Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LG Launches its 5.5" QHD Screen Android Phablet Smartphone To Beat Samsung & HTC To Market

The just announced LG G3 Phablet next to the HTC One M8
Following more leaks than an aging faucet, Korea's LG launched its flagship Android phone-tablet (Phablet) today announcing the LG G3 in a special media event to introduce the behemoth of a smartphone. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note3, the G3  does not sport a stylus, but it does feature the first ever QHD (Quad High Definition) 1400x2560 screen. In addition to the gorgeous screen, LG packed some remarkable components to make this one of the stand-outs in the smartphone phablet arena. Both Samsung and HTC have QHD screened phones reportedly in the works, but no dates have been set for their release. The G3 has a 13 Megapixel camera with a first ever laser-focus lens. The G3 also matches its direct competitors with a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.5Ghz, up to 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and slot for a microSD card. The laser focus camera snaps and focuses simultaneously to capture an image. While HTC moves away from the plastic body, Samsung and LG seem to have a hard time doing the same and accepting that metal body phones garner a much warmer reception from users the way iPhone and HTC One users embrace them. Although this is a polycarbonate-body phone, the rear is coated with a thin layer of brushed aluminum to enhance it's looks and increase the resistance to scratches. The G3 will come in Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold, Moon Violet, and Burgundy Red varieties of the LG G3 will be available globally via more than 170 carriers. The home market of South Korea gets LG's new flagship phone right away, launching on May 28th, with the rest of the world to follow in June. No pricing or carrier information has been provided as of this writing.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Amazon AppStore Offers Alternative to Google Play For Apps-Plus FREE Paid App Every Day

Android smartphone owners-you have a choice. Downloading apps directly on your phone is always fun, and getting free apps is always nice. But paid apps? Not so much. While the #GooglePlay store has thousands of paid apps, most users opt for the free apps instead. But GooglePlay isn't the only store on Android. In fact, #Amazon has it's very own  Android AppStore that allows you to download Apps to your #Android smartphone too. And every day, Amazon takes a normally paid app, and offers it to Android users FOR FREE! It's called Amazon App of the day, and all you need is an Amazon account, and to download the Amazon App Store application from the GooglePlay store. Once you've done that, you can now download apps from the Amazon AppStore just like you do when you launch GooglePlay. Most of the same rules of GooglePlay apply, meaning once you buy an app, it's available to all your Android devices, as long as you download the Amazon AppStore App to each device. It's very simple and sometimes Amazon has the same apps as GooglePlay has, but for less money. And many Amazon Apps will work on the new Amazon Fire TV as well.
Competition is good Kids!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Save A Little Money Or Maybe Save Your Life: A Comparison Of Two iPad Power Adapters

The old cliche' "You get what you pay for" is one that I've always lived by. Sure there are a few exceptions, but when it comes to comparing two iPad power adapters, it doesn't pay to mess with cheap knockoffs or imitations. Apple's iPad power adapter costs roughly $19. The cheap knockoffs can be as low as $3.  That is quite an attractive price difference. That's not to say that the Apple designed and manufactured adapter isn't a bit over priced at $19, but you know that Apple isn't gonna gamble with your life and use sub-par parts or cut corners when it comes to one of the most important accessories bundled with the coveted and award-winning iPad.  A Chinese woman actually was killed when she used a cheap knockoff iPhone power adapter to charge her Apple iPhone.  After she plugged her phone in, she received an electrical shock that proved to be fatal.  Take a close look at the two power adapters in the pictures.  They appear almost identical.  That is, until you look closely at the components inside. The genuine Apple adapter on the left is clearly built with quality parts and workmanship, whereas the Chinese knock-off looks like a cheap imitation. Sure most of Apple's manufacturing is done in China, but the difference is that Apple has strict quality control and standards it's manufacturing facilities must adhere to when they agree to build products for the tech giant.  And when you're dealing with a $300-$900 iPad, combined with a device that handles 110-220 volts, it's never a good idea to be penny wise and pound foolish. Your life and your device are worth allot more than the savings Kids! Remember, the allure of a good price quickly fades once the sub-par quality of the product rears it's ugly head.  If you'd like to see an in-depth report, Tech Writer Ken Shirriff has done an extensive teardown and analysis of these two power adapters.

MOST RECENT: New Facebook iOS App Banishes "Sort Feed" to Back Door-Here's How to Sort Now

Facebook yesterday" launched the latest version of Facebook for iOS with many new features and improvements like letting your stop notifications from certain posts you've commented on, and the ability to preview your post before it goes live. One thing they changed for the worse already has many iOS users up in arms--it's the sort order of the feed. Most users like it to be most recent stories, but Facebook likes to change that to something it's advertisers prefer-Top Stories. And now to change it to recent stories isn't as simple as it used to--it now takes three steps to change it instead of one. And finding out how to change the sort order is a mystery in itself--one that Facebook undoubtedly did on purpose. iHass to the rescue! Here's how to sort your feed on your FB app on your iOS device with version 10:

1)Launch Facebook for iPhone or iPad
2)Tap the More tab at the bottom right
3)Scroll down to the Feeds section (which includes Close Friends tab)
4)Tap the > to the right off Feeds to expand the section
5)Tap on Most Recent

Remember that once you set sort to recent, it won't stay that way permanently. There is no way to set the sort permanently. You'll have to repeat this procedure each time you find it has reverted to top stories. When will Facebook realize that the user experience affects viewership?

Monday, May 12, 2014

iStick Is A Great Solution for iOS Users Who Never Have Enough Storage On The Go

How many times have you wished that your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) had just a little more memory or storage for that last video or picture you wanted to take? Only to do so, you had to delete some of your older precious pics or videos to save something new. 16Gb of storage will only take you so far and runs out fast. As for myself, 64Gb on my Apple iPhone 5S and 128Gb on my iPad Air or iPad Mini never seems to be enough. Enter the iStick. A new  Kickstarter project that changes all that.  The iStick is a revolutionary twist on a common product we all use and love--the USB flash drive. So whats the twist you ask? What makes this a unique product is that this is a dual function device that lets you plug it into your PC, Mac or iOS device using the USB interface. Moving the slider, you choose either a lightning interface that plugs into your iOS device or a USB plug that works with most any PC, Mac, or laptop. You can download music, pictures, or videos from your PC or Mac and later watch or listen to them on your iOS device. You don't even have to offload them, just stream directly from the device as it is plugged in your iOS device.  Or vice versa, you offload your pictures or videos from your iOS device for backup or to save to your PC later. You can pledge various amounts on Kickstarter for an iStick of 8GB capacity for only $65, or go all the way up to a 128Gb for $199. The project is already fully funded so it's definitely a go. The team that came up with the iStick concept has been working on this for over three years so they are just about good to go once the funding campaign concludes mid June. Head over to the Kickstarter page to see how you can be the first to get one Kids!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

J. D. Powers: Consumer Satisfaction is Highest with Apple's iPhones on All Four Major US Carriers

The latest smartphone consumer satisfaction survey from J.D. Power ranks the Apple iPhone highest with the best marks on all four major U.S. carriers. The survey, which asks thousands of customers on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon about their satisfaction with their current smartphone, was conducted between September 2013 and February 2014. Across all four carriers, Apple's devices came out on top with high scores — 850, 857, 853 and 849 on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, respectively, on a 1000-point scale.

Samsung devices came a close second behind Apple on all four carriers, but still fell somewhere between 1 and 5 points behind the iPhone. Both Apple and Samsung beat the average satisfaction of phone customers on each carrier by a solid margin, with Apple as high as 20 points over the average in the case of customers on Verizon. The survey notes that an increasing number of people still place "price" as a driving factor in their smartphone purchase, making the overall preference of iPhones even more impressive.

It's no surprise or coincidence that consumers like the iPhone so much as Apple puts much thought and research into creating products that average users can navigate and use without much thought. Intuitive software with cutting edge designs. That has been Apple's philosophy and approach. While iOS is only second to Android in terms of marketshare, more Android users are more likely to switch to iOS than are iOS users likely to switch to Android once they've become savvy iOS users. Price is the reason that more consumers don't adapt iOS since iPhones are more expensive and rarely discounted vs. Samsung, HTC, Windows phones, and Blackberry smartphones.

The satisfaction trend should continue once the next iteration of iPhone is launched this fall. With a larger 4.7" HD retina screen expected to grace Cupertino's next generation (iPhone 6) amongst other new features. A slimmer and lighter design is also expected, as is a new form factor that is sleeker and sexier than the current popular 4" screen iPhone 5S. While the lower cost iPhone 5c hasn't been as popular as Apple would like it to be, it has filled a small gap for Apple in the lower cost category. However it's presence in the lineup next Fall is questionable as the iPhone 6 launches. Analysts expect Apple to drop the plastic body iPhone and replace it with an updated version of the 5S once the larger iPhone 6 launches. There is much talk about a 5.5" iPhone Phablet (Phone-Tablet) being in the works, but I'm the first to say no way Apple will move into this territory as the Samsung Note Phablet hasn't commanded any real discernible market share.

Enjoy your Summer Kids, the Fall will bring some interesting new and exciting products from Apple, including a wearable device (think iWatch) that should create some buzz once it finally launches.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Amazon Throwing It's Hat Into The Smartphone Ring-Thinks It Can Do it Better

The smartphone landscape will soon change once again (if ever so slightly if rivals have any say) when online retail giant Amazon throws it's hat into the ring with it's own offering of a smartphone to challenge rivals Apple, Google, and Microsoft in whats now a crowded arena of mobile devices. Amazon has made it clear that it won't stand by as rivals introduced tablets like the iPad and the Nexus by launching the successful low cost Kindle Fire line of tablets that focus on Amazon products and services as well as the standard tablet functions. Amazon has long thought to be planning to offer a smartphone so not to cede the market to rivals as mobile becomes the holy grail of internet connectivity. The image shown here is said to be an authentic depiction of the upcoming Amazon smartphone as presented by website BGR. The 4.7" smartphone is said to have a quad-core processor, 2Gb of Ram, 720p resolution screen, an unprecedented six individual camera modules (for 3D features), and and highly customized version of Android. Amazon is expected to announce the their offering sometime next month and to launch sometime in the third quarter of the year. Samsung last month launched it's latest flagship Galaxy S5 to a lukewarm reception given it's lack of change in design and features. Apple on the other hand is preparing to introduce the iPhone6 sometime this September, with analysts expecting a major form-factor change that includes a larger 4.7" screen, thinner bezel and lighter weight. HTC also upped the ante in the smartphone competition by updating it's flagship all metal body HTC One in April and it too has raised the bar for rivals including market leader Samsung. Is there room for another smartphone given the slowing of smartphone sales as markets mature and become saturated? Time will tell. Some are expecting Amazon to offer a service called "Prime Data" with their smartphone. It is unknown what this service will provide, but no doubt it has something to do with it's popular Prime shipping and video subscription service. We shall know all next month Kids!