Mar 31, 2011

update on my thoughs about Windows Phone update process

I recently wrote a short article about how disappointed I am with the updates on Windows Phone. I said that Windows Phone's update and Android's update is going to be similar. I couldn't be more wrong.

See, I already got the 'NoDo' update. Which I know, isn't yet officially available on AT&T devices. But I got it on a fairly easy hack involving connecting your computer to a VPN in a country of Hungary. And then, the trickiest part of the hack is that you need to have a precise timing for the update to show up. But after all that, Microsoft has a present for you. The NoDo update.

No need for you to flash a ROM, back-up anything, lose your data, and/or going through those root menus that Android users seem to experience if they want to update to a non-carrier supported update.

I also had an idea on my last post. I said that they shouldn't wait for other carriers to do the update. Microsoft should deploy the update to the carriers that already did their work. And guess what -- they are already doing that.

As you can see in this link, the NoDo update is already deployed with T-mobile devices, while AT&T devices are still on testing phase, with a little assurance that it'll be finished in early April. See, what platform has this kind of update system? Android can dream of having a list of every partner carrier they have and provide when is the update coming on their phones. Can you imagine the possibility of all of the Android devices on one carrier being updated to 2.3? I just couldn't. Where on AT&T, no matter how delayed their update will be, all of their Windows Phones will receive the update.

And looking at the chart, including the international ones, I see that almost half of them are delivering the NoDo update. And the rest are going to get it within the next month or so. Now that is incredible. NO WAY similar on how Android is updated. No way that is close.


Mar 22, 2011

my thoughts on AT&T and T-Mobile joining.

Yesterday, a pretty big news was announced by AT&T when they decided that they are going to buy T-mobile for $39 billion. It was shocking for me, and for many others, since Sprint was the one to be rumored to buy the 4th national US carrier. But what is more shocking than that, is that there will be only three major networks in the US.

But it turns out that was not the case. The reason for AT&T's purchase was to enhance their network with the deployment of (real 4G) LTE technology. It means that both AT&T and T-Mobile will share LTE towers that will be covering 95% of the US population.

In anyway I see it, that is a good thing. Not only both carriers are able to reach out to more subscribers with these networks, but theoretically phones that will be released in one carrier could also work with the other. And that, is a smartphone heaven to me.

A lot of people may say that the merge will result to lesser competition, and higher prices. I simply think that will not be the case. I see a small percentage on how the carriers contribute with the new releases or new features from smartphones. Apple, Google, Microsoft and the device vendors are the ones who are really competing, And these companies release many devices accross the carriers they want. The iPhone, which is the only one that is exclusive to AT&T has also chose to be on another network.

And with the worry about higher prices that T-mobile users might face, well I obviously couldn't predict that, but let me use Sprint and Virgin Mobile for example. VM is owned by Sprint, where with Sprint, you get unlimited data & text + 450 call minutes for $70 a month. On Virgin Mobile, you get unlimited data and text + 1200 minutes for $40 a month. So I just hope this will be the strategy of AT&T here.

So that's it. that is my take. I still wouldn't wanna be on a postpaid plan by any of the carriers because they are freaking expensive. I have bought a $25 prepaid GoPhone credit and I still have more than $2 dollars in it and it is already three months. Suck on that monthly contract and plans.


Mar 11, 2011

my thoughts on the very much delayed Windows Phone 7 update


Microsoft posted a blog post today on how is the update process with Windows Phone 7. I for one have been quite frustrated on why my February update (which is just a preparation for the real update) has not yet been seen on my HTC Surround, which is already 20 days after it started rolling out with consumers. It is really frustrating, specially we have been hearing this "NoDo" update that includes the copy-paste functionality since December. It's March now, and like an Android device that hasn't been updated to version 2.3, it is long overdue.

I get it Microsoft. 9 devices in 60 mobile operators are plenty. I understand why the device manufacturers needs to get involved, as they are the ones who created the phones. But what I do not understand is the involvement of the mobile operators. Why do they need to get involved with these updates? This paragraph from today's blog states,

This combination makes up our update, which we dispatch to the cellular carriers around the world that sell Windows Phones. The carriers then conduct their own tests to help ensure that the new software works correctly both on their networks and the Windows Phone models they sell.

Aren't the phone models that they sell are the responsibility of the device manufacturers? And I don't understand why do they need to test if copy-paste works with their network? Does improved load times on games, improved marketplace search, and all the included updates affect their network as well? And if they do affect their network, does it really take three months for them to test it out?

But now here's the thing. The latest Windows Phone 7 device, which is the HTC Arrive on Sprint, would already have the copy-paste update. That is unfair for me, as the last one to be in running in the race gets to have the reward. Another thing that is confusing is that the HTC Arrive is the first Windows Phone 7 that will have a CDMA radio in it, which therefore the device should have the update much later, as Microsoft worked with GSM radios before they worked with CDMA.

I wouldn't blame it all on carriers though. As with the February update screwing some Samsung phones, device manufacturers are also to be blamed. With Samsung's track record with updates on Android, which by the way a lot of had been pulled because of crazy issues, I think Samsung just can't update their phones properly. That's the truth and everyone knows that. It's an absolute shame on Samsung's part -- as the Omnia 7 is such an awesome device made by a manufacturer that doesn't know how to do updates.

But one company I applaud, is HTC. Not only they have the highest number of Android phones that was updated in 2010, they also developed amazing software whether it is the Sense UI on Windows Mobile or Android, but also with the HTC apps and the HTC hub on Windows Phone 7. If you own a Windows Phone 7 device that is not made by HTC, I bet you dream of having the HTC hub, don't you? Not only that, as HTC already leaked ROMs containing the copy-paste updates with their WP7 phones. Unfortunately, there is no Surround love, but I blame AT&T for that.

So I guess Windows Phone's update process is a step closer to how Android's update process is. These damn carriers are so lazy to update their phones thus resulting a device to be updated so late. But in Windows Phone's case, ALL of the devices are updated late. I just repeatedly say to my mind that at least all Windows Phone 7 devices will be updated eventually.

But this whole update ordeal is a mess.  Here's a million dollar idea, Microsoft. Proceed with the updates sooner. Do not wait for every carrier or manufacturer to give you a go sign to deploy the update. Deploy them to the carrier or manufacturer who tested and approved it. I mean, why would we wait and suffer for an update just because a carrier in that is halfway around the world hasn’t tested the update yet? I think when we update that way, I think carriers and manufacturers will speed up to do their part to stay competitive. We'll also know who's carrier or manufacturer is the laziest to do updates. But I think we already knew that.


Mar 9, 2011

HTC Inspire 4G review


Before I begin the review I would like to thank the awesome TechnoBuffalo staff for giving away this awesome device to me. Make sure you visit their site and their YouTube channel to find a lot of great tech news and giveaways. You may never know, maybe one day you'll be the one reviewing stuff that you won from them!! Once again, THANK YOU TECHNOBUFFALO!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, The HTC Inspire 4G. One of the first, or I think the first ever device that sports AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network. This monster has a 4.3 inch Super LCD display, 1Ghz next generation Snapdragon processor, a mighty 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash, and runs Google Android 2.2.

So, does this phone live up to the hype? Or you’re better off with other phones like its more expensive cousin, the Motorola Atrix 4G that is also on AT&T? But more importantly, will this high-end device make a Windows Phone 7 enthusiast turn to the Android side? Well, put on your reading glasses because we’re here to find all of that out!!!


Mar 8, 2011

Hello there from Inspire 4G

Just testing how the Blogger app works on the inspire 4g.  Here's a picture I took earlier!



my android honeycomb frustration…

This picture says it all.

xoonm
























Google, if you want to make me happy, let me try and please send me a Xoom. Thanks.


 
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