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Archive for the ‘Mobile News’ Category

Apple release iOS 8.1.1 to fix iPhone 4S and iPad 2 performance, bugs and security issues

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Apple released iOS 8.1.1 this week, and it’s a must-have update for owners of older iPad and iPhone models, including the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. That’s because the update purportedly improves performance significantly in these models, which previously had become quite sluggish while running the new, heavier iOS 8.

Here are the official Apple release notes:

“This release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. For more information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.”

The update is also intended to fix many issues with Bluetooth, WiFi and battery life that have been reported in iOS 8 thus far. I’ve been seeing really bad WiFi stability on the iPhone 6 Plus so far, so hopefully that issue will be fixed with the new update.

Apple also mentions some security issues. If you visit the link, you’ll see that a number of potential exploits and unwanted behaviours have been curbed, including some that may have contributed to the first real case of iPhone malware from Chinese app stores earlier this month.

The update is definitely worth applying, and can be downloaded over-the-air or via iTunes as normal. Thankfully, there are no reports of any unwanted side effects, as was reported with the iOS 8.0.1 release.

Has the update been effective for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Nokia N1 Android tablet announced, looks like an upgraded iPad Mini 3

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Nokia has just unveiled their first device after splitting from Microsoft: the Nokia N1. This Android tablet looks the spitting image of the iPad Mini 3, but there’s more here than meets the eye. Take a look.

Like an iPad Mini 3, but better

The design of the N1 is similar to the iPad Mini 3, but Nokia appear to have made some worthy improvements. They’ve started with an identical 2048×1536 resolution and 7.9-inch screen size, matching the Mini 3′s 4:3 Retina display. There are some differences though; Nokia’s N1 display is ‘fully laminated’, allowing the N1 to be thinner and lighter than the Mini 3 at 6.9mm and 318 grams, respectively.

Nokia have used a single piece of anodised aluminium for the frame, in grey or silver. The camera, buttons, ports and speakers are in the same places too, although Nokia have traded Apple’s Lightning port for a reversible USB Type C connector (you can get a Type C reversible cable here). This is one of the first implementations of the Type C port, and the shape of the port makes it look near-identical to Apple’s connector.

Reasonable tablet specifications

Internally, the Nokia N1 is respectable if not industry-leading. The tablet comes with an Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor, backed with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Interestingly, the CPU is paired with the same PowerVR G6430 GPU as the iPad Mini 3. A 5300mAh non-removable battery sits inside, which is a bit smaller than what Apple use with the iPad Mini 3.

When it comes to connectivity, we’re looking at the latest 802.11ac WiFi, but no cellular connection. Bluetooth 4.0 and an infrared port are also included. For imaging, we have a 5-megapixel selfie cam up front, and an 8-megapixel shooter on the rear.

A platform for Nokia’s Z Launcher

The Nokia N1 will launch with Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest release of the operating system. This will be a near-stock installation, but will come with Nokia’s Z Launcher replacement as standard. The Z Launcher was apparently the catalyst of the whole project, as Nokia wanted a good platform to show off the launcher. The idea behind the Z Launcher is a ‘Z’ gesture that shows a context-aware list of apps and contacts when drawn. You can also write letters in the middle of the homescreen to perform Google searches of the internet or your phone.

Coming in spring 2015

The Nokia N1 will be produced by Foxconn, where Nokia is targeting a Chinese launch date of February 19th (Chinese New Year). The Chinese launch will be followed by a European release, starting in Russia and a few other selected countries. The price of the N1 will be $249 before taxes for the Chinese release, putting this tablet on the lower end of the price spectrum; $150 cheaper than the iPad Mini 3.

We’ll be stocking a wide range of Nokia N1 accessories in the weeks and months ahead, although who knows – maybe iPad Mini 3 cases will already fit!

What do you think of the Nokia N1? iPad Mini 3 knock-off, or a genuine improvement to the 8-inch tablet? Let us know in the comments below or write to us on Twitter @mobilefun.

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Mobile Fun wins Best Accessory Retailer at 2014 What Mobile Awards

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Earlier this year, we asked for your help in voting for us in the 2014 What Mobile Awards. Today, we are happy to announce that your efforts have paid off: Mobile Fun have been awarded the title of ‘Best Accessory Retailer’ for the third time running!

In their decision, the What Mobile Awards judges wrote:

“With every new smartphone purchase comes the option to buy accessories. The humble mobile accessory now stretches beyond the simple smartphone case to encompass speakers, in-car kits, remotes and additional handset parts. All of the above – and so much more – are offered in Mobile Fun’s exhaustive inventory. Not to mention specific accessories for every smartphone brand imaginable. No wonder it’s your fave.”

Other winners at the event included the Samsung Galaxy S5 for ‘best smartphone’, the Xperia Z2 for ‘best cameraphone’ and the Nokia Lumia 630 as the ‘best budget phone’. On the tablet side of things, the iPad Air took home the coveted ‘best tablet’ crown, while the Nexus 7 was recognised as the ‘best value tablet’. Tech21 and the FitBit Flex were also recognised as the winner and runner-up of ‘best accessories’. For the full list of winners, please visit the Mobile Awards 2014 winners’ page.

Thanks to the thousands of customers that voted for us; we will do our best to continue to be deserving of your trust and praise in the years ahead. We couldn’t be happier with this win, and we look forward to challenging for the title again in 2015!

Google Nexus 6 coming SIM-free to Mobile Fun

Friday, October 17th, 2014

The Google Nexus 6 is the latest smartphone from Google. As the name suggests, this is a handset with a larger screen than the Nexus 5 – we’re up to 5.9 inches. The phone is an enlarged version of Motorola’s well-received Moto X 2014, with the same metal frame, dual front-facing speakers and even the Moto back dimple. We’ll be getting the Nexus 6 sim-free and unlocked, so let’s take a closer look at what makes it tick.

Design

If you’ve seen the Moto X that was released earlier this year, then the Nexus 6 will seem very familiar to you. The phone is dominated with a massive 5.9-inch display, running at 2560×1440 resolution to ensure pin-sharp text and images. Above and below the display we have front-facing speakers, which provide a louder and better directed sound than the traditional downward or backward firing speakers. There’s a metal trim around the edge to provide a more premium feel, and other Moto X elements like the circular flash ring and dimpled logo make a reappearance too.

Hardware

Internally, the Nexus 6 comes with the very latest in mobile technology. The phone’s Snapdragon 805 processor is faster and more power-efficient than both the Snapdragon 800 and 801 that was used in phones earlier this year, and this is backed with 2GB RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage. A 3220mAh battery is also present, which should provide day-long battery life with moderate use. We’ve got a 13-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel unit up front; both reasonable specifications that should provide pretty good imaging capabilities.

Software

The Nexus 6 runs the very latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop. The new OS boasts a large visual redesign for Android, with a new ‘Material Design’ that promotes bold colours, realistic animations and a unified experience across a range of platforms and device sizes. There’s plenty going in the background too, with new notification controls, a battery saving mode, multiple accounts, security settings and more than 5,000 new APIs for developers to use.

Pricing and availability

Google have yet to confirm UK pricing and availability, but the phone is expected to cost slightly more than the previous Nexus 5. The phone should be available next month. For live pricing and availability, please check the product pages linked below:

We’ll also have a wide range of cases and accessories for the Nexus 6. Earlier today, we showed you Spigen cases for the new phone.

Conclusion

That’s all for now! Be sure to let us know what you think of the Nexus 6 in the comments below. You can also reach us on Twitter @mobilefun or on Facebook at Love Your Mobile. Thanks for checking out the article and have a good weekend!

Apple announce iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 at press event

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Apple held a small press event today to announce their latest iPad tablets: the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3. Let’s take a closer look at what was announced.

iPad Mini 3

Design

The new tablets have extremely similar designs to their predecessors, with 4:3 aspect ratio displays set within aluminium bodies. Both tablets now feature a Touch ID home button, which allows users to unlock their iPad or authorise purchases using their fingerprints.

New display technologies allow the iPad Mini 3 and Air 2 to be thinner and lighter than their predecessors. The iPad Air 2 measures 6.1 mm thick (18% thinner), while the iPad Mini 3 is 7.5 mm thick. Both tablets are now available in gold for the first time, in addition to space grey and silver.

Hardware

The iPad Air 2 utilises an improved version of the chip that powers the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s called the Apple A8X, and Apple are claiming it is 40% faster than its predecessor. The iPad Mini 3 comes with a previous-gen A7 processor.

The new iPads also have an NFC chip built in, which works with Apple’s contactless payment system Apple Pay. The system is launching later this month in the United States, and is expected to reach the UK in the next few months.

The camera on the iPad Air 2 has been improved too, with an 8-megapixel sensor, 1.12 micron pixels and a f/2.4 aperture lens. The software side of things has been nailed too, with 1080p video recording capability, slow-motion video, burst mode, panoramas and time lapses. The iPad Mini 3 has a smaller 5-megapixel sensor, although 1080p video recording is still included.

iPad Air 2

Software

The new iPads will run iOS 8.1, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. The headline feature here is Apple Pay, but there are some other small feature additions and bug fixes here too. Apple Pay will allow US customers (initially) to pay for goods with a tap at thousands of stores from hundreds of banks.

Pricing and Availability

The iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 retain the pricing structure of their predecessors, although as with the iPhone 6 we see that the 32GB model has been removed from the lineup. That leaves the 16GB model, a 64GB model and a new 128GB variety. LTE-capable versions of both tablets at all capacities are also available. The Air 2 starts at $499, while the Mini 3 starts at $399.

The full pricing table is replicated below:

16GB WiFi 64GB WiFi 128GB WiFi 16GB LTE 64GB LTE 128GB LTE
iPad Air 2 £399 £479 £559 £499 £579 £659
iPad Mini 3 £319 £399 £479 £419 £499 £579

 

The new iPad models will be available for pre-order tomorrow, with orders shipping by the end of next week.

Accessories

Both tablets will be supported by the wide Apple accessory ecosystem, including a few items from Apple themselves and many thousands of accessories from third-party manufacturers. We’ve already begun adding iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 accessories, and we’ll announce many more over the coming days and weeks. Expect full round-ups of recommended iPad Air 2 cases and iPad Mini 3 cases as the tablets are launched.

Conclusion

That’s it for now! Thanks for checking out our coverage of Apple’s 2014 iPad event, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below. You can also reach us on Twitter @mobilefun and on Facebook at Love Your Mobile.

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