Saturday, January 24, 2015

Best Windows 10 Features

Finally we have a version of Windows we can use without cursing for a hard to navigate UI and the missing start button. Windows 10 seems to be an OS which we all would love to use. Here is a quick list of top 5 new features:

1. Start Menu is back
Windows 10 Start Menu with Live Tiles

If Windows detects your device at a tablet, Start Menu will cover the whole screen
2. Voice-controlled digital assistant Cortana comes to PC

Digital Assistant make the leap from phone to PC

3. Brand new browser, codenamed “Project Spartan”

Spartan offers a distraction free reading experience and annotation features

4. You will be able to play Xbox One game on your PC with the Xbox app for Windows 10
Windows 10 X-box App

5. It's a free upgrade for those using Windows 7/8/8.1 -  A smart move indeed by Microsoft!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Android Lollipop Unwrapped

The Latest Version of Google’s Mobile Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop's most obvious new features come in the form of visual enhancements and user interface changes, which Google has dubbed Material Design. The platform has new, more fluid animations, a cleaner design with a bolder color palette, a revamped multittasking menu, and offers new ways to interact with your voice. Many of the new Material Design features can be seen in the recent updates that Google has released for its own Android apps such as Google+. The Material Design initiative is meant to unify the software's look and feel across various form factors, whether that's a tablet, smartphone, home media streamer, or something else.

In addition to a visual overhaul, Lollipop brings over 5,000 new APIs for developers to tap into and lets multiple different Android devices with various form factors work better together. Google says that things such as songs, photos, apps, and recent searches can be seamlessly synced across various Android devices. Lollipop also includes new notification controls to limit alerts during meetings and other times, a new battery saver mode that can eke out 90 more minutes of life between charges, multiple user accounts, guest user modes, and new ways to secure your device via trusted Bluetooth connections. Lollipop will also include a protection against resetting the phone to factory defaults, which is designed to make it difficult for phone thieves to use a stolen device. Many of these features have been implemented by various Android device makers on their own smartphones and tablets for some time, but Google is now making sure they are part of the core Android experience.

Android 5.0 Lollipop is a big release for Google — it's the most significant visual update to Android since 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was released in 2011, and it lays the foundation for Android to grow as a platform outside of smartphones and tablets. Google is very clearly pushing Android as the software for the future, and it wants Android to be on every connected device we interact with. Lollipop is the first step to getting there.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Windows 9 - will it be Free !

Disgruntled windows 8 users there is finally light at the end of the tunnel! Microsoft is planning to roll out Windows 9 technology preview in late September or early October which is much sooner than expected.

We all know that start menu will make a reappearance in Windows 9. Other features may include Cortana - the voice-activated digital assistant, Virtual Desktop and a new tool to replace the Windows 8 Charms bar.

Windows 9 Start Menu

If rumours are to be believed then there can be a huge surprise on the pricing front to convince reluctant users who are still using older version like Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 to finally move to the latest Windows operating system available. Microsoft may even give a free upgrade offer, which has never happened before.

Clearly the attempt to have a unified OS (aka Widows 8) across devices of all form factor has not gone down well and Windows 9 is going to be a part or Mircosoft’s strategy to regain the lost share in OS market with a desktop centric OS.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Some free stuff for budding Java programmers!

I will be posting a series of 6 presentations on object oriented programming using core features of Java. You are free to use it for learning or educating someone. Here goes the first one...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

iPhone 5C and Apple's Flawed Strategy

Apple iPhone 5C - the cheap looking colored plastic phone, that isn't cheep
Pricing unlocked iPhone 5C at $549, Apple has simply lost the opportunity to make inroads into developing markets such as China, India and Indonesia, where competitors like Samsung have garnered a large market share by flooding it with dozens of affordable smartphones powered by Android.

Having two iPhone models was unthinkable in Steve Jobs era. Having a cheaper, feature stripped sibling of iPhone contradicts with Jobs' vision for iPhone as the best smartphone ever. However steady decline of Apple's market share in the global smartphone shipments led Apple take this extreme step. But they got it all wrong because $549 is not an affordable price for the developing world and Apple can not hope to sell any significant numbers.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Pen That Checks Spelling As You Write On Paper

A German startup has developed a smartpen named Lernstift (German for "learning pen") which can check spelling as you write with it on paper. The pen vibrates when it detects any spelling mistake. At a time when digital devices like Laptops and iPads are getting increasingly integrated in school education and spell check as a feature is taken for granted even on mobile phones,  this device can bring the fun back to writing with hand.

The device also works without paper so instead of typing the text message on the small touchscreen of your phone and dealing with T9 dictionary you can use Lernstift and write the message in air!

To accomplish this the pen packs in nifty electronics inside comprising of a processor running embedded linux, motion sensor wifi, vibration modules and a battery. The prototype of the pen is ready and the founders are trying to raise funds at Kickstarter for commercial production. Here is the Kickstarter pitch for Lernstift:

Monday, July 8, 2013

MIT's 'Immersion' Project Reveals The Importance of Metadata

A number of officials and ministers when challenged about the internet surveillance by NSA, try to defend by saying that they are only collecting metadata related to your mails, messages and interactions from phone and internet companies and are not collecting the content. The idea that it somehow is no big deal, and people have nothing to worry about when it comes to metadata is ridiculous.

We already know how detailed an account of an individual's daily life can be constructed from metadata extracted from a mobile phone. What people may not realise is how informative the metadata extracted from their email logs can be.

In an attempt to illustrate this, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Media Lab announced a new tool named 'Immersion' that uses your Gmail metadata (eg. From, To, CC, Timestamp) to build a stunning visualisation of your social network (and of your private life).

Here is the link if you want to give it a try: