Mobile Month

September has been pretty exciting. As I am sure you all know, Apple rolled out 2 new iPhones and released its new version operating system iOS7. The new iPhone 5s is quite the awesome piece of hardware, even though most media outlets are unimpressed. Apple has done something with their phone operating system and development platform that the PC industry has been unable to do for over 5 years — transition fully to 64 bit processing. Without getting too techy, PC’s around the world have had 64 bit processors for years; however, most software developers have made little to no move to support the added power of this processor. This is because the tools for converting their existing software to support the new processors are expensive and requires lots of recoding. According to Apple, their new development platform supports creating and upgrading 64bit apps with very little effort. On top of that, iOS7 fully supports running the older 32 bit apps and 64 bit apps during the transition. The other really cool thing about the new processor is that it is double the brain power of the previous processor. Imagine one billion little brains stuffed into a 2″ square. Now imagine figuring out how to shrink those down so that you can put twice as many brains on the same square. That’s what Apple did. I think that is quite amazing. On top of the processor upgrade, we get a new camera with better picture quality and a finger print scanner. Now I have talked about biometric security before and here it is in a phone. Now even though fingerprints are secure they are hack-able. In fact, there are claims that the fingerprint scanner has already been hacked, albeit in a very mission impossible way. A very high resolution image of a print lifted off of a piece of glass was used to break into an iPhone protected by a fingerprint. Now granted a spy might be able to pull off this kind of trick, but the average bear is not going to steal your phone and stalk you for a fingerprint to get into your phone. I feel like for the average user this is still a safe way to secure your phone. A better way would be to require a password or PIN as well, but that’s another matter. All in all, the new iPhone is a big win if you are due for an upgrade. Not to downplay the 5c, but it really is just the 5 with a plastic body so for the budget minded iPhone 4 or 4s owner out there, you have an option too.

As excited as I was about the new iPhone announcement and the release of iOS7 what really got me this month was the announcement of the next generation of Surface tablets from Microsoft. The first Surface was cool, but it needed some work. Users made sure that Microsoft knew what the next generation should have and Microsoft listened — for the most part. The biggest thing missing was battery life. With the upgraded faster Intel processor and a redesign to the internal hardware, Microsoft increased the battery life by 75% and with the Power Cover keyboard accessory the new Surface will run 2.5x longer than the original. I mentioned the new processor. The new Surface is powered by a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and the Surface 2 Pro has the Intel Haswell processor. The screen is a full 1080p HD display and both will be running the latest editions of Windows 8.1. At the release event it was very clear that the Surface Pro 2 was the star, catering to business users who also want to use their devices to play. It was mentioned over and over that the Surface Pro 2 is more than a tablet. It is a device for every computing scenario. They showed using the Surface Pro 2 as a tablet, as a laptop with the new 2 position kickstand and the power cover for typing and as a desktop with a new dock that allowed 2 additional monitors and USB devices to be added to the system. Yup, a docking station that’s right, cue the chorus of angels. One device for all your needs plus it plays games. The demo included a developer playing Halo on the projection screen with a wireless Xbox controller. This tablet is stacking up to be a beast. Both the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro are set to ship October 22, and I cannot wait to see if these little fireplugs are as powerful as Microsoft boasted at the event. I highly recommend visiting to check out all the specs and goodies that are being offered with the new tablet, like 200GB of free SkyDrive storage for 2 years with the purchase of the new tablet. While the price may seem a bit high, remember that this device is set to replace your tablet, laptop, and desktop in one fell swoop!

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