Jailbreaking. Embrace it rather than Limit it

So I found this article speaking to Apple advising their more inquisitive crowd recommending them not to Jail Break their devices.

http://www.valuewalk.com/2013/02/apple-inc-aapl-advises-fans-not-to-jailbreak-their-ios-devices/

I thought this is one of Apple’s weak points. Yes, Apple, you may not like developers tweaking with your “perfect” OS but this part of what moves the platform. This is part of how those new great features get added to the OS. Contrary to some, the best ideas don’t come out of Cupertino. Some actually come from the enthusiast who want to see something better. The treasure chest on concepts found on the internet many on Verge forums, with some being working Jailbreak modifications is just an example of this.

Now Azrienoch did a Youtube video explaining why rooting on the Android side is…necessary, and pushes the OS and platform. You may say, “Well that’s Android…this is Apple,” but the same premise still remains true here. The more developers you have using and tweaking mods to your OS, the more ideas you have to poach from and officially add it to the OS, in your own “unique” way. The only difference is that Google welcomes individual development and modding of Android OS, and OEMs know better than to come outright and try to stop it. HTC’s latest debacle shows how important that development/rooting community is.

Here is the video…

 

Anyway, knowing Apple, if they don’t like something, they sort of try to shut it down. If the Jailbreaking ceased to exist, will it hurt anything? Probably not, but I feel Apple will lose a great idea machine, by trying to squeeze the life out of the Jail-breaking community.

Anyway what do you all think?

The X-Phone is Google’s way to Restore Balance…

So with all the talk about Samsung dropping Android, and all the X-Phone rumors, I ve come to a conclusion…

The X-Phone is Google’s way to restore balance to the Android ecosystem. I personally do not think Google intended for their to be only 1 very dominant OEM in the Android space..and with Samsung basically doing whatever they want short of forking Android, Google needs to make sure there is a viable competitor.

Now….

  • The OEMs are in it just like Samsung they want users to be in their own ecosystem and their own apps, and they are not big on selling or marketing Nexus devices, so Google can not count on Sony or LJ as they can just as easily get big and try to push their own deeply customized Phone with their own ecosystem leaving Google Apps to the side.
  • Nexus devices are still reference devices that are unlocked and getting updates directly from Google. This needs to stay this way. Regardless of what people say. The Nexus line is a developer device. It is the device that the Android Compatibillty Guidelines are based off of..thus it is called “Reference Device” So you cannot get rid of the Nexus, or dilute it with things like the VZW Galaxy Nexus.

The Motorola X-Phone will be Google’s Android balancing act, so to speak. It will not be a bone stock Nexus but a “stockish” Android phone designed to be sold with carrier customization in mind. So what does this mean? It means it would be a Verizon Galaxy Nexus marketed to the masses with LTE and a few Verizon apps. So in Verizon’s case it would not have Google Wallet, will come with Isis Payments built in, and maybe some games and other bloatware. It will not carry the Nexus name so that the Nexus line is not diluted, and it will be mass produced and available on all carriers. Now you will have some caveats. It will not be updated directly from Google, but will probably be updated faster than any other OEM and you will have to deal with any of the Carrier applications and lock-ins that may come with any other phone. Yes it will have bloatware, but that can easily be disabled, unlike the likes of Touchwiz and MotoBlur.

I think this will allow Google to put more focus on the Google version of the Android experience, focusing more on their ecosystem and services, in addition to offering wide device availability, and ensuring that there is a premium alternative that can compete with Samsung.

The Platform battle has turned to an Eco-System War

Sometime last week Google released their much anticipated Maps App for iOS and caused mad app downloading hysteria in one night, and FanBoys on each side stirring up trouble. Android Fans pissed that Google gave the iPhone Maps, Apple Fans still pushing Apple’s Maps as better. I guess you can’t please everyone.

Anyway even before that Eric Schmidt made the comment, “The Platform War is Over and Android won” which I agree with, but with some caveats. I believe Eric is talking about the platform war in regards to the race to get user market-share. That has always kind of bean what the platform war is about. Companies create services and hardware to attract more and more users, Google needs it to push more ads, Apple and Samsung needs users to sell more hardware. Anyway I won’t get into business model differences here.

My point is that the Platform War was more of a battle, to see what OS will become dominant. What platform will more users be using. The answer is a resounding Android and you really can’t argue with that. However, the platform battle is a big chunk of the larger Ecosystem War. Google, Amazon, and Apple are the big three players on the ecosystem side. Samsung and other OEMs do not play in their league, and will probably never play in their league.

Each ecosystem offers a robust App Catalog, Music, Video, Books, Magazines, and services all integrated together for the user. However each company is fighting the Eco-System War differently.

Amazon provides users with a forked Android experience taking the popularity of Android and using that to create their own App Catalog which is basically Android Apps. They key here is that Amazon now has app exclusives and offers competitive pricing pulling Android users into their store. Amazon additionally has Music, and Video offerings which rival that of iTunes in pricing and availability with Amazon starting to offer their complete ecosystem on the Android and Apple ecosystem it will eventually start poaching users from iTunes. Amazon does not have it’s own smartphone which is the primary device these days. So it does create an issue when you have to relay on another Ecosystems primary device to put your ecosystem on.

Google’s Ecosystem is built on Android, and is a different beast. Google considers Android the Ecosystem of ecosystems, touting it as an OS that is designed for you to choose the ecosystem of your liking. However, because Google basically controls the Android OS, they make sure Google services are more deeply integrated into the OS at it’s core. This includes features like Google Search and Google Voice, which is much more integrated than Skinned versions of Android. Now Google’s move is to offer their services to as many users as possible. Because Google does not sell products like Apple, or Product and Services like Amazon. Google sales targeted ads. That is how they make their money. So the more people that are using Google services the better Google is at targeting ads accurately. This is why you do see Maps, Search, Chrome, Drive, Earth, and other services for iOS. I think we will eventually see Google Music, Google Magazines, Books, and other content come to the iPhone as a native app as well. Yes I know Android phones will balk, but it is business, I think as Android becomes more polished the OS will be able to stand on it’s own. I think we are at that point that the majority of people want Android because of Android. I predict Google Now will stay an Android exclusive until the OS is 100% polished, and then they will port it out to iOS.

Now we all know Apple’s ecosystem, it is more of a closed wall ecosystem on the mobile side. They do not offer their services natively for any other OS. You basically need to find an app that will be able to tie into iTunes, AirPlay, iCloud, etc…This aspect basically forces the user to purchase Apple hardware if they want full integration to their services. Is it right? Yes, it is right for Apple, they are a hardware company, and that is how they make their money. Think if Apple just the iTunes app for Android, that will cut into their bottom line because they are no longer making money off the hardware purchase which is about 60% of Apple’s profits. If Google loses an Android user because of Maps (It will happen but it won’t be anything major) Google still makes their cash because that user is still using their services and is still tied into their ecosystem.

Long story short Apple provides probably the best streamlined ecosystem compared to Amazon and Google, when the user completely buys in to Desktop, Phone, Tablet, and TV. However we all know the majority of people operate in mixed platforms something Like iPad, Android Phone, Windows Desktop, and an Apple TV or Roko. When that is the typical device make up of a user it is inevitable that the company that wins the Ecosystem war will be the company that has more interoperabillty between the different platforms.

So who wins? I honestly don’t know I think the battle for the Television space will play a huge role on how the ecosystem battle shifts. I do feel Google is winning on the shear fact Android has more users, and their services are accessible to more people regardless of platform. As Google begins to create more native Apps on iOS rivaling Apples services Google can start making huge jumps ahead.

The Nexus Line and VoLTE…Why it Matters

People People

So I’ve been a regular in theVerge.com posting all types of silliness and starting wars with Apple FanBoys so I figured I should drop some of my post on my own blog.  So  as everyone knows I’m all about my technology, phones, tablets, cars, audio, basically anything that runs on a battery.  I am also a big Android guy, and I super excited for the upcoming release of the new Nexus from Google..well long story short it does not have LTE and that started a big hooplah and crying from the tech crowd and yeah….moving on.

So I think once VoLTE hits this how thing about Verizon being weird about having locked devices will effectively end.

First lets talk about LTE

Verizon won the C Block spectrum in March of 2008, bringing the rise of LTE and crazy data speeds on are mobile devices. Everyone was like Google might get into the mobile business as they were bidding on the Spectrum, when in all reality they were setting the reserve price to ensure Open-Access to that block of Spectrum. Verizon won, we have LTE, and the rest is history.

So What Happened to Open Access?

Open Access is still a provision. Which is probably the reason Verizon never really came after folks who rooted their phones and used wireless tethering apps. They were actually fined for trying to block these apps in the Play Store, so the Open Access provisions are alive and kicking. This makes some people wonder why is this a problem then? Because Verizon still uses CDMA for voice services. They basically have an hybrid LTE CDMA model. So in turn they are still allowed to lock down their phones due to the need of CDMA. Updates for the Galaxy Nexus is more of an issue because VZW requires all this rigorous testing for their CDMA network, not necessarily the LTE network.

So VoLTE?

VoLTE is basically Voice carried over your data connection. For Verizon it means it will not have to provide both a LTE and CDMA chip in their phones. Phones will only need a LTE chip and in theory, you will no longer need a voice plan because everything including voice calls are transferred over data. It also means the Open-Access rules are now in full effect, so Verizon cannot lock down phones on the basis of it still needing a CDMA chip. LTE is currently being trialed by Verizon in select cities with plans for Nationwide roll out in 2013.

What it Means for Google and Nexus

Google’s Nexus line will easily be able to do a unlocked LTE version for Verizon due to the Open-Access provisions which went into effect purely based on Google’s huge opening bid in 2008. With no CDMA, Verizon will no longer have control because of those provisions enforced by the FCC. I’m sure Google wanted to work with Verizon, but they also new that soon Verizon will have no choice. Once VoLTE goes nation wide, expect an unlocked LTE Nexus using this technology, probably priced about $100 more than the GSM version.

All this matters because VoLTE is the future of mobile phones. I think we will soon start seeing purely data plans being available for users to use with both Voice and Data. Google though has done something smart. They have set the price for a high quality unlocked device, and they have set that price low. I imagine a the next Nexus will support VoLTE on Verizon, it will be unlocked, and will cost $400 compared to an unlocked GSM version for $350, as LTE licensing cost a lot more. This will also allow Google to build the device as they want to with Updates coming directly from Google and Carriers being removed completely from the process

So I see these things happening within the Mobile world in the nest 2 years

  • VoLTE going live nationwide within a year
  • Unlimited Data Plans making their way back
  • Unlocked Better priced Contract Free Mobile devices. No more $650 Off contract phones
  • More competition, with more and more customers becoming month to month non contract users

So yes I do wish that Google had a LTE Nexus available, but Google is working on something and I think next year we will see the beginning of a change to the mobile industry for the better. So I’m just going to Chillax as the time of carriers forcing their hand will soon come to an end.

iOS, the worlds most advanced mobile OS….Really?

I’ve been wanting to write this for a while, but I always forget. But my faithful Apple Fanboy friend reminded today with his usual fanboyish comments, this latestone being….

“iOS is the worlds most advanced operating system, and Android OS is just a fragmented heap of trash”

I gave him a crazy look and he was like just look it up on Google. I laughed it off. Anyway I think this claim Apple makes made sense in circa 2009, but for them to continuously say it at this stage of the platform war is just odd to me. First off I’m not going to included Windows Phone here because , because it just complicates things, but feel free to provide Windows Phone pints in the comments.

Lets get started….

From Apples point of view…http://www.apple.com/ios/what-is/ they claim to have the most advanced mobile OS because..

Elegant and intuitive interface. I find this point mostly subjective because I personally don’t like the home screen with a grid of Apps and folders, and the skeumorphism thing iOS is doing, does not suit my taste…and many other Apple users as I have found. In addition Apple bases it’s intuitive claim on the fact that is a touch screen you use with your finger…ok..I must use my toes on Android or something. And it seems the stylus is making a comeback so again this is subjective, and purely a preference. But that does not make it more advanced then Androids touch screen and use of widgets. Draw

Amazing features and built-in apps.This would really be the bulk of where any claim of being the most advanced OS would come from. However Apple provides limited features to base their claim on. But for the sake of argument lets compare the stand out Apps, Apple mentioned

  • Siri. Siri competes head to head with Google Now, offering the best each side has to offer in a mobile personal assistant. Siri best Google in the regard of being able to make calendar appointments and add task to ToDo list, Tweet, Post to Facebook, and other interactions with Apps. However Google Now provides better voice recognition, faster interface, and the location aware cards to better predict information you will need before you ask for it. I can’t say one is better than the other here because, they are simply going in 2 different directions so this again becomes a issue of preference.
  • Maps. No. 3D Fly bys does not make this app better. Not going to get into it because no matter what anyone says Apple Maps is not better than Google Maps on Android.
  • Music. The feature set on each music App is about the same. The amount of content counts a little bit, but really nothing to do with how Advanced your OS is, as Apple and Android don’t create content. they make deals with content providers, and with Android just getting the Warner Music library, the difference is getting very very small
  • iMessages. I will give Apple this, as Android has really not provided a unification in its messaging hardware.
  • FaceTime. It is basically similar to Google Video Chat. However Google Talk Video Chat is cross platform, and does not require Apple hardware, which negates any claim this is better. Plus Google has Hangouts….multi person video chat.
  • Hardware and software made for each other. Yes I will give this to Apple
  • The world’s largest — and smartest — collection of apps. Yes Apple might have better content, but Android has better functionality. The number one aspect being able to install, update, and delete apps from the web, without having to touch your phone. The key here is in regards to how advanced your OS is is that Apple and Google control the store, and developers control the content. Not sure what they mean by smarter though.
  • iCloud. Your content. On all your devices. I disagree, because they are assuming I have all Apple devices, so for the user that has the Android Phone, iPad, and Windows PC…explain how this will best Google’s cloud services which are cross platform and web based.
  • Safari. Google Chrome. Which I think is better and is also cross platform
  • AirPlay..Yes Apple takes it here….for now. With Miracast ramping up we will have see how manufacturers embrace the standard and how it will compare to the experience on AirPlay

So that is the only feature set Apple based their claim on on their website. I feel when you make a broad claim like that you need to really show people why you are the best. This means give me some comparisons to your competeitors. So lets dig a bit deeper on the feature set because I don’t think you can call something the most advanced simply based on that, as Android brings features Apple seems to be lacking in…

  • NFC. No it is not just for buying stuff. Mobile to Mobile sharing. And it even works across platforms, iOS has nothing like this, that does not require someone to install and have a app running first.
  • Notification Shade/Tray/Center/Drawer….Again Android brought Actionable notifications and is even bringing toggles in 4.2, there is no contest here.
  • Face Unlock…Niche feature, but still Apple’s OS has nothing here.
  • 4.2 Will also bring user profiles, major advancements to the camera in regards to UI and panorama, lockscreen widgets, and built in gesture typing.

Now to be fair I think Apple does handle updates, availability, and security better than Android. Even with the Nexus devices, updates come in segments. I remember my Nexus 7’s update was not available for at least a week after it was announced. When, Apple’s updates are available. They are available. Period.

In the end I do think Android is a more advanced OS based purely on the feature set and functionality of the OS. The only real comparison in my opinion is Windows Phone, as it is the only OS that can really go toe to toe with Android in regards to features. Yes we can argue back and fourth on whether content and design play a roll in how advanced your OS is. But design is subjective, and content is really in the hands of the content providers.

So what do you all think? Again, like in everything I post, if we can try to keep this objective and leave the Apple and Android bashing out of it I think it could be a well informed debate. So yeah…I can care less comments using the terms iSheep, FanDroid, and the like.

iPad Mini will destroy all other 7″ Tablets?….Uhhh….Not really.

Ok,

I was waiting for Apple to release the infamous even invite for the iPad Mini, so as it comes here comes all the crazy comments. For some reason folks think the iPad mini is going to blow the Nexus 7 out of the water, and that this will be the end of all other Tablet’s as we know it.

Objectively speaking I think the iPad mini will sell very well. I think many folks will actually sell there iPad 2 for an iPad mini. Additionally those folks in which price was a barrier to entry in the tablet space might actually budge. However, I think this happened with the Kindle, which made people realize that Apple is not the only company that can make a quality tablet with decent content. The majority of people want a 7″ Tablet simply for media consumption….news, video, music, books, games. The only real edge Apple has here is games. We are no longer in 2010 were nothing even came close to matching an iPad. This is 2012 where folks are ditching their iPads for Nexus 7’s. Media can cross devices more easier than ever, and everyone Amazon, Google, etc…has a ton of content. Yes for a ful lsize 10″ Tablet, apps are a key issue, but I don’t think it comes into play that much with the 7 inchers. These tablets fare for us to watch YouTube and Hulu, Read books and magazines, and browse the web. The apps that make a difference will be the media content apps, which are pretty much on par across all platforms.

This new tablet market are the folks who want a cheap, quality, tablet, to read books and watch movies. This is not the market that wants a tablet for better productivity. Thus, the iPad mini is just Apple’s version of the solution, which will sell well, but not destroy anything else out there. Kindle and Google will offer quality tablets offering more features for a much less of the price, catering to those consumers who like to purchase cheap Android phones. This is not, and has never been Apple’s consumer market target, and I don’t think their name and brand recognition is going to be enough for them to ultimately kill off all other 7 inchers.

But…the iPad Mini, will sell and it will make Apple a crap load of cash, and I’m sure of that.

Apple vs Samsung…Let the Cat fighting begin

Ok let me first start by saying, that if anyone knows me well I carry a significant disdain for Apple, as I am an Blackberry turned Android fan.  Nonetheless, I love technology I do appreciate what Apple has done within the technology space, even though I can careless about their devices. Soooooo if you do see a bias in what I am bout to right, just be warned I told you..

Now Monday was the start of this highly anticipated, so called “technology trial of the century” between Apple and Samsung over what I believe to be utter bull.  You can check The Verges Guide to the trial if you want some more details and opinions over what is what but the key is this.

Apple said Samsung copied its designs which are patented.  These include:

  • The front speaker slot, uncluttered front face, display borders and the edge-to-edge glass of a smartphone.
  • The home button, uncluttered front face, rounded corners and the front edge border of a smartphone.
  • The general grid layout for icons, and a dock of separate icons at the bottom of a mobile device display.
  • The thin bezel, outer edge border, rounded corners, edge-to-edge front glass, and minimalist aesthetics on the front, sides and back of a tablet.

I think this case is BS, Yes Apple did bring something innovative with the iPhone in 2007, but the industry was moving in that direction anyway. We all know that almost every pocket PC out there no matter how ugly they were, was basically a touch screen.  In addition the LG Prada Phone…yes I went there, won a European design award in 2007.  My question to Apple, what gives you the right to monopolize the rights to a square device with a touch screen?

LJ Prada Phone

Now I won’t go into details, but Apple’s abuse of the Patent system to get broad patents to stifle competition and innovation disgust me.  Consumers are not that dumb, the strong majority of us know the difference between an iPhone and some other touch screen device.  Trust me if we are about to drop 299.00 on a device which we will be stuck with for 2 years, I’m sure we are completely clear if this is an iPhone or not.  In the end this trial is really about us, wether you are an Android, iOS, Windows, etc..fan, you should not want anyone to win this trial.

Here is the thing all companies learn from each other which allows for companies to innovate their products further.  Yes Android, moved to a full touch screen device when the iPhone was released, but they added new innovations like Widgets, Notification Center, and deeper customization.  Apple learned from Android with their Notification Center which included a type of widget.  None of these companies would be where they are by themselves.  So everyone should just shut-up and give me a phone that can cooks me dinner!!!

Are you serious Verizon?!?…..C’Mon Son

Did I ever mention whole much I despise calling Customer Service?  Serously, no matter the company the experience is nauseating.  A true waist of time.

So anyway, today was pretty chill so wifey decided to Call VZW customer service to fix an issues on her blackberry that hasn’t been working for a while.  Honestly….to me this is simple, after going through all the troubleshooting and talking to like 3 people, you should send me new phone.  Ohhhhh but not Verizon they have never seen the problem..so they want to do all this testing and research, wipe my wife’s phone and all this unnecessary stuff for no good reason.

Ok so here it comes, I know you are thinking……”HeCareth, they are experts at this, this is what they do, how do you know it’s unnecessary?”  Well……I just know.  I think that is sufficient.

Anyways I decided to talk…well…yeah talk to the rep. and she took me through the whole spill about this and that and why that is this and that is that and why this needs to be done to that to make sure that doesn’t screw up this.  Makes sense ;). LOL!!!  Well I basically we told her we have things to do and have no time to go through this long labored process of finding out why the visual voice mail on the blackberry has issues.

So to make this long story short, I decided to use my crack-berry prowess and deductive reasoning and troubleshooting skills to see if I can solve my wife’s visual voice mail mystery.  15 minutes later……voila…problem fixed…and the trip part about it, is that with everything she was going to make us do she would have never found the problem and ended up sending us another phone.

So actually I saved Verizon like 200 bucks on sending another phone, doing what she couldn’t do in 2 hours, in 15 minutes….how you love that one, Ms. Ever so smart I know what I’m talking about and you don’t Verizon Tier 2 Blackberry Technical Support Rep?

I would like my cookie now….until next time

~H “Dot”

Blackberry app for WordPress

Yessurb!! WordPress got a Blackberry app. Yes I know they have been having one since October, but hey I wasn’t blogging then. Plus the new version came out last month, so I’m not that late.

Anyway excuse any typos I am trying to test this thing out. Don’t mind the pic, just my monitor on my dirty desk.

Oh yeah here is the link to the app: WordPress Blackberry App