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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Alleged iPad mini mockup

A somewhat blurry video of what is supposedly a model of Apple's as-yet-unannounced 7.85-inch iPad was posted to YouTube on Friday, showing slight differences from previous mock-ups possibly pointing to a Wi-Fi-only version of the rumored device.

The video, from Japanese language Apple blog Mac Otakarashows what appears to be a mockup of the small form factor tablet that has gained attention over the past few weeks and was recently featured in a video two weeks ago. In that report, however, the dummy mockup sported a black strip at the top of the device's backplate, hinting that the rumored production version would include cellular capabilities.

While the mockup revealed on Friday is obviously a dummy model possibly purchased from the same source as the previous video, as evidenced by the thin plastic front screen covering what looks to be icons printed on paper, seemingly non-functioning buttons and questionable bezel size, it is missing the tell-tale black plastic insert on the device's rear shell which serves as a window for cellular radio signals. 

Although merely speculation, the replica bears a striking resemblance to a previously photographed mockup seen in another two week-old report. It seems the related videos and images all came from models sourced from the same person or company, however that too cannot be confirmed.

Apple is thought to be planning a special October event which may see the release of the smaller iPad.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Apple iPad commands 98% share in tablet based browsing

A study released on Thursday claims the iPad accounts for nearly all web traffic originating from tablets, and 54.5 percent of all traffic from mobile devices, to sites running the touch-centric Onswipe platform.

In its first-ever study, Onswipe, a digital publishing tool developer that helps websites create "touch friendly" web experiences without building a standalone app, found that Apple's tablet represented 98.1 percent of 29.5 million unique impressions over 1200 sites from Sept. 13 to Sept. 20. 
Onswipe Study

Source: Onswipe

Apple's massive share was followed by Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Motorola's Xoom, which managed 1.53 percent and 0.21 percent of tablet-based traffic, respectively. Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire came in fourth with 0.11 percent.

"The iPad is clearly a browsing device," Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste told AppleInsider, explaining that his company can track device and engagement data via the aptly-named Onswipe platform.

Digging deeper into the results, iPad users spent 56.9 percent more time per web surfing session than iPhone owners, possibly hinting that the tablet's larger screen is better suited for browsing. 

Also of note is the iPad's 54.5 percent share of total mobile web traffic, more than doubling the iPhone's share of 19.05 percent despite having comparatively fewer units in operation. 
iPad v. iPhone

Interestingly, the Kindle Fire has seen a bump in web content engagement, as users spend 79 percent more time per page visit compared to iPad users. Amazon's small form factor device also generates 138 percent more page views per visit relative to Apple's tablet. The results offer a look at what could be the future of tablet computing as an onslaught of 7-inch products hit the market, possibly signaling a push toward smaller, more portable devices. 

As for operating system share, Apple's iOS owns 75.12 percent of total mobile content consumption across Onswipe's monitored network, followed by Android with 22.3 percent and all others with 2.5 percent. 

Baptiste made note of a brief follow-up study conducted on Wednesday which found iOS 6 accounted for 40.8 percent of all iOS traffic for visitors to Onswipe partner sites. Of the 250,000 unique iOS users studied, 56.76 percent of iPhone users upgraded to iOS 6, compared to 37.75 percent of iPad owners.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple's A6 processor may be clocked at 1.3GHz

According to a newly-released build of benchmarking tool Geekbench, Apple's A6 processor found in the iPhone 5 is clocked at around 1.3GHz, not 1.02GHz as originally reported.

When the sixth-generation iPhone was released last week, reviews noted a substantial boost in processing speed compared to last year's iPhone 4S, mostly due to Apple's new A6 SoC. At the time, the chip was thought to be clocked at around 1GHz, however a new benchmark using Primate Labs' Geekbench for iPhone shows a consistent clock speed of 1.3GHz.

A6 Speed

Primate Labs' John Poole told Engadget that the latest version 2.3.6 released on Wednesday provides more accurate CPU reporting as a result of an improved processor frequency detection algorithm.

"Earlier versions of Geekbench had trouble determining the A6's frequency, which lead to people claiming the A6's frequency as 1.0GHz as it was the most common value Geekbench reported," Poole said. 

Initial reports found on Geekbench's online device log, presumably from a reviewer testing the handset's prowess, showed the handset's CPU to be twice as fast as the previous A5 series despite being clocked at 1.02GHz. The relatively low clock speed prompted speculation as to how Apple managed to squeeze out the dramatic performance improvements, with theories ranging from new memory handling methods to a totally redesigned core. 

A6 Speed Test

Coming on the heels of Wednesday's discovery, some publications have reported the A6 as having the ability to dynamically overclock itself during CPU-intensive situations, however Poole disagrees with the hypothesis.

"I don't believe the A6 has any form of processor boost," Poole said. "In our testing, we found the 1.3GHz was constant regardless of whether one core or both cores were busy." 

To confirm Poole's results, AppleInsider tested an AT&T version of the iPhone 5 with Geekbench 2.3.6. Curiously, the first run pegged the A6 at 1.10GHz, though after killing and reopening the app, the software reported a consistent clock speed of 1.29GHz.

A6 Speed Initial

The A6's dual-cores were in fact designed in-house by Apple and feature a "manual" layout that is said to be faster than computer-constructed counterparts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quality test analysis shows Apple iPhone 5 display beating out the Samsung Galaxy S III

A quality test analysis of the displays on the two hottest smartphones of the year gives an edge to the 4 inch screen on the Apple iPhone 5 over the 4.8 inch display on the Samsung Galaxy S III. The analysis was done by DisplayMate which says that the reason that the iPhone screen is better has to do with the 20 year refinement of the IPS LCD screen used by Apple as opposed to the OLED display, developed in-house by Samsung.

The two hottest smartphones on earth
The two hottest smartphones on earth

The extensive report (which can be fetched by clicking on the source link) gives the Apple iPhone 5 kudos for having the highest Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light score on any mobile device DisplayMate has ever tested. Of course, the subject of the Pentile Display on the Samsung Galaxy S III came up and the testing showed that power limits inherent with OLED screens make the display on the Samsung Galaxy S III half as bright as the one on the Apple iPhone 5.

DisplayMate says that when it comes to the Color Gamut and Color Accuracy, Apple has made a strong effort in making colors very accurate on the iPhone. On the other hand, DisplayMate chides Samsung for not bothering to calibrate the Color Gamut on its OLED screens, leading to wildly inaccurate color representation includsing over saturation of colors which is a standard on AMOLED screens.

Comparing the Apple iPhones 5 and 4, and the Samsung Galaxy S III - Quality test analysis shows Apple iPhone 5 display beating out the Samsung Galaxy S III

(courtesy Phonearena)

Monday, September 24, 2012

iPhone 5 sales broke record with 5 million units in the initial 3 days

In its first three days of availability, the iPhone 5 has achieved record breaking sales of 5 million, while more than 100 million devices have been upgraded to iOS 6, Apple announced on Monday.

"Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone." 

The company noted that demand for the iPhone 5 exceeded initial supply at launch, though the majority of preorders were shipped to customers. However, many preorders are scheduled to be shipped in October.

An Apple employee distributes iPhone 5 shortly after the device went on sale in San Francisco, California, September 21, 2012. REUTERS/Noah Berger

The iPhone 5 is currently available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K., and will be available in 22 more countries on September 28 and more than 100 countries by the end of the year.

Launch sales of the iPhone 5 topped last years record weekend, in which the iPhone 4S sold 4 million units in the first three days. However, with demand outstripping supply, initial sales of the iPhone 5 were less than the lofty predictions made by some Wall Street analysts.

The iPhone 5 first got off to a record breaking start earlier this month, when Apple sold 2 million preorders for its latest handset within its first 24 hours of availability. That doubled the record set in 2011 by the iPhone 4S, but actual first weekend sales did not double the iPhone 4S launch.

iPhone got wet? See here to see how to Dry Out Wet iPhones

Accidents happen. Even if you're the most conscientious person in the world your device may take a spill from time to time and on the odd occasion it may even take a dive. If your precious iPhone ever takes a perilous plunge and ends up wet there are a few things you can do to try and save its life, and I've put together a guide to try and help!

NOTE - Before I begin do please remember that this guide, regrettably, isn't foolproof, nor is it 100% effective. It's the sum-total of our experience, which I hope will help you salvage your device!

  • If the device got wet it should appear dead, if it doesn't switch it off and keep it switched off!
  • Keep the device in one position. Avoid turning it upside down or shaking it to try and get the water out
  • Carefully remove any cases, guards or protectors you may have
  • Carefully remove surface water with a soft towel remembering to keep the device in one position

Once you've dried the outside of the device as best you can you're going to need to get your device into something that can absorb moisture (a desiccant). There are several options to choose from, here are our top 3 in order of suitability:

  • Silica Gel - Silica gel is designed to attract and hold water. It is extremely effective when trying to dry out damaged electronics. You'll find the little packets in clothes, newly purchased electronic goods.
  • Rice - Rice is your friend in a situation like this. It's cheap, most people have it lying around and it's super absorbent. It's worth noting that I am not talking about the microwaveable kind, I am talking about dry, uncooked rice!

Once you've decided on which product to use, gently lay your device down on a bed of it (strive to keep the device in the same position as you've been holding it) and gently cover the device over with your chosen product.

Leave it. Really, We can't stress this enough, hands off, leave it alone You'll want to keep picking it up to try it but you've got to resist the temptation. Let your desiccant do its work and leave well alone for at least 48-hours.

Things to consider while your digital best friend is drying out:

  • The device has a sticker inside which will notify a service engineer if it has been exposed to water. Don't just bowl into an Apple Store and expect a free replacement. It won't happen and you may end up looking dishonest.
  • Don't be tempted into using heat to dry your device out. Your iPhone contains advanced electronics and a battery, neither of these things play well with heat. Avoid the temptation to put your device on a heater or use a hairdryer. In extreme circumstances the battery could go bang, or the solder inside your device could melt, rendering it more useless that it was when you started.

After 48-hours:

Try turning your device on. If it works, excellent! If it doesn't don't give up. Put it in a fresh bag of rice or silica and just leave it for as long as you can, one week, two weeks; the longer the better. A month drying out may even be needed for it to spring into life. 

If you've waited as long as you can and it's still not working then it's time to talk to Apple. They're largely helpful folk and if you're honest they may offer you the chance to pick up a refurbished replacement at a discounted price.

If that's not possible then, well, it's time to break out your credit card and replace your device. One small mercy is that your data should be secure (thanks to iCloud/Dropbox).

Best of luck!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Apple iPhone 5 review

(Reviewed by phonearena)

They come hard, they come strong! That’s simply the reality of things nowadays for Apple, as competition from all corners has seemingly caught up with the iPhone 4S, and in some cases, surpassed it even. Not only are these competing devices boasting larger displays, faster processors, and higher capacity storage on paper than what the iPhone 4S had to provide, Apple’s pride and joy still somehow managed to stiffen the competition with its imposing mindshare. Last year, when Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, many were wondering if the renowned company has lost its magical touch – maybe from all the years of being complacent with its past laurels and successes.

Perhaps, that kind of attitude was the requisite inspiration that spurred its rivals to fight back with a vengeance. And boy did they come with arms up and fists slamming, since for the very first time ever, the iPhone’s impenetrable fa├žade exhibited subtle signs of fragility – a miniscule crack that blossomed into a gash, which shook its foundations tremendously. Whatever it was, there was no denying that innovation was now being seen by competitive devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, and Nokia Lumia 900 to name a few, which rose to prominence and established their presence in the landscape.

Despite the underwhelming response by critics alike, the iPhone 4S still managed to sell healthily, but under the surface, it still didn’t have enough substance to satiate the demands of hungry consumers looking for the most cutting-edge thing. Regardless of that, Apple managed to address some of the previous concerns, as the iPhone 5 is positioned to be the best iPhone since, well, the iPhone itself.

Interestingly enough this time around, it seems as though Apple is the one that’s actually catching up to the competition, since they’ve finally brought a bigger screen and speedy 4G LTE connectivity to the iPhone 5 – while continuing to improve with a retooled camera lens and new chipset. Add in that it’s flaunting a new design, though still iconic at heart, it would seem that the highly anticipated iPhone 5 is finally that cutting-edge device we drool over in our dreams. Of course, there’s the matter regarding its performance and software experience, which sees the normal tweaks here and there. Surely though, there’s no denying the anticipation riding on the back of this one – so with that, let’s dive in and see if it can continue the legacy.

Apple iPhone 5 Review  Apple iPhone 5 Review


After seeing a stream of leaks showing off the design of the iPhone 5 from the front, we have to admit that we were somewhat initially disappointed, mainly because they showed that the iPhone 5 would merely look like a stretched out iPhone 4/4S. To our shock, that’s exactly how it turned out! But as we now reflect and gaze over its intricate design and attention to detail, we’re actually quite fond of it – as in thoroughly impressed! For the most part, the iPhone 5 maintains the familiar styling of previous iPhones, which in turn, gives it that distinguishable iconic look. Simply, it oozes in every aspect with a genuine love for design that’s unmatched by any other smartphone maker.

Indeed, the handset’s length has been extended to 4.87-inches in contrast to the 4.54-inch length of its predecessor, but we’re comforted to find that its width has been maintained at 2.31-inches. Essentially, the added space enables the device to accommodate a larger 4-inch screen, without compromising on its comfortable grip in the hand. Furthermore, it’s both skinnier (0.3” thin) and lighter (3.95 oz) than its predecessor, which is a welcomed sight for the natural design progression of today’s smartphones.

The Apple iPhone 5’s length has been extended to 4.87-inches in contrast to the 4.54-inch length of its predecessor - Apple iPhone 5 Review  The Apple iPhone 5’s length has been extended to 4.87-inches in contrast to the 4.54-inch length of its predecessor - Apple iPhone 5 Review  The Apple iPhone 5’s length has been extended to 4.87-inches in contrast to the 4.54-inch length of its predecessor - Apple iPhone 5 Review

Cementing its status as being regarded as one of the most elegant devices on the market, the iPhone 5 looks and feels like a high luxury item that’s instantly recognizable anywhere you take it. Gone is the glass surface in the rear used by the last two iPhones, and instead, it’s been replaced by a brushed aluminum casing that further ensures its rock solid construction – while the same metallic bezel wraps around the entire thing to keep it soundly intact. However, if there’s one qualm we have with the design of the iPhone 5, it has to be the sharp feel of the metallic bezel’s diamond cut chamfered edge. Overall, it’s still an instantly recognizable iPhone at heart, but the new backing combined with its more streamlined figure makes the redesign endearing enough for us to fall in love all over again.

Being a staple with the iPhone’s design throughout the years, the slightly recessed, yet springy home button is once again positioned in its familiar slot right below the display. Needless to say, we can’t complain about it, since it’s easily pressed and all. On the opposite edge, we’re greeted to its narrow looking earpiece, light sensor, proximity sensor, and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, which so happens to now capture video in 720p.

Just like its predecessor, both its separated volume controls and mute switch are placed on the left side of the handset’s bezel. Thankfully, the rounded volume buttons are distinctive enough to feel out – while still exhibiting a comforting clicky response when pressed. Although the right edge of the handset appears to be clean, it’s where we find the discrete nano-SIM slot, which is again accessed by inserting the SIM removal tool or a clip into the pinhole.

The left side - Apple iPhone 5 Review
Left Side

The right edge - Apple iPhone 5 Review
Right Side

Top side - Apple iPhone 5 Review
Top Side

Bottom - Apple iPhone 5 Review
Bottom Side

Interestingly enough, the top edge is home to only the raised and sufficiently sized power button, while the3.5mm headset jack has been moved towards the bottom where it’s nearby the speaker, microphone, and Apple’s new proprietary Lightning dock port. With the latter, it’s one of the biggest changes seen on the iPhone 5, since for many years now, Apple’s 30-pin port has been a familiar figure. No doubt, there are going to be some inconvenienced by this, especially when many accessories have been fitted to use the 30-pin port, but nevertheless, an optional adapter can be purchased to make them compatible with Apple’s newest toy. In the end, the Lightning jack merely enables Apple to reduce the iPhone 5’s overall size, since you know, it’s now occupying a small amount of real estate.

And finally, the rear of the iPhone 5 is home to the updated 8-megapixel iSight camera with LED flash and noise-cancellation microphone. Even though the megapixel count is the same as its predecessor, it’s been blessed with an improved backside-illuminated sensor and retooled lens, which are safely guarded by a durable sapphire crystal glass. We know you’re dying to know how it fares, but we’ll get into those details a bit later on.


Finally! Some will applaud, some will cry, but whatever you feel, the iPhone is now on the bandwagon of believing that bigger is better. Simply without saying, the iPhone 5 sheds the consistent 3.5-inch display of yesterday’s iPhones, and instead, and replaces it with a more modestly sized 4-inch Retina Display. Indeed, it’s now better equipped to tangle with some of the smartphones out there with ginormous displays on them, but one thing’s absolute – it’s nice that only the length of the handset has been extended. The 640 x 1136 resolution of the iPhone 5’s Retina Display results in a 326 ppi pixel density, same as the previous iPhone – it is detailed enough for our aging eyes to visibly make out fine details in the web browser and everywhere else with little issue.

Being a noteworthy thing to mention as well, the iPhone 5 employs an in-cell touchscreen that merely shaves off a layer, thus, bringing the display closer to the surface. However, it’s almost negligible to the eye because we didn’t notice much of a difference compared to the iPhone 4S Retina Display. Another thing about the display, its color production is noticeably warmer looking than previous efforts – giving it a more vibrant output than before. The colors are now more saturated, but still not too oversaturated as those of most AMOLED displays, which may seem more attractive, but aren't as accurate. Rounding things out, its strong brightness output combined with its superb viewing angles make it relatively easy for outdoor usage with the sun present. Frankly, we appreciate the change in scenery with the larger Retina Display on the iPhone 5, as it’s complemented by an arsenal of great qualities about it, like its detail and superior clarity.

The display's color production is noticeably warmer looking than previous efforts – giving it a more vibrant output than before - Apple iPhone 5 Review    The display's color production is noticeably warmer looking than previous efforts – giving it a more vibrant output than before - Apple iPhone 5 Review    The display's color production is noticeably warmer looking than previous efforts – giving it a more vibrant output than before - Apple iPhone 5 Review
The display's color production is noticeably warmer looking than previous efforts – giving it a more vibrant output than before.


Above the surface, we’ve come to appreciate the new design that Apple bestowed upon its latest iPhone – and without doubt, it’s refreshing to say the least. However, beneath the water, there’s the matter of its software experience, which as we all know by now, is none other than Apple’s retooled iOS 6 experience. So what can we say about it on the iPhone 5? Well people, if you haven’t checked out our review of iOS 6, it’s worth checking out to get up to snuff with the new features. Here’s the thing, it’s visually identical to all previous versions of iOS – though, it’s been updated with some new tangible features (some being removed as well) that make the experience a pleasure to use.

When compared to its rivals, iOS 6 is visually boring looking with its typical grid-like icons taking hostage of its homescreen. Certainly, it was a revolutionary thing to see back in 2007 when it first came to light, but when it’s pitted against some of the graphically intensive UIs of other platforms, it doesn’t particularly come off as eye-catching. However, the rehashed style of the interface is exactly what makes it an iconic (no pun here folks) experience – something that people have come to accept at this point. Now this time around, the larger display provides for an additional row of icons in the homescreen, making the total stand at 5 rows versus the previous 4. Essentially, the look and feel of iOS 6 favors ease of use and simplicity more than visual flare. So yes, it’s a platform that’s uncomplicated, has a low learning curve, and is timely succinct.

When compared to its rivals, iOS 6 is visually boring looking - Apple iPhone 5 Review   The notification panel - When compared to its rivals, iOS 6 is visually boring looking - Apple iPhone 5 Review

As we’ve said, there’s not a whole lot new with the presentation of iOS 6, but there are some useful new features littered around to make it a pleasant experience. First and foremost, we now get Facebook integration throughout the platform – and even better, the notifications panel gives us access to posting messages to either Facebook or Twitter. However, there’s nothing else new found with the iPhone 5’s notification system. Secondly, Siri has been upgraded as well to provide additional enhancements that no doubt come off as entertaining at times. Specifically, Siri is now equipped in providing details surround restaurants, sports, news, and movies. In fact, Siri is smart enough to hone into our GPS location to pinpoint what movie theaters are playing around the area – with detailed info regarding playing times and the synopsis of the flicks. Indeed, it’s amusing and all, especially when it’s fairly accurate with its voice recognition.

Siri has been upgraded - Apple iPhone 5 Review Siri has been upgraded - Apple iPhone 5 Review Siri has been upgraded - Apple iPhone 5 Review
Siri is improved

With the rest of the new features of iOS 6, they’re mainly subtle visual changes that differentiate the platform’s style – such as the new layout of the dial pad and faint increase of the display’s brightness as it’s turned on. From the onset, there are still many apps that haven’t been updated or optimized to take advantage of the larger display, which results in black bars on the top and bottom of the apps. Nonetheless, it’s only a matter of time before they’re updated. Overall, the iOS 6 experience is appreciable enough to tide us over for another year, but it’s desperately in need of a major visual overhaul to keep it attractive amongst other things out there. It’s easy, so that’s partly the reason for its humble styling.

Processor and Memory:

Realizing it more than ever, especially when its rivals tout their fancy schmancy processors, Apple has this other approach when it comes to raw processing power – its real-world performance over specs. To tell you the truth, we really don’t need to know what’s ticking on the inside of this baby, as its brisk performance in all areas is reason enough to win us over. Well, just for those curious out there, the iPhone 5 is packing along Apple’s new A6 chipset, which is of the dual-core variety coupled with 1GB of RAM. Can we say that it’s simply marvelous with all its operations? From opening up apps, playing games, to moving about its homescreen, everything, and we everything is accompanied with fluid executions with very few instances of any hiccups – then again, the platform isn’t graphically as demanding as its rivals. Nevertheless, we’re soundly satisfied with the flattering and smooth performance of the handset.

In a way, we’re not particularly shocked by the revelation, since it’s been what we’ve been exposed to for a while now, but we were still crossing our fingers in hopes of seeing larger storage capacities with the iPhone 5. Alas, that’s not the case, as we’re again presented with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities. Needless to say, you can quickly fill the handset up if you’re not cautious on what you save, since there’s no expandable memory.

Internet and Connectivity:

Well, what do we have here? It’s an iPhone outfitted with the comforts of 4G LTE connectivity in tow! Yes people, the iPhone 5 has finally taken the plunge in offering the next-generation data connection, which soundly goes to show it’s finally meeting up with the rest of the world. Naturally, the speedy connection complements the already existing wonderful experience of mobile Safari, but there isn’t much of a change this time around except that the browser takes advantage of the extra real estate of the display by offering a full-screen mode. Meanwhile, we’re greeted with Safari’s oh-so sweet fluid navigational controls and instantaneous renders of complex pages. So yeah, the 4G LTE connection will no doubt appease many people!

Unlike last year’s model, which relied on a single unit being manufactured to accommodate all three major carriers, Apple has decided to make three variants of the iPhone 5 to make it compatible with the various 4G LTE networks around. Specifically, there’s one model to support AT&T’s LTE network, another one that’s compatible with the LTE networks of Sprint and Verizon, and a third one to handle the LTE networks in Europe and Asia. As for the other connectivity options on board with the iPhone 5, they consist of the usual suspects – these include aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot (you’ll need to subscribe to gain the feature). Noticeably absent is NFC, which some might find peculiar as many competing handset feature it, but rather, Apple is banking on its Passbook app as an alternative solution.


Flaunting a still clean looking camera interface, iOS 6 brings forth a new panorama shooting mode that Apple states as potentially sizing up to as much as 28-megapixels. Aside from that, everything else has is still intact that we know and love by now – like touch focus/exposure, HDR mode, AE/AF lock, swipe to the right to get to the camera roll, and snapping photos by pressing the volume up button. Thankfully, you’ll never miss the beat with those unpredictable real-world moments, as the camera launches very quickly and gets us into snapping shots right away. In fact, its shutter speed is impeccable – meaning that fast moving objects are no match for this one.

The clean looking camera interface - Apple iPhone 5 Review The clean looking camera interface - Apple iPhone 5 Review The clean looking camera interface - Apple iPhone 5 Review
A clean camera interface

Armed with an 8-megapixel iSight camera, it doesn’t improve upon the megapixel count of its processor, but nevertheless, the addition of an improved backside illuminated sensor combined with a retooled lens coughs up even better visuals with the iPhone 5. We’ve always been satisfied with the iPhone in terms of taking photos, and rightfully so, we can continue to love it even more – especially when it’s an easy point and shoot replacement. Oh yeah, there’s also a new Panorama mode that requires us to snap the shot in portrait, where it’s then stitched together in real-time for minimal wait. And surely enough, it boasts plenty of visual treats to make it a standout and beloved new feature.

iOS 6 brings forth a new panorama shooting mode - Apple iPhone 5 Review

Panorama shooting mode

Winning us over is the fair amount of detail with its shots, accurate color reproduction, neutral exposure, and dreamy depth of field. With the latter, it makes for some wonderful macro shots, as the background features enough defocus to place emphasis on the detailed subject up front. Meanwhile, in low lighting conditions, the iPhone 5 continues to shine with its sharp visuals – though, we needed to mess around with its touch focus/exposure to get the best results. Nevertheless, the LED flash is potent enough to properly illuminate the scenery without distorting colors that much. However, our sole qualm with the iPhone 5 is that shots taken in complete darkness can still come out of focus, since the flash doesn’t turn on prior to the shot for proper focusing. Regardless, the iPhone 5 proves in more ways than one that it’s more than capable of relieving some point and shoots out there.

Likewise, the smartphone’s 1080p video recording is also favorable with its balanced quality. Of course, it excels most with outdoor sunny usage, as it has the perfect blend of sharp details, natural colors, gradual exposure, clear audio recording, and smooth capture rate of 29 frames per second to make it highly usable. Still, there’s no continuous focus with its recording, and instead, it relies on the tried and true touch focus option that has been a staple of the iPhone. Meanwhile, videos recorded in low lighting are still decent, but some evidence of noise and a lower capture speed of 24 frames per second soften the quality of its results.


Much like before, there’s no change with the style and layout of the photo gallery with iOS 6. Obviously, there are some basic editing functions that are available to tweak them on the go, but this time around, we now find some additional sharing options. Seeing that Facebook is now deeply intertwined with the platform, it’s now an available share option as well in the photo gallery – in addition to the already existing options of email, text messages, photo stream, and Twitter.

Five years and counting, it’s almost crazy to say that Apple’s iPod music player is still one of the best out there on any device. At this point, it’s absolutely ready for a new overhaul with its visuals and presentation, but nevertheless, cover flow mode is still one classy looking thing to revisit. For the most part, it follows the conventional approach, but it would’ve been nice to gain access to the music player’s settings within the player – as opposed to going to the general Settings menu. As for the audio quality of its internal speaker, it emits some pleasant tones that don’t have too much strain or distortion at the loudest volume, but it lacks enough substance for it to come off as demanding.

Apple’s iPod music player is still one of the best out there on any device - Apple iPhone 5 Review Apple’s iPod music player is still one of the best out there on any device - Apple iPhone 5 Review Apple’s iPod music player is still one of the best out there on any device - Apple iPhone 5 Review
Apple’s iPod music player is still one of the best out there on any device

Packaged along with the iPhone 5, is Apple’s brand new Earpods headphones, which appear mightily strange with its chubby looks. In terms of comfort, we’re a bit concerned due to its loose feel in the ear – probably because they’re so large in size versus other in-ear headphones. With its audio quality, however, we can’t say we’re totally blown away by them, but at the same time, we were expected something with more punch with its output.

Now that the iPhone 5 is sporting a widescreen display, it’s more ideal for watching videos than ever before. Throw in the fact that its display is wickedly sharp for the occasion, it simply makes for a resounding experience – albeit, it doesn’t quite have that polarizing experience found with some of the smartphones out there with ridiculously large displays to reel us in. Moreover, its support out of the box is fairly limited, as we’re only able to load videos encoded in MPEG-4. Despite those minor issues, we’re still content with the iPhone 5’s offering.


With the introduction of iOS 6, Apple decided to chuck Google Maps in favor of its own home-brewed maps app. Aptly titled as “Maps,” it’s by in large somewhat not as comprehensive as to what Google Maps for iOS had to offer. Sure, it runs smoothly and has all the basic elements we require, but it’s missing some important features as well – in this case, it’s transit directions. Instead, the Maps apps directs us to the App Store to select one of the featured third party offerings that provide it. In addition, there’s no longer street view available with the new Maps apps, but rather, we’re sometimes given an image of the location. However, we find comfort in knowing that there is now free voice guided turn-by-turn directions with iOS 6 – though, it’s fairly primitive in comparison to other offerings out there. And lastly, we have to admit that we’re impressed with the Flyover mode available with the Maps app, which beautifully recreates some popular cities with the aid of its 3D models. Some stay, some go, but for what Apple has to offer with this first time go, we’re content with the offerings, but we’re hoping for a quick and aggressive approach to get it up to par with the competition.

Apple Maps - Apple iPhone 5 Review Apple Maps - Apple iPhone 5 Review Apple Maps - Apple iPhone 5 Review
Apple Maps

Knowing that Apple has decided to forgo incorporating NFC technology with the iPhone 5, some might be scratching their heads wondering what the alternative solution is for them. Well folks, there’s Passbook! Basically, it’s Apple’s way of providing a virtual wallet to its users, since it populates stored content like movie tickets, gift cards, coupons, passes, and much more. We didn’t get too much time checking it out, since there are only a handful of supported apps and services right now, so we’re curious to see how it’ll be adopted by users in the long run.

Call Quality:

Whoa! Talk about impressive noise-cancellation with the iPhone 5! Overall, calling quality is glorious in many ways. For starters, the earpiece emits ample tones to make it very easy for us to listen to our caller’s clear and distinctive voice. However, there’s only a small hint of distortion with voices when switching over to use the speakerphone. Thanks to the aid of its three microphones and a complex system known as Beamforming, our callers are treated to one heck of an exquisite experience on their end. Already, voices are natural in tone on their end of the line, but the most impressive part about the iPhone 5’s calling quality is its superior noise-cancellation. At first, our callers pick up some wind noise in the background as we drive with the windows down, but in no time at all, it’s cancelled out with a strong emphasis on our voice.


So here’s the thing, Apple has mentioned that battery life with the iPhone 5 has been improved over the iPhone 4S, but surely enough, there’s the matter of 4G LTE connectivity this time around. Well, with our Sprint iPhone 5, we’re only able to test it out relying on 3G connectivity, and in our experience, it’s pretty much unchanged from the iPhone 4S. Then again, it’s nice that it offers enough juice to get us by through a solid work day, but with 4G LTE connectivity, it’s almost certain to be a huge battery drain.


Undeniably, the iPhone 5 is the most highly anticipated smartphone of the year – rightfully so considering that this sixth-generation sees one major design overhaul! For some time now, the competition has been leaping over the iPhone 4S’ specs sheet, but with the introduction of the iPhone 5, Apple has seemingly addressed many of the desires and wants of iPhone owners. Upgraded for the modern world, we appreciate the change to a larger 4-inch Retina Display, but even more impressive, is the reality that its overall footprint is still easy on the hands – as opposed to the overimposing stature of some of its rivals. And with that, the iPhone 5 continues to stand tall and proudly as being one of the classiest looking devices on the market – aided by its impeccable construction and quality choice of materials. In fact, it’s treated more like a piece of jewelry than anything else! Additionally, it’s nice to see that 4G LTE connectivity is now on board with the iPhone, which again brings it up to the modern world.

As a whole though, it’s not a game-changing device per se, like the original iPhone back in 2007, but to be honest, it excels in the areas that are most vital to any smartphone owner. Obviously, it has the design to capture the attention of people far and wide, but when we look beyond the aesthetics, we find an iPhone that continues to improve with its performance – like its photo taking quality and wickedly fast processing power. Indeed, the platform experience is still lacking the depth of customization features of its rivals, but again, it’s simplicity that Apple decides to focus on more than anything else.

So the obvious question that remains is whether the iPhone 5 is worth a buy? For $200, you’re getting one of the few devices on the market that has the rich blend of performance and features to soundly satisfy a broad range of needs and wants. Even though we’re still yearning for an updated platform experience with iOS, the iPhone 5 hits a grand slam homerun out of the park with its svelte design, sharp looking display, raw processing power, and detailed photo capturing quality to clear the bases entirely. It works, runs fast, and it’s a looker as well! What more can you ask out of a phone when it wins in those key categories?

PC Mag says Apple iPhone 5 is the fastest smartphone in the land

PC Mag says Apple iPhone 5 is the fastest smartphone in the land
More than twice as fast as any previous Apple iPhone model (even when updated to iOS 6), faster than the Samsung Galaxy S III and faster than the new Motorola DROID RAZR M, the Apple iPhone 5 is the fastest smartphone on earth. That is according to PC Magazine's exhaustive study of benchmark tests run on the 6th generation of Apple's iconic smartphone and on other handsets. 

The fastest smartphone on earth?

The Apple iPhone 5 stood out on JavaScript tests, something that we told you a few days ago, before PCMag made public all of their results. On the Sun-Spider JavaScript benchmark site, the Apple iPhone 5 set a new record for performance. In addition, the iPhone 5's triple-core GPU technology allowed the phone to double the score of the Motorola DROID RAZR M in certain graphics benchmark tests. In Geekbench scores, the iPhone 5 more than doubled the results from the Apple iPhone 4S, showing that Apple wasn't kidding when they said the new phone was twice as fast as its predecessor. Streaming video tests showed the Apple iPhone 5 doubling the Apple iPhone 4S and in memory, the newer phone tripled the score of the older model. Against the original Apple iPhone, the new model is 20 times faster when browsing, almost 20 times faster with graphics and 5 times faster with JavaScript.

Ever since the Apple iPhone 5 was announced, the A6 chipset which powers it has been something of a riddle. With Apple mentioning nothing on the exact specifications, we had to wait another week to find the core count and architecture, as well as the RAM amount and GPU model.

Now however, we got to learn the rest of the A6 secrets, thanks to a detailed review of its performance, courtesy of Anandtech. The suspicion that Apple went for a custom CPU architecture was confirmed and we learned that its maximum clock speed is 1.2GHz. The rest of the A6 specs highlights include 1GB of RAM and a PowerVR SGX 543MP3 three-core GPU.
More importantly, however, we found out how those perform in real life and how the iPhone 5 compares to the other iOS products and the Android top dogs.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

iOS 6 jumps to 15% devices

There is one thing about Apple launches we still find kind of magical. Not really magical, but definitely enchanting - the way iOS updates massively start rolling out and in a day or two - and boom! - you have a huge number of users on the latest and greatest of the platform. And that’s just happened again with iOS 6 and to an even greater extent.

iOS 6 adoption jumps to 15% in a mere 24 hours

Adoption rate of iOS 6 has jumped to 15% in the first 24 hours, according to a report from online advertising network Chitika. iOS 5 in comparison took five days to reach 20% penetration, and it seems certain that the new version of Apple’s mobile platform will beat that.

Google’s awesome performance-driving Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in comparison, months after its launch, is still adopted by just around 1.5% of users. This number will surge in October and November, but still we’re talking months, not days.

Apple’s update to iOS 6 is a gradual step in building up the mobile operating system that started it all in 2007. It brings 200 new features, most of them incremental updates, save for the new Maps app that replaces Google Maps (and is hugely disappointing at that)

iOS 6 adoption jumps to 15  in a mere 24 hours

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

iOS 6 now Live

iOS 6

It takes your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in entirely new directions.

It looks like Apple is sticking pretty close to that timetable we saw earlier today, because the iOS 6 rollout has begun and the update is live around the world. This means iOS users will be getting notifications for the update, but we want to put out one last warning before you update. We've had extensive coverage of iOS 6 and the new features, but there are two big changes that you may want to keep in mind as you start to see the notifications for the update. 

1) No more Google Maps. Apple's new Maps app will give you turn-by-turn navigation, but the general feeling is that it is lagging behind Google's offering overall because it's place database is far smaller, and it doesn't include Street View, or public transit directions and info. There is a way that public transit info can be hooked in by a 3rd party service, but that doesn't yet exist. Google has promised a version of Google Maps will be coming to the App Store, but hasn't yet released it, so if you think Google Maps will be better for you, it may be best to delay the update until Google releases its app. 

2) No more baked-in YouTube. This isn't an issue for iPhone users, because Google has released an iPhone version of YouTube into the App Store, but iPad users won't have a YouTube app. This isn't such a big deal, since the YouTube website was better than the baked-in app anyway, but some people prefer apps to websites. 

If you don't mind those two changes, then you can grab the iOS 6 update through iTunes, or OTA (on WiFi of course, since the update clocks in at around 500MB) on your device now.