• Book Review,  Lounge

    Blackberry Town by Chuck Howitt

    With the dominance of Apple and Google on the mobile phone market in the last decade, I feel puzzled and sorry for the two earlier leaders in the space – BlackBerry and Nokia. Both were dominating mobile giants and not from the USA. BlackBerry was from Canada, a country I have travelled to briefly on a weekend trip to Vancouver from Seattle. Even today in tech circles I hear people talking with high regards for the technology chops of BB. As a result, I always wondered where the company stumbled and this book “BlackBerry Town” by Chuck Howitt will shed some light to it. As I started reading the book…

  • Technology

    Move from Android to iOS and transfer WhatsApp from Samsung Phone to iPhone

    With the public backlash against WhatsApp with their privacy policy revision, this may not be the best time for this post, but still here it is. I recently got a new iPhone. I am coming to an iPhone after exactly a decade, my last was iPhone 4 in 2010 and now it is iPhone 12 Pro. While waiting for the new phone, I made a check list of all the items and apps that needed to be moved from the Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite) and where their data resided: Contacts – Google Contacts Calendar – Google Calendar Mail – Microsoft Outlook and GMail Notes – Evernote and Google…

  • Technology

    For Apps is Mobile first and Web last?

    As a farewell thought for 2020, let me leave you with an observation of a trend of last few years that got cemented this year. As an early developer for the web, I had believed that applications will get developed for the web first, depending on the market you then write native apps for iOS and/or Android. Using iPhone for the last few weeks, I am observing it is the other way round nowadays. Even if there is a web version of an app they are crippled compared to the native mobile apps. Look at Instagram where posting is not available on the web version (for God’s sake, why?), or…

  • Apps,  Technology

    An open letter to Facebook - what is a story, and do we need it?

    Dear Facebook, Please understand that not everyone is as smart as your product managers, I am certainly NOT. I don’t understand the #UI for “Your Story” feature on the web. When I see a notification that a friend has posted a new story, I click and I get a weird looking “mobile” like window which goes away even before I can read the whole post or story or text or whatever you are calling it today. And, if I reply to a story, I am unable to figure out where it went. If the “Story” is having a video, why am I not given any of the controls – to mute, to…

  • Gadgets

    Anyone for a premium mobile service?

    The mobile market in India has (stabilised) become an Oligopoly play – with Airtel, Vodafone and Jio racing to the bottom (~lower ARPU) with ever poor customer service. I am leaving out Government owned BSNL & MTNL as I see no future for them – both have surrendered their 4G spectrum many years ago. In this scenario, I see an opportunity for luxury brands to offer a white-labelled service (backhaul provided by one of the 3 players). I will be happy to pay more for such a premium service. This SIM Card can include industry-leading privacy controls, identity protection, call/message screening options, concierge services, doorstep SIM replacement, fastest speeds in…

  • Chennai,  Gadgets

    How my son got back his lost phone

    Over the years, I have become more and more careful with my belongings especially in keeping them safe while travelling. Rarely I do misplace or lose items. One such time was last year when I lost my iPad at a Microsoft Conference in Atlanta, USA and got it back. Today was the turn of my teenage son. Yesterday evening, I and son had landed at Chennai Airport after a good vacation at Kerala’s Kumarakom and my son had forgotten to take his small bag from the trolley we used. He didn’t miss it, till today morning. Morning, he got up and was frantically looking for his phone all around the house.…

  • Gadgets

    Getting Google Play on Amazon Fire HD

    “Wife wanted a new Tablet and I got her the Amazon Fire HD 8 from the USA as the device is not yet available in India. Specifications for the Tablet are Alexa voice support, 8″ HD Display, 32 GB storage, Quad Core CPU and a MicroSD, it costs US$120 (INR 8000) with special offers (Amazon Advertisements). At this price, the device is a great buy. In recent years with slowing iPad and Android Tablet sales, there is little choice in this category, especially in India.  The gadget looks great, is comfortable to hold, the display is bright, and speakers are loud. You will love the device if you are using…

  • Gadgets

    Moto G4 Plus

    I have been using Sony Xperia Z3 as my phone for nearly a year now. The phone worked fine with good battery life and comfortable to hold. It even survived a 20 feet drop few months back.  With a 20 MP back camera it produced mediocre pictures, often they were being shot only in a reduced 8MP mode due to some software/app issue.  The 2.2MP selfie camera was bad with a limited coverage angle of objects in front.  Checking on ReGlobe I saw they were offering Rs.8000 for buying the phone, I went ahead and sold it. Looking for a new phone, I was clear that I didn’t want to spend a lot like in buying a premium phone…