Short Answer: No
Google’s recently introduced new model of Nexus 7 which supports 3G, which means it has got SIM card slot. But no where including “The Verge’s” long review there’s mention of possibility of voice calls. May be it was considered “obvious” to not to support since the device name says “Wireless + Mobile data”. But anyone with little technology background would wonder why it’s not possible since the device has sim card slot & a microphone!
I started digging doing searches on Google to find out if there’s any light on this topic & ended up no where! So I opted to ask my social media friends (Twitter & Facebook) and @Shivaranjan pointed out to me this dev thread on XDA. I went through this thread and as of time of writing this post there’s no solution. But the devs are making great progress on this. I will update this post as and when there’s an update about this. You can also follow XDA dev thread directly.
Google’s Indian nexus page google.co.in/nexus till day before yesterday (that’s when I checked it last time) was showing Galaxy Nexus as “Coming Soon”. But today it’s been updated with standard nexus page featuring Nexus 4, 7 & 10. But clicking on “Shop Now” goes to US Play Store which is blocked to view from India! I wonder why the hell Google even changed the page.
Personally I thinks it’s very unlikely that Google will sell devices directly in India. Devices sold through Play Store are subsidized and Google may not have enough stock to open up doors for Indian consumers.
You are in a book store, you find something interesting, you want to check how much it will be on Flipkart. Now, the classic way would be to fire up the web browser, go to flipkart & search for the title. Which is a long process & can get frustrating if you are checking out a lot of books.
Flippy solves this problem in a great way. All you need to do is install it & scan the ISBN barcode of the book.
And Flippy right away opens up listing of the same book on Flipkart
This helps greatly in buying decision. One can buy it on Flipkart to save some money or take a stand that he/she would rather spend little extra to buy it right away. Flippy is currently available for iOS & Android.
Marketing over last few years has changed drastically making it more relative to the user. Google ads, Facebook ads to Restaurant suggestions works depending on your tastes & interests. With amount of data given to advertisers, companies are fully equipped with tools to target the right audience minimizing cost per acquisition rates. The more the ads are targeted, the better conversion rates.
Now let me talk about Airtel, which knows more than a Google or Facebook know about me. Or at least what it needs to know to target some ads. But Airtel is least bothered about targeting the ads. Following are some examples:
- I am an existing customer of 3G and they keep sending me ads to activate 3G
- I had tried several times to get Airtel broadband connection & every time they said “no feasibility”. They still send me messages saying “get blazing fast internet sms FEST to 121″, every time I send FEST I get same response “no feasibility”.
These are just couple of examples. I tried to build ignorance towards these SMSs but it’s so not possible when they spam so much. I can’t even block theses SMSs since I will miss out on other alerts related to billing.
Why can’t Airtel just target their ads better!!!?
After getting to know about Olacabs through other blogs and friends I was waiting for an opportunity to try it out myself & today I had one such opportunity. I installed their Android app, signed up & the screen looked like below:
It displayed all the Olacabs on the map, which one is the nearest one & how long it would take it to reach me. Without thinking much I clicked “Pick me up”. In few seconds screen reloaded with driver name, number, car type, car number with approximate time of pickup. This map was also updated in realtime so I knew exactly where my cab is and plan accordingly. Cab arrived as expected in 15 minutes and everything went smooth.
App Awareness: it knows everything!
Olacabs android app is very well made. It is always aware of current status and displays appropriate call to action buttons. For ex: Before booking the cab call to action was “Pick me up”, once I booked the cab it shows “Call Driver” and when I get into the cab it becomes “Call OLA” with a message “Have a nice journey”. Finally when I finished my journey, driver clicked on “Stop Trip” on the device (looked like an android powered phone, not sure) and next second app on my phone pops up with how much I need to pay & distance etc. At the same time I also got an SMS of the same information & and an invoice being mailed automatically to my email id (ideal if you want to produce these bills to your company for reimbursements).
Brilliant isn’t it?
Inside Scoop: Why does the cab always turn up?
Lot of people around me wouldn’t believe I get a cab by just clicking on a button on my phone. Some of my friends never got the cab they booked though phone with other service providers. So, what makes Olacabs special that every time the cab turns up? We will need to know how it operates internally to understand this. As per my findings, cabs are on monthly contract with flat payment of 55k irrespective of amount of pickups they do. If a driver doesn’t turn up after a user clicks on that “Pick me up” button, he will be fined 2.5k INR by Olacabs. Now we know why those drivers take it so seriously!
Overall as a customer this was an awesome experience and guess I am going to be their loyal customer henceforth.
Minimum Rs.100 for 5KM and there after Rs.18 per kilometer.
I was one of the bloggers who were invited to experience LG’s new Cinema 3D Smart TVs. LG has done massive improvements to keep the lead in 3D TV market share. I’m going write about some of the interesting features I came across in this hands on.
What first caught my eyes was design with which LG has done some significant improvements. Bringing down the thickness of bezel to 1mm is a great achievement and hence the name “Cinema Screen”. Whenever someone talks about 3D the next thing I remember is painful eyes! 3D glasses made by LG weren’t of the same kind. It was very natural like wering spectacles. It was lighter as well since it doesn’t need any power source to power it up.
LG has done some improvements in 3D over the previous models. Some of them are:
3D Depth Control: Now one can control depth of the 3D view.
Better 2D to 3D conversion: Convert content in 2D like TV channels..etc into 3D. Though HD input will result in better 3D conversion.
3D Audio Zoom: Zooms the audio as well when you zoom the video to give you better 3D experience.
Mobile HD Link: Connect your mobile device and have complete control of it. You can even play games on your device.
WiDi: Wireless Display enables sharing your laptop/other compatible devices display with the TV. One can also play a movie on TV & still continue to work on laptop on extended mode.
Dual View for Gaming: Do you hate playing multiplayer games on split-screen? Then you are going to love this. LG 3D TV converts split-screen into full screen. There are two views generated in full screen which can be viewed with appropriate glasses. Like, Player A glass will only give Player A view & same with Player B.
Overall, LG has the best 3D TV range in market. The new range is going to be available in market in June.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest….and a lot other amazing services we signup & end up receiving unmanageable amount of emails everyday. I have more than a dozen of filters on my gmail to make all these mails skip inbox and sit in a label. But again, I signup to new services almost everyday and creating filters has become a routine. Recently, I gave up on creating filters & I had 8547 unread emails in my inbox!
Then I came across this service Sanebox which claims to identify important emails which will need your immediate attention. I initially thought this will be just like Gmail’s it’s one “Important” filter. Out of curiosity I went on to give it a try. Since I had lot of emails it took around an hour to filter emails. The results were insanely amazing! It had brought down my inbox from 8547 emails to 218! It was unbelievable for me so I went on to check it’s accuracy. It had created a label @SaneLater which contains emails that can wait & it was filled with emails with all these services I had signed up. Inbox only had those mails which would need my attention, which were sent to me by people, not bots!
I highly recommend giving this a shot if you are like me who is finding it hard to manage emails. Unfortunately, Sanebox is a paid service, but you can signup for 14day trial. Sanebox also has dropbox-like referral program with which you can earn $5 credit on friend’s signup. So, signup here for 14day trial & also get $5 credit which will give you additional 1 month of subscription ($4.95).
We have complete control of photos which we upload on Facebook. But not on photos which are uploaded/tagged by others. Your friend may choose to delete your photo anytime without your knowledge. It is a good idea to have your own backup of photos of yours which are tagged by others.
We will achieve our desired task by using ifttt.com (If This Then That), which automates the whole process. If you don’t have a Dropbox account already, go signup for a free account before proceeding. So let’s get started:
- Signup at ifttt.com if you haven’t already
- Goto http://ifttt.com/channels and activate Facebook & Dropbox so that ifttt will have permissions to access your accounts.
- Goto this recipe http://ifttt.com/recipes/1760
- Change your Dropbox folder path if you wish to & click on “Create Task“. Don’t change anything in File URL.
And you are done, next time when someone tags you, that picture gets automatically uploaded to your Dropbox. If you have Dropbox desktop client installed, all these pictures will automatically appear inside your Dropbox folder. One limitation of this ifttt task is that it works only for photos which will be tagged from now on, it won’t backup photos which were tagged before creating this task.
Ubuntu Cloud Day is Canonical’s biggest Cloud event in Bangalore this year. With keynote speeches from various members of the Canonical team, and a more focussed technical delivery. Other presentations include working on Ubuntu Cloud, JuJu, Cloud infrastructure, as well as presentations from Intel and other partners. If you work on Cloud or want to know more about Cloud & Cloud infrastructure, this is the event to attend.
Event is happening on April 4th at The Grand Ballroom, Chancery Pavilion Hotel, 135 Residency Road, Bangalore.
Event fee is Rs.999 but there is a special 20% discount for Tech Bangalore readers! Use code TECH-BLR-UBUN2 while registering at http://www.ubuntucloudday.in
GO Dev team has released first beta of GO Backup for Android which backs up contacts, SMSs, Go Launcher settings & all other apps. Off course it requires root access (?) to backup apps/app data. Backing up apps is particularly useful for people like me who often flash & try new ROMs. Titanium Backup was a go to app for this purpose previously, but the interface of GO backup is just too simple. If you had used Titanium Backup, you would know how painful it is to restore all the apps, you have to go through Android install app prompt for each of the app. But in GO Backup, you click only on one button “Restore” and it takes care of the rest!
Head over to Go official blog to get the Beta APK here.
Tata Docomo has launched “Unlimited Plan” for it’s GSM post-paid customers across Karnataka. Under this plan, customers can make free unlimited local and STD calls and free local and national SMS. Monthly rental for this plan is Rs.899.
To avail the unlimited offer, customers will have to pay a refundable security deposit of Rs 899. Standard charges will be applicable for ISD calling, VAS and data services. ISD SMS will be charged at Rs 5. All the Roaming calls and SMS on sponsored network will be charged at standard rates.
Call 8867136962 Or 8867137205 to avail this unlimited offer.
Amazon sent me (I’m guessing to all AWS users from India) a survey to day afternoon which looked as below:
Dear AWS Customer,
As part of Amazon Web Services ongoing efforts to provide better services and support, we are conducting a short survey to help understand our customers’ needs in India. To learn more about your experiences, preferences, and priorities, we invite you to fill out this short (5-minute) survey to help us understand how to serve you better.
To take the survey, simply click on the link below or cut and paste the link into your browser.
We sincerely appreciate your time and feedback.
The Amazon Web Services Team
Survey had questions to understand how critical it is to have physically closer datacenter, where our consumer base is mostly located, current datacenter which we are using, which payment method we are comfortable with .. etc. For me it pretty much sounded like they want to understand Indian users better before they open their datacenter here.
It would be a great news for Indian AWS users if Amazon opens it’s datacenter in India since it will give better latency and lot of other flexibilities than existing datacenters.
- Blackberry services to end in India?
- Browser Wars in India: Narrow market share gap between IE, Firefox & Chrome
- Free SMS Services available in India | All covered!
Poster designed by @91bilal
Barcamp Bangalore is back with it’s 11th edition. This time most of the proposed sessions seem to fall into technology category. The trend for Barcamp set by campers this time is around web & mobile technologies going by the kind of sessions. I’m also taking a talk on “Ruby on Rails”, do attend if you are interested.
More details & registration: http://barcampbangalore.org/bcb/
XDA member lupohirp has ported CyanogenMod 9 which is based on latest Android version Ice Cream Sandwich. I flashed it on to my LG Optimus One to see ICS experience on my device.
What’s not working?
Get the ROM & more details at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1448697
- [Complete Guide] CyanogenMod for LG Optimus One
- Nokia E66: A Business phone which entertains you!
- Download Videos from YouTube in Popular Video Formats!
Amazon SES is an email service provided by Amazon for bulk and transactional emails. SES is very cost effective solution (10 cents for 1000 emails) compared to any other similar service in the market. But one problem with SES is it’s still in beta & hence its usage requires basic level of programming skills.
To address this issue, an application development company called Carver Lab has come up with the windows application 10centmail. 10centmail is very easy to use application which lets you take advantage of Amazon SES’s cost effectiveness without programming knowledge. You can create multiple email campaigns with set of recipients & email content. 10centmail supports CSV import for importing your email lists & HTML for content of the email. It also has mail merge options which lets you customize emails with name of the person etc. You can view real-time log of status of delivery of all emails and take actions if needed.
10centmail is free to use but free version adds a line “sent using 10centmail….” at the end of each mail. To get rid of this message, one has to buy license by paying 99 USD.
- email2sms: another free email to sms service provider
- Anyone can use your email identity in minutes! Beware!!
- Configuring Gmail IMAP (push email) on your phone with Airtel & Vodafone
I got a chance to play around with Nokia Lumia 800 today. Thought of just jotting down what I like & dislike about the device. The device was with me for about an hour, so I consider this as first impression rather than a detailed review.
Build – It felt like a piece of chocolate!
One thing which no one can beat Nokia is, the build quality. Lumia 800 gives a great feeling when you hold it, unlike Samsung, it doesn’t feel like a cheap plastic finish. Power button is placed on the right side rather than usual top position. So it took me few minutes to turn it on, but it’s just one time surprise & you will get used to it later. Top of the phone consists slots for micro SD card & micro SIM card. Again little unusual to see those slots on top. One more turn-off was micro SIM slot. Yes, you read it right, you need to either have to use a SIM cutter or get a micro SIM replacement from your telecom operator to switch to this phone.
User Interface – Buttery Smooth!
“Buttery Smooth” was the term used by the Nokia person who gave the demo & it indeed is buttery smooth. UI was very responsive with amazing smooth transition effects. There was no evidence of lag anywhere. Lumia comes with two themes, light & dark, I liked dark theme more. Pinning a contact, bookmark or an app shortcut to the home screen makes it easy to access stuff we need often. Landscape mode isn’t supported on many places of the phone.
Browser – IE9 isn’t bad!
Being a developer, I know how much IE sucks. Half of the web designers time goes in making things work on IE! But IE9 is standard compliant unlike older versions. Lumia comes with IE9 as default browser & rendering is surprisingly great. Pages loaded quite fast, looked crisp & pinch to zoom was flawless. Interestingly the address bar is at the bottom unlike any other mobile browser & I personally felt its a good usability tweak.
I couldn’t try much of other great features like Camera, Nokia Drive, XBOX Live, Windows Office etc. Overall it looked like a very well made phone. What lacks in this smart phone is apps developed by developer community. It’s no way comparable to Android or iOS. But Nokia in association Microsoft are putting their best efforts in encouraging developers to develop apps on Windows Phone platform. So, we might see great development in days to come.
- Nokia X2-01 – Best entry level value for money smart phone in market
- Why I’m in love with Nokia E72!
- Nokia initiates charger exchange program for Nokia 7210
BSNL recently announced exclusive tariff for iPad users. Once the SIM gets activated, customer gets 1GB of usage per month for 6 months at no additional cost. All you need to pay is Rs.100 for the SIM card!! Another good thing about BSNL iPad offering is unlimited plan, which isn’t available for normal consumers. BSNL offers two unlimited plans for iPad users, Rs.99 per day & Rs.999 per month. But since it is micro sim, it can be used only with devices with micro sim card slot.
BSNL iPad plans were irresistible for me to just leave, so I did a little research to see if I can make use of this micro sim card. A search on ebay for micro sim adapter brought up many results!! So basically there are adapters available to make micro sim as big as a normal sim card so that it can be used in any device! Be it your phone, datacard etc! Right now it is working fine for me, I’m not sure how long it takes BSNL to detect device and block the connection! Or will they even care about it!?
This no longer works since BSNL recently changed their iPad tariff and discontinued unlimited plans as per TRAI regulation. Check for more details: http://www.bsnl.co.in/
- BSNL discounts monthly charges for EVDO & NIC Cards for exisiting Broadband Users
- BSNL opens registration for IPTV service
- ‘Gift a broadband’ with BSNL! No charges for first month! No installation charges!
For all the readers of Tech Bangalore who use Android, there’s a good news! Now there’s an app of Tech Bangalore which you can install on Android and access this blog from there itself. Remember that you need to enable installing from unknown sources by going to “Settings->Applications”. For those who don’t have android phone, Tech Bangalore has a mobile version too.
- [Android App] Reporting errant auto rickshaw drivers now even more easier!
- Tech Bangalore gets a fresh new look & faster server!
- Faster Tech Bangalore!!!
Yes, you heard it right! Tech Bangalore is up for sale. I’ve been quite busy at work off late & not being able to actively write on this blog. So, I’m planning to sell this blog if I get a good deal. Unlike other blogs, I concentrated only on quality articles rather writing breaking news which every other blog in this world writes! My posts were highly opinionated, unbiased and never favored a brand or a product, no paid reviews! I have written only 348 articles (including this one) since September 2006! For many blogs today, this could be a monthly figure!
Here is some of the stats of Tech Bangalore:
- 1 lakh page views a month pre-panda update
- 70 thousand page views a month post-panda update, still recovering, expected complete recovery after next panda update by Google.
- 7,400+ feed subscribers
- Listed as one of the top 75 Indian blogs at http://www.invesp.com/blog-rank/India
- Listed at http://india.alltop.com
- Listed as one of the ‘Most widely read Indian blogs” at http://www.labnol.org/india-blogs/indian-bloggers.html
I’m willing to sell this blog ONLY if I get a good deal. Otherwise I would continue to write whenever I get time. Interested? Send your queries to email@example.com
- Tech Bangalore enters Alltop Indian Sites!
- I am writing for ControlEnter.in
- Get a hosting, get a life this valentine’s for $1/year
My obsession with Les Paul Google Doodle has not ended yet! I previously wrote how one can still access it. Now I went one step ahead to bring it on to the Google home page itself. I’ve written a Google Chrome extension which replaces Google logo with Les Paul guitar doodle. Currently it works only on google.com. google.co.in & google.co.uk. I need to find a list of all google domains to make it work on all google home pages.
Install the extension from Google Chrome Webstore & do report issues/bugs through comments.
Update: Now works on 181 Google domains!
- Loved Les Paul Guitar Google Doodle? Here is how you can still access it!
- Chrome OS Screenshots (taken while Google Chrome OS Webcast)
- Hack ‘Chromed Bird’ to Tweet ‘via Your App’