Category Archives: smartphone technology

THE CES 2016 TECH GRIND PROMISES SURPRISES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS

More than 3,500 booths to check out at CES
More than 3,500 booths to check out at CES

My annual tech mecha to the  Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show  begins from Edmonton. Follow me here as I update my experience discovering new gadgets and meeting interesting industry shakers and movers.

What does CES have in store for us this year? Lot’s of small startups from around the world on smart personal ware and ways to help us eat, drive, even shower better.

Here are some examples on Day One at CES Unveiled, an early pre-show peak of smart tech.

  1. P1030064-1

The self powered Eco-Sensitive Smart Shower head from hydrao.com connects to iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth. It tracks your water consumption and monitors your progress or not, by changing colours.

Continue reading THE CES 2016 TECH GRIND PROMISES SURPRISES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS

Second thoughts on great technology for boxing day

Boxing day has great deals on tech gizmos. But the adage of you get what you pay for is still true. You can still get a deal on a cheap product as you can on a quality one. It’s a mindset on wanting to own something that has extra value and features that work for you.

Here is my list of the best tech gizmos I experienced in 2015, which can be had for a better price on boxing day weekend. But there is fewer of these around compared to the bargain priced devices that attract most buyers. Good technology  will last into next year and pay itself off.

Why? Because it was well thought out, ahead of its time, designed and built to last. To me, it was conceived with a purpose:  to do something better than the competition and make you feel selfishly satisfied every time you use it. It’s like driving a luxury car.

Sonos Play:5 has the sound magic inside to bring life-like sounds in your room
Sonos Play:5 has the sound magic inside to bring life-like sounds in your room
A graphical view of why the Sonos Play:5 sounds so good. Using an Olympus Linear PCM Recorder LS-10 I recorded 70 seconds of Oriental Blue by Al Di Meola in audio CD quality on the Wave:5 from two meters away. I then converted the short audio track to a 3D Analysis view with Steinberg’s Wavelab Elements 8. The left column is the Play:5 audio recording, showing the bass frequency response, top and a view from the other side showing the higher notes or sounds. The verticals show the intensity or volume. The darker green range would be a typical singers range. The right column is typical of most speakers, showing less bass response (think of it as lower foothills – less bass - as you approach a mountain, the main song).
A graphical view of why the Sonos Play:5 sounds so good. Using an Olympus Linear PCM Recorder LS-10 I recorded 70 seconds of Oriental Blue by Al Di Meola in audio CD quality on the Play:5 from two meters away. I then converted the short audio track to a 3D Analysis view with Steinberg’s Wavelab Elements 8. The left column is the Play:5 audio recording, showing the bass frequency response, top and a view from the other side showing the higher notes or sounds. The verticals show the intensity or volume. The darker green range would be a typical singers range. The right column is typical of most speakers, including smaller Sonos speakers, showing less bass response (think of it as lower foothills – less bass – as you approach a mountain, the main song).

Continue reading Second thoughts on great technology for boxing day

Adobe Creative Cloud Embraces Mobile and Touch


At Adobe MAX 2015 in Los Angeles today, Adobe outlined its vision for Creative Cloud — a “connected creative canvas” where people create and share their work from anywhere.

Adobe dazzled some 7,000 attendees with new powerful mobile apps. It showed how cloud-based Adobe CreativeSync allows users to save and share their work, app settings, tools and more, between multiple devises as well as with co-workers. 
“The power to be creative is no longer for the few” said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayan.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayan
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayan

Continue reading Adobe Creative Cloud Embraces Mobile and Touch

Mobile and cloud-hip Office 2016 is here

Today’s worldwide launch of Microsoft’s Office 2016 has something for everyone, from consumers to enterprise – and for a good deal.

That’s because the from-the-ground-up re-worked Office suite will be affordable as a free upgrade to current subscription-based Office 365 users. Office 365 is starting to populate beyond students and consumers. Small businesses find the subscription model cheaper and more hassle-free to administrate compared to the traditional fully paid-for client version. Office 365 Home only costs $99.99 a year and can be used in up to five large and small devices.

Excel 2016 - New Tree Map Chart
Excel 2016 – New Tree Map Chart

Continue reading Mobile and cloud-hip Office 2016 is here

IFA Berlin 2015 delivers on the newest smart watches


IFA Berlin 2015, one of the largest annual global tech shows, is again the launch base for the world’s coolest technologies.

Although IFA covers a broad spectrum of technologies and trends at home, work and play, the first two days are particularly exciting as global tech giants announce their newest technologies.

One hot item showing at IFA, are smart watches, with some 40 million to be sold this year. Half of that is expected to be Apple Watches. That still pales in comparison with the 1.5 billion smartphones that will ship this year.

Continue reading IFA Berlin 2015 delivers on the newest smart watches

A closer look at today’s best camera phones launched last week

Hi folks, this is a follow-up on my first quick impressions, published last Friday, on the launch of new  “super camera phones” in the Canadian market today. My take on how good the camera is on the just released Samsung S6 Edge +, Note 5, Moto X Play, joined be the recent LG G4 and Sony Xperia 3, has not changed. But here is a deeper dive on what makes these camera phones so good.

LG G4

LG G4 RAW mode rigt captured every white bridal detail of Jaclyn Maat's (formally Bedard and helped by Kaila Maat) compared to the JPEG format left
LG G4 RAW mode rigt captured every white bridal detail of Jaclyn Maat’s (formally Bedard and helped by Kaila Maat) compared to the JPEG format left
LG G4 4X zoom while shooting in 16 MP is the one to beat
LG G4 4X zoom while shooting in 16 MP is the one to beat
The LG G4 Panorama Mode produces amazingly sharp 102 megapixel images with HDR imaging in shadowed areas on the right
The LG G4 Panorama Mode produces amazingly sharp 102 megapixel images with HDR imaging in shadowed areas on the right

Continue reading A closer look at today’s best camera phones launched last week

The best phone cameras for the money

Happy Friday folks. Say “cheese” to the newest wave of top quality camera phones, with two new models available in Canada, starting today.

These phones are the best money can buy, although one is surprisingly affordable. They are basically great for any cutting edge challenges mobile users will run into today. But today’s blog is about camera quality and what features make them shoot better pictures.

They are all Android-based but will likely be joined by Apple’s scheduled iPhone 6 “s” update, weeks away, with a still rumoured 16 megapixel camera, long overdue.

What makes these phone cameras so good, leaving the fancy marketing mumbo jumbo aside?

It’s not just the megapixel number. The size of the photo sensor and the quality of the lens determines the picture quality. Additionally, camera processing software, often third party, can make or break a photo, especially in poor lighting conditions.

The speed of the lens, is more about bragging rights rather than final picture quality. Unlike traditional digital camera lenses that feature adjustable apertures and shutter speeds for proper exposure, phone cameras have a fixed large open aperture. The LG G4 currently features the fastest f 1.8 aperture, while most phones range from f2- f2.8.

Here’s my take from a photographer’s perspective on this new breed of phone cameras.

16MP Samsung Galaxy Note 5,  16MP LG G4 and 21MP Moto X Play
16MP Samsung Galaxy Note 5, 16MP LG G4 and 21MP Moto X Play

Continue reading The best phone cameras for the money

Two new phones, one budget and the other for hardcore business and play

NEW PHONES ARRIVE FOR NEWCOMERS AND HARDCORE BUSINESS

Motorola continues its production in high gear with a flurry of new affordable phones over the past year. It heats up the competition in affordable phones you can buy outright with no plan.

Moto G

  • The LTE-capable Moto G features IPX7-rated protection and scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass for the 5” HD display. Its water proof in up to 3 feet of water—for up to 30 minutes. It has an all-day battery and the 13 megapixel camera can turn on with the flip of your wrist. The 5” HD display and Quad Core processor to keep up with today’s mobile demands. It feels nice to hold with careful edge wedging and a non-slip front surface. The Moto G is available in more than 60 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In Canada it’s available for as low as $200 outright or free with a two year plan at TELUS, Bell Mobility, Koodo, or Virgin Mobile and soon at Wind Mobile.

Continue reading Two new phones, one budget and the other for hardcore business and play

Free TELUS WiFi hotspots for everyone and short attention spans

TELUS recently launched more than 8,000 free WiFi hotspots in B.C. and Alberta. The service is free to TELUS customers and non-TELUS customers. But TELUS costumers will have advantages.

The Wi-Fi network integrates seamlessly with TELUS’ 4G wireless network, automatically shifting TELUS smartphone customers to Wi-Fi and helping them moderate their use of wireless data.

You will find TELUS WiFi at  7-Eleven, Fountain Tire and Vancity credit union.

It’s also in BC Place and TELUS World of Science in Vancouver; the Saddledome and TELUS Spark in Calgary; TELUS World of Science in Edmonton; the Richmond Olympic Oval; and throughout the Whistler village and ski resort. TELUS is currently installing Wi-Fi in Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium and the Victoria International Airport.

Continue reading Free TELUS WiFi hotspots for everyone and short attention spans

Quality Father’s Day gifts that walk the walk

Following up on my Global TV Sunday Morning News Fathers Tech Talk segment today, here are some more gift ideas on proven quality technology.

The Acer Aspite R13 is built for power and speed with unique swing frame that converts to a touch tablet, laptop working in cramped quarters
The Acer Aspite R13 is built for power and speed with unique swing frame that converts to a touch tablet, laptop working in cramped quarters

Continue reading Quality Father’s Day gifts that walk the walk