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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Micromax Funbook Mini tablet with voice-calling listed online for Rs. 8,820

Micromax is pushing into the low-cost tablet market with devices costing less than Rs. 10,000 in India. Following the strategy the domestic handset maker's new budget Android tablet, the Funbook Mini tablet has been listed on ecommerce website, Flipkart for Rs. 8,820. However, the device is right now out of stock at the online retailer and comes with a 'notify me' option.

The Micromax Funbook Mini P410 tablet comes with 7-inch LCD display with 1024x600 pixels resolution. The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-based tablet supports dual-SIM (GSM+GSM). It is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor along with 1GB of RAM. It includes 4GB of inbuilt storage which can be expandable up to 32GB via microSD card. The tablet sports a 2-megapixel rear camera while there is a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. There is a 2800mAh battery which can deliver up to 4 hours of browsing time, mentions the listing. The Micromax Funbook Mini tablet will be available in White.

Recently, Micromax introduced its first flagship tablet in the Canvas series, calling it the Canvas Tab P650. The Canvas Tab P650 has been launched at Rs. 16,500 for the Indian market, and comes with 8-inch IPS display (resolution unspecified), whilst being powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage that is further expandable up to 32GB via microSD card.

The Canvas Tab P650 runs Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean and is upgradable via FOTA (firmware over the air). The tablet sports a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera while there is also a 2-megapixel front-facing camera onboard. The Canvas Tab P650 comes with SIM support and has voice-calling, however, the company has not detailed if the device supports single SIM or is dual-SIM. 

Micromax Funbook Mini tablet key specifications
  • 7-inch LCD display with 1024x600 pixels resolution
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB of built-in storage, expandable up to 32GB
  • 2-megapixel rear camera
  • 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 2800 mAh battery
  • Dual-SIM (GSM+GSM)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Region-Lock Versions from Different Sources

Since the launch of Samsung's flagship Phablet, Galaxy Note 3, number of issues regarding the region-lock restriction of the handset has sprung up on the net creating confusion among buyers.

Here are the alternating versions of the users as compared to that of theSamsung's.

As Thought Before:

Previously it was noted that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 would need to be activated with the SIM from the same region from where the device is bought, after which it can be used on any foreign SIM card.
For instance, if a user buys a Galaxy Note 3 device from the UK region, before using it from AT&T or T-mobile American SIM cards, one needs to start a device with a UK SIM card.
If the activation is not performed in the particular order, the device will get locked and would have to be sent to Samsung or its partners to get unlocked.

Confusion Adds-Up:

According to the XDA-developers forum thread, many of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 users have been complaining about their handsets being locked. It seems like many European region models after being activated with a European SIM card, would not work even when a foreign SIM card is used in the device.
The handsets bought from Germany, Netherlands, Sweden or UK are said to have stopped working with the local SIM cards of Africa and Asia (Egypt andThailand), according to the forum.

Samsung's Different Take:

One of the emails from the Samsung Customer Support has been posted on Clove (online retailer) blog which mentions a different story altogether.
"For instance, if you purchase a Note 3 in the UK and put a foreign SIM card in it, then it will lock and will need to be sent to a service centre to get unlocked. However, if you put a UK SIM card into the Note 3 first, then it will recognise that it is a UK SIM card in a UK model and wont lock. Then, if you go abroad, you can still use a foreign SIM card in it," stated the post, which is the same assumption made on the first place.

Information on the Package

However, the information sticker, which comes with the handset package, states exactly the opposite to what Samsung says, according to Android Authority. Images can be seen here.
Images show stickers from the American and European packaging, clearly stating that the model will only work with American and European SIM cards. Nothing is however mentioned about the foreign SIM usage.
An image shows a packed Note 3 handset with a sticker stating "European Model: This product is only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within Europe."

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 to be manufactured in India

New Delhi: Samsung India on Sunday said it will soon start manufacturing its flagship high-end smartphone Galaxy S4 in India.

"We are planning to start manufacturing of S4 soon at our Noida facility," Samsung Mobile and Digital Imaging Country Head Vineet Taneja said.

He, however, refused to share any time frame by when the production will start. The Noida facility is manufacturing about 35-40 million phones annually, including 12 Smartphone such as Galaxy S3.

The company currently imports the recently launched Galaxy S4 from South Korea.

Sensing huge demand for Galaxy S4, the company is also looking to double up the high-end Smartphone (above Rs 20,000) market size in India, which is currently contributing around 10-12 percent of the overall Smartphone market.

The Galaxy S4, which is packed with newer imaging features as well as 'gesture-control' technology, has a five-inch full HD super AMOLED touchscreen, 13 mega pixel rear and 2 mega pixel front camera and supports 3G networks.

Although Samsung is the market leader in smartphone market in India, competition from Apple, BlackBerry and Nokia has put pressure on it to add new software features to maintain its lead.

According to research firm IDC, the overall mobile phone market in India reached about 218 million units in 2012, growing 16 percent year-on-year.

Of this, 16.3 million units were smartphones, but the category saw a growth of about 48 percent. Samsung was the leader in the quadcore and 5-inch plus screen size models, IDC added.

The demand for smartphones is expected to be around 34-36 million units this year.

Globally, Samsung had 30.3 percent share of the smartphone market (with sales of 215.8 million units) in 2012, while Apple had a 19.1 percent share with sales of 135.9 million units, according to IDC.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pinterest finally comes to Android, iPad

Good news for mobile users of fast-growing social networking site Pinterest: it’s finally coming to devices running Google’s Android and Apple’s iPad.
The new app for Android in particular involved a full redesign so Android users can take full advantage of the social network’s features, tech site Mashable noted.
“Announced at a summer party at Pinterest’s new San Francisco headquarters, the Android app represents a complete redesign of the app from the ground up, this time designed specifically for Android,” it said.
It said the Android app has been in the works for some time, and was even rumored to be coming late last month at Google’s I/O developers’ conference.
Pinterest’s app for the iPad was also relatively new as it already has an app for Apple’s iPhone.
Mashable noted Pinterest is still relatively new, as shown by its launching of new features by talking about them on its Facebook wall and then waiting for comments.
But it also said Pinterest has received many requests for an Android app.
“The requests are so common that it has become a Pinterest in-office joke with each launch: How long will it take for someone to ask for an Android app?” it said.
Last May, Pinterest raised $100 million in a round of funding that values the company at $1.5 billion. Originally an invite-only service, on Aug. 8 Pinterest went public for everyone without an invitation.

1 Million Public Transit Stops Now on Google Maps for Android

Share1 digg 1 Million Public Transit Stop on Google Maps for Android Although it is often regarded as a feature rather than the robust standalone product that it is, the power of Google Maps as one of the most valuable pieces in the company's digital ecosystem cannot be underestimated. From mapping routes to your next destination, to pinpointing the location of businesses or historic sites, Google Maps has become an essential tool for even the most casual smartphone user.
Recognizing the public's heavy reliance on the application, Google has made it easier to use the transit information feature on Android devices, and now has schedules for more than 1 million public transit stops worldwide.
The new version of Google Maps on Android allows you to highlight a single mode of transportation (subway, bus, or train), temporarily hiding the other transit information, thus making it easier to map your destination. If you've ever used Google Maps to actually get to a particular location in a major city packed with a myriad of transit options, this new mobile feature will come as welcome news.
The information isn't limited to the U.S. Google has teamed with transit authorities around the world, including public transport hubs such as Tokyo, London, and Sydney, Australia, to provide a rich database of transit information no matter what region you're traversing.
The international nature of the rollout is important. In Tokyo's case, non-Japanese commuters have generally relied on services like Jorudan to plot train routes through Tokyo's exceedingly complicated rail system. Using the new Google Maps functionality on Android, international users in far-flung countries can view up-to-date transit information that also connects to Google's larger suite of services in English and other languages.
Another helpful feature included in the update allows you to highlight an entire area of a city based on its postal code, a vital tool when attempting to navigate tricky directions in an unfamiliar city. You can also enable a feature called Location History that lets you review the places you've been on your Google Maps dashboard. The update is now available for download in Google Play.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Android phones hijacked via wallet tech

harlie Miller created tools that forced phones to visit websites seeded with attack software.
The software on the booby-trapped websites helped Mr Miller look at and steal data held on a handset.
NFC is becoming increasingly common in smartphones as the gadgets are used as electronic tickets and digital wallets.
Beam guide Mr Miller, a research consultant at security firm Accuvant, demonstrated the work at the Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas.
During his presentation, Mr Miller showed how to attack three separate phones - the Samsung Nexus S, the Google Galaxy Nexus and the Nokia N9.
To attack the phones Mr Miller wrote software to control a reader tag that works in conjunction with NFC. As its name implies, NFC works when devices are brought close together or are placed near a reader chip.
In one demo Mr Miller piped commands through his custom-built chip that abused a feature of the smartphones known as Android beam. This allows phone owners to send links and information over short distances to other handsets.
He discovered that the default setting in Android Beam forces a handset to visit any weblink or open any file sent to it. Via this route he forced handsets to visit websites that ran code written to exploit known vulnerabilities in Android.
"The fact that, without you doing anything, all of a sudden your browser is going to my website, is not ideal," Mr Miller told tech news website Ars Technica.
In one demonstration using this attack Mr Miller was able to view files on a target handset.
On the Nokia phone, Mr Miller demonstrated how to abuse NFC and take complete control of a target handset, making it send texts or make calls, via the weaknesses exploited by his customised radio tag.
Mr Miller said that to successfully attack phones they must be running a particular version of the Android operating system, be unlocked and have their screen active.
Nokia said it was aware of Mr Miller's research and said it was "actively investigating" his claims of success against its N9 phone. It said it was not aware of anyone else abusing loopholes in Android via NFC.

Android news and rumor round-up for week ending July 27

According to the Guardian, Google "seriously underestimated" demand for the tablet, particularly the variant with 16GB of storage. You can still order the 8GB version from Google Play, but retail stocks have been disappearing quickly and the 16GB device isn't being sold via the Play store.
Among the new Nexus 7 users apparently happy with their purchase is Linus Torvalds, who seems to really like the Google tablet. You can tell, because when Linus doesn't like something, he lets you know.
Jelly Bean version news: There's a rumor that 4.1 updates for the Samsung Galaxy S II and S III are in the final stages of testing and will be deployed by early September. That sounds plausible, though it's not confirmed.
In related Galaxy S III news, Samsung decided to preemptively ditch the local search feature that was at the heart of a recent patent case for international models of the device. Better safe than sorry, apparently.
Motorola Xoom users - relax. After a delay caused by soak testing problems, Wi-Fi Xooms are apparently getting the Jelly Bean update. Verizon users, of course, will have to wait a while longer.
Speaking of which - Verizon Galaxy Nexus users could be forgiven for being a little psyched out earlier this week, as finally - finally! - there's the little "software update" notification. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be the long-awaited upgrade to Android 4.1, and was instead an incremental update for Ice Cream Sandwich. We kind of wish the update had taken a snapshot when opened, so that we could make a photo collage of disappointed Verizon GNex users.
Still, even those folks are likely to get an update before Nexus S 4G users, according to GottaBeMobile. While other versions of the Nexus S got the Jelly Bean treatment recently, there's been total silence on plans to upgrade Sprint's version of the phone. As ever, of course, you can just install an unofficial Jelly Bean ROM if you're reasonably technical and willing to void your warranty.
If you're a devotee of the hardware keyboard, you might be feeling a little bit left out by the Android ecosystem of late, given the lack of flagship releases with that feature. However, Android Central says that Sprint is planning to roll out the Motorola Photon Q "very soon." According to that site, it'll have what looks like a slide-out QWERTY keyboard of the same style as the old Moto Droid, as well as 4G LTE connectivity and GSM world phone functionality outside the U.S.
Some numbers: Bad news for Android in the enterprise - an Appcelerator/IDC study found that business developer interest in iOS is now far ahead of Android, despite the two being neck-and-neck as recently as the third quarter of 2011. (Hat-tip: Boy Genius Report)
What's more, despite Android device activations among enterprise customers doubling since the previous quarter, Good Technology's second quarter 2012 report on business mobile use still shows iOS way out in front. (Hat-tip: InformationWeek)
From the oh-God-here-we-go-again department: Bloomberg has the latest on the interminably rumored Facebook phone. Apparently, The Social Network is working with HTC on a device to be released in early 2013, which will include a modified operating system.
Rumors about a Facebook phone have been breathlessly passed around since 2010, and it does seem like Zuckerberg and the gang want to make this happen. That said, almost nothing is definitively known about the project, and frankly, we'd prefer they focus on making the official Android app less crappy.