Archive | November, 2009

Samsung launches the C5130 in India, an entry-level 3G phone

24 Nov

Samsung has launched the C5130, a 3G enabled entry-level slider phone. The device’s home screen has shortcuts for popular social networking services such as Orkut, Picassa, Facebook, YouTube and a few more.


The Samsung C5130 comes with a 1.3 MP camera, MP3 player, FM Radio, expandable memory upto 8GB, a mobile tracker and three preloaded types of UI for a customizable home screen. The handheld provides users with a talktime of 13 hours and is priced at Rs 6,200.

 

Indian company develops Nat Geo's iPhone game

23 Nov

Plan it Green
We have been waiting for a while to see Indian developers make their
mark on the App Store with a major app for a while. So you bet we are
tossing our hats – oh well, our woollen scarves anyway-  on hearing
that New Udupi-based Robosoft Technologies has come out with the iPhone
version of National Geographic’s “Plan It Green.” The game was
initially launched for the PC on
Earth Day and thanks to them folks at Robosoft and publishers National
Geographic, Merscom and
I-play  is now available on the Godphone! 

“Plan It Green” puts you in the role of the Mayor of
Greenville. You must take the responsibility of restoring the former
glory of the city and making it green again. In order to proceed, you
must go through the several districts of the city and meet the goals
set in each one of them, which include building eco-friendly homes,
managing resources and maintaining the overall district happiness.
Sounds like Sim City with eco-friendliness thrown in to us, which is
far from being a bad thing really.

“We
have worked with Robosoft on many projects and given how good they were
as a partner we found this opportunity to be a perfect fit,” said Lloyd
Melnick, Chief Customer Officer at Merscom.

“We’re proud to be
associated with a game like ‘Plan It Green’, which does its part to
raise awareness about the environment” said Rohith Bhat, MD & CEO
of Robosoft. “The players will love the unhurried pace that the game
follows, unlike other building sim games which can get quite
frustrating.”

The game is now available on the App Store and is priced at $ 3.99. Are we downloading it? You bet we are. We love the environment!

Opera Mobile 10 lets us surf Google Wave!

23 Nov

The folks at Opera have long ceased to surprise us. Be it their release
of Opera Mini which brought desktop-like browsing right into mainstream
phone territory to Opera Link which let us sync bookmarks between the
desktop and mobile avatars of Opera, we have resigned ourselves to
knowledgeable “there-the-Opera-chaps-go-again-changing-the-mobile-web”
shrugs whenever we hear something new from them. And it was one of
these shrugs that we brought out of cold storage when we heard of Opera
Mobile 10 with its improved support for web standards and totally
revamped interface. Still, we must admit that we were stunned when we
found that we could actually use the browser to surf our Google Wave
account. Yes, it was a tad slow (heck, we are in EDGE connectivity
territory here, fellas). Yes, we could not see our mates typing
simultaneously. Yes, we sometimes needed a couple of refreshes to get
everything in.

But counterbalance that with the fact that we could post replies to
waves, generate new ones and edit existing ones and you can see why we
are so excited – we could not even access the site on other browsers (yes, and that
includes the mobile versions of Safari and Google’s own Chrome – the
latter even told us to head to a PC!) . Who knows, the full version might even let us add
pictures and see live pictures!! We are excited. Wish we could have
thrown in a screenshot, but heck, that would have meant exposing all
our contacts, so you will just have ta take our word for it. Oh, and a
word of caution – Google Wave seems to work better on the Symbian S60
version of the browser rather than the Win Mo one. No, we do not know
if that is a conspiracy.

Meanwhile, here is our tip to the folks at Opera if they want to
surprise us again: how about a fully functional Google Docs on Opera
Mobile or (all right we are pushing our luck here) Opera Mini? We
promise to be flabbergasted!

Indian consumer to pay just Rs 19 to change their carrier under mobile number portability regime

23 Nov

TRAI has confirmed that mobile users would be able to shift service providers through MNP from December 31, 2009 by paying a service fee of Rs 19 only. Mobile Number portability (MNP) allows subscribers to retain their current mobile numbers while shifting to a new operator.

 

Subscribers in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh will be allowed MNP from December 31, 2009. Subscribers in the rest of India will be able to avail this facility from March 2010. 
 

According to TRAI, this facility of retention of the existing mobile number despite choosing a new carrier will trigger more competition among the various service providers. Also, it will act as a catalyst to encourage operators to enhance their services.

Symbian still holds 94 percent share of the total smartphone traffic in India: AdMob

23 Nov

According to AdMob’s latest Mobile Metrics report, worldwide requests from Android devices have increased 5.8 times since April 2009. Globally, the iPhone takes the lead with 50 percent of the smartphone traffic share followed by Symbian with 25 percent. Android, which is barely a year-old platform already accounts for 11 percent of traffic generated on AdMob’s mobile advertising network.

 

However, India bucks the global trend. Symbian, which accounts a quarter of the global smartphone traffic, generates a whopping 94 percent traffic in India! What’s more, the top 20 Symbian devices are manufactured by Nokia. However, the list of these 20 phones hasn’t changed much this year apart from the inclusion of the 5800 XM phone, which speaks a lot about how the OS has stagnated at the moment.

 

In India, Android and iPhone account for just one and three percent traffic, which showcases how the market has failed to mature. We believe that the absence of carrier-subsidised smartphones and the relative newness of the Android platform are the main reasons behind this trend.

 

What’s interesting, however, is that the iPhone has managed to topple Windows Mobile, which accounts for just two percent of traffic generated on AdMob. Well, this figure can be a bit deceptive as Windows Mobile did not have an application store till very recently and hence, users using apps with AdMob’s advertising are expected to be far lower than those using an iPhone. We are certain that Windows Mobile is the second most popular smartphone OS after Symbian in India.

Tata Docomo brings per-second billing while roaming

23 Nov

A day after Bharti Airtel slashed its roaming rates, Tata DoCoMo has responded by introducing its per-second tariff while roaming. After launching one paisa a second for all local or STD calls, Tata DoCoMo has introduced one paisa per second for all incoming and outgoing local and STD calls to any network, to mobile or landline phones, while roaming nationally. Subscribers need not buy vouchers to avail this service.


This facility is available for both prepaid and postpaid users across India.
We must remind you that we already have RCom providing per-second billing in roaming also.

 

We don't create finished designs anymore, our users do: Nokia Digital Design Head

23 Nov

Through the last fortnight or so, we have been meeting members of Nokia’s design team. This is the first in a series of many posts in which we interact with the people behind the design of Nokia’s user interfaces and products to learn how they do what they do.

We start with Nikki Barton, head of digital design at Nokia, who tells us the latest developments in design of user interfaces in cellphones. Some excerpts from our interaction…

Nokia’s design team is based out of four main locations – London, Espoo, Helsinki, Beijing. However, designers keep shuttling across the world as they design devices and experiences suited for people of every country, culture and lifestyle.

Unlike what most of us believe, design is more about putting people first and technology later. Technology is just a means of making what people want possible.

“We’re no longer creating the end-experience anymore. Users are now creating their personal experience. We are no longer creating finished products – no longer about features and apps, but more about how you do with those features and apps.”

Touch is here to stay but it is not for everyone and not for every situation.