Archive for the ‘Phone’ Category

iPhone Challenger

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Who would have thought Apples greatest invention could be outdone? Apple has been working on a handheld computing device for decades (think Newton) and with the iPhone they broke new ground on many fronts including a double touchscreen.

iPhone

So what happens when they come up against an established portable device accustomed to touch screen computing? This was a direction I did not expect – the nuvifone from Garmin! How could Steve Jobs allow it to happen? He probably won’t.

nuvifone

The nuvifone is not due out until Q3 of this year giving Apple plenty of time to beef up their offerings. The biggest differences as I see it between the two are bandwidth, double touchscreen, installed user base, and GPS. Why have I not included visual voicemail in my list? You know the one Apple likes to talk so much about? More on that below.

Currently the iPhone uses the 2.5G network, which, although always connected it is a bit slow. The nuvifone is currently listing theirs as being either 3G or 3.5G compatible. So what is to keep the iPhone from bumping up theirs to the same? Battery life. People expect the iPhone to replace their cell phone. And cell phones are supposed go on one charge for at least a whole day, if not several days. If Apple puts a 3G card in their phone they will have a lot of trouble keeping it powered up for a whole day of use. Garmin has a chance of getting away with it since most GPS units get plugged in while in the car, or they may elect to make their unit a bit larger to accommodate a bigger battery.

Roomers abound on Apple adding GPS to iPhone with some people trying out a software package that makes use of cell phone towers to give a general idea of location. This will need more work and I will be watching Apple to see if they can bring this one in. Garmin is way ahead on this front and should work to capitalize on it.

The iPhone has been a big pusher of Visual Voicemail and a unique feature of theirs. Yet anyone using www.grandcentral.com will quickly realize they do not hold any monopoly on it. I anticipate Garmin allowing their browser to connect with GrandCentral to easily bridge the gap.

No word on the double touch screen yet for Garmin. Unlikely they will be able to work this one out and it will be missed. Once you have tried this feature it is tough to look at a single touch the same again. A bit like the mouse with two buttons (so why do mac laptops only have one?)

I can’t help but wonder if people will be willing to hang their iPhone’s from their windshields? Apples products are not normally meant to be left ‘hanging’ around and this may be the main reason Apple has not included any GPS functionality options for their phone.

iPhone
nuvifone

Wireless Trends

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

With all the big names starting to go wireless with their newest devices (iPhone, gPhone, Skype phone)  and the shift in how people are using their computing devices no longer at the desk but with handheld devices; I thought it rather interesting that the new Mac air has no ethernet port.  Seeing how Steve Jobs always likes to minimize his computers and push the envelope with the new technologies I thought it rather fitting he now wants to have us all go wireless with our networking.  There will still be a slight transition before everything is wireless, in the meantime I can see a market for a complete kit like this one.

I was considering Guy’s comments on his new Mac Air and how it is still inconvenient to go totally wireless.  It reminds me a lot of the change to no longer include a floppy drive in the Macs several years back.  I think I would miss the DVD drive more since I like to watch my own movies while flying or on the train.  Yet this option makes for a much larger and heavier machine so I am not surprised it was left out.  As for the solid state drive, this has been a long time coming and I feel it is about time we began to move away from disk drives.

Grand Central

Friday, January 4th, 2008

While many internet users are pleased to sign up for broadband, the old telephone has a new trick up her sleeve. I have been using Grand Central for a few weeks now and can report it is starting to save me time and money. One feature I lost by switching to a cell phone was the ability to screen my calls. Caller ID is not always enough to know who is calling, and if it is the car repair man you will want to jump in on his message to ask a few detailed questions on how that warranty repair is going. With grandcentral you are able to have them leave a message and to pick it up if you need to talk even if you are in a meeting. Plus it is the first time I have used ‘Visual Voicemail’ and I must say I like it. You are able to see all you messages in your web browser and to click any message to hear what they said. Also, if you need to call them back you click on a button and it automatically connects you. I can hear all of you proclaiming how nice that would be, no more writing the number down and missing what they said (and no more repeating that message ten times since they always leave it too quickly.)

Down side it is still a beta, but if you need an invite let me know, I should still have a couple left. If you want to try it out, give me a call using the button on the right. For now it is free, maybe if everyone starts using it they will start charging, lets hope not. I am hoping they get it to Europe soon since there are some people there who I know could use this as well.