So, Apple is re-inventing our portable TimePiece


What could be the next surprise product from Apple that would re-invent that product line ? Analysts and bloggers have been speculating about this for quiet a while.

Apple really need that. With enthusiasm on its iPhone declining, the company should waste no time in pulling back its depleting fan base.

An iTV has been doing the rounds for a while. But how innovative the design of that TV, it won’t  fly until you get content to deliver on that platform. And the core content generators are in no hurry to support something which could take away their major chunk of cash flow for them.

Here comes iWatch – An Apple designed Wrist Watch. The technology space is busy talking about how that product will look like and what features that would hold to wow the users. A recent news about the team that’s working on this product further reinforce the possibility of that.

Will Apple transform the Device to a multi-media / social device ?

Or

Will it completely change the way we use our watches ?

Wait and watch. It’s guaranteed that the product will pack a few innovations , probably a solar-powered device without  a visible solar panel.


Dilemma of an Indian iTunes Store Fan


Apple quietly made available Music and Movies on India iTunes Store.  India users didn’t have any clue until the Apple Device users started receiving  mail notifications from Apple.

Music collection on the store is not bad. Only problem,  user has to dig thru or try a search on his favourites. Surprised to see recent releases on regional music also on the store. But the default categories on the Music Section doesn’t help the user , unless he is looking for main stream music from Bollywood. Anybody of a different taste may rule out the store with a “minimal collection”, if he doesn’t dig deep into the store. International releases also seems to be exhaustive.

Video section seems skinny as of now. Not much from Bollywood and international titles. Hope this will improve over a period of time.

What’s really tempting for an Apple Device owner and movie enthusiast is the price. An HD version of a Hollywood title is around Rs 490, which is somewhere around one-third the price of its Blu-ray version. Quality ,  you cannot compare as the iTunes version is a  compressed version, but watchable.  Bollywood titles also seems to be reasonably priced.

The real problem is the closed ecosystem. Music is not of an issue as Apple is releasing non-DRM versions. But Movies are really pain-full.

For a person who likes to enjoy movies on his HDTV or Home Theatre, the current restriction is a real let down. On one side the tempting price and on the other side the lack of flexibility or choice in playing back your purchased movies.

Only options available for a user to enjoy his Movies purchased from iTunes are

  • Playback on the iDevices
  • Playing on your PC or Macs

If you want to enjoy them on your Home theatre, the options left are

  • Stream the Video and Audio from iDevices to Home theatre or TV thru Apple’s Digital AV Adaptor(Approx Rs 2300 + HDMI cable )
  • Utilize the HDMI / DVI connectors on your PC or Mac and feed the signal to your TV / Home Theatre thru HDMI or DVI cable

Some of the limitations on the above options are

  • iPad 2 and iPhone 4 outputs only 720p resolution
  • If you recently adopted iPhone 5 or iPad 4th generation then, currently no option to feed the HD Video/Audio to your HDTV / Home theatre, as Apple is yet to release Lightning compatible AV Digital adaptor.  Current version of Digital AV Adaptor with Lightning to 30-pin adaptor will not work.
  • PCs / Macs should have HDCP support to watch HD versions. If your current setup doesn’t support then choose SD versions for purchase or rent.

Another last option which again is not a standalone solution is Apple TV. This device is not yet available in India. Apple should be launching this in India soon as with the availability of Music and Movies , the usability  has improved from the device’s point of view.

But these again is quite restrictive. To enjoy your movies thru Apple TV

  • You need to enable Home Sharing on iTunes running on your PC  or Mac. That means to enjoy movies your PC should be running
  • Stream thru Airplay from iDevices to Apple TV. The restriction on iPad 2 and iPhone 4 may apply in this scenario also. Not confirmed.
  • The device doesn’t allow to playback your personal media on a hard disk, unless the same is imported to iTunes Library and shared thru Home Sharing.

XBMC has Airplay support, but I was not successful in Streaming Movies. Music was fine.

The current limitations in enjoying the purchased Movies on your HDTV or Home Theatre is a real roadblock.

I think, I’ll finally end up adding an Apple TV, as the temptation on the Pricing and convenience of Purchasing / Renting weighs out over any other route available now.


Whether Apple Passbook is getting typecast as a Coupon Aggregator?


iOS Passbook adaptation is gaining momentum. But its getting praise or criticism for a feature that’s one of its potential. During this process, the app is getting typecast as a Coupon Aggregator only platform.

The Passbook compatible coupon generator companies are diluting the real potential of Passbook. In their opinion, it’s just a coupon aggregator. They are right from their view-point, as who cannot ignore the revenues from coupon business. That’s just one angle to Passbook potential.  In this area,  a better way of servicing users should be pushing coupons tailored on Customer Shopping habits and Preference.

Customers should have the flexibility to subscribe to his areas of interest for which he would like to have coupons pushed.

People seems to be ignoring the possibility of multi use  Pre paid cash cards and gift cards which can be re deemed at outlets. Starbucks cards are an existing version of the same. The balance on the cards are updatable from a centralized application server. So, if that possibility exists why can’t cash cards or gift cards?

Banks could really look at this possibility – where a user uses a bank app or website, generate a Pre populated gift card or cash card which can be forwarded to a friend for use. ATM-s  can be tailored to accept this  cards for cash with-drawal – a wild imagination, but definitely possible as the Passbook doesn’t need a fancy NFC, just a bar code reader.

Passbook in no way replaces the existing Payment Gateway solutions from Credit Card Companies and it should never try to. These companies have built up on this solution and it has taken monstrous man years to achieve the level of integration and security. Apple cannot put a solution and infrastructure to match that in short time.

What really excites me is , this Passbook ecosystem is so easy for an establishment to join. Doesn’t need any additional infrastructure like NFC or anything and that’s what it differentiates it self from other solutions available now.

Do you agree or Disagree?  Post your comments.

Also Visit more articles written on Passbook


Infographic – iOS Passbook in a nut shell


Types of Passbook Coupons

Store Cards

iOS Passbook Store Cards

iOS Passbook Store Cards

Generic Cards

iOS Passbook Generic Cards

iOS Passbook Generic Cards

Event Coupons

iOS Passbook Event Coupons

iOS Passbook Event Coupons

Store Coupons

iOS Passbook - Coupons

iOS Passbook – Coupons

Boarding Passes

iOS Passbook - Boarding Passes

iOS Passbook – Boarding Passes

Conveniences of iOS Passbook

Conveniences of iOS Passbook

Conveniences of iOS Passbook

Passbook for Developers(https://developer.apple.com)


How To : Setup @me.com or @iCloud.com email account on Windows 8


Follow the following steps to connect @me.com or @iCloud.com email accounts to Windows 8 Mail App

Updated on 2 Oct 2013.  iCloud SMTP doesn’t authenticate if the username contains @iCloud.com also. If your existing iCloud mail account already registered in Mail App on Windows 8 stopped working, then create a new account with the following instructions. If you are doing so, please ensure, on the Wizard which starts , you key in your @iCloud.com email id instead of @me.com id.  If you continue the wizard with @me.com id, email sending will fail. Also, the SMTP port  has changed , instead of 25 use 587. Also SSL needs to be enabled for SMTP.

  1. Start Mail App
  2. Invoke Charms Bar by moving your cursor to the right edge of the Screen
  3. Select “Settings” then select “Accounts”
  4. Select “Add an account”, then select “Other Account”
  5. Select “IMAP”, Click “Connect”
  6. Key in your @iCloud email address and password on the respective fields
  7. Then click on “Show more details”
  8. On “Email User Name” field enter the iCloud id without the @icloud.com part. For e.g. if your id is abc@iCloud.com, enter just abc . iCloud SMTP server fails authentication, if you enter the username with the @iCloud.com part.
  9. On “Incoming (IMAP) email server” field key in imap.mail.me.com
  10. Leave “Port” field entry  at 993
  11. Leave “Incoming server requires SSL” selected
  12. On “Outgoing (SMTP) email server” field key in p07-smtp.mail.me.com
  13. Change “Port” field entry to 587
  14. Leave “Outgoing server requires SSL” selected .
  15. Leave “Outgoing server requires authentication” selected
  16. Leave “Use the same username and password to send and receive email” selected
  17. Click on Connect

Mail App will now complete the setup and sync your emails from your account

Once you see your mails from me.com or iCloud.com, few more settings needs to be changed.

While you are in the newly setup account mail box in the App

  1. Invoke Charms Bar by moving your cursor to the right edge of the Screen
  2. Select “Settings” then select “Accounts”
  3. Click on your @me.com or @iCloud.com from the list of accounts
  4. Scroll down to “Special Folders” section
  5. For “Sent Items” select “Sent Messages” from the drop down list
  6. For “Deleted Items” select “Deleted Messages” from the drop down list
  7. For “Junk” select “Junk” from the drop down list

That’s it. If you wish you can adjust the mail download interval and the timeline for which mails to be downloaded locally.


Apple started migrating @me.com email accounts to @icloud.com


iCloud Email address migration notification from Apple

@me.com to @iCloud.com

Apple have initiated the migration of email addresses using @me.com domain to @icloud.com .

Users whose email-ids are migrated have started receiving communication from Apple on the newly reserved email address. This email address is ready to use. iOS devices have already started reflecting the new email address without any action from the user side.

The new iCloud accounts are ready for use without any further action from the user.

You have the option to select the new address while composing a new mail. You can refer instructions here.

See Also : How to Setup me.com or iCloud.com Email Accounts on Windows 8

me.com addresses were reserved for the phased out MobileMe service. Hope Apple will stick on to iCloud service unlike its ill-fated earlier products.


iOS AppStore updated with local currency for India


Starting today AppStore has been updated to reflect price for Apps in Indian Rupee. Not sure whether currency conversion fees are still applicable when making a purchase from India.