Saturday, June 22, 2013

Top 5 ‘Value for Money’ Phones.

While looking for "Value for Money" phones, for children and teenagers, it’s important to think about what’s affordable, but also high quality.

Phones with low monthly contracts, or efficient pay as you go deals, can sometimes be difficult to justify if they lack basic smartphone features and other settings. However, there are a growing number of affordable phones at the mid and entry level of the market, which ranges from the Motorola RAZR i to the Nokia Asha 201.


This Motorola phone is recommended if you want a high quality handset that’s a few price brackets lower than a Samsung or Apple smartphone – the RAZR i comes with a 2 GHz processor, an 8 MP camera, and the latest version of Android, as well as an impressive battery life of 2,000 mAH. The phone also has an edge to edge screen that takes up almost the whole face of the handset, and can be found for deals of £21 a month with T Mobile, £19 a month with Virgin Mobile, or just £17 a month with Three.

HTC Windows Phone 8S

Designed to be used by smartphone fans that want an effective but not overly expensive phone, the Windows Phone 8S is perhaps best for younger teenagers that are waiting for an upgrade. You can pay less than £200 for the HTC hand set, which comes with 512 MB of storage, a Super LCD screen, apps, and basic contacts and text messaging features. You won’t have a phone that can compete with the top end of the market, but for affordable usage, the 8S is a good investment.

Samsung Galaxy Fame

An entry level take on the bestselling Samsung brand, the Galaxy Fame is available as a handset for less than £170, enabling SIM only deals; smaller than the average Samsung, the Fame has a 3.5 inch screen, a 1 GHz processor, and a 5 MP camera, as well as a screen resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. Users get basic apps and smartphone features, making the Fame an excellent bridge to more expensive phones at an older age – deals include £17 monthly contracts from O2, and £10 budget offers from Orange.

Huawei Ascend G300

This budget Android phone retails as a handset for less than £100, and like the Samsung Galaxy Fame, gives you a stripped down smartphone experience; a 1 GHz processor is used for a phone with a 4 inch screen, basic apps and a camera, and options for low cost monthly tariffs. Contracts for the phone are, however, primarily tied to Vodafone, with a sub-£100 price tag allowing you to set up an inexpensive, pay as you go deal with the network.

Nokia Asha 201

Ideal for younger phone users, the Asha 201 includes basic apps and a calling and messaging interface – you can find the handset for less than £50 on pay as you go, which will get you a 2.4 inch screen, no 3G, but a few apps – the Asha 201 is consequently a good idea if you want to get a phone for an older child that won’t rack up high charges, but that can still be used. Orange offer monthly contracts from about £10.50, while T Mobile’s deal involves the same tariff with 50 minutes of free calls, 250 free texts, and 250 MB of data over GPRS.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Google Glasses: Technology at your eyes.

The Google Glasses, which have a five megapixel camera and voice-activated controls, have started to be shipped.

The first devices will go to developers and “Glass Explorers”. Google held a competition earlier this year inviting potential users to come up with ways to use the device, while developers have been eager to be among the first to try out the technology. Developers working on apps for Google’s smart glasses have been told they will not be allowed to place advertising within the device’s display. The newly-published terms and conditions for developers working on Glass also prohibit companies charging for apps.

According to several sources, those in the Glass Explorer Program are now receiving email notifications about device shipments, while Google also posted the technical specifications of the device for the first time. The bone conduction transducer allows the wearer to hear audio without the need for in-ear headphones – sound waves are instead delivered through the user’s cheekbones and into the inner ear. The company promises a battery lasting for “one full day of typical use”. Its display is the equivalent, the company says, of looking at a 25in (63cm) high-definition screen from eight feet away. The device is able to record video at a resolution of 720p.

It has 16GB on-board storage, and connects with other mobile devices via Bluetooth and wi-fi. Also keeping an eye on the excitement generated by Google will be Japanese firm Telepathy Inc. Their device, the Telepathy One, has been touted as a possible competitor to Google Glass. Chinese search giant Baidu has also confirmed it is working on a Glass-like project – but details are so far scant.

Google Glass Tech Specs:
•Adjustable nosepads and durable frame fits any face.
•Extra nosepads in two sizes.

High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.

•Photos – 5 MP
•Videos – 720p

•Bone Conduction Transducer

•Wifi – 802.11b/g

•12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.

One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.

•Included Micro USB cable and charger.
While there are thousands of Micro USB chargers out there, Glass is designed and tested with the included charger in mind. Use it and preserve long and prosperous Glass use.

•Any Bluetooth-capable phone.
•The MyGlass companion app requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

iPads for all L.A. students.

Los Angeles' school system, the second largest in the United States, is ordering iPads for all its students, handing Apple a major success in its quest to make the tablet computer a replacement for textbooks.

The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved the purchase of $30 million worth of iPads as the first part of a multi-year commitment. It found that the iPad was the least expensive option that met its specifications.

The initial order is for more than 31,000 iPads, Apple said. The Los Angeles Unified School District has more than 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The textbooks will be delivered through an application from Pearson, a major publisher, rather than through Apple's own iBooks. Apple and its publisher partners launched a suite of textbooks for iBooks in early 2012.

According to biographer Walter Isaacson, changing the textbook market was a pet project of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, even in the last year of his life. At a dinner in early 2011, Jobs told News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch that paper textbooks could be made obsolete by the iPad. Jobs wanted to circumvent the state certification process for textbook sales by having Apple release textbooks for free on the tablet computer.

Apple said 10 million iPads are in use in schools today. The company said that when the roll out is completed, Los Angeles will be the largest school district in the nation to provide each student with an iPad.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Toshiba introduces its 12.5-inch convertible Ultrabook.

The Satellite U920t is convenience and usability in a compact, convertible mobile computer.

Toshiba Gulf FZE announces the launch of its new 12.5-inch convertible Ultrabook, the Satellite U920t, a compact mobile computer that merges convenience and usability, offering an alternative for users who require a versatile machine in a compact form.

The Satellite U920t offers the best of both worlds: for content consumption, the convertible Ultrabook can be operated in tablet mode to take advantage of touch support with Windows 8, while for additional tasks that involve typing, the laptop mode is a welcome option. Toshiba’s new convertible Ultrabook will be available in South Africa late March 2013.

“The Satellite U920t is designed to take advantage of the Windows 8 enhanced user interface, providing an intuitive and engaging computing experience,” says Linsay Narayanan, product specialist at the South Africa Division of Toshiba Gulf FZE. “Consumption of digital media has evolved, and the Windows 8 launch came in time to leverage this revolution through its modern, intuitive touch gestures and Windows applications.”

Two devices in one
Enjoy the best of both worlds with the performance of an Ultrabook and the ease-of-use of a tablet. Simply convert from Ultrabook mode to tablet mode instantly with the slide-and-tilt design. This laptop allows for ultimate versatility and flexibility to adapt to any environment quickly and easily, while enjoying the perks of today’s most popular technologies.

Effortless efficiency
Achieve new levels of productivity with the Ultrabook purpose-built for the Windows 8 experience. The new Windows 8 user interface is optimised for touch-screen input and enables you to increase everyday efficiency. Tap into greater comfort and convenience with a five-finger capacitive touch panel, and gain the freedom to work and play well into the night, thanks to the large ClickPad with Windows 8 gesture support, full-size, LED-backlit keyboard option, and fingerprint-resistant 12.5-inch diagonal Corning Gorilla Glass IPS touch-screen display.

Fast performance
Speed through every task with the ultra-responsive performance of a third-generation Intel Core processor and lightning-fast solid state drive (SSD). The system’s quick start-up and resume functions, compliments of Windows 8, combine with performance components like SSD and Intel Rapid Start Technology. Best yet, the Satellite U920t stays productive while on the go with a solid battery life of up to four hours

Essential ports and features
There is plenty of room to expand, sync and share with the U920t. It has two integrated USB 3.0 ports, plus a full-size HDMI port that allows digital content sharing on a big-screen TV in up to 1080p full HD resolution.
The Satellite U920t also allows for transferring of data to the Ultrabook quickly and securely with the near-field communication (NFC) option. It also has tablet sensors, like the built-in Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) that automatically adjusts to lighting conditions, as well as an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope and GPS.

Slim, lightweight and stylish design
Lighten your load with an ultra-thin and lightweight design that doesn't compromise on head-turning style. This Ultrabook features a super-slim height of approximately 19.9mm and super-mobile weight of a mere 1.52kg. The convertible design comes with a durable Magnesium cover that protects the system’s good looks.

Monday, June 17, 2013

PS4 The game is on.

The PlayStation 4 will go on sale later this year and it'll be cheaper than the Xbox One - $399 in the US, £349 in the UK and €399 - compared to $499 and £429.

Following the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Sony Computer Entertainment appears to have won the first major battle against the Microsoft Corporation in the war of new video game consoles between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.

The PS4 itself was shown off for the first time at E3 and it's black, just like the Xbox One.

"It is a design that is sleek and visually good wherever it is placed," said Andy House, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment said during the reveal. And that's probably true, or at least, it's fair to say that the PS4 isn't any more obtrusive than the PS3 was. But it still looks a bit bulky at first glance, like an onyx coffee table book that you keep propped up by your television.

There are over 140 games in development currently for the PS4, including 40 that include "experiences" that are exclusive to PlayStation. But just to remind you all, that "experiences" don't mean the full game.

If you're watching the live stream  don't worry. They're better than that, easily. In fact, the graphics are definitely more impressive in person than any picture or stream of them you've seen so far.

PlayStation 4 Specs:

Main processor: Single-chip custom processor
CPU:  low power x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores
GPU:  1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon™ based graphics engine
Memory:  GDDR5 8GB
Storage size:  500GB Hard disk drive.
BD/DVD Drive (Read Only):  BD x 6 CAV DVD x 8 CAV
Input/Output:  Super-Speed USBx (USB 3.0) port x 2 AUX port x 1
Networking:  Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x 1 IEEE 802.11b/g/n Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)
AV Output:  HDMI out port DIGITAL OUTPUT (OPTICAL) port

DualShock 4 specs:

External Dimensions: Approx. 162mm x 52mm x 98mm

Weight: Approx. 210g (tentative)
Buttons: PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), R1/L1/R2/L2/R3/L3, Right stick, Left stick, Touch Pad Button, Touch Pad 2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type
Other Features: Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker
Ports: USB (Micro B), Extention Port, Stereo Headset Jack
Wireless communication: Bluetooth® Ver2.1+EDR.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Finally Apple has unveiled iOS 7

Apple has introduced iOS 7, "the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone." It comes with a completely redesigned interface.

"iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone," said CEO Tim Cook, introducing iOS 7. "It's packed with amazing new features, and a stunning new user interface."

A major change includes the introduction of a revamped multitasking interface, which is part of the Control Center  Instead of icons, iOS 7 displays a preview of the screen. It is also smart enough to recognize when you use an app a lot during the day – such as Facebook – and devote more power and processing time to it to keep you updated.

Control Center
Just swipe up from any screen including the Lock screen to do things like switch to Airplane mode, turn Wi-Fi on or off, or adjust the brightness of your display.

Multitasking has always been a smart way to switch between apps. Now it's even smarter. Because iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you.

Notification Center lets you know about new mail, missed calls and a new feature called Today gives you a summary of what you need to know about for the day.You can access Notification Center from any screen, including the Lock screen.
New filters let you do even more with each image. Give it a retro feel. Dial up the contrast.Or go black and white.

Introducing Collections, Moments, and Years smart groupings of your photos and videos based on time and place. Tap Years and all your shots fill the screen.

AirDrop lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with.

Browsing is bigger, better, and more beautiful with Safari. Buttons and bars like the unified smart search field stay hidden until you scroll to reveal them. And with a swipe, you can go back or forward a page.
iTunes Radio features streaming radio stations as per your musical tastes and it's available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, and Apple TV for free.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Facebook Unveils Hashtags: Feature Similar to Twitter's.

Facebook announced that it is rolling out hashtags on its social network.

Facebook confirmed on Tuesday that it launched an update to the site that allows users to follow conversations and topics via hashtags. The new clickable hashtags will allow you to search for specific hashtags in the search bar, compose clickable hashtags, and click on hashtags to see all the posts they are included in.

“Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Facebook to share their thoughts on big moments happening all around them. Whether it’s talking about a favorite television show, cheering on a hometown sports team or engaging with friends during a breaking news event—people on Facebook connect with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world. 

"To bring these conversations more to the forefront, we will be rolling out a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. As a first step, we are beginning to roll out hashtags on Facebook.”

The move to integrate one of Twitter's most iconic markers, illustrates how competition is heating up between the rivals. Although the services started very differently—with Facebook largely used for close friends and Twitter for public broadcast—the companies are now increasingly targeting the same digital ad dollars. Taking greater ownership of real-time public conversations, could help Facebook capture ad dollars related to live events.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1/3 Americans now own tablet computers.

Over the last three years, the number of adults owning a tablet computer has jumped sharply. Now, for the first time, one third of American adults own tablet computers, according to a new report released today by the Pew Research Center.

While nearly every demographic group showed an increase in tablet ownership over the last year, the report said, the fastest-growing groups included more affluent households making over $75,000 a year, college graduates as well as adults between the ages of 35 and 44, especially parents.

“One of the things that is especially interesting about tablet adoption compared to some of the patterns of other devices we've studied is how these technologies’ growth has played out between different age groups,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, a research analyst for Pew.

“With smartphones, for instance, we've seen a very strong correlation with age where most younger adults own smartphones, regardless of income level. But when it comes to tablets, adults in their thirties and forties are now significantly more likely than any other age group to own this device,” she said.

The report showed no differences in tablet adoption between men and women, or specific racial or ethnic groups.

When the Pew Research Center first started tracking tablet ownership in May 2010, only three percent of adults said they had a tablet computer. The continued growth of devices like the Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Nexus and Apple iPad have chipped away at sales figures for laptop computers over this same time period, leading several analysts to predict that tablet sales will surpass laptop sales soon, most likely within in the next two years.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Nokia Lumia 925 goes on sale, with a "Nokia Glance Screen".

Nokia has announced the commencement of sales for its recently launched Nokia Lumia 925 flagship phone. 

The handset will start selling in Germany followed by other European markets and China. After these markets it will start selling in the US and other markets, across the globe.

Along with this, Nokia also announced a new additional feature coming to Lumia phones with the Nokia Lumia 925 a beta version of the "Nokia Glance Screen" that features a standby screen clock along with battery level notifications. The app also brings the much talked about double tap to wake up feature, making it easier to unlock the phone.

Nokia had announced the Lumia 925 last month. The phone comes with a poly carbonate body that is associated with devices in the Lumia range, but with a metal strip around the body. As far as the specs on the Nokia Lumia 925 go, it comes with a 4.5-inch AMOLED Clear Black display with 768x1280 resolution and Gorilla 2 Glass. It is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor alongside 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. It has an 8.7-megapixel PureView rear camera and 1.2-megapixel wide-angle front camera. Nokia claims that the Lumia 925's camera is better than the one in Lumia 920 , which won a lot of rave reviews, especially for its low-light performance. The Lumia 925 also introduces the new Nokia Smart Camera mode that offers an easy way to capture ten images at once and edit the pictures with options like Best Shot, Action Shot, and Motion Focus.

Nokia Lumia 925 features a 2,000 mAh battery and runs Windows Phone 8.The Nokia Lumia 925 also offers a variety of exclusive services such as Nokia Music for unlimited streaming of free music playlists. The suite of integrated location and navigation services include HERE Drive+ and HERE Maps. Additionally, HERE Maps with augmented reality view will be available in the Store for download.

Nokia had announced that the Lumia 925 will be priced around 469 EUR before taxes and subsidies.

Nokia Lumia 925 key specifications
  • 4.5-inch AMOLED Clear Black display with 768x1280 resolution
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
  • Windows Phone 8
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • 8.7-megapixel PureView rear camera
  • 1.2-megapixel wide-angle front camera
  • 2,000 mAh battery

Sony’s PlayStation 4-$100 Less Than Xbox One, Only For $399.

The PlayStation 4 will launch in the US for $399 “this holiday season”.

On the other-hand Microsoft’s Xbox One, will launch in the US in November for $499. This brings the PS4 in at a full one hundred bucks cheaper than the Xbox One, with the One already facing its fair share of criticism.

Sony specifically targeted many of the things that the Xbox One has been publicly criticized for, from its lack of support for independent developers, to its publisher-set restrictions on the selling and trading of used games, to its requirement that gamers periodically connect their consoles to the Internet to authenticate their games. Sony says that the PS4 will have “no restrictions” on used games, and that PS4 game will require no online authentication. Sony just won a lot of fans. And I think you also know that.

The biggest surprise is the design. The Xbox One is a rectangular cuboid and the PS4 is a parallelepiped. Both are jet black, with incredibly sharp angles from edge to edge, the PS4 is just a bit more laid back, with a slight lean to its corners when compared to the Xbox One’s VCR-esque boxiness.