Monday, May 19, 2014

How to transfer data from OLD phone to NEW phone?

Yeah, every one has been through the grind. Every time one gets new device in the family, the issue is to transfer all data to new device. The hack that most people use is to Copy the partial list of contact numbers in SIM, put it in to the new phone, copy form SIM to new device. Repeat. Waste of time, waste of energy, risky and in fact totally unnecessary. If you own a old feature phone - you still have to go through this. But, if you own a smart phone, there is so much more you can do for your self and your family.

There are so many "contact book backup" applications that you can use. This will allow you to move from one Phone to other with all your data in less than five minutes.

How to move data from old phone to new phone in 5 simple STEPS: 

1. Install any contact backup app. Please check that the app offers backup as well as restore. Also, that it offers cross platform support. Otherwise, you'd not be able to backup data from one platform to other and your contact list will be screwed. E.g. Snap Secure.
2. Signup to create an account
3. Sign on and change the internet settings in the app to be able to backup immediately.
4. Install same app on the new phone, Signin with the same credentials.
5. Restore all your contacts. Voila! Done!

Free versus Paid Backup Apps

Most free applications backup only contacts. Some can provide contacts, call logs, texts. Most applications that will provide Media (Photo/Video) backup will actually be a paid service. This is because all your photos and Videos are first stored on a cloud based storage service that costs money. Going for a paid subscription is better because you get an ample amount of storage on the cloud to store all Photos, Videos, Documents and what not. Moreover, services like Snap Secure and SOSonline Backup offer 5 to unlimited devices and lots of features for up to five more members of your family. It also helps you to continuously backup your devices so that if you happen to lose your phone, you'd still have all the latest data. It is like insurance, you can buy now or regret later.

Disclosure: I work for Snapone

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer or any organization, institution or business I am associated with. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ByeBye Bluetooth!

Bluetooth sharing is SLOW, TIME-CONSUMING and FRUSTRATING. It Sucks! There was a time in evolution when people looked for mobile phones that have Bluetooth. We have come a long way from it being a USP to an essential/expected feature taken for granted to now getting vestigial. It still finds some utility in connecting devices (Phone to speaker, phone to headphones, phone to car etc.) but is losing very fast in the space of being a sharing medium for consumers.

For once internet is more accessible now and it is easier to multicast share on Whatsapp then the slow point to point sharing on Bluetooth. Many other technologies have evolved rather quickly helping new consumers adopt them as they get used to smart phones. Particularly in the family niche, where sharing is a frequent habit, more and more people are sensing a need to simplify sharing. Social media serves its purpose but for families people need something more private, simple and quicker.

I've come across some remarkable apps that are well on their way to replace Bluetooth based sharing:

1. Software Data Cable - Point to point direct wireless but great alternative to sluggish blue-tooth.
2. Dropbox - Secure sharing with friends and family. Who needs an introduction here, everyone has a Dropbox.
3. Snap Sync - Family Room has made sharing with the whole family just 1 touch distant. It makes sharing of already synced contents almost instant. It currently lacks multiple private groups inside family room that can allow sharing with selected members instead of all. But, overall still a great way to share with family.

It definitely is so damn cool for smart phone users to rise above the archaic Bluetooth based sharing. What do you think?

Disclosure: I work for Snapone
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer or any organization, institution or business I am associated with. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

5 Reasons NOT to buy a DSLR

I've found many friends and relatives seriously considering buying a DSLR camera. I've reasoned with them and did some research to find that it is one of the most expensive emotional purchase people make. A sony campaign suggests 7 out of 10 users never bring their DSLR camera out of Auto mode. Technically, modern mobile cameras are already more-than-you-need for regular candid photography. But, here are some very important arguments that might encourage you to stay cool and at the same time invest smarter.  

1. You love photographs, not photography: Do you dream of carrying your heavy camera and a tripod and move around the terrain to get a great angle, and then struggle with complex settings to get the magical picture? If not, please don't spend a penny on an expensive camera. That is what DSLR and photography is about. It is an art and requires a lot of patience, learning and practice. 

2.  It's expensive: It indeed is <insert your curse word here> expensive hobby to have. The expenses do not stop with the camera - you need lenses, tripod, maintenance kits, post processing software and regular printing costs. 

3. You don't know what SLR stands for: Even if I tell you that it stands for Digital Single-lens Reflex you'd not make much sense of it. I am sure you still just know that it is a cool and costly camera that takes extraordinary pictures (partly correct). More importantly, it's a great gadget to flaunt. If you have enough currency to burn for heat, you can still go ahead and buy it. 

4. You really love your photographs, and you really don't love photography: You want your pictures at the most amazing places you've traveled to. With the DSLR hanging on your neck, you shouldn't expect having a great album of 'your' pictures at the end of the travel. If you know some photography, you should expect a great album with pictures of landscapes, people, buildings, co-travelers. If that is not what you imagine, forget buying a DSLR. TIP: Travel with your friends who love photography. And who may own a DSLR. 

5. You, Your camera and Your photos are always at risk - You can't hide the beautiful piece from evil thugs in an alien place. Neither does the bulky pendulum over your neck, let you be agile in case of a situation. Not to mention that it can always slip off your hands and fall off the cliff. Even if it doesn't take you along, your device and your photos are GONE! And they may get in to wrong hands. Unless, of course, if you also carry your laptop and take regular time-off from your vacation to do a backup. Camera's don't come with safety features. 

6. You like crap pics - You hardly know or care about noise, white balance, exposure. You are not going to take a large print and hang it on your walls. All you need it for is to showcase it on FB. It may not be hard to tell an SLR photo versus non-SLR but after first few times it is very hard to carry your DSLR to all small office events and family trips. Moment is more important than picture quality.  

You can get great Photographs and much more at the same price or less. You can buy an amazing phone, a great tablet for your family and a great cloud service to keep your family, devices and photos safe and still save some money for the chips and dips along the way.     

Disclosure: I work for Snapone

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer or any organization, institution or business I am associated with. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

New data type - Family!

There is personal data - data that is useful only for an individual. One person has complete right and control over it and the person may want to keep it private and confidential, or may share it with the world. (S)he may be the only person that has stake/interest in that data.

And then, there is business data - the data may be useful for an individual or group but the ownership and control may be with employer or institution or business user is associated with. The person may still manage the confidentiality/sharing of the data but there are multiple stakeholders in it.

Behold! as there has always been a third type. It has often been ignored, probably because it is a little convoluted. It has characteristics of both individuals and groups. It is the FAMILY DATA.

The pictures that you take in family events, travel.
The old photo albums of your childhood, wedding, grandparents that you'd want to digitize and keep.
The not-so-funny home videos of your child's first steps.
Family Member's Insurance and other documents of importance.
The proud collection of music that you'd like your kids to inherit.

All these stuff have lots of emotions and memories associated with them and that's what makes family data PRECIOUS.

At the same time family data is different. All members want to access it, all want it to be safe. But, most are lazy to organize it or like to organize it in their own way. Also, not all want to keep all of it. They have their own preferences and priorities. This is where family data is DIFFERENT from business data.

The best available solution to safeguard any data is to digitize it and stash it in the cloud. But for the families, they need the ability to refresh it with new data, access it on-demand, organize it per their own liking, share it within the family or with the world and finally purge it with consent of every member. Technocrats need to take a holistic view of family needs and design solutions that cover storage, access, organization and sharing in a way that is easy to adopt by everyone.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer or any organization, institution or business I am associated with.