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Showing posts from May 30, 2010

Dell Streak Barely A Tablet

Dell's Streak went on sale at O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores yesterday to an overwhelmingly positive reception.

All very well, but as tablets go its a pretty underwhelming device, packing a fairly standard Android 1.6 smartphone into an oversized frame with a 5" screen.

In fact I can't see any reason for choosing the Streak over the Xperia X10, which at the cost of 1" of screen diagonal trades you a more pocketable device with a far superior camera and a higher screen resolution. What's the point of having a bigger screen if you're going to put fewer pixels on it?

As it stands I think the Streak is a poor choice for most users and, if truth be told, the choice were between this and an iPad I'd not be bothering with a tablet at all. Let's hope the next wave of Android tablets are a little better thought out...

Could iPhone 4 Finally End Tethering?

Those two million iPhone users who went out and bought iPads over the last two months didn't really have a great out of the box experience, even if some of them don't realise it.

Why? Primarily because of iTunes. At some stage this slice of 'magic' needed to be tethered to a desktop in order to sync, backup and in some cases register.

Its a major iPhone/iPad failing and doesn't affect devices running Android or Windows Mobile. In fact my Windows Mobile and Android phones have never been synchronised with a desktop PC both linking to cloud services.

With the new version of the iPhone just a week away is it too much to hope that Apple's raggy old desktop sync will have gone the way of the dodo and some form of MobileMe/Cloud sync will have taken its place?

T-Mobile Roaming Data Plan Pretty Good Value

Mobile data roaming doesn't exactly have a good reputation with tales of users running up bills in the tens of thousands of pounds after failing to understand the implications of data costs abroad.

The EU stepped in last year to enforce fairer charges and as a result mobile data is significantly more affordable when roaming across the union.

T-Mobile's roaming internet booster is a sign of how things have improved, with 30 days and 50MB of data costing just £10... A far cry from the days of £7.50 per MB that used to be the norm.

So the message this summer is if you need mobile data you won't need a re-mortgage, a good reason for the EU if ever there was one!

Palm Repeating Pre Errors

Went past my local O2 emporium today and noticed that the Palm concession stand was sporting a Pixi Plus and what I have to assume was a Pre Plus too.

I say assume because I wasn't even tempted to nip in and have a play with one. I know that I like the Pre and WebOS, just as I know that the prices being asked for the new models are no more realistic than that of the original.

I wonder whether the arrival of HP's management will introduce Palm to the concepts of cost/benefit and perceived value. Then we might see pricing models which get people buying...

DoJ Widens Apple Investigation

Recent news that the DoJ is investigating Apple's iTunes Music Store, its business practices and dealings with content providers won't have surprised many in the industry.

Now that the investigation is being widened to include other as yet unspecified areas of Apple's iPad and iPhone business I suspect that the game is up for Mr. Jobs.

I can see that the handling of the Adobe conflict and the un-necessarily brutal attacks on Palm will put the company in an indefensible position once the full investigation has been completed.

Net result? Third party software stores on Apple's devices, iTunes sync with third party hardware and developers free to develop and cross port however they like...

I have no doubts that Apple will drag this out as long as possible but it will only succeed in delaying the inevitable. If you feel this is harsh then consider the similar case of Microsoft and Internet Explorer, a much less serious instance of malpractice damaging a competitor's busin…

Why Queue For An iPad?

I'm told two thousand people queued for hours outside the Apple Store in Regent Street to be one of the first to get an iPad. Strange thing to do when just around the corner Curry Digital had stocks and no queue...

Was there an added 'Apple-ness' to buying from the mothership or have DSG upset so many customers that they can't even shift the hottest product of all time? I think we should be told...

F1: Red Bull Gives You... Oh b@ll@cks

Well I guess there are worse ways to blow a race, but running into a team mate is guaranteed to leave all involved looking like lemons.

I'm not going to apportion blame, at least as far as the drivers are concerned, but the team has to shoulder the lion's share of responsibility for the collision which handed the Turkish Grand Prix to Mclaren.

On the pit wall the team knew that Vettel was quicker than Webber and had to get past with Hamilton and Button steaming up behind him. They should have warned the Aussie to give his team mate plenty of room on the way through.

Mclaren will be delighted to be gifted a one-two finish, more so that they were close enough to pressure Red Bull into yet another mistake.

F1: Coming To America

So F1 is going back to America - again! In fact F1 has been in and out of the States more times than a very rude analogy!
This time its Austin in Texas that will be the host as F1 attempts to rise from the ashes once more - returning to the state which hosted the disastrous Dallas GP 25 years ago, although I'm expecting a much more professional effort this time around.
F1 needs the US, one race is not sufficient for the purposes of most sponsors and in my view there should be negotiations to ensure that Indianapolis and at least one other US race are returned to the calendar too. Apart from anything else F1 fans in North America get to see two races a season despite being spread much further apart than continental Europe which gets much greater exposure.

Its Okay To Charge For Content

The announcement that The Times is about to start charging for content on its website has been poorly received across the tubes this week. Which seems strange for a publication which is entirely not free in physical form. I suspect that most of the vitriol is a result of the owner of the paper rather than the decision to charge.

New iPad owners are complaining about the cost of Sky's app - another Murdoch enterprise coincidentally - and again I can't see the problem, if you've signed up for the Apple experience then you've identified yourself as a premium friendly purchaser so its hardly fair to criticise content owners for marketing at that demographic.

Content needs creative talent and at some point content providers have to make some money from their efforts and if that can't be funded through advertising or donations then its going to be up to the end user to top things up.

Ultimately its a non-essential purchase, so if it doesn't meet your criteria for value …

Apple To Move iPhone To The Top Of The Screen Resolution Charts

A lot of people that I speak to and work with are iPhone ownership, however that's becoming less true with every passing day as another Android phone supplants the iPhone.

Apple clearly isn't going to roll over and let Google take over the smartphone market, so the launch of the iPhone HD, just over a week away, should be something of a landmark moment in smartphone history...

The arrival of multi-tasking has already been confirmed and there's a good chance that Bing will replace Google as the default search engine. Technically we know that the iPad's GHz A4 processor will make the jump too. Its in screen resolution that Apple is going to really jump the competition, with a microscopic investigation of an escaped iPhone's screen (in the Czech Republic) revealing a resolution of 960x640 - quadrupling the pixel count of existing iPhones and surpassing the X10's 854x480 to become the highway resolution screen on any smartphone shipping. It will give developers some …