I was watching this CNET Prizefight and all I could think was thank goodness there was no Blackberry included for the startup test! These days my Bold takes about 2 minutes to get up and running....but this poor guy has to wait a whopping half hour!
I was watching this CNET Prizefight and all I could think was thank goodness there was no Blackberry included for the startup test! These days my Bold takes about 2 minutes to get up and running....but this poor guy has to wait a whopping half hour!
Confession time: I have this spreadsheet, that I've been basically maintaining since last summer. I use it to track my battery life on my various devices, factoring in any number of variants that I feel might affect battery performance. Looking at it now, I'm almost embarrased at how obsessive compulsive it seems to be. But I am happy at the data I've compiled over time. How does your smartphone stack up?
SS=Socialscope, vid= 30 minutes video, 1800 mah battery measured before and after conditioning.
Richard G is one big talker. He managed to chat up some 16,000 minutes on his cell phone in a single month. More disturbing? That's not his highest month of use.
I did the math, and that averages out to about 8 hours a day....everyday! Unless I was dialed in to a radio station that was playing music to my speakerphone all day, I can't even imagine what I would be discussing for this length of time. He's not a telemarketer, so we can eliminate that, but honestly, with 8 hours a day on the phone, I can imagine that Richard has to be single. After 8 hours on the phone at work, I'd need absolute, total silence once I got home!
I don't think my highest monthly use has ever exceeded the 2 or 3 hour mark- what's your record?
Any time I upgrade to a new piece of tech I ask Dean if he's interested in the old one before I put it on eBay. When I moved to the iPod Touch, I really didn't want to sell my old Zune, so I was happy when he expressed an interest in it.
When I gave it to him, I loaded it up with a few episodes of the Car Talk podcast. After his first day with the Zune he came home thrilled and wanted more podcasts as he felt it gave him a welcome change from his music. He found the Zune Marketplace easy to navigate and before long he had added a large number of podcasts with varying topics.
Since he had already wired both of our cars with audio cables, he can now just pop the cable into his Zune and listen to his shows during his commute. I also had the Altec Lansing speakers so he's got a sweet speaker setup for his Zune.
Its nice to see him getting good use out of his Zune, and even my old Ubiquio 503G. He a hardcore smartphone user, but he does use his tasks quite regularly to remind himself of things, and he takes snapshots here and there. He's a heavy texter and really appreciates they keyboard on the Ubiquio, vs the TMobile SDA that he had inherited previously. Its always much nicer to have your favorite gadgets still in your home, even if its under new ownership.
Remember a few months ago when I talked about searching for the perfect virtual closet? As it turned out- there's an app for that. My solution using iSort was getting a bit old, and I was tired of only being able to manage my list via my iPod Touch, so I went back to the drawing board again. This time I found TouchCloset: a free, fantastic, closet managing software that has a real-time sync with its web version. You need the iPod Touch to create your account, and add items to your closet initially, but once that legwork is done, you can use the website to edit your entries, or make notes.
I can assure you I know exactly what I will be doing this evening when I get home: picking up OS 3.0! I've never done an iPod upgrade, but this one will definitely have me doing it because it seems chock full of the exact things I've been waiting to get, which for me are:
Every evening I workout on my stationary bike and it takes the very last gasp of juice for my Blackberry to pump out my tunes over my S9 Bluetooth headset. I've been waiting to delegate this task to my iPod Touch so that I can finally declare it my total multimedia device.
Every once in a while I hear something in a podcast and realize that I missed the beginning of the sentence and/or discussion. Trying to go back a few minutes is the bain of my existence, and anything that promises to make this process easier for me is a plus in my books.
YouTube Account Management:
The idea of being able to keep track of the videos I watch on my iPod seems useful. Sometimes you want to send a message to the composer, or leave a comment, and now I'll be able to do at least the latter.
Oh, sweet cramp release! I have never mastered the art of the iPeck, and I'm glad that I won't have to. The Evernote client is fantastic on the iPod touch, and now I'll actually be able to add notes to it!
I'm not going to beat a dead horse on this one. Enough said.
Google Calendar Sync
Although I already purchased CalenGoo, I am glad to have this natively. Plus, CalenGoo is sooooo slow!
Note sync in iTunes
I will admit, I've generally abandoned the note client on my desktop and Blackberry, opting instead to just use Evernote. But again, its nice to have the option.
Of course, for those who have an iPhone, there are tons more features that you are probably looking forward to, like MMS, tethering, voice recording, et al. Enjoy, and let me know how your update goes.
From: Eric Hyland
Subject: The Pre incident.
I had a very odd experience buying my Palm Pre Saturday and I think you'll be very interested in hearing about it.
I called the Western Center Radio Shack 6/12 and asked if they had a Palm Pre available. There was apparently one on 'reserve' and I was told if the guy didn't pick it up by 7PM, they'd sell it to me. Well 7:00 comes and goes. Then, on Saturday morning, they call me around 10:00 to 10:30, saying they have located a Pre, and ask if I was still interested. I was, so I drive over and purchase it.
On closer inspection at home, I find some odd things. First of all, beneath the factory cellophane (used to protect the screen), I find another clear screen cover with adhesive. More on that in a second.
After removing the cellophane and the additional clear cover, I see something wrong with the screen on the lower right. It looked like the screen was 'bubbling.' I had thought it was simply the adhesive, but it was, in fact, under the glass (Please see attached photos 1 & 2).
I knew then that I had to take it back. But before I did, I decided to explore a bit more. I opened up Pandora, and instead of asking me to sign in or create an account, it just started playing music. That's odd. When I tapped on the button on the upper left, an account was already logged in (see attached photos 3&4)!
The account name was <snipped> (sound familiar?). I did a google search on that, and the first result was your twitter page. And wouldn't I know it. You had tweeted about returning a defective Palm Pre not 6 hours before!
Now I see that Radio Shack had neglected to remove the the clear cover you had most likely placed on it, and just put the cellophane film over it.
When I confronted the manager about being sold a repackaged Pre, he said there was no way that was possible. Even after showing him that an odd account was already logged into Pandora, he denied it.
The good news is they did replace my Palm Pre. However, the bad news, in a totaly separate independent issue, is that the ear piece on the new one doesn't work.
To Radio Shack's credit, they are replacing this one as well and they are having Sprint waive my activation fee. However there should be no excuse for reselling a returned phone.
From your Twitter page I found your blog. If you'd like, feel free to post these pictures and my story. This could make a good "buyer beware" story on digg.com or consumerist.com or something.
Let me know and I'll keep you up to date on any farther developments.
I thought this was pretty impressive: of course, your arms need to be really fit to be doing this for any length of time. With Android and WebOS rumored as being ported to mobile platforms, could the iPhone OS be next?
Last week was a busy one, and not just because I was rocking 5 mobile devices (hey-o!). There was a good amount of controlled chaos at work, and on the homefront I bought a stationary bike and have been making a dedicated effort to ride each morning and evening.
As the week came to an end, I knew I had to take the Palm Pre back. First of all, I'm not staying with Sprint- if for no other reason that there is no simultaneous voice and data. I also learnt a fairly unpleasant lesson the hard way: the first call you make is redirected to the Sprint call center where you have to listen to a 7 minute spiel from a rep summarizing the terms of service. No one mentioned this detail to me, and since I was driving, lost, when I reached for the Pre since it was the phone I could find-I was not a happy camper.
The Pre itself was a mixed bag- after the initial euphoria wore off, I found I didn't even go to it as a secondary device all that much. I'd check the App Catalog to see what new apps were listed but even that was more an exercise in frustration. The Evernote app was the most exciting thing to me, but it was glitchy and wouldn't compose notes in offline mode. There were odd nuances to the Twitter clients that I couldn't completely figure out. They each had some sort of notification- but no easy way to quickly check @replies. Build quality and design could use some work. While the Pre felt really nice when closed in the hand, using it required 2 hands and my full attention.
On Friday evening I prepared the phone for return by doing a hard reset and repackaging everything and that was when I noticed I was missing something-the receipt. I broke out in a cold sweat- I know RadioShack tends to stand pretty hard behind their no receipt, no return policy. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be a big deal- throwing it on eBay would probably get me to even- but with the 'crumple' in the screen that it had when I bought it, my listing would definitely be less than desirable. I could hardly sleep on Friday night- I worried if they would accept the return, and then I worried if I could at least get an exchange for an unscathed screen if they wouldn't take it.
After a fitful night of no sleep, on Saturday morning I bundled Seth into the car as soon as the store was due to open, said a prayer, and headed out. When we got to the store, I had my first panic moment- the salesperson who greeted me was not one I recognized from the prior week. Then, behind the counter I spotted one of the two guys who had been in the store the previous Saturday. We had all shared a lot of laughs, banter, and joking about the (non-existent) lines for the Pre- this had to go well, right? Wrong. As soon as I stated that I was there to return the phone, I needed a sweater to shield me from the icy frost he emitted. "What's the problem?" he barked at me in a stern, accusatory voice.
Long story short: he accepted the return, and (I think) credited my card back. (So far I haven't seen the reversal show up on my account, but I'm sure its processing). He also called and cancelled my Sprint account and confirmed with them that I had returned the phone. Now I'll have to wait and see what my Sprint pro-rated amount will be for one week...a $70 monthly plan breaks up as $17 a week, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
You would think that the saga ends here, but its not for nothing we call it a saga. I got home and tweeted my relief at having a successful outcome and got a message from a Twitter user who asked if I had returned my Pre to a particular RadioShack in my neighborhood. Uh-oh, this was probably the salesman from RadioShack about to chastize me, right? Not so- it turns out that this man had been resold the very same Pre that I had returned not 4 hours earlier! And how did he know it was the same one? Because it had the same screen "crumple" that I noticed on it when I first got it and he read about it right here on the site! What a small world of tech it is!
Which brings me to the end of my Pre drama/saga. I think I'll be interested in seeing the next generation/iteration of the WebOS when the App Catalog is more mature and the design is more thoughtfully laid out. Till then.... Ciao Pre!
Today's Podcast Highlights:
-My First 48 Hours with the Palm Pre
-Reaction to WWDC iPhone announcements
-iPod Touch usage and applications
-Blackberry Bold update
*I referred to this as Podcast #4 but actually its #5. You can catch up on previous podcasts here.
Its certainly been an interesting few days with the Pre. And honestly, if I was coming from Windows Mobile I suspect I would have taken to it like a fish to water. But, the truth is that my whole way of computing has changed since I moved to Blackberry- I want to do everything one handed, I want to do everything without interacting with my screen, and I want to have a keyboard that invites me to type my heart out. The Pre, unfortunately, does none of these things. It has a lot of eye-candy, some real innovation, and logic that just cannot be denied- but at the end of the day, I was bored.
According to "ILoveBlackberry" I spend an average of 3 hours a day on my Bold. Most of that time is spent on SocialScope, catching up on Twitter and Facebook. I spend a considerable amount of time on Viigo reading news articles and lately checking out Friendfeed. Its a fantastic combination of hardware and software- I have a small group of heavily used applications that are my go-to heavy-hitters and are enhanced by the fantastic keyboard that is exposed and always ready for quick entry. Another surprising discovery I made about myself is that my lifestyle is better suited for a non-touchscreen device. I frequently have my hands full with my purse, a diaper bag, my son's small, squirmy hand, and my phone. Having the Bold, I can grab hold of it anywhere, and not have to worry about what I might be activating. With a touchscreen phone, I constantly need to check and make sure its off and not ringing and that I haven't accidentally answered the phone.
The other thing I really very heavily on is being able to tell, just by looking at it, what's going on with my phone. I installed BerryBuzz months ago and this intelligent software flashes my LED light a different color for different notifications. I've never liked using sounds on my phone, because I inevitably forget to turn them off at the most inopportune moments. However, with this I can tell from a flashing green LED that there is some kind of weather advisory happening, blue that I have a new email, purple that someone is trying to IM me, and orange for a text message. Because the Pre has no notifications until you turn the device on (as do a large number of Windows Mobile phones and the iPhone), you really rely on the audio cues to know what's happening.
So, while I find the Pre to be a much-needed shot of adrenaline the market needs right now, I am looking forward to its next iteration, the Eos, to see what they get right in that device.
Out of curiousity today, I took a look at my AT&T Wireless bill in detail, specifically my data usage. I was interested to see what my general usage pattern is, and to have a figure in my head if the word 'cap' ever came up. I started by looking up January as that was when I had my Fuze, and I imagined it would be much higher. The total used was 1217MB or 1.2GB. Next I looks up March, by which time I had my Bold, and found it was up to nearly 2.5GB. Wow! Finally, I looked at last month and it was a paltry 97MB. How could that be? I have unlimited mobile data, so I wasn't concerned from a price standpoint, but I was baffled by how I came to be using about 5% of my previous data volumes- was my email not pulling at home? Had I stopped surfing the web? Well, I figured out what the issue was. The first part is why my usage was so high in March: I was using Podtrapper to regularly download podcasts on my Bold to watch at work during lunch. So, now that I have delegated that task to my iPod Touch, its a big difference. The second solution was so simple I was almost embarrased when I figured out what it was: WiFi! The WiFi management on Blackberry is so efficient that I can (and do) leave it on all the time and it has no impact on my battery life. In fact, as you can see here, I would even go as far as to say that while on WiFi my battery lasts longer than on 3G. So while I am at home my Bold is using my WiFi signal, rather than the 3G, which has had several benefits: longer battery life, faster connections, and apparently a steep drop in my AT&T data consumption.
Maybe its my inability to get a certain other phone out of my head but I haven't found myself necessarily blown away by the Nokia E75 so far. I asked my husband what he thought about it last night and his response hit the nail on the head: "It reminds me of my old Motorola (dumb) phone." And that's precisely it: there's something very dated about the Symbian OS and its hard to get around that. Yesterday evening I settled in with a few goals for the E75: get a good Twitter experience going, get a Facebook application, and do some web browsing. These are the same challenges I put to any phone I intend to use: and last year it was the failure to provide these basic features that caused the E71 and I to split up. Well, its been nearly a whole year later, and I imagined that a lot had changed in the world of Nokia during that time. Turns out- I was wrong. And right.
I've been hearing a lot about the Nokia OVI store but I wasn't entirely clear about who it was available to. I decided that I would see if this was something that was accessible on the E75, which would streamline the search for Facebook and Twitter clients. I've never been as confused by a basic task as I was trying to do this: there was an icon called 'downloads' which opened a folder with shortcuts to download certain apps. But the apps were oddly sparse (about 1 or 2 per each of the 5 or so categories) and each of them appeared to be trialware. Then there was something called "Ovi files" which got me excited briefly, before I realized that it was some type of storage space, unrelated to the actual store. Oh well.
I searched high and low for a Facebook application, but couldn't find one. Next, I attempted to install Twibble which I had heard some positive things about, but it refused to install giving me a certificate error. Gah! I went back to TinyTwitter which had worked for me last summer on the E71 and found that installed and ran without a hitch. Ok, one mission accomplished!
I tried to install Palringo and got another error message, this time about the date being incorrect. So I decided to go ahead to my next goal: browsing the web. The web browser has a number of nice touches that I didn't remember seeing on the E71- for starters, your browsing history is shown in windows rather than a list of the addresses. This way you can see what the page looked like, which I quite like. There's also a web feed option which looks like it works similarly to the ones on desktops.
Overall though, there were two things that kept the experience from being truly enjoyable- the screen is seems to be very small even though its the same size as the E71. I suspect that the location of the keys to the right of the screen give you the sense that the screen is being pushed into a smaller window of space. The other problem that I encountered was that using the top row of letters on the keyboard was a frustrating experience as my fingers kept bumping into the 'lip'of the slider.
You see, the keyboard of the E75 is nearly completely flat, but it provides excellent feedback as you press it below the surface of the other keys- honestly, this is the keyboard the Palm engineers should have put on the Pre. But because the keys are not extending upward, you really need to get your fingers firmly on the button before you press. This is hard to do when the lip mechanism isn't letting you get your fingers firmly on the button. But, I'm going to see if fingernail typing makes more sense under the circumstances.
I'll be giving the E75 more face time over the weekend, and at that point I hope to get past my Symbian mental block and really get into the nitty-gritty of it all.
Sent via BlackBerry Bold
I wasn't going to post anything more about the Pre for fear of a Pre-overload, but this was too good to pass up. Here is an undocumented feature of the Palm Pre:
Is it just me, or have web search engines become the new fad? Cuil, Ask, Wolfram Alpha, Bing....what is it all about? Rather than continuing to add new players to the mix (and really, who routinely uses anything other than their default- Google), it would be nice to see more people trying to expand upon what already exists. And who among us even remembered Cuil once the hype smoke settled?
Here's what I'd like to see: a single search engine where you type in your data. When I hit enter, I want to get each hit with a couple of windows beside each entry: One showing me a snapshot of the webpage, one showing me a focused image of any relevant photo on that page, and one with the relevant text large enough for me to read it to see if its applicable. Let me hover over each box for an expanded view, and click on each box to switch exclusively to that type of view (i.e. if I click on an image box, the search results will all switch to image view, etc). That's all I really want in a search engine. What would be your ideal search engine setup? And which existing one comes pretty close?
Remember last week, when I mentioned that I was accepted into the Nokia WOMWorld review program? Well, today I got notification that my first review device had been shipped- its the Nokia E75, and hopefully it should be arriving in the next few days!
I don't know a huge amount about the Nokia E75, but I am looking forward to getting a real feel for the Symbian OS. I have to admit, last year I don't feel that I truly tried to commit to the Nokia E71. Now that I've weaned off Windows Mobile and have expanded my horizons somewhat, I'm hoping to really be able to appreciate why this brand and OS is so popular in Europe! Stay tuned for a full review over the next few weeks.
Remy over at The Green Room blog has put together an excellent database of all the 3rd Gen iPhone rumors. It's an impressive body of work, and I highly recommend you give it a read if you're counting down the days till WWDC. My version- print out the photo and use it as a drinking game during the announcements:
Green: A sip of Mike's Hard lemonade
Purple: A swig of Vodka
Orange: A full glass of champagne
With the Pre just round the corner, articles are popping up seemingly everyday making sweeping predictions "Doomed to Fail!", "Will Trump the iPhone!" and other such declarations. Here's the thing- a new phone is coming out. That's it. The world will not end, there won't be a massive iPhone burning in the town square, and Palm will (likely) not file for bankruptcy the next day. It will be released, people will buy it- some will love it, and some won't. Some will keep it, and some will return it. And in 6 months time, everyone would have made a decision one way or the other.
For me, the Pre is exciting because I believe that it will bring a new wave of innovation, and I'm eager to see what developers come up with after being inspired by the WebOS. But I enjoy hearing what others have to say about it, be they Apple FanBoys or realists. The most riveting thing I've read lately is not an article, but a comment made by DirkBelig (second comment) in response to the PC World article "Five Reasons the Palm Pre Won't Prevail'. Truer words have never been spoken:
Why is it that unless someone has a 110% certain chance of taking Apple off
the board entirely, writers like Coursey believe no one should even try to
compete with the Cupertino Goliath? It's a mentality straight out of Highlander,
"There can be only ONE!!! And iPhone is The One!"
Anyone remember a videogame console maker called Nintendo? They were huge, selling tons of systems before gradually becoming more and more irrelevant; trapped by the cartridge format while an upstart named Sony came along with a disc-based system and ate their lunch. Things looked bleak.
Sony advanced to become the 800 megaton gorilla of gaming. Their 2nd console sold over 100 million units and handily swatted away competitive offerings from Microsoft and Nintendo that were arguably technically superior. Life was good for Sony and very, very bad for Nintendo.
Then something happened: Sony got extremely arrogant on their lofty perch. They told their customers that they didn't need features that were considered standard, like rumble, and made needlessly complex hardware that was difficult to code for and extremely expensive due to their desire to cram a hi-def movie format down gamers throats.
Nintendo responded with an inexpensive console which was technically inferior to its competitors, but gave it a radical new controller and priced it low enough that it took over TWO YEARS before people stopped having to camp out for them. Where is once-mighty Sony? In third place, with more consoles being sold as Blu-ray players that can also play games than as industry-leading game console. Their hubris took them from first to worst almost overnight.
I'm not predicting that Palm will be able to knock Apple off the top of the medal stand, but am reminding everyone that no one is entitled to supremacy and there's plenty of money to be made at #2 from people who don't want the tired same-old just because it's the most popular thing around. Just as people love TV shows that get canceled while never watching a moment of "American Idol", there are plenty who are hungering for something NEW and not more of the same