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Micro-USB is going out

24 Jul

And it is making way for the new and promising USB-C connector. I was ignoring this development until I bought Xiaomi Mi5 (upgraded from Xiaomi Mi4) and the new phone came with a different type of connector. 

My initial reaction was why do I now need to have a different cable for my phone after all these years of peace when I could plug-in any micro usb cable for data transfer or charging. 

I went online and found that instead of being an irritant, this new connector at one end of the same cable is the next big thing in phone world. The first advantage that I read and then checked with my phone is that the connector need not be flipped to align with the phone correctly. USB Type C is reversible, i.e there is no top side to it. This is an advantage mainly in the dark when you are trying to plug in your phone to charge overnight and it’s not going in. But there are more advantages to it, otherwise why will someone just change the whole thing ao that people can easily put thier phone to charge in the dark!

As I plugged in to charge, it took just 90 minutes for a full charge and I said wow! That’s cool! So, this is the first cable which is geared for power and not just charging. My phone has a 3000 mAh battery. Tabketsand power banks have even larger batteries and it is important that they charge quickly but safely. USB Type C connectors supporting USB 3.1 standard bridges that gap between the ever growing size of batteries and the rates at which it can be charged.

It betters the old cable in data transfer rates as well. It supports USB 3.1 which support a blazing 10 gigabits per second. So transferrimg movies to the phone storage to watch during the flight will be done in a jiffy.

Now, all this is good. But I will not be able to use cables and chargers borrowed from others at office! What I understood from reading online reviews is that soon others will be using USB Type C too as most manufacturers are adopting it because of the impressive list of advantages. Even Apple famed at its proprietary cables are changing to USB Type C both for charging and data transfer in their laptops. As more and more devices adopt USB Type C, there will be again peace in the world and you can use any of your cables and use them on your phone, laptoo or tablet till in 3-4 years you get something new again. Let’s hope it goes wireless next time.

Adobe Reader now best .pdf reader for WP8

19 Aug

Finally, the folks at Adobe spares some time for the WP8 platform. The much awaited feature of being able to open .pdf files from SD Card is added with the latest update.
Now, I can organize my .pdf files in multiple levels of folders inside the SD Card and access the same for the Adobe app.
Everything works smooth. I tested on number of files. It only failed to open a 650MB scanned Calvin Hobbes Comic which I understand must be a issue with the file size. Otherwise, I feel happy now that I can open all my pdf on my phone.

Just a test of the WordPress app on WP8

9 Jun

The WordPress app on Windows Phone 8. I like that it can be used on landscape mode when you move to typing in the body of the post after keying in the title. Let me see whether I enjoy using this app to cover my upcoming tour.

5 Apps I use most

14 Oct

ICS has this nice feature which allows you to arrange the apps in “Most Used” order. This is helpful as it keeps the apps I am most likely to open on the first page. This makes accessing the most used apps more faster.

So, if I ignore Phone and Messaging, which are the apps I use most?

The first is Facebook. I am almost addicted to it. When I am not updating my status messaging, I am going through the News Feed. It keeps me updated about what my equally Facebook crazy friends are up-to. With the latest update of the app, it is now possible to chat with online Facebook friends from inside the app only.

The next most used app is Gmail. No surprise there. I likely the new look of the Gmail app in ICS. It is extremely easy to use.

Then I have the TOI app. This app from Times of India keeps me abreast of the latest happenings in India and elsewhere. The app is regularly updated and everytime I open it, there is usually something new. Even the City section, where I check news on Kolkata, is also updated quite often.

Firefox come in at the fourth place. Firefox is miles ahead of the native browser even in ICS. I especially like the UI. The Android Add-ons are of not much help though with not many good options available. I also have Chrome installed but prefer Firefox.

Twitter is at the fifth place.

Android ICS finally

14 Oct

Just a few days I finally got to upgrade my Sony Xperia U to Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich or just ICS as it is popularly known. I was a bit worried whether the phone will slow down after the upgrade. I had feedback coming from a few friends that the upgrade is a disaster for lower end phones with 512 MB RAM. One of them who was using a Sony Xperia NEO L got the phone downgraded after being fed up with the phone became irritatingly slow! But I had to check out ICS hands-on and it was also recommended by Sony, so I went for it.

The upgrade is quite swift and straight-forward. The phone needs to be connected using USB cable with your PC installed with Sony PC Companion. The software download takes some time depending on the internet connection speed. Right before the upgrade, a warning popups that ICS may be slowing down your phone as it demands a higher resources than your current Android version, but I chose to ignore it as I had already taken the plunge. The actual upgrade takes only a few minutes. The best part is no personal data or settings are lost and you also dont need to re-install any apps. Continue reading

Google Sites Custom URL

3 Oct

It is really a pain to get the Custom URL working in Google Sites. If you are caught in the dreaded loop of ” this address is already in use” while trying to map “www” of your custom domain to the landing page of the site you have created on Google Sites, you are set to spend the next few hours trying to getting it working unless you are lucky. Everytime I tried to do this with my sites, I got stuck.

There are a number of Google product forum pages as well as personal sites trying to help out with a lot of detail. But, I have unearthed a stupid workaround while rummaging through the heap of information available which works in my cases. I am posting it here more as a personal reference in case I get stuck again later on.

1. Go to

2. Set the google pages url to www Continue reading


Forced back to Android

1 Jul

I lost my phone last Thursday. Infact it was stolen by some magician thief through the open window of my car while I was stuck at a traffic signal while driving home from work.

I was loving my Samsung Omnia I 8530 Windows Phone. The 3 things that I liked specially about windows phone had to be the fantastic display, cool new and refreshing metro UI and the Wordament game. I was getting quite addicted to the game. Unfortuantely, it is yet to be released for the Android platform. Although I am not all a gamer, I had the feel that Windows Phone was better geared towards gaming than Android. I read quite afew online reviews which agreed with me.

I had to get a new phone. The new Xperia NXT series from the rejuvenated Sony stable had my eyes fixated from some time and I had to go for the Sony Xperia U affordably priced at INR 16,499. More on the new phone soon.

Windows Phone 7.5: Few things missed out

29 May

I recently replaced my Samsung Galaxy Fit running Android Honeycomb with Samsung Omnia  W I8350 running Windows Phone 7.5 or Mango as it is popularly known. I was looking for a good looking phone with a better camera with flash. I found the Omnia meeting my expectations and within my budget. This is my second try with Microsoft’s mobile operating system. I had earlier used a Samsung OmniaPro B7320 and my experience was good. My brother is still using that phone.Samsung Omnia W I8350

My initial hands-on reaction to the Metro UI of Windows Phone Mango was it was a refreshingly new look, a fun departure from the old and dated icons concept in Android and other existing mobile operating systems. However, after using it for the first few hours, I found a few essential things missing which I had grown used to while using Android. These were little things but key aides to making using the Android features easier. Continue reading

WordPress App for Android

22 Apr

I am right now posting this from the update WordPress App for Android from Automatic. The dashboard interface is a bit odd with just icons. There are no description attached to the icons and I had to check each icon to figure what exactly they are for. Also, when I am creating a new post from my Samsung Galaxy fit, the text box hardly allows me to see what I am typing in the landscape mode as most if the screen is occupied by the on-screen keyboard. This makes editing the posts almost impossible.
Hope automatic quickly fixes this and releases a new version.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Android ebook Readers

27 Jun

Suddenly I have taken to reading books, novels that is! I have installed a app called FBreader from Android Marketplace and now using my phone to read whatever I can get hold of! I just finished the The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie and now started her other novel The Secret Adversary. The first one happens to be Christie’s first published novel and introduces Hercule Poirot and the next one introduces the duo of Tommy and Tuppence.

There is also a Kindle app for Android. I guess it is the most popular of the android ebook reader apps. I have installed it and I like the look and feel of the app which seems to have a lot of more functionality than the basic FBreader. I have not tried it out much though. I plan to continue my reading and may buy a few titles from for the Kindle app.

I have to say I am enjoying reading. FBreader allows increasing the font size to a level it cannot put much strain on the eyes. The problem is finding a good source of free ebooks. The titles available for free are mostly classics. But I have got the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and few works of Edgar Allan Poe for free and its waiting in queue after I finish The Secret Adversary. Its fantastic to be able to read these masterpieces of detective novels while waiting at meetings and elsewhere.