Month: December 2011

Patience Is A Virtue, I Guess

After a day of deliberation, regarding my dilemma, I decided stay on the side of prudence and just let things be. I found out some disconcerting things that just made me realize that maybe I was being too hasty. And as Claudia had pointed out, there isn’t anything wrong with my current phone anyway. Allow me to elaborate.

As much as I like the technical specs of the Samsung Galaxy S II, I’m almost as equally appalled by the bloatware that’s installed on this device. Unfortunately Samsung, like every other Android phone maker, feels the need to add their own twist to an already good OS when left alone. On top of that, AT&T adds a series of their own apps to further take away from the storage memory, it’s efficiency, and the overall experience that I’m looking for in an Android device.

This led me to look into rooting options and mods that would be a good replacement for Samsung’s Touchwiz version of Android. The best one on the market, so I’ve read and heard, is Cyanogenmod. Alas, it’s version for the Samsung Galaxy S II isn’t too stable and is still considered experimental at this point in time. I won’t call it a conspiracy, but it is interesting that the founder of Cyanogenmod  can’t seem to get a stable working mod for his current employer’s device.

I’m sure If I looked a little harder I can find a more stable mod of Gingerbread (Android 2.3), but the fact of the matter is, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) has already come out with the release of the latest Google phone, The Galaxy Nexus, and that is the new OS that the developers are working on getting a mod for. Instead of rushing into the latest and greatest, like most early-adopters, it’s better to just wait for ICS to mature past it’s infancy stage. It’ll take at least 6 months, or so, for all the most current Android phones to upgrade to the new OS (Only the Nexus phones have it at the moment), and the mod developers have a lot of kinks to work out to get a working stable mod released for the impatient rooted-phone users out there. Lastly, the Galaxy Nexus is only available for Verizon and by the time it is available for AT&T (if ever) it will once again be outdated like the previous models. So better to wait, when my contract is up. That way I’ll be free to weigh all my options. LTE will have expanded more in NYC for all the carriers. There will be newer and better devices which will hopefully have better battery life to handle the new 4G networks. Finally, who knows what the iPhone 5 will be like by then. Maybe I’ll end up an Apple user for yet another 2 years.

If you’re wondering, “what about jailbreaking your iPhone to get features you want like Swype?”, I did in fact look into that as well. Unfortunately, the easiest untethered jailbreaking solution for the iPhone has ceased to be available once iOS upgraded past 4.3.4. Another non-conspiracy but interesting fact (or is it?), the author of also happens to work for Apple now. Anyway, the only non-tethered jailbreak for iPhone isn’t recommended for casual users. In fact they insist “this jailbreak is intended only for developers of jailbroken apps!, which definitely means that it isn’t Julio-friendly. I’ll  just have to stick it out with the standard Apple iOS. Lack of Swype notwithstanding, my iPhone 4 isn’t a bad phone to have.


Update 12/27/11:

As if someone was hearing my concerns, an untethered jailbreak option became available for the iPhone. I tried it out and even had iSwipe for a brief moment. Unfortunately it was a little too unstable for my taste (my phone would just reboot for no reason every so often), and I ended up restoring my phone back to it’s normal state. It was fun to dream a little dream though.

At Odds With My Technological Geeky Impulsive Self

I know it was only a few posts ago that I mentioned I decided to stick with iTunes Match which implies that I’ll also be sticking with my iPhone for another year. But of course that would be too easy. I keep forgetting my inquisitiveness and my enthusiasm for everything tech, not to mention my compulsion to want to try out new and different things.

So for no apparent reason, except because I’m me, I decided to check out my upgrade options on AT&T when I stumbled upon a gem. I have an opportunity to snag a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S II for only $9.99! Of course the tech geek in me was jumping up and down for glee and I had such an impulse to just hit the buy button, but my cooler head prevailed and I decided to talk it over with my wife first.

Of course this wasn’t her first time enduring my hot and cold tech-impulsive whimsies and a migraine began to surface for her as soon as I laid out this great deal. Immediately Claudia began to shoot down this idea. “What’s wrong with your current phone?” she asked. Though I know she is an Apple loyalist and this stance of hers was entirely expected, she wasn’t without a point. The truth of the matter is that my iPhone 4 is perfectly fine. It does what it does and there is nothing technically wrong with it. The only real issue I have with it, if anything, is its lack of Swype and Google app integration.

Yes, I’m the metaphorical dog with two bones. I got an iPhone for its aesthetics, uniformity and it’s customer-friendly user interface (not to mention that I have a MacBook Pro so obviously an iPhone makes sense). But of course I lament the closed-ecosystem of Apple and I crave the merits and potential of the Android phone and OS.

In this little debate I brought up my points (The phone is only $10.00. I can sell my iPhone on Gazelle and get about $162.00 for it . Minus the cost of a case and the $17.00 upgrade fee I’m up $100.00). I think I expressed myself quite convincingly and even believed myself, about what a great idea this was. Claudia then brought up how I’m never satisfied with technology and that I’ll be complaining about this new phone and how it isn’t working and so on. This argument would work if she hadn’t mention that “I’m never satisfied”. This means that I’m already griping about my iPhone as it is, so not much would change except the hardware.

She tried to use other examples of how she has had to deal with people lamenting how they never should have switched from an iPhone to an Android phone and eventually go back to their original Apple device. Of course she reluctantly admits that these examples won’t necessarily apply to me since I’m relatively computer savvy and these complainers didn’t know the home button from the on/off button.

Realizing how set I seemed with my decision to switch platforms Claudia used her Ace and Joker up her sleeves. First the Ace. She looked at me imploringly and then looked away and remained silent. I, thinking victory was within my grasp but not without some repercussions, emphatically asked if she was mad at me. She stayed with her back facing me, sighed and said, “No I’m not mad, just disappointed”. Talk about passive aggressive and just plain dirty! Of course, I started laughing hysterically. How dare she tried to use an old “Mother knows best” move. She, after a while, laughed along because she knew that was a low blow. But then Claudia played the Joker. The old wild card that might just work and then again it may be an Old Hail Mary with no result.

Claudia sobered up and let me know that she will be fine with my decision, as long as I’m completely sure of it, I won’t have any regrets and I won’t do anything crazy or get into a Tasmanian devil frenzy I sometimes get when things aren’t working like they’re suppose to. She also questioned that I look up the warranty and see that the phone be adequately covered. That way, if I end up with a lemon I can replace it with a working phone. I agreed and was ready to celebrate my victory. But doubt started to linger like an old familiar scent and it was just getting stronger the more I thought about my decision.

Is she right? Am I really too impulsive and hasty with my tech purchases? It’s true I have had a few situations where I was immediately dissatisfied with something and I quickly returned those items. Yes those items happen to be non-Apple products and were replaced with Apple products, but does that mean this pattern will repeat itself with the Samsung Galaxy S II? That Joker really played a number on me.

I began to research warranties and saw that I can get a really good one by SquareTrade for $124. So if you do the math (17+9.99+124+34.99-162=?) I end up owing $24 or so at the end of all this. I don’t make any money out of this anymore, but it’s still cheaper than if I were to buy a new case for my current iPhone (something I was planning to do when I saw the Andy Warhol cases in a catalogue. Wow, I really am impulsive, aren’t I?).

This is my current impasse. Should I stay or should I go? Do I buy the refurbished Android device or just let things be and run out the final year of my contract with my iPhone 4? Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.