Apple announce iPhone 5s and 5c

A rainbow of new handsets from the Cupertino team

Apple’s 2013 keynote speech is now over and with it we have the official confirmation of 2 new devices; the iPhone 5s, an iteration of the current iPhone 5 and the much rumoured, leaked and finally outed iPhone 5c, a cheaper, less premium handset available in a range of colours.

Apple’s global smartphone marketshare has fallen in recent times, mostly due to the explosion of Android activations in developing nations as well as the highly populated India and China. The iPhone though has continued to remain a serious force to contend with in North America, Europe and elsewhere where the relative high cost is not officious and is often subsidised heavily by networks.

By now, the iterative design and release of successive iPhones has become normalised and yesterday showed us the most recent update to the range.

iPhone 5s

iphone 5s colours


Side by side with the iPhone 5, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two phones. The size and shape is exactly the same, the only two things giving away the 5s are the colour schemes and the updated home button with fingerprint scanner (more on that later). A gold 5s has been doing the rounds on rumour/leak pages for several weeks now and it has been confirmed, alongside silver and gray models in contrast to the standard black and white of last year.

The home button has changed quite significantly and is now far less concave than previously. It is in fact almost completely flat and now features a fingerprint scanner for added lock screen security.

Fingerprint scanner

This comes as no surprise with the rumour mill churning for some time over the inclusion of this very feature. Apple acquired AuthenTec last year, a company prolific in the industrial fingerprint scanning world. AuthenTec products have been included in integrated systems for years and are well known for being both small in size and capturing high quality images.

fingerprint scanner

With AuthenTec on board, Apple have included a sapphire top to the home screen. With this you will set up a fingerprint when first using the iPhone 5s and are then able to use the scanner to unlock the handset, replacing traditional passcodes and patterns. Apple are far from the first to use this, even on a smartphone (Motorola’s Atrix had the tech a few years ago), they will however be the first with such a huge installed user base. When the 5s launches, millions of average consumers around the world will be able to test out the technology.

The fingerprint scanner is also the precursor to Touch ID. A unique Apple ID is required for continued use of Apple’s services and with the 5s, this will now also be linked to a fingerprint. Touch ID is likely to be used in the future to verify iTunes purchases, in-app purchases and other features. It’s currently not open to iPhone app developers but that could change in the future.


As with every upgrade, an increase to general speed and performance must be included. Apple have moved their processor onto the A7, a complete in-house custom build, and is being touted as the first 64 bit mobile processor. The clock speed / cores of the processor were not featured although one is to assume they have increased significantly from the iPhone 5’s 1.3 GHz dual-core A6, especially if they are to compete on a graphical level with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragons.


Apple are staying out of the megapixel war with their new camera. Taking a leaf out of HTC’s book they have focussed on improving the pixel size to 1.5µ so improvements to low light imaging over the iPhone 5 should be obvious. This is slightly less than the the 2.0µ of the HTC One sensor, although with 8 megapixels the overall sensor size is larger. A dual LED flash has also been included, once again improving low light shooting.

Both Sony and Nokia have surged ahead in raw numbers recently with the 20 and 41 MP sensors on the Xperia Z1 and Lumia 1020 respectively. A shoot out between the 3 would be welcome in the coming weeks, although with the now huge variations in sensor size, pixel size, pixel count, lenses and processing techniques, straight comparisons are becoming very subjective and difficult to judge.

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Apple announces iOS 7

The new operating system for the iPhone coming this autumn

Apple iOS 7

iOS has been in need of an overhaul for a while and Apple has provided it with just that. This time last year many were disappointed with iOS 6 (and even more disappointed with the removal, albeit temporary, of Google Maps).

A year on and the first version of iOS overseen by Jonny Ive has been announced and looks as though it will change the iPhone experience a fair bit.

The difference between iOS 6 and iOS 7 are immediately obvious due to its refreshed look. Gone are the ‘skeuomorphic’  textures – no more leather and wood within apps – and instead a ‘flatter’ look has been incorporated.

Not only has the look within apps been refreshed, but so have their icons. Many look completely different so this may take a little getting used to at first. The fonts have also been redesigned to provide a sharper look.

Another enhancement is the ‘parallax effect’, which changes the perspective of the icons as the handset is titled back and forth.

iOS 7 Features

Anyway, enough about the looks, here are some of the new features to have been integrated with iOS 7:

  • Automatic app updates
  • A control centre full of toggles, activated with a swipe up of the device
  • A new anti-theft feature
  • Notification centre – updates on messages, missed calls, upcoming events
  • Improvements to multitasking
  • AirDrop – easier sharing of files with other iPhone/Mac users
  • An improved version of Safari web browser, including full screen mode
  • Improvements to photos and a new ‘Collections’ feature, which groups photos into albums by date and location
  • Wikipedia and Twitter integrated into Siri
  • Siri can now be used to change system settings on the iPhone
  • iTunes Radio – Apple’s new music streaming service
  • Camera – new filters can be applied to photos before or after taking them

Some of these may seem as though they’ve been taken from the Android repertoire as they have been available for a while in Apple’s biggest competitor, either as part of stock Android or through third-party apps, but all in all it looks as though there are some very nice additions to iOS.

Our Top 10 Smartphones

The world of smartphones is constantly changing and there are lots of top 10 lists out there, so here we have our current top 10 smartphones of the moment. Check back because we will keep this post updated as new devices are released

So without further or do our top 10 smartphones are:

1. HTC One

The HTC One brings a new experience to Android users with a dramatically improved HTC Sense user interface, great design and cutting edge hardware, with a 1.7GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM the HTC One will handle most things that you can ask of it, and with a 2300mAh battery you should too get a full day’s usage.

Interact with all this great content through a stunning 4.7 inch HD capacitive display, which has a 1920 x 1080 resolution for an incredible 468 PPI (points per inch). It has various new features such as ‘Blinkfeed’ which streams live updates from a variety of feeds, be it social or news direct to your Home screen, ‘HTC Zoe’ Made up of 4 components, Zoe Photos, Highlights, Editor and Share.

More features including HTC Boom sound, Sense TV.

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Nokia Lumia 920 advert mocks the Samsung-Apple spat

Adverts from smartphone manufacturers are a bit of a free for all when it comes to mocking rivals and creating extremely cheesy content. Some are good, some are bad.

This latest Nokia/Windows Phone advert for the Lumia 920 takes a swipe at both Apple and Samsung, including the kind of clichéd comments that we’ve come to expect from advocates of both products. Let us know what you think! 

Via Inneractive Blog

What devices do Clove use?

It’s been a long time since we posted one of these on the blog and post Christmas we decided it was high time to put out an update. Team members have come and gone since the last update in 2009 and I found it quite interesting to have a quick read over what we considered to be top of the range (for some of us at least) devices about 2 and a half years ago!

Choosing a new phone is quite a personal decision, especially considering that you may be using it for quite some time and we are often asked what we personally use. The Clove team use a variety of devices both personally and as part of day to day testing, so sharing our experiences of all of them is one way of making sure we keep up to date and can give informed opinions.

Working for a company with all of the newest devices available on the shelf can be a great bonus if you’re a technophile, the ability to take a demo of a new unit or operating system is something most consumers don’t really have. The other side of that coin though is in becoming very critical, making a final decision all that much harder to make with all sorts of extra information and mixed reviews pouring in from various sources.

The ages and requirements of the team vary quite a bit and so it is no surprise that there is still quite a wide array of devices being used by all of us when comparing to 2009. So read on to have a look at what’s in some of our hands right now…

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Apple announces iPad mini, 4th gen iPad and new Macs

I won’t go into too much detail on this as Apple announcements are pretty hard to miss, but Apple last night announced an iPad mini, a fourth generation iPad, a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and an incredibly thin new iMac.

The iPad mini is Apple’s answer to the Nexus 7 and the wave of entry-level Android tablets that will start popping up in the coming month. However, while the iPad mini competes in terms of hardware specs, the price point isn’t as low as people had hoped for prior to launch. The cheapest model, 16GB Wi-Fi only, is priced at £269. The most expensive is the 64GB 3G model, which comes in at £529.

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Apple must run adverts in the UK press to say that Samsung did not copy its iPad design

Apple must run adverts in the UK press and leave a message on its website for at least six months to say that Samsung did not copy its iPad design.

This ruling was made earlier in the year, but Apple has now had its appeal rejected, meaning the decision stands. 


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The iPhone 5 is boring, but…

“It’s by far the best smartphone I’ve ever used”.

The following is an extract from Shaun McGill’s latest post on the iPhone 5 for his Lost In Mobile Blog, in which he describes how he has become bored using the iPhone 5, despite how seamless it is at completing tasks. Shaun’s reviewed many a handset over the years, so you can be sure of a fair review whether its Android, iOS, Windows Phone or BlackBerry that he’s scrutinising:

Anyway, yes I am bored for a number of reasons. The phone doesn’t do anything more than the iPhone 4S and so I am not seeing a huge benefit. The new App Store design is so poor that I can’t work out what is new and what isn’t, and the number of taps required to find anything is a huge retrograde step. The speed is unnoticeable because it never, ever slows down and everything works perfectly.

Continue reading ‘The iPhone 5 is boring, but…’ here, or click here for Shaun’s initial review of the iPhone 5. 

Give your iPhone 5 a new lick of paint with mendmyi

mendmyi is a website that not only offers repairs for the iPhone and iPad, but will also colour them for you as well. At the moment the mendmyi offers its services for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4 S and IPad 2, but has confirmed that it will also offer the service for the iPhone 5, Pocket-lint reports. Current prices are £96 for the iPhone and £136 for the iPad.

You can see a sample shot of an all blue iPhone 4 S below, but there are various colour options, including camouflage and leopard print, if you so choose. The front glass, front frame, home button, back glass and back frame can all be customised, so there are plenty of options to make your iPhone look unique and easily distinguishable from the standard issue black and white.


Via Pocket-lint

Apple iPhone 5 cases available to order

We now have a range of Apple iPhone 5 cases available to order from the likes of Proporta, Belkin, Case-Mate, Otterbox and Tech 21 – all the big boys of smartphone protection.

Nearly all of these manufacturers had the specs available prior to the announcement of the iPhone 5, so their cases should be available fairly imminently after the handset’s release. With most we can expect a lead time of 2-4 weeks.

Below are some of the cases we have available to buy, click here to see all those listed so far. If you would like us to let you know once a case is in stock, enter your name and email address in the green ‘notify me’ box on the product page and we’ll let you know as soon as we have more details.

Tech21 D30 Impact Snap Black with cover & Otterbox Commuter Case Black

Tech21 Impact Snap Black with Cover

Otterbox Commuter Back Black


Belkin Easefit Armband White & Proporta Alu-Leather Flip Case

iPhone 5 Belkin Easy Fit Armband WhitePorporta Alu-Leather Flip iPhone 5 Open

Case-Mate Pop Case Black with stand

Case Mate Pop Case Black with stand