Archive | March, 2010

IPL content available on your mobile phone by dialling 08 123 123 123!

24 Mar

IPL has found a new sweetheart in mobile phones. With July System’s MIX platform, IPL content is readily available on mobile phones for free by just dialling toll free number 08 123 123 123. A link will be messaged after when you dial and you’ll be able to check out live score, ball-by-ball updates, action replays, video scorecards and cheerleader videos. The service has recorded 2,000 hours of video downloads since the opening of IPL season (in just 12 days).

 

Smartphone owners have the advantage of watching high quality videos but are the people who do not carry such fancy phones ignored? No, definitely not! They can watch content in slow motion and since we tried watching slow motion videos, we can say it wasn’t bad at all.

 

The guys at July Systems also claim that this service is just not hit among Indians, they’re also getting calls from carriers of El Salvador, Haiti requesting them to deliver IPL content on their networks.  

 

So what’s next on their agenda? Well, they showed a great deal of interest in ‘Shera’ (mascot for CWG 2010) and soccer (FIFA World Cup 2010). We’ll keep tuned in.

Airtel announces iPhone 3GS, available from March 26 for Rs 35,500/Rs 41,500

24 Mar

Finally, the iPhone 3GS has officially landed in India. After months of speculation, Airtel today announced that it will retail the latest avatar of the Godphone starting March 26. Last week, we had reported that the iPhone 3GS will be available from March 24 but apparently that turned out to be the announcement date than the actual launch.

Airtel has priced the 16 GB version for Rs 35,500 and the 32 GB variant for Rs 41,500. The data plans are not yet clear and it isn’t clear either whether the device will be locked to the carrier (in all probability, it would be).

We haven’t heard from any other carriers yet about their plans to introduce the iPhone 3GS. though we are keeping our eyes peeled as we expect at least one more carrier (the one associated with ZooZoos) to make an announcement soon.

Sprint announces the first 4G Android smartphone…HTC EVO 4G

23 Mar

Sprint finally showcased its much anticipated 4G handset at CTIA in Las Vegas today. 

The HTC EVO 4G is a very impressive smartphone packed with an amazing 4.3″ AMOLED screen, two cameras and a built in WiFi hotspot which can provide simultaneous connectivity to 8 additional devices. We were able to play with the device for a few minutes. Here are our first impressions:

  • The video quality is exceptional. The rear facing camera shoots at 8 MP. A front facing shoots at 1.3 MP
  • HTC’s touch sense interface worked elegantly
  • The back of the phone is slightly curved – similar to the iPhone 3G and 3GS
  • Speedy operation of Android 2.1

Here are some of the unique specifications of the HTC EVO 4G:

  • 2 cameras. One that operates at 8 MP.  Simultaneous shoot and upload video to the web
  • HDMI connectivity to television
  • 4.3 inches AMOLED display
  • 1GHz snapdragon processor
  • 2-3 Mbps Internet access speeds

The EVO 4G will soon become a contender for the best Android phone in the market. The closest competitors being the the Nexus One and the Motorola Droid. The HTC EVO 4G is expected to be available later this summer. 

SanDisk starts shipping 32 GB microSDHC cards that cost a fortune

23 Mar

SanDisk has started shipping its first 32GB microSDHC memory card for cellphones. The high capacity memory cards have been manufactured using the latest 32 nm manufacturing technology that enables it to cram 32 GB of memory into a card that’s the size of a finger nail.

Sounds good? Well, the card will set you back by $199 or about Rs 9,000 when it eventually makes it to Indian shores. Coming to think of it, one can buy a decent feature phone for that price!

So will you be one of the first to pick a memory card that’s more expensive than its weight in gold? Let us know, if you do.

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Opera submits Opera Mini 5 browser to App Store for approval, but does it really matter?

23 Mar

Opera Software, the makers of one of the world’s favourite third party browser for cellphones, today announced that they have submitted the iPhone version of their Mini 5 browser to the App Store for approval. The Oslo-based company had earlier demonstrated the browser to us at MWC in Barcelona and claims that it is six times faster than Safari, the default (and so far the only) web browser on the iPhone.

We are definitely Opera fans (we have it running on Android, Symbian S60 and is usually the first third party app that we install on any WinMo device that doesn’t have Opera Mobile browser pre-installed) and we were quite impressed when we experienced Opera Mini running on the iPhone at MWC. However, today’s announcement comes across as Opera bragging and challenging Apple to approve their app than anything else.

Here’s the deal: all of us know that Apple doesn’t like any app that ‘replicates’ the functionality of its own native apps (read iTunes, Safari and the likes). Opera claims that they have gone through the guidelines that Apple requires developers to follow and are confident that Opera Mini doesn’t flout any of these guidelines.

But it doesn’t matter what Opera thinks, what matters is what Apple thinks. Period. Naysayers might snigger at this statement, but let’s be real – the iPhone is a closed platform and Apple has all the rights to approve/disapprove any app on ‘its’ App Store.

Apple’s guidelines for iPhone app developers have been around since the App Store was launched more than a year-and-a-half ago and if Opera was confident that Mini didn’t flout any rules, it could have submitted the browser a long time ago. (Opera has been toying with the iPhone for a long time and has had a version of Opera Mini running on it internally.)

While today’s statement indicates that the ball is in Apple’s court now, I see it as a cheap publicity stunt on the eve of CTIA. Having said that, if Apple gives Opera Mini a green light, I’d be one of the first people to download it.

RIM launches BlackBerry Storm 2 in India

22 Mar

The BlackBerry Storm 2 has finally arrived in India. The new baby sports the same idustrial design as the original Storm but a few software tweaks have been done on the Storm 2 with an inclusion of Wi-Fi (absent in Storm).

The SurePress technology has also been revamped as the previous one on Storm was rather too glitchy. This time, the overhauled SurePress technology promises “tactile feedback when the touchscreen is pressed” and also allows the user to type a letter with one thumb even when the other thumb is touching or resting on another letter. 

The Storm 2 is priced at Rs 31,990.

SPECS:

A 3.25 inch capacitative touchscreen, a 3.2 MP camera with flash and video recording, 2 GB of onboard memory storage with a support for 16 GB microSD card, 3.5 mm audio jack, GPRS/EDGE/Wi-Fi connectivity, built in GPS and 6 hours of talktime on 3G networks.

Orkut app finally comes to Android, syncs with your phonebook too!

18 Mar

It is strange why Google takes so long to get their own products on their own smartphone OS. Think about it, we have seen too many executions of Facebook integration on Android (think HTC Sense, Moto Blur…) but none for Google’s Orkut. Seems not many people prefer Orkut these days and it was only a matter of time before Google took it into its own hands.

And it did. Today, Google has announced an Orkut app for devices running Android 1.6 and upwards. The app, which we are told is available on the Android Market, enables users to check their friends’ profiles, upload pictures to their photo albums, read and post scraps… you get the drift?

What is interesting, however, is that you can even add those friends to your contacts (seen here in the screenshot) or add a live folder on the homescreen to check on your friends. Users will also get notifications pushed to the phone whenever a new scrap is posted.

Sounds interesting, but that’s all we can say at the moment. After all, the HTC Hero is still stuck on Android 1.5. Strange that of all devices, it is the best device of the year that is yet to get an OS upgrade. Are you listening, HTC?

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Five carriers submit bids for Indian 3G spectrum auction

18 Mar

Five carriers have submitted their bids to acquire 3G spectrum in India. Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone, Tata Teleservices and Etisalat have submitted their bids on the penultimate day of submitting bids. Tata Communications, Tikona and Vodafone have also submitted their bids for the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum in the 2.3 GHz. Qualcomm had submitted its bid for BWA spectrum yesterday. Aircel is expected to submit its 3G bid tomorrow.

Motorola to launch the Milestone in India on March 22

18 Mar

It will be raining smartphones in India next week! After reporting that the iPhone 3GS and Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 will be launched on March 24 and March 26 respectively, we have got word that Motorola will be launching the much awaited Milestone on March 22.

The Milestone will be the first Android 2.1 smartphone in the country and will be priced close to Rs 30,000. The Milestone has a full QWERTY keyboard, a 5.0 MP shooter and all the connectivity options that one would expect from a high-end smartphone, Motorola also has the Backflip and Dext lined up for India and are expected to be launched before June.

So which one do you plan to pick up – the iPhone 3GS, the XPERIA X10 or the Milestone?

Sony Ericsson to launch XPERIA X10 in India next week

18 Mar

Come March 26 and Sony Ericsson will launch its first Android phone in India – the XPERIA X10. Dominated by a massive 4.0 inch display and an 8.0 MP camera, the X10 could be the multimedia monster that has eluded Android so far.

Like most vendors, Sony Ericsson has customised the user interface and has added features like mediascape and timescape that keep users on top of their multimedia and online social networks.

At the moment, the X10 runs on Android OS 1.6, though Sony Ericsson says it will update it to the latest OS version soon.

We are yet to ascertain the price of the X10 but we won’t be surprised if it is priced upwards of Rs 30k when it hits shelves later this month.

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