Table of contents Android: A game changing OSRe-discovering Android through 3G 04Why Android is the culture for the future 06How Google Maps and Android phones can help Indian Railways 08the secret behind the naming of android’s Ice Cream Sandwich 10Android overtakes Opera to become no 1 mobile browser 12 The best Androids money can buyHTC One X Samsung S III, Who is Android king? 14Sony Xperia launches three new phones in India 16Galaxy S III has Siri clone, 50 GB free Dropbox storage 17Motorola Atrix to be available for Rs 22,990 in India 19Reliance launches CDMA tablet for Rs 12,999 20Android-based media tablets: Do these have a future? 21 Awesome Android AppsWhy every Android user should get the new Facebook app 24Feedly: The personalised magazine app for Android users 26Fight aliens MIB III style on your Android device 28Instagram now available on Android smartphones 29 Android in IndiaRCom, Google tie up to market Android devices with 3G connection 31Samsung launches updated Galaxy Tab, interactive TV in India 32iPhone 4S a flop; Samsung, HTC cash in on let down 33
Re-discovering Androidthrough 3G Switching from a regular data connection to 3G on your Android is like switching from a regular phone to a smartphone.S witching to a smart phone from a not- navigating Google Play (the app store formerly so-smart phone is always an epiphanic known as marketplace), or whipping out your moment. And if you are a regular Google phone to read everything from emails to arti-user (who isn’t these days?) watching how an cles.Android phone so seamlessly integrates withyour Gmail, YouTube and other Google experi- The one thing that can kill the entire experienceences is in a word, epic. though, is a slow net connection. Believe me there is nothing more frustrating than click-Spend a few days playing with your phone and ing on a link and then waiting. And waiting.it will only be a matter of time till you start And waiting for it to open. And then woe betidewondering how you got through life without you if you are reading an article that opens on
another page. With 3G, your Android just opens up to you. You can play games, use facebook, twitter, in-Most data connections unfortunately don’t give stragram and do it all in real time. With a goodyou the kind of connectivity speeds you need to smartphone, you can probably even do withoutfully enjoy your Android experience. You may a laptop. Laptops are for work, smartphones, onhave ‘unlimited data’ but you end up wasting a the other hand, are the key to life in the digitalwhole lot of time just waiting for things to load. age.And downloading apps from Google Play be-comes more frustrating than anything else. They’re handy, they’re powerful and they can do everything from helping you navigate a strangeRemember the time when you would surf on a city to helping you figure out where all your56k Modem and wait for pages to load so that friends are and what they are doing.you could get on with life? Well, without 3G,mobiles are pretty much like modem’s. To make And you fully begin to realise the potential ofoptimum use of all that your Android smart- your Android phone and just what a fiendishlyphone offers– you need a good net connection. clever little device you have on your hands. It’s like an epiphany all over again.And when you switch from a regular data con-nection to 3G the difference is almost as starkas when you first switch to a smartphone from aregular phone.
Why Android is the culturefor the future While iOS might stand tall in American markets, markets like India than need customization or an indigenous approach will always look towards Android.W hen it is about smartphones it is al- Fragmentation remains another challenge with ways about three things: device cost, 70% of developers still using an older version of applications and ease of use (read the Android operating system, Gingerbread.operating system). In the ease-of-use department, there are die-Reading the reams of copy around the recently hard fans for both. An Apple fan boy will tellconcluded WWDC 2012 (the Apple develop- you that Android feels amateur and an Androiders conference), one can’t help but admit that fan boy will argue that the web integration ofiOS has an advantage among developers. Most the Android experience is peerless.of them still prefer to code for Apple becausethe revenue per user on the platform is greater. But when you move to devices shipped across
geographies the story of economics, market still evolving.share and therefore a culture for the futureshows a shape, that looks very much more like a Most handset makers in the country will offerDroid than an Apple. a range of products across price points. Market leader Samsung for instance has 18 products onFundamentally, to succeed in today’s world of Android across different price points and holdscomplex technology a platform has to be open 46% of the smartphone market. Indian lan-and free. Letting market makers decide how guage features and apps are also gaining a lot ofthey want to develop, price and introduce a traction.product will determine the success or failure ofnew technology. Google has, by letting android It is therefore likely that in the future the grow-remain open, created a multitude of options for ing markets are the ones that will determinegrowth markets. When ‘touch’ is the revolution, developer involvement. While iOS might standusers will want some form of it in their technol- tall in American markets, markets than needogy lives. They will move up the value chain, but customization or an indigenous approach willslowly. Android gives you that ladder. Across always look towards Android. And in thatphones and tablets. search lies the new culture of smartphone use through android.For instance let’s take the Indian market. TheIndian smartphone market is expected to growto about 18 million units in 2012. It is howevera complex heterogenous market where users are
How Google Maps and Androidphones can help Indian Railways This automatically updated train running information will not only be a boon for passengers but also for the Indian Railways as they would be able to track the position of all trains with a good deal of precision. Prithwis MukerjeeI have been a laggard with smartphones but the countryside. Only after passing the last last month I finally bought an Android station before my destination, did I finally get phone and, within days, I got a tidy return down from the bunk feeling rather smug abouton my small investment— two extra hours on this new technology.the upper berth of an overnight train! How ? This simple technology can be used to track theIf you are travelling alone at night, in an AC movement of all trains across the entire coun-compartment you have no way of knowing try. How ?where you are at any point in time and the needto climb down every now and then to check the Every Android phone is associated with a spe-station that you are passing through is painful. cific Gmail ID and using this Gmail ID oneInstead, what I did was to lie on the bunk and can “check-in” into “places” defined in Googleswitch on Google Maps on my GPS-enabled Latitude. Usually these “places” are hotels, res-Android phone and watched the blue arrow that taurants and other businesses defined by theirshowed me (and the train) as it snaked across respective owners and once someone “checks-
in” into a place, this information is available to places can be done away with.“friends” on the Google network. Finally, and perhaps the most important, is howWe first create a special Gmail ID to represent a to handle the return trip. The down train wouldspecific train— say IR12302@gmail.com for the have a different train number but since theHowrah Delhi Rajdhani — and use this ID to Gmail ID with which an Android device is regis-register an Android phone. Next, we define each tered cannot be changed easily we need to haveof the 219 stations on the Howrah-Delhi route two Android phones per rake and only one, cor-as a “place” in Google Latitude. For this specific responding to the train number that is actuallygmail ID, IR12302@gmail.com, we define these running, must be active while the other should219 stations as places where check-in is auto- be switched off. So a pair of rakes that supportmatic. Finally, we give this phone to the guard an UP and DOWN train service would need fourof the the Howrah Delhi Rajdhani or tether it Android phones, two of which, located in differ-securely in the guard’s cabin. ent rakes, will have the same GMail ID.Now as the train travels across the country, the The SIMRAN project of the Indian RailwaysAndroid phone will automatically check into has a similar goal but it needs its own dedicatedevery station that the train is passing through hardware and software. Reportedly, the pilotand anybody who defines this specific Gmail ID project needs an investment of Rs 100 croreas a friend will know the last station where this plus annual maintenance costs. In contrast, attrain has checked-in and when. Rs 7,500 per phone and four phones per pair of trains, this approach can use the free GoogleThe immediate benefit is that once the stations Maps service to track the top 100 trains in theare defined as places — and a place once defined country for an investment of Rs 30 lakhs or atcan be used for all trains passing through — and 0.3 percent of the cost!the Gmail ID for each train is set up, then thetrain running information becomes automati- Google Russia has collaborated with the Rus-cally available in the public domain with no sian Railways to create an unique applicationfurther effort. that allows anyone to take a virtual ride from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Trans SiberianThis automatically updated train running infor- Railway. I am sure that if the Indian Railwaysmation will not only be a boon for passengers were to embark on this project, Google Indiabut also for the Indian Railways themselves, as would be glad to help in this regard.they would be able to track the position of alltrains with a good deal of precision from any- Many years ago, before the era of the ubiquitouswhere in the country. Moreover, if this facility is cellphone, I had come across an FMCG compa-extended to goods trains, then corporate ship- ny that tried to track the position of its trucks bypers will be able to track their consignments if giving food coupons to the drivers that could bethey know which train their goods are booked redeemed at selected dhabas across the country.on. The idea was that as a driver “checks-in” into a dhaba and uses the free coupon to pay for food,However, there are few loose end that need to the dhaba owner would not only get the moneybe tied up. First, one can only track a friend and from the company but in return would reportto be friend, as in any social media, one’s friend the position of the consignment — as evidentrequest must be accepted by the target. This from a code number on the coupon that was be-means that for each train id, e.g. IR12302@ ing redeemed — back to the company.gmail.com, someone must accept friend re-quests from anyone who wants to know where That elegant idea was perhaps ahead of its time.the train is — but this can be automated as well. But today, with Android phones and GoogleSecond, Google Maps already identifies railway Maps, this idea can be easily implemented notstations but does not allows people to “check- only in the Railways but for any other trans-in” into them. If this is allowed then the task porter as well.of defining all train stations again as business
the secret behind the naming ofandroid’s Ice Cream Sandwich Whilst tech journalists curse Google’s new Android codename, everyone else wonders what ‘ice cream sandwich’ means and find themselves unaccountably craving dessert. Suw Charman-AndersonW ith the new version of the Android OS slated for release in October or No- For those of us not familiar with an ‘ice cream vember, Android fans and tech writ- sandwich‘, it turns out to be a dessert made of,ers everywhere are wondering what on earth unsurprisingly, ice cream sandwiched betweenGoogle were thinking when they decided on its two wafers, biscuits/cookies or cakes. And itcodename: Ice Cream Sandwich. seems that Googlers have a long-standing rela- tionship with them: business product managerClearly Eric Schmidt isn’t keen on the name. At Hunter Walk wrote a tribute to the “It’s-It” icethe Salesforce Dreamforce 2011 conference, he cream sandwich on sale in the Google canteenmentioned it with wrinkled brow, pulled face in 2006.and a noticeable tone of disdain. So why go withsuch a bizarre name? Whatever the reason — if, indeed, there even is a reason — for Ice Cream Sandwich, GoogleWe know that Google has a sweet tooth. Previ- aren’t the only ones with a penchant for pick-ous codenames included Eclair, FroYo (a brand ing playful, bizarre or downright ill-fated code-of frozen yoghurt, rather than an obscure Hob- names.bit), Gingerbread and Honeycomb.
Adobe Photoshop’s developers picked a string Apple Museum:of entertaining codenames: Photoshop 2.0 wasFast Eddy, followed by Merlin, Brimstone and In the early days of Apple, the codenames wereTiger Mountain. Photoshop 4.0 was known as all female names, mostly the names of theBig Electric Cat and, for those in the know, a daughters of the engineers who were workingsecret splash screen could be summoned which on the product.featured Becky (short for Big Electric Cat), themoggie in question. Later, different types of apples were used, butThe White Rabbit, Adobe Photoshop splash when the teams ran out of apple types, theyscreen had to find new names. Hence after a couple of years the codenames were items from popular culture or products the engineers liked (such as beer). A couple of them backfired, however. The Power Mac 6100 was codenamed Piltdown Man, the 8100 was Cold Fusion, and the 7100, squished in between them, was Carl Sagan. Piltdown Man was a famous hoax from 1912 in which bone fragments were presented as the re-All Photoshop’s secret splash screens, from ver- mains of an unknown early human. The lie wassion 4.0 onwards, feature Becky — also known exposed in 1953 when the bones were revealedas Udo — hidden somewhere in their illustra- to have belonged to an orang-utan and a mod-tions. In Strange Cargo, (Photoshop 5), users ern human. Cold Fusion was a supposed room-could access the splash screen by holding down temperature nuclear fusion process that wasCtrl/Alt (or Command/Option on a Mac), going reported by Martin Fleischmann and Stanleyto the Help menu and choosing About Pho- Pons in 1989, receiving a lot of very excitedtoshop. If you typed ‘burp’, Becky would appear media coverage. Their experiment was later dis-from inside the floating cargo crate. Type her credited as they stood accused of “incompetencenickname, Udo, and she would miaow. Even and delusion”.the latest version, 12.1, pays tribute to the BigElectric Cat, showing The White Rabbit painting Sagan was so upset that his name had beenher portrait. used alongside these two debunked ‘discoveries’ that he formally protested, said Lukas Foljanty,The open source community is also quite keen founder of The Apple Museum.on quirky codenames. The Ubuntu operatingsystem community, for example, has come up Apple hoped that codenames would reduce thewith a series of idiosyncratic, alliterative ani- damage that leaks about new products couldmal names for each new version. They started do. Consumers were well known for putting offwith Warty Warthog, Hoary Hedgehog, Breezy buying decisions if they thought that an upgradeBadger and Dapper Drake, before moving to a was in the pipeline. But when the iMac wasroughly alphabetical series. developed in 1997, Apple moved towards using code numbers for new products. The MacBookWhilst they managed to get creative with Jaunty Air, for example, was simply known as M82.Jackalope and Karmic Koala, the letter O clearly Apple have, however, kept names for their OS Xa lot of thought to come up with Oneiric Ocelot. software upgrades, possibly to make marketing“Oneiric” means “of or relating to dreams or easier.dreaming”. It’ll be interesting to see if they havethe nerve to stick with the alphabetical ordering In the grand scheme of product codenames, itthrough P and Q to X, Y and Z. seems that Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t all that weird. Although, whichever way you look at it,Apple, as one might imagine, has a long and it’s still a bit of a mouthful.colourful codename history. According to the
Android overtakes Opera tobecome no 1 mobile browser Android’s mobile phone browser Robot, has overtaken Opera to become the world’s number one mobile web browser.A ndroid’s mobile phone browser Robot, otherwise have seen Apple climb to the number has overtaken Opera to become the one spot. And TNW says, “considering the nu- worlds number one mobile web brows- merical advantage that Android has over Appleer. TheNextWeb, which reported the statistics — there are now more than 300 million Androidbased on data from statcounter, said the data devices worldwide, that’s up 250 percent — thewhich plots the use of mobile Internet browsers fact that the iPhone ranks so closely showsover the last twelve months, shows significant that its users are proportionally more likely togrowth from Android, which had only just over- browse the Web than Android owners.taken BlackBerry to fourth place one year ago. BlackBerry’s share of Web browsing continue toApple’s iPhone and iTouch users have been plummet, while Nokia has also seen its browsercategorized as separate metrics, which would account for less Web browsing over the period.
HTC One X Samsung S IIIWho is Android king? Is the HTC One X still the most superior Android phone despite the Samsung S III? We do a preliminary comparisonU p until the launch of the Samsung S III Design: last week, most experts agreed that the HTC One X was the undisputed “king” Samsung Galaxy S IIIof the Android Operating System. In fact some The Galaxy S III is a good looking phone on thedie hard HTC fans said it was even superior to front and the sides, but the design is not ‘revo-Apple’s flagship iPhone 4S. lutionary’, as we had hoped it would be. It’s an evolution of the S II, more than anything else.So how does the Samsung S III match up? The One thing we really appreciate is that despitefolks over at Tech2in, decided to pit the two its super slim design, Samsung has still kept thephones against each other spec for spec, and battery removable and have shaved off as muchthis is what they came up with: of the bezel as possible, making it manageable.
The HD Super AMOLED screen is great, but HTC One Xwe wished they would have gone with the ‘Plus’variant, instead. Connectivity wise, Samsung One of the party pieces of the One X camera ishas you covered with thrown in everything ex- its new burst mode and the short time it takes tocept the kitchen sink. activate and capture a picture. The Tegra 3 SoC may not be the fastest in terms of CPU power,HTC One X but when it comes to processing graphics, it’sWe love the way the One X is put together. The clearly in a league of its own.polycarbonate shell feels strong and premiumand it gives it a very nice feel, which is impor- The main issue when we reviewed (that’s hope-tant to any handset. The screen may not be Su- fully fixed with the latest update) the phone wasper AMOLED, but the HD LCD 2 produces very the battery life, which, given the larger fabri-good colours and since it’s a tiny bit smaller, the cation process of the SoC, isn’t too good. Justpixel count is more dense as well. like the S III, it’s also packed to the gills with features, so there’s only one way to tell, which isFeatures: better, by heading over to the charts.Samsung Galaxy S III Let’s just clear up some of the doubts you’reThe rumoured 12MP camera didn’t make it to probably having about the scores. Like we men-the final product. Instead we get the same 8MP tioned before, Super AMOLED may give youshooter, but with a BSI sensor to help with low richer colours when it comes to accuracy, butlight photography. The faster processor has the LCD 2 technology is better than the PenTilealso allowed them to add burst mode, which matrix used in the S III, as the sub-pixels arecaptures a series of snaps in quick succession, more densely packed.allowing the consumer to then select the bestone out of the lot. The bottom lineWe also have a Siri-like voice assistant that Samsung’s latest flagship comes across as ahelps you automate mundane tasks. Samsung clear winner and we haven’t even included thehave shifted their focus on making the S III unique features present in the S III, like Smartmore intuitive and adaptable to your style of stay, S Voice, Smart alert and many more. Wepersonal usage style. Whether they’ve succeeded cannot say for certain without testing the S III,or not, can only be determined once we have a if it’s better than the One X or not, but all thego at it, so we’ll reserve our judgement on that evidence points that way.till then. By the time the phone launches, i.e at the endOverall, the S III might not be the ‘holy-grail’ of the month, the One X could get a price cuteveryone was waiting for, but it’s certainly a making it a very viable option. I guess it all boilsworthy successor of the S II. As for the design, down to how you feel from the moment youthat’s purely subjective, but I, for one, only have first hold the phone. After all, a mobile phone isan issue with the rear of the phone, which looks a very personal device. We would recommendway too bland and the arrangement of the LED you get a feel of both devices before making theflash and speaker grill just seem off. Ohh and, buying decision, since they are both very gooddid we mention they are still using plastic for handsets on paper; the rest is your personalthe entire body? taste.
Sony Xperia launches three new phones in IndiaS ony has unveiled three devices in its The company’s smartphones, which operate on iconic Xperia series in India. the Android OS, are shipped to India from its manufacturing units in Japan, China and Mex-Priced between Rs.17,399 and Rs.25,449, the ico. The devices have been bundled with TataXperia U, Xperia P and Xperia Solar were DoCoMo teleservices.launched in Bangalore today. “Our new devicesare a sign of the brand’s commitment to Indian “Partnering with Sony Mobile will enable us tousers, especially youth, young professionals and provide customers with a compelling proposi-upward mobile who would like to stay con- tion – that of accessing free data services (up tonected and access a range of services in voice, 3GB) on Tata DOCOMO platform, making fordata and digital forms,” Sony Mobile marketing a new and invigorating mobility experience onhead Prasun Kumar told reporters at a product Xperia Sola,” Sunil Tandon, head of non-voicepreview here. services, Tata Teleservices to Telecom Lead.“The Xperia smartphones have been designed Tata DOCOMO has introduced a gaming servicearound user experiences of listen, watch, play called “Let’s Play on Android” – that lets usersand create and share to improve their personal, play premium Android Games on Xperia Solaprofessional and social life. The Sola smart on a very attractive monthly subscription of Rs.phone boasts of ‘floating touch’ for accessing 99 only.web services by holding any finger on the screento open the links,” Sony mobile managing direc- This exclusive package of games “GAMETANI-tor P. Balaji said in a statement. UM” consists of 30 premium games worth more than Rs.2000/-.
Galaxy S III has Siri clone,50 GB free Dropbox storage Samsung launched its Galaxy S III last night in London. Here is everything you wanted to know about the phone.S amsung launched its Galaxy S III last 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and is powered by night in London and the phone is causing Samsung’s quad-core microprocessor and has a huge buzz all over the Internet. Thanks 1GB RAM.to the hype before its launch and the excitementafter there are a few things we all know about But now we have some more details of somethe phone. We all know for instance, that it has other cool and lesser known features of thea 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display screen phone that seem to have wowed tech pundits.with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels andcomes with an 8 megapixel rear camera with It seems that Samsung has done some seriousflash and a 1.9 megapixel front camera. work on it’s rear end cameras. The camera is 8 megapixel which matches up to both the iPhoneWe are also fairly certain that the device is 4S and HTC One X. As CNET points, Samsungsuper light as it weighs 133g and is only 8.6 mm has taken some inspiration from HTC One Xthick. And finally we know that it runs Android which lets users choose their best shot from a
bunch of shots. However it seems that Samsung lows data to be transferred for those users whohas outdone HTC as CNET points out: have Ice-Cream Sandwich on their phone by just touching.The implementation is different, though; theSamsung smartphone will automatically sug- And if all this was not enough incentive to buygest the best image for you based on a few the phone, the latest reports are that Samsungfactors including smile detection and facial has announced that that every consumer thatrecognition. buys and registers a Galaxy S III smartphone will get free 50GB cloud storage from Dropbox.Samsung has also launched the device with Sirilike voice command program called S Voice. This is double of what Dropbox is giving HTCNow Siri is iPhone 4S’s popular voice command One series owners, however just like HTC, theapp that has gained quite a lot of popularity. free storage will only be valid for two years.Will S Voice manage the same level of interest? And in another piece of exciting news for fans ofIn terms of appearance, it would seem that new the device, it turns out that the popular iPhonephone looks bulky but is way lighter and this app Flipboard will be available on Android asseems to have impressed several tech gurus. well.The Verge’s Vlad Savov writes, The main takea- AllThingsD reports that Previewed on Samsungway when you first pick up the Galaxy S III S III today, Flipboard is coming to Androidis that it’s surprisingly light…the sensation of phones soon,” the company said on Twitter,holding it is one of weightlessness. It almost pointing users to a page where they could pro-feels hollow. We’re not huge fans of this, we ap- vide their email to get further updates.preciate a bit more of a reassuring heft.” Flipboard is an article, and news aggregationThe one thing that seems to have got some criti- app that is quite popular on Apple’s iPhone andcism is the plastic rear body of the phone. Tech iPad devices. But hopefully Flipboard will won’twebsites had been buzzing with rumours of a be restricted to Android devices which only runceramic or metallic finished rear but Samsung on Ice-Cream Sandwich.has continued with plastic and it hasn’t gottenthem rave reviews. The phone will be available on 29 May in the UK, and is scheduled for a summer release inThe Galaxy S III also boasts of a cool feature the US. The release date for India has not beencalled the S beam which allows users to trans- announced. Fingers crossed that Indian con-port files upto 1GB to another S III without sumers won’t be short changed with this phoneusing Wi-fi or data Internet. This seems to be an like in the case of the Nexus!expansion on Android’s Beam, an app which al-
Motorola Atrix to be available for Rs 22,990 in India The Atrix is expected to take on other smartphones that feature similar prices, such as the Galaxy R as well as the LG Optimus 2X.T he Motorola Atrix 2 aka the Motorola 4G 1GHz dual-core processor Atrix 2 is available for purchase through 8GB Internal Memory expandable up to 32GB online retail sites, Saholic and Letsbuy using a MicroSD cardfor a price of Rs. 22,990. With the handset mak- 1GB RAMing a quiet appearance in the Indian market, it 8MP camera with auto focus, LED flash andis expected to take on other smartphones that 1080p video recording capabilities at 24fpsfeature similar prices, such as the Galaxy R as VGA front facing camerawell as the LG Optimus 2X. Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v 2.1+EDR, USB 2.0For those of you who have no idea what this 3.5mm audio jackhandset is about, here is a look at its highlighted aGPS, eCompass, Light and Proximity Sensor,specifications: Accelerometer 1735mAh batteryAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread Dimensions are 66 x 125.9 x 10.49mm4.3-inch qHD display with a resolution of Weighs 147g540×960
Reliance launches CDMAtablet for Rs 12,999R eliance Communication has launched The tab was launched in Chennai, Bangalore, India’s first CDMA tablet, priced at Hyderabad and Pune on Monday. Rs.12,999. Times of India quoted Reliance as saying thatThe 7-inch capacitive touch screen Tab with the tablet would be supported by the company’sAndroid 2.3 OS (operating system) from Reli- CDMA network across 22 circles in over 1000ance Communications comes with a 512 MB towns in the country.RAM and micro SD external storage. Weighing397 grams, it has a 2 MP rear camera as well as The Hindu said that music director Anirudha front camera. Ravichander of ‘Kolaveri Di’ fame launched the Tab in Chennai.The company, which launched 3G Tab last year,is offering a free 4 GB SD card with the CDMAversion. The device supports up to 32 GB stor-age.
Android-based media tablets:Do these have a future? Worldwide media tablet shipments in the second quarter were driven by continued robust demand for Apple’s iPad 2, which saw shipments reach 9.3 million units, representing a 68.3% share of the worldwide market (up from 65.7% the previous quarter).T ablet computing is growing at a fast for Apple’s iPad 2, which saw shipments reach clip. Worldwide media tablet shipments the 9.3 million unit mark, which makes up rose by an incredible 88.9 percent on 68.3% of the worldwide market, up from 65.7%a sequential basis and 303.8 percent year on the previous quarter. Research in Motion en-year in the second quarter of calendar 2011 (Q2 tered the media tablet market in Q2 2011 with2011) to 13.6 million units, according to data its PlayBook product, grabbing a 4.9% sharefrom the International Data Corporation (IDC) of the market. Apple’s strength and RIM’sWorldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader entrance meant bad news for Android-basedTracker. media tablets, which saw its collective share slip to 26.8%, down from 34% the previous quarter.The worldwide media tablet shipments in thesecond quarter were driven by robust demand Based on this strong performance in the second
quarter and an improved outlook for the second research director, Mobile Connected De-half of the year, IDC raised its shipment forecast vices. “We expect major vendors to offer theirfor 2011 to 62.5 million units, up from a previ- current-generation black-and-white eReadersous projection of 53.5 million units. for less than $100 by the holidays,” Mainelli said. “We’re also expecting Amazon’s much-ru-Looking forward to the second half of 2011, moured, colour LCD-based device to ship laterIDC expects Android to cede additional market this year. Because we expect it to run a custom-share in Q3 2011 — dropping to 23% — before it ised version of Android that ties its use to Ama-starts growing its share again in Q4 2011 — go- zon’s content services, we expect the device toing up to 25.9% — and beyond. In addition to more closely resemble Barnes & Noble’s Colorcontinued demand for Apple iPads, IDC expects Nook than Apple’s iPad 2. As a result, our cur-many consumers sitting on the fence going for rent plan is to count it as an eReader, and that$-99 TouchPads as a result of HP’s decision to will also help drive shipment numbers.”end production of its tablet product. IDC ex-pects close to a million TouchPads to ship into “eReaders are also gaining traction with athe channel before the end of the year. combination of increasing function and afford- ability, as well as greater device and contentAs a result, WebOS’ worldwide market share availability,” added Song. “The strong first halfis forecast to reach 4.7% in Q3 2011. However, performance and an improved view of eReaderwith no clear plan to license or sell the OS to positioning helped boost our outlook for ship-other vendors, IDC expects the WebOS market ment volume.”share to shrink back to zero by Q1 2012. Media tablets are defined as tablet form factoreReaders experienced a seasonal dip, down 9% devices with color displays larger than 5 in. andsequentially, to 5.4 million units while year-on- smaller than 14 in., running lightweight operat-year growth was 167%. Amazon led the market ing systems — such as Apple’s iOS and Google’swith a 51.7% share, followed by Barnes & Noble Android OS — and can be based on either x86with 21.2%. With product refreshes and follow- or ARM processors.ing strong Q2 2011 sales, IDC expects eReadershipments to grow significantly through the In contrast, tablet PCs run full PC operating sys-holiday season, reaching a total of 27.0 million tems and are based on x86 processors. Mediaunits for the year, up from a previous projection tablets support multiple connectivity technolo-of 16.2 million units. gies and a broad range of applications which differentiates them from single purpose–fo-“Media tablet shipments grew at a solid pace cussed devices such as eReaders.in the second quarter, led by continued strongdemand for Apple products,” said Tom Mainelli,
Why every Android user shouldget the new Facebook app Sheer speed, quick photo uploading and a beautiful design make Facebook’s new Android app a must download on the Android market. Shruti DhapolaF acebook has done a damned good job app is now pulling away with 58.3 million Daily with something for once – their latest Active Users (DAU).” Android app, released on 15 December isamazing, especially when compared to the bug- I updated Facebook on my Samsung galaxy Sgy thing they had released earlier. This probably IT-9003 , after two weeks of ignoring Face-explains its runaway popularity. Popular tech book’s pleas.site TechCrunch, reporting the phenomenonsaid, “The Android app was launched in Sep- There were several reasons I had been resistingtember 2009 more than a year after its iPhone the Facebook update. The most important onesister and has been playing catch-up ever since. being that the first app kept crashing. It loadedBoth are developed internally by Facebook. This slowly, looked bad in terms of design, andweek the two were briefly tied, but the Android frankly speaking, didn’t look anything like the
site. Also for some reason, the opening page had What also helps is that the app looks exactlyan unappealing photo bar at the bottom which like the website. It means that a new user won’thighlighted the latest photos shared by my have to worry too much about learning how tofriends. Plus when the user logged in, the first navigate the app, a problem that I felt was verything that opened was never the news stream evident in its previous iteration.but an odd homepage Facebook had createdfor the app. For me the main problem with it’s But speed is the main reason I love this app. I’vedesign was that it was not minimalist. Instead, already mentioned that I have very little RAMFacebook had used ugly square icons for drop- and memory to spare. When compared to thedowns like friends, lists, etc. Nor did it help that average newsreaders apps on my phone whichit kept showing me ancient notifications. There crash very often, the new Facebook app has notI was getting excited that somebody had liked crashed and caused me to press the task man-my status, when it was in fact last week’s news. ager button as yet. It’s surprisingly fast with no-Nothing puts a user off more than receiving old tifications too; I say surprising because most ofnotifications. the time my phone has no Internet connection. Also, I have found that I can upload images inIn fact when I had first bought the phone, I de- less than ten seconds, despite complaints to theleted the first Facebook app I had downloaded contrary in the Android market user reviews.because it kept crashing ever so often. I wasn’teven keen on trying to update status messages Facebook chat, which I think is still the buggi-from my phone nor was did I feel like upload- est chat ever released, is also surprisingly not soing pictures, primarily because it was a pain to buggy on the app. Messaging is actually fasterkeep the app running for long. The next down- on the app; unlike the site where chat oftenload didn’t make for a great experience either, crashes. In addition to the site app, I download-even though the number of times it crashed ed Facebook Messenger, which is way betterwas lesser. But the slow loading speed, meant I than the chat on the website. Chatting on therarely used it. actual website is a pain if you don’t have a fast enough connection; as you will find that friendsAfter the update however, I have started using will often disappear in the middle of a conver-Facebook on my phone a lot more. This despite sation, and you’ll only receive their messages athe fact that I don’t have 3G on my phone and couple of hours later.it has a bare minimum memory of around 4gb.The app loads really quickly, much faster, in I can’t comment on how popular Facebook Mes-fact, than the website does on my computer! senger will be in India, primarily because it will have to compete with Google Talk, What’sApp,The timeline is also already active on the new and BBM which are the major instant messag-Android app, a feature that was made available ing apps used in the country right now. For nowfor the iPhone app much later (on 18 Decem- what has proved to be a big hit for me is the of-ber). In terms of design it is truly beautiful. ficial app for the site.All the lists appear on the right-hand againsta black drop down menu, sort of like the new Overall Facebook has a done great job with theirGoogle bar. (I can overlook the Google rip-off Android app and I wouldn’t be surprised if thebecause it’s so pretty. ) Facebook app grows faster than any other app on the Android market.
Feedly: The personalised magazineapp for Android users Feedly is one Android app highly recommended for those who need their daily dose of news, videos and other random stuff online. Shruti DhapolaM umbai: An app is a more personalised that I do end up using often however is Feedly, mode of browsing the net on your which sychronises a user’s personal RSS Feeds. smartphone. We’ve gone from typing Despite many who believe that RSS will soonwww.com on our desktops to opening a news die out because of the app boom, I’d still recom-app with just a touch of our finger. Every major mend Feedly and here’s why.news website or newspaper, now has its ownapp; websites are passé; the app is more impor- Easy Synchronisation: It’s easy to mergetant. with Google Reader RSS feeds if the user is logged into their Google account via theirPersonally even I though I’ve downloaded many phone. For those who’ve not used Google readernews apps on my phone, I don’t find myself before and therefore have no feeds to synchro-browsing through all of them. The one app nise, there’s no need to panic. Once Feedly
opens, the user only needs to touch the little feeds.RSS icon on the left hand side (also the Feedlyicon) and a drop down menu will appear. The With Feedly, it’s quite easy to manage thatmenu gives the user several options. The user constant swarm of new feeds. When one openscan just type the name of their preferred news a link, there’s a pencil shaped icon on the topsource into the search bar and Feedly will do right-hand pane. The user can click that and thethe rest. For instance if one types Reuters, the article is saved for later reads. All saved articlesnumbers of feeds that come from Reuters are can be then viewed via the dropdown menu boxdisplayed. There’s also a tiny people icon to which is accessed by tapping the Feedly icon onthe right which displays the number of people the left-hand side.who’ve subscribed to that particular feed. Justtouching the feed link will display the latest Design and aesthetics: The app market isnews from that site. Tapping the little plus on shallow; an app’s design can make a big differ-the top right hand corner will add it to your RSS ence to user experience. Feedly’s design is quitefeed. easy on the eye with a minimalist user interface. The dropdown menu also has a nice design,Feedly also gives bloggers the option of sync- with an all black background with white text.ing their Tumblr RSS feeds into the app. It also Each of the feeds also has a tiny personalisedcomes with certain preloaded sections under icon next to it.categories like Technology, Photography, Gam-ing etc. These can however be switched off by When the app loads, the first news story ongoing to advanced settings. the feed covers the whole page, with an image, headline and excerpt, but it doesn’t look unusu-Feedly’s biggest advantage, in my view, is its ally large on your phone screen. The user, thenability to aggregate different kinds of content. has to slide right for more stories from the feedFrom blogs like Tumblr to web comics to vid- each of which appear in similar fashion.eos, to regular news, it works well with contentwhich may not always be text based. Most importantly the font is quite readable in normal view. The font size can be increased byNo need to open another web browser: clicking on the zoom options that appear withFor those who’ve downloaded Google reader the post. Currently the design has two themeapp on their Android device, the pain of using options; white and black. Personally I prefer thethat app is truly experienced when trying to white background theme, since the text in theclick on a complete news story. Google Reader black theme appears in grey and is not that easyredirects the user to the link via the Internet to read.browser. Which leaves you wondering whythere’s a Reader app which forces you to use a Sharing options: Sharing posts that we like tobroswer on your mobile phone. read is an important part of the whole app expe- rience and with Feedly there are several ways toThankfully Feedly does no such thing. The do it. On the top right-handside of each articleuser clicks on the story, and the complete story is a simple dropdown menu button which willopens within the app. Feedly does ask the give a user all the options to share. The user canuser to go to the website to view the story, but also email an article to a bunch of friends at thedoesn’t open the website in a different applica- same time, by going to the advance settings andtion. With this app, the user doesn’t need to adjusting CC and BCC settings.keep shifting to other applications. Overall Feedly is quite a useful app since youSave and read later: Smartphone users are can tweak it so much to your personal needslikely to have so many news apps that one might and maintain access to content for which appsthink that there are too many apps, too much are not always available. For those don’t want tonews available and not enough time to read all spend too much time browsing through differ-of it. Similarly, RSS feeds can be hard to man- ent apps Feedly is highly recommended.age, especially when a user subscribes to many
Fight aliens MIB III styleon your Android device If you have an Android device, you can get a taste of what it would be like to run your own MIB agency thanks to the new free for download MIB III game.A lways thought that Will Smith and but users can make in-app purchases for weap- Tommy Lee Jones had the coolest movie ons and the further advance into the world of jobs ever? Despite the obvious hazards the Men in Black.of helping tentacled aliens give birth, and otherlife threatening side effects of policing and regu- In the game, you get to create your own MIBlating earths resident alien population, being agency where you will train agents and assignan ‘agent’ has obvious perks. The clothes and them to missions. You also get to play withshades certainly don’t hurt. And then there are those awesome MIB weapons like the the Neu-all those gadgets. So. Damn. Cool. ralyzer and the Noisy Cricket. Agent J and K are not included.And now if you have an Android device, you canget a taste of what it would be like to run your Like in the MIB III movie however, there isown MIB agency, thanks to a free game released some time travel involved. You will flit betweenby Gameloft. According to Cory Gunther of An- 1969 and 2012 New York, fighting aliens acrossdroid Community, “Honestly the controls aren’t the city. The game can be played in one personthe best and the feel and play reminds me a lot mode, but has an element of social interactiv-of The Sims, but the graphics are cool and hey, ity. You can invite your Facebook friends to playit’s free.” and can ask them for help during fights against particularly powerful aliens.The game is a freemium title so it’s free to play,
Instagram now availableon Android smartphones Instagram, one of the most popular photo editing and sharing app available for iPhone and iPad users is now finally available on Android smartphones.A ndroid users have reason to rejoice. In- was voted as the best app for Apple and a dedi- stagram, one of the most popular photo cated community has been built up around it. editing and sharing apps available foriPhone and iPad users is now finally available However as TheNextWeb has pointed out in thisfor Andoid as well. While Android already has post, searching for Instagram in the Google appa ton of other photosharing apps such as Little- store is a bit like looking for a needle in a hayPhoto, PicsArt, Lightbox, etc there has been still stack. Apparently it is still buried buried deepa lot of yearning for Instagram. in the search results and requires some diligent and dedicated trawling around. (Also watch outLast month, the app had crossed 27 million for fakes!)downloads on the iPhone. Instagram allowsusers to add various innovative filters to photo- Is this one more nail in the coffin of Apple fan-graphs and share them with others. In 2011, it boy snobbery?
RCom, Google tie up to market Android devices with 3G connection To reveal the distinctive affiliation between Reliance and Android, RCom has introduced the Reliance - Android “BLUE BOT” advertisement campaign across various platformsN ew Delhi: Reliance Communications initial commitment to invest between Rs 25-30 (RCom) today said it has entered into crore in promotions. Through this collabora- an exclusive partnership with Google to tion RCom will offer an exclusive free 1GB usagemarket all devices built on Android platform for per month 3G plan to all Android device users,two years in India with its 3G connection and the statement said.other facilities. RCom said that it will introduce expert custom-“In line with the rapid growth of smartphones er care, carrier billing, exclusive applicationsin the country, Reliance has collaborated with and content in addition to Android experienceGoogle to catapult the change by providing new zone at Reliance retail outlets across the coun-experience to device users in terms of try. To reveal the distinctive affiliation betweenpeed, coverage and app (applications) ecosys- Reliance and Android, RCom has introducedtem across segments,” RCom’s Group Head the Reliance – Android “BLUE BOT” advertise-for Brand and Marketing Sanjay Behl said in a ment campaign across various platforms, thestatement. statement .Market sources said that RCom has made an
Samsung launches updated Galaxy Tab,interactive TV in IndiaB ig things are in store for the geeky and TVs. An add-on Smart Evolution Kit will enable not-so geeky gadget lovers in India! new features on the TV as and when they be- Samsung Electronics has announced come available. Prices for the Indian market areplans to launch a smart interactive television expected to be Rs 80,000 onwards.in India. The product was unveiled at the 2012South West Asia Regional Forum held in Bang- The smart interaction is available on the com-kok. The futuristic television sets allow users pany’s 2012 flagship smart TVs, including theto control them through voice or motion com- LED ES8000 series, LED ES7500 series and themands, which means users can turn the TV plasma E8000 series.on or off, activate select applications or searchfor select content in a web browser – without Zee News said meanwhile, that the price oftouching the remote. the smart TVs would range from Rs.45,000 to Rs.2.65 lakh.The Economic Times reported that the S8000LED Smart TV features a built in camera with Samsung also announced an update to the Gal-microphone, voice control, gesture-based con- axy Tab, called the Galaxy Tab 2 310. Featuringtrol and face recognition. Thanks to the built in a 7-inch screen, 1Ghz dual-core processor andcamera, users can also have face-to-face video the latest version of the Android OS, it weighschats over Skype. just 345 grams and still retains support for 3G and voice calls using a standard SIM slot. It isES8000 is also the first in a series of upgradable expected to be priced at Rs 23,300 in India.
iPhone 4S a flop; Samsung,HTC cash in on let down Apple faces a tough battle in India, the world’s second- biggest market for mobile phones with more than 850 million subscribers, where smartphones account for just over 5 percent of the total mobile handset sales.A sian smartphone makers have a chance blow to ambitious plans of many competitors. to exploit a rare letdown from pacesetter Apple after the new iPhone 4S failed to Shares of Samsung Electronics, HTC and LGwow fans and investors, leaving Android rivals Electronics, who all make phones using Googlebetter placed to grab market share. Inc.’s Android operating system, ended up on Wednesday.The iPhone — introduced in 2007 with thetouchscreen template now adopted by its ri- These companies could now aggressively pro-vals— is the gold standard in the booming mote their flagship high-end models ahead ofsmartphone market, and its sales have dealt a Christmas, potentially helping boost sales in the
most crucial shopping season. are a bigger story, because they represent the best answer Apple has to its strategy for emerg-“Apple no longer has a leading edge, its cloud ing markets and the low end of the smartphoneservice is even behind Android; it can only sell market,” said Ovum analyst Jan Dawson.on brand loyalty now,” said Gartner analyst KCLu in Taipei. Even before the low-cost phone, Apple was set to exponentially grow its China business as it“Users may wait to buy the next iPhone, if they stitches deals with operators in the world’s larg-can’t wait, they may shift to brands with more est mobile phone market, home to more thanadvanced specs.” 900 million subscribers.The new iPhone 4S is identical in form to the Apple faces a tough battle in India, the world’sprevious model, disappointing fans who had second-biggest market for mobile phones withhoped for a thinner, bigger-screened design of more than 850 million subscribers, wherea product that had not been updated for more smartphones account for just over 5 percent ofthan a year. the total mobile handset sales.While the device’s high-tech wizardry such “Very aggressive pricing in the higher-end cat-as voice commands — for sending messages, egory of smartphones is unlikely in India in thesearching for stock prices and other applica- near future, primarily because the volumes aretions — caught the attention of many analysts, it not strong enough to justify that kind of playmight not be enough to make it a must-have for in that segment,” said Deepak Kumar, researchconsumers. director at IDC India.“Major concerns for Samsung had been that its TOP SELLING SMARTPHONEsmartphone momentum will decelerate withApple’s new iPhone, but that’s now less of a con- Phones based on Google’s Android, which iscern as the new iPhone failed to excite many,” available for free to handset vendors such assaid Kim Young-chan, an analyst at Shinhan Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola, have a great-Investment Corp in Seoul. er combined market share than Apple’s iPhone, which is still the world’s No. 1 selling smart-Shares of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC phone.rose 0.6 percent in a weaker Taipei market,while Korean rivals Samsung and LG climbed “There are still many consumers who don’t have1.7 percent and 0.4 percent respectively, in a the iPhone experience, and Apple still has a lotbroader Korean market down 2.3 percent. of markets and carriers to enter, so when there’s a new model with better specs, it helps to liftMID TO LOW-END STRATEGY shipments,” said Ming-chi Kuo, analyst at Con- cord Securities in Taipei.However, Apple’s move to price the iPhone 4Sfrom $199 in the United States, and analysts’ es- “The iPhone 4S targets users who are expiringtimates of lower price points in major countries, on their two-year 3GS contract.”could help the company expand in developingmarkets such as Asia, Samsung’s backyard. Globally, iPhone shipments rose 9.1 percent in the second quarter while Nokia’s plummetedApple is cutting the price of the older iPhone 4 more than 30 percent, handing the top spot toto $99, and said an even older 3GS model will Apple with a market share of 18.4 percent, ac-be available for free to customers who sign a cording to IHS iSuppli. Samsung, whose ship-long-term contract. This might allow Apple to ments grew faster, is coming on strong with atake a bite out of a low-end market it had es- market share of 17.8 percent.chewed. The lukewarm reception of the new phone hit“The continued sales of the iPhone 4 and 3GS shares in Apple’s suppliers.
Taiwan’s Hon Hai, Apple’s biggest supplier, was however, as a cheaper price would allow sales todown 1.9 percent, while casing company Fox- expand at a faster pace.conn Technology fell 6.9 percent. Camera mod-ule maker Largan Precision shed 6.6 percent. “The demand is still there from users upgrading from iPhone 3GS because it’s two generations“The casing companies should be the most-hit, behind,” he said.correcting from the previous rise, because themarket has expected a metal case for the new In Japan, the country’s second-largest mobileiPhone,” said Mike Fang, a fund manager of carrier KDDI will sell Apple’s new iPhone, end-Paradigm Asset Management. ing rival operator Softbank’s highly profitable reign as the sole provider in Japan.Fang did not expect iPhone shipments to dropon the disappointment over its appearance