Reviewed by Gideon Gathungu
With this year seeing the introduction of very competitive devices by companies, including HTC, Samsung and LG just to name a few, Apple has finally released the new line of iPhones to the market; and it has so far outmatched the competition. The iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus were released jointly as successors to the famous iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6s has recorded massive sales since its launch, with the consumer base growing larger for these high end handsets.
The device comes in Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold colors. They are available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB sizes. The phone has 4.7 inch LED Backlit widescreen with a Retina HD Display with 3D Touch (we will come back to this shortly). The phone also runs on the new iOS 9 operating system, which supports most of the new functionality that were introduced in the new handset.
Some of the key features that are worth noting on the device are the new 3D Touch technology. This basically means that the display of the phone senses how much pressure one applies to provide several different functionality. One feature is the Peek and Pop feature. When you press lightly on, let’s say an email, one can peek at it without having to open the full email. This also applies to locations, photos and messages. Also, when you want to open a particular email or photo, you need to press a little harder to pop into it. Also, Quick Actions have been added to the device so that one can perform their most common activities faster and in fewer steps. These include sending a message to your contacts, or instantly bringing up the camera to snap a selfie, or even dial your favorite contacts.
The iPhone 6s has big advancements on its camera. The device now has a 12 Megapixel iSight F. 2.2 aperture camera, which has improved local tone mapping and optical image stabilization for sharper and more true-to-life images. A new feature is the ability to record videos in 4K resolution, which is 4 times higher than HD video. The 6s Plus also has optical image stabilization in videos to shoot smooth videos in low light. Also, in Time-lapse mode, one can take a time lapse video; and with the inbuilt stabilization system, one can get smooth videos with minimal shake, if any, during movement. One can also take 8 Megapixel photos while recording a video in 4K. In editing videos in the iMovie app, one can smoothly edit two streams of 4K video to create effects. There is also a 5 Megapixel FaceTime HD Camera with Retina Flash for taking better selfies, even in low light.
The iPhone 6s has the new A9 chip, which is a third generation chip with 64-bit architecture. With this chip, there is a 70% improvement in CPU performance and up to 90% improvement in Graphics Performance. The M9 motion compressor is directly integrated into the A9 chip to enable one to do more, for longer periods of time, with amazing performance and battery life. It also connects to the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and barometer for a range of fitness tracking capabilities. It is also integrated with Siri to make it possible for it to be always on and waiting for voice commands, which can be activated by saying “Hey Siri” as long as your device is nearby. The iPhone 6s also has faster LTE and faster Wi-Fi. The phone supports up to 23 LTE brands for better worldwide roaming, which is more than any other handset can presently lay claim to.
The iPhone 6s is a really good device and a great improvement from the iPhone 6, which makes it a great experience to anyone that would love to access the new features on the device. If you do not mind paying $649 for the 16GB, $749 for the 64GB, or $849 for the 128GB handset, then this is a phone you would love to own.
Marshmallows! Strange marshy name that we are all familiar with; but here am not talking about the food variety. Now that the final Developer Preview update has been released, over two months since the M Developer Preview was released at Google I/O earlier in May this year, the official Android 6.0 SDK has premiered at Google Play ready download into apps that targeting the API level 23 found in the Android Marshmallow.
It’s time to prep your apps for the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow
You can now download the last marshmallow, Android 6.0 SDK, using the SDK Manager found in the Android Studio. The new android app will give you access to the last of Android APIs and also the newest developer tools that will help you work with API 23. To use it, first add the Android 6.0 SDK to the Android Studio, then upgrade your application project from compileSdkVersion to 23. That’s it! You can now go ahead and test-run your app on the latest android platform. Or perhaps you would like to update your application to targetSdkVersion to 23 so as to test-run the API 23-specific features such as auto-backup and app permissions.
Besides the new Android 6.0 SDK, the Android Support Library has also been upgraded to the v23. The Android Support library now enables easy integration of the APIs of the new platform in the way of permissions, fingerprint support, in a reverse but compatible format. There are a number of fresh support libraries such as preference-v14, preference-leanback-v17, percent, recommendation, preference-v7, and customtabs.
Besides the new features in the platform such as the Doze mode for saving power and the fingerprint support, the new Android Marshmallow comes with a brand new permissions model which enhances the installation and the updating of the app. You need to however upgrade your app to target API 23 so as to ensure that the app works as intended, especially when an Android Marshmallow app deactivates certain permissions. It is therefore imperative to test-run the application exhaustively among Marshmallow users.
How to Download the Upgrade
You can download the Android simulator system, which has been upgraded for compatible Nexus devices such as Nexus 5, 6, 9 and the Nexus Player to assist you with the testing. As in the last developer upgrade, compatible Nexus devices will get an OTA (Over-the-Air) upgrade in the coming days.
Despite the fact that the Android 6.0 SDK is the last one, the system images on the devices are still in development review stage; although the preview images are almost complete, but not quite yet ready for mass consumption. As we approach the launch of the Android 6.0 Marshmallow one will need to reset their device back to factory settings in order to receive consumer OTA upgrades. (more…)
This year, HTC unveiled the HTC One M9, which was a successor to the very successful HTC One M8 that was released last year. The M9 was a key product to ensure that HTC remained competitive in the smartphone battle that became even more aggressive with the introduction of the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S6. The handset had mixed reactions when it was released as its design and a handful of features were still the same as the predecessor, the M8. (more…)
This year saw the launch of what was probably Samsung’s greatest comeback with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge. As much as the Edge took the limelight with its sleek curved edge, both phones bore many similar features that managed to enable Samsung to get a step ahead of its main competitors, Apple, who launched the very successful iPhone 6 last year. But away from the iPhone comparisons, this is all about Samsung. (more…)