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Posts Tagged ‘ ios ’

The techs to watch in 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012

ChipmakingWith the January sales looming, you might be wondering whether it’s time to grab a bargain, or whether you should  hold out a little longer and see what technologies the new year brings. I’ve been closely watching the industry in 2012, and keeping track of announcements for the coming year – and below you’ll find my predictions of what’s going to happen in various areas of technology in 2013.

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Apple iPhone 5 review: first look

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Apple iPhone 5

As is now customary, the internet was smoking hot with guff and nonsense this week, to the point where even the mainstream press was joining in. Thank heavens it can all stop now (at least until the next time), as the iPhone 5 is officially here, and we were at the London launch to get our hands on a brand new sample.

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Android fans: pay for your apps, please

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Android PirateThe Football Manager series is one of the world’s most popular gaming franchises, and no-one could deny that its iOS version has been a success. The recently released Android version, though, isn’t doing quite as well, with studio boss Miles Jacobson claiming that, at last count, the piracy rate for his game was at 5:1 in favour of illegally acquired copies. (more…)

Spotify: what’s gone wrong with your mobile apps?

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

spotifyI’m a massive fan of Spotify and gladly pay my monthly £10 to access music on my mobile, but I can’t be alone in despairing every time I open up the app on my Android phone.

Take a look at the desktop software: a range of apps, handy for discovering new music, the radio, and easy access to thousands of public playlists.

The mobile app – at least on Android and iPhone – seems stagnant. I’ve been using Spotify for about a year, and I can’t remember the last time a useful feature was implemented during an update. Instead, it’s easy to put together a list of stuff it’s missing. Those three features I listed in the second paragraph, for instance.

Other omissions are more basic. Take the starred list: on desktop, like virtually every media playback application in existence, I can organise by a number of factors, including the name of the track, the artist, when the song was added and the track’s length. On mobile, meanwhile, the list is presented in the order in which it was made, with no other options available. (more…)

Google must get a grip on the Android orphans

Friday, October 28th, 2011

HTC Tattoo

We may have griped about the problems we had upgrading our iPhones to iOS 5, but at least those old handsets are being upgraded to Apple’s latest OS. A new piece of research published in the US suggests the majority of Android handset owners are being left behind by the ever-evolving Google operating system.

The research, by Michael DeGusta from TheUnderstatement.com, tracked every Android handset released in the US before July 2010, and then recorded how many of them had been updated to the latest version of the OS. The results were startling.

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Photoshop-style Content-Aware Fill, for free, on your phone

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

We’ve covered Adobe Photoshop CS5’s stunning Content-Aware Fill feature on the blog before, as it’s an undoubted head-turner: the ability to draw around an unwanted object in your photo and, with a bit of tech trickery, watch it disappear, with the gap filled by the app’s best guess as to what should be there instead.

That’s the kind of feature you expect to find on paid-for software such as Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop Elements, but there’s an app that’ll do the same thing for free on Android and iOS devices – TouchRetouch. Here’s how it’s worked its magic on one of my holiday snaps, with a couple of inconveniently-placed tourists removed from in front of this Cretan ruin:

Before 1 (more…)

Apple: IP protectors or patent trolls?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1Apple’s recent behaviour has been understandably overshadowed by Steve Jobs’ resignation, but it’s been on the warpath over the past few weeks – with Samsung in Cupertino’s crosshairs.

Apple’s already tried, and failed, to have the Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned, and new documents reveal that Apple’s now gone through the Dutch courts to get the rest of Samsung’s Galaxy family pulled from the shelves.

The problem? Patents. Apple already has one that seemingly prohibits competitors from producing rectangular computers, and its latest IP claim is just as vague, concerning the mere act of scrolling through pictures on touchscreens. It’s so vague, in fact, that Apple has been accused of manipulating images to make Samsung’s devices appear more like Cupertino’s kit than they really are. (more…)

Smartphone crapware: worse than laptops?

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini ProA couple of years ago I holed myself up in the PC Pro Labs with some new laptops to see what impact their pre-installed software — known as crapware, bloatware and shovelware — had on performance.

The results proved shocking but, when it comes down to it, that software is pretty easy to deal with it’s just a matter of uninstalling everything and, if you’re really particular, running an app like CCleaner to get your Registry back to its fighting weight.

Not so with smartphones. On Friday, I eased the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro from its box, turned it on, and was greeted with a message urging me to set up McAfee WaveSecure before I’d even set up the phone with my Google account. (more…)

Is Apple planning to kill off Mac OS X?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

OS X Lion

As Gerald Ratner will testify, standing on stage and panning your own products isn’t a particularly effective sales strategy. Yet when Steve Jobs announced last night that he was “going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device”, it wasn’t a million miles away from the “total crap” quip that cost Ratner his job and, very nearly, his company.

Does Apple really want or even need full-fat Mac OS X? The evidence increasingly suggests not. In four short years, iOS has acquired a 16.8% share of the smartphone market, according to Gartner: almost double the 9.3% market share Apple’s spent 10 years building with Mac OS X.  On tablets, iOS and the iPad accounted for 80% of all sales in the first quarter of 2011, according to Context. iOS is mainstream: Mac OS X isn’t and likely never will be.

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer review: first look

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

It seems like every reputable tech company – and some not so reputable clothing chains – are leaping onto the tablet bandwagon at the moment, but at least Asus is trying something different with its latest tablet.
It’s dubbed the Transformer, which should give some clue as to its function: while the bulk of the machine is a 10.1in Android 3.0 slate, it’s also available with a keyboard – attach the two together, and you’re able to fold the whole package up like a netbook.
As befits an Android 3.0 machine with an Nvidia Tegra, the Transformer felt incredibly slick, with no hint of stuttering as we navigated its five homescreens, web browser and desktop widgets.
The hardware itself felt extremely nice, too: the tablet is solid, its IPS panel – with a native resolution of 1,280 x 800 – appeared bright but not oversaturated, and the keyboard seemed responsive. Asus claims that, when docked, the Transformer will provide 16 hours of battery life.
Asus has loaded the machine with a handful of its own apps, too, but we’re not yet convinced – MyNet looks like a handy WiFi management tool, but MyCloud’s unlimited web storage comes with quite a hefty catch – it’s free for a year, but Asus doesn’t yet know what it’ll do after that period has expired, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they started charging.
Asus has also fallen into the trap of pre-loading the Transformer with its own app store – dubbed @vibe – and, while the firm confirmed to us that its offerings will be tailored to the UK, all it currently provided was basic music and radio playback tools. Luckily, the Android Market is also accessible.
The Transformer is available in 16GB and 32GB versions, with the former costing £379 inc VAT and the latter priced at £429 inc VAT, although Asus promised us that special bundles will be available if you’re buying the keyboard at the same time.
We’ll have a full review of this exciting product next week, so keep checking the site to see if Asus’ latest tablet can transform this fast-moving market.

DSC00835It seems like every reputable tech company – and some technologically challenged clothing chains – are leaping onto the tablet bandwagon, but at least Asus is trying something different with its latest addition.

It’s dubbed the Transformer, which should give some clue as to its function: while the bulk of the machine is a 10.1in Android 3.0 slate, it’s also available with a keyboard – attach the two together, and you’re able to fold the whole package up like a netbook.

As befits an Android 3.0 machine with an Nvidia Tegra 2 chip, the Transformer felt slick, with no hint of stuttering as we navigated its five homescreens, web browser and desktop widgets.

The hardware itself felt nice, too: the tablet is solid, its IPS panel – with a native resolution of 1,280 x 800 – appeared bright but not oversaturated, and the keyboard seemed responsive. Asus claims that, when docked, the Transformer will provide 16 hours of battery life. (more…)

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