Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Apple iOS 6.1 Takes a Step Closer to Release

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Those who are part of Apple's developers program received the third beta of iOS 6.1 today. This new version will likely be available to the public soon.

Developers report that there are no dramatic changes coming in iOS 6.1. Among the more notable changes: Apple is carrying out its promise to improve the Maps navigation software, there are small enhancements to the Safari web browser, and Passbook's system for handling boarding passes is getting new features.

Apple could release this update at any time it feels it has sufficiently de-bugged it. It's possible the company might wait until some big event, like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early January, however.

Apple's usual practice is to introduce iOS updates for all supported devices at once, including iPhones and iPads.






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Unlocked Apple iPhone 5 Now Available

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Those in the U.S. who would like Apple's latest smartphone but aren't into commitment or contracts can now buy an unlocked version of the iPhone 5.

Unlike the units sold by telecoms, this version can be used with any GSM carrier just be inserting a micro-SIM card. This includes AT&T, T-Mobile, and many more. Apple warns it doesn't support every type of 4G LTE, however.

Phones that are sold through carriers with contracts are subsidized -- the carrier reduces the up-front cost and gradually makes its money back from the service fees paid by customers. When devices are sold without contracts, there are no subsidies.

That's why the contract-free version of the iPhone 5 with 16GB of storage is $700, not $200. The 32GB version is $800, and the 64GB is $900.

This smartphone has been on the market for two months, but is only now being made available unlocked because demand for the carrier versions has been so strong that Apple couldn't make units fast enough, while there were also production problems.


Don't miss  review of the Apple iPhone 5.


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iPhone 5S / iPhone 6 patent-inspired concept revealed

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Apple's iPhone 5S / iPhone 6 may have been revealed early, if this render is anything to go by. A graphic designer has turned to Apple's patent portfolio to produce 3D rendered images that guess at the design, features and functionality of the company's next-generation iPhone.

Designed to replace the current-generation iPhone 5, it's no secret that Apple is working on the iPhone 6 - but, as is traditional, the company is playing its cards close to its chest, refusing to divulge details ahead of launch for fear of damaging sales of its existing iPhone models.

To whet fans' appetites, InventHelp's Nickolay Lamm has scoured Apple's portfolio of patents for recent filings that may point to research carried out for the iPhone 6's design, using them to provide details to a graphic designer to produce product renders that offer a glimpse of one possible direction the company may be taking for the smartphone.
"I feel that the sales success of the iPhone 5 overlooks the fact that it was a pretty boring phone," Lamm said. "I looked at all of Apple’s recent patents and chose four which Apple may include in the iPhone 6 or later version. I then hired a 3D graphic designer to illustrate each of these patents so that the illustrations were as realistic as possible. I gave him very specific guidelines to follow."


The designer, Matteo Gianni, has generated the photo-realistic images based on Apple's current design ethos, and has based their technologies on patents recently filed by the company. Some features, however, are more likely than others: the suggestion that Apple's iOS platform will get integrated augmented reality functionality, dubbed 'Transparent Mode,' seems more than believable, but the suggestion that the iPhone 6 will feature a hybrid LCD and E Ink display, capable of being viewed in full sunlight and boosting battery life considerably, seems less so given how recent the company's patent on the matter is.

Other suggested product features include a 'smart bezel' which moves controls to the edge of the screen, meaning it's possible to use the phone without obscuring the display with your fingers, and an integral projector - a feature already making its way to rival devices.



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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Microsoft's first Windows Phone 8 update dubbed Apollo Plus?

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Here's a quick refresher on code names. The Windows Phone team has been all about the o's. Windows Phone 7 OS was code-named NoDo. Then there was Mango (Windows Phone 7.5). A minor interim update arrived next, code-named Tango. And Windows Phone 8 OS was code-named Apollo. Joe Belfiore(o), manager of the Windows Phone Program, said awhile back that the team was finished with code names ending in "o."
So what was Windows Phone 8's successor going to be called?
Winsyde.com posted earlier today that the next release will be code-named "Apollo +," and that it would be available in Q1 2013 -- citing the @Football4PDA Twitter account as the source. The Verge subsequently posted that the code name of Windows Phone OS 8's follow-on would be "Apollo Plus." (Maybe the ban on code names ending with "o" doesn't start till Windows Phone 9 OS?)


The Verge's Tom Warren also reported that Microsoft would share details about the update at the Mobile World Congress show in February 2013. The Verge cited unnamed sources as providing the information and said the coming update could include features like VPN support, a Wi-Fi connectivity fix, and audio improvements.

VPN support is an interesting one, given Microsoft officials said in June of this year that Microsoft had decided against including VPN functionality in the Windows Phone operating system (even though it had been included in Windows Phone OS' predecessor, Windows Mobile). A Microsoft official told me that Microsoft has decided instead to rely on things like Secure SSL to address this need... as they considered Secure SSL "a better, light-weight approach" to providing this kind of functionality in the new BYOD (bring your own device) world.
I've since heard from a number of business users that no VPN support was a deal breaker for their organizations in adopting Windows Phone. I've also heard from users in countries with governments that censor their citizens' Web-browsing that VPN is a much-desired feature for circumventing officially imposed firewalls.
I asked Microsoft whether the next version of the Windows Phone OS was code-named "Apollo Plus" and whether VPN connectivity will be part of it. Not surprisingly, a spokesperson said only that the company doesn't comment on rumors and speculation.
If Microsoft does refer to the minor, interim update to Windows Phone 8 OS as "Apollo Plus," that might help dampen user expectations a bit. With Tango, many users were expecting a lot more, feature-wise, than ended up being part of that update because it had its own special code name.
Meanwhile, I also asked Microsoft about the whereabouts of the Windows Phone OS 7.8 update -- the one that is slated to allow existing Windows Phone 7 users to make use of resizable tiles on their phones. A Microsoft spokesperson said: "More information on 7.8 will be available in the coming weeks."
As to the rumors circulating that 7.8 might be available this week, I'm doubtful. I think Microsoft might announce the release to manufacturing of 7.8 this week, but I'm hearing the update may not be available from the carriers until early next year (maybe even as late as February 2013)





This story originally posted as "Apollo Plus: Is this Microsoft's first Windows Phone 8 update?" on ZDNet.
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Saturday, November 24, 2012

iPhone 5 Real Tips and Tricks

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1. how to Opening and closing apps: It is simple enough, but I think many people don't know how to close apps out of the system tray. You should know how to do this every now and then if an app is acting funny or crashing. To open an app, just tap on it. To close an app out of the tray, go to your home screen & double tap the home button and all of your most recently used apps will pop up. then Press and hold any one of the apps until they start wiggling and you can hit the red badges on the apps you want to close.thats only.



2. how to Lock and unlock screen orientation:you want the screen to stay in portrait mode while you're lying down in bed or on the grass at a picnic, simply two tap your home button to bring up the system tray.then Swipe the tray to the left and you will see the orientation lock at the far left. Simply tap it to turn it on or off.


3.How to use Apple Siri: When you need a  help from Apple's digital assistant, you press and hold the home button for a few seconds and you will see Siri's microphone pop up on your screen. Tell to set a calendar event to you or to set an alarm.Siri reserve tables at restaurants or give you movie times and reviews. If you're unsure what you can ask Siri, press the little "i" when the microphone pops up.




4.How to view your notifications, current weather and more: To see that black bar up at the top of your screen? You can touch it and drag it down to view your notifications and all other things. When you are in an app or game where the bar is not visiblevto you, swipe down from the very top of your screen and you will see a tab slide out. Pull that tab down and the notification pane will slide down on your screen.


5.To find apps, contacts, e-mails and many more : When you are on the first page of your iPhone home screen, just swipe to the left and the iPhone 5's universal search bar will appear. Type find what you are looking for there.


6. Shoot photos with your camera, then do a little more with it: Open up the camera app tapping on the camera icon, then press the shutter button or volume up key to snap photos. For more function, Press the Options button and you will see toggle switches for Grid, HDR and a panorama button. You can  flash on and off or set it to auto, or switch to the front-facing camera. The grid comes up to help you compost images and make sure your horizons are straight. HDR makes sure you get details in photos that have very bright and very dark areas . The Panorama button will take you to a new feature in iOS 6 that allows you to take a sweeping photo of a very wide scene. Follow the instructions that pop up on the screen.


7.To set a passcode lock and protect for your phone: Go into Settings>> click General then scroll down to Passcode Lock. Turn it on and select a code that you want. iphones tend to have social networks, e-mail, photos and other sensitive items that we want to keep from prying eyes, so be sure to lock your device for your seaf.


8. How to take a screen shot: See something on your device screen that you want to  keep as a photo? just take a screen shot.  press the power button up top and your home button at the exact same time any time. you are in an application, on the home screen, in a game or everywhere press those two buttons at the same time and a screen shot will be saved into your Photos app.


9. How to save a Web page into your home screen: When you are on the web page you want to access quickly it from your home screen, tap the arrow button on the menu bar at the bottom of the phone screen. The option list come; now select "Add to Home Screen." Now you will have an icon on your home screen that will take you to that Web page.


10.How to insert images to your e-mail: You can when you are composing an e-mail and you decide you want to throw an image into the e-mail body? it is simply go into your photos app then, in the gallery view, click the edit button on the upper right. Select the image or images you want and click copy. Return to your e-mail, After that press and hold in the body where do you want to insert the images, finaly select and "paste."
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

iPhone 5 best

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The good: The iPhone 5 adds everything we wanted in the iPhone 4S: 4G LTE, a longer, larger screen, free turn-by-turn navigation, and a faster A6 processor. Plus, its top-to-bottom redesign is sharp, slim, and feather-light.
The bad: Apple Maps feels unfinished and buggy; Sprint and Verizon models can't use voice and data simultaneously. The smaller connector renders current accessories unusable without an adapter. There's no NFC, and the screen size pales in comparison to jumbo Android models.
The bottom line: The iPhone 5 completely rebuilds the iPhone on a framework of new features and design, addressing its major previous shortcomings. It's absolutely the best iPhone to date, and it easily secures its place in the top tier of the smartphone universe.

The iPhone 5 is the iPhone we've wanted since 2010, adding long-overdue upgrades like a larger screen and faster 4G LTE in a razor-sharp new design. This is the iPhone, rebooted.

The new design is flat-out lovely, both to look at and to hold, and it's hard to find a single part that hasn't been tweaked from the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 is at once completely rebuilt and completely familiar.

I've had the chance to use the iPhone 5 for nearly a week, and have been using it for nearly anything I can think of. Is it as futuristic or as exciting as the iPhone 4 or the original iPhone? No. Does this change the smartphone game? No. Other smartphones beat it on features here and there: if you want a larger screen, go with a Samsung Galaxy S3. If you want better battery life, go with a Droid Razr Maxx.

But, if you want a great, all-around, beautifully engineered smartphone that covers all bases, here it is. Just like the MacBook is to the world of laptops, the new iPhone is one of the top three, if not the best-designed, smartphone around. It's better in all the important ways.
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

iPad4

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Introduction

Three Apple tablets in a single year. This is more than anyone asked for and yet, by some weird logic - or lack thereof, not too many for Apple to successfully sell. All fine and dandy, unless you got the iPad 3 - better luck next time if you were unfortunate enough to buy it in September.
Well, so much for the new iPad. Number 4 is the new new iPad. You must've heard the one about the double positives. Did we hear some iPad 3 owners say "Yeah, right"? To be honest, they're not without a point.Anyway, the tablet market is still Apple's to lose and the least it could do is send a message to the competition. The double November release may look like a knee-jerk reaction to Google and Microsoft's raid on the slate market but the fact is that Apple has the depth to compete on two fronts. The mini against compact droids and the iPad 4 against the Surface means Cupertino is leaving nothing to chance in defending its number one spot.
The fourth generation iPad is no major upgrade. It keeps the design, display and the main camera of its predecessor. What it gets is a new chipset and the new Lightning port. Oh, and there's an HD FaceTime front cam but that's barely worth mentioning.
Overall, it's the same tablet as the one released in March, with the class-leading Retina display and a welcome boost to the processing power. Plus, the Lightning port ensures seamless compatibility with the iPhone 5, which has sold by the millions.

Key features

9.7" LED-backlit IPS LCD touchscreen, 2048 x 1536 pixels; scratch-resistant, oleophobic coating
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity, carrier-dependent hotspot support
Optional LTE connectivity (data only)
Optional GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS support (for the 3G model only)
Apple A6X SoC with 1 GHz dual-core processor
PowerVR SGX554MP4 quad-core GPU
1GB of RAM
iOS 6.0 with iCloud support and activation
16/32/64GB of inbuilt storage
652 grams of weight (662 grams for the LTE version)
Bluetooth 4.0
Lightning USB port
11,560 mAh battery
Accelerometer, compass and three-axis gyro-sensor
5MP auto-focus camera
1080p video recording at 30fps
1.2MP secondary camera capable of FaceTime HD calls
Four and five-finger gestures
1080p TV-output with the Apple Digital AV Adapter (purchased separately for $39), 720p video streaming
Supports magnetic cases
Main disadvantages
iTunes still required for uploading most of the content
Reflective screen struggles outdoors
No standard USB port
No stereo speakers
No GPS receiver in the Wi-Fi version
No memory card slot
Lack of basic iOS apps - stocks, clock, calculator, voice memos
It's an Apple device so things like a file manager and a memory card slot are not even up for discussion. They'll probably never be. Nothing on the list above should come as a surprise and, if you are still with us, you are OK with most of it.
The A6X chipset potentially doubles the processing power but let's be honest, the real life gain is not enough to make anyone throw away a still fresh iPad 3. Yet that's what Apple just did - you can think of that as investing in the future-proofing of the device more than anything else.

iPad 4 over iPad 3

Apple A6X chipset with PowerVR554MP4 quad-core GPU for allegedly 2x faster performance
1.2MP front FaceTime camera with HD video
GLONASS support (for the cellular version only)
Lightning USB port
Whether or not Cupertino will admit to feeling the pressure from Microsoft, they knew the right thing to do is prepare. Apple could not afford to have development split between flagship devices running different hardware.

Someone had to take the hit and leaving iPad 3 users out in the cold was probably a hard decision for Apple. The new product launch schedule may've put the iPad 4's market prospects in question too - users are less certain whether they should commit to a new device that may soon become outdated. Apparently, the new Apple tablets are doing great, but the iPad 4 seems to be the one that's always in stock, while the mini takes about 2 weeks to deliver.
But the iPad mini already had its moment in the spotlight here, it's now iPad 4's turn to have our full attention. Before we get busy, we should note that numbers are the short and easy way to set the different generations of Apple tablets apart. What was until recently known as the New iPad (iPad 3) is now discontinued. The current model (iPad 4) is officially called iPad with Retina. The only older generation Apple tablet officially in circulation is the iPad 2. Quite a mess, indeed.





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Bluetooth Headset That you can Wear on Your Finger

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With a simple twist, The O.R.B. transforms from a ring to a headset worn on the ear that is capable of hands-free calling. Incorporating HiWave™ technology, the O.R.B. is a “Digitset™” that provides high-quality bone conduction audio without the discomfort of placing a device inside the ear. A deluxe edition also features an E Ink display for caller ID, text messaging, and calendar reminders.

To use the ring as a headset, simply remove it from the finger and twist open around the hinged joint. The ring (now a headset) is placed over the upper ear, between the ear and the side of the head. The transmitter end of the headset rests just above the jawbone and utilizes dual speaker “voice annihilation” DSP technology. The transmit exciter transducer rests just behind the outer ear.


The O.R.B. will be available in a variety of sizes, available in styles for both men and women.

All sizes have an expansion hinge, spring prongs and adjustable adhesive soft pads on the interior edge, which provide a secure and comfortable fit on the finger (or thumb) as well as the ear.


The O.R.B. features military-grade seals and gaskets, making it fully waterproof and built to accompany you on any adventure.


The ring vibrates, alerting the user to an incoming call, text message, or event reminder. The user can glance down at the finger and see a horizontal streaming message of caller I.D. or meeting schedules. If accepting an incoming call, the user twists open the O.R.B., slips over the ear, and begins the conversation. If declining incoming calls or texts, or dismissing event reminders, the user can simply push the cancel button with the O.R.B. still idle on their finger. When not in use the ring serves as a time device/alarm clock. If the user would like to silence a call he/she can simply touch a button on the band.



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Thursday, November 15, 2012

iPhone 6 (Release Date, Review, Price, Specs)

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Many of you weren’t sold on the iPhone 5′s design. For some of you the taller screen was odd – it “looks strange at best,” said nebulaoperator – and for others it simply wasn’t big enough. Lions87a reckons even 4.5 inches would be too little: “popular phones like the Galaxy S2 and S3 have shown that people are pretty happy nowadays to accept bigger than what the iPhone 5 is currently offering.” Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, influential tech journalist Andy Ihnatko suggests that taller isn’t necessarily better. “The benefit of bigger screens is almost entirely in their increased width, not their length,” he writes. “A wider keyboard is easier to type on. Books, web pages, and emails will have wider margins and they’ll be more comfortable to read.”

John Gruber of Daring Fireball agrees that bigger isn’t always better, but he’s not a fan of wider, either: while he says that “navigating the full screen while holding the iPhone in one hand is worse,” rivals’ wider screens mean it “really is far more difficult to do anything on them one-handed, including typing.” A new set of patents filed by Apple, that we outlined on 15 October 2012, suggest that the iPhone 6 design might hide external-facing components such as the camera and flash from view using a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal window which can change opacity on demand.

The iPhone 6 will boost its processor not with the number of cores but with it’s software use. Even though the iPhone 6 will be using the A10 processor which is the fastest processor for any mobile device it will make the phone faster by updating it’s operating system to decrease the speed needed to run the current apps. Apple might also exploit the new technology IBM claims to have which can boost the processor speed without increasing the number of cores.

Operating System

iOS has been around for a while, and for many it’s getting stale. “I don’t think anyone can deny that the UI needs a refresh when you see widgets and live tiles on competitors’ phones,” says Vincennes, while Tubemonkey2000 says that “the current [UI] is so tired and old it makes it seem really basic, sort of like a kids’ toy.” Some say that “there are so many tweaks Apple could make to its OS to turn it into more of a powerhouse – icons that update with information, or extending the widgets in the notification bar beyond weather and stocks… Apple is taking things very slowly on this front.”

Price

iPhones have never been cheap, but in a world of credible – and cheaper – competition they look pricier than ever. Or maybe it’s because the iPhone’s price has gone up. Saltire is “surprised no-one has mentioned the price increase for the 16GB model”, while Gareth Beavis says that “we simply cannot see how a 16GB model can cost £529 / $199, but to double the memory will cost an extra £70/ $100 with no other changes to the design.” There’s no doubt that you pay more for the materials, fit and finish of an iPhone than you do for, say, a plasticky Android handset, and not everyone thinks that’s worth it. “£529 for a phone that is no better than my six month old Android shows the arrogance of Apple,” Alastairmack says, while Beavis points out that when you consider contracts, “it’s far and away the most expensive in the shop, and most of the time you don’t even get unlimited data.”

Features

NFC has, possibly unfairly, been dubbed “Not For Commerce” (or more saltily, “No Effing Customers”), but for many it’s the most obvious omission from the iPhone 5 – “not because of the technology itself,” says Fmartins, “but to really give the critical mass contactless payments need. Plus, I would love to use the phone as my Oyster card.” Apple is looking at Australian fingerprint technology for NFC mobile payments, so it seems that NFC could arrive with the iPhone 6.

Release Date

The exact date is unknown because Apple doesn’t want consumers to be ready and push off buying iPhone 5 until the 6 comes out. But the approximate date is in the middle of June.



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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Apple iPhone 4S personal assistant Siri tells stories

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The Apple iPhone 4S exclusive voice prompted personal assistant Siri continues to spring surprises with latest reports revealing the system is capable of telling stories, albeit with some reluctance

Siri, the voice activated personal assistant on Apple’s latest smartphone offering, the iPhone 4S is capably of telling stories following continued nagging.

Despite being the subject of a series of security flaws Siri has made a number of headlines for its pre-programmed witty answers to a number of anticipated questions. The latest addition to this growing list is the systems ability to tell a story upon continued prompting.

The latest quirky Siri feature reportedly sees the iPhone 4S’ party piece try back out of telling a story stating it is “not much of a storyteller” before reeling off a comical fairytale.

“Once upon a time, in a virtual galaxy far far away, there was a young, quite intelligent agent by the name of Siri,” the system’s response reads. “One beautiful day, when the air was pink and all the trees were red, her friend Eliza said, “Siri, you’re so intelligent, and so helpful – you should go work for Apple as a personal assistant.””

Siri’s story ends in true fairytale fashion stating “So she did. And they all live happily ever after.”

Apple iPhone 4S Features

Exclusive to the Apple iPhone 4S, Siri has become the lead talking point of Apple’s latest pocket blower with the handset’s other notable inclusions inclusion the same ARM dual-core processor found within the Apple iPad 2 and a new, fully optimized 8-megapixel rear-mounted camera with 1080p full HD video recording capabilities.

Have you snapped up an Apple iPhone 4S already, what is the funniest response you have had from Siri? Let us know via the comments box below.

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HTC Droid DNA vs. iPhone 5 (And Everyone Else): Who’s Got the Best Display?

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We just got our hands on the HTC Droid DNA this morning, and our first impressions were very promising. The screen is really, really gorgeous. But, how gorgeous is it when you put it next to the other best smartphones?
We decided to pit the Droid DNA against the iPhone 5, Nexus 4, HTC One X, and Samsung Galaxy S III. All screens were turned up to maximum brightness, as can be seen in the photo above. The first thing you'll note is that the Droid DNA isn't the brightest by a long shot; that title still belongs to the HTC One X, followed by the iPhone 5. Disappointing? Yes, though it's still plenty bright enough to be visible in daylight.

But what about color? The Super LCD 2 on the One X has been our previous favorite for color accuracy, so why the is the Super LCD 3 on the Droid DNA so blue? It's definitely a step behind the One X and the iPhone 5, though it's still a little better than Nexus 4—which is slightly greenish—and the Galaxy S III, which is really, really blue. But yeah, skin tones ain't what they should be here.

But a macro shot shows where the Droid DNA really shines: pixel density. The 440 PPI on the Droid DNA packs them in more tightly than anyone else, as the macro lens on our camera can see clearly. Our eyes, on the other hand, couldn't tell much of a difference at all. If you look very, very closely you can kinda of see a little more detail compared to the other "retina" displays, but we're talking almost unnoticeably slight.


So what's the verdict? Sadly, from what we can tell, the Super LCD 3 on the Droid DNA is not an improvement over the Super LCD 2 on the HTC One X. The tiny hair of perceptible added sharpness doesn't make up for the poor color calibration or the dimmer screen.

The HTC Droid DNA isn't a bad screen by any means. But it's the banner feature on this phone, and it's a step backward; it still lags behind the HTC One X and iPhone 5. Which seems like a wasted opportunity in a major way.

Smartphone Display Rankings
1st Place: HTC One X
2nd Place: Apple iPhone 5
3rd Place: HTC Droid DNA
4th Place: Google Nexus 4



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Monday, November 12, 2012

Apple iPad mini review: One for the road

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Introduction

Wait, did hell just freeze over? Maybe a couple of degrees cooler? Rumors of a mini version of the iPad had been laughed at, dodged and denied - not necessarily in that order and often all at once. But here it is - the iPad mini is finally a reality. It caused due measures of excitement and perhaps a bit of disappointment. Yet, in typical Apple fashion, it's an excellent piece of hardware. In short, it's a polarizing device that may as well be the next best-selling tablet.

You have to hand it to Apple's R&D team - they know how to design hardware. The iPad mini is super thin and light, with a cool aluminum shell. Sure, they swore they'd never make a 7" tablet and the truth is they still haven't - the 7.9" screen of the mini offers 36% more real estate than the screens of the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
Less bezel on the left and right of the screen combined with the ~310g of weight make it reasonably comfortable to hold with one hand. Apple did make some compromises, which drew a lot of ire. Here's the summarized list of what's good and what's bad about the Apple iPad mini:

Key features

Compact body: 200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm
7.9" LED-backlit IPS LCD touchscreen, 768 x 1024 pixels; scratch-resistant, oleophobic coating
Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity, carrier-dependent hotspot support
Optional 2G/3G GSM, CDMA, LTE connectivity (data only, separate models)
Optional GPS with A-GPS support (for the 3G model only)
Apple A5 SoC, dual-core Cortex-A9 @ 1GHz chipset
512MB of RAM
PowerVR SGX543MP2 dual-core GPU
iOS 6 with Siri, iCloud support and activation
16/32/64GB of inbuilt storage
Weight of 308 grams (312 grams for the Wi-Fi + Cellular option)
Bluetooth 4.0
16.3Wh battery
Accelerometer, compass and three-axis gyro-sensor
Compatible with every iPad and iPhone app without any modifications
The base version costs less than a SIM-free iPhone 4, only $30 more than iPod touch
5MP auto-focus camera
1080p video recording at 30fps
1.2MP secondary camera capable of FaceTime calls, 720p recording
Four and five-finger gestures
1080p TV-output with the Apple Digital AV Adapter (purchased separately for $49), 1080p video streaming
Supports magnetic cases
Lightning connector
Stereo loudspeakers
Main disadvantages
More expensive than 7" Android tablets, only $70 cheaper than iPad 2
No Retina display, 162ppi only
Same chipset as iPad 2, now two generations old
iTunes still required for most of the content uploads
Reflective screen struggles outdoors
No standard USB port, Lightning accessories still rare and expensive
No GPS receiver in the Wi-Fi version
No memory card slot
Lack of basic iOS apps - stocks, calculator, voice memos
The disadvantage list may seem longer than usual but most of the items there are general complaints that apply to virtually all Apple products, like the absence of a memory card slot. The way we see it, there are three main problems with the iPad mini - the (relatively) low-res screen, the old chipset and the price.
Apple products have so far effortlessly hit it big with users despite their perceived limitations compared to the competition. The new crop of iPads - the iPad 4 and iPad mini - already sold in the millions.


The software - iOS 6 - should be very familiar to Apple users, but the hardware is new. It's not like the big iPads, which mostly varied in thickness, this one has been designed to comfortably hold in one hand and slip into a coat pocket.
Some analysts have gone as far as to say that the iPad mini will become the iPad - it's highly portable, capable enough and drawing on the vast resources of the Apple eco-system. And if you adjust for the "Apple tax", the mini isn't that expensive.
Jump to the next page to find out just what you're getting with the iPad mini.




Source:http://www.gsmarena.com

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Nexus Phone vs. iPhone 5

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It has become clear that, at the very least, LG will be releasing a new Nexus phone this year to compete not only with other Android devices but with Apple’s new iPhone as well. Dubbed the LG Nexus 4, at least for now, the device marries some pretty hefty specifications with the benefits that only a Nexus device can offer. But how does it stack up against the iPhone 5? Let’s take a look.

While Apple’s yearly smartphone, the iPhone 5, is already in the hands of consumers, Google has yet to release its yearly smartphone which arrives with the Nexus moniker. In the past, Google has turned to companies like HTC and Samsung to build its Nexus-branded smartphone. However, this year, it looks like LG is tasked with developing the device.



The LG-made Nexus still isn’t official yet but numerous leaks have not only pinpointed its specifications, but they have also revealed the phone for the entire world to see ahead of its presumed launch date. The LG Nexus 4, as it may be called, is presumably going to be announced by Andy Rubin on stage at the All Things D Dive Into Mobile conference on October 29th.

And it is there that Google will reveal its latest iPhone 5 competitor. That being said, here is how the rumored LG Nexus 4 matches up with Apple’s latest-generation smartphone, the iPhone 5.

Release Date
On September 21st, Apple released the iPhone 5 in the United States and several other regions. The device is still making its rounds and if it’s not available in your country just yet, it should be in the coming weeks and months. Apple plans to release the iPhone 5 in over 100 countries by the end of 2012 and we expect that it will tack on some more in 2013 as well.

Even though it was released in September doesn't mean it’s easy to find though. Apple’s online stores and retail stores are back-ordered and AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, the three major carriers in the U.S.

As for the new Nexus phone release date, we still don’t have one. It’s possible, and we’ve heard this might be the case, that the release date for the Google Play Store will be on October 29th, though it would be the first same-day release since the original Nexus One.

French publication Le Figaro also claims that the new Nexus will hit French carrier SFR by the end of December which means that CDMA carriers like Sprint and Verizon could also get the new Nexus around that time as well.

Display

With the iPhone 5, Apple for the first time increased the size of the iPhone 5′s screen. The iPhone 5 boasts a 4-inch display, up from the 3.5-inch displays that populated the earlier iPhone models. In addition, Apple included a 16:9 aspect ratio which means that the iPhone now can play widescreen content. This makes watching movies a pleasure on the new iPhone 5′s display.


The iPhone 5 uses a Retina Display with a 1136 x 640 resolution which is not full HD resolution. However, it also offers 326 pixels-per-inch which means it brings extremely clear on-screen text because users cannot see individual pixels.

As for the screen on the LG Nexus 4, it’s expected to be 4.7-inches in size with a 1280×768 resolution. That means that it will be full on HD. Rumors state that the display might have a 320ppi which could mean that the display on this new Nexus phone could be on par with Apple’s Retina Display on the iPhone 5. We imagine that it will have something similar to a 16:9 aspect ratio as well which means that it too will be able to play widescreen content.What this means is that the biggest difference is going to be the size. Those who want a large screen may want to take a closer look at the LG Nexus 4 while those who aren’t in need of a massive display, may opt to look closely at the iPhone 5.

Design

The iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S shared similar designs. However, with the iPhone 5, Apple got rid of the glass back and replaced it with a sleek new industrial design that features a two-toned back with the largest piece composed of anodized aluminum. Around the edges of the iPhone 5 there is a band of metal which is both easy to grip and adds to the beauty of the phone.

The iPhone 5 is also both lighter and slimmer than the iPhone 4S. It weighs 112 grams as opposed to the 140 gram weight of the iPhone 4S and the difference is noticeable right off the bat. In fact, some users have complained about the phone being too light. If that can actually be chalked up as a complaint. And while the iPhone 4S was 9.3mm thin, the iPhone 5 is 7.6mm thin.



This is an area where the LG Nexus 4 may not match up well with the iPhone 5. From the photos, it appears that the device matches up quite nicely with the previous Nexus, the Galaxy Nexus. We see a shell that features rounded corners and a lot of black. And because of its screen, it also appears to have a massive footprint.

A 3D image of the new Nexus phone make it appear fairly slender but how slender or how heavy are two features that remain unclear at this point.




What is clear is that the device will again be made with the familiar plastic, a material that accompanies many Android phones and was the material used with the Galaxy Nexus. For many, this won’t be a problem, especially if it keeps the cost down, but for those that were hoping the Nexus 4 would win a design award, it’s looking like that won’t be the case.

Specs

Apple made numerous improvements with the iPhone 5 hardware. Here is a complete run down of the iPhone 5′s specifications.

Apple A6 Dual Core Processor
1GB RAM
16GB/32GB /64GB models
4-inch Retina Display 1136 x 640
Rear – 8-megapixel iSight camera
Front - FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP photos and HD video (720p)
Bluetooth v 4.0
USB Host unofficially supported
802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi  - 802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz
In comparison, here is a spec list for the new LG Nexus 4:

Quad-Core ARMv7 1.5GHz
2GB RAM
Memory: 8GB (No microSD card slot)
4.7-inch Display 1280×768
Rear – 8-megapixel camera
Front-facing camera
We assume the new Nexus will have all of the other bells and whistles of a major Android smartphone as well including Bluetooth support. One thing to note is that the Nexus seems to only have a 8GB version though we imagine there likely will be either a 16GB or 32GB option available at launch as well.

Camera

Apple upgraded the rear camera on the iPhone 5. The new iSight camera delivers a fast shutter speed, panorama mode, and is still at the top of the smartphone pile when it comes to quality of photos. A photo taken with the iPhone 5′s camera can be seen below.



In addition, Apple included a new HD FaceTime camera on the front of the iPhone 5 which means video chatting inside and outside will be much more crisp than it was with the iPhone 4S.

Google’s new Nexus phone will apparently sport a 8MP camera like its predecessor and it too will likely be backed up by a host of software functions found within Android already. The ability to take panoramic photos is included.

Nexus phones have never been known for their cameras though and there is no reason to suspect that Google and LG will outdo the iPhone 5 with the camera on the Nexus 4. Below is a photo sample taken with the Nexus 4 and while it might be better than the average photos taken with the Galaxy Nexus’ camera, it doesn't appear to be any better than photos taken with the iPhone 5.



Software

Apple’s iPhone 5 runs the company’s new iOS 6 operating system which brings 200 new features over iOS 5. Key additions include Apple’s new Maps application which has replaced Google Maps as the native Maps application. Thus far, the service has received tons of complaints but a Google Maps iOS app is in the works and iPhone 5 users can still access the Google Maps web app if need be.



Source : http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/10/11/new-nexus-phone-vs-iphone-5/



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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10 iPad Apps Everyone Should Have

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The first thing most people do after buying an Apple iPad is head to iTunes and start downloading apps. But with thousands to choose from, where do you start? Sure, Apple makes some recommendations, but who knows how they create their list. Apple also makes it pretty easy to see what is most popular, but does anyone really need three different versions of Angry Birds? If you want essential apps that improve almost everything you do with your iPad, start with this list of 10.
Before I continue, I should say that this is my personal list. Although I solicited suggestions from the PCMag staff, there was no way we could all agree on the same 10. To make it concise, I had to make it personal. So any omissions are my fault entirely. That said, I think the list is pretty killer. (If you're looking for the overall best iPad apps, check out our feature story.)

I had just a couple of requirements for this list. The apps had to have wide appeal among average users. Sketch for the iPad is certainly a killer app, but if your artistic abilities are like mine—the word "limited" comes to mind—it is useless to you. Likewise, the Bloomberg iPad App is the best way to track your investments, but, after a year with unemployment at over eight percent, precious few of us have those anymore. When I say these apps are essential for every man, woman and child, I mean it.
Before we get to the new winners, I should briefly mention the Apps that are getting bumped from the list. They are all still great apps, but they just can't keep their spots the top ten. Instapaper was simply replaced with a faster, more stable app that offers the same functionality. Others, like Angry Birds, just got old. But don't worry, change is good.
Of course, you are probably going to download and install a lot more than this, but consider these apps a great start. Click on the image below to start the slideshow and get all ten of my picks.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

iPad mini

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Apple has not yet even acknowledged the existence of the iPad Mini, but pricing and configuration information for the much-rumored tablet is allegedly already appearing in a consumer electronics giant's inventory system.

The iPad Mini will come in 16 different memory and wireless configurations, according to an inventory system screen shot obtained by Mobile Geeks. The screen capture allegedly comes from the internal inventory system of Media Market, Europe's largest electronics retailer

The page -- in German -- lists pricing for various configurations in Eros, presumable with Europe's 19 percent value added tax already factored into the price. Prices will start at 249 Euros ($322.60) for a Wi-Fi-only 8 GB iPad Mini, with other memory configurations of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB also available. The high-end 64GB cellular version is listed at about $650, presumably with 4G LTE capability.

 iPad Mini rumors have been swirling for months, with various sources reporting that the device will feature a 7.85-inch display and go on sale for a price that's far cheaper than Apple's current, larger tablet.

Apple has reportedly already begun mass production of the new tablet, which is expected to be introduced on October 23. However, one Asia news outlet reports that production issues will delay its debut .

Apple has reportedly ordered 10 million units of the unannounced tablet for the fourth quarter, roughly twice what Amazon reportedly ordered for the Kindle Fire for the same quarter.


Release Date

Right now, the best rumor we have for a release date says the event will be held October 23rd.. Apple typically releases products one or two Fridays after its keynotes.

For what it's worth, the 23rd would manage to steal a good amount of thunder from the October 26th Windows 8 release date, and shipping on November 2nd would put the Mini out just a few days before the presidential election.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

iPhone Vs Galaxy S3

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Apple's iPhone 5 has been available for only a few weeks, but already it's generating more Web traffic volume than the Samsung Galaxy S3.

On line advertising network Chitika today released results of a study it conducted on Web traffic volume between the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3. The company found that of "millions of mobile ad impressions" it recorded on the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3, more than half -- 56 percent -- originated from Apple's handset. Samsung's smart phone nabbed 44 percent of the total impressions.

"Only 18 days since the public release of the iPhone 5, the newest Apple device has overtaken the Galaxy S III in terms of Web traffic volume," Chitika wrote today in a blog post. "Record-breaking sales numbers, along with new 4G browsing speeds which encourage data usage, are the most likely explanation for this tremendous growth."

A bitter battle has erupted between Apple and Samsung over their flagship smart phones. Apple claims that the iPhone 5 is the best smart phone on the market, thanks to, among other things, its 4-inch Retina display, 8-megapixel camera, and design.

Samsung, meanwhile, has argued quite the opposite, pointing to the Galaxy S3's larger, 4.8-inch screen and near-field communication support, among other features. After Apple unveiled the iPhone 5, Samsung wasted no time launching an advertising campaign detailing what it believes are Apple's handset's shortcomings. The company has even taken to mocking Apple fans who stand in lines to buy the company's latest device.

Those efforts seem to have paid off. Earlier this month, mobile-app analytics firm revealed that Galaxy S3 sales are growing. When the iPhone 5 was announced last month, Galaxy S3 sales grew by 15 percent. At the end of September, sales growth was at 9 percent.

Chitika's data is based on mobile ad impressions it collected across its network between October 3 and October 9. The company didn't say how the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 fared against other smart phones.


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Friday, October 12, 2012

iphone5 troubles

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A week following the launch of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for the company's imperfect new Maps app. But flawed maps haven't been the only issue to get some consumers worked up in the three weeks since they got their hands on Apple's latest smartphone.

Though overall customer satisfaction and demand remain high, some customers fret about a variety of problems -- from intolerably slow hang times when email is loading to frustrating battery life.

Writing in the "iPhone 5 battery draining very fast," topic inside Apple's Support Communities forum online, a user identified as Realmaverick says, "Since getting my iPhone 5 … I've been shocked by the terrible battery life… In London, it died after 4 hours usage, from 100%. Apple need to resolve this quickly, it can't be doing much for their reputation, on top of the hysteria about maps!"

In the "Wi-Fi is slow after iOS 6 Update," topic, lkpeters writes "am having the same slow, bad WiFi connection issues on my iPhone 4S using iOS 6…. Apple, are you listening? Wi-Fi must be fixed asap."

A survey by On Device Research of nearly 16,000 iPhone users in the U.S. last month revealed a slight decrease in device satisfaction among those who upgraded to iOS 6 compared to when they upgraded to iPhone 5.

All this has to be taken in perspective. Apple sold more than 5 million iPhone 5's over the first weekend. More than 100 million people have downloaded iOS 6 onto older models of the iPhone or on their iPads. Even if a teeny percentage of problem units turn up—and some are inevitable—the shock waves are sure to register. Folks are rarely blasé about Apple. You're often either a passionate devotee or outspoken critic.

Veteran Apple watcher Leander Kahney, who runs the Cult of Mac website, has seen it before. He says some of the current issues bring to mind "Antenna-gate," when some users complained of a weak signal on the iPhone 4. The late Steve Jobs tried to appease customers with free cases. Apple "gets a real drumming in the tech press," Kahney says. But that drumming only comes, he says, after many of these same people go ecstatic over Apple's latest and greatest. "There's a germ of a problem, a germ of an issue and it gets blown out of crazy proportion. Apple gets over-praised. They suffer from over-criticism."

Some concerns that have surfaced:

-- Purple haze: The camera on the iPhone 5 has mostly garnered positive reviews. But you may notice, as I have, a purple haze or flare on some of the pictures captured when the phone is angled toward a bright light that may be just outside a scene. This is not atypical. Tests conducted by Consumer Reports revealed that this Jimi Hendrix effect is not limited to the iPhone 5.

Apple meanwhile, posted the following resolution online: "Most small cameras, including those in every generation of iPhone, may exhibit some form of flare at the edge of the frame when capturing an image with out-of-scene light sources… Moving the camera slightly to change the position at which the bright light is entering the lens, or shielding the lens with your hand, should minimize or eliminate the effect."

-- Battery. Apple claims up to 8 hours of talk time for the iPhone 5, and 8 to 10 hours of Internet use, depending on whether you're using 3G, LTE, or Wi-Fi networks. In my own mixed use, I typically make it through the business day between charges. But some people haven't fared so well.

There are, well, a battery of possible explanations. People might actually be using the phone more. The battery could be taxed in the first day or so of usage, when you're syncing a lot of stuff and downloading content. If you're in an area with a weak network signal, the radios inside the phone may be working harder to make a connection.

-- Scratches. My iPhone 5 has a tiny nick just to the right of the power button on the top. Apparently, I'm not the only user to notice scratches or dents. In an email exchange reported by 9To5Mac, Apple's senior vice president Phil Schiller responded to a customer who had seen "some scuffs, scratches and marks" on his device. Schiller wrote that "Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal." It's been recently reported, though, that such dings are causing quality control crackdowns at Foxconn Technology, which assembles the iPhone, leading to possible supply shortages.

-- Screen glitches. Are bugs inhabiting some iPhone 5 displays? In the "Green glow on iPhone 5 unlock screen?" topic area in the Apple Support Communities, Hazza42 wrote that a green glow appeared around the edge of the display on his iPhone for a fraction of a second after you turn on the screen. " Some users reporters similar issues.

YouTube videos are documenting another screen problem, a constant flicker of light that appears under the keyboard on some devices. Apple hasn't publicly weighed in on these issues.

-- Slowness. Some users have experienced painfully slow times between when they tap on a message in an email in-box and when that message actually appears.

Wi-Fi woes have been another problem. Apple has already offered a fix for owners of the Version iPhone 5 that addressed a problem in which the device tapped into cellular data when the phone was connected to Wi-Fi.

Whatever problems are emerging isn't affecting sales. Consider the issue that has gotten the most media attention, Maps. Despite CEO Cook's apology and the snags surrounding Maps--inaccuracies, missing points of interest, etc.--a survey released Friday by ChangeWave Research indicated that the Maps are "irrelevant" when it comes to demand for the new iPhone.

And 90% of those surveyed who already have tried Maps on the new iPhone or on another iOS 6 device reported no problems with the app. Only 3% characterized it as a "very big problem. Maps "is not an antenna issue," says Paul Carton, ChangeWave's vice president for research.

Adds Cult of Mac's Kahney: "The vast majority of consumers are totally delighted with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6.

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iPad

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The good: Apple's new iPad includes a stunning new screen, matched by a quad-core graphic processor and the world's largest app and media store to feed it content. There's a proper 5-megapixel rear camera now, with 1080p recording quality. Optional 4G data from AT&T and Verizon afford an uncompromising mobile experience.

The bad: The new iPad is slightly heavier than last year's model; apps and movies optimized for the screen might take up more space; and ports for HDMI, USB, and SD require adapters.

The bottom line: With a host of improvements--faster graphics, 4G wireless options, a better camera, and a gorgeous high-res screen--the latest iPad cements its position at the head of the tablet pack.

This review was updated March 18, 2012, with CNET Labs battery test results. Also, we made correction to the new iPad's screen brightness. We will be conducting additional testing over the next few days. As such, our final editors' rating may change.

Apple's new iPad is a mix of the familiar and the futuristic. Its design remains practically unchanged from last year's iPad 2. Its internal components and wireless capabilities have only received a predictable bump. You'd think Apple fell asleep at the wheel with this one--until that moment when you turn on the screen.

When I tell you that Apple has doubled the iPad's screen resolution to an unprecedented 2,048x1,536 pixels, your eyes should water a little. No other screen in your home can compete with this resolution--not your laptop, not your desktop computer, not even your 1080p TV. For a device that fits in your lap and costs as little as $499, a screen like this is an impressive feat.

Design
Looking at the new iPad, you'd think someone was playing a trick on you. It looks almost exactly like last year's model. The tablet's glass and aluminum construction is still 9.5 inches tall and 7.31 inches wide. Thickness is now up slightly at 0.37 inch, weighing in at a beefier 1.44 pounds. You get the same home button on the bottom of the screen, and a volume rocker on the right side along with the mute switch/rotation lock. Up top you have the sleep/wake button and headphone output, and the bottom edge retains the 30-pin port.

 Apple's retreat from being one of the thinnest, lightest tablets on the market may leave some room for competitors. Already, we're seeing tablets like the Toshiba Excite X10 LE, which are thinner than the iPad 2 and just as light. Apple is betting that a best-in-class screen will trump any concerns over the slight uptick in weight and thickness. And if they're wrong, well, the iPad 2 is still around for those who can't bear the extra 51 grams.

But the surefire way to tell a new iPad apart from an iPad 2 (aside from counting pixels or breaking out the scale) is to flip them over. No, this isn't a tablet gender test; what you're looking for here is the rear camera in the top-left corner. On the new model, the camera is slightly larger, accounting for the improved optics and camera sensor, similar to what's used in the iPhone 4S (though not identical).

New features
Beyond the vastly improved screen there are a number of other upgrades worth mentioning. The iPad's processor has been upgraded to what Apple is calling an A5X. Like the A5 processor used in the iPad 2, this CPU remains dual-core. The "X" is there to signify that the graphics processor has been beefed up to quad-core. This seems to be a necessary measure for juggling four times the pixels of the previous model, but regardless, games and graphics perform fluidly.

Against everyone's expectations, Apple did not include its Siri digital assistant on the new iPad--at least, not entirely. Siri's voice-to-text dictation capability has migrated to the iPad, but that's it. If you want to find nearby sushi restaurants, you're going to have to search for the answer online, like a neanderthal.

Still, the addition of voice dictation is a welcome feature, and it can be handy for composing quick e-mails and bypassing the touch-screen keyboard when searching for information online. Its accuracy leaves a little to be desired, though. Just like autocorrected typing, the iPad's dictation isn't infallible.

ast but not least, there's the iPad's updated rear camera, which the company calls its iSight camera. It is a huge improvement over the iPad 2's 0.7-megapixel shooter; this updated shooter is now 5 megapixels. If you've spent any time over on Apple's iPad page, you've probably seen the exploded view of Apple's five-element lens system, which was adopted from the iPhone. However you want to explain it, the photo quality is exceptional for a tablet, and we have the photos to prove it.

I still contend that it's a bit silly waving a tablet around to capture photos and video, but I understand the counterpoint and I'll admit that the iPad's screen makes a better display than any camera, smartphone, or photo frame.

Features we take for granted
Let's not forget all the features that made the first two iPads unbeatable. If you've ever used an iPhone or iPod Touch, the new iPad will feel immediately familiar. Out of the box, you get many of the iPhone's capabilities, including Apple-designed apps for Web browsing, e-mail, maps, photos, music, video, and YouTube. More apps can be installed using the built-in App Store software or by connecting the iPad to iTunes via your computer using the included cable. If you already own apps purchased for an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can transfer these apps to the iPad, as well.

The original iPad made its debut with iOS 3.2. That OS' limitations seem prehistoric today. You couldn't bounce between applications with multitasking. You couldn't organize applications into folders. And support for document printing and AirPlay streaming of music, videos, and photos didn't arrive until November 2010.

At launch, the new iPad comes with iOS 5.1 (see our full rundown). Recently added features such as iMessage, Newsstand, Notifications, and Twitter integration are all included, along with support for Apple's free iCloud online backup service.

One sticking point in the original iPad that Apple hasn't addressed in the new iPad is Adobe Flash support for Apple's Safari Web browser. Apple seems dead set against supporting Adobe's popular tool for presenting video and graphics on the Web, and without it, some corners of the Web are still inaccessible on the iPad.

To Apple's credit, even the maker of Flash (Adobe) has conceded that HTML5 is a better solution for presenting content on mobile devices going forward. As such, the Web is steadily bending toward greater compatibility with the iPad, and the issue of Flash compatibility seems less contentious than it once was.

In terms of browser features, the iPad's Safari browser matches what you'll find from the best competing tablets. With Google's recent improvements to Android's Chrome Web browser in Android 4.0, Apple now has some tough competition.

But in terms of the subjective Web-browsing experience, Apple's Retina Display gives the new iPad a decisive victory. Because text is rendered with such razor-sharp clarity, everything from Facebook to The New York Times take on a printlike quality that is easier on the eyes than what any laptop or tablet offers.

To 4G or not to 4G?
For those who just get a little itchy at the idea of not being connected to the Internet, Apple offers a version of the iPad with an integrated 4G cellular data connection, priced at a $130 premium over models that only offer Wi-Fi.

The jury seems split on whether the added cost of a cellular data capability is money well spent, or an unnecessary expense. Ultimately, if you can afford it, do it. Aside from the 10 grams it adds to the iPad's overall weight, there are no drawbacks to owning an iPad 4G model other than the data plan it requires. Yet, unlike so many 4G tablets on the market, Apple's requires no contracts; the data plans you purchase month to month can be ratcheted up and down as you please.

Another advantage of iPad with 4G is the added capability of assisted GPS (A-GPS), allowing users to accurately pinpoint their locations on a map and take advantage of navigation and location-aware apps. The Wi-Fi-only models of the iPad can use rudimentary Wi-Fi hot-spot triangulation techniques to guess locations, but are much less accurate and consistent.



 iPad as e-reader
As far as e-book content goes, the iPad has you covered. Every major e-book retailer (and quite a few specialized stores) offer an iPad app, including Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Google Books, Stanza, and Apple's own iBooks.

Mainstream magazines, including The New Yorker, Wired, and Vanity Fair, all have iPad-specific editions. Even specialty publications, such as comic books, test prep, and sheet music, have found their way onto the iPad.

But when you compare the experience of reading on the iPad with its paper-based ancestor or dedicated e-ink readers, the iPad still falls short. It's beefy at 1.44 pounds (a Kindle Touch weighs under half a pound), and in spite of the Retina Display's exquisitely rendered text, glare is still an issue--especially outdoors. Also, a product like the Nook Simple Touch promises up to two months of reading without a recharge, whereas the iPad will only get you 10 hours.

In spite of all these criticisms, the iPad has already proven itself a success as an e-reader. There are certainly cheaper options out there, but none with the breadth of features and e-book shopping options offered by the iPad.

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Apple vs Samsung patent trial kicks off in Australia

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Apple and Samsung have been locked in an acrimonious battle across 10 countries involving smartphones and tablets since April 2011, with the Cupertino, California-based company filing a suit in Australia saying the touch-screen technology used in Samsung's new Galaxy 10.1 tablet violates Apple patents.

The quarrel has triggered expectations that some of the pair's $5 billion-plus relationship may be up for grabs. Samsung counts Apple as its biggest customer and makes parts central to Apple's mobile devices.

While any decision in the Australian case is unlikely to have a substantial impact in other jurisdictions like Europe or the United States where the technology giants are also suing each other, the trial proceedings could reshape the legal strategies employed by Apple and Samsung in other countries, lawyers say.

Mark Summerfield, a patent lawyer and senior associate with Melbourne-based law firm Watermark, said "there's no doubt there's a strategic and psychological effect" attached to the Australian case. "Courts in other countries will watch what is happening here," he said.

Apple and Samsung representatives declined to comment on Monday at the hearing.

The Australian case arose in April 2011 when Apple said Samsung copied the design of some of its tablet and smart phone devices. Samsung has since launched a counterclaim in Australia alleging that Apple infringed a number of South Korean technology firm's data-transmission patents.

The lawsuits from both companies are being heard as one case in the Australian federal court.

Samsung won an early round of the Australian litigation when it succeeded in overturning an injunction on the sale of its Galaxy 10.1 tablet in Australia just before Christmas last year.

But Apple won a heavyweight U.S. round when a judge banned the sale of both Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 tablet and the Galaxy Nexus phone ahead of a formal trial there. Patent cases are also pending in Britain and Germany.

Summer field said that unless the two companies come to a global settlement, the Australian case is likely to run until well into 2014 as an appeal to any ruling at the end of the current trial "is a 100 percent certainty."

(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

iPhone5

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The good: The iPhone 5 adds everything we wanted in the iPhone 4S: 4G LTE, a longer, larger screen, free turn-by-turn navigation, and a faster A6 processor. Plus, its top-to-bottom redesign is sharp, slim, and feather-light.

The bad: Apple Maps feels unfinished and buggy; Sprint and Version models can't use voice and data simultaneously. The smaller connector renders current accessories unusable without an adapter. There's no NFC, and the screen size pales in comparison to jumbo Android models.

The bottom line:
The iPhone 5 completely rebuilds the iPhone on a framework of new features and design, addressing its major previous shortcomings. It's absolutely the best iPhone to date, and it easily secures its place in the top tier of the smart phone universe.

 The iPhone 5 is the iPhone we've wanted since 2010, adding long-overdue upgrades like a larger screen and faster 4G LTE in a razor-sharp new design. This is the iPhone, rebooted.

The new design is flat-out lovely, both to look at and to hold, and it's hard to find a single part that hasn't been tweaked from the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 is at once completely rebuilt and completely familiar.

 I've had the chance to use the iPhone 5 for nearly a week, and have been using it for nearly anything I can think of. Is it as futuristic or as exciting as the iPhone 4 or the original iPhone? No. Does this change the smartphone game? No. Other smartphones beat it on features here and there: if you want a larger screen, go with a Samsung Galaxy S3. If you want better battery life, go with a Droid Razr Maxx.

But, if you want a great, all-around, beautifully engineered smartphone that covers all bases, here it is. Just like the MacBook is to the world of laptops, the new iPhone is one of the top three, if not the best-designed, smartphone around. It's better in all the important ways.

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