Archive for the ‘Mobile Phone Tech.’ Category

In Aug 2007, I decided to leave my current 12 month phone contract and opted for a Sim only deal. Advantages included were not being tied to a contract, I got a reasonable amount of minutes for my buck, and as a bonus there was the choice of a free bolt on, like free 3G web access. But underneath I was preparing to purchase an iPhone.

When it did finally arrive on the market, and although it offered some great features, my HTC hardware was still kicking it’s butt. So began the long wait for an improved iPhone. Now that’s over …phew! It was time to try again. During the time that has passed my contract provider added an extra 100mins to my monthly allowance for free. Bonus. So now all I needed was a new Sim free iPhone iOS4.

The look and feel of this phone is second to none. From the side it looks like a very slick piece of machinery with it’s stainless silver attennaes, and in your hand it’s 149g weight feels like your carrying a mini screen computer that has a phone on it.

Slick Stainless Steel on the iPhone4Image courtesy of Apple

The only protection cover available currently from Apple is the phone is the bumpers. However they are not exactly useful when it comes to plugging in the 3.5mm, because although 90% of the jack can be inserted, the final click is impossible. Some friends have suggested I ask Mr Stanley to cut the edge of the hole. The problem here is that there really is no room for a bigger hole due to the proximity of the top noise cancelling microphone. Anyway the marketplace will soon be awash with cover after cover, and I’m sure they will take this issue into account. But this product is not worth £25, it’s only worth £5 Apple.

Returning now to the phone review…

Battery times have been reasonable so far, lasting 9-5 with a solid caning. But it does still need boosting during the day so do juice up when you can. By monitoring your apps and maybe using some battery status software you can always track your current usage availabilities and make of most of your battery across the day.

Switching to Wi-Fi on an average 5Mb download speed, the phone handles processes fairly quickly. It’s not lightening, but your not having to wait long at all. This makes the phone really useful around Wi-Fi spots in order to handle multiple tasks. I only have a 2.5Mps 3G speed right now, so it’s okay for most apps and sending video by email, however some web pages and particularly video can be extremely slow. But that’s a network issue so we won’t go there right now. Using 3G is still a battery caner, so really stick to as much Wi-Fi as you can for heavy web sites and apps.

The 5Mp camera with its 720 HD video is great and works well in good light. The flash and low light still is no match for a half decent compact. I really miss the anti-shake technology from my compact but software improvements or maybe an app can help there. Hope this is not a hardware issue.

A good part of the look and feel of this phone is due to the slick scratch resistant glass, I really would not attempt to test it since the other day I did accidentally leave a little scratch on the back. But in terms of keeping it clean, a dust cloth is proving to be sufficient.

As for the issue of losing signal, I simply have not experienced any type of issue like this. I do hold the phone in my left hand and I will continue to test this for a while and see if it really does lose signal, but 99% of the time, it’s fine. Most of the time the signal is behaving exactly as it sis on my old HTC.

Usability on screen has also proved to be very straight forward allowing you to easily add, edit or remove apps, set up emails easily, create video,  sending it in seconds via email and switching between Wi-Fi and 3G has been no issue. There are probably lots of other useful aspects to the maneuverability around the phone that I have not mentioned, simply because I am not a veteran iPhone user. Maybe in the near future and after a good few months of use I can report back and question the real limitations of Apple’s on-screen experience. The touch screen sensitivity is spot on and works really well.

Apple has done well to promote Apps and the world is now really understanding why they exist. Finding apps on the iPhone is a fairly straight forward process, but with a few tweaks it could be even better. For example, in the App store you can search for apps via the Genius section. Initially it shows you around 25 apps, then in order to see more there is a button at the bottom of the list to view another 25. However after installing an app from the second page, if you attempt to return to the list, it returns you to the first 25. Obviously this can get really annoying if you are 10 sheets down, or accidentally view an app way when you were just trying to scroll down. Therefore I have no choice but to write down names of apps I like and to search for them later. Other app sources like ‘App Search’ allow you to add apps to a favourite list, come on Apple, this one really is obvious.

This phone as Apple says really does change things and after two weeks in the world of the iPhone and about 300 apps later, it definitely is worth every penny. Human computer interaction has really taken a solid step forwards and the iPhone helps to bring both software and hardware to work seamlessly together, but then again, that’s what Apple are known for.

I am going to be gutted when the 1080HD 10Mp version arrives, and it will one day, because technology will continue to improve year on year. But I feel confident that this phone can handle most of my digital needs for at least the next couple of years and look forward to using/finding great apps which over the near future I will begin to write about.

Find out more about the iPhone at :

http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/

Find new Apps at  :

App Boy : http://appboy.com/

App Search : http://appsfire.com/

I love my music, but I can’t always remember the words, or just get them plain wrong. So to help me I found this site called Metrolyrics, that not only does the site give you the lyrics that you need but always keeps you up to date with the latest releases, you can log in and rate albums, artists and also chat with other music lovers.

There are also apps for your i-Phone and a plug-in for your PC, although I would prefer a Mac plug-in which has not been made an option just yet.

Find the lyrics to your tunage at :

http://www.metrolyrics.com

Content courtesy of Metrolyrics :

Find lyrics to the songs in your music library using the best iTunes, WinAmp and Windows Media Player lyrics plugin available!
LyricsSeeker uses the MetroLyrics database of over 450,000 songs and 15,000 artists to match lyrics to the song being played on your desktop music player. While you listen, the lyrics to your favorite tracks are made available at the click of a mouse.

According to the latest Wiki update :

MetroLyrics is a lyrics-dedicated website that was founded in 2002, and was the 1st lyrics site to license Gracenote’s lyrics catalogue in April 2008. MetroLyrics is the No.1 global lyrics website, and with 40 million+ unique users per month it is the 3rd largest music site in the US and Globally

The other day over the Easter break my five year old nephew asked me a straight forward technology based question, he said “Uncle, can you fast forward the adverts on the television because I hate adverts, they are so boring?” When I got in front of the television, I realised he was watching live TV, and explained to him that generally you can only fast forward adverts if you are watching a recorded program, or if you have paused live TV at some point earlier and you are simply catching up to the point of live transmission. Obviously, I had to use other words and maybe showed some examples of how this would work, but I thought wow, do the next gens really hate adverts? Not really, I feel that that the next gens really don’t react to passive media because their world from day dot is all about interactivity. Therefore until the Internet has converged with the TV, (and we really are not too far away from that) then television adverts cannot create conversions like true digital advertising currently does.

During my experience of using the Internet, I realised a long time ago that adverts as a minimum need to be interactive. If I as a consumer have any interest in a company’s product or service, then what I need more than anything is an emotional interactive experience. To date, I have only come across a small number of these styles of adverts. The first was a banner advert for Gran Turismo 4. It was not just a simple banner advert, it was an invitation to interact with a brand that I love. The advert asked me to play a few videos, and position the in built camera within the video to a point that would capture, what I thought would be a great photograph. The images were then submitted into a competition. I was on that advert for 2 hours, yes that’s right, 2 hours. That is the power of digital advertising, yet still thousands of companies spend thousands of pounds on boring click through adverts.

Now Apple has announced that it is going to allow developers to create adverts that are exactly this type in nature. So when you see an advert, you know that you are not just going to click through to a boring brochure based website, but you can look forward to a fully interactive emotional experience.

Apple told the world about apps, even though Windows Mobile users were already using apps. Now Apple is going to tell the world about creating interactive adverts even though it’s nothing new. But they are going to do it on the mobile, so how long is it going to take the rest of the digital media to catch up?

Watch a demo of iAd below courtesy of lightstab :

New mobile phones tend to evolve towards becoming smarter and smarter, with better technology and a wider range of features. But earlier this week Microsoft who have teamed up with the Japanese manufacturer Sharp have decided to try a slightly different tactic. They have introduced two new mobile phones into the marketplace branded Kin One and Kin Two that have power but less features.

The angle of course is social media, because the Next Gens ( as described by Tamara Erickson in What Next Gen X ) or the younger generation who seem to be naturally socially driven. The target audience in mind is the 16-25 year olds, who spend most of their time, sharing photos, videos, location based content and other files with their friends.

The network carriers that will be introducing these phones to the marketplace later this year are Verizon Wireless in the US and Vodafone in Europe.

But how much they will cost is still a major question, since the target are clearly not the cash rich generation. Take a look at the review posted by Engadget, and you can see that the user interface is more Minority Report than Apple’s clean white approach. I admit I do like the way it looks, and have always been a fan of drag and drop features. Microsoft have also gone a step further by integrating the content simultaneously to a website, which they want users to regard as a bottomless pit for file storage, called Kin Studio, which also is a very nice touch.

Looking forward to seeing more about this, and already thinking that owning one phone is clearly not enough. Who said that this phone is for the younger generation needs to think again, because it’s really aimed at anyone who likes to create and share content.

Read the Engadget review at :

http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/14/microsoft-kin-everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know/

I have been seeing adverts recently for a mobile phone that films in HD. The Sony Ericsson Vivaz allows you to record in 720p HD, which is the same as any half decent compact camera. Weighing in at just under 100g, with on board card storage, this is a good all rounder mobile phone that has a touch screen interface.

Read a review courtesy of Mobile Phones UK :

http://www.mobile-phones-uk.org.uk/sony-ericsson-vivaz.htm

Watch the promotional video here :

Find out more about Sony Ericsson at :

http://www.sonyericsson.com

Not that many people have heard about Porsches production of mobile phones but its been 3 years since the first model came out.

Porsche have just brought out an updated model released now only in Singapore, the P’9522. Available only to Porsche owners.

Image courtesy of TopSpeed

Content courtesy of Nitrobahn :

The most advanced feature includes a Biometric Fingerprint Sensor technology which helps you to secure data and phone books in the device. Which means, you might be able to start your car with your phone, James Bond style! Read Full Article …


Save time when looking for a new job with this iPhone app from the Job Centre.

Not to worry if you don’t have an iPhone, the database is accessible via the web.

Find out more about the iPhone App at :

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/jobcentreplus/id357812200?mt=8

Access the job center database online at :

http://jobseekers.direct.gov.uk/homepage.aspx?sessionid=0cceb4f7-9de0-4c4b-b95f-ba2439957f07&pid=2

The Pogoplug has been around now for a couple of years, after being introduced to the world at the CES Las Vegas 2008. It combines the features of a USB mass storage device with access to a supporting website.  So you can back your files automatically as usual but here’s the interesting part. You can access files remotely via the web or invite friends and share files with them, without them even having to join.

Pogoplug supports PCs, Macs &  Linux, but also allows mobile phone access via a website. Allowing users to access their files via a phone application and being able to share files with friends on Facebook, MySpace & Twitter makes the Pogoplug an very interesting solution, please check the latest from the site to see if your phone is currently supported.

The colour is my only real gripe about this product, but that can easily be fixed.

For some FAQs take a look at : http://www.pogoplugged.com/page/faq

Content below courtesy of www.pogoplugged.com

What Is Pogoplug?

The Pogoplug

The Pogoplug connects your USB drive to the Internet so you can easily share and access your files from anywhere.

The Pogoplug is the perfect accessory to your connected life.

Imagine accessing all your files and media at home from any laptop or desktop computer, anywhere in the world, or sharing this content with friends and family without having to upload. There’s even an iPhone application so you can always “phone home” to get your files!

If you are interested in looking at other ways to access files across your home network then you might want to take a look at :

https://vyber.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/got-a-network-files-and-drives-on-the-increase-have-you-considered-a-data-station/

https://vyber.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/boxee-a-social-open-source-media-center/


One of my favourite articles from Wired Magazine November 2008.

Secret Geek A-Team Hacks Back, Defends Worldwide Web

But who was he kidding? He was just some guy. The problem had been coded into Internet architecture in 1983. It was 2008. Somebody must have fixed it by now. He typed a quick series of commands and pressed enter. When he tried to access the Fortune 500 company’s Web site, he was redirected to an address he himself had specified.

“Oh shit,” he mumbled. “I just broke the Internet.”

Read the full article courtesy of Wired UK at :

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-12/ff_kaminsky?currentPage=all


I love these new mobile phones that are coming out into the marketplace. Each year bringing higher specs and newer features. The idea of a projector phone has always inspired me. This year sees the launch of several new types of these phones into the marketplace.

Today’s pick is the AAXA Laser series, which uses lasers instead of an LED, the result is brighter, sharper and more focussed image.

But before I can imagine if such a device is worthy of a purchase, I need to know about usability. For example how easy is it to watch movies from a portable drive whilst on the train late at night. With all the other features, am I looking at carrying around an extra set of batteries? And most importantly, how does it sync with my current life style choices of work, play and technology.

There are numerous reasons we choose one product over another, but if the fundamental usability is not there, then the is only one choice. However, you can be reassured, because the higher spec versions in the coming months and years will should be fixing some of those irritating technological workarounds.

Taken from the AAXA site :

AAXA Technologies proudly introduces the AAXA L1 Laser Pico Projector – the worlds first laser pico projector with an internal media player and storage. The unique three-color laser light source enables the L1 to produce images with amazing color saturation that are always in focus.

Find out more about the AAXA L1  and a comparison of AAXA Projectors at :

http://www.aaxatech.com/news/l1_laser_pico_projector.html

Review courtesy of Donald Melanson, Engagdet.com at :

http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/05/aaxa-intros-l1-laser-pico-projector-media-player/

This is a good use of augmented reality as a navigational tool.

Check which features work for your iPhone before downloading.

Uses are endless, from basic land surveying to navigation, and the app is great for hiking, boating, hunting, sightseeing, sports, and finding your way around.

About

Based on a centuries-old astronomical instrument, Theodolite is a cool new multi-function augmented reality app for the iPhone that serves as a compass, GPS, map, zoom camera, rangefinder, and two-axis inclinometer. Theodolite overlays real time information about position, altitude, bearing, and horizontal/vertical inclination on the iPhone’s live camera image, like an electronic viewfinder. The app even includes a handy “A-B” calculator to compute height of landmarks, distance to landmarks, triangulate position, compute distance/heading between points, show relative angles between observations, and show two points on the map. Uses are endless, from basic land surveying to navigation, and the app is great for hiking, boating, hunting, sightseeing, sports, and finding your way around.

Find out more about the Theodolite app at : http://hunter.pairsite.com/theodolite/

Apple has started banning many applications for its iPhone that feature sexually suggestive material, including photos of women in bikinis and lingerie, a move that came as an abrupt surprise to developers who had been profiting from such programs.

Read more from the article courtesy of the New York Times at :

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/technology/23apps.html

From another report :

Apple, There’s Pornography On My iPhone. The App Is Called Safari. You Made It.


Apple’s hypocrisy with regard to the App Store is something I know well. Several times last year I wrote about Apple allowing apps like “Asian Boobs” and upskirt apps into the App Store while rejecting things such as satirical apps that mocked public figures. It was ridiculous. So you might think I’d be happy that Apple is now rejecting and removing sexy apps from the App Store as well. But actually, the hypocrisy is much worse now.

Continued at Apple, There’s Pornography On My iPhone. The App Is Called Safari. You Made It.

Courtesy of MG Siegler at TechCrunch on 23.02.2010

Monopoly in the 21st century.

Buy and own your favorite real-life locations. Collect rent when other people check-in to your shops. Upgrade your shops to increase their value.

Find out more about myTown at : http://www.booyah.com/

For a full specification visit : http://www.htc.com/www/product/desire/specification.html