Google Wallet

October 24, 2012 § 1 Comment

So,

a couple of things have become clear now since last post.

  1. Indeed, you have to buy stuff whilst you’re in your own country. It says so in some small print. A bit lame if you compare to Apple and Microsoft, and I hope that Google can get their stuff sorted here
  2. American Express is only valid in the US of A for Google Wallet. Why on earth Google didn’t warn me when I entered those details is bizarre to say the least! Only option then is to pay with my debit card… Not a drama, but it’s the initial confusion that caused the disappointment.

So there we go, I understand the Google world a little bit better now. At least Android doesn’t stop working as soon as you leave the country!

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Google Play doesn’t get “online” buying.

October 15, 2012 Comments Off on Google Play doesn’t get “online” buying.

Now don’t expect a great review comparing all the details of the services, but… I’ve started noticing some oddities on Google Play that wouldn’t have occurred on iTunes.
First of all, to open an account, you need a wallet. In my wallet is my credit card and a bunch of vouchers that came with my Nexus7. It’s a UK credit card, with a verified UK address, and obviously I bought the Nexus here around the corner! Last week, during my holiday in Turkey, I couldn’t buy (I could update!) any apps as they were not available in the country I was in. Same thing for a book I wanted to buy. Despite my UK credit card, me physically being away from home was enough reason for Google to deny me the privilege of buying from their store.
Now that wouldn’t have happened with Apple. Whilst in Belgium for all those days when Karen was in hospital in Belgium, Apple never denied me buying something from their store. Unlike Apple, Google hasn’t taken into account that you could be travelling.

Now I’m back in the UK and thought I’d buy the book I wanted! So there we go… Google had given me a reasonable amount of credit on the Google Play store, so that I could buy a bunch of stuff. Today is the first day that I’d get over my intitial allowance, so my credit card should be used! But guess what, it’s part of my wallet and cannot be used. No reason given.
It’s the same card as the one I use with Apple, so maybe I should go back buying content with Apple. Seem reasonable enough, not?

And where on earth is the Google helpdesk?

Oh yeah… it’s not only Google Play that thinks you cannot travel, although situation isn’t exactly the same here…

The New iPad in the UK and why you should wait!

March 12, 2012 Comments Off on The New iPad in the UK and why you should wait!

So what are the main features of the New iPad that should convince you to upgrade?

1. Retina Display. Cannot discuss about this, it’s a great new addition and will probably enhance your experience browsing and using the few apps out there that can take advantage!
2. 5MP iSight camera. 5MP is not something that would necessarily wow me nowadays to start with. Fact remains that there’s not much room in the ultrathin machine for a camera. Anyone who knows about optics will realise that the quality will never be any good.
But what when you don’t need that quality, shouldn’t this suffice? Maybe, but I’ve been to a couple of events where people were taking photographs with their iPad and I can honestly say that it’s the clumsiest camera I’ve ever seen, especially if you want it to focus where you want!
Only positive here is that it’s probably the largest display I’ve ever seen, no complaints there!
3. iPhoto Great addition, but also available on the iPad 2. So although it’s on the “new features” list of the new iPad, it really isn’t.
For the people who still have the first version of the iPad: with the iPhone Configuration Utility you can enable the iPhoto program on your device. It’s not officially supported, but you’re only using Apple programs to enable it, so it’s not like you have to go jailbreaking your device to get it to work.
4. 4G
Let me just paraphrase the website:

The new iPad supports fast mobile networks the world over — up to 4G LTE.2 So you can browse the web, stream content or download a film at incredibly fast speeds. It also works on GSM/UMTS worldwide network technologies, including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA — the fastest 3G networks out there. You’ll see downlink speeds up to 42 Mbps with DC-HSDPA and up to 21.1 Mbps with HSPA+.3

So I’ve been in touch with O2 here in the UK, apparently they’d be the first to roll out 4G and have already tested in London (afaik).
So here’s my conversation with O2:

@mreys: What frequencies will the 4G @O2 network work on? Same as USA?
@O2: @mreys 4G on the O2 network works on the European LTE bands 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz. USA is 700 MHz and the AWS band.
@mreys: @O2 practically that makes the 4G part of The New iPad not possible in the UK, or do you know if there’s going to be a European iPad?
@O2: @mreys No idea, we’d recommend asking Apple on that one. 🙂

So that’s what I did:

Hi, my name is Veronica. Welcome to Apple!
Veronica: Hi there, thank you for contacting the chat team. How can I help?
You: Hi, I have a question about the new iPad and its 4G capabilities
Veronica: Certainly, I would be happy to help you.

Veronica: I understand, I am checking this for you.
Veronica: The iPad wifi and 4g model will work on LTE (700, 2100 MHz)
You: so not in Europe
Veronica: No, not at the moment just the above.

You: thank you

So there you have it: the only really valid reason to upgrade to the new iPad if you live in UK (and by extension Europe) is the new Retina display. I’d wait a little if I were you 😉

UPDATE: Wired.co.uk investigated a bit further when I mentioned this to them. Remarks: This new iPad does have HSPA+, which apparently is 3G on speed, but not really LTE yet. So it’s faster than ordinary 3G and will be available in UK (and Europe). The new iPad has new graphics processor, which makes it more suitable for playing games. (As I’m not a gamer, something I tend to overlook).

Whispersync for Twitter

March 6, 2012 Comments Off on Whispersync for Twitter

For those of us who know about Whispersync from Amazon, the title should be enough. No need to read on. For the others then….

Whispersync: what’s that?

If you read the same Kindle Store book across multiple Kindles, you’ll find Whispersync makes it easy for you to switch back and forth. Whispersync synchronizes the bookmarks and furthest page read among devices registered to the same account.

I can’t believe Twitter still doesn’t have a mechanism to keep track of what I’ve already read or not. OK, when it comes to my general timeline and lists, I can understand that that’s challenging. But my DMs and Mentions/Replies, that shouldn’t be too hard though, should it? But the truth is, if after a whole time, I decide to login to the twitter.com website again, I see all the DMs and Mentions I haven’t read since last login. Well, last login via the website at least. I’ve already read them on my Mac client and iPhone client, twice…

A small piece of technology that keeps track of what one’s already read, to be used across the multiple clients we use, that’s yesterday’s technology… still not implemented at Twitter Inc.

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