Now you have a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S3, you’re probably going to want to accessorise a little bit.
Why not check out our best accessories for the Galaxy S3 and make the most of the Android beast’s capabilities?
Samsung Galaxy S3 flip case, £25
With such a stunning screen, you don’t want the display all scratched up. The official Samsung Galaxy S3 flip case comes in a range of colours and attaches to your phone by replacing the battery cover.
It may be a little more expensive than cheap imitations, but it does the job perfectly, keeping the profile of the Galaxy S3 nice and slim, just as it should be.
HDMI adaptor, £30
Want to watch your video content on the big screen? Samsung’s HDMI adaptor allows you to watch all the content from your phone on your TV, whether you want to view YouTube content, a video you made with the camera, photos, documents, games or anything else.
You will need to buy an HDMI cable too, but you can pick one up for a little over £1 on Amazon.
Globalgig international Wi-Fi hotspot, £79 upfront plus £15 per month
The Globalgig Wi-Fi hotspot allows you to data roam in the US, UK and Australia for just £15 a month. The device will cost £79 upfront, but can save you hundreds, or even thousands of pounds if you’re a frequent traveller.
Although the device will only work in the US and Australia at the moment, it should be heading to Europe and other territories by the end of 2013. Just like a regular mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, it has its own data connection and connects to your phone as a Wi-Fi network.
Powerbank case, £29.95
Keep your Samsung Galaxy S3 juiced up at all times with this cover for it. Although it makes the S3 looks a little chunkier, it will give you an extra 2200mAh of battery power while on the move.
The case charges via your standard microUSB charger and when the battery on your phone gets low, just turn the case on and it’ll start transferring power from the case to your phone.
A bonus addition is a hidden kickstand, putting your Galaxy S3 at the perfect angle for watching TV or a film on your journey to and from work.
Etymotic HF2 earphones, £120
We’ve been big fans of Etymotic earphones for a while and the HF2s double up as a handsfree kit too.
The in-ear ‘phones come with a range of different sized flanges to fit in any ear canal size, but if you really want to splash the cash, go for the custom fit solution, which costs an extra £100, but is well worth it for the most amazing sound experience you’ve ever felt. Etymotic EF2s come in a range of colours too. We prefer the red.
The impressive and hard to find LG Nexus 4 from Google is still sold out everywhere we turn. The Play Store has been out of stock for weeks, T-Mobile stores have none on the shelves, but if you can find it from Carphone Warehouse you’ll be able to get this awesome phone for free. Yup we said free. They’re offering the device up for grabs as long as you sign a 2-year contract.
New details have confirmed Carphone Warehouse is offering the LG Nexus 4 absolutely free to customers that sign a new 2-year contract and a monthly plan costing around £26. So while we’re busy hitting F5 on our keyboard praying Google adds more to their inventory, these guys are giving them away for free.
T-Mobile did something similar here in the US for the holidays, but they didn’t have any in stock to give out so the deal was a bit of a bust. According to a few sources, Carphone Warehouses deal gives the device out for free along with 2 years of service including 400 minutes and 250MB of data for £26. They’re also offering the same price for those who don’t talk much and want 250 minutes and 750MB of data instead.
This is for the 16GB Nexus 4 and service is provided by Orange. There’s apparently other similar deals being offered in the region but Orange has the best pricing and deal available for the impressive smartphone. So while this doesn’t help us stateside, if you’re still looking for a Nexus 4 grabbing one on contract from Orange and Carphone Warehouse might not be a bad alternative.
Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III smartphone has been available for some time now, but it’s still one of the best Android devices out there, and carriers are still promoting it as one of their elite devices to choose from. Case in point, it’s rumored that T-Mobile will be outing an LTE version of the Galaxy S III sometime next year.
A Samsung GSM phone that goes by the model name SGH-T999L has just been certified by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, and it’s presumably a version of the Samsung Galaxy S III that’s tailored for sale with T-Mobile in the US, since the current T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S III goes by the model name SGH-T999.
The “L” that’s tacked onto the end of the rumored device is allegedly short for “LTE”, meaning there could be an LTE variant of the Galaxy S III making its way to T-Mobile sometime soon. While this doesn’t do the carrier any good now, T-Mobile is expected to launch its own LTE network at some point in 2013, so it makes sense that they’re readying LTE phones for when they launch their LTE network.
Then again, the T-Mobile Galaxy Note II has LTE on board, which will eventually be enabled when the carrier launches LTE, so this new Galaxy S III with LTE might release a little earlier than T-Mobile’s own LTE. However, take it with a grain of salt because it could end up that the SGH-T999L might be something completely different, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground.
New iPad Mini, iMac, MacBook Pro photos at Apple unveiling
The best iPhone 5 alternatives
Breakthrough products of Steve Jobs
First, the good news: Your son, granddaughter or family friend went ahead and splurged to buy you a hot new gadget this holiday season, presumably offering some requisite speech about how your life is about to be changed forever thanks to the device’s indispensable convenience. Nodding your head and smiling, you’ve pledged to try it out, but alas, you don’t know Microsoft from a microchip, Apple from an application.
So here’s a quick guide to user manuals for some of the gifts you may have received that, perhaps, are a bit technologically advanced for folks of an older generation.
How to protect iPhones, iPads, iPods from data theft
Apple unveils new iPad, Mac products
| The best iPhone 5 alternatives
| Breakthrough products of Steve Jobs
Apple’s iPad Mini targets competitors
| New iPhone thinner, lighter
Distimo, an app market data and analytics company, has released a very interesting report into this year’s performance of the Apple App Store and Google Play. They’ve collected a ton of data on various aspects of each store: total revenue, the most popular download types, rate of growth, and a load of other stuff. So, let’s break down their report and look at some of the really interesting points.
Just how big is the app market?
According to the report there are now over 700,000 different applications available across both the Apple and Google platforms, and with the total market estimated to be worth around $22 billion we can safely assume that it’s a pretty huge market. It appears to be growing pretty quickly too, with the increasing adoption of tablets over traditional PCs, more and more users are getting their applications from app stores rather than traditional retailers.
The United States is still the largest market, followed by Japan, the UK and Australia. Google Play appears to be doing exceptionally well in Japan, where it sells almost as many apps as it does in the US, and it’s also doing incredible well in South Korea.
What are the most popular apps?
Distimo have collected the total number of app sales into various categories. We can see that gaming is by far the most popular, in terms of downloads, and generates the most revenue out of all the different app types.
This isn’t really surprising when you consider the popularity of games like Draw Something or Grand Theft Auto. In fact, you can even check for yourself — if you browse the highest grossing apps on Google Play, the entire list is pretty much full of games. Widgets and entertainment are the second largest categories, with news being one of the smallest.
The trend seems to be that most apps are moving towards in-app purchasing, such as games that are free to play but let you buy upgrades. 69% of all apps generated their revenue from these types of transactions in 2012. Interestingly though, 35% of the revenue from the top 10 publishers was made by up front, one off fees, so in-app purchases don’t necessarily appear to be the most profitable way of generating revenue.
Who makes the most money?
Well, Apple definitely win this round; they more than quadruple the average daily revenue of the Google Play store. On an average day in November this year, the Apple App Store managed to pull in $15 Million, while Google Play only managed an average daily revenue of $3.5 Million. Those are still quite astonishing daily figures, but Google appears to be quite a long way behind its rival.
It also appears that Google Play is the slightly more expensive of the two. Perhaps lower prices on the Play store would encourage more customers to part with their money.
However when you look at the growth figures, over the past 4 months (August to November) Google grew at a rate of 43% in the world’s 20 largest counties, where as the Apple App Store only managed a 21% growth over the same period. When we look at the whole year, it appears that Apple managed growth of 51%, but sadly Distimo doesn’t have any figures to compare this figure against for Google.
When we look at growth on a region by region basis, the two platforms are showing slightly differently growth rates among their top five countries.
It is worth noting that the US doesn’t appear in the top five growing regions for either Apple or Google, suggesting that the market is already much more saturated compared with Europe and Asia.
And the winner is?
It looks pretty clear that Apple is still the current market leader in terms of the overall app market, and it still has some very strong growth figures to back up their already impressive market share. But, as has always been the case with Android, the competition is catching up.
There are also still a few things to consider for the future. Firstly, given that the adoption of Android is growing rapidly, thanks in part to Samsung’s huge install base, this will no doubt trickle into Google’s share of the app market in the coming year. There’s also the tablet market to think about. Apple had a big head start with the iPad, and Android devices have only recently seen popular adoption by regular consumers.
Time will tell whether Google Play will ever match up to Apple’s revenue generating ability. From the stats it looks like Google has a lot of catching up to do, but with an ever growing install base it wouldn’t surprise me if we see even more impressive growth figures come the end of 2013.
Long time Android user and supporter of anything open-source, Robert is a BSc graduate with an enduring fascination for technology. Glued to his Galaxy S2 there’s very little tech news which slips past him unnoticed.
As it moves in to its public beta testing phase, the Redbox Instant by Verizon online entertainment joint venture formed between US telco Verizon and retail solutions specialist Coinbox has made a Redbox Instant by Verizon app available on Google Play.
The free app enables users to enjoy unlimited streaming movies; Instantly watch movies on phone and tablet; reserve movies at the box; bookmark favourite titles; buy and rent movies, even without a subscription and browse through thousands of popular movies.
Redbox Instant is described as “convenient, easy and affordable” with potential users advised that not only are DVD credits included when subscribing, the first month is totally free, the Free Trial offering a month of unlimited streaming movies, plus four DVD credits to be used at the Redbox kiosk.
In addition, people who have registered to receive further details of the service have been sent an e-mail December 19 advising them to: “Be on the lookout for exciting news, updates and your special invitation in the weeks ahead!”
Initial response to the app was not particularly favourable, achieving an early rating of 1.3 out of 5 from User Reviews, with comments centring on the fact that the service wouldn’t work on ‘rooted’ Android devices. “Until you allow rooted phones/tablets, you will never receive my $8 a month for this service,” said one reviewer.
The Latest! Indie Retail, Rivera Fallout, Google Play, Scratch DJ Academy, Pitchfork…
It’s another eclectic week at indie retail, with albums from Game, Mumford Sons, Bruno Mars, Gary Clark, Jr., Rihanna, and Lumineers topping the latest retail charts in the US. Mumford Sons topped the LP rankings with Paul McCartney and even Sgt. Pepper’s not far behind. Sales counted by StreetPulse.
As fans prepare for a massive Jenni Rivera memorial service at Gibson Amphitheatre in LA, a few more details on surfacing on the downed plane. Christian Esquino, an executive at the company that leased the fateful plane in question and a major figure in the ongoing investigation, was actually sued by Los Tigres del Norte in 2001. The group alleged that Esquino delivered a plane that didn’t meet the specifications of the $6 million-plus contract; Esquino settled for $200,000 but is also accused of not fulfilling that payment. Tickets to the now-sold out service were sold for a refundable $1 through Ticketmaster.
Google Play Music has now launched Scan and Match in the US, a move that follows successful licensing rounds and a launch last month in Europe. ”We’ll scan your collection and quickly rebuild it in the cloud – all for free,” Google described. ”And we’ll stream your music back to you at up to 320 kbps.”
Scratch DJ Academy, cofounded by the late Jam Master Jay in 2002, is now expanding into Chicago. The Academy has three main locations in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, as well as eight satellite locations. The Chicago location, opening in February, will be located at the Institution for Creative Media Education at the School of Audio Engineering (SAE).
Pitchfork has just released its top 100 tracks of 2012, with Grimes, Frank Ocean, Usher, Kendrick Lamar, and Japandroids leading the list. Full rundown here.
Google Music launched just over a year ago, and it lets users store songs in the cloud for free and buy tracks directly from Google Play. Users can store and stream up to 20,000 songs in the Google cloud for free, and buy other songs from Google Play.
Google UK’s managing director has made a fulsome apology to would-be buyers of the new Nexus 4 smartphone, blaming “scarce and erratic” supplies from manufacturer LG, but admitting that “our communication has been flawed” with both sides.
Dan Cobley, the managing director for the UK, put the apology on his Google+ page following widespread criticism in user forums of erratic and perverse delivery schedules, in which people who ordered the phones online from Google earlier saw shipping dates long after those who made subsequent orders.
The Nexus 4, made by LG to Google’s specifications, runs a “pure Google” version of Android without any handset maker’s alterations. The comparatively low UK price of £239 for the 8GB model of the high-specification handset – which offers a 4.7in, 320ppi screen, 8 megapixel camera, HSPA+ connectivity and NFC – attracted a significant number of buyers seeking to use it for a sim-only contract with a carrier.
But Google hit a series of supply chain problems because demand ran ahead of supply. Google has repeatedly declined to say how many were ordered worldwide, but has been overwhelmed with demand each time it has offered stock through its site, beginning in November.
Cobley said in a comment on one of his own posts told would-be buyers and those who had ordered that “I know what you are going through is unacceptable and we are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve the issue”. He offered an “unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process”, adding that he realised that “the people who ordered the Nexus 4 so early are among our most committed and loyal users”.
People who ordered the phones earlier in the month complained that after being told it would be shipped in “3-5 days”, that they then received no further notification from the company, and saw other people who had ordered later receiving shipping notifications. The problems have caused il feeling with a number of buyers.
“I don’t mind (well, I’m a bit miffed) that my phone is late,” wrote one would-be owner, Ben Stewart, on Cobley’s page. “I do mind that first in, first out isn’t being obeyed.” That, together with the lack of communication, “are what’s really annoying”, he said.
The hassles over delivery and shipping have left a number of purchasers dissatisfied over Google’s handling of the provision of phones. The Nexus 4, made by LG, is the fourth “pure Google” Android phone, following the Nexus One made bt HTC, and the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus made by Samsung.
Although the Nexus line of phones has been high-profile online, actual sales figures have been comparatively low, with figures released by Samsung during its patent trial with Apple in California over the summer showing that the Nexus S sold around 500,000 units in the year from the second quarter of 2011, when it went on sale there, compared to Samsung’s total phones sales of around 14.5m in the US for the same period.
The Nexus 4 has attracted widespread attention because of the low price at which Google is offering it – equivalent to that for a lower-spec smartphone, rather than the Nokia Lumia, Samsung Galaxy S 3 or iPhone 5 with which it might be compared.
One irked commenter at product-reviews remarked: “Google needs to just buy a company that knows how to manage this process of selling physical items on line and shipping them. What they have now is a joke, If you call their device support, the people are clueless. Their ability to provide tech support for my Nexus 7 [tablet], or order status for my Nexus 4 is nil.”
I know that what you are going through is unacceptable and we are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue. Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce and erratic, and our communication has been flawed. I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process.
For those that originally received a 3-5 days shipping estimate, your orders are now in process for fulfillment. You can expect an email notification early this week which will include tracking information. Although you will be initially charged in full, you will receive a credit for the shipping charge soon after.
For others that received pre-Christmas shipping estimates, we anticipate processing your orders for fulfillment this week.
I realise that the people who ordered the Nexus 4 so early are among our most committed and loyal users and we are doing all we can to put things right.
The Oppo Find 5 was teased several months ago, but recent news from Beijing has made the device official, and revealed some truly impressive specs.
A 5-inch, 1080p display is probably the most noticeable feature of the phone, but this is backed with a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 chip.
The primary camera is 13MP with a host of intriguing software features, including super-slo-mo recording at 120fps. The front camera is 1.9MP and there’s the usual array of near-field communication (NFC), Wi-Fi direct and more, all running on Jelly Bean, specifically Android 4.1.2.
It’s 8.8mm thick, but this also allows the Find 5 to accommodate a 2500mAh battery, along with Dolby 3D sound, for some reason.
In fact, probably only the big downer is the lack of a microSD slot, meaning that you’re stuck with the default 16GB of memory.
The Find 5 is definitely getting a US release, although Oppo phones haven’t made it to some countries in Asia before. The specs for the spectrum tech used in the phone are GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz and UMTS 850, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100MHz, so parallel importing may be an option for some users.