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Planet of the Apps

July 12th, 2012 No comments

We all know that apps are taking over our lives, but to what extent?

As we all know, there is now an app for everything, whether you use an iPhone, Android or tablet device. 3G connections have changed the way we live, and mobile broadband has meant that apps are at our fingertips wherever we are in the world.

Who would have thought that Android would be catching up iOS with the number of apps it has available? And who would have thought that 6.5 million of us downloaded Angry Birds on Christmas Day?

We’re celebrating the Planet of the Apps by sharing this data on our app habits…

Planet of the Apps

Planet of the Apps

Kindle Fire

December 6th, 2011 1 comment
Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire

The Amazon Kindle Fire is the first full tablet device from the world`s largest online retailer. It comes from a family of eBook readers but sets out on its own to give you a connected, interactive experience which focuses on content delivery, multimedia and gaming.

The Kindle Fire is arguably not a direct rival to the iPad 2, but tablet fans will certainly be keen to take a look at it given that Amazon is pricing it at half the cost of Apple`s tablet. The Kindle Fire features a seven inch display with a generous black bezel surrounding it. A native resolution of 1024×600 means that text and images will look crisp, sharp and colourful.

Onboard storage comes in the form of 8GB of Flash memory and there is a dual core processor doing all of the hard work under the surface. You can plug in a standard pair of headphones to listen to music and watch videos in peace, or use the built-in speakers if you wish. The whole device weighs 413 grams, which is quite a bit lighter than the iPad 2, although the Kindle Fire`s smaller screen and form factor accounts for this difference.

The software platform which brings the Kindle Fire to life is Android 2.3, but whilst most will know this as a mobile phone operating system it has been heavily modified by Amazon in order to drastically alter the way it looks and operates. You will be able to carry out all of the tasks typically associated with tablets, including browsing the internet, viewing and sending emails, playing videos, listening to your tunes and of course reading eBooks and comics. However, it is the Amazon-specific changes that are making the headlines.

Firstly it will come with access to a whole host of cloud-based services run by the retail giant. This includes Amazon Cloud Storage, Cloud Player, App Store, Kindles Store, Prime and many more. The ultimate goal is to allow users easy access to the content they want at a price they can afford. Downloading games, videos, books and much more media content will be simple and Amazon is ultimately relying on this to help it monetise the Kindle Fire because analysts predict that it is actually selling it at a loss and looking to recoup the costs further down the line.

Connectivity comes in the form of Wi-Fi and at first there will be no 3G option available for the Kindle Fire, although Amazon is developing such a device that will allow for web access and file downloads across a wider area. Because the Kindle Fire uses cloud based services there is little need for it to have as much storage as the up to 64GB available on the range-topping iPad 2. This is due to the fact that you can put all of your files online and stream or download them as appropriate.

The Kindle Fire is a compelling alternative to the standard Android-based tablets on the market as well as the iPad 2. Those who want an affordable tablet which combines the features of digital media players, laptops, eBook readers and many more should give it a look.

iPhone 4S Introduces iOS 5

October 25th, 2011 1 comment

iPhone 4S Introduces iOS 5

iOS 5, which now can be downloaded on the iPhone 3GS and above, is certainly an integral part of the Apple operating system family and of central importance to the success of the new iPhone 4S phone deals.

This new operating system has a number of features that were not found on earlier versions. With little changing cosmetically on the iPhone 4S we will need to take a look at the new iOS 5 features to see what the iPhone 4S really has to offer.

iCloud

iCloud is an ingenious and ultra useful and well thought out service from Apple. The new cloud feature allows you access to your whole iTunes library on your device anywhere you want, once you have an internet connection. Unlike traditional Cloud services you won’t even have to upload the tracks. Apple has set the iCloud up in such a way that it stores the iTunes track IDs you have and then allows you access to them straight from the library on iCloud.

iMessages

Just like with the blackberry, Apple has included a free messaging service between all the different Apple devices. This will be a huge bonus for the company in the younger market who now won’t have to pay for the messages to their friends with the new app.

Notifications

The new notification section on the device is well thought out and homage to the way it is done on Android. Instead of the message system, Apple has included a drop down notification menu with all the information and changes on the device in one place – a huge help and a lot tidier.

Camera

It is also now possible to access the camera on the phone straight from the lock menu. This is a nice addition and means you don’t have to shuffle through unnecessary menus. If you’re someone who takes spontaneous photos this will be of huge help and will allow you a lot more freedom on the device.

iOS 5 also adds many new software features to the iPhone’s camera bringing it more in to line with competitors. This includes various effects that can be added to photos, and for the first time the iPhone comes with built in face detection.

Siri

The new voice control feature on the iPhone has gotten a lot of press, mainly because of the answers it gives to silly questions. However, its uses are more integrated than that and it works brilliantly with all the iPhone apps on the device.

This new integrated system can be used to keep your diary, voice dialling, sending messages and also a number of other features. It is also able to adapt to accents and learns as it goes, meaning it won’t be so likely to miscomprehend you as other voice control systems.

While most of the new iOS features are available to older devices making the upgrade, Siri is the one feature that is limited to just iPhone 4S use. Apple claim this is because only the iPhone 4S has the processing power to cope with it. Obviously this is not true because prior to Apple’s purchase of Siri it was available on other iOS devices as well.

This is no longer so. Although the iPad surely has the technical power to deal with Siri, and even though some diehard Siri enthusiasts have already managed to create a hacked version of Siri for jailbroken iPads and iPhones, Siri still will not work. This is because all of your voice commands and questions are fed through a central Apple system, rather than being managed directly from your iPhone 4S. Because of this, if you truly wish to enjoy the wonders that Siri brings – you will only be able to do so by purchasing a new iPhone 4S contract.

iPad Apps

April 10th, 2011 2 comments

The iPad is really coming into its own, particularly since the launch of the second generation model with its powerful dual core processor and greatly enhanced ability to dole out realistic graphics. Here is a quick look at the latest apps for the Apple tablet which might take your fancy.

Cut the Rope HD

This game has confirmed that casual titles need not be unimaginative or fleetingly interesting. Rather than ripping off Bejewelled or Angry Birds, this inexpensive puzzle game asks you to do one thing, using its very title. In its HD form it is perfect for the iPad`s display and the simple, cartoony graphics are instantly appealing.

TweetDeck

One of the best third party Twitter clients around, TweedDeck is designed to let you make the most out of this microblogging service which is quickly becoming one of the most important tools for communication, promotion and activism in the world.

GarageBand

This popular desktop app arrived on the iPad 2 at its launch and is also available for the original model. It is the most comprehensive portable music studio software around, letting you record tracks while you are on the move and play thousands of virtual instruments to craft tunes solo or with friends.

Scrabble

Regularly listed as one of the top iPad apps of all time, Scrabble continues to attract users thanks to its perfect match with the iPad`s touchscreen interface. You can play against the computer for hours of boredom-stifling entertainment and the tactile nature of the controls really works to enhance the experience.

Needs for Speed: Hot Pursuit

This premium racing game is a little more expensive than the competition, although there is a Lite version which will let you try before you buy. Great 3D graphics and exhilarating road-based action where you take the role of a cop or a racer as you tussle for first place behind the wheel of exotic supercars.

Atari Greatest Hits

If you are looking for value for money then this has got to be one of the best collections around. There are 100 games in total covering all of the classic arcade titles from Atari and you can buy them in packs of four or shell out for the whole lot. Anyone who grew up with an Atari 2600 console or spent hours in the arcade will get a kick out of playing them on their iPad, which is a much better platform for this type of title than the iPhone.

Categories: Cloud Services, Computers, Electronics, iPad Tags:

Apple iPad 2

March 3rd, 2011 2 comments

 

Apple iPad 2

Apple iPad 2

Apple iPad 2

Apple has unveiled the sequel to its iPad tablet, one of the biggest surprises of last year. The iPad 2 launches in March 2011 and although it is evolutionary rather than revolutionary it is certainly a step in the right direction.

From a physical point of view Apple has achieved the impossible, reducing the thickness of the iPad 2 by 30 per cent to its predecessor and actually making it slimmer than the iPhone 4. It is also 90 grams lighter than the original iPad, which may not sound like a lot but can make a big difference when you are holding it for extended periods. The iPad 2 is designed to be held in the hand for a majority of the time, but Apple has made it easier to lay on a flat surface or rest on a stand by flattening its back, eliminating the curve which could prove problematic.

Inside the iPad 2 is a brand new dual core A5 processor which is up to twice as fast as that in the original. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that it would be nine times more powerful in the graphics department, which is quite a boast and one which should excite gamers and app designers who really want to stretch the visual capabilities of the device.

Apple has embraced the world of photography by equipping the iPad 2 with not one but two cameras. The front-facing camera is designed for FaceTime, its video calling service which uses Wi-Fi to make personal conversations easy over the airwaves. On the rear you have a high megapixel unit for taking still photos and also recording video clips in HD, just like the iPhone 4. Whether users will actually ditch their standalone digital cameras in favour of their tablet is debatable, but it is good to see Apple keeping up with the competition.

All that extra processing power is put to good use not only in games like the gorgeous Infinity Blade but also in the running of new services which will be integrated into the iPad 2`s software. GarageBand, a favourite of Apple computer owners, is becoming available for the iPad, bringing with it virtual instruments, amps and recording which will surely win over more musicians to the device. Apple has also improved iMovie to make editing and playback a doddle and it is harnessing the full dual core setup to its advantage.

The one area in which the iPad 2 has not moved forward is the display. Early indications suggest it is almost identical to the LED backlit model seen on the original. This is fairly acceptable, although its lack of a true widescreen resolution and the rumours of a Retina Display with improved pixel density make it something of a letdown to anyone who has been following the device up to its launch.

Facebook Mail Will Not Threaten Gmail

November 15th, 2010 1 comment
Facebook Mail

Facebook Mail

Facebook recently launched their own mail service so users can now have their own vanity email addresses @facebook.com There are some talks that this is a threat to Google’s Gmail. I doubt this is true, at least anywhere in the near future. Yes, it’s true that tweens and teens use text and Facebook to communicate. This, however, will not cause disruption in Gmail. Remember when Google Wave was supposed to be its own Gmail Killer? Why didn’t Google Wave succeed? Because there is nothing wrong with Gmail that really needs complete overhaul. What will likely happen is that we will just be introduced to more options of communicating of our choice and the recipient’s.

  • phone
  • text
  • email (Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL)
  • Chat (Gtalk, Skype, Chat, FaceTime)

The point is no one service will monopolize communication.

Categories: Cloud Services, Editorial Tags:

How To Convert iPod Touch to iPhone

October 5th, 2010 2 comments
How To Convert iPod Touch to iPhone

How To Convert iPod Touch to iPhone

Exciting news for Apple fans as the Apple Peel 520 is rumoured to be coming to the US. The handy peripheral will allow consumers who have shelled out hundreds of pounds on an iPod to convert their favourite musical device into a fully functioning phone. It will also save space in your handbag or pocket.
Designed like a protective case, the Apple Peel 520 comes complete with a dock connector, battery and SIM card and will provide users with five hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby use.
For even the most technologically challenged individuals, the Apple Peel 520 is easy to use. After installing the required software, two apps appear on the iPod Touch home screen: Yosian and YsSMS, which provide voice and text support. When the communication module is switched on, a signal bar and a battery icon will appear in the middle of the iPod Touch’s status bar. To make a call, users simply tap the Yosian app icon which loads the numpad screen.
The device is currently available in China for 520 Yuan but North American distributor, GoSolar USA said that the first demonstrations of the Apple Peel 520 are expected to arrive in America sometime next week.
“We’re obviously very confident that consumer demand is high for the Apple Peel 520, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the first batch,” said GSLO President and CEO Tyson Rohde.
“As soon as they arrive, we’ll begin distributing demonstration models to retail buyers across the country. The amount of interest in this product that we’ve received from distributors has been staggering.”
GoSolar are looking to sell the peripheral in Radio Shack, Best Buy, Walmart and Fry’s Electronics but no details regarding its retail price in the USA have been released as of yet.

The Apple Peel 520 allows you to convert your iPod Touch to an iPhone by installing an add on SIM chip.  The Apple Peel 520 is planning to come the US.   It will convert your favorite portable music device into a fully function iPhone without paying for 3G. You will still have use of WiFi

The Apple Peel 520 is designed like a protective case and comes complete with a dock connector, battery and SIM card. It will provide five hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby use.

The Apple Peel 520 is easy to use after installing the required software. There are two apps that appear on the iPod Touch home screen: Yosian and YsSMS, which provide voice and text support. When the communication module is switched on, a signal bar and a battery icon will appear in the middle of the iPod Touch’s status bar. To make a call, users simply tap the Yosian app icon which loads the numpad screen

The device is currently available in China for 520 Yuan but North American distributor, GoSolar USA said that the first demonstrations of the Apple Peel 520 are expected to arrive in America sometime next week.

“We’re obviously very confident that consumer demand is high for the Apple Peel 520, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the first batch,” said GSLO President and CEO Tyson Rohde.

“As soon as they arrive, we’ll begin distributing demonstration models to retail buyers across the country. The amount of interest in this product that we’ve received from distributors has been staggering.”

GoSolar are looking to sell the peripheral in Radio Shack, Best Buy, Walmart and Fry’s Electronics but no details regarding its retail price in the USA have been released as of yet.