Authors Posts by Alaina Frederick

Alaina Frederick

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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!

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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!

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