Android OS, the end is near!

September 30, 2013mike Comments Off on Android OS, the end is near!

I know I have written about the “forking” of android and it making a really good “core” for an OS many times, but this time I’m serious, the end is near and here’s why.

Two weeks ago I went out and got a new Moto X and let me tell you, the phone is FANTASTIC!

It is the best phone I’ve had, I hate to say it, I think it beats my Palm Pre (my previous favorite).

The Moto X is THE smartphone to buy on the market today.  It takes the popularity and customization of android and adds those little gems to it that make it a little more polished and refined like the iPhone.

I won’t go on and on about those “little” things, there are dozens and dozens of reviews of the Moto X and Skip, Assist, Camera, Miracast, the AWESOME notifications screen and all those little gems, but you can read them elsewhere.

This post is about how Android OS (the main one) is over.  Google killed it.  But how?

1. Buying Motorola. Sure that was a smart move and an AWESOME product came out of it, but now if I’m ANY other OEM I’m wondering if I’m going to be supported. (PS, buy a Moto X, just do it, it might be your last android phone, but it is the best phone on the market, period)

2. Samsung.  Samsung is going to fork (or is very prepared to fork) android since everyone else is doing it and Googotorola doesn’t love them as much anymore.  No they’re probably not going to go making too many Windows Phone 8 or Bada OS phones either, but I bet their own little “appstore” thing will be more and prominent.

3. Microsoft + Nokia.  The merger of MS with its lead manufacturer of Windows Phones (sorry Samsung again) is going to prove to be a great partnership.  If you haven’t used any of Microsoft’s “8” (8.1) products (Windows 8, RT, Phone 8, etc) you don’t know what you’re missing.  I have a Surface and they NAILED it.  Don’t listen to the naysayers about the “RT” debacle.  Just watch the Surface commercial vs. the iPad… using any Surface or “8” product is like that.  The best of both worlds.  Yeah sure the ARM processor versions can’t run OLD Windows apps, but neither can your iPad, Android Tablet or anything else, and if 100,000 apps isn’t enough for you, you’re doing it wrong.

4. Mojito.  No Amazon isn’t drunk they’re BRILLIANT as always.  Jeff Bezos and crew said, “Hey people love stupid OS names, we have the best Fire OS 3.0 Mojito”, and as a real life Fire user the Fire interface is better than “stock android” by a mile, especially for the “average user”.  Oh and that Fire Phone you’ll see that soon I’m sure.

5.  iOS 7.  Sure its just webOS years late (but so is android 4) but it took that “simple” phone (iPhone) and gave it real multitasking.  Its pretty, its updated, and hell, people would rather buy an iPhone but some wanted an updated interface.  The difference between iOS 6 and 7 is the difference between Palm OS and Palm webOS, MASSIVE, game changing… kill shot.

6. All the other android manufacturers… are pissed about this whole Motorola thing as it is “Droid” (which most were Moto’s for Verizon) is the best “name” in “android” (the Palmpilot if you will), and I can’t see Verizon using anyone but Motorola going forward… and as far as Nexus, well that program was fun while it lasted.  Do you know what the new Nexus Phone will be called?  The Moto X 2 .

7.  Google Play Store.  It took too long for Google Play Store to get onto inexpensive tablets, that “Google” control lead to this forking in the first place.

8. Cyanogenmod.  No we might never see a phone released in the US with this android fork as the default OS, but in China?  Kiss “Google Android” goodbye.

9. Ouya.  No it might not be a runaway success, but the Ouya is proof that android can look like anything and work really well and be open (to Amazon Appstore).

So there you have it, I’m calling it, “Google android” will slowly slip to become a Motorola OS, no that’s not a bad thing, it actually could be a good thing.  I feel “bad” for the other “brands” but to be truthful the OEMs need to remember what an OEM is and start working partnerships with the three phones: Apple iPhone, Google Motorola Moto X, and Microsoft Nokia Windows Phone.  And as far as that is all concerned, Samsung still makes the iPhone chip so don’t feel too bad for them.


Less expensive than the Regal… Best of

September 30, 2013mike Comments Off on Less expensive than the Regal… Best of

This morning I woke up to a message about the concession stands at the Regal and thought to myself I haven’t had a “Less Expensive than the Regal” post in a LONG TIME.

Since I had just been talking to my cohorts about bringing back the blogging, I thought I would share the internet meme…

I will of course have to get back in the swing of things and write some new ones, but I thought to kick it off I would put a sort of best of list together:

Less Expensive than the Regal:

Caribbean Cruises


The Oscars

Hollywood Video (LOL)

Valentine’s Day


Ritz Carlton

General Cinemas

Ferrari F430

Trip to the Moon








The HP Slate 7 and a new age of affordable tablets

July 8, 2013mike Comments Off on The HP Slate 7 and a new age of affordable tablets

I’ve read some reviews of the HP Slate 7 and some were less then favorable.  Well I am a user of the device not a tech reviewer and I’m typing this post from the tablet.

The HP Slate 7 changed something, it made the full function branded tablet affordable.  At $139 its less expensive then nearly every modern tablet out there, and doesn’t have the software limitations of a Kindle Fire or a non Google Play certified knock off tablet.  It also runs a nearly completely untouched version of android 4.1 unlike most smart phones, the nook and tablets from other big name manufacturers.  Its pure android and significantly less expensive then the Nexus 7.  Sure I’ve read that while the specs look just as good on paper as the Nexus 7 the Slate 7 doesn’t perform as well.  You know what?  It’s an affordable tablet benchmark processor speeds are far less important then cost.

We are finally approaching the sub-$100 tablet.  Sure there are a few offerings out there (not many) but the products are hardly consistent.  What HP has done here is finally made an unskinned android tablet from an actual brand accessible to all.  The $139 pricing will force competitors to lower there prices, and should push the Kindle Fire and nook to $99 very quickly to compete.

It was only a few years ago when $500 was the going price for a tablet, and it was pretty much iPad or nothing.  I was an early adopter of the Kindle Fire, which is a custom skinned, locked android tablet, and wrote a comparison in November of 2011 of it and the iPad2, basically my synopsis was save the extra $300.  Its crazy to think that nearly two years ago the original Kindle Fire was $199 and today a full featured, dual camera, 7 inch android 4.1 tablet is $139.  Its amazing how technology is the one thing that fights inflation!

I truly wonder how long Apple can keep their prices for the iPad and iPad mini so much higher then the android offerings, but that’s an entirely different post.

For $139 you know you’re not getting an iPad, but you’re getting a decent branded android tablet that can play the best of Google Play.  I also think the 7 inch tablet is the best size, I have a 10″ Motorola Xoom (iPad size) and think its too big for couch use.

I look forward to an era where you can nearly keep an android tablet in every room, or at least replace them every year to keep up with the rapid rate of tech growth and not break the bank.

Ouya – more than just a video game console… its a $99 computer

July 6, 2013mike Comments Off on Ouya – more than just a video game console… its a $99 computer

You’re familiar with the Ouya right?  The $99 video game console that launched via Kick starter.  Well then you’ve heard all about the Tegra 3 processor, Bluetooth controller with trackpad and Android based interface-

For reviews about the Ouya’s intended purpose (gaming) run a Google search and read those, this post will talk about all the other things you can do with a decent speced android box connected to your TV.

To start playing around with the non-game features find the Browser, its under Make > Software.  Once there I pointed it to the Amazon Appstore for Android. Why? Because the Ouya appstore is almost all games and Google Play will only work on Google approved devices.  Amazon has nearly every app (except nook reader which I got from the appstore) with just two setting changes (which appear on a prompt) I had Netflix running, Pandora, I even searched for an older Chrome apk on the web.  Nearly anything you can do on an android tablet  you can do in the Ouya.

The potential of the Ouya has yet to be unleashed.  More and more games come out each day, and of course resourceful tinkerers can use it to replace a Roku, Google TV, Apple TV, even their PC (did I mention I installed Documents to Go).  It has been said we are entering the Post PC age and as I type this article on my android tablet and fiddle with the Ouya features I realize we’re just about there.

The first car of the 21st Century

April 24, 2012mike 1 Comment »

A few short weeks back I bought what has been called “the first car of the 21st Century” and at the same time “the symbol of socialism”, a 2012 Chevrolet Volt.

The car won the 2011 MotorTrend car of the year, was designed and built in America and represents the greatest accomplishment in automotive technology since Henry Ford invented the assembly line.

It has become a symbol of socialism in the 2012 election, but yet it has been in development for years and is assisted by Bush tax credits.

I am proud of my “car of the future” a truly practical electric car that can also be your only car (though its not my only car 😉 ).

I am conservative and I Volt!