Saturday, 31 August 2013

Google buys WIMM Labs to bolster its wearable-technology plans

News is coming in that Google secretly acquired Android smartwatch maker WIMM Labs last year to enhance its own smartwatch plans. GigaOM broke this news late Friday and it was later confirmed by Google.

To give you guys a quick background, WIMM Labs was a Silicon Valley based company, which released a developer kit in 2011 that allowed Android developers and accessory makers to create micro-apps and accessories for the wearable displays. The company followed it with a developer-centric Android smartwatch ‘WIMM One’ in late-2011.

WIMM One got more than decent reviews for a product that was still in its infancy. Then, about a year ago, the company disappeared and left the following message on its website.

During the summer of 2012, WIMM Labs entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology and ceased sales of the Developer Preview Kit. Existing WIMM One owners can continue to synchronize their devices at this time as well as contact us at help@wimm.com.

Turns out this exclusive and confidential relationship is with Google, which bought the company and clearly wanted to keep this a secret.  According to GigaOM, WIMM’s employees (whoever stayed at Google) are now working with the Android team.

We have been hearing for quite a while now that Google is working on some kind of a smartwatch but details are very scarce. We have also heard that Google wanted to tweak Android code in the next Android release (Key Lime Pie) to make it friendlier for wearable devices. WIMM fits perfectly in both these plans. The company can help Google with the hardware efforts as well as its developer platform can be help in making Android a better platform for the next-generation of wearable devices.

Twitter unveils beta-testing program for Android app

Twitter has silently begun its beta-testing program for the official Android app on Thursday. The company has been inviting users on its website to participate in the program, which will allow them access to unreleased Android app features before the general public.

To participate in the beta-program, users will have to join this Google Group, which will act as the target group for rolling out the beta version of Twitter Android app via Play Store.  After joining the group, users have to confirm at this link (it is the direct link to the beta version of Twitter Android app) that they want to become a tester for the Twitter app. The test versions will then appear as updates to the Twitter Android app installed on users’ Android devices via Google Play.

Like all test versions, usual disclaims apply and it is not meant for normal users as some features might not work as expected.

XOLO Play getting OTA software update

XOLO has announced that it is rolling out a software update for XOLO Play smartphone. The update is now available over-the-air and can be triggered by going to Settings << About Phone << System Updates.

The update is also available as a manual download from the company site

XOLO has not provided any change-log for this update and just notes that this update will improve the performance of this Tegra 3 smartphone. XOLO Play T1000 currently runs on Android 4.1.1 and it is unclear whether the new update bumps the Android version in the smartphone or not. If you have already updated your smartphone, do let us know the details in comments section

Originally launched last month, XOLO Play comes with 4.7-inch IPS display with 720p resolution, 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera. The phone also features with 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, microSD card slot and 2000 mAh battery.

Amazon Appstore offering ten paid apps for free today

Amazon has announced that it is offering ten premium apps for free today as a part of its ‘Free App of The Day – Greatest Hits’ offer. The offer includes popular apps and games like World of Goo, Drawing Pad, Swiftkey and Paper Camera.

All these applications have been available for free in the past too as a part of Amazon Appstore’s ‘Free App of The Day’ promotion but if you missed them then, today is a nice opportunity to grab them without paying anything.

Here is the full list of applications available as a part of today’s promotion

PAC-MAN HD (Kindle Tablet Edition)
Sprinkle
Angry Birds (Ad-Free)
CalenGoo
Shazam Encore
SwiftKey
Jamie’s 20 Minute Meals
Paper Camera
World of Goo
Drawing Pad

Facebook Home updated, brings lock-screen music controls

Facebook has released an update for its Facebook Home launcher in Google Play. The update might not be a huge one but still brings one important change – lock-screen music controls.

The small number of users, who are still sticking to Facebook Home, will now be able to play/ pause or go to the next/ previous song directly from their lock-screen.

The change-log does not mention any other features as a part of latest Facebook Home update. In related news, with the latest update, Facebook for Android now includes some animated stickers in messages like Pusheen, Beast and Anooki wave, dance and wiggle. The Facebook for Android change is only applicable to Android 4.0.2 or above users. In addition to all this, the update also brings some bug-fixes.

You can now update Facebook for Android on your device to get the new features for both Home as well as core Facebook app.

Digg for Android released in Google Play, Digg Reader in tow

Digg launched its official Android app in Google Play on Thursday. The app not only includes posts from the homepage of Digg.com but also Digg RSS Reader.  Like the web version, Digg Reader’s Android version is clean and minimal and follows Holo UI guidelines.

“This is our first Android release, and we’ll be updating and improving it steadily over the next few months. There are a few missing features we’re still testing such as a “Show Only Unread Items” view, text size and display mode options, and background updating. You’ll see those added shortly, along with other new and bewitching features,” Digg team noted in a blog post.

App Features:

  • Find and follow your favourite online publishers, writers, and bloggers
  • Organize RSS feeds and other sources via folders. Quickly sort to see the most popular items across the social Internet
  • Digg your favourite stories and share them via Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, LinkedIn, email, and text
  • Save stories to read later on Digg, Instapaper, and Pocket
  • Sort your Digg Reader items by popularity to quickly see which of your items are the most talked-about on the social web.

Download Digg for Android from Google Play

Low-cost Moto X might use swappable back panels

As you would remember, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside told CNET earlier this month that Motorola was working on an affordable version of Moto X for emerging markets. Well, now it looks like that this budget version of Moto X will come with swappable back panels, indicating that buyers will still be able to get some level of customisation despite the missing Moto Maker.

A Weibo user posted an image showing two of these swappable back covers of this budget Moto X version.  The user also mentions that this variant of Moto X will also come with dual-SIM support, a feature that is loved in developing markets.

Other details about the smartphone are still a mystery but Motorola is likely to make cuts from the specs side to keep the phone affordable. We expect to hear more in the coming weeks.

BlackBerry landing page featuring BBM for iPhone and Android spotted online


BlackBerry has been working on bringing its popular messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, to the iOS and Android platforms for a while now. The cross platform version of the messaging service was expected to be rolled out by summer and it appears that we're finally close to its launch.
Recently, a landing page dedicated to BBM surfaced on the official site of the company, claiming that the BBM service has arrived for both, Android and Apple platforms. The dedicated page for the service said, "BBM for Android and iPhone is here."

However, the landing page was pulled later and has been replaced with a launch page (http://ca.blackberry.com/bbm.html?) that says, "BBM is coming to Android and iPhone" and includes an option to get notified when the service launches through an email prompt.

Engadget notes that, the BBM service landing page hinted that the service is just about ready to be launched and the page can reappear anytime. It is worth pointing out that the landing page that has now been removed showed iPhone instead of iOS, which hints that the BBM service may be rolled out to iPhone users initially and an iPad app might not be in the works.

Earlier, BlackBerry Messenger for Android was spotted online with some users reportedly receiving invites for the same. The report claimed that BBM for Android would be rolled out in the not-too-distant future. A screenshot revealed that users would be able to sign-in to BlackBerry Messenger with their BlackBerry ID.

In a recent development, Samsung had announced that the BBM app would be available on the company's app store, preloaded on the Galaxy series of Android devices, and on the Google Play Store, across the African continent.

Friday, 30 August 2013

KBC official mobile game now available for Android, iOS

This official mobile gaming application provides users with a complete real-like experience, just like playing KBC as the hot seat contestant.

Multi Screen Media, a part of Sony Pictures Television, has launched KBC official mobile application along with a dedicated website (kbcsony.com).

As per a press release issued, the digital platforms are packed with a host of rich and immersive video content, exciting features, games and users also stand the chance to win Apple iPADs.

Like the website, this official mobile gaming application provides users with a complete real-like experience, just like playing KBC as the hot seat contestant. Users can use all lifelines, score points and grow up the money tree and share scores on Facebook and Twitter. The app also comes with features like "Globe Quiz" and Insta Hot Seat.

This is a paid application and is available at USD 0.99 at both Apple and Android stores.

Speaking on the launch, Nitesh Kripalani, executive vice-president - new media, business development and digital/syndication at Sony Entertainment Network commented, "Kaun Banega Crorepati is undoubtedly one of the most admired and loved game show on television today. The popularity quotient is huge and the fan base is getting bigger every year. Our digital platform is especially designed to give our users much more than what they can get from their television sets - a whole new immersive on-demand second screen experience right at their fingertips."

"The idea is to bring the KBC experience up close and personal, across multiple platforms, be it mobile, tablet or online", he added.

Watch US Open Tennis on Zenga TV

Popular live TV service Zenga will be bringing US Open Tennis to users on the go.

Zenga TV mobile TV service will be bringing the 2013 US Open Tennis championship live to its subscribers. Zenga TV has bagged the exclusive rights for mobile streaming of the 2013 US Open Tennis Championship that will be starting on 26 August and will continue till 9 September. Zenga TV has exclusive rights from Seven3Sports who has licensed it from Ten Sports.

Abhishek Joshi, chief executive officer, Zenga TV, said, "U.S. Open is the final grand slam of the year that has millions of ardent fans around the world glued to their TV sets, thereby restricting their mobility. Our mobile streaming of the tournament is intended to give you freedom to watch the action live and on the go."

Users of Zenga TV will be able to watch live tennis matches on their mobile device and listen to live commentary with that. The service will be offered completely free of cost while the only charge that users have to bear is a data consumption charge.

The tennis matches will be streamed to the users during the time they are telecast on television and they will be available after the matches for those who miss watching them live.

IRCTC sets up a shopping site powered by Yebhi

The e-ticketing arm of the Indian Railways has launched its own e-commerce site. The new shopping site is powered by Yebhi.com and there's now a “Shop” tab on the main IRCTC webpage.

shop.irctc.co.in retails goods for men, women and kids, and you will find clothing, accessories, home d├ęcor and furnishing, kitchenware, phones, tablets and other electronic devices. However, a closer look reveals that it is simply Yebhi's shopping site with the IRCTC logo and a white background slapped on instead of Yebhi's logo and background.

With crores of registered users and lots of traffic during the infamous tatkal booking hours, this is definitely a great move for IRCTC. However, IRCTC has received a lot of flak from users and we hope Yebhi leaves no stone unturned in managing the platform.

Yebhi reportedly grabbed the deal last month. Infibeam, which had earlier teamed up with the Gujarat government for a rural e-commerce initiative called Vishwagram Bazaar, had also bid for IRCTC's mandate.

While it is nice that IRCTC plans to bring in some more revenue, we do hope they don’t ignore their prime concern e-ticketing, which still requires a lot of attention.

Skype working on 3D video calling

The work is underway but it will require a long time to get implemented.

VoIP service provider Skype is looking forward to adding a new dimension to video calling by providing 3D calling facility.

While talking to BBC News, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Skype, Mark Gillett, said, "We've done work in the labs looking at the capability of 3D screens and 3D capture."

This being said, the work that remains is to get the perfect devices on which the service can be run successfully, like 3D televisions. Similarly, even mobile phones in the market are capable of recording as well as displaying 3D videos. However, capturing 3D videos through front cameras is still not possible with mobile phones.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 set to be launched in India

The Android 4.2 based handset comes with a 1 GHz dual core processor, 1 GB RAM, and 64 GB expandable storage slot.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, which was announced earlier in June this year, is set to be launched in India. The dual SIM handset has been listed on Saholic, an online retailer, which though has not revealed its price yet.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, 1 GHz dual core processor, and 1 GB RAM. The smartphone comes with 5 megapixel rear camera, a VGA front camera, 4 GB inbuilt memory, 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery, and a 4 inch display with 800x480 pixel resolution.

The 3G smartphone has WiFi (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB, and GPS as well. The Galaxy Ace 3 has 64 GB of expandable storage slot as well.

The first generation Samsung Galaxy Ace is still being sold widely in India for around Rs 8,000-Rs 9,000 while the Galaxy Ace Duos costs around Rs 12,000. Samsung has recently also launched a similar feature bearing Galaxy Core for Rs 15,199 which though now selling for around Rs 13,000. Also, the LTE version of Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 has been launched in UK for around £240 or Rs 25,000. So we expect the 3G version of Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 to be launched in India for around Rs 15,000.

BLU announces trio of Dash series Android phones, priced starting just $49

Android phones are getting cheaper with every passing day and if you don’t believe it, take a look at BLU Products’ Dash JR smartphone, which has been announced today along with Dash 4.0 and Dash 5.0 and costs just $49 unlocked.

BLU Dash JR might not a super phone but an Android smartphone at $49 will surely help bringing smartphones in the reach of more consumers.

“Almost 1 billion feature phones are going to be shipped this year. Our job is to facilitate the transition from feature phones by bringing affordable internet and smartphone connectivity to consumers without compromise on quality, user experience and overall satisfaction.” said Samuel Ohev-Zion, CEO, BLU Products.

BLU Dash JR features 1GHz processor, 3.5-inch HVGA display, Android 2.3, 2MP rear camera, and dual-SIM support.

If you are not too impressed with Dash JR, may be this will cheer you up a bit. BLU Dash Music 4.0, second in the newly announced trio of Dash series phones, features 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 4-inch WVGA display, 3.2MP rear camera, microSD card slot, Android 4.2 and dual-SIM support. It has been priced at just $99 unlocked.

Last of the three, BLU Dash 5.0 comes with 5-inch FWVGA display, 1.3GHz dual-core processor like Dash 4.0, Android 4.2 and 5MP rear camera. It will be sold for $129 unlocked.

All three phones will be sold via Amazon, Best Buy in United States sometime around end of September. The phone will also be available in Latin American countries soon after.

Nokia 515 with aluminum chassis announced

Nokia has introduced yet another Series 40 mobile phone with aluminum chassis branded as Nokia 515. This mobile will arrive in single SIM and Easy Swap Dual SIM versions.

Nokia has introduced a new premium mobile phone in the budget segment - Nokia 515. Sporting a lightweight aluminum chassis, the Nokia 515 arrives in a candy bar form factor and runs Series 40 mobile software on it. Nokia's new model is an interesting take on offering a budget friendly smartphone with a premium finish. Nokia expects to make this smartphone available in third quarter of this year for $150 (Rs 10, 102 approx.) before taxes or subsidies.

Nokia 515 has a 2.4-inch LCD display with 320x240 pixel resolution and has been made using Corning Gorilla Glass 2 technology. That means the display is resistance to normal wear and tear. Nokia did not specify the processor used in this mobile. The Nokia 515 has up to 256 MB flash memory and has a memory card slot to support up to 32 GB micro SD card. Overall, the Nokia 515 measures 11 mm thin with the elegant design.

The single SIM model will support micro SIM and the dual-SIM model will support two micro SIMs. Both models support quad-band HSDPA and dual-band WCDMA network for faster data connectivity. At the rear, Nokia 515 features a 5 megapixel camera with an LED Flash. This camera supports voice-guided self-portraits. You can capture panorama shots in 100-degrees of the scene and take up to five frames in a row with single click using the sequential shots feature.

Nokia has used the HD voice feature for crystal clear audio even in loud ambient environments. Apps like Nimbuzz for multiple account instant messaging comes pre-loaded with social network apps such as Facebook and Twitter. The Transfer app allows syncing contacts from Windows Phone based Lumia devices and other Windows Phone 8 as well as Google Android devices. Beautiful and sleek appearing Nokia 515 single SIM model offers standby time of 38 days.

Dual-SIM model features the Easy Swap technology that allows switching and changing micro SIM modules without switching off the handset.

BlackBerry Z30 official specifications leaked

BlackBerry Z30 will be based on BB OS 10 and is going to be the next flagship device of the Canadian handset maker

BlackBerry's upcoming Z30 smartphone has been in the new for quite some time. Now a website has claimed to have spotted a video and specification sheet of the smartphone.

As per the report, the BlackBerry Z30 is to come with a 5 inch OLED display with 1280x720 pixels resolution. It will be powered by a dual core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 mobile processor, quad core graphics chip (name not yet known) that supports 1080p HD video playback, and 2 GB RAM.

As per the report, the phone will have 16 GB of onboard storage that can be further upgradable to up to 64 GB through a micro SD card. Also, the BlackBerry Z30 is to come with a micro HDMI port.

Earlier a Wireless Power Consortium listing points toward support for the Qi wireless charging standard in BlackBerry Z30. However, it is not clear whether the back panel of the phone will support direct charging or whether one has to buy the charging jacket separately.

The BlackBerry Z30 is also expected to get a 13 megapixel camera along with a 1080p recording capability, but more clarity on the same is expected soon.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

5 inch Sony Xperia C coming to India; may be priced at Rs 15K

Sony Xperia C has a quad core processor, 1 GB RAM, and 8 megapixel rear camera.

Sony's Xperia C, which was unveiled in June this year in China at the Mobile Asia Expo, will soon hit the Indian market. The handset has been listed online (on Saholic) but its price has not been revealed. As per rumours, this smartphone will be priced around Rs 15,000.

Sony Xperia C comes with a 5 inch TFT LCD touchscreen that has qHD (540x960 pixels) resolution. This Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system based smartphone comes with Mediatek MT6589 quad core processor, 4 GB internal memory, 1 GB RAM, and 32 GB micro SD card slot.

Besides, this handset has 8 megapixel rear camera, VGA front camera, LED flash, and 2390 mAh Li-Ion battery promising 14 hours of 2G talktime. The dual SIM bearing Sony Xperia C has WiFi, Bluetooth, micro USB, and GPS as well.

As per its specifications, as I said earlier, it is likely to be priced around Rs 15,000. There are dozens of smartphones in this price range, mostly from Indian manufacturers, that offer similar or better features. Even Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro comes with similar features and is currently available in India for around Rs 16,500.

Samsung working on 16 megapixel camera based smartphone

The leaked 16 megapixel image sensor comes with optical image stabilization, much like the one feature on the Nokia Lumia.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom is soon going to get a competitor and it will be none other than Samsung who will be making that. According to a report, Samsung is working on a smartphones with 16 megapixel camera sensor.

The report further said that the upcoming Galaxy Note III was to be launched with the 16 megapixel camera but the suppliers could not manufacture enough sensors to meet supply deadline, forcing Samsung to shift over to non-optical stabilization based camera sensor for the Galaxy Note III.

Hence it is now expected that the Korean manufacturer to accommodate the 16 megapixel camera in its new flagship handset, which probably would be called as Galaxy S5 as its previous flagship devices were named Galaxy SIII and S4 respectively.

Google Nexus 4 gets $100 price cut, now starts at $199

Price reduced in a total of seven countries

Google has announced a price-cut for its Nexus 4 smartphone earlier today. This Nexus smartphone is now selling for just $199 (8GB) and $249 (16GB) in the United States and similar prices in six more countries including UK, Australia, Canada and Germany.

Here is the latest pricing for Nexus 4 in six of the seven countries where Nexus 4 is now selling at the reduced price-tag; we haven’t been able to get the pricing for South Korea.

UK: Starting 159 GBP
US: Starting 199 USD
Canada: Starting 199 CAD
Australia: Starting 249 AUD
Germany: Starting 199 Euros
Spain: Starting 199 Euros
Despite getting almost a year-old, Nexus 4 is suddenly looking like a great option with the current price-cuts. The phone still packs some pretty decent specifications and for anyone planning to grab a great-mid-ranger – Nexus 4 is the best bet right now.

There is no word on whether the same price-cuts will rolled-out in other countries like India but we are trying to get more information on the same and will update the post if anything new pops up.

Nexus 4 key specifications

4.7-inch display with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi)
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm, 139g
Cameras: 8 MP (main), 1.3 MP (front)
8GB internal storage, 2GB RAM
Wi-Fi, NFC (Android Beam), Bluetooth
2,100 mAh battery
Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)

Apple to release iOS 7 on September 10

An email from Apple Siri's developers inadvertently reveals that the iOS 7 software update is set to arrive on September 10 next month.

Apple is quietly preparing for the launch of its new iPhone model next month. As reported that the iPhone 5S will be announced on the 10 September next month. Nuance, the developers of Apple Siri - the personal assistant, sent out an email to the developers in their voice recognition that the iOS 7 will launch on 10 September. Owen Williams posted a snapshot of the email on his blog.

Apple is currently pushing out the iOS 7 beta builds to the participating Apple iOS Developers. Apple Siri personal digital assistant will get few new improvements with the iOS 7 updates. As per previous reports, Apple was expected to make the iOS 7 publicly available on 16 September. But the freshly sent out email by the Siri developer company Nuance points that iOS 7 GA (General Availability) will happen on 10 September.

Nuance sent out an email to the developers part of the NDEV program about the expected iOS 7 arrival date. Later that email was pulled back by the Nuance. This inadvertently confirmed the arrival of the iOS 7 software update. It is quite possible that the new iPhone 5S announcement and iOS 7 arrival will happen on the same date.
So far, the iOS developers have tested six beta builds of the iOS 7 software update and couple more can be expected before the final version rolls out on 10 September.

Nokia Lumia 1520 with 6 inch display : Spotted

The Lumia 1520 features a 6-inch display with 1080p HD and quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC.

Nokia, which has recently launched its biggest smartphone under its Lumia series called Lumia 625, is now reported to have readied a 6 inch display bearing Lumia device, purportedly named as Nokia Lumia 1520.

As per the images posted on WPCentral, Nokia Lumia 1520 comes with a 6-inch full HD display, a polycarbonate body, and reflect the design of the recently announced Lumia handsets. It is now speculated that this large screen phablet was codenamed Nokia Bandit and is expected to be launched at a special event on 26 September next month in New York, USA.

The Lumia 1520 smartphone will be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon family mobile system-on-chip and Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update that brings support for 1080p HD devices as well as multiple cores. The larger display would allow three columns of Live Tiles to be pinned on the home page. The alleged Lumia 1520 seems to be running a Windows Phone 8 build but with resolution less than the 1080p HD.

Nokia recently announced the Lumia 625 with a large 4.7-inch display but not so great native resolution.

HTC working on a mobile operating system for China

HTC is reportedly working on a mobile operating system with better integration of social network services for China region.

HTC has reportedly shifted its focus from Windows Phone mobile operating system to Google Android. Meanwhile, the company is also working on something exclusive to one region. The Wall Street Journal reported that HTC is developing a mobile operating system for the China market. This mobile operating system will integrate social network services such as Weibo.

Reports suggest that HTC is already developing a mobile operating system that will encompass all the web services and social networks offered in China. Lenovo has done something similar for its mobile offerings. Apple too is reportedly working on an affordable iPhone 5C model (C stands for China) to pull more consumers on-board.

HTC's new mobile operating system might turn out to be a China specific version of Sense user interface. The new HTC Sense 5.5 brings a slew of new features and is expected to be available to compatible devices via an update.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Nokia Sirius tablet with Windows RT leaked

Nokia is planning to release a 10.1-inch full 1080p HD display clad tablet codenamed Sirius and will run Windows RT operating system.

Nokia has been rumored of working on a Windows RT based device since months. Now The Verge has reported about a 10.1-inch display bearing Nokia tablet, codenamed Sirius. Nokia will use Microsoft's Windows RT operating system on this tablet. Nokia is expected to reveal this tablet late next month at a special event scheduled in New York, USA.

As per the report, the Nokia Sirius tablet features a 10.1-inch touchscreen display with 1080p HD native resolution. This tablet will power the 2.15 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 System-on-Chip with 2 GB RAM. It will feature 32 GB on-board storage and also feature memory card slot.

The Sirius tablet will also be equipped with HDMI port and USB 3.0 port. There will also be an USB port to connect with dockable keyboard. Nokia is planning to offer 10 hours of battery life with a built-in battery. And the dockable keyboard may offer additional battery life.

Nokia is expected introduce this Windows RT based tablet sometime later this year.

Nexus 7 (2013) goes on pre-order in Korea, coming to India by 2013-end

Google announced the launch of new Nexus 7 tablet in the South Korean market on Monday. The tablet, which is set to become available in the coming days, is now on pre-order via multiple online retailers as well as Lotte Mart, Hi Mart, Shinsegae Mall, Auction, E-Mart, and E-Mart Mall.

According to a report in Korea IT Times, the 16GB version of Nexus 7 (2013) will cost 329,000 won ($294), while the 32GB version will go for 369,000 won ($330).

There is no word on the exact availability date right now.  In related news, Asus India Country Manager Peter Chang has told The Hindu that the company plans to release Nexus 7 (2013) in the Indian market sometime before the end of this year.

“The process for the second generation is under control, and, hopefully, by our fourth quarter, we will be able to introduce it to India,” Chang said.

To remind you, Nexus 7 (2013) is currently available only in select countries. It features a 7-inch FHD display, quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB of RAM, 16/ 32GB of internal storage, Android 4.3 and Wi-Fi support.

Chromecast update breaks local-media streaming apps

But functionality might return in future

A recent update to Chromecast streaming device has removed the support for streaming via external sources, reports The Verge. According to the site, third-party applications like Koushik Dutta’s Allcast are no longer working after the update. Chromecast users are thus left with streaming content only from select supported sources like Netflix, YouTube or via Chrome Tab mirroring, which isn’t really that smooth.

When contacted by The Verge, Google indicated that the local media streaming support might return in the future.

“We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It’s still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only,” the company said in a statement.

“We expect that the SDK will continue to change before we launch out of developer preview, and want to provide a great experience for users and developers before making the SDK and additional apps more broadly available,” Google added.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

HTC Mini+ is a secondary phone for your HTC Android phone

HTC seems to be planning to unveil a successor to its HTC Mini accessory in the form of HTC Mini+. Unlike original HTC Mini, which was only released in China, Mini+ seems to be heading to other markets as well.

Spotted on HTC’s global website (http://www.htc.com/www/accessories/htc-mini-plus/) today, HTC Mini+ is a companion device for select 2013 HTC Android models and can work as a phone, camera remote, or even TV remote when connected to your phone.

“Multi-tasking solutions for everyone: take calls while using your phone to surf online, watch videos or play games. Instant notifications of texts, events, and emails ensure you won’t miss a thing. Hands-free remote camera control lets you take pictures from your phone at a distance. It even doubles as a TV remote control, and pairs with select HTC devices to operate multimedia streaming through your HTC Media Link HD,” HTC writes in the product description of HTC Mini+.

HTC Mini+ comes with a 1.5-inch 4 gray OLED display with 128×128 resolution, Bluetooth 2.1, NFC, and 320 mAh battery. It can work with HTC One mini, Butterfly S, Desire 200 and Desire 500.

There is no word on the actual availability or pricing details of HTC Mini+ right now but we expect to hear them soon.

Launched: Micromax Bolt A67 with 4.5 inch display for Rs 5,975

The new Micromax Bolt A67 comes with a bigger 4.5 inch display and a 1 GHz processor.

Micromax has launched a new low cost Android smartphone, named as the Micromax Bolt A67, in India for Rs 5,975.

The Micromax Bolt A67 is a dual SIM smartphone and features a 4.5 inch LCD display having 480 x 800 pixel resolution. The smartphone is powered by Android 4.0.1 aka Ice Cream Sandwich operating system that runs on a dual core processor, running at 1 GHz. The Bolt A67 features 512 MB of RAM and 1.2 GB internal storage that can be further expanded by another 32 GB with the help of a micro SD card.

The Micromax Bolt A67 is equipped with a 2 megapixel camera that can record videos at 30 frames per second. There is a VGA camera in the front as well supplementing video calling and conferencing.

Besides, the phone has Bluetooth and WiFi for wireless connectivity along with a 1850 mAh battery pack that promises up to 4 hours of talk time between charges. The Micromax Bolt A67 also comes with FM radio and integrated audio video player for entertainment on the go. The device is available from stores like Snapdeal as of now and soon will be made available across all the other stores online as well as offline.

Gionee launches budget friendly Android P2 for Rs 6,499

Based on a 1.3 GHz processor the Gionee P2 offers the goodness of Android Jelly Bean on a 4 inch display.

China based mobile phone manufacturer Gionee has announced its P2 budget Android smartphone in India. Gionee P2 is the successor of the Gionee P1 launched sometime back and priced at Rs 4,999. Gionee P2 is a 4 inch display based Android smartphone with dual SIM dual standby connectivity with 3G connectivity at a budget price of Rs 6,499.

Gionee P2 features a 4 inch LCD display with 480 x 800 pixel resolution. It comes with a dual core Mediatek 6572 processor running at 1.3 GHz on android Jelly Bean 4.2 operating system with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage (1.9 GB user available). The storage can be further increased with micro SD cards of up to 32 GB.

Other connectivity features on the Gionee 2 include WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, micro USB and 3.5 mm jack. There is a 5 megapixel camera at the back and a VGA camera in the front. Gionee P2 sports a 1700 mAh battery and is available in white as well as black color variants for customers in India.

The Gionee P2 competes with devices from brands like Spice, Intex and Lava, offering identical hardware specifications, but Gionee P2 is the first android smartphone to feature the newly launched Mediatek 6562 chipset.

Mapsaurus: Cool App Discovery Tool For Android

Android’s app selection has finally caught up with iOS in the past year, with the more popular services already launching their Android apps alongside their iOS offerings. But finding apps through Google Play is still a chore. Fortunately we have Mapsaurus, a web-based service that makes app discovery for Android more convenient.

Mapsaurus is not your ordinary app discovery tool. It displays apps as part of an interrelated visual map. Click through icons to reveal apps under a specific category. As you click on apps, related apps pops up, which then reveals webs and branches of more apps.

Each item will display the app’s description, screenshots, videos, and Google Play link. You can also add apps to your Google Play wishlist or share to your friends. Some of the more creative categories include stuff like ‘track the wind’, ‘explore the globe’, ‘fake a call’, ‘play tycoon games’, and more.

Mapsaurus is a great companion for your app downloading binge, making app discovery much more fun while giving you a better idea of the Android’s mature app ecosystem.

Features:

  • Visual tool for app discovery.
  • Sort through creative categories.
  • Add app to wishlist or download with Google play.
  • Clicking on each app reveals more apps.

Check out Mapsaurus @ http://mapsaurus.com/

Roadster: Automatically Track Your Mileage Using Your iOS Device

There are many companies that reimburse the amount of money spent on vehicle fuel by their employees. But there are a few conditions, such as the trips need to be work-related or medical-related, etc. Therefore employees who want their fuel expenses reimbursed often find themselves closely monitoring their vehicle’s odometer readings. They also find themselves marking their journeys, marking the departure and destination points for future reference.

All of this information comes in handy not only while applying for reimbursement from your company but also while filing tax returns and figuring out which receipts qualify for tax deductions. While monitoring all of this can be a hectic task for people who travel a lot, the task is made easier by a user-friendly app called Roadster.

Roadster is a smartdevice application compatible with iOS devices. The app is sized at nearly 8.5MB and it works on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices running version 5.1 or later of iOS. The app helps you monitor your mileage automatically. This is accomplished by using your phone’s GPS to monitor the departure and destination locations of your journeys and monitoring your journey for the miles travelled. The GPS used is power-optimized and its energy consumption adjusts according to your battery level.

A real time visualization of your current trip is displayed on the map. Your log book allows edition, deletion, and merging of trips together. You can set your trips to be automatically categorized by the application. Appropriate trip recording notifications are displayed that can be disabled or enabled. The data recorded by the app can be exported to a CSV file as a spreadsheet.

Features:

  • A user-friendly phone app.
  • Compatible with iOS devices.
  • Automatically tracks mileage.
  • Uses power optimized GPS.
  • Can export data to CSV spreadsheet.

Check out Roadster @ http://www.iota-works.com/roadster

Monday, 26 August 2013

Quick Picture Tools: 12 Image Manipulation Tools Offered On A Single Dashboard

There are numerous fun things you can do to your digital images: add text to them, round their corners, combine images, etc. But often you have to use a different website for each type of effect. Here to offer most of those fun effects in a single package, is a website called Quick Picture Tools.

Quick Picture Tools is a free to use web service that lets you perform 12 different types of image manipulations to your digital photographs. These effects include embossed text, turning your image into a calendar for your desktop wallpaper, combining images for your wallpaper, rounding corners of an image, adding striped framed, giving them a printed look, combining images in the form of collage, adding an embossed line frame, adding a simple lined frame, blurring the edges of the image, adding text to an image, and simply cropping your image. You can select any one of these effects from the website’s homepage. You can load any JPEG, GIF, or PNG image from your computer to the website with a maximum resolution of 1500×1500 pixels.

Features:

  • A user-friendly web service.
  • Offers 12 different image manipulation types.
  • Offers cropping, text addition, calendar creation, and frame addition.
  • Supports JPEG, GIF, and PNG images.

Check out Quick Picture Tools @ www.quickpicturetools.com/en

Videocon Mobiles offering 98% discount on calls to US, Canada

It has issued a new voucher that offers calls to USA and Canada at nominal price of Rs 105 for existing customer and Rs 135 for new acquisitions.

Videocon Mobile has introduced a special US and Canada ILD (International Long Distance) pack. This voucher is available for both new and existing subscribers. It offers calls to USA and Canada at nominal price of Rs 105 for existing customer and Rs 135 for new acquisitions, validity of the pack being 4 weeks. As per the operator, the usual rate for these countries is Rs 6.40 per min and thus the new offer amounts to 98 per cent discount.

Arvind Bali, director and chief executive officer, Videocon Telecommunications, said, "Videocon Mobile Services is engaged in bringing the best tariff offers to its consumers and this US and Canada ILD pack is a part of the brand's commitment of the same. With this pack we are offering unmatched and most economical international long distance calling (ILD) to our subscribers at tariffs which will be cheaper than even local calling."

"On a lighter side, who says rupee is declining against the dollar? With such value for money products, we have increased the purchasing power of rupee", Mr. Bali added.

LG Optimus L9 II revealed, to pack dual-core CPU and HD display


According to a report by evleaks at The Unlockr, LG Optimus L9 II will come with 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 MSM8320 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 4.7-inch 720p display. The smartphone is also said to be featuring 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, 8MP rear camera, and 1.3MP front camera. In addition, the phone will pack 2150 mAh battery and Android 4.1.2.

The smartphone will be joining the company’s already available L-series II smartphones like Optimus L1 II, L3 II, L4 II, L5 II and L7 II.

To remind you, LG is also expected to launch a new tablet in the coming days – LG G Pad. The tablet will come with 8.3-inch full HD display and quad-core processor.

Sticky Notifications: Get Virtual Stickies For Your Mac

Stickies are a convenient way of constantly reminding us the tasks which we need to complete. By being always within our site, forgetting about a task becomes very difficult. If you own a Mac computer and find Stickies useful, you should check out a desktop app called Sticky Notifications.

Sticky Notifications is a free to use desktop app for Mac computers. The app lets you add virtual Stickies to your Mac desktop. The app can be accessed through its icon in the menu bar or through a hotkey shortcut. Using the app you can add a reminder by entering the title, subtitle, and message for a virtual Sticky that will appear on your desktop. While entering a reminder’s details, you can choose to skip a field or two, if you wish to save time.

Features:

  • A user-friendly desktop application.
  • Compatible with Mac computers.
  • Lets you add virtual Stickies to your Mac’s desktop.
  • Lets you add title, subtitle, and message with each reminder.

Check out Sticky Notifications @ www.instinctivecode.com/sticky-notifications

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Folding Text: A Text Editor That Formats While You Type (Mac)

When it comes to lightweight text editors, users prefer something minimalistic that does typing and little else; it keeps things simple and prevents any toolbar clutters and other distractions. But while using a simple text editor you might suddenly require additional formatting to make headlines, lists, and paragraphs; for this one would normally export the text to a text editor with more features. Thankfully there exists a tool called Folding Text that gives you the best of both options.

Folding Text is a desktop application for Mac computer. At its surface, the app is a simple text editor. But the app also supports special formatting which can be triggered using specific keywords. These formatting options include creating a headline simply by typing ‘#’ and creating a list by typing ‘-‘ and so on. Big documents can be organized easily and more clearly.

Features:

  • A user-friendly desktop app.
  • Compatible with Mac computers.
  • Formats text into headings, paragraphs, and lists as you type.
  • Provides a minimalistic and simple typing environment.

Check out Folding Text @ www.foldingtext.com

Auto Cursor: Get The Cursor To Automatically Activate In The First Text Box of a Webpage

There are many websites which you visit to search for something; examples of this can be Google and Wikipedia. Some such sites have the typing cursor automatically activate the first text field on the page thus saving you an extra mouse click before you can type in your query. But on most websites, that extra click on the text field is necessary. Fortunately for Mozilla Firefox users, there is a solution in the form of “Auto Cursor.”

Auto Cursor is a browser add-on for Mozilla Firefox. This tiny add-on adds a small new functionality to Firefox yet it greatly improves the convenience in web browsing. After you have installed the add-on, whenever you visit a website the first text box is automatically activated and you can begin typing. The image above is the cursor automatically appearing in a text field of our homepage when it was loaded.

Features:

  • A user-friendly browser add-on
  • Compatible with Mozilla Firefox
  • Automatically activates first text box in webpage
  • Saves your time by saving you an extra mouse click

Check out Auto Cursor @ https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/auto-cursor/

General Files Downloader: Use Your Phone To Search & Download Files From Popular File Hosts [Android 1.6+]

We all use online file hosts to download various files. Documents, software, and media files are all downloaded by people from websites like Rapidshare, Hotfile, 4shared, Depositfiles, Turbobit, Filepost, Extabit, Uploading, Netload, Rapidgator, Mediafire, Megashares, and so on. Mostly people find the downloading links provided to them by a friend or from an online article. But there are also online search engines that let you look for files on these websites.

Here to bring that searching feature and a lot more to Android smartdevice owners is an application called General Files Downloader.

General Files Downloader is a user-friendly smartphone application that is compatible with Android devices. The application is sized at nearly 300 KB and it runs on devices operating on version 1.6 or later of Android. The application helps you search for all types of files on various online file hosts.

In addition to the abovementioned file hosts, there are many other file hosts supported including GlumboUploads, ShareBeast, and RyuShare. You can narrow down your searches by using filters for file types and online hosts. Direct link results can be flagged and all filters can be easily cleared by one button.

When your results show up, you do not need to tap on any ‘Next’ buttons as the app comes with support for Infinity Scroll. A built-in browser lets you view the link pages from right within the application interface.

Unlike other similar searching tools, this app offers you a downloader too. You can initiate downloads from right within the application and multiple downloads are supported. The built-in launch manager lets you easily view, share, and delete downloaded files. The files are downloaded straight to your phone card, if it is there, and they are sorted according to download date.

Features:

  • A user-friendly phone app.
  • Compatible with Android devices.
  • Lets you search for files on popular file sharing websites.
  • Offers various filters for easier searching.
  • Offers built-in browser and download manager.

Check out General Files Downloader @ Google play store.

Pipy App: A Windows Desktop App to Quickly Open Programs, Files, and Folders


Sometimes while you are using your PC, you need to open a file or program but simply cannot find it. The usual solution is to use the native search feature in Windows but if you are looking for a quicker and more convenient solution, check out an app called Pipy.

Pipy App is a free to use desktop application for Windows computer. The app’s setup file is sized at nearly 1.5 MB and it installs quickly. Once installed you can access Pipy through its icon in the System Tray or open it from its hotkey combination which can be customized through the app’s settings. With the app open you can type in the name of the program you are looking for and it appears. If you see a bunch of options, you can either click on them to open them or use the keyboard’s arrow keys to reach your desired result. If you want to open a file or folder, simply type ‘search’ before your query.

The app lets you execute online searches as well if you type ‘websearch’ before your query. The default search engine used is Google but you can change that in the app’s settings.

Features:

  • A user-friendly desktop application.
  • Compatible with Windows computers.
  • Lets you quickly search for and open programs, files, and folders.
  • Lets you search the internet from your desktop.

Check out Pipy App @ www.pipyapp.com

Micromax Canvas Doodle 2 A240 now available for INR 19,990

As we reported earlier, Micromax’s A240 Canvas Doodle 2 smartphone is now available online. The smartphone is currently being sold at Snapdeal.com with a price-tag of INR 19,990, which is slightly more than what we anticipated, probably because of the currency depreciation.

A240 Canvas Doodle 2 is Micromax’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Mega 5.8 smartphones. It features a 5.7-inch 1280x720p display, 1GB of RAM, 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek processor and 12MP rear camera with dual-LED flash. The phone also comes with 5MP front camera, dual-SIM support, 16GB of internal storage (only 12GB available for users), Android 4.2 and 2600 mAh battery.

Micromax is also bundling a stylus with the phone and a few applications are pre-loaded on the smartphone to make use of it. The phone also packs almost all the software customisations that were introduced as a part of Canvas 4 like Blow to unlock, vertical panorama, Smart Pause and more.

The specifications of Micromax A240 Canvas Doodle 2 are pretty decent and clearly better than Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8. There is INR 3,000 difference in the price of these two phones, so a lot of will depend on the consumer perception of the two firms.

So, how many of you are planning to go for Micromax’s A240 Canvas Doodle 2?

Samsung Galaxy Camera price reduced to Rs 16,999

The device is otherwise available for around Rs 20,000 in the market.

Samsung's Galaxy Camera, which otherwise is available for around Rs 20,000 today, is now being offered by Amazon India for Rs 16,999 only. There is no coupon or other conditions to avail this offer. Notably, the device was launched in India last November for Rs 29,990.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera is a proper digital camera with some functionality of a phone like a large 4.8 touchscreen, 3G, and WiFi connectivity. However, it does not have calling function The 4.8 inch LCD screen comes with high definition (1280x720 pixels) resolution. Besides, the screen is made off Corning Gorilla Glass for protection from scratches.

The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean based Galaxy Camera has also quad core 1.4 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB inbuilt memory, 32 GB expandable storage slot, and a 1650 mAh battery. It has accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass sensors too.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Datawind silently introduces improved version of Ubislate 7Cz

Notably Aakash 4 tablet is set to be launched in January next year.

Datawind, the maker of Ubislate and first three versions of Aakash tablet, has silently introduced an improved version of Ubislate 7Cz which was launched earlier this year.

Curiously, the original Ubislate 7Cz is yet to be made available in the market. Infact, many online retailers have recently started taking pre-orders for the original Ubislate 7Cz for Rs 5,799. However, the improved version is now being offered by Datawind itself for Rs 5,999 (final price Rs 6,299).

But if you are thinking to buy the older Ubislate 7Cz as it is Rs 200 cheaper then think again as there is a lot of difference between the two. For instance, the older version comes with Android ICS operating system against Android 4.1 of the newer version. Also, as compared to 4 GB internal storage, the upgraded Ubislate 7Cz has 8 GB of internal memory. Also the new version comes with 1 GB RAM against 512 MB of the older model.

Other than those there seems to be not much difference between the two versions. So like the older model, the new Ubislate 7Cz has a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen with 800x480 pixels resolution, 1.2 GHz dual core processor, dual camera (VGA front, 2 MP rear), WiFi, Bluetooth, and 32 GB expandable memory.

Currently, the upgraded Ubislate 7Cz is available through Datawind's website. The company is promising to deliver the tablet within one week if you pay online and if you pay through demand draft or Cheque, you will have to wait for two weeks. Cash on delivery option is also available but for that also Datawind is said to take two weeks' time to deliver the tablet.

It is to be noted that the fourth generation Aakash 4 tablet is set to come in January next year and probably it would not be manufactured by Datawind which was criticized heavily in the past for the poor quality and non availability of the previous versions of Aakash tablet. Also, as per the proposed features, the Aakash 4 is speculated to be a block-buster Android tablet in the low-end segment.

Xolo launches ultra-slim Q1000S for Rs 18,999

It has a quad core processor, 5 megapixel front camera, 13 megapixel rear camera, and Android 4.2 operating system.

Xolo has announced its thinnest smartphone yet, called as the Q1000S. At 6.98 mm thickness, it is also one of the thinnest smartphone of the world, preceded by Huawei Ascend P6 which has 6.2 mm thickness. The phone is priced at Rs 18,999.

The Xolo Q1000S comes with a 5 inch display with HD (1280x720 pixels) resolution. Its HD IPS screen with OGS display technology which makes colors more vibrant and touch-screen more responsive, claimed Xolo.

Besides, it has 1.5 GHz quad core processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, 13 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel front camera, 1 GB RAM, and 16 GB internal storage. Its rear camera can record videos in full HD (1080p) resolution. Other features of camera are scene detection & tuning, high dynamic range (HDR), low light enhancement, face recognition( for focusing as well as in gallery), panorama capture and geo tagging. It can capture up to 99 shots through its burst mode feature so that you don't miss any moment.

The Xolo Q1000S has Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, WiFi, and GPS. Xolo Q1000S has a 2500 mAh battery, that claims to provide music playback time up to 53 hours (via internal speakers) and up to 34.6 hours (via wired headset). Xolo in a press release further claimed that it offers stand by time of up to 425 hours on 3G and up to 327 hours on 2G, talk time of up to 22.5 hours on 2G and up to 12.5 hours on 3G.