A few weeks ago I discovered that Google Now has started to understand bits of Hindi, and it turns out this functionality is getting by the day.
I cover this in detail in a post on BGR India.
This move by Google should make the personal assistant wars very interesting.
Word had earlier leaked that ‘Nokia Oyj’ was going to be renamed ‘Microsoft Mobile Oy’ under MS, which led to speculation that the deal was about to close and things have now become official. In a blog post on the official Microsoft blog, the company has announced that the Nokia acquisition will be complete come April 25. The transaction had been first announced in September 2013, and had been expected to be complete in Q1 2014, but saw delays in regulatory compliance.
As it turns out, Nokia.com and Nokia’s other much loved social media properties will also be taken over by MS, and the company will operate them for ‘upto’ one year. I do hope that MS decides to keep them in the long run, as they have been instrumental in getting Nokia the kind of loyal support that it enjoys amongst its users.
The HTC One M8 is one of the hottest devices of this year, and come May 7 it will be available in stores across India for ₹ 49,900 INR. The One M8 is HTC’s Android flagship for 2014, and builds on the beautiful aesthetics of the 2013 HTC One. This time round there’s even more metal, a faster Snapdragon 801 quad-core chip clocked at 2.5 Ghz, and this processor is paired with a Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
The display now measures 5″, and retains the 1080p resolution. You get 16 GB of internal storage, a microSD slot with support for cards upto 128 GB in size and 50 GB of Google Drive storage. A 2600 mAh battery powers this brute, and HTC’s also built in an ultra power saving mode to help you squeeze that extra usage. This should come in handy as the M8 also has support for Indian LTE networks, making it one of the few devices to support the 2300 MHz band on the FDD-LTE network that both Airtel and Reliance Jio are rolling out. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S5 only leaves you with HSDPA support, while both the iPhone 5C and 5S also feature Indian LTE capabilities.
The way Microsoft has made Windows Phone is that it backs up your contacts to the Microsoft Account automatically. You can simply login to Outlook.com, and get access to your contacts there, and can even export them. The problem with this is that not many people are aware this option exists, and secondly it only leaves you at the mercy of Microsoft. So if for some reason you loose access to your MS account, you’re without a backup.
I frequently get asked if there is a way to manually backup contacts on Windows Phone, and this post answers that question. While there is no inbuilt mechanism that you can use, there is a free app that gets the job done. Download Contacts Backup from the Windows Phone store.
Tizen is the platform that comes into news ever so often, and just when everyone is sure that we shall finally see a smartphone based on the platform actually hit the market, something else does. First it was Samsung’s NX 300M camera that turned out to be Tizen based, then at the MWC Samsung announced the Tizen powered Gear 2. NTT DoCoMo was widely tipped to carry a Tizen based smartphone earlier this year, but that came to naught with the carrier pulling out. What added even more fuel to the fire was the big Samsung – Google handshake that led to a multi year patent deal that also resulted in Samsung deciding to pull back on its Android customisations in Touch Wiz. In an obvious fallout, it seemed that Samsung was going to back off from Tizen.
But then the Tizen powered Gear 2 came out, and now we have news of the 3rd Tizen Developers Conference that’s happening June 2-4, 2014 in San Francisco. So its not all bad news, and things are once again beginning to look up for this platform that Samsung will one day use to target Android. Another interesting bit of news comes from Samsung’s product strategy VP Yoon Han-kil who has let it slip that two Tizen powered smartphones will ship before the end of Q2, one high end and another to cater to the mass market.
Windows Phone 8.1 has introduced transparent tiles, which means that you can now finally set a background image, a wallpaper if you will, that floated under the tiles on your Windows Phone start screen. The best part about this implementation is that even if you scroll, the image continues to float under the tiles giving off a really nice parallax effect.