I bring to you a review comparison of the iPhone 4S 32GB vs the Google Nexus 4 16GB.
Apple is finally launching the iPhone 5 tomorrow in India. A mail from the imagine store specifies that they would launch the iPhone 5 tomorrow. What is already a well known fact is that the iPhone 5 replaces the earlier iPhone 4S with the pricing remaining intact at about 44,500 for the 16GB version, 52,500 for the 32GB and a whopping 59,000+ for the 64GB version.
At the price of the 64GB version Indians could do a lot of better things like paying 6 months of rent for a house, or buying a bike, or even buying an iMac. For the more culinary oriented guys, this money can buy you 300 costa cafe mochas, or about 600 MacD burgers.
While the iPhone 5 definitely has a lot going for its design and functionalities with the iOS6, it still does not justify the price being double of what other smartphones that provide same or similar features. S3, or the HTC 1x for instance.
Where Apple shines as compared to the others is in honoring its device warranty with mostly a replacement for devices like the iPhone or the iPad or with a definitive repair for the iMac. But these goodies too come with a cost of roughly 10%-20% of the product price in terms of a yearly Apple care cost. While this is still justified for the iMac or the Macbook Pro, it most certainly looks to be an overkill for a device such as an iPad or a phone.
With the leading phones by HTC, Samsung and Google at roughly half the cost, Apple’s iPhone 5 pricing seems to bring down the sheen in a highly competitive market. Add to that propreitary accessories, plus inaccessibility to the file system and not much real functionality available and the recipe isn’t even worth what you are paying for. Add to that a sloppy maps and siri functionality for India, and you would be having a dead on arrival product as compared to other phones which are live and fresh at the moment.
Google and Samsung are right on top of the game giving Apple a tough time in terms of pricing. While Apple still would make most of its revenues in America, Europe, and UK alone, there is a fierce couter attack on the Asian side from the Korean giants Samsung and LG. LG’s upcoming nexus 4 will be butter smooth, has had a great review on major websites, plus at half the cost and much better google integration is more than ready to trounce the iPhone hands down.
The latest release of Google’s voice search for Apple devices only goes to prove how important Indian english as an accent is for India specific devices. The accuracy of Google’s software is simply mindblowing and more realistic than the dreamy Siri software which is more based on retrospecting on the questions asked to it. Needless to say the gaffe on the siri and maps precision has led to Apple asking its executives handling these to depart which has also led to its share price erosion to some extent and also brings to the forefront the possible bitter politics that can rear its ugly head sooner or later.
There is also no conclusion on whether the carriers would be launching nano-sims across the country once the device is rolled out. Most likely they will but they remain until this day tightlipped about this possibility even many of us already know too much about the iPhone. The iOS6 itself is losing some of its sheen after the jelly bean 4.2 update as the iOS6 has no great additions than what used to already be there.
So given the upsides and downsides of the iPhone 5 launch, would you go ahead and buy one of these? I would love to hear from you on this! Go ahead pour your comments!
AOL launched a web based mail client called Alto recently. Currently to login to alto you can use your existing GMail(google), iCloud(apple), AOL(america on line) or yahoo mail ids. Further to sign-in you need an invitation from Alto, which you need to request on their webpage (www.altomail.com). The speciality of altomail seems to be its so called simplicity in organizing and displaying information to users once it retrieves the same from any of the above mail services. Their concept revovles around stacks of mails which are formed from different topics such as shopping deals, or starred(important) emails, or any other topic as chosen by the user.
So you can stack up everything from your best friend or say all promotional emails from a bank for example. You could keep adding all sorts of rules to fill up the stack like for example all mails from india.com or all mails only from email@example.com, etc. You can delete and entire stack as well. Also, you have the option of choosing to create the stack by those mails being skipped out of the inbox itself. As you can see the video explains all this in a simple fashion. There are also delete and forward and reply options per email which are easy to use, but if I were you, I prefer outlook.com’s simplicity to the gmail’s power over the Altomail look and feel. The point about altomail is that the concept wears off on you after some prolonged use and you begin to wish you saw the emails the good old way where you could choose whatever you dont want and just do something with them such as archive them or delete them as usual.
Moreover at the moment you can use only the four specified email services with perhaps more to come. However the user interface has no options to change the font and the default font is kind of bold and to some extent non space saving and kiddish after a while. The metro UI of microsoft anyday scores over such things hands down. So whether or not Alto is for you is something that you need to use it and decide, but for now, the concept is to try and simplify your inbox which many providers have tried in the past and its nothing new. Alto equals these providers if not surpasses them. Go and check it out by requesting an invite for yourself!
Apple recently updated their mobile operating system during the WWDC. As part of iOS 6 there are many new features which again are deeply rooted into the overall ecosystem. This post aims to explain in simple terms what changes are now part of this new operating system and also discusses some of the performance aspects of iOS6 on iPhone 3GS.
Facebook and Twitter deep integration
The iOS6 now comes with facebook and twitter more deeply integrated into the operating system. This means there is now an ability to quickpost to facebook right from the notifications area, and also sharing anything and everything to facebook or twitter from mostly anywhere on the iphone that originally allowed sharing as well as from some new places.
This not only means that sharing becomes more useful now, but also highlights the fact about the growing popularity of facebook that even a company like Apple recognizes that its no doubt a social behemoth already made by now. It also gives Apple an edge against Google who tend to copy all design and software ideas from Apple time to time and puts it totally out of sync with apple considering the latters association with Facebook.
Twitter was always Apples blue eyed boy and iOS 6 retains that sentiment in iOS6 as well.
Sharing of items changed to include more options
In the new operating system, you can now share across a variety of services from facebook, twitter, etc to even a printer. This has not only enhanced the scope of sharing, but has done away with buttons and has a page based icon system for different sources to share to. Its not practially significantly different but the deep integration is what the point is about.
Answering calls differently
This was one sorely missing feature in ios 5. Finally the hole has been plugged. Now with the new OS, one can answer calls differently. Along with the usual buttons, one can now also send a custom SMS message informing why you are declining a call. This helps for sure but should have made it in the earlier OS version itself !!
Do not disturb
Simple things matter. No one has thought about this until now. No phone had nothing more than a vibrator mode. The do not disturb ensures the phone doesn’t annoy you during those hours set by you as don’t disturb hours. What’s cool then? Well if some of your close contacts are desperate to reach you even beyond calling one time, a repeated incoming call can be set to ring and wake you up. Emergency responses assured thus. Good job apple. You can also add your favorites group to let the calls through. Don’t add your manager though
This was always available as a very unlisted undocumented feature for apple since long. One could tailor an mp3 tune into an m4r ringtone file from iTunes in windows or mac and transfer it to the phone. Apple seems to have done away with that complexity and instead now will allow custom ringtones to be any mp3 file that you desire. I am sure apple will also provide options to trim them as well perhaps. Not a unique new feature but still welcome.
Some while before the iOS6 itself, the camera was made accessible from the home screen by a simple touch and drag up. What most people do not know is that you can also slide it back into place to close the camera without touching any hardware button. Perfection must come from within and be seamless to learn. That’s what apple is all about notwithstanding the fact that they do all this on a rather user unfriendly linux backend.
So is then everything hunky dory about the iOS update? well, yes and no. This is surely a major update in terms of giving things that are already 2 years old stuff. Only point then is about the deep integration of stuff which makes this whole thing so delicious. However the performance of iOS 6 on 3GS is almost close to pathetic. Menus take lot of time to load, graphics take lots of time to show up. Well I am not talking high resolution graphics. it’s the same things that used to be there in iOS4 & 5. I am not sure why Apple must make it take so long to load on 3GS considering I am not exercising any gaming capabilities on it!? Bewildering. Apple will have its own reasons why they do things in a particular way, but the bottom line is that iOS 6 is terribly slow on the iphone 3GS and hence though they practically support it, we must restrict ourself to iOS4 or at the most 5 on the 3GS. If Apple does make it any better by the time the actual release is out – remember, for the purpose of this review I am still using the first beta of iOS 6 – then it might be a tad bit better but don’t have too many high hopes on the performance.
A phone that cost me about 35,000 bucks, still might command anywhere between 8000 to 12000 and the iOS6 update working on this phone definitely ups its value to still be in demand. But it’s a matter of time before iPhone 5 is coming – roughly in exactly 2-3 months from now – and that is the hardware really meant to run such a software that is quite versatile, user friendly, seamlessly integrated and what not !!
So do I still miss anything in this update? Well, oh, plenty. How about switching on and off Wifi, Bluetooth, etc from the notification area? Is that too much for Apple to develop? No, not at all. One point to note is that bluetooth now finds a place in the main menu itself which is good unlike last time, when it was really buried deep down into some menu levels. I also miss the word helper during typing and I am not sure what is making apple not give this facility as its ages old already. I miss the panorama feature on the camera which would’ve been a great addition given the fact we know it was always in the works. Perhaps the iPhone 5 would feature it. Time will tell.
Still there is no way I can copy a video or audio file into the phone directly without iTunes. Still there is no way to stream it to a TV without apple TV, which is absurd. They are now bringing in AirPlay which is over and beyond normal DLNA. A monopolistic company cant go too far in dictating how the world must work. And this is precisely where google is slightly better.
Thankfully I do find a secure PDF file open feature which also was not there earlier on. Even Windows phone mango doesn’t have it. Shame!!
What the iPhone 5 needs is a serious boost in screen real estate. The browsing experience and the general handling experience will be so much more better if that happens.
Until my next post, I wish to conclude by saying the iOS 6 is definitely a refreshing update to facebook fans, and others who would not like to be disturbed during their sleep hours mainly!
I have always wondered ever since the launch of the iPhone 4S as to how the voice recognition and support feature on the phone will fare against indian accents. the thought of spending $650 on an unlocked iPhone 4S just to see this feature did not obviously make sense. NDTV luckily has tested this feature with Indian accents and the results are very interesting. So does the system make mistakes? We all do, and so will systems designed by us. But for the voice feature on iPhone 3GS to now, the developers have come a long way in the accuracy.
So why not see the video for yourself and use the COMMENTS section to say what you feel about this?
Here is a comparison of the 7″ and 10″ tablets running Android 2.2, 2.3, 3.2 and Apple’s iOS5 in the market today. This table shows their specs, their cost and availability in worldwide markets.
(source : pcworld.com)
So which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments section!
Tags: 1.2 ghz, 1080p, 16gb, 1ghz, 32gb, 3g, a1, acer, android, apple, availability, back camera, bangalore, battery life, bengaluru, blackberry, blog, bluetooth, color, display size, dual core, expandible, fast, fire, front camera, gps, hd, hdmi, iconia tab a700, ideapad, ios, ipad, karnataka, kindle, lenovo, manufacturer, memory, nook, playbook, price, primary, processor, ram, resolution, secondary, single core, storage, tablet, thickness, thin, thrive, toshiba, usb, weight, wifi
So the big iPhone launch event is now over and the dust is settling down. I must say that Engadget has done aÂ fine job of updating on the event progress while it was on. It takes a lot of effort for a tech website to be spot on with respect to the updates. Given its experience in handling past Apple launch event this was a cakewalk for Engadget this time as well. Finally Engadget also summarized the whole event in aÂ short bulleted fashion for people who don’t have the time to read the full scoop.
Given this introduction let us then discuss the top 7 reasons why you should NOT buy the iPhone 4S. These reasons come out of my experience with using the iPhone 3GS for a year or more. So lets head straight on then …
- Closed filesystem – While for a person who does not bother to look beyond his iPhone, he can live entirely only with the phone without having the need to transfer anything out of the iPhone. Unfortunately not everyone is like that so one would like to have the ability to transfer important documents, photos, and other files out of the iPhone. This need may arise since we would use the phone with the associated data service to download a lot of useful things from the net. Imagine not having the feasibility to transfer it out of the phone. You might ask me if this is totally impossible – well not exactly – you can do so if you transfer it to another iDevice only.
- Absence of ports – I do agree and everyone here would also tend to agree that Apple makes a wonderful set of products. But omitting things like a USB port or a mini HDMI port only means that Apple would want its ecosystem to be protected to such an extent that one has to buy an iMac or iPad to transfer data out or an Apple TV product to transfer video content to a TV. I have a boxee box, which does all that and more by connecting up to a simple WiFi network and it needless to say has a HDMI port, USB slots, SD card slots and wireless NAS accessibility via uPNP protocol. All at < 200$ (Rs.10000). In today’s world, I cannot fathom paying 650$ without any of these just for the sake of lifestyle.
- Camera – When Apple launched 3GS version of the iPhone they provided a meagre 3.2 megapixel camera without flash, even when other manufacturers were already on the 5MP bandwagon with dual led flashes. While daylight photos were not so bad, night shots were pathetic. I am not even still considering the time it takes to edit that photo outside of iPhone as the transfer process itself requires iTunes software on an iMac or a PC. Arguably while apple has done away with the need for a PC anymore, can you think of atleast one time where you would love editing your photos on the phone itself. Its a small screen and you will run out of patience pretty soon. You might be wondering that it still has a 1080P full HD recording ability and hence more superior than a few other phones. Well I do tend to agree, but it all boils down to the same question as earlier – how would you transfer the content out for proper processing before sharing. For novices the phone would do it all automatically by processing and uploading to a video sharing service such as youtube, but for professionals who would like to edit the video more in depth, would find it intimidating when the device does not allow certain things. Coming to apple’s claim that the camera takes pictures in 1.1 second with a 0.5 second timing after the first picture, there are many other phones which also take pictures in about two seconds or so and offer face recognition since a couple of years now and this is nothing ground breaking. If i can wait for 1 second, i can also wait for 3 seconds!
- Pricing and rollout countries – Pricing has always been a premium for the iPhone. It continues to be so for the iPhone 4S which will retail for $649 or a little over Rs.32.500 in India on a fully unlocked basis. If you notice carefully India is NOT one of the countries which will get the iPhone 4S on October 28th. This directly shows the step motherly attitude that Apple has towards India. It has not skimped in the same way for the iMac though so far from releasing it on time. There are a lot of factors for this attitude from Apple. In a country where 3G speeds are not as consistent as they should be and in a place where a few thousands of geeks consider that India is geeky just because they use all the tech that is available, it does not mean that there will be millions of sales of the iPhone. The real winners out of phone sales in India would be those who provide dual sim phones with music player and radio, with perhaps a memory card slot thrown in at a rock bottom price of less than 50$ (~ about Rs.2000). Given this situation, a company like Apple which is vying for market share has no business in India with its ultra high end smartphone. And they are in no mood to subsidize it either.
- Carrier based subsidies – Unlike in the USA, carrier based phone subsidies and exclusivity for phone launches along with subsidies is not prevalent in India. With mobile number portability in place already, there is hardly any hope for this kind of model to work in India. Without subsidies we are then only looking for a very small percentage of market penetration Apple can achieve with its smartphone.
- Other feature sets -
- Flash disk size is hardly a differentiating factor these days for phones. I would at the maximum cycle around 1000 songs in my entire phone owning history and if I have 10000 songs while its good, we are talking only of a very select subsection of smartphone owners who are bound to be such music addicts. So if I am not a music and movie addicts there is no way that I can put the iPhone’s 16GB space to have anything else practically given the limitations on what can be stored and what not.
- GSM/CDMA universality is again anything groundbreaking. The early advent of dual sim, triple sim, and quad sim phones with multiple combinations of GSM/CDMA are more than already enough to provide the flexibility and for Indian’s going abroad there is a rare necessity to use two SIM cards on the same phone even alternatively instead of in parallel.
- iOS5 with iCloud - While the iCloud (which I had written about here) is a brilliant effort by apple for descoping physical limitations of the device storage, the concept itself is nothing groundbreaking. Almost every other provider is now on the cloud. The difference might lie in the way the other providers (versus apple) that let you access the cloud. On windows, accessing apple cloud is the slowest so far compared to say even Hotmail. Amazon cloud is yet to be tested by me and how Google might fare is only a fair guess having used google for a lot of time now. The real problem with iCloud is the missing information or lack of knowledge of how to find the files stored in the cloud. While other providers just list what you have in the cloud, Apple has incorporated the cloud concept into every application. So if I want to open some content, the only way is to get into the application having the ability to open that content, and then find the stored cloud content which I have created. This approach is useless and in no way enables me to get what I need quickly. I do appreciate apple’s clutter free approach in keeping cloud content specific to the applications that can harness it, thereby classifying it properly, but what is the use if I cannot see what I have stored in entireity on the cloud (ala Kindle Fire) ? The notification bar in iOS 5 has no quick launch buttons for bluetooth, WiFi, etc even in iOS5 !!
- Font and screen sizes – due to the limited screen size, even tasks such as facebooking, or emailing on an iPhone is not possible for a long duration. After prolonged use of the iPhone 3GS i have already increased the font size in order to prevent permanent damage to my eyes. Kids playing games on a small screen are only inviting a disaster as far as their visual abilities are concerned. On the outset it does not look like a big issue to many, but as a user of iPhone over a year, I cannot underline the importance of doing certain things on a bigger screen device. Atleast 7 inches of screen size, and most preferably a 10″ screen. This is the most ideal for heavy multitasking even if its just gaming or browsing or reading. This is perhaps where the kindle screen is a better alternative with e-ink technology compared to a retina display which is dazzling rather than practical to the already strained eye.
So if the Apple iPhone launch was all about brickbats, are there no boquets then? Your guess is as good as mine. Apple is a company which stresses on innovation. And when the give a feature they will implement it in a way incomparable to other mobile manufacturers. The TOP 7 reasons why you MUST go for an iPhone would be:
- Siri voice recognition – Here is an app which recognizes what you need and contextually remembers and answers all your related questions. Going all the way upto taking the stress out of you to do mundane tasks such as sending messages, shuffling music, etc. But the big question here is whether it will understand Indian English accent? That is yet to be proven and only time will tell.
- iTunes match - it is not clear how well this service will function yet. This seems to be a nice feature, but not compelling enough for an iphone buyer in India even if he is a music addict.
- the A5 chip – Apple’s processors are always a judicious choice and if you have seen the way an iPad 2 behavious with respect to screen renderings for graphical applications or games, then its not hard to imagine how blazing fast the iPhone 4S would be in the same aspects.
- Airplay mirroring - agree that this is a seamless feature, but it also requires equipment on the other end to support this kind of handover of content like a TV taking over from iPhone or gaming on the TV from an iPhone. We are still talking about a good six months before someone makes this possible. For those devices that already have airplay enabled, they will profit from this feature immediately
- Battery life - For those who own current generation apple devices they will already know the state of their battery prowess. Start with 100% at morning coffee, and you are < 10% before an evening coffee, leave alone dinner. Apple seems to have understood this and have high claims on battery life. This simply means the new iPhone would very well extend into day two of battery being in good shape kicking out those silly Mophie and other juice products into the bin sooner than later.
- Lifestyle device category - I cannot stress on this aspect any further than I always have. Apple makes lifestyle products. One that suits all age groups. So if I can do something on my iPhone, my kid can find something else worth doing for his age, and my aged parents can marvel and photo album swipes for their age and understanding. This is where Apple really shines and one device can keep all ages happy.
- App store - Apple we know pioneered the concept of app store and today they have anywhere more than 1,50,000 apps. This pretty much means you have an app that will help you brush your teeth and an app that will potty train your kids and an app which will monitor vital health signs of a sick aged person at your house if necessary. Extending the app store to iMac, iPad and the iPhone apple has ensured that they are on top of the money minting pie for a long time to come. Anybody else who makes mobile devices now has to have a store even it means aping apple and even if it means they have only two apps – facebook and twitter. For me honestly about ten apps should suffice. But it is really the needs and wants of 5% of the worldwide mobile phone market who own this phone that really matters. And the apple app store is pretty much geared to cater to this growing need in style.
So here were my 7 top reasons you should and should not go for the iPhone, now the call is yours. Tell me if you will or wont go for the iPhone 4S by answering the poll below!
The urge to know more about iCloud made me ponder whether I could go ahead and install the iOS 5 beta on my phone. Since I knew that there was support for the iPhone 3GS, it was time to fuel that urge further. So I googled about and found a website that shared the iOS firmware.
The point here is that to install iOS 5.0 beta 4 version, you also need the corresponding iTunes 10.5 version. With some luck I could find it here and here respectively. (hotlinks to this page won’t work)
You must carefully note that this link is for 3GS so if your phone is different read that homepage fully before making a download choice.
Installing iTunes was no difficult. Once done, its the normal procedure of putting the iPhone in DFU mode to start loading iOS 5 firmware. This link explains the steps better.
To continue further, click here :
Lets take a try at speculating what the new prices of old and new products from Apple would be so long as they dont open up their online store!
- Apple Macbook air – starting from 60,000 upto 90,000 Rs.
- Apple Mac mini – starting at 45,000 upto 70,000 Rs.
- Apple thunderbold display – starting at 60,000 Rs. upwards
- LION operating system – Around 5,000 Rs
- Apple Macbook – might still be kept (50%) or removed totally (50%) as long as stocks last
- Thunderbolt cables – around 5,000 Rs.
So what is your take? Let me know in the comments section of this post!