What's LG doing? Besides making panels for Apple?

So I'm a huge phone geek since my first smart phone Nokia 3650. Through the Windows Mobile 6 days when HTC was an oem making phones for Cingular. And now I'm on an LG phone again. I love my old Nexus 4 and now the LG G Flex 2. But now looking for my next phone, I'm in a predicament. I would love to stick with LG and get a G Flex 3. But it looks like LG will not continue with the Flex line. Since the Flex 2's release over a year ago, there's still no rumor or signs of the G Flex 3. Just like Samsung, LG makes wonderful AMOLED for their tv and phone, until now.

I was doing my research recently and noticed that the last high end flagship phones released by LG has LCD instead of LED. What's going on with LG? Is there a shortage of supply? Why is the V10 and G5 both missing AMOLED? Do I have to leave my beloved Flex 2 and go to Samsung again? I recon LG is making panels for the next iPhone and that's why they've removed LED displays from their current lineup.  With poor built quality and average performance, I really have to take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. A phone to my surprise, has yet to have an negative review that I have come across online.

 

 

The X-Files: Then and Now

The X-Files has to be one of the most prolific television series of my childhood.  Watching it with my family Sunday evenings and when we can't make it, we record it on our VCR and fast forward though the commercials.  As someone who was always into technology and science, it was a guilty pleasure of mine to watch this show about UFOs and aliens.
It was so nostalgic to see David and Gillian after so long.  Their chemistry is still there obviously. Even though they're both a little bit older. Then again I have aged as well as the technology that has surrounded the characters. There were a few jokes about Uber and using cellphones and doing Google searches.  
What I found most intriguing is how I consume the show now. With a new born, my schedule is no longer as free or flexible as it used to be. So now I find myself DVRing the show and watching it when I have a few moment to spare, fast forwarding though all the commercial. I guess some things never change.

Apple's Trojan Pencil

Hola, haven't blogged in a while. Today is as good as any other day to start again thanks to Apple's fall 2015 keynote. 
Really quick I'm gonna write two sentence about what was announced. 
Apple announced updates to Apple Watch and Apple TV as well as updated iPhone 6 S and 6 S plus. The iPad Pro finally arrives with a Smart Keyboard cover and an Apple Pencil
Which leads to my theory that the Apple Pencil is the one that will drive sales and kick ass this holiday season.  

As a daily iPad user and someone who no longer reach for the desktop or laptop when I want to browse the web at home. I'm very excited about getting an official Apple stylus so I can draw and edit my photos like a pro~
...oh wait.. what do you mean the Apple Pencil only works with the iPad Pro... so I have to buy an iPad Pro to use the Pencil.. 

So the cost of Pencil is essentially 799 + 99 = 898 +ax

I do have to give props to Tim Cook on execution of the Smart keyboard cover and the Pencil. The price of the top of the line iPad Pro with the cover and stylus adds up to pretty much a Surface Pro 3 with the same hardware equipped.  

Personally, even though the Surface Pro is a better value and a real computer, I would still have to choose the iPad Pro over the tablet computer because ultimately Apple still wins when it comes to hardware design.  Majority of my time on a computer is spent in a browser so the fact that the iPad Pro is not a real computer or laptop replacement is not really the ultimate deciding factor on my purchase.  

I know the iPad Pro will succeed with the help of doubling the screen real estate and the addition of well designed hardware accessories.  

I can't wait to sharpen my Pencil.  


 

Why did Meerkat cross the street?

So I can run it over with my car. Over, and over again. 

Now that we've gotten out of the way how much I adore Meerkat, lets take a look at this latest fad on Twitter.  Twitter, oh twitter. Poor victim of API rape. First they encourage all developers to make their own Twitter app, then they limit the API calls and force developers to pay for users. 
Now they're being used by Meerkat to spread this plague of Dutch underground rodent.

There are several reasons why I painted my car red with the kat.  Here's a few off the top of my list.

iOS only.
Lets play Lazy Developers and create this "official" "unofficial" app for Android. It's totally getting raped in the Play Store. So they got what they deserved. 

The iPhone Effect.
Just like Steve Jobs and the iPhone, Meerkat was the company that invented moving pictures and mobile video.  Before Meerkat, people were unable to share portrait video from their mobile telephones.  Now with the help of Meerkat, they can. How did people live with themselves before Meerkat? I have no answer for that. 

Twitter.
Unable to figure out a creative way to distribute spam, they turn to Twitter. 
Good thing Twitter is the dirty diaper of the Internet so I don't have to worry about getting spammed by posts about how my favorite person is streaming themselves breathing.

The Snapchat Model.
Lets create free platform where people can use the service for free. Get as many users on it as possible and we can get a really ballooned evaluation from the Silicon Valley. Pat themselves on the back of their furry head and "try" to figure out a way to monetize their furry little paws. 
Lets tell the users that the moving photographs they stream are "Live" only and is not kept anywhere on the internet.  After a few months, news will break about how the servers were hacked and all the video streamed were found stored archived on the server.  Of course the videos are anonymous so it was okay that the footage were taken.  
Here's my prediction of the Meerkat evaluation: 5 billion dollars. Refuse to sell to Twitter after evaluation. 

Hi Jimmy Fallon.

I can't wait for Beaver, the audio broadcasting app that lets you send voice live a cross the internet. 

 

just driving down the street

just driving down the street

fitbit is doing it wrong...

As a tech enthusiast, I like to follow stories and companies on their strategy and product development.  It is exciting to see a new company grow and at the same time its painful to see a company take the wrong turn and jump off a cliff.  You know you're doing it wrong when you have to change your name from RIM to BlackBerry.  With the growth of mobile phones, it has really taken place of the personal computer. Think about the one computing device that you can not go a day without using, you know it's your mobile device.  Now that smart mobile phones have reached a market saturation, we see the next growth market in mobile computing, the wearables.

Sony was one of the first to market with their Sony LiveView in 2010 which nobody bought. Yet it was important enough to them that now we're waiting on the 5th generation (counting the original LiveView) of this secondary display of a beautiful failure.

Fitbit is one of those tech companies that popped out of San Francisco and made a splash with their tiny affordable activity monitor clip-on-your-bra-and-forget-about-it devices.  They were under $100 and everyone got one and put it on their body. And then they evolved it into a cool OLED device with a watch band which is still cool and within reasonable price range.  Everything was well until this past week when they jumped the shark and actually released their most expensive and feature-packed Fitbit Surge.  Cramming all the hardware and feature possible into a rubber band, fitbit has really over reached into Garmin territory and went up face to face against Android Wear watches. At $249.95,  I have the the option to buy any of the Android Wear watches available from moto360 to LG G Watch R.  Since Fitbit will not be compatible with Apple HealthKit, I would expect most iPhone users to wait for their Apple Watch to go on sale first quarter of 2015.  

I understand the need for Fitbit to step up their game and go up against Google and Apple but I really hate to think that they're fighting a losing fight and they almost need to stick to their own game and make sure they can hold on and grow the fitness market that is not the smart watch market dominated by Pebble and Android watches. 

 

 

We can auto-correct humanity

I know people say that having an Android Wear device (G Glass, Watches) make you "hyper-connected", But what I've noticed in the past 2 weeks wearing the watch is that it has helped with my dependency to constantly checking my phone for notifications and updates. If it's not the messages that I get from the people who matter to me, and pushed to my watch, I don't check my phone.
I say we leave our phones in our pockets and bags and purses, and only check our watch when something really important comes up. 

The newest in Wi-Fi-cation of things

I'm sure you've read all the home automation stories starting from back in the day when Bill Gates gave a tour of his home and everything is computer controlled.  Fast forward a few years, we're finally reaching the point of real home automation.  Now that smart phone saturation has reached over 50% in the US, it's the perfect time for home automation to happen.  We already have Wi-Fi enabled scales, fridge, power switches, and more. With more and more products coming to market, products like BloomSky enters the market to help gather more information about your home.  The rise of fitness bands and watches has shown that there is a large consumer market in not only fitness tracking, but the quantification of data gathered from our daily lives.  Personal weather station like BloomSky will help track the weather. Not only quantitively, but also visually with the built in camera.  The idea behind hyperlocal and crowd-sourced data is a great one and if executed well, will bring great benefits for everyone locally and eventually nationally.  With the fast growth of mobile computing and personal data connection, these devices will create a new lifestyle and new ways for technology to help us become more productive with our daily routines. 

 

 

 

WhatsApp?

Personally, the news cycle in the tech world has been slow. Nothing breaking or major has happened this year since Apple hasn't announced anything just yet.  To my surprise, Facebook was the first one in my opinion to make a splash in the tech news cycle first quarter of 2014 with their acquisition of WhatsApp Inc on 2/19/2014.  Facebook paid 16 billion in stock and cash for the company and will absorb it completely according to its news blog.  

Facebook, unlike most people in America, is thinking globally and making acquisition not only to grow the company globally, but also to absorb it's biggest competitor in mobile messaging. With over 450 million active users, WhatsApp surpassed Facebook Messenger late last year in number of active users.  Considering that Facebook already has the same technology, if not better than WhatsApp, this move is clearly made to eliminate the enemy and increase its own user base. An effective move demonstrated by it's acquisition of Instagram on 4/9/2012. 

As an active Facebook user, I'm quite excited about the acquisition of WhatsApp. Not only does this signify and demonstrate the growth of Facebook globally. It also shows that there are other companies out there actively competing and invading Facebook's space.  The results might not be what WhatsApp and Instagram wants, but it's certainly the right move by Facebook.  Who's next?

For a short discussion on the WhatsApp Facebook merger, check out Sarah Lane on her new show Tech News 2Night.

CES 2014 part 1

Sarah Lane said it best when she called CES "Car Electronic Show" on Tech News Today.

The overwhelming demand and interest for auto manufactures to bring and show off their tech at CES has been on the rise since Ford kicked things off a few years back with their Microsoft powered SYNC system for their cars. 

Now that every car maker has a self parking car, they've moved on to self driving and now BMW pushes the limit with their self drifting prototype system. Check out the video below produced by The Verge

See you later..

GTR.jpg

I'm never good at saying goodbyes so I will just say that I will see you later.
There's always a special connection among people who are passionate about the same subject. A great example is when you see two passing motorcycle riders who ride pass each other and gives a nod or a wave.  Same thing applies to those of us who loves four wheels.  I will never forget the first time I saw your R34 at Hot Import Nights in San Mateo way back in 2002? (my memory is foggy)  Never got a chance to meet you and tell you how much your fans appreciate all you do for us on and off the screen.  
Once you're a fan of Paul you will always be a fan. 

See you later Paul.

coin

coin, the ONLY credit card replacement that, does a great job to take your money up front and do not give you a product. Nobody has a review unit of it. And everyone and their mother is freaking out. 

Nobody should be giving their money away to spend more money.

My biggest problem with coin is that, it's suppose to be a credit card replacement... and they called it "COIN!"  Seriously. COIN. wtf. 

A (HTC) First for me

Transient

You know that feeling you get when you try something for the first time. That anticipation and excitement that this could be the most awesome thing you have ever held in your hand ever!  That was how I felt about the HTC First.  Kind of. 

The First is the first mid-range Android based phone that has captured my attention and also have captured the hearts of other online editors such as Nilay Patel and Myriam Joire.  Personally I believe it has something to do with the fact that I picked up the phone with minimal expectations and slight hesitation and animosity against Facebook taking over the phone entirely.  I've used various 3rd party launcher and lock screen and by far Facebook Home is the most polished of them all. Granted, Facebook Home was developed by a team at Facebook.  Facebook Home is the first real innovative 3rd party that has made significant changes and change the way that you interact with your phone and their product.  Keep in mind that I'm by no means discounting HTC's continual effort in making their Sense UI stand out from the millions of Android phones. The new Blink Feed by HTC is a great clone of Flipboard which is one of the most refreshing way to browse your online news and social feed.  But I digress.

Facebook Home makes an effective strike at how to get users to get to and interact with Facebook as fast and soon as the display is turned on.  Littering your lock screen with everything you'd usually get in your news feed.  Within the first hour of using the phone, I've noticed that it was about time for me to go and clean up my Facebook.  I went and hid a few people's news stream.  If anything, Facebook Home has taught me how to make my Facebook more efficient. And also reminded me that everyone and their parents and pets are on Facebook and that ultimately Facebook has become TBTF. 

The cherry on top of the Home is the most "fun" feature of Home, also available as a stand alone feature in Facebook Messenger, Chat Heads. It's basically Messenger overlay over almost all apps that you can run on your phone so you can read and reply to messages without having to quit.  The overlay is simple, just a circle with the person's profile photo in the middle. You can even use Messenger as your default SMS  app. But this doesn't work on all phone as I tried to do it on the HTC One and the feature was missing from the menu. 

With all the pros and cons I've listed. Its unfortunate that the First did not meet a warm welcome in the US and will no longer be sold here and over sea release has been put on hold.

Good job HTC! Can't wait to see the HTC one pure Android. :)

HTC's One last 1UP

Dear HTC, You know I love you and that I have an affinity toward your brand as we're both made from the same country. I've had Windows Mobile phones that was made by you. Android phones (of the ginger variety) made by you. And I'm even currently double-fisting with Android and your awesome 8x. So you can only imagine how excited I was to find out about your announcement had moved up ahead of Mobile World Congress 2013. There were leaks all over the place weeks prior to the announcement and that just added more fuel to my eternal flame for your hardware. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard after the announcement yesterday that you've decided to do something about your branding and stick with the One and maybe that's because you finally figured out that you can't keep on giving your phones whatever stripper names Verizon wants you to paste on your phone. So kudos to making the bastard child of J Butterfly the DNA and keeping the One the one that's untainted by big red. The New One looks great with all the hardware specs to back it up. Newest Snapdragon 600, 4.7" 1080p display, all aluminum uni-body construction, stereo Beats audio, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage with free Dropbox storage, super wide front facing 2.1 MP camera, rear facing UP camera... oh wait... that must be a typo... they meant MegaPixel, not UltraPixel. You rebranded HTC Sense with BlinkFeed, Zoe, and BoomSound. That's great since we're all getting tired of trying to make sense of what you're trying to do with Sense... which doesn't make any sense with Jelly Bean being so clean.. you don't need a skin on top of that bean.. Yes we all love Flipboard but that doesn't mean we want our phone to be Flipboard all the time... _ Okay so I won't worry about your new Sense 5.. but seriously what is UltraPixel? I understand that it captures light 300% better than MegaPixels...? Did I read that right? uhh you already have f/2.0 on your current generation of cameras and you do a great job with the dedicated camera processing chip for photography.. But seriously how many MegaPixel is a UltraPixel??? I don't know what you told the Verge but they said its 4 MegaPixel... That's really not enough pixels for me.. and I'm not known to be a pixel counter or anything like that.. but for a regular consumer, the bigger number is better.. unless you're trying to tell me that 1 UltraPixel = 8 MegaPixel.. in that case that would be really cool... But since you neglected to mention how many UltraPixel the rear facing camera has, I'm just going to make an educated guess that it's 1UP.... simply because 1UP has a good ring to my eyes... I feel some sort of nostalgia toward 1UP.. We're so focused on the 1UP that we forgot the phone has built in O.I.S... this would make the One the first one to have optical image stabilization in an Android phone. That's kind of a big deal if you ask me. But there's no mentions of O.I.S. in the press release... Lets quickly blow through the other cool new feature that the One carries. HTC Zoe: 3 second long animated GIF a la Nokia's Cinemagraph. HTC BoomSound: dual front facing speakers on the top and bottom of the phone. Rebranded Beats Audio. HTC Sense TV: best way for carriers to sell you ridiculous amount for your mobile bandwidth. With the exception of Sprint 4G LTE because it doesn't exist and you can leave your phone downloading for 30 days straight and it'll never hit 5GB. HTC BlinkFeed: Flipboard on your home screen, but only with these partners: HTC claims all of AOL media properties, and more than 1400 media sources like ESPN, MTV, Vice Media, CoolHunting, Reuters, and more. I'm hopeful and I know that end game is coming for HTC. This One has to be HTC's one to defeat the competition and rule the Galaxy!

LG Google Nexus 4

Some say first impressions are important, and they're definitely right.  This was my first encounter with LG and never owned one personally before. I've set my expectations accordingly to the price of the phone. Coming in at $299 for 8 GB and $349 for 16 GB, my expectations were not as high as it was when I tried the Nokia Lumia 920, which comes in at $450 or $599 depending where you buy it. 

LG has never been known for their build quality so I was pleasantly surprised when I un boxed my Nexus. The phone is glass on both surfaces and soft rubber textures along the edges.  The display comes in at 4.7" and at 720p, gives an average 320 ppi beneath the Corning Gorilla Glass II.  Several reviews I've read and seen complained about the lack of saturation when viewing the display.  It definitely is not as saturated as Samsung's AMOLED and Super AMOLED phones but it's not too bad.  The phone is perfectly weighted and feels great in the head. But just like most phone owners, I got a case for the phone as soon as I could to protect the glass back as well as the chromed bezel from scratches and dents.  There are only 2 buttons on the phone, volume toggle and power button across from each other on the left and right side. 3.5 mm jack on top and micro USB charging port on the bottom.  A couple attention to detail that delighted me in the design of the phone are 2 screws located on the bottom of the phone. They gave the phone even more industrial / iPhone 4S esque feel.  Black of the phone has a slit of speaker grill on the bottom right and upper left is the 8mp camera with LED flash below that. Opposite of that is the 1.3 mp camera which is adequate for selfies and hair checking before a meeting.  Beneath the glass back is a layer of design that can only be described as jewel like and carbon fiber-ish. It looked too fashionable in photographs but during day to day use, it's very understated and can only be seen clearly under direct light. 

Overall the design of the whole phone is quite pleasant and it's really a shame that most Nexus 4 owners, including myself, puts a case on the phone to protect it from drops. The rubber edges of the phone provides the user with sufficient grip to minimize phone slippage accidents while holding the phone.  I got the LG made Nexus 4 bumper and it works just like the iPhone 4 /4S bumper and has additional hardware to the existing buttons. 

Overall, the phone is a buy. There's no doubt that it is the definitive Android phone currently available.

Below is the video review I shot for twit.tv/byb