Monday, May 24, 2010

Google Android -VS- Apple iPhone OS

To better understand why one might choose an Android based phone over the iPhone/OS - One must starts with understanding Google's current philosophies and resulting influence on the latest internet developments and standards.

This is currently best done by watching things like Google rencent (5/20/2010) developers conference ("Google I/O 2010") keynote speech.
(Unfortunately, just day one's keynote is 2 hours long! Scroll down for highlights!)

Fortunately, I've compiled some Keynote Highlights - although there are many more!:
     (From both Day 1 & Day 2; day two is really all about Android) 


Friday, May 14, 2010

I've had it with Apple! -

A recent post I placed on my Facebook Wall:
"Apple's returned to an age-old business model: vertical integration. iPods don't work with any software but iTunes; iTunes doesn't work with phones or MP3 players Apple doesn't make. The integration has reached a peak with the iPad, an Apple computer based on an Apple processor running Apple's operating system, whose applications must come via Apple's App Store, and whose paid-for content will largely come via iTunes. It's the ultimate lock-in: if you decide in the future to buy a rival's product, you'll be starting again from scratch."
Read more: "26 reasons Apple fan boys have got it all wrong For every iPhone there's an i-rritation or an i-nnoyance : TechRadar UK"

So, I've had it with Apple!
Admittedly, the last straw was primarily over the destruction caused within their most recent addition to the new NDA-protected license agreement; specifically, clause "3.3.1".
The original clause stated:
3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs.
This clause has already frustrated developers in the past because there are tasks that developers would like to perform that can only be achieved through private APIs; though some have taken a risk and submitted applications that use such APIs, the result is often that the application is denied. 
The new version of 3.3.1 reads:
3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Things just got a whole lot more restrictive for iPhone developers.
It is like the early days of Apple all over again!  
No big surprise I guess given who has been back in charge for some time.  Apple continues to head the wrong way, down a path that is useless for the broader consumer market; and I sure hope they don't pull any part of the more useful areas of the technology or the entertainment industry with them.

The key statement there is "the broader consumer market", there are reasons they are best to stick with commanding a simple "cult following".  Anything more would be counter destructive to the tech industry as a whole and the broader consumer market.

A Positive Side Note:  
On the bright side, here is one way to improve a core feature in OS-X;  A Great File Manager:
Just thought I would start my Friday off right with a little rant about apple.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Was an "iPad killer" released 6 months prior to the iPad launch?

I’m referring to the: “Archos 9”  
(Atom 1.1 GHz - 8.9 " - 1 GB Ram - 60 GB HDD)

Archos, (Oct. 22, 2009) YouTube Intro Video:

Advantages over the iPad:

  • Supports viewing the other 75% of Internet based videos (as well as websites) the iPad misses due to a lack of FLASH support
    • <The iPad's primary market is ultimately to allow users to "consume media", this is an unacceptable oversight; reguardless of how the future landscape of the internet may chage; it's current landscape REQUIRES Flash!>
  • A more capable Operating System
    • Multitasking made available through the use of Windows 7 (An exceptional OS, for those of you who have yet to try it.)
    • Moreover, a full operating system is available for utilizing any and all of over a decade of Windows based applications and tools.
    • Developers are not as restricted as to which development tools they utilize to create new applications
    • Users are not restricted to an "app store"; they may install any Windows applications they wish.
  • No price gouged, storage restrictions:
    • You may add & utilize any standard, external, USB based HDD's or storage system
    • Utilize any SD Memory card readers to transfer and add files and photos, without the need for a computer
    • Internally the devices utilize a standard 2.5" HDD (60GB capacity is standard)
  • No network or communication restrictions:
    • Allows a user to run on any Mobile network they wish, using any of the latest 3G or 4G modems, attached directly to the devices USB port.
  • No media playback restrictions:
    • Any and all CODECs are supported or easily added
    • Allows a user to view full HD (1080p) videos
    • HD (1080p) videos may be viewed on the native screen (at a reduced 1024x600 resolution, with native 16:9 aspect ratio, LED - LCD) or external to the device at full resolution.
  • More built in hardware features
    • Built in 1.3mpix camera for Skype or video conferencing
    • Built in HDMI port (on lower edge of device.)
    • Built in HDD
    • USB support (Including DVD, Mouse, Keyboard, etc)
    • External HDMI / VGA / Networking / and additional USB ports are all supported
  • PRICE!
    • Archos - $549, fully loaded, with 60GB storage (& often found for less $$.)
    • iPad - $699, with 64GB storage
  • 3G vs 4G - WiMax & ANY NETWORK YOU WISH!
    • Archos - Any network you wish!, Any USB Modem you wish, such as These Product Links
    • iPad, restricted to the AT&T network, and 3G only for the required $200 hardware upcharge and AT&T $29 per mo. (Restriction are also applied as to which applications can utilize full 3G data plan access; i.e. many movie watching apps are WiFi only, or playback quality adjusted.)

Disadvantages / iPad wins (...sort of) :

  • Battery life
    • 10hrs of reported use on an iPad
    • 5hrs on Achros 9; however, thier battery is removable and may be upgraded or replaced when low
  • CPU power
    • The Apple lives in a more "controlled" and restricted environment, so you can expect a fairly consistent CPU load and capability from most applications (However, the Apple iPad also restricts any multitasking, and further restricts certain application approval to maintain this "availability"!)
    • While both units run at similar MHz processor speeds, this is very much an Apple's to Oranges comparison.  Given the fact, "full fledged" Windows applications can be installed on the Archos 9, it is possible to be underwhelmed by its Power when asking of it more than you would any typical Notebook CPU powered device.
  • Size / Form Factor
    • I am very partial to the Aluminium casing on the iPad, but some will like the true 16:9 screen on the Archros
    • Fact of the matter is, many complain about the weight of the iPad when attempting to depend on it as an eBook replacement, regardless it is slightly lighter & thinner than the Archos.
      • iPad .50" thickness, 24 ounces in weight
      • Archos .67" thickness, and 29 ounces in weight
      • Overall: iPad - 242.8 x 189.7 x 13.4 mm, VS Archos - 256 x 134 x 17 mm
There are many compromises with using any portable computing devices as underpowered as either the iPad or the Archos 9; however, with the Archos 9 being cheaper than all but the cheapest iPads, able to hold its own with netbooks & laptops, and useful as a media device, the Archos 9 PCTablet is an impresive tech device.

Additional Archos 9 Description (Manufactures Marketing Claims):

ARCHOS 9 PCtablet.

The ARCHOS 9 PCtablet combines the performance of a high end netbook with breathtaking aesthetics, excellent ergonomics and a tactile interface on a superb screen.

Pure lines, extreme thinness, the ARCHOS 9 PCtablet pushes the boundaries of elegance and simplicity on a Netbook, fulfilling the expectations of the most mobile users. It provides all the power and comfort needed for daily usage.

With this ultra-light and thin PCtablet, you can watch you videos, browse the web, "video chat", or write your mails or documents.


$549 (Retail)

$535 (Typical Street/Internet Price)

Summary Archos 9 Product Information:
  • 8.9" touch screen
  • Windows® 7 Starter Edition
  • WiFi & Bluetooth
  • Extremely light and thin, .67" and 29 ounces
  • HD Video: Watch video in 1080p (H264HP 1080p)
  • Internet: Experience the full Internet on a 8.9" screen
  • Edit and create documents with the QWERTY virtual keyboard
  • Forward facing 1.3MP web cam for video conferencing
  • Battery Life: 5hr (WiFi Bluetooth off, mini backlight)
  • Package includes: power cord, power adapter, stylus, removable battery

Gizmodo, preview from Sept. 9th, 2009:

Designed for portability (Manufactures Marketing Claims):

A beautiful package for a portable PC

Netbooks are handy machines, but they are really just scaled down laptops. The ARCHOS 9 PCtablet however is a true evolution in portable computing as its form and design breaks the rules of the conventional laptop design.

Sleek and shiny enclosure for a sharp screen

At first, all you see is its magnificent touch screen. It is sharp, precise, and intuitive. So much so that typing on the virtual keyboard is totally effortless.

The thinness of this device is quite remarkable. Its edges fan out from an already thin structure (0.67" or 17 mm at its thickest). And since it weights less than 29 oz (800 g), you can easily carry it with you in your handbag and use it any time. You"d be right to wonder how you can have up to 80 movies stored in such a small device.

Smart features for intuitive use

The ARCHOS 9 PCtablet"s controls are ergonomically placed for comfortable and natural use. On the right, an optical trackpoint for finger navigation replaces the big touchpad of a laptop to ensure you can precisely point to any position on your screen. On the left, screen brightness, WiFi control, and left/right mouse buttonss complement the virtual keyboard, so that your regular mouse controls aren"t left aside.When you want smart info that pops-up under web links or need to right click on something, it"s just as easy as on a PC. That"s just one of the many differences from earlier tablet computers.

The ARCHOS 9 features a two-position leg-stand, an ARCHOS trademark, to optimize its use. The Upper position is best for viewing videos on the go, surfing the web, or reading. The Lower position is ideal when you need to type memos or web addresses, send an email, or chat with your friends.

Performance for HD Video:

For a long time now, the ARCHOS trademark has been it superior quality mobile video.

With the ARCHOS 9 PCtablet, we"ve made sure it"s able to offer the best of video for its users. That means HD video. This device will play Full HD* Video (in 1080p resolution) on its magnificent touch screen. Thanks to the latest Intel ATOM Z series microprocessor and the built-in Intel® video chipset, all you have to do is hit "Play", sit down, and enjoy the show on the beautiful 9" screen.

And with the optional port-replicator which adds outputs to your ARCHOS (including a VGA video output), you can watch your movies and videos on your large HD TV.

Windows® 7:

The ARCHOS 9 PCtablet is the first of its kind to run Windows® 7.

Windows® 7 is the latest version of Microsoft"s operating system, and it has been getting lots of praise around the globe for all its innovations.

Windows® 7 Starter Edition makes the things you do every day faster and easier. With fewer clicks, faster searching, easier browsing, and simpler ways to connect, there are less barriers between you and what you want to do. For Multimedia, its is easier to use than previous Windows® systems. You"ll find it very comfortable to work with your software programs such as the included Lotus Symphony™. You"ll get the best from each of your programs.


Of course the ARCHOS 9 PC Tablet connects you to the Internet. With the WiFi connection, feel free to wander from the living room, to the bedroom, to the kitchen, or the backyard while you"re video conferencing or doing your latest on-line shopping. And to connect to the Internet from virtually anywhere, you can place a 3G or 4G USB Stick into its USB port; or use the Internet connection of your 3G phone via Bluetooth®. As it is a PC with a USB port, you can plug in and use the same USB devices on your ARCHOS 9 PCtablet as on your regular computer such as thumb drives or external hard drives, printers, or your digital camera.

The ARCHOS 9 PCtablet can play high definition videos. But you don"t have to watch them only on the superb 9"" screen. You can also watch them on your HD TV using the port replicator accessory. Additionally, it will give you more USB connectors, a headset connector and an Ethernet port for a wired network connection. With two USB ports, you won"t have to swap in and out your printer and an external keyboard for example.

Detailed Specifications:
DISPLAY8.9" LED backlight
1024x600 pixels
Resistive touch screen
Video chipset: Intel Poulsbo US15W
OPERATING SYSTEMMicrosoft® Windows® 7 Starter Edition
COMMUNICATIONWiFi: PCI-E interface, 1 antenna, support IEEE 802.11b/g
Ethernet: 10/100 Mb/s Ethernet Controller (via port replicator)
Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR compliant)
AUDIOAudio card : Realtek ALC269
2 built-in stereo speakers
Built-in microphone
PORTSUSB 2.0 port (2 additional ports via port replicator)
DC-IN jack
3.5mm audio output (1 additional output via port replicator)
Microphone input (via port replicator)
Ethernet port (via port replicator)
MOUSE NAVIGATIONOptical finger navigation system (trackpoint)
Left and right mouse buttons
POWER SOURCEInternal: removable Lithium Polymer battery
External: Power adapter/charger
MISCELLANEOUSIntegrated 1.3MP webcam
Built-in leg stand (2 positions)
DIMENSIONS256 x 134 x 17 mm
WEIGHT800 grams
PACKAGE INCLUDESARCHOS 9, removable battery, stylus, AC adapter with power cord, user guide, legal and safety notice

Included Software
Antivirus/AntispywareMicrosoft Security Essentials5Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Office ProductivityLotus SymphonyEasily create and edit all your documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Web TV and radio playervTunerAccess to over 11,000 radio and TV stations broadcasting over the Internet.
Email manager & ChatWindows Live™Manage all your email accounts and chat instantly.
1 Optimized for videos in H264 HP 1080p
2 1GB= 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity is less.
3 Online storage space. Requires a free Windows Live� account. More information on

4 Requires compatible wireless access point(s)

5 Installation files to be downloaded