MotoX on Sale, Google Drive – More for Less, iPhone 5C 8GB – News Bits

MotoX to launch tomorrow on Flipkart for Rs. 23999

After pulling a coup in India mobile sales with the Moto G, Flipkart is all set to launch the Moto X in India tomorrow (Wednesday). As with the Moto G, the Moto X will be exclusively available online only at Flipkart. If you take a look at their Moto X product page, you’ll see that they have some offers for the launch day, where you get a 1000 bucks off if you buy the Moto X on EMIs, 70% off on Moto X cases and a lucky few get 100% cashback on their purchase.

The phone will be available in 5 colors starting at Rs. 23,999 up to Rs. 25,999 for the two wood back finish devices.

Check out Flipkart’s page for more details and to get notified when they start sales of the Moto X.

Buy more Google Drive storage for less

Google has slashed the pricing structure of its Google Drive plans, undercutting Dropbox and others. 1TB of storage will now cost just $9.99 per month! 100GB of storage will now cost a measly $1.99 per month. What can you use this for you ask? Your photo and video backups via Google+ auto backup on iOS and Android, your documents and more.

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iPhone 5c for less as well – out comes the 8GB version

Apple-iPhone-5C
It’s no secret that Apple hasn’t been able to sell very many of their polycarbonate bodied iPhone 5C. In hopes of improving sales of the model, they’ve just launched a lower capacity model for a slightly lower cost.

The 8GB version went on sale in the Apple UK store for £429, which is £40 (about Rs. 4000) cheaper than the 16GB version. No news of when this will hit the Indian shores, but will a paying around Rs. 34,000 for an 8GB iPhone be enough of a motivator to sell more Apple phones?

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Jailbreaking iOS 7 on your iPad

Evad3rs have finally announced the much awaited jailbreak for iOS 7. Since I have the iPad 3 myself, I immediately decided to jailbreak it. A few words of caution though: evad3rs have mentioned that there could be boot loop problems even after a successful jailbreak on devices which have been updated OTA. This post  provides instructions based on the Windows version of evasi0n7 on jailbreaking iOS 7 on your iPad. You can follow the same steps while using the Mac version too.

[alert style=”1″]Disclaimer: Jailbreaking iOS 7 on your device will void your warranty. We do not take responsible for any issues you may face after you jailbreak your device[/alert]

I learnt this the hard way, having upgraded to 7.0.4 OTA my device was stuck on boot after a successful jailbreak. So if you are on pre iOS7 or 7.0.0, upgrade your device to 7.0.4 through iTunes. If you are already on 7.0.4 through OTA, just follow Apple’s guidelines to restore iOS device to factory settings. http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1414.

Once you’re done you are now ready to jailbreak your iOS device.

So now, here the process – It is not very complicated and I just followed the steps provided by evad3rs team.

  • First, backup your device through iTunes or iCloud.
  • Download evasion 7 from http://evasi0n.com/. Unzip the folder
  • Open evasion and hit jailbreak.

Jailbreaking iOs 7 using evasi0n

  • The device will boot several times.
  • You will be asked to unlock device and tap the evasion icon on your iPad.

Jailbreaking iOs 7 using evasi0n

  • A confirmation message will be shown once jailbreaking iOS 7 is complete

Jailbreaking iOs 7 using evasi0n

It’s been a couple of days since I tried jaibreaking iOS 7 on my iPad 3rd Gen and I haven’t really encountered any major issues. So, happy jailbreaking!

Image credit: 3dfoto / 123RF Stock Photo

News Republic – Your News Fix for iOS, Android & Windows Phone

I love getting my News fix throughout the day, when I’ve got a moment to spare. My usual favorites are Flipboard and Zite, but I’m always looking out  new ways to discover news instead of just sticking to my standard reading list.

News Republic’s latest version has just been added to my list after more than three weeks of using it. I seem to be favoring it more than Flipboard on my iPad. News Republic has quite a few topic you can follow and get updates on your opening screen. Since it’s a news reading app, it serves it function well, and I won’t go into much details there. I’ll just highlight two of my favorite features of the app.

List based viewer
List based viewer

One of the features I really Like about the app are the list based news viewer, which allows reading of the news item, and give a list of other news on the left side. So instead of flipping through stuff I don’t want to read, I can go directly and select the ones I want to. Saves a lot of time on a hype day, with a lot of sites publishing the same news items, and I really don’t want to read the same thing again and again.

Take your News offline
Take your News offline

Another feature I really love is the Offline reading capability. Given that my iPad is just the WiFi model, this is a killer feature which downloads news items from my favorite topics and has it ready for my reading pleasure during my commutes to work. To save bandwidth which downloading items offline, I can also choose to not download images.

Personally, I feel that News Republic on the  iPad really Rocks! Of course, not all versions of the app are equal. Your mileage will vary on the Android and Windows Phone version, so try them out and see if you like it.

Video Walkthrough of News Republic

 

Download

iPad & iPhone

Android

News Republic - Breaking and Trending News
News Republic - Breaking and Trending News

Windows Phone

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Google Maps for iOS is back

Google has finally released the much awaited Google Maps for the iPhone and if you have an iOS device, you really should just download it ASAP. It’s got pretty much everything: Navigation, Search, Zagat reviews for restaurants, Street View, 2D and 3D Maps; and a few things more: It’s much much cleaner than the Android version, alternate routes for navigation are just one clean easy swipe away.

Functionality-wise, it’s pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Google when it comes to it’s Maps app. The way it’s implemented though, is so much better than the Android app; both in terms of the aesthetics and the way various functions are implemented.

The first view above is of a searched route. Swipe the tile at the bottom and it’ll show alternate routes, along with traffic conditions, etc. Tap that to move into the alternate route (the second image above). Navigation works as expected too (Above Left).

Download the app from the App Store:

 

‎Google Maps - Transit & Essen
‎Google Maps - Transit & Essen

Google also announced a new Google Maps SDK for iOS. You can read the full post on the Google Geo Developers Blog.

 

Source: Official Google Blog| Via: The Verge

iTunes Music & Movie Store and iTunes Match Launched in India

 Music fans in India have always been shortchanged when it came to buying music and movies online. None of the existing services provided an easy way to purchase music online. Even Flyte, Flipkart‘s attempt at a online music store left a lot to be desired. It looks like Apple has finally and silently rolled out their iTunes Music store for India.

The iTunes India store, which you can access through iTunes (for Windows, Mac or iDevice), allows you to legally buy music  and movies online. The home screen has a selection of Bollywood movies and music. You can also get your fix of International music as well on iTunes.

Music tracks can be bought for an average cost of Rs. 11, which is way lower than the cost of tracks on the US iTunes store. The prices do vary depending on the popularity of the song or album. The lowest cost for a track I noticed was around Rs. 7.  You can also rent HD movies for Rs. 120 and buy movies starting from Rs. 290 upwards.

You can also subscribe to the iTunes Match service for Rs. 1200 per year. This service scans you existing music collection and uploads your library online, it also replaces lower quality music from your collection with better quality iTunes tracks, even if you got these tracks from else where. The service also stores your music collection on the cloud allowing you to access these tracks from your other iDevices.

One good side-effect of the iTunes India launch is that now I can get iTunes to fetch cover-arts for your Albums which are missing them. This didn’t seem to work earlier when I had tried it out.

What are your thoughts on this? Like it or hate it, leave us a comment below.

Find The Perfect Business Laptop – Here’s a Shortlist.

Laptops have become a part of our lives. Be it business or personal use, just like a smartphone, everyone wants to have a laptop of their own and consider it as a personal possession – and have it totally customized to their taste. Thanks to the technological advancement and the healthy competition among the top laptop manufacturing companies, we have a wide variety of laptops to choose from as per our needs.

When we choose a laptop for our business we go for certain special features as opposed to choosing a laptop for personal use. Yes, business laptops have to be durable, portable and powerful. They need to be stable given the fact that they will be used for extended hours (compared to a personal laptop), easy to carry for meetings, sometimes abroad, and should be able to withstand the intense usage and still respond fast!

Finding the perfect laptop for your business could be challenging taking into consideration these two facts –

1. You have specific requirements that demand a strong and powerful laptop when it comes to your business usage.
2. You have a wide variety of laptops to choose from.

Here is the deal – if you have point 1 ready, I am going to help you with point 2. Below is a shortlist of the best laptops that will suit your business requirements –

Toshiba Portege R935-P322 – This laptop comes under the ultra-portable category and is priced fairly lesser compared to the other laptops in this category. The laptop overtakes the past ultra-portables with a mobile processor which is certainly a plus; this reflects in the increased processing speed (especially with the multimedia tasks). The laptop has a battery life of 9+ hours. If you are after the ultra portability and fast processing speed that comes at a reasonably lower price, this is your piece.

Dell Latitude E6220 – This laptop also comes in the ultra-portable category but is a bit pricey for a 12.5 inch laptop. One of the coolest things about this laptop is that you can choose the battery settings that will allow you to travel light or use your laptop for computational purposes even for a day. I must admit that the laptop is not eye-catching or sleek, but it has a fast performance, the necessary components that a business will normally require and more importantly, warranty and service options that are expected by large business companies.

Lenovo Thinkpad T420 – Again, not a stylish-looking laptop but a workhorse that does the job. You can call it an all-purpose laptop with a solid build and a race horse performance. The laptop comes with multiple warranty options that are usually expected by business organizations. This piece is known for its rigid build, and robust performance. So if that’s what you need, go get it.

Vizio CT14-A2 Ultrabook – This one is elegant, has a metallic build and thin. When it comes to performance, it comes very close to its competitor (in performance) Acer Aspire S5 but is fairly low-priced that the Acer. The laptop lacks certain outward features – an in-built memory card reader, Ethernet jack, backlit keyboard, speaker sound quality, one more USB port (it has 2) etc. But certainly these are not a big deal if your business doesn’t require these features. I’d call it a minimalist performer.

Apple Macbook Pro (15-inch, Retina Display) – How can I complete this list without mentioning the Macbook Pro? If you are into a business laptop which has a robust performance, longer battery life and a great look that you can boast in your business meetings or conferences, yes, you should go for it. Retina display makes great resolution screen on a small-sized laptop possible. The machine boots and is ready in about a few seconds; wakes instantaneously from sleep and can stay asleep for 30 days with your work intact. The battery life is amazing (do I have to say this?) and yes it has a backlit keyboard. The only thing is that some of  your apps may have to be updated to be compatible with the retina display.

Can iPad Mini sideline Android based tablets?

Apple has rolled out the new iPad Mini and it is the time to assess its impact on the current generation tablet ecosystem. As per analysts’ view, there is no threat for the cheap tablets that are placed in the market. However, iPad Mini is likely to affect the premium tablet segment.

Let us check how iPad Mini will affect the prospects of other tablets.

No threat for Entry Level Tablets

As the price of iPad Mini ranges from $329 onwards it is far away to get into the eyes of customers who are used to low priced tablets. It is also likely that iPad Mini many not attract customers who would like to go for Amazon Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7. The same logic applies here because of the significant price gap. However, there are other set of analysts who strongly argue that the price difference will not affect the prospects of iPad Mini. In this case, there should be a reason to worry by Amazon and Google.

If customers are required to choose between iPad Mini and Android based tablet (at the same price range), iPad Mini will be the customers’ choice. It is due to the innumerable number of quality, premium and versatile iOS based applications available from the App Store.

Threat to iPad Mini from Low Priced Tablets

Low priced tablets such as Nook Simple Touch were sold at a very thin margin or without any margin at all. Such kinds of tablets’ manufacturers are gearing to make profit by selling various services and products (books, music, and videos). Low priced tablets have a great opportunity to offer an attractive alternative to iPad Mini if they can offer applications that enhance customers’ experience or can include entertaining applications. Such kinds of tablets will certainly be a definite bet against iPad Mini. Even though these tablets may not offer great graphic capability, high quality camera and premium apps, they can challenge iPad Mini.

Challenge to iPad Mini by Premium Tablets

Considering the fact that Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 offers a premium hardware platform, it has the capability to challenge iPad Mini. On the other hand, even though these tablets are offering great features at a very less price, you will not get matching applications from Android segment. For example, Kindle Fire is more tuned for Amazon by which you can access Amazon’s services in a better way. You will not have any applications that have the worth to enhance your entertainment. There will be a significant tradeoff between iPad Mini and other tablets.

Conclusion

In spite of the cost factor, it is expected that iPad Mini will certainly be able to capture the middle range tablets’ market in the coming days. It is likely that iPad Mini will receive the same kind of applause as its counterpart iPad had received before (by purchasing more than 3 million units within one week). The craze for Apple products will not come down even though there is a great difference in the pricing side. However, iPad Mini will have little impact in the enterprise environment. iPad Mini has to overcome drawbacks like lack of Retina Display, screen size and high price factor.

Is Mudslinging the New Mobile Marketing Mantra?

Has mobile hardware and software reached a stage where there’s nothing else revolutionary to make and market? Most new devices and platform updates these days are at best an incremental update from the ones already being sold. So how do you make the new phones and tablets stand out from the others?

Unique Features

One way to do that is to  dream up a great feature, add it to the device and market it via TV, magazines and social media. This gives the manufacturer a great lead in terms of standing ouside the crowd of devices flooding the market. People want that feature which gives them an edge over their friend’s devices for boasting rights.

Wireless charging, Fast Shot cameras, pushing the envelope on megapixels, faster processors and bigger screens are some examples where manufacturers have been able get one up over their competition. New and improved operating systems and good design and body colors with more bling are a good crowd puller as well.

Marketing & Buzz Words

Another is to hype up standard features with marketing buzz-words which catch the consumers fancy. This technique has been a tried and tested staple of Apple Inc (Retina Display, Face Time – do you want more examples). These buzz words seem to resonate with the consumers, and thrown in with a great marketing pitch, they drive up the hype about that device. Fans can’t have enough of it. But not all manufacturers have the perfected this technique.

Borrowing ideas

However much company folks and fan followings of each platform or brand cry hoarse, each platform has ‘borrowed’ features from the others. I won’t call it stealing, because sharing is a true part of innovation. Companies can go at each other’s throats with patent suits, but the fact still remains, unless key features make it to the other platforms, users on each platform end up  missing something or have to make do with a sub-optimal experience. Let’s not get into the who sued who and won news items which are a rage these days.

No, I’m not against the idea of patents, I’m just in the mindset, that given the pace of the technology industry these days, the current patent laws need drastic changes. Depending on the country you’re in, the patent term can range from 10-20 years. (Additionally, it takes upto 3 years from filing the patent application to getting the patent granted). That’s an eternity for today’s fast paced industry. Ideas and technology go obsolete in a year or two, and are considered ‘pre-historic’ if they’re more than 5 years old. So why can’t technology patents have a shorter term?

What else?

That’s one side effect of the frenetic pace of development of technology. Meanwhile, there are certain key areas that are struggling to catch up. People often complain about how battery technology needs to catch up and be ready for current portable device usage. Unfortunately, this isn’t an area where developments and innovations happen overnight; and even if they do, they aren’t usually ready for consumers for a long time! (As it currently stands, it takes around 15 years from the start of research on new battery chemistry to it being available for use in consumer electronics). OEMs are rushing to make other components more power efficient in the mean time, which leads to more power efficient processors and SOCs, displays and wireless radios.

Potshots

Since most high-end phones and devices have comparable processing muscle, the memory and storage, cameras and platforms, the marketing teams seem to be having a tougher time getting their products to stand out. How’s this affecting their campaigns?

Over the past few months the marketing muscles of some of the major players seem to be taking aim and taking shots at their competitors in advertisements, product launches, websites and social media. Now why is that? Have they run out of sellable and  hype-able features? Recently we had Apple denounce Android tablets during the iPad Mini launch and Amazon retaliating to thatSamsung taking poking fun of the iPhone 5 in their Galaxy S3 Ad and Nokia didn’t miss capitalizing on the Apple Map Fiasco. From the looks of it, everyone seems to be ganging up against Apple. But that’s changed – now we have infighting among Windows Phone manufacturers to deal with as well. This has become a mainstream markting activity as far as we can see this year.

My shout out to the marketing folks out there – if you really have to stoop down to denouncing a competitor’s product in your marketing campaign, does that mean your product isn’t good enough to stand up on it’s own? If you need to belittle the competition in order to get your product up there, I don’t think you’re doing a great job at marketing in the first place, or is it that your product is just not good enough?

Image Credit - iStockPhoto

Apple Announces the iPad Mini a 7.9 inch Tablet


In an event last night, Apple announced their latest tablet offering, the iPad mini. Well, this has been the worst kept secret from Apple, since specs and details of the device were floating around the web for quite a few months now. The new iPad is a 7.9 inch tablet powered by a dual core A5 processor. The screen 7.9 inch screen sports a resolution of 1024-by-768  at 163 pixels per inch.

By keeping the resolution at 1024 x 768, Apple has made a smart move, since that’s the same resolution as that of the first and second generation iPad. This ensures that all apps available on the iTunes App Store run seamlessly on the iPad Mini.

In terms of hardware, the iPad mini features the same anodized edges, finishes and colors like the iPhone5. The device is just 0.28 inch thick and weighs 0.68 pounds. The iPad mini comes in 16, 32 and 64 Gb storage variants  as well as a Wifi-Only and Wifi + Cellular  versions. The tablet is powered by a  16.3-watt-hour battery which according to Apple can power the device for up to 10 hours of usage.

The front-facing (Facetime) camera is a 1.2 Megapixel camera capable of recording video at 720p enabling the device to provide Facetime HD capabilities. The rear camera is a 5 Megapixel one capable of video recording at full HD 1080p. The Lightning connector being the default for all Apple’s new devices is also featured here. If you are looking for a GPS enabled tablet to find your way around town, you should give the Wifi version a miss, since GPS is available only in the  Wifi + Cellular version.

Coming to the pricing, the base model (16GB Wifi) should cost around Rs. 18,000 – 20,000 ($329 is the US price), taking into account taxes and charges, when it hits the India shelves. Apple US has already started taking pre-orders for the iPad Mini on their website and announced that November 2nd is when the Apple retails stores start selling it.

For more details and specs, check out Apple’s iPad Mini Page.

Apple dumps Chomp App

Apple had acquired the search application tool less than one year ago. As per the latest news, Apple has annihilated the Chomp mobile app, as well as removed the traces of its website.

Chomp app was very versatile. It offered an interface through which you can search for applications of various categories including shopping, musical instruments, fun games, news, to do list, discounts, social networking, photography and texting.

History of Chomp App

Chomp was founded by Ben Keighran and Cathy Edwards in 2009. Chomp was successful in adding more than 300,000 users within a span of 8 weeks after its launch. The San Francisco based ‘application search engine company’ had received 2.5 million towards funding. Chomp’s features were further enhanced by offering a number of functionalities. The services were available in the form of mobile application or as a search box inside a website. The chomp service was discontinued from September 30, 2012.

Chomp’s Absence & Implications

If you had installed Comp in the past and now try to use the Chomp app on your iOS based gadget, the app no longer works and searching for the app on the iTunes Store will not get any search results rather you will be routed to the App Store where results will be served. If you would like to access the website, www.chomp.com, then you will be redirected to the Apple website. When Siri was acquired by Apple, it had done the same thing. When users tried to access Siri website, they were routed to the Apple website. However, it happened when the Siri voice assistant was made integral with the iPhone 4S. It is a different story with Chomp as the application is present nowhere but bits and pieces of the app can see in the iTunes App Store on iOS 6.

Chomp’s Indirect Presence

Chomp was launched in the beginning of the year 2010. It was used to search for applications based on their functions rather than on the name. Even though it was made to search for Apple applications in the beginning, the application got access to search for Android applications the following year. Thereafter, the services to search Android applications were stopped in April, 2012 after Chomp was acquired by Apple.

Even though Chomp was chopped off in the virtual world, its presence in Apple’s App Store cannot be ruled out. It is believed that Apple had successfully implemented the technology in the search tools that are employed to search through the App store. This was done as part of the recent iOS6 revamp. The new application store offers improvements in the backend. This is reflected in application discovery. However, the new layout failed to convince the hearts of many users.

As per the new changes, only one application will be displayed on the screen in the form of card or pane. Chomp used to display a list of applications and you can scroll these applications. However, iPad users are benefited with the new layout. Chomp service comes to an end on the same day where Ping’s services are halted and users will also experience less storage space on iCloud.

Apple is well known for the presentation of user-friendly features. In the coming days, users will certainly be able to enjoy more intuitive features in the AppStore search mechanism.

Pic Credit – vincentabry