Beginner’s Guide on Building Your First Android App

If you’ve ever thought about building a mobile application but put these dreams aside for whatever reason, now’s the time to get started. And with over a million new device activations per day, the mobile platform that will give you the most potential reach is clearly the Android OS.
So how do you go about building your first Android application? Well, that’s where XDA Senior Member Nachiket.Namjoshi is hoping to chime in with his tutorial thread. The guide is aimed at individuals just getting started with Android app development, but who have some experience with object oriented programming, Java, and Eclipse.
Nachiket.Namjoshi’s guide walks you through initial setup of an Eclipse-based development environment on Windows, as well as the Android SDK, Android Developer Tools (ADT), and the JDK. Once you have the prerequisites installed, the guide defines some of the fundamental staples of Android apps, including activities, services, content providers, broadcast receivers, as well as how to declare permissions and a minimum API level in the AndroidManifest.xml file. After the explanations, the guide shows you how to create activities and intents, as well as how to call them.
Budding application developers, be sure to head over to the tutorial thread to get started.

Source : xda-developers


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How to install apps from the SD Card on Windows Phone 8(Detailed)



One of the most overlooked features on Windows Phone 8 is the ability to install apps from the SD card. Most people may not be aware of this feature and it does come in handy if you were to reset your phone in the near future to have all your apps backed up on the SD card.
People often think that since you download the app onto the SD card this is where it’s installed but this is not the case. This is where Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 have their own advantages in this scenario. On Windows Phone 7, when an SD card is inserted, it’s simply merged into one therefore, allowing an increase in memory to apps. For example, if you insert an 8GB SD card into an 8GB device, you now have 16GB to install apps.
One issue with this was that once the SD card was inserted and used in Windows Phone 7, the memory card is now rendered useless and the device will require a hard reset before it is functional again without the SD card, Windows Phone 8 however, is a completely different story.
SD cards are removable and usable in Windows Phone 8 devices and both requires no reset to use and unlike Windows Phone 7, both memories are separate, which means apps can’t be installed onto the SD card but can be installed from it. I often had difficulties getting this to work but I finally found a procedure that worked. For this to work, you need your PC and your WP8 device, Check out the details below:

How to Install apps from the SD card

  • To download .XAP files from the Windows Phone Store on the web
  • Open your browser on your PC and go to www.windowsphone.com.
  • Search for the app you want to download.
  • Scroll down on the webpage, and then on the left, click Download and install manually (below the app requirements and supported languages).
  • When prompted, save the .XAP file to a location on your computer.
  • Copy the .XAP file to the root of your memory card (where your Music and Pictures folders are located.
  • After copying the XAP file to your memory card remove the USB and restart your device and proceed to Step 2.
  • Step 2: To install apps and games from your phone’s SD card
  • After your device turns on, leave your device  for around 5 mins. then follow the instructions below.
  • On your device hit Start Start button, tap Store Marketplace tile, and then tap SD card.
  • Select the apps you want, and then tap Install.
  • Installed apps appear in the App list and games appear in the Games Hub. Depending on the specific app or game, you’ll be able to use them as follows:
If you still don’t see the SD card option present you should try restarting and giving your device 5 minutes. Did the instructions help? Did this work for you? Leave your comment below and tell us how it went.

Source : WindowsPhone


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Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 pictured with AT&T branding


Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 pictured with AT&T branding

A tweet sent from evleaks on Saturday reveals a Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 wearing the AT&T brand in a dark blue color. Until recently, the handset offered the largest screen on a smartphone, but that was before the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and its 6.4 inch screen came to market. We actually had a clue that the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 would be coming to AT&T when the device visited the FCC back in June, with the carrier's 4G LTE bands on board.

Tweet from evleaks shows off the AT&T branded Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
Tweet from evleaks shows off the AT&T
branded Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3

The 6.3 inch Super Clear LCD display on the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 offers resolution of 720 x 1280. That combination works out to a 233ppi pixel density. A dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor is under the hood with 1.5GB of RAM included. While 8GB of native storage is on board, there is also a 64GB capacity microSD slot on the phone. The 8MP rear-facing camera offers video capture in 1080 x 1920 at 30 fps and there is a front-facing 1.9MP shooter for video chats and to take selfies with. A 3200mAh battery keeps the gerbils spinning on the wheel and Android 4.2.2 is pre-installed with the Nature UX UI running on top of it.

Since this is speculation, we don't have a price or a launch date. If the picture is legit, it looks like the Korean based manufacturer will be playing off the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 against the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note III. By the way, for those keeping track, the tweet lists the model number as the SGH-i527 and the name of the phone as the Melius. That is interesting because originally we heard that name in conjunction with a Tizen flavored handset that was expected to launch in the third quarter.
Source : @evleaks


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Pre-orders for Nokia Lumia 625 sell out on India's Snapdeals


Pre-orders for Nokia Lumia 625 sell out on India's Snapdeals


Nokia has had a big winner with both the entry-level Nokia Lumia 520 and its twin, the T-Mobile branded Nokia Lumia 521. Now, it looks like the Nokia Lumia 625 might be following in the footsteps of the those two models. The handset sporting the largest screen of any Lumia flavored Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 625 was being made available for pre-orders in India from online retailer Snapdeals and has already sold out. Snapdeals was asking for a down payment of 1000 Rs ($16.22) with the remaining amount due upon the release of the phone in the last week of August.

Based on some data from mobile ad network AdDupplex, the Nokia Lumia 625 has already captured 1% of the Windows Phone market in Thailand after being launched there just days ago. Despite the large 4.7 inch screen, the rest of the specs are decidedly low to mid-range. The display's resolution of 480 x 800 results in a rather low pixel density of 201 ppi. Under the hood is a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 with only 512MB of RAM. There is 8GB of native storage inside along with a 64GB capacity microSD slot. A 5MP camera on back captures video in 1080 x 1920 at 30fps and there is a VGA front-facing shooter. The 2000mAh battery keeps the lights on.

With its success in the low-light photography niche and in the low-to-mid-range market, Nokia is building up some steam at the right time, just a few months prior to the all important holiday shopping season.

India's Snapdeals has sold out the Nokia Lumia 625 while accepting pre-orders for the device
India's Snapdeals has sold out the Nokia Lumia 625 while accepting pre-orders for the device



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GDR2 update rolling out now to AT&T's HTC Windows Phone 8X


GDR2 update rolling out now to AT&T's HTC Windows Phone 8X


AT&T posted on its support forum that the GDR2 update for its version of the HTC Windows Phone 8X was released starting on Thursday. The new OS version number is 8.0.10327.77 and the nation's second largest carrier says that the update weighs in at a hefty 207 MB. The update can be downloaded only when the user has a Wi-Fi connection.

The update includes support for LTE bands 2 and 5 and the update brings an FM radio to most Windows Phone models. To use it, you will need to plug in your earphones. Sync support has been added to Google contacts and calendar and additional enhancements have been made to the performance of Bluetooth, music and the battery.

The update also includes the Data Sense application which keeps track of your data usage each month. You can see how many days are left in the billing cycle and even find out which apps are consuming the majority of your monthly allowance.

AT&T says it is sending out the GDR2 update for the HTC Windows Phone 8X as a staggered release which means that it might be a few days before it hits your phone. No need to panic, the update will eventually reach you!




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Nokia Lumia 720 review


The Lumia 720 is bang in the middle of Nokia's line of Windows Phone 8 offerings. It aims to offer some of the premium features found in the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 at a price that's pocket-friendly like that of Lumia 520 and Lumia 620.

Does the Nokia Lumia 720 deliver on its promise or does it end up being a confused offering? Let's find out.

Build/Design

t's easy to fall in love with the Lumia 720. Industrial design has always been Nokia's strength, and with the 720, the company seems to have outdone itself. The 720 takes Lumia 920's solid build and packs it in a smaller package that fits perfectly in the hand.






The Lumia 920 was ridiculed for being too heavy - and rightly so - and even though the 720 is no 920 replacement, we can't help but feel that, at least as far as design is concerned, this is the phone that Nokia's previous flagship should've been. We much prefer the matte finish on our Red Lumia 720 to the glossy Yellow 920 we got. Fingerprints are no issue with the 720, with the body as well as the screen remaining practically smudge free. The button placement on the Lumia 720 is similar to other recent members of the family. The right edge has the volume rocker, the power/ lock button and the dedicated camera button towards the bottom. The top edge has the microSIM and headphone jack, while the left and bottom edges feature the microSD slot and Micro-USB ports, respectively.
The front features much thinner bezels on the side, again, compared to the 920, which had a display that looked bigger than it really was, due to the wasted space on all four sides. While the Lumia 720 display isn't exactly edge-to-edge, it makes much better utilisation of the space.

Below the screen are the three standard Windows Phone buttons: Back (which doubles up as an app switcher on long press), Windows/ Home (long press for Speech) and the Search button, that continues to be as useless as ever even for Bing users like us, as it just brings up a Bing search box. We really wish Microsoft offered a unified search instead, or let us configure this button to launch something else entirely. Just above the display we have the Nokia branding and ear piece grill, with the front-facing camera just to the left.The back of our Red Lumia 720 has the rear-camera lens in the centre right next to the LED flash and Carl Zeiss branding. A NOKIA logo sits back in the middle, with the bottom part having three wireless charging pins and barely legible certification info as well as the text Made in China embossed. A speaker grill sits on the bottom left corner.
All in all, we'd go so far as to say that the Lumia 720 is our favourite Nokia phone till date, at least as far as industrial design is concerned.

Display

Nokia Lumia 720 comes with a 4.3-inch display of 480x800 pixels resolution, translating to a density of 217 pixels per inch. While that doesn't sound impressive, the real life experience is quite good.

Colour reproduction on the ClearBlack LCD is quite accurate. The viewing angles and outdoors visibility are as good as you'll come across. Like the Lumia 920, you can operate 720's touchscreen while wearing gloves.

Overall, while we sure wish the 720 sported a higher resolution display, there's no doubting the quality of this one.

Camera

The Lumia 720 comes with a 6.7-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics that is a solid performer overall. The camera takes good photos outdoors when there's plenty of light. The colours look natural and don't appear saturated or artificial in any way. However, pictures clicked under bright artificial lights appear a little washed out.

In low light conditions, the Lumia 720 shines bright (pardon the pun). The LED flash works surprisingly well, and illuminates the subjects within its range uniformly. Even when you choose to disable the flash, the 720 delivers good results - not quite the 920 low-light image quality, but then this is a phone that costs half as much, which makes it especially great.

The camera software lets you tweak a few settings for still pictures like Scenes (Auto, Close-Up, Night, Portrait, Night Portrait, Sports, Backlight), ISO, Exposure Value, White Balance, Aspect Ratio, and Focus Assist Light.

The bundled Smart Lenses like Smart Shoot, Cinemagraph, Nokia Glam Me, Panorama and Bing Vision. We had mixed results with these. Cinemagraph (create GIFs from images) and Nokia Glam Me (add effects to images) are gimmicky at best, they work as advertised. However, when you come to Smart Shoot and Panorama, things get a bit rough.

Smart Shoot is Nokia's much advertised feature that detects faces - and other objects - and lets you do things like removing unwanted things from a photo and/ or mix and match 'faces' from a series of photos taken in the same setting. While this makes for a great demo, real life results leave a lot to be desired, as the phone failed to detect many faces in a group photograph.


 
Similarly, Panorama is a horrible implementation of what has become a standard feature in most phones. Instead of holding up your phone and just moving it around to take a Panorama, NOKIA chose to go a peculiar way. Click a photograph and watch it appear on the left most corner of your screen and stay there. You are then expected to align this picture with the real world view that you see on your screen, and when the two are perfectly aligned, click another one. And so on, so that the phone can 'stitch' these photos together. This definitely feels like an implementation from a bygone era that people are unlikely to put up with to click Panoramas from their Nokia Lumia 720.

Of course, the 720 is not the only phone that suffers from these drawbacks, as the other Windows Phone 8 members of the Lumia family use the same lenses.

In case you are wondering, Bing Vision can be used to scan QR codes and Microsoft tags.
The Lumia 720 is capable of recording only 720p video, which may disappoint the spec crazy, but is unlikely to be missed by most. There's no fancy stuff like image stabilisation - as found in the Lumia 920 - still, the smartphone is capable of taking decent videos. The built-in mic does a capable job of picking up the sounds, and the audio quality is good as well.

The 1.3-megapixel front camera can record 720p videos. Like most front cameras, it does a good job for video chats, and still photography in well-lit conditions, but leaves a lot to be desired in dim lights.

Software/User interface

 Nokia Lumia 720 runs on Windows Phone 8, which means there isn't much room for customisation, other than preloading certain apps. Similar to its other Windows Phone 8-running Lumia cousins, the 720 comes with a host of pre-installed apps like BIGFLIX (entertainment), BookMyShow (booking tickets), Cosmopolitan (lifestyle magazine), HERE Drive, HERE Maps, Hike (messaging), Nokia Music, TripAdvisor (travel), and Zomato (food/ restaurants guide). 

Standard apps like Internet Explorer, Office, One Note, Wallet, and the experience is no different than any other Windows Phone 8 device. As mentioned in the Camera section, the phone comes with some lenses, which also show up as stand-alone apps. These are Bing Vision, Cinemgraph, Nokia Glam Me, Panorama and Smart Shoot.PhotoBeamer is another interesting app that lets you beam your photos to any computer over Wi-Fi, providing an instant, wireless slideshow you can see over a large screen. During our tests, this worked as advertised.

Xbox games is your gaming hub, where most games get installed by default. You can maintain your profile and do other related activities.

We are big fans of the Transfer My Data app, which imported contacts and messages from our old Nokia phone over Bluetooth with minimum fuss. Another one of our personal favourites, the Drive app performs great as ever, and it remains our preferred navigation app on any platform, even above Google Maps. Nokia Music - with free, downloadable, DRM-free music for a year, is always well received as well.

 Performance/Battery Life

The Nokia Lumia 720 handles pretty much everything you throw at it without any hiccups. Yes, there's no quad-core processor, but you are unlikely to miss that in every day activities. From browsing, to playing music, to emails or editing Office files, everything goes off smoothly.

One area where we were keen to put Lumia 720 under the test was gaming. We installed quite a few games on our 720, including popular titles such Angry Birds, AE Bowling 3D, Ice Age Village, AE 3D Motor, 3D Brutal Chase, and AE Fruit Slash. We were able to play all these games without any hiccups.

One disappointing aspect of the Lumia 720 is the 512MB RAM, which means we couldn't even install games like Temple Run that need 1GB RAM. While we are disappointed with Nokia's decision to ship with half the RAM of what many cheaper Android phones are shipping with, we hope developers of games such as Temple Run can optimise their apps not to be so resource hungry. Perhaps that is an issue for Microsoft to address as well, as devices with much lesser RAM are able to run these games fine on other platforms.

Verdict

At Rs. 18,999, the Nokia Lumia 720 is a really attractive proposition. The phone checks all the right boxes, from great looks, to a camera that performs quite well, and hardware that handles pretty much everything you throw its way. Yes, Windows Phone still has a long way to go before it can begin to compete with Android and iOS, but unless you are someone who must have access to the latest apps, it will do the job for you, since most popular titles, barring a few high-profile exceptions (like Instagram) are already here. 

Pros

  • Great design
  • Good camera performance

cons 

  • Some games don't run thanks to 512MB RAM
  • Windows Phone ecosystem still needs to catch up to Android and iOS

Ratings

  • Design: 4
  • Display: 3.5
  • Performance: 3.5
  • Software: 3.5
  • Battery Life: 4
  • Value for Money: 4
  • Camera: 4
  • Overall: 4

 

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HTC One Max (T6)

Alleged renders of the HTC One Max (T6) appear online

HTC-T6-Maxx-big.jpg

HTC seems to be setting the stage for their next smartphone, the HTC One Max, code-named HTC T6.
Last week, the company teased a video tagged 'Big Things Ahead', hinting at the big screen phone.Now, a new image of the HTC One Max has leaked online that shows off the design of the yet to be announced smartphone. Serial phone leaker evleaks has posted an image on his Google+ page that shows the HTC T6 which it claims is not the final artwork of the device. While it may not be the final artwork,it does give a good idea of what to expect from the upcoming phablet from HTC

The rumoured specifications of the HTC One Max or HTC T6 claim that the device is likely to be powered by a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor while the original HTC One is powered by a Snapdragon 600 processor. The HTC One Max is likely to sport a 5.9-inch HD display and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, out-of-the-box. The One Max is expected to feature the same UltraPixel and 2.1-megapixel front-facing cameras as the HTC One. Other features could include 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage and a 3300mAh battery. There are reports that suggest that the Taiwanese major may equip the handset with a stylus. However, none of the details have been confirmed by the company, yet.

With the launch of the HTC One Max, the company will join the phablet race with Samsung and Sony which already offer the Galaxy Mega 6.3 featuring a 6.3-inch display and Xperia Z Ultra sporting a 6.4-inch display.

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41MP Nokia Lumia 1020 VS 16MP Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

                  

Here's Danny Winget comparing the Nokia Lumia 1020 with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. He says that since CAMERA is one of the most important things when it comes to smartphone buying decision these are the ‘two biggest sensors on the market right now’ well, the 1020/808 if you consider the 808 on market. Anyway, here’s the video.

Danny finds that the S4 Zoom looks more like a camera, it doesn’t really look like a phone. That’s probably why Gizmodo found the 1020 to be that Eureka moment where there’s a fantastic camera on a great smartphone which wasn’t a ‘monstrosity’ or as per Engadget’s opinion, the S4 zoom being a ‘messy marriage’ of smartphone and camera. Wasn’t it Tech Crunch that dissed PureView and thought the S4 Zoom would be the victor based on that look alone?

The 1020 apparently feels premium in the hand whilst the S4 Zoom is more like a P&S (or PoS?)and doesn’t feel as premium.

Unlike the S4, technically as a Droid, the S4 Zoom is a ‘mid range’ device, 4.3″ 540 x 960 dual core vs the 4.5″ 1280×768, also Dual Core (but WP flies on lower specs where as you can still find lag in quadcore droids).

Onto camera
  • 1020 better colour replication than S4 Zoom
  • 1020 better bokeh
  • 1020 can get oversaturated in colours (when it comes to green things though it seems to vary)
  • Photos look better on 1020, much better contrast

           
  • The detail of this 41mp pureview sensor – unbelievable
  • 1020 shots apparently just look better, having a more cinematic look to them
              Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 19.21.10

Low light performance of the 1020 is apparently much better, 1020 picking up vibrant colours where as S4 zoom is overexposed and doesn’t look as good (somewhat dull)

              Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 19.23.06
  • props to the S4 Zoom for the zoom bit. The only thing really that warrants such a fat device. The zoom is different for both devices, Nokia’s Zoom is zoom reinvented, being able to zoom AFTER you’ve taken the picture (reframe and rezoom as much as you want). You cannot do this on any other device atm.
  • As a whole, Danny feels the 1080p video is better on the 1020.
  • 1020′s OIS is apparently better too.
              Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 19.25.24
  • Finally the pocket test. 1020 fits without a problem. S4 zoom, you apparently definitely will notice the difference because it’s really thick and chunky.
  • Verdict? Depends on what you want but 1020 has more consistent shots, Danny prefers the shots from the 1020 than the S4 Zoom. The 1020 is just that good and makes Danny want to take pictures of thigns he doesn’t usually take pictures of. It’s a great mobile camera.
  • S4 zoom gets a plus for having android and them apps.
  • On checks: Hardware better on 1020, camera better on 1020, screen is better on the 1020 but feels that it is lacking Android.
  • “If I had to pick a winner, I’m gonna pick the Nokia Lumia 1020″
The Nokia Lumia 1020 represents Nokia engineering, to make the best camera experience fit in a phone. The s4 ZOOM just kinda feels lazy. Here’s a camera, let’s put android and call capabilities: bam smartphone. Kudos at least for Sammy to understand the importance of the camera segment and push a competing device out there (that’s what Sammy does best atm, adapting super quickly and flooding the market with what they think will be the next trend).


 



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Sony Xperia Z Ultra

First impressions



 Smartphones are increasingly getting bigger, closing the gap with tablets. In fact, at a point where the smartphone screen crosses the 6-inch, it's difficult to call them smartphones. While not everyone likes to call them 'phablets', they clearly lie in hybrid territory, offering smartphone features in a near tablet form factor.

Sony has also recently forayed into this segment, with its new device, the Xperia Z Ultra, which boasts of a 6.4-inch display. It's certainly not the first device to sport a large screen; we've seen the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 and the Huawei Ascend Mate featuring 6-inch+ displays, but we'd have to say that it's the sleekest out of all of them, at this point in time. The Xperia Z Ultra is super slim with a thickness of just 6.5mm.

We got a chance to play with the Xperia Z Ultra, and feel that it is one the sleekest devices, available. Although it weighs 212 grams, the overall weight to dimensions ratio is optimum and the phone doesn't feel very bulky. Having said that,  it doesn't easily fit the front pockets of your jeans, and you'd need to put it in a bag or hold it all the time. The Xperia Z Ultra follows the same design language that we've seen in the Xperia Z and looks more rectangular as the edges are just subtly rounded

The front of the device is dominated by its 6.4-inch display. The Xperia Z Ultra's screen has a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels and is the first smartphone display that integrates Sony's Triluminos technology, which the company introduced at CES with its Bravia televisions. Sony claims that through the technology the display reproduces a greater range of rich, natural colours to deliver true, natural shades. It won't be wrong to say that the Xperia Z Ultra's screen is the most brightest and vivid display we've ever seen on a device of this size. Unlike the Sony Xperia Z.where we'd observed minor niggles with viewing angles, the Xperia Z Ultra's screen was flawless. Pictures and videos looked natural and colour reproduction was pretty accurate. The big screen and the full-HD resolution makes watching videos a joyful experience. Blacks had the perfect depth and the screen contrast was optimum.

Another interesting feature of the Xperia Z Ultra is its handwriting recognition functionality. The phone's screen is compatible with any pencil and selected stylus or pen with tip diameter over 1mm. We tried using a lead pencil to input text on the phone's screen with the Notes app and found that it recognised our writing with mixed accuracy. It offers word predictions even in the handwriting recognition mode, so this should not be a major problem.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra key specifications

 

  6.4-inch TFT Triluminos display with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels and Shatter proof sheet on scratch-resistant glass

2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor.

2GB RAM

8-megapixel rear camera with Exmor RS sensor

2-megapixel front facing camera

16GB internal storage expandable up to 64GB via microSD card

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

4G LTE/ NFC/ Bluetooth 4.0/ Wi-Fi

3000mAh battery.



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BlackBerry-corp at sale??

Is BlackBerry at Sale?

BlackBerry to explore strategic alternatives including sale of company








BlackBerry to explore strategic alternatives including sale of company

Toronto 

 Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry has set up a committee to explore strategic alternatives, including joint ventures, partnerships or a sale of the company, Blackberry said on Monday.

Former Goldman Sachs executive Timothy Dattels, a BlackBerry board member, will chair the new committee, which will also include Blackberry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins.

"Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives," Dattels said in a statement.

BlackBerry pioneered on-your-hip email with its first smart phones and email pagers. But it has struggled to compete against the likes of Apple Inc and against phones using Google Inc's Android operating system. Its new BlackBerry 10 Smartphone have failed to gain traction in a competitive market.

Reuters last week quoted sources familiar with the situation as saying BlackBerry was warming up to the possibility of going private. The sources said Heins and the company's board were increasingly coming around to the idea that taking BlackBerry private would give them breathing room to fix the company's problems out of the public eye.

Dattels is a senior partner at private equity firm TPG Capital and a former top investment banker at Goldman Sachs. His appointment to BlackBerry's board last year sparked a flurry of speculation that the company might consider a leveraged buyout or going private. 

Dattels' nomination to the board came in June 2012, shortly after BlackBerry hired JPMorgan and RBC Capital Markets to help it evaluate strategies, including a possible overhaul of its business model, as well as other moves, such as expanding the BlackBerry platform through partnerships and licensing deals. 

Fairfax Financial Chairman and Chief Executive Prem Watsa said on Monday that he would resign from the BlackBerry board due to potential conflicts of interest. Watsa said Fairfax has "no current intention" of selling its Blackberry shares.

Here’s the Press Release that details the committee that’s looking to explore BB’s options.
 



Leo Koleon

Technology Reporter

BlackBerry Ltd intraday chart 

Blackberry's problem isn't that its new smartphones are no good, but rather that it took so long to get them to market.

When the firm announced it was buying QNX Software Systems back in April 2010, it made clear that the purchase was designed to help it update its operating system.

By that point, Apple's iOS and Google's Android had already started to eat into its market share, but the Canadians still accounted for about one in five smartphones shipped.

However, repeated delays meant it wasn't able to start selling BB10 handsets until the end of January this year. Although reviews praised the OS for its unified messaging hub and virtual keyboard, neither were seen as "killer features", and perhaps more crucially, its app marketplace is less well-stocked.
The result is that Blackberry is able to offer devices that make appealing upgrades to its loyal followers, but consumers and firms who have already switched platforms and other purchasers might see little reason to pick the 'berry.



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Nokia shows you what happens behind the Lumia 1020 lens in an amazing video

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is in a league of its own when it comes to mobile imaging – it trumps the competition in low-light conditions, heck it doesn’t do half bad against full-fledged shooters like the Canon 60D DSLR. It could only be challenged on a handheld phone by its brother in imaging technology theNokia 808 PureView, although it still has the upper hand thanks to its optical image stabilization.
Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes when you click the Lumia 1020 shutter key? Well now you have a chance to see as Nokia has posted an incredibly well designed video, showing the whole process. The video is so cool that it’s worth checking out even if you aren’t particularly interested in the Lumia 1020.


Feel free to share your thoughts on the video and the smartphone promoted in it in the comments section below


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LG G2 produces impressive scores in initial benchmark tests

LG’s latest flagship smartphone – the G2 – wowed with its unique design and more importantly, the fantastic set of specifications. Naturally, then, it was bound to be put through its paces sooner or later and so it has.
Droid-Life managed to get their hands on a device and run the most popular benchmarks on it – Quadrant. While the jury is out on the reliability of these benchmarks, especially considering how they can easily be gamed, you can still derive some idea about the device’s performance.
As you can expect from a device running a Snapdragon 800 processor, the performance is pretty darn impressive. Although the LG did not quite manage to beat the Sony Xperia Z Ultra in AnTuTu, as you can see from the chart below, it still takes the second spot above “optimized” Galaxy S4 running the Exynos 5 Octa processor. The difference between the LG and the Sony is quite significant right now, which may have to do with the software on the G2 not being final yet (unlike the Ultra). You can see the antutu result at Gsmarena


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Android 4.3: An even sweeter Jelly Bean

Android 4.3’s new restricted profiles feature can be used to limit access to apps and content, at home with your family and at work. And with support for Bluetooth Smart accessories, Android is ready for a whole new class of mobile apps.

Simple, Beautiful and Beyond Smart

Restricted profiles.

With the new profiles feature, you can restrict app usage and content consumption. For example, a parent can set up profiles for each family member, and a business manager can set up profiles that keep employees focused on work

One tablet, many users.

one tablet, many users

It’s your fully customized tablet. And theirs, too. With support for multiple users, you can give each person their own space. Everyone can have their own home screen  background, widgets, apps and games – even individual high scores and levels! And since Android is built with multitasking at its core, it’s a snap to switch between users – no need to log in and out.














Bluetooth Smart Ready
Certain Android devices, including Nexus 4, now support low-energy Bluetooth Smart accessories. You’ll find Bluetooth Smart technology in fitness sensors, heart rate or glucose monitors, pedometers, thermometers, and much more

Built-in security protection

    Android is designed to keep you and your data safe. Every app runs in its own sandbox, a secure space isolated from other apps. And whenever you download an app, Android can automatically scan it for viruses, checking apps against a database maintained by Google. Thanks to Android’s multiple layers of security, you can browse the web and install apps from Google Play with peace of mind.


Amazing Photo Sphere camera 
photo spheres

Up, down and all around you, it’s like no camera you’ve ever seen. With Android 4.2, snap pictures in every direction that come together into incredible, immersive photo spheres that put you right inside the scene. View your photo spheres right on your phone, share them on Google+ with your friends and family.


A smarter keyboard, now with Gesture Typing
Writing messages on the go is easier than ever with Gesture Typing – just glide your finger over the letters you want to type, and lift after each word. You don’t have to worry about spaces because they’re added automatically for you.
gesture typing keyboardThe keyboard can anticipate and predict the next word, so you can finish entire sentences just by selecting suggested words. Power through your messages like never before.
Android's dictionaries are now more accurate and relevant. With improved text-to-speech capabilities, voice typing on Android is even better. It works even when you don't have a data connection, so you can type with your voice everywhere you go.










Daydream

Introducing DaydreamDaydream lets your Android device display useful and delightful information when idle or docked. Show off your photo albums, get the latest news from Google Currents, and more.

Expandable, actionable notifications

expandable notifications
Android has always put you in control when it comes to staying notified and connected. Just swipe down from the top of the screen to see all your notifications in one place. Late for a meeting or missed a call? Take action in an instant directly from the notifications shade.


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Camera War : Lumia 1020 vs Galaxy S4 vs HTC One

Nokia's new Lumia 1020 smartphone packs a 41MP digital shooter, but is it really that much better than other high-end smartphones on the market? We will answer this question by comparing three sets of images taken with the Lumia 1020, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One.
Nokia s brand-new Lumia 1020 Windows Phone packs one of the most unique phone cameras on the market today. Carl Zeiss Tessar lens; 41MP (forty-one-megapixel) PureView camera; 1/1.5" sensor size; f/2.2 aperture; 26mm camera focal length; 15mm minimum focus range; Xenon flash with 4.0 m operating range.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Add caption

But how does the Lumia 1020 really stand up to other high-end mobile phone cameras? Check out the image comparisons .
Nokia Lumia 1020 rear-facing camera: 41MP; f/2.2 aperture; autofocus.
Samsung Galaxy S4 rear-facing camera: 13MP; f/2.2 aperture; autofocus.
HTC One rear-facing camera: 4MP; F/2.0 aperture; autofocus.
Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One

Here we go!! 
Lumia 1020 vs Galaxy S4 vs HTC One (SET - I)

Massachusetts State House, Nokia Lumia 1020 


Massachusetts State House, Samsung Galaxy S4 


Massachusetts State House, HTC One 


 

Massachusetts State House, Nokia Lumia 1020 (Zoomed In)


 

Massachusetts State House, Samsung GS4 (Zoomed In)



 

Massachusetts State House, HTC One (Zoomed In)

In this set of images, the blue of the sky and the golden dome of the Massachusetts State House are bright and vivid in the Lumia image. You can see detail in the clouds that can't be seen in either the GS4 or HTC One images. The State House dome is barely visible in the HTC picture.

Lumia 1020 vs Galaxy S4 vs HTC One (SET - II)


Boston Public Garden, Nokia Lumia 1020



Boston Public Garden, Samsung Galaxy S4 


Boston Public Garden, HTC One 



Boston Public Garden Swan, Nokia Lumia 1020 (Zoomed In)



Boston Public Garden Swan, Samsung GS4 (Zoomed In)



Boston Public Garden Swan, HTC One (Zoomed In)



The second set of images demonstrates the richness of color in the Lumia 1020 image compared to the images from the other devices. The zoomed-in frame with the swan is a good example of the level of detail captured by each device; the ripples around the swan are much clearer in the Lumia images, and they're barely visible in the HTC One picture.

Thank you!!




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LG G2 vs. Moto X vs. Samsung Galaxy S 4: Battle of the best of Android

Last week it was the Moto X. This week it’s the LG G2. Pretty soon it’ll be the Galaxy Note 3. The Android phones just keep on coming, and it’s helpful to know how they all compare to one another. In honor of LG G2 announcement, we’re placing it head to head against the Moto X and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 to see which phone comes out on top.



Let’s start with the similarities. All three phones run Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), with customization's from LG, Motorola, and Samsung, respectively. All three phones will be available on the four major U.S. carriers, and all phones come in either 16GB or 32GB variants. The Galaxy S 4 has a leg up here since it also has a micro SD card slot, allowing you to expand its storage up to an additional 64GB.
That’s pretty much where the similarities end, so let’s get to the fun part, starting with the displays. The LG G2 is the biggest of the bunch, with a 5.2-inch 1080p screen. The 1080p Samsung Galaxy S 4 falls in the middle, at 5 inches, but it also has the highest pixel density. The Moto X rounds out the list with the smallest, lowest-resolution screen, a 4.7-inch 720p panel. While the Galaxy S 4 is technically the densest screen, it uses a PenTile pixel arrangement, which can make text and images look a little fuzzy, while the LG G2’s slightly less dense IPS screen remains crystal clear. Advantage: LG G2.
LG G2 rear button
Next up is size. Physically, all three of these phones do an excellent job of feeling smaller than they actually are. In fact, the LG G2 may be the most comfortable phone with a screen bigger than 5 inches that I’ve ever held. But the fact remains that 5 inches or more is a lot of phone, no matter how thin the bezel is. So if you’re looking for something you can really wrap your hands around, the Moto X is your best bet. The Galaxy S 4 manages to hit a sweet spot, balancing a large screen with an extremely thin, comfortable design.
Now let’s get down to specs. In terms of sheer processing power, neither the Moto X nor the Galaxy S 4 can compete with the LG G2, which is one of the first phones to use Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 800 processor. Running four cores at 2.26GHz apiece, the G2 will likely set the benchmark for 3D gaming and overall system performance. Next up is the Galaxy S 4, which is still plenty fast months after release thanks to its quad-core 1.9GHz Snapdragon S4 processor. The Moto X misses the mark this round. Motorola’s X8 processing system in the Moto X is intriguing, but the underlying technology is last year’s dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.
Meet Moto X
If it’s the camera you’re after, once again, all signs point to LG taking this round. Both the G2 and the Galaxy S 4 feature a 13-megapixel sensor, but LG is the first manufacturer to build optical image stabilization into a 13-megapixel camera phone without requiring an extra bump out around the lens. That means you’re likely to get a steadier shot with the G2. Then again, how the camera will perform in real life is anyone’s guess. Motorola comes in last in terms of megapixels, but the Moto X boasts some experience-enhancing camera features, like the ability to fire off a shot within just two seconds of pulling the phone out of your pocket. It’s hard to judge a camera without actually seeing the photos, so I can’t call this one.
Another very important factor in the smartphone wars is battery life. The LG G2 features the largest battery of the bunch, at 3000mAh. But given the fact it also has the largest screen, I’d expect it to perform comparably to the 2600mAh battery in the Galaxy S 4. The Moto X has the smallest battery, at 2200mAh, but with a smaller, lower-resolution display than the competition, it also requires less power.
Galaxy S 4 featured
There are also plenty of features you can’t compare in a chart, like all of the additional UI tweaks unique to each device. The LG G2, for instance, has a fantastic multitasking feature called Slide Aside, which allows you to use three fingers to slide an app right off the screen. The Moto X, meanwhile, offers touchless control that allows you to activate Google Now just by speaking to it. And the Galaxy S 4 has the ability to configure call quality to your specifications, along with a list of extra features so long I haven’t even tried them all.
And while it looks like LG G2 has got the competition licked, at least on paper, there’s a couple of details I’d still like to know, like how much is this thing is going to cost. Sure, I can’t see the 16GB model selling for more than $199.99 on-contract, but if it does, that could be a big deciding factor for potential buyers. At the right price, however, LG has a potential hit on its hands.


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Nokia Asha 501 Review

Introduction
A nice little phone that looks fresh both on the inside and outside. That's what we took from our first encounter with the Nokia Asha 501 and we do hope we managed to get that point across. You know, with phones that go a dime a dozen, you always risk making it sound like a condescending pat on the head.
The Asha 501 is better than that. Yes, it's an entry-level package. A cheap, dual-SIM phone that fits the Asha description to a T. Yet, it's a fresh take on the touchscreen dumbphone concept - in terms of both industrial design and software.

 Nokia Asha 501 official pictures





Masthead
It seems Nokia is no longer looking at the Asha lineup as a back-office operation or a way to hedge its bet on Windows Phone with minimum investment. After years of living on the Symbian leftovers, the Ashas are finally getting the respect and treatment they deserve. They have been consistent earners in developing markets but the Asha 501 is, for the first time, likely to make the lineup relevant on a larger scale.
Of course, bargain-hunters and first-time buyers continue to be the main target, but a winning combination at last of a fresh, contemporary design and neat and clever interface will certainly raise the Asha 501's prospects.

Key features

  • Dual-band GSM, GPRS, EDGE
  • Optional dual-SIM support, dual stand-by, hot swappable secondary microSIM
  • Nokia Asha software platform 1.0
  • 3" QVGA capacitive touchscreen, ~133 pixel density
  • Proximity sensor
  • Accelerometer, display auto-rotation
  • 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, 40MB internal storage
  • Data-efficient Nokia Xpress browser
  • Nokia Store and 40 EA games for free
  • 3.15 MP camera, QVGA@15fps video recording
  • microSD card support (up to 32 GB) and 4 GB microSD card in the box
  • Wi-Fi b/g connectivity
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Bluetooth v3.0
  • Standard microUSB port, charging
  • 1200 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Excellent loudspeaker performance
  • Solid codec support

Main disadvantages

  • No 3G
  • Low-resolution screen
  • Fixed-focus camera
  • No smart dialing


    The thing about Ashas is that they'd been trying too hard to offer a near-smartphone experience on the cheap. They always got near but not quite there, and the build and finish were the usual casualty of a tight budget.
    With the Asha 501, the Finns are on the right track to fixing both issues. There's nothing revolutionary in the level of equipment: there's optional dual-SIM support and Wi-Fi connectivity, the updated Nokia Xpress browser, a lowly 3MP camera and an FM radio.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Nokia Asha 501 live pictures
    A capacitive screen is making the right difference (not a first for the series anyway) and there's even a proximity sensor - finally. A fact that speaks to the Ashas' rising standing in the pecking order.
    A fixed-focus camera and a low-res screen are things most users should be able to live with, considering the phone's price. No fast network data is a thing to consider but if you can't have both 3G and Wi-Fi, the latter is the more sensible choice, particularly in a cheap package like the Asha 501.

    Unboxing the Nokia Asha 501

    There's only room for the basics in the Asha 501's retail package. An old-gen Nokia charger is supplied, as well as a single piece pink headset (for the Black Asha 501 flavor). You'll also find a 4GB microSD card already inserted in the memory slot. There is no USB cable inside though. We should note however that the Asha 501 can charge off USB with standard microUSB cables and chargers.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Nokia Asha 501 retail box

    The Nokia Asha 501 is a pleasingly compact device at 99.2 x 58 x 12.1mm, and one that weighs just under 100 g. It's an absolute pleasure to handle - it fits snugly in the palm and everything on the screen is within comfortable reach - and that capacitive screen is quite responsive too.

    Design and handling

    The design and build of the Nokia Asha 501 has got little to do with the older Asha generations. And we mean that in all the good ways possible. The phone manages to make an impression with its colorful outer shell. The back cover that folds around the inner body comes in a candy-box variety of colors.
    Up front, the 3" screen has an ample bezel, but that's nothing out of the ordinary in the price bracket. The bigger problem is that the black front is a bit at odds with the bright-colored rear. On a positive note, the capacitive touchscreen is quite responsive and comes with a scratch-resistant coating.
    The hardware Back button is the only control below the screen, the earpiece symmetrically placed across. The microphone is in the bottom right corner.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Nokia Asha 501 up front
    There's no brightness sensor but Nokia has included a proximity sensor, which turns the screen off during a call. The back button is pleasingly firm and springy, slightly raised above the surrounding glass surface and therefore easy to locate by touch.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Above and under the screen
    The Asha 501 essentially breaks down to two parts, which is obviously the second most solid construction after unibody. The colorful shell folds around the inner body, resulting in a slim colorful frame around the screen as an accent. At the back we find the 3.15MP camera lens along with a Nokia logo and a nub at the bottom to push the phone out of the case.
    The plastic used is nice to the touch, with a soft matte finish that completely rules out visible fingerprints.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    On the back
    Overall, we quite like the Asha 501's design. The phone is extra pleasant to hold and work with. What we're most impressed with is how such a simple design makes a huge difference compared to the older Asha generation. The Lumia influence is easily spotted - a great way to update an old, stale look while providing consistency and continuity in the Nokia portfolio - from feature phones to smartphones.
    The eye-popping colors also add to the fresh feel of the device.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    The Nokia Asha 501 in the hand
    Overall, the Nokia Asha 501 is a perfect mix of affordable and portable, but also good-looking and up-to-date.

    Display

    The display on the Nokia Asha 501 is a 3" TFT unit of QVGA (240 x 320) resolution, which boils down to around 133ppi. That's not a lot by any standard, but in this class capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch support are still considered nice extras, so you shouldn't expect Retina-beaters.
    Colors are nice and punchy and the screen is reasonably bright. Size may be an issue, as well as resolution, but the responsiveness has been notably improved from what we remember with the older Asha phones.
    Nokia Asha 501
    The display
    Browsing the web and watching videos isn't the most compelling experience on a screen of that screen size and resolution of course.

    Controls

    The Nokia Asha 501 features a power button on the right side, which will also lock and unlock the device, although you can do without it as the phone can be nudged out of standby with a double tap on the screen.
    The volume rocker sits comfortably in the upper right corner of the phone. All three buttons (power and volume) are solid to press and easy to locate by touch.
    Nokia Asha 501                        Nokia Asha 501
    The right side of the phone
    The left side of the Nokia Asha 501 doesn't feature any controls. There's a dual-SIM version of the phone but it doesn't have a side-mounted SIM compartment, which was typical for Nokia dual-SIM handsets of old.
    Nokia Asha 501
    The left side of the Asha 501
    At the top there's the microUSB port, along with an old-gen Nokia charging port and a 3.5 mm headphones jack.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    On the top
    The bottom holds no controls whatsoever.
    Nokia Asha 501
    The bottom
    Undoing the back cover is easy - a light push on the nub at the bottom will do and the phone's bottom part will pop out of the shell.
    You can then go on and take the phone out. Doing so reveals the 1200 mAh Li-Ion battery, with the primary SIM card slot under it in the very battery compartment. The hot-swappable microSD and secondary SIM card slot are on the side. This actually means they could've been accessible on the outside too but Nokia went for exchangeable covers instead.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Removing the back cover
    The battery on the Asha 501 is quoted at 624 hours of stand-by and 17 hours of calls for the dual-SIM version and almost double the standby time for the single-SIM variant.





    Camera

    The Asha 501 has a 3.15 MP camera which is capable of capturing images of up to 2048 x 1536 resolution.
    The camera interface is simple - it offers a virtual on-screen shutter, a toggle for switching between camera and camcorder and a gallery shortcut.
    Upon a tap you get a zoom slider and the additional settings option. There you'll find adjustable white balance, self-timer, live effects and shutter sound, which can be disabled too. You can also preset the resolution of the images with a choice between 3MP, 2MP, 1MP and VGA.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Camera app
    As the specs suggest, images produced by the Asha 501 aren't anything worth writing home about but they will do for the occasional visual memo (not for fine text though - no autofocus is a deal-breaker here) or contact picture. There isn't too much fine detail, but there are occasional purple fringing, over sharpening and pink spots. The colors are nicely punchy though.
    Here go the samples.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    NokiaAsha 501 camera samples

    Photo quality comparison

    3MP shooters are getting very rare these days, but there are still plenty you can compare the Asha 501 against.
    Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool

    QVGA video at 15 fps fails to impress

    When it comes to video capture, the Asha 501 was way out of its depth. The camera can produce QVGA (240 x 320) videos with a framerate of 14fps. Sound is recorded in mono at 31Kbps and a sampling rate of 16kHz, the video bitrate hovers around 400 Kbps.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Video settings
    As you can tell, those videos are hardly good for anything and we can't see anyone actually using their Asha 501 for video capture. Still if you are interested in the results you might check out this untouched QVGA @15fps sample video

    Connectivity

    The Nokia Asha 501 is a dual band device (900 / 1800) and offers GPRS and EDGE class 12. There's no 3G (HSDPA) or Wi-Fi on board.
    Then there's Wi-Fi b/g, which will get you faster data speeds and it doesn't eat into your data plan (if you have one to begin with). Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR handles things like wireless handsfree dongles but also local file sharing.
    The Asha 501 uses a microUSB port for both data connections and charging. There is no USB on-the-go support, though.
    The 501 also has a memory card slot (and a complimentary 4GB microSD card). Coupled with a card reader it can usually give you the fastest data transfer rates.
    And finally, there's the standard 3.5mm audio jack.

    Data-efficient browser

    The Asha 501 has Wi-Fi, but sadly no 3G data speeds. Still, the Nokia Xpress browser uses server-side compression so it offers a passable experience on EDGE networks.
    There's tabbed browsing and you can save favorite websites as tiles in an Opera-like speed dial.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Browser
    There's a neat start page with categories such as Featured, Mail, Sports, Social Networks, Entertainment, etc. The pull-up context menu gives you quick access to recent, favorites, downloads, web apps and more.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Browsing on the Asha 501
    The settings of the browser let you choose the quality of the preloaded images, from lower to best quality. Images can be disabled altogether too. There's a password manager as well.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501


    Updated Asha Touch takes after MeeGo

    Nokia's Asha Touch user interface has been known to heavily borrow from MeeGo, but the new Asha generation has really lost any decency - who can blame them really, it's a debt that will never have to be repaid.
    To Nokia's credit, it has done a pretty good job of porting stuff to the lesser hardware. We're as happy with the new interface as we are with the fresh styling of the handset. Scrolling and, rarely, swiping do feel a bit choppy but other than that it's a good-looking interface with a modern feel to it - a significant improvement over the Ashas of old.
    Of course, the styling of the icons has barely changed but wallpapers are a welcome addition that gives some punch to the interface - along with much needed depth. When you scroll or swipe, the background responds too.
    Getting rid of the hardware call buttons is another step towards a decisively modern look. The single hardware control is the Back key, and it is only really needed when you need to go a level up from a submenu. For everything else, swipes and taps will do. A double tap will wake the phone up, swiping an app off the screen will close it. We told you, the whole thing is modeled after MeeGo.

    Here's the usual video demo to get us started.





    The lockscreen doesn't have any active shortcuts to directly launch apps but it will display notifications for missed calls, incoming messages or calendar events. These will take you right to the relevant app, be it the dialer, calendar or messaging. A tiny number icon on the Messaging icon in the app launcher shows the text messages you have received but not yet read. That works for email too.
    Nokia Asha 501
    Lockscreen
    A double tap will nudge the phone out of standby and display the lockscreen - you need to enable the option in the settings.
    In the preceding Asha Touch version, the interface was built around a three-homescreen setup: the app launcher, the phone app (or Radio, or Music Player) and a pane to fill with app shortcuts or favorite contacts. There're only two homescreens now - the app launcher and the so-called Fastlane. It's a similar setup to what Windows Phone does with the Tile screen and All Apps.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Homescreen and Fastlane
    The Fastlane keeps track of all your recent activity, opened apps go there, along with contacts you've called, calendar events (birthdays, to-dos) and social network posts and goings-on. Not all apps are available in the Fastlane - the Settings, Browser and Camera, among others, didn't appear in the recently opened list - Alarms, Facebook and Gallery do.
    The music player will appear in the Fastlane only if you've played a track - that makes sense really. What you get is a line with the track name, a tap on which will take you to the Music Player app. Alternatively, a tiny play/pause button next to the track name, will simply resume or pause playback without going into the app itself.
    Nokia Asha 501
    Fastlane music controls
    The app launcher is a 4 x 4 grid, up from 3 x 4. All the apps you install reside here and you can rearrange them as you see fit but you cannot create folders. A tap and hold inside the app launcher triggers edit mode, where you can delete apps.
    You can tap to expand the status bar or pull it down to show notifications for missed events and quick toggles for sound profiles, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile data. The two SIM cards have their icons in the notification area with the network ID and the custom names you gave each.
    Nokia Asha 501
    Notification area
    In case of a missed call, which requires your attention, the notification area drops down a bit to briefly display the number and then pulls back up, leaving a small handle as a reminder, which you can pull to see who's been calling you.
    To close an app you just need to swipe it away from either end of the screen and you'll be back to the app launcher screen. You can also close apps by holding the Back button but for some apps you'll get a prompt to confirm you want to close.
    Some apps give you a context menu, which is accessible via a swipe from the bottom.
    The settings menu is a vertically scrollable list of settings, which is easy enough to navigate. The first options are connections, which lists Flight mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the SIM menu.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Settings menu
    The next menu handles Personalization - it lists the options for sounds and wallpapers. Glance screen is an option for the lockscreen, which displays a permanent clock.
    Nokia Asha 501
    Screen options, SIM settings
    From the SIM menu you can enable Mobile data, check out the counters for calls and data. You can also choose a new name for either SIM, select Fixed dialing, change PIN and Network selection.
    Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501 Nokia Asha 501
    Counter and SIM settings
    The interface runs reasonably fast and is easy enough to navigate but could've been smoother - scrolling animations could certainly use a higher framerate. Once you get a feel for the swipe navigation there's really no way to go wrong.
    Even if you open an app by mistake it's only a swipe from either edge of the screen to exit and get back to first base. The notification area comes in handy for toggling quick settings like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and spares you the need to open up the settings menu. Recently opened apps are just a swipe away in the Fastlane.


    Pricing
    The all new Nokia Asha 501 is Priced smarlty at Rs.5199(30$)
 


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