Archive for the ‘Smartphone’ Category

iPad is my official device for work and personal use. Taking notes (NOTESHELF), editing documents (QUICKOFFICE) or annotating documents (NOTABILITY) are essential activities for which I have been using different stylus for the last one year. Bamboo has been my favorite for last several months but with regular use it’s tip softens or breaks, and requires replacement. This time I put several stylus to test.

  1. Adonit Jot Pro
  2. Kensington
  3. Elago
  4. Bamboo
  5. amPen hybrid

I have tried several others but they were not even close. And the test was directly with the apps that I use.

Test lab/conditions: the new iPad, no screen protection, my all time favorite app – NOTESHELF, stylus listed above 

See the actual results as I jotted down my experience while writing with these devices.





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There has been news everywhere that Samsung Galaxy phones have surpassed Apple iPhones since the last year. It’s probably true because Samsung now sells in more countries than Apple does, especially in developing countries where the rising middle class has created a paradigm shift in the markets. Samsung has figured out how to provide a luxury phone experience at affordable prices. iPhone is still a high end luxury phone in most countries. Here is a chart that shows how the price of these phones compare to the GDP per capita of some of the countries. (all figures have been converted to USD and multiple sources from respective countries have been used to get the most current prices/information. GDP per capita data is from world bank. Currency data is from Google currency convertor).


This chart reveals some interesting things

  • It clears the picture why Samsung has more units sold based on affordability of the people
  • Any country where the ratio is greater than 0.25, implies that cost of these phones is 25%+ of the country’s GDP per capita. That’s pushing the limit for an average consumer
  • Even though many emerging countries are closer to 0.25 or greater, they are selling thousands of units of both phones reinforcing the power of rising middle class

So Samsung may be winning the battle in the short term but what’s keeping people glued to the iPhone?

iPhone started its journey in the US and has changed not just the phone but our lifestyle. How many things has iPhone changed since 2007?

  • Well, it’s a phone to begin with
  • It has replaced music players, GPS, notepads, planners, alarm clocks, digital cameras, video recorders, voice recorders, game consoles, translators and the list continues…..

One may argue that all the phones offer these features now but iPhone was the game changer. Was it?

I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 recently as my work cell phone. Excited like a small child I ripped through the box to get my hands on it. Very nice big screen, cool touch interface, better camera, better speed and better voice recognition. In 15 minutes I discovered all of this and enjoyed it all. The real test started the next day when S3 replaced my iPhone for day to day work – calendar, conference calls, mails, document editing, alarms/ reminders, travel schedule, collaboration tools etc. I went a full week reminding myself that I am new to the phone and it would take time to adjust, especially with the size and placement of buttons.

After one full week of exhaustive testing that included international travel I have concluded that it has nothing to do with the brand names or hardware. It’s actually Android vs. iOS.

Here is a day in my life with an iOS vs. what I experienced with Android.

  iOS Android
Reminders and Alerts Show up even if the phone is locked. A helpful quick view. Phone buzzes but you have to unlock and then view them
Ease of use during calls Mute/Un-mute or add call even if phone is locked Press the home button while locked during a call, enter password to get to the call. Missed my turn to speak many times
Cut copy paste Simple, elegant Why make it difficult?
Twitter and Facebook Integration Post to T or F from browser, photo album etc. Integration does not exist
Integrated email One mailbox for work and personal email Separate apps especially for Gmail
Photos to email Directly email or MMS from photo album Does not exist
Music Sync Thank Steve Jobs for iTunes Samsung’s Kies replicates music but not playlists. How annoying is it to use a 3rd party app for this
Dropbox Integration Seamless through many apps Does not exist
Memory use Effective and you don’t see back ground apps Apps keep running on their own. Need Advanced Task Killer
Single hand use It’s not the size. It’s ease of use to multi-task Too many clicks for basic tasks
Browser quality Never realized how good Safari is until I used S3 Inconvenient. Chrome was much better
Favorite contacts Directly dial favorites from call menu Does not directly dial. Opens contact for one more touch
Phone settings Easy, a child can use most of them Need to be tech savvy. I guess that’s what Android lovers wanted
iCloud Awesome! No match even though there is a backup utility

We live in a complicated world and last thing we need is more complication in our phone. I know Android lovers hate the simplicity of iPhone but simplicity drives productivity, a basic principle in the corporate world.

iPhone was the game changer but only for a short period time after its launch. Apple gave a new “smartphone” to the world that other companies have improved through better hardware. However the true game changer has been iOS as it continues to transform our every year. Sorry Android community but you have a long way to catch up, or may be you don’t want to.

I hope Apple can bridge the price gap so that everyone in the world can experience what they have created!


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My fellow iPhone users

I had quite an exciting weekend as I got an Android phone (Samsung Captivate). I was pretty excited about how Android OS is more customizable and robust. In the last 2-3 weeks I had looked at Droid X (Verizon), Droid Incredible (Verizon) and most recently Samsung Captivate (AT&T). There is no doubt that Verizon network is much better than AT&T but both state of the art Android phones that Verizon launched are non-global (reviews on internet will not tell you that!)

Let me begin with the Android – what’s the big deal about it? It is cool! Really cool in what you can do with widgets, home screens, 2-3 different types of keyboards, multi-tasking, free GPS with voice based navigation and all other tools that Google provides. I enjoyed playing with the phone and did not realize its been several hours already (my wife cannot see this review!). So I got past the basics and moved on to more sophisticated things – email, outlook synchronization, address books, music and apps. This is where things started to get tricky – no easy way to sync Outlook because of which my contacts did not get copied over easily. Email integration is pretty good but by default all your google addresses show up in contacts and takes quite a while to figure out how to remove them. Apps – there are plenty, however separate apps to do different things. It’s not like iTunes which does most of what iPhone requires you to do. So if you were to synchronize your phone on a weekly basis, you would need a cheat sheet of number of things to do or steps to follow. As a techie I would love to do that but as a user I don’t have time.

Now someone might say that this is expected with Android. But here is what Apple has done – Apple has oversimplified things keeping their end user in mind. Things like cut-copy-paste – if you were to do it in Android, you would say – what was Google thinking? Things like customized ring tones, changing settings, switching between apps and many more. This actually comes from the remarkable difference between the two companies – Apple traditionally has been creative and innovative while Google is a group of mathematical geniuses!

If I would have spent more time with Android, I would have loved it for sure, but the point to test was that can someone get Andriod savvy as
quickly as an iPhone? Can an average Joe enjoy a smartphone while the business community is using the high end functionalities? And for someone like me can I save time and yet carry my office and personal things in one equipment wherever I go around the globe?

I am ordering the iPhone4.


PS: To all Android users – It is a great phone and I am sure you love it but it will take a lot of time for Google to create the magic Apple did.

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