New iPad Air with same design, 8MP rear camera, and more efficient A8 chip enters production this month

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Sounds in line with what we should expect.

Close to half of all U.S. households subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus

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Welcome to the digital Wild West.

Gigaom

Survey says: we are a Netflix (S NFLX) nation.

Forty-seven percent of all U.S. households subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon (S AMZN) Prime or a combination of these services, and 49 percent of all households have at least one TV connected to the internet, according to a new study from the Leichtman Research Group about emerging video services. Four years ago, only 24 percent of all households had an internet-connected TV.

That combination of connected TVs and internet video subscriptions is increasingly shaping what we are watching. Forty-nine percent of all Netflix subscribers watch online video programming on a connected device every week, compared to only eight percent of viewers who don’t subscribe to Netflix. And 78 percent of all Netflix subscribers watch their videos on a TV.

Thirty-four percent of the people quizzed for this study said that they watch online video every day, and 61 percent…

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iPhone 5s Review

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My journey with the new iPhone started on the day of the release, when I was upgrading from an iPhone 4S. I got in line at 6:30am with the opening of the store at 8am, I was around 80th or so in line. At about 7:30am the Apple manager came out to let us know that there were almost no silver (the color I wanted) and no gold, but plenty of space grey. Ok well I got my card for a 64Gb space grey for Verizon and was all set, now it was just waiting for the line to get to me. After another 4 1/2 hours after opening the doors I had my phone in hand. The first couple of days I spent making sure I was all transferred over and doing my day job. After a few days though I got into the phone and can report on it.

My perspective is that of a real live upgrader. Few people upgrade yearly so I think upgrades tend to be for people off contract. The iPhone 5s is an impressive upgrade to the 4s in every way.

The good.

It is lighter, taller and easier to handle. The phone is zippy and calls up information rapidly. The screen is the same just a bit bigger but feels like it is sharper. The camera is amazing, clearer pictures, faster and the slo-mo feature is incredible to use for taping cats and other blurs of speed.

The Bad.

The battery life does not seem to feel better, despite the claims of Apple. The screen is small, it is not an issue for me as I have an iPad, but if this is a person's single device that can be a factor. Apple products are expensive and accessories even more so. The Apple case is the best case I have seen but is over priced at $40. The Camera use is not as simple as past phones, and transferring slo-mo photos is a pain.

If you are upgrading and like Apple devices this phone is worth it. If you love taking pictures and video, this is an excellent device. All in all I highly recommend the iPhone 5s.

 

Redefining this blog

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Over the last few months with my other blogs picking up, I have still been perplexed over what to do here. My original intent was to blog reviews of gadgets, but I don’t get enough stuff to take advantage of that and write consistently. So I will do the occasional review, but devote this blog to tech news, or at least my take on tech news. I hope this will be a pleasing blog that will get people interested in tech, which I dearly love. See you all out there.

Does Apple need a TV?

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I do wonder who is trying to get the media to kill Apple, suggesting one of the worst products for profit margins…the TV. TV makers struggle to turn a profit. The average TV buyer does so once every 5 years…maybe. So Apple putting out a TV means that in gen 1 it has to grab a lot of people ready or willing to trade. Next, you have to overcome the content gorilla in the room. What is going to make it better? Content, we have to assume that in order to get an Apple TV to be an all in one device, that EVERY content provider or the major ones at the very least are going to change their current game plan and let Apple be the cable box/DVR/On demand/Pay per view service…Yeah that is believable. It just seems like a loser all around to get too deep into TV.

Logitech ultrathin keyboard cover review

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This time I will be reviewing the Logitech ultrathin keyboard cover, I am actually writing this using the keyboard so you are getting it straight from the source. First impressions are that the keyboard is useable but is not perfect and I should be able to get used to it. Appearance wise it is stylish and fits well with the iPad theme. I find myself not a fan of the black iPad and gadgets as they seem to be the finger print magnets, so next time I get a white iPad and accessories and the good news is this style of keyboard is now available in white as of this writing, so problem solved there.

So far it is working good it is responsive and does fulfill the need for portable, and there are some problems with holding the iPad in place for the iPad 2 with a back cover so not sure how much I would trust it in situations where you can’t have a stable base.. The keyboard is a bit small but surprisingly more manageable than I thought it would be given the size of the keys and the space used for the keys. In all I can see being able to use this for longer periods of time, which for me is unlikely to be more then thirty minutes at a time.

Many people wonder what is the point in having an iPad and a keyboard and why not just get a laptop. Well based on owning an Ultrabook, Laptop, PC and tablet each has a purpose that works for them. The reason to use a keyboard to write with an iPad is portability. I don’t know of any device with a decent size screen that you can use to type with that is so portable. The iPad and the Ultrathin keyboard allow you to write with very little space needed or taken, but if you prefer writing at a desk or other fixed location, well this keyboard is not for you, its that simple. One should buy a device or accessory tailored to your needs, not what is cool. This is how I give advice on what kind of devices you need and it should be how you shop.

So in conclusion the Logitech ultrathin keyboard cover is perfect for people who want a light load, small footprint and want to write, if this is not what you do then move on to another keyboard or even computing device.

Verizon review

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Well its about time to review my new carrier, Verizon. Now I want to point out, that reviewing a carrier based on a small geographical location is a bit silly but I wanted something to write about, so we’ll just deal with it.

Ok so lets get to it

Testing area was between Denver and Colorado Springs and performed over a two week period, I will try and stay true to the carrier and not the technology.

Call quality was very good all along the the test area, I have had no dropped calls and better quality then T-Mobile.

Data speeds was usually much faster on average then T-Mobile, but some areas I got great speeds on T-Mobile, I got poorer on Verizon, such as my place of work 12Mbs for T-Mobile and only 5Mbs on Verizon. At home I would get 100Bps and with Verizon I get 3Mbs. But on average in the places I tested, Verizon typically did better, and it does better indoors which is a big plus as I do very little web browsing outside.

I have had some issues with my hotspot, such as having to reboot it several times to get a reliable connection, went to Verizon and the representative did a great job doing a hard reset which for now has fixed the issue.

The one potential fumble for Verizon which turned into what I think was the finest moment of customer service was, when I ordered an iPhone for my wife and at some point in ordering it at my local store, the wrong account got attached to it. So my phone was being sent to the wrong address, well it took most of the day but they did get it corrected, had my account all set and ported my T-Mobile numbers over before I had the phone in my hands. This was the finest hour for Verizon for me so far and I am very happy.

in Short I am pleased with the service, and the call quality and data speeds for Verizon in my area, some of these things can be translated to anywhere and some can’t, but this is one happy Verizon customer.

T-Mobile Rant

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I want to take this time to state my outrage for T-Mobile. It all started back in the day I was doing a lot of traveling and I was a T-Mobile subscriber. I was in a mall and basically got sold a spare phone line, was not a big deal I did not feel pressured or feel I bought something I did not want. Over the time and very rarely did I need to use it but it was a nice comforting idea to have it, if I needed it. Well life went on and 3 years later, I faced grow wants for smartphones and hotspots, so held this line open for upgrading.

Along comes the iPhone 4s, and well T-Mobile was left out. My plan was to get the phone, hold on to my T-Mobile lines, including my spare, if the phone came out later or the iPhone 5, which barring the merger will be on T-Mobile. I had a trip out of town and knew my 2Gb data on my hotspot would not be enough, so I went to my T-Mobile store and bumped up to 5Gb. They told me my contract would be reset to two years, which seemed to imply, my mistake for not asking out right, that one line. It was not, my contract was extended for 2 years on all lines including the line I used maybe 100 minutes in 3 years. When I got my Verizon iPhone, the service, reception and call quality were much better then T-mobile, and was beginning to think at the end of the T-Mobile contract I would change over, one line at a time.

Well when I called to cancel the line I hardly use, I was told I would be charged the termination fee, I never upgraded, I was not subsidized on that line but was forced treat it as if I was. Well it was math time. T-Mobile’s termination fees are $200.00 per line, for me that means $800.00 total for breaking my contract, including the line I should not have been contracted to hold. well after a bit of math I found I would pay approximately $3600.00 for the two year contract term, or I could pay the $800.00 and change to Verizon, so with an iPhone ordered for my wife and an LTE hotspot I am ditching T-Mobile. Will I be happier? Can’t say to be honest, Verizon may also be a pain about this too, but with my needs shifting to Apple products, I find myself comfortable with the idea of not being T-Mobile, as it seems they are left in the dark till the merge question is done. With the way things run today the concept of a spare is no longer needed, so I won’t open lines I won’t use, so this same problem won’t happen.

Would I recommend T-Mobile? Yes, they are likely as good or bad as the others, and if not for the better service levels and discount I get with Verizon I may not be as upset. T-Mobile is a good little carrier, but are engaging in policies that are designed to force people to stay with them, till the merger is settled and thats wrong. They would have me still if they cancelled a line I pay $10.00 per month on, so was it worth losing $2800.00 from me to force me to keep a line they would have collected just $240.00 on? I think they screwed up, but thats me, and I admit I am very jaded right now.

iPhone 4S review

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Well as I said, and very late here it is my review of the new iPhone 4S. First, a bit about my background for phones. Had a phone since the Star Tac days of 1996 and stayed in the simple dumb phone market till the T-Mobile Dash HTC Excalibur (HTC S620) in 2007. I then went to the G1 HTC Dream the first Google phone, a phone I loved very much. It was amazing having so much I can do at my finger tips, anywhere I could go be it on the web, or travel with it’s GPS. That phone served me well for a couple of years, I ignored the iPhone I had no iPod at the time so did not seem that special to me. In 2010 I got the Galaxy S phone, or on T-Mobile the Vibrant, a sexy phone, powerful fast and amazing, was also the time I got an iPod Touch, my first Apple product and my struggle.

The Vibrant was a major dive into the smartphone community it did everything through the apps I could get, but for some reason I did not download many apps and hardly used the phone for data, I leaned more on my iPod even then. I found the TV app, the GPS to be my most used features of the vibrant. It did not help that Android 2.1 was a battery hog and I had to wait so long to get 2.2 which allowed my battery to last the day. I love the concept of Android but had so many issues with Android I found myself becoming an apologist then a happy user.

My change to Apple came with the iPad, the device took over so many of my computing needs, and the scale of it was so appealing I decided to figure out a way to use the pad for photos and video processing, and that’s where the the biggest issue came. iMovie is awesome, but only works with apple devices recording video which makes my camcorder pointless without another computing device to process and edit video. I wanted to reduce my travel needs, and Apple provided with iPhone 4S and its improved optics, so here we are today.

The iPhone 4S

Pros – smaller then my vibrant, but with my iPad I don’t need real estate on my phone which makes the iPhone a plus as it is comfortable to hold and use. A plus for me!

The camera is amazing, I love the photos, much better then my vibrant or my camcorder in almost every aspect.

Siri, besides being fun, it is actually useful to me. I am a scatter brain, and Siri is as I get used to her, making me look as if I know what I am doing.

Simple interface, Android is pretty with widgets and backgrounds and such…but I spend almost no time outside of an actual app, so why do I need fancy screens I hardly ever see or use?

The eco system is huge, so many apps, yes an argument can be made too many bad ones, but app testing is have the fun of a smart device so bring on the fart apps!

IOS 5 is part of the eco system, but I don’t have to worry about if I go from HTC to Samsung, what apps will stop working…Apple just works no need to learn many flavors of the same OS.

Cons – It is small for a smartphone, I don’t need the real estate but I can see people being a put out by the size.

All hail Apple our overlord. Yeah IOS is simple, it works, and I don’t need to learn different flavors, BUT I also don’t get to see an improvement that can make my life easier, unless Apple and only Apple tells me, and then I have no choice if it does not work for me.

No new form factor, I can’t show off I have the cool 4S…ok I don’t care really and the fact was it is easier to shop accessories as they are out now, unlike my iPad which took forever to get what I wanted.

So a lot of things are more carrier based then phone specific so I will do my best to avoid those parts of the review. overall I love the form factor, having an iPad makes this easy to use and they play well together. I am a big fan of the camera and is a key reason I got the iPhone. Siri is making me less forgetful, and syncing across all my iDevices has been nice. One down note is wi-fi syncing is a bit clunky and slow, I expect the slow but it fails a lot and can take way too long to finish. I feel I need to only do it asleep or make a meeting to sync my iDevices.

Other then that I have love this phone, it is easy, quick, has a lot going for it and few downsides. If you need a big screen or speed and hate hotspots, then buy something like a Samsung galaxy S II, otherwise with an LTE hotspot the 4S has everything you need.

Enjoy!

iPhone 4S

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Well, its that time of year, when every little gadget freak feels that little tingle and hears that special little bird tweeting in your ear. It is iPhone time once again, now I am in no way connected or getting an advance unit, in fact it will be late for me getting one. I have talked tot he carriers and being under T-Mobile contract I want cheap but useful so lets talk carriers. First what do I want? Well I want to get rid of my camcorder and use the iPhone in conjunction with my iPad to eliminate needing a laptop and all the camera gear. The iPhone works best with my iPad so iPhone is it due to the advanced camera. This posed a problem as I am a T-Mobile subscriber and under contract still, but this gives me a chance to review other carriers. My needs are simple since I have a phone already, few minutes, limited texting, and little data as I have a hotspot. So to the internet and carrier stores to do some research.

AT&T – A logical choice for a T-Mobile user, if the merger happens, well the accounts can be merged and I have one bill again.

Pros- Excellent data coverage in my area up to HSPA+21 (Though the iPhone can only do HSPA+14) few dropped calls based on other reviews

Cons- Price, bad reputation and I am still on the fence about the merger. Data caps and overages.

Plan – 450 minutes $39.99/month, 200Mb data $15.00/month,  Unlimited texts (which sucks as I need some but not unlimited texting and AT&T doesn’t really give you options) $20.00/month

Total – $74.99/Month

Sprint – The underdog in this race,

Pros – WiMax (Only with a hotspot) unlimited data plan, they too have good coverage where I go, data is good speed but being the small guy here I am worried.

Cons- Smaller carrier, don’t really need unlimited or really much data so the big lure is not a huge draw for me, oddly the included texting is more attractive

Plan – 450 minutes and unlimited text $69.99/month, Data Unlimited $10.00/month

Total – $79.99/Month

Verizon – A solid provider one I lean towards to get a different flavor over AT&T and Sprint and they are the only ones with LTE in my area (Not on the iPhone)

Pros – LTE, LTE, LTE in speed tests I got five to ten times in different locations I tested above T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. WiFi hotspot easy to add on or take off as you buy the hotspot and pay per month so even my iPhone could get LTE.

Cons – No native LTE on the iPhone and other Google phones have it. Data caps and overages.

Plan – 450 minutes $39.99/month, 2Gb data $30.00/month,  250 texts $5.00/month

Total – 74.99/Month

The verdict – Verizon, first it has LTE hotspots which I can use for my iPad, Nook, Google phone and 2 other devices and being a subscriber allows you to get 2,4,5, or 10 GB instead of the 5 and 10GB buying it alone. I don’t need unlimited and LTE is faster then WiMax (And cheaper, Sprint hotspots are 5Gb capped). Speed I do like, and lastly not having to do with anything to most, but my Wife can get a discount making it about $62/Month for my plan.

I will do a review of the iPhone when I get it and play with it, stay tuned!

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