It arrived and its faulty!

It arrived from Hong KoImageng, as usual DHL stung me another £30 for the import pleasure, thanks HMRC!

Not sure how people on Ebay based in the UK can offer the Pebble for £90 all in, I paid $149 plus the £30 import duty, but I got to order mine from the mothership! getpebble.com

Anyway, opened it lovely box, well packed, not an Apple experience but perfectly enjoyable, and here is where the joy ended, very abruptly.

Connected it to my iPhone, and installed a couple of faces and apps, but then I noticed the double amber line that would not go, see picture.

Off I went back to getpebble.com and eventually found the support form, they really don’t want to help you, even when you find the form as you try to send it your further asked if your email is absolutely necessary.

Now you would like to read that a replacement was shipped, everything was sorted and I am a happy Pebbler again? Wrong!

So far 2 emails and nothing back, well apart from the automated email and guess what, “They are experiencing a high volume of email support requests” That sounds bad to me in many ways.

As a company why would you advertise,

1) Our product is so rubbish people keep asking for help
2) We are terribly under staffed in the call centre and you are not important enough for us to employ more people
3) We are not really experiencing a high volume we just say that so you expect a crap service

I digress,

Here is my official feedback so far.

  • Having a text message displayed without looking at your phone, cool!
  • Being able to swim and still receive messages,  great! Especially when you have left your kids home alone and if they need you they can get you
  • The battery life is up to 7 days not 7 hours, and to be honest is perfectly acceptable
  • The apps available can be quite unstable, but there is a decent amount
  • GPS apps, display Tweets, calendar entries makes it really quite handy
  • The screen is pretty pants, not that clear and not as easy to see as they would have you believe
  • You do look like a geek, but its quite easy to conceal if your concerned about that

So in conclusion,

Should you buy one, if you need the above then maybe, however its a V1 device, that’s assuming yours turns up and works properly.

Would I buy one again? NO,  and the after sales service is non-existent? I’m sure there are laws to protect us, oh of course they assume you can actually talk to the company concerned.

I will be contacting my credit card to see if they can help.

Do yourself a favor, AVOID AVOID AVOID the PEBBLE!

My Pebble Watch has shipped!

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My Pebble watch is winging its way to me thanks to DHL, it’s currently in Hong Kong somewhere.

You may remember I blogged the Pebble when it was first announced as a kick starter. The infamous Seiko and Casio Data-Banks had been and gone and the Samsung Gear was not available then so I wondered how successful this could be.

 

Clearly application eco system is key and it so far looks good, but soon I can speak as a real user.

 

I do have some questions I need answering,

1) Will I look a total dork with this on my wrist? Geek is cool, Dork is bad
2) Having to charge my watch every 7 hours,  that may get annoying
3) Is not having to get my phone out of my pocket every time I feel that vibration actually a benefit?

Be back with the results, experiences good and bad as soon as it arrives.

 

As a side, why do I keep feeling the vibration of my phone only to discover its not vibrated? and more importantly is it bad?

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the gadget lover with everything…

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A £600 jumper, must be Hugo Boss? This one doubles as a smartphone! Check out http://morphsuits.co.uk

It’s a fireplace jumper with a pouch for your smartphone, you download the free app and hey presto an HD fireplace and one expensive jumper! invented by a NASA rocket scientist and yours for £17.49🙂

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Smartphone SmartPeople SmartChoices

nokia
Thinking about a new Smartphone? Is your iPhone boring you or your Android to complicated? What about the other options, Microsoft Windows Phone8 perhaps?

It’s been a while since I wrote about phones and it really has moved on since then. Time for another round up of your options, and what pain points to consider before moving.

Slightly disappointed with the new iPhone line up, and in need of a change, I decided to try a Samsung Galaxy S4, top dog in the Android pack.

While the device was a little plastic fantastic the screen was amazing! The Android interface seemed reasonable at first, but very quickly became frustrating for the Apple old timer. Nothing perseverance wouldn’t fix I suppose. All my apps bar one were available in the Play Store although I was peeved to have to re-purchase some of them. There is a need for manufacturers to provide AppStore credit as an incentive for shifters, and in time this will come I hope.

Well as I write this my iPhone sits on the desk looking smug, the transition to Samsung’s Android iteration was too much to bear. My perseverance broke me and I quit.

This tale will be the same the world over in all technology directions, so I decided to look elsewhere in search of Technology Bliss.

Blackberry, Hmmmm, Firefox phone should be fired, Ubuntu so far not materialized!

Enter Nokia Lumia Windows Phone. Having had the pleasure to trial a Lumia 925 and an 820, both running the latest Phone8 version I have to say they are slick. Microsoft have knocked Blackberry of the 3rd place perch so it will start to gain momentum and for us as consumers we really need the competition to keep the innovations coming.

Interface, simple and as good as iPhone if not better in some aspects, cameras amazing and with Microsoft Office built in you just can’t grumble.

One great feature is Kids Corner, this is a separate area your little cherubs can access with apps you configure for them, no risk of a rude message to the boss or them playing an inappropriate game.

And for the piece de resistance, all Nokia Lumia phones come with some great value add.

Nokia Drive SatNav built in, some with European Maps and others with Global (depends on model) these maps are downloadable before you travel and constantly updated free.
Nokia Mix Radio, free access to 18 million tracks to play on your device for life, with no adverts and you can download up to 8 hrs of them free of charge. There is a premium edition for a few pounds a month to allow unlimited downloads.
The main issue for the platform right now is apps, most are there but not necessarily as developed as the iOS and Android counterparts, check this before you move. Facebook for example the app cannot edit an existing post, yet.

Once a couple of my “Must Have” apps are across I will consider a permanent move to Windows and Lumia.

The Nokia range starts with the 510 and I found the next model up 520 for £69 on Pay as You Go, these start at a low price. Don’t forget the flagship 41 Megapixel 1020 model, this allows you to take a picture and zoom into the detail as if you had a much bigger lens, you manipulate a 5Mp picture on the device to make it useable, nifty.

HTC also make a range of Windows Phone devices starting at around £100.

There you have it then, is Nokia back? Or should I say Mokia J

5S for Speedy and 5C for Cheap, not quite!

compare_iphone5s
Apple releases a pair of new devices and makes it’s mark on the Smartphone stage, again
So going 64bit, a good move for longer term performance and initially for competitive edge over the others, but totally irrelevant to the users at least in the short term. I wonder if Steve Jobs would have made such a noise about a feature so technical?
Next is the Motion Co-Pro, an interesting innovation, these new APIs will plug the hole where Samsung’s S Health app has started the charge. The future of phones being able to detect movement and even your heartbeat is one step closer.

So with a fingerprint reader and a blingy gold option the 5S has arrived!

Next up is the 5C, think plastic, well Apple prefer polycarbonate as it sounds better! Basically the guts of the current 5 make this a good phone and a great cheaper option. One slight fly in the ointment is the price, from £469 for the 16Gb it’s not C for cheap thats for sure.

So the lineup for 2013/14 is the 5S, the 5C, the current 5 gets the chop and the 4S that lives on at £349.

iOS 7 will be available from the 18th September,the 5S from the 20th September and the 5C pre-orderable from the 13th September.

Big day today for all the Apple Fans

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Here we go again! Today is another Apple big unveiling. Its been 6 or so years since these events started causing excitement, I wonder how long that will last? possibly they are not as big as before but it still seems to get the chatter going.

I’ve read many predictions ranging from new iPads, new OSX, Smart watches, a new cheaper phone, even spy pictures of the same device that are different!

Only time will tell but recently some of the leaks have turned out to be true so you never know. Other vendors seem to fail in generating this level of chatter and excitement, so how do Apple do it and can they keep it?

Chris Matyszczyk from CNet puts it quite well,

Some people know how to dress, some don’t. Some people know what looks good, and some people wear plaid shirts to the opera. Some even put a stripey tie on to “match” that plaid shirt.
Those looking to define taste find themselves enmeshed in nebulous terminology. Yet Apple’s computers, phones, and tablets so often appear and instantly cause both admiration and envy.
This is the company that managed to produce a turquoise computer and make it desirable.
This is the company that took the existing concept of the tablet and turned it into a necessary accessory.

So there is more to it than just the technology, these people are fashion gurus or victims depending on your view!

Source:CNET

Every Software company needs a Hardware company!

nokia Bravo to Microsoft for securing Nokia’s mobile phone division. Nokia having shrunk it’s market share from 40% of phones in 2007 to just 3% of smartphones today have struggled in recent years to keep up with Google and Apple

Microsoft paid £4.6bn for the division and although the partnership agreement still had some years to run they should be able to better compete with Apple and Google now they are officially “Phone Engineers and manufacturers”!

Software companies that need to get their heads around hardware engineers and building devices benefit from these sorts of deals, think back to Sony and Ericsson in 2001, they recognised all those years ago that this was a good move, they bought back out in 2011. Don’t forget more recently Google, who took the Motorola phone division back in 2012.

So Blackberry is left on the shelf, Samsung maybe for the software rather than hardware and it’s Enterprise business?

In search of a Smartphone USP

Boring

Smartphones have become so samey that manufacturers have been searching for a USP to differentiate themselves, Android especially is suffering from this and the heavy weights are sparring as we speak.

Let’s look at some of them, starting with the King of Android Samsung, they have packed so much tech into their devices they positively bulge, there is more hardware and software innovation in a Samsung device than you can shake a stick at but, with that said they often get accused of being plastic and pretty cheap feeling from a physical perspective.

Queue, HTC and the new “One” this is milled from a single piece of aluminum and is without doubt beautiful, could this be HTC looking for their niche? Trying to be the Apple of the Android world and looking for a way to compete with Samsung.

Then we have Sony, in the past they were top of the beautiful products showcase in everything they did, Apple knocked them off that perch and so recently they went with Waterproof in their Xperia model. A useful feature for that unfortunate accident everyone dreads but a reason to choose them over another? You Decide!

Moving onto Nokia, they already have a USP or a Unique reason to NOT buy if you include operating system, for some it will put them off. Windows 8 Phone sets them apart but in an attempt to appeal they have focused on imaging, Carl Zeiss everywhere and the new 41Mp camera is evidence of that, of course Nokia have a reputation of building great devices so that helps.

How about LG, now this is a not so obvious but IMHO they have gone with cheap as their appealing factor, pack lots of hardware in a keep the price rock bottom.

How about Blackberry, they continue to hope that the legendary Blackberry experience will bring them the appeal, time will tell but perhaps they need another USP in the back pocket just in case?

Lastly we have to mention Apple, love them or hate them, you pay the money and in return they provide objects of desire that are well made and provide a slick experience, the benchmark perhaps?

In HQ’s all around the world clever people desperately try to come up with new and appealing ways to make rectangular, thin, touch screen devices more appealing over the oppositions next thin, rectangular touch screen device!

When we were young tech costs were tiny!

80s-tech-01-0413-lgnIn recent years the costs for all our tech has increased dramatically, if you have kids it exponentially increases as they grow!

Think about the costs of technology in the 80’s

(if you can remember that far back)

  • TV
  • VCR (If you were really well off)
  • Telephone (On a dodgy table by the front door)
  • ZX Spectrum connected to a 14′ portable TV
  • Sony Walkman (For the Uber Rich and Cool)
    That’s about it!

    From an electricity perspective we used a tiny amount in comparison to today.

    Fast Forward now to 2013

  • LCD TV’s (In many rooms)
  • SkyBox, DVD … blah blah blah
  • Mobile Phones
  • Tablets
  • MP3 Music players
  • eBook Readers
  • Broadband

    I could go on and on but you catch my drift here, modern times are a feast of tech with the price tag to match.

    For parents it can be a real struggle, kids need a phone, broadband, a laptop, an Xbox, a printer with unlimited ink and now they want a tablet, not to mention the electricity to run it all.

    How culture has changed is interesting, is it for the better? having all the kids win at the school sports day and knowing where we are every waking (and sleeping) moment, being able to track our kids, and text, call or chat is less of a stress when you need to know where they are.

    I’m not even going to mention social tools, but dare I say it, life was a lot simpler before.

    That’s progress🙂

  • RIP AltaVista

    For those that have lived the rise of the Internet and had to install Trumpet to get online, July 8th is quite a sad day, the end of an era. BTW if you don’t know what Trumpet is then your to young to need to, and No you don’t play it!

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    After being a trend setter in the early days AltaVista was acquired by Yahoo in 2003 as part of the purchase of Overture. Its simple uncluttered interface was years ahead of its time, remember this pre-dates Google.

    Some history of the “Old Girl” courtesy of the BBC

    AltaVista was launched in 1995 when search engines generally did a poor job of logging information on the web’s rapidly growing population of sites.

    The search engine was popular because it had indexed about 20 million webpages, far more than any rival at the time. It developed its own “crawler” technology that did the job of finding webpages and logging what was on them. It also used fast computers behind the scenes to return results quickly.

    The combination made AltaVista one of the top web destinations until 2001 when the number of searches conducted via Google overtook it.

    The closure is part of a wider restructure at Yahoo Inc as they streamline other brands, including Delicious and YahooBuzz to name a couple, which will result in 600 job loses at the Sunnyvale based company.

    How the mighty has fallen since 1996 when AltaVista provided the search results for Yahoo!

    That’s progress! RIP AltaVista 15th December 1995 to July 8th 2013

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