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iOS 8 emojis for iPhone and iPad as you type

Posted by pakin On September - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Since the update yesterday iPhone and iPad users will now be able to take advantage of iOS 8 emojis, thanks to the release of the Keymoji: Emoji Autocomplete Keyboard app. Before you get too carried away, we would just like to inform you that this app requires iOS 8 and above.

This iOS 8 emojis is exclusive for the iPhone and iPad and is said to be the quickest and easiest way to include emojis to any message you send. The app is very simple to set up and will show up in any app that requires the use of a keyboard.

Some iOS users will love the idea that while they type emoji auto-completion will come up with suggestions of its own in real-time, which saves a whole load of time hunting through the library of emojis.

The community-sharing feature is rather cool because the definitions come from each user who has submitted them. The more a definition is used the more popular it becomes, which gives users a chance to have some fun.

Some of the main features are leaderboard scoring, access to the keyboard tutorial reset and keyboard settings under the “Account” tab, and you will also be pleased to know that this app does not collect any of your personal information or conversations.

Remember, the emojis for iPhone and iPad app will not work with iOS 7, only iOS 8.

Operators gear up for latest iPhone

Posted by pakin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are likely to be launched here in mid-October, while fierce rival Samsung will unveil its new Galaxy Note 4 earlier in the month.

The release of flagship high-end smartphones will continue to intensify local competition in the big-screen, premium-smartphone market, attracting existing users of the iPhone 4, 5S and Galaxy Note 1-3.

These launches are expected to boost the high-end smartphone market in the fourth quarter.

Based on US prices, the iPhone 6 with 16 gigabytes will cost about 25,500 baht, while the highest model iPhone 6 Plus with 128 GB will be about 40,000 baht.

All new series will initially be launched in nine countries worldwide on Sept 19 excluding Thailand.

One of the biggest mobile phone retailers in MBK Center offers pre-order bookings through the grey market with a mark-up of 5,000 to 6,000 baht on top of the standard retail price.

Apple Store Thailand immediately slashed prices of the iPhone 5S with 16 GB to 19,900 baht from 24,550 baht.

It also reduced the 32 GB model to 21,900 baht from 31,950 baht, while the iPhone 5C with 8 GB is now sold at 14,900 baht.

Local mobile operators have joined the chorus, offering mobile data bundle packages for the iPhone 5S.

Advanced Info Service Plc slashed the price of the iPhone 5S by 10,000 baht.

True Corporation dropped the price by up to 9,800 baht, with the iPhone 5S costing from 16,900 to 22,100 baht, depending on the model, while the iPhone 5C was reduced to only 9,000 baht.

Total Access Communication Plc offers the iPhone 5S with 16 GB at 16,900 to 18,900 baht, while prices of the iPhone 5S with 64 GB ranges from 22,900 to 24,900 baht.

Jarit Sidhu, senior market analyst at IDC Thailand, said the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would enable Apple to enter the big-screen smartphone market just like Android-based smartphones.

“Android-based smartphone makers now need to come up with new, unique features since the big-screen display is no longer a new differentiation to attract users,” he said.

This would increase the share of big-screen smartphones, those with displays larger than five inches, by almost 30% this year and 40% in 2015.

In the second half of this year, high-end smartphones are expected to account for 20% of the smartphone market, up from 14% in the first half, when demand was dampened by political unrest.

This year’s overall sales of smartphones are likely to reach 14 million handsets, of which 17% will be high-end smartphones.

Mr Jarit said the launch of the Apple Watch would also shake the wearable-device market, as it blended design with function.

Sitthichoke Nopchinabutr, vice-president of strategy, IT and mobile communications at Thai Samsung Electronics Co, said the move by its rival proved Samsung was a trendsetter for big-screen displays.

The company will finalise the price of its Galaxy Note 4 and date of availability next week, in preparation for the kick-off during Thailand Mobile Expo, which will run from Oct 2-5.

iPhone 6 Plus first impressions

Posted by pakin On September - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Since Samsung released its first phablet, the Galaxy Note, in 2011 big screen smartphones have become an increasingly common sight in the Android ecosystem.

Despite their popularity with Android users through, key competitor Apple, has traditionally shied away from releasing a 5in-plus iPhone, sticking to deceased founder Steve Jobs’ design philosophy that people didn’t want giant handsets.

However, this has all this changed after CEO Tim Cook took to the stage to unveil Apple’s first phablet, the 5.7in iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 Plus lives up to its name and looks like a blown up version of the iPhone 6. In our mind this is no bad thing. Featuring a rounded glass front that runs round its curved aluminium chassis’ sides, the iPhone 6 Plus’ and iPhone 6’s look great.

Additionally, despite being larger, the iPhone 6 Plus is surprisingly thin measuring in at a modest 7.1mm. This means despite being large it should still be reasonably comfortable to hold.

Packing a 5.5in 1920×1080 Retina HD display when it comes to resolution the iPhone 6 Plus is still on paper lagging behind its top end Android competitors. For example the LG G3 boasts an equivalently sized but much sharper 5.5in, 1440×2560, 534ppi True HD-IPS+ (in-plane switching) LCD capacitive touchscreen.

However, considering past Retina displays’ stellar colour balance and vibrancy levels we’re going to reserve judgement on the iPhone 6 Plus’ screen and wait till our full hands on review before giving our definitive verdict.

Operating system
Like its smaller sibling the iPhone 6 Plus runs using Apple’s iOS 8 operating system. However, keen to showcase the benefits of the iPhone 6’s largest display, Apple’s loaded with a few novel features designed to make it more pleasant to use in horizontal mode.

For example, the iPhone 6 Plus’ Messaging and Email apps have a special two tier horizontal user interface and separate keyboard with special keys for actions like cut and paste.

Past its additional horizontal services iOS 8 comes loaded with a number of useful features, many of which are aimed at the enterprise. Key additions on this front include improved password security, S/MIME features and VIP threads, and support for Microsoft Exchange out of office replies.

OS X Continuity is another useful feature debuted on iOS 8. Continuity is the latest stage in Apple’s ongoing work to converge its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems and offers users a variety of synchronisation features. One of the most useful of these is the ability to Airdrop files between the iOS and Mac OS devices.

iOS 8 also adds support for third party keyboards such as Swype, the ability to add widgets to the OS Notifications Center and a QuickType word prediction feature.

As a final bonus iOS also has HealthKit and HomeKit services. HealthKit is a health focused services designed to help users track their calorie intake and exercise routines. HomeKit is an internet of things focused service designed to let users control appliances using their iPhone 6.

Like the smaller iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus is powered by Apple’s new 64-bit A8 chip and reworked next generation M8 co-processor.

This is a big deal as the A8 is listed by Apple as offering 25 percent faster CPU performance and 50 percent faster graphics performance than the A7. If true this makes it 50 times more powerful than the first iPhone.

New generation M8 co-processor that can measure elevation and can tell when you’re cycling, walking, running – meaning fitness apps should perform better on it than on competing Android handsets or past iPhones. If there’s any truth to Apple’s claims then the iPhone 6 Plus should be one of the fastest on the market come its release.

NFC and Apple Pay
Near Field Communication (NFC) has been a key technology missing on past iPhones. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus fix this issue and come loaded with an NFC antenna. However, rather than just meaning users can get access to existing NFC services, like Visa’s payment service, or PayPal, Apple’s created its own Apple Pay platform.

Apple Pay is interesting as it has an API developers can use to directly integrate the Apple payment option into their into websites and apps. Having already scored key partnerships with Visa, Amex and Mastercard, Apple Pay users to make and take payments.

As an added assurance to security conscious iPhone users Apple’s also loaded the iPhone 6 Plus with a Secure Element chip and that stores all the user’s payment details locally – meaning prying intelligence agencies and hackers should have a harder time getting it.

The iPhone 6 Plus is the first ever iPhone to feature optical image stabilisation technology. This combined with its new sensor with TrueTone flash, 1.5 micron pixels and f/2.2 aperture mean it should offer radically better imaging performance than past iPhones.

For example The sensor adds a number of new or improved features, including phase detection auto-focus allows it to focus twice as fast. New tone mapping, new noise reduction and a new Slo-Mo mode that can capture video at 240 fps.

The iPhone 6 Plus runs using an undisclosed battery Apple lists as offering the users 11 hours of video playback and WiFi browsing and 10 hours of LTE browsing and 3G browsing as its smaller iPhone 6 sibling. If accurate the iPhone 6 Plus’ battery life will be well above average, with most handsets still struggling to make it past the seven to eight multimedia use mark.

Storage and price
The Apple iPhone 6 Plus will be available with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB and cost £619, £699 and £789 respectively at retail pricing.

If opening impressions are anything to go by, while Apple may be slightly late to the phablet market, its opening device is fairly impressive. Featuring a reworked camera, cutting edge processor and Apple’s latest iOS 8 operating system the iPhone 6 Plus has the on paper chops to be one of 2014’s best plus-sized handsets.

Hopefully the iPhone 6S will make good on its opening promise when it arrives in the UK later this year.

Check back with V3 later for a full review of the iPhone 6 Plus.

At a recent camp for students I ran at Mahidol University’s Faculty of Engineering, a whole day was set aside for photography. After being taught some theory, the students walked round the Salaya campus taking pictures. After lunch, they were to import the images to MacBook Air computers and create slide shows using iPhoto.

The main difficulty came with the transfers. There were a number of different phone brands being used and not all the students had the necessary cables. Eventually all the images arrived on the Macs.

When I use my iPhone, images are automatically sent to my Mac via PhotoStream, but not everyone uses this. There are a few iOS apps that allow the transfer of images using a Wi-Fi network and a link to a browser. Both solutions need the devices to be connected to a network; sometimes there is no Wi-Fi and some providers only allow one device online at a time. There is, of course, the Personal Hotspot that a number of photo-transfer solutions make use of.

I downloaded the $2.99 Wi-Fi Transfer app. There is a version for Android phones, too. Information in the displays refers separately to Macs and PCs. The user has options to send or receive. At the bottom of the start page a browser link is shown which uses port 6688. Users should enter the exact URL, including “http”. Just entering the IP number adds “www” to the address, which does not work.

I tested Send first and chose the Computer option. iPad, iPhone and Android are also available. A screen indicates two options: with iTunes, the name of the phone plus port number; without iTunes, an IP number. The number changed depending on whether I used Wi-Fi or the Personal Hotspot.

The browser gave me a display of library contents. Entering one folder, I was able to select one or more images using checkboxes. Images were downloaded in a ZIP file when I pressed a button at the top of the page.

Uploading to the iPhone from the Mac required a similar process and used a Finder window to select images. Transfer to the iPhone was to the Camera Roll, or to a new or specified folder.

Apps work well enough for the iPhone (and iPad), but some users have larger (DSLR) cameras. The usual practice is to remove the SD card, insert it into a suitable port or connector and transfer the contents. That works fine once I am at home, but on the street I usually only have my iPhone.

I have been using an SD card with Wi-Fi from a company in the US called Eyefi. The card works just like a normal SD card (Class 10) when taking photographs: even with burst mode, when several photographs are taken within a second or so. I initially thought this would be perfect for transfers of pictures to my Mac, but when the card arrived, I revised my plans.

I work in RAW images: the digital negative. The Eyefi system only works with JPEG. Using the iOS app opened up a number of possibilities, although I did have to change the camera settings to take RAW + Basic (JPEG). This still allows me over 800 images on the 32GB SD card; the maximum I have ever taken in a day is 450 (and I keep a spare 32GB card in my bag just in case).

The Eyefi SD card creates its own network which is activated when a photograph is taken. The iPhone needed this connection set up (with some tight security), but once done it has always been available.

It took a bit of concentration when I first used it. When I am ready, I take a last photograph, start the app, and tap on the Eyefi network in Settings. I then go back to the app, which immediately starts downloading all the images.

The result is photographs on the iPhone, taken using a camera with interchangeable lenses. The images are of a better quality than those taken using an iPhone camera. As good as the iPhone is now, there are limits (particularly with more distant subjects), so this hybrid approach makes photographs available immediately. I can upload these to the internet without needing to go home.

At home, I upload the photographs to the Mac, via Aperture, which allows me to import only the RAW images, saving some space. When I am happy that the files are all on the Mac, I reformat the SD card.

The Eyefi card was shipped to me via the normal postal service for a total of $99.99 (3,200 baht) and took almost four weeks to arrive. The company has a very patient customer-query service and I was able to ask a number of questions about the card and shipping. When it arrived, I noticed that, as well as FCC coding, it was clearly marked as a version for use in Thailand.