Posts tagged ‘apple’

January 18, 2015

Smartphones Continue Growth into 2015


The Christmas season has seen a very interesting period of launches by some of the major smartphone vendors in the world. The likes of Apple and Samsung, both world leaders today in their own right, have brought out formidable devices that define a new standard in technology for 2014. These devices present a taste of what 2015 will bring to our markets. Hot behind their heels come a slew of China manufacturers who are coming of age. Their mature offering now redefines a standard of quality and innovation not usually associated with Chinese brands. Indeed, 2015 will definitely bring greater expectations to the hearts of consumers around the world.


Apple has managed to regain world dominance by introducing the new line of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The larger screen sizes are the result of listening to Apple users who wanted larger screens similar to the trend set by Samsung and others in the Android world. In fact, Apple sold more devices in the first few days to break their previous record speaks volumes for the fruit company. Its following of ardent consumers have returned to Apple’s fold, something that was of concern to the company in recent months. Perhaps, Apple had to be pushed back by Samsung in order to dig deep to regain dominance in style and form. By this time, we canall see that Apple is back in the game, stronger than ever, including the China and Korea markets. They listened to market feedback, gave the consumers something to be proud of as an owner of an Apple iPhone and infused technology innovation that Apple has been known by.


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July 1, 2013

Gadgets and Devices to Watch For in 2013


2013 is surely a year where there are major product launches. And these new devices and gadgets are also milestone products and worthy of serious consideration if you are looking for an upgrade to your own stable.

For gamers, prepare for the fight of the year where Sony and Microsoft will be launching new flagship products in their Playstation 4 and Xbox One respectively this coming Christmas.

For gadgets and devices geeks and enthusiasts, you will be spoilt for choices like never before. Worthy of consideration is Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra which is pushing the phone/tablet or phablet to a beautiful 6.4-inch display packed with the best Sony can offer.

For notebooks or tablets (noteblets?) which will be in a hybrid design now, 2013 will bring you the best of both worlds from Samsung in their Ativ Q and Apple in a speculated MacBook Pro refresh.

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January 23, 2013

Gadgets to watch out for in the coming months


I have been keenly watching the development of a few key industry players making further breakthroughs in the fast growing smart gadget marketplace. Allow me to share some thoughts on a few of these devices to watch out for and much information is based on rumors around the Internet and the analysis of technology trends.

I am particularly impressed with Samsung’s Galaxy line of smart phones. The one I look forward to is the Galaxy S4 which Samsung official’s say will be announced soon. This much touted device is expected to have a larger screen than the S3 but the anticipation of a thinner and lighter technology for AMOLED is expected to be incorporated which does not use glass. Samsung has gone far in their R&D in this area, even to the point of developing prototype foldable screens which we can expect in future Galaxy S series.

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September 14, 2012

iPhone 5 is finally announced


20120914-123359.jpg

Apple has finally announced the iPhone 5. After much awaiting from last year, the baby is here. Singapore will receive it come September 21. There is much cheer and a lot more skepticism this time round. Here’s a quick round up on this smart phone leader.

The iPhone 5 now spots a lengthened body giving a full 4-inch retina display. There is now 5 rows for icons instead of the previous 4 rows.

On a cursory glance, the looks remain very much similar but not identical to the iPhone 4S. The general shape is similar and the aluminium-glass construction gives it the classy feel. Reports by people who handled the phone tells us that the wow factor is the “weight-less-ness” of iPhone 5. While looking bigger, it actually weighs less, a whopping 20% less than the iPhone 4S. It should give us the same wow feeling when Samsung Galaxy S2 came out that the lack of weight just blew our socks off.

Then comes the intrinsic power. It is now packed with an A6 chip which runs even faster with a faster graphics processor than the A5. Which means that the iPhone 5 just zips through the screen changes faster and smoother than the iPhone 4S. But nobody actually complained that the iPhone 4S was slow. Composing a 360 shot shows an unparallel speed in stitching up the multiple frames.

Then comes the surprises.

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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.

April 4, 2011

SE Xperia Arc – a worthy iPhone4 challenger!


If you are looking for a new and nifty PDA phone that is comparable to the Apple iPhone4, look no further. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is all set to pose a serious challenge to Apple iPhone4.

I’ve been on the PDA phone scene since the beginning of such devices from the Palm Treo days through the O2 xda family then the HTC. Now every serious phone manufacturer must compete else they will be set by the wayside.

Thanks to Apple, they certainly know how to legitimize the PDA phone market by whizzing past all competitors by a mile when they first came out in 2007.

For the first time since the Apple iPhone was launched, I can safely say that our wait is finally over and now we have the formidable iPhone challenger in the SE Xperia Arc.

(For the full specs, please check out here).

Here are some key highlights that is worth mentioning:

1. 4.2″ 16M color Reality Display 854 x 480 resolution

Although the iPhone4 has a smaller 3.5″ 960 x 640 resolution with Retina Display (the Arc has the Reality Display), there is little difference in visual quality. SE touts the Bravia Engine enhancing display which is found in their LED TVs today.

The display of the Arc will give an exciting first glance attraction with impressive real life visuals.

A larger than iPhone4 display allows the Arc to be easier visual for the eye for video, games, ebooks and Internet browsing.

2. Sleek Streamline Slim Body

SE has departed from the basic Windows PDA phone format popularize by HTC. Although the Nexus and the first Xperia X1 were made by HTC, this little baby of the Arc has probably found a new constructor.

Whoever that may be, the quality that comes with SE phones has gone up a notch with the Arc.

The way the Arc can contain a 1500 mAh in that sleek body is truly an amazing engineering feat.

3. Highly Responsive 1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon

The Xperia Arc has a very responsive user interface. Watch the demo on YouTube here http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Ds0G9LgFarsU&sa=U&ei=1Z2YTe7bGKL50gHXuaSOBg&ved=0CAsQtwIwAA&usg=AFQjCNEbulwxe2Kf3g0WGWU1Cwba1CDArg.

The Arc has truly matched the iPhone4.

4. 8MP Camera with 720p video capability

As HD is now the video standard, the Arc ensures that it meets the industry standard. It comes with an HDMI port for video and sound output to your LED Bravia TV.

Not forgetting the 1.3M front camera, the Arc has more than adequate high quality photography fun combined with the Reality Display.

Cons

This is hard to say because there isn’t any major flaws. Some may find the device a bit big but the sleek slim design makes it easier to hold and store in the bag or pocket.

Otherwise, there is no real down side to the Arc. The Android 2.3 is perhaps the best version to date from Google with all the kinks worked out already. All the important components are at the industry best. A worthy opponent to the iPhone4.

Sony Ericsson is targeting the Malaysia launch in April timeframe at a great price of RM2,099.

Watch for this iPhone4 worthy CHALLENGER.

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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January 7, 2010

Hello World – The Nexus One


Google announced the Nexus One smartphone that is branded by the company.  It is manufactured by the world’s leading manufacturer of smartphones – HTC.  The device will surely be superior in form, quality and stability than other Android-based devices from other manufacturers as HTC knows how to build them.

As the US got excited and hearing Google making it available as unlocked sets as well, there seems to be quite an excitement stirred around the world.

As for Malaysia, we will have to wait but not too long.  The unofficial sets will make their way to our shores soon enough.

The specifications for this little beauty of a competitor to the Apple iPhone is found here.

I feel that Google is making definite and clear strides to positioning a worthy iPhone competitor in the Nexus One.  All the specifications are there.  Just that the applications available on the Android platform is way behind both the iPhone and Windows Mobile.

Once you take a closer look at the Nexus One, you will see that HTC is custom building a Hero/Touch HD2-like PDA phone for Google.  HTC’s experience in making Windows Mobile PDA phones like their latest Touch HD2 will come in very handy to provide the quantum leap for Google to catch up with Apple.

In the Nexus One, I believe HTC is making a version of their Touch HD2 to run on Android instead of Windows Mobile.  All of the Nexus One specifications are already found in the Touch HD2.  These include the GPS, touch screen, 4GB micro SD, 512MB RAM and ROM, etc. which are Windows Mobile standards.

So making Android run on this should not be too difficult since they own the design and can adapt it easily in their state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Taipei.

This is good business for HTC as their Q4 revenues dropped by 30%.  This will surely provide a long term stable revenue stream for HTC in the forseeable future if Google has the might and clout to fight against the Apple iPhone and the rumored upcoming iPhone 4G.

For now, let’s see how the Nexus One will fare.  The price seems to be a good buy at below RM1,800.  I think the price will be closer to RM2,400 after it officially arrives here sometime later this year.  By which time, HTC will probably have a Touch HD3 out with features better than the Nexus One but running on Windows Mobile.

Good luck to the Nexus One!  Kudos, Google, for your courage to step up to Apple.

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