Business Today

Review and technology

An innoavative phone, a fascinating web site and Apple's latest piece of software.

Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: October 3, 2010

Motorola Reborn
Backflip

+ve: Innovative design, Backtrack trackpad, solid build quality

-ve: Old version of Android, poor daylight screen visibility

Price: Rs 22,990

Motorola is reborn, thanks to Google, or, to be precise, Google's Android operating system for mobile devices. And this shows through in the design of some of its latest products such as the Motorola Backflip with its rearward hinge. The Qwerty keyboard hinges forward on this device, making typing fairly easy. The cool aspect of the hinged keyboard is the fact that the device has a 'desktop' where the screen rotates to landscape orientation and this engaging way of watching content. But the truly innovative technology on the Backflip is its 'Backtrack', a laptop style touchpad placed behind the screen, accessible only when the phone is open. You can manipulate objects on the screen with sweeping motions, zoom in and zoom out as well as select items. The downside about the phone: it runs an older build of Android, which, despite assurances of an upgrade, is a critical failing.

Old Hat
Software: iTunes 10

Along with the line-up of shiny new iPods, including a rather snazzy iPod Nano (with a multi-touch display), Steve Jobs has introduced iTunes 10 to the world. The software for many years has been considered the Achilles' heel of the iPod ownership experience. But being in India, you can't buy songs on the iTunes music store, nor avail of the new TV show rental feature. When it comes down to iPod management, the new version of iTunes feels pretty much like the old iTunes 9, with the added change being iTunes Ping. It's Apple's attempt to build in a new social network into the music software called Ping. While you have to register for Ping, it does allow you to share your music experiences with your friends and because using iTunes is pretty much a part of the iPod ownership experience, there could be a lot of users for this feature. We were not so enthused though, due to what is probably social network oversaturation. The new iTunes looks and feels better than before. And if you own an iPod, you will need to use it, but Steve Jobs should have probably stopped at the announcement of the new iPod.

Web Site
A web site with a refreshingly honest take on life in Mumbai.

Ever since we started reviewing web sites occasionally, we have been inundated with requests for review of sites that want to sell insurance. Honestly, finding a half-decent web site while not being solicited for one service or another is a tough task. Thanks to a random Twitter posting, we chanced upon this web site, not abused by search engine optimisers. Anyone who stays in Mumbai, or likes the port city, should like this web site with its refreshingly honest reviews of everything that is happening in the western metropolis. We particularly liked the restaurant reviews untainted by free food and drink. And despite some articles not quite agreeing with your opinion (isn't that the point?) they are all readable. We suggest you take a look.

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