Over the past few months I’ve had the privilege of having the Droid Razr Maxx HD from Verizon. Not to spoil anything, but this is one of the best Android devices I’ve had to date. It was fast, fluid and had a pretty good battery life. That’s just the nutshell version, now on to the nuts and bolts.
I started out to do a full review of the LG Intuition but due to some technical difficulties on Verizon’s end the device couldn’t be activated, so I’ll just pop out a quick few words on this device.
I recently had time to look at the HTC Trophy, Verizion’s first Windows Phone 7 device. Let’s dive in:
If you’re looking for the fastest phone, then this probably isn’t for you, but it does come with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, it sports a 3.8-inch capacitive touch screen, 802.11n Wifi, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, GPS, FM Radio. It also comes with 8 GB of fixed flash storage with 512MB ROM, and 576MB of RAM. It also has a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and is able to take video in 720p. The bad thing is no front facing camera.
The phone is small, and it was easy to hold and use, and felt natural in the hand. The battery was good, as I could get a good 24 hours of usage out of it, and with minimal usage I could get a couple days usage.
I really liked this phone, and all in all for the people who are afraid of smartphones, this is one of the best for a beginner.
Back in January, I wrote about five things I’d like to see in iOS 5, I thought I would update that, as the beta is out, and it’s been officially announced.
The first thing on my list was wireless syncing, this is now going to be a part of the iOS system. It works in the way that everytime you plug your phone into the wall to charge, it’ll sync with iTunes automatically. It’ll also backup to iCloud if you want it to use that instead of iTunes as a backup system.
Number two on my list was lockscreen improvements. There wasn’t really a good improvement to the lockscreen, as I would have liked to see my calendar and weather, but this also is a part of number four on my list better notifications.
The third thing was SMS enhancements. This didn’t get done, as I also would’ve like them to incorporate some Bite SMS features, like quick reply, but they did come out with a new messaging system called imessage, which is an iOS to iOS device messenger, that bypasses the carriers SMS fees. It’s built into the SMS app on the iphone, and when you add the person it automatically changes to imessage if that person has it activated.
On to number four, better notifications, this got reworked, and now notifications show up on the lockscreen, and you slide the icon to open the app, and there is now a notification center that slides down from the top and all your notification are in one place, it also doesn’t do the popup window by default, it shows the notification across the top of the window.
The last thing was the built in apps and the ability to delete them. Nope, still can’t do that.
So, as I’m looking back at this, my score was 3.5/5, so that’s pretty good for a guess at what Apple will do.
I recently had some time to spend with the Motorola Xoom tablet, and before I give you an opinion, I’ll start with the specs. The Xoom has a 2GHz, NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor with 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot (more on that later). It has a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 capacitive display, 3G connectivity (I had the Verizon version), it also has front and rear facing cameras. The list price off contract is $799. The hardware is good, but it’s also running a new version of Android. It’s loaded with Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
I’ve been using Google Voice for a long time now, I started using the service when it was still called Grand Central. Since the Google takeover, the service has become more and more useful. Here is my case for everyone to make the switch to Google Voice.
The newest feature that they’ve added is number porting. This of course means that you can port any current number you own to Google Voice for a small $20 fee. I myself wouldn’t want to port a cell number because you will be responsible for all ETF’s and other fees, but this makes more sense for people who want to get rid of their landline service and keep their number.
The part of the service that I use the most is the SMS, it allows you to send unlimited SMS messages for free through the service. This can be done on the iPhone and Android apps, as well as from the web interface. You can also send a message to up to 5 people as well.
The other feature that sells it for me is the phone forwarding options. This allows you to add all your current phone numbers to the service, and then when someone calls your Google Voice number it will ring to all those phones. Phones can be mobile, home or work, as well as Google Talk, and you can customize the times the phones will ring, so if you aren’t going to be home between 8-5 on weekdays, you can choose to not have it ring your home number at those times. If you are going to be in a meeting or have some work to get done, you can turn on the Do Not Disturb feature and all calls will go straight to voicemail. You can also record calls if you need to, of course you need to be aware of local laws regarding call recording.
If you don’t want to make the full switch, you can sign up for the service and just use it for voicemail on your mobile phone, because when you get a voicemail, it’s transcribed for you, so you don’t always have to listen to them. The transcription is not perfect, but 90% of the time I get the gist of it without having to listen to them.
The other thing that I love about the service is the call blocking, ever since I’ve been with the service, I hardly get anymore unwanted calls, and if I do, I block them and then the next time they call, they get the standard phone company “We’re sorry this number is no longer in service” message, and you’ll never get a call from them again.
It’s best also to keep your contacts in Google contacts and I would also recommend that you keep them in groups such as Family, Friends, Work, etc. That way, you can record separate voicemail greetings for each of those groups. Since it is a voip service, you can also buy credits to make very cheap international calls.
The service is great for what it does, and they seem to be rolling out new features on a regular basis, so go to the Google Voice website and get your number now and start using it.
As always if you have any questions you can email me or leave a comment below.
I love the iPhone, and have yet to take the leap into an iPad, but that’s the next item on my Apple purchase list. So with the release of iOS 4 the system got better, but it’s still a little lacking. Here are a few things I would like to see in iOS 5.
1. Wireless Sync
I would love to be able to sync without plugging in, especially if I want to just add a few items. This is available to jail-breakers, but not everyone wants to take that leap, so it’d be nice if apple could just turn the switch on and let us sync without wires.
2. Lock Screen Improvements
The lock screen is rather useless now, all you get is a clock, but I would love it if Apple bought the company that makes intelliscreen, which is a very useful lock screen for jailbreakers.
3. SMS Enhancements
At one time I had my idevice jail-broken, and loved biteSMS because I could reply to a SMS from the notification screen, or quickly compose a SMS from anywhere, this doesn’t seem like it would take too much to implement, and would be a wonderful addition.
4. Better Notifications
This one is a no-brainer, the current notification system is clunky and needs work, if you get multiple notifications you have to go through them one at a time, and they pop up on top of each other, this is another one that Apple needs to buy the company that makes the Notifier app for jail-broken devices, and it would make the notification system a lot more usable.
5. Default Apps
The built in Apple apps are nice, but not for everyone, I would like Apple to let the users choose their default apps, I don’t use the Calendar app, but if I make an appointment through mail, it goes into the calendar app, and for the love of God, let us delete the weather and other apps we don’t use or need.
This is just a small list, but it’s some of my biggest ones I would like to see implemented. Let me know in the comments what you would like to see changed in iOS5.