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Samsung Galaxy Note II… WOW

My wife upgraded my Droid X to a Samsung Galaxy Note II for Christmas… WOW!

So this is how a smartphone was supposed to be all along.  Don’t get me wrong, the Motorola Droid X that she gave me 2 years ago was the most advanced thing that anyone could get at the time.  But who knew that in about 6 months time Verizon would bring 4GLTE to Sioux Falls? 

That changed everything and we had to wait another year and a half before we could updrade.  But it was worth the wait.

The Galaxy Note II has a much larger 5.5″ 720p display and just using the keyboard is a great deal easier for me with my big fat fingers.  In fact, I am actually typing using the on-screen virtual keyboard now, to write this post.

Even better is the fact that this device supports the external bluetooth keyboard that I had bought to use with my Droid X.  So I guess getting that kb on sale at Kohl’s was actually a smart move, afterall.

Thanks to its quad core 1.6 GHz processor, the Note 2 flies.  This Note II is remarkably fast when compared to my old Droid X, which seemed to require a daily reboot just to run well. While the GN2 will run all day on a battery even when using it as lot.  And I have only reboot a few times just because I am superstitious after having to do it all the time with the Droid.

I have a great deal more memory to work with, as well.   The Droid X maybe had about 500MB working RAM, less than 2GB internal storage and whatever size microSD card a user could get.

The Galaxy Note II (GN2) comes with nearly 1.75 GB of working RAM and another 2 GB cache with over 10 GB of on device storage memory. Plus, it supports the microSD format flah memory card for additional photo/video/app/data storage. I happen to think that that is a really big deal, because so-called “top of the line” devices such as the HTC Droid DNA don’t even support the microSD card anymore. They want you to buy cyber drive storage though one of the offered cloud drive services and everyone has a plan to cash in on this. But that also eliminates an easy and inexpensive means to upgrade to a new device quickly. It also eliminates simple backup systems and sneaker nets. That is a poor choice, I expected devices to have already started supporting multiple SD Cards as standard equipment on all smart phones by now.

For me, since this thing (and most modern smart phones) now captures 1080P video, not providing at least one memory card slot is sinful… we want to keep the videos we recird of our kids, not lose them in the cloud. C’MON MAN!

The GN2 is quite a handy little tablet, as well. The stylus setup is extra cool because it works so well. It compliments my Asus EeePC Transformer tablet, perfectly.

There are some things that I will miss about my Droid X, though. One is that it is all paid for. But they charge us less on the new 2 year contract, anyway. But I will definitely miss the HDMI port. Especially since I bought a multimedia dock for it and that worked out well for me, using that as a charger and clock… I’m really going to miss that. Luckily, there is a system for the note to view HD Video with an HDMI dongle using the microUSB port… but that is not convenient. Still, the Droid Razor Maxx HD would have won me over if they weren’t dumb enough to make the battery unservicable by the customer. I just hate the way some companies nickel and dime you to death by engineering in unservicability.

So when it came right down to it, I had no choice but to get either the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Note II and I am really happy with my choice!

January 13, 2013 Posted by | Business, Computing, Devices, Smart Devices, User Interface eXperience | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Outlook 2010

Well, my wife has had a little time to get used to how Outlook 2010 does things now.  So this is a brief update on our impression of it…

My wife likes it, but has some issues.  The same issues cause me to think that it is a worthless piece of crap.

  1. Old contacts from Windows Vista Mail were never imported.  Not doing this automatically (or at least asking permission to) is just pure stupidity.  What was the sense in transferring everything over from Vista in the first place?  To have the old files, yes, but also to have the very same application data and configuration.  Outlook 2010 is pathetic because it craps on the whole idea of maintaining a so-called “seamless” upgrade path.  This is absolutely inexcusable and stands a testament to the absolute thoughtlessness and complete lack of vision of the entire Outlook development team.
  2. Multiple accounts?:  Multiple Inboxes!  This in itself is completely void of intelligence.  The fact that Outlook has to have multiple inboxes for multiple email addresses and never incorporates them all into a streamlined universal inbox is beyond the realm of stupidity.  This is yet another stupid task that should have been done completely automatically.
  3. Adding contacts is pretty awkward as well. You don’t get access to this function unless you have an email previewed.  THEN you can add its contact and have access to the contacts.  But not until you have an email cued-up somehow.    Really?  I mean, maybe the only reason I ran the damn program was to change Aunt Len’s address because she moved.  And the social contacts is just in the way.  My wife doesn’t participate in any social networking sites, so it is just in the way and confusing her.

Really Microsoft? With the release of Windows 7 I was finally ready to take you seriously, and more than just a necessary business toy that I was required to have and support.  But Outlook 2010 can’t incorporate the simple email functionality that we have come to expect from every other email program in the world?  C’MON, MAN!  C’MON YOU MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION!  Get with it.

I already started taking Microsoft seriously when I found that their hardware products were so damn good (XBOX, mice and keyboards).  But I have still been waiting a very long time for them to develop any usable software products.  With Windows 7 I thought that Microsoft had started producing software that actually worked, but they have completely dropped the ball with any other software packages they produce (Expression, Publisher and IE8/9 are direct examples of this ineptness). With Outlook 2010’s pathetic featureless release I don’t really expect Microsoft to ever get what users expect out of their computing experience.

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Apps, Brands, Business, Computing, Internet, Product Design, Software, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience, Windows | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment