Apps for the Week – Shifu, Mailbox, Quick Click & Airtel Pocket TV

Mailbox for Android

The much hyped about Gmail client app from iOS, now lands on Android devices. Mailbox aims to simplify your life by trying to keep your Inbox to Zero. The actions in the app are gesture driven, allowing you to send email to four different destinations – Archive, Delete, Send it to a List or Make it go for now and reappear later. This set of easy swipe gestures is what makes the heart of the app’s experience.

The Good: An easy to use app to try getting you to a Zero Inbox goal. The Swipe gestures really ease the task of filing the emails in the right places.

The Bad: Since Dropbox now owns Mailbox, they thought that it would be cool to make you signup for a Dropbox account before you can add your email account.


Most task reminder apps these days allow you to make a list of ToDos and remind you to do these at fixed times of the day. But most of us don’t follow a fixed schedule or are caught up with other work and these tasks end up languishing in the reminder apps for hours and days at end.

Here’a where Shifu wants to make a difference. Instead of setting a fixed time Shifu allows to you remind you of tasks when you have free time. You can add tasks based on the amount of time it would take and Shifu will remind you when you have that free time. Shifu does this by analysing your data and see when you’re commuting and when you use your device to give it hints on when you’re free.

In addition, you can add other triggers to your reminders like location or when you’re connected to a certain Wifi Hotspot. It even enables you to add reminders when someone calls you. So you can set a reminder to ask about your raise when your boss calls in.

Apart from these smart reminders, Shifu also checks your calls to see which ones you’ve missed and asks if you want to call them back when you have sometime.

The Good: A really new look at getting your ToDo lists done properly when you have the time to do it. This could allow you to go through your list more efficiently. I love the reminders triggers for Wifi hotspot, Location and when someone calls, which help in setting contextual reminders very easily

The Bad: You can’t set fixed times for reminders, so if you really want a reminder at 5pm, there’s no option yet in the app.


Quick Click App Screenshot
Opening apps and performing actions quickly on your phone is the key feature of the QuickClick app. To achieve this, QuickClick leverages the use of the volume buttons on your phone.

You can set your phone to perform actions based on clicks of your Volume buttons. For example, I’ve programmed the app to start and stop the flash light on the phone when I click on the Volume Up thrice, and launch Zite for my news fix when I click on the Volume Down thrice. You can also set a click sequence to make calls to your friend or family member in case of emergency.

A tip to keep in mind is to head to settings and check the option to “Preserve Battery Life”. This option allows you to save your battery by making the app listen to your key click sequence only when the screen is on (even in the locked state).

The Good: Easy to use and setup and very handy to start your favorite apps even without having to unlock your phone.

The Bad: AD Driven app, but then it’s free so I can’t complain much there. Not a major one here, but unless you set the app in the “Preserve Battery Life” mode, you’ll end up draining your phone quite fast. It would have been preferable if this was the default mode.

Developer: Blor
Price: Free+

Airtel Pocket TV

Airtel, a leading Telecom and DTH provider in India, recently launched their Airtel Pocket TV app for the Android platform. The allows you to view more than 150 TV channels on your phone, along with a selection of on demand videos and movies.

To gain access to, you will need to shell out an additional Rs.60 / month on top your existing Airtel DTH subscription. They do have a few channels TV and Video which you can watch for free to try out the service before you go ahead with the subscription plan.

Airtel mentions that they will have iOS and other platform support soon. To get more information on the app, head over to Airtel Pocket TV and download the app using the link below:

Blackberry users in India may not benefit from RIM’s Blackout offer

Last week, users of the Blackberry faced a three day outage of their services. Last week, RIM had faced an outage on their servers which facilitated emails and web traffic for their users. Since all the web traffic on Blackberry phones are routed through their central servers, this meant that users couldn’t receive emails, surf the web or message their friends using the BBM platform. This meant that during this outage, users could only use their phones for calls and sms.

In an effort to apologize for their outage, RIM had announced on Monday, that they would provide users with apps worth $100 free for download. We though that this was not really an apt compensation for the users who faced a 3 day outage of their services, but then that’s what they had to offer in terms of compensation.

But it looks like this may not roll out to users in India, according to an article featured in Times of India today. According to the article, the major providers in India have not yet announced this compensation to their users for the outage.  Here’s what the major telecom players had to say:

  • Airtel, made a terse statement saying it will “not comment on matters pertaining to partner relationships”.
  • Vodafone was reviewing the case on a country basis and its future actions will depend on the “number of registrations and the circumstance in which the problem occurred” in the particular region and will comply with any legislation.
  • Aircel said that  they aren’t planning anything on the lines of compensation as of now.
In other countries, some telecom operators have even announced free usage for 3 days to compensate for the number of days when the service was unavailable. Etisalat and Du in the UAE have announced that they would provide a free 3 day usage for their subscribers which would get credited to their accounts.
Update: It seems that Blackberry users on Airtel have received an SMS stating that they can download their free apps from 20th October. Thanks to @mvkvrm on twitter for the heads up. Here’s the content of the SMS Airtel had sent out:
RIM has announced free download of Premium Apps worth 100 USD as an expression of appreciation of your patience during the disruption of their services last week. Free Apps will be available on BlackBerry App World from 20 Oct to 31 Dec’11.