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Showing posts from July, 2011

Android tablet or iPad or wait some more?

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The buzz is all around the iPad 2 (for once, mercifully launched by Apple in India in a timely fashion) and now, around the upcoming iPad 3, which is rumored to have a high resolution display, akin to the Retina Display on the iPhone 4. Time after time, reviewers have compared upcoming Android tablets to the iPad and concluded that the iPad is ahead of its rivals in useability, GUI and of course, the sheer number of apps available for the tablet (100,000 and counting). So, do you close your eyes and buy the iPad, or do you look at the very attractive Android alternatives that are coming into the market? Or do you wait?

If you don't really have a need for a second handheld device in addition to your mobile phone, it might be a good idea to wait. For the iPad 3, or for subsequent upgrade of Android from Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich. Or you might figure that a high end smartphone can serve your needs much better. A phone can still offer all the functionality of a tablet and then s…

Going post paid is easy, going pre-paid is hard!

I converted my MTNL pre-paid Triband connection to a postpaid one last week. I had observed some time ago that going pre-paid pays, but MTNL has made it rather difficult for me. They have discontinued the online re-charge facility for Triband, forcing me to visit the nearest MTNL office to get a re-charge voucher/ scratch card. Since I prefer to manage all my utilities online, I took the decision to switch to a post-paid connection. The procedure was extremely smooth. I visited the MTNL office, submitted an application and next day, I got a call to confirm that it had been done. Of course, I lost the remaining value in my pre-paid account, but I did not have to go through any down time. MTNL does not permit post-paid Triband users to switch to pre-paid and I was informed that only recently, they have created the ability to convert pre-paid to post-paid. In fact, mine was the first case.

Once more, I am impressed with MTNL's speed and efficiency and the high quality of customer ser…

Is the Web dying?

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Recently, George Colony,  CEO of Forrester Research, predicted the future of what he calls the "App Internet" in this blog post. To quote he says "In this model, powerful local devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets) run applications that simultaneously and seamlessly take advantage of resources in the Web/Cloud. If you want to see this model in action, check out iPhone and Android applications." He goes on to declare, somewhat controversially that the "The Web, as the dominant software architecture of the Internet, is dead". Colony also casts a doubt over the future of the cloud internet, while declaring that Microsoft's device-centric software approach is already dead.


There are figures that back up Colony's prediction. This report by Nielsen indicates that in the US, iPhone  users have downloaded an average of 48 apps, while Android users have downloaded an average of 35. Also users on both platforms report using  apps multiple times in a day. Given…

Apple iOS vs. Android : the feature vs. user experience paradigm

Last month, Apple slashed the price of the iPhone 3GS in India to an affordable Rs.19,990. This was a logical move by Apple, given that the iPhone 4 has just been launched here. The iPhone 3GS is now a two year old handset and its specs have long since been outdated. Yet I was surprised to see how much interest  the news generated among some of my younger friends, who thought it was a solid bargain. For them, it was not about owning the latest phone with the best specs; it was about getting onto the iOS platform. It was about accessing the world's largest app marketplace. And above all, it was an opportunity to realise their dream of owning an iPhone at last, at an affordable price.

Obsolescence is here to stay. Intel created it in the world of PCs and now Android OS and handsets (especially from HTC and Samsung) have created it in the smartphone category. It's not a new thing, but what's new is that the cycle of obsolescence is shorter than ever before. It takes only a fe…

The cloud is here, and it's real

For years, we have heard the term 'cloud computing'. While it tends to be described by the tech world in very complex jargon, it's really a pretty simple concept.

In today's scenario most of your stuff - like the operating system, productivity software that you use, and your personal files like movies, music etc is stored in your hard drive, external drive, or on other storage media like pen drives, discs etc.

Chances are you are already using some cloud based services. Email services like Gmail, video or photo sharing services like Picassa and YouTube, filesharing services like Dropbox and blogging platforms like Blogger, and of course, Google Docs, store your stuff on remote servers, so you and your friends can access them from anywhere, on any device. Most of the apps that we run on smartphones also access and run data off the cloud.

 But when we talk about the cloud today, the term has expanded in its scope and vision. The Office software that you use would run off…

If you buy an Android phone, Microsoft earns money

It is said that as consumers, we vote with our wallets, but in the emerging mobile phone economy, it appears that your vote can benefit the rival candidate too. If you have been following the patent wars among mobile phone manufacturers, you will begin to see the patent (sic) absurdity of the situation. Microsoft already has a patent licensing deal with HTC that earns them $5 for every Android phone sold by the Taiwanese manufacturer. Now the latest buzz is that MS is planning to extract a $15 licensing fee per handset from Samsung. The company has also been on a spree of signing licensing agreements with smaller manufacturers such as Wistron, Velocity Micro and Itronix.

For Microsoft, there is big money to be made from these transactions. According to the latest Comscore figures, 1 in 3 Americans now owns a smartphone and Android with 38.1% market share, is the dominant operating system. Globally too, the picture is rosy for Android, with research firm Gartner predicting  that Andro…