Monday, 24 February 2014

Nokia X : Nokia's First Android Phone's Review

Nokia X
Unveiled at Barcelona Mobile World Congress, the new Nokia X is a new guy in the town, with Hybrid platform. Initially it is said that, Nokia X will run on the Android platform, which is true, but the interface is not at all alike other Android phones in the market. It has been given a typical 'Nokia Lumia'ish essence, if you search around a bit.

So I put only those features in front of you, which most of the non-techies are interested in. I just won't go into detailed specs.


4.0 inches.
480 x 800 pixels.
Display quality doesn't look as good as we expect.
Home button works as back button too.


As usual, supports Mp3, WAV.


Processor memory: 512 RAM.
Internal memory: 4GB
Expandable upto 32 GB.
1 GHz Dual Core CPU


3.15 mega pixels.

Operating system:

Android 4.1


Proximity, Accelerometer.

Battery Life:

400 hours, if you just keep staring at the phone. Just. Staring. Yes, I mean standby mode.
13 hours of talk time.
25 hours of music play.


It is said 80 euros. In The India it will be around Rs. 7000 approx. Seven Thousand, isn't it affordable? Nokia plus Android, hell, it IS affordable.

Nokia is beloved in The India anyway (God forbid, you forgot 3315?), now it is coming up all riding on later most admired Android. So that's gonna be a party pack, in my opinion. if you were thinking about Nokia Asha, this is one more choice you've got. I am positive about Nokia X.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Metro UI Recipe: What Microsoft has used in its Metro UI

Seriously, buying Lumia over an Android was a result of curiosity about Metro UI by Microsoft. And I remember, I wasn't asleep till 3 a.m, and was tracking down each and every single piece of Lumia's features.  So, today I elaborate in my terms, why that interface is handsome! Meanwhile you can check out which apps are crafted best with this UI.


Most prominent font Metro UI has adopted is font named "Segoe UI" on the desktop OS, and "Segoe-WP" on the mobiles. Microsoft designers have powerfully structured the typography of Metro UI with this font. Have a look at this image. Isn't the way the word "people" is displayed, just awesome? How professional that font and its size sums up on a whole screen!

 2. High Contrast

 The beauty of font used is glorified by the contrast background. And the white space canvassed is like a big big playground.

3. Icons

 In my opinion, icons those Metro UI has used are as good as other frameworks. No big deal. But well played UX guys. Primary actions are defined well by icons. On the phones, secondary actions appear when that three dots (...) icon is touched. So all in all, UX is specially taken care of. It is also being said that, the numbers in squares you find in any list, are inspired from Swiss currier company's numbering style on their packages.

4. Swipe

There is much discussion on the internet, that swipe UI will not save Windows and all stuff like that. I really don't think so. See, this is something different than other UI available in the market now. Yes there are many many classy applications which are the 'players' in swipe. But a cute trick here is, 90-10 view of navigable menus. You can  see a little glimpse of next menu item's title on the current screen you are working on.

Swipe UI in Nokia Lumia
Indicating the next navigation items in queue.

Swipe UI in Nokia Lumia
Indicating the next piece of content in the queue.

These are the four iconic pieces of whole Metro UI. Have I missed on anything? Comment below for that, yeah and apologies if anything is actually left out. So, get a "Segoe UI" font, put it on a contrast backdrop, with extra readable font size, decorate it along with some cute icons, use full power of Swipe UI, and your Windows Phone app is ready to show off. Nah, kidding. It takes much more than just this.

I'll come up in my next post, why Metro UI has not been a savoir for Microsoft, in spite off such a hard work implied.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Useful Utilities For Web Design & Development

Here is a list of much much useful utilities for a web developer and designer, that makes their work smarter.

1. HTML Table Generator

HTML Table Generator

Very useful tool for people who are not familiar to HTML and CSS. You can easily get the HTML code as well as CSS for the table. You can specify rows, columns, widths, cell spacing, fonts, etc. This site also provides themes for your tables.

2. <li> maker

<li> maker

Its name says it all what it does. Generates  a HTML code of <ul> <li>...</li></ul>. Most beautiful thing about this is you can copy and paste even a list in your word document, and this will generate a HTML code for that.

3.Form Builder For Bootstrap

Form Builder For Bootstrap

Designers know what Bootstrap is. This site creates a form with Bootstrap classes by just dragging and dropping form elements. For developers who are less familiar about Bootstrap's classes may find it as a useful tool.

4. CSS Triangle Generator

CSS Triangle Generator
CSS Triangle generator creates a CSS code by great WYSIWYG tool. For designers it should minimize their efforts behind coding these little buggers.

5. Responsinator

Responsinator - Tool for responsive design testing
Superb responsiveness testing tool, for designers. You can check your design on almost of all size devices given here.
Did you know, you can ctrl+shift+m in Firefox now, for RWD testing?

CSS: Simple top and bottom margin hack.

Most of the web designers use very brilliant frameworks for setting up the UI, like Bootstrap, Foundation, etc. These frameworks save your great time, no doubt. Few days ago, working with Bootstrap, I observed that, though it has smart fluid grid, sometimes you have to set an element to an unusual position. You may want to leave a little top or bottom margin to a div, for example.

Bootstrap comes up with an offset option, which allows you to set the position of an element by few left or right margins. But by top and bottom margin? Nope! Bootstrap doesn't give you anything for top and bottom margins. Obviously, it is not much important when your elements are getting stacked nicely.

So, within few free minutes of my so-called "relaxing" web design work schedule (which my boss thinks I  have), I wrote a CSS, which you may find stupid, which includes 200 classes. Hundred for margin-top:0 to margin-top:100px, and same for margin-bottom

Sample Code

@charset "utf-8";
/* CSS Docu.ment */

Yes, you can see how stupid that is to write some line 200 times. But later this helped me, as I went on calling these classes into my templates, so that I don't need to write individual margin property in respective CSS.

Download margin.css

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Top 5 Best designed apps on Windows Phone 8

I was a loyal Android user till the day before I purchased my Nokia Lumia 520, with WP8 on it. (I still admire Android, but not over WP8!) Before buying, I made heck of R&D online about WP8. I am a huge fan of flat and minimal UI. That has what appealed to me in Windows Phone. As I started exploring the app store I found both interesting and crappy apps. So I have listed out following apps, which have awesome designs, and they do justify the overall Windows Phone experience.

Network Speed Test allows you to check your current internet connection speed. The logo is simple and conveys what this app does. In ­app experience is good; it shows connection speed on a radial gauge which is pleasant to look at.

4. Pintrest Lite
Pintrest Lite
Most of the list-it-up freaks know what Pintrest is. This is similar to official Pinterest Android or iPhone app on WP store, but the overall UI is nice.

3. Day Counter
Day Counter
This is the most customizable day counter app on WP store. Day Counter categorizes the time since you've done something, has a countdown for what you are set to do, and tells the streaks of things you've already done! All this is beautifully fit on a single screen which tells your progress at a glance.

2. Insider 
This is a must­have app for Windows Phone users. Insider allows you to check battery stats, change your locked­screen image to the current Bing picture of the day, and tile the shortcuts for phone settings (this isn’t otherwise doable). These features are arranged so professionally that you feel awesome about using a cool gadget.

1. Breez 
This app is mind­blowing. If you are looking for a weather app, download this 1Mb piece of beauty. It is worth more than any other weather app out there. After that? Pinch, swipe, scroll. I am in love with this.

There are lots more than these listed above. But as Windows Phone is bit lagging behind Android and iPhone platforms, the variety of apps is little narrow. But this flat and Metro UI by Windows, has given a new dimension to the user interfaces of the apps. It has a bright future ahead, IMO. What do you think?

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