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Apple to add Lightning to iPhone 7 – The newest tech spec

iPhones are sleek; this doesn’t certainly mean that they can’t get any sleeker!

This is exactly what Apple is out to prove and in the bid to create the next generation iPhones that are slimmer and more stylish, the company is considering modifying the design. Rumors are doing the rounds that probably the next design change will see no more of the headphone jack – presently seen as a 3.5 mm port. In lieu, the handset will sport Lightning port for audio.

Tentatively named as iPhone 7, the next Apple iPhone offering will feature headphone-based DACs and app launching. To be able to use conventional wired headphones you would either have to make do with an additional adapter or use Bluetooth technology. Although this rumor has surprised Apple fans, this move isn’t unwarranted though. At the WWDC last year, Apple hinted at its interest towards moving in this direction.

While there already are companies that are using this technology in their products, such as Philips and JBL, it remains to be seen whether Apple too will manage to win over this move to analog from the digital. The audio lovers are surely in for a huge treat…

However, there is also this speculation that there’s still a lot of time till the release of the next iPhone edition. And, one never knows if Apple would want to change this tech spec for something better or it would want its users to try out this technology, something that other brands have used already. Only time will tell; we will surely keep you posted on this.

SATIDA COLLECT Smartphone App Helps Identify and Track Droughts

Technology is supposed to simplify our lives and this one app does it to the ‘T’.

Smartphones are readily available in all places across the globe – even the under developed countries where famines, drought, and other natural calamities appear like a regular phenomena. Besides aiding communication at a personal level, smartphones are also being used to run apps that can notify the agencies about a forthcoming drought or bad or good monsoon. This can help millions of people from facing the harsh conditions by allowing agencies to prepare and take action before the calamity actually strikes.

Developed by the scientists at the Vienna University of Technology and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Laxenburg, Austria, SATIDA COLLECT is a smartphone app:

  • That helps researchers collect necessary data on weather/soil/climate about a particular region
  • This data is stored locally on the phone and once the device comes in contact with an Internet connection, the data is uploaded to a remote server
  • The information can be used by agencies to analyze the conditions and thereby prepare strategies to combat the same
  • Bases the eating habits and the conditions of a place, the SATIDA COLLECT questionnaire can be customized and the best results derived

This app is available easily on the Google Play Store and analysts can download and use it to recognize crisis situations much before they strike. For organizations such as Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) – Doctors without Borders, this app has been a great source of support as it is offering a fast, accurate, inexpensive and simple way of understanding a crisis situation. Depending on the data collected, organizations are able to offer humanitarian relief in areas that need them and put a check on real-time problems such as price rise, malnutrition, resource distribution, etc.  The satellite-derived data is very insightful and hopefully the subsequent versions of the SATIDA COLLECT app will be able to foretell the situations from more detailed perspectives. Indeed, technology should be able to save lives other than just simplifying them.

Are Holographic Images Soon Going to be featured through the Google Glass?

Does the idea of an augmented reality headset offering you holographic images excite you? Well, if it does, you are surely going to be kicked about the Google patent for a wearable device showing up holograms!

As per the latest update, Google has already filed for the patent that would enable the technology giant to feature holographic images, in place of the flat pictures that Google Glass presently offers. If this comes true, the augmented reality experience for the users will surely shoot up like never before and perhaps catapult the brand into the topmost slot of wearable devices.

Not much is known about this yet but speculations are rife that this may be code named “Project Aura” and it may be developed as an advanced version of Google Glass that currently features only flat images. To work this out, Google has already expanded its team via new acquisitions and this has set the other technology biggies burning the midnight oil to enter into competition and produce solutions that are equivalent to this.

While the entire news is presently just that ‘news’ – neither has Google confirmed anything on this yet nor has it announced anything about the patent. This has left the fans speculating about how the wearable device would actually look like and if it would be an advanced version of the Google Glass. The grant of a patent actually doesn’t guarantee that it will be developed; however, if it is done, it will surely be a treat for all fans who love their augmented reality-based wearable devices.

So, till we learn more about the holographic images on a wearable Google device, do share in your views on the same…

Here’s what to expect from the recently launched Google’s Android Pay

Google has recently launched its one-touch payment app, Android Pay, across 1 million locations in the United States. Users having Android-based devices with NFC (near-field communication) technology can use this app to pay for their purchases. With the release of Android Pay, Google enters into direct competition with Apple’s offering –Apple Pay.

At a quick glance, here’s what you get to enjoy with Android Pay:

  • Locations where you could shop using Android Pay include retailers such as Whole Foods, Walgreens, Macy’s, GameStop, Staples, etc.
  • It will support debit and credit card from MasterCard, Visa, Discover Financial Services, PNC, and American Express.
  • It will also store loyalty and gift cards on phones with Android software.
  • To keep the transactions secured, the service is supported by ‘tokenisation’ card-security service. This service helps prevent theft instances by replacing credit card details with random unidentifiable numbers at the time when a user attempts to make a purchase using this service.
  • This app will come pre-installed on NFC-enabled phones from carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile US.
  • Android Pay will work on phones that run Android 4.4 KitKat or above.
  • Users that are already using Google Wallet will soon receive an update that will morph the app into Android Pay, Google’s latest payment service.
  • Presently, this service is open for all tap-to-pay purchases in the physical stores mentioned above; Google is working on facilitating the service for all in-app purchases (Android apps) may be by the end of this year or early next year.

So, if you are planning to purchase an Android-based phone* anytime soon, you would probably get this app preinstalled on your phone. However, if you have recently bought one or don’t actually want to buy a new phone, you could still enjoy your NFC-powered shopping experience – simply download the service from Google Play!

*The Android Pay service will be available on phones that have specialized payment chips and the ones that are powered by the late

Come August 7 and Apple Watch will start retailing at 100 Best Buy Stores!

This is certainly the case of ‘the more, the merrier’…

Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport are soon going to be available on Best Buy, other than the Apple stores. So, if you’ve been waiting to adorn your wrist with this Apple product, you wouldn’t necessarily have to line up in front of the Apple stores to get it home on the day it releases. You could easily purchase it from one of the 100 Best Buy stores where it will retail from. You could also order for it online at the Best Buy web portal. This number is expected to reach 300 before the holiday season in the US begins. That will leave you with options aplenty to get your most-awaited for gadget, home.

Sharing this news, Jason Bonfig, senior category officer, Best Buy mentioned that “The Apple Watch is an important addition to an emerging product category, and we know our customers want it…” Besides the watch, you could also buy from a catalog of over 50 varieties of accessories including watch bands and stands.

Best Buy will be the first biggest retailer to sell this gadget in the US; second only after the Apple stores. So, the store is sure aiming to make it big for itself and offer consumers better and easier options to buy their Apple Watch version. It is noteworthy here that the gold-cased Apple Watch Edition will however not be retailed at Best Buy. If you plan to buy this super-expensive device, you will still have to visit an Apple Store.

Apple Chief Executive, Tim Cook reiterated on the Apple Watch sales stating that “Watch was available at only 680 locations globally as of the end of June, compared to about 220,000 locations for the iPhone.” He further shared that “We’re very bullish on the Watch being one of the key, top holiday gifts and want to have it in more places than we currently have it…” Thus it appears that Apple clearly wants you to pick this product as a top holiday gift for yourself or to present your loved one.

So, the countdown for August 7, the day when Apple Watch will be available for the consumers, begins here…

Stay organized and focused with these top 5 calendar apps

Do you always try to stay organized, but still miss the bus? Most of us maintain calendars, but struggle to keep up with the planned schedules, many a times due to the lack of a gentle reminder. Organizing and following your planned schedule should never be a burden. Power your life with these fantastic calendar apps that will help you keep a track of everything that is important with just a single click.

Google Calendar

This powerful calendar app from Google lets you create events, manage multiple calendars, and share them within your groups. You can easily view the calendar by day, week, or month. The “Quick Add” feature allows you to quickly add entries in your local style. The calendar can also be set to send SMS or e-mail alerts for upcoming calendar entries.

Pocket Informant

Pocket Informant is a cross-platform mobile application that has a fully integrated calendaring and GTD-based tasks solution for Android and iOS devices. With excellent categorization, alarms, and custom repeat options, Pocket Informant proves to be the best-in-class calendaring solution. However, it misses a lot of bells and whistles like calendar icons, widgets, and skins and themes.

Touch Calendar

See your entire calendar at a single glance without flipping between different calendar views. Touch Calendar works with Google Calendar or any other calendar that your phone supports. The app offers some really intuitive options to simplify your experience:

  • Double-tap or pinch-zoom option to zoom in
  • Tap  to see the details of any event
  • Tap-and-hold option to add a new event
  • Touch-based scroll to see even the minutest detail
  • Direct navigation to any day or date from the menu
  • Calendar search from the menu
  • Custom font size for easy access
  • Home screen widgets

Organizer To-Do

Get completely organized in 2013 with this easy-to-use and all-in-one companion for your iPhone. A complete personal planner for your everyday tasks, Organizer To-Do allows you to manage your busy life all at one place, without the need to switch between different apps. It offers unlimited grocery list, unlimited to-do list, and multi-view calendar for easy access. You can easily share your calendar with your friends and family by syncing it across different iOS devices.

CalAlarm

CalAlarm will never let you miss an appointment due to its unique snooze and repeat alarm function. This practical and user-friendly calendar displays your appointments and schedules in the form of list, day, week, and month and allows you to easily switch between different modes with just one tap. You can set multiple alerts per event and snooze overdue alerts with the time interval of your choice. CalAlarm comes with 25 different sound functions – customizable to meet your needs.

Have your own favorite calendar app? Let us know in the comments section below.

Create a perfect work-life balance in 2013 with dual-identity smartphones

Year 2013 will be a trending year for dual-identity smartphones that will give you the privilege of keeping your business life separate from your personal life. To meet the security challenges posed by BYOD (bring your own device) policies that more and more companies are adopting, a number of mobile giants are building newer smartphone software that will offer the ability to separate your personal and corporate data on the same device.

Pioneering with BlackBerry 10 handset in January 2013, the dual-identity smartphone technology will soon be rolled out by a number of other manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, and Motorola for their Android devices.

BlackBerry 10 smartphones, through ‘BlackBerry Balance’ technology, will allow you to easily connect to the world of information as well as stay close to your friends while easily switching between your personal and professional life. The new revolutionary technology will allow you to keep your work e-mails, contacts, and apps separate from your personal mails and contacts, thus combining the power of two handsets in a single device.

A swipe and tap is all that it will take to switch gears. A simple swipe down from anywhere on the home screen will let “Work” and “Personal” buttons appear on the display and a simple tap will allow you to switch from one profile to the other. The sole intention of this dual-identity smartphone technology is to help businesses secure their confidential data while letting employees use their personal handsets at work.

This new technology had created a lot of buzz in the technology world and if the latest smartphone surveys are to be believed, the dual-identity smartphones will have a widespread popularity, allowing users to protect their data not only from hackers, but also from their partners.

4G Mobile Service Launched in UK by EE

Outraging its rivals and with a promise of providing the fastest Internet speed to its customers, Everything Everywhere (EE) became the first company to launch its fourth-generation (4G) wireless services in UK. The new 4G network will be almost five times faster than the speed of the current 3G services. Billed as the biggest technology launch in UK, EE is all set to operate it the 4G services in 11 different cities, including Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Glasgow, and Manchester. However, it plans to offer its 4G services in five more cities by this year end.

Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Note, and devices from Nokia and Huawei will be among the first few to receive the new service. With this new service, EE, the company behind T-Mobile and Orange, will offer ultra-fast Internet access to its mobile phone users. So, with the new speed, activities like video calling, playing online games, and streaming videos and music on your mobile phones will be like a dream come true.

Ahead of its Tuesday launch, Marc Allera, the Chief Sales Officer of EE said, “4G is all about faster internet access on the go if you’re on smartphone or a tablet device. So using things like Facebook, Google maps. All that’s going to be five times faster and a much better experience when you are out and about.” He further said that the company plans to extend its services 2,000 square miles every month, with an aim to cover 98% of the country’s population by the end of 2014.

The prices for 4G data plans are quite diversified. EE sells out its monthly 500MB data plan for £36, 1GB for £41, 3GB for £46, 5GB for £51, and 8GB for £56. However, there are no plans for unlimited data download.

With this launch, EE is way ahead of its rivals O2 and Vodafone, who have scheduled to launch their 4G services in UK only by the next year.

Image credit: computing.co.uk

Follow your Gmail® e-mail’s path

You must be sending and receiving many mails in your Gmail account daily. But, have you ever given a thought what happens to your mail once you hit the ‘send’ button after composing the content and e-mail ID of the recipient? What route is taken by the mail to travel from your Gmail account to your recipient’s Gmail account across the country or around the globe?

Mini-site launched

In an effort to make you aware of the functioning of this digital miracle, Google Inc. has unveiled a new mini-site named ‘The Story of Send. With the help of graphics and animations, the mini-site will explain you what happens to your Gmail e-mail once it’s shooted from your end.

Image and content source: Story of Send

Fujitsu® to launch a device to track your pet’s activities

There is a good piece of news for those who love their pets. Information and communication technology provider Fujitsu is going to launch a device that can help pet owners track the activities of their pets. This device can help the owners prevent illnesses in their pets, it is important that their daily activities be monitored, as is the case for humans.

How the device will work

The special device can be attached to a pet’s collar to monitor his level of activity and other data. Starting in the second half of 2012, the company will begin offering a new cloud service to provide pet health management support using sensor data collected from the device.

Fujitsu will exhibit this new service at Fujitsu Forum 2012, which is scheduled to be held on May 17 and May 18 at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan.

Image by: Jason Hargrove via Flickr (CC)
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