Tuesday, 23 April 2013

IR Blaster?

In bygone years a number of mobile phones had an IR blaster on the edge of the handset. This was used back then mainly for file transfers allowing you to to send a picture, for example, to your buddy's phone from yours.

Since then things have changed and IR (Infrared) is no longer seen as a viable option for file transfer due to things like bluetooth (which is much faster), e-mail (which has been helped thanks to increased mobile internet speed) and various other apps (think Dropbox, Whatsapp? and Skypath). Sadly this saw IR blasters being made all but extinct with only a small selection of handsets using IR.

Thankfully IR seems to have made a bit of a comeback in recent years with several phones (notably the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One X) including them and seeing their uses, not in file transfers but in every day situations.

If you look around your house you will almost certainly have a device that uses "IR", notably your television which uses an Infrared Remote to change the channels. Having just recently noticed my remote is now snapped in two (thanks to my wonderful partner...sigh women!) we're now using my phone to turn over the television. The IR "blaster" works just like a TV remote and with the right apps you'd never need the remote again (great if your family has a remote hog).

Sure it's not ideal but it beats not being able to turn the television over for what reason is a real pain in the backside so this can save you from needing to buy a new TV or getting up and changing the channel manually (do new TV's even let you do that?)

We imagine that the inclusion of "IR Blasters" will become a popular feature over the next few years, especially when you consider that companies like Sony and Samsung also produce TV's which allow them to sell you an in-built remote in their phones for their television sets. A genius move by companies trying to secure cross-product loyalty.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Phones in the bath, a gimmick?

Earlier this year Sony released their new flagship phone the Sony Xperia Z a phone that tries to set a new standard for mobile technology. Whilst it may not be the first ever water proof phone it is by far the most widely available, though the question is "is it a gimmick?"

The big question we've been asked when talking about the phone on various forums is "why would anyone want a water proof phone?" Well the reasons are actually numerous and with it being the phones key selling point we've decided to answer that question in detail.

Firstly the device can be used perfectly well in the rain without the fear of setting off the "water damage" sticker currently on phones. This has been a major issues especially with major phones including Apple's iPhones and some of the Samsung Galaxy series which are really expensive bits of kit to replace (even if you have insurance the process of going through it can be a pain in the backside).
Sure the rain rarely sets off the sticker but it's still a risk and one that needn't be run with the Xperia Z.

Secondly the phone can be used in the bath. I know what you're thinking and no, that's not the only reason (you dirty boys and girls!) for people like me who watch a lot of sport the fact you can use it in the bath means you can relax in the bath with the football, boxing or cricket on the phone, whilst for others you could watch the news, soaps or even a movie in the bath.
Just sit there for a second and think about the possibilities. Silly cat videos from youtube, BBC programs from iPlayer or of course making the most of your Netflix/LoveFilm subscription.
You now have no excuse for missing any program, in fact you can actually watching programs whilst having a bath in preparation for a night out.

Thirdly and possibly the most entertaining (I know, hard to believe) is the fact you can just show off! Just imagine the fun you could have by scaring your mates by dropping it in the sink whilst they are watching and panicking whilst you act all heart broken...then vamoosh still working much to their surprise....

...OK that's a poor reason but the fact you can use it in bath is a huge appealing point for us (yes we're slimy little nerds!) The phone it's self however doesn't rely solely on this gimmick but if you're still wondering what to pick the phone is genuinely top notch, looks fantastic and is cheaper than the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 (arguably the only phone better than the Xperia).