Wishlist for tech-2014!

(-Sahil Satishkumar, @SahRckr)

 

There are many wishlist option available in the accounts section for all the online electronics store. But then there is a wishlist of my own in my head about the current technology that rings everyday in my head, so here they are listed. (They’re not in any order!)

 

1. Invisible Earphones:      

     

     There cannot be any demonstration for this variant but the name has all the specifications. And you read it right “Invisible” earphones. But this doesn’t involve any surgery. Current generation PMP, Smartphones, gives us the freedom to keep them somewhere not visible to others, and again, we never have to reveal which song is on at the moment.  But the earphones always gives out a hint that we are listening to something. Which maybe irritating at some social gatherings that you have to attend (forcefully?).

 

2. Lower end smartphones: 

     

     This is not something I came up with. I’ve heard this from one of the Pocketnow Daily, videos by Jaime Rivera (Follow them. They’re awesome). Where he suggests, Instead of selling us cheap and stupid smartphones, Why not sell us the previous generation smartphones at a lot cheaper rates!?

My opinion, Sounds illogical? Well it is not! Its lot cheaper for the OEMs to manufacture previous generation phones, with older components, than the newer one’s with newer components.

 

3. iPhones: 

 

     Okay! Apple fanboys. I agree Apple has one of the best designed phones in the market. Also the camera optics are simply fantastic, And i personally like the stock keyboard on those tiny device. But they don’t come cheap, and they don’t come flavoured with Android.

Taking all the possible combinations with Apple phones my bag of wishlist has:

  •     high resolution 1080p 5 inch Apple iPhone, 
  •     4.3 inch 720p Apple iPhone running on Android 4.4, And 
  •      4 inch 32GB Apple iPhone 4/4S sold for 100-200 USD (in India).

 

4. More Qwerty phones: 

 

     If you’ve read my article Eclipse of Qwerty, you’ll probably know how obsessed I’m with the qwerty form factor. Many of us are. But then the touchscreen smartphones have made a big dent on the Qwerty marketshare. The only cuurent generation Qwerty smartphones which are available(in India) are from the BlackBerry. And not everyone likes BB OS. So in my wishlist bag there are Qwerty phones, Android Qwerty phones, Apple Qwerty phones, Windows Qwerty phones, Qwerty Tablets, bluetooth Qwerty keyboard, and then the bag bursts.

 

5. Unbreakable displays: 

          

     Your 700-800 USD Smartphone/Tab says “Corning Gorilla Glass 3”, it doesn’t mean that your device will survive through anything challenged to it. Gorilla Glass does a decent job of protecting your device from scratches and some level of shock resistance, But OnePlus One says “NEVER SETTLE”. Wish displays on our handheld devices were actually shatter resistant, After all they are the second most expensive components if you were to sort them in cost/density. 

P.S.:I don’t intend to evolve the current generation phones to weapons.

 

6. The need of a new universal port for the handheld devices: 

 

     Assuming that the 3.5 mm jack is reserved for audio output, the micro usb port reserved for charging and data sync. Where do I connect my other peripherals? Probably the one’s that do not eat up the battery. Let that port interact with external keyboards, card readers, extra charging port, other phones running on same OS?

Well this idea is more of an experimental than it being practical. But then it’s compelling factor.

 

7. Let android devices talk to each other: 

 

     Everything mentioned above was more of the hardware side, this one tends more on the software side. To those of you who don’t know. I’ve a Nexus 7, 2012 tab and a Lenovo A516 phone signed in from the same Google account. When i’m outdoors, my nexus is deprived of the Internet connection, same doesn’t apply for my phone. Also even for minor file transfers I’ve to rely on 3rd party applications. Which is actually not so comfortable provided the face that both of the devices are belonging to the same account. Not every city in any country of this world has access to open WiFi network. So there should be a level of offline hand shake alliance between Android devices.

 

Well these are few of the things on wishlist I wanted to share with you guys! Let me know if something that you know has some weight to it!

 

Sahil Satishkumar for SahRckrTech Weekly

 

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Editor’s note: Since all of our writer’s are currently unavailable, the number of posts/week is going to reduce for a month. Blame the examination season.

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Time Travel with Nexus 7, 2012

 

(Sahil Satishkumar, @SahRckr)

 

Nexus 7, codenamed grouper, was the first device to feature the Android 4.1 JellyBean OS. Being blessed with Project butter this 7″ Android tablet was the best under 200 USD tablet available in the market. This Nexus tablet was bought during the late Nov 2013. I traded my HTC One S C2 for Nexus 7. This may sound bit crazy, also consider it fits my usage. I use it as my primary device. I spend most of the time with my tab than my other slower option Lenovo A516. That was how Nexus 7 entered in my arsenal. So after 6 months of usage and 2 years from launch how does the device excel.

 

Hardware:

Nexus 7 came with a Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.3 GHz and a gig of RAM. My usage I would say is higher than average. I conquer the web, Social Networking, lots of messaging, downloads, media consumption, and what not!? Battery life is quite okay on the device and I use the age old, Developer abandoned Juice Defender to extend my battery life to approximately 16 hrs a day. Wish there was at least a 3 MP camera on the rear of the device, but still its acceptable to date. Imagine a guy taking photographs on a 7” device , W.E.I.R.D. ! As of the display its a 7” , 1280×800 px decent IPS display which has Gorilla Glass 2. I will conclude that the display is Scratch-Resistant and not scratch proof as the company claims. You’re better off with a scratch guard in exchange of some juice. My device has minute scratches. The buttons and the side details are fine to this date. Also the dimpled back design of my tab was protected by an Amzer Pouch.

 

[DISCLAIMER: The review device – Nexus 7, 2012 was used for more than 3 months for this post. ]

Software:

 This the part where the device excels , the device has received all major android version upgrades from Android 4.1->Android 4.2.2->Android 4.3->Android 4.4(KitKat). The device currently boasts Android 4.4.2 which is the latest Android version available, even after 2 years from launch. More over the hardware in the device allows us to mostly every application in the play store. Including graphic intense games. There are no compatibility issues because of the hardware. There is a bit of Android lag on the device after using it for a long time, which can be seized by few restarts after few days or so. I always found the Font boring, so i’ve installed Ubuntu Font on my device( with root permission you can use iFont for non-Samsung devices )

And everything else:

The unnecessary Google applications which cannot be used because of country issues (Google Earth, Google Wallet which don’t work in India) cannot be uninstalled. It’s just that allowing some stupid applications that don’t do anything for me cannot take space from my device. Limited storage always is a negative point. I also have root access. Hence trying out new applications is a breeze. There is crazy issue I face sometimes, The device gets too heated up when kept inside my backpack at times. Which becomes bothering, But then it chills off when kept outside.

Conclusion:

With time devices do age well, but Google along with Asus has proved that a device need not be 500 USD for the specifications to be high end without missing out features. Devices don’t need that extra metal wrapping around them to live around consumers for a long time. Nexus 7 is a No Nonsense device that does what it’s meant to even after a time hop of 2 years. Every part of this device is worth the 200 USD tag.

The new iteration of the Nexus ditches the Tegra for Snapdragon, more RAM, Display Resolution, a back camera. But the price difference between the two devices is ~168 USD (in the Indian Market), But the later version has the longer Google supported services!

 

Review score:9.2/10

So tell us what do you feel about the first Nexus Tab. Also let me know the common problems faced by the Nexus 7, or the newer version.

Sahil Satishkumar for SahRckrTech Weekly

Check out the same uploads on SahRckrTech.Blogspot.in

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Personal Recommendation:

Bluetooth Keyboard that comforts your typing style- Increases productivity of your tablet ( evolves to semi PC )

Nexus 7/Nexus 7(2013)

 

Update (5th June, 2014) : Guide to upgrade nexus 7(or any other nexus device) to Android 4.4.3 using Linux can be found here.

Eclipse of the QWERTY

 

(-Sahil Satishkumar, @sahrckr)

 

QWERTY, the most familiar keyboard layout in the English language. As most of us are familiar that this layout was invented just to prevent a 130 year old problem when typists were used to destroying the key-press of the nostalgic Typewriter. If I were to ask , Something like, “How many of you have typed in a DVORAK keyboard?”. Well I wouldn’t expect nor blame anyone for not using efficent keyboard, As most of the computer keyboard manufacturer’s worldwide don’t manufacture this layout.  Any rerrangement of a regular qwerty to DVORAK isn’t that easy ( Keys J/F don’t normally like to exchange their spots with other keys. )

Well that was a small “Hi-Hello” episode to the computer keyboard. Now let’s move on to the evolution of this layout. Being the most popular layout, it was obvious for it to enter new segments. Gaming Consoles, PDA’s, Portable Media Players, DVD player interface, and obviously our favourite smartphones. Most of you people must have seen or owned one, BlackBerry? ( I’ve destroyed one, BB 9300 ). With qwerty keypad on smartphones I mean the physical keyboard. My history with qwerty phones are 4 such phones. Nokia C3-00, Samsung Ch@t 335 (It’s still breathing around, in some corner), Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos, and lastly BlackBerry 9300. I didn’t have complaints with any regarding the keyboards whatsoever. I will still not mind using any one of them as my daily-driver any day, More over after using so many qwerty phones. My current phone and tab (Lenovo A516, Google Nexus 7) have this layout primarily, but then even after using some of the best keyboards available. The tactile feedback, the comfortablity, or thumb exercise , or any of those feelings cannot be replaced by a soft on-screen keyboard.

I really wish there was an Android Smartphone running on KitKat, with a snapdragon 801 chipset, a topping of Adreno 330 GPU, 2k camera, High Res (*unbreakable) Display and camera, and atleast a Slider qwerty/candybar qwerty designed phone. All the manufacturers like HTC, LG, Samsung, Google (Nexus and Play Edition Line up) are missing out a huge marketshare. Currently the only Android phone that has a qwerty is LG Optimus pro C660, other options being Nokia Asha 210,205 and other ones running on the old outdated OS. There are lot of migrators from the BB users that have been flushed to the Android/Apple/Windows market. Wish there was an easy qwerty alternative in each market such that they don’t have a huge learning curve ahead to understand the OS + Get used to the not so familiar On-Screen keyboard.

Kudos to Steve Jobs who changed the way we see smartphones these days.

Do comment about what do you feel about the end of an era , end of the qwerty layout. You can contact me through Facebook , Twitter.

 

Sahil Satishkumar for SahRckrTech Weekly.

 

 

 Personal Recommendations :

-Google Keyboard : Download (aptoide link, Writer/Blog not responsible for any harm that may be caused to your device by this download)

(Google Keyboard has DVORAK (and more) layout(s) too.

Keyboard & Input methods >Google Keyboard > Advanced Settings > Custom input styles > Add Style ,Choose language and layout)

-Hacker’s Keyboard : Download