CyanogenMod 9.1 Released — Includes SimplyTapp NFC Payment Service

It was only less than a month ago that the CyanogenMod team released the stable version of CM9, based on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich for a bunch of supported devices.

Today, the CyanogenMod build bot has silently started rolling out CM9.1 for the list of supported devices. So what exactly does the .1 jump in version number denote? Besides some bug-fixes and stability improvements, CM9.1 contains one major new feature — the introduction of a new NFC based payment platform called SimplyTapp.

SimplyTapp has been founded by two CyanogenMod developers, Doud and Ted, and aims at providing an open and secure method for NFC based payments. The company has entered a partnership with the CM team to help the platform, its service and give NFC payments based services a much needed boost as well.

The CM team has incorporated SimplyTapp in its CM9 code-base and not in the CM10, which is based on Jelly Bean, because of the “rapidly changing Jelly Bean code breaking app functionality.” The feature, however, will be incorporated into CM 10 as well.

If you have already installed the stable version of CM9.1 on your NFC enabled handset, don’t forget to install the Simply Tapp app from here to enjoy NFC based payments on your handset.

More information about the service, and the partnership can also be found over at CyanogenMod’s official blog.


Bummer: Android Beam In Jelly Bean Uses Bluetooth To Transfer Files And Not Wi-Fi Direct

The Galaxy S III is packed to the brim with top-notch hardware and some software novelties. One such software feature on the S3 is S-Beam, that allows for quick sharing of files with other Galaxy S III via NFC over Wi-Fi Direct. The concept of the feature is simple – Select a bunch of files on one S3, bump the two handsets together, and then NFC will automatically setup a Wi-Fi direct connection between the devices and the file will be transferred blazingly fast from one S3 to another.

While this may seem like a trivial and useless feature to many, I cannot emphasize enough on how easier and faster this will make sharing all those HD video clips with your friends. When Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it stated that Android Beam has now been updated to allow for sharing of pictures and videos, making the feature much more useful. Considering NFC does not have enough bandwith to transfer videos or photos, Google should have used Wi-Fi direct for transferring the files.

They should have, but they did not. Android Beam in Jelly Bean uses Bluetooth to send over photos and videos and NOT Wi-Fi Direct. The use of Bluetooth means that the transfer process will take ages to complete, compared to the blazing fast Wi-Fi Direct. I am not even sure why Google has used Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi Direct here. All modern NFC equipped Android phones have all the required support and protocols in place for Wi-Fi Direct.

Nokia Luna NFC Enabled Bluetooth Headset Now Available In India For Rs.4530

Nokia recently launched the stunningly designed Nokia Luna Bluetooth Stereo headset. The amazing Nokia Luna headset features a unique in-ear design and NFC capability. It can be easily paired with a NFC enabled Nokia smartphone by just tapping the two devices together to share content. The Nokia Luna headset features an advanced multipoint technology, which allows you to pair up to two phones at the same time.

“We are excited to launch the new Nokia Luna Bluetooth headset” said V Ramnath, Director – Sales, Nokia India. “With a stunning design and an innovative technology like NFC, Nokia Luna features noise isolating in-ear design, adaptive volume adjustment and pop it mechanism. It is a perfect combination of top notch functionality and style, which will appeal to our young consumers.”

nokia luna

Nokia Luna Specifications:

  • Bluetooth 2.1 with enhanced data rate (EDR)
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • -15°C to +55°C operating temperature
  • Automatic volume adjustment
  • microUSB charging interface
  • Handsfree profile (HFP) 1.5
  • Headset profile (HSP) 1.1
  • Advanced Multipoint
  • Up to 8 hours of talk-time
  • Up to 35 hours of stand-by time (Out of holder)
  • Up to 60 days of stand-by time (In holder)
  • Headset: 25.31 x 24.00 x 26.36 mm
  • Holder: 48.98 x 48.87 x 29.95 mm
  • Weight – Headset: 5 g, Holder: 18.3 g

The Nokia Luna headset is available in 5 vibrant colors – Cyan, Fuchsia, Green, White and Black. It come with a price-tag of just Rs.4,530 (approx. $90). The NFC pairing is compatible only with the Nokia 700, Nokia 701, Nokia 600 and Nokia 603 smartphones.

Nokia 701 Launched In India For Rs.18,999

Nokia recently announced the new Nokia 701  smartphone  at an event in Mumbai, India. It is the company’s first handset, which runs on the latest Symbian Belle Operating System. Last week, we already posted that Nokia 701 is unofficially available for purchase at online retailers such as Indiaplaza. Now, the  company  has officially released the device for its loyal customers in India.

The Indian smartphone market is growing at an exponential rate. Consumers today are looking for differentiators that go beyond multi-tasking and processor speed. With our latest range of smartphones on Symbian Belle, we are introducing a path-breaking technology in the form of Just Tap’ with NFC,” said D Shivakumar, managing director, Nokia India.

nokia 701 srk

Nokia 701 features a 3.5-inch IPS-LCD display with 360 x 640 pixels resolution, 1 GHz processor, Symbian Belle OS, 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, HD (720p) video recording capabilities, VGA front-facing camera for video calls, Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR, microUSB  and more.

Other features include a 3.5mm headset jack, stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS with A-GPS, 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n,  512 MB RAM, 1 GB ROM, 8 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, up to 71 hrs music playback time,  up to 504 hrs stand-by time, up to 6hrs 45min talk-time and a 1300 mAh battery.

Nokia 701 comes with a price-tag of Rs.18,999 (approx.$390) in India. This handset is available in different 2 colors Silver Light and Steel Dark. You can get this device at your nearest retailer or any Nokia Priority stores in India.

[ Image Credit ]

AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S II Coming On 2nd October

Back in the beginning of September, Samsung finally announced the much-awaited and hyped operators’ variants of the Samsung Galaxy S II.


While, the Sprint version of the Galaxy S II is already available, no specific date was announced for the T-Mobile and AT&T version. In fact, the complete specs of the T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S II were also not fully revealed.

Earlier, it was rumored that the AT&T version of the Galaxy S II would be released on 18th September. However, AT&T never confirmed that date, and as expected, the phone was not available in AT&T stores on 18th September.

Nevertheless, AT&T has finally confirmed via Twitter that the Galaxy S II will finally hit their retail stores on October 2nd, for $199.99 on a 2-year contract.

For the unknown, here is a quick reminder of the Samsung Galaxy S II specs for AT&T. Like the European version of SGS2, the AT&T version also has a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED+ display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, microSD card slot, MHL port, 8MP camera in the back with a 2MP camera in the front, and a NFC chip. The usual bunch of sensors, and connectivity features are also on-board.

Nokia E7, C7 and C6-01 Symbian Anna Update Goes Live

Yesterday, we reported that the Symbian Anna update for N8 should go live any moment. Well, the good news is that Nokia has already started rolling out the update in more than 15 different regions of the world.


Along with the N8, Nokia has started rolling out the Anna update for other first generation Symbian^3 handsets like the C7, E7, and C6-01. The Symbian Anna update brings with it some much needed features and enhancements, including an improved web-browser, portrait QWERTY input, new icons, and an improved version of Ovi Maps.

Other than this, the Anna update should also enable the NFC chip on the C7. Post the update, C7 owners would be able to share games, use NFC based accessories and read NFC tags using the NFC chip.

The whole Symbian Anna change-log can be found over at Nokia’s official blog. The Anna update will be available via OTA and/or via Nokia Software update and Ovi Suite. However, Nokia recommends using the Ovi Suite/NSU updating method, and suggests against using the OTA method, unless the user has access to a reliable Wi-Fi connection.

The Symbian Anna update will be available within this week in Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, UAE, the UK, and more countries.

Nokia Announces A Bunch Of Accessories, Including an NFC Equipped Portable Speaker

Along with the Nokia N9, Nokia also announced a bunch of news accessories, dubbed as Gears.

First and foremost, Nokia announced a new charger, the Nokia AC-16. This new charger comes in white, with a detachable micro-USB cable. This new charger will be shipping with the Nokia N9, and can also be purchased separately.

Nokia also announced a new Bluetooth Stereo headset, BH-111. Nokia quotes a stand-by time of 120 hours, and up to six hours of music playback. The BH-111 will be available in five different colors, and will start shipping this summer for €39.


The most interesting and unique accessory which Nokia announced today is the Nokia Play 360. The Play 360 is a portable Hi-Fi speaker, and as its name suggests, pumps out music in all direction (Omni-directional, instead of one-directional).

The most interesting feature of the Play 360 is the support for NFC. Users can easily play music on the 360 by just tapping their NFC enabled phone to the speaker. The portable speaker also has a 3.5mm audio port for connecting your phone to it in a traditional way.

Google demonstrated the same piece of technology at the Google I/O this year, but said it was only a prototype. However, Nokia has gone ahead and made the prototype a reality! However, the speakers are pretty costly at €149, and will start shipping in the third quarter of this year.

RIM Announces The BlackBerry Touch 9900/9930; Runs BlackBerry OS 7

Research In Motion (RIM) has just announced two new BlackBerry handsets which aim to woo back the company’s once loyal customers.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the Bold 9930 a.k.a Bold Touch feature a full QWERTY keyboard, and a 2.8-inch Liquid Graphics’ touch screen with VGA (640×480) resolution. The handsets are powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor.

Both the handsets are same right down to the core, except for their network antenna. The Bold 9900 supports HSPA+, while the 9930 supports both dual-band CDMA and quad-band GSM. The handsets also pack 768MB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory along with a microSD card slot. The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera with Flash, and Image stabilization. The camera is also capable of recording videos in 720p HD resolution.


The Bold 9900 and the 9930 are also the slimmest BlackBerry handsets until date, measuring in at only 10.5mm. The usual array of sensors Digital Compass,   Wi-Fi a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz), Proximity sensor, GPS with A-GPS and Bluetooth 2.1 are also present. The handsets will also come with an NFC chip, again a first for BlackBerry handsets.

BlackBerry 7 The BlackBerry 7 OS is designed to power the new performance-driven BlackBerry Bold platform. It provides an easier and faster user experience with improved browsing, voice-activated searches, the ability to manage personal content separately from corporate content, as well as additional personal and productivity apps out of the box.

The Bold Touch 9900 and the 9930 will be running BlackBerry OS 7, when launched. The new OS brings is faster, easier to use, and also brings a new web browser. The new OS also supports voice search, along with BlackBerry Balance. This new features aims at separating a user’s personal and corporate content on his handset.

The handsets will be powered by a 1230mAh user-replaceable battery. The Touch 9900 and the 9930 are expected to be released all over the world beginning this summer’.