Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blackberry Playbook

Like a lot of people, when I heard the news of the massive price slash RIM was going to bring onto the Playbook, I got caught up in the excitement and decided to attempt to purchase one. The first few places were failures, sold out no how many will come in with the next shipment. I even went and got a raincheck but was told there were more of them then what they were expecting in the next few weeks. The message was simple, first come, first served. Then I tried Staples and discovered they had a pre-purchase plan, you put your money down and you will be guaranteed a copy. So taking the opportunity, I did that and was promised one within a week. Two days later I got a phone call, and a day after that I got my copy. This was my first serious tablet, yeah I did purchase one of those Chinese Android tablet- its not that bad an experience but you can tell it was made with inferior parts. I opened up the box, and its a cool box too, by the way, and held it with respect and awe.
It is a lovely little device. It took me a few minutes but I got the gist of the gestures and made a few quick look around on the various apps and programs pre-loaded. I mean it has a NFB of Canada app! What is that?? Any time I want I can watch some great NFB documentaries, for example. It also comes with Kobo as the ebook reader, so I can do some reading. What else about it? Well, I know there's already been a lot of reviews out there about the Playbook, most of them tend to be negative. I do sometime wonders if this whole 'iPad Killer' is a bit overdone. Listen the IPad is the standard, the gold standard of tablets if you will. It is still the best tablet out there and that is our reality. However let me say this, perhaps the best response by those companies making tablets is to simply say iPad is the best and they are not in competition. Blackberry has been hammered by a lot of reviewers and I understand some of the concerns, the odd button set-up, the overall unfinished feel, the lack of apps. I wondered about the latter, but now I can comprehend the problem; apps are good. A year or so ago I wouldn't have said that but after having the IPod Touch I get the importance of apps. So, the Playbook, what about it? Here is my quick review: the screen and multi-media is amazing. To watch some High Def video on a 7 inch screen is amazing and the sound, without headphones is very good. It's better then some laptop speakers I could talk about. Also the two cameras are good. It seems everything has to have a camera and so why not tablets. I believe 7" is about the limit of dorkness when it comes to taking a photograph on a tablet. Taking a picture witha 10" or more just looks dumb. The body of the tablet- the size is good, the rubberized back feels secure- I like. Screen responsiveness- also good. It is very fast and responsive to the gestures. Yes the glass is a fingerprint magnet, but that's why they include a cleaning cloth.
Problems: apps. 'Nuff said. Perhaps a result of the sale, it may spur developers to get moving and get some apps pushed out there. I comprehend the development of a Blackberry Apps World- but I hope it doesn't restrict people. I know Apple touts its' few hundred thousand, but how many fart making apps does a person really need? The native calendar and mail. I would care more for the former then the latter. I can access my gmail account easy but I could really used a calendar. I do plan to use it in place of my Dell Axim which one day will go the way of all flesh and so a full featured calendar would be very important. What else can I say, well I think I will now investigate purchasing a Blackberry for my next phone. I mean I should immerse myself in the environment. My overall thoughts? Positive. Am I glad I purchased it? Yes I am. Will I suffer from iPad envy? Not now. Will I become a Blackberry fanboy? There is always that danger. The price is right, the device is right, go and make the purchase.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Instagram: I Understand

I've been hearing about it for a few years, this whole app thing called Instagram. Since at the time I had a 2nd generation Ipod Touch, it really wasn't a big concern for me, since I didn't have a camera and since its was only an iPhone app, it was 'who cares'. I know it was talked about on Net@Nite a few years ago, I'm certain Leo raved about it, he was in his 'rave about everything Apple' stage of life. I wasn't sure about it, in fact I wasn't sure about the 4th gen Ipod Touch, since the camera wasn't supposed to be all that good.

Then I bought the 4th generation. I should have realized I was going to like everything about it. I had first thought I wouldn't use the camera, since I had one and also my cellphone had a 2Meg Camera, which I use a great deal in my day to day picture taking time.

Took this one today, I enjoy the fact that when the mood strikes and I see something great, a quick photograph and then some editing can do wonders.

With all this, why should I bother with the Touch. Then I bought one. All of a sudden I had another camera and I had to use it. I got a number of photo editing apps, such as befunky, which I've blogged about in the past.

However, this Instagram thing was out there and I debated. Eventually I downloaded the app. I tried it and I am hooked. You knew I would have been anyways. I think its great. Like all things in this Web 2.0 Social Media/Network world we live in, its social. I take a photograph, do some editing and post it. The social part I discovered comes from following others and having them follow you.

I started to take photographs:

And more photographs and , you get the idea.

I also found sites that help with the experience. A good place is Inkstagram, where the feeds for myself and those I follow are posted, so I can go through them all. A good way to keep in touch with all those people and see the latest works. Webstagram is another one. From that one I learned about Stickgram, instagram photographs transformed in fridge magnets, who doesn't need fridge magents?

So from a not-sure camera, to one that makes artwork and fridge magnets. You know you got to love it and try it.