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Showing posts from October 29, 2009

F1: Toyota Pulls Out, Sauber Back In

Its not entirely unexpected, but disappointing nonetheless, to see that Toyota has pulled out of F1 after what has to be considered a unsuccessful eight season run in the sport. Its estimated that Toyota's spend in that time was over $1bn and the best results gained in that time amount to a handful of second places, mostly scored by Jarno Trulli.
What's bad for Toyota's team in Germany is good news for Peter Sauber's boys at Hinwil who will now take their place on the grid after all, having initially been allocated 14th slot as first reserve. The team has a fine history in F1 and it would have been sad to see them lose their place on the grid so this can be considered something of a silver lining for F1 enthusiasts.

New HTC Ad Campaign Targets You

HTC's new marketing campaign has kicked off in the UK and, like the aforementioned DROID campaign that Verizon are running Stateside, its very much about bursting the iPhone bubble. Most notable is the way that the ads don't really focus on the phones, features or software but deliver a strong message about doing things your way, which I think works very well. With HTC moving away from operator branding of phones (Hero, Tattoo and Touch Pro 2 are all available from operators who would previously have rebadged them rather than leave the HTC logo in place) its important to position themselves as a brand - something both these ads achieve very well.

iDon't, Droid Does

Motorola's got Apple firmly in its sights for the new Droid. Apple fans will probably complain about taking digs at the competition, but then they lost the high ground on that one with the I'm A Mac ads.

F1: 2009 Top Ten Drivers

So the dullfest in Abu Dhabi brought the curtain down on a remarkable season with Brawn-Mercedes completing a fairytale debut season with a final podium courtesy of new champion Button's aggressive drive to third. So who were the real stars of 2009? Here's my top ten drivers who starred this year.
10. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Only two drivers jumped into a car partway through the season and impressed, Liuzzi's pace was good although its clear his luck hasn't changed for the better. 9. Nico Rosberg - A year that promised so much, Williams failed to capitalise on its double diffuser advantage but Rosberg always looked a class act. Will give Button some sleepless nights next season. 8. Kamui Kobayashi - About average in GP2, Kobayashi was stunning right from the get-go in F1. Chop on Nakajima in Brazil was amateurish but got away with it to score impressively in the season-closing twilight race. 7. Rubens Barrichello - Given the best car on the grid Rubens failed to shine and wa…

New Android Xperia Looks Slick

Sony-Ericsson are going through mobile OS's like they're going out of fashion. From UIQ to Windows Mobile, with a Touch of Symbian and now with the official announcement of the Xperia X10 running Android, they've completed the full set.
The X10 UI looks pretty slick and the phone is well-endowed in the processor (1GHz Snapdragon) and screen (4" FWVGA 852x480) departments. The camera is an 8.1 megapixel unit with all of S-E's Cybershot enhancements, which promises to push smartphone photography up to a whole new level.
There's been a lot of talk over the last few days of Android stealing mind-share from the iPhone. I think some of the new Android phones are certainly making a splash, but there's not really much Google or Android branding in evidence on marketing material for the DEXT, DROID and X10 for example. Google needs to address this if they aren't to see Android's branding diluted in the same way as Windows Mobile.
Here's the rather nice X10…

Orange iPhone Deals Look... The Same As O2

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Well looks like Orange didn't get the iPhone so that they could undercut O2 on price - in fact except on the lowest tariff (where you get double the minutes and texts) the two are less than £1 apart for an eighteen month contract. On Pay As You Go the prices are identical.

I wonder how many of the 250,000+ people who registered an interest in the iPhone on the Orange website will actually be converted to customers and how many were expecting to make a saving against O2's tariffs? I suspect more of the former than the latter.

I guess that when Vodafone get the iPhone early next year the story will be the same...

First Day With Android - Not All Good, Not All Bad

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So I've survived 24 hours with Android and so far I've been half impressed, half appalled though its easy to see why people are flocking to the platform as a sort of anti-iPhone.

The Pulse's hardware has been surprisingly impressive - I think if I was being picky I might prefer the power and headphone sockets mounted flush at the top of the device, but I can see why some would go for the cover, its no deal breaker that's for sure. The screen is big and bright and quite responsive when you get used to it.

Some software 'features' have left me scratching my head though. For example, when you first set up your Gmail account email synchronisation is setup but you don't even get asked if you want to sync calendar and contacts - you have to set that up yourself. Not a big thing but not something that Apple would have missed I suspect.

I'm also a bit stunned to find that the browser doesn't support bookmark folders - or if it does I can't find them. Now I…

Maybe I Am Getting Android

Having suggested that Android has some way to go in the usability stakes I got challenged to try living with it, so today has been a day of trying devices to see which fits best.
First was the HTC Hero - a popular device, available from many operators as well as SIM free from the usual suspects. HTC's TouchFlo/Sense shell blurs the boundaries between devices running different operating systems so this didn't seem a big challenge. However I did note that the Hero seemed to stutter under the weight of the interface. I did like the Scenes concept - a different interface for different occasions - but the pronounced 'chin' affects typing in landscape mode so I decided to look elsewhere.
The Tattoo has the same Sense UI, but the physically smaller screen has a lower resolution than any other Android device and is also the only resistive screened Android device too. The lower resolution means the Sense UI works better than on the Hero, but otherwise its a compromise device buil…

This Just Might Be the Droid We're looking For

Motorola have launched their second Android phone in the US and it looks a bit special. That's not because of the hardware which is still pretty good (its very thin for a keyboard packing device and has a high resolution screen) rather its the first appearance of Android 2 which makes this big news.

Android 2 packs an improved user interface and a significantly enhanced bowser which competes much more closely with Safari and Opera Mobile.

The Droid marks the first implementation of Google's new version of Maps with Navigation. The combination of Street View, Latitude and Voice Navigation will have dedicated GPS manufacturers quaking in their boots this morning.

Which phones will recieve an upgrade to Android 2 hasn't been disclosed yet, but I would guess that the Hero and Dext will be in that group, whilst the G1, Pulse and Tattoo might not.

In the light of this update I think I may have to revise my reservations on the Android OS - once I've tired the new version anywa…