Tag Archives | phones

Image from apple.com

Wait, what? Two new iPhones launch at the same time? Why? What’s the difference?

Let’s talk about it.


  • The screen: The iPhone X (pronounced “ten”) has a screen that goes right to the edges, with a small portion that dips down a bit at the top – this houses the front-facing camera and sensors.
  • The back: Both new iPhones have glass backs. Are they durable? We’ll have to see.
  • The home button: Now here’s a point of contention. The home button remains the same on the iPhone 8, however, when it comes to the iPhone X – say goodbye to the home button and hello to Face ID. That’s right, there’s no more physical home button, but there will be a virtual one (tap to turn the phone on, swipe up for the home screen and down for the control centre), so don’t panic just yet. This will be an interesting adjustment, as gone are the fingerprint sensors – so now you can pay with your face.
  • Speaking of Face ID – we’re still undecided on our feelings for this feature. Is it cool? Absolutely. Will it get annoying to hold your phone up to your face to unlock it? Maybe.
  • Headphone jack: Still not on either phone – sorry!
  • Colour: The iPhone X will only come in black and silver, where the iPhone 8 still comes in gold.


  • A11 bionic processor should lead to longer battery life on both phones
  • Screens: iPhone 8 has the same LCD screen as the 7, while the iPhone X has an OLED screen (what Samsung and LG are using). This allows for more vibrant colours and higher resolution (2,436 x 1,135 pixels).
  • Back cameras: The iPhone X is similar to the iPhone 8 Plus (dual 12MP cameras with an extra sensor as telephoto zoom lens)
  • Front cameras: The iPhone X has a new front-facing camera with Portrait Mode effect (hello, selfies!)
  • Size: physically, the iPhone X is the same size as the iPhone 8 (5.8 inches), but due to the maxed-out screen size, it looks bigger
  • Features: Both new iPhones are water resistant, and can be wirelessly charged (though Apple’s AirPower mat for wireless charging won’t come out until 2018)
  • iOS: Both phones come with iOS 11, which features a new control centre layout that you can customize and updated Siri, along with typical tweaks like more vibrant colours and transitions


  • The iPhone X starts shipping November 3, and the iPhone 8 starts shipping September 22.


  • iPhone X – starts at $999 US (for 64GB)
  • iPhone 8 – $699 US (for 64GB)

One thing many people have noticed is that Apple has gone from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone X. No iPhone 9. Curious…

Image by William Iven, unsplash.com

Image by William Iven, unsplash.com

Cellphones are no longer mere communication devices. With the advent of advanced systems on chip products such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon series, you can now carry an entire PC in your pocket. Additionally, there are services that allow for complex data manipulation via powerful remotely-accessible computers. This change in how data is interacted with in real-time has broad implications for many aspects of everyday life – including education. Here’s how powerful your mobile phone can be:

Equations of various difficulties from basic arithmetic to advanced calculus can be input into online knowledge engines such as Wolfram Alpha. This allows for math to be made very easy with minimal preexisting knowledge. The skillset needed to solve almost any everyday mathematical problem is now basic data entry – instead of having to memorize formulas, you can simply enter information into a text box to get instant answers.

Whether you have to balance a chemical equation or find information on a specific organism, all you have to do is type. Between Google, Wikipedia, and Wolfram Alpha, you have unlimited information at your fingertips. The answer to virtually any question can be found quickly with simple searches.

Search engines are our new best friend. Do you need to know when a specific event took place? What about where a battle happened or why? Google has you covered. For more in-depth knowledge, provided links can be explored in detail, but the text underneath each result is often enough to solve your query.

Are you unsure about how to spell a word, or wondering if your grammar is correct? Just Google the way you think it should be written, and precise results will be provided instantly. Additionally, text can easily and accurately be translated into foreign languages: with Google Translate or Babelfish, many people now check their phrases to make sure they sound natural.

Smartphones have fundamentally altered education as we know it. With data security and touch ID our phones are more accessible and safer than ever! With growing computational power, the impact of phones will only increase in the future to the benefit of us all. Don’t be left behind as computers evolve dramatically – use technology to enhance your learning experience and make your schooling a breeze.

This article was contributed by guest author Kara Masterson.

Image from picjumbo.com

Image from picjumbo.com

It’s all anyone in the tech-osphere is talking about; people are lined up at Apple stores around the world. But for the not-so-wallet-friendly base prices of $350 US (for the Watch), $199 US (for the 6), and $299 US (for the 6 Plus), you may be doubting whether the money is worth it. You don’t even want to know what the cost of the iPhones are if you don’t have a contract (but we’ll tell you anyways – starting at $649 for the 6 and $749 for the 6 Plus. Ouch). When you’re debating making the switch to the new iPhone, or sending in your pre-order for the Watch (set to come out in early 2015), here are the features you should be aware of that can benefit your student life:

The Apple Watch

After years of countless James Bond movies, we’ve all thought the radio-transmitting wrist watch was just a fascinating, futuristic gadget. Well, welcome to the future. Soon we’ll all be talking into our wrists and tapping our watches to make glorious things happen (although the ability to cut through glass isn’t available…yet). The exciting thing is that apps are only starting to be developed. Who knows what they’ll come up with in the next year? Here are some of the key things we already know about that will help you as a student:

Pretend you know where you’re going when you’re completely lost
When using Apple Maps, find directions to where you want to go – same old, same old, right? Wrong. One of my favourite new features with the Watch includes different vibrations to notify you when to turn left and right so your eyes don’t need to be glued to your wrist. No one will know you’re a freshman in a new city.

Draw when you don’t have time to type
When you’re trying to push through crowds on campus to get to your next class, the last thing you want to do is try to type on your phone. Chances are you’ll make mistakes that even autocorrect can’t figure out, and you’ll walk into people, trip over someone studying on the floor, or even drop your phone. The next time your friend texts you “Are you coming to class?”, you can just draw a checkmark on your watch and you’re back in action.

It’s hard to lose
Much like parents who clip a leash to their toddlers in the shopping mall, you now effectively have a phone on a leash. Strapped to your wrist at all times, you don’t have to worry about which class you left your phone in this time.

It gives you incentive to get back into shape
The Watch can sense your heartbeat and your altitude (among other things), which makes for an effective fitness tracker. It can tell how many calories you’re burning and how many flights of stairs you climbed today. It’s the cheat-free reminder you need (see also: guilt trip) to get up and get moving.

The iPhone 6 or 6 Plus

If you’re already an iPhone user, you likely don’t need much convincing to upgrade. Each subsequent iPhone generation comes with new and advanced features that you didn’t know you needed – but now your two-year-old 4S seems not only outdated, but inadequate (I know mine does).

It’s bigger (but still thinner than ever)
Now this is not necessarily a benefit for some users. Of course we want more information on the screen at once – we’re multitaskers with an attention span of zero. But what about fitting our phones into our pockets? There’s only one solution: jean manufacturers need to get on board with bigger pockets. Go big or go home, right? If you don’t care about pocket space (seriously, your phone will be glued to your hand anyways), the iPhone 6 Plus might be right for you. It’s great for videos on the go, and has a different landscape layout for ease of use. Those of us with smaller hands or no need for a phablet will be more than happy with the 6.

The camera is better
Are you the type to take pictures of the notes your professor has put up during the lecture, or ones your friends took when you missed that class? The 8MP iSight camera boasts 1.5-micron pixels and ƒ/2.2 aperture, for clearer photos than ever. It also includes auto-stabilization to make sure your selfies will be blur-free.

Leave your wallet at home
Apple Pay will let you tap to pay at select stores (220,000 locations to start) – just hold your finger on the TouchID and you’re done in seconds. Your bag will be heavy enough with textbooks; leave your bulky wallet at home and pay securely.

Longer battery life
For those long days at school, battery life is vital. The last thing you want is to be running around looking for an outlet (and there never seems to be one). The iPhone 6 gives you up to 11 hours when browsing on Wi-Fi (12 hours with the 6 Plus).

Faster wireless
Finding and connecting to wireless is half the battle, but actually being able to use it without hangups is a whole other frustrating issue. For those of you lucky enough to have functioning Wi-Fi in your classrooms, this is a great advancement.