BlackBerry App World brings welcome updates

Friday 19 October 2012 @ 10:19 pm

Seems like someone over at RIM heard my rant about the useless BlackBerry App World uninstall feature. The latest release of the App World, version, brings some welcome updates including the ability to permanently delete apps from your uninstall list. Here’s the full changelog:

– Integration with BlackBerry Commerce Payment Services for Credit Card and PayPal Purchases
– NFC Tag Integration
– Ability to Permanently Delete Apps from My World
– Ability to Re-Install All Apps From My World
– Automatic Find in My World
– Bookmarks

Nice one RIM, now if only someone could reverse the idiotic decision to omit FM radio hardware from all but two BlackBerry devices, you’d be top of my list off favourite handsets again.


Random Annoyances: Piping Hot Food

Monday 15 October 2012 @ 10:36 pm

What exactly is the point of piping hot food? It doesn’t matter whether it’s home cooked, reheated or a restaurant dish, when I’m hungry, the first thing I want to do is eat food and not sit there looking at it steaming away.

Sure, it eliminates salmonella poisoning and there’s nothing like taking a deep sniff to get the juices flowing before diving in but really, why do some people insist of serving food so roasting hot that it burns your tongue? I think the two worst culprits are cheese and potato dishes; freshly cooked or straight from the oven, both are deceptively cool on the service. Bite into one however, and prepare to loose the skin at the top of your mouth. I’m looking at you Mr Greggs-Cheese-And-Onion-Pasty!

The ideal scenario is to cook food thoroughly until it’s piping hot and then go make a salad or set the table. By the time the cutlery is primed and the tomatoes chopped, the food should be at the perfect temperature; hot enough to enjoy yet cool enough to eat.

HTC profits continue downward spiral (is anyone surprised?)

Monday 8 October 2012 @ 9:49 pm

HTC has announced its Q3 results showing a net profit of USD $133 million. To put that in perspective, its Q2 profits were USD $273 whilst 2011 Q3 profits topped USD $625 million giving it a year-on-year decline of nearly 80%. Should anyone be surprised by these figures?

I sure as hell am not, HTC have been churning out the same identikit crapware Android handsets with mediocre battery life for the last few years now and in a market crowded with other identikit bland, faceless Android handsets, HTC have no discerning value proposition.

For example, take one of their supposedly “flagship” models, the HTC One X; what a piece of totally uninspired shit this is. A battery that can barely make it through a day coupled with the same feeble design that HTC have been punting on all their android handsets, one so utterly humdrum and tedious that you wouldn’t give it a second glance even if HTC painted a pair of boobs on the back.

Samsung has exactly the same problem with their tiresome range of Galaxy handsets whilst Motorola at least attempts to offer differentiation with premium materials and a killer battery. Put the HTC next to any other HTC Android and you wouldn’t know which is which. And therein lies the problem.

Now I like HTC, they single-handedly developed the old Windows Mobile market with a fabulous range of diverse and fully featured mobiles. Their old HTC HD2 is still one of the best handsets available, capable of running Windows Mobile, Android and even the newer Windows Phone with dual boot. Their HTC Sense software is ultra slick and streets ahead of Samsung’s TouchWiz which in comparison seems to have been put together by someone whose last job was designing interfaces for an ICI mainframe in the 1970’s.

However, the software alone is not enough and HTC needs to do a lot better in a tough market. A good start would be to reverse the stupid decision to stop making any handsets with a proper keyboard given the serious lack of any decent BlackBerry alternatives on Android.

Next, work on the actual design. HTC mobiles have a well deserved reputation for rubbish battery life. Would it kill them to bump up the milliamps to at least 2,500? And quit making the same boring black rectangles; show some imagination and flair with materials and shapes. Put effort into making something that consumers will admire and covet.

Lastly, for goodness sake stop removing that damn hardware camera button from all your handsets, a touch screen shutter is just plain daft.