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How the iPhone made life simple

How the iPhone made life simpler

06 Sep 2016
Peter - amaysim blogger

Peter

amaysim's Head of IT Operations

It's easy to look back at how complicated life was before smartphones.

In the nine years since the iPhones release, smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of our lives, so much so that many of the functions that our phones now quickly perform have made us forget our low-tech pasts.

But the reality is that we couldn’t even take selfies with a front-facing camera before 2010, so here’s to not taking things for granted by looking at the top life-simplifying features introduced or mastered by the iPhone.

Touchscreen

Evolution of Mobile Phones
Missing file.
[Image via]

Mobile phone design went through a seismic shift after the first iPhone because of one central feature: the touchscreen. Overnight, flip phones went out of vogue and the iPhone’s capacitive touchscreen became the golden standard of phone design (good riddance to that awkward BlackBerry keyboard).

As early as iOS 1.0 the iPhone had functioning pinch-to-zoom gestures along with inertial scrolling capabilities, and when that functionality was combined with a software keyboard no one wanted to ever go back to using a stylus.

Internet in your hand

Another major game changer had to be the fact that the iPhone transformed the way that we use the internet while out of home. By introducing a mobile version of Apple’s Safari browser, we were able to access the web in a way that we’d never done before on a phone, changing the way that we consume information forever.

Watching media, playing games and unique sensors

It was a huge deal to go from black-and-white scrolling iPods to iPhones that could show widescreen video in six years, especially because the iPhone’s ability to display books and play music, movies and television cut down on the amount of devices you had to carry around.

The iPhone also made mobile gaming much more powerful, intuitive and enjoyable with its inclusion of an accelerometer and gyroscope, features that detect the orientation of the phone by how you’re moving it. These features have revolutionised the way we use our devices, and the good news is that they’ll only get better in the years to come.

The App Store

iOS 2’s introduction of the App Store presented third party apps in a native, ordered and unified marketplace. This allowed thousands of new possibilities for the iPhone in an instant. The App Store experience was leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors, especially compared to older phones that required most third party applications be downloaded from disparate places on the web or, at best, clunky external app stores – seems like a major drag today, right?

Find my iPhone

Friend of the prone-to-losing, the stolen-from, and those people who just don’t ever know where they put their phone, the Find My iPhone app was introduced in iOS 3 and remains a mainstay of the device’s security features. Installing it let you send messages to your phone, make it play audio, or even wipe it all remotely using your iCloud account. It may be personal experience coming into play here, but I’d say it’s one of the best things to hit the market since sliced bread.

Springboard

You might not even know what this is even though you probably look at it nearly fifty times a day: the springboard app is the name of Apple’s basic grid-layout home screen that’s now mimicked by most mobile operating systems.

Siri

In 1987 Apple released a concept video of the “Knowledge Navigator,” a digital assistant remarkably similar in spirit to what we know today as Siri. The virtual assistant that launched with iOS 5 in 2011 was able to understand naturally spoken language, solving a big problem that had plagued speech-parsing applications and leading us—whether we like it or not—into the future of AI. Sure, Siri can throw a whole lot of shade our way, but AI technology is bound to only get better from here on in, so we’ll undoubtedly start to use AI’s like Siri more with our smartphones in the future.

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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.


Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.

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