Store and sync your open tabs and files with a single click

While researching something online, you might get an important call or need to go somewhere to a important meeting. That can be irritating especially as you need to save your files and sync them over Google Drive or Dropbox and save your browser tabs with a handy extension. CupCloud gets both syncing files and tabs working with a single click.

Firstly download CupCloud and install it on your computer. It works with Windows and OS X. I have tested it only on my Windows PC.

Now start working and when ever you need to save a bunch of tabs and word and excel documents open on your computer, just start the CupCloud software and click on “Cup”.

How Cup Cloud Works
How Cup Cloud Works

Once done, it will store all your open tabs and files with a single click.

Save  and manage multiple collections of tabs and files you need
Save and manage multiple collections of tabs and files you need

If you create an account with Cup Cloud, you can open and sync tabs and folders across different computers. Currently Cup Cloud supports Chrome, Safari and among browsers. It also supports MS Word, Excel and Power Point files along with support for Windows Explorer and Mac Finder.

Do note that the product is still in beta and promises to support more file types.

Do try out Cup Cloud and let me know what you think of it in your comments.

Link: Cup Cloud

Google Drive has 120 Million Active users: Drive gets closely integrated with Gmail

Google has recently revealed that over 120 million users are active on Google Drive. The number is big enough for Google to introduce new features with Gmail that will allow users to save their attachments directly on Google Drive. The update is slowly being rolled out over the next week so you might not see it for a few days on your Gmail account.

By next week we should be seeing easier options to save attachments to Google Drive directly.

Save to Drive on Gmail
Gmail attachments to get closer integration to Google Drive

As seen in the image above, all your attachments could be saved on Google Drive with a single click. It will also allow users to choose the folder on Google Drive where a particular file has to be saved into.

Google Drive having 120 million users is a big deal!

Google Drive having 120 million active users might not seem a huge as Gmail probably has a lot more active users. The difference is Google Drive also encompasses Google Docs. So it means that many people have some sort of familiarity to a free online alternative to MS Office. Also with closer integration with Gmail, it means more people might be saving their MS Word and MS Excel sheets on Google Drive, something Microsoft will be not very happy about.

Source: Google Drive Blog

Bonus tips!

Facebook redesigns the “Like” button

Facebook is pushing a new design to its iconic “Like” button. The “Like” button is now more or less a constant on just about any website, to get visitors sharing links on their own Facebook profiles.

Today, Facebook’s developer blog introduced a new way the “Like” button will show up. The new button has vectorised design. Facebook is also introducing the option of getting websites to use both the “Like” and “Share” button. The two buttons seem similar to people but they are actually very different. The “Share” button allows users to add a comment to the link they are sharing on their timeline. The “Like” button only shares the link on a users timeline.

FB new Like Button
The new Like and Share buttons rolled out by Facebook

How does one test the new “Like” button?

The Facebook “Like” and “Share” buttons are used by 7.5 million websites. But rolling out the new buttons to websites over time, Facebook is rolling the new button design to a percentage of users.

This is a bit strange as it might mean that a website owner might not see the newly designed button while visitors to the site might get to see the button. This could be problematic especially if the new design breaks or does not go well with the overall design of a website.

Are you seeing the new “Like” button and do you like it? ;-) Do drop in your comments.

Source: Facebook Developers Blog

Nexus 5 priced Rs. 28,999 and availability on 14th November in India

Google released Android 4.4 KitKat and the new Nexus 5 phone a couple of days ago. The Nexus 5 is already available in the US and other markets but its availability is not officially confirmed in India.

What is officially confirmed is the the price of the Nexus 5 phone in India. Just head over to the Nexus 5 playstore listing and it shows the prices of both the 16GB and 32 GB variants.

Nexus 5 India price and availability

The Nexus 5 16 GB variant is priced at Rs. 28,999 and the 32 GB variant at Rs. 32,999.

That is about Rs. 3000 more than what Nexus 4 was priced in India. According to TOI the release date for Nexus 5 in India will be the 14th November.

The Nexus 7 (2013) version is also expected in India soon and hopefully that too will be available on November 14th. Google’s ambiguity over the release of Android 4.4 and Nexus 5 has been so much that it is difficult to take any rumours on a release date seriously.

About Android 4.4: I guess Google still has to learn a bit from Apple who release an update on the same day to millions of devices. My phone (Nexus 4) still does not have the Android 4.4 update available officially, which is a same as most Nexus owners buy the device to get the latest Android version. I will post a details Android 4.4 review once I get my hands on it.

Google reveals Motorola’s “Project Ara” to let users customize their phones

When Google bought Motorola most industry experts have never been truly able to explain “why” it did so. Was it for Motorola’s patents which could be valuable against an Apple? Was it as leverage against Samsung who were more or less dominating the Android based phone market? Was it that Google now wanted to become like Apple and make their own phones?

Google’s wisdom has been questioned for a while regarding Motorola, as over the last couple of years – Motorola has eating millions out of Google’s profits. But it seems Google had a plan for Motorola all this while.

A day ago, they announced “Project Ara” for Motorola. Project Ara is basically making a phone last longer but making them modular. So basically the idea is the phone will come apart in several modules and one could just change the screen if it was smashed or opt for a bigger battery instead of a better camera.

So what is the vision of Project Ara?

The vision is to replicate Android’s open source nature into hardware. As in Project Ara is supposed to become a free and open hardware platform. Here are some images of the early designs with Project Ara.

Project Ara HandsetsNote the Moto X lock-screen notifications icon on these devices. The phones looks like a jigsaw puzzle full of modules and that is what it is supposed to be. It will contain a endoskeleton (endo) and modules. The endo-skeleton will basically keep the modules in place as a framework.

Project Ara modularsHow has Google gone about planning to make modular phones?

Some of you might be aware of a concept called Phonebloks. The concept is similar to “Project Ara” and also promises freedom of customization and choice for users. The problem with Phonebloks was that the design it was suggesting looked “scientifically dodgy” but the idea of users modular built block by block is not really news. But Google is working with Phonebloks creator Dave Hakkens to tap into its community.

Google expects to roll-out a alpha versions of Module Developers Kit (MDK) over the next 4-5 months.

In 2007, Modu an Israeli company also came out with the idea of selling modular phones. The company went bust in 2011 and surely enough in May 2011 Google stepped in and bought many of their patents on modular technology. This means Google has been thing on these lines almost since the time they acquired Motorola.

Here is a nice video from Phonebloks that explains the concept of modular phones.

Will Google succeed? That is a entirely different question but if it does, the hegemony of phone manufacturers with deep pockets will be shaken in a big way.

What are your views on modular phones? Do you think they will work? Do drop in your comments.

Link: Motorola blog

Google Nexus 5 specs leaked in pre-registration mistake

The Canadian telecom company Wind, listed the Google Nexus 5 phone for pre-registration on its Facebook page. The post has been removed now but it was up for enough time people to take screenshots of the registration screen.

The phone is expected to be announced anytime soon. Google itself has listed it “mistakenly” on the Play Store. The mistaken listing now more or less confirms the expected specs for the Nexus 5.

Google Nexus 5 preregister - mistake

Expected Nexus 5 specs

  • The screen will be 4.95-inch 1080p display.
  • Phone will run on 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM
  • The front facing camera will be 1.3 MP and the back camera 8 MP.
  • Obviously the OS will be Android 4.4 KitKat.
  • The phone will be available in two versions 16GB and 32 GB.

The leaks of phones is getting so ridiculous that hardly anything new is ever announced, which is a secret until the day of the launch. But the level of mistaken leaks sometimes, makes me wonder if these spec and image leaks are not just stage managed mistakes.

Whenever Nexus 5 is announced, much of what it will have will already be known. So the real surprise elements in store could be with what is new with Android 4.4 KitKat.

Source: The Verge

LG G Flex: Curved display smartphone is official

LG G FlexThe Korean electronics giant LG has officially announced the G Flex phone. This smartphone is “different” because the display screen is curved. The phone retains the new trend of LG’s flagship phones to have the power button at the back of the phone. The phone is currently available only in S.Korea and there is not signs yet on a global release.

Basic specs of the LG G Flex

  • The phone has a flexible OLED screen that allows the curved screen display. These screens usually are far more robust because of their flexibility. Also the shape of the screen with an inwards curve could mean fewer instances of the phone falling flat on the display screen to break it.
  • It has a 6-inch, 720p display. The display screen will obviously show notifications based on tilting of the device.
  • The device runs on 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and packs 2GB of RAM
  • The back camera is a 13-megapixel camera.
  • The 3,500 mAh battery is impressive as there are major engineering difficulties with fitting a battery inside a curved device.

The engineering and design challenges of curved display phones

While curved displays are possible because of the flexible OLED screen, the innards of the phone are not really flexible. The batteries, chips, sensors are not necessarily flexible and this would probably be a major challenge in how the phone is assembled and what sort of impact it has on such a phone’s performance over the long run.

LG is not the first to produce a phone with curved display. Samsung already has one but that model curves from side to side, while the curve on the LG G Flex runs from top to bottom.

Source: The Verge

Round up of Apple’s Fall Event: New iPads, Macs and Free OS X Mavericks

Apple’s Fall event is usually when the company announces the good stuff before the major holiday season (AKA shopping season) kicks off. Apple had already unveiled the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s over a month ago but the new iteration to the iPad, iPad Mini and MacBook Pro was eagerly awaited. Apple came out firing on all cylinders and here is a round-up of all devices announced at the Apple event.

iPad Air

What was the new iPad going to be called. Apple has had some mixed up naming convention, like after iPad 2 came the New iPad which was technically iPad 3. The new name suits it well and its called iPad Air (obviously borrowed from MacBook Air).

iPad Air

  • This tablet is light as in it weighs only 1 pound (0.45 kgs).
  • The display screen is 9.7 inch and support resolution of 2048 x 1536 and over 3.1 million pixels. It is with retina display.
  • It will run on the A7 chip and support 64-bit architecture, which will be a first for iPad.
  • iPad Air camera will take 5 MP photos with 1080p HD video recording and the front facing camera takes 1.2 MP photos with 720p HD video.
  • It will be available in space grey and silver. The device will also be available in WIFI only and WIFI+Mobile versions.

Pricing

The iPad Air Wifi with 16 GB storage is available for $499. The price of the iPad Air Wifi + Cellular with 16 GB storage is available for $629.

iPad Mini with retina display

iPad Mini with retina display has been hotly debated. With Google unveiling a powerful Nexus 7 (2013) earlier in the year, it was no surprise to see iPad Mini get the retina display tag. iPad Mini with retina display will be released in November.

iPad Mini RD

  • The iPad Mini with retina display packs the 7.9 inch display screen while supporting 2048 x 1536 resolution.
  • It will run on the A7 chip supporting 64-bit architecture.
  • iPad Mini camera will take 5 MP photos with 1080p HD video recording and the front facing camera takes 1.2 MP photos with 720p HD video.
  • The device will be available in grey, silver, white and black colours.

Pricing

The iPad Mini with retina display like the iPad Air will ship in two varieties. The iPad Mini Wifi with 16 GB storage will cost $399 and the Wifi + Cellular with 16 GB storage is priced at $529.

What happens to the older version of iPad and iPad Mini?

The older iPad Mini will still be around and sold at $299. The older iPad 2 will be sold at $399. Both prices are for devices with 16GB memory. This is a good idea by Apple as it gives it basically 4 tablet devices out there in the market.

MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro lineup has also been refreshed. The new 13-inch and 15-inch display screen MacBook Pro laptops will ship with retina display. The 15-inch MacBook Pro without retina display has been discontinued. The device will ship with the newly released Mavericks OS X.

MBP - retina  - 2013

  • The MacBook Pro laptops will run on Intel Haswell chips. The 13-inch device will pack a 2.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. The device will ship with 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB storage variants.
  • Similarly the 15-inch MacBook Pro will run on  2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor for the 256 GB storage variant and 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor for the 512 GB version.
  • MacBook Pro laptops will contain 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port. The battery for the 13-inch MBP will last for 9 hours and 8 hours for the 15-inch MBP.

Pricing

The pricing of the 13-inch MBP with 128 GB storage is $1299 and for the 15-inch MBP for 256 GB storage is $1999. The MacBook Pro laptops should be available right away.

OS X Mavericks released and for free!

Apple’s big announcement was the release date for OS X Mavericks. The new OS X version is already available for Mac users. Most importantly Apple is releasing this update free of cost. That means every user will probably save $20 that it took to buy the new update.

Read the full article by Vibin on OS X Mavericks being free and some issues with the update.

The free upgrade this time around means that most future upgrades will also be given away free. That is a big challenge for companies like Microsoft who depend on selling new OS updates as a business.

Complete Tech Specs

Reading List for the Weekend [20th October 2013]

While the festive season of Diwali gets nearer, gadget companies are making a scramble to catch the attention span of busy shoppers. Google has Android stores opened in India, Apple will be unveiling a new iPad (worldwide) in a couple of days. The festive season got be thinking and searching about new gadgets expected and e-commerce retailers in general. So those thoughts have influenced my curated list of 4 articles you might enjoy reading over the weekend.

  1. Nexus 7 2013 – In-depth Review – While Nexus 7 (2013 version) is not available in India as yet, it probably should be released here soon. I am interested in this one and hence looked for the most indepth review of it online. AnandTech does a good job and also suggests that Google is moving from just innovative pricing to innovative excellence, a line often used to describe the products and service associated with Google.
  2. TED Talks is Lying to You – Though this article on Salon is not exactly critical of TED Talks but is critical of the familiar marketing and packaging of books, talks and conferences which not just sell the idea of “creativity” but also try to sell us tips and seemingly profound discussions on “how to become creative”. The whole point of the article being there seems more literature on understanding creativity than actual literature that is creative.
  3. Fasten Your Seatbelts: Google’s Driverless Car is Worth Trillions – Staying with the whole theme of Google being innovative, I looked up a good article that took a overall view of one of its most innovative experiments called driverless cars. This Forbes articles, reels of potential stats and theories on how millions of lives will be saved, better usage of land will be done, billions of dollars saved in accidents, insurance claims and fuel costs and billions of hours collectively saved on commuting if driverless cars became reality.
  4. I want it today! – While the Indian e-commerce retailer Flipkart faces interesting times ahead with Amazon India becoming its competitor, it is interesting to see how innovative Amazon is as a e-commerce retailer. They have a service that makes delivery on the same day in certain US cities. Amazon is buying companies that make picking robots to become more efficient with their deliveries.

Hope you enjoy reading these posts and drop in your comments any in-depth articles you want to read next week.

How to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro version from Windows 8.1 Preview

Microsoft finally has released the Windows 8.1 Pro version to public. This is an update to Windows 8, which in my opinion was a terrible UI for a laptop. The Windows 8.1 Pro update has some useful changes like showing the Home or Start button, allowing a single and uniform wallpaper background to both the desktop and the start screen and also allows readjusting the sizes of the app tiles on the start screen.

If you are someone like me, who is already running Windows 8.1 preview version, then these next steps will be very helpful.

Upgrading to Windows 8.1 from Preview version installed over Windows 8

If you have installed your Windows 8.1 Preview on top of PC running Windows 8, then you can easily update through the Windows Store app from your home screen.

Click on this direct link to Windows 8.1 Pro on the store and the Store App should start on your PC. The Store should show you the following screen.

Windows 8.1 Pro
Windows Store Screen for updating your PC to Windows 8.1 Pro version

The download is about 3.63 GB and will keep your PC settings and files but all your apps will need to be re-installed. Microsoft is releasing a lot of built-in apps with this update so there will a lot of new apps showing up on your Home screen.

If you did not update to Windows 8.1 Preview from Windows 8 but did so by booting from a ISO media, you still can download the Windows 8.1 Pro update but will need to purchase the Windows 8 licence. You can buy this licence here.

Upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 Pro

Now if you are running Windows 8 and not the 8.1 Preview version, then this link to the store should still work and take your to the Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade option.

Download and upgrade the version free. This will save all your setting, files and even apps from the previous version.

Useful links: