Through a rigirous and exacting process of filtering new followers reviewing tweets, and generating a random number a random number of times — the winner of the Palm Pre 2, Touchstone Charger and case is:
Over the last few weeks I’ve been checking out the Palm Pre 2 — the next generation keyboard / touch screen dataphone from HP. Previously I’d not considered a webOS phone much of a contender against the traditional leaders (Blackberry and iPhone), but this little unit changed my mind.
In this review, I’ll touch on the things that appealed (or didn’t) to me about the unit. I won’t be going into a long description about each and every feature though, so if you’re interested in that, you can read more here.
The holiday season is upon us, which means that we’ll be enjoying time spent with family and friends. Many of us will grab our handy camera-enabled data phones and snap priceless shots that we’ll want to share, and keep for posterity.
But that’s where the tech can get a bit tricky. Sure, we’ve tried sharing to our various Facebook, Flickr and Picasa accounts, but what about the ‘saving for posterity’ part.
Photos in the Cloud
Well, two of those three services mentioned above are a great start. Here’s the four that I’ve seen and used that will offer solid photo service over the holidays and into the future:
Flickr offers a Pro level account (about $25 per year for unlimited photo and video storage) that will keep all your photos online and available. Free gives you unlimited storage, but only your most recent 200 photos are viewable. Online image editing provided by Picnik.
Picasa has a free account that offers 1GB of free photo storage and basic image editing tools.
SmugMug is pricier, offers three levels of service, and is geared toward the more serious photographer.
Adobe Photoshop Express gives you access to basic online photo editing and organization tools, and 2GB of free photo storage. Additional storage space can be purchased annually.
So, what’s so great about storing your photos online anyway?
Backup — you don’t have to worry about keeping your images safe; the service you’re using does that.
Sharing — easy to embed the images into blogs, email and twitter messages. Each photo usually has a public URL that’s sharable (or private, if that’s your thing).
Printing — a few of the services are offering partnerships with professional printing labs which lets you produce photobooks, custom prints etc.
Integration — some of the more popular services are already integrated into your iPhone camera applications (such as Instragram). Push a button and your latest shot is uploaded to the service, ready for you to edit and share.
Yep, you can keep your photos on your own computer, but you do run risks should your computer crash or worse. I do keep the majority of my images at home, stored on a network attached storage device that’s got two drives, one a mirror of the other. So if one should die, I’ve got a copy of my data on the other.
Also, I backup my photos weekly, and move the backup drive to an offsite location for even greater safety. Yeah, a housefire would ruin a lot of things, but I know my photos and other important data would be safe.
It depends. Take a solid think about what you plan to do with your photos, how you want to share them, and how important they are to you (can you afford to lose them?). I’ve likely given you some ideas to try and experiment with as we head into the holidays. I’d love to hear what you’ve tried and how it worked (or didn’t).
The iPad has been out for a bit now, and it’s the tablet that all the others will be compared against as they jockey for position going into the holiday season.
But overall, I think this is the year that tablets finally start to make some headway into the marketplace; a marketplace already crowded with Desktops, Laptops, Netbooks and Data Phones.
So, why consider a tablet? Here’s a few things to think about.
Tablets won’t replace your main computer, nor will they replace your laptop. They’re not powerful enough to do a lot of the work those computers do. But, they will fill in the middleground between your smartphone and your computer, simply because they are smaller, yet not too small, and offer a great interactive experience.
Tablets are great to bring to meetings, light-weight and yet functional enough that looking up calendar conflicts or taking simple notes is a very simple process — and the tablet is much less obvious than a laptop when sitting around the boardroom table.
Oh, and you smartphone jockey’s out there, yes, you can do all that stuff on your handheld Android/BlackBerry/iPhone, but the screen size is kinda limiting when you want/need to share the view.
Using some cloud computing applications such as DropBox, any notes you create on your tablet are instantly stored in the cloud account and accessible to your other computers.
And, if you’re in that meeting and need to reference something stored on your desktop, you can use desktop control software such as LogMeIn Ignition (on the iPad / iPhone / Touch) or a VNC client written for your tablet. A couple of quick touchpad strokes and you’re working on your desktop computer as if you were sitting in front of it.
Ok, those are the big reasons that a tablet wins for me. And here’s a few more that are really just icing on the cake:
Inherently portable – smaller form factor makes it easier to take everywhere. My iPad is with me daily, whereas my laptop or netbook only came out when I thought I might need it
Casual usage – since it’s with me I use it more to jot down notes, surf, etc during otherwise dead time
Tactile, friendly, engaging – a tablet seems less imposing than a full-up laptop. People like to share work on a tablet, it’s easy to hand around a meeting and solicit feedback.
Portable media – tablets are great for watching movies or videos on the bus or wherever because they’re smaller and sleeker — no huge keyboard to haul around in addition to the screen.
So, in my humble opinion, yes, the tablet will make some serious inroads this holiday season, especially if the price can stay low, the hardware delivers, and the software is developed to live in this new middleground.
So that’s why a tablet appeals to me, how ‘bout you? Are you in or out when it comes to considering a tablet in the near future?
Basically we were looking at the data phones, and the types of people who each type of phone is best suited for — or not suited for 🙂
Here’s my notes from the early morning chat:
Blackberry – Research In Motion – RIM
This is the ‘Go To’ business device. It’s the Star Trek communicator for the C suite set. You know you’re a blackberry type if you covet the device for the following reasons:
1) Huge business and government penetration – the key here is that most government departments and divisions, and the organizations that do business with them have similar technology. They speak the same language, look at the same screens and share the same experiences.
2) Security – The Blackberry system is based on a proprietary server technology that routes all communication through a central server system, managed by RIM. BlackBerry is basically a totally integrated package that includes phone, hardware, device software and hosted service, providing you with a complete end-to-end email solution.
3) Keypad – Though more recent models use the touch screen interface similar to the iPhone, the hallmark feature of the Blackberry over the years has been miniature chicklet-style keyboard. This has caused numerous thumb-cramps over the years, yet somehow, the work of government has been done. Go figure.
This is Google’s contribution to mobile communications. If you remember the old BASF commercial, Google doesn’t make the phone, Google makes the phone better. Google provides the operating system, hardware manufacturers provide the phone tech.
1) You love the concept of an open and somewhat hackable phone operating system. This lets you configure the device to do exactly what you want, how you want.
2) You accept the risk of an open and somewhat hackable phone operating system. This means that an application you add to your Android based phone could potentially cause you unforseen grief in the future. The Android store is open to anyone with minimal regulation and oversite. This is a good thing, and a bad thing.
3) You enjoy being at the bleeding edge of technology. There is no finer place to be, as long as you really, REALLY, know what you’re doing with this technology. There are different Android devices running slightly different flavours of the operating system. Yet, you know which apps will and won’t work on your phone. Yes, you are an Early Adopter..
This is the gold standard by which all other data phones are being measured. Apple has basically taken control of this market, and for very many good reasons. Apple has created the telephone appliance.
1) an outgrowth of the iPod — the iPhone is much more than a music player with a phone glued to it. It’s really a full-blown data appliance that you’d expect to see on Star Trek, but not only in the executive suite of corporations — the iPhone is the device for the rest of us.
2) The Apple store enabled a safe environment for developers and consumers to explore the digital application market place for mobile digital devices. Apple ran the store, and had the right to approve applications available in the store. Putting the Apple reputation on the line, applications had to be safe, mainstream-acceptable, and technologically sound. You’d not get porn, viruses, or faulty programs from the store on Apple’s watch.
3) It’s a data appliance. It must work. Every time. All the time. Apple guarantees it. Your mom and dad could use it, and that’s what Apple’s banking on. You don’t need an IT department to support it (like the Blackberry) nor have to deal with esoteric interfaces and commands (ala the Android). It just works.
Whether you’re on vacation or travelling for work, telecommunications costs are a pain, and can really impact your the cost of your travel. Recently I’ve started using two tools that let me call home or the office, talk as long as I want, and not break the bank. …more