Tuesday, 9 October 2012

New version of Aakash Tablet will be available from Nov 11

Telecom Minister Kabil Sibal announced that new version of Aakash Tablet will be available to the students from November 11. he further said President will be talking to 20000 students across nation who will have their hands on Aakash Tablet on November 11. Sibal was talking in Economic Editors Conference.

New version of Aakash Tablet will have 1 Gh of processor, 4 hour battery life, capacitive screen and Android 4 operating system. He further said cost of device will ultimately come down to 35$ when manufacturing facility will be established in India. Sibal announced that a Cabinet note is being considered to manufacture 5 million Aakash Tablet.

Earlier, Aaakash Tablet run into controversy when IIT Rajasthan rejected the tablets from Datawind based on performance. Datawind had won tender to manufacture 1 lakh tablet for around 49$ a piece.  

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Aakash-2 review

NDTV has published Aakash-2 Review. Some points from the review

  • Subsidized price for which it would be available 1132 rupees.
  • Weight – less than 1 pound
  • Display – 7” long capacitive touch screen
  • Memory – 256 Mb
  • 1 USB port
  • 1 headphone jack
  • internal storage 4 Gb
  • external memory can expand to 32 gigabytes
  • Operating system – Android 2.3
  • Processor – 800-megahertz ARM Cortex-A8 processor
  • There would be two variants 1 with SIM card slot other with no SIM card and additional USB port
  • Network Connectivity – wifi

You can read full review at NDTV Site

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Aakash II is coming in April with no hike in Price

An upgraded version of Aakash tablet computer, Aakash II, would be launched in April with same price, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday 14th March 2012. The revised version would be faster with a longer battery life of three hours and capacitive touch screen. Datawind would supply one lakh high-speed tablets. It means Datawind is still in the project. A few media news reported earlier that Datawind is out of the project. Mr Sibal though informed that Datawind doesn’t has capacity to build Aakash Tablet on very large scale. Hence, IIT Mumbai who would be supervising the project (earlier it was IIT Rajshthan) will also work with C-DAC, ITI Rajasthan and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited to produce the tablet on large scale.

Specification of Tablet releasing the April is as follow

  • Processor - 700 MHz Cortex A8 processor
  • Battery - 3200mAH battery
  • Screen - Capacitative touch screen

The first phase of one lakh tablets will be targeted at students of higher technical education institutions so as to further ascertain technical feedback on its operation and usability.Schools would be made available these tablets when the proposed National Mission of Education through ICT for Schools got necessary funds.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Datawind is out and better Aakash Tablet at same price

In last few days, there were a lot of development about strategy of Aakash Tablet.

  • DataWind is Out – There were news of tussle between Aakash Tablet manufacturer Datawind and Aakash Tablet designer IIT Rajasthan on specification of the tablet. Government was also not pleased with Datawind’s decision to sell the tablet in open market before fulfilling the first order by government for 1,00,000 tablets. Datawind had delivered 10,000 tablet to the government in first batch. In earlier story Datawind agreed to enhance processor and battery life for no additional cost. However, IIT Rajshthan wanted the enhanced specs for Aakash Tablet as rugged tablet which can withstand water and impact. Datawind come up with a price tag of around 100 dollars (USD) for rugged tablet. Now, as per latest announcement by Kapil Sibal, DataWind is no more associated with the project. We don’t know if DataWind  can continue selling the tablet and their own enhanced version Ubislate in open market or not. From, DataWind site it seems they are still pre-booking the Ubislate+.
  • C-DAC and ITI are new owners of Aakash Tablet – Government has decided to rope C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) and state owned telecom equipment manufacturer Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) to further development of Aakash Tablet. They are given task to produce a better tablet at same announced price. As you know Aakash Tablet’s cost was close to 50 $(2250 rupees) and it was available from 1300 rupees onwards after subsidy.
  • Specification of Enhanced Tablet – No specification is yet published, other than the fact, that this would be Aakash-II with better specification.
  • More Confusion – Earlier there were a news that Datawind would produce enhanced version of Tablet, and it would be known as Aakash-II, but with this announcement, there may be confusion in market. If someone is talking about Aakash-II, would it be Aakash-II by Datawind or Aakash-II by ITI and CDAC. Its also possible that Datawind may not use the name Aakash with their product anymore. DataWind has said they haven’t got any communication from government about decision to take away Aakash from Datawind.
  • What should we do?  - We should wait for C-DAC and ITI version of Aakash II, which may come sometime in 2012, as per government announcement. However, if you can’t wait, You may choose Datawind’s  Ubislate+ which will be enhanced Aakash Tablet with GPRS support.

So, what are you planning? Keep visiting the site for more updates!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai University placed big orders for Aakash Tablet

In last week, there were news of tension between Government and Aakash tablet manufacturer Datawind. Now, there are couple of good developments. We can expect more such news in coming months. First news is from Andhra Pradesh, where state government has sent a request to HRD (Human Resource Development) ministry for 10,000 Aakash Tablets. Andhra Pradesh is planning to distribute it among their students. Andhra Pradesh is planning to distribute these tablets in two phases. In first phase, students of government universities, engineering and polytechnic colleges will get these tablets. In second phase, student from private colleges will get it as well.

In second news, as we have published earlier, Mumbai University had asked their colleges to get orders from their students. They had fixed a price of 1138 Indian Rupees (23 USD). Much lower that original anticipated price of 35$. Now Mumbai University has announced that they have received more than 25,000 orders for the tablet.The University has reported that they got orders from more than 90 colleges and departments.University has got orders from some of the very remote colleges as well. Mumbai’s Vivek College has ordered most number of Aakash Tablet. They have ordered 2,262 Aakash Tablets.

In a related news, a person named  Rohit has informed that he has received email from Datawind to pay for booking he had placed earlier.Datawind has also informed Rohit that tablet will be sold on first come first basis. He did report in comment  section, in one of the news of Aakash Tablet News.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Better, Faster Aakash 2 (Aakash II) at no extra cost by April 2012

Aakash tablet was under several criticism about slow performance and lot of bugs. Even Pramod Prabhakar of our aakashtablet Google groups has shared his frustrations with the Aakash Tablet PC he bought and tested, read his Aakash Tablet Review. In first installment, government received 30.000 Aakash Tablets, which were distributed among students of various university and institutions.IIT Jodhpur was primarily given task of evaluating the Aakash Tablet. Based on feedback and a lot of noise, Datawind has agreed to do enhancements. So good news is that you will get improved Aakash Tablet, Aakash-2 which will be 3 times faster and 2 times more battery backup. It will happen sometime in April this year. Also, The remaining 70,000 pieces of Aakash Tablet which government had decided to procure from Datawind earlier, will be as per revised specifications.

Also, in future Datawind may not get additional order from government, as government thinks Datawind has violated the agreement of first supplying it to government. As you know, last month Datawind has sold Aakash Tablet in open market. Government estimate is that there is need of 22 crore Aakash Tablets.Government is considering to invite fresh bid from more than one manufacturer. So, In future you may expect to get Aakash Tablet from different manufactures. We don’t know about Datawind’s plan to bring Ubislate+ in market. Datawind already claims that Ubislate+ will have three times faster processor and double battery life. As per information provided on Datawind’s website.

  Aakash Tablet (Ubislate 7) Aakash Tablet Upgraded (Ubislate 7+)
Processor Arm11 – 366Mhz Cortex A8 – 700 Mhz
Battery

2100 mAh

3200 mAh

OS

Android 2.2

Android 2.3

Network WIFI WIFI + GPRS
Price 2499 INR 2999 INR

It is interesting to note that  Aakash 2 tablet by Datwind will have GPRS as well as phone facilities. So, its worth waiting for Aakash 2, which should come in market in April 2012.

Datawind should also consider supporting Android market place. Have you already ordered your Aakash Tablet or you will be waiting for improved tablet?

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Aakash Tablet User Review by an early adopter - Disappointed

Aakash Tablet was never meant to be a competitor of IPad. When 35$ tablet project was started the idea was to create a cheap internet access device with functionality to read ebook and watch educational/streaming video.  Pramod Prabhakar has posted in aakashtablet google group that he is very disappointed with the tablet. He has reason to scream, it seems product is not polished yet. He complains about error that persists when 2 Gb micro SD card is inserted.It is “"SD Card unexpectedly removed". One can expect these kind of quality when product was developed and tested in short period. At this price point, even producing something useful is a credit. However, I do feel Datawind should have tested it more. Second issue which Pramod faced was response of touch screen. When it was announced the tablet will have resistive touch screen, it was expected that response of touch would be slower than captive display devices. Also, it was already announced that although the tablet has Android 2.2.2, it wouldn’t support Android Market Place. However, Java support is there. Pramod has reported that he has downloaded a few apps from getJar.com and all of them are working.

PDF Support

Pramod has tried reading PDF documents on Aakash Tablet. It does work. However, when you are try to move to a page to next page, it does take significant time and lag is quite noticeable.He estimates it takes 5-10 seconds to load next page.

Reading Microsoft Office documents

Pramod has tried reading MS Office 2003 documents. It does work however, pictures and special characters gets jumbled. Scrolling through pages have significant lag.

Office suite

Aakash Tablet PC comes with Androffice, however it was reported that creating and editing office document is not working.For document editing there is a text editor (kind of notepad on Windows OS) and it does work.

Streaming Video like Youtube

Prabhakar has played a few kids rhymes via streaming. There was some flicker effect.

Playing audio and video files

Prabhakar has successfully played a few mp3 audio files on Aakash Tablet, at the same time he reports he couldn’t play a few of other mp3 files. He has not got chance to play video files on device.

USB Pendrive support

This is what Prabhakar has to say -

I have used my 4GB and 1GB pen drive both are working. I tried connecting my 1TB Seagate external hard disk but its not recognizing. Data is transferring to the device without any problem. One problem i found out is when the device is goes for sleeping mode while transferring the data the SD card as well as USB Pen drive getting ejected automatically.

Page loading time in internet browser

Prabhakar informs that page loading time in internet browser is acceptable.

Android version 2.2.2

User Guide : none

User Interface :
This is what Prabhakar has to say -

The default launcher is really sucks as its gives a congested feeling on the screen. Scrolling is difficult because you don't have any enough gap between apps  to touch your finger on the screen to scroll. Majority of the time you will end up with opening an app while trying to scroll. You have to keep your finger in between the app on a empty screen carefully , if you wanted to scroll the pages.

List of pre-installed Apps are following :

1.Advanced Task Manager
2.Aldiko Premium
3.Androffice
4.APG
5.arXiv Droid
6.ASTRO
7.Browser
8.Calculator
9.Calendar
10.Camera
11.Clock
12.Contacts
13.DatawindPckge Manager
14.Dev Tools
15.Documents To Go
16.Documents To To Full Version Key
17.Email
18.Facebook
19.FDroid
20.Gallery
21.Jorte
22.Messaging
23.Music
24.Note Pad
25.OI File Manager
26.Phone
27.QuickPic
28.Search
29.Settings
30.Spare Parts
31.Speech Recorder
32.Terminal Emulator
33.UbiMail
34.UbiSurfer
35.Units
36.VuDroid
37.WiFi Advanced Configuration Editor

Other supported downloadable Apps

There is an App called FDroid (like market) and using that there is limited number of apps can be download to the Tab and here is the full list of available for download as of now.

1.aCal - ( Calendar - CalDAV client)

2.AdAway - ( Ad blocking via hosts file)

3.AdBlock - (Ad blocking via HTTP proxy)

4.ADW.Launcher -( Home screen replacement)

5.AGiro - ( OCR scanner for Swedish bills)

6.Alarm Klock -( An alarm clock)

7.aLogcat -( Log viewer)

8.Andor's Trail - ( Quest-driven Roguelike fantasy dungeon crawler RPG)

9.andRoc - (Model railway controller client)

10.Android Battery Dog -( Battery level logger)

11.androidVNC -(VNC viewer)

12.aNetMon -(Network event logger)

13.AnkiDroid -(A flashcard-based study aid)

14.Anstop -( A simple stopwatch)

15.Apps Organizer -( Organize applications using labels)

16.aSQLiteManager -(SQLite Frontend)

17.Audalyzer -( Audio analyser)

18.Bankdroid -( Banking application for Swedish banks)

19.Barcode Scanner -(Barcode scanner)

20.Beem (XMPP client)

21.Blokish -( Board game)

22.BoardGameGeek -(BoardGameGeek application)

23.Book Catalogue -( Book cataloguing application)

24.BookWorm - ( Book collection manager)

25.CACertMan -( A slightly more vetted version of the Android CACert keystore)

26.ChartDroid Core -( Chart engine)

27.ConnectBot -( SSH and local shell client)

28.Cool Reader -(E-book reader)

29.Copy to Clipboard -(Copy to clipboard via the share menu)

30.Crosswords -(A Scrabble-like game)

31.CSipSimple -(SIP (VOIP) client)

32.DAAP -( DAAP Client)

33.DesktopLabel -(Custom desktop label widgets)

34.Diaspora Webclient - ( Diaspora Client)

35.DiskUsage -(Visual disk usage explorer)

36.DiveDroid -(Scuba Dive Logbook)

37.DroidAtomix -( Puzzle game)

38.DroidLife -(Conway's Game of Life)

39.DroidSeries - (TV series browser and tracker)

40.DroidWall - (Firewall)

41.Duck Duck Go - (Duck Duck Go search provider)

42.External IP - (Android application to display IP addresses)

43.FB Reader - (An e-book reader)

44.Firefox - (Firefox mobile)

45.Flygtider - (Flight status info for Swedish airports)

46.FOSDEM - (FOSDEM schedule)

47.Frozen Bubble - ( Bubble shooting game)

48.Funambol Sync -(Funambol sync client)

49.Ghost Commander - (Dual-panel file manager)

50.Giggity - (Schedule viewer)

51.gvSIG Mini Maps - (Tile-based map viewer)

52.Hacker's keyboard - (5-row keyboard)

53.HandyNotes -(Sticky notes widget)

54.Hot Death - (Card game)

55.httpmon - (HTTP monitor)

56.Jamendo - ( Jamendo (FalF music) player)

57.K-9 Mail - (Full-featured email client)

58.KeepPassDroid - ( KeePass-compatible password safe)

59.LCARS Wallpapers - (Music sight reading training game)

60.Libre Droid - (Client for Libre.fm)

61.LifeSaver2 - (SMS and call log backup/restore)

62.Linphone - (SIP (VOIP) client)

63.Mandelbrot Map - (Mandelbrot set viewer)

64.Mathdroid - (Calculator)

65.Memory - (Memory game for kids)

66.Mileage - ( A Mileage tracker)

67.Missle intercept - ( Missile Command style game)

68.Mixare - (Augmented reality browser)

69.MobileOrg - (TODO/task management application)

70.Mustard - (Microblogging client for StatusNet/identi.ca)

71.MythDroid - ( MythTV remote control system)

72.mythmote - (Remote control for MythTV)

73.Navit - (Car navigation system)

74.NetCounter -( Bandwidth usage tracker)

75.Netwok Discovery -(Network discovery tool)

76.Omnidroid - ( Automated Event Handler)

77.Open GPS Tracker -(GPS Logger)

78.Open Manager -(A simple file browser and manager)

79.openBmap - (OpenBmap Data Contribution)

80.OpenSatNav - (Satellite Navigation)

81.OpenSudoku - (Sudoku game)

82.Orbit - ( Tor client)

83.Orweb v2 -(Proxy + Privacy Browser)

84.OsmAnd - ( OpenStreetMap navigation & routing)

85.OsmAnd+ - ( OpenStreetMap navigation & routing)

86.Osmdroid - ( OpenStreetMap map viewer)

87.OSMTracker for Android™ -(GPS Track Recorder)

88.PactrackDroid - ( Swedish parcel tracker)

89.Pedometer - (Pedometer)

90.Permission - ( Lists application permissions)

91.PiwikMobile - ( Client for Piwik)

92.Pony Express - ( SixGun Productions mobile application)

93.Postcode - ( Get postcode for your location (UK only))

94.Practice Hub - (Tools for musicians)

95.Pushup Buddy - ( Measures and logs push-ups using the proximity sensor)

96.Quick Battery - (Battery widget)

97.Quick Settings - (System settings tool)

98.Quickdroid - (Quickly search apps, contacts, bookmarks and music)

99.reddit is fun - (Reddit app)

100.ReGalAndroid - (Gallery client for G2/3 and Piwigo)

101.Rehearsal Assistant - ( A voice/sound recording tool)

102.Remote Notifier - ( Notifications from device to desktop)

103.Replica Island - (Side-scrolling platform game)

104.Ringdroid - ( Ringtone editor)

105.Scandinavian keyboard - ( Keyboard for Scandinavian languages)

106.Scramble Net - ( Puzzle game)

107.Seeks - ( Widget for Seeks web service)

108.ServeStream - ( Media server browser/stream player)

109.share my position - (Share your location)

110.Shelves - ( Book collection manager)

111. Sipdroid - ( A SIP (VOIP) client)

112. Slight backup - ( A very simple backup program)

113.SMS Backup+ - ( Backup SMS and call logs to IMAP)

114.Sokoban - (A Sokoban game for Android)

115.Solitaire - ( Solitaire collection)

116.Sound Manager -(Volume level scheduler)

117.Sparse rss - ( Simple feed reader)

118.Speech Trainer - ( Speech training)

119.Squeezer -(Sqeezebox remote control app)

120.SwallowCatcher - ( Podcast client)

121.SwiFTP - ( FTP server)

122.TalkMyPhone - (Remote control of phone by XMPP)

123.Tea Timer - ( A Simple Tea Timer for Android)

124.Text Edit - ( A text editor)

125.TiltMazes - ( Logical puzzle game)

126.Timeriffic - ( Auto-control settings on a schedule)

127.Tiny Tiny RSS Reader - ( An RSS reader for Tiny Tiny RSS)

128.Tomdroid - ( Note taker)

129.Trafikinfo.nu - ( Show Swedish traffic information)

130.Transdroid Torrent Manager - ( Remote control for Bittorrent clients)

131.Tricorder - ( Fully functional Star Trek style Tricorder)

132.Trolly - ( Shopping list application)

133.TUIdroid - ( TUIO tracker)

134.Vanilla Music - (Simple and streamlined music player)

135.Vector Pinball - ( Pinball game)

136. Wake On Lan - ( Wake-On-Lan)

137.Weather notification - ( Displays the air temperature and other weather conditions in the Android notification bar)

138.WhereRing - ( Automatically change ring mode by location)

139.WiFiKeyboard - ( Remote WiFi keyboard)

140.WordPress - (WordPress client)

141.XBMC Remote - ( Remote control for XBMC Media Center)

142.xkcdViewer - ( Viewer for the xkcd.com webcomic)

143.Xmp for Android - ( Tracker module player)

144.Yaaic - ( IRC client)

145.yaxim - ( XMPP client)

146.Zirco Browser (Web browser with ad blocker)

147.3 ( Music player)

Last word : No one expected Aakash Tablet as competitor of IPAD, but they can certainly work on testing and producing quality product with features they claim. Lets hope in future version basic will be corrected.What’s your take?

Thanks to Pramod Prabhakar for taking time to share his experience in Aakash Tablet Group.