Tag Archive: android

New phone idea – Droid Turbo

Image source: Droid-life

Image source: Droid-life

I previously blogged about my frustration with phone battery life and later wrote about the Experia Z3 Compact which is a smaller phone with a large battery.  My current contract expires next month and so I wanted to continue the blog series about phones with long battery life.

The Droid Turbo is an unannounced Android phone that according to the Verizon countdown timer, will be launching on October 28.  However, like most things mobile, the device is a poorly kept secret and the phone specifications and manual have been leaked, and Android Central has a very good summary of the smartphone.  Some key elements that got my attention include:

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New phone idea – Sony Experia

sony-xperia-z3-compact-318_verge_super_wide (1)Last week, I blogged about my frustration with the battery life of today’s phones.  My position was that we have become complacent and that we must prioritize phone longevity over other features.  My phone is coming off contract and so I committed to prioritizing battery life as a key metric for the future purchase.

A Twitter Follower had recommended that I look at the Experia Z3 family from Sony.  These devices bring high end phone specs and two different size options.  The base Z3 comes with a 5.2 inch screen and is unsurprisingly is called the “Experia Z3.”  Sony also offers a 4.6 inch model which they call the “Z3 Compact.”  The Compact is particularly noteworthy because it bucks the industry trend of  limiting high end hardware exclusively to large phones.  (Generally, flagship phones like the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 or LG G3 get the latest hardware and the smaller versions of those phones come with reduced specs.)  The Compact has similar hardware innards as the Z3 with the exception of a smaller screen and hence smaller form factor.  I find bigger phones awkward to hold and pocket and so the idea of a very powerful smaller phone intrigues me.  The initial press releases suggested that Sony was prioritizing battery life which further accelerated my interest. Read More »

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012110-small2The tech world has been abuzz with the recent announcements of the iPhone 6 and 6+. There is no doubt that these are exciting new devices for Apple although the curmudgeonly might argue that these are catch up devices to bring Apple more in line with their Android competitors. Regardless, there is an element of the announcement that I find disappointing and to be fair, it is a complaint that I have with most of the latest mobile technology – battery life.

Battery life is a key metric for device usability. What good is an iPhone or Galaxy S if its battery life is short? Sure, it has mobile payments, GPS and health tracking, but all of this is irrelevant if the phone is dead. Yet the newest announcements highlight features like higher speed wireless radios, new phone sensors, thinner form factors or bigger screens and virtually all of these impact battery life in a negative way. It seems that buyers are so enamored with these additions that they ignore the fact that battery life sucks. Yet if I look back just a few years ago, we had phones where battery life was measured in days and weeks versus the sub 12-hour life which is common today. Read More »

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My Favorite Android Apps

My friend John Obeto recently blogged about application usage and Windows Mobile and wondered how many apps people have installed.  I am not a WinMo user, but do use Android which offers a (more?) robust app ecosystem.  My Motorola Atrix currently has 42 apps installed including a couple of app specific language packs.

Before delving into installed apps, it is important to understand my application strategy.  My experience with previous phones (non-Android) suggests that an excessive number of applications can impact phone performance.  Thus, I am quite selective when choosing applications and will often remove ones that I either don’t use or use infrequently.  With that said here is a list of the ones that I find most valuable.  Any feedback or suggestions on alternative applications is welcome! Read More »

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As I recently blogged, I have become a major Android fan over the last three months and one of my favorite features of the platform is its flexibility. Nowhere was this more evident than in my recent search for a new Android keyboard.

The keyboard that came with my Motorola Atrix (running Android v2.2) was adequate; however, I had some significant challenges. The biggest problem was the positioning of the period key. For whatever reason, it is located next to the space bar and I inevitably hit it mistakenly when typing fast and trying to add a space.  This creates all kinds of weird spacing and capitalization issues, and is supremely annoying.  Additionally, the relatively small keys on the keyboard often caused typing error which were not always auto-corrected. My goal was to find a keyboard that could address these challenges and I was fortunate that Android has many options to choose from. Here is a review of the ones I tried out:

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