Does Smartphone Speed Matter Anymore?

All the smartphone manufacturers want us to feel like we *need* the latest and greatest handset. They’d prefer we upgrade every year than keep a phone for 2+ years. A few years ago, each new evolution of smartphone felt like a giant leap … but not anymore. In 2013, speed improvements due to the latest processors are barely perceivable to humans unless running the most demanding games or apps. The most obvious recent improvements have been in screen size and resolution, but now that they’ve exceeded the resolution the human eye can see there is little point developing these further (other than to reduce battery consumption and weight).

It has become hard to imagine how a smartphone will evolve meaningfully beyond the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and upcoming iPhone 5S or 6. As with the HTC One, consumers will begin to choose smartphones for their build quality, individual preference for screen size and preferred UI … as opposed to outright performance (in which case literally everyone would be buying a Galaxy S4 right now).

snapdragon-800-antutu-3

Another sign that smartphones are not becoming obsolete as quickly is the booming market for second hand and refurbished handsets. Not only are the volumes increasing, but the average value of a used smartphone is going up as well. Smartphones are not depreciating as quickly because they are perfectly usable and practical for longer.

So what are the remaining obviously limiting factors in smartphones today. The most critical is battery life … if someone developed a phone with 90% of the speed of the Galaxy S4 and the same camera, but the battery lasted 3 days+ it would be an instant sell-out and few would bother getting a Galaxy S5 if it only offered 24hrs battery life.

There will always be flagship smartphones showing off their outstanding processing power, but few will actually need that speed. Perhaps the manufacturers should now focus on processors which consume less power?

iPhone 5, iPad mini, iOS 6.0 & iOS 6.1 Evasi0n Jailbreak Available Now

Evasi0n Jailbreak

Ever since the iPhone was originally released, rogue developers and Apple have been involved in a sort of cat and mouse chase. Each time Apple releases a new version of their iOS mobile platform, developers do everything they can to break the new founded security and allow for the installation of unapproved third party apps. While jailbreaking has gotten some negative attention due to its allowance of piracy, there are countless legitimate reasons to jailbreak your phone. In fact, for some, the ability to further customize and tweak the platform provided by jailbreaking is absolutely necessary.

Unfortunately, for quite some time now the iPhone 5, iPad mini and iOS 6 in general have yet to see a working jailbreak. Add this to the fact that iOS 6.1 has just hit the scene and you can see why many are weary of an update. Luckily, those delays have finally come to an end as a working untethered iOS 6/6.1 jailbreak is available now. Entitled Evasi0n, from the all new Evad3rs team, this jailbreak works with any and all devices running iOS 6 or 6.1 including the iPhone 5 and iPad mini, except for the third generation Apple TV.

At the time of this posting, servers hosting the Evasi0n files are being absolutely slammed which is virtually a given seeing how this is such a highly sought after release. To make matters even worse, many scammers have taken to the web to exploit these server issues by offering up fake iOS 6 jailbreaks. In lieu of this, it’s wise to only use the officially provided mirrors of Evasi0n found at www.evasi0n.com

We’re currently jailbreaking our iOS 6 devices now and will report back with how it goes. If you get around to doing so yourself, feel free to let us know about it in the comments below.

15,000 App Submissions Hit BlackBerry 10 in Just 2 Days

It’s no secret that Research in Motion (RIM) has been going through some flack as of late. In fact, ever since Apple launched their first iPhone in June of 2007 effectively redefining the definition of a smartphone, RIM has been in trouble. Add to that the equally (if not more so) successful launch of Google’s Android and you can see why more and more business executive are ditching their BlackBerry handsets. But, despite the fact that RIM’s future has been called into question, they are still an $8 billion company depending on the day. In other words, they may be down, but they aren’t out.

blackberry10

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that RIM is looking to radically redefine their mobile OS with the launch of BlackBerry 10. Straying away from their previous offerings entirely, this new platform bears a much closer resemblance to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android in the sense that it’s fully optimized for touch input. However, while BlackBerry 10 is shaping up to be a very capable mobile platform, it won’t stand a chance without proper third party developer support. Palm’s HP’s webOS being a prime example of this.

Luckily, it looks as if RIM is off to a great start despite the platform still being about a month away from launching. According to the latest reports, RIM’s BlackBerry 10 has already received 15,000 app submissions just 2 days after the company began allowing developers to submit their apps. Of course, with both Android and iOS hovering right around 800,000 apps available for download, BlackBerry 10 still has quite a ways to go. But, if they can manage to gauge enough user interest in these apps third party developers may just stick around and continue flocking to the platform. Will this be enough to make BlackBerry 10 relevant in an already saturated market? Only time will tell.

Sony Yuga Rumours

The Web is going wild about a new super-smartphone code-named the Sony Yuga. If the rumours are true, this device will be a beast!

The top-of-the-range Sony smartphone is alleged to have a 5-inch 1080p screen, backed up with a Exynos 5 quad-core Samsung SOC and a world’s first of 3Gb of RAM and 128Gb of internal storage.

As if those groundbreaking specs weren’t enough, it may have a 16 megapixel camera, a 3000 mAh battery and be entirely waterproof!

Sony Yuga

In the UK, Sony has already started outselling HTC with its unique design and promotional tie-ins with the new James Bond movie. Should Sony decide to release a true market-leading Android device their profile should increase further, allowing them to close the gap with Samsung.

It just makes us wonder what on earth the Samsung Galaxy S4 may look like!

iOS 6 Maps Leaving Some Travelers Stranded

It’s no secret that Apple’s iOS 6 maps application has been nothing short of a massive mishap. When initially revealed, Apple was very confident that consumers would be able to make the switch from Google Maps to iOS 6 maps seamlessly. Exciting new features like free turn-by-turn navigation, 3D Flyover, and Siri integration made the new maps application look very enticing – perhaps even better than Google Maps. Unfortunately, when iOS 6 was released, alongside the new maps application, consumers were gravely disappointed.

Instead of a polished product like Google Maps, consumers  were greeted with inaccurate directions, shoddy satellite images and a product that overall felt very unfinished. Apple quickly took to the web issuing an apology to consumers and pointing them towards more reliable mapping solutions available through the App Store. However, it seems that some folks didn’t get the memo.

Police from the regional city of Mildura (situated in Victoria, Australia), have begun urging travelers to stay away from the iOS 6 application entirely. Apparently, the police have received an influx of calls from stranded travelers who found themselves lost in the middle of Murray-Sunset National Park while looking for Mildura. According to the station, iOS 6 maps has Mildura situated in the middle of the park – a hefty 70km (~44 miles) from its actual location. To make matters even worse, some travelers have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have had to trek through dangerous territory jut to get cellphone service.

To our knowledge, no one has been injured as a result of this, other than Apple. Consumers who have grown to expect nothing but Grade-A products from the Cupertino, California based company are sure to second guess their assumptions after this seemingly never ending ordeal. It’s one thing to have clouds covering a satellite image but the application putting consumers in life threatening situations is another entirely. Apple has yet to respond, but we’ll surely keep you posted if/when they do.

Source: [VicPoliceNews]

UPDATE:  The official Google Maps application for iOS 6 has just been released – we suggest regular maps users download it today!

Apple’s Tim Cook: Sorry About the Maps

CEO of Apple, Tim Cook has just issued this apology for the disastrous launch of Apple’s own Maps app in iOS6. Some prominent Apple bloggers have already threatened to move to Samsung/Apple due to the fact accurate mapping is so critical in their day-to-day smartphone use.

Here is the apology in full:

“To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO”

Redefining Apple Fanboy’ism

We have no words to describe or explain what is going on in this video … it would make more sense had Samsung paid this woman to be in the queue for the new iPhone 5 smartphone and somehow get herself interviewed. They didn’t. As far as we know this is real, which makes it even more disturbing!

Prepare yourself … the video is below …

Someone take away her credit card!

HTC One X Getting Android “Jellybean” 4.1 Soon

Just a few days ago we gave you a glimpse of HTC’s future offerings that are to run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform. While these devices are certainly something to make note of, their Android brethren effectively blow them out of the water. The HTC One X is a prime example of an Android powered device that does just that. For those not familiar with the One X it features a hefty 4.7-inch display with 1280 x 720 resolution, quad-core Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 8 megapixel rear facing camera with 1080p video capture and a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera. From these specs alone, it’s easy to see that the HTC One X is not a phone to take lightly.

However, while the One X is superior from a hardware standpoint, it’s still running Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ 4.0.3 and not the latest, Android ‘Jellybean’ 4.1. To be fair, HTC has been very good at releasing phones with up to date builds of the OS and even Ice Cream Sandwich is lightyears ahead of many other devices.  Luckily, if you are one who craves the latest and greatest, your time is quickly approaching. HTC has recently come forth to let us know that they will be releasing the Android Jellybean update for the HTC One X at some point in the near future. As of now they have been quiet in regards to when exactly the build will drop but rumors have suggested that it will be coming at some point next month.

As is, the HTC One X is one of the fastest devices on the market even when running Ice Cream Sandwich, as mentioned above. Those who are paying attention will know that Jellybean includes what Google calls Project Butter – a series of software optimizations that looks to dramatically increase speed. Couple Jellybean with the already beastly One X and we’re sure to have a contender for one of the most highly sought after phones on the market – if that can’t already be said.

We’ll keep you posted as more information regarding an exact release date of the HTC One X’s Jellybean update is made known.

Apple iPhone 5 Sunspider Score

Apple has re-taken the Sunspider benchmark crown (a test of how fast the browser can execute v8 javascript) with an impressive score of 914.7ms.

This is faster than the 3rd generation iPad 3 and even the new 2Ghz Intel-powered Motorola RAZR i.

The iPhone 5 is believed to have Apple’s own chip design – which is a first for the company. The cores run ARM-compatible instruction sets, licensed from ARM, but the core design is bespoke. This is a clear strategic move so that Apple can own their own IP and make it harder for competitors to draw performance comparisons.

The CPU runs ~1Ghz but has a ‘wider pipe’ allowing more instructions to be executed in parallel. This gives advantages in terms of heat generated and power consumed, yet still increases performance.

We look forward to publishing the Browsermark score when known.

UPDATE: The iPhone 5 also breaks our current record for the Browsermark benchmark with a score of 189650!