Archive for 2014

By December 23, 2014 Read More →

Inateck Bluetooth Audio Receiver Unboxing

vlcsnap-2014-12-21-14h33m26s217Inateck have provided me with a Bluetooth Audio Receiver to have a play with. This portable  Bluetooth streaming device allows you to connect a device without Bluetooth and stream your music and podcasts. Very handy for in the car, or so I thought. Whilst this device is a lot cheaper than others of it’s type at £14 you need to have a car that incorporates an auxiliary connector on the stereo. Many cars do, however both of mine do not (or at least require a £40 modification to install one.)

The unit itself is light, quick to set up and looks quite pretty, considering the price. Given that you could up to £80 for a similar unit Inateck’s variant sits at an attractive price point. Once I decide if I am changing my car for one with an AUX, or perhaps just go with the modification I will add a video showing the operation.



By December 14, 2014 Read More →

Win a new Panasonic Blu-ray DVD Player worth £90

Screenshot 2014-12-02 15.01.54To celebrate the new Viera TV range, Panasonic’s offering one lucky reader a Blu-ray DVD player worth £90, so they can enjoy watching high quality films at home.

Panasonic Viera TVs, which I got to see in IFA, Berlin, as part of the Viera VIP Club, produce stunning images and are packed with ‘beyond smart’ technology, allowing you to make your TV your own.

All Viera TVs from the AS650 and up let you catch up on shows when you want with inbuilt Freeview, and you can watch them anywhere on a mobile device with ‘TV Anywhere’. Plus, there’s the super smart ‘my Stream’ which recommends content to match your preferences easily via an intuitive interface. ‘My Home Screen’ also lets you customise your very own screen with social media, widgets and sites that you like, plus there’s a voice control mode and much more.

Screenshot 2014-12-02 15.00.39

As usual we are going to make this very easy for you.

To enter, all you have to do is follow tracyandmatt on Twitter and retweet the following tweet: “RT I want to win a new Panasonic Blu-ray player from @tracyandmatt and @PanasonicUK – See how you can enter too:” You can also click the retweet link below to save you copying and pasting the phrase. Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw.



Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw. You’ll have to keep following us as we’ll notify winners via DM. 

Entry is open until midnight on the 31st December 2014 and the winner will be picked on the 3rd January. Will that be a lucky day for you?

We’ll contact the winner via twitter so make sure that you are still following us!

Good luck.

To find out more about the Panasonic Viera TV range, visit

Posted in: Competitions, News
By December 12, 2014 Read More →

Samsung’s Gear VR in sight with 11 games

downloadSamsung’s virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, is now available for purchase. You can pick it up for roughly £160 without a gamepad or £190 with. Alone side the release of this new virtual reality device, comes a list of games that are available for its launch.

In total 11 games will be available for download when you get your new Gear VR headout set. Using the marketplace from the Oculus Rift right now and they are all free!

Here is the list of games you can expect to see:

  • Anshar Wars
  • Bombsquad
  • Darknet
  • Dreadhalls
  • Esper
  • Herobound
  • Ikarus
  • Minotaur Rescue VR
  • Proton Pulse
  • Romans from Mars
  • Viral

Of course these are just the games and doesn’t include applications that will also be available for use with the Gear VR as yet. With this device becoming available and a rather attractive price point you can expect more games and applications to hit the Oculus Rift marketplace quite quickly.

By December 8, 2014 Read More →

iMend smartphone repair review

IMG_1542No matter how careful you are, at some point many of us end up dropping their mobile phone. Sometimes you get lucky and end up with just a little scratch but other times the damage can be a little more catastrophic. Generally your choices are to get a new phone or to get the phone repaired. The former can be rather costly and the repair route typically involves sending the phone away for a week or so. 

If you reply upon a mobile phone for your business then being without it for any amount of time may be less than ideal. That’s where the relatively new service from iMend can come in very handy. 

iMend provides a phone repair call out service. Simply put, they come to you and fix your phone and they can often do that same-day.  iMend can deal with a variety of common phone issues from cracked screens to faulty buttons, water damage, battery replacement and more. Currently they can deal with all iPhone models, iPad’s and Samsung Galaxy phones. They are also adding more devices soon.

My colleague, Simon, was unfortunate enough to break his phone a few weeks ago. Having dropped it climbing out of the car the screen shattered to the point that several bits of the glass fell off! Remarkably the phone and the touchscreen still worked, just, but the phone clearly needed to be sorted out. The issue for Simon was that his mobile phone is critical to his business so the idea of sending it away for repair was unthinkable. He was on the verge of buying a new phone when I told him about iMend.

We called iMend and spoke to them about the problem. They said they could get an engineer out to us the same day but we opted to have the repair carried out the following day. We were given a time window of between 10AM and 11AM and sure enough, at a few minutes past 10 there was a knock at the door.

In walked a very nice young man, Vil, with a couple of briefcases full of tools and parts. We gave him a small work area to carry out the repair and he confidently said that the repair would take less than 30 minutes. Part way through the repair, Vil noticed that the power button wasn’t working properly. A fact that Simon was aware of; the button hadn’t been working for a few months. Vil asked at that point if we would like him to swap the button at the same time. This seemed like a good idea so we agreed. 

After about 45 minutes, it took little longer because of changing the power button, Vil  declared that the phone was fully fixed. Sure enough Simon’s iPhone 5 looked brand new and even had a nice screen protector stuck on too. A nice touch!

All in all, the service from iMend was amazing. Punctual arrival on the date and time promised and at a time and location that suited us. The quality of the work was second to none and even comes with a 12 month warranty. 

The cost to replace the screen on the iPhone 5 was £59 which is comparable to many of the send-away services available but the convenience is invaluable. I would absolutely recommend iMend to anyone in need of a smartphone repair.

Please visit the iMend website for a full list of phones covered and their repair price list.

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
By December 4, 2014 Read More →

Hands on with the Panasonic Viera TX42AS740B 42 inch 3D LED Smart TV

vlcsnap-2014-12-03-16h17m20s205As part of the exclusive Viera VIP Club, Gareth spends some time getting familiar with the new Panasonic Viera AS750 42 inch 3D LED Smart TV from Panasonic. This smart television has a highly customisable overlay and some significant social network integration.

  • Full HD LED TV with 1200Hz (BLS) – high-speed panel for brilliant, smooth motion picture quality and 
  • my Stream – enjoy content recommended to match your preferences, easily via an intuitive interface
  • Built-in camera – take Skype video calls, or get your personalised My Home Screen from Face Recognition
  • TV Anywhere – your entertainment, from the TV to your Web-enabled mobile device, even outside the home`

    Find out more at

By December 3, 2014 Read More →

Vodafone Ireland customers first to experience 4G+ in Ireland

Screenshot 2014-12-02 15.06.44@VodafoneIreland is the first operator to deliver Ireland’s first 4G+ technology providing speeds up to twice as fast as first generation 4G, and speeds exceeding the standard fixed-line broadband experience. From 1 December, Vodafone customers in Waterford city will have access to data speeds of up to 150Mbps with 4G+, while Cork, Dublin and Limerick cities will be switched on by the end of December.

With 4G+, customers can now experience the fastest speeds available on mobile to enjoy services like, instant video streaming in HD, live TV with high reliability and the potential to broadcast live from events. In addition, business customers can download higher volumes of data even faster than ever before.

4G+ is available to Vodafone RED Super Business and RED Extra Super bill pay customers at no extra cost until April 2015 using one of three select Samsung 4G+ enabled smartphones; Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Alpha.

Celebrating the launch of the first 4G+ network in Ireland, Vodafone Technology Director, Madalina Suceveanu said “Vodafone customers in Ireland already have access to the widest 4G footprint across six cities and 377 towns and villages – covering over three quarters (79%) of the country and 95 per cent of 3G coverage nationwide. In tandem with our 4G roll-out, we are modernising our network nationwide, providing customers with improved voice call quality and data services to all areas with existing voice services. This new addition of 4G+ services is an even greater boost for our customers. Quite simply, 4G+ downloads, streams and delivers chosen content even faster than before.”

Commenting, Vodafone Enterprise Director, Anne Sheehan, “With 4G+ super-fast speeds now available in Ireland – it opens up a new world of mobilisation for our business customers, with video calls and Cloud based applications really coming into their own”.

4G+ speeds are delivered by combining two 4G bandwidths. Location coverage maps will be available as areas are switched on. For full details of 4G+ please see

Posted in: News
By December 2, 2014 Read More →

Sports Tech: Using data to shape your team’s tactics

Your team’s star centre-forward pops his Achilles tendon in training – season over. The starting QB dislocates his shoulder a week before the SuperBowl, missing the biggest game of the season. The scrum-half pulls up with a torn hamstring ten minutes into rugby union’s Heineken Cup final; his team struggle without him.

Injuries can disrupt a match or change the entire course of a season, and certainly spoil that pre-game sporting wager you might have placed with betting website like Vernons – hot favourites can instantly find themselves at a disadvantage when their leading goal scorer or most prolific wicket taker pulls out the day before the fixture.

Bad luck, eh? Well… maybe not. New intelligence and the increasing use of data means that clubs are no longer prepared to play a game of chance with their highly prized and valued assets. Their players, in other words.

Using data to shape a team’s strategy is not brand new. The book Moneyball, published in 2003, covered the project embraced by the Major League Baseball outfit Oakland Athletics. The A’s general manager, Billy Beane, had the second lowest payroll in baseball and needed to build a team capable of competing with more illustrious opponents. He has turned Oakland into regular contenders by statistics and data to identify previously unheralded players to bring to the club. Recently, in an interview with the Guardian, he discussed whether he could translate that approach to football.

Germany, winners of the 2014 World Cup, used data to feed player intelligence and tactics in the build up to the tournament. The German Football Association developed an application called Match Insights – in partnership with a software company called SAP – which, according to The Telegraph, ‘analyses vast amounts of data about members of the German team and their opponents, based on their on-field performance.’

Player performance is analysed using eight cameras surrounding the pitch, and data is used to measure a range of key performance indicators. One example of how this  data was translated practically can be demonstrated by the Germany national team improving their passing speed; reducing average possession time from 3.4 seconds in 2010 down to 1.1 second earlier this year.

Technology can also be used to forecast injuries, which can have a serious impact on the performance of a team. This article discloses that: ‘Major League Baseball teams spent $665m last year on salaries for both injured players and their replacements, NBA teams lost $358m last season; $44m alone by the injury-ridden Los Angeles Lakers. And in the NFL, where the average salary is about $2m, starters missed a record 1,600 games in 2013.’

So, that’s huge! Anything teams can do to mitigate these losses can be of major benefit. As such, the industry of performance analytics is a fast-growing one and data can anticipate that an athlete is likely to be injured before it actually happens.

There is more detail about such analytics here. The NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles have invested a reported $1m on technology (a fraction of the cost of the average salary bill). Players wear monitors that measure agility and acceleration, allowing coaches to identify when performance begins to decline; heart rate monitors that create post-workout recovery reports to indicate when athletes are physically ready to handle more training; a system that captures data on fatigue, stress and aerobic capacity and more.

Last season, the Eagles were the second least-injured team in the NFL, with 14 players who started every regular season game. They had a 10-6 record and won the NFC East division. That compares favourably with a 4-12 record the season before.

Posted in: Editorial
By December 1, 2014 Read More →

Award Winning Android Apps of 2014


Data from 2014 shows that 84% of time on mobiles is spent using Apps, compared to 14% on the mobile web. The App industry therefore continues to become an important area for IT recruitment growth; reportedly creating more than 500,000 jobs and becoming a $25bn economy in the US alone already.


As we wait to see which Apps will prove the most innovative and useful in 2015, we look back to the best of 2014:


1.       Learn Languages: Rosetta Stone

 Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 16.52.35

This Android Education app won the “2014 Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award” and the “2014 Tabby Awards Winner” as well as the “Users’ Choice pick.” What makes this language learning app special is the extensive access to 24 different languages, of which the first lesson is free to access. It boasts voice recognition and the app creators have additionally pioneered interactive software to improve language learning. Nowadays, international travel is common and ambitious professionals may need to learn a language to expand opportunities to work internationally. This could be the perfect app if The Wall Street Journal is correct: “Rosetta Stone may be the next best thing to living in a country.”


2.       Hotel Tonight  

 Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 16.52.43


Hotel Tonight carries the motto ‘Plan Less. Live More.’ and scooped the Best Android App at 2014’s Tabby Awards in the Lifestyle category. The App provides guaranteed best rates at hand-picked, top-rated hotels, which you can then ‘book in 10 seconds with 3 taps and a swipe.’ The hotels are grouped into categories such as Basic, Hip and Luxe as well as ‘themed playlists’ that will tell you which hotels have great pools, for example. The Top 3 reasons why each hotel has been selected is also provided to enable users to understand the benefits with a quick glimpse. And to cap it all off, the App is backed by real people offering 24/7 customer service.


3.       Marvel Puzzle Quest

 Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 16.52.57


This App is another Tabby Awards Winner, in the category of, ‘Game: Puzzle, Games & Family.’ This game combines all of the famous Marvel characters such as Captain America, Spider-Man and Hulk on different gameplay puzzles that give you the options of: player-vs-player tournaments; unlocking new characters; collecting comics; fighting against the Marvel enemies; and reading epic original story lines. Players gradually unlock different characters by collecting comic covers, which in turn strengthen associated skills. Users can improve their gaming puzzle skills anywhere, on their mobile or tablet.


“An intricately crafted, remarkably deep experience — Marvel Puzzle Quest doesn’t merely meet the expectations of its name, it exceeds them.” – (Editors’ Choice Award).


2015 should produce some innovative and truly engaging Apps, as well as an increasing need for both freelance and permanent app developers. This article was provided by The IT Job Board, who currently have hundreds of App developer jobs available on their site.



Posted in: Apps & Games
By November 29, 2014 Read More →

Unboxing Archos Activity Tracker and Connected Scales

vlcsnap-2014-11-24-14h40m28s186Gareth unboxes the Archos Activity Tracker and Connected Scales. These now budget fitness accessories cost £50 a piece and promise to enhance your fitness tracking.

The Activity tracker is a simple pedometer that connects, by bluetooth, to your smartphone, Apple or Android. An app collated the information and presents you with targets and results from your daily activities.

The Connect Scales are another simple addition. To keep you weight loss (or gain) in check the scales can differentiate between four different people can record results to the same app as the activity tracker.

By November 27, 2014 Read More →

ALCATEL ONETOUCH adds two new smartphones to the affordable POP C range

image004ALCATEL ONETOUCH has released the POP C5 and the POP C7 to the UK SIM free market. The latest smartphones to be added to its range of easy to use POP smartphones, the POP C5 and POP C7 are designed with the first-time smartphone buyer in mind.

The POP C5 has a 4.5” screen and 5 megapixel camera, which comes with a panoramic picture function as well as a front camera, enabling video chat.

The POP C7 features a 5” display with a Quad Core 1.3 GHz processor to accelerate all tasks and apps. The POP C7 also features a 5 megapixel camera capable of taking great quality images, perfect for instant sharing.


 Both the POP C5 and POP C7 run the Android operating system. Based on the ethos of the POP smartphone range: ‘easy to choose, easy to use’ the POP C5 and the POP C7 come preloaded with popular apps, such as Facebook, What’s App and Twitter, so the smartphones are ready to use, straight out the box.

 The POP C5 and the POP C7 are available in Bluish Black from  The POP C5 is priced RRP £85 SIM free and the POP C7 is priced RRP £115 SIM free.

Posted in: News, Phones
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