Posts tagged: Personal Electronics

My Android App List

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By , January 4, 2010 9:40 pm

Running 1.5, and not knowing when/if/how I’ll be getting 2.X via Telus and needing to have a phone that can do what a ‘berry does has taken some digging and I think I’ve almost got it. Here’s what it took to get my ‘droid to about the same place as my ‘berry – and further in some places.

  • Baby Puzzle (Better)
  • Google Sky Map (Better)
  • ShopSavvy (Better)
  • chompSMS (Better)
  • eBuddy (Equal – increasing the number of IM services)
  • Car Mode (Equal – speakerphone)
  • WeatherEye (Equal – there are loads of weather apps already, but this gives some important details like sunrise, sunset and weather alerts)
  • SmsFixTimes (Equal – Androids on Rogers have a time stamp issue)
  • Ringdroid (Better)
  • AK Notepad (Equal)
  • Layar (Better – AR app)
  • Bloo (Equal – almost… better than the official Facebook app as it provides notifications that the official one doesn’t)
  • AttachEmail (Equal – lets me attach any file to GMail or any other “sending app”)
  • Toddler Lock (Better – interactive lock for Bug)
  • ShakeIt (Better – activates speakerphone on shake)
  • Share Ringtone (Better – lets me send ringtones)
  • Seesmic (Equal)
  • FlyScreen (Better)
  • List Master (Better)
  • Shazam (Equal)
  • App List (Better…. there is no way to list apps on the BB)
  • Bubbles (Better, another baby game)
  • Jewels (Equal – no Texas Hold’em but, a distraction at least)
  • Decepticons Theme for Flyscreen (Better – helps hide functional icons on Flyscreen)
  • 2G-3G OnOff (Better)
  • Rundroid+ (Better – lets me see my Nike+ stats)
  • Key Ring (Better – Wallet works, but this can be scanned)
  • Evernote (Equal, but a better app)
  • iCalManager TRIAL (Equal, almost – needed to get ics invites into the calendar, but only on the device, not out to Google)
  • Run+ (Better – another Nike+ app)
  • Dolphin Browser (Better, better than Bolt)
  • AndExplorer (Better – a file explorer)
  • Facebook (Equal, almost, still can’t send “mail/inbox messages” natively, it defaults to the mobile site)
  • Compass (Better – helps augment maps)
  • Account at to listen to voicemail over email

So if you want your new ‘droid to be almost to a ‘berry or iPhone, you’ll need to do some dling, hopefully this list helps.

More thoughts on the Info Pyramid

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By , July 21, 2009 8:44 am

Stephen Downes noticed my post among others yesterday with regards to the info pyramid. He commented that there was “still no learning” even though I offered an alternative. In my defense, I am of the mind that one can learn from just about anything, but more to the point, the consumption of information at home is likely more akin to informal learning. This pyramid is certainly going to be different for different people at different life stages and interests. Some people won’t watch any news, but will be big into participatory media. Others will only be into games and movies.

Regardless of how you take in your media, there is a good chance that there is some form of learning going on – even though these opportunities will be missed with the more passive forms if reflection is ignored. For the other forms that have some manner of interaction and or reflection on one’s actions, there is certainly learning going on.

‘net TV doesn’t have to look like the ‘net

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By , July 16, 2009 3:26 pm

I remember at the start of the year saying that there would be many more “appliance like” electronics that would roll together many functions into one coming this year, and it seems that it is coming to pass. Either through the appliance (Samsung‘s TVs) or in the case of Verizon, through the network itself. Some people get flashbacks to WebTV, or surfing on their consoles when they hear about the ‘net on TV, but I think these widgets have the right idea. The ‘net isn’t about a spcific package anymore, it’s about mashups and has been for a while. These widgets bring you just the information you want in a format that is native or at least in-line with the display. If you want the weather, you don’t need the entire site, you only need the numbers. If you want to update your SNS, you only need an input area and a place to see what others are up to and it doesn’t have to take up the whole screen.

HD has certainly helped this out quite a bit as there is now much more real estate to work with pixel wise, but this is only the begining. I have a hunch that these widgets are going to get much more integral in short order.

3D projection comes to the classroom

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By , June 19, 2009 7:55 am

One of the ways that Hollywood is trying to fight piracy is to start making movies in 3D. These movies require specialized projection and of course those funny glasses. Thankfully the technology for the projection side of things and the glasses have both come a long way. Far enough that there is now a projector that is available for the classroom at education friendly prices. Texas Instruments has cooked a projector system that does 3D from a single source. I’ve seen a few uses for 3D in the classroom – usually in Science classes as students are given the opportunity to see molecules, organs or interactions in 3D. I’m sure there are other fields that might make use of it as well, but that will have to wait I guess.

Now all they have to do is make the assembly/production of 3D material easier (hopefully this does not require some manner of propriety encoding) and this could take off within a decade. In the mean time, it might be a way to bring 3D movies home, should 3D versions of movies… assuming that they are not blocked from projection and they can be decoded properly by the projector. Hmm… did I just point out the sticking point there?

TNS Report – 3/4 of messages worldwide “Sent while mobile”

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By , March 26, 2009 8:35 am

This is an interesting report that suggests that the sending of messages is going to be almost exclusively a mobile enterprise within the next few years.

Free Drobo Please

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By , March 6, 2009 7:14 pm

I guess this is one way you build a link farm, you can have all manner of people link to you so they have a chance at a free Drobo – so I guess I’m game for now – MYDL.ME.

AppleTV sales boom

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By , February 5, 2009 5:59 pm

It seems that I caught the wave of a boom in AppleTV sales (which explains why they were hard to find as well). I agree with ATVHacks that it might have something to do with people staying home and Boxee/XBMC, but I think there is another factor. The easy of hackability and integration into a digital home. It makes jumping to a file based video entertainment system an absolute breeze.

Get used to buggy phones?

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By , January 28, 2009 2:55 pm

Mr. Balsillie said such scrambles [to get the Storm out for Black Friday]– and the subsequent software glitches that need to be fixed — are part of the “new reality” of making complex cellphones in large volumes (WSJ).

For some reason, I don’t think this is really the case – I can certainly accept that frequent updates are going to be the new reality (having updated my mom’s phone over the break), but buggy stuff that wasn’t ready for prime time? I really hope that people don’t let companies get away with this. I know the Bold was delayed several times and I’m pretty sure the iPhone was padded to be released with usable software – but it seems that the handset makers have learned little from the desktop/laptop world – if you rush something to meet a deadline, more often than not, you are going to ship sh1t.

Consumers might be able to deal with this a little bit more if they were not shackled to certain releases of the OS sanctioned by the network that they are on (really… if I take a phone with a higher OS than what is sanctioned onto a network… it still works). Apple was able to do this as they control the version of the iPhone software that is used on all their devices, but RIM et. al. are all still bound to what the networks allow. If consumers could go to the handset maker directly for the software updates (I think non smart phones work this way), this new reality might be easier to take – but with both the network and the handset maker between the user and usability… I don’t think Mr. B’s “new reality” is going to come to fruition.

Obama and his fruit

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By , January 22, 2009 7:03 pm

Well it seems that Obama will be able to keep his Blackberry, and now is wondering where the Macs are in the US government. It seems to me that in his new-found uber-celebrity, Obama, by merely indicating his preferences in an unsolicited fashion, preference for just about anything is the best advertising that a company could never pay for.

Much has been written about Obama’s tech savviness as well as that of his staff and supporters (Google), and to my eyes, it seems that news like this might bring about a new “director” of technology. What I think it might show is that the user is in the end the most important element of the equation.

Zii – Stem Cell Computing

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By , January 9, 2009 9:53 am

Another pass on from a colleague this morning – Zii is a new processor that uses the ideas or theme (at best) of stem cells to configure different types of processors as needed. It certainly is an interesting idea, and it it comes to fruition, it will certainly put old Creative Labs back ont the map – or at least ripe for aquisition from Intel or Nvidia

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