Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Guide on Choosing the Smartphone Right for You: Hardware Edition

Smartphones literally come in all shapes and sizes. With a lot of choices available on the market, it’s just so difficult to make a perfect pick. The possibility of dreading over your phone choice is always there. Nowadays, we don’t get to see diverse hardware differentiation anymore with nearly every smart device being a compact slab with touchscreen input method. But implanted in the innards of those phones are pieces of electronic components that make the smartphone a cut above the rest. Without further ado, take a look at the most common hardware considerations on choosing a smartphone.

Screen size. Mobile computing these days has become more focused into convergence. People with their fast-paced lifestyles opt to do their personal and business-related stuff through their smartphones. Definitely, a phone with a bigger display makes a better contraption for multitasking. But bigger isn’t always better; when it gets too big, it becomes difficult to handle. Specifically in the Asian markets, a device with close to a 5-inch display is preferred. It flashes a big-enough, clear display that still fits in one hand and in one’s pocket. So, if screen size is your primary consideration, then you certainly can’t count on Apple because the largest iPhone it has ever created only measures 4 inches diagonally. Prospective devices are those from Samsung, HTC, or Motorola that runs on Android.

Camera. The camera is one of the most useful and sought after features in a smartphone. With it, more innovative functionalities can be incorporated into the phone. Furthermore, snapping images with the same device that you use for connecting to social media makes uploading more convenient. Of all brands, Apple and Nokia (with its mobile phone division recently purchased by Microsoft) have their own collection of phones with absolutely commendable camera. Nokia pushed itself in coming up with a 41-megapixel camera that is capable to capture even the minutest detail. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 has received various acclaims with its camera, and now that its successor the iPhone 5s is equipped with more camera enhancements, like the True Tone flash, it has become the perfect tool in capturing real-life images.

Extra features. This is certainly a case of last but not the least because it is found out that the “extra,” innovative features are what drive sales the most. Take for example the Touch ID in the iPhone 5s; its unprecedented presence in the device—together with its other features—made it one of the fastest-selling iPhone models to date. In a nutshell, if something is new, it will be an attention catcher for sure.

These factors are the most important among the aspects that make a smartphone. But perhaps, we tend to look past loyalty. There are people who have developed a sense of affinity to a particular brand, and for as long as that brand understands you personally even though it is not the best there is, you just might want to stick to your comfort zone for as long as it can deliver within your expectations. Be that as it may, the decision is still yours to make; get the smartphone that suits you just right.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Come to Know the Android OS a Little Better

The Android OS, as you know it today, didn’t start out as this outrageously popular from its conception. It had its fair share of ups and downs; however, just less than six years after, it has become the dominant operating system, accounting to more than 80 percent share in the global mobile platform market. Thanks to the benevolent support of Google, it had reached this far and wide, being available to various handsets from different smartphone manufacturers across the globe.

September 3, 2013 was marked as the day Android has reached its 1st billionth activated device with the said OS. This is but a proof that more and more people are getting into the Android culture. So, why don’t we get to know the green fellow we all love a little better? Take a look at this infographic brought to you by SocialCubix, and take a dip into the Android story.

1st Android Device: The HTC Dream (G1) / 23rd September 2008
Integration with Google services
Web browser to show, zoom and pan full HTML and XHTML web pages, multiple pages show as windows
Android market app downloads and updates
Multi-tasking, instant messaging, WiFi and Bluetooth

ANDROID 1.5 Cupcake
Based on Linux Kernel 2.6.27 / 30th April 2009
Faster Camera start-up and image capture
Much faster acquisition of GPS location (powered by SUPL AGPS)
On-screen soft keyboard
Directly upload videos to YouTube and Picassa

ANDROID 1.6 Donut
Based on Linux Kernel 2.6.29 / 15th September 2009
Quick Search Box and Voice Search
Integrated Camera, Camcorder, Gallery and toggle between still and video capture modes
Battery usage indicator
CDMA Support
Multi-lingual text-to-speech function

ANDROID 2.0 Eclair
Based on Linux Kernel 2.6.29 / 26th October 2009
Multiple accounts for email and contact synchronization
Microsoft Exchange Support for syncing of e-mail
Bluetooth 2.1 support
New Browser User Interface and support for HTML5
New Calendar Features

ANDROID 2.2 Froyo
Based on Linux Kernel 2.6.32 / 20th May 2010
New tips widget for Homescreen & Improved Exchange support
Hotspot Support
Multiple Keyboard Languages
Adobe Flash 10.1

ANDROID 2.3 Gingerbread
6th December 2010
UI refinements for simplicity and speed
New Keyboard for faster text input
One-touch word selection and copy/paste
Near Field Communication (NFC)
Internet Calling

ANDROID 3.0 Honeycomb
3.1 SDK / 10th May 2011
Specifically optimized for tablets and devices with larger screen sizes
Refined multi-tasking, rich notifications, homescreen customization, widgets
Bluetooth tethering
Built-in Support for Media/Picture Transfer Protocol

ANDROID 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Faster, smoother, more responsive
Refined, refreshed UI
New ways to engage users
External display support
Enhancements for International Languages
New built-in developer options

ANDROID 4.3 Jelly Bean
3.2 SDK / 18th July 2011
Simple, beautiful and beyond smart
OpenGL ES 3.0 for high-performance graphics
Enhanced Bluetooth connectivity
Support for restricted profiles
Optimized location and sensor capabilities
Support for International Users
New media capabilities and ways to analyze performance

Printing framework
NFC Host Card Emulation for emulating smart cards
Web-Views based on Chromium (feature parity with Chrome for Android 30)
New framework for UI transitions
Storage access framework for retrieving content and documents from other sources
Sensor Batching, Step Detector and Counter APIs
Native infrared blaster API

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gained Some Weight Past the Holidays? Lose Those Extra Pounds with the Help of These Apps

The holiday season is a relatively lengthy occasion full of an assortment of festivities. We take delight of all the sights, sounds, and tastes in celebrating the over-a-month-long merriment that give way to a season of joy. And whenever we have a good time, we bond with our loved ones, harmonize the atmosphere with great music, and of course, indulge in sumptuous food. But sometimes, indulgence becomes tantamount to binging until we gain not only the joys of the season but an additional line or two on the weighing scale.

As we bid goodbye to this season with the coming of a brand new year, we start the year right with our New Year’s resolutions. And ever since these resolutions have become a tradition, weight loss has reigned as one of the most popular in the list of things to change and accomplish. To achieve the weight of your desire, let these apps help you to make you look and feel fit.

Lose It! Losing weight is hard work. It takes more than simply dieting or plain working out to reach your desired weight; it requires the synergy of both. With Lose It!, you can be able to keep track of your weight loss goals. Just enter your current weight and your desired weight, and the app will provide you with a fitness plan that is easy to follow. It will tell you the maximum daily calories you should consume, and it can compute your calories burned according to the activities you do. At the end of the day, you can see a line graph to view your progress since the day you started your fitness plan.
Daily Workouts. Gym memberships can cost you a fortune, so why not work out at home instead? Not only that this free app can save you money; it can also save you time. Once you have downloaded the Daily Workouts app in your smartphone or tablet, you can be able to view a vast anthology of workout videos that are broken down into five-or-ten-minute routines. Because of their fairly short length, they are simple to do and follow. With it, you can get your butt, arms, abs, and legs in shape as the workouts in the app are as effective as your local fitness class.

ShopWell. There has been a debate onto whether which between dieting and exercising is far more effective in losing weight. And as further studies are being conducted, the odds seem to favor dieting. Your caloric consumption as compared vis-a-vis with your daily activities is the most important parameter to watch out to ensure weight loss. And so, if you want to track everything from carbs to gluten, let ShopWell help you establish your dietary needs. Whenever you’re at the grocery store, scan the barcodes of food items, and the app will tell you if the product you have scanned meets your requirements. Otherwise, it will suggest another similar product that does. Not only that it works best for dieting; it also helps you set a diet plan for those suffering from allergies or diabetes.

With apps now available to help you lose the weight you gained from all the sumptuous dinner parties the past holidays, you no longer have an excuse not to shed those extra pounds and be back to your fit self again. All you have to do is download them to your handheld device and you’re on your way to health and fitness.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Going Out of Business? Go Blame the Internet

For most of us, the Internet is perhaps the greatest breakthrough there is since the Wright brothers invented the airplane. And why wouldn’t it be? With the Internet and its virtually infinite nature, we can be able to reach out to anybody wherever he is. But more than that, it has innovated the way we live our lives by giving us access to all sorts of information with just one click.

However, not everyone is ecstatic with the birth of the Internet. For some, it is the reason why their lives have been reduced into shambles. Their livelihood was severely disadvantaged ever since the World Wide Web has made its debut. Without further ado, let me show you the businesses that the Internet has vaporized.

Book Stores. Books are truly a great collection, but in this digital age, consumers would rather have an e-book than a real book. The retail sphere has radically changed ever since the Internet stepped into the picture, and one of the most affected industries is this one. When every sort of media has moved to digital downloads, interest to the same thing that possesses a physical presence diminished. And the most painful blow was when Amazon introduced the Kindle, an eReader that provided readers with the convenience of holding a variety of books in a portable device.

Video Stores. VCD and DVD rental services have experienced a big boom back in the late 20th century; however, they weren’t spared when the Internet dominated every household. Nowadays, all it takes is a tap of a finger for you to watch movies from a wide selection over the Internet. With that kind of convenience, who would want to bother themselves for a trip to the video store when they can just seamlessly stream whatever they want to watch either for free or sometimes for a price.

Record Stores. Music has been part of our everyday lives. It serves as a catalyst in bringing out our deeply kept emotions, but often, it’s just a means to entertain us when we’re bored. Given this, can you still recall on when was your last visit to the record store? Perhaps a lot of you can no longer remember because you were used to just downloading stuff over the Internet. Internet downloads enable you to choose just the track you like instead of buying the whole album. But the best part of it is that you may be lucky enough to find a pirated copy that won’t cost you a single cent.

Travel Agencies. Back in the days when information with regard to travel and whatnot is scarce, travel agencies are of great help to assure you of an enjoyable yet restful vacation. However, now that people can research about the “place-to-be” on their destination, not to mention transactions are now easily conducted online, middlemen in the form of these agencies have lost their luster. You can be able to have the adventure of your life with the aid of your trusty smartphone.

Payphones. Why will someone who has a mobile phone still want to call through a payphone, you ask? That’s a good question. Well, that’s unless if he wants to make an anonymous call. Be that as it may, payphones are gradually becoming nothing more than a disgusting piece of equipment that clutters the streets of every sidewalk. Unless they’re the prominent red booths you see scattered all around London, they’re completely useless.

Post Offices. In a world where everything had become fast-paced, people inhabiting in it should be able to catch up with the hustles and bustles of modern day life. Just imagine having an urgent need to send an important message, but the only way for that message to be transmitted is through the post office. What a drag. Good thing, we already have the email. It’s no wonder why the post office is having troubles staying afloat these days.

You need not to wonder anymore if the businesses mentioned above will completely disappear in no time. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. If they cannot keep up with the changes of this era, might as well resort to the insufferable concessions that will make them go out of business.