My job has me constantly looking at the Enterprise state of mobile, which I have to tell you only private corporate enterprises can afford the newest tech. Not to mention all the other red tape surrounding legal matters and finance. The consumer side of me, is constantly looking for ways to make that mobile device make sense in my life. Which is why I dropped Samsung years ago. Yes I do have a Samsung tablet but it fills a gap by being one of the last true phablets, yup it's the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 phone variant. Yes I do talk on it occasionally but paired with a keyboard and mouse it's a quick, easy to carry, gap filling piece of tech for what I need it for. Otherwise I think Samsung devices have too many "helpful" features of which I very seldomly used. Then there is Apple...
At one time I loved Apple, so much so that everything tech had was Apple... Newton's, G3/4's desktop and laptops, etc. Then the love stopped because I felt like I was getting screwed. The old saying you get what you pay for was true with Apple up to a point. That "point" was not being able to afford them anymore. As a self proclaimed tech geek I always want the latest and greatest but you practically have to be a bazillionaire to afford all of Apple's tech. So I made the eventual change back to PC and then additionally Android. I could write a whole other blog about the stigma of being an Apple user outside of the digital arts community in the early 2000's but let's just say all of the people who gave me shit for being an Apple user back then are now part of the conglomerated mass of "Sheepple". I don't regret leaving Apple I just wish there had been a mid-tier/low-cost area that would have kept me buying Apple Products.
As I scan all the daily tech sites about the new and upcoming mobile technologies, I've come to the conclusion that innovation has long since left and now we are sitting here being spoon fed what the industry wants us to. It's a little depressing, I used to be very excited about the Microsoft, Apple, and Google conferences and couldn't wait to hear about that next start up... that time is pretty much over. I understand that this or that company has patents or there is the Apple v Google v Samsung v Microsoft debate. Which BTW I have no idea why Samsung is even in this line, they are a manufacturer not like the other big 3... then again there is Tizen which isn't wholly Samsung but close enough. I'm tired of stuff I should have had years ago coming to me now like this possible Bluetooth feature for Android. Or the debate on who's camera is better for what, F**** You! I've know photographers both professional and casual and everyone seems to have their brand or style. I don't care if my camera is better than yours, I care that the pictures I take are to my liking and don't look like a pile of poop.
People often ask me why I have so many devices and my response is always cause I can. Well that's the point of this article, as I'm tired of writing you're probably wondering what's the point of this rant. Well in a nutshell, I used to be jaded and think the world was open to possibilities and that leaving Apple no longer meant I was stuck to "their world". What I found was we are all stuck with whatever these corporations are willing to give us. So getting back to why I was excited for Essential and Andy Rubin's vision. He's offering the purple pill, not the blue pill that makes us forget and just be drones, not the red pill that makes you see the "truth" about mobile tech's state. The purple pill is that idea that he's aware of the issues and see what he has helped to build but also is aware that the industry serves itself now so what can we do to bring it back to the consumer.
That is how the mobile tech industry is stale, the industry stopped listening when they realized "there is an app for that" and they could integrate that app eventually. Some call it evolution, I just take issue with companies not getting the idea that we as consumers want what we want. Granted if we got everything the device would probably be messed up but where is the balance? Where is the innovation that used to come in huge monster tsunami's... now we get these little waves that someone else already did. Apple is the King of doing this and even they are starting to get stale in that respect.
My mom passed, I got married, I have a little girl due in a week or two, etc. I'm not sure if I should be depressed, happy, or I don't know.
With my mom passing the family dynamic is completely changed and not for the good. I'm not going to get into it but let's just say I am not very happy with certain members in the family.
My wife has been the best... I knew what I was getting into and I got to say my wife is the greatest thing ever. :D My wife being pregnant is kinda funny... well not really most of the time I'm just worried about all the things that come along with being an expectant father. The down side, kids are expensive so I won't be able to buy new gadgets... but I think it's worth it. ;)
Among my new gadgets:
- Shanling M1 Digital Audio Player (DAP)
- Trinity Audio Engineering - Phantom Masters and Phantom Master 4's
- TAE Masters
- Phantom Master 4's have been discontinues
- Kickstarted the GPD Pocket on Indigogo
I have an appointment to go see a doctor in a few minutes... another one of those things to be not so happy about. So I'll post some pictures soon of everything.
Until then be good!
So I'm a week out from receiving my Google Pixel. First impressions, well I was fairly disappointed with the design but usability I'm stoked on. The phone moves, faster and better than almost anything I've had before it says my One Plus X. The one Plus X was beautiful and moved great and it wasn't even highly spec'd out. If you are looking for a sub $300 phone, I say pick it up.
Anyway, I'm sure you like me read everything you could about the Pixel and Pixel XL. I agree with most of the reviews minus one or two Apple/Samsung fanboy articles I read. I really use my main phone line for text, phone calls, web reading, and music. So when it comes to the usual how good is the camera or how does it play games I can only tell you a combination of what I read and my first impressions.
What are my first impressions, well let's start with gaming. I literally have two other Android device devoted to that. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (LTE Malaysian edition) and my Nexus 6 on Project Fi. I have to be honest here and say that I haven't tried to play any games. I suppose from what I read it's not a show stopper but it's not a Nvidia Shield device either. Camera is a whole other topic. I took a few snaps and this camera is faster than any other device I have even in HDR+ mode. I can just snap away and go crazy and still be able to get to my pictures fast. I mean FAST. I was using a BB Priv and One Plus X before I got on my Pixel XL and the difference in speed is crazy. As far a picture quality, when the conditions are decent the Pixel XL is taking some great photos but in low light or less than decent situations the camera pictures produced are all over the place. I think my Priv actually took more consistent photos in low light. I didn't say better just consistant. I'm sure that has to do with the software and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) versus the usual Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). On that note, I found that video quality suffered the same draw backs as photos in less than decent conditions. However the stabilization was crazy good, albeit a little weird. You know when you are playing a first person shooter and something explodes near you and you get sick because the camera angle is way too smooth. Well that was the impression I first got when my new sofa was delivered and I did a walk around so I could show my wife. Overall I'm very impressed with Google's attempt as none of my Nexus devices (no I did not have a Nexus 6P or 5X) came even close to the quality.
My main grip right now is that I feel that the phone while being speedy in all factors has nothing to offer the normal consumer outside of what was already mentioned. The upload to Google Photo in full resolution for free is great and so is the support app but what about people like me who don't use their phone as a camera or really don't need support. This is the same argument I get in with Samsung Fan boys, so I think come on Google give me something more! What was that, "What about Google Assitant?" Well what about it?
Google Assistant feels like they ran out of time, just like why it was explained in other articles that the phone is not waterproof. I mean I've pretty much given Google access to just about everything and yet the Assistant can't even read a text message to me? Seriously, I feel like this is Google Now 1.1 not even 1.5. Now don't let me let you think that it sucks all together. There are some highlights like how it'll read the agenda/news (once configured) or how quick Assistant is when I ask it a question. Big G has got that down great, pending your connectivity of course. Offline interaction is hampered of course but still works as expected.
What's next? Well I'm hoping for something big in the next quarterly release from Google but I'm not holding my breath.
That's enough about the Pixel, let me tell you about my new fascination with HI Resolution audio. Actually let me preface this with the fact that my brain is constantly on the move. Last year was all about Playing cards and Android Head units for my car. This year seems to be Balisong (Butterfly knives) and more recently Hi Resolution audio. I'm still doing research and learning about this as the days go one so I cannot claim to be an expert but I've always been into quality. From my first set of Sennhieser Hi Fi circum-aural headphones to my newly acquired Harmon Kardon In ear Noise Cancellation headphones (HKIENC). On the HKIENC, if I hadn't paid $30 for $150 headphones I'd be severely pissed off... I'm not going to recommend them unless you can get them for the $30. Anyway, I've ordered a Shanling M1 and Trinity Phantom Master 4's. Hopefully I get them before I go on vacation.
You can Google the devices but the Shanling M1 is basically a super powered with screen iPad Nano. I'm excited because while I loved the iPad Classic I had I hate iTunes with a passion. While there is no touch screen there is a jog wheel and a Digital Audio Converter (DAC) which is nice for a Digital Audio Player (DAP). I didn't want to use one of my phones just due to the size and the fact that I'm carrying close to 5-6 devices at any given time. Plus I wanted a DAP with a DAC because well I miss listening to my music. Non of which is Hi Resolution... Ha ha ha... but whatever I like tech.
The Trinity Phantom Master 4's will be my return to quality audio since my last big headphone purchase of Ludacris' Soul SL99. While not a huge performance upgrade or even audiophile level I liked them a lot minus the fit. I still use them but I figured if I'm going to pic up a DAP I'd do myself the solid and get something nice. I got lucky after doing some research on In Ear Monitors (IEM) and stumbled across a company called Trinity Audio Engineering based out of the UK. What I found out is they are relatively new and seem to be good for the price. Once again though can Google them. I'm hoping I'll get to do a mini review from a non-audiophile stand point and since I got in on the last day of their pre-order sale I didn't pay full price. So if I hate them I'll pass them along to my brother or use them for computer gaming.
Anyhow after another long winded blog I hope you get to this part so I can say thanks for keeping up.
Some of the fun stuff in the tech world:
- Apple released the iPhone 7
- Google is now making their own phones (through and Original Device Manufacturer (ODM) via HTC) and the Nexus line is dead
- Microsoft is still messing with Windows 10 albeit gets better then worse then better then worse then....you get the idea
- BlackBerry officially announced the exit from hardware design/manufacturing to go to an ODM process and focus on software
- Samsung is feeling the literal heat from their Note 7 debacle
- BlizzCon is coming up
- and so much more that I don't care to mention
- Got married
- moved, not too far from where I was
- waiting for my Google Pixel XL phone... lol
- Stopped smoking analog cigarettes in favor of the PAX Juul for about three going on four weeks now
- finally got my hands on a phone variant of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
- haven't drank any alcohol in weeks
- and so much more that I would like to tell you but don't want to bore you with
- I have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to politics
- The Election system is messed up in the US
- The person I usually vote for loses, always...
- I'm not in the business of pissing people off over politics, electronics maybe but not politics.
My high school English teacher used to say, "You've got constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth." that just came to mind from the last line typed.
It's been a while, lots has changed. Maybe I could even say evolved. I now have three mobile phone lines. My main personal do everything line, my secondary whatever I feel like popping the SIM into line, and my Google Project Fi line. Hopefully soon I'll have some choice words to spout. For now I'm just going to leave off with I won't and can't let another two years go by without typing in here.
Geez, so many random things and nothing really to say. :D
So over the last year I've amassed two smart watches, a Galaxy note 2, and my most recent purchase a Surface Pro 2. If you didn't know I went to art school and now work in the IT industry. I've been moving my way up the ranks. So now I need a machine that was a tablet and a Windows PC... enter the Surface.
I'll have a review later but let's just say that the 1.5 days I've had the thing I'm pretty stoked. Like my old Mac's I expect to get a few years out of this piece and maybe pull out a few pieces of artwork too.
The sad thing about this is that I wish someone would just give me this stuff so I can spend my money on other things like... Bulleit Whiskey, Girls, and more car parts. The nice thing about this all is that once I get past this little hump of mine I'm in a good position. I wished I was here four years ago but hey at least I'm making progress.
BTW, if you're interested in a Surface see if you can pick up the 1st gen and save some money. Unless you got money to burn.
This thing puts all my Android tablets to shame. It's a little bigger and heavier but it also does a whole lot more. Think of it as a well priced laptop without the frills.
Review coming soon, I promise it'll be from a angry Asian that doesn't give a crap about half the stuff the normal consumer doesn't. :D Till then!
People just want something convenient. I always wondered why something so lack luster as the newer iPhones still sell so well. Then it dawned on me that people want ease of use. As phones become smarter the users stay the same. I bust my ass day in day out at a IT job that makes around me miserable. All I want my phone to do is work. But I carry a Samsung Galaxy Note II with a ZeroLemon battery, which BTW is fantastic, but it's like carrying around a brick in my pocket. Being Asian I always get, "Wonder why your phone is so big..." My reply is that I have to make up for my small eyes. It gets laughs and diffuses any potential anger issues that I have seething inside of me.
That's where the two preceding paragraphs come in... enter the smartwatch. I've been lucky enough to be able to afford gadgets and the smartwatch is currently far from being able to really affordable.
I currently own a:
MetaWatch (Hardware REV F)
This is on the way around NOVEMBER:
The fun thing is that I no longer have to pull out my phone for any calls or texts. Using applications like Augmented Smartwatch Pro:
I get the most out of the limited hardware.
Functionally all the watches work the same I can get my notifications on my wrist. I never have to pull my phone out on that date or annoy my best friends by being on the phone all the time. Some watches even offer sensors and monitors to help with staying fit. Not that I use those features but it's nice.
Most people will see the novelty in the smartwatch, some might find benefit, some will hate it. However it is another option that most people don't even think about. Make you're own decisions but don't knock it until you try it and don't scoff at people when they do have one.