IRCTC Finally Releases Android App for Booking Train Tickets

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, better known by its abbreviation IRCTC, has finally launched its official Android app. The Android app launch comes over an year after the launch of a Windows 8 and Windows Phone app. IRCTC is one of the largest e-commerce vendors in the country with close to 5 million tickets sold every day. However, it has never been very quick or good at adapting to newer technologies. The Android app was long overdue, considering that India is a country where a significant chunk of the internet users access the web solely through mobile phones.

IRCTC Android App Splash Screen
IRCTC Android App Splash Screen

I had limited expectations from the app, considering that government websites are notorious for having ugly and convoluted user interfaces. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the app. It takes a few seconds to get started, and doesn’t support any social login. Once you sign-in, you are presented with the ‘New Booking’ page. Selecting source and destination stations is a breeze thanks to the autocomplete feature. The app presents all available trains in a neat grid and allows you to quickly view seat availability and proceed with the booking. The app offers notification of upcoming journeys, and allows you to view and cancel past bookings. The overall user interface is quite decent. The biggest eyesore is the banner ad that’s displayed at the bottom of the screen. Does a ticketing app of a subsidiary of the Indian government really need to display Google Ads?

IRCTC Android App Trains Between Station
IRCTC Android App Trains Between Station

A major issue with IRCTC Connect is that it doesn’t sync with the IRCTC website. Tickets that you have booked in the past through the web interface are not accessible through the app. This is a major issue, and will hopefully be addressed in future versions. Another drawback of the app is that it can’t be used during the peak hours (8:00 AM to 12:00 PM). In other words, even though the app supports Tatkal booking, IRCTC has imposed an artificial restriction to make it practically useless for Tatkal tickets.

IRCTC Android App New Booking
IRCTC Android App New Booking
IRCTC Android App Train Details
IRCTC Android App Train Details

[ Download IRCTC Connect | User Manual ]

Alcatel OneTouch and Mozilla launch India’s most affordable smartphone, powered by Firefox OS

Alcatel OneTouch and Mozilla today unveiled Fire C smartphone with Firefox OS as an entry level smartphone at ₹1,990, available exclusively on Continue reading Alcatel OneTouch and Mozilla launch India’s most affordable smartphone, powered by Firefox OS

Lumia 830 Launched In India For INR 28,799

Along with the Lumia 730 selfie smartphone, Microsoft also launched the successor of the Lumia 825 smartphone in india. The Lumia 830 packs a 10 megapixel PureView camera with ZEISS optics and thinnest Optical Image Stabilization system. Apart from that, it comes with a 5 inch HD Curved Glass Display and a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor.

Lumia 830 runs on the Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System with the Lumia Denim update. This handset will go on sale from October 8 in India. Lumia 830 comes with a price-tag of INR 28,799. This device will be available in Orange, White and Black colors. Microsoft also offers 1 TB of cloud storage on One Drive free for the first 6 months. Lumia 830 will compete with the recently launched 2nd generation Moto X in the Indian market.

Lumia 830 Specifications:

  • 5 inch HD Curved Glass Display
  • 1280 x 720 pixels resolution
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System with Lumia Denim
  • 10 megapixel PureView camera with ZEISS optics
  • Rich Recording and Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal user memory
  • 128 GB expandable memory
  • Up to 14.8 hours of talk-time
  • Up to 22 days of stand-by time
  • 2200 mAh removable battery

Lumia 730 Selfie Smartphone Launched In India For INR 15,299

Last month, Microsoft announced its much-awaited selfie smartphone at the IFA 2014 in Berlin. Today, Microsoft finally launched the Lumia 730 in India. This device packs a Full-HD 5 megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera with a focal length of 24mm which allows you to take groupfies (group selfies).

Lumia 730 is a dual-SIM smartphone which runs on the Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System with the latest Lumia Denim update. It comes with a price-tag of INR 15,299 in India. This device will compete with the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime and Sony Xperia C3 selfie smartphones in India. Lumia 730 will be available in Green, Orange, White and Dark Grey colors.

Lumia 730 Specifications:

  • 4.7 inch HD OLED display
  • 720 × 1280 pixels resolution
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Windows Phone 8.1 Operating system with Lumia Denim
  • 6.7 megapixel rear camera with LED flash
  • 5 megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera with Full HD video
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • 128 GB expandable memory
  • HERE location services
  • Free global HERE Maps
  • HERE Drive+Free
  • HERE Transit
  • 4G LTE Connectivity
  • 2220 mAh battery
  • Wireless charging compatible

Samsung Launches Galaxy Grand Prime In India For INR 15,499

After Microsoft and Sony, the South Korean tech giant finally launched its very own selfie focused smartphone in India. The Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime features a 5 megapixel wide angle front camera best-suited for capturing group selfies. Apart from that, it runs on the Android 4.4 (KitKat) Operating System and packs a 5 inch display, 1.2 GHz quad core processor and an 8 megapixel rear camera.

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime comes with a price tag of INR 15,499 in India. This handset is currently available in White and Grey colors. It measures 144.8 × 72.1 × 8.6mm and weighs 156 grams. This device will compete with the recently launched 2nd Generation Moto G and the upcoming Lumia 730 in India. Check out the complete specs below.


“Galaxy Grand Prime opens a whole new world of premium mobile experience for consumers looking at uninterrupted entertainment and multitasking on-the-go. Introducing the new trend of ‘Groupfie’, Galaxy Grand Prime features an advanced wide angle front camera best-suited to capture group images. With the launch of this power packed smartphone, we are further strengthening our Grand portfolio.”

– Asim Warsi, Vice President, Marketing, Mobile and IT, Samsung India

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime Specifications:

  • 5 inch qHD display
  • 960 x 540 pixels resolution
  • 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor
  • Android 4.4 (KitKat) Operating System
  • 8 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED Flash
  • 5 megapixel front-facing ‘groupfie’ camera
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • 64 GB expandable memory
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2600 mAh battery

One Plus One Coming to India Soon, One Plus Two Coming in Q2-Q3 2015

One Plus has managed to generate a lot of publicity and interest for a brand new company. Their first device – the One Plus One, was dubbed as the “Flagship Killer”. Extremely limited availability has prevented the device from registering even a blip in the world wide sales figures. However, the One did receive widespread acclaim for its high quality hardware and extremely competitive pricing. Today Carl Pei and David S from One Plus One answered questions from Redditors in an AMA. Here are some of the most interesting tidbits from their AMA.

One Plus One
David and Carl

On India Plans

One Plus had earlier indicated that it’s interested in following Xiaomi’s footprints and selling its devices in India. Although, Carl didn’t provide firm dates, he did promise to “have more concrete plans” in a few weeks. “We are aiming at doing so (launching in India) before the end of this year”, confirmed David.

On Android L

One Plus and Cyanogen intends to begin working on Android L as soon as the source code is available. “Earlier, we promised to have it done within 90 days of receiving the source”, noted Carl.

On One Plus One Successor

One Plus Two is expected to be released in the second or the third quarter of next year. The One Plus One is a really big smartphone that’s almost impossible to use with just one hand. In fact, that’s my single biggest gripe regarding the hardware. The good news is that a smaller device might be in the works. “We’ve seen a lot of people asking for a smaller device, and want to let everyone know that we hear you”, wrote Carl Pei. “We’re thinking about it.”

One Plus One
One Plus One

On Other Feature and Product Requests

Responding to a request from an user to include wireless charging, Carl ruled out including it in the immediate future. “I’m not impressed by today’s wireless charging technology. Its slow speeds lead to a subpar user experience, especially considering the huge capacity of our battery.”

One Plus will also not be making tablets anytime soon. “The Nexus tablets are pretty good. We don’t think we can make anything significantly better in the near future”.

One Plus has been teasing a big reveal this Friday. Many had speculated that they might be finally gearing up to ditch the invite system. However, David confirmed that One Plus will not be taking pre-orders anytime soon.

Andrognito Can Encrypt and Hide Any File on Android

Everyone has something to hide. With smartphones becoming deeply integrated with each and every facet of our life, it’s only but natural that they’d contain sensitive data. And, as the recent iCloud breaches have shown us, some times it’s better to have private stuff on your device and within your control, instead of cloud storages that can be hacked remotely.


Andrognito is an Android app that can hide and secure any file on your Android smartphone. The developer — Aritra Roy from Kolkata, India – named the app as a fusion of the words Android and Incognito. The app applies a 3 step process to hide and lock your files –
i) It randomly assigns a new name to the file and appends a period (‘.’) to the beginning of the file name to prevent it from being indexed by Android media library.
ii) It places the file in a wrapper called ADG container, and encrypts it using AES-256.
iii) It applies a strong password to the container, and renames it once again.

The algorithm used by Andrognito is device specific, so simply copying the Andrognito container (.adg) to a different device won’t work. However, on the same device, Andrognito encrypted files can persist through factory resets and rom changes. The only catch is that you shouldn’t delete the ADG files and the “Andrognito/Backups” folder.

Andrognito -Setup Page
Andrognito -Setup Page

Andrognito is pretty straight forward to use. You are presented with a brief tutorial slide when you launch the app for the first time. After that you are presented with the File Explorer, which allows you to select files that you want to hide. Applying AES encryption makes the file almost impossible be crack. However, it can take a fair amount of time. Hence, Andrognito also has a Flash mode, which skips the encryption, and simple repackages your content to hide it from your file manager. However, files in this mode may be viewable in other apps. Files hidden by Andrognito can be accessed from the ‘Files’ tab in the app. If you end up hiding a lot of stuff, you will find ability to filter based on file-type and add to Favourites certain files handy. Andrognito app itself is protected by a 4-digit pin.

Andrognito - Guide
Andrognito – Guide

The app has a couple of other tricks in its sleeve. The first of them is a fake Vault. You can set a dummy pin, which when entered will open a fake vault (with 0 files). This can obviously be handy if you have a particularly nosy significant other or parents. The other neat feature is to hide Andrognito itself. If you turn on the Invisible mode, the app will be removed from the app drawer. You will be able to launch it only by dialling your pin from the phone dialler. The app also prevents brute force attacks by automatically locking itself for 15 minutes after 3 failed attempts.

Andrognito - Select Files
Andrognito – Select Files

Andrognito is currently in beta, but worked without a hitch for me. Go ahead, and take it for a spin. There are other similar apps, but Andrognito strikes a nice balance between simplicity and security, and is completely free.

[ Download Andrognito ]

[ Image courtesy Scott Schiller ]

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Launched In India For INR 39,990

Last month, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Alpha smartphone with an iPhone-like design and a metal frame. Today, Samsung finally launched this Android 4.4 powered smartphone in India. Samsung Galaxy Alpha is the slimmest Galaxy device and it is compatible with the Samsung Gear Fit, Gear Live and Gear 2 wearables.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha come with a price tag of INR 39,990 in India. This device will go on sale in the first week of October. Galaxy Alpha will be available in White, Black and Gold colours. Airtel subscribers will get 5 GB of free data for two months in 4G circles and 2 GB of free data for two month in 3G circles.

“The Galaxy Alpha was built and designed based on the specific desires of the consumers. With an entirely new appearance, the Galaxy Alpha focuses on both beauty and functionality combining a stunning metal frame and slim, light weight design with the same powerful hardware and features users expect from a flagship Galaxy mobile device.”

– Asim Warsi, VP, Mobile and IT, Samsung India

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Specifications:

  • 4.7 inch HD Super AMOLED display
  • 1280 x 720 pixels resolution
  • Octa Core (Quad 1.8GHz + Quad 1.3GHz) processor
  • Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) Operating System
  • 12 megapixel rear camera with selective focus
  • 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera
  • UHD 4K video recording @30fps
  • 2 GB RAM, 32 GB expandable memory
  • No MicroSD card slot
  • Ultra Power Saving Mode
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • 1860 mAh battery

BlackBerry Launches The Passport Smartphone With Square Display For $599

BlackBerry recently launched its Passport smartphone with a large square touch screen display. It is the first smartphone to feature the touch-enabled keyboard with gestures which helps you to efficiently type, edit and navigate. It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for the display and forged stainless steel for added strength.

BlackBerry Passport runs on the latest BlackBerry 10.3 Operating System. It comes pre-loaded with the new BlackBerry Blend, BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry World and Amazon Appstore. BlackBerry Blend is a new feature which allows you to view instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email and access your documents, calendar and contacts on your computer or tablet.


The large 3450 mAh battery in this handset allows you to use the device for more than 30 hours. This handset measures 128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm and weighs 194 grams. BlackBerry Passport is available through local carriers around the world. it comes with a price tag of $599.

“As we set out to design BlackBerry Passport, we were guided by a simple yet challenging idea – to set aside the limitations of traditional design and to instead simply build a device that fundamentally changes the way business professionals get work done on their smartphone. The BlackBerry Passport was created to drive productivity and to break through the sea of rectangular-screen, all-touch devices.”

– John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry

BlackBerry Passport Specifications:

  • 4.5 inch square touch display
  • 1440 x 1440 pixels resolution
  • 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor
  • BlackBerry 10 operating system
  • Capacitive touch 3-row BlackBerry Keyboard
  • 13 megapixel OIS camera
  • 1080p HD video recording at 60 fps
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal memory
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Nano-SIM
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • 3450 mAh battery