Google Camera and Chrome Remote Desktop for Android

Google recently launched a couple of useful apps for Android - Chrome Remote Desktop and Google Camera. I just tried them both

  • Google Camera - brings in some useful features
              -- Photo Sphere
              -- Panorama
              -- Lens Blur
    The photo sphere allows you to take 360 degree pics, which does look interesting, but I didn't like it much. This mode makes you take atleast a couple of dozen photos(you have to keep a dot in the screen aligned), and finally stitches it into a big sphere.

    Panorama is a standard feature, nothing more to it

    Lens Blur is interesting. Some of the latest high end phones(Nokia and Xperia) have pitched in this feature earlier, and I was excited to get that on my Xperia P. With a couple of tries, I got an idea what it could do. Haven't spend much time on it though. For starters, this is what it can do

My Playstation Plus experience

A Playstation was a huge dream for me. About 7 years ago, my Dad bought me a brand new Playstation 2. But unfortunately, the gig got outdated with the arrival of Playstation 3. Late in 2012, I made that dream come true, there I had a brand new Playstation 3 Ultra Slim. Along with it I got Uncharted: Drake's Deception and Grand Tourismo  5 free. Later on I owned Fifa 13 and Grand Theft Auto 5. But these games are very very expensive, and then I subscribed to Playstation plus.
 So what is Playstation Plus? It's a subscription based service which gives you lots of online services and games free. Named as Instant Game Collection, Sony gives away atleast 1-2 games awesome games(on PS3). For Rs. 2950 a year, this is a great deal. Here is the my experience of the IGCs since Dec, 2013(I'll keep updating this, and I do not play all games). All these are completely my personal opinion, it might not be the same as yours.
  • DmC : Devil May Cry : This was the first one I tried. I did some research on the game before the download completed, and the reviews were mixed(especially with the history). The game looked brilliant to start with, with pretty decent graphics and smooth gameplay. I played this for quite sometime. With a combo of superpowers and guns, it looked fun. But as the game progressed, the whole sequence became repetitive. It was like start - kill 10 guys - go to the next section - start over. Yes there was a wide variety of superpower, and the storyline was good too, but this repetitive sequence just made me hate the game. I eventually deleted this

    Pros     :  Cool graphics, smooth gameplay
    Cons    :  Too repetitive
    Rating :  4.5/10
  • Remember Me : The presentation of this game looked wonderful and futuristic. Nilin, the female protagonist starts the game with her memory partially stripped. The quest to know who she is follows. The gameplay involves shooting plus combo actions(no superpowers, just kick and punch). There are varieties of kicks and punches though, and you can make a lot of combos and special stuff with them. The game looked really interesting to begin with, but somewhere the same repetitiveness caught me again. There were some interesting things, and the story line was interesting too, but the gameplay was way too much repetitive and the action was a bit more boring than DmC. Remember Me had the same result as DmC for me.

    Pros     :  Nice concept(tweaking into memory and modifying it, kind of inception), nice presentation
    Cons    :  Too repetitive, and the combos become boring after sometime
    Rating :  4.0/10

Get the most out of a Sony Xperia P

 Xperia P was one of the most impressive smartphones by Sony in 2012. I personally felt it way better than it's big brother Xperia S. The only thing that bothered me all the way was it's battery backup. With a mere capacity of 1305mAh and a non-removable battery, it was difficult to survive more than a day with it. Using a 3G network was a luxury this phone could not afford. However, it was a great phone that suited my purpose which were

  • Aesthetic looks(the transparent strip embedded with buttons)
  • Handles most of the games
  • Brilliant screen(with auto brightness which is missed in Xperia S)
  • Decent camera(not really great though)
  • Solid build(not much damages, apart from scratches after almost 2 years)
  • NFC, WiFi hotspots, Bluetooth, OTG and all those features cramped into the device
  • And... updates(which started to disappoint recently)
Although the phone was shipped with Android 2.3(Gingerbread), I did not have to wait long before getting a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich. It was a good update, with the look and feel adding to the aesthetics of the phone. And the down the road came the Jelly bean update too, which kind of refreshed the longevity of using the phone to me. But with that did come a few irritating bugs too, the ones which bothered me a lot are
  • Battery draining was off the chart, the phone barely survived 8 hours
  • Call logs got really laggy(know issue apparently). A factory reset did not resolve this, trying third party apps wasn't quite the experience
  • And the fact that I wouldn't get to taste KitKat on Xperia P
To get myself distracted from these, I starter using other launchers. The Windows 8 launcher entertained me for sometime, then I moved on to other popular launchers like GoLauncher, Nova Launcher etc. But these never lasted, I was back to the stock experience in a while.

So the inner geek in me pushed me for more, and the thoughts of rooting/unlocking/custom rom began roaming in my brain. But I was a tad bit reluctant on getting into the flow for some reason. But then one day, I decided to get in, and the post that guided me was this - Techglen

Let me summarize what, how and why I did stuff on my phone

Reacting to harassment, does it change anything?

Many a times as a girl I have come across scenarios and situations that made me feel that for a girl she is first a body then a person. Men ogling ,passing lewd comments, and even worse trying to get a touch as if that is going to offer them nirvana. What I don’t get is why do men take this huge risk of being caught and complained for such a minimalist amount of pleasure. Or is it that there is no risk at all?  Recently we have been seeing this outcry that girls should start reacting more, and that would eventually lead to men being afraid and some how they will start respecting women. In my opinion Respect can never arise from fear. And the recent experience I had just fortifies it.

On the eve of new year I was travelling from my Hometown to Bangalore. Yeah the whole world was celebrating and I was in the dingy old Rajahamsa KSRTC. I was seated in the second row just behind the conductor. And after a while a guy got into the bus, kind of in his twenties. Normally when you book in RedBus, seats next to single ladies seats are reserved for ladies. Somehow this guy had his seat next to me. As in my character the precaution buzzer in my head got switched on as soon as dis guy occupied his seat next to me. It was a cold night and I was covered in a shawl , sweater and a blanket. So literally if he could make out I was a girl was only from my hair. After a while I could feel this guys elbow encroaching my side of the armrest. Though I was uncomfortable I adjusted myself in my seat telling myself that I was being a little too cautious and judgmental of guys. Even if it was a lady her elbow might’ve touched me. And then I slept off hoping for a happy new year. In between I was awaken by the same encroaching elbow .The guy seemed asleep, I woke him up and asked to move his hand away from the arm rest. No harm till now and I dozed off again.

Happy Auto, a must have app for Bangloreans, by Bangalore Traffic Police!

How many times have you been harassed by an Auto driver, how many times have you been overcharged? In Bangalore, people with no private vehicles go through this a couple of times each and every day. There is nothing anyone can do, even the Traffic police puts a blind eye on this most of the time.

Well, here is a step forward to ease things up. An Android app - Happy Auto. Go to the link on your Android phone, download it, and register your phone number. And then, you can rate every Auto ride you take in Bangalore! If you rate them good enough, the Auto Driver gets certain goodies from the Bangalore Traffic Police!(Yes you heard that right). They also will provide "Happy Auto" stickers, which in turn will help commuters to identify the "Good" auto-rickshaws! A brilliant, and much needed initiative in my opinion. Here is the screenshot of the feedback you can give for an Auto-Rickshaw