Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

I know, late to the game. But I loved the graphic and had to share. Boo Apple. Yay Google!

So, I recently upgraded from a crappy netbook and 2-year-old (read: ancient & completely defunct) Blackberry Curve to an iPad and HTC Droid Incredible.
While I love the iPad for what it is, I don’t think I need to delve into its shortcomings. Suffice it to say that this gorgeous, sleek, fun device, lacks Adobe/Flash support, is sans USB, and cannot multitask. Three. Serious. Failings. Which is why the Android-Running, Flash Supporting, Multitasking
Google Tablet, rumored to debut around holiday season, will dominate in functionality, if not aesthetics, as is usually the case with when comparing Google and Apple products.

But like I said, I do love the iPad for what it is – but IMO – if you’re going to shell out the cash for a tablet PC, you want something utilitarian, not pretty.

Anyway, I’m not here today to rant, I’m here to give you a breakdown of my experience with the HTC Incredible. As with the iPad, I don’t need to go into the technical specs, you can get that here, or on countless other sites.

Front View

Rear View

To start, I’m in love with this phone. It destroys all other phones in speed and sleekness, image and video quality, and sheer processing power. The 8 Megapixel camera w/flash is enough to send shockwaves through the photo industry; much like the free turn-by-turn, Google Maps navigation sent the GPS industry into collective shock and drove their stock in the same direction as the chills that ran through the executives’ spines.

Similar to the iPad vs Google Tablet debate – the HTC Incredible multitasks with ease – so you can listen to Pandora while pulling links and articles from your twitter feed and emailing them to coworkers.

The only qualm I have with the phone – and an issue shared by iPhone users as well, is the battery power, or lack thereof. All the amazing things this phone can do are worth nothing if the battery lasts only 3 hours.

And until Piezoelectric phones can be charged by harnessing the energy from our footsteps and movement, like the one Nokia recently patented, there are only 2 ways to effectively circumvent the battery drain problem:

1. Buy a second charger to keep with you at all times. Or
2. Use a combination of apps to intelligently manage the programs you’re running at any given time to maximize battery life and keep your phones memory as free as possible.

Since apps are free (these ones anyway) and a charger is not, I’ll show you how I do it.

I use the combined power of two applications – a Task Manager and VizBattery. There are a bunch of free task managing apps that all do pretty much the same thing. Personally, I use the Rhythm Software Task Manager – it allows you to manually kill any application or program that’s draining battery and memory, you can add apps to an auto-kill list, you can even put apps on an ignore list so it doesn’t terminate them. Best of all, the app also function as a widget kills all running apps with one click. All in all, I think this one application has doubled (or at least it feels that way) the battery life.

The other app isn’t as necessary, but it does give you a breakdown of which programs you’re running are draining what percentage of your battery, a nice little knowledge nugget that can be useful for proactive management.

Give it a try – let me know if you find any other ways to help extend power and memory.

Battery Widget

I know I said that was my only qualm, but I do have one other issue. In a surprisingly Microsoft-esque move, there are certain native apps that drain battery and memory that cannot be removed. Peep, Footprints, City ID, and Friend Stream are all garbage programs that cannot be uninstalled (I haven’t figured out how yet, anyway), so I have a trip to the Verizon store in the near future to give them a piece of my mind and demand they get this crap off my phone.

Now, back to the good parts – here’s a list of my favorite applications – all free and available at your nearest Android Market (I’m not going to include the ones I’ve already discussed):

Pandora (Music)

Bump-It (Allows file exchange between droids by bumping your phones together)

Fetch It (If you misplace your phone and it’s on silent, this app lets you remotely turn up the volume so you can call it to find it by tracking the ring)

Twitter (The Official App – I don’t use it that much, but it’s useful for syncing contacts or when you want to tweet out an article you’re reading)
Twidroid (My favorite twitter application, but Seesmic’s is also amazing) Tech Time

Mashable (For all your social media news)

Tech Time (Amazing app that aggregates GigaOm, TechCrunch, Mashable, Engaget, Gizmodo, ReadWriteWeb and more. Has sharing and commenting built in)

Mablio Ringtones (One stop shop for all your favorite songs)

Foursquare (No explanation necessary…I hope)

Facebook (Ditto)

Google Goggles (Google It or check out this Mashable article)

Shape Writer(Have you seen the Swype Texting functionality on the Samsung Omnia? Well, it’s in Beta for android, but until it’s released this App brings swipe text to Droids – I absolutely love it. If you text and email from your phone a lot, as I do, this will triple your touch-screen typing speed)

Barcode Scanner (Self-Explanatory)

TV.com (Brought to you by the eponymous website under the auspices of CBS – you can access free TV shows – some in their entirety, some in clips – from CBS, Showtime, CNET, and other properties. You can even watch complete episodes of Star Trek The Original Series, if you were so inclined

Layars (Augmented Reality Application – again, here’s the latest from TechCrunch and Mashable)

And Finally –

App Remover – for some reason, the native method for uninstalling programs is a click-heavy and roundabout process. No longer so with App Remover.

Enjoy and Let Me Know If You Have Any Feedback or Thoughts from Your HTC Incredible Experience

Namaste & Merry Friday

I won’t go into all the ramifications of Facebook’s new social plugins and bid to dominate the interwebs. You can check out the Carrot Creative Blog for a nice little “what it means for you” recap, along with Mashable’s constant, sometimes in depth/sometimes superficial, coverage of the new tools and announcements, as well.

What I’ve noticed is that the tech battles that are currently brewing transcend industry or product. To name a few:

Facebook  vs Twitter vs Foursquare

Facebook vs Google

Google vs Apple

Google vs Microsoft & Yahoo

My question, as such, is – if you were to relegate control of you entire online behavior and identity to one of these dominant entities, which would it be? Which brand engenders trust? Functionality? Personality?

We may not have to actively make this decision in the near future, but we are passively acknowledging its growing preeminence it every time we go online. Sooner or later – and probably sooner, Facebook’s open social graph will collide head on with Google’s open ID, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple launched an alternative – anti-culture – subversive  – nonconformist version of the concept: One ID to rule them all. Add to that the truly independent competition – the open source Wikipedia/Firefox-ish rival.

In fact, it may – and probably will – boil down to what browser you use as your portal to the digiverse – Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or the inevitable Facebook Browser that will be the culmination of their efforts to connect the web and infuse Facebook’s presence in every online destination.

So – I ask again – if you had to turn over near-complete control of your online activities to one of these brands – insofar as they will manage you – your email, social activities, functions and features, web browsing, shopping the advertisements you receive, your financial information, etc… to provide a seamless, integrated and unified experience – Who would you trust? Who would you prefer as your Internet partner-in-crime-and-everything-else? I know I trust Google to develop functional tools, I trust Facebook exploits my personal information to create a more socially enhanced experience – even if it is at the cost of my privacy. I trust Apple do design innovative and aesthetically pleasing “things” that boast superior user experience and interface, but may lack in the features/functionality department (Can someone say MULTITASKING?)

Anyway…PLEASE weigh in here and in the comments. Thanks!

Courtesy of eGuiders, this is just the latest in a growing serious of Videos and Websites Spoofing Apple’s Mac,  iPod, iPhone, & App Commercials…

Another you might want to take a look at is App For That.

The Apple Marketing/Advertising Campaigns were so recently beloved…They were quirky, innovative, humourous, edgy (in their direct assault of the competition), and they were fun…

My Question is…Have they gotten stale? The same way a song can be overplayed on the radio or how all the popular songs released by some artists all kinda sound the same and blend together…

IMHO this is happening to Apple’s campaign…Yes, sometimes this type of parody is really a testement to the success of the endeavor…It was, and still is, but it’s getting old. Aren’t we all getting sick of the annoyingly upbeat and bouncy music that somehow mainstreams after a serious commerical blitz (See: Yael Naim: New Soul). Aren’t we tired of Justin Long’s tireless I’m a Mac Attacks on the Poor PC Shlub?

Is it time for Apple to take a new approach? I Think So…and think that the neverending parodying of Mac/iPhone ads has evolved from “Playful Spoofing” to – “Enough Already…We Get It…Give Us Something New”

Which Begs The Question – What is the shelf life for today’s commerical advertising campaigns? How many times can we see the same commercial, whether exactly identical or simply stylisticly similar, before it loses it’s effect…before it has the opposite effect and begins to turn us off…before we begin to see through the marketing propoganda and say things like “Justin Long Doesn’t Really  Give A Shit What Computer We Buy” and “They’re Just Playing This Upbeat Music So We Associate It With Their Product.” Not That these were secrets to begin with, but after a certain amount of repetition…that’s all we see…and just like an overplayed song, even the best, most well designed and excecuted ad campaigns become sickening…

And then there are the commercials like this INCREDIBLY ANNOYING IO Digital Cable/Optimum Triple Play spot:

To Which I Ask: How Did This Ever Make It Onto TV? What Idiot Focus Group Gave The Execs At Optimum The Idea That This Would Be At All Successful? We Have a Standing Policy in Our Apartment to Mute or Change the Channel Whenever This Commerical Appears…In Fact, We’ve Even Called and Complained About It…to no avail, of course. Yet…Somehow…It’s Still Airing…Can Someone Enlighten Me PLEASE?

But Back to the topic at hand…in this age of ADDesque attention spans that have paved the way for Tivo/DVR & Platforms like Twitter…How Many Times Can A Commerical Air Before It Loses Its Potency? Do Advertisers Need To Rethink Their Strategy…? Would We Be Any Less Sick Of Apple If They’d Diversified The Style Of Their Commericals & Ads…?

Please! Let Me Know What You Think! Share Your Thoughts! My Blog is Your Blog!