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An Introduction Of Sorts…

• Introduction • Comments Off on An Introduction Of Sorts… started originally in December 2007 and has evolved into something of an infrequent Tech-Blog with a dash of Pop Culture reference for good measure.

I must stress that this Blog only contains my own personal views based around my own understandings and in no way should they be taken as gospel.

I will occasionally re-post articles which I find of interest – these will be cited as such.

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16GB iPhone 6s: How To Cope

Sep 13th, 2015 • News • No Comments »

The latest iteration of iPhones have introduced some exciting new features, but they come at a cost if you opt for the unbelievably still available 16GB model. With 10GB of actual available storage if you’re lucky, the new features will undoubtedly fill it up quickly. But if it’s all you can afford or care to spend on the new model, there is still hope. 

Turn Off Live Photos
Unless you want to turn your life into a Harry Potter tapestry, you don’t need Apple’s new Live Photos feature in your life. Videos take up much, much more space than videos, and this turns your photos into videos by default. Presumably you’ll have the option to axe it in Settings > Photos & Camera.

Tweak Your HDR
While you’re in your Camera Settings, go ahead adjust your HDR. It combines multiples pictures at different exposures to give you one great shot, which would be great if it didn’t also save the original image. Double photos take double the space. Go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Keep Normal Photo and unselect it.

4K No Way
Just because you can shoot 4K video with the new iPhone doesn’t mean you should. Even if you had unlimited storage at your disposal, it’s unlikely you have a device that can view 4K, or even if you did, that the perceptible difference from a 1080p video would make the added space worth it.

Head for Apple’s Cloud…
The sure-fire solution to your storage woes is to spend your way out. Along with its new iPhones, this week Apple slashed its iCloud pricing to be more in line with its rivals. You can now get 50GB of cloud storage for a 79p a month. Basically, if you’re comfortable keeping the bulk of your photos and music in Apple’s cloud, you can spend £20 over the phone’s two-year cycle for the equivalent storage of a phone that costs £600 or more. Features like iCloud Photo Library also automate the process of saving space. Just go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Optimize Storage, and your phone will store thumbnails of your photos locally instead of full, bulky files.

…Or For Someone Else’s
Apple’s not your only option. Cloud services like Dropbox, Google Photos, and Amazon Prime Photos let you auto-upload your photos the instant you take them, keeping them safe in a digital locker, meaning you can delete as you go. (You can also auto-upload to multiple services, for extra backup). Some, like Carousel, Dropbox’s photo organizer, will automatically go in and delete pics from your phone that it has already backed up. Google Photos is free, Amazon Prime Photos is included in a £99/year Prime membership, and Dropbox starts at 2GB free, up to 1TB for £99/year.

Audit Your Apps
Download whatever apps you want. Go nuts. But check back in every few weeks, and nuke any that you haven’t used in that time. Better still, if you find yourself approaching your 16GB limit, go to Settings > General > Usage > Manage Storage to see which apps are prime offenders. You’ll find that Messages eats up more than you thought (those pics!), as does Podcasts, News, and your music or comic book apps of choice. 

Apple are also trying to help with a new feature of iOS 9 which actually lets you know when space is getting a bit tight in there and recommends apps to delete. Clean house; you can always download again when you need it.

Embrace the Upgrade
OK, so this one’s a gimme, but staying current on your OS and app upgrades will help more than it has in years past. In iOS 9, Apple has introduced “app thinning,” a combination of enhancements that amount to apps taking up only as much space as they need in the moment. As long as developers are on board, you’ll see major improvements, especially on multi-level games.

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iPad Pro to be Announced?

Sep 2nd, 2015 • News • No Comments »

According to 9to5Mac, Apple plans to unveil the iPad Pro at next week’s iPhone event.

The idea of an iPad Pro has been bandied around for a few months now and was even satired by not Jony Ive (@JonyIveParody) on Twitter:

The reported iPad Pro will start shipping in November after opening up for preorders sometime in October, 9to5Mac reports. It’s expected to be larger than current models, geared toward power users and “support a Force Touch-based stylus.” Siri will supposedly be optimized for enterprise, as will the Notification Center.

An enterprise-ready version of iPad has been long rumored, and Apple’s recent partnerships with companies like IBM and Cisco only highlight this further. Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment on this report.

The report also suggests a new iPad Mini is also on it’s way.

Source: [9to5Mac]

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Moto360 (2015 Edition)

Sep 2nd, 2015 • News • No Comments »

The new Moto 360 comes in three flavours:

  • A men’s version in two sizes
  • A women’s version
  • A dedicated sport version, complete with on-board GPS and outdoor-readable display.

Motorola is now calling its smartwatch offerings a “collection” – treating the range as more of a fashion line. Like the first Moto 360, buyers will be able to customize the appearance and finishes of their watches, and this year Motorola says it has over 300 possible combinations of looks with bands, colors, bezels, and sizes all in the mix.

Continue reading here »

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Virgin Media Continue UK Domination

Sep 1st, 2015 • News • No Comments »

Earlier this year, Virgin Media pledged to rapidly expand its cable broadband across the UK. Dubbed “Project Lightning,” its aim is to offer speedy 152Mbps internet to an extra 4 million homes over the next five years. The company kicked off the project in Manchester, and today it’s announcing the next city on its hit list: Nottingham.

Roughly £25 million of its promised £3 billion investment will go towards fitting out 50,000 homes and businesses in the area.

As a Virgin Media customer in Manchester, I can report that although speeds of up to 152Mbps are possible at off-peak times, the popularity of the Virgin Media offers have resulted in some Manchester customers suffering from ‘high utilisation’ – At peak times download speeds drop to as low as 2Mbps (thats a 98% drop in speed on my own package).

Virgin Media are of course trying to remedy this issue; but with a mixture of financial implications and local council approval being necessary, it could take some time – I have been quoted the end of September 2015 for a fix.

Customers who notice the drop in speed are being offered discounts on their line rental, but that doesnt make the evening’s painfully slow connection any better.

Source: [Engadget]

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Android Wear on iOS 8.2+

Aug 31st, 2015 • News • No Comments »

Beginning today, a select set of Android Wear smartwatches (and all future watches) will work with the iPhone. The app should be rolling out worldwide soon. It’s been a long time coming — and it means that Google will be challenging the Apple Watch on its home turf. Those Android Wear watches will be both cheaper and more varied than the Apple Watch.

Continue reading here »

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Android by Blackberry

Aug 30th, 2015 • News • No Comments »

There have long been rumours of a Blackberry device being developed which runs on Android. The lack of evidence however has always been the main argument against this. Vietnamese resident Ba Minh Duc now claims to have photos of the slider-phone in action, complete with its hideaway QWERTY keyboard, 18-megapixel camera and curvy screen. This isn’t quite the phone that have been shown in previous 3D renders (or the once-teased BlackBerry 10 version), though. BlackBerry appears to have moved the power button to the side, and the body isn’t as slender in person as the renders would suggest. This is undoubtedly a work in progress, and it won’t be surprising if the ‘Venice’ design changes more between now and release. Still, this is interesting stuff and if indeed it is a legitimate possibility, why would Blackberry opt to move to an infamously insecure OS having been known for so long as the most secure – and government preferred device – in order to stay current?

Source: [Crackberry]

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4th Gen Apple TV Price Rumours

Aug 30th, 2015 • News • No Comments »

Rumours of a 4th generation Apple TV being announced on 9th September are rife at the moment, but at what cost? Back when the Apple TV first launched you could expect to pay over £100 to put an Apple-powered media hub in your living room. Recently though prices have dropped to as low as £59. However the original price-point might come roaring back for the next generation. Sources for 9to5Mac claim that the next Apple TV could cost between £149 to £199 (the final price is still up in the air) when it ships, which is reportedly sometime in October. It could make the Fire TV and Roku 3 look like relative bargains, depending on how attached you are to Apple’s ecosystem.

Source: [9to5 Mac]

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Will The iPhone ‘6s’ Be The Best Update Yet?

Jul 28th, 2015 • News • No Comments »

Investors following Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) know that the company follows what has been widely referred to as a “tick-tock” development model for its iPhone. In one year, the company releases a new industrial design, and in the other, it uses the same basic industrial design as in the prior year, but with upgraded internals.

Last year, Apple rolled out the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were fundamental redesigns of the consumer electronics giant’s popular handsets. This year, however, Apple is expected to focus principally on internal improvements while retaining the same basic iPhone 6/6 Plus designs.

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A Novice’s Guide to Landscape Photography

May 24th, 2015 • Photography • No Comments »

Whether you’re a globetrotter or simply exploring your own backyard, capturing the world around you in a picture is simple when you follow the top ten landscape photography tips. Next time you preserve a memory with a photograph, consider depth of field, focal points, and lighting to capture the perfect shot.

Continue reading here »