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 May 24, 2013 Read More →

TV Is Changing at Warp Speed

cool sofa In an increasingly media saturated culture, you might assume the number of households with televisions would be on the rise. But according to the folks at Nielsen, TV households dropped from 115.9 million during the 2010-2011 season to 114.7 million the following year. At first glance, it seems that people are simply watching less television, but perhaps the state of TV is actually changing.

There are a number of factors at play here, from the diminishing impact of network channels, to the new formats available to TV consumers. Basic cable and satellite packages run consumers about $30 a month, as noted on http://www.directtvdeal.com, while a streaming option like Netflix offers a range of TV and film content for $8 per month. As with the smartphone revolution that preceded it, it appears that the way we view and pay for TV is changing quickly.

Posted in: TV & Home Cinema
By May 19, 2013 Read More →

Galaxy S4 vs HTC One benchmark video

s4vone Two of the hottest Android smartphones on the market at the moment are the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Both released at about the same time and both firmly at the top end of the market being flagship devices for their respective manufacturers.

These devices have polarised opinion. On one hand the HTC fans are rubbishing Samsung’s latest attempt while those preferring the S4 are doing the same of the HTC One. I’m constantly being asked which one I prefer or which one I think someone should buy. That’s a pretty big question and as I’ve only had my Galaxy S4 for a couple of days it’s one I’ll address later.

However, as there are many questions regarding the performance of these two devices I thought it would be interesting to run the same benchmark on both devices at the same time to give some indication. Bear in mind though that the benchmark score isn’t the be all and end all, many other factors should be considered but we’ll talk about those another time.

For now, check out the video below to see which phone comes out on top, the results may surprise you!

 

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By May 18, 2013 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy S4 unboxing video

s4 We all know that Samsung’s Galaxy S3 was one of the most popular phones last year and with the launch of the new Galaxy S4 just a few weeks ago Samsung are hoping that they’ve come up with another winning formula.

There really is no denying that the specification of the S4 has it sitting firmly at the top end but there’s also the top end price tag to match, costing in the region of £575 for the entry-level 16GB model all the way up to as much as £800 for the 64GB model. The prices are quite eye-watering.

However that money does buy you quite a lot from a 5″ Full HD Super AMOLED screen to the quad-core CPU that challenged the performance of almost everything else on the market.

This week, thanks to the folks over at Clove Technology, I’ve finally got our hands on a retail Samsung Galaxy S4. This is one handset that I have been looking forward to being able to play with to see how it compares to the HTC One that I now use as my primary device.

Initial impressions are that this is an awesome phone, great screen and slick performance but the build quality lets it down with a plastic design that doesn’t really match the specification and price tag which in comparison to the HTC One is just a bit of a let down not to mention very similar to the S3 of which I made the same complaint.

Those buying the 16GB model may also be disappointed with the amount of available memory that they have to play with, just 9GB out of the 16 is left for the user to store their apps.

However, the negatives above aside, the S4 performs really well, is thin and light and as mentioned already, has an awesome AMOLED screen.

Check out the unboxing and demo video below for more.

 

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By May 16, 2013 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy S4 criticised by BBC Watchdog

Galaxy-S4-black-and-white There have been many complaints on tech blogs and forums about the amount of free storage on Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 but it seems to have got to the point now where the issue has hit the radar of mainstream media, appearing as an item on BBC TV’s Watchdog programme last night.

The issue surfaced almost immediately after the launch of the S4 just a few weeks ago with many new owners copying files and apps from their old S2 or S3 and running out of space, despite the advertised space being the same as the previous model.

As it turns out, on a 16GB model only around 9GB is actually free for the user to store their own apps and media. That’s pretty bad!

In a statement to CNET, Samsung said users have the option to add more memory with a SD card, something its rivals the HTC One and iPhone can’t do.

For the Galaxy S4 16 GB model, approximately 6.85 GB occupies the system part of internal memory, which is 1 GB bigger than that of the Galaxy S3, in order to provide a high resolution display and more powerful features to our consumers.

Although the S4 does indeed have an SD card slot allowing for additional storage space it’s not possible to install apps on the memory card so this leaves it useful for music and video only.

Interestingly Samsung have hit out at the iPhone and the HTC One in their statement saying that neither of the competitors have micro SD card capability, however, neither of the competitors use almost half of the available storage just for the OS!

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: News
By May 14, 2013 Read More →

BBM to come to iOS and Android

bbm The BBLive event is currently in full swing in Orlando at the moment and several announcements have been made during this mornings Keynote. Perhaps the most surprising news to come out of the Keynote is that BlackBerry will be making BBM, the BlackBerry to BlackBerry messaging app, available for FREE to users with devices running iOS 6 and Android ICS or higher via stand alone application.

The rollout will commence ‘this summer’ and will initially start with iOS followed by Android shortly after. To begin with only groups and messages will be supported with BBM Voice and BBM Video said to follow later.

As a former BlackBerry user that’s gone back to Android I think this is excellent news for consumers but have to wonder if it’s such a smart move for BlackBerry.

The full press release can be found below.

 

BBM for iOS and Android to Launch This Summer

WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – May 14, 2013) – BlackBerry(R) (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) today announced plans to make its ground-breaking mobile social network, BlackBerry(R) Messenger (BBM(TM)), available to iOS(R) and Android(TM) users this summer, with support planned for iOS6, and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher, all subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play. BBM sets the standard for mobile instant messaging with a fast, reliable, engaging experience that includes delivered and read statuses, and personalized profiles and avatars. Upon release, BBM customers would be able to broaden their connections to include friends, family and colleagues on other mobile platforms.

In the planned initial release, iOS and Android users would be able to experience the immediacy of BBM chats, including multi-person chats, as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes, and engage in BBM Groups, which allows BBM customers to create groups of up to 30 people.

"For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service. BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We’re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community," said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, Software Product Management and Ecosystem, at BlackBerry.

BBM is loved by customers for its "D" and "R" statuses, which show up in chats to let people know with certainty that their message has been delivered and read. It provides customers with a high level of control and privacy over who they add to their contact list and how they engage with them, as invites are two-way opt-in. iOS and Android users would be able to add their contacts through PIN, email, SMS or QR code scan, regardless of platform. Android users would also be able to connect using a compatible NFC-capable device.

BBM has more than 60 million monthly active customers, with more than 51 million people using BBM an average of 90 minutes per day. BBM customers collectively send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day, nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps. Almost half of BBM messages are read within 20 seconds of being received; indicating how truly engaged BBM customers are.

Today, BlackBerry also announced BBM Channels, a new social engagement platform within BBM that will allow customers to connect with the businesses, brands, celebrities and groups they are passionate about. BlackBerry plans to add support for BBM Channels as well as voice and video chatting for iOS and Android later this year, subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play.

If approved by Apple and Google, the BBM app will be available as a free download in the Apple(R) App Store(SM) and Google Play store. Additional details about system requirements and availability will be announced closer to the launch.

Posted in: News
By May 14, 2013 Read More →

iPhone 4 4s battery case bargains

powerjackits-landing Just had an email from the guys over at eXpansys letting us know that they have a great deal to offer on cases for the iPhone 4 and 4S.

We are running a clearance on a range of iPhone 4/4S battery cases – each now only £9.99 – saving up to 83%

Pretty good when you consider they were up to £60 a few weeks ago.

http://www.expansys.com/powerjackits/

KEY FEATURES

  • Very slim; smaller than many ordinary cases
  • Elegant, ergonomic form-fitting design
  • Choice of luxurious leather-effect finishes
  • Built-in high power 1450mAH ultra-slim battery
  • Up to 7 extra hours talk-time
  • Up to 10 extra hours video playback
  • Up to 40 extra hours music playback

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Phones
By May 12, 2013 Read More →

Why buy a 7 year old Mac Mini?

morph31tools I’m sure seeing the title of this post you’ll thinking that there really is no good reason to buy hardware that’s so old, and normally I would agree with you. So why have I just splashed some cash on a 7 year old Mac Mini on eBay?

A few weeks ago I started to clear out some garage space and came across my old Amiga collection. I have an A500+ and an A1200 still. Having spent so much time with them in my youth I simply cannot bring myself to throw them out, they are the main reason I ended up doing what do now.

Seeing these old machines got me thinking.

I knew that the Amiga brand had gone through numerous other companies including Escom in 1994 and Gateway 2000 in 1997. The current trademark owner, Amiga Inc, licences the rights to sell hardware using the Amiga or AmigaOne brand to computer vendors Commodore USA, Eyetech Group, Ltd. and A-Eon Technology CVBA.

Since I last booted up my Amigas, maybe 8 years ago, a couple of AmigaOS 4 systems have been released and most recently, in 2012, A-EON made the AmigaOne X1000.

What has that got to do with an old Mac Mini I hear you ask. Well with a sense of nostalgia I started reading up on the still alive-and-kicking Amiga scene. I came across MorphOS. MorphOS is an Amiga compatible operating system that has been continuously developed since 2008 and the latest version, 3.1 was released less than a year ago. The interesting thing about MorphOS that since version 2.4 in 2009 it has supported G4 Mac Mini’s.

I went on to eBay and found myself a bargain Mac Mini G4 for just under £80. I picked up the last version of the G4 with the 1.5GHz CPU and the 64MB graphics card.

The Mini arrived with OSX Leopard pre-installed but with just 512MB of RAM it ran like a proverbial dog and was pretty much unusable. Not to worry though as I didn’t want it to run OSX.

Having downloaded the trial ISO of MorphOS I booted the Mac from its DVD drive and set about installing MorphOS. The process took about half an hour and was soon ready for its first boot.

This is where it really surprised me. The boot time from cold with MorphOS is about 5 -10 seconds. The OS is blisteringly fast breathing new life in to that old hardware.

There’s good networking support, a webkit browser and mail client as well as various other tools and applications that make MorphOS a completely usable OS. There’s also a whole raft of other applications out there that cover almost every topic and if that not enough, you can still run the majority of Amiga applications on there.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that MorphOS is going to be a contender against the likes of OSX, Windows or Linux but for anyone like me that grew up with their Amiga it’s definitely worth having a play with and is a great lightweight alternative to Linux.

If you have a Mac Mini sitting around then you can bring that box back to life with a usable OS and can download a trial version of MorphOS for free.

Have Fun!

 

Posted by: Matt

By May 6, 2013 Read More →

BlackBerry Q10 demo video

blackberry q10 demo The BlackBerry Z10 has now been on sale since the end of January but many die hard fans have been waiting patiently for the Q10 as it sports the traditional hardware QWERTY keyboard that BlackBerry have been so renowned for.

The Q10 made its debut a week ago at Selfridges and I’m pleased to say that of the two thousand SIM free devices they had in stock they sold out! It seems that the Q10 Is off to a flying start.

Running BlackBerry 10.1 the Q10 software is the same as on the Z10 however it’s also the first BlackBerry to have AMOLED display and to get the most out of this many of the apps on the Q10 now have a black theme, such as BBM and the Calendar.

By May 3, 2013 Read More →

Top 5 Apps for Mobile IT Professionals

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There’s never been a more exciting time for IT professionals as they have the means to work effectively wherever they are, thanks to their invaluable ally and constant companion: the smartphone.

Not only do the latest generation of smartphones offer an unparalleled suite of communication tools, the real innovation that has revolutionised working while on-the-go is the apps industry. For every conceivable business task there is a multitude of viable apps to help turn your smartphone or tablet device into a mobile office.

The problem isn’t finding a suitable app for your chosen task; it’s trying to narrow down your choices! With competition in the apps market at an all-time high, there’s usually a bewildering array of available options, whatever you’re looking for.

So check out our list of 5 must-have apps that no self-respecting mobile tech professional should be without:

Posted in: Apps & Games
By May 1, 2013 Read More →

HTC One (retail) unboxing video

htc-one It’s been about six weeks since I first got my hands on the HTC One and I recorded the typical unboxing and demo video.

The unit I unboxed back then was a pre-release unit and although it was final hardware it wasn’t final ROM nor was it in final retail packaging, coming instead in the customary plain white box from HTC.

So for the sake of completeness I thought I would record another video now that I have the retail version in my hands to show what you get if you buy an HTC One on the high street, and also to recap the specs.

If you are looking for a bit more detail please check out the earlier HTC One demo video.

 

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
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