Google Music, Books And Movies Services Goes Live!

Google has just announced three new media related services at the Google I/O Google Books, Google Movies and Google Music.

Users can purchase any book from the Google market, and read it on any Google Books compatible device.

Android users can rent movies for 1.99$ for up to 30 days. After renting a movie and watching it for some time, users have 24 hours to watch the whole movie. Users can stream movies, in HD quality; to any device they wish to including Google TV, Android Honeycomb tablets etc.


Honeycomb based tablets will get a special app dedicated to Google Movies, with the Android 3.1 Honeycomb update. The service is also available for Android 2.2+ based handsets. Google has also added two new sections to the Android Market Books and Movies.

The Google Music service also went live, after months of speculation. The Music site is already up, and sadly the service is invitation based only. The Google Music service will allow users to stream their whole music library to their Android tablet or handset, via a Google Music app for Windows/Mac. Basically, once a user adds his music library to the Google Music app, his whole library is uploaded to the cloud.

Users can add up to 20,000 songs as well! The service will remain free, until it is in beta. Sadly, the service is only for people residing in the U.S.

Google has also released a new music app for the Android 2.2+ handsets, which can be downloaded from the Android market.

Google Music Page Goes Live; Available Only In The U.S.

Google I/O is going to kick-start in just half an hour from now, and the Google Music page is already live!

It was very well known that Google will be launching Google Music’, a cloud based music storage and player for all Android Gingerbread based phones and Honeycomb based tablets. As with any Google product, the service is in Beta right now.

Also, the service is in Invite only mode for now. So, readers interested in Google Music need to request for an invitation first. The Google Music page also states that the service is free only for a limited time.


However, the biggest issue with Google Music is that it is only available to the people living in the United States. I seriously did not expect this from Google. There is a world outside the United States, and they also deserve their share of cloud based music player.

The Google Music is the second cloud based music player to pop-up on the Internet, after Amazon unveiled its cloud based music player a couple of months ago.

How To Pre-Order The Samsung Galaxy S II

The most anticipated Android phone of this year the Samsung Galaxy S is already up for sale in a few countries. However, in most places of the world, the handset is still up for pre-order.

First of all, I should make it clear that Samsung still has not announced any plans of launching the Galaxy S II in the United States. Blame the network operators in the States for the delay!


People living the U.K can already order an unlocked Galaxy S II from for £499.99, as well as from Clove. The handset is also available at Phones4U and the O2 U.K. network as well.

In South Korea, the Galaxy S II is up for pre-order on all the three major telecom operators S K Telecom, KT, and LG U+. In fact, more than 200000 units of the Galaxy S II have already been pre-booked in Korea.

Interested Samsung Galaxy S II buyers in India can have a look at, where they can pre-order the handset for nearly Rs. 40,000. However, I will suggest them to wait and buy the handset when it is released by this month’s end.

The Samsung Galaxy S II will be available in most of the regions of the world, by the end of this month.

HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

The HTC ChaCha and the HTC Salsa, the ‘Facebook’ phones by HTC which were unveiled at MWC 2011, are now available for pre-order on Amazon UK. Both the phones were supposed to be launched in Q2 2011. According to the listing on Amazon, they will be launched on June 26, 2011.

Both the HTC ChaCha and the HTC Salsa will come with Android 2.4 Gingerbread.

HTC ChaCha

The HTC ChaCha is a QWERTY smartphone with a 2.6 inch, 480 x 320 pixel touchscreen display. It comes with a 600 MHz processor and 512 MB RAM. It also has a 5 MP camera with AF and LED flash. It is priced at £249.99.

Pre-Order HTC ChaCha on Amazon

HTC Chacha

HTC Salsa

The HTC Salsa is a standard touchscreen phone with a 3.4 inch, 320 x 480 pixel display. It also has a 600 MHz processor and 512 MB RAM, just like the ChaCha. It comes with a 5 MP camera too, with AF and LED flash. It is priced at £319.99.

Pre-Order HTC Salsa on Amazon

HTC Salsa

Both the phones come with the basics – Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS and HSDPA connectivity.

HTC Desire HD And Desire Z Get A Fully Functional Sense 3.0 ROM

Last month, HTC announced its next super phone’ the HTC Sensation. Along with cutting edge hardware, the handset also features the latest version of Sense (v3.0). In its latest version, Sense 3.0 features a new lock screen, and some stellar animations.

When the HTC Sensation and the Doubleshot ROM leaked on the Internet, the Desire HD and Desire Z tried porting it over to the respected handsets. However, due to difference in resolutions and hardware, most of the stuff was broken in these ROM.


Now, two very talented developers from the Desire Z and the Desire HD modding scene rmk40 and capychimp have released a fully working Sense 3.0 ROM for Desire HD/Z. The ROM has been named as Virtuous Fusion ROM, and also supports the Inspire 4G and the T-Mobile G2. The ROM is based on the leaked HTC Kingdom RUU.

Compared to any other Sense 3.0 ROMs, this ROM has very minor issues. There are some graphics glitches in some screen, and the default Sense launcher does not work in landscape mode. Hopefully, these issues will soon be resolved by the developers!

Interested Desire HD, Inspire 4G, Desire Z and T-Mobile G2 owners should head over to this thread over at XDA, for more information.

Samsung Galaxy S II Pre-Orders Reach 3 Million Units By Carriers

It was only a few days ago that Samsung released the highly anticipated Galaxy S II in some regions of the world. In most regions of the world, the phone is currently up for pre-order, and will be released to the general public by this month’s end.

Today, Samsung announced that mobile carriers all over the world have pre-ordered more than 3 million units of the Galaxy S II. Please note that the pre-order is done by mobile carriers, and not the consumers. However, I am pretty sure that the operators won’t have any problem in selling these pre-booked units.


It was just a few days ago, that Samsung had managed to ship more than 120,000 units of the Galaxy S II in Korea,   in less than 3 days.

The Samsung Galaxy S was among the most popular Android phones of last year, and sold in excess of 10 million units. Its successor, the Galaxy S II has already been getting ravishing reviews all over the Internet, and is expected to sell more than 15 million units. The Galaxy S II will be released in more regions of the world by the end of this month, or early June.


The Best Android Phones Coming to India in 2011

The Android revolution began about 3 years back and its stunning growth has dwarfed the growth of even iOS (iPhone) as a mobile platform. It is now the most popular mobile OS in the US, and is on its way to becoming the most used mobile OS in the world. It is expected to overtake Symbian soon, and will soon be the Windows of the mobile world.

Unlike Apple which always ignores India when launching new products, most Android manufacturers have made sure that they launch new Android smartphones in India at the same time as the worldwide launch.

As I’ve said before, 2011 is going to be the year of Android. We have seen a lot of exciting devices at CES, MWC and CTIA 2011. Most of these devices will either be launched soon, or have been launched already.

In this post, I will show you the best Android phones that money can buy. Despite the title, the list is relevant to users around the world, not just Indians.

1. Samsung Galaxy S 2

This is definitely the best Android smartphone that money can buy. It has received the best reviews yet, and offers the best overall package, compared to any other Android phone. It is the successor to the most popular Android phone of 2010 – the Samsung Galaxy S.

It has an excellent 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display which has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It comes with an 8 MP camera which can record 1080p video, a 1.2 GHz dual core Exynos processor, 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0.

It is expected to be launched by the end of May 2011 and will be priced at around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000.

Samsung Galaxy S 2

2. HTC Sensation

The HTC Sensation is probably the only phone which can rival the Samsung Galaxy S 2 in terms of specifications and features.

It will come with a 4.3 inch S-LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. It will come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has the HTC Sense 3.0 UI, which is widely regarded as the best third party Android UI.

It has a dual core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 220 GPU and 768 MB RAM. It also comes with an 8 MP camera with dual LED flash which can record 1080p video at 30 FPS. It has 1 GB internal storage, and is a bit heavier than the Galaxy S 2, at 148 gms. It will likely be launched soon, but we have no idea about the pricing.

HTC Sensation

3. LG Optimus 2X

The LG Optimus 2X was the first Android smartphone with a dual core processor. While it was launched some time back, it is still one of the best Android phone options in India. In the US, you can buy the T-Mobile G2X which is identical to the Optimus 2X, and comes with pure Android 2.2 Froyo.

It comes with a 4 inch LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It also has a 1 GHz dual core Cortex A9 processor (Tegra 2) and offers 1 GB RAM. It has an 8 MP camera and can also capture 1080p video at 24 FPS. Though it’s not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S 2, it is much cheaper. You can get it for as much as Rs. 28,000.

Buy the LG Optimus 2X on Amazon.

LG Optimus 2X

4. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc was recently launched and is probably the most stylish Android smartphone to date. It is extremely slim, and has a very sleek design. It comes with a 4.2 inch display and has a 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 205 GPU and 512 MB RAM. It also offers an excellent 8 MP camera, which makes it the best Android camera phone. It is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has the Sony Ericsson custom Android UI.

It is available for Rs 28,000.

Buy the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc at Flipkart.

Buy the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc at Amazon.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

5. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is another notable Android phone. It deviates from the touchscreen only trend in Android phones, and features a unique gaming keypad which slides out from under the display. It has the same hardware as the Xperia Arc – 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 205 GPU and 512 MB RAM.

It also has a 5 MP camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but the main attraction is the library of exclusive PSP games which it supports. If you are a gamer, and want an Android smartphone, the Xperia Play is the device you should get.

It is priced at Rs. 30,000.

Buy the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play at Flipkart.

Buy the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play at Amazon.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

6. HTC Incredible S

HTC was the top dog in the Android arena an year back, but since the launch of the Galaxy S, Samsung has become the dominant player. HTC, though, has been trying to get back to the top.

The HTC Incredible S is one of the best Android smartphones by HTC. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and the HTC Sense 3.0 UI, probably the best third party Android UI. It will definitely get an upgrade to Android 2.3 Gingerbread and comes with a 4 inch, 480 x 800 pixel display. It has a 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, 768 MB RAM and comes with the Adreno 205 GPU as well. It has a very good 8 MP camera which can capture 720p video.

It is the cheapest of the lot. It is priced at Rs 26,399.

Buy the HTC Incredible S at Flipkart.

Buy the HTC Incredible S at Amazon.

HTC Incredible S

We might see many more Android smartphone launches soon, but for the next 2-3 months, this list should guide you well, should you want to buy the best Android smartphone in India, or the world, for that matter.

Update: Also check out our news Smartphone Buying Guide in India for 2011

Notion Ink Adam To Get A Major Software Update Soon; Including Android 2.3 Gingerbread!

Remember the controversial Notion Ink Adam from a startup in India? Well, it looks like most people have forgotten about the company and its product. Last week, Notion Ink Adam posted some information about a major software update for the Adam, which was gone un-noticed by everyone until now.

Notion Ink is soon going to release a major software update for the Adam, which will include the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the OS. The update will also bring a basic music and video player to the Adam. The usual performance, stability and UI enhancements are also on-board.


Here is the official change-log -:

  • the new e-book client
  • a new Browser (the name of the book client and browser will be released in a separate blog next week)
  • updated Kernel
  • optimally over-clocked Tegra
  • Gingerbread 2.3
  • lots of Usability Issues resolved
  • new multi-tasking environment (easier way to manage all tabs and applications)
  • Chords Music Library and Player (Simple and straight Music Player)
  • Video Library and Player
  • DSP support, so now equalizer will work in better way. Soon we are adding more bass boost in the speakers as well (not a part of this update).
  • Flash pre-installed
  • and more!

The new web browser and the eBook client are the Dolphin HD and Kindle. The blog post also states that Notion Ink is already working on porting Honeycomb to the Adam.

It’s nice to see Notion Ink supporting the Adam, but I wonder how many units the startup actually managed to sell. The Notion Ink Adam’s launch was delayed numerous times. When it was finally made available to the public, the shipments were delayed numerous times as well.

The update is expected to be rolled out soon by the company.

T-Mobile G2X Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Leaks!

On the first day of this month, Chris Ziegler over at This Is My Next gave us a small preview of the upcoming Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the T-Mobile G2X. He managed to get the Gingerbread update on his handset, via PaulOBrien.

Sadly, at that time the Gingerbread leak was not made public by Paul or by Chris.


Today, it’s a different story though. Paul has gone ahead and released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread leaked update for the T-Mobile G2X in an format. The leak has no major bugs and issues, and there is a high possibility of it becoming an official release.

Early reports suggest that the overall phone performance and responsiveness have improved, considerably. The scrolling performance, and touch sensitivity of the screen have been improved as well. The custom Camera interface by LG as seen in Android 2.2 FroYo, has been replaced with stock Gingerbread camera UI.

Sadly, the Gingerbread version is 2.3.3, which means video call via Google talk is a no go!

Interested G2X owners can head over to this thread over at MoDaCo forums to download the Gingerbread leak for their handset. The is pre-rooted as well!

Samsung And AT&T Announce The Infuse 4G

Samsung and AT&T have gone ahead and finally announced the Samsung Infuse 4G.

The Samsung Infuse 4G was first shown at CES, and since then both the companies have been mum about it. The Infuse 4G sports a mammoth 4.5-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen, with WVGA (800×480) resolution.


The handset will also be the thinnest ‘4G’ branded handset available on the AT&T network, measuring only 8.99mm thick. The Infuse 4G sports a 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor, along with 512MB of RAM and a microSD card slot (2GB card pre-installed).

The back of the handset sports an 8MP camera with an LED flash, which is capable of recording videos in 720p HD resolution. There is also a 1.3MP camera in the front.   The usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS with A-GPS, Proximity Sensor, and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present.

Sadly, the Infuse 4G runs on Android 2.2 FroYo, with Samsung’s TouchWIZ UI on top of it.   The handset will also come with a special version of Angry Birds pre-installed with some hidden levels.

The Samsung Infuse 4G will be available at all AT&T stores from May 15, for $199.99 on a two-year contract.

(Press Release)