More New iPhone Add-ons

If you are like most people in the world, you have a mobile phone. How you treat that phone, and the accessories you purchase to enjoy your own use of it is an entirely individual expression. From the sleek and professional to the patterned and distinctly unique, you phone choice is only the beginning now – it is what you do with it, once you have it in hand.

Luckily, in today’s world there are many more gadgets, extensions and accessories for your cell phones then there are different types of phones. If the phone is simply the means to tap into more things you can personalise, you are in luck… there’s likely an app for that too, no doubt.

If you want to find anything from spare power supplies to unique covers and cases, the web will answer a lot of your needs. Have a look at some of these recent sites’ offerings as example of what’s out there to help you get more out of your phone, and its use:

• A little of this, a little of that: the number of different accessories you can find to better use your phone now is a bit daunting. From covers, to power supplies and car holders, to screen protectors, desk stands, speaker sets and more, you can find ways to protect, view and enjoy your devices wherever it is best for you. Have a look at Mobile Fun – and see if inspiration does not leap out at you!

• Powering-up, anywhere: Nothing is worse than a dead cell phone battery, and nowhere to plug it in to recharge. With the new Upp, (which is reviewed in detail at that site) you can rely on the power of hydrogen to keep your phones on the go. And yes, you are reading it correctly: it is hydrogen powered. Although it sounds incredible, the article points out that this unique new power supply is not without its own set of challenges to overcome.

However, the indication of where this is going, in terms of non-electric charging and battery supplies is certainly exciting to think about, in terms of cell phone mobility. Imagine being able to go out to the woods for a week, and know you always can stay connected…the Upp may be a great first step to help you get out in the wild.

• Phones on the go: Not everything you want for your phone could be determined a need, and that is where a site like Red 5 can come in handy. These accessories help you take your phone on the go, and out into the action with items like waterproof cases, headsets to enjoy virtual reality, extendable arms to hold the camera/phone while you play…the list seems virtually endless. They even have robots now that you can control with your smartphone, and of course, you can find them here. So looking at a site like this can help you to consider new ways to use your phone, and maybe start to explore and expand the ideas of what it can actually do for you. Want to take it underwater, or into extreme conditions? No problem.

The idea of a mobile phone is to keep it with you wherever you need to go. While in theory, that has always been the case, in reality it is only recently, through the advent of better accessories, programs and apps that it is truly becoming possible. Running back to the flat every couple hours to recharge simply takes the fun out of your activities. Power supplies, more durable cases to protect, and various extensions and tools to get more out of your phone are all smart ways to get more lifetime value out of each device.

Securing Your Android Device With Screen Lock

Screen lock can be used to prevent unautherised access to your Android device. Securing your Android device can be done within just a few minutes and in 4 clicks. Read the full article to find out how.

It surprises me how many people don’t use the security features on their mobile phones. I’m not saying that your phone should be like Fort Knox, but preventing malicious and even friendly or misguided access is one of the first things I would do. Securing your Android device can be done within just a few minutes and in 4 clicks.

On the Android platform, users can choose between 6 different screen lock options. All of these provide different levels of phone security, the higher security options are typically more time consuming tasks. To configure the screen lock on your Android device (In this example I am using the Samsung  Galaxy series of mobile phones) head to: Settings -> Security -> Screen Lock. 

Android Pattern Lockscreen
Android Pattern Lockscreen

 

I mentioned earlier that there are 6 options to choose from, I’ve detailed briefly below the differences and the security benefits of each and scored them out of ten for overall security.

  • None – As the name suggests, no screen lock security. 0/10
  • Slide – Slide to unlock is the most common and widely used screen lock. It however provides no security other than for bum dialing protection. 1/10
  • Face Unlock – The Face unlock option uses stored facial data and the phones front facing camera to detect the correct user. I used this for a month, shaved my beard and the phone no longer recognised me! Luckily the pin  and pattern screen unlock options are set as back up options by default. 3/10
  • Pattern – Simply slide your finger over dots in any direction, I love this option because it is so simple! However, grease fingers will show your pattern on the screen unless you wipe it afterwards. 5/10
  • Pin – This one is pretty self explanatory. Most phones in the naughties made use of this technology. 7/10
  • Password – Likewise, password technology is fairly common practice, the one downside using an Android device is the dinky keywords – this option is very time consuming but the most secure (for now). 9/10

To me, phone security is a trade of between ease of use and actual security. I want to check my phone each time it goes off, but get annoyed with having to enter my credentials every time. **UPDATE** The new Samsung Galaxy s5 has been launched and has finger print security. I’ve yet to try this myself, but believe it to be the least time consuming and most secure  screen lock method.

How do you secure your mobile phone? Have you used any apps in place of Androids custom security setup? I’d love to hear your thoughts on screen lock security.

The Best Free iPhone Apps of 2013

In October, 2013 there were over 1 million apps available to iPhone users (475,000 native to iPad), every day there are approximately 670 new apps available and this number is increasing day on day, during 2012 there were much less apps downloaded.

With so much choice, how do you find the best apps? Below we have found the most popular free applications downloaded from the app store during 2013.

Apple iPhone App Store Logo

Apple’s iPhone is undoubtedly the most well known and popular phone on the market. But like a General without an Army, the iPhone would be nothing without the apps.

In October, 2013 there were over 1 million apps available to iPhone users (475,000 native to iPad), every day there are approximately 670 new apps available and this number is increasing day on day, during 2012 there were much less apps downloaded.

With so much choice, how do you find the best apps? Below we have found the most popular free applications downloaded from the app store during 2013.

 

  • Adobe Photoshop Express – For all the photo lovers who likes to edit their pictures and like giving photo effects, this is the application for them. This mobile app is almost as good as the Adobe application for the desktop which is used professionally.
  • 15-adobe-photoshop-express[1]
  • Any.do – It is a kind of task management application. The users can make a list of their daily task using the app and the app helpls them scheduling their day by giving priorities to the more important tasks. The application works in conjunction with time and date to alert the user.
  • AnyDO[1]
  • BillGuard –The BillGuard app is designed to access your credit card online. This finance app connects you to the flag merchants who allegedly charge the users for different services or products which may be they have forgotten if they have been requested or not.
  • bill guard example screenshot
  • Brewster – This app for iPhone is visually rated as one of the best for handling and managing your phone contacts.  The contacts are well organised by the app which also displays the photo of the contact (if added) when the contact name is tapped by the user.
  • Brewster iphone app screenshot
  • Cloze – This smart application collects and organises your emails, Facebook posts, twitters and similar other communication by assigning priority to the more important or communicated contacts.  As an example, any contact who tweets you, post on your Facebook and also emails you; all such information will be shown in one shot by this application.
  • Cloze iPhone App Screenshot
  • Converter Plus – It is a fantastic and very useful iPhone app to do a variety of calculations. The application can perform conversion between temperatures, weight etc. The app can also convert from one currency to another and therefore requires a network connection for such conversions.
  • Converter Plus Screenshots -
  • Dashlane – Dashlane iPhone app is a kind of digital wallet which carries your passwords and many more. The app can automatically save your transactions after you shop online. Therefore, need to track your emails after online purchases are eliminated. All the information used by the app remains very safe as the information is always encrypted unless the app is unlocked by the user.
  • Dashlane iPhone App Screenshot
  • Dropbox – Nowadays people have their data files stored in their office computers, home computers and laptops as well. The dropbox app works to sync your data and make it accessible at any of your computer that you use.
  • Dropbox Screnshot iPhone
  • ESPN Score Centre – ESPN Score Centre iPhone app is used to check score of your favorite sports like Cricket, Hockey, Baseball, Ice hockey, Basketball, Soccer, American Football etc.
  • ESPN-ScoreCenter-iPhone-App-Screenshot
  • Evernote – Evernote app is a useful app which makes your notes more organised as compared to the other standard note apps. Its real productivity is that it organises and sync all your files and saves them on the Cloud service.
  • wpid-Photo-Nov-11-2012-647-AM[1]

What apps have you downloaded this year? Are there any you would recommend, any perhaps I could add to this list of useful free apps of 2013?

Android Phones to Support RAW

Google is all set to introduce a new Android camera which can support RAW camera files. Actually, the idea is to produce such a camera which can process totally uncompressed camera files or the files that need some editing and/or some touch-up hand before they reach a certain visual level.

What are RAW file formats?

Google Android RAW Format

RAW file formats are the ones that can incarcerate the exact data of the camera sensor. By capturing this data, later you can process it the way you want it to be processed. The idea is basically taken from the professional DSLR cameras which uses the same technique. Now the manufacturers of Smartphone’s are basically looking to make the phones cameras good and as productive as the DSLR cameras.

The urge to produce the Android camera to support RAWformats came from the ever increasing demand of several professionals as well as amateurs. As there was no such camera produced by any other manufacturer, so the idea of Google was to capture that market as soon as possible.

After the huge disappointment of Google’s Nexus 5 camera, the gossips nowadays are that Google is working for the production of its Android camera to support RAW camera files since December 2012.

It was reported that the RAWcamera android device was assumed to be released in October 2013 as in the Android KitKat 4.4 OS, but it’s been later shown by API that the release was upheld. The main reason given by the Google’s authority in October this year was that it is ‘not yet ready’.

The race was on between Google and Nokia to launch the first Android camera which can support RAW camera files. The Nokia succeeded in October this year to produce an astonishing 41 Megapixels android camera to support RAW formats. The Nokia 1520 model which has a 20 Megapixels camera is also supported with the RAW facility feature.

It is also been in news that the new android camera by Google will also support face detection which will make the device more versatile and productive.

The limitations of the new android RAW format camera are that the new device will deal with uncompressed camera files. These uncompressed camera files will obviously demand for extra memory space. Therefore, the challenge is not only to produce such android camera but also to facilitate the user with extra memory space to perform the necessary actions on the RAW format.

According to Google, the cameras will be made a lot better by inducing the RAW format support facility and can make Google devices more appealing than its competitors. Moreover, this additional facility will also boost the creative potential and the flexibility of the Android users.

 Learn more about RAW files & Android Camera Support:

http://gigaom.com/2013/09/26/say-cheese-google-boosts-support-for-raw-digital-image-uploads-and-online-editing/

http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/file-format-photography-jpeg-tiff-or-raw/

The Best Productivity Apps For Android Devices

boost-work-productivity[1]

There is a diverse range of productive Android apps. According to a careful review of all the latest and in-market apps, following are the ones that stands out:

SanDisk Memory Zone SanDisk memory zone is a fantastic  productive Android app which basically works  as a centralised hub which manages, controls and back-up your local device memory and as well as the cloud based memory. The local memory includes the internal memory of your Android device and also the memory on the external SD cards etc. On the other side, the cloud memory storage services include the Box, DropBox, SugarSync, Google documents, Picasa etc.

The version: 1.2.1 is the latest available version of this android app and it takes about 2MB of memory space on your device. This app co

mes free of cost.

 Scansfer AppThe Scansfer Android mobile app is basically used to transfer files, contacts, URLs, apps etc. It provides one of the easiest ways to transfer files and other things as compared to other such apps. This Android app is available free of cost and takes about 400KB of memory storage.

In order to make the Scansfer android app work, it is important that the recipient device is also an android device with camera and enough memory to store the receiving files.

Calendroid Pro Calendar  – The Calendroid Pro Calendar is an enhanced android app which is different from the built in android device calendar app. The user can customise this app as per their requirements and also get much diverse functionality as compared to the standard one. The size of the file is about 713KB and is available free of cost.

 Google DocsThe Google Doc app is a great addition in the android apps as it helps the user in saving time and effort. One good feature of Google Doc app is that the user can take a snapshot of a printed document which can then be automatically converted in to a Google document. Its other main application is in the smooth transfer of the hand written notes in to a digital form on your computer.

This android app is available free of cost and occupies about 1 MB of memory space.

 Documents to go Transferring and handling of documents is one of the most common task carried out these days. Documents to go app is stuffed with a variety of documents handling features allowing the user to work with the documents of MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint. The Documents to go app can access the Google Docs stored in the cloud memory. This app is also known to effectively handle and manoeuvre the PDF files.

The full version of this app can be purchased for $14.99. The free version comes with very basic features.

FaceTime Audio For Apple OSX

FaceTime audio is an integral part of VoIP technology induced by Apple for audio telephony. FaceTime can be used on any version of iOS and the Macintosh machines having OSX which is endowed with a faceTime camera. (Note: FaceTime camera of today’s Macintosh systems was formerly known as iSight camera.)

iPhone5 FaceTime Audio

System Requirements for FaceTime Audio using OS X:

  • Requires MAC OS X v10.6.6 or higher.
  • System should be able to shore up OSX snow leopard for MAC machines.
  • Lastly, an Apple ID to start using FaceTime.

Locating and Accessing FaceTime Audio App:

FaceTime audio app is one of the latest additions in the Apple products archives enabling users to make audio only VoIP calls. It basically works in conjunction with the FaceTime video app providing users with high quality audio with a lot better battery time as compared to the FaceTime video calls. The critics of Apple have rated FaceTime audio calls as good as the standard phone calls.

Locating and making FaceTime calls is very easy.  Following are a few steps that you need to make in order to make a FaceTime audio call on your MAC OS X:

  • Using MAC OS X, one needs to have the email address of the other person which is designated for making phone calls.
  • You need to add the person you are calling as a contact using your Contacts app or the FaceTime app on your MAC.
  • FaceTime Audio – Initiate the FaceTime audio call by taping the FaceTime audio icon of the contact you want to call.

Troubleshooting and Customizing FaceTime audio app on MAC OSX:

If you are having any problems in connecting or making FaceTime audio calls or in case you want to customise your app according to your preferences, then you can simply do so by following the below step:

  • Go to FaceTime app on your MAC machine.
  • Click on preferences.

In preferences, you can change the settings as per your requirements and can also troubleshoot any problem that you are facing regarding the audio quality or other connectivity issues.

If still you are not successful in making a FaceTime audio call then follow the following steps:

  • Make sure that you have the correct email address of the person whom you are calling.
  • Make sure that the person you are calling has an active Wi-Fi or the mobile data connection. You can’t proceed with the FaceTime call if the other person doesn’t have network or is offline.
  • Make sure that the port forwarding audio is enabled on your MAC if you are using router, security software or firewall etc.
  • Date and Time should also always be accurate on your MAC machine which otherwise can deny you in making a FaceTime audio call.

Useful Tip:

FaceTime audio or video might not be available in certain countries namely UAE and Saudi Arabia and a few other Middle Eastern countries.

 

Learn more about FaceTime Audio at the following websites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime

http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/23/facetime-audio-is-apples-biggest-little-feature-addition-in-ios-7/

http://osxdaily.com/2013/11/07/make-facetime-audio-voip-calls-ios/

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4319

http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57602606-285/you-can-now-make-an-audio-only-call-using-facetime/

Enhanced Speed for Apple iOS 7.1 Beta and some other Modifications

IOS7 SCREENSHOTApple truly has done wonders in the technological industry.  The fierce competition with the other competitors urged Apple to be more innovative and creative by giving excellent platforms to the users with better speed and exceptional performance of their device. With some enhancements with older version of iOS 7 Beta, the iOS 7.1 Beta comes with more sparkling performance and speed.

 As most of us know, the iOS 7 has redesigned structure of user interface with several functionality modifications as compared to the prior version. The iOS 7’s beta version seeded by apple is basically the first major update of the iOS 7. Now, the iOS 7.1 Beta update has been seeded to the Apple’s registered developers for performance and speed checking.

 The gossips are that this new version will show drastic speed and performance improvements with little or no change in the user interface.

 Some of the problems that are addressed in iOS 7.1 Beta update are as follows:

  • By deploying the Bluetooth, some of the 32 bit apps that were made to run on a 64 bit app were reportedly unable to be attached to a BT server. The iOS 7.1 Beta version addresses that problem with top priority as been seen in the developer’s release notes for the new version.
  • In the earlier version, the CT FrameDraw that draws the text was reported to be not placing the lines correctly and accurately for the paragraph spacing which is attributed to the NS Paragraph style. This bug is also rectified in the iOS 7.1 Beta.
  • The crash logs of the device will not be visual at the usage data in the Settings. Actually, they will now still be available when the device is made to synch off.
  • The timers of the device were made to be delayed by 1 millisecond in case of waiting for extremely accurate timers or else in case of sleeping.
  • The MCSessioninitwithPeer mode in the iOS 7.1 Beta version is planted now more effectively.

In the prior versions, there were complaints about the slow loading of iTunes Match Library and also the purchased music history of the users was taking excessive time. This was the case mainly on larger library sizes. Earlier, the technique to access ITunes library in such scenarios was that to access it after an interval of 30 minutes. This issue is also a concern for the developers and is suppose to be addressed in this iOS 7.1 beta version.

HTC Gratia

htc gratia
HTC Gratia

HTC are at it again! Yet another mobile phone! Introducing the HTC Gratia; available throughout the UK on major networks including: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and o2. Unlike American citizens who are confined to AT&T and the same phone but named HTC Aria, the UK public have a choice of network provider.



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HTC Gratia Review

As standard and what we have come to expect from HTC is the excellent HTC Sense interface. The user interface provides a clear, lively and vivid experience. With this interface installed by default your home screen welcomes you with a large analogue clock and local weather information, which I can assure you will become a familiar and welcomed contribution to the handset. If these are not to your taste, the phone can be customised through a variety of widgets, shortcuts and wallpapers. Populate the 7 scrollable screens with ease making this phone truly your own. Pressing on the home key or performing the ‘pinching’ gesture takes you to an overview of your 7 screens; allowing you to choose the appropriate one you want to view, tap to access.

Social networking has become an integral feature within smartphones, websites and across the board, the Android based HTC Gratia is no exception to this and comes integrated with Facebook, Twitter as well as many more options available through the marketplace. Cleverly even the internal phonebook can be customised to connect with Facebook and display updates such as statuses and birthdays.

The HTC Gratia is a phone of solid integrity, it is built and designed to a high standard. The Gratia is strangely light in respect to other recent productions, coming in at just 115g. Sizing wise this handset measures 104 x 58 mm and a mere 11.7 in thickness, so its not the smallest handset, but by no means as big as its predecessors such as HTC Desire.

The majority of the screen as you might expect is occupied by the 3.2” TFT capacitive touch screen display, which by no means is something to write home about in comparison to some of larger offerings from HTC. Gratia has a resultion of 320×480, again nothing fantastic, FYI: you should have no issues watching YouTube videos.
On a positive note this phone does display a respectable 256k colours which for a phone is all most should need.

The handset like many of the touchscreen devices of late has the ability to rotate when turned on its side, making the phone particularly useful when tapping out text messages, emails and web browsing. Another cool feature is one named ‘flip to silent’, you turn the phone onto its front and the handset will detect this and mute the calls and text messages.

HTC have kept with there trackpad in the Gratia and models produced before her, this option is handy when precision is required. The trackpad has good sensitivity and makes some aspects of using this phone simpler.

From a multimedia point, the HTC Gratia comes packed with a 5 megapixel camera capable of detecting a face, auto focus and geo tagging options. You can also record in VGA quality, while not the best quality it was an effective alternative and both the photos and videos came out better than I had initially expected. All of your favourite media can be played on this phone via the stock media player or pick up one from the Android Marketplace (I personally don’t like the default one), WinAmp is a good alternative. For your convenience any standard 3.5 mm socket headphones can be connected to this phone.

HTC Gratia Specifications
This phone is relatively well equipped with 512 MB of onboard storage space, 384 MB working memory (R.A.M) and a slot for upgrading the memory via microSD. The HTC Gratia comes with the full connectivity package including mobile internet HSDPA, WiFi modes B & G, Bluetooth and connectivity via the supplied usb cable.

The HTC Gratia comes with Google Android 2.2 codenamed Froyo and is in line to be upgraded to version 2.3 in due time. HTC’s newest recruit is capable of multitasking and I believe could handle most of the stuff you would expect a phone like the Desire or Desire HD to handle, just don’t expect it to sing and dance.

In conclusion, the HTC Gratia is in itself more than capable phone from HTC, as usual. This would make a great first smartphone, if you know someone looking to upgrade and try out the Android operating system or something by HTC. Sense makes the whole user experience for the person looking to get their first mobile phone simple and haste free. I consider this to be one of the core benefits of choosing the Gratia as a first phone or your next upgrade. You don’t ‘need’ to do much with it for it to be useful and functionality can be explored at a later date.

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HTC Gratia Video Review

With thanks to MobileGazette

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HTC Gratia Specs

* Google Android 2.2 Froyo OS
* 3.2 Inch H VGA Touchscreen
* 600 MHz CPU
* 900 – 2100 HSPA – WCDMA
* WiFi B and G
* Bluetooth 2.0
* MicroUSB Port (Data transfer & Charge)
* 3.5mm Headphone Socket
* Optical Trackpad (Mouse)
* 384 MB RAM
* 512 MB ROM (Internal Storage)
* G-Sensor
* 5 Megapixel Camera
* Digital Compass
* Ambient Light Sensor
* MicroSD Card Slot (for memory upgrade)

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HTC Gratia User Review

TBA.

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Free HTC Gratia

 

Currently there are no offers with free mobile for the HTC Gratia.

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HTC Gratia with Automatic Cashback

 

Currently there are no offers with auto cashback for the HTC Gratia.

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HTC Gratia with FREE Gifts

 

Currently there are no offers with free gifts for the HTC Gratia.

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HTC Gratia on Pay As You Go

Amazon: TBA

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HTC Gratia Accessories



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Do you own this phone? What do you think of it? Have your say.