Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Android Smartphone Round-Up: December/January Edition

We took a break from the Android round-up in December because, well, to be honest I was on vacation. But January gave us a few extra smartphones and the holidays are over, so we’re back. What we’ve got for you today leans into more expensive turf, and unfortunately, our favorite Android devices for the past two months are also exclusively at Verizon, so Big Red subscribers should pay attention.
Without further ado, these are our favorite December/January releases of the Android persuasion: The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the LG Spectrum, and the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Verizon 4G LTE support
  • 4.65-inch 1280×720 Super AMOLED display
  • 5MP rear camera (1080 video capture), 1.3MP front-facing camera (720p video capture)
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • MSRP: $299.99 with a two-year contract
  • Ice Cream Sandwich is a solid step up from Gingerbread
  • That 720p display is huge and beautiful
  • Google Hangouts
  • The phone might be a bit too big for one-handed actions
  • Feels a bit plastic-y
  • No pre-loaded Google wallet, but you can download it
If you’re looking for Android, the Galaxy Nexus is where you’ll find it. Ice Cream Sandwich is a joy compared to Gingerbread, and this coming from someone who is quite hard on Android. Of course, the screen on this bad boy is amazing, but as MG points out in his review, sometimes the phone is just too big to perform one-handed actions.
We also expected image quality to be better out of that 5-megapixel rear camera, but it simply can’t compete with the iPhone’s 8-megapixel shooter. (And no, I’m not saying that based on megapixels… Image quality is simply better with the 4S.) But that doesn’t really matter — an Android fan is an Android fan, and this is as good as Android gets.

LG Spectrum

  • Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread
  • Verizon 4G LTE support
  • 4.5-inch True HD 1280×720 Display
  • 8MP rear camera (1080p video capture), 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • MSRP: $199.99 with a two-year contract
  • Beautiful display
  • Pre-loaded ESPN Sports Center app in HD
  • LG Y is actually a nice custom overlay
  • Not a fan of that brushed plastic back panel
  • The silver bezels don’t handle prints well
I was hard on this phone when I first played around with it, and I still maintain that there’s nothing super special about the Spectrum. It’s not like the Rezound with Beats Audio imtegration or the Razr with its anorexic waist line. That said, you really won’t find these kind of specs on an Android phone for just $200. In fact, I’d be so bold as to call it a steal.
I’m also pretty excited about that display. I have yet to put a Super AMOLED Plus up against this 720p True HD display, but I’d say it’s one of the most (if not, the most) stunning displays I saw at CES. Certainly worth consideration, especially if you are a fan of LG phones to begin with.

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx

  • Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread
  • Verizon 4G LTE support
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED advanced 960×540 display
  • 8MP rear camera (1080p video capture), 1.3MP front-facing camera (720p video capture)
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • MSRP: $299.99 with a two-year contract
  • 3300 mAH battery is a big improvement from the Razr
  • Less of a “Moto bump” along the back
  • Bump in storage from 16GB to 32GB
  • 1.89mm thicker than its predecessor
  • UI can slow things down a tad
The Droid Razr Maxx is a very special phone. It kills the few things that were wrong with the original Razr — which is an excellent device, mind you — and then doubles the storage, to boot. I was originally bothered with how light the Razr was. It made premium materials feel cheap, but the extra heft and weight on the Razr Maxx really gives this phone a pricey, solid feel.
A Droid Razr update for Android 4.0 leaked out this week, so if you’re comfortable with tinkering than that’s an extra benefit to the Maxx. We’ll have a full review on this phone up very shortly, but from the short time I’ve spent with it thus far I’d say it has the superior hardware in this particular bunch of Android handsets.

It’ll all come down to what matters most to you. If that giant 720p screen excites you, go Galaxy Nexus all the way. The Spectrum, on the other hand, offers up some pretty killer specs at a much more reasonable price, while the Droid Razr Maxx wins in the hardware/design department.

JORDANCROOK  - Friday, January 27th, 2012 - techcrunch.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

2011 Top 10 Professional iPhone 4S Photography Apps

2011 Top 10 Professional iPhone 4S Photography Apps

So you’ve got the NEW iPhone 4S, what next? You’ll want to start taking snaps with its upgraded 8 Mega pixel camera and 1080 HD Movie capabilities. But why stop there? You can do so much more than point and shoot with the iPhone 4S camera. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Photography apps for iPhone.
In this article we’ve got you covered on how to make the most of iPhone 4S’s gadgetry goodness. So, whether you’re a professional photographer, or you simply bought the iPhone 4s to play Angry Birds, there’s something for everyone in this review. Oh, and if you haven’t managed to pick one up yet, we’ve got you covered. 

10. ProCamera – Set up your Camera like a Pro

We’re not the type of people to normally argue with Annie Libovitz. The fact is, however, we could easily recommend a fair few cameras that outclass the iPhone 4S. Still, if you are a firm believer in the simplicity of using your iPhone, or you’re a hardcore Libovitz fan, then let us recommend ProCamera instead. It’s a must app for all iPhone purists because it appropriately turns your iDevice from phone to camera.
This app unlocks the full potential of your sluggish iPhone 4S into a cutting edge pre and post shot feature full compact camera. With tools like Self-timer, full screen trigger, anti shake and Pro FX and extended geo-tagging, to name but a few, you’ll wonder why Apply didn’t make the effort themselves. Click here to check all the features you’ll get with this app. Try not to melt with delight.
Price – $2.99
Developer – Jens Daemgen

9. Pocket Light Meter – Read it, and let your friends weep
Now that you’ve got the Camera sorted, you’ll want to check the lighting. After all, the perfect shot is often merely a flash away. And with Strobox, you’ll be able to make sure every picture is perfect.
This handy little app is indispensable for any professional photographer, especially those who take film photography. It won’t necessarily help you with iPhone photos, but it will make setting up for a shot that little bit easier. Plus, it’ll make all your friends jealous.
Price – FREE
Developer – Nuwaste Studios
Cut your cell phone bill in half - maybe more!

8. Gorillacam, by Joby - Steady your shot
Any amateur photography knows that the only accessory to get with their compact is a Gorillapod. There travel friendly, bright and bendy. What’s more, you can now get all the benefits on your iPhone without buying the three-legged wonder.
With Gorillacam, by Joby you get a press-and-hold shutter button that takes rapid, continuous and full resolution photos with a mind-blowing 1.6 fps. Plus with its bubble level, you’ll never take a skewed photo again. We’d recommend it for taking multiple shots at once.
Price – FREE
Developer - Joby

7. Camera Bag – All the equipment you’ll ever need
Yes, even the iPhone photographer needs a camera bag. Although we wouldn’t suggest walking around with a shoulder strap or postbag, especially when you can get all you need digitally. Simply download Camera Bag.
You’ll get a host of classic camera and film simulations that would normally cost a DSLR user a year’s salary. Such as: Helga, 1974, Lolo and my personal favorite Fisheye. Ultimately, your images won’t be anywhere near as good as they would with a real lens, but they still look great on Facebook or Flickr.
Price – $1.99
Developer – Nevercenter Ltd. Co.

6. MonoPhix – Shoot it Old School
The only thing I like more than a fisheye lens is black and white photography. After all, it’s what I started in. So when I heard you could get this amazingly adjustable app, I had to get it.
MonoPhix will let you fiddle with light/dark shade intensity (independently) and depth of monochrome, all in full resolution. Plus you can fiddle with existing shots, or work in real-time to take new ones. All in all it’s an amazing black and white filter and one of my personal favorites.
Price – $0.69
Developer – Renzo Verleysen
5. ShakeItPhoto - “...Like a Polaroid picture”
As your Grandad will tell you, there’s nothing quite like watching paint dry. With the ShaleItPhoto app you can now have the pleasure of this pastime on your phone.
This incredibly realistic instant camera offering is more of an experience than a photography tool. Still, it’s something any aspiring photographer should try out. We should all know where the routes of photography lie. After all, you are not a real photographer until you’ve watched your work develop before your eyes.
Price – $1.99
Developer – Banana Camera Co.

4. FX Photo Studio – 194 + Fun Filled Effects
Although the colorful flower logo implies an 80’s themed collection of photo filters, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find almost 200 high quality effects, overlaps and frames. What’s more, they are 100% customizable.
There is a color-splash, along with several other paint effects, but it’s the simplicity, share feature and shear breadth of this apps offering that justifies its position in this list. This is one app you won’t reach the end of easily.
Price – $0.99
Developer – macphun.com, LLC

3. Photon – Store your snaps safely
Now that you can manage your iDevice without the need for a computer, there are only two words that we care about anymore: Cloud and Storage. Photon builds off Apple’s offering and delivers promisingly on both.
Not only can you store photos in multiple folders, all on the cloud so they are never lost, but the app also has basic filters, an auto level and a slideshow feature. Most importantly, however, is the desktop app that allows batch uploads and plugins with programs like iPhoto and Picasa. And because it’s in the cloud, you won’t need to connect your device to you computer.
Price – FREE
Developer – Phanfare, Inc.

2. Crop for FREE – Need we say more?
Good things come in small packages; no truer words could be said about this app.
In fact, it’s so simple that we can’t believe Apple didn’t add it to the iPhone themselves. Cropping photos is the most basic of features with the greatest outcome. All we can say is thank you Thinking Drone. This app does exactly what it says in the headline.
Price – FREE
Developer – Thinking Drone, LLC

1. Comic Touch Light – Comic-Con here we come
Have you ever wondered where LOL CATS came from? Well, someone with an app like this most likely invented the craze. And now you can finally get in on the action with Comic Touch Light.
This cute little app lets you add speech bubbles, effects and comic lettering to all your photos. Now you can finally tell the world what you’re really thinking without getting in trouble at the time.
Price – FREE
Developer – Plasq LLC
 09 Dec 2011 by DigitalRev.com

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How to Use iPhone 4S on T-Mobile or Simple Mobile

T-Mobile iPhone 4S
The iPhone 4S might not be offered officially for T-Mobile use, but if you buy an unlocked device and set it up properly, you can use the iPhone 4S and Siri on the T-Mobile network without incident. In fact, over a million iPhones are already on the T-Mobile network, and the company is going to actively support unlocked iPhone devices on their USA network due to immense demand. If you want to use an iPhone 4S on T-Mobile, here is everything necessary to do that.
  • Unlocked iPhone 4S bought from an Apple Store without a contract, intended for AT&T use
  • A computer with iTunes
  • Wi-Fi with internet access
  • The original AT&T micro-SIM that came with the iPhone 4S
  • An activate T-Mobile Micro-SIM card

Assuming the requirements are met, read on to get started.

Activate the iPhone 4S for T-Mobile

The first set of things to do involves activating the phone, if you’ve done this before on another network it’s no different here.
  1. Turn the iPhone off
  2. Remove the default micro-sim card
  3. Insert the T-Mobile micro-SIM
  4. Turn the iPhone on with the T-Mobile sim inserted, ignore anything on the phone for now
  5. Connect the iPhone 4S by USB cable to a computer
  6. Launch iTunes
  7. iTunes will find the iPhone 4S and notify you the device is unlocked
Unlocked iPhone 4S Message in iTunes

Get your Unlocked iPhone 4 here

Now that the iPhone 4S is unlocked, you will be able to make calls but you need to do a few more things to get full functionality.

Setting Up the iPhone 4S for T-Mobile

After the device has been activated on the T-Mobile network, you’ll be able to make calls but you may need to perform the following to get data and MMS working on the device itself, this isn’t always necessary so presumably it depends on the precise T-Mobile network:
Before beginning, disable Wi-Fi by tapping to Settings > General > Network > Wi-Fi > OFF
  • On the iPhone 4S, tap on “Settings” , then tap on “General” and then “Network”
  • Tap on “Cellular Data Network”
  • Set the following configuration:
  • APN: epc.tmobile.com Username: Leave Blank Password: Leave Blank
  • Set the following configuration under MMS:
  • APN: epc.tmobile.com Username: Leave Blank Password: Leave Blank MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc MMS Proxy: MMS Max Message Size: 1048576 MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf
  • Tap on the Home button to save and exit out of Settings
  • Reboot the iPhone 4S
  • Launch Safari to test internet connectivity
Generally you’ll end up with EDGE for internet connectivity, but some areas including parts of Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington actually have full 3G access. For now the 3G accessibility is hit and miss, but T-Mobile is apparently slowly expanding their network to be compatible. 
Jan 28, 2012 osxdaily.com