One Week With a Galaxy S4

I used to have an iPhone 4S for 2 years and an iPad 3 for a whole year but, last week, I had both stolen and, due some other purchases, I had to get something to replace a phone and a tablet in a single shot. So I decided to go with a Galaxy S4, just because it has a large screen that — supposedly — I could use like a tablet.

Reviewing any Android device is hard. Not because there are things that you will, accidentally or by ignorance, try to do in same old way, but because there isn’t a single Android. The first two days with the S4 were annoying as hell (partly my own fault for trying to do the same old things in the same old way) but after some people mentioning that I should replace my current Android with an “Android Google Edition for S4”, some things improved greatly. So even when we talk about Android, we are not talking only about the “mobile operating system by Google”, but all the range of stuff manufacturers stuff on it. So part of what I’ll call it “didn’t like” may be solved by some other manufacturer or by a third party application.

Also, there are some apps that can change a lot of the base operating system. So, again, part of what I call “didn’t like it” may be solved by someone else and available in the Google Play. Still, there are some things that I may consider really basic stuff that should work properly out of the box and not require something else, not matter how easy it is to install it.

And, in the end, I won’t go “this iOS app vs this Android app” because apps tend to be different anyway in different operating systems and any problem I’d find in them would be probably skewed due the fact that I’m trying to use any Android app as an iOS app, which makes absolutely no sense. So I’ll try my best to focus on the hardware and the base operating system instead of going app through app.

So, without further ado…

Things I’m Ambivalent About

The Earphones

The earphones that come with the S4 are really earphones, not “earbuds”. I really like the earbud design as it sits on your ear without any pressure anywhere. On the other hand, the S4 earphones, due their own design, provide a way better noise cancellation (not full noise cancellation, but still good enough) and, for me, they fit quite nicely.

So a bit down in the comfort zone, but somewhat up in the noise zone.

Just to add up: As the earbuds, the Galaxy earphones also have in-cable “remote” control. The difference is that, while the earbuds (and previous incarnations) use a single button (or surface) for all buttons, the Galaxy ones have two buttons: one for volume up and down and another to play. Personally, I prefer the Apple design simply because I could easily move my thumb to the remote and all controls were at “hand” easily (thumb on control: do I want to play/pause/skip? click straight away; volume up? just move thumb up; volume down? just move thumb down); with the Galaxy, I usually need to either move my thumb up or down ’cause I never really get exactly what I want — sometimes I want to increase the volume but the first thing I touch is the play/pause button and vice-versa. Still, it’s just a matter of getting used to it, so I’m not holding this against Galaxy (or praising it, for any chance).

Screen Space

This is quite weird for someone that was looking for a large screen say that he’s divided about it, but I really don’t know how to feel about it. Sure, there is plenty screen space and it feels less crowded than an iPhone and the fact that it can go from one corner of the device to the other is really amazing.

On the other hand, due the very small margins between the screen and the device edges, more than once I end up “clicking” something I really didn’t want. More than once I opened an ad due the very little space between the end of the screen and the “Back” button; once I even managed to call someone ’cause the telephone app was too close to the edge and I “clicked” the screen with part of the palm of my hand[1][2].

Music Transfer

The process to move a song to an iOS device is not really direct: You need to add the song to your iTunes Library and then sync it with your device[3][4]. So you’re required to firstly add them to a library to be able to have in your device. There is no way to add a song directly to the device[5].

On Android, I was expecting it to show as an USB device and drop the songs. My surprise is that you need a special application to transfer songs from my OS X to my S4[6].

So things appear to be basically the same: You need a special application that will either act as a library sync or something to transfer the files as you need them.

The “Desktop” Metaphor

On iOS, your “desktop” is also your application list: What you see is what you have installed; if you remove an app from your “desktop”, you remove it from your device. On Android, there is a distinction between those two: There is a desktop, in which you can add application launchers and widgets and installed apps; removing an app from the desktop will not remove the app from the device (but removing from the app list will remove from the desktop).

Personal opinion, on the iOS it is easier to realize things like “oh gee, I have too many stuff installed already, I may need to uninstall some stuff to free space”; it also makes it easier to see apps around and remove them when you don’t use them anymore. On Android, with the prominence of the desktop, this kind of stuff could be hard to spot.

On the other hand, because Android splits the launchers and the installed apps in two different “containers”, it’s way easier to not clutter your screen with rows and rows of icons; you can have that application that you eventually use hidden in the “All apps” part of the OS while the most used apps in the desktop (while in the iOS you’d probably end up throwing that less used app in the some very far away workspace).

Also, the Android desktop allows the mix of app launchers and widgets. I see that removing the desktop and using the same iOS idea of “app list = desktop” would really get messy with widgets, as you’d have two things behaving differently to add and remove. Because adding and removing launchers and widgets to the desktop is the same, it completely makes sense having this desktop metaphor[7].

I really like how every single thing an app requires is listed directly in the app page, before you can confirm your purchase/install. I can’t remember anything like that in the iTunes Store — the only way to find out that the application will use your address book for something is when it requests permission to do so. And, even so, the Play Store app page list every single thing the app will try to use, from internet access to changing some configuration option deep down in the system.

On the other hand — and this is totally my own pet peeve with this kind of stuff, and it doesn’t affect only Android, so this point could be kinda moot — if the app is requesting all those permissions, I’d like to be able to tell what I’d allow it to do. Oh sure, this Twitter client can access internet, but in any shape or form it should require to access and change my address book. I should be the one saying “yes, it can read and change” or “actually, this app can only read my address book, not change it” or even “there is no fucking what this app will access my address book”.

I find it a “win” that it lists everything, but a “loss” for going so deep into checking everything the app does and not letting me block it. iOS doesn’t list everything (loss), but the crucial parts are “user-blockable” (partial win, as you can’t only give permissions some stuff, not everything).

Back AND Home Buttons

While iPhones and iPads have a single button, called “Home”, the S4 have 3 buttons: A physical “Home” button, and two virtual buttons, one Menu button and a Back button.

Initially, it’s confusing — at least, coming from iDevices — to understand why you have two buttons that, at first glance, do the same thing. After using it for longer, though, the use of each become clear.

What I Really Enjoyed

The Keyboard

Ok, I admit: The coolest thing on Android is the “swype-like” keyboard: instead of pressing key-by-key to type words, you can just slide through the virtual keyboard and get the word you want. iOS can only do that in a jailbroken OS, so Android wins on this.

Install From a Page

This is something Google really did well. You go to Google Play on any browser, pick an app and select it to install and it will install on your device next time it finds a network.

On iOS, you need to access the Store with a single browser embedded in a single app which, let’s be honest, it’s less optimal when you’re on your work computer and find out that that awesome app finally launched, but you can’t install ’cause you’re not in the blessed OS with the blessed application.

App Stacking

The way Android stacks apps and unstacks them when you press the “Back” button really makes going through apps a breeze: Clicked a link in a Twitter client? No problem, pressing back on the browser will, eventually, lead you back to the Twitter app. On iOS, you need to enable the multigesture feature and use 4 fingers to the left to go back to the previous app, pretty much as you would Alt+Tab on a desktop. But it gets confusing most of the time and the app doesn’t react immeditally[8] when you switch back to it.

Adding Ringtones/Alarm/Notification Sound From Anywhere

There are two ways to add a new sound for your alarm/ringtone/notification sound on iOS: You either have to buy it or add them to iTunes and then sync your device — pretty much what you would do to add a new song to it. On Android, on the other hand, if you hear something interesting, it’s easy to simply replace the current setting to something else. No fuss.

Less Smudge

This is about the hardware now: I believe my S4 is accumulating way less smudge than my iPhone, in the long run. I’d guess that it’s related to the glass type used by each company but I really don’t know this well enough to give any points with certainty. On the other hand, it could simply be my impression — after all, I was using the same iPhone for 2 years and the screen could have some moisture under it.

Still, I have the feeling, in this week that there is something different in the production of the glass of each device that makes the S4 less prone to get finger marks all over the screen.

Side To Side Apps

It’s an app feature, not every app have it, but I’m guessing it’s a feature provided by the operating system and, thus, deserve to be listed here.

While iOS apps have a TabBar with some direct links, Android apps have a similar feature, but you can easily switch between them just sliding your finger towards it. I know, as a fact, that up to iOS 6 this was not in the base system and you had to do it manually (it was possible); due the amount of apps that use it on Android, I can only guess that it’s native and, thus, a good improvement.

Remove Apps From the Store

I tried doing this before my iPhone and iPad were stolen, but I couldn’t simply remove a purchased app from my list of applications. Why one would do that is probably a better question, as all it does is annoy the vendor as they have to keep a line in their database that I purchased some app. But still, it was something I did want to do with my iOS purchases and couldn’t. I can on Android + Play Store.

Per App Auto-Update

Just recently Apple rolled the automatic app update (on iOS7). My Android 4.3 already has this and more: I can select which applications can and which ones can’t be automatically updated.

(It’s a bit hidden in the Play Store instead of your “Installed Apps” list, but still, it’s there.)

Things That Are Annoying So Far

Battery Life

My 2 year old iPhone would last for 2.5 days without charging. My S4, in 20 hours, is all completely drained.

The “Samsung” Android

As I mentioned, my first 2 days of Android were… annoying. I had most of the stuff working in a bad way — remember, “bad way” as in “I was used to other mobile OS” — that cleared as I switched to another distribution of Android — which I think that’s what they should be called, “Android Distributions”.

The base system is the same, yes. The store is the same, yes. But the whole experience is different — pretty much what we have with Linux distributions already.

And, sadly, the whole affair felt so wrong to me. If I could relate this to something else, it would be like installing Windows from a vendor and having a shitload of bloatware installed that instead of helping you, just got in the way.

The whole process of installing a new distribution is also annoying: I had to use an specific app for an specific OS to be able to do convert my phone. Not only that, but I lost all the data I had in my apps, while installing Cydia — or even uninstalling it, for that matter — does not mess with your apps data.

Notifications

This is probably my greatest pet peeve with Android right now: Notifications.

Let me explain how iOS notifications work: First, all application that use notifications have their configuration in a single place, in the main configuration app. You can select how the notification will be displayed, if it will have sound, if it can show the notifications in the lock screen (basically, wake up the device to show you a notification) and even if the application have permission to show any notifications.

Nothing like this exist on Android. So I can’t say that emails can have small notifications without sound and without waking the device and that SMSes should have sound and show in the lock screen, unless the application explicitly allows that in its configuration.

Not only that, but the system apparently doesn’t understand the context in which the application is creating the notification. For example, I tried to buy an app in the Play Store; the card was declined because I had to allow foreign purchases; the bank sent me an SMS telling me that and, if I wanted, I should reply with some random code; I did reply; and then, a few seconds later, I got an SMS back and the notification at the same time. The OS basically gave me a notification for something that was right in front of me. I saw the message before the notification popped up (well, milliseconds before the notification) and I still got a notification.

Apart from that, there is a bug open since 2010 about notification sounds going through the speakers even when you have your earphones on. You have no idea how many looks I got when I set my notification sound to Peter Griffin saying “Oh my God, who the hell cares?” and it just popped up while I was listening to music with my earphones — which got muted while everyone was listening to the notification.

The solution for the above problem, if you try to find one, is to install an app that changes your settings based on events (time of the day, location, earphones in, etc). The solution is to install this app and add a configuration to change the phone profile to mute when earphones are in. But this is not really a solution, all you’re doing is silencing notifications, not making them go on the proper channel.

Also, it seems that, depending on the app that it is in the foreground, there is no way to access the notification to see what happened. On my iPad, I could pull the notification list (and the “quick setup dialog”) inside Pocket Trains; on Android, there is no way to see the notifications — ’cause hey, if I have to wait 2 minutes for the train to reach some station, I could pretty much just clean up my notification list, right? RIGHT?

Music Purchase

This is, pretty much, a #ThirdWorldProblem. Blame Apple all you want, but it was my source of legal music purchases without DRM (yes, DRM free, I’m listening to the songs I bought in the iTunes Store right now on my S4). I still didn’t get a “buy here” on my Android.

(Let me open a discussion here: I think the base for this problem is exactly the problem with the several Android distributions going around. I mean, sure, the number of Android devices surpasses the number of iOS devices, but I don’t think any vendor surpasses the number of devices of Apple[9]. So instead of going as “here, big record company, the Android vendors would like to license our catalog to sell on your devices”, each one is going there with their own numbers — and obviously, they don’t want to share this with anyone else, they want the ones who sell music in some particular country without having to share the chance of making digital sales money on music with other vendors. So it seems the Android ecosystem is more fragmented than what we talk about.)

Contact Mess

On iOS, I had a single contact/make call application; on Android, I have two (the “Phone” app and the “People” app). Not only that, but the list seems inconsistent in both. For example, some long time ago, I synced my iPhone and it stupidly added the Apple HQ phone number to my Gmail address book[10]. Well, I decided to remove it. Thing is, you can’t do that in the Phone app. All you can do in the Phone app are calls. So I went to the People app. Apple phone was not there.

I mean, seriously? How the hell the application that should be managing all my contacts had a contact that I could see as available to call?

I had to go to Gmail to finally remove the number.

Two Email Clients

On my iPad, I had two email accounts: My personal account and my work account. All emails were shown in a “Combined Inbox” folder which would display everything in order. Not only that, but the controls would change from “Move to Folder” to “Archive” when using my Gmail account.

On the S4, I have two email clients: One for Gmail, which tries to mimic the web interface and another client for my work email that looks almost different. And I really can’t understand that: The Gmail client have a toolbar on the top of the screen; the other email client have a toolbar on the bottom. So every time, after reading some email, I have to look for the toolbar to move the mail or archive it.

Not only that, but some behaviours are weird: on iOS, moving or achieving an email, the client will move to the next unread email, no matter if it is more recent or older; on Android, it will always move to the older email, even if it is already read[11].

(Someone mentioned that it was easier to just ignore work emails when in vacation, but I could easily do the same — if I wanted — by simply going to the settings and disabling the account. Not other configuration is lost.)

Also, none of the emails allow me to zoom out the original size. It usually it isn’t a problem, but your infrastructure guys have a template for tell the company when some server will go into maintenance or the no-breaks need to be replaced that never fits any screen, directly (not even my desktop — at least, not properly) and I could zoom out to read it. Now I can’t (but still, this is minor, but it’s annoying to scroll things horizontally back and forth).

No Landscape Desktop

I mentioned the split between desktop and apps list. What I didn’t mention was the fact that are a bunch of different launchers available, so I’m not stuck with this “5 workspaces, no way to add or remove workspaces” launcher.

On the other hand, the default desktop[12] does not support landscape view. Ok, this may sound silly, but it’s weird that you’re in some landscape app (say, a game, which doesn’t have a portrait mode), close it, see your desktop getting sideways, opening your Twitter client, which would just move to the landscape mode flawlessly.

Again, minor, but still…

The Configuration

I’m just putting this here to show some differences — this difference is annoying to me right now but I guess I’ll get used to it soon.

So, on iOS, you usually have a well defined settings window: I’d go to the global settings, look for something and then change it. With iOS7, a lot more applications moved their configurations — which were buried somewhere in their interface — to the general setup. So it was a “single stop configuration” place for almost everything. There was even a change to include more icons, to improve the way you could find the proper configuration place.

On Android… not so much. Sure, the move to a single configuration spot on iOS is recent, but the current configuration tools on most Android apps is poor, to put it blandly. There is very little idea of “drilling down” to proper places, some options are scattered around groups, some drill-down groups don’t even have arrows to indicate they are drill-downs…

And before everyone rages: Let me repeat that my current annoyance with it is just a matter of getting use to it. And some tweaking.

Conclusion

Ok, so you jumped over most of the text and now just want to know if you should change your iOS for an Android. The answer is clear:

I don’t know.

You see, there are some things — the app switching, for example — that Android puts iOS to shame; some others — like notifications — would be better if Android never had it in the first place, as shameful as they are. Mostly, things are the same in the base system and what would decide any change are the apps — and, honestly, Pocket Trains is the same on both, Plume is no Tweetbot[13], Jiffy is gorgeous compared to most time tracking apps on iOS…

“SHOULD. I. CHANGE? ANSWER. THE. FUCKING. QUESTION!”

Ok, you want an answer: Ask me again later. After this week I’ll start to really mess with this thing, installing new desktop managers and themes and all the matter of crap I can find. So far, as you could see, I still have mixed feelings about it but I’m not saying it’s better or worse till I finally get used to it and forget most of the iOS-risms I got over the years.

Footnotes

[1] Talk about “holding it wrong”. ;)

[2] And due the way the screen was locking when detecting something close, I couldn’t stop the call quick enough (but I was lying down on the couch, so I was not in the most probably position to not put something in front of the screen).

[3] … unless you purchased the song directly from the iTunes Store, in which it will “distribute” the song to all your devices automagically.

[4] If you have it enabled, the songs will sync through wireless, if you have your iTunes Library open and your iOS device on in the same net.

[5] Again, unless you purchased directly from iTunes Store. In that case, yes, it will download directly to your device.

[6] From what I read somewhere else, Windows requires special drivers (which it will automatically install) and then you can use the Windows Explorer to transfer things; Linux requires a special library and that applications have support for it (and I’m guessing Rhythmbox have it). In the end, it feels the same.

[7] Splitting apps and desktop also allows changing the desktop manager to something else, but since we are talking about the default ones in the phone, I’ll consider that the default behaviour. Maybe there is a desktop manager that displays everything in a single place, just like iOS, but, again, this is not the default behaviour.

[8] It wasn’t immediate on my iPhone 4S or iPad 3. Maybe it was a “hardware not powerful enough” to handle the switching on iOS 7 and things are smoother on newer devices, but that’s something I may find out only far away in the future.

[9] Yeah yeah yeah, because Apple is the only one selling iOS, while there are tenths of vendors selling Android, I get it. Also get it that no vendor, individually, have more devices than Apple. Are we good on that?

[10] The number is there to show you, new user, how the Contacts/Call works. I just left it there and never bothered to remove the entry. Sorry, no, I don’t know anyone in the Apple HQs.

[11] The whole sad fact about Android is that I could, in theory, just download the source and fix that myself — after all, it’s not a big, complicated thing just check if the next or previous email is unread. But I can’t fix the Gmail client ’cause the source of it is not available anymore (’cause it’s part of the Google package that it’s not part of the AOSP). Sure, on iOS, no matter how good programmer I wish I would, I could never change that myself, even if the change was simpler than that. But when you start looking at both platforms coldly as this… yes, it’s a bad point for Android ’cause the iOS behaviour feels “righter”.

[12] I believe this is the default desktop manager, as it is part of the “Google Edition” of Android. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

[13] Tweetbot is better, if that wasn’t clear. But I bought a premium Plume, as it was the best Twitter client for Android I found in a 5 minute search.

Speaking Seriously About the iPad

In January this year, I wrote about why the iPad matters. There, I pointed that a lot of changes would come to the digital world since it appeared.

Recently, the iPad was officially launched in Brazil. Now you don’t need to import it and pay huge taxes for it; you can go to a local shop and buy it, paying the huge taxes for it.

There is only one problem with it: All reviews that people post here about it are translations of American articles, saying how awesome the new iBook Store is, how now you don’t need to carry books around, how you can easily watch your favourite TV series on Hulu and get movies from Netflix, buy the soundtrack of the movie or the new album of your favourite artist on iTunes Store… In short, all the good things about having a slim notebook where you won’t type much.

The problem is: Nothing of this is available here in Brazil. So, in the end, the iPad is nothing but a huge iPod Touch. And when you point that, people get pissed.

I mentioned that on Twitter to someone that posted a translated article from IT World (I think, can’t really remember right now) which mentioned all those good services you can access but are only available in very selected places of the planet. Their answer? “The iPad is an awesome device and people that say it’s a huge iPod never used it or don’t like it ;)” (yes, smiley face and all.)

First of all, I used it already. My aunt have one and I’m still trying to figure out how she uses it. I like the bigger virtual keyboard compared to the iPod Touch, and the huge screen to check websites, but that’s it — exactly what a bigger iPod Touch would do. Second, if you read my original post, yes, I do like the iPad because what it means. So neither points were valid, to start with. But this guy had to defend how awesome the device was, doesn’t he?

That’s when I pointed that a small netbook would do the same, for much less money ’cause, in the end, all you have is internet access to read the local newspaper online. And any device with connectivity would suffice, including a recent iPod Touch (as long as you have a wifi around) or even an iPone 3GS, which would do much more than the iPad for around the same price.

So no, it’s not that I don’t like the iPad or never used it. The problem is the tiny minded people with money that don’t want to share their things with the world and put geological barriers on a bondariless technology. And while those barriers are still up, the iPad would be just a huge iPod Touch on everywhere except the USA.

PS: Just one thing: I used the iTunes Store in Australia and as a digital distribution system, it’s awesome. The problem is that you get crippled versions of most albums instead of the full thing. One example is the soundtrack of “Across the Universe”. I bought it from iTunes Store Australia, only to find a few minutes later that the American version have 5 or 6 tracks more. So the barrier is still there.

Why the iPad matter

or “It’s not the change, but it’s the seed of it”

So Apple announced yesterday their new product, the iPad. Some people call it table, some people call it a big iPhone/iPod touch, some call it “balloon boy”…

But, in the end, it’s a game changer. Not directly, but it put the seed to change a lot of stuff.

PDAs
If you had any hope PDAs would come back, well, forget it. Although most of the smart phones have PDA features, their small screen isn’t so good for most of the stuff the “real” PDAs do. The iPad big screen (compared to most smart phones), with it’s non-really-tiny keyboard (even being virtual) kills most of it.

Kindle
The Kindle seems to be the first target of the iPad and Jobs even said the iPad wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the pioneer work from Amazon and now they would “stand on their shoulders.” Well, at the first look, it doesn’t look so much of a challenge:

  • Kindle costs about $230, the low entry level iPad costs $499 (almost twice);
  • The Kindle screen offers higher resolution (824×1200 vs 768×1024) and have a better ppi (150 vs 132.) And let’s be honest, when you’re reading a text, it doesn’t matter if the screen is gray scale or color, it’s black text over white background.

So, why the iPad affects the Kindle market? First of all, the iPad is not just a eBook reader: It also have a browser and email client and, althought Kindle also have a browser, it’s fairly limited. So, when you count that you have a small device that can do more than just read books, it may be worth paying twice for it.

In the very heart of the situation, though, is the fact that Apple is selling books. Let’s be honest, the Kindle is nothing more than a vechile to Amazon sell books without worrying about the logistics of sending a bunch of paper sheets with ink on them to a person somewhere in the globe. Apple iBook store will go head to head with Amazon on that and, after the 1984 fisasco, it’s image is somewhat scratched. And let’s not forget that Apple managed to convince a bunch of corporate luddites that music can be sold without DRM (even after selling them with DRM for a long time — I know, I was there when they switched.)

Netbooks
Small form, can connect on most WiFi networks… Sounds a bit like a netbook, doesn’t it. Well, not a first glance. A netbook like the Dell Mini 10, which comes with 160GB (10x more than the entry level iPad), 11.6″ screen (against a 9.7″ screen) may sound like an undisputed winner, specially when it costs $399 against iPad’s $499. But when you think about what people do with Netbooks, it mostly email, web and text editing. But when you add the latest Windows version, it’s price jumps to $520. And it can still go higher if you replace Microsoft Works (bundled) with the latest Microsoft Office.

Apple redesigned their iWorks suite to fit the small screen of the iPad. And they are offering each of the 3 applications (Pages [word processor], Numbers [spreadsheet] and Keynote [presentation]) for $9.90 each. So you can get a small office suite for about $30. Which is around the same price for the Dell Mini (although you’ll have to deal with a virtual keyboard instead of real one.)

And really, I don’t think the harddisk size actually matters that much. Most people that use a netbook for email, web and small editing really don’t go that deep into the 160Gb (which is mostly used by the operating system itself.)

Not saying that the iPad is a clear winner, but it has a nice place in the netbook market.

Telephony
Wait, what? Telephony? What the hell!

Well, it’s one of the small gems hidden in the iPad. Together with the launch of the new device, Apple is releasing a new SDK, version 3.2. This version removes the restriction of VOIP applications.

Now think about it: You have a VOIP application that can run on your Wifi (and 3G) tablet and on your 3G phone (since the same OS runs on both iPad and iPhone/iPod touch.) This is big. With the price of a data transfer, you can talk to anyone in the world, anywhere you are. Old telephone companies must shiver with the prospect of landlines going to be canceled ’cause people won’t need them anymore.

(Edit) MID
MID (Mobile Internet Devices) is an area where Nokia pushed a lot. The N900 is the latest of that line of devices, which started with the N770 and, as far as I know, it’s the most famous (and successful) line of MID devices so far. Again, the iPad goes head to head against them and, due the screen size, I must say it’s almost a loss for Nokia.

On the other hand, if you remember that on every new series Nokia simply stop any support for the previous operating system (the N770 with Maemo 3 lost support when the N800 was launched and now the N800 with Maemo 4 is out of support with the N900 and Maemo 5), basically means Nokia shot itself pretty good in the foot. If only they cared about their older systems (the first iPhone STILL can get the new OS) they might had a chance. But too late.

So it’s all good?
No, not at all. The iPad, although (as I believe) is a game changer by concept, it’s new that big in the real world.

First of all, it’s the lack of multitasking, which is, let’s be honest, a stupid move by Apple. It have the power to do so, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s like buying a Ferrari and going all around on second gear. The only hope is that, at some point, Apple releases an OS that it’s capable of multitasking properly (if not, it will have to be jailbroken.)

Second, it’s the centralized model around the iTunes Store. As an old user of it, I thought it was really amazing that I could get music easier than pirating it. But it’s not all roses about it: I was living in Australia and the Australian Store, although selling the soundtrack of “Across the Universe”, didn’t have the full version of some albums: Most of them are only complete (2 discs and all) only in the US store. And, worst of all, there is absolutely NO WAY of buying ANYTHING in Brazil. This is completely stupid. And you can believe some more stupidity may come, like not being able to buy some books in the original language due your region (or worst, no books at all.)

Third, no Flash. Oh wait, that’s actually a good thing. ;)

(Edit) Fourth, the lack of ports. For everything you need to connect on the iPad, you’ll need a converter. A huge mistake here. Imagine if that came with a simple video output. BLAM! Install Keynote and you have a nice presentation tool to carry around!

Summary
I really believe the iPad is the start of a new generation of computing devices. I want my PADD and walk around the Enterprise with things to show to the captain. But the centralized model Apple insists on pushing may do more harm than good (well, maybe not at their home.)

(Edit) In case you’re asking yourself “so, he means I should get one or not?” the answer is “no”. I’d like to get one myself ’cause I’m a gadget guy (I walk around with a phone and an iPod touch, sometimes I carry my N800 with me, I have a Palm T|X in a box, a GPS thingy somewhere and just thrown away one of the first iPaq models ’cause it was not working anymore) but I’m pretty sure I’d save the money to buy something else. At the same time, as it’s the first iteration of such line of devices, I guess it’s better to let the people with huge piles of money to buy it right now and wait for the next generations. Unless, of course, you have huge piles of money or is a gadget guy (with some money to spare.)

Computer names

Now that I have a new computer, I had to name it. That’s something I’m doing for some time already. Here, a list of names and computers I already had:

  • Mandos: No brand Pentium II
  • Nienna: IBM ThinkPad 390E
  • Vaire: No brand Athlon XP 2000
  • Irmo: Dell Inspiron 9300

And the new computer:

  • Este: MacBook Pro

Also, just to put some naming, some other electronic devices that got names:

  • Pippin: iPaq something
  • Pikachu: Palm T|X
  • Pikachu (yes, again): Nokia N800
  • Charmander: Nokia 6500