Features And Specs You Don’t Really Need In Gadgets

Much have changed since the early days of gadgets and personal tech devices. Now, a multitude of gadgets come with a wide variety of features and functions. Many are even more powerful than some desktop computers that are still being used in offices and schools. But are all of these added features and functions really adding palpable utility to users?

The following are some of the features and specs in gadgets that are arguably unnecessary or not being used. These features are present many of the gadgets dubbed as “most useless” by tech sites and blogs.

Excessive Camera Resolution

From the lowly VGA resolution of yesteryears, mobile phone cameras nowadays are equipped with sensors capable of capturing images at resolutions 12 megapixels or higher. There are even those that go higher than 20 MP and some packing 41 MP. Back in 2015, the possibility of smartphones equipped with 52 MP sensors also emerged, as one company called Light was expected to introduce a camera module with an array of lenses and sensors. But is it really necessary to have these much megapixels in mobile cameras? Arguably, many will say “no.” After all, more megapixels don’t always translate to better image quality and require more image processing power and time. Apple’s refusal to go higher than 12 MP and Samsung’s decision to go back to 12 MP for its flagship smartphone should be hint enough.

Ultra Fast LTE Radio

Would you buy a device advertised as the fastest 4G LTE smartphone? It would be wise not to make the fast LTE speed feature a major factor in your decision making. Back in 2013, Huawei released a smartphone dubbed as the “fastest smartphone in the world” because it packed an LTE radio capable of handling LTE speeds of up to 150 Mbps. While only a few internet providers can serve up to 100 Mbps, most of them are still unable to match up. Some may say that this is good for “future proofing” but it’s worth pointing out that smartphones tend to become “old” or relatively outdated around a couple of years later. The ability to handle internet connections with extreme speeds is not something many consumers need and

Extremely High Mobile Display Resolutions

Seriously, who needs a smartphone with a 4K display? While it is true that higher resolutions on mobile phones can be advantageous when using these devices as virtual reality displays, going 4K can safely be considered an overkill. Past the 2K or even the 1080p mark, higher mobile display resolutions don’t noticeably translate to sharper images. Usually, what they end up bringing to a device are faster battery drain and greater demand on the processor and video card. They also mean higher prices. The advantage they offer are superficial at best, which is usually in the form of bragging rights.

Touch Screens on Refrigerators

These are essentially tablets embedded on the door of refrigerators. Whose idea was this? That “inventor” must have really run out of good ideas. Why would there be a need to put a touch display on a refrigerator? To monitor the supplies stored and send alerts when the need to restock arises? To make it easier to control the temperature? Arguably, making refrigerators “smart” this way does not make a lot of sense and is unlikely to produce a hit. Add to this the fact that refrigerators last 10 years or more, so by around halfway its useful life, it’s likely that the software on the touch display (essentially the integrated tablet) has already become obsolete. Manufacturers most likely already realize the drawbacks but they’re perhaps just trying out many things to see which one sticks to the evolving wants and needs of consumers. Also, it’s undeniable that they also want to earn the distinction of being the first to offer the idea or they may also be playing catch up with other manufacturers, fearing that others may make a hit out of such a ridiculous idea and they will be left out.

Curved Displays

They are on TVs and also on smartphones. Do they offer any real advantage, though? Theoretically, curved displays supposedly provide a more immersive viewing experience and are purportedly more comfortable for the eyes. They also supposedly reduce glare. Additionally, they look new so they can somehow excite buyers. However, it can be argued that they don’t really offer practical advantages all in all. To get the optimum viewing experience or the so-called immersive experience, you have to be fixed in one position. If you view a TV with a curved display from the sides, the image will look distorted. As such, curved displays are far from ideal for the enjoyment of multiple viewers. The same goes for curved displays on smartphones and computers. They are generally unnecessary. It can even be said that they have just been introduced in the market for the lack of something new to offer or simply because manufacturers just want to brag that they already have the technology to manufacture these curved displays.

Instead of bumping up specs and introducing new technologies to achieve the things discussed above, it would be better for manufacturers to improve on other more worthwhile things like improving the capacity of the batteries or using gloss-free glass for displays. This is not to say, though, that the things mentioned above are totally unnecessary. They may eventually become useful and necessary but for now, what’s quite clear is that not many gadget owners use or take advantage of them.

Could Implanted Smartphones Be A Reality In Future

Came across this interesting infographic highlighting the history of smartphones along with a brief on what the future could probably hold for the smartphones. It seems pretty reasonable to assume the smartphone sales to exceed that of personal computers in the near future. But what is the next level of technological innovation that could happen with the smartphones? Could we be wearing them one day as a fashion accessory? Better, could we be implanting them to offer more seamless augmented reality? You never know. Check out the infographic below and tell in the comments what you think of the possibilities.

iPhone 5 Launch In July 2012?

It was originally pencilled in for the second half of 2012, but could we see the next incarnation of the iPhone as early as July?

The iPhone 5, or the “new iPhone” as it might be known, could be announced during the summer and the latest rumour surrounding the Apple device is that it could have a new kind of casing known as ultrasonic bonding. Apple has made a patent application that is dated 15 March. It makes a refinement to an older patent that dates from 2008 of the use of Ultrasonic bonding that can be seen on iPods and the metal back of the iPhone. The bonding allows designers to work with both metal and plastic. It makes devices lighter which also staying strong. The alternative is a metallic weld. Apple devotees will say ultrasonic bonding makes the device more attractive.

News of bonding is not the only report to fire up the rumour mill around the iPhone 5. More important for US users rather than UK ones but with the introduction of LTE connectivity on the new iPad, the same could well extend to the iPhone 5. Much like the reports for the new Samsung Galaxy S3 which is also expected to be unveiled later this year, the iPhone 5 could also have an edge to edge display. One of the strongest features of the iPhone 4S is that touchscreen and the resolution. The iPhone 5 would need to outstrip that and the rumour is it will have a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution with a 367ppi. Under the bonnet reports suggest the iPhone 5 could have an A6 processor and potentially a quad–core processor.

A major focus of the iPhone 4S was to improve the camera on the device. As more and more Android devices come with an 8 megapixel offer the iPhone will certainly have that or even more. Some reports have suggested a 3D camera is in the works. Another Apple patent has featured a self-timer meaning iPhone users could set a timer, set-up the camera and then snap the picture with the photographer themselves in the photo, which would be a massive draw. It’s likely the device will have NFC as contactless connection and payment is the next big thing on the cards for the mobile industry. Although Apple have no confirmed when they will launch the new iPhone deals, the recent reports suggest that we might not have that long to wait.

Whatever is on the cards for the iPhone 5 one thing is certain, it’s going to generate huge amounts of enthusiasm and excitement. If past Apple paths are to be followed then the device will have a fresh iPhone design and a new style of bonding perhaps making it look more like the iPod in terms of finish could be heading our way. The device will almost certainly be quicker with even faster processing speeds as Apple focusses on its iPad and iPhone and their increasing ability to work in tandem.

What’s Next On Siri – Take Commands Over Phone Calls

Siri, your “humble personal assistant” could be doing a lot many more things very soon. A patent application made public today by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has revealed a newer version of the Nuance software that would enable the voice recognition software to record and interpret data provided to it over phone calls. The application has been filed by Nuance Communications – the company that powers the voice recognition technology on Siri.

In the patent application titled, “HANDS FREE CONTACT DATABASE INFORMATION ENTRY AT A COMMUNICATION DEVICE“, Nuance has described a new program that would initiate a recording system to store an ongoing conversation between the user and another person over a phone call and then translate this conversation into text and ultimately be able to interpret contact details like Name and Phone numbers that can be saved into the user’s phone book.

“In one embodiment, a recording system at a communication device detects a user initiation to record. Responsive to detecting the user initiation to record, the recording system records the ongoing conversation supported between the communication device and a second remote communication device. The recording system converts the recording of the conversation into text. Next, the recording system extracts contact information from the text. Then, the recording system stores the extracted contact information in an entry of the contact database, such that contact information is added to the contact database of the communication device without manual entry of the contact information by the user.”

Siri to take commands over phone calls?

The patent application points out that one of the important uses of such an utility would be while the user is driving and would hence not be able to note down details provided over the call. It is however interesting to note that the patent application is to a large extent specific about interpreting and storing “contact details” over the phone and not generic about taking all other sorts of commands. We will need to monitor future filings by Nuance to see the direction this exciting voice recognition technology is headed to.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Color Owners Primarily Women

When Barnes & Noble launched the NOOK Color, not many actually expected the device to be anything more than an also-ran. With more sophisticated devices like Samsung Galaxy Tab vying to be the iPad killer, the NOOK Color was just a NOOK with tablet benefits. But a recent snippet revealed by a company executive shows the NOOK Color does have something unique to itself that is not the case with any of the other tablets in the market. Click on the arrows on the top of this page to read on.

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List Of Smartphones With Best Mobile Internet Experience

With the smartphone continuing to evolve into a fantastic way to access the mobile internet, we’ve picked out three of the best handsets to help you enjoy that mobile broadband experience to the full. We’ve chosen one of each from three different manufacturers and using three different operating systems – Windows Mobile didn’t quite make the cut this time, but if you’re really after the Microsoft experience we suggest you check out the HTC HD7.

Samsung Galaxy SII

In our opinion, this is simply the loveliest smartphone on the market. Beautifully utilising version 2.3 of the popular Android operating system from Google, it has power, style and a beautiful touchscreen. For a mobile weighing just 116g and being a super-slim 8.5mm thick, under the bonnet is a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor, eight-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM and up to 32GB of built-in storage.

And what a bonnet: a 4.3-inch super AMOLED Plus 480×800 pixel capacitive gorilla glass touchscreen. When you add on all the Google goodies and the plethora of apps in the Android Market, you owe it to yourself to give this a try.

Apple iPhone 4

No list would be complete without the world’s most popular smartphone, the iPhone 4. While it may not be the best in terms of phone technology (calling, reception etc), the stylish looks, crisp screen and awesome apple App Store make it a genuine contender. But it’s no slouch either. Under the 3.5-inch 640×960 pixel capacitive TFT touchscreen resides a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, five-megapixel camera, 512MB of RAM and up to 32GB of built-in capacity for saving your files.

But what really sells the iPhone is the market leading user interface and app selection, making the iPhone 4 the leader in ease of use, social networking, gaming and general all around fun for phone and broadband combined.

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

Not everyone can simply afford to play on their mobile – some of us have to work too! For many of us, the BlackBerry is still king – and they don’t come more royal than the Bold touch 9900. It’s an impressive piece of hardware, with full QWERTY keyboard and 2.8-inch capacitive TFT touchscreen hiding 8GB of internal storage and 768MB or RAM. It is powered by a 1.2GHz processor, while there’s also a five-megapixel camera on board. But most important of all, all the things that make a blackberry sing are here in abundance. Sure, blackberry world doesn’t compete on apps, but when it comes to email, security, document manipulation and general messaging, BlackBerry is still impossible to beat – and Bold is best.

PS3 Jailbreakers Being Banned by Sony

Sony is cracking a strong whip on hackers. Hackers will be banned for lifetime from entering Sony’s online networks. A note was posted on Sony’s official blog which reads-

Violation of the system software license agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system.” Also, Sony has advised its PS3 users not to use pirated versions of the games as this would lead to a breach of copyright and can expel the users systems from entering into Sony’s online networks. Sony has also asked its users to immediately stop using any circumvented devices and softwares on their PS3 consoles.

Sony has not yet announced from which date this new policy would come into effect, but emails have been sent to PS3 users by Sony. One blogger has also mentioned that if one gets an “error 0x8002A227“, it means the PS3 console has been banned on the PSN.

Does Sony Have Plans For A Tablet Too?

Every known company has plunged into the tablet business and is trying to cash in on the new rage. If there was one giant who never spoke of doing a tablet, it was Sony. But, according to Engadget, Sony has a tablet in the making or it at least has plans for a tablet. Though a late entrant into the arena, Sony has the capability to attract everyone’s attention. Sony’s tablet has been codenamed S1 and like most other tablet will run on Honeycomb. The design of S1 is going to be a wrap style one allowing the users to prop their device at comfortable angles. The screen will measure 9.4″ and the will possess a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. The processor used would be the Nvidia Tegra 2 and the device will be either 3G based or Wi-Fi based.

The best part about the tablet is that it’s been certified by Playstation, so gamers are in for a treat.

Streak 10 To Use Honeycomb

The tablet from Dell, Streak which was first previewed at the Consumer Electronic Show in January is going to use Google’s Android 3.0 or Honeycomb. The use of Android 3.0 was confirmed this week at the quarterly fiscal meeting this week and Dell has also confirmed that the 10 inch tablet would be called Dell Streak 10. Although, Dell did not reveal the availability date of the tablet, except that the Streak 10 is due some time this year. While rumors are abuzz that Streak 10 is due in April.

Another interesting fact is that the Streak 10 would also have a Windows 7 edition and the users would get to choose between the Android and Windows 7 versions. The Windows 7 version of the Streak 10 are also due this year, but no exact date is not yet known.

Well! 2011 is flooded with all sorts of tablets. Users could be spoilt for choice.

Android Steals The Show At MWC

The absence of Apple at the Mobile World Congress has definitely given Google’s Android the definite edge over its competitors at the show in Barcelona this year. With the MWC for this year coming to a close today, everyone who’s been at the event has only one thing to say – Android is brilliant. With Nokia disbanding its own phone OS Symbian and partnering with Microsoft for Windows based Nokia phones, they did not have anything to offer this year. Almost every phone, be it the Motorola Xoom or the Samsung Galaxy S or the Sony Xperia Play smartphones or the Samsung’s second generation tablet or LG Slate, everything has been Android. There was Blackberry Playbook that was not running on Android but spoke of including Android apps and HP’s Tablet – TouchBook that did not use Android but WebOS.

So, this MWC belonged to Android completely.