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Thursday, August 23, 2012

How to choose your mobile


Hello to all dear friends after a gap of almost two years getting usual to blogging will take some time but here is my second blog in one day obviously prepared almost 10 days back.
 
The way we buy mobile phones, and indeed most things, has changed in the last few years.
Nowadays, you can simply enter a phone model’s name in a gadget website and make your purchase decision based on the reviews. Some of us don’t even bother going to the store anymore, as online shopping sites may offer better deals.

The mobile phone is a sophisticated piece of hardware, so it makes sense to seek the opinion of an expert before deciding on a purchase. But there are certain factors that make you a better judge than an “expert” reviewer.

For instance, will the device feel comfortable in your hands? Can you use the on-screen keyboard while holding the phone in the same hand? How easy, or complicated, is the phone’s navigation or menu? Will the phone fit into your pocket? Only you can answer these questions after holding and using the device.
For this, you generally have to go to a store. Here are a few basic tests you should perform when you get to the store to evaluate any device,

Launch the text messaging application and write a sentence like “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” to check your fingers can handle the touch-screen keyboard. You should try this in both portrait and landscape orientation.

Next, launch the camera application and take a few sample shots. Check the picture quality of course, but also see if there’s any lag between you hitting the shutter button and the actual capture. The camera is likely to be one of the most used applications on your mobile phone, and it’s frustrating to miss photographing a “golden moment” because it’s too slow.

Do a couple of common tasks to test the phone’s navigation. You can change the wallpaper, set a different ringtone, adjust the brightness, and so on. Launch the default web browser, reset the settings and then go to a couple of your favorite websites. Do they render properly? You could also consider using the Google Maps application to determine how quickly the phone’s GPS can pinpoint your location (it may not be a very accurate test though while you are inside the building).

Most of the latest phones have gorgeous big screens, but remember that the larger the display, the faster it will drain your battery.

Another important question is whether the number of apps available for a mobile platform is a factor in deciding your purchase? If you are an enthusiast or a power-user who likes to try every available new app and game, the answer is probably yes, for the rest of us, not so much. I have been using both Window and Blackberry devices for some time and though I install new apps quite often, the ones I use frequently are probably available across all mobile platforms.

Have a happy taking, sharing, chatting what it is you enjoyed on your mobile....

Bye for now!

A week without Gmail


I have never been away from my Gmail mailbox for so long.

No, I haven’t taken extended absences; it’s just that I am now using the new Outlook.com service as my primary email client. The incoming emails are still handled by Gmail as before, but I can easily read and reply to these messages inside Outlook without ever logging into Gmail.
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Outlook.com made a good first impression when it was unveiled last month and after using the email service exclusively (and heavily) for about 10 days now, it can be said that Microsoft’s revamped Hotmail service does prove the initial impressions right.

‪​‪There are quite a few factors – like the minimalist design that resembles a desktop app, the use of big fonts in message views and menus, more user-friendly keyboard shortcuts – that make Outlook quite a pleasure to use. ‪‪ then there are several unique features in Outlook that are missing in Gmail.

‪​‪For instance, when you are composing a new message, the profile pictures of your contacts are visible in the drop downs, making it easier for you to visually pick the right address. Microsoft promises to add more gigabytes should your Outlook mailbox run out of space, but there’s a handy “sort by size” feature available to quickly discover the space hogging emails. If you are sending an email with a large attachment that exceeds the allowed size limit (25 MB), Outlook will automatically route it via SkyDrive.

‪​‪You can also connect Outlook to your Facebook account and the built-in messaging client can then be used for Facebook Chat. Similarly, if you connect Outlook to LinkedIn, all your LinkedIn contacts will be automatically imported into your address book (though you can’t export this data out of Outlook).
‪​‪In the last 10 days of active use, I never really felt a need to go back to Gmail anytime, but I do miss a couple of things in Outlook. There’s no offline support and you to have to be connected to search or reply to messages. Categories in Outlook are similar to labels in Gmail but they aren’t color coded. Outlook doesn’t support IMAP at this time, so you can’t sync your web inbox with any of desktop email clients.
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Google’s two step verification is a big relief because unauthorized users won’t be able to get into your account even if they are aware of your Gmail username and password. That layer of security is currently absent in Outlook, though you do have an option to set one-time passwords for logging into Outlook from public computers.
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I am also not too sure if it is possible to use Outlook.com as the default email provider for your web domain as is available in the free edition of Google Apps.

Despite some of these limitations, Outlook.com is a solid contender to Gmail and the upcoming integration with Skype will make this service even more interesting.

Happy emailing.

Peaceout!