Monthly Archives: October 2011
The new Nokia Lumia 710 was unveiled on Wednesday, and unsurprisingly there has been plenty of talk around it. That’s hardly surprising though, when we consider this model and the Lumia 800 are the first Nokia phones ever to bear the Windows flag. The Nokia smart phone really has arrived.
So, looking beyond its 1.4GHz processor, as well as its 3.7-inch WVGA screen and 5-megapixel rear camera, what makes this phone stand up and stand out you’re asking? Well, we have come up with seven juicy morsels of information revealing some of the lesser known, but equally impressive, characteristics that make the 710 an extremely neat piece of kit.
1. Moving onwards and upwards
Get stuck into Nokia Drive – an application on the 710 that delivers a kitted out personal navigation device with free, turn-by-turn navigation both for use on the roads in sync with Nokia maps, and on foot also. With the 710 you’ve now got not only a great phone, but satellite navigation too, all at your fingertips.
The Nokia Lumia 710 running Nokia maps
2. Music to your ears
And, if you think that’s cool, then how about being able to plug yourself into a gigantic portable music library whilst your Nokia handset takes you on your way. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well, get familiar with Nokia Music’s ‘Mix Radio’; a free and global mobile music streaming application that delivers a whole host of music channels from your phone straight to your ears. And, you can download these playlists to your 710 for listening to at your own leisure. Oh, and did we mention that there’s no registration needed either. Aweessommmeeee.
3. Listen to this…
In an update to be delivered later this year, Nokia Lumia users will also gain the ability to create personalized channels from a global catalogue of millions of tracks. That means you can create your very own Nokia playlists from one huge library at your fingertips. You can stop rubbing your eyes now; this really is all very true.
4. Find where the fun’s at
If that wasn’t enough for you, the 710 gives you the ‘Gigfinder’ app, for those of you that like to party. This application allows you to search for live local music on the move, snap up tickets for live events and share all of this with your social network. This all comes in the Nokia Music software update later this year, something well worth waiting for.
5. Memory and power at your fingertips
Okay so the 710 only stores 8GB of internal storage, but it betters its elder sibling, the 800, by including a microSD card slot that can accept up to 16GB of additional flash storage. This means that with one tiny slither of plastic, you can automatically double your memory status. The 710 also bears the distinction of being one of the few Windows Phones with physical navigation keys, a trait that will please those of you out there who appreciate a bit of sensory texture on your keypad.
6. Give your 710 a fresh look
One of the coolest features of the 710 is that it comes with a myriad of coloured interchangeable cases. So, if you get a little bored of your phone’s exterior, you can simply strip off its body and throw on a new look in no time. There are ten of these, so you’ve got one to fit every mood (depending on how prone you are to mood swings). Along with being able to change your back covers, you can tinker with the colour formatting of the tiles in the OS too. Now that’s cool.
7. Get up close and personal
You all know by now that the 710 comes with a 5megapixel camera, autofocus, LED flash and x4 digital zoom. But, we bet you didn’t know that you also get a face detection mechanism with all of this, meaning that while you snap away with your friends, your 710 will automatically recognise the faces of your mates and tag them accordingly.
It seems like the future is happening today, as RIM has announced that the Blackberry Bold 9900 and the Blackberry Curve 9360 are the first ever SIM-totting NFC smartphones to be certified as MasterCard PayPass approved devices.
This means that both Blackberries have met the various security, interoperability and functionality requirements set by MasterCard and can now be used to pay at various NFC enabled stores around the world. The way any MasterCard PayPass-issuing bank globally will be able to connect your MasterCard to your SIM card in either the Bold 9900 or the Curve 9360.Initially, France Telecom – Orange is the only carrier to use the MasterCard certification, but be sure that many more carriers globally will follow, as they have both NFC-enabled devices on offer.With such a fast pace of NFC development we are sure that many more manufacturers will take the effort to certify with various financial services like MasterCard. Do you plan on using NFC as your new wallet?
Nokia Drive: Changing voice
Not liking what you’re hearing? You can easily change the navigation voice if you want to or download a brand new one. Just open settings and choose something that pleases your ear.
Nokia Drive: 2D and 3D
Nokia Drive benefits from both 2D and 3D map views. So if you’re looking for extra definition to your route and some clear landmarks, you can quickly change your perspective in settings.
Nokia Drive: Day and Night
There’s no need to be blinded by your navigation system when driving at night. Nokia Drive lets you tone down the screen, while still giving you a clear view of your route.
Lytro is the world’s first light field camera, lets you focus on any part of the image AFTER it’s captured
Lytro is the world’s first light field camera. Light field is the amount of light travelling in every direction through every point in space. Light field contains a lot more information than traditional light captured by regular cameras, especially pertaining to the placement of objects emitting that light and their distance from the camera.
Traditional cameras capture light and color but light field cameras also captures vector direction of the rays of light. This extra bit of information, combined with the special light field sensor and the powerful software, let’s the camera know the position of the objects in the frame, which is what lets it perform its magic trick, focus selectively on objects AFTER they are captured by the camera.
Normal cameras use a manual or focusing system to focus on one object in the frame or the entire frame, depending upon the size of the aperture. Once it’s focused and a image is captured it becomes permanent and there is no way to change the focus after that. Lytro, on the other hand, takes a picture with no focusing whatsoever, which also makes it quicker than traditional cameras. After that it uses all the information it captured and with the help of some techno wizardry from the software presents you with an image that can be refocused any number of times, at whichever point you want in the frame.
Depending upon the location of the selected point, the software then blurs everything else that is not at the same distance as the selected spot. This gives the images a cool shallow depth of field that DSLRs are famous for, but again, you can change this anytime. More importantly, the images can be viewed as 3D images on a 3D display because unlike traditional cameras light field cameras don’t require dual lenses to capture depth.
Lytro has a very unconventional design that looks like a flashlight. It’s a stretched cube shape with the f/2 lens with 8x zoom at one end and a tiny square touchscreen display on the other end. On top is a shutter button and a touch sensitive zoom control over which you have to slide your finger for it to work. On the bottom is the USB port and power button but no tripod mount, which suggests this camera is obviously intended just for casual photography. Perhaps a more ‘serious’ variant will be released later. Maybe it’ll even have a flash and the ability to record videos.
A cross secretion of the camera reveals that most of it is taken by the lens system, and the rest by the sensor, processor, battery, etc.
If you’re wondering how many megapixels can that sensor capture, then the answer is none. The Lytro camera chooses to measure rays of light instead, 11 million of them to be precise.
The images captured by the camera are in a proprietary format and can be selectively zoomed in on the camera or the Mac-only desktop software that it comes with. Images can be converted to other formats but then they will obviously lose their focus changing ability. If you want to check out some sample images, click here.
The Lytro light field camera will go on sale early 2012 and will cost $399 for the 8GB model that can store up to 350 images and $499 for the 16GB model that stores up to 750 images. It will be sold in graphite, blue and a special red version for the 16GB model. You can pre-order the camera right on from Lytro’s website.
Blustacks allows you to emulate Android Apps as they are seen on an Android phone. Is that not cool? Yes, it is! I tried the emulator and the first thing i tried to emulate was the app that is so popular – Pulse. Though I do not like Pulse much for eating all the battery on my Android phone, I love its design. And I was absolutely stunned to see that Pulse looks and feels the same way on your PC when you emulate it using Bluestacks as you use it on your Android phone.
Now remember, you can emulate your Android using Bulestacks only if you are using Windows 7. You Mac Application is on the way. And Bluestacks is in Alpha, so do not expect bug free performance. Now if you have an Android Phone, you can use Bluestacks Cloud Connect to transfer some of you favorite Applications to your PC. Bluestack Cloud Connect can be downloaded from here.If you are someone who is thinking of moving away from iOS or Blackberry and want to see how Android Apps work, Bluestack is certainly something you might want to try.
Troubleshooting: Remember that Bluestacks is in Alpha. In other words, Bluestacks is out in its most rudimentary form. Some of you may find that Bulestacks does not install on your Windows 7 PC. Do not panic! There must be some issues with the file you have downloaded. Reboot your computer and try installing Bluestacks again. If that does not work, download the installation file once again later and try to install Bluestacks on your PC
Opera Mini is a great source of comfort for people who want to read Malayalam on their Android Phone. Type “opera:config” in the address bar and change “Use bitmap for complex scripts” into “Yes” and you are ready to go. Now, that is good enough to read Malayalam on Opera Mini Web Browser. But what about those people who want to read and type in Malayalam, no matter what Application they are using?
Android does not provide any support for Malayalam. However, there is a workaround if you want to read Malayalam and type in Malayalam using your Android Phone, if you are using a Samsung Galaxy Phone. Following are the steps you need to follow, if you would like to do that, if you are using a Samsung Galaxy device:
- Download “Font for Galaxy SP” (Fontomizer) from the Android Market
- Go to your Settings > Applications > and make sure that Unknown Sources is checked. Checking Unknown Sources allows you to install Android Applications from sources other than market.
- Download “Akshar Unicode” from “Font for Galaxy SP” and install on your phone. “Font for Galaxy SP” lists fonts in alphabetical order. Click on alphabet “A” to download Akshar Unicode font
- After installing Akshar Unicode, go to Settings > Display > Font Style and select Akshar as your display font.
- Download PaniniKeypadMalayalam IME from the Android Market
- After installing PaniniKeypad Malayalam IME, go to Settings > Locale and text and check PaniniKeypad Malayalam so that the key board is enabled on your phone
- Now, when ever you want to type in Malayalam, long-press on your text box and choose PaniniKeypad Malayalam as your input
Note: This workaround will not void your warranty as you are not rooting the phone or unlocking the boot loaders when you install a font from Fontomizer. If you have a rooted phone and do not care about warranty , I suggest you to download a Malayalam .ttf font like Karthika or Meera and replace your Droidsansfallback.ttf with it.