Kamis, 26 September 2013

A review of the new iPhone 5S and iOS 7 Touch ID.

In case you missed it, Apple has released a new iPhone, the 5S!  The new iPhone 5S doesn't have a new form factor, it can't beam you to other locations, and it can't drive your car (yet!).  The new features it added, though perhaps not mind blowing, or for that matter, even visible to the eye, have helped position the 5S to what I would call, a very "forward thinking" smartphone.  It's priced the same as the iPhone 5 that it has replaced, and sets itself apart from other smartphone(s) with its advanced new 64-bit processor architecture (all other smartphones have 32-bit processors) that powers a very cool, very impressive, Touch ID fingerprint sensor as well as easy-to-use new camera upgrades that we've come to expect with the new iPhone releases.  In this blog I'm going to highlight the Touch ID and its features.  I will cover new camera features in the next blog, soon to come.

The iPhone 5S provides four major enhancements to the iPhone 5 (which, by the way,  was not only the world's top selling iPhone, but the top selling smartphone as well): the new Touch ID for both  security and convenience; new camera features in both hardware and software; a brand new, advanced new multiple-processors architecture that combines the speedy new A7 as well as the new M7, which provides background-task efficiency; and new radio components that provide broader LTE carrier coverage and better compatibility. They may not seem like much, but believe me, these are significant updates. 

Touch ID

The most prominent to the eye, is the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The Home button is now circled by a slightly inward-sloping metal ring (used to sense your finger's presence without requiring press) in the same finish color as the sides of the device (in Silver, Gold or Space Grey). 
Rather than being slightly concave as with all previous iPhone Home buttons, the new sapphire Home button disc within the ring is flat. Since the ring's edge lies flush with the front surface of the device and the button within is slightly recessed, it has a similar feel to previous Home buttons. 
The "click" action of the button also feels the same. If you compare older Home buttons, on the 5S there's what appears to be a slight optical illusion that makes the new Home button look smaller, thanks to the color-accented metallic ring calling attention to the button's edge.

This results in a contrast of Touch ID being both readily apparent and invisible at the same time. The software implementation of Touch ID is also purposely invisible. 

The TouchID has no movie-style depiction of "scanning… authenticated!" with animations, buzzing or flashing lights for feedback. It just works, you touch the Home Button, your iPhone 5S unlocks.

What Touch ID does

iOS 7 currently uses two features for the Touch ID sensor: Passcode Unlock and iTunes & App Store purchasing. This gives Apple the ability to focus entirely on getting the initial experience right, rather than unleashing a multitude of half baked feature concepts, or erring in other ways that would be worse than never having implemented Touch ID at all.

In practice, being able to log in with a finger press is both a quick convenience and an intuitive simplification over having to manually type in a passcode, similar to having a proximity key that lets you get in and start your car without requiring a physical key. The Touch ID convenience hopefully makes it much more likely that you'll create and use a passcode, and set your phone to lock immediately. 

Apple says half of its users are not currently using a passcode, and it's likely that many of those who do, set a delay so they don't have to type it in the passcode every time they wake their device. With Touch ID, it's much more practical to have your phone locked all the time. Logging in with a finger touch is almost as fast as unlocking the phone without a passcode.

Touch ID certainly was not created to make your iPhone 5s impenetrable to spy agencies.  But the reality is that Touch ID is far more accurate, faster and more secure than a simple passcode, or any of the alternatives on the market: the  'swipe to unlock' gesture used by Android OS, or the Face Unlock experiment. The latter provides a great example of how being first to market in a category  is not better than being first to market with a great product (Touch ID).

Apple hasn't just beaten Samsung and others to market with workable fingerprint login as a feature, but it's made it known that Touch ID enhances security and can deliver a great product, rather than being an invasive spyware tool designed to collect information about users and what they do, as Samsung did when it gave away a "free" music app in Google Play to its Galaxy customers. Who could trust Samsung or Google with their fingerprints after that disaster?

Further enhancing the Passcode Unlock functionally of Touch ID is iOS 7's new Activation Lock  capability, a new feature that activates automatically when you configure a device with a free iCloud account and turn on "Find my iPhone." 

Activation Lock links the device's activation process with its firmware ID and your iCloud account, so if your device happens to get stolen, the jackass thief who took it can't simply wipe it for quick and easy resale.  Apple's answer involves something it has that the Android platform does not: a centralized activation process. 

The security provided by the Activation Lock is similar to carrying a credit card instead of cash. Thieves can still hold you up, but they can't be guaranteed any payoff. Activation Lock is a welcome deterrent to would be attackers.

Activation Lock available to those with an iPhone 4 and forward via the free iOS 7 update. Using Activation Lock doesn't require a passcode, and turning off iCloud's Find My Phone isn't possible without your iCloud account. 

Using Touch ID with iTunes & App Store

The other (optional, but highly recommended) use of Touch ID is to authenticate purchases in iTunes and the App Store. Apple currently requires you to sign into your account to make a purchase, and sign in again every 15 minutes. If you already have a secure Touch ID fingerprint configured, you can bypass signing in by turning on this new Touch ID feature. 

When you first activate iTunes purchasing, you are asked for your iTunes Apple ID password. Subsequently, you can use your fingerprint instead, Awesome!  Apple's priority for Touch ID is clear, to secure your devices.   However, the infrastructure behind Touch ID as a passcode clearly has broader applications, and the fact that Apple is launching it with iTunes suggests additional plans for Touch ID for perhaps to authenticate sales and also adding security to other transactions as well. 

Touch ID instantly makes it more convenient for Apple's iPhone 5s customers to make iTunes and App Store purchases. It doesn't require signing up for new accounts, and doesn't replace one easy swipe with another easy tap; it replaces a moderately annoying password prompt interruption with a finger touch, again, Awesome!  Once Apple has more experience with how its customers are using Touch ID, it can, and I sure will, move development forward.

I hope this review is helpful, I'd love your feedback!

Senin, 23 September 2013

Android Powered Cell Phones Coming to Tracfone

Will Tracfone Finally Have an Android Powered Cell Phone?

Details are still a little murky, with lots of rumors and anonymous claims, but they all have one consistent aspect, and that is that Tracfone might be on the verge of releasing Android powered smartphones for their customers.

This Post is out of date! Tracfone has released four new Android Smartphones, and you can read our review of each one below:

LG Optimus Dynamic

Samsung Galaxy Centura

ZTE Valet

Huawei Glory

You can also view our Comparison of the Samsung Galaxy Centura and ZTE Valet to learn more.


Tracfone Released the Samsung Galaxy Centura Android for Tracfone available to purchase at HSN.com.

tracfone android smartphones
Samsung Galaxy Centura Android
 for Tracfone
You can see the Samsung Galaxy Centura at HSN.com to learn more (although it might be sold out by now).

The Samsung Galaxy Centura has been around for Net10 and Straight Talk users for a little while, but Tracfone has never had a smartphone, or an android powered phone. The closest thing was the LG 840G.

This Samsung Galaxy Centura will be able to use apps, browse the web via Google, use Google Maps and other Google products with ease. It is an exciting direction Tracfone is heading.

At this point, HSN.com is the only place we have found selling this new Android Tracfone, but we will keep you updated if other options become available!

EDIT: We have also found the Samsung Galaxy Centura on eBay, although the price is not great, and getting it from HSN.com is a better deal at the moment.

Possibly Four New Android Tracfone Cell Phones

If you read this forum post from HowardForums it suggest that there will be four new Android powered cell phones coming to Tracfone, as well as special data cards you can purchase from Tracfone.

Many of the details are still unclear, like when these phones will be available or what they will cost. (or how the data charge will work). But the phones look pretty exciting. The phones that possibly will be available for Tracfone are:

tracfone android smartphones samsung galaxy centura
Samsung Galaxy
While we don't have confirmation that these phones will be available for Tracfone users, it seems very likely. What we do know is that Android powered cell phones are finally coming to Tracfone.

EDIT: The ZTE Z665C Valet has been spotted in stores! At this point it has only been found in Best Buy retailing for $99. It is the only one of the four mentioned above that has been found in store for sale, but it is a pretty good sign the rest will soon follow!

EDIT 2: Both the ZTE Z665C Valet and Samsung Galaxy Centura are now available at Tracfone.com under 'cell phones'. As are the Hauwei Glory and LG Optimus Dynamic!

android tracfone smartphone zte valet
ZTE Valet
One thing to note is that all of these phones appear to be for CDMA networks, which would be Verizon. Learn about the Difference between GSM and CDMA and which is right for you.

Check back often as we will try to keep everyone updated as more details become available.

While this is exciting news, for many Tracfone users, this won't change anything. You can still use your current cell phones for whatever capacity you choose to, and prices should stay the same. In fact, some older Tracfone cell phones are actually going on sale for great low prices! Check out our recent post with the Best Tracfone Deals in September!

Thanks for stopping by, leave a comment with your thoughts or questions on this exciting development of Android smartphones coming to Tracfone.

Selasa, 17 September 2013

Tracfone Cell Phone Deals in September

Great Deals on Tracfone Cell Phones

Here at de9w2dsl, we try hard to provide the latest and most useful information covering Tracfone news, phones and promo codes!

cheap prepaid cell phone
We Found Some Great Deals to Share!
Here we will share some of the latest deals we have found around the internet to help you get the best deal on a new Tracfone cell phone!

Tracfone is a prepaid wireless cell phone company that offers cheap cell phones and service. It is great for low use cell phone users, those on a tight budget, or as a backup phone.

Below you will find some of the best deals and cheapest Tracfone cell phones - maybe time for an upgrade or a backup phone!

Cheapest Tracfone Cell Phones - September 2013

It is important to note that prices change often, so sometimes a deal will disappear overnight. You have to move fast if you want to get the deal. Also be aware that there are often lots of deals going on, so if you miss out on buying a phone for cheap, keep looking and you might find another great deal.

Reconditioned LG 840G and LG 800G for $10/$5:
This deal comes from the Tracfone website (in the 'shop for phones' area) where you can get a reconditioned LG 840G for just $10. You can also get an LG 800G for only $5. While we don't have much experience with reconditioned phones and how well they will perform, this is a deal worth taking a risk on, and you can always get Tracfone to send you another phone if the one you buy doesn't work properly. Both phones come with the great feature of Triple Minutes for Life. You can read our reviews of the LG 840G and LG 800G.

Read our recent guide: LG 840G vs LG 800G

Tracfone Deals on Amazon:
There are lots of deals on Amazon (and lots of not so great deals) so here are some we found recently:

White LG 840G with 1200 minutes (400 min/1 year card) for $99. This is a great deal because you basically get the phone for free! The 400/1 year card usually retails for $99 by itself.

Samsung S390G going for just $20 (and free shipping on orders over $25). This is a great phone for texting and even surfing the web on the included WiFi. It usually retails for closer to $40-50. You can check out our review of the Samsung S390G to learn more.

LG 800G with 1 year of service/600 minutes (200 minute card) for $40! This would make a great emergency or backup phone. A 200 minute card (and only 90 days of service) usually retails for $40, making the LG 800G free! Plus you get a full year of service.

Two more Places to Check for Great Deals:
While we haven't found and deals at the time of writing this, there are two more websites well worth shopping if you are looking for the cheapest and best Tracfone Cell Phone. HSN.com and eBay.com often have real bargains going on. So be sure to swing by the sites when shopping for a new phone.

We hope you found a great deal from the websites we listed above. Leave a comment with any other deals you have found, or questions you might have.

You might find our related post, Cheap Prepaid Phone Plans from Tracfone very useful to read, and also our recent post covering the Difference between GSM and CDMA Tracfone Cell Phones.

Rabu, 11 September 2013

LG 840G vs LG 530G - Phone Comparison

How Does the LG 840G Compare to the LG 530G?

This is a common question, which phone is better? Should I buy the LG 840G or the LG 530G?

Here we will discuss the similarities and differences between the LG 840G and LG 530G, noting the pros and cons for each phone as well as choose the best between the two.

Tracfone LG 840g vs lg 530g
LG 840G vs LG 530G Cell Phone Comparison
The LG 840G and LG 530G are two cell phones offered through Tracfone Wireless as prepaid cell phones. You can buy these phones at most retail stores, and many places online. Buying service/minutes for these phones is also easily done online or in stores.

For more information on Tracfone, read our Overview of Tracfone. For more on their cell phones, check out our Tracfone Cell Phone Reviews.

Now, let's get back to the LG 840G vs LG 530G:

LG 840G vs. LG 530G - Similarities and Differences

Beginning with the similarities, these phones are both made by LG, a well known electronics company. Both phones also come with some of the same features:

tracfone lg 530g vs lg 840g
LG 530G
Features offered on Both Phones:
  • Triples Minutes for Life
  • Mobile Web
  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology
  • MP3 Player
  • Camera/Video Recorder (LG 840G has 2PM vs 1.3MP for LG 530G)
  • Hands Free Speaker/Voice Recorder
  • Voicemail/Alarm Clock/Caller ID Etc.
  • 1000 Entry Phone Book
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • Includes other basic features, like Wall Charger Etc.
  • Both phones are similar size, and fit comfortably in your hand.
These two phones offer a number of the same great features. Triple Minutes for Life is the best deal you can get from Tracfone, and Triples every minute you add to your phone. (So if you add 60 minutes, you will receive 180 minutes!)

With this information, one can see that both phones are good choices, but let's look at the key differences between the LG 840G and LG 530G to see if there is a best choice.

Features Offered on the LG 530G but not the LG 840G:
  • The LG 530G comes with a full QWERTY keyboard for fast and efficient texting.
  • The LG 530G also typically sells for about $10 cheaper than the LG 840G.
The QWERTY keyboard is a great feature for the LG 530G; it makes texting very easy, and almost anyone can become comfortable using this phone for texting. At about $10 less expensive, the LG 530G is a better deal for the budget conscious. 

But let's look at what the LG 840G has to offer:

lg 840g vs lg 530g tracfone cell phone
LG 840G
Features Offered on the LG 840G but not the LG 530G:
  • Full Touchscreen
  • 2GB MicroSD card included for Picture/Music storage
  • 3G speeds and connectivity
  • WiFi Capability
  • The LG 840G can also go 13 days on standby (compared to 6 days for the LG 530G)
That's a pretty serious list of extra features the LG 840G comes with that the LG 530G lacks! 

The LG 840G's touchscreen may be challenging for some, but for anyone accustomed to touchscreen devices, it is very easy to use.

An included 2GB MicroSD card is very convenient, allowing you to add music or pictures to the phone.

3G speeds make the LG 840G faster than most Tracfone cell phones for surfing the web. Speaking of surfing the web, the WiFI on the LG 840G allows the user to use the internet for FREE when connected to a WiFi network. 

These features make the LG 840G one of the best phones offered by Tracfone, with probably the best list of features. You can even add Google Maps to the LG 840G.

LG 840G Vs LG 530G - The Winner Is:

This is a close comparison, because the LG 530G is a durable and useful phone. But the LG 840G wins because of the awesome extra features it has, including: WiFi, 2GB Micro SD, Touchscreen and 3G speed.
lg 840g vs lg 530g
White LG 840G

Another reason de9w2dsl chooses the LG 840G over the LG 530G is price, the LG 840G can be found on Amazon for less than $40! And even in White!

DEAL UPDATE - The White LG 840G is going for $30 on Amazon last check!

In the end, both phones are good choices, but the LG 840G offers better features. You can read our detailed reviews of each phone: LG 840G Review and LG 530G Review to learn more.

Learn more about getting great deals from Tracfone, read our guide about the Cheapest Prepaid Plan from Tracfone.

Leave a comment with your thoughts or questions, and be sure to share this with others who might find it useful!

Selasa, 10 September 2013

Apple's 9.10 iPhone event...

Apple's iPhone event...Everything you need to know!

Apple introduced 2 new phones today, the iPhone 5C, and 5S.  The 5C replaces the 5 in Apple's lineup.  It's the first colored iPhone, available in Green, White, Blue, Pink and Yellow.  In case you  didn't guess it, the C in 5C stands for color...:).   It's starting price (with a 2 year contract) is $99 (16GB), and $199 (32GB).  It is NOT available in 64GB.  The 5S is a new powerhouse!  Also available in colors, Slate, Gold and Silver.  It's the first phone available with 64bit processing, which means it's really, really fast!  The 5S also has an AWESOME new battery!  Check out the picture below:

The Camera has also been upgraded.  One cool new feature is Slo-Motion video!  Another is, the camera gets a larger 8 Megapixel sensor.  The most impressive new feature I found, is the fingerprint scanner!  It can read your fingerprint from any angle!  See below:

You simply touch to unlock your phone!

How about this one...Now you can use your finger print as your AppleID Password!  No longer having to type that annoyingly long password in!

So that's a quick and dirty from today's announcement...Enjoy, and if you have any questions, you can submit them here, via comments, or email me at geoff@themacmentor.com

Until next time, best to you and your devices!!

Selasa, 03 September 2013

New Tracfone Promo Codes for September

Tracfone Promo Codes for September 2013

While we do maintain and update all the codes on our main Tracfone promo code page, we wanted to share here the newest codes for the month of September.

tracfone promo code september 2013
Promo Codes for September
Tracfone Wireless is a prepaid cell phone company where you can buy a phone and buy prepaid minutes/service days for very cheap. They also provide promotional codes to get extra minutes for free when you are adding a new prepaid phone card.

These codes are the newest released from Tracfone for the month of September. If you are looking for more codes, and sometimes more minutes for free, visit our main Tracfone Promo Code page.

Now, without any delay, check out the free codes for Tracfone to get you extra minutes at no cost:

New Promo Codes from Tracfone for September 2013

For a 60 minute card, use code 72685 to get 30 minutes for free

On a 120 minute card or greater, code 74316 is giving 60 bonus minutes!

If you have a 200 minute card, a new code for September is 81146 which gives 40 free minutes. But you should use the previous promo code, 74316, to get 60 extra minutes if it will work for you.

For the 1 year/400 minute cards, use the new code 63633 which is good for 250 extra minutes, and it is new for September

On a 450 minute Tracfone card, you can use either 74316 (60 free minutes) or 93528 (50 free minutes) both are working for September 2013.

These are the codes new for September 2013! Be sure to view all the codes, including more information about Tracfone Promo codes, at our main page linked above.

When using these codes, simply enter them when prompted, while adding a new prepaid refill card to your cell phone. You can do that either online or on your phone (or over the phone). Visit How to Test More Than One Promo Code to learn more about getting free minutes.

You might also find some of our other articles covering information about Tracfone Cell Phones useful:

How To Get A Cheap Prepaid Cell Phone Plan from Tracfone covers information on the Tracfone Value Plan and how to set that up.

Cell Phone Reviews Page is our one stop for all the Tracfone Cell Phone reviews we offer, covering phones like the LG 840G, LG 530G, Samsung S390G, and many more!

One of our most popular posts is GSM vs CDMA - Learn the Difference and Which is Right For You. If you don't know the difference between Tracfone's CDMA and GSM cell phones, read that article to learn more!

Thanks for visiting, and we hope you got some free minutes for your cell phone! Leave a comment with which code you used and if it worked. Also leave any other thoughts or questions!