Category Archives: Applications

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.

Wazapp Is WhatsApp For The Nokia N9, Now Available For Download

Last month I mentioned that a community based solution for bringing WhatsApp to the Nokia N9 was in the works, and today it is finally available for download. Its developer Tarek Galal had realsed a first look video of it running on the N9 a while ago, and now you can grab the .deb file and install it on your own device.

The application is still beta so there might be a few bugs here and there, but its a pretty great accomplishment for the community. Head over the Wazapp.IM and download the app.

The lack of a WhatsApp client was a huge blow to the N9, and I hope WhatsApp reaches across to the developer and helps him in his efforts, rather than try and kill the unofficial port.

[via: My Nokia Blog]

Running Android Apps On Tizen

Tizen is a brand new platform with a focus on HTML5, and just like any platform in its infancy, it has the challenge of getting developers on board. While, Intel and Samsung have been doing a lot, like giving all attendees of the Tizen conference a Tizen developer device, there’s still a bit of work to do.

One quick way of getting around the problem, similar to what Blackberry did with the Playbook, is to open the doors to Android apps. Open Mobile is a company that has been demoing a solution of their own called the ‘Application Compatibility Layer (ACL)’ that they claim lets you run Android apps on a Tizen device with 100% compatibility and with the same responsiveness as you would expect on a native Android device.

I was able to get a video demo of the solution on an ExoPC Tablet running Tizen and here it is:

The solution is targeted towards OEMs and not end users. So its upto the manufacturers of Tizen devices to modify the kernel etc to bake support in for ACL.

I really think this is something Samsung and others who end up making Tizen devices should consider. Tizen devices will be targeted towards the high-end of the spectrum and having a full set of apps with the benefits of HTML5 should be something that users will feel safe embracing.

Note: The UI that you see on the Tablet is not the Tizen tablet UI. 

App Prices Hit A Ridiculous (Fantastic?) Low In Indian Nokia Store

In an incredible turn of events, the prices of apps in the Indian Nokia Store have hit rock bottom. This has happened because Nokia has reduced the levels at which developers can price their applications. Earlier Level 1 was Rs. 25 (about 50 US cents), now it is just Rs. 5. So for example 1 Euro app, which is say the lowest level in Europe, will cost just Rs. 5 in India. In terms of pure conversion Rs. 5 equals just 0.072 Euros.

App prices in India were already lower compared to the pricing in other parts of the world, this is something I’ve covered before, but the new rates really ring in a bonanza for Indian users. Its like having a fire sale all year long.

As you can see fantastic applications like Joikuspot which retail for about 8 Pounds in the UK, can be had for as little as Rs. 35 in India. That’s not even half a pound. However, it is important to realise that pure currency conversions do not work, and that Nokia strives to keep prices in tune with what consumers are willing to pay for apps in India and Rs. 35 is a great price for Joikuspot.

Similarly, quality games like Asphalt 6 and Angry Birds can be had for just Rs. 5 and 10 respectively. While this may sound like ‘are you freaking kidding me? That so awesome!’ for the consumer, the developers may well feel like ‘are you freaking kidding me? That’s bullshit!’.

Our friends at Unleash The Phones suggest that developers might even want to withdraw their apps from India, because of these exceedingly low prices. While I am not sure how the Nokia Store submission works, the impression I get from the post is that developers can only specify a level at which they want to sell their apps and Nokia automatically sets the prices in different countries. E.g. Level 1 could mean 1 USD in the US, .80 Pounds on the UK, .90 Euro in Europe, Rs. 5 in India and so on. A problem will arise if they can only set a level as a price for their app across the world and this cannot be changed based on country. (I’ll try and get some clarity on this aspect soon.)

Nokia India been really working hard to delight its customers over the past few months, first the brilliantly priced unlimited downloads from the Nokia Music Store and now these super cheap apps. As long as there is no developer backlash, its a very welcome sign for consumers. Nokia believes that what it is loosing on margins, it’ll make up in volume – while making its customers super happy.

[via: Unleash The Phones]

Microsoft Office Suite Now Available For Symbian – Word, Powerpoint & Excel

Earlier this year Microsoft’s OneNote, Lync 2010, Document Connection and PowerPoint Broadcast became available for Symbian devices. This was part of Nokia and Microsoft’s broader alliance in which Microsoft was to bring its productivity apps to Symbian. For non enterprise users, the aforementioned apps were not that important, but if you own a Nokia 701, Nokia 700, Nokia 603, Nokia E7, Nokia X7, Nokia C7, Nokia Oro, or Nokia C6-01, you’ll be glad to know that Word, Excel and Powerpoint are now available for your device.

The Microsoft Office Suite is available via the Nokia Software Update tool on your smartphone, or by connecting your phone to the Nokia Suite on your PC. The apps should also show up on the Nokia Store in a few weeks.

From Nokia Conversations:

Word mobile, you can save or send documents while preserving tables, SmartArt and charts, or the pinch/zoom functionality to easily view and edit documents. In PowerPoint mobile, you can edit presentation texts and speaker notes, or use the Outline view to quickly browse through slides. With Excel mobile, you can create charts, or insert formulae and view rich data and charts from anywhere.

If you have a Nokia N8, Nokia E6 or Nokia 500, you are out of luck for now, and Nokia is promising an update on availability soon. The Nokia 808 PureView will come pre-loaded with the app suite.

The advantage of having official Microsoft Office apps is multifold. First, they are free. Second, compatibility is ensured, and there is no chance that the formatting of a document will be ruined just because you edited it on the phone. Third, the level of functionality that you have expect from these apps should be higher than third party alternatives.

With this release Symbian becomes the first rival platform where Microsoft has itself gone ahead and built an Office client for. Symbian may be on its way out, but with apps like these its showing that there seems to be more than a spark left in it.

Nokia Has Big Plans For SXSW, 10 Developers Get A Chance To Showcase Apps

Nokia has had a SXSW presence for a few years now, but because they did not have flagship devices on sale in the US with major carriers, they had to put the focus on a ton of other cool initiatives like a Green Zone, Angry Bird projections, a human hamster wheel for charging devices and so on. But this year, Nokia has the Lumia 710 on T-Mobile and the Lumia 900 on AT&T and I have no doubt that they will be going all in.

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While Nokia’s exact SXSW plans are still a mystery, a few details have trickled out thanks to a posting on the Nokia Developer blog. It appears Nokia is building ‘a one-of-a-kind, free-standing structure’ called the Nokia Lab near the convention center for SXSW Interactive. They are also holding a Nokia Developer Day on March 12th, and are giving 10 developers a chance to showcase the application to hundreds on people during SXSW at the Nokia Lab.

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If you have a ‘amazing, cool, or unique’ Windows Phone application, then get in touch with Nokia.

I cannot wait to see what else Nokia has planned for SXSW, it is definitely one of the coolest events of the year and a perfect opportunity for Nokia to reinvent its brand in the US.