Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nexus One in India - First Impressions

No - the Google Nexus One is not yet available in India. BUT I did manage to get one shipped to India (thanks to a friend).

Of course the Nexus One was not for me. Now why would you think that? It is, and always was, intended for the formidable better half :-). As a gift. (As are all the gadgets that I end up fancying).

So I got the phone last Friday - gift wrapped it in a fancy box, and sprung it on her (she did not know that I had bought the phone, so it was a good surprise - the additional diamond earrings in the box had nothing to do with that ;-).

Installation was a breeze - though I do not have data enabled on the service plan - I was able to insert the Airtel SIM card easily and switched it on. Got a signal almost immediately - which was very surprising considering the signal quality at our house is pretty flaky. Will most likely switch to Idea Cellular as Idea's data network seems to be pretty reliable.

Here is a list of first "impressions". A quick interview with the missus gave the following points

  • Feels good to carry around (won't be surprised there, as the last phone was an ancient Nokia 6610i)
  • Gorgeous Display!
  • Fast (snappy), responsive
  • Gmail experience is good
  • Search (esp. phone numbers) is very handy
  • Applications are very intuitive (call log, contacts, etc)

Not Like:
  • Unlocking takes a bit getting used to (can't really do it fast)
  • Need to press the top ringer button to switch the phone on (from standby) - unlike the iPhone/iPod touch where you press the home button.
  • No pinch zooming (lack of multi-touch sucks)
  • Google Voice app disappeared once I put the SIM card in (as Google Voice is not supported in India). I will try the Truphone app though - and see how that works.

All in all she seems very pleased with it. So these were the first impressions. Will follow this with a detailed review once I get her to switch to Idea (waiting for MNP) and enable data.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad - Quickview at specs

- 9.7 inch IPS display
- .5 inch thick/thin
- 1GHz Apple A4 chip (yes - that is Apple's own newly designed chip)
- 16GB to 64 GB Flash storage
- 10 Hours battery life
- 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- Accelerometer, Compass
- Speaker, Microphone, 30-pin connector
- iPhone Apps work straight off (including in a pixel-double mode - basically doubling the pixels and hence the screen size)
Update: Wifi + 3G (GSM unlocked with new micro SIMs)
STARTS at $499!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16GB - $499
16GB with 3G - $629
Accessories - Keyboard and Doc - Image Courtesy Engadget.

Tablets and Slates

Wow ! The hype and the news on the soon-to-be-announced iTablet / iSlate is really amazing.

The latest I read is here -

If this is what it is - then "meh".

Trending topic on twitter

Monday, January 18, 2010

Podcasts - Or How I keep my sanity while driving...

Driving in India is, to put it mildly, stressful and chaotic (understatement) - more so in the city of Pune which is seeing unstructured unprecedented un-whatever growth (basically more of everything on the roads).

Although my commute to office is 20 minutes at most - I realized that I missed listening to the radio while driving in the US (the local Pune FM radio stations are not per my listening tastes, basically making me feel OLD). I primarily listened to NPR in the US.  So that got me on a quest to see if I could start listening to some of the shows that I enjoyed there. I pulled out my old iPod mini (1st generation) plugged it into iTunes and set about subscribing to podcasts (iTunes + iPod is the easiest way to go about this).

Here's what's on my podcast subscription list:

- Wait wait don't tell me! - A really amazing radio show that is an "informative news quiz" show with some great news & media personalities at their humourous best! There hasn't been a single podcast that hasn't got me chuckling... A tip though - Keeping current with what's happening in the US helps in "getting the jokes".

- WNYC's Radio Lab - Another great show - on very insightful topics  - ranging from Animal minds to great things about Numbers. I've recently started listening to this based on Seth Godin's recommendation. In his own words "The content of each show is a unique mix of science, pop culture and relevance. I guarantee that they will make you smarter. That's a lot to promise for a radio show, but I think it's true."

- NPR Technology podcast - Allows me to listen to interesting things happening on the tech side (that's what this blog is supposed to be anyway about). If you've listened to NPR before - this is basically "All Tech Considered" from the "All Things Considered". Good weekly snapshot on happenings in the tech world.

- CarTalk - If you are a car buff - you will enjoy the lively "Click and Clack" brothers dishing out advice on cars, car repairs and troubleshooting! Guaranteed to put you in a lighter mood!

Other subscriptions including WSJ's daily tech briefing and the occasional NPR's fresh air!

My driving has definitely gotten better! Try it - you wouldn't be disappointed, it will, at the least, make you smarter!