Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

What Will iPhone 5 Offer

September 2nd, 2011 No comments
Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5

What Will iPhone 5 Offer?

The tech world is abuzz with rumors about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5, most likely the next in its famous line of smartphones. The exact release date and specs of the iPhone 5 are still not certain, but a number of persistent rumors point to some highly probable details of the much anticipated device.

A New Look?

Until recently, the closest anyone outside of Apple could get to knowing the appearance and form of the iPhone 5 was through countless mockups by designers with no connection to Apple, faint rumors, and other near-fantasy. However, Apple may have recently revealed the iPhone 5’s new look on accident.

The beta of their new Photo Stream program shows an icon of an iPhone-like device, but there is no precedent for its details. It has a rounded rectangular Home button, in contrast to the circular button seen on all previous iOS devices. This button has been vertically truncated to compensate for the new screen size; the screen stretches to cover nearly the entire front surface of the device, with the camera and speaker pushed up to the very top to compensate. Mockups created with this icon as a blueprint indicate that the body of the iPhone 5 is smaller than the iPhone 4, but that the screen is larger, perhaps 4 inches.

Still the Best Screen with Maybe the Best Camera

Even though it has a larger screen, the iPhone 5 is unlikely to have a higher screen resolution than the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4’s infamous 960×640 “Retina” screen is still unparalleled among smartphones in terms of dots per inch, and even if this resolution is spread out from 3.5 inches to 4 inches it will still rank among the densest displays in the touchscreen smartphone world. Another popular rumor is that the iPhone 5 will improve on the iPhone 4’s 4-megapixel camera, doubling its resolution to 8 megapixels, which is the latest standard for high-end smartphones.

Worldwide Compatibility but No LTE

The iPhone 5 is almost guaranteed to be a “world phone,” capable of receiving calls from both CDMA and GSM networks. Verizon’s CFO has hinted at this dual network functionality. Also, a popular app developer who logs use of his apps has reported detecting iOS devices sporting two distinct sets of mobile network codes (MNC) / mobile country codes (MCC) for Verizon and AT&T. The iPhone’s ability to receive signals from the two most popular network styles will make traveling around the world while receiving calls with an iPhone much easier. However, there is no indication that the iPhone 5 will support LTE, and therefore will not have the potential connection speed of 4G devices.

Processing Power

Just as the iPhone 4 inherited the original iPad’s single-core A4 processor, it is likely the iPhone 5 will contain the iPad 2’s dual-core A5 processor. Older apps won’t directly take advantage of the dual-core, although they won’t be so easily hamstrung by background tasks. Benefits will be most noticeable for new apps that feature both complex rendering and complex processing, like games and media production apps.

SIM Only plans may be available for the iPhone 5. AT&T, the iPhone’s longest-standing carrier in the United States, has been offering these plans for several years. This will allow users with existing SIM Only plans to trade up to the iPhone 5 on their own terms, or to easily replace the iPhone 5 with an even more advanced phone sometime in the future. Such plans also tend to have cheaper rates and are not bound by contracts.

The iPhone 5 is heavily rumored for a mid-October release. This will coincide with Sprint’s adoption of iPhones and the finished production of ad agency TBWAChiatDay’s iPhone apps.

Blake Sanders is a tech writer at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert where he specializes in writing on mobile broadband, sim only plans, and the latest in internet service provider news and information.

Note: Photo courtesy of dpolicarpo via FlickR Creative Commons.

Categories: Computers, Editorial, Electronics, iPhone Tags:

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 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:

Smartphones and Laptops – which is better for surfing?

September 3rd, 2010 1 comment
o2 dongle laptop

o2 dongle laptop

The internet used to be all about sitting in front of a computer at home or in the office. Now though, thanks to the evolving world of mobile technology we can all stay online pretty much wherever we go. With a bewildering array of gadgets on the market it can be a tough call deciding on which one to go for though, and new products and deals hit the shelves on an almost daily basis.

If you’re looking for a mobile device that can keep you hooked up to the internet both at home and while you’re out and about then there are essentially two options – the laptop or the smartphone. There are pros and cons for going down either route and while laptops have been around for longer, smartphones are fast becoming a real challenger to mobile computing on a laptop, although smaller screens and keyboards will always be the major drawback for some.

Now that laptops have come down in price (you can even sign up for free laptops with mobile broadband) and have been joined by the smaller netbook option it’s possible to pick up an excellent machine for a very small outlay. Some mobile broadband deals even offer a laptop for free, although these generally fall under longer-term mobile contracts of around 24 months. Laptops will need a dongle connected to a USB port on the machine in order to access a mobile broadband network of your choice, but lookout for coverage and data limits when comparing the many and varied deals out there. Lookout for battery life if you’re planning on computing on the move too and durability is another important factor.

A smartphone, meanwhile, makes a great deal of sense if you’re looking for a powerful computing experience on the go, but don’t want the bulk of a laptop or netbook. The screen and keyboard will, of course, be rather more limited, but thanks to a smartphone being an amalgam of the best bits of a computer and the choice cuts from a phone, there’s not much you can’t do on one of these devices. The smartphone also has all of its connectivity options built-in to the unit, so there’s no messing around with dongles.

However, a smartphone can suffer similar problems to the laptop when using mobile services, with coverage and network traffic issues contributing to a slow performance. You may not be able to connect at all in some cases. Data usage is also something to watch out for with smartphones, and both handsets and laptops shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for home broadband services. Current technology doesn’t really make either gadget ideal for downloading large amounts of data such as movies. Things will improve as technology evolves, but mobile gadgets are currently more of a supplement to existing services rather than a replacement.

Whatever mobile computing device you choose, it’s likely that the mobile broadband speed you get will generally be less than the ‘up to’ advertisements you see all over the place. However, it’s a good idea to get some impartial advice from a comparison website like Broadband Genie, which will not only show you the best deals but also save you money on a laptop, smartphone or both.

Top 5 Useful and Free iPhone Apps

August 4th, 2010 1 comment
Top 5 Useful and Free iPhone Apps

Top 5 Useful and Free iPhone Apps

There are thousands of apps available to use on your iPhone, iPod and now your iPad as well and, surprisingly, many of the best are free to download.

The following list shows 5 of the very best free apps that also happen to be extremely useful as well.  There are loads of apps out there that can help make your life that bit easier so it’s well worth going through them to find the ones that will apply to you and your life.

Here are a few of the best useful apps out there that are well-worth a look.

Thetrainline – For those of you who commute to work by train, Thetrainline is a free transport app that outshines all of the others – and it’s free. The app can help you to plan your journey, obtain offline results and timetables and also has a location-aware ‘next train home’ option.  All of these features are available on Thetrianline’s clear and streamlined interface. There are of course other train apps available but many will cost you upwards of £5 and when you can get this one for free and it does the job – why look elsewhere?

Skype – This is a great money-saving app and allows you and your friends to chat to each other for free via your Skype app. The interface is simple and usable, enabling anyone with a Skype account to make free calls to other Skype users and also offers you the ability to make cheap calls to anywhere in the world. Pay as you Go users will find this app particularly useful but so will iPod touch owners as this app also allows them to make calls to other Skype users.

Dropbox – There are many apps out there that transfer content between your computer and your device but this one is free and actually a lot easier to use than many of the paid ones out there.  Any files you want to sync up – just drop them in to a folder on your computer and Dropbox will enable you to access them.

Around Me – Around Me is a great app for when you’re out and about.  It works out where you are and then shows you all the local banks, bars, petrol stations and restaurants etc that are in your vicinity.  The app is really useful when you happen to be in unfamiliar surroundings and the ‘augmented reality’ landscape mode is great for getting to know the area, just be aware that this new technology isn’t completely there yet so expect that you may come across a few little errors. Voucher App – No matter what you’re looking for, will no doubt have a voucher for it that will help make savings on your purchases. There are thousands of free discount codes and vouchers on this iPhone app that can help all UK shoppers save money on whatever they want to buy.

Apple iTunes Cloud Lala Very Cloudy

August 3rd, 2010 No comments
Apple iTunes Cloud Lala Very Cloudy

Apple iTunes Cloud Lala Very Cloudy

Many people expected that Apple would offer your iTunes music and movies over the cloud after it acquired last December. That is of course after Apple obtained the appropriate music licenses to do so. Lala, the music serviced, shut down after being acquired by Apple this past May.

The Lala team leadership that went to Apple after the acquisition seems to leaving. Bill Nguyen, Lala’s founder, is known to be press friendly and against Apple’s culture of secrecy. Another founding member has left the company leaving Apple’s media cloud plans in a haze.

Google, on the other hand, hired Elizabeth Moody, an attorney with deep experience negotiating digital-music deals. Record executives expect Moody will help cut the first cloud music licensing agreement. Google has told label managers that it wants to launch a music service this year.

Apple is not worried though since it is still the #1 online and offline music store and jukebox.

However, in this fast pacing media game, tables can turn very quickly.

Philadelphia Apple Store Grand Opening on Walnut Street Friday, July 30

July 27th, 2010 1 comment
Apple Store in Philadelphia on Walnut Street

After years of rumors, Apple will finally open an Apple Store in Philadelphia on Walnut Street! I walk by here almost every day. It’s amazing how Apple can keep its store openings and product releases so secret.

Apple will hold the grand opening celebration for Apple Store Walnut Street in Philadelphia on Friday, July 30, 2010 at 5pm ED

Address: Apple Store Walnut Street
1607 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

The Apple Store Walnut Street is the best place to learn about all the latest products from Apple, including the new iPhone 4 featuring FaceTime, which makes the dream of video calling a reality, and Apple’s stunning new Retina display, the highest resolution display ever built into a phone. Customers can experience Apple’s entire product line hands-on including the magical new iPad that lets users browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more. Visitors to the store can also try the updated MacBook and MacBook Pro with the NVIDIA processor for up to 80 percent faster graphics, and the incredibly popular iPod touch with access to more than 225,000 apps offered on the revolutionary App Store.

Every Apple Retail Store offers a range of free services designed to help customers get the most out of their Apple products, including face-to-face support and advice at the Genius Bar, hands-on workshops and special programs for kids. Customers who buy a Mac®at the Apple Retail Store or Apple’s Online Store can also join the popular One to One program. For just $99, owners of a new Mac get Personal Setup to customize their computer and transfer files from their old Mac or PC, plus a year of Personal Training sessions and Personal Project support on a wide range of topics, from getting started on a Mac to advancing their digital photography or moviemaking skills.

Read more…

Apple vs. Google

July 14th, 2010 2 comments

It’s pretty apparent that many of the “core” apps on the iPhone are not powered by Apple.  Outside of the iPod app and the Phone app, most of the other high use apps (YouTube, Maps, Search) are powered by frenemy Google.  Well that really hasn’t escaped Apple’s notice and they’re going to do something about it, probably starting with the Maps application.  Last year, Apple purchased Placebase, a startup focusing on mapping.  Today the rumormill has them buying Poly9, a company that makes a lightweight Earth viewing tool very similar to Google Earth.  (The site is completely inaccessible right now, though how much of it is due to traffic and how much due to my own firewall issues, I’m not sure.)

Given that Poly9 provides a solid map and Placebase provides map-centric layering, it seems logical to extrapolate that Apple is building a multilayer mapping client of some sort, whether that be a browser-based solution or an app-based solution (most likely both).  Maps is one of the most essential iPhone apps, one I personally rely on all the time.  The lack of a free turn-by-turn nav solution on the iPhone is a big differentiator between Android and iOS, and Google Maps is still probably one of the most robust mapping solutions available on the web.  Now that Apple has a location-aware advertising solution, they are going to want to supplant the Google-provided Maps data with their own version so that they can integrate iAds into Maps.  I can definitely see Apple providing an iOS update that supplants Google data in the Maps application with Apple’s own home-bought solution.  As of yet, Apple hasn’t bought a company to replace the YouTube app, but that app is pretty junky on the iPhone.

Heck before the iPhone 4 announcement, there was talk that Bing would replace Google as the search provider for iOS.  It didn’t happen but I’m expecting that that’s going to happen next year.  Or Apple is going to buy a search engine (say, Yahoo) and use their own search solution on iOS.  At this point, given how big a platform iAds is expected to become, Apple needs to get as many tendrils into location-sensitive search as possible, and rolling their own, controlled, solutions is a critical necessity.

Google is realizing the potential loss and moving rapidly to address this.  The new HTML5-based YouTube site and the new iPhone/mobile-optimized YouTube URL ( are Google’s way of fighting back.  I’ve pretty much switched over to that version as my primary access point to YouTube and the default app has been relegated to a folder buried in my last homescreen.  Note that the new mobile-optimized site has a little reminder telling visitors how to add the site to the iPhone’s Home screens so that they appear as just another app.  Google Voice has a similar feature, and Google Mail is evolving rapidly on the web to match feature parity to the default Mail app.