255 posts • joined Friday 30th March 2007 16:00 GMT
Indeed it is, and in the 508 it's so thick it obscures visibility quite badly between the 90 and 120 degree mark (give or take a 1960s female singing trio) looking left of right.
It makes changing lanes and pulling out of junctions that curve back away from you - like the one I have to navigate daily - more of a challenge then it should be.
@ Eponymous Cowherd
Fair comment but most of the reader requests we get are to feature apps that have been around for a while.
Agreed My Tracks is no spring chicken, but I've been using Android since the G1 came out and managed to completely overlook it until this March. I suspect I'm not alone. It's the downside of their now being a quarter of a million odd apps available in the Market.
The idea of the column is both to evaluate new apps and look at apps that Android users will find useful even if they have been knocking about for a bit.
@ Jim 15
Well spotted that man! That will teach me to update my apps more frequently.
Steve - must say that I have no problem with selecting/copying/pasting text within the app or between apps. Yes you have to go into edit mode to copy but that's hardly the end of the world.
@ AC 11.03 etc
Well spotted, though oddly it does work the other way, merde to sh1t.
@ jonathanb - I just tried 42 and it said "quarante-deux" as expected though 42 appeared on the screen as 42 not forty-two.
@ Martijn Otto - fair point but Communicate is a lot more finger friendly and easier to use - esp. in 'conversation' mode - on the spur of the moment. You also don't need to tap the screen a second time to hear your translations read-out.
Richard. Re-reading my copy I don't believe I have come close to suggesting you have to use Android to access a Google Calender on the go. I was reviewing an Android app, not the respective calender support options and capabilities of Android or iOS. I'm sure most Reg readers are fully aware that Google calenders can be accessed from iOS, WP7, WebOS etc.
nichomach. The app works with any calender account that your Android phone is "signed into" including multiple Google accounts, Exchange, Facebook etc. I should have made that more clear in the review.
Erik, the handset is A-GPS equipped but I tested it in a local zero-GSM-reception black spot in the Pennines and still got a position lock in 15 seconds.
dave46 - reception was good everywhere I tried it - not better than my Nokia C1-01 but invariably I had an extra bar compared to my Motorola Defy so the radio stack is good if not exceptional.
As for the BBC's bash-it-against- a-fish-tank test, well, as I said, I'm pretty sure you could break it if you hit it with something hard and sharp enough but you would really need to try. Running it over with a two-tonne people carrier on a gravel drive seemed a more realistic test to me!
"tis a shame - mark all as read and hide once read are a deal breaker for me - other than that it looks very polished"
We got an e-mail from the developers today telling us that some sort of "hide once read" feature is on their to-do list. Apparently you and I aren't the first to bemoan it's absence.
According to Google over 90% of Android handsets connected to the Market now run v2.1 of higher and a fair percentage of the UK population live within a 3G reception area.
I was working on $400 = £250 (at today's exchange rate) plus 20% VAT = £300. I asked the Asus PR if $400 was the likely to be the local US price or the equivalent Euro / Sterling, and he said the latter. How true that will turn out to be, well, your guess is as good as mine.
Be that as it may, I was expecting to be told the price would be more in the region of 500 Euro so it still sounds like a good deal.
As for the fingerprints, sorry about that - it was a scrum at the stand and trying to get any shots was hard work. Giving one of the devices a polish and getting all Lord Lichfield on it was a non-starter.
Vodafone is offering the X10 Mini on PAYG for £130 and the Orange San Francisco is available for £100 PAYG which makes them both realistic alternatives to the C5-03 for any potential smartphone buyer on a budget.
Torx / Allen
I've just noticed the screws in the press images don't actually look like the screws on my handset. Even under a magnifier the handset screws look like small Allens but as commented the ones in the side-on picture look more like Torx. Oh well, as long as they keep the two parts of the handset together...
Power and tethering etc
I'm assuming the HDD issue is one of power but I didn't have an externally powered HDD to hand to test.
Hook up a mobile via USB and the phone charges a treat and the USB tethering worked fine with a Motorola Defy and a T-Mobile SIM.
The problem with using WinAmp is that you loose access to Samsung's built-in sound modification tech. At the end of the day I will mark down any media player that doesn't allow for simple MTP playlist synch via WMP even if there is a workaround. Using another media app should be a choice not a forced compromise.
Re. Google Maps, the new version didn't arrive until after I had filed this review. Of course you could always buy CoPilot Live from the Market, worth every penny of its £22.98 asking price.
Fair comment about the way I worded the 3GP/.H.264 part of the review. My point was that I would have been much happier if the HD encoded video as .mp4. 3GP is really not an ideal container, at least not in my book.
As for the software on the HD, I could have rambled on for weeks about it but with so much quality software in the Market I work on the principle that as long as the bundled stuff works as advertised, why get bogged down in the undergrowth? Most of us have favourite third party apps that we use anyway. I started using K-9 as my Android e-mail client about a year ago, and haven't used a Google or HTC mail app since, a lack of widgets notwithstanding. Same goes for Handcent for texts and Folder Organizer to keep everything neat and tidy.
@ AC / Tom
GPS fix we amongst the quickest I have come across, so no problems on that front. The postcode search doesn't require town names, just type in the code and select a house number etc and you are done. The TMC service is free for life.
In regard to updates, this from the Navigon site...
FreshMaps at a special price
For a one-off payment, we will regularly provide updated maps for you to download for a period of 24 months. Activate FreshMaps 30 days after purchase, and pay only £15.99 instead of £79.00
"but seriously who really ever sat staring at a gatefold pondering the depths of [insert artist]'s lyrics?"
Still do in fact,
And you can't beat a proper LP sized libretto if you are an opera fan. In the early days of CD some opera sets came in the same packaging as LP sets. Led to some confusion if you didn't read the box before purchase, but it had its advantages. Seem to recall that the Springsteen Live 75-85 box set did too.
Agree that the same isn't really true of DVD/BR packaging though.
folks, just to confirm the volume rocker on the side of the Stream works as per most Android phones - use it in standby and it alters the ringer volume, use it with the media player running and it changes the media playback volume etc. I should have said something about that seeing as media playback is the Stream's main USP.
@ AC 23.33 - thanks for the heads up re. Meridian. Nice little app.
Having the MicroUSB port under the same rubber cover as the MiniHDMI is what prevents the use of a desk stand/charger. It's one thing I really like about my faithful old HTC Hero - the exposed MiniUSB port at the bottom means it can be used with any number of no-name desk stands.
Folks, unless I am very much mistaken Garmin only currently sell a mobile navigation app for Blackberry along with its Garmin-Asus satnav phones. The general idea behind this roundup was to look at satnav apps that are available for a selection of platforms (yes I know TomTom is currently iPhone only).
If Garmin's Mobile XT software for Windows had still been available to buy at the time of writing I would have included it.
The Archos 7 HT doesn't have a YouTube client and I couldn't find a myPlayer APK from a reliable download source, so that ruled out YouTube and iPlayer. I'd be surprised if myPlayer supports the 7's screen size.
I tested the A845 for maximum volume against a Sansa Fuze and Cowon A3 using a pair of Sennheiser HD25's and there wasn't a huge amount of difference. Yes the Fuze was louder than the Walkman, but the Walkman in turn was louder than the Cowon. But once I fired up the noise cancellation function - using the bundled 'phones - the Sony wiped the floor with both of them in terms of what you could hear over any background racket.
As for successful ID3 tag distinction between CD1/CD2 etc I've never come across an MP3 player - my iPod aside - that has ever got that right so I long since took the simple route and put all my separate CD tracks into separate folders. Less elegant, but a sod of a lot more reliable. It's not a function I have actually tested on any of the Walkman players I have reviewed.
gents, I certainly couldn't find anything in the settings menu to define an album as "gapless" so either I missed something or there has been a firmware change since my review unit shipped. Nothing in the user manual either. If anyone could shed any more light on this I'd be grateful.
Dibbles - sod's law, those are the only two recent Cowon devices I've not used!
AAC and Bluetooth
The AAC files I tested had both .aac and .m4a extensions (the latter iTunes purchased). Re. Bluetooth the J3 worked fine with the pair of Jaybirds I had on my desk.
I should perhaps have mentioned that the Cowon bundled earphones are a bit bargain basement though no worse than the sort Apple bundle with its iPods.
@ Ioan - my regular run takes me under several sets of power lines and I never noticed any interference.
@ AC re. Nice Look. I watched all of Pope Joan with them on and that's over two hours long. Didn't notice any discomfort at the end of it.
Fair comment, I should indeed have made more of the native support for 24bit/96Khz sampling.
Incidentally, if any Squeezebox owners have Android handsets I can recommend this..
Well worth the asking price.
Touch as Server
Logitech has just confirmed to me that the Touch does indeed run a cut-down version of Squeezeserver and so can be used as a server for up to 3 other Squeezeboxes. Still not sure why the feature is getting less publicity from Logitech than a red-headed stepson, but there you go.
For those interested the relevant section of the Slim Devcies forum (which needless to say I shall now be reading avidly!) can be found here;
For all fans of Abduction: World Attack it was a very close run thing between that and Zombie, Run! for the final place in the list.
Re. the hardware, I used my Hero simply because, well, its my phone and I had it to hand, and because there are a lot of them sloshing about in users hands.
Yes if I had taken screen grabs from a Nexus One or Xperia they would have been larger on the page and more impressive and colourful, but the essential game play would have been the same and that is what I was concerned with.
Please keep in mind those screen grabs are actual game play images taken with the Android SDK and have not been tarted up in any way.
As for the new 3D games from Gameloft I tried the only one available at the time of writing - Asphalt 5 - on a mate's Desire and was less than impressed by it. I also understand that none of the news crop of 3D games from Gameloft will run on Android 1.5 or 1.6.
In 12 months time I would expect this list to look very different as games developers take full advantage of larger, higher resolution screens and Snapdragon chippery but for the time being I stuck with games that are just fun to play even on an old G1.
Now that is an extremely interesting comment.
There was nothing in the reviewer notes or user manual that Logtech sent me about the unit being able to function as a server, nor did anything obvious show up when I plugged an SD card or USB key into my review unit - it simply opened up a menu to access the media on it.
Sadly my Touch has already gone back to Logitech but I will ask them what the deal is and update this comment or the review.
Part of me wonders if this was something planned for the Touch that never made it to the final production version - the Touch was due to be released in the third quarter of 2009 but was delayed by nearly 6 months.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
@ tas re. AAC
My V5 wouldn't recognise .aac or .m4a AAC files. However an mp4 video file containing H.264 video and AAC audio worked perfectly so clearly it has some level of support built-in. Lack of AAC support isn't a tradition at Cowon - my A3 plays them a treat so I am at a bit of a loss to know why the same isn't true of the S9, O2 and V5. As you say, it may be a licensing issue of some sort.
Fred - I tried Kubuntu for the first time on Friday and was disappointed. The whole thing smacked of being unfinished even though I do like the look of the KDE front end. After a few hours I ditched it and installed Ubuntu which is a my default Linux distro (so maybe my problems where as much to do with unfamiliarity as anything else).
I was a bit disappointed that 10,04 doesn't support the various Realtek wi--fi cards out of the box that Samsung have installed in Lord knows how many tens of thousands of netbooks (like my N140), but a quick google and I found a walk-through to install the relevant drivers. Once I had that sorted I was away. I like the look of 10.04 but don't really see the point of the various built-in social network systems - not sure that is what Linux should be about.
My N140 now dual-boots perfectly from the GRUB menu that Ubuntu installs so I have a choice between slow-but-steady Windows 7 and fleet of foot Ubuntu. One thing I have noticed with 10.04 is that it seems able to work with a greater variety of 3G USB dongles. It's a faster boot than 9.10 too, if only by a few seconds.
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