Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our latest toy: The Kinect

Our new toy in the Manila Bulletin Technews Lab. The Kinect is a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game platform, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller. 3rd photo shows Papi dancing and interacting with the console without a controller.

Why I am not using my Windows Phone 7 device

After the praises and accolades from people who did not even have or touch a Windows Phone 7 device, I decided to try it on my own, and oh boy I was really disappointed.

I got the HTC Trophy from my source abroad and this is the first consumer unit of Windows Phone 7 device in the country. I read about the phone's inability to do cut and paste and multi-tasking but I am ready to forgive that because of the impressive user interface and very responsive touch screen.

If you are an ordinary user, then you would love this phone. But power users or the tech savvy consumers would be disappointed with the device. For one, it does not support on-device encryption, meaning, you could not access work email if you connect through Exchange ActivSync that blocks connections if the device does not support device-level encryption. With security and privacy breaches happening everyday, almost all businesses require this kind of encryption.

OK fine, I have a BlackBerry anyway that supports on-device encryption so I don't need two devices to connect to my work email. But, I saw another problem. Windows Phone 7 device only supports DHCP. DHCP or Dynamic Host Configuratio Protocol is a method that automates the assignment of IP addresses and other networking information to the device, the server assigns the IP address that would allow the device to connect to the Internet and join the network among others. This means I could not configure the IP address of the device manually and I would be violating the security policy of the office which I proposed for added level of security.

I don't care if it has no cut/copy/paste support or no multi-tasking and even Flash support what made me decide not to use it is the lack of security and the absence of manual IP configuration. I need to fully control my device and not having those two features made me feel that the device is telling me what to do. Until these two issues are answered, my HTC Trophy would stay inside the box.

Xperia X10 finally updates OS

Launched in March 2010, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is the company's first flagship Android-powered smartphone. It features a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 32GB internal memory, 4.0-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display, and an 8.1 megapixel camera. It supports quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/190MHz) and tri-band UMTS (900/1700/210MHz or 800/1900/2100MHz) with HSPA for high-speed data connections.

But even with those impressive features, the device failed to match other Android devices available during the launch as it only comes with Android 1.6 a much slower version of the Android OS. Even the software application called UX or user experience platform that supposed to make the phone better did not do any good as consumers shy away from the device with relatively old OS.

Just last week, while other phone manufacturers are rolling out Android 2.2 and talking about Android 2.3 in their devices, Sony Ericsson finally rolled out the availability of Android 2.1 for X10, making them two steps behind in the war of Smartphones versus other manufacturers like HTC and Samsung.

Even with the not-so-updated update, I decided to give my X10 a chance, surprisingly the update process was very easy. It took me less than 30 minutes to finally install the outdated update to my X10. I don't know if it's my phone but I noticed that the performance of the X10 has become sluggish after the update.

published in the November 22, 2010 issue of the Manila Bulletin