Tag Archives: iphone

iPhone 5 is below expectations?

iPhone 5 is out & apparently it is not good at all.

All over you can hear the collective moans that it failed to impress. Frankly,the only bad job Apple did was the with regard to the secrecy. If you follow tech news, pretty much everything was known beforehand. So much for ‘doubling down’ on leaks, it was like a water fountain show out there.

The primary disappointment is with regard to design. It isn’t ‘new’. Well it is a phone, what do you expect? A diamond shape? Transparent display? Flexible phone? If you did, you are in the wrong era. You dont go to a Ferrari showroom expecting to see a Prius inspired design, do you? Yes it looks similar but it still is a stunner.

It is thinner & thinner throughout, no unseemly bulges to make room for camera lens, more battery. And this is the amazing engineering: they have crammed SO much into a device so compact! When you have 4.5+ inch devices, it is easy to get stock components & dump them all in. To make this they had to reduce the component size to fit between those two surfaces just 7.6mm apart:A great camera, LTE radios (with gazzillion bands!), spectacular battery. And it weighs just over 100gms, 40gms less than the previous, smaller phone!

That is why Apple was pushing for microSIMs & the new dock connecter (Lightning), they need every millimeter. Even the camera system & the processor are smaller than its predecesor. Oh & why not adopt microUSB? iPhone dock is not just for charging & data transfer, it does audio & video too with third party speakers/docks etc. MicroUSB cannot carry out video hence they are sticking to their own tech.

Hardware wise everything is top notch. iPhone 4s was fast, had great gaming capabilities & now it is even better. According to the racing demo that was given, the graphics are now console level. A6 will be fast & power efficient.

The camera system has been revamped & made better than iPhone 4s, which itself was spectacular. And as Apple says, it is not about the megapixel count but the image quality. Pretty sure its the best there is. The screen is larger, but the phone is not a behemoth that needs a bag to be carried around. They have managed to improve the battery despite making the screen larger, LTE & a faster processor.

But it is not about specs, it about what you can make the device do with it. It has been 4 years & Android still lags. On Quad core processors.

This was a hardware event but I’ve heard ppl say that iOS is looking boring, dated & that there needs to be change. “Look at how Andoroid is evolving! Jelly Bean looks brilliant” they say. Yes, Android has changed a lot from what it was when it first shipped, it had to! But iOS didnt need to change, it looked & worked beautifully right from v1.0. And you make it like getting something perfect is a bad thing. iOS 6 comes with its slew of improvements & will be here on 19th September. Oh & iPhone 3Gs will be getting it too.

So what has Apple done with the iPhone 5?
Improved:CPU, Graphics, Screen, LTE, Camera, Battery, OS, Design.

“iPhone 5 is shit”
Oh well.

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The Sad Life Of An Android Phone

The new version of Android, “Jellybean” [I was so rooting for Jalebi] may come out this summer. That’s right, even as forums are creaking under questions of “Will phone X getting ICS ” google maybe ready with Android 5.0.

Meanwhile only 2 handsets have ICS: Galaxy Nexus [shipped with ICS] & Nexus S [some regions, google seems to have stopped the updates now, citing some bugs]. This, when ICS was offically released way back in October 2011. Since then handset manufacturers have been dilly dallying, while their customers sit with fingers crossed hoping their device gets an update.

SamsungHTC Sony Ericsson have promised to begin the rollout in late march. If the past is any indication, only a few of the handsets from each company will end up getting the update & the close release date of v5.0 can only have adverse effects. Older phones that may have gotten ICS will probably be shunned as work on v5.0 begins. Jellybean on non-Nexus phones will probably not be available before end of 2012. It is entirely possible that Galaxy Nexus may have Jellybean before other devices get ICS. Meanwhile, across the divide the scene couldn’t be any different.

iOS 5 supports devices as far back as June 2009

So much for the Open Handset Alliacnce making manufactures fall in line, Andy Rubin must rethink his fragmentation statement. What’s to be done? Like they say: the world lives on hope…

OR

You could just get the iPhone 4S

Before And After The iPhone

This picture here sums up how big an effect the iPhone has had. The only other device that has done anything like this was the Motorola Razr.

20120208-130119.jpg

(via: Digeratii)

Faceoff: Zite vs Flipboard vs Pulse vs Google Currents

With iPhone versions of Flipboard, Zite & introduction of Google Currents, there are now a lot of options for Social Readers/Media Aggregators. Here is a rundown of the top four

Google Currents [iTunes Link]

  • Google Sign on
  • Top half is dedicated to pictures
  • Can add RSS feeds of interesting sites or feeds from your Google Reader
  • The GUI is more android-ish than iOS [Too many buttons?]
  • Sharing to Facebook, Twitter [you must enter your twitter credentials in the iOS settings], tumblr, Google plus [Google plus is given unnecessary prominence]
  • Does not make use of any multitouch gestures[Multiple fingers, pinching]: Must tap to go back. Unintuitive, especially on the iPad
  • Functions more like a RSS reader than a magazine: You can add only sites, not entire sections.
  • Very slow to load articles
  • So far it is US only

Pulse News [iTunes Link]

  • Offers lots of customization, but can come off as complicated
  • Add feeds from google reader, your Facebook, Twitter [feeds as well as links]etc.
  • Intuitive
  • Standard sharing options: Facebook, Twitter etc
  • Fonts used are tiny, the pictures get cut off.
  • The presentation is cluttered, reminds more of a news website. Not very aesthetically pleasing

Flipboard [iTunes Link]

  • Clean grid presentation, easy navigation
  • Option to add entire sections or single feeds
  • Large collection of articles, esp. liked reddit section
  • Add feeds from google reader, your Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Flickr & almost any other social platform.
  • Can save to Readitlater or Instapaper
  • Multitouch enabled
  • You can setup an account [only an email & password required] so that you can access Your Flipboard on multiple devices [iPad & iPhone]
  • Time to setup your choice of articles takes patience.
  • Adding single feeds to Your Flipboard is a pain. You must navigate to each section, wait for it to load & then add.
  • Load times for articles is high. Even on broadband an article takes half a minute to load, more for graphic heavy sites
  • If the article is divided into sections & requires you to click to naviagte to the next page [for example, The Verge] more waiting
  • No option to get only text view [via Instapaper Mobilizer, for example] further irritates.
  • All this waiting detracts from the fluid reading experience you expect from a Social reader

Zite [iTunes Link]

  • Magazine like presentation
  • Has good ratio of picture & article preview without squeezing down the font size [Flipboard gives pictures more real estate than the text]
  • Multitouch enabled
  • You can setup an account [only an email & password required] so that you can access Zite collection on multiple devices
  • Adding sections is very easy: You are given categories to choose from & it does so with a single click
  • Option to pull articles from your Twitter feed, Google Reader, Delicious & Readitlater
  • Multitouch enabled
  • Standard sharing options
  • You can save articles to Readitlater/Instapaper
  • The app has a learning feature, you tell it what kind of articles you like, over a period of time it will learn & provide you a better selection. It is very nice & catches on quickly.
  • Articles load quickly & you have the option to get the entire webpage or a simple text view, like Safari’s Reader. If the article is split into multiple pages, it loads them too
  • Choice isn’t as large as Flipboard. For example, I could not find 500px or reddit feeds.
  • Not much in the way of eye candy

I personally find Zite to be the best of them all just because of the speed. It has almost all the features of Flipboard & gets me to my articles quickly. In first time use you can just open up the app & it loads articles to read, unlike Flipboard where you have to add before you can do any reading. Google Currents is at the bottom of the pile just because of its un-intuitive navigation.

My opinion: Zite> Flipboard> Pulse> Google Currents

Apple & Google

Google has beaten Apple.
Android has defeated iOS.

That is the general consensus, atleast amongst the public. The Windows-Mac analogies are being bandied about & the iPhone has been declared “dead in the water“.

This post is to put things in some perspective.

Whatever the proclamations be, one thing is clear: Android was going to beat iOS in terms of marketshare. It was inevitable, with the number of handset manufacturers that are backing Android and offering a variety of price points. Android is a good OS, especially if you compare it to the late-symbian & the only worthy competitor to iOS. But marketshare does not equal profit. Google does not earn by licensing Android (as opposed to Microsoft & Windows) but via search & ads they push through it. It is the mobile phone companies that gain from the free nature of Android. You’d think they would be crushing Apple with their onslaught but there is a different story unfolding. Out of all the smartphones sold in Q1 of 2011, iPhone was at 5%(overall market share of the iPhone is approx. 23% of the smartphones) but it hogged a massive 55% of the revenue. Android activations may be 300 million but that split into the handset manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson etc) does not supersede Apple. And again Google is not earning from these licenses.
Even with the decrease in marketshare, the profits continue to pour in.  & has $65.8 billion in cash reserve.If it wanted, Apple could buy Google & still be left with $26 billion!! Also it has displaced MicroSoft as the most valuable tech company in the world, in every financial aspect (Market Cap, Revenue & Profits)

So there is a long way to go before Apple or its products are “defeated”

iOS vs Android has always been a showdown between a closed & an open system.
Open has its advantages, to those who know how to work it. Apple’s (almost) fiendish control results in a good user experience both, on the Mac as well as its iOS devices. Google allowing a free run with Android has had the same result as leaving kindergarten kids unattended:Chaos.
So many kinds of hardware, running many different versions of the OS.

  • Software & Hardware is very well integrated for iOS devices
  • No fake/malicious apps on its app store, unlike those in the Android marketplace
  • Apps look & feel awesome. A number of apps are available on both Android & iOS, the iOS version is usually more snazzier & easy to use.

  • No fragmentation. iOS runs on iPhone, iPad & iPod touch. Developers need to develop for only two screen sizes (ofcourse iPhone apps scale to iPad, but it’s not appealing). Android has so many handsets & tablets that all apps cannot be guaranteed to fit properly & many a times, not run at all.
  • You now need antivirus for Android.
  • Apple’s product refresh cycle is fixed, they update yearly. So you can enjoy having the latest for a year. Android phones become outdated within the month.
  • Apple kept updating the software of the original iPhone for three years, going from iOS 1.0 to iOS 3.1.3 . The updates stopped only when the hardware was incapable of handling them. With the number Android handsets being churned out, the manufacturers actually have less incentive to push updates. If you are stuck with an older version of the OS, the lure of a new phone is that much more.
  • iOS updates are available simultaneously all around the globe. This is important since any security holes need to be patched as soon as possible. With all the location hoopla, iOS 4.3.3 was available within a week. Whereas many Android phones are still stuck on v2.2 whose security flaws have been exposed & can be easily compromised (2.3 has been out for 5 months now but only 4% phones are running it). Boasting of OTA updates is useless if there are no updates to speak of!! But I guess they should be happy & satisfied that they made it to v2.2, instead of being stuck on v2.1. Or older.
  • With almost all the devices running the latest version of iOS, developers are encouraged to keep updating their apps & they can do so without worrying too much about backward compatibility. On Android they must make sure the app runs on the older versions too.
  • And, it has been the App Store which has generated developers loads of money ( Rovio was rescued from the brink of bankruptcy when it developed & released “Angry Birds” on the App store) The Android Marketplace? Not so much.

Android has its advantages in the form of endless tweaks, but the average Joe does not want to tweak his device. For the same reason he does not have a Linux PC at home

[“A Linux user will spend half his life tweaking.And the other half wondering why the goddamn thing won’t work” -Anonymous ]

New Beginnings

Test post from my iPhone 🙂 using the wordpress app!!

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