Friday, 30 August 2013

Samsung's Galaxy Gear

The great smartwatch battle continues to loom on the horizon and one company that are looking to get things moving is Samsung.

We recently mentioned that Samsung were looking to release their wrist-based wearable’s which will coincide with their smartphones, so we thought it was only fair we gave them a full feature.

The South Korean tech giants are looking to launch this new watch at the end of September or start of October. A new rumour has been released saying that we might actually get to see the official release date as early as September 4th at the IFA 2013.

This release will complement the Galaxy Note 3, which is also due to be launched on the same day.

So, what can we expect from the Samsung Galaxy Gear you ask? Well, it’s wearable like a watch and is likely to come in up to five colours – white, orange, grey, black and, a week later, gold! Some of the previous designs also suggested that the screen may in fact be flexible too, but we will have to wait on that as Samsung have not confirmed these rumours. Sorry!

The screen itself is likely to be 2.5 inches in a square shaped face, boasting OLED display technology. Another feature which will make more sense to those technologically minded is that the Gear could feature a Exynos 4212 SoC along with 1GB of RAM.

The operating system that we believe is set to be on the device is Android, which would make sense seeing as this is the software that binds its Galaxy devices together. We expect that it will be fitted with 4.2 when it is eventually released.

This device is highly anticipated by many people, not just those that want to buy it, but those that are interested in technology. Sony released its Sony Smartwatch 2 in June of this year but that didn’t really cut it for many technology geeks, but we expect that Galaxy Gear will make some serious waves among the market.

If so, then we can look forward to Apple starting to get us excited about their iWatch which is due sometime next year. So, keep your eyes and ears open for the release of this one, it could be good!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Another Apple iWatch Concept Is Released

Apple has released another concept of its wearable wrist watch that is also a computer, named the iWatch.

A few posts ago we wrote about having your smartphone on your wrist and Apple has every intention of making this happen. We have seen a few concepts around the web but this one looks the sleekest yet.

It is smooth and incorporates what looks like the current iPhone into a white watch that futuristically bends the screen to create an exciting Apple product.

We shouldn’t get too excited though, we are told not to expect the final product to be launched until late in 2014 at the very earliest.  Fedrico Ciccarese, who has been responsible for a number of previous Apple product mock ups, has also designed this concept.

Apple are not the only company to announce that they are in the process of making a smartwatch though, Apple’s biggest rivals Samsung have announced that they will be releasing their smartwatch on September the 4th. So that is something to get excited about now. This is rumoured to be named the Galaxy Gear and will come with your Samsung mobile phone.

Sony has also already introduced a watch-style product to go with its smartphones, but the Samsung is going to be filled with much more technology and capability. You will be able to make phone calls, surf the internet and reply to your emails, all from one screen (which is smaller than their smartphones).

Both technology bigwigs have been busy as of late and there is no sign that that will stop anytime soon, with Apple likely to launch their new iPhone 5S later this year. We can expect a few more features and an overall improved model like we saw from the iPhone 4 to the 4S.

This improvement in software is only a fraction of what we can expect to see in Apple’s iWatch when it is finally released in late 2014, but until then we can only dream about what the final product will actually look like. All we know, is we will have to join the queue of people who will want one!

Friday, 16 August 2013

The New Windows 8.1 Launch Date Revealed

Microsoft has finally announced a date for their new 8.1 software to be launched…. in the US at least.

The United States can expect the new Windows 8.1 on October 17th of this year, which confirms a recent rumour that the release would be mid-month.

This update has been previously known as Windows Blue, but 8.1 will be available to all of the existing Windows 8 users for free. For those who aren’t an existing Windows 8 user, you will have to wait an extra day to buy it in a retail shop.

It has been a year since the Windows 8 software was released and now the software giants are back again, which might bring good news to many users. “Why?” you ask, because the Start button is making a return, even if it does take you straight to the Start screen instead of the Start menu.

The reason we know this is because Microsoft have released a preview version named quite simply, the Windows 8.1 Preview Release. Inventive isn’t it?

Windows 8.1 is not a whole new operating system and you shouldn’t expect to see the same jump from 7 to 8, but there are improvements, like the Start button for example. Microsoft has explained that this new software update will respond to a lot of customer feedback as well as adding new features and functionality. These will include advancement in the touch experience and the difference in mobile computing.

Another thing that we’re interested in is the apps and we can expect an improvement here too. Enhancement to the built-in apps like Mail and Xbox Music are likely as well as the introduction of new apps too, such as a new version of ‘Office’ and food and fitness apps which are always popular.

With this, the Windows Store is getting a new look, which is purposely designed to make it much easier for users to navigate to find new and interesting apps. The apps you do have will automatically install in the background too, making the whole experience effortless, which is always good news.

So, not too much longer for us to wait, although we will have to wait just a little longer than the US.

Friday, 9 August 2013

How Apps Sparked A Mobile Revolution

Let’s play a little game. Without looking on your smartphone or tablet, how many apps do you think you have on your phone? 

If you’re anything like us, you have probably lost count of how many you have downloaded, but our guess would be you quite a lot, especially if you count old ones you will have deleted as well as the current ones you have. 

Did you know that the average smartphone will have around 41 apps on their devices? It is also predicted that by the end of 2015, smartphone owners and technology enthusiasts will have in fact downloaded around 89 billion apps. Quite a staggering statistic, don’t you think?

We have mentioned previously how Apple’s AppStore has helped the app market rocket through the roof when it was first introduced in 2008. Since this date it has seen over 850,000 apps and a mere 50 billion downloads and these apps have included everything from games through to music-related apps and even health related apps. 

This introduction alone sparked many others to follow, including Google’s Play Store which we have also mentioned before. This app store has also given us a wealth of apps and is predicted to further improve our ‘app economy’. 

As apps continue to improve, so does our technology with a constant flow of new mobile devices, tablets and even glasses (Google Glass). Apps have become so much a part of our everyday life, we even use them to help us wake up in the morning, and now businesses are using them as a way to maintain their client base. In fact, many organisations are building their own internal enterprise app stores as a way to manage their corporate-sanctioned apps for the employees to use on their PC’s and mobile devices whilst at work too. 

It just goes to show exactly how far we have come in the app world since the first launch of Apple’s AppStore some five years ago. Although, we know that this has barely even scratched the surface of what we have to look forward to in the future. Apps have a long future ahead of them, and quite frankly we’re thrilled about it!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Android Tops The Tablet Table

Did you know that for every two tablets that are activated in the UK, one is an Android?

Well, it’s true. This statistic was revealed by Google, who also said that over the last year more than 85% of Android tablets have been activated. These activations were approaching a figure near 10 million towards the end of 2012, and as we begin August 2013 the statistic is nearer the 70 million mark.

In last week’s blog post we mentioned that the Android app store, Google Play, currently holds 1 million apps, which is just another statistic to add to the already impressive numbers.

Android isn’t just making huge movements with its tablets though; the software is also improving on its smartphone devices too. Just this week we found out that Microsoft Office is now joining the world’s No. 1 mobile platform.

Microsoft made huge waves earlier this year when it joined forces with the iPhone, but now it is turning its attention to Android which, as is shown by the previous statistics, is clearly a smart move. Unfortunately though, Office will only be available on Android phones, but we’re pretty sure it will only be a matter of time before it is available on tablets too.

The Office app is free to download but you must be subscribed to Office in order to run the actual programs (i.e. Word, Powerpoint and Excel). Once you have subscribed though, you are able to run the program on up to five different mobile devices; great if you have a different device for Monday to Friday. Still, it’s pretty useful for you and your friends or work colleagues. 

The news of Microsoft Office joining Android is bound to be welcomed by a number of people, especially business people who spend a lot of time traveling and students too. This news may have to be delayed to us guys in the UK though, as it is only available in the United States for now.

We expect Microsoft to release this app in dozens of other countries over the coming weeks including the UK, so we will have to wait just a little bit longer.