Archive for October, 2011

We all scream for Ice Cream (sandwich!)… And another cool phone

Google came out blasting Wednesday night with the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS from now on) and the announcement of the Galaxy Nexus. One thing became very apparent during the announcement: Google isn’t Apple. They don’t have the same finesse that Apple’s keynotes have become famous for. Flaws came up throughout, they tried to hype up some small features (*cough* Roboto) without the same effect as Apple’s, and the speakers weren’t as refined and matured as Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive and certainly not the same reality distortion field as Steve Jobs (rest in peace).

But enough of the gaffes, let’s get to the meat of the announcement.  Ice Cream sandwich brings with it multiple upgrades in design and in aesthetics. One small but impressive change is the font style (Try getting excited about that!). The new font, called Roboto, is cleaner, crisper and just cooler. There is also a new app switch manager that works, looks and behaves much more refined. If you’re done with an app, just flick it to the side Palm style. There is a (supposedly) revolutionary new facial recognition unlock software that is supposed to make logging in easier than ever but the fact that they couldn’t get it working on a well lit stage makes me question how useful it will be in everyday situations. There are also friend hubs copied from Windows Phone 7 Series (this is why people like iOS) that cobbles all your contact’s information in a one-page post, everything from emails and phone numbers to twitter and linked in profiles. Ice Cream Sandwich also comes with improvements to core apps both large and small. Near Field communication (NFC) is also natively supported but that also depends on the phone model.

The other announcement was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The phone comes with 1.2 GHZ Processor, 1 GB ram, NFC baked in, a 5-megapixel camera and an impressive 4.65-inch 720p curved screen. Now, These are all impressive specs and I’d be lining up to get this if it weren’t for contract prices but there is one huge reason I hold back; It will be yesterday’s news in three months or less. It feels like this happens to every cool android phone. Remember that awesome HTC Incredible, the Nexus S, or the HTC EVO? Of course not, and these were all competing with the iPhone 4 only a year ago. And it seems like the pace is only picking up. It feels like just a week or two ago when the Motorola Droid Bionic was announced and Motorola came out with an even more impressive phone just this week. And the Galaxy Nexus topped that just a day later. I know that this habit is what makes android competitive but it makes buyers feel like they’ve been had. With Apple, you at least know that you’ll have the latest and greatest device for a year and you’ll have support for at least two years following. With Android though, your phone is obsolete within the quarter and companies aren’t likely to support your phone when you need to upgrade to ICS or even Gingerbread if your phone is over nine months of age and isn’t the flagship device.

iPhone 4s, Siri, and the future of the iPod

Apple’s event is almost over and barring a last minute “one more thing”, it doesn’t look to be anything too spectacular. The Iphone 4s and iOS 5 definitely shared center stage with iPods falling to the wayside. Let’s talk iPhone 4s first shall we?

iPhone 4s:

– 8 MP camera

– 1080p Video

– A5 chipset and dual core graphics (*cough* iPad 2)

– Siri, a new voice recognition system

iOS 5:

– better notification system

iPod:

– New white iPod touch! (really, that’s it)

More in-depth later today. Stay tuned!