How does the iPhone 5 shape up against the competition?

The iPhone 5 is finally here. The reviews are in and Apple is looking as popular as ever. But the iPhone is not the only smartphone on the block. In the past couple of years, Apple’s competitors have been busy creating phones to rival the iPhone. So how does the latest Apple product stack up against the best and brightest in the smartphone industry?

Mashable has a pretty amazing chart that stacks the iPhone 5 against its three strongest competitors. We have weighed in on four of the iPhone’s strongest features, and explored how they measure up:

Screen shots

The iPhone 5 boasts a 4 inch screen, the largest iPhone screen yet, and maintains the crisp retina display of the 4 and 4S. However, if size is what you’re after, most Android and Windows phones now come with the same high-resolution displays at 4.3 inches. For the best in the market, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Droid RAZR HD and recently announced Nokia Lumia 920 measure up at 4.8”, 4.7” and 4.5” respectively.

Lights, camera, action

The iPhone 5 has an 8-megapixel camera, similar to the one in the iPhone 4S, but with a new sensor and lens. The iPhone 5 is faster, it is better at taking photos in low-light environments and the new Panorama feature enables you to take pretty incredible images of up to 28 megapixels with a simple on-screen prompt. The iPhone 5 camera holds its own against the Windows and Android models. The only area that the competition stands out is in photo tweaking capabilities.

iOS lowdown

iOS 6 is simple and works incredibly well, it is ideal for non-technical users. More over, there are more apps currently available on iOS than on Android or Windows Phone and most of the hottest apps come to iOS first (before being ported to other operating systems). Apple’s platform is arguably the best of the bunch, but the gap between the iPhone and its competitors is getting smaller by the minute. When Apple announced the iPhone OS back in 2007 it was ground-breaking. Today, the iOS 6 looks very similar to 5 years ago. Apple has added new features and services, such as iCloud and Siri, but there are some big things that iOS is missing, things that Apple’s competitors gained a long time ago. Android and Windows offer much more room for customization and flexibility, and they excel in everything from widgets to maps and quick setting toggles.

Battery power

Apple has claimed that the iPhone 5 can run on LTE for eight hours without having to be recharged. With the phone’s ultra-thin model and light feel, that level of battery power is impressive. However, if you are willing to opt for a slightly larger phone, the new generation of Android phones (most notably Motorola’s Droid Razr Maxx and Razr HD) offer close to 21 hours of battery life, with Motorola claiming that its Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD can go for over a day while on LTE. You just have to decide if you would rather have a small phone with above-average battery life or a large phone with spectacular battery life.

So what do you think about the iPhone 5? Are you a Windows, Android or Apple fan? Whatever your preference, there is no doubt that this will be an interesting year for smartphones users, as the competition does their best to improve upon the high benchmark that the iPhone 5 has set.

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Sustainable Living: @Twitter4Good pesky pigeon or patron saint?

Contrary to popular belief, social media platforms don’t just appeal to the petty side of humanity. They can sometimes be a humanitarian’s greatest tool.  Twitter seems to have taken the lead when it comes to harnessing its powers for good in arenas from public health to wildlife conservation by speaking up, or tweeting up, for those without voices or opposable thumbs.

Twitter MD
Over-sharing on Twitter is definitely annoying, but over-sharing of a certain variety might actually be lifesaving; or at least help you dodge a major bullet the next time a nasty cold wages war in your neighborhood. At the University of Rochester, Adam Sadilek and his team of computer scientists have been working tirelessly to develop Al, a program that uses tweets to predict when people will get sick before they do. In fact, a whole eight days before they get sick and with 90% accuracy.

The algorithm developed by Sadilek’s computer wizards, sifts though 44 million GPS-tagged tweets from more than 630, 000 New York City Tweeters over a month in order to distinguish when someone is really sick, or just “sick of my roommate’s boyfriend.” And unlike some similar attempts that have preceded it (like Google Flu Trends), Sadilek’s explains that his website, “Shows emergent aggregate patterns in real-time, with second-by-second resolution. By contrast, previous state-of-the-art methods entail time lags from days to years.”

We all may be Twitter-addicts but none of us have a more legitimate reason to be on it 24/7 than The Red Cross. The life-saving organization first used the social platform in 2007 to direct people towards shelter during California wildfires. The head of Social Strategy at the American Red Cross explains, “It was a watershed moment for us, we realized that Twitter was a great way to provide valuable real-time tips in times of crises where every second counts. Twitter users also helped us share that information by re-tweeting shelter locations online and then extending that information offline by telling their neighbors.” In more recent natural disasters, like the Japan earthquake, the Japanese Red Cross’ Twitter presence has been instrumental not just in raising funds but in the immediate aftermath, building drug-supply chains in hard to navigate areas.

Twitter <3 Trees
The National Parks Conservation Association harnessed their Twitter skills to spread the word about wilderness protection and pressure politicians to take a firmer stand in the face to deforestation. NPCA piggy-backed on Promoted Tweets #IfGovernmentShutsDown, a topic that was trending organically at the time, to gather e-signatures for their petitions. The result was over 5,000 Tweets to members of Congress urging them to support America’s national park funding, after which it was selected as a “Top Tweet” by Twitter and broadcast to more than 1 million more users. #IfGovernmentShutsDown became one of the most political mobilization campaigns to be broadcast via twitter.

The Refreshing Side of Pepsi
Nothing is more refreshing than hearing about social media platforms that are not only created to take the user’s money, but to do the reverse and get money into the hands of users. Pepsi has done this on a large-scale since 2010, with a campaign that was organized, executed and proliferated via Twitter. Over the course of the year, Pepsi awarded a whopping 20 million dollars in grants to “individuals, businesses and non-profits that promote a new idea that has a positive impact on their community, state, or the nation.” Pepsi Refresh’s pro-social approach has been touted as“game changing” in terms of how multinational cooperations connect with and engage their consumers on a one-to-one level.

If you’d like to know more about how companies large and small, for and non-profit are using Twitter in positive ways check out Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s very comprehensive book Twitter4Good. She also gives great tips on how to create Twitter strategy with staying power that works for your company.