LG Re-Enters The Tablet Market With G Pad 8.3

LG finally re-entered the tablet market with the new G Pad 8.3. This device will be showcased later this week at the IFA 2013 trade show in Berlin. LG G Pad 8.3 is the second member of the LG’s premium G Series family of smartphones and tablets. It comes with the new KnockON feature, which allows you to turns the device on and off just by tapping the display twice. Apart from that, it also comes with Slide Aside, which lets you multitask by simply sliding currently open apps to the side using a three-finger swipe.

Dr. Jong-seok Park, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said,
“Complementing our G Series smartphones, the introduction of the LG G Pad 8.3 further strengthens LG’s premium lineup consisting of our most cutting-edge devices. Our G Pad is just another example of LG delivering devices with the unique selling points consumers around the world will appreciate.”

lg_g_pad

LG G Pad 8.3 features a 8.3 inch WUXGA display sporting a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 16 GB internal memory, 2 GB RAM, and a 4600 mAh battery. This device measures 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3 mm and weighs 330 grams.

LG G Pad 8.3 will compete with the new Nexus 7, Galaxy Note 8.0 and the upcoming iPad Mini 2. This tablet will be available in black and white colors. The LG G Pad 8.3 will go on sale in North America, Europe and Asia in the fourth quarter of 2013. The price of this device is expected to be revealed later this week. Stay tuned for more IFA 2013 coverage!

How to Encrypt and Password Protect Your Gmail Messages

In light of the currently en vogue privacy debate raging all around the world and given the flippant stance of many of our often used communication platforms with regards to securing its users’ privacy, it is becoming more and more evident that if the user wants privacy online, he’ll have to snatch it, for it won’t be easily given.

Talking of communication, email comes to mind. Privacy begins with encryption. And encrypting email isn’t exactly an easy task. It is at best annoying. At worst it can be so cumbersome that most people don’t bother. You can use desktop clients and PGP keys, like Lifehacker details. The annoying procedure of making and handling security keys is also mentioned by Arstechnica here in its editorial about why most people don’t bother encrypting email.

So what do you do if you don’t want peeping toms and evil governments looking into your email? The best idea would be to go stone age and use smoke signals, but of course, we’re discussing technology here and I digress. A rather simpler alternative would be to encrypt the email text and share the password via other means. This is what the ingenious Google Chrome extension SecureGmail aims to do.

SecureGmail Encrypt Email

Let’s discuss the pre-requisites here before we begin encrypting our Gmail messages! You and your message recipient both will need the following:

  1. Gmail accounts
  2. Google Chrome
  3. The Chrome Extension SecureGmail 

What does the extension do? The extension will create a new button beside the usual Compose red button. When you click on it, the new mail window box appears but this one is different from the vanilla compose box as whatever you type in here won’t be saved to Google’s servers. For the technically curious, SecureGmail uses an open source JS crypto library from Stanford available here.

SecureGmail

On completing the message, click the Send Encrypted button. You’ll be asked to set a password for the message as well as a password hint. Your recipient will only see the password hint. If he doesn’t have the extension installed, he’ll see a link to install it. Otherwise, the password can be input right away and the email decrypted.

Only the encrypted copy is saved on Gmail’s servers. If you check your Sent items folders, you’ll see something like this.

SecureGmail

The success of this method obviously assumes that you’ve sent your password to your recipient successfully via other means. Maybe it’s the first word on the 37th page of a certain book, maybe it’s an irrelevant word written as graffiti somewhere. Sci-fi movies will give you enough ideas to supply a hint.

What to do if you want to encrypt text with a password but don’t want to use a chrome extension? Googling for “encrypt text” will give you a slew of options.

Interested in encrypting more kinds of files? Learn about the different tools we’ve written about here and here.

Google Updates Search Page Dictionary, Now Provides Word Etymology

Google Search has long been a favorite tool of many to quickly check for word definitions, time zones, weather and flight details apart from the good old web search. Back in 2010, Google introduced the Dictionary OneBox that showed up with a definition whenever you looked up a word. Google updated the feature in 2011 and added synonyms and audio diction.

Google has today updated the OneBox with word etymologies, a translate feature and word usage trends. You’ll have to click the down arrow on the box on the search page in order to expand the box and see the new information.

greenshot_2013-08-23_01-25-14

If you choose a language, Google will translate the word for you right there. What you see after that will be the word trend chart showing how the usage of your word has been affected with time.

Google OpenBox Dictionary

Wanna try? Google for “define word”

iDoorCam Lets You Answer Your Door From Your Mobile Phone

In a time when unsuspecting household items such as refrigerators and dishwashers come with WiFi inbuilt, we’ve got another one of your taken-for-granted home appliances that you can now hook up for a WiFi upgrade. Your door bell.

igg-topline7

How would you like to add an intercom and a video feed to your existing door bell? That’s exactly what a new fund raising campaign on Indiegogo aims to achieve. Carrying the tacky name iDoorCam, the little round gadget bearing a button and the camera is a WiFi doorbell that wires into your existing door bell arrangement. iDoorCam will connect to your home WiFi network and alert you on your iPhone or Android (via WiFi or 3G, if you’re away) whenever you have a visitor. You can then choose to answer the bell or ignore it. The iOS and Android apps (currently in the work) will allow you to see, listen to and speak to your guest.

Apart from the obvious microphone, camera and speaker, iDoorCam will also support night vision and motion sensing.

iDoorCam, already funded completely to its goal on Indiegogo, should be available for purchase in Q1 2014. You can however pre-book it for a little cheaper right now on the funding page.

Celebrating India’s 66th Independence with Google Doodle

It’s that time of the year where people of India pay homage to their leaders and those who fought for India’s freedom. On the 66th Independence Day (67th if you count 15th August 1947 as the first Independence) of India, Google India is celebrating the occasion with a tri-colored doodle on its home page, in the form of a ribbon, which on mouse over will greet you with a message, “Indian Independence Day”.

67th Indian Independence Day commemorated with Google doodle

Google has been celebrating India’s Independence Day with a doodle on its home page every year since 2003, where most of the doodles featured the Indian national flag. However, the 2011 and 2012 doodles were quite different as Google created the doodles by featuring the Indian national symbols in place of the Tricolour. Last year, we saw a beautifully designed colorful peacock with a large plume tail.

On this day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site Red Fort in Delhi.

Along with India, three other countries celebrate their Independence Day on August 15 – Bahrain, South Korea and Republic of the Congo.

Happy Birthday India.

12GB PlayStation 3 Coming to North America Aug 18 for $199

A 12GB flash-based PlayStation 3 Slim is on its way to the North American continent. Sony already sells this budget version in Europe and now it’s coming to the new world.

PlayStation 3 12GB Packaging

It’s worth noting that there’s no official word on this yet. However, as Engadget reports, a listing for the new 12 GB variant was spotted on Canada’s online marketplace Future Shop (hence removed) for $199.99. Engadget has also received a picture of the new PlayStation 3 12 GB found at a retailer within the US, along with a label that the product mustn’t be revealed before August 18.

So August 18 is about when people within the US can get their hands on the low budget, 12 GB PlayStation Console.

Should you buy the 12 GB version? Doubts over the small HD size? Check out this comprehensive discussion on PlayStation Lifestyle and make up your mind!

BlackBerry 9720 Announced; Comes With Dedicated BBM Key

BlackBerry recently launched the new BlackBerry 9720 smartphone. This handset looks similar to the Curve range of smartphones. BlackBerry has already launched BB10 OS powered Z10, Q10 and Q5 smartphones this year. However, the new BlackBerry 9720 runs on the old BlackBerry 7.1 Operating System. It also comes with a dedicated BBM key. BlackBerry 9720 smartphone allows you to listen local FM stations and automatically let your BBM friends know what station you’re currently listening to.

Carlo Chiarello, Executive Vice President for Products at BlackBerry, said,
“The BlackBerry 9720 smartphone gives you all the essentials of the BlackBerry smartphone experience to support a communications centric lifestyle. It has the best keyboard and functionality for BBM, as well as an updated BlackBerry 7 OS that adds many enhancements. It’s perfect for customers upgrading from a feature phone or entry-level Android or Windows Phone device, as well as existing BlackBerry smartphone customers, that want a richer experience and jump up in style and performance.”

blackberry_9720

BlackBerry 9720 features a 2.8 ich touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 360 pixels, BlackBerry 7.1 Operating System, 806 MHz processor, full QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 512 MB ROM, 512 MB RAM and more.

It also comes with a 3.5mm headset jack, Stereo FM radio with RDS, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, microUSB 2.0, A-GPS, MicroUSB 2.0, Mobile Hotspot support, up to 30 hrs of music playback time, up to 432 hrs of stand-by time, up to 7 hrs of talk-time and a 1450 mAh battery.

BlackBerry 9720 will go on sale in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America in the coming weeks. The price of this handset will be announced soon. BlackBerry 9720 will be available in both black and white colors.

Facebook Acquires Mobile Technologies, Developer of Jibbigo

Facebook announced in a status update that it has acquired Mobile Technologies, a 12-year old speech recognition and machine translation start-up that developed the app Jibbigo. The terms of the deal, however, were not disclosed.

With the latest acquisition, Facebook looks forward to effectively make use of the voice recognition and translation tools to connect with the rest of the world. Jibbigo is the world’s first speech-to-speech translator that runs both online and offline.

Facebook Acquires “Mobile Technologies”

“Voice technology has become an increasingly important way for people to navigate mobile devices and the web, and this technology will help us evolve our products to match that evolution,” Tom Stocky, Facebook’s director of product management, wrote in a post. “We believe this acquisition is an investment in our long-term product roadmap as we continue towards our company’s mission.

Here’s the full post from Tom Stocky, Director, Product Management at Facebook announcing the acquisition:

Google Doodle Celebrates Erwin Schrödinger’s 126th Birthday

Today Google is celebrating the 126th birthday of Erwin Schrödinger, a famous Austrian physicist who won Nobel prize in 1933 for his eponymous equation on quantum wave mechanics. He is perhaps best know for the mind experiment known as Schrödinger’s Cat.
Erwin Schrodinger was born on August 12, 1887 in Vienna, Austria, to Rudolf Schrodinger and Georgine Emilia Brenda. After being tutored at home, Erwin Schrodinger studied in Vienna under Franz S. Exner and Friedrich Hasenohrl. By 1911, he was assisting Exner. Erwin Schrodinger also worked in the fields of electrical engineering, atmospheric electricity, and atmospheric radioactivity, however, he’s mostly renowned for his work in quantum mechanics.
Schrödinger’s cat is one of the most famous experiments, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects, resulting in a contradiction with common sense.

Here’s a video that gives a brief idea about it —

Born: August 12, 1887, Vienna, Austria
Died: January 4, 1961, Vienna, Austria
Spouse: Annemarie Bertel (m. 1920–1961)
Parents: Rudolf Schrödinger, Georgine Emilia Brenda
Honors and Awards:

  • Nobel Prize for Physics (1933) – for the formulation of the Schrödinger equation
  • Max Planck Medal (1937)
  • Erwin Schrödinger Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1956)
  • Austrian Decoration for Science and Art (1957)

LG G2 Announced; Comes With 5.2 Inch Full HD Display, Snapdragon 800 CPU

LG finally announced its newest flagship smartphone, the LG G2 at an event in New York. It is the company’s first smartphone introduced under the new “G” Series for premium devices. LG has also removed the side buttons and placed them on the rear of the device. Long-pressing on the rear-mounted volume keys allows us to launch QuickMemo and the camera. It also comes with a number of user experience (UX) features including Answer Me, Plug & Pop, Quick Remote, Slide Aside, Guest Mode and so on.

Dr. Jong-seok Park, CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said,
“Our definition of innovation today is technology that truly resonates with consumers. We have always listened to and learned from consumers in pursuit of innovation. We took these insights to new heights in developing LG G2, the most exciting and ambitious mobile phone in our company’s history.”

lg_g2

LG G2 features a 5.2 inch Full HD IPS display, sporting a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System, 2.26 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-focus and LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, microUSB 2.0, MHL, GPS with A-GPS, 2 GB RAM, 16/32 GB internal memory, NFC (Near Field Communication) and a 3000 mAh battery. This handset measures 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm.

LG G2 will be rolled out in the next eight weeks starting in South Korea followed by North America, Europe and other key markets. This handset will be initially available in black and white colors.

LG G2 And Blue HTC One Press Shots Leaked

Later today, LG will unveil the much awaited G2 smartphone. However, @evleaks has already shared the leaked press shot of this powerful device. The leaked pic reveals the front and back side of LG’s flagship smartphone. LG have also placed the volume rocker on the back of this device, right below the 13 megapixel camera.

lg_g2_leaked

LG G2 is expected to come with a 5.2 inch full HD display, 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System, 2 GB RAM, 4G LTE, NFC (Near Field Communication) and so on. The South Korean mobile phone manufacture is expected to sell more than 10 million units of this device globally. The complete specs of this device will be revealed after today’s announcement.

htc_one_blue_leaked

Apart from the LG G2, @evleaks has also shared the leaked press shot of HTC One with a fresh coat of paint. HTC One was originally launched in Black and White colors. After few months, HTC released the red colored HTC One. Now, it seems that the Taiwanese tech giant will soon launch its popular HTC One smartphone in Blue color.

This handset is expected to ship with the Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System out of the box. Apart from that, there won’t be any major changes in this device. The Blue HTC One looks quite stylish in my opinion. HTC will announce this device in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Verizon Motorola Xoom LTE Finally Gets The Android 4.1.2 Update

Back in 2011, Verizon launched the Motorola Xoom 4G LTE tablet. This device was shipped with the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System. Later, it was updated to Android 3.2 OS. Last year, the unlocked Motorola Xoom 4G owners received the much awaited Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). Nearly 10 months after the roll out of original update, Verizon went ahead and started pushing out the Android 4.1.2 update for Verizon subscribers who are still using the Motorola Xoom 4G tablet.

motorola xoom

The latest update is numbered JZO54M and it brings all the Jelly Bean goodies such as Google Now, Project Butter, smart keyboard, improved voice search, enhanced notifications, offline text-to-speech, improved power management, advanced expandable notifications, improved Face Unlock and much more. Check out the changelog below.

Changelog:

  • Google Now
  • Actionable Notifications
  • Voice Search speed has been improved
  • Keyboard adapts over time and predicts user’s next word
  • Settings application has been revised for clearer options
  • “Accounts & Sync” has been moved from the Personal group to an independent group called “Accounts”
  • Enhancements to modem stability to improve data connectivity
  • Search Option has been added in YouTube Application

This update will be rolled out in batches and it will be available via Over-The-Air (OTA). You will be automatically notified when the update is available for your device. If you have not received the update, then just go to Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update. To learn more, check out this PDF file.

LG Optimus Vu III Leaked

The LG Optimus Vu was frankly a bizarre device. A phablet with a large screen but an odd aspect ratio (4:3), which not only made grasping it hard, but also neutered the benefits of the large screen while watching videos. It came with a stylus, but didn’t actually have a slot where you could store it. The Vu had many such obvious flaws poor sales performance. However, that didn’t daunt LG’s spirits. It followed up with Vu II in its home market. Now, after almost a year, LG might be gearing up for the third entrant in its Vu series.

lg-optumus-vu-iii-camera-sample
Sample Panorama captured using the LG Optimus Vu III Camera

PhoneArena has spotted a couple of spotty images in a Chinese blog, which suggests the existence of the Vu III. An alleged screenshot of the Vu III indicates that the new phablet will have a resolution of 1280×960 pixels. This means that the new Vu will continue using the odd 4:3 aspect ratio. Clearly, LG sees something about the boxy dimensions that we don’t. There’s also a sample panoramic photo that is said to have been captured using the LG Optimus Vu III.

LG has really upped its game over the past several months. The Optimus G, the Nexus 4, and the Optimus G Pro were all great devices in the own rights. Let’s hope that they will prove us all wrong and surprise us with the Vu III.

LG Pocket Photo Printer PD221 Review

Earlier today, LG officially launched a rather unique product – the LG Pocket Photo Printer (PD221). The Pocket Photo is being dubbed by LG as a smart mobile printer, and the device certainly lives up to its nomenclature. I’ve been using a unit that was gifted to me for the past couple of months.

The printer is incredibly small – it’s actually slightly smaller than my Galaxy SIII. However, the thickness means that you won’t be actually able to carry this in your pocket (unless you’re wearing a jacket or a coat). The printer produces 5.1 x 7.6cm (2 x 3 inch) prints, which are definitely not large enough to please a photographer, but are good for quickly capturing and sharing fun moments with friends.

The Pocket Photo PD221 is USB powered, and can also run on battery. The battery doesn’t last long, but the good thing is that it only takes a few minutes to charge up. Once it’s charged, the indicator changes from red to green, and you’re good to go. Before you can print though, you’ll need to install the LG Pocket Photo app from the Play Store. Windows and iPhone users are out of luck though, since the app is only available for Android. The app is pretty straightforward and simple to use. You can apply Instagram-like photo effects, crop and rotate the picture, add text or even a custom QR code. Once you’re happy with the photo, you need to hit the print button. The Pocket Photo transmits via Bluetooth. Pressing and holding the power button makes it discoverable. However, if you have an NFC equipped phone, you can skip the hassle of searching and pairing with the printer. Just tap your phone on the printer, and it should instantly start transmitting. At least in theory. In practice, it took a couple of tries to get it right, but the entire process was still pretty hassle free. The Android app can also print multiple photos in a single page, so you can also use the printer for quick and dirty passport photos.

LG Pocket Photo Android App
LG Pocket Photo Android App

The LG Pocket Photo uses a special paper known as ZINK (Zero Ink). Unlike traditional InkJet printers, it doesn’t require any ink. Instead it prints by applying heat on the special ZINK paper. This is the innovation that enabled LG to shrink the printer. The LG Pocket Photo is undoubtedly an incredibly cool device. Take a snap, fire up the app, tap on your printer, and in less than a minute you would have the pic in your hand. Unfortunately, the ZINK technology has its limitations. The quality of the prints isn’t bad, but isn’t very good either. The color reproduction is off, as a result of which images appear washed out and tinted.

LG Pocket Photo Printer with Sample Photo
LG Pocket Photo Printer with Sample Photo

The biggest caveat of the PD221 is its price. It doesn’t serve a lot of purpose other than having some fun. The printouts are neither big enough nor good enough for a photographer. They’re good for taking that quick passport photo when you really need it. They’re also great for something you would want to keep in your wallet or on your table. However, they won’t go into your photo album. For something with a limited utility, the LG mobile printer is just too expensive for most people. The printer is being launched at an MRP of 14990, and a pack of 30 papers cost Rs. 1099. Ten papers are bundled with the printer. The LG Pocket Photo Printer is something that will fit the drool worthy gadgets column in a magazine. It’s not something the average consumer will purchase, but will probably attract the gadget affectionados who have the moolah to splurge on the coolest new gadget in the store.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra Launched In India For Rs.46,990

Sony finally launched the Xperia Z Ultra phablet in India. This devices was announced and showcased last month at the Mobile Asia Expo 2013 in Shanghai. It comes with a large 6.4 inch Full HD display along with a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor. Similar to the other Xperia smartphones, the Xperia Z Ultra is also a water and dust resistant smartphone. It is the world’s slimmest Full HD smartphone with a beautifully crafted 6.5mm body and weighing just 212 grams.

sony xperia z ultra

Sony Xperia Z Ultra features a 6.44 inch Full HD Triluminos display, sporting a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System, 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with Full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, 16 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 64 GB expandable memory and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, 2 GB RAM, Google Play Store, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA Certified, HDMI support, Micro USB, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, NFC (Near Field Communication), Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality, up to 120 hrs of music playback time, up to 14 hrs of talk-time,upto 790 hrs of stand-by time and a 3050 mAh non removable Li-ion battery.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra comes with a price-tag of Rs.46,990 (approx.$780) in India, however you can get this device for just Rs.44,990 at Flipkart. This device will compete with other Android phablets such as Galaxy Note II and LG Optimus G Pro in India.

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