It’s been a while since I really blogged about gadgets. A couple of years ago I used to get really excited about upcoming products, and I just couldn’t shut up about things like the CrunchPad and the Eee-PC. Lately, that hasn’t happened much, and I’ve been wondering why. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that I don’t have time to blog, or lost interest in gadgets. It’s just that everything released lately has been “incremental”. Almost everyday there’s a new laptop or tablet that’s thinner, lighter, faster than the previous one. Evolution, not revolution. The first thing that’s really tickled my fancy in a long time is the Nexus 7. More Google’s Nexus 7: Epic want!
Usually, I write about newly announced gadgets. Things I’m contemplating spending money on, because they’re cutting edge and boast impressive specs. I can spend hours comparing different products trying to find the absolute best fit for my needs. But sometimes it can be equally interesting to look back on a previous purchase and see if it lived up to your expectations.
Almost two years ago (and on a two-year contract), I got an HTC Desire. The Desire is basically HTC’s own version of the Google Nexus One. They manufactured Google’s flagship “superphone”, and somewhere along the line decided to introduce a slightly modified version as the Desire. More Two years in, the HTC desire is still a great phone
Last week saw the kick-off of the first completely unofficial Dutch Wordfeud tournament. I’m competing, and so far, things are going great. I have no illusions about making it to the next round though. Even though I’m winning most of the round one games, my scores are mediocre at best, and the accumulated total scores decide which sixteen players will compete in round two. But there’s a catch…
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my first experiences with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. I noted that while its hardware is excellent, there’s a distinct shortage of tablet apps for Android. Most apps will work just fine, but they’ll make poor use of a tablet’s screen real estate.
But things are definitely improving. New apps are coming out daily. I’ve tried quite a few of them, and I thought I’d do a quick rundown of the apps I’m actually using on a daily basis. More My personal top 10 Android tablet apps
Four years ago, I wrote a short blog post about the Nokia N800 “Internet Tablet”. Like its 2005 predecessor, the N770, it was a small, expensive device that let you use the internet everywhere you went. I probably would have gotten one if the whole netbook hype hadn’t happened. But as cool as netbooks were (and sometimes still are), they’re still “small laptops”. And while I was playing with Eee-PCs, tablets were getting increasingly alluring.
People here in the Netherlands will often complain about poor 3G data speeds. Twitter is full of people complaining about T-Mobile. Some will suggest Vodafone for better reception, while others agree that KPN has the best network. I simply don’t know. And to my knowledge, no independent studies have been done recently. So maybe it’s time for a community app that measures network performance, and reports back to an independent database? More Idea: A mobile network performance statistics app?
Converting video files from one format to another has always been a pain. You’re dealing with large files, tons of different formats and software that offers more settings than mere mortals can possibly comprehend. Programs like Handbrake work well and offer useful presets, but Miro Video Converter goes one step futher. It offers the simplest possible user interface, making transcoding as easy as it possible can. More Miro Video Converter strips it down to the basics
A couple of days ago, I had an interesting dicussion on Twitter with Dutch media guru @erwblo. He noticed a trend at SxSW, where all exciting new developments seemed to be centered around apps. I tried to argue that apps are “evil”, but found that I needed a lot more than 140 characters to explain myself. Hence this post.
Right now, there’s a war raging. Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft and others are caught up in a bitter fight over supremacy on the mobile internet. And the stakes are high. The web is about to go mobile. Smartphone sales are up, and dumbphones are getting smarter. Tablets are replacing part of the laptop market, and will soon represent a big slice of overall internet consumption. More A dystopian future of the mobile internet
Not all HTC Desire car holders are created equal it seems. I’d been using a cheap generic solution for little over half a year when it broke. First, the tightening clip failed, and later that week the bundled power adapter stopped charging. Time for a more reliable solution. I use Google Maps navigation all the time, so I decided to try HTC’s own, rather expensive, Car Upgrade Kit.
HTC’s kit consists of the holder itself, a USB cord, a power adaper and a suction plate. That last item is a plastic disk that you can stick on your car’s dashboard. The holder’s suction cup then attaches to the plate’s smooth plastic surface. Unfortunately, Ford used so many unnecessary curves and bends my older model Focus’s ugly-ass dashboard that there’s no place left to stick the plate. More HTC’s Desire car upgrade kit sucks (really well)