Saturday, 30 June 2012

Google Chrome

Yesterday, Google released a Google Chrome app for iPhone and iPad and within 24 hours it has reached the number 1 free app downloaded in the App store.
It has some of the best Google chrome desktop features like the tabs along the top, bookmarks syncing and it lets you browse the internet in a Incognito tab (private browsing).
I've replaced Safari with Google Chrome not because of those features but because it is quicker to load pages and give me website suggestions.
I like the feel of app. It works smoothly and doesn't have any glitches.

Friday, 29 June 2012

London Street Grand Prix

A few days ago Santander released a map of London with a potential Formula 1 track running through it. The track passes some of the most iconic London attractions including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar square, Big Ben and the London Eye.
The track looks amazing and it includes a single lane section just before the start/finish line however this track might be a bit too ambitious. Closing down some of the main roads in London and blocking off quite a few tourist attractions will be a big problem and will probably cost loads! Also, if you haven't noticed, Formula One and all car racing are loud sports and I can imagine the FIA getting some letters of complaint about that.
If this race was to take place in the next few years it would be awesome. It would attract more people to visit London and it would make F1 a bit more exciting from the normal track (like Silverstone).

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Shine Awards Tomorrow!

This time last month I posted that I was confident that we were going to win an award and I am still as confident if not even more. We found out a few weeks ago that if we do win an award, we will have the opportunity to edit the Northern Echo for a day which will be an awesome experience.
We set off to London this afternoon, we are going to do some sightseeing and then the award ceremony is tomorrow where we also need to attend 3 presentations about media and journalism.
Fingers crossed we win an award but even if we don't it is still having front page of Issue 13 of the Wyvern.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Windows Phone 8

As I Windows Phone user myself, I love the unique operating system with the Metro styled apps and the feel of the mobile phones compared to Andriod phones.
Only a few days after the launch of the first Windows 8 laptop (Microsoft Surface) it was the Windows Phone Summit where we found out that the next generation of Windows Phones will be extremely compatible with Windows 8.
They are combining the phone and PC app market so that it is easier for developers to make apps for different devices. I honestly think that this is a brilliant idea so there are lots more apps added to both app stores.
They are giving HD support to the phones, adding SD ports so you can add more storage space and adding Internet Explorer 10. Internet Exporter 10 now warns you about dangerous websites and physhing sites.
Games on Windows Phones aren't the best however with Windows Phone 8 they are enabling phone game designers to make awsome looking games easier.
Apple recently announced 'PassBook' on iOS6 which can store coupons and vouchers.Windows Phone 8 is doing the same but more. Windows Phone 8 is able to hold loyalty cards, credit and debit cards and they will all come with NFC technology!
The Nokia Mapping software is coming as standard and they are changing the Start Screen so there will now be 3 different sizes of apps. Current Windows Phone 7.5 apps will work fine on WP8 which is good too.
Skype is getting integrated so that calls are easy to make and your contacts are synced.
Microsoft announces the Company Hub, which is a custom app each company can build for various stuff they want to distribute to employees.
Group-shot and timer are being added to the camera features and some upgrades to Nokia Music, Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive.
After 3 years, the Windows Phone app market now has 100,000 apps and Zynga are bringing 'Words with Friends' and 'Draw Something' to the market place later this year!
Unfortunately they are not allowing current Windows Phone 7.5 users to upgrade to Windows Phone 8. Instead they are making Windows Phone 7.8 which will still have the new start screen features.

In conclusion, I am extremely disappointed I won't be able to upgrade my HTC Radar to Windows Phone 8 (and I don't think new Nokia Lumia customers will be happy about that either) however ignoring that fact for a second, Windows Phone 8 looks amazing and hopefully this will help them dominate more than the current 3% of the smartphone market.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Surface by Microsoft

On Monday 18th June 2012 the first official Windows 8 tablet was announced and it looked pretty good. You might think that because it is a tablet it needs to look and work like the iPad or it won't be successful however I think Microsoft have made something different that might actually work.
It has a HD screen, USB ports and it will run Windows 8 RT or Windows 8 Pro depending on how many features you want and how much you want to pay.
One of it's biggest differences from the iPad is the stand which folds out of the back. This allows the computer to look a bit like a big digital photo frame however the stand has a camera built in so you can have you're tablet stood up on an angle but the camera still facing straight forwards. There is also a camera on the front.
Another new feature is the magnetic keyboard which clips on the bottom and when folded up also acts as a case. This comes in a verity of colours and is extremely thin. I don't know how good this will be though as the keys are touch sensitive which means you don't need to press them down (just touch them).
I was worried that after the latest Mac OS was announced last week that Windows 8 wouldn't stand a chance but as long as Windows keeps the price down I think that people will buy it. Finally, unlike the iPad and iMac, Windows owns Microsoft Office which is defiantly the easiest way to make brilliant looking presentations, documents, spreadsheets and loads more and that is why people are going to buy this tablet.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Microsoft Vs Apple

Early in June the latest Mac operating system was released and it looked so much better than Windows 8 and because of this I think Windows 8 is not going to be very sucsessful. There is a big price differance between Windows PC's and Apple PC's (on average it is about £1000). So Microsoft is better in that aspect but for another £1000 Apple computers are alot quicker and a more easy to use.
Whenever Apple releases a new product or operating system it is kept a complete secret until it is completely finished and relesased however Microsoft's Windows 8 had features offically anounced about it almost a year before it was released. I think Microsoft needs to copy of Apple's technique and keep their products behind closed doors until they want them to be released.
Because I think Windows 8 is going to be so weak compared to the Mac OS, Microsoft needs to advertise the fact that their computers will bring Microsoft Office to the tablet market and they need to push for simplicity (because nobody want's a computer which is hard to use.)
Microsoft also needs to make a cheap gimmic (like Siri for Apple), I think this will make their products more fun to use. I also don't think that the Metro styles home screen is very good on Windows 8 however at least it is new and original.
Also in an attempt to catch up with Apple, I would get Microsoft to release a free upgrade to their operating system quarterly for the next year. For the updates they will ask for feedback on the operating system act on that to make the operating system better.
Only if they do this, will they maybe have an operating system as good as Apples (In my opinion anyway).
(So when I take over Microsoft Windows, that is what I will do!)

Monday, 11 June 2012

iOS 6

With the latest Apple operating system (iOS6) coming out in Autumn I though I’d tell you about some of the main features.
Finally, Facebook integration is included. This means you can post photos, your location, app information and web pages straight to Facebook from your Apple device.
Next is the new Apple mapping app replacing Google Maps. The new app gives you and Ariel 3D view of some parts of the world, it speaks turn-by-turn directions and by clicking a building where a business is it can tell you information about the business and how to contact them.
A new app called ‘Passbook’ has been made for iOS6 which allows you to store tickets, store cards and even boarding passes. This idea probably came from a news story a few months ago where a man was able to pass a border by just a photo of his passport on his iPad.
Sharing photos with friends through ‘photostream’ has been added allowing your friends to view and comment on your photos from their Mac, Internet Browser or Apple TV. I don’t know how much of a success this will be as there are already hundreds of photo sharing sites but then again, this one is made by Apple.
So, with new features and improvements I think this operating system will keep Apple dominating the smartphone market.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Edinburgh Zoo

After a recent visit to Edinburgh where I visited the Castle, the Zoo and 'Camera Obscura and World of Illusion' I learnt that Edinburgh was a lot more than Scottish tat shops selling funny tartan berets and kilts.
I need to admit though that the Castle was pretty standard, I don't know if that is because I didn't get an audio guide or if it is because the only good thing was the surrounding view of the city (below).

Next door to the castle was 'Camera Obscura and World of Illusion'. A Camera Obscura is a mirror on a pole on the top of a building reflecting the image onto other mirrors and through lenses onto a circular table in the building. This doesn't use any electricity however it produces amazing images. They have one in Edinburgh which allowed me to see all the way from the bottom of the Royal Mile to the top of the extinct Edinburgh Volcano.
However the highlight of the trip must have been Edinburgh Zoo. Last year the zoo paid millions of pounds to get 2 Chinese giant Pandas and when we went to see them they seemed a bit bored however it is the only place in Britain where you are able to see them. They had an indoor and outdoor section both with a glass wall so visitors can look in however I'm surprised that their space wasn't bigger. Also in the Zoo was lots of monkeys, some of which looked like people who I know, others cuter. The Rhino's were one of the more lively creatures to watch as they were fighting in pool of water.
I wonder if there is regulations stating the minimum living space for zoo animals. Although the Zoo was brilliant, there was so many animals it seemed that they were all a bit cramped... apart from the Zebra's who seemed to have acres of space.
I did come across a Tiger at the Zoo. This animal was also half asleep but never the less good to see. Best animal for me was probably the humongous sea lion that was the first animal I saw when I went in. It yawned a lot but I was amazed by how much it stared at visitors who were watching it.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Queen's Diamond Jubilee

 Sunday 2nd June
This was the first day of the celebrations when most parties were and it was the day that over 1000 boats went down the river Thames lead by the Royal Barge with the Queen and close family on it. They were sailing for most of Sunday afternoon in the miserably weather but that didn't stop people from coming to the Thames to see the boat parade.

 Monday 3rd June
On the evening of Monday 3rd June it was the Jubilee Concert which had been organised by Gary Barlow and it stared loads of musicians old and young. They included Jessie J, WILL.I.AM, Madness, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, JLS, Robbie Williams, Cheryl Cole, Madness and Paul McCartney.
Even when they had a gap in the middle of the show they got Rolph Harris up singing '2 little boys had 2 little toys'. He unfortunately needed to be cut off because Stevie Wonder was ready.
Gary Barlow performed his Diamond Jubilee song 'Sing' with the Commonwealth Band.
The highlight of the night for me was Madness singing on the roof on Buckingham palace. They sung 'Our House' and 'It must be love'. Although it was dark when they were singing they amazed the crowd by projecting images on the the whole front of Buckingham Palace turning it into a bunch of council houses.
Paul McCartney ended the wonderful night singing various Beatles songs. Then Prince Charles made a speech about the Queen, her 60 year reign and people who helped make the night a success.

Tuesday 4th June
On the Morning the Queen went to St. Paul's Cathedral.

Monday, 4 June 2012

iPhone 5 and IOS6

I've been looking at some rumours and some pictures of what the iPhone 5 and what iOS 6 might look like and I've put together some rumours which I hope come true.
First one is probably the most common rumour, I hope that the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen. The current iPhone screen is 3.5 inches and comparing that size to the current average smart phone it is on the smaller size.
Facebook, more users than Twitter and the original social network. Apparently they were trying to get integration with Facebook for iOS5 however they ran out of time so hopefully we will see integration on iOS 6. The integration will hopefully allow you to post your iPhones pictures directly to Facebook, post your location from the maps app and hopefully much more.
Talking about maps, there is a rumour that the next iPhone will no longer feature google maps, instead it may include Apples own new mapping system. I don't know what the advantages of this would be however if it made by Apple it will obviously be 'revolutionary'. Google maps for iPhone has loads of options and features such as street view and options to share your location via Twitter, email and messaging.
Finally, I hope that they give Siri to iOS 6 so you can update your iPhone 4, iPod 4 and iPad 2 and 3 and get access to the smart voice system. Apple may not do this though because Siri is the main unique selling point for the iPhone 4S and it might stop people from buying it so I doubt that it'll be in iOS 6.

Sunday, 3 June 2012


After a massive build up for this movie it was definitely worth the wait. When a group of 17 scientists and crew voyage to a far a way world trying to find out who made the human race and what is the point of life they don't necessarily find out their answer. But they do find an abandoned temple with a dark secret.
This action/horror film has amazing special effects yet a brilliant and emotional story line behind the FX. I would definitely recommend this movie to people who love sci-fi.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Ikea TV

This full HD, LCD, Smart TV which can be connected to your home Wifi network is actually made by Ikea. The stand underneath it comes with the TV and it has an integrated CD/DVD/BLU-RAY player along with a 2.1 speaker system. This is in hope to stop a big bunch of messy wires behind the TV like what most house-holds have at the moment. The stand has compartments at the front which can be closed up but which still allow the remote control signal to come through to reach your sky, freeview or virgin media box.
It comes also with a wireless subwoofer which you can put where ever you like and an iPod and MP3 player dock build in. FM radio is also included.
On the side of the TV there are 2 USB ports and 4 HDMI ports so you will never have to unplug anything to make space for another.
The TV comes in all shaped and the stand comes in all different sizes so no matter how big or small your room is, it will fit.It is called UPPLEVA.

I'm genuinely surprised that this TV has specs like what it does. Whilst big TV brands like Samsung and Panasonic only focus on making TV's smart on the inside, Ikea has focused on the outside of the TV as well like their stand which the TV is connected to and how no matter what size screen you get it in, they all have the same quality and amount of options.
I think the price is going to be the only major issue because I can't imagine all of this coming cheap. The best feature for me will probably be how there is only 1 disk compartment and how it recognises and plays CDs, DVD's and BLU-RAY's.
So as long as the price stays down, I think this is going to be a successful TV which people should take seriously.