Wednesday, 10 September 2014


Above: The Galaxy Note Edge. The Edge Screen seems practical; I must have it!


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers. How goes it? Did you see the Apple keynote? Do you find yourself giggling over Phil Schiller waxing lyrical about “landscape mode”? I was shopping for dinner earlier on today and I must have looked like a nutcase laughing to myself recalling that “landscape” moment. Something so simple has become a landmark for Apple and its much celebrated iPhone. Golly!

One thing is for sure during the keynote it became very, very clear - and quickly so - that Samsung’s technological firepower proved to be too much for Apple to bear!

#Samsung #SamsungGalaxyNote4 #GalaxyNoteEdge #GalaxyAlpha # #SamsungUNPACKED2014Episode2 #Mega2 #GalaxyS6

Bewildering! If I had to think of a single word to describe Samsung’s efforts this year that would be it: “bewildering”. Other words would be: Ferocious and virulent! Top Gun! Despite the rapidly morphing Android market Samsung keeps coming on like the Terminator. Galaxy S5 disappointment, “I’ll be back...” The emerging markets in Asia toppling Samsung from the top spot, “F*** you, a**hole...” And upon last night’s Apple keynote, “I now know why humans cry...” Apple just buckled under the pressure. I don’t have to tell you that the innards of the Galaxy Note 4 trump the iPhone 6 Plus at least four times over! The Galaxy Note 4 QHD 5.7” screen has burned the iPhone / iPad retina to a crisp! Earlier this year the Galaxy Tab S range of tablets just took apart the iPad. I think Google really needs to get the tablet app situation under control and support what Samsung (and other manufacturers) are coming up with. I can’t deny that some of the Android apps for video editing and eBook creation are a little ropey. Some of these video editing apps are just adware! It’s a pain in the ass!

To be honest with you, Apple just looked silly last night. What was Conan O’Brien’s joke again? Ah, “iPhone 6; last year’s Samsung’s Galaxy...” Ba Boom! Tish! <Drum ‘n’ snare> However, the spec on the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge is years ahead of the iPhone 6 Plus in sheer technological and design terminology! Futurama vs. The Flintstones! It’s not worth me listing the spec of the iPhone 6 handsets as it makes no sense whatsoever!

In one of my Apple Talk articles I pointed out – mostly to iPhone nut-jobs = iDiots – that a mid-range handset like the Motorola Moto G 4G is near enough as good – if not better than the iPhone 5S and some of them simply could not believe or want to entertain it! They kept going on about this “premium” nonsense because of a bit of metal! Wow! And no doubt that the iPhone faithful will lap these new versions up! They’re only too willing to pay over the odds for such inferior technology! Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is a good handset but it’s cleverly overpriced by the Apple smoke ‘n’ mirrors hype machine.

Above: Techno Doomsday? iPhone fans wish they'd say even less and do a lot more! 

That’s how I would describe Apple with regards to its keynote last night. If Futurama ever comes back on the air (God, I hope it does) the Apple iPhone 6 keynote could be referenced as some kind of weird futuristic night of comedians. “Is... n’t... fan... ...tas... ...tic?” <Tim Cook’s head in a jar drawls> No it bloody well isn’t!!! No matter how slowly Cook speaks in this deliberately hypnotic slow enunciation talk he cannot get away from the fact that what he headlined was a comedy of errors.

“Hey, now it’s in landscape mode...” Ba Boom! Tish!  <Applause> “Ladies ‘n’ gentlemen put your hands together for Phil Schiller! Was... ...n’t... ...he... ...tas... ...tic?” Er... NO!!!

And then came the biggest joke of the night, “Apple Watch”. Not iWatch as in Edward Snowden’s whistle blowing revelation that the National Security Agency and other Secret Service Agencies around the world had been spying on the digital output from the iPhone and other devices as much as the tech giants protested that they never consented. Yeah, right! When the security of the first world has your nuts in its hands you are going to cough! Anyhoo...

I had to laugh when I heard the AppleWatch dial was called the “Digital Crown”. But you have to hand it to Apple in that they know what they are doing when it comes to promotion. They must have sat around for a year with this design brief in mind, “How can we give the lazy tech media something that translates into favourable headlines?” Yes, Digital Crown is already being used by these, er, uhm... “Tech media / journalists” (?) to state that the AppleWatch is the crowning glory of the smartwatches. What the...???? Anyone with a modicum of commonsense will tell you the following:-

1. There’s a reason why the AppleWatch is called the “AppleWatch” and that’s because you will need an iDevice to work with it i.e. an iPhone and presumably an iPad too! Everybody!!! Ditch your Android devices, get an iPhone 6 or 6L and get the AppleWatch! Yay! You’re in business! Oh, but you have to wait until next year!

2. Android Wear based smartwatches should work within the Android ecosystem and they will not cost as much as the AppleWatch – at least to my knowledge thus so far!

3. The Samsung Gear S is a phenomenal looking smartwatch in my humble opinion and I want one! I own 3 Samsung handsets: Galaxy S2, S4 and Note 2. I am after the Galaxy Note Edge this year and I am totally happy that the Gear S will work, presumably, with just the Samsung handsets. It’s logical.

4. I am spoiled for choice when it comes to Android based smartwatches and the Moto 360 and ASUS ZenWatch look like good alternatives.

But, hey: Anything for a cheap headline at the expense of some great technology coming from the competition, eh?

And, of course, for the iPhone faithful they get a free album from some other Digital Clowns calling themselves musicians. Wonderful!

Compared to the Apple keynote the Samsung reveal looks understated. No daft videos of a “designer” speaking as if from the Heavens about the painful ethos of the design process. Nobody standing in front of a still photograph said to be taken by the new device to show how great a picture can look because of the enhanced new camera features. What we got from Samsung was people actually taking live pictures using a few of the camera modes such as Wide Selfie!

The products, mostly, speak from themselves. I state “mostly” because Samsung, for reasons assumed by myself, do not extensively demonstrate its product functionality ever since the Galaxy S4 launch. We got glimpses via well thought out videos that show the multi-microphones for example. That’s what I call FANTASTIC!!! I used to be the sort of journalist that interviewed people and I could have done with this facility on my handset!

We saw the newly enhanced S Pen and what it can do... And what did those other guys show? Land-freaking-scape mode. It’s not funny anymore! Stop laughing! The AppleWatch didn't show why it was better above the competition... But wait! There is no competition because Apple only serves its own ecosystem whereas Samsung has to compete with other Android Wear manufacturers! Now if Samsung made a smartwatch aimed at the iOS ecosystem that would be a different proposition.

Now that’s what I’m talking about! A real great looking smartwatch! None of this idiotic retro “Digital Crown” nonsense but a well thought out interface that includes a QWERTY keyboard! Some idiot tech personality (an irritating one at that) claimed that the Gear S interface is “crap” or something like that but I bet he hasn’t used it extensively. I think it takes a while to get used to a new device. But as an iPhone owner he is going to get the AppleWatch even if he “probably won’t use it”. How’s that for “cool” swagger? Why bother? It’s stupid! Good luck to him!

I think the Gear S has got the right idea and it deserves to take off as I’m sure it will! The great advantage is that you do not need to link it to smartphone accept initially when you power it up! A UV monitor can be useful to help you avoid skin cancer!

Tizen deserves a shot – especially if it works with Android!

Above: The awesome Gear VR! Videodrome? You have to see that movie!

Now the Gear VR is a brilliant compliment to the Galaxy Note 4 handset unlike the AppleWatch is to the iPhone in terms of functionality and cost. I have understood that the Gear VR will cost a remarkable $199! Now compare that to the $349 AppleWatch; yes, I know they are two different products but don’t the loyal iPhone folk deserve a break? Instead of a free U2 album it would have been useful if Apple gave its hardcore fans a decent price on its smartwatch. Never mind, if they want to pay that price then good luck to them. When Apple tells you to like U2 you had better comply! Ha ha!

The Gear VR makes me weigh up if I should go for the Galaxy Note Edge or Note 4 or both! But I have a bit of time to think about it! I may hold out to see what the Galaxy S6 will bring! Another curved screen design? Hmmmm... I am so curious about the GS6... Right now I am imagining watching my favourite movies on the Gear VR! I’m also imagining the educational potential – the closest thing I will get to that gizmo featured in the Matrix movie that implants knowledge into the brain... “Whoa... I know Kung Fu...”

That’s essentially what Apple showed last night. Again, if you love the iPhone I am truly happy that you can now get to enjoy your own big screen without looking over my shoulder! Lol! But it shows that there is a potential flaw in iOS that it isn’t able to adopt resolutions above 1080p! I asked, “Surely there must be more to the Apple event other than larger screens?” I really thought we’d be witnessing QHD retina or something like that and if not how about some new iPads to take the (Galaxy Note) edge off the lacklustre iPhone 6 models? Uh-uh! Instead we got to see a glimpse into 2015 with the AppleWatch and its Digital Clowning... Ooops! I meant Crowning glory! Sheesh!

You know what? Apple would have done well to utilize a hologram of the great ringmaster himself to introduce the products... Wait... There’s more...

This is the “out there” products that require a “new definition”? NO!!! Now wouldn’t it have been great if Apple produced a smartwatch that can be used by anyone that is not dependent upon the iPhone or any other phone? That’s my definition of an Apple product requiring a new definition!

I am sure that Samsung / Android users could transfer files from the Galaxy Note 4, for example, to the Mac computer as I do with a PC.

One more time! I don’t hate Apple. I would like to see them bring some actual innovation to the world of tech. What Apple has done is to take old concepts and made them mainstream. However, iOS is proving to be a little undercooked in that it has a resolution problem and can’t currently match the Android QHD screens.

Take the iPad as a greater example of being not well thought out:-

1. The iPad is the reimagining of the Microsoft computer tablet that proved to be too expensive and troublesome to realize. The iPad is undoubtedly a great device but when there is an ultra-slim Macbook Air available you have to ask yourself, “Do I really need this extra expense?” And, “Am I not better off using proper programs as opposed to applications?”

2. There is no longevity in the iPad – not if you feel that you must get the next version a year later. In my opinion Android tablets have a longer shelf life – especially Samsung tablets! Also if you feel that you must get the latest best thing you haven’t lost such a big investment as you would with an iPad.

3. The cost of a 4G enabled iPad is nuts compared to the cost of manufacture! Again, the latest trend in Android tablets is to bring in 3G / 4G connectivity either by default or at a better cost ratio to the consumer.

Is it any wonder that the iPad sales are in decline? Look at how potentially cumbersome it is to carry around; sure, it’s not as cumbersome as carrying a laptop around all day but you’d still prefer a smaller large screen device. And this is probably why Apple was reticent to go larger with the iPhone. Samsung doesn’t have a problem regarding cannibalization. Apple’s cannibalization:-

iPhone 6 Plus cannibalizes the iPad mini and possibly iPad.

iPad mini cannibalizes the iPad.

iPad possibly cannibalizes the Macbook Air.

Tell a lie – inadvertently! Because the Galaxy Note has really come into its own (with version 3) I think that it is preferred over the Galaxy S range – for some people! I see the Galaxy S5 as an everyday busybody handset that is powerful but not as stacked in functionality as the Note 3 (and 4). It just goes to show that the Galaxy Note (3 & 4) places computing power in everybody’s hand! The iPad comes across as a device for the unbearable snooty up-themselves-type and that’s not what technology is about. Well, not in my books!

The wonderful ability that Samsung has is the suspense it creates regarding new products. Because the Galaxy S5 has taken a bit of a knock from notable (hee hee... no pun intended...) competitors Samsung has to come back with something stronger for the Galaxy S6! I look forward to the guessing frenzy, the “leaks” and finally learning about the actual device very soon!

The beauty of Samsung handsets is that the battery can be replaced! I don’t understand why iPhone users don’t understand this. The amount of times my iPhone friends say that they will call me back when they get home because the battery is dying and they have no other recourse than to plug it into the wall! If you are lucky you can charge your iPhone whilst at a cafe – if you can find an outlet!

All I have to do with my Galaxy handsets is just replace the battery! And not to mention the new power saving options on the newer models! I also have to say that I prefer a removable polycarbonate battery cover over non-removable metal that has the potential to scratch and dent!

Plus I have access to expand the storage via a microSD card up to 128GB on the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5.

That’s what I call power!

Things to think about...


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