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09 January 2016 ~ 2 Comments

Apple Dominates UK Sales in 2015

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The bestselling smartphone in 2015 is the 2014 iPhone 6 16GB, followed closely by the 2013 iPhone 5S with the 64GB iPhone 6 in the third position. The newer, but pricier, iPhone 6, the 6S 16GB, is the fourth best seller of the year. That the latest iPhone 6S managed to get a 4th place is particularly impressive since the phone was only released in September. The iPhone 6 has topped the global charts since September 2014 and is a worldwide favourite. Samsung only managed a lowly 5th spot with their top offering, the Galaxy S6 32GB.

Remarkably, next in the list the iPhone returns with phones in 6th and 7th position. Budget conscious buyers have been pushing up sales of the now discontinued 5C to 6th place followed by the 64GB iPhone 6S. Samsung manages to secure the final top ten positions with the Galaxy S6 Edge 32GB, followed by the Note 4. Coming in at the 10th position is the Galaxy S5.

Rob Kerr, the mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, said, “Apple’s authority in the UK mobile market is unrivalled. It’s the only manufacturer that can still attract queues days ahead of its major launches. It even makes Samsung look like a perennial underachiever.”

What is interesting is that the large screen iPhone 6S Plus does not make it into the list, which seems to indicate that the market is happier with the smaller form Apple handset tarher than the phablet. This may be a sign that users want a phone which is light, high tech and still slips easily into the pocket. And of course, it still has that distinctive Apple logo on the back which is arguable one of the main reasons for buying an iPhone.

What was your last phone? And would you always choose an Apple iPhone over another phone from a different brand?

04 January 2016 ~ 1 Comment

Doro Releases the Anywhere SIM

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Swedish company Doro has focussed on senior citizens as their primary market niche. They have developed a range of phones and services to meet the needs and demands of the older user. The company holds numerous international awards in recognition of its product designs and innovations and today is the global market leader in the category, telecom for seniors.

Doro’s PhoneEasy 508 handset will be sold as part of a bundle with their Anywhere SIM Lite for £30 which will include the handset, SIM card and a mandatory £60 top-up. The package offers a national roaming service which gives users access to the strongest cellular signal wherever they may be as it switches between EE, Vodafone and O2.

The PhoneEasy 508 is designed to be easy to use, but it also has life-saving applications like built-in emergency assistance features. The assistance feature sends SMS messages to up to 5 emergency numbers with a single press of the emergency button. The phone is extremely light with a dedicated torch and comfortably sized buttons. Another potentially life-saving feature is ICE (In Case of Emergency) which allows you to store all your medical information in one place for quick retrieval in case of emergency or trauma.

This is an attractive package for senior users with the benefit of good cell phone reception anywhere in the UK. Would you use it or recommend it to older friends and relatives?

27 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Android Marshmallow 6.0 is now out

android marshmallow relseased

The latest operating system update for Android phone users has been released. Continuing the tradition of confectionary-themed code names, we now have Marshmallow for version 6.0. The updates began with Android 1.5 Cupcake and were then followed, alphabetically, by names like Gingerbread, KitKat, and then Ice Cream Sandwich for version 4.0.

Unsurprisingly, the Google-developed Nexus was the first phone to get the new Android operating system. Manufacturers who work closely with Google, and who developed Nexus devices, such as LG and HTC, will be first in line for the upgrade. Sony, Samsung and others will get Android 6 early in 2016. However, Samsung has indicated that owners of the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ should have received their Marshmallow updates in time for Christmas. The version for the standard S6 and the S6 Edge will be released in January while the Note 4 while Android for other models will only be available towards the end of January .

So what is exciting about Marshmallow? After all, it is not a major design update like Lollipop was, but there are some exciting new features. A major emphasis is on increasing battery life. Other general improvements include better app permission controls, standardised support for fingerprint scanners, more granular volume controls, USB-C support and new Google Now features.

The new fingerprint sensor functionality means that you can unlock your phone with your finger and when Android Pay is released in the UK you will be able to make payments without opening apps.

Android 6.0 opens the way for improved voice control features. Users will soon be able to speak to their apps – and the apps will even talk back. This natural way of speaking to our smartphone and the apps installed on it could revolutionise the way we interact with our devices. Probably not soon, but it could.

To improve battery usage Google has announced the Doze feature. Using motion sensors to detect whether a device hasn’t been moved for an extended period of time, Doze will switch it to a deeper sleep mode that consumes much less power. Doze will still allow alarms to go off and key notifications to come through.

Google says it took two Nexus 9 tablets, one running Lollipop and the other Android Marshmallow, loaded the same apps and settings on both, and then tested the standby power drain on the two. Apparently, the Nexus 9 running Android Marshmallow lasted up to two times longer than its Lollipop counterpart which is pretty damn impressive. These results sound very impressive and should lead to noticeably better battery life.

One of the new features which should prove very popular is Now on Tap which is essentially an updated Google Now and allows for contextual and location based information when using apps like WhatsApp.

In summary, many of the updates are aimed at developers and should lead to improved user experiences for Android users. What are your thoughts?