I really hope Blackberry and WP8 succeed, and here’s why

Blackberry_Z10A while ago, I read an article on Mac360 about how Apple is supposedly destroying Android “from the inside out“. It’s a “fairly biased” piece, and it somehow seems to argue that Apple’s ability to make money off of content is a good thing for end users. But that’s not what caught my eye (since we all know the iPhone is essentially a shopping cart). Here’s what did.

The question that tech media and stock analysts should be asking is, ‘How long before Android and Google’s partners give up the chase?‘

Huh, what?
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Two years in, the HTC desire is still a great phone

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.
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Roy | March 18, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (18)
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Word of warning: Hollands Nieuwe and notifications

If you’ve been to my blog before, you may have noticed that every two years, around spring, I tend to get a little excited. Phone contact renewal time! And if played well, that usually means a “free” new phone. This time around however, with the recession and all, I’m looking to get a cheaper contract instead. This is also partly because I’m still very happy with my HTC Desire. One of the operators I’m looking at is “Hollands Nieuwe“, but I found that their plans have a nasty “catch”.
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Idea: A mobile network performance statistics app?

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?
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How to get the most out of your Android phone

I’ve been using an Android phone since April, and it took me a while to get used to Google’s OS. I’d had two Symbian devices before getting the HTC Desire, and as it turns out, I made a few mistakes in getting used to my new phone that ended up keeping me from fully enjoying my new phone. I found myself needing to unlearn old habits in order to use Android as it was intended. Here’s what I learned.
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Anyone else getting RSI from their phone?

I’ve been using computers daily since I was twelve, and I’ve never had any trouble with RSI or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. When I look back at how I sat hunched over my Amiga 500 while playing games, that in itself is a small miracle. Nowadays, I pay close attention to my posture, and I can work long days without even the slightest hint of pain. Until I pick up one of my mobile devices that is.
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Opera just made browsing on Symbian fun again

Opera logoI while ago I wrote about how Gravity, a native Twitter client for Symbian added some much-needed sexiness to that somewhat outdated operating system. But what Symbian was really lacking was a good, modern browser. And it seems like Opera has just fixed that.

Symbian’s built-in browser is painfully slow to use. It loads pages and then seems to re-render them using the attached style sheet (meaning it’ll first show you part of the page’s content and then appear to start all over again). It also does not play well with modern web apps that use lots of javascript and AJAX. I used it only if I had no other option, and greatly preferred the browser on my iPod Touch.
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Google Sync for Symbian S60 limited on purpose?

Google SyncYesterday, Google announced a new beta version of their Sync service. It’s exactly what many Google Calendar users have been waiting for. It lets you synchronize your contacts and calendar events between ‘gcal’ and your iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Mobile smartphone. There’s also a Symbian (SyncML) version, but that does contacts only. But what puzzles me is why.

I’ve been using GooSync to sync my calendar, and their free service has been great. It’s a little limited (no contacts, one calendar only), but it works flawlessly. GooSync uses SyncML, an open standard supported by many handset and PDA manufacturers. So when I read about Google own SyncML option I was fully expecting it to sync my calendar. But alas. Google’s implementation does contacts only.

This got me thinking. Symbian made headlines last year because it plans to go open source. That means they’ll be entering Android territory. Perhaps Google’s little robot isn’t planning on a long time symbiosis with Nokia’s mobile platform? They wouldn’t… or would they?

Nokia E71 – And I thought the E51 was impressive!

Nokia E71Around this time of the year, my mobile contract comes up for renewal. For a gadget freak like me that means shopping for a new phone. I could have gone for a sim-only contract and cut costs a little, but with so many shiny new toys available every year where’s the fun in that? I did consider keeping my beloved E51 because I really really liked it, but the E71 was just too darn shiny.

Wired magazine called the E71 an “iPhone killer“, but that really doesn’t do it justice. In fact, except for being roughly the same size, it’s pretty much the opposite of Apple’s offering. It has a physical keyboard, it runs an OS that was designed for mobile phones, and it’s software is an open platform.
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Skype lite won’t actually let you Skype?

I stumbled across Skype Lite today. It took them long enough to launch a version of their calling app for the most obvious of target devices, the mobile phone. Sure there has been a Windows Mobile version for a while now, but I’m not a big fan of Microsoft’s mobile efforts. The new ‘true’ mobile version runs on Java enabled phones, so probably on yours as well.

Fring and Nimbuzz (I recommend the latter) have been offering free ‘skype calls’ (by which I mean voice calls over data networks) for a while now, so the real kicker is that Skype itself does not seem to allow that. At least not for free. And free calls is what Skype is all about, right?
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