Thursday, April 26, 2012

Comsumer Notes: Acer Tablet A200 (Iconia)

Let's start right off the bat with this products biggest flaw: It does not have a rear facing camera. I have worked around this issue by deciding that it is easier to take a phone on the go for picture taking and I can later bluetooth or use one of the many photo management services (Google+/Picassa, Flickr, Facebook etc) to get the photos out into cyberspace and to view later on the tablet.

The front facing camera is not the best quality piece of equipment however it works good enough for video chats on Skype / Google Hangout.

Camera aside, this is a fantastic tablet - it certainly (for me) brings the bad name Acer has amongst techies / geeks / nerds into a good light. It has a fairly stock version of Androids latest ICS which is nice to see, it is responsive and has a great selection of Apps in the Google Play Market. It's also interesting to note all of the other things you can buy through the Play store including Books, Games, Movies and Music.

The device also has a standard micro-b USB cable for connecting to a laptop, as well as a standard laptop style USB for connecting devices to. I have not yet tried to use this for anything and so I am not sure what it can be used to accomplish.

I really like the Google account integration - I am always signed into my personal and work emails and Google chat so I can always keep in check with what is going on. I am not an avid Facebook user, however the Facebook application works similarly.

I have taken to tethering to my phone on Wireless hotspot mode so I can roam about the city and be able to check reviews on products, price check and look for alternative retailers while shopping. I even ordered a book on Amazon for the half the price it was listed for in Chapters. Let the saavy consumer trend flourish!

I primarily purchased this tablet to get a first hand experience in how these devices enable people to share and consume information quickly and effectively as I am working in the industry of doing so. It is immediately evident that as always simplicity is key, however more than that, the good old taste test rule is more important than ever - if you are building a certain type of app, you had better become an expert in its function by becoming part of your target niche.

This trend in consumer electronic products is bring into light the notion that app developers and start ups need to be leaders in the niche / technology they are pushing.

So anyways, if you are in the market for a good quality tablet I certainly do not discourage from checking this one out, however as stated in the opening, if you want to go around taking pictures with this thing make sure that you look at the A500 and not the A200 as it has a front facing camera.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year Reflections: What are we living for?

I had an interesting thought that occurred to over the holidays that I wanted to extrapolate. I was at my uncles one night and we were watching some videos he had taken of us over the years doing family things. Its interesting to observe the change that has occurred over the years as myself and my cousins have grown older and built fuller lives of our own.

My one liner for a description of this sort of goes like this: Then, when my cousins and I were younger (we're all within about 10 years of each other I believe, maybe 12 years) we were always doing something, everyone was talking about things they were doing, things were exciting, kids were young, people were figuring things out.

Now we sit in my uncles living room and watch videos of ourselves in the past. Is this just some sort of generational trend or are we waiting for something? Are we waiting for the next wave of kids to come along so that we have something to be excited about? 

These thoughts led me to wonder what I'm waiting for, and quickly realise that I'm not waiting for anything. I like hanging out with my cousins, aunts and uncles and siblings - they are my people. We've all known each other our whole lives. We all have so much in common yet we're all in different directions and doing different sorts of things with our lives.

I like playing pool with my brother in law. His basement is now the best place to hang out, shoot pool and have a few beers. I'm kind of excited to continue going through life with these people. I like my cousins. They are really interesting people. I really hope that we continue to have as big of a family as we always have when the young couple generation of us start to have our own kids around. I think its really important to stick with the people you grew up with. There's something about that relationship that is indestructible.