Monday, 21 July 2014

Google's Project Athena to bring Android L-style design to Chrome OS

GOOGLE IS TINKERING with the design of Chrome OS, the operating system that runs on its Chromebook laptops.

Google Chrome logo

Project Athena will have an entirely revamped user interface (UI) which brings Chrome much closer to the planned design of the recently announced Android L mobile operating system.

Google's Francois Beaufort, who reguarly reveals news of the company's plans on Google+, has shown screenshots of the work in progress, revealing a flatter, more spacious interface.

However there is still much to do before public release of the new version, which is not even fit for the developer Canary channel yet, with no indication of when it will be completed.

If you simply can't wait, it is possible to compile a version of Chromium with the new design so far, but it isn't recommended for the faint of heart.

The convergence between Android and Chrome has been a theme in recent weeks, with the intention being to allow Android apps to run within the Chrome environment.

With the Chromecast streaming device essentially being a cut-down Chrome web browser, this could pave the way to run Android apps on the big screen too.

With Google having focused on reducing the footprint of Android 4.4 Kitkat in order to reduce fragentation between different versions on different devices, it appears that Android L is all about bringing the two operating systems together into a cross-platform Android ecosystem.

Apple has been working towards this for some time and recently reported that over 90 percent of iOS devices were running the latest version .

Gionee's 5mm-Thick Next Contender for World's Slimmest Smartphone Spotted


While Gionee's current contender for the world's slimmest smartphone crown, the Gionee Elife S5.5 (Review | Pictures), does certainly make an impression with its 5.5mm thickness - it looks like the company is looking to make an even slimmer phone before anyone challenges its claimed record. A 5mm-thick handset has been spotted at the China-equivalent of the FCC, called the Gionee GN9005.

Notably, with the launch of Gionee Elife S5.5, the firm managed to beat the record previously held by Vivo X3 by 0.25mm. To give a better idea of the yet-to-be-announced Gionee GN9005's 5mm thickness, the Apple iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S5 measure 7.6mm and 8.1mm respectively in thickness. However, with the slimness, Gionee seems to be shedding some of the high-end specifications on the GN9005 that were found on the Elife S5.5.

The Gionee GN9005, which appears not to be the final name of the smartphone, was spotted listed Tenaa with specifications.

According to the Tenaa listing, the Gionee GN9005 sports a 4.8-inch HD (720x1280 pixel) AMOLED display. The smartphone is also seen running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box and powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor (unspecified) paired with 1GB of RAM. While the handset comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, it also features an 8-megapixel rear and 5-megapixle front-facing camera. A 2050mAh battery backs the handset.

With the listing smartphone seems to be headed first for China Mobile, and is expected to be 4G LTE network compatible. As expected, the Gionee GN9005 is yet to be allotted a price tag. Also, there is no word on its launch time frame.

To recall, the Gionee Elife S5.5 is a single-SIM smartphone that runs the company's Amigo 2.0 UI on top of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. However, earlier this month the smartphone was said to have been receiving the Android 4.4.2 update.

Some of the other key specifications are 5-inch Super AMOLED (1080x1920 pixels) Plus display, 1.7GHz octa-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front camera, 16GB of internal storage with no expandability options, and 2300mAh battery. The handset was first unveiled in February, ahead of the Mobile World Congress 2014 event.

Custom watch faces coming to Android Wear? It might be true

Google says it'll allow developers to customize the faces of Android-based smart watches, officially - developers have already worked around the Android Wear platform's build to craft custom watch faces, but Google has asked for a stay in the flood of third-party designs until official support has been rolled out.


While developers had been anxious to get their hands on the Wear software development kit (SDK) and consumer have been just as enthused to get it on their wrists, the newly released software has already experience significant bugs. An apparent problem with the SDK's digital rights management (DRM) render many premium apps unusable, which was likely a contributing factor to Google's request that watch face modification wait until it's officially supported.

Wayne Piekarski, Senior Developer Advocate of Android and Wearables at Google, warned that the custom watch faces were tied to a number of elements of context streams, which are used to serve data to wearables.

"[Custom watch faces] have some special considerations due to interactions with the stream and always-on ambient mode -- including using a shorter peek card, moving the status indicators for battery and mute, and rendering the faces differently in ambient mode. Right now, without an official API, making a really great watch face currently takes a fair bit of tweaking," stated Piekarski.

Piekarski praised Android's openness and said developers using the Wear platform will be to achieve the same degree of customization on the Wear platform, though he said he expected the freedom and flexibility in development for wearables to come in the fall of 2014.

While Google has discouraged the use of workarounds used to create custom watch faces, it had to encourage the use of an alternative route to help developers get around a DRM issue that has plagued the Wear platforms small collection of paid apps.

"We're working to make this easier for you in the future, and we apologize for the inconvenience," said Google of the DRM issue.

Google didn't set a timetable for the release of a fix for the DRM issue. But with Piekarski stating that custom watch faces will be officially support when the Wear platform is updated in conjunction with Android L, an official DRM fix may arrive at the same time.- See more at:

Huawei outs Ascend P7 Arsenal Edition smartphone

Earlier this year, Huawei announced a new global partnership with prominent UK football club Arsenal, promising exclusive offers, content, and brand presence for Arsenal fans. The partnership apparently also includes specially-branded smartphones, as Huawei has just released a new variant of its Ascend P7 flagship that's especially targeted at Arsenal fans.

The Ascend P7 Arsenal Edition features the Arsenal logo mounted on the rear cover of the P7, alongside a wide range of Arsenal-based themes and menus. The integrated clock widget is even based on the famous Arsenal Clock End.

The special edition device is also set to come preloaded with FIFA 14 to take care of your football gaming needs. Huawei representative Richard Ren promised a few more surprises for Arsenal fans for the coming season, so be sure to check back with us often for more on the Huawei-Arsenal partnership.

Apple iPhone 6 tipped to launch on September 19

A promotional flyer for the upcoming Apple iPhone 6 has been posted by a Weibo user in China. It depicts two iPhone smartphones, a 4.7" and a 5.5" one, alongside their respective prices. 

 A lot of rumors have suggested that Apple is considering to launch two iPhone devices this year and this promotional flyer is yet another hint that this might indeed happen. The flyer also suggests pricing for the iPhone duo.  

The 4.7" iPhone 6 would carry a price of $850 (RMB 5,288), while its larger 5.5" sibling is tipped at $1012 (RMB 6,288). According to the flyer, the launch date of both is September 19. Historically, that's not surprising, as the iPhone 5s launched on September 20 and the iPhone 5 did so on September 21.

GSMInsider cites reports from China that claim Apple has already sent the iPhone 6 to Chinese carriers like China Mobile and China Unicom to test its 4G LTE connectivity.

The 4.7" screen version of the iPhone 6 will reportedly have a resolution of 960 x 1,704 pixels. We've witnessed a slew of dummy units of the phone, with a recent one having the following dimensions – 137.5 x 67 x 7mm. For reference, the iPhone 5s is 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm.

Xiaomi Mi 4 leaks ahead of tomorrow’s launch in China

Xiaomi Mi 4 leaks ahead of tomorrow’s launch in China

Just a day before Xiaomi’s Mi 4 is being launched in China, images of the smartphone have surfaced.  The leaked image has sparked a new controversy about the material used to build the device.

While Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun’s Weibo account had earlier disclosed that the smartphone will feature a metal build, the images show the phone is actually made of plastic, reports PhoneArena.

Image: Weibo
Image: Weibo

The leaked image doesn’t really confirm if the back is metal or plastic, but some sources who have handled the phone say it is plastic. Moroever, Xiaomi VP Li Wanqiang has now confirmed to the news site that the ‘back  cover is not metal, but there is plenty of metal used on the device’. According to the report, he said, “The new product is indeed uses a lot of metal, but no for the purpose of metal back cover.”

If you leave aside the whole plastic-metal drama, the device comes with an excellent specs sheet. Going by Xiaomi’s track record, one can expect an affordable and totally value for money price tag too. Some rumours have been hinting at a 5.5-inch display, while the most recent ones suggest a 5-inch display with 1440 x 2560 pixel of resolution.

Some other rumoured specs include top of the range quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. One can also expect 16GB onboard storage, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera and a 3000mAh battery.

Coincidentally, the Mi 3 will go on sale in India tomorrow, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the company announces an India launch date for the Mi 4 too. 

ABVP outs Android app to keep members in the loop

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or the ABVP as it’s most commonly known, has introduced a mobile app for its members which they can download in order to stay updated with the latest activities of the organization. Available for Android devices free of cost, this app has surprisingly been blessed with a flat Material design-like look.

ABVP is actually the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a right-wing Hindu nationalist group and its presence is mostly felt in colleges and universities from around the country. This new app lets you select your exact location to provide you with tailored information of what’s happening around you.


News about ABVP’s activities will dominate the content, whereas sections like Views, Chapters, Activities and more will help the organization keep its members up to date. With the app, joining the ABVP too will become a much easier deal, with a membership form being present right within the utility.

Moreover, ABVP helpline numbers and more also form part of the experience. According to Firstpost, Saket Bahuguna, the ABVP Delhi state secretary of the organization has cited the aim of this app to be establishing a better connection with its members. He has also emphasized that joining the outfit through the app will be free, as opposed to joining through student centers where a nominal fee is applied to each membership.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has got this app designed by MeGo Technologies. Dubbed ABVP, it is available for download through the Play store on all Android devices running versions 2.3 and up.

Smartphones to drive future cars

Hold on to that steering. Cars of the future are set to get rid of traditional controls like buttons and switches and have a touchscreen smartphone for your driving comfort and overall safety.

Back-seat passengers will have the touchscreen to control automotive accessories such as air-conditioning, infotainment and navigation.

This will not distract drivers, media reports said. Towards this, luxury car maker Bentley has come up with a slick remote control which whirrs up from the rear of the centre console.

The device, the size of a cigarette packet, is fitted with a touchscreen. It manages audio-visual equipment like twin TV screens, a navigation system, a stereo and even a fridge.

The remote also allows passengers to configure the seats and adjust interior temperature. This kind of control will soon pass on to cheaper cars, reports added.

For example, the new Volkswagen Passat will have an app that owners can download on a tablet. Using the car's Wi-Fi, the tablet will let passengers surf the internet as well as interact with the infotainment system.

Audi has gone a step further. It has come up with an Audi-brand tablet: a 10.2-inch display introduced as a remote control for a range of vehicle functions.

The tablet gives occupants access to the web, media and navigation systems as well as control over the radio, reports added. 

ZTE Nubia Z7 Max coming to India later this year says report

Buzz is that the premium ZTE Nubia Z7 Max smartphone, which features a range of advanced components including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset and a full HD display, will be hitting the Indian market later this year. It is being said that this handset will arrive in the nation around the time of September or October.

At the moment, India is an extremely lucrative market for smartphones and the Chinese company would definitely want to cash in on this. It already has various devices on sale in the country, but all of them fall in the low and mid range categories.

ZTE Nubia Z7 Max

The ZTE Nubia Z7 Max on the other hand, will enter the affordable high-end category with its price tag hovering somewhere around the Rs 27000 mark, as revealed NDTV Gadgets which has sourced a PTI report. The fact that the aforementioned handset is a dual SIM one is also a plus for the company since such devices are in high demand, as far as India is concerned.

Here’s a quick look at the specs of the ZTE Nubia Z7 Max:

– Display: 5.5-inch, 1080p full HD
– OS: Android 4.4 KitKat
– Processor: Quad core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
– Memory: 2GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable up to 64GB)
– Camera: 13MP rear, 5MP front
– Battery: 3100mAh
– Dimensions: 152.7mm x 76mm x 8.7mm
– Weight: 160gm

The ZTE Nubia Z7 Max was unveiled by its maker only earlier this month, and with its launch in India now being talked about, interested buyers will have something to look forward to.

Micromax Canvas Fire A104 hits market with Android KitKat and Rs 6999 price tag

Just earlier this month, the Micromax Canvas Fire was first introduced by the Gurgaon-based company in the form of its A093 model, and it has now gone on to launch a successor to it which bears a A104 model name. Priced at the same Rs 6999, this handset features a quad core CPU and a 4.5-inch display.

Screen size is hence a main difference between the A093 and the A104, as the former features a 4-inch panel on its front. While both run the Android 4.4 KitKat OS, the upgraded version of the Canvas Fire handset kicks in 1GB of RAM rather than the 512MB module that’s present on the A093. The new device moreover benefits from front-facing speakers which we’ve also seen on its fierce competitor, the Moto E.

Micromax Canvas Fire

The same 1.3GHz quad core processor powers both the Canvas Fire devices, and dual SIM capabilities can of course be found in each of them. Like its predecessor, the A104 from Micromax comes equipped with a 5MP rear camera and a VGA webcam. This device is powered by a 1900mAh battery which is a slight upgrade over the power unit utilized by the A093 model.

Here’s a quick look at the specs of the Micromax Canvas Fire A104:

– Display: 4.5-inch, 854 x 480 pixels
– OS: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
– Processor: 1.3GHz quad core
– Memory: 1GB RAM, 4GB storage (expandable up to 32GB)
– Camera: 5MP rear, VGA front
– Battery: 1900mAh

The Micromax Canvas Fire A104 has only been listed on the company’s official site right now, but it should soon make its way into online shops in the country. Like we said, its price.

'Save' Facebook Content to Read Later

Facebook Save

Can't get enough of those BuzzFeed quizzes or long-form news stories friends post to Facebook, but just don't have the time to dive into them during work? Now you can save them to the social network to read later.

Collect everything from links and places to movies, TV, and music so you don't miss out on a new recipe or restaurant to try out.

All saved items are kept secret, unless you choose to share them with online friends.

Reminiscent of third-party services like Pocket (formerly Read It Later), Instapaper, and Readability, Facebook's built-in tool makes it easy to save the latest news on Kim and Kanye without having to leave the site.

Whether you're on-the-go or on your home computer, just tap the "v" symbol in the upper right corner of any status, and choose to keep the related content. The option works only with posts that include a link, place, or entertainment source.

Then view your items at any time, from any place, on any device, by simply clicking the mobile app's "More" tab, or the link on the left side of the Facebook website. Saved items are organized by category at the top of the page. Individual content can be shared, archived, or deleted.

But it's easy to get carried away, saving everything that looks fun or informative, then leaving it to waste away in storage. Which is why Facebook promises to offer the occasional reminder that you've saved now-stale news stories and local bars that have now closed.

Just keep an eye on your News Feed for a scrolling banner of saved content.

The Save feature is rolling out on iOS, Android, and the Web over the next few days.

Take a closer look at the new tool in action in the video below.

LG launches G Watch smartwatch running on Android Wear

Along with the LG G3 India launch, LG also also unveiled its G Watch smartwatch, priced at Rs 15,000. 

The watch has a 1.65-inch display and features Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 processor and has an internal memory of 4 GB with a 512MB RAM. The dust and water resistant watch sports the Android Wear OS and has a 400 mAh battery.

There is a discount of Rs 5,000 on the LG G Watch when bought along with the G3. 

LG launches G Watch smartwatch running on Android Wear

The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are the first Android wear smartwatches to go on sale.

LG G Watch is compatible with a wide range of Android smartphones and will present relevant information to users just when they need it or whenever they say "OK Google" to ask questions or to get their work done.

This is LG's fourth device in close collaboration with Google following the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition.

LG G Watch has an always-on display. It shows an on-time notification, and raising the watch turns it from black and white to full colour. Users can swipe up and down to navigate between notifications, and swipe horizontally to get to details and actions. Users can select the watch face too. They can simply press and hold to choose which watch time face they want. Also, when a user dismisses a notification on the watch, is also disappears from the phone.

Setting a "do-not-disturb" mode is a swipe away. Just swipe down on the watch to set the DND mode. The watch has a daily step counter and a step-count history for the week. 

There’s an app aimed at letting you spy on your partner, what’s next?

We’ve seen all kinds of crazy apps come and go over the past few years, and this new one which we’ll be talking about takes the whole concept strange apps to a whole new level and perhaps beyond. mCouple is something you can download on your Android and iOS devices to keep track of your partners.

So if someone thinks their significant other is cheating on them or if they’re anxious about who their partner is talking to and where he/she is going, they can take some help from this app. It works in a two-way fashion, so both the partners need to have it installed on their devices in order to take advantage of it.


Developed by a London-based firm named mSpy, its key concept is that all the history from you device will be accessible on your partner’s device. This means, any call or message you get during your day will be accessible on your partner’s connected handset without any bounds.

The same applies for contact entries made by you as well. That’s not all; its GPS tracking attribute makes it possible to track every move your partner makes. Facebook hasn’t been kept out of mCouple’s purview as well, with partners having been given the option of viewing all the Facebook chats of their significant others.

There’s a fairly simple process that’s needed in order to tie up both partners’ smartphones so as to make information accessible to each other. mCouple can be downloaded now through the Google Play store and the Apple App Store free of cost.

British Police use Snapchat to fight crime


Could photo and video sharing app Snapchat help in the fight against crime?

The West Midlands Police (WMP) Force in the U.K. thinks so, recently becoming the first force in the world to use the app.

Based in Birmingham, U.K., WMP has a well established social media presence with over 100,000 Twitter followers. Its messages reach 500,000 people daily via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Instagram.

Snapchat will boost WMP’s ability to communicate with a younger demographic, according to spokeswoman Keiley Gartland. “Part of this work is about connecting with younger people and helping them to feel they have a close connection with their local police force,” she said, in a statement. “What we want is for them to have the confidence to give us a call or speak to their neighbourhood bobby [police officer] when they really need our help − and social media is a great tool for us to do that.”

Using the Snapchat user name ‘WestMidsPolice’, WMP will post new images to Snapchat’s Stories feature every 24 hours. “We’re primarily targeting a younger audience on Snapchat and it means when we really need to get an important message out to the community, we’ll have a captive audience,” added Gartland. “You never know what you’re going to get when you visit our story on Snapchat, so it’ll be a surprise every day for anyone who follows us!" 

Snapchat stories disappear after 24 hours.

WMP says that social media should not be used to report crime.

Now buy Micromax LED TV exclusively on Snapdeal for Rs 16,490

Phone maker Micromax today launched a 32-inch LED TV which would be sold exclusively on e-commerce platform 

Micromax LED TV

This is the first time Micromax has entered into a strategic partnership with to launch its latest offering, the e-retailer said in a statement. 

Priced at Rs 16,490, 32 inch LED TV will have features as zero dot panel, narrow bezel design, USB play supporting all audio and video formats and HDMI & VGA ports to give additional viewing options, it added. 

The smartphone manufacturer had ventured into the panel market in October 2012 by launching its range of LED TVs. 

According to Snapdeal, the TV would be available across 400 cities and will be delivered to customers in NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad within two business days.

LG launches new G3 smartphone

Actor Amitabh Bachchan and Soon Kwon, MD of LG Electronics India at the launch of LG G3 Smartphone in Mumbai on Monday.

The 4G-supporting smartphone features a 5.5-inch quad HD display, 13 megapixel OIS+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus) rear camera and 2.1 MP front camera.

LG, which on Monday launched its flagship smartphone 'LG G3' in Mumbai, said it is on path to achieve 10 per cent market share in the world's second most populous market.

Buoyed by increasing smartphone sales across price categories, the Korean electronics giant LG said it expects revenues from the segment in India to jump almost three-fold this year.

"We are seeing very good traction and will exceed our target of Rs 2,000 crore in revenues from smartphones in India this year from Rs 800 crore in 2013," LG Electronics India Managing Director Soon Kwon told PTI.
In the first half of the year, the business from the category has almost trebled, he added.

Asked about the ambitious target of achieving 10 per cent market share this year, Mr. Kwon said: "It is very much on track and looking at the sales we are having, we are on track to achieve it in 2014."

He added that LG will launch few more handsets this year in the Rs 20,000-30,000 range to further strengthen its presence and reach. Currently, it has phones in the price category of Rs 6,500-65,000.

According to research firm IDC, Samsung is the market leader in multi-crore smartphone category in India with 35 per cent market share followed by Micromax (15 per cent), Karbonn (10 per cent), Lava (6 per cent), Nokia (4 per cent) and others (30 per cent).

LG has roped in Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to promote 'LG G3' smartphone in the country.
About 15,000 limited edition G3 smartphones with Mr. Bachchan's signature will be released in the Indian market and a few lucky buyers will get the opportunity to meet him.

The 16GB version will be priced at Rs 47,990, while the 32 GB version will be available for Rs 50,990.
LG G3, which sports a 'Kill Switch' that can disable the handset in the event of a theft, features a laser auto focus camera, smart keyboard, and a slim metallic design.

Globally, the G3 has witnessed exceptional traction and LG expects the same in India, Mr. Kwon said. LG Electronics Marketing Head Amit Gujral said the company expects to sell half a million G3 devices by year-end.

The 4G-supporting smartphone features a 5.5-inch quad HD display, 13 megapixel OIS+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus) rear camera and 2.1 MP front camera. With the latest Android KitKat operating system, LG G3 also has a a removable 3,000 mAh battery, 2/3 GB RAM and internal memory of 16 GB and 32 GB options. It also has a micro SD slot with maximum 128 GB capacity.

The firm also unveiled at the event its G watch, priced at Rs 15,000. The watch has a 1.65-inch display and features Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 processor and has an internal memory of 4 GB with 512MB RAM. The dust and water resistant watch sports the Android wear OS and has a 400 mAh battery.

LG said G3 is being launched in India with Rs 15,000 worth of consumer offers. There is a discount of Rs 5,000 on the LG G Watch when bought along with the G3. The offer also includes Rs 3,500 worth QuickCircle Case free and an one time screen replacement worth Rs 6,500. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Wickedleak Wammy Titan 3 Octa to Get Android 4.4 KitKat Update on August 1


Wickedleak on Friday announced an Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Wammy Titan 3 Octa, which will be available for users from August 1.

The smartphone maker also announced all new orders for the Wammy Titan 3 Octa will feature Android 4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box.

The Wammy Titan 3 Octa smartphone was launched at Rs. 14,990 in India in March with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box.

The Wammy Titan 3 Octa comes with dual-SIM support (one Micro-SIM). The phablet features a 5.7-inch IPS WXGA (800x1280 pixel) display with OGS lamination and Dragon Tail Glass coating.

The smartphone is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor with a Mali 450 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The Wammy Titan 3 Octa includes a 13-megapixel rear camera capable of recording 1080p videos, and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter.

Wickedleak's Wammy Titan 3 Octa comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded up to 64GB via microSD card. The connectivity options included are GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with direct functionality, Bluetooth 2.1 and 3G.

The Wammy Titan 3 Octa is backed by a 3200mAh battery, which the company says delivers a standby time of up to 3 days. It measures 157 x 81.5 x 7.9mm and weighs 150 grams. Apart from being powered by an octa-core processor, the Wammy Titan 3 Octa smartphone also features optional AquaProtect hydrophobic coating, for an additional Rs. 1,500.

Earlier this month, the firm launched another octa-core processor powered smartphone in India, the Wickedleak Wammy Neo Youth, priced at Rs. 8,490.

Some of the key specifications of the Wammy Neo Youth are Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (upgradeable to Android 4.4 KitKat), 5-inch HD (720x1280) IPS-LCD display, 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 SoC, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage (expandable via microSD card up to 32GB), 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera, 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and 2200mAh battery.





Front Camera



800x1280 pixels




Android 4.2.2



Rear Camera


Battery capacity


Amazon Instant Android App Release “Imminent”

The Amazon Instant Android app is almost here according to a new report citing an Amazon executive. Amazon Prime includes Instant Video with access to a vast library of streaming movies At no extra charge, but there is still no Amazon Instant Android app.

Amazon Instant Video is available on Kindle Fire devices and on the iPhone and iPad, but for the longest time there was no Amazon Instant Android app, or even talk of when Amazon would offer an Instant Video Android app to users.

A new report indicates Amazon is ready to deliver an Amazon Instant Android app to users that will deliver Prime subscribers full access to the Instant Video library on Android smartphones and tablets.

The Amazon Instant Android app is on the way according to an Amazon executive.

Although there is no Google Play Store Amazon Instant Android download option yet, we should see it soon. Russell Morris, Marketing Director at Amazon Instant Video, revealed the Amazon Instant Android release is “Imminent.” 

Speaking with PC Advisor at an Amazon Christmas preview event in London this week Morris made it clear that there is an Amazon Instant Android app and Prime subscribers will soon be able to user it to watch Amazon Instant Videos on Android.

Morris would not offer a specific Amazon Instant Android release date, nor would he confirm that this will work with smartphones and tablets. There is hope for support on multiple devices as the Amazon Instant app for iOS works on iPhone and Android.

Part of the reasons Amazon held back on an Amazon Instant Android app may be to drive consumers to the Kindle Fire HDX and Kindle Fire HD tablets. Amazon is in the process of launching the Kindle Phone with access to Amazon Instant Videos, running on a modified version of Android.

The Amazon Instant Android release could tempt more users to switch from Netflix to Amazon instant video, as the movies and TV shows that the two services offer are very similar, other than Netflix Originals like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.

An official Amazon Instant Android app is good news for users who up until now are left trying hacks to make the web version or other apps deliver Amazon Instant Android access. If you use an older Android device that is not on Android 4.4, this trick may let you watch Amazon Instant video without waiting for an official Amazon Instant Android app.

News of an Amazon Instant Android app release comes shortly after Amazon announced a deal to deliver many HBO originals as part of the Instant Video service.

Amazon Instant Video is part of the Amazon Prime account that also includes access to music, free two-day shipping and discounted overnight shipping. Amazon Prime is $99 for a year membership, including the Instant video streaming. This is $4 more a year than Netflix, and it includes shipping and other benefits that Netflix does not offer.

Amazon testing 'Kindle Unlimited': All-you-can-read ebooks for only $9.99 per month

Amazon is reportedly testing "Kindle Unlimited," a service which allow users to have unlimited access on ebooks and audiobooks for a monthly fee of $9.99.

Test pages revealing the promotion were uploaded but pulled down on Wednesday, not after Kindleboards users noticed the pages. Some pages are even still active on the Amazon website.
The promotional material on the Kindle Unlimited service reads, "Enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month."

The service, which has been the subject of rumors for a few months, will see Amazon competing with other ebook subscription services such as Oyster and Scribd. Oyster Books was referred to as "Netflix for books" when it was first launched.

Oyster Books charges a monthly fee of $9.95 to give users access to over 500,000 books. Scribd, on the other hand, charges a monthly fee of $8.99 per month to give users access to over 400,000 books.
However, in addition to the much bigger collection of titles being offered by Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, the service also offers access to more than 7,000 audiobooks. The audiobook market has been largely dominated by Amazon, with critics even saying that the company holds a monopoly over the market, especially with Amazon purchasing Audible in 2008. Audible was the top audio entertainment producer then, with the biggest collection of audiobooks in the world.

Last month, a report revealed that Amazon approached publishers in the United States about being part of Kindle Unlimited.

One of the test pages listed the 638,416 titles initially available in the service. Among the books are many titles from the company's publishing imprints, and many titles are also available on the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

In the Lending Library, members of Amazon Prime that are also Kindle users can borrow an ebook for free once a month. Currently included in the Lending Library are the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games series.

Other titles revealed in the Kindle Unlimited test page include 1984, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Water for ElephantsLife of Pi, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Moneyball.

Because of the existing relationship that Amazon has with major book publishing houses around the world from its bookstore business, along with its leverage in the industry that allows the company to make the best deals for them with publishers, authors and retailers, Amazon is expected to find great success amid the current competition.

Oyster CEO Eric Stromberg, however, sees Amazon's entry into the unlimited ebook market as a good thing for the industry.

"We're not surprised. They have pivoted from transactional to subscription-based in other media, and have had limited success," said Stromberg. "They really paved the way in ebooks, and it's exciting to see them embrace the market we created as the future of books."

Why the Nokia X is the best phone you'll never buy

Why the Nokia X is the best phone you'll never buy 

While 2014 will likely be remembered for its Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and Apple flagships, it's a trio of budget Nokia handsets that have been among the most unexpected and surprising releases so far.

We're talking of course about the dramatically named Nokia X and its siblings the Nokia X+ and Nokia XL. They're phones which had tongues wagging ever since they were first rumoured for the simple reason that they were Nokia devices running Android.

When they were finally revealed there was perhaps a sense of disappointment at just how low end they were, but that hasn't stopped the Nokia X from selling. 

According to Saulo Passos, Head of Communications, Mobile Phones at Microsoft Devices Group it's "getting a tremendous consumer response. In Russia, for example, it is the number one smartphone according to GfK market research firm. 

"The phone also enjoys that position in Pakistan. We are seeing great momentum also coming from China, Indonesia and Brazil." So what's the key to its popularity?

The most obvious answer is that it's cheap, as in really cheap, so of course it's likely to sell well. That's even more the case when you consider that it's aimed primarily at developing markets, such as India and China where there are a huge number of people but many of them either haven't owned a smartphone before or can only afford entry level devices.

Even so, you'd think there'd be a lot of competition. Nokia itself makes the Asha feature phone series which goes down well in many such markets while there are a number of locally made budget handsets in India from companies such as Karbonn, Lava and Micromax.

It's all in the name

Yet just as we'd be sceptical about the quality of such unknown quantities here, so too are Indian consumers according to The Times of India, which argues that before the arrival of the Nokia X the only real brand name smartphone available to entry level buyers was the Samsung Galaxy Star.

With so little choice it's no wonder the Nokia X is doing well and speaking of brand names, Nokia is one which people trust. It's been around for a long time and even in developing markets a lot of people have had experience of it thanks to the Lumia 520, the Asha range and earlier feature and dumb phones.

Indeed Azeem Ullah Hassan, a writer at the Pakistan based ProPakistani, tells us that "it is a huge influencing force in this region when buying a phone. Most people have bought a Nokia as their first phone so it remains a huge factor. Needless to say, then, that a large number of people buying the phone are buying because of the name."

So the Nokia X is selling on its name and its price tag, but there's a lot more to it than that, after all if that's all it took then Nokia could just throw out another Asha or low end Lumia and be done with it.

Robot love

What we inevitably come back to is what we started with - the fact that the Nokia X runs Android. Even over here where we're drowning in Android phones that's an intriguing notion, as the much loved Finnish firm has long been in bed with Microsoft, so an Android handset has been nothing more than a fantasy until now.

But Android is far and away the most popular smartphone OS on Earth with a 78.6% global smartphone market share in 2013 according to IDC, so for a popular smartphone maker to get on board with such a popular operating system was bound to lead to sales.

Yet with all that Android competition there could have been a risk of the Nokia X getting lost in a sea of similarly specced handsets. But that was avoided too because the Android you get on the Nokia X is not Android as you know it.

It's more akin to Amazon's take on the open source OS, in that it's taken Android as its basis but stripped out all of Google's services (including access to Google Play) and put Nokia and Microsoft services in their place.

The absence of Google Play sounds like a big deal, but in some places it might not be such a factor. Passos explained that "there are many countries, such as China, where Google Play is not available. In others, it's not the primary choice" and users still have access to third party app stores.

The Nokia X and its siblings have also been heavily skinned to include a tile based interface that looks more than a little like Windows Phone

So it stands out from the Android crowd and buyers of the handset can fall safely into the arms of Android while experiencing many aspects of Windows Phone, potentially pushing them to switch to a true Windows Phone handset when they upgrade. More specifically a Lumia handset, since this is a Nokia phone we're talking about and it's even decked out like a Lumia.

Indeed that's clearly part of the strategy, as Passos explained that "Lumia remains our primary smartphone strategy, while the Nokia X family, which includes the X, X+ and XL, serves as an introductory system to Lumia. The Nokia X user interface ties directly into our strategy of providing an 'on ramp' for Lumia."

Of course even users that stick with the Nokia X will find themselves in Microsoft's fold, as the handset uses Bing, One Drive and other Microsoft and Nokia services in place of their Google counterparts.

Passos agreed, saying that "one of the great benefits of the Nokia X family is that it will help to introduce millions more people to popular Microsoft services that work across Nokia X and Lumia. Those services will become central to the online lives of the next billion and they will be able to access them using either Android or Windows phones." 

And the key point is that this is a strategy that is getting users over to Microsoft's side rather than Google's. It's using Android to keep users away from, well, Android. 

That's something that wouldn't be as easy with Windows Phone, as it's a relatively unpopular operating system, with a global smartphone market share of just 3.3% in 2013 according to IDC, but with the heavy skinning of the Nokia X the awareness of the Windows Phone experience will grow, even while people aren't actually using Windows Phone itself.

And by offering three different handsets in the 'X' range Microsoft arguably has the low end of the market sewn up, with the Nokia X being aimed at the very entry level, the Nokia X+ aimed at those who want slightly better specs and the XL at users who want something with a larger screen.

Looking forward

Passos wouldn't be drawn on what the future of the Nokia X brand will be, but it's seemingly been a hit so far and the Nokia X2 is now launching in various countries around the world, just half a year after the initial model was announced.

So it seems that Microsoft is committed to the brand for now at least and while it's too early to get sales figures for the X2 we'd expect that it will do well.

That said, the X2 is almost as low-end as its predecessors so it seems more aimed as a replacement for the Nokia X than a higher end option. By sticking to low-end devices Microsoft and Nokia are presenting anyone who wants to upgrade with a tough choice: either ditch Microsoft's services and move to a standard Android handset or ditch Android and move to Windows Phone.

Presumably Microsoft is banking on the latter happening, but Hassan is sceptical, saying that "I think most people will buy an Android device (for their next phone). The idea of migrating to a less-mature OS with lesser apps seems unlikely. It's highly probable that the phone will be higher end and Nokia doesn't make a higher-end Android phone right now. 

"Yes, Nokia has worked hard to transmute the OS into Windows Phone but I don't think most people can be lured."

Passos meanwhile is optimistic about the Nokia X range, saying that "one billion more people will be connected to the internet in the next few years. We know that they live mainly in high growth markets, they are mostly young people and their first experience of the Internet will be on a mobile device. 

"We see this as a huge opportunity to place mobile phone innovation and Microsoft services into their hands, to enable their first experiences of the internet, apps and the cloud."

In other words Microsoft wants to be at the forefront of bringing in the next billion smartphone users and with the Nokia X and Nokia X2 it just might manage it, but whether those users will stick around when they need a new phone is another matter entirely.