Wednesday, October 14

Nexus 6p: indeed lucky not to use Oneplus2 invites

What a disaster Oneplus2 ended up as!

The hyped flagship killer managed to kill one flagship phone, Itself, The Oneplus 2. I wonder how Oneplus will recover from this flop as its fanbase invite propelled sales wont work the next time.

Skipped all OnePlus2 invites after the rumours of a Nexus launch with hopes for 2013 Nexus 5 update. It turned true with a neat piece of hardware named 5x and packed with all the new features in a handy form factor and decent price tag.

Along came an updated 6 (6 felt like made and priced for none buys it. Heading to Sammy warning with Tizen). The 6p (p for premium) is a real powerhouse (p for performance) and priced sensible (sammy has lost its might and bite)

Both 5x and 6p launch brought a smile on my face, for, I had skipped those Oneplus2 invites when it was still going strong. But now, the wait for Nexus 6p starts!

pro TLH: OnePlus 2 : Lucky, I didn't get a launch week invi...: OnePlus 2 : Lucky, I didn't get a launch week invite  When regular invite queue for Oneplus 2 opened, I was late by a few hour...

Monday, October 12

A relook at MotoG first Gen

Motorola G (first gen) emerged winner among phones in my household in getting the Android 6 Marshmallow update, even before Nexus 5! While My Sammy A7 still living in a kitkat world and Oneplus One bricked

Never expected the first gen MotoG to get a Marshmallow treatment. MotoG doesn't even have a gyroscope, forget the newer ones. Even Google camera doesn't provide a photosphere mode in MotoG 1. Having bare minimal hardware, behind the curve with 2 subsequent releases and no longer on sale, I wonder why Motorola worked on an update for its old phone while nearly all manufacturers place all emphasis on updating current and future launches. My samsung A7 still haven't received a lollipop update yet.

This Marshmallow update made me look back at how our phones are performing. Comparing relative performance across android devices including ones used by friends n colleagues, adjusted to age and price factors, MotoG surprisingly emerged the best, while being the cheapest. Till then, what remained as a dual sim basic smartphone for home, turned out to be a Gem of a phone. 

Acquired in 2013, on jelly bean, updated to Kitkat versions, Lollipop versions and now Marshmallow. What more can one ask for from a device brought at around INR12k.

Kudos Motorola, for sharing the same love to older models too. Motorola is worthy of an "awesome work guys", Just for making those greyscale notifications work without all the sensors that Android 6 depends on for inputs. 

Apart from having a nearly vanilla UI, Motorola has got something right and perfect, that lets it provide updates quick and across multiple generations of the same device. Faster than Nexus itself. Thats something Sammy and others should learn or work out. 

While this old MotoG can switch in between users with no lag or drain on battery, the super sexy Galaxy A7 brought just a few months ago has slowed down to snail pace even while running on single sim, minimal data and no apps that can eat up all the memory and processing limits.

The MotoG has shown no signs of ageing even compared to my Nexus 5 (little older though), with perfect call clarity and battery life. 

Motorola and this MotoG has changed my whole perception of performance vs money. While Nexus 5 showed the way and Oneplus One proving that good phones can be cheap, Motorola had taken it to a new level being priced at 1/3rd the cost of a Nexus during launch time. 

MotoG proves that real life performance is much more than packing ram, just like Apple. Again, it also proves that Android as such can perform on minimal hardware when executed well. 

Moto, now with Lenovo, seem to be making a real good comeback with all its recent launches doing good at price vs expectations in each segment. For India, all that Motorola now need is a larger repair and service network.

But, Not all cheap phones are like motoG.

Saturday, October 3

Inbox by Gmail - It makes sense

At first, Inbox by Gmail remained a question mark. Why a new one? Months into intro, now open to all, Inbox by Gmail now looks like the next phase of e-mail. 

Gmail itself was a revolution. At a time when free cloud or social networks was still a pipe dream, Gmail enabled us to share and store memories and remain social. But, it took just 10 years for e-mail as such to become irrelevant. Role of our gmail mailbox has reduced into a rarely opened box of our bills, confirmations and password resets (and spam). 


Inbox by Gmail is about accepting this change

screenshot - 6 emails clubbed and displayed as a simple infographic
Inbox by Gmail is an attempt to extract useful data from the multitude of emails we receive each day and display it in a easy to understand visual representation.

Call it machine learning, deep learning, neural networks or whatever, 2 flight itineraries and a simple email from hotel manager was enough for Inbox to display it as below. 

screenshot - 6 emails clubbed and displayed as a simple infographic

Soon, a click on the finance icon might reveal our spending pattern, debt and investments in a visual easy to understand way, rather than a list of emails from credit cards, banks and mutual funds. 

With tighter integration with Google services, Inbox by Gmail along with Google Now could throw up all sorts of data in a visual format and some of it may revolutionise the way we live. Just like Gmail 10years back.