Monday, March 28, 2011

The Best Accessories for Your Mobile Phone

Buying a mobile phone is like purchasing a computer, in some aspects. While it works fine out of the box, it would provide a more enhanced user experience once you customize it with some accessories. Let us look at some of the accessories that are an absolute must to go with your mobile phone.

Multimedia Accessories

When you have a phone with on which you can watch videos, listen to music and take good photos, one of the most annoying aspect is that the phone’s internal memory does not accommodate for these multimedia files. However, since most phones have expandable memory slots, with some supporting up to 8 and 16 GB, it is an essential accessory for your mobile arsenal. It also makes sense to go for the highest that your memory and your budget can support. A 8 GB Micro SD cost would cost approximately Rs 800. Also, get a USB cable that matches your phone (this usually comes with your phone kit, but if doesn’t, then get it separately, and use the PC Sync software to transfer your multimedia content)

Music Accessories

Having an expandable memory is only the first aspect. Once you load your phone with multimedia content, then the next step is to get rid of the earphones that come bundled with the phone. Buying a noise cancelling earphones can enhance your entertainment aspect manifold. They are the perfect accessory for using your phone while you are working out, or commuting to work. A good earphone can on its own accord, enhance or ruin your phone’s multimedia capabilities. A good pair of noise cancelling earphones can cost upwards of Rs 650.

Protecting Your Phone

When you buy a phone, whether expensive or a budget model, the responsibility of taking care of it is also yours. One of the easiest and least expensive accessory for your phone when it comes to protection is to get a screen guard. This not only prevents your screen from getting scratches but also ensures that you get a good resale value when you eventually decide to move on and upgrade a phone. Another essential and inexpensive accessory is to get a casing for your phone. This protects your phone from drops and wear and tear. While the former would cost around Rs 150 upward, the latter would approximately be around Rs 50 onward. You can also get really creative and spruce up your casing making it stand out from the rest.


Apart from the above accessories, you should consider spending on an extra battery. This will help to get out of tight spots when you run out of juice on your phone. Also, additional accessories such as Bluetooth headsets and car accessory kit can be purchased depending upon your individual requirements.

Whatever be your needs, accessorizing your phone can really make a huge difference to your user experience. The best part is that it doesn’t cost much to get the best accessories for your phone. So go ahead, splurge a little, and enjoy a lot!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What to Do With an Old, Unused Mobile Phone

All of us have at least a couple of mobile phones with us which we no longer use, for various reasons. These reasons can be from the fact that you may have upgraded to a new, better model or simply because it has a cracked screen or some other minor defect. It can be really expensive to properly dispose a used cell phone. Let’s have a look at the various options for making good use of your old mobile phone.

Exchange It For a New Phone

One of the most obvious ways to get rid of a used phone is to exchange it. However, one will be surprised at how few users actually make use of this option. The biggest reason for not exchanging used phones is that the user will not get a satisfactory resale value for the phone. But like they say, something is better than nothing. And if you are looking at ways to get more out of your phone, then just check with your friends and relatives. They would definitely give you more than the mobile phone stores offer.

Give It Away

If you are not planning to buy a new phone, then another good idea is to just donate your phone to charity. There are several places where you can drop off your used phone and someone will find a good use for it and be extremely thankful for it too. You should contact your nearest old age home, or school for the differently-abled, or check with NGOs in your area.

Repurpose it

If you have a phone which is capable of playing music, has FM and you can watch videos, it makes for a great PMP player (Personal Media Player). You can use this phone instead of spending money on a full featured MP3 player. The additional advantage is that you can use it for outdoor activities such as running or other sports where you would be hesitant to use your more expensive phone or a MP3 player.

Emergency Phone

If none of the above options suit you, then you should at least ensure that the phone is in absolutely perfect condition, with the batteries working fine and the respective chargers available. You can use this as a spare phone in case of loss or theft of your original phone. You can also carry the spare phone while you are travelling, instead of your more expensive phone. This will ensure that in case you lose or damage it, you will not regret it.

A word of caution before you embark on any of the above steps. Make sure that you delete any personally identifiable information that may cause risk to you or others. This includes deleting contacts, SMSs, photos and videos. Also ensure that you note down the phone’s IMEI number so that in case the phone is misused, you don’t end up in soup.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I have 3G, Now what?

When it comes to the Indian Telecom sector, things have never been better for the consumer. Getting access to features such as Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is only the icing on the cake. The cake is the data services which are set to explode. Most of the big names in Indian Telecom have started their 3G services and with prepaid 3G plans available at as low as Rs 100 a month, and 3G enabled smart phones as low as Rs 6000, it is time to say good bye to GPRS. 3G stands for 'third generation' and provides blazing fast internet services which can go up to 3 mbps. Let us look at the various new features that we can now enjoy.

Getting Things Done On the Go

With smart phones and tablets becoming common devices for students and working professionals, it is now possible to study on the go and getting work done on the move. However, most of your phone or tablet’s functions would come in handy only if you have a data connection which is not as slow as a GPRS connection. You will be able to check email, do research online, and share information not only faster but also more effectively. From reviewing and finishing online excel sheets on Google Docs to creating content using a word application, 3G has the potential to ensure that you leave your laptop at work, and still be available for that emergency.

Getting Rid Of Broadband

If you are one of those who have a broadband connection at home and also use a GPRS data connection on your phone, then it’s time to bid goodbye to the former, and enjoy broadband like speeds on your phone. Most smart phones and tablets allow you to tether (use your phone as a modem and access the internet on your computer). This not only saves you money, but also helps to get rid of technology clutter at your desk. The connection is made either with a cable (USB or serial) or wirelessly through Bluetooth.

Video Calls

One of the biggest reasons for getting a 3G enabled phone and activating the feature is the ability to make video calls. Video call is a 3G network feature that allows two callers to talk to each other while at the same time viewing live video form each other's phone. To make a video call, both users should have 3G phones which support this feature and they both need to be in range of a 3G network. Once you get hooked on to it, going back to a boring voice call would be extremely boring.


Another cost saving measure that 3G brings is the ability to make calls on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). All of us have at some time or the other, used VoIP applications such as Skype and Google Voice. Now, with the ability to install these apps on your phone or tablet, you can unleash the same functionality on your mobile portable device. Imagine, with just one 3G connection, you can bid goodbye to your voice calls bills too!

Entertainment on the Go

There is no fun in having a smart phone or a tablet, and just working. That’s why you should now Time to Take Your Entertainment Primetime. With a super fast 3G network, you can watch Live TV. Now you will not miss your favorite soaps, cricket match and other TV Shows, when you are out of home for some work or travelling. Also, upload those video clips effortlessly on YouTube and easily share them with the rest of the world.

Now that you know what you can do, go ahead, get the best of it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Best Indian Apps for Your Tablet

We have seen how different applications help us get the maximum benefit from our Android powered tablet, when it comes to productivity in terms of working on the go, entertainment in terms of audio and video, and even finishing with school assignments. Taking the Android tablet to a new level are the thousands of apps designed for specific regions. Today, we have a look at the best Indian apps to have on your tablet.

ESPN Cricinfo

With the cricket fever at its highest, frenzied fans will definitely want to have this app on their tablet which features a dedicated cricket World Cup 2011 section featuring squads, standings and stats and exclusive video content.

The official ESPN cricinfo App brings you the most comprehensive cricket coverage from around the world. The customizable app featuring a special World Cup section includes all of ESPN cricinfo’s in-depth coverage of the game including ball-by-ball commentary, breaking news, incisive opinion pieces from the World’s best cricket writers and audio and video features. It also offers push notifications, a unique Lean Back mode functionality and much more, including a ‘Lean back’ mode which lets you switch the app to lean back mode, place your tablet on your table and follow live scores throughout a busy work day, personalize and customize news, results and fixtures by your favorite team, and watch and listen to the latest ESPN cricinfo video and audio podcasts.

Zomato lets you search menus across 11000 restaurants in India. Spanning 6 cities - Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune and Chennai, Zomato lets you check ratings, reviews and discounts of all restaurants in your city. Zomato on Android is also location aware - it recommends you the best restaurants around your current location.

IBNLive for Android

Convert your Android into a complete news device. Get the latest headlines and complete news reports from India wherever you want it. This app allows you to watch live TV on three channels: CNN-IBN - English; IBN7 - Hindi; IBN Lokmat – Marathi, read the latest news, view news clips on video and photo galleries, Get live cricket scores, customize the homepage and also save stories to read later.

India Newspapers

This app allows you to read major India newspapers, magazines, news sites online. You can find news from The Times of India, Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran, Malayala Manorama, The Hindu, Hindustan Times, among others. The news read more often will go up on your list. The app also lets you to adjust font size and share the news via email and sms.

Indian Rail Info App

This app is designed to allow user to fetch transit related information about Indian Railway. This App supports PNR Status, Train Search, Seat Availability (For trains running from Major Stations), Seat Availability (Between any two stations), New Train Number finder, Arrival & Departure, Train Running Status, Seat Upgrade Status and Fare Enquiry.

TaazzaGO for India

TaazzaGO helps you discover things around you in India including awesome offers from Snapdeal, Dealsandyou, Groupon, Upto75 and others, provides information on local restaurants and yellow pages. Provides Bollywood and Hollywood movies with listings, stage plays and professional events and also provides local weather & detailed weather forecast. A must have for your Android Tablet.

So go ahead, make the most of your Android tablet.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Phone Features We Can’t Live Without

All of us have been using mobile phones for so many years now. They have become such an integrated part of our lives so much that we have abandoned some of the other devices that we could not live without. Let us have a look at some of the most essential applications that are always there, from a low end budget phone to a high-end smart phone.

Alarm Clocks

All of us at least had one alarm clock which we could totally depend on. We knew that it was probably not very accurate, but were not bothered if the clock was off by a few minutes. However, we have got so used to the alarm function on our mobile phones now that the ubiquitous alarm clocks have died a slow death, and nobody misses it now.


This used to be an indispensable part of our life. It was not just something that we could flaunt, but also something that served a very important purpose, to ensure that we keep our appointments, and reach places on time. With the advent of the mobile phone, the watch has slowly lost its status as a functional device, taking a backseat to become just an accessory.


Whether you were a student, a teacher, a professional or a vegetable seller, this was one device that could be found on anyone who wanted to make accurate calculations. They came in all sizes, and were indispensable. Now, all mobile phones have a built in calculator which are sometimes more functional than the regular one.

FM Radios

This is another gadget which used to add credibility to teenagers and adults alike. From listening to cricket commentary to having ones favorite songs playing as you sleep, a FM radio player was a part of everyone’s life. The mobile phones have replaced them, providing superior digital FM with the capability of even recording the talk show, and saving one’s favorite channels.


These used to be in every journalist’s arsenal, and were used as a weapon of mass destruction quite a few times. Not easily available, and extremely expensive, they were looked at with awe and wonder. Now, with mobile phones having sound recorder as a common feature, these are no longer awe inspiring. In fact, if anyone still uses them, they would clearly be behind the times.

Personal Planner

From scheduling calls and reminders to having a to-do checklist, personal planners have been replaced with a personal information manager found on most phones. These enable the users to set reminders, and add/delete calendar entries and much more.

Though, for some, it may seem a little nostalgic while remembering all these devices which used to be a part of our everyday lives, it is a matter of pride hat a single instrument has been able to replace so many devices, offering if not better, at least the same functions of a multitude of devices. Just make sure to carry spare batteries, or go for a phone with a marathon battery.