Vishal Mathur

Vishal Mathur is Technology Editor for Hindustan Times. When not making sense of technology, he often searches for an elusive analog space in a digital world.

Articles by Vishal Mathur

Electric vehicles in India: Miles to go, but the journey has begun

There aren’t nearly enough charging stations yet. Power supply is erratic across most of the country. The true turning point, though, will be manufacturing EV car batteries indigenously, so prices can drop. Currently, the battery accounts for about half the cost of the vehicle, and might need to be replaced in eight years.
The government aims to have about 4,500 EV charging stations across India by 2024, up from the current 1,800. But India will need about 100 times that many — at least 4 lakh charging stations — to match its stated target of 2 million EVs on the roads by 2026. (Reuters)
The government aims to have about 4,500 EV charging stations across India by 2024, up from the current 1,800. But India will need about 100 times that many — at least 4 lakh charging stations — to match its stated target of 2 million EVs on the roads by 2026. (Reuters)
Updated on Dec 11, 2021 12:43 PM IST
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Charging ahead: An overview of the EV market in India

The world is plugging into electric vehicles. India is too. But choosing a car or bike model is only the first step. See what it means to invest in and operate an EV, how far they can take you, and the speedbumps you can expect along the way.
 (Pixabay)
(Pixabay)
Updated on Dec 11, 2021 12:23 PM IST
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Apple HomePod Mini gets cool colours, lossless audio is the big draw

For a compact speaker (it is just 8-centimeters tall), this does make for a pleasant first impression
For most homes, the HomePod Mini works well enough for bedrooms and slightly bigger hall spaces. (Apple)
For most homes, the HomePod Mini works well enough for bedrooms and slightly bigger hall spaces. (Apple)
Published on Dec 10, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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How close are we to unlocking 5G on our phones? Taking stock of India’s 5G map

It is expected that India will clock the second-highest global consumption of mobile data per month by 2027; 50GB per month on average, up from the existing monthly average of 12GB
There have been indications of a 5G auction lined-up for the summer of 2022 once the government receives the recommendations on pricing and other matters. (AFP File Photo)
There have been indications of a 5G auction lined-up for the summer of 2022 once the government receives the recommendations on pricing and other matters. (AFP File Photo)
Published on Dec 09, 2021 02:43 PM IST
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Woonkly gives social media a unique NFT twist and potential metaverse links

Post a photo, video, audio file or a piece of art, as you would on social networks you’ve known all along and once you do, Woonkly will convert the post into an NFT, or a non-fungible token
Woonkly says its vision is to become the worldwide directory between reality and the metaverse gradually. (Photo Courtesy-Woonkly)
Woonkly says its vision is to become the worldwide directory between reality and the metaverse gradually. (Photo Courtesy-Woonkly)
Published on Dec 08, 2021 11:11 AM IST
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Audio-Technica ATH-IEX1: Sound signature worth the splurge

The Audio-Technica ATH-IEX1 are surprisingly lightweight too, and very comfortable to wear even for hours at a stretch
Every time you hold up the Audio-Technica ATH-IEX1, you wouldn’t be able to ignore the craftsmanship. (Photo Courtesy- Audio Technica)
Every time you hold up the Audio-Technica ATH-IEX1, you wouldn’t be able to ignore the craftsmanship. (Photo Courtesy- Audio Technica)
Published on Dec 07, 2021 04:47 PM IST
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Global experiments with digital currency: Do stable coins have a role to play?

Bitcoin, arguably the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, and prone to volatility, has seen lows of $18,058.9 and highs of $67,566 over the past 12 months
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, all use publicly available ledgers that trace transactions back to crypto wallets that were used. (ReutersFile Photo)
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, all use publicly available ledgers that trace transactions back to crypto wallets that were used. (ReutersFile Photo)
Published on Dec 06, 2021 04:38 PM IST
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Android’s new features: Wider privacy canvas, BMW car keys and new Google Photos

Android phone users have several new features to look forward to. In the days and weeks to come, Google will roll out new apps and feature sets
Android phone users have several new features to look forward to. In the days to come, Google will roll out new apps and feature sets. (Google)
Android phone users have several new features to look forward to. In the days to come, Google will roll out new apps and feature sets. (Google)
Updated on Dec 03, 2021 08:39 PM IST
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Qualcomm’s always-on camera tech for smartphones raises privacy concerns

Android smartphones with the next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will have an always-on camera that will let users unlock the phone by looking at it. Qualcomm says the data collected by the front-facing camera will be processed on the device.
Qualcomm has said the data collected by the front-facing camera in a phone will be processed on the device itself and none of that will be sent to the cloud for processing.
Qualcomm has said the data collected by the front-facing camera in a phone will be processed on the device itself and none of that will be sent to the cloud for processing.
Published on Dec 02, 2021 12:40 PM IST
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Nothing ear (1) black edition arrives with carbon neutrality and crypto payments

The Nothing ear (1) black edition wireless earbuds will go on sale on Flipkart in India for the first time on 13 December
Nothing said the new Nothing ear (1) product line is carbon neutral, and that they’ll start accepting payments in popular cryptocurrencies in some countries
Nothing said the new Nothing ear (1) product line is carbon neutral, and that they’ll start accepting payments in popular cryptocurrencies in some countries
Published on Dec 01, 2021 09:43 PM IST
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Spotify Wrapped 2021 is a timely reminder of your favorite music and podcasts

In the music streaming space, Spotify has faced competition this year from Apple Music. Apple rolled out the Lossless Audio high-resolution music option alongside Spatial Audio, over the summer.
Spotify Wrapped 2021 year-in-review is a timely reminder of the music and podcasts you’ve listened to the most through the best part of the year gone by.vishal (HT Image/Vishal Mathur)
Spotify Wrapped 2021 year-in-review is a timely reminder of the music and podcasts you’ve listened to the most through the best part of the year gone by.vishal (HT Image/Vishal Mathur)
Published on Dec 01, 2021 08:16 PM IST
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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips will power Android flagship phones in 2022

Qualcomm confirms that phone makers have already confirmed flagship phones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips
Qualcomm indicates the performance benefit will be as much as 20 percent compared with the predecessor and will also be 30 percent more power efficient. (Image Courtesy: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm indicates the performance benefit will be as much as 20 percent compared with the predecessor and will also be 30 percent more power efficient. (Image Courtesy: Qualcomm)
Published on Dec 01, 2021 12:28 PM IST
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Nokia T20 can stop the budget Android tablet market from drifting aimlessly

It has been a long wait of seven years for an Android tablet market that has shown little excitement and innovation in the interim
For a tablet with a 10.4 inch display, the Nokia T20 does have a rather well-in-check footprint. (Image-Nokia)
For a tablet with a 10.4 inch display, the Nokia T20 does have a rather well-in-check footprint. (Image-Nokia)
Published on Nov 30, 2021 04:09 PM IST
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OnePlus Nord 2 x Pac-Man Edition: Just enough for fans to chase in the maze

OnePlus had tweaked the OxygenOS software for the McLaren editions earlier with some nice touches. A similar treatment with the OnePlus Nord 2 x Pac-Man Edition is seen as well, with visual tweaks and easter eggs hidden along the way
The back panel of the OnePlus Nord 2 x Pac-Man Edition glows in green to reveal a maze-like pattern. (Image Courtesy: OnePlus)
The back panel of the OnePlus Nord 2 x Pac-Man Edition glows in green to reveal a maze-like pattern. (Image Courtesy: OnePlus)
Published on Nov 29, 2021 03:56 PM IST
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Metaverse universe: Realty and luxury brands wait for you to splash crypto cash

A plot of digital land has sold for $2.43 million. This is on the Decentraland Marketplace platform which sells digital/virtual land and collectibles for your metaverse life’s preparations
Real estate, fashion, entertainment, and gaming companies are making a beeline for the next big upgrade to the internet (Photo sourced)
Real estate, fashion, entertainment, and gaming companies are making a beeline for the next big upgrade to the internet (Photo sourced)
Published on Nov 29, 2021 01:32 PM IST
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Aiwa’s MI –X150 Retro Plus X speaker sounds impressive, literally

The fit and finish, the audio tuning and the retro look does the MI –X150 Retro Plus X a world of good. If only the name wasn’t such a mouthful
Aiwa’s MI –X150 Retro Plus X speaker. (Aiwa)
Aiwa’s MI –X150 Retro Plus X speaker. (Aiwa)
Published on Nov 26, 2021 05:06 PM IST
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Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X: The gaming story, a year later

For the entirety of last year, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X have been largely out of stock. When they did show up, the stocks didn’t last for too long. It was a mix of limited supply and pent-up demand
For much of last year, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X have been largely out of stock. (HT photo)
For much of last year, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X have been largely out of stock. (HT photo)
Published on Nov 26, 2021 11:33 AM IST
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For Apple and Google, fight against state-sponsored spyware isn’t getting easier

Pegasus isn’t the only spyware that has been in the news recently. Earlier this year, it was revealed that a spyware called Karma was being used to snoop on activists, diplomats, and journalists since 2016
A file photo of a smartphone with the website of Israel's NSO Group on display, in Paris. (AFP/File)
A file photo of a smartphone with the website of Israel's NSO Group on display, in Paris. (AFP/File)
Published on Nov 25, 2021 05:52 PM IST
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Trail gone cold: How private cryptos camouflage transactions for anonymity

While you may be familiar with popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are a bunch of cryptos that ensure privacy of transactions. These cryptos cannot be tracked
While you may be familiar with popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are a bunch of cryptos that ensure privacy of transactions. (REUTERS/File)
While you may be familiar with popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are a bunch of cryptos that ensure privacy of transactions. (REUTERS/File)
Published on Nov 24, 2021 02:28 PM IST
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Spotlight on ‘private cryptocurrencies’ as debate surrounds new Bill

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 comes up for discussion soon, days after the RBI warned that cryptocurrencies pose concerns surrounding financial stability
Regulation on cryptocurrencies will be up for discussion in the winter session of Parliament, which starts on November 29. (Reuters/File)
Regulation on cryptocurrencies will be up for discussion in the winter session of Parliament, which starts on November 29. (Reuters/File)
Published on Nov 24, 2021 12:42 PM IST
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Apple MacBook Pro 14 review: So powerful, this won’t have a rival anytime soon

There is no mincing any words here—these are the most powerful laptops right now. And that’s good news for the power users such as content creators, video editors and photo editors
Apple has listed two options for the MacBook Pro 14 on the Apple India online store. (Image Courtesy-Apple)
Apple has listed two options for the MacBook Pro 14 on the Apple India online store. (Image Courtesy-Apple)
Published on Nov 23, 2021 06:14 PM IST
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How to prevent app-tracking on Android phones even as Google drags its feet?

Android does not have a tracking-prevention feature. The only trusted app we can recommend is DuckDuckGo. If you find apps on Google Play Store that claim to prevent apps from tracking you, take it with a pinch of salt
Android has 71.09% share among smartphone operating systems and as of May this year, had already clocked 3 billion users globally. That’s a lot of data for apps to collect. (DuckDuckGo)
Android has 71.09% share among smartphone operating systems and as of May this year, had already clocked 3 billion users globally. That’s a lot of data for apps to collect. (DuckDuckGo)
Updated on Nov 23, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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OnePlus Watch Harry Potter Limited Edition: Ample persuasion for fans to splurge

Power it on and you’ll have a choice of six new Harry Potter special watch faces - Hogwarts badge, the castle and four of what you’d recognise as Hogwarts houses - Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff
The OnePlus Watch Harry Potter Limited Edition. (OnePlus)
The OnePlus Watch Harry Potter Limited Edition. (OnePlus)
Published on Nov 22, 2021 09:32 AM IST
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Tech tonic with Vishal Mathur: Should you get a robot vacuum cleaner?

Today’s robovacs are finally smart enough to find their way around a room. They still need to be emptied manually, some prep is necessary on the floor. And price, at 12,000 to 44,000, remains a barrier.
 (Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 20, 2021 12:59 PM IST
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Apple AirPods 3rd gen: An upgrade inspired by the more expensive AirPods Pro

You’d be better off saving some money buying the Apple AirPods 3rd gen instead of the AirPods Pro. The new custom audio hardware is worth every bit of money you spend on these wireless earbuds
The Apple AirPods 3rd gen is an upgrade inspired by the more expensive AirPods Pro. (Apple)
The Apple AirPods 3rd gen is an upgrade inspired by the more expensive AirPods Pro. (Apple)
Published on Nov 19, 2021 05:45 PM IST
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DIY: Apple will soon let you repair your iPhone, Mac at home

Apple will allow users to carry out DIY repairs on certain iPhone and Mac computers. It starts next year with the new Self Service Repair option, which will roll out in the US and other countries
A person uses an iPhone in New York. Apple will soon roll out a DIY repair feature for some of its iPhone models and Mac models. (AP/File)
A person uses an iPhone in New York. Apple will soon roll out a DIY repair feature for some of its iPhone models and Mac models. (AP/File)
Updated on Nov 18, 2021 11:31 AM IST
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Can you, and should you, make NFTs from artwork, collectibles and tweets?

There is a potential of earning big from a sale of a collectible you may have as an NFT. This is not financial advice, but NFT sales have seen a steady increase over the past few months
Top artwork NFTs on the OpenSea platform, which also hosts NFTs for music, collectibles, domain names, trading cards and sports. (Screen shot)
Top artwork NFTs on the OpenSea platform, which also hosts NFTs for music, collectibles, domain names, trading cards and sports. (Screen shot)
Published on Nov 17, 2021 10:32 AM IST
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Has Google just proved how difficult it is to make foldable phones?

Research firm Counterpoint’s Foldable Smartphone Shipment Forecast from August indicates the foldable smartphone market in the year 2023 will be 10 times bigger than now
Android 12 integrates optimisations that make it better for foldable phones, but we’ll not be able to experience the improvements in the pure form on a Pixel foldable phone, just yet. (Image Courtesy- DSCC)
Android 12 integrates optimisations that make it better for foldable phones, but we’ll not be able to experience the improvements in the pure form on a Pixel foldable phone, just yet. (Image Courtesy- DSCC)
Published on Nov 16, 2021 04:35 PM IST
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Can a battery replace petrol in your next car?

Carmakers, infrastructure companies, and power suppliers are installing larger and fast chargers at public charging zones. These can charge an almost discharged EV battery up to 80% in around 60 minutes
EVs do not have an engine working alongside the battery power to move a car along. It is just the electric motor drawing power from the battery to drive you along. (Bloomberg Photo/Representative use)
EVs do not have an engine working alongside the battery power to move a car along. It is just the electric motor drawing power from the battery to drive you along. (Bloomberg Photo/Representative use)
Published on Nov 15, 2021 12:39 PM IST
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Amazon Fire TV 4K Max: Still offers more than Android TV streaming stick rivals

Across the board, the attraction remains the same. Simple plug and play - connect this with the HDMI port on your TV, and even if yours is a smart TV, it becomes smarter still
The Amazon Fire TV 4K Max gets Wi-Fi 6 standard support, more RAM and the new Live View Picture-in-Picture mode. (Amazon)
The Amazon Fire TV 4K Max gets Wi-Fi 6 standard support, more RAM and the new Live View Picture-in-Picture mode. (Amazon)
Published on Nov 12, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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