The New BlackBerry 10 OS

Since the BlackBerry keynote yesterday (May 2nd) revealing the BlackBerry 10 OS I have been scouring the internet trying to learn all I can about what is to come. I love BlackBerry’s and have been a fan ever since the Pearl rolled out in 2008. Although there were some things I was saddened to learn, BlackBerry has held my fandom with some amazing new features.

Of course, this is all the OS, so when it all comes out on actual phones some things will be different from model to model.

There are a few unfortunate things for my fellow BlackBerry fans. Current phones will not be able to update to the new OS, and they’re going to make us wait until August for a phone with the new OS to even be revealed. It seems as though it will be worth the wait.

The New Keyboard

Unfortunately, BlackBerry is following the trend to have an on-screen keyboard. Fortunately, it seems to be the best of the lot. The keyboard is as large as can be managed on the screen. There are all sorts of swipe features that have been added. For instance, you can swipe to the left in order to delete. You can swipe down to switch to the numbers and symbols page. The prediction text has the words appear over the letter that the words begin with and you can simply swipe up to float the words up into the text. I love the idea of swiping to make everything go more quickly.

The Camera

The camera seems as though it will be wonderful. It has automatic face detection, and you take a picture by touching anywhere. My favorite part is the “miss the moment” feature. If someone blinks or sneezes or moves when you take the photo, you don’t need to retake the photo. You simply select their face and scroll back in time (several seconds are available) to a moment when they look better and it auto ‘shops the face from that moment into the photo. This is a feature I am really looking forward to.

Samsung Reveal ‘Pebble’ MP3 Player

Who said the MP3 player was dead?

Submerged inthe announcement of the Galaxy SIII, is the announcement of the S Pebble, a new MP3 player which good rival the iPod Nano.

The Pebble looks like it was designed by the same team as the Samsung Galaxy SIII, as it has the same curved casing. The MP3 player comes with just 4GB of storage and 17  hours of playback battery life.

You can put music onto the new MP3 player by simply plugging in your Galaxy phone charger and using the drag and drop feature we all love.

What do you think of the Pebble? It seems a bit odd that Samsung would announce a product like this on a day that they announce a phone that can no doubt do what the pebble can do and more. That’s the problem which may lead to the MP3 player’s failure as a whole – just about every phone has an in-built mp3 player anyway.

Samsung Galaxy SIII Launching on May 29th

Following months of leaked images, details and speculation, the Samsung Galaxy SIII has finally been annonced at Samsung Unpacked 2012.

It Looks Amazing!

The design looks like a cross between the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy Note. Packing the beautiful shape of the Nexus, with the huge screen of the Note. I’m not sure why, but it reminds me of this Mozilla Seabird concept

The Galaxy SIII ‘predicts intelligence’. One of the ways it does this is with something called ‘Smart Stay’.

Smart Stay is almost creepy. The phone watches you using the front facing camera to identify whether you are looking at it or not. if you aren’t looking at it, the screen goes off, if you look at it…you get it.

The SIII comes with a voice feature, which lets you say ‘Hi Galaxy’ to turn the phone on. Then it becomes similar to Siri, in that you can ask it questions such as the weather. The voice recognition can also launch applications, such as the camera which was used in the demo.

Also new is Direct Call. ‘The instant you raise your Galaxy to your ear, it knows you want to call the person you are texting’. This is done with proximity sensors.

Smart Alert is a new feature which will alert you to any missed calls or texts you have as soon as you pick up your phone.

Social Tag is an addition to the Gallery which automatically finds your the people from your photos with their social network accounts, so you can tag them quickly.

S Beam is the new version of Android Beam we first saw with the Galaxy Nexus last year. Using a new Wi-Fi direct system, you can hold two phones together and tap the item you wish to transfer, which is apparently very fast.

Using, the SIII can recognize any of your contacts in any photo you take, and give you the option of sending them the photo as soon as you have taken it.

The Galaxy SIII is measures in at 8.6mm thick, and comes in blue or white (surprisingly no black). The new TouchWiz 4.0 interface is inspired by ‘nature and human emotion’. Nature UX uses natural sounds and live wallpapers to bring you a very relaxing experience. It also comes with an information lockscreen, which displays the weather and news before you unlock it.

One of my favourite features from the announcement is Pop Up Play. In the last few weeks we have seen true multi-tasking come to the iPad in an application which allows you to have more than one window open on the screen. A feature like this is going to be available on the new Galaxy, and will allow you to have a video playing while you search the web or text. Pretty amazing.

Samsung have introduced an ‘intelligent camera’ which has zero shutter lag, and takes less than a second to load up. The camera can take up to 20 images in a burst shot, and uses a new service which finds the best photo out of a burst of 8. I wonder how well this will work.

The camera also has an 8MP camera. Not as ground breaking as some of us may have hoped, but pretty good. It also comes packed with a HD front facing camera for brilliant quality video calling. Yet another feature of the camera is a feature which allows you to take a still image while you are videoing.

The super HD AMOLED 4.8inch screen is a lot bigger than the SII. They’ve done this by only expanding the size of the actual device a little bit, and greatly reducing the bezels.

Please note that I have written this article whilst watching a live stream, and will tweak it when I can.

My Opinion

Samsung have really outdone themselves. Earlier this year Samsung took part in an ad campaign which saw them basically make fun of Apple users as the waited outside an Apple store. I thought they were sort of clutching at straws, as they both had good features and the SII wasn’t so superior that it could be held high above the iPhone. However now, they can do that advert campaign and it would work.

The SIII has some ground breaking features, provided they work. I can’t wait to get my hands on one to try, the amazing design of both the user interface and the actual phone makes this one of the best sounding phones of all time.


Flipboard Coming To Android

Flipboard is officially coming to Android!

Revealed today, the social news reader previously exclusive to iOS will land on Android, starting with an exclusive window for the new Galaxy SIII.

You can sign up for the Android version of Flipboard here.

Flipboard is probably one of the best news readers available, and will no doubt challenge the likes of Pulse and FLUD, which have already secured a place in the Android Market.

Spotify Releases iPad App, It’s Beautiful

It’s taken a very long time, especially for people from the UK, but Spotify has finally released it’s iPad application to iTunes.

As joked in the launch day trailer, it’s not just a larger version of the iPhone application. It has it’s own completely exclusive user interface which is just glorious, both to look at and to use.

Much like the official Twitter application, Spotify uses swipe gestures to give the experience a layered experience. Once you have selected  one of your playlists, you can enter full screen mode. Spotify have taken the idea of cover flow by Apple and changed into a more modern  looking way to skip backwards and forwards through your music.

This is one of the greatest applications I have ever seen on the iPad, and goes right up there with Tweetbot and Paper as the best and most user friendly apps available. It’s totally been worth the wait.

All though this isn’t a review, I thought I’d rate it with a 5 out of 5. So far after a solid day of use, I haven’t found anything I don’t like about it – I will update the rating if I change my mind!

A quick search on iTunes on either your iPad or Desktop will find the app. As usual for separate devices on Spotify, you need a premium account to use it.

Android: Flat Icons by Mitch S

Part of what makes Android brilliant is the vast amount of customization available to the average user. Beyond the default widgets and applications available already on a mobile, and then available to download from the Play Store, there is huge community who are always making new things to spice up your Android’s homescreen.

An excellent example is these Flat icons created by ‘Mitch S‘. The icons have a very minimal feel, and are sure to look great on Ice Cream Sandwich.

If you are fluent with Android, then this should be easy for you. Just download the ZIP file and transfer it to your phone, and then use an application to change them from the default icons to the flat ones.

How To Share Your Donor Status on Facebook

Facebook has just added a new feature to Timeline, which allows the ability to post your transplant donor status on your feed.

Yesterday it became known that Mark Zuckerberg was set to make an appearance on Good Morning America to reveal a new ‘life saving’ feature to Facebook.

The new feature, which is out now, is as simple as adding any other update. Simply go to your timeline, and add ‘donor’ from the Health and Wellness section of Life Event.

[toggle title=”Source”]Facebook Announcement[/toggle]

Everything You Need To Know About Pinterest

I hate to use the same old cliché, but unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, I expect you have heard of Pinterest already. It’s that small social network which has grown to become one of the fastest growing websites of all time, but what is it?

Well, as I mentioned above, it’s a social network….with a twist. Based entirely around image sharing, Pinterest encourages the ‘pinning’ and ‘re-pinning’ of photos found both on websites, and uploaded directly to the site by the user. If an image is pinned from a website, that image becomes linked to the URL, thus re-directing a substantial amount of traffic to that website.

With a system like this, and with it being as popular as it is, it’s becoming  a site owners dream. The video above is entitled ‘A Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest’, but the video goes into so much more detail on the social network, giving you just about everything you need to know about the viral website.

HTC One X – The Good, Bad & Ugly

The HTC One X was released in the UK on April 6th and will be coming out in the US on May 6th. There is some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly to be seen from this phone.

The Good

The HTC One X is very fast. With 1GB of Ram and a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU it is nearly twice as fast as the IPhone.

It has an 8MP rear facing camera capable of 1080p video recording, and an LED flash bright enough to take great pictures on the darkest of nights. The 4.7” 720p laminated Gorilla Glass display will allow you to see photos, videos, and games with great clarity, even at a 90 degree angle.

With Beats Audio and stereo sound, even though the speakers, the sound is absolutely amazing.

The Android Ice Cream Sandwich v4.0 OS runs smoothly and is extremely user friendly.

My favorite thing about this phone is that it has a gently curved shell which sits very comfortably in your hand.

The Bad

There is very little about the HTC One X that can be seen in a negative light. My biggest peeve with this phone is that it only comes with 32GB of memory. To be honest, that isn’t really enough in a smart phone, especially considering that it is essentially running two OS’s.
4.7” may sound great, but it’s a little oversized. It won’t be able to easily fit in a pocket. For those with small hands it will be difficult to keep a good grip on.

With the battery being non-removable, those who are heavy users will need to carry a phone charger around with them, which is quite annoying.

The trend in phones of being able to take higher quality video than the display can handle is quite annoying to me, as well. I mean, what’s the point?

The Ugly

There is one thing about this phone that I really dislike. The camera lens protrudes from the back. If stuck in a pocket with change, the lens will get scratched, thus ruining one of the biggest selling points of the phone.

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