Archive for the ‘SMART PHONES’ Category

Woman burnt by charging Apple iPhone 7 as she slept

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

A western Sydney woman says she has suffered severe burns after falling asleep on her charging iPhone 7.

In a Facebook post, Melanie Tan Pelaez posted a picture of her red, blistered arm and issued a warning to others to keep their phones well away from their beds.

Melanie Tan Pelaez posted a picture online showing burns received after falling asleep on her charging iPhone 7 image

Melanie Tan Pelaez posted a picture online showing burns received after falling asleep on her charging iPhone 7.

“I recently purchased an Apple iPhone 7 and accidentally fell asleep with my arm on my phone whilst it was charging. I was woken up by sudden pain, pins and needles, numbness and shortness of breath” reads the post.

“I have been an iPhone user since the beginning and have never had an issue or concern, so it’s really scary and disappointing that something like this happened and can happen to someone else”.


Henry Sapiecha

Samsung Galaxy S6 (32GB) review: Simply, the best Samsung Galaxy

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

samsung s6 phone image

  • Expert Rating

    4.75 / 5


  • Metal and glass body
  • Leading 577ppi screen
  • Powerful computing innards
  • Good battery life
  • Great 16MP rear- and 5MP-front cameras
  • Improved finger scanner
  • Light TouchWiz software


  • No expandable storage
  • Battery is non-removable


Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, May 26th, 2015


Henry Sapiecha


Monday, October 13th, 2014

Thuraya-SatSleeve-for iPhone image

Optus’s business division has begun selling a sleeve that allowed an iPhone to make calls via satellite. The Thuraya SatSleeve connected to the back of an iPhone and could make satellite calls and send SMSes to any contacts in the iPhone’s address book over Thuraya’s satellite network.

The Thuraya network covered Australia, Asia, Middle East, Europe and most of Africa.

Users snapped the sleeve onto the back of their iPhone 4 or 4S and downloaded the SatSleeve app from the iTunes Store. An adapter for the iPhone 5 and 5S would be available in Australia soon, Optus said.

The $690 sleeve also doubled as a backup battery for the iPhone to extend talk and standby time. Users could also chat and update mobile apps such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp over a satellite connection.

The cost for satellite calls was $1.30/min and 50c per SMS.

“At this stage the SatSleeve does not have satellite data capability, however it’s something that we are currently assessing, based on customer demand,” said an Optus spokesman.

“The need to stay in touch is vitally important for our customers in remote and rural areas, especially mining and agricultural businesses, as well as government and not-for-profit organisations, whose teams in the field need to remain in contact, said Paul Sheridan, vice president of Optus Satellite, in a press release.

The SatSleeve included an SOS button that made a call to a pre-programmed number even if the iPhone wasn’t connected.


Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line

Smartphones to leave keys and wallet behind

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Commonwealth Bank's PayTag, used with its banking app, turns any phone into a PayPass card. image

Handy: Commonwealth Bank’s PayTag, used with its banking app, turns any phone into a PayPass card.

Keys? Wallet? Phone? In the not too distant future, this three-step pat-down will be replaced with a quick check for your smartphone.

But why wait five or 10 years to lighten your daily load? Technologies like NFC, Bluetooth, and specialised apps mean you can already unlock your front door, buy groceries, and pay for dinner from your smartphone.

Smart locks use a smartphone’s NFC or Bluetooth combined with a special app to open your front door. You can also unlock the door remotely if you’re not at home, send friends and family virtual keys they can use on their own mobile devices, and on some smart locks, like the Goji, receive photos of every visitor to your door.

Given the newness of the category, most smart locks are either still in development or available in only limited quantities.

Goji Smart Lock allows you to choose who can enter your house and when, and even sends you picture updates when someone's at the door. image
 Come in: The Goji Smart Lock allows you to choose who can enter your house and when, and even sends you picture updates when someone’s at the door.

While smart locks are still a niche market, the use of smartphones for payments is growing exponentially. Since December last year, Commonwealth Bank has seen 1.4 million transactions by customers using smartphones.

“While there may always be a need for different payment methods, such as cash for emergencies and cards for travel, it’s clear the mobile wallet is set to become a part of many Australians’ everyday lives,” said Angus Sullivan, executive general manager of cards and payments at Commonwealth Bank.

Commonwealth Bank customers with an iPhone or Android smartphone can attach a “PayTag” smart sticker to the back of their device and use it for transactions of up to $100 at stores with PayPass terminals.

Those with a Samsung Galaxy S4 don’t need the sticker, as the necessary technology is built into the phone. The same function will soon be available on the Galaxy S5, and according to Sullivan, the bank is planning more links with Android devices.


Commonwealth Bank also offers a unique Cardless Cash service that lets customers withdraw up to $200 a day from more than 3000 CommBank ATMs nationwide using the CommBank app.

Another Aussie bank making strides in the mobile payment space is Westpac.  Last month, it launched a service similar to the Commonwealth Bank’s that enables customers to use the NFC technology built into the Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 or Note 3 to “tap and pay” securely at contactless terminals.

PayPal also offers options for paying through your smartphone. At more than 5000 locations in Australia, including Guzman Y Gomez, Glue Store and Sonoma Bakery, you can “check in” to the store using the PayPal app and pay using the credit or debit card that’s linked to your PayPal account. You can also avoid queues at participating cafes by ordering food and refreshments before you get there.

As convenient as all of this technology is, it does raise the stakes if your smartphone gets lost or stolen. Michael McKinnon, security adviser at online security company AVG, said that while the risks of losing money through fraud  are borne mostly by the banks with money-back guarantees, the real risk is increased theft of devices.

“If you pull your mobile phone out of your pocket and wave it past the reader, then it’s pretty clear to a person watching that this is how you’re making the payment. Suddenly, your smartphone becomes the target for potential theft,” said McKinnon. “It’s the same risk as for PayPass credit cards: crooks know that if they steal your phone, they can spend up to  $100 without needing your PIN number.”

The flip side is that unlike credit cards or house keys, you can track a smartphone with GPS, lock it, and erase it remotely. Smartphones don’t display your credit card details, either, preventing thieves from using your credit card online the way they can with a stolen plastic card. Both the Commonwealth and Westpac apps also let you secure the contactless payments feature behind a PIN number.

To stay safe while using a smartphone as a replacement for your wallet or keys, the traditional smartphone security measures apply. “Be discrete about when you’re making payments, and keep your device with you at all times,” said McKinnon.

“Use a PIN number or passcode on your device and mobile payment app, and make sure you’re using all of the technology available to track your smartphone if it is lost or stolen. And, if you’re using an Android device, ensure you’re running some security software to block malicious apps.”


Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line


Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014


Tim Cook says Apple devices are set to work together more closely than ever before image

Harmony: Tim Cook says Apple devices are set to work together more closely than ever before. Photo: Reuters

Connected Apple's Craig Federighi delivers a keynote speech at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference. image

At Apple’s annual developer conference, Tim Cook spoke like an officiant at a wedding.

“This morning we’re gathered to talk about two powerful platforms: OS X and iOS,” he said. “You’re going to see how they’ve been engineered to work seamlessly together.”

As an introduction to Mac’s new desktop operating system—the successor to OS X Mavericks—the matrimonial airs were apt. It’s called Yosemite, and it brings the Mac and the iPhone closer than ever. They can even finish each other’s sentences.

The first thing you’ll notice about Yosemite when it’s released to the public this year is a smattering of iOS-like cosmetic changes. They include translucent sidebars on windows, a single typeface throughout the OS, and “beautifully crafted new icons” on the dock. The star of the show: a new trash can, which proves that Jony Ive can make even garbage look flat.

Cosmetic changes Apple's Craig Federighi shows off some familiar-looking iconography. image

It isn’t the appearance of those icons that’s significant, though. It’s their growing similarity to the ones you see on your iPhone or iPad. Apple’s demos of OS X increasingly involve launching apps like Maps, Calendar, Mail, and Contacts that look and function much the same across the Mac and mobile devices.

Meanwhile, the traditional desktop experience—which involved opening your hard drive and navigating through a hierarchical series of folders via the Finder—appears headed for the skeuomorphic dustbin. Now, when you want to open an application or file that isn’t on the dock, Apple wants you to use a revamped Spotlight search function that appears in the middle of your screen and pulls up results before you’ve even finished typing. Encroaching on Google territory, Spotlight can also search the Web.

In other phone-like developments, Yosemite sports a more prominent Notification Center. It appears to replace the old “Dashboard” function with something called the “Today” view that looks an awful lot like what you see on your iPhone if you drag your finger down from the top of the screen. Among other widgets, it features your calendar, reminders, and the weather for today and the coming week. In a bizarrely old-fashioned touch, it also includes a selection of world clocks.


The most phone-like thing of all about the new Mac operating system: You can use it to make phone calls. And send text messages. Via a new feature called Continuity, the Mac can pair wirelessly with your iPhone and serve as a sort of desktop-based speakerphone or text-message window. Apple VP Craig Federighi demonstrated the feature on Monday by using his Mac to place a call to the company’s new board member Dr. Dre.

I wasn’t kidding about the Mac and the iPhone finishing each other’s sentences: A neat trick called Handoff will apparently allow you to start typing an email on one and pick it up midstream on the other.

Your progress on one device will be instantly backed up to the cloud and available on all your others.

Desktop operating systems have been gradually converging with mobile operating systems for a few years now—some, like Microsoft’s, less gradually than others. Here, in an interesting role reversal, Apple is following Microsoft’s bold moves with its own, more conservative evolution. No doubt it has observed the pitfalls of Microsoft’s approach: Tim Cook bragged that Apple’s last Mac operating system, Mavericks, has reached 51 percent of all Mac users, while just 14 percent of Windows users have taken the plunge to Windows 8.

The next step for Apple: encouraging more small, third-party developers to build apps for the Mac as well as the iPhone and iPad, so that the Mac App Store becomes as robust as its mobile sibling.

What does it all mean? It’s another step toward a future in which phones, tablets, computers, and even televisions are all just different-sized screens for displaying the same stuff: email, Web pages, apps, documents.

Some devices will remain better for some purposes, of course: a TV for watching a movie on your couch, a phone for sending a quick text on the go, and—with apologies to the Microsoft Surface—a computer for typing. But you’ll likely be able to do just about any of these things on any of your devices.

What’s more, the transition between them will become seamless, with your progress on one device instantly backed up to the cloud and available on all your others. (Think of how Amazon’s Kindle service works today, marking your place in a book on your tablet so you can pick up where you left off on your phone or the Kindle Cloud Reader.)

It isn’t just Apple and Microsoft that are doing this, of course. Right there with them is Google, with its Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptop, and Chromecast. It should be no surprise that Google is rumored to be working on an Android TV service next. Amazon sees the same future. It hasn’t yet built a computer, as far as we know, but it has the tablet and the TV set-top box and might also have a smartphone in the works.

And, of course, each of these four companies has been pouring efforts into streamlining its cloud services. Apple on Monday announced a Dropbox-like feature called iCloud Drive, which integrates files stored in the cloud with those stored on the hard disk so that both appear in the Finder.

It has long been fashionable in tech circles to predict “the death of the PC.” Microsoft has taken this to heart, so much so that it is now building tablets that directly compete with PCs powered by its own software. But Apple’s continued focus on—and success with—the desktop platform suggests that death is the wrong metaphor.

Mobile devices aren’t killing the personal computer. They’re getting hitched.


Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line


Saturday, May 31st, 2014

An overview & comparisons of the Samsung S5 smart android phone by way of  video reviews


Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line


Sunday, October 20th, 2013


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone is both versatile and useful

Another long season of mobile phone reviewing is drawing to a close.

As we do every year (though usually only in our imagination), it’s time to sit back, take stock, and ask ourselves the all-important philosophical question: if a nuclear war broke out and we had to jump on a plane to escape to Antarctica, and if for some reason there was room for only one smartphone per person on the plane, which phone out of this year’s crop would we take?

Watching videos on the Note 3 is unbeatable.

The iPhone 5s with its fingerprint scanner (hard to use with gloves on)? The waterproof Xperia Z1 (not quite so useful when all the water is frozen)?

No. Much as we’d like to squeeze those phones on board, if we could only take one phone, I think it would have to be Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3.


I say that for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that, daydreams of nuclear winter aside for a moment, the previous Galaxy Note was always the phone we actually did reach for whenever any of us here in the Labs had to travel overseas this year. The Note 2 is an incredibly versatile, incredibly useful device, and the Note 3 is even more useful. If it fits within your definition of a phone (and given its huge, 5.7-inch screen, it might not), it’s probably the most useful phone money can buy.

>>View an interactive comparison of 10 smartphones and see the Samsung Note 3 in action on

The Sony Xperia Z1 smartphone.The Sony Xperia Z1. Photo: AP

The Galaxy Note 3 has all the fancy gestures you get in the Galaxy S4, such as the ability to scroll through web pages with just the tilt of your head (useful if your hands have frozen solid in an Antarctic blizzard), plus it’s got all the terrifically handy things you can do with its little stylus (now better and more useful than ever, as I’ll get into presently), plus it’s got a bigger screen than just about any other phone out there, plus it’s incredibly fast and has a long battery life. I really can’t think of another phone that even comes close to the Note 3.

Another reason for grabbing the Note 3 is because, if nuclear bombs were about to go off, I imagine you’d be in a bit of a hurry, and the Note 3 has a new feature that looks like it was designed with that very race-against-the-clock in mind: USB 3.0. I don’t know about you, but when I’m about to fly, the very last thing I remember to do is the most important thing of all: load the phone with TV shows to watch on the plane. It’s stressful sitting and watching the file transfers slowly tick over when you know the cab will arrive any second. How much more stressful if it’s the imminent blast of a bomb?

USB 3.0 is the thing you need in the apocalypse. It’s a much faster way to load files onto your phone, and while it won’t come in handy very often, it will be very handy when the crunch comes. In our tests, we were able to load anywhere between 2.5 and 3.2 times as many TV shows onto the Note 3 in a given amount of time using its new USB 3.0 port, compared to using the old-fashioned USB 2.0 port you find on most mobile phones. A video that took 54 seconds to upload onto a Galaxy S4, for instance, took just 17 seconds to get onto the Note 3. Quite literally, that could be the difference between life and death.

And, of course, with a screen that borders on the too big (but just manages to keep on the right side of the line, in our estimation) watching videos on the Note 3 is unbeatable. But the main reason we’d choose the Note 3 over all the terrific phones that came out this year is its stylus. It may seem like a bit of a blast from the past (tee hee!), but it’s not. It’s great.

The main improvement in this year’s version of the stylus is a little dial, known as “Air Command”, that pops up on the screen whenever you pull the stylus from its slot or press the stylus button while hovering the stylus above the screen.

Air Command quickly gets you to a number of useful apps, such as the Scrapbooker app for cutting and pasting anything that’s on the screen (a super-useful new function that could only be more useful if it synchronised with Evernote the way some of the other stylus apps do); the Action Memo app that lets you jot down tasks with the pen and assign those tasks to other apps (you can jot down a number, assign it to the phone app and Action Memo will recognise your writing and put the number in your dialler, for example); or the Pen Window app that lets you draw a little window on your screen and then run small apps, such as calculators, in that window (nifty!).

Oh yes, the Note 3 is a great device, no doubt about it. It’s so good, it actually has me looking forward to living in Antarctica. But I do have one question. Will there still be mobile phone reception during the Armageddon?


Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line



Thursday, September 5th, 2013


A man shows a photograph he took on his iPhone of an Apple store in Beijing

(Reuters) – An Australian teenager who has built an online following by leaking pictures of upcoming Apple Inc products has done it again, showing off the purported fingerprint scanner of the latest iPhone ahead of its expected launch next week.

Sonny Dickson, who lives with his parents in suburban Melbourne, attracted attention in August after he released detailed pictures and videos of the new grey and champagne casing on the upcoming iPhone.

On Thursday, Dickson leaked what he says are the first detailed pictures of the new model’s new “home” button with its rumored biometric fingerprint scanner.

“While the design differences have yet to be technically assessed, they could have a whole lot to do with the rumored biometric fingerprint scanner that numerous pundits and analysts have predicted. In fact, we’d count on it,” Dickson said on his website,

Apple, which zealously controls information of its new product launches in the face of rampant interest from consumers, has invited media to an event on September 10, where it is expected to unveil at least one new model iPhone.

Supply chain sources told Reuters in June that Apple is expected to launch two new models this year, one with new fingerprint technology and a cheaper version in a plastic casing, widely referred to as the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C respectively.


Apple plans to dress up the 5C model in a range of five or six colors to differentiate it from the more expensive model that has traditionally come only in black and white, according to the sources.

Apple declined to comment on Dickson’s actions, and he says they have never contacted him about it.

Dickson told Reuters he has five to 10 sources in China who buy Apple prototype parts directly from factory-line workers, which are then sold from $250 to $500.

His sources then send him photos and videos of the parts, which are posted under his name on his website and YouTube channel, which generate ad revenue.

Initially communicating via Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service, Dickson said he and his suppliers moved to a secret website to discuss business.

“I’ve been doing this for many years, so I know what looks fake and what’s not,” said Dickson, a high school graduate with a penchant for luxury accessories such as watches that pepper his photos on the online Instagram service.

“I trust what they say to me – but I also back up the story with other people to make sure what I’m posting is legit.”

Spending 12 hours a day maintaining his website, Dickson said his blog views spiked to a million hits last month, making him A$2,000 ($1,850) from web traffic in August.

“Most of the traffic is from the U.S. – I’ve had 590 hits from Apple and about 53 from U.S. Homeland Security in August,” said Dickson, noting he had tracked IP addresses from Washington D.C. and Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

While Dickson denies he is breaking any laws, experts are not so sure.

“He may not think or know he’s doing the wrong thing, but a court would say Apple is one of the most tight and restricted IT producers in the world, notorious for locking things down,” said David Vaile, executive director at the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

“It’s also possible that generating ad revenue will open him to a wider range of offences.”

Dickson says he would stop if told to by Apple, where he has hopes of working one day.

“I’m not doing it just to piss them off – I still buy their products.”

(Reporting by Michael Sin; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Neil Fullick)


Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line


Tuesday, August 27th, 2013




Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line