Posts Tagged ‘Wi-Fi’

The iPhone 5S and 5C are out today for general consumption….what do we think? So we have all had time now to have a play around with iOS7 and maybe even some of you are used to the new Window-esque colour scheme and font.

The Tech Spy has been testing this for just over a month now and we have to say that it is not bad at all. OK, some things are a little hard to get used to (Swiping left to delete in mail) but this is due to the fact the old style had almost become second nature to us and this is what Apple do best….making products an extension of ourselves.

One of the first things we thought about after using it and have had several people comment on the same situation, is will Apple allow a back to “Classic View” button which will take the iOS7 haters back to the old themes. Although we think this is not a bad idea, this really isn’t Apple’s style and feel they will not introduce this.

Leaving this aside, one of the features which really hasn’t received that much press and really must be annoying the carriers is the new FaceTime Audio feature. Think FaceTime, but without the Face!

Basically, this works as a VOIP service and goes over Apple’s servers and feels just like a normal call. You will need to be calling from an Apple device with iOS7 and the person receiving the call must also have it loaded. Over WiFi the sound is brilliant and much better than a normal phone call….oh and best of all….it’s free! So we are talking Skype-type calling from your iPhone to anyone else in the world with an iPhone/iPad for free.

When you go into the contact (shown in image below) you are wanting to call, under FaceTime you will see a little phone icon which shows that contact has loaded the new iOS and is able to accept this type of call.

Give it a try, we think this is a great feature which has gone a little under the radar….Let us know what you think.

Facetime_iOS7_pressimage

 

With the advancement in the smartphone industry, we are quite rapidly seeing the quality of pictures from our phones getting rather close to our point and shoots. With sharper images, high res displays and millions of pixels being packed into a device that basically is a computer, why would you want to carry anything else.

As we have seen, the demise of the SatNav market due to GPS becoming a strong feature in pretty much every phone, will we see the likes of Canon and Nikon having to collaborate with firms like HTC, Apple and Samsung as the navigation industry has had to do?

Personally, I think photography has a few more strings to its bow than this and will survive the onslaught, but they will have to change strategy to ensure profits stay alive and the industry continues to flourish.

Canon have already started to bridge this gap. Today we see the launch of the PowerShot N, which brings this company closer to the mobile industry.

The metal bodied camera is compact as you can see and features a 12.1 MP CMOS sensor, Full HD movies recording on a micro SD, 16 x zoom, 28mm lens and a 7.1 cm touch screen to see your images.

PowerShot N

The gap is bridged in a number of ways. Firstly we see the inclusion of Creative Shot, the creation of 6 images from the original shot to satisfy the Instagram generation. The camera still includes the normal scene modes to aid shooting.

PowerShot N 2

Secondly it’s all about connections. Along with USB, we have WiFi which works to connect to the internet and Via a dedicated Facebook button, publishes your photos direct to your profile. Obviously this relies on the fact that you can get a connection as no 3G/4G chips are included. You can tag your shots automatically via its GPS feature to track where you are taking your photos around the world.

To make this more familiar to the mobile generation, Canon have thrown in the whole zoom and shoot feature which most people are used to and of course the “any way up” feature which allows you to operate the camera at any angle. Angles of photos are taken care of as the display is a tilt-up screen which I have to say works very well when taking some photos.

This is a very nice camera and is aimed at a particular group of people, but I think more importantly we see here how the industry is having to adapt to an ever changing future to survive. But the problem is, at £270 I don’t think this group will carry this along with their phone…..sorry Canon, back to the drawing board.

PowerShot-N 3

 

 

 

 

 

So, it has been a while since the 60D was announced, nearly 3 years to be exact, which is a long time for an upgrade in an industry that releases more derivatives of DSLR’s than BMW do with the Mini brand.

Like the 60D, this camera is aimed at the enthusiast looking to take photography that little bit more seriously. The camera pretty much looks the same, keeping the camera looking very traditional which most photographers like. The camera has been upgraded to a 20.2mp APS-C sensor from the 60D’s 18mp and will work with “most” EF lenses (officially Cannon have stated 103 of the 156 out there).

One of my favourite upgrades to this camera is the presence of a touch-sensitive display which with owning the 60D I missed, but do not worry, all the dials and buttons are still present. Canon have allowed features like touch focus to take full use of the new display and bring the camera bang-up to date. In video mode, a new sensor based auto focus is used to make focusing faster.

The 70D has taken a leaf out of the impeccable 7D’s book by including 19 cross-type AF points which steps up this camera to the next level. Along with this, Canon has included WiFi connectivity. This enables you to transfer images between cameras, computer or to a smartphone/tablet wirelessly. You can also use this to control the camera using the iOS app downloadable on the app store.

Images are processed by the DIGIC 5 engine like the 5D mk3, which allows shooting of 7fps for up to 65 frames in JPEG meaning fast paced photography will be a breeze.

This camera represents a reputable upgrade from the 60D and for the first time we have a real reason to go for it as this in my opinion will be come a class leader in its group. The camera is set to be launched at the end of August and will be priced at £1079/$1199 body only.

Canon 70D

 

 

 

Today Pioneer announced the BDP-160, a new way to use a Blu-ray unit as the centre of your media system.

The player, first and foremost, plays DVD, CD & Full HD Blu-ray movies with 3D thrown in for good measure. Where it gets a little smarter is the way it has gelled together other standards while still looking like our good ol’ friend the Blu-ray player.

The BDP-160 has inbuilt WiFi to help take care of the network features but can be easily connected up via Ethernet for a more trust-worthy connection. The connection will be used to stream content which can be obtained from your PC or NAS on the same network using the popular DLNA 1.5 standard. Pioneer have decided to also go with the WiFi Direct feature to stream content from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or even Android device direct onto your screen which I think is great to see in a product like this and has even allowed the YouTube “Send to my TV” function.

A USB slot on the front and back panel allows you to connect a USB hard drive which can handle formats like FLV, MPEG, AVI, WMA, FLAC2, MKV, MP3 and DivX to cover pretty much all users needs.

Pioneer also have some cool apps for Android and iOS, which have been included on this device, so you are able to control the unit via your smartphone as the remote control. iControlAV can be used by 4 people at the same time and will happily stream music direct to the device, so you could hook this up to your big speakers and have an alternative to a Sonos system.

If you fancy a bit of this, you can pick it up for a very pleasing £129.99 from July in the UK.

Pioneer_BDP-160

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK radio specialist Pure have today unveiled its latest model, the Evoke F4 internet radio.

While its exterior looks like a retro radio, its interior has nothing retro about it. This cheeky little box offers radio via WiFi from DAB, internet and normal FM sources and can also be used along side Pure’s very own Jongo system.It also includes Bluetooth and a “Tag” button which can automatically pull up track information on a song playing on the radio.

Pure are really considering those trying to build a multi-room system by allowing you to construct the system slowly without the need of buying a costly whole system package. This unit will work as a standalone digital radio or as part of the Jongo set up which includes speakers like its Sonos competition.

The Evoke F4 is constructed with a real wood case and has an OLED screen to show all station information and weighs in just under 1.5kg giving it a nice retro well made feel.

The F4 allows you to record internet and DAB radio direct to a USB flash drive to listen to later and of course gives you access to all on-demand podcasts and programs.

The Pure Evoke F4 has one 7W 3.5″ speaker and has an optional battery pack that will keep you going for a continuous  12 hours wireless use. The F4 goes on sale today for £179.99 with optional Pure music subscriptions starting at £4.99 a month.

Pure-Evoke-F4

 

 

 

 

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to get to play around with a very neat Nikon Coolpix camera which really is waging war on your smart phone for the real estate in your pocket.

The Coolpix S01 is an ultra compact, ultra light, 10.1mp camera which is no bigger than the credit card in your wallet. It’s just under an inch thick, but could easily sit in your pocket, keys or handbag with no issues at all as it weighs 96g!

As soon as you put your fingers on the camera, you immediately come in contact with the coated stainless steel body which will shield it from scratches and makes it feel expensive. It has a 2.5″ touch screen display which I would say is one of the down sides of the camera, as it is a little bit on the small side. Quite strangely, this camera includes no removable storage or battery so it has 7gb of internal storage to make up for it.

You can expect the usual filter effects which we have all come to desire from cameras and smartphones nowadays, which include miniature, fish eye and toy camera effects. The camera does include 720p video recording, which I have to say I wasn’t bowled over by.

This camera, from what I can see is aimed at being in your bag/handbag or pocket for those quick split second shots that we all miss, but I can’t see someone spending £100 on this when you can get nearly the same quality shots from your Android or Apple device. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool little camera that maybe people could take out with them when on a night out as its flash is far superior to any smart phone out there, but in any other situation I can only see our smartphones being more favourable as it wins with 3g and WiFi connectivity.

Cute little camera for a real niche market.

Nikon-Coolpix-S01

 

 

 

We have all been there, smart phone running out of power while out and about, frantically trying to conserve power by turning off WiFi, 3g and dimming the screen (iPhone users), but worry not, help is at hand!

Over at Kickstarter, a project by a company called Limeade has been doing very well and is already well over pledged which pretty much guarantees this going ahead. The product is an Ultra-high capacity portable battery which comes in three models (13,000,15,600 & 18,000mAh). All have dual USB ports to simultaneously charge two devices, indicator LED’s to show the level of charge left, auto on and auto off which will preserve the charge of the battery and an added lovely flashlight.

This is not the first portable external battery on the market, as recently Kickstarter has seen a number of products do very well in this sector. The most recent was from a husband and wife team who brought the Expedition to market which is very close to delivery. The unique thing about the Limeade Blast is firstly the fact it comes in an 18,000mAh model, which is a serious sized retail battery. Along with that, it has 2 x 2A outputs which will charge most devices very quickly including a tablet and smart phone at the same time using your own USB cables or the 2in1 cable supplied.

The company claim that the 18,000mAh model will fully power up an iPhone 5 twelve times before needing a recharge and the battery pack will last up to a year retaining charge. It can be charged via any USB cable and this particular model weighs in at a light 13 ounces which won’t weigh any bag down.

The company have promised to start delivering this product in June 2013 with a starting price of $49 for the 13,000mAh model. The top 18,000mAh model which takes over 11 hours to fully charge comes at a price of $89 on an early bird deal with a hefty $25 shipping charge to the UK.

Limeade