Wednesday 13 June 2012


Samsung working on a Facebook competitor?

   Samsung is rumoured to be creating its own social network. A network designed specifically to tie in with existing devices and services. The new social network, which has been code named “Samsung Facebook”, has the mammoth expectation of becoming a competitor to Facebook over time. The network will be accessible on smartphones, cameras, and televisions. Samsung is looking to incorporate more social features into their arsenal something which would build on the well received ChatOn messaging service, which is available on all mobile operating systems at the moment.

   The Korea Times has said that Samsung will utilize a powerful cloud computing platform in order to make the service availability as widespread as possible. There's not an official name for this yet, but Samsung is currently making progress on its Family Story system, which hopefully will become the framework of this new platform. Family Story was first shown to us back at CES 2012; it's designed to share photos, reminders, memos and a whole host of other useful things via Samsung smartphones and televisions.

   Family Story is projected to be completed by the end of the year, with the service going live during the first quarter of 2013. The Korea Times said: “The eventual goal is to expand our social media service across different devices from different companies across different mobile platforms. That includes cameras, televisions and blue-ray [sic] players.” This could be a very exciting platform indeed!

The limited availability of iOS6.

   Apple had their brief little pop at Android mid-week about how many users have received the latest build of the OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, but Apple chose to omit that while iPhone 3GS and 4 owners will get a version of iOS 6, they won’t be able to use all the features, they would expect. In the companies finest small-print, on the iOS 6 preview page, Apple has revealed that FaceTime over cellular will only be available to the iPhone 4S and the new iPad, while 3GS owners will also have to make do without Shared Photo Streams.

   As well as these 'little details' it's been announced that the original iPad won’t be getting iOS 6 at all and will be stuck on iOS 5, while the iPad 2 won't get any Siri functionality, unlike the new iPad on iOS 6. Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation, features in Apple’s new Maps app, which replaces Google Maps in iOS, will be be available on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 and newer.

   The list of features the iPhone 3GS won't have is the most extensive; VIP list support, VIP/Flagged smart mailboxes, and Offline Reading List, on top of the previously mentioned features, are only on the iPhone 4 or later, and iPad 2 or later. Apple’s plans for Made for iPhone hearing aids will require the powers of the iPhone 4S. Sorry to be the one to burst the bubble but it's better to know sooner rather than later, right?

Three announces EU Roaming deal to beat them all!

   One of the newest and most forward thinking UK mobile carriers, Three, has taken it upon themselves to challenge to extortionate data roaming charges that people have become wise to when travelling abroad. 

   Their solution is the new Euro Internet Pass. A service which offers unlimited data in most EU countries for £5 ($8) a day. The new add-on will support most of the popular European holiday destinations, such as France, Germany, Greece and Spain. The only slight downside here is that that tethering isn't included in the deal, but the company has said that “The pass was designed for browsing, so streaming may not be as good as it is on our UK network, and, tethering isn’t included.” 

   There's also been warnings that set-up may be a bit of a pain for first-time users, it'll require a combination of turning on data roaming but (initially) turning off push notifications so you can avoid charges until the day-pass realises it has started:

   “To activate the pass, firstly make sure data roaming is enabled. You’ll then also need to turn off your push notifications  (they’re the things that tell you stuff like when you’ve got an email, when it’s your turn in a game or when someone’s tagged a pic of you). They need turning off to avoid out of bundle charges while you’re setting up the pass. How to do it differs from phone to phone, so make sure you’ve worked out how to sort it before you go away. Then just click on the link in the SMS. Follow the simple steps to buy the pass and then you can go wild online until midnight that day (UK time)” 

   A full list of supported countries (and principalities) is below:

 Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (incl. Azores & Madeira), Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (incl. Balearic & Canary Islands), Sweden, Vatican City and Monaco.

    Not supported:

Aaland Islands, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey), Croatia, Cyprus (North), Faroe Islands, French Guiana, Georgia, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Isle of Man, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Martinique, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Reunion, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Turkey, Netherlands Antilles and the Rest of the World.

In other news:

  • Nintendo are reportedly working on a Nintendo 3DS successor!
  • Nokia are again trying to sell their luxury brand Vertu, this time it looks like they have a buyer and we'll keep you updated as to whether they manage to complete this deal.
  • Apple's new Retina displays (2880x1800 pixels, 220PPI) for their laptops cost $150 each so that's one of the reasons the Macbook Pro's have shot up in price.
  • AMD have licensed ARM's Cortex A5 technology to enhance their security on x86 based architecture.
  • It's been reported that Microsoft is charging $85 for each Windows RT license, which'll make most Windows tablets inaccessible.
  • Sony have announced two new phones today; The Xperia Miro and the Xperia Tipo. The later of which is a dual sim phone, whereas the former is a mid-range phone. Click on the name of each phone for a full information list.
  • Windows Phone 8 is rumoured to have Skype integration and the inclusion of a whole host of Nokia exclusive apps such as their mapping technology. Keep it locked to TheTechFella for all the latest news.


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