Mobile Devices


MobileViews Podcast 269: New Amazon Echo products announcements & iPhone Xs first impressions

Jon Westfall and I discuss just two topics in this podcast. But, there’s a lot to discuss.

  1. CNET video of Amazon announcements
    Amazon Echo announcements
    Updated Echo Dot
    Updated Echo Plus (Zigbee radio, thermometer)
    Updated Echo Show
    New Echo Subwoofer
    New Echo Smartplug
    New Alexa Guard
    New Echo Auto
    New Echo enabled clock
    New Echo enabled microwave
    New Echo Input (like a Chromecast)
    New FireTV Recast (DVR & antenna)
    Echo Link Amp
    Echo Link
  2. iPhone Xs first impressions
    Moved from 7+ to Xs
    If you want a bag for the box, that costs 18 cents (seriously)
    Old phone service shut off even before I opened the box and turned on the Xs. Was told this would not happen by the sales person
    Serious problem pairing Apple Watch 3 to the Xs
    Chose smaller device/display on purpose
    Xs cannot display battery percentage in top right status area. Not enough screen space at top due to the notch. Xs Max can though

Available via Google Music Podcasts and Apple iTunes.

Mobile Devices

Comments Off on MobileViews Podcast 269: New Amazon Echo products announcements & iPhone Xs first impressions

Permalink

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Tablet downloads movies without asking: On Deck “feature”

I bought an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8″ HD Display, 16 GB, Black – with Special Offers(that’s the full name!) on Prime Day for $50. I was curious to see what a $50 tablet could do and how intrusive (or not) the Special Offers (advertisements) are. It’s unfair to compare it to a $300 or $400 iPad mini so I won’t. Performance is good. It hasn’t shown the kind of overall slowness I noticed in the various Google Android tablets I’ve owned and used over the years. The display is fine although its contrast is low if you use it in a shaded area outdoors during the day. With the exception of Google apps and most Microsoft apps (except for Outlook), many popular Android apps appear to be available from Amazon’s app store.

The only issue I have with the device is its feature of downloading things without asking. It started with a game download. I first thought I may have accidentally tapped an ad to install it. It didn’t show up as an Amazon purchase. So, I deleted it and didn’t think much about it. However, a day or two later, I noticed the Fire HD 8 was downloading movies. In fact, it downloaded three movies: Baywatch, Star Trek Beyond, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The three downloads take up 1.5GB on a tablet that only has 16GB total and, I would guess, about 8 to 10GB available for use. Even worse, I have no interest in any watching any of these three movies. If have a metered broadband service (I do not), it would mean the feature will eat up your bandwidth without asking. Its documentation also indicates it automatically refreshes these on deck movies without asking permission. You can manually delete any or all of the videos. But, I don’t see a way to turn off the On Deck feature itself.

Tablet

Comments Off on Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Tablet downloads movies without asking: On Deck “feature”

Permalink

Blast from the past: The 2009 podcast with the designer of the 1st #1 iPhone app – Koi Pond

The first number on iPhone app in the Apple app store was a graphical entertainment app named “Koi Pond” which simulated the physics of touch water that had a koi fish swimming around in it. In January 2009, I was fortunate to speak with Bill Trost, the designer for Blimp Pilots which developed the app. The group was a bunch (five people) who formerly worked at Sony Online at EverQuest.

I was especially interested to learn that the app had been used in therapeutic ways that the app builders did not anticipate.

You hear my discussion with Bill in the 20 minute discussion I had with him.

Mobile Devices

Comments Off on Blast from the past: The 2009 podcast with the designer of the 1st #1 iPhone app – Koi Pond

Permalink

Chromebook focused Android apps in Play Store?

Android Play Store chromebook fucsed apps

I openned the Android Play Store app on my Chromebook for the first time in months (I’m guessing) and noticed it placed this Chromebook focused list of apps at the top of the page. When did Chromebook focused apps start being promoted in the Play Store?

Mobile Devices

Comments Off on Chromebook focused Android apps in Play Store?

Permalink

MobileViews Podcast 244: People who live in glass buildings in Apple Park, shouldn’t…

In this podcast, Jon Westfall and I discuss:

  1. Longer upgrade cycles and growing purchases of used smartphones said to threaten flagship sales

    “Back in 2014, the average upgrade cycle was 23 months – likely attributable to most consumers upgrading every two years, while a much smaller number upgraded every year. But that number has already hit 31 months, says BayStreet Research, and is set to climb higher still”

  2. Google launched a simple browser-based sequencer for making music
  3. Google Research Blog. Mobile Real-time Video Segmentation – green screen video without a green screen.
  4. 9to5Mac”: New lower cost MacBook Air? Probably at the cost of losing ports.
    Jon’s got a defense of going with less ports… innovation in mobile workspace design
  5. Gizmodo. 911 calls from Apple Park – employees walking into the glass walls. People who live in glass houses should not run into them.

Available via Google Music Podcasts and Apple iTunes.

Mobile Devices

Comments Off on MobileViews Podcast 244: People who live in glass buildings in Apple Park, shouldn’t…

Permalink

MobileViews Podcast 243: Mobile World Congress – meh; Microsoft’s dismissed products; goodbye to our pets

  1. Jon’s family and mine both lost beloved pets this weekend. We took a few minutes to reflect on them
  2. 300 Tesla Powerwalls deployed in Hawaii schools to run air conditioners in classrooms
  3. The Verge’s Mobile World Congress expectations.
    Todd: Meh
    Steady extermination of headphone jacks
  4. ZDNet did an article on products Microsoft has killed. Do we miss them?.
    List of product: Media Center editions,
    Media Center Extenders (hardware),
    Kinect,
    Zune,
    Groove,
    Flight Simulator,
    windows home server,
    Kin,
    Nokia,
    Windows 10 Mobile,
    Band,
    Microsoft Auto / Sync.
    Todd: Microsoft SPOT watch & service
    Jon: Windows Live Mesh Remote Desktop / p2p sync. / Foldershare
    Todd: Windows Handheld PC & ActiveSync

Mobile Devices

Comments Off on MobileViews Podcast 243: Mobile World Congress – meh; Microsoft’s dismissed products; goodbye to our pets

Permalink