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.


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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Mobile battery life could be getting better

There have been countless posts about the new importance battery life plays as a deciding factor in mobile electronics. Most smartphones today do pretty much the same basics, equivalent of the point A to point B reference commonly used. So one of the biggest differentiator has become battery life, after all what good are all the features if you can’t use them? Well it seems that some new breakthroughs mean mobile battery life could be getting better eventually.

There are some things that are being held back by the constraints of battery life.Take for example Siri, the digital personal assistant on Apple’s iOS devices. Currently the assistant has to be activated with a key press because having the device listen for audio ques would cause horrible battery life. This is just one example of a feature that could be made exponentially better if battery life was removed from the eqaution as a concern. Well then the new advancements that have been made at the University of Illinois could have a very big impact in that area. The article “Small in size, big on power” explains how the microbatteries offer phenominal power in their small size. The article explains that,

The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery – and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye.

Now that is some serious juice and could unlock a world of potential in mobile computing. Potential in both features and also the size of devices. I’m all for a time when running low on battery power is not a concern the same day devices are charged.

Now if you pair that with the work of a California teen who has come up with a way to recharge a dead phone in just 20 seconds flat the future of mobile technology looks even brighter. Just this past long weekend here in Canada as we celebrated Victoria Day my iPhone was brought to it’s knees. Before I powered it off at 10% battery life. I was at a trailer enjoying the sunshine and barbeque food with family and friends. I was doing some internet browsing, on a few social networks and all of it through LTE so my battery was understandable getting low. As a result I’ve started looking for external battery packs that I can use to extend the charge of my mobile devices. With a two week holiday coming up later this year I’m anticipating a greater need for the device. Well imagine if all it took to recharge my battery was 20 seconds, 5 minutes would make me jump for joy so at under half a minute that is just unbelievable.

As this Yahoo piece explains Eesha Khare used her impressive knowledge of chemistry to solve the issue of a “dead battery” in mobile devices. She invented an energy storage device that can charge a cell phone in 20-30 seconds! The “supercapacitor” stores lots of energy in a tiny space and can hold it for a long time. It also lasts for 10,000 recharge cycles, compared to the usual 1,000 for current rechargeable batteries. The invention was part of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair that took place in Phoenix, AZ a week ago. Eesha Khare for her supercapacitor got the Young Scientist Award along with $50,000. The prize however is very small compared to what this could mean for the world of mobile. So with brilliant people making these kind of advancements the future of mobile looks even brighter. It must be powered by a microbattery.

Sources: Illinois News Bureau, and Yahoo

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QC Bnnr

BiteSMS now has a quick compose widget (Jailbreak)

BiteSMS is one of the great Jailbreak apps for Jailbroken iOS devices. It is one of the reasons many people Jailbreak their devices and many return to Jailbreak. BiteSMS opens a pop up window for SMS/iMessages on the lock screen or inside an app. It allows a person to reply or dismiss the message without leaving the app or breaking their concentration and it is arguably one of the things many users wish Apple would impliment in stock iOS. Well BiteSMS now has a quick compose widget in the Notification Center.

So now a user can create a new message without opening the app at all. All it requires is to pull down the Notification Center and there is a quick compose icon in the lower right corner. The new feature even has favorited contacts in the widget saving the user time composing messages to people they correspond with often. It looks slick, makes things easy and the best part is when it is combined with another Jailbreak app “LockInfo” you have access to the quick compose widget from the lock screen. The feature is in beta right now so you will have to add the beta repository as a Source in Cydia. The address is enjoy!

NEW: Quick Compose Widget. Just a simple convenient way to launch a Quick Compose with a favorite contact (managed via Phone > Favorites). It’s a Notification Center Widget (managed via Apple > Settings > Notifications > Quick Compose Widget).

BiteSMS Quick Compose
BiteSMS Quick Compose
BiteSMS Quick Compose and LockInfo
BiteSMS Quick Compose and LockInfo

Sources: Cult of Mac

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2Q Bnnr

Apple, don’t worry be happy

If you didn’t know yet Apple will be releasing their 2nd Quarter results today, actually in just under 2 hours from now. It will be covered by many blogs, talked about and read into for days to come by bloggers and also by the idiots on Wall St. I’m sure. ArsTechnica will be live blogging it as well as many other tech sites so be sure not to miss the action @ 2PM PDT(5PM EDT) today. Now doom and gloom has been forecasted for Apple for a while now, mostly thanks to brilliant Wall St. analysts, so it’s nothing new. I’m here to tell you that as far as it goes with Apple, don’t worry be happy.

If you listen to the analysts on Wall St. you would think Apple is going down in flames and probably be tempted to sell any shares you own. This would be a mistake because you get such ridiculous rumors like “Apple is looking to replace Tim Cook” or sentiments that the iPhone and iPad are not selling well. Meanwhile if you look at the numbers carriers like Verizon have activated 4 million iPhones in the last quarter. You would get better information about Apple by reading tech blogs like this one and the many others out there like it or listening to knowledgable people like Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak who says Apple will launch products that will Surprise and Shock us all. So after you hear the numbers and you are tempted to run for the hills or think the Apple is falling, the Apple is falling.

Just remember Apple has Billions of dollars in the bank, the iPhone and iPad are still selling in the millions of units for each quarter and they aren’t even close to being in a downward spiral. The shares might be falling but that is what all shares on the stock market do they fall and they rise. The only time you lose or gain is when you sell your shares. So while Apple’s shares might be far from the $700 high they once reached I remember a time when they were $85 a share. So at under $400 they are far from that with lots of gas left in the tank.

Sources: ArsTechnica, Cult of Mac

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The Talk of a No Contract Verizon Phone Plan

Whenever I’m getting close to dating a girl, I always try to get her to sign a two-year contract and reiterate that the deal is very flexible. As it turns out, this plan doesn’t work very well with women and it’s starting not to fly with cell phone customers either. Following T-Mobile’s announcement that they’re doing away with user contracts, heat is coming down on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint to at least offer customer’s an option. With the intense competition in the cellular market and the release of the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 this spring, it seems as if a no contract Verizon phone plan is imminent…somewhat.

The Current Plan
Currently Verizon offers a 2-year deal known as the Share Everything package. Users must sign a 2-year agreement and pay a $110 monthly bill but included with that plan is unlimited voice calls and texting. People on the Verizon Share Everything plan also get 4GB of data each month, free mobile hotspot, and can pool their minutes and data together to share with their family.

What the Switch to No Contract Verizon Phone Would Entail
Verizon has a plan to offer customers the ability to purchase their phone for the full retail price at any time during their two-year deal. The fine print to that offer states that only phones priced $349.99 and up are eligible for the buyout. Once the phone is bought and paid for, users are eligible to escape from their plan.

It’s not known if the petition going around to get the company to drop their two-year contract will have any effect but at least the no contract Verizon phone is being talked about.

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Do you really want a bigger iPhone?

Yesterday I was reading a Gizmodo post “Battery Life Is the Only Spec That Matters” which had some valid points and others that were assumptions. However there was one good point, we are possibly to blame for the thinner iPhone 5. The reason I bring it up is because it is pretty much a common idea now that most people would have rather had a thicker iPhone 5. But although we say that and think why did Apple make it “Lighter” and “Thinner”? Perhaps we are the ones to blame. So ask yourself “Do you really want a bigger iPhone?”

Confused now well just bear with me and it will all make sense. So the new argument is that the size and heft of the iPhone 4/4s was great. So with the new machining process and materials used for the iPhone 5 having it at the same size and weight would have resulted in more battery. More battery would have resulted in phenomenal battery life and we would have all been over the moon. But would we? have been over the moon that is. It is easy to say it in hindsight but with competitors hot on the heels of the iPhone it’s hard to tell. There are blog posts and articles abound about how Apple is no longer innovating. I am one of the people who would have loved a fatter iPhone 5 with crazy good battery life. However don’t forget that battery life is different for each and every person. I get over 24 hours on each charge of my iPhone 5 so I only charge it once a day. However every user is different in the apps they use, web browsing habits, social media use and those are just a few of the things that make the battery life different in each case.

Now let’s just say Apple did make the iPhone 5 the same size and weight of the iPhone 4/4s and used the extra space to pack in extra battery. Some people, like me would have excellent battery life but still some would still have mediocre battery life. It’s those people who would then complain that even though the design is new the iPhone 5 was still the same size as the iPhone 4/4s and Apple wasn’t innovating. They would point at the competitors and all their “innovations” but most of all Apple would have lost more mind-share of consumers. The Gizmodo post highlights an excellent point, when the iPad 3 debuted with Retina Display it was slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2. Did people love the fact that the increased size gave them Retina Display with the same or better battery life? no complaints were all over the place about the increased size and that it was now heavier. So when consumers, blogs, media outlets react like that can we really blame Apple for making devices thinner and lighter instead of giving us more battery?

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How to have more than a 4 digit passcode on an iPhone

How to have more than a 4 digit passcode on the iPhone

This tip will actually work on more than just the iPhone. It will work on any iDevice running iOS, so iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch, etc. A user can secure their iDevices by instituting a passcode. When the device is locked in order to unlock it the passcode must be entered. The security can be further enhanced by having the device delete all the data after a number of un-successful attempts entering the passcode. When using this security feature the user can use a simple 4 digit passcode or by setting the simple passcode option off they can enter a more complex password. These two options are at opposite ends of the spectrum. A 4 digit passcode can be broken or memorized by anyone looking over shoulders. While a password is going to be annoying to type in everytime the device is unlocked. So how about a happy middle ground, well here is how to have more than a 4 digit passcode on the iPhone.

Using this tip you will be able to use a longer string of numbers for your passcode. You can use 6, 8, 12 numbers or as many as you can easily remember and input when unlocking your device. I got this tip from one of my favorite podcasts “iFive for iPhone” if you don’t already subscribe to the podcast I recommend you check it out. Anyway this was a user tip sent in to the show and it is a really good tip. It allows a user to use something a little more complicated than a 4 digit passcode but not so complex that unlocking the device every couple of minutes becomes a pain. So here are the steps on how to have more than a 4 digit passcode on the iPhone.

- On the homescreen tap “Settings” (Circled Below)


- In Settings tap on “General”


- Scroll to “Passcode Lock” and tap it, if you already have a passcode you will be required to enter it


-In the passcode settings turn off the “Simple Passcode” toggle and tap “Change Passcode” or “Set Passcode”. The “Erase” option is circled in red for your info


-When the passcode screen comes up simply switch from letters to numbers on the keyboard


- Enter your longer passcode using all numbers, you may need to enter it twice


When you are done you will have a 6 or 8 digit passcode made up of numbers.


Source: User tip on iFive for iPhone podcast

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6.1.3 Update Available for iPhone

Apple has rolled out another update for its iOS software to counter a security flaw that had been uncovered putting owners of its devices at risk. Today Apple released yet another update to bolster the security of its iOS 6 operating system, rolling out their answer to a vulnerability that enabled users to bypass the lock screen and access the phone if done in a specific way.

The exploit went on unchecked for almost a month and a half until today, and according to Tim Cook the exploit should now be closed. When the emergency call screen was accessed and canceled a certain number of times while holding down the power button, the home screen would eventually come up without having to know or enter to the PIN. A number of agencies have proven the method as viable, and alerted the mobile giant to the threat all the way back in February.

Apple iOS 6 security update


There’s also a small update to the Maps software in Japan, which is apparently running as poorly there as it is in just about every other region on Earth right now. Apple is losing their grip on the title of “most secure”, and if they aren’t careful they could end up like Android in China before they know it.


Source| Forbes

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Doubles iPhone 5 Benchmark

Earlier this week at the Samsung  Galaxy S4 launch event, Android Authority was able to get their hands on a unit and test it at its full capacity against a number of other devices including the Xperia S, HTC One, Galaxy SIII, and iPhone 5. Although it should go without saying, the others phones were SMOKED by the eight-core behemoth, and Samsung has proven that when you use the right people to engineer the right technology, the best gadgets are what come out on the other side. They used the same version that will be available at launch with identical specs and software, and averaged about twice the speed as its competitors.


To verify the results, John Poole of Primate Labs performed the same test on several other top-tier smartphones and published his results.

For the original test at the event, the Galaxy S4 received a benchmark of 3,163. The iPhone 5 only marked a mere 1,596, which means the GS4 is about twice as fast as a phone which was just released 6 short months ago. The GS4 is also twice as fast as Samsung’s last flagship phone, the Galaxy SIII, which means that even at its peak the iPhone 5 was the same speed as a phone that had come out half a year before. Samsung is gunning for Apple’s head with benchmark posts like these, and if the shift in the market is any indication, Apple will have to rebound with a serious speed contender in the next release cycle if it hopes to stay relevant.

Source| BusinessInsider


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How to get better iPhone battery life

Now that most smartphones will do most of the same things battery life is really what has become the deciding factor. Along with doing more a smartphone has to do more for longer. In order to get better battery life there is a mixture of settings and the usage of the smartphone that will help squeeze a little more life out of that battery. So here are a few settings you might want to check in my tip on how to get better iPhone battery life.

Every person’s battery life will be different because the way they use the iPhone will be different. So keeping this in mind there are a few things that are big drains on the battery life and using these things will result in a quick need for charging up your device. The first of these is the screen, the biggest part of the interface with the device. However it takes a lot of power to run the screen so the longer it is on the more of a drain it is on the battery. The next thing is the radios inside the iPhone, which provide data(3G,LTE) and Wifi. Browsing the web or using social media apps for an hour on LTE will definitely gobble up battery power in the 10-20% range. So keeping this in mind any setting that causes the screen to be on longer or the iPhone to connect to the internet will drag down battery life. So it is a balancing act and everyone will need to decide which is more important. I mean what is the use of having a smartphone if you don’t use the internet, check emails and your screen brightness is so low you have to squint to see the screen? Sure it may last an hour longer or more but what use are you getting out of that time?

On the other hand there are settings that are on by default which a user may not use that could be robbing little bits of battery life. So I personally put my settings at a point where I get the most use out of my iPhone for the things I need to do. When battery life gets low I charge it up but even though I would consider myself an advanced user there were two settings I hadn’t checked and updated even after doing updates of the Operating System(OS), iOS. As a result I was using a pedometer app and by the end of the work day my iPhone which would usually be at around 60-70% was at 34% a huge difference. The reason was beause the pedometer app was using the location services of the phone which uses both the radios(data and Wifi) to calculate my location. I didn’t need that I just wanted to know how many steps I took that day. So it was draining my battery by using a service I didn’t even need.

So if you’ve updated your iOS version recently and find that your iPhone battery is draining faster than it used to try checking and adjusting the following settings I’m about to show you.

Notification Center

This is where you can set which apps are included in the Notification Center and will send you notifications. The notifications will cause the screen to wake up and when they come in a user will spend time checking the notification to see what it’s all about. When an app is installed it is added to the notification center even though the user may not want or need to get notifications from the app. You can see which apps are in the Notification Center by:

Tapping “Settings” on the home screen


Then tap “Notification” (pictured above)

There will be a list of all the apps in the Notification Center. You  can tap each app and there will be sliders to remove the app from the Notification Center as well as prevent the app’s notifications from being viewed on the lock screen. Remove any apps that don’t need to be in the notification center and don’t need to have notifications on the lock screen.

IMG_1687 IMG_1689 IMG_1690


Next you will want to check under Privacy which is where you will find Location Services.


This will be where all the apps that use location services will be listed along with device settings that you may also want to change. In the screen shots you will see that in the System Services I have turned off all the options except Cell Network Search and Setting Time Zone. That is because these are the only things that would be needed in my use of the device. So adjust the settings accordingly to your use of the device.

IMG_1692 IMG_1694



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