I bring to you a review comparison of the iPhone 4S 32GB vs the Google Nexus 4 16GB.
AOL launched a web based mail client called Alto recently. Currently to login to alto you can use your existing GMail(google), iCloud(apple), AOL(america on line) or yahoo mail ids. Further to sign-in you need an invitation from Alto, which you need to request on their webpage (www.altomail.com). The speciality of altomail seems to be its so called simplicity in organizing and displaying information to users once it retrieves the same from any of the above mail services. Their concept revovles around stacks of mails which are formed from different topics such as shopping deals, or starred(important) emails, or any other topic as chosen by the user.
So you can stack up everything from your best friend or say all promotional emails from a bank for example. You could keep adding all sorts of rules to fill up the stack like for example all mails from india.com or all mails only from email@example.com, etc. You can delete and entire stack as well. Also, you have the option of choosing to create the stack by those mails being skipped out of the inbox itself. As you can see the video explains all this in a simple fashion. There are also delete and forward and reply options per email which are easy to use, but if I were you, I prefer outlook.com’s simplicity to the gmail’s power over the Altomail look and feel. The point about altomail is that the concept wears off on you after some prolonged use and you begin to wish you saw the emails the good old way where you could choose whatever you dont want and just do something with them such as archive them or delete them as usual.
Moreover at the moment you can use only the four specified email services with perhaps more to come. However the user interface has no options to change the font and the default font is kind of bold and to some extent non space saving and kiddish after a while. The metro UI of microsoft anyday scores over such things hands down. So whether or not Alto is for you is something that you need to use it and decide, but for now, the concept is to try and simplify your inbox which many providers have tried in the past and its nothing new. Alto equals these providers if not surpasses them. Go and check it out by requesting an invite for yourself!
Apple recently updated their mobile operating system during the WWDC. As part of iOS 6 there are many new features which again are deeply rooted into the overall ecosystem. This post aims to explain in simple terms what changes are now part of this new operating system and also discusses some of the performance aspects of iOS6 on iPhone 3GS.
Facebook and Twitter deep integration
The iOS6 now comes with facebook and twitter more deeply integrated into the operating system. This means there is now an ability to quickpost to facebook right from the notifications area, and also sharing anything and everything to facebook or twitter from mostly anywhere on the iphone that originally allowed sharing as well as from some new places.
This not only means that sharing becomes more useful now, but also highlights the fact about the growing popularity of facebook that even a company like Apple recognizes that its no doubt a social behemoth already made by now. It also gives Apple an edge against Google who tend to copy all design and software ideas from Apple time to time and puts it totally out of sync with apple considering the latters association with Facebook.
Twitter was always Apples blue eyed boy and iOS 6 retains that sentiment in iOS6 as well.
Sharing of items changed to include more options
In the new operating system, you can now share across a variety of services from facebook, twitter, etc to even a printer. This has not only enhanced the scope of sharing, but has done away with buttons and has a page based icon system for different sources to share to. Its not practially significantly different but the deep integration is what the point is about.
Answering calls differently
This was one sorely missing feature in ios 5. Finally the hole has been plugged. Now with the new OS, one can answer calls differently. Along with the usual buttons, one can now also send a custom SMS message informing why you are declining a call. This helps for sure but should have made it in the earlier OS version itself !!
Do not disturb
Simple things matter. No one has thought about this until now. No phone had nothing more than a vibrator mode. The do not disturb ensures the phone doesn’t annoy you during those hours set by you as don’t disturb hours. What’s cool then? Well if some of your close contacts are desperate to reach you even beyond calling one time, a repeated incoming call can be set to ring and wake you up. Emergency responses assured thus. Good job apple. You can also add your favorites group to let the calls through. Don’t add your manager though
This was always available as a very unlisted undocumented feature for apple since long. One could tailor an mp3 tune into an m4r ringtone file from iTunes in windows or mac and transfer it to the phone. Apple seems to have done away with that complexity and instead now will allow custom ringtones to be any mp3 file that you desire. I am sure apple will also provide options to trim them as well perhaps. Not a unique new feature but still welcome.
Some while before the iOS6 itself, the camera was made accessible from the home screen by a simple touch and drag up. What most people do not know is that you can also slide it back into place to close the camera without touching any hardware button. Perfection must come from within and be seamless to learn. That’s what apple is all about notwithstanding the fact that they do all this on a rather user unfriendly linux backend.
So is then everything hunky dory about the iOS update? well, yes and no. This is surely a major update in terms of giving things that are already 2 years old stuff. Only point then is about the deep integration of stuff which makes this whole thing so delicious. However the performance of iOS 6 on 3GS is almost close to pathetic. Menus take lot of time to load, graphics take lots of time to show up. Well I am not talking high resolution graphics. it’s the same things that used to be there in iOS4 & 5. I am not sure why Apple must make it take so long to load on 3GS considering I am not exercising any gaming capabilities on it!? Bewildering. Apple will have its own reasons why they do things in a particular way, but the bottom line is that iOS 6 is terribly slow on the iphone 3GS and hence though they practically support it, we must restrict ourself to iOS4 or at the most 5 on the 3GS. If Apple does make it any better by the time the actual release is out – remember, for the purpose of this review I am still using the first beta of iOS 6 – then it might be a tad bit better but don’t have too many high hopes on the performance.
A phone that cost me about 35,000 bucks, still might command anywhere between 8000 to 12000 and the iOS6 update working on this phone definitely ups its value to still be in demand. But it’s a matter of time before iPhone 5 is coming – roughly in exactly 2-3 months from now – and that is the hardware really meant to run such a software that is quite versatile, user friendly, seamlessly integrated and what not !!
So do I still miss anything in this update? Well, oh, plenty. How about switching on and off Wifi, Bluetooth, etc from the notification area? Is that too much for Apple to develop? No, not at all. One point to note is that bluetooth now finds a place in the main menu itself which is good unlike last time, when it was really buried deep down into some menu levels. I also miss the word helper during typing and I am not sure what is making apple not give this facility as its ages old already. I miss the panorama feature on the camera which would’ve been a great addition given the fact we know it was always in the works. Perhaps the iPhone 5 would feature it. Time will tell.
Still there is no way I can copy a video or audio file into the phone directly without iTunes. Still there is no way to stream it to a TV without apple TV, which is absurd. They are now bringing in AirPlay which is over and beyond normal DLNA. A monopolistic company cant go too far in dictating how the world must work. And this is precisely where google is slightly better.
Thankfully I do find a secure PDF file open feature which also was not there earlier on. Even Windows phone mango doesn’t have it. Shame!!
What the iPhone 5 needs is a serious boost in screen real estate. The browsing experience and the general handling experience will be so much more better if that happens.
Until my next post, I wish to conclude by saying the iOS 6 is definitely a refreshing update to facebook fans, and others who would not like to be disturbed during their sleep hours mainly!
Today’s TOI carried a big notification from TRAI about the impending MNP (mobile number portability) launch tomorrow (20th jan, 2011). The terms of the offer are really attractive considering that a consumer spends only not more than Rs.19/- for the porting and about 2 hours disruption in service only during night time during porting.
Vodafone, Uninor and Idea are only offering MNP and downplaying the need for 3G services. They are saying that 2G network is good enough for now and the likes of such statements. This clearly shows that they have lost the edge over Aircel and Docomo who are raring to go in this field along with Airtel. However it is important to understand that if a consumer switches solely for the sake of 3G to another network and later realizes that the signal is not strong enough as his old network then he is likely to port back again.
So the game at stake is a combination of 3G, good voice network and mainly strong signal everywhere. Whatever it maybe, its celebration time for consumers as this is the point at which they can show their current host network how much they dislike their policies. And for mobile operators, TRAI has surely set a benchmark to perform properly and launch services on time. So from tomorrow you are officially free.
Tags: 3g, airtel, android, announcements, bandwidth, bangalore, bengaluru, blog, card, cellular, change, connectivity, data, features, gprs, gsm, HD gaming, karnataka, launch, migration, mnp, mobile, number, offerings, portability, products, provider, real time, services, sim, streaming, telco, video, video calling, voice, wifi
Slow but steady, Airtel is finally catching on the heels of Tata Docomo to launch their 3g services in Bangalore next week coinciding with the festive season. This blog already had a post on the tariff structure for Docomo post paid 3G services. Compared to those costs, expect Airtel to be a tad bit higher with their offering.
Ushering in both MNP and 3G at the same time, Airtel is bound to attract a lot of new customers even though their customer service quality has deteriorated over the past few months to a year. This is primarily in the backdrop of the 2G scam and the telcos that are now on the firing line by the government. Though many telcos more than rival the features offered by Airtel, the scam will deal a severe blow to these people if they are found to be involved.
MNP itself will be an interesting trend which will redefine and pick out the cream out of the telcos by the next quarter. This will be the only differentiating factor as compared to services, which will define who truly is capable of being a respected telco for time to come.
Airtel has already listed the steps to enable other subscribers to move to Airtel on their website. Airtel promises real time HD gaming, live video streaming (which might in due course involve live TV), real time video calls, among other offerings. No doubts this will come at a cost, but India deserves atleast 3G in 2011 and 4G in 2012.TRAI surely is working hard to bring more and more streamlined operations in the telco space. With the introduction of 3G the possibilities suddenly seem endless, and the next boom of rural and urban reach would be defined by data usage rather than just voice calls. After having met and spoken to many people who have witnessed the demos at Airtel outlet as well as Airtel insiders who have used the service, their claim is that its blazingly fast, and steady and exciting to use.
So this festive season, look forward to Airtel 3G! Spread the cheer.
Tags: 3g, airtel, bandwidth, bangalore, bengaluru, cellular, change, data, features, gprs, gsm, HD gaming, karnataka, migration, mnp, mobile, number, offerings, portability, products, provider, real time, services, sim, streaming, telco, video, video calling, voice
While speaking with a customer service rep today I happened to show my willingness to understand the data packages offered under the Tata Docomo 3G banner for Bengaluru city. This information is perhaps the first such information which is still not published for everyone’s benefit on the docomo website. Take a look and choose your pick. All these plans are valid only for postpaid 3G connections. For prepaid the first 100MB is free per month for two months and after that its 1p per 1kb which amounts to a whopping 10000 bucks for 1 GB which is insane.
For the postpaid connections the following packages hold good and are more reasonable by nature.
POSTPAID PLANS FOR BENGALURU
|LOCAL mins||DATA USAGE||STD mins|
BENEFITS: Anytime, Anywhere minutes ! Use them for ALL LOCAL & STD CALLS. Even when roaming on Tata Docomo networks.
BONUS OFFER: Postpaid customers activating till 31st December’10 get additional 100 MB data for 2 months.
Note : All the above packs are applicable for the INTERNET APN only.
HOW TO ACTIVATE 3G
Just send a message ACT 3G to 53333, and within seconds you should receive a confirmation that 3G is active. Go to APN settings, type TATA.DOCOMO.INTERNET on the values for both internet and MMS and you are done. Ensure you have the 3G radio switched on (as in the case of apple iPhone for example). Wait for a while and enjoy the fast life !
The best way to choose a plan for yourself from here is to go to www.tatadocomo.com, choose 24/7 customer support by CHAT, and ask the rep you chat with to enable this plan for you. Calling customer care should also help!
HOW FAST IS TATA DOCOMO 3G
The time it takes from when you type a URL on your phone browser to when the DNS resolves the IP Address for that URL is very crucial in determining overall speeds for content download. This is unfortunately taking a few extra seconds of impatience on Docomo 3G. So typically upto 5 seconds you dont see any activity, and then suddenly content starts to download in huge bursts. Its not the experience you would get out of a PC say with a Reliance or BSNL broadband connection, but its not really bad either.
WHAT IS TATA DOCOMO 3G’s BAD PATCH ?
Well, I must say here that it is only the Signal quality that really determines how strong a 3G connection lasts with respect to consistency in data download and in this respect, Docomo are still very far away from other operators like Airtel or Uninor. Having said that statement, I observe that frequent signal variations (drops and rises) affect the real 3G experience making it not so enjoyable. Many a times, just walking out of the office to an open area makes 3G stronger, while within your home or office 3G drops to E(dge) and sometimes even E(dge) is not recognized at all. Signal varies from 5/5 to even 1/5 and no service in lifts, basements and higher floors of buildings. This is really bad and affects overall connectivity to an extent that making normal phone calls itself become impossible. Tata have a long way to go in first getting their act right which I am sure Airtel are good at though they would be pricey.
LOOK OUT FOR A COMPARISON VIDEO BETWEEN UNINOR 2G AND DOCOMO 3G – COMING SHORTLY !!
Once upon a time touch screen phones were considered luxury. If they had 2MP cameras, they were worshipped, and if they possessed Wi-Fi, it was not meant for the middle class. All that is now passe. With the entry of the BIG 3 super hit phones, the Indian market just heated up to get exciting. So who are these three and what’s on offer? Find out more below.
Image source: www.gsmarena.com
The last one month has seen some hot launches in the smartphone market from none other than Research in Motion (RIM – Blackberry), Motorola, and Apple. Each has unleashed a turf war with their best selling products – the Storm 2 Blackberry touch, the Milestone, and the 3GS iPhone. A brief comparison of the specs are as below:
If we compare the Moto Milestone, and apple iPhone 3gs briefly with Blackberry Storm 2 9520, these are the features available:
|Features||Milestone||Storm 2||iPhone 3GS|
|Sensors||Yes||No proximity sensor||Yes|
|Internal memory||256MB||2GB !!||256 MB|
|3g Speed||Upto 10.2 Mbps !!||7.2 Mbps||7.2 Mbps|
|Camera||5 MP !!||3.2 MP||3.2 MP|
|Video||24 fps||24 fps||30 fps !!|
|Flash||Dual LED !!||LED||None|
|Processor||600 Mhz, lesser graphics||528 Mhz||600 Mhz, better graphics !!|
|GPS with maps||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery||1400 mAh||1400 mAh||1200 mAh|
From this comparison you can see that for the price point under question the best value for money phone would most naturally be the Moto Milestone. However, more of everything does not mean a better phone.
For example if you look at the table, graphics is much better in iPhone which means their user interface will needless to say be the best among the three.
Also if you look at video recording, the iPhone surpasses its competition by a good 5fps more.
So also with the bands supported for 3G. In this department the blackberry is the worst.
Again if you see the camera, the Moto beats competition hands down with 5 mega pixels with dual LED flash and the apple is not even worth talking about
So which one must you consider? Well frankly, for me, these are my opinions considering I have or will be using atleast two among the three titans of smartphones, the storm and the 3GS.
When it comes to price the Milestone from Motorola kicks everyone else out
When it comes to navigation and usability for all people of the house, the apple iPhone wins by a big margin. One should also not forget the 1,50,000 applications that the appStore has for users compared to Google and Blackberry
For pure business applications, the Motorola milestone has the potential to keep people happy for a long time, perhaps until Google itself releases its 1GHz Nexus One (which it does not intend to in India)
One another important thing is that while Apple iPhone 3GS in India is locked to Airtel or Vodafone, the Motorola Milestone and Blackberry Storm 2 will be available unlocked for any operator in the country which is a huge plus point at that price.
With good 3g data services support from BSNL and the impending 3G spectrum auctions, all other private operators will shortly follow with their 3G services, all these phones are set to harness the power of 3G from various operators to provide video calling and other such facilities. These phones support 3G quite well as expected and this is a good feature in all phones in comparison
All these phones have 3.5mm standard headset jack making them all multimedia ready by nature of design
All these phones are GPS enabled with the Moto supporting free turn by turn navigation which is a big boon to finding your way in a lost place.
If you are the person who likes physical qwerty keypad, Moto is for you, if you like both touch and press (surepress) keypad, the storm is for you and if you like the touch only keypad, iPhone is for you. I am used to touch typing, so both Storm and iPhone 3gs appeal to me more than the physical QWERTY of Moto.
Google has only 30000 applications, compared to Apple’s 1,50,000 which is a huge marketing plus for Apple. Blackberry apps are not worth mentioning at all frankly
For any comparison there have to be negatives, so here they are:
Though the Moto Milestone sports 5MP camera, there is no 30fps video recording which is a shame
The RAM in both Moto and Apple is only 256 as compared to 2GB in Blackberry. This is a vast difference
None of the handsets support dual camera (front and back facing) which are most necessary for video calls, and this is a shame for the price paid.
Limited support for each of these handsets in terms of warranty repairs and the limited reach to the customers is slightly disheartening.
Blackberry and Apple have no clear maps usage policy which makes it difficult for a normal user
Locking to operator is going to hurt Apple’s fortunes compared to the other two competitors
Non removable battery is bad for Apple whereas not for the other two since they also sport more powerful batteries
In SUMMARY, if you love core technology, want huge features for low price, with Google’s famed Android 2.1 OS, look no further than the Motorola Milestone. If you are the business conscious user who have been a fan of RIM and their products and appreciate their push email technology and still need other commonly found features, then the Storm 2 is a refreshing change from RIM with their touch based screen and surepress typing technology. The large memory, and slick business features will appeal the business community for sure. If you want ease of use, large amount of apps to chose from, and don’t mind the extra cost, for what you get in return – the famed apple popularity, at the cost of some missing features, then the iPhone 3GS is for you.
Take your pick, for now mine is the iPhone 3GS since I feel Google has some catching up to do with Apple. As for blackberry, I enjoyed it as long as I had it, and would recommend it even though I don’t own it now.
I was trying to use Gmail video chat and knowing google, i expected it to be really easy to configure and use. But i was in for a rude shock as my browser did not support the active-X control that I need for using video over gmail. For those of you who are curious, my browser is K-Meleon – the worlds fastest literally beating opera to it.
So I decided to give it a shot until it worked and so went back to Illegal Explorer (oops! IE). I hated IE all my life, and it was a browser only designed for MS and its own sites to load properly from day one. However within minutes I got the gtalk video activeX installed on my system for IE. Great I thought now video would work, since it showed a nice little video icon against my name. But when I contacted prakash, my friend, video would not work for him! I got him to install the same activeX control on his system, and even after that it would not work! Both of us were using Illegal Explorer, both of us had the activeX installed, and yet gtalk video would not work.
But on one fine day, I clicked against his name, when both our icons showed video mode, and viola, I could see him instantly. Since that day, my webcam stopped functioning, and if its due to google, then I hate you folks for screwing up my webcam. While i am still struggling to get my webcam going, what the other friend of mine and me saw were just my photo to one side of the screen at the bottom for me and on the video screen for him.
So there you go, as of now its a thumbs down for Gtalk video for the setup ease, but for quality, nothing beats it!
DO YOU HAVE ANY SIMILAR EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? GIVE ME YOUR COMMENTS!
So you must be wondering why there has been no update on this blog since ten days now. Is this a new year hangover? Is this a relief to people who are fed up of my blogging? Is this an anticipation of something big? – Well, I understand the thoughts in your mind. And believe me the last fortnight has been the most electrifying part of my life for the past ten years. Keen to know what’s behind all this high voltage? Movie making!
Download Movie Maker (7MB) Download Video Spin (148 MB!)
Yes! I have been busy venturing into another creative area which I badly needed to explore in recent times. And the way its turning out is nothing short of impeccable. I have been involved in creating a funny video sequence which involves shooting sequences, writing scripts, editing, processing, direction, production, animations, titling, and what not! A true cinema making experience. I have been using two tools to help me around with this, Windows Movie Maker and Pinnacle Systems Video Spin. If you need these tools, click on the icons above to download them and experiment.
Meanwhile, I’ll be back sooner than later with more updates on Namma Bengaluru !