Monday, December 26, 2011

700,000 Android Devices Activated Daily

Just few months back Google said 500,000 Android devices were activated on daily basis. Today Andy Rubin, SVP Google, let loose another number on Google's social network Google+. He said as of Dec 20th more than 700,000 Android devices are activated every day.

There was lot of criticism from competitors that Google was counting re-activations in the total number of activations to inflate the number. However, Andy Rubin also mentions "and for those wondering, we count each device only once (ie, we don't count re-sold devices), and "activations" means you go into a store, buy a device, put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service."

This means close to 30,000 Android devices are activated every hour and 500 devices activated every minute. In comparison only 250 babies are born every minute in the world and Android is reproducing at a much faster pace than child birth.

Waiting for BlackBerry 10? Don't Wait!

RIM has officially announced that the new platform BB 10.0 (BBX) won't be ready until the latter half of 2012. If you have been waiting to upgrade your phone be prepared to wait longer. Only time will tell how this news will affect RIM's outlook for 2012.

Friday, December 16, 2011

RIM stock plummets after earnings report

RIM reported its 3rd quarter earnings after the closing bell on Thursday. Even though RIM only missed the earnings forecast by a small margin (actual $5.2B compared to forecast of $5.3B), the 4th quarter guidance was worse than expected.

Net Income dropped to $285M from $911M in the same quarter last year. As reported earlier RIM took a massive loss on Playbook sales writing off $485M due to lagging sales. RIM said it shipped only 150,000 Playbook Tablets in the 3rd quarter.

RIM projects revenue to be between $4.6 - $4.98 Billion in the 4th quarter. Streets expectations were around $5.12 Billion. Based on these forecast stock price for RIMM dropped 7% ($13.98) in after-hours trading.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Free calling from Gmail extended until end of 2012

Today Google announced that it is extending the free calling feature from with in Gmail and Google Voice until end of 2012. Until yesterday it was still un-clear if Google would start charging for calls from Gmail, but all that speculation has been put to an end now.

If you would like to replace your land line with ObiTalk you can be rest assured that you will still have free calling until end of 2012 and most probably extended beyond that date.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Facebook Beats Google in Android Market

According to Nielsen Research Facebook app has overtaken Google apps on its own turf. The research was based on the active usage of the app in last 30 days. After Android Market, which is required to download apps, Facebook was the most actively used app on Android devices.

Gmail came a close second in most age groups. One app in particular that catches my attention is Advanced Task Killer. Almost 25% of the users actively use Advanced Task Killer on their phone. For those of you who don't know about the app, it is a app that is constantly running on the phone and terminates apps that are running in background and no longer needed. It helps in freeing up memory as well as extends the battery life.

If so many users have to depend on a third party app to improve the performance of the phone why can't Google come up with a built-in app for better app management?

Source: Nielsen Blog

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Free Tech Support from Microsoft

Microsoft has launched a 24/7 Tech Support service call AnswerDesk. You can initiate a chat with one of the Answer Techs and ask them any technical questions you may have. Even better, if you would like to speak to one of them you can give them your number and they shall call you to help you over the phone. Best part is it's FREE.

The Answer Tech you speak with will attempt to diagnose and resolve your PC questions during a complimentary troubleshooting session. Additional services such as Virus Removal, issues with Microsoft office products, PC Start up issues, etc are available for a fee. If you choose to accept any of these services the Tech will use remote assistance to access your PC and perform necessary actions to resolve your issue.

They also provide one hour personal training for $49. You will need to log in using a windows live ID. Do you have any issues with your PC or are just bored looking at Facebook profiles? Go to the source link and chat away with a Answer Tech to get rid of your boredom.

Source: AnswerDesk

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Google TV Update Coming to Logitech Revue Today

About time. Finally the much anticipated HoneyComb update is coming to Logitech Revue. Today morning Google announced on its official blog that all Revue units will start receiving the update Over The Air today.

Update will include

  1. A Simple Interface with customizable home screen.
  2. Make it easy to find something worth watching. You can now search for movies whether it is Netflix, Youtube, or Amazon.
  3. Improvised YouTube experience with YouTube specifically built for Google TV.
If you own one of the Logitech Revue devices go ahead and update your device for some Honeycomb awesomeness.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

10 cents apps in Android Market

Google's Android Market recently crossed 10 Billion downloads and to celebrate this milestone Google will be offering bunch of apps each day for the next 10 days at 10 cents each. Today, they starting with Asphalt 6 HDColor & Draw for KidsEndomondo Sports Tracker ProFieldrunners HDGreat Little War GameMinecraftPaper CameraSketchbook MobileSoundhound Infinity and Swiftkey X. 

Keep checking this link every day to see if any of the apps that you have been wanting, but have held your self due to the price shows up for 10 cents.

HUB, Yahoo's app for free International SMS

Recently we wrote an article on JaxtrSMS providing a service to send and receive local and international SMSes for free over Wifi or cellular data connection. Today Yahoo joined the Free SMS party with their app, HUB, in the Android Market.

The description from the Android Market states "Hub (beta) is a fast and easy-to-use messaging app that allows you to send text messages and have group conversations for FREE. There are no text messaging fees – messages are sent over WIFI or using your data connection. And it doesn’t matter what phones your friends have, they don’t need the app to reply!"

Just like JaxtrSMS, the recipient of HUB messages don't need to download the app to receive messages. Currently HUB is only available on Android devices, but you can send messages to any device and any phone number*.

One feature in particular that stands out with HUB is ability to send group messages. Just like groups in BBM or Whatsapp, but the recipients of your HUB message may not be a member of HUB.

HUB is currently only available to users with a US mobile number.

* This feature is currently available when sending to numbers in United States, Canada, Indonesia, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. SMS recipients may be charged by their carriers.

First Ice Cream Sandwich Phone to Arrive in US on Friday

The first Android 4.0 phone, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, is set to launch on December 9th. Verizon is the first US wireless carrier to start selling the Galaxy Nexus. The phone is highly anticipated as it is going to be the first phone to sport Ice Cream Sandwich operating system by Google.

Even though the price has not been confirmed yet, it is rumored to be $299 on a 2 year contract. If you are in the market for a new phone go visit your nearest Verizon store on Friday.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Comparing VoiP Services

Few years back when anyone would say land-line phone you would imagine a twisted pair of cable, which is pulled in your house by the local telephone company's technician. Depending on the country of residence it could take any where from few days to several months for the telephone company to pull the cable and activate the land-line for you.

VoiP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has now changed the definition of land-lines. You can now have a so called land-line connection in minutes. Just as the name suggests, VoiP, routes voice conversations over the internet compared to traditional land-lines which carries the signal over cables to the phone company.

As more and more companies are offering VoiP services it has become difficult for the end user to decide which one is best for them. I have compiled a comparison chart for 4 major VoiP providers. I hope this helps you decide which one is the right one for you.

As of 12/03/2011
Monthly Price
$19.95 yearly
Device Cost
Use without computer
Use with Computer
Use from SmartPhone
Rates to call US/Canada
Unlimited Free
Unlimited Free
Unlimited Free
2.3cents per minute
Rates to call India
Unlimited Free
5cents per minute
2cents per minute
9.2cents per minute
Rates to call UK land-line
Unlimited Free
2cents per minute
2cents per minute
2.3cents per minute
Setup Difficulty Level

* Google is offering free calling until end of 2011. It is yet to be seen if they will extend that offer or not.

Friday, December 2, 2011

PlayBook to cost $485 Million to RIM

Due to poor sales of BlackBerry Playbook, RIM said it would take a $485 Million charge in its 3Q. The huge charge is mainly due to RIM only selling 500,000, 250,000, and 150,000 Playbooks in 1Q, 2Q, and 3Q respectively. Just to get rid of the huge inventory price for the Playbook has been trimmed by as much as $300 per playbook. Some reports also speculate that RIM might be selling the playbook for a loss at $199.

Despite the challenges RIM is still committed to the development of Playbook which can be seen as a positive or negative depending on which side you are seeing it from.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

120 Gbps Internet and 12,000 People

This is what it looks like to have 12,000 people in one place sharing a 120Gbps internet connection. Over the weekend, Dreamhack Winter 2011—the largest LAN party in the world—went down in Sweden.

Dreamhack goers played LAN games like Starcraft II and Counter-Strike. According to Kotaku, "There was also live music, stores, parties, the works. Looks like the best, if not also the stinkiest, weekend a PC gamer could wish for."

Are you drooling over the picture and wish you were there to party? You can check out Dreamhack's website for their next event so that you can plan ahead for your next trip.

Source: Kotaku

Free Domestic and International SMS - JaxtrSMS

Sabeer Bhatia, co-founder of Hotmail has recently started a free SMS service called JaxtrSMS. JaxtrSMS will allow users to send free SMS to any number in their phone-book; domestic and international. There are lots of apps in the market place today where you can send messages for free, however they all require both the sender and the recipient to be a member of their service. With JaxtrSMS the recipient of the message need not be a JaxtrSMS user, and they will receive the SMS in their usual SMS inbox.

All you need for JaxtrSMS to work is to download their app on your phone and be connected to the internet via the WiFi or 2G/3G connection. It has a app for all smart phones and even the not so smart phones. (Android, Apple, BB, WIndows, Nokia, and Java)

According to Bhatia "JaxtrSMS would do to SMS what Hotmail did for e-mail". It will be interesting to see if JaxtrSMS also gains as much popularity as Hotmail did.

Thanks to Andy for sending this in.

Source: JaxtrSMS

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Conference Calls on the Go

Do you frequently dial in to conference calls while on the go? Calling in a conference call while driving or on the  go can be quite a pain. You will first need to find the phone number to call in and then again look up the pin number and enter the pin. This can be quite annoying and also dangerous if you are trying to do all this while driving or running to your gate for your next flight.

InstantMeeting has a solution for you. Now you can download a simple app, InstantMeeting, from Android Market which can make your life much easier. InstantMeeting app can look up the conference bridge number as well as the pin number from your calendar and store that information in the app for quick one touch dialing. The application can also remind you of the meeting just before it is scheduled to begin.

It supports variety of conferencing services in North America and Europe. If the service provider is not found you can also enter the conference details manually in the application. Now you can concentrate back on the road and leave the conference call dialing duties to InstantMeeting.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Google Maps for Airports and Shopping Malls

Have you ever lost your way at Atlanta Airport, or in the Mall of America? Download the latest Google Maps 6.0 on your Android phone to guide you through some of the biggest airports and shopping malls. Google Maps 6.0 will store floor maps of airports and retailers so that you can find your way without having to ask people around you for directions.

Detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing the map and zoomed in on a building where indoor map data is available. The familiar “blue dot” icon indicates your location within several meters, and when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the interface will automatically update to display which floor you’re on. All this is achieved by using an approach similar to that of ‘My Location’ for outdoor spaces, but fine tuned for indoors.

Mall of America - Before and After with Floor Selector

Source: Google Blog

BlackBerry Playbook Available for $99 to Employees

If you are a friend or relative of one of the unlucky lucky employees of RIM you can now ask him or her for a favor. RIM is reportedly offering BlackBerry Playbook to its employees for $99 through employee only website. According to The Verge 16GB BlackBerry Playbook will be available for $99 to employees.

Employees can order up to 8 devices, so call up your friend and see if you are in the top 8 list of your friend. If not, don't feel dis heartened as I am sure these will eventually land up on craigslist or ebay.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Moving Platforms

A designer has come up with a unique and futuristic solution for speeding up rail travel: he doesn't want to change the engines, or the tracks -- he wants to get rid of the stations.

Determined to take rail transport into the 21st century, Paul Priestman, director of British design group Priestmangoode, is the man behind the "Moving Platforms" concept, which he believes could potentially revolutionize the rail industry.

His scheme would see travelers served by a carousel of trams and high-speed trains that would take passengers from their homes to their destinations without them ever having to use a bus, car or taxi.

"The idea with Moving Platforms is that ... if you were going on holiday or on business for instance, you could get onto a tram on your street and then seamlessly travel from that onto the high-speed line and then get off at your destination in another city, then onto a tram and then end up at your destination without ever having gone in your car or perhaps got on a bus," says Priestman.

"It's totally integrated into a sort of larger transport system," he adds. The idea is to have a city-wide network of trams that travel in a loop and connect with a high-speed rail service.

But instead of passengers having to get off the tram at a rail station and wait for the next HSR service to arrive, the moving tram would "dock" with a moving train, allowing passengers to cross between tram and train without either vehicle ever stopping.

"The trams speed up and the high-speed train slows down and they join, so they dock at high speed," explains Priestman.

"They stay docked for the same amount of time that it would stop at a station," he adds.

"There are big doors, there are wide doors, they're all the same level so you can seamlessly go between the two vehicles quite peacefully; there's no hurry.

"Then, when everyone's done that, the doors shut and then the trains separate and the tram then goes back into the city or town and picks up more passengers and drops off passengers." Instead of using paper tickets to pass through a barrier, passengers would used an RFID (radio-frequency identification) system to transfer from tram to train.

Similar systems that let passengers scan pre-paid smartcards are already used on many public transport networks. While Priestman admits that it will be some time before his vision could be implemented, he says the time has come to rethink how we travel. "This idea is a far-future thought but wouldn't it be brilliant to just re-evaluate and just re-think the whole process?" he says.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

AT&T to pay $4Billion to T-Mobile

AT&T said last night that it will take a $4 billion accounting charge in the fourth quarter to cover a breakup fee to T-Mobile should the deal fail to gain regulatory approval. At&t has been struggling for few months to obtain clearance certificate from department of justice regarding its acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

AT&T and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telecom also said they've withdrawn their pending approval applications to the FCC "to facilitate the consideration of all options at the FCC.

In a briefing with reporters at the time, FCC officials said the merger would create an "unprecedented" level of concentration in the wireless market and that it was impossible to see how the deal could serve the public.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

AirBnB - Interesting Real Estate Rental Concept

Airbnb - Travel like a human.

A innovative concept for people to rent a condo, townhome, house, etc from real people in 186 countries  (and growing) on a nightly or weekly basis. 

Airbnb is a community marketplace for you to list, discover, and book unique spaces around the world. With listings in over 18,000 cities and 186 countries, you're sure to find something inspiring. And now, with Social Connections, you're sure to find someone you know!

As posted on their website "We connect people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Guests can build real connections with their hosts, gain access to distinctive spaces, and immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations. Whether it's an urban apartment or countryside castle, Airbnb makes it effortless to showcase your space to an audience of millions, and to find the right space at any price point, anywhere."

Source: AirBnb

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Such a Small World!

I am sure you have heard that phrase several times, but really such a small world. Chances are the random person sitting next to you in a movie theater is a friends friends friends, friend.  According to a study conducted by Facebook the average number of people who separate any two individuals in the world is only 4.74 connections. The idea of ‘six degrees of separation’ -- that any two people are on average separated by no more than six intermediate connections -- was first proposed in 1929 in a short story by Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy, and made popular by the John Guare play and movie, Six Degrees of Separation.

Facebook findings are based on all of their 720 million active users. That is more than 10% of world population. If the analysis is limited to a single country the degree of separation reduces to a mere 3 connections.

According to the report published on Facebook "While we will never know if it was true in 1929, the scale and international reach of Facebook allows us to finally perform this study on a global scale. Using state-of-the-art algorithms developed at the Laboratory for Web Algorithmics of the Università degli Studi di Milano, we were able to approximate the number of hops between all pairs of individuals on Facebook."

Source: Facebook

Monday, November 21, 2011

BlackBerry Playbook for $199

Did you think the only tablet available for under $200 was Amazon Kindle Fire? For a limited time you can get a BlackBerry Playbook for $199 or less at Staples, Walmart, and other participating locations. RIM's Playbook was launched back in April for $499, however due to slow sales RIM is forced in reducing the price of the tablet drastically to make it look more attractive to buyers.

Both BlackBerry Playbook and Kindle Fire are 7" Tablets with similar if not same hardware specifications. Major difference between the two is Playbooks runs on RIM's QNX Operating System compared to Kindle Fire running on highly modified Android OS.

With Playbook still lacking some critical features like Native Email Support it will be interesting to see how much sales does the reduced price tag generate for RIM. Are you more like to buy BlackBerry Playbook or Kindle Fire for $199?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Analytics for your Website

Chances are if you own a website you are already using Google's Analytics to sneak gather data on your website visitors. If not I would highly recommend giving Google Analytics a try. It is very easy to setup and use. All you need to do is put a small code generated by Google on each page of your website. Best part is you don't need to be super technical to do that.

For the ones who are already using Analytics, in the coming days Google will be rolling out a new version of Analytics with significant enhancements. Three major enhancements will include:
  • A redesigned Google Analytics platform to enable major new functionality
  • A streamlined interface to make it easier to get to the information you want
  • Improved report performance for faster reports
Google has finally introduced Real-Time data with the new interface. Real-Time data is very helpful in measuring immediate impact of Social Media sharing. It would help you to analyze how many hits to your website were directly related to sharing the site on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. You can find the entire change log here

Amazon Selling Kindle Fire for a loss of $3 per tablet started selling its cheaply priced tablet, Kindle Fire, this week for $199. That is pretty cheap compared to the $500+ price tag for Apple's iPad and $400+ for most of the Google's Android Tablets. Amazon's Kindle fire runs on modified version of Android's operating system.

According to a report by IHS the cost to manufacture Kindle Fire is $210.70 which would indicate that Amazon is currently selling the Kindle Fire for a loss of $2.70 per device. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told The Associated Press in September "Amazon was willing to live with a smaller margin than most electronics companies would." 

Amazon's main goal seems to be making profit by selling other services offered by Amazon, like Amazon MP3, Amazon App Store, Amazon Books, etc. Even though Kindle Fire runs on Android OS it looks no where close to a typical Android Phone or a Android Tablet. Amazon's Kindle Fire OS has been highly modified to focus more on services and products offered by Amazon compared to a typical Android which would focus more on integration with Google Products and Services.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Make free local, STD, and ISD calls from India using your Android phone

To make free local, STD, and ISD (to certain countries) you will need Vonage World Plan. There is no rocket science involved to make free calls once you have your Vonage adapter hooked to your phone you can make free calls to any number in India as well as 60 other countries as listed on Vonage's site when you are physically located near the Vonage phone.

However, I am going to show you a way to use the same functionality from your Android Smart Phone. You will still need to have a Vonage account.

I am going to assume you already have a Vonage account with the Vonage World Plan associated with it.

  1. Login to your Vonage account and enable Call Forwarding to your local India's cell phone phone.
  2. Download and Install WorldonGo Trial on your android phone. Try out the application before you buy the full version ($1.99). You will need to have Android 2.3 or higher.
  3. Open the app on your phone and click on Vonage Account details. Enter your Username, Password, and Vonage Phone number
  4. Check "Use Call Back Method" and again enter your Vonage number as your Call back number.
  5. Click Save & Verify
  6. Enter a number and click Call. (You will need data connection on your phone). In couple of seconds you should receive a incoming call on your cell phone (incoming free in India). Once you answer the call vonage will connect you with the person you are trying to call (free as you only received an incoming call)
Happy Calling!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Calling and Texting to USA and Canada from anywhere in the world

You can make and receive free calls and texts to USA and Canada using Gmail and Google Voice. Once you have a Google Voice number you can make and receive calls for free from anywhere in the world. There are 3 ways you can use this service:
  1. Make and receive calls from your laptop/desktop by signing in to your gmail account. 
  2. Order a device called ObiTalk from Amazon (Roughly under $50) and connect this device internet and then you can use a regular phone to make and receive calls.
  3. Install a application called GrooveIP ($4.00) on your Android phone. You can make and receive calls from your phone via Wifi or 3G. This is also useful to avoid Roaming charges when travelling international as you can make free calls via Wifi.
Google will not allow you to sign up for google voice if you are trying to do that from outside USA. If you need help you can email me and I can help you sign up for a free Google Voice account.

Some More Bad News for BlackBerry

Unfortunately bad news just don't stop coming in for RIM. In a note to investors on Friday, Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley noted "Our recent checks indicate slowing sell-through trends for the new BlackBerry 7 smartphones the past couple weeks,” the analyst wrote. “Further, with the launch of the iPhone 4S, increasingly price competitive Android smartphones, improving Windows smartphones, and the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, we anticipate increasing competition across all tiers of RIM’s products in C2012"

Only yesterday we blogged about how iPhones and Androids are taking over BlackBerry's niche market, Corporate. RIM had hoped for a turnaround with the launch of its latest BlackBerry Bold running OS 7.0 which also featurs a unique design with a full qwerty keyboard (not a slide out) as well as a touch screen.

RIMM has lost more than 50% of its market share in the stock market. Currently stock price for RIMM is trading at $18.76 down from its all time high of $70 back in Feb 2011. That is a significant drop in 8 months. It is sad to see a company which started the mobile email revolution to be going down like this. RIM's last hope is  to see a turnaround with its BBX platform which is supposed to launch sometime in 3Q of 2012.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Walmart to Payout Netflix Customers

Walmart is willing to settle Netflix case for $27.5 based on allegations that the video subscription service and Walmart illegally conspired to inflate the prices to rent and buy DVDs. The proceeds will be offered in Walmart gift cards or cash.

However out of $27.5 lawyers and costs are going to take away around $8.5 million. Remaining $19 million would be distributed amongst 25 Million Netflix subscribers. Assuming everyone is eligible don't expect more than $1 payout.

Unlike Walmart Netflix is not willing to payout and is still preparing to fight the allegations. Next hearing is scheduled to begin on Jan 23rd.

Using Gmail on your BlackBerry Phone

Now that Google is going to end support for Gmail app on Blackberry, I am sure you are looking for ways to still sync email, contacts, and calendar stored on your Gmail account. BlackBerry OS5.0 and above have integrated native support for Gmail sync using Enhanced Gmail plug-in. However, if you are still running OS4.5 or 4.7 you will need to download and install a plug-in to use enhanced Gmail features like labels.

Here is the link to step by step instructions on how to setup Gmail on your Blackberry Smartphone.

Source: Official BlackBerry Blog

Customize your next Headphone

If you are a kind of person who likes to stand out in a huge crowd customize your next headphones from Fanny Wang. Fanny Wang allows you to customize any 1 of their 3 headphone models which range from $220 - $350. You can pretty much customize anything from the Outside band to the ear muffs. You can also choose your own color for the cord.

Some of the hideous colors are surely gonna put you in the limelight next time you are travelling through a busy airport or train station.. As far as I am concerned I think I will stick with my Black headphones :-).

iPhone preferred over BlackBerry in Workplace

A new Mobile WorkForce Report by iPass suggests corporates are ditching Blackberry for iPhone. in 2011 45% of smartphones in workplace were iPhone compared to only 32% Blackberrys. Information was obtained by surveying employees at over 1100 enterprises worldwide. Just under 50% of respondents were from North America and 32% from Europe. As seen from the graph above Blackberry market share only went down by 2%, however iPhone market grew over 10% and Android doubled its market share. 
Location Breakdown of Survey

Are you ready to divorce your BlackBerry and start dating iPhone as your company phone? Click on the source link to read the entire article.

Source: iPass

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Google Music Store

As expected Google deleted "Beta" from its Google Music site today. You will no longer need an invite to sign up for Google's Music site. You can store up to 20,000 songs from your personal music library. Google Music users can also purchase their favorite music tracks for as little as 99c per track. If you are using your Andorid on T-Mobile, purchases can be directly charged to your T-Mobile bill.

With Google Music you can access your Google Music library anywhere and anytime - no syncing, no wires. You can also Stream music instantly on the web and listen on your Android phone or tablet with the Google Music app. Not online? No problem. Just save your favorites to your mobile device for offline playback.

Google has also integrated its Music store with Google+. Purchased songs can be shared with friends on Google+ who can listen to the song once for free before deciding if they would like to purchase the song or not.

Best of all Google Music will continue to be a free service unlike iTunes Match which is $24.99 yearly. What are you waiting for? If you aren't signed up at Google Music yet go hit the source link to sign up for free.

Source: Google Music

Netflix chooses Android over iOS

I read an interesting article on NYTImes by Nick Wingfield. He talks about how Netflix launched its latest app for Android tablets before developing one for iPad. In his words "The bounty of apps for iPad and iPhone are one of the cornerstones of Apple‘s strategy for promoting the devices. It isn’t a great sign for the company then, when an important developer says it’s going to do a superior app first for Google‘s rival Android operating system."

Even though Netflix has announced that iPad update will follow soon it is still an interesting observation given that traditionally developers have been more keen on releasing iPhone/iPad apps before updating Android. Even though iPad competitors might have sliced iPad's tablet market share by couple of percentage points, no competitor has come close to iPad's market share.

It is yet to be seen if Amazon can make in roads with Kindle Fire which was recently launched. Kindle Fire runs on Android OS, so a win for Kindle Fire would ultimately mean win for Android.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

iPhone 4S to come to world's 2nd largest mobile market, India

Bharti Airtel and Aircel will launch iPhone 4S in India on November 25th. Neither one of them have revealed the pricing of the phone. Apple has started selling unlocked version of iPhone 4S 16 GB for $649 on their US site. Converting that in Indian Rupees I would guess Airtel and Aircel would sell the unlocked version of 16GB iPhone 4S for around INR 35,000. It is still unknown if either one of the mobile operator would offer subsidy if you are willing to sign a contract.

If you are an iPhone fan-boy you can start queuing outside Apple/Airtel/Aircel starting midnight on the 25th.

iCloud and iTunes Match for the Music Lovers

Apple announced iCloud, iTunes in the Cloud a while back. With iCloud, the music you purchase via iTunes appears automatically on all of your devices. You can also download your past iTunes purchases. Where you want, when you want.

iCloud is only useful if majority of the songs in your music library are purchased from iTunes. If you have purchased your songs from other sources, or imported songs from a CD ( I could only think of these two options as I know you guys wouldn't steal music) you are out of luck, unless you sign up for iMatch (iTunes Match).

iTunes Match, launched on November 14th, works on any device with iOS 5.0.1 or higher. You will also need to pay $24.99 yearly subscription fees. Once you are signed up you can store your entire music library (25,000 Songs limit) in the cloud. iTunes matches the songs in your collection with the 20 million songs available in iTunes Store. If a match is found the song will be automatically added to iCloud and available for you to stream on any of your iOS5.0.1 or higher devices. The good part is you don't have to wait hours for 1000s of your songs to be uploaded (I hope Google Music is listening). If a match is found there is no need to upload the song. Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality. iTunes will upload the song if it can't find a match for it.

On a separate note Google is going to launch Google Music Store tomorrow, November 16th. Details are fuzzy at this point on what to expect from this launch, but it will be interesting to see if Google also launches something similar to iMatch without the subscription fees.

Two New BlackBerry Models on the way

Today RIM announced two new BlackBerrys to add to its current product line. BlackBerry Bold 9790 is the latest addition to the famous and most popular Bold series. Bold 9790 will feature touch screen as well as qwerty keyboard. It is thinner and lighter than its predecessor. Bold 9790 will also sport a 1GHz processor along with 768 MB Ram and of course BB OS 7.0. It was also feature a NFC chip.

RIM also announced all touch screen BlackBerry Curve 9380. Curve 9380 is 3.2" all touch screen phone with the sleek and stylish Curve design. Curve 9380 will also run on BB OS 7 and feature a NFC chip just like its cousin Bold 9790.

Pricing and Availability dates are not known yet.

Netflix App Updated for Android. iOS Update Coming Soon

Today Netflix launched a fully revamped Netflix App for tablets running Android 2.2 or higher including Kindle Fire and Nook.According to the official Netflix Blog "The new design is much more immersive and provides greater focus on the growing number of titles in the Netflix catalog. In fact, the new interface displays twice as many movies and TV shows as before, enabling you to discover even more titles you'll love. Also, we've taken greater advantage of the tablet's unique features, inviting you to swipe through rows of titles featuring larger artwork."

If you are a Apple fanatic and using iPad don't be disheartened. Similar update is coming for the iPad in coming weeks.

Click here to download the latest update.

Monday, November 14, 2011

World's biggest Android Tablet, 65 inches

Ardic Technology, based in Istanbul, Turkey has ported a regular Android Tablet in to a 65 inch full screen Tablet. Imagine playing Angry Birds on a 65 inch screen. WOOT.

Android vs iOS

If you own iPhone or a Android phone I am sure at some point you have argued with your friends/colleagues why your phone is better than the other. Users would come up with the most innovative ways to defend their choice as supreme and why their friends should also make the switch.

This is one war in which I don't think there is a clear winner nor will be in the near future. I feel both are winners and ultimately it is what the end users are looking for in their dream phone and which one of these would be a better fit.

As far as profitability goes there is no argument there. Clearly Apple's iPhone till date is way more profitable than Google's Android. Comparing phone features may be seen as subjective (which I may compare at a later date), so I decided to put out a comparison chart based on statistics. I hope this will help you in your next debate.

As of 3Q 2011
iOS (Apple)
Android (Google)
Total Devices
250 Million iOS devices sold including iPhone, iTouch, and iPad
190 Million Devices Activated. Including Phones and Tablets
 New Sales
367,000 iOS devices sold daily
500,000 androids activated everyday
27.7% of Smartphone subscribers in USA are iPhone users
43.7% of Smartphone subscribers in USA are Android users
Available Apps
More than 500,000 iOS apps
Around 250,000 Android Apps
Launch Date
June 2007
October 2008
Different Phone Models
In 4+ years iPhone has come up with 5 different hardware models. Latest being iPhone4S
In 3+ years dozens of hardware models run Android. Motorola, HTC, and Samsung lead the pack.
Tablet Sales
iPad rules 66.6% of Tablet Market Share
Android Tablets have 26.9% of Market Share

Source: Stats from CNET