IFTTT on Android and An Affordable Flagship Phone – News Bits

IFTTT now available on Android

If this then that. It’s a service that let’s you use triggers to complete actions and is automated. It was Web only at first. It was released for iOS last year. It’s now available for Android devices as well. The Verge has a really good write-up, outlining the new Android Specific actions that are available.

Read the write-up by The Verge here. You can use the service on the web over at IFTTT.com.

IFTTT
IFTTT
Developer: IFTTT, Inc
Price: Free+
‎IFTTT
‎IFTTT
Developer: IFTTT
Price: Free+

The ONEPLUS ONE is officially available

Well, kind of. You still have to be invited to purchase the handset as of now, but the OnePlus One actually seems to live up to all the hype the company has been generating. Their motto is “Never Settle” and they aim to offer quality handsets at affordable prices. Going by the OnePlus One, the quality extends to beyond just build quality – it has top end internals and runs a version of CyanogenMod 11 that was made specifically for this device. The OS itself is customisable and you can change pretty much everything about it. Want on-screen buttons instead of using the capacitive buttons? Can do. Want to change the lockscreen look and shortcuts? Can do.

OnePlus is calling the One (not to be confused the HTC One or the HTC One -M8) the “2014 Flagship Killer”.


Specs:

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5 GHz
  • Display: 5.5″ 1080p LTPS IPS Display from JDI (Japan Display)
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM, 16/64 GB Storage (eMMC 5.0)
  • Battery: 3100 Lithium Polymer Battery
  • Imaging: 13 MP Rear camera, 5 MP Front Camera. Record Videos upto 4K, Slo-mo 120fps at 720p
  • Connectivity:GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz,  WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/8 (Basically, every band in use), LTE: Bands: 1/3/4/7/17/38/40 (FDD LTE, covers a huge part of the world), Dual-band Wi-Fi  802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC

The Phone will be available starting Q2 2014 for $299 for the 16 GB variant and 349 for the 32 GB variant. You can also change the backplate, and OnePlus will soon offer options including Kevlar, Bamboo and Denim!

Check them out over at OnePlus.net.

Here’s the introduction video from OnePlus:

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

Image Gallery

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

Does iPad-Mini minimize everything?

Did you hear the rumours? Apple is gearing up for the next big event.

Rumors are widespread in tech circles about the launch of iPad-Mini. It is expected that Apple will start sending invitations from October 10 for the upcoming iPad-Mini launch event. The event is likely to be held in the second half of October.

Probable Features of iPad-Mini

• It is revealed that the size of the iPad-mini will be 7.85”.
• It comes with the Aluminum casing (similar to that of iPad).
• It comes with a rear facing camera.
• Apple intends to prepare the iPad-mini as an alternative to Samsung Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7.
• It is expected that the price of iPad-mini will be less than iPad.

Even though Apple has not yet officially acknowledged the fact about the launch/release of mini iPad version, it is expected that the mini tablet will come with minimal features. iPad offers 9.7” screen and iPad-mini is likely to come with 7”+ screen. iPad is a versatile tablet. You can read books, listen to audio books, create presentations, create artwork, watch movies and browse the web. As there will be considerable trade-off, iPad-mini certainly comes with less horsepower. You should be able to read books, listen to music, watch movies and connect to internet through iPad-mini.

Domestic Uses of iPad-Mini

Typical iPad-Mini expectations are A5 processor, 32 GB internal storage and 512 MB RAM. Some of the domestic uses of iPad-Mini for a techie could be –
• It will have tools like Accelerometer and Gyroscope.
• The gadget targets home users.
• The gadget will be useful to read books, listen to music and watch movies.
• You can copy relevant files into iPad-mini through Wi-Fi or by connecting with your PC via cable.
• However, it may not have Magnetometer, GPS and 3G.

Competitiveness

Even though Apple could offer less features through iPad-mini, the gadget may not be competitive in princing at least with the rumored cost of  around $299 or so. iPad Mini will be a useful aid to be adopted by students in place of textbooks. You can play games as well on iPad-Mini. Nevertheless, it will be a tough battle for Apple to compete with feature-rich gadgets presented by Google, Amazon and Barnes & Noble at much a much lower price-point.

As a matter of fact, Amazon has established the ecosystem by offering great tablet, Kindle Fire HD. The value added services, the decent display system and user-friendly features presented by Kindle Fire are awesome. Similarly, the opportunities for Nexus 7 and Nook are plenty. They are growing at a steady pace. It should be a tough task for Apple to convince users to go for iPad-mini even though you can use it on an airplane. Apple’s iPad-mini has prospects to attract customers as they will be able to take advantage of the simple and user-friendly features.

About iPad-Mini’s Launch

It is expected that Apple will announce the new iPad-mini in New York City in October, 2012. As per tech analysts, it is expected that iPad Mini will not completely steal the show created by the New iPad. As per rumors, Chinese manufacturers had received orders for the manufacturing of iPad-Mini. As per the information revealed by Taiwanese sources, the new iPad-Mini will be in the hands of customers before the Christmas season.

Let’s wait & watch. The rumored launch date is not too far!

Image Credit: Cult of Mac

Rode Dog App – get barked at if you Text while Driving!

An 11 year old student made history by developing an application that prevents texts when you are driving on the road. The student in collaboration with David Grau, a creative designer at an interactive agency located at Santa Ana has achieved this feat.

The application was disclosed at the recent AT&T Hackathon. As the application starts barking, you can find that you are performing a task that you are not supposed to do while driving. By installing the application, you will not be able to send text messages if you are already engaged in driving.

Quite an innovative name for an anti-texting app, this one is called – Rode Dog. Sure, interesting it is!

Let’s know more about it –

Features

• To start off with, An interesting feature of this application is that it will also monitor your friend’s driving activity as well.
• As you include your friends in this search criterion, you will be able to observe whether your friend or family is sending text messages while driving.
• You can add groups of people under this monitoring zone. If one of the group members violates the code of conduct by sending text messages while driving, the other members will be able to bark on the rule-breaking friend. Ultimately, the driver will be made to stop the barking as the barking will continue until the driver notices it and turns into silent mode.

Variance from seat belt compliance

Interestingly, the concept takes deviation from similar kind of activity where you car will annoy you if you do not wear the seat belt. The new bark will not annoy you much but will be polite enough to drag your attention. There is growing concern for road safety all over the world. There is a rise in the number of accidents due to the negligence of drivers. Sending text messages while driving and attending phone calls while driving are suicidal and they are not healthy habits. You will not only take risk your life and those who are travelling with you but also create trouble to other passengers who travel in various vehicles or who go by walk.

Dog barks influence

As to the incorporation of the dog bark idea, the little girl named Victoria Walker was very much annoyed with her dog. When he barks, he demands undivided attention. It is difficult to accomplish any other task until the dog bark interruption is satisfied. The same strategy is applied in the development of anti-texting application which will demand your attention (if you break the rules) so that you will reach home safely. The little girl also noted that as she utilizes the application, it will help her to protect their parents. By adding and monitoring their parents’ driving patterns, she can better vouch for them. She can raise an alarm by barking as and when they attempt to break the code of conduct.

Conclusion

With the increased awareness about the dangers in associated with mobile phones while driving and walking on roads, state and local governments are planning to control the menace by declaring a complete ban on such activities. The technology is being utilized to such an extent to give us freedom to choose what we need and to prevent the access to services that we really don’t need.

This is really an interesting development that works for the well-being of mankind and for better quality of life.

Link: www.rodedog.com/

iOS6 – A mixed bag from Apple

Apple refines the operating system at regular intervals. This is required to improve the performance of the operating system. The OS should be secure, quick to respond and feature-rich. But the iOS6 update seems to be a mixed bag so far.

Let us check some of the new features and enhancements –

Maps AppMaps application is completely overhauled in iOS6. But, it still remains a big let down. Compare it with Google Maps, you can very well spot the shortcomings. The app has all the basic mapping services including street views and directions (turn by turn voice guided navigation), but the users still appear to be frustrated. I sincerely recommend you to read through the numerous errors that Apple Maps has reported in the recent past. There also has been some recent public apologies issued by Apple with promises of improvements. Hope, the promises are delivered at the earliest.

Camera – The camera app now features a mode for people to take quick panorama pictures. This feature has been around in other platforms and Apple’s own through third party apps, this is the first time the function is present in the camera’s options. It makes taking panorama pictures very easy. Here’s an example of a panorama picture taken by Vinu on an iPhone running on iOS6.

Passbook – It is a new feature that lets you keep together all the shopping offers and entry tickets to various locations like airports, theaters and shopping malls. You will not pay through these passes but you will get access and you will be reminded of the expiry of various offers. It will take some time to implement the passbook processing feature by merchants. However, Apple has initiated dialogue and it is offering technical expertise so that Apple users will soon be using the smart way to perform smart operations.

Siri – Apple had attracted many new customers by featuring Siri for the first time through iOS5. iOS6 further enhances the Siri (voice based personal assistant). You can also access Siri on 3rd generation iPad and 5th generation iPod touch. The Siri version is mentioned as beta in iOS6 (as it is still in the phase where the features are being enhanced). The new version is quick to respond to various instructions and it is more intuitive. Now, Siri can provide scores of various sports, movie listings, show timings, reviews and trailers. It’s got the power to launch third party applications. The application can post updates on social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter. It can reserve your dinner in your favorite restaurant.

Do Not Disturb – This is a very useful feature presented by iOS6. Now, you can exercise more control on notifications and incoming voice calls. You can make silent an incoming call after ringing for a specific number of seconds. Notifications can be turned off automatically. You can also choose special settings.

VIP’s through Email – The email system is revamped allowing you to designate certain contacts as VIP’s. Regardless of the mail account you use, all the mails addressed by VIP’s will be flagged with a bright star and will be readily available for your attention in a separate folder. You can also customize the notification settings.

Safari Browser – The safari browser further enhances your browsing experience through the iPhone. The browser syncs with iCloud as well. The browser will give you faster and better performance than on iOS5, especially with the an easy way for you to share the websites you are visiting with your friends on Twitter and Facebook, thanks to the tight integration in iOS 6

Since Apple’s supporting iPhone 3GS upwards and iPad 2 upwards for the iOS6 upgrades, folks with the older devices have been given a boot with this new update. So people with the original first generation iPad and phones older than the 3GS have to upgrade if they want to get a feel of these new features.

Saga – a wonderful personal advisor for the iPhone!

Saga – the new mobile application will monitor all your real world activities that you conduct through the mobile phone. As it keeps track of your activities and gets familiar with you, it will rise to the level where it will suggest you the available options as per your taste. The application is created by a Seattle based startup company. The application learns your habits, remembers them and gives you available better options. This will definitely let you try out new things which bring fun.

Let’s know more about Saga.

Features

  • Saga will also track your physical presence. It will track the way you reached the location and it will identify your personality. All these details will be tracked automatically and Saga will always be ready to give you suggestions.
  • As you put up important milestones in Facebook Timeline, the application will create a list of experience points based on the things that you perform in day-to-day life.
  • The application developers claim that Saga is intended to improve your way of life. It will help you perform things in a better way. It will remind your past experiences helping you make wise choices.
  • The interesting feature with Saga is that all the information that the application gathers will not be shared with others and this was stated by the promoters.
  • Saga which is available on iOS app store will enhance the path created by wonderful personal assistantSiri.

Benefits

There is no doubt that with the growth of internet technologies, there is tremendous growth in entertainment and shopping experiences. With the introduction of mobile applications coupled with GPS services, you are being offered with ultra high tech services that you never dreamt of in the past. Saga will keep track of your activities. As it will suggest you better options, this will be desirable as you get the opportunity for improvement. You may also learn from your mistakes so that you will not repeat them and you will be wise enough to take better decisions in life that save you time, effort and money.

Challenges

  1. As a matter of fact, applications that serve location based information will drain the battery soon. As Saga keeps track of your location through GPS and compares the data to the database, it will take a substantial chunk of processing power and there will be proportionate load on the battery as well.
  2. The application has to store so many experience points and it needs to process various algorithms to get the desired results.
  3. Besides offering valuable features, how effectively Saga addresses the power consumption issues will decide the success of the application.
  4. Compared to Google Places, Saga comes with a new concept as it will give you suggestions based on your past choices. This is done automatically where as with Google Places you should select the relevant options.
  5. The application has to demonstrate its proficiency by picking the user’s location precisely in a densely populated city.

Conclusion

Saga will really be useful if it can enhance your entertainment by offering useful suggestions. Saga will let you know what you should know and when you should know. On the other hand, if  you have privacy concerns, you have nothing but to stay away from the application.

Download Link

Download for iPhone from iTunes Store

Scope offers ‘Social Hub’ for all your Social Avataars

The popularity of social networking sites is ever growing. Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus have proven to be faithful social sites in connecting people for personal and business interactions. You might have opened an account in each of these social networking sites and would have faced difficulty to manage these accounts separately. Scope is a useful application which works like a social hub as it will let you manage different social networking accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr. As you will access every social site from a single interface, your life is made easy. It’s available for Android for Blackberry users.

Let us explore more details about Scope.

New Developments – Scope is a wonderful application and as such there is no equivalent substitute for it at the moment. As per the new update, the interface has undergone drastic improvements compared to the earliest application released for Blackberry. Even though it takes some time to acquaint with the application, once you go through the learning phase you will fall in love with the application and there will not be any need to remove the application from your phone. You will be able to access the pictures in Twitter without clicking on the links separately. You will be able to access all the recent social posts quite easily through Scope.

CapabilitiesScope acts like a social authenticator, which manages the accounts list. As the application has the support from the hardware, you will be able to capture the image through the mobile’s camera. Scope can access your location information. It has the capability to create network sockets. The application has access to all the contact information stored in your mobile phone or tablet device. Hence, you should be extremely cautious in downloading and installing other applications and you should ensure they are free from malware. The application has the capability to track the phone call related information. You can transfer the data to memory modules like USB or SD cards. The application has the capability to modify your system settings as well.

Issues to be Resolved – As the application is in the budding stage, it has to go through the improvement phase as well. Users complain the lack of search options, inability to update the profile and difficulty in responding to messages. There should be a proper way to check the notifications without breakage. You should be able to view the comments posted by yourself. You should be able to view the number of likes, number of retweets, etc. Whether you name these requirements as drawbacks or errors or malfunctions, these should be addressed to offer users a more fulfilling experience.

Improvements – Scope was first launched on Blackberry and later on it was released for Android phones as well. The concept of providing an easy interface to access various social sites is welcomed by users. The team behind the development of the application should cater to the needs and aspirations of the user community. The application should introduce support for groups and fan pages on Facebook. The changes are required to be introduced in a fast paced manner. If the expectations are not implemented at the earliest it is likely to face challenges from other similar applications.

Download Link

For Android Devices on Google Play | Blackberry Devices

Kindle Fire 2 – Feature Upgrades and Competition

Kindle Fire 2 is all set to be launched with a powerful camera and high resolution display system. By Nov. 2012, Amazon’s Kindle Fire will be celebrating its first birthday and the season should coincide with its successor.

The USP of the new Kindle Fire Tablet will be more powerful and yet thinner and lighter in weight than the current one. A built-in camera with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution will be the main attraction of the new gadget.

Let us explore more about the current Kindle Fire before what to expect from the Kindle Fire 2 which will be launched soon –

Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire, the tablet computer gives you the power to perform most of the day to day task that you perform on a personal computer. Some of them are as follows –

• You can browse, purchase books and movies, watch TV shows and play games on small sized Kindle Fire.
• If you possess Kindle Fire, you can purchase applications of your choice from the Amazon App Store.
• If you are one of the fortunate prime customers of Amazon, you can stream movies directly on the Kindle Fire.
• Compared to iPad, Kindle Fire’s price is very less.
• Kindle Touch and Kindle Keyboard are other versions which are still priced less than Kindle Fire.
• Kindle Fire uses Amazon browser called Amazon Silk. It is boasted that web services will load fast through the browser.
• Kindle Fire is rumored to be priced less than its actual cost price to attract new customers.
• Amazon has alternate plans to compensate that loss by selling content from the store.

The new features of Kindle Fire 2

The new Kindle Fire’s dimensions will be in a similar range as that of iPad 2 and it will be a great facelift from the current Kindle Fire. The current tablet offers resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. In addition to the improvement in the resolutions, the edges will be sharper than before. The aspect ratio of the coming version will be 1.6 whereas the current version holds it at 1.7. When compared to the iPad 3’s resolutions, Kindle Fire stays far behind. It is expected that the new device will be rolled out in September.

In addition to the better resolution, there are rumors that multiple models of the device will be launched, and there’s also rumors of 4G connectivity on the Kindle.

Competition

As per the reports from a different source, Amazon is going to launch two tablet versions. The first one code named, Coyote will be powered by dual core processors and the second tablet code named, Hollywood will be powered by a quad core processor. Regardless of one or two tablets that are being launched, Amazon is going to face stiff competition from iPad and other tablets in the market. It will be a great challenge to defeat feature-rich iPad. Apple is also poised to launch a mini version of iPad which will match the price of the Kindle Fire. It will be a touch task for Amazon to head on with user friendly iPad. The 7″ sized Nexus 7 from Google which had already received great reviews is another great competitor.

Consumers would have plenty of options to choose from in the coming days. The winner would have to have the best of features, technology, user-friendliness and must be ever-innovative. Must say, the tablet war could be more competitive than the smart-phone war. The more competitive it is, the better it would be for you & me.

Twitter’s Interactive Tweet View for iPhone & Android users

Twitter – the social networking platform is ever expanding by offering innovative features and flexibilities to users. Twitter is popular on Smartphones based on iOS, Android as well as Windows 7.

In order to attract mobile users now, Twitter is going to launch an enhanced application which will provide users interactive view, improved control to display of the notification and many other new features.

Let us find more information from the leaked information about the development of a new Twitter application which will benefit mobile users.

New Features

• As the interactive Twitter view will be expanded you will be able to get previews of content as you find in Google chrome and other applications.
• You will also be able to view images and videos within the short tweets and the links to various sites is also displayed in each tweet.
• You can opt for push notifications which enables you receive messages from users of your choice. Some tweets will be highlighted which have been selected by you based on happening of certain events.
• You can also tap the avatar and will be directly taken to the profile page of the relevant avatar.
• You can also utilize the auto complete feature present in the Connect tab.
• The new application will also give you support to find the trends and it can be personalized as your choice.
• You can also restrict the access to the application by setting a password.

This new application will also be launched with a new Twitter bird. Twitter will let you have enhanced experiences by presenting some of the finest tweets and photos based on the events selected by you.

You can find brief notifications in the status bar when you are using the application. The ‘Discover’ option will let you know if there are any interesting stories on the web to be downloaded by you.

Repercussions

There is no clarity on the expected release date of the new application. Some of the new features mentioned here might change by the time the new application is released. The new measures are taken by Twitter to strengthen it’s presence in the mobile world. In the recent past, Twitter users are not able to enjoy powerful features through mobile phones. Especially, it is a great drawback for power users. It is due to the introduction of the new Twitter mobile API that has attracted much criticism from many sections. In order to overcome these drawbacks, Twitter would like to change the scenario by introducing all powerful “Twitter for iPhone 4.3”.

What’s in store for the Mobile user?

The new features will help you use Twitter in a better way. You will be able to manage required information, alerts, etc. in a specific direction. Mobile users will be able continue their passions and interests in a more vigorous way than ever before. You can get updates from your friends, celebrities and experts in various domains. You will be able to understand what is happening in the world in a better way. You can view trends in various walks of life like fashion, beauty, entertainment, travel, etc. You can also enjoy with the new application as it will give a better performance.

All in all, more reasons to love your iPhone. And, Android too.