BlackBerry Torch 9800

IntroductionThe BlackBerry Torch 9800 is not only holding RIM’s legacy, but it’s also presenting a rebooted platform which is optimistically trying to get a slice of the everyday consumer pie, a slice that they’ve been unable to constantly attract. With RIM’s all new form and competition looming on their turf, will the BlackBerry Torch 9800 be the one to hold out against all else while projecting itself as a worthwhile competitor in segment of the industry?

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 doesn’t stray far from the usual solidity of their hardware, but it’s also their very time utilizing a sliding portrait QWERTY keyboard. Chrome plating accentuates most of the front and sides which is combined with a plastic rear cover that has a patterned soft touch layer for better grip.  The bottom of the phone is curved, which provides an ergonomic grip in your hand. The BlackBerry Torch manages to feel somewhat normal sized without coming across as bulky; however, you can easily notice its weight of 161g. Despite having sturdy exterior, there is no doubt the damage it will suffer from a fall, especially when it uses a sliding mechanism.


The Torch is by no means something innovative from a design perspective, but it clearly stands for some of the best design elements used in previous devices and combines them. The Torch 9800 is sticking with a tried and true stationary touchscreen without any tricks. Coming with a 3.2” HVGA+ 360×480 pixels display, it doesn’t impress against the WVGA and upward resolutions used by some contending smartphones. With slightly less space than the Storm2 and retaining the same resolution, the level of detail remains unchanged but sometimes texts may come out to be smaller and sometimes fuzzier. Viewing the device outdoors under direct sunlight is satisfactory since it had spot on viewing angles.

The buttons below the touchscreen may be mistaken as touch sensitive ones but they’re physical buttons that have a responsive feel to them. Placed smack in the middle is the usual optical trackpad that RIM has apparently decided to stick with something that actually works well and comes in handy. The left edge is almost empty except for the microUSB port, while the right side contains the 3.5mm audio jack, rubberized volume up/down control, and two-level camera button. On the top, both the lock and mute keys are discreetly combined into the surface with a small cut out in the middle for the speaker mode. Behind, you’ll find the upgraded 5MP camera with LED flash with the Torch name engraved into the surface. Removing the delicate plastic rear cover will provide you access to the SIM card slot, a 1300 mAh battery, and microSD card slot.


The sliding portrait QWERTY keyboard’s opening and closing mechanism feels solid and requires a slight nudge to open or close it. As for the QWERTY, it closely resembles the ones found on both the Bold 9650 and 9700 with its sensible feedback; however, it’s less noticeable and more at level with its adjacent surface. On the other hand, individuals with bigger fingers will find it a bit cramped since the buttons lack spacing in between. Overall, the QWERTY very useful with the on-screen options especially with its visible white backlighting. With the portrait or landscape style full keyboard in use, we found it to be responsive to the touch and casually typed with a few mistakes mixed in. The experience was pretty satisfactory with no slowdown or unresponsiveness when typing.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 won’t let down world travellers since it’s a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and UMTS (850/900/1900/2100MHz) device which means it’ll work in many locations but unfortunately CDMA is unavailable. The Torch also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and aGPS, if that helps.

With the WebKit based browser, pages loaded in a reasonable amount of time in a zoomed out view. Double tapping a specific area will resize the text to fit the display; however, we did come across some inconsistencies in certain pages. Multi touch gestures allow you to specify the zoom level but text won’t automatically adjust itself. Scrolling is a breeze once a page is fully loaded, but we did experience cases when images and sometimes text requiring some time to render. Although the Torch has improved on wed browsing, it’s only at the tip of the iceberg in this category when compared to the Motorola DROID X or Apple iPhone 4.

During calls, our caller’s mentioned that our voice was somewhat muted with no evidence of static noise in the background, but still distinct enough to comprehend words. Our end was quite clear with voices that weren’t muddled with any distortion. The volume from the earpiece however, was quite weak even when set to maximum which made conversing in noisy environments quite challenging. The speakerphone emitted stronger but muffled sounding tones. Overall, the calling performance on the Torch was just about average.


The BlackBerry Torch doesn’t disappoint as it was stress-tested with one solid day of heavy usage with leftover charge for the next day. We could have further optimized our time by manually lowering the brightness level to the lowest setting and closing down unused apps.
Pros and Cons

The Torch comes with a responsive QWERTY, which is good news for texting lovers. The decent battery life is also a plus.

The issues we came across with rendering some web pages and its outdated interface are the only faults we could find thus far.


RIM’s attempt in enticing new users may be difficult despite a revamped platform that appeals the everyday consumer. From a hardware viewpoint, it shies away in the presence of some high powered devices with 1GHz processors and high-resolution displays. The BlackBerry OS 6 also doesn’t affirm a level of confidence in attracting non-BlackBerry users since other platforms place a lot of weight on presentation and integration and the social networking integration may be a little too late. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is able to keep the fire burning for Samsung but unless they focus on the everyday consumer like its competitors, it will be a very tough battle indeed.

Dont Wipe Your Screen, Wash It – Introducing the Sony Xperia Z

I’ll bet that at least one of your acquaintances have ended up washing their phones with the laundry, gone dipping with it or with more innovation managed to wash its inside. A sad way for a phone to die. For these water lovers, life just got better.

Earlier this week at the CES 2013 in Las Vegas, Sony announced its latest addition to the Xperia range, the Sony Xperia Z. A smartphone without hydrophobia. The phone is water resistant for 1 metre depth for upto 30 minutes. It also comes with a shatter proof and scratch resistant glass screen which along with its dust resistant feature makes it a blessing for some of us who rough up our phones.

The highlights of the Sony Xperia Z would be its Full HD 5″ Reality display at 1080 pixel with Mobile Bravia engine, Snapdragon’s powerful 1.5GHz quad-core S4 processor, a 13 megapixel camera, NFC capability and Android 4.1 Jellybean. This beauty of a powerhouse with just a 7.9 mm width would also come equipped with 16 GB internal memory, 2 GB RAM and a 2.2 Mega Pixel camera in the front apart from other common features in the same league.
The best part about the Xperia Z would be that it is the first to market with an HDR video capability. This would mean, coupled with the Bravia Engine 2, it would provide one of the best video shooting experiences for a Smartphone. Another interesting feature with the Sony Xperia Z would be the Stamina mode for the battery which could enhance battery life by upto 4 times as claimed by Sony. This mode automatically shuts down battery draining apps each time the screen is turned off and restarts them on once the screen is on. I guess this would be good because the phone is set to be received with an inbuilt, non replaceable battery.

The phone is expected to debut worldwide in the month of March 2013, however, certain regions may receive it earlier, by February 2013.  Till then, keep your phones dry.

2012 has been an eventful year for the Smartphone market. While the world was busy contemplating its end with the Mayan Calendar, the smartphone was making itself more integrated with human life, only to stride ahead on our ever increasing dependability on it.

Within the first quarter of 2012 we saw the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) at Las Vegas and the MWC (Mobile World Congress) at Barcelona where companies announced their latest developments and gave us the roadmap of expectations from 2012-2013. Where CES was a more diverse affair, the MWC had its focus on the smartphone and tablets market.


On the Operating System front the show stopper was definitely the Android Jelly Bean 4.2 not too far ahead with the Apple iOS 6.0 and the Windows 8 Mobile. Conspicuous by its absence was Blackberry, struggling to announce the much awaited QNX based BlackBerry OS 10 within 2012, but we await the announcement anytime now.

2012 saw some brilliant technical advancements starting with HTC making the first few Quad Core processor powered phones reach the public hands through its One series. Special mention to the integration efforts by Asus displayed through its Padphone which made a Kangaroo tab with a pocket for its Smartphone. What’s only better is that it syncs sitting in there. A lot was expected from the Apple iPhone 5 launch but only minor incremental uplifts left the fans a little dissatisfied. There were some over the top releases as well like the 41 megapixel camera on the Nokia 808 Pureview, an Image Projector on the Samsung Galaxy Beam and having you record, play and display apps in 3D on the LG Optimus 3D Max. On the laptop front, we had the Ultrabooks steal the show in the markets. The size and performance of the ultrabooks have made them a must have for those on the move.

The few that were seen outstanding in 2012 in the Smartphone arena were the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Motorola Droid RAZOR MAXX and the new range of phones under the Sony Xperia One, Nokia Lumia ranges.

Now that we’ve stepped into 2013, lets hope we see not just fast processors and sharper screens, but also enhanced battery lives and wireless charging abilities. After all, how smart is a smartphone without juice?

iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 at half price: Google Nexus 4

Google is known for revolutions. This one called Nexus 4 is one of them which puts the power of top of the line phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 in the palm of your hands in half the price. In a few days, you don’t need to be a rich kid to enjoy the latest configurations and software on your phone. Fact is, the Nexus 4 has twice run out of stock in the US based on its demand growth even before it could be launched in countries like Australia and India. At some places, the sales completed within hours of the availability to run out of stock! Come February 2013, we do expect to see the smartphone release in India too.

Iphone 5-3

This handset is powered with a top of the line processor, a 1.5 GHz quad  core Snapdragon S4 Pro, an Adreno 320 GPU and 2 GB RAM with an option of 8 or 16 GB internal storage. The processor and RAM combination is even better than the Galaxy S3, which has a 1 GB RAM in the international version and a 1.4 GHz processor. The Google Nexus 4 comes with an elegant 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display sporting a resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels which is about 317 pixels per inch (ppi) and sweeps away even the iPhone 5′s Retina display. The 4.7-inch screen, gives it more display room than the iPhone 5′s screen which is 4 inches and just a tiny bit less than the Galaxy S3′s 4.8 inches screen. The Nexus range of devices is designed to showcase the latest version of Google’s Android operating system. As such, it’s loaded up with the brand-spanking new Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. You can be rest assured that the later OS releases would be first available on the Nexus range.

The powerhouse of this smartphone will be a 2100 mAh battery, which would run out of juice in one day only if you squeeze it moderately. Also, with the right equipment, you can charge this battery wireless-ly. The Nexus 4 smartphone also sports an 8 megapixel camera at the back supported with an LED flash and a 1.3 megapixel one in the front. Dimensions of this phone 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm giving it a weight of 139 grams is just about the industry average. The beauty of this phone is mostly on the inside because the outside is not very appealing and the box factor is short of any cutting edge design, but hey, ‘ itna paisa mein itna’ich milega ’ !

Casual Games for Your iPhone 5

Based on the specifications and performance of this phone, we are very sure that it will be a deemed hit in the Indian Phone Market. Coming from the house of Google, who have proved their competence earlier with the Nexus 1 smartphone and Nexus 7 tablet, this phone is going to take the market with a storm like it has already done in the US. Powered with the components better than the market leaders Galaxy S3 and iPhone and available for only half the price is a killer combination. The positives of the phone largely outweigh the few drawbacks which are non-expandable memory, non-removable battery and the absent 4G (If we’re not accepting the 3G prices today, 4G is still a dream for India!)

Finally, even if the handset doesn’t make the heads turn, it’ll surely turn the market upside down!

To add more ‘Smart’ to your Smartphone, here comes Ubuntu!

“There goes our last button” – The iPhone 5 looking at the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Till a few years back, we were wondering how useful will a phone without buttons be? Soon we saw touch screens burst into the market, leaving our phones with just 3 buttons. Today, Apple has reduced that to one. But then, we are humans right? Why would we stop at anything? So here is Ubuntu, a Linux ba sed Operating System from the house of Canonical, to remove that last button from our phones.


Unveiled at the CES 2013, Ubuntu’s UI ‘Unity’ is a button-less OS which is completely gesture based. As showcased during the event on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, switching between applications and navigating to application controls seemed very slick. It should be noted that the Galaxy Nexus is not a high end smartphone, it’s extremely mediocre with a dual core processor. This means that even mid and low end segments will be able to run Ubuntu perfectly, thereby putting a smartphone in the hands of masses on the same device they currently use as a mobile phone. If run on a high end device, Ubuntu can even function like a fully capable Desktop Operating system when connected to a secondary display, like a TV.

Ubuntu OS

To talk about performance, the Ubuntu OS seems like it has left nothing to imagination. Every edge on the phone has a different function from the top status bar which is common, to the bottom bar for application options and a left shortcuts bar, all that which is otherwise hidden. To get a gist of the OS functionality, watch the video from Ubuntu at the end of this post. P.S. It’s slightly long but worth every minute!

But we will have to wait to see Ubuntu on our devices until the first quarter of 2014, unless you own a Galaxy Nexus for which it is ready. Though, we would be able to see the Ubuntu for Android by the last quarter of 2013. Ubuntu for Android is an extension to Samsung phones, which will extend Ubuntu capabilities to it. Now that seems intelligent doesn’t it? Why let people throw their standard OS, why not build it over! Apply that to religion and world peace would not be far from reality!

‘Small is in’ is now officially a passè. The smartphone market today is starting a new trend, a bigger trend, the Phablets. Gone are the days when sinking sizes of phones made them more attractive, today screen-size does matter. This is evident from the response to the announcement of the Huawei Ascend Mate, the world’s largest smartphone at the ongoing Consumer Electronic Show 2013.

The Acend Mate sports a massive 6.1 inch 720p display, bigger than any we have seen till date. What’s most impressive is that this does not grossly overweight the phone, which will still be easy to carry owing to its thin body which also makes it less awkward to carry.


The phone which is expected to Debut in China in January, will be rolled out to other regions only by Febrauary and March 2013. It will come equipped with a 1.5GHz quad core processor, an 8 megapixel camera at its rear end, the Android JellyBean 4.1, all powered by a 4050mAh juicebox.

It was no surprise by Huawei to unveil some magic at the CEY 2013 as they have been expected to be the next bet in the evolving Smartphone and Tablet industry. Along with the Ascend Mate,  Huawei also announced the Ascend D2 which boasts of a full HD screen, unlike the Ascend Mate.

Why Kenyans like Samsung mobile phones in the first place?

In Korea, Samsung means, “three stars.” It is a company that diversifies in manufacturing some electronics with smartphones being one of their top brands. Their mobile phone development has earned them a lot of respect from other competitors around the world. One good thing with about this company is the fact that their phones are worth their value terms of specifications and money. The company as I write now contributes to over 20% of the Korea’s total exports. Additionally, Samsung Company is the 5th leading corporation in the world.

In a nutshell, this company has manufactured cell phones that suit all people from different countries. There are the high-end smartphones that belong to the elites and the low-end mobile phones that are purchased by the low-income earners. Samsung phone in Kenya is a brand that cannot be compared with any other company. Recently, the company has vowed to continue manufacturing phones that are more portable and light too. Their credibility is also high since the company has a strong after sales service that handles any issues that arise with their products from time to time.

Distribution diagram of population:

The new Samsung Galaxy S7

Galaxy S7

If there is a brand smartphone that Kenyans have fallen for, call it Samsung smartphone. Every time they hear of a new model coming in town, their adrenal glands wakes and shakes even before they see it with bear eyes. They will enquire about pre-orders even before they know where the money will come from. They don’t mind about the price, what they mind is which store it will arrive fast. They will take loans or just sell anything that can give them money to own the latest Samsung mobile phone in Kenya. Now you wonder where all this madness comes from, well, Samsung marketing team is ever at the top of the bar. They make it happen that even a 3-year kid gets to know that there is a gadget by the name Samsung Galaxy S7 in town.

What have you heard of late about Samsung? Even before you pronounce Samsung Galaxy S7, I have already read your mind. It is true that Samsung Galaxy S7 has landed in Kenya just the other day. The first stock was to cover the pre-order orders before stocking different mobile phones stores. Let’s assume that you were one of the luckiest first customers. You have now been given your new phone boxed as it has arrived. The first thing is to unbox it and remove all the stickers that it comes with it. First things first, there are some steps that you have to do with a new phone before anything. Without spending much of your time, here are a few things to do after you get it in the palm of hands.

  • Create an account and sign in

All Samsung mobile phones in Kenya undergoes this same procedure. To have or to have not a Samsung account it’s upon you. However, having a Samsung account will make sure that you don’t miss anything that comes from this brand. Since it only takes minutes to create one, why don’t you take the initiative? Open it!

  • Secure your Samsung phone

Everyone knows that Samsung mobile phones are like the endangered species. A little carelessness with it and its gone and sold out at a very low price. Well, Android gadgets nowadays are coming with pre-installed apps. This already installed app is called “Android Device Manager.” In case your phone is lost, you can just log into your security account and locate your mobile phone. You have the option of calling it, locking it or just erase the smartphone.

  • Finger print sensor

Such a device needs proper security including adding a fingerprint security. Over the years, Samsung mobile phones in Kenya never had the fingerprint security option, thanks to Samsung that one can secure his or her cell phone using his fingerprint. For this Galaxy S7, you can add all your finger prints but most importantly your two thumbs. The thumbs can be used to lock and unlock your smartphone every time you feel like.

  • Change a theme

Here are a variety of themes enjoy different themes on your phone courtesy of Samsung mobile. It was just last year that the company introduced this super feature. Change the looks of your phones as you change yours. If you want to match your dress with the phone theme, please go ahead it’s a free world.

  • Enable Always-on Display

The new Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a feature that stays on all the time showing small things like date, time, battery, and notifications. This feature is exclusively for Samsung mobile phones and helps a lot regarding saving power. Additionally, there are numerous features that you can operate using this magic pop up and have a good interactive session with your Samsung smartphone.

  • Get Breaking News

Now what you ought to do away with on the home screen is the bloatware or rather the Briefing panel. It just stays idle without much work on your home screen. Many Samsung mobile phones have it, and I doubt if many people are using it. To ease your multi-tasking on your screen, kindly remove it, it is so easy to do so.

Set up to Pay with your Samsung phone

Buy Samsung Galaxy

If there is one thing that Samsung mobile phone in Kenya did, was to add this paid feature. It has helped many people from all walks of life. It allows you to pay for anything from any site including the sites that do not allow Android Pay. This is just magic! It lets you swap your card and pay for anything online. Samsung mobile phone you are at your level!

  • Put your setting at the top

Many Samsung smartphones have the setting section at the top of the screen. The reason why you are advised to do this is that it eases up when you are looking for something online or just updating your settings. The whole thing is simple, and when you are looking for something on your phone, you will only do it in a blink of any eye.

  • Battery Usage

The battery is the central part of every mobile phone. Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a whopping 3000 mAh battery. However, Samsung cell phones are known as a powerhouse that consumes power like an industry. I will give you a secret, use the Ultra Power Saving Mode and have enough power left at the end of the day. This feature usually switches off the background activities and leaves the screen black and white to remain with more power at the end of the day. However, you will still; make calls, sent texts, and use other new features within the phone.

  • Android Marshmallow

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the latest operating system that comes with this Samsung Galaxy S7. Samsung mobile phone fans in Kenya cannot wait to sample this new OS. There is very few difference between the Android 5.0 Lollipop and Marshmallow. However, there is one feature that you cannot afford doing without, the “Google Now on Tap”. This eases the way you do your searches on Google; it is fast and effective.

  • The SD Card

Just like any other Samsung mobile phone in Kenya, Galaxy S7 also comes with an SD card for storing all your important files. When you buy a Samsung phone, you are free to expand your memory up to 150GB without using the online storage. SanDisk will give you all the storage you need, and you will never luck again. What can you do with 200GB? Answer me another day.

Master all the Samsung tricks

Tip and tricks for Samsung

This phone offers a lot that you can do without getting enough of it. There are many tips and tricks to get more out of your phone. Use the guide that comes with your phone and enjoy a great experience with your gadget.

  • Join the Galaxy S7 forums

Information is power, if you want that information, then join different Samsung forums and get updated tips about your new phone. There are more ideas on troubleshooting, customization, accessories among others. Save all your questions and share them in these conversations forums. It is on these forums that you will learn more and get informed within no time.

  • Find the best model suitable for you

There are many Samsung mobile phones for selection, but Galaxy S7 falls under the mid-range price section. For a better design phone and a reasonable price, Galaxy S7 beats other brands hands down. The specifications are at another level that no Kenyan can regret owning such a phone. One thing that I don’t do is giving out my verdict. You will have to wait before I conclude about this device. Buy Samsung Galaxy S7 at Kilimall, an online shop that sells mobile phones in Kenya at a very low price. We keep our word in offering quality and cheap gadgets for our esteemed customers all over Kenya.

Introducing the Blackberry 10: Rise of the Phoenix

BlackBerry 10.2

Research in Motion has sailed through a lot of seas, both calm and rough. A while back, they came unannounced and soon there was a blackberry in every hand that was important or at least thought that way. It lasted for sometime but then came the decline and took it to the bottom. Though most of the users deserted them, there were some fans who still had hope.  RIM was not there to lose, they announced that they’ll be back and everyone assumed with a bang. Expectations were set, the road was laid. Question was, will RIM be able to cover the distance? Though they took their time to reach, but here they are, strong and how.
The Blackberry 10. Yes, ladies and gentleman, the wait is over. Here is RIM’s answer to everything and once you are through learning about it, you will understand the cause of this excitement. The Blackberry 10 is all set to be announced on 30th January, 2013.  Initially, two models are expected, the X10 and the Z10. The X10 will feature a full QWERTY keyboard, something that has been RIM’s winning   formula and the Z10, which we’re more interested in here, will feature a full touch display. Both handsets will be available in 2 colour options, black or white.

Let’s get on with the technical specification of the Z10. It is powered with a 32bit dual core 1500 MHz processor and supported by 2 GB RAM to run the new QNX based BBOS 10. RIM has answered all prayers by gifting an internal storage of 16 GB (up from the usual 1 GB and 2 GB in its older Bold series), extendable with a microSD. It will have all the new technologies viz the NFC, 4G, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, micro HDMI out and sensors like Light and Face detector, Accelerometer, Magnetometer and Gyroscope. With all the other usual specs, it will sport an 8 MP main camera along with a 2 MP front camera. The video recording would be in full HD at 1080p. The removable battery will be modest at 1800 mAh, which is something that leaves us asking for more. All this will be caged in a box factor measuring 65.6 x 130 x 9 mm. Yes, it is bigger than the iPhone.

The Magic of the BB10 actually lies in its features powered by the BBOS 10. Even though the actual release version of the Blackberry 10 OS is not yet public, we bring to you some features that will leave you spellbound.


1. Predictive Messaging


So far, we have seen auto-complete/suggest as the best feature in messaging, which uses the letters of the word that have already been typed. Thus, if I’m typing ‘Consequence’, I get a word prediction once I type all the letters up to ‘q’. In the BB 10 messaging, even before I type ‘q’, I would see the word consequence right over the ‘q’ on the keyboard, slightly transparent and not overlapping any other letter. That’s not the full story. I will see Consecutive over ‘c’, Consent on ‘n’, conserve on ‘r’ and etc. What makes it even better is that it uses an intelligent suggestion of words derived from the usage history and grammatical placement. When your word is there on the keyboard, just touch it and it will literally fly into the message. In easier words, you will be able to type out certain sentences without even typing a letter!


2. App Switching and Message Hub

Ever since blackberry introduced push messages, the message hub in blackberry phones held all the incoming communication in one ‘Inbox’, be it an e-mail, a facebook notification, a tweet or even an application upgrade notice. This made it the heart of the Blackberry. To make sure that this is always accessible to you in just one gesture, each time you swipe from the left extreme to the right to drag your current window to the right, you will have your inbox. Once again, that’s not the full story. Even before you drag the active window to the half way, you will start getting a full preview of your inbox. In case this incoming alert is something you’d want to attend to later, you can swipe the active window back by reversing your swipe motion. So what it means is, if you’re in the middle of reading a book that is covering your face and someone shouts out to you from the front, you just need to move your hands a little to peep outside and see who and what it is before you can get back to reading. It would also entice you that the blackberry 10 would not have even one button on its front panel. So for app options, app switching and unlike the iPhone, even app exiting is by gesture and not press, double press or long press of any button.

3. Time Shift Camera


I’m sure you know how difficult it is to get a group to coordinate the smile for a click. Also, in every group, there has to be this one person, who will budge just before the click. So much for a perfect picture. One feature of the blackberry 10 is Time Travel. At least, when it comes to clicking.

Click a snap, if you think you missed the perfect click by a second, just rewind or fast forward your photo. But isn’t that something like Burst? Exactly. But yet again, that’s not the full story. Not every part of your photo would be bad right? Just select the area in the photo that you missed, rewind or forward. So if the idiot in your group picture sneezed right at the click, select his face, rewind and let everyone else be. In short, capture moa ment, which never even was!

What you’ve read above is just a trailer at the moment. The full picture is to be announced only on the 30th January, 2013 and will hit the theatres by the mid of March 2013. If you thought you had waited enough, now it’s just going to be tougher!


SOS App for Women: All in one Box

Women safety is a burning issue for the country right now. While some hang their heads in shame, the others are doing everything that is in their control. With the social and political stances in the background, there is not a single step yet taken towards actually ensuring the safety of our women who get stuck in a situation. Hanging the guilty or amending the laws is not preventive, it’s just curative. So what can we do to add a small feeling of safety for our women? Give them an SOS control in the power of their hands, in their phones.

There may be some applications already out there but something more powerful, more easy and more effective is needed. To achieve this, we list a good set of expected features here and will be more than willing to help in the development of this app with anyone who would want to undertake it (We don’t have technical expertise just yet!). Just one condition, keep the app free, even from advertisements.

Stage 1: Pre-Initiation

Mobile User1--621x414

Once downloaded, the app would register with the server using an SMS authentication to the cell phone number. Once authenticated, the app would request user to setup the SOS contact list including phone numbers, mobile numbers, e-mail Ids etc. It would also give an option to provide Google (for Latitude), Facebook, Twitter etc account details and complete a permission request to post data there. This will be accompanied by a cancel initiation password/gesture. All these options would also be available to them on the website to configure their app.

The app would also feature a Training module, in which the app would help the user select the set of initiation actions and let them test their efficiency with it. User’s would also get an option to Test the application to check if their SOS contact list is getting the relevant notification and if the required data is being made available on the shared SOS info weblink. In the test mode, users can disable recipients to whom they do not want the test notification to go. All communication in the test mode will be marked accordingly.

Stage 2: Initiation


This is the part which has to be devised with extreme thought. In case a woman is in a problem, you cannot have her dial a number or open a specific app or tap a combination of keystrokes on the phone. The initiation has to be in such a manner that regardless of the lock state, active application or battery status, the app can be activated. The application has to be in an always on, low power mode to ensure this. The best way to handle this initiation is to define a set of actions rather than a specific action and let the user choose a comfortable set or even a single action. The two major constraints here that need to be looked at is :

• Not every smartphone will have dedicated buttons, or even buttons for that matter.
• In the minute of need, it will be difficult to take out the phone from the pocket or bag and use it in sight.

To counter these major constraints, the below can be a good set of actions that can trigger the application:

• 10+ taps/clicks in quick succession on the phone screen/Nav or Menu button
• Random scribble action for >5 seconds on the phone screen
• Random button press for >5 seconds with at least 10 button press on the phone keypad
• Phone free fall from a height of >1 meter
• Any other ideas?

Stage 3: Post Initiation

To ensure that the user is signaled that the initiation is complete, a three count quick vibration can be set. This will ensure that only the user initiating the app is notified and is not evident to anyone else in the vicinity. As soon as the alert is complete, the app will send out the SOS message to a central server. Involving a server is utmost necessary to ensure that in case the phone is damaged later, the SOS is still active.

We know that there may be many times when the initiation might be triggered by mistake. To counter a false alarm, the user can choose a sleep time of 5 seconds to 30 seconds in the settings. This would mean the app would wait for the set time before it triggers the Post Initiation actions, except the vibration alert. This would give the user a sufficient time to cancel the initiation, which will be immediately sent to the server and can be stopped at anytime even after the initiation. To ensure the initiation is not cancelled by someone else, it could be password or gesture controlled and stopped using the app or the website.

Stage 4: Alert


If the initiation is not cancelled, data sent to the server should be broken into phases. The first phases would send out simple binary information which would trigger the preset options set using a website. This would make the app usable for even lower end mobile phones that do not have GPRS connectivity, by using the SMS service. As soon as the server receives this information, it will begin broadcast of the SOS message through SMS, E-mail, IVRS Phone Calls, Facebook, Twitter etc to the preset address book. The message would also contain a weblink which can be accessed at anytime for the latest status.

The follow up data to the server would be with Location and battery status. In case the GPS is off, the app will turn it on. The battery status is important here because the server can instruct the app to record current location and randomly click images without flash [Day time] / record audio [Night time] or both, on an advised time interval. This data would be uploaded to the server and made available to the contact list of the user through the weblink shared with them. This data would also be shared with the nearest Police Stations immediately using the GPS data received.

We hope this does add at least the smallest sense of security among women of our country. They need it now more than ever. We would also hope that you contribute to this by taking this up as a coding project. We’ll pitch in all the help we can. Also, you can help by suggesting any features that you think would be helpful. Leave it for us in a comment below and we’ll update the list with a kudos to you!