HTC Touch HD: Surprisingly Amazing

30 11 2008

Even though Aryeh, along with some othe people, wheened me off the HTC Touch HD and any of its Windows Mobile brethren, I cannot let the fact that GSMArena just released a full review of the HD, go unmentioned. Whether you like Windows Mobile or despise it, there is no debate surrounding the superior and market dominating looks of the HTC Touch HD.

gsmarena_050

To sum up the review, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages by far. I think the only main disadvantage on the list that would prevent me from buying it, is the lack of flash for the camera and maybe the low quality video. Among the HD’s selling points are a 3.8″ display, which puts the iPhone’s screen to shame, Wifi, GPS, 5mp camera with auto-focus, TouchFlo 3D, accelerometer sensor for auto screen rotation and turn-to-mute calls (pretty cool feature), Office document editor, and many many others.

Some people are bothered by the lack of a physical camera shutter button, but I say they are nitpicking, and if that is all they can come up with, we got ourselves a pretty amazing mobile device on our hands.

83de5711b112aae5ead84baed91c2947_htc-touch-hd

GSMArena were extremely satisfied with the phone, and on occasion, even quite surprised at how well it performed. The camera beat the N82 and the OMNIA on photo quality, something it seems the reviewers did not expect. The HD beat the iPhone in many respects, among them copy/paste functionality, Java/Flash in the Web browser, and a MicroSD expansion slot, not to mention the 3.8″ display compared to the iPhone’s 3.5″.

gsmarena_002

The HD comes with some nice preinstalled goodies, like an RSS Reader and Streaming Media manager, as well as a great task manager, something I know the iPhone is missing. It also comes with an MP3 trimmer app to automatically convert your favorite MP3s to ringtones. It even comes with what seems to be a highly entertaining game called Teeter. Seems like it is very similar to Labyrinth on the iPhone, which I already said is up there with the most addictive things I have come accross.

gsmarena_045

In conclusion, GSMArena thinks the HD is going to change the way we look at cellphones. I am not sure I agree, I think the iPhone already made that change for us, but the HD is definitally going to raise the level for all future cellphone manufacturers. Watch the video below and tell me what you think (of the phone, not her accent).

HTC took care of the hardware and the TouchFlo part of the software, but if Microsoft really wants to get in the ring with Apple, they are going to have work on an app store of their own that will compete with Apple’s. For me, the lack of applications and software solutions for Windows Mobile devices, is what has me leaning toward the Java-less iPhone, even if I cannot copy and paste with it. Oh yea, and the HD’S $900 price tag.

-Hillel




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My iPod Touch Apps

30 11 2008

Just thought I would share a rundown of the current apps installed on my iPod Touch. The list is always changing as new apps come out that are more useful.

Easier than a PC

Easier than a PC

  • EasyWriter: Great app that provides a landscape keyboard to type on. I find it much easier to type in landscape mode. After you type the text, you can click on the Mail icon and export the text to an email. Very useful app. I give it a 4/5 just because it is not embedded in the mail client, that would be amazing.
  • Facebook: Very useful app that, after comparing it to the iPhone Facebook website, is a lot more user friendly. I was a little disappointed you could not edit your profile, but all in all, a great app. I give it a 4/5 because it is pretty much read-only.
  • Fring: No question Fring is one of my all time favorites. You can Skype, AIM, MSN, GTalk,Twitter, Yahoo, and ICQ from your iPhone and iPod. Very user friendly interface and a great app. Nothing beats being able to call someone from your iPod via Skype. However, it also gets a 4/5 because of the lack of Facebook chat and landscape keyboard. That would make it the perfect app.
  • So Close to Perfection

    So Close to Perfection

  • Google Earth: Probably the app that blew my mind the most. The graphics on this app just emphasize how truly revolutionary the iPhone’s display really is. Nothing more to say about this app, you know what Google Earth is, I think the iPhone version does everything the desktop version does. Amazing! However, and this is a big however, Apple left out Street View for the iPod Touch, so out of protest, I am giving this app a 3/5. TAKE THAT, APPLE!
  • IM+LITE: Another IM app that allows you to chat in AIM, MSN, GTalk, Yahoo, ICQ, Jabber, and MySpace IM. Why do I need this if I have Fring you ask? One huge advantage in this app is the ability to type in landscape mode. Huge plus for me. However, no Skype and no Facebook chat. 3/5 sounds fair to me.
  • iTalk: Cute little voice recorder app made by Griffin. I have used this on numerous occasions, like when you are on the road or in bed with no pen and you need to jot something down, just record a voice note. Useful app with a great interface including a huge record and stop button. I guess 3/5 as it does not do very much.
Very Not Cool, Steve!

Very Not Cool, Steve!

  • Palringo: Yet another IM app that includes iChat in it’s list of IM services. So why do I need this if I have Fring and IM+Lite? Good question, maybe I will delete it. No, I’m kidding, what this app brings that no others have, is the ability to send pictures to your contacts as well as a voice recording, kinda like a walkie talkie feature. It is actually kinda cool, the thing is,  I found that when I send these audio clips to contacts, they get it as a link and 99% of the time, they are afraid to open it because of the common issue of IM spam. I give this app a 3/5, no Facebook, no Skype, and no landscape mode, but still a nice app.
  • RTM: I know Aryeh loves this app, but after a few days of use, I do not share his excitement. Yes, it is probably the best task manager (by the way, I have yet to find a task manager in the traditional sense of the word, you know like the Windows one that shows which processes are running etc.), and it syncs nicely with the Web, but I just do not love the interface, nor do I love the fact that it has a limited license, and after the trial period, you need to pay for it. It’s big advantage as opposed to the other task managers is the ability to write in landscape mode. I give RTM a 3/5.

OK I am going to wrap things up with two great games:

  • Labyrinth Lite Edition: This game is without a doubt the number 1 most addictive game on the iPod/iPhone. Using the accelerometer, you need to get the silver ball into the hole at the end of the maze. The graphics are awesome and it blows my mind how it picks up on your every move with great sensitivity. Disclaimer: Play this thing at your own risk, there is a major risk of wasted time and addiction. This game gets a 5/5.
Highly Addictive

Highly Addictive

  • Mini Piano: A great app that simply puts a piano on your screen and lets you play. Very cute and simple. Nothing else to say about it, watch a demo in the video below. I guess 4/5 due to lack of sophistication.

OK, that sums up my first home screen. I try to keep no more than 4 home screens worth of apps so generally when I download a new app, I delete something from the previous screen. I will post again about the other 3 home screens, but the above apps are most definitely my favorites, hence the fact that they are on the first home screen.

It is also important to point out that I have yet to pay for an app. I simply have not come across an app that was worth paying for or alternatively one that did not have an almost identical free app. When I do, you will be the first to know.

-Hillel

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iPod Touch Users Get Compensation in the Form of CPU

26 11 2008
Sorry iPhone-ers

Sorry iPhone-ers

Just as iPod Touch users were starting to feel anger towards Apple and their discriminatory decision to leave Street View out of the Touch’s firmware upgrade, we discovered a little piece of news that changes everything completely. It turns out that the 2nd gen iPod Touch is running a faster processor than the original Touch and… (if you have an iPhone, stop reading here) even the iPhone 3G.

While the original iPod Touch and both iPhones run a 400 MHz CPU and a 100 MHz bus, my baby is packing a 532 MHz CPU and a 133 MHz bus. In English? The new iPod Touch moves faster than the original Touch, as well as both iPhones. So it turns out the built in speaker and the hardware volume controls are not the only enhancements to the new iPod Touch. Nice!

In other big news, Apple is going green. They just released an ad showing how the new Macbook is the greenest Macbook ever. It is so green that it runs on a quarter of the power of a single light bulb and its enclosure is completely recyclable. It is so green that even the arrows in its ad are green. Watch the video below.

Lastly, Gizmodo shared their full review of one of the nicest Windows Mobile touchscreen devices out there, the Samsung Omnia. Just a quick reminder, the Omnia packs a 3.2″ touchscreen display, 3.5G, WiFi 802.11b/g, A2DP, a 5MP cam, all in a sleek12.5 mm thick package. Not bad, right? Gizmodo does not seem to agree. Watch the video here.

You cannot deny the beauty

You Cannot Deny the Beauty

Bottom line is they believe the Storm to be a more “compelling and usable device”. Well, being as the Storm did not do so well itself and is apparently full of bugs, that does not say too much for the Omnia.

-Hillel

If Only its Software Matched up

If Only its Software Matched up

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Welcome Back

25 11 2008

This is great. What a social experiment

Vodpod videos no longer available.





Google & Apple: Why?

23 11 2008
Ouch

The First Google Phone: Ouch

Just wanted to share some of my thoughts on the latest developments in the cellular world. What better place to start than the infamous Google phone, which turned out, much to most of our disappointment, to not be a phone at all, but a cellular platform or more precisely a mobile operating system? I just do not get a few things, and I would seriously like some explanations here, so please feel free to make use of the commenting tool.

Why would a company like Google, who is known for their innovation and products that just work (Gmail, Picasa, and many others), agree to introduce the world to their new and exciting Android on such a (I literally sat in front of my monitor trying to think of a strong enough word to describe the G1’s ugliness) horrendous looking phone? I cannot think of one aspect of the Dream’s hardware that is even slightly appealing to me! OK, software might be more important when choosing a phone, but there have to be red lines, and the first Android phone crosses them. So, why? There must be an explanation. Anyone?

Furthermore, once Google decided to settle and use the G1, how could they agree to release this phone without a 3.5 mm headphone jack? This phone is supposedly competition for the iPhone and others like it, but as if the G1 was not ugly enough on its own, you now have to use some clunky adapter to plug your earphones in? Why, Google, why?

Connect This to Listen to Your Tunes on Your G1

Connect This Nice Looking Thing to Listen to Tunes on Your G1

These are not rhetorical questions, I expect answers here. Does it really take so much to add a headphones jack? Would it really have been too much to ask for HTC to design a pleasant looking handset for the most exciting mobile platform of 2008? Maybe something like the HD? I would have even settled for a Diamond. I really just do not get it.

Next Gen Cellphone

Next Gen Cellphone

OK on to other topics. Phone Scoop reviewed the Samsung Behold. They gave it an OK review and were not very excited by it. I read the review and was very surprised to see that the main disadvantage of the phone was not addressed. The camera was OK, the music player was decent, nothing about the fact that it is a closed OS, with no option of installing anything 3rd party. I can tell you that this was for me, pretty much the thing that prevented me from getting the phone. Strange that they did not discuss it.

Behold the Samsung Behold

Behold the Samsung Behold

Lastly, just wanted to give a quick shout-out to the biggest disappointment of my week. The 2.2 iPod/iPhone firmware upgrade. I was so excited to use Street View on my iPod and for some unexplainable reason, that update was only provided to iPhone users and not iPod Touch users. Other updates were implemented on both the iPhone and iPod, like pressing the Home button now brings you back to your first home screen, and enhancements to the App store. So, I ask, why would Apple do such a thing? I find it very hard to believe that it is because of technical restrictions, there is no reason it would work on the iPhone and not the iPod Touch, which leads me to believe that this was a marketing decision.

Amazing!

Amazing!

It is no secret that I love the way Apple markets their products, which leads me to my conclusion that everyone makes mistakes. The hard part is to acknowledge your error and correct it. So, no pressure, Steve, but hurry the heck up and fix this, I want to see my old house on my iPod.

Just to end on a positive note, congrats to Technmarketing on their 100th post, and what a post it is, if I do say so myself.

-Hillel

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Hatfield Hotdog Launcher Documentary

23 11 2008

Great documentary about the hotdog launcher.





Random Thoughts on Storms and Tubes

20 11 2008

Job hunting has kept me pretty busy as of late, but I have already decided that since my last job only gave me a CDMA option for my company phone (so I could not buy a phone and insert the company SIM), as soon as I finally find my next job, one of my first purchases is going to be a phone. Now the big question is, which one?

htctouchhd1

The Beautiful HD: Hard to Say Goodbye

Well, let me start with what I was considering as of three days ago, and I will conclude with the phones I have narrowed it down to. Remember, I am talking here about my favorite phones, forget for a second the fact that I would never really buy half these phones due to their exorbitant prices. So here are the phones I was considering (in totally random order):

  • HTC Touch HD: OK I know it is $800 or $1300 if you buy it is Israel, but a man can still dream, no?
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic or Tube: Seems like a pretty sweet phone and with a name like Nokia backing it, how can you go wrong, right?
  • Blackberry Storm: You gotta love RIM’s attempt at the touchscreen market.
  • iPhone: Honestly? With its lack of MMS, video camera, and A2DP, this was not an option for me, until I used my new iPod Touch. With that interface and App store, I am willing to use email to send pictures, bring along an additional camera for taking video, and even use wired headsets to listen to my music. Yes, it is THAT good.
nokia-5800-xpressmusic-2

The Tube: A Strong Contender

So, these were my options as of a few days ago, but as we all know, a few days in the cellular industry is like a lifetime to normal people.

So here is what I am thinking today:

  • HTC Touch HD: With the $800 price tag combined with the fact that it runs Windows, this is just not the phone for me. Yes, it is no doubt the nicest phone on earth, but the headache of installing apps over Windows (compared to the experience I have had with the iPod Touch of course), the lack of a camera flash, along with the normal bugs associated with anything Microsoft, even a 4″ screen would not get me to buy it.
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic or Tube: I am not saying a definate NO to this yet, I know I like the price, but Mobile Burn’s review of this toy, did not excite me. I call it a toy because that it what it looks and feels like compared to other handsets.
  • Blackberry Storm: Well, contrary to the Tube, this one is a definate no go for me. Engadget’s review of the Storm left me very dissapointed, especially the whole press down the screen thing. If I wanted to press down on the screen and not just touch it, I would buy a standard Blackberry, not a touch screen one. Is it just me or does that just make simple sense?
  • iPhone: Well, I would have to say that at the risk of being boring and unoriginal, this is currently my best option. I just cannot get over how great of a job Apple did with the interface, the App store, and the all around feel of the iPhone. The battery life with push mail activated scares me a bit, but we all gotta make sacrifices sometimes, right?
A Thumbs Down for ME

Blackberry Storm: A Thumbs Down for Me

Bottom line? I am going to have to choose between Apple’s iPhone and Nokia’s Tube. Watch the below video of the Tube, and tell me what you think.

-Hillel

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