Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spotify is now like Pandora, Mountain Lion and stuff I don't care about

As you guys know I tend to only write when Inspiration hits.  Sadly lately there hasn’t been anything I’ve been inspired to write about.  I’ve been busy doing some other work and I’ve also been getting more into Photography but also there just hasn’t been that much going on in the world of Technology which is what I tend to talk about the most.  I’ve been reading a TON of rumors about the new iPhone but I hate reporting on that since they are just rumors.  

The new Mountain Lion update came out for Macs but I haven’t noticed anything super special about that.  It’s kind of nice that you can Tweet so easily now but tweeting from a computer was never a big difficulty for me.  Being able to send messages to iPhones and iPads using the Messenger app is nice, but it would be a lot nicer if I could text anyone using that.  But if your friends have iPhones it’s certainly nice to have.  The Airplay Mirroring part sounded like it would be great, being able to mirror the display of the computer using an Apple TV “Wirelessly”.  I say sounded like it would be great because I can’t use it because my Mac is not newer than 2011.  Funny how they advertise the hell out of that feature but they don’t mention how you must have the very latest equipment in order to use it.  I haven’t really tried the speech recognition because I’ve never really cared for any of that.  But honestly, for the $20 it costs, I think the update is certainly worth it.

One of the things that has happened and this is what inspired me to write something today, the Spotify App for Android now has a Pandora-like Radio feature.  I’ve been paying for Spotify for a while because I honestly think it’s worth the $10 a month, but I’ve always hated the fact that it is in no way a tool to find music you didn’t know about, it was a tool to play music you already knew about.  But as of today, Android users will finally be able to use the app to find music the same way they do with Pandora.  Just like Pandora the App has thumbs up and down options to let them know you like a song or want to skip it. 

When you search for an Artist  you can create the station but it also gives you a list of their albums so that you can just listen to those if you want. If you are listening to an artist already and you are kind of tired of listening to the same artist but want to continue listening to the same style you can quickly create a station from that artist.  I certainly see Spotify  becoming a real threat to Pandora since many times I’ve been listening to Pandora and I hear a song from an artist which makes me want to continue listening to the same singer.  So then I usually just look the person up in Spotify, so a lot of people may no longer see the need to use Pandora.

Just like Pandora, Spotify will play commercials if you are using the free application but if you are like me and find that paying $10 a month for the service is certainly worth it, then you will not have to listen to any commercials.

That’s about all I’ve found worth writing about.  I did watch the Batman movie, but since I’m not a huge batman fan I rated it just a 3 out of 5 for me.  Honestly part of what I do like about Batman is all his gadgets and there just wasn’t much new here.  Maybe I’ll write more about it later, but for now I’ll just let the fans have their fun. 

I also did not really talk about the Colorado shooting.  Look, it’s sad, it is, but it’s nothing new.  Sadly we should be getting used to this stuff by now.  Why the guy did it?  I don’t care.  Finding why he did it will not bring back any of those people back.  It will not change the fact that so many will have to say they lost their loved ones because they went to watch a movie.  It will not change the fact that now a lot of different people and groups will use this moment as a way to push their agendas.  I can only imagine how the families of the ones that died feel and they have my sincere Condolences, but talking about the guy and trying so hard to figure out what he’s thinking is of no use.  He’s either crazy or just smart and evil or just plain stupid.

Javier Torres

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

AT&T Shared Data Plans

Ok AT&T is going to be starting their Shared Data Plans Late August, so here is some info on that. 

The biggest difference from Verizon right up front is that AT&T will NOT require people to use these plans.  So it kind of makes more of a mess because now people will have the Individual plans or the family plans or the shared family plans.  So if you are just looking to set up a regular dumb phone with unlimited talk and text, you are not forced to add a data package to it that you will never use, but you still have to go with a regular Individual plan and Pay $70 which costs the exact same as a Verizon $30 for the phone and $40 for the data you’ll never use.

As you can see the AT&T prices are kind of all over the place.  If you just want 2GB which on Verizon would cost you $60 then you are kind of out of luck because they don’t seem to offer it.  The 6GB on Verizon would cost you $80 + $40 for the smartphone but AT&T would be $90 + $35.

That brings me to another big difference.  Verizon Kept their prices for additional things quite simple.  Smartphone = $40, Basic Phone $30, hotspot device $20 and Tablets $10

For smartphones AT&T will change the price depending on how much data you are buying.  So if you use less data, then it costs more to have your Unlimited Minutes and Unlimited Texting phone.  However, if you use more data, then it costs them less to provide you with the exact same service.

If you already have the plan and would like to add a Basic phone to it, that’s still going to be $30 just like Verizon.  Hotspots are also going to be $20 and Tablets will also be the same $10.

Just like Verizon you will be able to have up to 10 devices connected to the account, but one of those HAS to be a smartphone.

I know with Verizon you are able to switch your data plan in the middle of the month if you feel you will need more data that month.  I don’t know if AT&T will allow this.  I do know that if  you are close to going over your Data usage you will get a message letting you know and if you actually go over, you will be charged $15 for each GB.  Which is exactly what Verizon does, so I hope they also allow you to switch.

I also honestly hope that the prices they show here are really just their way of making the list shorter and that they will allow people to get 2GB and 8GB plans.

Javier Torres

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Logitech Tablet Keyboard

I could probably get more people to come to my Blog if I would write about what the iPhone 5 will be like or when the new iPad Mini will be out.  But neither of those products are real.  I'm sure there will be a new iPhone later this year, there always is.  I don't think it'll be called iPhone 5 but that's a whole other story.  The iPad Mini is 100% pure speculation.  

My main idea with this Blog is to educate so even though from time to time I may indulge a little bit in rumors I like to stick to reality.  That's why today I'd like to talk about an accessory.  Now I don't normally write about accessories because they are not that much fun, but they are certainly important so you guys let me know if I should include them more often.  

The Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad

The first thing I'll say about this is that I hate the fact that they make it sound like it's just for iPad,  it's a Bluetooth keyboard that can be used on many different devices.  But like I mentioned before, just saying iPad brings in more customers.

I was looking for a good portable keyboard that I could use for my iPad.  I wanted something like the Apple wireless keyboard.  I actually was going to buy the Apple wireless keyboard until I saw this one. I wanted a wireless keyboard for sure, I didn't want the Apple iPad keyboard because sometimes I want to use it in portrait mode and other times in landscape and other time I just wanted to be able to have the ipad further away from the keyboard.

This one caught my attention because it was on sale at the time for $49.99 (Normally it's $69.99).  But also because my plan was to carry it in my gadgets bag so the fact that it had a hard cover to protect it was a big bonus.

The keyboard slides in and out of the cover without any issues and it protects it from having the keys pressed accidentally.  It also has an actual on and off sliding switch.  The Apple wireless keyboard has a power button but it's very easy to press it, which made me think it would spend a lot of time being turned on in my bag.

The keyboard itself is just your average sized keyboard.  It feels perfectly fine when typing, I feel I could certainly use it to type for a very long time.  It also does have some functions that work great with the ipad, things to turn volume up and down or brightness up or down, start music playback, forward, back, start a picture slideshow or simply lock or unlock the iPad.

So I guess I can understand why they say it's for iPad, but still think it may confuse people who could certainly benefit from it.

I also enjoy the overall style of it.  It's just a nice looking keyboard.  I like the white line that goes around 3 of the sides.

The keys themselves are chiclet keys just like the Apple Keyboard.  They feel nice and certainly allow you to type as fast as you would on any regular keyboard.  As I mentioned the size does not really get in the way much.  It really is only a tiny bit smaller than a regular keyboard.

The cover of this keyboard is not just a cover that you have to put aside, they decided to also give it a use.  When closed it is held together with magnets, you can easily open it up and reveal this blue interior that keeps the keyboard safe and clean.

You can also use this part in the cover to attach it to one of the sides of the cover in order to create a stand.

So now you have a place to put your iPad in portrait or landscape mode!

If I was to compare just the keyboard to the Apple wireless keyboard I'd say the Apple one is probably better simply because it feels like better quality.  If I bend this one a bit you can hear some noises that make it feel a little bit cheap.  But then why would you be going around bending your keyboard?

However, if you are going to be using it on the go like me, I'd certainly recommend this keyboard over the Apple one simply because of the cover and the control keys that can certainly be useful.  Being able to convert the cover into a stand can certainly come in handy as well.  I have a smart cover but when I'm going to be doing thing where I know I'll want the iPad to stand but I'll be touching it a lot too I would much rather use the cover stand.  The smart cover always ends up coming off if I at some point push too hard when selecting something.

The Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad costs $69.99 at places like Best Buy but currently I see it in Amazon for $47.49, personally I hate the idea of paying $70 for a keyboard so I'd go with Amazon if at all possible.

Also remember to pick up 4 AAA batteries.  Supposedly those 4 will last 10 months, I honestly haven't been able to test it for that long, but I've had mine for about 3 months now and so far it's still going strong.

Javier Torres

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Google +, Samsung vs Apple, iPad Mini

For a few days I’ve been kind of waiting for something exciting to talk about but nothing really has come my way.  It’s been quite boring.  We’ve had some interesting things happening but nothing too exciting.  But I figured I’d at least make a post with some of this information just to keep you all updated. 

Google +

Google + has today released their new iPhone and iPad app!  This is the first  time that Google + has come to the bigger iPad screen.  Up until now if you wanted Google + on your iPad you had to either check the website or use the iPhone app on it which of course didn’t look very good.  The new iPhone/iPad app looks on the iPad very much the same as it does on the iPhone but instead of having 1 row of information the iPad one has 2 rows.  You can scroll up or down if you are in portrait mode or left and right if you are in landscape. 

The app looks great and feels great most of the time.  I did get some skipping but it could have been from the fact that I was tethering form my phone.  I did also get it to just close on me once, so I hope that doesn’t happen much.  Another thing I like about the new App is that you can start hangouts with people right on your iPhone or your iPad.  Being able to use Google + on the iPad should help the social network grow some more.

Samsung vs iOS

Ok, so in the US Apple managed to get a Judge to Ban the sell of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet because it supposedly looks too much like an iPad.  Not a huge deal for Samsung since they are already selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.  Apple also managed to get a ban on the Galaxy Nexus going on, however this one was lifted after a couple of days and Google already says they have fixed the infringement in their newest version of Android known as Jelly Bean.  The issue with the Nexus according to Apple is that they search multiple places at the same time using the same method that Apple does with Siri.  The Galaxy Nexus was taken down from the Google Play store for a few days but it almost worked out great for Google, got more people informed about the fact that the Google Play store does sell such a phone for $350.

Samsung Not as Cool as Apple

The USA is not the only place where Apple has been trying to ban Samsungs Toys.  In the UK they also tried to ban the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 however things turned out differently there when the judge basically said the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is not as sleek as a device as the iPad and therefore would not get confused for an ipad.  Almost sounds like an insult, but honestly it’s true.  Apple has always put a lot of quality components into what they make and a lot of thought into making them feel almost luxurious.  Most of Samsungs devices use plastic and don’t weigh all that much, they have a cheaper feeling.  So you’d have to be pretty blind to not notice the difference.

iPad Mini

The rumors of the iPad Mini becoming a reality are stronger than ever.  I even had a friend asking me if he should get a Nexus 7 or wait for the iPad Mini.  Had to explain to him that even though websites say “The iPad Mini will have this and that” it doesn’t mean the iPad Mini is a real thing.  It is still just speculation.  There are many reasons why it would benefit Apple to make one, but there are also many reasons why it wouldn’t.  For example, a LOT of people buy iPads because they think there is nothing better.  So if those people started buying cheaper iPad Minis instead, that’s a lot of money they could lose.  At the same time there is a LOT of people buying those cheaper Kindle Fires and now Nexus 7s.  So getting those people they could certainly make up for the money they lose.  Also, how cheap could an iPad mini be?  The iPod Touch costs more than the Nexus 7.

Well, that is all I have today, you all take care!

Javier Torres