My iOS 5 Top New Features

Maybe the long wait for this brand new OS has somehow diminished excitements about it. We’ve seen these new features demoed by developers.

Nevertheless, having a first hand experience with the iOS 5 today on my iPhone, here are my top “favorite” new features:

  • Notifications center – having all notifications and alerts in one place is one feature that has long been wanting in iOS, that’s why I have it at the top of the list. Yet, just like in Android, I would have preferred to have the quick toggles for cellular data, bluetooth and wifi in the same notification center. Plus, a lot other apps are not yet updated to push their notices to the notification center. Moreover, instead of or in addition to stocks and weather, I wish for an option to have foreign exchange rates and maybe LME prices to be likewise available in there.
  • Wifi Sync – you can now be fully independent from a computer system (either Mac or Windows) once you start using your iOS 5 device, but having iTunes to manage your media and apps is still a neat way to go. Now, you can even sync your device to your computer’s iTunes program via wifi. That’s one less cable system to worry about.
  • Over-the-air future OS updates – this we have yet to experience and find out how seamless it will be. Furthermore, Apple claims further updates will be smaller files compared to the past where it took around 700MB of download file every upgrade.
  • More alert tones via iTunes – now I don’t have to live anymore with the stock ringtones and alert tones of the iPhone. As a matter of fact, I just downloaded Marlon Brando’s “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” and Acoustic Pluckin alert tones for my use.

Jim Paredes on APO's role in Edsa 2

I admired Jim Paredes’ response to a question brought to him on Twitter using the hashtag #ASKaQuestion.

The question:

@Jimparedes did you ever regret ur role in edsa 2 dat installed a more corrupt president? #ASKaQUESTION

His response posted on his Tumblr:

No. It was better to act than not to act. We came with good intentions. We did not fail the Filipino nation. GMA did. We cannot take responsibilities for her actions. We did our share.

Honestly, I haven’t looked at it from that perspective — what the Filipino people had done in EDSA 2 (no, I haven’t done any active part in that revolution). I have always thought that EDSA 2 was a failure. And now I’m starting to realize that, indeed, what Jim Paredes was saying is true! Those who took part in EDSA 2 did not fail the whole Filipino people. GMA did!

My Thoughts on the New iPhone 4S

We all know iPhone 4S has been announced last night. And a lot of people are disappointed. It fell well below most people’s expectations, especially — I guess — the detractors.

But at least let me share my thoughts about this new iDevice:

  • Lack of redesign – at least my iPhone 4, with its already great looks, design, build and construction will still stay relevant for another 12 months or so;
  • 3.5 inch display is so 2007. Everyone else is 4 to 5 inches across– I think it is still the sweet spot for a smartphone. Not too big for just call and text and not too small for internet browsing. And remember, all the 500,000+ apps that are currently available in the App Store are built for that screen size. Make the display larger, given that you maintain the exact aspect ratio, and you might find your apps already pixelated. You may not want a new screen size for an iPhone and count your available apps back from zero? What about the possibility of purchasing the same app you once purchased for use in your new iPhone 4S? If you really want a bigger screen, go get an iPad.
  • No LTE or 4G or HSPA+ support – those technologies are barely, if not at all, existing in the Philippines anyway, so why bother? And don’t tell me it’s the network of the future — because I’m actually satisfied with the current 3G + HSDPA speeds, if only the telcos could make it more consistent across all areas in the country, without the worry of shortened battery life.
  • 8-MegaPixel Camera and 1080p Video Recording – of all the new features of the iPhone 4S, these are my least favorite. Here we are again, back at counting pixels. We all know that the higher the pixel count, the larger the resulting JPEG file, the slower it will take to upload and share with friends. Even a 2-megapixel image is more than enough size for just internet sharing via Facebook or the likes. And 1080p? For my 32″ LCD TV? Obviously an overkill! Improve the lens quality — that’s what I’d say — which they actually did with the 5-element lens and f/2.8 aperture.

So, in a nutshell, the improvements introduced in the new iPhone 4S may be less than impressive but I’m not at all disappointed.

Why I Bought a Kindle?

I used to own a first generation iPad, and I intend to get a replacement in the future. I currently own an iPhone. Both have (or at least used to have) the Kindle app. Likewise, I have Kindle applications installed in both my laptops.

Last Saturday, I bought a Kindle Keyboard (see photo above) — the 3rd generation Wifi 6″ E-Ink display Kindle with Special Offers and Sponsored Screensavers.

Yet, the question that often pops up: Who needs a Kindle when you can read your e-books in your other existing mobile devices like the iPad?

First, let me just reiterate some “obvious” reasons — that which you’ll usually find in other blogs — why Kindle is better than the iPad to suit the bookworm in you: Carry on »

iPhone vs. BlackBerry

I own an iPhone 4 and recently — let’s just say — had a short affair with the BlackBerry Bold 9700. I know they’re not particularly the top of the line of their brands, taking into account that iPhone 5 may be announced in a couple of days.

So, this article is actually more about the hangups I had with my BlackBerry Bold 9700 experience as against that with the iPhone 4. Some points may not be applicable to other BlackBerry models like some touchscreen in the BB Torch line, but definitely some are very much relevant to all models.

First, let’s talk about what I liked about the BlackBerry:

  • Unified Inbox via the Messaging App. From Email, SMS, BBM message, Gtalk, Yahoo! Messenger, as well as Twitter and Facebook notifications — they are all there in one place. The Gtalk, YM, Twitter, and Facebook apps were developed by RIM (Research in Motion) itself, so they are seamlessly integrated into the Messaging app. The Messaging app also serves as the central notification center, which functionality is yet coming to iOS 5.
  • Longer Battery Life. As a second hand device, I still get more than two days of usage if Wifi is on (which I always use in the office and at home), and less than two days when it’s off (meaning I’m always on cellular data connection).

Quite a short list, really. Now let’s move on to where the BlackBerry is really getting into my nerves. This list is in random order, and as such may appear in whichever crosses my mind first: Continue Reading »

BeReader – Google Reader App for BlackBerry

When I’m out, in a coffee shop or somewhere, trying to kill time, I check my Twitter, Facebook, and of course Google Reader.

At first I thought I was glad there was a Google Reader client for BlackBerry — BeReader. But believe me, it just even added more to my disappointments about the device rather than impress me:

  • Too slow — no, very very slow!
  • US$ 9.99 for such a crappy app — no way!
  • You can’t select text nor click on links within the articles;
  • Navigating and switching between/among articles, feeds and/or folders (group of feeds) takes forever. Wait, did I already mention it was painstakingly slow?

By the way, I was using a BlackBerry Bold 9700.

NBA 2K12 Available for iOS on October 4

Together with the release of the NBA 2K12 for PS3 and other consoles, 2K Sports will also be releasing the NBA 2K12 game app for iOS devices like the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

CNET’s Tap That App is all praises for this app:

I’ve purchased and played with EA’s NBA Elite app, and just as in the PS3 console, I’m pretty sure 2K will beat EA anytime of the day — especially when it comes to gameplay quality. Continue reading

Phenomenon

An ordinary man sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis. — via IMDB

I remember watching this movie way back in college (I think). This is one of the few movies I actually watched at a movie theater during those days. I watched it again recently and just then realized this should instantly qualify as one of my favorite movies. I just loved how George Malley (John Travolta) transformed into a person who can absorb a vast amount of knowledge from reading 3 to 4 books a day. Add that to his super-abilities to process and calculate information.

But of course, my favorite line was, when they found out that George was sick — a tumor in his brain — and is dying, he and Lace Pennamin (Kyra Sedgwick) had this dialogue:

George Malley: Hey, would you, uh, love me the rest of my life?
Lace Pennamin: No. I’m gonna love you for the rest of mine.