Tag Archives: steve jobs

Smartphones – The choice of a New Generation.

The other day, I very nearly took a step into the unknown.  It would have been a momentous occasion too, no less spectacular than when Armstrong walked on the moon.

I almost wrote a blog from my phone.  It would have been a first for me, if I am honest I find those little screens a bit fiddly.  Can you imagine JK Rowling writing her next book on a smart phone? Aint gonna happen – genius needs comfort.

Anyway, not being a complete tech phobe – I did upload some photos from my phone to the blog.  It also happened to be very easy too. I liked it.  But there was method in my madness.

Around 6 months ago I finally took the plunge and bought an Android phone.  Spurned on by Apples continued push to constantly take away all the functionality in their products that I like and thus force me to pay for a cloud account that I do not need or want.  Better still, they take away functionality and then put it in an app that you have to buy.  That can’t be right.

So, slowly I began to use the Samsung S7 Edge. What a beautiful phone – if nothing else, looks wise it was like comparing Florence Welch to Vera Duckworth, Florence being the Samsung.  It sits in your hand with more ‘ooomph’ than an orphaned kitten, it really is something to behold.

The big drawback was something all Android/Mac users will tell you about – synchronizing.  See, when you plug your iPhone 6S into your Mac, it syncs everything for you, writing data in both directions between your phone and your laptop.  The Samsung has none of that, despite several apps claiming they will do it, I have yet to find one that really does work.  So manually, I pull out the expansion card and write all of my data, music, contacts across once or twice a month.

It really was a bit of a drag – or so I thought.  The more I used the phone the more I liked it.  Yes, dragging the data across was a bit of a pain but I am happy to do it now and have much preferred to stick with the Samsung over the iPhone.  In fact over the last couple of months, the 128gb iPhone 6 has become nothing more than a very expensive iPod.

Another nail in its coffin – I downloaded a music player to the Android the other day and have to say the sound is insanely good so the iPhone days are clearly numbered.  With a 7 year old Mac beginning to creak at the seams, there could easily be a 100% move away from Apple on the cards.

Apple have left me miffed for a long time, offering updates with many new things but they never – NEVER tell you what they have taken away, and they always take away something I am very used to using.  Now at this point I would normally push you over to the App store where you could read customers reviews of Apple software updates so you can see for yourselves – BUT – as their last 3 software releases got so badly slammed by the users, Apple decided to stop letting people leave reviews. That’s good logic right ?

Now, back to Samsung – technically, the phone is streets ahead.  I won’t bore you with blurb but instead stun you with a master piece of a practical experiment.

In the photos section of my blog you will find a folder entitled ‘Asia’.  In there are photos that have only been taken with a smart phone, my big camera hasn’t seen the light of day. If you click on one of the photos it will open it in full screen but also show you the source of the photo – i.e. iPhone 6s or Samsung (SM).

You will be stunned by the photos the Samsung has taken – stunned!  You will be certain I am telling porkies and I used my big camera – but no, they are all phone shots – the Samsung not streets ahead, but motorways/freeways/autobahn ahead.  The iPhone is an infinity away – it misses the mark by at least a Steve Jobs.

So there you are – Samsung over Apple every day of the week.

There is however, a sting in the tail.  A sad ‘Steve Urwin’ style of sting that threatens to diminish all that the Samsung has achieved. Even the waterproof phone that I can use to Skype the squeeze while I am in the shower has a serious, loyalty threatening flaw.

Customer Service.

I had the misfortune just over a week ago to be laying on the floor with the phone in my pocket. I heard that light and gentle crack that can only come from smart phone glass and knew instantly I had damaged my phone.  I took it out of my pocket to see the back of the phone was shattered.  I was pretty amazed if I am honest – I didn’t even realise the back was glass.

Anyway – it broke. I took it to the local Samsung shop here in Singapore.  They told me as it was a UK phone, they could not repair it as the parts were different.

I got in touch with Samsung customer services in the UK. I got in touch with then 6 times in as many days.  After 6 days of repetitive email it transpired that the Samsung ‘Experience’ store in Leicester couldn’t repair it for me, they could only sell me a new unit. It also came to light that there was not an approved Samsung repairer within a 50 mile radius so my only option was to have a courier collect the phone, have it repaired and returned to me.  This would take 7-10 days.

I am lucky.  I have a back up phone – the 6s.  Could you imagine not having a back up phone and being without your whole world for a week or more?

Now here’s the real sticking point for me.  If I broke my iPhone in the same way, I could walk into ANY Apple store worldwide, pay a small fee and take an exchange phone out of the store normally within 20 minutes or so of walking in. Samsung may just piss me off and direct me back to the Apple store.

Samsung please take note (but note a Galaxy note as they catch fire right ?)

Now, bug off over to the Asia photos section and see what I mean.

 


Terrible Love

January is over – a vicious month for Cancer.

As I plugged along on my very muddy 10k run this morning I had plently of time for thoughts.  If I am honest, the run itself was far from perfect.  The tow path was a mud bath and the woods at the back of Abbots Farm almost had me on my arse twice.

Time wise, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, not quite 2 minutes slower than my best on that route but it was muddy!

I slipped into thoughts.  Lets talk about Apple for a moment.  I read an article this week on the BBC that their latest iOS software for their phones has been permanently disabling phones that have been for repair by independent phone shops.  You send your new phone away for a screen replacement or a new home button and it comes back with ‘error 53′.  You might think this is not the end of the world but in iOS9 – this now means your phone is useless – it will never work again and any info on it is lost for good.

I have been experiencing similar bullish tactics with my Mac after recently upgrading to El Capitan.  You see , the biggest problem with computer updates is you are always told what they have added but they NEVER tell you what they have taken away. If you knew which functionailities were removed, updating would never be an option for most users.

So now, if I want to email you a photo, I can no longer use the attach button from my mail browser and then go into my photo library and find it – nope, Apple want you to buy into their Cloud product, that lets you share easily (or more easily than the way they force you into if you won’t pay), so instead now I have to open the photo app, drag a copy to the desk top and then attach it from there.  Hardly progress from what is one of silicone valleys’ giants now is it?  The last software was better.

It doesn’t stop there.  iPhone users that have the latest software will find that airdrop has changed too.  No longer can you open air drop and make your phone visible to only people in your contacts list as with the older software, no, privacy on airdrop is now only available if your contacts are in the cloud.

Of course, there is a price for using the cloud.

As my Mac gets older, slower and clunkier and needs some financial input I find myself questioning the rational for moving back to a windows based pc and an android phone. See, a pc of the same tech specs as the Mac will be around half the price and comes with the freedom to source ‘stuff’ from outside of the world of the manufacturer.  Its getting to be an easier choice to make. There was a time when I would have used that line of thought as a down side though.  Have you ever been on the end of a windows based problem where the hardware manufacturer blames the software and the software manufacturer blames the hardware?

It did make me think though – some time ago the EU ruled that car manufacturers had to make all of their car computer diagnostics plugs the same as each others.  The reason was to allow independent garages not to have to invest in different computers for all of the makes out there – or to put it in very basic terms, to allow more competition as to where you as a consumer can spend your money.  I can’t see that this is any different than that?

Hark back to better times, when Apple products were wanted because they were revolutionary.  Those days died with Mr. Jobs. Cancer affects more of us than you might believe.

Of course, a lot of Apples problems come from the ‘hipsters’ that just have to have the latest stuff.  I was looking on iTunes the other day for info about Birdys new album when I noticed that although the release is not due for another month, 11 people had left reviews for it.  The ‘I am so trendy crew’ had got there before the record company have even cut the final disc! Dont believe me?  look at the screen shot below.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 11.56.48

I got into a debate on the Apple help forums the other week with a guy called Terence Devlin.  Terence suggests that people should stop complaining about when things change for the worse or stop working completely with Apple products because people aren’t running the very latest software.  His solution was to ‘upgrade – its free’  As our debate raged on, I mentioned that over 50% of the product reviews on the Apple store for its last iOS release gave it 1 star out of 5 with the majority of those recommending that you don’t install it at all (more 1 star reviews than 2,3,4,&5 added together).  Terence then suggested that those negative reviews should be ignored because people like to complain.  At that point, I gave up with the fucktard and left him to his little world of what I suspect is a very wealthy family that pay for whatever his little hipster heart desires.  I also suspect that he doesn’t work for two reasons.

  1. He is always camped outside the Apple store to be the first to get whatever is new that week.
  2. Daddy pays him a jolly good allowance each month so the reality of earning a living is left to the serfs and peasants on street level

 

So back in the UK for 10 days.  It is cold and wet here. Sure, the South of France gets cold too but it is dry, the air is dry which makes for a different, almost warming kind of cold.  Add to that I have allowed myself to be bullied into going to Bike Park Wales on Wednesday with The King of Touching Cloth himself – Mr Yates.  The very next day I have my ships medical to give me the green light to set sail for the next 2 years and then early next week, a funeral – but more on that later.

I am expecting to sustain some physical damage on Wednesday, not only from being miserable from the cold and wet for hours but also because of the tricky or even treacherous conditions will lead to mishaps I am sure.  Fingers crossed, it will be Yates this time.  While he is in a bundle of pain on the floor, I will pull along side him and gleefully jib, ‘see you at the bottom dick wad’ as is the norm for our outings – I like to think of it as the ‘Top Gear’ style of caring for your chums. I have little choice though – it will now cost me as much to back out of it as it will to go – and I hate wasting money.

The world needs a bit more Birdy

 


Where the f**k have I been ?

Do you really care?  The important thing is that I am back now.  A long stint in the Americas saw my interest in life itself dwindling beyond belief as the country sucked my will to live right out of me.  However, since the 9th December, I have been safely tucked up in the eurozone and slowly re-charging my life batteries to a point now that I feel it is safe to write again.  I was also slightly reminded that I hadn’t written for a while by Word Press themselves when they sent me an email telling me about the stats for the year.  Now that I have a world audience, I can plan my attack for world domination but until such time, let me bring you up to speed.

Yesterday, I went for a run in the forest up the road – you may have heard me talk about this many times before but for me, it is a giant adventure playground.  In the winter, all the leaves are gone and yesterday the ground was covered in snow so visibility in the forest was spectacular.  Add to that the fact that I was running in a high viz jacket and you might begin to understand my dilema of needing a dump at about 2/3 distance – no way of making it home, no bushes to hide behind, quite a few people around and me wearing a bright fecking yellow jacket – but I had no choice, no chance of making it home so I chose a tree and let it all go.

I also had a ride at Cannock Chase just before Christmas with Rue.  Steve couldn’t make it so it looked like we had a chance of putting a good time in.  I even made a video of one of the better downhill sections but it turned out shit so I didn’t add it to the archives.

My iPhone 4s shat the bed late in November and left me with a dilema all of its own.  The back up phone I had, a standard iPhone 4 was sold to me by the shop as an unlocked phone but it turned out it was locked so that was of little use.  The choice was stark and simple, the 4s was now no longer supported by Apple so it was time to go iPhone 5 or iPhone 6.  If you know about these phones, the problem was, the charger socket and SIM card size, both the 5 and the 6 sport lightening sockets and nano sims so a full change was on the cards whichever way I went.  Thinking that if I took the latest phone, it would be a while before that phone became redundant like the outgoing 4s had now become.  I bought the smaller of the two units BUT it is still too big.  Clumsy to hold, doesn’t fit in my running bum bag as easily and a bastard to navigate with just one hand.  Steve Jobs was 100% spot on when he said that nobody wants a phone that they can’t hold and operate with just one hand. I remember fondly the time when Apple products were wanted because they were leading edge, not because they had a big screen.

The new mountain bike is slowly being bedded in – one trip in the forest and another around Cannock Chase means that I am slowly getting used to it.  Running is slowing down a bit though, all due to the hilly terrain I am using instead of the monotony of flat Florida.  I also managed to run my best Parkrun ever !!!!  Leamington Spa on Saturday 13th December, I chopped a massive 57 seconds off my previous personal best, giving me  22:19 – not only that but I also had my best position finish, 45th out of 241 runners, 7th in my age group (that’ll be the Veterans by the way), not one female finished in front of me and I also increased my age grading to 63.55% so a productive outing after all – it will be a tough one to beat but there is more time in there – next target is under 22:00

I have a confirmed place for the Great North Run 10k and also entered the draw for the Great North Run Half Marathon the following weekend, that should be confirmed within a week so the North of England could be graced with my handsome charms in the summer – I may even venture across to the lake district for the week in between with my mountain bike, or attempt a cross country hike across Hadrians wall or a long run along Offa’s Dyke.  Scotland also wouldn’t be too far away at that point either.

Now, for those of you that didn’t receive my Happy New Year message, firstly let me wish it to you now but also explain what went wrong with the iPhone 6.  I wrote my text message and added the 32 recipients I wanted to send it to.  I pushed send and 7 of you got it, 25 of you didn’t.  I couldn’t get it to send the next day either, completely locked up, so I send my appologies.  I think for next year, I will also revert to sending Christmas cards again.  I had two this year that found me, one from Connor and one from Ralph.  It did kind of make me smile so if at some point between now and christmas, I ask for your address, please don’t panic, this is why.  I did stop sending cards years ago because I thought it was a huge waste of paper but now, I have changed my mind.

That will do for now, it’s almost time for a trott in the forest. I am wondering though – where the hell is Verity McCoy ?


%d bloggers like this: