Nexus 7, iPad Mini and iPad 3 Drop & Water Test – Which survived?

SquareTrade have done their ‘scientific’ drop test for the (almost) latest tablets. You should generally ignore whatever the guy is saying since he’s utterly biased (he says iPad mini survived when you can clearly see the screen got cracked all the way. Then they go ahead and submerge each tablet in water, all of them survived this test, Apple’s products remained on while in water, while Nexus 7 powers down (which is the correct thing to do when any electronics get dropped in water). The guy automatically suggests Nexus 7 doesn’t work but you can clearly see that its booting.

Android 4.2 Photo Sphere feature – a real innovation

Android 4.2 comes pre-installed on LG Nexus 4 which was announced yesterday (which seems like a great phone for its price, Quad Core Snapdragon S4 SoC, 2GB RAM, 720p display, 4.7inch screen and all the usual bells and whistles for 299 USD). One of the new features of 4.2 is the upgraded camera app which has a new shooting mode called Photo Sphere. It’s the next evolutionary step in the Panorama mode that digital cameras and camera-phones had for years, it allows you to shoot multiple photos from a single point and it automatically stitches them together seamlessly without any user effort. Unlike panoramas, it works both vertically and horizontally at the same time and you don’t really need to align edges manually, just keep shooting to fill in the gaps. After you are done you can navigate your photo sphere the same way you’d look around in Google Street Map. View the video below to get the idea:

This feature will probably be copied by the usual suspect and it won’t be long before your friends start sharing their ‘surround’ photographic experiences on Facebook; now all we need is Instagram support so users can start ruining their Photo Spheres as well.

Windows 8 is out – how to upgrade?

Windows 8 is now out in retail and if you are a legit Windows XP/Vista or 7 user you are entitled to a 39.99 USD upgrade. You can visit this link to download the Upgrade tool. Assuming you are still running the original Windows version your PC came pre-installed upgrade to Windows 8 will be straight forward. Apparently its even possible to upgrade if you have the Release Preview installed and a valid Windows XP/Vista/7 key (which is usually printed on a sticker on your laptop or desktop).

Unfortunately In my case I installed Windows 8 Enterprise Trial when RTM came out which is valid for 90 days (and has almost expired by now). That version cannot be directly upgraded and there’s no way on earth I will reinstall the bloated version of Windows 7 that came pre-installed on the laptop by Asus (I did create re-install media and probably have it somewhere but as i recall Asus tool filled 5 DVD’s). The only upgrade path I could take will involve re-installing the Release Preview and use my Windows 7 key; but I’d rather not lose the configuration and apps I have installed on the current installation which is after all final but just time-limited.

It seems you can still download the Release Preview ISO directly from Microsoft here for 64bit and here for 32bit. Now all its left is to find a way to trick it into downgrading Windows 8 Enterprise Trial RTM into Release Preview (which could possibly be done by changing cversion.ini)and then using the upgrade tool to purchase a Windows 8 license and upgrade to Windows 8 Pro retail.

I’ll run my experiments tonight after work and hopefully post a step by step guide if I get it done.

Microsoft Surface RT pricing and full specs revealed

Prices starting at 499 USD for the 32GB version (probably around the same price in Euro for Europe and a lot more for Cyprus as always). Keep in mind these are the ARM based version of Surface which means normal PC software will not run on it unless the developer recompiles it and assuming it doesn’t need any specific hardware support that is not present on the tablet. From the point of view of specifications it uses the same CPU as the latest Asus Transformer Pads, Nexus 7 and HTC One X phone with just another GB of RAM. The big plus over iPad and the rest of the competition is that it comes with the magnetic cover-keyboard and a full license for Microsoft Office 2013 (the latest version with a touch optimized UI) which on its own almost costs as much as the tablet.

This is a decent device for anyone who wants to have a fully blown Office experience on the go. Personally as a developer I’d rather get an x86 based tablet even though we can safely bet it will cost a lot more.

Specs according to Microsoft:

  • Software – Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)
  • Exterior – 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons
  • Storage – 32 GB (3); 64 GB
  • CPU – NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
  • Wireless – Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
  • Cameras – Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing
  • Audio – Two microphones, stereo speakers
  • Ports – Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port
  • Sensors – Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
  • Power Supply – 24W power supply
  • Warranty – One-year limited hardware warranty
  • Apps (included) – Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games

Steve Jobs is not dead


Yesterday Steve Jobs sent his resignation to the board of directors of Apple and the internet went crazy. Everywhere you look, there’s people ‘crying’ about his decision. There’s articles about his life’s work, of how much he left behind, and of what kind of person he was. Everyone is looking back as if he is dead. I don’t hide the fact that I am not very fond of Apple and Steve’s reality distortion field, which makes me immune to all the trauma people have seem to be experiencing since the announcement of his resignation. I just feel like pointing out that:

1. He is still alive. Stop posting articles as if he’s dead (Read this for example.)
2. He’s still working for Apple – just not at the position of CEO.
3. He was just the CEO of Apple, a company that has tens of thousands of employees and each and everyone contribute to what makes their sum successful. Actually if you read this article you’ll see he’s not even the most important one.
4. Apple will continue making the same products.


Update: Well I guess now he is dead but at the time of writing he was not!