Review: Nomad Chargekey for Lightning Devices

nomad logo

All of us have faced a situation where we ran out of battery on our iPhone and looked around for a charger and never found one. At such a time we wonder if there can be a charger that we can always have. There are the two things that we mostly never forget – our wallet and our keys. Nomad has come up with these innovative USB chargers which can fit in your wallet (the chargecard) and in your keychain (the chargekey). Nomad sent us a chargekey to review. Read on to find out how we found it.

Design

nomad chargekey

The chargekey is made of 2 hard plastic parts joined together by a flexible yet robust stem in the middle. One part has a slot which you can use to put it in the keychain. It also houses  the lightning connector which goes in your phone. The other part has a naked USB port which goes into a USB charger or your laptop’s USB port. The flexible stem in the middle makes this product really unique and awesome. The flexible stem is so robust, that no matter what way you bend it, it never snaps!

The design is minimalistic in terms of volume and weight. The chargekey weighs much less that an actual key and will not add any bulk to your keychain. The only issue one might have is with the angled lightning connector which will force you to keep your phone at an angle which is not very ideal for using it simultaneously. Unfortunately, USB port connectors are not reversible. So uou might have to use it on the USB ports to the left of the keyboard on your laptop to keep it at a usable angle.

As far as durability is concerned, this is by far the most durable iPhone charger I have seen till date.

Usage

chargekey in a keyring

I took the chargekey on a trip with me. The trip involved traveling by road and train. During the whole trip, I always had the chargekey on me to be able to charge my phone anywhere. During travel, the phone discharges much faster due to lack of signal strength. I used the chargekey on almost every leg of my journey and at various places that I stayed, and it performed pretty well everywhere.

I even used it with a USB charger on the power sockets provided in the Indian Railways train compartments with my iPhone hanging out. And the bending stem did not give up!

The chargekey is not just a charger. It is a USB 2.0 sync cable as well. Although you will most likely be using it as just a charging device. That is perfectly fine as we seldom sync our iPhones with our computers these days.

Packaging

The packaging of the product impressed me a lot. Nomad has gone really above and beyond to design a super awesome packaging for their products.

nomad packing envelope closed

The product comes in an intelligently designed envelope which is really simple to open.

nomad packing envelope opened

When you open the envelope, you will find the product glued to the envelope using a sticky gel (which does not stick to the product after its removed). You will also find ways to earn free products from them. Nomad also accepts barter as a payment mechanism. So you can actually tell them what you want to barter for any of their products and if they like it, they might make the exchange!

Conclusion

The chargekey is a super useful little tool that will surely give you your money’s worth. Its priced at $29 a piece and if you order two or more of them, you get free international shipping! I found the product to be a very robust item with an intelligent and thought through design.  I will recommend this product to anyone who faces the dire need of a charger and can’t find one in the vicinity. And at $29 a piece, it is very reasonable priced.

Here is How You Can Edit Your Facebook Lookback Movie

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So you loved your facebook lookback movie? But are there some photos or posts in there which you would rather replace with something else? Now you can. Facebook is letting you edit your lookback movie in a few clicks. And you don’t need to have any video editing skills in order to do that.

Head on to https://www.facebook.com/lookback/edit/ and you will see your current movie on top of the page followed by posts/photo options for the 3 sections of the movie. All you need to do is select/de-select based on your preference. Note that you cannot select more than the permitted number of items in each section. So, if you have reached the full selection limit, you need to de-select a few items in order to select new ones. Make sure to use the forward & backward buttons on the top right corner of each section to look at more posts or photos eligible for each section.

Once done, scroll up and click play. The movie should play with your new content (some content might load slowly). And if you want to share your edited movie, click on the share button on the top right of the page.

[via BGR.in]

Satya Nadella is Microsoft’s 3rd CEO

microsoft logo

Putting an end to the speculations, Microsoft has announced that Satya Nadella will be the 3rd CEO of the company succeeding Steve Ballmer.

satya nadella

Satya, born in Hyderabad, India is 46 years old and feels honored, humbled and excited with his new role. He has spent 22 years at Microsoft and feels that Microsoft has talent, resources and perseverance – everything that is required for a company to change the world.

Here is Satya’s first interview as the CEO:

Facebook Completes 10 Years Today

facebook-logo

Our beloved facebook is celebrating its 10th Anniversary today. The ubiquitous social network was launched 10 years ago from a Harvard dorm room.

To help its users celebrate this event, facebook team has come up with a personalized video feature which is unique to each users. Visiting https://www.facebook.com/lookback will show you the personalized video that has been created using your facebook data since you joined facebook. The video is rendered using an algorithm designed by the facebook team which supposedly picks your best moments and puts them together in a video like below:

Please note: In case you get a Page Not Found error on opening the above link, try again after a few minutes. Once you hit the URL, facebook will begin rendering your video and it should be available after a few minutes. Facebook is in the process of rolling out this feature in phases so as to avoid overloading its servers. But hitting the URL should speed up the process and your video should be available in a few minutes.

[via The Verge]

TataSky Adds 6 new HD channels, Now Beams a Total of 24 HD Channels

tatasky hd logo

In a surprising move, TataSky has added 6 HD channels on its DTH platform taking the total HD channel count on the platform to 24. The new channels are Life OK HD, ZStudio HD, CNBC TV Prime HD, Sun HD, Gemini TV HD and Sony Six HD on channel numbers 108, 348, 512, 703, 749 and 420.

TataSky HD Channels as on Feb 2014

TataSky had been struggling with HD capacity in the past and seem to have overcome the technical restrictions limiting it from adding new HD channels on its platform. The operator also added India’s first 3D on demand movie channel showing movies like Avengers and Planes in 3D for customers having 3D capable TVs on 31st December 2013.

The addition of these 6 HD channels should also pacify many subscribers who had been upset with the operator’s last move, where it added 3 HD channels (Star World Premiere HD, HBO Defined & HBO Hits) under the specials category so as to avoid giving those channels as part of the Mega HD pack which promises all current and future HD channel availability. The new channels have been added as regular channels and should be available to the subscribers of the Mega HD packs.

Apple Starts a New Era of Free Software

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In addition to launching the new iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display a few weeks back, Apple also launched their latest desktop operating system – OS X Mavericks. What was interesting to note is the fact that Apple is distributing the software for free to all the users who have compatible hardware and required pre-requisite software (you can even update from Snow Leopard).

Furthermore, Apple announced that all of its apps will be free to download from the App Stores on any new devices purchased. This includes latest versions of all their iLife and iWork apps on the Mac App Store and the iOS App Store. They also seem to be giving away full version of any app for which you might have a trial version or a pirated version!

This move by Apple is surprising to a certain extent given that their apps have been on the top of the leaderboards across all the App Stores. Giving up a steady and predictable source of income is never easy and must have took a good amount of time to convince the board of directors to approve the same.

However, the move is not totally unfathomable, given that all the tech companies around the world are beginning to understand that consumers generally aren’t ready to pay for software as much as they are ready to pay for hardware. Even people who buy the latest & highest capacity iPhones, iPads & Mac without a blink act thrifty when buying Apps from the App Stores. And there is nothing wrong in that. When you buy hardware, you buy something physical which you can hold and admire. You can’t do that with Software. Apple’s hardware is uniquely of superb quality. They pay a lot of attention to detail and spend a lot of time researching the best possible way of making anything. The result is that every time they exceed their customers’ expectation.

Software from Apple follows the same design philosophy and is usually minimalistic. It just works and hides any unnecessary controls or interface from the user unless absolutely required. When the iOS was first revealed in 2007, the utter simplicity & intuitiveness of the operating system awed everyone and it sold like anything. 6 years down the line, both simplicity and intuitiveness are now ubiquitous in whatever Apple does.

Until a few years back, the norm was that you buy hardware and add software to it to be able to do stuff. That scene is changing. With tablets and smartphone which are pre loaded with powerful operating systems, people expect their devices to be able to do certain things out of the box when they buy them. And the list of those things keeps growing.

While others fail to understand this, Apple is probably betting on the fact that bundling free apps with their hardware is going to attract more customers. And they are not wrong. Whenever I recommend a mac to anyone looking to buy a new laptop, the first question they ask is “Will it open my office documents?”. Well, with a free copy of Pages, Numbers & Keynote, you bet it will!

So any loss of revenue due to giving away these apps for free will be easily compensated by increased sales of their hardware. Its simple math! Its a new era of free software and it does look good for anyone sitting in front of a Mac, iPhone or an iPad.

Watch this Amazing Xbox One Launch Ad

xbox one

Microsoft’s Xbox One team has done an amazing job with this launch ad that we feel you should definitely see. It portrays the purpose of the device in the most awesome way in our opinion:

Why is Apple Still Selling the iPad 2?

iPad 2

Apple launched 2 new iPads at their event on 22nd October 2013. An obvious question that popped in everyone’s mind after the event was why are they still selling the iPad 2 even when its 3 generation behind the current one. Why have they discontinued the (relatively) newer generation models of the iPad and still keeping one that is more than 2 years old? What is more surprising is the fact that it is being sold at the same price as the new iPad mini with the retina display ($399). Considering the much faster specs of the iPad mini and retina display, it is difficult to fathom why anyone would like to buy the iPad 2 at the same price.

The answer is simple: Education & Corporate customers. iPad 2 was a huge success owing to the great response received by the iPad. So much so that many educational, healthcare and corporate institutions jumped up to deploy iPads in their ecosystem. Many government institution also sanctioned iPads in government schools and offices.

Now these bulk orders, especially the ones coming from government organization have a lengthy process before the procurement can be done. Typically, tenders are invited from vendors and then after many approvals, procurement is done. Any change in the product needs to go through the same process again.

This is probably why Apple is keeping the iPad 2 running. There are probably many educational, government and corporate orders running which need iPad 2 to be procured in bulk. Until these contracts are renewed for a newer version of the iPad, Apple will most likely continue selling the iPad 2.

Another set of customers this might cater to is the customers on a tight budget who prefer big screen over any other spec in the device. These customer will most likely prefer to buy the iPad 2 over iPad mini just because of its larger screen because they don’t care about how fast the device runs. They just need the tablet with the largest screen.

Apple Launches iPad Air & iPad Mini with Retina Display

ipad air

Apple launched the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display at their press event on October 22, 2013. The iPad Air is the new flagship model in the iPad line which boasts some very impressive specs:

  • A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor
  • FaceTime HD camera
  • 5 MP iSight camera
  • 1080p video recording
  • 10 hours battery life
  • Weight: 1 pound

What is impressive is that Apple has managed to juice up the power, reduce the size & weight and still maintain a 10 hours battery life. The new iPad follows the form factor of the iPad Mini with thinner bezel on the sides. The name air comes from the incredible light weight of the device. The iPad Air is priced at the same price points as the previous generation iPad.

ipad mini with retina display

Apple also announced the iPad Mini with retina display at the event. According to Tim Cook, retina display was the most demanded feature in the iPad Mini from their customers. The new iPad Mini packs exactly the same features as the iPad Air and differs just in size and weight. The iPad Mini weighs at an impressive 0.73 pounds making it extremely light. It is kept at a starting price of $399 for the 16GB WiFi only model.

What was surprising was the fact that the mini is now as powerful as the air. In other words, the iPad Mini upgrade has skipped a generation. It was previously powered by the A5 processor and has now jumped to A7, skilling the A6 family. It also boasts of all the features of iPad Air. So it is basically just about your personal preference now. I personally prefer the iPad Mini just because of it small, yet extremely appropriate size. With the same battery life and the amazing retina display, it will be very difficult to choose one out of the two for many people.

Apple is also continuing the iPad Mini without the retina display at a starting price of $299. Apparently, iPad 2 also lives on with a starting price of $399.

No word yet on India launch and prices. We will keep you posted. Stay tuned.

Official iPhone 5c and 5s prices in India

iPhone 5s    iPhone 5c

Apple has announced November 1st 2013 as the launch date for its latest iPhone 5c and 5s in India. It is no coincidence that the dates fall in the Diwali week, a time when Indians spend money to buy new stuff every year. They have also announced the official prices for the phones:

  • iPhone 5c 16GB: INR 41,900
  • iPhone 5c 32GB: INR 53,500
  • iPhone 5s 16GB: INR 53,500
  • iPhone 5s 32GB: INR 62,500
  • iPhone 5s 64GB: INR 71,500

We did expect a steep pricing of the iPhones this time given the falling rupee, however, what we do not understand is the huge difference of price with the memory bump. For all the previous iPhones, the difference between the price of 16GB and 32GB was not as much as it is this time. And with the reducing cost of memory chips, it is still unclear why Apple has increased the price difference.

Another thing to note is that the unlocked iPhone 5s is available at the same price as the iPhone 5 in the US. So it is not clear why there is such a huge difference in the price of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s in India, even after considering the import duties. Even if we convert the price of iPhone 5s 16GB ($649) to Indian Rupees, it comes out to be INR 40,000 approx. In our opinion, the taxes and other duties cannot be that much that the price has to be set at INR 53,500. 

Something to feel good about is the fact that the iPhone 5c 16GB is being sold at a lower price than the iPhone 5. Given that it is technically better than the iPhone 5, it clearly shows that making plastic shells for iPhones is a lot cheaper for Apple.

Apple will also continue selling the iPhone 4S 8GB in India at a revised price of INR 31,500. Cases for the iPhone 5S will be available for INR 3,200 and those for the iPhone 5C will be available for INR 2,300.

RCom and Airtel have announced that they will be carrying the new iPhones in India at launch. Airtel has even started pre booking of the phone (in store only).

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