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Posts for Tag: review

Geeksphone Peak Firefox OS smartphone first impressions

Well, that was quick, after ordering the Peak on Tuesday, it already arrived via UPS today (Friday). Nice small recycled packaging as well.

After the first start, immediately 2 updates were available, one system update and a map update. The system update triggered a package manager, not something you see often on a smartphone:

When setting up the Peak, you get the option to import contacts from Facebook, which is pretty nice.

The UI feels a bit sluggish and apps are slightly awkward. Definitely developer preview status. A lot of options you find on an iPhone are not there, like setting 24H clock instead of AM/PM. Some trivial items seem to be overlooked, probably because they are easy to overlook.

Some nice backgrounds available.

Even though this phone uses Firefox OS and Firefox browser, I cannot find any option to enable Mozilla Sync service. Odd.

I expected the Peak to open as a generic USB device on my Mac, and it does, after you enable USB Mass Storage in the Media Storage Preferences.

Here's a first bug. The EXIF in the images is incorrect. The date is set at a default value 12:00 at 8 dec 2002.

Also, it seems that the camera (and software) struggles to get the right whitebalance. The images turn out way too cool.

Also, why are the images recorded at 1280x960 and not full resolution? Kind of a waste of 8mp camera. I did not find a camera setting (yet) to change this.

Video is recorded in crappy 3gp format, in low resolution. Don't expect to record HD movies with the Peak.

Try the obligatory cat movie for yourself here.

I tried opening forecast.io in Firefox and although it is fully functional, the site is opened in desktop view, which is annoying on a smartphone.

Hardware wise it seems like a pretty nice phone, although I've managed to let it slip from my hands twice already, due to the plastic back and rounded edges. It's a bit soapy for my feeling.

I applaud the initiative and I hope developers will flock en masse to Firefox OS and get some interesting apps on the device.

There's still a lot of work to do, especially on the apps side of things. See the screenshot of Zombie Lines, a puzzle game.. Somehow it doesn't take up the whole screen, but only a very small part of it.

The one thing I really like is the multitask view, where you press & hold the home button which will then show the currently running apps.

Pretty nifty and useful.

Anyway, these were my first impressions, more to come, I will try to get a SIM and use it as a phone as well. Funny though, the Peak takes regular SIM cards, and of course, after iPhone 4 and 5 those sizes do not live in my house anymore :-)

Seoul District - a new type of comic on the iPhone by @avecomicstweet

Seoul District chapter 1 is available in the iTunes Store. It's a production by Avé Comics. The artist is Chul Ho Park, a korean living in France. The style is typical manwha (korean manga), fast and dynamic scenes with attention to detail.

What makes Seoul District special is the way it combines comic book with movie clips, animation and audio. Between regular comic scenes there are movie cut scenes or animation scenes. While reading, audio is played that adds to the atmosphere. If it rains in the comic, you hear the rain. If a helicopter is flying above, you will heare the helicopter.

You can choose to have the comic in french or english. Unfortunately, when you change to english, the cut-scenes are still french. It looks great on my iPhone, I wonder if an iPad optimized version is in the works, that would make the experience even better.

Seoul District costs €2,39, for that you get chapter 1. I expect future chapters to be an in-app purchase. For non iPhone owners, at the Avé Comics site, you can get alternative versions.

Some screenshots in the gallery

Pet Shop Boys - Yes

(This is not a review :-))

Last night I was stuck behind the computer because of some insomnia. At about 0:05 I got an email from the Apple iTMS that the pre-ordered Pet Shop Boys album "Yes" was now available for download.

Allright, straight away downloaded and put onto my iPhone (OS3 ;-))

The album is more or less split up into two parts, where the seconds half is more somber and sad than the first, happy and sunny part. The boys also give a track-by-track commentary on the album, which is nice to hear what the reasoning behind certain songs was.

Recently I've also downloaded the new U2 album, but for some reason that one doesn't "stick" .. I don't think it's very remarkable. The Pet Shop Boys "Yes" album maybe of a completely different style, but I feel it lasts much longer than the U2 album. Many people will disagree, but I just don't think "No Line On The Horizon" is that good, and certainly not what all the hype promised. 

Back to the Pet Shop Boys album. Some songs actually really sound like they have been written for Kylie Minogue. Even though she didn't accept them. In all, the album is nice and fresh, but still pretty Pet Shop Boy-ish. The dub mix of Love Etc is good for turning up loud in the car.

Great album, welcome back boys!

There's a new twitter client in town: Nambu

Today, the Nambu Network released a much needed update to their native Mac OS X Twitter client Nambu.

A lot of sophisticated twitter clients are written in Adobe AIR. This has the advantage that that client can run on multiple platforms, but also has certain disadvantages like that the UI isn't like a real Mac (or Windows) program, and the behaviour of the application can be different than a native app.

So, after trying Twhirl, TweetDeck I ended up installing and running Nambu, and haven't looked back since.

The new update includes a new UI, which allows for multi-column view. You can add or remove columns at will and you can also re-order them. The UI is nice and clean, and easily readable, in contrast to TweetDeck for instance, which makes my eyes hurt trying to read it.

Another new addition is the use of friend groups. Here you can create groups of twitter friends so you can follow only those specific tweet updates.

The application also has a lot a bugfixes and seems faster too.
However, there are still some things missing, but the developers seem to be keen to listen to people and implement desired (if useful) functionality pretty soon.
Personally I'd like to have a threaded discussion view, or at least a way of going through replies in an organised way.
Also, you cannot put your friend groups in the column view.

What can I say, if you want to use a nice and native Twitter client on OSX, Nambu is a good step in the right direction. It's not fully grown up yet, but it has a lot of potential.

David Pogue trashes the Blackberry Storm

Source

Oh man, this is hilarious! I may be the only Vodafone/Verizon employee who's actually enjoying this review.. (and I'm possibly the only Vodafone employee with a T-Mobile iPhone...)

some quotes:

Furthermore, despite having had more than a year to study the iPhone, R.I.M. has failed to exploit the virtues of an on-screen keyboard (about the keyboard design)

In short, trying to navigate this thing isn’t just an exercise in frustration — it’s a marathon of frustration. (about the slow response of the device)

How did this thing ever reach the market? Was everyone involved just too terrified to pull the emergency brake on this train? (concluding)

oh, and this one:

And that’s before they discovered that the Storm doesn’t have Wi-Fi. -- well, that's because Verizon/Vodafone really really want users to stay on their network, so they can suck every dollar/euro from your account..