Be connected with Layman’s Take via SMS Notifications

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I know like me, even you would be excited, when you will come to know that now there is one more way to  be connected with Layman’s Take: SMS Notifications. (Thanks to Google, who made this possible)

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Click on the above image to subscribe or following the link. Be assured that this will never get involved in any kind of spamming as even I feel annoyed with any kind of useless SMSs, so I know how readers will feel, if happened so after the subscription. It will just ask for your Gmail login and mobile number and will make use of generic Google Labs service.

Take a look over the Google Labs SMS services, worth checking out. You can find many blogs there.

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What is NFC and do we have enough reasons to excited about it?

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A discussion has started that if Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s announcement on Monday about NFC with Nexus S was a shot that Nokia should have taken many days before and if this is again a marketing failure from Nokia part. Is this a sign of weak confidence to attract vendors or the major market of Nokia (not Europe and west but Asian continent) is not ready yet to come strong on NFC?

Let’s take a look over the technology first …

What is Near Field Communication (NFC)?

As per Wiki article

Near Field Communication or NFC, is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimeter (around 4 inches) distance.The technology is a simple extension of the ISO/IEC 14443 proximity-card standard (proximity card, RFID) that combines the interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device. An NFC device can communicate with both existing ISO/IEC 14443 smartcards and readers, as well as with other NFC devices, and is thereby compatible with existing contactless infrastructure already in use for public transportation and payment.

NFC is primarily aimed at usage in mobile phones.

nfc

A patent licensing program for NFC is currently under development by Via Licensing Corporation, an independent subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, while a Public, platform independent Near Field Communication (NFC) library is released under the free GNU Lesser General Public License by the name libnfc.


Existing usages in India

The same technology been under trial across the world in many areas since last seven years (even in India Delta Technologies and Citi Tap and Pay – Citibank India trialing it). Many mobile payment technologies making use of it across world including Nokia and Samsung as of now. Even VISA and MasterCard also working on it at some places.

Applications of NFC

The applications of the such a technology are plenty like Electronic ticketing, Electronic money, Travel cards, Identity documents, Mobile commerce and Electronic keys etc. Exciting for many, as it will make the life even more easier as your smart phone will be one device for all your needs, movies, internet browsing, navigation, music and now even used as a credit card or debit card.

How is it different from already popular Bluetooth technology? Limitations ..

Disadvantages over Bluetooth

  1. Lesser data transfer speeds (max 848 kbps)
  2. Shorter range (max 20 cm) than Bluetooth technology.
  3. Upcoming Bluetooth 4.0 low energy protocol will be consuming even lower power than NFC as of now
  4. NFC alone does not ensure secure communications is vulnerable to data modifications. Applications have to use higher-layer cryptographic protocols (e.g., SSL) to establish a secure channel.

Advantages over Bluetooth

  1. Almost instant connection (around 1/10 seconds) in comparison to pairing procedure of Bluetooth
  2. Low power consumption and could work (alternatively) even when one of the device is powerless
  3. NFC is compatible with existing passive RFID (13.56 MHz ISO/IEC 18000-3) infrastructures
  4. Shorter range makes it suitable for crowded area with high interferences

Not sure, if I am concluding right, but then rather than the tech itself, what’s being stressed as advantage of  NFC is the already existing infrastructure for that. I wish to remind people that NFC is not being used in secure payment methods yet, secure means encrypted ones and is very much hack-able.

In other practical limitations, it’s the requirement for compatibility with legacy deployments, including payment systems such as MiFare (used by London’s Oyster cards) which operate at 13.56MHz. MiFare and it’s ilk work over very short ranges, typically a few centimetres, and can be powered by current induced by the reader. NFC, by necessity, shares those capabilities so will operate even if the phone’s battery is dead, but that also means the transmitting at very low power, far too low to break out of a phone casing. This therefore forces NFC to rely on an external antenna to operate.

Why NFC is still half baked technology when it comes to financial usages?

The most dangerous aspects of NFC, which is being skipped while talking about easy financial applications are related to security and unfortunately most of them still open, which puts a big question mark on implementation of such a technology in financial domain at least. This been a kind of dead technology for this domain since years due to some serious limitations. Most of them were mentioned in a paper long back, PDF link here, worth reading once, mentioning a few of them here in my words…

  • Lost property
    The biggest threat to this technology is the simplest phenomenon, loosing your cell. Against the common PIN security mechanisms, NFC one is a PIN-less method, means once someone else gets his hands on your lost phone, there will be no stopping misuse of the same till you get your account cancelled from carrier. Obviously, software running on top will come up with some solution to this.
  • Eavesdropping
    There are already many methods to intercept the communication between two devices over NFC. An Open source device which is able to eavesdrop passive and active NFC communications is the Proxmark instrument.
  • Data modification/ destruction
    Data destruction is relatively easy to realize, while by complex measures one can even modify the bits of data. Though there are methods that an NFC device could employ to avoid such threats and possibilities.
  • Relay attack
    Because NFC devices are usually also implementing ISO/IEC 14443 functionality, the relay attack described are also feasible on NFC. For this attack the adversary has to forward the request of the reader to the victim and relay back its answer to the reader in real time, in order to carry out a task pretending to be the owner of the victim’s smart card. One of libnfc code examples demonstrates a relay attack using only two stock commercial NFC devices.
  • Walk off
    Once lawfully opened access to secure function or data is usually protected with time out closing on pausing the usage. Modern attack concepts may interfere despite the intention to shut down access when the user turns inactive. The distance of a successful attacker to the locus of lawfully granted access is not addressed with any of the described concepts of NFC.

 

Nokia and NFC

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I was like big time surprised, when I came to know that my oldest handset Nokia 3220 had NFC back in 2004. It was actually the first commercial product including NFC that shows that Nokia is always unbeatable when it comes to adopting the latest tech and bringing to the world.

Nokia was an early backer of NFC and co-founded the NFC Forum in 2004 with the technology’s creators, Philips Semiconductors and Sony Corp. Nokia had earlier introduced four NFC models, the 3220 and companion 5140, the 6131 and the 3G 6216. These phones have accounted for more than half of NFC trials and other NFC projects held since 2005, NFC Times estimates, (see Project Database) and were some of the few available for sale.

Recently in February 2010, they were about to come up with Nokia 6216 model, which was going to be the first NFC SIM phone ever came to market and it was even notified to leading operators, but later on the idea got cancelled.

There is still a pressure from operators to bring this tech early on handset. Not from Nokia, but some of experts even say that built-in NFC inside the SIM cards would be more reasonable than a specialized phone, if the carrier really care about it.

Is NFC gonna pull the market?

While there was much talk about NFC in tech world since long, its sure been Google CEO, who should be credited for bringing it in lime light again, which was fading since Nokia delayed the commercial implementation. But what more turns the technology gonna take?

Definitely, the technology is not about the hardware only due to its current unsecure nature and sure it remains a question that should the big tech leaders put money behind this project, when it will still rely on software implementations or should look over other alternatives like China is trying with their own RF SIMs. 

Pushing NFC Technology on big scales is a risk that was once taken by Nokia in 2003, when they co-founded the NFC forum, but still after 7 years of trials across the world, we don’t see much momentum behind the technology in comparison the development in other wireless technologies like Bluetooth etc. While Nokia still taking risk around their once founded Symbian Forum, sure it stands a hard question that they should take the same risk of pushing NFC on big scales.

I don’t think that Nokia is wrong on it

I think Nokia gonna be silently putting NFC chips in all of its upcoming models and will be observing other big movements like Google’s move. Whenever they find the infra in place, they will be ready to go without doing anything as hardware will be already in place and just a software update and some negotiations will make it. Simple reasoning is Nokia can’t stand behind the name of a failures, while Google is used to face many like their Wave, Buzz etc.

What you think on it? Please tell

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Anyone noticed improved IPL telecast on YouTube?

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Just noticed something while watching Delhi Dardevils Vs Kolkata Knight Riders on YouTube/IPL. YouTube seems to have made some serious changes for live telecast since April 07, 2010 or two three days before. The video quality has really improved a lot in resolutions and the improvement is no way lesser that one wont notice. Not sure about the technical details as unable to find any mention on their own site. But its really a welcome step.

Don’t know its due to the fact that I am getting past of teenage or the fact that losing game to Bangladesh in last World Cup made many of Indians not that much interested in Cricket anymore, but it’s is true that these are sure not those days, when I am very much involved in each bit of cricket as I was earlier used to be. Could say lack of cable at home now days might be added in to the same. With Live Telecast of IPL in this season, Youtube/Google really have connected many like me back to Cricket again.


Even then I can’t assure that I always surf YouTube/IPL page in time with start of the match everyday, but when yesterday I did the same then a pleasant surprise was waiting for me there. The quality was exactly something like might have been that of any TV Telecast. I was really up to asking that when does this happened. Even YouTube controls were different than usual (Will add screenshot of controls later) Check out ..

Youtube1

I am on 22” TFT+MTNL 3G+ NVidia 8600, but don’t think these things do anything much special about YouTube broadcast, but really owe you Google. 🙂

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Whats wrong with Social Services of Google?

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It disappoints you when you get to see nice innovations not catching up that faster than they should have. I was under huge disappointment, when come to see Google wave not taking off the hood that well and even when its for sure that Google Buzz is here to stay, it annoy you a little that why its not catching up that faster.

What wrong with technically the best services of Google in social department?

A question that’s been repeatedly asked and attempted to be answered so many times in so many ways still work-in-progress remained confusing. A company, who seems to have best moral grounds and respect among users all around the globe, a way of thinking that always seems to be working for betterment of technology and pushing the standards up, a technical leadership, which always believed in simplicity yet the best practices and at the end, owner of something called close to God Google’s Search, which tends to knowing people’s habits more than anything else in the world. Still the company not rising that big on social fronts? Why?


Just trying to think.. recollecting facts … not suggesting … not answering

  1. Blogger has much support and options than WordPress, still WordPress rules big time.
  2. Orkut been more simpler, cleaner and centered around people more than the business/ advertising, but still it not catching up big time against Facebook or MySpace.
  3. Social Connect and FriendFeed been around with nice features, but no one seems to know much about them not even names.
  4. Google Wave was a path breaking and real huge thing happened to this century, but still …
  5. Google Buzz was way better than Twitter or Facebook status updates, if we count on specifications sheet, but still it seems to loosing battle against Twitter.

Then why so many ‘failures’ whenever Google attempts some social thing?

  • Is the answer lies in their most successful service Google Search itself?
  • What if its Google’s obsession with cloud computing and unification of services, which holds them back from thinking outside the box?
  • Is the reason, is compatibility issues that take time with their 64 acquisitions till now?

All of the above may seem to be random and somehow irrelevant with the current discussion na… let me explain each.

google_god Why I am pointing over the most sane thing ever happened?

Issue is that their programmers and other people involved are kind of devotee for Google like anyone on this planet and sometimes it hinders with ability to think outside or against the main philosophy that may be laid by top management that “Let the consumer use the thing in simplest way, all complications we will handle free of  cost” Philosophy is great, Simplicity is great, but the problem is – Everything is not a Google Search.

You may not decide what would be the best for users. You have hands on almost each service in the world,  but you cant keep on suggesting people to use them at the first place before you mature each of them to stand on their own. I know many would say that Google does allow other services more than any other company in the world, but still I am making my point here ..

One example is WordPress Vs Blogger; Acquisition from Pyra Labs, Blogger seems to be most flexible blogging platform on the planet for people, who are happy with writing and don’t even want to own a domain. you can make use of all kind of scripts, insert any kind of custom code, add other Google services and even write and use your own theme yourself. Then why wordpress still known as the best platform for blogging?

Blogger-Wordpress-Conversion Sometimes initiatives and one product centered approach wins over projects with bigger potential and bigger resources. WordPress has established the whole system with involvement of other companies as well, while Google thinks that we have options in our own domain itself then why go outside? What’s point of not providing support to import whole blog to port on WordPress or others? What’s point in letting users resister their domain names with Google only? What’s point in keeping just a few very basic themes on showcase thinking that users will do everything? Why no inbuilt tool for stats? Why can’t one webmaster change the content of comments to strip out abusive content?

Once you start using Blogger, you really find that its best thing to go with, but not in first glance itself. Sometimes, I feels that flexibility should be matched well by offering excellent example/ templates and it should not only be on users and third party developers to evolve over the platform, but one should keep himself running in the race. There are some excellent themes and options with Blogger, but none of them are on showcase, like Google don’t wanna save itself from responsibility after putting other’s work on showcase. This doesn’t suit a beginner.

twitter-orkut-facebook

Same with Facebook Vs Orkut; Google’s initial hesitations from advertising inside Orkut due to inputs from overly cluttered interface of Facebook and MySpace cost its being first choice for third party developer doing their work for money. That kept the concept of Social Networking sane, when Zyanga with its games like Farmvilla and Mafia Wars etc attracts 80% of Facebook, then one really come to rethink that if the strategy to keep the place personal only was helping at first place?

I still love Orkut and still know, the traffic to Orkut is true traffic rather than that of game freaks (the case with Facebook), who will sooner or later get bored with games and then will be frustrated that there is nothing like friend updates in Facebook, but just Farmvilla updates…. but still I wish to ask question that why Google failed to bring more developers in orkut? Simplicity may not be the best policy always.


Cloud Computing: Somewhere we don’t see what Google might be seeing for future. Google’s each move heads towards cloud computing. Similar things were started from Microsoft, who wanted to place best solutions for everything that a user might ask for, but now Google seems to be more aggressive on the same front.

Google is heading to the topology of “One Account for all” and their recent XOAuth step seems to be right step in right direction. They already have placed all common services on cloud, be it search, mails, blogging, news, feeds, photos, maps, friends, entertainment or anything one do with computers. Chrome OS meant to be the gate of cloud computing, where one login will make you working from anywhere and from any device.

Yes! they had removed the necessity of having a Google Account for their Chrome OS, but still that clears the intentions. What do you think the Google’s obsession for speed, Launch of Google Docs, which enables you to read all common kind of documents online without any installation, advancement of YouTube and its agreement with Media giants to provide full movies or cricket shows like IPL, Google Books, Google translations and flooding like a rage plugins for Google Chrome; is all random?

Google seems to have learned that sometimes things that come in packages and work decently win over specialized products, examples been Outlook Express and Internet Explorer. The rise of NetBooks and popularity of Google Docs really have made it possible for Business persons doing their work with minimal and cost effective setup. Being comfortable with such a system is the first step towards Cloud Computing and though Microsoft started this, but Google making it a reality for sure.

GoogleAppsEd2-717009

If we see from Google’s point of view, then it makes sense that you login though one account on Chrome OS and you will get all your work ready for you in the same state, you left it. Either it be your docs, your movies, your social networking with Orkut, your blogging with Blogger, your feeds via Google reader, your status updates via Google Buzz and so on.. moreover, once XOAuth starts working in that direction then it would also be easy to announce that all these services wont be sharing data (that could be a security concerns). Definitely Google understands that most of the users might prefer working with what comes out of box like they did with Internet Explorer or Outlook Express.

But question is, even if you seems to be winning in long run, why not to treat each service separate to make them best on their own? Didn’t Internet Explorer Team working in the same way now? Haven’t people started leaving Internet Explorer at last?

  • Orkut is still the best about functionality, just what needed is more attention and more people to it. At least few of giant applications, games etc.
  • Google Buzz requires celebrities as Twitter is riding on flow of early initiative? It needs to work on integration with services like Twitter is going along with Facebook, WordPress and all. Definitely its more powerful and APIs are available to do so, but still if developers are not catching, then Google should take it in own hands to make them catch up. How can you think that costly Android devices are enough for spreading Buzz? No apps for Symbian, no integration with Gravity etc and you think that you can make it popular? Think again…
  • Blogger needs to learn basics from WordPress. Something like WordPress.org needed to hand over the whole code to users. More of it, needs to integrate things in a way that one could get things working out of the box, be it states, widgets or professional looking themes? I find lack of flexible themes from Google itself as a major fault, at least should showcase 50-100 themes in dashboard like WordPress does.


Acquisitions; are they pose some issues as well?

When you acquire some new company then you mingle with entirely new set of rules that company might be following, a different environment, a different system that might have been crucial for working of the same. Sure,  the pieces don’t fit together that easily, but still users expect a lot. Orkut users expect that why not Picasa albums and Orkut Albums could be combined or have some link between them. Picasa users expect that why they are under 1 GB limit, when Orkut Albums could enjoys around 10, 000 pics means many GBs. I  understand the technical/ administration aspects, know that both of them are different services and acquitted at different times and its never been in Google that you change entire way of working once you take over some company.

mergers_acquisitionsBut users expect as other services from your side already keeping the bar higher. Obviously integrating things asks for compromises as you cant go with downtimes and can’t predict what will be the response, if you come to change something entirely. Obviously acquisitions pose some issues that take a little time to go off and that time might be crucial for an early initiative.


Even after writing this much long, I might not be sure that what other reasons might be, same with Google, I guess. My verdict is Social Services are different in the manner that early initiatives, spreading, integration with other services and reach to mass in simplest manner is what keep them going .. sometimes being technically better might not be sufficient.

Third party developers

developersBigPicGoogle needs third party developers a lot. To work over Symbian Apps for their Social Services, to work over engaging applications/ games for Orkut etc. Google Maps is brilliant, Gmail App is cool, but Orkut App is crap in looks as Jad apps might be limited in their functionalities. Needs to come out from the same. Twitter/ Facebook/ LinkedIn all getting apps for Symbian and others to get people catching up with them. You can’t rule out already popular things, if wanna growth of own things. Have to support Symbian Apps. Aren’t Gmail/ Google Maps App been a tremendous success? Being open has made Google a success and that’s what needs to go on.

Requesting others to take part in discussion via comments.

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Ovi Maps-How it work

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Have you ever woke up dreaming that you are alone in some desert? You go right, you go left, run forward, come backward, just to find sand everywhere. May be you are just half a mile from the way out, but which way?

Similar has been theme of many horror flicks, where a group get lost in desert or sea and then bad things happen … Have you noticed that such movies started loosing their effect now days? Because when we might be watching them in full ‘tension’, then some kid of our family jumps in to shout on screen “Don’t any of you all have Nokia with you?”

helmut_lost_at_sea desert


Sometimes enabling the invention to reach the masses becomes much bigger than the invention itself, same is with Nokia/ Ovi Maps otherwise we were hearing only stories about Jack’s compass 😉

How this all started?

It was path breaking move, when for the first time time Nokia started giving Smart2Go for free in February smart2go 2007, after acquiring German Route Planning Software Company Gate5 in August 2006. That time, it really made the statement that soon high charging navigation companies & gadgets will be out of market and normal users, who might have heard of it in flight navigation like big things only, will have their piece of cake right into their hands. Being the largest cellfone manufacturer of world and known for longer life batteries, it was expected to be a real life thing and it became the same.

With Smart2Go, Nokia was using Tele Atlas NV, but later, the rival full time navigation giant TomTom navteqacquired the same and before it could hurt Nokia, Nokia acquired Navteq (which earlier was powering Google Maps) to keep this lovely child within their own hands (it still operates independently under Nokia) and Smart2Go became a core part of Nokia Product line with the name, we been familiar from long Nokia Maps, which later on after association with Ovi Services and Ovi Suit renamed to Ovi Maps by public beta on August 28, 2008. So, this was the story behind Ovi Maps as we see it today.


Why Ovi?ovi

“Ovi” is a Finnish word that stands for “Door” and it really opened the door for so many possibilities. Ovi Sync,  Ovi Store, Ovi Maps, Ovi Mails, Ovi Share, Ovi Files, Ovi Player etc. It really changed the way, a normal user was using the Smartphone. Personally myself loved the way, I kept my contacts synced on all my Smartphones.


How Navigation devices work for mobiles?

This all started due to regulation encouragement for mobile phone tracking that was associated with E911 then (Enhanced-911) and lots of mobile phones started having built-in receivers with varying degrees of coverage and user accessibility.

There been one class of mobile devices, who works on A-GPS means wont work once out of range of their carrier’s cell towers and the another class that works worldwide on satellite GPS signals like dedicated GPS devices. Even the third class has been introduced as hybrid positioning system, which usages other signals like wi-fi spots etc.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is actually a constellation of 27 Earth-orbiting satellites (24 in operation and three extras in case one fails, though I am not sure about the numbers actually). The U.S. military developed and implemented this satellite network as a military navigation system, but soon opened it up to everybody else. Later many others joined the same like China, like Google with its own Satelites and its became an open world, when GPS tracking is concerned.

Each of these 3,000- to 4,000-pound solar-powered satellites circles the globe at about 12,000 miles (19,300 km), making two complete rotations every day. The orbits are arranged so that at any time, anywhere on Earth, there are at least four satellites "visible" in the sky.

A GPS receiver’s job is to locate four or more of these satellites, figure out the distance to each, and use this information to deduce its own location. This operation is based on a simple mathematical principle called trilateration. Trilateration in three-dimensional space can be a little tricky, for those interested in details, can check always amazing HowStuffWorks link or also the other link to know that how at least 8 satellites are always in line of sight or each position on earth still due to a number of factors, its always mentioned that the accuracy should be taken up to 15 m to 20 m .


What makes Nokia’s Ovi Maps different and better?

Nokia made it possible to reach this technology right into hands of common people, not only that but Nokia used Free Hybrid Vector design specially made of mobile usage and provides offline Maps (No Network coverage required, though if available then will assist in locking the location fast). Moreover, the coverage of over 180 countries make it best maps with best global coverage that even go up to street level navigation for 74 countries in 46 different languages (must be more by now).

When I am talking about Languages, then yes!! not only text, but Nokia started providing Voice based turn by turn navigation for many of its devices. I have used it several times (regularly you say) and always been fascinated by its accuracy. I really wonder sometimes that it knows my city and even street much better than any person living here from years. Yeah!! though these maps get updated only twice a year (might be the frequency increased by now), so there are limitation about quick and shot-lived changes, but even then you must give them credit for devising such a great system that much available to you.

I personally praised Google Maps a lot like Google’s other services, but still I must accept that Google stands behind when the actual usability for mass is concerned. Yes!! Google is excellent about coverage, about searching addresses and about other innovations like Street View and so clear satellite view, but what are you paying? Google’s Maps are always rendered online means they are of no use once you out of coverage (leave the data charges aside and draining of battery aside), moreover, still Voice based turn by turn navigation reached to only Android 2.0 devices (none of them below 25k I guess), while Nokia is providing you turn by turn voice guidance for life time free on devices costing around 10k.

Google might be great about Route Planning before start your travel and it would be quite handy to keep a route instruction generated by Google Maps including local landmarks etc, but you never know what network reception will you get while on the way, so Ovi Maps does matter a lot.

High Data Charges, Inability to serve without Network coverage and Non-availability of Voice based turn-by-turn navigation for low cost devices, there are the three points, which keeps Google still behind when it comes to actual mass and keep you fascinated that how Nokia actually does it?

 

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One day with Google-Ovi Maps and Nokia N97 Mini

Testing something is another thing and relying on them in unmanaged scenario as we are used to find in India is just another thing. Earlier I had used simple Nokia Maps to find the destination in one friend’s marriage and usually to know the distance left while travelling via public transport medium and also for using the badge on my blog via the link. This time thought to put it on a blind trial.

One of my friend was coming to New Delhi for an Interview with HDFC Bank. As she was unaware of Delhi locations, so it was up to me escort her. Address was something like HDFC Bank, Vertika Atrium, Sector 53, Gurgaon. I should admit, I am dumb about locations around in Delhi. Schedule goes monotonic in a way that I know about places like home and office only and even though now getting aware with new locations, still I find me dumber than others. So, the responsibility becomes tougher in my case.


It sound nerd, but I used Google Map to search for the location as Ovi Maps wasn’t able to come up with any result related to HDFC, Vertika Atrium. Even Google wasn’t able to find or I might not be using proper search terms, but I found Vertika Attrium for sure and that seems enough to reach there. I used the Get Directions link and taken print out of the route instructions by copy/ paste. I wish Google may place a print button or link for printing out the route instructions. Anyway…

Yes!! I missed a few turns and taken rounds of few places at moments, but that’s all due to misinterpretation of instructions not of fault of any of the two maps. Sure, it didn’t went blind as once or twice, I was to stop and ask people for confirmation that I am going right, but at the end, I was at exact place, I was to reach without many hassles.


Trip is completed but I am left with a few observations…

  1. Sharing: Ovi-Google: I am not sure that till now, I don’t know or there is no way till now for sharing a found location in Google Maps to Ovi Maps though Google Maps detect favourites made by Ovi Maps.

  2. Updates about Locations: When you think of technical aspects, then its sure a mammoth task, but I find that Ovi Maps due to their offline nature, aren’t that updated enough. Specially about places like we have in India, where when routes will be permanently blocked or re-routed via some other long route, no one knows. I come to hit places, where Ovi navigation kept on telling me that I need to turn right, but there was NO right turn? Yes. I was to go a few hundred meters and then by taking a U-turn, was to reach other side of the road to find that the instructions were right but not locally correct under traffic rules.

    While Google Maps was better in this sense due to highly detailed imaginary, whereas Nokia Satellite imaginary seems to be limited to City Level only not street level (understood due to vector nature of Maps for saving Data usages) and sure at some occasions, you get a better idea by the visuals you see. Not suggesting Nokia for doing so, but Google Maps is a must have for occasions.

  3. Heating of device: I am not sure that what caused that was it noon temperature or extensive usages of 3G data or heavily used Nokia N97 mini, but I found it heated up, when was coming back from the trip and found it better to switch the same off for a while. Must be some local issue otherwise, I have traveled longer with Maps and in comparison this wasn’t even a total of 100 km trip.

    Moral of the story: The navigation device should have excellent cooling system for longer trips as sometime choking/ fluctuating connections could cause a whole bunch of troubles for your beloved device.

Ovi tells you that you have to move straight till 3 km, when you reached nearer, it tells that after 300 m, you have to take left turn or have keep left if the turn is slight or you have two options, one flyover and one the road side by. Moreover, even after wrong turns, it instantly recalculate now renewed route instructions.

Means in all, the perfect solution it is. I have been in touch of a GPS technology related project through  one of my friend Manoj Tripathi under Prof. Anupam and aware of challenges in programming aspects of such a system. Dealing with something like whole world data, is something like amazing, which makes Ovi Maps and Google Maps technology the best of the apps on your smartphones.

Conclusion: Though my personal opinion, but I think such navigation is better for people driving cars as they could see the maps actually and not that better for people driving bikes and keeping the bluetooth headset on (like my case), but still work decently and you can actually rely over it.

Even if not that detailed (don’t have maps of my hometown Azamgarh in details), Ovi Maps is still the best about Voice Guided navigation. Technology is not about labs and research papers only, its about making in reached directly into hands of mass and Nokia and Google doing this at their best. I owe you!!!!

 

Google Maps Vs Ovi Maps-Ovi one is still ahead for mobiles

Just got to see a post from Aaron Baker on WomWorld about the same topic, I ranted about some times back. Google Maps Vs. Ovi. Although he is comparing it with Nexus one, which has the voice navigation with it (the prominent lacking factor in Symbian Version of Google Maps), but still he find Google Map more real time tracking. Although I am not convinced that much due to the factor that Nexus one is obviously much highly powered than E72 (with which he was comparing), moreover the differences were only a friction. So, its not conclusive that Google Maps/ Nexus is better about Navigation in cost effective way specially.

Yes!! I am quite a fanboy, when it comes to talking about Google and its services and as I wrote in my posts Google Maps Vs Ovi Maps and Things I don’t like in N900, I sure do over Google Maps imaginary and intuitiveness a lot. Street View, Integration with Buzz and latitude makes it invincible, while Nokia trying to cope up with lots of innovations, integration with Facebook and Ovi, but still I am not sure that there is some continuous tracking like Google Latitude, which could come quite handy like in my case, when I lost my Nokia 5800 (at least there was a possibility), there is anything like street view (although its not available for India till now) or Buzz.

What Nokia has at its best is powerful and rich voice navigation with offline maps, which is the core of the part. Its actually usable than just a play thing. Google provides maps online means if consuming your data channels even if you travel the same road. Yes! Nokia Maps also use bandwidth for A-GPS, but if you compare then its 10 times lesser than Goggle Maps. It means that even if Google starts maps with voice, they still sit behind due to offline nature of Nokia/ Ovi Maps.

So here my opinion is, Google Maps looks good enough, available easily on computers as well and provides many other small/ big thing as well, but still about Navigation Nokia one is better and actual thing. Accurate, cost effective, voice navigation even in Hindi and already built-in your cell. Its like some expert in era and Google one still has to go some way to be a favorable one for mobiles like support for offline maps, voice navigation and in-built compass (if available). For Nokia, I wish they could add something like Latitude, integration with twitter/ buzz and improve their satellite view (I know Google cant be defeated in this side at least).