I’m delighted to be back with the Gadget Show Live once again this week at the NEC in Birmingham.
As well as hosting the TechRadar Showcase Stage here I’m presenting my very own show on the Photography Stage all about the best apps and accessories for creative photography and videography using smartphones.
If you’ve come here looking for the notes for my show then click here for a full run down of the smartphone photography and filmmaking apps and accessories I showcased.
Of course, smartphone creativity is something I’ve written about and presented on a lot over the last 12 months, and I’m very excited to have the chance to talk about it here at the Gadget Show Live, as well as to show off my filming accessories workflow.
As if all that wasn’t enough, I’ve also been filming my new future tech trends show, Fast Forward, for O2 Guru TV – more on that coming very soon…
In app purchases have been in the news again recently following the revelation that one junior gamer unwittingly racked up a £1700 bill on his dad’s credit card during a particularly prolific 15 minute gaming session.
The BBC One Rip Off Britain team paid a visit earlier this week to ask me what in app purchases are what the so-called ‘freemium’ business model means; plus I demonstrated how you can very easily be no more than three screen taps away from expensive in app purchases within a supposedly free game.
We also filmed a lovely sequence of me and my 3 year old daughter Evie playing CBeebies games together on our iPad.
If you let your children play on your smartphone or tablet then here are my 5 top tips which I suggest will safeguard you and your family from any inadvertent in app purchases:
- Never share your password, even if it’s to download a so-called ‘free’ app.
- Enable restrictions on your device. At present they aren’t enabled by default so you must take action to make your phone or tablet safe.
- If the game doesn’t need a network connection then turn on your device’s airplane or flight-safe mode – this will disable its network connection preventing any purchases.
- Regularly check your purchase history, make sure you recognise all of the downloads on there – each app store has its own easy link to do this.
- Supervised play – vet the games you let your kids play and supervise when they play. Not only can you keep an eye on what your children are playing it’s a great way to share in their excitement, entertainment and education.
I’ve written in the past about how adults can safely introduce their children to smartphones and tablets, most recently for the National Childbirth Trust. This item on in app purchases for the BBC will be broadcast on later on this year.
Consumer affairs show Rip Off Britain returns for its Spring 2013 primetime run on BBC One.
I’ll be appearing once again as the golden girls’ telecoms expert advising the good people of Great Britain how to fight their corner against unfair contracts, shocking bills and tricky terms and conditions.
Here’s a quick clip from the opening episode of this series where I help a former squash world champion get to the bottom of a dispute with his phone contract:
This season airs on Monday evenings at 8pm (just after Eastenders!) from January 7th 2013 for 8 weeks.
You can catch-up with the rest of the Rip Off Britain series over on BBC iPlayer.
At the Gadget Show Live Christmas 2012 I showed CNN’s Erin McLaughlin around some the coolest gadget gifts for this holiday season. Here’s what we found:
One of the items that featured in this report and also in my World’s Coolest Camera show at The HUB Theatre is the BubbleScope. I’m a particular fan of the immersive and interactive 360 degree video, a cool way to capture a moment.
Here’s an example of an of a ‘bubble’ in action – at first it looks like any other web video, until you realise you can drag to change your camera angle:
In the midst of hosting The HUB Theatre at the Gadget Show Live @ Christmas in London last week I was asked to appear in a Channel 4 News report celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first ever SMS.
Some random SMS facts and figures I pulled up in my research:
- Telenotes - the original name for SMS messages
- 200 - the number of SMS messages sent per month by the average UK mobile phone owner.
- 150 billion - SMS messages sent in the UK during 2011
- 7 trillion - messages sent worldwide every year
- 200,000 - messages sent every second
(sources: Ofcom Annual Communications Report, July 2012; International Telecommunications Union)
As I discuss in the report with Asha Tanna, it appears as though SMS volumes in the UK are for the first time beginning to waver, due largely to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and messaging services such as iMessage, BBM and Whatsapp. Globally the SMS trend is still one of growth.
The Gadget Show Live comes to London this Christmas and I’m really excited to be the host for one of the show’s main attractions, The HUB Theatre.
Showcasing this year’s coolest technology, The HUB Theatre promises an action-packed programme of events and expert advice from those in the know. We’ll see the TechRadar team exploring mobile phones past, present and future, Toyology will be taking a look at this year’s newest craze, ‘Apptoys’, and Trusted Reviews will be sharing their top picks for gadget gifts this Christmas.
Elsewhere The Gadget Show Live Christmas features everything you’ve come to expect from the Channel 5 series, with a unique chance to get hands-on and experience all of the latest games, gadgets and gear. What’s more Gadget Show presenters Jason Bradbury, Pollyanna Woodward and John Bentley are appearing in a stunning thrill-a-minute show at the spectacular 2,700-seater Super Theatre.
To find out more and to grab your tickets head over to the Gadget Show Live website.
This Christmas I’m appearing in Enchanted Entertainments’ spectacular pantomime Peter Pan!
In this most magical of Christmas shows I’m be playing the villainous Captain Hook alongside Nikki Sanderson (Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Heartbeat) as the evergreen Peter Pan and Joe Chambers (CBeebies’ The Rhyme Rocket) as funnyman Smee.
Although I’ve appeared in panto before it’s my first time in Peter Pan – and as if playing the legendary Captain Hook wasn’t enough of a challenge I’m also directing the show.
Needless to say, I can’t wait to get started.
Peter Pan runs at the Gracie Fields Theatre in Rochdale from 24th December through until 31st December 2012 with two performances on most days. For tickets visit the online box office or call 0843 208 0500.
Hope to see you there!
As exciting as it has been to watch iPhoneography become a hit as Apple’s smartphone platform has evolved, I’m delighted to see Androidography as a movement beginning to mature as well.
The good news is that CNET UK has recently published a feature of mine on Androidography.
How to take great photos with an HTC One X follows an in-handset workflow, shooting, editing and sharing your shots without stepping anywhere near a PC.
While the piece focuses on the HTC One X hardware there’s still a whole lot in there that will be useful to users of other Android handsets, for example the apps and the accessories sections, as well as the general shooting and editing tips.