Showing posts from July 25, 2014

What Is The Point of an OS Upgrade That Cripples Your Phone?

One of the figures that Apple is very keen on trotting out  whenever it gets the opportunity is the one that measures the number of phone users who have upgraded to the latest version of the OS. The pitch usually goes something like this: 99% of iPhones are running the latest version of iOS just seventeen minutes after it was released to the public, meanwhile the latest version of Android is only on three phones despite being available for three months. (I'm paraphrasing here)

However Harvard professor Sendhil Mullainathan has been doing some research using Google Trends that suggests that large numbers of users are immediately disenchanted with their iPhones post-upgrade. The search term 'iPhone slow' goes ballistic on Google immediately after the release of a new version of iOS. This NYTimes article has more details.

So the question is: does Apple deliberately sabotage performance of older devices in the way it codes its upgrades or is this just the result of trying to …

Facebook Makes Messenger Compulsory, Windows Phone Users Wince

One of my favourite things about Windows Phone is the way that third party services integrate into the core experience.

Most impressively the way that the default messaging client handled all communications within its slick, totally native design. The seamless ability to switch from one messaging platform to another within the same conversation without any inconvenience was a world away from what was available on iOS and Android.

Introduced in Windows Phone 7.5 it allowed you to continue a conversation whilst jumping between text message, Windows Live Messenger and Facebook Messenger.

It was a unique selling point and now it's gone.

Skype replaced Windows Live Messenger, now Facebook has killed access to its messaging platform outside of its Messenger application,

Messaging on WP8.1 is now the same tired, jump from app to app paradigm as everywhere else, and that's a shame.

WP8.1: Cortana Adds Foursquare For Dining Recommendations, Potentially Wider Use

Cortana has had a pretty good reception since arriving in the Windows Phone 8.1 Beta and Microsoft had just released a commercial 'demonstrating' how it outperforms Siri.

Whilst Microsoft plays to its strengths in the video, from my own personal experience Cortana is indeed a more capable personal assistant than Apple's version. Microsoft isn't resting on its laurels either, with Foursquare support being added today, enabling recommendations for what's good around you.

So far I've only seen recommendations for dining options, but potentially the power of Bing and the user data held by Foursquare could add up to some very detailed location notifications around different business types and services. Like asking Cortana to let you know when you're near a florist recommended by your Foursquare friends or just highly rated by visitors in general.

If Foursquare is able to strengthen its knowledge of users with better demographic data we could potentially go furt…

OneNote Parody Video - LMFAO

I know there are some of you out there that will hate this video, however as well as being a pretty funny parody of LMFAO it also makes for a pretty good advert for the combined talents of the Surface Pro and OneNote.

The Microsoft engineers who put this together obviously had a good time making it and if it focuses more on being funny than demonstrating the products I think we can forgive them that...

F1: Mercedes Hungary Team Orders Call A Big Mistake

In developing the fastest package fpr the 2014 season, Mercedes gave themselves the nicest problem a race team could have - ensuring that their drivers played nicely in the battle for the driver's and constructor's Wordl Titles.

Thus far the team seem to have done okay - barring the misadventures of Monaco qualifying and the few technical problems they have experienced, it's been clean sweep all season long.

In Hungary though, a combination of safety cars and weather contrived to cost them the race, but also to once more sow discord into the harmonious team environment.

And it was all their own fault.

At two-thirds distance Lewis Hamilton was told not to hold up team-mate Nico Rosberg - on the quicker option tyre - and he politely declined. We're told that the team made the call off it's own back and Rosberg didn't ask to be let by initially. Having then been told that Hamilton was going to let him through Rosberg was left fuming when he didn't.

This was a…

OnePlus One Review - Something Kind of Different

OnePlus has generated a fair bit of buzz with its new handset, for several different reasons. Having had a chance to try one hands-on I can tell you that the buzz is warranted. This is a great phone. For the price I'd even go as far as saying it's an amazing phone. Not perfect, but as close as you can get right now.

The first thing that you'll notice when picking up the OnePlus One is that despite having a 5.5" screen it feels neither heavy nor unwieldy. The materials feel more premium than any mid-range phone has a right to feel and the balance in the hand is excellent. There's no way this is a one-handed phone - but if you're after screen real-estate on this scale that shouldn't be a surprise to you.

What a screen it is though. A 1080p IPS panel, the colours are excellent and screen elements are as sharp as anything at this resolution. I'd say that the panel on the HTC One M8 is a hair better, but that's about all that's in it.

The screen ha…