Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Google announces massive updates to Google+

At a special live event "A Morning with Google+" in San Francisco, Google announced some major updates to Google+ & Hangouts. Google's senior vice president +Vic Gundotra announced 540 million 30-day active Google+ users with 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week.


Location Sharing - Now users can share their location in the hangouts app with just one tap of a button.

Animated GIFs - Hangouts is also adding support for animated GIFs.

SMS Integration - SMS is now integrated into the Hangouts app. The company announced this new feature, describing it as one of the most popular requests from users.

Google+ Photos

Full-sized backup for iOS - Now iOS users will also have full-sized images backup and background syncing like Android users.

HDR Scape for Snapseed - With Snapseed's new HDR Scape feature, Google says it is using a much more sophisticated process that compares the pixel-edge contrast in order to adjust a single photo to be HDR.

Auto Awesome Action - Auto Awesome Action feature creates a picture of someone in motion from different sets of pictures.

Auto Awesome Eraser - Auto Awesome Eraser detects unwanted people in the photo and erases them from the picture.

Auto Awesome Movie - Auto Awesome Movie automatically creates a video for the user from various related videos and photos.

Watch the whole event below...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Windows 8.1 Released

Yesterday, Microsoft released Windows 8.1 - The first major update to the original Windows 8. Windows 8 users will see a notification in the Windows Store with a prompt to upgrade to the new operating system.

Start Screen

The Start Screen is now even more refreshed in Windows 8.1. New sizes of Live Tiles offer more information or reduce clutter on screen, moving backgrounds which animates as you scroll, and the ability to set any image as the Start Screen wallpaper. The All Apps section (swipe up from the bottom) shows all the apps alphabetically, by date installed, most used or by category.

Start Button

The controversial Start Button returns in Windows 8.1 and is customisable as well. The Start Button takes you to the Start Screen, but you can also right click on it and access power user commands and the shutdown or restart options.


As stated above, there are moving backgrounds as you scroll through tiles which are called Motion Accents. In the lock-screen, you have the option of running a slideshow, with photos coming from SkyDrive or your local hard drive.

Multi-Tasking & Multi-Monitor

Snapping applications side by side is even more easier in Windows 8.1. You can now snap apps in 50 / 50 mode. You can also change that percentage to better control how much of an app you see on screen.
In the multi monitor scenario, you can snap multiple apps across multiple displays. Also, the scaling for windows is improved, so dragging a window between two different dpi monitors will scale the window appropriately.


The new Search is powered with Bing and is called the 'Bing Heros'. The Search is now a 'everywhere' search and opens up the Bing Heroes page when you search for something. The Bing Heroes page consists of search results from around the web, the PC, from the apps etc.


Lots of Windows 8 apps got updates including the Internet Explorer, Mail & Office, Xbox Music and Video, Camera & Photos. Some new apps have been introduced such as Reading List which lets you save an article for later reading, Health and Fitness, Food & Drinks, Alarms, Sound-Recorder & Calculator.

To summarize, Windows 8.1 is a great update to Windows 8 and includes refinements and great apps that every Windows 8 user will love.

Get the Update

Windows 8 users can get the update free from the Windows Store whereas Windows 7 users will have to purchase the Windows 8.1 update. Visit official website for more info.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Keyboard shortcut to "Shutdown / Restart / Hibernate" Windows

Windows power options (Shutdown, Restart & Hibernate) are available via the start button (in Windows 7) & from the Charms bar (in Windows 8), but you can also create hot-keys for them easily.

This is the guide to create a keyboard shortcut to Shutdown / Restart / Hibernate a Windows computer.


1. Right-click on desktop and select New and then Shortcut.
2. In the dialog that appears, type shutdown and click Next.

3. Type the name of the shortcut and click Finish. Your shortcut is now on your desktop.

4. Now, Right-click on it and select Properties.
5. In the properties dialog, select the Shortcut tab.
6. In the Shortcut key field, press your desired combination of keys and click OK.
Your shortcut is ready. Now, if you press those hot-keys, your computer will shutdown.

If you do not need the shortcut to be present on your desktop:
  1. Right click on the shortcut, and click Properties.
  2. In General tab, check Hidden. This will make this shortcut disappear from your desktop.


Follow the same procedure, except in step 2, type shutdown /r


Follow the same procedure, except in step 2, type shutdown /h

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Sony Xperia Z1 Overview

Sony kicked off the flagship phone season earlier this year with the launch of the Xperia Z. Now, the company is back with its second flagship device of the year in the form of the Xperia Z1 to take on the likes of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. It boasts of an impressive collection of features, stylish design and a top-notch hardware package. Let us find out more about this latest Android smartphone from Sony.


The design language of the Xperia Z1 is similar to its predecessor. It features similar dimensions, the same tempered glass clad body, Omnibalance design and IP55/IP58 rating for dust and water resistance. However, Sony has replaced the glass fiber polyamide with a new one-piece aluminum frame to provide more robustness and premium feel to its latest flagship phone. The 5.67 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches, 170 grams body looks absolutely gorgeous and has a premium feel to it. You can able to slip it down your pockets with ease, but it does offer a bit of discomfort while operating with a single hand. Additionally, the glossy surface of the glass tends to accumulate fingerprint stains, so you might want to invest in a case or an anti-fingerprint protector else you'll have to clean it almost every day to retain its elegant appearance.


The Sony Xperia Z1 boasts of a gorgeous 5-inch 1920-by-1080 TRILUMINOS display with built-in X-Reality Engine for mobile image processing and a lamination of scratch-resistant tempered glass. Sony has used an OptiContrast Panel for the display, which reduces glare and delivers high contrast and rich, vibrant colors. The screen is excellent in terms of image quality and it allows you to experience high definition content with amazing clarity and vibrancy even in bright sunlight and from extremely wide viewing angles.


The phone runs on the Android v4.2 Jelly Bean platform with a custom overlay of Sony's Xperia user interface. All the major applications like Facebook, Youtube, Google Maps, Google Search, Gmail, Twitter, Hangouts, etc. are available straight out of the box. But, like all other major manufacturers, Sony has included many more applications of its own to provide better functionality. These include the Walkman player, Sony Select, Socialife, Smart Connect, TrackID, OfficeSuite and much more. The company also offers access to its services like Sony Movies, Sony Music and Sony Entertainment.


The Sony Xperia Z1 aims to be your compact digital camera by offering a superb 20.7MP camera with 27mm wide-angle G Lens optics, Xenon flash and Bionz image processor. It is currently the highest resolution camera available on any Android phone till date, which means you're getting the absolute best in terms of hardware. It has a 1/2.3-inch sensor which is used in Sony's compact cameras like the Sony Cyber-shot HX50, so you're assured of getting high quality results. There's also a dedicated camera key available on the phone which is a great feature to have as it allows users better control while capturing images. The camera interface is just as good as the hardware with amazing options and features like Superior Auto, Timeshift Burst, Picture Effect, AR Effect, Info-eye, Sweep Panorama, Face Detection and much more. The water proof and dust resistant nature of the handset also enables users to capture images and videos even during rains or in the swimming pool.

Hardware Performance

In terms of internal hardware, the Z1 runs on a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and has 2 GB RAM. The graphics are powered by the latest gen Adreno 330 GPU and the phone has 16 GB of internal memory. For users who require more amount of storage space, there is a microSD card slot which supports cards of up to 64 GB. The performance of the phone is top-notch as it is powered by the fastest chipset available for Android phones. On the battery front, you get a non-removable 3000 mAh unit which delivers excellent back up times on a single charge. It offers 15 hours of 3G talk time, 850 hours of stand-by time and up to 100 hours of continuous music play.


The Sony Xperia Z1 is available in the United Kingdom for an off-contract price of £564.00. Sony is also offering free multimedia content worth £110 on its Music, Video and Gaming services along with the purchase of the Z1 in countries like the UK, Australia, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Netherland and Mexico. To get more details regarding these offers and the pricing of the phone in your country, please get in touch with a local Sony store or an authorized retailer.

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