Monthly Archives: April 2013

Microsoft mocks Apple-Samsung rivalry in latest Lumia ad

Microsoft has rolled out a new television commercial for Nokia Lumia 920. In this ad, Microsoft seems to be mocking the rivalry between Apple and Samsung to drive home the “Switch to Lumia” message.
The ad opens with a wedding ceremony in progress. As soon as the bride and groom are about to exchange their vows, everybody at the wedding takes out their smartphones and phablets to capture the moment. One of the guests gets up from his seat to click the picture through his Samsung Galaxy Note II phablet.

This tips off an iPhone 5 user who blurts, “Excuse me, would you mind moving your enormous phone?” This triggers a war of words between the Apple and Samsung fans present at the wedding. Soon the mocking turns into a physical fight and there is chaos all around.

In the middle of the fight two waiters are seen clicking pictures of the brawl with their Nokia Lumia 920. The male waiter asks his female colleague, “Do you think that if they knew about the Nokia Lumia, they’d stop fighting all the time?” To which the lady replies, “I don’t know, I kind of think, they like fighting”. And the message comes across, “Don’t fight. Switch.”

The idea behind the ad is that Lumia is a far better choice than Apple or Samsung and hence you don’t need to argue and just switch.

Though the ad is funny and eye catching but it seems to be more about Apple and Samsung rather than Windows Phone. As a matter of fact, the Nokia Lumia 920 has a far lesser screen time than iPhone or Galaxy devices, so we don’t really think that this advertising will be effective in boosting sales for the Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone in the US.

It’s noteworthy that this is not the first time that Microsoft has targeted someone through an advertising campaign. In November, Microsoft had launched “Scroogled” campaign through which it tried to warn consumers that they risk getting “scroogled” if they rely on Google’s shopping search service.

Add Touchscreen Experience To Any Window 8 Laptop With Portronics Handmate Pen

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Portronics Handmate Windows 8 Pen is one of those nifty little devices that seem too good to be true when you first read about them. It promises to turn any Windows 8 laptop into a touchscreen device, letting you experience the joys of owning one of those ‘hybrid’ devices at fraction of the cost. But does it work? Let’s find out.

Setting up the Handmate Windows 8 Pen is simple – just connect it to any available USB port on your Windows 8 laptop and fix the receiving unit on one of the edges of the screen, about halfway from the top. Go to Control Panel to calibrate the screen (the device comes with instructions on where exactly to go) and a barely a minute later, you are good to go. We hooked up the device to a HP Windows 8 laptop, but any standard Windows 8 machine should do.

Put in the batteries into the pen-shaped stylus and start operating your Windows 8 device by touching your laptop screen – swipe around the Windows 8 home screen, touch to start applications, swipe from edge to bring up the system menu and more, just like your device always had touch. The device really comes into its own when playing games like Cut The Rope or when you want to put finishing touches to your masterpiece in Paint.

However, there’s more to touch than just fun and games – combine the Handmate Windows 8 Pen with Microsoft Office’s Inking capabilities (found under the Review tab) and you have perhaps the fastest way to give feedback on Office documents while on the move.

A word of caution though, if you’re used to super sensitive touch experience of the iPad and the likes, the Handmate Windows 8 Pen will take some getting used to. The stylus requires slightly heavier pressing than you’d probably expect, but not the kind that’ll wear you down. It’s a small adjustment to make, and one you’ll likely make swiftly.

The Handmate Windows 8 Pen comes bundled with spare stylus and batteries that power the stylus. Portronics claims 500 hours of battery life given working/ standby ratio of 1:9. The sensors on the Handmate Windows 8 Pen use a combination of infrared and ultrasound technologies and work on screens sized 16-inches and below, which means it is good to use with laptops and even desktop monitors of that size. A newer generation product that will work with screen sizes of up to 25-inches is expected soon.

All in all, Handmate Windows 8 Pen offers a decent option for those looking to add a dash of touch to their Windows 8 experience. At Rs. 4,999 it’s a not-so-expensive option to see if touch fits in your workflow before you take the plunge and buy an expensive native touchscreen device.

Intel-powered Android notebooks could cost “as low as $200”

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Intel is looking at Android as the platform powering low-cost notebooks in the future.

During Intel’s recent earnings conference call, the company’s CEO, Paul Otellini, had said that the price of Intel-powered touch screen devices including of Notebooks will head south to as low as $200 (Rs. 10,850 approximately). However, he did not specify as to what operating system the new devices will run.

According to a new report by CNET, Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and chief product officer, has informed that the low cost notebooks Otellini was talking about are expected to run Android and that these will be powered by Intel’s Atom mobile processor. He said that a lot would depend on Microsoft’s pricing for Windows 8 for everyone to see Windows devices in that price bracket. He also expects the PC market to improve in the second half of the year with availability of new devices.

Perlmutter also said that portable devices powered by Intel’s Core line of processors could sell for as low as $399 to $499, with some higher specced Atom devices reaching the same price level.

According to IDC data, personal computer sales plunged 14 percent in the first three months of the year, the biggest decline in two decades of keeping records, as tablets continued to gain in popularity and buyers appeared to be avoiding Microsoft’s new Windows 8 system.

While a major reason is Windows 8 not finding favour among consumers, another reason is that consumers want to switch to touch and hybrid touch devices, which are still priced steeply. So cheaper touch devices might help in reviving PC sales but it it will be interesting to see if Android would be able to replace Windows as an OS platform for PCs. This when Google offers a different operating system, Chrome OS, targeting PC users.

via: ndtv gadget

Lenovo K900 launching in India May 10 carrying a sub-Rs. 25,000 price tag

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Lenovo K900, the 5.5-inch phablet with Intel’s dual-core Clover Trail+ processor inside, is set to launch in India on May 10 at a “very aggressive price”, NDTV Gadgets has learnt from its sources.

The India launch will be accompanied by a huge marketing push by the company, likely a TV campaign for the K900 corresponding with the final stages of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). While the exact launch price isn’t known yet, our sources have revealed that K900 is likely to be priced in the sub-Rs. 25,000 (~$460) category, making it an excellent value for money proposition given the power it packs under the hood.

Lenovo K900 was first showcased at CES earlier this year. The K900 packs in Intel’s dual-core Clover Trail+ platform, specifically the Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core processor clocking in at 2GHz. The device features a full-HD display, 2GB RAM and is expected to come with 16GB of internal storage.

The phablet comes with 13-megapixel rear camera with a new Sony Exmor BSI sensor and a 2-megapixel front camera. It is expected to ship with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Earlier this month, benchmarks featuring the device surfaced online, which showed the Lenovo K900 rubbing shoulders with the Samsung Galaxy S4 as far as pure benchmarks are concerned.

Having this much power at 50-60% of the cost of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will surely excite prospective customers, though Lenovo will have to address issues like brand image and dealer network, for the device to gain traction in the India market.

Lenovo K900 key specifications

  • 5.5-inch 1080p IPS capacitive touch display
  • Intel Atom Z2580 2GHz dual-core processor (Clover Trail+)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • 13-megapixel camera with Sony’s Exmor BSI sensor
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

via: ndtv gadget

iOS 7 said to sport a look that’s different, yet familiar

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The next iteration of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system will sport a very flat look, getting rid of glossy icons and user interface elements, and skeumorphic designs, if a new report is to be believed.

Online publication, 9to5Mac, cites multiple people who have seen or have knowledge of iOS 7,codenamed “Innsbruck,” Apple’s upcoming mobile operating system, to report that it would feature some redesigned elements, which could be on the lines of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system’s Metro/ Modern UI. However, the report also indicates that the fundamental elements of the OS would remain the same including its core apps, home and lock screens, so that existing users feel at home, and there’s no learning curve. The similarity to Windows Phone would be in terms of getting rid of elements like gradients completely.

iOS 7 is reportedly getting a new icon set for native Apple apps and revamped tool bars, and tab bars among other UI elements across the OS. It’s however uncertain if Apple would add settings toggles or some kind of widgets offering glance-able information to the OS. There’s also talk of Apple introducing various swipe from left/ right style-options to bring different elements of the OS, much like the notifications center slides down from the top right now, but there’s nothing certain on that front.

Redesigned interface elements could imply that app designers and developers who use Apple’s default UI elements might need to revamp their apps in-line with the new changes but most big names already use their own UI design, so it would not pose a major problem.

This is not the first time that we’re hearing about iOS 7 featuring a flat UI. Earlier this month, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber had also mentioned a ‘rather significant system-wide UI overhaul’. iMore’s Rene Ritchie also stated that after Scott Forstall’s exit and Jony Ive taking charge of iOS, the company might make some UI changes but developer APIs were likely to follow a fixed roadmap. He also warned that Ive’s work might make ‘rich-texture-loving designers’ sad.

An earlier report by The Wall Street Journal had claimed that iOS 7 would feature a ‘flat design’, that is ‘starker and simpler’ citing ‘people close to the company’.

Apple had announced a major reshuffle of its leadership late last year. Forstall, who was in charge of iOS development left the company, and design guru Jony Ive was given additional responsibility of giving overall direction to iOS, as part of his new role as leader of Human Interface (HI) across the company.

Apple is widely expected to showcase iOS 7 at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will be held between June 10 and 14 at its usual venue, Moscone West in San Francisco, California.

PowerTrekk charges phone with water, hydrogen

Pocket-size device, one of the first hydrogen fuel packs for phones and mobile devices to hit the market, lets you power up where the sun don’t shine.

With the increasing number of tech gadgets we carry around, even on hiking trips, having a reliable power source is a serious consideration. While solar-powered battery packs have been around for a while, the reliance on a consistent sunlight source is a big concern in some regions.
The pocket-size PowerTrekk Fuel Cell charger out of Sweden offers two solutions to the personal energy crisis. Besides an internal battery pack that can be charged from the mains, the device also utilizes disposable fuel cell packs. The device splits water to create hydrogen that goes through the fuel cell to create an electric current, which can be used to either power up USB-connected devices or charge the internal battery pack.
The PowerTrekk is being demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. While it’s one of the first hydrogen fuel packs for phones and mobile devices to hit the market, others, like Horizon’s HydroFill, operate on a similar principle.
Details on pricing and availability for the PowerTrekk are not provided at this time, as the company is still sourcing for distributors. In the meantime, see how the PowerTrekk works in the video above.

Source: Crave Asia

Your guide to Google Now on iOS

Not sure what Google Now is or why you’d want it on your iOS device? Read this.

(Credit: Jason Cipriani/CNET)

On Monday Google released an update to the Google Search app for all iOS users that added one major feature: Google Now. Until this release, Google Now was only available on Androiddevices, although there have been some indications that the service will eventually show up in Chrome. But this is likely the first time iOS users have seen the service, so you might be wondering what it does and how it works. Well, let’s take a look.

Get Google Now on iOS

On Android, Google Now is more or less a standalone app, but on iOS, Google had to include the service in its Google Search app. Download the latest version of Google Search from the App Store and then launch the app. After installing version 3.0 of Google Search, the first time you open the app you’ll be greeted with a short walkthrough of Google Now. You’ll need to sign in to your Google account and then agree to let Google use your location and other information for results in Google Now.

What can you do with Google Now?

Just like on Android, Google Now on iOS is built to give you information before you even ask for it. Whether it’s the current temperature outside, what the commute looks like to/from work, your favorite sports scores, or the current price of a particular stock, Google Now tracks all of this for you without you having to constantly tell it what to do. That information is then displayed in the form of cards. To view the cards, you’ll need to swipe up from the bottom of the Google Search app, where you can see the top of the cards waiting for you.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET)

To clear out a card you no longer wish to see, you simply swipe to the right or left to throw it off your screen. When you get to the bottom of the cards, you should see a “Show more cards” option if more cards are available. If not, you’ll see “Show sample cards,” which will be filled with fake information, but will provide you with a general idea of what to expect from Google Now.

Set up Google Now

Google Now can be a tad on the creepy side when it comes to knowing information about you, but it doesn’t know everything. As such, you’re going to have to set up various categories and topics in order to help Google Now.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET)

You can customize individual categories by tapping on the “i” in the top-right corner of an individual card. You can also find the Settings icon by scrolling to the bottom of the Google Now cards. In the settings for Google Now, you’ll find a total of 15 different categories you can customize and tailor to meet your needs.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET)

By tapping on a category you can turn individual categories completely off, add your favorite sports teams, enter your home and work addresses for commute information, and add stocks to watch.

The Gmail card will scan your Gmail account for e-mails containing information about upcoming flights, incoming packages, and then it automatically provide updates for you. Unfortunately, Google Now on iOS doesn’t have the ability to provide boarding passes like its Android counterpart.

There are a few limitations

If you’re a Google Apps user, you’ll be disappointed to know that Google Now isn’t compatible with Apps accounts. Right now, the Gmail scanning service, along with the calendar-scanning feature on iOS, will only work with a Gmail account. This is something Android users have been asking for since the launch of Gmail scanning, and hopefully it’s something Google adds to Google Now soon.

A major hurdle Google faces with Google Now on iOS is that it can’t run in the background on iOS as it can on Android. On Android, a user will receive an alert based on commute times, or score updates without having to launch the app, but it doesn’t appear that this is possible with iOS yet. Did you notice you weren’t asked to grant the Google Search app permission to use push notifications? Yeah, me, too.

While Google Now on iOS may not be as full-featured as it is on Android, it’s still a reliable way to get both monotonous and vital information without having to do too much work.

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