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BW Businessworld

The Easy, The Wavy, The Rude

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Going Out Of Town?
There’s quite a deluge of travel-related apps, with new ones turning up every day. PNR Status by Ixigo is a one-stop app for both train and flight details. The free app for Android has a nice interface, but needs you to enter your email id, PNR number, date of travel and where you bought your ticket – a little too much information, I thought. Isn’t a PNR number unique enough to get you what you need? Anyway, once you’ve put in these bits of information you get your page of flight or train details and can call the airline or check-in via the app, which takes you to the airline’s website. You could just use the airline’s app, of course, but if you have a mix of train journeys and flights, you may find PNR Status useful. The nice thing is, you continue to get useful alerts and prompts until you’re on your way.
Air Call Answer
Phone companies that make devices without any strong distinguishing features make a big noise about how you can do things like answer a call with the wave of a hand. Well, that’s just the proximity sensor at work, and all it needs is the command to tell it what to do when faced with a certain situation. So if you want this piece of magic on your Android phone, head to the Play Store and download the free Air Call Answer. Enable it. And there you have it! Now, all you need to do is let the proximity sensor on the top of your phone see your hand or finger moving and the call can be answered. Even better, just lift the phone to your ear and the call engages. Obviously, as the sensor gets the same kind of input, it’ll work. There are many similar tweaks you can make to an Android phone yourself rather
than take the marketing bait thrown at you.
Attack Of The Carrot 
There was a time when you could thwack your alarm clock into silence and go back to sleep. But these days your clock lives in your phone where it gets smarter and smarter until it finally outsmarts you. This is true of the Carrot alarm clock for iOS, which will just about torture you if you don’t wake up. There are specific actions you have to perform to silence the alarm such as swiping on a certain part of the screen. When Carrot sees lack of compliance, it will go into torture mode until it eventually threatens to kill a kitten if you don’t get up. The app has a gesture-based interface but is otherwise simple and doesn’t let you set multiple alarms. It’s strictly a wake-up machine, and an extra snooze will cost you. As time goes on, your tasks will become tougher and Carrot will be ruder. The app costs $0.99.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 23-09-2013)