Wednesday, December 03, 2014

OnePlus One launched in India


The highly anticipated smartphone from OnePlus - named 'One' is finally launched in India for ₹21,999. OnePlus One is being sold exclusively on Amazon India and you do need an India specific invite to get your hands on this flagship-killer.

OnePlus One boasts a 5.5 inch LTPS IPS Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display (1920 x 1080 pixels) with a pixel density of 401 ppi. Its powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (2.5 Ghz quad core) CPU and Adreno 330 GPU. It has a 3 GB RAM and 16/64 GB internal storage. However currently only 64 GB model is available in India. Battery life is impressive on the OnePlus One as it has a 3100 LiPo non-removable battery. It has a 13MP rear camera with F2.0 aperture and Sony image sensor & a 5MP front camera.

OnePlus One is the only phone to run Cyanogenmod out of the box but OnePlus One in India will not be running Cynogenmod. It has its own version of Android (based on 4.4 KitKat) & the company announced that they have been developing its own version of Android and a build of the OS based on Android 5.0 Lollipop (the latest version of Android), will be released for Indian users, next month. A final build of the OS will be released in February 2015.

How to get OnePlus One

To get your hands on the flagship-killer you need to have an invite. For an invite, enter contests and events hosted by OnePlus for India or Amazon.in. Also, you can ask for invite from someone who has purchased One from Amazon.in.

Once you got an invite via email, use the link to register for OnePlus account and click 'Buy' to purchase on Amazon.in. On Amazon.in, choose the One in Sandstone Black, enter the invite code & proceed to checkout.


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Android 5.0 Lollipop Starts Rolling Out


Google, after introducing its Android L Developer Preview and the new Material Design interface back at Google IO, and officially launching Android 5.0 Lollipop last month alongside the Nexus 6 smartphone, Nexus 9 tablet and Nexus Player, has on Monday finally commenced the roll-out of the operating system to users worldwide.

"Design is a major focus for Lollipop - the latest version of Android - which begins to roll out today" said Nicholas Jitkoff, an Android Designer at Google, via the Android official blog post.


Android 5.0 Lollipop features the new Material Design philosophy. Jitkoff added "With material design we also based our work on the foundations of good graphic design, using strong colors and bold typography to create clear hierarchy and focus attention on content".

The first phase of rollout will include Nexus 4, 5, 7 (2012 & 2013), 10 & the Google Play edition devices (Sony Xperia Z Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One M7, HTC One M8, LG G Pad 8.3, Motorola Moto G).


The second phase of rollout will include the Android One devices & Motorola's Moto X, Moto G & Moto E by the end of this month.

For those of you who already own Nexus devices and can’t wait for the Lollipop update notification can manually check for one. Just head to Settings-> About Phone-> System Update-> Check Now.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

New devices in Nexus family - Nexus 6, Nexus 9 & Nexus Player


With the launch of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google also launched new devices in the Nexus family - Nexus 6, Nexus 9 & Nexus Player.

Nexus 6


Nexus 6 is a successor to highly successful Nexus 5 & is the biggest Nexus phone that Google has released yet. Manufactured by Motorola and based on Moto X, Nexus 6 has a similar design but is much bigger in size.

Nexus 6 is the first smartphone to run on Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Nexus 6 has a 5.96" QHD AMOLED Gorilla Glass 3 display (2560 x 1440 pixels) with a  pixel density of 493 ppi. It has a 13 MP rear facing camera with optical image stabilisation, shoots 4K video and features Dual LED ring flash. Front facing camera is 2MP with HD Video Conferencing.

Nexus 6 is powered by a Quad core Krait 450 CPU 2.7 GHz (Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SOC) and an Adreno 420 GPU. It has 3GB RAM and comes in 32/64 GB storage options.

Battery on Nexus 6 is 3220 mAh Li-Po and comes with a new Turbo-Charging feature which can give you 6 hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.

The Nexus 6 will be available to pre-order on October 29th and available in stores beginning in November for $649 (unlocked).


Nexus 9


Nexus 9 is a 9-inch tablet running Android 5.0 Lollipop manufactured by HTC. As with most HTC-manufactured products, the Nexus 9 features a premium metal build and an 8.9-inch QVGA (2048x1536) Gorilla Glass 3 IPS LCD display.

It is powered by a 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 Dual Denver processor running at 2.3GHz and 192-core Kepler GPU. Nexus 9 is the first Nexus device to be powered by a 64-bit processor. It has 2GB RAM and comes in 16/32 GB storage options.

The rear facing camera is a 8MP auto-focus with LED flash whereas the front facing camera is a 1.6MP. Nexus 9 also has Dual Microphones & Dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSound.

Battery on Nexus 9 is a huge 6700 mAh which gives up to 9 hours of runtime.

Nexus 9 is available to pre-order in the US from HTC, Amazon, Best Buy, and the Play Store, with orders scheduled to ship out for its release on November 3rd. The 16GB model costs $399 whereas 32GB model costs $479.

Nexus Player


Manufactured by Asus, Nexus Player is the Google's first Android TV device with a sleek and streamlined circular design.

Nexus Player is powered by a 1.8GHz Quad Core Intel Atom processor and Imagination PowerVR Series 6 GPU.

Nexus Player comes with a voice-activated remote, perfect for playing casual games and finding your favorite shows. The box includes 8GB of internal storage and is able to stream over 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is the newest standard out there right now. The Nexus Player also supports a game controller, which is sold separately.

Nexus Player has Google Chromecast built-in, this means you get all the Chromecast features in the Nexus Player.

Nexus Player will be available in the US this November via Play Store for $99 (The game controller costs $39).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Google announces Android 5.0 Lollipop



Google announced a new version of world's most popular mobile operating system - Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Yesterday Google teased with an Android casting video and later in the day released Android 5.0 Lollipop & whole new Nexus family of devices including Nexus 6, Nexus 9 & Nexus Player.


Material Design

Android 5.0 Lollipop features a whole new design language called Material Design. Android 5.0 has Material Design written all over it with vibrant colors, fluid animations, revamped multi-tasking menu, new navigation buttons and touch ripples that truly makes the interface more lively. Many of the new Material Design features can be seen in the recent updates that Google has released for its own Android apps such as Google+. The Material Design initiative is meant to unify the software's look and feel across various form factors.

Notifications

Notifications in Android 5.0 is more refined than before. The notification shade has a new look as well as the quick settings panel which includes controls to limit alerts during meetings and other times.

With Lollipop, incoming phone calls will pop up as heads up notification, so incoming calls won't interrupt what you're watching or playing.

Notifications also displays directly on your lockscreen for quick access. However you can customize the privacy level whether you want the notifications to display on lock screen or not.

Project Volta

Android 5.0 features a new battery saving mode which handles schedule & maintenance of background tasks in an efficient manner and provides additional 90 minutes of battery life.

Security

Lollipop features Smart Lock to secure your phone or tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like your wearable or even your car. There is also protection against resetting the phone to factory defaults, which is designed to make it difficult for phone thieves to use a stolen device.



Availability

Nexus devices (4, 5, 7, 10) will be getting the Android 5.0 Lollipop update first in 2 weeks, followed by Google Play edition devices & then Android One devices.

Motorola's Moto X & Moto G will also be getting the 5.0 update. HTC has also confirmed the new version of Android will be hitting HTC One M8 & M7.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Microsoft announces Windows 10


Microsoft officially unveiled the name of the next version of Windows operating system - Windows 10.
Windows 10 will be our greatest enterprise platform ever, said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's head of operating systems, at an event in San Francisco.

Windows 10 will be the blend of Windows 7 and 8, with start menu coming back and is more customizable than ever. The start menu has the search functionality built-in (like in Windows 7), you can pin your favorite "modern"apps on the start menu and you can also resize the start menu to your liking. Microsoft's Joe Belfiore showed the demo and said that the charms bar will also be getting some changes later on.


Windows 10 Start Menu

In Windows 10, the desktop is more powerful than ever before. You can have multiple desktops for user to be more productive. There is also a Task View, which is used to switch between apps and desktops. For convertible devices like the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, Microsoft is adding a new Continuum mode that aims to make the frequent switch between tablet mode and laptop mode more seamless.


Windows 10 continuum mode

Windows 10 will also have a new feature called - Snap Assist. It lets the users align windows side by side / top down very easily.


Windows 10 Snap Assist

Microsoft have launched a Windows 10 Insider Program, which will give its advanced users a chance to try out the new OS (sort of in alpha stage) and give valuable feedback before the official release.

Windows 10 will officially launch in late 2015 and Microsoft says it will unveil much more about the new consumer features of Windows 10 early next year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Google launches Android One in India

Android One : For the next five billion

Google launches Android One - a new family of Android™ devices, designed in collaboration with several manufacturers. Google announced Android One campaign at Google IO and with its launch there are three smartphone manufacturers - Karbonn, Micromax & Spice who came up with the first three Android One devices.



All the three Android One smartphones - Karbonn Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1 & Spice Dream UNO have a 4.5-inch display, 1 GB of RAM, 5-megapixel main and 2-megapixel front cameras, 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek processors, dual-SIM slots, micro SD expandable storage, and FM radios. All the three devices are running the latest version of Android ie. Android 4.4.4 KitKat and Google says will get a guaranteed upgrade to the next version of Android.

Google confirmed more partners will join Android One program including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm and Android One program will be expanded to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.

Price & Availability

Karbonn Sparkle V is made officially available via Snapdeal for ₹6399, Micromax Canvas A1 is available via Amazon for ₹6499 and Spice Dream UNO can be purchased from Flipkart for ₹6299 respectively.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Motorola Launches Moto 360, Moto X (2nd Gen) & Moto G (2nd Gen)


Motorola released the much awaited smartwatch - Moto 360 and 2nd generation Moto X & Moto G at IFA 2014.

Moto 360

Moto 360 is the first smartwatch to boast the round format instead of the rectangle one which makes it the most wanted. Its no doubt that Moto 360 is going to sell like hot cakes.

Powered by Android Wear, Moto 360 is compatible with Android devices running Android 4.3 or higher. If you want to know whether your device is compatible with Android Wear, head over to http://g.co/WearCheck from your phone.

Moto 360 has a 1.56" backlit Corning Gorilla Glass 3 LCD screen with a resolution of 320 x 290 pixels giving it a pixel density of 205 ppi. It has Ti OMAP 3 processor, 4GB internal storage + 512 MB RAM.

It has a 320 mAh battery which Motorola says lasts a full day of mixed usage. Moto 360 has built-in sensors like the Pedometer and Optical Heart Rate monitor (PPG).

Moto 360 is available to purchase in the US for $249 from the Motorola Store & will be available later this month in other countries. In India, Moto 360 will be available through Flipkart later this month.


Moto X (2nd Gen)


Motorola's flagship phone just got better. The new Moto X has a 5.2" 1080p Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display with a pixel density of 424 ppi.

Moto X now has a Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 processor and Adreno 330 GPU.

The camera on the new Moto X is a 13 megapixel shooter and boasts some new features, like 4K capture, voice control, and a mode that takes multiple exposures and automatically selects the "best" shot.


Moto G (2nd Gen)


The new Moto G has a bigger 5" IPS LCD display (720 x 1280 pixels), front facing stereo speakers and removable back panels (Motorola Shells) & a SD card support. The rest of the specifications are same as the previous Moto G.


Moto G is available to purchase for $179.99 in US and for ₹12,999 in India (through Flipkart).

Moto Accessories

Motorola also announced new accessories for Motorola devices which are coming soon.

Moto Hint is a bluetooth adapter which sits in your ear and you can make calls, listen music, give voice commands etc.


Power Packs are smart power banks which charge your phone and also locate your phone by ringing it. You can also locate the power pack with your phone.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Google I/O 2014 Roundup


Google I/O - Google's annual conference kicked off with some exciting announcements. It is the most anticipated event of this year. For Google, this was a big day to unveil the company's future plans.

Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome & Apps Sundar Pichai  started the Google I/O 2014 keynote with 30 day active users statistics. According to Google, Android has 1 billion 30-day active users in the world.

Android L  Developer Preview

Google announced the next major release of Android dubbed 'L'. The final name of this release is not yet decided. Android L Developer Preview is released for the developers to test drive. However, the final release will take place later this year.

User Interface

Android L has a whole new design language - "Material Design". In Material Design, pixels and interface elements react to your touch in an intuitive way, like you'd expect materials to in the real world. Developers can define depth and motion in their apps to respond the way they want them to when users interact with the interface. The whole interface has much depth, shadows and more flatter design. There are animations throughout the interface - Buttons has subtle animations on press, activity transitions are more smoother and delightfully animated. The system font - Roboto has also been updated with smoother edges.


Notifications

In Android L, notifications are getting a big overhaul. When your device is locked, all the notifications will be shown on the lock screen itself. Swiping down will show you full set of notifications and double tapping a notification will open the corresponding app.

There is also a new form of notification called - 'Heads Up Notification". This notification pops up on the top of the screen when you are engaged in some game.

ART - Android Runtime

The ART Runtime will be the official runtime in Android L release. The current runtime in Android devices is Dalvik. According to Google, ART Runtime allows apps to load faster and there is upto 2x performance increase over Dalvik. ART also supports 64-bit architecture which promises less memory usage.

AEP - Android Extension Pack

Android L introduces new graphics capabilities called - 'Android Extension Pack'. Google demonstrated what Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 can do with AEP running on Nvidia Tegra K1 processor. With AEP, Google puts game developers on the fast track to bring modern game engines to mobile devices. AEP adds powerful new extensions to OpenGL ES, the mobile graphics standard, bringing PC and console-class features like tessellation and compute shaders to Android.


Project Volta

Battery life will be improved in the L release, thanks to features like a new battery saving mode, scheduling of maintenance tasks, and coalescing of CPU tasks. Project Volta will give developers tools to monitor battery consumption and correlate it with CPU actions. According to Google, battery saving mode can add up to 90 minutes to a typical day of usage on a Nexus 5.



Android Wear


Announced earlier this year, Android Wear devices are officially launched to the public. There are three Android Wear devices known so far - LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live & Motorola 360.

LG G Watch & Samsung Gear Live are up for pre-order on Google Play while the much loved Motorola 360 will be available later this year.

With Android Wear, users can have a glance at their notifications, cards from Google Now, voice search, play music, reply to messages directly from the watch itself. Android Wear also mirrors your currently opened app on your phone or tablet. Eg. If you open a recipe on a cooking app on your phone, you can continue to read the next steps on your watch. Android Wear also have a heart rate monitor and also counts your steps. Android Wear SDK has been released for developers to create some wrist magic.



Android Auto


Google announced Android Auto - a step to bring Android to cars. Google announced 40 new partners to the Open Automotive Alliance.

With Android Auto, users get access to the full breadth of Android apps with total hands-free usage. Directions are spoken out loud as you progress towards your destination. Incoming messages are read out loud to you and show as heads-up notifications. The steering wheel voice button can be used to instantly reply. Your Android handset broadcasts the customized interface to the car display on the fly. The overview screen provides contextually relevent information from Google Now and other apps, all with the same fidelity and functionality of their mobile and web counterparts. An SDK is being made available soon so developers can build out their own automotive apps.




Android TV

Google announced Android TV - a step to bring Android to the living room.

Android TV, the successor to Google TV, brings a new, streamlined user interface to TVs, game consoles, and set top boxes, designed to put content front and center. Android TV brings music, games, apps, movies, and TV shows alongside Android to your big screen. Android TV is designed for game consoles, TV sets, and set top boxes.

The interface based on Android L Material Design, is intuitive and simple, but still elegant and classy. There is a controller to navigate the menu and play games and also have an Android app for your phone or tablet which allows your phone / tablet to be the remote control. You can also use your Android Wear watch as a remote control.

The Chromecast is built-in to Android TV, so you can cast anything from your phone / tablet / chrome to the biggest screen in your house (TV).

Android TV will support all 2015 smart TV models from Sharp and Sony (among others), along with a slew of upcoming set-top boxes form Razer, ASUS, and others. Starting today, Google is also launching a developer preview box, which is powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor.



Android One


Google introduced a program called - 'Android One'. This program focuses on bringing Android devices to as many people as possible. Android One is currently focused to Indian Market to launch under $100 devices running stock Android.

Mobile phone companies in India like Karbonn, Micromax & Spice have joined Android One to bring affordable Android devices to the people.

Update to Chromecast


Google introduced a cool new feature to Chromecast that allows to cast content without having to worry about being on the same WiFi network. It's all done through the cloud but allows you all the same functionality as if you were connected over WiFi.

The new technology can authenticate the users via the cellular connection to the cloud, or there'll be the possibility to use a PIN should this not be possible. This will be available to all Chromecast users and app developers later this year and looks to make using Chromecast a more social experience.

Another new feature was introduced called Chromecast Mirroring. This feature allows Android phones and tablets to push their live view out to the TV wirelessly; that means apps don't need to specifically add Chromecast support anymore, and you can have an easier time seeing just about anything. This can even mirror your camera.

Update to Chrome OS


Google announced that Android apps can be run on your Chromebook in a window. With new APIs available in Android L, your phone and your Chromebook can communicate together seamlessly. When your phone is with you and you open your Chromebook, you'll now automatically be logged in and your favorite apps will be opened on the laptop.

Notifications from your Android phone will be mirrored across to the Chromebook's notification center, including Google Now, incoming calls, phone battery state and text messages.

Google Fit


Google announced a platform preview of Google Fit, a set of APIs that will allow developers to sync data across wearables and devices. It empowers apps by providing them with access to a user's entire stream of fitness activity, letting software tap into data that it didn't capture itself and provide better recommendations.

Google wants its platform integrated with a number of various form factors, increasing its utility. Nike will be publishing Nike Fuel to the Google Fit platform, so other apps can integrate with the device. Several other partners have also signed up, including Adidas, RunKeeper, and multiple smartphone manufacturers.
Google Fit preview SDK will become available in the coming weeks.



While wrapping up the keynote, Google gave away a Cardboard VR box which turns your phone into a virtual reality device.

Google IO attendees also received brand new Android Wear watch (choice between LG G Watch & Samsung Gear Live). Google also announced that all attendees will also receive Motorola 360 when its available.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Apple WWDC 2014 Roundup


Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developer Conference with OS X update, iOS 8, developer tools and a new programming language.

OS X Yosemite


OS X Yosemite has a refreshed and clean user interface. Introduction of translucent windows, absence of gradient, flatter and polished icons make OS X Yosemite look awesome.

The Notification Center lets you see your upcoming calendar events, reminders, and the weather forecast. Apple introduced universal Search tool called Spotlight. Spotlight lets you search for apps, files, settings & web search.

Apple also introduced iCloud Drive service, which lets you store files to the cloud. The iCloud Drive folder can be accessed from the Finder file browser.

Safari web browser now integrates better search results and has better multi tab functionalities. Clicking on the main search bar will also open up your favorite sites.

OS X Yosemite has great communication ability with iOS devices. Now, you can send text messages right from the Mac. You can even answer or dial a phone call from Mac even if your iPhone is not within reach.

Apple also introduced Handoff, a new feature of OS X that helps you share work across devices. For eg. You can start an email on your phone and your Mac will prompt you to finish it there. Or you can start a document in iWork and your iPad will suggest you continue your work there once you move away from your laptop.

OS X Yosemite is available to developers from today and public beta will be out this summer. The final public release will be out this fall and will be a free upgrade to existing OS X users.

iOS 8


iOS 8 was introduced with some cool new features such as improved actionable Notifications. Now you can respond directly to messages from the Notifications view and from the lock screen. You can also add third-party widgets to the Notifications Center.

iOS 8 also comes with a QuickType keyboard. As you type, the keyboard gives you words suggestions. It also learns your usage of words and suggest accordingly.

Messages app now lets you send audio and video recordings, and also allow you to mute message threads.
The iCloud Drive is fully integrated in iOS 8 and thanks to the Handoff feature, you’ll be able to access files from your Mac that have been saved and synced through iCloud.

The new photos app gives you the ability to view and edit your photos with variety of filters and effects. The photos are stored in your iCloud account, and Apple gives you 5 GB free of charge to start. But beyond that, you will have to subscribe for access: 20 GB for $0.99 per month, 200 GB for $3.99 per month.

Siri got some updates as well, you call up the Siri without even touching your phone. Just say the words "Hey, Siri" and it’ll appear automatically, similar to "OK, Google" in Android & Chrome.

Apple iOS 8 will be available to everyone this fall, while a developer Beta of the OS has been released today. Compatible iPhone devices include all models from iPhone 4s onwards.

Developer Tools

HomeKit will allow iPhones to start controlling smart devices, such as garage-door openers, lights, and security cameras. It all can be controllable through Siri: say, "Get ready for bed," and your home could automatically dim its lights and lock its doors. Apple will run a certification program for HomeKit; initial partners include August (which is known for its beautiful smart lock), Honeywell, iHome, TI and about a dozen more.

Apple also announced a new programming language - Swift. Swift represents the future of development across iOS and OS X and its code can coexist with C and Objective C's code in the same app.

Keynote

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Motorola launches Moto E


Motorola has recently launched their entry level Android smartphone - Moto E in India, US & UK. Moto E runs on the latest version of Android ie. 4.4.2 KitKat.

Moto E packs a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 302 400MHz single-core GPU. It has a 4.3 inch Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display with a qHD resolution of 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi).

It has got 1 GB RAM with 4GB internal memory and a microSD card slot (upto 32 GB supported). It has a 1980 mAh lithium ion battery which Motorola claims can last a whole day with heavy usage. The camera is a 5 MP which seems to perform similarly to the Moto G's rear shooter. However there is no front facing camera.

Moto E comes with the latest version of Android - 4.4.2 KitKat and the manufacturer has promised at least one major OS update.

There are two color options - Black & White. However you can buy interchangeable backs—called Motorola Shells which provides many color and design combinations to let you customize the look of your phone.

Moto E is available in US, UK & India for $129, £89 & ₹6999 respectively.
In India, Flipkart is the official exclusive retailer for Moto E.


 
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