Tag Archives: iPhone

Why I’ve lost faith in Android as a platform

This is a blog post a long time coming as over the last month I have struggled with my Android phone. I am going to start off saying if your just going to respond with “Just click X,Y, and Z and your issue is solved” at this point then stop reading now cause my whole argument is going to be ignored by you.

I had an Android phone for about 9 months. Over the course of those 9 months I spent all 9 of them trying to make my phone something better. I was using a Samsung Fascinate which is by no means a weak phone or in any ways should be a problem. The Galaxy S was the top line from Samsung who is not a bad phone manufacturer. Actually the hardware is great the phone has survived many drops with no signs of damage the thing that truely cripples the phone is it’s OS.

When I first got my Fascinate my first thought was “yay I can tweak the hell out of this thing” at the start. I spent a few weeks trying to use the default of this “amazing OS” I even tried all the different launchers and none of them fixed the fundamental flaw that was created by the buggyness and slowness of the OS provided by Samsung. So I started my journey of playing with ROM’s constantly on this phone. Now all I can say is that this lead to a phone only slightly more usable then before with just as many bugs. Even after Samsung finally got Froyo on the phone (6 months after promised) we merely got more bugs. Now this could be both Samsung’s and Verizon’s fault who knows which caused more bugs. Verizon’s attempts to replace Google with Bing couldn’t have made it any more stable.

Now all of this trouble comes from the fact that Android is too open. It doesn’t matter if your OS is really good if 90% of the users are given phones that slowly get buggier over time. We like to think of technology as advancing but Android devices I have used seem to only get more bugs as more versions of software is release look at the Droid X for even more examples. This is the key failing of the Android platform. People said there was going to be no consitancy to Android well I can tell you there is one constant  it’s that phone makes can keep making bad phones that will just confuse normal users. I don’t care if you can fix it by restarting or pressing a key combo or turning off the defaulted to on GPS. None of these matter as normal users should never have to deal with this stuff. Fine it will work for tweakers and you guys can have your phones but there is no need for tweaker phones to be forced on the population as a really usable phone. I think Android as a platform is in a race to the bottom of devices. In an attempt to make devices cheaper and cheaper the quality goes out the window. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure the Nexus phones will be good for techies and the Kindle Fire will be perfect for normal users but neither of those will be the majority of devices.

Now most readers will probably ask, “Well then what platform do you have faith in?” The saddest thing is I actually have to say there are two platforms that have it right. Windows Phone and iPhone. Yep Windows Phone . It’s not only more usable but as a user its less confusing. Instead of allowing you to bite yourself with 50 apps in the background Microsoft has seen what Apple did. Sure you can use your one app and the rest can run but in limited states to prevent the slowdown and freezing that became normal on my android. At the end I was rebooting almost daily wait no that wasn’t even me it would reboot ON ITS OWN!  I think Microsoft will win the race to the bottom as they have a more intuative and simple user interface will most likely hit the right price points.

So there is my outlook. Windows Phone and iPhone on top with Android stuck with Blackberry in nitch markets. Sure the Android phones will have the latest tech but seriously does anyone really need NFC at this point? Or even LTE? Yay, I get instant downloads oh wait I need to plug in again. Apple and Microsoft are both smart about technology these days and know its worth waiting till its been proven. This will be the key to their success just watch!


Has Apple’s Deal with AT&T saved us all?

Now I know this sounds completely out there. Few people think AT&T offer good service these days. Personally I don’t care about AT&T to much cause I live somewhere they don’t even cover. But lets put that all behind us as that is not what I want to look at today.

A few years ago Apple announced a minor mobile device known as the iPhone. They announced it on AT&T exclusive and everyone has complained about this for the last few years. Now how about we look back to that time and contemplate a different chain of events. What could have happend if Verizon had gotten exclusivity of the iPhone instead of AT&T? Well many times it has been reported about how much AT&T has gained in subscribers thanks to the iPhone. What if AT&T had never got these gains? Would we see these two huge companies AT&T and Verizon dooking it out on the airwaves to get our money? I have this odd feeling had Verizon gotten the iPhone deal we would be seeing once again the monopoly of one phone service. If we go back to when the deal was struck AT&T was not in the position it was not. Sure it was one of hte bigger cell phone companies but it really didnt rivel Verizon at the time. Verizon was king. Now look we got two giants fighting it out!

Now fast forward to this week. We hear that AT&T now has exclusivity on the iPad. What does that really mean though? The iPad is unlocked GSM and uses a micro-sim sure it doesn’t support T-Mobiles band of the wireless spectrum but that doesn’t matter as much as the bigger news. Apple has managed to force AT&T to not only get a lower data rate but also make it not require a contract. Do you think Verizon would have accepted that? Not right now but in a year when the next version of the iPad comes out how much do you want to bet there will be a 4G version which will support all the LTE carriers? What will that mean? Well dataplans will actually have to compete with each other instead of over who has what device.

So what is the moral of this? Well Apple has managed to do something the FCC has failed at doing. They have prevented a Verizon monopoly and actually forced a move into more reasonable rates for Data Plans. But hey lets just ignore that progress and just complain that AT&T. Sure they don’t have 3G anywhere but I can tell you Verizon 3G is nothing to write home about when it comes to actual speed.

iPhone OS 3.0 finally what it should have been from the start

Sadly those of us who have thought of the iPhone as a silly piece of junk Apple has finally announced some of what will be in the iPhone OS 3.0 release. These include features that many think should have been in the phone form the start. I am going to look at the list by going through the mac rumors article on it.

The first feature that is brought up is In-App purchasing this promises to allow applications to sell their own content within the app. This sounds like a good feature the only question is does this allow Amazon’s MP3 store? I doubt it. I think the key thing here is an attempt to steal some market form the Kindle 2 when it comes to ebooks.

Next, “Peer-to-Peer Connectivity” so now you can connect with other iPhones near you using the same app. I guess to me this is a rather silly feature I am sure this will help gaming on the iPhone quite a bit.

Another addition is that there are now apps for 3rd party accessories. This is a interesting addition and Apple most likely throwing a bone to their partners. Overall this could bring some more interesting apps to the iPhone as though there are not enough already.

Push notification should be useful when it gets added to apps but it sounds also like a security risk as you have more data on 3rd party servers.

Turn by turn will be a nice new feature but will it be built in or will you need a expensive add-on app or will AT&T get to charge you a subscription for it like most other wireless providers?

All I can say about copy and paste is WHAT TOOK SO LONG. I also wonder if it will work right since supposedly it was so hard to add.

Landscape keyboard… why is this a feature? It should have been in the first version of the iPhone!

MMS another feature that should have been on the first generation of the iPhone and somehow took till the 3rd version of the OS for it to get added.

Voice memos is another one of those things I am sure Apple will try saying is cool and new even though most MP3 players provide this (expect Apples of course) so it is another “took you long enough” feature.

Spotlight search who knows if it will actually be useful it would be better if it was voice search and then might actually be useful as I thought most people avoided having to use the iPhone keyboard as much as possible.

Last is support for stereo Bluetooth headsets… not really anything too useful as I don’t know who uses stereo headsets with their phone.

Overall interesting announcement. I have to say the iPhone may finally be useful the only problem still is the fact that the platforms is still too closed. Hopefully when this is actually released they will also announce the iPhone being on other wireless carriers.


Will Microsofts app store be better?

Microsoft has announced some specifics for its app store. And surprisingly it sounds like what a real app store should be. First off you have to pay to place your apps in the store. This is a no brainer and will prevent Microsoft from having to sift through as much crap. Of course at the same time if your a student you can sell for free if you are signed up for dreamspark (If you are a CS major and aren’t you are a fool). This means that those who don’t want to foot the $99 bill will not even both to waste Microsoft’s time. This should hold back the huge numbers that Apple has been having problems with for applications submitted to the app store. Microsoft is also only keeping 30% like Apple this is a good deal for developers as they get quite a good margin. The killer though is the fact that Microsoft is promising actually USEFUL feedback if your application fails to be accepted. Yeah take that Apple some companies will actually tell you why your application is not going to be allowed into their apps store. Of course this mostly why it will cost $99 to submit an app but I should at this point also point out that you get to submit 5 apps a year for $99 making it a pretty good deal actually. Overall I think Microsoft’s marketplace will surely be better off then Apples app store if nothing else we wont have to see as many stupid apps like iFart.


Apple losing control of the iPhone?

Apple is claiming its illegal to jailbreak your iPhone and now Cydia has opened the first unofficial iPhone App Store. My question, is this legal Apple? I have a feeling Apple will try suing Cydia at some time in the near future even though the market for the unofficial app is of an unknown size it means Apple has lost control of the iPhone platform. Yes, only 1% of iPhone users might  jailbreak it (though Cydia claims at least 1.6 million have) but this means that Apple no longer has full control and Apple doesn’t like that. This should have some interesting fallout as Apple seems to be slowly losing control of their products these days with Pystar and iPhones being jail broken.


Amazon releases Kindle app for iPhone

Amazon has released a Kindle application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This will allow people access to the Amazon library from their iPhone and iPod Touch expanding the kindle library to a much larger amount of users. At the same time this si kind of problematic if you do not support drm with ebooks. The problem is also with the fact that this will further expanding Amazons messed up format that is based off the mobi format. Personally I am hoping that Amazon starts releasing  books in epub format soon I really do not care if there is drm or not but come on Amazon support what is considered the standard for ebooks. So in the end a good move for iPhone and iPod Touch users but rather disappointing when it comes drm and format support.