Wednesday, July 06, 2011

My new Android App - Never Miss The Call

Finally I have my first Android App, up and running in the Android Market

Check it out. Basically it creates a whitelist of numbers which would ring even if your phone is on silent/vibrate mode.

Try it out.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Airtel MobileTV Sucks Big Time.... You would not be unable to unsubscribe to it once you subscribe

You read it right. Airtel has finally managed to touch the zenith of ripping off money from their customers with this Mobile TV Service. I subscribed to this service for IPL matches @40 Rs weekly in addition to Rs 10/day for IPL matches. Subscription was done immediately.

The major challenge came in when I tried to unsubscribe to the service, sending the text UNSUBTV to 54321 did not generate any response, and as I write it's been over 10 days since I have been trying to unsubscribe to this service, called up multiple times to the customer care (I don't know why they still use the word "care", "scare" seems more appropriate) and nodal officer.

Looks like in a hurry Airtel actually forgot a way to build an un-subscription option in this service.

Any of you out there facing similar issues ?

Update - 24th May 2011

Finally Airtel Mobile TV was unsubscribed. Teaches me a lesson not to subscribe to any more Value Based Services from Airtel again. :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Web Based Version of Angry Birds Out....

Another unique way of killing time in office. Web version of the killer iphone/android and Symbian (yes it's still there) is now available for your desktop browser. Click here and start shooting...

Works flawlessly on chrome. Try it out

Friday, February 18, 2011

Unofficial upgrade guide to Android 2.2(Froyo) for Samsung Galaxy 5 (I5003) in India


This is my experience of upgrading Samsung Galaxy 5 I5003 to Android 2.2 (Froyo) release. Before attempting the below steps, kindly understand the risk associated with this. This voids your warranty and may even brick your phone, so kindly do it at your own risk. I have no affiliation to Samsung, Android, XDA or
Do take a backup of all your stuff before performing the update as all data, applications would be wiped off. (The application which you bought on the Android Market, may be downloaded again but again a backup would not harm).

So you bought a shiny new Samsung Galaxy 5 I5003 in India, but are pretty frustrated by the fact that it still ships with Android 2.1 whereas Android 2.2 has been around for around 8 months. In addition to giving a shiny new fast UI Android 2.2 offers 2 new features which all of us are looking forward to
  • Wi-Fi Tethering
  • Ability to install apps on the SD card instead of Phone Memory (which is just around 150 MB for Samsung Galaxy 5 handset).
Not sure about the future of official firmware upgrade from Samsung (as they have a similar priced phone in Samsung Mini launched with Android 2.2), I decided to take the plunge and install a custom Firmware for Android 2.2 on Samsung Galaxy 5. Following is the step by step instructions which I followed
  1. Download and unzipped Odin and Ops file as linked on the forum
  2. Next question was a tricky one, that which firmware should be used for my phone. I started with the Asia version of the firmware (I5508ZNJP3 Android 2.2 - Froyo (Asia)) , but the touch screen would not work on Samsung 5 (I5003) phone in India as it is built for resistive touch screen and not a capacitive touch screen.
  3. Finally I zeroed down on the USA firmware (I5500LUYJP2 Android 2.2 - Froyo (USA)) for which the installation process went pretty smoothly.
  4. Rest of the steps have to be followed as mentioned except Step #2 where we have been told to select multiple files. This is not the case while updating to this firmware as we would just extract a single tar file from this rar file. As a result we need to select “One Package Option” and then select the tar file as the last option (Screenshot to be attached)
  5. Do not forget to do a factory reset after installation is successful by pressing the keys *2767*3855#
  6. After this your language would be set to Spanish, to set it back to English go to “Settings” menu from the home screen and select the 11th option from the top which contains the icon “A” and select the language English. Kindly note that this firmware version does not contain any Indian languages.
Voila you have a shining new Android 2.2(Froyo) running on your Samsung Galaxy 5.

Problems Solved
  1. You can finally install applications on the Memory Card (SD)
  2. Wi-Fi Tethering is built out of the box.
  3. The nasty alarm problem seems to have been solved since the past few days
Bugs in this firmware
  1. The icons for the applications installed on the SD card go away after restart. This can be circumvented by installing an application like “Launcher Pro” from the Android Market Alternatively you could also stop TWLauncher (Samsung Touch Wiz) service from Settings Manage Applications. Once you go back to the home menu, it restarts on it’s own and brings back the lost icons.

  2. Some people have reported the compass to be broken on this firmware, though I haven’t use compass nor do I plan to use it hence can’t confirm this.
Am planning to upload videos, pictures for the same soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Android - No Google Navigation in India ? No Problems WAZE is here to stay

Undoubtedly for my Android 2.1 powered (which has been hacked now to uninstall the unofficial Froyo 2.2 firmware) new Samsung Galaxy 5 had been a welcome change for me, after almost 10 years of Nokia use. Overall it was a good move, except the fact that Google Maps still does not provide Voice navigation for India on its Android platform. This seems pretty strange since India is definitely one of the emerging markets.

Being addicted to voice based Navigation, I stumbled across Waze ( for Android. I had used Waze on my Symbian device before, but was not impressed primarily due to it's sluggish behaviour on the underpowered handset.

But once I installed Waze on my Samsung Galaxy 5 device, I was in bit of a pleasant surprise. The voice based navigation works as a charm, and POI (Points Of Interest) search also fetches results from Google.  Additionally at the time of writing I guess Waze is the only navigation software providing real time traffic updates (Based on Social collaboration).

Waze also provides other regular features like your speed, ETA, time remaining for travel etc. Also it is supposed to use most frequently used routes and propose new routes accordingly.

On the flipside the maps are not stored locally(This is one luxury which was only available with Nokia OVI Maps, even Google Maps currently does not support this), though the data transfer is not humongous.

Two thumbs up for WAZE and definitely a must try, if you would love using GPS on your Android Handset in India.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Alarm Problem in Android 2.1 | Samsung Galaxy 5 driving me crazy

Though a good phone to own, Samsung Galaxy 5 currently running on Android 2.1 is actually driving me crazy. Except the first day the alarm never rings, even when it rings the volume is set to 0 which possibly does not make much sense of the alarm. 

For today have tried the solution #47 in the attached link . Hoping it does solve the problem for you. Anybody else facing the same problem?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Android 2.2 update coming to Samsung Galaxy 5

Finally some good news for Samsung Galaxy 5 owners. Apparently the Samsung team is already working on the Android 2.2 update (Froyo) for Samsung Galaxy 5 and the same may be out sometime soon. Though the below post mentions about i5500, the name by which Samsung Galaxy 5 is known in Europe, pretty confident (or optimistic :-) ) that the update would also be available to the Indian version Samsung  Galaxy 5 (i5503)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My new Toy | Samsung Galaxy 5 i5503, Powered by Android 2.1

First things first, I have been a huge fan of Nokia mobile since I bought my first mobile in 2001. Strong build quality (definitely needed for India) clubbed with ease of use and a good service network always meant that Nokia was a good choice.

Got hold of my Samsung Galaxy 5 device last Thursday ( , 20th January 2011 and have a good chance to play around with it for the the past few days. So did this move from Nokia really pay off ( I was using the fully loaded Nokia N79 for the past 1.5 years i bought for 14k and disposed off for 4k)? Read ahead to find out more.

The Initial Feel
The phone is really compact and light (esp coming out my Nokia N79 experience), has a good 2.8 " capacitive touch screen which makes it really easy to use with your fingers (In fact the touch screen was the only differentiating factor, which made me chose this over Micromax A 60 which i was getting for around 6k. The only downside of Micromax was the resistive touch screen it was offering). The package contains of the regular pair of earphones, data cable, the handset, battery, leather pouch, 2 GB micro SD card and a travel charger along with the customary set of user manuals with a couple of s/w DVD's.

The initial experience of setting up the phone was great, as I already had my contacts synched up with Google, so it was just a matter of entering my Google credential before the phone had all my contacts, email and Picasa web pics on the phone.

The apps performed pretty well with the 600 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM. Even after installing multiple applications never noticed any sluggish behavior with the phone.

Overall pretty impressed by the touch screen though it does not support multi touch (so lets forget the pinch to zoom feature on photos, maps etc. with which Apple has spoilt us off late).

The Good
  • Shipped with Android 2.1 which offers a hosts of additional features on the prior version of Android.
  • The voice quality is actually superb, much better than the Nokia handset I was using for the past 1.5 years.
  • Good Network reception, GPS receiver and built in speaker (though not stereo)
  • Integration with Google works like a charm.
  • Lastly but not the least, Android means option of millions of apps unleashing the true potential of your phone.

The Bad
  • Battery life is a big bummer (mine hasn't lasted for more than a day with high usage and and synchronization on).
  • Camera is another let down (an just 2 MP, no flash and no autofocus), If you would like decent photos (other than just sharing online or regular 4X6 prints) I would recommend you look out for some other phone.
  • Google still does not support Voice Navigation in India, so if you want voice Navigation you would need to shell out some extra amount (I opted for mapmyindia and it works great for me).
  • Not sure about it's upgrade to Android 2.2. Though rumoour has it that it might get an upgrade in Q1 this year , but no official announcement from Samsung on this. Unless this happens it means you wouldn't be able to install applications on the SD card (Until you install a custom firmware, which looks possible search XDA forums) and no wifi tethering unless you root the phone (again possible, search XDA forums)

Final Words
At a price tag of around 8.8 k is a definite buy for the budget/entry level Android user. Scores over Micromax just because of capacitive touch screen and a better brand. Battery problems could be overcome by some great Android Apps (Talk about that in my next post, the Top 10 Android Apps)