Google – Android Wear

After months of rumors, Google is officially entering the wearables market. On March 18th, 2014, the company unveiled a specialized version of Android — Android Wear — designed to power smartwatches and other wearable products. On the same day of its major announcement, Google also revealed that it’s already signed on a number of hardware partners including LG and Motorola to help realize its vision.

Android Wear promises to deliver notifications, reminders, and navigation directions. Google says it also puts a huge focus on fitness tracking. The first smartwatches running the platform are set to arrive this year. Google has already released a preview of Android Wear to ensure that smartphone apps are optimized with support for the operating system by the time it reaches consumer devices.

Link: TheVerge

The Simple Known Facts:

  • Automatic Passive Reminders – Sort of like Google Now – Requests are started by saying “Ok Google”
  • Connects Automatically
  • Touch & Voice Reply
  • Circular (Motorola 360) & Square (LG) – They are working with a few other manufacturers
  • The new Android Wear is promised to be released around summer so I have high expectations to get my hands on it by then
  • Screen Resolution is Unknown, but from the video it looks impressive
  • Battery Life hasn’t been disclosed yet

Now seeing this I got excited, Google is throwing their full force into this and here I thought Apple would be releasing a wearable product first, but it seems Google stayed quiet just a few months before release. I’m hoping its going to be much more reasonably priced then the $1500 Google Glass, and I still haven’t tried it out. The best part is that Google is working with multiple manufacturers to bring these to people as soon as possible and to give you options. The Sony Smartwatch 2 was a pretty good watch to give you information but not seemlessly and not all features worked with every phone, and honestly the Samsung Galaxy Gear was a good effort but really fell short in my opinion, it even failed to connect with a lot of the S4s the samsung application store left a lot to be desired, and I think they realized people don’t care about a crappy camera on a watch. I for one tried both of them out and really wanted to like them but they couldn’t replace my watch, it was fun to get the information but it didn’t have everything I wanted and needed. I’m hoping that Android Wear learned from other manufacturer’s mistakes and made something that can work seamlessly and provide all the information that you would want with a decent battery, and one important thing, I really hope it’s water proof.

Loved the music that went with this video, gets you excited to use it.

Dual Sim Phones – 2013

HTCDesire600

HTC Desire 600 – Dual Sim

  • Display: 4.5-inch Super LCD2 display at qHD resolution (960 x 540 pixels)
  • Camera: 8 MP camera with auto focus, LED flash with 720p Recording
  • SoC: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 200, quad-core, 1.2GHz
  • Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage + microSD (up to 64GB)
  • OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Sense 5, upgradeable to Android 4.2.2
  • Battery: 1,860mAh battery (non-removable)

Price: TBD

HTCOneDual

HTC One – Dual Sim Specs

  • Display: 4.7-inches, Super LCD3, 1080×1920 pixels (469 ppi pixel density)
  • Camera: 4-megapixel Ultrapixel camera, 1080p video recording, HDR video
  • SoC: 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 and Adreno 320
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage + microSD (up to 64GB)
  • OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Sense 5, upgradeable to Android 4.2.2
  • Battery: 2,300mAh battery (non-removable)

Price: $790 (Only Available in China)

SGMi9150

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 I9150 Specs

  • Display: 5.8-inches, 540×960 pixels (190 ppi pixel density)
  • Camera: 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording
  • SoC: 1.4GHz dual-core CPU
  • Memory: 1.5GB RAM, 8GB internal storage + microSD (up to 64GB)
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Battery: 2,600mAh battery (non-removable)

Price: $380 (Only Available in India)

At this point I think I see about 80% of people carrying two phones at one point or another. I have been carrying two phones for a few years now, and every time I look at Dual Sim phones they are usually very crappy phones or not available. Recently I have been looking around and the only viable dual sim phones are the three above with the Desire 600 being the weakest one. The HTC One Dual sim is an impressive Dual sim since its the same as the normal one but with two Micro Sims, and they are all Micro Sims. Then there is the Samsung Galaxy Mega i9150 which its impressive specifications and one very large phone, almost 6 inches, bigger then the usual phone. Two phone are top tier phones while the Desire 600 is a mid level phone, its very hard to find high spec dual sim phones, but these two are very viable but the only problem is that the HTC One Dual is only available in China, the Desire 600 was available in the UK but can’t find it anymore and the Samsung Galaxy Mega is only available in India. One other note about Dual Sim phones is that they only come in 3G, there haven’t been any chip boards developed with dual 4G in mind, it might be another year before that happens but still out of the bunch these are the only ones. Searching through ebay and amazon you get to find out every once in a while but you won’t find a good dual sim easily.

Samsung S4 – It’s Out

SamsungS4-1

All this wait and finally this phone is out and it hasn’t changed too much in the looks department but the guts of the phone looks very impressive, its packing a punch. I think Samsung is taking a page out of Apple’s book, the design is fine but they did a major upgrade on the internal parts of the device. They are aiming to release it towards the end of April and knowing what happened last time, these are going to sell out quickly.

SamsungS4-2

Samsung S4 Specifications:

  • 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
  • 1.9 GHz quad-core processor or 1.6 GHz octa-core processor (depending on market)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/ 32/ 64 GB internal storage, microSD slot
  • Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850/900/1900/2100 MHz; 4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (dependent on market)
  • 13 Mega pixel auto focus rear camera with flash and zero shutter lag, BIS
  • 2 Mega pixel front camera, full HD recording @30fps with zero shutter lag, BIS
  • Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • GPS / GLONASS
  • NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, IR LED, MHL 2.0
  • 2,600 mAh battery

SamsungS4-3

What I like about the Hardware:

  • One hell of a camera!
  • Powerful CPU
  • Comes with Android 4.2.2
  • 2,600 mAh battery, so it will last a bit longer, which is more then the S3
  • Up to 64GB Memory
  • Has a MicroSD Slot, very few phones seem to have that these days
  • This time they made it in black, not blue!
  • With all those new hardware features and a bigger battery, its still ligher then the Samsung S3

What I Don’t like About the Hardware

  • Why is the LTE based on location, why don’t they have a multiband LTE like they do for the 3G/2G so it can work across all networks not just LTE in one region or another.

SamsungS4-4

I would like to talk about the camera since that is a feature which is essential to our media dependent lives and the ability to share pictures in all directions. Now this is an interesting features, the dual-camera setup on the S4 can be used in video chat like everyone else and photographs, so a pic of you and what you have your camera pointed at, and the camera as mentioned about in the Specs is 13MP which is very impressive, the S3 camera was great, this one looks to be even better. They even took features from the Samsung Galaxy Camera and set it up with the S4 which is a smart move on their part.

htc-one-xperia-z

You have several choices from the new Android Devices that are coming out:

  • Samsung S4
  • HTC One
  • Sony Xperia Z

gs4-htcone

My opinion is that Sony makes good looking devices, but the OS is always lacking something and they NEVER update their phone, and that makes a huge difference, if you really like it then get, but other then that I would go with either the HTC One or the Samsung S4. If you like HTC then you will love the HTC One, very solid build, and they really worked on the software this time around. And Samsung as usual has come out with the full featured monster. If I had to describe HTC and Samsung’s software philosophies in a single sentence, it’d be this: HTC puts more emphasis on design, whereas Samsung packs in more features. Overall I love the metal design of the HTC One over the Samsung S4, but I like the camera use of the S4. When it comes down to these two its a matter of preference.

Link: AndroidCentral

Messed Up International Calls

What the hell is going on with Phone lines in Kuwait. I just came to accept that when people call into to Kuwait the call quality is usually crap, but when you call out you get a decent line. Over the last few years for some reason the lines have gotten worse, and lately most of the time when someone calls me from overseas I get some random 222#####, very rarely is it with the caller ID and sometimes its a 5 digit number like 29268. Now recently over the past two weeks I have gotten some strange caller ID numbers which start with 9982#### or 9878####. Now it seems that some Zain lines are being used as Voip numbers, I’m sure that it isn’t Zain doing this because all international lines in Kuwait are controlled by the Government for the most part, if they know they have control over it. Seriously, when someone calls me from abroad I would like to know who it is.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

Now this new phone has peaked my interest, I have always been a fan of Sony Ericsson but I feel like they haven’t gotten the smartphone formula down yet except when I saw the look of this phone and the specifications. Its a powerful phone inside a very thin sexy looking case and its running Gingerbread (Android 2.3), when they first launched the Xperia they launched it with Android 1.6, and Android 2.01 was out by then and they didn’t upgrade. SE makes great hardware but very slow to upgrade their software, this is where HTC excel, they keep updating your software and the phone just keeps on going.

Specifications:

  • 8.7mm Thick
  • The Arc comes with a 4.2” display
  • GPS
  • 8.3Mpix Camera
  • HDMI Out
  • 1GHz Snapdragon CPU
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

My phone life cycle started off with Nokia back in the early 90s, then switch to Ericsson (before the merger) in early 2000, then switching to Sony Ericsson, and just recently switched to Android with the Google Nexus first came out. Now this phone is making thinking of switching back to the Sony Ericsson platform but the best part is that its all Android and I won’t really won’t have to do much except sign in with my Google account and everything will sync automatically.

I was thinking of upgrading next year, it was probably going to be one of the HTC phones which are to be announced some time in February but the Xperia Arc is a definite candidate with its specifications and style, I just hope its released very soon.

Link: AkibaharaNews

SMS & BBMs – Some Decency

DSC_7244

This has been a topic on my mind for some time now, it has been the same with emails and everything else. I don’t forward texts, BBMs, or Emails, I know most of the time it annoys people and sometimes they messages contain malicious code which can damage your PC or phone. With the use of BBM people are broadcasting a lot of events and other things happening which is great there is a limit to it. I think people should exercise some common decency when forwarding certain messages out.

The case being with deceased relatives, what I have seen recently is no common decency in the matter. When people broadcast bbms or send out mass text messages about someone who has recently been deceased within hours or even the same day. A lot of the times the immediate relatives from cousins to brothers and sisters and even parents don’t know about it and get shocked from these messages and its devastating. Sometimes its hard giving someone the bad news that their son or daughter or mother or father has passed away, there is never a way to handle it. But getting it via mass message isn’t the way, and people should refrain from forwarding that type of message. This has gotten on my nerves quite a few times but recently it was a disaster, when a family member is abroad and they find out from their daughter’s friend’s mass bbm that smoeone close passed away, its shocking to say the least.

Blackberry Curve 9300

Stumbling onto this video at Crackberry is a good sign, I have had my Blackberry Curve 8900 for 1 year and 7 months now, and this thing is falling apart. The trackball is still faithfull and the phone is operating but it can’t read the micro-SD card anymore and hangs every once in a while. I’m surprised it lasted this long after what I put it through, and I have been waiting for Curve update, and here you have it. It will be running the 5.0 OS and now the rumored 6.0 OS which is fine by me. This isn’t a revolutionary phone but an overhaul of the phone to current technology, and I’m happy that they have mostly worked out the kinks in the new OS, so I’m hoping that it will be a smooth operating OS without any issues. The strange part is the guy on the video calling the Curve 8900, the “8500” which is new to me, other then that it looks like a good upgrade to the current phone, I just hope they don’t take too long to release it.

Blackberry 8900 & Nexus One Android

I have had the Nexus One for a while now and at the same time I have my Blackberry with so its interesting to have two data intensive phones. Usually I always had one dumb phone, just to make calls and data phone since getting the Blackberry two simple roles but since getting the Nexus One I have been enjoying surfing and the ease of accessing my emails and other Google applications. The Blackberry is a simple smooth operating system which has great data management, keeps everything lite.

Blackberry 8900

  • Handles Data Usage Efficiently
  • Great Battery Life
  • Great Signal
  • Applications
  • Blackberry Messenger
  • Good Sound Quality
  • Excellent Speaker
  • Durable, has taken some ridiculous falls

Nexus One Android

  • Excellent Screen
  • Lots of Applications
  • Best browsing Capability, works with Flash
  • Best Gmail Integration
  • Works with Wifi Perfectly
  • Touch Screen
  • Amazing Sound Quality
  • Google Contacts Integrations
  • Crappy Batter Life
  • Fragile
  • Very Customizable Home Screen
  • Youtube in Full Screen

BlackBerry Bold 9700 – In Kuwait

blackberry-bold-9700

This is probably one of the most sought after Blackberry after the other ones, everybody seems to want one. I am very comfortable with my 8900 Curve which does the job perfectly and is relatively light, but some people just don’t like the keyboard. And in my opinion the current Bold is filled with bugs and problems, so this 9700 Bold is similar to the 8900 Curve in design but with a big keyboard like the original bold and hopefully more stable software. As for a availability it is trickling in the market with astronomical prices, even buying an unlocked one from the US is a bit expensive but there are solutions.

  • Kuwait Prices range from 240 – 270 KD as of today
  • From Clove.co.uk you can buy it for 165 KD and shipping two day to Kuwait is 30 KD and they accept international credit cards so it goes for 195KD which is a much better price with the link below

Link: Clove.co.uk

17/10 – The Cut Off Date

This additional numbers are causing slight havoc and some systems haven’t yet adapted to it. I don’t get my Aramex texts anymore, it seems they are working on it. 17/10/08 is the cut off date, I’m not sure what exactly is  going to happen or what isn’t going to happen.

  • 1+800 numbers
  • 2+Landlines
  • 9+MTC
  • 6+Wataniya

The most annoying part is that I am getting 5-7 wrong calls a day, and at the worst of times. For the past few weeks I’m not really answering numbers that I don’t know because I’m tired of saying you have the wrong number, especially those numbers where you have no clue where they are calling from.