Comfortable in the Nexus Reply

ImageAfter a long hiatus finishing my MBA, I am back checking out the latest in gadgets and tech. And for the past month or so I have had my hands on an Asus Google Nexus 7. Whew, that’s a mouthful. Hopefully the device will operate faster than it takes to say the name. It is my consensus that the Nexus 7 will stay a formidable player in the tablet wars in the future, due to a perfect price point, a quality build feel (although there have been reports of build issues), fast hardware, and the latest in OS design and features. This device features one gig of RAM, a quad core Tegra 3 processor, front facing camera, NFC, and Jelly Bean with Google Now (a feature much more useful than Siri I might add). Does this sound too good to be true? Not necessarily. But it should be noted there is a risk in being a beta tester on a device, and that risk is bugginess. It has been my experience that: 

  1. This tegra powered device is a load of fun and is cheap at $200-$250 price point.  
  2. That a few bugs exist that need to be worked out.

The largest reported problems have been build quality issues, which Google is happy to warranty, and the one I experienced the most is non-compatible apps causing system slow downs for whatever reason. This was fixed with a factory reset, and then only downloading Jelly Bean friendly apps that have been updated relatively recently. I have since not experienced the same system slow down, but for the non-tech savvy, this may be more trouble than it is worth. but if you are reading this blog, this device is probably for you. 




The Ever Expanding Screen 2

Iphone compared to the Galaxy Note 

Not so long ago form factors in cell phones seemed to be decreasing in size. Small was in, with flip phones predominating due to their thinness and their ability to fold in half, reducing the size of what a consumer has to put in their pockets. Enter the Iphone. What one could arguably call the rebirth of the candy bar phone, beefed up with accelerometers, processors, and RAM galore.

The Iphone 3G, 4 and 4S screens are just 3.5 inches, the HTC Thunderbolt sported a 4.3 inch screen, while the recently released Galaxy Nexus has expanded to 4.65 inches. Everyone originally thought the new Iphone, the 4S would also increase in size, that expansion however, has presumably been delayed to the entrance of the theoretical Iphone 5.

Just recently however, the concept of “big is in” is now truer than ever before, with the establishment of the new 5.3 inch Amoled display of the Galaxy Note. The new trend in bleeding edge mobile technology seems to be display, clarity of it, and screen real estate.

The LG Optimus has recently been announced and it will contain a 5 inch screen, and both megaphones will sport dual core 1.5 gigahertz processors, with 1 gig of RAM. Both the Optimus and the Note will be stylus friendly, with the Note coming with one built in to the device. Whether this trend in size will continue or not time will tell. We will have to wait to see whether or not consumers will want to break the 5 inch barrier in display size.

Patent Wars, Coming to a Gadget Near You Reply

By now many of you have heard of a little something happening in the technology industry called the patent wars. A war of attrition between technological giants, some smaller firms, and new patent investment funds (read: patent trolls). This war is designed to raise operating costs of those companies that cannot afford to buy a large portfolio of patents, or cannot afford to staff a team of patent attorneys.

Apple seems to be pursuing a mobile strategy that is partly centered around the use of patent enforcement and accumulation. But for the average consumer, the result of such a divisive struggle between the large mobile players, Apple, and patent trolls will mean higher prices for consumers, due to patent licensing, and litigation costs, as well as an anti competitive atmosphere that prohibits small players from existing in or entering such a hostile market. This patent war could mean the eventual exclusion of players such as RIM, and other smaller mobile players, from remaining competitive in the market.

There is another anti-competitive and distinctly anti free market aspect of the existing patent war. Will this conflict cause companies to spend ever increasing amounts of money on litigation, rather than paying for designers, and engineers? Could there be a congealing of innovation, in favor of a zero sum game approach to competition? Instead of making the pie larger, are we making it smaller by stifling competition, by making every swipe, every design feature, every aspect of a gadget, patent-able?

Some notable examples of the recent patent war insanity:

Swipe to Unlock: Apple owns this patent and is part of its arsenal against other mobile manufactures and Google.

Text prediction: Apple owns this patent, though it is arguable they were the original developers of the technology. Most likely, they bought this patent from a third party.

And voice recognition: Really? On an anecdotal level, I remember a few instances of the technology showing up in products before the advent of Siri.

However, Apple needs to be careful where it chooses to tread. Motorola owns a vast array of patents that are intrinsic to the technology of the cell phone. And um, who owns Motorola? Google. Recently, Apple was almost forced to cease the sale of its IOS products in Germany, due to a judges ruling.

Current Court battles by country:

South Korea
All across Europe

The patent wars are spreading, a war of attrition, with no winners.

Meet the Nexus, now for $99 1

The Galaxy Nexus A $299.00 Android smartphone on sale on Amazon for $99.

The Galaxy Nexus is considered, and rightly so, the premier android flagship smartphone. Samsung/Google’s Nexus comes equipped with the latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system pre-installed, with none of that bloatware that weighs down other non nexus branded Android phones in the market. Also, in the smartphone world, big is in, and the Nexus certainly has that, sporting a 4.65 inch screen. As for hardware, the Nexus sports dual core processors with a gig of ram under the hood–I think this thing can handle angry birds….

And if you are into video, the camera shoots in 1080 p high definition.

But mostly, it’s one of the baddest handsets on the market right now, and Amazon is giving it away at $200 off the list price for a two year contract. Get em while they’re hot.