Friday, October 17, 2014

Playing around with Office Sway

Office-Sway-hands-on When you talk about Microsoft, it's most likely about Windows or Office. The Office brand is synonymous with the Microsoft brand and when it comes to word processing and spreadsheets, Microsoft Office is still ruling the desktops. In today's world where users try to get the most out of their software, Microsoft seems to be losing it everywhere except on the desktop. That however, brought upon Office Online which is probably the most versatile Microsoft product yet. All you need is just an internet connection paired up with a modern browser and you're on your way to becoming a productive person. Compared to Google Docs, Office Online is a lot more graphical and retains the iconic office ribbon which makes doing work feel right at home. Currently there are a couple of Office applications available on Office Online and last week, Microsoft showed off the latest edition to the family. They call it Office Sway and it's ready to redefine how we share and express our thoughts.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hands on with Windows 10 Technical Preview

windows-10-feature-vs-window-8 It's no secret that Windows 8 was a complete flop. From market share to feedback from end users, the response has been pretty bad. The successor to Windows 7 introduced the Metro UI (now called Modern UI) to the desktop which has previously been introduced with Windows Phone 7. With this new version, Microsoft decided to kill the start menu which was introduced back in the 90's on Windows 95. The iconic menu system was replaced with a touch centric start screen which was filled with live tiles. Month's after Windows 8 was released, Microsoft realized where they got it wrong and started to fix things up by introducing back the start button and an option to boot straight into the desktop. Despite that, the reception was still not there because of the supposedly high learning curve windows 8 imposes; from the windows store apps to the hidden charms bar, users were scratching their head. I can relate to this because when I first used windows 8 I didn't even know how to shut down the PC without punching in ALT + F4. Two years into the introduction of Windows 8, someone in Microsoft decided that this has to stop and last week, Microsoft revealed their master plan for the future of windows. They're calling it Windows 10 and for obvious reasons, the new operating system was such a leap ahead that they're skipping a number. In actual fact, they wanted to call it Windows One which would play nicely with the XBOX One and OneDrive name but Windows One has already been done 30 years ago.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sony has three new Xperia Z3 phones and tablets

01_Xperia_Z3_family_smartwearThe Xperia Zx lineup of devices have always received positive rating from both reviewers and consumers. It's industrial boxed up design and round aluminum power button has since then become a hallmark design of Sony's flagship devices. At IFA last week, Sony has did it again, by announcing yet another flagship smartphone this year. Unlike Samsung which does announce flagship device every 6 months, Samsung's flagship actually is catered for two markets but sony is beginning to act silly. with the Xperia Z3, they officially have 3 incremental versions of the same phone with near identical hardware and slight tweaks to the software.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Samsung's new Galaxy Note 4 and everything else from Unpacked

Galaxy-Note-4-articleThe Galaxy Note lineup stretches back to IFA 2011 and since then Samsung have pioneered the phablet market and brands like LG, Sony and even Apple have been busy replicating the big screens on their devices but failed to create a success mainly because they don't have Samsung's magical addition to the Galaxy Note which is the S Pen. For the past three years Samsung has been changing the way how the Galaxy Note looks like and last year’s Galaxy Note 3 design was probably the most sophisticated one yet. Unlike Galaxy S devices, the Galaxy Note lineup has often been regarded as Samsung's premium offering of the year. Being announced months after the flagship Galaxy S series, Samsung will have time to optimize the features that they implemented earlier and take a pick at which is better.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Lumia 830, Lumia 730 and more in pictures

Lumia 730 and Lumia 830 Earlier today Microsoft concluded their #morelumia event at IFA 2014 in Berlin. The event showcased a lot of Nokia’s innovation and continuous effort in the budget market as well as bringing down features from top of the line Lumia devices to the mid range market. This year i am pretty busy with classes and currently i’m busy completing my Samsung and Sony wrapup articles and they will be posted up before the weekend starts. I’ll be taking the weekend to complete the #morelumia article, so today i decided to try out something new which is a picture article (quite popular with bigger site, so i’ll try it out here today). This article is quite simple, a lot of big images and minimal amount of word, as the saying goes a picture paints a thousand words. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Asus unleashes their ZenWatch as well as $199 Windows and Android devices

hgrfvhyEurope’s biggest trade show is about to start but the pre-events are underway. First in line is Asus, during their event tday they unveiled a range of devices from affordable windows 8.1 laptops all the way to premium android tablets powered by 64-bit Intel atom processors. Mr Eric Chen, Asus Corporate Vice President started off by highlighting their market grasp at transforming mobile computing and said that their range of Zenfone android smartphones are selling at a rate of 1 million units per month.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Installing the Windows Phone 8.1 Developers Preview | How-To

banner-wp-devs Last week Microsoft announced the Windows Phone 8.1 update 1 (GDR1) for Windows Phone devices and mentioned that the developers preview will be coming out the following week. Well, here we are a little over a week later, the update actually started rolling out on Monday and yesterday i decided to get the new update loaded onto my Lumia 630. What i found out is that the installation process is really simple and updating the device required no physical connection with the computer, just like a OTA update. Unlike on android, you can’t just flash a ROM onto a windows phone device, it just doesn’t work that way. In this simple how-to, i’ll guide you on installing the windows phone 8.1 developers preview onto your windows phone device.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

This is the Lumia 630 | Review

Lumia-630-dual-sim-review-malaysia Three years ago Stephen Elop, former Microsoft Executive and current Nokia CEO (in 2011) inked a deal between Microsoft and Nokia to focus on creating Windows Phone devices. Since then a lot of things changed and Nokia effectively became the savior for windows phone with a near total grasp in the windows phone market share, its like they are the operating system. Late last year Microsoft finally announced that they will be purchasing Nokia’s mobile division for $7 billion, the deal wasn’t much a surprise given the relationship between the two in the past years. Just before closing the deal, Stephen Elop took the stage at BUILD 2014 to unveil the first Windows Phone 8.1 device(s), the Lumia 930 and Lumia 630. These two devices are probably the very first look at how Microsoft plans to overhaul Nokia’s smartphones. In this review i’ll be specifically talking about the Lumia 630 and more specific, the dual SIM variant. As i said during my article about the Lumia 630 a few weeks back, the Lumia 630 really is full of firsts for a Windows Phone device. For this review’ i’ll first divulge more about that as we progress into this review.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hands on with Live Lock Screen(s) for Windows Phone 8.1

Live Lock Screen Beta Lumia 630 Dual SIMDuring Microsoft’s BUILD developers conference this year, they unveiled the latest version of their mobile operating system; Windows Phone 8.1. Although it wasn’t such a radical redefinition like from WP7 to WP8, it did bring in the features which has been long wanted by windows phone users/fanatics. Cortana and Action Center was probably the most eye catching feature in this new version of Windows Phone but there was another feature which Joe talked about and that was the animated/live lock screens which are similar to custom lock screens on android. This new feature is enabled by the new API introduced during BUILD 2014 and this app in particular is the first of its kind. Made by Microsoft, this should give users a taste of what to expect in the near future when other devs start cracking their head to make more bold designs.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

This is Material Design and yeah it's Awesome!

Material-Design
When google overhauled the Android design philosophy in Ice Cream Sandwich, they introduced a whole theme called holo. Android versions after that like Jellybean continued to use the holo theme but when Kitkat was revealed last year, the holo theme hasn’t been much of a design highlight. Instead a more brighter and minimalistic design status was showcased in Android 4.4 Kitkat. At Google IO this year, Matias Duarte the man behind the design overhaul in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich introduces a new design language called material design alongside the Android L release (developer preview). This time around the design overhaul not only affects android, other google products like android wear and android tv are also being themed under this new design language.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Introducing The New & Improved Apple Ecosystem

WWDC 2014
Earlier this week, Apple held their 25th developers conference and their first media event of the year. This year Apple’s focus has been shifted towards developers rather than the media because this is a developers conference. As expected, Tim Cook did not unveil any new hardware but he was following the tradition of introducing the world to new versions of their software for both mac and iOS. The new iteration of Apple’s Mac operating system is called OSX 10.10 Yosemite and for iOS its just following the numbering scheme, iOS 8. Both of them have a bevy of new features with them and visually there isn’t much radical change on both Mac or iOS. But instead there is a lot more attention paid to the miniscule details as well as behind the scenes.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Swarm is Foursquare’s new check-in apprentice

SwarmApp
2 years ago, i downloaded the foursquare app from the ovi store (AKA nokia store) and since then i have been checking in to everywhere i go. In short, foursquare has changed my life (literally), it has been an amazing journey so far. Earlier this month, the folks over at The Verge (most awesome site ever!) posted an exclusive interview with the Foursquare team about swarm. Apparently foursquare thinks that earning points and gaining mayorships is becoming stale and I have to agree with that. Other than the special occasions where I try to outpace somebody on foursquare, most of the time I really don’t care much about the points. On Friday, the hounds were released and Swarm landed on the App Store and Google Play Store (coming to the Windows Phone store in Summer).

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Android In The Business Cloud

android in the business cloud

In the 21st century smartphones are basically taking over the world by storm and Android in particular is powering more than 80% of the smartphones worldwide. One of the current trends which Google and even Microsoft is heavily pushing out now is cloud storage. These days individuals and even big companies are beginning to store their data in the cloud because it’s simply more easier and with the internet being a norm everywhere, data can virtually be accessed anywhere. In today’s article, Dan Radak will be talking all about android in the cloud with enterprise users in mind.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nokia's Lumia 930 is the Flagship Windows 8.1 smartphone

LUMIA BUILD 2014
Earlier today, Nokia announced two new Lumia devices at Microsoft's Build 2014 keynote. Both of the new devices (Lumia 930 and Lumia 630/635) will be the first handsets to run Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box and the Lumia 630/635 is the first windows phone device to utilize on screen buttons and it also come without a camera shutter button. The Lumia 630 comes in single and dual SIM flavours which can support 2G/3G networks.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The innovative products of Tech Companies during April fools day

2014 april fools
google maps pokemon April 1st, the day when tech companies show their innovative side and the day where everybody claims its their birthday. This year google search does not recognize smells nor is nokia releasing their second generation oven, but instead, google is trying to train you into a pokemon master so you could stand a chance to work with them. Google started off the day by recruiting members of the public to join the quest to search for the ever mysterious pokemon all around the world via google maps on android, iOS and the web. In return you’ll get the title of “pokemon master” as well as the bragging rights because you successfully picked up all of the 150 pokemon scattered throughout the world map. All in all, for me it felt like a new game more than an April fool’s joke. The next major announcement which google made during the day was a new feature coming to gmail imminently and it’s called gmail shelfie (yes with the ‘h’). The word shelfie is actually a short form of the original words which are ‘shareable selfies’. This new theme also marks Gmail’s 10th anniversary and they chose to deal with selfies because the word ‘selfie’ was awarded the word of the year by Oxford Dictionary. I did quite like the themes which rotates every hour or so, whether this feature is here to stay for the long run is yet to be know (the current selfie theme is celebrating Gmail’s 10th anniversary).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Challenge Yourself to go Beyond the Hour this Earth Hour

Earth Hour 2014
Earth is the planet we live in and in the past few years people are starting to concern about the welfare of our planet. Earth Hour is one of the movement which is happening worldwide every year. It all started 8 years ago in Australia and today it has become a global effort and takes place in over 7000 towns and cities worldwide every year. During the predetermined day every year which usually falls on a Saturday in the month of March, people all around the world would turn off their lights for 1 hour (8:30-9:30PM) to show their support towards protecting the planet. Well this year, Earth Hour falls on the 29 of March which is today! and as of writing this article both New Zealand and Australia have completed their earth hour movement. So i would like to challenge you this year to go beyond the hour by turning off the lights when they are not used to conserve energy. Overall this 1 hour movement is not made to reduce carbon emissions because it has been proven that even if everybody shut their lights for one hour, it wouldn’t drastically reduce the carbon emissions we make everyday. However, this movement is to encourage people all around the world to unite and leave aside their differences to conquer a bigger problem. Also, to join in the movement i will be darkening the background of the blog for 24 hours to show our support towards the movement
"alright, lights off!"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My First Impressions on the HTC One (M8)

htc one m8
For years android phones have been criticized to be ugly looking and does not have a premium look and feel to it. But in 2013, that all changed when HTC announced the HTC One (M7) which featured an aluminium build which was solidly build and many said it was the iPhone of android phones. The original HTC One (M7) turned out to be the company’s best selling phone of all time and throughout the year, HTC grabbed numerous awards for the industrial build quality of the device. Fast forward to the present day, the successor to the original HTC One (M7) is announced and not surprisingly, HTC calls the new device the ‘HTC One (M8)’.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Current State of Smartphones and App Stores | Infographic

Mobile App Store Statistics
These days, smartphones are all the rage and talk. basically everywhere you go, you would surely encounter someone which is staring blankly into their smartphone screen and not paying attention to their surroundings.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How I Made TouchWiz Look & Feel Cool!

Touchwiz and Nova Launcher

For the past 35 weeks (~9 months), i have been using Nova Launcher as my main launcher on my phone. This week, i decided to go back to TouchWiz mainly because i wanted to know what is the performance and customizability difference between the two launchers. One of the main reasons why i went over to nova launcher is because i felt that TouchWiz was really lacking in some customizing opportunities compare to nova launcher which is deemed the most versatile third-party launcher available to date. In addition to that, i was pretty much running out of ideas on how to customize TouchWiz for the ‘Weekly Homescreen’ segment (check out my weekly homscreen at our social media pages every sunday night). Well, since the very first week that i used Nova Launcher i already had the mindset that TouchWiz sucks is no match for Nova Launcher.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Initial Thoughts of The Samsung Galaxy S5

Galaxy S5
Galaxy S and Galaxy S56 years ago android was still in its toddler years and in 2009, Samsung was among the handful of manufacturers making android devices. At that time people were mostly having Blackberry’s or PDA’s and a partial amount of people going along with Apple’s iPhone 3G. 2009 was pretty much the year of android as it was gaining substantial users both Motorola and HTC were playing their A game as they were dominating the android market. Then on March 2010, Samsung announced their third android device, the Galaxy S—Samsung’s first two android devices where the ‘Samsung Galaxy’ and ‘Samsung Galaxy Lite’, these names sound familiar eh? The Galaxy S turned out to be a big success as Samsung managed to sell 10 million units that year (25 million units throughout its life). Their success was prevalent because they had a winning formula—their AMOLED screen was the big thing because it displayed out bright and vibrant colors. That’s not it, the device was also super slim and lightweight. Fast forward 5 years and the 5th Galaxy S device has been announced.
"the Galaxy S wasn’t meant to be a flagship device"