Ritesh Reddy

Dr. Ritesh Reddy, PhD aka Reddy2Go is a Creative Generalist, who uses the magic of the written word and the allure of the visual medium in conjunction with the building blocks of technology to expert effect when creating communication collateral for the New Media. He believes in the power of the individual & inspires independence through the 'Freelance Firestarter' blog.

Notion Ink Adam – Home Grown iPad Killer

Notio Ink's Adam
Notion Ink’s Adam

Notion Ink is an Indian startup or should I say upstart who is gunning for the biggest of them all — Apple. In the very spirit of innovation that has led Steve Job to where he is today, founder Rohan Shravan is confident that their first offering is going to blow the competition away. Notion Ink is dedicated to challenge the norm, question existing ideologies of function and form to create a new breed of intelligent, intuitive devices.

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Bring your Web App Home – Get Fluid

Recently I have been writing a lot of reviews of web applications and the trend today reflects people’s preferences. Everyone is moving their favorite desktop applications online. The cloud is my home, not the desktop! Web applications like Gmail, Facebook, Campfire, WorkFlowy, Freshbooks and Pandora are becoming more and more like desktop applications every day. However running each of these web apps in an individual tab in your browser can be a real pain. I have twenty five open tabs at any given time in my browser window and while that is not over the top, apps that are AJAX or Flash driven consume too much memory for my browser’s liking.

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Hungry for Gingerbread Anyone?

Google Nexus S is the first phone to run Gingerbread, the fastest version of Android yet. Gingerbread builds on some of the most popular Android features like multi-tasking and Wi-Fi hotspot and adds a refreshed user interface, an improved keyboard, near field communication (NFC) support, and more.

Visual

The home screen has undergone some minor theming changes. The notification bar is now solid black and the bottom panel is darker. This has resulted in better power saving and thus better battery life even if it seems like a cheat. Some of the icons have been tweaked to match the black and green palette. In terms of functionality, the home screen still largely behaves as before and isn’t playing tag with third-party options yet. The dialer has a much more subdued look. The bubble gradients on the buttons and text bar were stripped out in favor of a more static flat appearance. The bottom rectangle now features squared corners. Application toolbar buttons have a black background with pronounced transparency and the toolbar overflow menu matches the new look. The new text selection mechanism in the keyboard lets you drag the sliders on each side to change the range of the selection. The overall changes in Android 2.3 are subtle yet elegant and the color palette, translucent menu, flat rectangular feel together add the Gingerbread flavor.

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The iPad 2 – just round the corner?

According to DigiTimes, the Chinese company that makes Apple’s iPad – Foxconn has been told to ship the iPad 2 in the next 100 days with initial shipments of 400,000 to 600,000 units. This translates as expected shipment of Apple’s next-gen iPad in February followed by a launch in April. While this report may be true there is no guarantee since it doesn’t make sense for Apple to launch a new improved iPad just months after the holiday season. Foxconn has declined to comment on its products or clients.

What’s the Hurry?

Will you hold out for the next iPad? And how about consumers who just got an iPad or are planning to get one during the holidays? Many Apple fanboys believe that Apple wouldn’t launch a next-gen iPad so soon. There is ample supply of iPads in stores and Apple will want to move these units before it brings in the successor. Will talk of an iPad 2 make you think twice before buying the current iPad? In my opinion it makes logical sense considering the plethora of tablets hitting the market and Motorola’s model tablet featuring Android 3.0 as UI coming soon. RIM’s Playbook is also aiming to play spoilsport.

What to Expect?

Rumor has it that a 7′ model is on its way and a new size won’t cause many issues beyond a few optimizations from App Store developers. On the other hand, it will help iPad reach a lower price point for consumers and might make Amazon drop Kindle’s price even lower to compete.

Apple’s Retina Display might make its way to the iPad and seems an inevitable upgrade that is going to force early adopters to jump in line. That screen is addictive as anyone who uses an iPhone 4 will testify.

FaceTime on the iPad will ensure Steve’s promise of “millions of FaceTime devices by the end of the year” is honored, supported by the new iPod Touch featuring a front facing camera as well. Devices that aren’t phones (everything but iPhone) will also be able to use FaceTime.

While Apple generally waits two to three refreshes before revamping hardware appearances, a thinner iPad may be in line and if it is indeed a smaller screen size, it just might be a good idea to shake things up a bit a little. Stay tuned for updates.

Look Out! Security for your Smartphone

The smartphone has today surpassed the PC as the new and true personal computer. This has brought of course concerns over privacy and security. Lookout is an application that protects your phone from mobile threats with award-winning security that’s easy to use and available on multiple platforms.

Security

Mobile threats are different and Lookout is uniquely designed for smartphones to protect against malware, spyware threats and apps that violate privacy. Lightweight and efficient, Lookout stays connected to ensure up-to-date, comprehensive protection. Scans can be initiated real-time or scheduled. The Privacy Advisor provides clear insight into which apps access private data like location, messages and personal information, as well as scan every app you download to see what data it accesses. Lookout also allows you to remotely lock your phone from the web if it’s lost or stolen and even offers remotely deleting all personal data from it — including the SD card.

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Universal Inbox – Hanging by a Thread

Essentially Threadsy is trying to solve the problem that most users face with multiple tabs open in a browser window. If you’re the type who has a Twitter and Facebook account, as well as multiple e-mail accounts, you’ve probably got several tabs running throughout the day that keep these sites open. Threadsy’s solution is to aggregate all the messages from those places into one interface using the newest APIs from Twitter and Facebook, the no-sign-in-needed OAuth from Gmail and other webmail offerings.

Interface

The interface – messages on the left, streaming updates on the right – works for you better than individual inbox views. Web mail has been handled with simplicity. When first setting up the service, you give it access to your various e-mail accounts, which at least for Gmail, can be done without giving Threadsy any of your account credentials. Instead, you just authorize it to get access to those messages – just like enabling connections to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Threadsy then blends together all the messages from your Web mail accounts along with direct messages in Twitter and Facebook into one big in-box. When you click on a message, you also get a profile view of the sender, compiling everything your social networks and the web knows about them. Social updates from Twitter and Facebook sit on the right of the page, where you can see the latest items from both networks mixed together. If a user has linked to a photo, Threadsy will give you a nice large preview. The same goes for linked audio files and updates from various Facebook applications.

Pros

  • All your accounts in one place.
  • Social updates and e-mail side by side (even Google Buzz).
  • Built-in Twitter and Facebook posting tool.
  • Signature that includes links to all your various social profiles.
  • Features multi-file attachment uploading.
  • Bird’s eye view of somebody’s public profile, including tweets, uploaded photos, and various social-networking profiles.
  • Built-in chat (powered by Meebo).
  • Audio notifications when you get a new message.

Cons

  • Lackluster auto-complete for the addresses in the e-mail app.
  • Does a poor job showing you the addresses of the e-mail account you’re sending from.
  • “Inbound” universal in-box is hard to tell which services messages are from.
  • Missing the feel of each service’s native messaging tools (except for Twitter).

HR is now Social Media Savvy!

HR Manager worry about many things like employment rights, policies & practices. They want to know if the personnel are satisfied or not, whether they pose a threat of information leaks, attrition, skill retention and overall productivity at the annual performance reviews. If that isn’t enough, how do you inspire the current Generation of personnel who tweet, text and use different tools to communicate such as blogs, podcast, tags, videos and social profiles.

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Put on those Airs!

Macbook Air
Apple’s new Macbook Air

What would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up? One of the most amazing things Apple ever created: it is the new MacBook Air! These slim beauties include flash storage, 802.11-N Wi-Fi and a Core 2 Duo processor. Apple has increased the size of the Air’s battery enabling 5-7 hours of battery life when surfing over Wi-Fi and 30 days on standby time just like the iPad.

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MeeGo

The latest debate over Android’s ‘openness’ is fueled by Steve Job and Facebook’s Joe Hewitt, the Firefox co-creator rumored to be working on a Facebook-branded mobile OS based on Android. However we are not going to delve into Android but focus on a brand new entry in the mobile OS foray — MeeGo!

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