Category Archives: iPhone news

iPhone 8: Price, Release Date & Rumours

That time of year is here again. Apple is scheduled to shortly unveil the latest iteration of its flagship product: iPhone. On the 12th of September the tech world will hold its breath as Apple executives announce a device expected to be dubbed iPhone 8. This year’s release is said to be a significant upgrade from the iPhone 7, not least because it is iPhone’s 10th birthday. Here is what we know so far about the iPhone 8 release date, price and other rumours…

iPhone 8

iPhone 8 Release Date

Although the new iPhone will almost certainly be announced on September 12, we need to wait for Apple to confirm the release date. According to TechRadar the iPhone 8 will be released at the end of September or October, with the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus being released beforehand in mid September. Demand for the new models is expected to be high, so we recommend pre-ordering your new phone as soon as you can.

iPhone 8 Price

According to a recent report by the New York Times, Apple’s new iPhone is set to be priced at an eye-watering $999 (£780) for the base model. If true, this is a significant increase from the £599 32GB iPhone 7.

Like its predecessors,  you will need to cough up extra if you want more storage for your iPhone 8. Rumours suggest that the new phone will come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage configurations. This would make sense as the latest iPad boasts the same storage options, and will be welcome news for anyone who stores lots of media on their device.

iPhone 8 Features & Design

iPhone 8 Rear Housing

According to MacRumours the iPhone 8 is a big departure from its predecessors in terms of design. Apple are said to be doing away with the outdated LCD technology used in its previous iPhones, and replacing it with OLED technology in at least the premium iPhone 8 model. This will allow for a thinner device that uses less power, with a much higher quality display than previous models. The screen size of the new model is said to be 5.5″, the same as the iPhone 7 Plus.

In addition to an OLED display, the new iPhone is rumoured to boast an all glass enclosure (not great if you have slippery fingers!). It is yet to be seen whether Apple will do anything to strengthen the housing (for example using Corning Gorilla Glass, or sapphire as they have in their camera lenses and home buttons of the past).

Speaking of home buttons, the iPhone 8 is set to shun its main button. The rumoured edge-to-edge glass display will take its place, with face recognition replacing the function of Touch ID.

Fans of Samsung’s wireless charging will rejoice as the iPhone 8 is reportedly set to adopt the technology. Leaked images from Foxconn – who manufacture Apple’s devices – show an induction charging coil, adding weight to the rumour.

Leaked images of iPhone 8 induction charging coil.

Under the hood, it may come as no surprise that Apple has kitted the iPhone 8 out with the latest silicon. The new A11 chip is both faster and more energy efficient than earlier iterations.

Sell your old iPhone

iPhone trade-in prices are set to plummet after the iPhone 8 announcement, as supply exceeds demand. Here at Gecko Mobile Recycling we are planning to drop our prices steeply in response to increased trade in volume. We suggest registering your sale before the 12 September announcement to lock in the price. You can sell your old iPhone here.

Man Follows Stolen iPhone Across The World, Becomes A Celebrity In China

These days most of us can’t live without being no more than a few feet away from our mobile phones. They are tools that help us to be more productive and efficient in our lives.

They allow us to communicate with others online through email and instant messaging. Mobile phones also help us to better organise our lives. It comes as no surprise that having our mobiles stolen can be devastating.

With devices like the iPhone, the good news is that most of our personal data gets backed up in “the cloud”. That means we can easily transfer that data onto a new device. Because of their high value, the Apple iPhone is a sought-after target for thieves.

Most stolen iPhones end up in the Far East, in places such as Hong Kong and China. And that’s what happened to the iPhone belonging to one man from New York.

8,000 miles away

Matt Stopera is a staff writer for the BuzzFeed website. He recalls how his remarkable story began one evening in New York. Back in February 2014 he went for some drinks to a local bar. To his horror, he soon discovers someone had stolen his iPhone from the table where he was sat.

matt stopera buzzfeed
Matt Stopera

His efforts to try and find his phone were futile, with the device going straight to voicemail. Fast-forward a year later and he’s rocking a new iPhone. The weird thing is, he notices that photos of some Chinese guy keep appearing in his Photo Stream.

brother orange

Both he and a friend soon deduce that his stolen iPhone has ended up with this person. Various photos are of the man next to buildings with Chinese writing on them, so they work out the iPhone is in China.

Matt becomes something of a celebrity when he posts up a story on BuzzFeed asking who the man is.

Brother Orange

Soon after an international search gets carried out to track down this Chinese man. Matt discovers his story got translated and posted up on the social network Weibo. People start referring to the man in the photos as the Orange Tree Man. That’s because some of his photos got taken beside orange trees. Later on, that man would become known as “Brother Orange.”

Once the man got found, thanks to the power of the Internet, Matt signs up to Weibo and starts chatting to him. It turns out the man, Li Hongjun, got given the iPhone as a gift from his cousin.

matt stopera weibo
The first day Matt joined Weibo (Chinese equivalent of Facebook) he gained 50,000 followers!

The pair chat to each other on Weibo for some weeks and then “Brother Orange” invites him out to China!

An extraordinary turn of events then ensues. With the help of BuzzFeed and a couple of translators, Matt flies out to meet Brother Orange. The pair get treated like celebrities. They are often seen on Chinese social networks and the media!

matt meets brother orange

For the next few days, Matt strikes up an unlikely friendship with Brother Orange. The pair spend several days together, and Matt feels like he’s with a long-lost brother! And, yes, Brother Orange gives Matt back his stolen iPhone.

Today, Matt and Brother Orange are the best of friends, albeit of the long-distance kind.

Does It Matter That HTC ripped Off The iPhone?

The Apple vs, Android debate has raged wildly for almost a decade now. Each corner fights fiercely to dominate the market. While their respective fans and customers will argue their merits until they’re blue in the face. But, the whole debate came to a big, public head this week.

HTC released its latest successor, the HTC One A9. On paper, it’s a fantastic addition to their line up. It has one of the best cameras on the market, improved graphics, and Android’s new Marshmallow operating system. It’s a brilliant phone.

But critics couldn’t help but notice one small detail. It looks exactly like the iPhone 6.

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Has HTC purposely copied Apple’s flagship design? Or is it purely an accident? A byproduct of inspiration and current trends? Well, the jury is decidedly in Apple’s camp, if you read the myriad blogs and articles on the internet. Meanwhile, HTC are claiming it’s Apple that are copying them! It’s getting heated over in Silicon Valley, that’s for sure.

Apple vs. Android

The division between Apple and Android users is almost tribal. A blind loyalty exists among the two biggest mobile operators. Apple generally has the upper hand in terms of design and usability. But, arguably, Android is the more powerful operating system. And loyal Android customers love the customisation. It’s always been fairly amicable between the two, but this issue is stirring things up!

What exactly has HTC copied?

Well, take one look at the new A9, and it’s not hard to see the similarities. The HTC has the same sleek design as the iPhone 6. The rounded corners have obvious connections with the new Apple design. And, most incriminating of all, the protruding camera lens is suspiciously similar. There’s also an antenna on the back, which Apple famously changed in previous iterations. Not to mention the familiar looking range of metallic colours which mimics Apple’s latest design.

Or is it the other way round?

The biggest argument coming from the HTC camp is that Apple actually copied them. They have called their HTC a ‘design worth imitating’, and they clearly think Apple have done exactly that. They maintain that they were the first to introduce metallic designs. They also claim to have been the first to put the antenna on the back of the phone. They might have a point on the antenna, but the rest of the argument falls distinctly flat. It seems the internet is having trouble believing HTC’s claims!

Does it matter?

At the end of the day, Apple and Android have been borrowing ideas from each other for a decade. Apple adopted Android’s keyboard shortcuts and their split screen mode. They also stole Google maps (though quite frankly, Apple can keep Apple maps). The point is that tech companies take inspiration from everywhere. In the end, it helps create better products. Is this is a step too far? Maybe.
What do you think, readers? Is the new HTC a blatant rip off? And do you care? Let us know your thoughts, opinions, and rants in the comment section.

Turn Your iPhone Into A Satellite Phone

iphone satellite phone sleeve

These days, we all take mobile phone coverage for granted. No matter where we are in the world, we expect to get a signal. It is thus altogether worrying and annoying when we are in an area without a decent level of phone coverage. There was a time when, if you wanted the ultimate level of coverage, you would need to get a satellite phone. Those days are long gone, though, because you can now transform your existing phone into one of these devices.

What is a satellite phone?

You might be wondering what a satellite phone is and rightly so. These incredible devices are not always available on the mainstream market. That means that not everybody knows that they exist. Unlike standard mobile phones, this type of device connects to satellites in space. You may already know that there are many satellites orbiting the globe at this moment in time. If you plan on travelling to areas where there is unlikely to be phone coverage, it is worth having one of these devices. They can offer you an unimaginable level of coverage no matter where you are.

When would you need it?

Much of the time, people use satellite phones when they are out exploring the world. For example, if you plan to trek across the desert, you might want to have one of these devices on you at all times. That way, you can be sure that you can communicate with the rest of the world whenever you need to do so. Of course, if you are in the middle of nowhere, this is the type of device that could save your life. If you tend to worry about losing signal when you need it the most, it may be worth getting one of these phones. Alternately, you can now turn your iPhone into a satellite phone in just one simple step.

What is Thuraya SatSleeve?

The Thuraya SatSleeve is one of the most exciting new gadgets on the market. As the name suggests, this device is a simple sleeve that you slip over your current phone. At the moment, you can get this gadget for both iPhones and some Android phones. Once you have put the sleeve on your phone, you can start accessing satellite phone coverage. You can use all the normal features on your phone, and so you don’t need to worry about usability. It is crucial that you are cautious when using this system, though, or it could cost you a small fortune.

How much does it cost?

The sleeve itself costs around £400, which is quite a lot when you consider the average cost of a smartphone. Once you connect to a satellite, calls and messages will cost you much more than they do on your current plan. That is why it is crucial that you only use this gadget when you need to do so. The specialist technology is not for day to day use, but for extreme circumstances. Regardless of the cost, the fact that this brand new technology is available to everybody is exciting news.

IKEA Creates iPhone 6 Adapter

The world of technology is forever changing and expanding. Now, mainstream stores, such as IKEA, have begun to release a range of modern gadgets and furniture pieces. These high-tech pieces seek to combine both functionality and style. They allow customers to use their gadgets in their home with complete and utter ease.

One of the latest developments has to be IKEA’s range of phone-charging furniture pieces. These cool, new pieces can charge smartphones with Qi wireless charging, but what about other phones? Luckily, the Swedish multinational company has come up with a solution to this minor problem.

IKEA iphone 6 charger

What is Qi wireless charging?

You may have heard of this new technology, but do you know what it does? Some new smartphones, including the Nexus 4, have a built-in charging system that allows people to charge it. All you need to do is pop the phone on a charging pad (rather than plugging it into the main power) and leave it to charge. This design is the height of contemporary technology and a function that is sure to take off in the next few years. The range of furniture that IKEA has just released have built-in charging pads.

The IKEA iPhone 6 adapter

Strangely enough, two of the most popular phones on the market, the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, do not have this technology. That is why IKEA have now released a new gadget to help turn these two phones into ready-to-charge ones. The gadget’s name is VITAHULT.

The adapter is easy to use. In fact, it looks much like a regular phone case. To use the device, a customer has to slip it over their current phone. Once a user pops the gadget over their phone, they can use any of the charging pads around their home to charge their phone. In effect, that means that the gadget transforms either smartphone into one with remote charging. Experts believe that the device will be extremely popular when it hits stores in Spring 2015.

What does the range include?

It is not just charging pads that can charge the smartphones – there will be a range of furniture pieces that also have this ability. There are many super sleek and sophisticated pieces within the range. For example, the store will release a range of lamps and nightstands, which will have built-in pads you can use whenever you need to do so.

Is it worth the money?

The range of gadgets and furnishings are quite reasonable when you compare them to similar pieces on the market. In keeping with IKEA’s house style, the pieces are contemporary and chic. The idea of charging a phone without a traditional charger is one that has been a long time in the making. Now, many modern smartphones have this capability. With this brand new technology available to everybody, it is clear to see that most mainstream brands will follow suit. The novelty of charging a smartphone by putting it on a particular surface is enough to sell the gadget to many users. Whether this device has any longevity, though, is still unclear.

Apple Releases New Emojis With iOS Update

emojis

In April 2015, Apple released its latest iOS, which promised to have loads of brand new features and updates. As with any new system, there was a whole load of hysteria, and many people speculated on what the new features would be. The system is available on both iPhones and iPads right now. Since its release, though, users have noticed a great number of problems with the system. One of the main issues with it is that some of the emojis appear differently depending on what version of iOS you have.

Apple’s iOS 8.3 beta

The latest system is the iOS 8.3 beta, which has only just hit the mainstream market. One of the main things people are saying about the upgrade is that, once you download it, it is impossible to downgrade back to iOS 8.2. Other than that, there are many new features that the new system offers users. The update allows Apple customers to use a better version of CarPlay. The feature means that users can sync their phones with touch screens in their car. Aside from that, the system has rectified some of the problems with previous iOS downloads.

New emojis

In the name of diversity, the latest upgrade has a whole new set of emojis. The emojis vary greatly in skin tone, which means that they are much more diverse than any previous images. The emoji keyboard has also had a rather dramatic makeover, meaning it is much easier to use the broad range of images than it used to be. If both Apple users have the latest iOS, there is no problem with these images. If, on the flip side, you try to send an emoji from a phone with iOS 8.3 to one with iOS 8.2, you might run into a range of issues.

For example, if you try to send a dark-skinned emoji from the new system to a phone with an older version of iOS, you will find that it is an alien. This issue has angered many iPhone users, who have taken offence to the problem. That is not the only example of the emojis not translating to older systems. The main problem with this feature is that some of the new emojis appear to be other things when you send them. That means that while you might want to send someone an emoji of a baby, they might get a nose instead. As you might imagine, this issue could lead to no end of problems when you are trying to communicate with other users.

Other changes to the brand new system

As if the new emoji keyboard was not enough to excite (or anger) users, there are yet more features available with the new system. As we have already mentioned, the system allows users to access an updated version of the CarPlay feature. There have been yet more changes to Siri and the iCloud, which should aid usability. The update is available to all Apple users, regardless of the generation of their device. Only time will tell if this update is an improvement for Apple devices.

Android Wear Soon To Work On The iPhone

 

android-wear

The popularity of smart watches means that every company is currently creating their version of the device. From Apple to Android, there are loads of different watches about to hit the market or, indeed, already on sale. These gadgets are much like smartphones in that they will have all the capabilities that most modern phones have. The catch? Well, of course, they are much smaller than the average smartphone. Most mainstream brands are currently developing these devices.

One of the main issues with the devices is compatibility. If a user gets an Android Wear watch, can they synchronize it with their iPhone? In the same respect, can an Apple Watch work alongside any other smartphone, such as Windows phones and Android phones? The answer is unclear, at least at the moment. Sources suggest that Google, one of Apple’s competitors, are close to developing software to work with iOS.

What does this mean for the gadget?

If they were to be successful, this move would mean that users could sync their Android Wear watch with their iPhone. That means that users would have a wide variety of choice when it came to choosing a smart watch. These days, consumers use their smartphones in every aspect of their waking lives. From alarm clocks and reminders to calorie counters and fitness apps, people use this technology for it all. Without the technology that syncs the two conflicting systems, users would have to stick with the same brand. For example, iPhone owners would need to get an Apple Watch to make sure that they can sync all their apps. The new software will mean that people can mix and match the tech they own.

Will Apple allow it to happen?

Ultimately, Apple has the final say when it comes to this new software. It doesn’t matter whether the Google developers can create the software – Apple still has the right to reject it. In order for users to sync the two systems, the apps would have to be available for both the Apple App Store and the Android store. If Apple decides to reject the software from their store, it means that there would be no way in which users could download it. As we already know, Apple has tight security when it comes to external downloads. With the release of the Apple Watch on the horizon, it would make sense that the company would reject the cross-platform app. After all, Android Wear is in direct competition with Apple.

Previous issues with external apps

Of course, if Apple does decide to stop Google from releasing this app for iOS, it would not be the first time they have rejected their apps. In 2010, the mega-company stated that it would reject any apps mentioning other brands. It is unlikely that this software would not mention Android, which, of course, is a massive problem. The jury is still out on whether Apple will accept the new app, but things don’t look all that promising. After all, Apple has no real incentive to promote a rival app to users!