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  • CES: Olloclip

    January 10, 2013 @ 1:56 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    Most people at this point have a phone with a camera in it. And you probably find yourself using it a lot more than your regular point and shoot camera, because they’re just so much more convenient.

    But if you could make it better, you would, right?

    The Olloclip is a clip-on lens designed for the iPhone that combines three lenses into one: fisheye, wide angle and macro. It flips around, pieces screw together…it’s all a bit clever.

    One drawback is that it’s made to fit specific models, so you can’t swap one between an iPhone 4 and a 5, nor can you use with a case on it.

    That last but is something the company is already looking at; on the way is a case that has a flip out piece so you can attach the camera lens and acts as a shutter button for you.

  • Don’t hate the Playa…oh go on then

    April 4, 2012 @ 9:13 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    If this had arrived in my inbox on Sunday, I might have dismissed it as an April Fool’s joke. But no, the “Playa” case is apparently a real product.


  • The phones of MWC: HTC

    March 1, 2012 @ 9:48 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    HTC’s big announcement at Mobile World Congress was the HTC One family. The new range of phones come with Android’s latest version, Ice Cream Sandwich, and the new version of HTC’s  Sense interface.


  • That awkward moment when…

    February 28, 2012 @ 10:15 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    Microsoft is continuing its Windows Phone face-off at Mobile World Congress. If you haven’t heard of it before, Microsoft offers €100 to anyone whose smartphone can beat Windows Phone in certain tasks.

    The challenger picks the task and they do it live in front of an audience.


  • Mobile World Congress 2012

    February 27, 2012 @ 7:48 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    It’s that time of year again. Mobile World Congress is kicking off this morning in Barcelona for what looks likely to be an interesting few days.


    We’ve already seen some decent announcements. Chinese mobile firm Huawei is touting what it claims is the world’s fastest phone, the quad core Ascend D, while LG is also showing a new quad core Optimus. More on these later, with some photos.

    Telefonica Digital, meanwhile, has just announced a partnership with Mozilla to develop new smartphones on an open platform based on HTML5. At the moment, many apps already use HTML5 features, but the new platform will give it access to core phone APIs. Messaging, web browsing, media players, games etc will all be developed as HTML 5 apps.

    The good news? Cheaper smartphones because the open platform has lower hardware requirements. Good for markets where smartphones haven’t taken off due to the high cost of the handsets.

    Also, it means that users have a truly open platform. So it’s easier for developers to deploy their applications And reach a wider audience.

    There’ll be many ways to access to apps, but there will also be an official marketplace for apps.

  • The last minute gifts: Smartphones

    December 23, 2011 @ 3:04 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    It may be only one shopping day until Christmas, but I’d be willing to bet money that some people are still frantically working their way through their Christmas lists. So in the spirit of the season, here’s a few last minute gift ideas for the smartphone addict that might cross a few people of your lists.


  • What’s the meaning of life?

    October 28, 2011 @ 3:08 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    If you’re to believe Siri, it’s something to do with chocolate.

    Yes, the iPhone 4S has gone on sale, and contrary to popular belief, it does come with smart-mouth digital assistant Siri included.

    Yes, the app is in beta, so there is no support for Irish customisation as yet. And there are some functions that won’t work here just yet, or so Siri tells me occasionally – usually when you’re trying to search for a business.

    But so far today I’ve been told what the weather is like, dectated an email, asked Siri some stupid questions and been told off for my language. So it’s safe to say it recognises exactly what I’m saying.

    I think I love this a little.

  • Phones, phones everywhere

    October 21, 2011 @ 11:48 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    Today’s Tech Tools column showed off the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray, which is one of Sony Ericsson’s latest smartphones. It’s one of pile of phones that SE has released lately.


  • It’s not the iPhone 5, but it’ll do. For now.

    October 5, 2011 @ 9:52 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    Well, that was a bit disappointing. No iPhone 5, just an updated version of the iPhone 4. There had been warning signs that the 4S was all we were going to get, but we still hoped that maybe, just maybe, Tim would do “One more thing…” and pull it out of the bag at the end.

    But no.

    So the iPhone 4S it is. And when you take out the expectations for an brand new iPhone, it’s not actually a bad upgrade.


  • The big clearout

    September 21, 2011 @ 9:54 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    Most people have a cupboard of death. You know the one, where all manner of junk is stashed.

    Well I have a room of death. AKA the computer graveyard. AKA my spare bedroom.

    And this is what it’s given up so far:


    There’s a whole evolution of blackberry along the bottom row there.

    These are destined for charity recycling.

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