Saturday, October 31, 2009

Device Update

It was just last Saturday that I reported on buying a used T-Mobile G1 and promising to include Android news to this space. Well, best laid plans as they say. The G1 arrived on Thursday but I was extremely unimpressed with its condition and have since returned it for a refund. On Sunday, one of my Twitter friends, Brett piqued my interest by turning me on to the Archos 5. Unfortunately, it was only after I had already spent the money on an inexpensive refurb from the site that I realized that I had inadvertently ordered the version without Android. Once that arrives (UPS left me a slip on Friday) I'll have to decide whether to sell it or return it at a 15% restocking fee loss. All that has left me with a pretty unpleasant taste in my mouth for Android for the time being...

Over the past couple of weeks I've been getting low memory errors on my HP Mini 1000 even though I have nothing installed except a few portable apps that run from the SD card. At first I thought I would just upgrade the OS to Windows 7, but with only 8GB of memory, I had doubts on what kind of experience it would be. Its been a full year since I bought my Mini 1000 -which is a veritable lifetime in geek years! I love my Mini 1000, so I decided that the HP Mini 110 was close enough to give me the same experience but with more memory (160GB!) and the ready-to-ship model included Windows 7 in the price. After weighing my options, I finally clicked the 'Buy' button yesterday and ordered the black swirl version. Evidently it was none too soon- today the same model shows as sold out! Mine shows as shipped with a delivery date of Tuesday.

This year I've been pretty happy with the base items I have in my gadget toolkit. My goal is to have the 9700 which is an incremental improvement on the Bold, a Mini 110, which is an incremental improvement on the Mini 1000 and remain with the iPhone-as-iPod setup I have. For now, I'm going to hold off on the Android fever- with all the new devices on the horizon, the prices are bound to take a plunge soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Twitterpeek...A Twitter-Only Device

Well, it's finally happened- Peek has made a Twitter device. And yes, it ONLY does Twitter. And you want to hear the worst part? Unlike most applications for your phone, smartphone, pda and notebook, this one supports just one account. I give up- I really do. There are no words to describe how ridiculous this is! Could this not have been at least bundled with the original Peek that did email only? Well, if you are so inclined to pick one of these up, Amazon is open for preorders at a pricepoint of just $199. I bet Miley Cyrus is kicking herself for quitting Twitter now!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

AT&T BlackBerry Bold Promo - Get it for $39.99 - Save $260!

This posting on Crackberry is very encouraging! If this Bold sale is only lasting 1 week, odds are very good that the end of the sale could be the launch of the Bold2!

AT&T BlackBerry Bold Promo - Get it for $39.99 - Save $260!: "

AT&T BlackBerry Bold Promotion's feed sponsored by AT&T BlackBerry Bold Promo - Get it for $39.99 - Save $260!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

More App Coverage

Well dear Readers, if you've been wondering when I'd start talking more about Android then today is your lucky day. I just scored myself a T-Mobile G1 and I'm looking forward to giving you tons of shiny screencaps and reviews of the best Android has to offer.
And for my avid Windows Mobile fans- I haven't forgotten you! Once the 9700 comes to AT&T, Dean will be getting my Bold, and the Ubiquio 503G will be available for all sorts of testing and review. Stay tuned!

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rumor: B&N Nook to run Android Apps?

If the Nook does in fact end up running Android apps, I can assure you that I will then definitely be picking one up!

via MobileCrunch:

Rumor: B&N Nook to run Android Apps?: "

Nook + AndroidOne tiny detail that went largely unnoticed about the “nook”, the slick new e-book reader that Barnes and Noble just released: the nook’s operating system is based on Google’s Android OS. Hmmm… Why would B&N develop the nook based on Android? Well, Android is a sick platform for developers, and they absolutely love building on it. So why not open it up and let others develop for the nook? According a person close to the situation, that is in the plans for the nook, and it will soon be able to run apps.

Now, we don’t know if this will become a full-fledged Android device, where the nook would enable a user to download anything from the Android Marketplace. Chances are it’ll be more like a mini-Android marketplace, for apps built specifically for the nook. Either way, it would be a sweet addition to an already-impressive device. Imagine having crossword puzzles, interactive books, games and the like on your e-Reader. Unlike the Kindle’s closed platform, this would theoretically be more open and would provide developers and book publishers with a clever way to improve the interactivity of their books. Of course, the nook has to take off before this becomes likely so developers have a real incentive to build on the platform. Time will only tell, but for now, the e-book race just got even more interesting.

Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time for some Nook-y

Bad puns aside, I'm really liking how the new Barnes and Noble ereader is shaping up. The Nook, for some reason, looks to be hitting all the right notes for me- from its $259 price point, to the color panel on the bottom. I'll still say for now this is not the right device for me- between my iPod Touch and Blackberry I couldn't manage another device- but it looks very tempting and extremely sleek.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Waiting Game.....

Well, this is it; I'm officially back to the waiting game. I've used and loved my Bold for 8 and a half months but the lack of memory and low budget camera have finally gotten to me. I'm now waiting for the Bold 2 (Onyx) to be released; its promising a smaller form factor, improved camera and double the memory which is just the bump I'm looking for.
In the meantime I decided to use one of the leaked OS5 which should give me a taste of what I can look forward to when I get the Onyx. The highlights of the new operating system are aesthetic improvements to various areas, for example the text message application:

Photobucket Photobucket

The downside is that the already low memory is taxed even more. Where I was starting with about 35MB with about 20 applications installed, I'm now starting with 27MB with about 12 installed applications. I debated going back to one of the 4.6 OS's but then decided to leave well enough alone- the core applications are so much more improved and when I pass this along to Dean, he'll definitely appreciate the difference.
So, once again I'm back to playing the waiting game. Just like I waited for HTC Fuze, the HP 910, Treo 750, Samsung Blackjack. Wow, it sure seems like I spend a lot of time waiting for new toys!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Need a Name for Your App Store?

With the latest craze of App Stores popping up all over the place, it was only a matter of time before we started running out of names to call them. Blackberry took App World, Android took Market, Palm took Catalog....and what are we left with?

Well, for those Johnny-come-lately's now looking to add their store to the list, here are a couple of names that are still available for you:

1. App Boutique- best for stores with overpriced apps- maybe the RIM should have used this moniker?

2. App Bodega- best for a store that has a hodge-podge of items that are easy to get to.

3. App Bazaar- now this would have been perfect for Windows Mobile....apps gathered from all over the web and sold under one umbrella.

4. App Mall- somehow this brings to my mind teeny-boppers hanging out. Possibly a good one for any of the texting feature phones.

5. App Trading Post- imagine an app store where you could trade your app for a new one!

Hopefully that's enough to get you rolling with your new App store. Remember, there's always good old App Emporium if you just can't get into the ones listed!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spot the Difference....

Take a close look at these two phones-AT&T and Sprint's respective take on Samsung's latest phone. Can you spot the difference?

If you observed that the AT&T version is silver to the Sprint's gunmetal, then you're halfway there. The huge difference is that the Sprint's version is touchscreen (Windows Mobile Professional) which you can tell by the Windows logo placement on the top of the left side of the screen, vs the AT&T Standard which is on the bottom. While this change has me a bit irked (I mean, seriously, why is AT&T getting shafted in this deal??) it raises some questions in my mind. Could it be that a simple software change is all that stands between a touchscreen and non-touchscreen? Is the line between Professional and Standard going to be further blurred when they all become simply Windows Phones?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blackberry Widgets

This summer I posted about why I thought this was probably the best time for me to be getting into the Blackberry ecosystem. And it looks like things just keep getting better for RIM with the recent release of the Widget SDK to developers. If you're thinking that the whole 'widget' thing sounds familiar, you're right- it was about 2 years ago that the iPhone was using web widgets as a launching pad before full-fledged apps were born. But, because the iPhone has never supported background apps, there was a limit to just how useful those widgets could be. The SDK RIM has released is allowing widgets to utilize the famous push functionality, which presumably could mean that you could have a weather widget that would give you a notification icon to indicate a weather advisory. You would also be able to run more than one widget at a time-big win!
I'm excited about the possibilities with an even easier way to build applications- its no secret that creating apps for Blackberry has not been an enticing option for a developers so far. And if any developers out there are wondering what kind of apps to get started with first, may I suggest:

-A proper database manager with photo support
-Flickr photo viewer
-Google Reader with bi-directional sync

Thursday, October 8, 2009

FLO TV: More Baggage, Less Function

Imagine this- a company that has decided that its not enough for you to carry your mobile phone, GPS, Kindle and PMP device, but that you should add one more to the mix. And at $250 with an $8 monthly fee, FLO TV is acting like they don't remember that we're trying to dig ourselves out of an economic recession, not create a new one.
What would be brilliant is if this device came with an ebook reader, GPS, or PMP functionality so that it could do more than just one thing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kempler & Strauss launch Billionair 7 mobile phone

I thought this sounded mildy interesting (who doesn't love a QWERTYBar WM Pro?) until I looked closely at the specs. The screen is not even full QVGA but an awkard 240x300 pixels. And 75 minutes of talk time? Seriously?

Kempler & Strauss launch Billionair 7 mobile phone: "

Kempler & Strauss wasn’t a name I was familiar with until this week, but the company has been unveiling some pretty slick products recently. Today the company unveiled the new Billionair 7 mobile phone hailed as the first GSM quad-band 3.5G phone based on Windows Mobile.

The handset has all sorts of features that business users will like including a touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard. The CPU inside the phone is a 624MHz unit for lots of power and performance. Other features include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

The screen of the phone is a 2.5-inch TFT unit with a resolution of 240 x 300. The handset also has a 3MP rear camera for taking video and still shots and a front facing camera for video conferencing. The handset charges via USB and has a microSD card slot. Talk time is 75 minutes with standby time of 200 hours. The handset is available now for $275.


If Money was No Object

Here's something that stumps me: there are people in this world who are infinitely rich, right? So, how come when it comes to tech, the most you ever see is some kind of 'blinged-out' nonsense with carats of gold and diamonds? These 'luxury' phones never seem to have anything truly luxurious about them.
If I had the kind of money that would make people sit up and take notice (Trump, et al) then I would probably customize all my tech with crazy specs. I'd have the Blackberry Bold rebuilt with an 8mp camera and boosted to about 1Gb of Program memory. I'd have my own fleet of developers at my beck and call to bring my wildest app dreams to life.
So, here's my question to you: if money was no object, what kind of fantastic tech dreams would you bring to life? And why do you think the billionaires of our time haven't already whipped them up?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jon Gosselin Gets Called Out

Like most of the country I've been watching this trainwreck get even worse over the past few months. The most recent chapter is that Jon Gosselin has now decided that in the best interest of his kids, the show should no longer be taped. While I think that's a great decision, its the timing that's a little suspect.
After watching this clip I very nearly applauded- neither of these parents are acting as if they realize that all this dirty laundry will be forever cached on the web. I'd hate to be those kids on the first day of high school!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting Mobile Perspective

The Cincinnati Enquirer ran an interesting story yesterday about the effect mobile addictions have on our interactions with the people around us. I admit, I am very guilty of this type of behaviour- especially with my husband. I've been known to sit at the dinner table with a fork in one hand and my Bold in the other!! This story makes me think about the message I am sending him and my son, when I am so involved with everything else other than them. Granted, when something comes up, my husband is the first person to ask me to look it up ("Is it going to rain tomorrow?") but I think its important for me to make some adjustments. I'm going to try every day when I get home to put my Blackberry away, not grab the laptop, and really give my full attention to what's going on around me rather than just my peripheral vision.

The greatest gift we can give to others is to be present when speaking withthem. Resist the temptation to check for emails. You might be surprised that your business relationships will be stronger, your concentration better and your productivity greatly improved.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SNL Digital Short Threw It On The ground

It's been quite a while since anything on SNL has gotten a chuckle out of me (with the exception of the Hoda and Kathy Lee skits). I thought this was hilarious, especially the call from dad!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Terrific Threesome: Slingplayer, TiVo and Blackberry

I love it when fantastic technology comes together. And when it comes to my TV viewing- it doesn't get any better than TiVo. I've got 3 DVR devices altogther at home- basically, one for each of us. The den's 1st gen TiVo is loaded with Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street and the BackYardigans. Seth can request a song, and we pretty much know exactly which episode and at which point its played so we can cue it up.
The DirecTV DVR in the study has a lot of Dean's games and shows. Any show that he watches on his own gets taped in there. On his days off he can catch up on his fantasy football via his PC while he watches the games.
But the bedroom- that's where my magic happens. My TiVo2 is all set up and connected to my Tivo Desktop. My favorite shows get recorded, automagically converted and put on to my iPod without my having to do anything. I've also set up my Slingplayer so that I can connect from my Blackberry if I'm out and about, or my iPod if I'm on the stationery bike. I watch my favorite shows in my truck during my lunch break- a habit I've been in for almost a year now.
Last December TiVo came out with a mobile scheduling site, and right around that time DirecTV did something similar. But, as you know by now, nothing gets me going like a full-fledged "App for That". This week TiVo released a Blackberry app that I'm finding quite useful for setting up shows to tape. In addition to letting you search for shows to tape, it also shows you daily picks, as well as most popular shows. You can record a single episode, or create a season pass.



For an added bonus, after checking the daily picks list, I can connect right to my Slingbox to watch a show I'm interested in. Now that I finally have Slingplayer working on my Blackberry, you'd best believe I'm watching it at every possible moment when I'm away from home!


And when I just want to take a look at the TVGuide, I recently found out that the Handmark TVGuide application is still working, even though its no longer supported.


So all in all, I'm impressed at how seamlessly the Blackberry integrates my TV life. And, just to stick it to iPhone users, I can actually switch between my TVGuide and my Slingplayer apps so that I can easily decide what to watch and change the channel without having to restart each app!