Friday, March 18, 2011

Verizon unleashes 4G with HTC Thunderbolt - A review of features and deals on Thunderbolt

The wait for 4G is finally over - Verizon has launched the 4G service with HTC Thunderbolt today! The 4.3 inch Thunderbolt is priced at $250 at Verizon wireless with a 2 year contract. The phone looks very cool and hopefully experiencing 4G on it would be cool as well. The only thing that bring a frown is the Android version in the mobile. With android already working on Ice cream Sandwich, this mobile only sports the Android 2.2 version (the version most widely in use today).


Android 2.2 (Froyo) with HTC Sense 2.0 OS

4.3” TFT Touch screen, 8MP rear cam with LED Flash and 1.3MP front cam

MicroSD expandable up to 32 GB

802.11 b/g/n wireless, 2.1 Bluetooth, 4G network

Qualcomm® MSM8655, 1GHz, Qualcomm MDM9600 chipset


HTC Thunderbolt with 4G


The best deal on this phone is available at – $180.00

Ordered your HTC Thunderbird already? What is your expectations? Do share your comments here!

Froyo (Android 2.2) is the most popularly used Android version!

Just after 9 months of its release, Froyo (Android 2.2) is the most widely used Android version in all of the Android devices. This version of the Android OS is popularly used in both mobile devices and in tablets.

When  combined with the Android version 2.1, the overall popularity of the 2.x version swells to 90% on all the active Google devices.

The disappointing part of this statistic is that the most recent version for mobile phones – Gingerbread has not even reached 2% in terms of usage. Also the honeycomb version which was exclusively developed for tablets is just 0.2% in use.

Android Version Usage
1.5 3 %
1.6 4.8 %
2.1 29 %
2.2 61.3 %
2.3 0.7 %
2.3.3 1.0 %
3.0 0.2 %



android versions popularity

Though the popularity of Android is steadily climbing up in the market, the users would love to see that the most recent versions are also the most widely used versions in market.


Do you own an android? What version are you running?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

iPod 4 screen glitches following iOS 4.3 update - What to do about it?


Just when the users with iOS 4.3 update in their iPhones / iPods are still to come out of the DST bug problem (well there has been no fix from Apple – restarting the device fixed the issue in most cases), the next issue has cropped up. Many iPod touch users are reporting weird glitches in their screen graphics following the iOS 4.3 update in their iPod. The glitches are more apparent in the lock screen and many users have also reported icon overlapping and other problems with pixel alignment. Hope Apple fixes the issues with the OS update soon – before the droid lovers have a field day with this!

What should I do if I see the glitches in my iPod?

The best thing to do if you see the glitches is to report it to Apple. They are the right people to do something about this. Please report the issue in any one of the two Apple discussion links below:

Apple discussion link 1

Apple discussion link 2


iPod 4 Glitch following iOS4.3 update


Are you experiencing these glitches too? Share your videos/experiences in comments.

iPhone / iPod DST Bug–How to fix the clock

After Android went through the malware apps last week, its time for Apple to take the beating now. On Sunday March 13, while the clock must have moved an hour forward to adjust for the DST, Apple iPhones / iPads / iPods decided to go back by an hour due to a bug in the iPhone DST adjustments. Almost all iPhone owners relying on their phones to keep up with appointments and even waking up with its alarm, were alarmed to see that they were not on time! iSiC_XXIII, a twitter user vented his frustrations this way in twitter “Thanks iPod Touch and iPhone for making me late to work! DST is not working properly”. Seemingly there were no issues with most of the other phones including Android in adjusting themselves to the DST settings. The same bug is expected to affect the Europeans on March 27.


What’s the Fix?

*  Restarting the phone has solved the issue in 99% of cases.

*  You can otherwise switch the phone briefly to airplane mode and then back to normal mode, This has also worked for some people.

Time to get a good old alarm clock!!

Did the DST bug bite you too?? What did you do to resolve the issue – Do share your experience here!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Apple iPad 2 vs Motorola Xoom vs Samsung Galaxy tab - A comparison of features, hardware and usability

Its Showtime for the tablet competitors Apple, Motorola and Samsung and for tablet lovers, it can’t get better than this. Gone are the days of Apple monopoly in the market. Now, the customer is the king and we have for the first time real competitors to consider when thinking about the latest in electronics market – tab. The release of iPad 2 (read the features and highlights here) had Samsung do some serious re-thinking about its price and features before launching it in the market. Also there were reviews on Motorola Xoom which showed that there were some areas of improvement when compared to the iPad2. However, with Android making its presence felt among users of wide ranges of age group and profession, it is customer oriented market yet again and here is how I compare the tabs (Read a detailed comparison of Android vs iPhone here). Again, in this case too, I am not going to say if one tab beats the other or if Apple wins over Android or Android gets better than apple – just trying to bring out an unbiased review.ipad 2 vs motorola xoom vs galaxy tab 2

Comparison Chart:

  Motorola Xoom Samsung Galaxy tab 2 Apple iPad 2 Advantage
OS Honeycomb Honeycomb (android 3.0) Apple iOS 4.3 Purely for the brand power and also because Honeycomb is still raw and yet to be experienced – Apple
Display 10.1” 10.1” 9.7” Though Apple’s display is slightly smaller than the other two, it looks cuter than the other two to me – Apple
Resolution 1280 x 800 1280 x 800 1024 x 768 Definitely Motorola 
RAM 1 GB Not Available 512 MB Motorola
Processor 1 GHz Terga 2 dual-core 1 GHz Terga 2 dual-core A5 1GHz dual-core Again for the tested and extremely satisfying performance – Apple 
Camera 5 MegaPix rear camera with LED Flash / 2 MegaPix front camera 8 MegaPix rear camera with Flash and 2 MegaPix front camera Rear camera pix rating unspecified, front camera VGA Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 – Apple disappointed everybody big time here
Memory 32 GB – Expandable memory up to 32 GB in microSD 16 or 32 GB – Nothing specified yet about external memory 16, 32, 64 GB but no external expandable memory Motorola – MicroSD slot was one of the most expected feature in the new version of Tabs
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n along with Personal Hotspot 802.11 b/g/n 802.11 b/g/n Tied – similar specs
Network 3G (upgradable to 4G – if you don’t mind shipping it back and forth to Verizon to get this done) 4G HSPA / EDGE / GPRS 3G HSDPA / GSM / EDGE / CMDA Samsung Galaxy Tab for the 4G
Externals 9.8 x 6.6 x 0.5 / 12.7 mm / 1.61 lbs 9.67 x 6.7 x 0.43 / 10.9 mm thick / 1.32 lbs 9.5 x 7.3 x 0.34 / 8.8 mm thick / 1.33 lbs Apple – truly lives up to its marketing slogan – thinner, lighter and smarter
Ports HDMI, USB 2.0 USB 2.0 HDMI (with adapter) Motorola Xoom 


Apple’s exciting features like Facetime, excellent multitasking still scores overs minor hitches in Motorola (like problems with microSD, confusing buttons in different applications and heftier finish than iPad2). However Motorola Xoom is a serious competitor to Apple in the tablet race and we are in for some exciting market analysis in near future!!

What do you think about the latest tabs in market? Do share your views and reviews on your tab experience

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

VMware view client App for iPad–next leap from RDP / VNC Citrix and Wyse apps in market


One of the primary arguments that many people have against owning an iPad or even better the latest iPad 2 is that this 10 inch piece will never grow up in capacity to handle what their desktop / laptop can handle in terms of work. I must say that either these people are unaware of the business apps that are available in market or haven’t worked out how to use them to perfection. Yes I am talking about the VNC / RDP apps that are abundant in iTunes apps market. VMware has joined the bandwagon (in league with Citrix and Wyse) now making it bigger and better with their VMware view app for iPad.


RDP / VNC apps for iPad / iPhone / iPod

As this post is not a review on the RDP and VNC (Virtual Network Computing) apps that are available in the market, I am not presenting an exhaustive list here. The two apps I have given below are arguably the best in this category in the market

1. iTap RDP (Remote Desktop for Windows) By HLW – Paid App ($11.99) – Use this app to take RDP of your machine when you are connected to the local network. Or if you can get a public IP from your internet provider, you can set your laptop/desktop with a static IP and you can then access your machine from anywhere in the world from your ipad. Once connected you will actually be working on you laptop/desktop with its hardware resources!

2. Desktop Connect By Antecea Inc. – Paid App ($14.99) – This has the choice of either connecting through VNC or through RDP. The same idea of public IP holds good here too to make your machine available from anywhere in the world. One good feature about this app is that you can turn off the touchscreen option and then your whole ipad becomes the giant touch pad and can be used to control mouse pointer movements (if you have difficulty in point touching)

TeamViewer By TeamViewer – free App. I know that this app cannot be even mentioned in the same breath with the RDP / VNC apps but if you are not too freaky about security (when you accept team viewer policy it means you allow your session visibility to team viewer), this one will just suit the bill for accessing your machine over the internet. But the only drawback I can think of is that, you cannot log your machine off and team viewer must be left running all the time. So don’t go sharing the Partner id and password!

What does VMware view do?

vmware view for ipad desktop

The VMware view client for iPad that has been launched on Wednesday (9th March 2011) and will now enable enterprise users access their workstations from iPad (I can’t start imagining how happy my husband’s going to be about this). Simply put, if the virtual machines are available in the cloud in a data center, you can access them from your iPad using the FREE APP from VMware (VMware View for iPad By SpringSource). VMware likes to call this a ‘finely tuned solution’ with PCoIP protocol for a faster and smoother user experience – even over 3G!! This app is compatible with external bluetooth keyboard and external display.  With the latest iPad 2 boasting HDMi, the display can be over a wide screen LED TV.

Special features of VMware View App

vmware view for ipad iconOnce you have the app installed in your iPad, just click on the VMware view icon (middle icon in the bottom row) to connect to a virtual machine by entering its IP, followed by the username and password in the next screen.

The desktops that are provisioned to your user accounts will show up. Click on the one that you want to connect to and the desktop comes up on the ipad

The interesting feature that enhances the usability of this app is the drop down menu that appears on the top. From the drop down menu, you can choose the following options:

1. Keyboard: Opens up the keyboard for typing within applications such as Microsoft word from within the machine

2. Trackpad: Using this trackpad is similar to using the touchpad in any laptop. Controls the mouse pointer

3. vmware view for ipad drop down menuControl Pads: This opens up the control keys, function keys, alt keys and other usability buttons like page up and page down that is most commonly used in a windows machine. Interesting yeah!

4. Gesture Help: A Help on what gestures on iPad means what to the Virtual machine.

5. Options: From here you can choose the touchpad sensitivity and enable / disable tool tips.

6. Disconnect: Disconnect from the virtual machine using this button from drop down menu on top. You can reconnect to the virtual machine and start from where you left off from you ipad or from your workstation.


UPDATE: Check out VMware official blog on the VMware view app for iPad at VMware website – link here


I think this app comes as a boon to most of the business and enterprise users who have the maximum inclination to buying an iPad. Do you? Are you already using of RDP / VNC apps - What do you think of this app?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Android Malware Apps with Trojan Rootkit–Details of the Apps and how to protect your android from Malware Apps

Google has now come to face the biggest problems of open sourcing – malware apps are in circulation. These apps disguise themselves as if they are genuine and legitimate apps. More than 50 apps have been pulled from Android market after they were identified to have malicious code in them. Which means, if you download any of these apps, it will be automatically deleted from your phone. This malware attack has showcased one of the biggest weakness of Android OS – no app moderation. I had mentioned about the certificate errors that we were receiving on the pages for most of the apps in my post on the Cricket apps for android. Furthermore, when you choose to download and install an app from the website  it happens as smoothly as downloading it from the phone’s android market and there is absolutely no authorization prompted at the device end. Even my Nokia E51 (which is like a 3 yrs old model) has a second layer of authorization at the device level to install an app that was chosen from Nokia apps website!android apps malware

What does the malware App do?

Once you install one of the malware apps, it will root the device via rageagainstthecage or exploid. This can then steal the device data and the personal data and transmit it to a remote server when you will still be playing with the new free app! The details that are stolen are:



* Product ID

* Language

* Personal Details (like user ID and other data you have in the phone)

The scariest bit is that, it just not stops from stealing the data but, it acts as a open backdoor – which means, now more malicious code can be downloaded into your phone without your knowledge!

How do I protect my android?

Lifehacker has a detail post on how to tell if an app is a malware or not – this one is a worthy read to protect your phone from future attacks. However, if you already are a victim of this malware attack (Google did a great job of pulling out these apps in a matter of 5 minutes from the first report – though this deletes the app from the phone, it can do nothing about the malicious code that might have been already downloaded through the backdoor), then you have either of the following two options:

* Try doing a reset to factory defaults. Yes this means losing all the precious data and apps that you have collected so far, but there is no choice other than this.

* Taking the phone back to your service provider (hopefully they’ll replace it with a new phone)

What is remote disabling?

When I said Google had pulled these apps back, it means, these apps were deleted from the users phones without taking any permission from the users for doing so. Not that we are complaining for removing the malware, but this posed the bigger question of how Google can tamper with the apps of an user’s device without the permission from the user. It was not long ago that Amazon had to face the user’s wrath for remotely deleting a book from Kindle across the country. Apple also got into a tight spot for remotely disabling iPhones  that were running on unauthorized OS (Update: Apple has applied for patents to do this now). So it is another question that Google has to answer for

What are the malicious Android Apps?

There were 21 malicious apps by one publisher Myournet – this publisher has now been entirely removed from Android market

• Falling Down
• Super Guitar Solo
• Super History Eraser
• Photo Editor
• Super Ringtone Maker
• Super Sex Positions
• Hot Sexy Videos
• Chess
• Hilton Sex Sound
• Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
• Falling Ball Dodge
• Scientific Calculator
• Dice Roller
• 躲避弹球
• Advanced Currency Converter
• App Uninstaller
• 几何战机_PewPew
• Funny Paint
• Spider Man
• 蜘蛛侠

Apart from this list, there are 30 more identified to be malicious by the security app Lookout. These were by the publishers ‘Kingmall2010’ and ‘we20090202’

• owling Time
• Advanced Barcode Scanner
• Supre Bluetooth Transfer
• Task Killer Pro
• Music Box
• Sexy Girls: Japanese
• Sexy Legs
• Advanced File Manager
• Magic Strobe Light
• 致命绝色美腿
• 墨水坦克Panzer Panic
• 裸奔先生Mr. Runner
• 软件强力卸载
• Advanced App to SD
• Super Stopwatch & Timer
• Advanced Compass Leveler
• Best password safe
• 掷骰子
• 多彩绘画
• Finger Race
• Piano
• Bubble Shoot
• Advanced Sound Manager
• Magic Hypnotic Spiral
• Funny Face
• Color Blindness Test
• Tie a Tie
• Quick Notes
• Basketball Shot Now
• Quick Delete Contacts
• Omok Five in a Row
• Super Sexy Ringtones
• 大家来找茬
• 桌上曲棍球
• 投篮高手

As long as Google leaves the android apps market un-moderated, use your better sense when downloading and installing any apps. Take the necessary precautions and have the security app installed in your droid to add the extra layer of security!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The new iPad 2 (second generation iPad) features review and what is missing in iPad2

Lo and Behold! The much awaited gadget of the year – iPad 2, the second generation iPad was launched two days back and has put a full stop to all kinds of speculations about it. Steve Jobs (who still looks unwell) was clad in his trademark black turtleneck and blue Jeans to unveil the latest pride to the apple family.Being gadget freaks, that we are, we had our own set of expectations towards the next generation of this wonder gadget and was waiting eagarly to see how it was different from the generation 1 ipad.

For all those who are still saying, this is a redundant piece of gadget which is just tossed in the market to do what an iphone / laptop does, consider this – Will you want to take your laptop out every time you travel to watch a movie / presentation or would you rather prefer a tab? If you are answering that you’ll just be fine with a iPhone / smart phone my answer is this – I prefer to fly emirates rather than any other flight for just one reason – the in flight personal entertainment screen is by far the biggest among all the other international airlines. The name of the game is portability!ipad 2 features review

Lets get back to the iPad2 and its features:

Appearance and Aesthetics:

* Lighter and Thinner than the previous iPad version – 8.8 mm thick which is 35% lesser than iPad and weighs 1.3 lbs

* 9.7 inch screen (There were a lot of speculations that iPad 2 was shrinking to a 7 inch screen – thankfully this speculation was wrong)

* LED backlit, multi touch display with Finger print resistant oleophobic coating – in short the same as in iPad. With iPhone 4 in circulation with Retina display, I almost 99% believed the speculation that iPad 2 was getting retina display as well. Really disappointed here.

Hardware Features:

* A5 processor (Dual core) with 1 GHz speed

* iOS 4.3

* 9 times better graphics than previous version

* 10 hr battery (inbuilt again)

* Dual Camera

           -  Rear camera is good – has video recording capacity of 720p HD at 30 fps.

           -  Front cam-VGA (WTH! who uses VGA these days? Even iPhone4 has 1.2MP front cam)

* Bluetooth 2.1

* Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n

* HDMi Port (the only worthy enhancement) – charge as you watch when connected to TV

Usability Features:

* In built new Photobooth App for photo modification

* Facetime enabled

* Stream media over network

* HSUPA – Uploads over 3G gets faster and better


The product is priced same as the iPad. But some better sense has prevailed that those who got a new iPad within the past 14 days are eligible to get a $100 refund as the previous versions prices have been slashed down.  This was something that I liked!

Size Wi-Fi only Wi-Fi & 3G
16 GB $499 $629
32 GB $599 $729
64 GB $699 $829


iPad2 will be released to US users on 11th March. UK user can experience iPad2 from 25th March and just as was the case with iPad gen1, India has no dates yet (I hope it does not take 8 months like iPad)

Will you buy an iPad 2
Absolutely Yes - I love the brand
Nope, am happy with my iPad
I'd buy Xoom/Galaxy tab
Definitely No! I hate the gadget explosion free polls

The Disappointments:

No Retina Display

May be this will be incorporated in iPad 3

No SD Card Slot

Well this was mostly expected as Apple markets with price slabs corresponding to its internal memory size and having a SD card will beat that purpose. Nevertheless, it would have been a delight to have had the feature

No USB / mini USB

I still can’t see why Apple doesn’t have this. It is a pain to keep syncing only using itunes. I hope the designers get this in place in iPad3

No Near Field Communication (NFC)

Come on!!! Android 2.3 has this. Is apple trying to compete with Honeycomb or not?

No 4G

With 4G being the next in-thing, I can’t accept iPad 2 doesn’t have it already.

To me this release of iPad seems to be way before what their actual schedule must have been. It misses most of the features that most of us were nearly 99% sure it’d have. Not sure if it was pushed before its time just so that Steve Jobs can present it to the world himself (?!) When Steve said that iPad2 was going to get the other designers ‘back to their drawing boards again’, I found it hard to believe as I see much better features and display aspects in its competitors. Well, if iPad 2 still emerges the winner among its contemporaries, it'll purely be due to the ‘Apple’ brand power.

So what do you think? Are you happy with the iPad 2 or would you have not minded to wait few more months to have all the other features included in it (like me)