Nokia Lumia 520 is the Best Selling Windows Phone Closely Followed by Lumia 920

Windows Phone is comfortably the only alternate OS to those who do not want either Android or iOS. The OS may not have hit the numbers that send your spine down the excitement route, but may well have done enough to be a dominant force amongst the others. Where Windows Phone has really excelled is in the low budget region, in a region where iOS is obviously not available and Android is still struggling to balance the price vs performance debate. Thanks largely to the lightness of WP OS, it runs pretty much perfectly on low end devices such as the Lumia 620 or the 520.

Windows Phone Share1

As a result this comes as a no surprise to us that the Lumia 520 has been the most selling Windows Phone out there. The device is right at the bottom curvature when it comes to the pricing and runs the latest OS that is Windows Phone 8. The device contributes to about 13.3% of the total Windows Phone devices sold and is closely matched at about 11% by the flagship Lumia 920.

Windows Phone Share

It is also clear to see that Nokia enjoys the monopoly as far as sales of Windows Phone devices are concerned as HTC and Samsung barely make up the numbers. Also, in emerging markets such as India the Lumia 520 has done exceedingly well giving users a very decent phone for well below the 10k mark.

Via: Technobuffalo

Would the EOS Nokia Lumia Device be called Nokia Lumia 1020?

It is the worst kept secret of the world that Nokia is preparing an EOS Lumia device which is largely being bid as the perfect successor of the mobile camera wonder that Nokia 808 PureView was. We have seen plenty of leaks and plenty of images of the device already. We have seen the sensor in action and had decent dibs on the build quality of the device, but one thing that has always been missing is the name of the device. Every article on the internet has referred the device to be as an EOS Nokia device.

nokia-41million-reasons-teaser

However, the recent claims in the press are that the device is set to be christened as the Lumia 1020. The source of the news comes form the famous Twitter source @Evleaks which tweeted on the 25th that the device would indeed be the Lumia 1020. This does indicate that the device will go and be the flagship of Windows Phone device and perhaps the EOS device in future will have four digits instead of the other Lumia devices which have had three digits such as Lumia 920 or 820 and so forth.

The device is expected to be unveiled on the July 11th as the company has already sent out invitations stating that there are ’41 Million Reasons’. Pretty sure, the 41 figure here is the MegaPixel count of the Camera on the device. Whatever it is, we cannot wait for a Windows Phone device running a ginormous camera like the one on 808 Pureview.

Via: Technobuffalo

7 Things To Keep in Mind while Taking Pictures from your Smartphone Camera

Not long ago, having a Camera on your smartphone meant only three things, you are super rich, you work for the FBI or you simply were Bond or some other form of Superhero, vaguely speaking. Today though, not having a Camera on your smartphone means only one thing, that you are not really in tune with what’s going on around you. However, since every phone has pretty much started sporting a Camera, we have started taking them for granted, taking pictures which are plain rubbish, grabbing the phone out and just clicking away without giving it a thought. Guess, portability does that for us. That is why, easy does not always translate to better. To help you make this translation though, here are seven tips that you must keep in mind while you take pictures from your smartphone.

Smartphone Camera tips

1) Clean your Lens: It is the most basic and important thing to keep in mind. A lens is basically the outer part of the camera from where the light goes in so it makes sense if you keep it clean, keep it away from smudges and for the love of God, never touch the lens with greasy or oily hands. Every time you take a picture, make sure your lens is clean by using a thin cloth of sorts to prevent aberration. Make sure though that the cloth you use does not scratch your lens.

2) Wary of the Jawline if shooting a Portrait of a Human: If you do not take care of the jawline as you shoot a subject, chances are you will get an image that may not be natural of the person. The rule of thumb is ask the subject to move his forehead a little forward and tilt it downwards, it makes the jawline more prominent and the lump of the throat does not add extra weight to the subject making it look a lot more neat.

3) Do not Operate Flash While Shooting against Reflective Surface: Unless your device has a Xenon Flash do not use Flash, simple enough. But in case you want to, please never use Flash, not even on Auto when shooting reflective surfaces such a well polished table, or a glassware. The light bounces of and you will be left with a crazily lit image which will simply be horrible.

4) If Recording a Video do it in Landscape Mode: Most of the phones shoot videos in an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 4:3. Never hold your phone in portrait mode while shooting a video. You must keep it in landscape so that when you play the video on a bigger screen you use the whole estate of the screen and get bigger details instead of cramming things up.

5) Hold the Phone with both hands while taking the shot: There is a reason, every photographer out there holds their image capturing device, be it a DSLR or a Phone camera with both hands. It adds to the stability of the camera and results in better Image Stabilisation. You may be the coolest cookie in the pond, but holding cameras with one hand will result in shaky and blurry images, please avoid that. If possible, do tuck your hands to the side of your body too for added stillness.

6) Capture Images in HDR mode if the option is there: HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. When you take HDR images, the device takes several images at different exposure levels and combine them into one to give you a result that is sufficiently brighter than an average image. Some of the devices such as the iPhone save both the HDR and non HDR images when the option is selected so you can choose which one is better.

7) Make Sure Lighting is Sufficient: I firmly believe that no matter how good, a smart phone camera still will not replace your standard good point and shoot and definitely not a DSLR. So when you are taking a shot with a Camera on a mobile, make sure lighting is sufficient. Most phones perform horribly in low light conditions adding a lot of noise in the background. So, if the lighting is not sufficient avoid a smartphone camera unless you totally have to take the image. Make sure your subject is well lit and you are playing with the light rightly.

So these were our seven handy tips to help you take a mean image from your Camera Smartphone. Do let us know in the section below if you agree with us, and do add your suggestions if you feel we have missed out on something crucial.

(Image via: PC Mag)

Google I/O 2013 Opening Keynote Roundup

Google I/O 2013 keynote has just ended and although we did not have any new hardware or a new Android version, there were plenty of worth reporting announcements. So without taking too much of time, let’s dive in and see what all has changed now that the opening keynote in San Francisco at Google I/O has come to an end.

Google IO 2013

Hangouts aims to unify messaging

There were strong rumors even before the I/O had kicked off that Google would be announcing it’s own messaging services which will replace Google Talk and provide a cross messaging communication service. The rumors did come true and Google announced Hangouts which is available for download already for iOS and Android and allows seamless communication between desktops and mobile devices. The interface is clean Holo like and the overall experience is extremely snappy. Things work like a treat on Hangouts, be it real time message delivery or video chats. The app is fairly limited as of now, as there is no support for Android tablets. Also, you can only transfer image files as of now between the contacts. Surely an update will roll out allowing us to transfer Contact information, videos, audios etc.

Hangouts

You can download hangouts from Play Store here.

Samsung Galaxy S IV Google Version

Google announced that it would be releasing a Google version of the Samsung Galaxy S IV, with vanilla Android version 4.2.2 on board. The device will come with unlocked bootloader and unlocked with support for LTE. Everything else remains the same as found on the original Galaxy S IV. The Google version will cost you back by about $649.

A Redesigned Google Maps for iOS, Android and Desktop

All the three versions of Google maps got a major upgrade as Google aims to bring a similar UI experience cross platform. The Android and iOS versions will get a better search functions in the app meaning you will be able to not only see the directions, but also read the reviews of the restaurant you want to go to, or make phone call to reserve your seat. The app would automatically search for online discounts or coupons and also redirect you in case there is an accident or traffic clogging.

Google Maps

The biggest update though was reserved for the desktop version of Google maps as it got a massive UI lift. The web version now has a similar boxes like features as found on Google Now and has deep integration with Google Earth and support for 3D maps. Zooming all the way out, you will be able to track the earth in space and also see the clouds and their locations in real time. The app also has the ability to search for flights between two destinations and give you an inside view of a restaurant or place you just searched for better real life experience.

Though, no dates were announced for the redesigned maps, Google did say the updates will roll out in the summer. There is a preview available though for the web version of the redesigned maps which is on the basis of invite only. you can visit maps.google.com/preview to request your invite.

Google Play Services

There was a very strong rumor that Google would be announcing a competitor to Game Center as found on iOS and we were not disappointed when the service was finally rolled out. It basically allows the users to play games and post their high scores and achievements to their friends via Google+ sign in. You can also invite your friends for a multi player game. Google Play Services also allows you to play your game on your smart phone and seamlessly switch to playing on the tablet right from the stage you left off. Although, the implementation depends on the developers and currently only a few games are supported, you have to feel that play services will eventually be a big thing.

All new Designed and Feature Filled Google+

Google+ has not been the sort of success that everyone expected it to be. As a result the team behind is making all sorts of changes and bringing in features to attract more people to use the service. The latest is the UI redesign giving it a more box like view similar to Google Now as well as ability to edit your images in house automatically which were uploaded to G+. You also have the ability to auto extract the best images from a bunch of images taken during a holiday to show off and a motion GIF like collection of burst images taken in a short space of time. Google+ indeed is banking big upon all these features to take them to the next level.

A more comprehensive Google Search and Google Now

Google has made big improvements to Google Search now and you can search for your flight tickets as well as Hotel reservations and other journey details directly. Google Now also brings suggestions for the sort of music or TV shows that you may like based on your search history. you can also book appointments and set reminders using Google Now. There is a deeper integration of Voice search now built into the web search and you have a lot more graphical results appearing with comparison to countries like US and China in case you ask a question like the population stats.

There were a lot more announcements such as a refined developer program as well as a new redesigned Google Play Service with streaming capabilities. All and all, even though there were no great surprises, Google I/O as expected was all about services than products.

What are your views on the announcements held and which ones do you think will be the most crucial in the long term? Let us know in the section below.

 

Sony Announces Xperia ZR

Sony have announced yet another smart phone. It indeed it is becoming hard keeping a track of all these alphabets behind the Xperia branding of Sony. Although the Xperia Z did not do too well in the market, Sony since has taken an alternate route and started shipping devices with some stripped down features of the Xperia Z. Xperia ZR is one such device.

Sony Xperia ZR

The ZR is in between the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL in terms of hardware and we presume the price too. The device features a 4.6 inch 720 P OLED display. The processor on board is the Snapdragon S4 Quad Core, the same chip found in the Xperia Z. There is LTE and 2 GB RAM on board to keep the overall experience on the device snappy. The Xperia ZR also features a 13 MP Camera with Exmor RS Image Sensor as well as NFC. There is a single flash LED to help you with shooting at night.

Sony is claiming the device to be waterproof and also sports a physical camera button to help you with taking shots underwater if need be. The device would be available in four different colors, Pink, Cyan, Black and White. Although the pricing and availability is not known yet, we do expect the device to cost in the early 20,000 Rupees category.

You can check out the introductory video of the device here:

Via: Sony Blog

 

Google Set To Bring Massive Update to Gaming Experience on Android

Games have always been a big feature when it comes to mobile applications. Not only people look for the number of utility or social apps that are available when deciding whether to go with iOS or Android or even WP devices, they want to make sure that their favorite games such as Angry Birds or Temple Run or Assasin’s Creed work or not. However, gaming experience on iOS so far has been better than Android and one of the reasons behind that has been Game Center which allows you to post your high score and challenge your friends to beat you at a particular game. The best bit is, just about every game is supported in Game Center and therefore provides a nice platform for you to share all your gaming prowess with friends. Android are building something very similar called Google Games if the rumors are to be believed.

googlegame

According to Android Police the next version of Play Services will include a huge update to the way games are played on Android devices. Now you will be able to send your high scores to the people in your G+ list, or send them directly to your friends or even sync your high scores in cloud so you can continue where you left off on another device. It basically will help you make gaming a lot more Social.

The launch of the new services is not very clear but we do believe it to be one of the major talking point when Google I/O kicks off from 15th May onwards. This move will certainly attract hardcore games to Android which as of now are more inclined towards iOS counterparts. Maybe this move will also encourage developers to develop more Android games since the number in quality games is much lower as compared to iOS.

Via: CNET

Check Out Four New Small Apps For Your Xperia Device

When Sony Xperia Z was launched in India, a lot of people appreciated it’s design and a slab like form factor right from the school of iPhone 4 designing. Being one of the three devices to sport a 1080 P display, the Xperia Z was branded a special device, until people started to notice how poor the screen was in outdoor conditions and direct sunlight.

Small Apps

Yet, one of the concepts which really took off with the Xperia Z was that of small apps. They are basically applications which can be run over any application for a quick calculation or viewing of data. Sony recently released the add on SDK of the applications and plenty of developers have shown an interest in developing these miniature apps. Not available for other devices, we do hope that at some point these small apps become a part of the Android ecosystem as they really are useful addition. Here are three latest Small pps to come from the developers for Xperia Z or other Xperia devices using Small Apps Framework.

Small Torch

Small Torch basically is a large button which allows you to turn the LED of your device On or Off. Particularly useful when you are in dark and quickly need some light.

LMGTFY

LMGTFY stands for Let Me Google That For You. As the name suggests, this small app lets you enter your Google Search Query and instead of you having to use a big long URL, it shortens that for you and copies it to the clipboard. A useful little application in case you have to share your search query results.

Media Controls Small App

This is another useful small app for your device which supports small apps. It is a control for music playback not only for the default music player i.e. Walkman but also, third party players such as Google Play Music, Poweramp player etc.

Discount Calculator

A simple yet perhaps one small app of most use, discount calculator allows you to input the MRP of the good and the percentage of discount available. This way you immediately get the new price that you have to pay. A must have if you like your way around shops.

All these four small apps can be downloaded here at XDA Thread for Small Apps. Do not forget to thank the developer and report your feedback.

Via: XDA

Top 3 Free Apple Maps Alternatives

When Apple decided to ditch Google maps and go with their own mapping solutions in the form of Apple maps, it created one of the bigger uproar of disappointments in the world of tech industry. There were countless trolls about the maps simply not working and very unlike Apple, they were forced to apologize to their customers cause they royally screwed up. However, months down the line, the uprising has died down but there have not been any major changes to Apple Maps, things still are shoddy and don’t work great at least in India. So what else can you use? Here are our three suggestions.

Apple maps

Google Maps

Google Maps is still the most reliable go to option when it comes to maps on iOS and Android. Things work brilliantly and most part of the world and the fact that Google is always up to making improvements and adding features on, means you can always expect more. There are rumors of a full screen more coming of the Google Maps at Google I/O and one that would allow even easier play around the app. There is an extremely dedicated team of people working behind Google apps so you can always expect them to deliver and since they have the history on their side and the fact that the application is available for free, it is our go to maps application on our iPhone.

Download Link

CoPilot GPS

CoPilot GPS is one of the oldest yet simplest GPS navigation apps present on the App Store. It has recently added support for the Middle East, so if you are from that region, CoPilot will be a great alternative to Apple Maps. You also get Yelp ratings in the application for local places so  you can quickly decide which place suits your taste and which doesn’t. Although free for the lifetime, the app does offer in app purchase for a 3D maps view as well as turn by turn navigation. The traffic incidents work well on the maps and you can also lock the orientation of the maps in landscape or portrait.

Download Link

Waze

Waze is one of the coolest mapping applications present on iOS. The fact that it is driven by the community means there is always new data being fed into the system. If you are looking for the best route out of a crowded street or want to save on fuel, then Waze is an application that would really help you. Although, most popular in the United States, the app provides a fantastic voice guided navigation. You can also connect the application to your Facebook account and look at your friends positions. It also re routes you as and when the traffic conditions get bad. Definitely worth a try and an application we hold high hopes for in the future.

Download Link

So these were our top three suggestions for apps that could e used instead of Apple Maps and guarantee you reaching your destinations in case you are on a shiny iPhone. Do you use Apple Maps or one the above apps? Or something totally different. Let us know in the comments section below.

Facebook To Kill Third Party Apps on Windows Phone

Facebook recently launched a new Beta application for Windows Phone 8 which brings a fair number of interesting add ons to the table. Although, the official application is really good at least on Windows Phone devices, there are always users who prefer to use a third party application especially when it comes to Social Networking apps. Down to personal preference or just added features or simpler UI coupled with the fact that there are plenty of choices available means these third party apps are really popular.

Facebook Third party apps killing

However, it looks like Facebook does not like these third party application and is planning to kill them by writing to Microsoft themselves.  Although we can understand why Facebook would do something like this but it would generate a bad PR for the company and for the ecosystem for allowing something like this. It restricts the choice of the user and that is something no user would like. There are more than 25 applications on the market store currently that would be affected by this. If you are looking at a new Facebook application, now is the best time to go ahead and download it before it is taken down.

What are your views regarding this move from Facebook? Would it simply ensure a larger number of people download the official app or simply grow a sense of disillusionment among the users? Let us know in the section below.

Via: Dailymobile

Here is How To Follow Google I/O 2013 Live

Google I/O begins on May 15th till May 17th in San Francisco. It is the yearly conference held by Google to show off its new projects and release information to it’s developers about the upcoming products. There are lots of rumors already what all could be on show at Google I/O this year. From an upgraded Nexus 4 with LTE on board to a refreshed line of Nexus 7 and a brand new OS, either the Android version 4.3 or version 5, the rumors have been endless.

Google IO 2013

However, it is not possible for all of us to be present in San Francisco to  follow the event from close proximity  However, unlike previously, entire Google I/O 2013 would be streamed live on Google Developers website here. There is also entire schedule available on the page of the conference so you can mold your schedule according to the Google I/O events.

There is also an Official Google I/O  official Android Application that can be downloaded from here free of cost. You can get all the happenings, schedules and events in the application and is a great way of keep tabs on the events happening in Google I/O. Most of the renowned tech blogs such as The Verge and CNET would be covering I/O live. We could also see a brand new Google Maps app at Google I/O and perhaps even a surprise or two like Google always has up it’s sleeve.

We will bring you all the news from Google I/O here on Blogtechnika and are extremely excited about it. Do leave your comments below about what your expectations are from Google I/O.