iPad Air Plus

Now that Apple upgraded their whole product line this autumn, one would think the Cupertino based corporation will descend into obscurity until next releasing season. One would be utterly wrong in this case as a new iPad is rumoured to launch this spring.

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Back in 2010 when Steve Jobs presented the first iPad, he claimed that the “correct” size of a tablet is around 10″. He also added that 7 and 8 inch tablets are too big to act as a phone and too small to be able to replace a computer. Two years later the iPad Mini saw the light of the day.
Now, in 2014, Apple released a larger iPhone and it seems people are leaving their iPad Minis behind in favor of the smaller phones. This probably led Apple to work on a so-called 12.2″ iPad Air Plus. Leaked sizes are the following 305.31 x 220.8 x 7 mm (12 x 8.7 x .28 inches or 2.5 x 2 x .005 bananas). This product is to be, as many believe, a direct competitor against the Microsoft Surface hybrids.

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The difference is that the Microsoft tablet is capable of running a fully integrated Windows 8 with all features, games and software created for Windows. It is too early to determine whether the new iPad runs OS X or iOS, however we already have the MacBook Air which has a similar size. Furthermore, the iPad Air is already large enough even for those who use it for work-related purposes. It seems that the Air Pro may have difficulties to excell at anything given the already existing models. Unless, of course Apple will discontinue the MacBook Air and replace it with the rumoured (and hopefully hybrid) iPad Air Plus. I’m saying hopefully because a larger iPad running iOS is redundant, whereas a more portable OS X with touchscreen based input is the next logical for Apple.

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Source: Mac Fan

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WhatsApp Plus and Super SwiftKey

The most popular messaging app and the one of the most intuitive keyboards have become even better!
I know that WhatsApp Plus has been around for long time, so long that I forgot what the original app looks like! However, many people gazed in wonder at my WhatsApp Plus layout and didn’t realise that it was the same old app that we love.
Take a look at the screenshots below:

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Now, most of the themes available for download may not be exactly what you are looking for, but the beauty of it is that you can modify everything from colours to shapes to transparency. The creme de la creme is the fact that it doesn’t require root.

I have been a user of SwiftKey for more than  a year and the one and only frustrating thing about it was the fact that it had very few themes. Super SwiftKey, on the other hand compensates for this drawback. See for yourself!

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What is lovely about this is that it packs Material Design keyboards like the standard one in Lollipop. It has its looks, but also comes with SwiftKey’s flow, the same text prediction and autocorrect.
Here are the links to the developers whom we owe these mods:
Whatsapp Plus
Super SwiftKey
These apps are for Android terminals only. However, there is WhatsApp Plus in cydia for jailbroken iOS devices.

Samsung vs Apple: 2014 Sales

It isn’t long since iPhone 6/6Plus and the Note 4 came out and there are already statistics regarding their sales. The data doesn’t look promising for the South Koreans as Apple is rumoured to be outselling them by at least 5 times, according to IBK Securities analyst Lee Seung-Woo. He gave this estimate to The Wall Street Jurnal last month, adding that the comparisson focuses on Samsung’s S5 and Note 4 and Apple’s iPhone6/6Plus.
It is expected that the demand for tablets and smartphones will raise in December and, as a results, Samsung will be forced to reduce the price at least on their mid-range devices.
Apple, on the other hand, is expected to sell 80 million terminals before the end of 2014 which makes the 4.5 million Note 4 units sold by Samsung seem like nothing.

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But how successful is the larger iPhone? Despite the high demand, the smaller iPhone 6 outsells it. Nevertheless, a new report by CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners) reveals that consumers are more excited about the iPhone 6 and 6Plus than they were last year about the iPhone 5s and 5c. This demonstrates that a higher screen was a step forward for Apple.

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Now, we all know that 10 million iPhones were sold in their first weekend. What is less known is that Samsung sold around 11 million S5 units… in their first month! But wait, there’s more: 40% of all Samsung devices are gathering dust in the warehouses. Forbes went as far as to describe the South Korean giant’s smartphones as “Unsold, Unwanted, Unloved”. With Xiaomi gaining more market share in China at the expense of Samsung, it is perfectly clear that something must be done. Now that companies like HTC, Sony, LG and Motorola have the same SoC, Samsung can no longer be defended by raw performance, benchmark scores and spec sheets. They took too long to replace the plastic with alluminum and this may have costed them a fair amount of customers who chose other designs.

Apps for RED

This is, in my opinion, an interesting way to raise awareness about the battle against AIDS. I don’t know how successful this is going to be since some content may not be available in every country. Nevertheless, it is a step forward and is always nice to see large companies getting involved in charities even though we, the users, aren’t necessarily receiving anything. It is also great advertisment for Apple and the participating app developers. The campaign started today, 24th November and will end on 7th December.

Snapdragon 810 is out! (Dev-Platform Review)

At the cost of $800 dollars you can purchase the developer edition, the so-called “dev platforms”. These devices come with the latest iteration of Google’s Android, which is optimised for the 64 bits CPUs.
The star of the show, the Snapdragon 810 chipset consists of four Cortex-A57 and four Cortex-A53 cores, which are 20nm CPUs. These are estimated to be 50% more powerful than the 32bit CPU on Snapdragon 805.
In terms of graphics processing, the Adreno 430 GPU is 30% faster than the Adreno 420. As a result of this the terminal is capable of 4K video encoding at 30fps and 1080p at 120fps.
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Despite that the CPU supports camera units of up to 55 Megapixels, the terminal “only” has a 13 Megapixels rear facing camera with dual LED flash. What is great about this camera is the optical image stabilisation. The front facing camera is a 4 Megapixel one capable of auto-focus.
When it comes to memory, the developer unit is equipped with 4GB of LP-DDR4 RAM and 32 GB of storage. It also has a microSD slot located under the battery door.
The screen is enormous at 6.17″ at a 1600×2560 resolution. Like many others, it recognises multitouch of up to 10 points.
When it comes to sensors, the “dev-platform” has yet to disappoint. We are looking at a 3 axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer, proximity sensor, light sensor, pressure sensor, UV sensor, humidity sensor, 8 microphones and a Mobean sensor.
More connectivy feature are the 3.0 USB, bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. It also features a 11.1 sound with Dolby and DTS. The hardware buttons of this device ar the power(upper right) and the volume buttons (upper left).
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Other features on this device are a fringerprint reader located on the back and a tri-color notification LED.
The only downside found in the spec sheet is the battery, which is rather small compared to the screen. The capacity of 3020mAh could barely last a full day of heavy usage. On the other hand, this terminal is intended for development purposes and not as a main device.
I find this device very attractive at this point since it features the latest software and cutting edge hardware. It can be ordered now from Qualcomm and it should arrive by mid-December.
For orders and spec sheet visit Intrinsyc.

Have a good one!

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Inbox by Google- Review

Design

First off, we notice the new Material Design that is going to be present system-wide on Android starting with Lollipop.  I personally prefer Inbox over other email apps. It made emailing more pleasant to the eye and offered a slightly different approach.  It is also based on a color theme similar to other Google products, such as the Play Store.
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What’s new

  • Swipe left to snooze an email. This will make the email appear again as a notification at a user-defined time.
  • Swipe right to mark as done. This will move the email from your inbox to the “Done” section, so that you won’t see it again, resulting a cleaner interface.
  • Set reminders. You can use Inbox like the Reminders app from iOS, but it is integrated in the email app and it won’t disappear unless you mark it as done or you snooze it.
  • The “Compose” button is a big plus. Literally. Not only it can be used to compose an email, but it can create reminders and bring your contacts in one place. The advantage of this function is that it makes emails quicker to write.
  • Better organization in categories such as travel, purchases, social, forums and they are highly customizable, meaning you can add your own ones.
  • Location services. This makes snoozing and reminders more powerful. For example you can set a reminder when you arrive at home/work/any destination. This comes at the cost of battery, because you will have to enable location at all times if you want to take advantage of this feature.

Compatibility

Inbox is fully compatible with Android and iOS devices. In addition to this, Inbox automatically syncs your notes from the Notes app on iOS so you can read and edit them on all your devices. I found this very convenient because I own an iPad Mini Retina and a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and I like it when apps offer such cross-platform communication. Speaking of iPads, you might want to know that Inbox is not fully optimized for the iPad screen resolution, therefore can not be used as a replacement for other mail apps.

Verdict

I have used Inbox for a week now and I am not disappointed. I have yet to use all the features it provides, but I found them quite useful so I know there will be a time when I would like to have them. On top of that, I found the interface better organised and the fact that it offers the option to move all the mails out of the inbox into the Done folder is absolutely great. I’m looking forward to the iPad updates.

If you have any questions, I’d be glad to answer them in the comments section.