBi adjustable antenna?fine-tune the antenna positioning to eliminate dead spots Backward compatible with 1 x 1, 802.11g/b devices High-spec Ralink 400MHz CPU Wireless Distribution System (WDS) extend your wireless network across access points Easy setup with AirStation One-Touch Secure System(AOSSTM) Easy wireless network configuration with application for Android smartphones, AOSS for Android Multi-level Wireless Security Support: WPA2-PSK (TKIP,AES), WPA-PSK (TKIP, AES), and WEP (128/64-bit) Eco Minded - Energy saving feature reduces power consumption by 28% ** Allows up to 4 simultaneous wired connections Compact chassis Buffalo wireless solutions are all backed by a 3-year warranty. The AirStation N WCR-G300 Router and access point is available with Buffalo brand stores and authorized retailed outlets at an estimated MSRP of Rs. 2,000.

Now download free anti-virus from Facebook’s new AV market.

Facebook is known primarily for its social networking service, it’s apps and games and finally, its massive user base. Today, they start caring about your security and they’ve setup a market that offers free anti-virus solutions. The market, that’s now accessible here offers five free security solutions from five very popular vendors. The solutions being offered are - Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition, Microsoft Security Essentials, Norton AntiVirus, Trend Micro internet security for PCs and Macs, and McAfee Internet Security. The versions available to Facebook users offers security coverage for six months. Of course, you can’t go about downloading all of the five solutions that are up for offer - each account is limited to just one security solution. The solutions are completely free for use. There’s a major announcement detailing the reason for this collaboration.
The announcement talks about the efforts made by Facebook to try and reduce malware on Facebook by implementing all kinds of defense mechanisms as well as manually shutting down pages, apps and accounts that are up to no good. The tieup with these companies will now enable Facebook to build a database of malicious web pages, so the whole of the 900 million+ Facebook users won’t be exposed to them. Facebook claims that this filter now scans trillions of web pages a day. The Facebook Security Blog is put in place to keep its users updated on security updates. Of late, there’s a growing trend that shows lots of malware being written to target social networking services such as Facebook. The service is known to support apps and games within its service and simply clicking on a masked link is an easy way to get infected. It’s not uncommon to find the signs of malware attacks on your contacts' walls. Security agencies of late have updated their security solutions that scan local PCs, mobile phones and now even Facebook walls and content for any kind of malware. If you want more information on this recent anti-virus offering update from visit, check out their blog post.

Apple's new iPad officially launches in India, prices start at Rs. 30,500

If you’ve been diligently waiting for the new iPad to arrive in India, then your wait has finally ended. Today, Apple launches their third generation iPad or simply, new iPad in India and it will be available across the country in all Apple authorized outlets. The new iPad brings with it a host of new features like the Retina Display, a much better camera and faster quad-core graphics. The pricing hasn’t changed since the last time we reported it and here it is once more, in case you missed it the first time. The brand has also dropped the prices of the iPad 2 in India with the 16GB Wi-Fi version available for 24,500 and 32,900 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model. iPad Wi-Fi only 16GB – 30,500 32GB – 36,500 64GB - 42,500 iPad Wi-Fi + 4G 16GB – 38,900 32GB – 44,900 64GB – 50,900
The Retina display on the new iPad features a 2048x1536 resolution, 44 per cent greater colour saturation and about 3.1 million pixels, in the same 9.7-inch space. That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad 2. Those pixels are so close together; your eyes can’t discern individual ones at a normal viewing distance. This makes the picture appear a lot more natural and it’s also a lot easier on the eyes. The Retina display on the new iPad wouldn’t be possible without the new and powerful A5X chip. Its quad-core graphics processing makes everything you do on the iPad feel incredibly responsive. From the little things like swiping, scrolling and pinching to the big things like editing photos in the new iPhoto, applying titles and transitions in iMovie and, of course, playing games. Finally we come to the camera – a 5MP iSight shooter that features a backside illumination sensor. This gives it the ability to capture great-looking pictures whether by sunlight or candlelight. Autofocus, tap to focus and tap to set exposure functions are present and there’s built-in face detection that automatically balances focus and exposure across up to 10 faces.

Twitter updates its iOS and Android applications.

Twitter has updated its iOS and Android applications and along with minor appearance changes, the services included in the apps are more streamlined with the services included on their website. Just like Twitter for web, where you have tabs for Connect, Discover and your homepage of tweets, the applications now include buttons that offer the same features. The Discover tab in the app allows you to find timely content that is interesting and that matters to you. In the Discover section, you'll see Activity, which, like the web counterpart, allows you to see tweets that are retweeted or favourited by the people you follow as well as which accounts your followers start following and if they've added any new accounts to any of their lists. Activity appears right below the redesigned stories in Discover. You can tap any story to see any trend or news article. You can then read the entire story or join the conversation by replying, retweeting or favouriting related Tweets.
Twitter also says that search is now simpler on their apps for iOS and Android. Within the Connect tab, you can start typing the first name, last name or username of someone you're looking for and the name will autocomplete for the people you follow. Furthermore, you can now also see different versions of spelling and related terms for some queries that you might be looking for. Twitter has also added a new feature specifically for the iPhone app. When you tap the search box to perform a search in the application, you'll see your most recent queries. You can also go directly to someone's profile when you search for their username in Connect. Finally, Twitter updated the way it notifies you about people connecting with you. When you are retweeted, favourited, or when someone new starts following you, Twitter wants to let you know immediately by enabling Push Notifications. You can customize your Push Notification settings to get only the alerts that you want. Twitter says that these updates were a collaboration between many teams at Twitter including Android, iOS, Discover, Search and others. To download Twitter for your respective Android and/or iOS device go to Google Play or the iOS App Store. Twitter also recently updated TweetDeck to extend its web services to the desktop and mobile application. TweetDeck was acquired by Twitter last year and now also contains Twitter's Connect and Discover functions, among others. Twitter's mobile applications came from the company's acquisition of Tweetie and it seems clear that Twitter wants all its mobile counterparts to be exact representations of its web functions.

Friday 27 April 2012

DataWind launches Ubislate 7+ and 7C tablets in India

DataWind, a leading provider of wireless web access products and services, today launched the much awaited Ubislate series of tablets. Providing smartphone communication, internet access, tablet computing and multimedia entertainment, the devices also pack a powerful combination of content and applications. Intended to help bridge the digital divide, DataWind’s new products break the affordability barriers of computers and bandwidth constraints of wireless networks to deliver internet access to anybody that can afford a simple mobile phone. The UbiSlate tablets are the only devices in the market to offer DataWind’s UbiSurfer browser, based on 18 international patents, that can deliver internet access on traditional GPRS networks which cover the far reaches of the globe. In India the devices will offer unlimited web-browsing using DataWind’s web delivery platform for under Rs.100 per month on traditional mobile networks. The UbiSlate 7+ and UbiSlate 7C models were introduced at respective MRPs of 2,999 and 3,999. If you’ve pre-booked your Ubislate then your tablet is on its way to you. For the rest of us who weren’t pro-active, we’ll have to wait till the end of May to get our hands on a retail piece.
Differentiated by a resistive screen on the UbiSlate 7+ to the four-point multi-touch capacitive screen on the UbiSlate 7C, both models come with embedded GPRS modems in addition to Wi-Fi connectivity allowing ubiquitous internet access. The 7” screen tablets support the Android 2.3 operating system that delivers a rich touch-screen graphical user interface which significantly reduces the learning curve for new computer users in joining the world-wide web. The tablets are powered by an 800Mh Cortex-A8 processor which allows smooth usability of a broad range of applications. The embedded HD video co-processor delivers high quality video content making it a perfect multimedia device. DataWind CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli said, “Over the last year, I’ve been travelling the globe, talking at the World Bank, with heads of state, at numerous universities and at global conferences, evangelizing the power of the internet to transform people’s lives. We’ve now created a product that removes the barriers and levels the playing field.” datawind_ubislate_7c_2 DataWind also unveiled its ecosystem of partners for providing content, applications and access, making it the industry’s largest collaborative effort to deliver consumers a complete turnkey offering in a single unit. DataWind announced relationships with Aircel for voice and data services, VMC Systems Ltd, Yahoo! India, The Indian Express Group, Reverie Language Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Get Jar, InMobi, Mango Learning solutions, RKS Learning Private Ltd, Intelligia, Pixatel, Poketalk, MyJobs and Blueworld. Here are some of the highlights of the Ubislate 7+ and 7C Android 2.3 800MHz Cortex-A8 7-inch display with a resolution of 800 x 480 (7+ has resistive screen while 7C has capacitive) 2GB internal storage for 7+ and 4GB for 7C 256MB RAM Wi-Fi a/b/g, , Standard USB 2.0

Siri competitor comes as AISHA on the Micromax A50 Superphone Ninja.

While the world is still swooning over Siri and her incredible intelligence, another brand has launched a smartphone with the prowess of artificial intelligence through voice recognition. The competitor to Siri comes from Micromax in entry level smartphone, the A50 Superphone Ninja which features a surprising feature in tow, AISHA (Artificial Intelligence Speech Handset Assistant). The brand claims AISHA is an application that translates words into action. One can use this feature by merely talking to the phone. The users can connect with the people, businesses and activities that are important to them with AISHA if they need to check the weather conditions and for example all they just need to ask is ‘What is the weather in Delhi’ and AISHA will respond saying 'The weather will be sunny.' To start using AISHA, an internet connection and a Google account is required. Once the internet connection has been configured on the phone, just tap on Aisha to bring up the Aisha interactive screen and you can start issuing voice commands
A50 runs on Android version 2.3.6 Gingerbread with a processor speed of 650 MHz .The phone features a 3.1-inch multi-touch capacitive screen to provide ease to the users. It is a dual-SIM Android powered offering from Micromax. With the A50, Micromax offers a new innovation to the user in form of AISHA. Through the voice recognition tool, users can initiate a Google search, view stock market details, know phone status, movie reviews, make calls, read news of desired locations, view horoscopes, make language translations and also view recipes. AISHA also helps one to inquire about their missed calls, send message, inquire date and time, weather conditions, and pose knowledge questions. Here is a quick look at the features of this handset: Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread 3.1-inch capacitive touch screen Artificial Intelligence Speech Handset Assistant, AISHA Dual SIM, 3G Wi-Fi, GPRS connectivity, Bluetooth 2MP Rear Camera Gravity Sensor Memory storage capacity expandable up to 32GB For the smooth functioning of AISHA in providing an intelligent and immediate response, Micromax has back-end tied up with Indian portals such as, etc They go on to state that through AISHA, the users can update their status on Facebook and Twitter. A50 comes on the Gingerbread platform and the users can discover a hub of apps that awaits them at the Google Play Store ranging from entertainment to music apps. Micromax claims that with a price tag of 4,999, the Micromax A50 Superphone Ninja makes an effort to provide an affordable smartphone solution for the masses who have longed for a phone which is not just smart but an intelligent device.

Google's first Android phone prototype was a BlackBerry look-alike.

There is no shortage of phones that look like clones of each other in the market today and it appears it wasn’t the case with Google either. The recent Google-Oracle tussle in court over the Java controversy, has released more information about one of the earliest phones from Google, way before the Android powered T-Mobile G1 launched, back in 2008. A news story by The Verge, shows this early prototype had a QWERTY device and a landscape layout screen on the top, almost identical to the design of a BlackBerry phone. Here are some details on the hardware in this early prototype.
The phone was supposed to be powered by an ARMv9 class processor running at a speed of at least, 200MHz with 64MB of RAM and ROM. Of course, GSM was present and 3G support was likely as well. The phone was said to have a 2 MP camera and a QVGA screen - with a resolution of 320x240. Unlike pretty much every Android phone in the market today, Google hadn’t planned on using a touchscreen on that device. It would however have two touch sensitive buttons. Of course, there was the option of installing a hardware keyboard, Wi-Fi and GPS support. Back at that time, Texas Instrument’s OMAP850 was the SoC to be considered. This is roughly the period when Windows Mobile 5 devices were being sold in the market and a 200MHz processor was a norm. Google’s prototype too was planned around this period, in 2006. Google was working on a device based around three main form factors. Work was on in full speed in 2006, on the key aspects of the device and also the software. The home screen, the phone dialer, messaging and contact apps were high priority and these were worked upon first. Soon after, work began on the WebKit powered browser as well as Google Talk app, Gmail, Calendar as well as POP e-mail support. All this happened in a timeframe of a year and a half, after which T-Mobile along with Google launched the first ever functional Android device - the G1.

Lava XOLO X900 now available on, India’s premier online shopping portal is now stocking the Lava XOLO X900 smartphone, powered by an Intel processor. This model marks the beginning of a new era in mobile computing as Intel joins the smartphone chip-space, traditionally dominated by ARM processors. This launch is also significant for Lava, as the company makes its foray into the more lucrative smartphone market. The X900 is available ( now for 22,220 and a one year warranty. Other online shopping sites like Flipkart and Letsbuy have yet to stock this phone so if you’re the impatient type, then this is one of the few places where you can buy this Medfield powerhouse.
The X900 sports a 4.03-inch display with a rather high resolution of 1024 x 600, thereby, lending it a pixel count of 297ppi. The TFT LCD display also features Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The phone will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread but is upgradeable to 4.0 down the line. It measures around 10.9mm thick and weighs 127g, so it’s fairly slim and light. It’s a quad band GSM and 3G phone with support for HSPA+. The highlight of this phone is the new Medfield CPU from Intel, the Z2460. Based on the 32nm fabrication process, the Z2460 SoC features a single core CPU running at 1.6GHz along with the usual Intel features like HyperThreading and Burst Performance Technology (or TurboBoost). The graphics is taken care of by PowerVR SGX540 GPU, which is clocked at 400MHz. There’s also support for 1080p video playback and recording. Intel is also banking heavily on their new Smart Idle Technology for better battery life than its competitors. This feature allows the CPU core and rest of the processor to switch off while the OS is still functional. The camera is an 8MP auto-focus shooter with an LED flash. Like the One X, the X900 also features burst mode which lets you capture 10 images in less than a second. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi ‘n’, NFC, Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI-out and 16GB of internal memory. The only weak point appears to be the battery, which is just 1460mAh. However, if Intel has done their homework right, then this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Stay tuned for the full review coming up shortly. Here are some of the highlights once more: 1.> Android 2.3, upgradable to 4.0 2.> 1.6 GHz single core (two threads) CPU 3.> 4.03-inch TFT LCD display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 4.> 8MP camera with AF, LED flash, and 1080p HD video recording 5.> 1.3MP front camera 6.> 16GB Internal memory 7.> 1GB RAM 8.> NFC, Wi-Fi, micro-USB 2.0, HDMI, Bluetooth 9.> 1460mAh battery

HTC working with Facebook to make a custom phone for the social network.

Another day and another set of rumours, this time is we are talking about the Facebook phone. It seems the fabled Facebook phone is back, and if we believe Digitimes, HTC is building it. Tired of step-motherly treatment from Google after the Nexus One, HTC has decided to take the matters in its own hands and is working with Facebook to make a customised smartphone. Digitimes states that this phone will be running on Android but will integrate Facebook functions deeply in the device. Facebook is expected to further expand its investments and sources of income after becoming a public company, and the launch of own-brand smartphones will be part of its development strategy, the sources told Digitimes. Another interesting tidbit coming out of this report is that Samsung will continue to build Nexus smartphones. So, if you were hoping to see a Motorola or LG, or even Sony Nexus smartphone, you are out of luck.

Thursday 26 April 2012

First BlackBerry 10 handset to make mid-August appearance

It is not news that BlackBerry is lagging behind as far as their operating system is concerned compared to the likes of Android and iOS who have completely dominated the smartphone sphere in recent years. To amend this situation, BlackBerry announced the BlackBerry 10 OS which would put them in contention as a top smartphone manufacturer. Late last year, former Research in Motion CEO stated that the first device running this upcoming operating system would make its first appearance by the end of 2012. However, for those who are eagerly awaiting the BlackBerry 10 OS, it seems that a report by N4BB has some good news as their sources claim that the first handset using this OS will be unveiled by mid-August 2012. This pushes the release date up quite a bit from what was previously believed.
As per the report, the author states, “One of our sources has revealed to us that RIM intends to announce the first BlackBerry 10 device by mid-August. The first BlackBerry 10 device will be touch only and we’re told has a projected market release for first half of October. As expected, RIM plans to pump a lot of marketing dollars into BlackBerry 10.” It does not come as a surprise that the first handset will be a touch only handset as there have been leaks in the past showing off a sleek looking full touchscreen handset running on what appears to be their next operating system. The device had been codenamed BlackBerry London and at the time there were some specifications revealed. Here is a look at the rumoured specification list of the BlackBerry London BlackBerry 10 OS 3.7-inch touchscreen 1.5GHz TI OMAP dual-core CPU 1GB RAM 16GB internal memory 8 Megapixel rear camera 2 Megapixel front camera For those who love BlackBerry handsets because of their physical keypad, the report also details when the first handset running BlackBerry 10 OS with this feature will debut. The report states that by the first quarter of 2013, the first handset running on BlackBerry 10 using a physical QWERTY keypad is expected to be released. Let us know your thoughts on the sooner than expected release of a BlackBerry 10 handset in the comments below.

Foxconn’s new Nano-PCs launched, will compete with ZOTAC’s ZBOX.

Foxconn, the world's leading manufacturer of computer components and systems, launched new models in their Nano-PC range - AT-5300 and AT-5600. These Nano-PCs are around forty times smaller than a typical Micro-ATX PC. These products are equipped with the latest features like USB 3.0, HDMI ports, n-series Wi-Fi, gigabit LAN, digital audio, powerful internal speaker and a card reader. AT-5300 is powered by Intel Dual Core Atom D2700 running at 2.13GHz processor and AT-5600 Nano-PC is powered by AMD Dual Core E450 1.65GHz APU processor. Both the models are fan-less and are ideal for home and business computers. They come in a very attractive piano finish body with different color options and weigh only 600g with a dimension of 19cm x 13.5cm x 3.8cm. Prices start at 14,999 and this is for the barebones model which doesn’t include the hard drive and memory.
Both PCs support one SATA II connector for 2.5-inch HDD or SSD, one card reader slot for multi-type storage card and one SO-DIMM socket to support DDR3 memory up to 4GB. They are compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems and can be customized according to a customer's requirement. Power consumption of these Nano-PC models while running an HD movie is less than 24W and in idle state it is less than 15W. The power supply is Energy Star compliant and has a conversion efficiency of over 87 per cent. Nano-PCs can be easily mounted on the back of a monitor or flat screen television by using the VESA mounting bracket. The Nano-PC can be placed on a desk vertically or horizontally using the feet and stand provided. These ultrathin compact IT solutions are thermally and acoustically well balanced which offers full connectivity, low power consumption and a practically noiseless solution. ZOTAC has been a leader when it comes to mini-ITX solutions and now it seems like Foxconn wants a share of that pie.
Some of the areas where the Nano-PC is best suited includes: Smart TV/ Media Center - Nano-PC can be mounted on the back of a TV for media streaming, internet and PC functionality in the living room, without having to look at a PC tower. Convert an existing TV into a Smart TV. Space Saving PC - Nano PC can be attached to the back of a monitor to create a flexible All-In-One style PC. Save desk space at home, office or classroom. Thin Client - With low power consumption and small size, the NT can be configured for use in a server based computing environment. You can even boot from SD if local storage and OS are not needed. Digital Signage - Small yet powerful, the Nano-PC is ideal for use as a media player for advertising and information screens in locations such as hotels, airports, retail stores and hospitals. Kiosk - The compact size and low power consumption are ideal for integration into a variety of kiosk applications.

Full version of Chrome for Android coming soon

Currently, the beta version of Chrome is only available for Android ICS devices. The full version of the Chrome browser will soon be available for Android devices. Vice president for Google Chrome and apps over at Google, during an interview with CNET, has given a sneak peak at the work that has been going on for the Google Chrome for Android and has also revealed that the stable application will be released for the users globally in the next coming few weeks.
Google had released the mobile version of the Chrome web browser for the Android platform just about a couple of months back in the month of February this year. Features such as accelerated page loading, omnibox and private browsing in Incognito Mode are available through Chrome Beta for Android. Chrome also allows Google account owners to sign in with their account credentials to sync the bookmarks - a function that Firefox for Android also offers. However with Google Chrome, users can also send a web page to the Chrome running Android smartphone or tablet for offline reading, a feature that is only supported by Google Chrome for Android. The Google Chrome for Android is available only for devices running Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich operating system; whether Google will maintain this status quo or not will only be cleared after the release of the full version.

Angry Birds Space comes to BlackBerry, updates for iOS and Android.

When Angry Birds Space first came out in March, two platforms were noticeably missing, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. While Rovio execs are still torn over ABS for the Windows Phone platform, the BlackBerry version of the game hit the App World. The original Angry Birds itself came to the BlackBerry platform in December of 2011, around a year and a half after the game first launched. Also, when the original Angry Birds came to the BlackBerry platform, the only device to support the game was the PlayBook. Now, Angry Birds Space is selling in the BlackBerry App World also only for PlayBooks so far, for $2.99 (approx Rs. 149). This is interesting because while the game sells for the same price as the other Angry Birds versions on iOS, in the App World Angry Birds Space is cheaper than the other versions of the game which sell for $4.99 (approx Rs. 249).
The Angry Birds Space that's launched for the BlackBerry PlayBook contains the same goodness it did with the other platforms. There are 60 interstellar levels, a new bird while the others have adapted appearances and powers, zero gravity space adventures and hidden bonus levels (the purple elements that take you to another dimension). It only makes sense to bring this game to the PlayBook. After all, it did reach 10 million downloads in 3 days. There have also been issues of malware in Angry Birds Space for Android, affecting users who bought the game in unofficial Android markets. For all the iOS and Android users out there, Angry Birds Space has updated to release 10 new levels in a whole new world. The world is called "Fry Me To The Moon" and pretty much contains the same gameplay and birds as the previous levels. This level really forces you to play with the overlapping gravity bubbles and literally makes you chase the pigs in their own little bubbles. I haven't found an eggsteroid yet, however, there is a purple, "warp me to another dimension" element in one of the levels with an interesting version of pig pong. The update also provides you with 20 free Mighty Eagles, which, if you remember from the review, only have one use. Otherwise you have to buy them as in app purchases. Are you sick of Angry Birds Space by now though? Let us know in the comments section below.

Norton Releases Password Manager Identity Safe, Free To Download Until October 1 [Updates]

Norton has released a new password manager by the name of Identity Safe, which aims to create and store all your logins and passwords securely. The service is a straight competitor to services such as 1Password, and is also similar to the open source KeePass. While eventually the app will cost money, Norton is offering it for free up until October 1. Anyone who downloads Identity Safe before that date will enjoy it for free forever, no strings attached. You can download Identity Safe on Windows or Mac, and mobile versions are available for iOS and Android. Despite the need to download the app onto your computer, it’s actually mostly a browser extension, which saves your passwords, automatically fills forms, keeps you safe and even lets you share things with friends.
To try it out, download Identity Safe and run the installer. You will have to log in using your Norton account, or create one within the installer. You will then be prompted to create a main password for your vault, which needs to be as secure as possible. Once that’s done, Identity Safe will close all open browsers and attempt to install add-ons (works on Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari). This new toolbar will automatically save passwords and usernames as you log in to websites.
Your login information is saved in the cloud, not locally, so you can easily access it from anywhere and from multiple devices. You will need to set up the desktop version of Identity safe before you can use it on your mobile device. If you’re on the hunt for a password manager, you might as well give Identity Safe a try, it’s free for the next 5 months!

No need to wait for Aakash, another low cost tablet is here

The new tablet, named Attitude Daksha, has been launched in Kerala by Telmoco Development for Rs 5,399. While Aakash tablet is still in trouble, the industry is churning out newer low cost tablets almost everyday. This time around, a Kerala based company, called Telmoco Development Labs, has launched a new tablet for just Rs 5,399. Though the price of the tablet is much higher than Aakash tablet, its specification is much better than that of the government backed product. The tablet, named Attitude Daksha, is infact the cheapest Android 4.0 (ICS) product in the country currently. The 7-inch Daksha features a capacitive 5 point touch screen with a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor with 512 MB DDR3 RAM. It has a HDMI port, micro SD slot, 3.5 mm audio out, micro USB port and OTG connector for 3G dongle and RJ 45 cable (for connecting wired broadband connection).
Daksha is capable of streaming 1080p full HD videos and has dedicated 400 MHz GPU for advanced flash apps, interactive apps and full HD videos. Daksha is powered by 3,800 mAh li-Pol battery which gives a back up of over six hours with WiFi on, Telmoco said in a statement. While other specification of the tablet is very similar to that of recently launched Micromax Funbook, but in terms of battery, it is better since it has a much bigger battery compared to 2800 mAH on Funbook. Though Daksha is cheaper by more than Rs 1000, Micromax tablet comes with a Photon plus dongle and 1 GB data free which is worth more than Rs 1,000. Other rivals to this tablet include HCL Metab U1 and iBerry's tablets. "Even though the Indian media tablets market witnessed high decibel launches by the world's leading vendors, the tablet PC market in India is a niche market that is quickly picking up the pace in terms of adoption," said CR Nijesh, chairman and executive director, Telmoco while launching the tablet. Telmoco Development labs is a company involved in electronics research and mobile technologies. The tablet will initially be shipped to schools, professional institutions, and corporate houses and will be available to the public from May 15 this year.

Windows 8 Release Preview coming in June.

The most talked about operating system this year has to be Microsoft’s Windows 8. It’s big for a number of reasons - it’s going to be available for desktops as well as tablets. Last year, Microsoft released an early Windows 8 Developer Preview in September. It showed the basic framework of the platform and things finally started taking shape in January. In February, soon after CES 2012, Microsoft released a more public and more complete, Consumer Preview. This preview build had better implementation of the Metro user interface and with many of the bugs ironed out. AllThingsD is reporting that a new release is coming out in the first week of June. The announcement was made by Microsoft’s Windows President, Steven Sinofsky at a developers event in Japan. This release preview as it’s called will be very close to the final release.
Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the dates or month, but Windows 8 is expected to launch sometime in October, just like other previous Windows releases. Windows 8 will come in a number of formats each designed for different hardware. While Windows 8 will run on x86 architecture, there’s also an ARM build on the way. Intel too has been gearing up hardware for the big release along with its PC partners who’ll be building tablets based on the new Medfield platform. The launch of Windows 8 is going to be a big move for both, Microsoft and Intel. Microsoft’s Windows 7 tablets haven’t been popular in the market as compared to the dominant Apple iPad and a number of other Android powered devices. Intel too hasn’t had a solid platform to take on the might of the ARM architecture tablets that make up almost all of the tablet market. Microsoft’s Windows 8 includes a new Metro interface that is designed to work with touchscreen devices. The release preview should be the last build to be made available to consumers before the product goes into final testing and the bugs are ironed out. A large number of desktops, notebooks and tablets are expected to launch soon after Windows 8 is officially released.

New rumours indicate that the next iPhone could be just 7.90mm thin

Areport had surfaced a few days ago stating that Apple would put in-cell touch panels on their upcoming iPhone. This speculation has been backed further by a report from Apple Insider where they state that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also put his thoughts forward regarding the in-cell touch panel and he believes that Apple may indeed use this new technology for the displays of their next iPhone. The report states that the present iPhone is 9.3mm thick and by embedding this technology in the display, the upcoming iPhone could be slimmer by 0.44mm. He explained that this can be achieved by removing the separate touch sensor layer and one layer of adhesive and by adding this new display design which features the touch sensor in the TFT LCD.
The report goes on to state that in order to keep up with the thin smartphone designs from rival manufacturers, Apple could launch their the sixth generation iPhone with a metal back thus reducing the thickness further by 0.96mm to give it a depth of 7.90mm. The report goes on to state, “The analyst also cited "more efficient supply chain management" and improved production yield as reasons that Apple would adopt the in-cell technology. With the current glass-on-glass design, bonding occurs at a late stage in the production process, thereby resulting in "significant losses" if the bonding fails. Kuo believes in-cell production is quicker and more efficient because bonding comes earlier in the process. The new process would require an estimated three semi-finished items at bonding, compared to the six required to produce the iPhone 4S. Additionally, production procedures could be cut from eight to five. The analyst also suggested that the number of production days required could drop from 12 to 16 to three to five.” An earlier report indicated that Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display (TMD) will manufacture these in-cell touch panels for Apple. Other rumours regarding the upcoming Apple iPhone include a liquidmetal back panel, LTE support, NFC capabilities and a smaller dock. Let us know your thoughts on the possibility of Apple launching a slimmer handset in the comments section below.

Microsoft introduces two new Marketplace changes for WP7

Through their official Windows Phone Blog, Microsoft has announced two new changes to Windows Phone Marketplace to prepare for the new store features and apps in the coming months. The first addition, or rather subtraction, is the removal of the Marketplace option from the Zune desktop client. Since most WP7 users buy and download apps through their phone or the web store, having Marketplace in a third location was a bit redundant. This is only for WP7 mobiles as the Zune HD app store will continue to exist through the software. While this won’t really affect most users, a more exciting announcement should have been the removal of Zune dependency all together for WP7 devices, but I guess that’s wishful thinking.
The second change directly involves the Marketplace and purchase and update of apps. In the coming weeks, users will have to have Windows Phone 7.5 running as the bare minimum, if they wish to buy new apps or even update existing ones. If you’re on an older version of WP7, you’ll still be able to browse the app store but that’s about it. Updates are still channelled through Zune itself and there’s no sign of Over the Air (OTA) updates for WP7 devices any time soon. Microsoft is enforcing this rule in order to provide a better and more uniform app experience and in a way curb fragmentation as much as they can. If everyone is on the same version of the OS, app developers have very little to worry about in terms of features and stability of the app across devices. They’ll also be able to freely make use of the new APIs in Mango and new security features. This move could also be taken as a sign that Microsoft is readying devices and the Marketplace for the transition to Windows Phone 8 and since is already on Mango, the move to Apollo should be seamless and so would the transition of apps. Windows Phone Marketplace now features over 80,000 apps available in 54 countries and counting.

Microsoft, Dropbox gear up for Google Drive onslaught.

The cloud storage concept isn’t new, in fact it’s been for several years but it’s now that Google has launched their Google Drive service that masses are actually being introduced to the idea. Microsoft and Dropbox are two of the big, popular names in the space and they’ve had the service for a while. Google Drive was only just launched last night with 5GB of free space and it won’t be surprising to see almost the entire Google userbase using it in the next few days and weeks to come. It’s likely that the popularity will far exceed that of Dropbox and Microsoft’s Skydrive. Microsoft and Dropbox are both gearing up their services to compete with Google’s new service.
Microsoft has just launched software for Windows and OS X, the apps for iOS and Windows Phone devices were updated too, just days before the official Google Drive launch. Many of us were expecting the Google Drive service to launch on Tuesday. Dropbox added a feature, which allowed users to publicly share their data using a URL. Skydrive and Dropbox have had an advantage over Google in terms of the amount of storage space. For example, Microsoft’s Skydrive offers its users 25GB of free space and Dropbox has been running promotions lately, where users can get upto 16GB of free space by asking their friends to register for the service. Google Drive only offers 5GB of space for free, although you can pay them $4.99 (approximately Rs. 250) a month and get 25GB of space. In addition to the 5GB free Google Drive space, free user accounts get their Gmail space to 10GB and Picasa to 1GB. If you buy a paid account, your Gmail account capacity gets bumped up to 25GB. Google has a host of web apps that can use the Google Drive, so they’re likely to have more leverage than the other services. Google also has released a Google Drive SDK for web applications, which means other services can use Google Drive as a storage as well.

Microsoft, Dropbox gear up for Google Drive onslaught.

The cloud storage concept isn’t new, in fact it’s been for several years but it’s now that Google has launched their Google Drive service that masses are actually being introduced to the idea. Microsoft and Dropbox are two of the big, popular names in the space and they’ve had the service for a while. Google Drive was only just launched last night with 5GB of free space and it won’t be surprising to see almost the entire Google userbase using it in the next few days and weeks to come. It’s likely that the popularity will far exceed that of Dropbox and Microsoft’s Skydrive. Microsoft and Dropbox are both gearing up their services to compete with Google’s new service.
Microsoft has just launched software for Windows and OS X, the apps for iOS and Windows Phone devices were updated too, just days before the official Google Drive launch. Many of us were expecting the Google Drive service to launch on Tuesday. Dropbox added a feature, which allowed users to publicly share their data using a URL. Skydrive and Dropbox have had an advantage over Google in terms of the amount of storage space. For example, Microsoft’s Skydrive offers its users 25GB of free space and Dropbox has been running promotions lately, where users can get upto 16GB of free space by asking their friends to register for the service. Google Drive only offers 5GB of space for free, although you can pay them $4.99 (approximately Rs. 250) a month and get 25GB of space. In addition to the 5GB free Google Drive space, free user accounts get their Gmail space to 10GB and Picasa to 1GB. If you buy a paid account, your Gmail account capacity gets bumped up to 25GB. Google has a host of web apps that can use the Google Drive, so they’re likely to have more leverage than the other services. Google also has released a Google Drive SDK for web applications, which means other services can use Google Drive as a storage as well.

Google starts selling Galaxy Nexus on Google Play store in US.

It is one of those days, when I envy the Android fans in United States, the reason? Well, Google has re-opened its online store to sell Galaxy Nexus directly to consumers in the country. The search giant is currently offering three versions of the smartphone to consumers – Unlocked, with Verizon and with Sprint. While the unlocked version has been priced at USD 399.99 (yes!), the contract versions will cost USD199.99 with a two-year commitment. This is the second-time, Google is trying to directly sell a Nexus smartphone to consumers, the first attempt with Nexus One in 2010 was a big flop. We hope company has fixed the service and other issues this time and consumers are not disappointed with their purchase from Google store. The Galaxy Nexus can now be grabbed by the US consumers from the devices section in Google Play store. As this section is called ‘devices’, it looks like we are going to see more such smartphones and tablets on sale in the coming days. For those, who have been living in a cave, Galaxy Nexus is the company reference smartphone for the Ice Cream Sandwich release of Android and comes with a 1.2GHz dual core processor, 1GB RAM, Android 4.0.4, 16GB of internal storage, NFC and 5MP rear camera.

More leaked pictures of SGS III show the menu button layout

It’s getting to a point where it’s completely ridiculous now as rumours and leaked photographs of the supposed next Galaxy phone keep pouring in, this time from a Chinese site called mobile01. The link to the forum thread has been taken down now but we still have the image, thanks to The Verge. The photograph was taken of a testing unit, enclosed in a case which looks identical to the ‘chrome finished’ phone we saw a couple of days back. The outer body is clearly a case that’s designed to make it look like the S II. In fact, this could be a prototype chassis created just for testing the call quality and signal related issues, which would explain why we are seeing so many spy shots of the same design. The picture in question appears to be running Twonky Media Server but what’s really interesting is the row of shortcut buttons down below.
Other than the physical home button (which could be just for show), we have an onscreen button for ‘Home’, ‘Back’, ‘Background apps’ and button for ‘Options’. If you look at the lower portion of the phone more closely, you can clearly tell the base is heavily rounded, a lot more than the Galaxy Nexus. There’s no hint about the new TouchWiz UI either but if past leaked pictures of the GT-i9000 are anything to go by then we can expect a very minimal skinning this time around. It seems like Samsung will only be adding custom icons and new options but the main theme appears to be of stock ICS, which is a good thing. However the final product may shape up to be, it’s going to be one slim phone. We just hope for our and Samsung’s sake, that the next Galaxy is indeed something spectacularly good, else they’re going to be the biggest laughing stock in the mobile world.

Google Drive for PC, Mac, Android officially here, iOS left out for now.

Google has just officially pulled the wraps off Google Drive, their own take on cloud storage solution. Google Drive is available to anyone with a Google account and to start off with, you get 5GB of storage free of cost. Google Docs has also been integrated into Google Drive allowing you to share, edit and access all your Office documents and PDFs in real time. The main purpose of Google drive however, just like Dropbox,, SugarSync, etc. is that it gives you a one stop shop for all your personal files, be it photos, video, music or just about anything else. Google Drive is currently available for PC, Mac and Android although iOS users will have to wait just a little bit longer for the app. Now, even though Google's made it official, the service is still being setup so not everyone has access to Drive just yet. You can still download the app from the Play Store, although you’ll be greeted with this message, “Your Google Drive is not ready yet”.
While 5GB is enough for most people, you do have the option to increase the storage space to 25GB for a monthly fee of $2.49, 100GB for 4.99 a month or 1TB for $49.99 a month. Along with the announcement of Drive, Google will also be giving a little treat to Gmail users in the form of more storage space which bumps up your account to 10GB from the existing 7.5GB. Also, if you pay for the extended storage in Google Drive, that extra space can be shared with your Gmail account as well. Google Drive also features built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology which means you can now search for text embedded in images as well. Image recognition that allows you to search for specific holiday photos, even though they aren’t tagged correctly, is also present. Google has integrated Drive tightly with their other services as well and you can now attach photos from Drive to posts in Google +. Upcoming features include the ability to attach files from Drive directly to emails. Google is also working with third-party developers to enable sending of faxes, editing videos and creating website mockups, directly from Drive. The new service is still a work in progress so don’t expect everything to be flawless right from the get go, things will only improve with time.

'Home' button of next iPhone surfaces online

With the Apple rumour mills running wild, it is no surprise that every day a new bit of information gets revealed regarding the next iPhone. It was reported recently that the upcoming iPhone would feature an in-cell touch panel which would allow it to be slimmer and if used with a metal back, it could be as slim as 7.90mm. This is a significant drop in depth as compared to the iPhone 4S in the process allowing Apple to break the 8mm mark as done by other rival manufacturers such as Motorola and Huawei. The latest bit of information comes courtesy of TVC-Mall, a website that offers replacement parts for devices. The website has put up a listing on their page showing what they allegedly call the next iPhone’s home button and it's available in the black and white colour option.
What is an interesting bit of news regarding this image leak is that we now know that Apple does intend to stick around with the home button and not trash it altogether. At first glance, it will look similar to the home button on the iPhone 4S but upon closer scrutiny, one can see that the ``whole unit features a slightly rectangular design with rounded edges. This prompts one to believe that Apple will in fact redesign their smartphone as they are widely expected to. Apple have stuck with the same design for two generations of smartphones and if they intend on sticking with the same design, then it will certainly detract many potential consumers who are looking forward to the next iPhone. As per a report by WebProNews, the author states, “This home button looks slightly different, which suggests that the internal components of the iPhone will be shuffled around at least a little bit. Considering the fact that the iPhone is due a redesign anyway – and with rumors of a redesigned touchscreen and metal casing – the redesign of the iPhone home button, however slight, appears to be a confirmation that the iPhone will be getting a redesign. This isn’t the first time that leaked home buttons have provided a clue about a new Apple product. Back in December the home buttons for the new iPad leaked, and their redesign appeared to confirm rumors that the iPad would be getting a bit thicker, as it ultimately did.” Let us know your thoughts on Apple possibly launching the next iPhone with a home button in the comments below.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Streamified: Get A Customized Stream Of Your Social Networks [iOS]

If you own a smartphone, you probably use separate applications to keep in touch with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. In case you are using an application that lets you view updates from both, you are not able to control the precise features of each account you view. Here to change that is an iOS app called Streamified.
Streamified is a free to use iOS application sized at nearly 19 MB and compatible with iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad devices running iOS 4.3 or later. Using the app you can view customized updates from your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts. What sets the app apart from other stream aggregation apps is that it lets you specify which features of each account you would like to view in your stream; for example you can turn off your mentions in Twitter and exclude them from your app’s stream.
Features: 1.> A user-friendly phone app. 2.> Compatible with iOS devices. 3.> Aggregates your social streams. 4.> Lets you choose which features of each social network appear. Check out Streamified from here @

Initial GPU benchmarks of Samsung Galaxy S III thrash the competition

With only a few short days remaining for the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S II to be unveiled in London, rumours of the handset are flying off the wall. The last we heard about this handset was that it was available for preorder on the German page of Amazon and it would be sold at a price of EUR599. The leaks of this handset do not stop there and this time around, phoneArena have come across the graphics benchmarks of the next Galaxy which goes by the codename GT-19300.
The benchmark had briefly surfaced on the results page of GLBenchmark and as per the GPU scores it appears that it will wipe out the competition. The website took the benchmark scores and pit it against the likes of the HTC One S, HTC One X, iPhone 4S and the new iPad. From the scores in the GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt Offscreen 720p test, the upcoming flagship from Samsung beat the other smartphones and lost out to the new iPad only by a small margin. The report states, “The results from what is likely still a prototype Galaxy S III unit, beat the current Android king Snapdragon S4, beat Tegra 3 by a large margin, take over the iPhone 4S by a tad in most GPU test components, and even hold their own against the mighty quad-core PowerVR graphics in the new iPad. Since we already heard rumors about "superlative" benchmarks from the new Exynos, we are inclined to believe the same will be true for the CPU as well.” While this may be a prototype that was tested, the actual product could still be a really powerful handset that could hold its own for the foreseeable future. Here is a quick look at what is rumoured to feature in the next Galaxy smartphone: Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.6-inch display Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1184 x 720 1,4GHz quad-core processor Mali-400MP GPU 16GB Internal memory Expandable via MicroSD card 1GB RAM 8MP rear camera NFC 2250mAh battery Let us know your reactions about the graphics capabilities that are featured in the smartphone based on these scores that quite literally wash out the competing smartphones.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Apple to launch a cross between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

When rumours surface regarding Apple one may be quick to jump the gun and figure it will pertain to their iOS range of devices. This is in reality quite true as the recent slew of rumours have been centered on the upcoming iPhone. However, the latest bit of information courtesy of MacRumors is regarding the brand’s MacBook models where it is expected that the brand will launch a hybrid notebook that will feature the portability of the MacBook Air and the power of the MacBook Pro.
As per the report, research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo states, “Apple’s Mac business in 2Q12 will be boosted by several factors. Three of which are: (1) Mountain Lion, which integrates iOS features with Mac OS, Apple TV’s interaction function, will be launched in June; (2) upgrading to Ivy Bridge; and (3) back-to-school demand. We forecast Apple will sell 5.32 million units of the Mac series (up 28.5% QoQ and 35.2% YoY) in 2Q12, making it the main growth driver. We also predict Apple will roll out a fully new MacBook model in early 3Q12, boasting strong performance and easy carryability by combining the advantages of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. While adding new products, Apple is likely to stop making the 17-inch MacBook Pro this year due to falling shipments, in order to maintain a lean product line strategy.” Many users the world over have appreciated the design and portability that comes along with the MacBook Air but one common sentiment shared by most is that it does not offer the same functionality as the MacBook Pro range of notebooks. However, if they do intend to launch the hybrid MacBook, then an unfortunate victim will come in the form of the largest sized MacBook Pro. What needs to be seen if Apple does indeed launch the hybrid version, is what would happen to the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. There is a good chance that the speculated hybrid MacBook could cannibalize the market of the current MacBook Pro notebooks. As all this is still not set in stone, we have to just wait and watch how the whole thing pans out.

Telcos upset with TRAI auction proposals, consumers may pay the price.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to set the reserve price for the 2G auctions at close to Rs. 3,780 crore which is 1.08 times the 3G reserve price. According to reports, if this is indeed happening, it may well indicate that the consumers will eventually have to bear the brunt. A leading 2G operator mentioned that owing to this, telecom companies will have absolutely no choice but to increase the rates for their subscibers. The source went on to say that, “Take the case of players like Telenor or Sistema, who bagged 2G licenses by paying only Rs 1,650 crore license. If they were to bid again for spectrum which costs over twice the price they paid earlier, they may have to hike charges to stay viable. For existing telcos, too, this could spell trouble since this will become the benchmark price for license renewal going forward. Price hikes could become the order of the day”.
Commenting on the topic, Hemant Joshi, Partner of Deloitte Haskins & Sells stated that, “The Indian telecom sector is reeling under hyper competition due to overcapacity and under cash strain due to high prices paid for 3G spectrum and capital intensive nature of the industry. The new guidelines on spectrum, if accepted by Government in totality, then the business models by the incumbents and new operators would have to be redrawn as operators would have to pay significantly higher price for the spectrum which may ultimately lead to upward revision in tariffs.“ There has been a significant redux in the number of operators due to the license cancellations by the Supreme Court in February and now due to these reforms, potential new entrants like AT&T may refrain from entering the market. An official Vodafone India media holding statement mentioned that, “Vodafone India is deeply concerned to read the TRAI recommendations. We believe that several of these recommendations are retrograde and if accepted, will do irreparable harm to the industry. It will hamper the ability to connect the unconnected and goes against the objectives of National Telecom Policy of ensuring improved rural tele-density and right to broadband. We will share our detailed observations in due course.” The animosity is soon coming into the picture with clear disdain on the current reforms made by TRAI. Stay tuned to this space for more updates.

Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh to bring Internet sharing to Lumia 710, 800.

With the launch of their Nokia Lumia handsets late last year, the brand had partnered with Microsoft and launched a couple of handsets namely the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710. The handsets have done fairly well in the market and since then Nokia have unveiled two more handsets under the Lumia banner which are the Lumia 900 and 610 that are yet to reach our shores. The Lumia 610 is expected to land here by the end of this quarter. A feature the Lumia 610 will have when it launches is Internet sharing capability, something that is lacking on the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800. However, reports by Nokiapoweruser states that this feature will now become available to these handsets with the Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh update.
We had reported earlier that Microsoft would be releasing this Tango firmware update aka Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh by June and it would be designed for low end handsets that are using 256MB RAM and slower processors. Certain features from Mango won’t work on Refresh due to the hardware limitations but Microsoft says that the experience should be the same, in the sense, the interface is going to be just as slick and fluid, which is one of the highlights of Windows Phone. The report by Nokiapoweruser states that this Tango firmware update is available on NaviFirm for Lumia 710 an 800 with many countries receiving it. They state, “In one of the very interesting revelations, 1600.3030.8773.12120 update’s brief changelog is out and is bringing much awaited tethering or internet sharing ability to Lumia 710 and 800C for now. Other changes are Nokia News, Sportstracker and Creative studio apps as standard on the device.” This update via NaviFirm is a pre-release of the Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh but NaviFirm receives the firmware data directly from the support servers of Nokia. With these updates to the Windows Phone operating system, Microsoft is certainly improving on their technology which has received some considerable flack in comparison to the likes of Google’s Android operating system. However, being a budding OS, one can only expect it to grow from here on. Let us know your reactions to the Lumia handsets getting Internet sharing in the comments below.

Carzonrent's Easycabs mobile app lets you track your taxi.

Carzonrent released the Easycab mobile app back in December. The app allows you to book a cab wherever you are right from your mobile device. The app was made available for BlackBerry, Android, Symbian and iOS-based devices and had a special, low-energy WAP site for Java based phones. Carzonrent has updated the Easycabs mobile app to include two new features. One, when a customer has booked a cab through the Easycabs mobile application, they will be able to use the app to track their cab and monitor them on a real time basis. Customers will be able to stay indoors as long as they need to, especially when it's hot outside. This is also an extremely helpful feature for women who may have to work late or who are going out in the late evening alone. They can monitor their cab and stay indoors till their cab arrives.
The other feature that the Easycabs mobile application has been updated with is the ability to get live traffic feeds. This feature is powered by traffic information provider,, to allow the Easycabs mobile app user to get an idea of what the traffic situation is like on the various routes that they might take and choose or change a route accordingly. The Easycabs mobile application is available to smartphone users in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Android users can download the application from Google Play, BlackBerry users from the App Worldand Symbian users from the Ovi Store. However, after much scouring the iOS App Store and Google for the iOS app, it seems to be hidden in a secret corner. The application seems especially useful in cities today where public transport is dauntingly difficult and taxi strikes are almost more frequent than an actual available taxi. With the addition of the cab tracker feature in the application, commuting might not only be a little more pleasant, but also a little safer. Of course, you're booking a private cab which makes the process a little more expensive. Do you use the Easycabs mobile application? Is the extra expense worth it? Let us know in which city, in the comments section below.

Firefox 12 available for download now

Mozilla’s rapid release cycle has been on, in full speed and there have been new releaes coming out one after another. Firefox, one of the most popular web browsers around is very near to its next big release - version 12. The official date for release is the 24th of April, which is tomorrow, but as always, the final release binaries are already out on the Mozilla server. The release is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. You can download the English version of Firefox 12 here. Other releases can be found here.

The new release doesn’t add a whole lot more to the browser, instead there a few changes and a bunch of bug fixes. A new feature is the ability for the download manager to automatically start downloading links that are added to it. OS X users will also notice some improvement in the WebGL performance. Other changes include improvements to the CSS. Programmers and designers will also find that the page source window now has line numbers, making it easy to find code. Users using Windows’ User Access Control will find the installation of the new browser to be a tad quicker. The next big release - Firefox 13 is expected to hit the web on the 5th of June, 2012. Firefox 13, which is currently part of the Aurora channel will move to the Beta channel once Firefox 12 is official out tomorrow. Firefox 11 came out in the middle of last month.

The slight drop in popularity has allowed Firefox’s main competition - Google’s Chrome browser - to catch up and even overtake it. Mozilla has been focussing on preparing Firefox for Windows 8’s Metro user interface and they hope to get back some of the lost market share from Chrome. Google also has been working on getting its browser ready for the big release of Windows 8 in October this year. Another area of focus for the Mozilla team has been the Android platform and they have a browser out for it. Users can check out the Beta version of the Firefox 12 browser for Android on the Google Play store.

Galaxy S III available for preorder; sports a EUR599 price tag.

It is sufficient to say that the world is eagerly awaiting the launch of the next flagship handset from Samsung and it is fair enough to say that this is the most anticipated product launch that does not come from Cupertino. Samsung has not yet announced the Galaxy S III but Amazon appears to have taken a little shine off the secrecy of the big announcement by putting up a page on their German website that allows one to preorder the smartphone.

On the preorder page, Amazon has also listed a few specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S III. The page does not show any image of the smartphone but it does detail the smartphone as having a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display, a 12 megapixel camera and running on the Android OS. The last bit of information is not surprising at all since the handset is expected to be released running the latest mobile operating system from Google, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. However, what comes as an interesting bit of information is the screen size and the camera capabilities. The reason this gets interesting is because a few days ago a Vietnamese website posted a video with what they claim is a hands on with the Galaxy S III. They also claim that the screen size is 4.6-inches as opposed to the 4.7-inch size shown off on the Amazon page. Another dissimilarity is that during the hands on with the product, the Vietnamese website stated that the smartphone sported an 8MP shooter and not a 12MP rear camera.

However, this may merely be a product listing page for the smartphone and the online retailer can change it when Samsung officially announces the smartphone. The website shows off the price of the handset as well with it being available for EUR599 which roughly translates to around Rs. 41,384. However, this smartphone may not sell in India at this price and may cost higher or lower depending on the fluctuations in the currency rate.

Let us know your reactions about the supposed price of the Samsung Galaxy S III in the comments below.

Skype v1.0 arrives for Windows Phone

Following the recent availability of the Skype for Windows Phone Beta app announced at Mobile World Congress, Skype has released an official version of the app to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Users can download the app directly from their Windows Phone device.
With Skype for Windows Phone, users can join the thriving community of 200 million people using Skype every month across almost any screen: smartphones and tablets (running Android, iOS, Symbian), computers and laptops (Mac, Windows) and connected TVs.
Check out the video below to see how the app works:

Available for use on 4G, 3G and Wi-Fi networks, Skype for Windows Phone helps users connect with friends and family instantly with free voice and video calls (chargeable data connection) everywhere they go. They can also make affordable calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype Credit, create and hold one-to-one and group chats (even while in the middle of a call), and update their profile and account information, among other features.

Since releasing the initial beta app in February, the company has received very positive and helpful feedback that has allowed them to improve the app. Additionally, they have added some new features including video calling in portrait mode and friend management capabilities including invite, accept invitations, block, and unblock contacts.

Skype for Windows Phone is also now available in 18 languages: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, and Traditional Chinese. You can download Skype for Windows Phone free of charge (based on your download charges) directly from your Windows Phone. You will need to have a smartphone running Windows Phone 7.5 ("Mango") or above. You can check what version of Windows Phone your phone is running from Settings > About.
The company has also tested and certified the following Windows Phone to help ensure the best performance:
Nokia Lumia 710
Nokia Lumia 800
Nokia Lumia 900
HTC Titan
HTC Radar
Samsung Focus S
Samsung Focus Flash

According to their official blog, this is the first of many releases to come for Windows Phone and they will continue to invest over time to enable experiences unmatched by any other app in the market. The Skype app can be downloaded from this link.