For as long as Apple has been selling [#protected_0#], people have been scalping them. What makes this particular story interesting is that it’s not simply buying in one place and selling higher in another. This is buying and using as pseudo-currency or barter for goods and services. In other words, iPhone-as-money. Vernon Silver, Businessweek:
I’ve been paying my bills with iPhones. Not with apps or on bank sites—I’ve been using the Apple (AAPL) hardware as currency.
It started by accident in December, during a business trip to New York. I live in Rome, where domestic work comes cheap and technology is expensive. An unlocked, gold, 32-gigabyte iPhone 5s that costs about 5 with tax in the U.S. goes for €839 (about ,130) in Italy, roughly a month’s wages for workers who do laundry, pick up kids from school, or provide care for the elderly. When one worker heard I was visiting the States, she asked me to pick her up an iPhone in lieu of the equivalent cash for work she’d done. Lining up inside the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, I was surrounded by shoppers speaking languages from around the world. The salesman looked stunned when I said I wanted an unlocked iPhone. Just one?
That an underground economy is forming around iPhones is no surprise. Jeans and Beatles tapes were once hugely popular in the former Soviet Union. The iPhone is modern pop culture and that always has value.
Have you ever — would you ever — use an iPhone as currency?
An online university will start a free online Android programming course next month, offering interested applicants the first notions needed to create apps for smartphones and tablets running Google’s mobile operating system.
Spotted by a reddit user, the eight-week long course offered by the University of Maryland is directed to Sophomore- or Junior-level undergraduate students who already have some Java knowledge. However, this is a course for beginners, as the students are “not expected to have studied mobile application development.”
In order to attend it, students will need an Internet connection, a computers and “time to read, write and discuss.” An Android device is not required, as all the graded exercises will be done using the Android Emulator.
Each lesson will be comprised of video presentations and lab exercises that will help students practice what they learn. At the end of the course, students will be given a more complex final project. The students who will complete the course will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor of the course.
In case you’re looking forward to learning how to build your own Android apps, you should at least check out this apparently free resource to get you started.
Winamp will be shutting down next month. This news comes following 15 years of being available and has arrived as little more than a mention on the Winamp download site. There was no specifics given as to the reason for the shut down, however speculation suggests lack of popularity at this point.
The folks behind the Winamp app, Nullsoft were acquired by AOL in 1999 and while there are Mac and Android apps available for download — things never seemed as good as the early days when Winamp was highly customizable and available only for Windows. Before we get all nostalgic here, we can look towards the brief statement from Winamp.
“Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date.”
With that having been said, now appears like a good time for the trip down memory lane. Looking towards Wikipedia and we learn that Winamp was created in 1997 by Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldrev. The early days of Winamp had it available as freeware/shareware and with support for a variety of file types and customizable with plugins and skins.
Winamp was integrated with SHOUTcast for streaming radio and also once found use as a podcatcher. All that aside, Winamp appears to have reached the height of success in 2005 when the user base grew to more than 52 million. But while the software will only be going away for good in December 2013, it seems the writing on the wall may have began 10 years earlier, in 2003. That was when Winamp saw a near-simultaneous departure of both Justin Frankel and the original development team. As a result, Winamp (Nullsoft) became a division of AOL Music.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launched a month ago today, and that means we’ve had just over 4 weeks to put them through their paces and evolve our first impressions. So, was the iPhone 5s a forward looking upgrade, is the iPhone 5c a popular alternative? One month later, how well have Apple’s new iPhones held up?
Now that I’ve had a month with the iPhone 5s, two things have stood out the most for me: Touch ID and the camera. Touch ID is an absolute game-changer, and it’s so natural to use that I find myself regularly holding my thumb over the home buttons of iPads and older iPhones just expecting them to work. I found battery life on the iPhone 5s – the first phone I’ve used from the start with iOS 7 – to be somewhat lacking, at least initially. Turning off Background App Refresh certainly took the sting out.
The A7 processor, paired with OpenGL ES 3.0, is going to help developers make some spectacular looking games. Infinity Blade III is the first example – its texture mapping and visual effects practically rival game consoles. Image processing has been greatly enhanced too – paired with a better camera, the iPhone takes better low-light photos than ever before, and can capture great images in burst mode and video at 120 frames per second, capturing slow-motion action worthy of a much pricier video camera.
If there’s a big downside to the iPhone 5s, it’s that it doesn’t seem quite as stable a platform as the 5 – I’ve had a lot more app crashes with the 5s than I had with the 5. I attribute this, at least in part, to growing pains associated with the new 64-bit chip architecture in the iPhone 5s, and possibly some lingering weirdness with iOS 7 itself. Either way, I expect Apple is doing whatever it takes to make iOS 7 and the 5s the most stable experience possible for iPhone users.
I haven’t upgraded to an iPhone 5s yet. I may at some point, but my iPhone 5 is still great. Just like with iOS 7, I haven’t seen anything compelling enough to make me rush out upgrade now.
I picked up both an iPhone 5s and an iPhone 5c on launch day. I’ll start by saying the iPhone 5c definitely surprised me when it comes to build quality. This is not a cheap phone. Sure aluminum is higher end and looks more classy, but for , people are going to be happy with this thing. It’s just an incredibly bold and fun device. I can see myself using the iPhone 5c on a regular basis as a backup phone, or simply as an iPod for testing reasons.
The iPhone 5s is my daily driver and so far, I’m happy with it. I find myself thinking Touch ID isn’t that big of a deal, until I pick up my iPad mini and find myself oddly irritated that I have to manually type in a passcode. The convenience factor is definitely there. App Store purchases are nice and easy, when it works that is. For some reason, I still get asked for a password when purchasing apps. Other staff members have this issue as well while others don’t.
Either way, I’m happy with my iPhone 5s and feel there’s enough there to justify my personal upgrade from an iPhone 5. For me, most of that comes from the camera improvements. I take a lot of photos and in low light, I felt the iPhone was very lacking, especially when it came to motion blur. I don’t think it’s yet perfect but I feel that for a camera phone, it’s one of the best in the industry. And for now, I’m content with that. Fingers crossed for OIS next year!
I’m one of those people who replaces their phone every two years with their contract, so I came to the iPhone 5s from a 4s. The biggest thing I’ve noticed about the 5s is how much I’m using it over my previous phone. With the 4s, I would often turn to my iPad to perform a lot of tasks, but now I find that I pick up the 5s instead of the iPad for catching up on Twitter or light news reading.
Touch ID is a real standout feature for me, both for security and iTunes payments. Previously, when I’ve used a passcode on iOS, it was a simple one. With Touch ID, I’ve set a more complicated password that I only need to enter in case of a restart. For iTunes, the convenience of Touch ID on the iPhone cannot be overstated. While I was being prompted to re-enter my iTunes password at least twice a day before using Touch ID to download new items, I have been seeing these prompts less and less in the past couple of weeks.
I’ve found the performance on the 5s to be really solid. I’ve seen only a few crashes, and apps that have been updated to take advantage of the A7 run really well. Infinity Blade III, demoed on stage during the iPhone 5s announcement, runs smoothly and looks good on the 5s. I don’t take many pictures, but those that I have taken are noticeably better to the ones from my 4s.
I’ve been using the iPhone 5s since launch day, after a long overnight stint outside the local Apple Store to secure one. And as I’ve said on a previous iMore Show, I think it’s the best phone I’ve used all year (and I’ve played around with a good few!)
The 5s is the complete package. Same gorgeous design and amazing construction as the iPhone 5, with improvements that you really can notice. The camera is simply excellent, and was used almost exclusively to capture a recent vacation. Precious memories that not once have I wished I had a ‘proper camera’ to take. Oh, and try taking better panorama shots with a phone other than with the 5s. It’s staggeringly good compared to most things out there.
And of course, Touch ID. I want it everywhere, and I want it yesterday. It works so very well, that despite my previously written about annoyances with it, has value in my daily use far beyond that which I ever could have imagined.
This phone is fast. Stupid fast. Modern smartphones are really a marvel of technology when you think about everything that’s crammed into them. But in reality there’s only one part of the 5s that’s changed how I use my iPhone, and that’s Touch ID. I’ve repgrogrammed it a few times as I’ve realized the multitude of ways that I unlock my iPhone, but this simple layer of security has made things far more convenient for me in keeping my data safe.
The camera is nice, in that it’s better, but it’s not revolutionary. The minimum focal distance does seem to be improved, and the Touch ID-toting home button still feels delightfully clicking and tactile compared to my older iPhones. But, as an S model, the iPhone 5s isn’t a mind-blowing device. It’s the iPhone 5, but faster, with a better camera, and a fingerprint scanner. And maybe in gold, if you happen to roll that way.
I was hugely happy with the iPhone 5. Now I’m hugely happy with the iPhone 5s. It’s virtually the same phone, only faster – noticeably faster – and with a better camera. I liked the camera after a week. I love it after a month. From the beautifully lit panoramas, to the bursts to simply the better every days, it’s once again the best all-around mobile camera I’ve ever used.
Touch ID has been good too. It occasionally requires me to touch a second time, rejecting the first, but never more than that, and it almost always works immediately. It’s so good I want it everywhere. On my iPad. On my Mac. On my house. On my shoes. Every. Where.
I’ve used the iPhone 5c less as time has gone on, but it’s still fun. If the iPhone 5 were still on the market, I’d choose the iPhone 5c over it, no doubt about it. The only question would be which color.
Your iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c: One month later review?
Whether you got an iPhone 5s or an iPhone 5c, we’d love to know what your experience has been. How’s your iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c now, one month later?
A software update for the Moto X has been making the carrier rounds. This is the update that brings fixes for the camera and touchless controls and so far it has hit three of the big four US carriers. AT&T was the most recent of the three with the update arriving just last week. We are still waiting on word from Verizon Wireless, however a recent leak is suggesting US Cellular will be rolling the update out soon.
The details have yet to be announced by US Cellular and are based on a leak at the moment. What we are seeing is coming by way of a “Device Service Bulletin” dated for October 2013. Said bulletin is for the Motorola Moto X and includes a changelog for a maintenance release that is beginning to look rather familiar.
Details here include the version being Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with a build number of 13.9.0Q2.X-116-MX-17-57. Anyway, while this one does look familiar, it is not an exact copy from the other carriers. The US Cellular Moto X update is also adding the Wi-Fi Now application (version 4.5.75). This is an app that will help you to automatically connect to available hotspots and while it is coming with this update, it is also available for download from the Play Store.
The remaining items in this update include the following;
Enhancements to the following experiences
Touch less Controls
The following Motorola Experiences would be upgradeable via Google Play
Touch less Controls
Calling (Improved Voice Quality)
Addressed issue that sometimes resulted in choppy audio being heard by the person you are talking to using your Moto X
While this is certainly looking like good news for those who picked up a Moto X with US Cellular, we can almost hear the complaints coming from Verizon Moto X users. That being said, if you are sporting a US Cellular Moto X we suggest keeping a close eye on your notifications because according to this, that update should be here within the next few weeks.
At IFA last week, we got to spend some time with LG’s new tablet, the G Pad 8.3, and we have to say that we came out quite impressed. The G Pad 8.3 is solid and well designed, boasts a decent spec sheet, and some of its software features, like Q Pair, really add value for the user.
However, in the small tablet space (7 to 8 inches), there’s one aspect that can really make or break a device, and that is the price. The LG G Pad 8.3 will face off popular devices like the Nexus 7 (2013), which starts at 0, the Apple iPad Mini, which starts at 9, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, starting from 0. So, how competitively priced will the G Pad be?
Sources familiar with the matter told Android Authority that the LG G Pad 8.3 would be priced “very competitively”. While our sources couldn’t confirm the final price, they did say that it could be in the 0 range.
At 0, the LG G Pad 8.3 would be priced quite reasonably for what it offers: an aluminum build, a crisp Full HD LCD display, and a fast Snapdragon 600 processor. Most importantly, it would be cheaper than both the iPad Mini (2012, and probably 2013 edition) and the Galaxy Note 8. The Nexus 7 (2013) is still cheaper, but the device is not accessible internationally at a good price point, like it is in the US and the other markets where Google sells it from the Play Store.
As for the LG G Pad 8.3 release date, our sources told us to expect it “towards the end of September.” We assume that LG will go for a staged rollout, so don’t expect to see the G Pad 8.3 available in stores worldwide this September. We officially know, however, that LG wants to offer the G Pad 8.3 in 30 countries by the end of 2013, which fits in nicely with a debut in late September.
Stay tuned for more coverage, and we’ll keep an eye out as more info on the LG G Pad 8.3′s release date and pricing becomes available.
Update: While our sources report that the LG G Pad 8.3 will be “competitively priced” and could be around 0, Chinese site Zolis now reporting that the exact price will be 9. Keep in mind that LG has yet to confirm device pricing one way or another, so it’s important to treat this claim as a rumor for now. If the G Pad really does come in at 9, LG’s latest tablet could end up as a major homerun for the company.
Back at E3 Gameloft revealed plenty of their upcoming games and titles for Android, and one that was pretty popular is a new game called Total Conquest. With a similar feel to games we’ve seen before, you’ll be able to build, train, and control an entire Roman Empire and Army. Today they’ve confirmed it will launch later this month.
The game looks quite similar to Clash of the Clans, and is coming to Android and iOS devices soon. During the E3 unveil many suggested we’d see a late October or November release date, but today we’re happy to confirm that it will be arriving in the next two weeks. Get excited to train an entire army.
The game looks pretty awesome from our initial impressions, but we’ll have to wait and see how it plays on our devices. With a similar feel to WarCraft and many of those other build and destroy type games, this should be a blast on Android. I can’t wait to give it a try on my Nexus 7.
According to the official @Gameloft Twitter account Total Conquest will arrive for iOS devices and Android both later this month. They’ve been promising simultaneous releases, so it’ll likely hit both platforms on the same day. We’ll update when we have an exact date for you all to head to the Play Store.
In the good old days things were simple, chip makers made processors and OEMs made products. Simple. But today everything is complicated. Samsung, Apple and Huawei all make handsets and they also design the processors running in those handsets. Many of the big Android names have gone vertical. Now ZTE is rumored to have done the same and is set to announce a new processor with 4G support at next month’s PT/Expo Comm China 2013.
The benefits for ZTE in designing its own processor, rather than buying from companies like Qualcomm and MediaTek, include reduced costs and high levels of integration. Apple even go as far as to add new instructions to its processor to improve the speed of certain custom operations. ZTE could do the same if it intends to only use the processor in its own products (to avoid compatibility issues).
Little is known about the upcoming processor other than its support for 4G LTE. It is very likely to be an ARM based processor but which core architecture it will use (Cortex-A7. A15 or even A12) isn’t known, nor is there any clues about the number of cores it can support.
ZTE is currently in competition against Huawei and LG to become the third largest smartphone maker in the world. There is a less than one percent difference between these three in terms of market position. Earlier this year Huawei announced it is working on its own processor, now thought to be called the K3V3. Huawei’s processor is believed to be an eight-core processor but it isn’t clear if it will use ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture. Since ZTE is in direct competition with Huawei it will be interesting to see if ZTE is looking to use its processor in high-end phones or try to increase its share in the mid to low-end market.
It seems that the HTC One’s debut on Verizon was pushed yet again from the initial rumor of August 1st way back to the end of the month, according to a leaked road map that lists Big Red’s plans for the month. The road map also details several other phones that have been slated for availability in August as well.
The earliest speculated date for HTC’s flagship on Verizon’s network was August 1, which has already come to pass. As Verizon only stated that the HTC One will come “this summer”, the date could very well be pushed to mid-September. At the end of July, we received a rumor that the date being eyed by Verizon would be August 15. Now there is some insider information that claims that the HTC One launch will be on August 29 instead.
The road map also mentions several other phones lined up for this month, like the Motorola DROID Ultra and DROID Maxx, which are expected to arrive on August 20. The DROID Mini, which was initially said to launch with the other two, seems to have been pushed back to the 29th as well. The newly announced Motorola Moto X is said to be available from Verizon on the 23rd, as perviously leaked.
There is no word on the rumored Blue HTC One that will supposedly be available only from Verizon. Missing also is any reference to the LG G2, which was just unveiled today, which could mean that Verizon will be looking at a September release.
We’ve been hearing about the Moto X in increasing detail over the past weeks, especially now that Motorola has ramped up its advertisement campaign in time for the 4th of July holiday. Now, according to a leaked screenshot, we see how the handset will be offered to our Canadian friends: as an exclusive from Rogers.
The information comes from the folks at MobileSyrup, who nabbed a picture taken of a Rogers internal document, which shows a bit of its Android focus and plans, with one in particular standing out among the rest – a tidbit of information next to an “Android Max” info box that says “EXCLUSIVE Moto X Phone”. You can see it yourself in the image above.
The “Android Max” in the image above is referring to one of the carrier’s campaigns, which will apparently be kicked off in the third quarter of this year. It is targeted at individuals who “live on their phones,” and will be comprised of LTE devices and those who want “Max Android data.” If you recall, Rogers announced seven new locations that it would be expanding its LTE network to.
According to MobileSyrup, the Moto X will be available for Canadian buyers via Rogers on August 1, just a little over three weeks from now. As you likely guessed based on the image above, it will be offered on the carrier’s LTE Max network. Unfortunately, the one piece of information that is still missing is pricing.
In case you missed it, on June 26, Google rolled out an updated Motorola logo, which features a subtle color palette hinting at the wide array of color options the handset will be offered in, as well its own logo at the bottom, showing off its ownership of the company. Per a tip earlier today, word has it the Moto X will be announced on July 10 or 11th, with the latter date being more likely. Among others reasons, speculation has the it the “X” and “I” formed by two individuals jumping into water in Motorola’s ad from earlier this week are a subtle hint.