How to properly install iOS 9 on your Apple device

In Games, Apps, and OS by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Image via Digital Trends

Three months after its announcement, Apple’s latest major software update for iOS devices has started to roll out to supported iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches (see the full list of compatible models below). iOS 9 brings a number of new apps and functions to existing Apple products, including a smarter Siri, a low-power mode, a proper file browser in iCloud Drive, and split-screen multitasking on the iPad.

iOS 9 brings a number of new features, including a smarter Siri, a low-power mode, a proper file browser, and split-screen multitasking on the iPad.

Quite simply, if your phone or tablet runs iOS 8.4 without any hiccups, I highly recommend you upgrade to iOS 9. But in case you haven’t received the OTA update notification for iOS 9 yet, you can manually upgrade your device using iTunes, which is actually my preferred method of downloading and installing iOS updates, as it’s less likely to screw up the process.

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Even better, following the iTunes method will allow you to skip Apple’s download queue, spare your device’s storage of a huge install file (take note, 16GB owners), and download the update directly to your computer without plugging in your device. As always, backup all your data and settings through iCloud or iTunes before proceeding with the installation. With iOS, you’re never exactly sure how a software update would proceed (I found that out the hard way last year).

You can manually upgrade your device using iTunes to spare your device’s storage of a huge install file.

• Install the latest version of iTunes on your computer.
• Download the iOS 9 install file (.ipsw) for your device from the links below.
• Use a USB cable to connect your device to your computer.
• Run iTunes and ensure your device is detected by the software.
• Click on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch from the iTunes Summary tab under Settings.
• Press and hold the Alt key (Mac) or Shift key (Windows) and then click Check for Update in iTunes. Alternatively,             you can click Restore iPhone to perform a clean install of iOS 9.
• Select the iOS 9 install file you downloaded earlier in the window that pops up.
• Wait until the upgrade completes. Upon completion, your device will automatically boot to the “Hello” screen of iOS 9.

Look at how easy that is — no tech savvy required.

Note: Here are the direct download links for iOS 9 install files (.ipsw), courtesy of Redmond Pie:

iPad Air 2 (6th generation WiFi)
iPad Air 2 (6th generation Cellular)
iPad Air (5th generation WiFi + Cellular)
iPad Air (5th generation WiFi)
iPad Air (5th generation CDMA)
iPad (4th generation CDMA)
iPad (4th generation GSM)
iPad (4th generation WiFi)
iPad mini (CDMA)
iPad mini (GSM)
iPad mini (WiFi)
iPad mini 2 (WiFi + Cellular)
iPad mini 2 (WiFi)
iPad mini 2 (CDMA)
iPad mini 3 (China)
iPad mini 3 (WiFi)
iPad mini 3 (Cellular)
iPad 3 Wi-Fi (3rd generation)
iPad 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular (GSM)
iPad 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular (CDMA)
iPad 2 Wi-Fi (Rev A)
iPad 2 Wi-Fi
iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (GSM)
iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (CDMA)
iPhone 5 (CDMA)
iPhone 5 (GSM)
iPhone 5c (CDMA)
iPhone 5c (GSM)
iPhone 5s (CDMA)
iPhone 5s (GSM)
iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 4s
iPod touch (5th-generation)
iPod touch (6th-generation)

Lenovo unveils supersized Phab Plus phone in PH

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Apple and OPPO aren’t the only manufacturers that have made a bet on supersized devices lately. Lenovo has thrown its hat into the ring, too, with the announcement of the Phab Plus at the recently held IFA 2015 consumer-electronics fair in Berlin. Today, Lenovo has made the product official in the Philippines.

Part phone and part tablet, this new crossover from China fits a massive full-HD screen that spans 6.8 inches diagonally (whoa, nelly!) in a metal unibody casing that measures 7.6mm in depth. The Phab Plus is looking to benefit from a burgeoning trend among smartphone users: Lenovo has observed that fewer people are using their phones for voice calls now, as more and more are using text messaging to communicate.

Part phone, part tablet, this crossover from China fits a massive screen that spans 6.8 inches in a metal unibody casing that measures 7.6mm in depth.

And expressing your thoughts and feelings and needs and wants promptly using text (or emojis) is something the Phab Plus indeed does with great success — provided you’re okay with two-handed thumb typing.

Alas, the use of both hands to get work done as quickly as possible is the overarching disclaimer attached to the Phab Plus. Because as much effort as Lenovo put into making this phone-tablet hybrid easier to operate in portrait mode (Lenovo engineered the Android Lollipop-based UI with a few software features that improve handling), it’s still too big to use with one hand.

The use of both hands to get work done as quickly as possible is the overarching disclaimer attached to the Phab Plus.

Specs-wise, the Phab Plus sees an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor humming under the hood, alongside 2GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Also on deck are 13- and 5-megapixel main and secondary cameras and a 3,500mAh non-removable battery, which comes as a bit of a shock given the 6.8-inch footprint.

The Lenovo Phab Plus sells for P14,999 and is now available in all Allphones stores nationwide.

Lenovo Phab Plus

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Lenovo Phab Plus specs (Price in the Philippines: P14,999):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
* Adreno 405 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
* 6.8-inch IPS display (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 3,500mAh battery
* Android 5.0 Lollipop

 

OPPO PH debuts metal-clad R7 Lite and R7 Plus at aggressive prices

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

OPPO Philippines has today unveiled the metal-clad R7 Series phones, which are aimed at the mid- to high-end markets Apple and Samsung are courting. And if there’s anything to be taken away from tonight’s festivities, it’s that the makers of the iPhone and Galaxy handsets — and the rest of the industry, for that matter — should be taking notes on how to put together strong contenders in the smartphone space without asking for too much in return.

The R7 Lite and R7 Plus retail for a reasonable P13,990 and P21,990, respectively, and based on the extensive time I’ve spent with both devices, I must say that OPPO is going to leave a lot of people impressed with its latest efforts.

Both the R7 Lite and R7 Plus have unibody casings made of aircraft-grade magnesium alloy, which is about as good as it gets for smartphones at the moment. They look and feel great in the hand, and the curved-edge Gorilla Glass on the front plus the subtle curves around the back leading to the chamfered metal frame lend to a more-than-satisfying usage experience.

The R7 Lite and R7 Plus have unibody casings made of aircraft-grade magnesium alloy. Based on the time I’ve spent with both devices, I must say that OPPO is going to leave a lot of people impressed with its latest efforts.

The phones are equipped with AMOLED displays for bright colors and intense blacks, as well as 13- and 8-megapixel rear and selfie cameras, though the R7 Plus offers dual-LED flash and laser autofocus for quick snd precise focusing when shooting in close proximity. It also ups the ante when it comes to securing your data, as the Plus variant has a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel to unlock the device with.

Powering both handsets is OPPO’s Android Lollipop-based ColorOS 2.1 running on a combination of an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor and 2GB (R7 Lite) or 3GB of RAM (R7 Plus).

Of the two, it’s the R7 Lite that is more skewed towards a mainstream audience; the R7 Plus touts a massive 6-inch display that’s nearly twice the surface area of most phones today.

But of the two, it’s the R7 Lite, with its 5-inch footprint, that is more skewed towards a mainstream audience; the R7 Plus, in comparison, touts a massive 6-inch display that’s nearly twice the surface area of most phones today. Impressively enough, the latter’s frame isn’t much larger than the screen itself, making it easier to operate one-handed than its size would indicate.

The OPPO R7 Lite and R7 Plus are now available in online and offline stores in the Philippines.

OPPO R7 Series

Picture 1 of 8

OPPO R7 Lite specs (Price in the Philippines: P13,990):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
* Adreno 405 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 5-inch AMOLED display with curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
* 8-megapixel front camera
* 2,320mAh battery
* Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

OPPO R7 Plus specs (Price in the Philippines: P21,990):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
* Adreno 405 GPU
* 3GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 6-inch AMOLED display with curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
* 8-megapixel front camera
* 4,100mAh battery with VOOC fast charging
* Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Confirmed: iPhone 6s, 6s Plus have 2GB RAM

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Even before the Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were made official a few days ago, the rumor mill has been churning with reports that Apple’s latest — and apparently much-improved — iPhones have 2GB of RAM, or double the amount of RAM than their 2014 counterparts.

Well, to the surprise of nobody, it turns out that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus do have 2GB of RAM built into the new A9 chipset,  according to iOS developer Hamza Sood who used the Xcode developer software to confirm the bump in memory. The last time Apple put more RAM into an iPhone was back in 2012, when the most valuable company in the world increased the RAM of the iPhone 5 to 1GB.

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And while 2GB of RAM may not sound like a lot compared to the 4GB of some Android phones like the ASUS Zenfone 2 and OnePlus 2, the double shot of memory should result in faster app load times and a smoother user experience if previous models are anything to go by. It’s not as if last year’s iPhones aren’t fast enough already (they are).

The double shot of memory should result in faster app load times and a smoother user experience.

However, compared to the iPad Pro tablet, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can’t hold a candle against the biggest and most powerful iOS device yet, which has been revealed to include a whopping 4GB of onboard memory.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RypWLWiz1P0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

Watch our ASUS Zenfone 2 review

Cherry Mobile One G1 out now in stores

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

It may have taken a while, but the second smartphone collaboration between Google and Cherry Mobile is now available in stores, the latter announced on Facebook earlier today. The Cherry Mobile One G1 retails for P5,999, which is more than reasonable for a 4G LTE-capable phone with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and a 5-inch, high-resolution display.

And I haven’t even touched on the most brilliant aspect of the phone yet: Android software in its latest and purest form. More impressively, the G1 will continue to run the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system for at least another year.

The G1 will continue to run the latest version of Android for at least another year; it will likely be upgraded to whatever Android N ends up becoming.

In my review, I wrote that out of the sub-P6,000 phones out there, only the G1 is all but expected to get a taste of Google’s next major Android release after Marshmallow. Yeah, you got that right: the G1 will likely be upgraded to whatever Android N (Nougat?) ends up becoming.

If the G1 sounds like the future-proof device you want to own, then you should definitely check it out in Cherry Mobile stores nationwide.

Cherry Mobile One G1

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Cherry Mobile One G1 specs (Price in the Philippines: P5,999):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.2GHz 64-bit, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU
* Adreno 306 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB internal storage
* microSD card slot
* 5-inch IPS display with Dragontrail glass (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 2,500mAh battery
* Android Lollipop 5.1.1

HOOQ’s catch-up service streams shows 24 hours after they air

In Games, Apps, and OS by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Local teleseryes: They’re a cultural phenomenon, regardless of where the general public’s current broadcast-channel allegiance lies. (It’s still a two-horse race, in my opinion.)

Teleseryes have transcended through the decades and social and religious barriers. They have made us laugh, cry (a lot), and genuinely care about or hate fictional characters, and we have embraced them and welcomed them into our living rooms as part of our daily routine, even if it sometimes meant skipping the dinner table to eat the night’s grub in front of the TV.

Or at least that’s how I remember spending most of my evenings growing up.

The good news is that neither the clogged arteries of Metro Manila nor rains could ruin your teleserye-viewing schedule. HOOQ has made it easier than ever to watch what you want, when you want.

But these days, so many things are happening around me that I can barely keep up with the stuff on my calendar, let alone the TV shows I intend to watch. The unforgiving traffic in Metro Manila alone can sap all your energy and ruin your evening plans, reducing you to a husk of that sprightly person you looked at in the mirror in the morning. It gets worse sometimes: The seemingly endless waiting stretches exponentially when heavy rains trigger flooding.

The sliver of good news is that neither the clogged arteries of Metro Manila nor heavy downpours could ruin your teleserye-viewing schedule.

As I wrote on an earlier post, subscription video-on-demand services such as HOOQ’s have made it easier than ever to watch what you want, when you want, and on almost any type of mobile device, giving you unprecedented freedom over a giant pool of local and foreign content. And, the last time I checked, HOOQ has amassed 30,000 hours of streaming titles, which is more than you’ll get elsewhere.

You can now watch the latest episodes of flagship GMA telenovelas on HOOQ 24 hours after they air in the Philippines.

As impressive as that sounds, HOOQ isn’t nearly done yet introducing exciting new experiences and providing additional value to its customers. In addition to saving videos for offline playback — which is a huge plus, for obvious reasons — you can now watch the latest episodes of flagship GMA telenovelas on HOOQ 24 hours after they air in the Philippines.

That means you can afford to miss their nightly airings without ever really missing anything in the long term. And, yes, HOOQ’s catch-up episodes, as with all its other series, are entirely commercial-free.

Headlining the list of GMA shows included in HOOQ’s catch-up service are primetime soaps “My Faithful Husband” (which stars Dennis Trillo and Jennylyn Mercado) and “Beautiful Strangers” (Lovi Poe and Heart Evangelista). GMA’s long-running drama series, “The Half Sisters,” is also available on catch-up.

I reckon more will be added in the coming months as our viewing habits continue to shift away from free-to-air TV to on-demand platforms. But as it stands, HOOQ has given me another reason for not regretting cutting the cord on TV.

Starmobile Knight Elite is a P9,990 Xperia Z3 lookalike

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

The local market has seen quite a number of great finds in the midrange-phone segment, and, lucky for us, it seems like there’s no end in sight for affordable smartphones with good-to-great specs. Case in point: Starmobile just announced the Starmobile Knight Elite, which is headed to stores on September 15 with a retail price of P9,990.

Not bad for a Snapdragon 615-based handset resembling the Sony Xperia Z3 with some genuinely good specs. Both front and rear panels are layered with Corning Gorilla Glass to give the Knight Elite a more upscale appearance worthy of its namesake.

The Starmobile Knight Elite is headed to stores on September 15 with a retail price of P9,990. Not bad for a Snapdragon 615-based handset resembling the Sony Xperia Z3.

If you fancy yourself a mobile photographer, you’ll be happy to know that the phone comes with a feature-rich camera app that allows you to adjust the focus after the fact, take better flash photos, and capture sharper and more detailed images when using the camera’s zoom feature, among other things.

Starmobile quietly showed off the device at a recent launch event, and based on the short time I had with a prototype unit, the company has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the next couple of months.

Starmobile Knight Elite specs (Price: P9,990):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
* Adreno 405 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
* 5-inch IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera with LED flash
* 2,600mAh battery
* Android 5.0 Lollipop

Sorry, Apple — Android already has ‘Force Touch’

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Apple’s next iPhone, as previously reported, is slated to debut this week, and the company is all but expected to bring the Force Touch feature found in the Apple Watch and a few MacBooks to its smartphone line.

For those not in the know, Force Touch is Apple’s term for its touch-input technology, which allows a device or machine to differentiate between light taps and harder presses on a touch-sensitive surface. On the Apple Watch, for example, pressing firmly on the screen while in the Messages app brings up additional controls.

It’s helpful — and maybe, in some cases, absolutely necessary in the context of smaller surfaces. Hence the excitement over Force Touch possibly being introduced in iPhones, and later, iPads.

But guess what? The idea of determining the force of a tap is nothing new to Android. In fact, Android has had Force Touch sensing as early as 2009, says Pocketnow. There’s even an app called Force Touch Demo to showcase Android’s touch-sensing capabilities.

The idea of determining the force of a tap is nothing new to Android. In fact, Android has had Force Touch sensing as early as 2009.

Alternatively, you can enable developer settings in the main settings menu, and activate “Show touches” and “Pointer location” to track how much force is being applied to the screen. Do note that not all screens are created equally, so your mileage may vary.

But why isn’t Google making a big fuss out of this, and why aren’t developers coming up with apps that, at least to some extent, make better use of Android’s pressure-sensing feature? Developer Adam Outler, creator of Force Touch Demo, has put together a pretty solid answer. “How is this useful? It’s not, really. It just adds a level of complexity to a user experience,” Outler wrote on his Google+ page.

‘How is this useful? It’s not, really. It just adds a level of complexity to a user experience,’ a developer wrote on his Google+ page.

I’m inclined to agree, seeing that the screen size of Android devices has been steadily expanding over the last few years, as manufacturers continue to find ways to shrink the bezels around the display. Unless, of course, Apple proves yet again that it can reinvent the smartphone, this time with Force Touch.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH70ERrkuTA” width=”560″ height=”315″]

OPPO R7 Series to be sold on Lazada PH starting Sept. 15

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Heads up, Android fans. The OPPO R7 Series, which includes the brilliant R7 Plus I wrote about last week, will be available on Lazada’s Philippine website starting September 15. That’s about a week from today, for those keeping count.

All (known) phones under the R7 Series feature AMOLED displays and 64-bit, octa-core Snapdragon 615 processors wrapped in seamless, all-metal bodies that make them aesthetically similar to the iPhone 6. They also sport contoured-edge Gorilla Glass to make the edges of the front panel feel smoother to the touch.

The OPPO R7 Series will be available on Lazada’s Philippine website starting September 15.

Pricing remains a mystery for now, but chances are the prices will be the same as in other markets. It’s worth noting that in China, the OPPO R7 Plus costs 2,999 Yuan, or around P22,000.

 

OPPO R7 Plus

Picture 1 of 10

OPPO R7 Plus specs:
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
* Adreno 405 GPU
* 3GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 6-inch AMOLED display with curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
* 8-megapixel front camera
* 4,100mAh battery with VOOC fast charging
* Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jothfi-VBjs” width=”560″ height=”315″]

OPPO R7 Plus video review courtesy of Android Authority