Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Smart. Phone.

not my iphone ... yet
I hate my iPhone 3G, I absolutely hate it. There was a point in time when this wasn't the case. Two years ago when I first got the phone it was still pretty decent, in fact it remained pretty decent up until the OS4 update. At that point Apple basically decided that they no longer cared to support the 3G and 3GS and launched an update that was great for the iPhone 4, but caused the older phones to chug like an old Ford Model T. They released an update shortly after that alleviated some of the problems, but unless you had a 3GS, you weren't going to feel it. My phone instantly became a paper weight with minimal computing power. Opening most apps (even the phone settings) took forever, often long enough to make the process time-out on the first try. Forget about anything net related, I was going to have to wait extra long for those apps to work. My phone, which had once been quite adequate, was now a thorn in my side. It was obvious I needed an upgrade, but what to upgrade to?

Existentially speaking I am not a Mac, I'm a PC. I'm what some might call a power user. I build my own computers, I tweak settings, I like knowing what's going on and how to fix it. Apple doesn't want you to have to think about any of these things and they make you pay for the privilege. As my first smartphone, the iPhone was the right choice at the time, but the Android OS and phones have come a long way since then; enter the Samsung Galaxy S2. For all intents and purposes this phone took Europe by storm this past spring. If there was a phone that could rival Apple's best efforts, this was it. There was only one problem,  no one knew when it was coming to the US. Regardless, I knew this was the phone I wanted to upgrade to and I was willing to wait. Rumor-filled months passed and the Galaxy S2 was always just around the corner until finally in September it launched for Sprint, with the AT&T released rumored to be right around the corner. A couple weeks later a date was finally announced: October 2nd. If my iPhone could sweat, it would have been drenched, its days were numbered.

The morning of October 2nd comes and I head over to the AT&T store when they open at noon. Immediately I ask about the Galaxy S2.

"The Galaxy S2 isn't available in the South region yet. We don't expect it to be available till the end of the quarter."

The end of the quarter? Really? The quarter that just started? I realize that large swaths of the South might not be what us New England ex-pats might consider to be tech savvy and thus not as interested in an iPhone killing smartphone, but can't we at least make an exception for Austin, the Northeast of the deep south?

The answer (by the way) is apparently no, but you can order the Galaxy S2 online. Given the alternative of waiting until the end of the quarter, waiting for shipping on an online order doesn't seem so bad. Let me just fire up the old PC here and see what we can see. Oh well this looks easy, there's a link to upgrade my phone. Oh and the S2 is one of the options, perfect.

Type type ... Click click

What's that? You need my work email in order to carry over my discount? No problem.

Type type ... Click click

Wait ... the next step is to click on the link in the email you sent me and verify the address? The email you sent to my work address? The work address I won't be able to check until I go in to work tomorrow? Well then ...

So now I can't complete the order for my new phone until tomorrow and I still don't know how long it will take to get here once I do. Whatever it is, it will be quicker than THE END OF THE QUARTER! I just can't win. Curse you Steve Jobs, you've won again! Seriously though, this whole experience with the Galaxy S2 launching in the US has been absurd and I guarantee you that when the iPhone 5 is released, they won't be telling people "The iPhone 5 isn't available in the South region yet." There's a lesson here:

AT&T hates you if you're not Apple. And Apple sucks, except when they don't. And the South ... you're on notice ...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can Apple Maintain the iPod's Relevance?

CNN - Can Apple Maintain the iPod's Relevance?

I certainly hope so. I realize I'm not the core demographic, but the iPod allows me to carry my entire music collection with me at all times and easily play it almost anywhere. As someone who's music collection nearly fills an 80gb iPod it would be a real pain to have to downgrade to something smaller like my iPhone. Once again, I know I'm in the minority, but the whole reason to own a device that large for me is so I can listen to anything on a whim. What's the point of owning a vast music collection in the digital age if you can't immediately access it in it's entirety when every you want? As it is, I'm getting the point where I need to upgrade to a bigger iPod (if such a thing exists) or start picking and choosing what I carry with me. The problem with that is of course if I'm driving down the road some night and get the urge to listen to Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You" (because who hasn't?) and were I to fill my iPod based on what I'm likely to listen to, this might not be on there simply because I've probably only listened to it three times in the last 10 years.

Culling down to a smaller device just isn't worth it for me and the idea of an Apple run cloud vault of my own music terrifies me. On the the one hand, I'm still sore from the days of Apple's strict adherence to DRM and an Apple run cloud sounds like another way to regulate how I can and can't use the music I own. The other problem is connectivity. I want to access my music on the road, wherever that may be and at the best quality possible. If the future means downloading my music from a cloud server I'm picturing poor streaming quality, drop outs, and (for those who use AT&T) giant gaps in coverage.

I'm a dinosaur, I know. I just hope that myself and people like me are a large enough niche for someone to continue to cater to. Not everyone is satisfied with carrying around only 100 or so tracks at a time. Some of us want more variety and choice than that.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This is pretty wild:

Personally I don't buy the projection image, I think that's ultimately too clumsy an interface to be effective, requiring both the projector and the surface to remain more or less still. If one were to combine this idea with existing and upcoming "Smart Clothing" technology however I can see this working quite well. Just going off the iPod interface they show one can imagine a jacket that has both a Skinput sensor in it as well as a Smart Clothing led interface, thus providing both sensory and visual input to the user that could ultimately vary based on the device currently connected. Combine this type of skin based interface with existing computers or Microsoft Surface-like technology and you end up with a gesture and touch based interface similar to what's seen in the film The Minority Report. Interesting stuff.