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Android holds more than three times the market share of iOS when it comes to smartphones. Well, Android has been leading the race for some time now. Availability and affordability have played a huge part in this development. But market share is not everything. Take ‘mobile Ad traffic’ – Apple’s iOS has been generating much more Ad traffic than Android for a long time. And thus more and more advertisers preferred iOS over Android, to market their products and services, which ensured that Apple earned more advertising revenue from iOS than Google from Android. But times appear to have changed in favor of Android lately.

Smart-device Ad Traffic - Q1 2014 (Source: Opera Mediaworks)

Smart-device Ad Traffic – Q1 2014 (Source: Opera Mediaworks)

According to the latest quarterly report from the leading Ad network, Opera Mediaworks, Android has finally become the top smart-device platform with highest share of mobile Ad traffic. Android smartphones and tablets have managed to capture 42.83% of total smart-device mobile Ad traffic in Q1 of 2014, up from 37.71% during Q4 of 2013. Android was leading the ‘mobile phone’ Ad traffic volume during the 4th quarter of last year, but Apple’s tablet traffic made sure Android didn’t reach the top in overall volume. This is the first time Android has grabbed the top slot for ‘smart-device’ (phones+tablets) Ad traffic volume. Apple managed to capture 38.17% of the mobile Ad traffic, down from 43.39% in Q4 of 2013.

Traffic Share vs Revenue Share - Q1 2014 (Source: Opera Mediaworks)

Traffic Share vs Revenue Share – Q1 2014 (Source: Opera Mediaworks)

Apple may not be worrying much with these numbers, though, since they are still leading the race when it comes to the total revenue earned from the Ad traffic. Apple is continuing to get more than 50% of the total revenue (through iPhones and iPads), despite drop in traffic. iPads make around 10.6% of the revenue while Android tablets make only around 1.64%.  Overall Android made around  33.46% of the Ad revenue. It is also notable that Android has seen some steady growth during the last few quarters. It is expected that this change will attract more advertisers and developers towards Android OS.

Samsung, unsurprisingly, remains the leading device maker with more than 60% of the Android Ad traffic coming from their devices. The report also notes that Social networking services attract more ‘Ad traffic volume’, than any other app categories. But most of the ‘Ad revenue’ comes from the Arts and Entertainment category. When comparing traffic from different geographical areas, Asia Pacific region continues to hold a steady second place behind US market. For those who are interested in learning more on the ‘Mobile Advertising Traffic’, you can check the quarterly reports at the source here.

 

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In Summary

What we like:
High speed 4G LTE connectivity
Compact design
Nexus like OS experience
Reasonable price
What we don’t like:
Limited amount of internal storage
Outdated OS
Average camera performance

Introduction

Around an year ago, Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest and leading telecommunication service provider, took a bold step with the launch of their own “Dialog branded” smartphones to the local market. The Dialog i-series as it was known, offered smartphones running Android OS at less than Rs.9000. Decent hardware offerings and competitive pricing made the devices popular around the country. This led Dialog to launch an upgraded K-series later that year.

Meanwhile, Dialog also became the the first operator in Sri Lanka to introduce 4G LTE for mobile devices, last year. Mobile LTE brought unprecedented high speed internet on smartphones at affordable prices. On the other hand, it also had hardware limitations since subscribers needed to have 4G enabled smartphones, that cost a fortune in Sri Lankan market. To overcome this limitation, and as part of expanding their self-branded device line-up, Dialog has launched Dialog Q 143L – an affordable 4G enabled smartphone to the Sri Lankan market. This Android powered device has been priced at Rs.34,990. Dialog also offers free voice, SMS and data bundles along with the device for a limited period of time. Dialog also offers credit card payment plans to their customers who want to purchase this device. And yes, the device is network locked for Dialog.

This Android powered device has been priced at Rs.34,990.

We were lucky enough to try out the device at the time of launch. I have been playing with the device for a while now and even took the risk to use it as my daily driver for few days.

Inside the Box

Inside The Box

Inside the box: Power adapter, Data cable, Headset, Battery, and the Device

The device comes in a simple packaging. Inside the package, you get a wall adapter, a USB cable that can be used for charging and data transfer, and a standard headset along with the device itself and a battery. For a detailed look, check out our exclusive un-boxing video below:

Hardware Specifications and Design

The Dialog Q143L can be considered as a mid-range device, considering the specifications and price. The device is manufactured by ZTE, which holds a huge market share in many Asian countries along with competitor Huawei. To be more specific, Dialog Q 143L is a re-branded version of  ZTE Grand X LTE T82, which was originally released during the latter part of 2012. True, the original hardware is pretty old for 2014, but it still manages to  stack up well against the mid range offerings available today.

Specs Sheet

The Dialog Q143L packs a 1.5 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon chipset powered by ARMv7 processor, a power efficient model in the market. The device has 1GB of RAM along with 4GB of internal storage. If that sounds underwhelming, note that it supports upto 32GB of external storage support via a microSD card and thankfully the device comes with a 4GB microSD card preinstalled. I did not encounter any issues related to internal storage during my temporary usage. But I do think installing large games and apps might pose an issue if you are a heavy user, and specially if the apps cannot be moved to external storage. The Q143L sports a 4.3 inch qHD screen (540 x 960 pixels) with around 256 ppi of pixel density. The screen looks crisp. I did not encounter any specific issue while browsing or playing games. The device measures 130.9 x 65 x 11.2 mm and weighs around 150 grams. The device does feel a bit bulky once the battery is inserted. I did feel the difference since my current device weighs around 20 grams less than Q143L.

But I do think installing large games and apps might pose an issue if you are a heavy user, and specially if the apps cannot be moved to external storage

Front View: Plain and Simple

Front View: Plain and Simple

The front display looks plain, except for the speaker grill on top. There are no physical buttons on the front. The nexus-style onscreen buttons appear only when the device is unlocked. The silver-outline gives the device a premium look. The device does not feel cheap on hand. The overall design is compact, and well suits one handed usage. The rear of the device has a textured finish which provides a good grip. It also has a little hump at the bottom edge, which reminds me of the Galaxy Nexus. Another notable addition is a rear flap next to the camera, which, once opened,  reveals the external antenna connector. Even though we rarely see this on devices these days, it can be useful if you are planning to use the device as a 4G hotspot and require steady coverage.

Textured back. The little hump reminds me of Galaxy Nexus.

Textured back. The little hump reminds me of Galaxy Nexus.

Camera

Dialog Q143L is equipped with an 8MP camera with autofocus capabilities and an LED flash. It is also capable of recording 1080p videos. There’s nothing extraordinary here. But 8MP is the best offering on a mid-range device. It more than enough for the daily Instagramming needs one might have. But I must admit, I am not a fan of the camera interface. It takes up almost half of the screen thereby limiting the viewfinder area. The camera software does not have anything special to offer either. The device also has a 1.3 MP front facing camera which can be used with video calling apps.

Battery

The device is powered by a 1900 mAh removable battery which is one of the positive aspects of the device. The device has been optimized well that it easily managed to last more than one day of average use, with 4G data switched on almost all the time.

Connectivity: LTE for the win!

If you are not aware, Dialog offers it’s mobile LTE connectivity on 1800 MHz band.

The connectivity options are what make this device stand out from the rest and make it worth the buck. Apart from supporting, the usual 2G, 3G and even DC-HSDPA (dual carrier) the Q143L provides support to 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz LTE bands on category 3, which means download speeds upto 100 MBPs. If you are not aware, Dialog offers it’s mobile LTE connectivity on 1800 MHz band.

The OS: Outdated but doesn’t disappoint.

The Dialog Q143L runs on Android 4.0.4 aka Ice Cream Sandwich. In my opinion, this is the only notable area (apart from internal storage) where I would have loved improvement. The reason is that the OS is pretty outdated for 2014, even though there are large number of devices still running ICS. But since ICS is visually similar to Jelly Bean, you will not need to worry much. It also offers support to almost all the latest apps in Google Play. Google recently released Android 4.4, aka Kitkat, a much smoother and updated version. Notable part of KitKat is that it is designed in a way to run smoothly even on low end devices with standard hardware configurations. I do feel Dialog should consider providing an OS update to KitKat on Q143L which will definitely improve the quality of the device.

The UI gives a Nexus feel

The UI gives a Nexus feel

Since this is a Dialog branded device, Dialog has added their personalized booting animations to the device. Dialog Q143L also comes pre-installed with many Dialog branded apps including D-App, MyTV, Star Points App and My Traveller App. It also has SETT browser, which supports browsing local language websites, pre installed. It is specially useful since Android ICS does not offer full support to local language font rendering. Overall experience feels smooth since there is no noticeable visual changes done to the default look of Android (unlike Samsung or HTC devices). The UI almost feels like that of a Nexus device. Other little additions are the unlocking pattern/animation and the shortcut options available on the home screen when you swipe the unlock icon. It is enabled through the Mi-EasyAccess app that comes pre installed.

Performance

The overall performance is good. The device feels snappy. I did not face any issue in running most apps. Those who love to play games on their phones need not to worry too. Dialog Q143L is powerful enough to run most of the games, including the ones with heavy visual effects. But when running heavy apps, I did  feel a slight lag. It is rather common in any device of this specs in my opinion. I do feel this can be overcome with a software update. I also ran some benchmarks tests on the device. The Q143L scored 10879 on AnTuTu Benchmark; slightly higher than galaxy S2. It also scored 1633 on PassMark performance Test. In this case slightly lower than Galaxy Nexus. On Quadrant Standard, the Q143L performed better much better than Galaxy Nexus and got a score of 4577. On CF-Bench, the CPU and memory benchmark tool, the Dialog Q143L  once again scored better than Galaxy S2 with a score of 11727. Even though the benchmark scores are affected by various factors, the Q143L gave some consistant results mostly in the range of galaxy S2 and Galaxy Nexus, two extremely popular Android devices. AnTuTu Score

Competition

So how does the Dialog Q143L stack up against the competition in the current market? Is it really worth spending 35K on this 4G enabled smartphone? As I mentioned earlier, the options available for 4G enabled devices in Sri Lankan market is very limited, specially when it comes to affordability. So the Digit team did some market research and came up with a head to head comparison of the cheapest 4G LTE enabled handsets in the Sri Lankan market. There are two types of offerings in the local market. One is from the authorized dealer of a certain brand. The dealer provides the warranty and after-sales service. Prices are standardized by dealers for the local market. Usually smartphones sold through Sri Lankan mobile service providers also come through these authorized dealers. Apart from dealers, there are mobile phone shops that import the devices directly and sell it locally. The warranty and service is provided by the respective shops.

The difference I am trying to highlight is the price. In the local market the authorized dealer prices are usually very high compared to prices at mobile phone shops in places like Liberty Plaza. Also availability of certain variants/ models of the smartphones also differs between authorized dealers and non-dealers. Taking all this into account we came up with the following chart.

Note that there is a wide gap between price ranges. For example the cheapest of the list, LTE enabled Galaxy Ace 3 variant was available only at selected shops. (Not with authorized dealer). The closest competition to Dialog Q143L in terms of price were, Xperia V and Lumia 820. But then again their prices from authorized dealers were clearly higher than that of Q143L. Overall, considering the warranty, after sales services and the additional benefits, I feel Dialog Q143L can be considered as the most affordable 4G LTE enabled smartphone in the Sri Lankan market. This is specially applicable if you are a Dialog customer.

Verdict

Dialog Smartphone score 7/10Q143L is a mid range Android device targeted at Dialog customers who want an affordable device to experience the high speed internet offering.  In other words, Dialog has tried to bridge the gap between high end specs (LTE) and affordability, with the Q143L. It is a welcoming move. It is also a bold step taken by a Sri Lankan service provider to launch their own branded device which may lead to them launching latest devices with affordable contract plans like in many other countries. Looking at the specs and network limitations, the Q143L may not be for the expert users who like more customization. It is rather suitable for new users looking to convert to Android from other platforms (like Blackberry) or users who want to try a smartphone for the first time. The LTE connectivity is definitely the winning point of the device while the OS and internal storage could have been better.

Dialog Smartphone performance chart

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It is February – the month of GSMA Mobile World Congress which is undoubtedly, one of the largest exhibitions for the mobile industry. With much speculations that wearable tech will dominate this year’s event in Barcelona, we have already been presented with exciting stuff from Samsung.

Toady, Samsung has officially announced the next generation of their smart watch lineup with Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch was launched less than 6 months ago, along with Galaxy Note 3. If you were in the loop, you would probably know that the Galaxy Gear was more of a miss than a hit, in terms of how it was received by the industry. From day one, it had mixed reviews. Some did not like the design. But more than that, it had very limited compatibility with devices. It also came with “Samsung Apps” that lacked polishing, resulting in criticism from both consumers and experts. Hence you may understand why they had to rush to unveil the 2nd Generation so fast.

What Has Changed?

The biggest change from the 1st Generation Galaxy Gear is that the new Gear lineup comes with Tizen OS (Samsung calls it as Tizen based wearable platform). Samsung is a heavy investor in the Linux based Tizen platform. Samsung has also opted out the “Galaxy” part in the naming of the new Gear devices. They have not given a direct reason for going with Tizen. But one has to understand that the smart watch and related ecosystems are still in infant stage and even Android has very limited apps for this form factor. So, investing on Tizen (in which they have greater control, compared to Android) is a smart decision by Samsung to add more apps and grow the platform in a way to suit their own products. Remember how everyone hated the S-Voice app on the Galaxy Gear and asked for Google Now integration since the device were running Android? Well, now you have your answer. A big NO.

It is also worth mentioning that Samsung recently came to an agreement with Google that they will limit stop copying core android apps in their Galaxy devices (E.g ChatOn, S-Voice etc). Hence Tizen gives more freedom for Samsung, than Android.

Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo: Tizen for the win? (Pic courtesy - Samsung)

Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo: Tizen for the win? (Pic courtesy – Samsung)

The Specifications

Something tells me that Samsung is yet to figure out a perfect mantra for their wearable product, for they have come up with not one but two new Gear 2 Smart Watches that look almost identical. Overall they have maintained the same design as their predecessor. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo sport a 1.63” Super AMOLED (320 x 320) display, 1 GHz dual core processor (Galaxy Gear had an 800 MHz processor), 512 MB of RAM along with 4 GB of internal memory. Both smart watches are IP67 certified which means they are Dust and Water resistant. Both smart watches come with a 300 mAh battery (Galaxy Gear had a slightly larger 315 mAh battery). Samsung guarantees a 2-3 days of typical usage with a single charge, which is a good improvement. Samsung has also included IrLED Sensor (and WatchON remote app) for the devices enabling consumers to control household devices. A stand alone music player has also been included in the new generation of smart watches, which will allow users to directly output music to their headphones via Bluetooth 4.0 connection (without having to pair it with their phone.)

Samsung Focuses on Fitness

Samsung has given more importance to their S-Health app with the new smart watches. The devices come with heart rate monitor and pedometer. They can also monitor your exercise program and sleep cycle and offer real time personal fitness coaching. With an emerging trend of fitness centered wearable tech (including the rumored device from Apple), it’s not a surprise that Samsung has tried to integrate these options to the Gear line.

Gear 2

Gear 2 (Pic Courtesy – Samsung)

As of now you may have realized that both Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are identical. Well they are, except for the camera, which seems to be the most prominent difference. The Gear 2 comes with a 2 MP camera, which the Grear 2 Neo does not have. The camera is capable of recording HD (720p) videos. Also Samsung has moved the camera to the main body of the watch alongside the IR sensor, unlike the Galaxy Gear which had the camera on the strap. Both smart watches can perform all other regular tasks. The Gear pairs with Samsung Galaxy phones via Bluetooth using the Galaxy Gear app. Users can check incoming texts, calls, emails, tweets, etc. without having to take the phone out. Users can also make calls from the watch using a built-in speaker and microphone. The Gear line will also have an app store with number of apps. Samsung says initial lineup will include apps from the likes of CNN, Feedly, Evernote, eBay, GM, Path, PayPal, Runtastic, Weather Channel etc.

Gear 2 Neo

Gear 2 Neo (Pic Courtesy – Samsung)

Gear 2 weighs 68 grams while Gear 2 Neo weighs 55 grams, meaning both are lighter than the original Galaxy Gear (73.8 grams). The Gear 2 will be available in Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange colours whereas the Gear 2 will be available in Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange colours. Samsung is yet to reveal the prices of the devices. The new Gear smart watches are expected to be available for purchase by April.

Hit or Miss?

If you remember right the original Galaxy Gear supported only a handful of devices at the time of launch. Samsung says the new lineup will support “more than dozens of Samsung Galaxy smartphones at the time of launch”. Compared to so many other smart watches out there that support almost all latest devices, this is once again, a bit underwhelming. But Samsung seems to be focused adding value to their own Galaxy lineup of devices. They have faced huge competitions from the likes of Pebble which has probably the best smart watch on earth, which is both beautiful and functional. So if your Galaxy device happens to support the new Gear smart watches you may consider getting it, for it will be a cool companion. Else it will be another expensive music player strapped to your wrist…

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If you are a daily user of the internet or you are so interested in smart devices and related news or trends, you may have seen that the majority of the smartphones, tablets can be shopped online going through a virtual cart and bring them down to Sri Lanka using a standard or an expedited shipping method. Apart from following that route, you can basically visit a retail mobile store in Sri Lanka and buy your most needed mobile device, a phone or a tablet PC that suits your wallet. There are numerous known authorized dealers for those devices  as of now established in Sri Lanka for consumers to go and shop. Availability of mobile devices from popular and well known brands like Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Motorola and HTC in here, is truly tremendous and if you wish to have a walk in a shopping center, you may discover a bunch of shops and stalls that showcase a heap of mobile devices bearing those branding.

However the same tale about accessibility of Nexus devices changes assuming that you are living in Sri Lanka or any viable country, where device purchasing is restricted on Google’s Play Store. You scarcely discover a shop or any retail store that offers Nexus devices, particularly as of recently released Nexus for somewhere close to the original price point. That being the main reason behind less popularity and availability of Nexus devices among Sri Lankans and the trouble of getting one in hands other than importing them here through some individual who lands here. In this manner, Nexus units might be classified as uncommon and versatile devices, which makes just a lucky few to have a chance to own them inside Sri Lanka.

A solution for this has recently been sorted out that allows Sri Lankans to buy items online and bring them down here without costing more or waste much time on receiving the paid items especially from country restricted foreign web stores like purchasing devices from Google’s US Play Store. The suggested workaround for this is using an online service that receives and then forwards shipments from US to anywhere in the world called HopShopGo.com, to buy your items and get them conveyed to your doorstep in a few days. Other alternatives which serve in the same way are ReShip.com, us2me.com and myusa.com however they charge an initial payment to sign up to procure their services. Apart from those outside-the-country solutions, visiting global shops established here might seem easy yet the compromised services they offer could be not worth the time and penny we spend. So here goes the easiest method explained in a simpler way chosen from aforementioned first method, using HopShopGo to ship items to Sri Lanka from country restricted online web stores.

Here’s How:

Blocked Nexus buying page

Figure A – Blocked Nexus buying page

Step 1 - Accessing blocked shopping site – In this step you have to actually be some sort of computer literate and familiar with internet usage and services. To do this you need to install some software on your computer that bypasses the access block to the online store your item is listed. For this you can either try ‘Hotspot Shield‘ (figure B) or ‘Tunnel Bear‘ applications on your computer by downloading and installing them. If you are using ‘Tunnel Bear’ then register for a free account worth of 500MB data.

Figure B
Photo courtesy – https://hsselite.zendesk.com/home

After following either way, run one of those applications and try to access your online Nexus shopping page at Google Play Store from your favorite web browser and you will have the ability to gain entrance to those blocked stores (figure C). (Make sure that these applications can only spoof your access location as you are surfing the web from US or UK) Now we have access to see and place an order at Google Play Store. What’s next?

Figure C - Unblocked Nexus shopping page Photo courtesy - http://sourcex.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/ps-2.jpg

Figure C – Unblocked Nexus shopping page
Photo courtesy – http://sourcex.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/ps-2.jpg

Step 2 - Go to HopShopGo.com and signup for free, but you will be asked to specify a PayPal account (b in figure D) with your credit/debit card connected to it. At the end you must login to your account and you will find a U.S. mailing address for your name (a in figure D). Then what? 

Hop Sop Go sections

Figure D

Step 3 - Now go back to Google Play Store and pay for your phone. During this process remember to specify your HopShopGo U.S. address for both shipping and billing addresses and complete your payment process without any hiccups. DONE.

Step 4 - Once the shipment is received at your U.S. address, the company will usually notify you within a day via email along with the estimated cost for shipping to Sri Lanka based on the type of shipping you choose (standard in 5-6 days or expedited in 3 days). There you may pay the amount they say online and you will be given an air waybill / tracking number. You can login to HopShopGo and check your package status and more information or pay shipping charges (c in figure D).

Step 5 - NOW WAIT FOR YOUR PHONE :)

Step 6 - When your phone arrives here you will be given relevant documents either by DHL or FedEx to get the approval from TRCSL, which doesn’t take more than 15 minutes. Upon approval, you need to inform DHL or FedEx and the next day they will deliver you your Nexus at your doorstep. No waits, no wastes.

Unboxed Nexus 5

Figure E
Photo courtesy – Ho tHardware

This method is not only valid for buying Nexus devices but you can also use these steps when you buy and ship items from any U.S. based shopping store and perhaps you may not need to go through the first step if the web site is not blocked for your region.

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Tracking is big business, and with the availability of GPS technologies, there are literally thousands of suppliers and applications around the world that enable individuals or companies to track everything from cars to pets to people and watch where they move on a map.

But until recently, there’s been a gap in the market.

Not everyone has a GPS enabled phone. In Sri Lanka, smartphone penetration is estimated to be around 15%. So, what about the rest of the population who are still more than happy to use their feature phones – low cost phones for example, that enable them to make calls and send and receive SMSs?

Track-Them-All or TTA is a tool that can track the location of any mobile phone as long as it is turned on.  Here’s how it works.

If you want your location to be shared with others, you send a SMS to a short code and join the system. Once you have registered your mobile number with the TTA platform, you can join existing groups, or visit the platform via any web browser (from any device) and create your own group, and add the registered mobile number to the group. After that you can see the locations of mobiles that are part of the group on a map.

TTA2

TTA is perfect for tracking your friends, or finding the location of your preferred group of trishaw drivers or taxis.  If they are near your location, you can send them an SMS through the platform and organize a meetup, or have them come pick you up. The platform can also be used companies that want to track where their staff is. For example, a sales force might be travelling across the island conducting promotions and the platform can give a birds eye view as to where everyone is at any given time.

The platform is not as accurate as GPS tracking systems, because it relies on the mobile tower data to identify the location of the phones. However, for hundreds of cases, knowing the approximate location is more than enough. GPS can be accurate to a few meters, and our research suggests that TTA gives an accuracy of approximately 200 meters. While you may not be able to tell if someone is at your door step, you’ll be able to know if they are in close vicinity.

Right now, TTA is in beta and we would love to see you give it a try. It is operational and the tracking and mapping features fully work. The platform is compatible with any dialog mobile number, and in the near future, we will be forming relationships with the other telecommunication operators in Sri Lanka.

Go to www.track-them-all.com for more information. We would love your  feedback.

- by Sam Silva

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Smart Contact lenses project by Google was started as developing a solution for overcoming the difficulties faced by the diabetes patients when measuring the sugar level in their blood on daily basis. And still it is not intended to work like a Google Glass or a Smart Device. Its basic functionality is to gather sugar level in blood every second to make the patient comfortable.

Following is the explanation Google published in their official blog:

You’ve probably heard that diabetes is a huge and growing problem—affecting one in every 19 people on the planet. But you may not be familiar with the daily struggle that many people with diabetes face as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart. A friend of ours told us, she worries about her mom, who once passed out from low blood sugar and drove her car off the road.

Many people I’ve talked to say managing their diabetes is like having a part-time job.

Glucose levels change frequently with normal activity like exercising or eating or even sweating. Sudden spikes or precipitous drops are dangerous and not uncommon, requiring round-the-clock monitoring. Although some people wear glucose monitors with a glucose sensor embedded under their skin, all people with diabetes must still prick their finger and test drops of blood throughout the day. It’s disruptive, and it’s painful. And, as a result, many people with diabetes check their blood glucose less often than they should.

Over the years, many scientists have investigated various body fluids—such as tears—in the hopes of finding an easier way for people to track their glucose levels. But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At Google[x], we wondered if miniaturized electronics—think: chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy.

Untitled-1

We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.

It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype.

We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.

We’re in discussions with the FDA, but there’s still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use. We’re not going to do this alone: we plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market. These partners will use our technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor. We’ve always said that we’d seek out projects that seem a bit speculative or strange, and at a time when the International Diabetes Federation (PDF) is declaring that the world is “losing the battle” against diabetes, we thought this project was worth a shot.

Resource – Posted by Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, project co-founders in Google’s Official Blog

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Apple began allowing third-party gamepads on the iPhone with iOS 7, and Samsung is also upping its presence in the space after announcing it’s own gamepad  (the not-so-creatively named ‘Smartphone GamePad’) for Android 4.1 phones.

Unlike the iPhone gamepads which attach themselves to the device, Samsung’s is standalone and uses a Bluetooth connection to link up with a smartphone — although Android 4.3-powered Galaxy phones enjoy more features, including NFC connect support.

The GamePad weighs in at 195g and features an eight-way D-Pad, two analog sticks, four action buttons and two triggers located on the shoulders of the device.

The pad is accompanied by an app (‘the Mobile Console app’) through which users can browse and buy supported games. The GamePad appears to support all Android smartphones, but some features — including a ‘Play’ button — are exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy family.

The company points out that Galaxy device owners can hook their phone up to their TV using an HDMI cable or mirroring apps like Samsung’s Allshare service , and then replicate a home console experience using the GamePad.

Samsung says the GamePad is available now in “select” countries in Europe, although it has not revealed a price (we’ve contacted Samsung to try to get it). The company says the accessory will become available in other markets “in the coming weeks.”

53669 EI GP20 Stand 2 black 000000 Dynamic Online P 730x701 Samsung launches a gamepad for Android thats optimized for its Galaxy phones

Images via Samsung

Source – TheNextWeb

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The Nokia Lumia 925 is a smartphone manufactured by Nokia, which is running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system. It is the successor to the former flagship model, The Nokia Lumia 920. The phone was released in June 2013.

Nokia Lumia 925 Specs:
  • Display – 768 x 1280 WXGA
  • Display Size – 4.5 Inch
  • Display Type – AMOLED
  • Processor - 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • RAM – 1 GB
  • Storage – 16GB
  • MicroSD – No
  • Battery Capacity – 2000mAh
  • Rear-Facing Camera – 8.7MP PureView
  • Front-Facing Camera – 1.2MP
  • Weight – 139g
  • Dimensions - 129mm x 70.6mm x 8.5mm
  • OS – Windows Phone 8

Nokia refined the design of the Lumia 920 flagship, but didn’t fundamentally change it – the Lumia 925 is, in essence, the 920S. The number of changes might be small, but their magnitude isn’t. With a better body, screen and software, the Nokia Lumia 925 is a more desirable device than its 920 sibling.

The AMOLED screen of the 925 is thinner, than the LCD of the older model. It has the same basic specs – a 4.5″ diagonal, WXGA resolution, Gorilla Glass 2, ClearBlack and Super sensitive touch. And there is more new features than the old model, as in FM radio support and the Nokia Smart Camera application.

Display

The Nokia Lumia 925 has a 4.5 inch AMOLED 768×1280 WXGA display. The details on the screen are crisp and pleasant, thanks to 16 million colours, WXGA Corning Gorilla glass display and the PureMotion HD+ ClearBlack display.

When using the Lumia outdoors, bright sunlight won’t be a problem thanks to the auto-brightness feature. It adjusts the screen to a comfortable level depending on the lighting conditions.

Custom Apps

  • HERE City Lens

HERE City lens allows a one to use a combination of the Lumia 925′s camera and it’s gyroscope to offer an augmented-reality look at the surrounding area.

  • Creative Studio

Instagram-sque Creative Studio application allows one to add filters to images. The app also allows one to add or remove focus on a portion of the image through blurring, making colors stand out more through “color pop” and even create a college.

  • OneNote

OneNote is Microsoft’s Evernote. OneNote allows one to record notes through pictures, audio and checkboxes. OneNote allows one to keep track of their ideas, to do lists, and save notes.

 Camera

The camera app on Windows Phone has rich settings, ranging from scenes and effects to white balance, contrast, saturation, sharpness and ISO among others. You have a dedicated Macro focus mode but no face detection. The flash can be set to auto, forced or off. A separate setting allows the LED to work as an AF assist light.

In the latest camera software Nokia has raised the maximum ISO setting from 800 to 3,200 and has tweaked image processing in low-light conditions.

So, we’ve mentioned Smart Camera several times already and it’s time to explain what it does. It’s the next generation of Smart Shoot and is based on technology developed by Scalado (now owned by Nokia).

It shoots a burst of 10 photos at 5MP resolution and allows you to edit those photos later. When editing a Smart Camera photo you choose one of several modes by swiping through their respective cards, each with a helpful label.

The basic feature here is best shot – automatically selecting the best photo out of the 10 (you can manually override the selection). You can also select the best expression for each individual face in the photo.

The multiple photos can be used to remove moving objects as well.

Nokia Lumia 925 Nokia Lumia 925
Smart Camera can pick the best expression for each face • or remove moving objects

Then there’s Action shot – a moving object is overlaid on the photo several times to create a sense of motion. You can pick which of the 10 photos are used to create the action shot and the multiple copies can either be opaque or semitransparent.

The other mode that enhances motion is Motion focus – it locks the moving object, but blurs the background around it. Imagine turning the camera to track a fast moving object, that’s the effect that Motion focus simulates.

Nokia Lumia 925 Nokia Lumia 925
Action shot • Motion focus

We’ll bring you more news regarding the Nokia Lumia 925 with part-02 of this article. Stay tuned …

Sources – GSMarena and Ubergizmo

The app allows you to add or remove focus on a portion of the image through blurring, making colors stand out more through “color pop” and even create a collage. Creative Studio isn’t as powerful as a full photoshop experience, but it’ll certainly get the job done while you’re on the go.: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/09/nokia-lumia-925-review/
HERE City Lens allows you to use a combination of the Lumia 925’s camera and its gyroscope to offer an augmented-reality look at your surrounding area.: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/09/nokia-lumia-925-review/
Display: 1280 x 768 WXGA Display Size: 4.5 inch Display Type: AMOLED Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor RAM: 1GB Storage: 16GB MicroSD: No Battery Capacity: 2000mAh Rear-Facing Camera: 8.7MP PureView Front-Facing Camera: 1.2MP Weight: 139g Dimensions: 129mm x 70.6mm x 8.5mm: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/09/nokia-lumia-925-review/
Display: 1280 x 768 WXGA Display Size: 4.5 inch Display Type: AMOLED Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor RAM: 1GB Storage: 16GB MicroSD: No Battery Capacity: 2000mAh Rear-Facing Camera: 8.7MP PureView Front-Facing Camera: 1.2MP Weight: 139g Dimensions: 129mm x 70.6mm x 8.5mm: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/09/nokia-lumia-925-review/

1208

LG is adopting a different take on Chromebooks, after announcing that it will introduce an all-in-one computer based on Google’s Chrome OS at theConsumer Electronics Show in January.

The LG Chromebase is a 21.5-inch widescreen unit — featuring full HD and an IPS display — which comes with a keyboard, mouse and other accessories but can operate independently as a screen.

Beyond just consumers, the target audience includes businesses, with LG touting its potential for schools, hospitality or offices. Indeed, a device like this could be an interesting addition for a hotel — guests simply log-in with Chrome and get all their files, settings and other personalized details on the Chromebase via the cloud.

Certainly, it’s an ambitious project, and one we’ll take a closer look at during CES.

Images via LG

Source – TheNextWeb

8338

iPhones don’t require any introduction. The first iPhone started a revolution in the smartphone industry and the revolution still continues. iPhones have become so iconic that they have a unimaginably large following all around the world. From the build quality to user experience, these beautifully crafted Apple iOS devices have always been a game changer of their time. But there is something more that attracts people towards iPhones; It’s the AppleCare warranty and after sales services offered directly by Apple or it’s partners. And this kind of a direct warranty backed by great after sales service was something, we Sri Lankans were not fortunate enough to experience.

Well, that was the story till few days ago. Yes, the long wait is finally over. Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s largest and fastest growing mobile network, has become the first and only authorized partner and service provider for Apple iPhones in Sri Lanka. This unprecedented feat backed by Dialog’s proven track record of customer service has opened new pathway for Sri Lankans to experience Apple’s latest innovations without any hassles or worries about warranty and service.

It is also remarkable that Dialog was the first network to launch mobile 4G – LTE service in Sri Lanka and users of latest iPhone devices have the opportunity to experience super fast internet speeds thanks to Dialog 4G. Unlike any other manufacturers, Apple selectively approves mobile service providers to offer 4G-LTE connectivity to iPhones; and Dialog has now been officially approved as an LTE service provider too.

Dialog is now selling the beautifully designed iPhone 5S and the colourful iPhone 5C devices along with iPhone 4S devices. All iPhones retailed through Dialog will carry 1 year AppleCare warranty too. Following is the list of colour options available at Dialog for iPhones:

  • iPhone 5S 16GB version – Space Gray, Silver, and Gold
  • iPhone 5S 32GB version – Space Gray, Gold
  • iPhone 5C 16GB version – White, Blue, and Pink
  • iPhone 4S 8GB (GSM) version – Black

iPhone 5S 16GB version will cost Rs. 116, 000 and the 32GB version will cost Rs.129, 000 at Dialog outlets. iPhone 5C devices will cost Rs.98000 with Dialog and the iPhone 4S device will cost Rs.69 000. The usual discounts offered for Dialog’s priority customers will be still valid on their purchases.  Furthermore Dialog is offering “interest free” payment plans for Sampath Bank and Commercial Bank Credit Card holders. Other Credit Card holders also get regular 12 month and 24 month payment plans to purchase the devices.  These devices come without any contract commitments. And Dialog is providing some special offers along with the above deals.

As part of the special offers, Dialog has introduced special voice cum data package called “Apple Device Packages”. The chart below shows the Voice, SMS, and Data benefits offered in those packages. It should be noted that Dialog is offering these special packages without charging the rental for the first 12 months. Customer will have to pay rentals only from the 2nd year of use, which is a great deal.

Dialog iPhone Packages

Dialog iPhone Packages (Image courtesy dialog.lk)

Dialog has also made the iPhone devices available at all their main service outlets all around the country including North and East, so everyone can benefit from Dialog’s rapidly expanding 4G coverage. They also noted that their technical staff have been specially trained to offer instant support to their iPhone customers. Dialog Smart Device Support Desk can be reached 24/7/365 on 0777 886 886 for any assistance regarding iPhone devices. More details cane be obtained from http://dialog.lk/apple