Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Something about discovering New Music!!

There is just something about discovering music. Music is one of my passions, and my music library is really rather diverse to say the very least. That being said, Kraftwerk to Iron Maiden are lurking in my music library, alongsdie with a bit of Holst.

Safe to say that I have a rather eclectic taste in music, but there is something about discovering music and discovering new music and bands.

Luckily in this technological age (love or loathe) it, to discover new music really can be quite easy, from platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp to Soundcloud, oh and through blogs as well. Luckily I have known about, a band called "The Headshrinkers" for quite some time now. They are though a new band, from Nottingham. Earlier, I decided to have a listen to them, generally speaking independent bands whom write and record their own material, can in cases be amazing, and a lot of un-signed artists and bands really are more creative than a lot of the mainstream music that we here in the charts, using a MAC and some software to make their voices sound soothing.

Rhianna and I can name some other artists and bands out there, whom use autotune to make it sound like they have perfect voices. Sadly I suppose this is down to the masses, being drawn into listening to chart music, that is pumped through the biggest radio stations in the country.

Sometimes it is nice to come across something that is slightly un-cut, and raw. To me, indie bands, artists and musicians whom are not assigned to record labels, often have more talent. Why? Because they are creative, not afraid to get their musical hands into something different and make a different sound.

You only have to go onto Bandcamp, and discover some of the truly amazing talent on there, it really is like an underground music store. From people whom produce electronic and techno, from their bedrooms, to bands and artists whom have local exposure only.

It is a dog eat dog world, for any band or musician, incidently I suppose that is because the creative sector, and yes music falls under that umbrella, is full of people trying to get known, and get there brand or sound out there to the wider world.

The Headshrinkers, are a local band from Nottingham, and are comprised of (Kurt Kimberley, Adam Malpass, Brandon Rees, Jamie Harris and Charley Hawthorne).

There website, can be found here (http://theheadshrinkers.com/).

So far, they have on there website, an integrated SoundCloud feed, which provides a visitor with a chance to listen to their music. I myself found earlier, to have a listen to some of their music, and wow, what a sound. Independent rock music, that sounds like it has a 90's vibe. That vibe, instantly took me, to the time when Oasis, where in the charts, mixed with a sprinkling of heavy rock, borderlining on metal. Needless to say, that "The Headshrinkers" in my opinion, are going to gain strength and quite a lot of followers, this year. Please do relase some music onto Spotify, and keep up the excellent work.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Google Stadia, the Google Answer, to Steam

Steam, a name that can mean hot water that has reached boiling point, or for many others, it can mean a digital store, that has a hybrid cloud system, with the way that games are distributed to users, it means that someone using Steam, can literally use Steam, across any device that it is installed on, each downloaded game, is stored in the cloud, as well as that, Steam can allow game streaming from the cloud as well.

Along with Steam, GOG or Good Old Games and Origin Store, also exist, as well. However Steam remains the most popular digital game store within the world.

However, this afternoon, Google have taken the plunge into the world of Game Streaming, another company called Nvidia, have also taken that plunge into game streaming, not so long ago, however, it has had mixed reviews, I say mixed reviews, but the Nvidia streaming service has a limited amount of titles, within there library.

Game streaming is one of those things, that can either work very well, or not very well. Xbox and Playstation also allow game streaming, to a small degree, as do Steam. Yet the new Google Stadia, which is to be launched later this year (2019), seems to be simple. Yes Google are one of the biggest technolgy companies within the world, and have a heck of a lot of hardware under their belts. everything from smart assistants, to smartphones, the Android Eco system, and more. Yet today we have seen Google, do something extrodinary. In the timeline of Google, they have never released anything that is aimed at gamers, that is until this afternoon, when Google have officially launched the Google Stadia.

Google Stadia, will work from the browser, from Google Chrome, take a YouTube Video, with Assasins Creed, all you will have to do is click on the video, and play the game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SOS-a4ks7s

The Google Stadia, is soley based upon the cloud and cloud streaming, the only hardware is that of a controller which features a YouTube share button, alongside with a button for google assistant.

So yes, it seems that Stadia, is perhaps the Google answer, to Steam. I for one, am liking the idea of Google, going head to head with other game streaming providers, to provide something that is easily accessible and does not even need a console, just a controller for game streaming, and a browser.

Well done Google, it will be interesting to see more, of the Stadia platform, in the not too near future.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

The return of "The Phablet".... I personally think so, just re-made!!!

Ah, what is that I can hear? Oh yes, it is MWC 2019 and various bloggers/vloggers and other content creators drooling over what seems to be a new concept, that in essence, truly is not.

So far, from the run up to Mobile World Congress, we have seen Samsung, unveil the worlds first "foldable smartphone" something that Huawei, have bitten back at, today by releasing the Huawei Mate X... A thinner, you guessed it, foldable smartphone.

Which has got me thinking, with all the technology companies, and Samsung along with the likes of Huawei, who have released foldable devices, is it all a bit of a fad and a forgotten trend, that is coming back out of the closet, to get us to purchase phones, with a huge screen?! An all to familiar trend to a number of years ago, when phablets were a trend. Ok do not get me wrong, but at one point it was Samsung, LG, HTC not so long ago who were releasing phablets, they then all died down, and the design language shifted to what is now all about the bezels.

Fast forward to late 2018/2019 and a new trend has started, that is the rise of the foldable phone. So explain this then?

  • Foldable Phones - Whilst Samsung this past week and today Huawei have unveiled there folding smartphones, what use do they actually serve, other than to be a fashion statement "Look at him/her, they have a foldable smartphone". 
  • Design Elements - Again, nothing really is new, No, I mean really, nothing is new here, if anything when a foldable phone is unfolded it looks more like a phablet, a design trend that was around a number of years ago, before the design ethics changed to that of "More Screen", Really the likes of Samsung and Huawei are just going down the route that was taken a number of years ago, when the smartphone race, truly began. 
  • Who are they aimed at?/For? - Whilst Phablets where aimed, at a more consumer based and driven society, with the Mate X, coming in at £2,229 and the Folding Samsung Phone coming in marginally cheaper, no doubt they are being aimed as a "Business Device"
  • Functionality - Ah, a Hybrid section of mobile technology, has risen from the ashes, I say ashes, but phablets kind of frizzled out, or did they? A foldable phone takes the functionality of a regular smartphone and adds a hybrid phablet/tablet like element to a smartphone that is already implemented with one big screen. In terms of watching content and other uses for it, then I can understand why consumers and businesses might be interested in the functionality of a foldable smartphone
  • Game Changer? - No, I do not think so, Foldable smartphones as I see them are not game changing, it is merely taking quite a big leap backwards, it is a design language that has seen before, with phablets and tablets, yes tablets have functionality, even today, but a foldable smartphone is just a tablet, that folds into a phone, and really does not offer any major updates or things to what a non-folding device can do.
I really want to like the concept of a foldable phone, whilst the technology behind the idea is fantastic, it is just a re-release of an existing technology product, that has a hinge, I mean years ago there were foldable phones as well, all be it big bulky things, but this re-invention of the foldable phone, is nothing more than a fad and a trend, so come on technology companies, think of something that little bit more, Radical!!


Friday, 8 February 2019

DigiEstonia... A Digital the rise of a Digital Nation.

Estonia.... What is conjured up in the mind, other than; Eastern European, next to Russia and Below Finland... Lada perhaps? Fleets of old Lada's and people driving them on dusty roads, un-made tracks?

The truth is, that you could not be further from the truth. Estonia, yes is next to Russia; it is also below Helsinki, and between Estonia and Helsinki, it is possible to commute, not only that but Estonia is known for having one of the most hip and trendy capital's within Eastern Europe/The Baltic States. Trendy and hip on the one side, on the other, Tallinn has a historic old town that draws visitors, from all around the globe.

Yet, underneath all the stag/hen parties, the free flowing beer and the hipster scene, a very different country is on the rise. It is a nation, that has embraced change, since gaining independence from the soviet union. Over that past couple of years, Estonia has been embracing a technological boom, and is the one of the first countries in the world, to be developing a "digital nomad visa" for interesting digital nomad content, i reccomend you check out, Jodie Dewberry over on YouTube. So what is a Digital Nomad? In a simplified terminology, a Digital Nomad, is someone whom carries out remote work, it is a new name, for remote workers, remote working etc. Why a digital nomad visa? Simple, because their are lots of startups and tech co working spaces, within Estonia.

Not only that, but Estonia really has gone truly digital in more ways than one, it really is. Virtually everything is done online, or with smart technology, such as a user portal for the population of Estonia, to access medical notes, pay council tax, purchasing and selling cars, the list is endless.

So why go to Estonia, with so many technology startups, and the need for technology, Estonia, is in my opinion, aiming to be the next China; ok, perhaps not "The Next China" but Europes own slice of China or Japan/South Korea.

What I do know, is that Estonia is also working on the ethos, that cloud storage and data is a lot safer, than storing data on paper. It is the freedom of a digital age, and the fantastic hipster and inventive population, that has enabled Estonia, to truly flourish as a digital nation, and this embrace for Estonia, with technology can only just continue, and set a trend to other nations around europe.

That boom, and the quality of life, within Estonia, is what is allowing the nation to be inventive, in a boom to change the nation and to make Tallinn, into Silicon Valley, thus perhaps providing a unique something, for other tech firms to invest in.

In this digital age though, is Estonia doing a good thing. Yes, it is; with advanced systems and a Baltic outlook on life, Technology and people can truly co-exist, it is a lifestyle but one that works well.


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Apple users, Are you really that blind?

We all know that in the technology world, there are three main platforms that people tend to use, for day to day use; productivity and business, these being the following main platforms.


  • Apple and it's Eco System
  • Windows and it's Eco System with a semi hybrid approach to other integration and platforms
  • Google and it's Eco System that works hand in hand with Windows and with Google's own productivity suites and tools for business. 
But lets not forget that whilst they are the three main and biggest platforms that many businesses along with consumers tend to use, there is a slight pattern, let's delve into Google for starters, love them or loath them, Google are one of the biggest technology firms out in the world at this moment, and provide a whole host of tried and tested and some failed projects alongside that as well.

Yet look at the core of Google, at Android OS for a start as well as Chrome OS, and there is a link with Apple. that one singular link, is indeed  the Unix OS core, that has been implemented at the core of both the Google sectors and Apple's OS, it is the IOS and Apple Eco System, not a new invention that carries any innovation either.

Yet what really bothers me, is Apple Users, really are rather blind, to the sense that they are being robbed. Whilst Google forces you to use a Google Account, love or loathe it; but there are ways around the Google systems, so you can use your own personal email account.

Why though, are Apple Users, and users of it's Eco-Ssystem being rather blind? As quite simply they are being ripped off, for a Logo, and a closed source Unix framework; that needs Apple related things to work, along with the astronomical price tags that Apple products come with. Oh and as it is closed source, you really can not make it your own.

Think logically, and you could invest in a Huawei, OnePlus or Honor device, that floors everything that Apple throws out of it's pram, and you get a lot better hardware, software and it will allow the user to truly make it there's, right down to customizing Android itself, oh and you can listen to FLAC files as well.

See there is sense in delving into the Android Eco-System, and for a start, your bank balance won't feel as if it has been fleeced, by some third world nation wanting money, instead with an Android device, you pay less, but gain oh so much more. To any Apple fan boys/girls, try Android, you will be surprised, and for £1,400 for a base level iPhone XS, go figure..... 

Saturday, 12 May 2018

800 Words, A review of Life and What we are all possible of doing.

What better things to do, then watch Television, and in this forever changing world, of content binging and boxsets; it is always refreshing when a good quality television drama, comes on the screens.

When that television drama mixes the finest elements, of Drama and Comedy it is always a good thing when a television series adds drama with a vast helping or side dish of comedy, it truly is a fantastic recipe. But what happens when this television program, happens to be a blend of Australian and New Zealand? Yes I know Australian television program is beamed throughout the wider world, including the United Kingdom, America, Canada and throughout various other nations in the world, but delve closely into the film and television industries of New Zealand, and it is mainly known for Lord Of The Rings (LOTR). In terms of New Zealand television programs, not a lot are shown on channels in other countries.

That is until now, well definitely in the case of The United Kingdom, and the BBC, showing a glorious new program, fresh off the plane from New Zealand, the television drama/comedy entitled; quite simply "800 words" is yes in New Zealand officially finished, with it's third series being shown in 2017, in 2018 the BBC has shown the first two series, of this fantastically created, and at times "deep" drama/comedy series, called "800 words" which tells the series of the Turner Family, with the three main protagonists being (George Turner), a father of two children, (Arlo Turner) his youngest son and daughter (Shay Turner) the eldest of his children, whom end up moving to New Zealand, George's wife, whom was tragically killed by a car, in Sydney, the drama starts, when the Turner family arrive, in Weld, a town in New Zealand, remote and one with it's quirks. George is a writer, who writes for a magazine in Sydney, and is loved for his opinions on life in general, I suppose it is pure escapism for George whom sets the plot of, 800 words, by deciding to vacate his children across the Tasman sea, to New Zealand for a new life, of writing his articles on life and human observation, away from preying eyes back in Sydney.

Right from the start, 800 words deals with Life, friendships and how they are formed, alongside, with a sense of community, taking in an outsider, to make them one of there own, it is a drama/comedy series like no other, one that takes it's meaning to a deeper level on so many occasions, and deals with George's teenage children, seeing the world, in a different light, away from Sydney, to a small town in New Zealand, where everyone knows everyone.

It is the kind of program, that should make us stop and think for a while, that life is for living, and if you open your heart, soul and mind to things, it is possible to make a living anywhere in the globe, and to be sucked into a world where friendships can be formed, and those friends, can be more than "just friends" It is magical and sublime, fantastically well acted, and provides laughter with tears at the same time, I shall not spoil this program, by telling you all what it is about, other than what I have written above, which gives a small insight into how the Turners ended up in Weld, across the Tasman sea, from Sydney, it is as magical as romance and has comedy themes and a serious element, which truly makes it a fantastic drama, to watch. 

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Another Galaxy, Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

So, it is 2018, and we have already had CES in Las Vegas. It might seem like a while since we got any technology, being shown off, across the globe, along with what the latest tech trends are going to be, throughout the year.

Move on, and it is that time of year, in Barcelona, when all the major Mobile Carriers, and Mobile Phone Manufactures gather together at the MWC or (Mobile World Congress).

And yes, this year, Samsung have decided to open the show, with what appears to be a rather large arena, yes they do have a rather large budget to go along with it, however the point is, that Samsung have kicked off this years MWC, in a style that involves the press and vloggers/bloggers in suits writing, tweeting and blogging the event, but what have they released? Another Galaxy, yes that is right, Samsung have just dropped the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Whilst the S9 has one camera on the back, the S9+ has dual cameras, and both appear to have 8mp front facing cameras. Whilst the actual hardware looks the same as the S8 and S8+, there have been some changes, such as slow motion capabilities within the camera application, the S9 and S9+ have also bought Emoji's. definitely not stolen from Apple? Oh wait...... And another thing, at least Samsung have included headphone jack, perfect for listening to music without the need for spending extra money. Add to that improvements with Bixby, and Samsung pay, and it looks like Samsung, really are keeping things minimal, which can only be a good thing, yes it is an expensive device, but it is Samsung and hey-ho they are the Android equivalent to Apple.

Yet the design as I have said above, remains the same as the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ hardware specs, it has a much bigger battery so the all important battery life at least is a lot better. Not only that, but Dex has also been improved, and has been pushed towards the world of Business, and big IT companies, rather 007?

Either way, what a good start to Mobile World Congress, whilst Samsung phones are the Premium version of the Android world, it is needless to say that the S9/S9+ are the right formula for a flagship, and it is good when a company listens to it's consumers, and instead of something radical, they improve the hardware.

Well done Samsung, oh and glad you have included a Headphone Jack, Apple please do take a note out of Samsung's books next time. 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Can you really be secure enough? iStorage Datashur 2, review

One of the major news trends, that is becoming more and more important to us on a daily, if not weekly basis, within the world of technology, is security. With things such as major breaches of security happening on a weekly if not daily basis, people are becoming slightly worried.

Not just in big business but also on a personal level, we always have to ask ourselves, just how secure is our data? In one aspect it is very secure, yet in another aspect, when companies such as Yahoo, Avast, Microsoft and the PlayStation network, have all fallen victims of cyber attacks, that question could be open for a very lengthy discussion. "Great" i hear you say, and yes I can fully agree, and within this day and age of the vast digital world we live in, where we store photos online, and documents within the Cloud, just how secure is our data? I mean we trust the Cloud, don't we. Yes we do, but we also prefer a more solid way to store our data, and that is why a lot of us choose to use External Hard Drives and USB drives, to store our documents, and yes while it is possible, using third party software to secure and lock our data storage mediums, from preying eyes, it can be quite tricky to fully secure something like a USB drive or an External Hard Drive. However there is  a company, that is changing that aspect.

You might not have heard of them, and I had not heard of them until I was watching a video by Explainingcomputers, over on YouTube, please do check the channel out, truly brilliant channel it is, and Explainingcomputers, really does make simple watching, for someone who is new to technology. His channel is below.

https://www.youtube.com/user/explainingcomputers

Now this is where I had to investigate the world of Encrypted data storage. Can data storage truly be secure and have data encryption? Well yes it can, and that is down to a company called, iStorage.

Intrigued about this, I sent iStorage a nice email, asking if I could review one of there products, and I got a very good response, and surely enough I was sent the iStorage Datashur 2 (personal). A lovely pen drive, with hold on, yes numerical keys on the front. All very James bond like, if you ask me!! Yes this was it, the Encrypted USB drive had arrived.

And as we can see, the USB drive, was presented in a lovely and neat manner, with it's keypad, and numerical buttons, for authenticating the drive. The drive was an 8gb pen drive, and iStorage have a fantastic range of storage mediums, to purchase from there range of stockists. Not only this, but they do things from USB drives, to external hard drives, and external solid state drives, all with the added keypad, for encryption and security.

Naturally, I wanted to have a play about with this drive, to see if it really did say what it says, on the packaging. And for a little USB drive, to be compatible with the likes of Windows, Apple, Linux based operating systems, and of course with anything running Chrome OS, this Pen drive, does not disappoint, I tried it on Windows 10, and it worked like a dream, the drive is both fast at writing files to, and without the security pin, it simply will not show up, you have to input a security code; this can be changed, very easily. But once you put the security code in, the drive shows up.

And there you go, the drive shows up, after the code has been entered. Yes this truly is a secure pen drive, for storing your important files, I honestly, did not think it was possible for a company to make a truly out of the box, secure data storage method, without having to put a third party application, on a drive, which can be a rather sloppy and difficult process, instead, this pen drive, like iStorage and there wide range of products, already have inbuilt security, built within and on the drive.

All in all this is a fantastic pen drive, for those who are concerned about sensitive documents, that they might not want other people to access. I have to say, that iStorage, really have nailed it here, with there range of secure storage, featuring encryption, that also works across a wide range of operating systems, this truly, in my opinion, is what a lot more companies should be looking at doing, making practical solutions for people who are concerned about security, and storing those important documents and files.

Please, also do check out my review on YouTube, in which I test, and review this fantastic USB Pen Drive, and also a big shout out to iStorage, for allowing me to review this fantastic product.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Quantity not Quality?

The world, in 2017 is a rather strange place. I mean this in a number of ways; the first being is politically, on one side of the spectrum we have got Donald Trump attempting to run America whilst acting and behaving like some comedian from a dodgy comedy show, either way he does provide the world with a good laugh, at what he posts on his social media feeds, day in and day out. On the other side, we have got good old England, which seems politically unstable what with the departure of the UK from the European Union. On top of which technology is changing and the way we talk to others is also changing, gone are the days of letters or telegrams, but hello are the days of hashtags, Instagram photo's and social media, to tell the world that we are on the loo, reading a Shakespeare classic.

Yes it is that translation from the days of pencil and paper, to a phone that has more power than the Apollo 11 rocket, that I find is rather scary, and in such a short time as well. And yes, I believe that social media, and technology has proven that in some cases, it can be downright awkward and interfering. In other ways, technology can be useful, and the way in which we access media, the news and have the ability to have an opinion, has rapidly changed.

I myself; completely understand this. Yes I have made friends, through school, through family and through having a thing called a "social life" and yes, I like to blog, I love photography etc.... I could do a long list. But a 5 years ago, through a conversation I had, on a subject, I will not mention, I made a friend, whom I am friends with, 5 years on, amazing; isn't it the power of technology, it can bring people together through fate. And in some way, I do think this is what happened here, but mainly the important thing, is we still talk to each other on a regular basis, and yes; the other day, this person, I saw the other day, after three years of not seeing each other.

But the point is, that having friends, is not about how many you have, but it is the quality of them, a person could have many friends, but how many are true friends? Let that sink in a while.

Monday, 5 June 2017

WWDC 2017. A Leaf from the Open Source Community.

It is that time of the year again, yes that time of the year, when the glossy and sleek lines of Apple, decide to release new products and items; for there users and ecosystems. Now whilst I'am not part of the Apple ecosystem and would never go back to them, I have noticed something, and this little thing that I have noticed, is that Apple very much are taking a leaf out of the open source community. No, I mean it, whilst Apple has it's roots under the open source community, so far we have seen quite a few changes, that look as if they have just come out of an Android device, and where we can see this so far, is on the new,

Apple Watch: 
Whilst it is a very popular smart watch, all that I have seen with it, is a few changes, and merely some new features, such as exercise apps, which are all connected, including the ability to sync the data between your Apple Watch and any exercise machine's so you can actually have guess what, yes accurate data. I mean other android products such as smart watches are incredibly accurate.

MacOS High Sierra:
Last year we saw, MacOS Sierra, named after the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in California, so what have we decided to do, send our team out, and look for names, so we sent them higher into the highest peaks and areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, so they decided to name it MacOS High Sierra. I mean this is laughable, but hey ho, it adds some little tweaks for developers as well as a new file system. I mean it is amazing that Apple as a company, can not now, seem to come up with a major change, except for more developer tools and VR integration, something that Windows has been doing for a little while now, alongside with Android. As for the actual OS, it seems like Apple really are shoving the we have been the best when it comes to GUI's down our throats, when the Open Source Community had GUI's before you existed.

New Apple iMac's:
They look the same as last year's models. Amazing isn't it, we can not come up with a "radical change" here at apple. so we will just ramp up the iMac's and add AMD Graphics, and guess what, we have added more 4k, which Windows have been doing for a while with there displays, but lets not forget that with the iMac's we have released today has guess what, more VR Capabilities and development kits. Why Apple can you not really make a radical change, oh and we have just seen the iMac Pro, it looks the same as the other iMac Pro, from last year..... However it will be in a different colour. Amazing, another way to rip people off.

New iMac Pro:
And now onto the Pro. Yes the creme de la creme, I mean amazing isn't it, it is the Most Poweful Mac ever made, and with 128gb of RAM memory. I mean really, do we really need this much or is this overkill? It will also cost $4999, apparently if you built a Machine of the same specifications sheet, it would cost more. Or would it, I mean we do not need 18 cores, Kaby Lake Processors and 128gb of RAM do we? Bit overkill there Apple, I mean I would not need 128gb of RAM for anything.

IOS 11: 
Guess what, we have slightly here at Apple, changed IOS, with IOS 11, and it looks as if it has been taken straight out of google. Yes it looks very much like Android O, and there is an App Draw at the bottom, I for one sense that Apple are trying to get Android users back to there ecosystem. If this happens then I will be amazed, but Apple I want to be able to use Android without iTunes, and to have FLAC support with my Music on your IOS music apps. I also want a much nicer interface that Android has. And one that is not locked by IOS. But great Apple, you have stolen your new design interface from Android. And that swipe feature, is certainly stolen from Android, yes the swipe one in which you can see your notifications on screen.

Adding to that the Live Photo ability, Google Photo's have been doing this for a while, as have Windows devices.

New Navigation apps, yes really good, and the ability to navigate around airport's is also rather handy isn't it? I mean seriously Apple. Adding to this, the new Apple Air Play 2, being able to play music to different speakers around the home is something the open source community have been able to do before.

New MacBook's:
Other than Intel Kaby Lake power, faster SSD's and better graphics, not much else has really changed with the design either.

Apple Music:
It really seems like Apple have been taking a list out of Spotify's book. Apple Music, now have the ability to see what your friends are listening to, I mean we can do this with Spotify as that itself gives you the ability to see what your friends are listening to, and the playlists, That again is from the big book of Spotify. So really Apple, you seem to be stealing ideas, not coming up with anything original.

App Store: 
The biggest app store in the world, faster review times, for apps that people are downloading, perhaps a redesign. Oh and yes we have just got a new App store from Apple, again you are trying to dig yourself out of the Android app store, which has the same layout, and yes Android app store, or the Play Store as it should be known, has Tabs, I mean Tabs is something from the open source community. Come on Apple are we going to see anything original and new?

One thing I have been seeing from Apple and there WWDC 2017, so far, is that they have not come up with any real changes, instead what seems to have happened is that Apple seem to have taken a leaf out of Googles big book, and have come up with various Tabs on the App Store, and an IOS interface which looks as if it is a carbon copy of Android O. Now lets have a look at Wingnut AR.

Wingnut AR: 
Why the heck have Apple decided to call there AR, Wingnut. I mean come on Apple, Project Tango, which is open source, and that Google came up with first, trying to make gains in the AR field will not really get you far, and saying it just works, well so does Project Tango on the Lenovo, and other Tango ready devices.

So we are getting a new iPad, oh the iPad Pro is getting a new makeover... Let's see where this is going. Oh we are going to get the new iPad Pro "Claps and woops" around the room, and now we are getting a 10.5 inch iPad Pro. We now have a Full screen keyboard, on the size of a device like this. and now Apple have decided to push HDR content onto the new iPad Pro, again a very stolen idea isn't it, as many Android tablets have HDR content and abilities. Adding to this the ability to photo edit, with Affinity pro. I mean we have guess what, Adobe with apps for both Android and Apple, already exist and can do what Affinity can. And now we have USB 3 on the iPad Pro. Rejoices.

And lets add on to this, fantastic conference that Apple have pulled off. Yes, the iPad even has a dock, which you can pull apps up and use it for multi tasking, Much like many android apps have. Now for something slightly different, The Home Pod, Apple's very own answer to you guessed it, Alexa or Google Home, again straight out of the open source crowd, and yes things which have already been released, getting introduced to the Apple EcoSystem, and whilst the ideas are good, Apple you have a lot of catching up to do, I mean it is one thing releasing new products, but you have not released any new products, you have added your take on existing products, over hyped them, and now you expect us to pay double for something which is cheaper elsewhere.

For more, info, and coverage, then I shall leave a link below, from The Guardian, and there Technology site.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/live/2017/jun/05/apple-wwdc-2017-keynote-ios-macos-iphone-macbook-live







Sunday, 26 February 2017

Pure Android, from a Retro company?

I wonder, just wonder how many people remember the days when Mobile Phones, did not have Android, IOS or Windows Phone. When the humble Mobile Phone first came into our lives, it was revolutionary; all we could do was make calls, and perhaps play a few games like Snake, yep truly retro. And yet Nokia is a company best known for being, well a company running Symbian OS and Snake. 

Well Not anymore. Yes Nokia are indeed back, and are back on true form, perhaps not with Symbian OS, but instead with a re-launched Nokia 3310, a small and simple phone that has had a couple of updates, yet remains retro, and has guess what? Snake, all be it, slightly changed, but at long last, we will now all be able to play Snake again at long last. Yes where do the years go. 

Yet, where has Nokia changed? Well with it's ability to launch a device and a smartphone that goes stock with Android. Yes, the devices are listed below.

  • Nokia 3
  • Nokia 5
  • Nokia 6
  • Nokia 3310
The 3310, whilst it does not run android, it is a step in the right direction. As for the 3, 5 and 6 Lets look at the top. The new Nokia Flagship device. Well the Nokia 3 and 5 all will run Android 7 as standard along with the Nokia 6, but what sets the Nokia 6 apart from other devices? Well lets take a look.

Nokia 6 Details

  • 3GB Of Ram
  • 16mp Rear Facing Camera
  • 8mp front facing camera 
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • USB C connectivity 
  • 32GB Of storage space
Ok, so it might not be the highest powered phone in terms of RAM, but hey ho, it is a delve in the Android pool for a company that we knew of many years ago, before smartphones came into the world. However for these devices, they have enabled us to access Android on the cheap, yet get a stock and simple experience. Who would have thought it, Nokia and Android, Finnish design meets Android in a seamless way. More information, is below. 

http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/02/26/nokia-takes-wraps-off-nokia-5-3-3310-also-announces-global-availability-nokia-6/

LG G6 and the Huawei P10/P10 Plus

So it is indeed MWC or Mobile World Congress, yes that little event that happens at the end of February into the first few days of March. Yes it is that event in which Mobile Phone Companies, and indeed Mobile Network Companies come together to vlog, blog and release and unveil there products to the wider world, and us the consumer. Yes it really is a large event, and one that the Technology world loves in every single way. I mean who does not like all the major CEO's of each company giving speeches and giving two fingers to apple.

But wait, what have we seen so far? Well lets start with LG......

LG G6

After last years failings of the LG G5, a semi modular phone in which things could be swapped about in order to customise the phone to how you want it; which was in actual fact, an instant failure, LG have re-designed there flagship phone, and it is now the LG G6. A none semi modular phone, but one that is re-styled and designed with the selfie obsessed person and Instagram user in mind. Yes it has two camera's on the back, and a 5mp camera on the front, but it is LG going back to basics, and creating a simple and easy to use LG mobile device that works, Oh add to that the dust and water resistant aspects and for LG lovers, it is a nice looking device, not bulky; but slick and easy to use. Well done LG for listening to what your customers actually want, and not coming up with something which is ugly and not practical, which is exactly what your G5 was.

So lets talk about the specs of this device, Yes for a Flagship, it is rather good, and below are indeed the specs.


  • Android 7 - Pretty much as standard, with LG's own UI on top
  • 32GB of Storage + Micro SD Card slot for extra storage
  • Snapdragon 821 Processor 
  • 4GB of Ram
  • Two 13 Mega Pixel Rear Facing Camera's
  • 5 Megapixel front facing camera 
  • Dual Sim capabilities 
  • Very Thin Bezels 
So there we go, a very decent spec for a flagship, whilst it is not 6GB of Ram on a smartphone, it is a tried and tested formula, that works. All in all, good work from LG and hopefully you will get more customers, instead of people avoiding the G5 like the plague. At least LG have the ability to comeback well and release something nice. On another note, I wonder if Samsung will be able to dig themselves out of that deep hole after exploding phones. With that said, the LG G6 does look a nice device, and a link to read about the device is below. 

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/lg-g6

Huawei P10/P10 Plus

Chinese phones have become unanimous with us the consumer, for being cheap yet having killer specs. I mean just look at One Plus and there line up of mobile devices, need I say anymore? 

Yet what happens when you get a major Chinese smartphone manufacturer designing and making cutting edge devices and network devices for the masses? The answer is quite simply, one of the worlds biggest phone and technology companies to come out of china. Yes this really is wow talking materiel. 

Yet Huawei have done it again, they have unveiled there major flagships of 2017, the Huawei P10 and the P10 Plus, whilst the P10 plus comes in many colours, the P10 is there main major flagship, and wow it packs a punch, For a start it is the first mobile device to come with x2 Lecia Camera's both on the front and rear of the device, so lets delve into things further shall we? 

Huawei P10 

So it is a tried and tested formula yet again, and after last years P9, I'am glad to see that Huawei have made something look rather nice, the P9 was nice, do not get me wrong, but the P10 changes things a little bit, yes it has a smaller screen size of just 5.1 inches, it also has 4GB of Ram and a slightly more curved aspect to it. Yes I do like this so far, it also has a nice fingerprint sensor on the front instead of the back, but the biggest change is those two Leica camera's both on the front and the back of the device. On the back we get a 12 megapixel colour camera and a 20 megapixel mono sensor, and on the front an 8 mega pixel camera, yes this truly is a photographers on the go device, and we got a small talk from the Leica president showing us what the device is capable of, I do have to say those photo's really look fantastic. for a flagship, I think it is much nicer than any LG device so far, and yes I'am unbiased either way. 

Huwaei call the new Leica setup the, Leica Camera 2.0 Pro Edition. Yes I truly think Huawei here are getting in there before Samsung have. Combine these two devices of the P10 and P10 Plus, and we have a winning formula, what with Android 7 as standard and the new UI fixes and re-design, Huawei have really broken out of the shell with what a device that we will use on a daily basis is like. 

Huawei P10 Plus

So not only have we had the P10 released to the world, but we have had the P10 plus, again the big brother of the 10 and the "ultimate" device to own, yes this could be the first premium flagship of 2017 we have seen as of yet. 

Again with the same design aspects as the P10, this device is slightly more pimped, and even comes in a range of different colours; I suppose that is irrelevant, but lets not forget that Huawei have designed some rather designer like and retro devices for the style conscious in us. But what sets this apart? 

A number of things, It is bigger than the regular P10 at 5.5 inches, unlike 5.1 inches, also the P10 Plus comes with 128gb of internal storage, unlike the 64gb of storage that the regular P10 comes with, Add to this an upgrade of Ram from 4GB of Ram on the regular P10, the P10 Plus comes with 6GB of Ram, yes a true powerhouse, yet somehow both the P10 and P10 Plus come with Android 7.0 and there updated UI as standard, oh and those new Leica camera's and the way they have been setup. 

So yes, I thinks for now, we have seen the Creme De La Creme of hot smartphones so far, for this year. However with more days of MWC coming up, we shall see more devices shown off to the world. However, I really think that Huawei, have pulled this out of the bag, and yes both the P10 and P10 plus are truly fantastic devices. If you want to read more about each device, in more detail, a link is below. 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/huawei-p10-launch-mwc-2017-phone-ai-touch-technology-multi-purpose-fingerprint-sensor-a7594166.html

So from this first preview day, from Mobile World Congress, and what we have seen so far, it will be interesting to see what else comes out, over the next couple of days. As for today, we have a phone for the Instagram generation, and two perfect for the photographer on the go, Both of which for flagships have come up trumps with the way that 2017 will pan out in terms of mobile technologies.  



 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Up to the cloud. The Way gaming is going?

So 2016 was a big year for gaming, and whilst we had CES 2016 and E3 2016, which both held a lot of surprises, that were showcased to the world for the first time; 2017 has proved to be quite interesting so far.

Whilst it is only February, we have already overcome and passed CES 2017, which is perhaps the biggest technology show on the entire planet, and is held in Las Vegas each year. Whilst CES 2017 showed off some amazing technology, from all aspects and angles of the technology world, with things such as, new televisions, automotive technologies, and even some mobile phone companies revealing there next wave of VR enabled devices.

However, perhaps the biggest change and trend we saw, was in gaming. Yes that little industry which is second only after Bollywood, in terms of earnings from industries.

So just what did we see in terms of gaming, from CES 2017 and delving into last year at E3? Well a big emphasis on cloud, and integration. Whilst Sony have a huge stake with the PS4, their rivals Microsoft have the other stake, with the Xbox One S/Xbox One. Now both the PS4 and Xbox One/S have roughly the same spec sheet; on paper, the only major difference, is well the software they use. Whilst the PS4 has a small Linux OS squeezed into it, the Xbox One/S have a Hyper V variant of Windows 10. Yes we all loath Microsoft operating systems, and myself personally I do not mind Windows, then again I'm not BIAS towards Unix or MAC systems, as long as it works then that is all that matters.

Yet what do both the PS4 and Xbox have in common? You do not know, Ok then, it is there ability to integrate into a home network, with ease; and what is more, is that Xbox is designed specifically as a gaming hub, which will integrate with Windows 10/8 very easily, with that being said, both of these consoles have this ability to integrate to a degree, only as the Xbox is a Microsoft console, it features much greater integration levels with Windows 10. Add to that the Xbox play anywhere titles, such as Forza Horizon 3, and you have a winning formula.

Yet, that is the tip of the Iceberg you see. Xbox Play Anywhere, and to a degree Sony allow this, through there app, but not like Xbox do, and you have a system, which is leaning more towards cloud based titles being released for both platform and PC. Go back to CES 2017 and yes Nvidia where there, with there idea, of the Nvidia TV hub, with gaming capabilities, alongside Nvidia also decided to drop a subscription based service, which yes is rather expensive, but allows people to play games via the cloud. Think of it as Steam, which yes is cloud based to a degree, yet requires users, to also download the games to there machines.

So here is the diffrence, Both Nvidia and Xbox are on the right track, however Nvidia have taken the concept of cloud gaming, to a completely different level, How? They have done it with there cloud subscription service, which allows the user, no matter what spec of PC they are on, to be able to run a graphically high powered title, without the need for there PC to have those specs? How, they handle the Specs, there side, with cloud gaming servers, for the cost of the subscription, you get to play games how they are meant to be played, no matter what PC system you are using. Whilst the Xbox has the play anywhere titles and game streaming, along with the PS4, and an element of cloud based activities. Maybe just maybe, the way gaming is going, that all games will be cloud based, and with project scorpio, due at E3 2017, Maybe we will see a lot more technology that enables us to cloud game easily and allow new gamers on a budget, to access gaming like never before.