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alcatel OT-819 Soul phone. Announced 2012. Features 2.4″ display, 2 MP primary camera.
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Quick Overview
  • This Mobile runs on powered with .
  • This Mobile has 2 MP and has No Secondary camera
  • This Mobile has 2.4 inches, 17.8 cm2 (~25.4% screen-to-body ratio) inches display TFT resistive touchscreen, 256K colors.
  • This Mobile has of internal memory.
  • This Mobile has Removable Li-Ion battery
  • This Mobile has Dual SIM (Mini-SIM, dual stand-by) - Alcatel OT-819D only sim
  • Compare prices for alcatel OT-819 Soul in Saudi Arabia:
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GENERAL
2G Network GSM 900 / 1800 - SIM 1 & SIM 2 (Alcatel OT-819D only)
Sim Dual SIM (Mini-SIM, dual stand-by) - Alcatel OT-819D only
Status Discontinued
BODY
Dimensions 115 x 61 x 13 mm (4.53 x 2.40 x 0.51 in)
Weight 103 g (3.63 oz)
DISPLAY
Display Size 2.4 inches, 17.8 cm2 (~25.4% screen-to-body ratio)
SOUND
AlertTypes Vibration; MP3 ringtones
LoudSpeaker Yes
3.5mm jack No
MEMORY
CardSlot microSD (dedicated slot)
DATA
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot
Blue Tooth Yes
USB Proprietary
CAMERA
Camera Primary 2 MP
CameraVideo Yes
CameraSecondary No
FEATURES
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML
Radio Stereo FM radio, RDS
GPS No
Java Yes
Colors Black, White
Others - SNS applications - MP4H.263 player - MP3 player - Organizer - Predictive text input
BATTERY
Battery Removable Li-Ion battery
MISC
SARUS 1.00 W/kg (head) 0.70 W/kg (body)
Games No
Keyboard QWERTY
PhoneBook Yes
CallRecords Yes
Review: Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

Introduction, design and display

Two years ago, if you would have told me you could buy an Android phone with flagship-worthy specs for under $300 unlocked, I would have said you're crazy. And, I would have assumed you hijacked a semi trailer full à la Fast and the Furious. However, this is 2015, and Alcatel has managed to deliver exactly that with the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3.

Available in the US for $250 (£270, about AU$328) unlocked, it rests on the same spectrum as the Asus ZenFone 2, and OnePlus One. While you've probably heard of the latter, don't let the Idol 3's innocuous name fool you. It's rolled up to the party ready to have some fun.

With a 5.5-inch, 1080p IPS display, it's got the same pixel density as the iPhone 6 Plus. A 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM are tucked inside, along with 16GB of internal storage. If 10GB of actually useable storage isn't enough for you, there's microSD card support for up to 128GB. On the back is a 13-megapixel (MP) camera with a single LED flash, and on the front is a crazy 8MP snapper. Theoretically, selfies should be amazing.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

From NFC to LTE support, it's got all the connectivity you'd expect, including dual-band Wi-Fi, and a 2,910 mAh battery keeps the juice flowing. In the sound department, dual front-facing speakers created in partnership with JBL liven things up.

Design

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is not the Brad Pitt of smartphones. Nothing from the plastic body particularly jumps out at you, but it's not terrible to look at either. At 7.4mm thin, it's only slightly thicker than some of the latest flagships, and its rounded edges are wrapped in faux metal.

The fake metal edges are very reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S5, and offer a good amount of grip. On the top, you have a microphone and headphone jack, and on the bottom is another microphone and micro USB charging port.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

On the left-hand side, at the very top, is the power button and SIM card slot, and also at the top on the right-hand side are the volume buttons. You may be wondering, where the microSD card slot is located? There isn't one, actually. Instead, Alcatel incorporated it into the SIM card slot.

Because of the 5.5-inch display, the power and volume buttons could have been better positioned together on the right-hand side halfway down. Despite having big hands, they were sometimes difficult to get to.

The brushed plastic back has a smooth, but not slippery feel to it, and features "Idol" and "Alcatel OneTouch" branding. My review unit had some FCC stickers, but thankfully those won't be included on the production model. The 13MP rear-facing camera is completely flush with the back – unlike some of the latest flagships in their pursuit to get even thinner – and it gets the same faux metal treatment.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

At just under five ounces, the Idol 3 feels solid in my hand. It's not too heavy, not too light. Personally, I'd rather have a phone that feels solid than one insanely thin and light. The Idol 3 reaffirms this. I never had a fear of dropping it, even while jogging, and coming from the 5.2-inch display on the Moto X, it took very little adjusting.

It's possible to use one-handed, and is well-balanced enough to not topple over. The body and display do offer a little bit of flex, and you can tuck away in your pocket no problem.

Sticking out just a few millimeters on the top and bottom beyond the display are the dual front-facing speakers. They actually sit below the glass panel of the display, creating a small but noticeable drop off.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

If you want something other than the ordinary black or white, you'll be left hanging. At launch, the Idol 3 is only available in dark gray. Alcatel will offer a flip case starting May 30, but it too will be available in the same bland color.

Display

While LG and Samsung want you to believe you need Quad HD in your life, the reality is, 1080p is perfectly suitable for the average person. Even at 5.5-inches, there's no issue with seeing individual pixels. Being an IPS LCD panel, colors are fairly accurate, and the screen gets sufficiently bright even when the sun is glaring down on you.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

Bezels are fairly thin on the sides, and about half an inch on the top and bottom. This is to make way for the 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and dual stereo speakers which we'll get into here shortly.

Interface and performance

A lot of manufacturers like to add their own skin on top of Android. For the purists out there, it can be a major annoyance, and in quite a few cases, actually slows the phone down. In the case of the Idol 3, Alcatel kept it simple. The phone is running virtually stock Android Lollipop, and here's a list of pre-installed apps:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flipboard
  • Evernote
  • Adobe Reader
  • WPS Office
  • WhatsApp
  • Dropbox
  • AVG Anti-Virus
  • Radio
  • Weather
  • Compass
  • Mix (music player)
  • Notes
  • Sound Recorder
  • Tags (NFC)
  • Wi-Fi Display
  • Wi-Fi Transfer

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

You can completely uninstall third-party apps like Facebook and AVG, but can't do so with the generic system apps. Of course, Google's usual suite of Play-branded apps are installed, along with Gmail, Chrome, Hangouts, Calendar, Email and more.

From a visual standpoint, most of what's been changed are the app icons themselves. The notifications drawer and quick settings menu has kept its Android 5.0 Lollipop roots. You can easily access quick settings by swiping down from the top with two fingers, and a gear icon takes you directly to Settings. And, because Lollipop allows multiple user accounts, you can tap the avatar to switch to another account.

On paper, the Idol 3 should scream through whatever you throw at it. After all, it has an octa-core processor and 2GB RAM. However, it's yet another reminder that optimized software is just as, if not more important, than great hardware. The "buttery smooth" first introduced in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean just isn't here. Scrolling can be a bit janky, and there's sometimes as much as a two second delay when opening or transitioning to other apps.

Navigating around the home screen and app drawer seems to be okay, though. To try and fix the lag, I enabled Developer Options, and turned off all animations. This definitely helped to speed things up, but is far from ideal.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

In Geekbench, the Idol 3's multi-core score was 2066. This puts it just behind the Exynos octa-core version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, and nearly 800 points behind the Asus Zenfone 2.

The phone I tested was running Android 5.0.2, which is known to have performance issues. We reached out to Alcatel to find out if an update to Android 5.1 is planned, and will update this review once we hear back.

On the plus side, if you're one of the few who still use a phone to make phone calls, the Idol 3 offers no complaints. In fact, when talking with my dad, he said it "sounds like you're sitting right next to me."

Reversible

When the OneTouch Idol 3 was announced back at MWC 2015, it was touted as the world's first "reversible" smartphone. Basically, even if the phone is upside down, you can use it as you normally would.

The display automatically adjusts as long as you have the "Reversible" icon selected under quick settings. It's a great idea. After all, how many times have you pulled your phone out of your pocket, and had to flip it right side up? I found myself taking advantage of it on a few occasions, but muscle memory usually kicked in.

Dual stereo speakers

When HTC launched the One, front-facing speakers were one of those incredibly simple, yet brilliant ideas. Alcatel apparently agreed, and teamed up with JBL to offer a similar experience.

The audio is crisp, and as someone who enjoys listening to podcasts in the morning while getting my day going, it's fantastic. Music doesn't sound 100%, and is missing some detail, but I don't expect perfection from such tiny speakers.

However, don't let the word "tiny" fool you. These speakers pack some serious punch. I quickly learned you'll want to keep the volume for notifications around ⅓ of the way, otherwise you may jump when you're "in the zone" working. And if you're going to talk to someone on speakerphone, you best not do it in a crowded public place. While the speakers do add a bit more to the bezel, it's a welcome trade-off.

Camera, battery life and verdict

Full-size photos: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5iOZICiywWQfnljM0NESVYzaXdHZFRoNkktd0VUVnR4N1dURjF1Q09XdjZrSlJDVEtUcWs&usp=sharing

I snap photos just as much as the next guy or gal, so it's safe to say a bad experience can be a deal breaker. The 13MP camera features a Sony sensor, and it performed as I'd expected with good quality. For a $250 (£270, about AU$328) phone, it's hard to complain.

Photos take a second or two to focus, and about the same to snap. Shooting with the default camera app, it was a little confusing at first since there's no visual feedback once you've taken a photo. I've never owned a phone that shoots great in low-light, and the Idol 3 was no exception.

The real star is the 8MP front-facing camera. With the right lighting, you can capture some pretty great selfies. Of course, it might help to have a better subject than me.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

It's worth noting that, by default, the rear camera shoots 10MP photos to allow for a wide 16:9 ratio. While Alcatel advertises an "8MP Wide Angle Front Camera," you'll actually have to drop down to 5-MP to get that wide shot. Still, the results can be pretty impressive, and you can shoot 1080p video as well.

The camera app keeps the Android Lollipop feel, but with a few additions. Swiping from the left, you're met with several options:

  • Auto mode
  • HDR
  • Pano
  • Manual mode
  • Time-lapse
  • Scanner
  • Face Beauty

I mostly stuck with the default auto mode, though HDR and Pano – otherwise known as panorama – performed well. Unfortunately, for those who know all about ISO and want a little more control over their shots, the camera app would crash in Manual mode whenever I tried changing the shutter priority (S) or white balance (WB).

Although Manual mode didn't pan out (no pun intended), the Time-lapse feature worked great. Here's a result I uploaded to Instagram.

If you're one of the four people who scan QR codes, the Scanner function is pretty straightforward. As you probably guessed by now, Face Beauty is all about capturing that perfect selfie.

Utilizing the built-in face detection, you can smooth out any blemishes with this feature. I took three separate photos, the first in Auto mode. The other two were in Face Beauty with the slider set to halfway in one, and to the max in another.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

With the slider set to halfway, it did a pretty good job. However, when set to the max, the fake glow and smoothness is blatantly obvious. Quick side note: just be yourself and let the real you shine through.

Battery life

During my testing, I kept the screen at auto brightness, and GPS at high accuracy. Under moderate use, the 2,910 mAh battery performed extremely well. I was able to consistently get about 20 hours with around 25% battery left. This was with about 3 hours of screen on time, and I could have easily squeezed out another hour with some juice to spare.

Under heavy use, you could definitely get through a work day. In our battery rundown test where we loop video at 100% brightness, from a full charge the Idol 3 lasted 4 hours, 55 minutes. Sadly, the Idol 3 does not have Quick Charge support, and comes with a standard charger. Alcatel's claim of two and a half hours is about right if the phone is nearly dead, and from around 25% battery, it took about 90 minutes to fully charge.

We liked

The Full HD display is on the same level as other 1080p panels in more expensive phones. Dual front-facing speakers should be standard on every device, and the 8MP front-facing camera is truly at the top of its class. Alcatel doesn't claim 24 hour battery life, but it's possible under the right circumstances.

We disliked

Performance issues are what's really holding the Idol 3 back from 4.5 stars. The fact it's only available in gray takes some life away, and while Quick Charge support isn't necessary, it's tough living without once you've been spoiled.

Final verdict

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 has all the bells and whistles at a fraction the cost of major flagships. It's no flagship killer, but it's also not claiming to be. While good, good isn't always enough.

With the performance issues ironed out, there's no doubt the Idol 3 could be great. There's also the issue of carrier compatibility. Support for GSM and UTMS bands means you're stuck with AT&T and T-Mobile in the US.

Still, we're talking $250 (£270, about AU$328) unlocked. The fact the OneTouch Idol 3 even exists is pretty amazing. If you're willing to live with some imperfections for an excellent price, there's no reason this phone can't be good enough for you.








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Updated: 50 best iPhone apps 2015: the greatest paid and free apps around

50 best iPhone apps 2015

50 best iPhone apps 2015

Apps are the cornerstone of iOS. The ecosystem is what sets Apple's mobile platform apart from its rivals, and the highest-quality iPhone apps are typically best in class.

But, like any app store, it is sometimes difficult to find out what are truly the best apps, the ones that stand out from the rest - because they offer a tool or service that is far beyond anything else available.

Sometimes the best apps are free, other times you will have to pay a little bit for them. Here we showcase the best available and offer up everything you need to know about the app and how much it will cost.

This round-up compiles our favourites, from top-quality creative tools and video editors to the finest productivity kit and social networking clients and even if you don't have an iPhone right now it's worth reading up on what's available if you're considering investing in the iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 when it's out.

As always, if your essential app isn't on the list - let us know in the comments...

Air Video HD

Air Video HD

  • $2.99/£1.99

Even the most expensive iPhone has a fairly limited amount of on-board storage and that's not even likely to change with the iPhone 7. This is a problem if you have a large video collection you'd like to access. Air Video HD server streams (and if necessary, re-encodes) files from a PC or Mac that can then be played on your iPhone; there's AirPlay support, and also the means to access your Air Video server over the web.

Byword

Byword

  • $4.99/£2.99

Byword is a text editor that hits the sweet spot of being both usable and simple. Its font is clear, and a toolbar adds live word count or Markdown buttons. Your documents can be saved locally, to iCloud, or to a linked Dropbox account. Output can also be exported to various formats (PDF; HTML; email) or to a blog if you buy the $4.99/£2.99 'Publishing' IAP.

Sky Guide

Sky Guide

  • $1.99/£1.49

Easily the most beautiful of the iOS stargazing apps, Sky Guide also happens to be the most usable. You can quickly and easily scan the heavens by dragging your finger around, optionally orienting the screen to wherever you happen to be looking. A Today view widget adds information about rise and set times for nearby planets, the sun and the moon.

Day One

Day One

  • $4.99/£2.99

Traditional journals are all very well, but there's something wonderful about an app that you always have with you, into which you can save messages, images, locations and more, and then later retrieve everything via a search. Day One is beautifully designed and easy to use - best-in-class on the iPhone.

Fantastical 2

Fantastical 2

  • $3.99/£2.49

Fantastical 2 betters iOS 8's iffy Calendar app by way of a superior interface, a non-hateful method of dealing with reminders, and truly exceptional event input. The app has a powerful parser, and so while adding an event, you can enter the likes of "TechRadar lunch at 3pm on Friday", watching a live preview build as you type.

Figure

Figure

  • $0.99/69p

Figure crams Reason's rich history of classic-era electronic music apps into a shoebox. Via a mixture of dials and pads, you can create all manner of banging choons, and then export them and assault your friends' eardrums. It's a fun toy for anyone, but also has the chops to be part of a pro-musician's mobile set-up.

iMovie

iMovie

  • Free with new devices or $4.99/£2.99

Camera enables you to do the odd bit of cropping with video files, but iMovie is an audacious attempt to bring a full video editor to your iPhone, infused with the ease-of-use its desktop counterpart is renowned for. Amazingly, it succeeds. Effects, themes, credits and soundtrack creation then provide extra polish for your mobile filmmaking.

Launch Center Pro

Launch Center Pro

  • $4.99/£2.99

More or less a speed-dial for regularly performed tasks, Launch Center Pro can be a huge time-saver. You can create shortcuts for things like adding a new Tumblr post or sending your last photo to Twitter, and these shortcuts can be arranged in groups. An essential purchase if you heavily use even a handful of the supported apps.

Transmit for iOS

Transmit

  • $9.99/£6.99

The app that defines iOS 8, Transmit for iOS is also a missing link for anyone who wanted a file manager for their iPhone. It might have roots in an OS X FTP client, but Transmit for iOS also integrates with cloud storage and local networked Macs. It's perfect for moving documents, renaming files, and creating archives to email or upload.

Unread

Unread

  • $4.99/£2.99

There are RSS readers that are more efficient, but Unread is the most pleasant to use. The interface begs you to sit back and take in articles from feeds you're subscribed to, and plentiful share options enable you to send content onwards. Note that although this is a free download, it's essentially for a demo; the full-price unlock gets you the regular app.

Weather Pro

Weather Pro

  • $2.99/£1.99

There are prettier and more stylish weather apps, such as Dark Sky (which we're also rather fond of), but it's WeatherPro that gets our vote, largely because of its accuracy. But it's also information-rich, with radars and detailed forecasts for your favourite locations.

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts

  • $3.99/£2.49

Apple's Podcasts app has improved since its initial launch, but still falls short of Pocket Casts. The third-party app cleverly mixes elegance and character, with a friendly, easily browsable interface. Subscriptions can be filtered, and you can stream episodes of shows you've not yet downloaded.

Soulver

Soulver

  • $1.99/£1.49

Soulver eschews trying to recreate a traditional calculator on your iPhone. Instead, it's akin to jotting down calculations on the back of an envelope, but a magic envelope that pulls the numbers from your in-context sentences and gives you a total. Live currency conversion is built in, and you can save calculations and sync them via Dropbox or iCloud.

The Elements

The Elements

  • $13.99/£9.99

Originally the darling of the iPad, The Elements in late 2013 became a universal app, so it could be enjoyed on iPhones too. A rich, engaging digital book, it tells the story of the periodic table. Each of life's building blocks can be manipulated on the screen, before you delve into related facts and figures.

Vert 2

Vert 2

  • $1.99/£1.49

There are a lot of conversion apps about, but Vert 2 caught our eye through an interface that prizes clarity above all else. Beyond that, a combination of smart filtering and customisation cements the app's place on your home screen. And if you don't like the theme, you can easily make your own.

vividHDR

vividHDR

  • $1.99/£1.49

We've never been overly impressed with Apple's HDR, and it pales in comparison to vividHDR. The basic concept is the same: stunning, vibrant photos, capturing amazing details in both highlight and shadow. But vividHDR's combination of speed, presets and 'before and after' comparisons results in better photos - and that's what really matters.

ProCamera 8

Pro Camera 8

  • $3.99/£2.99

If you don't feel the iOS Camera app really cuts it, ProCamera 8 should give you what you need: a bunch of extra modes (night; rapid fire; anti-shake; timers) and a dedicated lightbox with a range of editing features and filters. You can even buy vividHDR (see elsewhere in this list) as an IAP.

GarageBand

Garage Band

  • $4.99/£3.99

Apple's GarageBand remains an impressive, ambitious app, turning your iPhone into a recording studio. You get synths, loops, drums, guitar amps and a DAW for arranging MIDI data, making it suitable for beginners and pros alike.

ToneStack

ToneStack

  • $9.99/£7.99

With its huge range of amps and effects, ToneStack is an excellent choice for guitarists wanting to make some noise by connecting their instrument to their iPhone. An ABY unit enables you to split the signal, for hugely complex set-ups. And if that's not enough, a slew of IAP provides yet more amps, stomp boxes and features, including an eight-track recorder.

Editorial

Editorial

  • $6.99/£4.99

We elsewhere mention Byword as a great iPhone writing tool, but Editorial is *the* app for people who want to have a huge amount of control over creating and processing their output. The writing interface is strong, but what makes Editorial is the means to quickly add custom snippets and integrate workflows for extending the app and saving you time.

Bloom

Bloom

  • $3.99/£2.99

Bloom was originally released to much acclaim way back in 2008. A collaboration between Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers, the app's all about exploring generative audio through touch. The result is a relaxing noodly musical experience, and recent updates have fully optimised it for modern Apple kit.

OmniGraffle 2

OmniGraffle 2

  • $49.99/£39.99

On the Mac, OmniGraffle 2 is well known for being a first-rate tool for working on diagrams and wireframes. It's finally reached the iPhone by way of the iPad, and while the smaller screen makes the going a touch fiddly, this is best-in-class on Apple devices. It's pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Fragment

Fragment

  • $1.99/£1.49

There are tons of gimmicky effects apps on the App Store, but Fragment propels itself far beyond any also-rans through offering something strikingly different. Via some taps and twiddling, any photo can be turned into an explosion of mirrors, your own personalised kaleidoscope. Practical? Not really. Engaging? Most definitely.

Procreate Pocket

Procreate Pocket

  • $2.99/£2.29

For illustrators on the go, Procreate Pocket is a must-have. You get a big range of brushes, transform tools, a superb painting engine, and a full-featured layer system. Alas, there's no IAP for magically improving your digital painting skills.

Workflow

Workflow

  • $4.99/£3.99

Workflow is all about automation. You can download sets of actions or compose your own, which can trigger iOS apps and related services. For example, you could create a Home screen icon to call a friend, or build a single-tap icon to get directions to your nearest coffee shop.

1Password

1password

  • Free

Although iOS includes iCloud Keychain for securely storing/sharing login and payment details, 1Password is a better system. It's cross-platform, supports multiple identities and secure notes, and enables you to edit login details on your iPhone.

A pro mode IAP ($6.99/£4.99) adds multiple vaults for teams/families, categories for personal documents, tagging and custom fields.

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer

  • Free

BBC iPlayer is our favourite TV catch-up app because it cares about the user experience. There are no ads, you can watch live TV, and you can access content broadcast over the past 30 days. Episodes can be downloaded to watch later, and there's AirPlay support for sending shows to your telly by way of an Apple TV.

Citymapper

CityMapper

  • Free

Should you find yourself in one of the supported cities (including Paris, London, New York and Berlin), you'll be grateful to have Citymapper on your iPhone — assuming you don't want to get lost.

The app finds where you are and then gets you from A to B, whether you want to walk, grab a taxi, or use public transport (for which live times are provided).

Documents 5

Documents 5

  • Free

Until Apple sees fit to give us a Files app for iOS, Documents 5 will have to take the strain. It's really a document reader, designed for displaying PDFs, but in having full iCloud Drive access, it can be used to manage local and remote files, and download documents to your iPhone from the web.

Dropbox

Dropbox

  • Free

There are plenty of solutions for transferring content between your computer and iPhone, including Apple's increasingly popular iCloud. Dropbox is still worth using, though. It has great cross-platform clients, integrates with iOS 8's Share sheets, and has direct support in many iOS apps.

Check out our essential tips for every Dropbox user.

Duolingo

Duolingo

  • Free

Duolingo is entirely free from IAP, which is extremely generous given the quality of the app and its potential for helping you learn a new language.

It's packed full of bite-size quizzes that you can dip into at any time, and that gradually build your vocabulary and grammar in any of the ten supported languages.

eBay

eBay

  • Free

Start using the eBay app and you won't go near the site on a PC again. It's fast, efficiently flags new finds based on your activity, and can be used to create new listings. The built-in bar-code scanner can save you loads of time with the last of those.

Evernote

Evernote

  • Free

The idea behind Evernote is you should never forget anything again. Instead, you upload and tag everything, so the service becomes your digital memory. For free, you can upload 60 MB of data per month. Go premium ($5/£4 per month) and you can upload a gargantuan 4 GB per month, search document text, and store your notebooks offline.

Evernote Scannable

Evernote Scannable

  • Free

Although Evernote Scannable is quite basic by iPhone scanner standards, it's also efficient and reliable. On launching the app, simply point your camera at a document that contrasts the surface behind it and the app will capture it. The JPEG can be sent to Evernote or shared via another service, and multiple scans are compiled to PDF.

Find My iPhone

Fine My iPhone

  • Free

Using Find My iPhone, you can always find where your device is, and keep track of any other devices on the same account. It's very useful if you've misplaced your device or think it's been stolen and want to know where it's at.

Google Maps

Google Maps

  • Free

Apple's own Maps app has improved a lot since its botched debut, but Google Maps remains a must-download for any iPhone user. It's far superior than Apple's app for walking directions, has a street-level view, enables you to search local businesses, and for some cities includes public transport information.

Google Translate

Google Translate

  • Free

The revamped Google Translate is an astonishing app. When online, it'll translate written, photographed or spoken text between a huge range of languages. And for English to French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish (and back), the app will try to live-translate whatever's in front of your iPhone's camera — even when you're offline.

Groove

Groove

  • Free

When you've a sizeable music collection, you can get stuck in a rut and always end up listening to the same thing. Groove tracks your listening habits and cross-references the data with last.fm.

The result is a constantly evolving selection of automated personalised playlists, which might change your iPhone music-listening habits forever.

Instapaper

Instapaper

  • Free

Instapaper was the service and app that kickstarted 'read later', the means to save web pages for later. Unlike Safari's Reading List, Instapaper strips articles back to just text and images, thereby providing an efficient and usable interface.

Premium membership ($2.99/£2.29 per month) unlocks the means to search your archive and add highlights to articles.

Movies by Flixter

Movies by Flixster

  • Free

Movies by Flixter is a simple, efficient app that figures out where you are, and then lists local cinemas, so you can check out what's on. Alternatively, you can select a film and the app will intelligently offer showtimes, enabling you to figure out where best to go.

Novation Launchpad

Novation Launchpad

  • Free

For beginners keen on making music, Launchpad is perfect. You choose a genre and then trigger loops with a tap. Effects are only a further swipe and tap away. If you really get into the app, there's IAP for further loops and the means to import your own audio.

RunKeeper

RunKeeper

  • Free

Now as synonymous with mobile exercise as Nike+, RunKeeper is an excellent app, backed by a robust social infrastructure. Using your iPhone's GPS, you can track exercise routes and then share activities with friends. IAP subscriptions are available for 'elite' users, and are ad-free and offer real-time sharing.

Skype

Skype

  • Free

FaceTime is a great alternative to standard voice calls, but it only works with Apple kit. Skype remains the best widely-used alternative for people you know distinctly lacking in Apple devices.

You get free calls to anyone else using Skype, and cheap calls to anywhere in the world. If you're on Pay and Go, this can be handy, and the app enables iPod touch users to call normal phones too.

Timehop

Timehop

  • Free

For the most part, social media is fleeting, but Timehop is all about digging up precious memories from the past. You link it to whatever social media services you frequent (and your on-device photos) and it shows you what was happening years ago on today's date.

TodoMovies 3

TodoMovies 3

  • Free

TodoMovies is a to-do list for movies. Using the clean, efficient interface, you can check out what's on (and, if you like, movies from the past) and fashion a list of films you want to see.

Usefully, the app provides the means to rate every movie, and so extended use results in a list of favourites you can delve into at any time.

TunnelBear VPN

Tunnel Bear VPN

  • Free

For free, TunnelBear VPN gives you 500 MB of private browsing that can worm its way around geo-locking. All you do is fire the app up and tell the bear where to tunnel. If you want unlimited data, it's yours for $2.99/£2.29 per month.

Twitter

Twitter

  • Free

It's a pity Twitter has felt the need to hobble third-party clients, given that its own app doesn't appear to need any help these days in fending off the competition. Twitter for iPhone is fast and efficient, boasts useful Connect and Discover views, and expands tweets that contain photos, videos and other media.

Vidgets

Vidgets

  • Free

You can do without most Today view widgets, but Vidgets provides some really useful monitoring tools.

The standalone app is where you manage your icon-like 'vigets', which comprise world clocks and indicators for storage and network speeds. That sole $2.99/£2.29 IAP is primarily for showing your support, but you do get an option for saving space by removing widget titles.

Wikipanion

Wikipanion

  • Free

There are plenty of Wikipedia clients (free and paid) for iPhone, but Wikipanion is our favourite. You get quick access to article sections, in-article search, viewing options, and a location-based map search. The paid [Plus version](https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/wikipanion-plus/id290613987?mt=8) ($4.99/£3.99) adds article queuing and downloading for offline reading.

Yousician Guitar

Yousician Guitar

  • Free

To some extent, Yousician Guitar is like Guitar Hero, only you use a real guitar that the app is teaching you how to play.

You start with basic plucking and strumming before moving on to working your way through full songs, the app scoring you as you go. For free, the app only restricts daily play time. To go unlimited, subscribe for $19.99/£14.99 per month.


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UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








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