Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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ZAGGkeys Mini 7 Review: The Perfect iPad mini Companion

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 05:05 AM PST

ZAGGkeys Mini 7 Review: The Perfect iPad mini Companion is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

While many tablets today are more known for their ability to consume content, Zagg is helping to change our perception of touchscreen-only slates to productivity devices thanks to the company’s ingeniously designed keyboards that are specifically made to complement a wide range devices. And the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 extends Zagg’s leadership in crafting well-made keyboard cases that enhance the utility of our tablets, and in this case specifically, the recently unveiled iPad mini with its 7.9-inch display. Though the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 keyboard lacks the backlit keys of the larger ZAGGkeys Pro Plus model that’s designed for the larger iPad 2 and iPad with Retina Display, the Mini 7 offers a great typing experience with great tactile feedback along with protection for the iPad mini.

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Design

The ZAGGkeys Mini 7 is both a case for the tablet as well as a Bluetooth keyboard. The outer material of the case feels like a grippy moleskin cover that’s soft to the touch. The synthetic material adds a nice amount of grip, but over time I suspect that the material will attract dirt and dust, which may be hard to wipe down because wiping the cover with anything that can leave lint will leave even more debris on the cover, a catch 22.

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In closed position, the keyboard position folds over the iPad mini’s display and serves as a screen cover. Unfortunately, it’s not a smart cover, and you’ll still need to manually turn on your iPad when you lift off the cover.

When closed, the the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 will protect the screen and sides of the iPad. One thing to note is that in closed position–see image above, there is nothing really to latch keyboard portion securely to the iPad mini portion to keep both portions shut. This may matter if you drop the iPad mini in the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 case as the screen and keyboard portion may separate and expose the screen upon impact. One potential suggestion to Zagg for a future model would be to create a strap that secures both halves in place, similar to the elastic band found on Moleskin notebooks.

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Protruding lip helps cushion the screen upon impact if you drop the iPad mini on a flat surface screen-side down.

Regardless, as the iPad portion of the case protrudes up taller than the screen forming a lip around the display, the screen will be relatively protected if it falls flat and opened facing a flat floor. If you drop the iPad mini in the case with the screen open onto protruding gravel, then that’s an entirely different story.

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You can see the lip that extends out and above the screen to cushion the screen if the device falls with the keyboard portion open. The lip also holds the iPad mini into the case portion.

As the case offers protection to the iPad mini itself, you’ll find that the package adds a bit of thickness and weight (it has to accommodate the keyboard with mechanical keys as well as battery to power the Bluetooth radio) and the whole package measures in at around 1 1/4-inch thick when closed.

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Thickness of the closed package compared to an iPhone 5.

There are cleverly cut out openings to make it easy for the dual speakers to be amplified, the Lightning cable to be connected, as well as for camera access.

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Cutouts for ports and buttons.

The areas around the power button, mute/screen rotation lock keys, and volume buttons are also cut out as well to give access.

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Micro USB charge port on the right hand side of the keyboard. It’s located on a thick part that houses the battery as well.

And on the edge that houses the iPad mini’s Lightning connector, on the keyboarded flap, you’ll see a slightly thicker portion that houses a micro USB charge port to charge the keyboard’s battery. As the keyboard connects to the iPad mini via Bluetooth, some power is required and Zagg claims a single charge will last for months.

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Kickstand extended, similar concept to Microsoft’s Surface tablets.

When opened, the keyboard and the iPad mini are intended to be used in landscape mode, similar in concept to what Microsoft had envisioned for the Surface tablets. In fact, there’s a clever flip-out stand on the back portion that houses the iPad mini.

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Ribbon and tension hold the flip-out stand in place.

The stand itself is held by tension with a ribbon, and when you prop up the iPad mini on a flat surface, the weight of the tablet side along with gravity fully extends the ribbon and gives you a viewing angle of roughly 130-140 degrees. It’s not bad, but you’re not able to adjust the viewing angle if you want to tilt the screen further. Tilting the screen more upright may cause it to collapse onto the keyboard portion and close.

Additionally, by nature of this design, the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 must be used on a flat or relatively flat surface, like a tabletop, to be efficient. Else, if you’re using it on a bed, the rear flip-out stand may collapse and either make the screen fall down flat or close the screen onto the keyboard portion.

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Thickness of the keyboard portion

This form factor is similar to the Surface with the Type cover and the the keyboard portion is really rather slim considering it does have mechanical keys similar to those on a laptop, and not cheap membrane-style keys like on foldable or rollable rubber keyboards on the market.

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Raised, island-style keys and not the cheap membrane keys. These keys are 13% smaller than a traditional keyboard and offer great tactile response. Superb experience even with the smaller key size.

The keyboard itself has keys that are island style and is roughly 13 percent smaller than the keys of a traditional Apple keyboard.

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Row of special function keys up top

There are special function keys as well, such as those for copy and paste as well as going home and searching the iPad using the Spotlight search feature. Holding down on the home key on the keyboard–so you don’t have to reach up onto the iPad mini, will evoke Siri. Additionally, there are keys for music control, volume adjustments, and locking the tablet–turning off the display.

How It Works

The ZAGGkeys Mini 7 connects to the iPad mini via Bluetooth. There are two membrane keys at the top right edge of the keyboard for the power and Bluetooth keys. You’ll need to first charge the battery. Once you’ve charged up the battery, press and hold the power button for a few seconds until it glows. Then, do the same with the Bluetooth membrane button and then you can turn on Bluetooth on the iPad mini and pair the two devices.

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Bluetooth and power buttons and indicator lights. The buttons are membrane buttons–just push where the logos for these buttons are imprinted and you’re good. Hold for a second or two.

The pairing process is painless and no Bluetooth key or code was required to pair. You’ll only need to do the pairing process once and that’s it.

Afterwards, open up your favorite word processing app or browser and begin typing. In my experience, there was no lag between the typing on the keyboard and letters appearing on my tablet’s screen. It feels natural.

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Experience

With the smaller screen of the iPad mini, typing was not as comfortable as it was on a full-size iPad, and add to the fact that typing on a touchscreen with no tactile feedback is never really gratifying to begin with, Zagg created a perfect complement to the iPad mini. The company has perfected the mobile keyboard, and the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 shows thoughtful attention to usability in crafting a great design while ensuring maximum usability.

The keyboard, with keys that are 13% smaller than traditional keyboard keys, is a bit cramped, but that’s not really Zagg’s fault as creating a larger keyboard would mean that the whole case wouldn’t be fitted specific to the size of the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch display.

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Typing on 13% smaller keys.

Over time, I did get accustomed to the smaller keys, and in typing, I noticed that I used about 3-4 fingers on each hand rather than perform full 10-key touch-typing. It’s not a big deal, and it does beat typing on the cold glass of the iPad mini.

The keys do offer nice tactile response, and being that it’s a keyboard over a flat surface, the keyboard itself doesn’t flex, unlike on some keyboards found on more budget-oriented keyboards notebooks and ultrabooks.

What’s Missing

Still missing from the keyboard is a trackpad, similar to the keyboard dock on the Asus Transformer Pad series. However, I think this is more the fault of iOS not supporting a mouse input natively. It’d be interesting to see if Apple and Zagg or other developers could leverage this design, and perhaps use an app on the iPhone to turn the smartphone into a trackpad for the iPad mini via a Bluetooth connection. That would create an elegant solution for iPhone- and iPad mini-wielding consumers.

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No trackpad. You’ll still need to switch between the iPad mini’s touchscreen and the keyboard a lot, depending on what you’re trying to do.

And unlike the ZAGGkeys Pro Plus, there is no backlighting for the keys. It’s not a big deal, but those who type in the dark may need to adjust more on this design as the keys are smaller and require some re-training.

Weight

While the iPad mini itself is lightweight enough for me to comfortably hold and read in bed at night, folding the keyboard portion back on the iPad mini, like Apple’s Smart Cover, definitely makes the package feel heavy and rather uncomfortable to hold. As such, the ideal use for the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 with the iPad is in landscape mode with the keyboard portion activated and ready for typing.

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Holding the cased iPad mini with keyboard portion wrapped around back like a folded-over magazine.

And I am worried that as the iPad mini is secured to the case itself via a lip that extends slightly over the display, removing and replacing the iPad mini too often may stretch out the lip so that it no longer securely holds the iPad mini into position.

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With the keyboard portion wrapped around to the backside–think Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga–you can hold the iPad mini in this folded-over magazine style orientation, though the entire package adds weight that may make it uncomfortable to hold for longer durations.

It’s a minor quibble, but still a worthwhile one for those who may prefer to jump between different form factors–slate and keyboard clamshell. On the Microsoft Surface, for example, you can quickly snap off the keyboard portion and on ZAGGkeys Pro Plus for the larger iPad, you just lift the iPad out of its dedicated stand and that design offers more versatility. While this type of keyboarded folio case is elegant and affords more protection to the tablet, I wish Zagg also offered a non-folio design that’s more minimalistic and offers more versatility to users.

Conclusion

For those with Surface-envy, at $90 through Zagg the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 is an excellent investment for those who are looking to be more productive on the go and are looking for little bulk. The ZAGGkeys Mini 7 is a multifunctional tool that is 100 percent keyboard, a great kickstand, and a durable case for your tablet, and the accessory does everything superbly in an elegant package. And considering that this keyboard case is made by the same people who makes the virtually indestructible Invisible Shield, you’ll know your tablet will be well-protected.

And as to the faults that we found with the ZAGGkeys Mini 7, those weren’t really anything on Zagg’s part, but rather due to restrictions of Apple, such as the issue with no trackpad.

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No one does mobile computing keyboards like Zagg, and the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 is no exception. Specifically sculpted for the iPad Mini, the ZAGGkeys Mini 7 never leaves my tablet and is the perfect accessory to help me be mobile and productive.

 

ZAGGkeys Mini 7 Review: The Perfect iPad mini Companion is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Microsoft Dispels Windows Phone 8 HTC Titan III Rumors

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 12:01 AM PST

Microsoft Dispels Windows Phone 8 HTC Titan III Rumors is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Following a surprise appearance on the Xbox Rewards customer survey, many were hopeful that HTC had yet another Windows Phone 8 flagship that has yet to be announced, but Microsoft had reached out to us to inform us that the appearance of the Titan III on that survey was in fact a mistake.

htc-titan-2-pressPrior to Microsoft’s and HTC’s announcement of the latter company’s Windows Phone 8 smartphone hardware, there were three HTC-made Windows Phone 8 devices that were rumored for the roadmap. However, when it came time for the announcement, HTC announced two smartphones, the flagship HTC 8X, which we had reviewed, and the HTC 8S, which will not be coming to the U.S.

The third device was speculated to have a large display following the lineage of HTC’s Titan lineup in the U.S. under wireless partner AT&T, and the moniker Titan III on the Xbox Microsoft survey gave hope to those who would like to see a Windows Phone smartphone with an even larger phablet-like display.

However, according to Microsoft, the listing was described as a “typo” that “has since been fixed.”

Still, Microsoft’s statement to correct the typo may still not rule out that HTC was in fact working on a Titan III nor the fact that the device will not debut. The appearance of the device’s name on the survey may have been a typo, but the Titan III can still be roaming around like Big Foot and at this point it’s up to HTC to decide if and when it would launch the device.

Microsoft Dispels Windows Phone 8 HTC Titan III Rumors is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

HP Elitebook Revolve: A Windows 8 Tablet with a Twist

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 09:01 PM PST

HP Elitebook Revolve: A Windows 8 Tablet with a Twist is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

While convertible hybrid tablets with keyboard docks are quickly becoming en vogue, HP’s Elitebook Revolve is a modern twist on an old favorite: the HP 2730p tablet PC. The Elitebook Revolve carries a design that’s more akin to the old popular tablet PCs of yore, but with striking modern lines and a lightweight ultrabook finish, meaning it’s still got plenty of power, but is lightweight and full of performance.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnlike hybrids with keyboard docks, the screen is permanently attached to the keyboard portion and there’s a hinge on the center rear that allows the 11.6-inch display to be twisted and folded over the full-sized backlit keyboard for use in tablet mode. The screen can also be swiveled around for different viewing angles and purposes, like showing a presentation, for example.

The device will work with Windows 7 or Windows 8 Pro, and according to HP, will ship with the latest Intel processors in March. 4G LTE will also be an option alongside USB 3.0, a DisplayPort and NFC capabilities.

There will also be an optional dock that will expand the ports on the device.

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Ports on the rear side of the Elitebook Revolve; additional ports can be added via optional docking station

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The tablet itself has a 720p HD front-facing microphone, SRS Pro Audio sound, and will come with a 256 GB Intel Smart Start SSD.

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It’s definitely a more modern, lightweight tablet PC that combines the best tablet PC form factor that’s been popular in the past with today’s ultra-lightweight ultrabook design.

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And while HP is moving this convertible slate design into the Elitebook family, the company is making some subtle design changes. First, rather than an all-aluminum enclosure, the outer shell of the Elitebook Revolve is now made from plastic that encases a magnesium chassis. The design also features Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for the display.

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The tablet will be geared at business and enterprise customers and HP will offer tools and a variety of options for fleet deployment.

HP Elitebook Revolve: A Windows 8 Tablet with a Twist is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

YouTube for iOS 6 Now Supports iPhone 5 & iPad

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 02:59 PM PST

YouTube for iOS 6 Now Supports iPhone 5 & iPad is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Before today, iPad owners using iOS 6 were left out in the cold as far as an official YouTube application was concerned. Today, Google finally solved the problem, issuing a much-needed update that not only brings support to iPad owners using iOS 6 but also to iPhone 5 owners as well.

The update is an immense upgrade over the previous version of the YouTube application which supported the iPhone only and not even Apple’s latest iPhone, the new iPhone 5. Now though, those who may have been using some of the unofficial YouTube applications on their iPad or iPhone 5 will have the option of downloading the official application from Google.

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Google updated its YouTube app to support iPad owners using iOS 6.

What’s more is that the update brings AirPlay streaming for videos, something that AppleTV owners have been hoping for for quite sometime. Google has also included an assortment of other upgrades including the ability to tap the logo in order to bring up a Guide of a user’s channels, an option to add and remove videos from Playlists, Clickable links in the descriptions of videos, and improved accessibility with the app’s VoiceOver feature.

All of these features are good additions to the application and should help to make the YouTube application one that iPhone 5 and iPad owners use on a daily basis.

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iPhone 5 owners weren’t able to take advantage of the device’s taller display. Now, videos will look much better on the iPhone 5′s display which offers 16:9 aspect ratio, up from 4:3. This update is also a long time coming for iPad owners as YouTube was taken away in iOS 6 and Google only released an official application for owners of the iPhone. Now though, the application is available in a format that will be familiar to iPad owners who used the YouTube application that was once stock with Apple’s iOS operating system.

The application is now available in Apple’s App Store and better yet, it’s available, along with all of its features both old and new, for free.

YouTube for iOS 6 Now Supports iPhone 5 & iPad is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Droid DNA Price Drops Shortly After Release

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 02:25 PM PST

Droid DNA Price Drops Shortly After Release is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The price of Verizon’s latest Droid smartphone, the Droid DNA by HTC, has already dropped at Amazon with the price dropping from the usual $199.99 on-contract price to a more attractive $149.99.

Read: 6 Ways the Droid DNA Beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Amazon’s price drop of the Droid DNA, Verizon’s first smartphone with a full HD 1080p display, comes just a few short weeks after HTC and Verizon released the phone on the carrier’s 4G LTE network. The Droid DNA was released on November 21st with a $199.99 price tag, an extremely attractive price given the Droid DNA’s high-end hardware and software specifications.

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The Droid DNA price has been cut at Amazon.

Now though, those customers looking to get the Droid DNA and its beautiful display for cheaper than Verizon’s price tag can do so. Amazon is now offering the Droid DNA for a mere $149.99 on-contract. It’s also offering that price to upgraders as well so those who are still on Verizon, who are looking to snag the Droid DNA as their new device, may want to go through Amazon to get it.

There is no telling if this price drop is permanent or if it’s temporary but Amazon generally offers devices for prices lower than retail prices found on carriers so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the $149.99 price tag stick.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. Droid DNA.

$149.99 on-contract for one of the best smartphones available is certainly a deal worth considering. The Droid DNA is in that category based on its package which includes a fantastic 5-inch 1080p display with 441 pixels-per-inch, 16GB of storage, 4G LTE data speeds, good cameras, a well-built Droid Incredible inspired design, and of course, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box.

Those looking at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phablet, a device that can also be found on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, will also want to give the Droid DNA a look as well so as to weigh all options before buying.

The Droid DNA’s display will more than likely ring in a new era of Android smartphones sporting 1080p full HD displays and it could be that we see the Droid DNA’s first true display competitors arrive at CES 2013.

Droid DNA Price Drops Shortly After Release is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Bamboo Stylus Feel for Microsoft Surface and Other Active Digitizer Displays

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 02:19 PM PST

Bamboo Stylus Feel for Microsoft Surface and Other Active Digitizer Displays is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The new Bamboo Stylus Feel gives users of the Microsoft Surface Pro, and other devices with an active digitizer like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, a high-quality stylus that looks like something one might give a college graduate or retiring executive.

The pen arrives in January with a classy look and a pressure sensitive tip.

With three color and texture options, black matte, carbon fiber or white matte, the Bamboo Stylus Feel lets users of supported tablets ink with accuracy.

Those who’ve used this kind of stylus know that it makes using a capacitive stylus, like those that work on most touch screens like the iPad, feel like writing with a big crayon. Styli like the Bamboo Stylus Feel are pressure sensitive and far more accurate for intricate detailed writing or drawing.

Wacom, makers of the Bamboo Stylus Feel, offers a list of compatible devices. It’s pretty short. Here’s the tablets that work with the stylus:

  • Fujitsu Lifebook T902 Tablet PC
  • Fujitsu Lifebook T732 Tablet PC
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 1 Smartphone
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Slate
  • ErenEben T6 Slate
  • Dell Latitude 10 Tablet PC

Notice the Galaxy Note 1 smartphone listed, but not the Galaxy Note 2. We’re assuming this oversight should get corrected since the two phones use the same S-Pen technology.

Bamboo Stylus Feel carbon

So why should someone invest in a pen like this instead of just using the stylus that came with their tablet?

A stylus like the Bamboo Feel is a higher quality replacement that likely offers a better value than buying another stock stylus. A good third-party stylus like this is often more comfortable to ink with for long writing sessions and might offer a more precise inking experience, something we’ll need to test when the Bamboo Feel is released on January 7, 2013.

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The Carbon options offers a carbon fiber texture at a premium price of $79.95. The Black and White both offer a matte finish and retail for $39.95.

Bamboo Stylus Feel for Microsoft Surface and Other Active Digitizer Displays is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple Removes iPhone 5 Buying Limit

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 01:56 PM PST

Apple Removes iPhone 5 Buying Limit is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple no longer limits iPhone 5 buyers to two devices per customer according to a MacRumors report.

When Apple started selling the iPhone 5 unlocked starting at $649 the fine print on the website said buyers could only buy two iPhone 5 units. Now that sentence is gone, and anybody can buy as many unlocked iPhones as they want, provided they have the money to pay for them.

Apple retail stores also recently had a policy of limiting buyers to just two iPhone 5s per transaction and ten units over a lifetime. Now Apple stores only limit buyers to 10 iPhone 5 units per transaction with no lifetime limit.iPhone 5 order limit

The limits Apple imposed on buyers were likely to stop people from buying the iPhones in the U.S. or another country and selling them in a country that doesn’t yet have the iPhone. Many of these iPhones wound up for sale in China. Now that Apple will release the iPhone 5 in China in two weeks, there’s no need to impose a limit as its cheaper for people in China to just by an iPhone on China Unicom or China Telecom.

The limits also helped make sure Apple had stock to sell the iPhone 5 to other people. Apple seems to finally have its stock of iPhone 5s under control, so there’s no need to limit the number sold to individuals. The company now expects new iPhone 5 orders to ship in 2-4 business days as opposed to several weeks like it estimated previously.

Apple has had a hard time keeping enough stock of the iPhone 5 since the U.S. release when it sold 5 million units in the first weekend. Since them Apple brought the phone to 47 countries with long waits for people in many of those countries who wanted to buy one. By the end of 2012 Apple will offer the iPhone 5 in more than 100 countries.

Apple Removes iPhone 5 Buying Limit is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

iOS 6.1 Thoughts and Expectations

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 01:53 PM PST

iOS 6.1 Thoughts and Expectations is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Yesterday, Apple released the latest beta of its iOS 6 software, iOS 6.1 Beta 3, which is the third Beta for the company’s upcoming iOS 6.1 update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update will most likely represent the biggest update to date to Apple’s iOS 6 software following in the footsteps of iOS 6.0.1, a bug fix update that rolled out earlier this year.

With the arrival of the iPhone 5 in September came Apple’s latest piece of mobile software, iOS 6, an update that offered over 200 new features from the earlier version of iOS, iOS 5. A few of those features included an improved Siri, Do Not Disturb, Apple’s new Maps software, Passbook, and a host of other features that made it Apple’s most advanced mobile operating system to date.

Read: iOS 6.1 Release Date Gets Closer.

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iOS 6.1 should be the first big update for iOS 6 users.

I’ve used iOS 6 since it arrived on my iPhone 5 back in September and when iOS 6.0.1 was released, I immediately downloaded and installed it. iOS 6.0.1 though was a bug fix update and didn’t really bring anything new to the table. iOS 6.1 figures to change that.

While it won’t be as massive of an update as iOS 7, it still looks to bring some new features to the table, patch some of the lingering issues up from iOS 6.0.1, and hold iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners like myself over until the next iOS update and iOS 7′s likely arrival at WWDC 2013 next summer.

And because the iPhone 5 and iPad third-generation are my daily drivers, I’ve given a bit of thought to Apple’s upcoming iOS 6.1 update, even if it’s going to be a relatively small piece of software.

Here are my thoughts and expectations about iOS 6.1, Apple’s first big update since September’s release of iOS 6.

February Release Date Likely

With the release of iOS 6.1 Beta 3, we can take a closer look at when exactly the official, final version of the update will be released to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners. Apple has yet to announce any sort of release date for the iOS 6.1 update and it likely won’t given its past. Generally, the update will just start rolling out unannounced and I expect the same to happen with iOS 6.1.

As for its release date, February appears likely and here’s why. On January 9th, Apple released iOS 5.1 Beta 3. That release came after iOS 5 arrived in October with the iPhone 4S. Apple released iOS 5.1 to iDevice owners just under two months later on March 7th.

Assuming Apple follows this pattern, iOS 6.1 will likely come in 2013 and more specifically, around the end of January or at the beginning of February. So approximately two months from now.

Apple Maps Needs All the Help It Can Get

One of the known features of iOS 6.1 is a more prominent place for the “Report a Problem” feature contained within Apple Maps. And while it’s not going to fix Apple Maps over night, it’s certainly a welcomed feature because Apple’s Maps application needs all of the help it can get.

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Many iPhone owners have turned to the Google Maps web app.

Over the past couple of months, I can probably count on two hands the amount of times I’ve knowingly opened and used the application. Ever since Google added Street View to its Google web application, I’ve used it without hesitation. I don’t think we’ll see any massive improvements until iOS 7 but I think the inclusion of this feature in iOS 6.1 will encourage people, myself included, to send in some of the more prominent errors that they find.

Still Won’t Use Siri

Apple is going to be outfitting Siri with a new feature that allows iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners to purchase tickets through Fandango. Even with the new feature though, I still won’t use Siri.

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Being able to purchase movie tickets through Siri will be a nice touch for some users.

I find it to be too unreliable and impractical. For instance, my San Diego State Aztecs were playing UCLA in basketball over the weekend. It took me three attempts to track down the box score and even then, it didn’t offer me anything beyond the score. To me, that’s useless and it’s much more practical to open up the ESPN ScoreCenter application and tap to find the box score and the in-depth stats.

The addition of movie purchases is a nice touch but it’s not going to sway me into using Siri on a consistent basis.

Make the Random Reboots Stop

One of the big issues I’ve had with my iPhone 5 is a random reboot issue. The issue is not as sporadic as the random reboots that HTC ThunderBolt owners had to endure last year but it’s still frustrating nonetheless.

What happens is, my iPhone 5 will very suddenly take me to the boot up screen with the white Apple logo. Very swiftly, it will move from that screen and it will then bring me to the lock screen. The process takes about 5-7 seconds but it’s happened when I am doing an assortment of things including responding to messages or looking at sports scores within an app.

I’m really hoping that iOS 6.1 puts a stop to the issue though I’m not holding my breath.

iOS 6.1 Thoughts and Expectations is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Gmail 2.0 for iPhone Adds Multiple Account Support

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 12:32 PM PST

Gmail 2.0 for iPhone Adds Multiple Account Support is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Today Google released a new version of its Gmail app for iPhone with a new design and the ability to add multiple accounts.

The new Gmail app follows the same design language as Google Now and the new Google Search app for iPhone, replacing the out-of-place design of the previous app. Gmail 2.0 lets users add up to five Gmail accounts to the app, though like the Gmail app on Android there’s no unified inbox in the app.

With Gmail 2.0 users also get improved search and continuous scrolling for those with a lot of email in their inbox. Overall the app seems to take many of the great features from Sparrow, though it’s not clear if the Sparrow team worked on the app.

Gmail 2.0 for iPhone and iPad

Unlike Sparrow, Gmail 2.0 supports Push notifications for free. Users will get notifications of email as soon as the messages arrive, so there’s no more waiting for Mail to fetch the messages.

Avid Gmail users will appreciate the support for folders as well as priority inbox in the new iPhone and iPad app. Users who don’t use folders or priority inbox can easily ignore them, but the option is always there.

Gmail 2.0 also integrates with other Google services. Users can RSVP to events on Google Calendar straight from the app, as well as +1 and comment on Google+ posts without leaving the app. Google included a built-in web browser for emails with links, but it also included an option to open those links in Google Chrome if its installed on the device.

The new Gmail app isn’t for everyone because it doesn’t support accounts from other email services. iPhone users who rely on Gmail and other Google services will appreciate the app, however. The app brings the best parts of Gmail for Android to the iPhone, which for some users was the only drawback of iOS.

Gmail 2.0 for iPhone Adds Multiple Account Support is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Date & Features: What Not to Expect

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 12:03 PM PST

Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Date & Features: What Not to Expect is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been one of the best-selling smartphones of the year with Samsung selling more than 30 million units across the globe. The company will likely try and repeat this kind of success next year with the rumored Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung’s presumed successor that already has rumored features and a couple of rumored launch dates.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Date & Features: What to Expect.

Samsung’s yearly Galaxy smartphone has become one of the staples of the Android market, something that isn’t surprising given the quality of smartphone that has come to represent the series. With each edition of the Galaxy smartphone, Samsung has improved upon the previous version. And we expect the company to introduce an improved smartphone over the fantastic Galaxy S3 with the Galaxy S4.

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The Galaxy S4 will likely launch in 2013 to replace the Galaxy S3, seen here.

The Galaxy S4 isn’t expect to arrive until next year but already there are rumors swirling around about Samsung’s successor to the Galaxy S3. From some high-end features to several possible launch dates, the Galaxy S4 has already been tossed into the rumor mill many weeks before its launch. And while much of what has been said about the Galaxy S4 is just rumor, we can make some educated guesses about what to expect from the Galaxy S4 based on those rumors and Samsung’s previous releases.

We have already taken a look at what to expect from the most important details regarding the Samsung Galaxy S4, its features and release date, and now it’s time to take a look at what consumers and enthusiasts shouldn’t expect from the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date and features.

Galaxy S4 Release Date

Launch at CES

There have been whispers about a Samsung Galaxy S4 launch taking place at this year’s CES 2013 in Las Vegas. Consumers should not expect this to happen.

One, the Galaxy S3 is still selling well and Samsung won’t be feeling pressured to launch a successor that early in the game. Two, Samsung likes to keep its product cycles close to a year. With a release of the Galaxy S4 in January, it will only have been seven months since the release of the Galaxy S4. And three, there are two other rumored launch months.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4 Launch Date Now Pegged for April.

Right now, there are two rumors regarding the launch of the Galaxy S4. One suggests that it will be at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona in February. Certainly possible given Samsung’s past at the event. The other says that Samsung will announce the Galaxy S4 in April. Given that the Galaxy S3 was announced in early May and released in late May, April seems much more likely at this point.

Whatever the case may be though, don’t expect the Galaxy S4 to launch at CES next month, it’s too soon.

Release Date Beyond Summer

While the launch date is hard to pin point, the release date is far less difficult. With the Galaxy S3 hosting its birthday in late May, the rumored launch dates taking place in the first half of 2013 and the iPhone 5 rumored to be coming out either in the middle of 2013 or in the fall, Samsung will more than likely release its Galaxy S4 before the end of summer.

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A May to June release seems likely.

Both the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 were released in May and there have been rumors of a mid-2013 release so at this point, May is the date that users should circle on the calendar for the release of the Galaxy S4.

One Single Release Date

That being said, Samsung still have a habit of releasing products with staggered release dates. Just look at the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 which arrived on an assortment of release dates in the United States. Don’t expect Samsung to take a page out of the iPhone 5′s book with the release of the Galaxy S4.

So while the release date could come in May, carriers in the U.S. at least will likely release the Galaxy S4 where they see fit which could mean June or even July.

Galaxy S4 Features

Abnormal Pricing

One thing that has stayed consistent with the Galaxy S smartphones is the price. Last year, while the Galaxy S3 release date in the U.S. was sporadic, the pricing was consistent with carriers besides T-Mobile offerings the device up with a starting price of $199.99. Don’t expect anything to change this year.

The Galaxy S4 will almost certainly come with an on-contract price tag of $199.99. Some U.S. carriers also offered the 32GB Galaxy S4 and those who want more storage should expect to pay around $249.

Flexible Display

There is a report out  that states that phones with flexible displays are coming to the market in 2013. However, rumors about the Galaxy S4′s display, which is supposed to be AMOLED and 1080p in nature, have not stated that the display is going to be flexible OLED.

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Expect 1080p resolution on the Galaxy S4 display.

We expect the full 1080p and massive amount of pixels-per-inch to be the big draw of the Galaxy S4′s display. HTC just released a phone called the Droid DNA which offers 1080p resolution and a whopping 441 pixels-per-inch. Samsung is rumored to be playing catch up with a 4.99-inch AMOLED display with similar specs. That display will likely be the one on the Galaxy S4 but at this point, a flexible display seems to be far off in the distance.

Lack of T-Mobile 4G LTE Support

T-Mobile will be bringing its 4G LTE network to the United States at some point in 2013. The carrier is mum about a specific date but expect it to be in time for the arrival of the Galaxy S4 which will almost certainly be sporting 4G LTE connectivity.

The carrier’s Galaxy Note 2 has hidden 4G LTE support which the carrier says might be enabled with an update once 4G LTE goes live and if 4G LTE isn’t out by the time the Galaxy S4 hits, expect the same for it as well.

There isn’t a chance the Galaxy S4 arrives without 4G LTE support for T-Mobile.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Don’t expect Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to be on board. There are rumors that the device may have Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie as its operating system and that was bolstered by Google’s announcement that Google I/O will be taking place toward the end of May. The features of Google’s new operating system are as of yet unknown.

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Now that Google I/O is set for May, Android 5.0 seems possible.

While it seems liek a bit of a stretch that a non-Nexus smartphone would get a major update that quickly, if any smartphone were to get a major update early, it would be a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Samsung has been deligent in getting out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to its customers and we also know that Google launched an Android APK this year that was supposed to help bring major updates to phones faster. Maybe the Galaxy S4 will be one of the first benefactors of that.

At the very least though, expect Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Ho-Hum Software

With the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung released some pretty powerful software features for the camera, for sharing and for multitasking. Don’t expect Samsung to sit on its hands with the Galaxy S4 software this time around.

Whether it’s refining some of these current features or introducing some new powerful additions, the company will almost certainly enhance its flagship smartphone with some tantalizing software.

Happy Verizon Customers

Those wanting a Galaxy S4 shouldn’t expect to be happy campers once the Galaxy S4 is announced. Verizon typically releases its device last, pushes out its software updates much later than its competitors – look at the Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update and locks up device bootloaders.

Unless pigs start flying, all three of these things likely will occur with the Galaxy S4 next year.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Date & Features: What Not to Expect is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Nexus 4 vs. iPhone 5 Camera Shootout

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 11:57 AM PST

Nexus 4 vs. iPhone 5 Camera Shootout is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The iPhone 5 or the Nexus 4, smartphone cameras are the go-to camera for many owners. Both of these phones sport an 8MP sensor, but the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 don’t capture the same photos.

In the camera comparison below, we look at how the LG Nexus 4 compares to the iPhone 5 in common photo taking opportunities. We’ll also compare the features of these two popular smartphones and their ability to quickly correct exposure and other issues in the built-in photo app.

Read: iPhone 5 vs. Nexus 4

To test the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 cameras we took these photos at the same time in the same conditions. While there are slight variations in what’s captured, these samples should show a good range of situations and performance of the Nexus 4 and iPhone 5 cameras.

Click on any of the images to see the photo at full resolution. Unless noted, there is no post-processing on the phone or on a computer.

Outdoors Sunny Day

The first test was shooting a reflective building on a sunny day. Both phones performed well in this test, but the iPhone 5 shows a slight edge in the color of the building.

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City scene with the Nexus 4 camera.

The Nexus 4 photo is darker on the face, losing some details, but offers a more accurate color for the sky.

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City scene with the iPhone 5 camera.

Indoor

Taking photos indoors in average lighting is also a win for the iPhone 5 over the Nexus 4. This sample comparison is a good one to look at closer, as the Nexus 4 looses detail.

The iPhone 5 is on the right and the Nexus 4 is on the left.

nutcracker iPhone 100 percent crop nutcracker nexus 4 100 crop

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Nutcracker with the Nexus 4 camera.

In the photo of the Nutcracker below the nutcracker colors are spot on, where as the photo taken with the Nexus 4 above is lacking the bold blues and reds and a dark black hat. The iPhone photo sample isn’t perfect as the green of the trees is a but much.

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Nutcracker with the iPhone 5 camera.

Indoor Medium Light

We took the next sample in decent lighting without the flash, and the Nexus 4 does a better job of capturing the colors of this ornament.

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Ornament in medium lighting with the Nexus 4.

Both samples here are good, but the Nexus 4 offers a more natural look.

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Ornament in medium lighting with the iPhone 5.

Indoor Close Up

When taking a close up of garland, the iPhone 5 does a better job at capturing the silver color.

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Close up of garland taken with the Nexus 4.

Both cameras do a good job of capturing the detail of garland strands in this close up. It’s important to note that when using the auto-fix option on the Nexus 4, the end result is a much better color reproduction.

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Close up of garland taken with the iPhone 5.

Low Light

Taking photos in low light is a problem for most smartphone cameras, but the Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5 do an OK job of capturing a sleeping puppy without blowing out the photo with a flash.

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Low light Nexus 4 camera sample.

the Nexus 4 captures more detail in the low-lit part of the puppy’s face, and in the auto fix section below the Nexus 4 delivers a more detail with more natural colors.

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Low light iPhone 5 camera sample.

Outdoor Detail

In the photo samples taken outdoors on an overcast day the iPhone 5 performs better, delivering more detail on the leaves and grass around the metal cover and more defined raindrops on the cover itself.

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The LG Nexus 4 outdoor camera sample showing color and details.

Once again the iPhone 5′s photo delivers a brighter green then you’ll find on the ground in Ohio in early December.

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The iPhone 5 outdoor camera sample showing color and details.

Panorama and Photosphere

The Nexus 4 offers a cool new feature called Photosphere that allows users to create a 360-degree capture of their surroundings that are shared to Google+ or to Google Maps to view in a globe-like manner. When it comes to sharing online or on other social networks, the flat image below will have to do.

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Sample Photosphere taken with Nexus 4.

The iPhone 5 can take panoramic photos like the one below, which it does well at, but it doesn’t compare to the complete wrap around effect of the PhotoSphere photo taken on the Nexus 4.

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Sample panoramic photo taken with iPhone 5.

Quick Fix Samples

Another important factor to consider is the ability to quickly fix photos, to compensate for issues with the hardware. In the samples below, we used the built-in auto fix option to adjust color and other aspects of each photo on the iPhone 5 or the Nexus 4. This is a step many users take before sharing or printing photos, and it’s an easy way to improve smartphone photos.

iPhone 5 Outdoors Fixed. Nexus 4 Outdoors Fixed. Nexus 4 Low Light Fixed. iPhone 5 Low Light Fixed.

Camera Speed

The speed of the camera is another important aspect to consider. The iPhone 5 allows users to slide up on the lock screen to use the camera and the Nexus 4′s lock-screen widget offers fast access to the camera as well.

When it comes to taking the photo after the camera is open, the iPhone 5 is slightly faster, but the Nexus 4 keeps up. The Nexus 4 is slightly slower due to the auto-focus that occurs before taking the shot. Both phones are fast enough to catch cute moments with kids or pets, even if the iPhone 5 has a slight lead.

Nexus 4 vs. iPhone 5 Camera Shootout is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Google I/O 2013 Set for May, Key Lime Pie Likely on the Menu

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 11:36 AM PST

Google I/O 2013 Set for May, Key Lime Pie Likely on the Menu is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Google announced today that it’s yearly developers conference, Google I/O, will be taking place a bit earlier this year kicking off on May 17th from the Moscone Center West in San Francisco.

Google’s Vic Gundotra announced the news today saying that the Google I/O 2013 conference has been bumped up from June, the month that Google hosted this year’s Google I/O conference. The company will be releasing registration details at some point in February.

Once registration goes live, the tickets will likely sell out relatively quickly given the ticket sales for the previous conferences.

Read: LG Optimus G2 Rumors: 5-inch 1080p Display, Android 5.0, May Release Date.

IO13

The Google I/O 2013 conference is set for May.

Once again, the event will be taking place at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco and the event will span over three days from May 15th to May 17th. During those three days, Google will more than likely make some big announcements and it will also be hosting tons of workshops for Android developers.

As of right now, there aren’t many details regarding what to expect from the event though we imagine that Google will likely use it as a platform to announce the rumored Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update which has been on Android users radar for quite some time. Android 5.0 is currently unknown beyond its supposed name but it will very likely end up replacing Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Google’s current version of Android.

The timing of the event also lines up nicely with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 which is said to have Android 5.0 on board and is rumored to be out in the middle of next year.

Other possible announcements include an updated Nexus 7 tablet, which the company announced at the event this year. Given the success of the Nexus 7, Google likely has plans for a successor in mind.

Google may also have some other tricks up its sleeve too. Google I/O 2012 saw the launch of the Nexus Q, a device that while pulled from shelves, was still a bit of a surprise announcement.

Google I/O 2013 Set for May, Key Lime Pie Likely on the Menu is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Kindle iOS App Adds Kindle Paperwhite Feature X-Ray

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 10:49 AM PST

Kindle iOS App Adds Kindle Paperwhite Feature X-Ray is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The latest version of the Amazon Kindle app for iPhone and iPad adds a feature that Amazon first introduced in the Kindle Touch last year and continued into the Kindle Paperwhite.

The new feature in Amazon Kindle for iOS 3.5 is called X-Ray. X-Ray lets readers see how often a person or phrase appears throughout a book as well as information about the person or phrase from Shelfari or WIkipedia. Amazon says the feature lets readers view the “bones of the book.”

X-Ray isn’t a big feature for all readers, but it’s helpful for those who like books with large casts of characters like the A Song of Ice and Fire series. With X-Ray readers can keep see how often characters appear in the book, which is helpful is distinguishing the major non-viewpoint characters from the minor characters in George R.R. Martin’s world.

Amazon Kindle X-Ray

There is a potential for spoilers, however, when a character’s appearances in the book suddenly stop it could mean they died. Or, when one suddenly reappears it could mean they’re not as dead as the writer wanted the reader to think.

Amazon originally developed X-Ray for the Kindle Touch in 2011, and brought the feature to the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD this year. The new Kindle for iPhone and iPad mark the first time Amazon put the feature on a device without the Kindle name. This goes along with Amazon’s theory that it doesn’t matter what device Kindle readers use, as long as they buy Kindle Books.

Amazon still has a number of features exclusive to its Kindle devices such as the new time left per chapter feature in the Paperwhite and Immersive Reading which syncs Audible books and Kindle Books in the Kindle Fire HD. It’s not clear if Amazon will bring these features to other devices in the future, but now it seems likely.

Kindle iOS App Adds Kindle Paperwhite Feature X-Ray is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The 5 Best T-Mobile Smartphones [December, 2012]

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 10:16 AM PST

The 5 Best T-Mobile Smartphones [December, 2012] is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

This year was full of fantastic smartphone releases on every single major carrier in the United States including T-Mobile USA, the nation’s fourth largest cellular operator. We’ve already taken a look at the best smartphones available on its rivals AT&T, Sprint and Verizon and now it’s time to take a look at the best T-Mobile smartphones for the month of December.

Read: Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Best Smartphones.

While 2012 was full of fantastic smartphone releases, there are certainly still consumers out there who are still looking for a new smartphone during the month of December. And specifically, many customers will be looking to snag a new smartphone on T-Mobile’s network.

T-Mobile is the only one of the five largest carriers not to offer 4G LTE data speeds, it won’t have its 4G LTE network up and running until some time in 2013, but it does still offer a nice selection of smartphones for use with its high-speed HSPA+ network. HSPA+ might not be as fast as 4G LTE but for many users, it’s certainly going to do the trick.

Still, even with 4G LTE out of the picture for now, T-Mobile offers a great lineup of devices to choose from. However, given the amount of choices, picking a phone out can be a difficult endeavor. From Android to Windows Phone 8 to the iPhone, T-Mobile has an arsenal of attractive options that consumers are going to want to look at during the month of December.

But which devices are the cream of the crop on the Magenta carrier? This month’s lineup of the best T-Mobile smartphones isn’t much different than last months given that T-Mobile has remained relatively quiet in the past few weeks. That being said,  here are the best of the best and five smartphones that we feel reign supreme on T-Mobile for the month of December.

Nexus 4

T-Mobile was and is the only U.S. carrier to offer the Nexus 4, Google's latest Nexus smartphone, on-contract. The unlocked version of the Nexus 4, which is currently backordered, is also compatible with T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 network, making both solid options for those looking to get a great Android smartphone.

The Nexus 4 offers all of the perks of a Nexus - quick updates, customizable software, vanilla Android - and combines those with some high end specifications.

Those include a large HD display, quad-core processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, good cameras, a great design and more. The price tag is also affordable with T-Mobile asking $199.99 on-contract. The unlocked Nexus 4 variants are a mere $299 and $349

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Nexus 4
1 / 5

The 5 Best T-Mobile Smartphones [December, 2012] is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Jelly Bean Update Starts Rolling Out

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 09:18 AM PST

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Jelly Bean Update Starts Rolling Out is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update has started rolling out today for the Wi-Fi only version of the device and the start of what is likely a massive roll out to regions all over the world.

SamMobile confirmed today that the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Jelly Bean update is indeed pushing out today though at the moment, it appears to limited to owners living inside the borders of the United Kingdom. Samsung has not said when other regions might see the Android 4.1.1 update roll out though we suspect, given the company’s past with major Android updates, other regions won’t be too far behind.

Those who are looking to upgrade their device from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean will have two options as far as installing the update goes.

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The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Jelly Bean update has started its roll out.

The first option is to wait for it to arrive OTA or Over-the-Air. This option is a bit slow but is the least painful. Simply head into the device’s Settings, go into the About section and check for an update. If it has arrived, there will be a prompt that asks for start the download and installation process. If there is no prompt, then owners must wait or else go the second route which is through Samsung Kies. Samsung Kies is a piece of software that will help deliver the update through a computer. It’s a manual install process and can be frustrating, but it’s a much faster way to get the update.

Once the installation process is done, Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean will be the on-board operating system. It’s a huge upgrade over Android 4.0 ICS in that it brings a host of useful features and improvements to the tablet.

Many of them can be seen in the video below.

So, the roll out for the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has begun in the United Kingdom and it shouldn’t be long before Jelly Bean starts hitting other Galaxy Tab 2 10.1′s around the world, including the Wi-Fi only model found in the U.S.

Those who own the device on a specific carrier likely won’t see the update roll out any time soon. Carriers often drag when updating their devices and we don’t see anything different happening here.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Jelly Bean Update Starts Rolling Out is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Nabi Jr. Android Tablet for Kids Costs $100, Has a 5-inch display

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 08:52 AM PST

Nabi Jr. Android Tablet for Kids Costs $100, Has a 5-inch display is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The new Nabi Jr. from Fuhu is an inexpensive 5-inch Android tablet for kids.

The Nabi Jr. uses a 5-inch capacitive screen with a resolution of 800×480, and it runs Android 4.0 with a custom skin that makes it better suited for children. The custom Android skin uses Fuhu’s Wings Adaptive Learning System to keep kids entertained while teaching them.

The Wings Adaptive Learning System covers curriculum from Kindergarten to sixth grade. It covers 2,500 skills in writing, reading, and math and adapts to children the more they use it. The tablet should try to help kids with subjects they aren’t great at and reinforce and build the subjects they don’t have trouble with.

Read: Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Best Tablets for KidsFuhu Nabi Jr.

Fuhu builds its own custom app store into the Nabi Jr., though parents can choose to sideload the Amazon Appstore to give the tablet a wider range of apps. The Amazon Appstore doesn’t have the widest range of Android apps, but it does have a good selection of the most popular apps. Amazon’s Appstore likely has a wider range of games than Fuhu’s as well.

The Nabi Jr. uses a dual-core Nvidia Tegra processor that isn’t as fast as the quad-core Tegra 3, but is powerful enough for children. It also features a rotating camera which parents and use as a baby monitor.

The big draw of the Nabi Jr. is its price. The 8GB model of the tablet will cost $99, and the 16GB model carries a price tag of $129.

The Nabi Jr. is just one of many tablets for children available in the market, but it is one of the cheapest. Most of the tablets use a simplified UI and have some sort of protection against drops, spills, and other accidents common to children. That doesn’t mean that children want a child-proof tablet however, a recent Nielsen study showed that kids want an iPad for the holidays more than anything else this year.

Nabi Jr. Android Tablet for Kids Costs $100, Has a 5-inch display is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

iPod nano Review (7th Generation 2012)

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 08:10 AM PST

iPod nano Review (7th Generation 2012) is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

The new iPod nano brings a bigger screen, bluetooth support and a fresh design, but stops short of adding WiFi and a full version of iOS 6 that supports apps and streaming music.

As an MP3 player the iPod nano is one of the best, but for users that already own smartphones the $150 anodized aluminum MP3 player can feel redundant.

The iPod nano is a great companion for working out, especially now that it pairs with Bluetooth headphones and contains a Nike+ fitness app. The new hardware button to skip songs makes it possible to skip tracks without fumbling with touch-controls.

iPod nano
  • iPod nano
  • Rating: 3.5
  • Product by: Apple
  • Version: 7th Generation / 2012 model
  • Price: $149
  • Reviewed by:
  • On 12/04/2012
  • Last modified:12/04/2012

The iPod nano is available with 16GB of storage for $149, half the price of the new iPod touch 5th generation.

iPod nano Design and Overview

The iPod nano is a colorful well-built MP3 player and a 2.5-inch touch screen. The nano is available in eight colors, with an anodized aluminum finish similar to the iPhone’s finish. Fortunately the iPod nano is not as easy to scratch. The home button, found on all iOS devices, is back on the iPod nano 7th generation.

iPod Nano 7th generation 2012 Review - 06

The iPod nano 7th generation features an anodized aluminum back and a 2.5-inch display.

The iPod nano design changes dramatically with every new model, and the 2102 iPod nano is no exception. Apple did away with the square design that owners enjoyed for its ability to wear as a watch, returning to a larger rectangle look. There is no clip on the iPod nano 7th generation.

iPod Nano 7th generation 2012 Review - 09

The iPod nano plays video, but the screen is too small.

With the new shape and larger screen, the iPod nano can now play videos synced through iTunes. It’s a nice thought, but the screen is too small for watching even for a half hour TV show or in the hands of a child.

iPod Nano 7th generation 2012 Review - 12

Control music without looking thanks to hardware controls.

The iPod nano takes design cues from the Apple EarPods that ship with the iPhone. A third button sits between the volume buttons on the left side of the device that pauses playback with a tap, or skips to the next song with a double tap. This is great for eye-free music control, and a feature we hope Apple will add to the next iPhone and iPod touch.

Performance and Features

With Bluetooth the iPod nano is a more versatile device that makes it easy to workout without wires and to play music over Bluetooth speakers like a Jambox. Bluetooth isn’t a common feature in small standalone MP3 players. There is no built-in speakers so this makes it possible to listen without headphones.

There is no WiFi or support for third-party apps on the iPod nano, which impacts the usefulness to those of us who rely on music streaming services to get music. The FM radio app picks up local radio stations, with headphones connected as the antenna, and will show track information if available.

ipod nano review 2012 - Nike Plus

Track workouts with the Nike+ Fitness app.

The Nike+ Fitness app on the iPhone can act as a fitness monitor to track steps and running. This is a nice way to track workouts, but it isn’t as good as a Nike Fuelband or Fitbit for tracking a full day of activity. It can connect to a Heart Rate Monitor and other Nike gear over bluetooth to augment the workout data.

iPod Nano 7th generation 2012 Review - 05

The iPod nano includes a small selection of Apple apps.

The iPod nano includes a Podcast app similar to the one found on iOS 6. A photos app shows pictures synced through iTunes. The clock app offers six faces, but since the iPod nano doesn’t fit on a wrist it’s not as useful. The clock app also includes a stopwatch and a timer.

Apple claims battery life is 30 hours with music playback and 3.5 hours while watching video. The iPod nano lasted two weeks while listening to music and playing a few videos the battery. Suffice to say, battery life beats out smartphone, even with Bluetooth on.

iPod Nano 7th generation 2012 Review - 13

The iPod nano uses a Lightning cable.

The iPod nano uses the new Apple lightning connector which is in the box with a pair of the new Apple EarPods, but these headphones don’t include playback controls. The headphones are OK, but there are better options.

Recommendation

The iPod nano is a great MP3 player for fitness, but for anyone that uses their smartphone to workout it feels like a device in search of a place between the iPod shuffle and the iPod touch.

ipod nano review 2012 - No Apps

The iPod nano is a good device, but an iPod touch or iPhone offers more.

For many users the iPod touch offers a better value with a larger display for watching movies, access to apps for streaming music and playing games. The iPod Touch is $199 for the 4th generation and is as low as $129 refurbished direct from Apple.

iPod nano Review (7th Generation 2012) is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Nexus 4 On Sale in Google Play in UK & Germany At 5 PM Local Time

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 07:55 AM PST

Nexus 4 On Sale in Google Play in UK & Germany At 5 PM Local Time is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Android fans in the U.K. and Germany will get another chance to buy the Nexus 4 today at 5 p.m. local time according to an Engadget report.

Today people who signed up for notifications about the device in the U.K. and Germany received emails saying the Play Store will have the phones in stock later today. In Germany the Nexus 4 will go on sale at 5 p.m. CET, which is less than an hour from the time of this writing. In the U.K. the Nexus 4 will go on sale at 5 p.m. GMT, about an hour and a half from this writing.LG-nexus-41

If Nexus 4 sales in the U.S. are any indication British and German Android fans will have to act fast to get their hands on the LG Nexus 4. Google’s Play Store tends to sell out of the devices relatively quickly.

After the initial sales of the Nexus 4 the Play Store does not have a good reputation for selling devices. Estimated shipping times for the devices will fluctuate from minute to minute, and the store will occasionally say the device is sold out instead of giving and estimated shipping date. The store will also claim the Nexus 4 is sold out when Google still have devices to sell.

In the U.S. the 8GB model of the Nexus 4 is currently sold out for at least some users. The 16GB model is available for purchase in the U.S., but it won’t ship for 5-6 weeks which will miss the holidays.

The LG Nexus 4 is the first smartphone to run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The newest version of the OS adds new features like Photo Sphere and an improved Google Now service/ Android 4.2 also gives users the ability to view widgets from the lockscreen so they can easily see unread email or start music without unlocking the device and a new settings menu in the notification tray.

Nexus 4 On Sale in Google Play in UK & Germany At 5 PM Local Time is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

iPhone 5: Black vs White

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 07:24 AM PST

iPhone 5: Black vs White is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

For the first time choosing the right color iPhone is much more than a matter of personal preference. The black iPhone 5 doesn’t age as well as the white iPhone 5, which means you may be forced to walk around with a ragged looking iPhone for two years and get less money for it when it’s time to trade it in.

Apple first introduced the white iPhone 3G in 2008, a year after launching the original iPhone as. Some people had a strong preference for the white iPhone 3G because of the novelty and what some consider to be a more feminine or fashionable appearance. My wife opted for the white iPhone four of the past five iPhone generations (3G, 3GS, 4S and 5), with the only exception being a black iPhone 4 since Apple didn’t offer the device at launch.

Read: iPhone 5 Review: Two Months With the New iPhone

I added both a black iPhone 5 and white iPhone 5 to my smartphone collection on September 21, the day Apple launched its latest smartphone. I’m not a typical smartphone subscriber since I buy multiple devices per year on various networks for more work here at GottaBeMobile. I use Google Voice and some iOS 6 features to make shuffling between devices phones as possible.

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White and Black iPhone 5 (click to enlarge)

After just over two-months of use, my black iPhone 5 looks ragged and worn, while my white iPhone 5 looks brand spanking new, even though I’ve kept both in cases and treated them both carefully.

The back of the white iPhone 5 has a strip of white at the top and bottom. Most of the back is plain anodized aluminum. By nature, anodized aluminum is pretty durable, which is one of the reasons Apple uses the material throughout its Mac and iOS device lineups. As you can see in the above photo, the back of my white iPhone 5 is flawless.

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Pock marks on the back of the iPhone 5 (click to enlarge)

The back of the black iPhone 5 has a black coating, but underneath the coating is the same bright anodized aluminum finish as what’s on the white iPhone 5. The bright aluminum really shines through when the black coating is scratched or scuffed. The small pock marks in the above photo were caused by debris stuck between the back of the iPhone and its case.

The white iPhone 5 has bare metal edges, while the darker iPhone 5′s edges are blacked out. My white iPhone 5′s edges look as good as they do the day I unboxed the device.

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Aluminum Starting to Show Through on Top Edge of the Black iPhone 5

The black coating’s rubbed off on parts of the black iPhone 5, including the edge above the Lightning connector, the top edge above front-facing camera and both sides.

The black color doesn’t chip and scratch off the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S because glass covered the colored parts and the edges are bare anodized aluminium. Of course the glass back on the older iPhones are prone to shattering when dropped.

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Side of this Black iPhone 5 is Ragged After Two Months (click to enlarge)

All of this damage’s occurred in less than three months while in various cases. I imagine it’d look a lot rougher if I didn’t put in a case, which is exactly what a lot of iPhone 5 owners do.

In general iPhone 5 is built to impeccable standards, but the black finish’s durability is a glaring exception to Apple’s quality control.

The iPad mini is faces the same issue as the iPhone 5, but I haven’t noticed any scuffs on my black iPad mini yet. I have my fingers crossed, but I’m pretty sure my black iPad mini won’t stay as clean as our white one.

Apple needs to do something to improve the black iPhone’s durability so its customers can go back to choosing a color based on personal preference rather than choosing the color that doesn’t scratch.

iPhone 5: Black vs White is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple Sees 100,000 iPhone 5 Reservations in China in First Day

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 07:11 AM PST

Apple Sees 100,000 iPhone 5 Reservations in China in First Day is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

During its first day of pre-orders China Unicom, the number two carrier in China, handed out 100,000 iPhone 5 reservations according to a The Next Web report.

China Unicom didn’t require payment for the reservations, instead it only asked for an ID card and some other personal information. The people who reserved the device will get the chance to buy the phone on December 14 when Apple will release the phone in the country.

China Telecom, the number three carrier in China and the only other one to offer the iPhone saw 5,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on Sunday. However, the carrier was reportedly selling pre-orders for the phone before Apple announced its release date.

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In the past iPhone releases in China led to a number of problems thanks to scalpers who would buy the phones and sell them to people in the long lines. To fight scalpers Apple introduced a reservation/lottery system in China for the iPad third generation earlier this year. The system let anyone reserve an iPad and pick it up the next day, provided Apple says they can.

Apple will use the same reservation system in its Chinese Apple Stores for the iPhone 5 release on December 14.

In addition to the iPhone 5 Apple will bring the iPad mini and iPad fourth generation to China this week. The Wi-Fi only models of both iPads will release in China on December 7. There’s no word on when or if the Wi-Fi + Cellular models will come to China.

China is Apple’s fastest growing market for all of its devices, and one of the few to have its local services like Baidu and Sina Weibo built into iOS and OS X.

China isn’t the only country that will receive the iPhone 5 this month, however. Apple recently announced it will bring the iPhone 5 to South Korea on December 7, and to 50 other countries across the globe in the rest of December.

Apple Sees 100,000 iPhone 5 Reservations in China in First Day is a post by from Gotta Be Mobile.

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