* Posts by robin thakur 1

66 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

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Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION

robin thakur 1

Re: What tosh

I've been using a Macbook Pro for dev and design work, first in Windows and now on iOS and the Web, since I don't know when, as the hardware is infinitely better designed than some race-to-the-bottom, compromised, plastic, future-landfill PC rubbish. I say that as a Microsoft developer that runs Windows as a VM on the MBP. Windows Laptops are garbage whatever you pay, they are always compromised on aspects which I place high value on. Apple's release cadence means that your chosen laptop will be sold for at least a year or more with few alterations and meaningful support. If you pay less you get exactly what you pay for. Less. I paid £1300 in 2011 and my Machine is still going as strong as ever. Additionally if you are a designer, why would you choose to design something beautiful on something ugly and poorly thought out?

Even stuff that I consider acceptable on the PC side like the Surface Pro 3 for example which isn't just outright trying to copy the Macbook Air like most, is unfortunately compromised on both battery life and thermal design. People bleat on about touch screens being 'essential' without realising that the Macbook series has has fantastically perfect touch and gestures through the glass trackpad for donkeys years before Windows 8.

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Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray

robin thakur 1

Re: Downhill

I only develop for SharePoint, and the massive shifts in MS's focus to develop for Azure, almost making their systems less customisable and less powerful has not gone unnoticed, although this has the noble goal of making them more stable. The obvious conclusion I draw from this article is that fewer and fewer Windows applications will be developed for the desktop in the coming years due to MS not having focussed on it and not wexactly making it easy for evs to know where to start. I would also say that if they think developers are going to target Windows Apps for the Store instead, they've got another thing coming. As Windows computer shipments drop ever lower, it makes far more sense to develop the next big thing as a web or mobile app which has a much bigger audience thaan Windows. MS has dropped the ball too many times, asking people to learn new stuff like Silverlight which then falls by the wayside after a short time but still is kicking around as an API.

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robin thakur 1

This is nonsense. I upgraded to both and everything works with no issues. Troll much?

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Shoot to THRILL: Assassin's Creed: Unity and Halo: Master Chief Collection

robin thakur 1

Re: Dear Mr Reviewer.

That's nonsense. Having played games in a time when 60fps was the norm, not the exception (Capcom fighting games, Virtua Fighter, Tekken) and were mandatory on the Dreamcast to output to VGA. I also spent hundreds of hours of my life benchmarking PC Graphics cards back in the day. I can tell the difference all the way upto 120Hz. Easily.

In general, very little I play these days looks fluid with a couple of exceptions. 30fps might create the illusion of motion but there is a world of difference between a movie running at 24fps (instantly noticeable to my eyes but entirely deliberate) and a game running at a smooth fluid 60fps. It increases my perception of the graphics in a game and it looks faster too. People have only gotten more accepting of 30fps games as the hardware in modern consoles is not upto pushing the geometry of games at 1080p/60 (or sometimes even 720p/60) without cutting corners, and most game sales are made through still shots on websites/magazines and lower res video on Youtube. Variable framerates are even worse than 30fps, I will begrudgingly admit. I think delevelopers believe that if the game world you offer is rich and realisitic enough to add more value than making it 60fps, that is a more desirable use of prcessing cycles, but it robs it of reality and clarity in my opinion, and I'm sure i'm not the only one.

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Coming clean: Ten cordless vacuum cleaners

robin thakur 1

It's pretty ridiculous. Name one man that isn't into Dysons? They are virtually designed as man-toys as they look all shiny and engine-like, and the website is very masculine. Yet they still show just women using them like this is the 1950s. I personally look forward to doing the vacuuming when there's a Dyson involved and I've had many a conversation about Dysons with like-minded men. We all agree they are fabulous.

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The Great Smartphone Massacre: Android bloodbath gathers pace

robin thakur 1

Re: Commoditisation

I'm not sure you read the same article. From a technical perspective, I can tell you that there is very little between my iPhone 6 Plus and a HTC One M8 in terms of real life performance difference. However, I choose the Apple offering despite it costing nearly double the HTC because of the brand, the support (both app developer and technical support) and the experience. This is the reason that Burberry can sell a trenchcoat for £2k when they are on sale at H&M round the corner for £20, humans are not always logical and brand/appearance matters to them, in general. I don't disagree on the rebalancing of the world economy, that's why America spends so much on its military.

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robin thakur 1

Re: Profit margin

I like the Lumias, but I wouldn't buy one. The constant worry that you were missing out on apps which are available first on iOS isn't acceptable on a platform, and they are really just marketing another version of what Apple are selling by aping them to closely. There isn't the customisation of Android and they don't anything as well as Apple in the mobile front. This is why their market share is in the single digits and has even declinded recently. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Microsoft's new strategy was to dispose of the Lumia, Surface and Xbox One brands while they still have some currency. They can't keep throwing good money after bad, and those three sub brands are all doing poorly.

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Microsoft confirms Surface NOT DEAD YET, next-gen version coming

robin thakur 1

Re: ...or what it might look like.

I was going to get a Surface Pro 3 when I first read about it months ago. I really was. A few factors turned that thought around when it eventually came out in the UK:

-Typing on your lap doesn't work very well with the kick stand. You need a stable surface unlike with a laptop and the keyboard case still feels like it will cause RSI in short order

-The touch pad is much worse than on a mac

-Overheating and fan noise, as well as firmware issues

-It is far too expensive to get to try out in a capacity which I would actually want i7/8GB/256Gb/512GB = @£1600 aka "you are having a laugh"

-No integrated pen caddy

-The surface is intimately tied to Windows 8 and I want to see what will happen with Windows 10

-It isn't selling well and I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft kills it, knowing them. Realisitically, if after 3 generations they are still sub 1 million sales, and nursing heavy losses, what respectable public company would persevere

-I don't know anybody that has actually bought one with their own money

You might well argue that the bill of materials necessitates it to be priced at the higher end, but Microsoft need to be more aggressive to enter a market which has zero confidence in it. It might well be one of those fantastic devices which is too expensive and therefore nobody ever tries it and nobody knows about it.

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Nexus 9: Google and HTC deliver Android 5.0 'Lollipop' at iPad prices

robin thakur 1

Re: What Android or iOS games????

"Wait for the next generation" has been the mantra of Windows tablets potential purchasers for some time. If everybody keeps on saying that and nobody buys them, what do you think will happen?

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robin thakur 1
FAIL

Too expensive

I was looking forward to buying this, but at this price I could buy an iPad Air 2 for not much more with all extra tablet optimised apps that exist on it! I think Google have forgotten in their pricing strategy that this is an *Android* tablet and we don't have the disposable cash of Apple's customers. It's like paying Waitrose prices for Lidl food, a massive mistake in my eyes. In a year's time it might be worth it once the prices get slashed as they always do when the next one is about to drop, but for now, I'll pass.

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This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

robin thakur 1

I tend to think that Samsung's phone sales have given them an inflated impression of themselves over the last couple of years and a tendency to rest on their laurels while piling endless bloat onto their devices and seeming to spend almost nothing on designers (or they just don't hire the right people) Samsung have simply remained the same, while everybody else has caught up or passed them.

People only really bought Galaxy phones because they were a viable cheaper alternative to the iPhone early on, they were the only real Phablet game in town and because Samsung spend more than anybody else on marketing. Now there are better AND cheaper alternatives, like the Nexus and the cheaper chinese Apple clones like Xiaomi which actually do realise that the look and feel of devices is actually far more important than the specs to the vast majority of people. Instead of admitting that they got something wrong, Samsung instead say that the market is weak. This is the same market that is buying iPhone 6 Pluses faster than they can be made. The problem is not the market. Samsung's audience for phones either don't have a lot of money or don't want to spend it on Samsung's devices.

Nobody wants to feel ripped off or mocked and the Galaxy S5 does not look, feel or perform like a flagship product and especially not a premium answer to any iPhone. Out of the box, without any tweaking, the phone is slow and the camera is, I would almost say broken, by its implementation of IS. This Alpha is even less impressive, simply because this is Samsung very vocally going 'all-out' to quell it's critics and ending up with a plastic-backed lemon. Despite being available for many weeks I have yet to see anybody walking around with one of these.

Samsung mobile will decline until they drop their prices or innovate something which people find genuinely useful or that just plain work reliably. Everybody with > a galaxy S4 uses 'Air-Scrolling' every day don't they?

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APPLE still building fanbois CULT HQ in Cupertino, it seems

robin thakur 1

Well actually...

Its huge structure and epic scope does remind me of the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremburg. Where does Tim park the airship? Apple totally deserves that diss because shipment of my 6 Plus is now marked as delayed!! WTF

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The Schmidt hits the brand: Apple's iPhone 6 is a year late, scoffs smug search supremo

robin thakur 1

No that's incorrect. A motorola Phone had a fingerprint scanner first of all but the implementation was pretty spotty. Having owned both a S5 and a 5S, it's no rumour I can vouch for the Touch ID system being miles better because you don't have to scrape your thumb over a sharp edged button on a phone that's hard to hold with one hand and pull of the dexterity needed to unlock it without moving your thumb diagnally. The Apple 5S had the fingerprint scanner before the Samsung Galaxy S5.

I would dispute that Samsung did have the same product a year ago because the OS is different and there can be no direct comparison. Samsung's software on top of Android is the part that lets it down, it is attrocious and makes state of the art hardware slower than year old stuff in real world use. A S5 clocked higher than the same chipset in an HTC One M8 is so much slower it's nuts. The only thing they had first was the larger screen size, big deal. Apple have a long and illustrious history of taking its time before entering markets and perfecting them. As a user of Android and iOS, i'd still choose iOS anyday of the week because it's far more reliable, has a far better AppStore and Apps don't crash constantly. The hardware design and support are icing on the cake.

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED

robin thakur 1

Re: OS updates

Well, if you really want to know...I can't update my HTC One M8 using the OTA updates because it is rooted and this prevents them from installing. I rooted it and now I have to put back on the OTB recovery if I want to update it, supposedly. The last time I did this, it decided to boot-loop, I had to reinstall the image on itto stock and lost all my files and data. So yes...iOS is much easier to update. This is mostly thanks to iCloud backups which you can rely on not to screw up.

I'm sure there very well may be Android backup equivalents but I don't have a week to waste researching them all then finding which one remotely works. Yes I know that rooting is optional and not OTB but I also can't change the lock screen widget or the dot view case displaying Hangout alerts (which still doesn't really work) without it. It is probably easier on a Nexus 5 but an HTC One M8 is not one of these exotic landfill android phones with no support. Back to Apple I go, I miss usability and reliability.

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Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

robin thakur 1

Re: Apple Macbooks

You assume too much. I'm as technical as they get and could afford any laptop, pc or mac and still choose a RMBP because of the design and the support and because all of the components (not just some of them) are great and are balanced against battery life. The trackpad build quality and capabilities on their own are something where an equivalent simply does not exist in the PC laptop market even now and has been available on Mac for a decade. Even running Windows on them is a far nicer experience and once you've used one, it's very hard to go back to the whole race-to-the-bottom, cost-conscious, flimsy PC alternatives which change with the seasons depending on which desperate sales gimmick MS decides to unveil, and I say that with love as an MS developer.

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robin thakur 1

Re: 1000 quid!

Which laptop would that be? I'd still prefer a RMBP to virtually any other windows laptop, even if I end up running Windows on it. The service of Apple is peerless compared to the horrible non-existent service offered by the average PC vendor and nothing else looks as pretty quite frankly. I appreciate good design when I'm developing in Visual Studio, the two are not mutually exclusive.

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robin thakur 1

Re: I bought the last of the non retina range.

I've also got a late 2011 MBP, but having fitted a 1TB SSD and 16GB Ram for VMware work, there is a diminishing returns factor and while on paper it has quad core 2.3GHz and 8 cores it overheats quite a bit. I crave a new RMBP but am waiting for the battery to completely die in this one first.

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We told you jailbreaking your iThing was dangerous

robin thakur 1

Re: Perhaps

It's not exactly a bed of roses on Android. Having tired of how sluggish my Samsung Galaxy S5 was, I rooted my HTC one m8 and installed twrp recovery and that managed to block OTA updates. In trying to do something so out there as installing the new OTA update from HTC, it unaccountably left my phone in a bootloop and I had to reinstall a factory rom image, losing all my data. Stupidly I had assumed it was backing up every night to the cloud automatically a la iPhone and lost everything.

I only rooted it so that I could get the dot view case to display alerts from Hangouts (even rooted it still doesn't work) and allow me to put a different lock screen on it, Dashclock, which also doesn't quite do what I want (I want it full screen so I don't have to drag it down to full screen every time) neither of which you could do OOTB on that phone.

Now this might be different on a Nexus device, but my experience of Android's 'flexibility' is decidedly variable and it does generally require that you root your phone, compromising the security unless you install something like Super SU. Compared to what you are losing in terms of convenience and the fact that iOS is pretty much at feature parity now with far better hardware quality, long story short, my next phone will be an iPhone 6 when it gets released.

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AWS hell no: Can Microsoft Azure sales beat Amazon's cloud?

robin thakur 1

Re: Amazon is plenty profitable Competition abounds

Tax laws (generally) allow you tax breaks if your company reinvest in "Research", "Plants and Materials" and other costs, expenses that gets deducted before Corporation Tax is levied. Therefore on revenues of $21 billion it is actually in their interests to minimise their profit, because otherwise, heaven forbid, they might have to consider distributing some of it back to Shareholders...or worse, paying tax on it!

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Samsung faces down TAB and smartphone MOUNTAIN HORROR

robin thakur 1

Not surprised

I'm not at all surprised at this. Samsung's Touchwiz layer and "added features" over Android supposedly commands a premium price, and allows them to sell the Galaxy 5 and all the hundreds of other variants probably on the market for £500+ but they are deluding themselves. Having picked up a Galaxy 5 recently it was noticeably sluggish even after all the usual optimisations, typing slowed down and hung, the camera was too slow and the thing overheated awfully and charged slowly. The design was lousy and whilst it might not break as readily if one drops it (though neither does polystyrene) it hardly screams "premium flagship". The Galaxy 5 was more sluggish than the Iphone 5 I'd been using for 2 years and possibly more sluggish than the old Galaxy S3 that that replaced. This in an insanely powerful flagship phone and it is inexcusable for the price. Needless to say I rapidly swapped it out for a HTC One M8 to hold me over until the iPhone 6 releases and don't miss the numerous pointless features added by Samsung (especially that charging flap).

When I can buy a generic Android device and not have to put up with this nonsense for a fraction of the cost (Nexus, 1+1 etc) and which is actually responsive, Samsung aren't going to be able to justify it for much longer. I wouldn't even consider picking up the Note 4 when it comes out for example. Apple is unlikely to suffer as bad because at least when you go and pay £500+ for one, it feels the part, and operates at a pace. They are more likely to gain and retain the premium crowd who refresh their devices yearly which then locks in all the aspirant purchasers. There is a reason Apple's share price has recovered as Samsung's has fallen.

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Julie Larson-Green: Yes, MICROSOFT is going to KILL WINDOWS

robin thakur 1

Re: Which one ? Windows 8 with luck

I use Windows 8 every day, but I don't really see it as any sort of improvement on Windows 7, really. Aspects of it are annoying with a keyboard and mouse. e.g. trying to double lick the top left icon on a maximised screen to close the window and accidentally swapping to another app/desktop (I'm not really sure what it is actually doing) and the transitions to start and fullscreen apps are really jarring. Put it this way. I actively enjoy using OSX, iOS et al. Windows is a necessary evil in my role as a SharePoint developer. Nobody knows what RT is for, not even MS, which explains why *nobody* is buying it. "The only bonus is battery life, other than that it is a pointless version of Windows Phone with no apps you cannot make phone calls from which happens to resemble Windows 8 pro." is what I've been telling everybody I know who also has no clue what RT is for.

I think the take-up of Windows Lumia phones would be faster if Microsoft seemed to act with more confidence. Given the way they killed off the upgrade path for the previous version of Windows phones, and killed lots of other projects after launch, and how they now seem to want to merge the codebases with RT (what effect will that have on compatibility for existing software/phones?) people are understandably quite nervous, no matter how much marketing spend they throw at it, and this translates to lower sale as people wait and see what happens all the while buying alternative devices.

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Why Microsoft absolutely DOESN'T need its own Steve Jobs

robin thakur 1

Re: SJ did have one thing right

It's funny you said that, I thought of that line from SJ when I first saw Windows 8's Metro interface. Microsoft have no taste. For anybody from a design background, this has been abundantly apparent throughout their products for a very long time. I think you are onto something when you say they never really feel they have to compete. MS has always had the business Windows/Office/Exchange/SharePoint/CRM revenues to fall back on, but I think their various mistepps from Vista onwards, a plateaus in software and hardware demands, lack of presence in Mobile and BYOD causing Apple devices to come into the organisation has caused a perfect storm for them which they might struggle to recover from. They certainly don't feel as infallible as they used to and many people I know both at work and home now don't use Microsoft at all, and that used to be very rare indeed. I think that the failure of the Surface has been a good case study in things they are shooting themselves in the foot with.

As you said, no touch enabled (as in designed from the ground up for touch) version of Office 2013/365 included or available at launch, or a year later, is totally unforgivable:, that would have been a killer feature in the enterprise! When we tested out the Surfaces, you could see the disappointment on people's faces with what Redmond had come up with, and we rapidly started buying iPads again. It's a similar story wherever you look. Why does Outlook behave different to every other Office product with regards to saving to SharePoint and why haven't MS fixed that and other key Sharepoint "design decisions" over a period of *years*. If their own products don't even work together well, it just looks bad. People have become used to MS's screwing things up.

Of course, the damage to the company right now does not seem obvious, it didn't with RIM either, but MS's whole business model will need to be rebalanced, given the trends and where we are heading. Other than software EOL forcing companies to upgrade, what compelling reasons are there to upgrade Windows, Office and the rest when almost as good much cheaper or free options exist? All of their profitable divisions are relying on markets in a current state of flux, from the Xbox (competing with iOS games costing pennies and an erosion of dedicated home consoles) to Windows and Office, their best strategy might be to move to an IBM model as their enterprise server products are still generally well respected.

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Microsoft relents: 'Go ahead, install Windows 8.1 on clean PCs'

robin thakur 1

"I spent an entire evening using my mates IOS laptop."

I think you lost me with this ridiculous clueless statement, there is no such thing as a laptop that runs iOS. Are you a real developer or are you working your way through a learn Visual Studio in 24 hours book? Besides the whole world has practically told MS where to stick Windows 8, and most smart phone and tablet platforms run on Linux or a Unix derivative...

I'm a IT Pro, currently specialising in SharePoint and even I can see the writing on the wall for MS, their old business model is coming to the end of its useful life. FYI I use a Macbook Pro running windows in a VM because I do actually prefer OS X and pretty much always have, though Win 7 was nice. I have used OS X for more than "One evening" and can assure you that it is perfectly decent option and the idea that there is "no useful software" to run, particularly on OS X, hasn't been true for years. I only power up my Windows VM to develop with Visual Studio,. For everything else there is a mac alternative which is as good or better and integrates better with my other devices at home and work. I also built a machine that runs Windows 8 at home, but it is rarely used other than as Hyper-V host to connect to remotely for SP2013 development and nobody else in the house wants to use it, though not for lack of trying.

I don't personally mind Windows 8 (the Hyper-V host is at least useful) but I don't think business generally wants it, from my feedback from users and key stakeholders. It hasn't had the wider take up from non business users to force a tipping point of adoption into business the way the iPhone and iPad did back in the day and is still regarded as a colourful oddity which Microsoft might nix in the next full version. Seeing Metro on Windows Server 2012 still has the power to make me chuckle...

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robin thakur 1

No, this is an issue, even if mostly a psychological one for them. Microsoft still things it is the big dog and is behaving the only way it knows how, shipping umpteen different versions with peculiar restrictions on when they can be used and by whom, like they are deliberately making things awkward, more so than when Desktops and Laptops were actually in the ascendency as few years ago due to web apps.

Yes it will mostly affect businesses and self builders, but they are people too, surely! Make life too difficult for people that used to like you and you won't be liked for much longer. Some of the rabid Microsoft fans I know are strangely reticent on their prospects these days and consider that they have lost the plot when it comes to business, which should be their strongest domain. Windows 8 itself does not look like a business OS, it looks like an OS designed for children and immediately turns people off. The only area they still have massive strength in is their server platform offerings like Azure, Exchange, SharePoint, CRM, which don't really need MS clients to work any more.

Even their Office business will face considerable challenges in the near future what with Apple giving away its iWorks suite on iPads, in my opinion. On all our corporate iPads we give out here (to anyone that wants one) not having built-in Office editing has been a traditional bugbear since we started rolling them out, and people used Quick Office HD. Now people are already asking why the presentation they authored on their iPad in Keynote won't work properly in PowerPoint. Since we now have Apple TV's hooked up to all the meeting room screens due to demand, they can simply cut out the PowerPoint step and AirPlay mirror the iPad to the screen and thereby MS software is completely cut out of the loop. It's a whole new world out there and MS need to step it up for business as there are legions of people who have gotten used to the Apple way of working on their corporate iPads and iPhones and prefer it to the 'old way' of Blackberrys to Wintel. I find it staggering that all this consumer gubbins is allowed in the workplace, but it does show you how far things have gone that even not really trying to attract business to use the devices (bar the few concessions of VPN compatibility and ActiveSync), Apple have made inroads.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it ... Win Phone 8? No, it's APPLE'S iOS 7

robin thakur 1

I like it

I've been using it since the first beta and the GM version is way better and confounds my earlier misgivings. There was never really anything particularly wrong with iOS6, just that a load of stuff had been bolted on since it was first envisioned that made it seem a bit unwieldy along with all the Skeumorphism which is currently hated by the chatterers. The new interface is clear and beautiful, and the transparency and blur is used very effectively (eg the camera app defocuses before it closes) I even have got used to the parallax effect on the background now and this has also been toned down a bit from the early beta. The new wallpapers are gorgeous too, which was a nice surprise in the release version. We just need the apps to get some updates now, most work apart from Google Translate for me which stubbornly quits even now...and PLEASE Apple let Airdrop on iPhone work with Airdrop on OSX. As always with Apple I expect this to be the first rough step and it will be further polished.

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Review: Renault Zoe electric car

robin thakur 1
Unhappy

So, in London

So, how exactly do you charge it? I assume ttat you have to plug it into a socket somewhere? We have on street parking, so does this mean that I need to have a socket installed on the curb by the council or have some kind of lead hanging out of the window which will doubtless get nicked in central London? They really didn't think this through...What if you don't have a garage!

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Siri, will Apple's App Store lock out blind people on iOS 6?

robin thakur 1
FAIL

Re: Samsung should give them all a free phone

Iol, are we talking about the same device in the samsung galaxy 3? I can barely make calls from it while at home without them dropping (on the same network I might add as my work iPhone 4S which does just fine) and the battery life is a pale shadow of the apple device even with battery 2x installed with conservative settings. I lastly, very much doubt that Android supports blind users as much as iOs does (accessibility is one of Apple's traditional strengths) since the Play Store makes it hard to find things even when you know what you're looking for.

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Apple forecast to sell 8m iPhone 5s next weekend

robin thakur 1
Go

Re: A life.

Agreed, the new law of economics as PWC teach it states that supply should be exactly correlated to demand apart from when the company is Apple!

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robin thakur 1
Go

Re: What irks me...

I think it has always worked in their favour when people are talking about them constantly and giving them free publicity. I'm glad people have stopped ogling the Samsung Galaxy 3. Throughout the Olympics, I nearly became hoarse watching the David Beckham ads screaming "I've got one and they're shite!!!" at the telly.

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robin thakur 1
Megaphone

Re: More caution...

I'm not sure why I'm saying this, but you need to give Apple more credit here. The IPhone 5 beats all other phones on the market in all the benchmarks that I've seen check out anandtech.com), is more than twice as fast as the 4S (which is itself no slouch) has a larger screen and therefore a different chassis which is thinner and lighter than the previous generation while delivering more battery life. What exactly were you expecting?

If you believe paper specs reflect the way the devices run across different platforms you are sadly deluded. I've never had performance issues on any iPhone, but frequently have on Android because the software is bloated and badly optimised for the hardware these days. The primary feature of Jelly Bean is that it finally makes Android seem as smooth as the iPhone (it doesn't in real life, but some people will believe them) and other platforms still lack the true voice of apps available to iOS owners.

In short, I find your doubt misplaced and fully expect Apple to be able to sell as many as it can make in the run up to Christmas. Mine arrives Friday, and once people start seeing the device and feel how far improved the build quality is on something like the Samsung phone they will want it. I used to own the galaxy 3 and it felt much cheaper than it actually was, along with all the usual complaints for Android phones.

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Win8 tablets may cost MORE than iPads – AND LAPTOPS

robin thakur 1
FAIL

Win8

I'm clearly not the only one now thinking that the launch of Windows 8 will be the disaster that many thought it would be, the number of people on here saying "Ballmer/Microsoft are smoking crack" is quite high. Its the hardwate OEM's and PC industry I really feel sorry for as a great many people depend on Microsoft for Windows to be the draw that it is and MS are just gambling with their futures. They still seem to be living in a world where Windows leads the industry. Granted, Windows 7 was very good, but 8 needs all this kit just to be fully usable. Without it, it does kind of work but not as well as windows 7. On a desktop, my days are filled with the joy of trying to click the corner top right on screen 1 to shut down the computer only to scroll into the top-left corner of screen 2, or trying to avoid the many tablet optimised default apps which exist along with their desktop counterparts. That they are forcing this upon us all (even business) simply to make deva more likely to develop for the platform smacks of desperation. Why does Metro need to be on a server exactly? Most days I just boot into Mountain Lion because at least that integrates properly with all my other devices and I cloud etc. And it doesn't much about with the desktop in ways I can't just opt not to use.

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Lightning strikes fresh iPad Mini shots

robin thakur 1
Happy

Android tablet

Right, the Nexus 7 is going back to the store if there's a more affordable iPad coming with a decent array of apps. There is too much missing on the nexus and it can't use tablet apps. Hopefully Apple don't ship a device with a camera but no camera software installed either!

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iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

robin thakur 1
Happy

Definite day 1 purchase

I like the look of the new iPhone it looks well made, and hopefully the build quality, touch responsiveness, ergonomics and screen quality will be better than the SGS3 which it is replacing. Going back to iPhone, as I don't have the time to spend sorting out my phone so that it works as I wish using hacked together tools and would like to see what's new in iOS 6. If and when Google issue an improved Maps app, there won't be anything holding me to the SGS3 now there is turn by turn navigation built into the 5. Having tried Jelly Bean on my Nexus 7, Google seem to have a different definition of "Buttery Smoothness" than me as I *still* find scrolling down a web page in Chrome jerky as all hell. It's more like Frozen Margerine. The OS just looks really bargain basement compared to iOS with weird spacing and rubbish little icons, so for me iOS wins on looks with polished richly coloured larger icons and proper full-fat buttery smoothness. Even Google's app icons look better on iOS, bizarrely.

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Microsoft leads from behind on Windows 8

robin thakur 1
FAIL

Re: Hmm

Windows 8 so far crashes more than 7 for me but at least you get a :( on your bluescreen now!

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IDC: Trying to flog PCs? It's not going to happen

robin thakur 1
FAIL

Re: Really?

Well, Apple make nice looking devices which hold their value unlike the typical bargain basement pc equivalent but I digress. MS's big push to change the whole way of interacting with Windows is going to backfire spectacularly, I can safely say, having used 8 for a while. Business hates it, and end-users are baffled by it once they get over the pretty colours. One woman we tested with started crying because of her frustration that she just didn't know how to operate it and found it utterly intimidating. Needless to say we put Windows 7 back on her PC as fast as humanly possible. Do they honestly think that people use Windows because they like it?!? They use it because it is compatible and that is what they have learned to use or have been told to use. If you are going to learn a completely new user interface, It's much easier to learn OS X...which is at least consistent. On Windows 8 clicking on IE on the Start screen starts a different App to clicking IE on the desktop, and the same goes for control panel. For me it is unintuitive and annoying. For an end user, it might make them give up on MS altogether. Perhaps that is Steve Ballmer's unwritten objective.

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robin thakur 1
FAIL

I dual boot Win 8 RTM and Mountain Lion Hackinstosh, and I really have no love for Win8 at all. On dual screens it makes hitting the top right corner to go to control panel/shutdown stupidly difficult and fiddly without accidentally going onto the next screen. Every program which wants to install stuff vomits all its useless bits onto the start screen. If I have to use Windows, as soon as I boot up, I click on desktop and just use that where possible. I never ever use the start screen otherwise, it is just superfluous for most things and all the programs on it have a different look and feel to all their desktop equivalents, very confusing... Is it an improvement on Windows 7 for a normal desktop pc? Nope. Luckily, most of my windows dev work can be done through Virtual Environments, so it can happily be done under Mountain Lion. Problem sorted :) Perhaps on a Windows Tablet it might be good, but I already have iPads so probably won't be getting one.

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The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

robin thakur 1
WTF?

I'm sorry but this is nonsense...

You and the BBC seem to feel the need to jump on the anti-Apple bandwagon over stupid reasons, but I'm probably going to get the 5 when it is out, having recently owned a Galaxy 3 and an HTC One X and gone back to the 4S after the wow factor died. Why? At the end of the day, beyond the razzmataz of large screens and a notionally superior OS, consistant ease of use and stability, battery life, plus choice of Apps and the ever-present environental lock in brought me back to the iPhone.

Take something as simple as Music. It's a right pain on Android. For the Galaxy 3, I tried Kies, DoubleTwist, iSyncr and a couple of others and none of them were reliable or fully featured alternatives to 'awful' iTunes. Some didnt work with ICS, others you had to pay for and some you had to buy the wifi sync functionality seperately, others still (I'm looking at you Kies) lock the phone during mass storage mode transfers so you can't answer calls or texts. Great. Once tracks are on the device, you have to unlock it to control music playback (no notification centre on lock screen for me on an Exchange server), no doubletapping of the flimsy home button to bring up a music player. My headphone remote, doesn't work with triple tap to go back a track, it's just an exercise in making life much harder than it needs to be. I googled for weeks, went on forums, assuming i'd missed something obvious, but there is no easy way to do it assuming you aren't just dragging and dropping a small number of tracks and a playlist into one folder (as in, what we used to do back in the year 2000)

Every other person I know who purchased a SGS3 I've asked about the subject has sort of given me a strange knowing look and admitted that they had to ask more technical friends for assistance in doing the same task and eventually resorted to carrying an iPod (or even in one case their old iPhone) around as well for music playback. Many found it mind boggling that I as an IT person (SharePoint Admin and developer) couldn't work out how to do it. I could work out how to reflash the rom on the phone fine, but when it came to music I had to admit defeat, and the phone went to Gumtree heaven never to be seen again. My point is that yes it is supremely customisable, but if it still doesn't do what you want, what then? Fork Android and develop your own version?!? Possibly, but not everyody has that sort of time...The Galaxy 3 is full of gimmicks that nobody will ever use or flat out just don't work reliably like the motion controls, Photoshare, Smart stay, S Assist, and I could go on. The build quality likewise disappoints (HTC better on this front, as it their screen)

In short, it's easy to take the iPhone for granted, but I will be sticking with what works thanks.

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Fixing Android mobes costs telcos millions

robin thakur 1
WTF?

Typical..

Typical Androider. Looks down his nose at anybody that doesn't know (or want to ) root their phone and install a Cyanogen mod just so that you can install your latest OS updates. Don't know how to do it? Well, you must just be thick and have no business using the device. You can see why Apple have been so successful with the arrogant likes of him about.

5
2

Steve Jobs named most influential game guy – ever

robin thakur 1
Thumb Up

Woah, clearly alot of people that don't read the news here

The last time I checked, Angry birds had been downloaded 400 million times, the majority on iOS. This makes it the most downloaded game of all time. Possibly the most played. Think about that. Nintendo might have had the democratisation of gaming in mind with the Wii, but the iPhone/iTouch/AppStore made it truly possible for the world and his dog to become game developers, taking care of the dev environment, marketing and accounting necessary to become a developer, selling in low cost/ large volumes. This has not been seen before, and whilst it has now come to threaten the conventional games industry, you need to be able to see the way it is heading in. Being elitist and saying that a flash game is not a game is a bit thick really, it's whatever people want to play.

The time to scoff at Steve Jobs and Zuckerberg's was when facebook gaming and the App store was announced and untested. Now that both are cleaning up and are now the mainstream way that people play games (whether that's a good thing or a bad thing i'll leave upto you to decide) is not under discussion. As long as I can play FInal Fantasy 3 on my commute in the morning on my iPhone 4S I'm one very happy customer.

0
2

Samsung, Google whip out Android 4.0 Nexus

robin thakur 1
FAIL

Agreed, this looks quite weak actually graphics-wise, and it's not exactly pocketable. Nice design but that's about it, plus you can bet your life it will be crappily built using plastic like all the other Samsungs.

1
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robin thakur 1
FAIL

Nope

The GPU and CPU's in this are dated, and won't be enough to power that screen properly. Not that there are any decent games on Android yet (everyone I see is playing puzzle games on their swanky G2 phones!) Nice curved design, but it doesn't begin to make up for the lack of quality apps which still afflicts Android, so I'll be getting a 4S thanks. Would be interested to see the battery life on this one also.

0
3

Apple 'prepping smaller iPad'

robin thakur 1
WTF?

I assume he was referring to the state of play with cost, power drain and development of Flash Ram at the time (iDevices tend to use single chip solutions for storage) and certainly if my first iPod Touch had been twice the price and twice the size, that wouldn't have been a great user experience for me...

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robin thakur 1
Holmes

Its the apps

The super feature which sells iPads and iPhones has long been the Apps available, not the specs, I would say. The specs stability and backwards compatibility make developing the apps supremely more viable than the constantly changing standards on Android. Having taken a look at the Galaxy Nexus just now as well as the Samsung Tablets, whilst they are ok devices, with spectacular specs, they just don't have the apps I need to use on a day to day basis, not to mention the decent Exchange integration. Developers will focus on the iDevices for some time to come simply because they appear not to make much money off of the Android app markets by comparison.

2
3

Apple iPhone 4S

robin thakur 1
FAIL

Sure, but the biggest thing wrong with the Galaxy S2 is that it doesn't run iOS. This on its own justifies the price of the iPhone IMO. I had a Galaxy S2 for 4 weeks as a break from my iPhone4, but couldn't get on with it and 'downgraded' (in your eyes) to an iPhone4S which is absolutely spectacular by comparison. The interface seems a lot snappier which is odd considering that on paper the Galaxy S2 should be faster than an iPhone4 with its dual cores. However, the interface is choppy and jerky, and overall just doesn't seem as polished. Likewise the build quality of a Galaxy S2 is shockingly flimsy compared to an Apple device, and the screen is worse (perhaps brighter and bigger, but text looks much worse as the pixels are too big. Most of all, I was disappointed to find that the apps which I use constantly had few if any equivalent on the Android and rarely did it feel joined up enough to complete an entire workflow. Most big name apps are just missing! The whole thing reminded me more than a bit of Windows mobile. Perhaps it could have been rooted or modded to work properly, but I don't have the time to be faffing around with that. Therefore, I have tried the alternatives, and feel I have chosen the right platform for now.

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robin thakur 1
Meh

I had a radio on virtually every phone prior to owning the iPhone1 and never actually used it (other than testing that it works) but then I don't listen to radio :)

0
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robin thakur 1
Happy

It's a cut out for the proximity sensor which cannot see through the white paint as well as it can through the darkened glass on the black model. This is what caused the 1 year shipping delay on the White iPhone4 btw. I think it makes it look a tad uglier, but still picked up a white 4S to play with and it is growing on me.

0
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Ten... earphones for mobiles

robin thakur 1
WTF?

As an iPhone user I did see that there are a couple reviewed for Android, but I glossed over those. It says that for most of them, there are non-iphone versions available for those who can't afford iPhones lol

0
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Win 8 haters are just scared of change, say MS bosses

robin thakur 1
FAIL

a bit dated

Ever heard of meta tagging and Search engines? This is the real reason why hierarchical storage of data is going the way of the Dodo. SInce we installed SharePoint, whilst there is a hierarchy, we can better find things using search and the aforementioned tagging, and people are all forced to organise themselves the way the organisation wants them to rather than in their own weird ways. This is definitely progress from people burying critical info in their my documents or in email IMO. As far Win8, I'll be waiting for SP2 aka Windows 9 before I look at it.

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robin thakur 1
Facepalm

Agreed

I pity MS battling to stay relevent here in the face of declining sales and influence on both business and consumer habits. People increasingly want environments where programs don't crash and which they can't break simply by deleting a system file. In short, they want iPads and iPhones, because they see themselves doing exactly what they used to do, be it email or browsing the web. The huge explosion of Apps is a reaction to £400 Office suites and £60 console games which are too complex for the majority of people to use, and whose system requirements are difficult to gauge against the Dell Studio POS you bought 2 years ago. Sadly, as goo as this might be when it eventually gets released, Business will laugh at the idea of rolling it out and consumers will be reminded of the bad old days of XP and Vista and BSOD and constant security threats.

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robin thakur 1
FAIL

No way

I would say that this would work fine for apps designed for this interface. In terms of using legacy apps, this will be absolutely the worst idea. General users really do not need to know the difference between a CPU, RAM and GPU, and should be snadboxed so that they cannot break the system they are working in. This is why tablets and phones have replaced the pc for a great many people out there and users are clamouring to use iPad's and the like at work instead of their pc's (I see this every day and the ITP has been changed to allow personal iPads and iPhones on the network specifically hereand at the last company I worked for)

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