iPhone 5 released but…..

apple logoThe new incarnation of the iPhone, the iPhone 5 has been shown to the press and public, but does it have the “wow” factor? I have been reading some articles and the tech specs of the new device and for me personally it does not have anything that would make me rush out and buy one.

The main change is in the USB connection that is much smaller than the current one, this means you will need to purchase a “Lightening” adapter at £18 to allow you to connect any 3rd party hardware you have, such as speakers.

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“The device’s new size allows it to display an extra row of app icons on its home screen.

The firm said it was 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. However, it does not feature an NFC (near field communication) chip to allow it to make touchless payments”

More from the article at BBC Technology News HERE

Now there will be many buyers for the new iPhone as Apple do have a core client base that will buy anything they release, I know some devote Apple users who have iPhones original,  2, 3, 3GS, 4 and 4GS, similar with iPad. While its not wrong its a personal choice and I do this myself in sticking with new releases of Window OS, but are Apple innovating enough to make you open your wallet for this new shiny gadget? especially as we all know in 4-6 months time there will be an iPhone 5GS.

I don’t knock the iPhone as its a superb entrance into the “smartphone” arena, but there are other choices and some are more innovative than this new iPhone, that are now more easy to use, just take the Windows Mobile series, back when Windows Mobile 6 was out it was not an easy OS to use, now with Windows Mobile 7 and soon 8, its much easier and offers new exciting ways to use a mobile.

Choice is yours but I would like to hear your thoughts on not just the new iPhone 5 but the other mobile OS’s?

Nokia unveils new Windows 8 Phones

NewsNokia yesterday unveiled their new range of Windows 8 Phones in a bit of glitz and a little bit of bugs in the system in New York. The bugs where that the video presentation at the start of the press release was in best traditions of tech releases a bit buggy, the video stuttered and lost sound on occasion, so not the best of launches

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“Nokia revealed two new Windows Phone 8 Lumias at a press event in New York City this morning.

From the circuit board on up, the new phones – the Nokia Lumia 820 and the Nokia Lumia 920 — were designed to take full advantage of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft’s forthcoming phone operating system, says Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Windows Phone Division. At the press event, Nokia showed off the two next-generation Lumias, available in a number of colors, as well as some accessories, including a wireless chargers and speakers.”

Hopefully the launch bugs in the presentation are not a sign of things to come as Nokia needs the new Windows 8 Phones to succeed and from the tech specs they do offer much more than Apples current iPhone4, that said Apple are launching their new iPhone 5

    • 5 Sept: Nokia/Microsoft (New York)
    • Expected to unveil two Windows Phone 8 handsets
    • 5 Sept: Motorola/Verizon (New York)
    • Android device for the US market
    • 6 Sept: Amazon (Santa Monica)
    • Kindle Fire 2 tablet and speculation of a “surprise” handset
    • 12 Sept: Apple (San Francisco)
    • Unveiling of iPhone 5
    • 18 Sept: Motorola (London)
    • Details of firm’s first Intel-powered smartphone
    • 19 Sept: HTC (New York)
    • Likely to include company’s first Windows Phone 8 handset

List  above from BBC Technology News HERE with some comments from tech writers and some comments from end users.

Will the new Nokia Lumia series Windows 8 Phones be a success, well I hope so as the Windows 7 and new 8 Phones are a bit undervalued by many “smartphone” users sadly, when they are a superb device, they are more a business user phone as you can connect to Outlook Exchange easily, you have a version of Microsoft Office Mobile and the sync capabilities are fantastic and soon to be much better with the release of Windows 8 and Surface Tablets.

The release of Windows 8 and Surface Tablets will give the user a unified look and feel, will sync devices with ease and not be as expensive as the equivalent Apple products as in iPhone+iPad+iMAC.

Nokia will just have some competition from other phone makers such as Samsung and HTC as they are to release Windows 8 Phone powered devices.

 

Full press release from Microsoft HERE and Nokia HERE

Microsoft Windows Phone 8 announced

Windows PhoneWell hot of the new of the release of Microsoft’s Surface tablet is the news on the forthcoming release of Windows Phone 8, reading Joe Belfiore’s post on the Windows Phone Team’s blog earlier the device sounds really good and may just improve on the current Windows Phone 7.

 

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“With Windows Phone 8, the similarity is more than skin deep. We’ve based the next release of Windows Phone on the rock-solid technology core of Windows 8. It means Windows Phone and its bigger sibling will share common networking, security, media and web browser technology, and a common file system. That translates into better performance, more features, and new opportunities for app developers and hardware makers to innovate faster.

This new shared core—along with all the extra work we’ve done on top of it—opens up a new world of capabilities, which you don’t have to be a techie to appreciate. Here’s a taste:

  • Multi-core processor support: As reviewers have noted, Windows Phone runs buttery smooth on phones with a single processor. But piggybacking on the Windows core provides support for multiple cores—so we’re ready for whatever hardware makers dream up.
  • Bigger, sharper screens: Windows Phone 8 supports two new screen resolutions—1280×768 and 1280×720, opening the door to amazing new handsets with high-definition 720p displays.
  • More flexible storage: Windows Phone 8 supports removable MicroSD cards, so you can stuff your phone with extra photos, music, and whatever else is important to you, and then easily move it all onto your PC.
  • NFC wireless sharing: If you haven’t heard the term “NFC” yet, I’m betting you soon will. This emerging wireless technology lets phones share things over short distances. In Windows Phone 8, it helps make sharing photos, Office docs, and contact info easier—just tap your phone another NFC-equipped device. How cool is that?
  • Internet Explorer 10: The next version of Windows Phone comes with the same web browsing engine that’s headed for Window 8 PCs and tablets. IE10 is faster and more secure, with advanced anti-phishing features like SmartScreen Filter to block dangerous websites and malware.
  • Wallet: Windows Phone 8’s new digital Wallet feature does two great things. It can keep debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes, and other important info right at your fingertips. And when paired with a secure SIM from your carrier, you can also pay for things with a tap of your phone at compatible checkout counters.
  • Better maps and directions: Windows Phone 8 builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform. Our partnership will provide more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions in many countries, plus the ability to store maps offline on your phone so you can work with maps without a data connection.
  • Cooler apps and games: Basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games, for reasons I’ll touch on in a moment.”

The above all sounds great and moving with how users are using mobile phones these days as an all-in-one device from Phone, Media player, Sat-Nav and Social Media. I would love to though know when these will be available and at what price point, but I guess we will have to wait for the OEMs like HTC, Nokia, Samsung etc to release their product ranges.

“The new Start screen is so useful and emblematic of what Windows Phone is about that we want everybody to enjoy it. So we’ll be delivering it to existing phones as a software update sometime after Window Phone 8 is released. Let me repeat: If you currently own a Windows Phone 7.5 handset, Microsoft is planning to release an update with the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen. We’re calling it “Windows Phone 7.8.””

I am particularly glad of the above quote in that users of Windows Phone 7.5 will not be fully left out in the cold with an update to those phones to version 7.8 which is basically the GUI Metro screen layout of new size tiles.

There will be no major update for Windows Phone 7 users to take advantage of the new features as the hardware technology is not compatible, which is a pity.

 

Read the full article post at The Windows Phone Team Blog HERE

LinkedIn for Windows Phone 7

LinkedInFinally LinkedIn have released their Windows Phone 7 (WP7)app and in the short time I have been using it, I can say it is really polished and fluid application. I have read some reviews of the iPhone version vs the WP7 version and users that have tried both out are coming down in favour of he WP7 version.

Having used both myself I can totally agree with them, in that the WP7 is a lot better laid out as well as some great functionality, like the Metro UI Live Tiles.

“LinkedIn for Windows Phone makes it easy to get on-the-go access to your professional network and all the rich LinkedIn insights to help you be great at what you do. You can find and connect with millions of professionals worldwide, quickly access a real-time update stream with news and information from your professional connections, read timely news impacting your industry, keep up-to-date with your professional groups, search for jobs, and follow your favorite companies’ news.”

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The WP7 version also offers a few things the iOS version does not in that you have listings for Companies and Jobs, the companies option will be useful for many I would imagine as social networking is what LinkedIn is all about.

Overall in the short time I have used this new app, I have found it to be a great first release and hope for more functions in later releases.

Do please let me know your thoughts on the Windows Phone version vs the iOS version if you have used both?

Read the full LinkedIn blog post HERE

Is Apples voice control Siri biased?

Apple SiriWell it looks as if Apples iPhone based voice control Siri is not all she is cracked up to be, in that from a complaint from Nokia, the results of a question users could ask on “what is the best smartphone?” has been alleged to have been changed for a default answer.

“The debate over “what is the best smartphone ever?” took an unexpected twist after Apple’s voice-activated assistant Siri appeared to favour the iPhone’s rival.

Over the weekend, users of Siri were told the answer was Nokia’s Lumia 900.

But Siri now responds to the same question with a jovial: “Wait… there are other phones?”

Nokia has accused Apple of “overriding the software” after the quirk was noticed.”

If this is found to be true then it for me and likely others will bring what Siri can do and honestly into question, especially if Apple can manipulate the replies to specific questions, skewed in their favour or ignoring a rival device or software.

Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

O2 Wallet

O2 have today released information of their offering in the mobile electronic area, with “O2 Wallet”, they are to release an app for this for various mobile phones. As an O2 customer in the UK, I like this sort of new ideas on how to shop and this look forward to testing out when released.

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“O2 today announced the launch of O2 Wallet – a seamless and secure digital wallet service that will deliver the benefits of mobile money to more UK consumers than any other product or service currently available.

O2 Wallet uniquely combines the following functions:

  • Money Message – O2 Wallet enables consumers to securely transfer money to any UK mobile phone number as easily as sending a text. Money Messages allow consumers to make daily transfers of between £1 and £500; and will make lending, borrowing or repaying money to friends and family easier than ever.
  • Shopping via your mobile – O2 Wallet makes shopping via your mobile a breeze. A comprehensive barcode and search engine function compares the prices of millions of branded goods from more than 100 online retailers. In addition, consumers will enjoy unique daily discounts and deals via the ‘My Offers’ icon. At launch these will include discounts and money-off offers from retailers such as Debenhams, Comet, Sainsbury’s Direct, and Tesco Direct.
  • Your phone as your wallet – O2 Wallet enables consumers to digitise their existing debit and credit cards making it quick and easy to pay for things via their mobile. Customers can load money into their O2 Wallet account via one of their debit cards, by receiving a Money Message or with cash at more than 30,000 locations including O2 stores, PayPoint and epay retail outlets. O2 Wallet’s ‘transaction history’ helps consumers keep on top of their expenditure with texts alerts when the account balance changes; a 30-day payment history on the app; and a 12-month history online.
  • O2 Money Account Card – O2 Wallet offers both a physical and a virtual O2 Money Account Card. Both are based on a Visa prepaid account making them ideal for customers wanting to manage their finances as they can only spend what they put in. The ‘virtual’ O2 Money Visa Account Card is perfect for online shopping. Consumers can also apply for the physical O2 Money Visa Account Card to pay for things on the high street or withdraw cash from ATMs. This is a contactless card allowing tap-and-go payments at more than 100,000 contactless payment points across the UK; it’s fast, easy and convenient.”

Read the full press release at O2 HERE

Mozilla to join the smartphone revolution in 2012

Mozilla logoMozilla are about to in late 2012 join the Smartphone melee and try to go head to head with Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM etc in what is a competitive market, however if Mozilla can put the spin on their mobile phone offering like they have done with the Firefox browser, then they have a good chance to pick up the “geek” market of users.

“Mobile phones running an operating system developed by makers of the Firefox web browser will go on sale in late 2012.

The first handsets running Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko” (B2G) software will be available in Brazil on Telefonica Vivo’s mobile network.

Brazilian tech blog Ztop broke the news but had no details about which firm will make the handsets.

Announced in July 2011, B2G aims to be an open rival to Google’s Android.”

Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Nokia and Microsoft Windows Phone 7 App Competition

Nokia Microsoft Windows PhoneMicrosoft and Nokia are running a competition for developers of Windows Phone 7.5 apps and this is a great way for not only core developers to enter but for students also, especially those from the UK.

“Nokia and Microsoft have launched a new programme seeking innovative Windows Phone 7.5 apps to feature in their latest advertising campaign. Now whilst this is open to all developers it would be great to see some UK Student apps featured! If you fancy the chance to promote your app to consumers throughout the UK for free then why not give it a shot!

What’s involved? We’re looking for innovative apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace that have recently been published by UK developers (especially students) to feature in the latest advertising campaigns. We want to see your amazing apps that will delight UK consumers in the following categories: casual games, kids, family, health and fitness, shopping, social, travel, and utilities.”

So get “Appvertising” and hope you win.

Read more HERE at Microsoft UK Students

EU Acts to end Mobile Phone Roaming “rip-off”

banner_roamingI think this is great news in this day and age and especially as we are in the main mostly using smart phones like Apple iPhones, Microsoft  Windows Phone, Google Android and Blackberry’s which are all heavy users of data. Under new rules agreed by the European Parliament, consumers will pay no more than 29 cents (24p) per minute to make a call and 70 cents (59p) per megabyte for data downloads across Europe.

“Charges to fall from 1 July; consumers will be able to choose roaming service provider.

The European Parliament and member states have reached an agreement on new rules that will further reduce the cost of using a mobile telephone abroad within the European Union.

The legislation replaces price caps for mobile roaming that were first introduced in the EU in 2007 but which expire at the end of June this year.

The price caps are significantly lower than those proposed by the Commission in July 2011, although they are not as low as those put forward by MEPs.”

Read the full article at EuropeanVoice.com HERE

Groupon given deadline to improve in the UK

GrouponI thought this news I was just reading relevant to many readers and viewers of WordPress as Groupon is an app on many a smartphone these days. The laws in the UK to protect customers are wide ranging and protect the consumer really well, so its good that the Office of Fair Trading (I guess similar to the USA and Canada’s, Better Business Bureau) has issued this warning.

“Voucher company Groupon has been given three months to improve the way it operates by a UK regulator.

An investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) found “widespread” examples of breaches of consumer protection rules.

The OFT has specific concerns over “pricing, advertising, refunds, unfair terms, and the diligence of its interactions with merchants”.

Groupon has agreed to change to ensure honesty with customers.”

Read more from BBC News HERE