So as my iPhone 4s gets an immense amount of use (and I mean powered on at least once every 3 minutes) the power button is prone to failure. So much so that I am actually on the second 4s in less then 2 years. Now, although I am in the market for a new phone, I am of course awaiting the grand unveil of the brand new iPhone 5s. Despite the fact I don’t know what the future holds..

In light of this, I have decided to treat my second 4s to a new lease of life, and this morning dropped it off to a local repair centre. Normally I’d deal direct with Apple or MendMyI, however as I can’t be parted from it for more then a few hours.. I decided to hunt down a local retailer. So I hit google, and after dismissing a few shabby/shocking sites, I finally settled on The Computer Store, on Chanterlands Avenue in Hull. The website was well laid out, easy to use, and more importantly the replied to my contact request within an hour. This secured the deal for me!

Only 3 hours later, and £40 lighter I have been reunited with my ageing 4s.. Which will continue to take on the day to day challenges until the new phone is unveiled.

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20130520 223107 [Hands On] A month with Energenie ChargeGenie 50

For as long as I can remember, I (much like many others) have suffered at the hands of a dead battery in my tech. More so now since smartphones have been such a large part of my life.

I’m no way going to blame manufacturers for the capacity or drain of device batteries… I’m a heavy user… In that I doubt 10 minutes go by when I’m not using it! Unless I’m asleep of course!

This has obviously created a gap in the market. When that has steadily filled up with all manor of devices, in all shapes and sizes. Each device is not without it’s pitfalls, equally each device suits a certain type of user more.

I think over the last 4 years I’ve pretty much tried every type on the market; from AA battery powered key rings to solar panels. I’ve also endured my fair share of smartphone case batteries… Non of these devices has proved successful in truly giving me that extra charge I need when I’m out and about..

That was until this year (2013) … When in the excited build up the the yearly Gadget Show at the NEC, I can across a manufacturers name on the programme. Energenie… It’s one I’d never heard of, and never seen any products from before. So I made my way over to their website, and was amazed by the variety and the spec of some of the devices!

This is when I spotted the Energenie ChargeGenie 50, a 5,000 MaH external battery pack.. My school boy maths suggested I should get at least 2 full charges of my iPhone 4S from this, and what’s more it would even give my iPad (thanks to FreeVirtualServers) a boost. So I got in touch with Energenie, and excitedly asked them to reserve me a fully charged ChargeGenie 50 at the Gadget Show.

Once I’d made my way around the show, battery now flagging at 20% I headed over to their stand, and collected what was soon to become my phones new best friend! I carefully opened the packaging and plugged in my phone.. Slowly but surely my device made its way back up to 100%

But wait… It didn’t stop there!! As I was taking many pictures at the show, my device was soon back at 10%.. So of it went again, and charged straight back up to 100!!! Perfect! Just what I needed…

Now, I know external batteries arnt to everyone’s taste, and some people prefer cases.. But until someone comes up with a case that can pack the punch of the Energenie 50 whilst adding little to no bulk I’m happy!

Nearly a full month on since purchasing it, and it still travels faithfully in my laptop bag.. In its own compartment no less, and I can rest in the knowledge that this little unit has got my back!

So…. Thanks Energenie, for your fantastic ChargeGenie 50! Here’s looking forward to the future, when my Energenie ChargeGenie ?100? Drops through the letterbox!

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Will the Next iPhone Be the Best Yet?

The iPhone is a world beater. Even its harshest detractors, the kind of people who would never buy an iPhone for reasons of brand loyalty (or simply out of a dislike of Apple) cannot deny the style and ease of use which have become the device’s hallmark. Unfortunately for the Californian giant, though, consumers seem to be falling out of love with the iconic phone. Don’t take that the wrong way – Apple still possesses a commanding share of the market, and there are plenty of users who will always buy an iPhone, no matter what. However, that doesn’t mean that some consumers aren’t jumping ship thanks to the disappointing iPhone 4S and 5. Apple will need to do something special to regain their place as the dominating phone manufacturer.

The Rivals

Anyone who keeps track of technology-related news will be aware of the Samsung Galaxy S3, which Apple have been doing their best to suppress on a global scale with arguably frivolous patent lawsuits – my favourite is the one where they (successfully) argued that they had a patent preventing anyone else from making a phone with curved edges. Regardless of the legal antics, which are taking place in various countries, the S3 is readily available in the UK and is widely regarded as the best phone around. It boasts a larger-than-average battery, superbly clear and large OLED Gorilla Glass screen (wave goodbye to your iPhone screen repair costs) and powerful processor. The combination of large screen and powerful hardware make it a capable gaming device, but the real appeal of the Samsung over the iPhone lies in its software. Google’s Android is notably ‘freer’ than Apple’s iOS. For example, anyone may write an Android app and put it on Google Play. Apple’s App Store, by comparison, is strictly policed, with the apps available being controlled by the company. Windows Phone is improving, and could be a competitor shortly, but as of now is not really on the same level as Android and iOS.

The Features We Want to See

If the next iPhone is to be the best yet and reclaim its crown as the king of smartphones, improvements will need to be made in several areas. Firstly, the screen needs to be improved. Apple is using the latest iteration of the LCD, which was created 20 years ago and has served us well. However, it cannot be compared to the OLED screen manufactured by Samsung. Improving the next iPhone’s screen could increase the quality of visuals and help to cut down on thickness and weight, which are issues. The other area which could use some improvement is storage. Whilst rivals have expandable memory, giving users the chance to store up to 128GB on a removable card, Apple limits its users to 16, 32 or 64GB of fixed storage depending on the model. By boosting the top memory capacity to 128GB – which is completely achievable – Apple would make the iPhone a more viable multimedia platform.

Peter Smith is a blogger, IT technician and general technology geek.

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Apple Reminders iOS app tip

On December 20, 2012, in Blog, by

Since the early days of iOS 5 I have been a big fan of the iOS reminders app, especially the ability to sync between my iPad, MacBooks and web for non Apple devices. Because of this, I maintained several separate lists for various things. However, recently (I believe it was one of the iOS 5 minor releases) Apple removed the ‘page markers’ at the bottom of the reminders screen, and seemingly the ability to swipe between lists. This morning, I noticed – purely by accident – that the ability to switch between lists by swiping had not gone anywhere.. It’s just had it field of ‘swipe’ narrowed to just the lists title. Swiping either left or right on the list title switches between the lists. This is a god send if, like me you have many lists!

20121220 120950 Apple Reminders iOS app tip
Do you use something else for your reminders? The AppStore is flooding with App’s each with their own features and pit falls. Let me know in the comments below which one you use.

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20121101 183037 Apple release iOS update   6.0.1

Apple have recently released an update to their latest revision in the iOS software range. The update takes iOS 6 to revision 1, and fixes a hand full of bugs along the way.

  • Fixes a bug that prevents iPhone 5 from installing software updates wirelessly over the air
  • Fixes a bug where horizontal lines may be displayed across the keyboard
  • Fixes an issue that could cause camera flash to not go off
  • Improves reliability of iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation) when connected to encrypted WPA2 Wi-Fi networks
  • Resolves an issue that prevents iPhone from using the cellular network in some instances
  • Consolidated the Use Cellular Data switch for iTunes Match
  • Fixes a Passcode Lock bug which sometimes allowed access to Passbook pass details from lock screen
  • Fixes a bug affecting Exchange meetings

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

The update is available for most Apple mobile devices, you can download it either using the built in software update menu, or via iTunes now.

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