Monday, May 30, 2011

Smartphone Inconveniences

When I saw signs that my Sony Ericsson K750i is on the brink of destruction. I felt the urge to get a new cellphone. A lot of people treat their phones like oxygen, but me, other than call and text, I use it as a clock. But don't we all love the technology we have now and do different things with cellphone? So when I was deciding for a new one, I list camera, music player, wifi and JavaScript capability as requirements.

But then, just when I thought I've had enough with gadgets, I found myself longing for a an Iphone. I hate to admit it, but I fall for it, I used to like one so badly I would countdown my postpaid contract end date to get one. Hear me out okay. I work for a company that used to be an exclusive carrier of Iphone, and when you deal with Iphone issues at least 3 times a day, you find yourself falling for the most expensive paper weight. I would check on Iphone users' forum and read about cool apps, I often see it on CNN, TEDS, and a lot of TV shows. Then I learned that my friend Mike teamed up with other game developers and put up a game studio developing games for iOS. So I decided, I'll get an Iphone!

But then, when you see too many people around you getting one, it becomes less and less appealing. I sometimes pride myself as someone who doesn't fall for something that everybody is into. It's fun to find music that feels like my own private experience, music that not everybody gets. So there, I totally lost interest on Iphone. A stubborn reasoning, but thank God that's me. It's just not worth the price. Instead I got an Android. Okay, so it's not the kind of music that I was talking about. To date, Android is the world's best selling smartphone OS. But then, it's a lot cheaper and my favorite wireless phone brand carries Android so why not?

oh no, my phone is a lot smaller than this hehehe

I got me a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini. Like many other new gadgets available, it has a touchscreen instead of a keypad. The camera has 5 megapixel resolution with a LED flash, it can take HD videos. The internet loads faster than my previous phone. I'm pretty satisfied. I love it.

Except that I have not really enjoyed the "smart" side of it yet. Maybe it's just me not being tech savvy, but I thought that a smartphone is supposed to do everything you need to make your "on-the-go" lifestyle a lot easier. I have some things to diss. (Now if you are a fan of smartphones, don't get too agitated, for this post, I'm only referring to my phone.)

The Apps. There are too many of them! But I only want a dictionary and a carbon footprint calculator, but why does it seem so hard to find a decent one. Maybe because I'm only looking for the free ones and most of the free ones requires me to connect to the web to use the application. I mean that's not fair, I shouldn't be required to add more charges on my phone bill just to understand what sigmatism means or help me decide if I should prioritize buying a vacuum cleaner over a water closet. Sometimes I have those moments that I feel like an idiot and I need a smart advice hehehe. Help me smartyphone!

Call Restriction. There are times when I don't want to receive calls. Not that I'm avoiding people, but calls from telemarketers offering loans are just annoying. Specially when they ruin my sleep. This function is one of the first things I checked and I was just dumbfounded when I realized I can't do it with my new phone. Now if you own the same phone as I do and you think I'm wrong, you might want to help me because I've checked call and security settings and there's just no option that would let me put a call barring. Or do I need to download an app for that?

Battery. Now I thought the battery issue is unique to Iphone, apparently not. At most, my battery lasts 2 days, my old phone would last a week without charging. Now as a defender of planet earth, this is a problem. As much as I want to conserve energy, my phone won't let me. Uh oh...

Messaging. If you are someone who likes to send GMs, forget getting an Android. The messaging uses a chat approach and there's no Send-to-many option. There's no inbox or outbox. Instead, there's a thread that stores my SMS exchanges for every contact in my phone book. It's not that hard, except that there are more steps and redundancy involve if I want to forward a heartwarming message to my friends. I figured that on Christmas and other holidays, I will insert my SIM to my old phone just to greet everyone. Another problem for this chat approach is when I have to share prepaid credits to my family. It's a more complicated process and I don't want to make a long post out of it, so I won't go over that anymore. Bottom line is, I want the old school messaging!

Those are just some of the things that irked me. Generally, I like it. Next time, I'll talk about the good things about it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Laugh. Dance. Win!

The only time I remember winning a raffle was 9 years ago, at a time when access to anime was limited and being a true fan requires commitment and effort. A group called Anima Anime held monthly anime film showings, at the end of the day, they will have a raffle for premium items. The grand prize can be DVD or OST CD of an anime series or anything that a fan would die for. I won an AXN post-it pad. Sure, it might just be a freebie from AXN, but hey, not everyone gets to own it. So I got excited when I won. To date, I haven't used up all the sheets, I am making sure I keep something as a souvenir because winning a raffle, no matter how small the prize is, happens once in a lifetime. At least for me.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email from 2ndavenue saying I am one of the "lucky" weekly winners of an ongoing promo -Catch the Dancing Ellen Year 4. 2nd Avenue, by the way, is the channel that airs my favorite talkshow (and some of my favorite TV show). Every year, they give Philippine viewers a chance to win a ticket to The Ellen Degeneres Show, and the mechanics is pretty simple, it varies every year, but it always involves a dancing Ellen. This year, you have to take note of the feature guest when a small dancing Ellen appears at the bottom of the TV screen, and then you have to email the answer together with your contact information. I have only sent 2 entries when I won. I'm starting to feel like Ellen is my lucky charm, now I love her even more.

I won a Flip Camcorder, A t-shirt that says "I dance with Ellen", TEDS fridge magnet and pen and a 2ndavenue notepad.

The truth is, I really wanted to win the grand prize, I wish to see the show in person and I feel that I have very little chance of getting it. But winning a weekly raffle geared up my hope, and who knows...

And if you're wondering, the Flip camcorder is best for outdoor recording, it doesn't have LED light so I have to make sure I use it in a fine weather. But still, no one can stop me from taking music box videos hehehe.