Archive for July, 2013

By July 31, 2013 Read More →

Say Bingo! With the Best Mobiles for Online Gaming

Sony Ericsson Xperia PlayNokia N95htc one X With online gaming sites like Jackpotjoy increasingly making their online content more mobile-friendly, it’s now easier than ever for gaming fans to access an ever-widening range of gaming experiences on the move. As the UK’s favourite online bingo destination, mobile gamers heading to the Jackpotjoy bingo site are not only greeted by an array of fun games variants, but story slots and more.

With the selection of content on the increase, and the in-game graphics, sounds and features improving in quality all the time, when you’re playing on the move you want a phone that can keep up, to deliver the best mobile gaming experience possible. Thankfully, today’s smartphones and mobiles are more than capable of doing just that. In the space of a few short years they’ve gone from being simple communications devices to gaming powerhouses.

So for those looking for a little fun-on-the-go, we’ve take a look at some of the best mobiles out there right now, from bargain to high-end.

HTC One X+

HTC’s One X+ has Featuring a powerful 1.7GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, the HTC One X+ offers up best-in-class gaming capabilities in a smartphone format. The fact that this phone’s processor is a Nvidia means you’re also given access Tegra Zone, and that means a whole range of apps with upgraded graphics is at your disposal. Add to this the supremely beefed-up battery – a 2,100mAh battery that’s far superior to the one the HTC One X came equipped with – and you have even longer gaming power. We also love that fact that the LCD screen gives a a top notch 720p, so those graphics always looks clean, bright and crisp.

Nokia N95

Consistently rated one of the top ten best mobile casino phones in recent years, the Nokia N95. Truly revolutionising the smartphone market when it first appeared (and with an eye-watering original SIM-free price tag of £630 to boot), it wins points for its Symbian operating system, which has earned the reputation of being the most reliable OS for mobile. We like that you can plug in heaphones as well as stereo speakers, for better gaming sounds, and a nicely textured keypad makes navigating your way round bingo and gaming sites a cinch. This is one for players looking to invest in a great all-rounder – offering up superior Sat Nav, phone, connectivity, media player and camera capabilities.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

At the more affordable end of the smartphone market (around £100-£150 SIM-free), this phone is an all-out appeal to the serious gamer. A much-hyped PlayStation phone that features a slide-out gaming interface, it’s the only phone on the market that features gaming controls straight out of the box without the need for extra accessories. With a 1GHz processor it’s fast and fun, runs all Android games, offers access to 32-bit PlayStation games, and is equally adept at handling touch-screen online games like Jackpotjoy bingo too.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 30, 2013 Read More →

3 Ways Samsung’s Innovations will Change your Smartphones for the Foreseeable Future

clip_image001You know the drill when it comes to new cell phone technology. You pay for the hottest model every year, but not even a week later, it’s outdated. If you’re ready for real innovation and incredible improvements, keep an eye out for the upcoming Samsung Youm, which will be the first real innovation in smartphone tech, since, well, smartphones came out.

OLED Screens Are Flexible

Here’s the coolest thing about the Samsung Youm: the screen can bend. Using new OLED technology, Samsung has discovered a way to turn your flat, solid phone screen into a flexible multi-use display. You might not think that’s so neat right now, but wait until you realize what this kind of screen can do. Bending in any direction, the Samsung Youm’s screen allows for more screen space and previously impossible angles for all sorts of useful functions, like reading text messages without even picking up the phone.

If you think that’s awesome, then hold on to your hat. This next feature might blow your mind.

It’s a Cell Phone and a Tablet

You already own a lot of gadgets, from your smart phone to your tablet to your e-reader. Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine them all into one device?

An OLED screen is capable of bending, folding, and even rolling, creating an all new range of product styles. Samsung revealed just a couple ideas in a recent Keynote address that could change the cell phone market forever, including a foldable cell phone that can open up to become a tablet. It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie set in the distance future, but this technology might become available to consumers this year.

Of course, parents will love this new 2-in-1 tablet style. Tablets are exploding with teens, who still demand the coolest smart phone out there at the same time. Parents will now be able to save a ton of money providing their kids with these useful devices – or maybe just getting one for themselves.

The Youm’s Screen Will Never Shatter

OLED screen technology doesn’t stop at being flexible, however. Because it’s made from special plastic instead of glass, Samsung’s Youm is virtually indestructible. If you’ve ever dropped your smart phone, you know how scary that second before it lands can be, and how relieved you feel if your device escapes unscathed. If you upgrade to the Youm you will never again have to fear cracking or breaking your screen. It’s a phone user’s ultimate dream.

It helps that Samsung’s OLED screen looks great, too. The Youm is much thinner and lighter than any phone on the market right now and still manages to have an incredibly vivid display. The screen can produce its own light, eliminating the need for extra backlight parts and lowering the phone’s power usage.

The Youm is still undergoing research and development, so it might be a while before you can get one for yourself. But now that you know this kind of technology is on the way, you’d better start saving up, and say goodbye to the outdated smart phones of the past.

Posted in: Phones
By July 29, 2013 Read More →

HTC One Mini unboxing video

HTC One Mini unboxing Just the other week HTC officially announced the HTC One Mini, putting to rest all the rumours that had been circulating for several months.

We’ve managed to get our hands on a pre-released HTC One Mini for review and so, as always, we’re starting off with an unboxing and demo video.

So have HTC just followed the rest of the crowd in releasing a ‘mini’ version of their flagships phone or have they come up with something practical? Check out my HTC One Mini unboxing video below, over the next few weeks I’ll be using the HTC One Mini in place of my HTC One and will be keeping you up to date with my findings.

 

By July 28, 2013 Read More →

Sniper Shooter App Review

image Developed by Fun Games For Free, they left nothing to the imagination when you’re sat there scrolling through your respective App Store. No hidden gems or ‘Pet Crush Saga’ putting you off the scent. Nope, straight up Sniper Shooter, at least they get the games idea across quickly. Given the amount of apps available now, that only has to be a good thing.

 
Price

image You work for an agency, as an assassin armed with your trusty Sniper Rifle. You are able to access a shop, in which you can buy upgraded weapons, providing different benefits to the player such as a Graduated rifle (with distance/wind markings) and Silencers. The currency you use to purchase these games are standard in-game coins, which you earn by completing missions. As the game is free, you have the option to buy more coins through an in-app purchase, whose prices vary depending on the gun/number of coins you wish to buy. This method of monetization is pretty much commonplace now in App developer circles, but sometimes it is implemented distastefully. In Sniper Shooter’s case, the developers have done it well, with the option to buy guns coming up occasionally when you finish a mission, and in the ‘Gun Shop’. There are no advertisements and overall it’s a very unobtrusively designed app in terms of monetization.

 

Gameplay

image You get assigned a ‘Mission’, to which there is a small brief. This brief literally tells you who you are looking for and what they have done wrong to get this kind of justice! At the beginning of the game you don’t need to read these as there’s normally only one character on the screen to shoot at, but as the game progresses, you need to be able to identify the one person out of potentially a crowd.

The gameplay features hilarious stickman animation (albeit the people are thicker than stickmen to make it easier to shoot them!) set against a multitude of backdrops. It has a lighthearted cartoon feel but the animation looks sharp and professional, with amusing reactions by passers by or the target when you miss. You are looking through the sniper scope, with different scope designs depending on which rifle you have chosen.
Effectively, you only have one shot to make a kill. This makes it quite tense. IF you do fail to hit with the first shot, then you’ll have to act quickly to get the target before he runs off of the edge of your screen and out of sight.

image To control the scope, the app uses sensors to feel the movement of the device. So you tip it forward to look down, to the right to move right etc. This gives the game a bit of depth, requiring you to need the steady hand of a Sniper.
Normally games with these controls get frustrating, but there is a handy recalibration feature on the pause menu that will put you right if the controls start going a bit awry.

There are plenty of missions, with 7 Chapters each containing different Missions. There are three more chapters with ‘Coming Soon’ plastered over them, so an update will bring you more.

 

Reliability

image I ran this review on the HTC One, so I wasn’t expecting there to be any problems. The app ran smoothly and did not crash. Out of all the reviews on the Google Play Store I couldn’t see any that suggested it had happened to them. Oh, and by the way it has received a 4.5/5 review from nearly 100,000 people on the Play Store alone.

Conclusion

Overall, I would have to agree with the Google Play reviewers, this is a brilliant, light-hearted and amusing app. I can sheepishly admit that I have spent far too many hours on this game, but it truly is addictive. The nature of it means that you can get as embroiled in it as you want, but then again can just pick it up quickly whilst in between short breaks.
The in-app purchases are understandably there to support the developers, and they have done it well without harming the user experience. Beautiful graphics, great animation and good gameplay.

Sniper Shooter is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

 

This article was written by Greg Mosley. Greg is the Editor of the Smartphone Blog; GTM Mobiles Reviews, where you can find Android App Reviews, Android How-To’s and Android News.

Posted in: Apps & Games
By July 26, 2013 Read More →

Personalise your laptop with a laptop cover

decal Laptops are useful tools and they’re becoming indispensable in many homes. But, it can be a little dull to look at the same cover day after day and as with mobile phones, it’s sometimes nice to change the look of your device. In homes where two or more identical laptops co-exist then it can be important to be able to easily distinguish between them, too. This is where laptop covers come in very handy.

Works of art or humour?

People get very attached to their laptops and the way they look has become as much an extension of the owner’s personality as phone covers have. There is a huge range of covers available and a simple web search will lead you to any – from plain coloured ones to some absolutely gorgeous designs. There are many based on common themes, current memes and trends and a few arty ones, but look at websites promoting and selling an individual artist’s work in different formats for some really unique ones. There are even sites that allow you to design your own cover, if you have the cash to spend on something bespoke. A good way to start is with a simple search for “laptop covers” plus an interest of yours.

Decals

If you like smaller designs, then decals may be an alternative answer. They’re just as easy to change as covers, if you feel like a change and are sometimes a more affordable option. You can get a big variety of designs too. If you’re a Mac user then it’s worth looking out for clever decals that make good use of the apple logo. Available from the internet, you can find plenty of humorous, interesting and beautiful decals and one benefit is that since they don’t necessarily take up the whole space you have much more say over the positioning of your decals.

Practical decoration

As well as looking good, there are some practical benefits to using a laptop cover. Making your laptop more individual makes it easy to identify it immediately; Useful where, as mentioned before, identical laptops co-exist, or in the library if lots of people are studying and moving between books and computers. Covers also provide a level of protection from minor bumps and scrapes. Finally they’ll keep some of the everyday dirt off of your laptop. You can get covers that have inserts to stop lint getting into the USB and charger ports but even a simpler one will protect from little scratches and general dust to some extent. This will all help to extend the life of your laptop, or keep up the resale value when you need to upgrade. You can of course get paid cash for your netbook if you do decide to upgrade.

There are so many different kinds of laptop covers, decals and other decoration that it’s really very hard to choose between them. You can easily spend hours searching for just the right decals and covers related to your interests or deciding between glorious art works.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 25, 2013 Read More →

Google and Asus show off the new Nexus 7

2013-google-nexus-7-1The new generation Nexus 7 from Asus and Google just debuted. It upgrades nearly every feature and function available. Here’s a breakdown of hardware specs,

  • Is 2mm thinner than previous gen
  • Is also lighter than previous Nexus 7
  • Still uses the popular black on black soft touch rubberized outer casing
  • 7-inch True HD 1920×1200 Display with 323 PPI (Highest Resolution and PPI of any 7-inch tablet) – Can handle native 1080P videos and 30% wider range of colors
  • Dual Stereo Speakers with new immersive Fraunhofer Virtual surround sound
  • Front 1.2MP Camera
  • Rear 5MP Camera
  • Quad-Core Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz – (1.8x faster CPU & 4x faster GPU than first Nexus 7)
  • 2GB Ram
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • 4G LTE Version will be available that will be unlocked and useable across all major U.S. carriers
  • More battery efficient by 1 extra hour
  • Android 4.3 Included and pushing out today for the previous gen Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and Nexus 4.

Posted by: Gareth

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Posted in: News
By July 25, 2013 Read More →

TV Faster Than the Speed of Reality

television apparatus from 1950 Our living rooms are filled with more screens these days. Smartphones tell TV viewers more about their favorite characters as they watch. You can play "Words with Friends" while you’re waiting for the commercials to end. And laptops allow people to multitask on homework during halftime.

Meanwhile, marketers are trying to reach consumers on second, third and fourth screens. Let’s pull back the curtain to show the tactics being used in order to maximize the budding romance between advanced smart TV technology and the ever-present Internet.

Faster is Better

We demand high-speed Internet, uninterrupted TV signals, and Wi-Fi on our phones wherever we go. Why should our views of TV be any different? Now, TV programmers are shifting their focus to fully integrate with users on multiple devices. So far, Twitter is the platform of choice.

Many TV shows allow viewers to give instant feedback or ask questions through the social channel while a show is broadcast. TV programmers put hashtags on screen and use them as immediate sounding boards for their shows. TV show hosts often respond back to viewers’ questions in real time, empowering those at home to feel like they are a part of the show.

Networks have also introduced connected TV apps. Bravo’s "Bravo Now" app allows viewers to answer in-program poll questions during the show “Watch What Happens Live.” The answers are displayed on the show in real-time.

Is Reality Finally Real?

TV programmers are driving viewer engagement by allowing faithful followers to have a direct impact on a show’s outcome. For example, the “Miss USA” pageant lets fans vote for their favorite contestant online. The contestant who received the most votes automatically makes it past the first cut during the live telecast.

This is not only gets viewers interested in the live pageant before its television debut, but it is also a way to ensure direct participation from a wide group of individuals. Plus, the higher the interest level from viewers, the more the pageant can charge for advertising and sponsorships. Reality shows such as “Survivor” also are using social media as a way to encourage fans to vote for contestants they feel should win prizes or special awards.

Let the Games Begin

Smart TVs and second screens have created another trend – gamification. For the 2012 show, "The Great Escape," TNT created an app that allowed viewers to take their own journeys alongside the show’s contestants. The app rewarded the player for watching the show, and used game mechanics to keep interest high.

Other shows jumping on the bandwagon, too, to fuel fan loyalty and amplify viewer numbers. As the programs shift in this direction, programming providers are doing so, as well, notes http://www.Direct4TV.com.

What Does the Data Show?

TV show apps can provide content creators and advertisers with rich data and targeted consumers. Not only can advertisers better target their ads, TV writers and producers can even better tailor their content and interactive elements based on second screen user demographics of their most invested viewers.

And while networks are expanding their reach, websites are creating content to enhance the TV screen, too. TV networks and program providers are embedding videos directly on their Web pages to increase SEO and enhance the probability for more social likes. By showing segments of popular TV shows or creating new content, the TV and the Internet continue to intersect.

Whether it’s through real-time interaction by way of Twitter during a live telecast, or through audience participation in a specially designed gamified app, the strong ties between TV and the Internet are undeniable.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 24, 2013 Read More →

Android 4.3 rumoured updates and insane battery life

Android-4-3-Samsung-Galaxy-S4The folks at PocketNow have a video up detailing a ton of new features and improvements on Android 4.3. The video uses a Nexus 4 equipped with the new OS from Google, and amongst the many new features comes a huge battery life improvement. Read on and check out the video to find all the details.

  1. Auto-complete in the Dialler – this is a clever function that makes you wonder why they haven’t thought of it before. The Android 4.3 stock dialler has been upgraded to include auto-complete within the dialler itself to help you get the right number more quickly. It’s important to note that some devices have this function already, but that was thanks to the specific OEM. Stock Android didn’t have that feature until now.
  2. New Emoji Keyboard – Google included a this new keyboard as an option for all those super-texters out there who like to add the context of "tone of voice/facial expressions" to their messages with more cute emoticons. To get to it from the messaging app you need to long-press on the space bar.
  3. Bluetooth 4.0 LE – This is one we heard about previously, but it’s still pretty cool regardless. The newest version of Bluetooth promises much better power efficiency, and should drain your battery far less. This new version also includes a greater range of compatible devices. (This wasn’t truly confirmed in the video, but the Bluetooth SIG has confirmed it.)
  4. Improvements in the Camera App – "The camera in Android 4.3 fine-tunes the way the previous version worked by placing the items in an arc with the selected item clearly called out above your finger. Also, rotating the device from portrait to landscape and back while in camera mode is now almost instantaneous."
  5. Better Performance – Apparently, the Nexus 4 is a great deal more responsive when using Android 4.3. It wasn’t really sluggish before, but supposedly the difference is noticeable. This is borne out in synthetic benchmarks as well.
  6. Significantly Improved Battery Life – Normally with this phone, Android 4.2 offers about 4-6 hours of heavy use before you need to recharge. With Android 4.3, the user was supposedly able to jump that all the way up to 25+ hours!

It’s exciting to think that software tweaks could result in such dramatic improvements. We probably should remain a bit sceptical, but that should only temper our excitement a little bit. Luckily, we are likely to hear all about Android 4.3 tomorrow during Sundar Pichai’s press event and the probable launch of the next-gen Nexus 7.

Demo Video

Posted by: Gareth

Technorati Tags: ,,
Posted in: Rumours
By July 23, 2013 Read More →

The new Nokia Lumia 625 is coming to EE

1-Product-Page-Lumia-Max-Hero-2000x1000-jpg

EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, today confirmed plans to offer the Nokia Lumia 625 on its superfast 4GEE service, as well as on its Orange and T-Mobile UK brands.

Commenting on the unveiling of the Lumia 625, Nicola Shenton, Head Of Devices, EE said:

“4G is incredibly important for the future of mobile in the UK, and EE is at the forefront. With the new Lumia 625, Nokia is helping to bring even more affordable, quality 4G devices to the market which will ensure 4G experiences are available to a broader audience.”

Pricing and availability for the Lumia 625 will be announced in due course.

 

Posted by: Tarzan

Posted in: Press Releases
By July 20, 2013 Read More →

Archos 53 Platinum – bargain?

Archos 53 Platinum So how much would you expect to pay for a Dual SIM, 5.3″ Screen, 1.2 GHz Quad-core & 8MP Camera smartphone? Sound like pretty expensive features don’t they?

However the Archos 53 Platinum offers all of the above and more for just £219.99 from eXpansys. Check out the full spec below to see what you get.

Archos 53 Platinum specification:

  • System: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz / Quad Core / Qualcomm 8225Q cortex-A5
  • Memory: Internal: 4 GB / RAM: 1 GB / Slot type: microSD / Max. slot capacity: 64 GB
  • Display: 5.3″ / IPS / Resolution: 960 x 540 pixels / 220 ppi
  • Camera: 8 Mpixels / BSI sensor / Flash: LED / Video: 720p / Front: 2 Mpixels
  • Network: 3G: 900/2100 MHz / GSM: 900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Wireless: Bluetooth: 3.0 / Wifi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Connection: Jack 3.5 mm / micro USB
  • GPS: aGPS
  • Sensors: Ambient Light Sensor, Gyro sensor, Proximity sensor
  • Dual SIM
  • Battery: 2800 mAh
  • Weight: 189.9 g
  • Dimensions: 153.6 x 78 x 9.25 mm
  • SAR: 0.749 W/kg

Posted by: Matt

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