Xiaomi, the mystical Chinese company, has been regularly popping up in the news since its launch in 2010 — and with good reason. They’ve successfully managed to grab attention of the pro-technologists by supplying quality products at unbelievable prices. They finally made their entry into India this week with a press conference held in Delhi, followed by a up-close-and-personal session with bloggers in Mumbai. Rajat Agrawal of BGR India asked all the right questions to Hugo Barra, the ex-Googler who joined as VP of Xiaomi last year. I too got a chance to probe Hugo and team Xiaomi with some burning questions, and here are some key takeaways that you need to know about Xiaomi and their products. Read more →
At Google I/O 2014, the Android One project with Micromax, Spice and Karbonn was announced and I couldn’t help thinking about its resemblance to what Nokia did several years back with the Nokia 1100. The rugged low-end phone that was advertised as ‘Made For India’ and its superpower was a great battery life along with torch light and a sturdy, anti-slip design. It was successful and delivered exactly what the consumers wanted.
It was a time when incoming calls had become free in India. And owing to the poor electricity supply in rural areas, the 1100 was a hit. Since it’s launch in 2003, it sold 250 million units globally. Eleven years since, Google is seeing that opportunity in India again. Read more →
Those hand-written notes, they were beautiful. You could read them, cherish them, and reply at leisure. The wait for a reply came with some bitter-sweet pain. In this age of Instant Messaging, where everyone is accessible to everyone, wherever they are, there are way too many options to get in touch. Everything is fast paced and conversations are aplenty. But there is one form of communication that fascinates me as I see it evolve, especially when I see it between people who wouldn’t be in touch otherwise. Read more →
“Should you be your child’s friend?” – One of those never-ending coffee table debates that parents have every once in a while. More likely than not, you’ll find more parents saying a vehement “No” rather than a “Yes”. Even more likely than not, the “Yays” will convert to “Nays” as the child grows older.
To the parents who answer “No” ask now, “Should you be your child’s Facebook friend?” And more likely than not, they are going to answer, “Yes.” Quickly followed by, “But I won’t interfere, just to keep a watch.”
As I dig deeper into the pros and cons of having kids access the internet, I am counter-intuitively convinced that we are getting this all wrong. There isn’t just a list of haves and have nots and finding an in-between. There is a space beyond. A space which our superficial arguments don’t let us enter. Read more →
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India has made a huge shift from the era of feature phones to smartphones. The consumers largely have an option to chose smartphones running on 3 popular operating systems — Android, iOS and Windows Phone. In India, Android has seen wider acceptance among the consumers with as much as 90% of the population using the OS. The popularity is mostly because of the low prices and the open nature of the platform. Android is an OS that has been evolving at a rapid pace and phone updates have become a criteria people consider while buying. A phone that has a higher probability of getting an update were preferred by most users. Read more →
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place” — Eric Schmidt
The Internet has a laundry list of advantages that benefit mankind greatly, but there’s one thing that we give up in the process — privacy. Data about you is fodder for many tech companies. Google has long been in the business of user data. In lieu of great products and services, they want to know more about you, so they can serve you ads that will make you want to click them. Think about it — business models have been entirely ruined because of this.
In the past, people paid for turn-by-turn navigation apps from TomTom or Garmin, now you get it for free with Google Maps. People previously couldn’t do with paid office productivity software like MS Office, now Google Docs has come to a point where it’s good enough for many of us. Before, you shelled out money for a group video conference with Skype’s Premium offering, while Hangouts let you do it for free. There’s no beating a great product that you can use for free. Well, not exactly free since they’re getting ‘you’ in exchange. Foursquare relies on you to share your location by ‘checking-in’. Facebook wants to know more than just where you’ve studied or where you work or your relationship status — they want to know your favourite movies, TV shows, musicians, book authors. TrueCaller wants to get your phone book. Read more →
The recent controversy over newly appointed HRD Minister, Smriti Irani’s educational qualifications was sparked by this tweet made by a member of the opposition party, Ajay Maken.
Much uproar ensued. It backlashed. Ajay Maken’s tweet received a lot of flak from the ruling party members and aam junta tweeters alike.
Smriti Irani in return, two days later, gave a calm and composed “Judge me by my work.” response.
And therein friends, lie the don’ts and the do’s of online etiquette, a.k.a common sense.
Ajay Maken’s tweet lacked respect, thoughtfulness and actually basic thought. Smriti Irani’s response was an appropriately delayed, composed and cool one.
This got me thinking about basic tenets of our digital lives. A lot of it is truly basic. But when you hear people talk aloud in a movie theater or a temple, you wonder if it really is that basic.
So, here I have for you some basic and some not-so-basic list of online manners: Read more →
For a foodie, food is not a medium to satisfy the growling stomach. Food brings not only satisfaction to a foodie but also happiness. For him/her, Butter Chicken or Paneer Tikka Masala means true love. Here’s an assortment of different apps that foodies would want to keep on their smartphone:
1) FoodPanda — Android, iOS, Windows Phone
This is an app which lets you order food on the go from your smartphone, and saves you from the effort of calling the outlet. There are a total of 3500 Restaurants, Bakeries and Ice-cream parlours listed on the app. In India, it serves close to 20 Cities. Cuisines such as Italian, Sushi, Mexican, Indian etc can be ordered. Cash on delivery option is also available for a few restaurants. Interestingly, there are deals and offers which can be availed exclusively by using the app for ordering food. Moreover, orders can be customised, just like one does in a restaurant, as well special instructions can also given. You also have the ability to re-check your order. As an alternative to Foodpanda, there’s also JustEat.
Read more →
I am on a deadline, have been working day and night (literally) on it for a few weeks. It is due tomorrow mid-morning. I choose to wrap up with a fresh mind tomorrow morning. I am up when the alarm rings. No snooze today. And my phone goes, “brrrr”. That’s my WhatsApp tone. It’s the client.
Client: “Is it done, Meeta?”
Me: “Will be by noon. It’s almost done. Finishing touches. Just slept for a few hours.”
Client: “Yes, I know. You were last online around 1AM.”
I am stumped. Read more →
So, you settle down in your comfortable economy class seat with a child on each side, all-set for a super-exciting 9 hour flight to the other side of the ocean. Mine are 12 and 10, energetic as any 12 and 10 year olds should be. So, you see why I am all anticipatory about them being bound to one place for almost half a day, right next to me.
Thankfully, kids these days are sufficiently screen-enamoured that you can give them anything LCD and they’ll stay glued to it, unwilling to move. Helpfully, most international/long flights give you, your own personal LCD monitor to tinker around with, watch movies/TV shows/play games and so on.
Impatiently waiting for the safety instructions to be done with, the kids plunge into the sea of choices. And well, I into mine. I like the idea of catching up on “Dallas Buyers Club“. The kids are comfortable and I tuck myself in too — looking forward to quality time with Matthew McConaughey.
And bam! Read more →