Top 3 Android Tablets Available in India

Android is the best operating system currently available when it comes to mobiles and tablets. Android has been very famous in these two categories and has managed to get quite a lot bucks. The tablets are the current fashion in the tech world and mixing Android with these tablets just makes the process a lot more better. There aren’t a lot Android tablets available in India but there are certainly enough. 3 of the best Android tablets would be mentioned in the post with the details of the specifications and a brief review so that you can know which one to buy. Read on.

1. Motorola Xoom

When Motorola Xoom was launched, it stayed in the news for a few days for being the first ever tablet to showcase the great Android 3.0 named Honeycomb which is specially made for tablets and would totally increase your using experience and make it more good. Plus, the specs give it a huge support and make it respectable to the price. Xoom arrived in India just a couple of weeks ago and was welcomed warmly by the Indian techies. Moving on to the specifications, Xoom has a TFT capacitive touchscreen with a display of 10.1 inches and a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels. Xoom has an internal memory of 16/32/64 GB and 1 GB RAM. In the 16GB model, you can expand the memory to 32GB using a microSD card which makes the storage not a problem. There are two models available for Xoom – 3G and Wi-Fi. 5MP rear camera with Auto-focus, Digital Zoom, and 720p HD video recording and a 2MP front facing camera is available in this tablet. Up to 10 hours of battery backup is offered by Motorola Xoom so you can do a lot in just a single charge. It has a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H Dual Core processor which would make your experience with this tablet faster than expected.

Motorola Xoom has two models available(as mentioned above) :-

1. Wi-Fi – Rs. 34, 490
2. 3G – Rs. 41, 490

2. HTC Flyer

This is another great new tablet which has launched in India. Flyer also launched just a couple of weeks ago and might be considered as a competition to Motorola Xoom but if that would be the case, Xoom would easily beat Flyer in almost all the specs. HTC Flyer runs on Android 2.3(Gingerbread). It has a LCD capacitive multi-touchscreen with a display of 7 inches and a resolution of 1024 x 600. The 7-inch display might put it in the back league because most of the people are looking for a tablet with the display minimum 9 inches. But HTC has covered the 7-inch backdrop with the famous HTC Sense. It has a 1.5GHz processor with 1GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. HTC Flyer weighs a mere 420 grams which is very light respective to the weights of other tablets. It has a 5MP rear camera with auto focus and 720p HD video. For front, it has a 1.5 megapixels front-facing camera which would definitely make your video calls much efficient and clear. Bluetooth3.0, USB2.0 and Wi-Fi are available in Flyer. A 1GB RAM is offered. It has a 4400 mAh battery which can give you a powerful battery backup which could be equal to above 4 hours of consistent video playback.

HTC Flyer has a price tag of Rs. 39,890.

3. Acer Iconia A500

You might not have guessed Acer in this article but this tablet has been great. The specs are amazing and the cost is totally affordable and can be considered a little low for this tablet. You will think the same when you see the specs. Iconia A500 is one of the few Android 3.0(Honeycomb) tablets in the Indian market so you can consider Iconia A500 as a special tablet. Another special thing about this low at cost, high at features would be the 10.1 inch screen it is offering. The resolution of Iconia A500 is 800 x 1280. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a single USB port is available. It has a 5MP rear camera with auto focus and LED flash. The video recording doesn’t consist of any special feature. A front-facing 2MP camera is also available. Iconia A500 has a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core processor, Tegra 2 chipset. It has a 3260 mAh battery which may disappoint you a little after such great specifications but it is fine and can be handled well by many of the users.

Acer Iconia A500 has a price tag of Rs. 27,990.

Those were the best Android based tablets available in the Indian market. You might try one of them. My recommendation would be Acer Iconia A500 because of the great features and the price, being the lowest of them all. It is definitely better than HTC Flyer but may fall a little bit short when compared to Motorola Xoom. So, choose between Xoom and Iconia but no matter what, you can choose Flyer as well. It’s totally your decision.

Which is your favorite tablet? Which one would you want to see in the top 3? Do comment.

Top 3 Entry-Level Laptops Available in India

Entry-Level laptops are those kind of laptops which are stylish, affordable and powerful. Laptops get more powerful year after year and the entry-level laptops are the ones to buy because of the great specs and affordable price. Entry-level laptops mainly consist of Intel Pentium Dual-Core CPU or Intel Core i3, 2GB of RAM, 320GB Hard Drive, DVD-Writer, webcam, bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The price range of these kinda laptops are Rs. 23,000 to Rs. 35,000. These kind of laptops are those laptops which a middle-class persona can buy and use with ease. This list would contain the top 3 laptops in the price range of Rs. 23,000 to Rs. 35,000 which will make the choosing process a lot easier.

Dell Inspiron 15R

Dell Inspiron 15R is a great laptop and you will feel the same when you see the specs and the price of this laptop. Dell Inspiron 15R has three laptops in the series. All of them are great in specifications and higher price is available with higher specifications. The first(which I am talking about right now) costs Rs. 31,300. The second costs Rs. 33,300 and the third costs Rs. 41,200. Dell Inspiron 15R(Rs. 31,000 model) has a 15.6 inches HD widescreen which would make the display more glossy with the addition of TrueLife. Inspiron 15R has an Intel Pentium P6200 Processor. It runs on a 100% genuine Windows 7 Home Basic. It has a 2GB RAM and 320GB Hard Disk Drive. An ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 512 MB video card is available in this laptop. A DVD Drive/Writer is also available. Dell Inspiron 15R has a 6-cell Li-Ion battery which can offer you a lot of battery backup which enables you to do a lot in just as single charge. It includes belkin simple backpack and 1 Year complete cover accidental damage protection.

The price of Dell Inspiron 15R is Rs. 31,300.

Zenith Uranium A14HM02

Zenith Uranium is a laptop that gives great value for money and offers specifications which you cannot get in the laptops higher in price. The only low-point that would be in this laptop is the brand name. Zenith isn’t a famous brand and I am sure many of you would be surprised to see this laptop in these rankings. The metal body and the reasonable price tag just put it in quite a big lead. Moving on to the biggest plus point, the specifications. Zenith Uranium has a 14 inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. It has a 2GB RAM and a 320GB Hard Disk Drive. It runs on Windows 7 Professional. Zenith Uranium has an Intel Core i5 processor. Performance and the specifications is where the Zenith Uranium actually shines. It has a 1.3 megapixel integrated web camera. This laptop is easy to hold and carry around as it weighs only 2kg. Just like the above laptop, Zenith Uranium has a 6-cell Li-Ion battery so just like the above laptop, you can do a lot with a single charge. Zenith Uranium, for Rs. 23,000 is a great buy and maybe the best entry-level laptop excluding the brand power.
The price of Zenith Uranium A14HM02 is just Rs. 23,000.

Samsung NP-RV411-S01

This laptop is just like other Samsung laptops, amazing in design. Samsung produces laptops that are extra-ordinary in design and offer some good specifications. This laptop weighs 2.2 kg and can be called a lightweight laptop. Samsung Np-RV411-S01 offers a 14-inch screen and a resolution of 1366 x 768. It has a RAM of 2GB and a Hard Disk Drive of 500 GB. A storage of 500 GB is a little bit extra-ordinary in reference to the price of the laptop. This laptop runs on Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. Intel Pentium Dual Core ProcessorP6200 is available in this laptop. It has an NVIDIA GeForce315M external graphics processor which can run extreme games easily. This laptop has an Ethernet port, 3 USBv2.0 ports and Wi-Fi. It has a 6-cell standard battery and after a little search, I found that this laptop gives up to 5 hours of battery life. The price is quite reasonable to the features and the brand quality which could make you buy this one.

The price of Samsung NP-RV411-S01 is Rs. 30,490.

Those were the top 3 ‘entry-level’ laptops available in the Indian market. If I am asked to pick any one of them, my choice would be Samsung NP-RV 411-S01 because of a nice price, great and stylish design and the awesome specifications offered.

What do you think of these 3 laptops? Which is your favorite? Do comment.

Google Maps for Android adds ‘Download Map Area’ feature through Google Labs

Download Map Area Google Maps is undoubtedly one of the best map applications ever. No matter where you are, Google Maps never lets you lose your way. Ever since it was released, Google has been adding various features to Google Maps like turn-by-turn navigation, street view, etc. Well, Google has now added yet another feature to Google Maps for Android – “Download Map Area”. It is an experimental feature and has been launched through Google Labs.

Download Map Area is a feature that lets you download maps of any particular area and access it offline without any data coverage or Wi-Fi. You can download maps of up to a 10-mile radius of the area you selected. The maps are downloaded within a minute or two and stores only the base map titles and landmarks on the map. To see the Satellite View and 3D buildings, search for Places and get Directions, you will still require a data connection. However, the downloaded maps will have enough details for you to easily figure out the way.

So, how do you enable and use this new feature anyway?

Well, to start using this feature on your Android phone you first need to make sure that you have the updated version of Google Maps. If not, head over to the Android Market and update your Google Maps. Once you have the updated version, open Google Maps and enable “Download Maps Area” by going to Menu->More->Labs.

Google Maps Download Map Area

On the Map, click on any place (for eg. Cathedral St. Andre) and select more or “>” to get the Place page menu. There you will notice that the Download Map Area option has been added. Just select it and your map will be download within no time. You can now access the downloaded maps even without a data connection or Wi-Fi. You can manage all your downloaded map areas from the Google Maps cache settings. However, all downloaded map areas will be removed from your cache after 30 days.

So, do you like this new feature in Google Maps? What other features do you wish to see in Google Maps? Tell us about it via the comments section.

Image Credits : Official Google Mobile Blog

Explore the Globe Virtually with Google Street View based Websites

Applications like Google Maps have enabled couch travelers to globetrot around the world without ever leaving the comfort of their couches. You can simply ‘Browse’ to famous places and landmarks across the globe without ever buying a ticket or going through the hassle of traveling. With Google Street View up and running, various websites have popped up on the web that allows you to virtually explore the globe in a fun yet useful way. Take a look at some of these interesting Google Street View mashups:

Show My Street

showmystreet.com   fast   easy street viewing

This is a very useful Google Maps mashup that comes very handy in finding addresses because it mainly relies on Google’s Street view. You have to type in an address and search, the results will be that location displayed on Google Maps. Luckily if the address that you have entered is also present in Google Street view’s database, it will also pop-up. You can also use Show My Street Map just like an ordinary Google Map and can share it via Facebook or Twitter.

Google Sightseeing

Google Sightseeing — Discover the world

Well this particular Google Maps and Street view mashup take users on a journey around the world. It scoops up blogs from web and then presents them in an arranged format, all of these blogs are arranged as per categories and countries. There is also a special section on Google Sightseeing website that collects Street view images from around the globe.

MapCrunch

MapCrunch   Random Google Street View

MapCrunch website let users ‘teleports’ around the globe with few chunky images of Google Street view displayed randomly. Though you can choose locations but there is an interesting game of Hit-or-miss on the website that allow users to check their general knowledge. For quickly browsing places, there is a gallery of Google Street view photo collages.

Although these apps are simple mash-ups but you can enjoy the fun part of these websites by exploring your favorite places. Do let us know in comments that whether these websites were worth browsing or not.

LG Optimus Black P970 Officially Launched @ Rs. 20,990

LG Electronics has finally launched its new Android phone, the LG Optimus Black P970 here in India. The phone has entered the Indian market quite some time from now, though LG never officially announced the phone. Optimus Black is another phone which belongs to the LG’s Optimus series, comes with a sleek and compact design.

The phone features a 4-inch multi-touch IPS LCD display, which boasts to be the world’s brightest display available on the current smartphones. The new display offers great visibility even under sunlight and helps in reducing power consumption than the regularly used LCD displays.

LG Optimus Black comes with a new feature called UI 2.0, which helps users to customize their home screens. There is an additional button called G-Key which integrates with the Gesture UI, which allows you to navigate between homescreens by simply tilting the phone, answer calls or open camera app by shaking and tapping etc.

Check out the complete Specs of the LG Optimus Black after the break.

LG Optimus Black P970 Specifications

  • Android 2.2 Froyo OS
  • 122mmx64mmx9.2 mm
  • Weight: 109g
  • GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • HSDPA 900 / 1700 / 2100
  • 4 inch WVGA IPS LCD Capacitive touch screen display
  • Gorilla Glass
  • 1 GHz Cortex A8 Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 2GB Internal storage
  • MicroSD Slot (supports upto 32GB)
  • 5 megapixel camera with Auto-focus and LED flash
  • 720p HD Video recording @30fps
  • 2 megapixel front facing camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR
  • A-GPS
  • GPRS/EDGE
  • 3G
  • DLNA
  • Digital Compass
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Gesture UI 2.0
  • FM with RDS
  • Battery: 1500 mAh Li-Ion
  • Colours: Black, Pink, Silver, White, Brown

The phone is priced at Rs. 20,990.

So are you buying the new LG Android phone?

3 Feature Rich Mobile Video Players for Your iPhone

You might find loads of video players for your iDevice from the iTunes App store but most of them are either limited as regards to functionality or performance. The mobile players that I am highlighting today are best suited for iPhone because all of them have some unique features that will enhance the video playback functionality of your phone. Know more about these mobile players after a break!

Video Stream

VideoStream

This mobile video player has a special feature of streaming contents directly from your computer. The developers have packed some really powerful features and I think it’s a perfect package for playing videos on your iPhone.

Video Stream player streams videos to your iPhone via an installed server on the computer, but the real thing is that this player also convert the videos on your computer into an iPhone compatible format and push them directly for download on your app. It means that even if you have forgot to convert videos on your computer in a compatible format before uploading the player will do it automatically.

You can download the Video Stream App from iTunes app store for $2.88, plus its universal meaning you just have to buy it once and use it for both iPhone and iPad.

BUZZ Player

BUZZ Player

BUZZ Player is another feature heavy player that has pretty useful features in it, app is not universal and you have to buy its HD version for $3.8 if you want to use it on iPad. The app provides you feature like adding URLs for launching videos directly from a network. It supports multitude of video and audio formats including MKV, RealVideo, Musepack, AMR etc. You can buy BUZZ Player app from Apple App store for $1.90.

Video Safe

Video Safe

Another useful mobile video player developed by the same party who also developed Video Stream app. Its special features include secret videos and images and an interesting one with the name of Snoop Stopper.

If you want to pose yourself innocent when someone is going through the video on your iPhone then Snoop Stopper will ensure that you do come out to be clean!

SnoopStopper

Basically it’s a feature that load-up some fake videos along with some pictures, you can enter the Snoop mode by entering a wrong passcode and then add some home videos. Now when someone opens the app and enter an incorrect passcode they will automatically be directed to Snoop Mode. Video Safe app costs $3.8 and its not universal.

Manage Facebook List With CircleHack: Google+ Style

When Google+ social networking site released, the first thing which I liked is it’s too easy to create list using circles and manage it. and for obvious reasons we didn’t expect Facebook to copy this feature, though couple of Facebook engineers created a site call Circlehack which will let you easily and quickly manage Facebook list using Circles.

If you have used Google+ circle feature you will find this site exactly the same. Though for any Facebook users, this is one of the easiest way to manage Facebook list.

Here is a screenshot of CircleHack:

Seems like launch of Google+ is going to change the way we use Social networking site. As it is we are expecting Facebook to announce Facebook video chat and may be Facebook iPad application. Anyway time will tell how the clash between top two companies social networking site is going to bring revolution to social networking market.

For now, you can try CircleHack here.

If you have tried Circlehack, I would love to know your opinion about it and do you think Facebook should also integrate something like Circles to quickly manage Facebook list?

Top 3 Live News Streams That you can Watch Online for Free

In this multimedia age, keeping yourself upto-dated with the latest happenings in the world is a very simple thing. We have loads of news sites and TV channels that dish out latest news and happenings from around the world to us. Keeping in mind the user trends, a large number of broadcasters are also scooping up audiences by putting live feeds of their channels on internet. Here is a list of live News Streams that you can watch on the internet without ever paying a penny:

Al Jazeera

image

Not such a favorite among Arab dictators but really a News channel worth watching. Plainly speaking it’s a very hard hitting form of Journalism coming directly from Middle East covering global issues. You can watch Al Jazeera’s live news stream on your desktop either with either the LiveStation app or you can also view the channel’s live feed by visiting their website.

RT

image

Basically it’s an international broadcast that is partially funded by Russian government, it offers documentaries and latest news from around the world. This particular live news stream is tagged as a bit blatant as compared to the other Live channels available. So If you are looking to find a place where you can get the news from an entirely different perspective then RT Live news stream is the right place to tune-in.

C-SPAN

image

C-SPAN is by far one of the best news channel for political junkies having an inkling for the latest happenings around the globe. The live streaming link of C-SPAN provides viewers an upto-date coverage of the latest news covering things like latest from Washington DC and power lobbies.

Also read:

The News streaming services that I have highlighted here are having pretty good quality. If you happen to know of some other free streaming news services then feel free to share with us in comments.

How to take screenshots of your Android device [Tutorial]

Being a blogger, I frequently write reviews about different websites, softwares, mobile applications etc. To make my posts more attractive and interesting, I always make sure that I include the screenshots of the app or website I am reviewing. Taking screenshots on a computer is very easy, as there are hundreds of tools available that enable you to do so. But, how do you take screenshots on an Android phone?

Well, I had to do a lot of Googling before actually finding a solution to this. Basically, there are 2 ways to take screenshots on your Android phone. The first method is a little tricky and involves the use of Android SDK to capture the screen. The second method involves installing apps on your phone to capture your screen. In this post, I will explain both the methods of taking screenshots on your Android phone.

Method 1 : Using the Android SDK

The Android SDK is basically a software development kit which enables developers to create applications for the Android platform. The kit contains a utility called Dalvik Debug Monitor. This is the software we will be using to take the screenshots.

Step 1 : Installing the SDK and other necessary files

Before you install the Android SDK you need to make sure that you have the Java Development Kit installed. If not, you can download it from here. Scroll down to the Java SE Development Kit bundles and download the “JDK x Update xx with Java EE”. Install the SDK and it’s various libraries, including the Android tools.

Once you have installed the Java Development Kit, head over to the Android Developers website and download the Android SDK. The SDK is available on Windows, Mac as well as Linux. If you are using Windows, it is better to download the installer rather than the zip file as it provides an easy way to install the Android SDK. In case you have downloaded the compressed file, just extract it’s contents into a folder.

Now, for the purpose of taking screenshots, these steps should be enough. But, those who want to develop applications for Android, can check out this comprehensive tutorial on how to install the Android SDK.

Step 2 : Getting your device ready

The SDK can communicate with your device, only when USB debugging is enabled on your device. To do this, just head to Settings->Applications->Development on your Android device and tick the “USB Debugging” option. You can also tick the “Stay Awake” option to prevent your device from going offline when plugged in.

Once you have enabled USB Debugging on your device, just connect your device to the computer. Your Android device is now ready to communicate with the SDK.

Step 3 : Launching the Dalvik Debug Monitor

To open the Dalvik Debug Monitor Service, just navigate to the folder where you have stored the SDK and go to tools->ddms. The Dalvik Debug Monitor window opens.

Here, in the left pane you will see the list of all connected devices. Just double-click on your device. Also make sure that your device is “online”.

Step 4 : Taking Screenshots

If you have followed the above steps correctly, your device should now be ready to take screenshots. To capture the screen of your device, just go to Device->Screen Capture or press Ctrl+S. The Device Screen Capture window opens with a screenshot of your device screen. This image is a static image, and hence you will need to hit the “Refresh” button in order to update the captured image.

If you want to change the orientation of the screen, just hit the “Rotate” button. You can save the screenshots as a PNG file or even copy the image to clipboard.

That’s it! You can now take screenshots of your device any time you want. Well, if you find this method a bit tricky you can always opt for the second method which is relatively easier.

Method 2 : Using third-party Android applications

Those who don’t prefer using the SDK for the purpose of taking screenshots, can use third party applications to do so. If you search for the term “sreenshots” in the Android Market, you will find that there are various apps available that let you take screenshots of your device. But the problem is most of them require you to root your Android phone. There are quite a few apps which lets you take screenshots without rooting. Below, you can find simple steps on how to root your Android device as well as a list of Android apps that lets you take screenshots.

Taking screenshots by rooting your device

Rooting is a process of modifying your phone to gain complete control over it. There are various methods to root your Android device. A very simple method is by using an app called Universal Androot to root your device. Using this app is very easy and you can root your Android phone with just one-click.

In case Universal Androot doesn’t work for your device, you can try the methods posted here.

Once you have rooted your phone, you can use any of the apps listed below to take screenshots of your Android device.

1. Screenshot It – Screenshot It is a simple app that lets you take screenshots of your phone’s screen and save it as a jpg or png file. It lets you take screenshots by setting a timer or by even shaking your phone. In addition to this, it also enables you to crop the screenshots and choose a custom directory for your screenshots. However, this is a paid app and will cost you $3.99.

2. ShootMe – ShootMe is a free app to take screenshots of your device. You can shake your device, shout or even use the light sensor to take the screenshot.

3. PicMe – Compared to the above apps, PicMe lets you control as well as take screenshots of your device from a remote browser. All you have to do is fire up the app and go to http://your_phone_ip_address:8082 to control your device and also take screenshots. This app too is available for free in the Android Market.

Taking screenshots without rooting your device

There are various reasons why people do not root their Android device. Well, in that case you can use the app below for taking screenshots.

No Root Screenshot ItNo Root Screenshot It is a paid app that lets you take screenshots of your phone without rooting. It is similar to the app Screenshot It, both in looks as well as features, since it was developed by the same person. You can download this app from the Android Market at $4.99.

Well, these are the different ways I could find to take screenshots on Android. If you are experiencing any problems with the above listed methods or happen to know any other method to take screenshots on Android, tell us about it via the comments section.

Google Takeout: Download All Google Account Data

One thing which I liked about Google when they released Google+, they let you download data from your Google+ account and along with Google+ data liberation feature, Google also added a new feature call Google Takeout to download all your Google data.

Using Google takeout, you can download data from Google Buzz, Google Circles, Picasa, Google Profile, Google+ stream and contacts.

Google Takeout
Google Takeout

Download data from Google takeout is easy and here is a guide which you can use to download your Google data.

How to use Google takeout to download Data from Google?

Go to Google takeout homepage and login using your Google ID. Click on Choose services

You can click on any service and it will show the time it will take to download all the data. Click on create archive and it will start archiving your data from day1 to now and you can download it within one click on next page. (Screen below)

Indeed it’s a great move by Google to create one place to download all data. I wish if they start offering multiple file format options to download data.

Here is a nice video from Data liberation Front announcing Google takeout service.

 

You should atleast use this service once to download all your data now and to create a local backup. Do let us know what do you think about Google takeout service? Do you think it’s going to be useful for you and others?