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  • The terms "Scratchgate" and "Scuffgate" have surfaced as early adopters of the iPhone 5 complain of unsightly marks on the aluminum back

     


    Okay, so it's not exactly a national scandal on the scale of Watergate, but there's a kerfuffle all across the web over the reputed inadequacy of the new iPhone 5's aluminum back.


    The fact that the aluminum is prone to scratching has users and tech sites shouting Scratchgate and Scuffgate, and even led to cries of "oh, the humanity!" Proud new owners of the iPhone 5 have already been complaining of unsightly scratches and scuffs on the black-coated aluminum of their new prized possession.


    And, as 9to5 Mac reported, one such user actually garnered a response from Apple's Senior VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, who told him: “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal.”


    Fair enough. The aluminum backing of the iPhone 5 may be prone to wear, but it is actually less fragile than the glass backing of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. And even in a Gizmodo video where one user is determined to “scratch the hell” out of the new device within store, the iPhone 5 holds up pretty well, though it's never rubbed against sharp metal objects like keys or rings.



    Still, all of this brings us to an important, if awkward, discussion:


    It's fun to have the latest smartphone. You love Apple ever so much, and you and your new iPhone are planning to make a life together – at least until the next model comes out, that is.


    But the fact is, just because you trust your smartphone, there's no reason not to use protection. It's for your iPhone's good as much as your own. So glove the love.


    Yes, we're talking about cases and covers. In the case of the iPhone 4 and 4S, a rugged case is best (we've all seen those tragic shots of shattered glass.) But for the iPhone 5, a simple skin just to protect the black finish may be enough to do the trick.


    The result of unprotected smartphone love: the cracked glass panel of an iPhone 4

     


    Meanwhile, the moral of this story extends beyond Apple's products, to any smartphone you want to keep in good shape. To paraphrase Beyoncé, if you liked it then you should have put a skin on it.




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  • Amazon's app store is catching up
    Posted on September 27, 2012 by kduggan


    Amazon's app store is only a year old and already it’s giving Google Play and the Apple app store some serious competition. Amazon knows how to do ecommerce, and they’re showing it in how they get the attention of the ones who provide the products: mobile app developers.


    Amazonapps overseer is Aaron Rubenson. In a recent interview, Rubenson gave a little hint as to why their app business has grown so fast. “When you think about some of the things that Amazon does that other platforms don’t, we have this huge physical capability to ship stuff around the world,” Rubenson said. “Games will sell plush toys, but you could imagine other scenarios where a recipes app could send cookbooks.”


    Amazon does seem to like change and manages it well.


    Amazon recently started letting developers offer in-app purchases of physical goods, which will be a big deal for companies like Angry Birds-maker Rovio, Talking Friends-maker Outfit7, Russia’s Zeptolab and more.


    Amazon’s Game Circle offers social features to gamers like the ability to share achievements and leaderboards. It can save a gamer’s progress in the cloud, so that changing devices doesn’t require restarting a game.


    Last year, Amazon had some controversial pricing that frustrated developers. It had all the power when it came to the amount to charge for apps. Since developers are paid a percentage based on of what their apps sell for a big discount meant lost income for the designer. The company recently changed this so that developers earn 70 percent of what they originally priced their apps at, even if Amazon discounts their work. This is the same arrangement that Google Play and Apple Apps stores give their designers.


    Amazon just opened its store to five international markets, so these changes are based on what’s been going on in the U.S. They have a long way to go before they're a big contender for Apple and Google app business, but the new kid seems to be doing it right.



    This post was posted in Apple, General, Odd And Interesting and was tagged with Amazon apps store, Amazonapps, app stores, Apps

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  • When does a kid need a mobile phone?
    Posted on September 26, 2012 by kduggan


    The age at which we become addicted to our cell phones is getting younger and younger. A recent report found half of teens surveyed say they can’t live longer than a week without their phones, and 36% said they check their phones at least once every 10 minutes.


    Since cell phones have become as important as our right hands, is there an appropriate time for parents to get their child a mobile phone of their own?


    In a recent Harris poll 22% of parents said they thought 10 was the right age to get their child a cell phone. 43% said between 10 to 12 years old was the appropriate time.


    While parents might feel better knowing they can contact their kids anytime, having a mobile phone gives a child access to everything on the internet – both good and bad.


    Ultimately it’s up to the parents to decide. Answering ‘yes’ to all four of these questions might mean the time is right for a child to have a phone:


    1. Are there times when your child might be alone and an emergency could come up?
    2. If you put limits on using the phone can you trust your child to abide by what you ask?
    3. Does your child understand what types of apps are okay to download, how to safely surf the Internet and what they shouldn’t share online?
    4. Have you taught your child about who they shouldn’t communicate with – like strangers?


    Ultimately, whether a kid, tween or teen is ready for a mobile phone of their own is up to the parent’s judgment, but it’s also a big responsibility for both of you.



    This post was posted in General and was tagged with tween cell phone use, teen cell phone use, children and cell phones

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  • One need only look to the recent iPhone 5 hysteria, the raging legal battle between Apple and Samsung, or the righteous tone adopted in ads for most of the latest smartphones to know that some people take cell phones pretty seriously.


    Thankfully, however, there are still a few good laughs to be had when it comes to mobile devices, and Pure Mobile is counting down our list of the best and funniest cell phone ads throughout the years. They're a good antidote to some of today's more buttoned-up advertising, which deals in hard facts, or promises some great technical advancement for mankind.


    As much as we like heavy hitters like Samsung, Nokia, Apple and BlackBerry, we'd rather watch a middle-aged French woman breakdance, or the little green Android mascot burp than hear about specs any day.


    Korean Android ad


    We're not really sure what's going on in this Korean ad for Android, but the OS' little green spokes-alien sure sounds like he enjoyed his sandwich.



    AT&T's Family Rollover Minutes


    A mom guilt-trip at its finest. But the funniest part of this commercial isn't even seeing mom's typical “no waste” lecture framed in the context of cell phones, it's dad's resigned and exhausted little sigh. Watch for it.



    Motorola's Stripping Wife


    This older Motorola ad works the obvious appeal of an attractive woman removing clothing piece by piece – imagine the effect on a larger Galaxy or iPhone screen – but there's also a refreshing little punchline at the end.



    Postbank's Rich Husband


    This one isn't actually actually an ad for a cell phone, but we couldn't resist including it in this list, if only for the way it leads you astray right until the end. The ad's rich also handles things like a complete boss.



    Vodafone's Mom Ringtones


    This Vodafone ad from France has a mom acting sexy, looking like a zombie, and breakdancing, all at the switch of a ringtone. Classic.



    T-Mobile's “Who's in your 5?” ads


    These two ads from T-Mobile are so hilariously awkward that they definitely make our “Fave 5” cell phone commercials. One has two buds at odds over a secret crush (note the sly “foot massage” reference to Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction.)


    The other shows a teen boy hopelessly intimidated by his girlfriend's dad. Pops is a little scary, but somehow, you feel for him.




    Dutch Not-So Refreshing Dip


    This Dutch cell phone ad shows that IKEA doesn't have a monopoly on funny Scandinavian advertising. It's got an ick factor, but it's certainly, erm, refreshing.



    Vodafone's Breaking the News Quick


    Sometimes, less is more. So we'll follow the example set by Vodafone in this ultra progressive, ultra-abbreviated ad, and leave things off short and sweet. Hope this list gave you a few chuckles!





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  • ZTE and Mozilla are the latest duo to announce that they’ll be launching a new smartphone with a brand new operating system. ZTE is China’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones. Mozilla, the Firefox browser company, is the co-developer of the OS. The team plans to launch their new phone in December.


    In February, He Shiyou, executive vice president of ZTE, announced that the Shenzhen company was developing their own OS. ZTE is the world’s fourth-largest maker of mobile phones. They’ve begun a big push with entry-level smartphones and want to be very careful about staying out of the nasty patent fray that Apple, Samsung and others have been embroiled in.


    ZTE apparently hasn’t learned anything about launching a new OS from the struggles that Microsoft has been put through. The company’s plan is “a very unrealistic strategy,” Pierre Ferragu, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London, told Bloomberg News. “Operating systems follow winner-take-all rules. How can an operating system limited to a small, low-end manufacturer gain traction ever?”


    What do you think? Would you consider purchasing a smartphone offered by this pair?



    This post was posted in News and PR and was tagged with ZTE OS, Mozilla OS, new OS, ZTE smartphone, ZTE, Mozilla

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  • While Apple unleashed the iPhone 5 last week, they’re being a little stingier with the Lightening connector – they aren’t in stores yet, and online orders won’t ship until October. This is causing all kinds of conniptions among even Apple’s most loyal fans.


    It was inevitable that Apple had to re-engineer its 10-year old 30 pin adapter. The Lightning’s eight-pin, all-digital connector is smaller, more durable and a necessity for the evolution of all Apple devices. But, the impact of the connector change on the whole system is just getting through to many Apple owners.


    Not only will you need the adapter to connect your iPhone 5 to all the old accessories and their 30 pin plug-ins, more substantial systems like your BMW’s electronic interface and the workout equipment at your gym will be useless without the Lightning adapter. Anywhere that there are iPhone-compatible systems will be affected.


    BMW is one of the companies that is already on the problem. They’ve made it clear to car owners that they will still be able to listen to music, podcasts and other audio over the built-in stereo, so yes, the tunes will continue to flow. However, the automaker’s PlugIn feature – enabling video playback while stationary and the mirrored Apple interface – is officially out.


    Have you thought about how Apple’s connector change is going to affect your Apple devices?




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  • Apple Maps flaws flooding in
    Posted on September 21, 2012 by kduggan


    If see you someone with an iPhone in their hand and they look a little lost, bring up Google Maps on your phone and get them straightened out. Apple dumped Google Maps for their own iOS 6 mapping function, and the early word is that it’s terrible.


    A city is in the ocean, a farm is now an airport, and highways end in the middle of nowhere.There’s even a disturbing screenshot of a post-apocalyptic Brooklyn Bridge.



    Welcome to the new world of Apple Maps that iPhone and iPad users were faced with after they downloaded the new iOS 6


    The problems are so widespread that a new Tumblr blog, called The Amazing iOS 6 Maps, has been set up for uses to register their grievances about wrong turns, poor graphics, and streets that have been deleted from the map. And once you've downloaded  iOS 6 there's no going back. It erases Google Maps from your device.


    You might want to think about carrying a spare smartphone with you.



    This post was posted in Apple and was tagged with The Amazing iOS 6 on Tumblr, iOS 6 update, Apple mapping function, Apple Maps

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  • Apple devices that can handle iOS 6
    Posted on September 20, 2012 by kduggan

     


    We’ve been hearing about the fantastic-ness of Apple’s iOS 6 for way too long, but at last it’s on the street. For those who haven’t already snapped it into your devices, it’s time to get to it.


    Download yours by going to Settings > General > Software Update, or head to iTunes and pull it in. If you have any trouble with the connection to Apple or the speed of the download, Apple is pleading for patience. Between iPhone 5 pre-orders and iOS 6 downloads, Apple’s servers have been slammed.


    Besides, the iOS 6 update is massive update. - clocking in at a hefty 2.5 GB. It may take some time to get an "over the air" upgrade.


    Not all phone, tablet and iPod generations will be able to handle iOS 6. Older devices don’t have all the features they need to operate on a full-blown iOS 6 version You’ve got to have an iPhone 3GS or newer, iPod Touch 4th generation or newer or an iPad 2.


    TechCrunch put together a great summary of what device gets what features.


    Which Apple devices can manage which iOS 6 features. Chart courtesy of TechCrunch.

     


    It’s too bad that the iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5th gen are the only devices that are up to the challenge of a fully-loaded iOS 6. But it's also one more reason to get in line for your iPhone 5 today.



    This post was posted in Apple, New Releases and was tagged with Apple new releases, iOS 6 compatibility, iOS 6

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  • A Windows Phone 8 exclusive from Red Bull
    Posted on September 19, 2012 by kduggan


    Consumers haven’t yet weighed in on whether the Nokia Lumia will be some serious competition for Android phones (let alone Apple’s iPhone), but now that a Red Bull app is in the works, it looks like the Nokia/Microsoft partnership might get a nice boost.


    Red Bull just announced that it will release the World of Red Bull app exclusively in a Windows Phone 8 version for the Lumia and Nokia’s Series 40 debuting later this year. The Red Bull app lets you pull your favorite content, Red Bull athletes and stories into a customizable platform. The app, also known as “My Red Bull,” has a nice mapping feature for spontaneous meetups.


    This is a big deal because developers aren’t yet clamoring to create apps for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS. Since the Nokia phones that run on that OS haven’t caught on with consumers, developers are slow to do the app designing.


    Microsoft is trying to help the stalemate by paying developers to give some attention to Windows Phone 8-version apps. But they’ve got a huge mountain to climb. Apple’s App Store inventory totals more than 700,000 apps and Google Play has crossed the 600,000 mark for Android devices. Microsoft is the laggard at 100,000. Still, that’s a pretty good start for a brand new system on a limited number of devices.


    What do you think? Would a Red Bull app (and more like it to come) be enough incentive to consider switching to a Windows Phone 8 device?



    This post was posted in General, News and PR, Nokia and was tagged with Red Bull app, Windows Phone 8, Nokia Lumia

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  •  


    If the LIFX Kickstarter-funded project gets to market, you’ll be able to control your home's lighting system from your smartphone. Like the remotely-controlled thermostats that are also on their way, your home’s Wi-Fi connection can be used to remotely control “LIFX” LED bulbs.


    Kickstarter is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform for creative projects. As a result of their posting on Kickstarter, the inventors of LIFX raised $260,000 of their $100,000 goal in two days.  LIFX's position on top of the tech section for the social news website Reddit doesn't hurt either.


    Using the LIFX app that controls the bulbs you can turn them on and off and adjust their brightness from your smartphone. LIFX bulbs are designed to save energy and should last up to 25 years. The bulbs screw into the same light sockets as any other bulbs. The app will be available for both iOS and Android.



    In addition to turning the bulbs on and off, the project creators are designing the app so that you can choose brightness for individual bulbs, a room full of them or every bulb in your house. The lighting system in your home is directed by a “master” bulb that connects to your home router box via 802.11n and then onto all the other LIFX bulbs in your home via an IPV6 802.15.4 mesh network.


    In trade for funding dollars, backers of the project who pledge $69 get one LIFX bulb, $99 for two and $196 for 4. Serious investors willing to commit $5,000 receive 100 LIFX bulbs.


    Could you see yourself using a home lighting system that you can run from your smartphone or other wireless device? What would you be willing to pay for one of these bulbs?




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