Meet The Makers: The man who gets millions of Xperia owners out of bed everyday

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No one likes being woken up in the morning, so if you are going to be torn from the sweet embrace of sleep, it needs to be by something that doesn’t make you want to throw your smartphone out of the window.

Did you ever stop to think that it’s actually someone’s job to compose the alarm music that wakes you up? Well, it is and the experts at Xperia have been working on making the process of getting up that little more bearable.

To learn more, we dropped in on Jun-ichi Nagahara who has worked for Sony in Tokyo for 27 years and is a Sound and User Interface Designer, AKA the mastermind behind the music that starts your day, every day.

First off, how does it feel to wake up Xperia users every morning?

It’s an immense responsibility; millions of Xperia users are relying on us to ensure they get out of bed. It’s a job we take very seriously.

What makes a good piece of music to wake up to?

It has to have a good melody-line, it’s the morning so it needs to be quite gentle with a simple arrangement and of course it has to be specially mastered to suit a phone alarm.

How did you decide on the default Xperia alarm tone?

We did lots of ‘Shingi’ (deliberation, discussion) to decide, and, of course, lots and lots of testing.

How have alarms and ringtones developed alongside the progression of smartphones?

For each Xperia generation, there are total design concepts for each new product. We need to consider the new design concept and make sure the sounds fit – all aspects of the phone have to work in harmony, even the alarms.

What alarm tone wakes you up in the morning?

Personally, I use the Xperia default alarm on the Z3 Compact, I use it alongside the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app (available via the Google Play Store, an intelligent alarm clock that analyses your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase.)

Finally, what’s the trick to avoiding the snooze button?

I find putting the phone as far away from the bed as possible does the trick, the other side of the room for example, it just means you have to get up to turn it off. I also like to think that we make good alarm-music that people want to wake up and listen to!

So there you have it, the next time you get aggravated by your alarm, think about how much more annoying if it would be if it wasn’t for the tireless work of Jun-ichi Nagahara to make it that much more bearable.

The post Meet The Makers: The man who gets millions of Xperia owners out of bed everyday appeared first on Sony Xperia Blog.

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Virtual Reality Apps: See Your Everyday World in a Whole New Way

You’ve probably run across the acronym AR or heard friends mention AR gear or games, but what is AR, exactly? Augmented reality (AR) merges computer-generated images with the real world around you. AR games, like Pokémon Go for example, use your body’s orientation and position to control what you see on your device’s touchscreen. Some AR apps and games make use of Apple’s ARKit platform to superimpose digital images on to your iPhone camera’s viewfinder and therefore the world around you. Others draw you into an AR world where you can use your positioning to maneuver through your surroundings and see different views. If you’re interested in free AR apps and AR apps and games for the whole family, here’s a collection of our favorite augmented reality apps that will get your feet wet with this groundbreaking technology.

Related: Best 12 iOS Action Gaming Apps of 2017

Euclidean Lands ($ 3.99)

Euclidean Lands is a unique mashup of a rotating Rubik’s Cube puzzler, turn-based strategy game, and first-person adventure. Immerse yourself in this medieval game world with its beautiful isometric cubic architecture, complex combat strategies, and boss battles with enemies. Euclidean Lands is all the more immersive when you factor in its AR component, allowing players to interact with this game superimposed over your real-world environment. If you enjoy brain-teasers and story-driven platformers that call for careful strategizing, you’ll love Euclidean Lands.  


INKHUNTER lets you virtually try on custom tattoo designs through the world of augmented reality. Choose any design that you like, point the camera somewhere on your body, and INKHUNTER will let you view your future tattoo on your skin from many different angles. This is a great app for anyone planning a larger tattoo who wants to get a good idea of how the design will flow with the natural contours of their body. It’s also ideal for anyone getting their first tattoo, as it lets them get a visual what their first tattoo might look like.

Sky Guide AR ($ 2.99)

With Sky Guide AR you simply open the app, hold your iPhone or iPad skyward, and begin automatically finding constellations, planets, and satellites. Sky Guide AR is an effortless way to learn about what’s going on in the skies above. It has a simple and intuitive interface, packed with informative celestial details that make it perfect for all ages and experience levels. Whether you’re an astronomy buff or total newbie, Sky Guide AR will satisfy your curious mind. Conveniently, this app works without Wi-Fi, cellular service, or GPS and keeps your eyes comfortable with its a night mode. It even sends you notifications when the International Space Station passes overhead.

ARise ($ 2.99)

ARise is an intriguing AR game in which you have to move your iPhone or iPad around to gain perspective and navigate through puzzles and obstacles in this advance puzzler/platformer hybrid. In ARise, you solve puzzles by physically moving around in the real world. You get to explore (from a third-person perspective) a vivid, living world in which your pint-sized avatar solves puzzles using visual cues and by looking at the game from every angle. You cross chasms, scale cliffs, and blaze new 3D trails. Built from the ground up to support Apple’s ARkit, ARise is a game the children will love, as will any fan of games such as Mario and Monument Valley.

magicplan (Free)

Magicplan is ideal for craftspeople, real estate agents, architects, home inspectors, interior designers, and do-it-yourselfers. You can use magicplan to view and map your space in 3D, generate job estimates, plan DIY projects, or furnish your home. Magicplan makes it easy to create floor plans in minutes and edit them with annotations, objects, and tasks, all with just a few taps. The app is free to download and use, but you will need to make an in-app purchase to download floor plans in certain shareable formats.

bubbli (Free)

Bubbli lets you record AR images that effectively transport the viewer to the time and place the image was captured. With Bubbli, you simply do a slow and steady pan around your environment, standing in one place as you move your iPhone around you. This produces an immersive, 360-degree image that you can share with friends and family via a variety of messaging platforms, including Facebook, iMessage, email, and more. To fully appreciate the Bubbli image, viewers have to physically turn in a circle and look up and down to view the entire scene, which really makes the viewer feel like they are seeing exactly what you saw when you captured the shot. It really is the next best thing to being there.

Dinosaurs Everywhere! (Free)

Dinosaurs Everywhere is a great app for young kids as well as dinosaur enthusiasts. Just hold your iPhone up like you’re going to take a picture and watch as huge, 3D dinosaurs go stomping through the world around you. Dinosaurs are all shown to scale, and by tapping on a dinosaur you can quickly learn more about the species and zoom in on the dinosaurs to get a closer look at their details. There are 10 different dinosaur species available in this game that you can superimpose over your day-to-day environment. You can also play this game through Google Cardboard for an even more immersive VR experience.


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How To Effectively Use Your Ipad Everyday

Have you tried using your iPad for certain things, and it hasn’t quite worked out the way you wanted? Well, it’s probably because you just need a little more help understanding what exactly you can do to make things more efficient. A few tips and tricks should help point you in the right direction.

Before you purchase an iPad, you should take the time to make a list of the features you need and decide what kind of storage size you want. There are different models of iPads available and there is no point in spending money on features you are never going to use.

Some newer iPads have a mute button instead of a lock orientation one. If you prefer the lock orientation feature, you should go into your settings and tap on the general section. You will be able to choose which function you want to associate with this button. Save your changes when you are done.

To add your Google Calender to your Calender app, you’ll need to go into your Mail, elect Contacts, and then choose Calenders. Select Add an Account, then tap Other. Choose “CalDAV” as the account type and type in your Google credentials. Next, leave the settings area and hit your calendar application. Now, you should be ready.

Before allowing your children to use your iPad, restrict access to adult content. Under Settings, navigate to General and then to Restrictions. Select the Enable Restrictions option. This setting can protect young eyes and ears from explicit language and mature content in apps, games, podcasts, movies, TV shows and more.

If a four-digit passcode is not substantial enough for you, change it. Under the Settings menu, navigate to General and then to Passcode Lock. Disable the Simple Passcode option. This allows you to use any password to lock and unlock your device. Your email and attachments will also be more secure with a more complex passcode.

The iPad is a great tool for taking and emailing pictures. Once you have a picture that you want to share on your iPad, sending it via email is simple. Just open the photo on your iPad and look for the rectangle in the upper right-hand corner. Click on that and you will be given an opportunity to share via email. Simply choose that option and type in your recipients to send.

If you aren’t sure if an iPad is for you(it is)then you should ask to borrow one from a friend. After playing with it for an hour or two, then you will have a much better idea of exactly what it is capable of and what it can do for your life.

Are you having trouble with small print on certain websites? Then you need to zoom in. To do this, use two fingers to pinch outward. You will also be able to tap links and select words better. When you are ready to zoom out, use two fingers to pitch inward.

You can find a free downloadable version of the user guide for the iPad. Go to Apple’s website and find the PDF version of the guide. You can then download and print it. It is also available as an iBook that can be downloaded directly to your iPad. Use it to assist you in learning how to fully operate your iPad.

Use iTunes to back up your data. You do not want to lose all of your music, apps pictures and other data if your iPad was to crash. Use iTunes to store by going to your Summary tab, then checking the Encrypt iPad backup that is found under the Options. This way, all of your information is stored safely somewhere other than your iPad.

Some people are annoyed by the battery charge indicator that is always onscreen. Thankfully, it is pretty easy to remove it from the screen. Just go to settings, then click the general tab, and choose usage. This is the location to turn off the icon. You can adjust this on and off depending on your preference.

Sort your apps rather than displaying each and everyone on the iPad’s home screen. Hold your finger down on the app until its icon makes a quick shaking motion. You can then drag the app and drop it on top of another app icon. You will then be prompted to create a folder. Sorting related apps into folders makes it much easier to quickly locate what you are looking for without endless swiping.

One of the most amazing features of the iPad is the Maps app that runs off of Google’s street view. Many people get confused trying to use it so it is often overlooked. Simply open Google Maps and when you have a red pin drop after a search, simply tap the icon to enter street view.

Get a case or screen protector. If you use your iPad regularly, it is going to show signs of wear and tear, particularly on the screen. To avoid more than is necessary, get a screen protector or a case so that you can keep the screen free from scratches and damage.

Have you heard about the new smart covers available for your iPad? You can use one that utilizes magnets within your device, allowing you to much more easily power down and wake up your iPad. It fits great, looks great, and is a very useful and valuable tool for your device.

Google is perfect for showing locations and landmarks up close, but other map applications are becoming popular overnight. Maps is a great source for a direct route to where you need to be. They offer a step-by-step tour and is a must-have tool for the iPad fanatic. Alternative routes, choice of transport, and traffics estimations are all bonus features that make this program even better.

Maybe you didn’t have a good background of information for using your iPad efficiently before, but now you’re ready! Utilize the advice you’ve read, and continue to expand your knowledge. You will be using your iPad for just about everything. Have fun, enjoy yourself, and take your iPad with you everywhere!

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Everyday carry – 6 EDC essentials you’ll want to get

We all know that guy or gal, the one that is always asking “where are my ****ing keys??”, “where’s my wallet?”, and so forth. Maybe you are one of those people, in fact. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who is totally addicted to your mobile device and going without it due to low power just isn’t an option. Find yourself stuck in the dark without a light in sight? Yah, been there.

Whatever your situation, life can throw us through the ringer, and every day it’s important to be prepared. The good news is it is 2017 and there are plenty of epic products out there that can make our lives that little bit easier. With that in mind, let’s take a look at just a few everyday carry essentials we absolutely recommend checking out.

A Bluetooth Tracker

everyday carry

If you’re like me, you probably lose things. A lot. Fortunately, we have Bluetooth, which can work with smartphones to do some pretty amazing things. If you throw a tag on some of your stuff, you’ll be able to keep your things linked to the Bluetooth on your phone, which can send location data as long as you’re still connected. In addition, many of these tags are able to talk to each other, so if you live in a city with a lot of them, you should find it pretty easy to find all your lost things.

Of all the options on the market we’d recommend Tile and Trackr, both which offer some robust features in a compact form factor.

Tile on AmazonTrackr on Amazon

Portable Power

We’ve all been there. You’re using Google Maps, trying to get home, and then suddenly, your phone dies. You have no idea where you are, you can’t call anyone, and you can’t even hair an Uber or Lyft. Portable battery power solves that problem by giving you the extra juice when you need it. These packs come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, so they’re easy to store almost anywhere. Heck, they make battery packs that are so slim they can fit in your wallet. How cool is that?

Our friends at Android Authority have gone ahead and kept an updated list of all the best battery banks on the market, so make sure you go and check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

Keychain USB Cable

everyday carry

Sure, now you’re all prepared with your fancy portable power pack, but one problem remains: how are you going to charge your phone? Most power banks come with standard cables which are incredibly easy to lose, and it would be much better if you could have a power cable that you could keep on your person at all times. That’s where keychain USB cables come in. They hook right into the things you bring with you every single day, so you’ll never have to worry about not having them available.

There are quite a few options on the market, but we think the coolest one is the Native Union Key Cable. This cable mixes functionality and style in a way we haven’t seen from very many other options on the market, and your friends and cat will absolutely love it.

Compact Charging Brick

everyday carry

Sometimes we simply run out of power, there’s no avoiding it. When your phone has run dry and your battery bank has dripped the last drop of juice, what do you do? To be truely prepared, you should carry your own charging bring. Now we know what you’re thinking. These things are generally big, bulky, and extremely awkwardly shaped. However, they really don’t have to be. With today’s rapidly evolving market, there are a number of options available that are portable enough to go where you are.

Personally, we recommend the Native Union 2-Port USB smart charger. They’re not paying us to say this, but this product is pretty darn nifty. The brick is slim and compact, and allows you to charge any device over USB power from your wall. That’s pretty darn cool. Check them out in the link below.

Credit Card Flashlight

We can’t always see in the dark, and for these instances, it’s good to be prepared. Flashlights have managed to get thinner and thinner, and now, there are flashlights that are so thin they can fit in your wallet.

While there are quite a few of these on the market, the Ninja Light credit-card flashlight is one of our top options. It can fit compactly and robustly into your wallet, and is rated to be more than four times brighter than many smart phone flashes. This is sure to get you out of some sticky situations when you need it most, and at only $ 6.99 at the time of writing, it’s a fantastic option for those looking for some everyday carry on the cheap.

Bluetooth Headphones

When you’re on the go all the time, it’s important to be prepared, and often times being prepared means being able to sit through long periods of dullness. Whether it be on the bus, train, or doctors office, it’s always nice to be able to boot up your favorite podcast and keep yourself entertained.

So what are the best Bluetooth headphones? Lucky for you our friends over at Sound Guys have take the time to review all the best options on the market, and have compiled a killer list for you to check out. Whether they’re super affordable or audiophile-grade, there’s a pair out there for you.

Are there any crucial tech EDC items that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Everyday carry – 6 EDC essentials you’ll want to get appeared first on TabTimes.


Tips On How To Use Your Ipad Everyday

iPads are packed with a multitude of amazing features. Because of this, they have become extremely popular. Due to their advanced technology, however, learning to successfully operate an iPad can take some learning. You will find some terrific suggestions and some amazing tricks in this helpful article. Ready to start learning? Read on.

Did you open too many apps? You can access all your open apps by tapping on the home button of your iPad and bar will appear at the bottom of you screen. Tap the app you want to access and repeat this process later to access your other running aps.

Did you know that when you are charging your iPad on a flat surface, it can take a while for the battery light to appear? Don’t panic! Plug it in and wait for a bit. The charging symbol will eventually appear and your iPad has been charging the entire time.

You should know what kind of care an iPad needs. Never leave an iPad locked in a sweltering car. Battery performance is degraded with intense heat. Also, keep your iPad away from liquids. For extra protection, you may want to buy a padded cover.

A great feature of the iPad is the zoom features. You can easily zoom in and out of any website by pinching with two fingers on the screen. This will help you select tiny links or features when they are larger. You can also double-tap on any image or text to enable auto-zoom.

When checking out any new applications, don’t overlook free options. Many times they are just as good as the paid version, although they may include advertisements. This is also a great way to have a type of trial before purchasing the full version that doesn’t have any obtrusive ads on it.

The iPad comes with a few apps that you’re probably not going to want to use. Some of these cannot be deleted. One way to get them out of your hair is to create a new page of apps and put all of the preloaded apps you don’t use into a folder on that page. This will declutter space on your screen and let you focus on the apps that you will use.

It is very easy for you to email other people photos while using your iPad. All you have to do is locate the photo you want to send and press the button located in the right-hand corner. There is an option there that will allow you to send the photo to anyone you want.

The iPad’s “.com” button can multitask. Most people know about the handy “.com” button that makes typing web addresses easier, but it can do much more than that. If the website you are heading to ends in “.net” or “.edu,” simply hold down the “.com” button and you will see several new options pop up.

Accessing the second scree of your keyboard every time you need a full stop can quickly become annoying. You can save a lot of time when you type by pressing the space bar twice when you need to insert a full stop in your text or by using a wireless keyboard.

You want to make the most of your iPad screen, so setting up the appearance of just about everything is important. Have you found that you would like your battery charging icon to not be there? You can eliminate this icon by going to your settings, tapping general, and then turning it off in the usage section.

The iPad is an exceptional tool for both home cooks and professional chefs alike. There are apps for you to store your own recipes or those which provide recipes from experts. There are measurement conversion apps, which help you to figure out your ingredients. There are even apps, which supply ingredient substitutions. Take your iPad into the kitchen today!

When you first purchased your iPad, pages loaded quickly. Now, you are noticing your machine is not as snappy in it responses as it used to be. Over time, the installation of data and apps will slow down your iPad. To keep your iPad at optimum speed, periodically review the information and apps you have installed and delete those that are no longer being used. By doing this, your iPad will become snappier in its response again.

Sort your apps rather than displaying each and everyone on the iPad’s home screen. Hold your finger down on the app until its icon makes a quick shaking motion. You can then drag the app and drop it on top of another app icon. You will then be prompted to create a folder. Sorting related apps into folders makes it much easier to quickly locate what you are looking for without endless swiping.

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of a frozen iPad, don’t worry. Apple built in a hidden reset function to the device. All you need to do is hold the home button while holding the power button. This will do a hard reset that should work even when frozen.

Want to connect to your iPad via VPN connection? If so, this feature is now possible. Navigate to Settings, General, and Network. Find the VPN slider and move it to the On position. Once you do this, add the configuration for the VPN onto your server and account. It’s really easy!

The iPad can work great for consolidating existing processes. For instance, you can add your Google Calendar to your iPad. All you have to do is go to your settings tab, then go to mail, then contacts and finally calendars. You’re going to tap add an account, and then click on other to start setting it up.

If you are struggling to see your iPad under bright sunlight, consider buying a matte screen protector. While the iPad’s glossy screen may look stylish, in bright sunlight, the glossy finish can have a huge amount of glare. A matte screen protector will reduce the glare from your iPad in brightly lit rooms.

This article has shown the great benefits of iPad usage. It takes some time to learn about all the features of your new device. Using all these tips will make you an iPad master. Enjoy!