by Jin Kim
iOS 7.1 also includes a camera update that’s specific to iPhone 5S users. That’s because the newer phone uses Apple’s advanced A7 processor while older devices have less-powerful chips. HDR, or “high dynamic range,” will automatically turn on when it’s needed. That takes many photos at once in different exposures to create a sharp image that looks closer to what the human eye sees, as the varying highlights and shadows are all accounted for.
I was wondering what that was all about. I was taking some photos earlier this afternoon and experienced a strange thing: while taking a photo HDR automatically turned on. That has never happened before, and now I know why. The photo turned out slightly better with HDR, but I hope Apple sees fit to include a manual override to turn off auto HDR in a future update.
One other thing I noticed: the keyboard font is slightly bolder than the original. I’m glad Apple is correcting its overcorrection of skeuomorphism.
I wrote too hastily without checking. There is is a way to turn off HDR Auto: Touch it while in the Camera app and two other options glide out. One is HDR On and the other is HDR Off.
The widespread press reports that the Sony Xperia Z2 Triluminous LCD displays have Quantum Dots is incorrect. They don’t.
I thought Triluminos equaled quantum dots. I guess not; then what does Triluminos stand for?
I’m scratching my head as to how the Xperia Z2 without quantum dots is superior to the Xperia Z with quantum dots. Perhaps Sony is in the process of perfecting the use of quantum dots and hasn’t gotten there yet. Similar to Nokia’s PureView, Sony’s sub-branding is confusing, to say the least.
Well, this is a bit of a surprise. According to Raymond Soneira, the Xperia Z2 doesn’t use quantum dots and neither does the Xperia Z. I’ve scoured Sony sites for any mention of Triluminos or quantum dots in relation to the Xperia Z or Z2 and interestingly enough there are none. Where did this false idea originate? I’d be curious to find out.
Soneira tested the light spectra of the Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, and Huawei Ascend D2. All three exhibited very similar results. According to Soneira the Sony Xperia Z is using standard backlight units (BLUs) with blue LEDs coated with yellow phosphors. There is nothing special about the BLU in the Xperia Z or Z2.
The Kindle Fire HDX 7 uses quantum dots and the light spectral graph is quite different: wavelengths surrounding each primary color is much more pointy (narrow) compared to BLUs without quantum dots.
In the end, I really, really like Metro, but don’t love Windows as a whole. It’s flawed. But even so, I like my Surface a lot more than I ever liked any of my iPads.
When Apple introduced the iPad, they made a point of showing productivity apps. I feel like the Surface finally makes good on Apple’s promise: Metro is a UI that actually works well for productivity. It’s not perfect, but it’s more than acceptable.
It’s not surprising to me that a full blown Windows 8 tablet is a more capable productivity tool than the iPad. What I’m interested to see is when Microsoft Surface becomes a better productivity tool than a notebook.
As CPUs and GPUs become more powerful and energy efficient, and as battery technology becomes more efficient, there will come a point where a desktop operating system on a tablet will work just fine and for many hours. We’re not quite there yet and so a mobile device (iPad) with a mobile operating system (iOS) and a mobile CPU (A7) is faster, more efficient, and lasts longer. But I think in a year or two Microsoft Surface might be able to fulfill the company’s original goal of being a single mobile device that is powerful enough to replace a notebook and thin, light, and lasts long enough to be used as a tablet.
Worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68 percent increase on 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. While sales of iOS tablets grew in the fourth quarter of 2013, iOS’s share declined to 36 percent in 2013. The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers; this led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system (OS), with 62 percent of the market [...]
A single company, Apple, captured 36% of the world’s tablet market in 2013. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but there’s another company posting incredible numbers. Gartner breaks down tablet sales market share in 2012 and 2013 by vendor:
And Others make up 31.0% (up from 25.8% in 2012). Although Apple’s 36.0% market share despite it being a Y/Y decline is still impressive, Samsung was the only company that experienced explosive growth: an amazing 336% Y/Y.
The screens on all displays are mirrors that reflect light from everything that is illuminated anywhere in front of the screen (especially anything behind the viewers), including lamps, ceiling lights, windows, direct and indirect indoor and outdoor sunlight, which washes out the on-screen colors, degrades image contrast, and interferes with seeing the on-screen images. This is especially important for OLED displays because they produce excellent dark image content and perfect blacks – you don’t want that spoiled by ambient light being reflected off the screen. The LG OLED TV has the lowest screen Reflectance of any display that we have ever measured, just 2.2 percent, which is half of the previous 4.4 percent record – an impressive achievement. LG accomplished this by using both an anti-reflection screen treatment together with circular polarizers that suppress light reflections [...]
Cult of Mac: Former senior mechanical engineer of product design at Apple, Abraham Farag shares how he and his team ended up with the Apple Pro Mouse:
“It all started with a model we did not have time to finish,” he says. “We had made six of these great form models to show Steve,” he recalls. “They were fully done, with all the parting lines cut in for buttons and different plastic parts, and all the colors just right.” At the last minute, the design team had decided to create a model that would echo the look of the Topolino mouse which shipped prior to the hockey puck. The only problem was, the model wasn’t finished. They hadn’t had time to draw buttons on to the model to indicate where they would go.
“It looked like a grey blob,” Farag says. “We were going to put that model into a box so people wouldn’t see it.” However, when Jobs turned up things went awry.
“Steve looked at the lineup of potential forms and made straight for the unfinished one,” Farag says.
“That’s genius,” he said. “We don’t want to have any buttons.”
“That’s right, Steve,” someone else piped up. “No buttons at all.”
Using the amount for Gorilla Glass sales to Apple and the Trefis widget for Corning’s specialty materials revenue (below), we can assess the impact Apple’s move to sapphire will have on our stock price estimate. By reducing the specialty materials revenue by $187 million for 2014, we will be able to simulate a loss of sales when Apple stops purchasing Gorilla Glass from 2014 onward. We can see that our stock price estimate for Corning declines from $18.88 to $18.56, a decrease of $0.32.
To assume Apple’s move to sapphire for cover glass applications will stop at Apple seems wrong; most likely all of Apple’s competitors such as LG, Samsung, Sony, etc. will also shift to sapphire cover glass for their top-of-the-line smartphones. And that most likely will have quite a bit of an impact on Corning’s Gorilla Glass business.
I purchased this Sony NEX-5 mirrorless camera thinking it would be the default camera I would take everywhere. The camera body is exceptionally small for a body with an APS-C image sensor. I even went through the trouble of selling the zoom lens that came with it and purchased the 16mm f2.8 pancake lens to keep it as portable as possible. Well it didn’t turn out that way, and I blame my iPhone. The photo quality is nice, but the not-so-fast 16mm lens doesn’t do very well in dim environments. Macro shots are difficult too. Yes, I understand the lens isn’t designed for it. And I believe it is 100% my fault for not equipping the NEX-5 with the proper lens to do what needed it to do. But my primary goal was to make it small enough so that it would be portable enough. It turns out the ideal camera was the one I already had: my iPhone. So it’s time to say good bye to my Sony NEX-5. Off to Craigslist it goes.
The G Pro was LG’s first phablet-style device that made sense — its 5.5-inch display was right in line with Samsung’s offerings at the time and it included a number of software tweaks to take advantage of the larger screen. The G Pro 2′s 1080p display expands to an even larger 5.9 inches, and it’s just as nice to look at as before, with great viewing angles and color accuracy. It’s just bigger now. Nearly half an inch sounds like a lot on paper, but in practical use it doesn’t demonstrably change the experience. It just keeps LG up with the Joneses, surpassing the 5.7-inch display on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and matching monstrous smartphones from HTC and others.
Five point nine inches. I understand there are people who want to carry only one device. To them an artificially small phone paired with a tablet is unnecessary when a large smartphone like the LG G Pro 2 can take the place of both. There are some challenges with this though.
One is, how do you carry the thing? If you’re a metrosexual (or someone who doesn’t give a damn about what others think about you and all you care about is efficiency) in Seoul, San Francisco, Manhattan, and many parts of Western Europe you simply put it in your purse, whether you’re a man or a woman. But what if you’re just a regular guy who puts his phone in his pants? I’ve tried putting the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, and other large phones with thick cases into my jeans. They do fit in my front and back pockets, but it’s not comfortable. I don’t like how I look with the massive rectangular bulge in my front pocket. And I’m always worried someone will pocket my phone if I leave it in my back pocket. Something as big as the LG G Pro 2 will be an easy target.
Another challenge is becoming less and less of a problem, but it really does look awkward when you’re having a phone conversation with a 5.9-inch slab to your face, especially if you have a smallish face. In countries like South Korea most mobile communications is done via instant messaging anyway, and voice communications in crowded buses and subways isn’t usually the polite thing to do. Yes, I understand there are Bluetooth headsets and the earphones with mic that came with the phone, but a lot of people don’t like using either when moving about. A Bluetooth headset is still too nerdy, and messing around with the cables is not much fun. Using the speakerphone is an option when you’re home or in your office with the door closed, but again not going to happen when you’re in public. I’m pretty sure some of us are already used to seeing people put massive smartphones to their faces to talk. In the future a 6-inch device on someone’s face isn’t going to phase anyone.
For people who want a single mobile device, a phablet like the 5.9-inch LG G Pro 2 is certainly appealing. Just make sure you have a comfortable way to carry it and note it might look a little awkward, for now, to have it mashed to your face when talking.
If you’ve made it this far, it should be fairly obvious that Dell delivers a winning product in its UP3214Q. Yes, the price of admission is substantial, but this is a bleeding-edge product that performs far better than most first-gen technology. If you have the necessary graphics hardware, the UP3214Q is a true plug-and-play 4K solution.
Asus gave us excellent build quality with its PQ321Q, but Dell goes a little bit further. This is the most metal we’ve seen in any computer component outside of a case. Not only do you get a slick aluminum band around the panel’s perimeter, but the entire base and upright are made from the same material. We also really like the easy snap-on installation of those parts.
Feature-wise, the UP3214Q is quite complete. Three digital inputs take care of any potential (and relevant) source. We would have really liked to see HDMI 2.0 compatibility, but admittedly that interface is still in its infancy, having only been ratified a few months ago. Both DisplayPort connectors support full resolution at 60 Hz though, so long as your video card is multi-stream-compatible. We also applaud the inclusion of four USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader.
US$3500. Steep even for a 31.5-inch 3840×2160 IGZO IPS LCD from Sharp with a 98% Adobe RGB 1998 color gamut.