Cool Random Tech Stuff

Random ramblings of a tech enthusiast

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HTC EVO 4G LTE Review – Available Now from Sprint

The HTC EVO 4G LTE is very similar to the HTC One X on AT&T that I last reviewed. Some differences with the Sprint version of this line is that the EVO 4G LTE has the signature kickstand for the EVO line, a dedicated camera button, and is aluminum with an anodized black finish (you can also get a white version). The EVO 4G LTE also includes packaging made from recycled material for that bit of eco-friendly vibe.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE is the Sprint specialized version of the international HTC One X. I will keep this review simple since there are a lot of similarities.

 

Bottom Line

The EVO 4G LTE is currently available for $199 on a 2-year contract with Sprint. Like the One X, it has the newest version of HTC Sense 4, built on top of Android 4.0. The dedicated camera button and kickstand are definite positives that you don’t see on many other devices out there. It is a great Android phone on the Sprint network, but I don’t think it is compelling enough to bring customers to Sprint.
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Samsung Focus Flash Review – Available Now from AT&T

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I’m going to preface this review with a pretty blunt statement: if you are looking for high end phones, stop reading now. This phone is not that, which can be seen in the current 99-cent price tag (with two-year contract). It definitely has its drawbacks, but I feel they aren’t as bad as some other Android phones in the same price range.

That said, this phone is a great starter smartphone and is much better in quality than other phones in the $0-$50 range. The Windows Phone software really makes the interface seem smooth. The hardware features two cameras, but their picture quality is somewhat lacking compared to some other phones out there.

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Why I Got into Tech Blogging

I thought I’d take a step back from product reviews and random tech news to discuss why I personally started this blog.

This post has no pretty pictures and is just a look into my desires for getting my hands on technology and sharing that knowledge learned with other people. Read at your own risk.

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My Next Smartphone Dilemma

I was looking at a Nexus One as my first smartphone but that got cancelled for Verizon, and thus I went with the Droid Incredible, which is very similar in specs. I bought the phone because it was a leader in its hardware at the time and I knew it would last me a while. I have also rooted it to extend its use to me, but I think it is time to venture into a new phone with LTE and a dual-core processor.

Android options are the finally (to be) released Droid Bionic by Motorola, rumored Nexus Prime by Samsung, or the HTC Vigor. Motorola makes great hardware, but are not particularly friendly to the development community with encrypted bootloaders and such. The HTC Vigor is rumored right now and I know that the waiting game sucks! I would have gotten a Droid Bionic if it was released in the first half of the year, but now being close to the holiday season I’m considering waiting to see about the Nexus Prime.

The Nexus Prime would allow me to have the pure Google experience that is the Nexus line. I think that’s what I really want: control over my phone from the get go.

Then there is the iPhone 5, which is rumored might be available for multiple carriers in one device. I wrote about my obsession with this concept before. European countries and carriers are like this where you can move from provider to provider with the same phone. It appeals to me, but the US carrier system doesn’t do that yet. Maybe a feature like this in the iPhone could change my mind about getting an Apple.

There is also the Nokia Windows Phones that are going to be coming out any month now… Or any of the other Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets. I can honestly say that the Windows Phone 7 OS was one of the best I’ve used in function and appearance.

All in all, it seems I’ll be playing a waiting game for the device that fits my needs.

Moto to be acquired by Google

This morning Google announced that they would be acquiring Motorola Mobility for around $12.5B (a 63% premium over Friday’s closing price!) in an all cash deal.

On the conference call all parties referenced that it will still be run as a separate business that licenses Android. It will even have to bid on the yearly Nexus phones.

This seems as a patent move for Google and Android. No one on the call would talk about the strategy for the future but I suspect the patent portfolio would be used for a defense of Android or potentially even an offensive against Apple and Microsoft. The latter would be drastic, but could be a way to settle the patent system for smartphones and tablets. This would probably be seen as an “evil” move though, and Google is about no evil, right?

Vizio Tablet for Under $300

Vizio announced that their 8″ tablet is being released, with sales in Sam’s Club and Costco. This is just in time for back to school season. A honeycomb tablet for that price is inticing.

Continue for full press release.

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Tip the Web

I was wondering if anyone has heard of the Tip the Web Foundation? It is a Non-Profit that encourages people to leave small donations for sites and content that they believe is valuable.

It seems like a crowd sourcing of voting for good content through small payments. This could encourage the better authors to create more content if people like it. It also reminds me of the good old days of the internet before a bunch of pay-walls.

Take a look and see if you guys think there is a benefit to small content producers.

http://tiptheweb.org/

HP WebOS Pivot App Discovery

FULL PRESS RELEASE

HP Announces webOS Pivot for HP TouchPad Company enhances webOS Developer Program with new updates

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 23, 2011 –HP today announced HP webOS Pivot, providing users an entertaining and informative editorial resource for discovering webOS 3.0 applications for the HP TouchPad, which launches July 1.

Designed to complement the HP webOS App Catalog, Pivot will showcase a broad range of applications –and the developers who create them –by providing customers the freedom to explore based on their interests and lifestyles. It’s just one of the new ways HP is enhancing the webOS Developer Program and investing further in the success of the growing ecosystem.

“Pivot brings app discovery to a new level for customers and developers alike,” said Richard Kerris, vice president, webOS Worldwide Developer Relations, HP. “We want our partners to experience webOS as the growing platform of opportunity, and we’re investing in new ways to help market their applications on our platform.”

Published on a monthly basis, Pivot is designed to broaden developer exposure and create a dynamic marketplace for the burgeoning webOS developer community. Consisting of original content by journalists and photographers affiliated with leading publications, Pivot will include visually driven editorial pieces, columns from notable guest writers sharing their perspectives on digital culture, feature stories focused on applications around specific topics, and in-depth reviews –all accompanied by vibrant photos and illustrations on HP TouchPad’s brilliant screen. Content will be catered to the specific interests and requirements of a given region, appealing to a wide range of international customers.

Pivot will publish initially for English, French, German and Spanish languages and will be updated over the air directly to all HP TouchPad customers.

“Pivot has the right focus,” said Joe Simon, chief technology officer, Conde Nast. “It provides an enriching experience for customers and is a great environment for developers considering the platform.”

Investing in webOS developer success

The webOS Developer Program enhancements also include a new discount structure. Developers will have access to this pricing model based on their years in the Palm developer program and active applications in the webOS App Catalog.

“Working with HP and the webOS ecosystem has been fantastic,” said Haden Blackman, co-president and chief creative officer of Fearless Studios, a game company recently started by Blackman and fellow LucasArts alum, Cedrick Collomb. “It’s a perfect fit with our core values as a company –creative risks mitigated by smart technology choices. Because the platform is so accessible and developer-friendly, we’ve been able to build the game we want to build.”

“We love the TouchPad and the webOS platform for game development,” added Collomb, chief technology officer, Fearless Studios. “It’s built from the ground up for seamless connectivity between devices and it’s an open platform, which makes development that much easier.”

HP TouchPad availability

The Wi-Fi version of HP TouchPad(1) will be available in stores and online in the United States on July 1 with the option of either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage(2) for $499.99 and $599.99, respectively.(3) HP TouchPad will be available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany on July 2 and in Canada on July 15, with availability scheduled to follow later this year in Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore and Spain.

More information about HP TouchPad is available at http://www.hp.com/touchpad.

HP webOS Developer Program

Complete details about the updated developer programs will be available on the HP webOS Developer Portal beginning July 1

Topic Suggestions

If you are interested in a particular topic that I should write about, please leave a comment on this post. I’ll try to cover the topic and my opinion on it.

Super Bowl Ads – 2011

Besides the big game involving the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, millions of people look forward to, or at least somewhat enjoy, the advertisements. As the Super Bowl kickoff approaches with just a mere two days away, there are some “sneak peaks” at this year’s ads.

We have Motorola’s Teaser Ad that says “2011 LOOKS A LOT LIKE 1984,” a clear reference to Apple’s 1984 Macintosh commercial. You can get a sneak peak at the official Xoom Tablet commercial here. (I’m really excited for the Xoom Tablet; it looks pretty cool)

You can even check out some of the Ads already on YouTube. Does this take some of the excitement out of Super Bowl ads? I think somewhat but companies are trying to spread their expensive Super Bowl ad dollars as far as they can in this tough economy.

I’m sure most people will enjoy some of the commercials, time with friends, and the football game, too.