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Showing posts from November, 2013

Basic security tips for Android

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Security is a major concern many people have in this modern technological era. With so much information in data streams, going back and forth between user devices and servers, with so much of our personal lives online, it shouldn't come as a surprise if some users value the data and information in their devices (or the cloud) more than the actual devices themselves. With more and more people using mobile devices, the mobile industry is becoming more appealing to would-be hackers and data phishers. I believe that anything can be "hacked", to use the term loosely. There's no such thing as 100% security when it comes to something as vast and interconnected as the world wide web. But that doesn't mean we should shun the advancements of technology all together. There are many security measures taken by service providers to ensure the security of their clients' data and information, and there are also many security measures users can take on their end to ensure the…

New year hopes for mobile technology

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With the product cycles for this year's mobile devices coming to an end, many are already looking forward to 2014. We've heard rumours of a metallic Galaxy S5, rumours of a larger iPhone, and even seen leaks of the alleged successor to the HTC One. I've shared with you what I think we will see on spec sheets in 2014, from an OEM perspective. But this time I'm taking a different approach, a more consumer-centric approach. Once a new device has been launched, we normally say things like "I wish they made this like this", or "I wish they didn't include this" when reviewing devices. As consumers, we have our own preferences, hopes and dare I say, expectations with regards to the mobile devices we carry on our person at all times. This post won't focus on one particular device or brand specifically, but on the industry in general. Things that I hope I'll see more of (or in one particular example, less of) in 2014 in the mobile industry.

My top Android OEMs for 2013

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We're at the tail end of 2013, which means another year of product releases in the mobile industry is coming to an end. Well, technically the product cycles for 2013 have already ended, with all major Android OEMs having already announced their line-up for 2013. We've had some great products this year, some more spectacular than others. Some OEMs have surprised us with their flagships, and even with some other unique devices as well. My list of top OEMs for 2013 will not be based on any measurable metric; it will just be based on what I consider to be great contributions to the industry. It's not going to be solely based on who sold the most phones, who made the most profit, who made the "best" devices or anything of that nature. Of course I will take some of that into consideration but in my eyes, the best OEM needs to do more than just make and sell great products, they need to challenge the market and push it forward, which is what I think my top 3 OEMs each a…

5 ridiculously tiny things about Android that I love

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When you talk about Android with any Android enthusiast, and ask what they love most about the platform, you'll probably get the usual geeky answers; excellent integration among Google services, almost complete freedom with regards to the design of the home screen, the ability to sideload apps, root access and custom ROMs, file explorers etc. But what about the little things that we barely even notice? The things that we see and use every day without even noticing them. The things that we will only really notice once they're gone. Things that even the most basic of Android users can understand and appreciate? That's what I want to share with you here. Android is extremely powerful and grants the user almost complete access to it's inner workings, but from time to time, we need to appreciate the little things.

What other OEMs can learn from Motorola

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Motorola recently unveiled the Moto G, initially rumoured to be a "cheaper" version of the Moto X for the international market. And while it is less powerful than the Moto X, and significantly cheaper, it's not really a poor man's Moto X, no it isn't. If you ask me, the Moto G is Motorola's effort to redefine the mid-range smartphone market, the same way the Moto X was intended to redefine what we call a "high-end" flagship. As was mentioned at the event, consumers looking for a smartphone but who can't (or won't) spend the high amounts of money a flagship demands are restricted to two poor options; buy a new but cheap phone with outdated hardware (and possibly software), or buy an outdated flagship, which usually are still quite expensive. The Moto G aims to solve this problem by offering a phone that is both highly affordable, while at the same time highly respectable on paper. Motorola's approach to hardware and software, and their ov…

Why didn't you buy that phone?

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Everyone talks about the phone(s) they own. Why they bought it, what they love about it, how it fits nicely into their daily routines etc. But as we all know, choice is one of the many strengths of the Android ecosystem. You have several OEMs to choose from, each with their own hardware and software features that make their devices stand out. HTC has BoomSound, Samsung has removable batteries, Sony has water resistance, LG has rear-mounted buttons, Motorola has Touchless Controls and so on. There is something for everyone, and that's why I love the Android ecosystem. While everyone has a favourite OEM, I'm sure they would've been tempted to try out something from another manufacturer. Or maybe you are not loyal to any particular OEM, and so you regularly switch between them. In any case, we all have a list of phones that we almost bought. Or phones that we short-listed but ultimately went with something else, and that is what this post is about. I am still using my first A…

Top 5: Amazing smartphone feats

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Our smartphones are really amazing pieces of technology. We take them for granted. We really do. We always find things to complain about, that we forget just how much they are already capable of. Lost in a city and need some directions but too shy to ask a stranger? Use Maps and find your way. Need to convert units in a recipe you are trying out? Use an app on your phone or just Google it. Need to take a quick note but don't have pen and paper? Take a note on your phone. Yup, we take our phones for granted. But sometimes, these pocket-sized devices truly do remarkable things. Like, newsworthy things. Things that don't always happen. And that's what this post is about. These are some of the most incredible things to have happened that involve modern smartphones. 

Z1, Note 3, Moto X, G2, Nexus 5 - End-year Android flagship guide

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Back in July, I wrote a simple guide comparing the current Android flagships at the time - the Xperia Z, the HTC One and the Galaxy S4. It wasn't meant to be an in-depth review, just an accumulation of opinions that I had gathered from various review sites, meant to help consumers decide which phone might suit them best. We are now approaching the end of 2013, and it's time for a second Android flagship guide, this time with phones released in the second half of the year. As I mentioned at the end of my first guide, this guide will include some of the most anticipated phones of the second half of the year, including the Galaxy Note 3, the Moto X, as well as the newly released Nexus 5. I'll also share some thoughts on the refresh of the Xperia Z, the Xperia Z1, as well as the LG G2, the phone which the Nexus 5 is based on. There's a lot to talk about, so let's get started.

Top 5: How my HTC One X sold me on Android

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So the Nexus 5 is finally official, and many consumers are already getting their hands on the device, just one day after Google announced the phone. Props to Google for a smooth launch after last year's problems with the Nexus 4. For those of you who don't already know, I'm getting the Nexus 5 when it becomes available in my country to replace my current HTC One X. It'll be my second Android phone and my second Nexus device, after the Nexus 7 (first gen). I recently wrote a post highlighting a few things that excite me about the upgrade, so this time I'm looking back to the past. I'll look back at how I felt when I first made the switch to Android from iOS, how I felt during the first few days and weeks of using my One X. First impressions are important and after 3 years of using iOS, the experience of using my first Android device was important. It would mould my perception of Android and help me determine whether or not my decision to leave iOS was justified.…