Category Archives: Apple

iPhone: How To Open WhatsApp’s Shared Locations In Google Maps

One of my favourite WhatsApp features is the ability to share your location, telling a friend where you are has never been easier. Once the location has been received you can simply jump into the maps app by clicking on the location so received, and get directions. This worked very well before iOS 6, and Apple’s infamous Maps app came along. As things stand, while there is a Google Maps app for the iPhone, but clicking on the view location in WhatsApp only lets you navigate using Apple Maps – which is pretty much pointless.

Fortunately there is a workaround and you can indeed use Google Maps in conduction with WhatsApp. Once you have received the location simply long-press and choose copy.

iPhone: How To Open WhatsApp's Shared Locations In Google Maps iPhone: How To Open WhatsApp's Shared Locations In Google Maps

Now open Google Maps and paste the location you’ve copied into the search bar, in the end will be the exact latitude and longitude. Leave that and delete all the other text in the link. Now simply hit search.

iPhone: How To Open WhatsApp's Shared Locations In Google Maps iPhone: How To Open WhatsApp's Shared Locations In Google Maps

Voila the location will pop-up and now you can use Google Maps to navigate to the destination. In the future I’m hoping WhatsApp will make utilising Google Maps over Apple Maps seamless, till then there’s this workaround.

Running iOS 6? Its Time To Start Using The Nokia Maps Web App

The biggest change that iOS 6 brings is the all new Apple developed Maps application. This means that you now need to say goodbye to Google Maps, and its excellent search and points of interest (POI) database. Sadly, despite what I assume were Apple’s best efforts, the Maps app is practically useless. There are no public transport directions, voice guided navigation is limited to a handful of countries, there are no offline maps, the search is nothing to write home about and the POI database is a joke. Finally, the Maps coverage, specially in India is a joke, specially when compared with Nokia or Google’s offerings. Oh, and Flyover (Apple’s bird’s eye view implementation) works in a handful of cities, not countries.

Running iOS 6? Its Time To Start Using The Nokia Maps Web App

So if have an iPhone 5 or are running iOS 6 on an existing device, you’re out of luck. Fortunately, a little while ago Nokia started developing a web app for Nokia Maps, targeted towards Android and iOS. That app has matured over time and offers a lot of functionality that you would be missing with Apple’s Maps. Google similarly has a web app as well.

Nokia Maps Web App (m.maps.nokia.com):

  • Really excellent coverage.
  • Offline caching of Maps, great for times when you don’t have a speedy internet connection.
  • Public Transport.
  • Voice guided walk navigation.
  • Excellent POI database.
  • POI view, to quickly see interesting places around you.
  • No voice guided navigation, but Apple’s Maps app can’t even route to a place only 2 miles away. So the ability to follow the route in real time by looking at Nokia Maps seems like a minor miracle for an Apple owner.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

  • Nokia Maps web app on the iPhone. Excellent all round coverage.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

  • Ability to set Favourites, jump into the POI view etc.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

  • Pre-cache a fixed area. If you want cover a lot of area, zoom out. However that comes at the cost of the level of detail you will see. Don’t expect to save entire cities, but great if you know the neighbourhood you’re going to be in.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

  • Drive and Walk Navigation. Public Transport in a growing number of cities.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

  • Jumping between different modes of navigation is very easy.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

  • A small download and you can have voice navigation while walking around. Great for times when you have your earphones on.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

  • Tap anywhere on the map and you can navigate to that place, or get POI information around it.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

  • Share places via text, on Facebook, Twitter etc.
Wondering why do I hate the new Apple Maps so much? Here’s what Chandigarh looks like on Nokia’s application.

Nokia Maps iOS 6

This is what Apple’s app could muster:

Nokia Maps iOS 6

Seriously. Forget the fact that India gets no voice guided navigation, the real bummer is that the app fails to route over short distances as well. Apple’s Maps app is not just bad, its annoyingly bad.

Time to put m.maps.nokia.com on the homescreen.

HDFC Bank Releases An App For The iPhone: Windows Phone & Android Versions In The Works

One of India’s leading banks, HDFC has launched an iPhone/iPod app to facilitate banking on the go, and the good news is that versions for Android and Windows Phone are in the works too. The application is fully featured and lets you perform all those tasks for which you would normally have to login to netbanking on the computer.

HDFC Bank also has a mobile optimized website that can be accessed at m.hdfcbank.com which will let you accomplish a lot of these tasks until an app for your favourite platform comes along.

HDFC Bank Releases An App For The iPhone, Windows Phone & Android Versions In The Works HDFC Bank Releases An App For The iPhone, Windows Phone & Android Versions In The Works

The iPhone version isn’t optimised for the retina display of the iPhone 4/4S, but at least it lets you get work done. You can login with the customer ID and netbanking password. The applications lets you:

  • Pay utility bills, credit card bills, etc.
  • View Account summaries and Fixed Deposit summaries
  • Transfer funds ,including transfers to other bank customers
  • Request statements, cheque book, stop payment and more.

The iPhone does not enjoy a commanding position in India when it comes to marketshare, but due to sheer mindshare it still gets the apps first. But what is good to see is that Windows Phone despite not being every popular just yet, is also on the radar and Nokia’s push does seem to be having an effect.

HDFC Bank is also on Twitter, feel free to tell them how much you want a Windows Phone or Android version of the app. Download the iOS version here.

How I Got Pulled Into Apple’s Ecosystem & Why Soon It’ll Be Too Late To Get Out

The real magic in Apple’s products isn’t that they are great looking or that they come with great features, the real steal is in the fact that each one makes you want to buy the next one, across product lines. Just like iPods sold Macs back in the day, today iPhones sell iPads and vice-versa. Talking to a friend yesterday I realised that I have (un)knowingly become completely entrenched in Apple’s world. At the time of writing this I own a MacBook Pro, an iPad 2, an iPhone 4S and an Apple TV. This did not happen overnight and I am concerned.

The Move To A Mac

I switched from a Windows laptop (an HP tablet PC) to a Macbook in 2009 and very soon I grew to absolutely love it. Infact working on a Windows machine started turning into a not so pleasant idea. With this my perception of Apple as a brand changed. It went from being a company that had its set of fans that at times mindlessly raved about it, to one I actually started paying more and more attention to. This was of course after the introduction of the iPhone, and looking at the first few iterations I had decided that there was no way I was switching to one.

So for the next year or so, I happily used a Mac along with a Symbian/Maemo/Android device. Then the iPad came along. My first reaction to it was the exact same one that I had to the iPhone – too restricted, no multitasking and so on. However, iOS 4 came along and with it came multitasking. I took a long hard look at the iPad and decided that I wanted one, and what clinched it for me was the fact the that even if I needed to do a task necessary for a ‘power user’, then I’d have my smartphone which wasn’t shackled one bit.

With that I took a keen liking to the iPad, and slowly but surely its limitations became a less of an annoyance. The quality of apps and the general utility of the device was worth the sacrifice. Then the iPad 2 came along, so did Airplay and while picking up the iPad 2, I also got an Apple TV. Wirelessly showing off photos and videos did sound very cool, and 99$ wasn’t a huge deal. With iOS 5 Airplay really improved, more and more apps started taking advantage of it and wireless mirroring meant that if you could see it on the iPad, you could see it on the TV.

An iPad Sells An iPhone

By the end of 2011, I had been using Apple devices for 3 years, iOS for the better part of 2. Some things still bothered me, but I had become used to the Apple way of things. Yet, till this time I had never used an iPhone as a primary device. This is where’s Apple’s mastery at making one product sell another comes in. It was because I had been using an iPad, I was ready to switch to an iPhone. For all the limitations of iTunes, one thing that works great is wireless sync. Being able to put music, photos, video etc onto the iPhone or even back it up wirelessly is fantastic. The iPhone or iPad could be anywhere in the house and you’d still be able to act as if it is plugged into the computer.

Apple TV

Another huge draw was the fact that a ton of quality ‘paid for’ apps were already waiting for me. Spending money on the same apps on Android/Windows Phone/Symbian and then on iOS for the iPad didn’t make much sense, yes I could have the best of both worlds, but was that so necessary?

The fact that you can buy an app on the iPad and in more cases than not it’ll automatically be downloaded on your iPhone too, for free, makes a lot of psychological difference. E.g. I recently bought the iPhoto for iOS app on the iPad – it is 5$, but when you see it on the iPhone too its almost like you got 50% off, or got it in a buy 1 get 1 scheme. This definitely encourages you to buy more apps, the knowledge that two device will be benefitting from a single purchase lets you pull the trigger much easier. This means that slowly you’ll come to a point where you’ll have a substantial amount of money invested in that platform.
All my Apple devices talk to each other seamlessly. Everything is wireless and it involved no setting up whatsoever. Now the iPhone 4S isn’t the only phone I use, for the sake of keeping current I use the Galaxy S2 too and carry a Lumia 800 along most of the time for the freshness of Windows Phone. But if whenever I need to copy music and pictures, I need to get the USB cable out. I cannot seamlessly show photos on the TV and DLNA is still hit and miss for the common man. All of this pushes me into the Apple ecosystem more and more.

What can change this status-quo?

There isn’t a compelling reason to switch to an Android tablet, and Android in general is too fragmented to create such an ecosystem. Plus there is no Android on the PC. The only people who can pull this off are Nokia and Microsoft.

Windows 8

But there are a few fundamental things they need to do first. The vision is there – an Xbox instead of the Apple TV, Xbox live/Skydrive instead of iCloud, Windows 8 phones and tablets in sync, and a lovely Windows 8 powered laptop. But will they be able to make everything so seamless? Instead of keeping the phone and tablet in sync with each other, Microsoft has decided to keep the tablet and the PC in sync. Something Apple has avoided, Lion looks nothing like iOS on the iPad, yes some features are inspired by it, but that’s it.

What this means is that apps in all probability the apps that you buy once from the Windows Store on the PC should automatically become available on the Windows 8 tablet as well. But this will only happen if they are Metro (ARM compatible) apps. The usual x86 apps won’t work on ARM tablets and that’s where the seamless chain is broken, ergo less incentive for the users to put money down in your ecosystem. (Yes there will probably be X86 tablets also, but I don’t see Nokia doing one).

Next, very few apps will work across both the tablet and phone, and because the developer will have had to do some work to optimse for each; I doubt he’d be willing to offer an iOS like 2 for 1 deal.

Next we need an AirPlay equivalent, doesn’t matter if its DLNA based or ABCD based, it should have an easy to remember name and be bulletproof. Wireless syncing across all devices is a must, and I would go so far as to add WIFI direct capabilities as well. Make it extra seamless.

The problem is that time is really running out. The next wave of retina display powered MacBooks will really begin to impact the Windows laptop market. Macs are no longer the more expensive option, the iPad is the best value for money tablet around and the iPhone isn’t showing signs of a slowing down. All of this puts a lot of pressure on Windows 8. Nokia World 2012 happens end of September, so this means we’ll have not only the Windows 8 release for tablets and PC’s, but also Windows Phone 8 in Q4. If they don’t have an answer to this Borg like ecosystem that just keeps sucking you in, starting the end of this year, it won’t matter what they do in 2014.

The outlook is bright, there are a few niggles here and there, but the bigger picture isn’t bleak. Time to deliver.

Almost forgot – Nokia, if your Nokia World 2012 flagships don’t have an a retina like display for both the phone and possible tablet, don’t bother.

Ever Waited In Line For An iPhone? You Should See This Samsung Ad

A lot of people at one point in time or another have waited in line for a shiny new Apple product, and Samsung’s decided to go all in, toss subtlety out of the windows and mock them for doing so. The one minute ad focusses on the insecurities of the buyers, the iPhone’s battery issues and the lack of ‘4G’.

What are they pimping instead? The Galaxy S2 of course!

[via: The Verge]

The Man Who Thought Differently, Stayed Hungry & Stayed Foolish

The following is a video of Steve Jobs narrating the first ‘Think different’ commercial – Here’s to the Crazy Ones. It never aired. But today more than ever, it defines who Steve Jobs was, man, legend.

In the end Richard Dreyfuss ended up doing the voice for the spot (final minute of the video below), but as you would expect, Steve’s was much better.

The world is at loss as I type this on my Mac, I cannot find words that convey the monumental impact that one man has had on our lives. Right from the first computer, to our music players, our smartphones and tablets, he has played a pivotal role each and every one of them, shaped them, helped perfect them. No matter what piece of similar technology you use, chances are that he helped create it or was the reason it exists today.

Hero

There will be thousands of words written about the legacy Steve Jobs leaves behind, but here’s the man himself taking about what should matter to Apple the most. Jobs on the crazy ones, the ones who think different.

RIP, the man who changed the world!