The sky is falling!

Yep. Or something almost as unbelieveable. The Hero update has finally arrived! I had my phone updated today. Took it to a Sprint store. They had me leave it for 45 minutes. I felt naked without it lol. Updated with NO problems. Bonus – I didn’t lose any data. All my SD card data stayed intact. Contacts backed up by Google. Just had to re-download my apps from Market which was easy. So far, so good! Going to play with it tonight and tomorrow. Will post my take on 2.1 tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Ciao!

It’s getting ugly in here…

Surprise, surprise. Well not actually. I told you I wasn’t holding my breath that it was going to happen on the 7th. The update for the Hero I mean. So now “they” are saying that it will happen on or before the 21st of this month. At this point I really can’t even get excited about it. This is a classic boy-who-cried-wolf senario. You know what happened at the end of that story right?

In other news, HTC has fired a salvo of their own across Apples bow. The scary thing is that their suit may actually have some teeth. They are counter suing Apple for 20+ patent infringements, based on the fact that they developed the first WinCE(?) device. HTC is asking that all imports and sales of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad be halted in the US. Can you imagine? You think Jobs is crazy now [ok it’s just me. Right.], just think what he’ll do if that goes through!

I’m all for competition as it’s what drives innovation. What I don’t want to see, is this turn into a vicious, drawn out mud slinging brawl that leaves one or both of the companies crippled. We need both HTC and Apple to move their ground breaking designs forward. That’s only going to happen with competition. Healthy, open competition. Are you listening Steve?

Ciao!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…

Things are going on.  Good things even!  Like what you ask?  Well sit down and grab a iced green tea with a shot of mango [my fave concoction @ Goldfish Tea by the way] and away we go….

First of all, some good news for us Hero owners.  Sprint has announced that we will FINALLY be getting our 2.1 OS update!  Still laughing vague on the actual date but should be within the next 2-3 weeks I’d say.  The caveat of course [there’s always one of those], is that it dosent look like it will be an OTA update.  meaning we will most likely have to go to a Sprint service center and endure their “service”.  Which sucks.  I mean, really who has time for all of that?  I suppose I will just have to find somewhere to squeeze 3-4 hours in.  Not that the upgrade will take that long, but I can almost guarantee the “service” will.

The next item, and infinitely more exciting….. I have my iPad! [dun dun duuuunnn!]

Sweet right?  As you can see, my dog Chico has already bonded with it!  Yeah I know I should have made the bed first, but hey, I was excited LOL

So this begins a new addition to the blog, iPad/iPod Touch news/tips/reviews.  So not only this be your Android spot, but it will also be your iPad spot.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still not an Apple fan boy, but I have to give crdit where credit is due.  Apple did the iPad right.  Cant wait for the OS upgrade v4.0!  True multitasking!

About my iPad.  So far I love it.  Just got it last night and have been playing with it non stop.  Right off the bat I can say battery life is very good.  Fresh out the box, I played with it for about 4 or 4.5 hours straight, and barely cracked the battery down to 83%.  The initial setup was a PAIN, but that was due to having to update my iTunes [bloated Apple control-ware] and not the fault of the iPad.  Once I got it sync’d, I dumped a bunch of apps that I have on my iPod Touch to it.  For the most part, they all worked, but it is definitely better to get the version MADE for the iPad. The cool things is apps made for the iPhone/iPod can be “expanded” to fill most of the iPads screen.  Bad thing is that some of them look like total crap when you do that.  So I’m still in exploration mode as far as apps.  I’ll post some reviews and such once I have a few.  The browser is also very good.  I can access just about all the sites I use on a daily basis.  Bonus: I can watch Netflix movies on it!  Not too mention YouTube. Still no Hulu though.  Small concession.

Overall I am very pleased with the investment and look forward to popping into my networking group with it.  We are all a bunch of technerds and I can just imagine the eyes bugging and hands reaching LOL  I’m going to play with it for a good week or so, then post a more technical, in depth review.  Till then…

Ciao!

Keep your Hero locked down…

You’re probably not a Kanye fan, so you probably dont get that obscure song reference, but just humor me.  [insert video of Kanye interrupting Taylor here] “Ima let you finish Apple, Ima let you finish but Android has THE BEST OS this year!!”…

Ok.  That was painful. I was trying to segue into talking about security on the Hero.  I’ll work on it.  I promise.

Security on the Hero.  Do you have any?  Do you even care? I actually find that most people dont.  They find it too much of a hassle to add the extra step of entering in a password every time they access the phone.  To be honest I am one of those people.  It’s just annoying. And frankly, I’ve never felt the need.  I mean its just phone numbers right?  Well yes and no.  With smartphones doing more and more; more and more of our personal information is being stored on them.  Things like our Facebook and email passwords, personal documents, and of course our contacts.  What happens if you lose your phone?  Do we really want all that info easily accessible to a stranger?  I would think not.

So what do we do about it?  Well there are several apps in the market that address the situation.  I will be reviewing a few of them at a later date.  This post isnt about them.  This post is about the built in security on your Hero.  Like I said previously, I am not a fan of entering a password each time I want to use my phone.  Enter the Unlock Pattern.  Have you looked at it yet?  My first thought was “What the heck?”, but now after using it for awhile I see it for what it is… pure genius!

I slide down the screen lock, it takes 2 seconds to slide my finger in my unlock pattern and voila! I’m in.  I can set my phone down and not worry about someone picking it up and snooping.  AND I dont have to remember yet another oddball password!  Have I sold you yet?  Its the simplest thing to set up and use.  Try it.  I’m betting you’ll love it.  JUST DONT FORGET YOUR PATTERN LOL

Ciao!

Update… and stuff

Well I’ve moved.  I am now dwelling just north of Detroit, in between Harper Woods and East Pointe.  Im excited about the relocate as it puts me within arms reach of a myriad options.  It took me a few days to get internet at the house.  I attempted to do some blogging at the local Tim Hortons but it was too distracting.  LOL.

So I’m all settled in, time to get back to normal and get back on track with the blog.  Did you miss me?

I havent done all that much with my Hero over the past week or so due to the move.  I did end up giving Dolphin another try.  I totally uninstalled it, and then installed the new version.  Which in retrospect is probably what I should have done anyway.  The previous version actually said to follow those steps, but this time I didnt see that instruction so I just d/l and installed it.  Live and learn right?

I have also been playing with FourSquare.  For those that dont know, its a pretty interesting little app that lets you “check in” at different locations and broadcast that info to your friends via Twitter and other methods.  It’s kind of fun as you accumulate points for checking in, for hitting multiple spots in one outing, for hitting spots multiple times etc.  If you have a bunch of social friends that all use FourSquare, I could see this being a lot more appealing.  Right now for me its just yet another social app that I have to update.  I’ll keep my eyes on this app and see how it evolves.

So Apple is suing HTC.  You know I’ve been an Apple fan since almost day one.  Long before the iPhone.  I love Macs.  So when I heard this I was disappointed.  Not surprised, but disappointed.  This almost seems like a panic move.  Which dosent make sense.  Apple has the market share.  It will be awhile before that changes.  Plus they need to realize that people who buy the iPhone are not necessarily the same people who like Android.  There are still enough differences between the phones to be 2 different (almost) demographics.  Apple needs to just continue doing what it does best.  Innovate and produce top level product.  Don’t play the bully Apple.  It dosent become you.

Ciao!

Musical ..uh..chairs?

Ok here’s my quandary.  You know I’m a gadget freak. (duh) What you may not have known is I am also a bit of an audiophile. I love music.  Nearly all music.  I listen to everything from Opera standards to Hip Hop to World Music to Country to Tejano.  My faves are Smooth Jazz, 60s-70s rock, Old School RnB, Ambient, and Old School Hip Hop (back before it went to hell). As such I have a wide variety of music in digital form.  Dont see the problem yet?  Read on…

My issue is that I have too many options when it comes to portable devices.  My PSP(Playstation Portable), my iPod Touch, and my HTC Hero all play music and they all do it well.  I really need to settle on one.  I guess realistically I can eliminate the PSP right up front.  Although it plays music excellently (videos too), I dont use it nearly as much anymore.  Every since I purchased the Ipod Touch I rarely play games on it. Usually now it only gets any attention if one of my nephews drop by.  Otherwise it sits on the side table in the living room.  I used to use it for quick trips to the Net, but the Touch has stolen that job as well.

The real competition is between my Touch and my Hero.  They both mimic each others functions so well.  This is my comparison:

Scale 1 – 5, 1 being POOR, 5 being EXCELLENT

iPod Touch                        Hero

Music –                       5                                               4

Video –                       5                                               4

You really cant beat the iPod for playing music.  There are apps on Android that I really like (Tunewiki, Rock On) but I have to be honest in saying so far nobody does it like the iPod.  I have to also give the nod to the Touch for video playback.  Video looks nice on my Hero, but not as smooth and clear as on my Touch.

iPod Touch                        Hero

Games –                     5                                                3

Apple games so far are more polished, more variety, and more fun.  I say “so far”.

iPod Touch                        Hero

Apps –                        5                                                4

See above comment.  Same applies for apps.

iPod Touch                        Hero

Net –                           3 (no flash)                          4

This is where the Hero shines.  With the lots of options for web browsing (I prefer Dolphin), combined with multi-tasking OS, the Hero out paces the Touch on the Net.  The 3G option where I dont have wifi is nice too lol.

iPod Touch                        Hero

Phone –                     n/a                                          4

Battery Life –         4                                                2

This is the my main complaint with my Hero.  Battery life.  I’m charging sometimes twice a day.  Thats along with charging every night.  Yes I am a non-typically heavy user but still I should at least be able to make it through an 8 hour work day with out having to whip out  the car charger.  I can play with my Touch for hours and hours.  Including Net surfing, games, and music streaming (Pandora, iHeart Radio).

I want to get  down to only carrying one device.  I guess though, until Hero improves its battery life, and Android Apps Store catches up to Apple App store, I will have a foot in both worlds.  Hopefully the 2.1 update will take care of that and I can just carry my Hero!  Well until I get my mini HD cam corder.  Now that would be a device!  Phone, Android OS, HD camera/cam corder, FM radio.  One can only dream.  I think its time for some Smooth Jazz.  Ciao!

Where’s My Charger? Part deux…

More on the continuing saga of the battery life (or lack thereof) of the Sprint HTC Hero…

I was recently asked what I thought about extended batteries. I didnt have an opinion one way or the other, so I thought I’d better do some research.  This is what I found:

Mugen Power 3200mAh Extended Replacement Battery for Sprint HTCHero 200 (CDMA) with battery door in Brown.

$79.95 + s&h.  Mugen Power.

Looks like a good deal.  Reports for users claim at least twice the battery life of the standard battery.  I don’t actually have one in hand to review (I hope to obtain one soon.) but right off the bat I have to say the picture looks like the battery will add considerable bulk to the thickness of the phone.  It also comes with a custom battery door.  Aesthetics wise, I’m not a big fan of the bulk or the generic looking door.  Maybe they should have gotten with HTCs design department on that one.

Although, if the reported battery life is even close to being accurate, it’s a trade off that I think I can live with!  It’s so annoying having to port around a charger everywhere I go, “just in case”.

I also found the following products:

Innocell 3500mAh Extended Life Battery

$69.95 + s&h. Seidio Online Store

The pic really shows how much thicker the battery will make the Hero.  This back design is even worse that the Mugen version.  But it is covered by a “soft grip” coating, so that is a benefit.  It is also listed about $10 cheap AND 300mAh larger.  I don’t know how much time that really translates into, but every little bit helps right?

Innocell 1750mAh Slim Extended Life Battery

$49.95 + s&h. Seidio Online Store

This is a nice alternative for those that dont want to add bulk to their Hero.  I’m not sure just how much more time you’ll get out of this battery as it is only 250mAh over the standard OEM battery, but as I said, every little bit counts.

I should be obtaining at least one of these extended batteries in the next 2 weeks.  Stay tuned as I will be posting my reviews. Ciao!