SiriBnnr

How iOS 7 can save you battery life

Most smartphones today all have the necessary features. So battery life has become a big deciding factor for many people. After all what good are all these new features if the device is dead? Well now that iOS 7 has been out for almost 2 weeks. What does Apple’s new iOS have that might help save user’s valuable battery life.

Apple has made some enhancements to Siri in iOS 7. The digital assistant can now do a lot more than in previous iOS versions. Siri can now turn things on and off including Bluetooth, Wifi and Cellular Data. It might not seem like a big deal to have your Wifi, Cellular Data and Bluetooth on all the time but the radios do use battery power. So why have them on consuming power especially at times when they are not in use. Now it would be a pretty daunting task to turn them on and off manually whenever you leave the house, office, or wherever else you have or don’t have wifi, need or don’t need bluetooth. But now with Siri, iOS 7 makes it easy and this is one way iOS 7 can save you battery life.

The only thing to keep in mind is that Siri needs a connection to the internet in order to work. So before you turn off the Cellular Data or Wifi connection you must always turn on the corresponding one to keep you connected to the internet. Just remember on first before turning off. Let’s say you are leaving your house and with it your Wifi connection. The drill goes something like this, enable Siri and say “turn on cellular data”. This will turn on cellular data, your 3G or LTE internet connection. The next step is to say “turn off wifi”, yes it’s as easy as that. You will now save yourself some battery life by not having your wifi radio on even though it is not being used. The same goes for bluetooth so if you’re not using a headset or some other device that is connected by bluetooth turn it off for a little extra savings.

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iOS 7 also introduced Control Center. You can get to it by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. The control center is accessible from the lock screen and home screen. It also allows the user to manually toggle wifi and bluetooth among other things on and off. There is no cellular data so that one will still remain accessible only through the Settings menu or by using Siri like we did above. However now telling someone to turn off their wifi or bluetooth is not a long string of menu options. It ican be done by simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen and then turning them off from within Control Center (highlighted in a box in the image below).

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It might seem simple but give it a try and see if the battery life savings are worth it to you.

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Event

iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 what did we get

On Tuesday of this week, Sept. 10th, Apple held their event. We speculated on what we would get and talked about the other questions that still remained to be answered. Well now we have our answers. The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 were shown off so what did we get? Well we’re going to cover some of the details and also talk about some of the questions that are now created about where do they go form here. The video of the keynote is now available on the Apple site, go watch it.

So to go through what we got to see at the keynote, there was the

iPhone 5c (Android Free)

The iPhone everyone thought was going to be cheap turned out to be “less expensive” instead. No one should have been surprised since Apple doesn’t do cheap and yet they were. When netbooks proliferated the computer landscape Apple did the MacBook Air. It was far from cheap but “less expensive” than a MacBook Pro. The iPhone 5c is the same. It is far from cheap but at $99 for a 16GB model on a 2 Year contract(US) it’s cheap enough that it becomes a throwaway phone. It’s something parents can buy their teen as an emergency phone. It’s a phone people less interested with the latest and greatest technology as well as people coming from a feature phone can buy without sticker shock.

So the iPhone 5c comes in five colors, white, pink, yellow, blue and green. Yes pink, not red or fuchsia they proudly proclaimed it pink on stage.

5c

The phone internals are the same as what is in last years model, the iPhone 5, with the exception of a slightly bigger battery and a slightly better FaceTime camera. This is impressive because I own an iPhone 5 and it is one hell of a smartphone. The wallpaper that comes on the iPhone 5c will match the color of the phone plus with iOS 7′s transparencies the OS will play even more on the color aspect. The pricing on contract is 16GB at $99, 32GB at $199 and $549 off contract. The pre-orders for the iPhone 5c will be available tonight and the phones will go on sale next Friday Sept. 20th.

iPhone 5s (Forward Thinking)

The iPhone 5s is the flagship model and brought a lot of things that were already rumored but became reality. The iPhone 5s comes in three colors, Silver, Gold and Space Grey. The silver and gold models have a white face and white accents while the space grey is the only model with a black face and black accents.

i5s

So they have added one more color, the gold but for me it sucks because I don’t like the white face. I wonder why they didn’t have the gold with both a white and black face? Perhpas this is just my personal color bias but I would have loved a black and gold model. It’s a trivial thing I will just get the Sky Grey model but I’m just a little sad at the lost oppurtunity :_(

Starting down bottom you will notice that the home button no longer has the little rounded rectangle on it. It also now has a stainless stell ring around it with the introduction of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. The Touch ID will be used to unlock the device as well as authenticate a user for app store purchases. It can be trained to know up to 5 different finger prints and has 360 degree readability. The all new A7 chip inside is a 64 bit processor, the first in mobile and although it may not make sense on the iPhone it’s forward thinking for other iOS devices and future iPhone models. The new iOS 7 operating system (OS) is also 64 bit taking users along for the 64 bit transition of iOS devices. Now 64 bit typically means the ability to address more memory but it also means instead of doing things faster it does more things at the same speed. So you still end up accomplishing more but in a different way. Just imagine two people trying to eat as many hot dogs as they can. One guy takes normal sized bites but eats as fast as possible. While the other guy eats at the same speed but he takes bites twice as big. Even though he’s eating at the same speed as the first guy the bigger bites means he’ll finish faster. The ability to address more memory might not make sense now but in the iPads or in future generations of the iPhone and iPads that ability to address more than 3GB or RAM will make sense.

Continuing with the upgrades inside was the introduction of a new chip the M7. The new chip measures motion by taking readins from the accelorometer, gyroscope and compass. A task that would have be done by the A7, so that frees up some computing cycles on the A7 chip itself. The M7 chip allows for a new breed of apps while adding to the existing functions of the phone. The chip knows if you’re driving, running, walking, or sleeping. So for example if you switch from driving to walking the Maps app will switch from driving directions to walking directions automatically.

The cameras on the iPhone 5s got some upgrades too ofcourse. It now has a dual LED flash which is able to combine depending on the lighting of the scene being photographed to create better colors and skintones. The back camera now has a larger sensor, larger pixels and a larger aperture which all combine to let in more light for better pictures. This combines with the camera app in iOS 7 for new features like. Burst mode which snaps multiple shots at 10 images a second, great for action shots. Slow motion video, the camera shoots video at 120 frames per second allowing the user to play back the video at 1/4 of the speed for interesting effects. The front camera also has larger pixels along with better backside illumination. Better backside illumination allows more light to the sensor resulting in better pictures and video for great FaceTime calls and world renowned “selfies”.

The iPhone 5s will be sold at the same prices previous models of iPhones have sold at. On a 2 year contract (US) 16GB at $199, 32GB at $299 and 64GB at $399 while off contract the 16GB iPhone 5s starts at $649 (US). There will be no pre-order available for the iPhone 5s and they will go on sale next Friday Sept. 20th. You can get them at your local Apple store or by going to a carrier store. Although carrier stores usually don’t get as much stock on launch day as the Apple store.

iOS 7

The new OS has undergone some drastic changes to the look and feel while still doing most things the same way it always has. The new OS will be released to everyone next Wednesday Sept. 18th. It will support iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPad Mini. Beyond the new look and colors there are many refinements as well as new features that enable a user to get things done faster and easier. The notification center is now available from the lock screen to enable glancable information. There is a new Control Center that gives the user quick access to some of the typical phone controls like Wifi, Airplane mode, Bluetooth, etc. The Control Center is also available from the lock screen. Some users will not like the new colors and look of the interface and icons. Some will not like system changes like swiping down from anywhere on the home screen to open Finder instead of swiping the home screen right. You can’t please everyone but I have a feeling that this iOS will please almost everyone and that is Apple’s aim with it.

iOS 7

iWork (Free)

The next big announcement was that iWork for mobile which they listed as consisting of Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie and iPhoto was going free. It will be going free for new iOS devices and as I have been told devices running iOS 7. This is awesome news for me since I already own two of the five software and would love to have the others. It will be a great bundle and should be yet another plus for users looking at upgrading their iOS device. It will also be a great addition to users upgrading to iOS 7. When users install iOS 7 there should be a prompt like there is now for downloading iBooks and the Podcasts app. It will now also include the five apps listed above.

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Questions

Naming
Now that this has all been revealed there are a few questions that come out of these new introductions. With the release of the iPhone 5c the iPhone 5 model is gone. So going forward what is Apple going to name their iPhones? Next year will be the iPhone 6 and most likely the iPhone 6c with the iPhone 5s internals. However if there is an iPhone 6s there would be an iPhone 7c. Apple can call these devices whatever they want and it will sell but having the c model with a higher number than the flagship iPhone just does not seem feasible to me. They could also just kep the iPhone 6c name for release with both the iPhone 6 and 6s by upgrading the internals inside based on the previous year’s model. However even though the device is different having the same name just doesn’t seem sexy enough in my opinion. What I think is that they will drop the “s” model and just stick with full number releases from now on with the “c” model alongside. So there will be an iPhone 6 and 6c, 7 and 7c, 8 and 8c, etc. There would also be the possibility of them dropping the number altogether and having just the iPhone and iPhone c like they did with the iPad. However that also has it’s own advertising downsides.

Screen
Now that the iPhone 5s is out the rumors of the iPhone 6 are already starting to swirl. The biggest thing is that Apple will release an iPhone with a bigger screen. We are one year away so there is plenty of time for this rumor to pick up steam. I’m still not sure how I would feel about a bigger screen and it would depend how big of a screen. I love the screen size right now and the ease of using the phone with one hand. However if there was a 5″ iPhone I would definitely buy it. Any bigger than 5″ and for me personally that is too big. I would have to pass on that model and that will be the question Apple will contemplate if they are thinking of doing a bigger screen iPhone. Users all have different sized hands along with different opinions on what size is comfortable and what size is too big. As with Apple’s devices they make decisions based on what benefits the majority of their users. So if they do go to a bigger sized screen I’m sure it will be at a size that will please existing users and entice some users. But it wont please everyone so we’ll see if it happens at all.

64 bit
The A7 chip and iOS 7 are both now 64 bit. The upcoming iPads will have the new chip so does the 64bit come into play on those devices which would make much more use of more than 3GB of RAM? Or is this a future play for 7 or 8th generation iPhones/iPads that will eventually use RAM capacities north of 3GBs?

Well one thing is for sure it was an interesting event with some great devices launched. So are you getting a new iPhone 5s or 5c?

Pictures: The Verge, Apple

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i5c

Apple Event today!

I know it’s been awhile since there has been any activity here on T3kd. Matt put up a very eloquent farewell speech but the Apple event today has brought me out of hiding. Matt is still just as busy as he was before so it will probably be mainly me for the next little while discussing everything tech. However I’m sure when time allows Matt will pop in and bless us with a few articles. Anyway lets get down to business here, today is the day, it is Apple’s September 10th event. So let’s talk a little about this event, what to expect and where you can get coverage.

We haven’t been invited to the event so we wont be covering it live. However many sites in the blogosphere will have live coverage. You can find a few at the following places:
iMore
Engadget
Ars Technica
AllthingsD
MacWorld

So tune in to any one of those places to get live, or as close to it as possible, coverage of the event. Now what’s going to be announced? You know it’s funny I’ve been talking to a few of my friends about the iPhone 5s and 5c leaks that have happened over the last little while. All my frineds are telling me how much they hate it that it spoils the surprise at the Apple event. I have a different outlook on the topic though. I’m more impressed that Apple is able to still have so much secrecy even though these high resolution pictures have emerged. These aren’t grainy spyshots either they are full resolution, well lit, gorgeous shots of the casings. Yet we still wonder what the price points of the models will be, what storage options will be revealed, will there be a 128GB model iPhone 5s or c, will there actually be a fingerprint scanner, will the iPhones actually look like the leaked pictures?

Really the pictures haven’t spoiled anything but in fact has just whet everyoone’s appetite and increased the fervor before the event. So what are we looking forward to seeing at the event today? The iPhone 5s ofcourse, it will be exciting when whichever Apple exec presents it on stage to have all of our questions answered and to see just how we will be wowed, again. The iPhone 5c, the long rumored budget iPhone, it is pretty much expected at this point but when we actually see it up on stage and hear it’s specs and prices this will be a new chapter in the iPhone saga. So it should be a very exciting event for the Apple customers, lovers and everyone watching to see what is up their sleeves. They will obviously talk about iOS 7 and more than likely the Gold Master (GM) will be released to developers. Something I’m excited about as a dev myself I have been running the iOS 7 betas so I’m ready to see the final product of all the hard work over in Cupertino.

Well with only 20 minutes until show time pull up a chair to whichever live blog you choose and enjoy. We will have the after coverage of what was announced for those who missed the event.

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Red Eye

iPhone 5s dual flash or red eye reduction?

iOS 7 is coming out this fall and along with it most likely the launch of the iPhone 5s. In recent days different blogs have shown some hardware leaks of the purported iPhone 5s. One in particular caught my eye, MacRumors post had pictures of the iPhone 5s prototype, one picture in particular shows what they claim is dual flash.

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The iPhone is a very popular camera. On photo site Flickr it bested the Nikon D90 DSLR in popularity. Low light pictures however has always been one of it’s weaknesses and we can obviously see the dual LED in this prototype. My question, “Is it dual flash?” or is it something else. One of the things my friends hate is the zombie like pictures created by the red eye in pictures taken with the flash on iPhones. Unlike the top LED in the flash unit on the prototype the bottom LED is more red looking. I think there is more of a chance that the bottom LED is for “red eye reduction” a feature that is standard on run of the mill point and shoot cameras. Cameras whose lunches the iPhone has been eating for a long time now. So the question is iPhone 5s, dual flash or red eye reduction?

So along with a rumored 12MP camera perhaps the iPhone 5s is going to push photography even further by harnessing the refinements in iOS 7, better hardware and a new feature, red eye reduction! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Picture: MacRumors

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WWDC

WWDC 2013 Live Stream

Today is the day, it is Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference or WWDC for short. The first keynote is at 10AM PT or 1PM ET and it will be viewed by MANY! If you want to join in on the keynote fun you can by catching the WWDC 2013 Live Stream provided by Apple. You can catch the live stream here but you wll need to be running Safari on a Mac or using an iDevice(iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).

The keynote is goign to cover things like the next iOS version coming, iOS 7. The new upcoming Mac OS, OS X 10.9, and any Apple device hardware refreshes. Like I said it will be watched by many so the live stream may be slow or un-responsive. Luckily many of the tech blogs will also be live blogging the event so it’s also a good idea to have their feed open too. Unfortunately all of the T3kd bloggers will be working so we will be unable to cover the event this year. However here are a few links to other blogs covering it, iMore and Engadget. If you have an Apple TV you can also catch Apple’s WWDC 2013 Live Stream just power it up and there should be an “Apple Events” channel.

I will be watching to see what Apple will be including in iOS 7. We put together an iOS 7 Wishlist you can catch here just to get caught up on all the hype. We also did a post on all the iOS 7 Concepts that have been created and my thoughts on why some people will be a bit underwhelmed with iOS 7 no matter what it brings to the table. It looks to be a very exciting keynote as everyone Apple watches with anticipation so join in on the fun at 1PM. I can just imagine the excitement at the event in San Francisco!

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Sale

1Password 4 now 1/2 off

This is happening for a limited time only so if you’re not already using 1Password on your iOS device or your computer better get it while it’s hot.

If you don’t know what 1Password is it’s an application to store your passwords and sensitive information. It is secure and built by a trusted name so there is nothing to fear about using it. We did a post awhile back about putting together a secure password and one of the things about having secure passwords is for them all to be different. This app makes that possible because you can lock all the passwords away safely and you only need to remember one secure password, the one to open up the 1Password app.

Right now if you buy 1Password like we said it is 1/2 off:
1Password 4 for iOS is $8, regularly $16
You can get the iOS app which is universal here
1Password for Mac is $25, regularly $50 and if you buy the Mac version right now you will automatically get a free upgrade to 1Password 4 when it is released for the Mac.
The Mac app is located here

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iWatch Bnnr

The iWatch myth or reality

The iWatch myth or reality? I’m not sure we’ll have the answer to this question until it is soon to be released. Is Apple dropping subtle little hints at it’s coming debut. Apple is a really secretive company and they are also a company known to use mis-direction very well. So even the latest tease of the mythical iWatch in their newly released iPhone commercial does nothing to answer the question.

I’m just as split on the possibility of the iWatch even being something Apple would put out anytime soon. When the rumors first started to surface I was excited and it almost seemed to make sense but the more I thought about it the less viable it seemed. Apple doesn’t do bleeding edge technologies and what I mean by that is they wait until the new technology is proven and perfected. People have pointed at the fact that they waited to put 3G in the iPhone and again Apple wasn’t the first to have LTE in their devices. Wearable technology is nowhere right now so would they venture into the waters to produce the iWatch? Then considering what an iWatch would need to sell for to make it a hit with consumers and what it would be sold for to make it a profitable device I’m almost sure those two price points do not even come close. The final reason is what benefit would the iWatch bring much like their reluctance to include NFC in the iPhone because there is really no problem that it solves.

All the things that a person could name that the iWatch could do can all be done by an already existing mobile device so what would be the pull of the iWatch. When I think about it the only thing I can come up with is that the iWatch would offload some of the things an iPhone or iPad would do. The more inconsequential things but offloading those things would save the devices some battery life and right now that is the holy grail of mobile devices. I’m just not sure how many people are going to be lining up to buy a $250 iWatch that can only do a fraction of the things their exsisting smartphone or tablet device does already. Well anyway enough of me jabbering on and on about it.

As I was saying Apple put up a new iPhone ad on their Youtube channel “Music Every Day”. In the ad they show different people enjoying music thorughout their day on the iPhone. As 9to5Mac was quick to point out at about the 30 second mark there is a person enjoying their music while drumming out a beat. On their wrist is a watch that curiously looks less like a normal watch and more like you would expect an iWatch to look. At the same time the image is ofcourse not even close enough to being distinguishable so really it could go either way. “I see what you did their Apple” nice one, I guess for now we will not know whether it will ever become a reality. But it sure is a lot of fun to speculate.

Sources: 9to5Mac and Youtube

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iOS7Cncpt

iOS 7 Concepts

Now with under a month until WWDC the reveal of iOS 7 is nearing. T3kd already put up a post about what we want to see in iOS 7. With all the rumors of Sir Jony Ive stripping out Skeumorphic elements to give a very different look to the User Interface (UI). Many iOS 7 concepts are being released based on the perceived “Flatter” design. It is a pretty exciting time since some of the well known sources in the industry have heard that the UI looks so different polarizing filters are being used to prevent others from seeing the differences. It is also rumored that people working on the new OS X operating system (OS) have been pulled off to help finish up iOS 7 in time for the reveal.

I have read, talked to and heard people who are talking about how much the iOS interface needs a change. But in the current mobile space with competitors bringing out new features where does a new interface rank? Me personally, I would rather Apple make changes and introduce features that make iOS easier and more intuitive to use. Things like the rumored Flickr and Vimeo system integration but also things like being able to intuitively add attachments to emails in the mail app and attachments opening automatically without the need of a share sheet. If things like that are being sacrificed to throw a new look and feel on the UI then I can do without the UI update in favor of newer, better features. If both are being done at the same time then hey I say bring it on. I also think a lot of people need to be prepared for the reveal of iOS 7 and I don’t know if the iOS 7 concepts are helping. The concepts are great ideas but they have no concept behind them of how much work would be required to implement these new “revolutionary” ideas. Also the time it would take along with the difficulty, in order to make these ideas a reality. Would you be accepting if Apple didn’t announce a new iOS version at WWDC, but instead promised to release a new and revolutionary iOS 7 next year? Most people would answer no, and even the people who answer yes secretly know they would grumble and complain if it happened. So we all want our iOS 7 concept cake and to eat it too.

So if you are expecting iOS 7 to look flat like the Windows Phone interface you will be disappointed. If you are expecting Android type widgets you will be disappointed. If you are expecting most of what is in the iOS 7 concept videos etc. you will be disappointed. This is the problem I see that these iOS 7 Concepts make because people want or expect things that just aren’t possible at this time to include in iOS 7. Which then leads to an underwhelming at the actual reveal of iOS 7 when it’s compared to these flashy concept videos and renderings. These are the concepts I’ve seen jso far, I’m sure there are tons more out there. Gizmodo Australia did a post about eight iOS 7 Flat UI Mockups, iDownloadBlog posted about a new flat iOS 7 UI concept and Forbes talked about whether or not Sir Jony Ive will let a flat iOS 7 fall flat.

Pictures

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Videos

The renderings and videos take a lot of talent, god knows I probably couldn’t come close to putting together one of these much less to make it look so polished. However and this is just personal opinion, the flat design that these concepts have just taken to the next level look too playlike to me. The iPhone and most other iOS devices as well as the operating system (OS) is about a polished aeshtethic. Apart from that it shows no balance, just because rumors say Ive is working on a “flatter” interface doesn’t mean the entire UI is going flat. Apple certainly isn’t going to ditch the rounded rectangle on app icons just like that. So enjoy the renderings and the videos and thoughts of what would be nice to have. But while you watch it keep in mind what I have said

“If you are expecting iOS 7 to look flat like the Windows Phone interface you will be disappointed. If you are expecting Android type widgets you will be disappointed. If you are expecting most of what is in the iOS 7 concept videos etc. you will be disappointed.”

Sources: 9to5 Mac.com, Gizmodo, iDownloadBlog, Forbes.com and Youtube

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Family Feud

Family Feud & Friends Review for Android and iOS

Family Feud & Friends is one of many family feud games, but this one allows you to compete directly with others. In the growing wave of social gaming, Family Feud & Friends is just another game that connects you with your Facebook friends for you to compare how much better you can figure out what the most popular answers are to survey questions.

If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the game show, Family Feud is played by two teams or individuals competing against each other. In order to gain points, each person must figure out how the most popular answer to a random survey question. Each category has up to 100 points possible. The winner is then given an opportunity to compete in the fast money round, where they are given two opportunities to answer five different categories, and they win if they reach 200 points.

In the aspect of emulating the game show, Family Feud & Friends does a near perfect job. The few modifications to the game are made to fit better on a video game. Though it does well here, it definitely isn’t the first Family Feud game to offer a good simulation.

The key feature of the game is the social connectivity. When you play a game, you’re paired up against a random person who has already played and acquired a score, but it’s made to feel like you’re playing them in real time. You can also compare your daily high scores to your Facebook friends. You can challenge them to a high score competition, with the winner gaining experience points used to level up.

Unfortunately, that’s where the social connectivity ends. You cannot challenge a friend to a real time competition, nor can you even face off against them using the same categories. For a game that is based on its social connection, these missing features are glaring.

You also have a limit on how many times you can play. The nice thing is that the limit is quite high, so you’ll get plenty of playing time in.

Family Feud & Friends is a great game for people who love the game show. Don’t be fooled by the social aspect though, as it’s not what you’d think it would be.

Download for iOS
Download for Android

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Snapchat

Snapchat Review for Android and iOS

Looking at the app description, Snapchat doesn’t seem like it has much of a purpose. It seems like a limited picture message app. For those who don’t have unlimited messaging (which is a pretty small market for smartphone users), this seems pretty useful, but why would the app be downloaded so much?

What Snapchat does, is it allows you to take a picture on your phone and send it to a friend who also has Snapchat. The catch is that the picture only is visible for at most ten seconds once the picture is opened up.

This seems kind of strange. Why would you allow the picture to only last for such a short time? Even after using the app, I don’t have an answer for it. Obviously it saves storage space whether on the phone or on a server, but it is a huge limiting factor for the app.

Where Snapchat shines shines is it’s speed and reliability at sending photos. Often when sending an MMS message over my phone, it can take anywhere from 30 seconds to even 10 minutes to send a picture if my reception is bad. Snapchat is pretty quick though, with pictures being received nearly instantly.

After sending hundreds of pictures, I have yet to see a picture fail. Snapchat will even update you to let you know if your friend has opened the picture or even taken a screenshot.

The best feature of Snapchat is the ability to draw right on the screen as soon as you took the picture. This does help to enhance picture messaging, offering what many standard camera apps lack. Though other apps allow you to edit pictures, being able to take a picture, draw on it, and send it all in one app helps make Snapchat relevant.

Although Snapchat really isn’t adding anything new other than the time limit feature, the speed and reliability help make it a very useful application. With a robust user base, it’s likely that you already have friends who you’ll be able to snapchat with. If you’re into picture messaging and wish that it would be quicker, Snapchat is the perfect app for you.

 

Download for iOS
Download for Android

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