Thursday, 26 June 2014

Musing on Android Wear

I have a Galaxy Gear 1 watch. I consider it to be a great gadget -
I became comfortable flashing the "null_" ROM on it, and the fact
that I can "adb" to talk to the device of USB is great. I dont like
Android - simply because its a bastardised Linux kernel. I somewhat
refuse to use Eclipse to create apps or edit files, when CRiSP serves
all my needs. The lack of a proper shell is a real nuisance. The
built in shell, and lack of root/su is really a two finger exercise
to the people who pay for these products. (This includes all Android
phones and tablets).

OTOH, I love the freedom of Android compared to the Apple products;
I love Samsungs multi-window mode - I just wish Apple and Google would
wake up to adding real features I want, rather than rejiggling the
Setup menus on each release, and preventing me from either deleting or
removing the built in apps. There are more and more Google apps, and
I have a hard time telling what they do and try to avoid them. (Not all
of them, but the "we know what you want - HERE YOU ARE!" is annoying;
Apple and Microsoft are no different).

But I am talking about watches. Not long after the Galaxy Gear 1
came out was the Tizen based Galaxy Gear 2 (or whatever Samsung
want to call it). A really good way to destroy customer loyalty by
confusing and diluting the market. Fortunately, you can put Tizen
on to the Gear 1 (see xda-forums - brilliant site). I dont know *why*
I would want to do that; and a few months later (i.e. now), we have
Android Wear. I feel I have walked into a department store and
am trying to choose from the 300 brands of soap!

The Galaxy Gear 1 is great - fairly robust; let down by amateurish
software and user interface (why do I get to choose from "white" or
"orange" text? What happened to the other 2^24-2 colors?)

But heres the kicker. Because it has to be charged daily, I have
to take it off at night. And, in the morning, I forget to put it on.
(I have my old watch for night time - it has a luminous dial; having a watch
blind you with a searchlight brightness everytime you move your arm, meant
it lasted about 2mins in bed). So - I am a "loyal" or eager person for
these devices.

But the silly design means I forget to take it with me. That is worse
than forgetting your phone; if you leave your phone at home, you know
it very quickly into your work day. So you just dont do it. But,
leaving the watch behind - well, sorry, but that is flawed marketing.

All because it cannot last 24h of use.

The new Android range from LG, Samsung and Motorola look great - options
at reasonable prices with high spec hardware (although varying screen
resolutions). I see many complain of the price (which is lower than
the silly extortionate price Samsung wanted when the Gear 1 originally
came out).

Oh well...

I see Apple are finally going to come out with a phone with 128GB of
storage! Yippee! I waited 5+y for that to happen, and now I can have
144GB or 160GB of flash at less than half the price Apple will charge for
their device. I think Apple missed the boat.

It is very relaxing to use Android and use a variety of mechanisms to
copy files to the devices, vs the sole use of iTunes. And even in iOS 7,
the video player looks to be written by a child - totally unusable;
totally ignoring playlists; a horrible interface for deleting videos.
Unrecognizable icons.

I fear that computing has now peaked. The new generation of software
is rapidly worse than the prior releases of software, simply because
"change is good".

Post created by CRiSP v11.0.32a-b6748

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