Third Party Motor Insurance Rates (FY 2017 – 2018)

It’s that time of the year when I.R.D.A. (Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority) announces new T.P. Rates for Motor Insurance to be followed by all Insurers pan India.  Every year there is an increase/decrease in these rates that the regulator calculates on the basis of claims ratio & other important criteria.

The formula for the same & calculation method is detailed for your reference here.

This year I have compiled the data along with previous year rates so that increase is clearly evident for easy calculation at a glance.


Revised Motor Third Party Premium w.e.f. 01/04/2017 by I.R.D.A.

2 Wheelers

Current

Previous

a)    Not exceeding 75 C.C.

569.00

569.00

b)    Exceeding 75 C.C. but not exceeding 150 C.C.

720.00

₹ 619.00

c)    Exceeding 150 C.C. but not exceeding 350 C.C.

887.00

693.00

d)    Exceeding 350 C.C.

₹ 1,019.00

796.00

Private Car

Current

Previous

a)    Not exceeding 1,000 C.C.

2,055.00

2,055.00

b)    Exceeding 1,000 C.C. but not exceeding 1,500 C.C.

2,863.00

2,237.00

c)    Exceeding 1,500 C.C.

7,890.00

6,164.00

Goods Carrying Public Carrier (Other than 3 Wheeler)

Current

Previous

a)    G.V.W. not exceeding 7,500 K.G.

14,390.00

14,390.00

b)    G.V.W. exceeding 7,500 K.G. but not exceeding 12,000 K.G.

19,667.00

15,365.00

c)    G.V.W. exceeding 12,000 K.G. but not exceeding 20,000 K.G.

28,899.00

22,577.00

d)    G.V.W. exceeding 20,000 K.G. but not exceeding 40,000 K.G.

31,626.00

24,708.00

e)    G.V.W. exceeding 40,000 K.G.

33,024.00

25,800.00

Goods Carrying Private Carrier (Other than 3 Wheeler)

Current

Previous

a)    G.V.W. not exceeding 7,500 K.G.

₹ 7,938.00

7,849.00

b)    G.V.W. exceeding 7,500 K.G. but not exceeding 12,000 K.G.

₹ 14,330.00

11,528.00

c)    G.V.W. exceeding 12,000 K.G. but not exceeding 20,000 K.G.

9,871.00

9,390.00

d)    G.V.W. exceeding 20,000 K.G. but not exceeding 40,000 K.G.

14,805.00

12,821.00

e)    G.V.W. exceeding 40,000 K.G.

21,318.00

16,655.00

Goods Carrying Motorized Pedal Cycles & 3 Wheelers

Current

Previous

a)    Public Carrier

E Carts

3,969.00

3,969.00

Except E Carts

₹ 5,680.00

₹ 5,680.00

b)    Private Carrier

E Carts

3,438.00

3,438.00

Except E Carts

₹ 4,200.00

₹ 4,200.00

Trailers

Current

Previous

a)    Agricultural Tractors upto 6 H.P.

₹ 653.00

510.00

b)    Other Vehicles including Miscellaneous & Special type of Vehicles

1,673.00

1,307.00

Note: This rate is for one trailer, for more trailers, multiply by no. of trailers.

Passenger Carrying for Hire or Reward

4 Wheelers with Seating Capacity less than 6 passengers

Current (A)

Current (B)

Previous (A)

Previous (B)

a)    Not exceeding 1,000 C.C.

6,396.00

1,230.00

6,396.00

1,230.00

b)    Exceeding 1,000 C.C. but not exceeding 1,500 C.C.

8,408.00

1,035.00

8,408.00

1,035.00

c)    Exceeding 1,500 C.C.

₹ 11,144.00

1,183.00

₹ 11,144.00

1,183.00

Note: T.P. Premium is the total of a basic amount (A) plus an amount derived by multiplying the licensed carrying capacity by the amount in (B).

3 Wheelers with Seating Capacity less than 6 passengers

Current (A)

Current (B)

Previous (A)

Previous (B)

a)    E Rickshaw

1,440.00

689.00

1,125.00

538.00

b)    Except E Rickshaw

2,218.00

1,061.00

1,733.00

829.00

Note: T.P. Premium is the total of a basic amount (A) plus an amount derived by multiplying the licensed carrying capacity by the amount in (B).

Seating Capacity exceeding 6 passengers

Current (A)

Current (B)

Previous (A)

Previous (B)

a)    3 Wheelers

5,318.00

1,061.00

4,155.00

₹ 829.00

b)    4 or more wheeled vehicles

13,176.00

805.00

10,294.00

₹ 629.00

Note: T.P. Premium is the total of a basic amount (A) plus an amount derived by multiplying the licensed carrying capacity by the amount in (B).

Motorized 3 Wheeler carrying passenger for Hire or Reward

Current (A)

Current (B)

Previous (A)

Previous (B)

a)    With carrying capacity more than 17 passengers

12,189.00

745.00

10,294.00

629.00

Note: T.P. Premium is the total of a basic amount (A) plus an amount derived by multiplying the licensed carrying capacity by the amount in (B).

Motorized 2 Wheelers for carrying passengers for Hire or Reward

Current (A)

Current (B)

Previous (A)

Previous (B)

a)    Not exceeding 75 C.C.

790.00

₹ 532.00

702.00

₹ 473.00

b)    Exceeding 75 C.C. but not exceeding 150 C.C.

790.00

₹ 532.00

702.00

₹ 473.00

c)    Exceeding 150 C.C. but not exceeding 350 C.C.

790.00

₹ 532.00

702.00

₹ 473.00

d)    Exceeding 350 C.C.

2,067.00

₹ 532.00

1,615.00

₹ 473.00

Note: T.P. Premium is the total of a basic amount (A) plus an amount derived by multiplying the licensed carrying capacity by the amount in (B).

Miscellaneous & Special Types of Vehicles

Current

Previous

a)    Pedestrian controlled Agricultural Tractors with Horse Power rating not exceeding 6 H.P., Hearses & Plane Loaders

1,148.00

897.00

b)    Other Miscellaneous & Special type of Vehicles

₹ 4,892.00

3,822.00

Motor Trade (Road Transit Risk)

Current

Previous

a)    Distance not exceeding 2,400 K.M.

1,088.00

1,088.00

b)    Distance exceeding 2,400 K.M.

1,308.00

1,308.00

Motor Trade (Road Risk) (Excluding Motorized 2 Wheelers)

Current

Previous

Named Driver or Trade Certificate

a)    1st named driver or certificate

₹ 1,108.00

₹ 985.00

b)    Per additional Drivers / Certificates upto 5

₹ 536.00

476.00

c)    Per additional Drivers / Certificates more than 5 but less than 10

₹ 345.00

307.00

d)    Per additional Drivers / Certificates more than 10 but less than 15

₹ 299.00

266.00

Motor Trade (Road Risk) (For Motorized 2 Wheelers)

Current

Previous

Named Driver or Trade Certificate

a)    1st named driver or certificate

530.00

530.00

b)    Per additional Drivers / Certificates

264.00

264.00

Things To Ascertain Before Planning A Investment

Whenever we want to invest our hard earned money or buy any policy for our loved ones there are numerous things to be decided before even approaching a insurance advisor.  A good advisor helps you decide those things while many of them just focus on their monthly targets.  So let’s get prepared for those questions to avoid any misguidance or mismanagement of that hard earned money that rightfully belongs to you & your loved ones.

The questions that arise are :

  1. What is the PURPOSE of investing?
  2. What TARGET RETURNS can be gained from today’s investment?
  3. What is the investment BUDGET? &
  4. How much RISK TAKING CAPACITY do I have today as well as in future?

Purpose :

First question before doing anything in life is purpose of that act.

WHY should it be done?
WHAT benefits will I derive from doing that act?

Purpose of a investment can be short term like Tax Saving, Buying a automobile, etc. or a long term like Higher Education of your child, Buying Property, Marriage of your child & many other such things.

Plan wisely about your purpose as without it all your efforts may get wasted.

Target Saving :

Once purpose is decided, we need to ascertain how much money we intend to get from our investment so that our purpose gets served.

How much amount will be sufficient for your purpose in the future?

This question gets more tricky than we can think, so we need to be very clear about our purpose.  Take into consideration alternates to compensate if your investment is not enough when the day arrives.  Keep inflation rate in mind for calculating the value of your present investment in future.

Budget :

Once both above questions are answered you get the clear picture of what you need to invest & what you have to invest.

What you need to invest is derived by your

  1. Intended purpose,
  2. Present & future value of your money, &
  3. Returns you intend to earn in future from your investment made today.

What you have to invest can be decided by your

  1. Present household income,
  2. Present household expenses,
  3. Your emergency budget, &
  4. Short term savings.

Risk Taking Capacity :

More often than what we intend the amount to be invested & intended returns don’t match & this leads to the need to become a dare devil by taking risk.

Investment can be a tricky business as if your thinking is not matched by your advisor then everything done so far may go waste.  Advisor should be able to judge your risk taking capacity, importance of your hard earned money to you & your loved ones at present as well as in future.

Investments with guaranteed & safe returns like Traditional Insurance Plans, Bank Deposits etc grow slowly compared to unguaranteed returns like ULIP, Share market, Mutual Funds etc.

Manage your risk efficiently & with utmost care so that your limited resources can render intended results for your colorful future.

Take your time while planning your saving’s/investment’s as some brain storming initially can lead to your long time financial stability & sustainability.

[Step By Step Guide] Fast Booting Your Mi Device Using Mi Flash Tool

Nowadays, there are various options available to us if we get bored of using a particular ROM or sometimes it happens that our smartphone requires a clean fastboot flash to fix it.  So, today let’s discuss about fast booting your device using the Mi Flash Tool.

Thing’s Required :

1) PC/Laptop.
2) USB Cable.
3) Mi Flash Tool.
4) Latest device specific Fastboot ROM.
5) 7 Zip software for PC.
6) Fully charged Mi Smartphone (atleast 50% charge should be there else it may cause trouble).

Once all the above are arranged, we can proceed further…

1) Install 7 Zip.
2) Using 7 Zip extract the Fastboot ROM (TGZ File).

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2

3

3) You will find another zip file (TAR File) in the extracted folder. Extract that file too using 7 Zip

4

5

7

4) Install Mi Flash Tool.
5) Open Mi Flash Tool using icon created after installation.
6) Switch off your phone.
7) Press Vol – & Power button simultaneously to start the device in Fastboot Mode.

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8) Now connect the phone to your PC/Laptop using USB Cable.
9) Press the Refresh button & you will have the following screen of Mi Flash Tool.

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Once device is connected & detected, enter the correct path of the final extracted folder using the Browse button.

Select Flash All for best results as it will clean install the ROM. Now, press Flash button & wait for the procedure to complete. Once successfully flashed device will reboot & you can safely disconnect it from your PC/Laptop.

The device will be showing Mi Logo screen, it will take sometime to install entire MIUI on your device so kindly wait patiently & let the process end.  Once the process ends it will show the MIUI 8 logo for you to do the device setup – just like the new device you get out of box.  Complete the setup & your device is ready to be used.

IMPORTANT NOTE :

  • I did it successfully on my Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.
  • Carry out each instruction very carefully & exactly as directed.
  • I’m not at all responsible for any damage whatsoever to your device.
  • Fastboot your device at YOUR OWN RISK.
  • Take backup of your data as all will be removed during the process.

File Download : Mi Flash Tool

[Step By Step Guide] Snowfall Effect Using Photoshop

It’s winter time & christmas is around the corner.  Many people who play with images love to give different effects to their images & snowfall effect is the one that all love…  Let’s learn to cause some snowfall of your own…

1) Create a new file or open a clicked pic of your choice.

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2) If creating a new image from scratch then make a duplicate layer & if using a clicked image then create a new layer.  Using Paint Bucket Tool fill duplicate/new layer with black color.  In case of creating new image fill color of your choice to the other layer (except white).
2
3) Make black color layer as your active layer & goto Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise.
3
4) When done, goto Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur.
4
5) Now, press Ctrl + M together for Curves pop up menu.  There it can be seen that there is a huge tower with a diagonal line.  Drag & adjust that line at top & bottom to control snow flakes.
5
6) When done, click on black layer for the menu.  Select Blending Options & then change Blend Mode to Screen.
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7) Voila! Your own snowfall is ready…
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Now, enjoy the winter’s & celebrate christmas but don’t forget to let the designer inside you to show his creativity.

[Step By Step Guide] How To Play With Compressed Files On Mobile?

We all have to use zip files on daily basis as lot of data needs to be shared & transferred for day to day tasks, whether official or leisure purpose.  To compress/decompress these files we have to use PC as mobiles phones are unable to use such files.

Sometimes it happens that we don’t have access to a PC & zip file is essential to get the information.  For that tricky situation the solution is provided by ES File Explorer.

ES File Explorer is a file manager app that lets user :

  • Manage & share all local & cloud files.
  • Access remote files.
  • Built-in viewers & players for different file types.
  • Root explorer.
  • App manager.
  • SD Card analyst.
  • & much more…

The feature that comes to user rescue in our scenario is Compressed File support.

ES File Explorer has built in compressed file support which enables user to create new zip files by compressing files of his choice as well as to decompress a existing zip file.

1

 

 

 

As you launch the ES File Explorer app you get this view.  Tap Compressed icon.

 

 

 

2

 

 

On the following screen, tap New.  It will pop up a menu where in you can locate & select the files you want to add to zip.  Name the file & save it.  You can also set file password too.

 

 

 

3

 

 

Saved file shows up in the Compressed folder & the saved file location pops up in the message below.

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

To decompress any file, tap Unzip, menu pops up asking for location to extract the file.  When done, unzip icon changes to Open & extraction location pops up in the message below.

When you tap file name then various options related to file management pop up in a menu.  To view the file with built in ES Zip Viewer tap it & the viewer opens with list of extracted files.

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A compressed file can be unzipped by choosing Extract option too.  It leads to folder selection screen, I selected SD Card.  It then lets you reach extraction location by browsing through file explorer.  Tap extract at the bottom & folder is created with extracted files.

 

 

8

 

 

 

Move To option lets you move the file to a new location.  Just like Extract option it lets you choose location to move file.

 

 

 

Following the above steps as guided you can easily & successfully play with compressing & decompressing the zip files.

Google Allo – A Fun App To Flirt With

During Google I/O Event 2016, Google announced Allo messaging app which they launched on 21 Sep., 2016.  Allo poses great competition to apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp & many more similar apps. To make a mark in this congested market, Google has integrated a few key features that separate it from the lot.

Let’s begin with the Allo review…

1

 

 

To begin with, Google Allo asks for permission to assess :

  • S.M.S. – For reading OTP
  • Contacts – To enable you search your contacts for chatting
  • Media – To share images, audio  video with your contacts.

 

 

2

 

 

 

Once the required permsissions are granted, moving ahead it detects your mobile no. & sends an OTP (Google Verification Code).  It reads it automatically if permission is granted else you can enter manually.

 

 

3

 

 

 

Moving ahead, it asks you to set your profile image & user name.  For profile image there are options to select image from gallery, file explorer or click a selfie instantly.

 

 

4

 

Once you are done with the formalities of preparing the app for first use, you land on the Chat List window.  You are welcomed by Google Assistant.  All your chats with your contacts or the groups will appear here.

  • Here you get the option to search through your chats at the top.
  • Long pressing a chat opens a menu with additional options like Delete, Notifications & Block.
  • At the bottom, you have a icon with message logo which allows you to start a chat.

 

7

 

 

By clicking message icon at the bottom you can start a new chat with your contacts or create a group for chat with your gang of friends.  If  you want privacy & security it has Incognito Mode where users can chat privately with end-to-end encryption. You can control how long your messages stick around with expiring chats & additionally there is option to use private notifications to hide your chats from shoulder surfers.

 

5

 

When you press the Menu icon, you can find a few options to optimise/customise Allo.  Here you can,

 

  • Edit profile image & user name.
  • Block the people you don’t want to chat with.
  • Settings options where you can add your Google account & Unregister your phone number apart from other options.
  • Get help & send feedback.

 

6

 

 

Google Assistant integration brings Google search into the app.  Users can search hotels, flights, theaters & events all from within the app without having to leave the conversation.  It brings in tools like Maps, YouTube & even Translate.

 

 

 

8

 

On initiating chat with a contact you get a top bar with contact name & his profile image.  Profile image logo doubles up as chat settings menu, that enables you to :

  • Check chat details.
  • Mute the chat notifications.
  • Clear chat history.
  • Search the chat conversation.
  • Get help & send feedback.

 

It’s similar for Group Chat, with additional options for :

  • Group Details – Add/remove members.
  • Add People.

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At the bottom is text bar with some icons.

Tapping + opens up a tab with various options for inserting media in chat, like camera clicks/recordings, gallary images, stickers & locate location.  To return back to chat tap the keyboard icon.

Default Google Allo emojis are available on the text bar along with the mic – in case you want to dictate messages & rest your fingers.

 

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It also has a wide range of Stickers designed by independent artists & studios from around the world.  To add more stickers tap the + icon & you will be lead to Sticker Store.  Just select the ones you like & they will appear in adjacent tab once they are installed.

 

 

 

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Allo has some unique smart features added like:

Smart Reply – it gives you suggestions of replies while texting.  It uses artificial intelligence to read your texting patterns & then pops suggestions accordingly.  For example, it gathers information over time whether you are a ‘Hey’ or a ‘Hello’ person & suggests replies on top of the text bar.  It also reads the images that are sent on the app & suggests replies to that as well.

Google Assistant – It enables smart search for places, hotels, videos, information & much more, right from the chat.  Sometimes it just picks up the search word even if written normally but its recommended to tag google assistant for searching whatever info you want to share/search, while chatting.  However you can anytime chat with Google Assistant right from the chat list, if not chatting with any contact.

Whisper Shout – the ability to increase the size of the text right at the moment you want to post it.  Just long press send button for slider to pop up.

Ink – it enables to write/doodle on pictures before sending them on Allo.

 

My Opinion

 

Google Allo is an instant messaging app that makes conversations easier, more productive & more expressive with features like Smart Reply & Google Assistant integration to make it stand out.  It seems to be smooth, easy to use, feature rich app with unique smart functions.  Integrated Google search via Google Assistant helps you to search the web without having to leave the chat.  Plan anything anytime with your gang without any hassle or delay.  Smart reply lets you use any type of keyboard – even those which don’t have prediction feature.  No need to download/use any other app for doodling – all thanks to Ink.

Pros

 

  • Simple interface.
  • Easy to use.
  • Google Assistant helps in searching web for information related to everything & anything.
  • Smart Reply understans our texting pattern & suggests accordingly – better than any keyboard app prediction feature.
  • Ink lets you doodle images right before sharing – no need for any other app.
  • Search within message chat.
Cons

 

  • No option for making audio/video calls.
  • No option to edit message once posted (as in Telegram).
  • If device is switched, all previous chat data is lost as its non transferable.
  • Google Assistant doesn’t answers any question regarding using Allo or its features.
  • Can’t search/add any Allo user by user name (as in QQ).  Person has to be in your contact book.

AppLock – Protect Your Privacy, The Way You Want

In today’s world, with over use of social media apps & multiple functions served by mobile phones or rather the Smart Phones, everyone needs to protect their privacy & sensitive data from the preying eyes.

For this purpose, we need app lock apps & one such app is aptly named AppLock.  Developed by DoMobile Labs., it’s an app which let’s you protect your phone in a very customized manner.  You can lock apps for a specified period of time on a regular basis or for a particular location.

Let’s start with the app review of this highly downloaded app on Google Play Store with over 500,000,000 downloads.

01

 

First Look :

When the app is launched for the first time, it asks you to draw a pattern & confirm it.  Then you have to provide the Security Email ID for password retrieval in case you forget your password.

 

 

 

Once security check is dealt with, you get the glimpse of the Home Screen.  Menu icon in left top corner of app home screen opens the following menu.

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AppLock settings can be accessed by tapping settings icon at the top.

Tapping the rest of the area opens Account Center, which shows your app membership details.

AppLock takes you back to app home screen.

Plugins has a few recommendations of apps to use with AppLock or standalone.

Themes shows various themes for the app.

At the bottom are various options to rate, share & promote app.

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Another place to access settings & rate, share/promote options is by tapping the 3 dots on the right top corner of the home screen.

 

 

07

 

Settings :

Here you can set a few options that can enable you to :

  1. Hide AppLock from notification bar.
  2. Alert you when a profile is activated via Time Lock or Location Lock.
  3. Hide images.
  4. Lock newly installed apps .

 

 

Now let’s begin with the AppLock, which is divided into 2 tabs :

  1. Privacy
  2. Protect

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Privacy :

There are a few options to set up AppLock for :

  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Customized app locking by :
  1. Different Profiles
  2. Time Lock (Show up on tapping More)
  3. Location Lock (Show up on tapping More)

Underneath these options is a complete list of apps installed on your device, categorized into various categories depending upon their utility & functions.

Advanced :

Apps that control basic mobile functionality like calling, app installation/uninstallation or the recent apps.

Switch  Lock :

Locks all toggle switches like Bluetooth, WiFi, Mobile Network & many other such toggles to prevent uninformed on/off by any unauthorised person.

General :

Restricts assess to all installed apps.

Let us now look at the various options respectively.

 

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Photo Vault :

Photos on your device can be locked by moving them to the vault.  Once moved they are unaccessable from any other place on your phone.

 

 

15

 

 

Video Vault :

Similar to the photos vault, Video Vault locks your device videos to the vault.

 

 

16

 

Profiles :

If you want to lock apps in a way that when you want them most, they should remain unlocked or if you want to set some rule to lock apps partially under specific conditions then you can customize it by creating Profiles.

Either lock all the apps or select the apps to lock & name the profile.

Created profiles can be applied from here too.

 

17Another place to access profiles is the bottom of the AppLock home screen.

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More :

Tapping this button opens up 2 options that can customize AppLock highly & enable you to lock apps depending on day & time or your location.

 

 

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Time Lock :

This option customizes AppLock in such a way that the apps get locked automatically at a specified time by activating the selected profile.  Even customization for specific days can be done.

 

 

 

20

 

 

Location Lock :

AppLock uses your WiFi network to ascertain your location & thus lock your apps.

Near & Away profiles can be set to work within a particular WiFi network & out of it.

 

03

 

Protect :

This tab has 3 options that controls device security in different ways :

  • Security
  • General
  • Magic

Let’s understand them individually.

 

04Security :

It has 2 options.

Unlock Settings : It lets you select the unlock method –

Pattern : Set any pattern by connecting atleast 4 dots to unlock your device.  You can also activeate/deactivate Pattern Visibility & Vibrate on Touch.

Password : Unlocks device on punching in the 4 digit pass code.  Here in, you can set Password Hint & activate/deactivate Random Keyboard & Vibrate on Touch.

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Security Settings :

You have to set Security Q & A for your account alongwith the Security Email ID.  These options come handy in unfortunate cases like when you forget the pass code or any other such unforeseen unwanted situation.

 

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General :

  1. Power Saving Mode – If enabled, helps saving upto 50% power usage.
  2. Advanced Protection – Installs a plugin which prevents anyone from killing/uninstalling the app.
  3. Allow a brief exit – Allows you to reuse a app without re-locking it, for a specified time set here.
  4. Re-lock after Screen On – Re-locks all the apps once the screen is locked, irrespective of time set in brief exit.

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Magic :

  1. Hide AppLock – Removes AppLock icon from home screen.  If activated, AppLock can be accessed from browser or by entering password from dialer,
  2. Random Keyboard – Random Keyboard is a innovative idea to let you key in the pass code.  Its like normal keyboard but here the numbers are continuously placed randomly so that if someone gets to know your password by noticing you while punching in the code, they can’t enter the correct code because the numbers get jumbled.
  3. Cover – Adds a fake cover so that unauthorized users get confused & only authorized user can use the apps.

Now, let’s check other options of the Main Menu.

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Plugins :

Here some useful apps from DoMobile Labs. are listed, that can be used either individually or in combination with the AppLock.

Tapping any of them takes you to the Google Play page of that app for download & installation.

 

 

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Themes :

It’s divided into 2 tabs :

Featured – There are various themes for the AppLock Unlock screen, which you can download form Google Play.  Tapping the theme will directly take you to the theme download page.

Installed – Downloaded themes once installed show up on this tab.

 

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In the upper right corner of the themes is the background icon to change the AppLock Unlock screen background, where you can select any image stored on your device.

It let’s you define 2 backgrounds respectively for Portrait mode & Landscape mode.

 

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There is a dial pad icon at the top right corner of the background screen, which lets you change the text color of the numbers of the dial pad.

 

 

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Forgot Password :

If you forget your pass code then you can retreive it from the unlock screen, anytime.

 

 

 

My Opinion :

After 5 days of usage, I can easily say that it is one of the best app lock available for Android.  No doubt that it is highly downloaded app on the Google Play store.  Being highly customisble it helps a lot in avoiding unauthorized access to the device.

Pros :

  1. Can lock apps according to day & time.
  2. Can lock apps as per your location.
  3. Can confuse unauthorized users by faking Fingerprint Scanning & App Force Close.
  4. Has high level of pass code protection via Random Keyboard.

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Cons :

Repetitive options…

  1. Multiple options to access profiles, settings & share/rate.
  2. Profiles & More buttons can make way for Time Lock & Location Lock.

Known Issues :

It works very smoothly on Stock Android ROM but when its used on Custom ROM’s like MIUI, it may not work at all because the Display Pop Up Window permission is denied by default.

To use it on custom ROM’s follow the following steps :

Go to Settings -> Installed Apps -> All -> AppLock -> Permission Manager & give permission to Display Pop Up Window

Download Link : Google Play

Prisma – Unleash The Artist In You

PRISMA

After a long wait, finally Prisma was lauched & released for Android devices on 24 July 2016. Here is my review of the app with all options explained in detail.

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Home Screen :

When you open the app, you find the screen divided in 2 parts :

  1. Top half screen as Camera View Finder to click an image to start working on it.
  2. Bottom half has all Options related to the working of the Prisma app.

 

 

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Prisma Options :

  1. Flash – Flash button is a multi toggle button which when presed repeatedly turns Flash to Auto, Permanently On & Permanently Off option.
  2. Rotate Camera – To switch between Front & Rear camera.
  3. Settings – For various app settings.
  4. Shutter Button – To click the image for converting it to awesome art work.
  5. Gallery – For converting your lovely pictures stored on your device into professional looking art work.

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Settings :

Settings menu is a very simple one, with no complex options. Just a couple of options related to saving of images, artwork or adding watermark to the creations.

 

 

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Gallery :

If you want to use pre clicked images stored on your device, this option lets you browse the stored image from different apps.

 

 

 

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Editing :

Once you have selected the image, app moves forward for editing :

  1. Grid lines help in easily managing the image alignment.
  2. If you want to change the image then press the X.
  3. Rotate option lets you rotate image as per your requirement.
  4. You can pinch in & out for zooming in or out the image.

Tapping on Next takes you forward to the next step.

 

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Filters :

There are over 29 unique filters at your disposal. You can use any of them as per your liking or as per the image. All filters may not suit the image being used so its a part where you have to hit & try as to what looks good.

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Once you have selected & applied the desired filter the screen will look like this adjoining pic.

Once the filter is applied you can control how much effect you want to give to the image. Here is a sample of how it looks like when you apply the filter at 0%, 25% & 100%.

 

 

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Image Saving & Sharing :

Between the image viewer & scrolling filters list, are various options that enable you to save & share the edited image.

  1. Download – Downloads the image to your device.
  2. Facebook – Directly share the images with your friends on Facebook.
  3. Share – Enables you to share image on various social connectivity apps like Whatsapp, Telegram etc. or to save it to cloud storage like Drop Box, Google Photos etc.

 

My Opinion :

I used Prisma for 1 whole day. Its an superb app which can give realistic artistic touch to your pictures. If you can have patience for its upcoming updates – to fix minor glitches/bugs the app has, then it may prove to be a great app for you.

Pros :

  1. At just 7 MB its one of the lightest & most productive app related to high level image editing.
  2. Easy to use app with no complex options/settings.
  3. With over 29 filters gives wider scope for experimentation.
  4. Gives professional level artistic touch to the images.

Cons :

  1. As its just 1 day old, there are a few random glitches experienced by different users.
  2. With over 29 filters user has to hit & try a lot before getting the desired result.
  3. Image size should be as per the viewer size, as bigger images can’t be zoomed in to reduce their size & gets cut from edges.

Known Issues :

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Editing screen doesn’t shows the selected image for editing. Instead it shows black screen with PRISMA written on it.

 

 

 

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Due to slow server response, sometimes there is delay in image display on the filters screen. It shows black screen with PRISMA written on it.

 

 

 

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Server doesn’t responds sometimes leading to an failed attempt in applying the filter.

Zero Depreciation Insurance

Zero Depreciation or Zero Dep. Insurance also called Nil Depreciation is the costliest & most beneficial policy available as on date.  Here, additional premium is demanded over & above the premium charged for vehicle value.

This policy includes Comprehensive as well as Third Party Insurance.  It rather is a extension of Comprehensive Insurance as it is an optional add-on, which can be opted to convert Comprehensive Policy to Zero Depreciation Policy.  This policy compensates Third Party expenses as well as the repairing cost of the damaged vehicle – that too without any deductions for depreciation whatsoever.

It is available for new vehicles only for upto 3 years by most of the companies & 5 years by some companies.  It does offers different options like :

  1. Normal Zero Dep. – Its the cheapest zero dep. version which covers damages to car body.
  2. Engine Zero Dep. – A bit costly as it additionally covers engine & engine fluids in addition to the above.
  3. Consumable Zero Dep. – Its the costliest version with maximum benefits & covering each & every part of the vehicle, even tyres too.

Additional benefits of Zero Dep. Policy are as follows :

  1. Emergency Transport & Hotel Expenses.
  2. Loss of Personal Belonging.
  3. Key Replacement.
  4. Roadside Assistance Cover (Offered by some, while some charge for it).

Other benefits may vary from company to company.

Easiest Ways To Retrieve Data From A Lost Android Smartphone

It happens many times with us that we lose our precious & personal information rich smartphone & then the panic button is pressed as if the smartphone is in wrong & bad hands then our entire life can be ruined socially & financially.  The foremost thought on losing a smartphone is not only its quick retrieval but how to secure data from falling into wrong hands & its recovery.  Various threats or concerns  on losing a smartphone & solutions for them are as follows :

Tracking & Retrieving Smartphone

For this purpose Google has Android Device Manager which when activated helps in :

  • Tracking device location.
  • Remotely locking the phone by changing the current password (handy if no password is set).
  • Wipe the phone memory of all data.

This service can be accessed by visiting here.

Apart from Google some device manufacturers provide same service.

Contacts

Saving contacts is a industrious task as entering each & every detail is very labourious & boring.  There were days when contact meant only saving a phone number but nowadays a contact means oceans of information regarding a person from phone number to address to personal info like dates of birth & anniversary.  Personal & professional details like emails, websites, social media app id’s etc can also be added to a contact which makes it very painful if a contact is lost as gathering whole information is a uphill task.

Everyone uses email services like Google’s Gmail etc which have facility to save contacts online with full information.  These contacts can be easily synced with your phone once you log into your email app on your smartphone.

Some device manufacturers also provide similar services.

Images/Videos

Those loving, funny, caring moments that you saved for cherishing forever by capturing them from your camera are a possession of a life time.  Losing them can be a real heart break as you can buy new device, gather all lost information again but you can’t relive that perfect memorable moment again.

Google’s Photos is a easiest way to keep them safe.

Some device manufacturers also provide similar services.

These can also be backed up using some cloud service like Dropbox etc.

Messages

Sometimes we save some important messages in our message box for future references.  Losing them may cause inconvenience & they can harm us in a big way if accessed by the wrong/bad guys.

Some device manufacturers also provide similar services.

Files/Data

Every user has enormous data on their smartphone storage like business files (excels, word documents, presentations etc), songs, movies etc.  If lost, it may be impossible to gather all the data again & even if possible then it may take a lot of time.  Backing up such data is the best way to be on safer side.

Google’s Drive helps in storing the data online so that the files can be accessed from anywhere anytime easily.

Other alternate for this is to backup them using a cloud service like Dropbox so that the data is easily recoverable & transferable to a new device.

Apps

Apps installed can always be accessed from the Google Play Store list but if device manufacturers service is active on your device then it can backup all your apps, home screen layout & settings for easy retrieval once you log back into your cloud service.

As we now know that we can retrieve almost all types of data from our lost device very easily lets check out the services mentioned & how they work.

Google

Google has integrated all its services with each other so closely that any Android user can access them without any fuss & free of cost (for basic level).

Google provides 15 GB space on creating a Google account where Gmail, Drive, Photos etc all store your data for easy retrieval.  You don’t have to remember a long list of passwords or numerous app names for this.  Just buy your new Android device, configure your Google account & you are good to go as all Google apps are by default installed on your device.  Google apps help you backup different types of data using different apps.

Device Manager Locate device, Reset password & Wipe data
Gmail Email & Contacts
Drive Business files, music, softwares etc
Photos Images & Videos
Play Store Apps installed

Device Manufacturer Cloud Service

 
Some smartphone manufacturers also provide free cloud space (generally 5 GB) to their users for data backup.  This service is very useful & every user should take benefit of this service as different type of data, which cannot be saved by any other means can be backed up & retrieved  easily using this cloud service.  Different type of data that can be backed up is Contacts, Messages, Images, Videos, Apps, Settings, Home Screen layout & lost device tracking.
Cloud Services
 
There are lot of online cloud service providers like Dropbox etc that give users specified free cloud space for data storage.  Here one can backup Business files (excels, word documents, presentations etc), Music, Images, Videos, Softwares etc.
 
NOTE :

  • These service are very useful but they have a drawback – if the person in possession of your device deletes the data & syncs all your accounts, then entire data will be lost.  So take precaution & be alert to track the device or delete/delink online cloud services as soon as you realise that you have lost your beloved device.
  • There are numerous other services for the above purposes feel free to explore the Google Play Store. (Listed these because theese are very common).