There has been something of an App War in the UK. The App Store versus the Android Market, Windows Phone Marketplace. Each is turning to developers to offer more choice for consumers. As smartphones get faster, allowing a quicker transfer of data, integrating Augmented Reality along with fancy graphics we have developed a habit for downloading games, information or apps just to make our lives easier or just a little bit more fun. But how much do we really love our Apps?
New research suggests while we might rush to download the latest app and play with it for a few days, in fact our love runs cold quickly. The research focussed on users in the US. It showed that 68% of smartphone users only open five or fewer apps a week. 17% don’t use any apps and under half, 42% of Americans have a device that has apps.
They are, the researchers say, merely a novelty that wears off. We delete apps we get bored with, we stop using them and if you use an operating system that shows up the apps you use most frequently, you can scroll through the screens to show the ones that have fallen out of favour. The estimate is that around 80% of apps are eventually deleted, which is why the researchers of this report say measuring downloads of apps is a bad way to measure how popular they might actually be.
The importance for apps to smartphone launches has grown as it is a good way of showcasing a devices capability. Both EA and Gameloft released new apps and games to coincide with the iPhone 4S. Siri was an app itself originally, and the developers were taken over by Apple. But while there is big demand at the launch, users tend to whittle down the apps they use regularly, until there are just a core few they use. The Nokia Lumia 800, the first to use Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, made app integration even easier by adopting social networking platform friendliness, allowing users to see Twitter and Facebook updates as though they were messages. BBM, or Blackberry Messenger is much the same, a feature that has become so integrated into device practice that it is a social networking platform in its own right.
For app developers though, it is not great news. Apps do not make firms a huge amount of money, no matter how much of a push they might get on the AppStore. One UK based developer created a wide range of apps but still saw that arm of their business operate at a loss. A good profile raiser, but not a sound business model.
But is it so bad that we use and lose apps? One of the best things about our smartphones is the ability to mould them and personalise them. Keeping it fresh with new apps makes it easier for us to explore new games and new places. We might get excited about a tourism app while in a new city, but never use it again when we get home, but instead of seeing apps as a long term download, should we just see them as a short term fancy, a fling rather than a marriage? With so many millions of apps to choose from it would be impossible for anyone who sample even half over the course of a smartphone’s lifetime. More choice makes it easier for us to pick and choose, as difficult as that may before developers who want us to keep hold of them forever.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, has had a phenomenal few years. It is by far the world’s most popular online encyclopedia. Protecting an online profile is vital to any website such as Wikipedia, because its loyal fan base may abandon it in droves if it is seen to make any major mistakes, either with its content or its technology.
Most of the bad press Wikipedia has received has been on account of the negative perception of its ‘freely sourced’ content, and the fact that anybody can add or edit articles, with only the most basic monitoring of uploaded content in operation. Editing poor content on Wikipedia is largely the job of its large online community, many members of which spend their days trawling its content to find errors, and correcting them. The bias of some articles has led to some negative media coverage and criticism of Wikipedia, with some claiming the structure of Wikipedia allows some subjects to be biased to the extent of being inaccurate, or not accurately or comprehensively sourcing information and images. In light of this, many colleges and universities have banned the use of Wikipedia in any academic function except casual reading.
Freedom of Knowledge
Nonetheless, Wikipedia generally has good press at is is seen as being part of a movement to ‘democratize’ information, making it free and available to all. Wikipedia recently came out in ardent opposition to recent American anti – piracy laws, and effected a ‘blackout’ of its English pages for a 24 hour period. Many came out in support of Wikipedia’s ‘blackout’ strategy. Wikipedia’s growth over the years can be best shown in the form of statistics and graphs:
Current article count (English): 3,860,798+
Estimated number of words (English): 2,100,000,000+
This graph shows the general increase in the number of articles on the English Wikipedia over the years 2001 – ’12.
This is a visual representation of Wikipedia’s size, if its english articles were compiled into a physical collection. The size of this collection would, by now, be far too big for anybody to read in a lifetime.
Like every other smartphone OS, Windows Phone 7 needs a little bit of learning and unlearning too. If you are a new user to Windows Phone, then these topics will help you with several simple tasks that you may take a little time figuring out. This is the first in the series of many topics.
Microsoft may have been a late entrant to the Smartphone segment (not considering the popular but old fashioned Windows Mobile here) but it does look like Redmond is doing a lot of things right so far. The Windows Phone UI and functionalities are extremely slick and despite the relatively few apps available on the Windows Phone marketplace compared to the iOS AppStore or Android Market, a lot of people have started to check out their smartphones. Today, Windows Phone enjoys an encouraging, but not so great 1.9% market share. But that could apparently change in the next few years thanks to the Lumia series of phones from Nokia that run on the Windows Phone platform.
According to the latest report from IHS iSuppli, Microsoft Windows Phone could beat Apple’s iOS in market share as early as 2015. In their report, IHS claim that 2012 could be the watershed year for Microsoft as their Windows Phone grows in popularity from a market share of sub 2% levels to as much as 9%. This is good not just for Microsoft but also Nokia that has seen its popularity fizzle in recent times to the iPhone and Android handsets.
Here is how the market share of the three big Smartphone players expected to move over the next three years.
2011 : 18.0%
2012 : 18.0%
2013 : 17.3%
2014 : 16.8%
2015 : 16.6%
2011 : 47.4%
2012 : 53.9%
2013 : 55.9%
2014 : 57.8%
2015 : 58.1%
2011 : 1.9%
2012 : 9.0%
2013 : 15.3%
2014 : 16.1%
2015 : 16.7%
The share of the rest of the Smartphone OSes is expected to fall from 32.7% in 2011 to just 8.6% in 2015. Is RIM going to be dead by then?
Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras are mostly used by professional photographers. They offer more sophisticated features than point and shoot digital cameras. DSLR is a dream for aspiring as well as amateur photographers. While some are not in a position to afford a DSLR many novice users find it hard to get going with their brand new DSLR cameras. If you have just bought a new DSLR and wondering how to start shooting with it then here are some simple tips to guide you.
When you start shooting with a brand new DSLR and find the pictures are getting blurred, switch to a fast shutter speed. Faster you take a photograph lesser is its chance of getting affected by shake of hand. If you can hold the camera close to your body you can minimize the chance of shaking. Lean against a tree or strong support when you are taking nature shots.
Go with manual
Your DSLR comes with a manual. Consult it whenever you are confused. Learn about different settings of your camera. Practice changing settings like shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Try them in different situations to get accustomed. You should know the settings like back of your hand. A photographic opportunity won’t wait or give you time to adjust your DSLR.
Try to shoot in manual mode as far as possible. Let different modes and programs be set aside for compact digital cameras. Now you are grown up! Manual and aperture priority are most powerful settings that you should explore and expertise.
Buy necessary accessories
If you are serious about photography then you need to buy some accessories for your DSLR camera. It is desirable to buy a UV filter for each lens. It not only improves picture quality but protect your valuable lenses from scratches. A sturdy tripod and remote release would be great for taking photographs that require long shutter speed like night photography. Make sure to buy a camera bag. Depending on the extent of your involvement, you may need separate bags for carrying the camera and lenses.
Learning is fun when you experiment with your device. While taking picture of a waterfall or running water try different shutter speeds and note down the changes. Similarly, while shooting a landscape explore different settings of aperture. You may be surprised to view the results.
Press the shutter button half way down to pre-focus before you take any final shot. This will stabilize the focus and give you a clearer picture. If you are anticipating any subject on a spot then pre focus on the spot by half pressing the shutter. When the anticipated view comes, press the shutter all way down.
As a beginner of DSLR camera it may be useful to shoot in RAW file format. A digital RAW file contains unprocessed RAW data that must be processed with special software in order to become a finished image. There is no loss of image quality in this format. While converting raw files to images, you can adjust the white balance. You can also preserve the image from RAW file as high quality 16 bit file (TIFF or PSD format).
DSLR cameras are very sensitive and costly. It is desirable to follow best practices and preserve the device for superior performance and long life of camera. If you are serious about photography and want to pursue it with passion then these tips may help you in get started with a DSLR camera.
Emily Steves is associated with various internet security related companies as their freelance and staff writer. She has been linked with some of the best web media companies and offers various ways for internet solutions. She excels in writing articles related to AT&T internet, internet security, internet plans, comcast deals etc
Just a short while after the launch of the RAZR Motorola has announced that two new Android phones are due to be released very soon. The Motoluxe and Defy Mini both run on Android Gingerbread. Neither phone is quite as cutting edge as the RAZR but they are nice additions to Motorola’s burgeoning Android range.
The Motoluxe is a large 4 inch touchscreen phone that will be ideal for web based features and Android apps. The phone runs on quite a slow 800MHz processor but is fairly well endowed in 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also has a pretty decent 8 megapixel camera and a VGA front facing camera.
While the specs may not be amazing the Motoluxe is certainly a stylish phone, and has a unique ‘lanyard slot’ at the bottom right of the screen that will light up when you have a missed call, new message or email. This is a bit like the light indicators that used to be included on the exterior of flip-phones, and it is a wonder why this useful feature has not been included on more touchscreen phones. The lanyard slot allows you to quickly check whether you need to read a new message or check a missed call without actually having to walk across the room to pick up your phone.
The Defy Mini is a smaller version of the earlier Defy released in 2010. The Defy was a rugged phone, a phone designed to withstand the worst that Mother Nature had to throw at it (as well as your own cack-handedness). Being able to endure high volumes of dust, being held under water for extended periods and shrugging off drops to the floor that would leave other phones weeping into a thousand pieces are just some of the reasons that rugged phones have become popular with mountain climbers, divers and fans of other outdoor pursuits.
Until the Defy though, these rugged phones were pretty basic. Probably more basic than a phone you had ten years ago, but Motorola showed it was possible to bring this durability to touchscreen smartphones. The Defy Mini is the same sort of thing, albeit quite a bit smaller, which probably makes it even more ideal for outdoor activities.
The Mini is a little bit slower than the original Defy and the camera isn’t quite as good, but it does come with a more modern version of Android (Gingerbread) and the same decent Wi-Fi and 3G connections. Most importantly though, for when you find yourself lost on a mountaintop somewhere, the Defy Mini has a far superior battery life compared to the original for talk time and standby.
Both phones will feature MotoSwitch, which evolved out of Motorola’s earlier MotoBlur system. MotoSwitch has adopted ideas used on Facebook that will display contacts and app icons more prominently on your phone the more you interact with them. So if you have one contact that you phone ten times a day and another that you sent a single message to 8 months ago, your regular contact will be easier to access from the phone’s homescreen.
The two phones are due to be released in the coming weeks in Europe, China and Latin America, although Motorola has not released any price details just yet. When these phones are finally released you will be able to get them in the UK from mobile phone comparison website Best Mobile Contracts.
Christmas is right around the corner, so now it’s the right time to pick out some holiday apps for your iPhone. Here are the Christmas apps I personally enjoy, and I hope you’ll also like them. Continue reading »
One of the biggest gripes I have about the headphones that come as part of my phone package is their inability to fit the contours of my ears perfectly. And that is one important aspect that the new NoiseHush NX80 stereo headphones fixes. This headphone – that comes with a gold-plated 3.5mm jack and a 3.9 feet tangle-free cable – claims to deliver music at a powerful bass while retaining the quality of the output sound. The headphone also comes with an easily accessible control button that will let you pick calls while listening to music quite easily. Other specs include an 8mm driver unit, regular frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz and a rated power range of 2mw to 10mw. Continue reading »
As Apple tackles complaints made against battery life for the new iPhone 4S, they could have another problem to solve – SIM Cards. And the two issues could be linked.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, when launching the iPhone 4S, placed a lot of emphasis on an improved battery to cope with the faster processing speed in the new device. A better phone, he claimed, did not mean a reduced battery life. Despite his assurances some users complained on Apple forums of the device’s battery running down in under a day. Others claimed the battery would drop while the phone was inert. Apple posted suggestions and tips online for reducing battery drainage, including switching off location services and data usage when without signal. Now Apple has promised an iOS update, iOS 5.0.1 will solve the issue. But the battery problem may have created another.
Some users have taken to forums suggesting when they have received their iOS update their smartphone no longer recognises their SIM card. One user wrote that they re-inserted the card to be met with a note reading “SIM Failure”, another “Invalid SIM”. Without a SIM card users are unable to make calls or send texts making their iPhone 4S largely useless. Others have reported on the Apple help forums that while the SIM appears to have been recognised they have not been able to connect calls or receive texts. Others have complained that after the iOS 5.0.1 update they have still had a battery issue and even found it difficult to connect to Wi-Fi.
For Apple, the on-going issue of battery life and user complaints will have uncomfortable memories of what the press and bloggers dubbed “Antenna-gate”. When the iPhone 4 launched users quickly spotted a design flaw. When held in the left hand to make a call the user covered a sensor which meant the signal dropped off, making it difficult to make and receive calls. It was, they claimed, the fault of the antenna which was in the wrong place. When designing the iPhone 4S Apple took this issue seriously and wanted no repeat of the same issue. Two antennae were fitted to the new device. Yet while one problem is solved, another crops up.
The new iOS 5 has been rolled out on all compatible devices but so far the issues with the update only seem to be affecting iPhone 4S users, some of whom claim they are going back to using their iPhone 4. Form responses claim re-starting the phone can solve the problem temporarily or restoring from iTunes. Others claim it works if they switch off the 3G network. But none of these are solutions with any real longevity.
The success of the iPhone 4S, its status as the fastest selling smartphone despite its not so cheap mobile phone deals, have made this a bumper quarter for Apple who must have been hoping this would close the door on the marred launch of the iPhone 4. However, while one iOS update does not appear to have solved the battery issues on the new device, another will have to be forthcoming before a second software issue affects another new smartphone launch. Apple has so far made no comment about the SIM problems reported.
The Windows Phone marketplace is still a small ecosystem with just around 40,000 apps available for download. Around 3000 new apps are being added on a daily basis with more than 1650 of them being free. While this may sound like a small number, the fact that rivals like Apple and Google have had close to 3 years of headstart over Microsoft is an indication that Microsoft may be catching up faster than one may have thought. In the United States, Windows Phone 7 devices already make up close to 5% of all smartphones. Do remember that this does not include the older Windows Mobile 6.5 version devices.
So, what are the most popular apps among this fledgling population of users. First up, the top 10 free apps on the Windows Phone marketplace
2. Adobe Reader
4. Free Music Downloader (by Fast Code)
5. Bubble Shoot (by Words Mobile)
6. Penguin (by Mike Newman)
7. Xbox LIVE Extras
9. Physi Bricks (by Stiq Joy LLC)
10. Funny Jump (by AE Mobile)
So what are the apps that are being purchased the most? Here are the top 10
1. $2.99 Angry Birds
2. $2.99 Burn the Rope
3. $2.99 Gravity Guy
4. $2.99 Implode!
5. $2.99 COLLAPSE
6. $2.99 Fruit Ninja
7. $4.99 Need for Speed Undercover
8. $4.99 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4 Episode 1
9. $2.99 Fight Game Rivals
10 $4.99 PvZ