Archive for October, 2013

By October 10, 2013 Read More →

Archos are back in the Game (pad)

Archos GamepadAn unexpected hit last year, Archos have refreshed their Gamepad for a second outing. The Archos Gamepad 2 is a gaming tablet that features a built-in physical controller, reasonably decent specs and a price tag of $200 in the United States, €212.36 for those in Europe. No price has been announced in the UK.

The Gamepad packs a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, 2GB RAM, a 7-inch IPS display with a 1280 x 800 resolution, 8GB storage, microSD, HDMI, Wi-Fi and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Archos is even partnering up with Gameloft to give you two full games out of the box, Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour to show off the power of the device. Check the press below:

By October 10, 2013 Read More →

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 211: In Gold

Podcast LogoGareth, Matt and Dan are here with another UK update on the mobile front. This week we discuss the Nexus 5, LG G2 and Gareth waxes lyrical about the Samsung Note 3…

Featuring Gareth, Matt and Dan

Direct Download
iTunes
Download the iPhone App
Download the Android App
RSS Feed.

By October 10, 2013 Read More →

Chromecast not available to you

Chromecast-amazon-no-more-international-ordersTwo days ago I ordered a Chromecast as Amazon was offering some limited international shipping of the Google Chromecast even though Google is not currently selling the device outside of the US. Shortly afterward users began to find that ordering had dried up. It now seems that Amazon has shut down the ability to get the Chromecast shipped anywhere outside the United States.

Those who did manage to order will see their orders fulfilled, hopefully. I have notification that my unit has shipped. I now wish I had order several, one for me and one for you.

By October 9, 2013 Read More →

PC World selling the new HP Chromebook

l_21774144A Chromebook is something many have not heard of, although many will have in the homes in the coming years. PC World have been selling them, quite quietly, for the last year or so and now they have listed the new HP variant of the low priced laptop running Chrome OS.

The Chromebook the hardly in the race for the best specc’d device on the market, more focused on providing the richest internet experience for the lowest price. Historically Chromebooks are somewhat hit or miss with users. Combining cheaper materials with an entirely online and cloud based service that put most off, a difficult adjustment for even the most hardened techie.

However, speak to any Chromebook user and they will easily big up their little back pack friendly tool. A Chromebook user has to be prepared to fully embrace Cloud computing, a constant search for a wireless connection and an OS still in it’s infancy but with a massive blank canvas on which to paint.

The improvements in the Chromebook 11 are all about design and fine-tuning. Google says this new Chromebook has a sturdier magnesium frame, so it won’t flex when you hold it up from one corner, and it manages to be a tenth of a pound lighter than the Samsung Chromebook, weighing in at just 2.3 pounds.

Google and HP are addressing some of the major weak points of the Samsung Chromebook, which was flimsy and had limited viewing angles with a robust build quality and a superior screen. In a nice touch, the new Chromebook charges via micro-USB, so Android phone or tablet users can use the same charger.

While those are nice improvements, the tech specs are unfortunately unchanged from last year’s model. The Samsung Chromebook was reported to struggle open a lot of browser tabs, lengthy online documents or playback higher quality Youtube videos. As with other Chromebooks, Google throws in 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years.

The HP runs on the same ARM-based Exynos 5250 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and two USB ports. Both the old and new laptops have 11-inch displays, each with a resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. The HP looses the SD card slot, a particularly mean decision.

PC World are selling the Chromebook for £229 and only list one of the four colour’s available.

Posted in: Laptops, News
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By October 9, 2013 Read More →

Preparing for GTA V on PC – Laptop Review

msi-gs70-stealth-03If you missed the release of the biggest game of the year, you must not have heard all the media-hype from under the rock you were obviously living. Selling a huge 1.57 million copies in its first day of release, you cannot escape the buzz surrounding Grand Theft Auto 5. It is already the 24th bestselling game ever, despite only being released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

The games developer, Rockstar, has remained tight-lipped over whether or not they will release a PC version, leaving many fans in limbo. However, the previous editions of the game have all been released on a PC platform so there may be hope. This, teamed with a growing online petition along with some seemingly leaked screenshots of the game, mean fans are remaining confident that the announcement will be imminent.

In order to make the most of the game – once they finally get their hands on it, lots of gamers are investing in new laptops so they can fully enjoy the graphics and sounds. With this in mind, we’ve decided to take a look at one of the best gaming laptops on the market, the MSI GS70 Stealth gaming laptop.

Available from eBuyer, this laptop boasts a range of features that can majorly enhance your gaming experience. To start, the laptop is perfect for gaming on the move. Weighing just 2.66kg and with a thickness of just 0.86 inches, this is the world’s thinnest and lightest gaming laptop, perfect for any on the move action.

When it comes to graphics and sound, this laptop is unmatched by its competitors. Comprising two speakers and a subwoofer, you can hear every footstep, gun shot and siren as you play. In addition, the laptop features a unique MSI Audio Boost that enhances sound performance by 30% more.  When on the move, sound quality remains the same exceptional level, thanks to the gold flash headphone jack. Graphics-wise, the 17.3” fully HD screen will be the perfect arena for GTA V, displaying crystal clear images.

Even the keyboard is designed to optimise gaming. The keys are specially organised for faster and better action and the keyboard itself is backlit, and with over 1000 personal colour combinations, you can really set the gaming mood – totally immersing yourself in the action.

Packed full of USB ports, a card reader and even an HDMI port, this laptop is the ideal choice for gamers looking for an exceptional gaming experience. Grand Theft Auto 5 will never look so good!

Posted in: Apps & Games, Laptops
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By October 9, 2013 Read More →

Top office gadgets for 2013

office gadgetsHave you ever come across a frustrating situation in the office and thought: “I wish there was a gadget that would take care of that”? We’re sure you’ll find something you like in our selection of the top office gadgets for 2013.

We’ve put together a guide that includes techie, fun and just plain useful devices that we think make great additions to an office environment.

USB Heated Gloves

When you begin to hear your co-workers complain about cold hands as they tap away on their keyboards, you know winter is coming.

Put a stop to their moaning by suggesting that they invest in a pair of USB heated gloves. Simply plug these gloves into the USB port of a computer and they’ll warm up to a toasty 46 degrees in a matter of minutes. These are the perfect Secret Santa gift and you can find a wide selection of these gloves, in fingerless and closed designs, online at Amazon.

Cup Holder

Sometimes the simplest things make the most impressive gadgets.

We’ve all experienced those chaotic mornings, when you’re working 100 miles an hour at your desk trying to get everything done and woops… that takeaway coffee you grabbed on the way in to work goes flying!

This particular nightmare can be a thing of the past, with this simple clip on cup holder – available to buy online from Amazon. This is great if your workspace is limited and you’re the sort of person whose desk is a sea of papers.

Apple TV

It may be increasingly popular in the home, but technology that allows you to project your iPhone or iPad onto a TV screen is a fantastic tool that can also be used in the business environment.

Apple TV, available to buy online from Viking, makes it possible to transmit presentations, photographs, videos and music from an Apple device to a television, without the need for wires. If you’ve got a TV in the boardroom, this a great resource to have for those all-important presentations.

USB Mail Notifier

When you’re powering through a day at the office, it’s easy to neglect your email inbox. That said, there’s nothing worse than missing a crucial piece of information, an upcoming meeting or even worse – an email from a co-worker saying there’s cake in the staff kitchen!

You’ll never miss these crucial emails with this simple gadget, which syncs to your account and lights up each time you receive a new message. You can buy one of these online from Brando, by clicking here.

Exercise Ball

I must admit, the first time I walked into an office and noticed staff sitting on balls at their desks, I was somewhat taken aback. However, swapping the swivel chair for a standard exercise ball – like the ones you see at the gym – could be good for your health.

According to this article by Jenny Sugar at fitsugar.com, swapping your office chair for a ball forces you to use your core muscles, which will lead to a toned midriff and could help elevate back pain. What’s more, the small movement that’s required to keep you upright could burn upwards of 30 calories per day. While that may not compensate for the sneaky lunchtime Mars Bar you wolfed down, it’s better than nothing!

Posted in: Editorial, Gadgets
By October 9, 2013 Read More →

BlackBerry Z30 now on Vodafone

BlackBerry Z30If you fancy picking up BlackBerry’s latest flagship device, the BlackBerry Z30, and you don’t want to buy SIM-free, there’s another option on the table for you now as Vodafone UK have just introduced the Z30 on contract.

Available for under £20 on contracts for £37 it may be an option if you aren’t keen to splash the £475 that an unlocked version would set you back.

Is it just me of does the Z30 have more than just a passing resemblance to the HTC One?

 

BlackBerry Z30 specification:

  • 2G Network: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • 3G Network: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 / 800
  • 4G Network: LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600
  • Dimensions: 140.7 x 72 x 9.4 mm (5.54 x 2.83 x 0.37 in)
  • Weight: 170 g (6.00 oz)
  • Display:  Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours, 720 x 1280 pixels, 5.0 inches (~294 ppi pixel density)
  • 3.5mm jack
  • microSD, up to 64 GB
  • Internal Memory:  16 GB ROM, 2 GB RAM
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, LE
  • NFC
  • microUSB v2.0, USB On-the-go
  • Primary Camera:  8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
    • Features Geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilization
    • Video [email protected], video stabilization
  • Secondary Camera: 2 MP, [email protected]
  • OS: BlackBerry 10.2 OS
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8960T Pro Snapdragon
  • CPU: Dual-core 1.7 GHz Krait
  • GPU: Adreno 320
  • Sensors
    • Accelerometer
    • gyro
    • proximity
    • compass
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  •  HDMI port
  • Battery: Li-Ion 2880 mAh
Posted in: News, Phones
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By October 8, 2013 Read More →

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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By October 8, 2013 Read More →

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

By October 8, 2013 Read More →

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.