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    "Yes, we scan."

    Barack Obama
    2013/06/30, USA

    Here my little rant and praise place, where the daily experiences of my programming work are expressed. I publish them with the idea that others might find it useful and benefit from it.

    Tag <XBMC>

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    2013/09/02
    My Cellphones & Smartphone (2010-2013)
    last edited 2014/07/13 06:34 (*)

    Until recently I wasn't interested in smartphones and used cellphones only to call people and not really use otherwise as my desktop system gave me sufficient possibilities to communicate and work online - there was no reason for me to be online while being underway. Yet, finally I also purchased a smartphone, an used Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-I9100) with Android 4.1.2 on an online auction site for CHF 230 (~190 Euro). So, I arrived at the smartphone age as well - and I am impressed just after a few days using it:


    Cellphones 2010, 2011 Samsung E2100B and GT-S5320, and Smartphone 2013 Galaxy S2 GT-I9100

    Advantages / Benefits

    • light and handy device, quite thin with apprx. 10mm with an additional hard plastic shell
    • I navigate information faster than on the desktop (surprising)
    • the overall user interface and experience is more intuitive than the desktop (Win7 or MacOS-X, or KDE/GNOME).
    • applications or apps are easy to install and deinstall; either via the smartphone itself or the desktop
    • syncing between smartphone and desktop is simple: G+ photos, Dropbox and BittorrentSync I use right now, and likely go with BittorrentSync: I take a photo or screenshot and it gets synced on my main desktop and/or server right away - no more copy or transfer by hand
    • notification overview is great, apps, emails and service notifications are summarized
    • found several options of off-line maps and for my bicycle travelings
    • GPS tagging of my photos, a feature which was most wanted to document my travelings better (e.g. automatically assign village names to photos)

    Disadvantages / Annoying

    • battery life is not so great with about 5-6 hours (not even a day) with heavy usage (WiFi, GPS but not gaming); I getting a new 1600mAh battery and additionally a 3500mAh extra battery (update follows)
    • requires WiFi nearby as cellular data is still expensive and limited, average use per day is about 200-500MB to my own surprise

    Overall

    I still use the desktop to write emails, but with the Swype keyboard (already installed on the Galaxy S2) I slowly get more used to type on the smartphone. Viewing news (RSS/FB/G+) or photos I already prefer the smartphone as swiping up, down or left and right is faster than most photo galleries on the desktop with keyboard and mouse - you realize how often you switch between keyboard and mouse and with the smartphone you use your thumb to navigate; this leads to the idea to have a touchscreen desktop system, larger than a mobile tablet.

    Application Examples

    Google+
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Google Maps
    SSH
    4th of 7 Homepage
    Google Books not yet in Switzerland (2013/09)
    Google Music available in Switzerland (2013/09)

    Remote Control

    XBMC on Android

    Benchmarks

    Problems

    After a few weeks following problems I discovered:

    • updating apps (automatically or manually approved) + connecting the headphone and start radio caused two freezes and actual take out of battery to restart the device
    • updating apps give error of insufficient memory, yet, there is sufficient memory - reboot device, and update app succeeds
    • Google Play (Google's app store): search for an app, find it, often the input field with prior entered terms re-appear plus the keyboard filling up the entire screen, unable to get rid of both (pushing button to Home)
    • unclear state of apps when leaving the app; I do not know whether an app keeps running or not, e.g. I stream a radio broadcast, and while listening I like to surf the net, sometimes the audio stream remains while surfing the net, sometimes it stops.
    • music uploaded to the phone is not seen by Music Player, needs a reboot to rescan the 2nd SD card where the music is stored on.

    Future Innovation: Gestures

    Needless to say, the recent years the desktop innovation has stalled, the keyboard, mouse and screen combo was set; the useability was mediocre, and Linux Desktop until recently was a let down.

    I have experimented with Kinect and gesture recognition for a touchless user interface for some contract work I did and found it interesting, yet, Kinect was a bit slow to recognize gestures accurately for a proper user interface interaction and a few times even interpreted gestures wrongly - not mature enough I would say, for gaming Kinect seems to be sufficient.



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