Monthly Archives: July 2013

iOS7 iPhone
Photo: Apple

The first thing that pops out at you from all the iOS clutter on the internet is how disappointing its new facelift is! People have called it “flat” and even gone as far as to call it “childish”. I can understand the latter comment as it does look a bit cartoonish with the near florescent color scheme; but let’s take a closer look at the new mobile OS.

The iOS Facelift

There were huge expectations from Jonnathan Ive when Apple announced a refresh of the iOS. Everyone was eagerly waiting for Apple to reveal a fresh, clean take on iOS. Unfortunately, the new iOS look does not live up to its immense hype. The icons feel rushed and the color scheme on some icons are plain cartoonish. The feel of the iOS lacks the class and elegance one has come to expect from Apple products. It almost gives the impression that due to a lack of time the first sketch was approved and thrown into production.

Follow the Leader?

There are some good additions that apple has made to the iOS 7. Topping this list is swiping up the control panel from the bottom of the screen. This control toggle gives you a one-touch switch to Bluetooth, AirDrop, AirPlay, Wifi, Airplane mode and more. Another exciting new update is improved multitasking. Apple claims that applications in iOS 7 will be able to pull data even when they are not running. This means that the spinner that you had to look at while waiting for an app to update might now become extinct and as soon as you open up an app you’ll get immediate fresh data.

The multitasking will also make use of intelligent algorithms, Apple says. For example, apps used frequently will be allocated more time to work in the background as compared to less used apps. This is quite exciting because according to Apple this will not only enhance the iPhone’s multitasking capabilities but also optimize battery usage.

However, the thing is that the swiping control toggle and multitasking are all things Andriod users are used to having as standard. So the question to ask is, is Apple playing catch up? Is this just another sign of Apple losing its innovative edge to Android?

The AirDrop

One feature of the iOS 7 is actually quite interesting, i.e. the one they call AirDrop. This feature has the potential to revolutionize sharing between users. AirDrop leverages the core strengths of Apple’s unified ecosystem and has been available on Macs for some time now. Using AirDrop, people can easily share photos, videos, web pages, contacts and anything else from any app with a Share button. This makes many, many things possible, including:

  • A retail coupon being “Airdropped” into your Passbook app
  • Multi-player games between unknown people who are traveling together
  • Sharing of meeting notes at office

iOS 7 for Business

With iOS 7, Apple has also enhanced its business features. With these new features Apple is trying to get company IT departments to adopt Apple’s iOS as their OS of choice. This is important because both Samsung and BlackBerry are also adapting their operating systems to cater better to businesses.

One of the features of the iOS 7 includes enterprise single sign on (SSO) where users enter their details only once and use them across apps. Apple has also enhanced its support for Microsoft Exchange. Now iOS 7 users can sync notes with Outlook on their Mac or PC.

iOS 7 can also be customized to control which app and account can open documents and email attachments thus increasing security by letting administrators configure apps with “Per App VPN.” With this kind of VPN apps will connect to a company’s private network automatically when launched.

The Final Verdict

Although iOS 7’s fresh look is not one to write home about, it does have some meatier features that Apple users will embrace with open arms; features that they were looking forward to for some time now. My advice for iOS fans: when you talk to your friends and colleagues about the iOS 7, steer clear of its cosmetic upgrade!

What do you think of the new iOS?
Share below in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

Every year there are lots of phones that hit the market. Some win our hearts and some – thankfully – vanish into oblivion. Here are 3 phones that will grace the shelves within the next six months and – we think – just might win your heart!

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 might be the phone of choice for Android lovers, but the Samsung Galaxy Note series has in the S series’ shadows collected its own set of followers that love the huge device.

Yes, the Note 2 can seem a bit old when we compare it to the Galaxy S4, but remember the Note 2 was out with the Galaxy S3 and shouldn’t realistically be compared to the Galaxy S4.

That said, we can expect the next iteration of the Note series later this year. The Note 3, or whatever they might want to call it, is not only highly anticipated but might just be one of the top Android devices of 2013.

According to recent reports, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will churn out power via a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 in the US. Outside the United States we can expect the Samsung’s Exynos octa-core chip.

The display should be – as per the rumor mill – around 5.5 – 6 inches and the screen will not be anything less than a 1080p Super AMOLED which the Samsung Galaxy S4 sports.

Another report suggests that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 might support a radical new camera. According to the report, the camera will be 13MP and boast active image stabilization and a 3x optical zoom. The optical zoom will need movable lens elements and a larger camera module, but on the other hand will give you capability to zoom without sacrificing resolution.

Having said that, do expect the Note 3 to be expensive, as Samsung would not want another entrant in the cheap “Phablet” arena where the Samsung Mega has recently been launched.
Although there is no date for release yet for the Note 3, do expect an announcement at the IFA trade show 2013.

Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z

Sony has thus far failed to design a phone that captivates consumers. This year Sony launched the Xperia Z in another attempt to woo consumers, but alas it was quickly sidelined by the likes of Samsung and HTC with their new phones. The competition had better specs and carrier tie-ins to their advantage, sending the Xperia Z to oblivion.

Sony has, however, not given up. It has a new product on the production line. Codenamed “Honami” it is expected to be eventually called the Sony i1.

The rumors around this phone are amazing. They say it’s going to encompass a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, a 5+ inch 1080p display, and a crisp 20MP camera. Also rumored is a Cybershot branding for the camera. This – if true – will hype the super-high resolution. Although megapixels don’t translate into good quality, with Cybershot on its side expect something amazing from Sony.

The “Honami” or the Sony i1 is expected to hit stores in the fall and could be announced as soon as the end of summer.

The Next Nexus

Galaxy Nexus smartphone
Galaxy Nexus Smartphone

Google is clearly committed to creating new Nexus phones in order to have a flagship of its own. At D11, Googles’ new Android boss, Mr. Sundar Pichai, also mentioned that they will continue to make first-party Nexus hardware.

As always, the next Nexus phone will come dressed in the latest version of Android. This is not something new as Google always launches a new Android version with its Nexus phones. But the good thing is that with the Nexus, people are also expecting the latest Android version.

What is certain is that the next Nexus phone is already under development. What is also certain is that LG is not going to make it this time around. LG has clarified that they are not currently working with Google for the next Nexus, but won’t mind working on it if asked to. But like I said, the phone is definitely under development now so LG is completely out of the question.

As with all previous Nexus phones, it’s not going to be very expensive and we sure hope that Google does not breach the $300-350 mark!

Nexus season is generally late-mid fall of 2013 so hold on to your current phone till then if you want a brand new Nexus with the latest Android.

Which phone are you most interested in buying?
Tell us in the comments!


Compare Nokia Lumia 928 to Samsung Galaxy S4

Nokia has long been a master in the mobile phone arena, but the advent of the smartphone has thrust Samsung into the limelight. Two of the latest devices from these competing giants are the Nokia Lumia 928 and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Comparing these two devices head-to-head in a number of different categories is the best way to find out which one will suit your needs.

Android Tablet or Android Phone?

It is worth noting that there are a plethora of 7-inch tablets that are cheaper than the larger premium phones. If you are primarily looking for the bigger phones to use as an entertainment or work device then you could go for an Android Tablet. You get more power for your money with tablets than with phones. Of course you will have to buy a SIM version if you want to use the android tablet as a phone too.

Now Back to the Review and the Phone Designs

While they are similar to a certain extent, it could be said that the Nokia wins because it is more stylish than the Samsung. However, the S4 is thinner and lighter so if this is what you are looking for in a phone then the S4 would win your battle.

The design of the Lumia 928 does make it seem more solid
than the S4, and that it would survive a fall better.

The design of the volume controls can be important. Both of the devices have designs that are distinct to their manufacturer, but the S4 does seem to be more responsive. The ports incorporated into the designs are the same except for the video-out function only found on the S4. The S4 sport model also has an IR blaster, which can be used as a universal remote control.

  • The Cameras

In terms of the cameras the S4 is the winner with a 13MP camera with LED flash and a digital image stabiliser. The Lumia 928 comes with an 8.7MP camera, an optic image stabiliser and a Xenon flash.The resolution that the devices shoot at is the same. Of course, these are only the rear facing cameras.

Both devices do come with a front facing camera as well. The specs on these cameras are less impressive with the S4 having a 2MP camera and the Lumia 928 having a 1.2MP camera. In industry terms, the front facing S4 camera is pretty impressive.

  • Device Displays

The S4 does have a better screen resolution at 1080 x 1920, while the Lumia 9828 only has a resolution of 768 x 1280. Both of the devices have deep colours and wide viewing angles, but the S4 wins on the display. The S4 has sharpness to the picture that is lacking in the Lumia 928. The S4 also has increased sensitivity, which allows you to operate the display while wearing gloves.

  • Functionality and Interface

It is hard to pick a winner in the category of interfaces and functionality as this is down to personal preference. This is due to the fact that the S4 uses the Android operating system while the Lumia 928 uses Windows Phone 8. Of course, if you are looking at the depth of the device and pure functionality then the S4 is the winner. The inclusion of the newer TouchWiz Nature UX technology increases the experience of the S4 to a new level.

If you are looking for a more dynamic experience then the Windows Phone 8 interface of the Lumia 928 is the winner. The look of the interface is new and different to other phones. There are also a number of live tiles that you can use to navigate the phone. However, all of this pales into insignificance when you consider the number of features that the S4 can offer through the Android interface. Remember that the android interface is the same as found on the expensive android tablet; it is extremely functional.

If you are looking for organizer functions then the S4 is way head of the Lumia 928. The S4 uses the Google Now organizer, while the Lumia 928 is still using the Bing experience. The ease of typing on the phone is won by the Lumia 928. Many people find it easier to type on the Windows Phone 8 keyboard than the Samsung keyboard. However, you could download the excellent Swype app and get a much better typing experience on the S4.

Memory and Processors

The memory and processors of the phones are very important because you do not want lag when you try to do something. The S4 does have a better processor with the quad-core Snapdragon, which is combined with 2MB RAM.

The Lumia 928 has a dual-core processor , which is coupled with 1MB of RAM. The shocking thing with this category is that in some respects the Lumia 928 dual-core actually does better.

The time it takes to do most tasks is the same with these devices. However, there are certain activities where the S4 does lag a bit while the Lumia 928 does not. This would not affect the overall usage of the phone, but it does tell you that the newer and bigger processors do not always win.

In terms of memory the S4 does come out on top. Both of the devices come in a 32GB version, which is more than enough internal memory for most people. The upper hand for the S4 comes with the microSD slot that this device includes. The Lumia 928 does not have a slot for external memory expansion.

Internet and Connections

On the surface, the internet experience of both devices is the same. Both of these devices come with 4G connectivity and have smooth navigation and instant web page rendering. However, if you take the time to really browse the internet you will see that the S4 does come out the winner. There are a number of little features included in the Android device that improves the experience.

In terms of connectivity, these devices are quite equally matched with the same connections available. However, the Lumia 928 does have wireless charging while the S4 comes with video-out connections. There are also certain S4 models that come with the IR Blaster.

Multimedia Viewing

A lot of people view media on their phones more than anywhere else. When you are looking at music then the Lumia 928 wins. The Windows Phone 8 music player has a better interface and the device speakers give a louder and clearer sound than the S4. However, in terms of video viewing the S4 does better because of the better display.

The Battery

Both devices offer a single day of battery use if you are not doing anything too demanding. While this is ideal for the average user, heavy phone users will have to charge their phones regularly during the day.

Tablet or Phone?

If your phone is really your entertainment or workstation you really should consider an Android tablet. It is even possible to get a smartphone and tablet together in a contract, with both devices offered free of charge.

With 4G rolling around the country we are no doubt going to be doing more on our tablets and smartphones, and less on our laptops.

iPhone 5 Samsung xperia z comparison
Click image to read Sony Xperia Z overtakes iPhone 5 in mobile phone chart
iPhone 5 Samsung xperia z comparison
Click image to read Sony Xperia Z overtakes iPhone 5 in mobile phone chart

Comparing the iPhone 5 Sony Xperia Z

Rarely have phones in the smartphone market looked as good these two devices. The manufacturers are at very different stages of their smartphone development processes. This article will look at a bit about Sony, and then a bit about Apple, and then we’ll compare these phones on their specifications. By the end we’ll come to a verdict about which is better.

Sony and their New Image

Sony has split from Ericsson in the manufacture and design of their phones. This has been an amazing decision. Sony managed to get the previous flagship model into the hands of James Bond in the film Skyfall, and certainly they have been incredibly successful with their phones in lots of different ways.

The Sony Xperia Z is a beautiful phone in the Sony mold.
It is sexy and chic yet flashy and flamboyant.

Sony have, with this phone, launched themselves into the top end of the smartphone market. For me, this is the third best phone in the market place at the moment.

The iPhone 5 and iPhone Deals

Apple had a really interesting 2012. The Apple iPhone 4S and the Apple iPhone 5 were extremely successful in the market place. Indeed, the Apple iPhone 5 was released to a fervent clamor from Apple supporters, who bought around 50 million phones in about a week.

It was one of the most successful launches in history. However, they were in and out of court with Samsung over patent infringements; fighting hard to try and protect their intellectual property. They were widely criticized by analysts in the industry for lacking innovation in their latest model.

It’s widely agreed that Apple is going to have to release a superb phone in the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 in order to regain the attention of both consumers and the industry.

There’s some speculation that the next phone will have a 4.7 inch display and also that there will be iPhone deals on phones as cheap as $300. Only time will tell whether we will see a mega scree iPhone of 5.5 inches, and whether we will see the budget model that is being suggested.

The Phone Comparison

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the phone comparison.

  • The Operating Systems

The Sony Xperia Z runs off the Android 4.1.2 operating system, and the iPhone 5 runs off the iOS 6.1. To me, Android is always better than the iPhone operating system simply because you have more apps at 700,000 and the user interfaces are skinned for different phones and are always very interesting


  • Dimensions of the Phones

The Sony Xperia Z measures 139.1x71x7.9 mm, while the iPhone 5 measures 123.8×58.6×7.6 mm. In thickness they are very similar; the Sony Xperia Z is necessarily bigger in order to carry the 5 inch display instead of the 4 inch on the iPhone 5.

In terms of weight they are quite different, with the Sony Xperia Z measuring 146 grams and the iPhone 5 just 112 grams.

  • Water Resistant and Dust Proof

The Sony Xperia Z has the special feature that it is water resistant and dust-proof. It is IP 57 certified and this makes it incredibly resilient and more able to see you through the inevitable accidents over a 24-month contract.

  • The Displays

The display on the Sony Xperia Z, for me is far superior. It has 443 pixels per inch compared to 326 pixels per inch on the iPhone 5. The difference is discernible to the naked eye and the extra inch on the Sony Xperia Z really does make a difference, too.

  • Battery Life

The Sony Xperia Z far out-performs the iPhone in terms of battery life. On stand-by time, it has 550 hours, which is above the average for phones. This compares to just 9.4 hours for the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 battery life is about half that of the average phone.

On talk time on 3G, the Sony Xperia Z again beats the iPhone, with 14 hours compared to 8 hours on the iPhone 5.

  • The Hardware

The Sony Xperia Z sports a 1500 MHz quad-core processor. The iPhone 5 sports a dual-core 1300 MHz processor. It also has double the RAM of the iPhone 5.

In memory capacity, the Sony Xperia wins again. Although the iPhone 5 and the Sony Xperia Z enter with 16 GB models, the Sony Xperia Z has a Micro SD card slot that can add an additional 32 GB of storage.

  • The Cameras

The camera on the Sony Xperia Z wins at 13.1 MP compared to 8 MP on the iPhone 5. It’s not just megapixels that dictate the quality of a camera, but they certainly help. Indeed, the Sony back camera takes better pictures than the iPhone in most conditions.

  • The Verdict

The iPhone 5 does disappoint in many regards. It simply isn’t cutting the mustard at the top end of the industry at the moment. It is still a very good phone. Certainly, Apple lovers will continue to purchase the iPhone brand series phones; however Apple will have to improve in order to keep up with the pace of technology and the amazing releases from the likes of Sony, Samsung and HTC.

It’s well worth looking out for iPhone deals on the iPhone 4S. You can get iPhone deals that represent terrific value because the iPhone 4S is still a very good phone in premium high end of the market terms, and is comparable to the iPhone 5 on performance in most regards.

Top Tip

It is easy to become fixated on the phone you want and to forget about the financials. You should set a budget and ensure you get the best phone and the best allowances you can. If you are a heavy consumer of internet on your phone then you could end up with hefty bills if you scrimp on the allowance of internet data you get. Sometimes it is a balancing act between the phone you want and the allowances that you need.

Hand holding smart phone playing angry birds
Image Credit: BigStock Photo

Designing an app for an iPhone or Android requires lots of work and dedication. The end product gives you pride and is worth the hours put into it, but another important step in building apps is getting users. This requires promoting the app through word of mouth and other methods.

When promoting an app, the trick is to make yours stand out amongst the hundreds of thousands of other apps. Here are a few methods that may help you get the word out about your app:

1) YouTube ads. Sure, they can be annoying when you’re trying to watch a video – but if you make a short, 20 to 30 second ad that will catch the viewer’s attention, you’re reaching a huge demographic. It can get pricy, but if your company can afford to pay for them, they are beyond worth it.

These ads reach millions of people each day and if yours is well-designed and not annoying, you’ll have people downloading your app every hour.

2) Conventions. Each year, there are hundreds of tech conventions all over the country. The most popular and widely attended is probably the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Attending these conventions is a great way to gain exposure in the tech world, and you can

give away promotional products from places like QualityLogoProducts.

This will make your app memorable so people actually go home and use it. This will also help with word of mouth promotions, as people will tell their friends if they have reminders with them such as stress relievers and pens with your app’s logo on them.

3) Social media. This may be the most important step in promoting your app. Making a Facebook and Twitter for your app is extremely vital in a world that depends on technology and people are attached to their laptops or iPhones at all times. Gaining “likes” and followers on these platforms will show how popular the app is becoming, and paying for Facebook ads will also gather more users.

Did you know the Angry Birds Twitter has almost 600,000 followers? As people download the app, they’ll want access to statuses and updates concerning it if there are any changes made – so keep the Facebook page and Twitter updated at all times. Not only does it expand the ground covered for your app, it makes your company relatable.

There are tons more ways to promote your app, but these are just a few. What ways do you promote your apps and gadgets? Tell us in the comments.