Instagram adds nine new editing tools, makes filters adjustable

The problem with trying to be unique on Instagram, is that there are millions of other users spoiling that, using the same darn filters. How dare they. Starting today, things should get alittle more varied, as the food photo sharing network has just introduced a host of new features, but most importantly those popular filters are adjustable, too. The new controls include: filter strength, brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, highlights, shadows, vignette and sharpen. Instagram’s no doubt hoping these new options put it’s free app on a par with some big name paid apps when it comes to editing power. But, unless you like your images square, it might not be a full editing replacement just yet. It’s available for iPhone and Android right now. Fill yer boots.

Sources: Instagram, Engadget

Apple’s WWDC 2014 in numbers: 40 million on Mavericks, 800 million iOS devices and billions of apps

Charts, graphs and stats: These are the things Apple keynotes are made of, and today’s WWDC 2014 kickoff was no different. CEO Tim Cook took to the stage this morning at the Moscone Center in San Francisco armed with enough numerical ammunition to put your best boardroom PowerPoint Keynote to shame. Cook kicked things off boasting that over 40 million copies of OS X Mavericks have been installed and more than 50 percent of the install base is working on its latest OS. He went on to point out that while PC sales continued to slip (down 5 percent, according to Cook), Apple’s computer sales are growing.

However, according to Gartner’s Q1 2014 shipment estimates, Apple failed to crack the top five in worldwide shipments, coming in at number three in the US with 10.8 percent of the market.

In the OS wars, Apple may have strong adoption for its latest, but OS X still trails Windows by a large margin. Microsoft’s Windows 8 (released in late 2012) reached 200 million licenses by February of this year. While we don’t have internal numbers on its latest update, Windows 8.1 (released in October 2013) surpassed both Apple’s OS X 10.9 Mavericks and Microsoft’s own Windows 8 with 6.35 percent of the market according to May 2014 stats from Net Applications. Meanwhile, that same report pegs Windows 7 at 50 percent of the OS market. Regardless of its growth and reach, Apple is still a distant second in the race for desktop dominance.

And in the smartphone market, Android still holds the title.According to Strategy Analytics, Apple’s mobile OS reached 15.5 percent of the market in 2013, down from 19.4 percent the year before, with Android hitting 78.9 percent, up from 68.8 percent in 2012. Despite those numbers, Cook mocked the competing operating system’s fragmentation issues, saying 98 percent of iOS users are now on iOS 7, while only 9 percent (8.5 percent according to Google) of Android users are now on its latest OS, KitKat.

According to Cook, a 97 percent customer satisfaction rating shows why it’s had 130 million new iOS users in the last year and half of its Chinese customers switching from Android to iPhone in the last six months. To be fair, the iPhone just reached that country’s largest carrier, China Mobile, in January. As Cook not-so-lightly put it:

“They bought an Android phone, by mistake, then sought a better experience, and life.”

Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, Cook boasted a total of 800 million iOS devices shipped. Back in June of last year, that number was 600 million, up from 500 million in January 2013. The iPhone, which launched in 2007, has since reached 500 million units shipped. Samsung, Apple’s biggest mobile rival, meanwhile, announced it sold 200 million Galaxy S smartphones (launched in 2010) as of February. So where does the rest of that 800 million come from? Apparently, Apple’s shipped 100 million total iPod Touches and 200 million iPads.

At this rate, we wouldn’t be shocked to hear Cook boasting iOS billions some time next year. In the meantime, Apple has more than just billions in profits to gloat about. As of today, users have downloaded 75 billion apps from the App Store, with 1.2 million apps to choose from and 300 million visits to the digital storefront every week.

As of June 2013, Google boasted 900 million Android activations to date, with more than 1 million apps in the Play Store and 50 billion app downloads. While Apple continues to come in a far second to Google in OS market share, it’s clear that its app ecosystem is a strong draw for users.

In the end, Apple may not have the dominant OS in either arena, but it still has plenty to brag about.

Source: Engadget

iTunes Radio now rolling out in iTunes 11.1 update, brings Spotify-like streaming to the desktop

iTunes Radio now rolling out in iTunes 111 update, brings Spotifylike streaming to the desktop

The release of iOS 7 is undoubtedly the big Apple news of the day, but there’s another new product rolling out with it as well: iTunes Radio. The Spotify-likefeature, which was announced during Apple’s iPhone event last week, is part of the new iTunes 11.1 and allows users to create custom radio stations based on their personal music libraries or musical proclivities (e.g., genre, artists, track, etc.). Naturally, the service, like its competitors, is freemium, so you’ll have to pony up $25/year for iTunes Match in order to keep the hits coming sans advertisements. The update should be hitting all Macs running OS X 10.6.8 and up now, so while you’re frantically hitting refresh on that iOS update, you may as well check for this — or head to the source below for the download link.

Source: AppleEngadget 

Alleged iPhone 5S render shows new home button / ‘Touch ID sensor’

Alleged iPhone 5S render shows rounded home button  'Touch ID sensor'

We’re just a few hours away from Apple’s big iPhone press conference, andNowhereelse.fr has just posted this render (from a “very reliable” source) that claims to show the iPhone 5S. The most notable change shown is of course, the home button, seemingly minus the usual squarish target and called the “Touch ID sensor”. That is expected, considering repeated rumors including an apparent confirmation tonight from the Wall Street Journal, that Apple’s next flagship phone will include a fingerprint sensor. Whatever the truth is, it will be unveiled at 1PM ET.

Source: Engadget, Nowhereelse.fr

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs LG G2

Greetings, spec fans! Just recently, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 3 & Sony, the Xperia Z1. Both phones pack the best punches as they feature huge displays, fast Snapdragon 800 CPUs and more. Now, let’s see how they fare up against their closest competition — the LG G2.

Galaxy Xperia G2

If you would notice, all these devices fall into the same product category. They’re all packing 5-inch or larger 1080p displays, boasting Snapdragon 800 chipsets & running Android.

samsung galaxy note 3 vs sony xperia z1 vs lg g2

As you can see, the Galaxy Note 3 takes the crown in most of the categories. It has the largest display, the highest RAM, the most expandable storage, the only one to offer UHD video recording, Android 4.3, the juiciest battery and the thinnest package; not to mention it also has that improved S-Pen.

However, not everyone enjoys a big display. With that said, the Sony Xperia Z1 takes the crown by being the one to pack the sharpest pixel density. The Z1 also features a 20.7 megapixel camera that has been put a lot of work into. All of that is wrapped around in a glass & aluminum body that is waterproof.

At 143g, the LG G2 is the lightest among the triad, but it’s also the thickest. It also doesn’t offer expandable storage. Apart from that, the LG G2 doesn’t seem to fail when compared to its new competitors while not offering anything unique as well.

Source: YugaTech

Sony Xperia Z1 first impressions

Sony’s new flagship device was just announced yesterday and judging from its specs we can definitely say that this one’s a serious beast. Get acquainted with the Xperia Z1 by reading our first impressions below.
What Sony has done here is took they took the Xperia Z, beefed it up for some extra muscle, gave it steroids, then dressed it up nicely. Compared to the Xperia Z, it’s slightly larger, thicker and heavier, but a lot better and faster.

xperia_z1

As mentioned in the announcement, the Z1 sports an aluminum frame body which is then mounted with tempered glass on both the front and the back. Found on the front of the device is the familiar 5-inch Full HD TFT Triluminous display, along with the earpiece and 2 megapixel front-facing camera. No capacitive buttons here so the rest are all glass.

xperia_z1_ps

Take a peak on the left side and you’ll see two flaps that cover the microSD card slot and microUSB port. Also found here is the magnetic port for the dock. On the right is another flap for the microSD slot along with the power/lock button, volume rocker, and dedicated camera button.

Right on top is the headset jack, while at the bottom is the wide speaker grill and provision for a lanyard. Flip it on its back and you’ll see the 20.7 megapixel camera with G Lens, and LED flash.

xperia_z1_rear

Although it carries a larger footprint compared to the Z, on hand, the Z1 screams authority and performance – the two major characteristics of a true premium flagship. If the Z and the Z1 walked into a bar, the latter would certainly grab more attention. Let it sit beside the Z Ultra and the Z1′s beefiness would make the Ultra appear lanky.

xperia_z1_glens

One of the main power-features of the Z1 is its 20.7 megapixel Exmor RS camera with G Lens and BIONZ for mobile image processing engine. We’re yet to go deeper into this fancy camera but here’s a couple of shots together with their 100% crops.

xperia_z1_camera1

xperia_z1_camera2

We also did a couple of benchmark tests to give you an idea on how many horses it is packing under the hood thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 CPU:

z1_bench_firstimpression

* AnTuTu – 34,625
* Quadrant – 21,578

Source: YugaTech

Customize a Moto X the lazy way with Moto Match for Facebook

Moto X design campaign taps your Facebook photos for colorful inspiration

If you start to see a lot more of the Moto X on Facebook in the coming days, there’s a good chance that it’s a result of Moto Match. The app is new to the social networking site, which presents users with a smartphone that’s color coordinated with their photos — think of it as Moto Maker for the uninspired. The service is hardly a first of its kind, and is reminiscent of a design tool called Nike PHOTOiDthat taps into one’s Instagram gallery. Still, to get the full experience, you’ll have to try out Moto Match for yourself. Just as a head’s up… if you pick an outdoor scene with green in it, don’t be surprised if you get an Olive Silver model.

Source: EngadgetMotorola (Facebook)

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