I guess I made an error praising Samsung for its video demonstrating the Galaxy S5 battery. The company has now started mocking the iPhone 6 which has not even been released yet.
"Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 third quarter ended June 28, 2014. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $35.3 billion and net profit of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 59 percent of the quarter’s revenue."
And that's with no new product categories. Looks like the iPad is suffering though- didn't I always say tablets are a fad?
I am going to be using the LG G3 over the next week or so to see if it lives up to the hype and to also compare it to the iPhone 5S in crucial areas. Don't expect a huge long review because I have already resigned myself to feeling that it is too big and that Android is not for me at this time, but I am going to give it a go and see what happens.
So, how does it look in the coffee shop? I am joking of course, but in my local Costa Coffee the iPhone seems to rule and so I took the chance to take a quick snap with both phones to see how well the camera performed indoors.
OK, so the iPhone looks more suited to the hipster drinking coffee crowd, but the G3 takes a better indoor photo.
After much testing and getting used to the ridiculously quick speed of the G3 camera, I concluded that it is better than the 5S for almost every shot. It consistently produced better results for me.
Huge battery performance so far and I have not come close to running out during a busy day. The payback is that it can take a long time to charge, particularly over USB, but it would appear that the positive reviews of the LG G3 battery published to date are accurate. Very impressed with this area.
I have to say that the new Kindle Unlimited service from Amazon appears to be a huge mis-step. For a start, the price means that you would have to be an avid reader to get value out of the service, but even then not all of the Kindle library is available.
For the vast majority, the advantage of Amazon is the low pricing of books and this means that many of us will pick up a new title based on price as well as author/subject. To remove that advantage doesn't make sense and likely lowers the potential customer base even more.
If I had to guess, I would expect less than 2% of the Kindle customer base to consider such a service and even that may be generous. What do you think?
The researchers chose to look a relatively narrow window of time to reduce the number of other variables that might have an impact on accident rates, including the possible introduction of safer cars into the market, an economic recession that leads to a drop in overall driving, or other changes to state traffic laws.
They also corrected their data to account for precipitation, which can cause more accidents; gas prices, which can affect how many vehicles are on the road; and other unobservable factors that may have influenced accidents.
Once all these corrections had been made, the effect of banning handheld phone use at the wheel was found to be ... zero.
"Our results suggest that simply banning hand-held cellphone use may not produce the desired increase in traffic safety," comments Kaffine, bluntly... More at The Register.
So what. There are some rules that just make sense and all the stats in the world should not make a difference.
Brando sells the Wi-Fi micro SD Adapter for $28 which is a very good price when you consider the potential of this accessory. In effect, it adds Wi-Fi capability to your digital camera by simply using the SD card slot. This premise could not be more simple and it is a facility which, if it works well, will offer many benefits. I saw it, posted an article about it and asked for a review model just in case it turned out to be too good to be true.
To set it up, simply insert a micro-SD card into the Wi-Fi SD adaptor and then into your camera. Turn the camera on and you will see it displayed as a Wi-Fi location on your phone or tablet. You will need to download the WiFi@SDCF app from the iTunes app store or Google Play and you then need to go to your Wi-Fi settings and enter the password. Unfortunately the password is not printed on the box or on the website so I had to spend some time scouring the web for a solution. After some digging and guesswork, I came up with '99999999' which worked.
Once you are connected to the card via Wi-Fi you will then need to enter the admin user name and password, which again are not on the packaging. Enter 'admin' and 'admin', and you will be fine, at which point you can change these login details in the app settings. I have fed back this problem and it will be addressed shortly, but once you are over those hurdles the rest of the experience is surprisingly effortless.
You can browse the SD card in your camera using 'SD Browse' in the app which then shows you full-sized photos which you can save to the camera roll. You can also 'Shoot and View' in the app. Keep that menu option open and when a photo is taken it will appear on the iPhone or Android device. At no point does the card adaptor get in the way of taking photos and I found it surprisingly quick at communicating with my iPhone, and a LOT quicker than cameras I have tried in the past that supposedly have Wi-Fi built in.
The app offers just the features you will need and is very reliable. It is quick in operation and easy to understand once you have set it up, and the accessory is now a permanent addition to my Panasonic G3. I haven't had time to see if battery life is affected, but from what I can see the demand is negligible and should only be in use when connected to a phone or tablet, of which three can be connected at any one time.
You will not see speeds that approach using a dedicated card reader, but you will not see such fast speeds on a Wi-Fi-enabled digital camera either. And this is why I like this accessory so much. Digital camera manufacturers have historically added Wi-Fi as a very expensive hardware feature and then created apps that are so shockingly bad as to make the system unusable. This simple, and very cheap, accessory offers the Wi-Fi connectivity you need and using an app that is actually well designed. It has proved to be reliable, quick and offers the Wi-Fi facility in my camera if I want to use it.
I see many accessories that offer a lot, but which fail to deliver on ambitious promises and I admit that I was sceptical about this one. My scepticism is, however, no more because the way it works, the price and most importantly the facility it adds to an object you likely already own is very impressive indeed. I have no idea how it works in such a small space, but it really does work and that is all that matters. I highly recommend this.
Product: Wi-Fi micro SD Adapter
More info / where to buy: Brando
Price: $28.00 / £16.31
Description: Insert your micro SD(HC) card into Wi-Fi micro SD Adapter and you can access high quality photos and videos sent wirelessly from your camera via Wi-Fi to your Smartphone or tablet to share.
Effectiveness 9.8 / 10
Value for money 9.8 /10
Build Quality 8.5 / 10
Overall 28.1 / 30
BT plans to construct miniature mobile networks in the buildings of its business users as it makes its return to the UK mobile market for the first time since selling O2 in 2001.
The UK incumbent said it will install networks in most customers' premises to deliver landline quality calls and services to mobile phones as part of its new One Phone service, a tariff for business users that it launched on Thursday. The tariff offers fixed line services hosted in the cloud and delivered to a mobile phone, meaning all phone calls are routed to the wireless device and employees can access their phone books and directories from the mobile phone.
Services are accessed via a BT SIM that automatically switches between the in-building mobile network and BT's public network, which is supplied through a wholesale network agreement with UK operator EE that includes access to the latter's UK LTE network. One Phone subscribers also gain access to BT's UK network of 5 million Wi-Fi hotspots... More at FierceWireless.
Carphone Warehouse (CPW) is reportedly in discussions with Three about launching a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) ahead of the retailer’s planned merger with Dixons later this year.
The Financial Times claims the future Dixons Carphone company is keen to explore opportunities around the Internet of Things (IoT) and that a mobile network would enable it to support connected white goods and cameras among other electronics.
It is understoof CPW has held talks with other mobile operators, but negotiations with Three have so far progressed the furthest. Three confirmed to TechWeekEurope that it had spoken with CPW about such an arrangement... More at TechWeekEurope.
The UK mobile network market is already highly competitive and it seems as though it will become even more so. The Post Office is also looking into an MVNO and that is likely far from the end of it.
Introducing the only phone dock that won't go extinct! This is the first future-proof charging station that works with any type of device (iOS and Android) and can be used with a case on or off. Entirely made in Northern California in collaboration with Stikwood, the Charging Nest features rich, smooth orchard walnut with a leather wrap made from American-tanned Logger's Leather. It's an innovative, timeless design featuring all natural materials — the perfect marriage of tradition and technology. The Charging Nest makes the perfect bedside table companion or desk accessory. Add a monogram or special message for a touch of personalization... More at DodoCase.
One of the first accessories I look for with any new phone is a charging cradle and this could save me a lot of money over time.
I don't even want to think about how long that must have taken to make.
Another excellent and informative review from Steve. As David says who shared the link with me-
Just watched Steve’s Phone Show, and he did a quick review of Android Wear, the LG version.
I had already suspected that the screen would not perform too well in bright sunlight, and finally, Steve confirmed it.
It’s a point that will have to be addressed in the long term, or the watch will struggle to get traction I would assume.
He did make a point that Pebble’s maturity puts it in the lead right now, and Pebble is going to have to keep pushing to maintain their functional lead.
I was thinking yesterday that the Yotaphone, with its dual screen, one of which is e-Ink might be a viable option in the future. But we’ll see!
Photos are intended to support, not supplant, memory, but it seems like we’ve always been pretty set on using them as occasions to reformat history. Historically, we’ve been lying through our images since at least the Gettysburg address: the most iconic photo we have of President Lincoln is actually just a composite of Lincoln’s head over politician John Calhoun’s body. That epic photo of Ulysses S. Grant at the foreground of a military camp? A mash of three different images. Benito Mussolini had his horse handler removed out of this photograph, to make him appear more Napoleonic... More at The Creators Project.
It does seem that the better the photo, the more likely it will be edited.
And Samsung finally understands that selling the merits of your own product works much better than constantly making fun of the competition. Good video.
A simple question today. How and what do you read? For me it is almost always on a Kindle Paperwhite and a mixture of fiction, tech books and long articles curated from the web.
When I linked to Ryan Block's Comcast call yesterday, I didn't realise that it had already been played more than 4 million times. I suspect Ryan's popularity is one reason and that the sheer craziness of the call is another, but overwhelmingly it is the desire for people to hear someone go through the pain that most of us have experienced at one time or another.
Three is a company I use and actually like a lot; good value, excellent coverage, fast data speeds and decent customer services (in the stores), but when I phoned to cancel a mobile broadband connection about a year ago I got stuck in a long and heated debate with the customer service rep. The fact I pay for 4 contracts for the whole family did not matter because he still wanted to sell me on the benefits of an extra contract I did not need. Eventually he agreed to cancel it and then the next bill came in and so it continued until I complained and got the cancellation I wanted and a refund.
Sky is not much better. The company often offers half-price Sky Movies for 3 months which is a good deal. I remember phoning to cancel once just before Christmas when the deal was expiring. The lady asked me if I had children. I was taken aback, but said yes. She then said, and I quote, "How do you think they will feel if you cancel the Movies subscription just before Christmas?" I won't write what I said next, but she then cancelled it for me presumably so she could get off the phone quickly.
I understand that keeping customers is much cheaper than gaining new ones, but if a customer asks for something that is reasonable and within their rights, they should not have to debate the point. They should not have to answer personal questions and they should not have to justify their reasoning to someone who is naturally biased.
What these organisations do not seem to realise is that when you have an aggressive retention policy, you can bring down the image of the entire company. Three does this and so does Sky, two companies who generally offer very good customer service where you can speak to one person who is able to fix problems for you. It is of course natural and happens everywhere. You can open a Spotify account in seconds, but have to jump through screen after screen to cancel it- that's how businesses work, but there are limits that need to be adhered to.
One final example. Many years ago I phoned a company to cancel a service (I can't even remember who they were), and the lady simply said "That's all done for you now. Sorry that you are leaving and we hope that you will be back in the future." It really made me think about how the company viewed customers and at that crucial moment, my entire opinion changed.
Sometimes you need to let go gracefully to greatly increase your chances of getting them back.
PowerVR GX5300 is designed to address the ultra-low power requirements of wearables. Whereas previous generation smartwatches could render graphics using a software-only approach or a simple 2D engine, newer wearable devices require fully featured GPUs to drive higher resolution user interfaces. PowerVR GX5300 can comfortably drive 480p and 720p resolutions representative of modern smartwatches, while offloading the main CPU and reducing software complexity.
Additionally, PowerVR GX5300 has been optimized to occupy the lowest silicon area possible: at only 0.55mm2 (post layout) when implemented in a 28nm process node from TSMC, it is the smallest OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU capable of running Android, Android Wear and other Linux-based operating systems. This makes it up to 2x smaller than competing single-core designs manufactured in a similar process node... More at blog.imgtec.com.
Battery life is so important in wearables and makes all of the difference to usability. It would seem, however, that many phones have managed to survive with only passable battery life.
For those of us who live on the top floors of the pre-war walk-up buildings that line the streets of certain New York neighborhoods, a skylight can be a perk—not enough to make up for the five flights of stairs, perhaps, but at very least a welcome source of light. But the upshot of a skylight isn't just illumination: Not only has it been scientifically proven that natural light boosts productivity levels, it's also good for morale and mental health. Unfortunately, most office buildings weren't designed with white collar vitamin D deficiency in mind. This is where Sky Factory comes into play with their "embedded" skylights... More at Core 77.
Such a good idea.
While the number is significant, it's not surprising Microsoft is focusing its cuts on Nokia staff. The software maker pledged $600 million in annual cost savings within 18 months of completing the acquisition. Regardless, the 18,000 job cuts are the biggest reductions ever for Microsoft, topping the 5,800 headcount reduction from 2009. "Our workforce reductions are mainly driven by two outcomes: work simplification as well as Nokia Devices and Services integration synergies and strategic alignment," says Nadella. Microsoft now plans to share further details about its "innovation investments" in its July 22nd earnings call.
Nadella is also offering up some hints at where Microsoft is heading with its Nokia acquisition today. "We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows," he says in his memo, meaning that Microsoft's Android phones could be largely phased out over time. "This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps." More at The Verge.
I bet Stephen Elop won't be going on holiday to Finland any time soon.
"I love LIM but the focus has gone away from phones in recent times. You seem to be moving to watches and non technical stuff. Bring the tech back!" Bill.
The above is one of a few emails I have received recently concerning Lost In Mobile and the perceived lack of focus on phones. It is a fair point, but only in comparison to the mass coverage of phones in the past. The site is called Lost In 'Mobile' and mobile can cover a variety of devices. Laptops, wearables, tablets, phones, watches etc etc. If it's tech that is mobile, it can be covered and there is nothing wrong with throwing in the occasional non-topic item either.
There are two problems that I see with regards to concentrating on phones. Firstly, we have reached a point where they can mostly do everything we want as a standalone item. The majority of new Android releases are upgrades on what is already there and the occasional brilliant releases of devices like the Lumia 1020 and LG G3 will not cover much content. Even the iPhone 6 will likely be an iteration on the 5s- I may cover it more than Android releases because I use an iPhone every day, but even then the content will be temporary.
Looking from the outside, it could be argued that the industry is moving to wearables in the hope of providing something new for the masses to get excited about. The fact that no company has produced a wearable that people really want yet is not relevant. They are all scrabbling to make something that we can buy without having the justify the purchase in our minds because it is so useful and clever, and none of them have managed that. Some believe that Apple is making a wearable that could change the industry which may be coming from hope rather than fact. We have not seen any hardware leaks at all, no software, nothing whatsoever. Either Apple is developing a wearable in house and has not gone to mass production yet or it doesn't exist.
At this point in time wearables are not the future, they are novelty items that offer no real benefits to the man on the street. They may become innovative and truly useful some day, but it is a fascinating topic to write about because we are at a stage where the notion will either die out or become a mass market industry.
So, LIM is covering what I choose to write about. It is merely a blog which has no advertising and which does not use page views as a measure of success. If people comment and discuss the content on the site then I am happy. And that content will continue to vary as my interests change. It may be that my interests and yours diversify, but I am not going to write about what I think people want to read. Too many other sites do that and many of them are either amateurish or repetitive rumour posting page view machines.