It’s been years and the landscape has changed quite a bit. In many ways it hasn’t really changed much. What I mean is, on the small scale, things have changed greatly, Moore’s Law continues to go strong and tech is generally better in every way. On the large scale though, nothing’s happened. It’s just another year.
There are a few technologies that have popped up in the last few weeks that I believe are the future. One of them is Siri and the other is the Lytro camera.
First Look: Macbook Pro, Mac OS X Snow Leopard @Anphase Blog
If you bought a qualifying Mac from an authorized retailer on or before the 6th/7th of June, you are eligible for a free upgrade to Mac OS Lion 10.7.
The Best Tablet So Far: The HP TouchPad via Anphase.
Recovered from internet archive:
The HP TouchPad’s is the epitome of tablets in 2011. It has the design, the guts and the user interface of a true champ. It’s even better than the Apple iPad because it beats it at its own game — blending elegance and emotion with functionality. The TouchPad takes functionality to a whole new level.
The TouchPad is slim and it has a glossy finish. It’s got a gorgeous 9.7-inch XGA capacitive, multitouch screen with a vibrant 18-bit color and a 1024×768 resolution. It also has a 1.3MP front facing camera and internal stereo speakers with Beats Audio™. A well thought out design.
The TouchPad performance is awesome. Way better than anything we’ve seen on Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets — that’s the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy 10.1. It has a snappy Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU APQ8060 clocked at 1.2GHz. Each core is faster than the processor on any tablet released in 2010 and there are two of them! It is the best performing tablet yet.
The UI is what sets this tablet apart more than anything. It’s beautifully done and very well thought out. The ‘cards’ and ‘stacks’ and especially the notifications all make for an unparalleled experience. The integration of services like Twitter and Facebook is deep — the experience feels more complete than anything. I’ve embedded a video demo posted by HP to show you what I’m talking about after the break.
UPDATE 2019. I’ve inserted AnandTech’s review from back in the day by Anand himself no less. The tablet was ahead of it’s time. A lot of the features in there are what we see in design now — No physical home button, gestures etc. Oh well.
Newspapers Are Dead. via Anphase
Recovered from Internet Archive:
Since the beginning of time I’ve been searching for a device to replace paper. The problem with paper is that I use a lot of it. A whole lot of it. For performing a quick calculation, jotting down some notes, making a quick sketch etc., paper is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to get that done. But there are several problems with paper.
Paper occupies physical space. I have so much paper lying around everywhere in the form of notebooks and refills and random scraps of paper it’s crazy.
That brings me to another problem. Managing all of this paper. One can form only so many stacks and each stack can only be so high. The result is that I can never find anything and I just have to dispose of the older stuff. It’s all quite depressing.
A few years back, I got the HP iPaq 211 PDA. That was my first serious paper replacement contender. With a 4″ resistive touch screen that has a 640×480 resolution and Windows Mobile 6.0 , I thought it was perfect. I got the ultimate writing app too – PhatPad (shown below).
Soon I realised it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. While it is very responsive, the screen size, 4 inches, is just too small for writing stuff. You will notice also that the edges of the screen are raised creating a barrier around it that shrinks the writing space even more. The app is also pretty slow when it comes to flipping pages and awkward when changing colors or undoing something. The same goes for other apps too. It does have character recognition software that can turn written notes into text but that’s not the point. So the iPaq didn’t deliver what I was looking for.
Then Apple announced the iPad. As soon as I heard the iPad was coming, I knew I had to get one. I thought the iPad combined with a stylus would be the combo I’ve been waiting for. I have most of the popular and not so popular notes apps on the market. From Penultimate to Noterize to Note Taker HD to Note Hub to Use Your Handwriting Gold (UYH Gold). I got ’em all. Of the 500+ apps that I have installed on my iPad, a good number of them have something to do with notes. I also got a capacitive stylus early on. Unfortunately, although the apps are top notch, the accuracy of a capacitive screen/stylus is really low. These devices are designed for finger use and not for pen input. I use the Apple wireless keyboard more than I do the stylus now.
I believe the solution is finally upon us. The NoteSlate is it. Here’s a break down of the features:
– REAL PAPER look design (pictured at the top of the page)
– ONE COLOR display (Optional multi-color display?)
– ONE TOUCH ability just with pen / eraser
– 210x310x6mm thin body
– 13 inch matte monochrome eInk display
– 190x270mm active display, 750x1080pixels
– 180 hours battery life (almost 3 weeks of daily work !)
– 280 g weight !
– basic inputs: pen with eraser, USB mini, SD Card, Jack 3.5 mm, AC/DC 12V
– Wi-Fi module on request with order (no added charge (!))
– no web browsing !
– end price $99
– ONE POINT OF SALE – NoteSlate online e-store
The highlights are 3 weeks battery life and the 13″ e-ink display. It’s flat like a paper notebook with no raised edges. It runs custom software so it’s probably not going to have performance issues. If you’ve seen e-ink eBook readers like the Kindle or the Kobo reader, you can appreciate the quality that e-ink technology offers. It’s very close to paper quality clarity. That, together with a stylus and high screen sensitivity and accuracy can make for the ultimate paper replacement.
This thing is not like the feature rich tablets that we have today. It’s bare-bones simple yet powerful. The perfect paper replacement. Lets just hope it doesn’t remain vapourware. It’s set for release in June 2011.
Out with the old, in with the new
Well, figured I should use this blog to vent other thoughts.
First off, a bit about the Samsung i8910. I thought the most likely update for it to get was Touch Wiz 3.0. I emailed some folks at Samsung and they don’t have any plans to implement that on the device.
Windows Phone Series 7 on the i8910? Well, that seems unlikely. Turns out, Microsoft made a ‘gimmick i8910’ just to get people excited. It’s totally not happening. To get it in on our current devices we would have to replace the display with a smaller one. Microsoft certainly wouldn’t let us have this device with WP7 without Windows branding on the buttons. So sad but true. If that i8910-like device running WP7 is ever to be released, it will be different from what we have now.
Other OSes are just not going to happen. It’s too complex to implement them and there are few people who have the time or the skills to do that successfully.
With the slew of new devices coming out and Samsung’s heavy marketing of the i9000 Galaxy S, the i8910 is pretty much dead. Updates will come, but mainly to fix bugs. The introduction of kinetic scrolling will remain the biggest update the i8910 will ever receive. Modders simply mix and match what’s there, and they are doing some awesome things with the device but not a lot will change.
A combination of old hardware(developed about 2 years ago), poor coding, and an ailing OS(Symbian^1) are to blame for the i891o’s demise. It’s a pity it fell even before it had a chance to shine.
Pity I can’t afford these new devices coming out. I’m stuck with my i8910 for a least the next year… Heck, I’ll probably have this same phone for the next 4 years!