Monday, November 05, 2007

Nokia N95 vs. Apple iPhone II

Well, it has been a while since I last blooged ... a very busy work schedule, not to mention I broke my leg and recently my hand (thank Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training for that), I haven't gotten to blog much as of late.

Anyway, iPhone talk has started to become standard lexicon here even in Prague, so it's time to revisit the Nokia N95 vs. iPhone discussion again. Having played with a few iPhones now, I can say openly that the iPhone is a LOT more stable and a lot more usable than the Nokia N95. My N95 has a host of stability issues (slow GPS start-up time, crashing on larger webpages, freezing when an application tries to determine which access point it should use, etc....). I have updated my firmware to the newest version, and that was more than 2 months ago when it came out, and no updates since that time. Nokia is very slow with updates. They really should release minor versions on a regular basis (with change/bug-fix log), specifically for their early-adaptors and champions ... pissing us off is not a good idea.

The iPhone is a superior phone when it comes to usability ... what it still lacks to put it far ahead of the N95, however, is:

1. Flash support in its browser
2. Ability to select more than 1 message at a time (organization features kinda suck)
3. GPS (that's a given)
4. 3G (another given)
5. Open Bluetooth (to send/receive pictures, business cards, etc...)
6. Open platfrm (I believe this is gonna change soon)

The Nokia N95 is still a better device to have when you find yourself in unchartered lands (having maps is nice, but if you can't find a street name, it's a moot point to have MAPs) -- not to mention, you cannot save maps locally ... no connection, no maps on the iPhone. The photo and video quality of the N95 is just super. I used my N95 on my last holiday to Greece (leaving the video cam at home), and it worked perfectly. Great DVD quality video, and excellent photos. The iPhone will have a BIG HILL to climb when it comes to knocking off the N95 in this territory.

I'm both happy, and greatly disappointed with my Nokia N95 ... Nokia could pay it a lot more attention and get their Series 60 platform in more order ... I think if the iPhone starts fixing its shortcomings (and Apple has a history of listening), the iPhone is gonna turn into the "to have" phone while Nokia's offerings slowly slide back into the abyss. Hope that's not the case, but we'll see how the Finns react. If they react at the same speed they are fixing bugs in the N95, they're good as gone.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Nokia N95 vs. Apple iPhone

I don't mean to bash the iPhone -- I haven't seen one nor played with one yet. However, looking at the spec sheet leaves much to be desired, and the marketing for the iPhone (and the idiots in the mass media outlets that keep swearing it's the next greatest thing since sliced bread) is getting pretty damn annoying -- especially for ANYBODY who knows basic things about mobile phones (I suspect, the iPhone will only take off in the U.S. and the U.K. -- whereas the rest of the planet will not buy into the retarded hype ... but I've been wrong before). The iPhone just isn't that great, feature wise -- I like how these guys spoof Apple's famous commericals to compare the Nokia N95 vs. the iPhone.

Now when I go back to the states, I'm going to have to hear all of the parrots ranting about how great the iPhone is -- and I'll be like the guy in the video talking crap about it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Nokia N95: I pulled the trigger

Being the penny-pinching miser that I am, I was kinda skeptical about spending so much on a phone that I didn't think was worth it -- but I did ... so far, the phone is impressive, but it's not blowing off my socks. In the coming weeks, I'll give my impressions of using the N95 in more detail -- and some of the apps I've already started to use (fring, truphone, its maps app, etc...). So far, the phone is good, but has some usability issues I think Nokia could improve. More reporting later ... gotta go search for more fun software to install :-)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I hate localization: Google Earth

There is no need for a long explaination this time ... I just updated my Google Earth application, which was in ENGISH --- now, after the update, it's in CZECH. WTF?!?!?

Curse you Google, curse youuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Google's now forcing me to install its apps in a language I do not want! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I hate localization: MSN Live Messenger

I think I'm starting a self-trend here -- this is my second post of "I hate localization," this time my target is not Google but MSN Live Messenger. As you'll read from my first post on the subject, I freak'n HATE when I am forced to read information in a language I did not ask to read. In MSN Live Messenger, I have installed everything in English -- the entire UI is in English, but, when I click "Create your own space" or "Share your contact info" or "Share your journal entries" --- guess what language it's in? Go ahead, take a guess. I will tell you -- it's Czech. I do not want it in Czech (are you listening Microsoft?). I want it in English, since my MSN Messenger is in English, it only makes sense. Thus concludes my rant against MSN Messenger -- another application with a poor localization sense.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

E-TEN M700: Almost pulled the trigger

Well, today I was shopping for a new phone again (my old skool Nokia 7650 is on its death bed). I got my hands on an E-TEN M700, and man it's a beauty of a phone -- buying this one was temping (I was looking to impulse buy the Nokia N95 (too expensive for what you get), Nokia E61i (not bad for the price, but no GPS), or this E-TEN M700 (no 3G and crap ass Microsoft iExplore on Windows Mobile Platform).

Using my excellent discipline to hold off on buying, I decided to go home and do research on the products -- and as I just mentioned, the fact that it does NOT have any 3G support and used MS Exploder was a big draw back. The E-TEN X800 is supposed to be coming out soon, and it should add 3G support -- it'll still have Microsoft Exploder, but I can probably live with it if the price is below the Nokia 95's. Otherwise, I will just use my Nokia 7650 until it stops working. And just in case you didn't read why I HATE MS Exploder on the Windows Mobile Platform, see my previous blog post from May 2007 on the subject.

Check out this video review of the E-TEN M700 -- even these guys state the same fact that MS Exploder is worthless, and lack of 3G is a disappointment, but otherwise, it's a very nice phone.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I hate localization: Google

I tried sending Google feedback (they say you can here) ... but I couldn't find any place to actually send feedback to them (let me know when you find it) about the one issue I HATE the most on the web now: localization

Everytime I type in "" it automatically takes me to -- and the page is in Czech. Now, I live in the Czech Republic and I speak Czech quite well ... but, I want and in English, not in Czech. I have changed my language settings, but to no avail -- I always get freaking I hate it to death. Other web sites do it, too, and I hate it to death. I am going to compile a hit list soon ... it's driving me nutz!

At least give us a REAL opportunity to say we want it in English -- or -- let us view the page man, for Christ's sake! You'd think Google, with all of their "brains" (again, check their "feedback" page...) they'd be able to get this right.

[ Technorati Tags: Google Portals Geotracking
Localization search ]

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Smart 2 Go Maps: Revisited

Well, so I tried installing Smart2Go maps on my Wi-Fi enabled Mio P550 .... installation was fine (fine = as reported by a gang and grip of other people, I could not even download the installation cab file via the IE browser on the PDA, since the "download" button does not work on the PDA -- I had to download it via my PC and then transfer it to the PDA via Bluetooth).

I established my Wi-Fi connection on my PDA, and then surfed to Greece to check to see if it worked -- NOPE. Never got anything. I only saw maps seemingly work for Italy and Germany -- I waited like 30 minutes, and maps for Greece and the Czech Republic never came up. Great stuff.

Then silly ol'me thinks that, I'll just use the MapLoader to load up the maps. So, I download the MapLoader that Smart 2 Go offers -- but *naturally*, I could not get the MapLoader to recognize my SD card in my card reader, nor could I get the MapLoader to reconize my PDA as "USB Storage." Complete junk.

I'm not the brightest bulb in the bunch, but I really couldn't get it to work -- it got uninstalled. Not to "smart" Smart2Go ... not to smart. You guys might want to really focus on usability and actually make this stuff work.

[ Technorati Tags: Symbian Windows Mobile Nokia
GPS Navigation Smart2Go ]

Friday, May 18, 2007

Smart 2 Go Maps

This post is mainly for me, so I can remind myself to test these maps on my WM5 device ... but, in case you've been living in a cave the last year, you can download FREE Global maps for your Symbian Series 60 3rd Edition or Windows Mobile 5 platform device absolutely free from Smart 2 Go:

Free Maps from Smart 2 Go

Since I have not yet purchased a new phone yet (still fighting with choice -- Nokia N95 or some kinda WM5 phone), I will have to download -- but, I believe that all Symbian Series 60 3rd Edition devices come with this software pre-installed. But, if not, you can download it from this site and use the maps feature for free. Navigation will cost you a few pretty pennies, though.

[ Technorati Tags: Symbian Windows Mobile Nokia
Smart2Go Navigation ]

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Window Mobile 5: Where's the Innovation?

Microsoft likes to make a big deal about how it's an innovative company (we all know that 800lb. gorillas are not innovators, but that's another story) ... well, they seem to fool me with every new release of Pocket PC, because I truly do not see anything innovative on this platform. A few months ago, I purchased a Mio Digiwalker 550 for GPS navigation in my car. This comes fully loaded with Pocket PC 2005 (now called Windows Mobile 5). Looking back at my Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket LOOX with Pocket PC 2002 -- I do not see anything innovative aside from a few minor UI tweaks that should have taken a day or two to complete, not 3 years. (unless they have a part-time college student coding the entire Pocket PC platform)

The most clear example of its lack of innovation can be quickly noticed when you fire up IE on this platform. What's the difference between iExplorer on Pocket PC 2002 and 2005? Not much. On 2002, you have a "Fit to Screen" option in the view menu, whereas on Windows Mobile 5 you have the options "One Column," Default (basically destop mode), and Desktop view. Turning "Fit to Screen" off on Pocke 2002 basically makes it go into "Desktop" mode. So, in short, there is *no* noticable "viewing" difference. On the other hand, let's compare it to the Nokia Mini Map Browser on Symbian 3 Series 60 platform. BIG difference. Despite most Symbian phones having a smaller screen than most PDAs (or the same size screen as Microsoft Mobile 'Smart Phone' devices), the usability (and speed) of these Symbian devices is -- to be frank -- years ahead of Microsoft. Try navigating on a PDA with IE and then switch to a Symbian Series 60 3 phone and navigate -- the Symbian phone, despite a smaller processor (generally) and smaller screen, is a much more usable experience.

Microsoft -- I love you guys, but you need to get on the ball dudes. I'm about to drop some serious cash on a new mobile phone, and Microsoft's effort does NOT impress me enough to drop the cash on a Windows Mobile 5 powered device. The only thing that has remotely interested me in Microsoft's offering was its access to Skype, but since fring has support for the Symbian platform, and works like a charm, looks like Nokia is once again going to get my money.

[ Technorati Tags: Symbian Windows Mobile Nokia
Smartphones Browser ]

Friday, May 04, 2007

Skype on Symbian: Part II

Well, about 2 years ago, I posted how Skype would be a killer app on Symbian, and a hell of a lot of people in the blogosphere agreed (or had been stating this obvious fact already before I even thought about mentioning it) ... Well, you don't really have to wait any longer, sort of. (I am a bit late with this, but better later than never)

Skype still hasn't bothered to put out their own client application yet for the Symbian platform, but a third-party provider has -- it's called fring & it is currently FREE:

Download fring here

Being a total looser and still using my old school Symbian 1 Nokia 7650 (I have broken all of my previous phones ... S-E P900 (cracked screen), Nokia 9210i (broken keyboard), N-Gage (lost it), I have yet to test it to any great extent, but I did manage to get to play with it on my business partner's Nokia N95 (a total bad ass phone btw ... Nokia, why don't you send me one?). The voice quality for both SkypeOut and normal Skype-to-Skype calls was pretty good over EDGE ... can't complain. Check out it out and let me know what you think. The rumor is another company does something similar, but I could not find any other company via Google.

[ Technorati Tags: Symbian Skype VoIP
SIP Data Phones ]