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 19, 2013 Read More →

Apple: We have no intention of reading your iMessages

imessage securityApple is once again having to play the defensive game amid allegations that the company could all too easily intercept users iMessages sent through iOS or OS X.

This is a claim from security experts stating that as Apple hold all the encryption keys for the end-to-end service it would be a trivial process to be able to change these keys in order to read content or pass it to third parties such as government agencies that make a request.

Whilst the security experts, Quarkslab, do point out that Apple are not currently doing this at the moment they could do so if they wanted to.

These claims have caused a great deal of noise and concern amongst users a privacy groups, so much so that Apple have had to break the usual radio silence and respond.

“iMessage is not architected to allow Apple to read messages,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. “The research discussed theoretical vulnerabilities that would require Apple to re-engineer the iMessage system to exploit it, and Apple has no plans or intentions to do so.”

This is not the first time that Apple have been on the back foot where iMessage security is concerned. Earlier this year the company was also forced to defend itself against allegations of its involvement in handing over data to the NSA.

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By October 19, 2013 Read More →

Netatmo Urban Weather Station video

netatmo urban weather stationBarometers and home weather stations have been arround for centuries but the people from Netatmo have brought this concept right up to date with their Netatmo Urban Weather Station which has been specifically designed for iOS and Android devices.

What you get is two environmental monitoring units, one for indoors and one for out. The indoor unit connects to the internet over WiFi and relays its readings, alond with those obtained wirelessly from the outdoor unit, to a central location accessible with either the iOS or Android app.

The units don’t just measure temperature though as air quality, humidity, CO2 and other polutant concentrations are also measured, graphed and monitored.

In the short video below I’ll show you what the units look like as well as some live example reading from my iPad.

By October 18, 2013 Read More →

Google Nexus 5 leaked by… Google

Google Nexus 5 leakedSeems that everyone is in a hurry for more information about the forthcoming Google Nexus 5 and the anticipation is certainly building for what is expected to be the fastest, most powerful Android Smartphone to date.

So when it comes to leaked information about the Nexus 5 it is, perhaps, quite surprising to see that it has been accidentally ousted on Google’s own Play store earlier today.

For a short time the Nexus 4 could be found on the Play Store alongside the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 device and full details of the Nexus 5 Specification could also be found there.

Much of the rumoured specification has been confirmed; The five-inch display will be an IPS full HD, a Quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 takes care of business with 2GB of RAM and either 16 or 32GB of on-board storage. This will also be the first Smartphone to be powered by Android 4.4 KitKat.

The price has also been revealed to be $349 for the 16GB model but there’s no UK price available at this time but $349 comes out to a little over £220, factoring in VAT we should be looking at around £275 – £300 here.

It’s perhaps a little surprising that the Nexus 5 will have ‘only’ 2GB of RAM whereas the Note 3 has 3GB and an otherwise similar specification.

The Nexus 5 has since been removed from the Play Store but this mini leak possibly points to the device’s launch being imminent.

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By October 18, 2013 Read More →

HTC One Max vs Galaxy Note 3: Benchmark

One Max BenchmarkHTC announced the HTC One Max earlier this week and folowing some unboxing and demo videos that we posted, we’ve had a lot of questions and feedback about the new device.

One of the recurring requests has been to compare the new HTC One Max to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Both the One Max and Note 3 are of a similar size and spec and occupy the same place in the market.

One of the things that we thought we could do to compare the two devices is to have them both run a benchmark test and see which one comes out on top.

Obviously we’re expecting the Note 3 to come out on top in this test, it has a 2.3GHz quad-core CPU vs 1.7GHz on the One Max but just how big is the difference? Check out the video below to see the numbers!

 

 HTC One MaxSamsung Galaxy
Note 3
CPUQuad-core 1.7 GHzQuad-core 2.3 GHz
ChipsetSnapdragon 600Snapdragon 800
RAM2GB3GB
ROM16/32 GB16/32/64 GB
Screen Size5.9 inches5.7 inches
Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels1080 x 1920 pixels
Dimensions164.5 x 82.5 x 10.3 mm151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
Weight217g168g
Primary Camera4 MP (Ultrapixel)13 MP
Secondary Camera2.1 MP2 MP
By October 15, 2013 Read More →

Apple confirms iPad press event 22nd October

apple ipad 5 eventThis afternoon Apple announced a press event to be held on the 22nd October in San Francisco. Press invitations have already been sent out to the event in which we’re expecting to see the new iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 unveiled but the tag line in the invitation “We still have a lot to cover” possibly suggests that there may be more in the line up for the day.

Certainly the smart money is pointing to the two new iPad models both of which are expected to have the Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor introduced in the iPhone 5S as well as a version of the 64-bit A7 chip.

The hope from us is that the iPad mini 2 will have a retina display but there have been many rumours about this over the past few weeks that seem to equally say yay and nay, all will be revealed next week.

Other possible attractions at the event are OS X Mavericks that went GM earlier this month and the Mac Pro which has been teasing us for several months.

We’ll be coving the event from 6PM BST on the 22nd October.

Posted in: News, Tablets
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By October 15, 2013 Read More →

A Brief History Of Car Stereos: From Victrola to Wi-Fi Radios

victrolaHow much have you spent on your car’s stereo system? Today, car and music enthusiasts can drop more than a quarter of a million dollars on a serious music system like the Rogue Acoustics 1K. One hundred years ago, however, the most technologically advanced car radio cost only fifteen dollars. How has sound engineering for automobiles evolved over the decades?

In The Beginning

One of the first popularized radios, named the Victrola, would be the forerunner for all car audio equipment today. During the 1930s, a brother team installed a Victrola into a Studebaker, naming it the “Motorola”. This brand became so popular that it grew into a corporation of radios, stereos, televisions, and electronics that Google purchased in 2012 for just less than thirteen billion dollars. At first, these Motorolas could only pick up on AM transmissions; it would take another two decades before FM radios became available that would pick up on short-range, local radio station transmissions.

Music Players

Today, a user can open up an iTunes or Spotify account in their vehicle and gain easy access to libraries of tens of millions of songs. Only fifty years ago, however, radios held drivers in thrall to the music that DJs wanted to play. The first time any driver could make a choice in music came in the late 1960s, when 8-track tape players became available for installation in automobiles. Cassettes followed soon, then in the late 1980s the CD revolution allowed a user to switch between as many as 10 CDs in a single player without needing to re-wind each time.

Digital Vehicles

When people think of mp3 players, they think of iPods, and for good reason; according to MacTech, the iPod has a staggering 70% market share. The first mp3 players pre-dated the iPod by half a decade, however, and sports cars like the Mazda MX5 would be the first cars with mp3 compatibility. Today, mp3 players can be directly hooked into a stereo system, used to play music via a tape adapter, or streamed via Bluetooth to create a mobile wireless unit.

The Future Of Mobile Music

Anyone with a smart phone knows how practical it can be to use it as a driving aid. From GPS navigation to apps that find the cheapest gas prices, smart phone integration drives the development of today’s automobile interiors. As such, subscribers to online car services can do everything automobile-related from the inside of their vehicles, including paying for the car itself. Paying car bills today requires nothing more than a login, pulling up Mydrivetime.com, and entering a payment through their finance services. Music apps are no different from online bill management: login to Pandora and stream music directly to your speakers. Developers looking to create ever-more-advanced stereos believe “smart cars” point the way towards the future of automobile audio, with on-demand music and information caches that preclude streaming interruptions like tunnels.

 

Posted in: Editorial
By October 14, 2013 Read More →

HTC One Max photo gallery

Further to my HTC One Unboxing video and HTC One demo video, here’s a gallery of hi-res images of the HTC One Max for you to take a look at.

Several photos have the HTC One included to offer a size comparison.

There are a couple of things worth pointing out from the images below.

  • Firstly the power button on the One Max is set to the side instead of the top, as on the HTC One, but the infrared transmitter is still found on the top.
  • The back cover is removable and underneath you’ll find the SIM card and microSD card slots. There will be a dual-SIM version available in Asian markets.
  • The back cover is made from machined aluminium and includes the NFC antenna.
  • The Boomsound speakers and amplifier are the same as on the HTC One but the One Max has larger acoustic chambers which makes the sound louder
  • The fingerprint reader found on the back of the HTC One Max is a capacitive reader so requires that you swipe your finger across it.

HTC One Max photo gallery

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By October 14, 2013 Read More →

HTC One Max Demo Video

HTC One Max Demo VideoHopefully you will already have seen my HTC One Max unboxing and hands-on video. That video ran a little long, at over 30 minutes, so I decided to record a separate HTC One Max Demo Video to show off a couple of the other features.

In the video below we have a look at RSS feeds in Blinkfeed, web browsing on that huge screen, Gallery and Video Highlights as well as some sample video playback.

One thing that you cant really appreciate in the video is how loud the Boomsound speakers are. The HTC One held the top-spot for loudspeaker volume and quality but once the HTC One Max came along that stole first place. The One Max may have the same speakers and amplifier but larger chambers make a bigger sound!

Enjoy the video below and don’t forget to check out the HTC One Max photo gallery too. Oh and don’t forget to tell us what you think of the HTC One Max as well…

By October 14, 2013 Read More →

HTC One Max unboxing and hands-on video

HTC One Max fingerprintSo after those weeks of further speculation and rumour, the HTC One Max becomes official today.

Since the launch of the HTC One the ‘One’ brand has become one of the most recognised in HTC history and by adding the HTC One Max to the existing line-up HTC hope to provide consumers with even greater choice.

The HTC One Max brings with it the a new version of HTC Sense, this time we have 5.5 which builds upon version 5 found on the One and One Mini. Sense 5.5 adds new Blinkfeed features with the ability to now add RSS feeds and a variety of other services. There’s also the ability to read feeds off-line thanks to a caching mode.

The Gallery app has been updated with new ‘view by event’ and added Zoe capability, being able to share Zoe moments with non-HTC devices. There’s a GIF editor and new video highlight options.

In terms of hardware the most obvious thing is the 5.9 inch full-HD display which is glorious! As with the HTC One, there’s a Quad-Core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB RAM and either 16 or 32GB of storage. In a change from the HTC One, the Max has a microSD card slot under the removable back over and supports up to 64GB memory cards.

On the back you’ll find the same 4MP Ultrapixel camera as seen on other One models, which is a good thing.

Below the camera, and settling the speculation, you’ll find a square panel which is a capacitive fingerprint reader. The nice feature here is that you can enrol multiple fingers on the device and allows you to set a specific finger to launch straight into a specific application. Handy.

Powers is supplied by a sizeable 3300MAh battery which can be further supplemented by a 1100MAh battery in the dedicated HTC One Max cast that HTC have developed.

The HTC One Max will go on sale later this week and should be in Vodafone stores first. No word on the price as yet but expect the networks to be making announcements later today too.

There’s plenty to talk about with the HTC One Max so I’m starting off with the unboxing and hands-on video below. It’s pretty lengthy so be sure to make yourself comfortable. I also have another demo video coming up later where I’ll cover some of the other features and there’s a gallery of hi-res images for you to enjoy too.

Oh and there’s a benchmark of the HTC One Max in here too! 🙂

By October 14, 2013 Read More →

HTC One Max announced

HTC One max Glacial Silver 3VFollowing weeks of speculation (what’s new!?) HTC have today announced the HTC One Max. Building upon the successes of the HTC One and HTC One Mini, the One Max provides a larger form-factor as well as introducing to new and unique features as well as HTC Sense 5.5.

Here we have the official press release and full specification but also, don’t forget to check out our HTC One Max unboxing video, HTC One Max Demo Video and HTC One Max photo gallery.

THE HTC ONE® GETS SUPERSIZED WITH THE HTC ONE MAX

 

World’s best smartphone now in 5.9” with new and improved HTC Sense 5.5 ® experience

 

London, October 14, 2013 — HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today announced the HTC One max, a super-sized smartphone that brings the award-winning design, functionality and performance of the HTC One to fans of larger handsets. A new Fingerprint Scan feature takes convenience to a new level while acclaimed features including HTC BlinkFeed™, HTC Zoe™ and HTC BoomSound™, combined with the new HTC Sense 5.5, which are all enhanced to continue to deliver the best overall smartphone experience, now on a larger screen.

 

“The addition of the HTC One max means that we now have an HTC One phone for everyone. The family has been built on quality and game-changing innovations and the HTC One max is certainly no exception,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “The upgrade to HTC Sense 5.5 will provide our most amazing mobile experience yet, with the HTC One max delivering the size and power required to do everything you want, and more, without compromise.”

 

Big and powerful

The HTC One max’s 5.9” full HD1080p display is perfect for enjoying photos, videos and movies on the go. Smooth and efficient performance comes courtesy of a quad-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600 processor featuring a quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU enabling jaw-dropping performance, ultra vivid videos and booming sound. Whether you’re watching videos in stunning HD, playing games or checking out what’s hot online, the HTC One max sounds amazing, looks sharp and keeps working when you need it.

The 16GB or 32GB onboard memory can be expanded thanks to a microSD™ card slot, with a massive 50GB of additional free Google Drive online storage being offered exclusively to HTC One max owners.

The large 3300mAh embedded battery means that this level of performance will last and last. Even the most intensive users will find the HTC One max is up to the challenge thanks to the optional HTC Power Flip Case, a stylish 1150mAh battery expansion for your HTC One max which offers both protection and extra juice when you need it most.

 

Maximum convenience at your fingertips

The average person checks their phone multiple times a day, so the HTC One max welcomes a new era of convenience and advanced functionality thanks to a built-in Fingerprint Scan feature. Located on the back of the device, the fingerprint scanner allows users to lock or unlock the screen and quickly launch up to three favourite applications by assigning an individual finger to each.

 

More content than ever before

The HTC One max’s Sense 5.5 upgrade comes with a more social, personalised HTC BlinkFeed that can be further refined by customisable topic categories and new integration with premium content providers including Instagram and Google+. Up to 120 articles can also be downloaded for offline viewing, making BlinkFeed even better for snacking on information wherever and whenever you are.

 

Ultimate imaging

Featuring HTC’s UltraPixel camera technology, HTC Zoe mode, that brings your photos to life, and a 2.1MP front-facing camera, the HTC One max will capture stunning photos and full HD 1080p videos whether you’re the photographer, the subject or both. Dual Capture means you can now snap memorable moments and your reaction to them in one extraordinary photo or video by simultaneously shooting with the front and rear cameras.

Improved imaging is also introduced through Video Highlights, which combines your photos and videos to create a mini movie complete with the soundtrack and visual theme of your choice. And with the HTC One max, your Video Highlights can now be any length you want.

 

 

Design at its Best

Available in Glacial Silver, the HTC One max shares the same premium design credentials as the rest of the HTC One family, providing an all round exceptional experience.

 

Global Availability
The HTC One max will begin rolling out across the globe from mid – end October.

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