Showing posts with label Mobile Phones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mobile Phones. Show all posts

BlackBerry is going to launch BBM for Gingerbread in Feb


BlackBerry is going to launch BBM for Gingerbread in Feb


BlackBerry launched its popular BBM service for Android and iOS last year and ever since it went official, Gingerbread users have been demanding a version of the application that is compatible with the platform. And now we hear that an app for this operating system is on its way into the Google Play store.

The company itself spilled the beans regarding the new version of the instant messenger through a post on its official blog. It says that the app will be compatible with devices running Gingerbread version 2.3.3 or later and the beta version can be expected to be released sometime in February. The previously released BBM for Android application was compliant with gadgets based on Ice Cream Sandwich or higher platforms.


The developers at BlackBerry have been busy designing the application for a few months now and it goes without saying that the version will make the instant messenger available to more than a few million people around the globe. Even though Google has already released the KitKat OS, Gingerbread continues to have a 21 percent share in the Android territory.

You may already know that BlackBerry Messenger or BBM, an instant messaging service, recently went cross platform. Additionally, there are reports doing the rounds of the web that the Android and iOS versions are up for an update that will tag along support for voice calls and messages as well as BBM Channels.


Would Google abandon Nexus devices in favor of Google Play Editions?

Rumor has it that Nexus device will no longer be named that way, for Google is apparently pondering over abandoning the said line of stock Android phones. Instead, it is said to be thinking of launching Google Play Editions of popular handsets, and these devices are even set for a rebranding.

For those unaware, Nexus products are devices which are infused with pure and unaltered versions of the Android OS, and they are manufactured by other OEMs as ordered by Google. They are subsidized products, and hence are available in the market at comparatively affordable prices.

Would Google abandon Nexus devices in favor of Google Play Editions?


Google Play Editions on the other hand, are flagship devices of bigwig companies which are given the stock Android treatment. Since Nexus devices eat up a chunk of the market share, major OEMs like Samsung, LG, HTC and others find their flagships often lagging behind.

Apparently, these companies could also be compelling Google to do away with the Nexus line owing to this reason. The tweet which is the backbone of this whole speculation comes from renowned leakster Eldar Murtazin, and points out that the Nexus line will be eliminated in 2015, and be replaced by the Google Play Edition line in a rebranded form.

Fans of the Nexus lineup would be extremely unhappy with this move, but it seems market pressure and a number of other things are forcing Google to go with the decision. Their saving grace could turn out to be Google-owned Motorola which is doling out attractive nearly-stock Android devices right now.

An important report about Pakistani Smartphone users



An important report about Pakistani Smartphone users

 According to a new survey from Google, there is a key change is Pakistani internet users. In 2014, a big chunk of Smartphones will exceed from Desktop computer internet users. At this moment, 91% Pakistani internet users access internet from their personal computers for that very reason internet is accessed from Desktop computers in a large mass in Pakistan. However, 45% of them also have Smartphones or tablets with their Desktop computers, 18% users only go for Smart devices.

Over all if I say that mobile devices for internet access are leading desktop computers would not be wrong. 86% Pakistani internet users access the internet on their Personal computers, 77% use access on Smartphone and 59% user access internet on tablets.

Due to Smartphone inclination and 3G technologies in Pakistan, the prices of Smartphones and tablets went low. It’s also expected that feature phones will also play their role to switch the Pakistani internet users to mobile devices. Load-shading is also improving the user of Smartphones and tablets in Pakistan. Tania Adros manager of Google Asia Pacific said, “According to us, 2014 year will replace the Desktop computer internet users with mobile internet users because users prefer Smartphones and tablets. All telecommunication companies must contemplate on changing behavior of users. That’s why it is very important for every company to know that how much they understand their users. ”

According to IDC firm, these stats were taken from research on 1000 Pakistani people. Pakistan Consumer Study Program was inaugurated last year on Pakistani users communication habits and very interesting stats were discovered from research. According to survey 70% people use internet daily while according to 60% users like to spend their personal time on internet.

In the last I would like to say that if Government contemplates on shortage of some facilities in Pakistan such as load-shedding, slow internet speed and low bandwidth, Pakistan can walk with other countries in digital life race.





Sony launched Xperia T2 Ultra & Xperia E1 smartphones



Sony launched Xperia T2 Ultra


Taking the phablet phenomena a step forward, Sony has launched two new smartphones in its popular Xperia series with Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and Xperia E1. Both the phones cum tablets feature Google's Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) operating system and have separate Dual-SIM versions too. The tech giant has not declared the prices of these phones or the availability details as of now. At the launch, Sony has listed the technical specifications and features highlights of these phablets and they are quite impressive. Let us take a look at them one by one.

The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra features a 6-inch HD TRILUMINOS display with X-Reality for mobile picture engine. It has a resolution of 720 x 1080 pixels and features 16,777,216-colour TFT screen. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.4GHz Quad Core processor, the Xperia T2 Ultra sports a 13 megapixel camera with Exmor RS sensor and a 1.1MP front facing camera with Exmor R technology. The rear camera supports HD video recording (at 1080p), pulsed LED flash, auto focus, Burst mode and 16x digital zoom. The phone supports Background defocus, Sweep Panorama, Collage, Timeshift burst and the selfie-friendly Portrait Retouch.


Sony-Xperia-T2-Ultra. ​


The memory on the phone is a 1GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory with microSD card that extends it up to 32 GB (SDXC supported). On the connectivity front, the phone supports - 3.5 mm audio jack (CTIA), aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, USB tethering, NFC, USB High speed 2.0 and Micro USB support, Wi-Fi and WiFi Hotspot functionality. The phone has a 3,000 mAh battery that offers talktime up to 1440 minutes and standby time up to 1071 hours. Take a look at a video about Xperia T2 Ultra here -


Sony launched Xperia T2 Ultra


Now coming to - the Sony Xperia E1 features. We have a 4-inch WVGA TFT display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution. Powered by a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8210 dual-core processor with with 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, 32GB microSD card support. There's a 3 megapixel camera on the rear and on the music front, it has a Walkman key, shake to shuffle and hardware controls for controlling audio tracks. Available in white, black and purple colours, the Xperia E1 features key technologies like a 100Db speaker and ClearAudio+ mode and xLOUD for louder and enhanced sound output.The music-centric smartphone comes pre-loaded with a 30 day pass for Sony Entertainment Network content store.


Sony-Xperia-E1-Launch.


"Xperia E1 combines the best of Sony's audio technologies with a premium design and great hardware to create a smartphone for people who want to express themselves out loud," Calum MacDougall, director of Xperia marketing at Sony Mobile Communications, said in a statement. "It's a new, music focused player in our Xperia lineup that is underpinned by the best of Sony's design, display and content offers." About Xperia T2 Ultra, he said, "Xperia T2 Ultra will lead the category through its combination of advanced display and camera technologies, it will bring large-screen entertainment in an amazingly portable form factor, and it will do it all whilst providing incredible value for money."


Sony launched Xperia E1

Normandy Nokia's expected Android-based future phone leaks yet again


In spite of there being reports that Nokia has given up on the Android-based Normandy, the device doesn't shy away from showing up on the internet. Not only have some more of its pictures appeared on the web, but the device has also been benchmarked, the results of which confirm the presence of the Android OS.

The AnTuTu benchmark results of the smartphone appeared on the Chinese website Weibo and the guys over at Nokia Powerusers managed to lay their hands on the screenshots. It is codenamed A110 and operates with the assistance of the Android KitKat 4.4.1. Another detail that has come to light is that the device will make the most of a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but the exact version that it will employ has not been mentioned.

Normandy Nokia's expected Android-based future phone leaks yet again
www.techpopups.blogspot.com


As you can see in the screenshot, the Nokia Normandy will have a rather low-end 5MP camera. This could mean that the phone may not be a very expansive one and may fall in the affordable range of Android smartphones. It is likely to be capable of rendering visuals in 854 x 480p resolution.

And that’s not all. The serial leaker @evleaks has also found some more pictures of the phone and they clearly suggest that the phone will have dual SIM card slots. The lack of Live Tiles and presence of widgets are enough to give the operating system away. Interested users are also likely to have multiple color options for this handset.


Normandy Nokia's expected Android-based future phone leaks yet again
http://www.techpopups.blogspot.com/


The Nokia Normandy may show up at the MWC to be held in February.

Purported specifications:

  1.  854 x 480p touchscreen
  2. 5MP camera
  3. Android KitKat 4.4.1 OS
  4. Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  5.  Dual SIM




The Wireless iPhone Printer



The Wireless iPhone Printer


This is the printer that connects wirelessly to an iPhone or Android-powered phone and prints vibrant color photographs. An iPhone running a free app transmits pictures over a home Wi-Fi network to the printer, allowing you to print from anywhere in the home. In less than a minute and without ink cartridges, it prints 4" x 6" borderless photographs at 300 dpi resolution in up to 256 gradations and 16.7 million colors. The pictures are printed on patented paper embedded with yellow, magenta, and cyan dye crystals, producing rich, vibrant photographs that are waterproof and resist fingerprints, dust, and scratches. It can also print pictures directly from PictBridge-enabled cameras. Includes paper cartridge for 10 prints; additional paper cartridges sold below. Compatible with all iPhone (including iPhone 5), iPad, and iPod touch models running iOS 3 and up and Android-powered devices running OS 2 and up. 7" L x 6" W x 4" H. (3 lbs.)

14 Best Smartphones in the world


14 Best Smartphones in the world


As the year nears the end, all major manufacturers – Apple, Samsung, Google, Nokia, Sony, LG etc – are done with their smartphone launches. Wonder which are the best samrtphone in the world? Time to check Business Insider’s monthly ranking of the world’s reining smartphones.

iPhone 5S


For  most people, the iPhone 5S is the best smartphone available. It strikes the perfect balance of great design, useful features, and app and content selection. The iPhone 5S looks nearly identical to last year’s 5, but sports a better camera and a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone without a pass-code.


14 Best Smartphones in the world

HTC One Google Edition


Just like Samsung, HTC partnered with Google to create a “Google Edition” of  its flagship smarphone. The HTC One Google edition is the best Android phone on the place. It has the same great design as the one running HTC’s software, but has a clean version of Android without any unnecessary extras.

14 Best Smartphones in the world

HTC One
 

If you’re interested in Android and are locked into a cariier, the HTC One is the best phone you can buy. It has all the best features of any Android phone, wrapped in a gorgeous all-metal design. It’s the first Android phone to match Apple’s iPhone in design and build quality.

14 Best Smartphones in the world

Motorola Moto X


The Moto X is on e of the best phones we’ve used recently. It runs a nearly clean version of Android, but Motorola added a few hand tricks like the ability to quickly check notifications from the lock screen.



14 Best Smartphones in the world

Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition


Samsung and Google have partnered together to offer a special edition of the Galaxy S4. The “Google Edition” strips out all the software extras from Samsung and instead has a “clean” version of Android, straight from Google. The basic version of Android in one of the best, and it’s great to see it running on Samsung’s powerful hardware.

14 Best Smartphones in the world


Samsung Galaxy S4 Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 phone was one of the most hyped devices of the year. It’s a good phone, but could b a bit too much for some people. That’s because Samsung packed the S4 full of noisy and comlex feature that you’d probably never use. It’s also covered in cheap feeling plastic, which could b aturn off for some people.

iPhone 5C


The iPhone 5S is one of Apple’s two new iPhones. It replaces the iPhone 5 in Apple’s smartphone lineup, but that’s because it has most of the same specs and features. The only difference is that the iPhone 5S is made out of plastic that comes in five colour options: blue, pink, green yellow, or white.


14 Best Smartphones in the world

Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Samsung popularized the “phablet” category with the Galaxy Note two years ago. Now the phone is in its third gerenation with the Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy note 3 has the biggest screen yet, 5.7 inches, yet its body is actually thinner and lighter than last year’s model. It also comes with a special stylus called the S pen for drawing or taking notes.

14 Best Smartphones in the world

LG G2


The G2 is LG’s newest flagship smartphone. It has a gorgeous 5.2-inch display and one of the most current versions of Android. But it does have one odd design quirk: the power and volume buttons are located on the back of the phone, making it a but awkward to use at first.


14 Best Smartphones in the world

LG Optimus G Pro


LG’s Optimus G Pro is the company’s flagship phablet, or smartphone wit a screen so huge that it’s almost a tablet. The Optimus has a 5.5-inch display that can play full 1080p HD video. If you like giant screens, this is a great device.

14 Best Smartphones in the world

 Nokia Lumia 925


Nokia’s Lumia 925 is the best Windows phone you can buy; it’s the most attractive of Nokia’s Lumia device and includes a really good camera. If you’re interested in Windows Phones, this is the first smartphone to consider.

14 Best Smartphones in the world

Nokia Lumia 1020


By most accounts, Nokia’s flagship phone, the Lumia 1020, has the best camera of any smartphone. If photos are your top priority, then this should be one of the first phones you look at. But hter are few drawbacks. The Lumia 1020 is very thick and heavy compared to most smartphones in order to make room for that fancy camera. There’s even a giant bulge on the back. It’s also a Windows Phone, which doesn’t have the same robust app selection as iPhone or Android.

14 Best Smartphones in the world

 BlackBerry Q 10


If you absolutely must have phone with a physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Q10 is your best (and pretty much only) option. Like the Z10, the Q10 runs the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The phone is great for those who want an old-school look and feel. However, the only reason to buy this phone is for the keyboard, There are far better options out there.


14 Best Smartphones in the world

BlackBerry Z10


Even thought it hasn’t been a hit with consumers, the BlackBerry Z10 is still a pretty good phone. The device is the first to run BlackBerry’s new BlackBerry 10 operationg system, which is pretty good but doesn’t offer much pas what iPhones and Android phones can do. BlackBerry 10 also has a very poor app selection, so you shouldn’t buty this phone if you like having latest and greatest apps.


14 Best Smartphones in the world

Sumsung Galaxy note 3 review TECH POP-UPS


Samsung Galaxy Note 3


The Note 3 boats a beautiful large screen, cutting edge tech and hardware design that shows Samsung is finally taking looks seriously. The Galaxy Note family is credited with not only starting the phablet craze, but also resurrecting the stylus though - the special screen digitalizer and a button on the S Pen work their magic to speed and options. 

Other than that the Galaxy Note 3 phablet continues the tradition of being the current generation's Galaxy S phone on steroids - a large 5.7' screen (in a body the size of the Note II), choice of Snapdragon 800 or Exynos 5420 chipsets, 2160p (a.k.a. UHD) video recording, USB 3.0 (a first on a pocket able device) and Samsung's ever-growing list of software features available right out-of-the-box.

DISPLAY


The display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the highlight feature alongside the S Pen support. The diagonal has been bumped by 0.2" (from 5.5' to 5.7), while the resolution has more than doubled (1080 x 1920, up from 720 x 1280) resulting in a pixel density of 386ppi, which effectively (for the first time in Note history) crosses the Retina 300ppi threshold. The display technology is, again , Super AMOLED but Samsung has abandoned the RGB design from the Note II and gone for a diamond-shaped Pen Tile matrix instead, However, at these insane pixel density levels there's no visible pixilation whatsoever, even if you have 20/20 vision. 


Samsung Galaxy Note 3

BATTERY LIFE 


The modest increase in battery capacity was a bit of a question mark hanging over the Samsung Galaxy  Note 3, considering the screen resolution has more than doubled. Yet , the 3,200mAh battery powering the whole thing (up from 3, 100 in the Note II) did quiet well. The power-efficient Super AMOLED screen was made to count in  video-playback and helped the Note 3 achieve an excellent score despite the huge estate to light up. Talk time is great too, web browsing the only element where the Note 3 ailed to show a meaningful improvement over its predecessor.

Anyway, with an overall rating of 75 hours, the Note 3 is well ahead of the other phablets we've tested so far. What this number means is that the Note 3 should manage three full days on a single charge if used for one hour each of call, web browsing and video playback daily. 


Samsung Galaxy Note 3


TOUCHWIZ ON THE BIG CANVAS


The Saumsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean - the latest release of the Google platform available at the moment - and a laundry list of new TouchWiz features. The Galaxy Note 3 combines the best of both worlds and while it seems familiar, there's plenty new below the surface - so much in fact that you'd and motion gestures in action. 

We start with the locksreen, which features the widgets introduced with Android with Android 4.2.2, that we saw on the Galaxy S4. The default lockscreen shows the time along with a personal message overlaid on beautiful photos pulled from TripAdvisor (with text at the bottom about where the photo was taken).

You can choose what effect to add to the unlocking. The options include Oil paint and watercolor, which blur the color on a shortcut for the camera (as in pure Android). Another nice trick is the Quick glance option we first saw on the Galaxy Note II. It uses the proximity sensor to detect you reaching for the device and it lights up the screen and shows the time, missed call and message counters, battery charge and music track info. The toggles is the display brightness solider compete with an Auto toggle. You can remove this solider to get more room for notifications. The notifications themselves have not changed - they can be expanded to reveal more info and collapsed to save space or helpful  buttons on them like "Call back" and "Send SMS" on a missed call notification.


The home-screen looks mostly the same if you're coming from a Galaxy S4. The app drawer hasn't changed too much since the early days of Nature UX. The app shortcuts are presented as a customization grid, alphabetized grid or list and you can hide shortcuts  (good for bloatware you can't uninstall), view only downloaded apps, uninstall apps and add folders. You can also disable apps straight from the App drawer, which is a good feature because they won't take any RAM or appear unwanted in the Task manager.


Samsung Galaxy Note 3



The Galaxy Note 3 comes with Multi-window which now allows launching two instances of the same app - i.e. You can have two Chrome widows next to each other. There is also dedicated shortcut that lets you switch the places of the two opened apps. Copying stuff from one of the opened apps to the other is now available and is done is just three tabs. It's a definite improvement and something the multi-window feature needed badly. The settings menu has been redone in the latest. TouchWiz version. Instead of a scrollable grid of icons and sections Samsung has went with a tabbed interface. On top you get four tabs - Connection. My device, Accounts and More and you can find the relative features in their corresponding place - display, for instance, is in the My device tab. It makes navigating the settings menu much faster and more intuitive. 

A particularly cool feature that is exclusive to the Galaxy Note 3 is the one-hand opteration. Unlike previous version of the feature, though, it is not limited to the keypad and the calculator. This time you can minimize the whole interface with a simple double swipe and you are effectively making the Galaxy Note 3 use only a corner of its screen for its UI. The volume buttons are also brought to the tip of your fingers so you can operate the handset as if it was a 4" (or slightly more - custom resizing is available) rather than 5.7" screen. That's a really useful feature and will be appreciated by all those that love the huge screen and its excellent multimedia performance, but need to be able to operate their smartphones with one hand frequently.

We like what Samsung has done with the latest iteration of TouchWiz. Despite pilling feature upon feature, the end result does not feel cluttered and intuitive and well organized. Placing widgets, rearranging menu and homescreen panes, getting to your important settings, etc. is now faster than ever.

S-PEN



Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Now lets talk about new S-Pen features. You'll find pretty much every S-Pen-enabled app that premiered with the previous Notes pre-installed on the Note 3. But once you pull the S-Pen out, you won't be greeted with the old S-Pen dedicated home pane. Instead, the OS will pop up the new Air Command menu. The new menu is available everywhere throuout the UI too, you just need to press the side button on the S-Pen. The Air Command menu is a virtual ring with five shortcuts Action Memo, Scrap Booker, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window. The action Memo lets you write stuff and then use it to initiate an action - i.e. add contact name and number to your phonebook, or check out and address on Google Maps. You just need to mark a part of the text and send it to one of the supporting apps. The handwriting recognition works impressively fast and accurately - it handles just about everything you throw at it. 


S VOICE AND GOOGLE NOW


S Voice is Samsung's answer to Apple's Siri and is present on the Galaxy Note 3. S Voice can be used to initiate a call, dictate text, play music, open an app, change a setting, make a memo (including voice memo). add a reminder, schedule an even, set an alarm or timer, check the weather, do a search on the internet, look for local listings (e.g. nearly restaurants) and even get an answer to a question. S Voice does duplicate parts of Google Now, but being less search focused it tries to do more on the actual phone and it has some added features. Some of these are available outside of S Voice too, so you can set the Galaxy  Note 3 to answer a call, snooze an alarm, take a photo and what not by voice commands even when S Voice isn't running. The only problem with S Voice is not nearly as fast or as accurate at recognizing your speech input as Google Now.

Naturally, being a Jelly Bean smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3 also comes with Google Now. 

13 MP STILLS ARE GREAT


The Saumsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with same 13 MP snapper that we found and love on the Galaxy S4 but with some additional perks, like the Photo Sphere-like Surround Shot. The 13 MP camera is good for photos of up to 4128 x 3096 pixels in its native 4:3 aspect. The user interface is based on the Galaxy Camera interface. A single viewfinder handles both still and video capture, so you don't have to switch modes. However, this is certainly not the most convenient solution as, if you're shooting full resolution 13 MP photos, you'll have to frame your videos using a 4:3 viewfinder.


Samsung Galaxy Note 3


CONNECTIVITY


The Saumsung Galaxy Note 3 has an impressively long list of connectivity features. Let's start off with the basics - quad-band GSM/FPRS/EDGE and quad-band 3G (AWs is missing though). The 3G connectivity is backed by HSDPA (42Mbps downlink, 5.76Mbps uplink). The Note 3 has an LTE0A-enabled version too, which uses the Snapdragon 800 chipset (the Exynos 5 Octa 5420 comes without 4G). The LTE0A speeds are 150Mpps down and 50Mbps up. The Wi-Fi support covers a/b/g/n as well as the latest as standard, with both 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ band compatibility. Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA are part of the package, of course. The third-generation phablet also has Bluetooth 4.0 LTE. It incorporates Bluetooth 3.0, but also includes the efficient Low Energy mode. It also supports the high-qualiyy Apt-X audio codec.

WEB BROWSER NOW SUPPORTS GESTURES


While the interface of the Android web browser hardly has changed, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has the hardware specs to propel it to great heights of user experience. The huge, ultra sharp display with great color makers reading a joy. The browser supports both double tap and pinch zooming along with the two-finder tilt zoom. There are niceties such as multiple tabs, text reflow, find on page and so on. A neat trick is to pinch zoom out beyond the minimum - that opens up the tabs view.

CONCLUSION


Samsung has done it again - and it made it look so easy. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 can pretend it has no competition, while otherwise remarkable rivals know they'll will have to live with - but not quite live up to - comparisons to the gadget that defines an entire segment. Three generation into it, Samsung is returning to a playground which now has to be shared with others. There are bigger screens out there, waterproof bodies, impressive cameras and immensely powerful chipsets. But the Galaxy Note 3 is in no mood to share the spotlight, and is keen to show everyone that it doesn't break the rules - but makes them. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 didn't need a massive screen to make its point. What Samsung did instead looks like a smart move. The new leather-look finish is great but that's not the only advantage in terms of design. The new Note is the size of the Note II, but thinner, lighter and with a bigger higher-res screen and even ampler battery. It's also powered by two of the best chipsets available and come with the whopping 3GB of RAM.

Samsung it well aware though that specs can be matched and eventually beaten. It's the experience that counts, and the Galaxy Note 3 is bursting at the seams with all the premium features of the Galaxy line of smartphones.


Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Microsoft's 10 Best Milestones in 2013


TECH POP-UPS


Did Microsoft have a remarkable year or a not so good year? For a company as spreading as the developer of Windows, Office and the Xbox, in order to tell you, it will be hard net to crack. Microsoft presented host of headlines in 2013, but for many different reasons. In order to know whether or not the company is on the positive track, it favors to look at its current past. 

Microsoft unfolded its next tech in 2012 with the introduction of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, 2012 was a giant year for Microsoft. But Microsoft also came across to accomplish its a lot of home word to make major changing this year. 

When it completely overhauled its software platforms as well as its basic purpose, to transition from a software company to a "devices and services" company, as then-CEO Steve Ballmer explained it. Microsoft made some enormous plays, but they were long plays Microsoft made some big plays, and it would take time to see whether they would pan out. Microsod remained engrossed in its world throughout this year. Its fortunes in 2013 lent some insight into whether Microsoft's bets were well-placed and what it might do to stay in the game — and possibly even win it.

I have compiled major events and launches of Microsoft in 2013 as below:

1. Office 365 and the Subscription Model


When the latest version of Microsoft Office 365 was launched in January, the most important feature wasn't its optimization for the cloud and social networks or that it wasn't technically a Windows 8 app. Rather, the most noteworthy change was the business model. After years of selling Office as a standalone app, Microsoft switched to a subscription plan.


TECH POP-UPS


Now onward, buyers won't have to pay lump sun amount for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, buyers would pony up a few bucks a month or $100 a year to access them. The apps themselves also improved tremendously, with direct ties to Microsoft services, including SkyDrive, which got even better this fall with real-time online collaboration in documents.

2.  The Surface's $900 Million Stumble


TECH POP-UPS



When Microsoft announced its Q4 2013 earnings in July, it dropped a monumental goose egg: The company was taking a $900 million reduction due to Surface RT inventory, essentially meaning it had produced far more Surface tablets than people wanted to buy. It wasn't hard to see that coming. Windows 8 was arguably fundamentally flawed, but Microsoft didn't do it any favors by christening a buggy, under performing device as its flagship product, with few apps of any relevance at launch. While software updates rapidly fixed most of the issues, the damage was done, and the ARM-based Windows RT operating system is all but dead because of it.

3. Office Arrives on iPhone and Android


Office is one of Microsoft's pillars, but it has faced fierce competition from Google, Apple and others, particularly in mobile. To face them directly, Microsoft finally opened up Office to new platforms, including iOS and Android. While the apps themselves are stripped down to the bare minimum for tiny mobile screens, Office's migration to competing platforms represents an "OS agnostic" view that would have been heresy in the company's heyday.

4. Facebook, Foursquare and Flipboard for Windows 8


At Microsoft's Build developer conference this year, Steve Ballmer announced that Windows 8, which so far had done nothing to prevent to slide of PC adoption, was finally attracting some big-name apps. The big Fs — Facebook, Flipboard and Foursquare — were all developing Windows 8 versions of their services.Even better, they all came through, sometimes in big ways. Facebook's Windows 8 app uses the wider screen of most Windows tablets well, Flipboard has a unique live tile, and Foursquare's app re-invents the location service as a powerful discovery engine. With A-list apps on board, the road is paved for other developers to ride into Windows 8. At least that's the hope.


5. Ballmer Steps Down


 With summer winding down, Ballmer awakened a sleepy news cycle with the announcement that the Microsoft cofounder would step down as CEO within the next year. Rumors about the move had swirled for a long time, but it seemed Ballmer and Microsoft just couldn't quit each other. The scuttle but says Ballmer's departure planned, then accelerated once the Surface RT failure was apparent and the company's 

Across-the-board restructuring, which began in July, was underway. Now the hunt is on for his successor, with former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Ford's Alan Mulally rumored to be leading the pack of contenders.


6. Microsoft Buys (Most of) Nokia


TECH POP-UPS


Apple has the iPhone. Google bought Motorola. But what about Microsoft, keeper of the Windows Phone flame? To really be a top-to-bottom master of services and devices, Microsoft needed a phone. Microsoft needed a phone. Rather than create its own hardware as it did with the Surface tablets, Microsoft opted to simply buy its closest partner, Nokia, by far the leader in Windows Phone hardware. The move made a lot of sense. The mobile market is nothing like the tablet market, and it's much better to rely on someone else's experience rather than reinvent the wheel. Considering the strategic partnership Nokia and Microsoft made in early 2011, this was simply the consummation of protracted courtship.


7. Windows Phone Goes Big


 Nokia Lumia 1520

TECH POP-UPS


In early 2013, it was even money whether Windows Phone or BlackBerry would be the true "third alternative" in the war of mobile ecosystems. It's now clear that the Windows Phone has won that title, with fast-growing market share in most regions — even taking the No. 2 position in places such as Latin America. With its latest update, Windows Phone can now go toe-to-toe with Android in one of the most popular mobile categories: phablets. Big-screen phones are a big deal in China, India and probably a more than a few NBA locker rooms, and Windows Phone now has models like the Nokia 1520 and 1320 to offer those markets.

8. Windows 8.1 Arrives


Microsoft had a powerful operating system with Windows 8, but it was unfinished. Its multi-window mode, Snap, only worked  with one size of window; you couldn't use custom images as Start screen backgrounds and working Word docs in SkyDrive was slow as hell. Windows 8.1 fixed all those problems and more while introducing several new features. In a symbolic gesture, Microsoft also brought back the Start button to the design of the desktop. It was almost functionally irrelevant, but it sent a message to users: Although we've already picked the road to travel on, we can still change lanes.

9. Surface, Generation 2


 Surface 2


The original Surface RT may have been a failure, but its brother, the Surface Pro, was a much more successful product. Benefiting from a later release, meaning polished software and a more powerful processor, the Surface Pro received good reviews when it debuted in January and proved to be a more worthy flagship for Windows 8. That explains why Microsoft doubled down on the Surface concept and released second-generation models this fall. The new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 also serve as flagships for Windows8.1, and the Haswell chip inside the Pro eliminates the biggest criticism of Gen 1: battery life. Are there enough apps and good feelings about Windows, though, to turn the Surface 2 into any kind of success? Microsoft badly needs it to be, but it will probably have to settle for "not a disaster."

10. The Xbox One


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If Microsoft has any product with the kind of buzz and customer loyalty that Apple devices are known for, it's the Xbox. The Xbox 360 is one of the best-selling game consoles ever, and the new Xbox One looks to take its game play and versatility as a general entertainment gateway to the next level. Microsoft may have stumbled out of the gate with seemingly draconian downloading policies, but it quickly reversed itself, especially when Sony rubbed salt into the wound by promising to deliver a more gamer-friendly approach. The Xbox One now appears to be a more fully-formed console than its rival, the PlayStation 4, so Microsoft's Xbox loyalty may carry into 





SAMSUMG GALAXY S4 ZOOM



Having recently reviewed the Samsung Galaxy  S4 , which I believe is still among the top three smartphones available today, I was enticed by the thought of a phone with S4’s functionality  and a 10x optical zoom camera. All things considered, I thought it would be a perfect fit for a blogger/journalist’s lifestyle. The S4 Zoom has more in common with the S4 Mini than it does with the S4. It has a 4.3-inch screen and 256 ppi pixel density, identical to the S4 Mini, and a 1.5GHZ dual-core processor which is severely under-powered when compared to the Exynos 5 Octa 5410 on the S4, but relatively close to the 1.7GHZ dual core of the S4 Mini.

So, it’s not a processing power-house but it can be mounted on a tripod and has plenty of manual control over exposure and shutter speed, so my consideration now because a question – with this in hand, could I leave my DSLR at home and go out with just and S4 zoom?

DESIGN


At first look, it’s quite awkward. Although typing and browsing are not as uncomfortable as I thought they would be, the device looks more like a camera than a phone. It’s bound to turn a few heads your ways, especially it rings while you’re talking a picture and the lens is out. The chrome trip that wraps around the device becomes wider at the shutter key and taking the shape of the extruding grip. The front of the S4 Mini in terms of layout and display size, the difference is all in the profile – the zoom has double the thickness without taking the lens or the extrusive bulge into consideration.


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Then there is the weight: weighing in at a mighty 208g (roughly 7oz), the S4 zoom out-weights the Galaxy Note 2 or two S4 Minis. I knew that the S4 Zoom would be bulky due to the lens but I had expected the extruding bulge at the bottom (housing the battery) to balance out some of the added weight like in most cameras, so the user would be able to take pictures single handedly – I was wrong.  Contrary to my assumption, taking a picture with one hand is not easy. A user has to grip the S4 Zoom in a way which either accidentally causes one to touch the soft back key or their hand stops them from viewing the entire frame. If they compromised on aesthetic for functionality, why would they forget usability?

CAMERA


Not many, if any camera phones, can do what Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Zoom is equipped for when it comes to taking pictures. It’s more than just a 3MP shooter on the S4, The 16MP S4 Zoom is capable of fantastic long exposure photography and let’s not forget the 10x optical zoom. No other smartphone camera has a 10x optical zoom coupled with a Xenon flash, optical image stabilization, and the ability to be mounted on a tripod.


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There are numerous smart presets available to capture light trails, fireworks, silhouettes, waterfalls, panoramic waterfalls, panoramic pictures etcetera. All of these work great, but three is also an expert mode through which you can choose between shutter priority, aperture priority and colour priority and colour priority – these work better! You can choose how you would like the image to contrast, saturate or expose before clicking the shutter, which does not mean that there are no options for post-production. There is an array of filters and effects to enhance or animate images publish them.

Video performance unfortunately us not on par with the standard they set forth for photographs. There is no HDR, so low-light situations result in excessive noise, but it does shoot in 1080p at 30fps, you can even shoot at 60 fps.



USABILITY

Initially it takes a little getting used to the grip and lens, but at the end of the day it’s not as uncomfortable as it looks. Touch and display are fluid, but not much when compared with its bigger brother (S4). Under the hood, the processor is nifty enough to go about all you tasks without lagging, not does it need to be restarted every few days when people like I myself  excessively multi-task and run heavy applications simultaneously. The S4 Zoom has 8GB of internal space; you can add upto another 64GB via microSD storage and 50GB of dropbox space comes free with it for the first time two years. Connectivity is never a problem since it supports Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE, NFC and S Beam. Add this entire up and you can publish or transfer anything from anywhere.

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All the applications and features that come with the S4 family are available here like WatchON, SHealth, Story Album, S Translator etcetera. Locally I’d like to add that Samsung’s WatchON application, which controls its infrared blaster, works much better than the one that comes with HTC since it is not restricted to geographic location and preset Digital TV providers. You can add numerous setups and even customize the screen to control a Samsung DVD player and a Phillips TV together without any third-party applications.


SPECIFICATIONS



THE  VERDICT


The camera really is in a own – I was able to take some fantastic long exposure shots, which would be impossible with most smartphone cameras. That being said there should have been HDR support while shooting videos, alternatively they could have included an ultra-pixel camera (pixels have a bigger surface area and so can retain more light). Samsung could have also paid a little more attention in terms of balance and ergonomics of the Galaxy S4 Zoom. However, if you were looking for a smartphone and a camera on a string budget, I would recommend you not to wear skinny jeans if you plan to buy this phone, as trying to get this ill-shaped device in and out of pockets can have a real chore. I would also recommend that you wear your belt a hoop tighter, to compensate for the additional seven ounces.



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Apps that keep you chic and trendy


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If your're reading my posts, you probably own a smart feature phone or a smartphone. This could be an Android, Blackberry, Windows phone or an iOS-based smartphone that has made your life easier-or in some cases difficult. The constant on-to-go and easy-to-connect ability of smartphones might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those who are tech savvy, this is something they enjoy and look forward to. Coco channel once famously said, "Fashion changes, but style endures.". So what if you apply the same rule to our lives via smartphones and the ever changing glamour world? What can you do if you're a busy fashionista, or someone who lives and adores fashion, but finds it hard to keep up? How can you stay updated with the latest trends, organised your closets, arrange your outfits and keep track of what's in and what's not? Worry not, there's an app for that! In fact, there are several apps to cater your fashion needs. Here are a few Android and iOS apps:

THE BIG BRANDS

Fashion giants such as Gucci, Dior, Louis, Vuitton and others are still figuring out what they really want out of their apps. Some use their app as a marketing tool, while others include easy-to-shop items and build a magazine-like structure to sell their stuff. Here are some of the best apps from big fashion brands:



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GUCCI STYLE

Platform: iOS


Gucci Style is a "shoppable magazine" that takes you behind the scenes with Gucci, the Italian fashion and leather goods brand, You can shop for not just apparel/goods, but also follow the app as it is updated weekly to take you through the art of luxury living. The Gucci Style app also streams live runway shows.

DIOR

Platform: iOS, Anroid

Dior, too, is a magazine style app which offers an insight into its brands, You can check out exclusive previews, interviews, backstage stories and unseen films from here. 

AMBLE WITH LOUIS VUITTON

Platform: iOS, Anroid

 Amble with Louis Vuitton is one of the more exciting apps available for those who want to keep up with their favourite brand, Louis Vuitton. People who download this app can create an augmented reality-based digital booklet, It allows them to share and capture their travel memories with their friends. Apart from the ability to capture their memories, Amble can be used to share notes, videos and sounds and helps users create their own unique tour.  Amble with Louis Vuitton is "Everything you need to create an unforgettable journey".


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CHANEL FASHION

Platform: iOS,

Chanel Fashion is a simple app that provides information about its boutiques using a store locator, and image gallery. Fashionistas can look at images, check out their latest videos and locate a store to shop from their favourite brand.

TORY DAILY

Platform: iOS, Anroid

Tory Daily gives you a dail ydose of style, culture, travel entertainment, shopping, music and other things from around the world. It presents a gorgeous look of life through the eyes of Tory Burch, former model, and designer. YOu can look for exclusive products, buy them and get the latest into on the best places to travel, where to stay, shop and eat as well as to find Tory Burch stores.

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Besides these, there are a lot of other apps for fashion conscious people. However, it is difficult to sort out which of them are more useful, easy to use and cooler than others. From the Pinterest app that lets you pin and make your own boards to Instagaram, here are a few that will keep you in style!

CLOTH

Platform: iOS

Cloth is fabulous. It helps you catalogue your wardrobe and outfits on the basis of occasions. And guess what? You can do all of that by keeping the weather forecast in check! This app is the simplest way to save, organize, and share your favourite outfits. In mere seconds. Not only can your take a photo of your outfit and ass a description., but also tag it category-wise. This makes it very to remember what you wore at an event-its like your virtual close!

SHOPSTYLE

Platform: iOS, Anroid

The one great thing about the ShopStyle app is its ability to bring everything together in one place. This little app is like window shopping online. It searches through keywords and brings products from more than 300 retailers; both high street and designer labels. But that's not all; the products are filtered according to their price, colour and whether or not they are on discount. With ShopStyle , you can even ask for sale alerts on your faourite pieces and buy them directly from the app!


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CHIC FEED

Platform: iOS, Anroid

Chic Feed is my kind of app, It brings together photos from the web's top stylist and fashion blogs like the Sartoialist, LookBook and Jack And Jill Blog among many others. and puts them on one single website. Chic Feed also gives you the ability to share stuff on social media platforms like Pinterest and Twitter.
There's a plethora of apps to suit your needs.While the apps above which provide e-shopping are mostly available for international users, all of them can be used brush up your fashion sense!


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iPhone 5C


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The iPone 5C marks a new era in Apple’s mobile onslaught, as the Cupertino-based firm finally breaks rank from premium design and price by offering up a device which is slightly more affordable. Slightly being the key word there. Before you start getting excited about the potential of a “cheap iPhone”, be warmed that the iPone 5C is no mid-range Android rival, because with prices starting a $549 for the 16GB SIM-free handset your’re still talking quite  a lot of money.

If you  fancy doubling your storage capacity to 32GB – remember the 5C in an Apple device so there’s no microSD slot in sight – you can add another $100 to base price. So let’s bust one myth right from the off then although one that Apple never promised in the first place. The iPone 5C is not a cheap, budget device – it’s a slightly cheaper offering compared to the premium, metal clad iPone 5C Which launched alongside this polycarbonate-clad phone.

This is the first time we've seen the varied palette make it to the iPhone range however, prompting some mocking from Nokia who drew comparisons between the 5C and its fluorescent Lumia range and to be fair there is  a small similarity between it and the Lumia 625 front on.However, look beyond that and the iPone 5C does feel structurally sound in the hand, no doubt helped by the steel frame hidden under the polycarbonate exterior and we found we were far less concerned about it smashing. The steel frame also doubles as the 5C’s antenna, meaning there’s no risk of signal dropping if you fancy holding this iPhone in your left hand.

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While the likes of the iPone 5C and iPhone 5 are clad front and back in glass causing users to be wary at all times about the state of their  smartphone, the iPone 5C feels like it can be chucked into a bad without us having to worry about its condition when it comes to pulling it back out. It’s reassuring that the iPone 5C feels like it is capable of taking a few knocks, because the slick, unibody plastic finish offers very Little in the way of grip. iPone 5C unboxing, in association with O2 Guru the the same minimalist attitude to buttons has been implemented on the iPhone 5C, with the famous home key the only navigational aid on the front of the device, while the power/lock resides at the top and the separated volume keys on the left.


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Just above the volume keys is the small switch which is now synonymous with Apple’s iDevice range, allowing you to quickly toggle silent/volume mode. All the keys are easy enough to reach when holding the iPone 5C in one hand, but thanks to the elongated nature of the device since Apple bumped the screen size up from 3.5 inches to 4 you need to stretch your fingers that extra bit to reach the power/lock button.
We’d much prefer this key to be located on the right hand side of the iPone 5C, as it would make it that bit easier to access and avoids any awkward shuffling of the phone in the hand – but of course that would see Apple copying Samsung in terms of placement, and nobody wants to see any more accusations of copying coming along.

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There’s nothing else joining the power/lock key on top of the 5C after Apple relocated the headphone jack to the bottom with the iPhone 5 – a move which isn't to everyone’s taste.  Joining the left aligned headphone jack on the base of the iPone 5C is a centralized is a centralized lightning port and a mono speaker to one side to help you blast your tunes at grannies on the bus or conduct a more civilized speakerphone conversation.Now the right hand side hasn't been left completely alone on the 5C, with Apple choosing this surface as the location for the SIM card tray – but unlike most smartphone that take microSIMs these days, iPhones now rock the tiny nanoSIM technology.

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This means you’ll have to talk to your network about getting nanoSIM for your shiny new iPone 5C before you’ll be able to use it – that is unless you’re upgrading from an iPhone 5, but we’d suggest that’s pretty much a waste of money.If you’re coming from a similarly priced Android handset you’ll probably think the iPone 5C feels a little on the small size, with its 4-inch display more at home at the budget end of the rival OS’s line up. While the screen size might not be anything special, the 1136 x 640 Retina display is present and correct on the iPhone 5C, meaning it has the same offering as both the iPhone and 5S.

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There are even more similarities  with the iPhone 5, as you’ll find the same A6 processor, 8MP rear camera, 1.9 MP front camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 in the 5C. The  iPone 5C is 4G enabled of  course, but more supports even more bands meaning it’ll work even more networks around the world – Apple claims the 5C and the 5S suuport the widest range of 4G bands out of any somartphone currently on the market. So what have we got so far then? Well, the  iPone 5C is a slightly overweight  iPone 5C with a plastic body, larger battery ad a sightly lower price tag – but with iOS 7 on board, there’s a litany of places where it might it might excel.

CONTACT           

Contact management on iOS has always been one of its weaker areas and while iOS 7 has improved things slightly, you still don’t get the best offering on the iPhone 5C. The contacts app itself is almost identical to those in previous iterations of iOS, although there’s a iOS 7 gloss over the top, which means you’re provided with a simple, inoffensive list of names with a letter slider on the right allowing you to quickly jump to a section.

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CALLING


Thankfully things improve when we move over to actually calling people on the iPhone 5C,  and let’s face that’s what the  iPone 5C, the 5C, and let’s face what matters as this is a phone. As with the  iPone 5C, the 5C sports a triple microhone setup which  blocks out noise around you to focus your dulcet tones down the handset and into the lug holes of the person on the other  end of the line. SO the 5C has decent audio quality when it comes to calls, but that means nothing if it can’t hold on to signal. Thankfully the antenna gremlins which plagued the iPhone 4 have long gone and the large steel frame which acts as the mast for the 5C is hidden under the plastic body – meaning they’ll be no unfortunate death drip here.

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FACE TIME

The added benefit of picking yourself up an iPhone is the fact you get access to Apple’s video calling service Face Time – allowing you to make video calls to other iDevice users over Wi-Fi and via your 3G or 4G network. Then front facing, 1.2MP camera on the  iPone 5C is snapper in question when it comes to Face Time and it’s ability to record in 720p means quality tends to be very good – as long as your signal is strong enough. You can also switch from the front to the rear facing camera, just in case you want to share your view with the person on the other end of the call, which is a nice touch. 

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INTERNET

No surprise in the internet department: the  iPone 5C is an Apple device so you can be guaranteed there’s no sign of Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer-installed. It’s Safari all the way.
Google has made its Chrome browser available in the App Store, but don’t give up on Apple’s offering straight away as it’s really rather nifty.

CAMERA


With the  iPone 5C being pretty much a carbon copy of the  iPone 5C you won’t be surprised to learn that it sports the same 8MP iSight camera on its rea, complete with single LED flash. The front facing snapper has been given a bit of an upgrade though, with a 1.2MP offering capable of HD (720p) recording – but it’s the one on the back which you’ll be using most of the time. You  can access the camera application from the lockscreen, just place your finger on the camera icon and slide your finger up, plus you can easily access it from pretty much anywhere on the iPhone 5C y pulling up the Control Center and hitting the correct icon.


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VIDEO


Video recording on the  iPone 5C can be accessed by heading to the camera app and swiping your finger from left to right over the shutter key to switch between the ability to capture static and moving images. The rear 8MP iSight camera is capable of capturing video in full HD, 1080p resolution at 30fps, while the front facing camera has been upgraded to support 720p recording. As with the camera app your’re options here are severely  limited, with the option to switch between front and rear cameras and toggle the flash on and off. If you want to use the flash light while filming you’ll need to turn it on before hitting record as there’s not option to toggle it once you’re running. Video quality is pretty good as long as you keep the  iPone 5C  still and don’t zoom in, because as soon as you start zooming things get blurry and pixelated.


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BATTERY LIFE


We’re not sure what size battery the  iPone 5C is hiding under that polycarbonate finish, but  Apple assures us it’s a bigger offering than the  iPone 5C and we’re inclined to agree. In short we've been pretty impressed with the battery performance on the   iPone 5C, it only drops 3% to 4% overnight with various accounts syncing throughout the down line and with medium levels of usage it comfortable saw out a day.
Overnight drain has haunted past iPhones, but it looks like Apple may have managed to resolve the issue with the 5C.

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CONNECTIVITY


Unsurprisingly the  iPone 5C comes will all manner of connectivity options., but NFC is still the high-profile absentee at the Apple party. Not even a plastic clad smartphone could tempt the firm to give us a bit of contactless tech. There’s a new way to control Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 is iOS 7 with arrival of the Control Center, which is accessed with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Apple offers its own cloud storage solution cunningly named iCloud which lets you store all your vital information in its secure servers should the worst happen to your  iPone 5C. You can back ukp everything from contacts, mail and calendars to photos, documents and notes to iCloud, and if you've owned an iDevice in the pas you can download your settings from that onto your  iPone 5C – saving  you from having to re-enter various bits of information. iCloud also enables the “Find my iPhone” feature, so if you were to misplace your 5C you can log onto the iCloud website and see where your phone is on a map.


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VERDICT

The  iPone 5C leaves us feeling a little puzzled. On the one hand it’s a great smartphone, and being a carbon copy of the  iPone 5C in terms of performance is certainly no bad thing – but its price tag, overall design and lack of glass-based, premium feel leaves a slightly unpleasant taste in the mouth. While many hoped to see the ‘budget iPhone’,  it’s good to see  the  iPone 5C not comprising on specs and bar the lack of a metal chassis it matches the excellent  iPone 5C every step of the way with the added bonus of iOS 7. The inclusion of iOS 7 is a massive boon for the iPhone range in  general. The operating system was in dire need of a reboot and iOS 7 has managed to do that with aplomb, bringing a couple of handy new features such as Control Center to the relative simplicity and solid, fluid interface Apple has offered since its inception.

Super fast network speeds go hand in hand with web browsing and the  iPone 5C makes mincemeat of most desktop websites, even over Wi-Fi and 3G. It’s not that Apple has done its best to make the packaged its hard to recommend it totally although the large range of colours and combination with iOS 7 helps enormously.


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