Tag Archives: iPhone 5

Jawbone UP/UP24: Movement Tracking Wearable Tech

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Movement trackers are devices made to monitor your activity throughout the day or in cases night too. Let me tell you how I came across this fad (at least I used to think of it as fad). A month ago I got my iPhone 5S, as an iPhone enthusiast it was kind of a compulsion for me to get new iPhone in my pocket. At first I thought the new M7 processor chip in iPhone 5S will be a waste of hardware that I will be carrying around. M7 tracks movements made by your phone without compromising battery life. By tracking movements, M7 provides data to games and fitness apps.

I am a little health conscious but I stayed away from wearable tech to track my movement, as I found it unnecessary. However, since Nike released their steps tracking app which uses M7 data from iPhone 5S, I found this motion tracking business very interesting. While using my iPhone app to track movements I realized that, the results were inaccurate as I don’t carry my phone every time I move. That’s when I started reading about Jawbone UP, Fitbit and Nike Fuel fitness bands.

During my research I found that, Nike Fuel band is the fanciest one but, doesn’t support sleep tracking and solely be used for step counting. Fitbit and UP bands do something extra which is called sleep tracking in addition to step counting. Though all of these bands are designed to track your steps only, Jawbone UP app on smartphone allows users to modify timed activies in terms of type, difficulty and duration. Unlike Fitbit, this functionality allows UP users to use a band feature to log time of the activity automatically in app and then set parameters correctly to get a close estimate of calorie burn.

Custom activity logging on UP app

Sleep tracking: It is one feature which I always wanted to use to understand my sleeping habits. I tried using several sleep tracking apps before but I was not happy with results and definitely was not interested in keeping my cell phone so close to my brain over night (Isn’t whole day enough for that?). UP and bit gave me another shot to track my sleep. I like UP the most because of the way UP app shows me it’s collected sleep data. While Fitbit only shows when I slept and how many times I woke up during my sleep, the UP app also gives me information about sleep phases like, Deep Sleep and Light Sleep.

This additional data of deep and light sleep gives UP one more functionality which is called of Smart Sleep Alarms, which I found very useful over the course of last 7 days. The UP band vibrates to wake you up when you are in your light sleep, this happens at time which is closest to your set alarm time. Alarm time window can be set to 10, 20 or 30 mins.

Power Nap: Not sure about Fitbit but, UP band has a power nap feature which wakes users up after an ideal power nap time which is somewhere close to 26mins. The total sleep time can be set to 30, 45 mins to 1 hour. If its is set to 45 mins then UP band will wake you up after 45 mins even if ideal sleep time is not over. I found Power Nap feature very useful when I was over loaded with work and needed some rest at the same time.

Sync and wearability: Fitbit wins this one as it syncs with it’s smartphone companion app wirelessly where as, UP band uses 2.5mm jack on your smartphone to sync with UP app. I would prefer bluetooth sync a 1000 times over physical connection but other features of UP band and app overwhelm the odds. I sync my UP band three or four times a day and I don’t have problem with it because it’s very easy to pull out and put back on wrist. Fitbit is like a wrist watch which fits perfectly on wrist but might push users towards getting irritated but it and wearing it off.

Charging: Both UP and Fixbit bands require users to take them off for charging. Both come with their special chargers so users cannot use concentional USB charging cables. Charge time for UP is upto 10 days of course because it doesn’t have bluetooth wireless connectivity where as Fitbit can stay charged up to 7 days. To keep the charging cap from losing, UP band users have to take extra caution while charging the band.

Interaction with other services: This is a huge on UP band’s side that it’s app can be linked to IFTTT service to automate other services provided via IFTTT. This gets better with Jawbone’s latest version of fitness band UP24 which has bluetooth funcationality as additional hardware in comparison with the existing UP band. One better example is UP24 can detect when you are up and can start your coffee maker or turn on lights automatically.

Overall impression: I am using UP24 band for almost 2 months now and am not at all disappointed by it’s performance. However, Jawbone UP app needs a major overhoul which according to Jawbone is due soon. Keeping my hopes up for it.

Price: Both UP and UP24 bands are available at major retailers in the US. UP comes at $129.99 and UP24 comes at $149.99 price tag.

iPhone 5S and 5C unvealed

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On Tuesday Apple revealed their new next generation iPhone, actually there are two to beat your previous iPhone this year. iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were presented as two newest additions to the iPhone family at Cupertino in the iPhone event. I have summarized a few points below to give people a general idea of what they will get from their favorite (or not) next generation of the phone.

Let’s talk about iPhone 5C first and keep the other one at the end as main event 😉

iPhone 5C – I think C is for both Colors and Cheap

What’s good:

  1. Comes in vibrant colors: Good for people who always bought phone covers just to have a colorful phone and not to protects it from falls.
  2. Slightly faster than previous generation iPhones: It comes with A6 chip which iPhone 5 and some other iDevices carry.
  3. Comes with iOS7: All the new 5Cs will come with pre-installed iOS7 which is a fantastic, new and yet pretty familiar OS. This will bring a lot of features to the device.
  4. Cheaper than iPhone 5S: Price ranges are 16GB-$99, 32GB $199 and 64GB $299 of course with new contract with carrier.

What’s not so good:

  1. Plastic, not glass: All 5C are made from quality plastic and not from aluminum and glass. This to some people might feel a bit cheap.
  2. Price is not that luring as just for $100 more you can get iPhone 5S with higher processor power and a lot of other features.

iPhone 5S: Faster, thinking ahead of time and lighter

What’s good:

  1. Processor: Newly developed Apple A7 chip is a dual core processor and has 64 bit architecture. This will definitely run your apps and games faster than before with double the speed for the same battery life as Apple claims. Of course consumers will have to wait until their favorite app comes in 64 bit versions from respective developers.
  2. New chip: M7 is the newly introduced chip apart from the processor in an iOS device. This is a dedicated processor to continuously monitor motion related data off iPhone 5S. This will make gaming better and will support upcoming future health and fitness apps. Guess you have to dump that Nike band now.
  3. Finger print sensor: This is advanced feature compared to the current consumer technology, this scanner will unlock your phone and enable iTunes and AppStore (for now) purchases just with a swipe of your finger.
  4. iSight Camera: Upgraded camera flaunts new aperture at f2.2 which fives you more depth of field and allows more light to come onto the image sensor. Hold the shutter release button to take continuous shots at 10fps (this is faster than my Canon T2i). Shoot 1080p videos at 120 fps (high speed videography).
  5. Lighter in weight: iPhone 5C weighs less than iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S is lighter than iPhone 5C.
  6. Color: Now comes in Champagne Gold along with White and Space Gray.

What’s not so good:

  1. Body: Apple following the S tradition did not change the body of iPhone this time. So, if you didn’t like iPhone for the way it looks. You still have to wait for next year.
  2. Apps: Many of the apps currently are designed for 32 bit architecture. They will work on 5S but the speed still will be restricted to that of 32 bit as the code is only built for it. If you are upgrading for the sole purpose of speed then you might have to wait until developers update their apps.
  3. Cannot pre-order this phone, only buy in store starting 20th. For now only Apple stores are selling new iPhones if there is new news we’ll post it here. 5S comes in 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399 of course with new contract with carrier

Pre-orders: iPhone 5C pre-orders have already started today 12 am PST. You cannot pre-order iPhone 5S currently, it will be available in Apple Stores starting 20th Sept. 2013 8 am.

iPhone 5 unveiled by Apple

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This morning 10am PST Apple unveiled their new iPhone, they officially named it iPhone 5. They are claiming this is the thinnest, fastest and lightest iPhone yet. And as a matter of fact it is. But, not the thinnest, fastest and lightest phone out there. Check few of the very impressive features of the new iPhone.

iPhone 5’s highlighted features:

1. Longer 4 inch 16:9 ratio ratina display with resolution of 1136×640
2. 8MP iSight camera with Panorama, improved night mode and ability to take pictures while shooting video
3. GSM and CDMA models with 4G LTE
4. 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
5. Bluetooth 4.0
6. 1.2MP FaceTime camera
7. All iOS6 features fully supported

Pricing:

$199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB models. Available in Black and While colors.

Pre-orders start from 14th and will ship for September 21st 2012 with retail release at 8am.

Conclusion:

Pretty unimpressive event by Apple and Tim Cook. I missed Steve Jobs in this event. His absence was stongly felt. This was one of the lamest 20min iPhone demonstration ever. As far as the device concerned, it is not much of a great upgrade from iPhone4S or iPhone4. Many people would skip it becuase there is no big of an improvement except for 4G LTE and the bigger screen. But, for the other pool of fans these are the most wanted and anticipated features for iPhone.

If you are deciding not to go with iPhone 5, you still can enjoy almost all of it’s features on your iPhone 4 and 4S. Because, iPhone 5’s most and very important feature is iOS6.

For me, the news that new iPhone is releasing is enough to upgrade my current iPhone.