The iPhone SE

Well, here it goes. Apple recently announced the launch of the iPhone SE, most of us thought it would be called the iPhone 5 SE, but it seems the 5 was dropped to just call it the SE.

Personally having taken a look at the device, it seems like an iPhone 5S. Apple claims that the power and performance of the iPhone 6S has been packed into the little form factor of the original iPhone 5S. 

Screenshot 2016-03-30 20.35.48

In a market dominated by large screen devices it seemed that Apple was following the footsteps of Samsung and making devices just bigger in size. However, in my opinion I feel that the iPhone SE is a good addition to the market IF you are getting your first iPhone, and not just upgrading from the iPhone 5S to the iPhone SE (why would anyone do that?)

Apple claims it to be the 'most powerful 4 inch phone ever' and goes on to further state that 'To create it, we started with a beloved design, then reinvented it from the inside out'. Well yes, it was from inside out as it is just the components that are INSIDE that's improved. 'The A9 is the same advanced chip used in iPhone 6s. The 12‑megapixel camera captures incredible photos and 4K videos. And Live Photos bring your images to life. The result is an iPhone that looks small. But lives large'. Very powerful statements by Apple who seems to be targeting a market of iPhone fanatics just looking for a powerful device at a smaller size.

Moving on to the camera, as the iPhone SE uses the same camera found on the iPhone 6S, users will get the 12 mega pixel iSight Camera which also has the capability of 4K video. The phone also features live photos (which I don't find very interesting to be honest, but some people do happen to like it)

The device also features Apple Pay, and claims to have faster LTE and Wi-Fi. According to Apple, the iPhone SE is capable of up to 19 LTE bands and speeds of over 150Mbps (network dependent). Over Wi-Fi the device is capable of reaching speeds of 433Mbps. As the devices supports voice over LTE and Wi-Fi calling this should be great when making calls when your low on carrier network coverage.

Apples official specs could be found at 

Await more updates on the iPhone SE!

Foldable Smart Devices is the way forward for Samsung!

Hello world!

So while I was browsing through the WWW I stumbled upon something that caught my attention and I thought was worth sharing with you. According to, Samsung has been busy (apart from getting themselves involved in lawsuits with Apple) to work on a ‘Foldable Smart Device!’ Of course this time they made sure to apply a patent on their product before using their R&D budget as lawyer fee!

Anyway, jokes aside…. I did find this pretty fascinating. It also rumoured that this technology will NOT be used in its upcoming Galaxy S7. So there might be a wait until we see this bit of tech in action!

Read on, article courtesy

Samsung Invents Worlds First Foldable Smart Devices
Patent Application

Samsung could be working on a foldable smart device, perhaps a tablet or a phone. That’s the conclusion of Patently Mobile, after studying the Korean giant’s recently won patents especially the most recent three. There is now another that explains more of this technology

This one – which describes foldable technology in some detail – has only recently been made public by the US Patent Office. It describes a tri-fold smartphone with the capability of supporting multiple operating systems.

Samsung has evidently been working on this type of smart device for a long time. The number of patents it has been granted suggest it has tried out several form factors featuring flexible displays.

These forms have been divided into four categories, highlighted in an earlier patent: A Scrollable Smartphone, The Tab Style Smartphone, The Foldable Smartphone with Hinge and The Bendable Smartphone. To have a better understanding of the most recently published patent, which talks about a tri-fold smartphone and the multiple operating systems it has to offer, here’s an overview of the earlier form factors.

Scrollable Smartphone

Illustrations of the “Scrollable Smartphone” show a tube from which the screen can be unrolled and rolled up again. When it explains ‘rolling’ it is clear the display being rolled is flexible enough for the user to easily pull it out of the tube.

The patent also shows that for the flex-display, the glass substrate will be replaced by a plastic film. The tube out from which the screen is rolled could feature a button to push out the screen.

Tab Style Smartphone

The next set of illustrations described a smartphone which can be folded like a piece of paper, only with the tab still being exposed on the left side. This left-sided tab could house the favorite apps and display added information, just like the curved edge of the Note 4 Edge or Galaxy 6 Edge.

The Foldable Smartphone with a Hinge

This design is similar to another already described, but it includes a hinge in the center, which divides the display equally into two parts.

The Bendable Smartphone

The last design described in the patent, is a smartphone which can bend. On the face of it, this appears the most unrealistic form factor, although the illustrations show how a flex-display will allow the phone to bend.

These are concepts on which Samsung is already said to be working. The recently published patent suggests it has combined these forms to create one design. The new patent shows how a combination of forms could be possible if Samsung applies the foldable technology on a range of devices, such as a tablet PC, personal digital assistants (PDA), and MP3 players.

Another point on which the patent sheds light is the use of multiple operating systems. It becomes clear they will be based on the unfolding degree of the smart device.

Rumors that have surfaced about the next Galaxy series smartphone, the S7, suggest it will not feature any of this technology. Considering the strong smartphone industry competition, Samsung may need to introduce something that astonishes. Perhaps a smartphone with foldable screens, will be out really soon.


Written By – Bob Hahn

Zuckerberg to Donate 99 Percent of Facebook Shares

Zuckerberg Chan baby

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan on Tuesday announced the birth of their daughter, Max, and it turns out fatherhood is making the Facebook CEO feel especially giving.

In a letter to their newborn daughter, the couple made the surprising announcement that they will donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares during their lives to causes that help “advance human potential and promote quality for all children in the next generation.” The duo has also formed a new organization, dubbed the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to help with that goal.

“Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building strong communities,” Zuckerberg and Chan wrote in the note.

The donation currently amounts to about $45 billion, which the couple called “a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues.” Zuckerberg promised more details about the effort in the coming weeks.

As for what the immediate future holds, Zuckerberg will be taking a two-month paternity leave to settle into a new family rhythm with his wife and new daughter. But don’t expect him to forget about the social network now that he’s taken on this new humanitarian mission — and become a dad.

“I will continue to serve as Facebook’s CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work,” Zuckerberg wrote. “By starting at a young age, we hope to see compounding benefits throughout our lives.”

The move is not entirely surprising. In 2010, Zuckerberg joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in pledging at least half of his wealth to charity. The Giving Pledge, founded by Gates and Buffet, is a “moral commitment” by America’s wealthiest families to donate at least half of their wealth to charity sometime during their life or post mortem.


BlackBerry Priv is the best BlackBerry in a decade


Hello, old friend. I can’t say I’ve missed you, but it’s still a pleasant surprise to run my digits over your surface. The bumps and ridges feel, after so much time, odd, yet strangely familiar. I honestly can’t believe it’s been almost five years since I gave up my last BlackBerry and touched my last BlackBerry keyboard.

My last BlackBerry, a Bold 9650, was a small, yet fairly traditional BlackBerry. It had a pretty small screen and the full classic QWERTY keyboard right below it. Before that I had the large-screen (for the time) Torch with a slide-out keyboard. Aside from its lackluster performance, I kind of loved that phone.

However I, like many others, left the BlackBerry behind and then watched in disbelief as the company stumbled through the next half decade with a parade of bad product and strategy decisions.

BlackBerry Priv Closed

BlackBerry’s new Priv phone looks, at first glance, like a lot of other 5.4-inch Android handsets.

As I hold the BlackBerry Priv and run my fingers over its physical keyboard, I realize it could signal the official end to the bad choices. It’s also the very first BlackBerry device to run — drumroll, please — Android (version 5.1.1).

And here’s the really good news: It’s a good marriage.

Instead of seeming like an unwanted tenant, Android is right at home with BlackBerry. And why shouldn’t it be? The Priv is, in many ways, just like the dozen or more phablets on the market. It has a big 5.4-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 OLED screen that even curves at the edges like a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. But it is, in one way, nothing like most Android devices.

BlackBerry Priv Opened

The Blackberry Priv screen slides up to reveal a classic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard.

Hidden behind the screen is the physical BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard I’ve been caressing. To access it, you slide up a custom aluminum sliding mechanism that extends the length of the phone by a little more than an inch. The construction on this feels quite good, like it could hold up to thousands of slides.

Overall, the keyboard looks a little bit vertically squished compared to other BlackBerry keyboards I’ve used (at least what I remember), but otherwise looks, feels and, mostly, works the same. The backlit keys, for instance, have a unique design that helps your fingers quickly find the separation between keys without looking at them (it’s been so popular over the years, that others have tried to imitate it and have been sued for it). It also puts numbers and punctuation behind the Alt key, just like all the other BlackBerry Keyboards.

BlackBerry Priv Keyboard

Yes, the Priv’s keyboard will feel like coming home — at least for all you old BlackBerry users out there.

Put simply, if you have ever used a BlackBerry keyboard, you will be right at home with this one. If you have not, you may still like it.

You can, obviously, completely ignore the keyboard — but then why would you buy this phone? — and instead rely on the onscreen keyboard. It’s good, except for its tendency to crowd the keyboard interface with too many text alternative and completion overlays. It’ll even put a whole word replacement on top of the space bar. If that’s the word you originally intended to type, great. If not, you could accidentally replace a word just by typing a space.

More than a keyboard

One reason non-BlackBerry aficionados could appreciate the Priv is that the keyboard also functions as a capacitive touchpad, and this is easily one of my favorite hardware features of the device. You can run your fingers lightly over the keys to scroll or move a cursor on the screen.

I admit, I’m so unaccustomed to using a physical keyboard that I often had to remind myself to slide it out and start typing. I also found that I’ve become much better at using a virtual keyboard. My speed on the hardware one was almost slower than on the virtual one. It looks like my keyboard muscle-memory is all but gone. Perhaps if I used it more consistently.

BlackBerry Priv Edge

Even with the hidden keyboard, the Priv is relatively thin and elegant.

Despite the inclusion of a keyboard, the Priv is still a pleasingly thin phablet, measuring just 0.37 of an inch deep and weighing 6.8 ounces. That’s the same weight as the iPhone 6S Plus, which has a slightly larger screen and is more than 0.079 inch thinner than the Priv. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, by contrast, weighs 5.6 ounces. Overall, the Priv is a pleasure to hold, in part because of grippy, slightly rubberized coating on the woven glass back.

Like many modern smartphones, the high-resolution, 18-megapixel camera bulges out slightly from the back. It sits next to a pair of LED flashes (one white, one amber) and below that is the familiar BlackBerry logo. The top has a pinhole microphone hole, as well as the SIM and microSD card slots. The phone starts with 32GB of storage, but you can add up to a terabyte (when those cards become available) via the microSD slot. On the base, you’ll find your standard 3mm minijack and a micro USB charging and data port.

BlackBerry Priv Top Edge and back

The BlackBerry Priv features a woven glass back and a slightly protruding 18 MP camera.

Aside from that hidden keyboard, the device has four ever-visible polished metal buttons: Power and sleep/lock on the left and volume up, down and a tiny mute button between them on the right side. I didn’t like these metal buttons much at first — they might be too subtle, at least to the touch — but eventually I got used to them.

The entire bottom edge, right below where you push to slide up the screen and reveal the keyboard, is devoted to a pretty powerful speaker. I especially like that it’s pointed at you and not off to the left or right or down into your hand or a tabletop.

What is a Priv?

Before we get ahead of ourselves and call this device the second coming of BlackBerry, let’s talk a bit about BlackBerry’s intentions.

Priv, if you haven’t heard, is short for “Privilege or Privacy,” take your pick. It is not a fantastic name, but it’s intended to convey a much more serious approach to privacy control and security. BlackBerry told me that the device has security baked in during the manufacturing process; cryptographic keys are put in during production, and it has a secure boot sequence as well as a hardened Linux kernel.


The BlackBerry Priv screen is reassuringly familiar in its Androidness (left). It even has the ame sort of pull-down controls (middle). But underneath it’s a privacy- and security-aware hybrid, as noted by this ever-watchful DTEK screen (right).

That all sounds great, though the only way most users might recognize all this added security is through a piece of software called DTEK, which is constantly measuring the overall security of the Priv and letting you know in real time what all the apps on the phone are doing. For example, you can see how often apps are accessing your location, contacts and the camera.

However, for a device so concerned with privacy and security, BlackBerry Priv is completely devoid of cutting-edge login options like a fingerprint sensor, facial recognition or iris scanning. On the bright side, the phone does include NFC, which supports Android Pay mobile payments, and contactless charging via Qi. Too bad the phone doesn’t ship with a contactless charging base.

Great screen and OS

The BlackBerry Priv is ostensibly a stock Android 5.0 (Lollipop) phone (Marshmallow should arrive within 12 months), but in reality, there are many BlackBerry touches throughout, including the trademark red splat that appears on icons when there’s an update, and the BlackBerry Hub communication center.

Priv even mixes in a little bit of ideas from other Android brands. Remember that curved screen I mentioned? You can drag in a “Productivity Tab” from the right edge of the Priv screen that includes Tasks, Calendar, Contacts and Mail. Since Android and Priv are already pretty generous with Notifications that pop up on my screen and that I can drag down from the top of edge of the phone’s screen, I rarely found the need for the Productivity Tab.

Performance and battery life

Inside the Priv is a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor running at 1.4GHz. Geekbench gave it solid single and multi-core numbers (1,132 and 3,460, respectively), though they did not come close to those of the iPhone 6S Plus (2,534 and 4,405) or the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, at least for multi-core scores (1,500 and 5,037).


The BlackBerry Priv’s Hexa-core CPU is a decent performer (right), but it’s outscored by the Apple iPhone 6s Plus (left) and the Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge Plus (center).

Still, in practice, the BlackBerry Priv is a fast and responsive phone that handles everything from gaming to web browsing and video playback with speed and ease. You can, though, feel the Priv at work; the right back edge gets almost uncomfortably hot during certain tasks.

Where Priv excels is in battery life. Remember how I told you that the Priv isn’t really much thicker and heavier than your average Android device and that it has a real keyboard as well as an aluminum sliding mechanism to reveal it? In spite of all that hardware, it’s rated at 22 hours and in my tests I easily got two solid days of mixed use on one charge. It’s one of the rare times I’ve looked at a mobile device and wondered where they put all the batteries.


The BlackBerry Priv boasts an optically stabilized 18-megapixel camera, which is certified by German optics manufacturer Schneider Kreuznach. Sadly, that German imprimatur doesn’t add up to stellar image quality. The photos I took looked good but couldn’t match the image quality I find when shooting with the lower-resolution iPhone 6S Plus iSight camera. Well-lit images looked good, but low light was a bit of a struggle for the Priv, as images could get pretty grainy.

Blackberry Priv Camera

Blackberry Priv’s 18 MP Camera got a stamp of approval from German optics company Schneider Kreuznach.

The Priv’s front-facing camera is just 2MP, but the software takes it up a notch by adding a gimmicky panoramic selfie mode. To use it, you point it at your face and then follow the on-creen guidance to capture the image areas to the right and left of you. Samsung added something very similar a couple of years ago.

BB Priv Skylinecomparison

BlackBerry Priv does a decent job when it has enough available light. But as you can see here is these untouched and full-size image crops, Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus iSight camera returns sharper images with better color verity.

You can also shoot video, which defaults to 1080p at 30 frames per second (fps). Yes, it can capture 4K, but to do so, you have to go into advanced settings. You’ll also find video image stabilization there, which can be useful for action shots.

As for the quality of the BlackBerry Priv’s 4K video, the best I can say of it is, at least Blackberry accomplished its task of checking off the box on 4K. 1080p video is much better, though still not as good as the iPhone 6S Plus.

BB Priv Stilllifecomparison

In low light, the BlackBerry Priv really struggles with grain and overall muddiness.

Time for a BlackBerry?

Without question, the BlackBerry Priv is one of the best devices BlackBerry has ever built. It’s a responsive, above-average Android phone with BlackBerry DNA and great battery life. It feels good in your hand and, unlike virtually every other Android device on the market, has an excellent physical keyboard. Even though I don’t need that keyboard, despite my affection for it, I’m certain it’ll be a godsend for those who can’t live without one.

However, before you drop your LG G4, HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 or S6 in favor of this, you should probably know one disheartening fact: BlackBerry isn’t necessarily building this handset for you. At $699 and, for now, only on AT&T in the U.S. (Carephone Warehouse in the UK and Rogers in Canada), this phone is aimed squarely at BlackBerry’s core enterprise customers, who must live on BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) and that demand leading-edge security and privacy options.

The price, especially for a 32GB device, is kind of disappointing. If this phone retailed for $299, I think it might sell like hotcakes and then BlackBerry would truly be back.

BlackBerry Priv

The Good

Sharp design Great physical QWERTY keyboard Stellar battery life Extensive privacy controls

The Bad

Price Camera not as good as competitors The back gets hot

The Bottom Line

BlackBerry’s first Android phone is a glimpse of what the once-dominant Canadian hardware giant is capable of.

Written By – Lance Ulanoff

Former Apple designers say the company has lost ‘the fundamental principles of good design’

Bruce Tognazzini was Apple’s first interface designer

Two early Apple designers have written a piece on Co.Design chastising Apple’s new design direction, which they claim puts elegance and visual simplicity over understandability and ease of use. Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini, who was Apple’s 66th employee and the writer of its first human interface guidelines, and Don Norman, Apple’s user experience architect from 1993 to 1996, aren’t holding back in the least.

“Apple is destroying design,” the duo wrote, calling out their former employer for trading in the fundamental design principles the company once held for a new minimalistic approach. That new approach has manifested in a new font called San Fransisco, which many, including Norman and Tog consider to be too small:

No more. Now, although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.

They also criticized Apple for things like not including a universal undo or back button, which is present on Android, having too many “hidden” gesture-based menus, and for pushing visual simplicity over usability testing in its new human interface guidelines for developers.

Good design should be attractive, pleasurable, and wonderful to use. But the wonderfulness of use requires that the device be understandable and forgiving. It must follow the basic psychological principles that give rise to a feeling of understanding, of control, of pleasure. These include discoverability, feedback, proper mapping, appropriate use of constraints, and, of course, the power to undo one’s operations. These are all principles we teach elementary students of interaction design. If Apple were taking the class, it would fail.

Norman and Tog state that Apple’s design transgressions go far beyond the font on your phone, given Apple’s vast influence over design culture, stating that Apple’s choices could have reverberations in different industries like infrastructure and health care. “Apple is reinforcing the old, discredited idea that the designer’s sole job is to make things beautiful, even at the expense of providing the right functions, aiding understandability, and ensuring ease of use,” they wrote.

Worse, other companies have followed in Apple’s path, equating design with appearance while forgetting the fundamental principles of good design. As a result, programmers rush to code without understanding the people who will use the products. Designers focus entirely on making it all look pretty. And executives get rid of user experience teams who want to help design the products properly and ensure the products are made usable during the design phase, not after manufacturing, coding, and release, when it is too late. These uninformed company executives assume all this up-front design research, prototyping, and testing clearly must slow down the development process. Nope. When done properly, it speeds things up by catching problems early, before coding even begins.

It should be noted that Norman and Tog didn’t limit their design criticism to Apple. They also denounced Google Maps and Android for similar flaws. But when you’re the biggest company in the world selling the most popular smartphone on the planet, the brunt of the blame lands at your feet.

While they do admit that Apple has succeeded at making its devices visually appealing, in their eyes that appeal has damped some potential complaints from users. “The product is beautiful! And fun. As a result, when people have difficulties, they blame themselves. Good for Apple. Bad for the customer.”

Written By – Micah Singleton

Windows 10 November Update: 5 Things to Check Out

Windows 10 Generic

Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft will release incremental updates to its operating system rather than rolling out a major update every few years.

Windows 10 Bug ArtWell, the first significant update is here, alternatively known as November update or its codename, Threshold 2. A lot of what’s in the update comes under the category of fixes and performance improvements, but there are quite a few palpable feature updates. Below, we explain the biggest changes rolling out today, but for a deeper dive, read our full review of Windows 10.

1. More tiles and other interface niceties
You can now increase the Start menu’s tile sections to four, medium-square tiles across. Window title bars, meanwhile, are also now in color along the top when they have the focus rather than the flat white appearance in the original Windows 10 release. The resizing icons have also been updated to show you how they’ll look in context of other tiles.

Start Menu More Tiles

2. A better Edge Web Browser
Many of the Fall Update features come inside Edge, Windows 10’s new Web browser. Among new capabilities are syncing for Favorites and Reading List items, a nifty tab preview, more standards support, and the ability to wirelessly cast media to a display, set-top box, or HDTV that supports Miracast. For example, you can send a network Web broadcast to a Roku box to see it on the big screen.

Tab Preview

3. Cortana Improvements
Windows PC users who don’t want to sign into a Microsoft account can now enjoy Cortana’s helpful and sometimes sassy answers. She can also now make Uber reservations, and recognize dates, times, and addresses from penned input. Finally, you can invoke the personal digital assistant from within a PDF page in the Edge Web browser.


4. New Skype Apps
Not only are there three new apps that take advantage of Skype’s communication prowess—Messaging, Phone, and Skype video—but Skype is better integrated with the operating system, too. For example, you can now answer a call or reply to a Skype message directly from an Action Center notification. It may seem odd to include a Phone app in a desktop OS, but since Skype can call regular phones and mobile, it makes some sense.


5. Easier Activation
With this update, activating an existing Windows license gets easier. With the original launch of Windows 10, you could only go through the update process on a PC with a valid Windows 10 license, but now you can simply enter a Windows 7 or 8.x license key to do a clean installation if you’d rather not upgrade. If you don’t have your license key, you can still simply upgrade a valid machine.

Easier Activation
Written By – Michael Muchmore