Flipkart fights Amazon with Flipkart First – Free shipping and more

Flipkart is launching Flipkart First – a premium annual subscription service. It offers services like free, quick deliveries, 60 day replacement guarantee and more.

This is the first of this kind in the history of Indian e-commerce. If you are an user of Amazon, you will notice that this is exactly like Amazon Prime – a premium subscription service offered by Amazon. It offers free two day delivery service, unlimited video streaming and free access to Kindle books.

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Getting back to Flipkart First, Flipkart is yet to launch this product. A dedicated web page has already been setup for Flipkart First. There are no in depth details on when this service is launching and how much this service will cost.

Features of Flipkart First

Flipkart First is offering 5 features for now. More will be coming soon.

Flipkart First users get Free delivery on no minimum purchase, free In-a-day delivery, discounted price on Same-day delivery, 60 day replacement guarantee and higher prioritized customer support.

Similar to quick deliveries, Flipkart is limiting this service to products sold by WS Retail for now. There are no reports on whether Flipkart will bring this service to products sold by other sellers.

To get more details on Flipkart First, enter your email ID at the Flipkart First web page. You will be added to the mail list and notified when Flipkart First launches.

As an introductory offer, Flipkart is picking 75,000 users and offering 3 month free Flipkart First subscription service.

What do you think about this new service by Flipkart? Do you think you will use this? Do tell us.

Link: Flipkart First

Google Maps gets a prominent “Save to Offline” button and many new features

Google had added the feature to save a map offline, for phones long ago. This is useful when sometimes you do not have connectivity. The feature even though available for a while, was not used as by many people. The main reason being that the option was not visible enough or rather hidden too well for normal users to discover it and use it. Most people who use Google Maps do so while travelling for a quick reference, so most do not have time to spend looking at each of its features.

Today in a new update, Google Maps has introduced a more prominent “Save to Offline” button.

Offline Maps
Credits: Google

There are some other major upgrades and changes introduced too like integration with Uber. Another good addition is Google Maps showing which lane to stay in before taking a turn. This will be a lot more useful to anticipate where exactly you need to watch out for the right or left turn.

Finally there are some smaller additions which will be useful for business like showing closing times (last call) and can filter places based on prices and even user ratings.

Google Maps is still vastly more popular and honestly as a user myself, I think it is vastly better than all alternatives out there. Google should be commended on investing even more time and energy than it did before despite its leadership role. But this might be mainly because Google Maps is a product that is hugely important to collect data of the real world around us that users generate.

The updates are rolling out today itself on both Android and iOS versions.

OS X 10.10 to take center stage at Apple’s WWDC

Last year has been pretty huge for iOS, with major changes in interface, along with addition of lots of new features. Apple did release OS X Mavericks, but it wasn’t a huge update and iOS took all the limelight.

This year however, might be totally opposite. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is set to revamp OS X with 10.10 update, bringing it on par with iOS in interface.

OS X 10.10

Apple has been bringing iOS features to OS X for quite some time now. It started with Lion, introducing LaunchPad, Calendar and Contacts apps etc. In Mountain Lion, we have seen Notification Center, Messages app and more.

This is going to continue in OS X 10.10. Aesthetics of iOS 7 will indeed make their way into OS X.

But what’s important is, will Apple dumb down OS X, to make it appealing for iOS users? 9to5Mac says, power user features like Mission Control, Finder etc. will be left untouched. Unlike Microsoft, Apple has no intentions of merging the two operating systems and only wants to bring design consistency between them.

It will be really weird to see OS X in the neon colours of iOS 7 and the glyph icons, but I’m sure Apple won’t go that far. Surely, Jony Ive knows what people think about his design.

Webapps at iCloud.com, like Calendar, Mail, Contacts etc. give a pretty good hint at what the revamp could look like.

While we’re not sure how this update will turn out, it’s good to see OS X getting focus at WWDC after a long time. Of course, this won’t be the only thing releasing. iOS 8, Apple TV upgrade and the one more thing (iWatch?) are on list.

This year’s WWDC is set to start on June 2nd at San Francisco. Are you looking forward to the event? Tell us in the comments.

Spotify rolls out dark redesign for its Android app

A month back, Spotify gave a peek of its new design for Mac, Web, Android and iOS. It has then released for those platforms and now Android is the last to get it.

The new design brings consistent iconography, a dark theme with stark green colour popping out. It looks gorgeous, especially on Android (most dark themed Android apps look great).

Spotify's redesign

The typography is nice and the app follows Android design guidelines perfectly.

This update is not all about UI, though. It brings one of the most requested features – called ‘Your Music’.

On Spotify, generally whenever you like a song you’re listening, you star it and it will then get added to Starred playlist. You don’t have to do that anymore. You can save the music to your account which can be seen as a list under Your Music.

You can view Your Music as a list of albums, tracks or artists. (as you can see from the screenshot)

If you’re from India, here’s some great news – you can make Spotify work here without any proxy. You just have to use Hola Unblocker while logging into Spotify for the first time and that’s all, it will work fine even if you uninstall Hola Unblocker afterwards.

Overall it’s a great update that brings the Android app inline with apps on other platforms. If you’re in a country where Spotify is supported, then you can grab the app from Google Play. Otherwise, there’s an APK.

Did you try out the new Spotify for Android? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Link: Spotify on Google Play | Spotify APK

Select, Copy, Modify Text inside an image using Project Naptha

Have you ever thought if there was a way to select and modify text inside an image? It’s possible now, with just a Chrome extension.

That’s right. With this extension, you can treat text inside image, as normal text. It’s called Project Naptha.

Selecting text inside image

Project Naptha applies OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on all the images in the browser, allowing you to select text and do things like copy, erase, modify, translate and more.

It works as expected, for most images, especially for screenshots and other text embedded images. Apparently, no OCR technology is perfect.

To use it, just hover your cursor on text in an image, and just start selecting. You’ll see the text highlighted with transparent blue colour. You can then right click and perform some action on the text – like, search text on Google, erase it from image, translate it into other languages and so on.

Even thought it sounds like this extension needs a lot of processing power, it runs just fine. No crashes or memory hogging till now.

It’s only available for Chrome right now. The developer says there will be a Firefox add-on releasing in a few days.

So if you’re on Chrome, head on to Chrome Webstore and try out this nifty extension.

Link: Project Naptha

Flipkart launches Same-day delivery in 10 cities at Rs 200 per item

Back in January, Flipkart launched In-a-day delivery. And now, Flipkart is offering Same-day delivery in a view to deliver better services to the customers and compete with the fast growing Amazon India.

Starting from today, Flipkart’s Same-day delivery will be available for deliveries to 10 cities : Delhi, Chennai, Faridabad, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Manesar and Kolkata. Flipkart’s In-a-day delivery covers 27 cities as of now.

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Order before 12 noon and get it delivered the same day

If you place an order before 12 noon on a business day, the product will be delivered by 9 pm on the same day. As a promotional offer, Flipkart is offering Same-day delivery at just Rs 140 per item and this offer is only from April 28 to 30.

Also, Flipkart is offering Rs 5000 in Flipkart wallet if the courier partner fails to deliver the product on the same as promised. You can make this cash for future purchases at Flipkart. This cash is not refundable to your bank account.

Before you make the purchase, make sure to check if your pincode is covered by this service. Also note that only a few products by certain sellers are qualified for this service.

Similar to In-a-day delivery service, the shipment price will be collected as a part of the order and will be refunded to your Flipkart wallet if the order is not delivered as promised.

Pricing by other companies

The pricing is little high when compared with the One-day or Two-days delivery service offered by Amazon India. Amazon India offers One-day delivery at Rs 90 per order and Two-days delivery at Rs 70 per order.

On the other day, Snapdeal and Tradus are offering One-day delivery services free of charge.

Related : Comparison of One-day delivery services offered by Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal and Tradus.

Link : Flipkart Same-day delivery

Lyrics Finder grabs and embeds song lyrics in your MP3s

If you like to keep your Music library complete or like to sing along to your songs, here’s a great little app called Lyrics Finder.

Lyrics Finder

Lyrics Finder scans your music library for MP3s and downloads the lyrics.

To get started, drag-and-drop a file or a folder containing MP3s.

You’ll of course need to make sure your Music Player app supports lyrics, otherwise there’s no point in embedding lyrics inside the MP3s.

For example, on Android, there’s Poweramp, Shuttle and more music players which support lyrics. On Mac, I use Muzzy, a great mini player for iTunes.

If an MP3 file already has lyrics, then the app leaves it intact, i.e. no overriding.

Searching and downloading lyrics is pretty fast, it took less than a minute to grab lyrics for 400 songs in my iTunes library. A green indicator is shown on the song’s album art, if lyrics were available for that song (see the above screenshot).

Lyrics Finder is available for OS X and Windows, the link is below.

Link: Lyrics Finder

Automation app IFTTT releases for Android

IFTTT, short for “If This Then That”, is a great web service for automating tasks between internet services. It’s been a while since it has started and now it’s on Android (and iPhone too).

IFTTT

Most Android users would have heard about Tasker, an app which runs specific tasks based on the context. IFTTT is like Tasker, but for the web.

There’s a lot you can do with the service, most obvious ones are: changing your Twitter picture automatically as your Facebook picture is changed, getting a notification if it’s raining tomorrow, backing up your phone’s contacts to Google spreadsheets etc.

Now that IFTTT is available on Android, you can be even more creative. There are five new channels introduced: Android Device, Location, Phone call, Photos, SMS.

So if you’ve misplaced your phone which is on silent mode, you can increase the ringtone volume by sending an E-mail. This is possible because IFTTT now has permissions to control your Android device.

To get started, check out the most popular recipes in their site.

To enable the Android channels, you have to first install the app on your device. Get it from the link below.

Link: IFTTT for Android

Indian Railways launches official train enquiry app for Windows 8

Center for Railway Information Services (CRIS) has launched a Windows 8 app that keeps the users posted about the Indian trains status. The app is available for Windows 8 desktop and Windows Phone 8.

This National Train Enquiry System (NTES) app comes packed with many useful features that will be helpful for the Indian rail commuters. It helps the users the track the status of a train on motion, search for trains between stations, cancelled, diverted, rescheduled trains, arrival and departure time of trains and more.

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Based on first impressions, the app worked fast and delivered the information fast. With just the input of the train number, you can get details about the Indian trains.

There may be many third party mobile apps that do the same task, but this being the official one from the Indian Railways, it should keep the users posted on accurate and prompt information.

If you didn’t know, Indian Railways also has the official IRCTC app for Windows devices. There are no reports on when the Indian Railways plans on bringing these apps to other mobile platforms.

Links : NTES for Windows 8 desktop | NTES for Windows Phone 8 | IRCTC app for Windows Phone 8

Twitter’s new profile looks like Facebook

Twitter is hardly used by regular users from its website. Most regular users probably use something like tweetdeck or other similar desktop apps. But regular users are not really Twitter’s concern. Their big concern are the people who sign up and then simply stop using it because it is too confusing.

So how does Twitter keep these new users interested on its service? One simple way is to be more like a social network rather than a endless stream of tweets and links. With Twitter new profile design, they have shamelessly copied Facebook’s design.

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Twitter’s new Facebook like design

I would not blame Twitter for copying Facebook. It would give a great deal of familiarity for a first-time user.

That said, I would not enjoy this sort of design on my phone app, which Twitter will probably end up doing because mobile is the future (rather present).

Interesting new feature added is that you can now pin a tweet at the top. This has to be a tweet you posted and not a retweet.

Get the new profile:

Your Twitter account will show up with the new profile design.