Tuesday, 26 April 2011
So overall its another quality unit from HTC. It's hard to get too excited about it as it doesn't do anything particularly special, even though, it's built very well, feels like a quality device and is reasonably cheap (free on £25 over 24 months at time of writing). These devices are becoming so accessible for all and sundry now, everyone should have a decent smartphone! But at the end of the day, it's just another great HTC phone. Which sounds like a criticism, but isn't.
Monday, 25 April 2011
This question has been rattling round in my skull for a while now. A quick google search and I found this link. http://www.ehow.com/how_5945326_sync-android-mac.html
I first checked the Apple Mac store and to my amazement, found it WAS available, for £8.99!
However, thats too easy. I want to do it for free.
Ok, lets tackle these issues one by one....... firstly I have the details of my Gmail account.
Contacts and Address book.
All of the contacts I want are already stored in my gmail account. But what I really want is to add contacts in my Address book, and have them auto sync with my android phone. As they're already syncing, phone to gmail cloud. The issue becomes, how do I sync google with my mac? I boot up address book and click Address book>Preferences. I see a box; it says Sync with Google..... can it be this easy? I click it, and input my gmail details. Done.
Well, no actually, that option is only there because I own an iphone. And well, to be blunt. It won't work.
After an hour or so investigation, I give up.
E-Mail - Thanks to the wonderful tech that is IMAP, there is little more required than logging into the Mac Mail app with my default email settings, username and password and gmail is working fine, the folders, sent, received emails will sync across platforms with no further intervention required.
Music, Videos and Photos next. An email that showed up whilst investigating reminded me I'd downloaded a free app called doubletwist for android. A link from the email leads me to the mac software. Upon opening, this shows a very itunes-esque window. A simple guide to tell me to mount my android and we're cooking on gas. I've hit the sync button after selecting the photos music and videos I'd like to sync and, Perhaps not surprisingly, it works; like a charm I might add. For a fairly modest fee of £3.99. I can have the wifi version. Meaning, yup, unlike iTunes and the iPhone, I can sync Over The Air! Heads up Apple!
Calendar. Ok another simple one. Preferences, Account Add, select Gmail from the Account types, enter username and password and I'm done. Calendars, sync'd too. This is too Easy.
Back then, I guess, to contacts; which...... have synced! It took a while. But, they're done, and the "test" I wrote in the notes of a contact an hour ago, is also present. So it was that simple. Calendar>>preferences>>click the sync with google checkbox and add your details.
Done..... For free! Seems Androids do like Apples!
1) Folded away, so you didn't need to worry about the screen breaking?
2) Folded out, like a stand, so you didn't need to worry about holding it?
3) Had a wholly separate keyboard, so you could keep your screen cleaner for longer?
You'd be excited right?
The 11" Macbook air (which can sit on your lap) weighs just over 1kg. The Motorola Xoom (and iPad) weigh approximately 730g.
I did run into several problems while trying to get it to work with iPlayer. The Beeb Player app refused to work. iplayer website via firefox for android and opera, didn't work. It would only work through the motorola installed browser. It also locked up on more than one occaision, but I did get it to play an episode of Top gear, in which I saw a small excerpt of the LFA test, and heard a small section of music that took me over a day to work out what it was. (Shazam failed).
So in a nutshell, it does what its supposed to. It has a wonderfully responsive touchscreen, it has a great big display. It'll play videos, music, it'll obviously do facebook and twitter, it has camera's where it should. It does everything pretty competently. But like all tablets. It doesn't do them quite as well as a laptop would. Well, at least not an Apple one. When Apple put a touchscreen on a Macbook Air, now there will be a machine!
Saturday, 2 April 2011
 Another highly impressive feature, is it's boot up time, from standby, it takes less than 10 seconds! It's almost Mac like!
 putting it back in the box I notice a front facing camera so skype video calling is clearly supported.
I like it alot. Even though it doesn't have swype*!
* It should possible to install swype, it probably involves allowing third party apps to install and finding the right source somewhere on the internet .....google it if you need it!
1) There is a friends button. This takes you to your most important friends feeds. You can add or remove friends from here with ease. Swiping left/right moves you from friend to friend.
2) on the home screen, you can click back and forth through the latest posts from your stream. Visiting the web page though, I'm not convinced this stream is comprehensive. It's a bit like the 'most recent', 'top news' dilemma, I'm not quite sure which one I'm looking at, but the 'most recent' on the web, is different to what's being presented here. Clicking back and forth is also a little cumbersome, the buttons are too small and my fat fingers occasionally open up the link. Which I didn't want to do.
3) A calendar shows you upcoming facebook events and birthdays, AS WELL as your gmail calendar, which is handy.
4) Places takes you to the usual facebook check in screen, as seen on other facebook smartphone apps.
5) There is a notification icon, for, well, notifications.
I dabble around with the other features and am underwhelmed by the camera. Perhaps not surprisingly, it also has a share button in the photo browser, allowing you to upload to facebook, amongst other social networks. The other screens can be customised and (to my delight), the 'in yer face-book' apps can be dragged away from the INQ homescreen. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate facebook. But I'm sure there are more important things that you'd want as your homescreen instead of just this? I'm pretty certain even Mark Zuckerberg would agree with me on this one. When you strip way the facebook specialness, you're left with a pretty ordinary android handset. That's no bad thing, as most ordinary android handsets nowadays are of excellent quality, and terrific starter smartphones. But this is seriously a handset for facebook addicts only. The fact it has pinch to zoom on both the internet and maps and that both run reasonably well don't do enough to elevate this beyond the realms of normalcy. Some of the icons are a bit fisher price, the interface is sometimes a little clunky. It fits into a price bracket alongside Samsung Galaxy S. In this company, it comes second. Unless you're the biggest die hard facebook fan.
Not a bad phone at all, but is doesn't feel very adult, it's certainly not a class leader.
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