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Telestial News

November 26, 2015


With the amount we use our smartphones and their associated bandwidth, manufacturers are racing to make more efficient systems and innovations. In the coming months and years, there are a number of very interesting developments in the field of smartphone technology.

The first of these to appear will be new chipsets from both Apple and Android manufacturers. These new devices will have features such as improved processing power, 4K graphics, surround sound, better battery life and faster, more efficient WIFI. With these chipsets appearing in phones from next year, high-end smartphones will be even more powerful, and ready to take the next step in personal entertainment – VR.

Virtual Reality has been around for many years but had, until recently, been subject to the limitations of other technologies. Now, however, all the big players are experimenting with VR headsets, from Facebook’s high-end Oculus Rift to Google’s low-fi offering, named (and made out of) Cardboard. Most of these aim to be powered by smartphones, adding a new dimension to gaming, videos and many other applications. There are even applications for virtual tourism, a sort of ‘try before you buy’ for travel. Simply put on a headset and in moments, you can be walking around Abbey Road Studios in London.

If we’re going to be using our phones for these new technologies, then it’s not just the processors that require an upgrade. Short battery life is a major issue for these power-hungry applications, and new innovations can suffer if they haven’t tackled this problem (such as the Apple Watch, for example). Change is coming, whether it is ways of extending the life and capacity of current battery models, new types of battery that charge faster or new technology that uses less power and therefore extend battery life up to a week.

We also need to tackle the issue of bandwidth. With LTE and WIFI being clogged by the vast amounts of streaming video that we consume, innovators have been looking at ways to make this more efficient as well. A new technology known as LI-FI has been tested this month, using light. The speed and capacity of this has been recorded as being a staggering 100 times faster than current WIFI.

Whether we use these new advances on smartphones or not remains a mystery. The wearables market is increasing and evolving just as much as the phone market, and while there are some ideas that fall behind (such as Google’s Glass and their Star Trek-inspired communicator), it’s clear that people are already thinking of smartphones as being too bulky and old-fashioned. Who knows, in the future, we might not need a device at all – we could simply wear the technology on our skin.

November 15, 2015

Making it easier to keep in touch with your family and friends whilst in France

Following the events that have taken place in Paris, we want to help you stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues. With this in mind, the following changes to the European SIM Card are to take immediate effect for the next two weeks:

- Receive free incoming calls in France
- Call home from France at the cost of a local call

To access call rates, view the Rate Finder.

As always, incoming calls are free with your International SIM Card.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragic events in Paris.

November 11, 2015


Google, our online overlords and rulers of the Interwebs, have updated Google Maps in an entirely wonderful way – it’s now all available offline. This means that searching for specific destinations and getting turn-by-turn directions can now be done without an internet connection. This is fantastic news for roaming travelers, but you’ll need to remember to download the information for the region you are visiting before you travel. Once that’s done, however, you are good to go. The only information that won’t be available are real-time traffic updates and user-added photos – but these can be added seamlessly to the map as soon as you go online again.

The updated version of Google Maps is now available for Android handsets (such as the Smart range of unlocked handsets that Telestial provides), and will be coming to iOS soon.

November 6, 2015


Smartphones are ruining everything. No one talks to each other any more, kids are spending more time on their phones than they do sleeping, and they are permanently damaging our spines. Clearly, something must be done and the only sensible course of action is that we immediately destroy them all. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun doing it.

Take the latest trend in holiday activities, for example, extreme phone-pinching. Not to be mistaken for phone theft, phone-pinching is a two-player activity that involves one participant filming while another holds their smartphone between finger and thumb. The smartphone is then dangled over something that you really shouldn’t dangle your phone over, such as a great height, river or sewer grate. Naturally, as this video demonstrates, things sometimes go a bit wrong.

Taking risks without reward is fun enough, but risks with reward? So much better. That’s where a new app called ‘Send Me To Heaven’ comes in – or at least, it would if Apple hadn’t just pulled it from their store. The idea is very simple: reach the top of the leaderboard by throwing your phone as high into the air as you can. You can catch it on the way down of course, if you’re boring. Surely it’s far more fun to see several hundred dollars of cutting-edge technology shatter all over the floor. Also in development is an app inspiringly entitled ‘Send Me To Hell’, whereby you win by dropping your phone the furthest. Oh goody.

The pinnacle of any challenge is to become so good at it that you turn professional. We’re not sure whether there are any professional phone-destroyers, but there’s certainly a few world champion phone-throwers. That’s because mobile phone throwing has become a sport in Finland (the country that also gave us the wife-carrying event). There does not seem to be anything happening next year unfortunately, but you can use that time to practice because registration is open for the March 2017 event.

Of course, you don’t need to rely on gravity to kill a smartphone. There are thousands of ways to dispose of the dreadful things. You could torture one to death in the name of consumer reviews, or, and this is my personal favorite, throw it into a volcano and then poke it with a stick, all in the name of science.

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