A Bunch of New Ways to Pay with your Mobile

Now, several new services will be launched around Europe where you will be able to pay with your mobile device on different credit or bank card terminals. One of these services have children and young adults as their main consumer group.

Since last summer, it has been possible to pay with your  mobile phone directly through credit card terminals around nordic country Sweden with the help of an app called “SEQR”. Now the company's new product “SEQR Go” who caters to children and adolescents - will be released later this year.

How does it work then?

A parent may transfer funds to their child's virtual account, and then the child can pay the retailer by "bliping" the cell phone at the the card terminal. However, this requires an Android phone, and both the terminal and the phone need to have so-called NFC technology integrated - which allows the phone and the card terminal to "talk" to each other without physical contact. Fortunately this technology has been integrated in Android-compatible phones for quite some time now; so if your kid have a relatively new Android phone - this shouldn’t be a problem. 

Only the money that has been put on the account can be used, which means that your children can not use money that don't exist “physically” on the account.

- “The app will be equated with cash”, says Peter Fredell, CEO of Seamless, the company behind the app.

Parents can of course also keep track of the receipts to see which transactions that have been made, or not been made. So if your newly 18 year old youngster have been playing some Live Blackjack, you will be notified :)

Many are perhaps wondering what would happen if your phone is lost or stolen? Can someone else use the mobile to shop for you or your child’s money?

- “To start with, almost everyone has a PIN-code on their phone. And for a transactions of over 200 Swedish Kronors (around £ 20) an additional PIN is required”

Last week the mobile payment service “Samsung Pay” was launched  in Sweden. This function is integrated in Samsungs latest phone models, and so far, some of the bigger banks in sweden are on the train with this new technology. “But more banks are joining as we speak”, says Oscar Happy, head of Samsung Pay in the Nordic region - which comprises of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. A combination of the techniques NFC and MST are used here.

- “At the moment it works on virtually all card terminals in Sweden”, Oscar ads

To secure the payments some safety measures are required by the user, including fingerprints. No age limit is required from Samsung's part. However, such a limit can be implemented by the card issuer- when the service needs to be connected to a debit card or something similar. 

- “This makes things so much easier and smoother”, says Bengt Nilervall, transaction-expert at the Swedish Trade Federation.

He sees advantages for both customers and merchants, and mentions that the long checkout queues can go faster, as an example.

According to Nilervall there are currently NFC technology in about 15 percent of the country's Debit card terminals, and the goal is to reach 50 % in 2017. “There are more mobile payment services, such as Apple and Android Pay, - unfortunately not yet here in Sweden.”

Guest Article by Andre Utas

Sony’s new Xperia™ Z4 Tablet

Barcelona, 2nd March 2014 – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today announced the world’s lightest and slimmest 10” tablet2 – Xperia™ Z4 Tablet. Delivering a best in class entertainment experience thanks to the world’s brightest 10.1 inch 2K display of the leading tablets1 and long battery life (up to 17 hours of video playback), the beautifully crafted Xperia Z4 Tablet is an impressively powerful Android tablet that delivers all the portable performance you need for an entertaining and busy lifestyle.

“Building on the success of its predecessor, we wanted to take all of the qualities that consumers loved most in Xperia Z2 Tablet and enhance them for Z4 Tablet,” says Dennis van Schie, SVP of Sales & Marketing at Sony Mobile. “Consumers appreciate innovation most when it can bring real value to their lives, so we have carefully crafted and considered every aspect of Z4 Tablet to meet even the most demanding lifestyle.  Sleek and lightweight, yet incredibly powerful, with standout entertainment and smart productivity features, Xperia Z4 Tablet is an extraordinary tablet that fits perfectly into your day-to-day life.”

Enhanced entertainment experiences, wherever you are

Xperia Z4 Tablet boasts best-in-class Sony technologies and experiences to ensure you enjoy unrivalled entertainment on the go, with no compromises. Featuring the world’s brightest 10.1 inch 2K display of the leading tablets1, Z4 Tablet delivers a superb viewing experience, even outdoors in direct sunlight, allowing you to enjoy your favourite movies and most memorable video clips in crystal clear clarity, wherever you want.

Great picture quality demands great audio to match, so Xperia Z4 Tablet includes powerful front stereo speakers for an immersive surround sound effect. When you’re on the go and plug in your headphones, Xperia Z4 Tablet senses the type and style of headset, automatically adjusting the settings accordingly for optimum sound.

Sony’s leading audio technologies ensure you never miss a beat. High-Res Audio reproduces high frequency sound in amazing detail for a studio quality experience. DSEE HXTM processing upscales the audio fidelity of tracks to near High-Res Audio quality. Xperia Z4 Tablet supports digital noise cancelling for those times when you need to block out background noise. And for high quality wireless music listening, Sony’s new LDACTM codec transmits data three times more efficiently than Bluetooth.

Xperia Z4 Tablet comes loaded with a 8MP main camera, featuring Sony’s leading technologies for great shots in all lights, and a high quality 5.1MP wide-angle front camera, great for selfies and video calls, that ensures you stay in shot.

Keep playing your favourite PlayStation® 4 games wherever you are in the home with PS4™ Remote Play3. Simply connect your Xperia Z4 Tablet to your PS4 via home Wi-Fi and use the DUALSHOCK®4 Wireless Controller to ensure you never miss a minute of the action – whatever room you are in.

And to keep you entertained, all Xperia Z4 Tablet users will benefit from access to Xperia Lounge Gold – delivering the world of Sony entertainment at your fingertips. Get access to exclusive competitions and offers; be among the first to try out new apps; and enjoy the latest movies, TV episodes and music included with your device.

Xperia Z4 Tablet comes packed with the ultra fast Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 octa-core 64 bit processor5, so you can browse faster and get the optimal graphics experience on a stunning 2K display. Whether using Wi-Fi or 4G LTE, multi-tasking on the move is made easy – download email attachments in seconds and enjoy video streaming with no delays or unwanted buffering. And with 32GB internal memory, there is plenty of storage space for those all important files.

Whether for work or play, Xperia Z4 Tablet offers powerful performance that goes the distance. Its stamina is sure to impress with up to 17 hours of video playback, you can travel half way around the world watching movies on a single battery charge. Get even more out of the 6,000mAH battery with Sony’s Battery STAMINA Mode, which turns off background functions when you’re not using them to help extend your battery life, so you can comfortably spend the day emailing, browsing the web and running as many apps as you want with no need to worry about losing battery power.

Superior security and productivity

Escape the office and take your business on the move with the lightweight BKB50 Bluetooth Keyboard featuring a dedicated slot for Xperia Z4 Tablet and docking detection, sleek ergonomics with 0-130 degree tilt for adjustable comfort, efficient text input and laptop style touchpad. Additionally Xperia Z4 Tablet also features printer and projector outputs to complete the ultimate laptop-style experience. Use with the slim and light SCR32 perfect fit cover with two variable angles for comfortable typing or viewing on your tablet. Work from anywhere with the advanced Xperia Email, Calendar and Contacts apps, which can be synced using Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync® (EAS) and use your favourite business apps from the Android community.

Xperia Z4 Tablet features proven device security mechanisms to keep your confidential data secure, with adherence to acclaimed and effective Internet, VPN and Wi-Fi security protocols. To complete your road warrior set up, the BSP60smart speaker with one-touch connectivity is the ideal portable companion for making conference calls, getting information and receiving phone notifications, all with the use of voice commands, helping you multi-task with ease.

Slim, sleek and supremely lightweight design

Expertly designed with true Sony craftsmanship and attention to detail, Xperia Z4 Tablet is the world’s slimmest and lightest 10” tablet1. At just 6.1mm slim and weighing less than 393g (389g Wi-Fi / 393g LTE), Xperia Z4 Tablet is incredibly light and portable, making it easy to carry comfortably with you all day and slip into your bag with ease. Crafted with premium stainless steel metal corners and mineral glass, Xperia Z4 Tablet looks as good as it performs.

Xperia Z4 Tablet’s IP68 waterproof and dust-tight4 rating ensures reassuring durability making it ideal for everyday use in all conditions – whether caught out in the rain between meetings or lounging by the pool. As a further design refinement, the USB connector is capless – making it both quick and convenient to connect and charge your device.

Xperia Z4 Tablet will launch globally, in 4G LTE and Wi-Fi variants, from June 2015.

For the full specifications of Xperia Z4 Tablet, please visit: www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/tablets/xperia-z4-tablet/specifications

LG G3 - Is this the smart phone of the year?

Last year LG gained a whole lot of respect from the tech community with their LG G2, which was amazing in almost every way and it got one of the highest scores from me last year (9/10) to be exact. This year LG is hoping to repeat all their success all over again with some killer specs and all around a great experience. So can they do it? Well read along with our first look and find out.

The LG G3 makes a statement in many ways and especially in specs. This beast is running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset paired with a Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU, which shouldn’t be taken lightly. Speeds appear to be rock solid and makes the phone very enjoyable to use.

Right off the bat LG gives us their own flavour of Android on top of 4.4.2 KitKat. LG’s skin seems to be quite different from last year, not in a bad way though. The color pallet and fonts are tuned down to make it look more “professional” I guess you could call it. The icons are flattened and it looks very modern in my opinion. Plus you get all of LG’s extra goodies such as a Google Now like feature which can help with recommendations without you even asking. It seems good but we’ll have to see how the consumer likes it.

The screen is beautiful, like honestly it’s amazing. The True HD-IPS+LCD panel looks stunning and produces some amazing quality and at 5.5 inches it’s also great for consuming media. Not to mention how it’s got 1440x2560 pixels (534ppi) which is amazing. The screen is a huge positive for this phone.

The build is fantastic too. Not an HTC One M8 like quality, but close to it. It feels like metal on the back, even though it’s not. Also on the back is the very popular volume up/down button and power button, which has become very well known with LG. They even changed the way they feel to make it easier for the user as it provides better physical feedback. At 149 g (5.260z) it feels great in the pocket, plus the very popular curve is on the phone, which is becoming a benchmark in the Smartphone world.

The camera is a 13MP shooter which has a whole suite of features from LG, which can shoot videos in 1080p. The camera is paired with a 2.1MP front facing camera for all your selfies, which can also shoot 1080p video. For my short testing it provided some great photos and low light seemed good as well.

So there you have it folks, just a quick rundown of the phone and some quick opinions. Be sure to stay tuned in the channel and website to keep up to date on news and reviews, including the G3. Follow Geekanoids on social media as well. Thanks everyone and leave a comment on what you think about this phone, we love to read them. Have a good one!

Author: Ben Smith - Twitter

Motorola Moto E - Smartphonebargainoftheyear

Motorola, a company many have come to love just made news again. If you thought that the Moto G was an amazing device, with an even better price tag and that it couldn't be topped, well think again. Meet the Moto E, let's dig in and see if this is the device that you and your wallet will love forever.

Motorola, a company in transition after being purchased by Lenovo, and with a reputation of making very affordable devices that show specs the back seat in favour of quality, may have just done it again. Yesterday Motorola gave us the Moto E. This device is actually fairly decent for the price. 

But before we begin, this is something worth mentioning. Motorola also came out with a new Moto G that now sports LTE, which was a big complaint with the previous Moto G. It will cost about $225 and will definitely add sales to the best selling phone in Motorola’s history. Over 6.5 million units were shipped worldwide, they won't tell how many were sold, but this update can only help their cause

Right off the bat Motorola gives us some decent internals. We get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor with a 1.2GHz dual core A7 CPU and an Adreno 302 400 MHz single core GPU, which is pretty good for the $130 and below Android category. Not to mention how the latest version of Android 4.4.3 KitKat is included and should get timely updates.

5MP for a camera is a little on the low side for me, not to mention how it doesn’t even have a front facing camera, but who knows, it might surprise us. It only ships with 4GB of storage; luckily it has microSD support for up to an extra 32GB which is plenty of storage. Motorola promises “all day battery life” with its 1980mAh battery, I think that this will be a very hard feat, but again who knows, they might surprise us.

The 4.3 inch screen is not the biggest, but does get the job done. With a 256ppi and not even 720p, there’s nothing special, but again it's not a flagship phone. However there is a very nice bonus feature with the screen, it comes with Gorilla Glass 3, which basically means that the screen will be okay if it runs into a little frazzle dazzle with the keys in your pocket.  

 It would appear as though it will fit great in your hand, at just 142g it will feel like it’s barely there. Not to mention that Motorola doesn't like to make phones with bad build quality, so you get very similar materials used in the Moto X and G.

The Moto E looks like a very worthwhile device for the price. One of the biggest things that cheaper Android phones have lacked is a good all around experience. You always have to sacrifice things. The Moto E is looking to change that. “Built to last, priced for all” the slogan that Motorola is using and we hope that its true. As they try so hard to give people the temptation to leave there old flip phone and get a new Moto E.

So what do you think? Would you consider purchasing this device? As always leave a comment and tell us what you think. Check the YouTube page and the Geekanoids website regularly, so you don’t miss anything, including our review of this phone. Thanks for reading and keep on enjoying tech!  

Just a reminder that this is just an overview, but do stay tuned for our full review.

Author: Ben Smith - Twitter

The OnePlus One

OnePlus, a company we haven't heard much about just made a big splash. This past week they announced the One, not to be confused with HTC, but it was impressing. It is often perceived that in order to make a good phone you must be an established brand. Well they might have proven that wrong too.

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We will have a full review coming later on so stay tuned so you don't miss out, this is to provide a overview of the product. So let's begin, right off the bat OnePlus gives us flagship quality especially for a new company. We get the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor along with 3GB of RAM. The 5.5-inch screen is eye popping with a resolution of 1080p. The phone is running an OS called CyanogenMod, that has been known as a popular option for rooters but now it's a solid part of the phones OS. It provides a modified version of Android and gives the user plenty of helpful and easy tweeks and plenty of features too.

OnePlus also started a campaign that was rather impressive. It is called "The smash the past campaign". It is basically a ticket to get this phone early, but does come at a cost; you must smash your current phone. OnePlus recommends using a hammer,screwdriver,lighter, somthing of that nature. OnePlus will be contacting the 100 winners and give you your phone. That is sure to be an interesting contest.

This is just a short story but like I said stay tuned for our full review. If you have a phone you don't use anymore, I'd recommend participating in the contest, you never know; you might win. This is a very high quality phone by the looks of it and will be interesting to see how this goes for OnePlus. So far OnePlus has broken all the rules on "new phone companies" and hopefully the continue.

Author: Ben Smith - Twitter

Why the HTC One M8 is a match for the Samsung Galaxy S5

The HTC One M8 has certainly thrown the cat amongst the smartphone pigeons and Samsungs new Galaxy S5 may not be the show stopping handset that the Korean Tech giant had hoped it would be.

This month, both HTC and Samsung launched their new flagship Android smartphones that will no doubt rival Apples new iPhone 6 later this year. A three-way race for the title of 'king of the smartphones 2014’ is well and truly underway and with HTCs new One M8, the bar has most certainly been raised.

I had the privilege of being able to attend the Irish launch of HTCs gorgeous new phone with its 5-inch Super LCD3 display, futuristic metallic design with premium build quality and unique Sense 6.0 UI. In addition, its fancy new camera can take images at a resolution of 2688 x 1520 and includes a very special depth sensor to allow for sophisticated image manipulation in post.

Samsungs Galaxy S5 is without doubt a challenger for this years smartphone honours, but upon launch, I couldnt help but get the sense that Samsung felt they just needed to show up’ and market the hell out of a slightly updated Galaxy series handset. Its’ familiar plastic chassis just continues to feel second best. However, although I think the HTC One M8 will be the surprise hit of the season, the S5 does have a lot of major selling points of its own.

Its rear camera is far superior for one thing, although the M8s front shooter is no slouch, earning the phone the moniker of the selfie smartphone. The S5 also offers the unique ability of being able to replace the battery, while still keeping its svelte 8.1mm frame, less than a hair thicker than thicker than the S4. In addition, the S5 comes with a fingerprint scanner, which the M8 lacks. Spec wise the Galaxy S5 does lead the way with a faster processor at a clock speed of 2.5 GHz compared to the M8s 2.3 GHz. Both chips are of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 variety.

The reconfiguration of the front buttons is also a nice surprise, and makes it that little bit easier to multitask with. However, the M8 offers superior gesture input, with numerous swipe and tap options to facilitate quick access to different features and applications, right from standby mode.

Although Im by no means seriously suggesting that the HTC One M8 will win the battle, it will almost certainly put up one hell of a fight. No one really expected the M8 to make as much of an impact as it has. HTC may certainly be the comeback kid of the smartphone world this year and Samsungs powerful marketing machine and brand awareness simply wont be enough on its own to guarantee supremacy. This will be a close run contest, with many consumers attracted to the M8s beautifully crafted design, MicroSD expansion to 128GB, aforementioned Sense UI and novelty camera concept.

One thing is for sure, although Samsung may still win the smartphone wars this year, they will have more than just Apple to contend with. HTC is back!

Dave Cullen is a technology journalist, gadget reviewer, video content creator and founder of Computing Forever. He is known to many for his YouTube channel Lack78, where he produces regular tech-related video blogs and thought provoking industry and societal polemics.

Entertainment on the Move

When the iPad was originally launched, tablet devices were launched into the limelight. It goes without saying that Apple were not the first, but they made this category of device sexy and created an experience that many did not know they wanted, until they had handled one of these new wonders. Since the first generation iPad was so successful, many other manufacturers frantically played catchup.

To a certain degree they have, with many manufacturers backing the Google Android platform. Whilst the hardware may not be as sexy, the ecosystem is definitely developing. The selection of apps on the Google Play Store is now more than acceptable, making the myriad of devices from the likes of Samsung, Asus and Acer (to name just a few) very viable options. My personal opinion is that they are not quite as tied in service-wise, whereas the Apple iPad is very good at synchronising with the likes of an Apple desktop or laptop.

This new category, for a long time, has been thought of as an ideal way of consuming media, but not necessarily creating. Things are pretty good, with regard to photo manipulation, simple spreadsheets, text documents and the like, but anything more than that is often a compromise. I do take notes on my iPad, but anything more than that and I grab my laptop, or sit down at a desktop computer.

Whilst these two platforms battle it out, Microsoft is sitting in the wings. It dipped its toe into the water with the Surface RT and Surface Pro, which were a hard sell due to lack of apps. However, with their most recent offerings, the Surface 2 and Pro 2, things have improved. Apps that were missing first time around are now appearing with around half of the mainstream titles not available at original launch, now in the Windows App Store.

Whichever platform you choose, all of these devices have something in common. They are all great entertainment devices. Awesome for playing back videos, music, playing games etc. The internet browsers add yet another dimension and allow you to play online games. You might even be able to increase your riches too, by trying your luck at Blackjack, Slots or Roulette on Casino.com who, like many websites, have enriched their experience for mobile devices. So whether it's online shopping, emails, surfing the internet or staying in touch with friends & family, this new breed of tablet device is here to stay and I am certainly thankful that Apple made this category popular again.

Android Kit Kat vs. iOS 7

With tech giants Apple and Google squaring off this year with the release of their new operating systems, we take a look at both and discuss some of the key features and benefits. 

iOS 7 
Always keen to stay one step ahead of the competition, and eager to make up for some issues with iOS 6, such as the ineffectual Maps app, Apple’s new iOS 7 will be available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, the iPad 2, iPad third and fourth generation, the iPad mini and the iPod touch fifth generation.

The new feature and update list is lengthy to say the least, but here we take a look at some of the most important innovations that we think will make iOS 7 the most intuitive operating system that Apple has produced to date.

Putting you in control
The new control centre, accessed by swiping upwards on any screen, is a handy little feature that allows you to access an inbuilt torch, control your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, switch to Airplane mode, adjust the brightness of your screen and play music. In addition, you can also switch your phone’s Do Not Disturb function on or off, which is really useful when you find yourself in the cinema or in a quiet area.

Account logins
This is one of the features we are most excited about for iOS 7. The new operating system allows you to store passwords, account names and credit card details in the iCloud, with the details being automatically filled in when you sign into a website or online shop that you’ve previously visited.

Smartphone users have been waiting for this feature for a long time and, with Apple’s guarantee that details will be securely encrypted, it’s certainly going to be a real time-saver for Apple’s customers.   

Fingerprint ID
This is only going to available to users who purchase a new iPhone, but, long term, it’s got the potential to transform the way in which users access downloads, as well as all other kinds of data, by replacing the need to remember hundreds of different usernames and logins. 

Android KitKat
While Apple has a reputation for keeping their cards close to their chest, it seems that Google have become pretty adept at that particular feat themselves. In contrast to the iOS 7, we know very little about the Android KitKat, apart from information gleaned from the online rumour mill.

It’s strongly speculated that the Android KitKat will launch in October or November 2013 and all that Google are publicly saying at this point is that they are committed to making “an amazing Android experience available for everybody."

With this in mind, we fully expect the KitKat OS to be made available to older phones, as well as the new, long-awaited, Nexus 5.

In terms of specific features, sources indicated that the Android KitKat will include tweaks to gallery visualisation, new animation APIs and new notification widgets. At this point that’s all we know, but the suspense is killing us and, if the rumours are anything to go by, the KitKat should make the wide array of Android OS pay monthly phones available on the market that little more exciting.

The debate
It’s difficult to come to a conclusion on which operating system is going to be the most exciting and functional, largely because we know so little about the Android KitKat. So, if you’re in the market for a new phone this year, we think that patience is certainly a virtue you should covet, at least until we have a little more information at our disposal.

Article Credit: Ben Williams

New Gadgets

The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity is the new tablet on the scene in a saturated market, though believe it or not this one boasts something different. Pocket Lint reviewed it as the best complete laptop replacement with a tablet like screen and smooth, lightweight keyboard. Starting from £549, cash loans can help purchase this fancy new gadget at cashwindow.co.uk.

The ASUS Transformer can be seen as the most flexible of the tablets and offers a great alternative to the Windows or OS X laptop operating system. Using the Android system, it can now function with the use of office documents and removable USB drives just as well as the Windows system does, perhaps offering a welcome alternative to some. The biggest boast for this tablet is the stunning high-resolution screen and the battery life, which is better than most tablets. Although a downside may be the price tag, which reaches close to most laptops, the benefit of this tablet is the keyboard which can make it more user friendly than most other tablets, great for those who do all their work on a tablet.

If the price range seems a bit steep, Cash Window can offer quick cash loans to help you get to that gadget quicker than most. As long as you know you can afford to pay it back, a cash loan can be a way to ensure that you can afford the lump sum for that gadget, rather than saving your pocket money for months and months. Cash Window offer cash loans available to collect over the counter or money loans straight into your bank account and a variety of financial options to suit your needs and periods to pay it back. So whether you’re looking for the new ASUS Transformer tablet, or another fancy high-tech new tablet on the market, Cash Window can help.