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iPhone

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We’re not sure what Samsung’s game plan is, but it seems that they release a new phone almost every week! In my opinion they want to saturate all segments of the mobile market and leave people no other option but to buy a Samsung. Could be effective if it works.

In this weekly showdown, Samsung recently announced another phone from its Galaxy series, the Galaxy S4 Mini. Although I don’t really see a point in releasing a gorgeous phone like the Galaxy S4 and then following it up with a Mini version, Samsung believes that there is a market for people who want the features of the S4 but not the size.

The past few years have seen phones getting bigger and bigger with manufacturers squeezing the tablet space, but according to Samsung there is a piece of the pie to be had for the huge Mega’s and Note’s as well as the diminutive Mini’s – this being proven by the successful launch of the S3 Mini.

Price and Features

Back to the S4 Mini; the Galaxy S4 Mini is scheduled for release in July. It is also possible to pre-order the phone now, if you just can’t wait and you’re willing to spend 500 euros to get one.

Although the 500 euros price tag does seem a bit steep for the Galaxy S4 Mini, especially when an additional 50 euros gets you big brother Galaxy S4, it does make up for it with its features. The Galaxy S4 Mini plays around in the 4 inch screen area, 4.3 inches to be exact. This used to be a standard on phones a few years back but now categorizes the Mini niche.

The only other major player still operating in this area is Apple with its iPhone. In the Android space, there are very few, if any brands offering high end specs in this segment. This may be the reason for the launch of the Galaxy S4 Mini and the success of the Galaxy S3 Mini.

Another reason for giving life to the Galaxy S4 Mini (or the mini series on the whole) could be to elevate Samsung’s flagship phones (S4s, S3s) above the competition, mainly the iPhone. The Mini’s with their similar size to the iPhone can be left to tackle it and the S4s can have an open playing field.

To give you a better idea of the Galaxy S4 Mini, below is a comparison between it, the iPhone and the HTC One S

comparison chart samsung galaxy s4

If you want my perspective, the Galaxy S4 Mini has more RAM, a better front camera and is lighter, with the rest of the specs being almost equal, making it superior to both the HTC One S and the iPhone 5.

However, the difference is not as significant as it seems on paper and of course there is the question of why shouldn’t I just spend a little more and get myself the Galaxy S4 (Biggie) instead?

The Verdict

Although it does make sense to target the smaller screen niche (even when you have a hit like the Galaxy S4), the S4 Mini might not give the consumer many reasons to lose focus on the S4 itself, especially when the price difference is not that significant. It however could be another nail in the coffin for the illustrious iPhone.

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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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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.

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“There’s an app for that” is an understatement as Apple’s App Store has thousands of apps that turns browsing for cool apps into an overwhelming experience. Some we couldn’t begin to fathom an app exists as you’ll see from this list. Here we pick a handful that you’ll find useful.

BeFunky Photo Editor

BeFunky Photo Editor

The built-in iPhone camera app doesn’t have editing features. It takes too much time to upload the photo to a computer or use a web-based app to edit it. Save time by editing right in the iPhone with a photo editor app like BeFunky Photo Editor. Its features include crop, effects, rotate, sharpen, photo frames and photo sharing through popular social networks.

Find My iPhone / Find My Friends

Find My Friends

With iCloud.com and Find My iPhone, you can locate your misplaced iPhone. It may not be able to tell you the exact spot in your home, but at least you have it for those times when you lose track of it. What if a family member or friend hasn’t heard from you and wants to check on you? Using iCloud.com isn’t an option because you’d have to share your Apple ID — an unacceptable option. Work around that with Find My Friends. You send an email request to family and friends to get and give permission to track each other. When they approve, you’ll be able to track each other as long as the “Hide from Followers” option isn’t off.

Flashlight (O)

Flashlight for iPhone

The light from the iPhone can help you navigate darkness, but it may not be bright enough or you have to keep touching the screen to prevent it from dimming. Flashlight (O) is brighter and comes with a strobe light and a built-in compass. Be aware apps like this drain the battery when in use.

LuxeFinds Color Shopping Engine

LuxeFinds Color Shopping Engine

You need to find black shirts for everyone for the family photo or you need a pair of shoes in a certain color. Just pick the color you want and LuxeFinds Color Shopping Engine lists items matching the color. If only the app could search for tables, bedding and kitchen items.

OpenTable

OpenTable for iPhone

While you’re out, you decide you want to go to a restaurant. Rather than using one of many local places finder apps, use OpenTable. You not only find nearby restaurants, but also you can view menus and make your reservations within the app.

PaperKarma

PaperKarma for iPhone

Tired of getting snail mail spam? Take a picture of the latest junk mail and submit it to PaperKarma. The app keeps track of all your submissions letting you know the status of each. It works because we’ve received noticeably less junk mail since we started using this.

ShopSavvy

ShopSavvy for iPhone

Don’t you hate it when you’re in a store and don’t know if the product you’re looking at is a good price? Use ShopSavvy to scan the barcode or QR code to get a list of prices from local and online stores. The app won’t have every local store, but it’s adding more stores.

Tunein Radio

Tunein Radio

TuneIn radio lets you access over 70,000 radio stations and two million on-demand programs that include streams from BBC, CBS and ESPN. Want to listen to a song? Search for it to see what stations are currently playing it. TuneIn can play in the background while you use other apps as well as allow you to pause and rewind live radio.

Zello Walkie Talkie

Zello Walkie Talkie

Remember talking to your friends on a walkie talkie? Now you can do it from your iPhone with Zello. Zello works with Android, BlackBerry and PCs, so your friends without iPhones can use it to talk to you. Zello also has community channels so you can network with others passionate about a shared interest or learn a new language with users from all over the world.

What apps do you recommend?

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You have probably been hearing the term “jailbreaking” a lot lately. No, it doesn’t mean busting out of jail and going on the run. It is a technical term applied to network-connected devices, and you can jailbreak anything from a Playstation to an Android.

However, the real debate has come from the jailbreaking of the iPhone, and with the amount of misinformation in the media, many people are wondering whether or not it is worth it.

What Is Jailbreaking?

Jailbreaking an iPhone is the process of selecting some kind of application that will allow you to use unauthorized apps (like games) not bought in the iTunes store.

These could have been made for the Android, or perhaps just created by a third party for Apple products. There are thousands of these on the Internet that are perfectly safe, functional and great to have.

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Whether you love or hate Apple, you must admit that the iPhone revolutionized cell phones as we know them today. Before the 1st generation iPhone hit the market, the top selling phone for the past three years was the Motorola RAZR.  However, not too long ago, the iPhone and Apple enjoyed monumental achievement by becoming the best selling phone in the third-quarter of 2008. It’s been almost two years since the release of the original iPhone, and only a few months ago Apple released the iPhone 3G. Both phones are still missing some basic features, but there has been an improvement in the latter version. In this article, we will cover the differences between the iPhone 2G (or first generation) iPhone and it’s newer counterpart, the iPhone 3G.

Apple iPhone 2G VS iPhone 3G

Design and Dimensions

Even though there aren’t too many differences in the exterior of the models, we are going to point them out before we get to the hardware. The screen size is exactly the same at 3.5" on both models, which provides for an ultra-clear 480×320 screen resolution. The rear of the original iPhone has a smooth metal finish with a black strip at the bottom. The front of it has a shiny metal piece that surrounds the side of the phone and ends behind the screen. The iPhone 3G has a smooth piano black or white finish. It also has the shiny metal piece around the outside of the screen. The iPhone 3G features buttons that are made from a shiny metal, excluding the home button. This gives them a sturdier feel compared to its predecessor. The shape of the 3G phone is a major difference as the original iPhone is a little thicker and completely flat when set down. The 3G has more of a round feel to it that flattens out slightly around the edges. It has been said that the screen of the 3G heats to a warmer temperature than that of the original iPhone.

Apple iPhone 2G/3G Size and weight

Features & Technical Specifications

Once we get under the hood, we begin to see where the 3G separates itself from it’s older brother. The iPhone 2G only supported WiFi, GSM, and Bluetooth. This means its speed surfing the Internet were quite limited. The iPhone 3G introduced 3G speeds to Apple’s flagship model, and it also supports WiFi, GSM, and Bluetooth. This makes for a better experience surfing, watching Youtube videos, and downloading data onto the phone from the Internet. The first generation iPhone supported the following frequencies:  GSM and Quad-Band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz). The iPhone 3G supports all of those frequencies, but added to the list quite a few more to enable running at 3G speeds, including UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz). The iPhone 3G also supports GPS, which was not included in the original iPhone.

Both phones have a 2MP camera, but do not feature a video recorder. The iPhone 3G weighs 4.7 ounces compared to the 2G’s weight of 4.8 ounces (not a notable difference). The only downside to 3G capabilities is that it eats into battery life.  The iPhone 2G beats out the newer version in that regard by providing up to 8 hours of talk-time compared to 5 hours with the 3G.

Apple iPhone 2G/3G Battery Life

Bottom Line

Comparing two great phones is always hard, but Apple made a great move by creating the 3G iPhone. The iPhone 2G is impressive, but with the features the 3G provides and the transition with new phones all moving to 3G, it’s a definite requirement if Apple wants to maintain its new status as the #1 selling phone in the US.

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