993 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
Yeah, same here. I think Spiceworks is virtually the default for SMEs looking for a cheap, no-hassle ticketing system. It isn't great and I'm not sure the reports can do graphs (I've never looked. Management only want to know how many tickets are outstanding and how many we closed this week) but, once set up, it runs with very little admin.
Re: quad-core and 512Mb RAM as standard now?
> I keep thinking about upgrading my 610 (WP7.8) to a 620 but it seems I'd be
> better waiting a little longer.for one of these,
I thought that but it seems the 630 isn't the sucessor to the 620. The 620 was a nice compact 3.5" phone. These are 4.5" monsters. I do hope Nokia will release at least one compact phone in this next generation. There aren't many manufacturers left producing anything under 4".
Re: we love ours
> you can add exceptions to Stamina Mode, so you can still get emails
Excellent, thanks for that. Guess I should RTFM!
Oh, and for those that would prefer their device to behave more like standard Android (I'm coming from a KitKat enabled Nexus 4 and have come to really appreciate Google Now being a part of the Launcher) there is a 3rd party launcher on the Play store called KK Launcher which (near as damn it) replicates the latest Nexus Now Launcher but with a couple of extra customisations.
Re: we love ours
I'm with Samuel on this. I love my Compact but the one slight downside is battery life. It is no worse but also no better than other Android phones I have owned. It JUST gets through a full day with a little bit to spare. If I enable the Stamina mode I have 50% left at the end of the day but then I don't get push notifications, my calendar doesn't synch etc. In other words, it stops being a "smart" phone so what's the point?
Everything else is fantastic. I bought an adaptor for a couple of quid that allows me to plug the standard charger into the docking port so I don't need to prise open the USB port cover in order to charge the thing. Just been for a run in the pissing rain and it was so nice not to have to worry about sticking my phone in a zip bag to keep it dry.
Re: Thanks for converting to the British from the Dutch German
Wasn't it also agreed, after a reader vote a couple of years ago, that the Reg would stop using imperial units except in cases where they were the international standard (aviation height in feet for example)? In all other cases metric and/or Reg standards are obligatory.
I have the tar, who was looking after the feathers?
I don't get the smartphone thing. I know not everyone has one but a LOT of people do. And yes, I know Asia isn't as rich as the west but these are people who can afford a long haul flight so a pretty fair proportion will have smartphone, tablet, laptop etc.
With Android and Windows Phone (and I assume the same goes for iOS devices) you can log onto a website and see exactly where that phone is. Or rather, you can see exactly where that device was when it last had any kind of a data connection.
Of all the devices that must have been on that plane and given the current theory that it was over India/Pakistan/wherever if that plane was below 20,000 ft and intact at ANY point then there will be a record of it on google play/windows MyPhone etc. And not just one record. LOTS of records.
To my mind that is one of the major arguments in favour of the theory that it hit the sea with everyone either disabled or unaware.
"worked tirelessly for us so that we and millions of others around the world like us could live in peace"
Not to put too much of a downer on it but the UN currently lists 42 active wars and conflicts....
> Do they also expel all cookery students?
They're American. Learning how to open a packet of "Mac'n'Cheese" doesn't require a knife.
Re: What have I missed?
I think you are all (reviewer included) making the usual IT mistake of assuming what you do is the norm. This is marketed as a home NAS. 99% of home NAS devices are used for a couple of hours in the evenings and then a bit more at the weekend. They most certainly don't require 24/7 rated discs. The opposite in fact. Low energy is far more important.
Most home users don't know what a VPN is, there are probably about 3 of you using IP Cameras. Torrent client, yes, maybe, but not huge numbers or volumes. They are used for backups and for streaming Video and music to some form of client (Apple TV, Samsung telly, XBox, ipad etc). They need iTunes server compatibility, maybe DLNA (though as it hardly ever works it's farm from essential) and a very simple, hand holding interface that takes an average user through setting up average use-cases.
What have I missed?
With the exception of the IP Camera function I can't see what this setup does that a D-Link DNS-320 does - except costing five times more. And £175 for 2 X 2TB drives? Seriously? Amazon sells the WD Green edition for about £60 a pop. Given that the main bottleneck will always be bandwidth a Green drive is surely a better bet than a "High Performance" model anyway?
I'm certainly not a network person so could easily have missed the point but, as best as I can tell, a DNS-320 plus 2 X 2TB drives sets you back about £160 and does the job perfectly well. I've got this exact setup at home backing up and feeding media to about 6 machines. And I've recently persuaded 2 others to go with the same thing (both, thankfully, perfectly happy).
Re: Not for me :(
Try PCSpeciaaliist.co.uk Then you can spec your machine however you want it and, best of all, if you don't want windows on it you don't have to pay the Windows Tax. I got my current laptop from them last summer and stuck Linux on it as a Development machine.
I've also bought one of these T100 netbooks and it is a stonking bit of kit for the money. It has the odd little rough edge (literally) though I had no issues installing and registering Office. It took about 30s. The screen is excellent, it is a really nice tablet and I can imagine it being very useful for whiling away time on planes and trains. However, it is also plenty powerful enough to get some light work done. I haven't suffered any slowdowns yet. Normally I would shy away from anything with less than 4GB of RAM and my main machine has 8GB but the T100 seems to cope without issue. Oh, and I've been using it on and off all day including streaming video across the network. The battery currently says 57% remaining at 8pm!
Re: UK rip off ?
Not sure about that. The rate is 1.6 today but has been much closer to 1.5 over the last couple of years. You have to think about the long-term rate not a current spike. Take the FX at 1.5 and add 20% and you get £280. Add in a few quid for "localisation", etc and I don't think it is too bad. Certainly, compared to any other equivalent phone, I think you are pushing it a bit to complain about £300! Whenever a company sells overseas they are taking a bit of a gamble on FX rate fluctuations and it is pretty normal to weight the odds in their favour. It is the shipping for devices from Google play that always sticks a bit in my throat. They lure you in with the ludicrously low price and then charge £10+ to ship it.
Strikes a chord
I'm about to be made redundant (1,2,3 ahhhh). Despite numerous offers I'm taking a break for a bit. My wife has just taken over the local pub so we have an income, a decent bit of redundancy and, as we now live above the pub, we have also rented out the house. So, I will have some spare time and, as the pub is next door to the primary school attended by both our kids I've volunteered to do some teaching. Specifically, I'll be spending one morning a week teaching the year 6 kids the basics of programming when the new term starts after Christmas.
So, I have been spending some time thinking about this. I've collected a range of online resources, books, opinions etc but still haven't settled on anything. However, I do have a few thoughts. To my way of thinking, the new BBC micro is not the Pi, it is the smartphone. Nearly every 11 year old has a smartphone of one type or another. Huge industries have grown up around apps and every company now has some kind of mobile presence - whether that be through an app, mobile website or whatever. Mobile is the present and foreseeable future.
Given that the kids will have various iphones, androids and - Who knows? - maybe even a WinPho, I'm thinking web development. Start off with a simple website. Get them to make changes and then see what effect those changes have. Introduce css, java etc and maybe even work towards a simple game.But iI'd quite like the kids to drive it. I'll have the time to set stuff up for them during the week and, by keeping the site available, there is no reason why any enthusiastic kids can't experiment outside of actual lessons.
However, advice from those who might have done something similar would be most welcome.
No access to Android code
Was just wondering about that myself. I can only assume he was talking about the Google apps - Now, Play, Maps, GMail etc which are not a part of the Open Source OS but are considered an important part of the Android Experience. If he DIDN'T mean that, then we have a pretty decent idea of why Motorola have been failing miserably of late.
don't unserstand the omission of Sony
As best as I can tell, the Sony smart watch does everything these devices can, more reliably, better, cheaper (Â£75 on Amazon) has a much larger catalogue of apps and widgets and with few, if any, of the limitations you highlight. So, other than being nearly 18 months old now, I don't understand why it only got a passing mention in the opening section? Anyone reading the article would get the impression there are no mature devices available that do all the things you list but that isn't the case.
Re: dumb (phone)
If you only want to make calls, check mail and play music then why get a smartphone? Any Â£10 dumb phone will do that and with a battery life measured in weeks.
you guys are weird
I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that but cubes? Sexy? Seriously? When was the last time you saw a woman as wide and deep as she was tall and thought to yourself "Mmm, sexy!"? And as for the PS3 bread bin...
Re: Not quite there yet
Funnily enough, just yesterday, someone at work was trying to get an older version of Assassin's Creed running on one of the work PCs* (Core i3, Intel HD2000 graphics). It coped, just about, but it did occur to me that, as he was paying £12 to download the game from Steam, wouldn't it be handy if Steam also provided a nicely spec'd VM with the game already installed, running and optimised, and just provided him with a remote session into the VM?
Now THAT would be a cloud computing service worth the name.
Re: lost in translation
Thankfully, in the part of the world I live, I would be utterly astonished if the phone had NOT found it's way back into my hands. There has to be an upside to living in the arse-end of nowhere.
lost in translation
I lost my smartphone whilst out running in the hills behind our house last Thursday night. Some bloke found it, went through the call log, called my sister and got it back to me. I can't help feel that would have been rather less likely with a transparent phone. In fact, I'm struggling to think of a single reason why it would be a good thing.
new god required
How pathetically inadequate must his god be if it can't protect him from a number printed on a wage slip? He should really consider upgrading his god to a better/more powerful model
Re: How about £44.50
£94 for a 7" IPS 1280X800 Display, 1GB RAM, 16GB Storage, HDMI, USB, MicroSD, Dual Core CPU and Quad Core Graphics in an Alu Case. I've done a fair bit or searching and it seems to be the best around at the moment but things change pretty quickly in the tablet market at the moment.
And I have no connection to the above. Just been searching for a Christmas present!
Re: sub $100 tablets
Not sure on your "Most of the ones I've seen" there Charles. There are many, many tens of these things out there and it is pretty rare to see Gingerbread on them these days. You are really only looking at a £50 Resistive-screen model. The vast majority are running ICS (4.0.4) at around £60-80 and come with 1.2GHz Single core CPUs and a single Mali 400 GPU with 512MB of RAM. Spend £80-100 and you can easily get Jelly Bean, Dual core CPU, quad-core GPU, 1GB of RAM and a high-res IPS display (1280x800) and some even have aluminium, rather than plastic, cases.
I'm not saying the feel, build quality or UX will be up there with a Nexus 7 but for around £90 you certainly can get a stonkingly good tablet WITH USB Host, HDMI and a MicroSD Slot. There seems to be a lot of crap being spread about the cheapo chinese tablets at the moment. Sure, 18 months ago they were churning out barely functional toys but they have seriously upped their game and it doesn't take much shopping around to save yourself a lot of money compared to a Nexus or Kindle HD.
And to think
I'm sure some naysayers suggested that spending so long playing games was a complete waste of time. He sure showed them!
I'm with you on Penetrator. I remember my parents playing The Hobbit but it really didn't do anything for me. For it's time, Penetrator felt fast and furious and being able to design your own levels felt revolutionary. I was just getting into programming through the school computer club and code listings in magazines. But the graphics on games you wrote yourself were always crappy (even for a 8 bit home computers) so being able to design levels with the engine used in Penetrator felt amazing.
> do you prefer longer, in-depth reviews - or are focused, waffle-free appraisals what you're after?
It depends on the product but I'm usually in favour of longer, in depth reviews. I agree with the others though. The "10 best Androids under a fiver" style comparisons are excellent. I've used those reviews many times since they started a couple of years ago - and I pass them on to to others when getting the all to common "you work in IT. Which X should I buy" requests.
> Are you looking for science paper-style evaluations - or do you favour short, consumer-oriented 'should I buy this?'
Somewhere in between. There are plenty of sites that do full in-depth technical analysis and plenty that repeat the press release. I think 3-5 pages, depending on how complex the product, is plenty - with an extra page or two for camera reviews to allow for sample shots.
> Are benchmarks important to you
I think a few simple benchmarks can tell you a lot. A fairly standardised battery test for mobiles and laptops (we ran such and such for 2 hours with these settings and it reported x% left). I actually think the benchmarks and spec tables are excellent. The only negative is that sometimes they are omitted. Obviously this will be down to how long you got the device for etc etc but it is annoying if only 9 out of 10 laptop reviews have benchmarks - particularly if the missing one is the one I was interested in!
> Is a percentage rating a useful quick-look measure of a product's worth?
Yes. "Most" of us are adult enough to realise they are subjective and coloured by the reviewers opinions but, if I'm in a hurry and not sure if I have time to read a 5-page review, it is useful to know beforehand if it gets 50% or 90%.
> Do spec sheets or tables help?
Yes. It saves covering every single spec within the text of the review leaving the reviewer to cover only the important USPs.
> Do you like to see lots of product picture
Not lots, but photos of ports etc are helpful - particularly if something has a port cover or plug. Those things can be a real PITA if done badly so a decent close-up is always welcome. Also, something to show a product to scale. It is all very well stating how small, slim, huge, fat a product is but we need to see it in relation to a common, every day object.
> Games reviews - good or bad, more or fewer?
Not fussed personally but I'm sure you guys know how many clicks they get.
Overall though, I love the reg reviews, use them a lot and would just appreciate a little more consistency.
Re: Shameless Amazon advert?
"Also - on what planet is it worth paying 50 of any currency to be allowed to borrow one book per month?"
It isn't and he doesn't suggest it is. But, if you are already an Amazon Prime subscriber then, effectively, you are getting twelve free ebooks a year - which is certainly worth considering if you are trying to decide between a Kobo and a Kindle.
As an existing Amazon Prime subscriber looking at a new 7" tablet it NEARLY tipped the balance towards the Kindle HD - until I read the reviews on that device.
If they aren't available until mid-November then how do you know they will be the first? There is still a couple of weeks for someone to beat them to it by, you know, maybe announcing something that is actually available to buy!
Re: Hey up, what's the state of play with these cheap tablets?
I got a cheapo resistive android tablet July 2011 - but that was fairly crap. Really only usable as an ebook reader, email, RSS, music and low-res video. Simple stuff. Web browsing was possible but slow and painful and games were a no-no.
In May this year I got a new cheapo chinese one. It has a 1.2GHz CPU plus a 400MHz Mali GPU, 512MB RAM and 16GB of storage. Then it was £90 - I've seen them lately for £65-70. It runs Android 4.0.4 and most of the time it flies along. Web browsing is a joy, it makes a brilliant kindle, good for games, I've watched countless videos on it both on the screen and using the HDMI port to output to a big telly. Overall, it is WELL worth the money and makes some of the £400-500 tablets look daft. I use it every day and the kids also love it.
HOWEVER, there are (of course) a couple of limitations. Some stuff in the Android Marketplace isn't compatible with it. I'm not 100% sure why. But If I search for some apps (Amazon App as an example) it will tell me I can install it on my 2-year-old Android phone but not the tablet - might be the lack of GPS. Who knows.
Very occasionally, it goes slow for a couple of minutes. Usually it pops back again but sometimes it requires a reboot. I suspect it is doing some house keeping in the background.
If I were buying now, I'd get the Ainol Fire (about £110 on Amazon) with a dual-core CPU, more RAM, better display and metal body. But the cheap tablets ARE very good and have the advantage of HDMI, MicroSD and USB ports so carrying around a bunch of music and films becomes incredibly easy.
Re: Only on a hardware reader
That is a pretty crap restriction. I read books through various kindle apps on my PCs, phone and tablet. But I don't own a kindle so, despite having been a prime subscriber for many years, I'm excluded from this. Along with the free films that they get in the US and the ability to lend books to other kindle users (also US) Amazon seem to be going out of their way to annoy large segments of their users.
Re: "mine hasn't"
Yep, I'm with you on that one Stacy. I've had a Henry hoover for years. Nothing goes wrong with them. The parts, if required, are stupidly cheap and it only cost £80. But the main reason I use it is because it is so light. Dyson's just weigh half a ton. And because they are uprights, rather than cylinders, you have to move this half-ton mass back and forth all the time. I also hate the mess of emptying them. And others must agree as, whenever I see one, the cylinder is invariably full! Give me a decent bag-vac any time.
They are hugely popular so I must be missing something but having used them a lot (in two businesses) I found them overly pricey, overly heavy, a pain in the backside to empty and they don't clean any better than any other decent brand cleaner.
And as for "no loss of suction, ever" - give me a break. I'd love to know where the energy to keep that huge mass of dirt flying around the cylinder at high speed is coming from?
Their hand-driers on the other hand - awesome!
Re: insert in cow
I can all too easily imagine how it got there - hugely overworked vet dealing with umpteenth calving of a late night forgets to swap his phone to his other hand before reaching in to check the calf is in the correct position. It is how he realised where it was that interests me;
VET: Damn, I seem to have misplaced my mobile. Can someone just ring it for me please?
Re: rant on!
Hi Mike, I'm no Apple apologist (don't own a single product) but their support IS (usually) excellent. They will normally exchange superseded products bought in the run up to a new launch. The window is usually 3-4 weeks so it is WELL worth contacting them, explaining how upset you are, and seeing if they'll swap it for the new model.
I don't quite get all the analysts hand-wringing "is this the beginning of the end" etc. There seems to be an assumption that, because Apple has followed into a market, instead of leading, they are suddenly doing something different. Apple have done this in the past and they did it for one reason - to make some more money. For all the "experts" talking about marketing etc Apple make money. The iPod was a premium product and completely defined the high end of the market. But, when other manufacturers released cheaper, smaller, flash-based products Apple followed suit. It didn't treat the iPod nano or iClippy-whatever it is called too seriously. It didn't make a song and dance. Sure, they devoted the usual attention to detail and made them lovely to look at (and more expensive than their rivals) but there was never any all encompassing market-domination strategy behind them. They were devices designed to sell a couple of 10s of million and sell a bunch of songs/videos through iTunes.
The iPad Mini looks like exactly the same thing. It is a shrunk down iPad 2. It isn't revolutionary. it isn't clever. It has nothing to make it stand out from the crowd. It isn't set to create or dominate a new market segment. But it will almost certainly sell a couple of 10s of million each year, it's a way for Apple to get rid of last years Big iPad components and it will generate a shed load of sales through iTunes. And at £300-odd quid a pop that is still a few extra billion in revenue. Why can't it just be about generating cash?
Re: Calibre is your friend
I had a similar (though not as bad) experience with Amazon just a couple of weeks ago. I am an Amazon Prime Subscriber (£49 gets free delivery for the year for our family, my Sister's, my brother's and my parents). My wife and I moved house, 2.5 miles (sorry, 4.02KM) down the SAME road. I went to Amazon to change my default address and all seemed fine. Until I went to place and order and was informed my address was not suitable for Amazon Prime Delivery. I quickly contacted Amazon via IM and, after 2 hours of trying to explain the problem, the response was "We don't know what the problem is. It is an automated system so we won't look into it. Is there anything else we can help you with?".
In the end, I solved the problem myself by changing the address so that the postcode was still my old postcode but the rest of the address was our new place. The postman is a friend of the family so everything has been fine so far - no thanks to Amazon.
Re: Last.fm Scrobbling
This information is actually very useful - to you. Last.fm use the list of music you listen to on a daily basis to make (very good) recommendations as to new music you might like. I have lost count of the wonderful new bands and CDs I have discovered through Last.fm recommendations.
If you don't want to hand over such information, that's fine. It is an option and the default is to leave it off. But, certainly in this instance, there actually IS a very good reason to turn it on. If you're the sort of person that actually enjoys new music, new directions and despairs of the generic shit forced down the public's throats by most commercial radio stations then it is an excellent system.
Re: Nexus Media Importer
Doesn't work when you have kids, I'm afraid. Anything snappable is a no-go.
Re: HDMI outputs
"The point of a tablet is to kick back and consume media on the fricken tablet"
I apologise for not wishing to use my tablet the same way as you. I will try harder.
Re: Nexus7 comparible with the Kindle FireHD? Gime me a break...
It isn't QUITE that straight forwardly one-sided. The Kindle, to its advantage, has HDMI output and much better speakers than the NEXUS making it a much better all-round media device. It also has dual-band WiFi which would be important to some.
However, the lack of card slot is currently stopping me from hitting the BUY button on either of these. Plus, I can't help feeling that both devices are currently a bit crippled in the UK. Google doesn't make most of its PLAY content available to us and Amazon offers a much better deal to US Prime subscribers.
The Ainol looks to be a similarly specced device, with HDMI, card slot and vanilla Android for £40 less than the Nexus and Kindle. But can I bring myself to buy a device called the ainol?
I had one of these - indeed, it was my first phone. I'm not one for talking so didn't see the point in a mobile but had used PSIONs and other organisers for years. As soon as I heard they were making a device that (sot of) combined the two I was hooked. And I BELIEVE I'm correct in saying this was the first device to be marketed under the term "smartphone".
However, it was only a smartphone in the way the first iPhone was. You couldn't actually install native software on it. But the PDA stuff was well implemented and the Box came with a full copy of Lotus Notes for synching your data! It also came with a combined dock/charging cradle and a leather carry case with a belt clip!
However, its absolutely best feature was that the physical keypad wasn't electronic. Each button had a little nipple underneath it. When you pressed the button, the nipple touched the screen underneath which triggered the required action. It was genius. It also meant you could remove the keypad completely (the box had a little tool for doing this) and just use the virtual key-pad on the touchscreen - which I did for about five minutes before switching back.
It is the only game I have ever got to the end of and then played straight through again. Although 14 years ago now, I still recall being scared shitless as I crept down a corridor, with the lights flickering on and off, when the ceiling collapsed on top of me bringing aliens down all around, the lights went out and all I could see on the screen was barrel flare from the gunfire.
Nobody had EVER made a game like that before.
Re: interesting but...
"I don't recall ever seeing a non-smart Android phone. A) The software doesn't exist. B) Would you honestly want a non-smart phone with the battery life of a smartphone"
There is no reason why not. I've recently setup a couple of Android phones for elderly regulars in our pub. I stuck on a special launcher that just has six big buttons. Call - SMS - email - Contacts - Browser - Apps. Each of the first four launch specially adapted apps with large fonts and a keyboard than can be zoomed in and out. The browser launches the standard browser and the Apps takes you to a standard app drawer giving you access to everything.
The point is that there is already software to make Android work for the elderly/poor-of-sight. It would be a very simple matter to make a launcher that worked well for a candy-bar, with nice big icons and a number driven menu system. And with a smaller non-touch screen and more room for a battery the battery life would be greatly improved even with a tablet processor. In any case, power-profiles are also easily doable. Under-clock the CPU when in candy-bar mode, whack it back up when it gets docked into the toblerphone mode.
Big screen Mistake
I'm not sure why they've gone for a massive screen on the phone - other than the fact that everyone else is doing it. Isn't the point of having a combined phone and tablet that you slot the phone into the tablet for when you need a large screen (playing games, watching films etc) but still have the convenience of a small, discreet smartphone to carry about with you?
They seem to have missed the ENTIRE point of the device in order to tick one of their marketing departments current must have check-boxes. It is such a shame because, if you could stick this in a 3.5" screened device with a 480x800 display you'd need a smaller slot on the pad leaving room for a bigger battery.
"after asking 4300-odd North Americans"
Why did they only ask odd North Americans? Or was that the only variety they could find?
> At least with the desktop it sits in the computer room which is mostly an alcohol free work zone.
My wife and I recently took over the running of our local pub and, both having a keen interest in live music (I've performed in all sorts from Stage Musicals to Rock Bands over many years), we were keen to get regular bands and musicians in. Unfortunately an awful lot of people who market themselves as a "Live Act" actually turn up with a PA, a mic and an iPhone/iPad which they use to perform a glorified Karaoke session with. The iPhone and Simon Cowell seem to have a lot to answer for! I'm not sure whether people are being deliberately dishonest or just ignorant when they claim what they do is proper, live music.
On the plus side, there are also some REALLY talented kids out there that CAN play, sing and write their own stuff. It's just a pain in the arse trying to find the odd grain of wheat amongst a whole sea of chaff.
Re: You have to wonder...
"Or is it just me with my poor little dumb-phone that only allows me to do odd things like talk to people?"
Erm, yes. This is a Technology forum on a technology website.
What makes a smartphone?
Strange start to the article...
"Time was, smartphones did little that was actually smart. They had front-facing cameras and maybe a touchscreen, but operating systems geared more for a stylus than fingers. It wasn’t until the iPhone landed in 2007 that things changed."
Why does being able to use a finger, rather than a stylus, make a phone smart? You could argue that the first iPhone achieved many, many firsts, but being the first smartphone was not one of them. Indeed, I would argue it wasn't a smartphone at all (althought it was undoubtadly a very smart phone). And I'm still not sure the iPhone, or any of the other current crop of phones, can really do anything your average Windows Mobile device from 2003 couldn't do. It does it all better and faster but it is still a touchscreen phone with built-in data onto which you can install software.
Maybe my point (if I made one) is kind of irrelevant but it just seemed strange to claim that being able to use a finger, rather than a stylus, was the thing that made smartphones smart - rather than, say, making them easier, more convenient, making the screen brighter and more readable etc. etc. etc.
And yes, I still miss my old stylus. I have a capacitive one but it just isn't the same and it doesn't slot conveniently into the back of my phone like in days of yore.