iPhone 5 announcement

 

The long awaited iPhone 5 has finally been announced. Here are my thoughts on the announcement.

Tim Cook starts with a couple of comparisons as usual with all Apple events, then goes on boasting about how well [insert apple product] is doing. Mr. Cook, we don’t need the weather man to tell us it’s raining!, we know the iPad is selling well, it’s in it’s 3rd generation!

He began with “iPads outsold PC manufacturer’s entire PC line”, which is not the sort thing you would compare the iPad to in the first place.  It’s like comparing a supercar to a bicycle. Were Apple too afraid to compare the iPad to other successful tablets?

Next we see an image of the iPhone appear on the big screen. Wow, it looks almost like the iPhone 4, just thinner and taller, and the user interface is so ancient, that you need a history book to decipher it. This is coming from a company who is supposed to be leading the world in innovation. Where’s the innovation Mr. Ive? Android phones have gone through countless UI changes in the last year than the iPhone have in 5 years.

One of the statements mentioned in the announcement was, “the phone is designed to fit perfectly into your hand”. Err, Tom Thumb hands or giant hands? They can’t be perfect for both!

So they made it faster, smaller, thinner, all the usual upgrades you expect from a new iPhone, but was that enough? No, they even added “facial recognition” to their front camera. Now where have I seen that before? Hmm, let me think, of course! it’s on my Android phone that I purchased earlier this year.

On top of that they’ve slapped a massive 4 inch screen and you wouldn’t believe it, but my Android phone coincidentally has a 4 inch screen.

They’re really flying here with their innovation!

This time round, it does look like Apple have become the copycats with facial recognition, and the larger screen. They also once said the iPad was the perfect size for tablets, and smaller tablets would be meaningless, then came the 7” tablets like the Google Nexus 7, which sold like hotcakes. All of a sudden, Apple have gone back to the drawing board to design a smaller iPad.

If I were Apple, I’d focus their funds on research, rather than lawsuits against their competitors. Their recent lawsuit against Samsung just goes to show that Samsung have got something up their sleeves that Apple are afraid off.

I actually own an older iPhone too (the ancient 3GS), but haven’t since been compelled to buy another iPhone, so have switched to an Android phone. There are many reasons which I won’t bore you with. I still believe Apple is a fantastic brand but have recently lost their innovative touch that they used to dazzle us with, and have become somewhat boring.

I look for innovation in new products and not just refinement. If the iPhone was a supercar, it would be a Porsche, as they’ve rarely changed their design over the last few decades. On the other hand, Android phones would be like Ferrari, flamboyant designs from car to car, colorful, and innovative.

 

 

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Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera

Here’s my first Digital SLR camera I purchased a few days ago. Its certainly a step up from my compact digital camera. I wasn’t sure which one to get, but a friend recommended this.

Now I’ll have to read up on the basics of photography. Should be fun.

 

Not an iPad killer

Microsoft recently announced their own tablet called Surface. It certainly has generated a lot of noise and interest in the tech world, but I don’t think it will be an “iPad killer”. Here are my thoughts.

Firstly, a majority of hardcore Apple users who already own a long line of Apple products, especially an iPad will most likely stay with Apple products. It just makes sense, because they would already have an iTunes account on multiple devices and most likely spent their hard earned cash on a great deal of apps. All their Apple devices talk to each other too seamlessly.

Secondly, the iPad is in it’s 3rd iteration, so they are ahead in the tablet market.

So, why would they want to switch to Microsoft Surface? Are they willing to fork our another $500 or more? Doing so just wouldn’t make sense unless they’re a collector. They would have to set up a Windows account if they don’t have one, re-purchase the Windows version of the Apps they have on their iPad, familiarize themselves with a new user interface, sync up their photos and music and various personal content.

Most of my family are Windows and Google users, so we have a lot of Android phones and Android tablets. My family are unlikely to purchase Surface, but I’m probably the only one likely to give it a go since I’m a heavy Windows user.

What Surface will do, is plug a hole in the tablet market for Windows users and those currently without a tablet. I can see some good stuff coming from this since I’ve been holding out for a Windows based tablet for a number of years. I just hope there is a decent level on connectivity between my Windows devices including my Xbox.

Even if I did purchase a tablet, I’m undecided what to use it for to be honest. I already use my Kindle to read, phone for emails and occasionally games and browsing. I most certainly wouldn’t use the tablet for movies whilst I have a 40″ LCD TV. I suppose I’d use it more if I traveled more often.

Clearing Google Maps search history on Galaxy Nexus

Either the developers didn’t think of adding a ‘clear history’ feature for Google Maps for the Galaxy Nexus or that option was buried deep within the app or somewhere on the phone. Well, it might be useful considering my home address was in that search history (not that I forgotten where I lived of course), just merely testing the Google Maps features. I really felt paranoid about losing my phone until now.

Do you just wish you could clear your search history, well, here’s how you can do that.

Image

Here’s a quick tutorial

1) Open up Settings

Image2) Select Apps, find and select Maps from the list

Image3) Select Clear data and confirm

ImageThat’s it! Next time you run Google Maps, your search history should all be gone.

The day the internet stood up against SOPA and PIPA

Many websites did go ahead as planned by going dark in protest against SOPA and PIPA on Jaunuary 18th. Amongst those sites were Google and Wikipedia. Good job to them for joining in!Please show your support and fight against SOPA and PIPA whose regulations if passed by law would add censorship to the internet. This would take away our freedom of expression and sharing content with our friends through popular social networks.

Sites such as YouTube and Facebook which rely heavily on user generated content could potentially be shut down.

Here’s how some of the sites looked like.

New Year, New Phone

Its been 5 years since I last bought a mobile phone, and that was the iPhone 3G when that was first released back in the UK. I have to say that phone has served me well until I upgraded the firmware a few years ago that made it unusable because it was so slow. Apps would take about 30 seconds or more to load and then there was the occasional freeze forcing me to reset it.

I figured it was time to get a new phone, and after careful consideration I decided to get the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, my first phone running Android OS 4.0. I purchased an unlocked version of this device on Amazon so I could use my AT&T prepaid SIM. It was expensive ($670) since it was a European device which meant shipping costs was included in the price, but was it worth it?

The device looks cool and its light, if not a bit big for my small hands, so those of you like me would probably have to get used to holding the device with one hand while you tap and swipe with the other. I can no longer text with one hand compared to the iPhone, but that’s not an issue.

The back of the phone does look flimsy, but the advantage is, you can remove the back panel easily to replace the battery, which is a great if you carry a spare one. How many times have you been camping when your phone has almost run out of juice, and thought it would be a great idea to put a new battery in?

The user interface looks superb, although the navigational buttons layout took some time to get used to since I was stuck with an iPhone for so many years but I am adjusting. It has all the standard things you expect from a smart phone, multiple page home screens, front and rear camera, a selection of native Apps, and folders. One thing did catch my attention was live wallpapers, which are essentially animated wallpapers. These put life into your background, but I felt might drain the battery a bit more so I set a static wallpaper.

In terms of transferring multimedia across the device to a PC for example, this is how it should be done for all portable devices. Simply connect the two with the USB cable, then drag and drop content using Windows Explorer. I really hated having to install additional software like iTunes to transfer stuff and even that was restricted because it relies on syncing so sometimes I’d end up removing content accidentally since I use multiple PCs.

Apps load quickly and run at a decent frame rate, although there are a still a lot of apps on the marketplace that have not updated to perform on Android 4.0 so they may not run properly. 3G speeds are twice that of my iPhone too which makes it better to use on the move.

The biggest gripe I have is the native Photo Gallery app. After signing into your Google account on your device, it auto syncs the gallery with all your associated Google apps, such as Blogger, Picasa, Google+, so you end up with a ton of photos already cluttering your gallery. Since these photos aren’t on your device, you can’t remove them too which is extra annoying. Personally, I prefer a photo gallery that I have control of what I want displayed.

Overall, it was worth it, I like the Galaxy Nexus. There are some things I think it does right, but it does lack polish in some areas which future updates can potentially address. I would recommend this phone.