Project Loon Gets Nod from the Government to Provide Internet Connectivity in India

Apart from running the Internet, Google, now a part of the Alphabet Group, does a lot of interesting side projects. One of the projects that Google has taken upon itself is ensuring good internet connectivity across the world. One way that Google has figured out doing this is using large balloons. These are obviously not ordinary balloons, but balloons that are capable of floating a good 20 km above the surface of the earth. Google in this case is the technology provider and not an ISP as all it does is partner with the right telecom partner to transmit the 4G signal over a larger area. Long story short, Google is acting like a large provider of telecom towers, which the balloons act like, in order to provide internet connectivity.


In India, Google has tied up with BSNL and will be using to power the broadband spectrum in 2.6 GHz band. Using these balloons, Google will be able to provide Internet to a diameter of about 40 kilometers. Google has already tested this program in places like New Zealand, California and Brazil. The news of this project was broken through on PTI, where an official source said:

Google approached government to set up the Loon project and drone-based Internet transmission. Government has approved testing of Loon project only as of now. A committee under chairmanship of Secretary, DeitY, has been formed to work on it.

Do you think that such moves would help improve the internet connectivity in India? Do let us know in the section below.

TRAI Cuts Roaming Rates by almost 20% with new rates coming into play starting May 1st

If you travel a lot then roaming charges that you have to pay to make a phone call is possibly the most dreaded part of the entire journey. For those of us who are always on the move, roaming charges in fact outweighs the local usage of the telecom plan that we have taken. However, looks like there will finally be some respite as TRAI or the Telecom regulatory Authority of India has instructed all the telecom players in India to offer a special tariff plan which would make roaming calls and text messages almost 20% cheaper.


The new plans are set to come into the action starting  May 1st and would see a standard local call slashed to 80 paisa from Re 1, while making an STD call will now cost you Rs 1.15 as compared to Rs 1.50. An incoming call would maximum cost you about 45 paisa down from 75 paisa mark while sending a local message will be only 25 paisa costly as compared to the old Re 1 slab.

In a statement to IANS, the telecom regulator gave a statement that, “All subscribers will benefit from the reduced ceilings… competitive pricing below the new ceiling levels is expected”. This is the first time that the roaming rates have been revised in India since 2013 and this is definitely a welcome change.

Turn on the Flashlight of your Smartphone using the Power Button with this Application

We often use the flash on our smartphones as the emergency flashlight. Be it in places like theatre or during a late night party, flashlights are a boon when darkness engulfs us. However, with the lack of uniformity across the UI on Android, using the flashlight which can be triggered on immediately is a real pain. Some of the OEMs allow options of the same under the notifications panel, but still you need to have your device unlocked and ready to go before you can turn on the Flashlight. This could be a nuisance when you want it immediately.

Flash light

Power Button Flashlight/Torch is a very interesting application available for free from the Google Play Store that basically allows you to map the power button on your Android phone to turn on the flashlight when you need to without the need of unlocking the phone. The best part of the application is that it does not require any sort of rooting or modding your device.

The application by default maps your device in a way that if you press the power button three times continuously, the flashlight will turn on. The light turns back off in 10 minutes, to prevent battery drain, you can also unlock the device and use the giant power toggle to turn the flashlight off. You can also map the power key based on your preference as well as just turn the flash off using the power button too, but you will have to pay $.99 for the same.

You can download the free version of the application from here

BlackBerry Agrees a $4.7 Billion Buyout

BlackBerry has been sold. Yes, let the I told you so comments flow in, but finally BlackBerry has agreed to a $4.7 Billion buyout offer from Canadian company Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. The offer on table was too good to go by or perhaps the position of BlackBerry too desperate, but that’s Nokia and BlackBerry both gone within a span of two weeks. A sad moment for all those who knew mobile technology well before it became a common man’s everyday toy.

BlackBerry Q10

Fairfax had already about 10% stake in BlackBerry but now has agreed to pay about $9 for each share of the company encompassing the whole takeover to be around $4.7 Billion. The shares were said to be trading in the region of $8.16 to $8.60. Although, most experts believe it is the right step for BlackBerry to be privately owned as now they can go back to drawing board and start over again rather than being in the public market which can be so unforgiving.

What are Fairfax’s plans of BlackBerry in the future are unknown, but Prem Watsa, the CEO of Fairfax did say:

We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees. We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world

What are your opinions on this mega news? Let us know in the section below.

via: Technobuffalo

BlackBerry Announces 9720 with BB OS 7.1

In a news that is perhaps as insignificant as an everyday heartbeat, BlackBerry have announced a new member of its Curve family in the form of BlackBerry Curve 9720. The device is slated for a release in Asia in coming weeks though the price points remain pretty much unknown. The BlackBerry 9720 runs a slightly tweaked version of BB OS 7, called the OS 7.1 which is still the main player given the higher volume of sales it garnered over the latest BB OS 10.

BlackBerry 9720

The device features a 480×360 Display which is pretty low considering the true HD display that every device seem to be rocking these days. However, the phone is most likely to come in budget range so a slightly obsolete specs makes sense. the phone will be powered by a 1450 mAh removable battery and has 512 MB of RAM. The screen is 2.4 inches in size.

BlackBerry 97201

BlackBerry claims that he device offers 7 hours of talktime and about 18 days of standby. There is also built in FM player and Wi-FI, Bluetooth and HSPA, things which you would expect in a modern device. There is also 5 MP rear facing camera to take shots when on the move. The new software enhancements bring an all new lockscreen as well as the ability to launch the camera when the device is locked.

It would definitely be interesting to see how this device does in the market, and if it gains any substantial traction or will just simply fade away. Till then, do check out this video of the device:



[Editorial] My Time with a Phablet- LG Optimus G Pro

For those of us in the tech writing world, smart phones become a commodity that come and go. We all have our personal devices but due to large influx of devices, it is very rare that we spend a long time getting to know a device personally day in and day out. With the LG Optimus G Pro, things were a little different. I got to have the device for around a month now on my desk, and for a review unit, that is a long long time. Soon, it will be the time for the device to go though, so here are my experiences of the LG Optimus G Pro, the good, the bad and the rest.

LG Optimus G pro2000

The Good

I personally fell in love with the gorgeous 5.5 inch display of the LG Optimus G Pro. Yes, the size of the display is slightly on a larger side, but this meant that I did not really use my iPad 2, iPad Mini or the Nexus 7. The G pro was a great go to mate when it came to reading or watching videos. Another feature, that not many seem to notice is the ‘Notebook’ app. It allows you to take snappy notes in your own handwriting and share it across. I invested in a Rs. 125 local stylus and this was one of the most useful things I found. Sitting in a meeting that was not interesting enough, I took the device to draw my thoughts and share it across my network. Yes, I know I cannot draw to save my life, but hey, I gave it a shot.

LG Optimus G pro1998

I also loved the dual shoot feature of the device and actually more than myself, the people using the device who were taking videos or pictures loved it. They had no reason to miss out from the picture and they loved being involved in all the fun. The device is snappy and smooth, and I loved throwing everything I could at the poor chap.

The customizations on the board are practically endless, from fonts to lockscreen to menu wallpaper to themed icons, the G Pro definitely feels like an extension of you. Really enjoyed playing with all the effects and themes, just like a play school kid would. In fact, I am sure in a few months some people would ask their friends to rate their phones on the basis of customizations ranging from iPhone to the G Pro. Hope you get the gist.

The Bad

Age old complaint of Software updates. My Nexus 4 is sporting Android 4.3 while my HTC One is happily sitting on Android 4.2.2, while the G Pro is still stuck on Android 4.1.2. I miss daydream and dashclock and the butter smoothness of Jelly Bean 4.2 on the G Pro. Also, given the large amount of theme-ing that LG have done over the stock Android, it is kind of disappointing it will take the device literally forever to receive updates to the latest OS.

LG Optimus G pro1996

The battery life on the G Pro is not best optimized either. For a device sporting a massive battery like the G Pro is with 3140 mAh the G Pro does die out pretty quick, in fact my HTC One seems to last a bit better in terms of standby. Mind you we did not have sort of core control or power saving on the device on. Yes, it does easily make through the day, but not beyond which i personally would have liked from a device of this size. Also, strange to say, but I missed having a stylus on the device. Yes, old school but when the device is this big and can run multiple applications at one go, having a stylus allows you to click those time miniscule control buttons easily and take notes on the screen.

LG Optimus G pro1990

And yes, my jibe with the materials. Being an engineer with gross interests in Material Sc, I would have much liked the device to be in metal, now imagine a device of that size, in a premium build, there you would have had an unbeatable device.

The Rest

On the whole though the LG Optimus G Pro does well, it gave me my first pahblet experience since owning a Samsung Note I and got to admit, the device is neat.

LG Optimus G pro1995

I am not sure if I am yet ready to go the phablet route full time, but yes, it was fun till it lasted. The size is big for me simply because I have invested a lot of money in a regular tablet, be it a Nexus 7 or the iPad Mini. But if you havent, and you want a device which is your go to it all, then hey, the G Pro is definitely one to pick up and must say, I will have fond memories of the device and cherish my time of hanging out with this superlative mammoth beast.

Check Out Which Mobile OS Dominates which Region on Twitter

It has always been a two way battle between Android and iOS for the mobile sphere supremacy. However, with so many facts and figures around, it has not always been a very clear indication as to which OS is popular where. One way to gauge this information though is by looking at the app usage via devices in different regions. And this is exactly what an interactive map at mapbox does.

interactive twitter maps

Twitter is one of the most used apps on mobile platforms so this interactive map of the world shows exactly the regions and the mobile OS which is most used at it. Pretty clear though that iPhone wins hands down in America while Android dominates parts of Asia and you barely will find the trace of BlackBerry. However, this resounding victory maybe down to the fact that most iPhone users do not really bother with switching with location settings where as Android users are mostly power users who are careful to turn these things off, perhaps to even save battery?

The likes of Windows Phone are barely visible too. You can simply click on one of the OS in the bar towards the left to make comparison or just see stand alone regions.

View the interactive map here

Android Evolution Showcased in Pictures

My first Android device was an HTC Tattoo, some four or so years ago. The device was like the best thing ever after I had lost my Nokia 5800 Xpress Music device. Android back then too looked such a refreshing change. iPhones back then were scarcely available in India and Android seemed to be like a very decent option in the smart phone world where your only other option was a Windows Mobile device such as HTC Diamond or Touch.We have certainly come a long way since the days of Android 1.6 Eclair and current Jelly Bean 4.2 has seen Android evolve leaps and bound. With every update came a new feature and newer, more uniform UI.

A contributor on Reddit has come up with an extremely interesting graphic that shows how exactly some of the features such as lockscreen, settings app and the notification bar and others evolved in Android. You might want to click on the image below to see the full blown image. It is certainly is mind boggling how far ahead we have come already in such a short space of time.

Android Evolution

Check out the iOS 7 Demo on your Browser

iOS 7 must be one of the most spoken about things on the internet currently. Just about every tech site’s front page has some news or the other regarding iOS 7. Like it or not, iOS 7 is here to stay and the design too you would feel will carry on in the future iOS updates unless Apple opts for a drastic redesign very quickly.

iOS 7 Demo Desktop

So, if you are sick of already reading things about iOS 7 and would like to have a shot at the OS but cannot dues to the lack of a developer account or even cause of lack of a compatible iOS device, then there is a very interesting online interactive guide for you. All you have to do is open the following link on your browser and follow the instructions.

Check out the iOS 7 Demo here

The demo allows you to pick the iPhone color too giving you a neat look at how iOS 7 would look on a black and a white iPhone. The interactive demo is prepared by Recombu themselves and for a large part works well. It gives you a nice basic idea of iOS 7, although there are a few stutters here and there which are to be expected. As you click along, you also get a nice message box that tells you what the feature is when you clicked on.

We highly recommend anyone who is interested in iOS 7 and hasnt had first hand experience yet to try it out.

Huawei Announces Ascend P6: World’s Thinnest Smartphone

Huawei although a big name in the world of electronics is a relatively new player in the smart phone market. Yet, they have released some extremely formidable devices in the lower or mid range market. Huawei Ascend series has generated some serious traction and looks like the Huawei Ascen P6 is the latest one to join the brigade. Showing the device off at CommunicAsia event held at Singapore, Huawei made sure everyone knew the device is the thinnest smartphone in the world measuring a meagre 6.18 mm in thickness.

Ascend P6

The specs of the device are as follows:

  • 4.7 inch 720 P LCD Display.
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1.5 GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 Processor
  • 8 MP Rear Camera capable of 1080 P Video recording
  • Dual Sim Support

Tang Siew Wai, one of the regional MD of Huawei said the following at the launch of the device:

“I generally do not comment on competitors but it is a class of its own,We believe we are a long distance runner, Brand doesn’t come in a day, you need time to… lay the foundation, build a very good foundation of it. Our brand mantra is ‘make it possible’..Many years back, no one knew Huawei but now we’ve gotten a lot of media attention so we have made something possible here.”

The device is expected to go on sale in China this month and set you back by about 449 Euros.

Via: Yahoo!