Top 5 Tech Gifts Under ₹5,000 (2014)

‘Tis the season as Google tells us through its doodles and I would like to help you guys make last-minute gift purchases for that geeky friend/ relative, this festive season.

This is a list of tech gifts that I’m sure that geeky friend of yours would like while you are on a budget of ₹5,000 only.

5. A 1TB External Hard Disk

Anyone who owns a computer with an SSD will have at most a 256GB internal storage. These people will appreciate an external storage solution. These days you can pick up a 1 TB external hard disk from any online portal for under ₹5000. Two of the top contenders are Seagate’s Backup Plus Slim 1 TB hard disk and competitor Western Digital’s My Passport Ultra 1TB hard disk. I have seen and used products by both of these firms and can say that their products are worth the money. You can grab both of these products from Amazon at a great discounted prices — the Backup Plus can be had for ₹4247 while the My Passport  Ultra is available for ₹4271. Since, the price difference is barely a hundred bucks I say go for the thinner and more portable Seagate Backup Plus Slim.

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4. ASUS Zenfone 4 A400CXG

ASUS Zenfone 4 is a great smartphone and is currently available for just ₹ 5000. The phone runs on Android 4.3 (upgradeable to 4.4), is powered by a dual core 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 processor. It also features a 5MP rear camera, a 0.3MP secondary camera in the front, 1GB of RAM and a 1600 mAh battery. The phone also sports a 4-inch WVGA display with a decent display resolution of 233 pixels per inch. It has 8GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded via microSd card. You can gift this smartphone to your mom or dad or pretty much anyone you know who is looking to move up from a feature phone to a smartphone. It is perfect for someone who is looking for a cheap Dual SIM smartphone! It can be grabbed from Flipkart for just under ₹5000 though I would recommend paying another hundred bucks and getting your loved ones the Gorilla Glass version.

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3. Over-the-head Audio Technica Headphones

For just under ₹5000 you can get a nice set of headphones from Audio Technica, JBL and a host of other audio giants, this festive season. Among these all of these brands, I’d recommend getting the Audio Technica  ATH PRO5MK2CM and the ATH-AD500X. While both of these headphones cost above ₹5000, you can grab both of them for just aback under at Flipkart.com. They are both very comfortable and provide a little bit of too much bass but that can be forgotten given the price at which you are getting these awesome pair of headphones. All-in-all your music-loving friends/relatives won’t hate you for getting them anyone of these sets.

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2. A fitness band

For just ₹3500, you can get a lesser version of the Misfit Shine, called the Misfit Flash and Sleep monitor fitness band. This band features a plain dial with red dot LEDs at the edge of the face. It can help your fitness freak of a friend to get up and follow his daily step goal to fitness and also help him/her monitor their sleep. Check it out at Flipkart.

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1. Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast is a USB device which connects directly into your ordinary TV and allows it to connect with all of your WiFi-enabled devices as well as the internet. You can use any Android 4.3+ phone, iOS device, Mac or Windows computer to control your television and even mirror your device’s display onto the TV. You can also use it as a photo frame  when not using it view other media. At just a buck under ₹3000, the Chromecast is a great gift for your loved ones! Since, it is officially only available at Snapdeal.com, I recommend you get it from there as there are other offers also applicable on it. You get 20GB of extra data every month from Airtel every month for 3 months and 2 months of free usage of EROS Now Premium to stream movies and audio produced under the production label.

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That’s it for the Under ₹5000 list of tech gifts. I will be posting other lists for under ₹1000, ₹10000, ₹25000 and ₹50000 soon. Till then, Happy Holidays people!

Apple announces the much rumoured 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, starting at $2499

Apple has finally introduced its much-awaited new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display at its October 16th event.

According to Apple, it is spreading the Retina display technology across all of its devices and the iMac was next in line. The new iMac features what Apple is calling the world’s highest resolution display with 14.7 million pixels. The iMac features a 5K display with more than seven times the number of pixels in a HDTV. Despite the massive increase in the number of pixels, Apple has kept the iMac just 5mm thin, just like the previous generation.

The new iMac features a resolution of 5120x2880
The new iMac features a resolution of 5120×2880

Alongside resolution, the display also has a greater contrast ratio to maximize detail. Meanwhile, Apple uses power-saving LEDs which decreases power use by 30%.

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It also includes the fastest CPU chips, starting at 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5 and upgradeable to a 4 GHZ Intel Core i7.

In terms of graphics, the iMac is 45% faster than the previous version and also includes a Thunderbolt 2 port for faster IO.

This iMac with Retina 5K display will start at just $2499.

 

Apple sends out invites for its iPad and Mac event on October 16th

Apple has recently announced that it will be hosting a keynote address on Thursday, October 16th at the Town Hall auditorium on its Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, CA. Invitations to select members of the media and special guests indicate that the event will, as always, begin at 10 AM Pacific time/1 PM Eastern Time.

As the second Apple event this fall, the Cupertino-giant will likely use its smaller, home court stage to debut updates to its iPad and Mac lines…

Continue reading Apple sends out invites for its iPad and Mac event on October 16th

Apple finally releasing OS X Yosemite Public Preview later today for the free Beta members

Apple has announced that it will open the public beta version of OS X Yosemite tomorrow, July 24th, for users who want to preview the upcoming version of the Mac operating system ahead of its release targeted for this autumn. Interested users can sign up to be an OS X Beta Program member on Apple’s Beta Program site. The only requisite is that you have OS X Mavericks installed on your Mac.

Apple says the OS X Yosemite beta will be updated less frequently for the OS X Beta Program members than the version provided to the OS X Developer Program members, but users running the public beta of OS X Yosemite will be able to install the final release of OS X Yosemite over the Beta version once its ready for release this Autumn. The beta version available to OS X Beta Program members will also allow users to easily submit feedback for issues with the Mac operating system ahead of its official public debut.

Earlier this week, Apple released the fourth and latest developer preview of OS X Yosemite through its Developer Program alongside a redesigned iTunes 12.

Despite OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 sharing features that rely on each other heavily, it has been reported that the two operating systems are expected to launch separately as Apple readies the them both for public debut for everyone. While iOS 8 is on track to be released in September, the final version of OS X Yosemite is expected to be ready a month later in October.

Apple first announced about this OS X Beta Program which would allow non-developers to preview OS X 10.10 earlier this year at WWDC, although iOS 8 will not receive the same treatment for non-developers, since several features require the latest iPhone and iPad operating system.

 

–via 9to5Mac

The 12-inch Retina MacBook Air launch delayed as new 11- and 13-inch Airs enter production

Apple’s upcoming redesigned 12-inch MacBook with a Retina display is now expected to ship later than expected and new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models have gone into production, according to a pair of reports from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News.

The first report iterates that updates to both the current MacBook Air sizes have entered production with Apple partner Quanta Computer, and that the new computers will boost Quanta’s 2014 notebook shipment numbers by 15%. The new devices are said to sport new chassis, screens, and chipsets, and volume shipments are due in late-August barring any unforeseen component delays.

Speaking of part delays, Apple’s elusive 12-inch MacBook with Retina display is now expected to ship as early as the end of Q3 2014 or as late as early 2015. The computer was initially reported by multiple analysts and publications to hit the marketplace sometime in the earlier part of the third quarter. Why the apparent delay? Intel. According to the report, the new MacBook’s launch is glued to Intel’s power and performance-efficient 14-nanometer Broadwell part, and as we’ve heard multiple times, those chipsets will be short in supply into next year. Regardless, Apple has shown an ability to stock up on Intel’s latest chips months before the competition, so perhaps Apple will be able to avoid this reported delay…

 

The reportedly redesigned 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs will be the first redesign to the MacBook Air since the iPad-inspired design shipped in the autumn of 2010. The MacBook Air received a minor processor bump and a slight price decrease on the entry-level 11-inch model last year, but the latest significant boost came in mid-2013 with an internal revamp which included much-improved battery life, an improved microphone system, and much faster Intel chips. The 12-inch Retina MacBook will mark the first expansion of Apple’s Mac line since the MacBook Pro with Retina Display product line was introduced in mid-2012.

Both Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue and CEO Tim Cook have said that Apple’s 2014 product line will be the company’s best in 25 years, and the aforementioned MacBooks are only one portion of that.

Apple is also preparing to release a pair of larger-screened iPhones with thinner bodies, new iPads with Touch ID fingerprint sensors, a deca-sensor-packed (10) and fitness-oriented wrist-worn device, iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and perhaps even some significant updates to the iMac and Mac mini lines. Tim Cook has also been quoted saying that Apple will release new products “across 2014,” but with no notable Apple product updates occurring between January and July, it seems like the new MacBook is unlikely to have been the only delayed product this year.

Apple seeds OS X 10.10 Yosemite Developer Preview 3 with Dark Mode and other interface tweaks

Besides the third beta of iOS 8, Apple also released a new developer preview of OS X Yosemite. The update is available in the Mac App Store and under Software Update.

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The upcoming OS is still very much in the beta process, as Apple continues to make interface tweaks and add features.

Dark mode

Most notably, Dark Mode can now be enabled easily in System Preferences. The feature, demoed by Apple at WWDC last month, was previously hidden and required some tinkering with terminal to turn on.

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iCloud Preferences icons

iCloud Preferences icons have been tweaked.

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New App icons

Apple has given QuickTime and Fontbook’s icons the much awaited flattening treatment to bring it more in alignment with the rest of the OS.

QuickTime's new icon
QuickTime’s new icon

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WiFi Hotspot using iPhone

According reports from users, the iPhone hotspot feature is now showing up in the WiFi menulet. As announced at WWDC last month, in Yosemite, you can turn on your iPhone’s cellular hotspot remotely when it’s connected via Bluetooth.
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Time Machine UI

The TIme Machine UI has been updated replacing the beloved Outer Space background with a blue one, below.

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UI Tweaks

Interface tweaks have been made in

–  Desktop Background System Preferences

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– Larger badges on App Icons for Notifications and improved font in Notification Center and in Safari Favorites Bar.

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– Redesigned icons in Mail.

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FaceTime

Now, in FaceTime, Audio and Video calls are shown separately.

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That’s all folks! Thanks for reading! Please Like, Comment and Share!!!

Apple introduces the rumoured cheaper iMacs with low-end processors, priced at $1099

As rumoured last week, Apple has, today, released a new model of iMac. These machines are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, priced at $1099. Previously, the cheapest iMac SKU was priced at $1299 (which is now the mid-range model).

The cheaper iMac sports a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 CPU, which represents a significant worsening in performance over the previous base model of iMac, which featured a quad-core processor clocked at 2.7 GHz.  The CPU does Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz however, which could make up for some of the difference.

 

Aside from the CPU, the base model’s hard drive has also been cut to 500 GB, though it can be configured to a 1TB HDD, 1TB Fusion Drive or a 256GB SSD. Also, it is the only part of the computer which can be configured in the computer. The new model also features a lower-end integrated graphics chip. All other iMac models continue to use either Iris Pro integrated graphics or a dedicated Nvidia cards. The RAM, though still 8GB is now just one stick instead of the two 4GB sticks used in other models. Otherwise, the internals of the new machine remain unchanged.

Check out Apple’s Press release after the break… Continue reading Apple introduces the rumoured cheaper iMacs with low-end processors, priced at $1099

Apple seeds OS X 10.10 Yosemite Developer Preview Update 1.0

Alongside the second beta of iOS 8, Apple has also provided developers with an update to the OS X Yosemite Developer Preview. Yosemite brings many new features to the Mac, including a new design, Continuity features, and enhanced applications. We’ll update this post with new discoveries in this new developers’  preview as they are found.

– PhotoBooth application has returned! — Many people reported that they miss the PhotoBooth application in the Yosemite DP1, and listening to them Apple has given them exactly what they asked for, a redesigned flatter PhotoBooth for all this missed candid moments to be captured.

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– The Photo Booth and Screen Share applications get new icons:

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– Screen sharing enhancements have been reported:

– New FileVault panel upon reboot.

Time Machine user-interface redesigned: Taking a step away from the Outer Space background of the OS Xs prior to Mavericks, OS X Yosemite introduces a new version of Time Machine UI which takes a step towards the iOS-like design language which can be seen throughout the operating system.

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– Handoff now works well:

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– Finder is no longer required to be open to receive AirDrops from other devices:

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Vishal Sikka named next CEO of Infosys, Narayana Murthy to step down along with son

Infosys has appointed Vishal Sikka, former CTO of SAP, as the chief executive officer and managing director of the company. Sikka will be inducted as a whole time director of the board and CEO & MD on June 14, 2014. He will take over as CEO & MD from SD Shibulal on August 1.

Executive chairman NR Narayana Murthy and his son Rohan Murty will leave the company by October, almost four years ahead of Murthy’s designated term.

Vishal Sikka was, until recently, a member of the executive board of SAP, leading all products and driving innovation globally. The Baroda-born Sikka, the brain behind game-changing HANA platform that converges database and application platform capabilities in-memory to transform transactions, analytics, text analysis, predictive and spatial processing so businesses can operate in real-time. At SAP, he was responsible for all products, from traditional and cloud-based applications to technology and platform products including HANA, analytics, mobile and middleware. In addition, Sikka led multiple initiatives to accelerate innovation and research at SAP. He holds a PhD in computer science from Stanford University.


Vishal Sikka. Photo courtesy: SAP TV

Sikka said, “I am honored to lead Infosys, an iconic company built by pioneers in the technology industry. I look forward to working with and learning from talented Infoscions around the world. Computing technology is reshaping every industry across every walk of life. We, at Infosys, have a unique opportunity to deliver breakthrough solutions that will bring greater value to our clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders. I am grateful to the Infosys Nominations and Governance Committee, Kamath, Murthy and the board for this opportunity.”

The board has also elevated UB Pravin Rao, president and whole-time director, to chief operating officer, with effect from June 14.

“I am pleased with the selection of Vishal Sikka as our new CEO.” said executive chairman, NR Narayana Murthy. “Vishal brings valuable experience as a leader of a large, global corporation. His illustrious track record and value system make him an ideal choice to lead Infosys. On behalf of all of us at Infosys, I would like to thank Gopalakrishnan, Shibulal and Batni for their contributions.”

 

Murthy and S Gopalakrishnan will voluntarily step down as executive chairman and executive vice chairman, respectively, on June 14. Murthy will be designated as chairman emeritus with effect from October 11, 2014 in recognition of his contributions to the company. In order to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibilities, they will continue on the board till October 10 as the non-executive chairman and non-executive vice chairman, respectively. Srinath Batni, whole-time director of the company, will step down from the board on July 31.

Infosys’s family (from left) daughter Akshata, Sudha Murty, daughter-in-law Lakshmi Venu, Narayana Murthy and son Rohan in Bangalore. (TOI photo)

The executive chairman’s office will be dissolved with effect from June 14. Rohan Murty, whose appointment was co-terminus with the executive chairman, will leave the company on June 14. The remaining members of the chairman’s office will take up other responsibilities in the company.

WWDC Keynote Roundup Part-3: iOS8 for Developers

We are rounding up WWDC on a platform wise basis, telling you which of our predictions (and rumours) came out to be true. So, this will be a three-part series: Mac OS X, iOS, Developers’ stuff.

The day before yesterday morning (or night if you are on this side of the globe) Apple kicked off its WWDC 2014 event with its keynote.

Along with consumer focussed features for both OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, Apple also announced a bevy of developer-focussed features.

At the 86-minute mark, after discussing all the new consumer and enterprise focussed features, Tim Cook again called on-stage his “Superman,” Craig Federighi to talk about all the Developer focussed features…

Continue reading WWDC Keynote Roundup Part-3: iOS8 for Developers