Archive | Gadgets RSS feed for this section

Why I might still buy an HP Touchpad

22 Aug

Recently, Hewlett-Packard announced it’s decision to discontinue supporting the webOS platform. The primary reason for webOS’s demise seems to be because HP didn’t really think out the commitment it was going to take to break into the tablet market but never the less its not a situation I am really crying over as there are an abundance of choices,  some of them haven’t even been discovered so it’s not like the whole tablet market is bound to collapse and even if HP’s webOS was going to continue staying the market I still would not have bought it over the iPad and many superior tablets such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Acer Iconia Tab.

Anyway’s HP recently told its partners such as Staples, Best Buy and Futureshop to put the HP Touchpad on firesale (hopefully I used the term properly) , this means that the price of the HP Touchpad has been slashed in order to generate consumer interest in purchasing the HP Touchpad. Unfortunately this was the only way for HP to get rid of the inventory (and also an expensive way as they lost millions by slashing the prices) they had in stores and in their warehouse.  Overnight the price point of the HP Touchpad dropped to $99 for the 16gb and $149 for the 32gb which as you can imagine definitely generates consumer interest. So much so that I was looking to buy one as well (possibly for the wrong reasons)…..

The first reason was because here on Scewre we have yet to experience webOS in it’s supposed glory and give it a thorough review but the second reason we were thinking of buying an HP Touchpad was simply because we thought some how someone will find a way to root Android onto it and besides experiencing webOS it would also be a great way to experience Honeycomb and perhaps even Ice Cream sandwich (when it comes out) if that is possible. However, I just thought it would be great to have a Tablet in general. It would be a great opportunity to experience  a tablet and figure out it’s position in my everyday activities (if it even has a position), I also felt that the inexpensive price allowed me to buy it over previous situations where due to high prices I had no immediate plans of buying a tablet in general.

In the comments, tell us if you had any plans of buying a tablet and the HP webOS situations stopped you from doing so, and if it didn’t why? Also give us any general thought(s) we would be happy to read them and share them abroad.

Unboxing: Wacom Bamboo Pen

19 Aug

Toys R Us to Carry Amazon Kindle in Stores

1 Aug

The Amazon Kindle has made a good reputation for itself. Many prefer the Kindle as their e-reader of choice because of it’s inexpensive price and portable form factor. The Kindle has also created an advance content ecosystem that has proven to benefit it as for many getting a book in the e-format on the first day in Kindle store is all the reason to go with the Kindle as other e-reader manufacturars can not yet guarantee what Amazon has accomplished.

The Kindle had for the longest time been stuck as an online-only item but recently the Kindle has pushed itself into the retail market  and the Kindle now sells in stores such as Target, Best Buy, RadioShack and the AT&T store.

The Kindle strives to be both successful in the online and retail space and it  is growing in popularity over time and on July 31st 2011 Amazon plans on selling the Kindle in the Toys R US retail store which may prove to be benefitial in the youth market.

What benefit would it get at a Toys R US? Well recently Amazon has been trying  to market the Kindle as an e-reader that you can read your textbooks of of and save money yearly on your textbooks and in order to further imply this marketing strategy putting Kindle’s in a Toys R US can attract attention from adults and youth.

Amazon is also reported to sell some accessories along with the Kindle at Toys R US.

I personally believe in general that entering the retail space is a smart move as it will create more exposure around the product and for those who don’t shop online having Kindle’s in the retail store may create the oppurunity to be able to finally purchase a Kindle in contrary to when it was much harder to get because you had to buy it online. The Kindle is only now entering the retail space and we were wondering how do you think the Kindle will do?

The Ultimate Plan for Microsoft

28 Jul

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Skydrive, Hotmail, Live Messenger the list can go on forever, welcome to the Ultimate Plan for Microsoft a document that covers exactly what Microsoft needs to do if they want to succeed. The point I want to prove before I continue with this document is that Microsoft has already created products that are great useful and work well with all hardware types the only problem with these products is the implementation and this goes with all Microsoft products, in honesty as a company Microsoft is all over the place! More than anything else I hope for this document to be an organization chart of how all the ideas should be implemented to create a seamless network of gadgets that work with each other in harmony.

 

I want to start of by addressing that Microsoft should continue with their hardware development model, let companies keep producing gadgets the way they think they should develop their products because each company addresses their own community and with different hardware companies can create and innovate for various markets and on a global scale make people happy with the different choices on the contrary I think it would be beneficial for Microsoft to lock down software as for this plan to work they need to be in total control of the software.

 

I am going to being tackling the Microsoft mess by clearing out everything except for the operating systems, by this I mean Microsoft’s Windows 8, Windows Phone OS and the Windows Tablet OS assuming by their latest conference that they will be entering the market of tablets with a OS resembling the qualities of Windows Phone OS.  I want to bring Skydrive into the equation for a second, Skydrive for those of you that don’t is a cloud storage network that Microsoft a few years back released and in favor of the public audience was a big flop. Let’s start of by making Skydrive strictly only Windows compatible, next let’s move around some functionality and by this I mean if you were a user of Windows Skydrive you will know that there was the ability to create document’s online in a GUI that was similar to Microsoft’s Word, then lets add functionality to create Microsoft Powerpoints as well as Excel spreadsheets and Publisher documents and bringing in the other applications  that comes in the Microsoft Office package this enables us to create a powerful cloud platform, now let’s add the functionality of being able to sync this document to all Live ID authorized computers that are registered under you and now we are able to successfully create and edit documents while keeping all computers up to date. Currently Microsoft provides 25gb of free store that is all great and although cloud computing is becoming a closer reality the more practical use for Skydrive should be the functionality of being able to keep media files, documents, applications all up to date between the laptop, tablet and phone. When everything is synced in harmony using the devices is just that much greater of an experience. This is in a sesnse how I would like the networking between the devices work.

 

Next I want to cover the software and the application store, right now to download an application you will have to navigate to a website and download then run the executable file. That to this date isn’t a good or bad way of doing things and currently the selection is also limited on the windows phone OS application store. That’s why I propose to create a ubicoudous application store on both Windows computer OS and Windows Mobile OS, maybe something along the lines of the Live Store, this can be a centralized place to keep all the applications, music, videos and offer the content for an inexpensive price and it’s sure to be success. Also creating the “Live Store” ubicioudous on all devices will keep things simple and to perhaps login you have to use your hotmail ID, which can create additional incentive to signing up for the email service in the process of creating exposure for the app store. I have also decided that it would be in the user experience’s best intrest to use Skydrive as a way of syncing the apps automatically with out Windows Phone device logged in under your Hotmail id and then also sync the apps to the computer for “safe keeping”. This will add to the process of creating the smooth and synchronized experience that we want to achieve.

 

The next thing that I want to work on is the actual operating systems. I think it would be in the users best interest to keep Windows 8 similar to Windows 7 because the way I look at it computers are meant to complete work and with the current layout of Windows 8 for professionals many wont appreciate it for obvious reasons, although taking the home screen in Windows 8 can still be preserved by creating it as a dashboard or etc. because to take a quick look at your information the Windows 8 layout can be great for keeping as a dashboard. Although Windows 8 may not be great on the computer it certainly is good news for mobile platforms like the tablet and phone on which the Windows 8 layout is already implemented, if it hasn’t already I also think that there should be full customization options to change the arrangement of the icons, color of text and background image setting because if these setting are presented in a user friendly way there is a good chance that mainstream users will take advantage of this and use it in order to make the phone more personal.  On the tablet I recommend keeping the same layout as it would be on the Windows Phone with only addition that some of the applications become more useful with the extra screen relastate that the tablet gives them. I also recommend creating simple application development platforms and offer additional incentives such as great coding programs and easy tutorials to follow and when you have developers on you will be well of. I am not sure if I also made this clear but I will know, there should be an application store on the desktop operating system as well in order to aggregate applications into one program and it will also be a great way for users to discover new applications and take even more use of the operating system. As I have been mentioning all along I recommend using Skydrive feature that I outlined to connect the Windows Desktop OS to the Windows Phone OS to the Windows Tablet OS in order to create a connected experience in between the devices.

 

Now that we have tackled the big issues I think it’s time that we tackle some of the details. The first one being there should be better media creation and consumption applications, currently Windows Movie Maker is basic but does not even give the video maker any free room, its in words too basic. There should be more functionality more creative control, moving around text, I also recomend creating more photography editing apps perhaps just create more that Microsoft Office will bring more users to Windows because one of the main reasons people dont use Windows is because there is extremely limited Media creation programs and burning that need out is the trick to getting users attracted to Windows again. Essentially windows should continue creating programs except they should have productive funtionality but still maintaing it’s core simple user experience.

 

In essence with this document I have covered the need for cloud connectivity between devices as well how the operating systems should implemented with an application store to agriagte applications into one source. I have also presented ways of taking use of the Live ID and I have addressed the need for more pro-sumer applications. Hopefully this will help clear the mess that Microsoft has made and from then on you can continue to release updates and innovate on already launched ideas. This organization plan I know will put Microsoft back in the path of success competing with fellow competitors, creating and innovating the tech market. This could have not been previously achieved because of the mess but now that things are clear you have a path of innovation ahead of you which can help you succeed and make some certain shareholders as well as avid Microsoft users happy.

iCloud: Why it’s free and thoughts

28 Jul

Recently Apple held their WWDC 2011 in San Fransisco and they managed to astound the audience with iCloud, IOS 5 and other miscellaneous annoucments. But in the end the big annoucment was iCloud Apple’s cloud networking service that was clearly aimed directly at it’s competitors and to a certain extent claimed the cloud networking market. But here’s the thing about iCloud it’s not exactly like it’s competitors, it basically more like a unanimous syncing system a prime example would be that if you had an iPad and a Macbook your on your flight you type something on your iPad in the Pages app what iCloud will do is download the document and then sync it with the other devices that can read the text and as changes are being  made to the document it constantly downloaded and updates the newest versions automatically so the newest versions are ready when your are going to access the document. This all happens in the background in an instant and the way it works is quite “awesome” and as this translate’s over to the music syncing and the photo’s and iCal it’s just what we’ve been waiting for and to close it of it’s all FREE.  Which is extremly again “awesome” although for the .me email service you can pay extra to get additional storage for your .me email account but that’s besides the point it’s still all free iCloud and the 5gb for email. But your probably wondering it’s great to hear that it is free but Apple a company known for compartively expensive products, it’s just highly unorthodox for a service to be of no charge and although this may be true this is extremly intelligent marketing on Apple’s part the reason why it’s free is because Apple want iCloud to be your number one impulse and reason for buying the iDevices and Mac’s. The created the service so it works seamlessly between ownly Apple software so when PC user’s see such a seamless interface it’s gives enough reason to buy a Mac an iPad and an iPhone so that you can have a unanimous experience between all the devices and when you offer it for free there’s no reason you shouldn’t switch to the Mac platform whhen everything works seamlesly and enexpensively where are PC cloud services are all over the place done in a unorthodox fashion and in some cases not enegineered too great. After long thinking I am willing to put my word on it that when Apple is off with iCloud, IOS 5 and OSX Lion Apple will see a spike in sales without a doubt and with careful marketing plus engineering Apple is guaranteed to again dominate another industry of godly particles. Cloud. You can find out more about iCloud at www.iCloud.com.

Fast Forward: Android meets the LED Lightbulb

28 Jul

Ever since the first Filament lightbulb lighting technology has come far from its roots, we now have energy effecient lightbulbs and lightbulbs consisting of the light emiting diode technology. Truly what we take for granted has change the way we live everyday. At the Google I/O confrence Google made a push to home technologies and one of the technologies that caught my intrest was their lightbulb. Google has simply created a demo of a product that allowed your android phone to control the LED lightbulb. This I think is a huge push towards home innovations. The demo instead of also only using the usual wi-fi or home automation protocols used the brand new mesh protocol, another  innovation from Google. Google hopes that with this product developers will create home automation apps to support Google’s line of home technologies. The person carrying out the demo was playing a shooting game with the lights turning off as shots were fired which made for a realistic gameplay experience and frankly with  the ways that the technology was being used it makes me excited what other developers can make from the API.

Lighting is very visible and prevalent so it made sense for it to be first foray for the platform,” Holland said. “Every one of the lights has a radio integrated inside the lamp so there’s no additional equipment.”

Google is not the only to push home automation products slowly many companies are pushing out their own revisions to making this market more and more intriguing and exciting. The reason why Google used the mesh protocol is because the other protocols would have had the problem of radio interference. These bulbs should be avaible by the end of the year and cost the same as general purpose LED bulbs. I think as Google enters the market of home automation products they need to find creative ways to push and drive this market because literally this market has proved to be a hard sell for many consumers, and many consumers are not paying much attention mainly because the companies in home automation need to take the market more seriously and realize that to break this trend in consumer markets the technology will have to come far in what it’s purpose is and how affordable it can be for the mainstream crowd.

I am personally very excited to hear what’s in store for this market, I believe that with Google’s market penetration there is a good chance Google can really peak people’s interest. Anyway I will keep an eye out for these technologies because I feel they are slowly grabbing my interest and as they make home automation simpler and simpler I can image it, my Galaxy Tab 10.1 in my hand as I play with the switches in my house, sounds boring but you would not believe how useful it is until you have sat hours together on your couch watching marathons of your favorite shows.