Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Picture In Landscape 5x7 folded card
Shutterfly has modern graduation announcements and photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why Is Windows Phone Failing?

Eweek asks "Why is Windows Phone failing?"  The question should be "How could it not fail?"   What is the benefit of a Windows phone?  It doesn't have the apps, ease of use, and coolness factor of an iPhone.  It doesn't have the apps, cutting edge hardware, and customizability of Android.  It doesn't even have basic things people want like a web browser with pinch to zoom.  There is literally no reason to get a windows phone except perhaps if you like the interface so much that you can't imagine using an iPhone or Android Phone.  Sure Mango will be an improvement, but it won't give anyone a reason to buy a Windows phone over another type of phone.  it will just make people who already wanted one a little happier.   What Microsoft needs to do is put together a phone that looks like a Galaxy S II with a 720p screen and a state of the art CPU/GPU.  Then it needs to port the 20 best x-box games over to Windows phone and allow you to play on-line with console players.  That is the only chance that MS has to have a device people lust over. 

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

40% of "Many" Android Phones Being Returned--I Don't Think So

I usually do not link to the analysis of other sites as I do try to contemplate Android.  But, this post at Boy Genius Report does a very good job of debunking the recent of meme of 40% Android phone returns.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Lies, Damn Lies, and IPhone Sales Predictions

Our friends over at Beat Week are citing a survey that 33-50% of all Americans are going to buy an iPhone 5 when it comes out.  Take a second to think about that.  Apple is going to sell 115-175 million iPhones in September?  It's absurd on it's face.  If you read the "poll" you can see why.  First. it is by Pricegrabber.com, a online price search engine--mostly for tech items, not a reputable polling company.  Second, the results are based on people "who responded" not a statistically valid sample.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Pentile Display Revisited: Just as bad as before

A few people have been able to pick up a Motorola Photon which has a "qHD" pentile display (also on the Droid X and the upcoming Droid Bionic).  This side by side comparison with the HTC Evo clearly shows the visible pixelation despite the Photon's higher resolution.  Look at the glow around the star above and the texture on Mario's face below.  It should be perfectly smooth.  Motorola needs to drop the pentile screen quickly if it wants to compete.  The first thing people want is a good screen and using a pixelated one is not going to make them any sales.  In all fairness though, the Photon screen does have better contrast in the Mario picture.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beatweek Explains Android Success: Store salesman brainwash customers

Today Johnny Major of Beatweek informs us of the reason why people buy android devices:
  • Carriers have demonstrated undue influence over their customers when it comes to steering them away from the phone they came into the store to buy (read: iPhone), instead talking them into walking out of the store with something they know don’t really want (read: Android).
Why are carriers pushing users to buy Android phones?  Johnny doesn't say.  Probably because it is a tin foil hat conspiracy theory that makes no logical sense whatsoever.  There are a dozen other factual errors and misrepresentations in the article (i.e. the $100 Nexus S is a new model), but this was my favorite

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Moronic Beatweek Post of the Week: Only "geeks" criticize the iPhone.

Just a week after being expertly fisked by iDownloadblog on his ridiculous take on jail breaking, Bill Palmer of Beatweek is at it again with his Apple worshiping posts.  This post is dedicated to "geeks" which seem to be defined as anyone who criticizes the iPhone for any reason.  First he continues to deny the all-too-real iPhone antenna problem--which Apple tried to fix on the Verizon iPhone.  Then he disparages anyone as a "geek" who gets upset when iPhone all glass (not gorilla glass) surface is easily scratched.  That's right Bill, if you are upset at an aesthetic problem, you are a "geek."  Lastly, he actually has the gall to say, without irony, that anyone who has any "problem" with the iPhone is, you guessed it, a "geek."  Bill, anyone so obsessed with a gadget as you are with the iPhone is a geek.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Moronic Beatweek Apple Fanatics Post of the Week

There are many Apple fanboy sites on the internet, but none of them remotely hold a candle to the Apple worship of the editors of Beatweek.  Some of the stuff is so funny that I thought I would highlight some of their rantings and ravings every week.

  • In this post, Beatweek tells us how the new iOS5 features are horrible because they change the perfection that is iOS4.  These horrid additions include: a large screen, iMessenger, and horror of horrors LTE--which they rediculously contend has no build out at all.  Correct if you exclude every major city on the east coast, west coast, and midwest. They even have the gall to say that no one wanted the iPhone's notification system to change--an almost universally desired feature.  And god forbid you should want to take 30 seconds to jailbreak your iPhone for some great features like SBSettings, then you are a total geek. 

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A sidebar about Netflix

This week Netflix raised its rates significantly and pissed off a lot of customers, but most likely for good reason.  The cost of content continues to go up.  The big mistake they made was not increasing prices gradually.  No one wants to see a 60% price increase with no additional benefit, even if it is still the best deal in town.  Whoever made this decision for Netflix should be fired for the PR nightmare it has caused the company.  For me, it made me consider just how little I have been using my Netflix account.  I cancelled my blue-ray package and will probably cancel DVDs and use Redbox for new releases until I run out of new broadcast/cable content to watch. I have been streaming a lot of content to my iPad so I will keep the streaming account which is a good deal for $8 a month.  I will save $16 a month which is a lot more than I would spend on Rebox movies. 

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Motorolla Shooting itself in the foot with Pentile Matrix Displays

All of Motorola's new qHD displays use a pentile matrix (Atrix, Bionic, X2, Photon, Droid 3).  There are a few types of pentile matrix screens, but the bottom line is that each pixel is not aligned the same way and causes what a/v people would call screen door effect--a visible grid bwtween pixels.   Now, some people can't see the difference or are such Motorola fanboys that they refuse to admit they do.  To me it is night and day.  So why is Motorolla using them?  Well they are cheaper to make and use less battery and can be marketed as qHD (960x540), but it seems to me like they are cutting off their nose to spite their face and they are in almost every new Motorola phone.   I would never buy a phone with a pentile screen.  840x480 screens look better to my eyes.  So, for your own sake Motorola, cut your losses and use a real LCD screen.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Resolution will soon be a non-factor

I look forward to the day the resolution on phones and tablets become a non factor.  For me, resolution is a very important part of the experience as I really do not like looking at a pixelated screen.  It is rumored that the new Nexus phone from Google with be 1280x720.  For a screen of 4.3 inches or less, I don't see much need to go any higher.  Apple's next iPad 2 is a also rumored to have a 1535x 11.52 screen.  I think Android tablets will eventually go to 1080p.  Once we meet these levels then resolution becomes a non factor and we will probably only see the same ram, CPU, CPU cycle that we see in PCs today.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Android Games Crushed by iOS Games

Games are now the most downloaded type of mobile software.  Android has certainly come a long way in terms of gaming, but having had an iPad for 3 months, I can tell you there is no comparison in breadth and quality--not to mention price.  Here are just a few of the games, I have gotten for $.99.  Real Racing 2 HD, Madden 11, Fifa soccer, Mirror's edge, Nova 2, Scared Oddysey, Dungeon Hunter 2, Asphault 6, Gangstar: Miami Vindication HD, Eternal Legacy HD, and a few more.  These are all near console quality games for .99.  The few that are available for Android are much more expensive and not made for tablets yet.  To Gameloft's credit, they did being the first mobile MMO, Order and Chaos, to Android only a few months after the iOS version.

Tiered Data Comes to Verizon

The day of reckoning comes on Thursday as Verizon moves to tiered data.  Nice of them not to even give new customers a discount of $5 the way AT&T does, but that's what you have to pay to get Verizon's network.

I do have to applaud Verizon for grandfathering in all current data users with the unlimited plan and not forcing us to get one of the underwhelming LTE phones available now.  My wife was waiting to get an iPhone5 this fall to get a smartphone so I bought her a used Droid 1 with an unlimited data plan for now so she could get grandfathered in.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

I have gone over to the Dark side...well not completely

I purchased an iPad 2 for my wife and I a few weeks and I will let you guess who is using it more :)  I have fallen in love with Netflix, Flipboard, Zite, Splashtop and I can't say how good a WoW clone that Order and Chaos is.  iCab is a really nice browser as well.  I bought the Zaggmate keyboard case and it really makes the iPad feel like an iOS laptop when I need a keyboard.  The keys are small and take some getting used to, but after a while it is not big deal.

Wait a minute you say, what about customization and widgets?  I don't think they are as important as on a phone.  On a phone I want all my direct dials at my fingertips.  I  want to be able to glance down at my email, facebook, and twitter and weather widgets.  On an tablet.  I don't really need any of those things so the more polished iOS interface has fewer drawbacks than it does on an iPhone.  I also don't have the problem of reading the small iPhone screen.

All that said, the simplicity does annoy me at times.  Things that take one step on Android take three steps on the iPad.  This is not a big deal on the iPad, becuase I don't need to access things very quickly, but on a phone it would be down right annoying.  Perhaps a jailbroken iPhone with a 4" screen would tempt me, but as of now I could not see myself switching to an iPhone--especially with Order and Chaos coming out for Android soon :)

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear Verizon: Not Everyone Wants a 4.3" Screen

The iPhone's biggest problem in my mind is that it is one size fits all. So why are Android manufacturers all using huge 4.3" screens? It is like all new high end laptops having 17" screens. Lets review the upcoming Verizon phones. Thunderbolt 4.3" screen, Charge 4.3" screen, Revolution 4.3" screen, Bionic 4.3" screen. See the trend? 4.3" screens have an initial "wow factor," but they have some big drawbacks. Not everyone is comfortable holding such a large phone especially after you put a case on it making it even bigger. The larger screen reduces pixels per inch making it more pixelated than smaller screens. Larger screens also use more battery. Sure there are some 4" phones like the Incredible S, but it is using an outdated processor and has a 480p screen. What Verizon needs is a 4" phone with a dual core processor and a qHD screen (not a fake qHD pentile matrix screen like the Atrix). So lets not turn Android into Apple and give Android users some choice.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Amusing Apple Insider Screenshot

Here is an amusing screenshot of Apple fanboi site Apple Insider. Click the image to enlarge. Notice the three advertisements in red.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What Should My Next Phone Be?

I recently started a poll on the Phandroid Droid forum what phone people were going to upgrade to in the next six months. Here are the specs of my dream phone.

  • 4"-4.3" inch 960x540 super amoled+ screen.

  • Nvidia Tegra 2 or equivalent.

  • Glossy black finish (I know it is cliche, but I like it).

  • Battery size equivalent to Bionic.

  • LTE and Unlocked bootloader.

  • Made by Motorola or HTC7. Gingerbread or latest version of Android.

All of these specs are impossible as only Samsung phones have amoled screens. The Galaxy S2 meets most of these requirements except the last one of course, but won't be out on Verizon for a while (see my last post).

So I am stuck. Do I go for a Stealth (SCH-i510) and pass up dual core and risk Samsung's lack of upgrades? Do I go with the bionic and settle for an LCD screen that has not been getting great reviews despite the resolution bump and a locked bootloader? Do I wait for an HTC dual core phone and give up having a super amoled+ screen.

Fortunately I have a non-techie family member who has an upgrade in June. So if I get a phone in the next few months, I can always get another one and pass the old one along. Of course, then we have to get Verizon's tiered data plan.

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Samsung's new single core phone. Why?

Samsung will soon release the Stealth. It is a 4.3 inch super amoled phone. The screen looks terrific. Hopefully it will not have the problems with the GPS that the Galaxy S line had. My major problem with this phone, besides Samsung's reputation for not updating the OS on its Android phones, is that it is not dual core. Why would they release a single core phone with the Hummingbird processor that is almost a year old? Why not use the dual core chip in the Galaxy S2. The only thing I can think of is that Verizon is blocking the S2 so that it can sell Bionics first. It is a shame because a lot of potential Samsung sales will be lost.
Edit: Verizon is pulling the same stunt with the LG Revolution --a single core phone -- when it could be selling the dual core Optimus 2X and Optimus 3D.

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Nook Color: Best Bang for the Buck Android Tablet.

I am back after a long hiatus. Following up on my last post, not only is the Nook color down to $200 on ebay (new sold by B&N), but it is easily rooted and easily flashed with full froyo (or you can run it off an SD card). There is even an early build of Honeycomb for it. Head to head test show that it is even much faster than the Galaxy Tab. For anyone wanting an inexpensive basic android tablet, and don't need a dual core Honeycomb tablet, you can't beat the price.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Nook Color Could Have Been a Game Changer

So Barnes and Nobel just announced the Nook Color for $250. eInk fanatics are up in arms over the use of an LCD screen, but for Android Tablet users, this is a gift. The Nook Color is a full Android Tablet for $250. It does not have the app store, but I will count the minutes after the release until a hack is made available to install the app store. What do you end up with? A Galaxy Tab for half the price with a very nice Nook app. So to me, the Nook Color is a game changer for Android Tablets. If Barnes and Nobel isn't smart enough to advertise it as such. The Galaxy Tab would be dead in the water.
Sorry that I have not posted for a while. I have developed a new gadget obsession. Deciding between an entry level DSLR or a mirror-less DSLR equivalents such as micro 4/3 or mirror-less APS-C .

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blasphemy! What it would take to make me switch to the iPhone.

The Wall Street Journal recently announced that the iPhone will be coming to my carrier of choice, Verizon, in 2011. So, it got me thinking what it would take to get me to switch? I have written in the past on what I think the advantages of Android over the iPhone are, but only some of them are essential. Despite loving Android, I am not a "phanatic." I will switch to any system that meets my needs the best. I think the iPhone is a great piece of technology, but there are a few deal breakers for me. So without further adeu, here are the iPhone changes I would NEED to switch.

4" Screen. The iphone screen is just too small for a cutting edge phone. After looking at a Galaxy S, for me, a 4" is the perfect medium between the iphone and the massive 4.3" screen of the EVO and Droid X. Sadly, Apple's silly Retina Display marketing campaign has boxed it in from offering a larger screen without inscreasing the resolution.

Text reflow after pinch zoom. I spend more time browsing the web on my Droid than anything else. This is a huge deal breaker for me with the iPhone. If you want text to reflow on the iPhone you must double tap which reflows the text to the apple chosen font size. On a 3.5 inch high resolution screen, the text is just too small for me to read easily. This is Apple at it's control freak worst. I can't even choose the size text I want to read without having to constantly scroll side to side? Ridiculous! Apple needs to make double tapping after pinch zoom reflow the text like Android. Kinetic scrolling in the browser would be nice too.

Home Screen Customization. This is a core problem with iOS. My friends with iPhones were absolutely giddy when folders came out. That's like being ecstatic about being able to make shortcuts on your PC desktop. I realize that the iPhone is made to be idiot proof, but that doesn't mean people should not have the option to customize. People customize their Mac so this can't be an immutable decision for Apple products. When I turn on my Droid, my home screen has everything I need within a single touch. Weather widget, flashlight widget, mail count widget, direct dial shortcuts, most used apps, one touch directions to my house from anywhere. One swipe brings me to my Facebook, twitter, music, and calendar widgets. With launcher pro I have a dock with 15 shortcuts each with a "swipe up" action that acts as a secondary shortcut. For example, I have an icon on Launcher Pro dock bar that launches my browser, if I swipe up on that icon it opens my RSS reader; Swiping up on my camera icon opens my gallery, etc.. And these are just some of the dozens of customizations one can make with android. What can you do with the iPhone? Have 4 docked icons and then rows and rows of icons and folders. I don't want to have to open my contacts and scroll to find the person I call the most. I want to just do a single click on the direct dial shortcut. I realize that jail breaking allows much more customization (and I would definitely jailbreak), but it is not close to Android.

Here are a few things that I would really want, but are not deal breakers.
1. SD cards slot.
2. Micro USB
3. Removable battery

Android has many more advantages over the iOS, but iPhone is a much smoother experience than Android and has many more good apps. Without these three necessary changes, however, I could never see myself using an iPhone.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Verizon Possibly Removing Googe Market from Future Android Phones

Verizon is at it again. They are making their own Android app store under it's much maligned Vcast name and possibly removing Google Market. One article states that the google market will be downloadable. I just can't understand why Verizon is trying to anger its customers. I guess they feel that they can do whatever they want and customers won't leave because of the network.
Here is a more positive spin from Phandroid. Commenters, however, make some good points. Even if Vcast is complimentary to the google market, can you take your Vcast apps with you to another carrier? Probably not. What happens when Verizon starts signing exclusive deals with app makers for popular apps and forces you to buy them on Vcast. Will other carriers follow suit with exclusive app deals?

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Verizon Reverts to the Bad Old Days

I am stunned to learn that Verizon has replaced Goolge with Bing as the search engine on the Samsung Fascinate. While you can get google maps and GPS from the market all search including voice search can only be done through Bing. Bing on a Android phone as the only search option??? Only Verizon could stoop so low. It's a return to the days when Verizon would charge you 25 cents to eamil a photo from your phone (the only way to get a photo off the phone). Just to throw salt in the wound, they defaulted all Navigation functions to their paid service VZ navigator. I understand that it can be reset to google by going through lots of settings. This is just absurd. Hopefully the backlash will be enough that they don't try this BS again.

Update: Apparantly, Launcher Pro and ADW Launcher (you should be using one of these anyway) put the google search widget back. Not sure how this effects the rest of the Bing integration.

Update 2: According to users on the Fascinate Forum at Phandroid, Bing only uses the widget and the single tap search button. Voice search still uses google. When the Fascinate gets 2.2, users can download the google search widget. So in the end the only affect will be on the haptic search button using Bing (not long press voice search). Not a big deal for me as I never use it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Most Amusing iPhone Fanboy Alive?

The editor of the website Beat Week is by far the most religious Apple fanboy I have ever read--which makes him very amusing as well. Last we saw our esteemed Knight of the iPhone Order, he was orgasmic over bogus Android statistics that later proved to be false, and espousing antenna-gate "truther" theories.

Now, I usually ignore fanboys; they are harmless if a bit repetitive in everything they say--same for Android "phanboys." On the other hand, you have truly hilarious religious Apple fanboys who create conspiracy theories out of anything they perceive as could help or hurt their savior, the iPhone.

The premise of his argument this time is that the Droid 2 was released so close to the Droid X because of fear of the allegedly upcoming Verizon iPhone.

It starts with faulty logic:

But it does beg the question of how much faith Verizon has in the Droid platform overall – or ever did – if it’s pushing models to market left and right with a ridiculously confusing naming convention (How does 2 come after X, anyway? Stick with either letters or numbers, not both.

Did you get that? Verizon, who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars advertising the Droid brand, has little faith in it. Why? Well, because it apparently will abandon it when the magical iPhone graces its stores; and like the messiah, will convert heathen Android users to the one-true-phone. I wont even get into his amusing statement that "2" should not come after "X" because one is a letter and one is a number.

Then, the conspiracy theory:

it is becoming more clear by the day that the Android’s supposed “massive success” as a platform has in fact been massively overblown by the geek tech journalists who want the Droid to succeed to badly.

See, no one is actually buying Android phones. It is just a conspiracy by "tech geek" journalists to discredit one-true-phone and support the blasphemous Android with "the rooting, " and " the custom ROM." And Don't even think about defiling the iPhone with jail breaking.

Then we have "the truth" that the blasphemers don't want you know:

In the real world, not a day goes by that we don’t hear from at least one longtime Verizon customer who’s wanted an iPhone all along.

He continues that no one on Verizon really wants an Android phone, they are just suffering with cheap imitations for now until the one-true-phone can come to Verizon.

After the faulty logic, the conspiracy theory, and "the truth," we finally get back to the issue of the timing of the Droid 2 release. First we find out that the reason it is so stupid to do so is:

the Droid X and Droid 2 are having to split the free word-of-mouth publicity that comes early in a product’s rollout. In other words, there’s a reason why Apple rolls out its new iPhones at one time of year and its new iPods in a different season.

See, it is impossible to have two products that appeal to different audiences at once in the market. Apple knows better, knows the "obvious fact" that you can never do this and succeed. It's just an anomaly that car, television, computer, and video card makers have done this for decades. Don't they know the unique genius that is iPhone? Why haven't the iPhone marketers told this to the MacBook marketers. Releasing two different versions of the MacBook at the same time? Blasphemy!

Drum roll please. The Conclusion

Verizon isn’t that stupid as to push out two Droids in such rapid succession because it simple didn’t know better, is it? The more logical conclusion is that Verizon knows that its Droid phones will only ever sell to hardcore geeks once the iPhone is also available on Verizon, and since the carrier already invested in developing both the Droid X and Droid 2, it figures it might as well push them both out there now, while the Droid still has a chance to actually sell well outside the geekdom

In the religious fanboy mind, there can only be one possible explanation. That the iPhone is coming and Android will soon fall before its wrath purging Android from all but its most die hard geek adherents. Verizon needs to move quickly before all is lost.

But what if this isn't the reason? Well there can only be one possible conclusion:

If Verizon doesn’t expect to be offering a Verizon iPhone sooner than later, the only other interpretation of the near-simultaneous Droid 2 and Droid X rollouts is that Verizon simply has no marketing acumen of any kind.

There you have it!

Let me conclude with some reasoning of my own. Because Oscam's razor makes short cuts, I will say it in a few sentences and not seven paragraphs. The answer is neatly summed up in one work "Keyboard." There is a certain segment of Android users the like a physical keyboard and certain ones that don't (I was the former and am now the latter). It's as simple as that. A minor refresh of Verizon's only good Android phone with a keyboard to compliment the Droid X. Combine those with people who feel the Droid X is too big and you have very separate user bases. If there has been any release date shuffling recently, it was the late release of the, in my opinion superior, Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S)--which was released late on Verizon so as not to cannibalize Droid X sales.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Samsung TGalaxy Tab Official Announcement: the good and the Bad

Well, the Samsung Tab is out and I am somewhat disappointed.
  • First the good news. It seems to have the same high end CPU/GPU combination as the Galaxy Phones, it has both a front and rear facing camera, it has near 4G speeds as it is HSDPA compatible, it weighs .84 lbs--about half of an iPad 3G. It also has some really nice Samsung built apps that really exploit the larger size screen. Engadget has a really nice preview and video of them here. Let's hope developers make some great tablet specific apps.

  • The worst thing for Android phone users is that it will require a data plan. All rooted android phones have free wifi tether so this is a total waste of money.

  • At least for now, the phone will not be offered on Verizon--the carrier with the best coverage on the East coast-- for those who want a data plan.

  • Samsung is going for a "phone model" in which it will mostly use "compatible phone apps" and not apps redesigned for higher resolution (although Samsung says most will scale properly) nor to take advantage of the screen space. As I said above, however, Samsung will include some of its own really nice proprietary apps.

  • At this point I would rather have a wifi iPad so I don't have to pay $30 a month for redundant data, but the iPad is too big for my needs so it looks like I am going to have to wait for my ultimate Android Tablet--I will probably wait until the next version of the Android OS comes out with full tablet support as well as a 1280x720 screen.

Hopefully we will see some great Android tablets with wifi only in the future and some groundswell toward custom Tablet apps or at the very least apps with a higher native resolution.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Two New Tablets with 1024x600 Resolution

Seems I was right that the first generation of Android tablets is going to standardize around 1024x600. Archos and Hannspree (who makes some great monitors) just announced new tablets at that resolution. The 10.1" Archos has HDMI out and a font facing camera for just $300. You can read my opinion on the subject of resolution here.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Native Android Tablet Apps?

I noticed that we are starting to see the expected "iPad fighter" articles regarding the new Galaxy Tab. I like the form factor of the Tab. A seven inch screen, to me, strikes the right balance between portability and larger-than-phone screens. In my experience, the iPad is just too big and heavy for me to hold for more than a few minutes. That said, developers are cranking out iPad versions of apps and are taking advantage of the new real estate instead of just copying their iPhone apps. I think this is going to be a problem for early Android Tablet adopters. I haven't heard anything about Android developers re-creating their apps for Tablets--let alone specifically for 1024x600 screens. This means that early android adopters-- outside of built-in apps--are going to be running mostly phone apps that either won't use the full screen or will be very pixelated with small buttons. I hope I am wrong and that we see tablet specific apps for Android, but until we can get a definite standard resolution, I think they will be few and far between.

Monday, August 30, 2010

1024x600: The new Android tablet standard resolution?

The specs for new Toshiba 10" Android tablet, the Folio just leaked and the resolution is 1024 x 600(the name is a bit unfortunate). This is good and bad news. The good news is that this is the same resolution as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and, therefore, a standard resolution for Android tablets could be emerging. This resolution also has the advantage of being about 1.2x the lines of resolution of most new Android phones for easy scaling of applications. The bad news is that this resolution, especially for 10" tablets, is a little low. The iPad at 1024x768 is a little pixelated for my taste and these tablets come in short of that. You can read my recommendations for a standard Android tablet resolution here. Hopefully the second generation of Android Tablets will have a higher resolution.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Random Android Thoughts

Here are a few things about Android that I have been wondering about.

1. Android 3.0 Leaks. Where are they?
  • Why haven't there been any Android 3.0 "Gingerbread" leaks. Android's new OS is due by the end of the year, but we know next to nothing about it. I can't remember the last time there were no leaks of information about a major product that was due in a few months. Google is certainly keeping this one close to the vest.

2. Android resolution scaling.

  • I mentioned in my post below that I am worried about resolution fragmentation in the Android tablet market. But, why is it so difficult to write programs that have different resolutions. It is a given that any Windows program will run in a dozen resolutions. Why is this so difficult in Android?

3. Mobile Digital Television Tuners.

  • When will we see the first mobile digital television receivers built into an Android phone? This will be a huge advantage for Android as I do not see Jobs throwing this into an iPhone.

4. Snap-on Game Controllers.

  • For Droid 1 users (and now others), the Game Gripper, which turns your keyboard into a Nintendo-like controller, is a good alternative. But, when will we see Android phones that snap into game controllers (to look like a PSP). Frankly, touch screen controlls on most action oriented games suck--they are inaccurate and your fingers are covering part of the screen. We know that Sony is building a controller into an upcoming Android phone, but why not make accessory controllers that phones snap into? This would make playing android games a much better experience and give Android another leg up on the iPhone.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Gameloft Business Model Controversy

Gameloft, knockoff king, and creator of some of the best games for the iPhone and Android has decided to sell it's Android games (except Asphalt 5 for some reason) directly through it's website because of how easy it is to bootleg Android apps. I don't blame them as they are a business and out to make money. My major gripe with them is that if you have to do a system reset, want to install a new ROM, or switch phones, you can not re-download the games after six months. I bought Dungeon Hunter (Diablo clone) and will not be able to play it on my next phone unless I want to pay for it again(it's replay value is low though). Even before six months, you have to contact customer service to get a new download link, which is not difficult, but a bit of a pain. Many customer have also had problems downloading the games after paying for them.

Recently Gameloft has decided to offer demos of it's games free. For example, you get two holes of Let's Golf (Hot shots Golf Clone), and a short level of Nova (Halo Clone). It is certainly nice to be able to try out the games first. Personally, I think this is great and Gameloft is trying to find a compromise with its customers. Not content to get FREE demos commenters at Phandroid still have to complain. Hopefully, after the new Android market copy protection is up and running we will see Gameloft games in the market and this issue will be moot.

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