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This is the Apple Watch

apple watch logo

In addition to launching the iPhone 6, Apple also introduced its brand new product line – the Apple Watch.

apple watch

The Apple watch is a wearable device which comes in 2 sizes – 38mm and 42mm. The crown, or as apple calls it – digital crown, is the new way of interacting with the watch without blocking the screen. The watch also offers a touch screen – so don’t worry, you are covered there. The touch screen is an advanced capacitive & resistive screen which can differentiate between a tap and a press. So you can use different modes for different actions.

apple watch straps

In addition to offering various watch faces, the watch will be capable of making and receiving phone calls, Sending and receiving text messages & providing some Siri functions. Apple has also built in an intelligent algorithm that can figure out the message context and give you pre-populated replies to tap onto instead of having to type them in – which is really cool.

The watch also features something called as Digital Touch which allows you to communicate with your selective friends in weird new ways. You can read more about them here.

apple watch sensors

The watch is also an always on fitness monitor with various sensors on the back that monitor your heartbeat. Coupled with the inbuilt accelerometer and GPS and WiFi from an iPhone, it can record various types of physical activity data that you can use to track your fitness activities. There are various fitness apps that will be available on the watch for all kinds of users.

The watch will also be able to give you a tactile feedback similar to a tap on your wrist. And there can be different types of taps for different types of notifications. This is going to be great as we definitely need some filtering when notifications are coming to our wrists.

In addition to the above features, the watch will also support the Apple Pay features and you can do merchant transactions by brining your watch closer to the mobile enabled merchant terminals.

The Apple Watch will be available in early 2015 at a starting price of $349. At this entry price, it is certainly going to be a premium product, however, it does look like the first smart watch which seems to have understood the concept of how smart watches should work. In Tim Cook’s words – we have not shrunk an iPhone into a watch. This is really important as no one wants to interact with their watches (or fitness trackers) the way they interact with their phones. A new, innovative way to interact with such devices was needed and the digital crown coupled with the advanced touchscreen seems to be the right way to do it. 

PickParcel.com Will Pick up Your Parcels From Your Home

pickparcel logo

PickParcel.com is a new startup which lets you schedule pick up from your home for a shipment you want to send across India. They also offer discounted rates from major courier services in India. The process is simple – You specify where you want to ship from, where you want to ship to and the weight of the parcel. Pickparcel will display various available rates from major courier services which service that sector. They divide the rates into sections based on shipping speeds. From here, you can make a choice and fill in the remaining details & schedule a free pickup of the shipment from your home/office.

The concept is not new and there have been sites which have offered this service in the past. Most courier companies are beginning to offer scheduling of home pick up through their websites. However, it is very difficult to compare the rates from different vendors for various shipping speeds. This is where pickparcel offers the most value to consumers. The business model probably relies on having bulk shipment deals set up with the courier companies with considerably lower rates than a standard shipment from the outlet. Even after including their profit margin, if pickparcel is able to offer home pick up at no additional cost, it should have a sustainable business model. 

All About Amazon’s Fire Phone

amazon fire phone

Amazon has announced the much rumored fire phone in the US. It will be available at a price of USD 199 with an at&t service plan for 2 years. The unlocked version of the phone is priced at USD 649. Note that these prices are for the 32 GB variants of the phone. This pricing is part of amazon’s aggressive campaign to drive sales of the phone. In addition to the above pricing, amazon is also offering a full year of amazon prime membership when you purchase the phone (existing prime users get their membership extended by one year).
 
amazon fire phone
 
The phone runs on Amazon’s android based Fire OS version 3.5 and offers some really innovative features which will surely entice a lot of users:

Dynamic Perspective

This feature gives an immersive user experience to the user enabling them to tilt, auto-scroll, swivel, and peek to navigate menus and access shortcuts with one hand. For example – When you are reading a long email, just tilt the phone to automatically scroll the content. Precise sensors will help you control the scroll speed & direction.

Firefly

This is like Google Goggles. This feature uses the phone’s camera to identify text, music, pictures & products sold on amazon.com. Just point your phone and press the firefly button to let the phone give you options about the object you are seeing.

Mayday

This is going to be a big hit. The dedicated Mayday button on the phone lets you connect with an amazon expert via live video (one sided – they won’t be able to see you). This service is totally free 24×7 365 days a year. Amazon’s goal is to respond to a Mayday request within 15 seconds. In addition to troubleshooting your issues, the amazon expert will also be remotely able to control your phone to do the task for you. They will also have the ability to draw on your screen to guide you what to do. If this feature works as promised, it might just bring a revolution to customer care.
 
amazon fire phone mayday
 
In addition to the above features, the phone boasts of 4.7’’ HD LCD display & a 13MP advanced camera system with 1080p video recording, optical image stabilization and free unlimited photo storage in the amazon cloud. The phone is powered by a 2.2 Ghz quad core processor and comes with a Dolby powered audio engine & flat cable magnetic tangle free ear buds.
 
The fire phone is available for pre order on amazon.com in 32GB and 64GB variants and ships on July 25 in the US.

Flipkart Launches Android Based Tablet in India

digiflip pro logo

flipkart logo

Mega online retailer Flipkart has launched an Android tablet in India. Launched under the Flipkart owned Digiflip Pro brand, the XT712 tablet, priced at INR 9,999 comes in two colors – black & white and offers comparable specs to tablets fro HP, Lenovo & Samsung. Here is a quick list of the tablet’s configuration:

  • 1.3 Ghz QuadCore Processor
  • 3G Dual Sim with voice calling support
  • 1280 X 800 7 inch IPS screen
  • 5MP rear camera with LED flash
  • 2MP front camera
  • 16GB internal storage, microSD upto 32 GB
  • Dimensions: 113.7 x 185.3 x 9.2 mm
  • Weight: 285g

flipkart tablet XT 712

Flipkart is offering the following offers in order to promote the tablet’s sale in India:

  • Discounts worth INR 5000 when shopping on flipkart using the app on the tablet (Conditions apply)
  • Free eBooks worth INR 2300 (The eBooks are pre-selected by flipkart)
  • 20% off on tablet’s book case

The tablet seems like a good alternative to people looking for an affordable stock Android tablet. However, be aware that this tablet comes with Android Jellybean 4.2.2 which is super outdated (introduced in Feb 2013). Furthermore, the discount offers seem to have a big catch and might not be useful for most customers.

[via Flipkart.com]

Uber Launches Low Cost Uber X in India

uber logo

Premium on call cab service Uber has launched its (relatively) cheaper service Uber X in 3 cities in India. The service is available in New Delhi, Bangalore & Hyderabad and offers a cheaper alternative with the same benefits that the Uber black service offers. The only noticeable difference is the type of car that you will ride in. While Uber black offers a premium fleet of cars, Uber X uses economy to premium economy cars. Here is the rate for Uber X in India:

  uberX
Base Fare
start with this fare
INR 50
Per Kilometre
distance covered
INR 15
Per Minute
time taken in minutes
INR 2
Minimum Fare INR 150

And here are some sample fares:

Safdarjung Enclave to Khan Market  INR 181 – 213
Vasant Vihar to Cyber City INR 343 – 395
Airport Terminal 3 to New Friends Colony INR 531 – 612

*Actual fares may vary due to traffic, weather, and other factors.

As you can see, Uber X is considerable cheaper than Uber black and should be a nice option for a more broader target audience. In order to book an Uber, you will need the Uber app.

[via Uber Blog]

 

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:

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).

Get Ready for Smart Electricity Meters in India

smart electric meters

Government has launched smart electricity meters in Delhi which will enable the consumers to monitor electricity usage in real time for different devices and save on their energy bills. The meters, in addition to being super accurate in reporting electricity usage, will be capable of informing consumers about electricity rates at different times of the day. Government is preparing to launch peak and non peak tariffs which will help consumers in lowering their electricity bills and help the power companies in distributing the power generation efficiently throughout the day.

Smart meters which are popular in developed countries can enable consumers to remotely monitor the current usage at their homes. They also enable the power companies to switch off selective appliances during emergency hours. Additionally, the power companies will be able to get a much more accurate understanding of consumers’ usage patterns and manage their generation accordingly so as to minimize the wastage of energy.

[via ET]

Get your 3rd Party USB Power Adapter Replaced with an Apple one for INR 839

apple usb adapter

Apple is running a USB power adapter replacement program globally where you can take a 3rd party USB power adapter to your nearest apple reseller and they will replace it with a new apple USB power adapter at a special price.

The program aims at replacing unsafe or counterfeit usb power adapters which might be potentially unsafe for the users of apple devices. Since it is not easy to test the safety of an adapter, apple is just replacing them with their own adapters at a reduced price. Normally, apple adapters are priced much higher than this special price.

The program is currently running in India and apple is replacing 3rd party USB adapters with apple ones for a special price of INR 839. Note that this replacement program is meant for apple device owners and you have to carry your iPhone, iPod or iPad along with the 3rd party adapter to get a replacement at the special price. Only one adapter will be replaced per device. They will validate your device’s serial number and provide a replacement. You also have to give them your 3rd party adapter for disposal.

The program will be running through October 18, 2013 in India. You can find more details here.

[via apple.com]

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