Thursday, 16 February 2017

ALCATEL PIXI 4 6” REVIEW BY SYNAPSE CIRCUIT

Above (top): The Alcatel Pixi 4 "6 & (below) Screenshot of the Nova Launcher Prime.

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

ALCATEL PIXI 4, 6” REVIEW

PRICE £85 - £120

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers!
#Alcatel #Pixi #Pixi4 #6 #BudgetAndroid #SmartPhone


LIFTING THE CEILING?

London, UK, February 16, 2017, Synapse Circuit has uncovered a possible gem in the Alcatel Pixi 4, "6!

   SPECS:-
NETWORK: GSM / HSPA / LTE

LAUNCH: Announced January 2016. Available. Released 2016, June
BODY: Dimensions 165 x 83.8 x 8.3 mm (6.50 x 3.30 x 0.33 in)
SIM: Micro-SIM
DISPLAY: Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size: 6.0 inches (~71.8% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels (~245 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch: Yes, up to 5 fingers
OS: Android OS, v5.1 (Lollipop) - Upgraded to Android 6.01 (Marshmallow)
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8909 Snapdragon 210
CPU: Quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU: Adreno 304
MEMORY: Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal: 16GB, 1.5GB RAM
CAMERA: Primary 8 MP, autofocus, LED flash
Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, HDR, panorama
Video 1080p@30fps
Secondary: 5 MP, LED flash
SOUND: Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker: Yes
3.5mm jack: Yes
COMMS: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth: v4.1, A2DP
GPS: Yes, with A-GPS
Radio: FM radio
USB: microUSB v2.0
FEATURES: Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass (optional)
Messaging: SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, IM
Browser: HTML
Java: No
Media: MP3/AAC+/WAV player
MP4/H.264 player
Document viewer
Photo/video editor
BATTERY: Non-removable Li-Ion 2580 mAh battery
Stand-by: Up to 650 h (2G) / Up to 650 h (3G)
Talk time: Up to 26 h (2G) / Up to 15 h (3G)
Colour: Black

UNDERRATED
This Alcatel budget handset has got to be one of the most underrated handsets of 2016! I can’t say that I have seen a review of this very, very good Android smartphone; I am happy to be in a position to write about it.

The above spec is just about right for today’s market of low-end budget Android handsets, and what sets the Pixi 4, “6 apart is the 1.1GHz quad-core CPU, 1.5GB of RAM and a fairly decent 6” IPS screen. One of the biggest problems with low-end budget Android handsets since inception is the fact that they have been extremely underpowered. Sure, out of the box, such low-end Androids would perform surprisingly well for the money, that is until apps such as Facebook, YouTube, G+, and WhatsApp receive an update… Then the whole experience and concept of the “budget Android” slides downhill so fast that there is no flesh left on the body; such is the force of friction when going downhill and super-breakneck speed! Sorry, I do not play any games and I couldn’t tell you if you would enjoy playing CPU and RAM intensive games. I suspect that you’d be able to play some games that don’t require a huge demand on the hardware!

The Alcatel Pixi 4, 6” is a very good performer when it comes to the base apps: Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Chrome, PicsArt, Google Docs, to name a few. Well, at least those are my key apps that I use on an everyday basis. The aforementioned apps have been updated several times and they still function reasonably well and the response time is also reasonable. I am inclined to think that it is the 1.5GB of RAM that makes all the difference. I have had budget handsets in the past with 1GB RAM and the performance was horrendous - the handset was too thick to use as a doorstop! Oh, the dual core CPUs on those things were equally as useless! Alcatel got it spot on with the combination of a quad-core 1.1GHz CPU and 1.5GB of RAM. By today’s standards, I suspect that 2GB of RAM should be the base of the budget Android but I guess there will be some manufacturers that would try to get away with less - much less! Such handsets, as I have stated before, aren’t worth the money - no matter how much of a bargain they seem! Do not do it!

AESTHETICS & SCREEN
Well, I guess you could say that the Alcatel Pixi 4, “6 looks like a standard Android budget uniform design. There is nothing really special that stands out in its design. But it does look good, though! The bezels are quite slim at the sides and the top and bottom bezels aren’t too thick! The bottom bezel could have done with some backlighting to accentuate the capacitive menu buttons, still, you do get used to where the buttons are.

The 6” screen is a delight! It’s got an overall good colour balance and it makes for a good experience when editing photos in PicsArt, for example. The one thing that makes the screen less than wonderful is the presence of bright sunshine; I struggle to see anything on the screen in direct sunlight. Well, this is where you will notice the budget aspect of this handset.

CAMERA
I would say that the camera is not too bad. The 8MP main camera does a fair job; I have been better 8MP cameras on other budgets handsets such as the Moto G, but the results are just about good enough for Social Media Feeds! I was quite impressed with the front facing 5MP camera for the purpose of taking selfies! The front facing camera has a flash too! Great! The video quality is pretty grainy via the main 8MP & front 5MP cameras, as with all cameras, the better the lighting conditions the better the recording will appear. I can’t say that I was impressed by the video quality. These days, it would appear that 13MP is the minimum for a good camera oriented budget handset in the price range.
Above: The Alcatel Pixi 4, "6 camera results! Not bad, huh? The interface has some great settings - including HDR! The results can be gorgeous! A very good effort for the asking price!



STORAGE
The Alcatel Pixi 4, “6 comes with a remarkable 16GB of storage and 32GB external storage via the trusty microSD card slot! I have always advocated that manufacturers of budget handsets should quit the 8GB option in favour of 16GB as a standard. I just do not see the point in anything less than 16GB! Thankfully, Android Marshmallow (6.01) allows the user to store and run apps from the microSD card! This move by Google to bring back storing apps to the microSD card is one of the best things they could have done for the Android platform! Kudos! This means a great deal to manufacturers wishing to create better budget handsets. 8GB storage on today’s smartphone and tablets is a joke!

Alcatel has done themselves proud here!

OVERALL CONCLUSION
I wasn’t expecting much from this handset but it turned out to be very impressive. As a daily driver, it is almost perfect! Yes, really! Like most budget Android handsets there can be the occasional stutter and lag but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience. Of course, the Pixi 4, “6 is not meant to compete with Samsung, LG, Huawei, Lenovo-Motorola, HTC, premium handsets, still, it performs like a handset that costs more than its £120 price! You can get it cheaper on Tesco PAYG for £85 but it is locked into the Tesco network. You should be able to pick it up unlocked for around £120 or less.

If you aren’t into intensive 3D gaming on your smartphone and you are in need of a handset powerful enough to get you through a day of Social Media Networking, YouTube, Email, writing the odd report, etc on Google Docs and taking photos and videos then the Alcatel 4, “6 smartphone could be right for you! The price is most reasonable and it could very well be a secondary handset to the main driver!

The battery life is pretty good - a little above average. Again, manufacturers make great claims about the battery but in usage, it’s different story! With the Alcatel Pixi 4, “6, I could get away with a good day worth of taking photographs, video, Social Media Networking, browsing Google Chrome, sending/receiving messages on WhatsApp & Line and so on. When the battery goes down to about 15% it can hold its charge until I get home.

Yes, I do rate the Alcatel Pixi 4, “6 very highly despite the 6” screen being marred occasionally by direct sunlight; I just had to angle the screen away from the Sun as you would! So, the screen is not a deal breaker. It would have been so much better if the screen was full HD! Come on, screen technology has gotten to the stage whereby 1080p should be the standard. Some handsets have gone full 4K already! I am curious if Alcatel will make a version of the Pixi 4, “6 for 2017; I think it would be another great handset! Just bump up the RAM to 2GB, go hexacore for the CPU, 13MP main camera and front facing speakers and I will be a customer!

As it stands, the Pixi 4, “6 is a great budget all-round handset in that it does everything just a tad well. Again, there is nothing exceptional about it; it just gets the job done a little more than adequately. Budget handsets can be capable of more but, for the most part, manufacturers have a tendency to play it safe. Alcatel has stuck its neck out a little on this outing to make the Pixi 4, 6” worth having! Well done, Alcatel!

Oh, I think it is important to let you know that I used Nova Launcher Prime by TeslaCoil Software to replace the interface. I tried the default OneTouch Launcher but, at least for my personal tastes, the Nova Launcher gives me a very satisfying experience. I almost forgot… The backfiring speaker is very, very exceptional! It is nice and loud, it delivers very clean audio at high volume! It is great for watching video content! Awesome! The Alcatel Pixi 4, "6 has got to be one of the best budget Android handsets of 2016 and is definitely worth picking up if you, today, are looking for a smartphone that will give you a good amount of power to get things done in an enjoyable and fluid way! Thank you for reading! Best wishes, Synapse Circuit/Blue Gene

Thursday, 26 January 2017

REALLUSION iCLONE 7 NEWS, SYNAPSE CIRCUIT


 SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

REALLUSION GENIUS


iCLONE 7 NEWS 


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! 

3D ANIMATION & ILLUSTRATION IS ABOUT TO GET PUMPED UP SOME MORE!

#Reallusion #iClone #iClone7 #3D #3DAnimation #Illustration #3DIllustration #CrazyTalkAnimator3


WORK IN PROGRESS

London, UK, January 26, 2017,
 2D & 3D animation pioneers, Reallusion is working on the continual evolution of its renowned 3D animation application, iClone. iClone 7 will include awe-inspiring features that will empower the independent studio and individual artists! Check these amazing attributes out: an industry-standard camera system, in-depth facial animation editing, morph animation from blend shapes , and real-time facial mocap.

Can you believe it??? REAL-TIME FACIAL MOCAP!!! WOW!!! 

EXCITED

It is always exciting to learn of a new iClone version because you just know that the brainy people behind the award winning software are going to push the envelope of 3D animation that much further. What's more is that Reallusion keeps the cost of iClone within reach of just about anybody who has the vision to animate and/or create stunning graphics. Many people want to get into 3D animation and graphics but very often the software is offputting due to some of the costs involved or if it is not the costs then it is the complexity of the interface. More often than not, you find yourself having to study a great amount of tutorial material before you get to do anything! Gosh! 


The industry camera system will make it so very easy to frame the scenes in the animation - just like the professionals do! With iClone 7, you can become your own Pixar studio! 

EMOTIONAL
One of the many attributes that I appreciate about iClone is the collection of preset expressions for animating faces; it takes out a lot of the hard work in having to create animations for expressions from scratch. As stated above, there is a real-time facial motion capture that works from a webcam or even a video recording! That is simply phenomenal - especially as you know that the costs will not break the bank! 

From what I have understood, the facial real-time motion capture will be available as a plugin; but if you don't need it you always have the preset expression library. 

SEAMLESS
What will delight many serious animators out there is that iClone 7 will have extensive compatibility with leading 3D software! See image below!



Yes, you have spotted support for Unity! So, if you have ambitions to create 3D game characters iClone 7 has got it all there!

BELIEVE
Don't take my word for it! Watch it with your own eyes...




COMING SOON...
Hopefully, it won't be too long before iClone 7 is available from the Reallusion website. That's www.reallusion.com

It looks as though iClone 7 will be with us in March 2017! I hope to bring you a review very soon! In the meantime, I am going to bring you a review of another Reallusion application, CrazyTalk Animator 3! So, stay tuned!

Synapse Circuit is back, Baby!

Thank you for reading! See you again soon! 


Synapse Circuit/Blue Gene

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

SAMSUNG SUPERNOVA, SYNAPSE CIRCUIT

Above: The official "What Happened" video from Samsung!
SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

SAMSUNG SUPERNOVA 


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! 

Have you lost faith in Samsung?

#Samsung #Galaxy #Note #7 #GalaxyNote7 #Battery #ExplodingBattery#GalaxyS8 #S #GalaxyS #Android #Flagship #Smartphone

NEVER!


UK, January 24, 2017,
 I never lost faith in Samsung. At the time I took a short break from writing I had to witness what would have been the best phone of 2016, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, literally crash and burn, in relative silence - this online magazine, Synapse Circuit, is my main voice of The World of Tech! 

OVERREACTING
Sure, it was so very unfortunate for Samsung to have had such a terrible mishap. Did the media overreact? Well, look at it this way: the most desirable phone in the world suddenly became unavailable. Is it any wonder that Technology Lovers would be so disappointed that they reacted in the way that they did? 

I am due an upgrade and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was the only phone to upgrade to; I was very disappointed. However, through my disappointment, I realized that this was just a small setback for Samsung. When you push technology Samsung does then something can go wrong from time to time. Batteries catching on fire and exploding is not just a Samsung phenomenon; exploding batteries can and has happened and will happen again to any manufacturer. 

DESIGN FLAW?
I will always maintain that many of today's smartphones have one design flaw... They are too thin! As a result the battery is compromised somewhat. All you have to do is put your handset in your back or front pocket and bend. The handset will bend and it puts a strain on circuit-board and, of course, the battery. You could be one of the unlucky ones to have compromised your phone's battery through placing it in your back pocket; the battery could explode due to the lithium and other chemicals being exposed. Such as explosion could happen without the battery being placed on charge.

Exploding batteries have happened to iPhone users too - as well as other brands. It just so happens that people take more notice if this happens to such a popular brand such as Samsung.

Battery technology is very, very slowly evolving compared to the other components. I do think that manufacturers should make smartphones whereby the battery can be replaced. I would have thought that there would be more money in selling spare batteries.  


GALAXY NOTE 8
Some Tech pundits had the Galaxy Note line dead and buried but I figured that the Galaxy Note line of smartphones is too massive to bury. It's the equivalent of trying to bury the Eiffel Tower in sand using a single teaspoon to either dig a hole large enough or to cover it. The Galaxy Note series is an industry unto itself.

You saw the amount of technology that went into the Galaxy Note 7 that it makes you wonder about the forthcoming Galaxy Note 8! When the Galaxy S8 drops it is going to make yet another impact in the mobile industry. And when the Galaxy Note 8 is ready... WOW! I think it will revolutionize the mobile industry like the first Note did.


THE GALAXY GAUNTLET
Look, since Samsung threw down the Galaxy S & Note gauntlets to manufacturer has beaten Samsung outright. A few have come close but, arguably, no manufacturer has been able to beat the Galaxy & Note from inception. Not even the iPhone plus variant. 


This year, I think it will be another close call between LG, Lenovo-Motorola and Huawei. I think we might just get few surprises from the Chinese based manufacturers. That said, I do see Samsung finishing 2017 as the King of the Smartphone World. 
Above:The Snapdragon 835 SoC is smoking the iPhone A10 but that can change with the A11. But if Samsung manufactures the Apple A chip then surely they ought to know how to make chips that can surpass it, no?


Again, I am very curious about the CPU, SoC (System on a Chip); will it be able to be as fast as the A11 chip in the forthcoming iPhone 8? No, I don't hate Apple or the iPhone. They are simply not for me. But as a Tech Lover, I want to see Android fly on the next flagship from Samsung and any other manufacturer.

IN CLOSING

Yes, I would want a Galaxy S8 & Note 8. I wouldn't hesitate for a second. Samsung has something to prove and that makes them eager to push mobile phone technology further than any other manufacturer. With the battery lesson learned, I don't think we have anything to worry about - if you, like me, are a Samsung user!

Thank you for reading!


Synapse Circuit!

Saturday, 21 January 2017

WYSIWYG WEBPLUS IS DEAD, SYNAPSE CIRCUIT

 SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

SERIF

WEBPLUS NO MORE

X8 IS A LEGEND 


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! 



Above: WebPlus X8

WEEP, WYSIWYG WEB DESIGNERS. WEEP!

#Serif #WebPlus #WebDesign #HTML5 #WYSIWYG #Affinity #AffinityDesigner #AffinityPhoto #AffinityPublisher

A SAD DAY FOR WEB DESIGNERS...


London, UK, January 21, 2017,
 At last! Yes, I finally managed to install Serif WebPlus X8... I received my copy of this legendary WYSIWYG web design application quite some time ago but I fell ill and didn't manage to have a play with it.

X7
WebPlus X7 was something of a strange update for Serif. It felt incomplete in some ways; one aspect that fell short was the HTML5 video player. Users had to purchase a premium version of the HTML5 player in order to remove the logo watermark. That was uncharacteristic of Serif as they keep their applications gimmick free. Not much had changed from X6.

Although WebPlus X7 was flawed it was still a very, very usable application for web design. I honestly think that WebPlus is a better application than Adobe Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver started off with great promise but it soon turned into frustration-ware; I remember having to search through a load of third party plug-ins to extend its capabilities. I was frustrated most of the time because I thought that a majority of the extensions should have been implemented by default instead of badly programmed downloadables.

Once I discovered WebPlus I appreciated its simple interface and how it enabled fast productivity. I didn't look back. And because I didn't keep up with Dreamweaver it meant that I was essentially saying goodbye to professional web development. Good riddance! It so irks me when the Design Industry blanks a great application that is WebPlus because it doesn't have the Adobe name.It is stupid!

X8
After playing around with version X8 I can say that Serif made a significantly better effort! The video player is great - even though you could add a custom HTML5 video player by using jQuery HTML5 solutions. Check this out: http://jplayer.org/











The audio player is jQuery but somehow Serif didn't create a means of customizing the interface. That is a shame as you are stuck with the 'Pink Flag' player. How hard would it have been to create an interface to customize the audio player?

The interface has improved to make productivity even more efficient. I like the 'Task Monitor' that basically tracks your progress and warns you of any mishaps in your design such as an image overlapping text, etc? You can also see tutorials to help you add components and content to your website.

THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY
What I find with WebPlus X8 is that it is great for happy amateurs and small businesses; it'll do the trick! But the bad thing is that it is not using PHP for databases and forms. The ugly, Serif no longer supports WebPlus X8. You cannot buy it as part of its collection of legacy applications. No! Uh-uh! You can only purchase the following from the Serif website:

PagePlus X9 - Affinity Publisher; beta coming this year. When? TBA! It remains to be seen if Affinity Publisher will extend its digital output to include web pages and/or HTML5 apps for Android, iOS and Windows.

DrawPlus X8 - Affinity Designer. This is a great awesome alternative to Illustrator! It is a surefire winner! I am studying the Affinity Designer Workbook as I want to get into Digital Illustration in a big way!

PhotoPlus X8 - Affinity Photo. Hailed as the "PhotoShop Killer", Affinity Photo has taken the digital photo editing and manipulation world by storm. I am currently studying the online tutorials for Affinity Photo; it looks very comprehensive!

&

CraftArtist - It looks as though Serif won't be putting out an Affinity equivalent; that said, I don't see why it CraftArtist couldn't become a plugin for the Affinity range as it would encourage people in Arts & Crafts to get to know photo editing/manipulation and desktop publishing (once Affinity Publisher is ready).

They are all great value at £19.99 each!

HEADSUP
There are other great WYSIWYG web design applications out there such as Incomedia WebSite Design 13 and Magix/Xara Web Designer. Hopefully, I can bring you a review on those applications very soon!

Stay tuned!


Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

SERIF, TO AFFINITY AND BEYOND SYNAPSE CIRCUIT

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

SERIF

AFFINITY 


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! 

TO AFFINITY AND BEYOND 

#Serif #Affinity #AffinityDesigner #AffinityPhoto #AffinityPublisher

A MASTERSTROKE


London, UK, January 18, 2017,
 It took ages for my Serif Affinity Designer Workbook to arrive and when it did I was very, very impressed! As a Graphic & Multimedia Designer by trade, I've felt a little guilt that I didn't master Adobe Illustrator, so when Serif announced the release of the Affinity Designer application I promised myself that I would give Digital Illustration a good go!

I had used the brilliant DrawPlus for simple logo creation, and I mean simple! Affinity Designer meant a new start with a new software concept. In a masterstroke move, Serif initially released Affinity Designer for the MAC to critical acclaim. Still, to this day, the MAC computing platform maintains its reputation in amongst the Graphic Design Industry and it was vital for Serif to garner a long overdue recognition for its professional alternatives to some Adobe software applications: PagePlus - we'll come to that in a bit; DrawPlus, and PhotoPlus. As a result, Serif has reinvented itself as Affinity! As stated earlier, the first Affinity product was Designer. Unlike Adobe Illustrator one was able to purchase it outright without breaking the bank; Affinity Designer retails at an amazing £39.99! £39.99, not monthly or annually. No. A one time only fee! Awesome! When Affinity Designer came out last year on the PC I bought it straight away - especially as it was sold for an introductory discounted price of £29.99!

And, just before Xmas, Serif released Affinity Photo for the PC at a discounted price also! I had to get Affinity Photo too!


Above: Affinity Photo

GREATNESS

MAC users have been saying that Affinity Photo & Designer are PhotoShop and Illustrator killers, while this may be true for MAC users, the truth is that PhotoPlus and DrawPlus on the PC had slain PhotoShop & Illustrator many years ago! I have been using PhotoPlus and DrawPlus instead of the Adobe equivalents for the last 3 or so years! Adobe tried to make a comeback with PhotoShop Elements but Serif's PhotoPlus was more advanced in that it could output documents in the professional CMYK format. This has always been Serif's legacy - professional output. I have brought documents created with Serif products to print bureaus and always had great results!
Above: Affinity Illustrator

Serif is currently working on Affinity Publisher and a beta should be released soon. Now about Affinity Publisher...

PagePlus was, and still is, a great desktop publishing application but it was always lacking in the Digital Publishing steaks. For example, the video and audio players within a PagePlus produced PDF document looked terrible. Trying to do something that matches Adobe or Quark in Digital Publishing was an exercise in futility, sad to state. Before Adobe Flash got shot down in flames one could export InDesign documents as an interactive Flash medium.

It could very well be that Affinity Publisher will address Digital Publishing; the possibilities are vast! I envisage that Affinity Publisher could create executable HTML5 documents in the way in which a PowerPoint presentation could be launched from its native executable file; HTML5 is cross-platform compatible and therefore should present no problems in creating executables for MAC, iOS, Windows, and Android to name a few.

Can you imagine HTML5 documents that includes aspects like animations, page transitions, audio and video and much more besides? I can! Whether Serif delivers on it remains to be seen.

I am also hoping for PDF documents that include a great looking media player. The PDF slide player could be overhauled too! I don't know how hard it'll be for Serif to take PDF to higher heights as PDF is an Adobe technology. Would it be worth Serif's while to develop PDF? Would it be a good idea for Serif to create yet another media format? Other software houses have tried to create a media format only to crash and burn. Does anyone remember Scala? Scala was a dream turned into a nightmare. I bought one of its applications many, many moons ago... It was a multimedia product, like PowerPoint on steroids but there were so many bugs in it that it was never used. It had some great ideas for all its faults, though! It was a precursor to YouTube with Scala channels. These days, Scala is about kiosk displays. Ah, it was MM200 and it was a huge disappointment. Never mind...

Now that Serif Affinity is hot news it has a shot at creating a proprietary medium that can span different screens and operating system platforms. Serif Affinity has come back for the future and could be the creator of a medium that Flash so very much wanted to be when Steve Jobs shut it down.

WEBBED 

Sticking with Affinity Publisher, I had it in mind that Serif would incorporate the ability to output to web pages into it. The word is that Affinity Publisher will not have any web publishing attributes whatsoever! What??? That's crazy, right? This makes me wonder... It also looks like there will be no Affinity Web Designer either! If this is true then it is incredibly sad! Serif produced on of the best WYSIWYG applications ever in WebPlus! It would be a great shame if WebPlus and PagePlus couldn't merge into Affinity Publisher. That stated, Serif is enjoying a monumental high in its achievements that could encourage them to do something very, very special for Web Design, Digital Publishing, and traditional Paper Publishing!

2017, is going to a very exciting year for both Serif and its consumers. One other thing that I would like to ask of Serif for Affinity Publisher is the ability to create TrueType Fonts! There has to be a font designer onboard! I have always wanted to design fonts and it remains on my 'To Do' list!

In any event, WebPlus version X9 has been taken off the virtual shelf. You can't purchase it anymore! That is so, so very sad...

If my hunch is right then I think Affinity Publisher will have an option for web page design. Fingers crossed!

MOVIES
Serif has a legacy application for the editing and making of videos... Yes, you've guessed it, MoviePlus. And it looks like there will not be an Affinity version for the foreseeable future. This is a great shame!

For now, it looks like Serif is just concentrating on professional photo editing/manipulation and graphic design applications. Just imagine how brilliant a video editor could be? Imagine Affinity Movies that is what Affinity Photo is to videos... WOW!

UNDERSTANDABLE
I can understand where Serif is coming from in that the focus is revolutionary based professional photo and illustration applications but I can see that there is already a demand for an Affinity Web Design & Video Editing applications. I would imagine that the runaway successes, Affinity Photo, and Designer could mean that the web and video solutions are in development already! Who knows?

If I know Serif like I think I do, they'd want to have the equivalent for just about everything Adobe does. I think they will do it too - eventually!

Thank you for reading!

The Synapse Circuit website is in the making...

Best wishes,

Synapse Circuit aka Blue Gene

Monday, 16 January 2017

SAMSUNG GALAXY S8, THE SYNAPSE CIRCUIT REALITY CHECK

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! 

Can Samsung pull it off? 


#Samsung 
#GalaxyS8 #Galaxy #S #GalaxyS #Android #Flagship #Smartphone

IT WAS A GOOD THING!


UK, January 17, 2017,
 I think that I am the only person who thought that what happened with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was a good thing for not only Samsung but for consumers who want the best smartphone experience possible! Why? Here goes...

Samsung, as you know and may agree, has had the edge (pun intended) over every other Android premium handset. Samsung caught the ball and has been running with it ever since the Galaxy S. Oddly, Samsung's greatest competitor is Apple and the iPhone and its plus variant. You would have thought that other Android manufacturers would have benefited from the issues with the Galaxy Note 7 but it did not appear to be the case.

What did people do when they couldn't get a Galaxy Note 7? That's right, they went for the iPhone 7 plus. However, judging from the amount of iPhone 7 & plus units that ended up in the Computer Exchange stores here in London, it shows me that the iPhone is no substitute for a Galaxy Note! And look how long Galaxy Note 7 buyers tried to hold on to their recalled GN7! This was/is unprecedented. GN7 owners had to reluctantly give up their unit. So, I know that many, many smartphone enthusiasts are looking forward to the Galaxy S8. I want one already! The anticipation for the Galaxy S8 is out of this world! This, naturally, is a great thing for Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7 looked and felt perfect and the fortunate battery problems created a publicity that has had people constantly talking about Samsung and how they will redeem themselves. There is a lot riding on the Galaxy S8 and also the Galaxy Note 8.

Already, the hype train for the Galaxy S8 is gathering a hypersonic momentum! Me? I would regard myself as a seasoned pro when it comes to Samsung premium handsets. I am not interested into the hype. I am done with all the hype for the Next Big Thing.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS
I don't know about you but I am expecting Samsung to revolutionize the Android market yet again! Let's face it, Samsung has never quite destroyed the iPhone. Don't misunderstand me. I am not interested in an iPhone vs. Galaxy S and Galaxy Note debate. You love what you love and some of you even have both an iPhone and a Galaxy S or Note model. What I mean is that I want to see a SoC (System on a Chip) that can push in ways we've seen the iPhone can. The SoC situation is not really a Samsung problem... I think the SoC design for Android is down to Google. I want to see Samsung on top of the multitasking and best use of RAM issue. Google really needs to look at enhancing Android some more and to design a more versatile and powerful SoC.

Design-wise, I have faith that Samsung will produce a stunning handset. Camera-wise, I am hoping for an even stronger contender. The camera is the main reason for buying a premium Samsung handset and I have always been pleased with the results whether it be a still photo or video. I have also been pleased with the processing power - to a degree. The RAM management has always been a source of contention. Lag can still be an issue and I do not think this should be the case on such a premium smartphone; not from Samsung!

So, to hell with the hype and yes to the eventual reality of the Galaxy S8 that could come by March or April this year.

IT'S FUNNY, HUH?
For a good while now, I have been hoping to be persuaded by a different Android manufacturer to entice me away from the Galaxy S and Note for my main drivers. I have pretty much given up on HTC as, for some reason, they can't deliver a great camera experience. I almost went for the front-facing speaker design that came with the M8 but the camera ruined the deal for me.

LG... I have to say that LG has come very, very close to a handset that made me think about giving up a Samsung Galaxy S or Note. I do appreciate LG's G and V series.

Lenovo-Motorola has come up with some great handsets i.e. the Moto series in 2016 were very, very good but not as great as they could have been. Again, I think it was a case of the design. I was surprised that Lenovo-Motorolajettisonedd the front-facing speakers design for the Moto range. Why, Lenovo-Motorola, why?

Huawei, has done remarkably well with the P and Mate ranges. I love those designs! But the handsets are lacking a little.

Of course, there are many, many more manufacturers that I haven't mentioned and that's mainly because, here in the UK, we get a limited range of handsets.

It remains to be seen which manufacturer will produce a handset worthy of sharing the same platform of the Galaxy S and Note this year.

Can Apple produce an iPhone 8 and plus that would make traditional Samsung buyers become unfaithful? As you know, the iPhone does not appeal to me. However, the operating system, iOS, is getting better with each new handset... I do fancy those music making apps! So, don't rule it out!

Bring it on!

Thank you for reading!

Yes, the Synapse Circuit website is being redesigned! It should be online shortly! Stand by!

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT, BLUE GENE IS BACK FOR THE FUTURE

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

BLUE GENE, THE TECH

WRITING HERO IS...

BACK!!! REJOICE!!! 


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! 

The Tech World hasn't been the same without his writing! 


#SynapseCircuit #Synapse #Circuit 
#BlueGene #Blue #Gene
Recovery from illness...

UK, January 16, 2017,
 Blue Gene, the man behind some of the most entertaining Tech journalism is back! Gene was forced to bow out of the Tech Writing game due to prolonged illness.

Here are some words from the man himself...

It's great to be back! I have missed writing about my favorite subject, Tech! It must be a year now since I last wrote anything substantial. I have missed testing products, giving my opinions and predictions.

I became seriously ill and I had to take a break from writing. I have been working hard at rebuilding my body. I am thinking of writing about that aspect of my life at some point. We shall see... But in the meantime, I am keen to get back to what I love doing which is to write about Tech - product reviews, news, opinions, observations, etc.

It is wonderful to see, via the stats, that you are still reading my articles! Thank you! It means a lot!

You can expect me to be back on the Tech pulse!

Best wishes, 


Blue Gene aka Synapse Circuit