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Apple, Latest Technology

Retina Apple iPad mini gets blasted for having outdated display tech

DisplayMate, the website which specializes in rating and comparing display tech of mobile devices and laptops, has sharply criticized Apple’s iPad mini 2 in its latest shootout, pitting it against the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Google Nexus 7.

The biggest criticisms come in regards to the color gamut and accuracy. The Retina screen of the new mini is way off what the iPad 3, 4 and Air have been offering so far in this respect.

The problem boils down to Apple’s use of outdated IGZO display technology in the Retina mini’s panels. IGZO, which was a relatively new display tech a few years ago, has since been replaced by LTPS – which Apple uses for its iPhones. Apple has also reportedly suffered from low yield rates for IGZO, and have resorted to making Retina mini’s with a-Si displays as well. a-Si has much lower power efficiency than IGZO, which Apple has been able to compensate for by using higher performance White LEDs, which roughly equalizes the power requirements of the two display technologies.

But perhaps the more pressing question is why Apple, renown for its high quality hardware, would choose to ship one of its hottest products with inferior display tech?

Rumors of potential shortages in Apple’s supply chain have been circulating since even before the iPad mini 2′s announcement, and earlier this month we reported alleged talks Cupertino was having with arch-rival Samsung to fulfill an order of some 15 million Retina mini panels.

Back then, it was reported that Apple could either go through the cost-prohibitive process of upgrading their panels to the LTPS substrate, or turn to Samsung to produce the required amount of panels by early next year, since their other suppliers – Sharp and LG – would not be able to get a high enough production yield.

It seems that for the time being Apple has solved the production problem with the help of a-Si panels, but has opened the door to criticism and potential hardware issues in the future.

Source | Via

Apple, Latest Technology

‘Angry Birds Go!’ launches on iOS in New Zealand

Angry Birds Go! is the latest game in the Angry Birds series from Rovio and is the farthest departure from anything that has come before it. Like many franchises before it, including Mario, Sonic and Crash Bandicoot, Rovio turned to the go-kart racing genre for their popular franchise and now we have a go-kart racing game but with birds.

Angry Birds Go! was supposed to launch worldwide on multiple platforms on December 11 but Rovio has done a soft launch on iOS in the New Zealand region, so if you happen to be there the game is available for download for free.

Of course, every time you see ‘free’ now, you can just assume there are either ads or in-app purchases lurking somewhere within the app or the game and Angry Birds Go! has the latter. You can buy powerups and upgrades for your karts and you can buy coins that let you make these upgrades through IAP. There is also a Big Bang Special Edition car, which is priced at 64.99 NZD (53 USD).

We’ll be taking a closer look at the game when it launches internationally but for now you can download it from the link below if you’re in New Zealand.

Download

Apple, Latest Technology

Apple iPad mini 2 production reaches 4 million units a month

The launch of the Apple iPad mini 2 was delayed relative to the iPad Air launch and even with the late start, the smaller tablet still suffers from availability issues. Digitimes quotes sources who claim that the production bottlenecks responsible for the low supply have been cleared, though, and everything should be back to normal soon.

It was the new Retina display that caused Apple’s headaches – the 7.9″ 1536 x 2048 pixel display is one of the defining features of the new model.

With those out of the way, Apple has increased the iPad mini 2 orders for November to 4 million units (though the sources don’t say how many were originally produced per month).

The iPad mini 2 has been on sale for only a couple of weeks now, but the same sources claim that Apple has already ordered more mini 2′s than the original mini.

Of course, those are unofficial numbers that should be taken with a grain of salt – we won’t have official numbers until Apple announces its quarterly financial results in January.

Source | Via

Apple, Latest Technology, Samsung
Apple, Latest Technology

Apple to hold a Black Friday sale

Apple Australia posted a teaser about an upcoming Black Friday sale it will be having. The sale will be available both online and through the retail stores.

There is no info on which products will be discounted, the only thing we know is the Apple shopping event will take place on November 29 and it will last 24 hours.

According to the teaser page you will be able to shop online for products and you will get free shipping You can also got to a retail store and participate in the shopping event from there. Just as expected, the supplies will be limited, so you might want to be among the first ones no matter which way you go.

There is no such teaser page on any other Apple website, but the Australian, so we can’t confirm whether or not the same Black Friday sale will be be available in other markets as well.

Source | Via

Apple, Latest Technology

Apple officially acquires the 3D sensor tech company PrimeSense

In a short statement to AllThingsD, Apple confirmed its acquisition of the 3D sensor technology company PrimeSense. Based in Israel, the company is responsible for the Kinect sensor of the Xbox 360.

Apple reportedly paid close to $360 million for PrimeSense. The aforementioned amount is higher than a previously floated sum which was in the vicinity of $300 to $350 million.

At this point, there’s no word on what Apple’s intentions for using the PrimeSense tech are. Speculation on possible implementations ranges from future Apple TV products, all the way to mobile devices.

Source | Via

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Android, Apple, Misc. Mobile Phones

Eric Schmidt posts a prolonged information for switching from iPhone to an Android handset

Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt surely surprised us on this otherwise quiet Sunday. The top executive posted a lengthy guide for switching from an iPhone to an Android smartphone on his personal Google+ account.

Unsurprisingly, the guide takes a couple of jabs at Apple. Eric Schmidt kicks it off by saying that many of his iPhone-toting friends are converting to Android.

He continues by telling us that the latest high-end Android smartphones are faster, more intuitive to use, and make a great Christmas present to an iPhone owner. Curiously, Mr. Schmidt compares the iPhone to Android experience to switching from a PC to an Apple Mac computer.

What follows afterwards, is a step by step guide to jumping on the Android bandwagon from iOS. It is a close to a thousand words in length and covers everything – from finding your apps on Android, through moving contacts, all the way to syncing your iPhone photos.

Mr. Schmidt concludes his guide with some general advice. He recommends Google’s Chrome browser over Apple’s safari as an option which is “safer and better in so many ways”.

The full guide is available at the source link below. Feel free to drop us a line with what you make of it in the comments section.

Source

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Apple, Latest Technology

Amazon updates its Appstore to version 7

Amazon is running is alternative Android app store mainly for the benefit of its Kindle Fire tablets, but the Amazon Appstore is available to any Android device. With a recent update, that leapfrogged from version 5 to version 7, the store is now less of a pain to use too.


Amazon Appstore v7

The new user interface has been changed around to look closer to the updated Fire OS 3.1 (a heavily customized Android 4.0) on the Kindle Fire tablets. It also looks closer to Google’s Play Store, which might make the transition easier. It still looks decidedly Amazon though, with a pseudo-3D shading and a dark grey/orange color scheme.

The new Appstore version also brings performance enhancements, stability improvements and bug fixes.

The Appstore continues to run the free app of the day promotion, giving away apps that are usually paid. That’s how Amazon hopes to lure in consumers.

You can download the Amazon Appstore from here. If you already have it installed, you can check for updates from the store itself.

Via

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Android, Apple, Latest Technology

‘Strata’ for iOS and Android recreation assessment

There are games that are fun. There are games that look great. And then there are games that do both. Strata is one such game that has been lauded for both its design and gameplay when it first released on the Mac and recently it arrived on mobile as well. Let’s take a closer look at it.

Title

Strata

Developer

Graveck

Platform

iOS

Android

Release Date

September 2013

September 2013

Content rating

4+

Everyone

Size

41.3MB

15MB

Price

$2.99

Gameplay

Strata is a puzzle solving game that makes use of colored tiles and ribbons to weave a particular pattern. You have a grid of colored tiles and your objective is to overlay the tiles with matching colored ribbons. Every tile can have two ribbons placed on top of it. The first ribbon can be of any color but the second one has to be of the same color as the tile underneath. When you place all the ribbons over the grid while making sure they match the respective tile colors, you complete the level.

Strata starts off simple with a four tile grid and two color ribbons but soon you’ll be looking at large five by five grids with four color ribbons. If you work out the math, that is a lot of possibilities. But every grid has only one right answer and only with some trial and error will you find the right answer.

You can click on the empty boxes on the side to place a colored ribbon over that row or column. You can tap again to remove it. You will have to try out various combinations to see which is the correct one. Eventually, you get good enough at it that by looking at the grid you can place the ribbons correctly in the right order at first attempt.

You can do and undo the ribbons any number of times to complete the level but if you get everything right at first attempt, you get the ‘Perfect’ badge for that level. You can easily solve a level and play it again once you know the solution to get the ‘Perfect’ badge, or restart the level once you figure it out halfway through and then place everything correctly at first attempt.

If you get stuck, the game also has a hint system in place to nudge you in the right direction but then you won’t get the ‘Perfect’ badge if you complete it using hints.

Strata has dozens upon dozens of levels built-in. Also, there is absolutely no in-app purchase model, so you get everything in the $2.99 you pay for the app, making it great value.

Graphics and Sound

Visually, Strata is stunning. The game makes wonderful use of simple geometric shapes and soft pastel colors. Minimalism has been used wisely with a clean, uncluttered UI without being excessively bland. The game also has a unique, tilted UI design that is consistent across the entire game.

Sound-wise, the game impresses once again. Ever tap on an item is followed by a distinct piano note. The note lingers for a while after you tap and then fades away leaving complete silence behind until you tap again. It’s all very simple and effective.

Verdict

Strata is a really fun puzzle game that will appeal to almost everyone. It offers the right amount of challenge without being too easy or difficult and has tons of levels to spend hours on. Best of all, it looks and sounds splendid. There is nothing here really to complain about and I’d highly recommend everyone with an iOS or Android device to give this game a try.

Rating: 9/10
Pros: Challenging gameplay, plenty of levels, beautiful design
Cons: Nothing in particular

Download: iOS | Android

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Apple, Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

iPad Assisting Speedskater Bridie Farrell in Comeback Bid

After an almost decade-long absence, world-class speedskater Bridie Farrell is preparing for a comeback, and iPad is helping her in a big way. Farrell’s coaches are using iPad and the Dartfish Express app for in-depth video analysis of her performance. They evaluate her form, aerodynamics, and body language, and provide frame-by-frame feedback. iPad also simplifies the video recording process. “We’d have to lug around a laptop and camcorders, and so many wires and connections,” says trainer Robyn Mason. “With iPad, you don’t need to worry about any of that. It’s so much easier, so much more accessible.”
Apple, Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

iPads With Instant Replays Transforming the NBA

In a new video, Bloomberg.com reports that Apple has teamed up with Sportstec, a software program that provides quick edits of basketball game footage on an iOS device. The program lets players and coaches, who are provided with iPads, look at footage during a game or during halftime and make adjustments. “You can literally break down every single possession, who shot the ball, where on the floor, what was the result of the play,” says Sportstec vice president Anwar McQueen. Sportstec, whose program works exclusively on iOS devices, partners with 28 of the 30 NBA teams as well as many NCAA teams and the Olympic basketball teams.
Apple, Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Procter & Gamble Uses iOS Devices to Boost Global Productivity

The Procter & Gamble Company — a Fortune 500 firm that makes products such as Tide, Ivory soap, Pampers, and Crest — is using iPad and iPhone to improve its productivity and sales all around the world. The company has developed over 50 custom apps for use with its more than 25,000 iOS devices. In particular, sales teams utilize a suite of in-house apps to better manage sales processes worldwide. This has helped Procter & Gamble expand its thriving business operations in China, where its products reach 1.5 million stores. “iPhone and iPad enable our sales force globally to take a step ahead in productivity,” said Bob Fregolle of Procter & Gamble. “Our people are more productive, they’re enjoying their work more, and they’re connected in new ways.”