Friday, December 26, 2014

Playstation games coming to Non-PlayStation platforms

PlayStation games coming to Non-PlayStation platforms

Over 20 years after the birth of PlayStation, gamers and non gamers alike can now enjoy a wide variety of PlayStation classics old and new by *renting them through PlayStation Now and playing them via streaming on the internet, without the need of owning a PlayStation console,
"We can reach a broader audience of consumers who may not own a Playstation console." Masayasu Ito, Executive VP of Sony Computer Entertainment
Last week Sony announced that they made a deal with Samsung to bring its service of streaming PlayStation videogames to Samsung Smart TV in 2015, making Samsung the first company outside Sony itself to obtain a license to use the PlayStation Now service. PlayStation Now was announced in CES 2014 and is still in its early days; the service still has room for improvement, and is only available in the United States and Canada. PlayStation Now offers wide variety of games, where users can play more than 200 titles, ranging from small games that everyone can play such Bejeweled 3 to more technically and graphically advanced and complex games like Mass Effect 2.
In order to use the PS Now in 2015 on your Samsung Smart TV, all you need is the Sony application and own a DualShock 4 controller, but not owning the console will not change the experience for the user, where  playing online with friends, saving the progress of the game by using the cloud and gaining in-game trophies are available.
*Rental fees are charged and differ based on the game and the renting time.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Word and PowerPoint chat functionality

Microsoft announced recently that they are adding a chat functionality to their online versions of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint but did not mention anything yet about OneNote nor Excel. By adding this feature, Microsoft would be following in Google's footsteps in "the coming weeks", where Google offers the chat functionality as well on their Google Sheets which is their version of Excel . The addition that Microsoft added which gives it an edge over Google's version is a feature where the user can review his/her conversations via Microsoft's application at any time, even when the document is closed;  this is possible due to their use of Skype as the backbone.   

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Xperia Z1: To buy or not to buy?

"What do you think of *this phone/tablet/device*?" That is a question that I have been asked a lot lately due to my obsession with the gadget world in general. Therefore I decided to follow my dream and start my own blog where I will review some of the gadgets I use in my daily life as well as discuss the latest and coolest gadgets and gizmos

I will start by discussing the pros and cons of the Xperia Z1. The latest flagship mobile by Sony in the Middle East.

What impressed me about the Z1 was the sleek design since I had the Samsung Galaxy S3 for more than 2 years, I hated its plastic cover which made it feel like a cheap device, and can be scratched easily but the Z1 has a scratch-resistant glass that adds a sense of elegance to it. Even though the Z1 itself is quite large (with a screen that is 5 inches long) , you can still hold the mobile in one hand since the mobile is light.  If you are familiar with Sony or android's original interface , then the Z1 would be easier to navigate through as it utilizes a minimal interface, where you can adjust your display and other phone settings  with easy steps.

 One of the unique features in the Z1 lies in its software: small apps, which helps in multitasking. Basically you can open selected mini applications to use (such as the calculator)  along with any main application (such as using Google Chrome, an internet browser on the phone). Though this feature is brilliant Samsung's phone  have a similar but better version of the small apps, as
it allows you to use 2 main applications at one time. Being able to browse the web on Chrome while responding to family and friends on whatsapp on one device at the same time is now possible and convenient.

The camera of the Z1 is 20.7 MP which is the highest on an android phone. Even though shooting at night mught add some noise to the photo, it is still amazing for slim smartphone; and since it is waterproof you can start taking videos and photos under water (the Z1's camera can reach the depths of 1.5 meters and you can shoot for up yo 30 minutes under water but not more based on Sony's recommendations). In addition, the camera has a dedicated button which is a thing that most smartphones lack which can be helpful in taking "selfies".

Now I will be pointing out  where this mobile fails to impress and might make the consumer consider purchasing a next-gen version of the Z1 or another phone entirely than the Z1. First thing that bothered me were the speakers as the sound was not loud enough. This is especially noticeable when watching videos, as the maximum volume level can be really low, taking away some of the enjoyment to be had from watching the video altogether.

Another problem that you might face with the Z1 is the battery, which is a mediocre one. Though it can last for more than 12 hours if you are barely using the phone, using the phone constantly will drain the battery in a much shorter time frame (around 8 hours maximum) making it difficult the enjoy the phone to its fullest potential when away from home or a charger, without being cautious. I am hoping that Sony can fix this problem with an update to the software.

The last issue that Sony should have considered with this mobile is the screen. Since Sony is still using the LCD screen on their mobiles, the user will have a hard time seeing anything other than their reflections when using it outdoors on a sunny day. Since most mobiles fixed this issue I believe Sony should do that as well with the next mobile they produce and release.

Despite such cons, I believe the Z1 has enough positive pints that makes it stands out in the mobile world. If you are still thinking about the Z1 at the end of this blog post, chances are you will be very satisfied with purchasing one. Happy shopping.

I added this video to help showing all the features in details visually.

There is also another video that only 3 minutes that wraps up everything about the phone, enjoy :)