Thursday, February 27, 2014

I wish I was in Barcelona this week!

Not only is Mobile World Conference this week, it's also in Spain...which has to be better than being in cold cold cold Kansas!

So what were the big points at MWC? Huawei is making more of presence than ever before. They have some appealing pieces of tech it's just going to be hard for an unknown or not well known brand make a splash in the crowded market for US consumers.

Nokia and their Android phone are official! It's going to be the in-between line above the Asha series but below the Lumia line, known as Nokia X. They're similar in design with their current phones in the market....just Android. My only issues is that it doesn't have direct affiliation with Google service or the Play Store. It's all inclosed with it's own store or Microsoft services. Which is the BIGGEST issue! Microsoft...on an Android device? It'll be interesting to see if the big M keeps the X line around. Microsoft is in works of owning Nokia mobility. We'll need to let this play out. I hope they keep it and see that Android is clearly superior than Windows phone, my opinion anyways.

Now let's get rid of the elephant in the room....Samsung. Oh how I loathe thee. The S5 is official, however I don't think it's fair to call it the next Galaxy S phone. It's more like, the S4s. That's right, I said it. Minor spec bump and some new hardware but nothing drastic. They copied Apple....again. Will anyone use the heart rate monitor on the back next to the flash? If you're silly. It's a gimmick. The fingerprint reader on the home button will be useful, if they link it with more mobile payment services besides PayPal. Then there's the fake perforated leather backing. Just make an all metal phone! It's more higher end.

The real show from Samsung was the Gear Fit. This is what a smartwatch should be! Just rotate the icons to go with the way you'd view a watch, and it would've been perfect....and add the telecommunication things that the Gear 2 has, then it would be AWESOME!

MWC had some hits and misses. The biggest thing that I got excited for was....the 2015 Ford Focus. Ha! Updated interior and the Aston Martin esque grill hit the Focus and it looks good!

What did you like from MWC? Any big news that surprised you? Hit me up in the comments!


Friday, February 21, 2014

MWC-Hola Mobile

Mobile World Conference is just days away!

What to expect? Samsung will most definitely unveil the Galaxy S5. Now if you know me or read my past posts, you know that I hate Samsung hardware. I'm hopeful that they finally step their game up to more high end materials. Also, all the talk of a more "simple" TouchWiz skin is good news. We'll have to wait and see.

I'm also hopeful for HTC's successor to the One. Sure, it's not going to be officially debuted at MWC, but shortly after it will. Thanks to @eveleaks, we've seen some legit images of the device. I've always been a fan of HTC hardware. The successor might look like the current model, and that's okay. It's a beautiful piece of technology. I'm just a stock Android kind of guy. Sense doesn't appeal to me. I suppose I could use Nova Launcher on it or something. Hmmmmm....haven't thought about switching my daily driver.

Nokia is also rumor to release the Nokia X or Project Normandy. With no access to the Play Store, this will be a hard sell to more developed markets. It's not targeted for those markets though. It's a low-range device for developing markets. I love Nokia! My first phone was a Nokia 3589i. This thing was awesome! I have a soft spot for Nokia, it's just a damn shame that they went with Windows. Especially since Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Nokia.

What do you think? Is it too late for Nokia? Should Microsoft give up on Windows Phone? What are you excited to see at Mobile World Conference? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tis the season...gimmie

It's been a while sincerest apologies. So without further delay, let's talk tech.

The holiday shopping is underway and there are SOOOOO many goodies to be purchased for your naughty and nice recipients. I recently was given/bought two items that I personally think, will be great for any person looking a little tech in their holidays.

My birthday was in October and my brother got me Nintendo 3DS. For those of you who know me, I worked at GameStop back in the day, so I was familiar with all gaming systems at the time. DS was big and it was in my time at GameStop when DSi came out, followed by the XL line. I also caught the coattails of the 3DS launch. I must admit, when I first played that Street Fighter demo, I got sick by the 3D effect. I never considered getting one. I had my DS Lite and liked it....for the time being.

I like to upgrade or have the newest thing. It's just who I am. The 3DS though, wasn't that for me. At it's launch it was super pricey, lacked good amount of games, and had it's screen concerns for parents.

When I opened my gift to see the 3DS, I was shocked. This was around the time Pokemon X and Y was released too. We started talking about our past with Pokemon and Gameboy in general. We both had nostalgia moments about it. He put a lot of thought into picking this out, and I must was a great choice. Pokemon X is still my only physical game I own, but I've played some demos of other stuff that I downloaded through the EShop.

Every time I hold it, I think back to the days of my first indigo Gameboy Color I had. Nintendo did such a great job with the Gameboy and converting to the DS. I believe the handheld gaming market is still Nintendo's forte. The downsides? I would like the next version to have dual thumbsticks. I know that doesn't pertain to the 3DS, but seriously makes sense. Just do it already. Especially when you release peripherals with attached thumbsticks and then you abandon it with a new handheld. Not cool.

I can't wait to add to my game library as well as utilize it more. The 3D thing still doesn't set well with my stomach, but it's a powerful handheld. I also love the clam shell design that Nintendo debuted on the Gameboy Advance SP YEARS ago.

Now onto a different new tablet.

Again, for those of you who know me (and if you read past blog posts) I absolutely love and adore Apple. I bought a 64gb, wifi, iPad 2 shortly after they were release. I didn't use it a lot when I first got it, but with the addition of a keyboard case, I used it more than my MacBook Pro or desktop at home.

What impressed me the most was the longevity of it. iPad 3, 4, new, and whatever other versions they had, the 2 stood right against them. Sure, it technologically was inferior, it held up with most of my demands and wishes though.

All seemed well until Apple released iOS 7...oh dear lord. I have a previous post about my disgust with iOS 7, so read that. iOS 7 ruined my iPad 2. Apps wouldn't load, constant freezing, even complete shutdowns were a regular ordeal. I decided enough was enough.

I played and dabbled with the smaller tablets available and fell in love with the Nexus line. I grown fond of the Android platform and enjoyed the offerings it provided. I also thought a smaller tablet would be the best option. More portable, lighter, easier to handle, etc. I caved last month and bought the Nexus 7.

I own a 32gb, wifi model and I'm very pleased. I just recently got the 4.4 KitKat update which is great. I also love that my phone and tablet now have the same apps, and share off each other in a way. My only gripes so far, I wish it had expandable memory. I mean seriously, I use the cloud and Google Drive yes, but I like everything on my device. That's why I still have an iPod Classic. I want all my music, videos, and pictures, with me. Also, I would've like to get a 4G model if Verizon wasn't being jerks about their demands for the tablet. Long ordeal, don't want to rant about it.


The 3DS' game library is massive and it plays DS games as well. The DS library alone is beyond huge. There's also lots of holiday bundles with games included. I'd even check out the 3DS XL. Resolution isn't as sharp, but if you have bad eyes or just want a bigger screen, it's a solid choice as well.

The Nexus 7 is by far the best tablet VALUE. I didn't say the best tablet, I said the best VALUE. For $229, you get a 16gb, wifi enabled, smaller tablet. The recent iPad mini with retina display is $, save the cash. Unless your in another ecosystem. You need to be in the Google ecosystem to really appreciate it. It you want just light reading, casual gaming, and social media though, the Nexus is the way to go.

Those are my newest additions to my tech arsenal and I think they're solid choices for anyone. I'm curious, what's on your tech list this holiday season? Have any recommendations? Leave me a comment and let's chat about it. Thanks everyone. Happy Holidays if I don't post another one before then!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Big screens need bigger pockets

Phablets....are they phones or are they tablets?

I went to Verizon yesterday with my parents to assist them upgrading their phones. They both had Droid Razrs. A perfectly suitable phone for their needs. Camera, email, and nice display. They both had mentioned that they (and myself) miss the perfect and wonderful keyboard off of our old Tours we all had. Verizon had the Droid 4 on special for FREE with two year contract. Thought it was done and done! As they we're looking at all the phones the noticed....the Note. (Noticed the NOTE. Get it?)

They're fascination for a physical keyboard was now turned to a massive screen. 5.7" to be exact. Much bigger than the Droid 4's screen. Even if you hold the Note 3 horizontally, the on screen keyboard is bigger than the Droid physical keyboard.

I began playing with the display model and I have to say, it's a fantastic device. I hate TouchWiz, as mentioned in several other posts. That could easily be changed with a launcher though. The S pen functionality is super! Draw a box for quick access to popular apps? Sold. Jot notes down and have the phone convert them into contacts or phone numbers? Brilliant. Fake leather backing? Improvement over cheap plasticy feeling backs like S4.

When we got home with the phones, I read on The Verge and CNET that HTC announced the HTC One Max. A 5.9" screen monster with the same gorgeous HTC One design and aluminum body that made it so great. Spec wise it's the same as the One but with expandable memory, bigger screen, and oh yes...a finger print scanner. Android can do it too Apple.

I still don't understand why phones are tip toeing into tablet territory. It appeals to some, but not me. I have my Droid Maxx and it has a 5" screen. Seems plenty to me. I still want to be able to put my phone in my pocket. Not have to carry it or put it in a bag.

The Note 3 is a fantastic device with the latest internals. Better processor, three gigs of ram, gorgeous display, etc. For my parents, it may be more phone then they can handle. Being Samsung, all the gestures and add-ons will appeal to them. They won't be able to appreciate the pure power that phone has.

I watched them play with them when I got home from class last night and I have to say, it was so much fun. They were like kids on Christmas once they discovered something new they could do. Granted, I'm going to have to be tech support for the rest of my life for them, but it keeps bringing faces like I saw last night, it's worth it.

That's why I'm passionate about technology. Bringing people together and making an impactful difference. Now the bad thing is...I want a Note 3. Dang.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

That screen has some curves

Rewind to earlier this year, Samsung announced and demoed curved and flexible screen technologies. Back to the present and Samsung states they'll release a curved display phone by the end of October.

This isn't the first time Samsung has done a curved screen on a phone. In 2011 they introduced the Galaxy Nexus. This was the first phone with a curved display. Granted, it was curved so that when you placed it on your ear the curve would flow onto your cheek and closer to your mouth.

With the new curved displays coming out, they are OLED. That means each LED on the display is emitting it's own light and colors. With normal LED displays, a light source is placed behind them to display the colors and light.

We've seen curved displays coming to televisions to "immerse" the viewer. I personally think it's a gimick. Even on a smaller scale, it sounds kind of silly to me. I wouldn't mind a book like display. Imagine this, you have your phone and your surfing a website. Just unfold your phone size screen and you now have a tablet. How about this, a scroll. Think of unraveling a screen to watch or view something. It's truly remarkable.

We'll see what this phone is packing in the coming weeks. It'll be interesting to see it implemented in a consumer product instead of just prototypes.


Is "gold" the new craze?

When the rumors of an iPhone in gold came up, I have to be honest, I thought it was a joke. Sure enough, the rumors were spot on.

iPhone 5S now comes in three colors instead of the traditional two. Black has been replaced with space gray. Silver takes over instead of white. With the third being gold. In all the pictures I've seen, it looks more like a champagne color, but that's just me.

To add fuel to the fire, gold is the most demanded color too! Apple claims they have scarce supplies of the gold ones. Really Apple, really? It's just a color for your aluminum. Shouldn't be that difficult I would think.

Apple released the iPhone 5S along with it's cheaper and brighter counter part, iPhone 5C on September 20, 2013. Wouldn't you know it, Apple broke sales records again with over nine million dollars in sales that weekend. Impressive to say the least.

No one had expected the gold iPhone to be so popular. To counter that, Samsung has announced two colors of the Galaxy S4 with gold. Brown and pink phones with gold accents....let that soak in for a second. I'm not doubting they won't sell well. Especially because Samsung dominates the Android phone market. I just believe there are better colors other than brown and pink that compliment gold so much better. For instance, a black and gold phone would look sharp. Dare I say, down right gorgeous...if done well.

On to my negative news. It's time to say goodbye to Blackberry. The company has filed a buyout for $4.7 billion. It's unfortunate that the long lived Blackberry is coming to an end. I had a Tour and it was by far my favorite phone. The full QWERTY keyboard felt so good to type on. I blazed through emails and texts. With demand for iPhones and Androids, Blackberry was put on the back burner. They would stay there for years until finally calling it quits. Here's to you Blackberry. Cheers.

So what do you think of the Blackberry buyout? Will gold be on all our phones or is this just a fad? Let me know, in the comments below.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Year of the Playstation

Let's be honest, this generation of consoles hasn't been the best for Sony. PS2 was the most popular console until the Xbox 360 came into play in 2005. When the PS3 surfaced, things were rough....really rough. An expensive machine that seem to have issue after issue along with the various bundles they offered.

Fast forward to now and PS3 is outselling Xbox 360, not by much though. Sales have sharply declined for the big companies due to anticipation for the Xbox One and PS4. Sony seemed to learn from it's mistake in 2006 and is using all of Xbox's flaws to it's advantage. For instance, Xbox One price at $500 so PS4 only hours later announced $400 for its black box. Take that Microsoft! Xbox must always be connected to internet, not for the Playstation. Microsoft would later change their minds on the connection to internet requirements after huge amounts of feedback from consumers.

What's truly promising is the newly announced PS VitaTV. Sure it plays Vita games on the big screen, but that's not even the best part. You can stream your PS4 games onto a TV that is connected to PS VitaTV (They really need a new name for that). Imagine you're at home when your boyfriend/girlfriend walks into the room and wants to watch a movie. You happen to be playing "Watch Dogs" on the particular TV with your PS4. With VitaTV connected on another TV in your house, you can pick up where you left off in your game. They get to watch their movie and you get to play your game...everyone wins.

Playstation is off to a great start. The fact that it's coming out earlier in the states is a bonus for them as well. Will Playstation win this next-gen console war? What do you think?