Saturday, 30 June 2012

Travelport ViewTrip Mobile App launched for smartphones

Travelport has announced its new travel app dubbed ViewTrip Mobile for smartphone users in the Asia Pacific region. The Travelport ViewTrip Mobile is one of the first, fully integrated GDS powered travel itinerary apps available that allows travellers to be fully aware and in control of their travel arrangements at any time. Some of the essential features of the app include simple, one-time registration with future trips automatically synced to the mobile, flight status with live flight alerts, detailed airport and city guides and location aware services, weather forecasts and currency conversion and itinerary management. The app also allows users to quick and easily add items to the itineraries.

“Mobile technology is playing an increasingly important part of a traveller’s overall experience and our mobile strategy continues to result in new, innovative solutions for our customers”, commented Matthew Jones, Product Manager at Travelport. “ViewTrip Mobile is an exciting step forward for travellers as it provides them with rich trip information along with a wide array of destination content and tools, all in the palm of their hand. We are constantly developing new products that satisfy the needs of the travel community and are thrilled with the positive impact ViewTrip Mobile is making.”

Caroline Mongey, Operations Manager for FCm Travel Solutions said, “We have already received a number of comments explaining how powerful the app is and it is clearly enhancing the travel experience while increasing our value as a travel partner.”

Travelport, along with their development partner ManticPoint is also offering a white label version of the ViewTrip Mobile. This white label version allows agents to brand the app and itineraries using their own logo and colours, take control of content including agency specific help and advice and decide which affiliate content appears and proactively manage and target communications with the traveller via the app when disruption or the travel environment changes.

The app is launched for Android and the iOS platform. Travel apps form one of the most preferred categories of apps. These apps usually involve keeping a track of the train/flight schedule, ticket bookings, and also to keep an updated itinerary as in this case. Last month, we had picked the best apps for both Android and iOS platforms. Mobile apps have become a core attribute of smartphones and paved the way to a whole new horizon of opportunities for creative wits.

Travelport ViewTrip Mobile will be initially made available for customers in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Thailand, followed by other Asia-Pacific countries. ViewTrip Mobile is available for free to all Travelport travel agency customers currently using the Travelport ViewTrip itinerary solution. The app is now available to download at Google Play for Android users and at the iTunes Store  for iOS users.

Cisco launches Smart Wi-Fi routers with cloud computing features

Cisco has introduced new Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers (EA4500, EA3500 and EA2700) that deliver the latest in home Wi-Fi technology and offer a range of prices and performance. Cisco also unveiled Cisco Connect Cloud, a software platform that redefines and dramatically simplifies how consumers connect, control and interact with their connected devices, including personal entertainment and home appliances. The pricing details are as follows; the EA4500 will cost you Rs.14,999, the EA3500 will cost you 12,499 while the EA2700 will cost you 9,499.

The new routers are ideal for active online homes, easily handling everything from streaming HD video and multiplayer gaming to downloading large files, adding storage or printers and connecting multiple devices. After creating a password protected Cisco Connect Cloud account, consumers can enjoy anytime, anywhere access to multiple home networks from their mobile, tablet app or web browser and give guests Internet access, set parental controls or add new devices to their network.

Cisco also announced the availability of its Cisco Connect Cloud mobile app which provides easy access to Cisco Connect Cloud on a smartphone or tablet, while at home or on the go. One breakthrough feature with Cisco Connect Cloud is SimpleTap. SimpleTap lets consumers connect devices to their Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router with as little as one tap of a button or with a quick swipe or scan of a device or tag, making it easier than ever to add devices to the network.

Additionally, Cisco unveiled the first set of mobile apps from third party developers that provide extended experiences to Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers. There are six new developer apps including an app that lets people search and “beam” online videos to a Smart TV or AirPlay compatible device; an app that helps install home monitoring cameras and enables monitoring at home and on the go, and apps that give parents easy ways to keep their children safe online, even when mom and dad are not at home.

With the proliferation of mobile devices in the home, consumers are increasingly needing to connect their new devices to the home network - a task that many find complicated and time consuming. With SimpleTap, connecting devices to the home network is magically simple. When installing new devices such as Smart TVs, printers or tablets, anyone can now use the Cisco Connect Cloud mobile app on their smartphone to get their compatible device connected in a matter of seconds. Connecting is as easy as pressing the virtual Wi-Fi Protected Setup button in the mobile app and, in the near future, as easy as scanning a Near Field Communications (NFC) tag that may be bundled with or integrated in various consumer electronic (CE) products.

Because of the importance of superior usability in the connected home, Cisco has been working with a range of CE device and home appliance manufacturers on partnerships that deliver better experiences to mutual broader set of customers. Cisco’s newest partnership is with Onkyo, an international CE manufacturer that has included the SimpleTap functionality in their new wireless 7.1 AV Receiver.

World's smallest, 8.8 megapixel, USB 3.0 camera launched

Point Grey, one of the world's largest and most innovative providers of high performance digital cameras for industrial, bioscience, traffic, and GIS applications have announced the addition of an exciting new model to its popular line of Flea3 USB 3.0 cameras. The new model leverages the bandwidth capabilities of USB 3.0 by delivering 8.8 MP colour images at 21 FPS (185 MByte/s) in an ultra-compact, low-cost package.

The FL3-U3-88S2C features Sony’s new IMX121 sensor with “Exmor R” back-illuminated CMOS architecture. By increasing quantum efficiency and reducing noise, “Exmor R” improves sensitivity and dynamic range for sharp, high-quality colour images. The impressive 4096 x 2160 resolution combined with the ease of USB 3.0 and the camera’s small size makes the new Flea3 suitable for a variety of high resolution colour applications, including automatic optical inspection, ophthalmology, interactive multimedia, and broadcast.

Point Grey’s Flea3 camera line measures just 29 x 29 x 30mm and provides a unique set of features dedicated to maximizing USB 3.0 reliability, including a 32 megabyte frame buffer; on-camera power, temperature, and status monitoring; and in-field updatable firmware. The camera also provides colour interpolation, look up table, gamma correction, and pixel binning functionality.

“Since demonstrating the world’s first USB 3.0 camera in 2009, Point Grey continues to push the boundaries of imaging technology,” explains Michael Gibbons, Director of Sales and Marketing. Mr. Gibbons adds, “This camera is our latest innovation; we packed a high quality 8.8 MP, 4K2K sensor into the Flea3 and did it at an unbeatable price-point.”

Here's a detailed look at the specs:

Video Data Output - upto 24-bit digital data
Image Data Formats - Y8, Y16, Mono8, Mono12, Mono16 (all models) RGB8, YUV411, YUV422, YUV444, Raw8, Raw12, Raw16 (color models)
Partial Image Modes - Pixel binning and region of interest (ROI) modes
White Balance - Automatic/manual modes, programmable via software
Color Processing - On-camera in YUV or RGB format, or on-PC in Raw format
Digital Interface - USB 3.0 interface
Transfer Rates - 5 Gbit/s
Image Buffer - 32 MB frame buffer
Memory Channels - 2 memory channels for custom camera settings
Dimensions - 29 x 29 x 30 mm excluding lens holder (metal case)
Lens Mount - CS-mount: FL3-U3-13S2, FL3-U3-32S2 / C-mount: FL3-U3-13Y3, FL3-U3-88S2
Mass - 52 g
Power Consumption - 5 V, <3 W, via GPIO or USB 3.0 interface

The Flea3 FL3-U3-88S2C-C (colour) model is list priced at USD $945 (Rs. 52,442 approx.) and is available to order from Point Grey and its network of distributors. Click here to view a quick unboxing of the world's smallest camera.

Updated Google Currents app now available on the Play Store

At Google I/O 2012, we caught a glimpse of the new Currents app during the unveiling of Jelly Bean and now, you can find the updated app in the Google Play Store. The first thing you’ll notice is that Google has changed the logo of Currents and it’s no longer multi-colored but instead just a simple blue, much like the theme of Jelly Bean. The changes are not merely cosmetic though as Google has improved the performance of the app as well so web pages open and render a lot faster and smoother than before. They’ve also changed the look and feel of the app making it slicker and more fluid. Grab the app from the Play Store here. Currents is Google’s answer to Flipboard which gives you magazine like presentations for websites.

Here are some of the features that are present in Currents. 

Publisher editions - Publishers such as Forbes, The Guardian, TechCrunch, PBS, Saveur, and more have produced hundreds of editions including in-depth articles, videos, fine photography, slideshows, live-maps, and social streams.
Google trending editions - Google Currents uses Google search technology to hourly build a set of editions tracking the five most recent trending stories in categories such as world, entertainment, sports, science, and more. Each story is presented through a fresh edition of articles, videos, and pictures,
Your favorite blogs and feeds - Instantly, turn your Google Reader subscriptions, or any of your favorite blogs/feeds into a beautiful edition with a magazine feel.
Each edition is available for high speed offline reading, and provides quick-touch sharing. Google Currents self-adapts to differently sized phones and tablets, with your subscriptions synchronized across devices. Google Currents - a reading experience not to be missed.

When Currents first launched, Google’s Mussie Shore mentioned, “With this update, we’ve made Google Currents available globally, wherever apps are available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. International publishers, using Google Currents Producer, can now begin adding local content for an international audience, choosing where to make it available globally and whether to enable auto-translation.”

Changes in the latest edition include :
User interface - updated to Android standards
Top navigation bar - auto hide, touch to show
Library/trending toggle - moved to navigation bar
Performance enhancements
Bug fixes

Nexus 7 lacks USB OTG and MHL support, some more chinks in its armour

Google’s Nexus 7 is undoubtedly the most powerful Android tablet you can get for that price. Packing in a Tegra 3 SoC in the sub-$200 price segment is not an easy feat but they managed to do it. However, in the process of doing so, they may have compromised a bit too much and left out minor, but crucial, features. The latest news is that the tablet will not support USB On-The-Go natively and has no provision for MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) either. According to Anandtech, the USB port on the Nexus 7 will support USB-host functionality so you’ll be able to plug in a keyboard and mouse and they will work just fine, however the device will not recognize any USB storage. Now they also mention that this could be more of a software related problem rather than hardware because all you really need for USB OTG are the right drivers and it doesn’t seem like Jelly Bean has it by default. Perhaps a future update could bring this functionality natively but as of now, if you hoped to expand your storage through this route than you’re out of luck.

Another feature that’s absent is MHL or HDMI. Before the Asus MeMO tablet transformed into the Nexus 7, it had an HDMI port which Google then removed, probably in order to save cost. Or did they? Google is heavily positioning the Nexus 7 as a ‘media consumption’ device which means they want customers to focus on just that and not much else. Now the Nexus Q is positioned as a media streamer which will pull all your content from the cloud and display it directly to your TV, something the Nexus 7 could have done as well if it had an HDMI port. Could it be that Google deliberately removed HDMI to make the Nexus Q seem more attractive? If the tablet had an MHL or HDMI port, you could simply buy a cheap cable and hook it up to your TV, in which case there wouldn’t be any incentive to buy the Nexus Q.

It’s these little things that make you stop and think if the Nexus 7 is indeed worth it, even if it is just $200. A quad-core for this price is great, don’t get me wrong, but is it really necessary? I feel that this same tablet with a cheaper Qualcomm S4 dual-core Krait CPU would have been a much better solution. This would also translate into better battery life and by going dual-core, Google would have had the budget headroom to add features like microSD card slot, keep the HDMI port and perhaps even offer 3G. This would have then been the perfect Android tablet to get.

Facebook testing new ‘Want’ button plugin

Facebook is apparently testing a new feature that enables users to ‘want’ a product on the social network. The new plugin is similar to the ‘Like’ button on Facebook which is used almost all across the web. The new ‘Want’ button plugin, if implemented, might form a major part of the company’s efforts to increase advertising revenue in light of criticism from investors due to the average performance of its IPO.

According to a report by Inside Facebook, developer Tom Waddington from Cut Out + Keep discovered that a Want button has been added to the Facebook Javascript SDK as an XFBML tag – <fb:wants>. The button is not publicly listed among the other social plugins on Facebook’s developer site. The report quotes Waddington as saying the button will only work on Open Graph objects marked as ‘products’.

“With Open Graph, developers have been able to create their own “want” actions, but users have to authorize a third-party app in order for those buttons to generate stories on Timeline and News Feed. If the Want button plugin works similarly to the Like button, users will not have to go through the step of authorizing an app. This means even more users will be likely to click it,” the report states.

The ‘Want’ button, if implemented, could add to Facebook’s already massive user demographics database. By indicating their desires, users will let Facebook create a database that may allow advertisers to more accurately target users, helping the company in its competition with Google’s search-based advertising model. If implemented, this plugin would be augmenting Facebook’s widely-successful ‘Like’ button, which forms the core of the company’s ‘Sponsored Stories’ feature. User data generated from ‘wants’ could be used to target the sponsored products in combination with data generated from their ‘likes’.

Such a plugin could have wide-ranging uses and implications. For instance, Nike might launch a campaign wherein users ‘wanting’ a newly-launched shoe would be offered a discount or freebies. According to a report by Digital Trends, the ‘Want’ plugin could let third party developers use the user data generated by the button to build tools such as wish-lists and product recommendations.

Inside Facebook added, “Although publishing “Want” actions is currently disabled by Facebook, Waddington was able to implement a version of the button on his own site. Clicking the Want button returns an error for now.”

In a reply to Inside Facebook, the company stated, “We're always testing new Platform features, however we have nothing new to announce."

Google Nexus Q hacked, now watch your games on the big screen

When Google unveiled the Nexus Q at Google I/O 2012, they talked about the features and amongst them, they specifically mentioned how they added a mini USB port “to encourage general hackability” by the developer community. Well, it wasn’t long before someone actually stepped up to the plate and did it. Christina Kelly, an Android app developer managed to hack into the Nexus Q and get Swords and Soldiers to run off the device. However, the catch is that you can’t actually play the game since it’s designed for a touch screen so unless you can hook up the Nexus Q to a touchscreen monitor, you won’t be able to actually play the game. The point here is that this first step will soon open doors for other developers to experiment with the Nexus Q expanding its functionality even further. Google is all for modding and hacking which is what made Android so popular in the first place - the ability to customize the experience just the way you like it.

Dubbed the world’s first social streaming media player, the Nexus Q streams your favourite entertainment directly from the cloud to your living room. You can simply use the Google Play and YouTube apps on your Android phone or tablet to surf music, TV, movies and videos, and Nexus Q will play it all on the biggest speakers and screen in the house. There are no downloads, no syncing, no running out of space. Users can choose a song from the Google Play Music app on your phone or tablet and play it instantly on Nexus Q. However, it’s important to know that the Google Play Music hasn’t officially come to India. Users can upload up to 20,000 of your own songs for free. Music Manager uploads your iTunes or Windows Media Player library to Google Play so that your collection is available anywhere, anytime. Streaming is not related to music and you can watch your movies on your HDTV with Nexus Q. That feature as well, sadly, has still not been announced for India and we have doubts that it will be coming any time soon.

As far as specs are concerned the Nexus Q is powered by an OMAP4460 (dual ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs and SGX540 GPU) has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of NAND flash memory. It runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 24W class D amplifier with 12.5 watts per channel. Connectors and ports include micro HDMI (type D), TOSLink Optical audio (S/PDIF), 10/100BASE-T Ethernet (RJ45), Micro AB USB (for service and support), Banana jack speaker outputs. Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. The device comes with a die-cast finish and the Nexus Q has been made entirely in the USA.

Sony starts roll-out of ICS update for Xperia mini

Sony has now turned their attention to the Xperia mini and has officially announced on their blog that the update is now rolling out in phases so if your SI number matches the one in the list, there’s a good chance you’ll get it. Here’s a little excerpt from makers themselves, “The Ice Cream Sandwich software update for 2011 Xperia Smartphone’s is now being rolled out. The update is released in batches, and below you will find links to each phones list of all the currently released ICS software’s. Since there are minor differences in the software depending on product, country and operator we have a unique identifier that we call Sales Item (SI). “

During the launch of the phone, Steve Walker, Head of Marketing, Sony Ericsson said, “We wanted to provide consumers even greater choice across the Xperia range, while building on the success of the original mini series. These turbo-charged smartphones now contain even more power, enhanced functionality, a larger screen and premium features unique to Sony Ericsson. They are packed full of features, making them a perfect choice for consumers looking for all the benefits of Android and Sony in a beautiful and easy to use compact form factor.” The Xperia mini also features social network integration such as Facebook inside Xperia. This integrates social connections throughout the phone, by making Facebook immediately accessible from the most used areas of the phone such as the picture gallery, music player, phonebook and calendar.

Some of the specifications of the phone include:
3-inch, capacitive touchscreen with a 480 x 320 pixel resoluton
GPS with a-GPS Support
Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and USB 2.0
5MP AF camera with LED flash and 720p video recording
FM Radio
320MB internal storage, expandable to 32GB via microSD card

Adobe kills flash support for Jelly Bean

After Apple and Microsoft, it was Google’s turn to put its best foot forward and show off its prowess in the mobile terrain. The company launched the highly anticipated Jelly Bean operating system that now runs on its flagship tablet crafted by Asus. Though Jelly Bean is just an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich and not an overhaul, the search giant has brought in some nifty changes in the new operating system version. Adobe reveals through its official blog post that the company plans to end its mobile Flash support for the Google Play App store after August 15 and also won't support the newest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean version.

“Devices that don’t have the Flash Player provided by the manufacturer typically are uncertified, meaning the manufacturer has not completed the certification testing requirements. In many cases users of uncertified devices have been able to download the Flash Player from the Google Play Store, and in most cases it worked. However, with Android 4.1 this is no longer going to be the case, as we have not continued developing and testing Flash Player for this new version of Android and its available browser options.  There will be no certified implementations of Flash Player for Android 4.1.,” reveals the blog.

Starting August 15,  Adobe will use configuration settings in the Google Play Store to limit continued access to Flash Player updates to only those devices that have Flash Player already installed. Devices that don’t have Flash Player already installed are increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install it from the Google Play Store after August 15. The blog reveals that the easiest way to ensure ongoing access to Flash Player on Android 4.0 or earlier devices is to use certified devices and ensure that the Flash Player is either pre-installed by the manufacturer or installed from Google Play Store before August 15. So, basically as the device is upgraded from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1, the current version of Flash Player could exhibit unpredictable behaviour because it isn’t certified to be used with Android 4.1.

Android v4.1, Jelly Bean was unveiled amidst much fanfare at Google's annual I/O conference. Some of the highlighted features of the Jelly Bean OS, include -

Project Butter - As the name suggests, this feature aims to make the operating system on devices extremely smooth.
Text Input - As mentioned earlier, with Jelly Bean, the keyboard is a lot faster and more accurate.
Camera - On the camera side of things, the new OS brings to the table new UI and gestures, allowing users to swipe sideways, if they want to access a gallery. It is also possible to delete images by swiping them off the screen.
Notifications - With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the notifications bar has also received an upgrade

At the event, the search giant also took the wraps off their much anticipated Nexus 7 tablet. This tablet, manufactured by ASUS is not just designed to take on Apple’s highly successful iPad, but will also pose a stiff threat to the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google aims to tackle the competition better with its pricing strategy. The Google Nexus 7 tablet is available in two storage capacities, which are 8GB and 16GB and the brand has priced it extremely competitively at $199 and $249, respectively.

At the event, Google also introduced their new streaming player called the Nexus Q. Dubbed the world’s first social streaming media player, the Nexus Q streams your favorite entertainment directly from the cloud to your living room. You can simply use the Google Play and YouTube apps on your Android phone or tablet to surf an ocean of music, TV, movies and videos, and Nexus Q will play it all on the biggest speakers and screen in the house.

Other updates announced included a major Google+ app update. The Android app has just received an update that includes a whole bunch of new features. One of the key features is Google+ Events, which allows users to add events, invite people and share photos and media in real-time at the location itself. There’s even a 'shared location' feature, where all the photos shot by the various attendees will be present at one place. The feature will also add the event directly to your Google Calendar. It’s available for Android phones and tablets and even the Apple iPad is going to get its own app. The update is available on the Google Play store, and if you’re already using the app you can simply update it. A new search function for Android 4.1 - Google Now is esentially a new search interface for Android users in real-time. Google Now aims to get users more relevant and real-time results. The search feature is card-based and users can bring up cards containing the data they require in real-time. Google Now claims to give all relevant info in a single swipe.

Google I/O 2012: Chrome now available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

On day two of Google’s I/O 2012 conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President of Google Chrome announced Chrome for iOS. This finally brings one of the most popular browsers to Apple’s mobile platform which includes the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch. The app became available in the app store just a few hours after the announcement and if you haven’t downloaded it already, you can grab it from this link right here . This version of Chrome for iOS however is not the same as the one for the desktop and Android as it still uses Safari’s browser engine as the backend. Google had to make this compromise since it’s the only way they could port the browser to iOS since Apple does not allow any browser in the app store if they don’t use their engine. You can think of Chrome on iOS as a new skin for Safari along with the features that come with Chrome of course. The trade-off here is performance as it’s a lot slower compared to its Android counterpart as it has to use WebKit.

ArsTechnica reports some of the reasons for the slowdowns experienced in iOS, “Because of Apple's own App Store restrictions, Google is limited to building Chrome for iOS on (the iOS supplied version of) WebKit. Safari is also built on WebKit, and has a bonus advantage of being able to use its Nitro JavScript engine, which is not available to outside apps. (Nitro is limited entirely to Mobile Safari or bookmarked Web apps saved as home screen icons as of iOS 5.) As such, Chrome is at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to overall speed, though depending on the user, this speed difference may or may not be noticeable.”

Features like the ability to sync web pages across devices seem to work just fine. For instance, if you’re browsing a website on your Android phone using Chrome and then switch to the iPad, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off through Chrome as it will automatically sync all your opened tabs and bookmarks, provided you have signed in of course. It’s also easier to launch ‘Incognito Mode’ right from the menu in the browser rather than having to go to Settings, which is the case in Safari. Chrome also offers to save your passwords. One thing that iOS users will probably never get is the ability to set another browser as the default. This mean while you can launch and use Chrome on iOS, clicking a link in an email will always open Safari and nothing else. This is something I’m sure iOS users have gotten used to by now.

Samsung Galaxy Beam projector phone priced in India at INR 29,990

Samsung’s second attempt at an Android projector phone Galaxy Beam is soon going to be launched in India. The smartphone was today listed on company’s official e-store and has got INR 29,990 price-tag.

There is no word on release date right now, but considering the presence of listing it should not take much long.

Samsung Galaxy Beam runs on Android 2.3 and comes with features like 1GHz dual core processor, 5MP camera with flash4-inch WVGA display, 768MB RAM, and 8GB internal storage.

The USP of the phone is the 15 lumens pico projector in the device that can show images up to 50-inches wide.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Tata Docomo reduces data tariff by 60%

Now it offer unlimited 6 GB usage for only Rs 950 rental or unlimited 11 GB for only Rs 1,200. These 2 unlimited plans also offer cashback of Rs 100 per month for 12 months.

Tata Docomo, the unified telecom brand of Tata Teleservices, has announced the tariff reduction of up to 60 per cent for Tata Photon Plus postpaid and prepaid customers across India.
Under the new plans Tata Docomo Photon Plus postpaid customers have two unlimited data plan options- 6 GB for Rs 950 rental and 11 GB for Rs 1200. Post consumtion of the data limit of 6 GB and 11 GB consumers will be able to consume data but at a reduced speed. These two unlimited plans also offer cashback of Rs 100 per month for 12 months from date of purchase.

On the other hand, prepaid customers can get 2GB dat plan on recharge of Rs 700 and post the 2GB data limit them can continue consuming data but at a reduced speed.

Also, Tata Docomo entry level packs now cost Rs 250 that offers 1GB of data download as compared to Rs 650 earlier. Likewise Rs 450 pack which earlier cost Rs 750 will offer 2GB.

Similar to Airtel's Smartbyte, Tata Docomo has launched reload packs, which allows users to buy extra data if they cross their high speed data limit. There are two plans in this category for Photon Plus postpaid customers with 1GB data for Rs 200 and 2GB data for Rs 350. What this essentially means, that customers can now continue to enjoy uninterrupted high speed internet post consumption of their data limit.

Tata DoCoMo Photon plus service is a CDMA based high speed data service offering speeds up to 3.1 mbps.

Google Chrome for Android ICS now available

The fastest browser from Google makes its way to Android although only for Android ICS based devices for now.

Google has finally released the mobile version of Chrome web browser for Android.

The new Google Chrome for Android is now out of beta and will be available for devices running Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

Features such as accelerated page loading, omni box (navigation bar) and private browsing in incognito mode are available through Chrome browser for Android, making web browsing a breeze. Along with HTML 5 integration the browser offers maximum compatibility with websites and web applications, along with faster speeds for browsing.

Already available for desktops, the Chrome browser for Android has been worked on ground up to support Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for smartphones and tablets. The new Chrome for Android is the mobile web browser almost replicating features of its desktop counterpart. However, it still comes with certain limitations and restrictions, and the primary one is its compatibility with Android ICS 4.0 based devices only.

Google has provided accelerated page loading, scrolling and zooming for Chrome mobile as well, just like in the desktop version.

Google Account owners can sign in to sync bookmarks between a computer and mobile devices. Chrome users can also send a webpage to an Android smartphone or tablet running Chrome Beta, for offline reading.

You can download Google Chrome on your Android device manually or can also visit Google play to do so.

Ethical hackers help Harbhajan Singh recover hacked FB account ,e-mails

In an exclusive chat with ethical hackers Himanshu Sharma (alias нα¢кєя) and Parul Khanna, we’ve learnt popular Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh’s Facebook account was hacked some time ago. It appears Bhajji's e-mail address, along with his fan page, were hacked. Himanshu and Parul say that the hacker kept a low profile and was not very active on these accounts. Most hackers usially tend to make drastic changes to the appearance of the page or by posting offensive content on it. Harbhajan Singh is said to have contacted the police asking for help, but when there was no help from the police, he decided to take the help of the two ethical hackers.

Himanshu is already a well-known hacker and at just 18 years of age, has been recognized by companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook. He’s also known for recovering the fan page of well-known Pakistani singer, Zaain Ul Abideen. Parul Khanna is also known in the field as a internet and computer security professional. He’s known to have conducted more than 300 different workshops on ethical hacking across India. Both joined hands and were able to successfully recover the two accounts within 24 hours.

When asked about the incident, they said, "Well, it was a real tough job and contacting Facebook and Google support did not help at all. The hacker managed to disable every particular option for recovering the account. But after a few hours we were able to figure out our way into the accounts.” They say that they have also managed to get hold of the hacker’s location and steps are being taken to bust them. Himanshu and Parul were able to successfully unlock the accounts within a few hours.

Himanshu and Parul say that the hacker is suspected to have used the Yahoo account password reset feature’s 0-day vulnerability bug, which was out in the wild a few weeks ago. This allowed them to easily gain access to the account. The duo said that they wanted to highlight that not all hackers were bad. Ethical hackers are present in the hacker community and they’re ones responsible for making sure that cyber criminals don’t go too far.

Image credit: Bhajji World

Google I/O 2012: Jelly Bean gets Google Now update

The annual Google I/O 2012 conference, amidst all talks about Jelly Bean, saw Google introducing a new search function for Android 4.1 - Google Now. Essentially a new search interface for Android users in real-time, Google Now aims to get users more relevant and real-time results. The search feature is card-based and users can bring up cards containing the data they require in real-time. Google Now claims to give all relevant info in a single swipe. Speaking at the keynote, Hugo Barra, Director of Product Management, stated, "Google Now figures out when you commute from home to work and back, tells you how long your commute usually takes, and gives you a faster route if there's lot of traffic. On public transit, if you're on the platform at a subway, Google tells you when the next bus or train will arrive. Google Now gets you just the right information at just the right time, and all of it happens at the right time."

Google Now claims to be a handy tool for everyday uses like commuting and driving directions. It can find you the best routes to get to your workplace quickly if your usual route is clogged. The tool can also list all local eateries in an instant when queried, and once in a restaurant, the search function automatically lists the restaurant's best dishes. Sports lovers too can stay updated on their favourite teams in real-time with Google Now.

Google claims, “Today’s smart devices still rely on you to do pretty much everything—that is, until now. Google Now is a new feature that gets you just the right information at just the right time. It tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, or your favorite team's score as they’re playing. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most.”

Google's widely-reported I/O conference also saw the search giant unveil the latest flavour of the Android OS, Jelly Bean, a successor to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean appears to be a huge improvement over Ice Cream Sandwich, and the first device to receive it as an update will be the Google Nexus 7 - the brand’s flagship tablet. The Google Nexus 7 has been manufactured by Asus and will retail for $199.

Google claims that since Jelly Bean builds on top of Ice Cream Sandwich, it makes everything smoother, faster and more fluid. The company informed that notifications are now more dynamic. Elaborating on this feature, they stated that if one is late for a meeting or has missed a call, they can send an e-mail or call directly from within the notifications. With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google claims that the keyboard is smarter and more accurate and can predict the user’s next word. Another interesting feature is that voice typing is faster, working even when one does not have a data connection.

Windows Phone Tango now available for Nokia Lumia 710 and 800

A new software update for the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 has started rolling out today that will bring some new features to your device, while giving access to new apps. Two new functions that also come with this software update are Internet sharing (otherwise known as Wi-Fi tethering) and flip-to-silence. Internet sharing will allow you to share your mobile Internet connection over Wi-Fi with up to five other devices or computers. In effect, it turns your Nokia Lumia 800 or Nokia Lumia 710 into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. As for flip-to-silence, well, you turn your phone face down, and all incoming phone calls and alerts will be silenced.

Along with these new features, the software update will also allow you to download some new Nokia apps from the Windows Phone Marketplace this July for your Lumia 800 or Lumia 710. Chief among these are Camera Extras that enhance the camera capabilities of your device.

With Camera Extras and you’ll have a range of new shot options:
Smart Group Shot makes it easy to capture group shots with just one attempt. With a single press of the camera button, five shots are taken and using advanced algorithms, you can select the best ‘face’ shot for each person in the photo.
Action Shot allows you to take images of movement and action. Take a burst of shots and you will be able to review them all one on top of another before you select the one you prefer.
Self Timer lets you put yourself in the picture. Set the timer, then prop up the phone and then join your friends in the shot.
Panorama enables you to capture beautiful wide landscape images. The simple on-screen instructions guide you as you move your phone, while it stitches together panoramic images with precision alignment.
Camera Extras is more like several apps rolled into one, but it’s not the only new app that will be available once you’ve installed the software update. Contact Share lets you share and receive Business Cards by SMS. Play To makes it possible for you to share pictures, videos and music from your Lumia smartphone to other DLNA –enabled devices on your home network. Play To is already available for all Lumia devices.

So, how do you update your device?
Users can get the update by connecting their phone to their computer with the USB cable and starting the Zune software on a PC or Windows Phone 7 connector in case of a Mac. The software update is available during June and July 2012 and the apps will be rolled out globally by the end of July. To recap, these apps (except Play To, which is already out) will only be available for your Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710 once you have installed the new Windows Phone 7.5 software update.

Those who already own the Nokia Lumia 900 or Nokia Lumia 610 (not available in India still), Internet Sharing and flip-to-silence are already available, and you can also get Camera Extras and Contact Share soon. For all of you owning a 710 or an 800, do let us know if you have got and installed the update already.

Google I/0 2012: Google announces the Nexus Q, a streaming media player for $299

Along with the launch of their new phone and tablet, Google has launched a new streaming player called the Nexus Q. Dubbed the world’s first social streaming media player, the Nexus Q streams your favorite entertainment directly from the cloud to your living room. You can simply use the Google Play and YouTube apps on your Android phone or tablet to surf an ocean of music, TV, movies and videos, and Nexus Q will play it all on the biggest speakers and screen in the house. There are no downloads, no syncing, no running out of space. Just the stuff you love - at home and out loud.

Users can choose a song from the Google Play Music app on your phone or tablet and play it instantly on Nexus Q. However, it’s important to know that the Google Play Music hasn’t officially come to India. Users can upload up to 20,000 of your songs own for free. Music Manager uploads your iTunes or Windows Media Player library to Google Play so that your collection is available anywhere, anytime. Streaming is not related to music and you can watch your movies on your HDTV with Nexus Q. That feature as well, sadly, has still not been announced for India and we have doubts that it will be coming any time soon.

Naturally, YouTube is included in the fray as well and users can use their Android phone or tablet to search for a specific video or explore a category to find something new. Q brings a lot of features if you are having a party or gathering at home as well. All your guests need is an Android phone or tablet and a connection to your Wi-Fi network. If you prefer your own taste in music you can simply turn off guest mode in your Nexus Q settings and it’s all you. Nexus Q has an audiophile grade amplifier built in so you can hook your speakers right up, or use an optical or HDMI cable to connect Nexus Q to your AV receiver or HDTV. Once you’re playing, you can control the volume from your phone or tablet, or simply by turning the top half of Nexus Q. You can touch the top LED to mute the sound completely. Your device can connect to multiple Nexus Qs and you can choose what music you want to play. The Nexus Q comes with 32 LEDs that shift and change colour in time to the music.

As far as specs are concerned the Nexus Q is powered by an OMAP4460 (dual ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs and SGX540 GPU) has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of NAND flash memory. It runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 24W class D amplifier with 12.5 watts per channel. Connectors and ports include micro HDMI (type D), TOSLink Optical audio (S/PDIF), 10/100BASE-T Ethernet (RJ45), Micro AB USB (for service and support), Banana jack speaker outputs. Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. The device comes with a die-cast finish and the Nexus Q has been made entirely in the USA.

Well, it looks like a pretty nifty device but with no support for Google Play Music, movies and TV shows, the functionality for India is pretty limited. The pricing itself is pretty high at $299 (Rs. 17,045) so it’ll be interesting to see how this device fares when it is actually launched.

Google I/O 2012: Google Play to offer videos, TV shows and magazines

This year’s Google I/O conference was mainly focussed on the Google Nexus 7 tablet and their latest Android operating system Jelly Bean, but Google Play - the company's online store - did not go unmentioned. Google took some time out during the keynote address to reveal that they have now expanded Google Play to offer users the ability to purchase magazines, movies and TV shows. This update will be available on all devices over the next few days.

Google states that Google Play is a digital entertainment destination with more than 600,000 apps and games plus music, movies and books. It is entirely cloud-based, which means all of your content is always available across all of your devices. The company stated, “Today, our store is expanding to include magazines. We’ve been working with leading publishers Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith and more to offer magazines like House Beautiful, Men’s Health, Shape and WIRED.”

With the expansion of Google Play, the company stated that one can now purchase movies as opposed to merely renting them. They will also be adding television shows on Google Play. “We’re adding thousands of episodes of broadcast and cable TV shows like "Revenge", "Parks & Recreation" and "Breaking Bad", from some of the top studios like ABC Studios, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures. You can play back movies and TV shows on all your Android devices through Google Play on the web, and on YouTube. We will soon be taking the experience to Google TV devices,” Google stated.

A report by CNET stated, “The changes help make Google Play a better alternative to Apple and Amazon. And if all goes according to Google's plan, it'll make devices like its new Nexus Q streaming-media device something more than an electronic paperweight.” Touching upon the reach and growth of Google Play, the report quoted Chris Yerga, an engineering director for Android as saying, "So far, Google Play, which was formerly known as the Android Market, has been used to install 20 billion apps. Paid apps are available in 132 countries and free apps are in 190 countries."

More than 50 percent of app revenue comes from in-app billing, Yerga added, in which people purchase things like new game levels. Coming to the app store are two features: app encryption, which will be available with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and smart app updates, in which only the parts of an app that have been changed are downloaded when an update is performed. Yerga said, “On an average, with the most popular apps we looked at, a smart APK [Android installation file] update is about one-third the size of a new update. It's a win for carriers, developers, and users. We handle it automatically. It's supported for Gingerbread [Android 2.3] and above.”

Google claims that since Jelly Bean builds on top of Ice Cream Sandwich, it makes everything smoother, faster and more fluid. The company informed that notifications are now more dynamic; for instance, if one is late for a meeting or has missed a call, they can send an e-mail or call directly from within the notifications. With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google claims that the keyboard is smarter and more accurate and can predict the user’s next word. Another interesting feature is that voice typing is faster, working even when one does not have a data connection.

Micromax may launch dual core smartphones for less than Rs 10,000

A new smartphone platform from MediaTek will offer a 1 GHz dual core processor and Android
4.0 at below Rs 10k.

Micromax may try , a dual core platform called MT6577 in future smartphones which can be priced less than Rs 10,000. The MT6577 chipset is made by MediaTek, a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions,

A Micromax spokesperson said to The Mobile Indian, "MediaTek has just launched MT6577, a dual core platform, and we will be evaluating it in the coming months so that we can use them in our future smartphones."

MediaTek MT6577 features a dual 1 GHz Cortex A9 processor, a PowerVR Series5 SGX GPU (graphics processing unit), 3G/HSPA+">HSPA modem, and it runs the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

"MT6577 adds the next level of performance and enhanced user experience to the MediaTek smartphone family, delivering enhanced user interactivity, mobile connectivity and a rich multimedia experience previously only available on high-end devices. Consumers everywhere will now benefit from the affordable, high-performance devices enabled by the MT6577," said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, president of MediaTek.

The platform will also offer an 8 megapixel camera, support for up-to high definition 1080p video playback and the ability to support high resolution displays up to HD 720 (1280 x 720 pixel) resolution. The platform also offers dual band 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM.

The first smartphone models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in the next three months.

In India, MediaTek is one of the major suppliers of mobile platforms to players like Spice Mobile, Micromax, Lava etc.

Aircel, Olive to launch three Android ICS smartphones in August

The three Android ICS smartphones will be priced between Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000.

Olive Telecom, an India-based convergence device developer, in association with Aircel, will launch three smartphones running on Android Ice Cream sandwich (ICS) in the first week of August.

Avijit Dutt, president, marketing, Olive Telecom, said to The Mobile Indian, "Olive Telecom will launch three ICS based smartphones, in association with a leading service provider, for Indian consumers by July end or August first week, in the price bracket of Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000."

He, however, didn't reveal the name of the operator, but our sources confirmed that Olive will be launching the smartphones in association with Aircel and that the operator has already placed the order. All three smartphones will come with attractive voice and data plans, which will be revealed during the launch.

Avijit further said, the entry level Android ICS smartphone will cost Rs 4,000 and will have a 3.2 inch screen, whereas the top end smartphone will have a 4.2 inch screen and will cost Rs 12,000."

As far as the processor goes he said that the entry and mid-level smartphone, which is expected to be priced around Rs 8,000, will have an 800 MHz processor, and the top end smartphone will have a 1.2 GHz chip.

This is not the first time that Olive Telecom will be partnering with Aircel. They had previously partnered for launching the first Indian HSPA+">HSPA+ smartphone-the OliveSmart V-S300 phone that was powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon MSM8255 processor and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. In addition, it featured a 5 megapixel camera with flash and auto-focus, front camera, accelerometer, proximity sensor, Bluetooth v2.1, a 32 GB expandable memory and 1400 mAh battery backup.

Airtel to launch 4G services in Delhi, Mumbai by Dec

Airtel has partnered with Qualcomm to roll out 4G services in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

Airtel, which recently bought a stake in Qualcomm's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) business, will roll out 4G services in Delhi and Mumbai by the end of this year, an industry source told The Mobile Indian.

The operator has already launched 4G services in Kolkata and Karnataka circles using TD LTE technology, and it is very eager to launch the service in Delhi and Mumbai, which are two very important circles in India with a very high density of mobile data subscribers, and also very high average revenue per user compared to the other circles in the country.

Airtel has a deal with the Qualcomm to roll out 4G services on its behalf. Qualcomm had bagged BWA spectrum, or 4G licenses, for Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

The source told us that currently both the companies are busy sorting out launch plans, and also working with the Ministry of Communication to sort out legal requirements for starting the service.

Qualcomm had earlier signed an agreement with Bharti Airtel, under which it authorised the teleco to operate its 4G services in the four circles till 2014, when Bharti plans to take full control of the BWA arm of Qualcomm.

Bharti has purchased 49 per cent stake in Qualcomm's broadband wireless access venture. The deal involved Bharti buying a 26 per cent stake equally held by Global Holding Corporation and Tulip Telecom, apart from subscribing to fresh equity.

Bharti already has BWA licenses in four circles - Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra - and 3G licenses in thirteen circles in India. With this agreement, Bharti has secured nation-wide broadband leadership through a combination of 4G and 3G, with its own network in only 18 circles.

Reliance Industries (RIL) is the only company to have a pan India license to operate 4G services. The company is expected to launch its services in a few circles by Diwali, and will expand it to all the major circles by the end of 2012. It is likely that RIL will launch its services in Delhi and Mumbai in the first phase of the launch.

Mozilla upgrades Firefox for Android

Mozilla has launched the latest version of Firefox for Android-powered smartphones. The new version boasts of HTML5 support, a new redesigned user interface, significant performance advancements, a new smart page, and Flash support. Mozilla has added increased text readability through font size inflation, a new personalized Start Page with top sites and tabs from the last browsing session and a new panning/zooming architecture for better touch responsiveness. Users can also opt for add-ons to enhance and personalize their browsing experience. However, this new version is for phones only and does not support Android-powered tablets.

The official Mozilla blog states, “You’ll notice dramatic performance improvements that make Firefox on your Android phone super fast with everything from startup and page load times to panning and zooming and Web app performance. Firefox for Android has a fresh, streamlined look with a personalized start page that saves you time getting where you want to go on the Web. We also optimized your favorite features like tabbed browsing, Firefox Sync and Firefox Add-ons to deliver the best mobile browsing experience possible.”

Firefox now supports direct search from the address bar itself, with all Google searches now utilizing HTTPS. This is the 14th version of the mobile browser that Mozilla has released so far. Firefox users on the desktop will be pleased to know that this version continues to support Firefox Sync, which lets you sync bookmarks, passwords, history, favorites and other browser data between Firefox on your various devices.

The Mozilla blog also claims that this version of Firefox is faster than the stock Android browser. “Firefox for Android is significantly faster than the stock browser that ships on Android phones, according to leading industry benchmarks such as Sunspider. In addition, we developed a new benchmark, called Eideticker, that measures the actual user Web experience and we built Firefox for Android to it, yielding an experience that is two times faster than the stock browser,” the post reads.

This version, however, only supports Android 2.2 and above, unlike its predecessor, which supported devices with Android 2.1 and above. Mozilla stated on the Firefox Google Play store page that it has “Updated minimum system requirements to Android 2.2+ for optimized experience.” Moreover, in-browser Flash is not supported on Android tablets and Tegra 2 devices running on Gingerbread.

Mozilla Firefox for Android phones can be downloaded from the Google Play store.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Google brings LEGO to your browser

You know the amount of time you've spent in your childhood with your LEGO set and remember the fun you had. In a throwback to those memories Google now brings to you Build, a virtual Lego play set that you can assemble right on your browser. Build is a collaborative 3D building experience and is just an example of the extent of browser technology. Build is an assortment of a whopping 8 trillion bricks made with WebGL that 'enables powerful 3D graphics right in the browser and demonstrates the upper limit of current WebGL graphics performance.' Users can assemble these LEGO bricks atop Google Maps and this way, then can pick a plot alongside someone else's.

To begin with, users need to go to and on clicking on Build, one can head straight to picking their plot. Once a user has picked his choice of an area to build, he can proceed. Here, the user is greeted with a section to their left, complete with LEGO bricks and here they also have the choice to build using LEGO bricks in the colour of their choice. The bottom of the screen houses tips, which you can look at to know how to place bricks, remove them, rotate the brick, how to zoom, undo and so on. Once you feel you've attained perfection, you can hit Publish and doing that is the only way of saving your hard work, since you cannot save your build, while you're still at it, which does seem to be a bit of a downer since you're always worried of losing it. Also, you cannot make any changes once you have Published your build.

Google recommends that you use Chrome to make your builds, since the browser can can handle the graphics required.

In the official blog post, Google adds that, "Right now Build is an experiment we’ve been working on in Sydney. We’re launching first in Australia and New Zealand and hope to open up in other countries soon. This year is the 50th anniversary of the LEGO brick in Australia and Build joins the celebration of the LEGO Festival of Play online."

So, there you go. Spill your ideas out, but before you do that be sure to read through some house rules :
Be original. Your build must be from your own work.
Be nice. Don't create builds to offend or shock others.
Play safe. Don't give out personal details.
Don't preach. Don't promote religious or political ideologies.
Play don't sell. Don't advertise a brand.
Keep it clean. Don't build anything that's inappropriate.
Have fun. Express your creativity and free your imagination!

Happy Build-ing!

Google's Project Glass to soon become a reality

Google Inc expects to roll out a consumer version of its electronic eyewear that can live-stream images and audio and perform computing tasks in less than two years, though it stopped short of putting a price tag on the "smart" glasses.

Google Glass, as the technology is known, will be sold to consumers at a price "significantly" lower than the $1,500 that the company is selling it to U.S.-based software developers from early next year, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said.

Brin showed off the glasses at Google's annual developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, providing the most in-depth public look at the futuristic technology since Google first announced the project in April.

Google also unveiled its first tablet which it will start selling from mid-July for $199, hoping to replicate its smartphone success in a hotly contested market now dominated by Inc's Kindle Fire and Apple Inc's iPad.

Google Glass is a stamp-sized electronic screen mounted on the left side of a pair of eyeglass frames which can record video, access email and messages, and retrieve information from the Web.

In a high-octane demonstration of the technology, several skydivers wearing the glasses jumped out of an airship and landed on the roof of San Francisco's Moscone Center, sharing a live video of the stunt with the crowd.

Reporters at a briefing after the conference lined up to try on Brin's personal pair of glasses, where they were able to watch a video of fireworks displayed on the small screen. The perspective in the video shifted as wearers moved their heads to look up, down or sideways.

The glasses, which weigh less than some sunglasses, contain a wireless networking chip and essentially all the other technology found inside a typical smartphone - save for a cellular network radio - Google executives said.

The battery is smaller than a smartphone battery, but Google is working on ways to make the battery charge last for a full day.

Brin said he expects the glasses to be available to consumers less than a year after the developer version is available.

Google is still experimenting with various aspects of the glasses, including potentially providing directions on the screen and the ability to have the glasses speak out text messages, Brin said.

He said, in response to a question, that there are no plans to offer any kind of advertising on the device.


ACi launches notebook priced at Rs. 4,999 in India

In what may be the most affordable notebook to be launched in the country, UK-based computer manufacturer ACi yesterday launched a notebook priced at just Rs. 4,999 in India. The laptops will be marketed in India by Allied Computers International (Asia) Ltd. The fully-functional ACi Icon 1100 is a 10.2-inch screen notebook weighing a mere 700 gm, which makes it really easy to carry around. "We have launched India's super low-cost laptop at Rs. 4,999. It will be a real fully functional, Windows-compatible laptop, at the lowest price tag in the country," Allied Computers International's (Asia) Mananging Director Hirji Patel said.

Given its price, it’s no surprise ACi have kept the specifications of the notebook quite low-tech, but the pocket-friendly price really may influence some to buy it. According to the ACi Asia site, the notebook runs on an undisclosed VIA CPU, sports a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and comes with 512 MB of RAM, expandable to 1GB. What seems to be the main drawback of the Icon 1100 is the low storage capacity it supports: the notebook ships with just 4GB of storage, which is expandable to only 32GB. On the connectivity front, the notebook has three USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, along with Wi-Fi – the types of Wi-Fi standards supported (a/b/g/n) has not been disclosed, though. The Icon 1100 also has a one-push memory card reader (MMC/SD) and a webcam (camera optics not mentioned), The site also claims that the notebook is 3G-ready, although a USB dongle might be needed. Lastly, it comes with a 12-month warranty.

Patel added that the company hopes to sell 200,000 low-cost laptops within the first year of its launch across the country. Speaking about the viability of the project, Patel said, the company will import the product from China and offer products to Indian consumers at a very thin profit margin. "We will never compromise on quality with price. The range we will be offering are carefully designed and developed, just like the majority of our models launched both in UK and India," he said. He pointed out that although India today enjoys a sales volume of around 2.5 million laptops per annum, it is still barely 10 percent of what Western countries, like the UK and other leading European countries are churning out.

Introducing such low-cost computing devices becomes more significant in the wake of various state governments, like Tamil Nadu, UP and others announcing to provide laptops for students. The company is looking at offering low-cost laptops to these state governments, Patel added.

News Sources

Google I/O 2012: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean now official

Prior to this year’s Google I/O conference, various reports had pointed out that Google was all set to unveil their next major Android update, Jelly Bean. Right on schedule at the conference, Google officially took the wraps off Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a successor to their last year’s operating software Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating software appears to be a huge improvement over Ice Cream Sandwich and the first device that will be graced by the update is the recently announced Google Nexus 7, which is the brand’s flagship tablet that is manufactured by ASUS.

Commenting on the latest operating system, Google states Jelly Bean builds on top of Ice Cream Sandwich. This OS makes everything smoother, faster and more fluid. They claim that notifications are now more dynamic. Elaborating on this feature, they state that if one is late for a meeting or missed a call, then they can send an e-mail or call directly from notifications. With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google claims that the keyboard is smarter and more accurate, and can predict the user’s next word. Another interesting feature is that voice typing is faster, working even when one does not have a data connection.

Google state that they have redesigned search from the ground up in Jelly Bean, with a new user interface and faster, more natural Voice Search. They go on to state that one can type their query or simply ask Google a question. Google can speak back, delivering a precise answer, powered by the Knowledge Graph, if it knows one, in addition to a list of search results.

Google claims, “Today’s smart devices still rely on you to do pretty much everything—that is, until now. Google Now is a new feature that gets you just the right information at just the right time. It tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work or your favorite team's score as they’re playing. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most.”

Here is a quick look at some of the highlighted features of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean:

Project Butter: Just as the name suggests, this feature aims to make the operating system on devices extremely smooth. As per a report by TechCrunch, they explain this feature by stating, “The Android team did so by bumping up Jelly Bean’s framerate to 60 FPS, and implemented vsync and triple buffering to tighten up the experience. Developers also have access to a new tool called systrace in the Jelly Bean SDK that displays what the rendering engine is up to.” At the Google I/O conference, Google showed off the difference in speed between Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean and the former pales in comparison.

Text Input: As mentioned earlier, with Jelly Bean, the keyboard is a lot faster and more accurate. The report by TechCrunch goes on to state, “Text input has also been improved, especially with regard to voice typing – users no longer need to have a solid network connection to make the feature work, as the speech interpretor lives directly on the device. The predictive keyboard is also able to guess at which word you intend to type out next. Only U.S. English will be supported for now. Arabic and Hebrew support has been improved as well, and they’re looking to add 18 new input languages.”

Camera: Google have not left out the camera as well with the update and commenting on this a report by GSMArena states, “Jelly Bean brings new UI and gestures, so you can swipe sideways to access the gallery (yes, just like on the WP smartphones). You can then quickly delete images by swiping them off the screen.”

Notifications: With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the notifications bar has also received an upgrade and elaborating on this point and report by CNET states, “Jelly Bean though will push things further, supporting notifications that will allow complex actions and more ways to interact with alerts. For example, you'll be able to tap a missed call message and have the option to ring the caller back. Developers will also have the flexibility to craft custom notifications for their apps.”

Android Beam: With Android Beam, one can now share videos via NFC, along with the ability to pair a Bluetooth device with NFC capabilities by merely tapping it.

The SDK of Android Jelly Bean is already available to developers from today and Google will begin dishing out Android 4.1 to devices, such as Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola Xoom via over-the-air updates from mid-July.

Microsoft Office 365 for Education now available

Microsoft Office 365 for Education is available starting from today, and it is here to provide the world’s best productivity, communications and collaboration experience to educational institutes at no cost. A cloud-based suite, Office 365 for Education includes the familiar Microsoft Office desktop applications, as well as Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Lync Online. It also provides educators with powerful tools to create anytime, anywhere learning opportunities across multiple devices, in addition to e-mail, calendars, Microsoft Office Web Apps (Online companions to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), video and online meetings plus advanced document creation features for curriculum planning and student projects.

“Getting the world’s best technology in the hands of our students and teachers is critical to improving educational outcomes and making sure students are prepared for college and career,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education for Microsoft. “With schools’ ever-tightening budgets, Office 365 for Education enables them to deliver new and innovative technology in the cloud that will modernize teaching and learning practices, at no cost.”

Office 365 for Education has been announced as part of the one-year anniversary of Office 365. In an official statement, Microsoft revealed that Prestigious K–12 and higher education institutions around the world are moving to Office 365 for Education. The largest worldwide adoption of Microsoft Office 365 for Education, however has come from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). AICTE decided to move all of its 10,000+ colleges on Office 365 for Education, earlier this year and the deployment is currently underway. “Microsoft Cloud Platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country’s technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students,” said Dr. S.S. Mantha, Chairman, AICTE

“Office 365 has millions of subscribers worldwide and in India, and we are now excited to announce the availability of Office 365 for Education, bringing enterprise-class productivity to education institutions across the country,” said Sanjay Manchanda, Director - Microsoft Business Division, Microsoft India.

“We are also proud to see Office 365 for education being selected by India’s leading educational institutions such as – IIM Bangalore and AICTE, – as their choice for cloud services to empower students and faculty for enhanced productivity,” added Manchanda.

“Office 365 for education not only empowers our alumni with latest in cloud technologies but also gives them an edge over peers and competitors from other institutes as they gear up to be professionals of tomorrow. With 25GB of inbox, calendaring, and Office Web Apps to name a few; we are able to collaborate better and in real time. It’s exciting that we now have real time communication and collaboration truly possible – 24/7,” said Mr. Rakesh Godhwani, Head, IIM-Bangalore, Alumni Association.

The statement further added that Office 365 enables schools to teach from virtually anywhere, reach more students and teach software skills employers are looking for and provide enterprise-class tools that reduce IT costs.

Students can engage in ad-hoc instant messaging or video chats to collaborate on class projects in real-time, regardless of where they are working or on what device. They can create documents with Office Web Apps that provide the same features as the desktop version of Microsoft Office, share class notes by synchronizing OneNote notebooks, and create digital portfolios.

Teachers can create curriculum, record lectures and publish them on online class sites in the cloud where students are able to view, open, produce, edit and share their homework. Office 365 provides new ways to extend classroom teaching time and distance learning, tutor students online, and whiteboard ideas.

Educational institutions and parents will get peace of mind knowing students’ content and personal data are protected and won’t be scanned for advertising purposes, thanks to a rich set of privacy, security and protection capabilities that adhere to federal laws.

School IT departments can save money and free up more critical time by counting on Microsoft to manage routine tasks, such as applying server updates and software upgrades. With the influx of digital content, data center demands and lessened and with 25GB mailboxes, people won’t be forced to purge files.

Education institutions that are currently using the Microsoft Live@edu platform will be upgraded to Office 365 for education beginning this summer. Customers can sign up for a 30-day trial now. More about Office 365 for education is available at

Google I/O 2012: Google Nexus 7 tablet officially announced, starts at $199

The Google I/O conference kicked off a few hours ago and as expected, the brand has taken the wraps off their first Google branded tablet, the Nexus 7. Talks of the price being paramount to the tablet’s success had been since quite some time and Google added a ton of high-end hardware to the mix and have kept the price down to a minimum by pricing it at $199 for the base model, which comes in a storage capacity of 8GB.

As for the specifications, Google’s Eric Schmidt, last year, had said that this would be a high quality tablet and Google have delivered on all counts. This model comes equipped with a 7-inch IPS display that boasts a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chip. As for the memory, Google have added a 1GB RAM, which should be able to match up with the best in the business. This tablet should be a gamer's delight  and Google has touted it to be a serious gaming device as the brand has added a 12-core NVIDIA GeForce GPU as well to the fray.

This tablet, manufactured by ASUS is not just designed to take on Apple’s highly successful iPad, but will also pose a stiff threat to the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google aims to tackle the competition better with its pricing strategy. The Google Nexus 7 tablet is available in two storage capacities, which are 8GB and 16GB and the brand has priced it extremely competitively at $199 and $249, respectively. This puts rest to the countless rumours surrounding the pricing of the tablet, some of which had pointed out that the price would be in the sub-$200 price bracket.

As far as connectivity is concerned, there had been rumours that the Google Nexus 7 tablet would not come equipped with 3G connectivity, in order to keep the price to a minimum and the brand have done just that. The connectivity options found on this flagship Google Nexus 7 tablet, include Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth and NFC capabilities. This tablet also comes with Google Wallet pre-installed. As for the camera featured here, it comes as no surprise that Google has just added only a front facing camera that can be used for video calls, but what is interesting is that this camera can shoot HD 720p videos.

When it comes to the size, this 7-inch tablet measures 198.5 x 120 x 10.5 mm and weighs 340g. These dimensions allow it to go head-to-head with the Amazon Kindle Fire.

The Google Nexus 7 will be the first device running on Google’s latest operating software, which is Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. As for the availability, consumers from United States, Canada, Australia and the UK can pre-order the tablet from the Google Play store. Google have announced that the delivery for this tablet is scheduled for mid-July.

Let us know your thoughts on Google announcing their flagship tablet, the Google Nexus 7, in the comments section below.

Video Recording Teleprompter: Practice Speeches By Recording With The Front-Facing iPhone Camera [iOS]

People often prepare for speeches in the mirror but it is hard to judge yourself while delivering the speech. You need a convenient way to record your speech and then play it to see how well you did. Here to offer that is an app called Video Recording Teleprompter.

Video Recording Teleprompter is an iOS application sized at nearly 7 MB and meant for iOS devices with front-facing cameras running iOS version 5.0 or later. The app lets you record videos with the front-facing camera of your device. Meanwhile, the screen can show you the text that you need to read in your speech thereby serving the function of a teleprompter. You can then watch the videos by saving them or simply uploading them to YouTube.


  • A user-friendly phone app.
  • Compatible with iOS devices with front-facing cameras.
  • Lets you record videos with front-facing camera.
  • Provides speech text to read on screen.
  • Lets you save recorded video and upload it to YouTube.

.Check out Video Recording Teleprompter @

AutoScreenCap: Automatically Take & Save Screenshots At Regular Time Intervals

If there is a process going on on your computer and you need to take images of it, manually taking screenshots after a few seconds and then saving them would be very inconvenient. Here to make the process automatic is a desktop app called AutoScreenCap.

AutoScreenCap is a free to use desktop app compatible with Windows computers. The app comes in a ZIP archive sized at nearly 900KB; to run the app simply open the EXE file contained within the archive – installation is not required.

In the app’s window, select a screenshot capture interval in seconds, a folder for the saved screenshots, and the quality of the JPEG screenshots that the app will be taking. To start, click on the “Start Capture” button and to stop, return to the app and use the “Stop Capture” button. Meanwhile your screenshots folder will be filled with the screenshots by the app.


  • A user-friendly desktop app.
  • Compatible with Windows computers.
  • Lets you take screenshots at periodic intervals.
  • Lets you set file quality of JPEG screenshots.

Check out AutoScreenCap @

Air PlayIt: Stream Videos Stored On Your Computer To Your Handheld Device

If you are away from your computer, you cannot view the videos that are stored on it. But what if you could remotely access those videos and stream them using your handheld device? That is precisely what a tool called Air PlayIt offers.

Air PlayIt is a tool that installs on your computer and handheld devices and lets you stream computer videos to your handheld device. The app supports Windows and Mac computers and iOS and Android devices. It is able to play 320 audio and video formats from your computer to your device. The conversion takes place in real-time and you can watch your videos as they are made compatible in real-time.

An offline task manager that is provided lets you convert videos beforehand and download them to your device over the air. Furthermore, the music files you stream are automatically cached and can be played later without needing Wi-Fi or 3G/4G internet access.


  • A user-friendly tool.
  • Use your handheld device to stream videos stored in your computer.
  • Supports Mac and Windows computers.
  • Supports iOS and Android devices.
  • Caches audio files.
  • Supports offline conversion and real-time conversion.
  • Can play 320 media formats from your computer.

Check out Air PlayIt @

UpTo: Manage Upcoming Events [iPhone]

UpTo is a useful application for iOS devices that allows users to keep up with upcoming events in the lives of your friends, relatives, etc, as the very name of the app suggests.

With UpTo, you can share what you are up to from your phone calendar, what your friends and relatives are up to, and if there are any events coming up on the calendar schedule of people you care about.

A great thing about UpTo is that the app synchronizes with your iPhone Calendar, such as Google Calendar, Outlook and more.

Once you make an event on UpTo, you can share the events on your Facebook or Twitter account to let your friends and family know about the event. You can also create groups on UpTo, add friends to it and share specific events with individual groups.


  • Free and easy to use.
  • Keep in touch with all the upcoming events ahead of time.
  • Share events straight to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Create groups and share events.
  • Heat map shows you which days are the most busiest, allowing you to plan accordingly.

Check out UpTo @

Kindle Fire 2 coming July end

With the whole world anticipating the launch of the Google tablet, the rumor mills are spinning fast about Amazon launching its very own Part-II of the popular Kindle Fire. Reports state that Amazon will soon showcase the next generation Kindle Fire, and that the online giant is targeting July 31 for a launch event.

Come to think about it, the Kindle Fire was a big success and it’s been quite a while since the launch now, so there are high chances that Amazon is indeed getting a new Kindle ready for the big stage. It is important to mention the Google tablet now because it may be unveiled as soon as today itself. The Google tablet, rumored as the 'Nexus 7', will be powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, running at 1.3 GHz that packs in a quad-core CPU and a 12-core GPU. The SoC will also be accompanied by 1 GB of RAM and two different storage options – 8 GB and 16 GB. This will also be the first stock Android tablet to feature NFC support, so you can use features like Android Beam and Google Wallet. The screen will feature an IPS panel with a resolution of 1280 x 800 and the front will house a 1.2 MP front-facing camera.

There’s no mention of a rear camera, which means Google has skipped it in order to save on the cost. They also haven’t talked about the battery capacity, but say that it should last you about nine hours. Coming to pricing, the 8 GB model will cost around $199, while the 16 GB model will cost you $249. Yes, that’s the important part – the pricing. If Google’s tablet is coming at THIS price with THESE specs then the Kindle Fire 2 will definitely need to bring something new to the arena besides its flourishing ecosystem.

It's rumored the Fire 2 will be priced similarly, but will have better integrated lighting and more hardware improvements. No details about the processor and the other specs have been revealed, though. When it was first launched, the Kindle Fire was touted by many as the 'iPad Killer', primarily because of the price tag it was being offered at. It has competing products like the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet, but the competition is going to be even more massive this time if the pricing of the Fire 2 and the Nexus 7 is going to be similar. Amazon may also announce Kindle Touch, which will be at a lower price point. What this means is that ‘low budget but non-performing’ tablets will soon be phased out as the world shifts focus to decent quality products selling at ultra-low prices. Frankly, this may be one of the more exciting years from the consumers' perspective as brands quickly accelerate the shift to newer technology.