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By January 14, 2014 Read More →

Sony announces Xperia E1, claims it best in class

1_Xperia_E1_White_FrontToday Sony have announced its latest Android smartphone, the Xperia E1, and claim, based upon its specification, that the E1 is the best device in its class.

The Xperia E1 is powered by Qualcomm’s MSM8210 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor, 512 MB RAM and features a 4 inch (233 ppi) display combined with a large 1700 mAh battery, which is the basis for the ‘best in class’ claim.

Full press release and further details follow:

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By January 14, 2014 Read More →

Would you like your Samsung Galaxy S5 in Metal or Plastic?

Samsung-Galaxy-S5Rumour has it the Galaxy S5 will be available in two versions later this year. According to SamMobile an inside source has “confirmed” some of the specs of the company’s next-generation flagship Android handset. Apparently Samsung the next incarnation of the Galaxy S will have a “metallic back plate while being constructed of metal on the sides and front.” There will be a cheaper model made from plastic, just like previous Galaxy S versions, and cost €650 ($888). It will be interesting to see if there is much difference with the rumoured Galaxy F.

Inside the Galaxy S5 is said to be two processors, an Exynos 6 model and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU. The Exynos model featuring 64-bit support and built-in LTE, and will likely equip the metal Galaxy S5 model, while the Snapdragon would be found inside the plastic version. Both versions would feature a 5.25-inch Super AMOLED display with Quad HD (2560 x 1440) resolution, a 16-megapixel camera and Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. Details about RAM, battery capacity and optical image stabilization support for the main camera are not available at this time.

Why stop there, when speculation should quickly lead to a Galaxy S5 Mini and the Galaxy S5 Zoom? With the Galaxy S5 possibly being unveiled in mid-March during an event in London, we should see the device roll out to market early April. A Galaxy S5 Mini is expected to be unveiled in June, and feature a Super AMOLED display and run KitKat, while the Galaxy S5 Zoom would be announced in May, sport a 4.8-inch qHD (960 x 540) display and run KitKat as well. 

Posted in: News, Phones, Rumours
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By January 13, 2014 Read More →

Windows 8.2 could be Windows 9

Windows 8.2 could be Windows 9Many reports are currently circulating about the anticipated update to Windows 8 dubbed ‘Threshold’. It was previously understood that the next version would be Windows 8.2 and many hope that it will include the return of the much demanded start menu.

However, according to this report, it’s likely that the successor to Windows 8.1 will be called Windows 9 and that Microsoft out the next iteration of its client operating system at the Build Conference on 2 to 4 April in San Francisco. It is claimed that Microsoft want to create some distance between Windows 8 and the Start Menu debacle, hence the change to Windows 9 and a seemingly clean slate.

If the report is accurate we could expect to see Windows 9 to start shipping to consumers in early 2015.

More details here.

By January 13, 2014 Read More →

Google Glass Glassware must-haves

Google Glass GlasswareMany of you will know that since I got my Google Glass about a month ago I have become a massive convert and huge supporter of it. In fact I wear my Glass almost all the time now, pretty much only taking it off when I go to bed or before meeting.

Those that I work with have also become accustomed to seeing that ‘thing’ attached to my head!

At the moment Google Glass can still be considered to be in Beta and, as it stands, the list of apps, known as Google Glass Glassware, is somewhat limited. However, many new developers have taken up the mantle and and the list of available third-party apps is now growing.

So I thought I would take a moment to mention a couple of the apps that I consider to be must-have and those that I use all the time.

 

Toolkit for Glass

This one is from my dear old friend Paul O’Brien. Toolkit for Glass offers several features that probably should have been a part of the base OS of Glass. Paul’s toolkit provides the following:

  • use ‘open camera’ to give you a camera viewfinder, take pics using the camera button. Enables you to properly frame a photo.
  • use ‘switch wifi’ to toggle wifi with voice confirmation. Turning off WiFi when you aren’t using it helps to extend the battery life.
  • use ‘switch bluetooth’ to toggle bluetooth with voice confirmation. Turning off Bluetooth when you aren’t using it helps to extend the battery life.
  • use ‘get status’ to receive a voice readout of battery, wifi and bluetooth status’
  • just for testing some stuff – use ‘magnify’ to open the camera where sweep forward will zoom in, sweep back will zoom out

Glasquare

This is an unofficial version of Foursquare specifically for Google Glass. Glasquare features include:

  • 3 voice commands: Check me in, Show best venues and Search venues for …
  • super-fast check-ins with a possibility to add photos and comments
  • 10 best venues around you/matching your search with details
  • directions towards a selected venue
  • read tips of the selected venue

SpeedHUD

google_glass_screenshot-300x168The use of Google Glass while driving continues to be controversial and there are still plans to ban it while driving.  However, there are a couple of apps out there that, in my opinion, would certainly improve driving safety and one app that I enjoy using is SpeedHUD which is believe demonstrates the very reason why a blanket ban is premature at best.  SpeedHUD shows your speed and compass direction.

 

Obviously there are many more Glassware apps out there but these are just the third-party one that I use all the time. Whether you are new to Google Glass or an veteran they are definitely worth a look!

 

 

By January 10, 2014 Read More →

Nokia Lumia Black Update Roll-out Begins

nokiaglancescreenThe Nokia Lumia Black software update will start to roll-out for Nokia Lumia WP8 owners around the world from today. The update brings new features, improvements in imaging, new apps and app updates from Microsoft and Nokia to make the Lumia smartphone experience even better.

The main features brought along with the update from Nokia include:

  • App Folder. This brand new feature makes your Lumia experience even more fluid by giving you an option to further personalize and organize your Start screen. With App folders you can group similar apps and settings into one folder, a tile, on your Start screen.
  • Nokia Glance screen 2.0. Helps you keep track of information in real time, making all your most important notifications including: phone, messages, email, outlook, calendar, or any apps that use notifications such as Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, or games;  always visible at a glance on your screen. It saves time and energy.
  • Bluetooth LE. Will now be enabled across the full Windows Phone 8 Lumia range for compatible gadgets like the Adidas MiCoach accessories. 
  • Nokia Refocus. The amazing Nokia Refocus comes to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia smartphones with 1GB of RAM and upwards.
  • Nokia Beamer. Sharing what’s on your phone is easier than ever with Nokia Beamer. You can now beam documents, presentations, anything you like, to any HTML5-enabled screen by simply scanning a QR code on the screen. It’s coming to all of the phones with 1GB RAM upwards.
  • Nokia Storyteller. The app arranges your photos for you, by date and by place, making it easier to tell the stories behind your pictures, and give extra context through the close integration of interactive maps.
  • Nokia Camera. Combines Nokia Pro Camera and Smart Camera to simplify the photo-taking experience, and ensure you get the perfect shot every time. The app has been available for Lumia PureView smartphones since last year, but it’s now coming to the rest of the WP8 Lumia range. The latest Nokia Camera update also brings raw DNG support for Lumia 1020 owners.
  • Latest generation of imaging algorithms. The Lumia Black update further improves the image quality, especially in Lumia 1020. Among others, the improvements include a new oversampling algorithm, making your images more natural looking with reduced noise, while ensuring your photos remain wonderfully sharp.

 

The Lumia Black update also brings a series of enhancements from Microsoft to Nokia Lumia smartphones. These include safe driving mode – which cuts out unnecessary distractions when you’re on the road; customised ringtones for each contact. You can now also close apps within the in multitasking view and lock the screen rotation if you wish.

 

Timings: The Lumia Black update has begun rolling out today for Lumia 1020 and Lumia 925 smartphones, with other models in the range following in the coming weeks.

 

How to update: Nokia Lumia smartphones automatically check for updates every week, and will notify people when it finds one. Otherwise check by going to Settings -> Phone update – it downloads and installs straight from that screen.

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By January 10, 2014 Read More →

Acer C720 Chromebook Unboxing video

Acer-Chromebook-previewed-at-IDF-forward-angleThe Chromebook of the moment has got to be the Acer C720. Currently being released in a number of different configurations featuring various amounts of RAM and storage, touchscreens and now colours.

Acer seem to have hit upon a winning combination of value, power and quality. What new edge does the Acer C720 bring to the table, despite options? Well, not a lot to be entirely honest, in terms of specification it’s really on par with all the other Chomebooks out there at the moment. However, the C720 does offer great value for money and seems to be the solid choice.

As always, I’m starting off the review process by recoding an unboxing video, which you’ll be able to see below. Here I’ll be showing off the hardware as well as taking a look at the OS and UI once we’ve booted up. A process that takes seconds!

By January 9, 2014 Read More →

Google adds more to their Takeout menu

urlGoogle have expanded their Google Takeout service. Previously, most of us had used Takeout to export our feed archives from Google Reader before the big shutdown last year, a shutdown many still mourn to this day.  However, Google made switching to an inferior RSS client the relatively easy. It seems tha they have now expanded the service to all you to back up 18 of their services locally.

Screenshot 2014-01-08 07.19.56

 

A handy feature that might just help those with concerns about storing everything in the cloud and somehow feel their trusty 7 year old USB Hard Disk is a safer place than Google’s own multi-billion dollar facility. Doing a back up really shows a frequent user just how much information they put up there, privacy sceptics will be flipping out.

Posted in: Editorial, News
By January 9, 2014 Read More →

4K TV

4K TVTV lovers will be excited to hear that Amazon is filming all of its original drama in 4K UHD quality for LOVEFiLM. 4K UHD is a relatively new technology which provides viewers with exceptional clarity and definition, using four times as many pixels as FULL HD. The enhanced detail means that even with very large television screens the definition is not compromised.

Extremely high definition on a grand screen might sound like TV heaven, but up until now there hasn’t been much for 4K UHD televisions to watch. Some 4K televisions come loaded with material shot in 4K to showcase the technology, but more content filmed in 4K is needed. That’s why audio/visual enthusiasts and TV fans will welcome the news about Amazon and LOVEFiLM.

The director of Amazon Studios has said, “All of the pilots and series we produce next year will be shot in 4K. That includes our first ever drama series that we will green light next year. We think customers are going to love watching these series in the highest resolution ever available to consumers and we can’t wait to deliver it.”

Advances in encoding technology (which enables audio and visual material to be downloaded) means that 4K UHD television and movies can now be streamed quicker.

Next year Amazon will be producing five new television pilots which viewers will be asked to watch and give feedback on. Once piloted, they will get made into a series filmed in 4K UHD and be available to stream on LOVEFiLM. The pilots include Chris Carter, creator of the X-files, show ‘The After’, ‘Bosch’- a series based on the Harry Bosch book series- and ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ from critically acclaimed director Roman Coppola.

This development is great for online streaming customers, even if they are not yet on the 4K UHD bandwagon. 4K ultra high definition is set to be this year’s big audio/visual technology story and with not much content out there, Amazon have got a head start. 4K UHD will only become more popular and it’s good to know that when there is more content available.

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By January 9, 2014 Read More →

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 217: CES Analysis

Podcast-Logo.jpgGareth and  Matt are here with another UK update on the mobile front. Unboxings galore and a look at some of the major announcements from CES 2014.

The first podcast of a new year sees CES in full swing so there’s plenty to talk about this week and plenty to catch up on following a long Christmas and new year break.

Gareth tells us all about his new Chromebook and Matt goes on a rant about Google Glass…

 

Featuring Gareth and Matt

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Posted in: News, Podcast
By January 8, 2014 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo teased

Grand NeoSo Samsung has the Note III, the Grand 2 and the S4. Three pretty huge phones that cover almost all needs. Aside from the obvious gap that the Grand Neo is there to cover. The  Galaxy Grand Neo will come with a 5-inch TFT display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Under the hood, there is a 1.2 GHz quad-core A7 chipset powering the smartphone along with 1 GB of RAM. A 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash and the front facing VGA shooter completes the camera department, while the 8GB internal memory along with the microSD card slot takes care of storage.

The connectivity options of the Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo include Bluetooth 4.0, HSPA+ (21Mbps down, 5.76Mbps up), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, micro USB, GPS and GLONASS support. However, there is no LTE or Wi-Fi ac radios built-in.

Screenshot 2014-01-08 07.06.47

So essentially the Grand Neo is a “budget” slab that bests the original Grand in some departments without being the full upgrade the Grand 2 is. 

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