Google Maps 6.0 for Android Goes Indoors

Google Maps is the best online global map without doubt. It was developing with latest technologies as well as latest details of the globe for the past few years. As a result it offers us features that no other traditional map offers such as satellite view, voice commands, navigation and street view. Most of the people use this kind of advanced maps for navigation, to search places around them and for other scientific applications, for an example, surveying land. Further, they let the users to update their local maps which is called “crowd sourcing”, and helps the Google Maps to be up to date than any other online map. Usage of Google Maps became  easier with the introduction of mobile applications which gives us an even better user experience than the web interface. It was available for many mobile platforms and most of the updates were available for Google’s Android Mobile Platform.


However, when you try to enter a building, at the door step Google maps leaves you alone. In the building you have to use a conventional printed map to find where you want to go. This is a very unpleasant experience to Google Maps users. The latest release, Google Maps 6.0 for Android solves the problem.

How It Works

When you are using Google Maps you can zoom in to see more details. Normally, zoom in stops at a certain level of detail. But when you are using new Google Maps, if there is a building with the floor plan you can zoom further in to see the indoor details of the building. Same as street details you can see names and description of indoor shops and offices if they are available. And of course you can search for them as well. This comes in handy when you want to quickly find the wash room in a huge air port. GPS technology is capable of measuring altitude, so the application is capable of changing the floor automatically as you move up or down. And there is a side bar for you to change the floor levels manually in case you want to take a look at the floor plan without going there. There is an online demo published by Google which explains the operations in graphic details. See the below video as well.

Is GPS Accurate Enough to Track Me in a Building?

The next big question, most of the time there is a light blue circle around the pointed location on Google Maps, which represent the accuracy. In other words you can be anywhere in that light blue circle. Furthermore Google maps gives you a numeric representation of accuracy as well, like 10M. Is this enough to pinpoint me in a small building?

The simple answer is YES! If GPS is accurate enough to keep you on the right lane on the right road, it should be accurate enough to point you usefully in a small building as long as you have strong GPS signals.

The next question, “I have heard that GPS signals are weak inside buildings. So how can they be strong enough to point me accurately?”

There is a serious point, that signals get weaker when they go through buildings, especially through concrete. Therefore you might face difficulties about the accuracy of the positioning in a building. In other words, when you go to Nike store Google Maps will say you are near GAP store. But most of the time you will get 5-10M accuracy which is way enough to find the location in any small building.

This issue is beyond the Google Maps control but they have done their best. It is more of an issue with GPS satellites and their signal strength. What Google Map does is get the location details from your handset’s built in GPS device and present them in the map. Mobile handset manufactures will keep looking for solutions to capture the weak GPS signals, And there is always a hope that scientists will come up with new innovative technologies for Global positioning.

Where the Floor Plans Comes From?

You already know that you can edit the Google Maps by yourself. After moderation and verification, the changes you did will appear in the public map. This is what they call “Crowd Sourcing”, let public to develop the details of Google Maps.

In the initial version of Google Map 6.0 for Android has covered many important buildings by Google themselves. And again, further development is crowd sourced. You can add your building in here following below four steps.

Locate: Search you your building and locate it on the Google Maps. Drag and drop the marker to the middle of the building. If you are using Satellite view, this will be easier. Then proceed to upload.

Upload: After selecting the building you can upload the floor plan. As information you have to give the building name and floor label as mentioned in the elevator.

Align: In here you have to align the map with the Google Maps. For that they are giving 3 marks, to tell the Google Maps how to align the floor plan with the map.

Submit: Finally submit the floor plan for moderation and verification. After that it will appear on Google Maps, for everyone.

Here is a video released by Google Maps which explains the procedure of adding a floor plan step by step.

What Can We Do With This?

Travelers Support

This new feature of Google Maps opens many opportunities to the business world, majorly for Travel industry. Travel agents like to let their customers to be free during a journey. But in most of the cases there has to be a travel guide and travelers who purchase the package will have to follow him, which is not a good experience to travelers. Recently I have seen, travel organizers give a tablet device to travelers with Google Maps and they can be freely travelling in a certain area with the support of the map and GPS without travel guide around. Yet, it was limited , since there was no Google Maps for Buildings’ floor plans. If one traveler lost in a shopping center,it is huge time delay and bad for business as well. Solution again was a “Travel Guide” which leads back to the same problem.

However this new feature solves it all. Travel agents can let the travelers to be free even in a building with their Android tablet without a travel guide. It will be a positive experience to the travelers and good for the business as well. As long as Google Maps comes for free, Travel agent won’t have to spend extra for this. This will be an advantage for shopping tour organizers who send travelers to Singapore and Malaysia. However, they have to make sure the Google Maps have the updated floor plans of the required buildings.

Business Promotion

I have used Google Maps to find local business many times. But if a business office is located in a building and in the 3rd floor, I will run in to a big problem. At the same time the business owner also facing a problem, why his customers can’t find him in Google Maps.

With Google Maps 6.0 for android, this problem has been solved and open new opportunities for businesses owners. They can list their office located in a building even with accurate floor level. So his customer can easily search and find the location of business. And most of the business web site embeds Google Maps in their web site. Now that they can embed the Map with floor pan of the building and floor level as well.

Google continue to surprise users by expanding its capabilities beyond the World Wide Web. It has already reached the mobile software market and dominated it defeating previous empires. Google’s Android is the most used mobile operating system today and moving on with frequent updates and developments. Google Maps 6.0 with indoor view will definitely add extra color to Android world and will be a good strength to stand tall among other mobile platforms, showing the power of “Free and Open Source”

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Speed of Smartphone – LG Optimus 2X P990

In the year 2010 the Smartphone war continues and many manufactures compete to gain more market territory. The most significant product was iPhone by Apple Inc and they successfully reach the market becoming the most selling product. However the major contributing factor for their success is not only their technology but the creative marketing campaign with their well known brand name “Apple”. While iPhone get the whole public attention, most of the people didn’t get to notice other cool products which there in market sometimes for much lesser cost. LG was one of the high tech Smartphone manufacture introduced many cool product to the market with high end technologies.

Down the time with Smartphone, the main requirement that users were demanding were their speed. The reason behind this is many people partially replace their Lap top computer with these devices. So they need the speed as good as Laptop. Before 2011 most of the time Smartphone were having like 1GHz single core processor which is way behind compared to Laptop.

In early 2011 LG come in to the market with exceptional Smartphone and that was named as “LG Optimus 2X P990”. The name says it all. After this earth witness a dual core Smartphone which is speed almost same as an average Laptop. This attracted lot of public attention in that time. Over a less than one year of time, this device changes the global expectation of a Smartphone. Actually it redefined the standard for a mobile device by making lots of impossible things possible.


Features and Functionalities

Processor and Hardware

The main attraction in this device is its processor. It’s Dual Core Cortex A9 Processor with 1GHz clock speed. This platform let you run many applications in the same time due to outstanding multi-tasking capability.  And it comes with GeForce graphic processing unit and Tegra 2 chipset. This GPU let you to connect this device with HD TV to mirroring video. This specification picture a Laptop in my mind not a Smartphone. Surely this device will be a huge threat to Laptop sales. It’s having on board 8GB storage for contacts and SMS with 512MB RAM. Additionally there is a card slot support microSD chip up to 32GB. Phones dimensions are 123.9 x 63.2 x 10.9 mm and 139g weight.


This is one of the most important features in any Smartphone. Here is it 16 million colors LCD with multi touch sensitivity. Size is 480×800, 4 inch, pretty much standard for android Smartphone, yet approx 230 pixels per inch which is great. The touch sensitive screen is protected with denser glass, called Gorilla glass. To identify the user’s motions there is Accelerometer and Gyro meter together, same as in latest iPhone. And there is a Digital compass as well. These sensors could be used to display auto rotate and more sensitive gaming applications as well. To support the operating system function there are few hardware keys at the bottom of the display.


This handset comes with excellent multimedia capabilities. Its supports all common video and audio formats long with image formats. If you want to mirror your HD video in TV there is a HDMI cable comes with. According to many individual reviews on internet HD video playback is very sharp and less nosy. The audio play back with loudspeaker is quality enough, yet nothing outstanding compared to other Smartphones. However there is a 3.5mm audio out gives you total flexibility to extend your audio experience with 2X, may be by connecting your home theater audio system. This audio and video out comes in handy when you play games with the device. Further the device support advanced video compression like DivX, Xvid, H.264, MP4 and WMV. Unlike in many other Smartphone, this support Adobe Flash player version 10.1, so you won’t miss your favorite YouTube.


LG Optimus 2X is equipped with two cameras. Front camera, 1.3 mega pixel for video conferencing and it works pretty well for self portrait, as a digital mirror as well. The very special one is the rear camera. It is 8 mega pixels with LED flash, importantly the lens is covered with outer glass for protection. This is capable of capturing images with resolution 3264×2448 pixels. This is having advanced auto focusing system with, face detection and touch focus. To reduce the image blurring due to camera shake there is a digital image stabilizer system. Whenever GPS signals are available it attaches GEO tag to the image as a Meta data. Further the rear camera is capable of capturing 1080p HD videos in 24 fps and if you need 30fps you can go down to 720p resolution. The video looks professional and sharp enough to any online publishing.

Operating System

The device originally comes with the famous open source mobile OS Android version 2.2 and it’s upgradable to version 2.3 as well. Same as in any other Android Smartphone, its gives you versatile control over user interfaces and other functionalities. Further it allow you to install JAVA application, which open your device to millions of free world of applications. If you take a closer look you will see that standard android home screen is altered in LG Optimus 2X. Generally almost all the application loads faster in here than any other android device, due to the advanced hardware platform. And touch responsiveness and navigation is also pretty fast. However there are some identified bugs in the software in LG Optimus 2X, probably due to the non optimized source code in OS lead to application crash. And there is another complains from the users that phone is consuming more memory just to load the OS. These things had made this great device unpopular.


Today, the phone is only a feature in a Smartphone. So, people don’t talk much about the GSM connectivity to make telephone calls. Yet it’s very important, since the major usage of the phone is make calls and send SMS though there are 100s of other features. LG Optimus 2X comes with all the modern connectivity, to make phone calls as well as Data. It support quad band GSM including 850/ 900/ 1800 and 1900 for conventional phone calls and SMS. Since most of the applications require data connectivity and of course you need to browse on the run it gives you 3G connectivity with HSDPA. Other than this it comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity as well. To connect the device with PC to sync data there is a Micro USB version 2.0 port, cable comes with the package.

Market Impact

Price Curve and Guinness Record

Normally sometimes after introducing a phone to market, its prices get reduced to certain level and get stabilized. But with LG Optimus 2X it didn’t happen that way.  According to price curve, it’s same today as the launching month. That represent continues demand to the device throughout the time. However this trend might get disturbed due to serous software issues in the operating system. And LG Optimus 2X could make its mark on Guinness Record book becoming “First Smartphone with Dual Core technology” which is amazing milestone for LG.


The main competitor of LG Optimus 2X would be famous apple iPhone 4S which having almost same functionalities. However no Smartphone could compete with the iPhone so far in the market, not because of technology, but because of highly creative marketing campaign. At the same time LG Optimus 2X having the disadvantage of software bugs which is having only a patch as a solution. Other than that LG Optimus 2X having advantages like JAVA applications and Adobe Flash player to stand over iPhone.

HTC Android Devices

At the same time it will have to compete with the other Android phones like HTC. They are already doing well in market and gradually become a threat to famous iPhone as well. According to the market statistics, if you consider the number of HTC Android handset sales, it has already surpassed the number of iPhone sales.

The LG Optimus 2X having the advantage of be the first in the market, yet it won’t be enough to continue to survive. LG will have to take bold steps to correct the minor software issues which become bigger problems to usability. I’m pretty happy with their hardware, probably the best hardware for the Smartphone available in the market. With the solution to their software issues they will be able to give good competition to iPhone and HTC and capture significant market share down the time. And I’m curious to know what the next big Smartphone move of LG.

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Windows Phone 7

Microsoft’s next most expected product Windows Phone 7 has unveiled at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress last month. Windows Phone 7 is based on Windows kernel CE 6 while the current Windows Mobile version is based on kernel CE 5. It has planned to release on the holiday shopping season of this year. It has finger based touch screen input system and the UI has named as ‘Metro’, it looks like Zune and Xbox components including 3D effects and transition animations. It includes support for Microsoft Outlook and Office support as well as licensing to a wide variety of third party hardware vendors. However, the multitasking and copy & paste will not support for 3rd party applications.


Technical Specification

  • Screen resolution will be 800 x 480(WVGA)
  • Following hardware buttons are required for WP7: Start, Back, Bing integrated Search button, Camera and Power button. Some vendor devices can have more buttons than these five. But, these are required.
  • Capacitive multi-touch with support for minimum of four contact points.
  • A Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with DirectX 9 graphics support and the platform is flexible enough to expand in future, according to Microsoft.
  • 256MB of RAM
  • Currently 8GB of internal Flash storage, but no support for microSD cards.
  • WiFi support
  • AGPS
  • Accelerometer
  • FM Radio
  • 5 MP camera with flash

The ‘Metro’ interface is a type-and-motion heavy interface based on primary colors and lots of minimal, negative space, and this will be a familiar interface for Zune HD users. It has large, bold text that trails off the screen, menus which move dimensionally in and out instead of just side to side, and the sense that you are panning over long, single pages of information, rather than a set of separate panels. The clean, sharp ‘tiles’ which dominate the home screen, completely lacking in any real world-inspired bevels, drop shadows, curves of textures,  dialer, and alphabetical search grid, which looks like they’ve been built out of separate parts from Tempest. There are two themes basically boil down to light text on a black screen and it is the default theme of the OS and dark text on white screen, and you can pick your choice of four accent colors: red, orange, blue and green.

The phone unlock screen includes time, date, upcoming calendar events, number of unread messages, and number of missed calls. When the screen unlocked, it shows the user-configurable and movable ‘tiles’. The tiles can be linked to an application, a specific contact or a website, a photo gallery, playlist. But you can link anything with these tiles. It has an automatic tile sorting system as the user’s favorite list.

Multitasking And Notifications

The Windows Phone 7 series can process only the Microsoft’s core apps in the background. Third party applications cannot run in the background, and it supports push notifications enabling third party apps to send updates to the home screen even when another application is running. As a reason, Microsoft’s says, it eats a lot of battery life.

Page States

The OS support for page states, which is similar to cookies on websites. It is a light weight package that can easily be kept in memory to preserve the look and feel, and data of an app while discarding the memory heavy UI elements. When the app is needed again after the user navigate away from the screen, it reconstructs to its previous state and this process is called ‘dehydration’ and ‘rehydration’.

Hubs Strategy

Windows Phone 7’s Hub strategy is a unique feature for the platform. From the People Hub, you can manage your various mail accounts and social networks in a single view. You can set status updates and check mails in single place, rather than changing applications. The Picture Hub helps you to access your locally stored photos or cloud based social network picture galleries, upload pictures and comment on them. They offer photo editing functionalities as well. The Game Hub is integrated with Xbox Live, where you can use your avatar in there, and Xbox Live games and achievements, Spotlight feeds, and the ability to browse gamer profiles. The Zune HD is your Music + Video Hub in the Windows Phone 7. You can download new music over WiFi and 3G. You can rent or purchase videos as well. Microsoft is working with Pandora to integrate with the hub, utilizing the Zune player to tap into Pandora’s streaming services.

It has its built in Internet Explorer browser, but it’s not fast as mobile safari.

The business people always love Microsoft Windows mobile, as it has many stunning features, and it has a great support for office tools. Windows Phone 7 has great features with multimedia support and the users will love this lot more than before. In near future, we can expect some wonderful add-ons and application for the new product. Most of the games are developed with XNA support and lot of silverlight features has added to it.


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Database Management System

Database Management System is a software package that has been designed to create and maintain shared collection of logically related data. A Database Management System generally facilitates the processes of Defining, Constructing and Manipulating of data. In addition to that it provides various background services including transaction management, disaster recovery and security. Data management has become a high priority issue in modern business management. Therefore to support that, database management systems providers improving their products using innovative technologies.



Flat File System

A Flat File is a database that stores the data in a plain text file. Each line of the file stores a single value. Each field is separated by delimiters such as commas or tabs. Although it can have multiple tables, it cannot have multiple relations as the Relational Databases have.

Relational Databases

The main advantage of Relational Database over the Flat File System is that the proper organization of data that has. A relational database also defines the relationships between those tables. In the relational databases, queries are used to fetch data with the help of the indexes. The relational database technology makes the databases efficient, lighter and faster. Some of the advantages of the relational databases are;

  • Bringing tables together using relations
  • Provides a structure query language (SQL) to define and manipulate data.
  • Security

Object Relational Model: It is also a relational data model but with object orientation in it. It reduces the gap between the conceptual data modeling techniques and object-relational mapping.

Object-Oriented Database

An Object Oriented database is a combination of objects in a persistent storage which holds information. It is quite similar to the object oriented languages. It can be named as the fifth-generation database technology that was began to develop in mid 80’s.  The real world entities are represented like an object in the Object Oriented Data Model.

Multidimensional Database

It is a database system that can be used to utilize the advantages of the databases. It is usually structured to optimize online analytical processing and data warehouse applications. The multidimensional database can receive data from a variety of relational databases and structure the information into categories and sections that can be accessed in number of different ways.

Sub Modules


There are several tasks done by the DBMS. It accepts various logical requests from various other DBMS sub systems. Then convert those requests into their physical equivalent and actually access the database and data dictionary as they exist on a storage device.

Data definition and manipulation

In Structured query languages, they have four different operations mainly to operate data. They are Select (Retrieve data from a table/tables), insert (insert data to the tables), update (update a certain field of a column) and delete (delete rows). In addition to them there are several other commands for creating, dropping databases, etc…


The database administration means the maintaining the functionalities and managing the DBMS. There are 3 main types of Administration. They are

  • Operation Administration
  • Development Administration
  • Application Administration

There comes several tools for the database administration and they are called as native tools.

Other services

Security: The security of data is the most important thing. A DBMS allows to let several users to access the database up to several extends. In addition to that the DBMS allows setting passwords. In addition to that the DBMS allows setting passwords. Encrypting the data is another security feature provided by the advanced DBMS.

Disaster recovery: Database Management Systems allows its users to maintain backups. It makes easy to recover when there is a crash of data. In addition to that most of the DBMS provide role back to a previous state in order to undo transactions in a given period..

Indexing: Indexing makes the operations such as insert and update easy. The data is ordered randomly and the way how it was ordered is described by the logic Indexing speed up manipulation of data since it keep a summary of mata date and it make the SQL engine to access the required data without searching whole database.However indexing doesn’t seep duo the data manipulation in the case the query is conditional, like ‘select name from student where age

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Within a couple of years the cell phone evolved in to a Smartphone. Today it has become a day to day item for most of the people. Technological improvement made by lots of Smartphone manufactures such as Apple, HTC, Samsung and LG made this possible. You may remember that, when you were using a cell phone you had to charge it may be once in few days…. 

Smartphone Buyer’s Guide – Display

So far I talked about Processor and Storage options in Smartphone and clarified lots of confusing marketing jargons. Now I believe you can have a better picture about the Smartphone after you read its official technical specification.

Quick Catch-up

Now we are moving forward and trying to clarify one of the most confusing parts in technical specification which is Display. For a user this is the most important part and main input/output device. There are lots of factors to consider before you buy as mentioned below.


Display Size

Larger displays give you more space, but at the same time it increases the phone size as well. Decision here is pretty simple. If you need a smaller phone go for small display and if you need large display you have to tolerate the large phone.

Display size of Smartphone generally within the range 3.5” to 5.3”.


Display Resolution

This is the number of pixels placed in the display area. This is normally mentioned in the technical specification as width and height.

EX: 1280 x 800 px

Larger resolution levels would give you more actual space to work. In addition it let you view HD multimedia content as well.


Size – Resolution Sweet Point

This is a tricky point with displays.

  • Physically large displays make the phone larger.
  • Though the display is large, if it’s having lesser resolution then no point because you have lesser actual working space.
  • If the screen is too small, no point of having higher resolution why all the items in it will be tiny.

How to find the sweet spot in Display size and resolution? There you can take a look at the ppi (Pixel per inch), in other words pixel density. Displays with high pixel density will render sharp pictures

ppi Calculation

ppi = {[(display width in pixel)^2 + (display height in pixel)^2] ^ ½} / Display Size in inches

Don’t worry, you won’t have to solve this puzzle. Most of the Smartphone manufactures mention ppi for their displays.

All you have to do is select a Smartphone with desired physical display size and look for ppi value. If it’s greater than 220ppi it would be more than enough for any general work. If your budget allows, go for highest possible ppi value and that kind of display would be super sharp.

Apples iPhone 4S is having 330 ppi display called Retina display. This marketing jargon says that in that kind of pixel density level human eye can’t distinguish pixels in the display.


Display Technology

There are several Display technologies and they will contribute to the quality of display in many ways especially for contrast, brightness, color accuracy and power consumption. Here I have listed them in order and last one is the modern and advanced one.

  • LCD: the basic version of thin displays and most of the computer monitors uses this. Less contrast, brightness, color accuracy and power consumption.
  • LCD IPS: Slightly upgraded version of LCD and having great viewing angle and color accuracy than conventional LCD.
  • LED: Better than LCD when it comes to power consumption.
  • AMOLED: The best disply technology. High contrast, brightness, color accuracy and even power consumption. These displays are capable of displaying true black color and having higher contsrat ratio. The best Smartphone in 2011, Samsung Galaxy S II came with AMOLED display.

The most common type today is LCD IPS. Apple’s iPhone 4S comes with this type of display. If you have bigger budget and higher multimedia requirement go for Smartphone with AMOLED display.

Touch Sensitivity and Protection

When you are buying any Smartphone make sure you buy one with scratch resistant font glass. In a technical specification it will mentioned as Oleophobic Coating. If you need more protection go for a Smartphone with Corning Gorilla Glass with is resistant to even serious scratches.

Almost all of the Smartphone today are using capacitive touch screens with multi touch.  Some manufactures says that its 10 fingers multi touch. Your Smartphone display should at least sensitive to 2 different touches.

Wrapping Up

Here I clarify the marketing jargons in Smartphone displays and what they exactly do. Previously I discussed about Processor and Storage Options. Now you have pretty much clear idea about selecting optimum Smartphone for your requirement.

In the next articles I will be talking about Connectivity, Operating System and Batter Life.

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