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May 18, 2014

6 Apps That Must Disappear from iOS 8

As the years pass, iOS customers are finding that more and more of the stock apps bundled with their Apple smartphone or tablet are becoming useless. Some of them were useless right from the start, yet the company has been very reluctant to pluck them out.

Apple prides itself on not shipping phones with bloatware, this being one of the reasons why the company’s advertised storage capacity is among the closest to reality from all smartphone vendors out there (if not the closest). But the OS itself still takes a great deal of space on the phone, and for those who are buying the 8GB iPhone 5c, for example, every megabyte starts to count. Which is why Tim Cook & Co. would be doing themselves a huge favor by handpicking some apps for extermination in iOS 8. Here are just a few, right off the bat (you’re welcome to share your own discontinuation plans in the comments section below).

1. Videos
Does anyone honestly use the videos app in iOS? It was useless when it shipped and it now it’s even more useless with solutions like VLC Player finally available on the platform. Apple’s Videos app doesn’t even play half the formats VLC has been trained to run, and that’s only one player from the hundreds available on iTunes.

2. iTunes Store
Apple is refusing to split up the App Store and the iTunes Store into separate apps on the desktop, yet somehow they’ve agreed to do it on iOS, which is precisely the place you don’t want crowded with app icons that you hardly ever tap once a month (or ever, in some cases). The iTunes Store and services should be a single app with multiple tabs inside. They should put all the iTunes/iCloud centric settings in there while they’re at it, because the Settings pane is getting pretty crowded.

3. Game Center
Why is Game Center an actual app? It’s just a service that lives as a simple banner or notification in all the compatible games out there. No need for a locally-stored interface. Since it only works with an Internet connection anyway, why not simply bring it up from the Apple servers every time?

4. Stocks
Since when has trading become so ubiquitous that everyone with an iPhone is automatically filed under potential AAPL / GOOG / EXXON investor? If we were to poll this issue I’ll bet not more than 5 percent of the install base actually checks quotes on the iPhone, and even that’s a stretch. Not to mention that avid traders probably have their own preferred apps and services to track their stocks with.

5. Weather
Yes, weather. iOS should ship with a simple, constantly-on weather report on the lockscreen and / or in Notification Center, and just do away with the standard weather app. Whoever wants a whole display filled with weather information has already downloaded their preferred solution from the App Store. Not saying that the Weather app in iOS isn’t decent, but it could serve a much better purpose by transcending into a lockscreen widget.

6. Podcasts
The Podcasts app has been suffering from issues since day one, and Apple should just give up trying to fix it. Instead, it should be integrated in iTunes. Plus, with the rumored iTunes Radio standalone app on the way, who needs three music/media apps on the same screen?

iOS 7 stock apps
Image credits to Apple

Premium Galaxy S5 Leaks in Live Pictures, Shows Same Design in Aluminum Body

Not a day goes by without another rumors surfacing about the unannounced premium version of Samsung Galaxy S5. The smartphone many are convinced Samsung should have launched first is nowhere to be seen yet, but sources close to the matter claim the South Korean company is very close to make it official.

Now it looks like Phonearena received the first images of the so-called premium Galaxy S5 from a loyal reader, so given the anonymous source we recommend our readers to take it with a grain of salt until more sources come up with additional photos. At first glance, the premium verison of Galaxy S5 looks exactly like the standard model, but the back cover and the frame seem to be made of aluminum. The loudspeaker has been moved from the back to the front side and some of the specs have been improved to justify the “premium” name and the higher price tag.

According to the latest hearsay, premium Galaxy S5 should pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset inside, 3GB of RAM and 5.2-inch QHD (1440 x 2560 pixels) resolution display. Most source familiar with the matter claim the premium Galaxy S5 is now undergoing testing, which means it won't be long until Samsung makes it official. Stay tuned for more updates on this one.

Premium Galaxy S5
Images credits to PhoneArena

Xiaomi’s MiPad Tablet Gets Massive Score in New Benchmark Results

Earlier this week, Xiaomi introduced what seems to be the most blatant iPad mini clone we have seen so far, the MiPad.

The tablet has obviously borrowed designed cues from the iPhone 5c too, with its plastic back and colorful paint jobs. Nevertheless, putting that aside, the tablet comes with an intriguing set of specifications, including a Retina-like display resolution (2048 x 1536 pixels) and a NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC under the hood fit, which is a quad core Cortex A15 clocked at 2.2GHz fitted with 192 graphical cores. The slate also has 2GB of RAM included plus 128GB of internal storage. Xiaomi provided a few benchmark scores when the tablet was launched a few days ago, so we could get an idea regarding the tablet’s performance compared to the iPad mini.

However now, the MiPad’s AnTuTu benchmark scores have been made available, reports Tablet-News. The tablet managed to score a massive 39,263 which is quite impressive. Consider that most machines running the Snapdragon 801 processing unit score between 33,000 and 35,000 and rarely make it up to 36,000. Judging by the high-results, the tablet should be a speed-demon, not to mention games will probably look amazing on its crisp display.

Xiaomi MiPad
Image credits to Xiaomi
Xiaomi's MiPad shown in AnTuTu benchmark
Image credits to VR-Zone

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