Month: December 2007

Year 2007 in review

What a year it has been in every way. Let me look at some of the areas I am interested in, and after the new year I will also write a predication post for the year 2008

Technology : This year saw bill gates retire from Microsoft. The release of iphone (God phone). The dominance of Google and rise in popularity of Facebook. Vista troubles dotcom bubbles etc.

Sports: Saw India finally deliver something, 20-20 world cup for all the hype about them. Saw Real Madrid win the Spanish league after a long draught. Saw the demise of Chelsea and rise of Arsenal. Problems in Italian football and the juggernaut of Australian cricket. The destruction of cycling and athletics with drug scandals. Rugby world cup came and went no one really cared because of the stupid TV restrictions.

Politics: The Iraq quagmire continues, Many leading nations saw their leaders change. Political unrest continues world over. Terrorism is on the rise especially in Asia.

Climate: The global warming seem to be hitting home not with big disastrous but with little annoyances. Luckily one of the bigger storms fizzled off, how many more can we dodge only God knows.

Economy: USA see to headed for recession and the world in particular Russia and Asia seem to in the midst of prosperity.

Gaming: Delays continue lack of availability manufactured or now continue at least for wii. Halo 3 and some surprise hits in Orange Box, Mass Effect and Bio Shock kept this year interesting. Rise of Handheld Gaming and casual games continues.

Movies: Big name movies disappoint some got a bit of our money and excitement from us. But not such a great year for movies.

Television: Seems to be on the rise again after the years of tivo and sitcoms. But it will take more such years for it to get back to its glory days.

Music: Seem to be helping bring the changes, but only to sell more of it. Lack of expression or thought continues.

All in all not a good year in my opinion. We have seen better years. And will see better years. Wish you all a Happy New Year and a more exciting one at that. Watch out for my New Year Predictions.

Cool stuff you can do with your iphone

The last part of my review is the cool stuff you can do with the iphone. As you might know iphone only comes with some app’s. So the first thing you need to do is jail break it so that you can install third party app’s. Jail breaking the iphone mostly depends on what firmware you have. Do a Google search and you will get Hundreds of sites that tell you how to do it. Always be careful when you do this stuff, it could brick you iphone.

There are so many fun app’s that you will never get bored. I will write about two of them here.

Play NES games on iphone You can play games on the iphone. the nes app is quite playable too. There are other emulators for Gba and psx. But I have not tried them yet. This app gives the iphone the one thing its missing games. And you will have fun playing and remembering the good old times. There are many other games too see some them below. Like solitaire, mine, idigger etc.

Many more games will come to iphone as people realize what a cool gaming device this could be.

 

 

Mine game for iphoneSolitare for IphoneMine game for iphone

You can get others wallpapers with this app lets you see what others people are using as their wallpaper and if you like them you can take theirs and put it on your iphone. It works through gprs so watch out if you don’t have unlimited account. But something like this should be available as a default for all the mobile phones. Because changing the background is one of the easiest and simplest ways to customize anything.

Native Apps for iphoneTodo list for iphoneNative Apps for iphone

There are plenty of new app’s coming out everyday.

There are also many web app’s which work through the safari browser go here for the list of web app’s which work on iphone. But they are not as cool as native app’s.

So have fun and enjoy trying them.

Conclusion the iphone is one heck of a phone, there are many nice touches that you will notice once you get the phone. You will realize that this is not just another phone. You will not regret getting it. Even though the price is a bit steep in India, its worth every rupees.

The actual Review of iphone in India

Now the review of the actual device interface. First let me begin with the

Phone on IphonePhone in the iphone Its one of the easiest and simplest phone you can get. Anyone can quickly get use to it everything is big and easily and really responsive.

Even when going through contact or switching between calls or using keypad all are done with animation and none of them even hesitate. So its just one wonderful phone. Just for that people should buy this. Many people to whom i showed my previous phones don’t know how to make calls even after many tries. With iphone it just takes one try and they get it. That is as simple as you get. As you can see from the picture you get all the details you need simply and elegantly. So phone in iphone is superb.

Tip: When you get a call if you don’t want to take it just press the on and off switch ones to silence the ringing and once more to decline the call.

Phone on IphonePhone on IphonePhone on Iphone

 

Sms on iphone Sms on iphone has a special feature where you can see it like a chat session. If you are smsing the same person you will get a chat like view of the sms when a new one is received. The keypad is quite good and the keyboard corrects any mistakes that you make. So smsing is really nice on the iphone. It even shows a small icon with numbers on the sms button to show you how many unread sms are there. Which is really cool.

 

 

 

Sms on iphoneSms on iphoneSms on iphone

Camera on Iphone is only 2 mega pixel but it takes some of the best pictures i have seen on any mobile phone. The color is really good and the quality of the photo is also really nice. It takes pictures even when you are listening to music etc without a hitch. And some nice animation to go with it. There are not many setting to change just point the camera and click. The only thing i miss about the camera is the physical button to take photos. You have to click on the screen to take photos. Which is fine but it would have been nice if it had a physical button.

Tip: Take a picture as soon as the camera app comes on and you get good color.

photos on Iphone Photos on Iphone this has to be the feature that you will show to anyone who wants to see you iphone. As you might have seen from the video you can zoom and flick to see the photos in all their glory. There is also a small play button if you want to play a slide show for someone. All in all a very nice feature which works flawlessly.

Tip: When you play slideshow you change the transitions which are really nice by going into the settings options. There are five to six cool transitions you can try out. You can also set photos as wallpaper by zooming correctly to where you want. And also use these photos for contacts.

photos on Iphone

Email on IphoneE-Mail on iphone is so easy to setup. When you open the app for the first time you will get an option to choose an account from yahoo, Google or AOL or others. With Google and yahoo which i tried, if you select, it will only ask for username and password and everything is setup automatically and you are good to go. With yahoo you get push email and the best part is you get imap access to yahoo for free, for which you have to pay on any other mobile device. it works smoothly even with five to six accounts which i tried. you can set to check mail every 15 minutes and half hour or manually etc. When you go to the inbox it will check for new messages. All the messages can be read in their full html glory. Which is nice if you get pictures or have joined any newsletters. all are displayed inline and its quite fast. Reply and composing is also neat. You can attach a signature to all you out going mail. Everything works smoothly. It has never crashed on me in two months usage.

Tip: You can add  many account, but if you want to see only a few that you use regularly. just go to the setting and turn off the mail accounts you don’t want to see. That way you don’t have to enter the details again when you want to use them. I have 7 accounts and only 2 are turned on because those are the one i use daily.

Email on IphoneEmail on IphoneEmail on Iphone

Web Browsing on Iphone Web Browsing on Iphone safari browser make browsing on the iphone a pleasure. It loads normal sites faster than the mobile sites which shows how good this browser is. Its really quite fast at loading pages and rendering them. Once you use web on iphone you wonder how you ever tried using web on any other phone. Its that good. the bookmark feature is really neat too. You can rotate the phone and the pages turn automatically and that way you can read the webpages at a bigger size. Once the page loads, when you click on any text it automatically resizes to the screen which is really neat. You will know why once you get to use it. I thought operamini were doing good job with their browser but boy oh boy its nothing like safari. Safari is fast and really easy to use.

Tips: When you sync your iphone your bookmarks can also be synced. At the moment syncing is supported for it or safari. I use safari on the PC too that way I get good experience using web and my bookmarks are always synced.

Web Browsing on IphoneWeb Browsing on IphoneWeb Browsing on Iphone

Maps on iphone Maps on Iphone is just a show off app at the moment because not many things in India are tagged. You can see and get all the big landmarks in satellite view but the directions option doesn’t work at all. Hopefully it will improve in future when Indian government realizes that maps can also used for some good purposes too. Until then use this to show off to people what you can do with your iphone.

Tip: if you want to get good results when you search be as specific as possible put as many details as possible,. Like state name and country and city name if you try to look for a place in a city. And you will get good results.

 

Maps on iphoneMaps on iphoneMaps on iphone

Music on Iphone is something special. Once you sync your phone with your itunes library. Its just pleasure to use. You can select albums in cover flow. You can have big album cover displayed when you listen to songs. You can rate them. You can create play lists on the fly. You have to use to believe it. You can use the speaker on the iphone but to get the best experience you have to use the ear buds which are quite good. It even has a small button on it to pause the song or skip the song etc. If you are listening to music when a call comes the music slowly fades out and you get the call. when you end the call the music automatically comes back which is nice when you are traveling. you don’t have to search for your iphone just to start the music again.

Sorry I can’t get any picture for these feature because the screen capture app closes when I open these features

Video on the iphone is really nice. It only play mp4 video that are synced with itunes. You have to go and manually select which movies to sync which is annoying. But the video display is really nice. And plays without any hiccups. The best part is when you play any video on the itunes and sync it with iphone it will start playing from where you stopped watching in itunes. Which is a really nice touch. It works the other way around too, if you see a movie on iphone and sync it with itunes and play the file in itunes it will start from where it was stopped on the iphone. It plays 1 gb files without any hiccup. Even when you zoom in and out its really smooth.

Tip: Its plays all the video from video podcast very well. So go get some video podcast’s.

Podcast’s on iphone is also really simple once you use itunes as your podcast clients just sync it and all your podcast’s are on the iphone now. The best part is you don’t have three different app’s. Its just one app for movies, music and podcast’s. When you select podcast and play it only plays audio even if its a video file. To play video podcast’s go to video section of the app and it plays video podcast there.

Download a XML file of my favorite podcast here. Right click and select save target as and download the file to your computer. Then just import it in itunes and you can listen to all the podcast’s I listen to.

Calendar on Iphone also is nice. Its simple and clean and works really well. Adding events is also very easy.

You Tube on Iphone is neat little app but i have not used it much because its quite slow on edge network. I have not tried it on WIFI yet. But it has nice interface and is really easy to use.

Stocks on iphone is a nice app where you can keep tab on all the stocks you want. adding new ones is also very easy. It works quite well even on edge. I think it only use small amount of data so its really nice app. Even Indian companies work with it.

Weather on iphone is also a great app. It shows weather with some very nice icons. For raining and cloudy etc. It even works with Indian cities.

Clock and Alarm on iphone is easy to use and easy to change.

Stocks on iphoneWeather on IphoneClock And Alaram on iphone

These are just the app’s that come on the iphone. With just them iphone is really a good buy. You can add more app’s if you jail break the iphone.

You really will not get a sense of how cool and nice the iphone is unless you see it in person. So see a demo and you will want one.

iphone review from India after using it in India

 iPhone in India Here is my long promised detailed iphone review. Since i want to tell you so many things i will split the review into three parts.

1. Buying and all the other stuff related to that

2. The actual Review of iphone in India

3. The other cool stuff  iphone can do

1. Buying and all the other stuff related to that

The actual price when i bought the iphone from bangalore Burma bazaar was 27500 Rs. Another seller said he could give it to me for 24500 Rs but he said that none of the features will work so i went to the guy who knew about this stuff and paid a little extra and bought it for 27500 Rs.

Some of the things to know before you buy.

Networks You can use Iphone in IndiaIphone will work on all the gsm networks in India. If you have a mobile connection with Sim card it will work

All the feature of the iphone will work in India only the visual voicemail will not work

You have to unlock the iphone to use in India, which the seller would have already done for you. Sometimes they will tell a lesser price than I mentioned above and once you buy ask 2500 Rs or so for unlocking so ask first about unlocking.

Iphone you buy at present in India come without any warranty, no one gives warranty

So check all the features and the screen etc before you buy

Itunes will not automatically update your firmware only if you click update or restore on the iphone or itunes will the firmware be updated or restored so don’t worry. Try and avoid these at all costs unless you know what you are doing.

There are Chinese knock off that look like the iphone so be aware, there is nothing wrong in buying them but don’t pay this kind of money for a fake one.

Also see if you are getting the 8gb one or the 4gb one because 4gb ones cost less around 23500 Rs etc

The seller will claim that iphone has 5 mega pixel camera, its not its just 2 megapixel and there is only one iphone model so far.

These are things you need to know.

Check the unit well and see if it has any scratches etc because it could be a old piece that would have been returned by other customers because of issues. So ask for fresh piece and check all the features like charging and touch screen feedback etc.

Once you buy the iphone don’t restore it because it will lock itself. And also try not to update the firmware from itunes. Both these will lock the iphone, don’t worry someone will always crack the new firmware. Once its locked take it back to the seller and for a small fee he will unlock it for you. Also don’t try to disconnect the iphone between updating the firmware if you have done it by mistake let the update finish other wise you could brick (damage) your iphone.

Accesories that with iPhone When you buy, these are the things you will get in a small box. The box will have an iphone, cradle, power plug, one set of headphone, 1 USB cable and a cloth to wipe the screen which you will be doing quite a bit.

Also when you buy the iphone try and get a rubber cover for the iphone which will help protect your iphone from slipping which it can easily do. Since everybody will be asking for your iphone to have look its a good idea to put a rubber cover at least for a week or so. Once you get comfortable with the iphone you can remove the cover. And use it in all its glory.

Try not to put too much personal stuff for the first week or so because people will want to have a look at your iphone quite a bit. so wait at least a week or so before putting your girl friend’s picture on the iphone. Unless you are comfortable with other touching and flicking at your girl friend pictures :-). I put sreya’s picture for the first week, i guess she is use to this kind of attention.

to be continued…

Stop dreaming wireless will never get fast enough

I think cities are the real problem. Because you are in a big city no matter what connection you get it will be always slow. You will never get the best speeds due to the amount of people using it.

All the mobile service provider can only provide you around 150 kpbs which might sound big but that’s only 15-20 kb. At their peak, but you will have hard time hitting those peaks if you are in a city.

My reliance connection when I am in a city like Madras (Chennai) only gets around 10kb, but when I am out of the city I get 15-20 kb easily.

So stop thinking its your phone or the provider that is to blame. Even if you get the best phone and the best provider you will all have the same experience. Don’t think this will improve, it won’t because by the time 3G rolls in India the content provide will be onto the next thing and they will need even more speeds.

For example when first gprs came out mobile web pages were all the norms. Which you can see quite fast now a days on any Indian mobile provider, but the world has already moved on to video, and online document editing, maps  and full web experience with iphone. Which gprs will never be capable of, so as then head line says stop dreaming and get real.

The better option would be to get broadband connection.

By the way if you want a nice page for those mobile sites try www.prasanthtechblog.com/m/ I have put all the mobile site for my own consumption up there. You too can use it, let me know if I should any more site to the list.

Things to do before you buy an iphone

If you are going to buy an iphone read this before you do. This will help you use your iphone to the fullest.

First of all get GPRS activated on your Sim card. Iphone has a super browser and almost all the things on iphone need GPRS. Like the stock, weather etc. Also try to get the unlimited package because you will be using it a lot.

If you have a computer then try to find a way to sync your contacts etc with outlook. Once you get iphone it will sync all the details available in outlook to your iphone.

You can sync your mobile contacts with outlook and also save them on google in multiple ways do it with plaxo, funambol or even with ScheduleWorld and get ready.

Download itunes and put all your music on it and organise it the way you like. Don’t for get to put album covers. Since most of the songs from india don’t have way to get album covers in itunes you can add them manually. By cliking on each song and selecting get info then just drag the picture you want as your ablum cover into the artwork window and click okay and itunes save that photo as your mp3 files art work or album cover.

If you do this when you browse the mp3 on iphone with coverflow it will look cool.and will be helpful in getting to the song you want quickly.

Also convert all your videos into mp4 format because iphone only plays mp4 format. There are plenty of software that do free video conversion to mp4.

If you get all these things in place you will have an easy transistion to iphone.

10 Reason why you should get an iphone in India

iphone 1. It is the best damn cool phone out there that you can buy for that price. You can buy something with more specs but it will not get you this kind of fun, wonder and looks from others.

2. The interface is the coolest I have used on any mobile device. After watching the demo i thought i will get tired of it after a while. But believe me it has such super response that you will never get tired of it. The best touch screen interface ever.

3. The camera even though its just 2 mega pixel I think it takes the best photos on any mobile device. The color and the quality of the photos are really nice. Who need a crappy 5 mega pixel camera when you can have a such a nice 2 mega pixel camera.

4. You can check all your email even with images and html. You get free imap access to all your yahoo mail. So far I have set 6 different email 3 yahoo, 2 gmail and 1 pop and its so easy to use mail.

5. Browsing, I never knew my mobile connection was this fast and I could browse website so easily. The best browsing on any mobile device period. When normal sites load faster than the mobile formatted sites its saying something.

6. Storage Space thats right it has 8gb, that plenty of space from my last phone which was 1gb. I can take all my music, videos etc with me now.

7. E-book reader, you need to jailbreak it to install third party apps and you can add PDF reader and ebook reader and use it for that.

8. The battery life of iphone, apple’s claim is 24 hours audio and 2 hours of video. My player seems to be so good that I rarely think of recharging.

9. The synching with itunes is so easy that you wonder how you ever synced other devices.

10. All in all such a neat package in such cool and small form that you have to get one. I don’t care if you have to do some part time work go get one.

Watch out for my detailed review in a few days time.

How can apple vanish amazon’s kindle

All apple needs to do is add ebooks to the iTunes store and put an ebook reader app on the iPhone in their next firmware update. And watch as the kindle disappears.

Since ebooks are so small in size they could allow wireless downloads similar to kindle. iPhone screen looks so good that kindle will struggle to convince people to buy it.

This could be the easiest way for apple to take over a segment. All they need to do is makes some changes to their software and they will have the ebook segment.

This could also help them sell more iPod touch’s.

How can apple vanish amazon's kindle

All apple needs to do is add ebooks to the iTunes store and put an ebook reader app on the iPhone in their next firmware update. And watch as the kindle disappears.

Since ebooks are so small in size they could allow wireless downloads similar to kindle. iPhone screen looks so good that kindle will struggle to convince people to buy it.

This could be the easiest way for apple to take over a segment. All they need to do is makes some changes to their software and they will have the ebook segment.

This could also help them sell more iPod touch’s.