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Month: September 2014

Apple Announces New iPhones and the iWatch

Apple Announces New iPhones and the iWatch

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The iPhones

iPhone 6

Besides a completely new design the iPhone 6 gets a bum in screen-size, going from 4 inches to 4.7 inches and featuring a new “ion-strengthened” screen that curves over the edges.  The new design borrows heavily from Apple’s current iPad Air models with gently curved sides and an ultra-thin, 6.9mm frame. As with all phones these days, the power button’s been moved to the side for improved ergonomics.

The specs are as follows:

  • 1334×750 “Retina HD” display with a pixel density of 326ppi
  • A8 64-bit processor, and the M8 motion co-processor for improved motion tracking
  • 8MP camera with a new sensor and larger pixels
  • f2.2 lens with dual-LED flash
  • Digital image stabilisation
  • 1080p video at 30 or 60fps, and a slow motion mode capable of 120 or 240fps (undisclosed resolution).
  • LTE advanced
  • NFC with Apple Pay, a mobile wallet
  • TouchID

iPhone 6 Plus

And just as all those rumors said, Apple did launch a bigger iPhone.  And boy, they went all the way.  The iPhone 6 Plus as a massive 5.5″ display, putting it right up there with the Note 4 and other phablets. And did I mention it’s only 7.1mm thick?

The specs are as follows:

  • 1920×1080 “Retina HD” display with a pixel density of 414ppi
  • A8 64-bit processor, and the M8 motion co-processor for improved motion tracking
  • 8MP camera with a new sensor and larger pixels
  • f2.2 lens with dual-LED flash
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 1080p video at 30 or 60fps, and a slow motion mode capable of 120 or 240fps (undisclosed resolution).
  • LTE advanced
  • NFC with Apple Pay, a mobile wallet
  • TouchID

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The Apple Watch

Despite all the rumors nothing about this watch was leaked, and the product itself is impressive.  It’s not round, but features a square sapphire touchscreen display.  The front is void of any controls, but with pretty thich bezels.

Unlike any other smartwatch so far Apple has reinvented the crown.  Now called the digital crown, it seems to be primary mode of navigation, letting the user easily zoom in and out of Maps and scroll through lists with ease, without continuous (and messy) swiping. The screen can also distinguish between a tap and a press, adding another dimension to navigating the UI.  The watch allows allows voice input through integration with Siri, and has dedicated Maps and Photos apps. Fitness and Health apps also collect biometric data and fitness information, giving it an edge in the fitness tracker space. Finally, round the back, the watch has a heart rate sensor and custom inductive charging.

The watch comes in three finishes (silver, black, and gold) and come with 6 different straps with a custom mechanism for swapping them out.

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iOS

Reachability

Being able to reach every corner of the screen has always been a priority for Apple, and the iPhone 6 Plus’ massive display makes that pretty awkward.  Enter ‘reachability’: by touble-tapping the home button the entire screen will drop down, putting the furthest corners within reach.

Apple Pay

The biggest software reveal of the event, Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile wallet platform that could very possibly have the power to open the industry up to NFC payments.

Payments are done over NFC, with TouchID providing an extra layer of protection.  Credit cards are added by taking a photo of the card or by using credit cards on file with iTunes and your personal details are extremely abstracted from even Apple themselves, promising ultimate security.  If you lose your phone or if it gets stolen you can suspend the Apple Pay service on that device through Find My iPhone.

Widgets

As announced at WWDC, iOS 8 now has widgets that reside in the notification screen – but not on the homescreen.  One can respond to messages, bid on eBay, and more through the Notification Centre.

Siri

Besides integration with the Apple Watch, Siri is now always listening mode and can be activated with “Hey, Siri” in the same way Android users can activate Google Now by saying “Ok Google”.

TL;DR

Apple announced:

  • the iPhone 6 with an A8 chipset, 8MP camera, and 4.7″ display.  Only 6.9mm thick
  • the iPhone 6 Plus, their first phablet.  Has a 5.5″ display and shares many of its internals with the 6.  Only 7.1mm thick.
  • the Apple Watch, a square-faced smartwatch with a focus on fitness tracking and fitness
  • Apple Pay, a mobile wallet
Pebble Is Still King of the Hill

Pebble Is Still King of the Hill

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I woke up today expecting good news.  I thought I’d open my eyes, stretch, reach over to my tablet, load Facebook, and read through dozens of Moto 360 articles.  And I did.  And I died a little inside.

Crying IndianI don’t expect a smartwatch to last weeks or years, but it ought to be able to last a day and a night no matter how much I use it. My watch now dies before my phone does, and that’s unacceptable. – David Pierce, The Verge

Right.

Samsung doesn’t get the point, LG’s is bulky, and Asus’ is…interesting.  The Moto 360 was my last hope for smartwatches this year, and it kinda blew it.  I was really close to buying one, but I’ll be holding onto my Pebble Steel for the coming months.  Here’s why.

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Holy Moly! It’s the New Mazda MX-5!

Holy Moly! It’s the New Mazda MX-5!

003-2016-mazda-mx5-miata-1“This is the best cheap sportscar around.” If ever there was such a thing as automotive cliches, this would be the biggest and fattest cliche around. Mention the name MX-5 ,(or Miata, if you’re American. I’m not, so I’m sticking to its European name) and everyone knows. You may not get gasps of excitement, or be considered an automotive god, but you get the respect of every petrol head in the room. It is a car with a massive cult following. Some appreciate it, some would love to own one, others live and breathe them.

Mazda knows this, and each and every iteration of the MX-5 since the original has had an incremental design change and mechanical tweaks, to make the newer version better than the model that went before it, whilst at the same time maintaining the character of the original.

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So what is new here? Well, first is the design. It is following Mazda’s current design language, known simply as KODO. What is KODO? Well, according to the Mazda website,  it is “the muscular beauty one sees when an animal pounces”. Quite.

Basically, for us normal folk who don’t have a degree in Japanese art, their designs are meant to be more muscular and more aggressive looking than previous Mazdas. Their cars also have this new signature grille, which was first revealed on the Mazda6 in 2012, which further adds to the aggressive aesthetic.

On the MX-5, Mazda’s designers have mixed the principles from the KODO design language with the raw simplicity of the original MX-5 to produce a car which, to my eyes at least, is quite the looker. It is 10mm wider than the car it replace  but is 105mm shorter than before too. It has also shed 100 kg off the previous model’s weight.

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Engines will either be a 1.5 l producing 140bhp or a 2.0 producing 180bhp. Not a massive amount of power, but remember it is very light, and it has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. I think I would still go for the 2.0 l though, because you know, POWER.

Inside, things have taken a monumental leap forward. The previous generation car had an interior reminiscent of a Casio calculator. This one is more minimalist, and with the right colour leather, classier. All the buttons have been removed and in their place is a large screen controlled with a rotary knob near the handbrake. Behind the rather lovely steering wheel are 3 conventional dials, which are clear and easy to read.

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Looking for a fun little roadster? Look no further.

 

 

Images From www.autoblog.com

 

 

 

Moto 360 vs LG G Watch R

Moto 360 vs LG G Watch R

Moto 360 vs G Watch RIt was only a matter of time before OEMs put away their drab black rectangles and finally turned to meet Motorola head on.  LG’s taken the first shot with the G Watch R, leaking, announcing, then revealing specs all within a week as though their pants were on fire. We don’t know all that much about either, and none of them have hit the shelves yet, but how about a quick comparison?

Aesthetics

Arguably the most important aspect of a watch, after battery life, is how it looks.  A truly dependable and wearable watch must be able to blend in with the rest of your outfit and accessories (unless you’re a rapper).  Yet it must be unique enough to stand out just a tad.  The Moto 360 wowed enthusiasts immediately, but the G Watch was bland and boring.

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Pro Tip: Search For Images to Send Through Facebook Messenger App

Pro Tip: Search For Images to Send Through Facebook Messenger App

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation on Facebook Messenger and thought the perfect response would be a particular meme?

I have, and here’s what I’d do:  leave Facebook Messenger, open Chrome/open Google Search, search for the meme I want in Google Images, save it, then open Facebook Messenger, choose to upload an image, then look for the image in my Downloads folder – if it was there.  It’s cumbersome, time consuming, and by the time you’ve actually got the image the time for it has probably passed.

The Tip

Pro Tip Facebook Messenger Image Search

Save a lot of time and effort by searching for the image through the Facebook Messenger app itself.  Hit the Menu button in the top right, then hit ‘Image Search’, and search!  The search is powered by Bing, but has been pretty effective for me so far.