Summer 2013 Phone Thoughts


I’m start­ing my new job in sev­eral weeks, and I recently had to make a deci­sion about a work phone.  As a gad­get geek I took this deci­sion pretty seri­ously and gave it many hours of thought.  I’ve made my pick, but instead of let­ting all that work fade into the ether, I thought it would be use­ful to record it here for oth­ers who might be in a sim­i­lar position.

There were three basic deci­sions involved:

(1) Keep a sep­a­rate per­sonal plan/​phone or merge it into the firm plan?

(2) iPhone or Android?

(3) If Android, which phone?

My thoughts and answers to each of these ques­tions are found after the jump.  (TL;DR: I picked the Moto X).

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Reviewing Google TV & Thoughts on the Internet+TV Space

Got mah Google TV box

My par­ents received a Google TV (the Sony ver­sion) for Christ­mas.  Being the vis­it­ing technophile, I was tasked with set­ting up the device and teach­ing my par­ents how to work it.  I had pre­vi­ously set up the exact same device for my room­mates over the sum­mer in San Fran­cisco, so I was famil­iar with the set-up and the device itself.  This post is a brief review of the set-up process, fol­lowed by my thoughts on the con­cept of Google TV and sim­i­lar systems.

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Rumors, Disappointment, and Opportunity

So the iPhone 4S looks like an awe­some phone, and I agree with those who argue that — viewed in a vac­uum — yes­ter­day’s announce­ment was not a “dis­ap­point­ment.” The phone may look the same, but it’s com­pletely souped up and new inside. It’s a big upgrade.

How­ever, we do not live in a vac­uum. Apple’s secrecy game — and its likely side game of spawn­ing rumors to build up excite­ment — laid the foun­da­tion for the dis­ap­point­ment many are feel­ing. There have been rum­blings about an iPhone 5, sport­ing a new hard­ware design, for months.  I knew of sev­eral friends wait­ing to see what the iPhone 5 was like before decid­ing on their next phone.  Then more recently, there came rumors of two iPhones being announced — an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S. Two iPhones on one day? That would be big.

I don’t know if Apple started these rumors, or if they were true and Apple recently changed its plans, or if it’s just the case of third-party-guesses-turned-pre­dic­tions… but peo­ple are find­ing yes­ter­day dis­ap­point­ing because Apple did noth­ing to react to the clam­or­ing rumor mill pre-launch. The launch was dis­ap­point­ing, but the prod­uct launched was not.

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One week using Chrome OS exclusively

image cour­tesy of Aaron Delani (cc:by-nc)

I spilled a drink on my fairly new Mac­Book Pro dur­ing a flight from Seat­tle to San Fran­cisco last week.  Huge bum­mer, since I planned to spend a num­ber of hours work­ing on sum­mer job appli­ca­tions dur­ing my week-long stay in San Fran­cisco.  I took my baby to the local Apple Store, and they told me they could fix it for lit­tle cost by send­ing it off for repairs.

Luck­ily I had decided to tote along my Cr-48, the lap­top that Google recently sent me as part of its Chrome OS pilot pro­gram.  I had been using it off and on dur­ing the hol­i­days, but its moment to truly shine had come.  This post is a review of my expe­ri­ence of liv­ing exclu­sively in the cloud for one week.

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