Friday, August 5, 2011

How Will The iPhone 5 Compare to the Nexus 4G?

How Will The iPhone 5 Compare to the Nexus 4G?

While rumors and speculation still surround Apple’s next generation iPhone handset – the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 5, depending on whom you believe – other cell phone manufacturers continue to develop newer, faster handsets to compete in the marketplace. This week, a leak took the wraps off what is being called the Nexus 4G – Google’s next flagship Android handset which is scheduled for launch sometime in November 2011. With the next iPhone rumored to be launching in September 2011, let’s take a brief look at how these handsets will stack up against one another.
Nothing is yet known about what kind of upgraded internals the next iPhone will ship with. It’s rumored to be packing a dual-core processor, which is likely a derivative of the A5 processor currently powering the iPad 2. As the iPhone 4 has 512MB of RAM, the next iPhone will likely push this up, perhaps to 1GB. Most analysts and journalists doubt that Apple will be including a true 4G LTE radio in the next iPhone as Verizon is the only carrier in the US with a reasonably sized LTE network at this point.

There are many rumors swirling around concerning the display, with most believing that the physical size of the display will grow to somewhere around 4” total, while keeping the same screen resolution so developers won’t have to do any scaling with their apps. Technically, this display will still be able to be called a “Retina Display” although the pixels-per-inch count would be lower than the iPhone 4. Finally the jury is still out on whether or not the next iPhone will receive an upgraded rear camera, but it is largely expected that Apple is going to move the flash to the opposite side of the phone to get rid of red-eye and other artifacting that is currently plaguing the iPhone 4.

If it truly is launching just a month after the next iPhone, the Nexus 4G could end up a serious competitor. The processor is expected to be a dual-core processor running somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.2 to 1.5 GHz; this would either be one of Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4460 chips, or a newer Qualcomm Snapdragon. The phone will most likely ship with 1GB of RAM as well. Since it has the “4G” moniker as part of its name, rest assured the Nexus 4G will almost definitely be shipping with an LTE radio in it. Rounding out the rest of the rumored specs, the phone will have a 720p HD display – the physical size is unknown but expect it to be well over 4” at this resolution – and a front/rear camera combination which will probably be 1 megapixel and 5 megapixels respectively.

The hardware is, of course, not much without an operating system to power it. Apple took the wraps off of iOS 5 at the recent Worldwide Developers’ Conference, with most of the major announcements showing off huge improvements in daily-use items like notifications. The Nexus 4G will most likely ship with Android 4.0 – codenamed “Ice Cream Sandwich”. This will be Google’s first version of Android that combines the phone operating system with the tablet version, so it’s expected that it will be a strong offering.
Without knowing more about Apple’s plans for the next handset, it’s tough to say whether or not the Nexus 4G will be an “iPhone 5 killer”. What is clear is that in the end, we’re all benefiting from the heavy competition playing out in the marketplace between Apple and Google, with better and better handsets coming out each year.

iOS 5 Beta 3

iOS 5 Beta 3 Adds Gestures that Replace Hardware Buttons

Apple has released the newest beta of their upcoming iOS 5 mobile operating system, and one of the quickly discovered new features is a gesture interface that provides the same functionality as the iPhone and iPad’s hardware buttons.

Listed under the Accessibility settings in the device’s setup area, the new “Assistive Touch” option places a floating button on the screen which allows users to use touch gestures to complete a variety of commands, including returning to the home screen, multitasking, changing the device’s volume and more. While it appears that Assistive Touch is targeted at those who have difficulty with hardware buttons, the feature appearing in this way has signaled to many that Apple is considering dropping hardware buttons in future devices.
There are some gaps in the Assistive Touch software, as would be expected from a beta release. It’s possible to create and save custom gestures for the interface, but as of yet there appears to be no way to actually assign it to do anything. The rest of the interface appears to be working perfectly, however, as users can make use of the Assistive Touch menu system to access four options: Home, Device, Gestures and Favorites.

The “Home” option does exactly what it sounds like, returning the user to the iPhone or iPad’s home screen – similar in function to the hardware button. “Device” offers a multitude of different controls, including those to lock the screen, to change the volume, a button that performs a “shake” of the device, and another to rotate the screen’s orientation. The “Gestures” menu shows options for three, four and five-fingered gestures, which have been popping up in the iPad 2 betas for iOS 5 and are expected to be coming to the device when iOS 5 is officially released. Finally, “Favorites” allows access to custom, saved gestures as well as a handful of other ones such as “pinch” and “swipe”.
Customers of Apple’s devices who may struggle with some or all of the hardware gestures – think elderly users and the “shake” function on an iPad – are likely to be very happy with the company’s implementation of these resources in iOS 5. While the rumor mill is likely to use Assistive Touch as Apple’s means to finally rid their devices of hardware buttons, there’s been no indication from the company that they ever plan to do so, and a great deal of users would be frustrated with the inability to adjust things like an iPhone’s volume without taking the device out of their pocket and accessing the screen. Assistive Touch does show that Apple is paying attention to its customer space, and that they have the skills to produce software interfaces that could eliminate hardware buttons in the future if that’s what the market dictates.

It’s tough to imagine a button-less iPod or iPhone, but this could be relatively feasible for the iPad which is screen-centric and virtually everything is done via the display. Only time will tell if Apple decides to eliminate hardware buttons entirely.

We May See an iPhone 5 with LTE in 2011

We May See an iPhone 5 with LTE in 2011

Etisalat announces that they are in discussions with Cupertino to carry the company’s fifth-generation iPhone handset later in 2011.
Ali Al Ahmad, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer for Etisalat, a mobile carrier based in the United Arab Emirates, recently gave truth to rumors that the company would be carrying Apple’s iPhone 5 sometime this year. Ahmad was quoted as saying “We are in talks with most smartphone manufacturers including Apple on the rollout of the 4G handset, iPhone 5 later this year. As the first telecom organization to roll out the 4G network, LTE, in the Middle East, we have already started talking to them for the handsets and chipsets in them.”

While it’s true that Etisalat is currently deploying its next-generation LTE network throughout the country, Apple has yet to even confirm the existence of the iPhone 5, let alone its launch date or whether or not it will support LTE technology. Speculation by journalists and analysts alike indicate that Apple will hold off on launching an iPhone handset that supports LTE until sometime in 2012, with any handset that launches in 2011 to likely be an updated version of the company’s iPhone 4, which is still producing incredible sales figures.
As it is based in the US, Apple typically would look to US-based carriers to usher in an iPhone that supports faster network speeds like LTE. Verizon is currently besting AT&T in this department, with the latter expecting it will take a year or two to catch up to Verizon’s LTE deployment. Verizon has been showing off data speeds that have topped 10 to 15 Mbps in LTE-covered areas, proving that the technology truly does bring in much faster speeds than current 3G networks. Not to be topped in the speed department, AT&T recently demoed its LTE offering and touted speeds of nearly 30 Mbps downstream and over 10 Mbps on the upstream.
It truly has been a race amongst the carriers to get 4G data speeds up and running for their customers. All of the wireless carriers have been battling to secure the wireless frequencies and intellectual property necessary to roll out LTE across the nation. Recently, Canadian manufacturer Nortel announced that a number of its patents had implications in the 4G market, and the US Department of Justice expressed that it had some concerns over Apple’s interest in these and other patents. All of this is happening while AT&T is working to close its deal to purchase T-Mobile for nearly $40 billion, claiming that the purchase is necessary to secure the necessary wireless frequencies and bandwidth to support their national 4G LTE push.

In regards to Apple’s next handset – called the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S depending on whom you believe – speculation continues to run rampant that the phone will launch sometime in September or October after this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference passed without Apple showing off any new hardware. Analysts largely expect that the phone will offer an updated camera, possibly a faster processor and perhaps a larger display.
Apple did not comment on the remarks made by Ahmed or Etisalat, nor has it given any indication when the handset will be coming.

Apple is Getting Ready for the iPhone 5 Launch

Apple is Getting Ready for the iPhone 5 Launch

One of the biggest Chinese newspapers, China Times, reported this week that Apple has received a shipment of 400,000 iPhone 5 smartphones, that are to be tested before the release of 4,000,000 units this September. This article suggests that the big launch will take place in the second week of September.
Rumors from other iPhone publications and websites, like iPhone Italia, who heard this from an undisclosed executive at Swisscom, point towards a more exact release date, it being September 5, which is also Labor Day in the U.S. this year. A major product launch on a holiday is very unlikely and Apple hasn’t confirmed, denied or announced anything official.

More info from this report indicate that Apple will also launch the new iPad 3 around Thanksgiving this year and that it will be a big improvement over the current iPad. The device is being released later than it was initially thought due to component problems. Most analysts are skeptical that Apple will launch an upgrade to one of their best sellers, the iPad 2, only 9 months after it was introduced, while other analysts say we will see a new iPad this year in the form of an “iPad 2 Plus”, which will be a slightly improved iPad 2.
Apple has previously launched new iPhones at the Worldwide Developers Conference(WWDC), which is held in June, and most people were expecting the iPhone 5 back then. Attention now turns to September, when Apple normally holds its iPod focused event. Also, because the new operating system is scheduled to be released this Fall, it is expected that the iPhone 5 will be introduced at the same time as the iOS 5.

iPhone 5 to Benefit from Improved Voice Command System

Recently, Apple filed a patent for an enhanced voice control system which will probably be implemented in the future iOS 5. This system would work by reducing the quantity of information users have to listen to when using their iPhones. Additionally, the system can get familiarized with a user’s preferences over time and deliver only the “tailored” information that he needs. This system, named “Adaptive Audio Feedback System and Method” would apply to alerts, menu navigation and prompts.

Since the purchase of Siri, a “personal assistant” for iPhone, who understands and answers voice commands like “Call me a taxi.” or “Where is the nearest Starbucks?”, Apple has been working hard to improve the voice control in its mobile gadgets. Some rumors say that the voice control will be “deeply integrated” in the next OS.
We can’t wait to see the alpha version of the iOS 5, but most of all, we can’t wait for the new iPhone 5 to be launched.