Archives for posts with tag: iphone

Ok, so we’re three days in and honestly? I don’t miss it!

Well, that’s not strictly true. Having to re-learn how to live with predictive text, which persistently replaces the word “don’t” with “foot” as you ignore the apostrophe, in trying to save characters and typing time, is pretty annoying. As is constantly having to constantly erase your messages because there’s one pending delivery and there isn’t a slot to store it in.

Also irritating is that there was no straight-forward (at least, not manual) way of transferring my contacts across. I’ve literally had to start my address book again for the next few weeks, so I apologise now to all the friends of mine who text me in the coming days and either don’t get a response because Apple hasn’t removed my number from their iMessage servers, resulting in a message that just never delivers, or who get a response from me saying “Sorry, don’t have this number saved. Long story, who is this?”

I realise I’ve turned to social media, but at least this way I’ve had a chance to tell at least one or two people what’s going on. I’m also going to point out now that I see WordPress as more of a hobby than anything else. I never profess to writing anything that would be regarded as prolific, but I enjoy doing it. Also, it’s configured to automatically post this on Facebook and Tweet it – BEFORE ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING!! 

Having said that, I also don’t have the constant fear that it’s going to run out of juice on me, either. I’m not constantly looking for a place to charge it. That in itself is a massive stress I carry with me, thanks to my iPhone…

Bizarrely, with a blanket ban on it, I’m not feeling the need to scour any of it at all. The upshot of that is I’m finding the ability to focus on one task at a time far easier, which was one of the main reasons behind doing this the first place. I did toy with the idea of handing over control of the main culprits to my Mum, or my Sister. Although I felt this would ultimately do me an injustice, I also wanted to test my ability to ignore them during the day. Strangely enough, I’m managing that no problem too, although I do have one of the guys in the department kindly offering to check the sites my work laptop visits of a day to make sure I don’t break any promises… He’s also taken it upon himself to search both my desk and my person every morning to make sure I haven’t smuggled in any contraband.

I am finding time spent in the car driving to and from work is far less enjoyable… I can usually be found listening to Lana Del Ray, some Fleetwood Mac or more recently, Melbourne Underground. Instead I have Nick Grimshaw and Greg James for company and, as entertaining as they are, they’re just NAE the same!

In the days that followed, I have had people make a few suggestions. Some have suggested raising money for charity, others that I perhaps allow some time for it in the evenings, to realise the benefits of not being connected with everyone I know all day every day.

I did have a charity idea in mind, when the thought of doing this first struck me  on Monday night. As the guy who’s tweet spawned the entire experiment, Liam Hackett, is CEO of Ditch The Label an anti-bullying charity based in Brighton, my immediate thought was that I would raise money for him. He’s doing a sponsored silence on the 18th of May and has set up a JustGiving page. I finally got round to sponsoring him for it tonight, and if you want to sponsor him there’s a link here.

If you’re into such things, you can follow Liam and Ditch the Label on Twitter – @DiaegoLiam and @DitchTheLabel.

However, I feel this is a bit of a first-world problem. Raising money through sponsorship usually involves having to put yourself through some form of suffering. For example, running a 10k, or the London Marathon, as my chum Sophie from work did just recently. Raising a whopping £5k for Meningitis Now in the process, I hasten to add! Living without your smartphone for a few weeks really isn’t a hardship, but I guess it all depends on what your stance is. Quite a few people have voiced their opinions; many of them have stated the wouldn’t be able to do it…so perhaps that’s reason enough in itself to squeeze a few quid out of my adoring fans? :p

I guess what it really comes down to is the general consensus. After all, charities still do good work and it’s about providing them with the resources to continue. If I manage to raise a sum for a group of people trying to make a real difference in the world, what’s the harm? There should be a comment section underneath this, let me know your thoughts and, if the reaction is positive and people don’t see what I”m doing as something wholly narcissistic, I’ll set something up. That is, when I’ve surfaced from my gin coma in the morning…

Please post them on the Wordpress post. I won’t be able to see them if they’re on Facebook…!

The last suggestion was to keep a diary of some description, which I’m currently doing now (thanks Dorota!). I had toyed with keeping a video diary that I would post at the end, but what might surprise you is that I actually hate being in front of the camera, so I decided against that… If I think my struggles are going to be interesting though, I’ll keep doing this.

Keep tweeting folks. For my sake, if nothing else!

Lewis
x

 

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So as you all know by now, and if not you’re about to find out, I’m a bit of a social-media mogul; Tumbling through a world of pressed-words, Books of Faces and incessant Twattering. I also enjoy posting photos of various events in my life, tinted with various vintage hue’s, on Instagram.

First off, I’m not much of a photographer. Sure I can take a photo of something at a jaunty angle, enhance it by removing the red from people’s eyes (or in my case, the stubborn smattering of acne I’ve suffered with since puberty) with iPhoto and shove it out there for the rest of the world to see, but that’s as far as my efforts really go. A mate got me into Instagram, saying he wanted me as a follower because his dream was to have one of his photo’s make the Popular Page.

He should know who he is, he recently changed his Handle to include the word ‘official’ like he’s some kind of celebrity… 😉

I enjoy it. I follow a myriad of famous people, celebrities and friends, who all post graphic evidence of their life achievements, day-to-day happenings and meals…

However, it also has to be one of the most self-indulgent, vain media platforms out there today. Sure I grant you that, as I sit on my flight to Amsterdam tapping this out on my phone, it’s pretty self-indulgent for me to expect folk to want to read this after I post it. However, I encourage you all to write a blog about my flaws. I assure you, you’d have plenty to write about!

I will point out now, that I love writing. I do this as a hobby; anyone who reads and has something to say about it is just a bonus. I welcome the feedback. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll break out on my own as a journalist and become as condescending, arrogant and wealthy as Piers Morgan; writing a column for an upper middle-class Sunday supplement. Without the phone hacking scandal of course. To get involved in anything like that, just for a tacky news story, would just be silly.

Instagram was developed to allow people to see your life through the lens of your iPhone. (Yes, it was originally developed only as an iOS app.) With the advent of Photo Stream, it also allowed users to share photos you take with your digital camera and import to your computer.

As with everything however (and Facebook and Twitter are no different) folk have taken it upon themselves to clog Instagram’s data centre with nothing but photos of themselves; cross-referencing them with an array of hash-tags hence ensuring maximum exposure to others equally as vain.

“This is me with my head to the left.” “This is me with my head to the right with my hand on my hip. #girl #blonde #pretty”

Gads… It really is sickening.

Those of you who know me personally, and follow me on Instagram, will have seen me make a similar attempt whilst at the gym a few weeks ago; targeting some of my satire at both those who check-in at the gym only to let those associated with them know they ‘work out,’ and those who perpetually fill my Instagram feed with photos of themselves.

Whilst waiting in the airport this morning, I read an interesting piece on the increase in web traffic seen on Instagram, during the recent US election. The service saw a growth of 2.5x it’s normal volume of uploads (some 120,000 images) from Americans, all sharing their experiences as part of the 2012 election; all under the banner of #USelection2012. Granted, some of them were stupid enough to post photo’s of their actual votes. Sadly, this was enough to render them null and void.

Allowing others to share your experiences and connect with each other from afar is what the Internet is about. Well, apart from that other use the Internet has; the unofficial reason most teenage boys and lonely men have for it. It’s not a place for us to constantly show our faces from a different angle, hoping that someone out there will give us the positive comment we’re all desperate to get once more; that will further inflate and prop-up our ego’s.

Instagram is a place designed to demonstrate creativity; to inspire. I mean, after all, if you’re going to post a selfie on the Internet, would you not rather it was for your friends enjoyment?
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Yes, I did in fact pull this face, snap a photo of it and iMessage it to two people, as part of a game we play each day. No there is not a pane of glass between myself and the camera. You can find some others, equally as misfortunate, on Instagram by searching on the hash-tag #instamackaill.

For more dry, nonsensical rumblings such as this, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr as @lth0ms0n.

The featured image at the top of this post was taken from the Instagram Tumblog. It is, sadly, not one of my own creation, but pretty damn cool all the same!

Lewis
x

So, it’s almost that time folks, and about time I spouted another load of techno-babble. Below, we have what looks suspiciously like a new iPhone, and you’d be right.

Output from the latest cycle of the rumour mill

These images surfaced a few weeks ago, following leaked parts of the device indicating a smaller ‘nano’ SIM tray; smaller dock connector; taller display and a slightly differently positioned FaceTime camera. However, the same images have appeared from various locations now, some comparing this new device to the current 4S model and displaying the size decrease of the new handset.

So it would seem, having had it confirmed by so many people, that we are in fact looking at the new iPhone 5.

Other details have confirmed some of the rumours. Developers who have been given beta versions of iOS 6 have noted that the new operating system automatically scales itself to a different resolution depending on the size of the display.

Pretty big giveaway, if you ask me. The quad-core processor found in the iPad 3 was discovered in the same way, a year ago.

Of course, because none of this has came from Apple, and we can only tell so much from images, there is still no telling exactly what this handset will feature when we see it. Legend has it however, that we’re going to be seeing it on September 12th, with a release date some 9 days later… The more astute among you realising that this is less than a year since the launch of the iPhone 4S!

Going on from the launch of the iPad 3, we can be sure of a few things however. Like the iPhone 4s, the new model will be both IS-95 and GSM compliant, so there will be one handset compatible with networks from all providers in the states – more or less. LTE compatibility is a given, but if you’re not reading this from across the pond I’m afraid you’re going to be missing out there, as it’s unlikely that the device will be tuned to function on the LTE bands which are being implemented in the likes of Europe. It will be DC-HSDPA compatible though, so you will see faster 3G speeds with this device than you would using an iPhone 4; a good enough reason to upgrade in itself, really.

That is a real gripe for me, with this handset, however.

Previously, I posted about this whole LTE thing; what does and what doesn’t technically class as 4G, if you’re going to be pedantic about it, and I have a correction to make.

DC-HSDPA, Dual Carrier-High Speed Download Packet Access, is what is being branded as 4G as a marketing scam in some countries. *cough* USA *cough* With DC-HSDPA, two streams of downstream data are amalgamated, increasing throughput with Multiple-Input Multiple-Output.

Both LTE-Advanced (true 4G) and DC-HSDPA+ use multiple antennae to send and receive data, and for this reason the ITU-R has permitted networks to brand their networks as 4G, despite not being capable of the throughput which they defined the 4G standard should be capable of.

I digress…

The real purpose of this post, is to discuss something else: fragmentation.

In the 80’s, we Europeans got together to form a new digital cellular telephony standard because the systems we currently had in place were incompatible with each other, and in violation of two treaties of the European Union; namely:

  • Free Movement of Goods and Services
  • Free Movement of People

Thanks to my sister for that useful byte of information there!

Due to high volumes of population movement around Europe, it was decided that mobile communication should be unified across all countries on the continent, to allow for things like business growth in new territories and for those of us with camera phones to be able to send photo’s of our view of the hotel pool back home to our (ever jealous) mates.

Granted, photo messaging wasn’t a part of the original GSM specification.

This all came about, because we saw a need for unified communications, at least across a whole continent.

Now let’s fast-forward 30 years. GSM is now at the bottom of the food chain, superseded by standards which offer high-speed internet access, video calling, video streaming, and any other ‘ing’ that you happen to think of. The world is an ever more connected, smaller place, and international travel for business and pleasure is now going a lot further than just the south of France!

In the United States, LTE networks operate on the 700MHz and 2.1GHz band. In Europe, the plan is to place them on the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, meaning that devices bought in one country will not be compatible with the devices from another, and vice versa.

LTE is therefor, simultaneously, a massive step both forward and back. 4G was specified by the ITU-R as a way of implementing further, high speed, wireless telephony, internet and mobile broadband access. The possibilities for change which come about with LTE, particularly for impoverished countries and areas where landline internet access would be a costly activity to rollout, are literally endless. Since spending some time in a communications department I’ve learned the advantages of using wireless comms in places like West Africa, for the simple reason that copper is so valuable down there, you can lay as many cables as you like, but there will always be someone waiting behind you to lift it again and sell it!

What we are now seeing, is analogue Europe on a global scale. This needs to be addressed. Granted, this is going to be massive undertaking to bring everything into line, and it will be done at the expense of the consumer. The ironic part of this situation is the name, LTE.

It stands for Long Term Evolution.

How long term a solution can it really be, if we can’t all make use of it’s capabilities when we’re looking for a pizza-by-the-slice joint in New York City; to share a photo of you and your girlfriend in front of the Colosseum; to conduct a video conference with a home based colleague?

Sort it out, lads.

Fair enough, the idea actually refers to the 15th, not the 7th, but those of you who read my previous entry will know that I made a prediction, based on evidence I’ve gathered from the Apple rumour mill, that we could expect to see the new iPad for the first time on the 7th of March.

I was right.

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From that alone, it’s obvious what this is about, although unlike last years ‘Let’s talk iPhone’ Keynote there has been no official announcement regarding the content it. There is no mistaking, however that this is to be a Keynote, if the iPhone 4S event last year is anything to go by. And here’s why…

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That is a sample from the invite Cupertino sent out prior to the unveiling of the iPhone 4S, on October 4th last year. From that alone, we knew the event was going to centre around the iPhone. However, take a look at the four graphics included on it.

Firstly, they are all icons we are familiar with, as they come straight from the home screen of a lesser iPhone device. But they all point to something. The first is the calendar icon, which gives the date of the event. The second gives the (U.S. Pacific) time of the event. The third is the Maps app icon, which coincidentally shows 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA. Aka Apple Headquarters. The final icon is obvious, the phone app from the iPhone also. Looking back I think that the badge containing a ‘1’ indicated that we were only going to see one device; the rumour mill was showing signs of potentially seeing an iPhone 5 and a 4S, which was potentially being marketed at budget and pre-paid consumers.

So, bearing that in mind, let’s look again at the invitation for next Wednesday. Going along the same lines as the iPhone 4S event last year, we can see that there is to be an event, in Cupertino, on March 7th. If that’s the case, it’s a presentation. But look closer.

The icons are being displayed on a device this time, not a white background. The first thing we can see is the clarity of the display. Ergo, it is almost a certainty that the third iteration of this market defining device is to finally be given a retina display! The most worthy addition of any of the new features this tablet is going to have.

To go along with this, it is expected that the iPad 3 may have dimensions that go against the grain of the usual Apple product progression. I.e. To facilitate the addition of the retina display, it looks as if the iPad 3 is going to be slightly thicker than its predecessor. From what has been seen anyway, and of course we won’t know for definite until the dust sheets are taken off next week, it looks as if the iPad 3 will be 0.81mm thicker than the iPad 2. For what exactly, still remains a mystery. The retina display requires more power than previous models, hence the reason (or one of them anyway) that the iPad 2 never had one. To maintain the 10 hour battery life benchmark set by the original model, and provide dual-core processing power, the retina display was skipped for the second iteration. To my mind, it cannot be missed out for a third time, and if I’m honest the iPad 2 was about as thin as I’d like a device like this to go. Any more so, and it will retain the structural rigidity of a communion wafer…

Of course, a new product launch wouldn’t be complete without an upgrade of the innards of the device. Rumours have been circulating regarding both the processing power and mobile networking components that the iPad 3 will include, leaked through developer preview access of the upcoming iOS 5.1 release, which will no doubt accompany the iPad 3.

Firstly, it would appear the number of cores the device is “packin'” is set to double. Again. Evidence of this was seen in the source code for the new OS version, and images have been leaked of an apparent Apple ‘A5X’ chip; the ‘A’ chips being the processors which have been used to power iOS devices since the release of the original iPad in 2010.

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Usually, the iPad has been used to unveil the new chip, as it is always released before the iPhone; the iPhone being a vehicle for the new iOS version and usually most of the ‘revolutionary’ technology we’ll see in the subsequent products that follow. The iPhone is and always will be, Apples flagship product now, as much as it pains me that this is no longer the Mac. That being the case, there will be nothing in Apple’s product portfolio that will better it. If you’ll remember, the 1GHz A4 was first seen in the original iPad 2 years ago, the only differentiation between the iPad and the iPhone 4 being the amount of RAM it’s equipped with. (The iPad has 256MB vs the iPhone 4’s 512MB, something iPad users are made increasingly aware of as the iOS version running on their slates is upgraded.)

Nothing has been said about this, but I would imagine that this is the brain of what we’re going to see next week. If we see the A6 this year, it will be in October with the iPhone 5. A lot of people were disappointed with the release of the iPhone 4S, and Apple will need to step up it’s game and make the iPhone 5 a real crowd pleaser if it is regain its foot hold as the drive behind the smartphone market. Be that as it may, sales of the iPhone 4S have not been impeded as a result.

I could be completely wrong with that. We may see the A5X in the iPhone 5, to keep in line with the device and processor numbering convention. The A6 may be the first ARM developed chip we see being used to power a Mac, as there have been whispers of Apples intentions to drop Intel and return to manufacturing their own chips.

iOS 5.1 will undoubtedly be unveiled with the new iPad, bringing with it a whole host of new features. Again, we wont see iOS 6 until the new iPhone, although I think we’ll be given a sneak preview of it when Mountain Lion is released this summer; most likely at the WWDC developers conference, held in San Franciso every year.There is also a possibility that we will finally find Apple adopting LTE this year, for the 3G model of the iPad and the iPhone 5. LTE is the new 3G, (commonly referred to as 4G, although the current LTE systems in place do not meet the standards defined for 4G mobile networking, as outlined by the ITU-R) and stands for Long Term Evolution. Apple has always refused to adopt the standard for previous iterations of the handset, preferring to wait on the sidelines for the emergence of a common standard and then adopting it. The attitude to the introduction of previous cellular standards in the US has always taken a ‘hands off’ approach, allowing multiple standards to develop and letting the consumers decide with the brainwashing assistance of service providers marketing campaigns to form their decisions. By leaving the standards to form before adoption, Apple ensure that their devices will always remain popular, rather than taking a gamble and ending up with a failed generation. Something it cannot afford to happen, if it wants to retain market share.

There are other so-called wild card rumours out there also, such as the introduction of a smaller iPad aimed at students. Apple has always denied this, and a prototype of such a device has never been seen. Then again, they said they would never develop a CDMA iPhone, before unveiling the Verizon (CDMA network compliant) iPhone 4 a year ago! I imagine the 8MP camera found in the iPhone 4S will also have worked its way into the iPad 3, providing it with 1080p video recording. This would go along with the potential release of an Apple TV 3, which is guaranteed to offer up 1080p resolution video capabilities. Undoubtedly, the airplay mirroring feature of the iPad 3 will require an Apple TV 3 in order to stream the retina display resolution to an HDTV. It may also be worth considering the potential for Apple to unveil the iPad 3 with new storage capacities and perhaps even further price reductions on the iPad 2, although I think that’s unlikely. The iPhone 4S saw a 64GB model iPhone for the first time, and with the inclusion of a 1080p camera on the rear, and potentially a 720p front-mounted FaceTime camera (the same as what can currently be found in current MacBook Pro and Air models) we will require more storage for the video footage and wacky PhotoBooth picture’s we’ll be taking with the device. Bearing in mind the flash chips used within the iPad are mounted on the logic unit in the same was as the MacBook Air, we could see a 128GB model being made available following this launch. This is pure speculation on my behalf, as nothing has been announced regarding this previously. However, the inclusion of a 64GB spec. iPhone was never rumoured and only realised on the launch day, so only time will tell.

Finally, it would also appear that Apple are intending on releasing the device fairly soon after it’s unveiling. That being the case, we may see it as soon as the 9th of March, or perhaps the following week, meaning the Ides is a rather fitting title for this entry. Again…the only person who knows is going to be standing before us next Wednesday (all be it, for me, through the medium of the Engadget Live blog, which I will be glued to all night next Wednesday.)

Can’t wait for it folks. I’m probably not going to invest in one, because I’m skint and my original vintage iPad still works. Just. Still, it gives me something to watch when I get home from uni!

Lewis
x

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