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Posts tagged ‘Android’

Back to iOS?

Yes, I am an Android user…

But before that, I was a Windows Mobile user, a BlackBerry user and an iOS (iPhone 4/iPad 2) user.

So I guess switching (mobile) OSes isn’t new to me.

My first Android device was the Galaxy Note 2… Loved the size and I also immediately fell in love with Android.

Coming from an iPhone 4, I love the fact that you can use gestures to type, turn by turn directions thanks to Google Maps, launchers and themes to customize the look and the ability to assign other apps as default.

My Galaxy Note 2 was really abused. It geo-tagged my photos during vacations, used as a GPS when driving and personal hotspot. Thanks to its OTG feature I even used it to back up photos to Dropbox and even used it as a portable media player (using an MHL cable).

I then replaced my iPad 2 with a Nexus 7 (2013) since I wanted a smaller tablet…

Nexus 7 had it’s limitations (no OTG and MHL) but it received Android updates.

It was updated to KitKat (Android 4.4) months before my Note 2 received the update. My Note 2 also never received Lollipop (Android 5).

Here’s my problem with Android, you buy a current flagship device (I presently own an S6 Edge) then months later you’re never sure when and if you’re ever getting the latest Android version.

I know a lot of people who doesn’t care which version of Android their using, but I won’t be writing this blog if I was one of them… I want to use Now on Tap and I’m hoping for improved battery performance of my devices… Something Marshmallow (Android 6) will provide. Sadly, all I can do right now is wait.

Something I’ll never have to do when I’m using an iOS device.

When Apple announces a date for iOS, ALL qualified devices get an update.

But there’s a catch, my iPad 2 never received Siri when it got updated to iOS 5. my daughter’s iPad mini 2 did not get the Split Screen mode of iOS 9 and even if the 4S got iOS 9, it’s doesn’t support CarPlay.

When my Nexus 7 (2013) receives Marshmallow (Android 6), it will get all the available new features from the new OS.

So basically, you get a limited update on iOS… But you still get something new. With Android, you may never get an official update but when you do, its like having a new device again.

Another issue are cases, I’m unable to find a case for my 2 year old Nexus 7, even my wife’s Galaxy Note 8 (BTW, is presently stuck on Android 4.4) has very limited cases available! Yes, maybe not everyone will care about their device’s case, but if you travel a lot, having a case is very handy…

Do I go for the stability of iOS? The assurance of updates and accessories? The beauty of its Apps? And the one size fits all Apple approach?

Or do I go Android and have my device replaced evary 2 years?

I guess the best route is to have an Android/iOS combination… Since Google did not announce a Nexus tablet this year, do I go S6 Edge plus iPad setup?

Let’s see… I’m expecting to get Marshmallow for my Nexus 7 before the holidays… If everything goes well, I can wait for the iPad Air 3!

Android Wear Lite?

I guess it’s time for me to give the “smart watch” another chance.

After giving up on the Pebble, I think the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) deserves a look.

Is Google in the right direction with Android Wear???

Well, YES and NO!

Here’s my take.

Google made an excellent OS to battle with Apple’s watchOS.

Android Wear is not perfect, but OEM’s can either build their own OS (like Samsung) or just use Android Wear and let Google worry about apps, and everything else.

Here’s my problem with Android Wear, it’s not teaching people to depend on a wearable!

When I first held a Smartphone, the HTC Tanager, it made me rethink about the gadgets I carry around everyday…

It replaced the CD player in my car, my MP3 player and my portable DVD player.

My Tanager was later replaced by an XDA mini, later paired to with an IR keyboard which almost replaced my laptop! (I was writing Word documents and replying to emails on a 2.8inch screen)

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Now for the subject of my blog post… Android Wear Lite!

Google must create a “Lite” version for Android Wear… Now before you declare that I’m obsessed with the concept of “Lite” you have to read what I’ve written below…

Google must make inexpensive smart watches (or maybe fitness bands, see Gear Fit), around the “impulse buy” price of $50-$100… This “inexpensive device” must have a minimum of 2 days battery life and a readable display in day light!

To keep costs low battery life decent, this device will definitely use an e-ink display and loose the touch screen…

Apple watch will always have mob lining up to buy the latest model. Something Google and their partner OEMs don’t have.

But once normal people learn how to use a smart watch, chances are they will upgrade to a better device later…

So again, Google must put Android Wear on as many wrists it can, hopefully they get at least half of these people to later upgrade to a device running a full version or Android Wear…

Android One is Good… But Google needs Android Lite!

Android is getting forked, left right center.

You can see various versions of Android for entry level phones.

This is why I believe Android One was a good move by Google.

Entry level phones running the latest Android version for developing countries.

When Android One was announced, I initially thought it’s a phone for my mom… She still uses basic Nokia phones as she needs battery life and the number pad.

Then I realized, my mom will not like an Android One device because she will need to charge it daily and she will need to (again) learn to use a mobile phone…

She doesn’t need a qwerty keyboard to reply “ok”.

Google (and its Android team) needs is to create a simple/lean version of Android to replace Series 40.

Just think of the Nokia 1 or 2 series, what if it had Wi-Fi, and every time you reach home you can send/receive messages/calls using Hangouts. You also get Chrome and Google Search.

It will be perfect for older folks who do not want to re-learn on how to use a phone.

Dear Google… (a Wishlist for Future Nexus Devices)

To those who aren’t familiar with Nexus Devices

They are Devices (Phone or Tablet) released by Google that runs stock Android…

No TouchWiz, HTC Sense and Motoblur. Actually almost all manufacturers put their own skin on top of Android… But for me, stock Android is perfect…

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There are rumors that Google is planning to launch additional Nexus Devices…

I just hope that they consider to release devices with the following features as the market doesn’t need another slate with limited physical buttons.

Phone for Gamers

Xperia Play was a good idea… I hate playing games on my Phone since the screen is too small. Viewing the game on a 4 inch screen plus having your thumbs block the screen is really not a good idea…

Can you just imagine if a Nexus Version of the Xperia Play can mirror video to your TV using the Nexus Q?

Qwerty Phones

There are very few choices if your looking for a Smartphone with a Qwerty keyboard.

Most people I see use (a company issued) Bold and I think the next option will be the Chacha (if you want something running Android).

Sliders (e.g. the Dream and the Droid) are available and I honestly prefer them BUT I would prefer that the keyboard slides in portrait mode, just like the Torch and the Pre.

I once had a colleague who wanted a Qwerty Phone for SMS/IM and did not want a Bold. She decided to get a Chacha and hated the phone everyday… It would be nice if Google can look into this form factor as the market needs more options.

7 Inch Tablet with Full SD Card – or better yet, a CF Card!

Great for photographers.

I presently use a camera connection kit for my iPad and it’s really annoying bacause you need to copy the photos to your internal memory before you can view them in full screen. Another option I have is using the Eye-Fi but it really affects my camera and tablet’s battery life.

The Thrive had a Full SD Card slot but limited internal memory.

What if, theres a device that can accept a Full SD Card for easy access of files and a MicroSD Card for Apps…

7 Inch Tablet with Full USB Port

The Iconia A500 has one and AC Ryan also released a 7 inch tablet with a USB Port.

Great idea since transferring files from PC to tablet will be easier… it will also allow users to use a cheaper USB keyboard and mouse for productivity.

Portable Media Devices with Camera – its hard to get rid of our point and shoots. They still have better sensors and better zoom compared to a smart phone.

As Nikon Announced the S800c and Samsung is also rumored to release their own Android Camera

This will definitely excite the casual shooter who just loves to upload photos in Social Networking sites. For the more serious photographers… Then the tablet with an SD/CF Card will be a better device for them.

Now of all the devices I mentioned above… Wouldn’t it be great if they can all connect to a Lapdock???

I know its not that easy to create the perfect device but I believe Google with all its hardware partners has what it takes to innovate…

I got myself an iPhone!

I have been a Windows Mobile user for a very long time…
My first Windows Mobile Phone was the Smart Amazing Phone (also known as the HTC Tanager), then I bought an I-Mate Jam (also known as the HTC Magician), then I used a Dopod 838 (also known as the HTC Wizard) and lastly the Asus P525.
I used a Nokia E63 for more than a year after the Asus P525 as I was still undecided on which phone to get next.
I wanted to wait for a new WebOS device from HP but the waiting seemed to take forever.
RIM’s Blackberry is really not for me, Windows Mobile 7 just didn’t have the apps and features I need now and I find Android too risky for me.
Let me explain on what I mean about Android’s risks.
You see, I love upgrades… My Smart Amazing Phone ran on Imate’s ROM (instead of the original ROM from Smart). I was happy with the Imate Jam’s ROM so I just changed my wife’s O2 XDA mini’s ROM to run Imate too. And my Dopod 838 also ran an Imate ROM.
Although these ROMs were not official, they were available with the risk of only voiding your warranty.
For Android, un-official upgrades are also available, this would be my choice of Mobile OS 5 years ago but since I am now very busy with work and other family stuff, I can no longer research and gamble on installing a new Mobile OS.
Not all Android phones are guaranteed to have an official update to the latest Android version, just look at Sony Ericsson’s X10 mini, they presently run on Éclair (2.1) even if Froyo (2.2) has been available for a while and Gingerbread (2.3) is officially released.
If you use Android devices, you’ll know that performance from Éclair to Froyo is a big upgrade and next year, Android will have Honeycomb.
This is just a very big issue for me for Android devices as I will not be happy getting stuck at Éclair knowing that Froyo and above is much better.
For Apple devices, (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) an update is almost assured for at least the next 4 years (updates for the original iPhone and iPod Touch are no longer available).
Updates are easy to install since you only need to sync your device to iTunes and we all know that there’s almost an app for everything…
All my favorite apps and games are available on the iPhone and Android but the iPhone version just works better.
I can list a lot of reasons why I decided to get an iPhone but basically the biggest factor is that WebOS is just taking too long to release a new phone, Android upgrades are not guaranteed and Windows Mobile 7 does not have the complete features I need.
Hopefully, other manufacturers come up with better tablets before I decide to get an iPad next year…

Why not the iPad… Yet!

Before I start this, I just want everyone to know how much I love the iPad.
I find it unbelievable that for so long, we had laptops with resistive touch screen and it took so much time before a Tablet such as the iPad was released.
Now, here are the reasons why I still do not own an iPad.
All of my video files (except for the complete seasons/episode of Drawn Together) are in AVI format.
Thanks to the CineXPlayer, the iPad can now play AVIs but transferring of files still needs iTunes…
I love iBooks but as mentioned above, it would be nice if I could transfer files (PDFs) wirelessly.
Although WiFi Sync is available it only works for jailbroken devices.
The last reason of not buying an iPad YET is that sadly its competitors haven’t released anything yet… HP has no WebOS Tablets yet, Blackpad is not yet announced and the Android tablet is not yet officially available.
I would personally want to see how the iPad’s competitors look like and perform before I make an actually purchase.

Nokia E63

This feels really odd writing (and at times, talking) something about a device running on Symbian 60.

From my post about the Asus P525, you’ll know that I have been a Windows Mobile user for the longest time. However, if I had to write the main reasons why I bought a Symbian 60 phone instead of getting a new Windows Mobile device, my list will be focused on the negative sides of Windows Mobile.

1. Windows Mobile’s built in web browser is really bad! I know, I can always install Opera, Skyfire and other pocket web browsers available but Microsoft should start upgrading their own web browser since not all of us have the time to purchase, install and tweak our phones. I can easily forgive this issue a couple of years back. The iPhone’s Safari is great, I have not tried the Android and the Palm Pre’s web browser but the Symbian 60’s web browser has got to be one of the best.

2. I got tired of waiting for a Windows Mobile device with a Capacitive Screen. I know the E63 is not even a touch screen device but I rather use it than use a device with a resistive screen!

3. Normally, Windows Mobile Devices come in Black, Silver and White… I wanted something different! I have a red E63!

Getting the E63 over an iPhone or an HTC Dream… simple, I am a Starhub subscriber.

Now, getting the E63 over the E71 is another story, I chose the E63 because I did not want to pay extra for the E71’s HSDPA, GPS and heavier Metal Body.

Now, focusing on my new Nokia E63, I did not install anything yet except for Fring, it’s really handy to have a good web browser, e-mail and instant messenger installed to your device.

One thing that irritated me with the E63 is that you’ll have to configure your internet connection separately for the web browser, sending and receiving e-mails. For a basic user, that’s already three (3) times. Using Fring will mean a fourth (4th) setting!

Second complain will have to be the ear piece’s volume is never enough, with my line of work, I receive a lot of calls from satellite phones and sometimes their signal is not that clear. Now, the satellite phones unclear signal plus the E63’s weak ear piece will almost be equal to a complete disaster for me.

Third and last complain is the weak vibration alert, it just too weak.

Now to the positives, since camera does not have auto focus, it’s fast! It uses 3.5mm headphones, very convenient! It has a built in flashlight which you can use even if the phone is locked.

In a world where nothing’s perfect, the Nokia E63 works just fine for my needs, I’m really happy with it and I can see a couple of years with this phone in my pocket.

I know, that after reading this article you’ll notice that I gave the negatives a longer part than the positives. I think the most important part is that I’m presently using the device right now. Its not perfect but for me, it has everything that I need.

Here are photos taken using the Nokia E63’s camera.

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