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!

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 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!


For the gadget lover with everything…


A £600 jumper, must be Hugo Boss? This one doubles as a smartphone! Check out

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

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!

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


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!


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


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 🙂

  • Migrating App-Stores is an expensive nightmare

    Migrate from App Store to Google Play Store

    Thinking of moving App Stores?

    If your an iOS’er or an Androidian there may come a time when you decide you need a change.

    Swapping from an iPhone to an Android seems reasonable and something many of us would like to do.

    iPhone users, thinking about you’re next device?  Along comes Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, both are very capable alternatives and very tempting …

    Obviously Apple, Google, Microsoft and the like do not want to loose you and by having a library of apps you have paid for is a good insurance for them, after all who wants to buy all their apps again? A single reason to choose one over the other due to application availability is shrinking as their libraries equalise, so the next risk is that you will move and find cheaper (or free) alternatives rather than buying the products again.

    Example: You paid £39.99 or more for TomTom on iPhone and decide to buy an HTC One next time round, you could

    1. Buy it again on Android and give TomTom another £24.99
    2. Use the Google built in Navigation on the HTC One, TomTom have then lost you, probably for ever.

    Hypothetical 3. TomTom do not want to loose you regardless of what device you use so they offer you a migration path and swap your licence from iOS to Android, perhaps for a small fee, £2.99 say?

    All the other vendors who have competitive products in the popular app stores should be working on this as a future model, cheap apps or no cheap apps we don’t want to keep buying them!

    Come on software companies keep up.

    iOS7 Cat is out of the Bag


    WWDC kicked off today with some exciting announcements with the many Apple fans rammed in the Mascone Centre in San Francisco … 

    Let us focus on iOS7 among the many announcements… including OSX and iTunes Radio a Spotify type service.

    Tim Cook started the iOS bit with a bunch of stats around usage, but it was all the usual waffle and the proof will be in the eating anyway, sorry Tim.

    By far the biggest aspect of the announcement is the Jony Ive inspired new look and feel. Dare I say an Android look unlock screen welcomes you into a layered interface of totally newly designed icons, and a flat clean look seems to be the best way to explain it.

    Next, Multi-Tasking for all, yes all Apps! wonder if Steve is spinning in his grave?

    They talk about some great features to save battery, for instance if the phone wakes up for some reason then all apps will use the moment to update at the same time, if your in cellular coverage then update apps, don’t waste battery trying to connect only to discover your in a dead spot, sounds quite cool, Get it?

    Eddy Cue took to the stage and unveiled a new Siri, well a male and female voice that is, plus some new integrations, you can turn on bluetooth and search for web results from Bing and Wikipedia for example.

    One initially exciting feature is Activation Apple attempt at the rising theft and re-use of their products. With iOS7 a lost device is useless without the owners iTunes username and password, well that’s assuming the security community don’t break it.

    Available to all in the Autumn it looks like a good stab at hanging onto the many defectors, the Apple share price didn’t react that well, but time will tell and as I say the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    More from the mountain of announcements soon….