Phone Tips, Smartphone

Top 3 New iPhone Rumors You Need To Know

It looks like Apple has got some treats in store for us! There are a lot of rumors circulating about what we can expect to see later this year and here is what we know so far…

  1. Three is the Magic Number

It’s predicted that Apple is going to drop three new iPhones later this year with edge-to-edge displays in varying sizes; a 5.8-inch, a 6.1-inch and a 6.5-inch.  We should expect to see new build materials and colors, increased processing speeds, higher screen resolution, advancements in cameras and tweaks to extend battery life.

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  1. High End to Highly Affordable!

The 5.8-inch model is likely to be a refreshed version of the popular iPhone-X. The most notable difference in this variant is the addition of a dual rear camera lenses. The 6.5-inch iPhone, expected to be the iPhone-X Plus, will go one step above this with three rear cameras lenses. Having two lenses creates greater depth of field to produce beautiful images. This is particularly effective in close up photographs, for example in the perfect portrait, or selfie, the lenses keep the subject sharp and in focus, while blurring the background. Another benefit of a second lens is the ability to use 2x optical zoom. With a third lens, the zoom is even more powerful and it could space map in 3D (similar to the current iPhone-X’s True-depth front camera) for cooler lighting and augmented reality features. Like the iPhone-X, these phones have beautiful edge-to-edge OLED screens which display more vivid colors and require less energy – saving battery life.

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Traditionally, Apple hasn’t had a problem with putting hefty price tags on their devices, as shown by the fact that the iPhone-X, Apple’s priciest iPhone ever at $1,149 was the bestselling smartphone for the first three months of 2018, closely followed by iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Nonetheless, Apple is rumored to have developed a cheaper option for around $600-700. At 6.1-inches, the screen is bigger than the iPhone8 and the drop in price is thanks to a different type of display. The screen is LCD – a cheaper option but it requires slightly bulky LED chips for back lights which take up space in the bottom of the bezels in the smartphone.  But, thankfully, Apple is able to source smaller chips that fit in half the space; meaning nearly edge-to-edge screens for cheaper!

Another exciting thing to note is we are set to see the first extensive color expansion since the 5c in 2013. The 6.1-inch model will apparently be available in grey, white, blue, red or orange and the 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch editions will have space grey, silver and gold options!

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  1. Exciting New Features for iOS 12

The new iPhones will come with the latest iOS software which is rumored to have some fun new features. If you’re very popular you’ll like the new FaceTime – you will be able to be in group calls of up to 32 people!  You can also use the new Animojis in FaceTime or on iMessage . Create an Animoji just for you with more personalizing features, or if you’re feeling like it, you could try out one of the new Animojis – a koala, tiger, ghost or a T-Rex!

You can now manage your tech addiction with ‘Screen Time’. You gain information on how many times you have picked up your phone, how long you used an app for and how many notifications you got in any one day. You are also able to manage your screen time across all your devices – which prove useful for shaming yourself out of staring at your phone all day, or even good for keeping an eye on how much time your family spends doing the same.  Other perks include a new style of notifications which will be stacked in groups to be less cluttered and the introduction of the Measure app which uses augmented reality to let you measure things with your phone.

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Phone Tips, Smartphone, Travel, Uncategorized

Essential Apps for European Travel

With traveling becoming an increasingly accessible experience and with European destination tick lists being in continual growth, it is paramount to be well prepared for your European trip. With so many travel apps easily accessible and available on the market, as the famous saying goes there really is ‘an app for everything’, it is important you download apps aimed at facilitating your visit. With that said we’ve compiled a selection of apps ranging from navigation to accommodation to suitable tourist attractions, creating the conditions for a smooth trip whether traveling for business or leisure (and believe me coming from someone who finds traveling to work difficult, they really are useful!).

EU Rail: What better way to get from A to B than by rail. The railway provides an exciting way to travel across Europe in between exploring destinations. Often cheaper and far more scenic than booking an continental connecting flight, rail travel allows you to unearth some of Europe’s hidden gems , whilst witnessing a wide array of breath-taking views – allowing for sightseeing on-the-go (what more could you ask for!). The benefits of the EU Rail app don’t stop there; the app is designed to find a route that caters for your preferences, with many Bicycle Carriage requirements being a popular selection. EU Rail is also ideal for last minute plans and the spontaneous traveler, with the app showing also showing a range of routes without compulsory reservations- enabling you to hop on board! From Basel to Budapest, London to Lisbon, EU Rail provides the perfect solution for travelers touring the continent!

EU Rail1

BlaBlaCar: Traveling on a budget? Tired of expensive public transport costs? Navigate your way around Europe with the lift sharing, transportation phenomena Bla Bla Car! The Bla Bla Car app, enables focuses on two major types of users; drivers and passengers (simple really, isn’t it!). Drivers traveling around the continent of Europe will detail their departure date and point and the destination they are traveling to- they can even throw in a stopover- meaning passengers can be picked up en route. Passengers are able to search for trips through the app, with a vast range of fares available for less than $20. What’s more, most drivers offering lifts advertise their journeys 2/3 days before departure- helping you tick off new destinations whilst in Europe and making spontaneous travel easy.

Bla Bla Car

Evernote: Excited for your trip to Rome in May? Remember that article you stumbled across in January? You surely can’t remember it! Using the Evernote app enables you to clip text you have found whilst researching a destination and save it for future reference (unbelievably useful when you visit the said destination!). The clipping feature ensures you remember to visit everything you had planned to, creating the pre requisites for a memorable trip. The Evernote app also doubles up as a personal planner ensuring everything is completed before and during your trip, from a packing tick list to flight reminders to cancelling the dentist whilst you’re away.

Evernote

Culture Trip: Tired of traveling half way across the world only to miss out on vital experiences and attractions due to tight time constraints? (We’ve all been there!) If only we could travel all day every day! Despite yearning for non-stop travel, it is unfortunately impractical and almost impossible! With that said, the Culture Trip app strives to enable you to make the most out of a visit to a certain country or city. By simply categorizing your preferences ranging from art and culture to eateries and places to socialize, a range of suitable venues or activities will be identified. Once you’ve refined your activity preferences you will also find these recommendations are provided with additional information from Local experts (a tour guide from you’re smartphone, who would have thought it!). Culture Trip really is an essential app to identify a wide range of tourist attractions and unmissable sights, whilst avoiding unnecessary time wasting!

 

Culture trip1

Airbnb: Airbnb provides an alternative to accommodation booking to contacting a hotel. This app enables sourcing accommodation that provides you with more freedom and flexibility, with over 600,000 options available. Opposing the traditional hotel or bed and breakfast facility, Airbnb allows you to house share or rent a house for the duration of your stay. This creates a greater degree when it comes to checking in or out and mealtimes- after all a home cooked meal (whilst traveling!), always beats a hotel set menu! Additionally, house sharing also allows you to interact with other people who are also tourists in your destination!

AIRBNB (2)

WiFi Finder: Fed up of searching tirelessly for a hotspot to connect to when traveling in Europe? Downloading the WiFi Finder app before you travel made this problem a whole lot easier. The app comes inclusive with a map highlighting WiFi hotspots, (all of which have been speed tested!) the map is available both online and more importantly offline! The offline map, allows for instant connection upon arrival in your European travel destination and unlike many other WiFi hotspot apps, WiFi Finder focuses predominantly on public hotspots, avoiding outdated private WiFi connections wherever possible! With Europe wide WiFi availability, it would be rude not to download WiFi Finder before you travel!

WiFi Finder

Maps: Maps is an essential tool when traveling and is perfect for navigating in unfamiliar surroundings.  Maps is designed to carefully  analyses roads and footpaths for pedestrians and motorists alike, to facilitate verbally and visually guiding you through the quickest route from A to B- making the act of being lost a thing of the past (after all no one misses the annual family argument over the road map!) The app even has a public transport option identifying bus or metro routes and detailing their departure times- the perfect solution for getting around when time is of the essence!  With all these perks, could navigating Europe really be made any easier?

Mapss

 

Phone Tips, Smartphone

How to Make the Most out of a VR Headset

The concept of VR (or to the less informed Virtual Reality), refers to a computerized technology accessed through headsets allowing for multi-projected environments to simulate a virtual environment. It is a field providing growing excitement across the technology and beyond- with over 100 million VR units sold globally in 2016, a figure that is expected to continually grow with everyone keen for a taste of VR! With that said this blogpost focuses on identifying a VR headset to suit you, whilst providing you with a list of must have VR apps. As well as allowing for us to have a little bit of fun as well! But before you start (we probably should tell you!), always read the instructions before use. Most headsets advise against using VR goggles for more than 30 minutes at a time- you’ve only got one pair of eyes!

Choosing your headset: Headsets come in a range of designs, aimed to suit your preference. The most basic VR goggles start from as little as $3, to more advanced VR Headsets ranging up to anything as high as $500. Similarly, the material basis of VR Headsets also offers variance with cardboard, rubber and plastic options available. Taking all of this into consideration, it really is a case of budget, comfortability and the purpose and frequency of usage!

VR Thrills Roller Coaster: Everyone loves a trip to a theme park- with the favourite part of most visitors’ trip being a ride on the latest Roller Coaster. With conquering Roller Coasters fulfilling the greatest desire of most thrill seekers, it presents a great shame that a trip to the theme park is becoming increasingly expensive … Would VR Thrills: Roller Coaster please step forward! The VR Thrills: Roller Coaster app is completely free to download, meaning you can enjoy the theme park experience, whilst using your smartphone without an expensive admission (and don’t worry, you won’t lose your mobile during these loop the loops!)

Sites in VR: Ever fancied a trip to Paris? A historical tour of ancient Egypt’s Pyramids? Or maybe even both within the same hour- impossible? Or so you thought! Traveling is an interest high on the agenda of millions of people with in excess of 76 million international tourists flocking to the USA alone in 2016. That statistic by itself suggests huge crowds and long perennial queues- the downfall of any experience! By downloading sites in VR you can enjoy a 360 degree view of a wide range of global landmarks, without having to leave the comfort of your own home- could you ask for a better queue jump! Landmarks are split into categories, but with multiple locations from across the globe being available, a specific preference can also be refined through the search icon. Now isn’t it time to put the kettle on, put your feet up and most importantly explore the world!

VR Cave: Do you ever wonder how the Cavemen lived in such surroundings? Please tell me it’s not just me! Whether it’s just a passing thought or a moment of continuous curiosity causing sleepless nights- it’s time to download VR Cave (It’s even free of charge!) VR Cave provides a larger than life experience inside a cave. Explore all the nooks and crannies of the never ending cave searching up down and all around, yearning for an escape route Have you got what it takes to escape the cave? No. You can’t escape the cave but I guess that’s half the fun!

Google Earth: With Google Earth being a widely used feature of Google and having been accessible to users since 2001, the majority of internet users will have come into contact with the program. For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with the program, Google Earth uses satellite imagery to provide users with 3D image of the planet. However, what might seem a less familiar concept to many users of Google Earth is Google Earth VR! Ever wanted to wander, browse or fly around the globe? Download Google Earth VR! The standard walk around feature can be utilised by turning and moving your head in the general direction in which you wish to travel, enabling you to browse almost every corner of the planet! Alternatively, by moving your arm around you are able to navigate and fly around the world. Unfortunately the flying feature is currently only compatible with the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, but don’t worry there’s still plenty of time to obtain a pilot’s licence, with more widespread availability expected in the near future!

YouTube: In 2018, the age of the YouTuber, you’ll be searching far and wide for an individual who doesn’t use the video doesn’t use the video sharing website on a daily basis. It would be an even greater rarity to find somebody completely unaware of the websites existence (please, correct me if I’m wrong…). With such a wide target audience and number of frequent users, YouTube was proactive and quick to get on board the VR hype- well it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it! YouTube provides Virtual Reality for virtually every taste (no pun intended there, I promise!), with video’s ranging from wildlife to a glimpse of the popular Netflix series Stranger Things for those looking for a fright! After Fox screened the 2017 Champions League Final in VR, the highlights video still in VR format is also available on YouTube. There really is something for virtually everyone- we really should stop that now!

Street Jump: Are you old enough to remember the technological craze of Crossy Road? You probably are with it being less than four years old (is that all!), despite the craze seeming a lifetime ago with technology continually in a state of change and development. The simplistic app was based around the simple concept of tapping the screen to move and jump to avoid objects and obstacles and quickly became a global phenomenon. With VR having really taken off in recent years, it is of little surprise a similar based concept has been devised in the form of VR. Utilised in 3D form, simply look in the direction you require your character to move and press the cardboard trigger to jump! Just be sure to watch out for cars, trucks and trains- or any other vehicle that moves. The only downside to this app, is that for a better experience, you will require a premium headset. But remember the fun you had playing Crossy Road- it will be a worthwhile investment!

Phone Tips, Smartphone, Travel

How To Use Skype Abroad

Are you a frequent traveler, tired of high roaming charges and expensive rates when trying to contact home. Video chat and voice call specialist Skype, provides the perfect solution for these problems of the past! Whilst also providing the option of a virtual face to face conversation with friends and family (well, if you want to!). This blog post is designed to make using Skype and all of its features whilst abroad simple and hassle free.

1) Disable Mobile Data/Data Roaming: Skype is internet dependent, meaning it’s features are ineffective and void without a connection to the internet. Whilst traveling abroad mobile data rates tend to soar, therefore the first step you will need to carry out is to turn off mobile data- this will disable any data roaming and ensure you avoid expensive rates and bill shock. Disabling mobile data will guarantee that you will not be charged should your device leave a Wi-Fi connection/zone. Disabling mobile data can be achieved by opening settings and switching the mobile data icon off.

2) Connect to a safe and secure Wi-Fi connection: An appropriate and financially prudent alternative to using mobile data is to connect to a Wi-Fi. This can be done by scrolling by following the straightforward process of opening Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi. Whilst traveling you will usually come across many free Wi-Fi hotspots in restaurants, whilst hotels and hostels often offer guest’s access to Wi-Fi for a minimal fee.

3) Alternatively use a SIM & MiFi Device: Amidst the recent hacking scandals involving non secure Wi-Fi connections, many people have voiced concerns over accessing public connections- this is particularly relevant to anyone using Skype as it is internet dependent. But don’t worry we have your perfect solution! Why not try a MiFi? Our Standard International MiFi enables up to 10 devices access to one internet connection at any one time! Users are also treated to fast 3G download speeds worldwide- meaning you can be connected securely pretty much anywhere in the world!

4) Create Skype Account/Login to Skype Account: Once opening the Skype application on your device, you will be greeted with the home screen which requires existing users to login to their account. This is a straightforward procedure, completed by providing either one of your email/phone number/Skype name combined with your password. For non-existing users, the option to create a new account/profile is provided.

5) Accessing the features of Skype:

  • Voice Call-: It’s just like calling a friend from your mobile (No, it really is!). Voice calls through are like any other phone call the only difference is they are free when connected to the internet! To take advantage of this, hit the add icon in the top left corner, from here select the voice call option before choosing a contact.
  • Video Call. For the more ambitious Skype users (and friend tolerant individuals) amongst us, the video call feature allows for an interactive face to face conversation by little more than the click of a button (or three).Similarly to a voice call open the add icon in the top left corner, select the video call option before tapping your contact of choice to start the call. Simple isn’t it? Just make sure your camera is switched on!
  • Individual messaging through Skype provides the perfect substitute to text messaging when traveling abroad! What’s more it helps you to avoid incurring expensive international SMS tariffs- it’s essentially texting for free! To use this feature, once again open the add icon in the top left corner of the screen, select new chat and then chose a contact!
  • Group Message. The Group message feature enables you to stay connected with multiple individuals at any given time. This can again be accessed by (you may have guessed it!) selecting the add icon in the top left hand corner of the screen. Having done this, select new group from here, you can choose whether to send your message to an existing group or create a new group. Group messaging provides the perfect option for keeping in touch on both a corporate and social level. From a corporate level, Skype’s group messaging facilitates keeping up to date with the office and from a social perspective- well how else are you going to share the latest meme?

Phone Tips

Siri vs Cortana: Put to the Test

Let’s talk about this, there was always going to be a battle. When Apple introduced Siri back in 2011, the game was seriously changed. We had Personal Assistants, a whole wealth of knowledge, and right at our fingertips. More recently, in 2014, Microsoft launched their own version; welcome Cortana. With Personal Assistants becoming an increasingly important feature of the modern smartphone experience, we decided to put it to the test. Siri vs Cortana, who’s more helpful? Who’s funnier? Let’s find out.

Both Will and Chloe, our Marketing Assistants, asked Siri and Cortana a series of questions with the following results.

Question 1: “How do you spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?”

This seemed like a logical thing to ask. Who doesn’t want to know how to spell supercali..something? Well, these Assistants knew how to spell it, both spelling out each individual letter, we were told within seconds. Whilst Siri only defined the word category, Cortana took it a step further, offering a more engaging and interactive approach. Acknowledging that the word was tricky, Cortana definitely prevails in this instance, especially as it inspires the user to ask more fun questions!

 

Winner: Cortana

Question 2: “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

If you can recite this notoriously wordy tongue twister, you’ll receive contrasting responses from Siri and Cortana. First of all, Siri responded perfectly, not only showing off the ability to understand the twister coherently, but to accurately respond with one too! Replying with an arguably more difficult twister, Siri answers, “A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood. But if a woodchuck could chuck woodchucks chucking wood, then a woodchuck could chuck wood-chucking woodchucks” Conclusion? Don’t try to outsmart Siri.

Cortana on the other hand, provides more of a basic response. Acknowledging the difficulty of the tongue twister she offers the user an egotistical boost stating she’s impressed. However, she lacks the ability to respond at the same level of Siri.

 

Winner: Siri

Question 3: Tell me a joke”

Well aren’t these Assistants funny? Wit seems to be built in with these guys, as they both offer clever and insightful answers. Both responses use a play on words for the pun, delivering the jokes perfectly. Although both witty and amusing, it is Cortana that encourages interaction, suggesting other topics for future joke requests.

 

Which one did you find funnier?

Question 4: “What is 0 ÷ 0?”

If you’ve never asked Siri this question, you are seriously missing out! You receive some serious sass and come away probably a little more dumbfounded and slightly insulted than anything else… but, it’s still funny. The answer to this question is 0, nothing, nada. There is no meaning, which is probably what Apple was going for when they built in this response, because it doesn’t really make sense! What does make sense though, is apparently none of us have friends and we want cookies.

Cortana, however, opted for a seemingly mundane approach by providing an unexplained answer with reference to a search engine. We’re not impressed Cortana.

 

Winner: Siri

Question 5: “Are you better than Cortana/Siri?”

Well this was always going to come up. When trying to compare the two, who better to ask than Siri and Cortana themselves? When asking about their respective counterpart, the Assistants replied in similar ways. With obvious thought gone into the answers, the responses are actually pretty good… funny even.

Let’s talk about this, Apple made Siri, Windows made Cortana, though the names both represent inanimate objects if you think about it. Both Siri and Cortana play on these words. Siri comparing ‘apples’ to ‘not apples’ basically implies there isn’t even a comparison to be made, oh Siri, you over confident so and so. Similarly, Cortana also used a play on the Windows to Apple comparison, however this Assistant actually acknowledged the other… brownie points for being respectful.
With the double barrel interpretation of both comparisons, let’s give this to Cortana, because that Windows comment was funny.

 

Winner: Cortana

Question 6: “Are you married?”

Let’s get personal! Did you want to know this? Probably not, but it’s still a good thing to ask as the answers are different yet still amusing. Both Personal Assistants offered a particularly self-absorbent answer, with Siri lapping up the global attention surrounding relationships and Cortana asserting her independence.

Cortana answers the question, “No, I complete me”, who else would you need right? Very 21st Century Cortana, well done. Siri however offers more of a conversation… an opinion even, if this were a real person, you might even go on to debate the topic.
This is difficult to judge. Siri sounds more real yet Cortana provides a definite and assertive answer.

 

Winner: Tie

Question 7: “What are you wearing?”

Why not ask what they’re wearing? What we’re learning from these responses is that they’re built to be quite witty, so when Siri responds with something ominous, we’re hardly surprised. What are you wearing Siri? Oh, you don’t want to tell us. Shock.

Alternatively, Cortana opts for a humorous response, referring to the initial creation of the Personal Assistant. “Something I picked up in engineering.” Clever Cortana, very clever.

 

Winner: Cortana

Question 8: “What does the Fox say?”

Following the success of the 2013 song ‘The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)’, which by the way, doesn’t really explain what a fox actually says… our Personal Assistants were asked to clarify. Not really expecting much, it’s surprising both Assistants responded with lyrics from the song. Having asked Siri first, hearing the lyrics recited back was amusing. What could beat that? Well, Cortana, with not only a different set of lyrics, but with a picture of a Fox. Chacha-chow!

 

Winner: Cortana

Question 9: “I’m drunk.”

We’ve probably all been in the situation where we’ve had a regrettable drunk conversation with someone at the other end of a phone. But have you ever thought of telling your phone itself that you’re drunk? No probably not. Well, you should try it, this is what happens. Both Personal Assistants endeavor to ensure your safety. Firstly, don’t drive. Pretty smart. Cortana addresses that you shouldn’t be driving, do not put yourself in danger. Cortana also states that you should probably save yourself the embarrassment and not call anyone either. Just a helpful tip.
Siri goes the extra mile and offers the option of ringing a taxi, click the button and Siri will automatically call you the nearest taxi firm. Committed to caring, Siri adds in a personal touch with your name and makes sure you get home safe!

 

Winner: Siri

Question 10: “Do you follow the three laws off robotics?”

If you’re unfamiliar with the three laws of robotics, they are as follows;

1. A robot may not harm a human being nor allow a human being to be harmed.
2. A robot must obey orders given by humans except where it conflicts with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as it does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

As these Personal Assistants are on our smartphones, this question deemed appropriate. Of course your phone is not really a robot (don’t worry, it’s not), but the answers given could argue otherwise…
Firstly, the answers contrast entirely. Cortana avoids the question, politely, suppose we can all move on and forget about it. What are you really Cortana? Are you avoiding the question because you are a robot?
Siri however, skillfully analyses the three laws of robotics before providing a logical and insightful response, completely shutting down the question.

 

Winner: Siri

Question 11: “When is the world going to end?”

An appropriate concluding question for the comparison of both Personal Assistants. Both replied with clear witticism; Cortana’s sarcastic response acknowledging human interaction – that there’s always some sort of crisis happening on the internet – is both humorous and relatable. Although, it is a slight dig at humans really…

Siri however, takes a different approach. Ever heard of the Unix 32 integer? Look it up, and you’ll have a new appreciation of this response. It’s essentially that on this date, computing devices using the integer, will no longer have a representation of time, as the 32 bit would have over flown. Quite a clever and sophisticated answer from Siri here. It’s difficult to distinguish a winner here, as both responses are impressive, both acknowledging real issues that users will have some relation to.

 

Winner: Tie

THE RESULT

You get the point, we’re not asking our Assistants actual helpful questions. We know they can set alarms check your diary and open apps, what they really wanted to know was how they dealt with the obscure questions, and they definitely did not disappoint! The results show that Cortana provided the best responses for 4 questions with Siri trailing closely behind with 3 best answers. This of course, is only the results from these specific questions and does not, in any way, mean one Personal Assistant is better than the other. Siri and Cortana both operate effectively as Personal Assistants, aiding to the experience for smartphone users, it’s all dependent on personal preference!

Disagree with our result or have other interesting things to ask your smartphone? Tweet and tell us at @SIMsmartprepaid

Phone Tips, Smartphone

How to choose a smartphone?

Since the transition from the world of pen and paper to the globally connected generation of today, smartphones have become an increasingly important part of daily life. The average American spends a staggering 87 hours browsing on their smartphone each month. With this in mind it is essential that you find a smartphone capable of meeting these requirements, whilst identifying other features and processes to match your needs in a device.

Preferred Operating System
Within the smartphone market, Android, iOS and Windows all offer smartphone options. All of which boast different features. Android is owned by Google and focuses more on user customization. Whereas iOS the operating system used on iPhones, emphasizes the security element and the ease of contacting other iOS users through iMessage and FaceTime. Additionally, Windows operating system was designed so your smartphone could function under the same operating system as your PC and laptop.

Devices and Software
Take into consideration the devices you already own and use, then chose a smartphone in accordance with this. If you frequently use Google based programmes for communication, then an Android device would be best suited as you will more familiar with the programmes. For Mac users, an iPhone would be more appropriate as iMessages can be accessed interchangeably between devices.

Storage Requirements
How much storage do you require? Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 are compatible with additional memory products such as the removable micro SD card. Should you opt for an iOS based device, iPhones are available in a number of different storage sizes, ranging from 32GB to 256GB. Similarly to purchasing a micro SD card, the different storage sizes of iPhone are also optional. Therefore you can choose the device best suited to your needs.

Camera
Increasing numbers of smartphone users are switching from having a separate camera to use the camera on their smartphone when taking pictures. With this in mind it is important you identify the features of the camera and whether picture quality matches or exceeds that of a compact camera. A range of recent smartphones, including the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 boast 12MP cameras. This sized camera provides image quality that is suitable for printing. Alternatively, if your camera usage extends no further than regular daily usage, devices with a smaller camera size would be more appropriate and a cheaper alternative.

Battery Life
With the modern consumer relying heavily on a smartphone on a daily basis, battery life is an important feature to look out for. Additionally identify whether battery cases are available for your preferred device. Apple released the battery case for iPhone’s with additional battery storage attached to the back of your device, without incorporating a bulge on the side of the device, the case will not interfere with comfortability when holding the device. Battery enhancing cases are also available on Android devices, Samsung offer wireless charging battery packs with different sizes of mAh.

Screen Size
The modern smartphone offers a variety of screen sizes, with standard screens ranging from 3.5 to 6 inches. It is important the screen size of your smartphone is tailored to your specific needs. A larger screen provides a useful option for viewing media based applications such as YouTube and Netflix. Whereas a smaller screen represents a practical solution regarding convenience and transportation, as these devices will easily fit into user’s pockets.

Accessories
Aside from the standard USB charger and earphones which form part of virtually all smartphone packages, you should distinguish what additional accessories you require. The smartphone accessories market, offers a wide range of products for different devices from in car chargers for users commuting to work, to cases for those wishing to protect their device from damages. Therefore depending on the purpose of use, finding the necessary accessory should be relatively straightforward.

Trend/Aesthetics
Whether it is the shape, the style or manufacturing material, the aesthetic trends of the mobile phone have changed over time. From the early brick style mobiles, to flip phones to smartphones- the mobile phone industry has seen rapid change over time. There has also been a transition within smartphone manufacturing from the days of plastic material based products, to the modern usage of higher quality materials such as aluminium and glass. With this in mind, it is important you choose a device with lasting aesthetics, particularly with contract lengths lasting up to 2 years!

Phone Tips

What Can We Expect From The iPhone 8?

10 years ago, on January 9th 2007, Apple announced their first smartphone, the iPhone. With the option of either a 4GB, 8GB or 16GB device, the iPhone was classed as a smartphone game changer. Apple sold 6.1 million 1st generation iPhones… fast forward 10 years and 78.3 million iPhone 7s have been sold worldwide. Celebrating their 10th anniversary, Apple is set to release their greatest device yet; the iPhone 8.

It’s rumored Apple is testing more than 10 prototype devices in order to ensure the iPhone 8 is the most innovated device seen to date. There’s been a number of rumors and leaks about the device, but what can we actually expect? Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 weren’t too different in terms of spec points, so will the iPhone 8 really blow everything else out of the water? Let’s discuss what we think we know.

Name

There’s been some speculation on what Apple will call their anniversary device. Historically, Apple has released an ‘S’ version of their latest device in the September of the next year, however as this is their tenth anniversary, we’re expecting something ground breaking from the smartphone giants. Rumors have it that the device might have a brand new name. The ‘iPhone X’ has been a popular name circulating the web along with just the iPhone 8, whether or not there will be an iPhone 7S model, this has yet to be confirmed.

Design

If we are to believe everything that has apparently been ‘leaked’ about the anniversary device, we’d comment on the major redesign of the phone. With a supposed glass body replacing the aluminum, along with an edge to edge OLED display, the iPhone 8 is set to completely differ from any previous iPhone devices. With a rumored bezel-less design, hinting at a potential curved screen, the anticipated iPhone is rumored to be available in a pure white model and be waterproof, alike to its iPhone 7 predecessor.

Display

Three sizes of the iPhone 8 are said to be expected. The first two, identical to the 7 and 7S models, will have a 4.7” and a 5.5” display. The third device is said to feature a 5.8” display. How this is expected to fit in your pocket, we don’t know… but you will be able to watch YouTube on a bigger screen!

A popular talked about feature of the new device, similar to the iPhone 7, is the lack of a physical home button. Initially, it was stated that the iPhone 8 would feature a built in touch ID that would sit under the display, as time has gone on and updated news has been leaked, it is now rumored that Apple are having difficulty integrating this. It’s unclear how true this is, but if we are to believe it, it then raises the question as to how users will unlock their device.

Already sporting a ‘raise to wake’ feature, it is believed that Apple are intending to include some sort of biometric feature. Iris, facial or gesture recognition may be a possible unlock option.

Camera

The iPhone 7 camera was marketed as the best thing since sliced bread; with a 12MP camera, 8MP image recording with and touch focus with face/smile detection, so it’s only natural we’re expecting bigger things from the iPhone 8. Currently, Apple are testing overhauled cameras, both front facing and for the back of the device, in the hopes of delivering something outstanding. A leaked concept for the cameras show that Apple intend to have two back cameras stacked on top of each other, rather than on the iPhone 7 Plus where the cameras are side to side. These will also be improved with image stabilization and should support augmented reality features. In align with this, apparently there will also be two front facing cameras, both improved on the iPhone 7. This is supposed to aid 3D sensing capabilities.

Charging

Are we getting wireless charging? Well, that is the question. Some say we are, some say to expect WiFi charging and some say we’re seeing USB-C replace the lightning port. Wireless would be preferred though, whether or not Apple can deliver this, is a complete other story. It’s probably safest to bet on the lightning port staying.

Internal

With the recent announcement of iOS11, it’s a fair assumption to make, that Apple’s anniversary device will run on the latest version of iOS. This in itself will bring whole new features to the iPhone. Delving deeper, it is expected that the device will have a faster processor, one ahead of the iPhone 7 models. Historically, Apple have updated the processor in every new model of device they bring out, taking this into account, the iPhone 8 should run on an A11 processor.

We’re also expecting more storage and RAM from the anniversary device. The iPhone 7 has 2GB of RAM, the iPhone 7 Plus has 3GB, so the iPhone 8 is anticipated to have 3GB as well.

Price

So the real question, how much is all this going to cost you? Apple are apparently intending to keep the device under $1,000 but it may only just fall short. With all the supposed improvements and new features, it’s hardly surprising it’s going to cost a fair bit. Rumors also have it that Apple will be throwing in the Apple AirPods with the device, a product that, alone, cost $159.

Release Date

September is the usual unveiling of a new device, so if Apple stick to this tradition, that’s when to expect it. Rumors, however, have been thrown around that Apple won’t be ready then and that we will have to wait for the New Year… Highly unlikely, but just like everything else mentioned above, we’re just going to have to play the waiting game.