Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for October 2010

The first Windows Phone 7 is coming to Rogers in the form of a Samsung Focus smartphone. Think of it as the Samsung Galaxy S Android smartphone but infused with Windows Phone 7’s goodness along with some minor hardware changes.

I like the fact that it has a 4″ touchscreen and 512MB of RAM with Samsung’s 1GHz processor. That’s a lot to drool for and hours spent day dreaming about.

That being said, I am up for a device upgrade on Rogers and the arrival of the Samsung Focus on Rogers is imminent. Should I upgrade to the first Windows Phone 7 to land in Canada or pick another Android smartphone? Of course both platforms have their pros and cons and I can’t hide the fact that Windows Phone 7 has more cons than pros compared to Android. But still, there is something attractive about Windows Phone 7 that acts as a serious gravitational pull towards it.

It’s going to be a hard decision.

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No surprise there. I knew it was coming sooner or later. The idea has been roaming the internet for years ever since an App Store was released to the first generation iPhone. But what bothers me is that no other operating system acted fast enough to implement this idea before Apple. I am talking mostly about Microsoft here since it’s the only company that has enough resources to make it happen. I mean, think of the millions of Windows applications available world wide. The massive Microsoft Certified developers population deserve a repository from which they submit their applications to and make it available worldwide and also make profit from. That would most certainly allow their applications to reach a lot more people than if they would market them independently.

Yet, Apple made it first…again. Their innovation surpasses many larger companies that I could think of. The number of Apple Mac applications is barely a fraction of all Windows based applications yet they still manage to make it first in the game in releasing a desktop application store, which is quite embarrassing to Microsoft in my opinion. And you know what? The number of Mac Apps will start sky rocketing when the Mac App Store rolls out specially knowing that Mac developers can take advantage of Apple’s iAds in their applications.

That being said, guess who’ll be copying Apple with releasing their own App Store for their #1 operating system?

Almost any Android app these days seem to use the commonly seen tabs at the top of the app that helps navigate the user to different sections of the app. It looks nice and organized but it does have a major flaw.

The tabs on any iPhone app on the other hand are displayed nicely at the bottom of the app. Some Android developers even started bringing that same look to their Android apps, but that does take away from Android’s uniqueness. So what’s wrong with using the standard Android tabs you say? It’s obviously the size of the tabs.

Those tabs take a massive portion of the screen if you take into consideration how small most of those Android screens are. You’ll definitely know what I am talking about if you’re using a 3.7″ touch screen Android smartphone like the Nexus One I am using. Utilizing those big tabs in portrait mode is wonderful and extremely functional. But as soon as you rotate the device and use the app in landscape mode you’ll start to experience the nightmare. The tabs take more than a third (and sometimes even half) of the screen leaving you just barely enough screen height under the tabs to scroll through the listed items. That, in my opinion, is a design flaw.

On the iPhone, the section or navigation bar is taking up a small space on the app’s screen and it’s tucked neatly at the bottom of the app, sometimes you don’t even notice it’s there. I’d like Android to take a similar approach and start releasing controls in the SDK that doesn’t take up much screen real state. And while they’re at it, maybe add some polish to the most commonly used controls. Would love to see Android becomming a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

It’s the real solution. Why leave the smartphone manufacturers decide to create single or dual SIM smartphones or cellphones? It should be up to the consumer and their wireless provider. If we left it to the manufacturers, then we will end up with cellphones holding more and more SIM cards. The cellphone design complexity will continuously elevate as the number of SIM slots increase.

The solution is with the wireless providers. SIM cards should evolve and incorporate a multi line structure. We’re at a time where many consumers hold two lines; a personal line and a work line. Consumers shouldn’t invest in buying another cellphone made to accept duals SIMs but instead give a call to their wireless provider simply ask to add another line to their current SIM card.

I don’t see why this couldn’t be possible. People already can change their phone numbers associated with their SIM card over the phone with a call to their wireless provider. Therefore the base of the technology is already in place. It’s a matter of improving on the technology and adding the necessary features to make it happen.

Even if this idea required cellphone manufacturers to redesign the SIM slot structure, it will still not involve adding more SIM slots and possibly compromise on battery size or other hardware components.

I believe this concept will eventually be implemented to solve the dual line per cellphone issue. The dual SIM cellphones available today is merely a temporary solution. It’s just a matter of time till we see a real solution.

I feel that people are buying Macs for the wrong reasons. Some friends who bought a Macbook Pro use it for their school homework and web surfing. Some others bought it because they ‘think’ it syncs, works and integrates better with their iPhone or iPod touch. And some others buy a Mac because they ‘know’ it doesn’t get viruses and malware that Windows PCs get. Go figure.

Most of those people I talk about aren’t tech savvy so whatever I hear from them from arguments goes in one ear and goes out the other. But at the same time it worries me what those Mac ads are doing to the public. Those ads are brain washing the public. But in the end it’s Apple’s most powerful and most expensive weapon: marketing. Everyone knows Apple is nothing without their marketing department. It’s what brings them profit. Whether if they’re pushing they’re patents and copyrights or brain washing the public. It’s all about making money in the end.

I am sticking with my Windows PC for a very long time. I just don’t see the reason to switch. It’s proven that whatever Macs do a Windows PC can do it too for a cheaper price. Plus programming for Windows is a walk in the park compared to the Mac OS X.

I really hoped that HP/Palm would be changing the overall hardware design of the Palm Pre 2, but at the same time deep down I didn’t really want to see a radical & dramatical change either. The Palm Pre is what it is. It’s shape and curvature defines it. It’s what makes it the Palm Pre. But what I really wanted to see changed was the screen size. A bit larger wouldn’t have hurt at all. 3.2″ is just a bit on the small side of the screen scale in my opinion.

I do a lot of reading on my Nexus One, and having a large screen really helps and is a lot easy on the eyes. I would’ve imagined Palm going that route with the screen on their second generation device. But oh well, what really makes up for all the device’s hardware drawbacks is the beauty and polishness of the new WebOS 2.0. It’s simply brilliant.

Would’ve loved to be using that card based multitasking on a larger screen. It would really bring out the true beauty within WebOS. But I am guessing HP has tablet plans for WebOS so Palm decided to just beef up the OS and the Pre’s internals.

In general, the Palm Pre 2 has more speed, better screen and a solid polished WebOS to drool over. Not so sure about the keyboard on the new model, I hope they raised the buttons and gave them more feedback. I am waiting to test out a North American GSM model when they arrive in Canada.

I hate going to any wireless store and pickup one of the dummy phones they have on display. They might serve one purpose:  size. But when it comes to functionality it fails dramatically. Consumers want to test a device before they buy it. One of the representatives told me one day that there wasn’t a BlackBerry Torch demo phone available (on freakin’ launch day) because most people already know what the device offers when it comes to features and functionality. I highly doubt it. And even if that was true, that’s a fraction of the customers who walk into the store.

Personally, I would never buy a phone based on playing with a dummy phone or just reading about it on the internet. I prefer to actually hold the real thing in my hands and use it for at least 5 minutes to get a real feeling for it. Phone manufacturers, in my opinion, are loosing profit for not sending working demo units for their feature phones on all wireless carriers.

Wireless carriers just want consumers to sign a contract as soon as possible to get a hard choking grip on them, then they have 30 minutes / 15 days to try out the phone they selected. The customer can’t cancel their contract if they chose to return the phone, they will be faced with at least $250+ penalty. That’s the work of the mafia.

If I am buying a certain smartphone and signing a 2+ years contract for a data plan, I want to try it at the store BEFORE I sign any documents.


@AhmedEltawil

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