Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

8 Articles Tagged with “Android”

  1. New phone who dis?

    I have a new phone for the first time in nearly 4 years. Thoughts on upgrading and a cursory review.

    Almost 4 years ago, I upgraded from my first smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, to a Nexus 5, then Google’s flagship Android phone with a nice stock Android experience. Now I’ve returned to the Samsung fold with a Galaxy S9.

    I loved my Nexus 5. It was such a great piece of hardware, and while it had its shortcomings (the camera wasn’t great), there was so much to like about it. I miss the soft backing! I wish I could have at least made it to 4 years.

    Alas, it was time. My Nexus 5 hadn’t received a security update in over a year. In Internet time, that’s a lifetime. My phone was slow, apps kept freezing or crashing or not receiving updates. I managed to go 3 years without scratching the phone despite eschewing a case—and then in the past year, I managed to crack the bottom portion of the screen quite badly.

    The last straw came a couple weeks ago. I was preparing to go to Montreal for a vacation. My phone was getting on my nerves; in particular, sending texts was slow and unreliable. And my carrier had the Galaxy S9, which I’d had…

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  2. Is this the future? I like it

    Last time … on Ben’s blog! I got a Nexus 5.

    I spent most of that post rambling about why I got a new phone, why I chose the Nexus 5, and my initial reactions to unboxing the phone. Now I’ll go into more depth regarding my thoughts on the Nexus’ hardware and the software—Android 5.0, codenamed Lollipop. A lot of this will be framed in terms of comparing Hadamard, my new phone, to Noether, the old one.

    Samsung Captivate and Nexus 5 side by side

    Overall Hardware

    When the Samsung Captivate first came out, it was praised as being one of the most advanced phones of the time. (That alone says volumes about how fast smartphone technology improved during the past three years.) Here’s a snippet from the Samsung Captivate forum on XDA Developers:

    The Samsung Captivate is the AT&T specific version of Samsung's Galaxy S. Released in July 2010, the device sports a 4.0" WVGA Super AMOLED display, driven by a PowerVR GPU, which was the fastest graphics processor available in any smartphone at the time of its release. The Captivate is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, with 512MB RAM and 16GB storage, along with a microSD

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  3. New phone: Nexus 5

    I gave in and bought a new phone last week. It arrived on Tuesday.

    Specifically, I bought a 32 GB black Nexus 5 from the Google Play Store.

    Nexus 5 box

    My former (and first) smartphone was a Samsung Galaxy Captivate (that is, the original Galaxy S phone). I don’t think it ever received an update beyond Android 2.2—I don’t know, though, because I eventually grew brave enough to flash CyanogenMod to it, freeing me from the tyranny of TouchWiz, and there was much rejoicing. Noether (I name all my devices after dead mathematicians), has been an admirable companion for four years. I feel bad that I’m replacing it before it has totally stopped functioning. But it’s kind of like my car.

    I’m currently driving my dad’s 1996 Mazda Protege. It’s a great car, and it drives very well—but it’s nearly 20 years old, and Canadian winters and Thunder Bay roads have been tough on it. When my dad first bought his Mazda 3 a few years ago, I compared its handling and computerized steering unfavourably to the Protege. Now the tables are slowly but inexorably turning: the Protege still drives, but it seems like every week there is a new fault or…

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  4. I kind of want a tablet--in 3 years

    I have to say, I'm experiencing some strong technology lust for the new wave of Android 3.0 tablets, beginning with the Motorola XOOM, that are hitting the market. Future Shop's tech blog has posted some video reviews by rgbfilter that show off the XOOM, and there's a part of me that's saying, "Want. Want. Want." It's exciting to see competitors for the iPad running the first version of Android that's "optimized for tablets," and along with the release of the BlackBerry PlayBook, the tablet market is starting to get very interesting.

    I have been somewhat sceptical of the niche tablets fill since the release of the original iPad. In retrospect, I think that was as much a reaction against the hype surrounding the iPad itself than any qualified evaluation of tablets in general. The idea that the iPad is a "game-changer" (whatever that means) was silly to me; yes, it's a significant new product, but tablets are still in their infancy. They haven't even started teething yet.

    I've had my Samsung Galaxy S for about six months now, and I love it. This experience with an Android smartphone, and some good observations regarding the utility of tablets, such as

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  5. Android Rocks My World, Part 1: Gmail, Twitter, and social networking

    Back in December, I mentioned that I got a new phone, my first smartphone. This is the first in a hopefully lengthy series of blog posts chronicling my passionated love affair with my Android phone and how it is changing my behaviour and habits. Previously, in a sort of prelude, I discussed Swype and how I'm attempting to get used to it as a superior form of text input on a mobile device. Today I'll cover the basics: email, social networking, and instant messaging.

    Being able to read and send emails on the go was my primary reason for getting a smartphone. I do not phone many people, but I do send a lot of email; it's the primary way I communicate with my dad, when he's at work, with my profs, and with some of my friends. Although Lakehead is finally beginning to roll out WiFi around the campus, it's nice to have a phone with a data plan that lets me check my email wherever I want. Plus, I find it makes me slightly more productive.

    I have trouble switching off, in that it makes me tempted to check if I have new email every five minutes.…

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  6. Swype: The compromise between QWERTY familiarity and touchscreen elegance

    Back in grade four, something miraculous happened. Our class at Isabella Street School descended down to the library, which was nestled in one corner of the unappealing, rather dingy cement and concrete basement. I already loved the library, and reading in general, by that time. It was through this library that I devoured those Hardy Boys books that my dad did not have, read my way through Nancy Drew, had my first experiences with Tolkien and Lewis and, in later years, Agatha Christie. There were several shelves full of colourful books on mythology when I went through that phase, and even a pop-up book about Star Trek, a copy of which I bought for $10 on Abebooks during a bout of nostalgia in the summer, which has not actually arrived yet, and now it occurs to me I should probably ask someone about that....

    But I digress. On that fateful day, my grade four class was not there to browse the bookshelves and sit at our octagonal tables in chairs now much too small for me. No, we instead turned left at the doors to populate the "computer lab." This must have been 1998 or 1999, so the…

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  7. I have an Android phone!

    As I have mentioned in the past, I am a fan of Android, Google's operating system for smartphones. I'm a fan without having ever owned a smartphone, let alone an Android phone. As of last week, my friends, that has all changed.

    My carrier, TbayTel, recently signed a deal with Big Bad Teleco Rogers, in which TbayTel takes over all of the Rogers customer and infrastructure in the area, and everyone gets access to HSPA phones and a 3G network. The upshot of this, as it relates to me, is that TbayTel now has a good many more smartphones, including several running Android. Cue the drooling.

    My Samsung Galaxy S, displaying the home screen with app icons and a TARDIS wallpaper

    Last Monday, my father and I braved the crazy lineup at the store to purchase me a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, which was $150 with a three-year contract. It is running Android 2.1, Eclair, and so far it is awesome.

    I debated getting a new phone for all of three hours when I heard the news. My old phone, which was my first phone, was an LG 6200. It worked fine, aside from some interesting glitches with the contact management, but there were two drawbacks: firstly, I had no way of connecting it…

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  8. Let me get this straight: time goes forward?

    I intended to post this two days ago, but somehow never got around to it. You know you need to blog more when your grandparents remark on your inactivity. So let's do this!

    The past few weeks have been, for the most part, uneventful (and that's good). I worked a bit more than I would like, but there's not much to be done. I've tried to use all the free time I have as wisely as possible, mostly reading. Now that the snow is gone--even though the frost warnings are not--I like to sit outside the front of the house on the nice days.

    Having finished playing Mass Effect a second time, I tried playing Tomb Raider: Anniversary again. Unfortunately, the controls continued to frustrate me as I fell back into the rythym of "No, Lara, jump that way--oh, and you died." So I tried Tomb Raider: Legend instead. While it's the same engine, the levels are shorter and more varied, so I'm less frustrated with it.

    I'm greatly anticipating Mass Effect 2, and a few days ago I saw the trailer for Assassin's Creed 2. I enjoyed the first Assassin's Creed, although the story was somewhat…

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