Thursday, April 24, 2014

NEST Learning Thermostat now available on Google Play


Nest Thermostat is now available for purchase through Google Play in United States, Canada & United Kingdom. The price for this beautiful thermostat is set at $249 / £179.

The Nest Thermostat is a programmable thermostat made by Nest. NEST was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion. Nest Thermostat learns what temperatures you like, turns itself down when you're away and can be controlled from anywhere over Wi-Fi.

There is a Nest smartphone app, available for Android and iOS which connects to your Wi-Fi and you can adjust the temperature on your Nest Thermostat from your device and even get notifications for important events, like Heads-Up and Emergency Alarm.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Microsoft Build - Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana & Windows 8.1 update


Microsoft announced some major updates to Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 at the developer conference - Build 2014 held at Moscone Center, San Francisco.

Cortana - Personal digital assistant

Microsoft announced personal digital assistant for Windows Phone - Cortana. The name is inspired by the artificial intelligence character from the Halo video game series.

Similar to Google Now, Cortana learns from the web searches you perform and the locations you frequent to try and provide contextually sensitive and timely information. You can ask Cortana through a voice search or by typing. Overtime, Cortana learns about you and stores the data in a 'Notebook' which users can edit if they want to.

New features in Windows Phone 8.1

Action Center - New centralized place for all the notifications and quick settings. You'll be able to customize which apps can send notifications to Action Center and whether they're allowed to vibrate the phone.

Camera - Improved camera with Burst mode (To capture multiple photos with one press of the camera button), stable shots and improved collections of photos.

Battery Saver - Battery saving mode to save the battery when its low.

Storage Sense - To see storage and easily transfer apps from your phone to SD card, to maximize space.

Data Sense - To see the overall as well as per-app data consumption.

Wi-Fi Sense - Automatically connects to free Wi-Fi hotspots and let you share your Wi-Fi network with friends without giving the password.

Windows 8.1 update

After many rumors and leaks, Microsoft announced major updates to Windows 8.1.

Title bar on Windows Store apps - There is now title bar on every Windows Store app (Metro app) with minimise & close buttons.

Taskbar back in control - Windows store apps (Metro apps) can now be pinned to the taskbar. The metro apps can also be opened in a window on the Desktop.

Start menu is back - A new customisable Start menu is introduced in the update. You can pin the apps in the start menu and can launch directly from it.

The update will roll out on April 8th via Windows Store.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Google announces Android Wear


On March 18th, 2014, Google announced Android Wear — a specialized version of Android designed to power smart-watches and other wearable products. Android Wear is designed to focus on timely information, delivered when it's most relevant. This means your Android Wear smart-watch will show your device's notifications and will also let you voice search and see your Google Now cards right on your wrist.




Google has also partnered with OEMs including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung, Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm — and fashion brands such as Fossil Group to launch Android Wear smart-watches later this year.

Google has also released a developer preview of Android Wear for developers to preview how the notifications will appear on both square and round Android wearables. The Developer Preview also includes new Android Wear APIs which will let developers customize and extend the notifications to accept voice replies, feature additional pages, and stack with similar notifications.




LG and Motorola have already announced their Android Wear smart-watches. LG announced G-Watch while Motorola announced Moto 360.

Now that Android has made its way to wearables, it will be interesting to see manufacturers launch their Android Wear powered wearables in the market later this year.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit - Hands On


Samsung announced the latest smart-watch - Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona Spain.



Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit has a curved Super-AMOLED display with a chrome bezel around it. It also has a heart rate monitor built-in on the strap to monitor your heart rate in real-time. It has a pedometer built-in to count your steps, a media controller, exercise coach and also supports full smartwatch functionality for notifications from your Samsung Galaxy smartphone.



The built quality is pretty nice and its quite comfortable to wear.  It is a much more slimmer and lighter than the original Galaxy Gear and it also features interchangeable wrist bands (different colored bands). 

The user interface is much more refreshed and clean than the original Galaxy Gear and overall it looks much more wearable.

Samsung has not yet announced the price but it is expected to be released in the market in April 2014.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Moto G - Now in India


Motorola Mobility and e-commerce company Flipkart announced the launch of Moto G in India.

Moto G is now available to consumers in India exclusively though Flipkart. It is priced at ₹ 12,499 (8 GB) & ₹ 13,999 (16 GB).



Moto G has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (1.2 GHz) quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM, 8 / 16 GB storage memory and comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (upgradable to Android 4.4.2 KitKat).

It has a 4.5 inch IPS LCD display (Corning Gorilla Glass 3) with screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels (~326 ppi pixel density).

It has a 5 MP rear camera with 4X digital zoom, slow motion video, burst mode, Auto-HDR, Panorama & 720p video recording. It also has a 1.3 MP front facing camera.

Moto G has a non-removable Li-Ion 2070 mAh battery which gives a solid talk-time of upto 24 hours.

Moto G also has a replaceable back cover (Moto G Shells) which are available in 7 different colors.

With high-end specifications and a low price, Moto G has the best value for money. One cannot buy a better smartphone in this price range. Moto G is truly an Exceptional Phone for an Exceptional Price.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Google Now notifications now in Chrome Beta for Desktop

Google has announced yesterday that Google Now notifications are now integrated into the Chrome beta browser on Mac, Windows, and of course in Chrome OS. This means you will now be able to see your Google Now cards on your Desktop.

Tied to your Google account, the cards offer many of the same features like traffic, stock updates, and sports scores you see on your Android device.


To enable these notifications, simply sign in to Chrome with the same Google Account you’re using for Google Now on Android or iOS. The cards will be delivered through the notification center (little bell icon on the task-bar).

For the time being, this new feature is only available on Chrome beta, the most stable of Chrome’s preview channels, and in English. Google promises it will support other languages soon.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nokia Lumia 1520 Review

Nokia Lumia 1520 is the latest smartphone in the Nokia's lumia series of smartphones running Windows mobile operating system. It is now the flagship smartphone for Nokia. Find out more about this big smartphone in our in-depth review.


Body

Nokia Lumia 1520 is bigger than the other Lumia smartphones as its boasting a 6" display. It has a matt coating on the back which is a little bit thicker and little bit heavier than some other phones, but you get this unibody enclosure and this entire phone basically has no seems. It looks gorgeous and its great to hold in hand (if you have big hands :p)

Display

Nokia Lumia 1520 is the first 1080p smartphone by Nokia. Its rocking a 1080p Gorilla Glass LTEE display (1920 x 1080 pixels) with a pixel density of about 370 pixels per inch.
The display is very sharp, colors are accurate, has great viewing angles and it looks much better than the display on the Lumia 1020.

Processor & Graphics

Lumia 1520 has a 2.2 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU & 2GB RAM which makes the performance of the device ridiculously good. Games runs super smooth, Internet explorer loads up pages really fast and zooming in and out is also very smooth.

Camera

The camera experience on 1520 is every bit as good. It has a 20 MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss glass and a xenon flash which captures extremely high quality photos. It has a lot of control in taking pictures in all kinds of lighting especially in dim lit areas. The 1080p video recording is also good and is worth mentioning.

Conclusion

Everything about this smartphone is high quality - the speakers are loud and clear, earpiece quality on calls is great, battery life with the massive 3400 mAh battery is really good. It also happens to have this beautiful fit and finish that you expect from the Nokia Lumia build quality.

So, its pretty safe to say that the Lumia 1520 has a nearly flawless hardware and has provided the best Windows Phone experience to date.

Friday, December 13, 2013

OblyTile - Spice up your Windows 8 Start Screen

The Windows 8 Start Screen is a great application launcher, but the application shortcuts for desktop apps looks very small and dull. Luckily, OblyTile lets you create custom tiles for any app or folder with the image of your choice.


OblyTile doesn't require installation. Once you're in the program, you can either manually search for the desired program on your PC or open up the Manager on the right-hand side, which generates a list of your installed programs. The Manager can also make a list of your current program shortcuts and offer you the ability to convert those shortcuts into tiles.

You can choose your own custom image for a program which will be shown as a tile background (see example below).


The functionality offered by this app is really something that Microsoft should be offering users by default. 
So to spice up your Windows 8 Start Screen, download OblyTile here.

Additionally, you can also download this tile pack which contains some images for you to use as tile background.
Also check out deviantArt, a great place to get some cool tile packs.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Google Chromebook - Now in India


Google Chromebooks are finally available in India. The first Chromebooks to make way to India are the Acer C720 Chromebook & HP 14 Chromebook.

Both Chromebooks are available for purchase online and on various stores across India. There are currently two online retailers selling these Chromebooks - Flipkart and Chroma Retail.

Acer C720 Chromebook

The Acer C720 is easier to use than traditional computers. It starts up in 7 seconds, and automatically stays up-to-date. There is built-in virus protection, guarding against viruses, malware, and other security threats.

It has a 11.6" ComfyView LED backlit TFT LCD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. It is powered by an Intel Celeron Dual Core (4th generation) processor and has 2 GB DDR3 RAM (expandable upto 8 GB). It has 16 GB SSD storage capacity with 100 GB of Google Drive storage free and upto 8.5 hours of battery life.

HP 14 Chromebook

The HP 14 Chromebook has a 14" BrightView LED backlit 200 nit display. It is powered by an Intel Celeron Dual Core (4th generation) processor and has 4 GB DDR3 RAM. It also houses HP TrueVision HD Webcam and provides upto 9.5 hours of battery life. Storage capacity is the same as the Acer model (16 GB SSD) with additional 100 GB Google Drive storage free.
Virus protection is built-in and you can find thousands of apps in the Chrome Web Store.

Pricing

Acer C720 Chromebook is priced at ₹ 22,999 whereas the HP 14 Chromebook has a price of ₹ 26,990.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Key Aspects of Samsung Galaxy Note 3


The Note 3 is Samsung's latest Android phablet smartphone and a successor to the world's most popular phablet - the Galaxy Note 2. It was officially announced last month on September 4th at IFA Berlin and is now available in all the leading markets in the world. In this article, we'll be going through all the key aspects of the Note 3 in detail.

Design Aspects

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is built entirely using polycarbonate, just like its predecessors. However, it has a distinct faux-leather like finish on its rear panel which feels premium and solid in your hand. Specifically, the phone is almost the same as the Note 2, measuring in with the dimensions of 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm. In spite of having to accommodate a larger display and a higher capacity battery, Samsung has managed to keep the Note 3 impressively thin and lightweight (168 grams). It also excels in the looks department thanks to the introduction of a metallic colored frame around the edges and the faux-stitched leather on its back. All put together, the design of the Note is excellent despite the lack of true premium materials like aluminum or glass.

Display

Samsung has continued its trend of using Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen panels on its flagship devices. On its face, the Note 3 adorns a 5.7 inches display that offers a resolution of 1080 X 1920 pixels and multi-touch capabilities. It also supports the S Pen stylus input and can display up to 16 million colors. To protect the display from scratches and scrapes, Samsung has added a layer of durable, scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Connectivity

The GSM edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 can be used on 2G and 3G whereas the 4G edition also has additional LTE support. The phone features a regional lockout system, which requires users to use a region-specific SIM card to activate the phone for the first time. In terms of connectivity features, it supports GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, LTE, Cat4, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot. For file and data transfers, there is Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP/LE/EDR, NFC, Infrared and microUSB v3.0.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3's 13 megapixel rear-facing camera comes equipped with a single LED flash and digital image stabilization. It can be used to capture sharp still images of up to a maximum resolution of 4128 X 3096 pixels in multiple modes. You can also shoot videos of up to a maximum resolution of 2160 pixels @ 30 fps and 1080 pixels @ 60 fps. It is the first mobile device to support 4K video recording, thereby putting it in the league of compact stand-alone cameras. The front 2 megapixel can be used for HD video calls of 1080p@30 fps or for capturing still self-shots. An impressively wide range of settings and features like exposure, contrast, saturation, white balance presets, face detection, geo-tagging, Dual Shot, Action Shot, HDR mode, panorama mode, etc. are available in the camera interface.

OS and Apps

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 slips out the door with the latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system alongside Samsung's TouchWiz 5.0 user interface. One of the highlights of the Note series devices till now has been quantity of the exclusive bundled apps and features. Similarly, the Note 3 also offers a wide range of exclusive Samsung apps like S Health, S Travel, S-Voice, S-Translate, S Drive, All Play, ChatON, Smart Switch, WatchOn, etc. Additionally, S-Pen oriented features like Action Memos, Screen Write, Pen Window, Scrapbook, S-Finder, S-Note, Air commands, etc. are also present.

Processing Power

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with LTE support comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, 3 GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU. On the other hand, the GSM edition includes an octa-core Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5420 chip with 3 GB of RAM and ARM Mali T628MP6 GPU. Both the versions are available in 32 GB and 64 GB variants and have a microSD slot where users can insert cards of up to 64 GB. As for the battery, there is a 3,200 mAh unit which is user replaceable thanks to the removable back panel.

Price

In the UK, two-year Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Contract Deals starting from £25 per month are available on all the leading networks. You can also get the 32 GB Sim-Free edition without signing any contract for a price of £590. In India, online retailer Flipkart is offering this phone for a price of around `45000.

 
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