All posts by Rajesh Pandey

Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play And Arc Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now

Sony Ericsson has started rolling out the Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread update for the Xperia Arc and Play. The update is already available in some regions of the world like Hong Kong, but a wider roll-outwill begin from next week.

Along with the bump in Android OS version, the update also improves the performance and boot-up time of the Xperia Arc and Play.

Here is the official change-log from Sony Ericsson :

  • Battery performance
  • General software stability
  • Wi-Fi stability
  • HD Video recording performance (Xperiaâ„¢ arc)
  • Touch responsiveness

One new feature which this update will bring is Facebook inside Xperia’. Basically, this feature will tightly integrate your Xperia phone with Facebook. Below is a demo of the Facebook inside Xperia feature :

 

Users can update their Xperia Arc or Play to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread either via OTA or using Sony Ericsson’s PC Companion.

Sony Ericsson also stated that they are working hard on the Gingerbread update for the X10, and they will announce more about the update soon. The Facebook inside Xperia feature will come to the Xperia X10 as well.

What To Expect From WWDC 2011

The Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) is just around the corner. This year, WWDC is scheduled to start from June 6 and will end on June 10th. Like the previous years, the event will be held at San Francisco.

All Apple fan boys and developers eagerly look forward to WWDC every year, since Apple generally launches a new iPhone and an iOS version. The tag line of this year WWDC reads Join us for a preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X’. This more or less confirms the rumors floating around, that Apple won’t be launching the iPhone 4’s successor at WWDC 2011. Instead, this year the iOS platform as a whole will get a major overhaul.   Perhaps, OS X and iOS will be unified into one OS!

image

I have already blogged about what all features I expect the next generation iPhone to have.

The major changes I expect iOS5 to include are :

New Notification System

iOS5 must feature a new and better notification system. The current notification system of iOS is being criticized from a long time now. It does not stand a chance in front of Android, Palm’s and WP7 notification system. I am pretty much sure that iOS5 will come with a much better and fully revamped notification system. The final verdict whether iPhone and iPad users like it or not, will depend once iOS5 is publically available.

Widgets/Better Home Screen

Personally, I ABSOLUTELY hate the iOS home screen. Icons, icons and icons. I can get truckloads of info in just a single glance of my Android home screen, while in iOS I need to open up multiple apps for the same thing. Along with a new notification system, iOS is in dire need of a new home screen. A screen full of icons is not only useless, but impractical as well.

Better Integration With Apps/Social Networks

This is another area where Android trumps iOS hands down! In Android, users can simply add their social networking login credentials and the OS will simply pull the details and status updates of your friends and link with their specific contacts. Nifty as well as useful! Hopefully, the next version of iOS5 will feature integration with popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, which will allow users to get updates of their friends from just one place.

Improved Multi-tasking UI

The current multi-tasking switcher implementation in iOS is simply useless at best. I *hate* to multi-task on my iPad just because of that multi-tasking switcher. Most of the time when I try to kill some apps running in the background, I end up going back to the home screen. Just because I precisely need to hit the red button at the top of each icon.

image

WWDC 2011 will be about the next version of OS X as well Lion. Apple has already given us a preview of what all features OS X Lion will bring. This includes Folders ale iOS style, Launchpad, Full Screen apps, more intuitive gestures and Mission Control. Users should also expect the next version of iOS to include share features from Mac OS X.

WWDC 2011 is just the starting point of Apple’s move towards unifying iOS and OS X into one OS.

Motorola Droid X Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Imminent

After a couple of leaks, Motorola and Verizon have finally gone ahead and finalized a Droid X Gingerbread build for official release. At the moment, Motorola is doing a soak test, and the update will be out once the testing is complete.

It looks like the testing will be over anytime soon, as Verizon has already updated the Droid X page on their website with the Gingerbread update details. According to the Verizon’s site, the Droid X Gingerbread update will bring new features like a Download Manager, an all-new Multi-touch keyboard, improved text selection and copy and paste.

image

The update will also update the color scheme of the Moto Blur UI with new colors, widgets and icons.   The auto-focus of the camera while taking pictures in low light conditions, and the ActiveSync performance has also been improved. The general system performance and responsiveness has also been improved noticeably. Droid X users can head over to this link for the full change-log.

Verizon and Motorola will start rolling out the update anytime now. The update weighs in at a whopping 112MB, and will wipe your X clean of all data.

Barnes & Noble Announces New Nook With Two Months (!) Of Battery Life

Today, Barnes & Nobles have announced the second generation Nook.   The all-new Nook sports a 6-inch touch screen E-Ink Pearl display. The new display offers better contrast compared to its predecessor, and is easily readable in direct sunlight as well.

Compared to the first generation Nook, the new Nook is 35% lighter at 212 grams and is 15% slimmer as well. The eBook reader will ship with 2GB of internal memory onboard, along with a microSD card slot.

clip_image001

“We set out to design the easiest-to-use, most optimized, dedicated reading device ever created and accomplished it with the All-New NOOK,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “Touch makes it simple to use, and the beautifully compact design makes it the most portable eReader in its class. Add to that an unmatched battery life, the most advanced paper-like touch display on the market and wireless access to the world’s largest digital bookstore, and we believe that for readers of all ages, the All-New NOOK is the best eReader on the market, and a great value at $139.”

The new Nook eBook reader is based on Android 2.1, and features Nook Friends as available on the Nook Color. The eBook reader is powered by an 800 MHz processor from TI OMAP, and sports Wi-Fi but lacks 3G.

One of the highlights of the new Nook is its battery life. Barnes & Noble’s state that the new Nook has a battery life of whopping 2 months, with Wi-Fi turned off! The all new Nook can already be pre-ordered for $139, and will start shipping on June 10.

Windows Phone ‘Mango’ Update Announced; Coming This Fall

The Microsoft Windows Phone Mango’ event has just come to an end, and here is the change-log of Windows Phone Mango update. The next version of Windows Phone Mango’ is a People centricrelease, with the main focus on communication, applications and Internet.

First and foremost, Microsoft has gone ahead and integrated Twitter, Facebook Chat, Windows Live Messenger and other popular social networking sites right into the OS. The new Threads’ feature will bring in all your messages from IMs, Facebook, SMS’s right in one Inbox. Microsoft has also introduced Unified Inbox’, which will allow users to read emails from multiple email ids right in one place.

image

The Live Tiles in WP7 have also been livelier. Individual contacts can be pinned to the home screen, and they will provide the user with real time updates from all the social networks for that particular contact. Multi-tasking on WP7 has also been improved, and now allows users to switch between multiple apps now.

image

All popular Hubs in WP7 have also been enhanced as well. The Pictures Hub automatically tags people to their Facebook profile, when a user uploads a picture on a social networking site. The Xbox hub has been completely redesigned and has been tightly integrated with the Xbox Live service from Microsoft. It now even features your own 3D Avatar. The Office Hub has also been update and now features the SkyDrive and Office 365 features.

image

The browser in Windows Phone has also been updated to IE9. The browser is hardware accelerated, and supports HTML5 as well. The browser also features Quick Card’, which will automatically show movie data without opening a new application or a new webpage. Microsoft also demoed a comparison of HTML5 rendering speed of a Windows Phone running Mango, Android, iPhone and a BlackBerry handset. The Windows Phone running Mango obviously won by a pretty good margin.

Users can also search by just clicking pictures of an object. Applications can now also share data between themselves, allowing users to seamlessly switch between apps.   The Bing Search has also been enhanced, and now allows users to search for apps and/or the web right from the search bar. Voice-to-text and Text-to-voice feature has also been integrated into the OS now.

The Windows Phone Mango update will be available beginning this fall. The Windows Phone Mango SDK is already available for developers for download.

How To Remove MacDefender Virus/Malware From Your Mac

Remember the Mac Defender malware which disguised itself as an anti-virus, and tricked users into paying for removing viruses from the Macs? The virus has been on the loose for quite some time now and has managed to infect quite a number of Macs out there.

Here are the steps to remove the Mac Defender malware from your Mac -:

Step 1 – Open up Activity Monitor, and select the option to view ‘All process’ from the drop down list.

clip_image001

Step 2 – Find the ‘MacDefender’ process from the list of running processes, and then click on the ‘Quit Process’ option and finally select the ‘Force Quit’ option.

Step 3 – Now, head over to the Applications folder in your Mac and find the ‘MacDefender’ folder. Right click on the folder, and select the ‘Move To Trash’ option. Empty the Trash folder of your Mac after this.

clip_image002

Step 4 – Fire up Safari on your Mac, and click on the ‘Safari’ option at the top of the screen and select the Reset Safari option.

There might be a possibility that users might not be able to delete the files related to Mac Defender. If so, reboot your Mac into Safe Mode and repeat all the steps stated above.

Alternatively, Mac users can also download and install anti-virus software like Sophos etc. However, some of these anti-viruses might make your Mac unstable or give kernel panics. So I would recommend readers to follow the steps stated above.

Fake Mac Defender ‘Anti-Virus’ For Macs On The Loose

One of the heavily criticized aspects of Windows OS has been its vulnerability to viruses. Its competitor, Mac OS, has been relatively safe from viruses up until now.

Since the last couple of weeks, a malware for Mac OS X has been on the loose, namely Mac Defender. This Trojan/malware spreads as a security application, which will help users remove viruses’ from the OS X.

clip_image001

The application has a very polished look, and can easily deceive veteran Mac users as well. On the first launch, the application will falsely detect some of the files on your Mac computer as infected by virus. The application will also open pr0n websites on your Mac, making users think that their computer is infected by viruses.

The application will ask users to purchase the license of their application so as to remove advanced viruses. The 1 year license of the app costs a whopping $59.95, while the 2 year and the lifetime license costs $69.95 and $79.95, respectively. Once a user clicks on the Register button, he is taken to an unsecured website where he is asked to enter his credit card details.

Once the user enters his credit card details, he will be basically charged for software which actually infected his Mac. Other genuine anti-virus and anti-malware software for the Mac detect the Mac Defender app as a virus. However, looking at how rare viruses are for Mac, I doubt many Mac users would be using anti-virus software.

I will be writing a detailed step-by-step guide on how to remove Mac Defender virus from your beloved Mac, so stay tuned!

Samsung Galaxy S Series Gets Official CyanogenMod Support

The Samsung Galaxy S branded devices were among the most popular Android handsets last year. The Galaxy S had a powerful hardware, a brilliant screen, and most importantly a relatively easy to unlock boot loader.

Even though the phone was pretty open’, the sources released by Samsung were very poor. This severely limited the modding capabilities of the Galaxy S. Nearly all the custom ROMs for the Galaxy S were based on stock Samsung ROMs, and hardly offered any new feature except for speed improvements. Sadly, this meant no AOSP ROMs for the Galaxy S series were available until now.

image

There were a few developers who were working on porting CyanogenMod 7 f0r the Galaxy S. They did release quite a few builds, but until now this port was not officially supported by the CM team. However, now CM7 for the Galaxy S handsets has been merged with the main CM mainline, which means it will be getting official support from the CM team. This is all due to the hard work of the developers atinm, codeworkx, dumdidum, unhelpful, and coolya.

Currently, CM7 for Galaxy S, Vibrant and the Captivate are in nightly’ status. I have been using the nightly for quite some time on my Galaxy S now, and I must say that the build is stable enough for daily use. There are no major bugs, except that switching between 2G and 3G mode with the data connection will put the phone in a boot loop. The nightly status also means ROM updates will come out every night.

Another major advantage is that Galaxy S owners can now easily install CM7 on their rooted Galaxy S using ROM Manager.

Verizon Announces The Xperia Play; To Ship With 7 High-Quality Games

Yesterday, Motorola and Verizon announced the Droid X2. Today, Verizon and Sony Ericsson have teamed up to announce the Xperia Play. The Xperia Play is already available in various regions of the world, and will be available in the U.S from this month’s end.

The Xperia Play sports a 4-inch TFT display with FWVGA (854×480) resolution. The handset is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, and an Adreno 205 GPU. The handset also packs 512MB of RAM and ROM.

Xperia_Play

The handset will run on Android 2.3.2 Gingerbread with Sony Ericsson’s proprietary UI running on top of it. The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera, while there is a VGA camera in the front for video calling. Since the Play does NOT run on Android 2.3.4, users cannot video chat using Google Talk.

The Xperia Play will be the first PlayStation Certified smartphone to be available in the U.S. Being a gamer oriented phone, the handset will ship with 7 games on-board including Asphalt 6, Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, The Sims, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris. Users can download more than 50 high-quality games from Verizon’s VCast Apps.

The Xperia Play can already be ordered online at VerizonWireless.com, while it will hit the retail stores on May 26th. The handset will set users back by $199.99, on a two-year contract.

HTC Droid Incredible Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Leaks

Up until now, the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update has leaked for the Desire HD, T-Mobile G2, Desire Z, Desire and the Thunderbolt, all thanks to the guy behind 911HTC.

Now, 911HTC has managed to get his hands on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the HTC Droid Incredible. HTC did promise to release the Gingerbread update for a bunch of their handsets, including the Incredible, by the end of Q2.

HTC_Droid_Incredible

All these leaks indicate that the company is working hard on keeping it’s word. Sadly, unlike all other Gingerbread leaks for various handsets, this leak is not in a flashable state as of now. However, with so many talented developers out there I am sure its just a matter of hours, before a flashable version is out.

This leak will also help developers to port other Sense based Gingerbread ROMs to the Droid Incredible. Readers should keep in mind that this leak is not compatible with the Droid Incredible’s successor the Droid Incredible 2.

Interested developers and Droid Incredible owners can head over to this link to download the leaked Gingerbread ROM.