Bigger than better?

A slightly belated iPhone 6 Plus review




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The iPhone 6 Plus is a jumbo, comically huge smartphone. If Apple’s product portfolio were a clown outfit, the iPhone 6 Plus would be the bright red, obnoxious oversized shoes. It doesn’t fit in some front pockets, it sticks out of nearly everyone’s back pockets, and people will notice it and it will illicit reactions, at least while it’s still new and kind of foreign looking.

In fact, I would say that the iPhone 6 Plus is larger than I expected. I’m even one of those guys who went ahead and made scale paper cutouts of each size iPhone 6. It’s certainly a larger smartphone than I ever expected to own, and the size did come as a bit of a shock at first. But once you get past the sheer largeness of the 6 Plus, you can begin to evaluate it on better merits- ones not impeded by the initial “oh my God this is ridiculously large”. After a couple of weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus, I think I have enough familiarity to say some things with certainty. This is the official Haverzine iPhone 6 Plus review.

Read more to hear my take on Apple’s ginormous, huge iPhone 6 Plus.


These are uncharted waters

A (very) early first look at the OS X 10.10 Yosemite Developer Preview




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Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference was yesterday, and at the introductory keynote event company CEO Tim Cook alongside a couple of other Apple executives (including a cameo by Dr. Dre) introduced a whole slew of new software goodies ranging from revolutionary to evolutionary. Arguably the real star of the show, however, was the company’s eleventh major OS X release, OS X 10.10 Yosemite (10.0 being the first).

While Apple has been focusing on the little things with no major overhauls on the Mac side of things for quite some time now, OS X Yosemite marks a drastic change for the software that all of the Mac line of computers will be running come this Autumn. Taking more than a few cues from the software’s younger, more portable sibling – iOS 7 – Yosemite definitely falls under the “revolution” side of the aisle while this year’s iOS 8 update fell on the “evolutionary” side.

But is it any good? We’ve got our hands on the OS X 10.10 Yosemite Developer Preview that the company gave to all paying OS X Developers yesterday. Let’s take a look after the break.


Finally bringing Windows Phone up to par

Review: Windows Phone 8.1




win81In the Microsoft camp, much excitement has been created over Windows Phone 8.1 and for good reason. Many improvements have been made to Windows Phone including adding new features that have been missing since the very beginning. These new features also help give Windows Phone a fighting chance against its iOS and Android competition.

So let’s find out just what it is that’s got the Microsoft guys so excited. The review, as always, starts after the break.


Start Me Up

(April Fools 2014) First Look: Windows 9




Windows-8-Logo1We’re here just one day before //BUILD/ 2014 and yet we’ve gotten ahold of a Windows 9 build. The rumor mill has suggested for some time that the next version of Windows, codenamed Threshold, will contain many changes to the Windows UI to make it more desktop-friendly as it should be. The changes include bringing back the good old Start Menu, Boot to Desktop by default and the ability to run applications in a window.

As I just stated, we’ve acquired a Windows 9 build and we can confirm these changes and many, many more. In fact, Windows 9 is shaping up to be much more than a return to sanity – it’s a complete redesign of everything in Windows from the ground up; everything from Setup to day-to-day use has been changed. And yet it feels familiar and easy to use, something that Windows 8 certainly isn’t.

So if you’re ready to see what Microsoft has in store for Windows 9, check after the break.


This old series is back

What’s New in Windows 8.1 Update 1




win81The What’s New series is back from the dead and we’re now going to take a look at the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 we’ve been covering for some time now. A pre-release copy of the build leaked last night and it’s been installed, screenshots taken and other fun things explored.

So since we’ve had time to play with this build and seen what’s new, we’re ready to share these findings with you in lossless, un-watermarked PNG format. Ready to get started? Check it all out after the break.


Here's what's on the table

First Look: Windows 8.1




win81Today is the day; Windows 8.1 is officially available to the world. We’ve covered the leaks and the Milestone Preview in an earlier First Look and now we get to see the final build that everyone will be using until Windows 8.2 comes out. Given that Microsoft is on a rapid-release schedule now, what we covered earlier for Windows 8.1 Preview is pretty much the same. Still, there are a few notable changes that we’ll go into detail here on this First Look for Windows 8.1 RTM.

Article continues after the break.


Yeah, it's nice

First Look: Windows Phone 8 GDR3




wp_ss_20131014_0012eWe’ve seen Windows Phone 8 GDR3 already through low-res pictures or highly JPEG compressed pictures. Since Microsoft is letting third parties in on GDR3, here’s a proper first look at what’s coming to the table. One thing to note is that this is an incomplete first look. The Lumia 1520 with its 1080p screen isn’t out yet, so I can’t judge how well the new three-column Start Screen works and there are no Windows Phones out there with Qualcomm’s quad-core CPU at this time so I can’t judge performance. Not even Nokia’s Bittersweet Shimmer update is out yet so I can’t even take a look at that. What I can look at is what’s been given to me from the halls of Redmond. So let’s get started after the break.


A new beginning, yet rooted in the past

iOS 7 Review




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When Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to announce the next generation in iOS at WWDC this summer, I was nervous. Rumors had been swirling for months – quite literally months, if not a year – that Apple was working on the biggest change to hit the iPhone since its inception. iOS 7 would be new, the rumors said – gone would be the skeuomorphism that infested modern incarnations of Apple’s software; the wooden bookshelves, the fine Corinthian leather, the drop shadows – and in would come the flat user interface, the heavy use of whites, the loss of virtual “depth”.

But from the second Tim Cook played that Jony Ive video that accompanies the announcement of any major Apple product these days to introduce iOS 7, I was taken aback. It was an odd feeling – even though we knew almost exactly what Apple was going to be introducing with iOS 7, it was clear that none of the rumors had prepared me for what Apple was actually unveiling.

Read more to check out our full review of iOS 7. You won’t want to miss this.


Sacrifices the small details for the big picture

Weekend Special: “Jobs” is as perfect as an imperfect movie gets




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Just like the man that the movie is immortalizing on film, “Jobs” is imperfect. That’s not to say it’s bad – on the contrary, I quite liked Jobs and considered it a solid step above the sort of chaotic, stupid summer blockbusters we’ve all become accustomed to seeing around this time of the year. It’s witty, it’s smart; it’s intelligent, and it’s extraordinarily well acted. Yet as close as it comes to if not perfection, then excellence, something is missing.

To read the full review, click the “Read More” button above.


Fresh from //BUILD/

First Look: Windows 8.1 Preview




win81preview-iconWe’ve been following the leaked Windows 8.1 builds for some time now, but now we finally have a chance to play with the official Windows 8.1 Preview. It was released at Microsoft’s //BUILD/ conference today, and is available as an update to Windows 8 or Windows RT owners through the Windows Store. Of course, a couple days ago the Windows Server 2012 R2 images were posted to MSDN and TechNet ahead of //BUILD/, so we got a sneak preview of what’s coming to Windows 8.1 through that route too.

Anyway, we’ve played with both. Now it’s time to see what all is coming to Windows 8.1, so check after the break.


Is an inexpensive Windows Phone worth it?

Video: Lumia 521 Review




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Our secondary writer gets a Nokia Lumia 521 and attempts to review it the moment he gets it out of the
box. What does he think of it, and would he recommend it? Everything is explained in the above video.

Additions/Errata

  • Adding to things I don’t like about the 521, I do not like how you have to have fingernails to pull the back case off.
  • I played the wrong game in the game test portion – Galaga was fine, but when I tried playing Fruit Ninja there was a noticeable performance drop. It was not enough to prevent playing of Fruit Ninja, however.
  • The phone is actually capable of running on AT&T as it supports their bands. The 521 must be SIM unlocked, which T-Mobile will do.

Hey, it's April Fools!

IBM returns to the PC market




100_8027If you were old enough to remember 2006, you would have remembered the time when IBM sold its entire PC division over to Lenovo. To this day, Lenovo owns all the rights to their desktop lines and the ThinkPad lines. Today, that changes – IBM is returning to the PC market. And we have a glimpse into the future of IBM PCs, as we at Haverzine have managed to get one of the new prototype units.

The new range, codenamed “Personal System/2” is a line of desktops and all-in-ones designed to be some of the highest-performing PCs out there. What we have appears to be a very early prototype unit of the all-in-one system, so there’s plenty of room for design improvement which will be useful as the lines gets closer to shipping.

Enough rambling; let’s start tearing this thing open. Check after the break if you’d like to see more of this new PC.