Category Archives: Apple

Apple Music India: Detailed First Impressions

After months of waiting, Apple Music is finally here. With a simultaneous launch across a 100 countries, Apple is really making a splash in the music streaming space. iTunes has long been the preferred destination for people looking to buy music, and Apple has had a huge catalogue, but the streaming business is a whole new game.

Enter the world of customised playlists, live radios, complex algorithms to learn what a user likes, and then offer similar music and so on. At the end, it also comes down to localisation. Music is far from a one size fits all ball game, infact, music is one of the most diverse mediums of expression, and Apple’s solution is to humanise it. Not rely on technology too much, but get real humans to curate music.

That said, here is a look at what Apple Music has to offer to the people of India. The subscription is far cheaper than the global eqvivalent of 9.99$, and is just Rs. 120 a month, with the family plan running Rs 190. This is just slightly more expensive than what Airtel’s Wynk, Saavn or the Gaana streaming services offer. However, the fact that it comes with a 3 month free trial, should be enough to get most people hooked, afterall it also brings the ability to download songs for offline listening, a must have for bandwidth cautious India.

Here is a first look at Apple Music India.

Continue reading Apple Music India: Detailed First Impressions

How to export videos from 9GAG to WhatsApp on the iPhone

If you like sharing videos from the 9GAG app on the iPhone, you may have realised that hitting the share button and choosing WhatsApp or any other app only leads to a link to that post being shared. It’s annoying, because your friend then has to open it in the browser and the whole experience isn’t frictionless.

Fortunately, post iOS 8 and its extension support, the latest version of WhatsApp makes this process a lot easier. You can now directly export the video into WhatsApp, such that it plays back natively.

Here’s how:

  

Instead of directly hitting the WhatsApp share button once you’ve selected share, press ‘Open video in mp4’ first, and then select the WhatsApp button on the next screen.

From the following screen chose which friend/group you want to send it to. That’s it. Basically the trick is to open in MP4 first, and then share the video to whatever app you like.

iMediaShare: A must have free app if you own a Smart TV

The best part about owing a Smart TV is that you can play back locally stored content like photos, movies, home videos wirelessly on the large screen without moving a muscle. But sometimes the implementation isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Modern Smart TVs support technologies like DLNA and Miracast, and most newer phones can take advantage of these. All you need to do is install an app. While Android has a few more choices for DLNA apps that act as servers, the choice is slightly more limited on iOS. Most people just give in and buy an Apple TV. But you don’t necessarily need to do that if mirroring your iOS device isn’t the intention, but playing back photos, video and audio is.

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Enter iMediaShare, available both for Android and iOS as a free download.
Continue reading iMediaShare: A must have free app if you own a Smart TV

Fix iMessage: Here’s the first thing which you should do after switching away from the iPhone

A major annoyance when to move away from the iPhone is that you suddenly stop receiving messages. This happens because your friends’ iOS devices think that you still use an iPhone, so regular text messages are sent as iMessages, and thus never delivered.

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Fortunately there is now a fix for this. You can de-register from iMessage here. Apple’s been slow to sort this mess out, but better late than never. Continue reading Fix iMessage: Here’s the first thing which you should do after switching away from the iPhone

Uber’s Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi

After starting operations in Bangalore a few weeks ago, San Francisco based affordable luxury car rental service Uber is ready to add New Delhi to its growing list of cities. Uber’s fleet in Delhi will include Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Mercedes E & S class, BMW 3 & 5  series and Audi Q3, A4 & A6 and using any of these cars as a taxi isn’t going to be as expensive as you might think. Uber charges Rs. 70 as the base fare, plus Rs. 20 per kilometer and Rs. 2 per minute from there on in. The minimum fare will be Rs. 200.

In comparison, Meru Cabs, a popular Delhi taxi company charges Rs. 23 per kilometer. The only time Uber can turn out to be considerably more expensive is when you get stuck in a jam, as irrespective of the distance travelled, you are being billed Rs. 2 per minute or Rs. 120 an hour. Uber will initially cover Central and South Delhi with parts of Gurgaon, but the company plans to cover all of NCR soon.

Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides

Despite that Uber has tremendous potential to disrupt the rental car business, as in addition to pricing, the biggest pillar it stands on is the convenience its mobile apps offer. The app uses GPS to pin point your location and shows you the ETA of cabs around your location, and you can hail a cab with a single press of a button – no calls, no keying-in pickup addresses etc. Since the app is already tied to your credit card (something you need to do during sign up) paying for the ride at the end is also not a hassle, and everything is handled electronically.

Before you embark on a journey, you can also get a fare quote so that you have an idea of what you’ll be paying at the end of a journey. If you’re travelling with a friend, you can also choose to split the fare and get a portion billed to his/her Uber account.

Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides

(For example, a ride from India Gate to Defence Colony will cost somewhere in the region of 200-250 Rupees depending on traffic)

Another feature that the company wishes to highlight is safety. The app features a share my ETA option that lets you share your ETA with friends and family once you’ve boarded the car. This results in your  friend/family member getting a text with a link that gives them information about the car’s precise location in real time, including the driver’s name and car details.

Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides

I’ve used Uber while visiting the United States, and the overall experience was very pleasant. Therefore I recommend that you give Uber a go here in India as well, whether you’re in Delhi or Bangalore. To get you started, the good people at Uber are giving The Handheld Blog readers two free rides of upto Rs. 500 each. All you need to do is enter the promo code “THEHANDHELDBLOG” in the Promotions tab if you already have an Uber Account or while signing up.

Download the Uber app for iPhone or Android, or you can redeem the discount directly at uber.com/go Uber also has a BlackBerry app, but Windows Phone users will have to make do with the web version for now.

Uber is currently active in 45+ markets across 6 continents and is backed by industry heavy weights such as Google Ventures, TPG Capital, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Goldman Sachs, Benchmark Capital and Menlo Ventures among others.

The iPhone 5C Just Made The Dying iPhone 5 A Whole Lot More Attractive

If there is one thing Apple is good at, it is sticking to its prices. Each year a new iPhone is released and till the time a successor is announced, it continues to command its premium price. Post that one year, it is relegated to the second tier and is sold at a slightly lower price point. Infact, for a lot of time the common industry wisdom was this – Apple has a cheaper iPhone, its the last year’s model. Then the clamour for a new cheaper iPhone grew, and when details about a new plastic iPhone leaked, the world was convinced that a cheaper iPhone was indeed coming. As it turns out, Apple can still surprise.

The iPhone 5C is going to replace the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will no longer be sold, and instead you’ll be presented with the colourful new iPhone 5C. The 5C is essentially the iPhone 5 in a plastic case, with a slightly better battery and a slightly better front facing camera. These are minor improvements, and ones you’ll probably not even notice in day to day use. There is one aspect in which the 5C presents an advantage – it along with the 5S supports Indian LTE bands, making it one of the first smartphones to do so. That being said, both Reliance Jio and Airtel’s LTE rollout isn’t quite lighting up the country and it will be more than a few months before you can think of LTE as a viable option.

iPhone 5C India

The iPhone 5C is $549 unlocked for the 16 GB model. Further, because Apple doesn’t increase prices post launch, it pegs the Dollar rate at a much higher value that the current rate to protect its margins should the Rupee fall further. With this in mind, the cheapest price that one can expect for the iPhone 5C is around 40-42,000 INR. You can currently buy an iPhone 5 for about 42-43,000 INR.

While Jonny Ive might claim that the iPhone 5C is unapologetically plastic, it will never feel as premium as the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 5S. Infact, in my book the iPhone 5 is a better buy than the 5C, LTE support notwithstanding – and this purely down to looks. Since the 5 and the 5S are almost identical, Apple is using the 5C as another way to differentiate the 5S from yesteryear’s model.

The iPhone 5C was never destined to be a cheaper iPhone, it is perhaps a manifestation Ive’s desire for colour. A lot is being said about how colour matched wallpapers and iOS 7 transparencies on the 5C add to the experience of one colour permeating through, but I do not buy into that. Most people will change wallpapers the moment they get a new phone, and iOS 7 will then start reflecting that colour, not the colour of the phone. This isn’t a big deal – but the point I’m making is that why get a plastic iPhone when you can get a the same thing in beautiful aluminum.

Once the iPhone 5C and the 5S start selling in India, you won’t be able to buy the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5S will touch 50,000 INR easy, so if you want an iPhone closer to 40 than 50, get the iPhone 5 while you still can.