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What is ActiveSync?

ActiveSync is a mobile data synchronization technology and protocol developed by Microsoft. It is a program, which allows mobile devices to be synchronized. It is a bridge for data transfers between computers and mobile devices. It helps mobile devices in transferring documents, files, photos, contacts, calendars, and emails to and from the computer with ease. With ActiveSync, mobile phone is transformed into a pocket PC.

Microsoft provides two types of technology for data synchronization.

Desktop ActiveSync:

Data and information of handheld devices are synchronized with a desktop computer.  Apart from with limited backup/restore functionality, and the ability to install and uninstall mobile device applications, ActiveSync also provides for the manual transfer of files to a mobile device. Users need to connect the mobile device with the desktop to synchronize the data. Supported mobile devices can be Smartphones and PDAs running Windows Mobile, or the Windows CE operating system and other operating system.

It is to be noted that all Personal information manager (PIM) data including Email, Calendar, and Contacts can be synchronized with the ActiveSync but Tasks. Synchronization of Tasks is allowed only on Windows Mobile 5.0 devices.

ActiveSync doesn’t support all features of Outlook. Contacts grouped into subfolders are not transferred with ActiveSync.

Exchange ActiveSync:

Exchange ActiveSync provides push synchronization of contacts, calendars, tasks, and email between ActiveSync-enabled servers and mobile devices. It synchronizes directly with Microsoft Exchange Server and lets users keep e-mail, calendar data, tasks and contact information updated wirelessly via Wi-Fi or cellular network.

It is a proprietary protocol, which is licensed to a number of mobile manufacturing companies such as Apple, Palm, and Google. These companies can incorporate Exchange ActiveSync in their devices.

Many brands including Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Sony offer products that are compatible with Exchange ActiveSync.

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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Resistive vs Capacitive Touchscreen

This article will help you in understanding the basic differences between Resistive & Capacitive touchscreen.

Resistive Touchscreen

A resistive touchscreen comprises of several layers, out of which the flexible plastic and glass layers are two important electrically resistive layers. The front surface of resistive touchscreen panel is a scratch-resistant plastic with coating of a conductive material (mostly Indium Tin Oxide, ITO), printed underside.

The second important layer is either made of glass or hard plastic and is also coated with ITO.

Both the layers face each other and are separated with a thin gap in between. An electrical resistance is created between both the layers in such a way that charge runs from top to bottom in one layer and side-to-side in another.

When a finger or stylus tip presses down on the outer surface, both the ITO films meet. It is the measure of the resistance of both the layers at point of contact, which leads to get an accurate measurement of the touch position. The accuracy also relies on the evenness of the coating of ITO on both the layers.

Advantages of Resistive Touchscreen

  • Low production cost
  • High resistance to dust and water
  • Best used with a finger, gloved hand or stylus
  • Best suited for handwriting recognition

Disadvantages of Resistive Touchscreen

  • Not too sensitive, you have to press down harder
  • Poor contrast because of having additional reflections from extra layer of material placed over the screen
  • Does not support multi-touch

Phones with Resisitive Touchscreen

Spice Mi-270, Nokia C2-02, Samsung Star Duos, Spice FLO, LG P520, Nokia C5-05, LG Cookie Joy, Samsung Champ Duos, Nokia C2-02

Capacitive touchscreen

A capacitive touchscreen also consists of two spaced layers of glass, which are coated with conductor such as Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). Human body is an electrical charge conductor. When a finger touches the glass of the capacitive surface, it changes the local electrostatic field. The system continuously monitors the movement of each tiny capacitor to find out the exact area where the finger had touched the screen.

Advantages of Capacitive Touchscreen

  • Because capacitive touchscreen has glass layer instead of plastic, it looks brighter and sharper
  • Highly touch sensititive and doesn’t need a stylus
  • Supports multi-touch

Disadvantages of Capacitive Touchscreen

  • Because the technology is dependent on the conductive nature of human body, it doesn’t work if the user is wearing gloves
  • Because of having a complex structure, these are quite expensive
  • Glass is more prone to breaking

Phones with Capacitive Touchscreen

HTC Incredible S, Apple iPhone 4S, Spice Mi-310, LG Optimus Black, HTC Sensation, HTC Explorer, Samsung Omnia W, Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy SII, Nokia Lumia 800

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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


Buying a Bluetooth Headset? – Features to Consider

Bluetooth is a common connectivity technology that enables two devices to connect with each other, wirelessly. The technology is also used by Bluetooth headset that allows the user to use the cellphone, hands-free. The biggest advantage of a Bluetooth headset is that it gives you freedom to roam around while talking, eliminating the need to keep the phone on your ear all the time.

Today, even a low-end phone is Bluetooth enabled, which means you can pair it with a Bluetooth headset and talk with all convenience. A host of options are available in market, when it comes to Bluetooth headsets but there are a few things one should consider before making a purchase.

So, here’s the guide to a smarter Bluetooth headset purchase:

Type of Bluetooth Headset – Stereo or Mono

Most of the buyers overlook this feature as they are not aware of the difference between a stereo and mono Bluetooth headset. A mono headset has one earpiece and a microphone & is generally used for voice calls. But manufacturers such as Jabra are including A2DP profile in some of their mono Bluetooth headset, so that users can listen to music and podcasts on them. Stereo headsets generally come with two earpieces and are used for both voice calls & listening to music. So, figure out what your requirement is, before settling down for a product.

Design Type

In-Ear or Over-the-Ear

The in-ear type Bluetooth headset offer a comfortable fit as it fits inside the ear perfectly. These headsets are ideal to be used in noisy conditions. But, you might find it slightly discomforting to wear the headset for a long time. Over-the-ear type Bluetooth headsets on the other hand are suitable to wear for long period because they give ample space for ear to breathe.

Circumaural Bluetooth headset

Also called as full size headset, a circumaural Bluetooth headset has circular or ellipsoid earpads that completely enclose the ears. These headsets are more comfortable to wear and have excellent sound quality as well as better external noise reduction capability. Since, a circumaural Bluetooth headset is large, it is most commonly preferred by music lovers and audio enthusiasts & professionals.

Connectivity Standard in Bluetooth headset

It is always a safer option to check if the Bluetooth headset you are buying has same connectivity standard, which your cellphone supports. There are different Bluetooth standards: 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, and 4.0. Almost all the cellphones and Bluetooth headsets are backward compatible.

Other Factors:

  • It will be an added advantage if the Bluetooth headset comes with noise cancellation or say wind cancellation technology. This will filter out the unnecessary sound and improvise the incoming/outgoing calls quality.
  • Check out the transmission range of the Bluetooth headset. Higher the operation range, more comfortable it gets to use the device. Generally, Bluetooth headsets support up to 10meter transmission range.
  • All the wireless devices including Bluetooth headsets are battery operated, therefore, check-out the talktime & standby time of the device. If the talktime offered is less, you will have to charge the device more often.
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tips on Extending Battery Runtime in Laptops & Tablets

One of the common issues that annoy any laptop or tablet user is the drained battery. When it’s brand new, you might not face any problem with the battery of the laptop but within a few months, you will find yourself looking for a plug-point more frequently.

But, you can extend the battery life of your laptop or tablet by following these tips:

Regular defragging

If your hard drive will work faster, less battery would be consumed. You can make the hard drive work efficiently by defragging it on a regular basis. Defragging means, re-arranging the file systems, so that a single file is stored in contiguous space, instead of putting parts of it in the gaps between other files. Defragging simplifies the file retrieval and reduces the energy consumed by hard disk.

Remove external devices, when not in use

External devices like USB will drain down your laptop battery. It is suggested to shut them down, when not in use. If you are charging devices like iPod or cellphone, the battery will discharge even more quickly.

Lesser use of CD/DVD

CD and DVD drives consume lot of power because they spin continuously, even if they are not being used actively. If possible, avoid using these devices and run programs on hard drive of the laptop. Ideal thing is to copy the data to the hard drive and save on battery.

Avoid multitasking

Programs running in background like Desktop Search or iTunes add to the CPU load, resulting in lesser battery life. It is suggested to shut down all the backgroud programs, if battery is crucial. When you have to finish off the important work and battery is low, avoid multitasking. Running lot of applications at the same time will definitely consume battery faster. So, you should not work on the spreadsheet, check emails, and listen to songs at the same time, else the battery will drain out completely before anything gets completed.

Optimizing the power options

You can always customize the power options in your laptop to get maximum battery life. If you have a Windows XP, you will find the “Power Options” in control panel. Mac devices have “Energy Saver” in System Preferences.

Dim your laptop screen

Most laptops have the option to dim the screen. Select the lowest level or the one that delivers optimal viewing to get some extra battery minutes.

The memory effect

If your laptop is very old, you must prevent the “memory effect” by fully charging and then fully discharging the battery, at least once in a week. This doesn’t apply on laptops with Li-Ion batteries because they do not suffer from memory effect.

Hibernating, a better option

Prefer to hibernate the laptop instead of keeping it on standby mode. It is true that putting the device on standby mode saves some power and you can resume instantly. But, hibernating will actually save the power because your laptop will completely shut itself down.

Controlling the operating temperature

A battery will drain faster at extreme temperature. Make sure that you charge the battery and use the laptop at room temperature. Apart from this, always clean the keyboard and air vents for keeping the device cooler.

Good care of battery

It is important that you take care of the battery, if you want it to give maximum output. Clean the metal contacts of the battery by rubbing with alcohol. Also, make sure that a charged battery is not left dormant for longer time. A charged battery should be used at least once in 2-3 weeks. Moreover, a Li-Ion battery should not be left to get discharged completely.

Switch off wireless

Always switch off the wireless network if you do not have plan to access Internet. Plus, disabling Bluetooth is really important because both these applications are battery consuming.

Lower volume level

Lower down the volume level or mute it, if you are not playing music on the laptop.

Care while selecting wallpapers

If your laptop has an OLED display, avoid displaying white images (as wallpaper).These screens consume less power displaying black images.

Disable autosave

MS Office application’s autosave function is of great help because the data you enter gets saved automatically at a regular interval. But, it makes your hard drive to put-in some extra efforts. If the battery is less, turn off the autosave feature. For example in Word 2007, there is Word Options button which helps you to customize save options. 

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


GSM Frequency Bands

Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is a digital cellular network that enables cellphones to connect with each other by searching for cells in the immediate vicinity. Being a fully digitized technology, GSM offers better speech quality to the cellphone users.

GSM is the second generation (2G) technology, which enables full duplex voice telephony. In a full duplex technology, a cellphone user can use one frequency for talking and another for listening. In simple words, both people on call can talk at once. The GSM technology, which started with full duplex voice telephony expanded over a period of time and started offering packet data transport via GPRS. Later on, the data transmission speed increased and EDGE was introduced. 3G is the new standard in the cellular technology, which offers better call & service support to users.

GSM is the largest mobile communication technology worldwide and the radio frequencies used for cellular networks are different in America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. A portion of radio frequency spectrum is allocated for cellphone usage and all mobile phone manufacturers develop products that support these assigned GSM frequencies.

What Provides GSM, Worldwide Acceptance?

The major advantage of GSM is its ubiquity. The technology supports multiple frequency levels i.e. 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz.

850 MHz (U.S./Canada/Latin America/Brazil)

• 900 MHz (Africa/Europe/Brazil/Africa/Australia/Asia (ex Japan and S. Korea)

• 1800 MHz (Africa/Europe/Australia/Asia/Brazil)

• 1900 MHz (U.S./Canada/Latin America)

Since, GSM has acquired worldwide acceptance, it enables users to use single number with international roaming. So it is always better to use a cellphone supporting multiple frequency bands, because the device can seamlessly function if it supports at-least one of the network frequencies.

In simple words, if you have a GSM handset that supports multiple frequencies, you will not be required to change the number or handset, in case you are travelling to another country.

GSM Frequency Bands

There are different GSM frequency band combinations on which mobile phones operate.


Asian/European version – Dualband 900/1800 provides complete coverate in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and Brazil but does not cover U.S./Canada/Latin America.

American version – Dualband 850/1900 provides complete coverage in U.S., Canada, Latin America, and Brazil but does not in Africa/Europe/Australia/Asia.


Asian/European version – Triband 900/1800/1900 gives complete coverage in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia & main cities in the U.S. and in some parts of Canada, Latin America, and Brazil.

American version – Triband 850/1800/1900 gives complete coverage in U.S., Canada, Latin America, Brazil and some parts of Africa, Europe, Australia, and Asia.


A quadband supports four frequencies – 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 1900 MHz. A GSM phone with quadband support can be used anywhere in the world.

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


Different Types of Computer Mice

The computer mouse functions by detecting the two dimensional motion relative to the surface it is kept on. It is the motion of the mouse that converts into the motion of the cursor on the screen of the PC or laptop.

Over the years, we have seen dramatic evolution in the technological arena. Various types of mice are available in market and the selection solely depends on your requirement. Let’s take a quick look at the available options:

Mechanical Mouse

Also called as the ball mouse, a mechanical mouse has rubber or metal ball on it’s underside. When the ball rolls, mechanical sensors inside the mouse detect the direction and move the pointer on the screen of the PC. This type of mouse requires a flat surface or a mouse pad to work efficiently. One of the drawbacks of the device is that it is more prone to attracting dust.

Optomechanical or Optical-mechanical Mouse

An Optomechanical or optical-mechanical mouse is same as the mechanical mouse except that the sensors used in it are optical and not mechanical. The device is a combination of optical and mechanical technologies, wherein, the ball is present but the mouse movement is detected optically leading to more accuracy.

Laser Mouse

A laser mouse is the new generation mouse with two necessary components – light emitter and light detector. A laser mouse uses laser as the light emitter and has a precise scanning of mouse movement. You will find a laser mouse ranging anywhere between 1000-5700 dots-per-inch (DPI).

Optical Mouse

An optical mouse also has light emitter and light detector but it uses LED as the light emitter. It generally has lower DPI than laser mouse and users might find difficulty in using the device on black or shiny surfaces.

BlueTrack Mouse

The next generation mouse from Microsoft, it is based on the BlueTrack Technology that enables the mouse to track efficiently on any surface, be it a granite countertop or a carpet. The blue beam in mouse is a combination of image sensor and pixel geometry & is four times larger than the average laser beam used in laser mouse. It generates high-contrast pictures of the surface for an exceptional tracking accuracy.

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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


Apple iWallet – A New Killer App

The drone of new iPad 3 from apple has not completely muted yet and there is another big revelation from Apple. The tech Goliath has won the patent on March 6 2012, U.S. Patent and Trademark authorities for iWallet – a much speculated app for Apple iPhone 5. As the years have gone the technology has not just come a long way for Apple rather a niche has been established for it in the technology eco-system.  Apple has continued to produce devices, develop applications, and offer services that make life easier and more convenient.  As mobile payments begin to gain attention, Apple successfully makes the payment mode practical for you with iWallet- your iPhone will be your wallet now! iWallet is a payment system based on near-field communications (NFC) technology. NFC in phone allows user to make payments from a respectable distance.

However, patent is disguised under the title ‘Parental controls’. Parental controls allow users to set up rules for accessing specific accounts. According to Patently Apple, if someone tries to violate these rules, certain actions will be performed such as automatically declining the subsidiary transaction, notifying the primary account holder of the transaction, and requiring or requesting authorization from the primary account holder before the subsidiary transaction is approved.


Here is the abstract of the patent:

Various techniques are provided for establishing financial transaction rules to control one or more subsidiary financial accounts. In one embodiment, a financial account management application stored on a processor-based device may provide an interface for defining financial transaction rules to be applied to a subsidiary account. The financial transaction rules may be based upon transaction amounts, aggregate spending amounts over a period, merchant categories, specific merchants, geographic locations, or the like. The device may update the financial transaction rules associated with a subsidiary account by communicating the rules to an appropriate financial server. Accordingly, transactions made using the subsidiary account by a subsidiary account holder may be evaluated against the defined rules, wherein an appropriate control action is carried out if a financial transaction rule is violated.

iWallet” would link mobile payments to iTunes account for operation . Apple already has millions of credit card numbers on file. iWallet patent would allow credit card companies to send customers their statements via iTunes.

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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized