Archives for April 2014

The Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung-Galaxy-S5 The Galaxy S5 is the flagship of Samsung for 2014. The model follows the immensely popular Galaxy S4 that Samsung released in March 2013.   The Galaxy S5 has a large 5.1 inch screen (1080 p) thanks to the amoled technology is easy to read in direct sunlight. The unit has a 16 Megapixel camera and 2.5 GHz quadcore processor. There is 2 GB of main memory and a hefty 2800 mAh battery on board. All features at a glance: Sharp 5.1 inch super-amoled screen (1080 p) Snapdragon 801-chip with 2.5 GHz quadcore processor 2 GB of main memory, there is also 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage space to choose from. The phone has a fingerprint scanner that is implemented in to the home button. The housing is also dust and water resistant and it comes with a 16 mega pixel camera that can shoot 4k-video.   The phone is 8.1 millimetres thick, 142 millimetres high and 72.5 mm wide. That is just slightly thicker, taller and wider than its predecessor. Also the weight of the Galaxy S5 has been increased to 145 grams while the Galaxy S4 was just 130 grams. The Galaxy Galaxy S5t back is also now comes with a soft-touch material. The back seems similar to the material that was used by Google’s Asus Nexus 7 tablet back in 2012. Furthermore, the back is also dust and water resistant. The Galaxy S5 is also available in black, white, blue and gold versions. The new stiff back should fend off the criticisms which the previous model suffered from about the back being cheap and plastically.   The Galaxy S5 has of course the latest version of Android with an additional Samsung new TouchWiz skin. Many Samsung apps have had also a fine makeover, including the S Health-app that lets you measure sports activities, this app also can be used in combination with the heart rate monitor. The settings menu has been given a major makeover too. Now the icons have more of a rounded appearance. The menus are now less crowded and also the notifications menu is now clearer to read. One thing that is worth noting is that the software takes up as much as 8 GB of storage space. This means that  the 16 GB version of the Galaxy S5 has over half the storage space taken up by TouchWiz and its associated apps. Its recommended to get either the 32 GB variant of the device or a hefty micro sd card. The 16 Megapixel camera also features a new chip for processing images. Now the camera can now focus in as little as 0.3 seconds. This is the fastest autofocus system that Samsung has ever fitted to a device. The camera app from the Galaxy S5 has also been taken care of which makes the editing of photos a lot easier. At the front of the phone it has a 2.1 megapixel camera for conducting video calls. Also there is a new HDR feature that will work when taking videos, that will provide more detail to both the light and dark portions of the video. According to Samsung, it is the first hdr function for a video camera. Another fine addition is the ability to shoot in 4k videos. That will provide the user with super clear and sharp images. Furthermore flagship smartphone is very dust and water resistant. At the bottom there is a cover that allows the micro-usb port to be protected against dirt and water. The Active version of the Galaxy S4 is also completely dust and water resistant and features the same protective cover on the underside. A splash in the toilet will therefore no longer mean a broken mobile phone. In addition there is a tailgate that makes it easy to remove the battery Sim card, so you can easily remove the micro-sd card. Another advantage with the device weighting 145 grams is that its relatively thin and light for its size. The S5 measures 142 at 72.5 at 8.1 millimetres is relatively large, but can still fit in an average pocket. The tailgate has a kind of polka dot embossing and its  soft to the touch, but can’t camouflage the fact that the Galaxy S5 is mainly made of plastic.  This kind of  makes it feel simply not as ‘ premium ‘ as the shiny aluminum of the HTC One M8. Both phones have a suggested retail price of 699 euro. Samsung is trying to justify this by means of the fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and 400 euros offer for free apps and subscriptions (read more about this Galaxy S5 goodies) that the M8 then again does not have that. Those additions are a bonus, but the question is will the user ever make use of them. The Galaxy S5 however is a nice smartphone to see. The display is large and colourful with a thin screen and edges and the volume button and power buttons within easy reach. In addition, the physical home button is also easy to access. Furthermore it gives use peace of mind that the mobile phone is water resistant and it comes with a removable battery which is a bonus. So you can drop the phone into the toilet bowl or the S5 so bring on a beach on your holidays with peace of mind. The screen resolution is ok by todays standards and its bright too. When Samsung announced that the Galaxy S5 ‘ but ‘ would get a 1080 p screen, we could not suppress a sense of disappointment. But its been tested, we can say that that disappointment is unfounded. We are however very pleased with the quality of super-amoled screen of the device that measures 5.1 inch which is just slightly larger than that of the Galaxy S4. The pixel density of the screen is slightly lower, with 432 ppi but the brightness can be cranked up to 450 nits. In practice, the high resolution does not have individual pixels that are distinct, for example, texts on zoomed websites are clearly legible. The screen automatically adjusts itself to be perfectly readable in sunlight that makes it virtually always easy-to-read in any environment.   The screen also corrects itself in the evening in the dark which makes it perfect for late reading. The screen also provides excellent viewing angles too. It doesn’t matter from what angle you look at the screen the colours always look amazing. That makes viewing photos and videos a pleasure. In addition the scratch comes with Gorilla Glass 3, that makes it almost scratch resistant. The accuracy of the fingerprint scanner is good, though it’s not easy to unlock your device with one hand as it is with the iPhone 5S. This is probably due to its size. Samsung is positioning the S5 among other things as a smartphone for active users, and the unit features a heart rate monitor. This is located on the rear of the appliance next to the Flash and works only in combination with the renewed S Health-app. You can go running or cycling by entering what you’ve eaten and check out how many calories you will need to burn off in order to either lose weight or to maintain the same weight. The app can also be used for counting your steps with the sport armband that can be purchased separately.  However, the accessory is not necessary in order to use the Samsung sports app. From S Health you can directly measure your heart rate, to activate this function it takes some seconds to activate while keeping your finger on the sensor. Next you’ll see how many beats per minute your heart is working at. By measuring your heart rate at regular intervals, you can get an impression of your physical condition. Samsung emphasizes that the sensor should not be seen as a medical instrument. Its important to note that the heart rate monitor gives only an indication of your actual heart rate. For truly accurate measurements you’re always better off with a more professional heart rate monitor.  It should be viewed as a humorous addition,consumers should not purchase the device because of this feature.

To sum up its a good phone whether the features are enough to convince people to upgrade from the Samsung S4 remains to be seen.

WhatsApp will soon be offering unlimited messaging through a specific sim card deal in Germany

WhatsApp will begin offering unlimited messaging through a German screen-shot-2014-04-07-at-16-10-511network provider called e-Plus, the company is to launch its own SIM card with unlimited messaging. The sim card will cost 10 euros and it will be only available in Germany for the time being. 

WhatsApp seems to be slowly moving towards becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

“WhatsApp has over 50 carrier deals globally. The WhatsApp ePlus SIM card is WhatsApp’s first partnership with e-Plus to launch an MVNO brand,” said WhatsApp head of business development Neeraj Arora.

“This is the first kind of its deal globally between a technology company and a carrier. Carriers are important strategic partners for WhatsApp and we’re constantly working with them to bring innovative offerings to users globally.” 

Earlier this year WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook, It is however unknown at the moment whether or not What app is going to release its own SIM cards in other territories. But don’t be surprised if they do expand in to other territories within the near future. 


Microsoft ends support for Win XP

Microsoft is from today (April 8th) ending its support for its Windows XP operating system which has lasted for 13-years.

This means that after this date technical support and security patches will no longer be issued by Microsoft for the software, although Microsoft will be offering an option for users to pay for continued updates.

Microsoft's Windows XP operating system

© Microsoft

Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system

Reports have suggested that the UK government has paid Microsoft £5.5 million for ongoing security updates to Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 on public-sector computers.

However it worth pointing out that many companies are still using the old os. AppSense appears to indicate as much as 77% of organisations across the UK were still using the old OS. It is believed that as a result of Microsoft ending its support, it will be putting some British businesses at a greater risk of hacker intrusion. Although the amount of machines running the software is said to be relatively small within a particular company. However security experts warn that it just takes one vulnerable PC within an organisation to put an entire network at risk.

The ending of the os is expected to have the greatest impact upon the banking industry which is due to the fact that the vast majority of the world’s cash machines are currently being powered by the software.


IOS 8 what we expect

IOS_6_Home_ScreenThe rumours suggest that iOS 8 is coming this Autumn with a redesigned iphone 6. The main features of iOS 8 are expected to be pre announced by Apple this summer, there has been a few rumours flying around that have already given us some information about what to expect.

Firstly iOS 8 is said to have a greater emphases on health than iOS 7, apple may also integrate it health apps to work with the iWatch, which is rumoured to be in development. It could even come with an app called “Healthbook” that will be able to drag fitness-related information from both the M7 motion co-processor included in the iPhone 5s and sensors that will be included within the iWatch.

However iOS 8 is not expected to feature many design changes like iOS 7 had. Instead Apple is more likely to focus on polishing and updating the existing features of the os such as its Maps, Siri and its iCloud support.

It is also rumoured that Apple’s iTunes own radio streaming music service is likely to be moved from its music app to a standalone app, according to a new report from9to5Mac. 

iOS 8 is also expected to come with a new payment system that will be fully integrated into the operating software touch id system. 

It remains to seen whether or not all these features will be included within the os. We won’t fully know until the new os gets released alongside the iphone 6 which is likely to take place in the autumn.