Wednesday, December 30, 2015

iPad Pro Review: Laptop Killer in the Making?

iPad Pro

There are many who'd like to have that one gadget to rule them all, but frankly, even getting the number down to two is a task that's successfully accompolished. With the new iPad Air featuring a keypad, it really didn't excite me the most. Tablet for me usually became a medium for content consumption, dual-screening while I am watching my favourite show and sending that occasional email.

The iPad Pro is here!
A tablet that has the specifications to replace the laptop, perhaps? At just 723gms and 6.9width, this is infact THINNER than the iPhone 6S Plus. The 12.9 inch screen along with a nifty keypad does really help you get away from the feeling of using a tablet.

What Powers this Beast?
The iPad Pro is powered by the powerful A9X processor, Apple's most powerful processor yet. Apple has been successfully able to tap into a processor that has what it takes to stand against Intel's ultra notebook processors. When you use this baby for AutoCad or simply, the Office 365, you aren't disappointed.

What's Unputdownable?
With the iPad Pro, the Split View is surely something that will find takers. You can select the ratio of the screens, thus optimizing your experience for Twitter and Apple News. The Smart Keyboard has really made the experience delightful, with Apple Pencil bringing in that added kick during long-haul flights.

The Issues
The keyboard doesn't seem built for the indian markets. You'd really have to be cautious as you carry them outside. There isn't a trackpad which makes editing a pain in the wrong place.



Battery
You will usually get a batter life of upto 10 hours, depending upon how intensive is your usage. Checking emails, watching a couple of videos and listening to music all day long should see you through the day.

Camera
The 8MP 1080p rear camera isn't a bit of problem, as not may would consider choosing the iPad Pro to click photographs. However, the 1.2MP front camera really comes in handy during facetime.

Price
The iPad Pro comes with a price tag of Rs.70,000, something that might be a bit too much for the high-end customer

The Verdict
While the all new iPad Pro comes with a HOST of features, it still isn't the Laptop replacement for me. With a host of corporate apps missing from the iOS 9, the product has a long way to go to really find the buyer in me


Monday, December 28, 2015

Samsung Strikes Gold with LeBron James 360 Degree Video

Now, to many LeBron James is considered just a basketball player. This campaign by Samsung just propelled NBA star into the league of insprational players of all time. Consequently, with the video now only launched for Samsung Gear VR users, the technological Juggernaut will soon find takers for its futuristic product.

The VR or Virtual Reality video titled "Striving for Greatness" offers interesting insights into the life of the NBA superstar.



With Samsung and Facebook both looking to enter the VR market in a big way. And with the VR industry not really taking off, these PR videos might just portray these companies as being the torchbearers of technology. 

Are you a fan of VR? Tell us in the comments below!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P - Which One Should You Buy?

Android fans are celebrating the recent launch of Google's all new two Nexus smartphones. While they may sound similar, the Nexus 5X and 6P are quite different and targetted to two very different target audiences. While both are promising outstanding smartphone experience, Android users might clearly be in a fix on the next Nexus they ought to buy.


Say Hello to Marshmellow
Both the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will run on the latest Android OS - The Marshmellow. I am not sure how significant is the update, considering the previous one - Lollipop still hasn't crossed 20% installs.

Display
One thing is for sure - the phones aren't made for those who look for handy phones. these phones are large, VERY large. With 4K resolution becoming increasingly a household word, manufacturers are following suit. 

Nexus 5X has a 5.2 Inch, 1080P IPS LCS display while the 6P has a 5.7 inch, 2K AMOLED display. Clearly, Android users who are looking for the best screen would certainly opt for the latter. However, it is quite clear that the race isn't over with just the screen size, isn't it?

Features
With interesting features built into the smartphones, neither of the Google devices have wireless charging. However, with Google promising that the new phones would charge twice as fast their Apple counterparts, the word is still out there on the best one you ought to buy.

Camera
While it is interesting that these smartphones have been made for the snappers, Google doesn't have optical image stabilizers in these phones, making the 12.3MP camera pill a li'l too hard to swallow. The tech giant states that optical image stabilization won't be necessary as it has increased the micron size, thereby allowing more light. 

However, one area where the 6P excels is the shooting mode. The 6P is equipped to handle slow motion at 240fps, while the 5X can only go up to 120fps. 

Processor and Memory
The Nexus 6P has an upper hand in this segment than the 5X. The former is fitted with a Snapdragon 810 version 2.1 and packs in 3Gb of DDR4 RAM. The latter has a Snapdragon 808 and 2GB of DDR3 RAM.

Battery
Finally coming to the biggest flaw of Nexus devices since the time they came to be. The two phones have greatly improved battery life, with 5X packing 2700mAh and the 6P 3450mAh. However, what's interesting is that Marshmallow, the OS that powers the two new devices, has a feature called 'Doze', and it significantly improves the life by 30-100% by limiting the background apps that eat away your charge.

Conclusion
Go for the 6P as the 5X clearly has a lot of limitations. Plus, the mere 32Gb of memory in 5X would disappoint you if you are a heavy user. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Introducing #Priv: A #Blackberry that Runs on #Android



Yes, you heard it. 



CEO John Chen recently launched, or atleast gave a demo of, or atleast tried to, the all new Android Blackberry phone - Priv. The smartphone, despite the launch hiccups, could be a gamechanger or a terribly bad omen for the company that currently commands just 0.5% of the market share, its sale down 70% that previous year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Forget the Dislike Button. We need these #Facebook buttons first!


It's finally happening. For years, we have been clamouring for a "dislike" button. It seems to be finally happening. And from what is being circulated on the Internet, it wasn't so easy for Facebook to conjure one up.

Facebook had to be sure to create a button that won't actually undo the entire concept of Facebook and used against its pages. They actually did a lot of work to ensure the button is used primarily for sympathizing. However, this seemingly innocous job took a lot of thinking.

Let's say someone has posted on Facebook about the death of a family member or for that matter, the refugee crisis. Here, the 'like' button is seemingly uncomfortable for the one who has posted. The new tool could help the reader empathize with their friend.

The new button is going to roll out pretty soon as Facebook has been working on the same for quite some time now.

Being an animal-lover, I often come across news of dogs being culled in Kerala. Now, even if I may 'like' the news, my thoughts behind would be to thank the person for sharing this, not necessarily trying to appreciate the fact that dogs are being culled in Kerala in huge numbers. 

While the dislike button isn't going to be exactly a "dislike" button, it'd be something akin to it. Here are the possible options that Facebook could look into:

My thoughts 90% of the time.
For those who think Facebook is their personal Journal
When the joke's so bad.
When you need to run away from a conversation you were dragged into
When the news is too graphic. Eh, you come to chill, right?
For when the stupidity is beyond you!

Which one did you like the most? Share with others in the comments below!

Monday, September 14, 2015

#Windows10 Devices are Coming - October 6th


Come October 6th and Microsoft shall be announcing a whole list of devices running exclusive on the newly launched Windows 10 Operating system. While some say the Windows Surface Pro 4 is ready for a giant leap with the new OS, Microsoft would also look forward to getting a good traction through the Microsoft Fitness Band 2 along with a whole new series of Lumia smartphones.

Will Microsoft gain lost ground in Tablets and mobiles? Only time will tell. However, with the audience slowly but steadily warming up to connected devices, this surely is an announcement worth waiting for. 

The launch shall be presided over by CEO Satya Nadella in New York City. Personally, I am excited to find out more about Hololens, Microsoft's augmented reality headset.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

#GoogleFiber Comes to #India with #ProjectNilgiri!


Here's something that every tech geek would love to hear! Google fiber, the 5-year old dream by Google to provide fiber-to-premise broadband service which took the world by storm, providing speeds of upto 1Gb/sec to its subscribers, has decided to come to India with Project Nilgiri, a tie-up with the Indian Railways. This will enable indian citizens to access free-wifi in over 400 stations! 

The news, originally brought by TelecomTalk, looks concrete with the screenshot of the website below:


I don't know about you but the simple thought of getting free internet of upto 7mbps right from the start with a simple sms-verification is exciting!

Will this be for everyone? 
Yes! All you need is a smartphone with a wifi-connectivity option!

How long will you get to be connected to the network?
For the first 34 minutes, you will get speeds of uptot 5 mbps. Thereby the connection speed would reduce. However, you won't be disconnected.

This is Potentially Huge!
With Google tieing-up with RaiTel, a PSU with Pan-India presence, this looks all set to change the way the increasing mobile indian travels. Google has sets its eyes on India for sometime now, With this launch, I hope other telecom providers are forced to better their game and bring down the data charges, which are highest in the world.

Are you excited about Google Fiber? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Which Social Media Metrics Should You Be Focusing On?

Social media metrics

With PTA and Likes virtually meaning nothing these days, there are a lot of social media managers out there who are flustered about the kind of metrics they need to track to give their brands a comprehensive analysis of social media.

What Do You Need to Understand First?
Traditional metrics is dead. The industry had somehow remained stagnant for most part of the last 3 years. However, that has changed. With Facebook reducing organic reach and twitter rumoured to follow suit, without media, your biggest ideas are going to fall face first. That being said, you need to better your game by simply adopting certain methods to ensure guaranteed ROI or Return of Investment in the long run, no matter how much the industry changes.

Well then, with PTA and Likes virtually relegated to the corner, which social media metrics should your business be rather focusing on? Ready? Here we go!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Which is the Best Music Streaming App in India?


When it comes to choosing the best streaming services, users in India are surely spoilt for choices. Nobody could guess, even till last year, that streaming services would become such a big hit in India. With data rates(still the highest in the world) coming down and smartphone penetration aiding the same, streaming services are going to be the biggest boon for the anti-piracy squad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#Barracuda Begins Roll Out of #SaaS Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Starting with Support for #Microsoft #Office365 Environments

Barracuda Backup offers customers flexible deployments for long-term data retention, and now enables administrators to easily export data onto external disk or tape.

Barracuda is expanding on its existing flexible options for businesses to manage their data protection and disaster recovery needs. Cloud-to-Cloud Backup, Barracuda’s new SaaS backup option, provides customers with the ability to replicate data from supported cloud environments into Barracuda’s Cloud Storage. Barracuda Backup now provides customers with additional options for long-term data retention and physical-to-virtual portability.

“As IDC’s worldwide unit leader in Integrated Purpose Built Backup Appliances, extending the value we provide to our customers is always our top priority, which includes giving them flexible options for protecting their data and restoring services quickly in the event of a disaster,” said Rod Mathews, GM Storage, Barracuda.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Backup
Barracuda's new Cloud-to-Cloud Backup currently supports Microsoft Office 365 including Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business. IT administrators concerned about protecting Microsoft Office 365 environments will be able to replicate data over a secure connection to be stored in Barracuda Cloud Storage. Lost data can be more easily searched for and retrieved. Administrators can download or restore data directly back to Microsoft’s hosted applications from Barracuda Cloud Control - a centralized web-based administration console, accessible from anywhere. Benefits include:
·         Protection against accidental or malicious data loss
·         Customizable retention policies and granular selection
·         Automated or manual backups
·         Search, multi-selection restores, or downloads
·         Barracuda Cloud Storage can be deployed in geographically distributed, enterprise-grade data centers
·         Data encrypted with HTTPS/SSL in transit and AES 265-bit encryption at rest

Flexible Options for Long-Term Data Retention
For businesses looking to meet extended retention requirements, Barracuda Backup customers can leverage Offsite Vaulting to store historical revisions in Barracuda’s Cloud Storage or an offsite Barracuda Backup appliance. Barracuda Backup is extending its functionality to include export options for historical revisions to external media such as disk or tape. Benefits include:
·         Export individual files, folders, or databases – both scheduled or on-demand – to disk, tape drives, autoloaders, and robotic libraries
·         Automatic scheduling and media rotation, data encryption and compression, and alerting of backup completion or errors

Physical-to-Virtual Portability
Barracuda Backup’s innovative LiveBoot feature provides a rapid recovery option for virtual environments during disasters and will now add physical-to-virtual (P2V) portability. For physical servers that are not yet end of life, IT admins will be able to restore these systems into a virtual server hosted in VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V. Benefits include:
·         Simplified migration from legacy physical servers into virtual environments
·         Reduced time-to-recovery in the event of a disaster by enabling recovery of physical servers to a virtual infrastructure

“Barracuda Backup has always provided us with the flexibility to back up our data in a way that makes the most sense for our business,” said Craig Sauvigne, System Administrator, Winthrop University. “It’s easy to buy and set up, is highly scalable and keeps improving with each update – Barracuda Backup is a great long-term solution for backup and recovery.”


Barracuda Backup is part of the company’s Data Protection Plus strategic initiative, aimed at helping customers access, retain and share critical data from anywhere and any device. For more information about Data Protection Plus, please visit: http://cuda.co/dppreview.

Pricing and Availability
Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is expected to be available in the next 60 days. It will be included for the first year at no additional charge for new and existing customers with subscriptions to Barracuda Backup Unlimited Cloud Storage. It will also be available as a standalone service. For more information on the pricing and availability of Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup, please visit http://cuda.co/direct2cloud.

The latest version of Barracuda Backup is expected to be available in the next 60 days. It will be included at no additional charge to existing customers on current appliance platforms with an active Energize Updates subscription. The Barracuda Backup list price starts at $999 USD for the all-in-one appliance, with a list price of $199 USD for the annual Energize Updates subscription. An optional Instant Replacement service featuring priority replacement of failed hardware and a complimentary hardware refresh every four years is available starting at a list price of $219 USD per year. A one-year subscription to Unlimited Cloud Storage starts at $499 USD.

Barracuda Backup is also available as a comprehensive annual subscription including the appliance, Energize Updates, Instant Replacement, and Unlimited Cloud Storage starting at a list price of $1199 per year.

International pricing and availability vary by region.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Can Social Media Really Help My Website's SEO?

Social Media SEO gurgaon
As I sat on the other end of the table, the client threw this question at me. Will social media strategy, the one that will spread across 4 months and will include every possible vertical of social media, really help my client in getting adequate hits on his website? Will his website show up on search ranking pages or SERPs as we call it, everytime someone looks his business up?

It was then that I had this realization that this wasn't the first time such a question was being thrown at me.

So, Can Social help SEO?
Depends. Search Engine Optimization is a huge topic in itself. The optimization that you have done on your website, the quality of the backlinks that you have generated, the repository of content pointing to your website across the web all work towards the SEO score of your website. 

Where Social Comes In the Picture?
Social media enables you to generate clicks on your website, as it's highly targetted. The regular you post updates on your social channels with links to your website, the possibility of a new click increases(which is dependent on a lot of other things), thereby making bots crawl your website more frequently and indexing the same.

Through dedicated online marketing strategy, you are able to get popular blogs write about your brand online(with a link pointing to your website). With a dedicated blogger relationship strategy, or Digital PR as we call it, you are able to get popular blogs with thousands of unique visitors in your industry point to your website. This means you are able to generate good links to your website. It's better than guest posting as the content that is pushed on the blog doesn't look promotional at all.

How can Social enable SEO?
When it comes to social media, it's a simple 3-step process to ensure that this medium is ready to bring traffic to your website, thereby increasing the website SEO rank.

Content Strategy
Social media is great place to generate quality content as you are able to track practicaly 100% of what is your industry is talking about, online. The moment you become a moderator to these conversations happening online, your content becomes highly shareable with your audience, thereby giving your brand an edge over the others. You are able to drive natural traffic to your website.

Generate Backlinks
You don't have to keep sharing your content on a regular basis with your audience. Just be ready with your content the moment any of your reader thinks about sharing your content in the digital space. There are a lot of tools online. I find buffer the best, as it lets you share your content on a regular basis depending upon when your audience comes online. Have a clear strategy in place to develop your communities on social - be it Facebook, Twitter or somewhere else.

Build Social Media following
When you have a community of readers who come to your website on a regular basis, you prepare your website against future penguin-like updates from hitting your website's traffic. There are tonnes of websites which are still in shambles after the algorithm update from Google. 

As I sipped the coffee which had gone cold in the course of the meeting, I simply put forth the concept of social media - 
It won't help your website at the outset, but it will definitely help your brand in the long run. 
He was sold.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lenovo A6000 Review: The Best Budget Smartphone Yet

Lenovo A6000 image
Lenovo A6000: Unmatched Pricing. Amazing Specs

When I got my hands on this lovely beauty, I thought the experience won't be something amazing. I am glad I was proved wrong. This phone exactly offers what you need - Seamless usage and a long battery back up to get you through the day.The phone feels light on your hands, well, it's lighter than the Moto G and the user experience has been by far quite satisfying. 

External

Lenovo A6000
The Bootup screen
The 8.2mm thick phone and the gripping back cover ensures that the phone sits comfortably in your hand. The curvy-back and the strategically placed keys really help when you are in a hurry. I really appreciate the fact that the designers ensured to make it all happen in the 5-inch screen. I foresee this size to be picked up even more. The screen-to-body ratio is quite acceptable and 294ppi screen delivers as expected. The battery is removable, which is awesome. The 2300mAh beast actually lasted over a day and this is after gruelling Need For Speed Asphalt 8 sessions all day!

Lenovo A6000 image
The volume keys and the power button
  
Lenovo A6000
mini-USB cable slot on top along with the audio jack
Internal

So what powers this one? The Android KitKat OS runs on Qualcom Snapdragon Quadcore 1.2Ghz Cortex processor. With an internal storage of 8GB and 1GB RAM, the phone isn't recommended for heavy users. First time users will find this phone especially useful owing to the usability.

Lenovo A6000 image
Lenovo A6000 all ready for you!

Camera

Lenovo A6000 images
Impressive image processing capabilities.
The smartphone boasts of two cameras - 8MP rear camera with flash and 2MP front(without flash). Tried a lot of shots and frankly I am impressed with the quality of the images taken in daylight. Without flast, night photos shall be grainy and selfies without adequate light will disappoint you.

Lenovo A6000 Camera Test
The camera is pretty basic

Conclusion
The Lenovo A6000 is a smartphone not for a heavy user as the internal memory is low. However, if you are tight on the budget and want a phone that'd last all day and let you check mails and calls from time to time, this is a phone that's meant for you. Also, brilliant move by Lenovo in keeping the price so competitive.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Is Goodness the key to disruptive innovation?


The School of Inspired Leadership conducted its 6th edition of Inspired Leadership Conference (ILC 2014) in Gurgaon on 12th-13thDecember. The conference was dedicated in the memory of Dr. V Kurien, the father of “White Revolution “in India who worked endlessly towards development in the agriculture sector.

The theme for the conference was ’Is goodness the key to disruptive innovation’.Thinkers, business leaders and entrepreneurs such as Harsh Mariwala, Chairman -Marico Industries; RS Sodhi, MD, GCMMF  (Amul) Ltd. Anand; Naveen Narayanan, Global Head Talent Acquisition- HCL  Technologies; Rachna Mukherjee, Country Partner- VP HR, Schneider Electric, participated in the Conference. 

The two days saw enriching discussions and deliberations on the thought  provoking idea of leveraging goodness to create disruptive innovation. Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Harsh Mariwala, Chairman -Marico Industries, said,“I  believe goodness works at two levels: one is corporate and the other is at personal level. On a personal level,if each person discovers a strong purpose of life, they give back something to the society.To me this is goodness."

Soil organized activities that saw a participation by various students and professionals .It helped people understand the importance of imbibing & appreciating goodness in their day to day life.