All posts by Apurva Chaudhary

Apurva is a tech enthusiast, works at ClassMatrix , cycles on her Firefox Cyclone, and runs a newsletter at Techknots . Follow her on Twitter

What’s Going Wrong With Opera?

I have been an ardent fan of Opera browser, both desktop and mobile, for a long time now, in fact have been using it from the time their desktop browser wans’t available for free, back in time the free version of Opera was ad-supported. Okay I am not here to discuss about my history with Opera but to discuss what’s going wrong with this very innovative browser.

Everything was going fine with Opera until they tried integrating a server inside the browser. Rather than inventing new things they should really concentrate on fixing the mess they are in now.

Oh by the way, did you know Opera was the first browser to come with tabbed browsing? They are really good with inventing and integrating new stuff inside their browser, but we need better browsing experience now. Here are some problem areas that I have been seeing with the latest versions of Opera.

AJAX

The problem on browsing pages with Opera is that, AJAXIFIED pages do not respond as they should. Instead, in most of the cases it reloads the whole page. Well that defeats the purpose of AJAX and consumes more bandwidth.

Take the case of tweete. When you hit the reply button, ideally it shouldn’t reload the entire page but it does. Does that mean Opera doesn’t load the entire webpage at first instance? Does it ignore the AJAX codes thinking they are not necessary to load?

Here is an article by opera dev team asking to make minimal use of AJAX in a page but the article is dated back in 2008. If Flickr, a photo sharing site, didn’t use   unnecessary AJAX codes the page would look like this. That looks ugly right?

TURBO

Opera has come up with a smarter way to solve the above problem of consuming more bandwidth usage by coming up with something awesome, Opera TURBO. It works on the similar lines of Operamini. But it works the best in Operamini and not on the desktop browser.

Somehow, Opera doesn’t remember cookies when the TURBO mode is turned ON. That’s quite annoying as you have to login again everytime you visit a new page on the same site.

SUPPORT

No, I am not talking about Opera support here. They are simple awesome, no complaints there. What made Firefox, a buggy piece of software, a worldwide hit was marketing. And within few months of their marketing strategy(remember Google’s message to use Firefox? ), I could see millions of sites supporting and modifying their webpage for Firefox.

I have never seen Opera doing anything of such magnitude. Why? It’s the time when you can’t rely simply on innovations. You need to market it properly. Ask webmasters to support Opera browser. Ask sites to support Opera.

Sites like Zoomin, Inkfruit, Mumbai university site and most of the Indian government sites do not completely support Opera.

Plugins

The reason Firefox became hit was Plugins. There is a lighter option for plugin in opera, javascript codes. But that’s not very helpful when trying to create something like StumbleUpon button.

The widgets in Opera hog up more memory than plugins in firefox. I don’t see what can be done with existing structure of Opera, but probably they could implement something for better integration of 3rd party codes in here.

That said, this does not mean my love for Opera has diminished even slightly. I just want it to give me a  better browsing experience. I would be more than happy to see Opera improving on these loopholes and making it a much better browser.

Sony Ericsson Theme Creator v4.05

Sony Ericsson has come up with new improved Sony Ericsson theme creator v4.05. The v4.05 brings in new features such as 3 steps of wizards, Adobe Kuler file import as well as new editing modes.

sonyercssonthemecreator

Editing/cropping the image file is now available from within the software, that is, you need not rely on other photo editing software. The Sony Ericsson theme creator does it all for you. It also supports Flash Lite 3.1.5 animation.

Along with Windows, Sony Ericsson theme creator v4.05 is also available for Mac OS now.

Download Sony Ericsson Theme creator

Nokia N900 Rover

Mobile website from Bulgeria got hold of pictures of the new Nokia N900 Rover, which might be launched during Nokia World event 2009 held in Europe.

rover1Rover runs on MAEMO, which is a linux flavoured OS. It is successor to Nokia’s tablets N800 & N810. The best thing about N900 Rover is that it has a sim slot, so you can double it up as phone. However, I doubt how many users will find it fashionable to use a huge piece of bar near their earpiece.

Rover also sports a 5 MP camera with Car Zeiss lens, has a TV output, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a massive  3.5-inch WVGA screen.

p2_6837-300x253

From the pictures, the keyboard looks like that of adopted from Nokia N97. With Rover, Nokia seems to be in spits on whom to target- the netbooks or smartphones users. Well it will be clear whether they are successful with the experiment when Nokia launches Nokia N900 Rover soon.

[via engadget]

Synchronize Your Mobile With Mac OS

Apple has a pretty bad habit to be closed to everything except its products. It’s a nightmare if you want to synchronize Mac with other device, let alone a winMo.

SyncMate is an awesome utility software for your mac to synchronize mac-to-mac and mac-to-other devices. SyncMate is FREE software and allows you to sync your contacts and calendar events to many devices simultaneously.  It also synchronizes your contacts and events with google calendar.

Syncmate offers so many features that you need not install thousands of other applications to achieve the same. Syncmate does it all. Synchronizing your contacts and events on WinMo to Mac is now just a piece of cake.

SyncMate supports synchronization with following devices:

  • Win Mobile

    (via Wi-Fi or USB)

  • Another Mac

    (via Ethernet)

  • Online backup

    (via Internet

  • Nokia S40

    (via Bluetooth)

  • Google

    (via Internet)

Features offered by Syncmate expert:

Contacts Synchronization (Entourage and Google Calendar supported!)

iCal Synchronization (Entourage and Google Contacts supported!)

iPhoto Synchronization

iTunes Synchronization

Safari Bookmarks

Firefox Bookmarks

Folders Synchronization

Time Synchronization

Device Info Plugin

SMS Reader Plugin

SMS Manager Plugin

Internet Sharing

Actions Log Plugin

Applications List Plugin

Calls history plugin

Mail plugin

To Do’s plugin

Mount your device as additional disk

Mail notes synchronization

Entourage notes synchronization

Stickies synchronization

Online backup storage space

Download/Buy SyncMate

iPhone 3GS 8GB To Come Soon

Apple quietly plans to launch iPhone 3GS 8GB. From the screenshots shared by Boy Genius , this seems to be legit.

3gs8gb

Although its an unconfirmed news, I guess iPhone 3GS 8GB will be priced at $99. As of now, iPhone 8GB is priced at $99, so its a possibility that Apple wants to replace iPhone 8GB with iPhone 3GS 8GB.

When most of the companies are coming up with minimum 16GB models, I don’t see why 8GB still interests Apple. Also, most of the updates from Apple takes up huge space on the phone. Is the 8GB going to satisfy the needs? I highly doubt. But its a better option for people who can’t afford 16GB/32GB iPhone.

Will you buy iPhone 3GS 8GB for $99?

Mobile Internet & Advertising Conference 2009

Julysystems, a mobile media company,on 20th July 2009 organized Mobile Internet & Advertising conference(MIA). Here are the few highlights that were discussed.

  •  Rajesh Reddy, CEO of July Systems, in his presentation concluded that Mobile will be the internet. With 6.2 million fixed line users out of 117.8 million mobile users, use internet on mobile.
  • Advertising on mobile is the future for compelling content, ROI for advertisers, and a broad user base.
  • Reasons for Mobile Internet Adoption in the US:
    • Faster networks,
    • Better devices
    • Easy discovery of content
    • Improved reporting and metrics
    • Better prices
  • Rahul Pandey, Head Mobile 18, disclosed that popular brands such as IBN Live, Moneycontrol and Cr,icketnext receive 1 million mobile internet users every day.
  • Pandey, narrated the email he received from a mobile internet user from remote India with no access to business channels, that used the Moneycontrol mobile site to navigate the stock market to his benefit.
  • It was discussed that the reach mobile internet market is rapidly increasing with more people opting for more feature based mobiles. The only challenge is to convert those high-end mobile phone users into internet users.

Here are few videos of the conference and panel discussion:

More

Apple In Trouble

Apple blocking the Google Voice application stating that it duplicates the functionality of iPhone native application, has taken a new twist or say gotten Apple in trouble? The Federal Communication corporation, FCC, has asked Apple, AT&T the reasons for rejecting the applications submitted to App store. Also, FCC has asked Google to give in written the reply they received from Apple for rejecting the app.

Apple-Logo

FCC, in its letter to AT&T, clearly asked about the role AT&T plays in deciding which app gets accepted and which doesn’t, for the Apple’s app store. FCC also wants to know the difference between Google Voice and other VOIP apps that have been approved by Apple’s app store.

This shows that Apple just can’t have dictatorship over its app store.  It’s clear that Apple alone did not make this decision as it has nothing much to lose. It is AT&T’s loss if Google Voice had been approved by Apple’s app store, as Google Voice allows users to make cheap network calls and send cheap sms than that of the network(AT&T here).

Acer Backing out from Android Project?

Just after a month Google announced its new product, Chrome OS, Acer has decided to backout not to speak about the launch of its android based netbook.

Back in June, the demo of Android OS on the netbook didn’t quite appeal to the people. There is not much demand for the android based netbooks in the market, if you see the trend. Even though, Android seems strong for the smartphones, its integration with the netbook is not.

Asustek too is not quite enthusiastic about developing more Android based netbooks until 2010. Though Asus plans to release its products,Eee PC T91, Eee PC T101, which are planned to release by year end.

Does Acer and Asus feel that installing Chrome OS in their netbooks will increase their sale? I think yes. Android for netbook was a tweaked OS and i’m not sure how strong it would hold the netbook and its softwares. Whereas, Chrome OS by Google is a dedicated OS for netbooks.

How To Run Android OS inside windows

With so many new phones coming out in market every single day, I’m sure most of us are confused with which phone to go for. LiveAndroid gives you a chance to try out Android OS even before buying any Android based phone. LiveAndroid, a LiveCD for Android running on x86 platforms.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to run Android OS on your PC.

1 

  • Name the OS android and select OS type/version as unknown/other and click on Next’.

2

  • Assign memory. Usually even 64MB is fine but i just allocated 128MB just in case. And then neglect the next few steps and keep on clicking Next’.

6

  • Once its done, you will see a new virtual machine Androidbeen created inside your virtualbox. Highlight it and click on settings. Go to CD/DVD ROM and mount your LiveAndroid cd location. Click OK.

4

  •   Voila!! done! Now click on start and enjoy Android

android1

Motorola Woos Android Developers

Motorola-hei2a

Not too long ago Motorola was a leading mobile market holder with its ROKR. Motorola again wants to create the magic but not with its new Moto ROKR ZN50 but its new partnership with Google.

Though Motorola Co-Chief Executive Sanjay Jha has declined to  comment on its much anticipated device, its a good news that their next phone will be ditching the plain old OS and will be integrating Android OS. Motorola’s senior director of developer platforms and services, Dino Brusco, talked up Android’s potential, praising the operating system’s "deep integration with mobile Web services" and its "power to enable truly innovative applications." He concluded the video by saying, "We want all of you to join us in our partnership with Google and journey with Android," and noted that Motorola will help developers create, deploy and market their applications.

Motorola also plans to include some special programs for Android developers encouraging developers to develop more applications for their device. Off late the success of a device is directly proportional to the number of applications available on it. Thanks to the Apple’s App store all device manufacturers are coming up with their own Application store where developers not only share their application but also get novelty for it.

Motorola is to launch not one but two Android based phones both suspiciously for high end users. Its rumored that AT&T will be launching Motorola’s Android based phone.

Nokia 3720 officially out

nokia-3720

So Nokia’s rough and tough mobile phone Nokia 3720 is officially out. If you don’t want to carry your iPhone/N97 when on touring, Nokia 3720 is the best bet for you.

Specifications:

Network: GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
Dimensions: 115 x 47 x 15.3 mm, 69 cc

Weight: 94 g

Display: TFT, 16M colors, 240 x 320 pixels, 2.2 inches

Sound : Vibration; Downloadable polyphonic, MP3 ringtones Speakerphone

– 2.5 mm audio jack

Memory:

Internal
20 MB

Card slot
microSD (TransFlash), up to 8GB, 1GB card included
GPRS: Class 11

HSCSD: Yes

EDGE: Class 11

Bluetooth : v2.1 with A2DP

USB : v2.0 microUSB

Camera: 2 MP, 1600×1200 pixels, LED flash

WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML

Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS

Java :Yes, MIDP 2.0

– Water and dust resistant
– MP3/eAAC+/WMA player
– MPEG4 player
– Nokia Maps for S40
– Voice memo
– LED Torch
– T9

Battery: Standard battery, Li-Ion 1050 mAh (BL-5CT)

Stand-by:  Up to 408 h

Talk time: Up to 7 h

We are among the first few to break this news to you.

Motorola To Release Moto ROKR ZN50

motorola-rokr-zn50

Motorola on Wednesday announced its new model of music phone Motorola ROKR ZN50, which was made in the form-factor "slider" and has a full touch screen and alpha numeric keypad.

Moto ROKR ZN50 is going to be a touch screen phone. Though it looks a bit outdated model for music lovers its not a bad deal since Moto will be providing free access to online music service Melon, which allows to download music, as on a mobile phone or PC.

Specifications:

  • WCDMA 2100/HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900
  • Dimensions: 108.9mm x 54mm x 14.3mm
  • Weight: 143g
  • Display: widescreen touch-sensitive 3.2-inch, TFT, 240×427 pixels resolution, 262k colors
  • Camera: 3.2 megapixels with auto-focus
  • Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
  • SRS WOW HDsound system
  • GPS
  • microSDHC support
  • Battery: 900 mAh
  • Other applications: Alarm clock, calendar, calculator, units converter, world time

It looks like Moto is going to be launched later this year but who’s really excited?

6 Must Have Apps For Android

There are more than 500 Applications available for Android baby(considering its entry into the market is pretty late). Here’s a guide to few must have applications for all.

Vreminders:

VReminders is a basic reminder / to do application but has the added functionality of triggering and alarm and notification at a preset time and date without having to add entries into your calendar.

MyBuzzDroid:

(Download link from Android phone only and not pc)

MyBuzzDroid is a simple service that lets you stay up-to-date on the things that matter to you, using your Android phone.

Currently, you can be notified when:
– There is a WootOff
– Sports scores.  Follow your favorite MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL teams.
Smoking hot deals from slickdeals.com
– The weather tomorrow will be hot, cold, sunny, raining, cloudy, etc.
– The temperature tomorrow will be above or below what you set.
News Feeds with keywords
– One of your stock prices reaches a certain dollar amount, or changes by a certain percentage
– Your Fedex or UPS package status changes
– You get a new SMS (Create a different LED/Vibration pattern for each contact!)
– Your battery is low
– You get a new voicemail
– and much, much more is coming soon

FBReaderJ:

FBReaderJ is a ebook reader for Google Android which supports several e-book formats: oeb, epub, fb2 also Direct reading from zip, tar and gzip archives is supported. I am hoping it would support pdf and other formats soon.

Contact Blast:

Contacts Blast is the revolutionary and fun new way of organizing your contacts. Contacts Blast seamlessly integrates with the Android contacts book and extends it allowing you to create groups and assign contacts to them. Quickly selecting your group from the main screen will display only the contacts for that group. And much more..

PicPush:(free)

Automatically share your pics and videos to Shutterfly, PhotoBucket, SmugMug, Facebook, Gallery, Picasa and Flickr. No need to manually upload!

IM+ All-in-one messenger:($4.95)

Chat with IM+ All-in-One Instant Mobile Messenger within AIM/iChat, MSN/Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo!, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk and MySpaceIM in real-time.

I have genuinely not included any dictionary/GPS maps applications since i didn’t find any better one’s. You know any better application for your Android? Let us know.

Make cheap calls: Cherry call

A new service named Cherry call is being launched, and claims to make cheap calls without SIM card. Definitely worth checking it out. And you ask me how is that possible? They will be using Wi-fi technology to make calls.cherry

Interesting concept. But will this service be available worldwide? If it would then awesome! I imagine going on a trip abroad and making cheap calls to my dear ones :).

I went forward to check the number of destinations it will be supporting and i was amazed!! Its a lot. Almost each and every country is supported. All you’ll have to do is download their software and start using their service. Calls rates are as cheap as 2.5paise/min. The best part is you can shift between SIM and WI-FI calls.

Since they would be using Wi-fi for connectivity, your phone should support Wi-fi/WLAN service. If you see, its just VOIP calls you make over Fring or any other VOIP service but here instead of GPRS you’ll use Wi-fi. So technically speaking this service is of no use if you don’t hangout in area with WI-FI connectivity.