Archive for ‘iPhone 3G etc’

September 15, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S II: Marvellous Fighting Peer to iPhone4


The Samsung Galaxy S II is certainly the hottest device in town right now. Go to any outlet anywhere and it’s moving very fast. Evidently, the Malaysian market has gotten more advance in using such devices and know a great device when they see one.

Anyway, enough said that this baby competes extremely well head on against the Apple iPhone 4. From what is publicly suspected, Apple delayed their launch of new models in June because of this Samsung Galaxy S II and other dual-core devices.

Here are a few ways to make your Galaxy S II more exciting.

The Launcher Pro standard screen with a row of 15 icons for the dock

1.  Launcher Pro

Samsung provides a Home Screen replacement for the Gingerbread standard called TwLauncher. It is a very decent app, clean and stable and improves a little over the standard Home Screen.

However, if you check out the Launcher Pro, you will immediately find significant improvements over the TwLauncher. It comes with widgets, animated screen changes, fancy cube app launcher screen, a scrollable 15 app dock are amongst the nice eye candies with the Launcher Pro.

The cube animation for scrolling the Home Screens

These make the Galaxy S II a really neat piece of work. You can switch between LauncherPro and TwLauncher easily by pressing the Home button and selecting which Home Screen App you want. Alternatively, download Home Switcher from the Market. It will bring up a selection of Home Screens for your selection.

The cube animation for App launcher

2.  Ultimate Faves Pro

This complements Launcher Pro very nicely. The folders in Launcher Pro are not exciting at all. It is standard Windows folder view. Boring ho hum!

Now with Ultimate Faves Pro, we have an animated carousel of apps you can group and display to launch instead of the boring folders. It is really cool to pop up this app and scroll round at the middle of the screen. You can set up multiple carousels to group the apps and scroll up and down the carousels by a up and down swipe on the screen. Really neat!

It also comes with some standard carousels for immediate use like System Controls, Recent Tasks, Running Tasks as well as Running Processes. I find System Controls and Running Processes quite useful.

Exciting Ultimate Faves Pro Carousel of apps

3.  Screenshot

If you don’t know by now, it is impossible to install a screenshot app in an Android device unless you have the device “rooted“. This is similar to the iPhone “jailbreak“. If you root your Galaxy S II, your warranty will be voided.

Now, the best kept secret is that Samsung has built this in for the Galaxy S II. Once you are ready to do a screenshot, press the Home Button and Power Button simultaneously. I find that if I press the Home Button and very quickly press the Power Button and hold them for a second, the device will return a message stating that the screenshot is taken. That picture will be kept in a folder called ScreenCapture.

All the screenshots shown here are taken using the standard Samsung Galaxy S II function.

4.  Vibration Notifier

By now you will have realised that the Galaxy S II does not have any LED lights to notify any events when the screen is off. There is a method to use the Menu and Return key white backlight to light up for notification but that will require the device to be rooted and the kernel modified. What this means is that you don’t want to do it!

Go to the Android Market and download Vibration Notifier which will allow you to have vibration and/or beep notification even when the screen is off. However, you must not have the phone in SILENT mode else nothing will happen. SILENT means no beep and no vibration. The device must be audible or vibration set on. For notification of missed calls or SMS received, you can configure Vibration Notifier to notify once every minute for X number of times. The length of the vibration can also be set.

At least now there is a way to be notified of events when the screen is off and locked.

5.  Extended Controls

Apart from the controls that are standard in the pull down screen, this neat app called Extended Controls from the Market allows you to place a bunch of system controls on the Home Screen.

Now, you can have turn on your LED flash as your torchlight, lock your screen, turn on vibration, silent mode, rotate screen, flight mode control, etc. all customizable on your home screen.

I have managed to set up to 7 controls per panel of 1×4 on the Home Screen and multiple panels too.

6.  Advanced Task Killer

One of the biggest silent battery drainer is a bunch of processes that keep appearing in the memory even when you don’t want them to be there. Unknowing to you, many apps that  you happen to install but not actively using are active in memory and possibly use your data network too. It is important to kill these processes but there are those that are persistent who can wake itself up again after being killed.

Here comes the Advanced Task Killer who will wake up every now and then and kill off those apps you choose for it to kill so that they no longer drain your battery or use your network charges unknowingly. This app is available from the Market and there are a few good ones to choose from.

With these apps, your Galaxy S II can be even more fun. Of course there are more like Juice Defender Pro. I have my set of favorites but suffice to share with you this set of fine apps that you must consider to spruce your Galaxy S II.

Is there any downside to installing these apps? No! And will it will give you many good moments to show that you have a better device than an Apple iPhone 4.

Of course, leadership is not static. Apple won’t take this down lightly and by the end of September, Apple is likely to announce the iPhone5 or the likes using dual-core too.

Meanwhile, the weight of the Galaxy S II is fantastic and it is definitely THE leader in its class of Android devices, if not ahead of the iPhone4.

March 10, 2011

iPhone 4G: Hard Act To Follow


The real beauty of a phone

The real beauty of a phone

Apple introduced their fourth generation of PDA phones last year and the competition is still catching up.

In what can be termed as a quantum leap in PDA phone technology when Apple first launched their iPhone series, they have managed to continue their leadership by a mile, so to speak.

Here are a few outstanding features that are worth considering when looking for a new device like this one. I consider these compelling features. If they don’t excite you, then you may be better off getting something else.

    Retina Display – Apple continues to push the display envelop knowing far well that consumers eyes will be captivated by what they see. The WOW factor generated by this technology for the iPhone 4G gives the immediate allure to want to get one. You must see it to believe what I say.

    FaceTime – This is Apple’s answer to the Balckberry Messenger which is free to BB users. Apple also provide FT free and this is a video chat service between FT enabled devices which includes the latest iPod Touch and various MacBooks.

    Fun and Games – The iPhone 4G continues the legacy of providing endless entertaining moments. The Android apps are certainly catching up but Apple has the edge for a little while more. The ease of use to non-techies is just amazing as Apple adopted the intuitive interaction approach where everybody can use with no problem.

So if these do wow you, then you must get one.

(This is my first attempt using mobile WordPress. It’s so cool.)

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May 11, 2010

Gleanings of the new Apple iPad


The new Apple iPad has recently been made available unofficially in Malaysia.  In line with the Malaysia Boleh slogan, our friends in Low Yat have been parading the iPad for a few weeks now.  The iPad probably made its way to our shores not long after Apple launched it in the US.

A quick tour of this new and nifty device brings some euphoria of sorts.  Especially so when it is so new and it is here in Malaysia.

The immediate reaction when the iPad was taken out of the box was the elated WOW!  Apple sure knows how to make these devices and they did not disappoint.

If you have used the iPhone 3G or the iPod Touch, you will find that the iPad is very much in line with the look and feel of the exquisite and excellent designed device.  Apple knows what the people want.

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March 9, 2010

Between HTC, Google, Apple and Nokia


Recently, after using a number of cool and latest smart phone gadgets, it’s really time to share some insights to each of these devices.  Granted, the thoughts here are really my personal experiences but it should be fairly representative of these different classes of devices.

I hope you will find this useful as you consider spending some money on new and nifty devices.  I am comparing the HTC Touch Pro 2, HTC Hero, iPhone 3G and the N97.  They should be representative of their own classes of gadgets.

Enjoy!

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May 5, 2009

iPhone 3G: The Joy and Danger of Jailbreak (Part 1 of 2)


UPDATED: Posting on iPhone 4 here.

UPDATED: Read about the iPhone4 killer – Samsung Galaxy S II

In my previous posting, I had discouraged readers about jailbreaking the iPhone (or iPod Touch).   I have since received numerous requests to review the jailbreak iPhone and a kind soul has generously supplied me with a unit for my personal experience.

To the uninitiated, jailbreak is the term used to describe an iPhone which is locked to the telco and iTune Shop to free the owner to use other telcos and install applications from other than iTune Shop.  If you have such a need, you will have to jailbreak your iPhone (and that applies to iPod Touch as well).

In this first part of a two part segment, the first thing that you must do before you jailbreak your iPhone is to know how to restore it back to factory default settings using iTunes.  This is most important in case something happens to your iPhone which you least expect and affects the proper use of the device.

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May 3, 2009

iPhone 3G: The Hype and The Myth


After a while of being the proud user of an Apple iPhone 3G, I think that it is time for me to be very candid about using this cool baby of a device.  After all, I’ve written a few articles on this device before and this is not going to be the last.

Prior to this, I had the pleasure of using the Apple iPhone (2G version) and now a 16GB 3G version.  Essentially, the experience is the same although the 3G data gives a slightly better data transfer speed than its 2G brother.

To cut a long story short, this is my conclusion for those of you who are thinking of getting one.

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March 24, 2009

Maxis 3G iPhone Plan – Second Thoughts!


After a more queries into the new Maxis 3G iPhone plan as well as looking at various AP set prices, I have come to the following conclusions:

a)  get 8G model at RM2,300 – RM2,550 unlocked and do what you want with your data plan

b)  get 8G model on the 12-month RM250 commit plan

c)  get someone to pay for you

If you need the bigger brother 16GB, it’s going for RM2,600 – RM2,950 now.

Another thing, there is a penalty for early termination in the Maxis plan but they never tell you until you finally sign on the registration form.  I had a hard time getting the answer at the Maxis Center at KLCC.  It seems that the staff there were quite stumped with that question.  However, finally, the truth came out.

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March 24, 2009

3G iPhone now in Malaysia – Finally!


iphone-3gAfter many months of speculation if Apple was going to work with Maxis or Celcom, we now find Maxis offering this from today onwards.  This is official and who knows, maybe Celcom might be next but for now, Maxis it is!

The 3G iPhone plan is also interesting and I’ve also gone to the shops to check out the parallel imported AP set 3G iPhones.  Let’s see which options are worth it.

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November 5, 2008

HTC and Sony Ericsson Christmas Goodies


Updated: HTC had a launch on their new products on 6 November.  More to follow.

Oh it’s early November but Christmas decorations are already at Starbucks.  How fast did the year pass?  The HTC Viva was just released and we should be able to quickly see a few neat goodies from HTC.  These are the HTC Touch 3G, HTC Touch HD, Sony Ericsson X1 and a new extended battery for Diamond.

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