Sunday, April 24, 2011

What to look forward to in Mobile Phone Technology

When we were kids, we always used to see a future depicted with fancy gadgets and unbelievable technology. Fast forward a couple of decades and technology which we could only imagine in an episode of a “Star Trek’ or a “Jetsons” is now literally at our finger tips. Let us take a look at the new technologies that are redefining our lives by changing the way we communicate.

Video Calling

If just making voice calls on your phone is not enough for you, then get ready to evolve to the next new wave of communication – Video Calling. Dual cameras are becoming a standard feature across mobile phones, and with the advent of high speed data access via 3G, it’s just a matter of time that video calling will become a frequently used feature. This is just getting one step closer to the time when a smart phone will truly replace the laptop. Just remember to be not just at your best behavior but also in your best clothes before making that video call.

Seamless VoIP Integration

Many of us have used the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology on our computers, when we talk to someone on Skype, Google Voice and any such software. However, this technology is now being integrated into your mobile phone, using the WI-FI feature. Just imagine, you can log onto your Skype or Google account from your phone, and make an international call as long as you are connected to a WI-FI network such as at your house, work or a public hotspot. All this, without paying a single rupee. Using WI-FI to access the Internet on mobile handsets is rapidly emerging as an alternative to phone networks as customers look for ways to save money and carriers grapple with the issue of network congestion. Even if you don’t have 3G, the WI-FI feature helps you to get online and access high speed internet quickly and cost efficiently.

Location-Based Awareness

A location-based mobile platform makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smart phone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. It guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and surfacing relevant suggestions about nearby venues. Merchants and brands leverage the foursquare platform by utilizing a wide set of tools to obtain, engage, and retain customers and audiences. You can also see where your friends are and share your location in the real world. You can check into a particular place and tell your friends where you are, tag your friends in the places you visit, and view comments your friends have made about the places you visit. Use location based check-in to experience connecting with people on social networks in a completely new way.

The rapid pace at which technology is changing makes it possible to not just communicate better, but also at a lesser cost. While the above technology is becoming fairly commonplace in countries where the telecom sector is more evolved, it is yet to catch on in India. However, there is no doubt that this is something that we should be ready for.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Essential Tips for Mobile Phone Etiquette

Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives, from being the first instrument we reach out to when we wake up, to the last device we use before falling asleep. Granted that they have changed the way we communicate, work and interact with people, but they are also capable of causing great embarrassment if not used properly. Let us have a look at the some of the biggest nuisances people can cause using the mobile phone, and how you can avoid it.

Having a Private Conversation in a Public Place

Now that in itself is not bad manners. However, if the person on the mobile is talking so loudly that everyone around him can hear the conversation, it can become very uncomfortable for the by-standers.

They really don’t want to know that you are having troubling with your job/family/finances or just about anything. Apart from causing a nuisance, you may even cause resentment if you use inappropriate language loudly while on the phone. If you have to answer a call, try to find a quiet place in order to not disturb others. If you cannot find a quiet place, keep your voice low and the conversation as brief as possible, informing the caller that you will call him back once you are in a more private, secluded place.

Loud Music and Ringtones

Loud ringtones were irritating enough during the days of the polyphonic ringtones, but now, with MP3 ringtones becoming the norm, it is incredible how annoying they can get. The people around you have no interest in your taste of music and it would be better off to keep the ringtone muted on vibration or at least low enough to not cause disturbance. With a wave of affordable music phones being launched, it’s a common sight to have people listen to music on their loud speaker in places such as buses, elevators and parks. This is definitely not something that people around you appreciate. If you have to listen to music or the radio on your phone, get yourself high quality earphones and do yourself and others a favor.

Using Your Phone While In a Group

Do you remember the last time when someone was constantly texting on the mobile phone, while you were trying to have a conversation? It wasn’t that long ago, right. This is one instance where multi-tasking is not a good option. If you are in a group of people, sending a SMS discretely once in a while is not a big deal, but if you are having a full blown text conversation, it is better to excuse yourself from the group and finish the conversation. If you receive an important call when you are with a group of people, excuse yourself before taking the call, so that it doesn’t seem awkward to the rest of the group.

Indiscriminate use of technology

Your mobile phone has a host of features such as a camera, a video recorder and a sound recorder among others. However, what may seem fun at first, such as taking a photo of another friend during a funny moment and uploading it on social networking sites, may snowball into an awkward moment at best, or even cause legal problems at worst. Be careful what you photograph and if you intend to record a conversation, inform the other person and ask permission to do so, before doing it.

Now that you know these essential mobile phone etiquette tips, go ahead and enjoy your mobile phone experience without causing any embarrassment to yourself or others.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Texting Has Never Been Easier

One of the main features that we use in our mobile phone is texting. Irrespective of how advanced our mobile phone is, this is one function that can never be replaced by a new feature. No wonder then, that there has been so much attention around easy texting. More work is being done today on mobile devices such as PDAs and smart phones than ever before. In this post, let us have a look at the two greatest improvements that have made sending a SMS easier than ever. These may not be new, but if you have not been using them, now is a good time to start.

The Good Old T9 Dictionary

The t9 dictionary is predictive text input software built into almost all mobile phones. Instead of repeatedly pressing a key, the T9 function allows you to type words using fewer key presses. If you use your phone for sending short SMSs, the T9 dictionary can do wonders to your texting speed. The software also adapts to your usage and stores frequently used words in its memory so that you don’t have to type in a word which is not in its dictionary. Another advantage is that your SMSs would appear more polished since the predictive text input helps you to type complete words as easily as abbreviations. So there are no spelling mistakes or typing mistakes. By the way, just in case you are wondering why is it called T9, it simply stands for ‘Text on 9 keys’. The dictionary can be expanded by adding missing words, enabling them to be recognized in the future. After introducing a new word, the next time the user tries to produce that word T9 will add it to the predictive dictionary.

The QWERTY Keypad

All of us are used to the QWERTY keyboard on our laptops and PCs. Now, you can have the same familiarity on your mobile phone so that so you won't have to search and fumble for the right keys. Instead, you can tap out more messages in less time and offer lightning fast replies. If you want to type a long e-mail on your mobile phone or even have an IM conversation the QWERTY keypad makes this a breeze. The simple fact that you are not restricted to multiple key presses can speed up your texting speed significantly. If you need to send a combination of numbers, text and symbol, the QWERTY keypad is the way to go. Also, if you have to use unconventional words or in the Indian context, you may want to type something in your regional language, then it’s easier and faster using the QWERTY keypad.

Whether you prefer the T9 or the QWERTY style, both takes time to get used to, but once you are comfortable with the style, you will be getting more work done on your phone whether is just sending SMS or e-mails and IM conversations. Go ahead, surprise your friends with your new found texting speed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Who should buy the tablet?

The tablets have literally taken the market by storm. Last year, it was the netbooks, and this is announced to be the year when the tablets come of age. The sales are going through the roof and Android and iOS are ruling the tablet operating system space. While we have done several posts on how tablets can be extremely useful, refer Tablets - Why You Need To Have A Long Hard Look At Them , now we shall see what kind of users actually buy a tablet, and to whom it would be most useful.

The Travelling Executive

This kind of user has been loyal to the Blackberry for several years now. However, with the onslaught of tablets, they have changes their loyalty, if not completely doing away with the Blackberry, at least reducing the dependence on it. This is with good reason though. A tablets lets him do more than just check his mail. He can create entire presentations, analyze an excel sheet thoroughly and even use a word processor with absolute ease, without having to step into his office. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. For a complete rundown on how tablets can be extremely productive, check out Getting Work Done on the Move

The Student

While a student may not have the need to travel much and getting work done on the go, they have specific needs for which the tablet suits the best. Lugging a large number of text books, or an inadequate single purpose e-book reader is not their cup of tea, and the tablet beautifully enables them to not only take notes, record lectures and research on the internet, but also create documents easily. And if that’s not enough, they can also relax after studying hard (and hopefully not get distracted) by taking their entertainment primetime, on the go.

The Average Joe

Even if you don’t fall under the above two categories, the tablet can be extremely useful and fun for everyone else. The fact that they just ooze appeal is just another added attraction. No wonder, from celebrities such as Sharhrukh Khan dishing out a tablet to read from during a presentation, to Abishek Bachchan receiving one as a gift from his sister, everyone just has the need for a tablet. The ability to add apps and take photos, record videos and a ton of other features gives it a universal appeal across geography and demography. Give a kid a tablet, and you can forget about taking care of him as he is lost in a world of his own – reading books, playing games and catching up with his friends. To know more about the different apps and games available for the tablet, read Best Games for Your Android tablet.

Most of these tablets are into their second generation, after having taken care of teething problems and other issues that usually crop up with a new product launch. This is truly the year that the tablet arrived, and all we can say is RIP to all the other contenders such as the netbooks.