Wednesday, November 26, 2014

PS4 games and hardware for Black Friday deals

Games:


Need for Speed Rivals - Thursday 9:10am EST
Destiny - Thursday 4:10pm EST
Grand Theft Auto V - Thursday 8:10pm EST
Killzone: Shadow Fall - Thursday 10:10pm EST
NHL 15 - Friday 1:10am EST
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Friday 9:10am EST
Watch Dogs - Friday 12:10pm EST
WWE 2K15 - Friday 12:10pm EST
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition - Friday 9:10pm EST
MLB 14: The Show - Friday 9:10pm EST
Rocksmith 2014 Edition -Friday 11:10pm EST


Hardware:


ASTRO Gaming A40 Audio System - Friday 2:10pm EST
Gioteck EX3-R Inline Messenger Headset - Friday 7:10pm EST
16GB PlayStation Vita Memory Card - Friday 9:10 EST


Bye bye Nexus 6

I know people will assume that I am just trolling Google+ but I returned my Nexus 6 today and replaced it with an iPhone 6. The first few days I had the Nexus 6, I had zero problems. The last couple of days though has been a nightmare.

First, I kept having to wipe data and factory restore the device because the camera would not open, I would get an error message saying that the camera could not open due to some unknown reason or that the camera did not exist even though the app icon was on my home-screen. I had a screenshot but when I wiped the phone the picture did not auto backup before I restored the device.

Second, the phone would randomly reboot when I would be using certain apps, Google+ being one of them. I would get the "enter app name here is not responding" message, then the phone would lock up and the screen would go black. I would also noticed lag when swiping between home screens, opening apps would sometimes respond slowly. All this seemed to have started within the last 2 days of using this device. I know that some of the AT&T Nexus 6 phones were being recalled due to a software bug, mine might have very well been one of those phones.

Lastly, I was not that impressed with the build quality of the device. The buttons were plastic and whenever I would volume up/down they would get stuck inside the phone and I would have to wiggle the button to get the button unjammed.That is the main reason I just replaced it with another iPhone 6, the iPhone build quality is the best in the business in my opinion. I know others will tell me different, but I am speaking from whatever experience I have using different mobile devices.

I want to make it clear that I had an AT&T version of the Nexus 6, and some of those software problems are most likely related to whatever it is that AT&T decided to push to the phone. As an example, my phone locked up last night and rebooted, when it did I had the AT&T app My AT&T installed on the phone. Previously the only way you would know I had an AT&T Nexus 6 was the logo on the back of the phone or when I rebooted it had the stupid AT&T logo and boot sound. I am not saying this is a Nexus problem, I am saying it most likely was an AT&T Nexus problem. Well, except for the buttons.

I also want to make it clear that I am not finished with Android or Nexus devices, I am going to go today and trade my Nexus 7 in for the Nexus 9. I use Google Apps and a ton of Google services for my business and having a device connected to those Google services is crucial to me. I also am not finished with the Nexus 6, if I can get another one from the Google Play store I would more than likely purchase another. I did enjoy the device the first few days I had it. The last few days were a nightmare but not enough to scare me away from the Nexus brand. I have owned 4 other Nexus devices and have never had problems like I have had with this one. The Nexus 6 was also the first time I have ever purchased one from a carrier, it will be the last time though, from now it will strictly come via the Play Store.


Pinner for Pinboard

I wrote this about a year ago, I never had a chance to post it. This is my favorite bookmarking service, one that I depend on daily. Sure, you can use things like Instapaper and Pocket but I prefer the social aspect of Pinboard over those other services. The only thing that has changed with the app is the design of course to match iOS 7/8, and the price went up to $4.99 from $1.99. With that said, if you are looking for a nice app for Pinboard then I recommend Pinner.



A year ago:

I recently signed-up to use Pinboard bookmarking service. Of course if I am going to use Pinboard then I will need an iPhone and iPad app, so I searched online for Pinboard iOS app reviews and asked on Twitter and App.net what apps Pinboard users recommend? I wanted an easy way to access my bookmarks as well as the ability to bookmark links from my iPhone.




I decided on Pinner as it was priced fairly at only $4.99 and works on iOS 7[1]. The design still resembles iOS 6 but it functions properly on iOS 7 so I have no complaints about the UI. Pinner is also a universal iOS application so it will work on iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

What I like about Pinner is it feels like I am using Pinboard in the browser, all the features I get from the site are built into the application. I can edit tags, make bookmarks private, view popular bookmarks on Pinboard right within the application. Pinner also features a built-in browser so I read articles I have bookmarked without having to leave the application. On top of having an excellent built-in browser you can also setup background syncing with geofencing which will allow you sync your bookmarks with you arrive in a certain area such as your home or maybe your office.

If you use Pinboard and you are looking for an iPhone or iPad app then give Pinner a look, I think you will enjoy using this app.

Pinner is available in the App Store for only $4.99:
Pinner - Social Bookmarking with Pinboard.in




  1. Pinner 2 and iOS 7 update are coming soon.  ↩


You can find my public links here: https://pinboard.in/u:crizzo/public/

For those wondering about the Pinboard business model, check HERE.

Business Model

Users pay a one-time signup fee of around ten dollars. The fee goes up by a fractional penny with each new user.

The signup fee helps keep the site from growing too fast, and keeps Pinboard spam-free.

Pinboard also offers a personal web archive, at a cost of $25/year. Users who choose archiving get a permanent, cached copy of every bookmark they save, and can search the full text of their saved links. (The one-time signup fee counts towards the first year's subscription.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nexus 6 camera

I know the Nexus phones are not known for there cameras, the N6 is no exception. While it is much better than my N4 it still isn't as good as my iPhone.

I'm not comparing them just for the sake of comparing them, but that is all I have to compare it to.

The images seem way over saturated.

Focusing is slow when trying to get the closeup "macro" type shot.

I'm not really fond of the camera controls on Android either, it makes me think too much. That could just be me being used to iOS though, that is most likely the case.

Just my opinion, not an act of war! :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

I like the iPhone 6

I have been using the 6 and 6 Plus for a week now, and for most of that week I have been using the 6 Plus. Sure, a week is a small sample size to use a device and pass judgement on it. After a week though I can honestly say that the iPhone 6 is my preferred handset. I feel the 6 Plus is just too big for practical day to day use, and the 6 feels more like the sweet-spot for a smartphone size for most people. I seriously thought about buying a Nexus 6, I don’t think I will ever entertain that idea again?

For me the sweet spot is portability, ease of one-handed use, non-fragmented applications, non-bulkiness and just a general comfortableness with the device you are carrying around. I think the screen size of the 4.7" iPhone 6 is ideal for things such as watching videos, reading books, and browsing the web. Every person has a different need or use case for their respective devices, so what I do not like or does not work for me might not be the case for you.

The only plus, pun intended, for me with the 6 Plus is that I can use the device in landscape mode, which is great for apps like Reeder 2 for consuming content. Also, the battery life is amazing, I can easily get two days of usage with the 6 Plus without me needing to plug it in. Other than those two aspect I feel much more comfortable with using the iPhone 6 day to day. As an example, yesterday I was driving in my truck and had the 6 Plus in the front pocket of my jeans, the phone rings, it was a pain in the arse to try and get that behemoth out of my pants pocket and ansewring it with one hand while driving. I know, I know, super dangerous, but to err is human!

I don’t see how all you Note users, and now you Nexus 6 users can go day to day with those Hummers in your pockets. For me the 4.7" iPhone 6 is about as big as I want to go, I still think I like the iPhone 5/5S size best!

Just a quick thought on the iPhone 6 vs. the iPhone 6 Plus.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why I cannot switch from iOS to Android full-time


This is not an iOS vs. Android flame discussion, this is just something that I have realized over the past week having been using my Nexus 4 as my sole work phone and my iPhone 6 Plus as my personal phone. I can’t switch fully to Android because so many of my friends and family use iOS and OS X devices and I basically depend on iMessage and FaceTime to communicate with them. My hardware ecosystem is very fragmented at the moment!

Currently my 6 Plus is loaded with almost every app that Google has in the iOS App Store. Google currently has 46 iPhone/iPod Apps and 33 iPad Apps. Apple has zero apps in the Google Play Store! I would say that is probably the single biggest reason that is keeping me from making the switch to Android full-time! Not that I think one OS is better than the other, I just enjoy using different devices and playing with new tech toys! I know a few people reading this will just think I am some brainwashed malcontent when it comes to all things Apple. Do I own a lot of Apple products? Yes. Do I own a lot of non-Apple products? An even bigger yes!

Mike Elgan makes a great point that Apple should open up FaceTime and now would be a great time to so, actually Mike’s post is from over a year ago. Mike also makes it clear that he is frustrated that Apple has not opened up their messaging service as well as FaceTime for non-Apple users:

The same flaw exists with FaceTime. You have to think about what brand of phone the other person has before you make a call. Gimme a break.
So now is the right time as it was a year ago! I guess with Apple we must all have the patience of a statue!

Even Steve Jobs stated that Apple would “immediately start working with standards bodies to make the FaceTime protocol an "open standard”. That was over 3 years ago! Still waiting.

I cannot prognosticate what Apple will do in the future regarding apps for Android, it does not look like they will ever put apps on a competitors OS/Hardware, at least not as far as mobile goes. Apple did release iTunes for Windows, so maybe one day they will release some of their services like FaceTime, iMessage and iTunes on Android. If that ever happened I would not have a problem making the switch, until them I am stuck using what I need to communicate with my friends and family! Not that I mind getting stuck using and iPhone or iPad, I actually enjoy those devices but I would really like to see the lines blurred when it comes to choosing different hardware manufacturers without losing access to the software and services I require!