Gary Saggu's Tech Blog

Latest trends in mobile technology, tech startups and coding

2013 key technology retrospective

Here are some of the developments in technology that caught my attention in 2013.

iOS 7

Featured fantastic advances that brought iOS to the forefront of mobile OS market. (Can you tell that I am an iOS developer:)?). The design aesthetic, the ability to easily and reliably (finally!) integrate with iCloud especially for developers, Airdrop to share with data with people around you, iTunes radio, a more advanced Siri, Core Motion advances including M7 and camera advances including face and smile detection.

iPhone 5S and iPad Mini Retina

This phone rocked with its 64bit capable A7 processor and the M7 motion co-processor with fast networking and LTE along with a better camera. The Touch ID was a bold attempt in finally bringing fingerprint based technology to the mass market and it works quite well. With the iPad Mini Retina, Apple did the impossible - pack the same processor and power as an iPad Air with the Retina display into the mini iPad footprint. Need I say more?

M7 Motion Coprocessor

The M7 deserves separate mention because of its step counting features and activity monitoring in the iPhone 5S without burdening the A7 and draining too much battery. No additional devices to purchase for these features. New iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina have the M7 but only Activity monitoring is enabled in them.

If you own an iPhone 5S, you may support the author(me) by checking out these 2 cool new apps designed exclusively for the iPhone 5S utilizing the M7 motion coprocessor. They track your steps indoors and outdoors without GPS, record your walking history and enable you to reach your daily step goals with no other devices to buy other than your iPhone 5S. Read about them by clicking the links below

BeWalking

10k Steps

Glass from Google and wearable technology

It is undeniable that the Google Glass is a fantastic technology and will be more available to the masses in 2014 and beyond. Sure, there will be privacy concerns etc. but wearable technology is IN! Lets also get more bags with solar panels and jackets with lightning connectors and start using them, really!. I worry a lot about the EM fields that these devices(phones, computers) generate and look forward to innovative devices that provide protection from these fields like the Pong cases for iPhone.

Pebble

Pebble did it ! They started as a Kickstarter project and they were able to mass produce a full-featured smart watch for a reasonable price. Sure, there are more apps and upgrades desired but nevertheless it is a fresh and innovative product. The last release of the Pebble OS supports iOS7 notifications and more features.

4k Displays

With the new (and powerful) Mac Pro supporting upto 4 4k displays, this is quickly becoming the new standard for advanced graphics displays. 4k tvs from Sony, Samsung and LG were out there and personally, I am waiting for their prices to come down a bit in 2014 and beyond. 8k displays soon? Believe me there is a spec out there.

Full frame DSLR within the reach of the prosumer

With the Canon 6D and Nikon D610 priced as low as in the 1500s (body only), there is hope that this was the year these cameras are putting this technology within the grasp of the consumer. 2014 may usher a sub $1000 full frame DSLR? Maybe:)

Mac Pro

Amazing features like compact design, graphics, 4k display support out of the box. Pricey but worth it if you need the graphics and processing features that this machine uniquely offers in a durable, compact design backed by Apple.

Voice Recognition becomes standard and more useful

Google voice and Siri as well as Xbox One all deserve a mention.

Other notable tech events/happenings in 2013

First lab grown meat burger was "produced" and eaten. 3D printers became more mainstream and cheaper.(esp. when a Makerbot store openend near my apartment). Crypto currencies like BitCoin accompanied with all the advanced mining hardware and volatility were certainly more in the public eye. Smart gadgets including the Nest learning thermostat, Jawbone speakers and Philips app enabled bulbs etc. More devices with built in smarts coming our way in 2014. Sony Playstation PS4 and Microsft Xbox One put gaming on a new level but with limited available games. I played Call of Duty: Ghosts on PS4 and it was quite an experience. On a 4k display (note PS4 does not support 4k yet) it would be out of this world. Maybe in 2016:). Ouya Android based gaming console(another Kickstarter project) broke into a market dominated by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Lastly, crowd funding stood out (again) as a force in 2013 and will continue too in 2014 and beyond.

Happy holidays and a happy new year!

And thank you for your support! See you in 2014!

--Gary Saggu

Select fall, winter and holidays new gadget(tablets, gaming consoles) release dates

Note: This list will be updated frequently...

iPhone 5S, 5C - Available now

iPad Air - Available now

iPad Mini 2 with Retina display - Available NOW (update from Nov 12, 2013)

Ouya Gaming Console - Available now

Pebble Smartwatch - Available now

Sony PS4 - Release date November 15, 2013

Microsoft Xbox One - Release date November 22, 2013

Nikon D610 - Unbelievable full frame DSLR - Available now

These are great choices that any techie or not would love to find as a holiday gift.

- Gary Saggu

http://www.garysaggu.net

http://www.garysaggu.com

iPad 5 (and mini) wishlist

What is to be expected from the Apple event on October 22, 2013?  There are so many iPad rumors going on at this time.  What would we likely be seeing in this announcement? Well, here is a wishlist of features...

- iPad Processing : 64 bit on par with the iPhone 5S; new A7x processors with many cores and GPUs.  Sounds like a no-brainer.  This will be "the device" and set new standards for mobile gaming or tablet gaming rather.

- iPad Display : On Mini a retina display would be fantastic. A Larger screen perhaps on the iPad?  Not needed.  There was a rumor I read about an iPad Maxi.  Unlikely in my opinion.

- More memory : Those new 64 bit processors can definitely open up to (address) larger memory.  

- Network : WiFi 'ac' support a possibility although iPhone5S(only supports upto 'n') does not have it but the new iMacs do. Bluetooth 4.x for sure.

- Finger print sensor : The mini and the regular iPad may have it similar to the iPhone 5S, iMHO.  No more long pass codes on the iPad as well possibly.

- Cameras : How many people funnily enough hold out their massive iPads to take photos in not so commodious of places? Well I have seen many! This is probably not going to change when both the iPads have better front and back cameras. Again being wishful wishful...

- Lighter, smaller form-factor : Both iPads could be lighter and smaller and slicker as per Apple's constant commitment to the aesthetic and design.

- Gold version of iPad and iPad mini: This might be the incentive for me to upgrade my iPad if it happens.

Well, with bated breath we look forward to the Apple event on the 22nd of October, 2013.  I will summarize the revelations in this blog.

Meanwhile, lets enjoy our Gold iPhone 5S's.  Has anyone received theirs?  My expected delivery end of this month (October 25-28).

- Gary Saggu

http://www.garysaggu.com - My other blog

http://www.garysaggu.net - Tech Blog

 

Ouya - A cheap, interesting and feature packed gaming console for developers and users

Ouya - the game console

I am excited about this new console so I decided to blog about it.  It started as a kickstarter funded project that was oversubscribed very quickly.  I was not able to catch it in time but I would definitely be interested in getting a new console that is Android based and has a fairly open policy for developers to write software for it.

Key features(Hardware):

- Form factor: Small with cool wireless controllers;  Dimensions: (2.9in x 2.9in x 3.2in)

- CPU : Tegra 3(Quad-core processor)

- RAM: 1 GB RAM , 8 GB on-board flash

- Full HD (1080p) with HDMI connection

- Network: WiFi 802.11bgn

- Other technologies: Bluetooth LE 4.0

- Did I mention a $99.00 price? Wow!  As per Amazon, Ouya is being released to all on June 4, 2013. 

Software and SDK features:

- Java based development environment; Eclipse with ADK is what I would use for it.

- Supports Android Development Kit 4.0 (API 14).

- Ouya Development Kit released under Apache License.

- I read somewhere about using Unity to write 3D games for it as well.

- No fee to develop on Ouya.

- Easy submission and fast approvals so I have heard  and it sounds good. Pros : makes happy developers  Cons: Loss of quality control.

Looking at all the hardware and software features Ouya offers (mentioned above - I am sure there are more) makes me very excited about this platform.  What about non gaming apps?  I will investigate further and blog about it.  Time to download the Ouya Development Kit.

Very excited about this, A bientot!

- Gary Saggu

My Other blog