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Today’s top 3 Smartphones

The mobile phone industry has technologically advanced very quickly and it has also become a very competitive industry as well. It used to be that a cell phone would simply make telephone calls without needing a landline connection. Now, computer companies have invented cell phones that can also act as computers themselves. These phones, which are called Smartphones, allow users to go on the internet, play games, listen to music and much more. The current number one selling Smartphone is the Apple iPhone 5S. Apple’s product line of iPhones has been a big hit since their original debut. The reason being is that Apple tries to improve each new model with an innovative piece of technology that the previous model did not have. With the iPhone 5S, the new technology in that was the fingerprint sensor. This allows people to lock their computers and then use their own fingerprint as a way of identifying themselves as the owner of the iPhone. Once the fingerprint matches the one set on file, the iPhone will activate and let the person use the phone. This is meant to replace the annoying old fashioned security method of typing in your password.

Besides iPhones, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Motorola Moto X are the next top Smartphones to purchase. The Galaxy Note 3 is especially popular because of its bright high definition screen. It also contains an ultrafast Snapdragon 800 computer processor, which is made to load apps faster than previous models. The battery life has been tested and found to hold a charge of up to 11 hours. Its newest software feature is the ability to have two apps open at the same time and to be able to transfer content between them. Now for consumers that are on a budget, they have found the Motorola Moto X to be a very affordable alternative to the bigger brand Smartphones. The Moto X is the first Smartphone that gives people the ability to design it themselves with accent hues and back colors. It even has voice controls similar to Apple’s Siri and it also has a 10 megapixel digital camera as well. Best of all, it is less than $100 and supports all major phone carriers. This is the perfect Smartphone to buy your child or to use yourself if you don’t need all the fancy applications that come with the more expensive phones.

Why Smart TV Is Dumb – Google’s Chromecast

Google has a tendency to turn everything upside down. Most people do not even realize that when they released the “Hummingbird” search algorithm it was a rip out and replace of the code in place since 2001.

However this is not about Hummingbird. Relatively speaking little noticed is one of Google’s ‘turn everything upside down moments’, Google Chromecast.

When I say relatively little noticed, let’s put emphasis on the word relatively. When it launched a few weeks ago it was sold out on Amazon in a matter of hours. Google’s very own Play Store went into backorder for weeks., Thankfully that is corrected now.

So what exactly is Chromecast and what does it do to make Smart TVs dumb?

Answering the second question first: convenience and price.

Google’s Chromecast is a mere $35 (plus any applicable taxes) and using an HDMI port, makes a ‘dumb’ TV, Smart. If you of looked at the price difference between a smart TV and a entry-level LCD TV with an LED backlight the spread difference is a couple hundred dollars, not $35.

Now let’s take on convenience. The $35 HDMI dongle can travel with you. Let’s take the popular option, Netflix. While I watch Netflix on my smart TV, my account information is locked into that wall-mounted TV. Certainly you will agree I can just put it in my pocket like I can Google Chromecast.

Another aspect of convenience over my smart TV is how the ‘remote’ works. The Google Chromecast dongle uses a separate device such as my tablet as the remote control.

Is important to note that whatever device I’m using (computer, tablet, Smart phone) is just that, a remote control. In other words, actual data is not streaming through the remote control.

This allows my ‘remote control’ to going back and being a device for something else when not actually commanding Google Chromecast.

I’m not going to lie and say I enjoy typing on the virtual keyboard of my 7 inch tablet. And it beats the pants off of thumbing the arrow keys on the remote control of my smart TV.

There is one more advantage of convenience over my smart TV. I can only use the apps that Sony has deep me worthy of having. No Vimio for me on the Sony.

The cool Chromecast dongle has forced me into action. The 240 Hz Sony 3-D 32 inch TV is now my main monitor in my small video studio.

I’m replacing the Sony with a much larger ‘dumb’ LG in the living room, not outstanding in its features according to many reviews, with the exception of a great picture.

I was sure to check the specifications and make sure it had more than one HDMI port and at least a USB jack (1) of limited service to power the Google Chromecast dongle neatly. I’ll throw the USB AC ‘wall wart’ in a box with the others.

As of the time of this writing Google Chromecast can handle many video services beyond Netflix. And you need not fear if your favorite is not available yet. Google has released the APIs as open source. Given that, everybody and their brother should have a Google Chromecast app available shortly.

You Need

  • Google Chromecast dongle
  • USB port to power the dongle (or bring the USB power adapter)
  • Open HDMI port
  • Some device to serve as the remote control
  • Wi-Fi connection

It is doubtful you will find a more cost-effective way to get Internet television.

Have you tried Google Chromecast? Share your praise or your pain in comments.

iPhone 5S – an in-depth look at features

Apple recently launched the most awaited smart phone of the pasr 2 years, iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5c are the two smart phones launched by the company. These models also introduced Apple’s new operating system iOS 7 which boasts some awesome out of the box features. We are going to discuss the main features of the iPhone 5s model.

The Features:

The iPhone 5s has no doubt some extraordinary features including latest hardware upgrades and inclusions such as M7 motion co-processor, Touch ID, iSight Camera, and newly 64 bit architecture. There are also many other features which differentiate this smart phone from it’s predecessor, the iPhone 5. Apple is cleverly turning its old features in a new way into its upcoming products.

The Operating System:

The iPhone 5s is cleverly featuring Apple’s own new operating system- iOS 7. Developers are now looking to get the most of the advantages of iOS7 to offer user a new experience of Apple’s product so stay on the looking for new apps to come.

Color:

The new iPhone 5s comes in 3 impressive colors: silver, gold and space grey. This separates the iPhone 5s from the other Apple’s smart phone products.

Configuration of iPhone 5s

This product comes in three different storage spaces which are 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The price ranges from $699 to $999 if you bought from an Australian contract provider or on a $50-$120 per month plan.

Touch ID:

iPhone 5s has no home button like it used to in previous products. It is no more concave and has become flat and recessed. Touch ID is the fingerprint scanner created by Apple which is the secret sauce of scanning technology and can be clickable as well as capacitive. The button turns the slide to unlock feature into a fingerprint scanner. This is eventually fast and effective and scanning process happens invisibly.

Camera:

Apple’s new upgrade on its camera makes it even better. An 8 mega pixel camera takes very clear digital photos and generates high quality videos.

All New A7 Processor:

We are in a time where speeds matter a lot whether it is a PC or a smart phone. The iPhone 5s comes with a speed which is more than twice it’s predecessor.

Other features:

Like the GPU is used in computer’s processor, the M7 coprocessor takes the credit for the motion measurement compass and similar things in the A7 CPU.

Apple claims that it saves 6 times the power for the apps which uses motion and it will also adjust the iPhone 5s according to usage.

Apple is now offering the flashlight feature by default in the iPhone 5s – a feature which many had to jailbreak to achieve prior.

Sony PlayStation 4 release in November

The Sony PlayStation 4 is slated for Australian release on November 29, almost a year after the Wii U first became available in stores. It will cost $435 at launch, and is available for pre-order both on- and offline. It is a part of the eighth generation of consoles, and is competing against both Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U.

Unique to the PlayStation 4 is the ability to convert smartphones and tablets into a second screen by connecting it to the system with the PlayStation App. Streaming video content will also be available through a cloud-based gaming service known as GaiKai. Additionally, the PlayStation Vita can be used to play most games on the system via Remote Play.

The PlayStation 4 supports used games, which can be traded, sold, or lent to a friend without any consequences. Unfortunately, there has been no indication that the system will be backwards compatible with games from previous iterations of the PlayStation. This includes both disc-based and digital copies.

Regarding hardware, the PS4 has an x86 processor, an 8-core combined CPU/GPU, 8 gigabytes of unified GDDR5 memory (compare that to the PS3’s 512 megabytes), and a local 500 gigabyte HDD, among other things. It has both a DVD and Blu-Ray drive, and is capable of HDMI output. Other features include WiFi and ethernet connectivity, wireless controllers, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. The console also has an “Instant On” feature, which allows it to boot up immediately.

Diablo 2 vs Diablo 3

So Diablo 3 has been out for a while now, but for one reason or another some gamers despite the praise the game has received are unwilling to ditch Diablo 2 to make the leap to the new game as they are so invested into Diablo 2. But really is Diablo 3 that much better than Diablo 2? Let’s have a closer look to find out. We are breaking it down into three sections. Story, Graphics and Game play.

The Story

This is a really weird category to judge the two games on. Diablo 2 simply had a fantastic story. It continued on from the first game very well. It has a dark and broody story that sees the hero of the first game for all his good intentions has become corrupted and this has resulted in demons entering the world. The story is told in different acts and it really is engaging.  There are great characters who are actually interesting as well. The one downside is the voice acting. While it does not spoil the story it really does in some places sound quite cheesy.

Diablo 3 on the other hand really does have some truly spectacular voice acting. The voice acting in Diablo 3 really is head and shoulder above what Diablo 2 offered. As well as this Diablo 3 tries to be far more epic in scale as well. But it just does not work. It’s really hard to say why, but despite the more complex story and superior voice acting. From a story point of view Diablo 3 just is nowhere near as interesting as what Diablo 2 offered.

Winner: Diablo 2

While this may just be personal preference. It is like Diablo 2 goes for more substance with its story. Diablo 3 on the other hand tries to be a little to epic and does not quite pull it off.

Graphics

Diablo 2 was a great looking game. While it really did not improve on what the original Diablo had done. The graphics in Diablo 2 do a wonderful job in creating a fantastic atmosphere. The various levels all look great and there are also some cool effects like rain that will just start to pour down. The various character models also look great with the sorceress and her various spells in particular looking very impressive. The cinimatics were just draw dropping and really did bring the story to life.

Diablo 3 just looks amazing and as you would expect for a game that is over a decade younger it really does blow Diablo 2 out of the water. Diablo 3 just has so much stuff going on as you explore each level it really is quite staggering. The cinematics once again look phenomenal and do bring the whole world to life.  Diablo 3 was easily one of the best looking games of 2012 and even the console versions have a great high polished look to them as well.

Winner: Diablo 3

Ok this was a really harsh comparison because Diablo 2 is a great looking game, but it just cannot compete with the much newer Diablo 3.

Game Play

On the surface Diablo 2 is a hack and slash RPG you go from area to area killing tons of monsters always praying to score some great loot. But as Diablo fans know to call this game just a hack and slash RPG is really unfair. As there is a crazy level of customization that Diablo 2 offers. You really can dig in deep and craft your character and items to your exact specifications. Which for some people can be quite intimidating. But if you take the time to learn what Diablo 2 has to offer you will realize why people are still playing this game over a decade later.

Diablo 3 brought Diablo to a whole new audience especially when it was released on the consoles. And because of this what we have here is a much more streamlined Diablo game. It still offers that fantastic hack and slash action that you would expect, but it’s much easier to pick up and play and get right into. What it lacks in its level of customization and depth it makes up for in its pure action.

Winner: Diablo 3

Both are fantastic games, but Diablo 3 with its somewhat streamlined rpg style makes for a overall more enjoyable game. RPG and Diablo purists will no doubt disagree, but by making Diablo 3 the way they did Blizzard have ensured more people will be able to enjoy the game.

Grand Theft Auto 5 Reviewed

Grand Theft Auto 5 is basically the fifth main installment to the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto franchise. Just like its previous iterations, GTA 5 is an action-adventure game that takes place in an open world environment. In this game, you are bound to take control of the three main protagonists: Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton and Trevor Philips. The stories of these characters are intertwined and throughout each mission, all three characters will end up working together as they aim to target the Union Depository for their final, and probably their biggest, heist mission.

One of the strongest aspects of this game is its cinematic plot. It’s just amazing to know that this game manage to provide a storyline that is so intense but in a way that you don’t get too carried away by the rich storyline. If you remove all of the game elements, this game could actually be turned into a real action-packed movie that, of course, would feature a wide variety of impressive cars.

Anyways, the main objective of this game is to be able to get through every mission without getting busted and chased by the cops. Since there are three protagonists, you can just switch from one character to another. Moreover, the game’s core mechanics are still there but unlike before, players are finally given the option to replay their missions. Just like in GTA IV, this game also has a built-in GPS feature which makes it easier for you to go to a certain location.

Undoubtedly, GTA 5 has improved a lot in terms of graphics, gameplay and plot. It’s more intense and more engaging. More importantly, this game has managed to take its heists missions to an entirely different level. While in between missions, you are also free to spend your cash on car upgrades, weapons, properties, businesses, clothes and almost everything that you can think of.

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 5 is definitely a must-have game especially to those who are actively following the GTA franchise. It’s one of those unique games that feature almost everything that you want in an action-adventure genre. Besides, who wouldn’t be tempted to explore the fictional city of Los Santos?