Beats on all iPhones by March

November 21st, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

beatsbydrdrelogo Beats on all iPhones by MarchApple are planning on forcing more stuff onto your iPhone. A new iOS update in March will automatically install the Beats Music app to all iPhones.

Apple bought Beats back in May for $3 billion, and it looked like they’d lost interest in it when little was mentioned of it back when they launched the iPhone 6.

This follows Apple’s foisting of U2′s latest album into everyone’s iTunes and shoving iBooks in with the iOS 8 update.

The Beats streaming service will have two different subscription plans $9.99 (£6) per month or $99.99 (£67) per year.

This will no doubt ruffle feathers going up against Spotify, who do a monthly subscription, but not an annual one as yet.

Apparently Beats Music currently has around 110,000 subscribers, which looks set to sky-rocket should Apple’s evil plan work. Can we just ban all bloatware now?

Apple no longer offering free games on the App Store

November 20th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple logo Apple no longer offering free games on the App StoreBefore you get mad, don’t worry – Apple aren’t stopping free apps. Rather, they’ve changed the labelling system where games that have in-app purchases will no longer be referred to as ‘free’.

Apple have been under a fair amount of pressure from the European Union about these games, and of course, you’re never too far away from a horror story about some frustrated parents who has been landed with a surprisingly large mobile bill.

So now, Apple have decided to make it very clear that, when you’re downloading a game, there may well be things in it that cost you money.

The EU suggested a name change in September so consumers aren’t fooled into thinking the apps they’ve downloaded are completely free. Interestingly, Apple has no legal obligation to change the wording in the App Store, but have gone for it anyway.

Amazon, meanwhile, aren’t bothering and keeping things as they are, while Android has created an optional password lock for things with in-app purchases.

Still, it won’t be long until another furrowed brow appears in a newspaper because little Chloe has created a £2,000 bill playing The Simpsons: Tapped Out.

4G data bills will be cheaper eventually

November 20th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Ofcom logo w500 300x220 4G data bills will be cheaper eventually4G data bills should be lower, claims Ofcom.

Mobile user bills should be cheaper, now that the telecoms regulator has ruled that frequencies currently reserved for digital TV transmissions and wireless microphones should switch over to mobile broadband.

This freeing up of the spectrum should kick in around – oh – between 2020 and 2022. Ofcom reckon that network providers will be cutting their bills as a result of this increase in capacity.

A spokesperson parpled: “Millions of consumers could benefit from lower mobile tariffs than would otherwise be offered, because we expect a significant proportion of the network cost savings to be passed through to them,”

“Specifically, these include network cost savings from deploying fewer base stations and improvements in mobile performance in hard-to-serve locations.”

Ofcom also went on to say that TV viewers wouldn’t have another one of those nightmares of switchover, that happened when analogue signals were decommissioned.

It will, however,  be a problem for some of the communications equipment used by theatres, sports venues and music event organisers, who will now have to update their systems.

WhatsApp goes on lockdown!

November 19th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

whatsapp WhatsApp goes on lockdown!WhatsApp will now have encrypted messages from now, which is a boon for those who are concerned about personal privacy when chatting and sending photos of their junk to hook-ups. Of course, governments and spy-agencies won’t be at all happy about this, as they get jumpy and start shouting ‘TERRORISTS!’ as soon as anyone hides what they’re talking about.

WhatsApp said that this is the “largest deployment of end-to-end encryption ever.” What that means, in English, is that your messages are safe from people listening-in, unless of course, WhatsApp have a deal with someone where they’ll pass all that information on. Seeing as they’re owned by Facebook, you’d be daft to not indulge that in your thoughts.

Thus far, it’ll only work on Android and is limited to one-on-one text-only chats. So group chats and photos are not as locked down.

Whisper Systems – the company behind the software which is being used to encrypt your WhatsApp messages – have said: ”We have a ways to go until all mobile platforms are fully supported, but we are moving quickly towards a world where all WhatsApp users will get end-to-end encryption by default.”

It does look like chat-apps are all working toward utilising this kind of encryption, which is a headache for the NSA and GCHQ. In their eyes, the only people who should have encrypted messages are government officials and people like the FBI.

Hard cheese.

Christmas AdWatch: Samsung

November 19th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Samsung are entering the TV advertising arena this season with their first Christmas campaign!

The series of ads will showcase the company’s range of gadgets while soundtracked by the decidedly ponce and unfestive Ravel’s Bolero. Mercifully, it doesn’t involve this gawdawful rap.

The adverts entitled ‘All Wrapped Up Early’ and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ are already on Samsung’s YouTube channel. All Wrapped Up will be on TV tonight (19th Nov) during that I’m A Celebrity nonsense, and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ makes its TV debut next Monday.

Russell Taylor, vice president of corporate marketing at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland said: “Christmas provides the perfect platform for us to communicate with a large base of Samsung customers and will help to make the UK’s biggest tech brand also its most loved one.”

The Galaxy Note 4 takes centre stage in ‘All wrapped up early’ celebrating the brand’s flagship smartphone. ‘Christmas round ours’ showcases the whole Samsung range.

Will it persuade you to ask for a Samsung for Christmas? Didn’t think so.

Nokia release surprise tablet

November 19th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

nokia n1 300x199 Nokia release surprise tabletNokia have sprung a new Android-powered tablet onto the market.

This out-of-the-blue announcement now pits Nokia against Microsoft, who completed its takeover of Nokia’s mobiles ends in April.

The N1 tablet is due to go on sale in China at the start of 2015, and then presumably everywhere else.

However Nokia are not making the thing themselves, but instead have licensed the brand, design and software to a third party, the infamous Foxconn. If you’re buying one, make sure it hasn’t been water-damaged by worker’s tears.

Sebastian Nystrom, head of products at Nokia Technologies, said: “This is a great product for Nokia fans and everyone who has not found the right Android tablet yet,” when he announced the product at the Slush technology conference in Helsinki.

Earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled its first Lumia smartphone without the Nokia name, but reckoned it would still use the brand on less powerful feature phones, and apparently can do so for another ten years due to the terms of the takeover.

The N1 is a 7.9in (20.1cm) aluminium-framed tablet, and is powered by Google’s Android 5.0 operating system. It features an Intel Atom processor and has a Micro-USB slot. The planned retail price is $249 (£159).

But does it have Snake on it?

sex with glass Google Glass app lets you see how awful you look during sexAre you the kind of person who prefers to look at your own arse in the mirror while you’re having sex? Well, LIVE IN THE NOW as someone has come up with an app for Google Glass so you can check yourself out while on the job.

The app is called Glance which captures the viewpoint of your partner, you fantastically vain swine. Of course, this isn’t all about you. If you and your partner like filming yourself whilst knocking your uglies together, then you can both do a movie and play them back side-by-side.

Basically, you can now truly see what your partner has to put up with during your grunting sweatfests.

What happens is that you pop on your Google Glass(es) and say ominously: “Okay glass, it’s time.” The app will then stream the footage. For the full experience, you’ll need a pair of Google specs each. Amusingly, to stop the footage, you need to say “Okay glass, pull out.”

The creators said: “Glance let’s you see two different perspectives, seamlessly. It changes the way you experience something personal. Like sex. Having sex with Glance brings a completely new perspective.”

The inventors also said that they’re very concerned about you and your partner’s privacy and that they won’t host the videos anywhere and that you’ll be the only people to own a copy. Of course, if you store it on a cloud service, that could all go out the window. Either way, the app database won’t store anything and the footage will be on your phone only.

The next ‘Fappening’ is going to be interesting isn’t it?

broadband slow 319970 Stop fibbing about your broadband speeds say WhichWhich!!! have called on regulators to have a word with how broadband services are advertised.

At the moment, providers are allowed to use a ‘headline speed’ to advertise their services, but in reality only around 10% of their customers will actually get that. According to findings by Which!!!, a quarter of people would have selected another deal had they been better informed about what the actual speeds were.

To cover their backs, however, providers say various factors can affect the speed individual customers get.

According to Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which!!!, it’s not on: “Internet connection is now an essential part of modern life so it beggars belief that providers can sell people short by advertising speeds that only 10% of customers could receive,”

“We want advertising watchdogs to pull the plug on confusing adverts and ensure broadband providers show the speeds the majority of customers will actually get.”

Which!!! called on the advertising watchdogs, the Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap) and the Broadcasting Committee of Advertising Practice (Bcap), to review current guidelines, and now has started a campaign. Uncatchily entitled ‘Give us broadband speed guarantees‘, Which!!! are asking the public to sign up and to put pressure on those that lie.

Damn right.

death grim reaper dead Mans ashes taken to phone shop after company refuses to cancel contractWhen someone dies, it can be really tricky getting a company to believe you. And so, to T-Mobile, who consistently refused to believe a widow when she’d told them that her husband had passed away. The mobile company wouldn’t cancel his monthly contract, so she decided to prove a point.

She took his ashes into one of their stores.

Maria Raybould had been threatened with bailiffs by T-Mobile and told she had to pay a cancellation fee after her husband David died. As if she wasn’t dealing with enough. After showing T-Mobile a death certificate, funeral bills, she decided to show them an urn full of remains.

Still, T-Mobile weren’t having it and wanted some money from a woman who was clearly grieving.

She said: “I’ve been up to the shop with the death certificate, with a letter from the crematorium, the funeral bills – even his ashes. I took in everything I could. I lost it in the shop. I gave them 20 minutes to sort it out. I went outside and had a panic attack. When I went back in the girl told me she had spoken to the manager and they were going to stop the contract. Then I had another letter about the bailiffs.”

Mrs Raybould said that her son had got in touch with T-Mobile on the day after her husband’s death, trying to cancel the contract, but clearly, seeing a death certificate and everything else, it was all to no avail. Even after visiting with his ashes, she still received demands for bills and cancellation charges.

She added: ”How dare they put me and my sons through this after all we have been through already. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what we have gone through over the last few months. It was easier for us to bury him than sort this out.”

T-Mobile have now said sorry for all this, blaming it all on an automated process that cancels the balance, which meant that letters were still being sent out.

A spokesman said: “We apologise to Mrs Raybould for any distress caused at this difficult time. We can confirm that the account has been closed and the balance cleared.”

mobile phone 300x225 Now you can find out where the best mobile network coverage isAn app has been created which can indicate the strength of the mobile signal in a certain area.

OpenSignal have invented a heat map, which uses crowd-sourced data, showing 2G, 3G and 4G signal available to users throughout the UK on the major networks – Three, EE, Vodafone and O2.

It shows that – shock – the strongest signals are to be found around cities, where 4G speeds range from 12Mbps to 15Mbps, however the UK still has some catching up to do in a lot of areas.

The map also shows that EE has the best 4G coverage, encompassing 75% of the UK population over 300 towns and cities, and also offers the best overall performance.

However up in Scotland, Three offers the best 4G performance, and in Nothern Ireland Vodafone are the victors with their average download speed of 19.3Mbps

In Scotland, however, Three offers the best 4G performance, with an average download speed of 10.6Mbps and upload speed of 7.0Mbps; while in Northern Ireland, Vodafone has the best 4G performance with an average download speed of 19.3Mbps and upload speed of 9.9Mbps.

Jay Karsandas, digital manager at Mobiles.co.uk, who licensed the maps from OpenSignal, said: “Despite a slow start, the UK has made significant progress in the provision and speed of 4G. It is likely that the initially high price point of 4G dissuaded consumers from taking contracts that utilised the high-speed technology. With a range of flexible and competitive 4G plans on offer by major retailers, and a race to provide the most UK coverage, 4G will inevitably be the future of mobile connectivity.”

This comes after the report which OpenSignal had done with Which!!!, which showed that average speeds on 4G mobile networks had almost halved in the past year. Ironically, the slowdown is attributed to more and more 4G subscribers, but not enough 4G masts.

Fancy that!

Microsoft shows off its Lumia 535

November 12th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

The Lumia 535 has been unveiled by Microsoft. It’s the first Windows phone to have done away with the Nokia branding, and will cost a sprightly £90.

Let us enjoy ourselves some BRAND MESSAGING

Microsoft are calling the Lumia 535 a phone of ‘fives’ –  Bear with us – as in the budget device has a 5in 960×540 qHD screen, a 5MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, as Microsoft looks to offer a cheap alternative to the likes of the Lumia 735 and HTC Desire Eye.

Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for phones at Microsoft, said: “Lumia 535 comes with our ’5x5x5′ proposition”

“Innovation should be available to everyone, and we are doing this through the very best integrated Microsoft services free and out-of-the-box – a 5MP wide-angle front-facing camera and a spacious 5in qHD screen – all at an affordable price.”

The phone has a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor and 1GB RAM paired with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, as well as the Lumia Denim update.

There’s 8GB on it, which can expand up to 128GB via microSD, and a 1,905mAh battery which Microsoft promises will offer 13 hours of talk time.

Apple in lack of information lawsuit

November 12th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

sad apple logo Apple in lack of information lawsuitApple have had to be forced into taking a US federal lawsuit. The fruity giant is facing claims that they failed to inform customers about their messages possibly being blocked if they switched to an Android.

A class action lawsuit was brought against Apple in May by Californian Adrienne Moore, who alleged that Apple had interfered with her Verizon wireless contract which entitled her to text messages, and so now a US district judge has ordered that Apple must face Moore’s claim.

Disgruntled ex-iPhoners who flee to Androids, have often been unable to receive messages from other iPhone users. If a phone number is still registered to iMessage despite being on a Android phone, SMS messages from iPhone users are often sent to the deactivated iPhone rather than the new device.

Think of all the dirty/boring text messages being lost by people!

This comes a few days after Apple launched a new thing to allow users to deregister from iMessage. Users must either manually turn off the app on their iPhone, or request a confirmation code from the Apple website.

The Californian lady has argued however, that when she switched to a Galaxy S5, Apple hadn’t mentioned anything about how messages may be blocked. According to the court papers seen by Reuters, Apple argued that there was no law to protect customers who subjectively believed their tech hadn’t worked in the way they wanted.

So what have Apple said? Well: “Apple takes customer satisfaction extremely seriously, but the law does not provide a remedy when, as here, technology does not simply function as a plaintiff subjectively believes it should.”

US District Judge Lucy Koh has argued that a “Plaintiff does not have to allege an absolute right to receive every text message in order to allege that Apple’s intentional acts have caused an actual breach or disruption of the contractual relationship.”

Moore hasn’t laid out how she wishes to be compensated as yet.

iphone 6 300x150 Apple to ditch cheap parts because theyre ruining phonesApple are going to be ditching the cheaper flash storage components they have in their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices. Not because they charge a premium for a high-end product and think the innards should reflect that.

Rather, a number of iPhone owners have been complaining that their phones are crashing and becoming stuck in a boot loop.

You see, a lot of users have been complaining about their iPhones crashing regularly and apps failing to open and the aforementioned boot loops, which sees phones switching themselves on-and-off. There’s also been complaints that iPhones are showing blue and red screens-of-death.

Even staff at Apple stops have confessed to seeing a lot of customers bringing these problems to them, even though the company themselves haven’t made an official statement about it.

Here’s the techie bits for those who like to get under the hood of a phone: Apple are getting rid of the cheaper triple-cell NAND flash units in its 64GB and 128GB iPhones for multiple cell NAND flash, which is found in handsets with a smaller capacity.

Apple are going to release an update of the latest iOS to fix a load of issues, it is rumoured. We’ll keep our eye out for news on it. Until then, there’s a lot of frustrated iPhone owners out there.

Watch man cry in Apple shop for a refund

November 10th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

There’s nothing quite like a bit of schadenfreude on a Monday morning, taking great glee from someone else’s misery!

In this case, we’re laughing at a certain Mr Pham who went to a shop called Mobile Air in Singapore to buy his girlfriend an iPhone 6. He paid S$950 for a handset, however, he didn’t know he’d also signed up for an agreement which meant he had to pay an additional $1,500 for a one-year warranty for it.

Let this be a lesson to you all. Always read the t&cs.

Pham, after weeping and falling to his knees got $400 back, but was still down $550, which is around two months wages for the factory worker.

You’ve got two options, if you want to laugh at Mr Pham. You can either laugh at him for splashing out on an expensive iPhone while being on a small wage or, if you prefer, you can just laugh at him for crying on the floor and not battering the person who filmed him while he wailed.

We suppose you could feel sorry for him, but that wouldn’t be like you lot.

People hate sites that don’t work on mobiles

November 6th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

mobile apps People hate sites that dont work on mobilesTwo thirds of UK adults are literally tearing their hair out when they visit websites that aren’t optimised for mobile.

This is according to a new study from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and our old friends Kantar Media, who surveyed 2000 smartphone users, from the age of 16-70.

They reckon 69% of adults just throw their hands up in the air at such inconveniences

It found that over half (52%) of respondents had visited a non-mobile optimised site in the last month, with 69% of them describing the experience as “frustrating”.

The study shows that smartphones are quite the thing right now, as regards the online shopping solution, with 47% of people using them for researching products and services, and 50% making a purchase on a monthly basis.

TV was the biggest traditional media trigger for this behaviour, driving 43% of respondents to look up more information on either their smartphone or tablet after having seen it on TV, with newspapers being the old school method, with 28% and outdoor ads coming in at 25%.

IAB’s senior research manager Hannah Bewley said: “The fact that 59% of smartphone owners had been prompted by traditional media in the last four weeks to look for more information on products shows that mobile is the glue that holds other media together.

“The study emphasised the importance of optimising sites so that consumers are able to browse your site, research your product and transact on the move. With 73% not looking for an alternative device if they reach a non-optimised site, brands without a mobile strategy are risking losing customers.”

Maddening.