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All posts by Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith
Writer, musician, and photographer. Bryan Smith is passionate about technology, history, and all things cultural and progressive. By day a Print Journalism student at the University of Cape Town, Bryan is by night an avid blogger absorbed in the social media matrix, either writing, producing music, or taking pictures.
  • Beyond Mavericks: 10 features the next version of OS X should have

    It’s official: Apple’s latest update to OS X - internally dubbed as “Syrah” - is on the horizon. With the Worldwide Developer’s Conference approaching steadily on every geek’s calendar, it’s a worthwhile moment to reflect on what features we may yet see in Apple’s near-annual iterant update to OS X. Judging from major reports, it seems OS X is headed in the same visual direction the Cupertino firm took with iOS; including changed system fonts, and a completely refreshed, flat graphical update. While looks are all well and good, let’s take a moment to hypothesize on what new features...

  • Instant messaging shootout part II: Mxit, SnapChat, KiK and more

    Continuing our last instalment in which we pitted BBM, Line, Viber, WhatsApp, and WeChat against each other in a duel to the death, let’s instigate competition between the "best of the rest" instant messaging apps out there: the up-and-comers, the been-here-for-a-whiles, and the old kids on the block still trying to act hip and fresh. As we stated last time, despite the verdict presented here, ultimately a winner will be crowned based on the amount of subscribers it can attract. However, let us again take our friends, family, and loved ones out of the equation for the moment and launch...

  • The instant messaging shootout: BBM, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat and Viber

    Instant Messaging apps would be great material for a spaghetti western. You can almost picture it; the five big guns in the west are set to meet in a sunset duel to the death. Each one brings its all to the table, staring down its four contenders in a steely eyed Mexican stand-off. As the old saying goes –"this town simply isn't big enough for the five of us." But let’s head back to reality: In the real world, a duel between chat apps would be quite disappointing. Instead of a steady grip and a deadeye aim, the winner is crowned...

  • iPad Air vs Xperia Z Tablet vs Galaxy Note 10.1: the sign of three

    In the spirit of good faith, I’ll make a disclosure. I’m an Apple fanboy. I’ve used the iPad since the introduction of the iPad 2, and I’ve recently just upgraded to the frankly awesome iPad Air. Despite my love for the fruits of 1 Infinite Loop, however, I don’t dislike Android. In fact, I feel that the OS is a novel system that has made impressive gains not only in marketshare, but in both usability and customizability to boot. There’s something to be said for an operating system that can exist across multiple devices yet still feel intuitive and fresh. In...

  • Why we still need the iPod

    Time hasn’t been kind to the iPod. Back in the early Noughties, Apple’s white brick of musical power was the fuel that essentially ignited a still ongoing space race in mobile computing and media consumption. There was a whiff of rebellion in the air; the bold new kid on the block had just taken the world by storm, and its followers were marked by the shine of sterling white earphones in a world otherwise dominated by the now-geeky Sony Walkman. Nowadays, the iPod is really just old news. Let’s think about it -- the top end model is essentially an...

  • Google Chromecast review: great potential

    A great veil of misconception surrounds the Google Chromecast. It’s been billed by many as the dongle destined to turn any HDMI TV into a smart TV (regardless of how stupid that particular TV may be) and furthermore punted as the whizz-kid competitor to Apple TV. My findings were far less remarkable; the Chromecast somehow manages to flit between being both impressive and undeveloped. What the hell is a Chromecast? It’s best to start at the beginning. Google’s Chromecast is decidedly not the special sauce that makes a smart TV -- it lacks the sophistication of Microsoft’s new Xbox One in the...

  • Running Windows on Mac: a simple setup

    There’s a great legend which has been lost to history, of a war between two colossi: one was a behemoth – a titan known as the Windows PC – and the other, the distinctive underdog known simply, and efficiently, as Mac. Time has been far less kind to this legend: in 2013, a quick glance at any tertiary-level institution sees an abundance of trademark white-glowing Apple logos, and a minimum of varied Windows computers. Unglamorously, the underdog won out between the young and hip - and a long and protracted battle of wits quickly gave way to boring court-case mudslinging...

  • Apple’s app diet: how it took a step backwards with iLife and iWork

    Apple’s prolonged update to its iLife and iWork suites finally dropped earlier this year, to the ecstatic cries of long-term Apple enthusiasts (read: survivors) who have made use of the outdated software packages for years since the last major updates in iWork ’09 and iLife ’11. In many cases, for Apple, it was something of a new moonshot. There was a new mission, a new frontier: a cloud-based workflow. In charge of this operation was a brand new crew and commander, competing in a running space-race with Microsoft’s hugely successful Office suites. With all systems go, and the jubilant cheering...

  • Old Mac, new Mac: refurbishing an older Apple for a brighter future

    There’s both a sad and exciting cycle of life between modern computers. While we’re able to hold on to our intrepid digital companions for at least five good years of use, sooner or later we’re forced to overcome the limits of present day technology and embrace the future. While Apple’s line of MacBooks, iMacs as well as Mac Pros and Minis do offer great mileage for the money, recent advancements in Mac OS X have drawn a noticeable border between future-proof Macs and those less fortunate. A noticeable example is the aluminium Macbook of 2008’s ability to run OS X...

  • 10 iOS 7 features inspired by jailbreaks

    Apple’s iterant updates to its mobile operating system iOS have traditionally been met with applause -- creating features which are simple, intuitive, and easy to use. However, this hasn’t stopped a more technical variety of iOS users from making personal or widespread changes throughout the system to better serve their needs - aesthetic or otherwise. Interestingly, Apple has played the fastidious schoolboy taking notes on what its own consumers have been crafting -- and in recent software releases, an unlikely brand of plagiarism-on-plagiarism has emerged from the depths of 1 Infinite Loop. Here are 10 iOS features which have been...