Mobile Feed Weekly : Episode 3 - Keep it Juiced

Mobile Feed Weekly - Episode 3 - Keep it Juiced ... keeping your mobile devices powered can be a real issue, in this episode I show you three great solutions.


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Samsung Galaxy Note - The LARGE Phone for Everyone

Samsung says it makes a phone for everyone, including, apparently, people with huge hands. That's the only possible explanation for the Galaxy Note "phablet." While its size verges on a tablet, its software and usage scream "phone." That leaves the Note an unfortunate tweener, and this too-big phone is hard to love.

 

The Note isn't the first phone-tablet hybrid. The idea has been knocking around since the 1990s. The Note is probably the best-engineered device of its kind, but there's something about this physical size, versus the average size of the human hand, which isn't quite working.

 

Physical Design, Phone Calls and Internet
The Galaxy Note ($299 with contract) looks like a Samsung Galaxy S II phone blown up to an impractical size. At 5.8 by 3.3 by .4" (HWD) it's slender and beautiful, with a gorgeously sharp, 5.3-inch, 1280-by-800 Super AMOLED screen showing colors so deep you can fall into them. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel unit on the front, as well as standard MicroUSB and 3.5-mm headset jacks. A memory card slips into a slot under the back panel.

 

The phone is slim and light. It's just way too wide. While I can grip the Galaxy Note safely in one hand, it doesn't leave any leeway for my fingers to actually move around the touch screen. For most people, it will be totally impossible to use this phone one-handed. I've been trying to do so and failing miserably. Most notably, I can't reach the critical "back" button with my thumb when cradling the phone in one hand. I couldn't even answer a phone call with one hand.

 

The Galaxy Note is a fine phone, although it's a bit odd to hold up to your head. I was concerned that the microphone would be so far away from my face, it would cause problems with background noise, but that isn't an issue because of Samsung's aggressive noise cancellation technology. Reception was decent. Sound quality through the earpiece is excellent; voice tones are wonderfully warm, with perfect volume. The speakerphone is loud enough to use outdoors. Transmissions through the mic, altered by the noise-cancellation software, sounded a bit computery, and the noise cancellation didn't knock out all of the background noise from a passing bus.

 

The Galaxy Note works on AT&T's 4G LTE network as well as both AT&T's and international HSPA+ 21 networks. I got perfectly fine LTE speeds of about 10Mbps down and 4Mbps up. AT&T's 4G network isn't available across the country—but you shouldn't be disappointed with HSPA+ 21 either. The Note connects to Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, including automatically sniffing out and hooking up to AT&T's paid Wi-Fi hotspot network. The Galaxy Note works as a tethered modem or Wi-fi hotspot with the appropriate plan.

 

I got 8 hours, 30 minutes of talk time on the gigantic 2500 mAh battery. That feels low, although it's long enough to not factor into your buying choices. I'll retest the phone over the next few days. 

 

Taking Notes on the Note
The Galaxy Note is just about the size of a Moleskine notebook, and note-taking is one of its premier features. The Note comes with a little plastic stylus called the S Pen, which tucks into a slot in the bottom. Using the S Pen, you can draw or take notes in Samsung's S Note app, Autodesk's Sketchbook Mobile, or anywhere else you choose. The S Pen also enables a few tricks—for instance, taking snapshots of Web pages and doodling on them.
Using the S Pen is a little awkward, though, because it's so short and skinny. I found it difficult to use without touching the screen with the side of my hand, which disrupted the input. Things got easier when I put the S Pen in the larger S Pen Holder ($59.99), which gave my hand some more distance from the screen.

 

This isn't an ordinary capacitive stylus. It's based on Wacom technology, and it's both more precise than a regular stylus and pressure-sensitive, at least in the S Note app. I couldn't find any other apps, including Sketchbook Mobile and Evernote's Skitch, that properly took advantage of the pressure sensitivity.
And a lot is lost when you're translating from pen to touchscreen. I've spent years taking notes without looking, and the Note's S Pen stylus lacks the tactile bite of pen on paper that helps to guide my hand. Digital ink is just a little bit annoyingly slower than regular ink, too. It's "Why I Hate Touch Screens," all over again. You can take notes with it, certainly, but it's an inferior experience to using a regular pen.
What's the advantage of S-Pen over just-plain-pen? Electronic notes are captured and filed, and can be shared easily. You can annotate Web pages or other things you see on the screen. A stylus is also good for artists, as it can pretend to be different brushes and such.

 

Overall the Galaxy Note is an amazingly sophisticated device and It's running on one of the Nation's best Networks AT&T 4G LTE, if you have large hands this device is for you! 

 

Written by Andrew Tatter

My New Daily Mobile Phone

My New Daily Mobile Phone ... a lot of you have been asking what my new daily mobile is ? perhaps a Blackberry, something with Google Android in it, or a return to the iPhone. Check this video to find out.


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Mobile Feed Weekly : Episode 1 - Blackberry Prime

Mobile Feed Weekly - Episode 1 ... in this first episode there is something to tickle your tech tastebuds from Asus and Blackberry.


Buy your Transformer Prime here
http://amzn.to/ATPrime

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Sony Tablet S Unboxing & Product Tour

Sony Tablet S Unboxing & Product Tour... this is the 16GB WiFi only version, there is a 32GB WiFi version & 16GB WiFi + 3G version also available. Check back on the channel later for first turn on & setup video.


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Geek Gifts Guide 2011

I love Christmas, the snow is on the ground (almost), tree is up adorned with tinsel and lights. The morning brings with it the excitement of the children, followed by the gorgeous smells of that lovely home-cooked roast dinner. But wait… who am I kidding? It is all about ripping my gifts open like the big kid that I am. What follows are my wishes for Christmas, here's hoping all you Geekanoids Geeks have an awesome Christmas too.

 

Money is No Object
I am not all that fussed about 3D, but I do like to watch a good movie and the bigger the better! The Sony VPL-VW90ES (£5,299 or $7,500) delivers full HD at up to 300-inches of glorious jaw dropping movies in my own home, yes please. It just happens to do 3D too, so I might give that a try in the New Year. Oh and since this in the my 'Money is No Object' category, best buy me a Beamax 10505 A-Velvet projector screen to go with it please, it's only an extra grand.

 

Gifts Under £2,000
For him and her, whether you are in the Mac or Windows camp, either of these beauties is sure to put a smile on your face…

 

MacBook Air (£1,349 or $1,599)
For me it would be the top end 13-inch MacBook Air, with it peppy dual-core i5 processor and superb display. The elegance, power and simplicity of the Mac OSX operating system means that even a beginner can open up this beauty and start enjoying it. Give the recipient of this gift five minutes and they will be surfing the net, sending emails and exploring the included iLife suite of software. Not to mention its gorgeous design aesthetics. It is so super thin, I might just carve this years Turkey with it ;)
Buy the MacBook Air here. 

 

Asus ZenBook UX-31E (£999 or $1,449)
And for those into getting their Windows thing on, you don't have to put up with heavy slabs of plastic on your lap any more. Thanks to the uber-talented designers from Asus, we have the ZenBook UX-31E. Not only does it look super sexy, it pack a punch too with either an Intel i5 or i7 processor cooking away inside. The latest WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 will keep you connected. Plus the battery life will see you through almost two weeks of standby. Almost matching the Air's minuscule measurements, the ZenBook is just 3mm at the front, so should make a good job on that turkey too.
Buy the Asus ZenBook here. 

 

 

Under £500
Everyone loves to take photos and what better time than when all the family is together at this time of year. The latest compact from Canon, the PowerShot S100 (£382 or $429) offers up superb quality in a very small package. Not only do you get 12.1 megapixel snaps, but also full HD video for capturing all those magic moments. The lens is superb too, very good in low light situations, one of the better compact cameras for sure. It's size also manes you can take it everywhere you go. Let's just hope it hits the shops in time for the 25th.

 

Under £250
Again, this might not make it to the UK quite in time, but the Kindle Fire (£199 or $199) brings colour to your world of books and magazines. This Android based tablet offers up web browsing too, plus free cloud storage for your Amazon content. Early reviews have been pretty good, revealing the ease with which you can install other launchers to take your out of the Amazonified user interface. Take into account that this is a dual core tablet with a capacitive touch screen, capable of playing games as well as delivering you movies & music. It certainly sounds like a bit of a bargain, coming it at under £200 you could also stuff a £50 Amazon voucher for some books in my stocking too.

 

I think I can get away with saying this one is educational and for the kids. Don't tell the wife, but I have always wanted a Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 (£189 or $250). I love lego so so much, but being able to build a robot, alligator, or even a beach buggy complete with camera is amazing. "I will let you into a little secret… I have wanted one of these for years, but could never justify the price. Maybe one year Santa will pop one down the chimney for me". Note to Santa… this will keep me entertained for weeks.
Buy your Lego Mindstorms here. 

 

Under £50
Shop around or feel a little more generous and you might just be able to pick up a Logitech Tablet Keyboard for the iPad or iPad 2 (£49.95 John Lewis or $75) within this smaller budget. There are lots of this type of device around, but the Logitech took my fancy due to its sturdy design and tactile feedback. It is really nifty too, the keyboard case converts into a nice stand for your iPad or iPad 2, how cool is that! Logitech make some stunning products, so I would just love this to appear under my tree.

 

Give me a game and I will be a happy bunny. If your loved one has not yet got his/her frag on with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (£39 or $50), then you will be in their good books forever for buying this. Endless fun and a surefire way of improving one's sniping skills. Remember though, rated 18, this is not one that grandma will approve of… unless she has a keen sniping eye that is !!!
Buy COD MW3 here. 

The Facebook Messenger Application for Android

Now, if you don’t know what Facebook is, you don’t deserve to be reading this article so click off and go and read something else. For the 750,000,000 users that do know what Facebook is, then carry on reading for an insight into the Facebook Messenger application for android.

Recently Facebook has been changing all over the place with a new layout to the homepage (including the stalker feed on the top right) and new options and things being moved about all over the shot. Now, I’ve been a little sceptical to these changes because I’ve always believed if something isn’t broken, don’t try and fix it and by moving things around, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have confused a lot of Facebook users. However, one thing that I have really liked about the recent Facebook changes is the way that messages and chats are handled. Messages have changed in that you can pop up on chat to someone and if they aren’t online, it sends them a Facebook Message instead of waiting until they’re online to send the chat Message. Now, with this service in place, the Facebook team felt that it was suitable to make a Facebook Messenger application to almost replace modern email completely.

To begin with, you may feel that by me saying that it will replace modern email completely is a bit of an over exaggeration, but if you think about it, nearly everybody you know has Facebook don’t they? However, do you know all of their email addresses? Probably not. I admit that Facebook is possibly for the younger generation, but that just enhances my argument Facebook messages will replace modern email. The current population of 12-20 year olds will communicate over Facebook; if they want to talk to their friends they will leave them a comment on their wall, or if they are online will chat to them that way. In addition, with all Smartphones having push notifications these days, every one with a smartphone can receive the message almost as instantly as if they were sitting at home on their Facebook page. Another thing is that with the new messaging system, if the person that you wish to contact does not have a smartphone, Facebook will text them the message that you have sent (assuming they have their number on their profile) and they can reply by simply replying to the text. One last thing that helps my argument that this form of messaging will replace email is the simple fact, everyone now has an email address that if you are in an email application, you can email and it will send them that message in their Messages; genius!

I’ve rambled on about the new messaging service for Facebook enough, let’s get down to the actual application for Android. The application is set out so simply, but so well! When you open the application you simply have your feed of recent messages with each contact which you can access by clicking on the name of the person you wish to chat or respond to; you also have a compose message button.

When you click the button to compose a message, you are brought to a screen with a very similar design to the previous, but now you have an option in the top left (signalled with the trademark facebook ‘f’ logo) to take you back to the messages screen. When choosing the recipient you wish to send the message to, you simply start typing in the name and it brings up your friends with that name. One addition I like to this is that if they aren’t online it will show a little mobile symbol next to it, signifying that it will send it to their mobile app. Also, you can choose to send the person a text message from Facebook instead of leaving a message in their inbox. Just like the new Facebook chat and Facebook messaging service, you also have the ability to start group conversations with multiple friends on Facebook. Furthermore, in this screen, you have the option to add an image by choosing one of the following options: Take Photo, Choose Photo or Image Search. Another final feature is that you can add your location to the messages that you send (bit creepy and I’ve never used it, but nice to know it’s there.)

In the options you get the ability to alter the notifications with such things as whether it vibrates, whether it makes a sound, what sound it makes, that type of thing. Other helpful information to know is that you can either refresh by pulling down and releasing, or you can hit the menu button on your phone and choose refresh. Simples.

I have found myself using this application on countless times, in fact recently I received a message from my Network asking if I was still using my mobile as I had only sent like three texts in a month. I use this application more than I use any other form of messaging service. Even though you do get a message option within the Official Facebook app, I find this just quicker; you simply open the app, click compose, type the name, type your message and boom, you send it away. Such a simple application, yet such a useful one and a genius move by Facebook if you ask me; it just needs more publicity and maybe iOS and Blackberry versions to properly excel this application into one of the highest in the market.

Written by Luke. Twitter @l_harknessYouTube Channel

 

Comb Over Charlie HD for BB PlayBook

Comb-Over Charlie HD is a very addictive, yet simple game for the Blackberry PlayBook. It is one of those games that you can play for hours and have not really accomplished much by the time you have to stop.

 

 

Comb-Over Charlie begins with a simple opening menu that lets you access everything you will need to access to enjoy the experience of the game. I really liked the font and design of this game as it gave it a childish yet at the same time mature look to it; very clever design. Anyway, on the first screen you are given four buttons to choose from: Play, Help, Scores and Thanks. Hitting the Play button obviously take you to the next screen from which you can start playing, but I shall get back to this later. Help takes you to a little image-by-image tutorial that you can slide through that gives you simple instructions on how to play the game. Scores brings up your highest offline scores (no online scoring enabled as of yet.) And the Thanks options brings up an image that shows who the game was created by and who they owe additional thanks to.

 

Now, when you click Play you are taken to a different screen that lets you select which level to wish to play. However, as with most games, you can only select the levels that you’ve already played and therefore have already unlocked to play. There are eight levels to beat in the game which isn’t a lot, but it took me a good couple of hours to complete them all (mainly because I am appalling at the game.) You also are given star ratings on each of your levels (similar to Angry Birds) based on your score. The controls for the game are very simple, you tap on the screen to make Charlie go up and you click the fire button to fire in a straight line.

 

The downfalls of Comb-Over Charlie are quite evident from the beginning; although I’ve raved about its simplicity, in a way it’s all most too simple. There are no transitions in this game, the screens just feel like pictures that have links on them instead of pages that interact with one another. Another downfall is the mere lack of actual levels; even though I said that there was enough to keep me entertained for hours; this was merely because I am terrible at this game. I couldn’t see somebody who spends a lot of time on tablet games taking very long on this game at all. It would also have been nice to see other game modes other than just the basic, also some new weapons and a lot more content in general. Basically the big downfall of this game is that it is too simple for my liking.

 

Comb-Over Charlie HD is a very addictive game however, it is addictive in that you don’t have to really push your mind to play it, so even when you fail, it doesn’t feel like you’ve lost a lot. This game wins for me because it’s a game you can easily pick up and get straight into playing with the simple navigation to a new game and the ability to select a level you’ve already played. Check out this game if you’re looking to kill off some time in a long car journey or in a waiting room.

 

Written by Luke. Twitter @l_harknessYouTube Channel

ScrapBook on the Blackberry Playbook

The Scrapbook application for the Blackberry PlayBook is a beautiful pictures application in which you can create nice collages of photos that you've taken.

When you open up the Scrapbook app, you are introduced with a washing line which your completed colages will get pegged to when saved. Also, there is a 'create' button in the bottom right of the start screen to begin creating your collage. This homepage is possibly one of the nicest start screens of any application out there for the PlayBook. It is a physics-based homepave in that when you scroll through your collages left to right, when you reach the end they swing out as if you were really sliding pieces of paper on a washing line. The image previews also look 3D which adds to the beauty of the animations and the idea of it being a washing line of pictures. When you click on one of your images, it simply pans in to show an enlarged preview of your image. Which, when you tap again, it pans out to the washing line view again.

When you click create, this is where the countless fun begins. You are brought to a very basic screen that shows a canvas as the main attraction of the screen. On the right you have three tabs that open up your images, stickers and wallpapers. In the bottom right hand corner you have a bin where you drag items that you wish to remove. And on the bottom left you have a camera button that is your save button; which you should be careful when hitting because, once saved, you won't be able to edit your collage. Anyway, clicking on the images button will bring up all the images that you have taken with your PlayBook's camera and you drag these onto the screen and once released they drop onto the piece of paper. It is exactly the same with the stickers, you pick a sticker, tap and drag to where you wish to place it. With the wallpaper, you choose which one and it will change to that wallpaper, simples.

 

There are a few features that keep this from being a simple and dull application. Such features as the ability to readjust and twist images using multi-touch pinch-to-zoome. The multi-touch is a little off and laggy sometimes, but it isn't so bad that it stops you from putting the image how and where you want. Another feature that the Scrapbook application has is the ability to connect the app up to Facebook; this enables you to post the finished product to Facebook when it is finished. 

However, this beautiful application does have quite a few downsides and there are plenty of things I would add in to make it a better application. The first downside I noticed was the lack of ability to edit your collage once you have saved it, as I mentioned earlier. Another downside to this app is that you can only have a certain number of your images in a single collage (I believe the limit to be seven). However, you can still add in stickers after your image limit. Things I would add to improve this application would be the ability to add in some form of text, such as bubble writing or maybe even just a text box. Also, seeing as Facebook is connected, maybe the ability to use your Facebook photos within the app would be a nice feature.

The Scrapbook application for the Blackberry PlayBook really shows off the PlayBook's graphical prowess. It shows off how good of an application can be made on the PlayBook; which makes me doubt other applications that have no transitions or animations. I cannot praise the developers of this application for the clear amount of time they have spent making this a beautiful application. It lacks some features that would make it a more useable application, but then no application is perfect. And for what this app has set out to do, it does extremely well.

Written by Luke. Twitter @l_harknessYouTube Channel