Archive for October 8th, 2013

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Things to Consider When Buying a Laptop

Buying a LaptopLaptops have changed a great deal over the years, thanks to their continued popularity with today’s consumers. A laptop lets you get online, do schoolwork and research, or simply keep your eye on the office while on the move, yet with the sheer amount of choice available to you, selecting the right laptop for your needs can be an extremely daunting task.

As with any kind of technology it helps to do some research before you buy a new machine, and if you don’t want to risk wasting your money it helps to consider these three simple questions.

What will you be using the laptop for?

There are a variety of makes and models out there – so many in fact, that buying the right machine can be really confusing for the average customer. However, if you can pinpoint exactly what you will be using the laptop for, it will really help you narrow your options down.

For example, if you simply want to browse the internet or check a few emails you might prefer a tablet or notebook. These smaller machines are very easy to use with enough power to ensure they remain speedy and responsive.

If you are looking for a family computer that will be used for a number of tasks, such as watchingiPlayer, hosting live gaming sessions or editing photos or movies, a multimedia machine will be your best bet, offering a larger screen, more power and plenty of memory.

Do you have a budget?

In an ideal world you could spend as much as you wanted on a new laptop, but the likelihood is you will need to stick to a budget. If this is the case then you should be sensible and only look at options within your price range. It is easy to choose a machine, add on a few ‘must have’ extras and before you know it you have completely wiped out your budget.

The good news is there are plenty of options out there that have reasonably low price tags yet still offer the power and specifications you need. Do check each spec thoroughly and compare your favourites to ensure you are getting the best value for money.

You should also consider whether you have any older tech items that you could sell on before you purchase your new machine. For example, if you could sell an old Macbook Pro you’ll be able to recuperate a decent amount and put this towards your new purchase.

Where will you be using the laptop?

This question is also important because it might help you narrow down your final choices. Yes, a laptop is a mobile devicebut that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be leaving the house. In the home it’s great if you need to quickly re-charge, but if you are constantly on the movea machine with a good battery life is essential. And, of course, it will definitely help to have a smaller, lighter machine that you can carry around easily.

All in all, choosing a new laptop doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds; simply narrow down your requirements and preferences and the final decision should become obvious.

Posted in: Editorial, Laptops
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Chromecast now available to you

ChromecastAmazon.com is now offering the Chromecast for £35, with international availability including UK, Germany, and other European countries, as well as Australia. Amazon appears to be shipping Google’s streaming stick without restrictions around the world. Shipping costs and local taxes apply.

I have ordered mine this morning, Import duty was added into the price and the shipping was cheap, totalling $52 or £35. The media streaming device is due to arrive between the 22nd and 30th of October.

Chromecast Features

  • Stream online video, music and more to your TV using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop
  • Supports Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Google Play Movies and Music mobile apps as well as select content through Chrome browser
  • Works with Android, iOS, Chrome for Mac, and Chrome for Windows
  • Easy setup: Plug into any HDTV and connect to your home WiFi network
  • Box includes Chromecast, HDMI extender, USB power cable, and power adapter

Supported Operating Systems

  • Android 2.3 and higher
  • iOS 6 and higher
  • Windows 7 and higher
  • Mac OS 10.7 and higher
  • Chrome OS (Chromebook Pixel, additional Chromebooks coming soon).

UPDATE: Looks like Amazon have just closed this loophole – I cant place an order for a second one, however you can order from Amazon UK for £59.99

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9 iOS 7 Features You Probably Aren’t Aware Of

iOS 7 featuresFew system updates have attracted as much attention as Apple’s latest iOS 7 update for its mobile devices. With flourescent colors and a flat design, the update’s drummed up some controversy with Apple enthusiasts.

But whether you love the new look or not — beyond the cosmetic changes, it’s packed with some useful hidden features. Here are nine iOS 7 features you probably haven’t figured out on your own.

Use Siri As Your Secretary

Siri now has the keys to your call log and email. Here are just a few questions you can ask the now more helpful Siri:

  • Do I have any voicemails?” – Siri tells you which numbers have left you a voicemail
  • Did anyone call me?” – Siri pulls up your missed and most recent calls
  • Do I have any emails?” – Siri shows any unread email in your inbox
  • Read me my most recent email” – Siri will read the most recent unread email in your inbox

Teach Siri How to Pronounce Your Friends’ Names

Siri may be quick, but she’s not a very skilled linguist. Another neat Siri feature allows you to tell her how to pronounce your contacts’ names. Just say “that’s not how you pronounce” and she’ll give you a chance to teach her the correct pronunciation.

Change Font to Bold

As part of the update, there’s now a thinner font used throughout the system. While it looks good, some find it difficult to read. You’re able to change the fond to bold by going to Settings > General > Accessibility and then selecting Bold Text.

See Time Stamps on Any Text Message

One of the strangest features of text messages on iPhones is the lack of consistency with time stamps. Sometimes you’d see what time a message was sent, but other times you wouldn’t. This was addressed in iOS 7, and now you can view time stamps on any message by touching the message bubble and swiping to the left.

Block Texts and Calls from Any Number

Cut off contact with an annoying ex, telemarketer, or even a family member by blocking their number. Open the person’s contact info, then scroll to the bottom and select “Block this Caller.” Anyone you block won’t be able to message, call, or Facetime you. However, you can still call or text someone you’ve blocked.

Put Unlimited Apps in Your Folders

If you keep your apps neatly organized in folders, you’ll be happy to know you’re no longer restricted on how many apps you can place in a single folder. Now, there’s no limit on how many apps can go in the same folder.

Add Filters to Your Photos

You can add Instagram-like filters to your photos directly in the Camera app. With only 8 filters and not much variation, this feature is somewhat limited but convenient. Just open a photo, select Edit, and tap the Filters icon in bottom middle of the screen.

Swipe Downward to Access Spotlight Search

Spotlight Search was formerly found by left-swiping from the home screen. It’s now accessed by downward swiping from the middle of the screen. The downside is you can no longer search the Web — you’ll need to open Safari for that.

View Apple Maps in Night Mode

This user-friendly feature keeps you from going blind when using your Apple Maps navigation in the dark, like when you’re driving at night. There’s no way to turn this feature on or off — your phone will automatically adjust the screen brightness based on the time. In addition to Night Mode, Apple’s added some other nifty features to Apple Maps, with more on the way.

Disable or Enable Automatic App Updates

Before iOS 7, you had to open the App Store and  select which apps to update. Now you can set all apps to automatically update by going to Settings > iTunes and App Store, then turn on Updates in the Automatic Downloads section. Since app updates drain data, you’ll only want to enable this feature if you have an unlimited data plan or if you can easily use a WiFi connection, like from your FiOS Internet service.

Now that you’ve gotten used to the bold new look and major features of the iOS 7 update, try out the above features to dig deeper into what your iPhone and iPad can now do.

Have you found any hidden features in the iOS 7 that we didn’t cover here? Share your tips in the comments below.

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HTC One in real gold

Gold HTC One - FrontNews just in that HTC are about to release an HTC One in real gold. That is, not a gold coloured phone but an actual 18ct gold phone.

They are doing this to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the MOBO awards on the 19th October.

If you fancy picking up one of these bad boys then it’ll set you back £2750 and with only 5 in existence you’d better act fast!

Full press release follows…

HTC UK launches a real Gold HTC One®

to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the MOBO Awards

HTC UK announces a limited edition Gold HTC One in pure 18ct gold

The MOBO Best Newcomer winner will walk away with the most expensive HTC phone ever produced

London, 8 October 2013 — HTC UK, a leader in mobile innovation and design, today announces the release of the Gold HTC One, created using REAL gold. Produced to celebrate the 18th Anniversary of the MOBO Awards, this very limited edition phone will be presented to the winner of Best Newcomer category sponsored by HTC at this year’s ceremony in Glasgow on 19th October.

Valued at £2,750 and with only five in existence, the limited edition Gold HTC One is the most exclusive and expensive smartphone ever created by HTC. It was crafted in partnership with Goldgenie founder Laban Roomes. To achieve this luxury look, the zero gap unibody of the HTC One on the front and back is plated in 18ct gold. It is polished to give a sophisticated finish and a special MOBO 18 logo is laser etched on the rear of the device. These elements come together to create the ultimate recognition for the prestigious music awards show.

The Gold HTC One includes all the performance of the award-winning HTC One, including HTC BlinkFeed™, HTC Zoe™ and HTC BoomSound™, together reinventing the mobile experience and setting a new standard for smartphones.

Phil Blair, HTC President, Europe Middle East and Africa said: “The best artists have always been given gold discs to celebrate their success, but today most people listen to music on their phone. We wanted to celebrate that fact. The award winning HTC One is the gold standard in mobile design and innovation, so it was an obvious choice to make it even more special. We’re sure the winning MOBO artist will love their unique phone and we will even be giving a lucky member of the general public the chance to get their hands on one soon too.”

Kanya King MBE, founder of the MOBO Awards commented: “MOBO turning 18 is a huge achievement and a special time for us.  The 18ct Gold HTC One phone is a great addition to our coming of age celebrations and helps add MOBO glitz to proceedings!”

You can vote for the winner of Best Newcomer and the recipients of the Gold HTC One on the MOBO website at http://www.mobo.com/voting2013/best-newcomer. In the running are:

  • Daley
  • Elli Ingram
  • Etta Bond
  • Fuse ODG
  • Jacob Banks
  • Jahméne Douglas
  • Krept and Konan
  • Sam Smith
  • Shakka
  • Stylo G

Goldgenie has previously made bespoke phones for Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Kate Moss, but this is the first time they have worked directly with an Android manufacturer.

Since its launch, the HTC One has attracted a host of editorial and industry awards which recognise its superior performance and new benchmark in design. Just last week the HTC One collected Gadget of the Year, Phone of the Year and the Design Award at the T3 Gadget Awards 2013. Other highlights include the GSMA’s Global Mobile Award for Best New Mobile Device or Tablet at Mobile World Congress 2013, Computex Taipei’s Gold Medal in Design and EISA award for Best European Advanced Smartphone 2013-2014.

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Nexus 5 prices

Phone Nexus 5 pricesArena has apparently scooped a rumour of the price and release for the Nexus 5. The name Nexus 5 seems to be used exclusively and nothing else suggested which might be hints to it being rubbish of true depending on your stand point. The name Nexus 5 indicates either the fifth incarnation of the Nexus phone line or a 5” screen. At any rate the next Nexus will present problems  if called the Nexus 6 and especially a Nexus 7.

As suspected there would be two variants, a 16GB LG Nexus 5 featuring a 2300mAh battery and will be priced at $299. The 32GB LG Nexus 5 will be powered by a 3000mAh cell and will be priced at $399. The Google Nexus 4 was $299 for the 8GB unlocked model when first launched, while the 16GB model was $349. Both of those units carried a 2100mAh cell.

What say ye? Nonsense, an educated guess or on the money?

Posted in: News, Phones, Rumours
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