Sunday, April 10, 2016

Overatting the color gold

50 shades of gold


Smartphone trends are (almost unpredictable) shifting from one concept to another. Take the original iPhone for example, Steve Jobs was a heavy advocate for one-handed usability and it turns out that you could also fit 4-inches into one hand (that's why we have the iPhone SE). While the original trend is about smaller phones, it is apparent that small phones are no longer the next big thing as everybody is on the ship of the idea behind big phones. Don't be confused, this article is not another rant regarding bigger phones. It is all about the color of gold (specifically) on smartphones.
The Mobile World Congress Battle — "the first wave of flagships this year look impressive enough for an upgrade over it's predecessor but none of them justify any groundbreaking innovations. Maybe LG's dual camera system and magic slot expansion can be counted as groundbreaking but I personally think It will end up just being a cool little gimmick to increase sales." Continue reading. 
Apple made quite a statement last year when they announced the Rose Gold color option for it's new iPhone (the 6S) and now we basically have the Rose Gold color treatment on most of the new Apple devices that have come out. As usual, companies are following the footsteps of what Apple is doing and the inspiration for this article comes from the Huawei P9 series launched earlier this week which not only comes with the Leica branding on the back but the device is unique in the sense that is came with an unmistakable choice of colors. Three shades of gold to be exact. One is more different from the other.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Apple's new 4-inch iPhone is not a big deal

Is going small really going big?

Earlier this week, Apple showed of a new iPhone and this should not to be mistaken for the iPhone 7, we will probably only see that towards the end of the year. This new iPhone announced during Apple's first launch of 2016 is the spiritual successor to the iPhone 5S. With just a measly 4-inch display, you should not belittle this small iPhone as it packs the same punch as an iPhone 6S. Apple managed to engineer their flagship A9 SoC into the new iPhone SE which provides this small phone the power to shoot 4K video and also enough horsepower to get blazingly high scores on AnTuTu.
What Apple experts say about the 12.9-inch iPad Pro — " The problem with the iPad is that you only need one iPad because you can get the same app experience on both the mini and the Air, the only difference is the screen size. But that might very well change with the iPad Pro, it is still indefinitely just a bigger iPad " Continue reading.
But is that what the industry needs, Apple seems to be convinced that there is a request for such a small device in today's world. Tim Cook is saying that up to 60% of people are asking (and begging) for a 4-inch iPhone and the iPhone SE is the answer. Just remember that Apple notoriously made small phones for a couple of years when the rest of the industry went over to bigger screens. For years, Apple's iPhone model is to basically downgrade the previous flagship in terms of pricing and provide the lineup with multiple price tiers. With the iPhone SE, Apple is making it the most affordable iPhone option that starts at just $399 for the 16GB model.

But the question is why would you want to buy the iPhone SE, 4-inches is real small. And no, the SE on iPhone SE does not stand for 'stupid edition'


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Is Windows Phone 7 happening all over again

Déjà vu

It's over for Microsoft, I have somewhat lost faith on the company with this week's announcement mainly because it has happened all over me. Earlier this week, Microsoft (finally) announced the official Windows 10 Mobile upgrade for existing Windows Phone devices. Alongside that announcement is a list of devices that are able to upgrade to the brand new software. That sounds pretty reasonable and all but when Windows 10 Mobile was initially announced last year, Microsoft promised that all Lumia devices running WP8.1 will be promised a brand new software experience. But after multiple delays in releasing this update and several problems along the way in terms of bugs and performance, Microsoft has just pulled the life plug out of nearly half  of the Windows Phone devices currently in the market


If you look at the list of fully supported Windows 10 Mobile devices that Microsoft is touting, devices only include a couple of mid-high end Nokia branded phones released after 2014 and to no surprise, all Microsoft branded Windows Phone devices will be getting the Windows 10 Mobile update right from the first Lumia 535 all the way to the Lumia 435. While my beloved Lumia 630 and Lumia 1020 will not be getting the official Windows 10 Mobile update, I am not particularly bummed out of this but I do feel what Windows Phone 7 users felt when Nokia said that Windows Phone 8 will not be coming to any existing devices like the Lumia 900 or Lumia 610.

Windows Phone right now is in a deadly state if you think that market performance is based on the percentage that OS fills up compared to others, Windows Phone is basically a dead platform. With a mere 1.7% market share as of today, that number is not likely to improve as Windows Phone sales are not going up and the fact that iPhone and Android phone sales are continuing to go off the roof with the release of a brand new phone every year.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Mobile World Congress Battle

Battle royale

At this point, it feels like the same old battle is going to happen once again. Samsung is poised to come up on top of their game and LG is going to gain some ground but not significantly and Sony is once again playing the curve ball again with their new smartphone. Mobile World Congress 2016 saw the debut of several key flagship smartphone that will determine what goes on this year and probably the most surprising one is from Xiaomi which is a first for them to have a big launch outside of China (and also India). Their new Xiaomi Mi 5 was announced on a global stage but you'll be forgiven if you're still yearning to get the rock bottom china prices outside of Asia.

Once again this year, it looks like there will be a pretty clear winner as to who will top the market and Samsung is poised to top the market with their new Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy S7. I am not trying to be a Samsung fanboy here but in my opinion, Samsung does have the edge (no pun intended) to triumph over the LG G5 due to Samsung's massive market reach in various countries. Like take for example Malaysia, LG doesn't always launch their phones in a timely matter in the region but Samsung is (always) most certainly launching their flagship in our market. But, the technology industry is not that predictable and LG might (by a small chance) have better sales performance compared to Samsung.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Apple's encryption war with the FBI

The past week has mostly been about the inevitable leaks of Samsung and LG's upcoming flagship devices which looks to be a tight battle between the two Android giants. But in the more general (non-tech) debate that has come up over the week is that Tim Cook, Apple CEO publically announces that they are vetoing the federal magistrate's order to assist the FBI in de-crypting the data on Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone 5C. Farook was one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino shooters which killed 14 people and seriously injure 22 people in last December.

The San Bernardino attack is believed to be the worst terrorist attack to occur in America since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. And this is why the FBI is persistent in finding the motive behind the attack in California. Now this is where the debate with Apple comes up, the two terrorists involved in the shooting was killed during pursuit and one of the current leads as to motive behind the attacks now lies in an iPhone 5C which has a passcode on it.
My thoughts on the iPhone 5C, do users really want a colorful iPhone ?"the iPhone 5C Is Apple’s iPhone aimed towards users which don’t have too much money to fork out for an iPhone. The device comes in 5 colors and is not exactly that colorful like what the rumors stated. The iPhone 5C is powered by hardware which is about 1 year old now or if you put it in a better sounding way it works like an iPhone 5 but doesn’t look like one." Continue reading.
Apple has been a great advocate of security (and encryption) since the early days and Tim Cook says that this incident is no exception for Apple to do away from their beliefs that customers should have the right to know that their data is secure. The FBI says that Apple's rejection to the court's order is causing a stalling the entire investigation. Prior to this event, the FBI has always tried to persuade American tech companies to provide the bureau with a "backdoor" that allows them to access data from a service/device. But companies argued that if such a encryption key is given out to the FBI, that would essentially get rid of the idea behind securing data that is inaccessible to anyone but the owner.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Four years and counting!

It is that time of the year again, this site which started off as The Technology of Today in 2012 is now 4 years old. I know I say this nearly every single year but this feels just like yesterday that I started blogging all about the tech news every afternoon during high school. The times sure have passed real quick and the site in my opinion is going at a steady pace in the last year. Not as quick of a pace as we had during the first year but I am pretty content with the progress of articles in the last year.

Compared to 2014, I managed to crunch up 46 articles last year which doubles the 25 I did in 2014. The number sure is insignificant compared to what we had in the year 2012 (nearly 1,000 articles published). This year in particular, I am looking to double that number by chugging out more content to this site each week. Last year, I tried out a weekly segment dubbed the 'Weekend Review' and that worked pretty well with my schedule. Also, if you have noticed, towards the end of last year, I was trying out a new schedule which had me posting two articles every week. That is what I am trying to implement this year and I will try my best to keep my schedule open to do just that.

This site is still exclusive to the feature and review articles and if you want to read tech news from us, head on over to our Malaysia site where I do post news articles there. I have no plans to reintroduce news articles on this site for the time being but through the feature/review articles on this site, I will backlink the relevant news articles back to our Malaysia site. In terms of articles, I realized that I have been talking a lot lot about Microsoft products in the last year, I will try to tone down on that and talk more about other tech products. Maybe go a little in-depth into the science of curved OLED TVs or just debating about whether Intel taking away overclocking on non-k CPUs is a bad thing or not.

Highlights of 2015 

  • What's next for Samsung: In this article, I talked about what the future holds for Samsung as the competition is getting stronger. Read about that here
  • Windows 10 Review: The biggest software release every by Microsoft and I explain most of the good and bad about Microsoft's new desktop operating system. Read the full review here
  • Microsoft Lumia turns blue, what happened to purple: This is still a little bit of an odd ball as it is not clear why Microsoft is opting for blue instead or purple. Read the full story here
  • Oaxis Star.21 Review: Forming a new habit in three weeks: Finally got the chance to do this review after delaying it for a long long time. Read about the fitness band here
  • Setting up the Raspberry Pi 2 for the first time: This marks a new journey for me into the Internet of Things, there is potential for more Raspberry Pi content in the future. Check out my first impressions of the $35 board here

As for changes to me myself in 2016, I have moved west to America from Malaysia and expect to see some articles dedicated to the technology life in America. I've already concluded an introductory article about Ting last weekend and maybe I'll do something like BestBuy store review or something in the lines of that.

Anyway, here is to the next year of tech blogging. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My transition from T-Mobile to Ting

Do you even ting? 

Smartphones these days have advanced so quickly and manufacturers are constantly swapping out expansion possibilities and maybe even the headphone jack in the case of the next generation iPhone but one thing still remains, the SIM card is still something that you need to make call, get data, send text messages and also to receive voicemails. SIM cards themselves have evolved quite significantly in the last few years with the card becoming smaller to fit the needs of ultra slim and compact smartphones of this generation.

But one thing has not changed, wireless carries (or telcos if you prefer that) are still charging users a premium for data, messaging and calls. Particularly in America, both T-Mobile and AT&T are among the popular options for those coming by the US for a holiday or for a short period of time just because they support GSM devices. I find it quite silly that the most cheapest prepaid plan from either AT&T and T-Mobile offer only 1GB of speedy 4G LTE data and unlimited text and calls. However you could always just opt-in for a pay-as-you go plan but that'll require some tentative tracking of what you're using.

That rounds up to about $40 a month for the most basic prepaid plan that either carriers offer. I could understand why someone would benefit from unlimited calls but really, unlimited texts makes it sounds like text messaging is still a hip thing these days. But that is what the big players are offering, if you look on the other end of the spectrum, we have smaller carriers like Ting and FreedomPop which utilizes the same network from either Sprint or T-Mobile but in a much cost effective price range. Essentially, both Ting and FreedomPop have this pay-as-you go plans which are priced more affordable than what you get from the big four.h

Monday, February 1, 2016

Facebook's timeline time machine caught me off guard

A brief flashback!

Whether you like it or not, Facebook is a still the undisputed king of social media as it still ranks on top of the list in terms of monthly active users. While, It is not the most well-loved social media platform, Facebook is still a necessity just because it is the most commonly used social network out there (unless if you're in China or North Korea). I still remember that I wrote a piece about facebook a couple of years back signifying my 5th year on the social media platform. This year will my mark my eight year on facebook and this article will serve as an update towards that article from 2013.

The inspiration for this article comes from one of Facebook's newer inventions to improve the 'social' experience. That is the 'on this day' segment which brings back some nostalgic posts from a couple years back on that specific day. I get where Facebook is going for with this segment, it's like the History's channel 'today in history' segment where they relook at the past. This feature has been on my timeline for the past few weeks already but earlier this week, the significance of this section struck me.
Facebook updated their logo, have you noticed it? — "2015 is the time for change as this is the first time since 2005 that Facebook is changing how their logo looks like. The new typography design isn't too far from the original, it's just the font have been given some rounder edges." Continue reading.
I stumbled upon a flashback of a poll from the WAA page about what company do you want to see a phone from and the top vote was for Microsoft to make one. Well, at that time, it was so much of a pipe dream that Microsoft would be making phones as Nokia was thriving at it. But little did we know that Microsoft did eventually buy over Nokia's mobile division and currently we are living in the world of Microsoft Lumia phones opposed to Nokia Lumia phones.

Monday, January 18, 2016

4 Apps to get you started with Windows Phone

the essentials

As you might already know (if you have been following this site), I am quite an advocate for Windows Phone. I was instantly attracted to the Lumia 800 with its striking cyan color and even until today, the concept of a live tile still feels like something other platforms should adapt. Windows Phone might always end up being the third wheel when compared to both iOS and Android due to Microsoft's app ecosystem in which popular developers just don't see the need to bring their app into the Windows Store
Lumia 630 Review"Another thing which i was seriously bugged about is that there is no proximity sensor and if you don’t know what a proximity sensor is used for, it is that sensor which turns off your display when you take a call so you don’t accidentally press" Continue reading.
Big named apps like Snapchat and specifically the entire Google app selection like Gmail, Google Maps, Google+ and Google Photos still do not exist on the Windows Store because the people behind them don't like Microsoft. While the Windows Phone app gap definitely exists, devoted developers like Rudy Huyn have expressed their loyalty to the Windows platform by filling out that app gap with an unofficial version that tends to work better than the original one.

But here it is, 4 essential apps that you need to have on your Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile device.

Monday, January 11, 2016

What happened during CES 2016

Taking notice of product launches and trade shows is a big part of blogging about technology and the annual Consumer Electronics show is a dear part of me as I have been tuning in to all the announcements for a couple of years now and frankly speaking, everything feels a little boring now. As the years go by, I begin to look away from CES just because everything about has changed. Sure, the new products are exciting but all the major announcements or headlines are basically a little overkill. So, here I am writing about a recap of what I can remember most about CES 2016.

Not going to talk too much about the overkill stuff like the Samsung fridge with a gigantic tablet display. It is the future and all but at the moment it is impractical whatsoever due to it's relatively high price tag. But instead, I am going to focus on the mobile technology part of CES 2016. Maybe a little about the cars and home appliances but generally speaking, I am not an expert or advocate of either genres. So, it's just mostly about the new tablets, computers, laptops. Fitness trackers and mobile accessories.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Here are 12 apps you should have on your new Windows 10 PC

Nothing beats that feeling of laying your hands on some new hardware and I'm pretty sure that some of you out there have picked up a new device or received a gift in conjunction with the holiday season. I have personally gotten myself the new surface pro 4 and you can read about my first impressions of the device in my previous article. Well If you have recently gotten your hands on a new Windows 10 powered computer (or even a Mac) or if you want to see what apps that I use on a daily basis, here is a list of my must have apps on a computer.
My first week with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 — "The deep hardware and software integration allows the Surface Pen to perform at it's tip top condition without any latency issues compared to other third party apps. I am quite happy with Windows 10 so far and I have been using it since it was made available to everyone" Continue reading.
First off, I would go to www.ninite.com and start selecting a few applications from the list and download the installer so that I don’t need to go to a bunch of different sites to get the download packages. I have been using ninite for quite some time now and it is a very useful tool quickly get started. Then I continue the installation process with other programs like Photoshop and visual studio which are not available on ninite. Finally, the last thing I'll do on Windows 10 specifically is to uninstall the get skype and get office app.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My first week with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Not a review

Third times' the charm and the Surface Pro 3 announced last year was probably the best representation of a tablet which can replace a laptop. But the question is, how do you succeed a pretty solid device. Well, Microsoft's new Surface Pro 4 tablet builds upon the existing form factor of the outgoing Surface Pro 3 and improves on it with some new hardware configurations all while boasting a thinner and lighter design. The star of the show is the new 12.3" PixelSense display which has 5 million pixels and also Intel's new Skylake CPUs which are more efficient compared to the Haswell processors on the Surface Pro 3.
New Surface and Lumia, thoughts on the Microsoft event"While Apple happily called Microsoft the productivity masters during their iPad Pro announcement, Microsoft was not shy to compare Apple's products with their new hybrid tablet offerings. Panos Panay did not directly compare the new Surface devices to Apple's iPad Pro but instead did a more subjective comparison between similar products." Continue reading.
But despite the somewhat incremental update, there has been a fair share of the problems that Microsoft is facing with the Surface Pro 4 (and Surface Book). The Surface Pro 4 has been plagued with some hardware defects and software issues from screen bleeding to speaker pops and issues with battery life, this is by no means a small problem since there has been a lot of complaints and Microsoft even issued an official note to acknowledge the problems being faced by early adopters. Even I had problems buying the Surface Pro 4 and had to outright replace the first unit that I received due to a hardware defect.

So, yeah I bought the Surface Pro 4 last week and I have been using it to do some daily tasks for the past week. After an adventurous week of dealing with some software and hardware issues of the Surface Pro 4, here's what I think about the device.

Monday, December 21, 2015

I bought the Lumia 1020 in 2015

41 megapixel love

Mobile World Congress 2012, Nokia unveiled the 808 Pureview which is 5 years of mobile camera innovation jam packed into a smartphone that had no future. It was running Nokia's burning Symbian OS and shortly after it's announcement, Nokia confirmed that the 808 Pureview is the last of it's kind at running Nokia's homegrown mobile operating system that once dominated the entire mobile space. At that time, Nokia has just started off the Windows Phone race with the availability of the Lumia 800 and it was perfectly fine that the 808 Pureview ran Nokia's Symbian OS.

With the 808 Pureview being the last symbian smartphone, the later announced Lumia 920 adapted the Nokia Pureview technology in a less aggressive 8.7MP sensor that included optical image stabilization to improve low light photography. But only in 2013 that Nokia would introduce the spiritual successor to the original 41MP smartphone dubbed the Lumia 1020. Nokia managed to replicate the 41 megapixel image size but the sensor was shrunken a little to just 2/3" which is still bigger than conventional smartphone cameras even till today. Ironically, Nokia announced that they are being acquired by Microsoft shortly after the Lumia 1020 went on sale.
My Thoughts On The Lumia 1020"Earlier today while i was researching about the device i found out that there are some pretty positive feedback from both tech sites and the commenters. It seemed that the people which had their hands on with the device found that it is very nice to hold in the hand and is not too thick by any stretch." Continue reading.
Well, the story then continue to the present day. Microsoft now owns Nokia's mobile division and the Windows Phone ecosystem is still playing the third wheel against the likes of both the iPhone and Android. The Lumia 1020 is listed as a discontinued hardware product with devices like the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 950 continuing the tradition of the Pureview technology. This is where I slot in, last week I bought a pre-loved (second hand) Lumia 1020 and I think it was a hell of a deal.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Understanding the Hour of Code challenge

What happens after that hour?

If you have been on the internet in the last two years, you might have already heard the term "Hour of Code" on social media, on videos, and even on the news. The Hour of Code program was introduced in 2013 by non-profit organization code.org. The organization led by Hadi Partovi is dedicated to spreading the word about computer science and one of their biggest initiatives is the Hour of Code challenge. While you can certainly learn just about anything the Hour of Code program has to offer during any time of the year, it is only during the annual Computer Science Education Week that the program will be at it's full swing at teaching everyone everywhere about computer science.

This week will be the third consecutive year that code.org will be running the Hour of Code challenge and this year tens of millions of people across 180 countries will be writing their very first lines of codes through the interactive game environment. The hour long program (hence it's name) will also be available in over 40 distinct languages and anyone that's able to use a computer will be able to learn how to code. Just like the 2014 and 2013, this year's Hour of Code is going to be the biggest one yet and there will be over 500 million lines of code that will be written in the coming week.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Apple Store experience in China and Hong Kong

Hands-on with the iPhone 6S

It is somewhat of an experience to visit an actual Apple Store and is considered a privilege for people living in the Southeast Asia as Apple is yet to open an official Apple Store in this region (correction: Apple will be launching it's first official store in SEA next year in Singapore, read more on that in my previous blog entry). I can still remember the first time I stepped into an Apple Store, it was totally by accident. At that time, I was merely walking around the Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong looking for some devices which are not available in Malaysia and I unknowingly bumped into the big Apple logo on the first floor.

But that was nearly three years ago and back then I was only focusing on the new iPhone 5 which was still not available in Malaysia. So this year, I am back to document and visit not 1 but 4 Apple Stores in about a 24 hour timeframe. This trip is somewhat of a coincidence as my visa was expiring during the weekend of the iPhone 6S launch and I had the opportunity to head across the border to Hong Kong and visit the three (out of 4) Apple Stores there.

The Apple Store journey begins after the break. I will also leave in directions to each Apple Store location and the time to get there so you can also try out this one-day trip on your own if you are visiting both Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Oaxis Star.21 review: Forming a new habit in three weeks

Is 21 days enough?

Which fitness tracker to choose if you're on a budget? The Xiaomi Mi Band or the Misfit Flash or even the Nabu X, this is probably going to be an ongoing debate as fitness trackers are getting as common as smartphones these days. Trackers in this price range basically do the exact same thing from calculating the calories you burnt from doing 2 hours of shopping to tracking how long you sleep each night.

Just like Razer, Singapore based Oaxis is looking from another perspective for their first wearable device. But instead of being a band that makes you more sociable, their Star.21 fitness band is all about getting you into a healthy rhythm. Sure, it will track your steps and count your sleep like any other fitness tracker, but the company is positioning their fitness tracker as a device that will help you form a healthy habit within 21 days, well that's if you manage to conquer the 'Star Journey' which is a virtual game that advances your position through the completion of your daily step goal.

The Star.21 is actually the first fitness tracker that I have used if you count out the built-in pedometer on my Windows Phone. I have been using the Star.21 for well over a year and there is actually a lot to talk about it since this is my first experience with a physical fitness tracker. So, how does it stack up against step counting thingamajigs currently on the market, well stick around after the break to understand the gamified experience that Oaxis is pushing as the key feature of their Star.21 fitness band.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hands-on with Xiaomi's credit card sized 10,000mAh power bank in red

Is it red or is it pink? Your pick

xiaomi-mi-power-bank-10000-mah-red
Remember the days when phones had dial pads and every phone brand had their own special charging connector? Those were the days, a single charge would be enough for a week's worth (or maybe even more) compared to today's breed of smartphones with power hungry hardware, you'll be lucky to get through a full day. The simple solution to this problem is either to buy a smartphone with an excellent battery life or just learn how to conserve your battery. Today in particular, I will be taking a quick look at Xiaomi's new 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank in this striking red color.

But seriously, it would be nice if smartphones come with a slightly bigger battery for that extra mileage. Fast charging technology is cool and all but nothing beats having more juice in the tank. Speaking of batteries, charging them used to be through a wall outlet but with the move to smartphones, power banks (or portable batteries, external batteries, battery packs, or whatever you like calling it) naturally gained popularity as an essential accessory to carry around even to cater for those 'just in case' moments.

Personally I am not too sure what is the most popular power bank brand (could be Anker) is in other regions but in Southeast Asia, Xiaomi's line of Mi Power Banks have surged in popularity due to it's eye-catching price of just $10 for a quality power bank that also features a premium build quality (something about aluminum that instantly makes tech products more premium). Xiaomi in general prices their products pretty low but the assurance of quality and product innovation is there. Sorry for the somewhat cheesy intro, sometimes I just got to have a little fun writing. On to the more serious stuff after the break.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What Apple experts say about the 12.9-inch iPad Pro

The PC Killer?


credit: FINANCIAL POST
In 2010, Steve Jobs took to the stage to unveil the iPad which was all nothing but a bigger iPhone at that time but with the popularity of iOS growing dramatically over the years, developers started taking interest in designing new experiences specifically targeted at the iPad's larger display. Ever since the original iPad was launched, subsequent iPad models brought into market basically worked as expected. Sure, there is more powerful hardware being included in each iteration but that's well expected for a next generation product. As you can say, the iPad whether it's the mini or the Air is basically the same.

Just like the iPhone, Apple will refresh the iPad lineup every year and while the hardware has been getting more impressive year after year, iOS still feels like a bigger iPhone on the iPad. Currently, there are over 850,000 applications that take advantage of the iPad's larger display but this year with iOS 9, Apple is finally bringing in some well needed software enhancements to improve productivity and multitasking on their beloved tablet.

With the new multitasking features enabled, this is where the next generation iPad comes to play. iPad Pro is what Apple is calling it and just like Apple's own MacBook lineup (which also conveniently has an Air and Pro model), the iPad Pro is designed to be a high performance device that will supposedly replace your computer according to Tim Cook. The big screen is not the only new thing available on the iPad Pro, there's also a new smart connector which is used to attach accessories like a physical keyboard without any wireless connectivity making it a native experience. But is it just a bigger iPad like how the mini is a smaller iPad?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Getting intimate with Microsoft's Bing search engine

When google is not an option

bing-vs-google-review-2015
What is the most popular site? That is a pretty simple question to answer, Google is by far the most visited site on the internet. While that might be true in every other country in the world, China is that one exception as their Republic's internet communication with the outside world is filtered through the governments strict policies which restrict access to sites which do not obey their guidelines. Google in particular was filtered out of China's network because they were seemingly reluctant to block certain search terms which goes against the belief of China's government.

But while websites are an important part of the internet experience, being able to search for websites is more important in the sense of allowing the user to discover based on the search term. Google (and many other sites) might well be blocked in China but unsurprisingly, there are identical sets of alternatives built by the Chinese. Baidu in particular is probably the most visited site in China as it is basically a carbon copy of Google but in Chinese. While baidu.com is the go-to option in China, it is not exactly the best search engine for searching foreign content.

Basically, Baidu.com is developed for the Chinese market and the search engine itself is designed to filter through Chinese webpages and that's about it, there is no English or foreign version of Baidu available. So, if you are trying to get some proper English search results in China, you will need to turn to Google's biggest competition in the global market which is none other than Microsoft's Bing search engine which also powers Yahoo search.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

BlackBerry's first Android smartphone, the Priv arrives

Review of reviews

blackberry-priv-hero-image
Two years ago, Canadian smartphone maker previously known as Research in Motion (now called BlackBerry) was on the chopping block (alongside Nokia) as the company was on it's last move with the release of Bla ckBerry 10 OS which was a brand new take of the age old BlackBerry OS which was more than a decade old. When former CEO Thorsten Heins took the stage to unveil this brand new touch optimized version of BlackBerry in early 2013, netizens took the time to condemn that BlackBerry will be a forgotten brand within the next year or so.
BlackBerry 10, what does it mean? My thoughts on the new platform — I was also impressed with BBM which can now do video call to other BBM users and also for the first time natively on a mobile device you could share your screen. This feature may not be a big impact for us consumers but for enterprise users it sure will help. Continue reading.
While none of BlackBerry's new line of smartphones running BB10 managed to get any widespread love from critics and users, the company's most recent offering, the Passport managed to gain some traction by being a unique device that actually does what the company is boasting it to do. The response for the device was excellent with many reviewers praising BlackBerry on the form factor which was pretty optimal for doing work related tasks like reading emails and viewing powerpoint slides on the go.

But despite all the praise about the powerful hardware paired with the unique form factor and the excellent keyboard, the device was still held back by BlackBerry 10. I still remember towards the end of 2012, there were lots of rumors flying around that BlackBerry was planning to build an Android phone and there was even reports saying that BlackBerry planned to dive into Windows Phone for the line of smartphones. All of that clearly never happened and both BlackBerry and Nokia (now Microsoft Mobile) are still making smartphones.