Editorial

8GB smartphones are a disaster waiting to happen

8GB smartphones are a disaster waiting to happen

One of the areas commonly cut down on by manufacturers is internal storage – slashing the flash memory from (say) 16GB to 8GB will save $10 or $20*, which is a lot in terms of a Bill of Materials for a budget smartphone of perhaps $100. Yet in today’s complex and ever-changing Android world, 8GB isn’t what it used to be. As I shall explain!

How to grab 8MP photos from 4K video on your Android phone

How to grab 8MP photos from 4K video on your Android phone

One of the promises of shooting videos on our smartphones at the massive resolution of 4K was that, later on, if needed, one could extract 8MP stills. So, rather than trying for a lucky shot at a kid’s race, for example, you just shoot the entire sequence in video form and then sit down afterwards to find the best stills to save and share. However, most phones that shoot 4K don’t (at the time of writing) have a suitable extraction function. Which is where this app tutorial comes in…

First impressions of the LG G4 from the London launch event

First impressions of the LG G4 from the London launch event

A converted church, complete with stained glass windows, proved to be a fitting venue to launch a smartphone with more then the usual amount of elegance. The optional leather back cover and the gorgeous display on the brand new LG G4 were shown off well and credit to LG for having everything to hand (apart from working wi-fi, but then this never works at events, so….!), from refreshments to copious demo units to filming areas to staff to help out. Very well done. But on with the device itself…

Samsung, what IS the point in both the ‘S6’ AND the ‘S6 Edge’?

Samsung, what IS the point in both the ‘S6’ AND the ‘S6 Edge’?

Like most readers, I was interested in Samsung’s keynote yesterday, announcing the S6 and S6 Edge with no theatrics (for once). However, given that their specifications are almost identical, I started to question the wisdom in releasing two different products, leading to confusion in the marketplace, two sets of variants and colours and accessories all to support. All because someone at Samsung didn’t perhaps have the courage to put out the S6 Edge as the Galaxy S6? The problem, of course, and Samsung’s answer to my question, will be price and yield – it seems we live in an imperfect world.

Top 5 nature-themed live wallpapers that won’t drain your phone’s battery

Top 5 nature-themed live wallpapers that won’t drain your phone’s battery

Live wallpapers were introduced to Android with the Nexus One and v2.1 of the OS, back in 2010 – so we’ve had four years of data to work with in clearing up a few misconceptions and also delivering a top 5 that will bring a natural, earth-loving smile to your face each day. Technology can take our minds off the fresh air around us, so why not bring a little of the outside world to your Android homescreens?

The post-2013 commoditisation of Android phones and the future

The post-2013 commoditisation of Android phones and the future

The climb in terms of size and specification was bound to plateau, of course. Long time Android watchers will remember giddy excitement this time four years ago, in 2011, over the appearance of the Samsung Galaxy S II, with enormous 4.3” WVGA screen, an astonishing 8MP camera and a dual core processor. At the time (I was there) it was almost the Second Coming. Yet in 2015, this same set of specs would be derided on all but the most budget of budget handsets. Huge progress was made in the next two years, but I contend that these were followed by two years of commoditisation.

The Top 6 Android smartphones… ever

The Top 6 Android smartphones… ever

Whoa there! We’re not talking a spec-biased rundown of the six most highly specified Android phones at the moment – just watch the front page of Android Beat to see the usual candidates and their successors fly past. What I’m tackling here is a rundown of the most significant Android-powered phones… ever. OK, since 2008 or so, when Android as an OS started to get cranked into action. Without the six landmark phones here, I contend, the Android world would look rather different today.

The Top 5 Android Calendar replacements

The Top 5 Android Calendar replacements

You wouldn’t have thought that such a simple thing as displaying your Calendar could be so hard – yet this naturally personal view of each of our lives is utterly subjective – some people respond better to lines and shapes than to text, some prefer grids, some prefer lists, and so on. What is indisputable is that the bog-standard, default Android Calendar application is workman-like and uninspired – at best. Happily, the underlying data is easily used by third party replacements – but which one is the best? Here’s my top 5.

Google Nexus 6 review: Vision of the future and echoes of the Galaxy Nexus

Google Nexus 6 review: Vision of the future and echoes of the Galaxy Nexus

Cast your mind back to 2011 and Google teasing and then unveiling something extraordinary: the Galaxy Nexus, made by Samsung, and with an enormous 4.7″ display. It seemed outrageous at the time, totally out of place, yet Google had seen the future and was aiming squarely at it. With hindsight, of course, the parallel track of the stylus-equipped Galaxy Notes and the size increases across the board make the Galaxy Nexus look small and quaint now. Yet the launch of this, the Motorola-made Nexus 6, reminds me a lot of those halcyon days – with the lingering question, has Google seen the future yet again?

Inateck Ultra Slim Bluetooth keyboard review: Concept truly evolved

Inateck Ultra Slim Bluetooth keyboard review: Concept truly evolved

The idea was to write the review of this newish Inateck accessory while away for the weekend, yet I forgot to take it with me. Or did I? Wait a moment, nestling in between the pages of a magazine… I’d brought it after all! You see, the ‘Ultra Slim’ lives up to its name, being well under half a centimetre thick, incredibly light, futuristic, dustproof, virtually waterproof – and it works flawlessly too.