iPhone 5 , is this what you have been waiting for ? Or a massive letdown?

13 09 2012

So as expected,  Apple have unveiled the new iPhone but not the iPad Mini as was widely expected!

The iPhone 5 has been hyped up to its eyeballs, mostly due to the monstrous success of all of its predecessors so has pretty big boots to fill going head to head with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III & the Nokia Lumia 920.

The new iPhone is bigger and thinner than previous models, and if you have been on the internet in recent weeks, the official design looks almost exactly like the concepts and leaked images that have been doing the rounds of the web. The larger screen has allowed it to have an additional line of apps/folders in comparison with previous models.

If you are looking for completely new groundbreaking innovation, I’d say that the iPhone 5 is slightly underwhelming. Apple have done what they do well, refining and perfecting, but there aren’t many steps outside the box in comparison with perhaps the first iPhone or features like Siri.

The new model boasts a new A6 chip , this is touted as being almost twice as fast as the previous A5 chip and provides better graphics and even better battery life, a major issue for almost all previous iPhone models with 10 hours video playback being claimed on Apples website.

One of the massive talking points of this release was of the new connector. This is different to all previous models and make far more sense being far smaller, more durable and reversible however if you want to use existing peripherals you are going to require an adapter. The adapters are shown below and are available for a price of between $30 and $40 from the good folks at Apple and in some cases this will still render your peripherals and accessories useless.

The new phone also comes with a redesigned set of ear buds , so the iconic iPod earphones have finally changed and this should supposedly stop them from falling out of ears all over the world with a redesigned shape!

The new phone will also come with a nano sim allowing the phone to be thinner than before, and will be capable of handling a 4G network. This will be big news for residents of countries with a capable 4G network, but with this in the early stages in the UK, won’t mean as much till the 4G spectrum is more widely available.

The new OS will vastly improve this as a device, whilst also keeping the rest of the iPhone family in line with updates as far back to the iPhone 4. If you are looking for more information regarding  iOS 6, We have an article previously posted regarding this massively improved OS @ https://techfilledfantasy.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/apple-ios-6-preview-nemesis-of-jelly-bean/

When the iPhone 5 is released, it will no doubt sell by the truck load! I think that also this will happen, it will be interesting to see how this device effects its market share. Many Apple fanboys have claimed instant love for the device but many have also turned their backs being entirely underwhelmed by the lack of change between the 4S and the 5. The iPhone 5 seems to be like JellyBean was to Androids Ice Cream Sandwich, this is an improved version giving better performance and functionality but doesn’t have the same amount of new features many were expecting.

Only time will tell of its success!





AOKP JellyBean Build 1 Galaxy Nexus ROM Review

26 08 2012

http://aokp.co/index.php/releases/_/jellybean-build-1-r28

Released on the 20th of August, AOKP has made available JellyBean Build 1. Now, this is confusing to most as, unknown to some, AOKP have been producing JellyBean Nightly builds for a few weeks previous to this. These were a lot more experimental than previous ‘Builds’ and the current ‘Build’ is thought to be a culmination of the best points of these Nightly’s developed over the past few weeks.

The ROM is apparently a far way away from being a stable release but has been suprisingly bugless for me since I started running it, with only a minor glitch here and there.

AOKP have planned out what they are going to do with this ROM following its jump to JellyBean and it seems to have helped a lot with all of the features it encompasses instead of throwing a lot of random non integrated features at it and hoping it sticks. Like older AOKP, it has a lot of UI customisation as well as almost 30 ‘Swag Papers’ to spruce up your homescreen andsome unique features and inbuilt performance control. One of the talked about features is the flip to vibrate or silent function, this as it suggests turns the phone to silent or vibrate when you put the phone on its back or during a call when you flip it to its back, useful in meetings, work, or just in general if you really don’t want to answer the phone to the person who is calling!

   

Im running this now and went from Paranoid Android to it and im not let down. I used to be a bit of an AOKP fanboy but was pleasantly suprised with my experience on PA, but I think this ROM has brought me back over to the dark side !

This is only the first JellyBean Build as it name suggests so expect a lot more from AOKP. They have their team and they clearly know what they are doing from running over 10 of their previous builds on Ice Cream Sandwich and with great innovation and features included its definately one to keep an eye on over the coming weeks and months !

 





Great Little War Game Review ! iOS Android

16 08 2012

Great Little War Game is a turn-based strategy game available for £0.69 on iOS and $0.99 for Android.

This game was originally higher priced, but with the release of its new sibling Great Big War Game ($2.99  on both platforms) its price has been cut and is the current bargain of the minute with a lot of gamers !

I know a lot of people grudge paying for apps, regardless of the miniscule price but this game really is worth the money. If you can’t justify less than £1 for a game when you possibly spend £30/40 on a console game then I know I can’t sway you anyway..

The game is turn-based strategy so each player takes a turn, finishes his moves, then the opponent completes their move. This is great, especially for a mobile platform when you may not be spending 100% of your concentration on the game, or are playing it in broken up chunks throughout the day, it doesn’t require your undivided attention to be great and has plenty of missions to keep you occupied for some time !

The video above gives a good idea of the gameplay, showing a good proportion of the first mission of the campaign. The game is obviously war based, and is very similar to games such as Advance Wars for the Nintendo DS with each mission having its own required objectives for completion.

The games graphics are really crisp and great for the price as well as providing a smooth flowing game with no Ad’s. For the price, this is a bargain. It is very similar to Great Big War Game and for a third of the price you definately don’t get a third of the game!

 

 

 





Paranoid Android 1.6.9 Alpha Galaxy Nexus Hybrid Jelly Bean ROM

5 08 2012

Ok, apologies for the massively long title, but I feel its all required !

Since Rooting my Galaxy Nexus GSM a few months ago I’ve experimented with a number of ROM’s, and found that the AOKP Builds were by far my favourite, having the right balance of optimisations, tweaks and UI changes.

When Jelly Bean was issued on I/O Nexus Devices, I was at the front of the queue to get the Jelly Bean stock ROM flashed. Since AOKP hasn’t released a Jelly Bean ROM (discounting the very beginning stages Alpha build) I felt it was time to play the field, and was not let down in the slightest by Paranoid Android !

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1619582

All information relating to the ROM can be accessed via the above thread, this will also give far more images and information in comparison with what I can give in a singular blog post, as well as links to download.

This ROM is touted as being the first true ‘hybrid’. This means that you can have the phone set up with a phone interface, a phablet interface, a tablet interface as well as having a great combined ‘hybrid’ version. This is something that is executed really well within the build, with no other ROM’s as far as im aware pulling this off to such great success.

The ROM is based on CyanogenMod 10 so it also incorporates all of the great Cyanogen features (AOKP was mostly built upon CM) and also includes the much loved ‘ Theme Chooser’. This means that standard tweaks such as changing the number of lock-screen icons, changing performance based attributes, as well as possible alterations to the Notification bar, battery icons etc.

  

Above are a few screenshots showing the ‘Hybrid’ Layout using the settings app as an example. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show a great walk-through of each of the Layouts and their individual features.

I’ve found this ROM to be pretty reasonable on battery, as well as being very stable. As the name suggests these are Alpha builds and are updated very frequently with new fixes and optimisations but using as an average user, I’ve tried a number of builds and have found them to be very stable.

This ROM also includes a few more Apps to standard. It includes the Apollo music app in place of Play Music, a Terminal Emulator app, DSPManager and Dev Tools. The DSP Manager and Apollo are aimed at the audiophiles amongst us giving a better music interface and the ability to apply various custom equalizers to the speaker output. The Dev Tools and Terminal Emulator are as the name suggests, these are Apps used primarily by Developers and are a useful addition if this is what you enjoy doing.

I try to stay impartial on most reviews, but this is a great ROM and I’d recommend it if your looking for a great overall performing ROM, or something different to what your running currently.





Netflix , How to get USA when not in USA !! PC XBox PS3 PS Vita IOS Android

26 07 2012

Having been a member of LoveFilm as opposed to Netflix for a while, this hasn’t been an issue I’ve really came across, but on checking UK Netflix compared to the US, the differences are vast !
The US has a lot more choice, as well as a lot newer programmes than most other services making it an easy choice for such a simple fix. This will also work for other countires such as Canada, as long as the user has a valid Netflix account.

When you register for a Netflix account, you don’t register for a UK account, a US account or any other account.. You register for a universal account, this is why the fix is so easy.
The Netflix website uses your IP address to locate you, then with this information the correct website is displayed for you.

PC
Using a VPN ( virtual private network ) you can easily get access to whatever service you like.
While you are connected to this VPN you take advantage of its IP so if its based in New York, Netflix thinks you are in New York, hence displaying the US Site as opposed to where you really are. The service I use is Spotflux, there are numerous different services you can use to take advantage of different VPN’s but I found this one was pretty simple and is free to use and download at
http://launch.spotflux.com/

Once this is downloaded, you merely open it up and click enable. This will then make your browser connect to the VPN ( this may slow your connection considerably ) Once this is complete go to the Netflix site, sign in and search for your film/show, you will notice there are now more options on many TV Series as well as lots more films.. Taking Breaking Bad for instance, the UK site has up to, and including Season 3 whilst the US has the entirity of Season 4 included on top of this.

From my experience a tip I would give is that once you had chosen what you wanted to watch, once the streaming starts disable Spotflux, this means that your browser will revert back to your normal internet connection and will help the speed and quality of the streaming. Spotflux is a free service, a lot of VPN’s require monthly subscriptions or joining fees. This, may put a lot of sceptics off, thinking it must be free for a reason but it has a lot of positive write ups. As well as giving this benefit for Netflix, it also blocks pop-ups and ads, as well as constantly scanning for Viruses and malware, whilst keeping your IP address secure.

Consoles, XBox, PS3, etc.
For Xbox, PS3 etc ,  if you change your network settings so that your Primary DNS is set to 208.122.23.22 and the Secondary DNS is set to 208.122.23.23 you can access all of Netflix USA’s content. You don’t have to change any router settings, the changes should be made on the console itself. This is useful when using it to watch Netflix, but for gaming id recommend reverting your settings back as this will put you into US servers for games like COD, FIFA, Battlefield etc.

Apple IOS & Android Devices
There are a lot of Apps on these devices that make this really easy, as well as a manual option to input details of a VPN. If you have signed up to a VPN service you can input the details at this point to join your VPN, or as I said, use an App. A lot of the VPN’s are constantly changing at this point so its probably best to google a currently working VPN for the US for IOS and Android devices as these are prone to shutting down with them working great some days and not others.

I hope I’ve helped get a little more for your money if your outside the US !! Feel free to comment on any current Usable US VPN’s as you find them!





Dinosaur War IOS Android Free App Review !

23 07 2012

Dinosaur War is free on Android and IOS

This game involves building up a Village, a Dinosaur army, and using each of these for domination!

I play a lot of these kind of games ! Usually I get a lot of game play out of them before getting the gaps between levels getting too lengthy, becoming bored and losing interest.

Usually the basis of all these games are the same, build a village and troops, whilst using up resources and having to wait a set amount of time for troops and builds to be completed (unless using premium paid for items such as crystals to eliminate the wait)

There are a few differences in this game that have kept me involved for a lot longer than the usual ones. Usually during the wait for resources to recupperate, or to be able to battle again there is little to do in these sorts of games.. effectively most close them down and re-open in 30mins/ an hour/ etc. In Dinosaur War there are a few additional options such as Card games and ‘wheel of fortune’ type activities that can keep you amused during this wait to make it pass a little quicker, which although are fairly small things, they make a massive difference and keep you coming back.

All of these games, as mentioned usually involve premium add ons, either removing the wait for buildings to complete or to buy special items usable in the game. This is the reason a lot of these games are free, with rumoured that the Ouya will probably adopt the same approach with a lot of its games, its obvious to see why this is popular with these premium crystals starting at $1.99 and ranging up to $29.99 . This isn’t as steep as some games with these sorts of items reaching over $100 in some instances.

There are a lot of games similar to this one, possibly not having Dinosaurs as there focal point, but using something else ! This is one of the better ones i’ve played and its been keeping me going for over a week now, definately give it a go if this is your thing, after all.. its free !





AOKP Build 40 ROM Review

6 07 2012

http://aokp.co

AOKP started in November 2011 with ROM’s for the Galaxy Nexus, but now supports numerous devices from different manufacturers and currently has over 50,000 Devices running a build of AOKP.

There are 2 kind of releases that AOKP offer, Builds (nightly) and Milestone (stable). As the name suggest, Stable versions are more stable and released less freqeuntly. The Nightly builds aren’t released every night but are released a lot more frequently in comparison to the Stable builds, these are purely experimental builds which may still have some bugs. Users have the opportunity to report these bugs so that the next build or stable can avoid experiencing similar issues.

AOKP Build 40 can be found here http://aokp.co/index.php/releases/_/build-40-r26
This link takes you to a page full of devices, after choosing your device you will be provided with a download link.

This build is the last expected Experimental Ice Cream Sandwich Build(Android 4.0.4), with a final Stable Milestone due to be released shortly, before the team turn their attention to Jelly Bean (Android 4.1)

In comparison with Stock Android 4.0.4 the differences are almost too much to comprehend in a single review. The build includes Nova Launcher, this can be downloaded by any device but can change the look and speed of the stock launcher dramatically, with different screen animations included.

                            

Build 40 also incorporates the Theme Chooser, this is an easier way of applying a theme to the device and different variants can be downloaded from the App Store, or forums such as http://forum.xda-developers.com A few different Home Screens taken from my device running build 40 are shown above, both of these are using the Achromatic Theme included in this Build.

The device contains an additional tab to the settings menu called “Rom Control” this is effectively what makes the ROM. This gives options to change General UI, Lockscreens, Performance, Battery Indicator styles as well as many other points like Toggles and clock styles.

Within the Performance Section, the device can be UnderClocked or OverClocked and many more settings can be changed, this can make the device faster, which uses more battery life or the opposite. I’ve found that by UnderClocking the device slightly, the battery gains are massive with a barely noticable drop in performance.

To see all the ROM has to offer it takes a few days of playing about with, this is something i recommend you do. If you have or havent Flashed a ROM before this is a good place to start. This is incredibly stable, especially for an experimental build and has more UI customisations than you could imagine.

Do it, you know you want to !








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