A Tech Expert’s Take on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Mark Wilson - Techonology Expert

When the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released, strong opinions quickly formed both for and against the new technology, and possibly lackthereof. We wanted to know what a smartphone expert thought, so we interviewed Mark Wilson, technology journalist at Huffington Post, Betanews, Cloudswave, and more. Mark knows the ins and outs of the many smartphones he’s reviewed over the years and has a lot to say about Apple’s devices and how they differ from Android’s phones and wearables. Check out what he shared with us on why he’s no longer an iPhone owner.

 

1. Which new features of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are you most excited about and why?

I am actually not excited by the iPhone any more. Having previously been an iPhone owner, over the years I have found that it became a dull and lifeless platform, too limited by Apple. That said, the larger screen of the iPhone 6 Plus is interesting

iphone 6 plus large screen

2. What are your predictions for how many people will adopt new technology like Apple Pay and the Apple Watch and what impacts will that technology have?

I think Apple Pay will take a long time to gain traction. There is far too much competition from established payment systems like PayPal. We have already seen a number of retailers refusing to use Apple Pay. There are obvious security concerns that need to be allayed, and problems with iCloud leaks have not done Apple many favours in this area. While the iPhone is popular, its number of users almost pales into insignificance when compared to Android — the numbers probably just aren’t there to give Apple Pay any real hold.

apple payment system

The Apple Watch faces a major obstacle that has just been addressed by the latest version of Android Wear — it is linked to an iPhone. The latest Android wearables, and the bracelet from Will.i.am show that smartwatches of the future need to operate independently of other devices.

 

3. Is there anything you’re surprised to find didn’t make it into the new iPhone model and why?

I was surprised that the front facing camera wasn’t of a higher resolution — it seems odd given Apple’s focus on quality, and the resolution of the screen. I guess, ultimately, the lack of innovation is the biggest disappointment.

iphone front camera

4. Many of the features that are new to these iPhone models have been in Android phones for years. How will this affect adaptation of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? Do you think Apple is falling behind in the smartphone world or are their other core features more important than these specs?

For Apple users, the Apple ecosystem is more important that just about anything else. Yes, Android gives you far wider choice, technically superior hardware, a greater level of customization of the OS. Android has taken over when it comes to innovation. Apple’s fingerprint scanner was widely regarded as innovative, but it was also not particularly useful. The focus is on style and perception over function.

 

5. How do you think criticisms like #bendgate will affect Apple’s brand and possibly future design strategy?

It will have very little impact on Apple’s brand. People buy Apple product because it’s Apple — for fans, it’s the company that can do no wrong. It might be a cynical view, but I very much doubt that #bendgate will change the way future iPhones are designed.

bendgate

6. From your writing in BetaNews and other publications, you portray your strong honest opinion on the tech you’re covering. As a journalist how do you balance news with an obligation to inform people of how you feel the products you’re reviewing will work for them?

I make it very clear when I am conveying news and when I am expressing opinion. All news and writing has an element of bias to it — just by opting to writing about a subject you are voicing an opinion. Reporting straight facts is very simple, but when it comes to reviews I like to try to put together scenarios and work through them. At the same time, I like to treat readers with respect; I know they are intelligent enough (for the most part!) to realize that a review is an opinion and not everyone will feel the same. But whatever I’m writing, I am always entirely honest — whether that means a glowing review or a scathing one — and I think that shows.

 

Have you purchased a new iPhone or are you planning to? Let us know in the comments why or why not.

 


 

 

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Monster Hands: Comparing iPhone 6 Plus & Other Phablets

phablets

Devices that are part phone, part tablet, and bigger than your normal smartphone are often called phablets. These devices have been a hot category for other phone manufacturers. Recently launched, the iPhone 6 Plus goes head-to-head with similar-sized devices in the market, including the latest products from Samsung and Google. So the big question is which phablet is the best?

 

We broke down the specs of each device to help you decide which phablet better suits your needs.

 

1. Display

galaxy note 4 screen

The iPhone 6 Plus sports a 5.5-inch LED-backlit widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology, resolution at 1080p with a pixel density of 400ppi. The Galaxy Note 4 has a sharper 5.7-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display, offering vivid colors with a 515ppi. The Nexus 6 has a quad-HD AMOLED panel, but it is slightly larger at 5.96-inches and 493ppi. The Galaxy Note 4 screen obviously has the edge with the highest resolution.  Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 4

 

2. Camera

iphone 6 camera

The Galaxy Note 4 packs a 16-megapixel snapper with a single LED flash; the Nexus 6 has a 13-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash.  They all include optical image stabilization software. Although the Note 4 camera has the highest resolution, the iPhone 6 Plus should not be considered as inferior because of its lower resolution. The ISP on the A8 chip has proven superior compared to Android phones in terms of camera clarity, we defer to the iPhone 6 Plus as the smartphone as the better shooter.  Winner: Apple iPhone 6

 

3. Internal Components

galaxy note 4 pda

The Galaxy Note 4 CPU is powered by the Exynos 5433 and GPU by the ARM Mali-T760. The Nexus 6 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU and the Adreno 420 GPU. Both phones are faster compared to other Android smartphones. The iPhone 6 Plus on the other hand uses Apple’s own dual-core A8 chip which has a 64-bit architecture. In terms of raw performance, the Apple’s processor is noticeably faster. Both the Galaxy Note 4 and the Nexus 6 have 3GB of RAM while the iPhone 6 Plus only has 1GB RAM. In terms of multitasking for you frequently multi-tabbing users, the smartphones with 3GB RAM may offer a better experience. Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 4

 

4. Software

apple pay

The Nexus 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus offer its users a less complex software experience. The Nexus 6 is powered by Android Lollipop, and the iPhone has iOs 8. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 runs on an outdated OS in the form of Android KitKat, but is soon to get an upgrade.  This category is too hard to determine a winner since every user has different needs.  Winner: TIE

 

5. Other Special Features

nexus 6 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 offers accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, gesture, UV, heart rate, SpO2, fingerprint scanner, fast charging feature, S Pen – pressure sensitivity has been doubled and has a new calligraphy mode, Multi Window, Ultra Power Saving Mode. The Apple iPhone 6 Plus has Apple Pay via new NFC chip, new Health app, Touch ID for security, Siri, barometer, three-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor. The Nexus 6 has a longer lasting battery, USB and extended memory support, sharing (guest) mode, and full app control. All in all the Nexus 6 gives you the most control during a time when privacy and sharing is key as well as battery life. Winner: Google Nexus 6

 

With the ongoing tough competition in phablet market, it’s a tough to decide which model is right for you. We hope this brief comparison of the latest phablets can help you determine if one smartphone has a decisive advantage over the others. From what we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 gives you the most for the money.

 


 

 

All data sourced from PhoneArena

phablet compare

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Mobile Security: The Scariest Things About Your Smartphone

 

phone malwareSmartphones are more than just mobile phones. A smartphone is a device with built-in functions of a personal digital assistant – a miniature personal computer. They have revolutionized our on the go lives. However with the prevalence of smartphones and all the benefits they bring, there is also a dark side to these devices. In spirit of the Halloween season, here are 3 of the scariest things about your smartphone:

 

Privacy is Thin

The scariest part of owning a smartphone is that very little information contained in its memory is actually kept private. Though the policies of the internet and service providers often differ, most of them comprise a provision for accessing the information of their users from any corner of the world. Over the years, the news has been full of stories about smartphones loaded with secret software that follows our every move and can easily track keystrokes.

 

app-permissions

If you own a smartphone, you should know that you’ve basically given up a good chunk of your privacy. Your cellular carrier already has a record of every number you’ve dialed, every SMS you’ve sent, every website you’ve visited, and every place you’ve ever been too. 99% of the apps available on the market access your data for various reasons – make sure the app is worthwhile before approving unnecessary access to your data.

 

Viruses & Malware

Although viruses and malware on smartphones are less prevalent than that of a personal computer, smartphone viruses do in fact exist. However, the vast number of smartphone viruses usually attack jail-broken or modified devices. According to Craig Rosewarne, MD at Wolfpack and founder and chairman at Information Security Group of Africa, “The latest mobile malware statistics are alarmingly high, especially for Android, because it is an open platform.”

 

android-virus

Rosewarne also states that while Android has the global market share, the platform is also responsible for 97% of mobile threats detected in 2013. Referencing the latest mobile threat report from online security company F-Secure, he says more than 100,000 variants of malware were found on Android during 2013. “No new malware was found for BlackBerry, iOS or Window.” Rosewarne also warns the public of some “seriously scary” malware out there, this includes strains that can compromise sensitive information, like bank information.

 

Mobile Payment Systems mobile payment banking

We have seen a rise in financial transactions from mobile devices. Whether it is something as simple as sending funds via PayPal, or something more elaborate like scanning checks via your smartphone for bank deposits, never before has money so freely been transferred digitally. That is a scary thing. Just one wrong decimal place, one bug in some software could clear out your account.

 

Is your mobile payment system secure? Banks invest a lot of money into their security to prevent such potential hacking and cellular encryption technologies have made it far more difficult for casual criminals to hacks passwords or information by listening to radio traffic. But as the saying goes, there is no system that is foolproof. When money is “only digital”, that is a definite risk. If you go with digital, you are placing yourself firmly on “the grid”, with the ability to be monitored, tracked, and even hacked.

 

nfc payment

With the advent of Apple’s mobile payment system known as Apple Pay, digital payments will surge in 2015. It utilizes the NFC transmission system, which has been proven to be vulnerable in the past. Apple’s iCloud was recently hacked, which means it is only a matter of time before hackers target Apple Pay.

 

Protect Your Bubble specializes in safe guarding everything in your life, including your smartphone and identity with our protection plans.  We also offer Snap Secure, a free mobile security app, free with our Identity Theft protection plan.

 


 

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Infographic: The Fate of Protected Apple Devices

Ever wonder what happens to your PYB protected Apple devices?  We sifted through our data created this infographic for your pleasure.  As you can see, the iPhone 5s and 5c account for 58% of Apple phone claims.  The iPad 4 represents 52% of damaged iPads.  Geographically, California knows how damage their iPhones as they are a highly populated state.  Not surprisingly, cracked screens are the biggest problem consumers have with their iPhones.  Dang clumsy hands!

 

Apple infographic iphone ipad

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What We Like Most About The New iPhone 6

One of the great things about Apple is that they have continued to develop their proprietary technology. Consumers should be grateful that Samsung is a competent competitor to Apple, allowing for both companies to continually push the envelope with each new iteration of their flagship smartphones.

 

On September 19th, Apple made available to the market its newest addition to the iPhone family, the much anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Everything you love about iPhones is still found in the new iPhone 6 and 6 plus, only everything is just better, so much better. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus over the weekend. Here are the top 3 things we like most about the new iPhone 6:

 

1. The Huge Screen

 

The iPhone 6 comes with Retina HD display – which can only be described as bigger and more enhanced.  The regular iPhone 6 comes with a 326ppi (pixels-per-inch) screen resolution while the Plus unit packs up to 440ppi. Both units show a marked improvement in terms of contrast ratio and viewing angle.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-in display. This is great news for users who prefer bigger screens for their mobile phone. The iPhone 6 Plus ‘phablet’ essentially replaces the need for an iPad Mini – that’s how big it is! Although at times it seems like a struggle to grasp the phone in one hand, watching Vine videos have become more enjoyable on the large vibrant screen. That is an acceptable trade-off in our book.

 

2. The Sharp Camera

 

If you’ve managed to snag the latest iPhone, you’ll notice that your camera photos are significantly less blurry. This is because Apple is using a combination of the A8 SoC and the M8 motion coprocessor. The lens itself offer optical image stabilization, even in low light, you can still produce much sharper photos. The much improved camera features hold a respectable 8MP sensor, with ‘focus pixels’ which allows for a quicker auto-focus – a feature you’d normally expect to find on high end cameras.

It also allows you to do 43 megapixel panorama shots too. But what makes the camera feature stand out as compared to its predecessors is the slow motion function, taking more frames-per-second. The slo-mode supports upwards of 240 fps, this is definitely something worth bragging about to your family and friends. Props to Apple for allowing us to capture slo-mo reactions of our friends’ horrified faces when we prank them.

 

3. VoLTE and WiFi Calling

 

With every release of the iPhone, Apple significantly improves the wireless radio capabilities and the iPhone 6 generation is no exception to such improvement. VoLTE (Voice over LTE) support is now available. In addition, iOS 8 adds the ability to make calls over WiFi when cell coverage isn’t available. In addition to dual-band WiFi a/b/g/n that it offered in previous generations, it now also offers WiFi 802.11ac. For smartphone users with poor coverage, this feature is possibly one of the top reasons why purchasing the iPhone 6 is worth every dollar spent. All too often we find ourselves losing cell coverage in the lobby of tall buildings. No longer is this an issue and business travelers can now breathe a sigh of relief at those massive conferences.

As always, Apple aims to please. Indeed, it is very clear that Apple has more than delivered and has made history yet again the demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been overwhelming!

 


 

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