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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Is The Upcoming iPad Pro For You?

Several months before the actual release, there was quite a lot of chatter about a much bigger iPad. Of course the discussions were quite animated to say the least because producing such a large tablet seemed to contradict the recent trend towards shrinking gadgets.A few weeks ago though, the rumors were finally confirmed and the iPad Pro was announced and will be available in November.

What then is the iPad Pro and is it the tablet for you?
The iPad Pro is a 12.9 inch tablet designed to compete with the Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Note and the Microsoft Surface. It has an A9X processor and has a quad speaker layout. Like the Note, it will allow input via Apple pencil and like its competitors, can be outfitted with a keyboard. Despite its large screen, the implementation of variable refresh rates, which are a first for Apple tablets, allows for a 10 hour battery life. Definitely enough for the power user.

Designed with the professional in mind
With such impressive (and expensive) specifications, it is clear that this is indeed the iPad for professionals. Seeing the widespread use of iPads in business, the Pro allows for a much better interface for presentations whether face to face, or streamed to a projector. The bigger screen also facilitates the creation of illustrations particularly when the optional Apple pencil is used.
With much more screen real estate, creating music with Garageband is much easier as well. While its still smaller than a regular keyboard, those 3 inches go a long way in freeing the creative mind from the smaller boundaries of the old iPad.

Who should buy it?
Those who wish to be on the bleeding edge of technology, this is a must have gadget. The iPad Pro represents a new genre in iPad computing and will probably give rise to other new products and applications.
For the other power users, its probably not that cut and dried. This is because the iPad Pro falls squarely between the iPad and the MacBook. Having IOS and OSX does have its advantages which many power users may prefer. This is why these users carry an iPad AND a MacBook. For these users, the iPad Pro is overkill and they may not cherish having to bring another gadget along.
However, there is a large class of users that carry either an iPad or a MacBook. This is probably the main market for the Pro. These users may have found themselves often wishing that they either had their MacBook (for bigger screens) or their iPads (for more portability). The iPad Pro gives them the best of both worlds.
The iPad Pro has yet to be released so it would be interesting to see how things will play out once its out on the market. No doubt, there is a lot of excitement and anticipation right now and there is every reason to expect this product to be flying off the shelves. Once the initial frenzy has died down and the iPad Pros are put to good use, then it will become clear what direction it will take, and the user profile will be much clearer. At that point, the decision to buy will be much easier. But given the reputation of Apple products, many people will just opt to buy this the first chance they get. 

Count me in.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Its all over the sites of the major telecom players in the Philippines. The latest model of the darling of the Android phablet world, the Galaxy Note is now available. The Galaxy Note 5 is available under so many different plans and if the initial sales are any indication, it looks like it will be another home run for Samsung.

But what are the factors that make this Note model better than its predecessor?

The textured plastic construction of the previous Note, with a faux leather finish, was severely criticized by many reviewers. The general consensus was that the Note 4 was lacking in the finish and quality department. The Note 5 however puts all that behind by going with a glass and metal design that exudes quality and feels very solid in hand. It’s a major coup that puts the Note 5 at the head of the finish and build quality line.

The specs of the Note 5 sound like they belong on a desktop, not a mobile phone. It packs an Exynos 8 core CPU, a separate GPU and 4 GB of RAM! This powerful system allows the Note 5 to run programs and games with ease. Early benchmark tests by independent sites show the Note 5 delivering almost twice the multicore performance of the Apple 6S. Bendgate aside, this Note 5 outclasses the iPhone 6S decisively.

The Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and the Galaxy Note 5 all share the same class leading sensor. This sensor is currently rated as the best one by no less than DxOmark Labs. But being a newer model, the Note 5 is set to surpass its siblings by integrating new improved photography modes. It also adds the ability to take RAW files to the mix making the Note 5 a formidable force on mobile photography.

There are a couple of changes that may not appeal to other users particularly the users with old Galaxy Notes looking to upgrade.
The first is the lack of a microSD slot. The Note 5 only comes with 32 or 64 GB. This may be unacceptable to users who need storage over and above 64 GB.
The second is that the Note 5’s battery is not removable. Therefore, the user cannot keep a spare battery on hand. However, this second point may be relatively minor because the Note 5 has a fast charging mode that takes less than half the time needed to charge the phone with conventional chargers. 

Clearly, the demand for the Galaxy Note 5 is well founded. It is considered the best Note to date and is considered the best phablet currently available today. Check it out at your nearest telecom shop.

Monday, September 28, 2015

El Capitan: An Overview Of The New Mac OS X

Come September 30, Mac users can begin upgrading to the new OS X code named El Capitan. As always, Apple users cannot wait to upgrade to the new OS. 

So let’s look at what we can expect from El Capitan.

By Apples own statement on its website, El Capitan builds upon the innovations introduced by Yosemite and refines many of the features. Aside from this, there are several new features that will be introduced.

The most significant of these is the split screen viewing. It may sound like old news for Windows users but the ability to split that screen, especially the large 27 inch iMac screen, is a first for Apple. Majority of OS X users are probably breathing a collective sigh of relief. Its been a long time coming and now they can finally enjoy a native split screen on their Macs. 

Mission Control, an old feature of OS X, has received a major facelift that focus on improving usability. For instance, a single move allows the user to view all the open windows on one screen making task switching easy and intuitive. Before El Capitan, one had to either dig through the menus or make multiple keystrokes to switch tasks. Now it only takes one swipe to do it. 

Another very welcome feature has to do with finding your cursor. It is all too easy to lose a cursor in a sea of apps and it becomes an ordeal trying to locate it. El Capitan allows you to find it easily by just shaking a finger on the trackpad or shaking your mouse. This movement makes your cursor larger thus ending this game of hide and seek.

The new Notes application is designed to replace Evernote on your desktop. Practically all the functionality of Evernotes is integrated and Apple adds some innovations of their own. One example is the ability to view all attachments on one page which saves the user from having to search through the notes for that one attachment. Cross platform comes standard as well so Notes made on one device can be viewed on all your Apple devices. The ability to save data from different applications is also an Apple innovation that enhances the Notes experience. 

Other apps such as Spotlight, Mail and Photos have received major changes as well. Then Apple has also made improvements that boost computer performance that will further enhance the speed of OS X application launching, PDF viewing even task switching.

The changes brought by El Capitan to the OS X are in two major areas, experience and performance. If the teasers on the Apple website are any indication, then it will be a major boost over Yosemite. 

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