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Android 7… Why you shouldn’t worry that your phone is not getting it!

Nougat was released yesterday (or was it 2 days ago) available for specific Nexus/Android One devices.

I have a Nexus 6P and a Nexus 7

Nexus 7 is not getting it.

But the 6P should get it soon…

My Galaxy S5 is still stuck in Lollipop…

And my Wife’s Note 8 (in a drawer somewhere) is still running KitKat (Android 4.4)

Thing I love about using Android is that even if your device is running an older Android version, you still get all the Android apps you’ll ever need! (not unless you’re still using a device thats running on Gingerbread!)

Yes, newer Android versions will have enhancements, especially in the power saving feature, but we all carry a portable charger anyway…

Now on Tap (introduced in Marshmallow) is honestly a hit and miss.

Google Now Launcher and Keyboard can be both downloaded from the Play Store.

So what do you get with Nougat??? — Split Screen… Something that has been available with Samsung’s devices.

In day to day use, my Lollipop running S5 doesn’t feel too different from my Nexus 6P… Same with my wife’s Note 8…

Maybe Nougat brings better security, better battery life and a more fluid UI…

But believe me, your phone running an old version of Android will be fine even if you don’t receive Nougat!

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Google needs iMessage for Android!

iMessage! Yes, that default iOS Messaging app that changes color if you send a message via SMS… or via iMessage (using data)

Google just announced Allo, another messaging app!

They previously had Talk and presently have Hangouts and Messenger!

Hangouts is ok, I use it, although I find it too complicated for my parents…

My wife loves using it on her PC, hates it on her phone especially on her iPhone… She only keeps it for conference calls with her friends.

Messenger, no one in my family has it, my friends with dual-SIM phones use it.

Now here comes Allo, a new App for messaging that works like Hangouts, Messenger and your Android device’s messaging app thanks to your OEM…

Only difference… AI!

I really can’t find a reason why Allo will replace WhatsApp on my homescreen!

What we need is something as simple as iMessage!

This article from The Verge has mentioned that “the diversity of Android hardware precludes Google from creating an iMessage-like system that co-opts SMS”.

Here’s my suggestion for Google!

Make an iMessage competitor that will (first) work with Nexus and Android One devices…

For the sake of this post, I’ll call the imaginary App “Android Message” (AM)

So Google creates AM which is similar to iMessage.

If the receiving Android device is not AM capable, message will be sent/received as a regular SMS.

For iOS users, they receive the message when data is available.

Later, Google can ask Samsung, Sony, Huawei and Lenovo to create devices that are AM capable… This will allow them to get rid of their pre-installed messaging app.

Google can’t expect all devices to work well with their iMessage competitor…

But maybe, they can start with niche devices (like the Nexus and Android One line) and later ask OEMs to make their flagship devices compatible.

Win for Google and win for consumers!

What BlackBerry Needs is the Bold Powered by Android!

Remember my post about the Venice?

Well, that phone turned out to be the BlackBerry Priv

Released in 2015, it was BlackBerry’s first phone running Android…

Fast forward to April 2016… How many Privs have you seen? 0!!!

I am actually the type of person who tries to see which gadget my fellow commuter is using… I’ve even seen an actual user of a Galaxy Beam!!!

So despite BlackBerry’s push… I’ve not seen a single person use the Priv… My guess is that we can all blame the S$1,098.00 price of the phone (M1 price out of contract).

Why am I pushing for a low cost BlackBerry device powered by Android? Because its what the market wants…

BlackBerry has 2 options here…

(1) Ask a Chinese manufacturer (or those companies making Android One devices) to create a generic touch screen phone running Android 6 (Marshmallow) and slap the BlackBerry name on it.

If Xiaomi can profit by selling the RedMi at S$169.00, BlackBerry should also be able to do the same…

OR

(2) A BlackBerry Bold with updated internals running Android 6…

I personally still keep my old BlackBerry Bold 9790 as a spare phone… And I can list a ton of things it cannot do, but I would focus on the things I wished it can do.

It desperately needs…
1. An updated browser/Map
2. IMs (WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger etc)
3. WiFi Hotspot
*Basically, updated apps!

As I mentioned earlier… Snapdragon 410 + Android 6 at S$200.00… I’d be queuing up for that device…

BlackBerry Bold 9790

BlackBerry Venice???

Here’s my thoughts on the rumored Android powered BlackBerry Venice…

The idea sounds good… BlackBerry keyboard on a modern phone OS.

Dear BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM), we wanted to see this device in 2013, instead we got the Z10 running BlackBerry 10!

Yes, you can run Android Apps on BB10 but I’m sure installing apps from the Google Play Store and running them on Android OS will always be better.

Here’s where it goes south for me…

Some sites are saying the Venice will have a QHD Screen, Snapdragon 808 Processor and 3GB RAM.

High end specs (LG G4 and the Moto X Play uses the same processor) for 2015 which will mean high end price.

Some may argue that the Moto X Play will have mid-range price, Motorola did say it will be $200.00 cheaper than other flagship devices, but the Moto X only has a FHD Screen.

So the price will be steep for a first gen device that hopefully runs proper Android (not a forked version).

Are you willing to take the risk? Or do you just buy from longtime Android OEM’s (Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC)?

If BlackBerry started with a device with a 4.5-5 inch (HD) screen, Snapdragon 410 Processor with replaceable battery and microSD card, priced below $300.00 then I believe people will be talking non-stop about it.

But if they release an Android phone playing around $500.00 then it will be a tough sell at the current market.

Just a suggestion… (I’m hoping someone from BlackBerry reads this)

Make the BlackBerry Classic’s screen taller (4 inches), update the processor to a Snapdragon 410 and run Android 6… Sell it with Xiaomi/OnePlus margins, I’m sure 2016 will look better.

BlackBerry HONESTLY needs to put its devices on the hands of High School kids… They should try to have a cool image…

WHY?

Most companies already issued Samsung Galaxy S6/Note 4 and iPhone 6 to their employees… Why would these employees buy a BlackBerry as a personal device?

My Next Phone!

It’s March 2015… And I’m still using my Samsung Galaxy Note II!

Was originally thinking of the Nexus 6 (XT1100) but due to the delay of its release in Australia I suddenly realized that maybe its better to wait a little more for the 2015 devices.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the size and specs of the Nexus 6, but I just can’t get over one small issue… It runs on a Snapdragon 805

I know the Snapdragon 805 is a very good processor, but towards the end of 2014, Android OEMs started releasing mid-range devices that ran on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 (like the HTC Desire 620), 64-bit processors which will be supported by Lollipop (Android 5).

It may take ages before these devices receive their updates, but once it comes, users “should” feel speed and battery life improvements. – No guarantee… But I’ll never know if my device doesn’t have a 64-bit processor… Like the Snapdragon 805!

CES2015 just finished and as expected… 64-bit Android devices like the Asus Zenfone 2 and LG Flex 2 were announced.

I’m sure Google won’t go all-in on 64-bit, I can’t imagine Android One devices running on 64-bit processors this year but I’ll be using my own cash to buy a flagship phone and I think I deserve 2015 specs!

Some things on my checklist for my next phone…

QHD Display
64-bit processor
4k Video Recording
Capacitive (Home) Button

Almost all 2014 flagship devices (Samsung Galaxy S5/Note 4, Sony Xperia Z3/Z3 Compact, Motorola Nexus 6/Moto X) can record 4k videos, but few devices were released with QHD Displays (Motorola Nexus 6, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4)

None of 2014’s flagship devices ran on a 64-bit processor, except for a specific Exynos version of the Note 4.

I can live with Samsung’s love for the physical home button, but the other 3 features I mentioned above are non-negotiable.

Since I’ve decided to wait… I’m presently searching for leaks on the following devices…

Samsung Galaxy S6 – as I said, I can live with the home button
HTC One – I always loved the look and feel of the older Ones (M7 and M8)
Sony Xperia Z4 – it’s need for a propreitary charger gives it a big disadvantage, although you can use a regular USB Cable, we all know its rubber flaps doesn’t last long

HTC One will jump to #1 if it gets a QHD Display and same goes for the Xperia Z4 if it gets a QHD Display and Qi Wireless Charging.

As of now, it’s wait and see again…

Samsung vs Nokia (Singapore) Promos

Nokia (Singapore) should rethink their strategies…

A couple of weeks ago… Samsung had the following promotion.

Samsung Promotion

Yes. If you bought a Galaxy S4 Zoom, you get a free Galaxy Tab 3!

2 days ago, Nokia Singapore posted the following in Facebook.

Nokia Promotion Poster

Nokia Promotion 1

People even thought it was an April fool’s joke!

Nokia Promotion Comments

Purchasing AppleCare+ for iPhone in Singapore

As I posted earlier, my daughter uses an iPhone 5C and just like any other parent, I would love the have a hassle free 2 years with my daughter’s phone.

This is the reason why I decided to spend SGD 138.00 for AppleCare+

My daughter’s old iPhone 4 had an annoying final 6 months. Her sleep/wake button started acting up and she had to live with using assistive touch until her contract was due for renewal.

AppleCare+ was also one the reasons why we decided to purchase the 5C over Android devices. Samsung, HTC and Sony did not offer extended warranty for their devices.

AppleCare+ is readily available in almost all Apple resellers here in Singapore, but they do not sell AppleCare+ alone, it must be bundled if you buy an out-of-contract iPhone from them.

Since our phone was from our carrier (M1), we had to purchase AppleCare+ from Apple Singapore’s website which was a really uncomfortable experience.

Let me explain…

1. Go to Apple Store Singapore.

2. Click “Shop iPhone”

AppleCare for iPhone Singapore 1

3. Click “iPhone Accessories”

AppleCare for iPhone Singapore 2

4. On the right side, click “AppleCare+ for iPhone”

AppleCare for iPhone Singapore 3

5. Click “iPhone”

AppleCare for iPhone Singapore 4

You will then be directed to AppleCare+ for iPhone page but you will not find a “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button.

AppleCare for iPhone Singapore 5

You’ll need to scroll down (scroll up if you’re using a Mac) then you see “How to get AppleCare+”. You must call 800-186-1087.

AppleCare for iPhone Singapore 6

Do note that you must call above number during office hours!

If I remember correctly, press “1” for English. Then options are as follows: “1” iPod, “2” iPhone, “3” iPads and “4” for everything else.

I initially thought AppleCare+ was under option “4”, I was told that I should have chosen option “2”!

(Have your iPhone’s serial number ready as you will need it while talking to Apple’s customer care.)

Purchase will be done over the phone which I personally (again) found to be very uncomfortable.

Over the phone, you will need to dictate your complete credit card information together with the security code… If you ask me, that’s too much information to share to a stranger over the phone!

I decided to make the purchase with the belief and confidence that Apple knows what’s its doing…

Receipt will be sent to me by email in 2-3 days time…

My daughter’s iPhone is now protected until the end of her contract…

I just hope Apple fixes their website before the release of the next iPhone!