Apple are notoriously secretive about their unreleased products, leaving the tech’ world in an almost permanent state of rumour, wonder and sheer unadulterated guesswork. No sooner does the new and improved iPhone come out than we immediately start speculating on the next one all over again. Of course, last time Apple released two iterations of their phone; the 5S and the colorful, ‘cheaper’ 5C…. so what next? Remember, this is all rumour and speculation, but that’s the fun of it. Will it even be called the iPhone 6? Maybe the iPhone Air? Let the guesswork begin.
First thing anyone notices about a cutting-edge smartphone is, of course, the screen itself. As many of its competitors’ screens grow larger, the iPhone has stubbornly stuck with its 4” screen. That might be about to change. Rumours gaining traction are that the next version of iPhone will not only include a Retina+ Sharp-manufactured IGZO better-than-HD 4.8” screen, but also a version with a larger 5.5” screen; even up to to 6” according to some reports. The real trick is to make the screen bigger without a negative impact on size and weight of the phone. Will Apple release the first phone with a true edge-to-edge screen? Rumours suggest so, even going as far to predict a ‘Smart Bezel’ or a wrap-around flexible screen. Whilst that might be a wish too far, but with screen real-estate being the first-impression everyone sees and the competition in the marketplace getting tougher, it might be foolish to bet against it.
If I told you the next iPhone was going to be made of Liquidmetal, you’d think I’d be watching Terminator 2 way too much, but it’s real and Apple owns the exclusive rights to use the space-age material. Liquidmetal is an extremely strong and fantastically durable material that can be used in small iPhone-sized quantities, giving an Aluminium-like build quality.
This might just be the way to making the next iPhone even lighter and thinner than its predecessor. Incidentally, Apple filed a total of 17 patents all relating to Liquidmetal in early 2014 so its fair to assume it will play an important part in Apple’s future.
Liquidmetal isn’t the only innovative, high-quality, space-age material that is potentially going to be on display…literally. The fingerprint sensor and the rear-facing camera on the 5S were both coated in sapphire glass and with Apple’s half-a-billion dollar investment in the technology pointing towards greater things, will the iPhone 6’s whole screen being made from it? It will certainly help solidify the rumour mill with regard to increased screen size. Sapphire glass is more than twice as durable as the current Gorilla Glass and is rumoured to be ‘virtually scratch free’. Maybe the whole screen will become a finger-print sensor, now that would be interesting when it comes to expanding the screen features, not to mention payment options.
Before the 5S was released, an Apple patent was uncovered detailing a chipset that contained both a fingerprint sensor and NFC (Near Field Communication). We all know the iPhone 5 arrived with the fingerprint sensor intact, so will the iPhone 6 complete the package. NFC has long been championed as the next big consumer payment route, without actually really taking off in great numbers. Is the time right for Apple to take control of contact-less payment, link it with their PassBook feature and change the way we pay for small items forever? iWallet anyone?
Will Apple’s recent acquisition of PrimeSense, the Israeli developer of Microsoft’s original Kinect and other 3D motion detecting technology, play a part in the next iPhone. Many think it will be more geared to the mythical iTelevision, but perhaps some of the technology might filter down to the phone. For those who think sliding a button to unlock your phone is old-hat, maybe building in some gesture control might be exactly what their looking for. How about moving between apps by waving your hand above your phone, or calling your favourite contacts with the click of your fingers. Patents do exist for Apple to even include, what is effectively, SONAR and additional microphones in the body of the phone. This would allow the unit to become more aware of its surroundings using proximity and audio cues to offer greater accuracy of its location. Imagine what developers could do with that!
The new iPad Air and its mini, retina-sporting, brother both came with 128Gb of storage whilst the iPhone has never progressed beyond 64Gb. Is it time for the iPhone 6 to follow suit? As the phone gets technically more advanced, so its myriad of apps continually strive to take advantage of all the new features. Bigger and better apps mean larger and larger file sizes, so storage is at a premium. There is a trade-off, of course. Doubling the storage isn’t free, but it is getting cheaper all the time. Naturally, it wouldn’t be the default specification, but would the ever loyal Apple customers willing to pay a premium for what is quickly becoming the norm for everyone else?
There are many other rumours, each one more fantastical than the last. We’ll probably have to wait until September 2014 to see if none, some or all of the rumours come to fruition. The guesswork will only heat up as we approach the release date. One thing we can be sure of is that, despite all our best efforts, there will be some surprises coming out of Cupertino and that’s the most exciting thing.
Tags: Apple, iphone
Posted in Mobile Reviews, News | No Comments »
As the speed of smartphone sophistication increases year-on-year, 2014 will continue to see the world’s largest electronic companies trying to out-do each other with their phones. The beginning of the year is always a good way to gauge what we’ll be putting to our ears for the coming year. Both the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in January and Mobile World Congress in February will be highlighting which smartphone to get your hands on. Before that lets take a sneak peek of some of the most wanted smartphones of the year 2014:
Apple iPhone 5S
Despite the two big electronic shows attracting the great and the good of the mobile smartphone world, arguably the biggest player doesn’t go to either of them. We’ll have to wait until later in the year to see what the iPhone 6 will look like (if indeed that’s what it’s called… iPhone Air anyone?) but don’t worry. Until then, we’ve got the iPhone 5s to keep us warm. If you listen to the internet or anyone willing to tell you, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the worst phone in the world. It isn’t. Far from it. It’s amazing. It is certainly an easy target and an argument could be made that it hasn’t innovated enough; it looks almost identical to it’s older brother the iPhone 5, but then it is an update to that phone, not a new iteration. The redesigned, flatter iOS7 makes the phone feel completely reinvigorated. The big new feature this time around was the finger-print sensor. Anyone who has used it will tell you its already a much more natural way to unlock your phone, not to mention authorising purchases from iTunes or the App Store and, with the sheer number of quality Apps available, it’ll soon become as ubiquitous as touching the screen. The screen size isn’t as large as some of its Android-sporting competitors but with the Retina display your eyes won’t be disappointed. Let’s not forget the iPhone 5S also has 64-bit architecture under the hood, thanks to the new A7 chipset. We’re still waiting for those killer apps to take full advantage of this and its M7 co-processor but they’re coming soon for sure. It would be a brave consumer to bet against Apple.
Can a smartphone ever have enough letters or numbers after its name? If the name of the next HTC flagship phone is anything to go by, it’s clearly learned its lesson after the HTC One X+! The name is still a rumour, but the phone is very real. Building on the positive reviews their previous phones have been gathering, HTC are working hard to continue that trend whilst hoping to turn good reviews into fantastic sales. The M8 (or whatever it gets called) will have a fantastic 1920 x 1080 pixel screen, an Ultrapixel camera (HTC proprietary image technology) but no physical buttons at all. Interesting. Also, you might not know it by looking at it but it will be also running the latest version of Android, known as KitKat, albeit hidden behind their own Sense 6.0 user interface. Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews for its recent phones, they just didn’t sell in the numbers they had hoped for. Can this phone change that? HTC hope so. OK.
Motorola Moto G
Times are tough and we don’t all have the mega-bucks needed to buy the very highest spec smartphone, so that is where the Motorola Moto G fits in nicely. The brainchild of Motorola, now owned by Google let’s not forget, attempts to pack the premium features all smartphones users enjoy into a price-sensitive budget body. The body is a good place to start. It measures only 6mm at its thinnest point, weighs in at only 143g and even has interchangeable backs so you can customise it ’til your heart’s content. The cutbacks come from the camera being ‘only’ 5 mega-pixels and there is no MicroSD expansion slot, so you’re stuck with ‘only’ a 8 or 16GB capacity.
If that doesn’t put you off and you do plan to pick up this phone to save a little cash, then its ‘Migrate’ feature helps you swap your content from your old phone to this one. Another nice little feature is that it’s coated with a water-repellent covering to keep your phone dry. It’s not quite fully waterproof but it could come in handy from all the tears of happiness you’ll be shedding if you pick up this phone.
LG seems to be playing a constant game of catch-up with both Apple and Samsung, as they fight for world smartphone domination. Maybe the Samsung / Apple battle might just have to find a space for a third contender with the LG G2. The first thing you’ll noticed is the beautiful 5.2” full HD screen. Whilst it’s not completely edge-to-edge, it’s not far off. The side bezel is absolutely tiny thanks to the controversial move of placing the volume buttons to the back under the camera lens, rather than the traditional place on the side of the phone. It takes a little getting used to.
The G2 is no slouch technically either. It packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor to push all those pixels around. If you’re wanting your next phone to future-proof the year ahead, the LG G2 is 4G ready and is even compatible with the forthcoming LTE-Advanced protocol. Despite the plastic back, it feels like a quality phone and it has all the standard features you’ll need. If you’re looking for an alternative Android phone, this just might be for you.
In a move that seems to be trying to preempt the ‘next big thing’, 2014 will also see the release of the LG G Flex; LGs first foray into the curved screen phone. Will it prove to the best thing ever or a gimmick? Time will tell, but with Samsung also releasing the Galaxy Round, it’s going to get interesting.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The latest smartphone in the Galaxy range looks very similar to its predecessor; the S3, but as that model shipped around 50 million units, why wouldn’t it! Whilst Apple is derided for their perceived lack of innovation, Samsung seems to escape the same criticism. Still, the Galaxy range remains the only real challenger to the iPhone smartphone crown. Samsung has built on the successes it has learned from the trio that preceded it with gradual improvements. The S4 has got a bigger full HD screen, whilst the handset itself gets smaller! It’s certainly not a phone for those with petite hands, although there is a ‘mini’ version. One man’s innovation is another man’s gimmick and the S4 has plenty of both.
Smart Pause automatically pauses video playback when your eyes stray from the screen; Smart Scroll allows you to continue reading webpages by tilting the phone; its S-Health feature incorporates a pedometer to help keep you fit; Near Field Communication helps you swap files and you can even use it as a TV remote. The list goes on! Incidentally, it makes phone calls too! You might think the combination of large screen and fancy features might have a disastrous effect on the battery but you’d be wrong. It has a large battery befitting its large body to keep you going all day. Whether you’ll use half of the features / gimmicks it has remains to be seen, but it’s a fantastic phone whatever you need it for.
Tags: Apple, HTC, iPhone 5s, LG, Samsung, Smartphones
Posted in Cell Phone News & Tips, News | No Comments »
Cell phone market has reached the hefty number of 30 billion and more is yet to be expected. There is a high demand of highly advance cell phones that function more than just a telecommunication device. Though cell phones are becoming more than just cell phones but there is a room for improvement. Lot of improvement to be precise. To cater the high demand, 3G technology is fast gaining popularity among cell phone addicts and 4G is looming in the corner.
With current mobile user using 2G or 2.5G, even 3G is very new to majority of cell phone users. Only smart phones such as BlackBerry Bold and Apple iPhone uses 3G and they are becoming hot favorite among tech savvy as 3G offers high data transmission speed ranging from 600KBs to 1.4 Mega bytes per second that means faster web browsing or sending emails within seconds. 3G ensure fast data transmission that makes watching TV or downloading a possibility on cell phone. 4G is generally known as ‘Beyond 3G’ as it will enhance the features offered in 3G because 4G in comparison to that means even faster data transmission since its speed starts from 2Mega bytes per second and can reach ten times that speed and higher, that certainly promise real time high quality transmission of voice and data multimedia all the time and anywhere in the world. That makes watching TV or downloading not just a possibility but actually a norm for masses. This will make access to internet easier; compatibility with other wireless services will be seamless with 4G.
There are many speculations about 4G as standards of it are yet to decide and tech gurus are predicting that things are not going to be as smooth as it looks. It took a long time for people to leave the comfort zone of their 2 to 2.5G phones and just recently, the hype of 3G phone is catching up. 4G may have cost issues and how existing cell systems can be backhauled to put this into effect.
Despite reservations and speculations, 4G is indeed the future of cell phones and already many companies are working over this technology. WiMax and LTE, two leading 4G technologies are already vying for their proposed standards. Japanese company NTTDoCoMo has been testing a 4G communication system prototype. Big names such as Bell Canada, Verizon Wireless , Telus have announced that they will cooperating towards building 4G LTE wireless broadband network. Europe and Japan have already plan to launch it by 2012.
4G is the reality of the future and integral for faultless computing and have a lot to offer as it’s the looming upgrade for tomorrow.
Tags: 2g, 3g technology, 4g, 4g cell phones, 4G LTE, 4g reviews, Apple, blackberry bold, cell phone, iphone, smart phones, web browsing
Posted in Cell Phone News & Tips | 7 Comments »
Rather than wait for iPhones to start shipping with application support, the folks at Fring have decided torelease an iPhone version of their IM and VoIP client. This means, for the moment, you must have a jailbroken iPhone to install the software.
Fring provides the ability to make and receive VoIP calls over WiFi, and on non-iPhones, the mobile operator’s data network. You also get support for IM as well through the usual networks.
I wonder if Apple is going to allow this app in iTunes once the applications start being official and all.
Tags: Apple, Fring, IM, iPhones, Mobile Software, VoIP client
Posted in Mobile Applications | No Comments »