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Recently Airtel launched its 3G services in Bangalore becoming the 4th private operator to do so after DoCoMo, Reliance and Aircel. After using all these services I decided to compare Airtel so-called most reliable service in India with DoCoMo’s 3G. Here’s the summary:-

Tata DoCoMo 3G

Launched in Diwali last year DoCoMo had publicised their services quite nicely before the actual launch date. Not only this they had also offered free data transfer in the first week of its launch which helped them in getting large number of subscribers. I being a fan of Airtel purchased a DoCoMo sim for the sole reason  of trying 3G. Here’s my experience in setting up 3G:-

Activation

3G came pre activated in all sims i.e the 3G signal was seen on all compatible handsets. The user just had to :-

1.Send a message ACT3G to 53333 and then save the settings received.

2. Simply start browsing after subscribing to some data pack.

Customer  Care experience

The executives were well-informed and were able to answer my queries quickly, accurately and to the point. I wanted to connect my phone to laptop and then use the internet for which also I was informed about quite quickly and was able to browse on my laptop too. The speed was around 3.2 Mbps which was promised and I am quite happy with it.

3G Plans

DoCoMo has launched two types of plans, one being flexible plan that has a combination of 3G data usage as well as free calls and data plans for heavy data usage.

Flexi plans:-

MRP(RS.) Local+National+Roaming(Mins) DATA
350 700 200MB
500 1000 500MB
750 1500 750MB
1000 2000 1.25GB
2000 5000 2GB

Data plans:-

 

MRP(RS.) DATA VALIDITY(Days)
90 200MB 30
200 500MB 30
351 750MB 30
501 1.25GB 30
751 2GB 30
1001 5GB 30
2001 15GB 30

 

As we can see this type of planning puts customer in a position to decide which way should he go for either for only data or if he thinks its to costly then a flexi plan that will also give a few minutes of calling.:)

Airtel 3G

Airtel launched its 3G on 23rd Jan very quietly and in a manner that most people don’t know till date that its been launched. Advertising was very less and

I only came to know from an email which came from Airtel luckily because I had registered to get informed about this. Frankly speaking after seeing DoCoMo’s 3G launch I had expected a lot more from them and being a sincere follower of Airtel I am truly disappointed.

Activation

Activation?? Guess what I had no idea how to activate 3G in my phone since there was no advertising anywhere I had no idea what to message whom to message and on top of it I wasn’t even able to get any reception of 3G signal on my phone. After a lot of calls to customer care I was informed I had to :-

1.Message 3G to 121.

2.Within 4 hours you will get a confirmation saying that now you can latch onto Airtel 3G network(now you will get reception of 3G on your phone).

3.After this again message 3G to 121 to subscribe to some data packs.

Too much work ain’t it? but waits what’s surprising is that I was not able to go beyond the first step itself.Curious? I am still waiting for a confirmation message from Airtel that my 3G services have been activated.It has been over two days that I had requested to get 3G and it’s still under process.Moreover I have now found certain problems in my 2 G net connections itself and they have started right from when I requested for 3G services. What problems? well I can’t access Facebook server from my phone anymore.At first I thought it was some problem with my app but then on further research I found out that this problem was being faced by many customers across Bangalore.

Customer Care Experience

Hmmm…well one thing I can tell you is that any customer knows much more about 3G than their executives in office. I called them up to ask about the status of my request and they were like my phone(HTC Desire) might not be 3G compatible lol. A phone worth 26k in todays market is not compatible to 3G according to them.Further more when I said I need the settings to connect it using my Laptop the person started telling me about the data plans. When asked again he was clueless as to what to say. Well after all the reason Mr Mittal gave for delay in launching of 3G was that they wanted their network to be prepared completely for any kind of requirements. Well I got news for you Mr. Mittal you are still not prepared and capable for even handling 3G services forget video call monitoring and stuff like that. This is again a problem which is not being faced by me only but many more customers of Airtel. Although some customers have been able to use it.

3G Plans

Well even though I wasn’t able to connect to 3G using my phone it didn’t bother me much as I hope to get the issue resolved within a couple of days. But what bothers me is the pricing which according to me is too too costly. Moreover Airtel doesn’t even offer any combi-plans only straight forward data plans which confuses the user and naturally without seeing any free minutes in the plan he might choose to totally avoid using 3G services. The plans have been given below:-

MRP(Rs. Prepaid only) FREE DATA VALIDITY(Days)
9 10MB 1
60 65MB 3
45 30Min 1
103 100MB 3
200 250MB 30
450 600MB 30
750 2GB 30
675 1.25GB 30

Well now you can see and compare the huge difference between the rates for Airtel and DoCoMo 3G services. Well with MNP (Mobile Number Portability) already in operation I am planning to shift my number from Airtel to DoCoMo and enjoy its services. Rest is up to you!!!

NOTE

Finally after 3 days of wait and writing a mail to the airtelpresence@aitel.in my 3G is now activated. It  does’nt really give 3.6Mbps. Its more or less 1.4Mbps. Again disappointing but I sincerely hope that within the coming weeks the rates are gonna go down. FYI currently its free according to your current data plan i.e if you have a 2GB per month plan pre installed you can use the same in 3G connection as well. Just an introductory offer but a nice one 🙂



Even though the Android platform is around for quiet some time, its game are still far behind in terms of graphics and gameplay as compared to I phones or Symbian phones. But still there are some games out there which deserve credit.

1.Air Control

The objective of the game is fairly simple, you have to land planes and helicopters in their respective positions at the same time avoiding mid-air collisions.However a particular type of plane only goes to a particular type of landing strip which makes the game a bit challenging. The speed of simulation can be increased or decreased with the help of a button provided at the bottom left corner.Although it sounds quiet simple at later stages in the game the quantity of planes becomes so large that it is almost impossible to avoid collisions and this makes it very addictive.It also allows you to upload your high scores on the global scorecard.

The only negative of the game is that it does’nt offer any background music, a bit of low funky tone would have done the trick.Also it offers only two scenarios which might make the game a bit boring.

Air control is available in two versions one free to download which has only one standard scenario and a paid full version that offers an added desert scenario.

The game can be downloaded from this link.

We give it 4/5.

2.Paper Toss/Toss It

Paper toss is one more simple but addictive game.The objective is fairly simple you have a crumpled ball of paper and a bin at some distance.The aim is to simply put the crumpled ball into the bin by the swype of your fingers.Sounds easy right? well heres the challenging part, there’s a tiny old fashioned fan on one of the sides. So every time the user swypes the finger he/she has to adjust the angle of the throw of the paper. The length is always adjusted so the user has to only adjust the angle.  The game has a rather annoying sound of a fan running in background which can be switched off in the menu itself.

There are two versions of this game -Paper Toss by Backflip Studios and Toss It by Boolba Labs. Both offer almost the same  gameplay, however Toss It offers to versions one free, ad version and the other paid ad-free version along with some extra scenarios. Toss It offers around 8 scenarios but somehow I would go for Paper Toss which offers 3 scenarios(Airport, basement and restroom) and 3 level of difficulties which essentially changes the distance of the bin from the table which makes it all the more challenging. Like most of the android games even this game allows you to upload your scores online 🙂

Paper Toss can be downloaded from this link.

We give it 4/5.

3.Tank Hero

Tank Hero was released as a Beta version and hence is free.It as a very fast paced action game. The aim is to take out all opponent tanks in each level to progress to the next level.The tank can be moved by the default phone D-pad or by the cool on-screen replacement offered by the game.The  game provides two different types of opponents which makes it interesting.As the game progress the number of opponents keeps on increasing and  it becomes tougher and tougher.You can fire simply by tapping on the screen.What’s cooler is the shos fired reflect from the walls of the scenario forcing you to be careful.I offers you two types of camera view- moving in which camera moves along the tank and full field is not visible and a fixed view which gives you a hawk-eye view of the Battlefield making it easier to move around:)The game offers 31 levels, however at higher levels there are just too many opponents and it becomes boring to die again and again:(

The game can be downloaded here.

We give it a 3.5/5.

4.Angry Birds

I am quite sure lots of readers were waiting for this one. After making a huge hoolala on I OS and Web OS  Angry Birds has arrived for android platform too.The aim is to rescue all the eggs that were snatched away by some pigs.How is it done? You get a few birds at each level whom you have to slingshot to break the fort kill the pigs thereby getting their eggs back. Therefore the shooting angle is the key.A sub aim of the game is to attain a star rating by destroying the whole of the fort.At the initial stages we only have one type of bird which does nothing except go and crash into the fort, but as the game progress we get 6 different types of birds which can multiply, explode, accelerate, boomerang and give extra strength. The graphics are very cute and it looks fabulous on big screen phones as compared to pixelated look on the I Phone.

However the lack of music is a thumbs down.Honestly speaking I am not such a fan of cute games and hence go with a 3.5/5

It can be downloaded here.

 

5.Other Honourable Mentions

Games like Live Holdem Poker Pro, World and Solitare are online multiplayer games which are quite fun and are available for free from market.Apart from that there is Slice It in which the objective is two slice the given figure into exactly half…sounds boring but is a lot of fun once you start playing.Then there is Labyrinth Lite which is the same as Teeter provided by HTC where in the objective is to roll your ball to the correct target hole at the same time avoiding the other holes.

 

Watch this space for the Best Paid Games for Android 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shazam-Your music guide


What is it ?

Shazam is a music identification service which allows a user to simply hold your phone to a song playing in the background and the service will return you the name of the song ,artist,a link to buy the song and its YouTube video and a lot more!!!!

Does it really work?

When I first heard that there is an application that can tell you the music that is playing in background I was like maybe it can tell it once or twice or let’s way thrice but all the time! And guess what it works all the time. It is so accurate that if you don’t get a song on first try you end up thinking that maybe I was blocking the microphone and you try again and bang!!! Shazam gets it right this time.I tried identifying 3 songs in s pub and since the music was very loud I didn’t have to even hold the phone close to the speakers and it identified them accurately.I even tried this application in a McDonald’s outlet and it even worked there. The point is that it even works in places which have lots of other background noise. The songs that I have tested ate listed below –
*No love by Simple Plan
*Killing in the name by Rage Against The Machine
*Shoot to Thrill by ACDC
*Yeah by Usher

Alright agreed maybe these are the easiest songs to identify,but go ahead and knock yourself out their database is quiet large and you will find it works most of the times.

How does it work?

Curious ? Wanna know how it works ?
The process of identifying a song is known as tagging so just press the get tag button and watch the magic.
What happens is that as soon as it listens a song it create its acoustic fingerprint. It then matches this fingerprint with its database and then returns the result. A detailed description on how these fingerprints are matched can be found in this link.

Features

Apart from just knowing the name of the song,Shazam allows you to-

*Buy the song from amazon
*Get the tour dates of the artist
*Watch the video on YouTube
*Get the lyrics of the song
*Share your new find on Facebook or Twitter
*Sms to your friends
*Or mail them if you want to
*Get the biography of the artist
*Even list out the discography of the artist with all album arts.
*Displays top songs currently in a chart.
*Also has an option to see their blogs about songs.
*Lastly it also lists the sings that have a similar fingerptint.

Shazam currently comes in two versions a free one and a paid one. The free version allows you to enjoy all the premium features for 7 days after which you can continue to tag 5 songs a month for free. The premium version also known as Shazam Encore on the other hand allows you to tag unlimited songs and full access to all the features.

Shazam service is not only available for android phones but also for I phones, Blackberry’s ,PC and even as a telephone service in which you dial their number and they listen the song and its charged only if it is able to tell the correct song 🙂

Final words

Shazam is a very good application and totally worth buying the full version which costs about rs 208 and is available on Android market. It is a must have for people who love music and want to explore the ever growing music world.

We give it a 4 out of 5 solely because its not free. There’s a an app called Soundhound which provides the same service free of cost.

Shazam can be downloaded from this link.

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