Archive for the ‘Phones’ Category.

Win two free windows phones!

Microsoft is giving away two free windows phones through my wife Michelle’s blog.

If you want to try to win a pair of windows phones, one for you and one for your spouse, then sign up here:
How We Met & a Windows Phone for You and Your Valentine

HTC Sensation Battery Life meets the low expectations I’ve heard

Update: A system update just came out and it claims longer battery life, so I will have to test again…

My HTC Sensation looks like it will probably have a battery life of 1.5 days for me before it hit 9% battery. I have heard that even though it boasts That is less than I hoped. I was hoping for two days, so I would only have to plug it in every other evening. Maybe 9% would last me till tonight, but I doubt it.

A few notes on this 1.5 days.

  • I used my HTC Sensation for browsing the web for a good 45 minutes straight in the evening, so maybe I used more battery life than normal last night.
  • I was on the phone no more than 10 minutes
  • I made sure to keep all services, GPS, Wi-fi, etc., off during most of this time as I am fine turning them on when I use them.

So I also may have used less battery than some who must have these services enabled all the time.

I hoped that since I turned off these services, I would get much more than two days, even with good hour of use at some point during that span. But alas, the HTC Sensation Battery Life meets the low expectations I’ve heard from others. I have already bought a car charger (well, actually I bought an iGo tip to go with my iGo Car Charger) and I will certainly buy a an extra charger to have at my desk at work as well.

Transfering contacts to my HTC Sensation 4G

So as I mentioned previously, I just got a new T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G and of course I had to transfer my files.

UPDATE: I just realized you can skip transferring to a PC and connect your old phone to your new phone via Bluetooth and just transfer the files straight from your old phone to your new phone, eliminating the computer as the middle man.

Retrieving contacts from a deactivated phone to your Computer or to your HTC Sensation 4G

First I had to get them off my Motorola RAZR V3m, which I did using this guys steps:

Tutorial: Move your Verizon contacts from your deactivated RAZR to your iPhone

Though there was no copyright listed, I want to give the author credit, especially since I am including a copy of these steps here (though I am modifying them) in case his site ever goes dark.

You can use these steps to transfer your contacts to a computer or to transfer them directly to your HTC Sensation 4G.

Step 1 – Enable Bluetooth

  1. Turn your Bluetooth on, and make sure it’s discoverable.  Do this for each device.
  2. On either device, scan for or add a new Bluetooth device.
  3. Connect/Pair the two devices.
  4. Enter the pin in both devices to pair them.

Step 2 – Send the Contacts

  1. On your old RAZR V3m, select Contacts on your phone.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom of that ridiculous list.  See the one that says, “Send Name Card.”  Select it.
  4. Only one card will have been selected (likely the first on your contacts list).  Hit the “Add” softkey option, and select “Add All.”
  5. Press “Send.”  It’s going to ask you where to send them.  You’re going to tell it to send to the computer to which you just paired your phone.
  6. On your computer or HTC, notice automatic activity.  You will need to confirm that it’s okay with you for the transfer to happen.

You should now have a bunch of .vcf files.

On Windows 7, they are here: C:\Users\UserName\Documents\Bluetooth Exchange Folder

Hopefully, you will find similar steps for your phone if it is not a RAZR V3m

Transferring Contacts to your HTC Sensation 4G

If you transferred the contacts to your HTC Sensation 4g, skip directly to Step 4.

Step 1 – Turn on Bluetooth

  1. Click on the bottom left icon to go to All Apps.
  2. Scroll down and select Settings.
  3. Click on Wireless & Networks.
  4. Turn on Bluetooth by clicking it (make sure the check box is green).

Step 2 – Connect the HTC Sensation 4G to your computer via Bluetooth

  1. On your computer (I used Windows 7) click Add device from your Bluetooth options.
  2. Windows searches for you device. Click it when it is found.
  3. Enter the number that pops up on the screen into your HTC Sensation 4G.

You are now connected via Bluetooth from your laptop and on your laptop the Bluetooth device control window should appear.

Step 3 – Send your .vcf files to the HTC Sensation 4G

  1. On your laptop, in the Bluetooth device control window, click the link under file transfer: “Send files to your (HTC Sensation 4G) phone”.
  2. Click Browse Files.
  3. Add all the .vcf files that you previously transferred to this folder: C:\Users\UserName\Documents\Bluetooth Exchange Folder
  4. Click Send.
  5. On your HTC Sensation 4G, you will get prompted to allow the transfer. Allow it.

The .vcf files should now be on the SD card in your HTC Sensation 4G.

Step 4 – Import all the .vcf files to your HTC Sensation 4G

  1. On your HTC Sensation 4G, click Contacts.
  2. Click the second icon below the screen (has one longer horizontal line above three shorter horizontal lines).
  3. Select Import/Export.
  4. Select Import from SD Card.
  5. Choose the account to import to, I used Google.
  6. Choose to import All vCard files.
  7. Click Ok.

You should now have imported all your contacts.

Hope this helps you.

I just got an Android Phone at a discount

So my new HTC Sensation with T-Mobile arrived today, and I got it for less than $199 it would have cost through T-Mobile direct.

I just thought I would tell you how I got the discount. This discount is not limited to T-Mobile or the HTC Sensation, but is pretty much with any phone you get, and for any company, including Verizon, that you choose to use as your carrier. The discount is different on different phones, but it can save you some money.

Linda Barneck, is an Independent Business Owner in a multi-level-marketing (MLM) company called ACN (Yes, this is the company that was promoted on The Apprentice) but I didn’t get this deal due to family relation. It turns out that anybody who orders through Linda Barneck’s Independent Business Owner site can get this discount.

So click this link and order you new phone with this discount now.

Get your Android Phone at a discount with ACN Wireless Exclusive Deals! 

There are a lot more products that you can get through ACN. You could get a Tablet with a data plan, or a Video Phone, or Satellite TV, or other cool products. See a what products are available in your area here:

Shop for ACN Products & Services

I have personally chosen to not participate directly in MLMs, though I have no problem buying product from an MLM especially if it saves me money, which is what I am doing in this instance. I benefit in no way from you ordering your phone through ACN. My mother did not solicit this post. I am writing this only because I got my phone at a discount.

I almost joined ACN. With ACN being a “techie’s MLM”, I was almost tempted to join. If you are interested in an MLM and you are a bit high-tech, you can become an Independent Business Owner and then buy yourself a new phone through you own account. Just go check out Linda Barneck’s ACN Independent Business Owner page and then click on the “Get Started” link.


Smart phones and tablets can’t replace a desktop or laptop, yet!

I completely believe that the phones and tablets like the new T-Mobile 7″ Samsung tab are going to be continue to be huge industries and will not go away as the Palm Pilot did. However, will they continue to explode exponentially as many believe? Or is there a plateau coming?

I just reviewed the Motorola Xoom and it was a great tech toy. However, it wasn’t much more than a casual gaming tool. There is a crucial flaw that has yet to be solved with phones and tablets: Typing.

No matter how fast you can type on a phone or tablet, you will never type as fast as you can on a keyboard. Might there be a solution better than a keyboard that we just haven’t discovered yet…maybe…but even if we discover it will it work on a phone or tablet?

There are certain uses for a phone:

  1. Making calls
  2. MP3 player
  3. Texting
  4. Casual gaming
  5. Visual browsing (such as checking the whether)
  6. Reading email (notice, I didn’t put writing email)
  7. Pocket Portability
  8. GPS and Navigation
  9. Quick low quality photos/video

There are certain uses for a tablet

  1. Book reader
  2. MP3 player
  3. Casual gaming
  4. Visual browsing (such as checking the weather)
  5. Reading email (notice, I didn’t put writing email)
  6. GPS and Navigation
  7. Quick low quality photos/videos

However, will the Laptop and Desktop be taken over by a tablet?  What about 20″ to 27″ monitors? Some of use need so much real-estate we have multiple monitors.  Here are using for a computer that a tablet does not solve.  For those of you thinking of going 100% to phones and tablets, you may just want to hold on.

Here is a list of requirements and uses that are met by a desktop or laptop that the phone and tablet haven’t really solved yet.

Note: I am not going to repeat the items on the list for the smart phones and tables but be aware that the only feature the phone or tablet has that a desktop or laptop doesn’t have today is pocket portability.

  1. Keyboard and typing
    1. Writing email
    2. Writing documents
    3. Creating spreadsheets
    4. Writing code, yes, even writing code for tablets
    5. Writing blog posts (like this one)
  2. CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive (yes, people are going to still want to play there DVDs and Blu-Ray movies 10 years from now)
  3. Monitors
    1. 17″ or larger monitor
    2. Multiple monitors
    3. Viewing multiple applications simultaneously
  4. Local storage of data.
  5. Serious desktop gaming
    1. Joysticks
    2. Short-cut keys
  6. Peripherals
    1. Printers
    2. External drives
    3. Cameras and Video cameras
    4. Projectors
    5. Custom peripherals (like those that are designed for one company, telescope, craft vinyl cutters, industrial equipment, etc…)
  7. Ethernet, no not everywhere has wireless yet and some secure facilities will never have wireless or allow VPN from a 3G/4G device. Some places don’t allow web-cams or camera devices and unfortunately you can’t take your camera out of your phone or tablet.

We have been using desktops for three decades. Smart-phones and tablets are in their infancy. Many problems, including millions of custom problems for companies in all industries, have been solved using laptops and desktops. To replace desktops and laptops, these problems will have to be solved.

Many problems have solutions already.For example, blue-tooth and wireless technology can allow for peripherals but there are a lot of devices already out there that are not blue-tooth or wireless capable.

But another road block is in the way. Adoption.

Adoptions takes a long time.  First the manufacturers have to adopt a technology, design new products, produce them, distribute them.  Then consumers have to buy the new technology and if they already own an older version, that older version often has to go through its life cycle which can take a lot of years. I still have an HP LaserJet 5L from the late 90s that works perfectly. No, I am not going to invest in another laser printer until this one dies.

So will someone still be running a desktop or laptop with Windows XP/Vista/7 in 2020. Certainly.  Will they probably own a smart phone or tablet as well.  You bet!

Apple is repeating history! And not in a good way.

Apple will lose the majority of the phone and tablet market in just a few years!

When Apple could have been the operating system of choice for the majority of desktops back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, they limited themselves to their own hardware, and opened the door for getting blown out by the competition, which was then, Microsoft and maybe IBM.

Just as Apple lost the majority in the desktop market in the 90’s, they are making the same mistakes and will loose the majority of the phone and tablet market. They are repeating history with the iPhone and iPad, and Google’s Android and Windows Phone 7 are going to be malleable and improved by dozen’s of different companies. One of these operating systems, my guess is Android, but don’t look passed Microsoft just yet, is going to have the majority of the phone and tablet markets. Apple, is going to end up again, with the smaller share.

Sure, just like the Apple computer is still around, somewhere between 20% and 30% market share, the iPhone and iPad will hang around with a good enough market share to be a solid company. Apple has nothing to worry about if they are fine not being the number one most used operating system on phones and tablets.

Apple will continue to be a more expensive model that isn’t as compatible with the rest of the world (do they have Flash yet?). Despite taking the lead in the smart phone and tablet markets, Apple will end up once again as a second, and maybe even a third choice.

My boss and a few coworkers (all developers) and others at my work have turned in their iPhone’s for Android phones and we have had the conversation I have just posted and we all agree on it. Our we right? Or is this just a geek/developer thing? We like control, and with Apple, they don’t give it to you.

It is interesting to see articles that already are hinting at this without exactly realizing it.

An interesting Artic: Unix's Revenge

The article is titled Unix’s Revenge and it was quite a good read.

Here is a quote:

Now we’ve entered a new decade of devices where Unix(-like) operating systems will, on a CPU basis, probably out-install Windows. Not only is iOS based on Unix, but Android and MeeGo and even Bada are based on Linux as are QNX and WebOS. Google, Apple, HP, RIM, Samsung and Nokia are all now betting heavily on Unix or Unix-like implementations. The success is so overwhelming that there are really only two hold-outs: Microsoft and the rapidly depreciating Symbian.

Read the full article here:

Move over 3G phones, 4G is coming! For some, it is already here.

Many people have jumped to buy smart phones but as of yet I am not one of them. The iPhone, the HTC with Google’s Android, the Blackberry Storm, all are smart phones using 3G technology now. In fact there are few phones purchased these days that don’t have 3g capability.

According to Wikipedia, here are some interesting bits of information about 3G

The first pre-commercial 3G network was launched by NTT DoCoMo in Japan branded FOMA, in May 2001…

By June 2007 the 200 millionth 3G subscriber had been connected….

So yes, many people have moved and are going to move to 3G.

Why I don’t have a 3G phone yet

  1. While 3G is nice, it is too slow to meet my needs. I have wireless internet access at my house, and at my work and rarely have a need for internet while driving my 10 minute commute to and from work.
  2. It is too slow for serious browsing and downloading (which I do a lot of) and nowhere near fast enough to use when gaming online (which I don’t do a lot of).
  3. The phone companies charge way to much for this poor performing internet access. It costs more than my much faster and much more reliable home internet access.

So when will I move to internet access on my phone?
When my phone can replace my home internet access, I will move to wireless internet on my phone. Imagine having a laptop without an AIR Card, yet having internet access where-ever I am. Whether I am home, away, at a hotel. In fact, such a feature could change the industry in that places like a hotels and coffee shops no longer need to be “hot spots” because everyone’s phone is their own “hot spot”.

Well, 3G made the “personal hot spot” a possibility though it cannot deliver this itself, the next generation, 4G, will come closer. However, it has taken the better part of this decade to get a point where 3G is the norm. How many years will it take until 4G is the norm?

4G has some strong requirements according to Wikipedia:

The 4G working group…has defined the following as objectives of the 4G wireless communication standard:

* Flexible channel bandwidth, between 5 and 20 MHz, optionally up to 40 MHz.[2]
* A nominal data rate of 100 Mbit/s while the client physically moves at high speeds relative to the station, and 1 Gbit/s while client and station are in relatively fixed positions as defined by the ITU-R,[6]
* A data rate of at least 100 Mbit/s between any two points in the world,[6]
* Peak link spectral efficiency of 15 bit/s/Hz in the downlink, and 6.75 bit/s/Hz in the uplink (meaning that 1000 Mbit/s in the downlink should be possible over less than 67 MHz bandwidth)
* System spectral efficiency of up to 3 bit/s/Hz/cell in the downlink and 2.25 bit/s/Hz/cell for indoor usage.[2]
* Smooth handoff across heterogeneous networks,[7]
* Seamless connectivity and global roaming across multiple networks,[8]
* High quality of service for next generation multimedia support (real time audio, high speed data, HDTV video content, mobile TV, etc)[8]
* Interoperability with existing wireless standards,[9] and
* An all IP, packet switched network.[8]

At 100 MBit, 4G can replace my home internet access.

However, according to this article, 4G might not really be there: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint 4G: Not so fast

Where is 4G available
I didn’t take to much time to look at all the carriers, but 4G is available in some cities already through Sprint.

This is a flash web site and you have to let it load, then click near the bottom where it says 4G cities.

Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Boise, Austin, and many others already have it.
Houston, San Francisco, DC, New York are others are on the list to be getting it soon.
Alas, Salt Lake City was on neither list.

I could not find if this was true 4G or if it was not. According to Wikipedia,

The pre-4G technology 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) is often branded “4G”

So is Sprint’s service really 4G or is it only a mis-branded pre-4G technology?

AT&T announced that its 4G network won’t be available until 2011 and I am not sure which cities it will roll out first.

What are the market repercussions of 4G?
Well, I already mentioned one. Many of the common “hot spots” will no longer need to exist.

However, that is not where the repercussions end. The biggest repercussions are to companies that provide DSL or Cable internet, or more generally, wired internet. They will suffer the same way that land lines have suffered: the user base will decline. Why would I pay for internet access for my house if I have fast internet access through my phone that my computer can leverage. There are still reasons for home internet access, such as families that need access to the internet when a 4G phone is not home. But when both parents and one or more kids have 4G phones, that might not be the case. There will almost always be internet around. So companies like Comcast or Cox could see a slow decline in users.

However, this is not going to happen for at least a decade, because first, 4G has to deliver on it’s promised speed, or we have to wait for it’s successor. Then 4G or its successor has to become the norm. And then it will take users a few years to get used to not using home internet access. So don’t sell your stock in wired internet companies yet. 🙂

Untapped Markets

  1. Docking Stations for phones – A computer docking station for the phone. Lets face, most people use a computer for email and browsing the internet and occasionally writing documents. If you had a docking station for an iPhone or an HTC, it would sell. However, I am not sure that the iPhone or the HTC could handle the video display yet, even if the docking station had an on board video card. This technologies is years away.

    A similar feature would be a laptop like apparatus that wasn’t a computer but just an LCD and keyboard that is run by your smart phone, but it drastically cheaper than a laptop, it might sell.

    Though this wouldn’t be for a gamer but the average home and small business user would adopt such a low cost solution to email and internet access, which is the most common user type. Using cloud tools such as Salesforce as a CRM and Google docs instead of MS Office are already happening todya and since a phone is powerful enough to use these applications, a phone-based docking station might meet many employee’s business needs today. Take away the license costs for Windows and Office, take away the help desk and IT costs of managing such windows-based PCs and a phone with a docking station that replaces a computer becomes an extremely attractive option.

    1. Cloud Computing for phones – Those jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon have in my opinion made a big mistake in thinking that its market is for the home computer and the Operating System. The market is for remote applications.

      The remote applications market is perfect for the future phones and future docking stations that replace the computer completely for some users. The apps and processing are offloaded to a web server somewhere in the could, so a device as simple as a phone doesn’t have to be in charge of the space required or the processing power for apps.

    2. Cloud Gaming Market – Not all users replace their home computers. The PC gaming market wouldn’t touch such a device until it was powerful enough to play today’s best games, which require some of the best computers and best video cards. However, PC gaming is in the decline as gaming systems have become more and more like computers themselves.

      You may think there that are already online games both simple and complex: simple, such as flash games; complex, such as World of Warcraft. Flash games require flash to be installed on the client, and a lot of processing occurs on the client. World of Warcraft has a very large installer and doesn’t completely run on the cloud, it is very resource intensive to the local computer. If a game ran completely on the cloud and all a gaming device had to do was display and pass input, a future generation of the smart phone could handle such a game.