Anyone who knows me or has followed some of my blog posts know that I’ve always felt the biggest lacking in the Apple IOS lineup is a good stylus or pen. Fortunately for Apple, there are ingenious companies like BoxWave and Wacom that have created styluses to offer the best pen-like experience to be had on an IOS or Android device. Today, I have in my possession BoxWave‘s latest offering, the BoxWave EverTouch Capacitive Stylus!
In the old days, before the explosion of mobile devices, we didn’t have to worry about screen size that much. Nope, in those days, most humans had monitors that were typically about 800×600 pixels and possibly 1024×768 pixels. Designing an application or web page in those days meant that if you kept to those confines, you’d be ok. These days, that’s not really the case anymore.
While poking around on the web today, I ran across a post on dealnews.com, it said that Unity3D for Android and IOS are free till April 8! Poking around on Unity’s website, I couldn’t find any mention of a time limit, but indeed, the Android and IOS portions of Unity3D are free… Normally, that’s an additional $500 for each platform!
Grab this deal while it’s hot!
The Amazon Kindle Fire was officially released to the world today. Amazon however decided to screw me on my preorder and ship it late next week, since they clearly decided not to send pre-orders out early to make it arrive on release day… Irritation aside, I decided to buy one from Best Buy and deal with the late arrival later. So, what do I think so far? Well, It’s a big box, and there’s very little in it. You get the tablet and a power cable, and a little card telling you how turn it on. The build quality of the device is pretty good, it feels solid, but aesthetically it’s pretty plain. The face of the device has no buttons, and on the bottom of the device is a lone power button, next to a micro-usb slot and headphone jack. The power button is the only physical button on the device. On the opposite end of the device are two slots for speakers.
Upon boot up the Kindle Fire goes through the usual setup steps, Time Zone, Wireless Network and Amazon account. Once done, you’re taken to the Kindle’s main UI, which is a carousel of items. The UI is very simple and streamlined for service the content that’s in your Amazon account. Immediately, I was able to see all the books I own in my Kindle library, however, the books were not available right away, since they’ve not been downloaded to the device. Clicking on a book though will prompt for download, which occurs pretty quick. Once downloaded, you’re ready to read.
In comparison to the HTC Flyer, another 7″ Android Tablet, the Kindle Fire is roughly the same size and weight. Physical size is almost the same, but the Flyer is rounded, so it appears slightly thinner than the Fire. I won’t go into a detailed review, since there are some nice reviews already out there, but feel free to look at my video below for my initial impressions. I’ll definitely have more to talk about once I get a little more cozy with the device. So, far I’m going to say that this IS NOT an iPAD killer, nor does it aim to be. So, I think it’s silly to compare the two devices. Also, I think it’s premature to compare this to other Android Tablets, since this isn’t designed as a general purpose tablet. It is designed to aid in the consumption of Amazon services. Ok, rant over. Enjoy the video, and please leave a comment.
Here are some links to some good reviews:
Engadget reported yesterday that an IOS bug was discovered that seems to be responsible for poor battery life found by many iPhone 4S users. Luckily for me though, it seems that I’ve not run into any major battery problems, but I must admit that I’ve not experienced the improved battery life Apple promised in the 4S. Apple has committed to fixing the issue with a software patch in the coming weeks, which is good news. But this bug report isn’t the real reason why I’m writing this blog article.
Amazon has announced their new Android Tablet, the Kindle Fire. For those uninitiated, it’s the follow up to their Kindle e-reader tablet, which has seen quite a bit of success in the e-book landscape. This new color tablet offers more than just reading books though, this tablet is a bridge to all the services Amazon has developed to date. In the palm of your hand is a device that connects to Amazon’s EC2 Cloud storage, their Android App Store, and their music and video store. So, what’s my take on it? Is it the iPad killer some folks in the shadows have been murmuring about?
The tablet market is a ruthless arena to play in. The arena is ruled by Apple and Google’s Android; Apple has the exclusivity and the most popular tablet and Google has the luxury of having saturated the market with numerous vendor creations, such as the Motorola Xoom, and Samsung’s Galaxy. Companies like RIM, the makers of the Blackberry Playbook, and HP’s TouchPad have serious uphill battles to remain relevant, and yesterday, HP announced the end of the HP TouchPad after only seeing a few weeks on the market.
Continuing from the last review, where I unboxed the HTC Flyer, ran through the initial setup and worked through some customization. Now I’m going to talk about using the HTC Flyer for various tasks.
When I heard about the HTC Flyer I was very excited about the prospects of this little Android tablet. Why? Mainly because it had a stylus – yeah, yeah, seems kind of stupid that this one feature would win me over so much, but I really liked the idea of a small tablet with a pressure sensitive pen. So, when I heard that Best Buy was going to sell the Tablet a day early, I immediately rushed out to Best Buy to grab one. It wasn’t easy… The difficulty had nothing to do with lines or demand. Nope, it was just the staff at Best Buy didn’t even know what the heck I was talking about, and the staff didn’t even know if they had any. Worst yet, they didn’t even seem to have the pens, and told me they didn’t know when they would get them. On Sunday, the pens mysteriously went on sale… Horrible shopping experience aside, you probably want to know what I think of it? I’ve got lots to say, so I’ve decided to break this review into a few parts.
I’ve been a long time fan of tablet and touch computing. I’ve owned various tablet devices and smartphones long before Apple made its big splash on the stage with their iPad. For me, the iPad is almost the best tablet out there, and I say “Almost” because of a few things that annoy me. In particular, the lack of a decent pen, something Apple will probably never give me (prove me wrong!). What makes matters worse is that most, if not all, tablet manufacturers are following in Apple’s wake with iPad wannabe’s trying to claim the crown of iPad killer, but all seemingly missing the point about why they are really in the tablet market space. It’s because of this vapid pursuit of the iPad that’s caused me to all but ignore Android Tablets; until I stumbled upon the HTC Flyer.
What’s so special about the HTC Flyer that piqued my interest? Simply put, a pen. They are the only major manufacturer that’s come along with an Android tablet that has this feature.