Top 5 accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S3

In this post, I thought I’d have a look at some of the most essential accessories that are available for Samsung’s Android flagship, the Galaxy S III. The S III has proved as popular as we expected here at Mobile Fun, with handsets and accessories alike flying off the shelves. Let’s get right into the top 5.

1. Official Samsung Galaxy S III Flip Case

If you’re looking for a case that keeps the beautiful stylings of the Galaxy S III intact then the official Flip Case from Samsung is a fine choice. The case replaces the rear Samsung Galaxy S III cover with a more durable model and also adds the eponymous flip cover to the front of the phone. This wafer-thin barrier provides a good amount of protection to the front of the phone when it’s in your bag, pocket or purse. The cover can easily be flipped around to the rear when you want to use the phone, and its minimal bulk ensures that you can still use the Flip Case with car holders and desk stands alike.

2. Dual Desk Dock for Samsung Galaxy S III

This desktop dock includes more functionality than you’d expect. As well as a Samsung Galaxy SIII desk stand for the Galaxy S III itself, it also includes a rear compartment that can recharge an additional battery. If you’ve got a spare, this means you can charge both at once so that you’ll have maximum power at your disposal when you’re on the go. The desk dock can also be connected to a computer via micro USB to allow easy syncing.

3. SuperGrip Samsung Galaxy S III Case Compatible Car Pack

Phew, this one is a mouthful. The SuperGrip is a case-compatible car holder and car charger, allowing you to keep your phone in a convenient position when you’re driving even if you’ve got a case installed. Most cases should fit easily yet securely within the cavernous jaws of the SuperGrip. Of course, the charger included will also work with or without a case.

4. InvisibleSHIELD Screen Protector

A truly essential accessory is the humble screen protector. The Galaxy S III has a gorgeous 4.7″ Super AMOLED display that’s easily one of its best features, but it can be damaged relatively easily. Thankfully this can be avoided by careful application of a screen protector like the InvisibleSHIELD; this will add that extra layer of resistance that will prevent damage from dust, sand and other hazards. If the screen protector gets damaged, it can be replaced cheaply – unlike the bonded screen of the Galaxy S III!

5. a-Jays One+ Earphones

These headphones were produced just for the S III, and are a stellar upgrade over the original One from a-Jays. The One+ include powerful 8.6 mm drivers, a flattened TPU cable with right angle jack and an in-line remote control that can be customised with the a-Jays app freely available on the Google Play marketplace. They’re a great sounding piece of kit that go above and beyond the stock S III headphones.

Conclusion

I hope you find this top 5 accessories post useful. If you’ve got any questions about the Galaxy S III and its accessories, then please leave them in the comments below. Have a good one!

5 Brilliant Travel Apps for iPhone

Howdy folks. Today we’ll be looking at five brilliant travel apps for iPhone that I discovered when staying at a Cumbria Cottage. From getting there to staying amused on those late nights, hopefully you’ll find these apps helpful. Let’s get started, shall we?

5. National Rail Enquiries – Free

The National Rail Enquiries app is a good one, covering all of the basics without getting too difficult to use. It’s the official app of National Rail, and as such contains the functionality you’d expect: live train tracking, journey planning, service notifications and so on. One cool feature is a ‘wake me up alarm’ that’ll alert you when you’re reaching your stop – nice!

4. Trip Journal – £1.99

The Trip Journal app is a good one for creatively-minded travellers – it allows you to create a digital scrapbook from photos, text and videos that you take on holiday or while travelling. The resultant scrapbook can then be share via a host of social media options, including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

3. Passbook – Not yet released

Passbook is one of the coolest new apps that was revealed with iOS 6 at the beginning of the WorldWide Developers Conference earlier this week. The app serves as a home for all of your digial tickets, boarding passes and merchant cards, allowing you to find them more easily. The app also includes relevant information like gate numbers, which are kept up to date automatically.

2. Just Landed – Free

Just Landed is that rare combination of an app that’s both functional and beautiful. The app is used for flight tracking as you might expect, displaying all kinds of information about a given flight – landing time, terminal and even driving time from your current location. It’s crisply designed and really has to be seen to be believed.

1. TripAdvisor – Free

TripAdvisor is a well known app that provides information on locations in your area,  including restaurants, hotels and attractions. Thanks to the popularity of the app, each site can have thousands of recomemndations – something I experienced even when off the beaten track in a pretty piece of Hadrian’s Wall accommodation. It’s a well designed app that has earnt its popularity, so check it out.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading – I hope you’ve found these travel apps useful! If you’ve got any suggestions on cool apps that I’ve missed, then you can share them in the comments below.

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Samsung Galaxy S3 Connection Kit

This is perhaps one of the coolest accessories for the Galaxy S3 I’ve seen yet. It’s a small box which plugs into the Galaxy S3’s USB port, allowing you to then plug in a number of different items.

The first option is USB. This is probably the most useful of the bunch, as it means you can plug a whole range of devices – USB flash drives will show up as removable storage on the phone, while USB keyboards and mice will allow you to control your phone – a blessing for anyone attempting to write a long paper or surf the web!

There’s also micro SD and SD – these work similarly, allowing you to easily access files on these cards, so you can copy photos to your phone or share files with others easily.

Finally, there’s micro SD. This means you can charge your phone while you’re using the functions, so you don’t have to choose between extra functionality and battery life.

We’ve made a video showing off the Connection Kit working with the Samsung Galaxy S3, so to get a better idea definitely have a look!

For more information, check out the Mobile Fun Connection Kit for Samsung Galaxy S3 product page.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions in the comments field below!

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My company is giving away an HTC One X!

If you haven’t heard, my employer Mobile Fun is giving away an HTC One X. It’s super quick and easy to enter via the HTC One X giveaway page, and if you win you’ll receive a sim-free HTC One X smartphone in all its glory.

The HTC One X is the most powerful and desirable Android phone ever to be released – it’s got a beautiful 4.7″ Super LCD display running at 720p, a powerful quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 32 GB of internal storage space. All this runs the very latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich as well as the brilliant Sense user interface. Normally you’d have to spend £480 or take out a £35 / month, 2 year contract to get your hands on one, but we’re giving it away for free!

In order to be in with a shot, you just have to visit the giveaway page and sign up via Facebook or your email address (which we’ll only use to let you know if you win.)

You can enhance your chances of winning by getting your friends to sign up and sharing the giveaway on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. For each step you take, you’ll earn more entries and get a better chance of taking home the prize.

The very best thing you can do to maximise your chances is to get your friends to sign up via your own referral link. For each friend that visits the giveaway through your link, you’ll get one entry – if they then enter the competition, you’ll get a massive five entries! Not bad for a quick Tweet :)

To get started just check out the giveaway page. Do let us know if you run into any trouble. You can reach us via the comments here on the site, or social media places like TwitterFacebook and Google+.

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Nokia Lumia 900 will hit UK on May 15th

It looks like the biggest Windows Phone on the block may soon be visiting rainy old England. The sim-free Nokia Lumia 900, which was earlier rumoured to be delayed in the UK thanks to strong demand in US, has been confirmed to be available at retail on May 14th. It’ll also be released elsewhere in the EU shortly afterwards.

The 4.3” handset is an upsized variant of the Nokia Lumia 800, which has only a 3.7” screen. The handset also includes a new front-facing camera not found on the 800 and, in the US, has LTE capabilities. It runs Windows Phone 7.5 and is powered by a 1.4 GHz single core CPU, 512 MB of RAM and a Carl Zeiss rear camera.

It’s unknown whether we’ll see the same Nokia Lumia 900 accessories as we did with the US release – there, it was generally available in a pack which included premium headphones for customers that pre-ordered, as well as a USB charger, wall adapter and a silicone Nokia Lumia 900 case.

It’s also unknown how much the phone will cost at retail, with the US release including a low $99 surcharge on contract. The sim-free price is expected to be approximately £480, standard for an upper-range handset but much more than any other Windows Phone on the market.

Lumia will certainly be looking to make a splash with their flagship tablet, but will the UK market be as enthusiast as the American one? Only time will tell.

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Top 5 Travel Apps for Android

In today’s Android app roundup, we’ll be looking at some of the very best travel apps. Whether they’re specific apps for a specific mode of travel like trains or planes, or more general purpose apps that let you organise or record a journey, your Android smartphone can prove invaluable while you’re travelling – if you can keep it charged, of course. Let’s get right into it.

5. Train Tickets

If you’re traveling in the UK, chances are your best bet is often to go by rail. Train stations have become a lot easier to master than they used to be, but if you arrive late it’s often invaluable to have the train timetable on your phone instead of on a board somewhere. Train Tickets from Crosscountry Trains is one of a few different apps that offer this service, with live train time boards for stations across the UK. You’re able to see which platform a departing or arriving train will be stopping at, as well if it’s been delayed and where it was last spotted. The app, as the name suggests, also allows you to book train tickets quickly and easily – although some functionality, including seat picking is missing. Some alternative apps are Trainline Tickets and National Rail’s Rail Planner Live.

4. Trip Journal

This is a great one for creative types who like to keep a record of what they’ve done and where they’ve gone when travelling. Trip Journal essentially works by linking journal entries, whether they be text notes, photos or videos, to GPS locations. Whenever you travel to a new destination (whether that be a famous landmark, a nice restaurant or even a Hadrian’s Wall cottage in Cumbria, if you’re me). You open the app, note down that you’re there and add in whatever notes or media you want. When you get back, you’ve got a nice interactive journal.

3. TripIt

TripIt is a rather clever app that automatically generates a schedule for you based on the emails you get sent whenever you book a bus, rail or plane trip. It’ll spit out a nicely generated and locally stored schedule within a few seconds, and will also add local weather, maps and other relevant information. It can occasionally backfire though, with mangled itineraries, so it’s definitely worth checking the results before you step out the door – I once was on my way to this aforementioned Cumbria bed and breakfast and only noticed that the app had failed when I arrived at the train station on the wrong day! Usually though, TripIt is pure gold.

2. Flight Track

Another specific one this time – Flight Track is the best app I’ve found for booking and tracking flights on Android. As well as allowing you to track flights as they come in, including a nice map overlay, you’re also able to see ‘delay forecasts’ based on past events and see which seats are best via an automatic link to the plane on SeatGuru, something that’s essential when you’re making your booking.

1. TripAdvisor

Our last (and possibly best) app for travel is the legendary TripAdvisor. This Android app allows you to find all manner of useful information about your next destination – everything from places to eat, hotels, flights to things to do. This latter section is particularly useful as even the most remote destinations have several suggestions, ordered by visitor ratings, and gives you a good grasp of what’s actually worth seeing and what’s overblown. You’re also able to see hundreds or thousands of photos, which is brilliant if you’re looking to take some pictures of your own or just looking to see what the place is like on the ground.

Conclusion

So that’s it then – a nice breakdown of the five travel apps I’ve found the most useful in my own experiences. Of course, there are loads more useful travel apps than what I’ve listed here… what are your favourites? Let us know via the comments below, and be sure to include real-life examples of when they’ve come in handy!

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Mislaid Blog Posts: Asus Memo Announced

The Transformer Prime is the best reviewed Android tablet on the market today, but Asus aren’t resting on their laurels. As well as coming out with an upgraded, 1080p version of the tablet they’re also coming out with one in a new 7” form factor.

The tablet is called the Asus Eee Pad MeMO ME370, and it is powered by the same powerful quad-core Tegra 3 as the Transformer Prime. It also features the same resolution as the original Prime, at 1280 x 800 pixels. The Memo will also ship with Ice Cream Sandwich, which hit the Transformer Prime earlier this week and is coming to the original Transformer in February.

Its other specifications are quite standard – it’ll be available in 16 GB or 32 GB variations, expandable via microSD, and also comes with the standard wireless connectivity suite (GPS, Bluetooth, Wireless). There’s also a five megapixel rear camera on the back, and a 1.2 megapixel front-facer. The battery life is only 8.5 hours.

One thing it doesn’t share is the price – the Memo is just $249, a fraction of the $499 Prime and $599 Prime HD. That’s putting it in Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire territory – it looks like the tablet price fall that the HP Touchpad fire sale kicked off is truly in effect.

The Asus Eee Pad Memo will be released in Q2 this year, meaning it might be released near the rumoured Kindle Fire 2 and the iPad 3. Even so, this looks to be a top-notch tablet for the price.

This article was written by William Judd. William writes for Mobile Fun, the UK’s leading online retailer of Jawbone accessories and sim free phones.

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The Future of Tablet Technology

Apple practically created the modern tablet market with the iPad, and appropriately until very recently they have been enjoying almost complete dominance. With the release of competitive Android tablets such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Asus Transformer though, Apple’s market share has slipped from 82% in 2010 (just after the launch of the iPad 2) to 65% in 2011, according to numbers from Canaccord Genuity.

That’s projected to fall to 57% in 2012, as more competitive Android tablets continue to be released. It seems likely that Apple will eventually be overcome by the glut of lower-priced Android tablets in every niche, much as they did in the smartphone market. They’re not giving up though — the next iteration of the iPad line, the iPad 3, is expected to be a strong contender for ‘best tablet yet.’

We already know from many component suppliers that Apple has been buying up a large stock of high resolution 10″ displays for use in the next generation iPad. This has been confirmed by recent findings in iOS 5 to references to a new iPad, with a listed resolution of 2048 x 1536.

This would be double the pixel density of the current generation iPad, which sits at 1024 x 768. It’s roughly equivalent to the Retina display of the iPhone 4 and 4S, which comes in at 326 pixels per inch.

The new iPad is also rumoured to come with an upgraded processor. As the iPhone 4S made the jump from single core to dual core, the iPad 3 will make the jump from dual core to quad core.

According to eminent Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Samsung has been asked to produce ever increasing numbers of the new quad core A6 chips. Whilst Samsung and Apple have been at each other’s throats in the courts, they still hold a strong relationship, with Apple being Samsung’s largest client.

So like I mentioned earlier — this new iPad 3 is looking quite scary. While Apple’s quad-core processor has already been already equalled or surpassed by Nvidia’s Tegra 3, the better-than-HD screen will be more of an issue. If suppliers really have sold all of their stock to Apple, then it may be some time before an Android tablet with a comparable pixel density can be launched, and that could hurt Android’s market share until the problem is rectified.

One option available to Android tablet-makers is the possibility of screens of different dimensions. Whilst 10″ has become a popular standard thanks to the iPad, slightly larger or smaller screens could be equally appealing. It’s for this reason that some suppliers are beginning to push 8.9″ screens, as a compromise between full size 10″ displays and smaller 7″ screens.

On the computing power front, it’s a closer battle. Tegra 3, the new quad-core chipset from Nvidia, includes a number of interesting features which could give it the edge over Apple’s A6.

Perhaps the most interesting is the companion core, an energy efficient but slow processor core that automatically takes over during low-intensity operations like watching a video or listening to music. This unique arrangement could allow Tegra-3-powered Android tablets gain a battery life on Apple, which typically leads in this area.

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 has already been used to great effect in the Asus Transformer Prime, which is seeing excellent reviews from major tech sites. The quad-core system-on-chip is also expected to be used in tablets from Acer and Lenovo, and likely quite a few others.

The final piece of the Android argument is the new version 4 of the Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich. The tasty snack combines the phone-centric Gingerbread and Tablet-centric Honeycomb into a single unified OS, and has already proven very popular in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first ICS phone.

Where previous Android iterations felt a bit stale compared to the svelte look and feel of iOS, Ice Cream Sandwich represents a genuine competitor for the first time. It offers an equally stylish look and a comparably easy to use user experience, on top of Android’s traditional strength in functionality and customisability. Once more applications have been updated to take advantage of the OS, including platform mainstay Flash, Ice Cream Sandwich will be a key weapon in the fight against Apple.

And what a war it will be — if the iPad 3 launches in late Q1 or early Q2 as expected, it will arrive right in the midst of the first quad-core devices from the big Android manufacturers.

Who will win? It’s impossible to know, but my vote goes towards the consumer. With the advancements in tablet technology and increased price pressure from low-cost tablets like the Kindle Fire and HP Touchpad, 2012 is sure to be an excellent time to pick up a new tablet.

 

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A Misplaced Blog Post on the SAV Ghost

Early adopters, rejoice! The most annoying bug for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has – unofficially – been squashed. Some Nexus owners had reported that the handset would randomly mute itself, hindering phone calls and music listening alike.

The bug, called the ‘SAV Ghost’, has been reportedly fixed by independent developer Paul O’Brien. His fix rolls out today as a new custom ROM, available in both ‘stock’ and ‘enhanced’ flavours. The enhanced version includes faster rotation and alternative UI options, so if you’re feeling adventurous go for that one.

Of course, to install the new ROM you’ll need to flash your device. This isn’t an entirely risk-free undertaking, so make sure you follow the directions and proceed with caution. It requires a rooted Galaxy Nexus with ClockworkMod Recovery installed (directions for that are here). Here are the directions for the ‘enhanced’ variant, copied from this thread.

  1. Download the zip file of your choice and copy it to /sdcard/ on the Galaxy Nexus.
  2. Turn off, then start the Nexus in recovery mode (hold Volume Up, Volume Down and Power).
  3. Perform a NANDROID backup from the menu
  4. Select the option to apply an update .zip, then select the .zip file you copied to /sdcard/.

So it’s a fairly simple operation; the same principles as flashing any custom ROM. Of course, Google are reportedly working to release a fix themselves, so if you’d prefer to err on the side of caution then it’d be better to wait.

Even if you don’t take the plunge yourself, the release does prove that the bug can be fixed (or at least controlled) via software, and is probably the major reason that sim-free shipments of the phone were delayed until the 1st of December in the UK. Good news all around then!

This article was written by William Judd. William writes for Mobile Fun, the UK’s leading online retailer of the official Kindle cover and third party Kindle covers.