Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: iPad Impressions

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  • Mark Thomas,

    Talking of Android-based devices...
    Ben Austin, please tell me, are you pleased with your HTC Desire? And also: how do you think it compares to the HTC Legend?

    FWIW, I like my htc desire. It works well and does lots of cool stuff. I've never owned an iphone so I can't offer a comparison, but I gather that it's pretty much a geekier version of an iphone 4.

    I got mine from clove.co.uk for about $750ish but check geekzone for the latest updates on where to get it at the best price. I hear that Vodafone NZ aren't bringing it into NZ til Christmas

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    How fast is it, to do those laptoppy tasks? Because my eee with its 1.6 Ghz and 1GB of RAM frankly is pretty damn slow.

    Trying hard not to sound like salesman, but it's fast.

    Also, I just sent a tweet from my iPhone, typed with the keyboard dock. Worked perfectly.

    It'd be rockin' for texts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • kiwicmc,

    Weird I'm not allowed to download the north and south app from the iPad app store (although it can be seen) but from my Australian iTunes account I got it from iTunes on my MacBook

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2008 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Weird I'm not allowed to download the north and south app from the iPad app store (although it can be seen) but from my Australian iTunes account I got it from iTunes on my MacBook

    I had a similar experience tonight with an eye-candy style app -- I was "transferred to the NZ iTunes store", where I was supposed to be anyway, but the app I was trying to get wasn't there.

    There's some localisation trickery going a bit wrong there. methinks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I was "transferred to the NZ iTunes store", where I was supposed to be anyway, but the app I was trying to get wasn't there.

    Oh you kids, back in my day there wasn't even an NZ iTunes store on the iPad. I had to set up an American account (anyone asks I'm staying at the Mercure by Brooklyn Bridge) and do work-arounds.l

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Just in on YouTube. Vodafone vs XT performance on teh iPad. (Yes, it's uploaded by a telecom manager, so take with a grain of salt. Still, anyone should be able to reproduce the tests easily.)

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    my htc desire
    ...
    I got mine from clove.co.uk for about $750ish

    PriceSpy has the cheapest Desire from an NZ-based company at $772.50. That's a place that does free shipping, too. Yesterday (and the last 10-or-so days) the cheapest was $850. Considering that two months ago they were much nearer $1,000 than $800, that's not a bad drop.
    I'd been looking at a Desire with much lust, waiting for the price to drop to about where it is now, but having just this morning accepted a job offer with a place that'll be giving me a CrackBerry I think the lust will remain unrequited.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    FWIW, if you need a keyboard for your iPad, the Apple keyboard dock costs $119 and works very well.

    *choke*
    For a keyboard! I'm sure it's a very sexy keyboard (I do like Apple hardware. Shame about the company), but it's still just a bloody keyboard that props up your iPad.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    *choke*
    For a keyboard!

    Ah, but it's a wireless keyboard. And as a bonus it comes with no numeric keypad.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Let me clear up one thing; the QWERTY layout was not designed to slow typists down; it was designed to prevent the keys from jamming, thus allowing typists to work even faster.

    Well. It was designed to spread out the hammers so that they were less likely to jam. And that caused the keys to be placed in un-optimum locations - the A key for example is a little finger key. It means that our typing is slower than it could be if it was designed from the ground up in a computer age.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    I think the lust will remain unrequited.

    aah, gadget lust. i love it. i figured out how to get offline GPS topo maps on my phone last weekend, and then show my running route into a 3D google earth fly-through. You know, cos that's really useful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And in other Apple news the USPTO has said that jailbreaking is a fair use under the DMCA. So users are no longer breaking the law if they jailbreak their iP* devices in order to install/run apps that aren't blessed by the Holy iJobs.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Ah, but it's a wireless keyboard

    OK, that's actually not quite so bad. Still a little steep, especially when one can get wireless keyboards for rather less than $100 (and they come with a keypad), but not quite as ridiculous.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    David,

    I've had my HTC Desire for about 10 days, so it is early days yet. One observation though is that you will need to have a very generous data plan or wifi in the places you expect to use the phone (this would go for any good smartphone though). The basic data allowance in the UK seems to be settling at 500mb as part of a 30 pound p/m plan, but if NZ is still the way it was several years ago I suspect you might have trouble getting a comparable cheap and useful data plan. I think, based on my analysis of data use so far (there is an app for that) I'll be hitting about 1gb a month (luckily I have a 3gb plan).

    Here are the points that immediately come to mind about the phone:

    1. Browsing with the default app is pretty smooth, to the extent that it is almost easier to use it while commuting than pulling a magazine or book out. If the screen was a little bigger (size of the HTC Evo or the Droid X) then it would almost take over from the laptop at home.

    2. HTC's integration with Google account information is very smooth and easy to set up. So (perhaps late to the boat) I now am almost in the situation where the Cloud makes sense, in that my mail, calendar, address book, talk and even maps are are all linked in and can be accessed on the phone or pc.

    3. Streaming media via apps like Last.fm has become so smooth that it appears to be a substitute for regular radio.

    4. Podcast integration into the phone is also very easy too. It only takes a couple of steps to subscribe and load podcasts from any competent provider. Again, it is now almost easier than radio

    5. Augmented reality apps like Layar appear to be pretty useful in London, as a lot of people appear to develop useful layers that people would actually use

    6. The HTC Sense UI is also very smooth. This is the interface that HTC have put on their Android (and other OS) phones to aid in navigation and general use. This allows me to run a bunch of windows/screens that have themed apps (so a music/radio/podcast screen; a news feed screen; a mail/messaging screen; contacts etc) that are slightly easier to use than pecking through a large app menu or remembering short cut keys.

    7. The battery life is not great, but after 10 days of use it seems to be settling in at about 16 hours of normal use. The battery does struggle if there is a lot of use of GPS, or apps like Layar.

    8. Lastly the phone just feels like it all works. This is the first phone I've had in a long time where there are no immediately obvious silly flaws or bugs that I have to deal with or get used to as part of the user experience. It just feels well made. I had been reading reviews and such for sometime and I decided it was better to go with the Desire rather than wait for the next wave of slightly better 'specced but untried phones that are starting to become available.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Well, actually, no. There have been repeated tests on different and presumably more efficient keyboard layouts (especially QWERTY vs DVORAK) and typing speeds are basically the same throughout (the testing gets a little tricky because we can assume that different languages require some degree of localised and optimised layouts); it seems that it's just a persistent urban myth that the QWERTY layout hinders typing speeds.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    iPad Owners Are ‘Selfish Elites.’ Critics Are ‘Independent Geeks.’ Discuss

    From the link:

    [iPad owners] are six times more likely to be “wealthy, well-educated, power-hungry, over-achieving, sophisticated, unkind and non-altruistic 30-50 year olds,” MyType’s Tim Koelkebeck told Wired.com.
    ...
    the study found that “bashing the iPad is, in a way, an identity statement for independent geeks,” wrote Koelbeck.

    “As a mainstream, closed-platform device whose major claim to fame is ease of use and sex appeal, the iPad is everything that they are not.”

    So if you own one you're unkind and non-altruistic and if you don't like them you're not sexy.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's at the splendid level of insight of the Stuff poll last week in which not desiring to purchase an iPad was simply not an option.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    wealthy, well-educated, power-hungry, over-achieving, sophisticated, unkind and non-altruistic 30-50 year olds

    7/8 and I still don't have one!

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    OK, that's actually not quite so bad. Still a little steep, especially when one can get wireless keyboards for rather less than $100 (and they come with a keypad), but not quite as ridiculous.

    Nah, not wireless. It's a powered dock and keyboard. You'll never win an argument that pits an Apple accessory against a generic keyboard on price, but it's a nice solid piece of kit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    It's at the splendid level of insight of the Stuff poll last week in which not desiring to purchase an iPad was simply not an option.

    Except that it's based on psychological analysis of a statistically-significant sample, not an online poll. So whether or not the results actually mean anything, you cannot dismiss it as being on the same level as a Stuff poll.

    Read the article. It's actually rather amusing, especially in light of it being profiles based on interviewing 20,000 people.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    you cannot dismiss it as being on the same level as a Stuff poll.

    And yet, watch me do just that. It's asinine. It would still be asinine if they had interviewed everyone in the whole world.

    (It's a consumer research firm that conducted this "psychological study". And you can tell by the fact that only a consumer research firm would have "selfish elite" and "independent geek" as psychological profiles. It's a load of rubbish.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Sorry Russell, but it has been worrying me since you posted this and I have to mention it, even though you might think it sanctimonious. I'm talking about your free advertising for JB HiFi which is not known for it's good employment practices, and in fact has been the subject of much union protest in recent months.
    Is it indeed possible to be an ethical consumer at all in this sector in which worker and mineral exploitation are rife?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3222 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Read the article. It's actually rather amusing, especially in light of it being profiles based on interviewing 20,000 people.

    Blog with more detail: http://mytype.com/blog/?p=109
    Full report: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34438276/iPad-Opinion-Profile-by-MyType-July-2010

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Horne,

    How did you purchase a Kindle book from Amazon? When I tried, it said my NZ address and/or VISA was invalid

    Since Jan 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

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