Author Archive: Matt

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.

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By October 29, 2013 Read More →

Android 4.4 KitKat launch date set

Android 4.4 KitKat launch dateGoogle’s latest Android OS, aka KitKat, could be launched as soon as November 5th. That’s if the event invitation several gadget sites are receiving is anything to go by.

The invites have been sent out for a Google press conference that is being held on November 5th in Israel and it id thought that the main thrust of the press conference will be to officially introduce Android 4.4 KitKat and, most likely show it off on some of the latest Nexus hardware.

The invite seems to also indicate that LG are going to be taking part which makes sense as LG are the manufacturer of the Nexus 5, and could even be producing a 4G LTE version of the Nexus 4 as well. The image of the invite shows a smartphone that has a KitKat running through it so this is probably hinting at what we can expect from the event.

This invite has been provided by a company called Ronlight Digital that is a distributor of LG products in the country, so we could get to see another Google press event in the US before this one taking place in Israel.

Source: Gadgety.co.il

Posted in: News, Phones
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By October 29, 2013 Read More →

Sony Xperia Z1 unboxing and demo video

sony-xperia-z1The Sony Xperia Z1 is receiving a great deal of media coverage at the moment and you’ll probably have seen the lengthy TV commercials and billboards advertising the Z1.

The Xperia Z1 ins one of a few smartphones hitting the market with a full HD screen but one of the features that makes the Z1 stand out from the crowd is that it has an IP58 rating, meaning that not only is it dust-proof but it’s water resistant up to a depth of 1 metre. This means that you can take the Xperia Z1 with you to the local pool and take photos underwater.

Recently there have been a number of innovations in the camera phone arena. At one end of the spectrum Nokia are cramming in as many pixels as they can with the sensor on the Lumia 1020 hitting a massive 41 megapixels. At the other end of the range HTC have opted for a lower pixel count and have made the individual pixel size larger for better light gathering. Sony, of course, have their own take on the camera and the Z1 features a 20.7 megapixel shooter with Sony Exmor RS and Sony’s award-winning G Lens.

Sony have also added a wide array of image processing tools, including and AR Effect mode to add some fun animations to your pictures. Ranging from dinosaurs to ocean-life, these fully customisable themes can be easily edited.

The Sony Xperia Z1 has plenty to offer in terms of specification so in our unboxing and demo video that you can see below, we just touch on a few.

 Sony Xperia Z1 specification:

  • 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – all versions
  • 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 – all versions
  • 4G Network LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 – C6903
  • LTE 700 / 850 / 900/ 1700 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 – C6906
  • Micro-SIM
  • Dimensions: 144 x 74 x 8.5 mm (5.67 x 2.91 x 0.33 in)
  • Weight: 170 g (6.00 oz)
  • IP58 certified – dust proof and water resistant over 1 metre and 30 minutes
  • Display: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours, 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches
  • Protection Shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass
    • Triluminos display
    • X-Reality Engine
  • 3.5mm jack
  • Memory Card slot: microSD, up to 64 GB
  • Internal Memory:16 GB, 2 GB RAM
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP
  • NFC
  • microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go
  • Primary Camera: 20.7 MP, autofocus, LED flash
  • Secondary Camera: 2 MP, [email protected]
  • OS: Android OS, v4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400
  • Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • GPS  with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
By October 28, 2013 Read More →

LG Announces the LG G Flex

LG G Flex 003We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that LG were gearing up to launch a new device with a flexible display. There were rumours that Samsung too would have curved or flexible screen versions of the Note 3 on the market soon too.

LG have beaten the competition to it though and have today announced the LG G Flex, which they say is the first smartphone on the market to offer such a design.

Full spec and details form LG follow:

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By October 25, 2013 Read More →

Keeping Your Mobile Data Safe

mobile securityOver the past decade we’ve become increasingly aware of the importance of online security. Everything we do online is a risk, from sending an email to buying an item from an online store. With prying eyes looking for any opportunity to extract our personal information, we now take some extreme measures to prevent this from happening.

Emails are being encrypted and sites are doing everything they can to ensure that any transactions are secure and that details entered cannot be accessed by anyone who doesn’t have the right. With businesses now looking for their employees to utilise modern technology and work wherever they are, whenever they can, using whatever device they have available; there is now added importance in keeping mobile data secure too. The rise in BYOD (bring your own device) in business has been great for employees who can use their own products without having to learn about new operating systems or programs, but security has been an issue in some cases.

Enterprise mobility and cloud computing have meant that IT is just about anywhere, and constantly at our fingertips. If we have to work on a project due in a matter of hours, we can. If we need to send an important email to seal a deal, we can. The problem is that the information being shared is leaving a digital snail trail and measures are having to be created to stop this data being accessed by those who have no right to see it.

Some are implementing measures having already experienced data leakages or theft first-hand, while others are trying to develop strategies to prevent anything happening down the line. Whichever approach is being taken, it’s important to get it right, because users trying to work on their own mobile devices won’t want the same sort of heavy-handed approach to security that they experience in the workplace.

Nobody wants to be sacrificing their user experience for security, because it just means that users can’t have fun with their devices anymore. Entering passwords after every click or being blocked from accessing certain sites or documents for fear of security breaches won’t be good for anyone, and essentially makes BYOD irrelevant because it’s no longer your device.

One good case study is the BlackBerry Enterprise platform, which helps administrators to manage BlackBerry devices as well as cross-platform security (meaning it covers iOS and Android devices as well). This allows for the smooth and seamless flow of data, without compromising security to do it – the happy medium if you like. To be productive, sometimes you need to access certain files and websites, and this is where the approach to BYOD needs to be considered rather than down to interpretation.

 

World-class Data analysis solutions

By October 24, 2013 Read More →

HTC One gets Sense 5.5 and Android 4.3 Now

android-43-jelly-beanA little over a week since the HTC One Max debuted with Android 4.3 and Sense 5.5 we’ve just learned that the HTC One will be getting the update to 4.3 and HTC Sense 5.5 starting now.

HTC Sense 5.5 brings along some nice changes to with notable improvements to Blinkfeed, Google+ integration, Gallery and Video Highlights and a new Scribble app for note taking and writing directly on to the screen.

To see a little more of Sense 5.5 on the HTC One Max check out my unboxing video.

I have the update downloading to my HTC One as I type. The 675MB update lists the following enhancements:

System Improvements

  • Android 4.3 and HTC Sense 5.5 update

Video Highlights Improvements

  • Updated Interface
  • Add Soundtrack to videos

Blinkfeed Improvements

  • Access recommended news from social networks
  • Additional Global News Sources
  • Save articles to read later or offline
  • Create custom feeds from news media and YouTube

Music Improvements

  • Updated Interface
  • Embedded music channel with new scenes

Sense TV Improvements

  • Updated interface
  • Add My Picks Page to improve program management

Screenshot_2013-10-24-12-57-44Screenshot_2013-10-24-13-05-59

The update itself seems pretty painless and has taken no more than about 10 minutes to download and apply but as with any update, I’d recommend doing a full backup first.

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By October 23, 2013 Read More →

BBM hits 10 million downloads

BBM hits 10 million downloadsBBM was finally made available, after a delay of a month, to Android and iOS devices on Monday. Since then and in just 24 hours BBM hits 10 million downloads by Android and iPhone users, one of the best single-day openings for a mobile app ever.

We’ve experienced a few issues with BBM on iPhone and Android but we’re not sure how widespread those issues might be. Please let us know in the comments selection below what your experience has been and if you want to get in touch with our team you can reach us at 7C5063A9

BlackBerry’s press release follows:

Posted in: Apps & Games, News, Phones
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By October 23, 2013 Read More →

iOS 7.0.3 released – reduces sickness, solves iMessage issues

iOS 7.0.3 releasedFollowing yesterday’s press event, Apple have rather quietly released the latest update for ios, 7.0.3, which is now available as an over the air update for all iOS devices.
This update does look to be the one that many ios 7 users have been waiting for and promises to address the iMessage issues that have plagued so many from the outset.
And for those of you suffering with motion sickness because of all the zoom and parallax effects added to iOS 7 you’ll be pleased to know that this update also brings with it the ability to turn these affects off.
There are quite a number of other fixes and changes in this update, many of which focus on improved security. The full list can be found below.

iOS 7.0.3 changes:

  • Adds iCloud Keychain to keep track of your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers across all your approved devices
  • Adds Password Generator so Safari can suggest unique, hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts
  • Updates lock screen to delay display of “slide to unlock” when Touch ID is in use
  • Adds back the ability to search the web and Wikipedia from Spotlight search
  • Fixes an issue where iMessage failed to send for some users
  • Fixes a bug that could prevent iMessage from activating
  • Improves system stability when using iWork apps
  • Fixes an accelerometer calibration issue
  • Addresses an issue that could cause Siri and VoiceOver to use a lower quality voice
  • Fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the Lock screen passcode
  • Enhances the Reduce Motion setting to minimize both motion and animation
  • Fixes an issue that could cause VoiceOver input to be too sensitive
  • Updates the Bold Text setting to also change dial pad text
  • Fixes an issue that could cause supervised devices to become un-supervised when updating software
Posted in: Apps & Games, News, Phones, Tablets
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By October 22, 2013 Read More →

iPad Mini with Retina Display announced

ipad mini with retinaIn the final announcement from today’s press event held by Apple we have the new iPad Mini with Retina Display.

Offering the same form factor as the existing iPad mini, the new Retina Display version will also include the A7 chip, 5MP camera and forward facing iSight camera. As with the existing line-up there will be 16, 32 and 64GB models with WiFi or with WiFi and Cellular.

Don’t let its size fool you. iPad mini is powered by the new A7 chip with 64-bit architecture. A7 delivers killer performance — up to four times faster CPU and up to eight times faster graphics performance than the previous generation — without sacrificing battery life. So you get incredible power in a device you can take with you wherever you go.

iPad mini has everything that makes an iPad an iPad, but it’s a fraction of the size. At just 7.5 millimeters, it’s pencil thin and unbelievably light.3 You can easily hold it in your palm. And stash it in your smallest bag without a second thought, so it’s always close at hand.

iPad Mini with Retina Display

  • 7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 2048-by-1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
Posted in: News, Tablets
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By October 22, 2013 Read More →

Apple announces the iPad Air

ipad airAlso today, during their press conference held in California, Apple have announced the new iPad Air.

Thinner, lighter and more powerful that ever before, the iPad Air has a 9.7″ retina display. A much thinner, 43% thinner bezel surrounds the screen and at 7.5mm thick it’s 20% thinner than the iPad 4 and weighs in at just 1 pound! The lights full size tablet in the world!

Having the same A7 CPU that we first saw in the iPhone 5s there’s also the M7 motion chip from the new iPhone.

The iPad Air goes on sale starting November 1st, from just $499, the same price as the existing iPad 4

The new iPad Air is unbelievably thin and light. And yet it’s so much more powerful and capable. With the A7 chip, advanced wireless, and great apps for productivity and creativity — all beautifully integrated with iOS 7 — iPad Air lets you do more than you ever imagined. In more places than you ever imagined.

iPad has always been about the display. And that’s even more true with iPad Air. Because we reduced the width of the device, along with the bezels on the sides of the display. But the size of the stunning Retina display is exactly the same. So your content fills your view more than ever. With a 2048-by-1536 resolution and over 3.1 million pixels, photos and videos pop with detail and text looks razor sharp. Pixels are indiscernible. So all you see is what you want to see.

The A7 chip takes iPad to new heights of power and speed. Thanks to the A7 chip, apps run faster. Games are more responsive. And everything you do with iPad Air feels quicker, because it is quicker. Up to twice as quick, in fact. But that’s just the beginning. It also supports OpenGL ES version 3.0, enabling detailed graphics and visual effects once possible only on desktop computers and game consoles. And the A7 chip features 64-bit architecture, opening the door for even more robust and powerful apps. Which means even more possibilities for what you can do with iPad Air.

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By October 22, 2013 Read More →

Apple Mac Pro announced

Apple Mac ProToday Apple have been treating us to another look at the Apple Mac Pro and updated us with new specification details and have announced the starting price of ‘just’ $2999 and it will be available from December of this year.

Some of the headline info:

Capable of real-time 4K video editing, extremely low power consumption on idle and as quiet as the Mac Mini.

Engineered around workstation graphics with dual GPUs, PCI Express–based flash storage, high-performance Thunderbolt 2, new-generation Xeon processors, ultra-fast memory and support for 4K video, the new Mac Pro delivers state-of-the-art performance across the board.

Apple Mac Pro Processors:

The new Mac Pro is muscle through and through, starting with the new-generation Intel Xeon E5 chipset. With configurations offering up to 12 cores of processing power, up to 40GB/s of PCI Express gen 3 bandwidth and 256-bit-wide floating-point instructions, you’ll never be at a loss for speed.

Every component in the new Mac Pro is optimised for performance. That includes a four-channel DDR3 memory controller running at 1866MHz. It delivers up to 60GB/s of memory bandwidth, which means you can fly through even the most compute-intensive tasks in no time. And since it’s ECC memory, your render job, video export or simulation won’t be stopped by transient memory errors.

Traditionally, pro computers have relied primarily on the CPU for their computing power. But as GPU performance has dramatically increased, software developers have begun to leverage that power in their apps. With the new Mac Pro, we looked ahead and engineered an even more powerful GPU architecture. Not only does it feature a state-of-the-art AMD FirePro workstation-class GPU with up to 6GB of dedicated VRAM — it features two of them. With all that power, you’ll be able to do things like seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background — and still have enough power to connect up to three high-resolution 4K displays.

Mac Pro specification:

  • Intel Xeon E5
  • 4, 6, 8, or 12 core
  • 1866MHz DD3 RAM, up to 64GB
  • AMD FirePro graphics, up to 12GB of GDDR5
  • PCIe based next gen flash based storage
  • Thunderbolt 2
  • Up to 3 x 4K displays
Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
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