A Blackberry User Considers Android

I’ve been a loyal Blackberry user  for about four years. RIM not long ago released the Blackberry Torch to modest fanfare in the US. While Jim Courtney tells me that it’s worth a look, it’s only offered by AT&T, which makes it a non-starter for me.

In contrast, today marks the official launch of the G2 on T-Mobile. With it’s landscape mode keyboard the G2 just might be the handset that entices me to make the leap to Android. I’m going to try and lay hands on one this evening. Further, my wife wants a new handset as well. We might be in the market for a pair of handsets.

This comes at an interesting time as Counterpath just this week announced the pending release of Bria For Android. Todd Carothers’ blog has something to say about this release. The availability of a solid SIP client on Android is a welcome thing, although I’ve heard good things about SIPDroid. It’s nice to have options.

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The Sprint 3G Mifi: One Year Later

It’s just over a year ago that I took the plunge and ordered a Sprint 3G Mifi. It was move inspired by a tweet from Andy Abramson pointing out a deal on Amazon.com. The device was free with a two year contract at $59.95/month.

I’ve put the device to good use over the course of the year. It’s been very handy indeed. However, I suspect that we shall part company shortly.

I really don’t have any complaints about the Sprint 3G service. It’s been pretty good. There have been a few places where the Mifi could only connect at 1xRTT, but I’ve usually had decent 3G data rates in the locations where I tend to travel.

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FaceTime Over 3G….Kinda

iPhone 4 with mocked up image on-screenThis past week I worked a few days with our west coast salesman who is the proud owner of a brand new iPhone 4. A long time user of the iPhone 3 GS, he’s thus far very happy with iPhone 4. Both he and his wife carry new iPhones.

One of the things that they’re been enjoying is the new FaceTime application. While I was there he used it to call his wife who was spending some time with family in Las Vegas.

He also used it to show her how their dog was feeling much better after having been ill for a few days. Clearly, to see the dog wagging his tail for herself is a lot more convincing that merely being told he feels better.

This was for me a revelation. I’ve known this gentleman a long time and know that he is not drawn to techno-gadgetry for its own sake. He’s not an early adopter, but he appreciates stuff that works well. In this regard he’s squarely in Apple’s target market.

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Current Events In Cell Phones: Tales Of My Transition to Micro-USB Power

As described previously, about a month ago I bought a Blackberry 9700 cell phone to replace my vintage Blackberry Pearl. The Pearl and the Motorola Razr that preceded it both used mini-USB type connector for DC power. I had thought that this was something of a standard, but if it was I guess it was short-lived. Early in 2009 the major cell phone manufacturers all agreed to settle upon “micro-USB” as the one standard connector type for DC power in new models.

Someone once said, “the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.” I suspect that it might have been Dilbert.

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This Mifi Sucks!

sprint_mifi_2200_2-432x479…power that is. I’m  such a sucker for a pun or inflammatory headline. The one area that the Sprint issued Mifi device leaves me wanting is in the battery life. If you are accustomed to wifi all the time then the battery in the mifi is just not going to satisfy. Oh, it lasts a good long while…perhaps 2-3 hours…but that’s not near long enough in many cases.

This is by no means a defect of the device. It’s just a little contrast between the permanence of a real wifi AP and the wee little Mifi. Around the house I expect that the wifi is just always there, and so the connection, although wireless, is constant.

I went looking last weekend to find the Mifi box. I wanted to check and see if I had overlooked a USB cable. I hadn’t. According to the manifest on the side of the box Sprint doesn’t provide the micro-USB cable. I gather that Verizon does.

Rumor has it that the Mifi will operate directly attached to a host PC usng a micro-USB cable. So attached the PC powers the device resulting effectively unlimited run-time. This seems more ideal tha my present situation so I bought a micro-USB cable on E-Bay for $4 and will try this when I get home on the weekend.

My First Month With The Sprint Mifi Service

sprint_mifi_2200_2-432x479It’s just over a month since I took the decision to buy Sprint’s 3G mobile internet service using a Mifi device. Thus far I’m really enjoying the device and the service.

During my first trip with the device I racked up 1.5 GB of data transfer and was starting to worry that 5GB a month was going to be too little. But then I had two trips to Canada where the roaming fees made using the Mifi impractical. So in the first month I used around 2 GB. Not too bad.

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