Episode 005

Is Apple going to come out with a smaller iPad? Is Amazon going to enter the smartphone space? Is Google Now going to change what it means to search? Those are just a handful of the topics that James and Stefan cover in this week’s episode. We also asked you guys to send us questions via Twitter, and boy you delivered!

As always, any and all feedback is appreciated. If you could rate us on iTunes, that would be swell!

[Episode 005, 32 minutes 56 seconds, 30.2 MB]

Episode 005

5 thoughts on “Episode 005

  1. Good show guys. Loved the response to my question. It’s a bugger isn’t it? PR companies don’t like the comparisons, but pitch crappy products, reviews should account for that (always, IMO). A place for long reviews indeed; short ones shouldn’t repeat press releases though. If AAS reviews meshed with Gdgt reviews and w/Stefan’s perspectives, would be great always to read, and be profitable to folks looking.

    I too did reviews back in the day. When devices stopped being smart, I stopped offering commentary on them. Perhaps Google Now and Siri can help change that… for the main platforms anyways.

    1. Thanks for the listenership Antoine, it was a great question. Reviews-wise, as a ‘normob’, you just want to know whether the phone you’re looking at is good, or not. Right? 22,000 words? Are you going to read that while you’re stood in a phone shop?



      1. Honestly, and this is just from a guy who’s a normob when it comes to cycling, I thoroughly enjoy anything written well for 200 or 22,000 words. Number of words don’t matter as much as quality of writing. And as it stands with cycling blogs/mags/etc., I read them all, because I’m just that kind of guy. The best pieces take me for an adventure through whatever they are using, and answer not just what I came for, but also how it might fit life in spaces I might not live.

        Agreeing w/Ricky’s mobile AI comments, Nokia really just couldn’t pull it together. Which is a shame, because I do like what Situations/Bots does on my mobile, and they aren’t even finished products. Smart Actions from Moto learns? Well, not that’s slick. I really don’t feel bad about those Razr Maxx recommends now. Google Now, Placeme, and a few others will make things interesting. But, I maintain, a mobile needs to do the recommended actions w/o the network connectivity well first. Then when connectivity is added, the value of being connected to ‘X’ service or ‘X’ remembered location/behavior becomes more valuable. A smartphone is one that learns and adapts to you, not you to it.

  2. Great show, as always. Quite pleased to get a 2nd callout – I’m going to start charging you guys royalties or something, lol. Also, I actually just BOUGHT a Galaxy Nexus (it should arrive today, PUMPED).

    RE: Reviews – having written my fair share, I tend to agree. It was quite interesting writing reviews for two completely different sites (often of the same device). Actually wrote about this a few years ago (http://rickycadden.com/2008/11/how-do-you-review-a-phone/). I agree that it’s frustrating when sites ‘review’ a phone after using it less than a week, at least. I actually really enjoy the ‘first impressions’ type posts – “I’ve had this less than 48 hours, here’s what I think thus far”. Very raw.

    RE: ‘Smart’ phones – Nokia got perilously close to this with the Nokia Situations and Nokia Bots apps for Symbian, but (of course) they couldn’t fit those two pieces together. If you’re interested in ‘Smart’ phones, I’d recommend you check out the Motorola Smart Actions app on their latest Android phones – it’s like Locale, in that you can setup specific ‘triggers’ that launch ‘situations’ (I.e. when I get to this geo location and it’s after 10p, turn my ringtone up). The smart part is that it watches and learns – if it notices that you launch Songza every weekday at 5p, it’ll pop up and ask if you want to let it do that automatically for you. Quite nice.

    My Galaxy Nexus arrives today, and I’m quite anxious to check out Google Now.

    RE: iPad Mini – don’t discount Apple’s ability to release ‘entry-level’ products. The iPhone 3G S is now available for FREE with contract, and you know Apple sets the pricing. The iPhone 4 is $99 w/ contract, too. Both are sold in Wal-Mart. I repeat, WAL-MART. If there’s any place that the great unwashed shop, it’s freakin Wal-Mart. You don’t get that big of a stack of cash like Apple has by discriminating who can be your customer.

    RE: Amazon phone – working for a tech retailer, I’ve got to interject – as James points out, it’s important to not dismiss the instant gratification element so quickly. Also, plain old service. While Amazon does absolutely have great customer service, they’re rather lousy at being helpful like an in-store associate *CAN* be (emphasis CAN). There’s ways to compete and give shoppers a reason to buy brick-and-mortar, even while INVITING them to compare prices. It’s just tricky, and has to be deliberate.

    RE: the show in general – great stuff. I have a suspicion (knowing the two of you) that you agreed ahead of time not to talk over each other, interrupt, etc. It’s much appreciated – while I would probably pay real money to hear you two get into a heated debate about tech, it’s much nicer to listen to a real conversation instead, especially for 30 minutes. The structure is nice, too – might not be a bad idea to run down the list at the very beginning, either – just a quick “today we’re going to talk about this, that, this, those, and that.” Or you can keep it a surprise. 😉

    Think that’s all.

  3. Hey guys, great show as always. A quick note regarding the format as the former Symbian Guru pointed out: It doesn’t matter much to me how ‘clean’ the format is, or whether or not you talk over each other. In fact, I think perhaps a cleaner, more rigid ‘news’ like approach would degrade the great thing you guys got going. I don’t tune in to listen to the news, I listen because I like hearing what both of you think! Now, there’s nothing wrong with structure, and it does feel a bit more professional since the first broadcast, but off topic or not, it’s always a pleasure just to listen! (especially the contrasting views) =)

    I also wanted to point something out that perhaps you two might want to discuss in future. It’s something that has bothered me for a while, but hasn’t really taken shape as a talking point until I heard Whatley talking about his Kindle app across all platforms.

    Mainly, it’s this: At first I liked the idea of having Amazon in the smartphone market, and thought it could be quite a good fit for several different reasons. But then I got to thinking about all those Kindle apps James has across multiple platforms, and I started thinking about all the Google services I use and how they too are readily available across most platforms. Now, don’t crucify me just yet, but I am still a Symbian(^3 to be exact) user. Rocking my trusty N8 after almost two years…yes, I’m one of THOSE people 😉

    My point is, now that Google has entered the smartphone market alongside my beloved Nokia, their services are starting to dry up. Obviously, they want you to buy a Google Android phone to experience the richness of all of their services, properly termed an ‘ecosystem’. This in theory sounds great and should drive competition, etc., but WTF?? I, admittedly, want a Nokia handset, a competent OS (obviously one that has all the benefits of Symbian with none of its drawbacks), my Gmail and G+ experience to rival that of a native Android app, Microsoft apps and Sync ability (WITHOUT having to sign up for a stupid Windows Live ID, ithankyou), and presumably a functional Kindle app with a rich user experience. Which of course is impossible to obtain in the current offerings on the market.

    Symbian used to have some good Google apps (like maps and gmail), but since they have entered the market, those apps are no longer updated, indeed, not even SUPPORTED (granted, Nokia Maps is now superior in my mind when it comes to navigation, etc.). Thus Amazon entering the marketplace makes me think that in time Kindle, as well as their other services (perhaps some as yet to be created?), shall also become exclusive to one OS/Amazon device. Yes, again, this is smart business sense for the time being, but when will it end? Surely at some point in the future this sort of ‘ecosystem’ fragmentation will collapse? Assuming that there is only one ‘best’ service for each offering, i.e. maps, e-reader, translation, email, office functionality, etc., surely you can’t expect the consumer to own a separate device for each service? That hardly exists today, although some of you tech bloggers have multiple devices, this certainly is not the norm 😉 and us mortals must resign to the services our chosen ecosystem has offered up as ‘comparable’.

    Perhaps I’ve gone off the deep end, and perhaps one of you (or others) would care to enlighten me, but as it stands, I’m just generally unhappy with the whole of the cellular phone industry. Perhaps it’s due to the collapse and retirement of the only OS I’ve ever used the past twelve years! Hahaha, who knows. All I know is, THIS is my perfect device:

    Nokia Hardware – indisputable (this would include superior camera, of course)
    Functional OS (in brief): TRUE multitasking, power consumption savvy, intuitive and customizable, etc.
    Full (and rich) Gmail, G+, gReader, gTranslate(?) and YouTube apps/support
    Microsoft Office functionality and DAMN PC to device sync for docs without Windows email address
    Nokia Maps and free navigation, including integration of all of the above (G+ posts, photos, etc.)

    In summary, I suppose, I just don’t want to see happen to the great services of Amazon that I have seen with the services of Google since their emergence in the smartphone world. Ecosystems need to learn to share somewhere down the [distant] road.

    Until next show,
    MD 7

    On a side note:
    I will probably have to buy an Android device at some point…not sure if I’m sold on the Windows Phone thing yet, but of course I love my Nokia hardware (which is just as much of a decision factor for me as anything else). I’ve held an (albeit low-end) Android device and it felt light and cheap. I might have jumped right into Android after my N8, if it weren’t for the PureView that I’ll most likely buy next. Say what you will about my Symbian affinity, but I’ll be damned if I don’t go down with the ship! =)

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