iPad2 Wifi Issue: Solution

My iPad 2 Wifi 32GB is having persistent Wifi connectivity issue from day one. There is a mega thread in Apple support forum asking for asolution about this problem and possible solutions. Unfortunately

Many users here suggested the workaround that worked for them:

1) Upgrading to latest firmware of the Wi-Fi router

2) Configuring only in g mode or n mode instead of mixed mode

3) Configuring in mixed mode b/g or b/g/n

4) Changing the channel to 11 or 6 or 1

5) Using specific routers – Apple/Linksys/Netgear

6) Resetting the iPad. upgrading/downgrading the iOS

7 ) Changing the router location

8 )  Changing the DHCP to static IP configuration in iPad

9) Changing the wifi authentication to none,WPA,WPA2,WEP

10) Increase the brightness of iPad and turn off auto brightness. Yes! Apple approved solution for iPad 1. Not sure if Apple solved it or the users learned to live up with the problem. Sometimes works in my iPad2.

11)Launching a different app before firing the browser. In my case TOI app helps sometimes. I launch that app first before I use the default browser.

My iPad didn’t work out if the box. Just opened the iPad powered it on and it didn’t connect , though it showed full signal in the indicator. Then suddenly it worked after 1 hour. But the next day it didn’t. I did almost all other above suggestions. It worked when I changed the channel from 11 to 6.

But, the same workaround didn’t after few days. It worked when I changed the config to the default config which was not working earlier. So the solution does not seem to be in the Wifi settings. It’s jus the timing of turning on/off the router and connecting the iPad and the apps running in it.

As some users suggested in this thread, the most possible reason could be the iPad’s handling of power save mode with some routers.

After doing some Googling, I found this link on MS website: Even Windows 7 notebooks seems to suffer this problem:


But, the good thing with Win7 is that, we could turn off the power save mode in few clicks and not worry about the few hours/minutes lost due to that option. The WIFi works. That should be good enough for practical purposes.

If the power save mode is the problem with Apple, I am not sure what stops them from fixing it in one of the patches. I am not sure if the Wifi antenna used by the iPad does not have option to turn off the power save mode??less likely. Only Apple can confirm it. Well, they are not even acknowledging the issue itself.

Coming to my story, I bought iPad2 Wifi only 32GB here in India( with is approx $150 higher than US price). After sales service( though bit improving) is a nightmare here, let alone trying to get a refund for my iPad. Only the apple resellers are handling the support here.

If the Wi-Fi was 100% not working,  I could have returned it. Here the problem is ‘not knowing’ when it works and when it does not. If I take this to them, they are going to start giving lectures on how I should configure my router or upgrade the firmware. That’s the reason I am looking for some concrete solutions in these forums or from Apple itself. Anyway I am going to visit them this weekend as my frustration( along with my BP) increases whenever the iPad drops the signal.

Update(June4, 2011):

I had this problem even with Samsung Galaxy SII. The only logical solution to this iPad2 Wifi problem is getting a latest router. I got a new router ASUS RT-N16. This works well with iPad2. Now both iPad2 and SGS2 works well with the new router.

Kindle 3 Review & Indian Language Support: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu

Kindle 3 is very good ebook reader. If you are an avid reader, you are going to love it. It’s best to read mobi format books that has free flowing test/pages instead of pre-formatted PDFs. Though it has support for PDF the zooming option does not work well as the Amazon locked format or mobi format.

The Kindle 3 does not support Indic Unicode fonts. So document created with with Unicode Tamil,Hindi,Malayalam does not work in mobi format! I don’t think Amazon will add support for these in future.

Then, How do I read Tamil books in Kindle?

The solution is to use the PDF with embedded fonts. Kindle supports PDF that has embedded fonts, bet it Hindi or Bengali. Teh documents renders well as long as you can read that on your computer also.

Try any PDF with embedded fonts and read books in your favorite languages.

Sync Passwords and Bookmarks from Firefox to Chrome with XMarks

XMarks is a great plug-in available to sync bookmarks across browsers: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari. One big thing that was missing is the password sync across browsers. Previously, the password sync works between two or more Firefox web browsers.

But, if you are trying to migrate to Chrome from firefox, taking the passwords stored in Firefox was an issue. Now, xmarks has been updared to do the password sync.

Procedure to do the Password sync from Firefox to Chrome:

1) Install Firefox Xmarks extension and login and sync the passwords/bookmarks to the server.

2) In Google Chrome, install the xmarks extension as well and login with your password and sync the bookmarks and passwords.

3) Note that , in Chrome the passwords are stored in the separate Xmarks cache and not added to the Chromes’ password manager as Chrome does not provide an API yet. Because of this reason disable the Chrome’s default Password saving.

Settings->Preferences->Personal Stuff Tab->Select “Never Save Passwords”

That’s it now you can Xmarks handles the password saving in chrome and synced to Firefox as well.

Google Instant for India: Search As you Type

Google’s latest and greatest innovation on their search is Google instant. It does not work on India domain yet. You need to go to google.com.
It’s a very useful feature as we see the results as they are typed. This reduces time going the results page and then retype the query if the results are not relevant.

Google Instant works on Firefox 3+,IE 8 and Google Chrome 5+, Safari 5+.

Google Helps to Write Documents or blogs with Scribe

Are you getting stuck, finding the relevant words/phrases for your documents, emails and blog? Google helps you to find the right words and phrases that are most effective in that context. Welcome to Google Scribe.

It really works great. There is option to toggle between scribe and non scribe mode with the hotkey( Ctl+J)

This can be integrated with any webpage like gmail,blogger,WordPress post editor with the bookmarklet. It is available at the end of the Scribe home page. Just dag that too Chrome/Firefox bookmarks bar and enjoy typing all over the web!

Call Phones in India from Gmail for 2cents per minute

Google has launched phone calling directly from Gmail. This is of great convenience if you don’t already have an Skype account. Also, the rate is cheaper than Skype calling.

I feel this should become a real competitor to Skype, though Google has just 200Milliuon Gmail against Skype’s 600 Million.

Calling India is 2 cents a minute compared to 2.1 cents+connection fee in Skype. Not of a much difference, but, the convenience of calling from Gmail outweighs Skype in some cases. If privacy is not of a concern, this is a good choice.

Top Star Gazing Astronomy Planetorium apps for iPad/iPhone

There some areas iPads excel than a Laptop or a PC. This is because of some cool applications in niche segments like Astronomy.

These apps uses compass, GPS and accelerometer to give rich experience when trying to locate the stars and constellations. Just moving the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch to the sky and pointing in the direction of a constellation, say Orion it gives the details about it.

Following are top apps that helps in identifying plants stars and other messier objects.

Star Walk:
Star Walk is your personal planetarium that can answer all of your curiosities about the sky! For anyone who is interested in stargazing, amateurs or professionals Star Walk makes discovering more than 9,000 stars, planets, constellations, and messier objects as beautiful and easy as it has never been before!

Use the Star Spotter function to see the sky in front of you in real-time. Tilt your iPhone towards the sky to activate the DIGITAL COMPASS which will determine location and orientation of your phone. The image on your screen will correspond to the area of the sky you are pointing your phone towards, and it will follow your movements. Please note that this function is available on 3GS devices only.

Rating: 4.5/5 for teh latest version

Price: 2.99$

SkyGazer is an easy-to-use planetarium program designed for beginners in astronomy. It’s the intro version of SkyVoyager, our professional iPhone astronomy software.

SkyGazer shows you nearly 120,000 stars, plus 220 of the best-known star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies in the sky. It displays all the major planets and moons of the Solar System using NASA spacecraft imagery, and includes a database of several dozen asteroids, comets, and artificial satellites.

SkyGazer accurately shows you the sky from any place on Earth, and any time up to 100 years in the past or future. SkyGazer also includes informative descriptions of the constellations, stars, and planets. It contains hundreds of images from NASA space missions, the Hubble Space Telescope, and from the world’s foremost astro-photographers.

Rating: 3.5/5 for latest version

Price: 2.99$

GoSkyWatch Planetarium now for the iPad and it is completely free! Easily and quickly identify and locate stars, planets, constellations and more with a touch or by simply pointing to the sky. Have fun with family and friends discovering the images in the night sky. Go outside and explore the night sky.

Displays the sky view at the correct orientation when held at any angle not just landscape or portrait. Simple operation, no buttons to press or modes to select, just point to the sky to start exploring. Unique rotation scheme enables touchless navigation even for devices without a compass.

Many features specifically for efficient outdoor use. Red light mode to preserve night vision, magnitude adjustment for viewing conditions, planets shown with relative brightness for easy identification, touchless navigation, heads up information display, full 180 degree display to see at a glance what is in the sky and where. Looking for a planet or star? Just use the finder and let the arrow guide the way.

Rating: 3/5

Price: Free

Pocket Universe:
Pocket Universe was the first iPhone astronomy app to support the built-in compass, and it was also the first to add a true augmented reality view using the iPhone’s built-in camera! Use the camera view in the evening or morning sky to overlay the labelled view over the real sky.

Simply hold up your iPhone 3GS in front of you, and the view will be exactly what you see – but with names and information at your fingertips. Move the iPhone around to see the view change in real-time. As previous iPhone models and the iPod Touch do not have a compass, the up/down movement is automatic, but you will need to drag the display left/right yourself.
• Easy-to-use astronomy application, which focuses on helping you answer the question “What’s that in the sky?”
• Works on all iPhones and iPod Touch devices with latest firmware (iPhone 3GS/4 required for compass support)
• Special “Show Me” mode will guide you to named stars, planets, constellations as well as the brightest galaxies and nebulae.
• “Tonight’s Sky” and “Objects and Events” will keep you up-to-date, and give you suggestions for what to look for when you head outside.
• Constellation Quiz to help you learn your way around the sky.
• Links to Wikipedia articles for the latest information.
• Responsive customer support, frequent updates.

Rating: 3.5/5

Price: 2.99$

Why WebM Video? How to Play and Encode?

Some sites like Youtube is offering HTML5 supported Videos. It’s already supported in some browsers including Chrome.. But, with HTML5, still the contention for the Video format is not over. Apple is supporting H264 which is very popular codec used everywhere from, your DTH Set Top Box to the actual transmission over the satellites. The HD media players main codec is the H264.

But, Google is advocating a new format WebM.

What is WebM?
WebM is an open, royalty-free media file format designed for the web. WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 video codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska media container.VP8 is a highly efficient video compression technology that was developed by On2 Technologies. Vorbis is an open-source audio compression technology. It is an independent project of the Xiph Foundation.

This WebM container can not support any other audio/Video Codec, unlike MKV container that supports several formats. The extension of the file will be  .webm

So, Why WebM?

The WebM project is dedicated to developing a high-quality, open video format for the web that is freely available to everyone.The WebM launch is supported by Mozilla, Opera, Adobe, Google and more than forty other publishers, software and hardware vendors.


According to webmprojet, the benefits include:

* Openness and innovation. A key factor in the web’s success is that its core technologies such as HTML, HTTP, and TCP/IP are open for anyone to implement and improve. With video being core to the web experience, a high-quality, open video format choice is needed. WebM is 100% free, and open-sourced under a BSD-style license.
* Optimized for the web. Serving video on the web is different from traditional broadcast and offline mediums. Existing video formats were designed to serve the needs of these mediums and do it very well. WebM is focused on addressing the unique needs of serving video on the web.
o Low computational footprint to enable playback on any device, including low-power netbooks, handhelds, tablets, etc.*
o Simple container format
o Highest quality real-time video delivery
o Click and encode. Minimal codec profiles, sub-options; when possible, let the encoder make the tough choices.

Supported Media Players:
WebM Video can be played in latest and greatest versions of the following players:

Ecoding videos to WebM:

WebMProject offers tools for encoding videos to WebM format. FFMPEG 0.6 has support for  vp8 codec and webm container. This can be used for creating webm video.

Keyboard with New Rupee Symbol: TVS Bharat Gold

I just wrote about the adoption of the new rupee symbol in the Print Media. Yesterday, TVS has launched a keyboard, that has option for the new Rupee Symbol.[via]

The Rupee Symbol is is piggybacked in the same key that has Backquote and Tilda Symbol. This is added as a third Symbol. I thought new key may be introduced. Before hardware manufactures decide on including the Rupee Symbol, they should agree on some convention.

But without the Unicode Font  and software being updated with new Fonts that support, this is pretty much useless as of now. There is already as Unicode location reserved for Rupee Symbol. But the Symbol was updated as Rs( but as a single Unicode Character. See Below: R and S can’t be selected individually!)


This needs to be updated with the new Symbol.  When the Software OS manufactures update their font in future versions, it just gets included. Then it is just a matter of typing the right Unicode char: e.g “ ₨ ” for HTML pages ( Right now which generates the  Symbol above)

Also, I am not sure how the symbol can be typed in the keyboard. If we type normally, back-quote will be select;with shift key Tilda will be selected. What is the control key to generate the new Rupee Symbol??

Whatever it be, it is good to see the new symbol for Rupee is getting adopted in all forms!

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