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Archive for the ‘Mobile News’ Category

Vote for us in the What Mobile Awards 2014

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The What Mobile Awards 2014 have arrived.

Thanks to the support of our customers, we have been able to take home the title of Best Accessory Retailer for the past two years. We have been nominated for this prestigious award once more this year, and we’d appreciate your help in securing our third straight award!

The What Mobile Awards are giving away a £550 smartphone to four lucky voters. If you take part, you’re in with a shot of winning an iPhone 5S, a Samsung Galaxy S5, a Sony Xperia Z2 and an HTC One M8.

Click here to vote in the What Mobile Awards

We are being nominated in the ‘Best accessory retailer 2014′ category, which appears as question 13 (as seen below).

It takes only a few minutes to vote, and as well as helping us out you’re giving yourself a shot of winning a new smartphone worth £550.

Thanks for taking part in the contest, and we’ll let you know how we get one once the winners are announced!

Here’s where you’ll find Mobile Fun – question 13!

 

European roaming fees to fall from July 1st

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Traveling in Europe next month? You’ll be able to use your smartphone abroad without running into ridiculous roaming charges from July 1st, thanks to a ruling from the European Union. The bill, passed by the European Commission, includes a big reduction to mobile data prices, as well as a slight reduction in the cost of sending and receiving calls and text messages.

Data sees the largest improvement, with the maximum price allowable by law being reduced from ¢45 to ¢20 per megabyte. Voice calls you make move from ¢24 to ¢19, while voice calls you receive go from ¢7 to ¢5. Text messages are also cheaper to send, with the price going from ¢8 to ¢6.

All prices are in Euro cents. In pence, maximum charges will be 16p per megabyte for data, 15p per minute for calls made, 4p for calls received and 5p for text messages sent.

Mobile operators in Europe will also be able to offer roaming deals before you set out, allowing you to easily pick a mobile provider that’s local to the country you’re visiting.

Things will get even better next year, as the European Parliament has voted to eliminate roaming fees for data and phone calls. That means costs will be the same as your home country, finally allowing free use of your smartphone while travelling within Europe. This new law takes effect from December 15th, 2015.

What do you think of the changes? Will it make it more likely for you to use your phone abroad? Let us know in the comments below.

What will the new iPhones be called?

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Apple has followed a very predictable naming structure for their phones for many years now. They operate on a tick-tock strategy similar to Intel’s, offering first a new design and a year later an optimised version. The new designs have new numbers – iPhone 5 – and the optimised versions have the S suffix – iPhone 5S. This year though, that’s set to change, as Apple are expected to release two new phones, both much bigger than their predecessors at 4.7 and 5.5 inches. So what will the new iPhones be called?

One option is that Apple will co-opt the ‘Air’ and ‘Pro’ branding that describes their line of MacBook laptops. Here the Air is the slim version focused on portability, while the Pro is a larger model built around performance. We saw the redesigned full-size iPad gain the Air moniker last year, in order to more easily differentiate it from the iPad Mini. A similar strategy could work here, with the presumably slimmer 4.7-inch model becoming the iPhone 6 Air and the 5.5-inch model becoming the iPhone 6 Pro. Some iPhone 6 case manufacturers, like Melkco, have already begun to use this taxonomy when describing their upcoming cases.

Another possibility is that we’ll see a single letter suffix to differentiate the two. The plastic iPhone 5 was the iPhone 5C, but as both iPhones are expected to be made from metal, a different suffix might be more appropriate. Perhaps it could be the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6l? Or the iPhone 6x? There’s no evidence one way or another, but it seems an appropriately Apple-like solution to the problem.

The final possibility I can see is that Apple will just call both models iPhone 6, and differentiate them only with their screen size. That means we’d see the iPhone 6 4.7 and the iPhone 6 5.5. This is a rather awkward naming structure, but it does allow Apple to promote the iPhone 6 as a single phone that just happens to come in two sizes. They use a similar strategy with their laptop lines (e.g. MacBook Air 11, MacBook Air 13), but the decimal points here make it a bit less convincing.

This idea could be extended by dropping the generational number entirely, so we’d have the iPhone 4.7 and iPhone 5.5. Differentiation with later models could be done through release dates like ‘MacBook Pro (Early 2011)’. Another interesting option is we just have iPhone Pro and iPhone Air, with the release identifiers attached as necessary.

Ultimately, in the absence of convincing leaks it will be difficult to predict what Apple will call their new handsets. I believe these three options above are the most likely, but none of them seem excellent enough to obviously be the right answer. We’ll just have to wait until Apple’s iPhone 6 press event to know for sure.

Texting while walking and driving: it’s bad for you

Monday, June 16th, 2014

It’s well known that sitting at a computer all day is bad for you, but what about texting on your phone? New research suggests that texting has a similarly poor effect on posture when you’re walking, causing discomfort and adding the potential for spinal damage.

Researchers at the University of Queensland tested the effect on mobile phone use on gait, having 26 healthy people walk in a straight line in front of 8 cameras while wearing reflective markers. Each person walked normally, texted, and read text messages.

The researchers found that while their subjects read or wrote texts, they placed their feet less accurately, held their head in a more flexed position and walked more slowly. When texting, subjects also deviated from the straight line and moved their head more, impacting their balance.

They also noted that pedestrians were at risk while reading or texting, particularly while navigating obstacles or crossing the road, so it makes sense to at least stop using your phone at these points.

Texting and driving is another danger, although for reasons of inattention behind the wheel rather than posture. We’ve seen laws across the world against using phones while driving, but in the US at least 23% of car crashes involved mobile phones - and that number seems only set to increase as mobile phones become an increasingly ubiquitous technology.

An indie developer has produced a weirdly compelling demonstration of these dangers, in a web game called Text and Drive: Friendship Never Dies. You can play it here. The gameplay is somewhat abstract, but there’s a satisfying finale and a score counter; I got 238. Of course, as the developer says on the page, “please don’t actually text and drive.”

Do you text while walking or driving? How do you feel about people that do? Let us know in the comments below or reach out to us on Twitter @mobilefun. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend ahead!

New iPhone 6 case designs show redesigned button layout

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Earlier this week, we brought you images of some new iPhone 6 cases. Today, we have a second batch of cases that are even more interesting than the last.

The first series of iPhone 6 cases have rocker-style volume buttons and mute switch on the left side and the lock button on the right side (moved from the top on the iPhone 5 and 5S). The bottom of the phone isn’t easily visible, but as you’ll see from the next image we’ll have a headphone jack on the left, a Lightning port in the center and a speaker grille on the right.The phone is clearly enlarged, likely to the rumoured 4.7-inch diagonal, although the six rows of four icons remain consistent with the iPhone 5 design.

Interestingly, the case is a dual-layer design, with a TPU inner section (e.g. the red colour in the left-most case below) and a split polycarbonate outer shell (the white and black sections in the left-most case). This shell is made of two pieces of different colours, which can be separated and mixed together. You can see the component pieces separated at the bottom of the image; the inner piece is to the left and the outer shell to the right.

The second group of cases have a similar design, with a TPU inner area and a single piece polycarbonate shell. Here we see a more standard arrangement of two separated volume buttons, with the mute switch above. The right hand side of the phone isn’t visible here, but we can clearly see an arrangement of headphone jack, Lightning and speaker grille (from left to right) at the bottom of the phone.

So, these are the cases. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @mobilefun. Thanks for reading!

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