About Ben Reid





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Ben has blogged 4217 post(s).

Posts by Ben Reid:

Google’s Helpouts service, which allows users connect to experts for live video help on a range of different topics, has just been released for iPhone.

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No sooner is a device released boasting new and exclusive software features, than is its carcass picked at by the ravenous Android community, and said treasures are subsequently ported to the scrambling masses. The HTC One M8, which, even in the fast-moving world of the smartphone, is still brand new, offers the nicely-revamped Sense 6 launcher, which, created by HTC, is supposed to serve only devices bearing the Taiwanese company’s logo. However, “exclusivity” is simply not in the language of any respectably Android fan, and thus, it should come as little surprise that Sense 6 is well on its way to being ported to the Google-made Nexus 5.

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Microsoft has been working very hard to boost consumer interest in its Office suite, offering a series of deals and promotions over the past couple of months. In the latest, the software maker will be offering full on Office 365 access in a new ‘Personal’ package that allows customers to activate the service on one PC or Mac, and one tablet, for just $69 per year. Full details can be found right after the leap.

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With in-car sound specialist Alpine looking set to bring CarPlay support to existing automobiles following a report on Monday, it now appears as though rival Pioneer will also be offering something similar. In line with speculation that hit the blogosphere shortly after CarPlay was introduced alongside the iOS 7.1 software update, Pioneer will offer a CarPlay-facilitating update to a select group of its more recent in-car systems.

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 launched last Friday, several weeks after the official announcement at Mobile World Congress, and so far, it looks to be doing rather well in terms of general sales. However, as with most new mobile releases, it hasn’t managed to escape those blasted teething issues, and the new fingerprint sensor, as revealed by a security company, is susceptible to a rather dangerous hack that can put PayPal accounts at risk.

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Wherever a new technology or product is emerging, you can bet that Samsung isn’t too far behind, and in-keeping with the company’s tradition of building something for every single corner of the digital market, a new patent filing indicates that the Korean outfit is prepping a competitor to Google Glass. Unlike its Mountain View-based rival’s ongoing development in this field, the patent suggests that it will be mounted on only one side of the face, although in terms of functionality, it seems as though it will operate in a very similar manner to the Big G’s face computer.

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With a substantial interest in the tablet market through its Kindle Fire range, it’s looking very much as though Amazon’s next objective will be to deliver its very own smartphone. Just last week, we heard reports that said device would feature a 3D display, and now, a bunch of intriguing details – including the handset’s supposed tech. specs – have just been leaked into the wild.

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The iPhone may have been a major contributing factor in the fall from grace of standalone consoles like the Game Boy, but this isn’t to say that we, as gaming fans, don’t have something of a soft spot for the old handhelds. With the recent spate of emulators enabling jailbroken iOS device users to enjoy the ROMs of various antiquated devices, one individual has sought to make the experience even more realistic by creating the ‘G-pad,’ a nifty, silicone-comprised accessory that wraps around the iPhone, a offering physical, Game Boy-esque set of buttons, and is designed specifically for GBA4iOS.

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A couple of new leaks have emerged today that may once again offer clues as to what we should expect of the so-called iPhone 6. Given that the model packing a 5.5-inch display has been hit by delays, we’re anticipating that Apple will deliver a new handset with a 4.7-inch panel around September time, and an interesting apparent leak of the device’s front panel seems to back this notion up.

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Google is apparently preparing to give its next major version of Android the iOS 7 treatment, with some cleaning up some of the visual elements offering a slicker-looking overall interface. Jony Ive and the software design team in Cupertino were radical in their redesign and ruthless in their disposal of skeuomorphism, and while it is not thought that Android 4.5 will be quite such a departure from the current configuration, the company is thought to be planning some notable aesthetic tweaks.

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The iOS Messages app may have benefited greatly from the introduction of iMessage, but in terms of features, hasn’t quite evolved as much as some users – this one included – might have liked. As soon as the Evasi0n jailbreak was released a few months back, many iOS device users flocked to the message-enhancing utilities available via Cydia, including the very popular BiteSMS, and if you’re looking for an easy way to create and deal with messages without having to continually consult the native stock app, then you may wish to check out a nifty new tweak by the name of auki.

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Even though Samsung’s just-released Galaxy S5 will serve as the company’s biggest smartphone release of the year, it certainly won’t be its last, and as with every major Galaxy handset, we’re anticipating a slew of follow-up devices. The Galaxy S5 Zoom, which will likely include some major camera-centric features in order to serve the growing group of wannabe photographers, has been detailed in several leaks during the course of the past few weeks, and now, Samsung has sent out an invitation to an event on April 29th in Singapore that could well see the device finally showcased to the world.

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The probability of the next-gen iPhone sporting a 4.7-inch display seems to increase with each new discovery, and today, a mold of what its alleged to be the iPhone 6 only underlines this ongoing belief. Given that a further, 5.5-inch version of the next Apple smartphone seems beset by delays and other issues, the focus of the spotlight is now almost squarely upon the smaller handset sporting a 4.7-inch panel, and although it’s hard to glean much by way of specifics from today’s new leak, the depicted mold appears as though it could facilitate a display of roughly this size.

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The developer preview Of Windows Phone 8.1 is now out there for all to try out and assess, and even though the Cortana voice assistant seems to be the main talking point, Microsoft has thrown in many more useful features besides. Along with the Action Center, wallpaper support and other such niceties, it looks as though the software giant has included support for Apple’s Passbook passes, which can be read and comprehended via Microsoft Wallet.

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It’s an accepted fact that Apple changed the face of the smartphone industry with the introduction of the iPhone back in 2007, and even though it has only been seven years, it feels as though we’ve always been tapping home screen icons and gesturing our way through interfaces. Not only did the iPhone completely turn the market on its head, but Google’s in-development Android interface – which didn’t, at the time of the Apple smartphone’s announcement, support touch input – also had to be completely re-thought.

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In the earlier days of the modern smartphone, it was the new, casual games that really caught our attention, with the likes of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope really taking a stronghold. But as devices have improved considerably during the past few years, developers of famed PC and console apps have seen the mobile market as an important outlet, and joining the many classic titles to reach the mobile platforms, Age of Empires will soon be heading to the App Store, the Windows Phone Store, and Google’s Play Store.

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Early on last month, Apple announced CarPlay, the final, official branding of the ‘iOS in the Car’ feature first announced last year. With the necessary software having been rolled out to iPhones via the iOS 7.1 update, we’re now awaiting the release of the first fleet of CarPlay-ready production automobiles, but while the likes of Mercedes and Volvo plan on integrating the feature as a part of the manufacturing process, specialist audio company Alpine is reportedly plotting its very own aftermarket console effort.

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In the run-up to Windows Phone 8.1′s announcement at the start of April, we heard that Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now, would take elements of both pre-existing voice assistants and combine them into the best all-round voice feature in the mobile industry. Since the BUILD dev conference, we’ve heard a great deal about how wonderful Cortana supposedly is, although until we’ve seen it up against its two major adversaries, there’s no telling just how it holds up. With the release of the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 today, though, we finally get to see first-hand if Cortana can compete with its more established peers, and the Cortana vs. Siri vs. Google Now video embedded below reveals all!

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You can now download Windows Phone 8.1 early. If you’re a non-dev and want to give it a shot, here’s how you can still download it.

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Before the iPhone made its grand entry into our lives, mobile gaming was mainly done on standalone, dedicated devices like Sony’s PlayStation Portable, or PSP. Even though the App Store, along with Google Play and the Windows Phone Store now offer graphically-intensive that at times, exceed what the PSP is capable of, it’s still fun to dust the old consoles down now and again for a bit of nostalgia-induced fun. Thanks to a feature-rich PSP emulator, though, you can now relive those much-loved PSP games on your iOS device, and below, you’ll see exactly how it’s done.

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