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Gadgets Reviews Series Smartphones

Using the Galaxy S4 Mini

This is the third article in a series reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

Last week I finished by saying:

“In the next post in the series I will be reviewing Tech21′s Impact Shield case for the S4 Mini. See you then. :-)”

I lied.

I haven’t had a chance to use the case as much as I would like, so have delayed the article a week, so I can write a better review.

In this post I am instead going to talk about my experience of using my S4 Mini on a day to day basis.

Organisation

One of the main features I have benefited from thanks to my ‘smarter’ phone is that it has improved my level of organisation. I was already a reasonably organised person before I got my phone, however having a calendar which comes pretty much everywhere with me and can create alarms and reminders, is pretty useful!

Because I always have my calendar with me, I am able to make decisions and plans more instantaneously, which can be advantageous. That said I am now heavily dependant on my phone and were I to be without it, I would struggle to keep track of my diary. Hopefully I would be able to retrieve my schedule from Samsung, as I do try and keep my contacts and calendar backed up with Samsung sync.

Battery

In June last year, (so 15 months ago now) Joe questioned (here on Technology Bloggers) if smartphone battery improvements were on the way. I can tell you now that they weren’t! Major improvements are yet to materialise. :-/

A BlackBerry Curve 8900 in its case
My BlackBerry Curve 8900.

I used to have a Blackberry Curve 8900 which would last around two to three weeks between charges. Despite using as many power saving features as I can, I am charging my phone pretty much every day. If I had mobile data, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and Near Field Communications on all the time, with full screen brightness, and was using my phone a lot, I reckon I could drain it (from full) in just a few hours. The camera is a big drain on the power, as are all other processor intensive activities. That said, considering its size, the camera is amazingly good.

With regard to charging I try and turn my phone off if I am doing a full charge, but usually just trickle charge. I have researched how to maintain the battery life and have found that modern smartphone batteries are designed to be charged little and often, and they don’t like being pushed to extremes (empty/full and also high/low temperature). Keeping your battery between 30% and 90% is the best area. My battery seems pretty healthy, so the trickle charge appears to be working. 🙂

Overheating

One thing I’m not impressed with is how my phone sometimes overheats, so much so, I have to remove it from its case and can’t hold it as the back gets really hot. Considering the storage space and processing power my 124.6 mm tall phone houses, I am frankly amazed that it doesn’t come with a huge fan attached to the back. My 67.98 cm³ (which sounds like a lot, but really isn’t!) phone houses two cameras, one of which is a brilliant 8MP, a HD screen, 1.5GB of RAM, and, among other things, a 1.7GHz processor!

It is no wonder when I put my phone under stress by using a lot of features at once (like for example SatNav functions, as these are quite processor intensive and uses mobile data, GPS and the screen) it starts to overheat. For the size it is, I can’t complain, however I think future phones should be slightly bigger to incorporate better cooling systems, in order to prevent internal component damage from overheating.

Apps

One of the main reasons I chose an Android phone is because of the huge range of applications available. Most of the apps for Android are free, which is a bonus! Some do take liberties however, and demand unreasonable privileges; like the Facebook one, hence I haven’t installed it, but Facebook were going to want to glean all they could from you, weren’t they.

I now have an app to wake me up at the best time in my sleep cycle, an app which can send an SOS message via the backlight, an app to scan barcodes, an app with the latest news, oh, and amongst others, Angry Birds (although I am trying not to use it as it is a real time zapper)!

I have often been known to say ‘there’s an app for that’ but that’s because it is true; almost anything you want to do, there is an app to help you!

Android

On the first article in this series, David from The Only Cog asked about what he called the ‘Disney layer’ that Samsung add to Android – i.e. their slight OS tweaks. He asked the following questions:

“Can it be turned off? How do you find it? What version of Android is it running?”

Google Android's LogoHere are my answers. I have looked into it, and as far as I can tell, Samsung’s altered version of Android is fixed, and you can’t downgrade to the standard OS. That said, I think the changes they make are just to make things look better and also to add a further level of control for users.

The second question therefore doesn’t apply. In response to the third, I am currently running Android 4.2.2 (which came pre-installed) although I think the S4 Mini will be among the first to get 4.3, (Android KitKat) probably just after its big brother the S4 receives the upgrade.

Slogan

Samsung’s slogan for the S4 Mini is “Minimalism Maximised”. I completely agree with what they are saying, the phone has the convenience of a small phone, but the power of a bigger one. I prefer “tiny but powerful”, maybe the S5 Mini will adopt that one. If so I want royalties Samsung! 😉

Next Week

As promised, next weeks article will be a review of Tech21’s D3O infused case. See you then.

Categories
Reviews Smartphones

The Samsung Galaxy S4

This coming Saturday, Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S4, goes on sale.

Smartphone Battles

2009-2012 smartphone market by provider
Global smartphone market share by provider.

Like with most mass market technology, there is a war going on in the smartphone industry. In 2012, according to market analyst firm ICD, Samsung controlled 30.3% of the global smartphone market, 59.5% up on the 19% of the market it controlled the year before.

There is no doubt that Samsung is currently the dominant force in the smartphone market. The firm seems to slowly be winning its battle with Apple, and looks set to take on Google next, with rumours that it soon plans to ditch Google’s Android operating system altogether.

Nokia are predicted to make a comeback (how successful I am unsure) thanks to Windows RT, and makers of BlackBerry, RIM, are also looking stronger in 2013 after the release of BlackBerry 10 earlier this year.

Galaxy S4

Samsung are trying to steal even more of the market from its competitors with the Galaxy S4, so it has pulled out a few stops, maybe not all the stops, but quite a few, to make sure that the phone is a success.

So, the phone has loads of new features, to make it slightly better than its predecessor – the S3.

The S4 has a slightly bigger (5mm to be exact) screen, boasting a whole 5 inches of full HD display, which no doubt gives it amazing clarity. The new phone is also slightly thinner than the S3.

You can buy a Galaxy S4 in black and white, or as Samsung like to call them: black mist and white frost. I have never looked at a phone before (smart or not) and thought “that looks like frost” or mist, but maybe the S4 really does; or maybe it’s just marketing.

Touch and use even with gloves - Samsung Galaxy S4Samsung claim the latest edition of its Galaxy is usable even with gloves on, hopefully reducing the cases of zombie fingers – Jonny, you might be able to use it! 😉

The phone has various other new features, such as Samsung WatchON, which connects your phone to your TV, turning your phone into a remote control.

Another new feature is the multi-speaker capability – if you have more than one handy, you can sync them together to create a better quality of sound.

The S4 will also come with built in 4G compatibility, which the original S3 didn’t. If a fast internet connection is important to you when you are on the go, then the S4 is probably a better choice than the S3.

Eye-Tracking

Probably the most exciting new feature of the Galaxy S4 is the new eye-tracking technology. The phone uses its front camera to monitor the users eye movements, and uses can use this function for a host of different activities.

One of the features which uses the eye-tracking technology is video playback. If you are watching something, and then look away, the device automatically pauses the media for you. Furthermore, eye-tracking technology can be used to scroll up and down a page, without the need to even touch the screen.

Photos

There are two interesting developments in the photographic area of the phone, the first is that you can now add audio snippets to pictures, to enable you to catch even more of the moment. You can also merge video with picture, creating partially animated pictures – sort of like the photographs in the Harry Potter films.

The S4 can also use (and display) the front and rear camera simultaneously, which shows that its quad-core ARM processor is pretty quick!

Your Thoughts

So what are your thoughts on the S4? If you are getting one, do let us know!

Do you think that Samsung have done enough to fend off the competition from its closest rivals?

Personally I think the S4 looks like it is set to become the best smartphone on the market when it goes live at the end of the week.

Categories
Reviews Smartphones

BlackBerry Curve 8900 Case Review

Today I am going to review a product I have been sent by Mobile Fun. I have reviewed products for Mobile Fun before, (remember my Pocket Boom Review?) and as in the past, this review is going to be completely impartial.

The product Mobile Fun sent me to review was a BlackBerry case – kind of handy really, since I own a BlackBerry! The case is for the BlackBerry Curve 8900, which amazingly is the BlackBerry I own – anyone would think we discussed this 😉

Packaging

BlackBerry Curve case in packaging
The unopened case

The first impressions you get of a product are usually formulated by how you view the packaging, so I thought I would spend a moment to talk about how the case arrived. The case was posted to me First Class in a standard padded envelope. It arrived in perfect condition, so no complaints from me there.

The package in which the case was held was more substantial than I had expected. I have had mobile phone cases come in the post which were simply inside a polythene bag, but this case came in a box! Pros of this are that it probably added an extra layer of protection – not that it really needed it though – and that it looks bright colourful and gives you a little information about the product. From an environmentalists perspective however, one could argue that it is an unnecessary use of packaging, which is probably going to end up in landfill. I shall be recycling what I can.

When I opened the box, the case had a BlackBerry sized piece of foam inside it, probably just to ensure it kept its structure during transit.

Look And Feel

Other than to protect your phone, the main function of a mobile phone case is (arguable) to look good. I really like the design of this particular case, I think it has a slightly more stylish design than the standard BlackBerry case, with neat stitching down the sides, and the middle of the case.

BlackBerry Curve 8900 CaseThe case displays the BlackBerry logo, like the standard BlackBerry case does, but unlike the standard BlackBerry case, it is mounted on a metal adornment. The adornment is a stylish touch, but could potentially scratch a surface (say a glass table) if you put it down, adornment side down. The case also had the word ‘BlackBerry’ written at the bottom on the reverse side.

The back of a BlackBerry Curve caseFunctionality

The case is made of real leather, so is very sturdy and flexible. One of the problems I found with the standard case was that it was made of vinyl, not real leather, so after continued use it started to look worn and split. I have been using this case for a few weeks now and it still looks pretty much the same as when it arrived. I would definitely recommend a leather case like this one over a vinyl one as it is more hard wearing.

The case feels very sturdy, and (although I haven’t tested it) I am sure it would protect my phone were I to drop it from a reasonable height. The structure feels rigid enough to keep the phone safe, but I am not going to try, just in case!

A BlackBerry Curve 8900 in its case
My BlackBerry in its new case

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 has a feature that it will turn the screen off and go into power save when inserted into the case. This feature works with the standard case, and with this particular case, thanks to the inbuilt ‘proximity-sensing technology’. From what I understand there is a magnetic chip in the case which when the phone senses it, it turns on power save – proximity-sensing technology does sound a little cooler though!

Overall I really like the case, I think it is a stylish, more hard wearing alternative to BlackBerry’s standard case for the Curve 8900. To find out more about this case, please check it out on Mobile Fun’s website.

As I said at the beginning of the article, this post is a review done for Mobile Fun, who have asked us to let you know that they sell phone cases – like the one in this review 🙂

Categories
Gadgets News Smartphones

What is the future for RIM?

The BlackBerry 7 smartphoneBlackBerry phones are thought to be among the safest in the world. Almost all politicians use them. But nevertheless, RIM has reported a very big drop in sales and revenues (about 40%) in comparison with the previous year, and this tendency has been observed for several years already. Besides, the release of new Blackberry 10 has been delayed up to the beginning of 2013, the sales of Blackberry 7 isn’t at the levels wanted, the company has to cut up to five thousand job places. The chain of total misfortunes has followed RIM for the past time. So, many specialists say that Blackberry is dying. Is it so? What can RIM do to improve its prospects?

Today RIM has several possible solutions, but all of them require total change in company’s work and specialization. And here they are:

  1. Licensing RIM software to other companies. One of the possible ways for RIM to get out of the crisis is to let other companies to use its Blackberry operation system. It may lead to the increase of the popularity of the OS (just like it was with Android) when people will get a chance to choose among different hardware solutions.
  2. Sale or license of the patents. It may be a good variant to let other corporations to use the patents, but it won’t make any contribution to innovative development of RIM what can lead to the further drop of the positions. It may happen just because money isn’t the most important thing in mobile development today; it is more for innovations in this sphere. Who is smarter gets more profit.
  3. Focus on hardware development. It is quite opposite solution to the first one mentioned. As a variant RIM can start developing good hardware with installing some other operating systems, like Android or Windows Mobile (the latter would be more reasonable as the number of manufacturers that develop phones for Windows Mobile isn’t very big now and the niche isn’t taken yet).
  4. Selling of RIM. Of course, it is the worst variant of all, but if there are no changes in the situation, the owners will have to do it. However, it would mean the end of Blackberry as a trend.

No matter what decision is taken, the era of great changes for everyone who is somehow connected to RIM is coming. Let’s hope that these changes will be for good and we will see Blackberry phones in top 5 of best-selling phones in the world accompanied by iOS, Android and Windows Mobile phones.

Categories
Smartphones Technology

Will the updates ever stop?

I love the technology industry. It is a really great area to write about, as it is constantly changing. Every day, new technologies and methods are developed and released and there is always something interesting to research.

One thing that I do wonder about though, is the consumers constant need for updates.

The iPhone 5
The iPhone 5

Take the iPhone for example. You can now walk around with a smartphone sat-nav and a global dictionary in your pocket thanks to Apple’s incredible device. There is no doubt that the iPhone is an example of how technology is constantly evolving and changing.

Since mid 2007 when the iPhone was released, there have been five different variations/upgrades of the device released. Six versions of ultimately the same device in the same number of years.

Fair enough, each time their has been a technological upgrade, however can that really be justified?

Technology is a constantly moving and evolving however I am sceptical that consumers always get the best update.

Apple want to sell phones right, so every year (there or thereabouts) they release a new iPhone. Samsung do the same, as do RIM (owner of Blackberry) and most other smartphone manufacturers.

What I am not sure about is that every year there is a significant enough technological upgrade to warrant the release a new device. So how do Apple do it then? How do they roll out a new phone with ‘cutting edge’ new features every year?

It is my belief that some of the technology in the iPhone 5 has been around for a good few number of years now, however Apple have just been holding back on releasing it, so that they can produce more future editions of the phone.

Also, many of the changes are superficial. For example, the screen gets a little bigger, the camera gets an extra few mega-pixels, the storage options increase. All of these updates could have existed in the original iPhone, however it would have meant that there were fewer tweaks Apple could make to the phone in the future. Why not design a good phone now and not release another until there is enough new technology to justify it?

Within three days of the release of the iPhone 5, people around the world had bought over 5 million. Apple shares rose sharply, and the brand received a big boost. It was a great move by Apple, however are they not cheating the consumer?

In around a year I expect Apple will release another iPhone, and most of the technology and developments that it will contain are probably already in existence and ready to use, however Apple will have decided not to put them in the latest iPhone, so that they have something to put in the next release.

Would it not be better if Apple released an iPhone every three years? That way each phone could be a massive technological leap from the last, rather than just a slight upgrade.

I think it would be better, the consumer would get the best technology available at the time, and wouldn’t have to worry about the device being outdated in a few months. But Apple would probably not see as many sales, over the three years, by releasing just one rather than three phones.

What are your thoughts, are the big firms cheating us? Do we really need as many updates as often as we get them, or would bigger less frequent upgrades be better?

Categories
Business Computers

Could Samsung and Apple have another big competitor

For the past month or so, Samsung and Apple have dominated headlines with their patent trial. Such a case was probably inevitable – how many ways can you design a smartphone? – but any such case would inevitably gather daily headlines. After all, it was Apple and its iconic iPhone vs. Samsung and its status as world’s largest smartphone manufacturer. They’re both kings of the industry in their own ways. Yet they could have a competitor breathing down their necks before they know it.

Lenovo has been around for a while, and in their time they’ve made some waves in the laptop sector. Remember the IBM Thinkpad? In the late 90s and early 00s it seemed as though everyone had one. When IBM exited the consumer electronics business, they sold the brand to Lenovo, who have continued to the line to this day. They’re not quite as ubiquitous these days – the MacBook has taken over the role of the Thinkpad – but it’s still a high-quality Windows offering. In fact, it’s one of the main ways in which Lenovo competes with Apple.

ThinkPads on the International Space Station
ThinkPads being used on the International Space Station.

The present: laptops

Let’s face it: laptops won’t be around forever. They’ve evolved to get smaller and smaller, but the latest round of laptops appears to be their evolutionary end. The only way to make them smaller is to remove the hinge, and when you remove the hinge from a laptop you don’t really have a laptop at all anymore. Still, the latest round of laptops, dubbed Ultrabooks, has made quite an impression on the market.

Apple started this trend years ago with the MacBook Air, but that model went through a few generations before it became a viable product. Once Apple got it down other companies followed. Lenovo got right on the trend, coming out with two lines: the ThinkPad, that business-class continuation of the IBM line, and the IdeaPad, a ligthweight, affordable Ultrabook meant for the consumer market. They are directly comparable to the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air.

The difference, of course, comes in the price. The 13.3-inch IdeaPad runs more than $450 cheaper than the 13-inch MacBook Air, and more than $250 cheaper than the 11-inch MacBook Air. The ThinkPad compares even better to the MacBook Pro. The Apple faithful might not have much of a need for a different line of laptops, but the average consumer can benefit greatly here. Fact is, most people simply do not need a Mac. PCs can do pretty much the same, and oftentimes more. The saved dollars can go towards products of the future.

The future: tablets

To complete the thought above, when you remove the hinge from a laptop you don’t have a laptop. You have a tablet. While tablets aren’t quite to the level of replacing laptops, they’re certainly travelling that path. Just take a look at the super-thin keyboard cover for the Microsoft Surface. The writing is pretty much on the wall. Soon enough manufacturers will deliver laptops that make us look at laptops like clunky relics of the past.

In this territory, Apple is the undisputed king. People often ask me for advice on buying a tablet. They’ll ask, “is the new iPad worth it? Or should I get an Android tablet?” And I tell them that no, the new iPad isn’t really worth it; the iPad 2 is the second-best tablet on the market, and you can find it at a significant discount. Android tablets just aren’t there yet. But Lenovo has an idea.

First, they’ve put down the idea of competing with Apple on features. Samsung did this with the Galaxy Tab 10.1, pricing it at the same as the iPad. Seeing the two products next to each other, who was going to choose the Galaxy Tab? Lenovo has dipped below the iPad’s $500 base price. They’ve also differentiated, offering four different tablets: three Idea Tablets, ranging from 7 to 10.1 inches, and a ThinkPad tablet, designed for business.

Again, Android has a ways to go when it comes to tablets. But it appears that Lenovo has something going with its segmented offerings and skinned Android interfaces.

Smartphones in the offing?

It would be interesting to see if Lenovo decided to compete on all levels by offering a smartphone. It seems as though everyone’s doing it these days, and with AT&T and Verizon supposedly pushing customers away from the iPhone there might be an opening here. And again there’s a chance for Lenovo to segment its offerings, using Android for consumer and BlackBerry 10 for enterprise.

Yes, BlackBerry is something of an afterthought these days, but they do appear to have a strong offering with their BlackBerry 10 operating system. Problem is, they might need some licensing help to get it off the ground. Lenovo, which already has inroad to enterprise customers, could combine with RIM, which is – or at least was – the enterprise leader. On the other side, creating Android smartphones shouldn’t be such a big deal.

The Logo of BlackberryYet the competition issue comes into play here, too. Apple dominates its own little space, which consumes quite a large portion of the overall market. Samsung seemingly dominates the Android space. No one really dominates the Android tablet space, though, because it hardly exists. But if carriers really are pushing Android smartphones, there could be opportunity there.

Age of the smart consumer

I’d like to believe that we’ll soon enter the era of the smart consumer: one not dominated by fads and iconic brands, but rather by utility. The average consumer does not need a Mac, yet might feel as though they need one because everyone else has one. In truth, many other companies can fit the bill. Lenovo fits right in there.

And if you don’t need a product and can save money buying a comparable one, doesn’t that make the most sense? Wouldn’t it be more sensible to buy a $700 laptop and a $400 tablet for less than you’d spend on just a MacBook Air comparable to the other laptop? It makes sense to me.

Categories
Internet

Eight tips to consider before building a mobile websites

With over 75 million Americans accessing the web through mobile phones, we can conclusively say that mobile web browsing has come to stay. comStore statistics recently reported that 50 million people in the United States have an Android, iPhone or a BlackBerry phone.

The Logo of BlackberryWhat these huge numbers clearly mean is that your business can not afford not to provide a mobile website for a convenient browsing experience for your customers. Mobile websites are starting to become a ‘must have’ for any kind of business today.

The rate at which people are accessing the web today throughout the world from their mobile phones is becoming increasingly clear that any business that wants to remain in business must leverage the opportunity of mobile browsing. It is easy, cheap and quick to do it today; in fact, some web design companies render this service for free. But before you decide modifying your existing website to make it compatible for mobile handsets, put these things right:

1. Page Size

It is important to assign a simple style for all mobile websites, the page size also small. Remember that 20KB is the maximum page size for all mobile friendly pages. If you can use less than 10KB making everything nicely fitted for any kind of phone, considering that users are charged per KB of mobile data you will be doing your business good.

2. Coding

There is actually no special coding required for mobile websites. Using XML or XHTML for your mobile friendly site is much easier and faster. Using basic HTML and CSS is also good. Carefully craft with target key words the filenames, title tags, heading tags and description meta tags to fully maximize the optimizable content present.

3. Content

There is actually no special way to arrange content for mobile websites. The rule is simply-all mobile websites should be readable and easy to navigate, since your visitors are on the go and may not want to waste time on something difficult to read or surf. As for the content typography, it is preferable to use headings to control the font size.

4. Images

Most mobile phones take longer time to load images. Use graphics and images as little as possible only where necessary, this will aid easy navigation for your mobile website users. Jpeg, gif or png are best formats for mobile images because they are very much light–weight. Compressing your pictures to avoid zooming is something you must not forget.

5. Layout

Mobile browsing is quite time consuming, so ensure you put all the most important information you want your mobile website users to see on the top of the page your company logo should be included as well. Left and right navigation should be minimized because it is difficult navigating with a phone.

A better option is to arrange all your content in a single column. Tables should not be used, but if necessary no more than 2 columns, rows and column merging should be avoided.

6. Page links

Back buttons and links are features of all good mobile websites. Providing them will help visitors escape dead ends, though, not all phones are designed with back buttons.

7. Domain Choice

Ensure to use a mobi domain which clearly indicates a mobile friendly experience instead of .edu, .com, .org etc, which generally stand for desktop browsing.

8. Test Run

Your mobile website should be tested on multiple devices. This will help you know if your site will provide a good mobile experience for users.

Categories
Gadgets News Smartphones

Blackberry or crashberry?

Since Monday, UK users of Blackberry smart phones have been without email, Blackberry Messaging (BBM) and internet browsing has been very ‘hit and miss’ since Monday – the 1oth of October 2011.

For three days now UK Blackberry users have been without their phones primary functions, and now it has spread to the US. Earlier today USA users of Blackberry smart phones have also been complaining of a lack of messaging.

The problem is also thought to be affecting Africa and the Middle East. Basically Blackberry messaging systems seem to have ‘crashed’ right across the world.


Blackberry’s owner (RIM) has said that the initial problem was caused by core and back-up switch failures.

Basically, one of Research In Motion’s back-up systems didn’t do what they were supposed to when something went wrong with the service, resulting in a massive crash! The system is designed to ‘failover’ to a backup system if anything happens. This worked fine in testing, but when Blackberry actually needed it to work, it didn’t.

The Logo of BlackberryMobile phones were only initially designed to call and then text, however smart phones were designed to provide so much more, hence why people who have paid a premium to get one, are not best pleased at the moment.

Blackberry is currently rates the UK’s top smart phone, up there with Google’s Android systems and Apple’s iPhones, so considering it faces such tough it’s very important in terms of the phones future, for Blackberry to sort the issues out pretty soon!

Blackberry have started a section on their website called Service Update, where users can get info on the status of what’s going on with the issue, what Blackberry are doing to get on top of it, and hopefully soon how long it should be until services are running normally again.

So what do you think? Do you have a Blackberry? Are you satisfied with your service? How do you think this will affect Blackberry’s future in the smart phone market?

Categories
News Technology

Tesco launches supermarket sat nav

Ever got lost in a supermarket? If so Tesco have now come to the rescue!

If you can’t seem to find those baked beans, you could soon be able to use a sat nav to help! Yes it’s the same sort of technology that you have in your car but it comes in the form of a smartphone.

Currently Tesco are trialing a new app for Google Android powered smartphones which allows you to enter your shopping list and then the phone will give you directions to the isle and shelf that you can find your items in. Pretty impressive huh?

Tesco LogoThe idea is that it saves you time, meaning you can be in and out much faster. This could make supermarkets less crowded in the future, which could mean less space is needed for people and more for food and other goods.

One of the key ways in which supermarkets like Tesco and Asda make their money however is when people spot products on the way to finding their next item. Often ‘special offer’ products will be placed in areas of the shop that you are bound to walk past and notice.

This behavior from the supermarkets has left some critics believing that supermarkets may program the device to take the ‘scenic route’ in order to get you to buy more, rather than get out quicker.

If you live in Essex, Tesco’s Extra stores in the area are currently trialing the system, so be sure to check it out and leave us a comment 🙂


Because the application is still under development, you have to apply to a testing group to be able to try out the new technology. Soon however, if the service proves successful, Tesco hope to role it out in all of its stores and on multiple platforms – Blackberry and iPhone being the next most obvious systems.

What do you think, could this really improve your shopping experience, or is the way forward online shopping anyway?