Lovefone Blog https://www.lovefone.co.uk/ News, tips and tricks for smartphone and tablet users. en-uk 2017-04-30T10:05:27Z Right to Repair: The Environmental Cost of Apple's Legal Battle https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/right-to-repair-the-environmental-cost-of-apples-legal-battle 2017-04-21T09:37:07Z Lovefone Apple's legal battle to prevent customers using third party parts or services to fix their Apple products is about more than consumer rights...

Right to Repair: The Environmental Cost of Apple's Legal Battle

Apple's legal battle to prevent customers using third party parts or services to fix their Apple products is about more than consumer rights...

Right to Repair: The Environmental Cost of Apple's Legal Battle

“Right to repair” is one of Apple's biggest current headaches. The technology brand behind the iPhone are notoriously cagey and controlling of their products, keeping them closely guarded and protected in order to maintain the integrity of their creations - and to keep their sizeable share of the electronics market.

But many users are increasingly angry about some of the ways in which Apple “protects” its products, claiming that many of them are unfair. In eight states across America, the brand is currently facing legal challenges which could give consumers the right to repair their Apple products using third party parts and services, without voiding their warranties.

Apple blocks third party repairs

Currently Apple prevents consumers from making use of third party repair services and from using spare parts sold by a third party. The company achieves this by considering warranties void on devices which show evidence of third party work or parts. Many consumers are not willing to take the risk, and therefore pay far greater sums of money for repairs by the company itself. Recently Apple has changed its warranty policy so third party screen repairs no longer void the warranty of iPhones.

With repairs at Apple boasting a hefty 90% profit margin, it's little wonder the technology giant is at last facing outcry.

Global outcry

If Apple lose their current US legal battle, third party repairers will be able to order spare parts from Apple and use these to fix devices including iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. And it's not only in America that then company are facing the music. In Australia, the company is in hot water over claims that it or “bricked” (i.e. froze) the phones of users who had used a third party repairer to fix a widespread fault with their iPhone 6 & 6S devices which had a defunct “home” button.

The e-waste issue

The outcomes of all of these legal proceedings are yet to be made public, but with Earth Day approaching on the 22nd April, now is a fitting time to consider the environmental implications of the right to repair issue.

With consumer rights on the back-burner, the environmental issues at play come to the fore. Under the current status quo, Apple are a major contributor to the high cost of mobile phone repairs. Although the company is one of the worst and most flagrant offenders, it's not alone. Many technology manufacturers have similar systems in place, all resulting in high repair costs.

These inflated repair costs all-too-often persuade consumers to simply buy a new device, instead of repairing their old one. Of course, this is precisely what technology companies want, but it is costing our environment dearly.

In a recent blog post, we explored some of the consequences of e-waste, from the amount of energy that is wasted on unnecessarily manufacturing new devices, to the $60 million in gold and silver thrown away by Americans in the form of mobile phones every year.  E-waste is a serious environmental, social and health concern, which affects the entire globe. Our interactive data visualisation, E-Waste of The World explores just how much e-waste is generated across the globe. With so many wasteful practices undertaken by consumers - and strongly encouraged by technology companies - the problems are only growing worse.

Is change coming?

A loss for Apple in the right to repair case could mean a huge win for the environment. Cheaper, more accessible Apple repairs will make buying a whole new phone to replace a faulty device seem hugely wasteful. The sheer size of Apple is likely to turn cheaper repairs into a domino effect, forcing many other companies to relax restrictions and lower repair rates. Ultimately, a win for Apple's opponents could be the start of a serious reduction in e-waste an an increasingly sustainable approach to technology.

Why toss it when you can fix it? Save yourself money and save the planet too. Lovefone can sort out your smartphone in no time.

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Planned Obsolescence - How Products are Designed to Fail https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/planned-obsolescence-how-products-are-designed-to-fail 2017-04-11T09:48:52Z Lovefone Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a world where our technology never failed? Unfortunately, much our tech is designed with a shelf life. Learn more.

Planned Obsolescence - How Products are Designed to Fail

Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a world where our technology never failed? Unfortunately, much our tech is designed with a shelf life. Learn more.

Planned Obsolescence - How Products are Designed to Fail

Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in our world where our technology never failed? A world where our smartphone batteries didn't eventually give up the ghost? A world where our laptops didn't get temperamental after their 5th birthday? A world where the technology we depend on - and pay good money for - was built to last?

Unfortunately, this marvellous imagined world full of dependable technology with true longevity is not likely to become a reality any time soon. That's because much of  technology we use today, including our smartphones, has been designed with a limited shelf-life, all thanks to a concept known as “planned obsolescence” (and more than a small dose of corporate greed).

What is planned obsolescence?

Also known as in-built obsolescence or programmed obsolescence, planned obsolescence refers to the practice of designing and manufacturing products with a limited useful life. In come cases this means products are deliberately designed to fall out of fashion after a certain period, more commonly it means that products (particularly tech products) are designed to break, slow down and become difficult to use after a set point.

The purpose of planned obsolescence is simple – to force consumers to buy replacement products as frequently as possible without becoming disenfranchised by the brand responsible for the initial product. In corporate circles, this process is known as “shortening the replacement cycle”. In short, companies build obsolescence into their products in order to sell more products and make more money.

Does planned obsolescence affect my smartphone?

It's almost guaranteed that planned obsolescence is at play within your smartphone right now. For example, it's not possible for many smartphone users to simply take off the back of their phone to replace their batteries anymore, which naturally become weaker over time. This means that they will usually buy a fresh phone in order to enjoy restored battery life once their current battery starts to have less longevity.

In other cases, brands like Android stop making software upgrades for specific handsets after a certain period. This means users must buy a new handset in order to access the fresh upgrade for their smartphone.

There are also other, subtler ways in which planned obsolescence speeds up the “replacement cycle”, which depend on omission rather than deliberate sabotage.

The fact that a spilt cup of coffee or an unfortunate case of butterfingers can consign our phones to telephone heaven seems remarkable given the types of technology and materials now available on the market. Waterproofing and reinforcing smartphones would be inexpensive and straightforward, but it doesn't really make sense for technology businesses. After all, the more we break, the more we buy.

The environmental cost

Of course this is very bad news for consumer pockets, especially since all major tech companies are at it. If one quality alternative which offered longevity came to market, the jig would be up for other manufacturers, but today planned obsolescence is a crucial part of business models.

But it's also very bad news for our planet.
In a recent post we explored some the problems we face as a result of electronic waste (also known as e-waste). From the 65.4 million tonnes of e-waste likely to be tossed away in 2017, to the human cost of exporting e-waste illegally and irresponsibly mining for manufacturing materials in countries with few workers' rights, the accepted strategy of planned obsolescence doesn't just cost us money, it costs human lives and the future of our planet.


Do you think your smartphone features planned obsolescence? How long was your last phone's lifespan? Share your thoughts below and escape the cycle by
getting your phone fixed by the Lovefone specialists.

Related products

iPhone 6 screen repair

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iPhone 5S battery replacement

iPhone 5 battery replacement

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AI Assistants - What’s in store in 2017 https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/ai-assistants-whats-in-store-in-2017 2017-04-3T10:11:50Z Lovefone It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but artificial intelligence is finally here & it's on a smartphone near you soon! Find out more here.

AI Assistants - What’s in store in 2017

It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but artificial intelligence is finally here & it's on a smartphone near you soon! Find out more here.

AI Assistants - What’s in store in 2017

It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but artificial intelligence is finally here & it's probably already beavering away in a smartphone near you right now!

No longer the stuff of movies or daydreams about flying robot butlers, AI research has at last created technologies which can learn (if not “think”) for themselves. You may not think that Siri, OK Google and Alexa are all that smart, but these virtual assistants are all artificially intelligent in their own right.

Today we'll be taking a closer look at the AI at work in our smartphones and peeking ahead to explore the future of artificial intelligence when it comes to our phones...

AI assistants

We may have been lapping up futuristic movies and novels for decades, but the future of artificial intelligence really did sneak up on us in the 2010s. Machine learning and deep learning became very effective and increasingly commonplace from 2000 onwards, resulting in the helpful assistants we're so used to asking for directions, asking about the weather and even asking about Ed Sheeran's birth date...

This is artificial intelligence. Future developments in this technology will only see our smartphones become smarter, more intuitive and better at predicting our needs.

So what's on the cards? Right now, LG's new G6 is expected to feature Google's AI assistant, while Samsung are working on their very own assistant for the S8. Over at Huawei, the Mate 9 is the first phone to incorporate Amazon's Alexa.

Huawei go all the way

Huawei are especially interested in AI. The company hopes to become the world's dominant smartphone maker, overtaking Apple and Samsung. AI research is their chosen meal ticket to smartphone world dominance. By 2020 the company hope to have released their AI-focussed “Superphone”, but have released very few details about what this will entail.

Judging by their AI-centric Mate 9, incorporating machine learning about user behaviour to keep device's running smoothly without slowing down over time will play an important role, but this aspect of the future of artificial intelligence only scratches the surface of what could be achieved in the next 3 years.

What's coming in 2017?

So what else is on the horizon of our artificial intelligence future? Here are some AI updates to look out for, expected to hit this year...

HTC is working on an AI assistant called Sense Companion.

This major development has been designed to use deep learning to figure out who you communicate with most frequently and offer priority notifications based on this learning. The technology could even provide alerts about when to charge your phone based on your anticipated activities that day, along with a whole host of other handy, predictive extras.

Samsung is building Bixby.

This is another AI assistant, built on technology designed by Viv (the creators of Siri). While all information about the company's AI research and development is seriously under wraps, it's known that Viv has some very good language-learning AI up their sleeves, which can decode and provide answers to insanely complicated questions from human users. For example: “Will it be colder than 10 degrees near the Greenwich Observatory this time next week?”


Do you think the future of artificial intelligence on your smartphone is exciting or a bit spooky? Which current AI assistant do you favour? Have your say below.

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London Food Apps – Survive London https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/london-food-apps-survive-london 2017-03-21T12:47:29Z Lovefone Take a look at hand picked London food apps, restaurant & food delivery apps to make sure you’re never more than a finger-tap away from the very best grub.

London Food Apps – Survive London

Take a look at hand picked London food apps, restaurant & food delivery apps to make sure you’re never more than a finger-tap away from the very best grub.

London Food Apps – Survive London

When you’re enjoying some big city living, it pays to have a little bit of help to find the best eateries in your local area and beyond. There’s a bewildering array of choice in London to keep even the most passionate foodies replete, from dedicated udon bars (chopsticks at the ready please) to a pharmacy-inspired restaurant owned by none other than Damien Hirst.   

But with so much clearly going on, how do you sort the good from the bad? Thankfully, there are lots of handy London food apps, restaurant apps and food delivery apps to make sure you’re never more than a couple of finger-taps away from the very best grub.

So, in your hour of need, which London food app should you turn to? Here’s our rundown of the best apps to keep your hunger at bay...

London food delivery apps

Just Eat

Just Eat

GoogleApple Store

When you want fuss-free food delivered to your door in a hurry, Just Eat has an incredible level of coverage so there’s sure to be something for you.

Deliveroo

GoogleApple Store

You can’t walk around in London for anything more than a couple of minutes without seeing one of the Deliveroo army pedalling past with a delicious box full of hot food. The difference between Deliveroo and Just Eat is that while Just Eat works predominantly with takeaway restaurants, Deliveroo lets you order from some of the finest restaurants near you. 

London restaurant apps

Foursquare

GoogleApple Store

When you want to find the best restaurants, bars and more in your local area, Foursquare gives you access to an unprecedented level of information and recommendations from fellow foodies. You can also keep track of where you’ve been, and where you’d like to go.

Opentable

OpenTable

GoogleApple Store

 What restaurant apps like FourSquare don’t help you with is availability. That’s where OpenTable comes in. The last thing you want is to travel across the city to your chosen eatery only to find it’s full. By downloading OpenTable, not only will you have menus, reviews and photos at your fingertips, but you’ll also be able to see which restaurants have a table just for you.    

Table Pouncer

TablePouncer

GoogleApple Store

One of the biggest sticking points when eating out in the capital is price. This tasty app allows you to book last-minute tables at local restaurants with significant savings of up to 65 percent. There have been a few teething problems with this app but there are also plenty of savings to be had.

London restaurant review apps   

Zomato

Zomato

GoogleApple Store

As well as allowing you to access the menus, pictures and phone numbers of the top takeaways and restaurants in the city, Zomato also lets you rate and review restaurants and share your best foodie pics. There are also curated lists to help you find the best burgers, pizzas or top trending restaurants near you.    

Other...

FoodMoo

FoodMood

Apple Store only

If you like finding your next meal in the same way some singletons find their next date, then you can swipe your way to satisfaction on FoodMood, otherwise known as the  ‘Tinder of Food’. Pad Thai – nope, beef bourguignon – yes, yes, YES! 

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The Problems of E-Waste and the Implications on Health and the Environment https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/the-problems-of-e-waste-and-the-implications-on-health-and-the-environment 2017-03-16T13:04:00Z Lovefone Did you know that the UK illegally ships electronic waste overseas where it does damage to environments & people? Learn more & discover solutions.

The Problems of E-Waste and the Implications on Health and the Environment

Did you know that the UK illegally ships electronic waste overseas where it does damage to environments & people? Learn more & discover solutions.

The Problems of E-Waste and the Implications on Health and the Environment

What happens to your old phone once you've picked up a newer, flashier model? Do you give it to a mate who dropped theirs in the bath last week? Do you leave it to clutter up your drawers for the next five years? Do you toss it in the trash? Or do you recycle it responsibly?

While some of us are responsible about how we dispose of our technology, many more of us are not – especially on a global scale. It's one of the biggest e-waste problems out there.

Packed with valuable, reusable ingredients such as copper, gold, silver and palladium, technology such as laptops, tablets, TVs and smartphones are very worthwhile recyclables, so responsible recycling makes economic sense. But one of the problems of e-waste is that it's made up of devices which are difficult to process, featuring heavy metals and toxic materials which must be handled properly.

With global e-waste predicted to hit 65.4 million tonnes this year (2017), it's time we all took action on e-waste problems and begin disposing of our electronic waste carefully. Here's why...

Wasted energy

It takes a lot of energy to make electronics and to source the materials which go into them. In fact, recycling 1 million laptops would be enough to offset the energy used by 3,657 US homes annually. This wasted energy is one of the major problems of e-waste when it isn't handled properly.

E-waste problems

Wasted resources

It also takes a lot of work to mine and manufacture materials for electronics. Metals, plastics, glass – creating all of these materials has a significant impact on our planet, but Americans currently toss $60 million worth of gold and silver when they throw away their phones every year.

By recycling and reusing these materials responsibly we can reduce the need for mining and manufacturing – cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing air and water pollution and preserving natural resources too.

Harming people

The people who mine for materials, manufacture parts and assemble our high-tech devices frequently work on the far side of the world, which means it’s only too easy for us to overlook to sometimes dangerous or unfair conditions they labour in for very little money.

Other workers are now suffering on the other side of the coin as nations begin to ship their irresponsibly recycled electronic waste to poorer nations where people dismantle technology unsafely, coming into contact with nasty chemicals from cathode ray tubes, plasma technology and LCD technology.

Exporting waste is frequently undertaken illegally, even by the UK. As far back as 2003, Britain shipped 23,000 metric tonnes of undeclared electronic waste to the Far East, India, Africa and China.

Time to recycle responsibly

Recycling our e-waste responsibly is essential if we want to protect people and protect our planet. Setting up quality recycling facilities and creating jobs in these plants is one route which will ensure materials are saved for reuse, while recyclers are safe from harmful ingredients. For more information about e-waste problems and to find out how you can help, check out these resources:

Why toss it when you can fix it? Save yourself money and save the planet too. Lovefone can sort out your smartphone in no time.

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iPhone 8 release date, rumours and news https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/iphone-8-release-date-rumours-and-news 2017-03-13T14:26:33Z Lovefone The technosphere is abuzz with iPhone 8 rumours and speculation about iPhone 8 release dates. Take a look at what we think we know so far.

iPhone 8 release date, rumours and news

The technosphere is abuzz with iPhone 8 rumours and speculation about iPhone 8 release dates. Take a look at what we think we know so far.

iPhone 8 release date, rumours and news

The Apple iPhone 7 may have only been released in September, but that hasn’t stopped the world’s tech geeks uniting in their anticipation of what this year’s offering, the much vaunted iPhone 8, will bring.   

Why all the excitement? Well, the iPhone 8 is expected to be a lot more than ‘just another iPhone’. Given that 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, hushed whispers in the tech world are suggesting Apple has something big in mind for the latest incarnation of the world’s most powerful personal device.

The word is that Apple has been holding back some pretty groundbreaking features, so we have kept our ears to the ground for the latest iPhone 8 rumours about just what these could be. We will also be adding to this post as anything new is published, so come the release date, you’ll be able to see just how right or wrong we’ve been.

Here’s what we know (or think we know) so far... 

A radical redesign

iPhone 8 rumours suggest there’s a radical redesign in store, with an edge-to-edge display set to do away with the top and bottom bezels where the front-facing camera and fingerprint sensor are held. Instead, the camera and Touch ID will be built directly into the display to create a single, seamless sheet of glass.

A giant display

The new edge-to-edge design will allow Apple to maximise the size of the iPhone 8’s screen, with a rumoured 5.8-inch display boasting 5.15 inches of usable space. The remaining three-quarters of an inch will be dedicated to virtual buttons to replace the existing ‘Home’ button.  The display itself is also muted to be flexible plastic OLED, rather than LCD, allowing for a thinner device that offers a higher contrast ratio and more true to life colours while consuming less power. 

Next level selfies

If your selfie game is already strong, the iPhone 8’s ‘revolutionary’ new camera could help you step things up a notch. Information released by a reliable source suggests the iPhone 8’s camera will use infrared technology to detect the location and depth of objects in its field of vision, perhaps even enabling facial and iris recognition. The camera could also be used in augmented reality games to replace a character’s head with the face of the user.   

Three models made from glass

Apple is expected to turn back the clock to readopt the incredibly slick glass-backed body used in the iPhone 4. Although glass is heavier and more fragile than the aluminium Apple has used for its recent models, the latest advances have made glass sturdier than ever before. Rumours have also suggested there will be three versions of the iPhone 8, with all sharing the same glass-bodied design.  

A power boost

In terms of how things will look behind the scenes, it’s very likely the iPhone 8 will run iOS 11, although the new features this will contain remain to be seen. A fast quad-core processor is expected to drive this sleek beast along with 3GB or 4GB of RAM.   

iPhone 8 release dates

Apple traditionally releases its new offering in the first two weeks of September. However, there has been some speculation it may break with this tradition and launch its flagship product earlier than expected. If it’s feeling particularly nostalgic, the first iPhone was released 29 June, so that could be a date to look out for. If we receive any more information about prospective iPhone 8 release dates, you’ll be the first to know.

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My mobile saved my life: 7 times phones saved lives https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/my-mobile-saved-my-life-7-times-phones-saved-lives 2017-02-3T17:05:32Z Lovefone From being indispensable tools in rescues to stopping bullets. Take a look at seven true stories where phones have actually saved their users' lives.

My mobile saved my life: 7 times phones saved lives

From being indispensable tools in rescues to stopping bullets. Take a look at seven true stories where phones have actually saved their users' lives.

My mobile saved my life: 7 times phones saved lives

There are many innovative new medical prevention and emergency apps helping people live healthier lives. However, handheld mobile devices have been saving lives long before apps had been invented, from being indispensable tools in daring rescues to stopping bullets. Here are seven astonishing true stories where phones have actually saved their users’ lives.

1. Athlete injured in middle of nowhere

Racing through the forest on her bike, Leigh Fazzina noticed she was off the official triathlon trail, completely lost in unfamiliar rugged, hilly terrain, and totally alone. She flipped over a root, and made a long, chilling descent downhill, which totaled her bike and crushed her shoulder. She pulled out her blackberry, but had no signal, and couldn’t call anyone. Desperate, she found her Twitter app worked! After sending an urgent tweet to her followers asking for help, emergency services found her within just 18 minutes.

2. A single text saves 15 people from human trafficking

London-based charity Help Refugees was able to rescue and free Ahmed, a seven year old boy, and 14 others kidnapped by human traffickers, when he texted for help from inside a locked shipping container.

3. Drunken student gets horrifically impaled on fence spike

Manchester native Jamie Collings would have surely died but for his mobile phone, reported Manchester Evening News. Collings was out having some drinks with friends when he decided to walk home alone. He was more inebriated than he realized and tried to jump a six ft. high fence, impaling himself on three spikes through his groin and leg in the process. He could hear his own blood dripping on the concrete below as he fumbled with his phone, dialing emergency services. A horrifying experience, but because of his trusty smartphone he is alive to tell his story.

4. Emergency call saves a man’s life – a call made BY HIS DOG

When Kevin Weaver collapsed with a seizure, his trained service dog Belle was the only one around. Unfathomably, Belle took Kevin’s phone and bit the numbers “9-1-1,” successfully reaching United States emergency services. Later on, Belle would receive the VITA Wireless Samaritan Award.

5. Emergency team uses GPS to find a buried earthquake survivor

In 2010, during Haiti’s devastating earthquake, a man lay trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building for five days. Near death, he was able to text for help from a cell phone. Unable to communicate where he was, the rescue team used his phone’s GPS to pinpoint his exact location and save his life.

6. TV cameraman’s phone literally takes a bullet for him

While covering news of war-torn Kosovo in 1998 (when phones were thick, hulking things), cameraman Vaughan Smith was running away from the gunfire with his footage and felt a bump on the side of his stomach, as though he’d been hit by a rock. Later on, he reached for his travel pouch and saw that he’d been shot. Remarkably, the bullet had burst through a ball of rolled-up currency and a packet of cigarettes, and lodged itself in the phone’s battery, leaving Vaughan with little more than a bruise.

7. Cape Town man survives a bullet to the chest because of his phone

In August of 2016, Siraaj Abrahams, resident of Cape Town, South Africa, was mugged right outside the gate of his home.  The muggers shot him in the chest at point blank range, took his wallet, and left him for dead. Hours later he awoke and found that his smartphone, kept in his top shirt pocket, had shielded his body from the worst of the impact, taking the bullet meant for his heart.

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iPhone 10 year anniversary: 5 ways the iPhone made the critics eat their words https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/iphone-10-year-anniversary-5-ways-the-iphone-made-the-critics-eat-their-words 2017-01-9T17:09:40Z Lovefone Steve Jobs first announced the iPhone in 2007, and it changed nearly everything we know about smartphones.

iPhone 10 year anniversary: 5 ways the iPhone made the critics eat their words

Steve Jobs first announced the iPhone in 2007, and it changed nearly everything we know about smartphones.

iPhone 10 year anniversary: 5 ways the iPhone made the critics eat their words

Its been 10 years since the iPhone was first introduced to the world in 2007. Steve Jobs had the vision to shape our digital landscape, but with the renegade smartphone’s brazen ideas and expensive price tag, critics didn’t let it stroll into our lives without a frown or two.

The current Microsoft Chief Executive, Steve Ballmer, condemned the iPhone saying there’s no chance it would gain any significant market share. TechCrunch said the product would bomb and heavily criticised the keyboard (although they were right about the cracked screens!) Even the co-chief executive of BlackBerry at the time, Jim Balsillie, claimed that the iPhone wasn’t a ‘sea-change’. How did so many thought leaders in the tech space get it wrong? How did Apple manage to overturn the market dominance of Blackberry, Nokia and countless others? Here are 5 iPhone features that helped silence the naysayers, helping Apple to become one of the world’s most revered brands in the world today.

1. Threaded text messages

Before the iPhone shocked the world text messages were stored as separate files. You would constantly have to move back and forth between messages to look through the conversation.

The iPhone’s threaded message interface changed everything by making it easy to see your entire conversation just by scrolling. It’s a beautiful game-changing feature that has inspired the likes of Whatsapp, Snapchat and many others.

2. Keyboardless design

Without a doubt, one of the most revolutionary ideas has to be the smartphone that doesn’t have a physical keyboard. The thought of handling emails, using the internet and even editing professional documents on a phone without a keyboard was one of the main sticking points certain critics had with Apple’s phone.

Some smartphone devices went for the stylus pen whilst Blackberry’s strategy was to hold fire on a device with a tiny built-in keyboard, which proved to be the company’s most costly blunder, as their market share began to dwindle shortly after Apple entered the market.

3. Apps

The word “apps” was rarely used before the iPhone, but the ability to customise your device has proven to be invaluable to both Apple and the smart device industry as a whole.

This year, it is estimated that over 268 billion downloads will help in generating over £63 billion worth of revenue. It was Apple that believed in the concept as they were lightyears ahead of their rivals at the time.

4. Pinch and zoom

The biggest problem phone users had before the iPhone was that the screen size felt too small to do anything.

A full-length touchscreen is the type of feature we take for granted today, but Apple was the first to tackle the pinch and zoom problem by focusing their entire user experience efforts on simplicity and ease of use.

5. Combining revolutionary ideas

When Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in 2007 he spoke about how their phone was three ground-breaking ideas rolled into one device.  It was a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.

Combining these ideas took years of research and development. In fact, the Apple phone was first conceptualised as far back as 1983. The result is a phone that dominates the hearts and minds of many smartphone users today.

 

If your iPhone needs repairing, click here to select your device and allow us to work a little magic of our own. Whether you need a new home button or your screen has cracked, we can help to restore your iPhone back to glory in as little as 30 minutes.

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9 essential apps to kill time https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/9-essential-apps-to-kill-time 2016-12-20T18:25:16Z Lovefone Check out our top list of time killing apps for when boredom strikes. Wherever, whenever, make sure you’re never bored to death!

9 essential apps to kill time

Check out our top list of time killing apps for when boredom strikes. Wherever, whenever, make sure you’re never bored to death!

9 essential apps to kill time

Whether you’re waiting on an appointment, held up in line, or on a long journey, we all have moments when a fun, engaging app would be a godsend. Luckily, we live in the age of smartphones, so rather than counting ceiling tiles or staring at your shoes, you can use any number of apps to pass the time. Download these great time-killing apps so that the next time your power goes out, you’ll be ready.

Osmos

Osmos - Lovefone

Osmos is a unique physics-based game with gorgeous visuals. Its calming music and laid-back gameplay make it perfect for just chilling out or calming yourself down while you wait for that person who’s always late for meetings. The idea of the game is simple: you’re a galactic mote floating through space absorbing other, smaller motes. This simple game yields virtually unlimited play.

Terraria 

Terraria - Lovefone

If you want something more active, try Terraria. The popular PC game has recently expanded into the mobile market, making it a perfect time-killing app. Some describe the gameplay as “Minecraft meets Mario.” You propel your character through a 2-D world while building structures and fighting monsters. And there’s always something more elaborate to build or a bigger boss to fight, so this game could easily keep you occupied through many hours of downtime.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley - Lovefone

For puzzle lovers, Monument Valley may be just the thing to while away the time and keep the boredom at bay. It’s an enchanting game filled with M.C. Escher-ish levels and a compelling storyline. The music and the artwork come together to make this app an experience you have to try to understand.

Quoter

Quoter for Android - Lovefone

If you’re looking for something more contemplative, Quoter may be it. It’s not a game, but it supplies you with a thought provoking quote each time you open the app. Mull over one of these quotes as you wait for the barista to call your name.

Memrise

Memrise - Lovefone

For an educational app, try Memrise. It’s an app that lets you gradually learn a new language in your idle moments. It lets you learn new words and phrases as well as test yourself on what you already know.

Reddit

reddit - Lovefone

A tried-and-true method of killing time online, Reddit has now developed its own mobile app so that you can kill time on the go. Leave behind any preconceived notions you may have about the site, because with its multitude of subreddits, there’s really something for everyone.

Words With Friends

Words with Friends - Lovefone

Any compilation of apps to pass time would be incomplete without the extremely popular Words With Friends. The app automatically pairs you with another player of similar skill to play with, so if you’ve already alienated all your friends by being too competitive, you’ll still be able to play.

 

Stitcher

Stitcher Radio

Stitcher is a great way to pass the time. It can be used even when driving or any other time your mind is free but your hands aren’t. It’s a podcast aggregation app that consolidates all of your favourite podcasts in one convenient place for easy listening anywhere. You can even search by topic or theme to find a few new favourites. Just be courteous and listen with headphones on the underground, please.

Pocket

Pocket - Lovefone

If you prefer to read rather than listen to your content, Pocket is the app for you. It allows you to save articles, news stories, and other content from all over the web and puts it all in your own personal curated library to read when you have the chance. It’s like a super, digital bookmark.

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Mind sharpening apps and games https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/mind-sharpening-apps-and-games 2016-12-1T14:19:21Z Lovefone Keep your mind from vegging out in front of the TV with a range of mind sharpening apps and games, take a look at our top picks!

Mind sharpening apps and games

Keep your mind from vegging out in front of the TV with a range of mind sharpening apps and games, take a look at our top picks!

Mind sharpening apps and games

According to reporting by The Atlantic, brain-exercise apps are on the rise, but the evidence behind their utility is weak. In the same report, The Atlantic had seven psychologists analyse rigorous studies of some of the most popular so-called brain-training apps like BrainHQ and Cogmed, and found the results “wanting.” 

This is not surprising on the heels of a major lawsuit that hit Lumosity, an app that touted some very specific claims about how their brain-training app could increase neuroplasticity and help you with cognitive function for unrelated tasks. Lumosity was actually forced to pay $2 million (£1.6 million) for such false-advertising. 

Apps that are meant to sharpen your brain with simple exercises are often not as effective as they claim to be. Here are a few apps that will give you a mental workout.

Seven apps to actually sharpen your mind

“Brain-training” aside, while playing any sort of game that requires a ton of focus and quick decision making will sharpen your mind and increase cognitive function, you may not actually learn anything new or tangible from getting really good at League of Legends or Candy Crush. Here are some apps that will actually leave you knowing more than you did before:

Duolingo

 Duolingo

    If you’ve tried to learn another language, you know it is a huge mental task. Work out the language centre of your brain with this super-popular language app.

    Khan Academy

      Khan Academy

        Learn math, and more with Khan Academy! Not just speedy primary school problems.

        Stitcher

          Stitcher Radio

            Stitcher and Apple’s Podcasts app — These are more engaging than listening to music, and you might learn something if you subscribe to news, history, or science shows.

            Audible

            Audible

                Listening to an audiobook could teach you a lot more than listening to the newest Strokes album. Download Audible here.

                Quit That!

                    Quit That! iOS

                    Keep track of ending brain-numbing bad habits like mindless Facebook or Reddit browsing with Quit That!.

                    Quizlet

                      Quizlet iOS

                      Quizlet let’s you create your own flashcard-type mini quizzes whether you’re studying relevant work material or for that university quiz.

                      Peak

                      Peak iOS

                      Peak is a simple app that provides you with quick spelling, math, and problem-solving challenges. If you are a fan of word-searches, Sudoku, and little exercises like that, Peak is a great app to visit every day.

                      While any game, app, or interactive activity can help keep a mind from stagnation (and help deter or delay the effects of alzheimer's), apps explicitly designed to help your “mental focus” and other general “brainpower increasing” claims like Lumosity fraudulently boasted, are, well, exactly that. More misleading than based in science.

                      The lesson here is not to allow yourself to veg out in front of TV screens instead of trying to keep your mind sharp with mentally straining activities—quite the opposite. A good game will give you all the benefit of that “brain-training” app you heard about, so why not enjoy your break with a nice game of Angry Birds, instead of stressing out doing lightning-speed long division games.

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                      Apps to survive the Apocalypse https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/apps-to-survive-the-apocalypse 2016-11-14T12:08:48Z Lovefone When the inevitable apocalypse does rear its head, we’ll make sure you’re protected and ready to survive with these 6 essential apps for the end times.

                      Apps to survive the Apocalypse

                      When the inevitable apocalypse does rear its head, we’ll make sure you’re protected and ready to survive with these 6 essential apps for the end times.

                      Apps to survive the Apocalypse

                      In a situation like the apocalypse, you would hope that smartphones would continue to be useful during times of dire need. It would be pretty awesome if your smartphone became a sort of high-tech, smart multi-tool. Well, if you know what to look for, your phone actually can be like a little virtual sidekick during the end of days. 

                      So what apps will help you survive potential worldwide calamity? There are a few choices we would recommend! That is, until the people maintaining and updating these apps turn into zombies themselves!

                        Stay in touch with Firechat

                          When the apocalypse hits, electricity is scarce, and internet becomes almost non-existent, instant, long-distance communication becomes limited to walkie-talkies and radios. That’s what the films tell us, anyway. But it’s 2016, and smartphones are deeply integrated into society. Firechat is an app that enables your phone to daisy-chain itself to other phones to form a mesh network of their own. This will allow you to send messages without internet or mobile service!

                            Earthquake Alert!

                              Whether the apocalypse is caused by zombies or a series of cataclysmic natural disasters, you should be prepared. Earthquake Alert! will tell you if there is an earthquake near you. Stay one step ahead of the end of the world with this app!

                              Act fast with iTriage

                              Chances are, you’re not a medical expert. And even if you are, in the apocalypse, you probably won’t have state-of-the-art medical equipment handy, and you won’t have access to a working hospital. iTriage will give you the necessary information you need to act fast to treat an injury. It just might save a life!

                              Stay dry with Flood Alert

                              Similar to earthquake apps, Flood Alert is just one flood alert app that will keep you updated on floods of small or biblical proportions.

                              Avoid flames with FireReady

                              In the event of an apocalypse, many of us will be forced to become nomads, often resorting to camping outdoors and using fires to cook and keep warm. That means fire danger will be through the roof. FireReady and other fire warning apps will give you realtime updates on where fires are, and how they are spreading.

                              Volcano apps, because why not?

                              Who knows what the apocalypse will have in store for us? It could be caused by volcanic activity! This app updates you on what our long-inactive volcanoes are up to. After all, it is now speculated that it wasn’t just a meteor, but fallout from a major volcanic explosions that killed the dinosaurs and brought in the age of mammals!

                              If you break your phone in an apocalypse, you can’t easily just go and get it fixed. So you will want to take even better care of your phone than you do now. You’ll need a good case. Conveniently, there are even some phone cases that may come in handy in the apocalypse, like a utility case with tools built in, or a pepper spray case to protect yourself against post-apocalyptic raiders or other desperate travelers!

                              Don’t let your smartphone become obsolete during the apocalypse! When the end is near, you could really use these apps to give you the upper hand and above all, survive.

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                              Apps that can help you learn new skills https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/apps-that-can-help-you-learn-new-skills 2016-11-7T17:15:39Z Lovefone With technology at our fingertips, there’s a plethora of apps that can help you learn new skills, from maths, to even saving lives. Read on to find out more!

                              Apps that can help you learn new skills

                              With technology at our fingertips, there’s a plethora of apps that can help you learn new skills, from maths, to even saving lives. Read on to find out more!

                              Apps that can help you learn new skills

                              Learn Origami

                              Dollar Origami

                              You almost always have at least a fiver (or maybe a dollar) on you. Learn Origami for free with Dollar Origami Lite. At least, until someone passing by steals your money!

                              Learn to identify the night sky

                              Sky Map

                              Everyone loves staring at the night sky. But being able to point out that that greenish blue star is Venus, that pale red dot is Mars, and that splotch of light is actually a galaxy heading on a collision course to our own can really amplify the experience. With Sky Map, you can do just that.

                              Learn to save a life

                              iTriage App

                              Some apps can not only help you learn new skills, but help you be able to perform them on the fly in an emergency with no training. While it’s not recommended for someone with zero medical training to engage in life-or-death aid, your smartphone can save your life in a number of ways, including giving you the new skills to save a life with the iTriage app.

                              Learn magic tricks

                              Magic Shop

                              What drunk person isn’t amazed by a simple magic trick? Learn the skill of having a magic trick or two handy to become the most popular person at the pub with the Magic Shop app.

                              Learn to be more efficient and productive

                              Focus Keeper

                              One of the top rated apps for productivity, the Focus Keeper is about more than just helping you schedule your work time. It teaches you an important life skill: how to work for extended periods of time without being burned out.

                              Eventually you can learn to emulate your time with the app in your life without it. The basic concept is to give yourself periods of work time where you work uninterrupted for short bursts of, say, 25 minutes. You take a five-minute break after, and repeat, for a full set or “Pomodoro” of these work/break cycles before allowing yourself a longer break.

                              Learn your missing academic knowledge

                              Khan Academy

                              There is plenty you did not learn in secondary school that you most certainly should have. Whether or not you now need that knowledge for a job, general self-improvement, or your kid needs help on their homework, get ahead of the world finding out what a fraud you are and learn some basic knowledge skills with the world-renowned Khan Academy.

                              Learn to tie a necktie

                              Necktie app

                              Impress your friends and your next date by knowing how to tie a tie! And look good while doing so!

                              Learn another language

                              Duolingo

                              While you’re on the go with nothing to do, what better use of your time than learning another language? Duolingo is a world-famous app for teaching travelers how to pick up the basics of a new language (in a fun and immersive way), as well as brush up on a forgotten lingo used years past. ¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

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                              10 ways to make your phone battery last longer https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/10-ways-to-make-your-phone-battery-last-longer 2016-11-4T12:51:10Z Lovefone With phones being so essential in our lives, here’s 10 ways to make your phone battery last longer. Read on to see all our tips and tricks!

                              10 ways to make your phone battery last longer

                              With phones being so essential in our lives, here’s 10 ways to make your phone battery last longer. Read on to see all our tips and tricks!

                              10 ways to make your phone battery last longer

                              The age-old issue of all cell phone use is limited battery life. If your phone doesn’t have the best battery life, there are a handful of tips and tricks you can use for your Apple or Android device that will make your phone battery last longer.

                              Check battery usage

                              In your settings, you can see a breakdown of what apps are using your battery the most. Often, it’s only one or two apps that are taking up most of your battery, and everything else consumes just a small percentage.

                              Some apps that you use everyday are actually killing your battery faster than you know. The big one is Facebook. This app actually uses a surprising amount of energy merely by refreshing in the background.

                              Turn off Location Services

                              Make sure you turn off your Location setting whenever you aren’t using it. Some apps to be aware of that use Location are Maps (of course), Pokemon Go (for such a fun game, it mercilessly kills your battery), Uber, and anything else that requires GPS navigation.

                              Ease up on the camera

                              If you’re taking pictures or videos all day, that’s likely where your battery is going. Using the camera on your phone kills your battery fast, and using the flash doesn’t help either. Beware of any image chatting apps like Skype and Hangouts, or social media like Instagram and Snapchat.

                              Low power mode

                              Apple has Low Power Mode on its iPhones and iPads, and Android has Battery Saving Mode. These settings reduce the performance of your phone, but will make your phone last significantly longer. Android even has Ultra Power Saving mode, which will make your phone last much, much longer. But it’s kind of a drastic measure.

                              Turn off vibrations

                              If you don’t need your phone to vibrate for messages just turn it off instead of letting notifications shake your battery to death.

                              Turn off push notifications

                              Some apps abuse push notifications and bother you multiple times a day. If you still want to keep the apps that are giving you too many notifications, go to the app’s settings (Android has a whole Notifications section), and turn off notifications from apps you don’t care to hear from.

                              Battery saving apps

                              Apps like Battery Doctor (iOS, Android) or DU Battery Saver (Android) help you pinpoint apps that are draining your battery. From within the app, you can adjust settings like Location, Bluetooth, and screen brightness in order to conserve battery.

                              Turn off auto downloads

                              On Apple, go to settings, select iTunes and App Store, scroll down to Automatic Downloads, and toggle all of the options off. On Android, go to the Play Store settings, and tap on Auto-update apps. You’ll be given the option to turn auto-updates on or off, or you can choose to only have auto-updates occur over Wi-Fi, which will also save battery.

                              Uninstall unnecessary apps

                              Routinely go through all of your apps and uninstall any that you don’t use. These apps could be using up a small amount of battery throughout the day, which can really add up over time.

                              Turn down brightness

                              Chances are your brightness is much higher than it needs to be. Try turning it way down until it’s at a dim setting that is still usable. When checking my own battery use, “Screen” is right there at the top of the list.

                              If you follow these tips, you can keep your phone’s battery life from perpetually living in the danger zone between low battery and a dead phone. 

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                              7 things we miss about the Nokia 3310 https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/7-things-we-miss-about-the-nokia-3310 2016-10-31T16:35:39Z Lovefone The Nokia 3310 is deserving of its legacy. It’s no surprise that Techradar calls it “greatest phone of all time.” May it never be forgotten.

                              7 things we miss about the Nokia 3310

                              The Nokia 3310 is deserving of its legacy. It’s no surprise that Techradar calls it “greatest phone of all time.” May it never be forgotten.

                              7 things we miss about the Nokia 3310

                              In the early 2000s, when CD-players were completing their takeover of cassettes—but were in some ways worse, skipping more and less durable—a new piece of technology that was a cutting edge, lightweight portable cell phone that could withstand being thrown with full force against a brick wall multiple times and still be able to make calls and play Snake on was, well… awesome.

                              This review talks about all of the glory that is the Nokia 3310, but keep in mind that this includes the Nokia 3315, 3320, 3330, 3350, 3360, 3390, and 3395, all of which were simply variants of this tried-and-true model.

                                1. The Nokia 3310 was durable

                                  They call it the “brick phone” for a reason. The engineer of the Nokia 3310 should be proud of the phone’s infamy as “indestructible.” This thing was tough. It could withstand countless falls and drops and WOULD. NEVER. BREAK. This isn’t an exaggeration. These things would be thrown against walls multiple times. Lit on fire. Dropped from ridiculous heights. In fact, googling “Nokia 3310 indestructible” brings up a KnowYourMeme page. Before smartphone cases became basically mandatory, phones were expected to be sturdy all on their own. If you are one of those people who is fascinated by watching phones get smashed, the Nokia 3310 will fascinate you.

                                    2. They actually felt small and portable.

                                      Nokia has made both one of the ugliest phones we’ve ever seen in the Nokia 7600, and the simple yet sleek 3310. One of the first real mass market cell phones in a time when the 80’s size-of-a-brick phones were most common, the Nokia 3310 was not exactly slim, but compared to its predecessors, it was downright elegant.

                                        3. The interchangeable faceplates!

                                          Don’t lie and say you didn’t love buying new covers and switching them out constantly. You may have even experimented with mismatching front and back plates. This phone funded countless mall kiosks for nearly a decade.

                                        1. 4. The iconic ringtones

                                        2. It just sounds like the early 2000’s. For a nostalgia overload, listen to all 16 original Nokia ringtones in this YouTube video. The Mozart ringtone is one of my favourites.

                                          Snake II. ‘Nuff said.

                                          If you didn’t spend countless hours playing this game than you didn’t deserve a cell phone in 2001. I mean, smartphones aren’t the beginning of mobile gaming. There was an entire generation of Snake II pros. Smartphone addiction was preceded by good old cell phone addiction.

                                          6. They live for-ev-er!

                                          These days, battery life is an endless struggle. Not so with the Nokia 3310. No joke. These things never ran out of battery. The Nokia 3310 had an absurd 260 hour battery life when idle, and 4.5 hours of charge when talking. Let that sink in while your iPhone is charging. In the middle of the day.

                                          7. The LCD screen could be seen in direct sunlight!

                                          Back in the day, we didn’t have to worry about adjusting screen brightness ever. You could just always see your screen. Man, we didn’t know how lucky we were! I have to turn my brightness all the way up if I’m in the sun, which really kills your battery.

                                          The Nokia 3310 is deserving of its legacy. No other phone can be put through such abuse. Companies like CAT and DeWalt are aiming to achieve what Nokia already has. It’s no surprise that Techradar calls it “greatest phone of all time.” May it never be forgotten.

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                                          Phone related horror stories https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/phone-related-horror-stories 2016-10-27T14:17:30Z Lovefone With the sharing of data, and alleged paranormal sightings, our phones have a few horror stories of their own to tell. Read on to find out more!

                                          Phone related horror stories

                                          With the sharing of data, and alleged paranormal sightings, our phones have a few horror stories of their own to tell. Read on to find out more!

                                          Phone related horror stories

                                          Your phone is probably your most closely held possession in your life. What used to be your wallet or your pocket watch, is now probably both… and your alarm clock, and your camera, and your photo album! Our phones are taking over our lives, and it's no surprise that urban legends and serious scares are now coming from our pocket-sized portal to the internet that we carry 24/7.

                                          The smartphone case from Hell

                                          More of a really neat DIY video than an actual horror story, were I to come across this smartphone case with treacly blood coagulating around realistic eyes staring back at me—I would be unnerved. I’ve seen my fair share of bizarre smartphone cases, but this one really takes the cake, and looks like a prop out of a darker Guillermo Del Toro movie.

                                          Smartphone horror stories will keep you up at night

                                          Aptly named “No Sleep” the subreddit reddit.com/r/nosleep is dedicated to spooky user-submitted stories that are supposedly true accounts that have happened to them. These can range from creepy unexplainable encounters to full-on ghost stories.

                                          Never steal a stranger’s phone. At least not unless you want a Beatles obsessed crazy person to send you some… disturbing videos.

                                          Also be careful what you post on Snapchat, or you might have a crowdsourced revelation that someone was looking through your open door as you were posting (the frame-by-frame detective work in this comment thread genuinely freaked me out)!

                                          Speaking of Snapchat, let’s not forget about the time Snapchat’s facial-recognition filter recognised a face that wasn’t there. Here this girl was, taking a casual selfie with the dog filter on her face, when another set of dog ears and nose popped up right next to her. And to her horror, the tongue even wagged out like it’s supposed to when you open your mouth.

                                          Perhaps in choosing between the two competitive image- and video-sharing apps, the superstitious among us may go for the one that doesn’t have a literal ghost as the icon. Spooky!

                                          A Real Smartphone Horror Story

                                          Urban myths and demonic phones aside, the biggest smartphone horror story was a quite literal one for dozens of owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. After the phone was found to have a possibility to explode. One notable case captured on film shows an Essex woman panicking and backing away from her phone which underwent such an event.

                                          Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explodes

                                          According to reporting by The Sun, the thirty year old woman reacted quickly when it became apparent something was wrong, avoiding serious injuries others have sustained. “It suddenly just expanded in my hand and got really, really hot,” said the Galaxy owner.  “I dropped it on the table. Within a few seconds there was smoke everywhere and I jumped out of the way. The whole thing was just barbecued.”

                                          There have been at least 13 reported injuries Samsung has made cash settlements regarding, and of the 2.5 million produced units, a full million have been recalled. This whole saga if nothing else has been a horror story for Samsung, which has now had to kill its entire Galaxy brand. But really, it’s a horror story for owners. Scarier than any else, because it is real.

                                          And here you were thinking the only horror your phone could bring is the danger of a low battery. They can also explode, and they may be able to see stuff you can’t. Sorry if we ruined phones for you!

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                                          How are phones used in horror films? https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/how-are-phones-used-in-horror-films 2016-10-27T13:57:29Z Lovefone A mysterious scary voice on the other end of the phone can sometimes come off as cheesy, but done right, can evoke a very specific sort of fear that is both primal and modern at the same time!

                                          How are phones used in horror films?

                                          A mysterious scary voice on the other end of the phone can sometimes come off as cheesy, but done right, can evoke a very specific sort of fear that is both primal and modern at the same time!

                                          How are phones used in horror films?

                                          There is a running joke that most episodes of Seinfeld would be solved merely by use of a cell phone. Likewise, smartphones throw a wrench into how most people believe a horror plot. The gradual evolution of technology’s integration into horror plots is interesting, as you couldn’t get films with a scary voicemail being left on the answering machine until they were invented in the 1960s.

                                          The call is coming from inside the house

                                          Scream really did get how to make technology scary. Caller ID hadn’t been a thing for that long, and a major plot point and notorious scare from the 90s suspense film was when the killer calls his victims. Or the ever-famous: the call is “coming from inside the house.”

                                          Evolving the concept of phones in horror films

                                          “Oh god, I’m trapped in this spooky house and my boyfriend is possessed by a demon! Better call 911. Oh, they knocked down the cell tower. No biggie, I’ll just connect to WiFi. Oh no! My possessed boyfriend unplugged the router!” It doesn’t really have the effect horror aficionados are looking for.

                                          You can’t kill phones as easily as horror movies make it seem

                                          Movies have made many clever attempts to get rid of cell phones from their movies, as this Mental Floss piece points out. Films have used every excuse from a missing phone charger to the killers forcing everyone to put their phones in a bag.

                                          Besides just the many alternatives to simple cellular network calls and landline calls, even if all internet is gone, all cell towers gone, and all satellites crashed and burned from some horrific apocalyptic calamity… our smartphones are still a means to communicate.

                                          Hey me? It’s you, we’re gonna die!

                                          One missed call

                                          One Missed Call (2003) is a Japanese film with a 2008 remake that got lackluster reviews. “The plot revolves around Yumi Nakamura, a young psychology student whose friend Yoko gets a strange voice message on her phone. The message is dated two days in the future and Yoko can hear herself screaming in it. After Yoko mysteriously dies, her death sets off a chain of events which leads Yumi to discover that this phenomenon has been occurring throughout Japan long before Yoko received an alarming call from her future self.”

                                          John dies at the end

                                          John Dies at the End was another film with a highly graphic (although much more absurd) take on calls from your future self-prophesying your doom!

                                          Phone booth

                                          More psychological thriller than horror, one interesting movie that’s whole premise was a scary phone call—the 2002 film Phone Booth has Colin Farrell picks up a call from a pay phone box, assuming it’s a stranger calling. He quickly realises the stranger knows about Farrell’s character’s indiscretions and has a sniper rifle pointed at his head from a building far away. Maybe not spooky, but definitely scary! Or as our millennial readers may wonder—what’s a phone box?

                                          A mysterious scary voice on the other end of the phone can sometimes come off as cheesy, but done right, can evoke a very specific sort of fear that is both primal and modern.

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                                          Useful things you can use Siri for https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/useful-things-you-can-use-siri-for 2016-10-24T13:32:24Z Lovefone Rather than using her for the hilarious responses she gives to most questions, there are actually some incredibly useful things you can use Siri for. Read on to find out!

                                          Useful things you can use Siri for

                                          Rather than using her for the hilarious responses she gives to most questions, there are actually some incredibly useful things you can use Siri for. Read on to find out!

                                          Useful things you can use Siri for

                                          Apple had such high hopes for Siri. She was the first mass-scale voice assistant AI available to a significant number of consumers. She was novel. She wasn’t amazing, but she did the basics we all expected of her. In fact, we were told she was going to get smarter.

                                          Much like the janitor in the novel Flowers for Algernon, while Siri originally showed signs of increased intelligence, a regression back to mental deficiency happened and Siri got dumber when she was supposed to get smarter. And up until now, one of the most common uses for Siri was seeking out her hilarious answers to certain questions.

                                          iOS 10 update

                                          Siri got a little bit smarter recently with the new iOS 10 update. You can now do much more integrated activity by talking to Siri. Your Siri experience will now have slightly less “I’m afraid I can’t do that,” and thankfully, less “Searching for: Command I just entered” with Siri mistaking your command for a question to Google search.

                                          Siri can now get you a ride by calling Uber and Lyft

                                          One of the most useful questions you can now ask Siri is to get you an Uber! The same goes for Lyft. Now you can just say “Siri, get me an Uber,” and it’s as easy as that.

                                          Developers can use Siri!

                                          In a move that is more open-source oriented than Apple’s typical corporate philosophy, Siri is now open to third party developers in the new iOS update. This means that if you build an app that can be easily and simply commanded by an input, if the developer codes such a connection, Siri can actually oblige in a user’s request.

                                          Third-party app integration that actually works

                                          "Siri, tell Kayla I'll be at the rally in nine minutes with WhatsApp."

                                          Siri get me an Uber to McDonalds.”

                                          Siri, send Jake £5 using Square.”

                                          All of this and more is now actually possible with the increased Siri integration to third-party apps in the iOS update. Having Siri actually do stuff for you besides cracking jokes and being a hapless, useless moron is no longer the fevered dream of Steve Wozniak when he’s in the middle of raid in World of Warcraft.

                                          “Hey Siri, order me a Domino’s Pizza and remind people that I’m the actual brains behind the success of Apple.”

                                          Apple is wise to ensure that their future includes an actually improving Siri. Especially when for years it hasn’t just been Siri in the Personal Assistant marketplace. Competitors like Amazon’s Alexa are much better reviewed, featuring product placement in hit shows like Mr. Robot wherein the ingenious detective who is trying to take down the hacker collective “F. Society” sates her loneliness with conversations with her voice assistant Alexa device. Siri stepped up her game, and can actually now be quite useful, if you know what to ask her.

                                          Hey Siri!

                                          “WHAT?!” — Siri

                                          This is not part of the iOS 10 update, but many Apple device users with Siri enabled still don’t realize that you can now use Siri without having to awkwardly hold down the hold button. If this setting is enabled, you can merely say “Hey, Siri!” and then enter your command and the obedient AI will oblige your desire. Or maybe accidentally call your grandmother.

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                                          The obsession with smashing iPhones https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/the-obsession-with-smashing-iphones 2016-10-20T14:52:26Z Lovefone We’ve all seen the videos online of people smashing iPhones, but what’s with the obsession? We take a deeper look into some of the reasons.

                                          The obsession with smashing iPhones

                                          We’ve all seen the videos online of people smashing iPhones, but what’s with the obsession? We take a deeper look into some of the reasons.

                                          The obsession with smashing iPhones

                                          Is it rage, or is it fascination? Perhaps both? Ever since we’ve been making unreliable electronics, humans have been smashing them. But unlike beating that copier (that had it coming) to death, a growing trend has emerged of people becoming fascinated with seeing others smash their phones, and sometimes even post their own videos.

                                          For many people, their iPhone is the most sophisticated (or even expensive) electronic device they own. Even if they own a nice computer or game system, almost anything is easier to replace than an entire phone tied to a data plan or network provider, making a modern person who loses or breaks their phone feel like a lost wallet would to someone back in the 90’s. Even worse, if you use Apple Pay or Google Wallet, your smartphone is your wallet, too.

                                          Yet still, with so much wrapped up in these tiny devices, many people find themselves obsessed with seeing them smashed to bits. Or blended. Or incinerated. A lot of tech goes into an iPhone. Aren’t you a little curious?

                                          Fascination

                                          Some may even try a blender (only works for Blendtec blenders)! On a less fake channel though, the famous YouTube sensation Hydraulic Press VS goes to town on an iPhone in this video with nearly 400,000 views!

                                          This flash game also allows you to more safely satisfy your inner iPhone-smasher. This somewhat janky mobile app is a surprisingly fun and cathartic experience. Shoot your phone, beat it with a hockey stick, and take a blowtorch to that bad boy.

                                          Rage

                                          Putting caution to the wind, however, one Frenchman went on a rampage in an Apple Store smashing iPhones and iPads with a Boules Ball, which, as What’s Trending points out, is definitely the most French thing about this video set in the city of Dijon.

                                          Punishment

                                          I can’t tell if this is terrible parenting, great parenting, or a totally fake video, but smashing a kid’s iPhone as punishment definitely makes for an interesting video and feeds the rest of our obsession with smashing iPhones. I guess we can tell what the dad’s thought is on child screen use. I bet he thinks smartphone’s are making us stupid too. Easier to smash your kid’s iPhone than help him with his homework, I guess!

                                          For science

                                          30 iPhones smashed for science

                                          Apple gets tons of gold from recycled iPhones. So while we can empathize with the impulse to smash an iPhone and will binge-watch these videos with the rest of you, the amount of rare earth minerals in a smartphone makes recycling a much more environmentally friendly method of disposal.

                                          With that disclaimer, the most noble and satisfying video I’ve managed to come across is not one full of rage or anarchic destructionism. If you have such an obsession with smashed phones, may I present to you the pièce de résistance, 30 working iPhones smashed with a hammer, for science. At nearly 7 million views, this video definitely takes the crown for satisfying our obsession with smashing iPhones.

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                                          Best wireless headphones for phones https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/best-wireless-headphones-for-phones 2016-10-18T11:56:38Z Lovefone With Apple ditching the traditional headphone jack, we take a look at the best wireless headphones for phones. Read on for more information!

                                          Best wireless headphones for phones

                                          With Apple ditching the traditional headphone jack, we take a look at the best wireless headphones for phones. Read on for more information!

                                          Best wireless headphones for phones

                                          It’s 2016, and wireless headphones have come a long way. They are very close to as good of quality as any headphones with a cord. And now that the iPhone 7 has done away with the headphone jack altogether, it’s time to start weighing your options and considering investing in some nice wireless headphones for your phone.

                                          Best wireless headphones for music

                                          High-end: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless - £379.95

                                          Senheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless

                                          If you have money to throw around, you can’t really beat these headphones. They have amazing sound, they are noise-cancelling, very comfortable, and have a 24-hour charge. Oh, and did we mention that they are ridiculously good-looking?

                                          Average: Bose QuietComfort 35 - £290

                                          Bose Quietcomfort 35

                                          Still on the expensive side, the Bose QuietComfort 35 have “world-class noise cancellation,” voice prompts, a 20-hour battery life, and built in equalisation for balanced audio at both loud and quiet volumes.

                                          Cheap: Plantronics BackBeat Pro - £129.42

                                          Plantronics Backbeat Pro

                                          These headphones are surprisingly great for their price. They are wonderfully noise-cancelling, loud with great sound-quality, a range of up to 300 feet, and a 24-hour battery charge.

                                          Best wireless headphones for exercise

                                          High-end: Jaybird X2 - £138

                                          Jaybird X2

                                          The Jaybird X2 are sweatproof, have a comfortable fit, and give an 8-hour charge. They have great sound, and even give voice prompts like telling you when the headphones have been successfully connected. They are even designed so that you can wear them over your ear like most exercise headphones, or under.

                                          Average: JLab Epic 2 - £76

                                          Jlab Epic 2

                                          The JLab Epic 2 wireless headphones come with multiple different sized and shaped gel tips for the earbuds, so you will surely find one that fits your ear. They are light and evenly weighted, and have a great sound with deep base—a must-have for those intense workout songs—and a 12-hour charge.

                                          Cheap: Plantronics Backbeat Fit - £60

                                          Plantronics Backbeat Fit

                                          The Plantronics Backbeat Fit wireless headphones have one minor drawback: the remote controls are located directly on the earbud, which is a little awkward. But these headphones are very comfortable, with around 8 hours of battery life. They have good sound, but not amazing. And my favorite part: the earbuds are designed to let outside sound in, which I find very helpful when I’m exercising out in public.

                                          Best overall wireless headphones

                                          High-end: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless - £379.95

                                           Senheiser Momentum 2

                                          The only headphones to appear twice on our list, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 have a beautiful leather design, super comfortable memory foam cushions, and amazing sound quality. They have an average wireless range (30 feet), but have an impressive battery life of over 24 hours. If you can afford them, these are among the best headphones you’ll be able to find for your phone, period.

                                          Average: Beats Solo 2 Wireless - £200

                                          Beats Solo 2 Wireless

                                          The Beats Solo 2 Wireless headphones aren’t as pricey as many other Beats headphones. They cost about half as much as their successor, the Beats Solo 3, and have a great sound, over 12 hours of battery, and 30 feet of wireless range, which is about the norm.

                                          Cheap: Jabra Move Wireless - £65

                                          Jabra Move Wireless

                                          For anyone who can’t afford super expensive, or even slightly expensive headphones, the Jabra Move Wireless headphones are great for their price. They have a range of over 33 feet, but the battery only lasts around 8 hours. They have a great design, they’re lightweight, and they have great sound quality, even if they aren’t very noise-cancelling.

                                          Some may be annoyed with wireless headphones slowly becoming a new industry standard, however anyone who has ever snagged their pair on a door handle definitely embraces this new trend.

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                                          Technology in the 1960’s https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/technology-in-the-1960-s 2016-10-13T11:31:20Z Lovefone Here, we explore just how technologically advanced we were in the 1960’s, and we could’ve coped without our iPhones and Android devices!

                                          Technology in the 1960’s

                                          Here, we explore just how technologically advanced we were in the 1960’s, and we could’ve coped without our iPhones and Android devices!

                                          Technology in the 1960’s

                                          It’s 1960 and WWII has been more than a decade removed from our thoughts. Innovation and technology are no longer the sole privy of the military industrial complex, and cool gadgets are now making their way into the populace. As the era of peace, love, and Rock & Roll are dawning, so too is the infant version of our modern day internet. Telephone answering machines can now function autonomously, keeping us more connected than ever. And television is no longer a product only the super-wealthy can enjoy.

                                          1963: The Automatic Answering Machine Debuts

                                          The answering machine’s origins date back to 1898, when Valdemar Poulsen invented the “telegraphone” and patented its use. It was the first practical machine that was capable of magnetic sound recording that could be replayed.

                                          The first automatic answering machines were invented in 1935 and were three feet tall. Technically publicly available, the products were unwieldy and unreliable, however quite popular with Orthodox Jews forbidden to answer the phone on the Sabbath.

                                          Television

                                          We’re a long way from cramming television into our portable phones (we’re a bit away from portable phones at all!), but television has now at least made its way out of the niche of only the households of the super-rich, and are becoming a staple in every home that can afford one.

                                          The milquetoast television of the 50s was now giving way to TV’s becoming a force for journalism and real political coverage. Now a ubiquitous household appliance and not an extravagance, families began to revolve much of their lives around TV (even though there wasn’t even a fraction of the channels we have today).

                                          "The TV was the center of the house," recalled Tom Hanks, one of the executive producers of CNN's "The Sixties" series. "I don't remember a time without TV." Television may be on the way out now that “streaming content” is slowly replacing the standalone TV, but even if the ubiquity may fade, TVs don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. They’re just a little bit lonelier than they were in the 60s.

                                          The Internet is Just Around the Corner

                                          Only barely a part of 60s history, ARPANET, the precursor to the internet began in 1969. It would take another decade before the packet-transferring intra-network system was able to begin to emulate the internet as we know it today, but it’s worth pointing out that this technology that no one even knew existed until the mid-to-late-80s was a United States government-funded project as far back as the 60s.

                                          And it’s the same infrastructure your Smartphone relies on today! Massively upgraded, but literally the same technological paradigm. Sadly, it will still be decades before we, the UK, are on the World Wide Web!

                                          The 1960s were an era when futurism stopped seeming like something a hundred years off, but just years away. Sure we never got the flying cars and vacation trips to the moon we were promised, but we did get robot-driven cars and smartphones with exponentially more computing power than the computers had that took us to the moon. And oh yeah, we finally went to the moon!

                                          With the turn of the millennium now nearly a full score in our rear-view mirror, it’s hard not to imagine the 60s of this century involving anything less than fully-automated personal drones (hey, those already exist!) and smartphones being replaced by similar technology embedded directly in our brain. Google Glass may have been a flop, but Google Frontal Lobe™ may be the defining technology of 2060.

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                                          Mobile site versus app: which to choose? https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/mobile-site-versus-app-which-to-choose 2016-09-29T19:28:53Z Lovefone With 86% of time being spent in apps, is there any point on browsing via mobile sites nowadays, or is there an app for everything? Read on to find out more!

                                          Mobile site versus app: which to choose?

                                          With 86% of time being spent in apps, is there any point on browsing via mobile sites nowadays, or is there an app for everything? Read on to find out more!

                                          Mobile site versus app: which to choose?

                                          Studies show that of all the time we spend on our phones, a whopping 86% is spent in apps, while just 14% is spent in our web browsers. A great argument for the app team, but the discussion doesn’t end there. With new technologies such as HTML5 (which programming experts have been perfecting for eight years now), your phone will soon be much better equipped to surf the web.

                                          Apps: Accessibility, familiarity, and convenience

                                          We all know that apps like Facebook and Instagram connect us to friends and family in ways more easy and fun than ever before—over 60% of UK residents have a Facebook account—and many of us use them daily.

                                          Additionally, apps that use “the cloud” can provide excellent performance and higher adaptability. According to Ira Brodsky, senior analyst at DataComm Research, “Apps can upload data to the cloud for analysis and provide links to related Web sites. Vendors can distribute processing between their servers in the cloud and smartphones running their mobile app for greater computing power and efficiency.

                                          Apps are especially convenient to find as well. Whether you’re learning Italian with DuoLingo, using Habitica to stay productive, playing Crossy Road, or making your way around London with CityMapper, millions of apps are available at a tap, all in one place right on your phone.

                                          However there are definitely cons to apps. For one thing, all apps will not simply work on all smartphones. Some apps overwhelm your phone and crash, nearly all need frequent updates—which at times can change the appearance or general use of the app in frustrating ways—and in a lot of cases, not all of the features function properly. (I love Tumblr, but my smartphone simply won’t refresh to the newest feed, rendering it basically unusable.) This is especially frustrating for users with tablets seeking a desktop and browser experience only to be redirected to “mobile” versions. 

                                          Mobile Web: Evolving into a richer, more usable platform

                                          The mobile web also has its share of pros and cons, and has evolved in surprising ways to accommodate smartphone users.

                                          Mobile web sites can update without using any of your mobile data, and you don’t need a different version for different devices.

                                          HTML5 claims to bridge the divide between old-school mobile web and apps by allowing browser-based apps, and providing enhanced user interaction and stunning, high performance video without plugins. 

                                          Obviously though, mobile web still has some drawbacks. Not all HTML5 features are supported on every browser. Plus, bookmarking an app inside your mobile browser will never match the ease of simply tapping an app icon, requiring an entire change to your phone’s main interface to even level the playing field.

                                          It all comes down to what you need

                                          When you are trying to choose whether to use the mobile web or an app, it will most likely come down to which will serve your needs better in that specific instance.

                                          For example, I have an Indian cook book written entirely in Punjabi, and I wanted to translate some recipes. I went to my mobile web first, and nothing existed that could help me. I was forced to search for an app. Punjabi to English translation with a built-in Punjabi alphabet? Yes! There is an app for that!

                                          However, when it comes to searching for obscure information, nothing beats the instant reliability of Google, already there in your web browser, ready for whatever ridiculous question you desperately need answered.

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                                          Will mesh internet overtake mobile networks? https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/will-mesh-internet-overtake-mobile-networks 2016-09-29T19:09:42Z Lovefone With the many advantages of mesh networking, there’s the possibility that free internet and phone calls is fast approaching. Read on for more info!

                                          Will mesh internet overtake mobile networks?

                                          With the many advantages of mesh networking, there’s the possibility that free internet and phone calls is fast approaching. Read on for more info!

                                          Will mesh internet overtake mobile networks?

                                          In many countries, a vast majority of people have internet access, and we are slowly forgetting how to get things done without a smartphone in-hand (almost as if they are part of our brain). For countries that don’t have easy and wide access to internet, there are (and have been) projects in place to give them internet access. It has gotten to the point that it is considered by many to be a human right.

                                          So, when internet is unavailable to a large number of people, whether it be from a natural disaster or a government shutting down the wifi, or when government interference or surveillance begin to violate human rights, people will naturally try to figure out a way around it. One example of this is what is called “mesh internet.”

                                          The concept of a “mesh network” is that any phone, router, or various other electronic device can act as a sort of node in a network. Each node in this network can daisy chain to each other via bluetooth and wifi signal to share and transfer information. Messages, pictures, and even videos can be shared through these user-made networks, without a cellular signal or internet connection.

                                          Surprisingly, mesh networks have been used for quite a long time. In fact, they have been used as long as the internet itself has existed. However, the fact that there are so many more electronic devices populating the world today makes mesh internet an even more viable option. A mesh network only works if enough people are using it. If nobody is nearby, your device has nothing to connect to, and the mesh network cannot exist. The more people using the network, however, the faster and smoother it will run.

                                          Firechat

                                          FireChat is a mobile app that operates exclusively by use of mesh internet. By using FireChat, your phone will automatically begin to operate as a node and connect to any devices nearby, thus adding to a mesh network. With this app, you can share private conversations, and even start message boards. The app has picture-sharing capabilities, and may one day have sound capabilities, which would mean mesh internet could replace your phone bill. While there are apps that allow you to make money on your smartphone, this app could save you money if it really is able to replace phone and internet bills.

                                          As this app is widely used in protest of governments that will monitor internet use, you have the option to have private conversations on FireChat, and they will remain private. Much like Apple’s recent battle to protect their users’ privacy, apps like FireChat work as a sort of fail-safe in case the government is too nosy or controlling. Afterall, the UN has recently acknowledged online freedom of speech a global human right.

                                          The majority of FireChat downloads have been in effect of some significant events. Ten days after the very launch of FireChat, students protesting in Taiwan downloaded the app out of fear that the government would shut down the internet, resulting in a million installs in the first ten days. A similar situation happened when more than 40,000 Iraqis downloaded the app in one weekend. When internet is completely shut down, mesh networking is a perfectly suitable substitute.

                                          Micha Benoliel, co-founder of OpenGarden, FireChat’s developer, says that he means for FireChat to remain absolutely free to users, forever. While so far, the main uses of FireChat have been during times of emergency or protest, Benoliel hopes that users adopt FireChat as an alternative even in casual settings, such as camping, or in crowded areas where the internet signal may not be great. Many apps boast their ability to make life easier, but basically universal, free internet and telephone capabilities just knocks those other apps out of the ballpark.

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                                          Best phone battery life of 2016 https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/best-phone-battery-life-of-2016 2016-09-23T12:40:45Z Lovefone We take a look at the top five phones with the best battery life in 2016, and why it’s so important to us phone-addicts.

                                          Best phone battery life of 2016

                                          We take a look at the top five phones with the best battery life in 2016, and why it’s so important to us phone-addicts.

                                          Best phone battery life of 2016

                                          Portable battery extenders are convenient, sure. And there are some cool ones coming out, like this Pokédex battery pack to assist with a full day’s worth of Pokémon Go play.

                                          The increasing need for a longer-lasting battery is a universal phenomenon. From rural shepherds using donkeys decked out with solar-panels to power their phones on the go, to Indian KFC chains offering to-go meals with a “Watt a box” container with USB ports to give your smartphone some juice along with your chicken, these half-solutions are being thought up everywhere. But the truth is, the best solution is buying a phone with a good battery to begin with.

                                          So with the stakes higher and higher for manufacturers seeking the mantle of “smartphone with the best battery life,” Apple, Google, and the other big names in smartphones have been pushing cutting-edge battery tech to the limits.

                                          And the winner is…

                                          #1) The Motorola Droid Turbo

                                          Motorola Droid Turbo

                                          According to consumerreports.org (one of the best, most unbiased places to compare products, digital or otherwise), the Motorola Droid Turbo takes the cake. Retailing for around £150, the Droid Turbo boasts 24+ hours of talk time, rapid charging, wireless charging, and the record-breaking battery capacity of 3,900 mAH.

                                          Of the top five phones with the best battery life specs, it is interesting to note that none of these phones have a removable battery. For someone without the ability to charge, yet for whom always having an available smartphone is a necessity, there is something to be said for smartphones that can let you switch out a fresh battery. Apple has long eschewed the removable battery in exchange for a sleeker design and (supposedly) faster battery charging.

                                          While many lament the loss of removable batteries, Samsung and Motorola have run with this new standard, and now their highest-end phones have battery lives that regularly best the newest iPhones.

                                          #2 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with a battery capacity of 3,600 mAH

                                          Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

                                          #3 Samsung Galaxy S6 Active with a battery capacity of 3,500 mAH

                                          Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

                                          #4 Samsung Galaxy S7 with a battery capacity of 3,000 mAH

                                          Samsung Galaxy S7

                                          While I’m sure Samsung would have rather claimed the mantle for themselves of “best battery life smartphone,” if you aren’t going to get first place, getting second, third, and fourth is probably some consolation. 

                                          Battery life versus performance has been a design and usage trade-off as long as portable electronics have been a thing, going all the way back to Walkie-Talkies and even earlier. But now, with smartphones tied so much to our daily lives, not having a charge on your phone can mean you’re not able to answer your doorbell or, in a worse scenario, have paramedics unable to access your medical information through your smartphone.

                                          A large battery life is typically more about convenience than necessity, though, and plenty of users (especially iPhone users), are happy to trade a tiny bit of performance for having what is, in their subjective opinion, a better phone.

                                          What matters most to you?

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                                          The Internet of Things will be everywhere https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/the-internet-of-things-will-be-everywhere 2016-09-22T15:08:45Z Lovefone The Internet of Things has already found its place within homes, cars and businesses everywhere. Just how soon will it be until everything is connected?

                                          The Internet of Things will be everywhere

                                          The Internet of Things has already found its place within homes, cars and businesses everywhere. Just how soon will it be until everything is connected?

                                          The Internet of Things will be everywhere

                                          In many ways, it already is all around us, even if you’ve never heard of it. A term coined by British technology pioneer Kevin Ashton in 1999, the “Internet of things” refers to networked physical devices, vehicles, items, and locations that are built with embedded technology, sensors, or some form of network connectivity that allows these “things” to communicate their surrounding data or to change behavior based on received data.  

                                          This is a fairly complex way to explain some modern innovations that are already beginning to seem ordinary to us, like connected thermostats.



                                          For a more simplified explanation, who better to explain this stuff you should know about the Internet of Things than the famous podcasters Josh and Chuck from their podcast Stuff You Should Know? “If you use a smartphone, you’re already using the Internet of things,” says Josh. “It’s taking dumb things and making them smart by giving them the ability to sense their surroundings and communicate that data to a central server where that’s analyzed and then the proper people are alerted.”

                                          A bathroom cabinet that alerts you when you’re out of toilet paper is one such example. A store’s shelf that can alert its managers to buy more raspberry-flavored lip-gloss when supply is running low is another. As you can see in both scenarios, the Internet of Things is not only an example of connectivity creeping into aspects of our lives that were previously analog, it is also a means of saving a tremendous amount of money at the corporate level, and an extreme convenience at the personal level. 


                                          In 2014, Deloitte’s Global Consumer Survey asked smartphone owners where they hoped the Internet of Things would improve their home and automobile experience. Overwhelmingly, the desire for the home was both home control and home surveillance (Ring is a great example of the Internet of Things allowing your doorbell to become a connected part of your life). For their cars, most smartphone users said they would find the most use from traffic/weather integration, navigation, and maintenance. We already have a crude version of maintenance alerts with analog integration in the form a “check engine” light, however having your car alert your mechanic or AAA immediately after a blowout without you having to do anything is a tantalizing example of what the future Internet of Things has to offer.

                                          It isn’t all just convenience, profits, and neat-for-the-sake-of-neat though.

                                          “Seniors and others could benefit from smart medicine cabinets that track meds, order refills, and even alert physicians if something’s amiss,” writes Digitaltrends reporter Geoff Duncan.

                                          Technology has come a very long way in the past century, and the internet itself has perhaps had the most impact of any single invention. Saying the internet is everywhere might soon be basically true, seeing as how, at this rate, the internet might one day be tied to everything.

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                                          iTunes gift cards: an iPhone user’s delight https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/itunes-gift-cards-an-iphone-user-s-delight 2016-09-16T11:30:13Z Lovefone Apple begins to incorporate an even easier way to redeem iTunes gift cards. With this, and the push of Apple Pay, can we expect gift cards more in the future?

                                          iTunes gift cards: an iPhone user’s delight

                                          Apple begins to incorporate an even easier way to redeem iTunes gift cards. With this, and the push of Apple Pay, can we expect gift cards more in the future?

                                          iTunes gift cards: an iPhone user’s delight

                                          It was not so long ago that parents were appalled that something like a Facebook gift card could even exist. Now such gift cards are regularly earmarked for a child’s Farmville gaming, along with Google Play and iTunes gift cards, and are becoming more and more popular stocking stuffers.

                                          Electronics retailer Best Buy has noticed a significant uptick in Pokemon-related products, portable chargers, and iTunes gift cards. What’s a Pokemon Go themed birthday party without gift card to purchase extra Pokecoins?

                                          iTunes may be a crippled and less integral part of the Apple customer environment, but it is still the main point of purchase for so much video and music that Apple has now made it even easier for you to activate your iTunes gift card.

                                          Similar to QR technology where your smartphone camera can pick up a sensed digital pattern, iPhones do one better by only needing to hover over a chunk of alpha-numeric code and redeems your gift card immediately.

                                          No more trying desperately to type in a 16-digit string of random numbers and letters with your thumbs on a tiny screen, and getting it wrong three times in a row (was that an O or an 0?).

                                          But increasing iTunes usage isn’t just limited to people wanting to game it up on their iPhone or purchase content. As part of a push to get more users to sign up with Apple Pay (Apple’s smartphone-based payment system similar to Google Wallet), U.K.-based Apple Stores have started offering a small iTunes gift card too.  

                                          According to MacRumors.com, “when making a purchase in store, Apple employees will ask customers if they would like to pay via Apple Pay. If a customer declines and does not have Apple Pay set up, employees will guide customers through the setup process to make the purchase and will offer a bonus $5 or £5 iTunes gift card for using Apple Pay as their payment method.” 

                                          By frontloading your Apple Pay account with a small bit of cash, Apple is trying hard to make your smartphone replace your credit and debit cards entirely. Anxious to emulate the cash grab Apple is now making from the gift cards, Google Android users will soon be able to pay for Netflix with a Google Play gift card, removing the need for a credit card or bank account that limited many users from experiencing the glory that is Netflix binging. So that Google Play card can now buy you mobile game goodies as well streaming content—not just purchasing content.

                                          Between the increase in freemium gaming, the overwhelming and surprising popularity of Pokemon Go, and with Apple’s new push for Apple Pay usage, it seems like iTunes is here to stay for a while, and iTunes gift cards are only going to become a more integral part of Apple’s business strategy. Companies are moving away from a card-based payment structure in the long run, but while market forces increase the utility of gift cards in the short term, we should only expect them being pushed even harder in the months to come.

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                                          Top 12 weirdest phone cases https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/top-12-weirdest-phone-cases 2016-09-8T12:56:20Z Lovefone We’ve already explored the ugliest phones out there, now we take a look at the top 12 weirdest phone cases out there. Try not to be too weirded out!

                                          Top 12 weirdest phone cases

                                          We’ve already explored the ugliest phones out there, now we take a look at the top 12 weirdest phone cases out there. Try not to be too weirded out!

                                          Top 12 weirdest phone cases

                                          #1 Thumbs Up Ear case

                                          The Thumbs Up Ear Case is perhaps the silliest smartphone case I can think of. When you hold your phone to your ear it looks like you have a giant ear. It doesn’t get much uglier than that. Ok, maybe it does.

                                            #2 Hana iPhone case

                                            How does the saying go? “You can’t pick your nose, but you can pick your iPhone’s nose.” The Hana iPhone case has nostrils on the back so that you can hold your phone by sticking your fingers into the nostrils. I wonder if you’ll find some rare minerals in there.

                                              #3 Japanese Hand case

                                              The hand case wins for creepiest iPhone case. You can choose between two different life-like hand models for you to hold while holding your phone… Ok. Moving on.

                                                #4 Yellow Jacket Taser case

                                                The Yellow Jacket iPhone case is a phone case with a taser at the end of it. Carrying a taser isn’t uncommon, so why not attach one to your most-used possession?

                                                  #5 Pepper Spray iPhone case

                                                  Another weapon/iPhone case hybrid, the Spraytect Pepper Spray iPhone case has a little slot on the side to insert a can of pepper spray. This case could actually save your life.

                                                    #6 The Knucklecase

                                                      The Kucklecase is a phone case with brass knuckles on the side. However, they’re not built for actual self-defense—they just look cool. You’d probably break the case and the phone if you actually used them, so don’t. If our warning was too late, we can fix your phone for you!

                                                        #7 IN1 Utility Case

                                                        The IN1 utility iPhone case is a little weird, but I could actually see myself using it. It’s got compartments on the back that hold tools like screwdrivers, a nail file, tweezers, scissors, and even a toothpick. This puts “using your phone as a tool” to a whole new level.

                                                          #8 Gun iPhone Case

                                                          This one is just terrible. It’s shaped like a gun so that you can hold it like a gun. And point it at people, I guess. Or cause a panic, and maybe get arrested.

                                                            #9 The JoeyBra

                                                            The JoeyBra is just a bra with a pocket on the side to hold your phone, your wallet, or whatever you want. Great for when you want to feel like a spy or like you have a kangaroo pouch under your armpit. It’s called a “Joey” bra afterall.

                                                              #10 The Tonefone

                                                              The Tonefone is both ridiculous and… dare I say genius? The Tonefone is the heaviest iPhone case ever, weighing three pounds. Heavy for a phone, not heavy for a weight. But then again, if you’re glued to your smartphone all day, that might actually add up to a good workout.

                                                                #11 iEqualizer

                                                                The iEqualizer iPhone case is a pretty cool toy. It’s got a fake equaliser on the back that actually reacts to sounds and music and lights up. It even has a little fake speaker on the top. If you like useless gadgets and need a smartphone case, look no further.

                                                                  #12 Whale iPhone case

                                                                      This whale iPhone case is very pleasing to look at, and has some neat features. The tail doubles as a handle so you don’t drop your phone, you can wrap your headphones around it, it works as a stand, and the hump of the whale’s back adds a tiny bit of storage. And my favourite feature of all: the blowhole is the headphone jack!

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                                                                      iPhone 7: everything we know https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/iphone-7-everything-we-know 2016-09-4T17:28:11Z Lovefone With the iPhone 7 release imminent, we round up everything we know so far about Apple’s latest installment.

                                                                      iPhone 7: everything we know

                                                                      With the iPhone 7 release imminent, we round up everything we know so far about Apple’s latest installment.

                                                                      iPhone 7: everything we know

                                                                      Nobody quite knows what the iPhone 7 looks like or what features it has. The number of rumors floating around is both exciting and frustrating – and some are quite frankly ridiculous. We’ve put them all together here. 

                                                                      Apple has a habit of reliably releasing their flagship phones in the autumn, right around early to mid-September - and the iPhone 7 will be no different. That means it’s coming out… Very soon. Here’s what we know about it so far.

                                                                      When will The iPhone 7 Be Launched?

                                                                      The iPhone 7 will be almost certainly be launched on 7 September. The event starts at 6PM UK time and there will be many ways to follow the events live, including through Apple itself after having recently launched its own Twitter account.

                                                                      Waterproof? And No Headphone Jack?

                                                                      There are rumors that the iPhone 7 will be completely waterproof, which makes sense since it seems Apple will be getting rid of the headphone jack. The iPhone 7 will instead use the Lightning charging port, or connect headphones via Bluetooth. Let’s just hope the headphones aren’t as tiny as this concept shows…


                                                                      Images also hint that the iPhone 7 will include a Smart Connector like the ones found on the newer iPads. We aren’t sure what purpose this would serve on an iPhone, since the iPad primarily used them for an attachable keyboard.

                                                                      Full-screen Immersive Design And A Sleek New Colour

                                                                      The iPhone 7 is expected to come in the usual colours (Space Grey, silver, gold, the beautiful rose gold), and now also in what they are calling Space Black. The antenna lines may be moved from across the back of the phone to along the edges of the top and bottom.

                                                                      Perhaps the biggest potential change is that Apple may do away with the iconic home button that has been around since the original iPod. This would mean that the whole front of the phone could be used as a screen, prompting some pretty good-looking concept images like this:

                                                                      3D Photography And A Dual Lens

                                                                      The camera lens is rumored to be significantly bigger and better quality, which any iPhone user would be happy with. Who can say no to a better camera? There is even talk of a dual-lens design for at least one version of the iPhone 7. This would mean the possibility of capturing 3D photos. We’re excited about that one.

                                                                      iOS 10 – And No More Home Button?

                                                                      The iPhone 7 will run on iOS 10, in case you never know what iOS version you are using. Interestingly, iOS 10 has a feature that allows you to unlock the phone without using the home button. Is that another hint that they will be getting rid of the home button? Hmmm.

                                                                      Finally, More Storage For Selfies!

                                                                      It seems that Apple is upgrading from their previous 16GB bottom line. The iPhone 7 will likely start at 32GB, and go all the way up to a possible 128GB or even 256GB. Sheesh. You won’t have to worry about running out anytime soon.

                                                                      Are you excited about the launch of the iPhone 7? Heard any crazy rumours? Know something that others don’t? Let us know in the comments below!

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                                                                      Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which one do I choose? https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/snapchat-vs-instagram-which-one-do-i-choose 2016-09-2T15:01:24Z Lovefone In light of Snapchat’s defining feature being mimicked by Instagram, many users may be wondering which app they should stick with.

                                                                      Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which one do I choose?

                                                                      In light of Snapchat’s defining feature being mimicked by Instagram, many users may be wondering which app they should stick with.

                                                                      Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which one do I choose?

                                                                      As of June, Snapchat toppled Twitter in terms of daily active users, with Snapchat now boasting an average of 150 million daily active users. With 300 million daily users, Instagram is still crushing Snapchat, for now. And this may be the case for a while to come, because Instagram has now added a feature very similar to Snapchat’s disappearing stories. And at the moment, Instagram’s recent attempts to mimic the image-chatting app seem very well-played.

                                                                      Snapchat did it first

                                                                      While many millennials were allured by Snapchat for its image, video, and text messaging system that deletes itself (and doesn’t allow others to take screenshots without your knowledge), many users are now so hooked on the app that it is their new default means of communicating with their friends.

                                                                      Yeah, Snapchat did it first, and Instagram clearly just copied it. But does that matter? Everyone loves Instagram for its simplicity, its myriad of filters and settings, and the sheer volume of activity. If it also does what Snapchat does, why bother using both?

                                                                      Snapchat may remain a contender for a while because of the number of people that still use it (some people don’t like change), but also because of the interactive Snapchat filters that are always popping up. Who doesn’t enjoy puking rainbows or face-swapping with a friend in a recorded video?

                                                                      Instagram’s attempt to stay relevant

                                                                      Instagram has now launched a new feature of disappearing stories, says Tubefilter’s reporting: “Just as they can on Snapchat, Instagram users will be able to employ Stories to tell their followers what they got up to during a single day. Stories will pop out to cover the entire screen and will be controlled by swipes. Where Instagram’s offer differs most significantly from Snapchat’s is in the degree to which its Stories can be saved. If users like one element of their Story enough, they can promote it to a full post that will not disappear after 24 hours and will instead live alongside that user’s other photos and videos.”

                                                                       
                                                                      In an interview with Variety, an Instagram representative said that these features are meant to give users more options. “People want more flexibility to share the moments between their highlights,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about over-posting.”

                                                                      However you prefer to share your favorite videos and images captured playing Pokémon Go, you can feed your smartphone addiction with ephemeral posts. Perhaps though, one ought to worry a bit about over-posting. There is a whole world full of knowledge at your fingertips with your smartphone. Excitedly sending goofy videos to your friends for hours on end does give a bit of ammunition to the luddites who would claim smartphones are making us stupid.

                                                                      Which one do I use?

                                                                      In light of Snapchat’s defining feature being mimicked by Instagram, many users may be wondering which app they should stick with. Snapchat has a ton of really fun filters that Instagram doesn’t. It also allows you to choose who can see your stories. Instagram just shows them to the entirety of your followers. Snapchat even tells you if someone screenshots your story, so you know who has a permanent copy.

                                                                      On the flip side, Instagram has many more users and is more popular among celebrities and models (and sharing a gallery of pics on dating apps that allow embedded Instagram links). Instagram also still has their original focus on simply sharing videos and photos on a timeline. It really comes down to your own personal preference.

                                                                      For the time being, Snapchat is still the preferred millennial method of chatting, while Instagram is still where people go to see a gallery of photos. Only time will tell if Instagram manages to re-consume the market share Snapchat has gobbled up.

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                                                                      Visit the world’s tiniest phone repair shop in Greenwich https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/visit-the-world-s-tiniest-phone-repair-shop-in-greenwich 2016-08-23T18:24:37Z Lovefone Our new red phone box repair shop in Greenwich is now open. Speedy iPhone and Nexus repairs near you. Stop by to charge your phone for free!

                                                                      Visit the world’s tiniest phone repair shop in Greenwich

                                                                      Our new red phone box repair shop in Greenwich is now open. Speedy iPhone and Nexus repairs near you. Stop by to charge your phone for free!

                                                                      Visit the world’s tiniest phone repair shop in Greenwich

                                                                      That’s right, Lovefone have created a new shop in Greenwich where you can get your iPhone or Nexus smartphone repaired in an iconic British red telephone box or a ‘Lovefonebox’.

                                                                      Many telephone boxes across London have been neglected over the years so we thought we could breathe some new life into them by utilising these landmarks which have become more obsolete with the invention of mobile technology. People seem to like the idea and we’ve had some great support from the locals and media:

                                                                      To celebrate the launch of our tiny new store, we’ve created ‘The Chronicles of the Phone Box’, an interactive journey through the history of the telephone box, showing its origin and evolution through the ages.

                                                                      The first Lovefonebox is at 291 Greenwich High Road SE10 8NA, opposite The Mitre pub (great excuse to have a drink whilst you wait!) We’re open from 10am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

                                                                      Come and visit our tiny repair shop for a high quality, speedy phone repair on or just say hi and charge your phone for free. For a limited time only, we’re offering up to 50% off repairs. Fortunate for the less-fortunate among you!

                                                                      If you’re walking past the phone box, help us spread the word by sharing a picture with our tiny repair shop on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #Lovefonebox and we’ll choose someone a £25 iTunes gift card!

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                                                                      Getting by without iTunes   https://www.lovefone.co.uk/blogs/news/getting-by-without-itunes 2016-08-9T14:27:01Z Lovefone Only time will tell if iTunes is here to stay, but if the current distaste for the medium continue, we might see iTunes become a distant memory of the past.  

                                                                      Getting by without iTunes  

                                                                      Only time will tell if iTunes is here to stay, but if the current distaste for the medium continue, we might see iTunes become a distant memory of the past.  

                                                                      Getting by without iTunes  

                                                                      If you have found yourself wondering what the heck was happening to iTunes over the years, you’re not alone. Once the most stable and streamlined music player, Apple began making the music player (once designed solely for the first generations of iPod) more and more integral to every aspect of the Apple, Mac, and iOS universe.

                                                                      Apple has been keeping its features exclusive for forever now, from the Apple Watch to the Apple Pencil, and even their emojis are meant to be exclusive to Apple users. But barriers are slowly being broken, and that includes iTunes. It’s no longer the best and only way to listen to music and do other stuff on your Apple device.

                                                                      It’s not what it used to be

                                                                      And people have been saying it for a long time. In fact, Wired has been saying it since 2008: “iTunes sucks. There, we said it. Apple’s once very handy jukebox and music library manager has morphed into an unusable piece of crap that’s not even an app anymore, it’s just a kiosk for the iTunes Store.”

                                                                      iTunes

                                                                      If your whole life you’ve been a part of the iTunes ecosystem, it can be difficult to fully decouple yourself from the tendrils that are iTunes music. To sync your iPhone or tablet, to import music to the native iOS app, or to buy media content (outside of the app store), the iTunes store and iTunes music app may still be a part of your regular routine.

                                                                      Podcasts

                                                                      iTunes podcasts

                                                                      Podcast junkies are happy to have their own favorite audio pastime freed from the constraints of the increasingly-convoluted iTunes process. Once a native part of iTunes, podcasts (while still manageable through iTunes) can be listened to and downloaded through the new native Podcasts app on all iPods, iPhones, and tablet devices wholly apart from iTunes. The change has been so popular for iPhone and iPad users, in fact, that opinion pieces have been written practically begging for an iTunes-free way to listen to podcasts on Mac, and not just separate the two on mobile.

                                                                      Music

                                                                      Spotify vs Apple Music vs Amazon Prime Music vs Deezer

                                                                      There are a number of streaming music apps and iTunes is not the only music manager, so to avoid iTunes is not altogether impossible, even as a music junkie. You have Spotify, Deezer, and even Amazon Prime Music.

                                                                      And now, with the advent of Apple Music (a music sampling and purchasing service through the music app on your Apple devices) further separating your music from your iTunes account, one is left to wonder, what is the purpose of iTunes at this point?

                                                                      Will iTunes soon be obsolete?

                                                                      With music being the original and defining purpose of iTunes—which everything else is separating fromis the iTunes store even a medium Apple wants to have longevity? Or are they slowly weaning us off what we’re used to with more and more peripheral app purchasing options?


                                                                      Only time will tell if iTunes is here to stay, but if the current trend of Apple and the mounting distaste for the medium continue, we might see a further segmented Apple online with iTunes being a distant memory of a buggy past.  

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