Hands on: Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review

See on Scoop.itGadgets News & Updates

The Surface Pro 2 may not look very different, but it comes with a number of internal improvements worth a gander.

See on www.techradar.com

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10 Simple Tips to Achieve Vastly Better Smartphone Photos (how to) – Gadget Review

See on Scoop.itGadgets News & Updates

Gadget Review
10 Simple Tips to Achieve Vastly Better Smartphone Photos (how to)
Gadget Review
But there are a couple tricks to make sure your camera is exposing the image the way you want. Check out the two photos below.

Techno Geek silhoutte‘s insight:

Facebook alone reported approximately 300 million photos added every day during months in 2012. Instagram boasts 45 million photos per day and 16 billion photos shared. One would assume, with all the pictures we’re taking, that we’re all getting better and better at taking photos. But if you’re frustrated with taking great shots of sunsets, or just want some ideas to improve your smartphone photos, take a look at these 10 tips below.

See on www.gadgetreview.com

A Better Way to Bring Your Desktop to Your iPad

make your desktop an iPad

You don’t have to be a technophile to know a few things about compatibility. VHS tapes don’t play on a laptop, iPhone apps don’t run on your microwave and a CD won’t play in a toaster.

Most people probably assume you also can’t use Mac or Windows programs on an iPad. The iPad, the world’s most popular tablet, runs its own flavor of software.

Which is a shame, really. All kinds of programs would be useful to have on your lovely, lightweight tablet: Quicken. Photoshop. iTunes. The full-blown Word, Excel, PowerPoint. AutoCAD.

I’m pleased to report that such a thing is possible, thanks to a remarkable new app, Parallels Access. Parallels, the company, has a good deal of experience running incompatible programs on popular computers; its best-known product lets you run Windows on a Mac.

Access is not some miracle adapter that runs Mac and PC programs on the iPad itself. Instead, it’s a glorified porthole into the screen of a real Mac or PC back at your home or office. You see everything on your distant computer remotely; you can click, type and drag in the programs there, even listen to audio and watch videos. The iPad becomes like a detached touch screen for a Mac or PC that’s thousands of miles away.

It’s not just about running desktop software, either. This setup also means you can get access to the far greater storage and horsepower of your computer. And you can work with files you left behind. The one catch: It requires an Internet connection. Access works over slower connections — like 3G cellular — but barely.

To make this come to pass, you set up Access on both ends. You install one app on your iPad, and another on your Mac or PC (Mac OS X 10.8 or later, Windows 7 or later). You also create a free account at Parallels.com.

From now on, whenever you want to operate your Mac or PC by remote control, you open the Access app on the iPad. You tap the picture of the computer whose brain you want to enter; there’s nothing to stop you from setting up two or hundreds of Macs and Windows machines to connect.

When you first connect, you see a launcher: an iPad-style screen full of icons. In this case, they represent your Mac or PC programs. Tap one to open it. This launchpad starts out showing only the icons of your most frequently used Mac or Windows programs, but you can tap a “+” button to add other icons.

Parallels Access is not the first product that gives you access to your Mac or PC remotely. Many iPad apps do that, bearing names like VNC Viewer and Screens. They cost $10 or $20. Corporate tech workers adore them. From wherever they happen to be, they can see, operate and troubleshoot the computer back at headquarters from the screen of a single iPad, without having to put on pants and drive to the office.

First, VNC apps are extremely technical to set up. Here’s an excerpt from steps for VNC Viewer, one of the best reviewed apps: “By default, VNC Server listens on port 5900. You can listen on a new port, providing no other service or program is doing so. Note you will have to specify the new port when connecting, and you may need to reconfigure firewalls and routers.” O.K. then!

Parallels Access requires no fiddling with routers, firewalls or port numbers. You fill in your Parallels name and password, and boom: the connection is made, with 256-bit AES encryption.

Second, VNC apps display the entire computer’s screen on the iPad. Icons, toolbars and buttons wind up about the size of subatomic particles.

Access, on the other hand, “appifies” the Mac or Windows program; the document you’re editing fills the screen. All the iPad touch-screen gestures work to operate the remote program, too — drag with one finger to scroll, for example. Tap to “click the mouse.” Tap with two fingers to “right-click.” Pinch or spread two fingers to zoom out or in. No matter what the Mac or PC program is, it behaves as if it is an iPad app.

Access is filled with additional touches that VNC-type programs generally lack, which further adapt mouse-and-keyboard software to a touch screen.

For example, when you need to see some tiny interface item, you can hold your finger down momentarily. Access displays the familiar iPad loupe — a magnified circle — that lets you tap or drag with greater precision. That magnified area also makes it easy to see when your cursor shape has changed, as it often does in programs like Excel and Photoshop.

Getting into Word 2010 with the Parallels Access App Switcher, shown at the bottom of the screen, which lets you jump among open programs and even open documents.

You can highlight, copy and paste text and graphics using the familiar iPad conventions; for example, once you’ve selected some words, the usual iPad row of black buttons (Cut, Copy, Select All and so on) shows up. When you need a keyboard, you can tap a button on the unobtrusive, hideable Access toolbar, and a big on-screen keyboard appears, with all the traditional Mac or Windows keys (Esc, Tab, Ctrl, Alt, F1, Home, End, arrow keys and so on).

The iPad’s text-entry features still work, even though you’re typing into a program on the other side of the world. For example, you can speak to dictate, or you can use the iPad’s non-English keyboards, or even the iPad’s little character-drawing sketch pad for Chinese character recognition.

In short, Access does a lot more than just blast your computer’s screen onto the iPad’s. It truly does “appify” your computer’s programs. It creates a smooth, logical hybrid of iPad and “real” computer, in a way that the VNC apps do not. It works amazingly well.

I do, however, have complaints.

First, your Mac or PC has to remain on and awake. If it ever goes to sleep, your iPad’s “call” will go unanswered. From an environmental and cost standpoint, that’s not a great situation. You have the same problem with VNC apps.

You should know, too, that when your iPad is connected, nobody can use the Mac or PC. The iPad takes over its soul. Its screen shows exactly what the iPad does: a squat, rectangular, one-window image. (You can opt to have the computer screen go blank.)

The bigger concern, though, is the price: $80 a year. That’s right: Access requires a subscription. (Mac owners get a free two-week trial; PC owners become part of the free public beta-testing program, of undetermined length.)

The problem here isn’t the $80. It’s the “a year.” Subscriptions make sense when a company provides you with some good or service month after month. Electricity, cable TV, Internet, magazines, fruit in a box. Fine.

Parallels says that it is providing a service — your connection from iPad to computer goes through its secure servers. But those VNC apps cost a one-time $10 or $20. No, they’re not as good, but they also don’t saddle your life with yet another eternal subscription. Eighty dollars a year, forever, seems steep.

Otherwise, wow. Parallels Access is quick to set up, simple to understand, almost limitless in potential. It brings millions of full-powered, high-sophistication Mac and Windows programs to the screen of the humble iPad — backed by the full speed, storage and memory of those Macs and Windows machines. If $80 a year seems worth it to you, then guess what? Another great wall of incompatibility has just fallen.

Source: NYTimes.com

Will You Be Buying Either A “Gold” iPhone Or “Cheap” iPhone?

See on Scoop.itGadgets News & Updates

As we enter September, we edge ever closer to Apple’s latest press event; during which the company is expected to reveal the latest iPhone, or, more accurately, iPhones.

Techno Geek silhoutte‘s insight:

Apple always draws a crowd, but this press event is sure to draw even more than the usual levels of attention.

Apple has, according to many, fallen a little short of expectations in recent years. Since the driving force of Steve Jobs shuffled off this mortal coil, the hardware releases have become a little safe and stale. Apple seems to have lost some of its ability to innovate, to gamble, to take risks on the new.

So, were the rumored upgrades (if they can be called upgrades) enough to persuade the MakeUseOf readership commit to making a purchase?

See on www.makeuseof.com

A new Nokia device coming August 28

See on Scoop.itTechnology News & Updates

If you thought that Nokia was going to sit quietly after the Lumia 1020 announcement, you were wrong. Remember, when we reported Nokia’s product road-map for the rest of the year. It included Dual SIM Lumia smartphones with Nokia tablet and a phablet. The report said that Nokia is planning to launch a new device every month from August onwards. We don’t know what exactly this means because; we simply can’t have a brand new Lumia smartphone or a feature phone from Nokia every month. It just won’t make any sense but, what it could really mean is more accessories to go with. Having said that, Nokia is sending invites for an event, scheduled for August 28 in Moscow, Russia.

So, will it be a new device? Could it be a Nokia tablet? We doubt that. Nokia Lumia tablet or a Full HD phablet will have to wait until Microsoft brings the GDR3 update for Windows Phone operating system. The update will allow manufacturers to come up with better processors (Quad-Cores rumoured) and 1080p Full HD support. It could just be another feature phone from Nokia at the Moscow event.

Techno Geek silhoutte‘s insight:

Nokia is indeed working on a phablet. The rumour-factory is after this for some time now and now, there’s a strong report from The Verge that says the Nokia phablet is codenamed ‘Bandit’ and, it will pack a 6-inch display with Full HD 1080p support. Furthermore, Bandit is going to be the first Windows Phone device that will be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. No word on which Snappy it will house.

The other interesting thing about Nokia’s Bandit or Lumia phablet is its rumour about 20MP shooter. If correct, this should be a powerful phablet from Nokia, it will have Windows GDR3 update for WP8, 6-inch Full HD display, quad-core chip and 20MP camera.

It still has a few months to go. A possible November unveiling is much more likely. The device is said to be in testing phase for AT&T.

See on www.shimlablogger.com

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: 5 Things Buyers Need to Know

See on Scoop.itTechnology News & Updates

“We take a look at the five most important things buyers need to know about the match up between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.

While much of the talk these days is about devices like the iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max, there are plenty of consumers that aren’t in the business of waiting to buy a smartphone.”

Techno Geek silhoutte‘s insight:

However, none of those devices will be hitting shelves any time soon as they are all rumored for the month of September with release dates that could certainly come later than that. For some smartphone shoppers, waiting a few more weeks won’t be a big deal. Many others though will likely be searching for a new smartphone right now.

Two of the smartphones that consumers will likely encounter in their search for a new smartphone are the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, the respective flagships from their respective companies. These devices, despite the rumors, remain two of the best smartphone options on the table to consumers right now.

While they have been out for a few months, their battle is an evolving one as things have changed drastically since they first arrived on American carriers back in April of this year. In fact, there are some extremely important details that consumers should know, right now, about the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 before buying.

Here, we take a look at the five things buyers need to know about the battle between the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

See on www.gottabemobile.com

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router Review

D-Link announced its cloud service and a range of cloud-based products at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES). The DIR-605L Cloud Router is one of the products unveiled by the company in Las Vegas. We received the unit last month and here’s our somewhat belated review.

d-link dir-605l router

In the box
DIR-605L
Power Adapter
1 LAN Cable
User Manual

Build & features
The router looks rather plain with a black plastic body that is dominated by two large, non-detachable antennas at the back. The top features seven indicator lights at the front – Power, Internet, Wireless and numbered lights for each LAN port. The backside sports the power port, WAN/ Internet port and 4 LAN ports. A WPS button is present on the side.

The DIR-605L is pretty much a no-frills router, with 300 Mbps 802.11n wireless networking perhaps the only feature hitherto seen in higher-priced routers. There’s no dual-band wireless (only 2.4 Ghz), no Gigabit Ethernet or USB ports.

Setup & options
The router does not come with a CD. You simply join the default wireless network or connect via LAN cable and follow the web-based setup to configure your network. The setup is simple enough without being anything special.

The router supports port forwarding & triggering, dynamic-DNS, UPnP and other features you expect from a modern router. An interesting addition is Parental Control Rules that let you define a black/white list of sites that users can access and have a schedule associated with each list. This lets you, for example, have a pre-defined list of sites your kids can access while you are at work during the day, and an unrestricted Internet when you are around. The feature works as advertised.

Performance
This is where the router really begins to shine. The wireless range is excellent, thanks, no doubt, to the dual antennas. We installed the DIR-605L in a large six-bedroom house that was originally being served by two dated routers working in conjunction. The DIR-605L served strong signal in every corner of the house.

The wireless performance was excellent and we didn’t experience any signal drops or any need to reset the router during our 3-4 days test period. The data transfer speeds were satisfactory and in line with the specifications.

Cloud integration

dlinkiphoneapp.jpg

The DIR-605L is mydlink enabled, which is D-Link talk for a device that supports its cloud service mentioned earlier. Once you’ve signed up for the service, you can link and control all your mydlink enabled devices from the web or mobile. D-Link has also released iOS and Android apps that let you do the same.

Linking the DIR-605L to the cloud was pretty straightforward but of limited utility. While it’s nice to be able to monitor your router from anywhere in the world without fiddling with half-a-dozen settings, the mydlink service doesn’t let you do much with the device. You can monitor the throughput and, sure, you can reboot your device when needed, but, chances are, when your router really needs a reboot, it won’t have a live Internet connection for you to remotely login either!

Verdict
What the DIR-605L lacks in features, it makes up in performance. If you are looking for a wireless router for a duplex apartment or large office, this one deserves a second look.

Price
Rs. 2,900

Pros
Steady performance
Good range

Cons
Lacks features that other similar-priced routers offer

Rating
Performance 4
Features 2.5
Design 3
Value for Money 3.5
Overall 3.5

See on:  ndtv.com

By Silhoutte James