Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

You know those bowls where you throw your business card and you can win a free lunch or a massage or a whale watching trip or something?

Well, apparently, they aren’t always a scam!  Because, I just won a “Sony Ericsson Xperia Play” Android phone from Rogers (they are the devil, I feel compelled to mention, but if that’s the case, shouldn’t they be offering me an Apple?). I went down to pick it up yesterday.

So this is an unexpected opportunity for me to try an Android-based system (version 2.3.2, I think) for a while.  So far, I have these few comparisons to my iPhone 3GS:

* if the iPhone was created from Steve Jobs’ rib in a divine act, this phone feels like evolution incarnate: interesting appendages, odd dead ends, and some amazing functionality that seems as incongruant as a peacock’s tail and an elephant’s tusks. In other words: no overarching design.

* I’ve already had one fight about the hardware back button (and to a lesser extent, the menu button). I *love* the back button, though I also like iOS’s system. But frankly—there’s always something to go back to, and once you realize that, you plunge ahead a little less timidly.

* Slow. Slow slow slow.

* Mini icons are a matter of personal interpretation, but Android has some truly odd ones.

* I accidentally pushed the “turn all cellular data off” button in the first 10 minutes of owning the phone, and then went 24 hours without being able to get any cellular data and not understanding why.  See “mini icons, non-intuitive” above, and also: Why the hell do you put a button for that randomly on the main screens of your phone?

* You want directions. Do you launch: Maps, Navigation, Places, or Latitude? You want to read email. Do you launch: Email, Gmail, Messaging or Postcard? You want to search the Web: Do you launch: Voice search, browser, or Google Search? If you want to buy a ringtone, do you go to Shop, Ringtones, Ringbacks, or Market? To play music, do you go to urMusic, Media server, Music,  Media (has a note icon), or Clock—yes, clock has an MP3 player. And why are Clock and Alarms separate apps, kinda?

* The screen is super awesome (but perhaps not compared to the iPhone 4)

* The camera is superb. Absolutely awesome. Again, perhaps I need an iPhone 4.

* I had to download ATK (Android Task Killer) almost immediately.

* To be fair, the most awesome part of the phone, the fact that it’s a playstation with cool games to play and download, I haven’t had enough time to test yet; this weekend I’ll be doing some of that, and the sounds and video of the games I have played are really, really sweet.

I’m now looking for cool / must-have apps.  Any suggestions?



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“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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