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A review of BBC Urdu news mobile application

BBC Urdu service has launched mobile application for its users

BBC Urdu service has launched mobile application for its users

Get Pakistan Breaking News app for Android now!

BBC Urdu service has came leaps and bounds since its inception on 3rd April, 1949. It has seen the times of war and peace, enjoyed vast popularity in the rural areas of Pakistan in the times of martial law and taken criticism from the patriotic people of Pakistan as a propaganda machine of west and India during 1965 and 1971 wars. Of Course BBC Urdu is not the only Urdu radio service which goes on SW and MW, Voice of America, China Radio International and IRIB Urdu Service (Iranian) are some popular services as well, which all come with their own agenda to spread in Pakistan but BBC Urdu is far most popular in all of the above.

I remember when I was young, my grand father who was living in a country side, was so keen to tune-in to BBC Urdu service at 8p.m and then at around 10:30p.m for sair-been and news. I was also used to listen whenever I would be visiting my grand parents home. I loved the accents of all of the Urdu service team especially of Shafi Naqi Jamai. After the death of grand father, I took his radio with me and I still remember those summer nights, waiting for the sair-been to start. Then came the Internet in my home and everything was changed.

BBC Urdu is famous among rural areas only for one reason. It is still the case that although PTV’s (Pakistan’s state owned television) dominance has been broken by the tens of private news channels, each airing news from their own angle and viewer has got much choice, when it comes to the rural areas, most of the people don’t have TV, even if some have one, their culture and their limitations of time don’t allow them to stick with the TV. They still rely on radio and although most of the big cities in Pakistan now have private FM radio stations, when it go to the rural areas, Pakistan radio is the only option, one would listen or otherwise the MW channels of BBC Urdu or other urdu services. Now given the case, Pakistan radio is state owned radio and it is always speaking the language of the government, Pakistani people don’t want to listen to them, primary reason is of course if Pakistan radio is praising Nawaz Sharif at one time, after couple of years it will cursing and accusing him for corruption because the government office has been taken by his rival party. The only choice is left to these Urdu services and BBC is the oldest, they have the nice fine tuned accents, not the Chinese accent of China radio or Persian accents of Iranian radio.

Launching a website in Urdu language was a bold step by BBC but same was the case with all other languages in which they broadcast in their World service. Although the website hardly meet with the websites of Express newspaper or Jang newspaper, I still visit this site only when I am not in mood of reading any depressing news, in BBC’s website, if you skip the main headline, the other news are mostly light weight and easy to sink in.

Now the BBC Urdu website has launched a mobile application for their readers on the move. I tried to download this application on my iPhone and it refused to download, because it doesn’t have the version for the iPhone. Looks like they have given a bit of research to the mobile handsets famous in Pakistan and made an application only for those. Below are the models on which this application work (I got this list because I later-on tried from my Nokia N73):

These all are Nokia models

  • 3250
  • E50
  • E60
  • E70
  • N71
  • N73
  • N75
  • N80
  • N91
  • N93

Here is a word of advise for the team at BBC Urdu that there are hundreds and thousands of Pakistani and Indian people who are abroad and would like to use this service. Skipping the popular phones like iPhone and Palm pre and black berry may not be a good idea. Phones which are listed above are very slow and I seldom use my N73 to go online while I am online most of the time from my iPhone.  Secondly, Nokia is not only popular brand in Pakistan, there are popular handsets as well for example of Sony Ericsson. Thirdly, if they don’t want to go in trouble of making an application for all handsets (maybe Urdu font is not supported in all of them), you may want to give a WAP site as well, which will be accessible from most of the handsets and most of the latest browsers like Safari and Opera Mini can also handle Urdu fonts.

If you are looking to download BBC Urdu service’s mobile news application and new your handset is listed above and you are browsing this article from your mobile phone as well (too many ands eh?) go to BBC Urdu website by clicking here.

Get Pakistan Breaking News app for Android now!

How to get flash player on iPhone

As many of you know that getting flash player on iPhone is a tricky business because Apple hasn’t really bothered about shipping flash player with iPhone even in its latest version i.e. iPhone 3GS (if you try to open YouTube through Safari in your new iPhone 3GS, it will open YouTube videos in YouTube application provided by default by O2 in UK). However, there are third party tools available for this purpose. Flash is a really handy interface and is being used by several sites around the world and if you are browsing the Internet by using default Safari browser on your iPhone, you need to install flash player to see videos or other stuff which rely on flash technology to play itself.

However, if Apple can’t do it for you, independent application developers have done it, now there are plenty of iPhone plugins available which you install to get flash working on your iPhone. One of the such handy plugins is, the iMobileCinema plugin. Watch the video below to know how to install and use this plugin. Please remember there is no way to get flash player working in your safari if you want to remain in iPhone OS. iPhone OS is essentially based on FreeBSD Unix and all techniques which are present on the Internet are known as ‘jail breaking’ where you go out of the iPhone OS and force it to accept your alternative packages. Please do every step at your own risk.

In this video, you have been asked to download a package which is known as Cydia and is a jail breaking package. Once you mange to install it, you need to add iMobileCinema plugin to Cydia installation and that will enable flash player for your Safari browser. Please do these steps on your computer as they are not as straight forward as installing applications from Apple app store.

However, which ever plugin you use, it’s a bit mess to go around this problem, iPhone should have flash player installed in it by default and it should poll the adobe website to get the latest version downloaded by itself, whenever one is available. For the moment, stick with the plugin shown here until Apple do something about it.

How to avoid overheating problem of iPhone 3GS

Couple of days ago I wrote a blog post about the overheating problem of iPhone 3GS due to its batteries, until then I didn’t experienced it personally but thanks to the London weather in last couple of days (32 degree Celsius), I noticed it well. Then dugged through Apple’s website and this is what I got.

iPhone is supposed to work under these conditions:

  • In the temperatures between 32 Fahrenheit to 95 Fahrenheit
  • Should be stored in between -4 degrees Fahrenheit and 113 degrees Fahrenheit (temperature in your car when you leave your iPhone in the dashboard, can be exceedingly more than 113F)

Symptoms of overheating

  • Temperature warning screen could appear
  • iPhone can loose or weakens the carrier signal
  • Screen can go less bright
  • Your iPhone screen can freeze

How to avoid overheating

  • Don’t leave your phone in your car on a hot day
  • Don’t listen to songs, use GPS or other use battery intensive apps for extended periods of time on a hot day
  • Avoid using your iPhone in direct sun light

These are mostly a common problem with any electronic device. Remember when you are watching a movie or playing a game on your Laptop, it heats up and its fan run faster than usual and when you are using a MS Word, it just keep on running smoothly, same is the case with iPhone, the more you use it on a hot day, it processor will emit more heat and that will degrades the performance of your phone.

Unlock application for iPhone 3GS has been released

A 20 year old hacker has found the mechanism to unlock new iPhone 3GS. George Hotz who was the first to unlock iPhone 3G claimed on his block that an app to unlock new phone is ready to use.  The application name is “purplera1n” and you have to have latest iTunes to install it.

Hacker says on his blog that jailbrake for Mac based computers is also on the way. Hotz claimed that he do not generally make the software for public use and users should back-up their data before trying to unlock. iPhone Dev team is yet to find unlock code.

I have figured out following 3 points:

  • Even the unlock application “purplera1n” is not free
  • It is still in beta version so can cause instability to your phone
  • It do not free you from current carrier

The last point is very important if you see it in broader sense, most of the people unlock their mobiles so they can use them when abroad with other carriers. What is the point to get your iPhone unlocked when I will not be able to choose any other carrier plus I will loose all the services given to my by my carrier here in UK, the O2. The best service I like is free Youtube. The unlocking will only return my iPhone to default factory settings leaving me out of all benefits given by my carrier.

P.S The Author is an avid iPhone user. You can reach him by leaving comments under this post.

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