First impressions of the HTC Desire

This isn’t going to be a full review, don’t have the time, so just a few observations..

The web is fast, with WiFi access and the 1ghz process web pages render as fast as any device I’ve seen. The web Browser is good, pinch to zoom in or out, hold it on the screen and you get a magnifying glass. The address bar vanishes to save space and pages scroll quickly and smoothly.

Battery is good, I used it a lot for reading feeds, twitter etc, took a photo or two and had a 10 min phone conversation, push email on all the time, as was wi-fi at the end of the day still 50% left, so it’d easily last a heavy use day on a single charge.

Ram, there’s way more ram on the Desire than the Hero, Taskiller shows about 100mb or so, when all apps are stoped, on the Desire, it’s over 200mb.

Optical scroll wheel, it’s going to take a little while to get used to, the old track ball was more accurate in moving the cursor around in text.

The camera is way better than the Hero, it too is 5mp but it’s way clearer and now video is 30fps nearer DVD quality than the jumpy 15fps of the Hero.

Friend Stream replaces the updates within the people app, which is OK, but I liked finding out when I went to call someone that they’d updated something before I called them, rather than via a separate app. Having used Peep yet, as still using Twidroid pro, so don’t know if it’s improved or not.

Live Wallpapers are a bit of a gimmick, they don’t add much, but eat battery I’m sure, maybe we’ll see more useful wallpapers sometime soon.

There’s a find people app, which is a little rvedundant, a news app which is nice but not as good as some of the 3rd party apps. Gallery or was it Albums,  is now call photo’s, so it’s moved from near top of the apps list to somewhere else. Gtalk is not just talk, only a minor change, but you think is it the old Gtalk or a new IM app.

The settings app first page has changes and it took me a few mins to find a few things, notably you can’t change the lock screen which is a shame.

The other differences to the Hero is the slight change in the layout of the physical keys at the bottom and pressing down and holding power key at the top of the phone is now needed to select vibration setting for example. Either holding down the Home key or pinches brings up the card view of all screens, which allows you to jump to anyone quickly.

The other thing I found you couldn’t do was disable HTC Sence and take a look at the underlying Google OS. On the Hero, you go into Applications, remove default and force closure, a press of the home key then brought you the option, Sense or Andriod,, which is a shame.

So far very pleased with it, I have an unbranded version, so fingers crossed I’ll get any future updates asap without waiting for the carrier approved update.

And like the last Android device I had, I haven’t had to connect it to a computer at all.

so the iPad needs a computer, bad move

So last week I posted that the iPad could become the device of choice for educational establishments. Now that the iPad is out, there’s been plenty of guides as to how to set up the iPad and it requires a computer. So for the iPad to succeed as a text book replacement whoever get’s one has to already have a computer to set it up or the educational establishment has to set them all up.

Maybe there’ll be some group set up function by Apple, or over the air configuration to prevent them all from having to be connected individually.  Anyway, the reviews seem to be positive, but it’s not my cup of tea.

Will the iPad be used by Corporations?

We’re just days away now from people getting their hands on Apple’s latest product the iPad, a tablet device or appliance about twice the size of the iPhone. There is speculation that it’ll sell 6M units in 2010 which is a pretty huge number for what essential is a locked down appliance.

So where will all those devices go? Most if not all will go to the same people that (religiously) buy Mac books and Mac book air’s. I guess that most people will buy them to consume media whilst traveling or just sitting on the couch for instance watching episodes of Lost bought from iTunes, but who else could buy them?

We’ve seen the iPhone creep into the Enterprise at the expense of Blackberry (which ironically is creeping into youth culture with it’s built in IM app). How many emails do you now seen in your outlook inbox with the words ‘sent from an iphone’ at the bottom, I see a growing number. There is a view that the iPhone is a consumer device more so than a business supplied corporate handset, but due to it’s ease of use and the size and scope of the  “there’s an app for that” store, we’re seeing it creep in as the power users phone of choice.

The ability of the iPhone to encroach into the enterprise shows that the iPad may well enter markets that it’s not initially aimed at too. Take the Text book market, text books are expensive (or they were when I last bought one!) and they are heavy to carry around. We’re already seeing text book publishers’ work with software companies to bring their content to the iPad. So could we see School, Universities, and educational establishments in general take up the iPad as the device of choice to provide the educational content?

I’m not sure if iPad will creep into the corporate environment as a lot of content creation goes on and at the moment the keyboard is king. However, I can see Apple selling a lot more than 6m iPads over the next few years into a whole host of new markets as it’s an easy to use/manage/upgrade wireless appliance with what looks like a great screen. What does this mean for the Telco’s; it means yet more networked devices requiring a pervasive network and ubiquitous computing creeps ever nearer.

My 3UK MiFi has arrived

The courier dropped of a small package earlier this evening and my free upgrade from 3UK has turned up. It’s currently charging the 1500mAh battery contained within the smooth small white capsule.

You can see it’s smaller than both the Nokia handsets in the picture and come is the very fashionable white.

I’ve given it a whirl and connected my HTC Hero to it first time, no issues. The only thing I had to do was remove the pin code from the SIM, as there’s no way to enter the pin when you fire up the device.

 

So far all looks good, heading back down south later in the week for another stay over so will be giving the unit a work out then, tethering my hero, laptop and E71 to it, the only worry is the coverage. So first impressions are good, the lights are a little gimmicky but you can’t have everything.

London, Frankfurt and Geneva

The next 10 days or so are going to be pretty full on travelling, Tomorrow is down to Slough, then into London for a trip to a restaurant with the CFO of a major UK telco, then back home on Tuesday.  Thursday it’s the 7am flight out of Manchester to Frankfurt for two days coming back 10pm Friday night. Monday it’s off to Geneva for two days, this time with that hassle free airline easyjet. My Ticket to Geneva and this is return cost £39; in comparison a ticket to London on the train if you just rock up is £186, just nuts.

So the Patagonia MLC is getting more use with the one-bag travel system so much less hassle and worry and my other Christmas present the Fuji travel adaptor with USB charging will also get an outing too. I’ve debating whether to take the Asus as well as the work laptop, but I don’t think I’ll bother, one laptop will do, who do I think I am Jonathan Greene 😉

Truphone will also be coming along too as it always does, I’ve got a new gold number from them which is cool, but it’s not been enabled yet, so looking forward to getting that setup.

Where all this might go wrong is the weather, when I checked the BBC weather it said between 2-5cm’s of snow. Any amount seems to cause the UK to grind to a halt, so we’ll see what happens. Posts on twitter and indicating it’s started to snow in some parts already.

 

E71 new firmware – the camera still poor

Nokia released new firmware for the E71 Euro, v200.21.118 last week, there’s a change log here. The new firmware makes the browser much much faster and adds a couple of new themes which are nice. It looks like a major upgrade and worth the effort of the upgrade.

But there’s still one major flaw with the E71, the camera, it’s shocking, there’s still a purple tint to photo’s and they are still very very grainy in low light. The E71 has a 3.2mp camera just like the N73 had, but the N73s camera was aweome, truly awesome. I read a while back that the 3.2mp unit in the E71 is a much lower spec unit and used to keep the costs down.

My devices must perform three functions well, take calls and not crash and last for 2 days without charging, be good at messaging and emails and replace my point and shoot camera. The N95 still performs all those tasks well, with the battery being the weakest point. The E71 performs the first two requirements really well, but the third requirement of being a decent camera, it just fails.

I’ve just picked up an N95 8gb to address the weaker battery of my N95 classic, so I’ve got 4 devices on the go right now, my N95-1, my E71 and my E61i, but I expect the N95 8gb to be the device that I never put down.

Nokia FM Transmitter CA-300

You may have noticed I’ve been offline a little of late, well it’s been my Birthday so I’ve been taking it easy. One thing I have been testing (besides the E63) is Nokia’s FM Transmitter the CA-300. I already have a Belkin iPod transmitter that I use for my iPod, which I prefer over the built in iPod doc of my car.

Having been recently downloading podcasts to my E71, I thought it’d be great to be able to listen to them in the car and get new podcasts while out and about and away from the desktop with iTunes on.

The CA-300 is a little bigger than the Belkin iPod FM transmitter due to the retractable lead casing at the top of the power connector. The leads are pretty straight forward, one for power, so it’s nice to have a fully charged device when you step out of the car, and the other plugs into the 2.5mm headphones jack, there’s an adapter so it can fit both 2.5mm and 35mm.

It’s a little messier than the simple Belkin device as that just has the phone connector, compared to the CA-300’s two, but it works just the same. The sound quality is fine and setting it up was a breeze, I tend to use 105mhz, seems to work best in most parts of the country.

So if you’re going to pick up a car charger and you listen to podcasts, go one step further and pick up the CA-300 and tune in to podcasts or your music on your car stereo.