A Elana Mugdan, a 29-year-old fiction writer from Queens, New York, has gone more than 8 months without a smartphone. Instead she uses an old-style Nokia flip-phone to send text messages or make phones. But that's all. No YouTube videos, Facebook feed or Instagramming for her. If she is still smartphone free in February 2020, she will win $100,000 from Vitaminwater, for her troubles.
In December, Vitaminwater chose Mugdan from a pool of more than 100,000 applicants for their "Scroll Free for a Year" challenge. If she can go an entire year without using a smartphone or tablet, she gets the money....Nearly eight months into the challenge — and still going strong — Mugdan says it's been one of the best adventures of her life."Getting away from the smartphone has been freeing, and it has opened my eyes and made me more aware of some of my other bad health habits." Mugdan told CNN."Now I'm working on turning my life around, slowly but surely, day by day."You can read more of Mugdan's interview with CNN right here.We're interested in knowing what it would take for you to go an entire year without a smartphone. Could you even do it? Tell us in the Comments below.
The infamous Apple Maps fiasco had led to a large number of competitors trying to raid the App Store to get adopted by iOS users. Nokia, fresh from making arguably the best mapping solution on any platform in the form of its ‘Here’ app from its Lumia line of Windows Phones, tried its hand at usurping Apple’s own Maps app in iOS devices. Things didn’t go according to plan however, and Nokia has pulled the Here Maps app from the App Store. Read on to know more, including a statement from Nokia itself.
The trigger for Nokia to pull Here Maps is said to be iOS 7 – an ambitious overhaul of iOS by Apple. Plenty of developers have had to redesign their apps from ground up in order to match the new iOS 7 app design guidelines. Given that Here Maps was barely ever updated, Nokia clearly didn’t consider the additional burden of redesigning the app entirely important enough in the larger scheme of things. The official line is that the changes in iOS 7 harmed the user experience. Now, Nokia is diverting iOS users to the mobile version of the site m.here.com instead.
While it is unfortunate that an app with the potential that Here Maps had sees an end like this, Nokia clearly didn’t consider it enough of a priority to divert its resources there. Clearly, iOS users weren’t too pleased with the app itself, and Nokia didn’t consider it to be important enough to actively develop in any case, for better or worse.
Nokia's first ever tablet is out and it competes directly with Microsoft's own Surface 2. One unique thing about Lumia 2520 is that it doesn't come in WiFi only models and it joins the very small club of LTE enabled tablets. Lumia 2520 is available with both AT&T and Verizon at a price os $399, with a data plan.
Lumia 2520 scores pretty well in the looks department. It has the same familiar look and feel that we have come to like in Nokia Lumia series of Windows phones. Unlike Surface 2, Nokia has decided to make this tablet entirely out of plastic, which in turn has made the tablet more comfortable to hold. The glossy plastic finish has also made the tablet prone to collecting scratches and fingerprints pretty easily, which could be a big problem for some. The tablet weighs about 1.36 pounds, compared to iPad Air's 1 pound, which means it becomes fatiguing to hold it for a long time.
Luma 2520 has a rounded profile, which means it has no kickstand and full size USB ports. It has a 3.0 micro USB port, micro HDMI port and a micro SD card slot. The tablet has a 10 inch screen at an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The display is quite bright and crisp, although it has a lower pixel density (218 ppi) than other tablets in this category.
The tablet has a 2 MP front facing wide angle camera and a 6.7 MP rear camera. Nokia offers a $149 power keyboard cover which can be snapped onto the tablet and used without any further setup.
Nokia turned fiction into reality, with the introduction of wireless charging feature in its Lumia 920 in the late 2012. The cutting edge feature became an instant hit among the masses and even its arch rivals like Google and Samsung were ready to adopt it. If sources are to be believed, Samsung is all set to introduce the wireless charging for its smartphones from mid 2014.
Wireless charging is gaining popularity among people because of its hassle free setup. All that needs to be done is to drop the phone on the charging pad and let the magic begin! However this method of charging has its own awkwardness. The device might be needed to be taken off the pad for making calls, exchanging messages, checking mails or even a quick daily tweet, which temporarily terminates the charging process. However, Samsung is a step ahead in keeping its wireless charging uninterrupted and seamlessly smooth using magnetic resonance wireless charging.
What magnetic resonance wireless charging actually is? Comparatively it is a better and more logical way of charging by eliminating the physical contact between the device and charger so that its getting charged while on the go. The user can check mails and make calls while simultaneously charging the smartphone when it is in the range of the magnetic resonance wireless charger.
According to sources Samsung has teamed up with PowerbyProxi, a New Zealand based company, over a $4 million deal to work upon this particular wireless technology. It is reportedly expected that the first of this wireless technology supported devices will be launched in the second half of 2014. If Samsung is able to pull it off well then this revolutionary technology will make things a lot easier and convenient for its users and will pave way for other sci-fi concepts into becoming everyday reality.
After quite a great deal of rumor mongering about its launch, version 11 of Apple's proprietary iTunes software has just been released for public use. There's a lot of new features thrown into the Apple media player this time, and some of them have been long overdue.
iTunes 11 features a fresh design, a revamped mini player mode, a functional queuing method for songs in a playlist, and more iCloud integration than ever before. In the words of Apple themselves:
With a dramatically simplified player, a completely redesigned Store, and iCloud features you'll love—this is the best iTunes yet.
- Completely Redesigned. iTunes makes it more fun to explore and enjoy your music, movies, and TV shows. You'll love the beautiful edge-to-edge design, custom designs for each album, movie, or TV show in your library, and getting personal recommendations any time you click In the Store.
- A New Store. The iTunes Store has been completely redesigned and now features a clean look that makes it simpler than ever to see what's hot and discover new favorites.
- Play purchases from iCloud. Your music, movie, and TV show purchases in iCloud now appear inside your library. Just sign-in with your Apple ID to see them. Double-click to play them directly from iCloud or download a copy you can sync to a device or play while offline.
- Up Next. It's now simple to see which songs are playing next, all from a single place. Just click the Up Next icon in the center display and they'll instantly appear. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.
- New MiniPlayer. You can now do a whole lot more with a lot less space. In addition to showing what's playing, MiniPlayer now includes album art, adds Up Next, and makes it easy to search for something new to play—all from a smaller and more elegant design.
- Improved search. It's never been easier to find what you're looking for in iTunes. Just type in the search field and you'll instantly see results from across your entire library. Select any result and iTunes takes you right to it.
- Playback syncing. iCloud now remembers your place in a movie or TV show for you. Whenever you play the same movie or episode from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, it will continue right where you left off."
Get the update for Mac OSX and Windows right away!
There’s arguably a lot that’s common to Nokia and Apple. Both of them favor unique, simplistic designs that are easy on the eye and feel good in the hand. If you compare the Lumia series to the iPhone, you’ll see that while they are certainly quite different on a superficial level, minimalism is something that binds the two devices together.
But while Apple has seen its fortunes go on a meteoric rise this decade, Nokia has already reached the pinnacle of popularity and has recently been on a catastrophic downward spiral. There is a reason for that as well – Apple has experimented and failed (remember the frankly awful ROKR phone Apple made with Motorola?), but eventually gotten its act together to create some memorable devices and had solid foundations such as great marketing, retail and manufacturing solutions. Nokia, on the other hand has dragged its feet, choosing to stick with Symbian – an ancient OS by today’s standards – and not updating it (to the Android-like Belle, eventually) till it was already dead and buried. Now, it finds itself inexorably tied with Windows Phone – a new mobile OS with little going its way currently – and having a battle in its hands to convince customers about the benefits of buying its phones from both a hardware and software point of view.
Now, WSJ reports that Nokia chose to sit on prototypes of devices that predated the iPhone and iPad by years, and yet had practically all of the features that make the two Apple products so universally popular. With a corporate culture that laid more stress on research than launching any end product, a huge amount of resources got allocated to multiple teams working on different projects, making all of them compete with each other and thereby thoroughly slowing down the launch process of a product.
“More than seven years before Apple Inc. rolled out the iPhone, the Nokia team showed a phone with a color touch screen set above a single button. The device was shown locating a restaurant, playing a racing game and ordering lipstick. In the late 1990s, Nokia secretly developed another alluring product: a tablet computer with a wireless connection and touch screen—all features today of the hot-selling Apple iPad” – WSJ
It certainly is unfortunate that Nokia apparently spent 40 billion euros on research in this decade, an entire 4 times more than Apple, but is currently struggling not to fade away into oblivion.