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July 28, 2011

Blackberry torch vs apple iPhone 4

I currently have a Nokia E90 communicator which works pretty good. Except for the body (case) problem that need replacement, there hasn't been any problem in this phone for over 4 years now. But its old. I also own a Blackberry 8320 Curve that I use mainly for BBM. The smartphone world has moved on. I wanted to buy a new smart phone and thinking hard between a Blackberry torch vs apple iPhone. Android phone are good but somehow I am skeptical about the services of the phone manufacturers. I prefer Hardware+Software coming out of a single vendor.

Two people in my family recently purchased a Blackberry torch and apple iPhone 4, so I had the opportunity to spend good time with these two phones. Here's my verdict.

Display: Apple iPhone has a retina display. It is bigger in size than the Blackberry torch. Apple has really done a good job with the display. The multitouch interface is better when compared to Blackberry torch.

Processor Speed: Apple iPhone has a faster processor in terms of CPU clock speed. However, I didn't find the blackberry torch slow. It was responsive and loaded applications within seconds of clicking them.

Keyboard: With the physical Qwerty board in Blackberry torch, it is a far better phone when it comes to composing long email, send IMs and text messages. iPhone does have an on-screen Qwerty keyboard but typing long emails on an iPhone is not comfortable.

App store: This is one area where Apple iPhone is a clear winner. The total number of applications in Apple App store are far more than in the Blackberry App store.

IM: Most of my professional network is on Blackberry Messenger (BBM). Chatting through BBM is cost effective and reliable. Agreed, Apple has Facetime and supports whole bunch of other IM softwares. It's good to chat with family and friends through Facetime but when it comes to communicating with professional contacts, nothing beats BBM.

Battery Life & Memory: Apple iPhone's battery life sucks big time. Unless you shut down location services, notifications and Wifi, don't expect the phone battery to last more than 10-12 hours on a full charge. Blackberry on the other hand easily lasts for 2-3 days with regular email, wifi, app store usage.

When it comes to memory, the Apple iPhone memory isn't expandable. Blackberry comes with a 4GB MicroSD card and can accommodate upto 32GB card.

Internet Speed: Surfing the Internet, checking emails is much faster in Blackberry. The push mail feature is excellent. Most service providers including Vodafone give preference to Blackberry traffic on their network.

Overall Look and Feel: Apple iPhone is more sleek, feels solid in hand. Blackberry torch on the other hand feels like a delicate phone.

Cost: Blackberry torch retails for about Rs 29,000/- while Apple iPhone cost ranges from Rs. 35,000/- to Rs. 41,000/-

My overall impression of the iPhone is that is a good play device. Good build, lots of applications available through app store, location services, games, etc. However, there isn't much of productivity that I could achieve with this phone. Battery didn't last all day, Internet was comparatively slower (service provider network, not WiFi), Composing long emails was hard, not to mention the annoying spell checker. Its a good phone for a college goer (who can afford $1000 USD price tag) or someone who is looking for an entertainment features within their phone.

On the other hand, Blackberry torch is excellent with Emails, Internet, has fair number of apps in the app store and costs less than the iPhone. Its battery lasts much longer too! Its truly a phone for the professionals who have heavy use of emails/IMs.

Posted by manish at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2011

Upgrade to Mac OS X Lion worth it?

Apple recently launched the major update version for its Mac OS X operating system called Lion. While there was a lot of debate and discussion about how much this new OS version will be priced, Apple chose to sell it for $29.95 (same price as previous version Snow Leopard). But the question remains, is Mac OS X Lion worth upgrading to?

Lets look at some of the reasons why you should upgrade to Mac OSX Lion.

Price: Considering it only costs $29.95 USD, its a big plus point if you want to try the new OS.

Encryption: Lion offers full hard disk encryption through File Vault 2. If your laptop contains sensitive information you may want to consider upgrading.

Apple Softwares: Many apple softwares in Lion have gone through a major overhual. New interface, more features. For eg, if you use Apple Mail extensively, that may be a reason enough to upgrade.

Networking: The new Apple feature called Airdrop allows you to send and share files with other apple users nearby. If you use Apple in a small office/team setup, you can quit using third party apps for this feature.

Usability: With new multi-touch features, tablet OS like interface, Full screen viewing and other 250 such features, it will be a boost to productivity.

Now lets look at reasons for not upgrading

Its new. Yes Lion has been in public beta for sometime and whole upgrade works smoothly. But its still a new OS. As with anything new, there are unknowns. It may be wise to just wait for few weeks and let more user reviews be posted about Lion before taking the decision to upgrade.

Also if you use any specific application that is not yet compatible with Mac OS X Lion, you should consider waiting.

There are lot of new features in Lion like versions which help you maintain file versions. However, they change the way mac users save files. There is a learning and "getting used" curve involved which may cause frustration to some users. If you are one of those types, you may want to postpone the decision by few months until these issues are ironed out.

Performance wise there is no data to suggest that Lion is better or worse than Snow Leopard.

As for me, I will be upgrading to Lion in few weeks. The 250+ new features are worth the price!

Before you upgrade make sure to clone your hard disk, just in case you decide to switch back to Snow Leopard.

Posted by manish at 08:19 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2011

India's UID service uses unlicensed windows copy

Recently, I was at the UID enrollment centre setup near my residence to enroll myself to get a UID card. For those who aren't aware, UID (Unique Identification card) is India's national ID card which will be required in future to avail all government services. It is also known as Aadhar card and is issued by the The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

The entire process of enrollment went pretty smooth. They take your picture, scan all 10 fingers and also do an Iris scan. An acknowledgement receipt is generated and given to the person enrolled. The whole process does not take more than 10 minutes.

What surprised me, however, was that the computer used for collecting all this information was running an unlicensed copy of windows. While its a different debate whether Windows OS was really required in the project, but having chosen Windows as the platform for collection of UID data, the government should spend some more money and procured licensed copies of the software.

How many Government institutions and corporate houses in India still use illegal softwares? There is more awareness about using genuine software today than it was 5 years back but given what I just saw today, India has a long way to go until we can truly call ourselves the super power of IT.

Posted by manish at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2011

iPad launch in India

Apple officially launched iPad in India last week on Jan 28th 2011. The pricing is pretty competitive with the WiFi model ranging from Rs 27,900 to Rs 37,900 while the WiFi+3G model is available in the price range Rs 34,900 to Rs 44,900.

If you already own an iPad, this is still an excellent news. Now your iPad can be serviced in India. You can also extend your iPad warranty in India. Not to mention, the accessories are now officially available as well.

More details are available at the Apple iPad Store India.

However, experts say, it may be worth waiting for a while since iPad 2 will be launched in April 2011. This is not yet confirmed by Apple officially.

Posted by manish at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

December 25, 2010 acquires

Recently announced that it was shutting down operations. I wondered why until I came across a US Federal court ruling giving permanent injunction against LimeWire. The ruling effectively means that LimeWire will shut down its operations and probably be liable for monetary damages.

For those who are not aware, Limewire is a P2P software which is usually used for sharing music. This may probably be the reason why was also shut down (its a subsidiary company of the parent that owns LimeWire).

The good news is that announced that it has acquired services including users & projects.

Posted by manish at 08:53 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2007

iphone unlocked

George Hotz, a teenager from New Jersey, has unlocked the iPhone allowing it to be used with networks other than AT&T. The unlocking process is a complicated one and involves hardware hacking. George says it takes around 2 hours to hack the iPhone.

It is not clear if Apple would make modifications to the iPhone to make it invulnerable to this hack before its launch in European market.

Meanwhile, the unlocked iPhone has been traded by George for "Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones".

Hopefully by understanding the hardware hack, someone would be able to come up with a software to unlock the iPhone.

Posted by manish at 05:36 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2007

Nokia battery overheating and exploding

I tuned into the evening news today and saw a report about Nokia BL-5C battery overheating and exploding problem. Well it does sound scary and although Nokia says only 46 million out of about 300 million BL-5C batteries manufactured may have this problem, its still a sizable number. What should you do, if you own a Nokia phone?

The first thing to do is to check whether your handset uses a BL-5C battery?

Switch off your phone and replace the back panel. Remove the battery and check the front cover. Does it read "BL-5C" as the battery model?

Nokia says only the batteries manufactured in Japan between Dec 2005 to Nov 2006 are known to have this issue. So the next thing to check is the country where the battery was manufactured. Thats easy, your battery will have "Made in China" or "Made in Japan" or something similar written on the front or back panel.

If you do have a BL-5C battery thats made in Japan, don't panic. As per Nokia, the issue only occurs when charging the phone. But its best to switch off the phone and take it to a Nokia service center to confirm if your battery is affected.

You can do a check on the Nokia website by inputting your battery serial number at the following link

Posted by manish at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)