The world can feel a pretty scary place these days and so I guess it’s understandable that those who have laws allowing them to own and carry firearms think they are their best protection again bad guys. I am not going Continue reading
Yes I’m not kidding you you have read that headline correct. Before we’ve even had the rumoured March Apple press events we are in a new bout of rumours concerning a new iPhone next year. Not this coming September but the iPhone that may be released in 2017.
With anticipated introduction in 22 days or so one would think the production for iPhone SE would be well underway such is not the case according to KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple this morning acknowledged the bug whereby if you change your date to May 1970 or earlier, you won’t be able to restart your iOS device. The bug affects all iOS devices that utilize a 64-bit chipset.
It’s hard to believe that 7 years ago to the day, Steve Jobs got up on stage and announced a phone that changed the course of mobile phones / mobile computing as we know it. The iPhone.
So according to analysts reports, Samsung managed to shift 6.5m Units. Whilst the S3 might be outselling it’s main rival the HTC one X but let’s not forget the iPhone 5 lands in october. (figures from intomobile)
Apple btw said it sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter (source NYT)
“We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,”
said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. Who wouldn’t be 😀
The specs of the HTC one are impressive to say the least. Boasting a heft CPU bigger screen amongst the top features. I managed to get my hands on it for a short time and took a video of the HTC One X Browser v iPhone Safari. Seems that the iPhone smoked the HTC One X this time around.. .
The company that makes Blackberry smart phones says it is withdrawing from the consumer market to concentrate on business customers.
Source : BBC News
Gracious in defeat
. Although somewhat odd just after they launched a high end consumer product in Harrods 6 days ago source : crackberry. Strikes me as a company that’s long been at odds with itself, never taking the Bold move (pardon the pun) to find its own direction in the consumer market.
According to figures in the last quarter rim shipped 11.1 million units but at 30% or more less than the panned average selling price (ASP). Apple in the same time shipped 37.04 million iPhones (source : cnet without having to slash prices.
According to a somewhat vauge report at Bloomberg, iPhone 4s phone users consume double the data of iPhone 4 users thanks, mainly, to Siri.
Network analyst Arieso claims that the voice navigation software could see users incur significantly higher bills, and mobile networks struggle with the volume of data being transmitted.
Arieso reached the conclusion after analysing the data usage of one million smartphone owners on an unnamed European network.
So there i was on Christmas day, sat around the family table exchanging presents and hoping, for the love of god that my little sister would like her Blackberry.
Being the one member of the family other than the tech freak of a sister I have, Christmas day was spent setting up a Blackberry. No, before anyone starts this is not a bashing or fanboy article. I spend what resources I have to look for what alternatives there are in the mobile phone ecosphere however it seemed to feel like windows 95 in a windows 7 world, even more so DOS akin to Mac OSX.
We don’t often comment often on such areas like the jail breaking community however when we saw this one it definitely makes the grade as a news item.
Not many readers will probably remember the old days of Windows Mobile. Microsoft’s attempts to bring a scaled down version of their desktop operating system to a small handheld device. This included features like the start button, movable windows and applications. Surprisingly enough it really didn’t work.
Introducing the ultimatum theme developed by Jdsss which brings the Lion desktop to your iPhone. Normally things like this are just a skin without much functionality and end up running applications already installed. Not only does the automated theme genuinely looks like Apple’s desktop operating system, but it also functions as if it was a genuine operating system.
You will find all the standard fare, such as finding menus, stacks, launchpad, scrollable docs and windows that can be dragged around exactly is if you were using a mouse or trackpad.
The ultimatum theme requires a jail broken device and is available from the ModMyi repo
Another day, moment, week and something apple is being rumored. So we’ve rounded up this weeks iPhone and Apple rumors in the best of the rumors.
Friday 26th August : iPhone 4s Leaked Pictures
So it;s not actually the iPhone 4s but alleged pictures of the case for the 4s. The pictures speak for themselves showing a lack of a home button and moving of the antenna.
Wednesday : An All New Mac
What a way to start the week with sites announcing that a source from Japanese news and rumors website release the news that Apple will release a new product. All that’s been said is that it will be distinctly different. Well thanks for that, a weight lifted from my mind and a new product from Apple will be released. Next we can all rest easy after Ford announce they will make a new car.
Tuesday : The Cheap iPhone4
Rumors abound now about a cheap iPhone 4 coming with 8gb storage. This seems semi plausible as having a handset priced in the Android pricing sector would certainly stir things up
Monday : iPhone 5 Release Date For October
The October date has been chucked around more than once by AT&T and other “sources” and this one makes sense. A traditional product announcement in the month of September and then release in October
Magsafe has saved my laptop many a time and so I was overjoyed to come across the news that Apple has successfully applied for a patent to bring its Mac-saving MagSave power cable technology to iOS devices.
Magsafe was introducted way back in 2006 and I’m surprised that other vendors haven’t tried to come up with their own solution thus far.
Instead of dragging the device to the ground when you trip over the cable, the MagSafe connector just pops right out, leaving you with just a slight tinge of embarrassment rather than a large repair bill.
Now Apple has trademarked the tech with the US Patent Office in order to transfer MagSafe and bring piece of mind to iPad and iPhone owners.
The filing, revealed by the PatentlyApple website, says: “In one particular embodiment, the connector may be a power connector such as the MagSafe.”
So there you have it, the days of self-inflicted, gadget-smashing mis-steps could be over.
It probably won’t be in time for the next generation iPhone, but soon you’ll be able to trip and fall as merrily as you like without taking your precious smartphone with you.
Anyone else think this might be pointing to a rounded iPhone 5?
As gadgets go, I have to admit, that when I saw this little gem floating around on other review websites, I had to get it for myself and give it a thorough shake down. Personally to me some of the other reviews dedicate a few paragraphs, which are no way near enough for what this device can do and being honest, those other reviews miss out quite a few key important facts. So when the good people at Equinux offered me a loan of a unit I jumped at the chance and I have been reviewing this for the last few weeks.
Remember the days of walking down the road with a ghetto blaster? Well I have been doing the new age version of that, walking down the road with my iPhone and the portable TV tuner 😀 Also, and I don’t recommend this, with the help of a colleague we conducted our very own driving a car whilst watching FreeView test. So in short we tried to make this review as real-world as possible like we do with most of our reviews.
Setting up the Tizi.
This really coldnt be easier. Download the Tizi application from the App store and run it. Turn on the Tizi, connect to it’s own hotspot (wireless security is available) and the box will start scanning for signals in your area.
Our first attempt at a scan failed miserabley! This was no surprise as I barely get a signal with a boosted roof top aerial, so to remove the ever present issue of having a questionable tv signal, we jumped in the car and less than a minute later find ourselves with a nice strong signal. The Tizi started to do it’s channel scan and ended up picking up 67 channels which in my location merits an impressive result.
It’s at this time we found a massive bug bear of this product, okay maybe not a problem, perhaps it’s by design, you can’t use your own external TV aerial. Yes that’s right you have no option whatsoever to use your household aerial, portable aerial or anything other than the small built-in aerial that comes with the hardware. If you are savvy enough you could use the end of a household aerial connector and with a bit of fiddling get a signal indoors for those that suffer in poor signal areas like myself.
Smart location channel scanning works by using the iPhone GPS and hooking into, we presume, a database of transmitters to find the nearest transmitter to you. If you have your location services turned off you can do a full Freeview scan, however this will take some time as it will scan all frequencies in the spectrum.
At first we thought it was a little flimsy and weak, however, as we were later to find out the flexibility was a more than a saving grace. At one stage of our testing we caught the aerial on a wall, thankfully because it’s designed to bend up to 90 degrees there was no damage. Hundreds of times better than those old telescopic extending aerials that were non-replaceable and the moment they had a chink anywhere in them you were left waiting for an inevitable snap and a useless TV tuner. It’s at this point you realise the whole package hasn’t just been cobbled together, there is a definite sense of feeling that designers have worked alongside engineers to make sure that the whole, user interface experience is intuitive and simple from the out of the box moment.
So let’s get on with doing every unemployed persons favourite hobby, watching daytime television.
As you can see from the images, a small display of your current channel is at the top and below is a mini guide which you can scroll up and down to see what is on. Clicking on the small circle with the arrow reveals a small synopsis of what’s showing now and sliding to the left shows you the next program details. All the information is provided OTA (over the air) a neat touch to the intuatitve interface. Basic yes.. functional, definitely!
The blue bars you see under the channel logo represent how much of the program has played through already.
It might have been during updates for the guide, having too many open apps or our iPhone 4 still running on iOS 4.2, but we noticed considerable scrolling lag going up and down the EPG, all areas of the GUI were just fine, so it’s probably just a combination of doing a scan and updating the interface that takes its one time only toll on the system. Further EPG update didn’t seem to affect performance at all.
Some people are right to levy criticism at the fact that you can only see now and next programs, but then you would really have to ask the question, is this device really designed to be a portable DVR or just a portable TV viewer with an option to record programmes built-in?
Watching TV with Tizi
Quality wise it’s what you would expect from watching a video on an iOS device and freeview. Running at a full 25fps any transitions or panning shots were smooth with no issues at all with the quality and frame rate. Have a look for yourself in the sample video below. Note, because it’s on YouTube it’s obviously going to be compressed but I will get a download link to the source shortly.
Interestingly we found out that this box captures at native free view resolutions, for more information on this see the following link http://dtt.me.uk/
Rotating the iPhone to its horizontal position takes you into a full screen mode, the only thing you can do here is double tap the screen to zoom in, handy for broadcasts shown in non-widescreen format or for general zooming in on something. This does mean that if you want to record what you’re watching it’s a question of rotating the iPhone back to the vertical position. It does seem a touch bonkers that there is no way to record from the horizontal position, but it’s more a niggle than a drawback.
Once again we are faced with the issue of the digital signal that powers Freeview. Due to no fault of the box itself, some channels can look like the old RealPlayer dial up streams as many of the daytime channels are compressed to within an inch of their lives, just to make sure we can have our fill of shopping channels and not miss out. It’s when you start hitting the bigger channels like BBC you really see the quality shine through. Colors are exactly as you would expect watching tv on the iphone with smooth scrolling of panning shots.
There is an optional function to turn on a retina display function which really can make a difference on the new iPhone 4. The image comes across as being a lot sharper, crisper and even a touch more vibrant but this is at the expense of slowing down your phone a little.
Recording TV with Tizi
With the phone in its vertical position you can record a new program by pressing the record button, this will give you two options. Option one is to record indefinitely to the size of the available free space on your device, option two let’s you just record that program. Safety margins can be automatically applied so that recordings start and finish with some padding either side, to allow for timings and programs over running (Normally when Top Gear is on)
Playback of recordings is accompanied by the programme synopsis that is shown on the EPG.
Recordings are only accessible via the Tizi application itself, unless you download them to your computer . Why this is I have no idea, as other applications seem to have the facility to record into the camera roll location but hopefully this will be addressed in a future software update.
Recordings aren’t accessible in the normal Camera roll location because they are direct captures of the freeview stream (.ts) and not a standard Mpeg2 format. That explains having to use the app to watch recordings.
Another annoyance shows itself when trying to watch your recordings, the application will still be searching for the Tizi. So if you are trying to save some battery life make sure you turn off your Wi-Fi and 3G
The film strip icon on the far right displays anything recorded along with the program synopsis and file details like size and length etc.
Recordings are stored on the iPhone in their own area, so you can’t use the standard camera roll to view, as covered above recordings are accessed in Tizi application. To pull recordings onto your computer you need to fire up iTunes, go into the application sharing options, select what you want to synch and either do it manually or when syncing your iPhone.
An immeasurably better option would be if recordings were stored on the iPhone like other images and videos, in the camera roll location so you could use image capture to pull them easily instead of the iTunes faff. Even tho you couldn’t play them because of the recording format it would still make grabbing video to free up space more accessible. I do suspect that this is by design as you can use the TV tuner with their own desktop software called The Tube. Fortunately we will be reviewing this shortly.
Worth noting is the fact you can only delete recordings via the application itself and not via iTunes. So if you are wondering why you are running low on storage space remember to check your recordings.
Watching Live TV on Your Mac
This area seems to be the most overlooked part of any review for this box. In short, yes, you can watch TV on your Mac using the Tizi but alas this is something we are unable to test in our location. Its all the more a pity when you see what the tube software, designed to work with the Tizi, can offer an interactive form of television viewing experience. Keep an eye out for an upcoming review of The Tube from Equinux.
It’s hard to see, or maybe not, where this product is aimed. Being an ex road warrior myself if I had a gizmo like this in the past I would of been a happy bunny indeed.
It’s hard to find any real shortcomings with the Tizi that aren’t related to issues of signal but there are a fair few annoyances. Viewing video using the app itself rather than using the camera roll is the main one and when in landscape mode it would be nice to have a record button.
On the plus side, the software is well thought out, intuitive with logical placing of information, making use of OTA data but not crowding the display.
How well the Tizi works in hotel environments or built up city areas is hard to tell. With the digital switch over in full effect this really shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but one to bear in mind as you can’t use an external aerial. (We did try holding the end of a roof top aerial to the antenna and almost got it to work)
It’s easy to look at the price of the Tizi and write it off straight away. However, when you take into account a Wi-Fi dongle can cost up to £50, a USB TV tuner can cost almost the same (for a half decent one anyway) and then the portability issue of lugging around a Mac with you, it doesn’t seem so expensive after all. Yes okay, there’s more flexibility with the Mac and a bigger screen but also added weight and all. Six of one and half a dozen of the other.
“An impressive small package that excels at exactly what it set’s out to do, provide TV on your iOS device and allow you to watch and record programs in an intuitive easy to use way”