It’s been over 16 years since I started this blog, but I have not posted anything in the last couple of years. So, taking another shot at reactivating it by restarting my linkblog posts through Pocket & IFTTT, and a bit of a tweak to the theme as well.
As for my gadget journey, quite a lot has happened in the last couple of years, starting with iPhone 11 Pro that I got to replace my iPhone 7 Plus. I also added the Homepod & Homepod mini towards the end of 2020 along with the Apple Watch 5, Airpods Pro & iPad mini the same year.
I was getting more & more entrenched into the Apple ecosystem till about a couple of months ago when the iPhone 11 Pro died (no damage – just refused to wake up). I ended up getting a Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G along with the Galaxy Watch 4 for the same cost as a replacement for the 11 Pro. The rock solid reliability of Apple hardware seems to be faltering for me, with the Airpods Pro also developing an issue on the left ear piece. I’ve also had different issues with iOS over the years ranging from failed updates requiring device resets to crashing home screens, so the OS side of things is not overtly different from Android in terms of stability.
That said, it has been quite refreshing to get into the modern Android ecosystem, with my last proper usage being Android 6 on the Mi 4. Quite a few things seem smarter on the Android side thanks to the openness of the platform, despite the flexibility Apple has introduced in the last few years with Shortcuts & the likes. Microsoft has also done quite a bit to enable integration with Windows. The link to Windows feature is quite handy to get notifications on my laptop in addition to being able run Android apps from the phone on the laptop as well. Then there’s the DeX mode on Samsung phones that comes in handy when editing videos or creating content using a monitor + keyboard + mouse combo, and of course the split screen & floating apps on the phone that have been around since the early Galaxy Note days.
The camera on the new phone is about on par with the 11 Pro with the telephoto having a longer focal length which I prefer, but the ultrawide is not as wide. The camera app performance is not as smooth, especially on the shot to shot performance when using the on screen shutter. I did try a few Google Camera ports, and their shot to shot performance is better but image quality is on the iffy side.
Either way, I’m in the Android ecosystem as my daily driver and the performance has been perfectly fine. Plus, the flexibility in using smarter apps for SMS & the likes is a more than worthwhile tradeoff for the camera performance.
It’s been a while since I posted manually to the blog. Hopefully, that’ll change with my new phone with the wordpress app.
I got the phone last week and have been playing around with it ever since. It’s got Froyo on it and I’ve installed a ton of apps on it already. The experience has been quite similar yet different from my iPod touch. The app availability is quite similar, but the always connected nature of the phone opens up a new bunch of use cases.
I’ve been making use of the gps quite a bit with the My Tracks asp in particular to plot the routes I take. There have been some wow moments, particularly with the Google Goggles app. The built in tethering feature is also really handy though a bit of a battery hog. I’ll be posting more on the apps later with help from appbrain.
Battery life has however been on the poor side (most likely due to my heavy use) with almost 2 charges being required per day. Then again, my iPod doesn’t do much better if I use it heavily either. I’m currently using a Vodafone prepaid connection with 3G enabled on it. Speeds are pretty decent and a great leap over the GPRS days for sure. I also appreciate the openness of the Android platform as it allows one to work across apps quite nicely. There’s also the App Inventor to create your own simple apps.
I also had plans to buy a tablet – most likely the ipad – this year. However, the Android platform looks really promising on the tablet too, and in a year or so we should be having a well populated Android market for tablets to go with some very good hardware. That said, the iPad 2 remains the best tablet for the next few months.
And last but not the least, swype rocks. I wouldn’t have dreamt of typing out this post from my phone otherwise.
I have a Reliance CDMA post paid connection for which the bill gets generated around the 8th of each month. I have a Rs 500 credit limit & they used to send me an SMS when I used to get close to that limit. However, the incident of over the last day takes the cake:
- I get an SMS at 4:30 am saying that my outgoing call facility has been barred, without any warning whatsoever. This in spite of my paying the bills on time (in fact, I make payments in the excess to cushion against the credit limit).
- I log on to their site after waking up and make a payment of Rs 1000 against the bill amount of Rs 838 (incidentally Rs 837.53 that they conveniently round off as Rs 838 on their pdf bills) at 8:30 am.
- I am duly informed of my payment by SMS at 8:40 am (Thank goodness!).
- Another SMS at 8:50 am informs me that my outgoing call facility has been activated (Yippee!).
- However, at 9:50 am I get an SMS saying “your account usage is high. Pls pay Rs 873.53 to enjoy outgoing service.” (the amount adds up actually as it’s Rs 837.53 for the last bill plus Rs 36 unbilled usage that I had last checked on their site). I decide to ignore the SMS as I have already made a payment well over that amount.
- I finally get my bill for last month by email at 6:40 pm with an amount of Rs 838 due (Rs 837.53 thoughtfully round up in case I decide to pay by cheque… but wait, haven’t I already made the payment?).
- But the best part is when my phone rings at 9:30 pm & I hear an automated voice telling me that my usage is high and I need to pay Rs 873.53 to continue the outgoing service.
Somehow, someone, somewhere seems to have written down the design specs backwards or maybe it’s just me. I guess they have changed their support software/interface, or is that an “upgrade”.
P.S. The times have been rounded off to the nearest 10 minutes (not as conventional as the bill amounts unfortunately).