Robert W. Mills

Tech World & Advice


As with other smartphones on the market there are many tricks you can do with your iPhone. However, you might not be aware of all of them. The Apple phone has been on the market for almost a decade. However, there are still many tricks that many people aren’t aware of. Here are some of them:

1. Search in settings

The Settings app provides a lot of flexibility. For example, you can ensure that Facebook isn’t using all of your battery life. You can also add some custom words to the dictionary. However, finding the particular features can be tough. That’s because many layers are deep in various other menus. The good news is that Settings includes a built-in search feature. You simply have to pull down the option from the type then type in the phrase/feature you want to access.

2. 3D Touch

For owners of an iPhone 6s/6S Plus, 3D touch is definitely one of the features of the latest 6 series units. However, you might be surprised about the different options you have. For example, pressing harder on the touchscreen on a link, icon, or photo can access 3D Touch. You can access Quick Settings without entering the app. However, that depends on the app that you’re using.

iphone-476237_640For example, when using the Music app you can go to Search, then access the last song played on the device. You can also play Beats 1 radio. In Settings you can also access Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Battery settings quickly. That is a very convenient feature you should be aware of.

In addition, you can use 3D Touch as a fat way to toggle between different mobile apps. Use 3D Touch on the left side of the mobile phone in order to see the apps you recently accessed. This is like double-tapping the home button.

Keep in mind that 3D touch also functions in other apps. They include Google Maps, Spotify, and Snapchat.

3. Alarm can be accessed form Control Center

Apple added iPhone’s Control Center to iOS 7. After swiping up from the screen’s bottom, quick-access features are then pulled up. You can then Play/Pause music, turn Wi-Fi/Bluetooth on/off, and access mobile apps including the clock, camera, and calculator.

The Control Center’s icon is from the stopwatch feature. This is helpful when timing things is important. However, the stopwatch is part of the clock app. This means you just need 2 taps to have quick access to alarms.

4. Search

You can find a lot of info on your iPhone device by just doing searches for it. On the phone’s home screen you can access search by access it from the top. Then you can search for various items including contacts, app names, etc. There are other things you can do as well. For example, you can type “weather” to see the weather in your particular location. You can also find weather for a city, zip code, etc. by adding the extra information to the term “weather.”

You can also do fast calculations by simply typing them into the phone’s search bar.

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Sling TV vs Playstation Vue vs Vidgo

Traditional cable TV is on the verge of loss of popularity, and in turn, loss of revenue. There are several factors that have contributed to this, the major ones being the rise of streaming video and policies that support them. Below is a comparison of three over-the-top (OTT) TV streaming services.

Features

Sling TV works on more devices. It does not have the video on demand feature. Recently, Sling announced that they will begin to offer a package called ‘Best Live TV multi-stream’ at $20 per month. A maximum of 3 people can watch content at the same time on one account. The multi-stream users will have access to a lesser selection of channels.

Playstation Vue has the video on demand feature. Vue features cloud DVR, where it is possible to steam multiple devices on the same account and profile. Vue also has a higher number of channels when compared to its competitor, Sling. According to Robert Kostensky, former DirecTV executive, Vidgo will also allow for cloud DVR.

Vidgo is set to launch in 15 markets in the US within the first half of 2016. By the end of the year, it should have covered the entire country. The company aims at providing the most linear TV channels among the existing OTT streaming services. This bold claim is supported by the fact that they have been building backend video infrastructure for 7 years. The feel the media is receptive about it since they have been open about it.

Vidgo will be viewed on all major OTT platforms, iOS smart phones, tablets, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV streaming, and Roku. Sling can be viewed on Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Channel Master DVR+, Android phones and tablets, Amazon Fire tablets, Mac computers, iOS phones and tablets, and PCs. Playstation Vue is available on PS3, PS4, Amazon Fire TV Stick and box and Chromecast.

Pricing and Packages

Sling TV has 3 packages:

  • The base nationwide package – $20 per month offering 20+ channels
  • Step-up packages – Pay $5 more per month for more kids, movies, Spanish language, sports, lifestyle, and news channels
  • Local CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox channels – Available in select cities for an extra $5 per month

Playstation Vue has 4 packages:

  • The base nationwide package – $30 per month for 55+ channels
  • The base package in select cities – $40/month for 60+ channels
  • Step-up packages – Pay 5 more per month for the core option (regional sports and others), Pay $15 more per month for 100+ total channels
  • Local CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox channels – Available in select cities

Vidgo will have 3 packages:

Vidgo is the latest player in the market, launching sometime in 2016. They revealed that they will have 3 programming tiers. The base nationwide package price will range between Sling’s $20 per month and Vue’s $30.

Summary

The above comparison shows that the three OTT TV streaming services are competing intensely to offer the best packages, most channels, and viewership on the most devices, all at an affordable cost. With a new entrant, the competing companies must look for the competitive edge. It is only a matter of time before it becomes hard to distinguish them.

Sources:

http://www.techhive.com/article/3055013/streaming-services/best-cable-tv-alternative-which-service-should-you-subscribe-to.html
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160106005671/en/VIDGO-Launches-Next-Gen-TV-Streaming-Service-CES
http://mashable.com/2016/01/06/vidgo-streaming-tablet-access/
http://www.fiercecable.com/story/startup-vidgo-set-take-sling-vue-live-linear-streaming-race/2016-01-06

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Over The Top TV Part 2

Over The Top TV Part 2


Posted By on Mar 22, 2016

OTT, what can we expect

In our first Over the Top article, we looked at some of the current OTT players. However, OTT isn’t only relegated to the cable and satellite companies. When it comes to streaming internet content from your favorite vloggers, People are turning to Youtube and Vimeo who have launched their own subscription based OTT services, and at relatively low costs. All this the cord-cutting is taking a toll on the telecom providers. In response, many telecom companies are becoming more focused on their internet services, and looking for ways to squeeze more money from customers with higher data needs. Basically, streaming customers are likely to be charged more for access. Although, we may see the market trend price of television packages go down, it’s likely that internet package pricing will increase, and probably include data caps and fees for overages.

OTT’s tend to have different Video On Demand (VOD) services, than cable subscribers have come to expect. Customers are more likely t encounter Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) services, like the aforementioned Netflix; Ad-assisted Video On Demand (AVOD), which play ads before the content being viewed which includes services like HULU, Crackle and CBS; Last but not least we also have the TVOD, which is a transitional “pay for only what you want to watch” service that runs ad free like Amazon Instant Video, Vimeo On Demand and iTunes. It is up to the content creators themselves to see which platform they would showcase their work on. More about OTT VOD

VOD

Ultimately, OTT is a league of it’s own and differs greatly from the “TV Everywhere” service. Sure, they both follow the “watching when you want and where you want” motto, however with TV Everywhere, you will still need a subscription to a television provider’s service. All you need with OTT is a stable internet connection to view the content that you want to watch, the way you want to watch it. More and more apps are becoming available, if not pre-downloaded to cellphones and tablets so the convenience is already sitting at your finger tips.

The arrival of OTT services, this has changed the television game for producers and executives as well. The different services have made Television Rating Systems almost completely obsolete. No longer are people waiting around until a specific time slot to watch a show. Most aren’t even watching the live airing and choosing to stream or download at another time. OTT has opened the door in a big way that puts a viewer in control, more so than ever before.

Distribution has been the biggest things standing in the way of OTT. More and more televisions are internet-based however with the Android Free box and Apple TV and that is helping to get content creators to release their app across a multitude of different platforms, from cellphones to gaming consoles and the different operating systems that are within that spectrum. Content creators are now more concerned with getting their app out there and reaching a broad audience before they have actually have the content to share. It’s essentially starting in the middle of a project then trying to get both ends to meet but it is also letting the content creators gain more control over their work, as seen among the popular “Youtubers”. It is becoming more and more like the Indie creators are turning Mainstream.

What Does the Future Look Like?

Whereas the above is effecting the growth and expansion of OTT services, it’s also seeing a huge increase each year in viewership and gaining popularity among all age demographics. As OTT services gain followers, the content is surely going to follow. There will be less and less cable television and more and more internet television. Although Cable companies are trying to adjust their traditional television packages to include cheaper “basic” television channels, they are still packed with unnecessary filler that doesn’t appeal to the viewers interests. With HBO rising as well as AMC, they have started creating powerful “must watch” content like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. It is making writers buckle down and create interesting content to get people hooked. This content is also made available through their OTT airing live as it is on cable tv so they are not taking a huge hit from viewership that would have been lost to illegal downloading and illegal streaming as before.

Having the telecom companies paying attention more to what viewers are choosing as opposed to what their package is offering, will share more information on the demographic and different trends that are going on. It will showcase the viewer more as an individual than a Rating statistic on the premiere day. Viewers also will be able to find and view content and curating television and movie lists tailored to what they like, much like making a music playlist for different activities. All in all, the future is here now and it’s gaining momentum. Internet television is here to stay and the market is shifting rapidly in it’s favor. The viewer is now in control over what they are viewing, more than ever before.

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Meet the new 4-inch iPhone SE

In a world of big phones, Apple is going small, again…

Yesterday, Apple announced the iPhone SE. The most notable feature is it’s 4-inch screen, which won’t win them any points for innovation, but does provide the “small handed” among us an option better suited to our diminutive digits. We’ll get all the features available in the current iPhone 6S. No one’s minds were blown, but some of us are grateful for the option. Yesterday’s event also included the announcement of OS 9.3 which is available now from the app store.

More updates: Live Photos, a new feature will transform photographs into 3-second loops.  Siri, will now be able to continuously listen, which Apple claims will allow Siri to serve as your virtual right hand, constantly prepared to serve you when you say “Hey, Siri!”.

One feature is notably absent from the 6SE; it doesn’t have 3D Touch! Apple’s weighted touch feature, allows users to open sub-menus by when you pressing and holding the screen. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s surprising none-the-less.

We’re fairly certain that the palm-sized SE will feel a lot like the iPhone 5S. The size has been carefully considered, and it appears to be fundamentally the same.

We’re sure the iPhone SE will be, fast, at least as fast as the 6s, and we migh even be able to fit it in our pocket again…

Apples camera technology is still the best out there, and the SE looks to be in the same class as the 6s only with 4k video. Apple still using the 12-megapixel camera from 6S, which is pretty great at taking low-light selfies.

So, the real elephant in the room is the iPhone 7. The 6ES release is about halfway through the typical iPhone life cycle, which means a phone with a superior camera, processor yada, yada, yada, is right around the corner. Perhaps the people queuing for the 6SE will have statistically smaller hands than past iPhone releases? We can only speculate.

iPhone 6SE Cost

– 16GB: $399

– 64GB: $499

Specs examination with iPhone 6, 6S, 5

– Aluminum body

– Rose gold, gold, silver, dark hues

– iOS 9.3

– 12-megapixel camera

– 4K video catch

– Promises battery life of 13 hours video playback

– Apple Pay

– Wi-Fi calling

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Personally, I sometimes feel that I am unable to keep up with current technology. On the other hand, it’s not entirely my fault as well. Technology changes from day to day, and sometimes the changes happen so quickly that people are unable to adapt and to follow the current trends. As a huge technology enthusiast, you might as well say geek, I am eager to keep up with technology and I do so in various different ways. If you want to learn five most efficient ways in which you can keep up with technology, make sure you read this blog through and through. Perhaps you will find some useful information in it, that will help you keep up with technology in the future.

  1. Follow Tech News

If you want to be able to keep up with technology I would recommend that you read news about technology. You can find technology news in various places, you can read magazines, visit blogs, read online news and so on. However, it’s really important that you are acquainted with the latest technology news if you don’t want technology to pass you by. If you don’t make an effort to read technology news and follow technology news, you will soon feel like you don’t know anything about technology, since it changes so rapidly.

  1. Find Amazing Technology Blogs You Will Follow

There are numerous blogs about technology that you can follow, we are all the latest news will already be explained to you in interesting texts. One such a blog is of course this one! Make sure you find amazing technology blogs, and you will never again feel like technology left you behind. In addition to that, it’s also very important to read them on a regular basis, and is really try to keep up.

technology-news

  1. Meet People Who Are Tech Freaks

Sometimes the best and the easiest way to keep up with technology is to make friends with people who are tech freaks. This way you won’t have to read any technology news, as they will certainly keep you informed whether you like it or not. All in all, it can be a lot easier to be friends with someone you share interests with. If your friends share interests with you concerning technology, but are more informed than you are about it, they might make it easier for you to get yourself informed about technology.

4.Go To Stores

A lot of technology stores have technological things on display that you can try out in the store, and see whether or not you will buy it. It’s one thing to read about technology, and to be informed by it, and a completely different thing to have a piece of technology in your hands. Therefore, if you want to keep up with technology, and learn how it functions in time, frequently visit deck store’s and look at the products. This will keep you informed, but you will also get a real sense of how things work.

  1. Subscribe To Newsletters

In the end, I should also mention that if you’re really interested in technology you should make sure that you subscribe to a newsletter that you know will keep you informed about the latest technological achievements.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading my blog! Hopefully, these pieces of information help to you learn more about technology and how you can keep up with it!

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What the heck is OTT?

What the heck is OTT?


Posted By on Feb 28, 2015

What is over the Top TV?

Over The Top (OTT) TV is a new union between the television world and the internet world. It is changing television along with our television viewing habits, which works in the viewers favor.
How much time do you spend on your laptop compared to the time in front of the tv? Cable companies tend to charge extra to rent a DVR, so you have the “freedom” of watching your favorite shows whenever you find convenient.

With OTT, you can finally ditch that extra monthly charge and watch quality television and movies over the internet, on your time. Now your favorite movies and TV shows will be available at your fingertips, and you’ll have the convenience of watching whenever and how often you want.

The shift is definitely shaking up the traditional role assumed by the Cable companies. Currently, their model is to sell you a different package based on the channels you want, but the pricey packages also include a lot of channels you don’t want or will never watch. The company that broke the traditional business model was Netflix. Now, viewers were in complete control over what they wanted to watch and could also finish a whole season in one day. Binge-watching and no commercials made it instantly appealing and with the low monthly cost, it beat out paying for extras that you never wanted in the first place.

Some television channels have hopped on the bandwagon, most notably HBO and AMC. More and more content is shifting to streaming services from such channels as CBS, Showtime and Lifetime. Currently, the conservative minded television execs don’t appear to be making big moves towards cable style OTT service, those moves appear to be coming from more tech minded companies. Sony’s Vue service looks like it may provide some of the experiences associated with cable, but in the two years since it’s launch, it appears to have stalled and is not widely available.

There have been rumors that a new company, Vidgo, may be able to succeed where Sony has not been able to.

To be continued…

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