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  • Adam Mills 5:04 pm on April 17, 2014 Permalink
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    iOS 7.1.1 Release for iPhone & iPad: Details & What to Expect 

    iOS 7.1.1 Release for iPhone & iPad: Details & What to Expect is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

    A month ago, Apple released iOS 7.1 for iPhone and iPad, bringing a host of bug fixes and enhancements for its new iOS 7 operating system. From the looks of things, it appears that the company intends to issue another upgrade to iOS 7 users in the form of iOS 7.1.1.

    In March, Apple finally took the iOS 7.1 update out of the beta process it had been stuck in since November. The update, as expected, was much more than your typical incremental iOS update. Instead of a couple of bug fixes, iOS 7.1 delivered a long list of fixes, enhancements and changes aimed at shoring up the overall iOS 7 experience.

    iPad Air iOS 7 Review - 1

    Since iOS 7′s debut in September, iPhone and iPad owners had been complaining about a myriad of issues including random reboots, lag, Touch ID response issues, and more. Apple’s iOS 7.1 update aimed to eradicate these issues, unify the overall look and feel of iOS 7, and deliver new features including CarPlay. It was more than just an average iOS update. And while iOS 7.1 reviews have been solid, it appears that there is still work to be done.

    9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman claims that Apple is planning a new iOS 7.1.1 bug fix update for iPhone and iPad owners. It appears that numerous devices running Apple’s new iOS 7.1.1 update have gone to 9to5Mac’s website in recent days. Analytics show that the devices are clustered in and around Apple’s Cupertino campus, a sign that Apple is testing the iOS 7.1.1 update in the wild.

    Gotta Be Mobile’s analytics also show increased iOS 7.1.1 activity during the month of April and more specifically, in the last week or so. The increase in frequency could mean that the iOS 7.1.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is imminent. A specific release date is still not known and Apple almost never announces incremental updates ahead of time.

    iOS 7.1.1 activity has increased as of late.

    iOS 7.1.1 activity has increased as of late.

    The contents of iOS 7.1.1 remain unknown but given its name, it’s likely going to be an incremental bug fix aimed at tackling some of the new and lingering issues inside of iOS 7.1. For the most part, iOS 7.1 appears stable though as we have pointed out, some iPhone and iPad owners have run into issues since installing Apple’s brand new update.

    iOS 7.1 problems range from Bluetooth issues to Wi-Fi problems to connectivity issues to the usual complaints about abnormal battery life. We haven’t seen any hero level issues emerge from Apple’s new update which is likely the reason why Apple has gone more than a month without issuing an update to iOS 7.1.

    When iOS 7.1.1 is released it will represent the first update to Apple’s iOS 7.1 update. And while there is a chance it could be the last iOS 7 update before the arrival of iOS 8, Apple is known to release several bug fix updates between the release of its iOS x.1 update and the release of its next major update. iOS 8 is expected to debut in June at WWDC but may not be released until the fall.

    iOS 7.1.1: Quick Look at What to Expect

    With iOS 7.1.1 likely on the way for iPhone and iPad owners, we want to take a quick look at what iOS 7.1 users should expect from Apple’s next iOS 7 update.

    1. Expect Apple to deliver the update during the week. Apple never releases its iOS updates on the weekends and prefers to unleash its new software during the working week. In other words, iPhone and iPad owners shouldn’t feel the need to check online or check their devices for updates on Saturday and Sunday.

    2. Second, Apple typically releases its updates between 9AM and 10:30AM PST. It’s very rare for iOS updates to fall out of that range so if 11AM PST rolls by without an update, it’s safe to stop checking for an update.

    3. We fully expect iOS 7.1.1 to be a bug fix update. Nothing more and nothing less. While it’s difficult to say what will be on board the update, we can say that the change log will almost certainly be smaller than the change log that arrived with iOS 7.1. iOS 7.1 a much more stable update than iOS 7.0 and we haven’t noticed a ton of issues plaguing Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

    Should you buy the iPhone 5s right now?

    4. That said, there is a very good chance that iOS 7.1 issues will linger after the arrival of iOS 7.1.1. Apple will likely fix most of the glaring bugs but there are always a few that avoid detection. Software updates are almost never perfect.

    5. Finally, do not expect there to be an iOS 7.1 jailbreak release tied into the release of iOS 7.1.1. It’s clear that developers aren’t working hard to develop an iOS 7.1 jailbreak for public consumption and have focused their energy on developing one for iOS 8. It would be surprising to see one unleashed when iOS 7.1.1 arrives.

    iOS 7.1.1 Release for iPhone & iPad: Details & What to Expect is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

     
  • J.R. Bookwalter 12:44 pm on April 15, 2014 Permalink
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    Samsung Execs Attempted to Neutralize Impending iPhone 5 “Tsunami” in 2012 

    Samsung booth babes

    The ongoing Apple v. Samsung legal thunderdome continues to be the gift that keeps on giving, with internal documents which reveal the inner workings of both companies and how they planned to counter the other's latest move.

    The Verge reported Monday that newly unearthed emails from inside Samsung have revealed just how fearful the Korean smartphone maker was of the impending arrival of Apple's iPhone 5 back in 2012.

    One such correspondence dated June 5, 2012 from then-Samsung Telecommunications America president and CEO Dale Sohn specifically singled out the iPhone 5, citing mobile CEO JK Shin's call to eliminate the threat.

    "As you know, there will be a tsunami when iPhone 5 is coming," Sohn wrote. "This will be happening sometime in September or October. According to CEO's direction, we have to set up a counter plan to neutralize this tsunami."

    The internal email was drudged up by Apple, who plans to use it as part of their offensive to allege that Samsung was so worried about the iPhone — even at the highest executive levels — they would stop at nothing to copy Cupertino's smartphone to improve their own devices.

    During testimony from Samsung Telecommunications America chief marketing officier Todd Pendleton, Cupertino lawyers also produced an earlier email between Sohn and the CMO specifically showing concern over any direct attack on Apple due to their lofty status as a good customer for Samsung components.

    "As you have shared previously, we are unable to battle [Apple] directly in our marketing," Sohn wrote on October 4, 2011. "If it continues to be Samsung’s position to avoid attacking Apple given its status as as a large customer, can we go to Google to ask them to launch a campaign against Apple based on the many better Android products available in the market for Q4?"

    The current Apple v. Samsung trial is expected to wrap up late next week, and kicked off two weeks ago.

    Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

     

     
  • J.R. Bookwalter 12:59 pm on April 14, 2014 Permalink
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    Alpine Confirms Aftermarket CarPlay System Coming This Fall 

    CarPlay

    iPhone buyers can't exactly replace their automobiles as often as they do smartphones, so it's encouraging to hear that companies who specialize in aftermarket products for cars are jumping on the CarPlay bandwagon.

    Nikkei Asian Review reported Saturday that Alpine Electronics has announced an aftermarket console which will support Apple's new CarPlay functionality for automobiles that don't have it built-in.

    Coming this fall for an estimated $500 to $700, Alpine's as-yet-unnamed CarPlay interface will first debut in the U.S. and Europe and enable an iPhone 5 or higher to connect to a touchscreen display to enable in-car phone calls, Siri-powered text messages, music, GPS navigation, and more.

    The report claims Alpine will offer a screen somewhere in the neighborhood of seven inches, but isn't expected to bring the product to its home country of Japan until next year. Apple is working directly with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo to introduce CarPlay with new vehicles, and nearly all major automakers are on board to incorporate the feature into new models in the future.

    Alpine's announcement is the first real confirmation that an aftermarket system will indeed arrive, although the company has yet to divulge details on how the stand-alone console might work.

    Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

     

     
  • J Keirn-Swanson 5:05 pm on April 10, 2014 Permalink
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    The Week’s Best Deals for Your Mac and iOS Device, April 10 

    With reports that Retina Display is in the mix for the latest round of MacBook Airs, maybe that's what you're saving up for, or maybe that is just gonna prove too pricey or you need a machine yesterday. Well, you're in luck, because we've got some sweet deals on yesterday's models and this is just the place to save some dough.

     
  • Adam Mills 11:01 pm on April 8, 2014 Permalink
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    iOS 7.1 Review: One Month With Apple’s iOS 7 Update 

    iOS 7.1 Review: One Month With Apple’s iOS 7 Update is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

    Believe or not, it has been a month since Apple released iOS 7.1 for iPhone and iPad. Since then, we’ve heard about a number of iOS 7.1 problems.  With no iOS 7.1.1 update in sight, we want to revisit Apple’s current iOS 7 update and take a look at how its performing on the iPhone and iPad a full month after it came out of Apple’s beta program.

    All the way back in November, Apple revealed the iOS 7.1 update to the world. The update’s arrival came just days after the company released iOS 7.0.4 for iPhone and iPad owners and just a few months after Apple released iOS 7, its biggest update to iOS since the original iPhone’s arrival many years ago.

    Per usual, the iOS 7.1 update into the beta program for developers without a specific release date. As the weeks went on, the iOS 7.1 revealed more and more about itself and it soon became clear that the iOS 7.1 update was going to be a massive update for iPhone and iPad owners using Apple’s iOS 7.

    From performance enhancements to bug fixes to design tweaks to new features, iOS 7.1 was about as fully loaded as an iOS x.1 update gets. Unsurprisingly, iPhone and iPad owners were excited about its release.

    iOS 7.1′s release didn’t arrive until March, months after it was first released to iPhone and iPad users. Fortunately, for many, it was well worth the wait thanks to the bug fixes and improvements that it had on board. Weeks ago, we took our first look at the iOS 7.1 update for iPhone and iPad and we came away impressed by the update. But how is it performing now?

    iOS 7.1 Performance

    iPad-mini-Retina

    Speed

    Over the last month, I’ve used iOS 7.1 on the iPhone 5, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. I’ve used it on other devices too but I’ve used it extensively on the three of those.

    When I take a look at incremental iOS updates, I typically look at five different areas. Apps or how applications are performing, battery life, connectivity over Wi-Fi and LTE, bugs, and speed. All of these are important to the overall experience on the iPhone and iPad and all of them can be impacted, positively or negatively, by Apple’s iOS updates. iOS 7.1 is no different.

    Let’s start with speed, or, the fluidity of the user interface. Apple promised performance enhancements to iPhone 4 owners but it did not talk about speed boosts for other devices. Thanks to tweaks to iOS 7′s animations and transitions, the software feels faster across my devices. In particular, it feels fastest on the iPhone 5.

    Applications open with startling speed. Opening a folder is fluid and isn’t clunky. And I haven’t experienced any of the lag issues that I saw in iOS 7.0. It’s just much faster experience and one that makes my iPhone 5 feel like it’s new even though I bought it back in September of 2012.

    The changes on Apple’s 64-bit products aren’t as noticeable, it’s not night and day, but they still feel crisper and faster than the days when iOS 7.0 was on board.

    Maybe the best part about this is that the experience has remained consistent over the course of a month. Often times, Apple’s iOS software will deteriorate over time. That’s not the case with iOS 7.1.

    Apps

    The apps that I keep on my iPhone and iPads are likely much different than yours so I will stick to the popular applications that I have on board my iOS 7.1 devices.

    Over the past month, I’ve used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Dark Sky, Netflix, Spotify, Soundcloud, Amazon, Google Chrome, YouTube, Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, Hangouts, Angry Birds, Monument Valley, and more. Those are the just the ones I’ll mention since they are common.

    After a month of use, I can confidently say that the developers behind these applications have done a fantastic job. Apps open when they’re supposed to and they are, for the most part, stable. Google Chrome still crashes on occasion but as I’ve said before, I think that’s a Google problem rather than an Apple one.

    Apple’s stock applications haven’t been giving me any problems either. Those that are experiencing issues should keep an eye out for updates. If the problems persist, try restarting the iPhone. Often times, that will dislodge problems with applications.

    iOS 7.1 Battery Life

    I’ve heard the complaints about iOS 7.1 battery life, I just haven’t seen the problem myself. iOS 7.1 battery life remains solid across these three devices after a month of use and I’m still able to get a full day out of all three, even when I’m on-the-go using 4G LTE data.

    Those who are experiencing battery life issues have a few options at their disposal. First, take a look at this quick fix, its helped people in the past. It’s also worth taking a look at these tips and tricks before taking the iPhone or iPad to an Apple Store for a prognosis.

    Battery life is going to vary from person to person, use case to use case, so a fix that may have worked for someone you know may not work for you.

    iPhone-5S-Rumor-Roundup-001-575x377

    Connectivity

    4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity remain consistent on the iPhone 5, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina and I haven’t experienced any abnormal drops. I’m using AT&T’s 4G LTE network on my iPhone 5 and iPad mini with Retina Display so I can’t speak for the 4G LTE networks of Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon.

    My colleague Josh Smith uses a Verizon iPhone 5s and ever since he installed iOS 7.1, his cellular connection has been extremely unstable. He plans on talking to Verizon about the issue and I suggest that those experiencing similar problems contact their service provider. The issue doesn’t appear to be widespread which means that there is a slim chance that an iOS 7.1.1 update will come with a permanent fix.

    Bugs

    Thus far, I haven’t run into any hero level problems that require immediate attention. I’ve honestly scoured through the software looking for problems and so far, I’ve come up empty handed. There is a potentially nasty iOS 7.1 bug that emerged recently and I expect that an upcoming update will patch it up.

    For me iOS 7.1 is the most stable version of iOS 7 and it appears that that may be the same for others as well. Otherwise, we probably would have already seen Apple roll out an iOS 7.1.1 update.

    iOS 7.1 Features

    iPad Air

    Like

    iOS 7.1 isn’t your typical incremental iOS update. It also came with some new features and functionality. After using iOS 7.1 for a month, there are some features and changes that I’m really enjoying and there are some that I could live without. Let’s start with the good stuff.

    I’m still not a big fan of Siri but the change that Apple made in iOS 7.1 at least makes her tolerable in the rare situation where using her is necessary. Now that she listens until I let go of the home button, I no longer want to climb through the speaker vent and bash her over the head with a shoe. We have a much better relationship. I still hope that iOS 8 brings some major changes to Siri but at least she’s not as annoying as she was back in iOS 7.0 and below.

    While it’s a small change, I like the boldness that Apple added to the keyboard keys. They’re much easier to see. And for someone with eye sight that’s as bad as mine (I don’t have glasses at the moment), they’re helpful.

    Don’t Like

    There is only one feature in particular that I’ve grown to dislike over the course of the last month: FaceTime Audio. This is a feature that not many people know about and it’s a feature that I use constantly because of the difference in sound quality. It honestly makes phone calls sound 100 times better, well, when I can actually hear someone on the other end.

    FaceTime Audio has never been perfect but it seems to have taken a step backward with iOS 7.1. In places where I have perfect connectivity and thus, should be getting perfect audio, it skips and jumps to the point where I can’t understand the person on the other end. I’ve also had numerous calls drop for no reason.

    At first this seemed to be an AT&T or Wi-Fi issue but I’ve had the problem on other Wi-Fi networks and I’ve heard people on other carriers complain about the same thing. Without getting too technical, my hope is that Apple continues to work to improve this feature, one I consider to be among the best that iOS 7 has to offer.

    Is iOS 7.1 Worth an Upgrade?

    Yes. FaceTime Audio quality aside, iOS 7.1 is a superb update, especially for my iPhone 5. I don’t find myself begging Apple for an iOS 7.1.1 update after a month. Instead, I find myself hoping that Apple’s next iOS update doesn’t break what I’ve got going on on my three devices.

    iPad Air iOS 7 Review - 4

    If you want to jailbreak your device, don’t upgrade, but if you want a high performance update that brings solid features, security patches and more, it’s worth an update for your iPhone or iPad.

    iOS 7.1 Review: One Month With Apple’s iOS 7 Update is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

     
  • Adam Mills 9:53 pm on March 31, 2014 Permalink
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    Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. iPhone 5: What Buyers Need to Know is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

    The iPhone 5 may no longer be sold through the Apple Store but it’s still in the hands of a number of consumers, many of whom will be coming off contract later this year. While many probably have their eyes on the iPhone 6, wise iPhone 5 owners will compare the device to as many flagships as they can, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung’s brand new Galaxy S.

    It has been a little over month since Samsung took the stage at Mobile World Congress 2014 and announced the all new Samsung Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S4′s successor and the Galaxy Note 3′s new partner in crime. The device isn’t the metal, QHD Galaxy S smartphone that many were expecting but it is a great looking device that is chock full of powerful features.

    Its hardware, its software and the fact that it will be released on a number of U.S. carriers means that it can’t be ignored by those in the hunt for a new smartphone. Later this year, Galaxy S3 users will be coming off contract and a little further down the road, it will be iPhone 5 owners who find themselves in the hunt for a brand new smartphone.

    Already, we’re been hearing the questions from friends, family and readers who own the iPhone 5. While many of the questions are about the rumored iPhone 6, others have been asking about the advantages of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

    iPhone-5S-Rumor-Roundup-001-575x377

    The iPhone 5 is an old device and one that we’ve spent a great deal of time with. We’ve also been fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with the new Galaxy S5. While Galaxy S5 release is still a few weeks away, there is a lot we can share about how Apple’s iPhone 5 and Galaxy S5 compare. This will not only benefit current iPhone 5 users but also those that might consider it to be an option due to its price tag.

    There are many features that only exist on one of these devices, so buyers will need to make an informed decision about what they want, based on the features they need most in a smartphone. That said, let’s take a look at what upgraders, and prospective buyers, need to know about these two smartphones.

    Release Date, Price & Carriers

    In the United States, the Samsung Galaxy S5 release date is confirmed for April 11th. This is a global release date and the device will also be hitting 150 nations around the world, including the U.S. Apple’s iPhone 5 is no longer available at the Apple Store but it is available through retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. Apple’s next iPhone is rumored to be the iPhone 6, a device that could emerge later on in the fall.

    Buyers who are at all interested in the Galaxy S5, and many should be, would be wise to wait for the Galaxy S5 to show up on store shelves in order to try out both devices before buying. While most stores still don’t have the Galaxy S5 in stock and won’t until mid-April, there is a way to check out the Galaxy S5 right now.

    There are about 100 Best Buy stores in the U.S. that have the Galaxy S5 out on display. Those that can’t wait for April 11th can check this list to see if the local Best Buy has it available. The list is at the bottom of the page. Best Buy should have the iPhone 5 on display as well though you will want to call ahead and confirm that detail.

    GalaxyS5-black

    While the Samsung Galaxy S5 release date in the U.S. is confirmed for April 11th, that date is only for some carriers. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular are all taking pre-orders ahead of that date and several carriers say that they’ll start shipping orders a few days before April 11th. That means that some will get the Galaxy S5 early.

    There are several carriers that have confirmed the Galaxy S5 but have yet to offer official release details. The Verizon Galaxy S5 release date, for instance, remains unknown. Verizon tells us that it’s focused on the new HTC One launch at the moment though we’ve heard that the Verizon Galaxy S5 will arrive in April.

    Release dates for MetroPCS, Ting, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile also remain unclear though we’ve seen Best Buy put the MetroPCS Galaxy S5 up for pre-order ahead of its release. MetroPCS has said that it would arrive in April but it has not specified a date. Boost and Virgin both said they plan to release the phone in Q2.

    Galaxy S5 Display

    As for the Galaxy S5 price, carriers are charging $199.99 for the Galaxy S5 16GB model and $650 and $660 for the Galaxy S5 off-contract. We still haven’t seen carriers confirm a 32GB Galaxy S5 but if one does arrive, it will likely be priced at $250.

    Best Buy is currently selling the iPhone 16GB for $50 on-contract which means that it won’t be as painful to your bank account. Best Buy also sells the 32GB iPhone 5 for $99 and the 64GB iPhone 5 for $199.99. That’s extremely cheap. Amazon sells the iPhone 5 off-contract for $575.

    Like the Galaxy S5, the iPhone 5 is available for a number of carriers including all of the major ones in the United States. The device is compatible with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon and is also found on a number of regional and pre-paid carriers including C Spire and Cricket, two carriers that aren’t currently offering the Galaxy S5.

    Design & Durability

    The iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S5 designs don’t share much in common. While the iPhone 5 features an industrial design made out of anodized aluminum, metal and glass, the Galaxy S5 is made out of plastic.

    Samsung’s Galaxy S5 design is improved over the glossy plastic design found on the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S5 utilizes a perforated plastic back that comes in white, black, gold, and blue. Its plastic matte finish feels more premium than the Samsung Galaxy S4′s design and it’s extremely comfortable to hold.

    Samsung Galaxy S5 Design

    The Galaxy S5′s is designed to be water-resistant and dust-resistant. Its IP67 certification allows users to carry the phone around without worrying that bathtub, shower or puddle will break the phone. The design also includes a seal to prevent water getting in the USB port and a seal on the back to keep water out. The iPhone 5 does not come with this kind of protection and the only way users are going to get it is with a case.

    The iPhone 5′s anondized aluminum design is also susceptible to nicks and scratches, something that we detailed many months ago when the iPhone 5 first came out. Some of the general wear and tear is unavoidable.

    Apple’s iPhone is thinner and lighter than the Galaxy S5. And while it’s taller and wider than the iPhone 5, it’s not uncomfortable to hold with one hand or slip into a jean pocket. Here is how those dimensions stack up.

    • Galaxy S5 Dimensions – 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
    • iPhone 5 Dimensions – 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

    Samsung includes a fingerprint reader in the Galaxy S5′s home button and that allows users to secure the phone with a fingerprint and also lock files behind a fingerprint password.

    The iPhone 5 design looks great but is susceptible to damage.

    The iPhone 5 design looks great but is susceptible to damage.

    Apple’s iPhone 5s comes with its own fingerprint reader called Touch ID but the iPhone 5 does not come with the technology embedded inside of its home button. Its home button is strictly used for navigation.

    Display

    The Samsung Galaxy S5 display is much larger than the iPhone 5′s display. Samsung’s flagship comes with 5.1-inch full HD display that offers a ton of real estate for gaming, movies, and web browsing. The iPhone 5′s Retina display is only 4-inches in size and it does not come with support for full HD 1080p content.

    The Galaxy S5 display is bright, accurate and power efficient.

    The Galaxy S5 display is bright, accurate and power efficient.

    DisplayMate says that the Galaxy S5′s display is better than Apple’s Retina Display on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Back in 2012, the publication said that the iPhone 5′s display, and thus the iPhone 5s’, was the best in the business. However, thanks to incredibly accurate colors and new brightness levels, it says that the Galaxy S5 display now holds the crown.

    In addition to the 1080p support, the Galaxy S5 display comes with three standout features that aren’t found on the iPhone 5:

    • Ultra Power Saver – Turn the screen black and white and limit running apps to make the battery last longer.
    • Super Bright Mode – The screen can enhance contrast and deliver a very bright display to make reading the phone outdoors easier.
    • Super Dim Mode – A mode that turns brightness down dramatically for a display that is easier on your eyes at night.

    Camera

    The Samsung Galaxy S5 camera is one of its highly touted features and the overall experience offers users some things that don’t come with the iPhone 5.

    Samsung’s new flagship comes with a 16MP camera sensor while the iPhone 5 comes with an 8MP iSight camera sensor. There are benefits to sensor sizes and megapixel counts but the Galaxy S5′s major advantage comes from other enhancements that Samsung has tacked on.

    The Galaxy S5 features an upgraded camera with new modes and a faster focus.

    The Galaxy S5 features an upgraded camera with new modes and a faster focus.

    Maybe the biggest improvement that Samsung made to the Galaxy S’ camera is its faster auto-focus system. Samsung switched to a hybrid focus system that it says can focus as fast as 0.3 seconds. The iPhone 5 camera is good but it cannot perform that fast and will need some extra time to put the subject of a photo into focus.

    Another other feature that stands out is the Galaxy S5′s ability to pick a point of focus after taking the shot. This allows uses to blur a background or foreground right on the phone. It also can show HDR previews live on the phone and record 4K video. The iPhone 5 is stuck with 1080p video recording.

    The iPhone 5′s camera application is much improved with iOS 7 but we still feel like Samsung’s camera application is the best in the business thanks to its ridiculous feature set.

    Software & Features

    These two smartphones run two entirely different pieces of software. The iPhone 5 runs iOS 7.1, Apple’s brand new update to iOS 7, while the Galaxy S5 will utilize Android 4.4.2 KitKat from Google. The version of Android really isn’t all that important on Samsung devices due to the company’s TouchWiz user interface.

    Samsung devices are dominated by the company’s TouchWiz UI and the TouchWiz that’s coming with the Galaxy S5 is improved over the last versions.

    The Galaxy S5 features a pulse meter that can take a user's pulse.

    The Galaxy S5 features a pulse meter that can take a user’s pulse.

    The Samsung Galaxy S5′s new software is focused on several key areas including health and fitness. The software includes new S Health 3.0 functionality which, when combined with the pulse reader on the back of the Galaxy S5, allows users to record their heart rate and track it in the app. iPhone 5 owners can also track their pulse using third-party apps and accessories but the overall experience isn’t as rich as it is on the Galaxy S5. iOS 8 should deliver health related features but iOS 8 is months away at least.

    We should point out that, in addition to the new features, the Galaxy S5 also comes with a flatter design and a number of small tweaks to the overall look of the operating system. Those looking for more details can find them in the video below which highlights many of the changes that Samsung has made to its TouchWiz user interface.

    Apple’s iPhone 5 comes with the latest version of iOS which means that it comes with a different feature set and a different overall look. iOS 7 is vastly different than Apple’s previous iOS updates. Those unfamiliar with iOS 7 can familiarize themselves by watching the video below.

    We should point out that Samsung Galaxy S smartphones typically get two years of software support while iPhones typically get three years of software support. The iPhone 5 is approaching its second birthday which means that it probably will get iOS 8 and iOS 9 before calling it quits. Thanks to its age, the Galaxy S5 is likely on par with the iPhone 5 when it comes to longevity.

    Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. iPhone 5: What Buyers Need to Know is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

     
  • Adam Mills 8:34 pm on March 31, 2014 Permalink
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    iOS 7.1 Review: Three Weeks Later (Performance & More) 

    iOS 7.1 Review: Three Weeks Later (Performance & More) is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

    Three weeks ago, Apple released iOS 7.1, its biggest update to iPhone and iPad since the release of the iOS 7 update back in September. Over the past three weeks, we’ve extensively used Apple’s new update and we’ve also seen new details crop up including iOS 7.1 problems that are plaguing iPhone and iPad users.

    iOS 7.1 release date rumors all pointed to an arrival in March. Right on cue, Apple released the iOS 7.1 update for iPhone and iPad, an update that had been in the beta process since November.

    iPad Air iOS 7 Review - 2

    As expected, the iOS 7.1 update arrived for all devices running iOS 7 and it delivered significant changes including UI tweaks, performance enhancements, and a number of bug fixes aimed at improving iOS 7. From the looks of things, iOS 7.1 also delivered some problems of its own as well.

    With iOS 7.1 complaints mounting, and other various iOS 7.1 details emerging from the shadows, we want to take another detailed look at Apple’s brand new iOS 7 update for iPhone and iPad. Here, we offer thoughts on its performance after three weeks, we take a look at some of the iOS 7.1 problems that have emerged since its release and we roundup some of the more important iOS 7.1 details that have surfaced in the weeks since its release.

    iOS 7.1 Performance

    For the past three weeks, we’ve been using iOS 7.1 on a number of iPhones and iPads. Personally, I’ve been using it on three devices in particular including Apple’s former flagship, the iPhone 5, the new iPad Air and the new iPad mini with Retina Display. A week ago, I found iOS 7.1′s performance to be adequate and it’s now time to revisit the software and take a look at how it’s doing on these three devices.

    iOS 7.1 for iPhone 5

    iOS performance tendency to get worse over time, especially on the company’s older devices. My iPhone 3GS was doing great in the two weeks after the iOS 6 update but things quickly started to deteriorate. Fortunately, this hasn’t been the case with iOS 7.1 on the iPhone 5. iOS 7.1 remains a solid performer three weeks after its release.

    Applications are running smoothly and the Facebook app hasn’t crashed in a week. All of my other core applications including Twitter, Spotify, Instagram, Dark Sky, Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, Convo, Yelp, and Netflix are all performing admirably.

    Battery life is still extremely solid, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi are as fast as they ever have been, and I haven’t discovered any crazy bugs lurking on board my iOS 7.1 update for the iPhone 5. Maybe the most remarkable thing, at least to me, is that the software has retained its overall speed.

    Apple changed some of the animations and transitions in the software in an effort to speed up iOS 7.1. The improvements were, and still are very noticeable on my iPhone 5. iOS 7.1 is very fluid and it’s a big reason why I’ve recommended the update to friends, family and readers.

    iOS 7.1 for iPad Air

    Performance on the iPad Air continues to be solid as well. I haven’t run into any significant problems with applications. Battery life remains stellar and yesterday I used the iPad Air virtually all day, it was a lazy Sunday, and its battery life dropped by about 20%. That’s pretty fantastic.

    Apple made changes to the animations inside iOS 7.1.

    Apple made changes to the animations inside iOS 7.1.

    Connectivity, at least Wi-Fi, remains solid and the speed of the software remains intact. Again, the speed difference wasn’t, and still isn’t, as significant as it was on the iPhone 5 but there is certainly some improvement. iPad Air owners that haven’t updated will seriously want to consider upgrading.

    iOS 7.1 for iPad mini with Retina Display

    iOS 7.1 on the iPad mini with Retina Display also continues to deliver fantastic all-around performance. I haven’t stumbled upon any major issues and the software is as fluid as it is on the iPad Air. Connectivity, both Wi-Fi and AT&T 4G LTE both remain solid, and battery life is as good as it was on the iOS 7 update. It’s an update that I certainly recommend, especially if you haven’t installed the iOS 7.0.6 update and its security features.

    Others

    Those are the three devices I’ve focused on though colleagues of mine have dove into iOS 7.1 on other devices. We’ve taken a look at the performance of iOS 7.1 on the iPhone 5s and iPad 3, Apple’s aging tablet that was released months before the iPhone 5.

    Both devices are currently performing well on Apple’s latest update and we recommend the iOS 7.1 update for both the iPhone 5s and 9.7-inch Apple’s iPad 3.

    iOS 7.1 Problems

    While our iOS 7.1 experience has been relatively smooth, we’ve been hearing about a number of iOS 7.1 problems that are plaguing iPhone and iPad owners.

    iOS 7.1 users are complaining about connection problems when paired with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Some users are reporting that updating VPN settings from the provider helped to bring download and upload seems back up to normal but it looks like some people are still experiencing the issue.

    ios-7-jailbreak

    Some iPhone and iPad owners are saying that they are no longer able to send iMessages after installing iOS 7.1. Those who are experiencing issues with iMessage should head here to troubleshoot. These fixes typically will work out the kinks. If they don’t, then it’s worth resetting settings or performing a hard reset.

    Others are experiencing touch screen lag, Wi-Fi issues, and the usual battery life issues that seem to crop up every time Apple releases a brand new iOS update. There are tons of complaints about iOS 7.1 battery life on Apple’s discussion forum. While there isn’t a fix that will work 100% of the time, it’s worth taking a look at this potential fix and these iOS 7.1 battery life tips.

    While we certainly have seen a number of iOS 7.1 complaints, we haven’t seen any bugs that could be considered hero level. A hero level bug is a widespread issue impacting tons and tons of iPhone and iPad owners.

    iOS 7.1 Details

    iOS 7.1 Tips & Tricks

    We’ve discovered a neat little trick that allows iOS 7.1 users to take a photo with the iPhone without having to have the Camera application open. This allows for quick shots in places like art galleries or in special moments where speed is crucial. It only requires three steps and it’s something that iPhone owners certainly will want to take a look at.

    A glitch in iOS 7.1 also allows users to hide stock applications without having to jailbreak. Like the trick above, it’s a simple process that any iPad or iPhone owner on iOS 7.1 will be able to perform. It’s a bug that Apple may end up patching but for now, it’s a seamless way to clean up your home screen.

    iOS Jailbreak

    Those looking for an iOS 7.1 jailbreak are still out of luck. We haven’t seen one emerge and there is no guarantee that we’ll see another iOS jailbreak made public before the arrival of iOS 8 later this year.

    There is some good news though. It appears that iOS 7.1 has successfully been jailbroken on the iPhone 4s, it’s just not clear if the developers will ever release it to the public.

    iOS 7.1.1

    We still haven’t heard anything about an iOS 7.1.1 update, presumed to be the next version of iOS 7.1 for iPhone and iPad. Apple never announces release dates ahead of time and release date rumors for incremental iOS updates are typically sporadic and sometimes, non-existent.

    iOS 7.1 appears to be extremely stable which means that Apple likely is in no rush to deliver a brand new update. However, we’d be surprised if Apple failed to release another iOS 7.1 update before the arrival of iOS 8.

    Apple almost always delivers some smaller bug fix updates between the release of iOS x.1 and the new x.0 update and we expect the same here.

    iOS 7.1 Review: Three Weeks Later (Performance & More) is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

     
  • J.R. Bookwalter 1:21 pm on March 31, 2014 Permalink
    Tags:   

    New Camera App Touts 2K Resolution Video Capture from iPhone 5, 5s 

    Ultrakam

    When it comes to high definition, former heavyweight 1080p HD is starting to look like yesterday's news as the resolution race continues to ratchet up ever-increasing numbers -- some of which are apparently now attainable from the iPhone.

    Developer Hassan Uriostegui has released a new, universal camera app called Ultrakam, which claims to be able to record video at 2K film resolution, capturing 70 percent more pixels than standard 1080p HD.

    Ultrakam sounds like a pretty impressive accomplishment based on specs alone, including the ability to capture 24fps video at 2240 x 1672. But the developer didn't stop there, packing in high-quality time-lapse at custom intervals, 10x slow-motion and switching between H.264 and M-JPEG for a nearly uncompressed experience.

    The app isn't just a way to capture 2K video, either -- Ultrakam also allows iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners to keep a gallery of high-definition videos on their device and play them while on the go in a resolution higher than the Retina Display can even show.

    Using your iPhone to record video and don't want to disrupt the screen to change settings? The developer also offers a Bluetooth Remote Control companion app for Ultrakam, which allows users to control exposure, focus and more without ever touching the shooting device.

    Ultrakam is now available for $6.99 from the App Store as a universal app which requires iOS 7.0 or later; Ultrakam Remote Control is also available for $2.99 and likewise works with the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

    Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

     

     
  • Adam Mills 9:28 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    iOS 7.1 Review: Two Weeks Later is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

    Two weeks ago, Apple released its iOS 7.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update, as expected, was far from your typical incremental iOS update as it delivered not only bug fixes and enhancements but also delivered design tweaks and CarPlay, a new iOS feature for the car. Over the past two weeks, we’ve been using iOS 7.1 on a number of devices and today, it’s time to take an updated look at the software’s performance on three iOS 7-powered devices.

    After a lengthy beta period, the iOS 7.1 update emerged from hiding and deployed to iPhone and iPad users running iOS 7. iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad mini, and iPod touch fifth-generation users all received the update that takes the devices up from iOS 7.0 to iOS 7.1.

    Apple’s change log was extensive and listed a host of improvements, fixes, enhancements, and changes that alter the iOS 7 experience. The iOS 7.1 update includes improvements to the software on board the iPhone 4, Apple’s older iOS 7-powered iPhone. It includes tweaks to the Phone app that unify the look and feel of the new iOS 7 design. iOS 7.1 includes changes to Siri, to the Calendar application. And it also includes a fix for a springboard issue that plagued the iPhone and iPad. Needless to say, it’s an important update.

    The iOS 7.1 update has been out for two weeks now and we want to revisit the software and offer our thoughts on how the software is performing and whether it’s still worth the install. Here, we’re going to look at three devices in particular: The iPhone 5, Apple’s aging former flagship, the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina Display.

    iOS 7.1 Performance

    In my experience with iOS updates, most of the problems I’ve encountered have come weeks after the arrival of the update, as opposed to right after release. As I noted in my initial reviews of iOS 7.1, the update was performing fine on all of my devices after release. In fact, I saw notifiable improvement after the jump from iOS 7.0 to iOS 7.1.

    Now that the smoke has settled, it’s time to take a look and see if performance has taken a hit or if it’s the same high caliber update that arrived two weeks ago.

    Apps

    One of the problems that I’ve encountered in the weeks after launch is with applications. Apps sometimes don’t agree with new software and become unstable. I’ve heard complaints about broken applications inside iOS 7.1 and iPhone users have been complaining about random crashes and non-responsive applications.

    Initially, I did not encounter any problems. However, over this past weekend, several applications on my iPhone 5 started showing signs of instability. In particular, Facebook crashed a number of times when I tried to open it up. The application would act like it was starting up and then take me back to the home screen. It doesn’t happen every single time but enough where it can certainly be considered annoying.

    What’s interesting is that I haven’t seen the issue on my iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display, only on the iPhone 5. They are performing fine at the moment.

    iPad Air iOS 7 Review - 4

    Other than Facebook, I’ve seen Google Chrome lock up a few times but nothing worse than that. While my app experience on the iPhone 5, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina are solid overall, the Facebook crashes have been concerned. My hope is that a future update from Facebook, or Apple, wipes the problem out.

    Battery Life

    One of the major concerns amongst iPhone and iPad owners before installing an iOS update is the impact the update is going to have on battery life. iOS updates have the tendency to negatively impact some iPhone and iPad owners and often times, it’s difficult to track down the exact reason for the problem.

    Over the past two weeks, I haven’t seen anything abnormal. Battery life on my iPhone 5, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina remains consistent and on the level of iOS 7.0 battery life. Originally, I noted that my iPhone 5 battery life seemed to be a bit better than it was in iOS 7.0 but over the past week or so, the difference has become less noticeable.

    iPad Air iOS 7 Review - 1

    I’ve heard and see numerous complaints about iOS 7.1 battery life and I’m here to tell you that there are some things to try if the experience is really that bad. One trick in particular should dislodge any potential bugs and there are some tips and tricks that we suggest taking a look at before throwing the device against a wall.

    If none of that works, bring it to an Apple genius. It may be that there is actually a serious problem with your device. Last year, my girlfriend experienced abnormal battery drain and it turned out that it was being caused by a bloated battery.

    Connectivity

    I’ve heard about the dreaded grayed out Wi-Fi issue inside iOS but I still haven’t experienced it myself. My iPhone 5, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display all get solid Wi-Fi connections and my iPhone 5 continues to pull down extremely fast LTE and HSPA+ data speeds from AT&T’s network.

    Those who are experiencing major Wi-Fi issues should certainly take a look on Apple’s discussion forums. There is a ton of general information there and we’ve also seen users discover some temporary, and permanent, fixes for Wi-Fi. Often times, all it takes is a reset or perhaps some changes to a routers settings in order to get things working properly.

    iPhone and iPad users that are experiencing personal hotspot issues should note that it’s not a problem with iOS 7.1. Instead, it appears to be Apple cracking down on unauthorized tethering.

    Speed

    After installing iOS 7.1 on these three devices, I discovered a significant increase in performance on my iPhone 5. The device felt like new thanks to the changes that Apple made to the transitions and animations inside iOS 7. The speed that iOS 7.1 delivered remains and sometimes I feel like I’m wielding an iPhone 5s rather than a phone that was released back in 2012. It’s that fast.

    iphone-5-black-vs-white-4-575x431

    The iOS 7.1 experience is also extremely fluid on the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. The difference from iOS 7.0 to iOS 7.1 is not as noticeable but both devices have certainly benefited from the changes that Apple has made. It’s this consistently with speed that really makes the iOS 7.1 update worth upgrading to.

    Features

    I still haven’t been able to test out CarPlay, it requires specific car models that I don’t own, but I have been using some of the other features that iOS 7.1 delivered.

    I hate to say this but Apple’s change to Siri, the one that prevents her from interrupting you, has actually led me to start using her a little bit more than I normally would. Normally, I would never use her. Now, on the rare occasion that I need a very specific answer to something and fast, I will use Siri. The fact that she now waits for you to finish your query has led to an increase in accuracy, at least for me.

    As for the keyboard, well, it’s certainly taking some getting used to. I can appreciate the boldness to the keys but the change that Apple made the Caps Lock key has started driving me nuts. I’ll get adjusted over time but it doesn’t change the fact that it has confused me on several occasions when typing a text or email.

    Is It Still Worth Installing?

    If you’re still on iOS 7.0.6 or below, I highly recommend installing iOS 7.1, particularly if you’re on an older device like the iPhone 5. The speed improvements alone are worth the install. Those who are on newer devices like the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display won’t benefit as much from the speed but the iOS 7.1 update will kill off those pesky random reboots and deliver a more stable piece of software overall.

    iPad-mini-Retina

    Those who are still considering a jailbreak should remain on iOS 7.0, at least for now. Proof of an iOS 7.1 untethered jailbreak emerged last week but it looks like it may only be for the iPhone 4, if it even arrives at all. In other words, most people are going to want to upgrade to Apple’s latest update to iOS 7.1.

    How is iOS 7.1 treating you?

    iOS 7.1 Review: Two Weeks Later is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

     
  • Adam Mills 6:38 pm on March 21, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    iOS 7.1: New Details You Need to See is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

    The iOS 7.1 update for iPhone and iPad has been out for almost two weeks now but we’re still seeing new details emerge as the dust around the update continues to settle. Over the past week, we’ve seen a number of new iOS 7.1 details emerge for iPhone and iPad owners and here, we take a look at the most important things to know.

    All along, iOS 7.1 release date rumors pointed to an arrival in the month of March. So, it came as no surprise when last Monday, Apple pushed out the iOS 7.1 update for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 5c, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, iPad mini with Retina, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPod touch fifth-generation.

    As many iPhone and iPad owners have found out, the iOS 7.1 is a little more than your standard iOS update. Instead of just bug fixes, the iOS 7.1 update brings bug fixes, performance enhancements, and design tweaks. And as we have learned over the past few days, it comes with some other features that cannot be found on Apple’s change log.

    The iOS 7.1 update is no longer new but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t still learning new details about Apple’s latest iOS 7 update. In fact, we’ve seen new details emerge in recent days, some good and some bad. Either way, they are details that iPhone and iPad owners running Apple’s iOS 7 operating system need to see.

    Fantastic iOS 7.1 Bug

    This new bit of information is a must see for iPhone and iPad users who use a ton of applications and have a home screen that resembles a cluttered mess.

    A week ago, it looked like a friendly bug inside iOS 7 was killed off by iOS 7.1. We say friendly because the bug allows users to put folders inside of folders. The feature has been dubbed “nested folders” by those that utilize it and it’s an incredibly easy way to keep the iOS home screen organized.

    It looked like the “feature” was dead in the water in iOS 7.1 but as TUAW reports, there is a way to take advantage of nested folders inside of Apple’s brand new update.

    Here is how to put a folder inside of another folder:

    1. Select two apps and a folder that you want to put inside of another folder.
    2. Start creating a folder by dragging one app over the other. Quickly, as the folder appears and before the UI zooms into the contents of the folder, grab the other folder and highlight it.
    3. At this point, the UI should take you into the folder while you’re still holding onto the other one. At that point, you can release the folder into the new folder that you’ve created.

    Those that aren’t good at following directions can just watch these steps in video form in the video below.

    iOS 7.1 Jailbreak

    Like nested folders, the iOS 7.1 jailbreak appeared to be dead in the water after the release of iOS 7.1 last week. Apple patched up the exploits used by the Evasi0n jailbreak and developers said that they would probably turn their attention to iOS 8 rather than both with iOS 7.1.

    There is hope though thanks to Winocm who has successfully jailbroken iOS 7.1 and posted proof of his efforts in a video that shows off an untethered iOS 7.1 jailbreak.

    Unfortunately, the jailbreak only works on iOS devices running Apple’s A4 processor. The only iOS device running the A4 chip that’s compatible with iOS 7 is the iPhone 4.

    It’s still not clear if he will release the jailbreak to the public and it’s also not clear if the iOS 7.1 jailbreak will land for other devices outside of the iPhone 4. Again, developers have said that iOS 7.1 isn’t a priority and there is a good chance they are saving exploits for iOS 8 later in the year.

    iOS 7.1 Problems

    While performance remains steady on our iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display, and iPad 3, there are plenty of people that are talking about problems within iOS 7.1.

    A recent report from AppleInsider details several of these issues which are said to include non-responsive applications on the touch screen, freezes and lockups with the software, issues with Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, and the usual complaints about Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi, and iOS 7 battery life.

    We’ve heard from readers who confirm the issue with non-responsive applications and it appears that at least some have experienced the problem with the Facebook application.

    We have not experienced any freezes or lockups on the iPhone or iPad since installing iOS 7.1. Springboard issues are gone and the software appears to be stable. Users dealing with these issues should try one of two things. Restarting the device will often solve problems like these but if that doesn’t work, it might be worth performing a hard reset.

    It appears that some users are reporting success at fixing Touch ID issues simply by rescanning their fingerprints into the system. There are still others that are continuing to experience problems with one of the iPhone 5s’ unique features.

    As for iOS 7.1 battery life, we’ve already offered tips and tricks in addition to a fix that should help those who are experiencing abnormal battery drain.

    iOS 7.1 Personal Hotspot

    What has been perceived by some to be an iOS 7.1 issue actually appears to be a case of Apple cracking down on unauthorized tethering.

    iPhone users have been complaining about the deactivation of their hotspot feature after installing iOS 7.1. At first it appeared to be a bug but it now appears that the issue pertains to a lack of authorization from specific carriers.

    Those who are experiencing hotspot issues on a carrier that supports the personal hotspot feature should certainly check out the thread on Apple’s discussion forums.

    iOS 7.1: New Details You Need to See is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

     
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