Airtel launches Unlimited Night 2G, 3G, Call Plans for Prepaid users

Airtel is one of the largest prepaid mobile networks in India with over 20 crore users. In a move to provide cost effective data and call plans, Airtel has launched unlimited night data and call plans.

These night packs will work from 12 midnight to 6 am in the morning and are valid for one time use. That is, if you activate the pack before 12 midnight, they’ll be active only from 12 midnight to 6 am the next day.

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There are six packs that come under this special scheme. They are as follows :

  1. 1 rupee – Unlimited Facebook access. You can browse Facebook at 3G speeds till 250 MB. In a tweet to the company, Airtel confirmed
    that the 3G speed works with Facebook app too, and not just the mobile browser version of Facebook.
  2. 7 rupees – Unlimited Airtel to Airtel local voice calls.
  3. 8 rupees – Unlimited 2G Internet access.
  4. 15 rupees – Unlimited Airtel and Airtel local calls and 2G access.
  5. 29 rupees – 500 MB of 3G access.
  6. 49 rupees – 1 GB of 3G access.

This is the cheapest 3G data plan provided by any mobile network till date.

To activate any of these packs, dial 129 or *129# You can also activate these packs at Airtel night mobile website. The link is at the bottom of the post.

These packs are not available for all the users. There may be variations in the cost by 1 or 2 rupees depending on the users’ circles. The 29 rupees and 49 rupees 3G packs are limited to Delhi, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Mumbai, UP (West), Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, North East and Assam users.

Link : Airtel night mobile website

Google Releases Standalone Camera App for Android 4.4+

Today, Google has introduced a new standalone Camera App. This was significantly needed as many Android phones which are not Nexus did not have useful features like “Photosphere”. Overall the camera features even on Nexus were not exactly brilliant.

So a standalone camera app will be very useful for Android users. Even if you are using a Nexus, this there are some added features so it is a good idea to go ahead and update the app or re-install it.

The Google Camera app is only available for Android 4.4+ (KitKat) version for phones and tablets.

Google Standalone Camera Interface

Google Camera App features

  • The prominent feature are Lens Blur and Panorama. Overall the options are a lot easier flip through.
  • I tested the Lens Blur function and was quite impressed with how well it works. Below is an image I took using Lens Blur.
Lens Blur - Google Camera App
Photo taken using Lens Blur – Google Camera App

Now hopefully we will see better cameras on Android phones than what are available now. If you have an Android phone running 4.4 KitKat, then this app would be really useful one.

Link: Standalone Google Camera App

Download Heartbleed Detector for Android, LastPass’ Heartbleed checker

Heartbleed, a recently discovered OpenSSL security bug has created fears in the minds of many Internet users. OpenSSL provides communication security to web, email, instant messaging and various virtual private networks too.

Heartbleed is a serious flaw in the OpenSSL security system that allows any person to access the memory of the systems of the client or sever and get information.

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This security flaw has been found in only certain versions of OpenSSL software. Android devices use OpenSSL software. Based on reports, Google has confirmed that Android 4.1.1 is vulnerable. To check if your device is affected by Heartbleed, a new app from Lookout Mobile Security is available and is called Heartbleed Detector.

Heartbleed Detector is a free app on the Google Play store and supports all Android devices running Android 2.2 and above. Once you download and install the app, it automatically scans your device and tells you if your device is vulnerable or not.

As for me, my Android device is running a version of OpenSSL that is affected by Heartbleed, but there are no serious issues that I should pay attention to. My device is safe.

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This app will not scan the apps on your Android. So, you will not be able to check if your online accounts are vulnerable to Heartbleed.

Solution to save your Android device from Heartbleed

As of now there is no option to save your Android from this bug. Google is currently working on a patch and will send the update through mobile carriers. To update your Android software, go to Settings > About > Software Update.

If you are worried about waiting for Google’s patch and want to safeguard your Android device, consider installing Android anti-virus apps from Google Play Store.

LastPass Heartbleed Checker

LastPass, a password manager, has launched its own Heartbleed checker. It allows you to type a website address and shows if it is vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. It also gives an in depth analysis of which version of OpenSSL the website is on and if the website is patched from the bug.

Links : Heartbleed Detector for Android | LastPass Heartbleed checker

Dropbox launches Mailbox for Android, Mac OS X version coming soon

Dropbox, the largest cloud storage service, has launched Mailbox for Android and announced that the Mac OS X version is coming soon. Mailbox was bought by Dropbox last year. Mailbox is a smart email client that manages all your email accounts in one place. It has been designed for mobiles.

Mailbox has been available for iPhone and iPad since a long time. This is the first time Mailbox is available for Android. Currently it supports only Gmail and iCloud accounts. There are no words on when Dropbox will launch other email services to Mailbox for Android.

Mailbox for Android - Archive section
Mailbox for Android – Archive section

Mailbox for Android comes with Auto-swipe feature that learns from your swiping gestures on the mail conversations. There are four swipes that you can perform on your mails :

  1. Short swipe to the right : Archives the mail.
  2. Long swipe to the right : Trashes the mail.
  3. Short swipe to the left : Snoozes the mail. A pop-up box shows you pre-defined times which you can choose. Based on your choice, Mailbox will remind you of the pending un-read mail at the specified time.
  4. Long swipe to the left : Categorizes the mail to lists. There are three pre-defined lists : To Watch, To Buy, To read. You can create your own lists too.

You can also create your own rules (tasks) to be performed when you receive a particular type of mail. To create rules, long press icons shown at the top right of the mail conversation and choose the task.

For example, if you wish to trash all the upcoming mails from xxx@yyy.com, long press the trash icon at the top right of the screen and choose the required option.

Also, based on reports, a Mac OS X version of Mailbox is coming soon. To signup for the beta, enter your email address at Mailbox for Mac OS X webpage.

Link : Mailbox for Android | Mailbox for iOS

Activate DND (Do Not Disturb), Check Status & Register complaint

DND

Few months ago, I moved from Airtel to Idea and suddenly I started getting a lot of telemarketing calls. It wasted a lot of my time as I was under the impression, DND was active on my account.

It turned out that Airtel removed me from DND when I decided to get away from them. Among telemarketing calls, there were calls from Airtel also.

Check Status

You may call 1909 to enquire current status and know your NDNC registration date.

I prefer the online way. You can check DND status online using this official link http://www.nccptrai.gov.in/nccpregistry/search.misc for any number!

Below is what I saw for my number:

DND-status-1

As you can see, DND was de-activated on my number on January 9, 2014. I switched from Airtel to Idea around same date.

Does it happen always? Do you expect DND to get deactivated when you switch from one provider to another provider? Not sure. I have one more number and when we switched it from BSNL to Idea, it’s DND remained active!

DND-Status-bsnl-idea-1

If you are getting calls from number starting with 0140 then you may not be on DND or getting a call from somebody who doesn’t respect DND!

Activate DND (Do Not Disturb)

As I was removed from DND, I had to activate it again.

To Stop ALL Calls

Send SMS with the message Start 0 to 1909.

You can will get a reply by SMS asking for confirmation. Send another message with a letter Y to confirm.

If you don’t like typing, you can also call 1909 from your mobile and follow instructions.

To allow calls of particular category

Category selection 0 in Start 0 blocks all categories. If you wan’t to allow some categories only, below is a list of category numbers.

  1. Banking/Insurance/Financial products/credit cards
  2. Real Estate
  3. Education
  4. Health
  5. Consumer goods and automobiles
  6. Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT
  7. Tourism and Leisure

To allow category specific calls, type Start 1 for Banking/Insurance, etc category.

You can specify multiple category as well by typing Start 1,2 in SMS.

Register a complaint

If DND is active on your number and you are still getting calls, you can register a complaint about calls to your service provider.I was under the impression that complaints need to be made directly to TRAI or some government authority.

By SMS

You can send a SMS to 1909 in following format to register your complain.

the unsolicited commercial communication, XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy

Or another format:

COMP TEL NO XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy, Time hh:mm

Replace XXXXXXXXXX by number from which you received call and dd/mm/yy and hh:mm with date & time, respectively.

Check complaint status

You will get a complaint number, whose status can be tracked online from http://www.nccptrai.gov.in/nccpregistry/UccSearch.misc

Android App

There is an Android App to register complains easily here. (thanks anantshri)

Important Notes

If you are moving from one service provider to another service provider, under MNP (mobile number portability) scheme. and you suddenly starts getting a lot of telemarketing calls, it’s better to check your number’s DND status online.

Links: Check DNS Status | Track Complaint Status

Source: Most info in this article can be found on official site – http://www.nccptrai.gov.in/nccpregistry/

How to get the new UI on Facebook for Android

The current Facebook for Android group is a mess. Everyone knows that. The app is slow, lags and many users have even experienced problems with crashing often.

If you didn’t know, Facebook has a Alpha Testers group that allows the Android users to test the Facebook app updates before they are rolled out to the public.

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The above shown image is that of the new Facebook for Android that Facebook has been working on. Based on first impressions, the app is fast and fluid. Scrolling across the posts, navigation is smooth, multimedia upload/download is flawless and the app didn’t crash. Simply said, this version is much better than the previous ones.

How to get this new Facebook app

Before you download this new version, you’ll have to note that, you will experience issues too since this is a beta edition. There may be crashes, image upload/load failure and other glitches.

There are two ways to get this new version of Facebook for Android.

The easy way is to download the Facebook version 9.0.0.0.18 APK and install it on your device. The APK download link is mentioned at the bottom of the post.

The hard way, is to sign up at Facebook for Android Alpha Testers group with your Google account by clicking the Become a tester button. Once registered, go to Settings > Apps on your Android device, find Facebook and hit Clear data. Once done, go to Google Play Store and update the app. If you do not find the update button, uninstall it and download it again.

If you are not able to update the app inside Google Play, try installing the alpha version APK.

Link : Facebook for Android version 9.0.0.0.18 APK | via Android Beat

Google Keep updated with searchable images, trashcan and List Settings

Google Keep for Android has been updated. The Android team sent a tweet on Twitter announcing this new update. This update brings three interesting features : text search in images, trashcan and List Settings to auto organize lists.

In-image text search is an useful feature that scans your images for the text input that you give.

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Trashcan is a temporary location that stores your deleted notes. It will help you to recover notes that you deleted accidentally. Note that, deleting and archiving notes are different.

List Settings brings an option to program has the lists organize themselves. You can choose the position of a new text to the list and what happens to the checked off lists.

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Hopefully there will be many more updates coming to Google Keep in the near future. Some of the features that I would like to see are : integration with Google Drive, Gmail, Night Mode, shared notes with other Google accounts and protected notes.

Do you have anything that you would like to see in Google Keep? Share your thoughts with us.

Link : Google Keep on Google Play Store

Twitter introduces Photo-tagging: Here is how to turn them off on your account

Today, Twitter announced a new feature that allows users to upload multiple photos on a single tweet. More important feature is the new option that will allow users to tag other users to photos. The new feature will be available to iPhone users first and then later to Android users. Twitter.com will see this feature last.

I own an Android phone, hence I could not check the new feature out for myself. But Twitter has posted this helpful image that illustrates how the new photo-tagging feature will work.

Twitter_photo_tag

This could be an issue as Twitter is a very public platform and just about anyone can tag anyone on Twitter by default to a photo. Thankfully the privacy options does offer control over who gets to tag you in photos.

How to turn of photo-tagging on your Twitter account:

  • Log in to your Twitter account on a desktop computer.
  • Then look up Settings and Security at the following link https://twitter.com/settings/security
Twitter_photo_tag_settings
Twitter >> Settings >> Security

The default option selected is to “Allow anyone to tag me in photos”. Change it to not allow anyone to tag you in photos or limite tagging to only people you follow.

Since this is a opt-out feature and not a opt-in feature, I am sure there will be some people who will find strangers tagging them in photos an unwanted headache.

Do drop in your comments.

Link Bubble for Android opens links in floating browser in background

Link Bubble is a nifty Android app that makes mobile browsing more easy. When you click a link on any app, Link Bubble automatically loads the page in its floating browser in background, and displays the page once it is fully loaded.

Like the name denotes, Link Bubble is basically a bubble that floats on your Android device screen. It draws inspiration for its interface, from Facebook’s Chat Heads.

Two things that Link Bubble does great : load pages silently in background, save the user from the process of looking at the URL redirects.

Link Bubble

Based on first impressions, the app does a perfect job, but is slow. When I opened a link with Link Bubble’s built-in floating browser, it took 15 seconds to completely load the page. When I opened the same link on my Opera Mini browser, the page loaded in less than 5 seconds.

The bubble transitions could have been better. They lag a bit and don’t have the zippy nature (which Chat Heads have).

The app can help you share a link to other apps. This is achieved with the help of two special bubbles : Left bubble and Right bubble. Drag-and-drop the main bubble to any one of the special bubbles to share the link.

Link Bubble shows even after you come out of the default app. The bubbles disappear only when you drag-and-drop the main bubble at the close bubble available at the bottom of the screen.

You can choose the default app (the app whose links should be intercepted by Link Bubble), special bubbles and the default fallback browser in the settings.

The free app limits to one bubble and one app (the links in this app will open through Link Bubble) while the pro version can opens links in all apps and it supports multiple bubbles.

The pro version costs 4.99$.

Link : Link Bubble on Google Play | Pro version

Twitter launches a tool to discover anyone’s first ever tweet

In the event of Twitter’s eight birthday, March 21, the micro-blogging website has launched a simple tool to check your first ever tweet.

Aptly named First Tweet, the service allows you to discover the first tweet that you sent when you joined the micro-blogging website.

In addition to checking your first tweet, you can also check the first tweet sent by any Twitter handle. Just enter the username and the tool will show you the first tweet. (No need to authenticate the tool)

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There is also an option to tweet this discovery or share it on other social networks.

Try it out, it’s fun! Do not forget to share with us your first tweet and other amusing first tweets that you come across.

Link: First Tweet