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Lost In Mobile

Not the size - it's just bug riddenShaun McGillThu, 26 Mar 2015 18:27:31 +0000

Sick of my 6 Plus, not the size - it's just bug ridden. Safari - links don't work sometimes in landscape view. Battery life has crashed since 8.2 All my videos (itunes copied ones) keep disappearing from the iPhone. Seriously considering trading it in for a Note 4... Peter.

Interesting comment from Peter and one that feels all too familiar. Now that I am back with the iPhone 6, I have no issues with Safari and the battery is fairly stable, but the 6 Plus was a bit of a mess in terms of stability and in particular when web browsing. Why would they be so different?

Not the size - it's just bug ridden  View ?

Sick of my 6 Plus, not the size - it's just bug ridden. Safari - links don't work sometimes in landscape view. Battery life has crashed since 8.2 All my videos (itunes copied ones) keep disappearing from the iPhone. Seriously considering trading it in for a Note 4... Peter.

Interesting comment from Peter and one that feels all too familiar. Now that I am back with the iPhone 6, I have no issues with Safari and the battery is fairly stable, but the 6 Plus was a bit of a mess in terms of stability and in particular when web browsing. Why would they be so different?

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(26/03/2015 @ 19:27)
The iPhone 6 Plus was just too big  View ?

My experiment with the iPhone 6 Plus lasted for just over 3 months and that was a surprise to me. Initially I was extremely impressed with the phone and found that the extra size did not bother me. The more impressive battery performance stood out and so did the experience when watching movies and playing games, but eventually it all became too much and I was finding it inconvenient to carry.

Whether stood in a line at the shop or out with the kids on a day out, the 6 Plus was always noticeable and always in my hand because it would not fit in my pocket. For all of the added convenience of quicker typing, easier to read web pages and all of the other benefits space provides, the real world size of the device seemed to grow over time. It sounds odd, but the more I moved around, the more the 6 Plus became an inconvenience and it had to go. 

I also realised that as the weather improves, I would be out and about even more and so the inconvenience increases even more. There is, however, one feature which I will miss above all others and that is the camera. It is way better than the 6 camera in my opinion and I have little technical evidence to back up that statement. I just know that the photos I took with the 6 Plus generally popped where the 6 ones didn

... / ...

(21/03/2015 @ 13:28)
Urwerk UR-1001 Zeit Machine  View ?

Why yes, that is the Urwerk UR-1001 Zeit Machine (Device) pocket watch strapped to my wrist - glad you noticed. No, I didn't succumb to some strange Schwarzeneggerian large watch obsession and enter a path of no return whereby big pocket watches look better attached to your arm. This is the "Titan" and it is actually made by Urwerk as a way to strap their highly avant-garde (and totally kick-ass) Urwerk UR-1001 Zeit Machine pocket watch to your wrist. Urwerk produced this baby a few years ago, and now for 2015, has decided it wants to let some of the world's most courageous watch collector's buy one. The Titan version will include a limited edition titanium version of the UR-1001 pocket watch as well as the strap module... More at A Blog To Watch.

All of a sudden the Apple Watch looks quite understated.

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(18/03/2015 @ 22:12)
Should Microsoft surrender?  View ?

I'm not sure what the landscape would have to look like for Microsoft to completely turn its back on mobile, but at some point the development and maintenance of the platform (even when it's more or less a repackaged version of desktop Windows) could conceivably get too expensive to justify devoting any resources to it at all. But that would be a drastic move, indeed, and there would likely be a devastating blow to the stock were the company ever to give up hope on such an important market... More at Mashable.

In your opinion, can you see a point where Windows Phone becomes popular enough to sustain itself or is it really time for Microsoft to bow out gracefully? Thanks to Paul for the link.

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(18/03/2015 @ 18:44)
Shitphone: A love story  View ?

And so the same stubborn retail-limbic response that prevented me from avoiding this mess in the first place
(14/03/2015 @ 10:44)
Microsoft SPOT: a smart watch from a decade ago  View ?

Hadn't heard of these at all! Kind of amazing given it was ten years ago! Must have been interesting designing the watchfaces for it. Kirk

I am surprised at how functional this watch looks considering when it was made. More here.

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(12/03/2015 @ 13:51)
(12/03/2015 @ 10:51)
Feeling the terror  View ?

The launch of the Apple Watch heralds the arrival of stage two for the smartwatch. This time, however, I think it

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(11/03/2015 @ 19:37)
Are you   View ?

Wander the city in 2015 and all you

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(11/03/2015 @ 19:34)
An Ice Age Is Coming for Swiss Watches  View ?

Apple Inc. may soon sell as many timepieces as all of Switzerland, threatening the country

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(10/03/2015 @ 19:59)
The new MacBook octopus  View ?

Marques does a very good job of highlighting the compromises in the new MacBook with this video. If you need more, the MacBook Air is still alive and well.

... / ...

(10/03/2015 @ 08:41)
The Apple event  View ?

The first thing to remember about today's Apple event is that it was not supposed to be a blockbuster show that was designed to surprise us with incredible innovation and wonderful new products. At least I hope it wasn't.

I came away from the live stream feeling somewhat bemused that so little new information was announced, but ultimately it is not for me to decide how successful the products on show will be because that will happen over time.

The new MacBook

It seems that Apple has finally made a Netbook, but one with some clever features included and which is not dumbed down in any way. The design is stunning and so is that clever keyboard with 9 hours of battery impressing when the overall size is considered. The USB-C port will be a cause for concern for some, but I can't help feeling that this is a product for those who want to be seen with the MacBook rather than those who need to do real work.

It is not cheap at all and there is a sense that the design matters above all else which leaves it in a strange segment of the market. Expensive enough to fit price-wise into the high-end market, but not equipped enough to be anything more than a very impressive looking laptop.

I will be honest, if I had the spare cash lying around I could still be tempted by the new MacBook. It really is beautiful.

The Apple Watch

The pricing turned out to be as expected and not too many new details were revealed. All we really got was the release dates and a small demonstration, and that was it. It was a curious presentation and one that offered little to those who were likely to be watching the event live. 

It still feels like a vanity project to satisfy the design desires of Jony Ive to me and one that is trying to do the impossible. $10,000 and up for a watch that is high-tech feels like an odd mix which seems to be there for no other reason than for some to say they can afford something that is out of date in 2 years time.

Drop down the range and £299 feels high for a device which offers little above the current Android Wear range, and I have already made my thoughts clear on the current state of that market.

If I may be so bold, I am convinced that the Apple Watch will not be seen as a success in a couple of years. Lots will be sold at launch, but I really want to read the thoughts of users who have owned it for a month to see how useful it is. I am expected lots of 'it just gets in the way' and 'it doesn't do anything my phone doesn't' type comments from normal people, but am happy to be proved wrong.

I don't like the design of the case, I don't like the presumptuous notion that it fits in to the +$10,000 watch market and most of all the comment where Tim said 'It is the most advanced watch ever made.' 

Tim, it isn't.

And the rest

The rest of the event consisted of some promising health research work, a reduction in price for the (unfortunately same old) Apple TV and an HBO subscription package in the US. 

It all felt quite short and somewhat lacking in depth which is unusual for an Apple event. Maybe something fantastic is coming soon or just maybe the Apple Watch will be much more of a success that I am expecting, and is thus more important than I perceive. 

The fact that I feel slightly uneasy with the pricing of the watch and the aim towards more affluent customers, and that the new MacBook appears to be largely style over substance is slightly worrying for me. Apple is a very rich company and it has built those riches from normal people who can afford to enjoy the quality on offer. It won't take much to step too far away from those people and make the better Apple products feel out of reach.

Just saw your coverage on today's show...
My vision with glasses is about 20/20 but personally I never ever notice the difference in screen resolution between my MacBook Air and my work Retina Macbook Pro. "1440 x 900 is a pitifully small resolution for modern times" seems like complete hyperbole to me, though I understand some people are more sensitive to the difference.
But this new 12" thing is said to be very low-powered, and the compromises so wonky... this cartoon has never felt more true: 
It's amazing what a completely adequate fulltime computer the other two Macbook Airs have proven to me for me (though disk space can be a bit tight); I guess I need to see what's going on with the keyboard and touchpad on the new model hands-on before I judge, but with the reduced processor and continuation of "thinness at any cost" aesthetic, I wonder if it is some kind of return to the netbook aesthetic...
...and that means with iPhone 6+ squeezing the iPad below, and then this kind of 'tweener system squeezing it from above... I could see the iPad line becoming the MacMini of Apple's portable technologies; there because it makes money, does some things well, and can easily piggyback on developments on its sibling systems. (I'll be enthused about a larger iPad Pro, especially if they started catering to artsy-types, swallowed their pride, and went for native support for a stylus. Swallowing their pride isn't Apple-like, but it has happened...)
And FWIW, I agree with the opinion that while it's not outside the realm of possibility but I'd be surprised if the Apple Watch becomes a gangbuster success. Kirk.

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(09/03/2015 @ 22:37)
When you lose control  View ?

Children growing up is no easy task for any parent. When they are young, they tend to be with you all of the time or you always know where they are and who they are talking to. It's a wonderful time to look back on, but it soon comes to a close and you start to lose control. 

Your children can talk to friends through their phones and via a number of different networks, and I have always been inclined to give them their own privacy and to let them control their destinies. It's a lovely theory, but sadly it does not always play out as intended. 

We have taken necessary steps to ensure that they use technology wisely. Neither has Facebook accounts, but my daughter is allowed to use Instagram and FaceTime with her friends. My son uses Snapchat and other networks, but he has reached a point where I am not too concerned.

He is now 14 and his personality is a bit like mine. His friends can have banter with him and call him every name under the sun and he really does not care. It just washes over him because deep down he is ultra-confident in himself and appears to genuinely believe that he is above it all. Some see it as arrogance, and maybe it is, but I do not worry about him because the world is what it is to him and he appears to understand what is going on much more than should be expected of someone so young. This naturally means that we worry less about him.

My daughter, however, who is 11, is having a different problem with technology and despite our best efforts to deal with it, we are seeing first hand how much it can effect someone. She is dyslexic and as such is currently reading books slightly below her reading age. She is also quite immature in how she sees the world and thus still expects everyone to be nice all of the time. 

When her friend told her that one of the boys in her class called her a 'retard' on a WhatsApp group chat she got upset. This was followed by a discussion where one of the girls in her class was pushing others to be rude to her the next day at school. 

As you can imagine, she was very upset and more so because she has suffered problems for many weeks now and we have already spoken to her teacher about this. She missed a few days sick, which turned out to be her really not wanting to go to school, and we have done everything we can to ensure that she attends every day and to get the right support for her from her school. 

There is one girl in particular who is the main ringleader and, how do I put this, obviously has problems if you know what I mean. She called Alice over and over again via FaceTime and would not speak, and yet Alice felt the need to call her back every time. Alice does not understand what is going on really, but it got to the point where I had to block her number and email address because I will not have her bullied at home, a place where she should always be able to feel comfortable even if problems are happening at school. 

It struck me that if a child is bullied, it is all so easy for the bullies to contact them using a variety of means 24 hours a day. Even worse, I soon realised that Alice kept checking her phone to see what they were saying about her and always wanted to know what was going on. This naturally upset me because it made me realise my mistake in the past when national stories were written about children who had committed suicide. I always wondered why they let the other children do it and why they continued to be open to such abuse, but now I see that the human desire to know what people are saying about you likely outweighs every other emotion.

When my daughter is at home now she cannot be contacted by the children who are doing this, but it is a constant battle because her genuine friends tend to tell her what is going on with good intentions. I can't hide her from the world because that could be just as damaging, but it is interesting how the rise of mobile technology opens up a child to contact every hour of the day, and some of it is not positive at all. To sum up, we have little control anymore and that is an uneasy feeling for any parent who naturally wants to make their children feel safe.

We will have a meeting with the school again this week and I will explain to them that this will not continue. It is incredibly difficult for them, I understand that, but there are things they can do to contain the situation in school time. The problem, however, is that the technology people like me love so much continues to be negative for so many people who are genuinely decent. I have always defended the tech and blamed the individuals because they will always find a way to hurt others. I guess social networks and mobile tech do give them the space they need, however, to attack in a cowardly fashion.

Perhaps it is a good thing that she understands there are many nasty people in the world at an early age, but it doesn't feel that way at the moment.

... / ...

(08/03/2015 @ 18:32)
iPhone batteries: some things never change  View ?

Over the past week something strange happened in the UK, the sun came out. This naturally will lead many of us to be out of the house more often and for longer periods of time, and thus push our phone batteries more.

With this in mind I charged my iPhone 6 Plus battery to 100% yesterday morning and at 11am we set out with the kids to visit Hever Castle. It is 40 minutes away from home and so I fired up TomTom and we made our way there without charging the phone in car. 

I don't worry about battery life anymore because the 6 Plus has been brilliant in this regard so far and so I expected no problems.

Whilst out I posted a couple of tweets and snapped 25 photos. That was it. We enjoyed the visit, had a picnic and did some other things, and then returned home.

I fired up TomTom again and was shocked when I say the less then 20% battery warning message half-way home. This was at 3:30pm.

In 4.5 hours I had used the 6 Plus for 1 hour of navigation, taken 25 photos and tweeted twice for 80% of my battery to disappear just like that. The signal was decent throughout the day so that should not have caused a problem, but there is little doubt that the 6 Plus is going to be just as problematic as the 6, 5S, 5 and every other iPhone I have used in this regard.

Some things never change...

UPDATE: I will see how things progress over the next couple of weeks, but my initial thought is to move back to the iPhone 6 128GB. Can't see much point in the 6 Plus for me if the battery is going to continue to be problematic and I may as well benefit from the extra portability.

... / ...

(08/03/2015 @ 10:53)
How do the Galaxy Edges change your buying preferences? (Results)  View ?

You are more likely to consider a Samsung Galaxy now

No- 76%

Yes- 23%

Not sure- 1%

You are less likely to consider a Samsung Galaxy now due to lack of expansion and removable battery.

No- 52%

Yes- 43%

Not sure- 5%

You are more likely to consider an iPhone now.

No- 54%

Yes- 39%

Not sure- 7%

You are more likely to buy an HTC, LG or other Android device.

No- 62%

Yes- 37%

Not sure- 1%

Is the lack of removable batteries and expansion cards a bad move on Samsung's part?

No- 33%

Yes- 67%

Do you believe Samsung did this to compete with Apple?

No- 14%

Yes- 64%

Not sure- 22%

With just over 200 responses, the above results are intriguing. The ones that stand out to me are that 67% of you see the Galaxy changes as negative and that only 23% of you are more likely to buy a Galaxy now. I can see the justification for Samsung doing this, but am far from convinced that it doesn't just play into Apple's hands. A removable battery and micro-SD expansion are hugely advantageous for many people. 

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(06/03/2015 @ 19:06)
Why we should design things to be difficult to use  View ?

I love my camera. I love it even though I took terrible pictures with it for a month. I love it even though I have to adjust the aperture, worry about depth of field and annoy my family while I twiddle with its metal knobs. I love it because it makes me think: about light, colour, composition. I take fewer pictures with it than I take with my phone, but much better ones. And I

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(06/03/2015 @ 19:00)
European regulators have dropped plans to ban roaming charges...  View ?

European regulators have dropped plans to ban roaming charges and have proposed net neutrality rules allowing privileged access in some cases.
They called for an "intermediate step" that would still allow carriers to charge more to use mobiles abroad.
And net neutrality rules would bar discrimination in internet access, but allow prioritisation of some services.
The proposals were a significant departure from those first floated in 2013, observers said.
According to documents seen by the BBC, far from ending data roaming charges as was promised, the European Commission has recommended that operators be allowed to add surcharges to their domestic rates.
The proposals were said to be "transitional" and mindful of "wholesale costs" incurred by the mobile operators... More at the BBC.


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(05/03/2015 @ 16:56)
(04/03/2015 @ 21:00)
Worn on the moon  View ?

People make the same mistake regarding smart watches that people made when digital watches were introduced - you think they will render mechanical watches obsolete.
But they didn't. And neither will the smartwatch.
I love watches and I especially value the artistry, intricacy and complexity of a mechanical timepiece. You could claim I fetishise such watches if you wish, but I would prefer to say that I appreciate them. A Swiss Watch with a mechanical movement is often a quite beautiful thing and you can trace it's lineage back through generations of craftsmen. That has value. It's worth preserving and keeping alive.
Luckily, mechanical watches are still useful, purposeful and relevant. A mechanical watch is a better timepiece in the same way that a single-purpose device such as a Kindle is a better e-reader than a tablet; the focus on doing one thing well dials down the mental noise and allows us to concentrate. Even in the details, a conventional chronograph wins. Power reserve is important. My company car has a small fuel tank and I have to refill it once every two days. It just takes a few minutes, but it's an inconvenience and I've come to dislike the car. And so it is with watches - my litle mechanical Seiko winds itself through the motion of my body. It won't run out of battery and it will likely still be useful and functional after a generation of Apple Watches have been and gone. As a timepiece, it's simply better than a smartwatch, because it does less and it does it better. It has convenience on it's side. Less really is more.
Now, I've nothing against the Apple Watch and its Android contemporaries. I've got a few sports and trekking watches and various other wrist-worn tools. They're pretty cool and I like them, but they don't render traditional mechanical watches redundant. They just complement them.
I'm sure you all appreciate fine things. You may own a number of Apple products and they're often about more than just function. They're about form, too. Can't you see how a conventional wristwatch can still be functional, beautiful and contemporary?
One day when I'm feeling more monied than I am now, I intend to purchase an Omega Speedmaster Professional. I connected with the Omega brand in the 1970s as my father wore a Seamaster. Sometimes I would lift it off his bedside cabinet and wear it to school. I've got a vintage Seamaster now, just like he wore and despite being more than 30 years' old, it looks great and still performs that one crucially important task - telling the time - really well. The Speedmaster is a different proposition. It doesn't just look great, it has an amazing past - the first watch worn on the Moon. It was chosen by Nasa after exhasutive tests. It's the historicity and provenance that makes me want it - not the price. When you wrote "quite a few of those who proclaim a love of expensive mechanical watches will soon find out that they just have a love of expensive things on their wrists", it occurred to me that this was a pretty shallow evaluation. Those who really love the Speedmaster Professional, for instance, lust not after some jewel-encrusted precious metal version of that watch, but the original flight-qualified Nasa model with a plastic 'hesalite' crystal instead of sapphire.
It's cheaper, but it's more desirable, because watches are about much more than just "expensive things on your wrist". Peter M.

I doctored the above comment by Peter a little because it was a response and I thought it would make for a good standalone article. It's rare for me to agree with almost every word someone writes, but I am a watch wearing likeminded sole in this instance.

Some of you have complained about the amount of watch coverage on Lost In Mobile recently, but I will counter with the fact that the vast majority of that coverage has been about the smart variety. Whether I believe that smart watches will be successful or not, they won't be, they will be worth writing about for the next few months until someone blows us away with a remarkable new phone.

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(03/03/2015 @ 20:31)
(03/03/2015 @ 00:35)

Last import : 27/03/2015 @ 13:16

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