Category Archives: iOS

Apple’s ₹10 App Store Pricing Goes Live In India

Apple recently introduced new pricing slabs for the App Store in ’emerging’ markets that let developers charge less than the standard 1 USD minimum that we have come to expect. Today a new section went up in the App Store that highlights some of these apps and games that are priced at just Rs. 10 i.e. less than one fifth of a Dollar.

The section includes some pretty useful apps, such as Pixelmator that otherwise sells for 5$. For anyone switching from Android, that will help ease the pain of buying new apps and rebuilding the library, but for someone firmly in Apple’s ecosystem, it’s like apps just went free.

One word of caution though, there still seems to be some backend issues that Apple needs to fix. For example the App Store showed me a ₹10 price, but I was actually billed the standard ₹60 when I bought the App, the price it’s on sale for currently (1$).

How to get Apple’s News app outside the US

Apple today made available the first public beta of iOS 9, and with the beta comes access to Apple’s brand-new News application. However this application is only available in select countries such as the United States for now. 

  
But since this is one of the headline features for iOS 9, it seems only fair that those of us outside the supported countries should also get access to it. Fortunately the fix is very simple, all you need to do is go to Settings>General>Language & Region and set the ‘Region’ to United States. Then simply reboot the iPad/iPhone and you’ll see the News app on the home screen. 

Enjoy. 

How to replace the ‘Connect’ tab in Apple Music with ‘Playlists’

A component of Apple Music that really differentiates it from other solutions is its ‘Apple Connect’ functionality that lets you follow your favourite artists, in what feels like a mashup of following them on Twitter and Facebook, but in one timeline.

However, a lot of us simply won’t use it that much, and it would be so much easier if it were possible to replace that handy shortcut with ‘Playlists’, a tab you’ll use far more frequently. It is.

To do so goto Settings>General>Restrictions and enable restrictions, if you haven’t already.  From that screen simply disable ‘Apple Music Connect’.

Continue reading How to replace the ‘Connect’ tab in Apple Music with ‘Playlists’

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

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.

PVR Cinemas Releases Apps For Android & iOS

After neglecting to even have a mobile optimised website for ages, India’s biggest multiplex chain PVR Cinemas has finally gotten around to releasing an app to make lives of its customers much easier. As you would expect, both Android and iOS users are the first to receive the app and it seems Symbian and Windows Phone users are out of luck for now.

The free apps are available from Apple’s App Store (optimised for both iPhone and iPad) and the Android Market. The app lets you perform all the actions you would expect including booking tickets, checking show listings and showing previews of upcoming releases.

You need to enter your email address and phone number the first time you launch the app, after which it sends you a confirmation code which you can enter to start using the app. It automatically finds your location and selects the appropriate city.

PVR Cinemas Android App

While booking tickets you can select your seats and choose to pay via a credit card or opt to collect the tickets one hour prior to the show.

[via: Twitter]