Archive for the ‘Tech Info’ Category

HTC One Mini Announced With 4.3-Inch Display

Friday, July 19th, 2013
Looking to cater to those users that prefer smartphones with smaller screens, Taiwanese handset maker HTC today unveiled the HTC One Mini with a smaller 4.3-inch display. The rival Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini also packs a 4.3-inch screen, while the flagship HTC One has a 4.7-inch display.

HTC One MiniOther hardware specifications for the HTC One Mini include a 1.4 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, HP 484170-001 Extended Life Battery, LTE connectivity and the infamous HTC UltraPixel camera. While these tradeoffs and the lack of NFC are present, HTC still believes it is a “no compromise” experience.

Android handset makers continue to release a myriad of smartphones with various features and price points, with the goal of targeting as many consumers as possible. Samsung has led this initiative with the Galaxy S4 and its S4 Mini, S4 Zoom, S4 Active and Google Edition running stock Android Jelly Bean.

HTC One Android Smartphone Software Update Rolling out in Europe

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

HTC released the latest update for their flagship smartphone, HTC One featuring camera, audio, and HDR improvements. Despite the competition with Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z, HTC continues to devote innovation to their devices.

Owners of the international version of the HTC One are reporting that an OTA update is currently being pushed to devices in Europe. The new software version is 1.29.401.12, which makes improvements to the phone’s camera, audio, and system stability, among other things.

The update is still large for these changes, sizing up to 200MB on your device and currently being pushed to devices in Europe. Owners can select the system update in the Settings menu containing all the information regarding the upgrade and option for later download. Make sure to create a backup file for safety reasons.

United States and the United Kingdom owners of HTC One are not yet confirmed if this update will reach their devices anytime soon. No word yet from U.S. network carriers of having the same update code with the European model.

Galaxy S4 Style Mobile Phone Dual Sim Quad Core

Galaxy S4 Style Dual Sim Quad Core

HTC Zoe gets sound quality improvements, and the camera gets ‘parameter fine-tuning.’ The Beats Audio ‘sound experience’ has been improved, and the HTC One gets location service updates. System stability and miscellaneous improvements, along with bug fixes, round out this software update.

Sprint is accepting online pre-orders for HTC One now

Monday, April 8th, 2013

HTC One Smartphone Available for Online Pre-Order from Sprint Now

Sprint is set to release the HTC One on April 19, but starting today the company is accepting online pre-orders for the device.

HTC One SprintUsers interested in getting their hands on HTC’s newest handset can order the device on Sprint’s website. The Sprint HTC One starts at $200 up-front with a two-year plan, but the carrier is offering a promotion for new lines to receive the handset for $100 with the “bring your own number” discount. The upfront price (without contract) is listed at $550, although the MOBILE PHONE DUAL SIM is not available for pre-order without contract.

Wirefly is also offering the Sprint HTC One for $150, which is $50 cheaper than the Sprint offer.

AT&T is also offering the handset the same day as Sprint. T-Mobile is expected to offer the handset at a later date, while Verizon has decided to pass on the handset.

About Sprint HTC One Hardware

The HTC One will offer a 4.7-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The device will be powered by a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and run on Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), along with HTC Sense UI 5. The new flagship smartphone will also offer additional key features including 4MP rear-facing camera, Blink Feed, and HTC Zoe imaging software.

Amazing Gadgets for 21 Century Life

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Strange to think isn’t it that a mere fifteen years ago, technology was nowhere near as well advanced as it is today. Many modern devices simply didn’t exist or if they did, they were underdeveloped concepts and ideas yet to see the light of day.

Yet here we are in the twenty first century with some items that we probably only ever expected to see in sci-fi shows. While teleportation and time travel may well be vastly out of reach if possible at all, we still have some amazing gadgets that truly define our technological tastes in the early part of this century. Here are five top gadgets that are seemingly essential to twenty first century life.

062712-NEXUS-TABLET-004edit

1.      A Smartphone

Whether you favour Apple or Android, the chances are that you have one of these nifty little devices tucked away in your pocket. The mobile phone has evolved from a huge, monochrome device to an all singing, all dancing, smooth and sleek smartphone.

Packing more memory and hard drive space than most people’s computers back in the good old 1990s, the smartphone can be used to do practically anything. Whether you want to record the latest TV shows, switch out the lights in your home or check your pulse – there is an app to do pretty much everything you want.

Smaller than a paperback book and potentially smarter the smartphone is the top device on most people’s list of essentials.

2.      A Laptop or Macbook

Again, if you prefer an Apple product or are not fussy, laptops are immensely useful not only for work but their portability means that you can do just about anything online – no matter where you are.

You can sit in a cafe and type your latest screenplay or sit in the park writing an essay or if you wanted to sell your macbook and buy yourself another piece of technology; you can do all of this and more using online recycling sites like Music Magpie.

3G Tablet Android
Tablet Android 3g

3.      Tablet PCs or iPad

Even more portable is the tablet PC or iPad. Harking back to the statement about sci-fi devices; in the 1990s we watched films where people ran their fingers over touch screen devices and smiled fondly. It was the stuff of dreams.

Well, now this particular dream has become a reality and you can scarcely move around on a train or bus without seeing passengers laughing at the latest comedy shows or preparing an important presentation. The tablet PC has come on leaps and bounds and the most exciting thing is wondering what is going to come next.

4.      3D TV

Years ago, 3D films meant donning a pair of ridiculous looking glasses and while the glasses may have changed a little, 3D images have changed a great deal more. At the cinema or even in your very own home, 3D films are a true delight to behold.

Nintendo 3D Console
Nintendo 3d

5.      HD Games console

A far cry from the heady days of Space Invaders and Pacman, today’s games consoles are packed not only with dazzling graphics but with components such as the Kinect and the Wii remote so you can get involved physically, leading to a truly interactive experience.

Bulk buy Surface RT and Pro tablets from Microsoft available now

Monday, March 25th, 2013
Microsoft’s new commercial website can only be accessed by employees, partners and volume licensing customers
Microsoft has launched a new website for volume licensing customers to bulk buy its Surface RT and Pro tablets.

The commercial website, which was first spotted by Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet, can be accessed by Microsoft customers with volume license agreements as well as Microsoft partners and employees.

It enables volume licensing customers to purchase Surface RT and Pro tablets as well as accessories and extended support plans, such as third-party warranties.

Businesses without a volume licensing agreement will also be able to order multiple Surface tablets, even though Microsoft has hinted that processing any deals may take longer.

“Lead times for delivery and order requirements may vary depending on inventory,” it reads on the website’s Commercial Order page. “If you do not currently have a volume licensing agreement with Microsoft, there may be additional processing time to setup account and credit terms.”

What with recent estimates putting Surface sales at just 1.5 million units and with slow Windows 8 growth expected up to 2017, this is good news for Microsoft and marks its latest attempt to do battle with Apple.

Apple is the market leader when it comes to tablets in enterprise and although it doesn’t have a progam of its own for bulk buying iPads, it does offer the volume purchase program for rolling out paid and free apps into business.

what you need to know to get started with Google Keep

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Get started with Google’s new note-taking app Keep

Google just made an announcement introducing Keep, its new note-taking service. Keep is currently available for devices running Android 4.0.3 and up, or through the Google Drive Web site. Notes will automatically sync between the Web site and the Android app.

After installing the Android app you’ll be prompted to select the Google account you want to use with Keep. Once that’s done, you can begin keeping notes. There are four different methods you can use to enter a note:

  • A quick note directly from the text box on the initial screen.
  • Add a checklist by tapping on the check mark icon.
  • Create a voice memo by tapping on the microphone. All memos are instantly transcribed, keeping both the audio and text in the note.
  • Add a photo as a note by tapping on the camera.

At any time you can add a checklist to an existing note by tapping on the menu button and selecting “Show Checkboxes.”

While viewing a note you’ll be able to assign it a color by tapping on the color palette at the top of the screen. The colors will come in handy when trying to organize your notes, but as it stands now, you have to change the color manually for each note. It would be nice if you could create categories and automatically assign colors based on those categories.

You can also add a photo to any existing note by tapping on the camera along the top of the screen. Any photo you add has to be taken at the time you add it; you can’t add previously snapped photos from your Gallery.

Once you’re done with a note you can archive it by swiping in either direction across the note.

To rearrange notes you simply tap and hold on a note and drag it to where you want it. You can change the layout between multicolumn and single-column view through the menu.

There are two widgets included with the app. The first widget will place a shortcut bar to create notes with, and will let you scroll through your existing notes directly from your home screen. The second widget is only a shortcut bar. Should you be using an Android device running Android 4.2 or later, you’ll be able to add either widget to your lock screen for quick access to your Keep entries.

The Google Drive page for Keep is pretty straightforward and mirrors the basic functionality of the Android app. You can add, edit, archive, and delete your notes with just a few clicks.

The combination of various note types is nice; a checklist for shopping, photos to help you remember something, and voice notes for when you can’t type a long note. But if I’m supposed to be adding reminders to the app, then why can’t I set alarms for reminders? There’s some work to be done still with Keep before it’s going to replace other task management and note-taking apps.

Zoes and Video Highlights: HTC One Smartphone

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Two of the most important features on the HTC One are also two of the most confusing

HTC ZoeOne of the most important — and impressive — features of the HTC One is, of course, the camera. We’re not going to dive into the whole “UltraPixel” thing here, nor is this a review of camera quality. We’ll worry about how the sausage is made later. Right now it’s time to learn a few important terms when it comes to the HTC One camera.

When it comes to the new features in the HTC One Camera, you’ll be hearing a lot about Zoes (pronounced zoh-ee, as in Zoetrope) and Video Highlights. Zoes can stand on their own, or they can be part of a Video Highlight.

Following is a walkthrough of what a Zoe is compared to a Video Highlight, what you can do with them, and how you can share them.

Nokia Lumia 920 vs HTC One vs iPhone 5 vs Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S4

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 might look much the same as last year’s Galaxy S3, but it’s packing a whole host of updates to keep all you Galaxy-gazers happy.

To see how it stacks up against the competition, I pit its specs against the iPhone 5, the new HTC One, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Google Nexus 4. It’s a brief comparison for now, but bookmark this page and check back soon for a full, exhaustive test once we’ve given it the review treatment.

Galaxy S4Design

The S4’s design is perhaps the most unremarkable aspect of the new phone. It hasn’t been updated much from the S3’s look, which isn’t likely to please those of you who scorned Apple for being similarly unambitious with the iPhone 5.

Crucially, it keeps the plastic construction — something of a contentious point for those who argued the S3 felt cheap. Both the iPhone 5 and HTC One use metal chassis, which feel very classy to hold and quite a lot more sturdy. The Lumia 920 uses a solid polycarbonate frame — a kind of upmarket single piece of plastic — which again feels more solid than the S3 did.

On the flipside, the plastic frame of the S3 made it very lightweight and the S4 is marginally lighter still. The S4 might be the better option if weight is an issue for you. At 7.9mm thick, it’s slimmer than the S3, Galaxy S3 MIni too and considerably more svelte than the comparatively chubby Lumia 920 and Nexus 4.

The single home button remains intact at the bottom on the front, a feature that prevails on the iPhone as well. The 920, Nexus 4 and HTC One all use touch-sensitive navigation buttons instead.

Screen

Samsung has upped the screen size to a palm-stretching 5 inches, up from the 4.8 inches of the S3. It’s only a tiny bit extra, so I doubt you’ll notice the difference. The Nexus 4 and HTC One both have 4.7-inch displays, while the iPhone 5 brings up the rear with a much more modest 4 inches. If you want screen real estate to watch video, the S4 is the one for you — so long as you have huge hands.

It’s got a Full HD resolution, which is only rivalled in this roundup by the HTC One. The One is slightly smaller though, so its screen will be marginally sharper as it’s packing in the same pixels into a smaller space. I almost guarantee you won’t be able to tell the difference though.

Software

Samsung has bundled its new blower with a handful of new software treats too. Its ChatOn messaging service now supports three-way video calling as well as screen sharing — something we’ve seen before on the new BlackBerry Z10. You’ll also get built-in translation tools for those times when you need to send a crucial email to your German buddy.

There’s also a load of gesture-based controls too. Waving your hand over the screen lets you do things like skip songs, scroll through Web pages and answer calls. Waving your hand over any of the other phones will just make you look like a fool. We’ll have to go hands-on (or hands near) with the phone to see whether this feature is any use in everyday life.

The S4 is running on the latest version of Android, known as 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It features Google Now, Photo Sphere, built-in photo editing and a host of other treats. The HTC One uses 4.1 Jelly Bean, so you’ll be missing out on Photo Sphere, but everything else is much the same. As a reference device for new Android versions, the Nexus 4 already boasts the latest software and will be among the first to receive the next update, to Key Lime Pie. The others will likely have to wait quite a while.

Camera

Around the back of the S4 is a 13-megapixel camera, the highest number of megapixels offered by any camera in this group. The Lumia 920, Nexus 4 and iPhone 5 all have 8-megapixel snappers while the HTC One has a rather low 4 megapixels. Numbers aren’t everything though, as HTC claim its pixels are bigger and therefore better. It didn’t impress me much in my review though.

I9300 Galaxy S3 Style Cellualri Dual Sim Android
I9300 Galaxy S3 Style Dual Sim Android

The S3’s camera was good, but didn’t match the iPhone 5’s in terms of colour depth and HDR prowess. We’ll have to wait and see if Samsung has managed to up the image quality as well as the pixel count.

To help tip the scales, it’s loaded up the camera with a host of features. Drama Shot combines an action moment into one frame — exactly the same thing as we’ve just seen on the HTC One — while Cinema Photo allows you to selectively animate one portion of a scene to create a looping gif. Again, that’s lifted straight out of the Lumia 920 and can be done with the Cinemagram app on iPhone 5.

There are a bunch of other little additions too, along with the usual selection of scene modes. It’s good that Samsung has whacked in some camera goodies, but it doesn’t seem to be bringing anything new to the table that you can’t find on the other cameras. If it wants to show off its photography skills, it’s going to need to capture some great shots without relying on gimmicks.

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Outlook

The one area the S4 really stands out above the competition is its eight-core processor. It’s likely to be phenomenally powerful, but whether that power really makes it a better phone than the rest remains to be seen.

Its software tricks and its camera additions are sure to keep Galaxy fans happy for a little while, but it’s disappointing not to see Samsung play with a metal design, especially as swanky metals are in place on two of its main competitors.

Samsung Galaxy S4 improves on Apple Retina display

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 boasts hand gestures, improves on Apple Retina display

Samsung detailed the Galaxy S4 at a New York press event on Thursday, highlighting a range of new features for the flagship Android smartphone.

Click to view larger image

The Samsung S4 will support offline Group Play, is operable with hand gestures, and boasts a display that will deliver greater clarity than Apple’s retina display.

The 4G LTE phone supports WiFi and BlueTooth, has a 13 megapixel front camera and 2 megapixel rear, and is equipped with an infrared Lampadine LED. It contains 2GB of DDR3 RAM.

The phone is slimmer than its predecessors, though director of product marketing at Samsung Ryan Bidan claims it is “stronger”. The S4 is 136.mm long and 68.mm wide, with a 5-inch, 441 ppi HD screen.

Other features include a nine language translator, an array of video and photo features, and Group Play, which will “support multi-user games”, though these features were not elaborated on.

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Meanwhile, the system will carry its own first-party controller, which bears a resemblance to the first-generation Xbox 360 control pads.

Image: Engadget

The smartphone was revealed at an extravagant New York unveiling, and is expected to release by June. The Android phone will be available in 16, 32 and 64 gigabyte versions. Samsung has sold more than 40 million Galaxy S3 units since its release in May 2012.

ASUS Padfone 2 now available on Vodafone in UK

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Back in Barcelona alongside the Padfone Infinity announcement, we also learned that its predecessor, the Padfone 2, would finally be launching on UK shores. The phone/tablet combination officially launched in the UK on March 1, and now it has become available subsidized on a new 2-year contract at Carphone Warehouse. Android Central

Best of all, the Padfone 2 can be had for free on contracts from £33 per month. All deals are being offered on the Vodafone network, but considering what you get hardware wise it’s not a particularly bad deal. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the forthcoming Padfone Infinity, the Padfone 2 is no slouch. With a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM and a Super IPS+ HD display, it still packs some impressive hardware specs. And, since the tablet portion is also included, it’s pretty decent value for money too.