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XBox 360 Gamercard

RichAlot's Gamercard

T-Mobile G1: The 7 Haves

Yesterday I touched on some of the disappointing aspects of the T-Mobile G1. Though the G1 isn't flawless, it does have several key features that will make it a viable competitor in the mobile market. And so I give you the 7 haves of the T-Mobile G1.

  1. Android: The reason for all the buzz. Because Android is open source, it gives developers unlimited possibilities. This means that, hardware permitting, there really isn't anything the software can't conceivably do.
  2. Android Market: Yes, the iPhone has its own App Store, but the Cupertino-clan clamps down on the content. T-Mobile and Google have pledged a no-policing policy for the Android Market, so if you want to flash your status by blowing a grand on a real gem of an application, go for it!
  3. micoSDHC: Equipped with only 1 GB out of the box, the G1's memory is easily upgraded by swapping in a higher capacity microSDHC card. Currently, most 8 GB microSDHC cards run for under $30, 16 GB cards are starting to hit the market at around $70, and higher capacity cards are in the works.
  4. QWERTY Keyboard: The inclusion of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard frees up on-screen real estate and maximizes the application viewing area. It's also a nice addition for those who prefer the feel of buttons when keying in text.
  5. Service: When the G1's 1GB, monthly, data-transfer limit raised customer concerns, T-Mobile quickly lifted the cap. When asked about tethering capabilities, T-Mobile CTO Cole Brodman didn't encourage the practice, but acknowledged the possibility existed through potential third-party applications. T-Mobile has a track record of great customer service, but they actually seem to understand and embrace the Pandora's Box they're opening with Andriod.
  6. Accelerometer: The G1's built-in accelerometer gives you more control of your device, literally. In addition to powering the Compass tool in Google Maps' Street View mode by panning the on-screen view of a city street with your physical movements (up, down, right and left), the accelerometer helped Google co-founder Sergey Brin develop an application clocking the time it took him to catch his G1 after tossing it in the air. Laughingly, Brin didn't think throwing the application up on Android Marketplace was a good idea.
  7. Wi-Fi Connectivity: Having to rely on Wi-Fi for your broadband connectivity negates the mobility of the G1, but T-Mobile's fledgling 3G network isn't available in all areas. In those instances, Wi-Fi broadband connectivity is better than no connectivity. The real benefit of Wi-Fi on the G1 is that it opens the possibility of cross-network communication between itself and other devices, third-party software permitting.

T-Mobile G1: The 7 Have Nots

Now that everyone has had time to digest the full specs for the T-mobile G1, here is a list of 7 missing or incomplete features. My biggest gripes are the omission of GPS and the exclusion of a built-in headphone jack, but there are a few more that will undoubtedly prove to be nuisances.

  1. GPS: Sure there's Google Maps, but how are you supposed to take full advantage of ShopSavvy's results for best prices and inventories of nearby stores?
  2. Desktop Sync Software: So you can play music on the device, but you can't sync the music (or anything else for that matter such as photos, contacts, etc.) with a computer?
  3. 3.5mm Headphone Jack: So you can play music on the device, but you can't listen to it without an adapter? I dislike proprietary cables on gaming consoles and I dislike them even more on cell phones. Proprietary cables and adapters need to go!
  4. 1 GB Memory: So you can load applications, music and photos on the G1 but you only get 1 GB of memory? I like the idea of the microSD card slot for expansion, but 1 GB included memory is not enough considering the G1 is being marketed as what equates to a phoputer (coined!).
  5. Flash: It's surprising that Flash wasn't included out of the gate considering one of the biggest complaints about the iPhone (besides the inability to copy and paste) is the lack of Flash support.
  6. Multi-Touch Screen: We double-click with our mice, why not let us double tap with our fingers? This isn't a huge omission, but one that didn't consider usability.
  7. Video Recording: The marketing team for the G1 was sure to tout the 3 megapixel camera's auto-focus feature—a veiled reference to the blurry picture problems with the iPhone—but until someone develops video recording software, you'll have to settle for those crisp, in-focus stills.

Shaking Up Viral Marketing

This week, Mario-antagonist Wario debuts in his first starring role on Nintendo's Wii in Wario Land: Shake It! Nintendo is marketing the antihero's adventures on YouTube with a fresh approach to video viral marketing. Rather than settle for a basic embedded video, Nintendo has packed some browser-busting action into their YouTube page that corresponds to Wario's in-video antics. Despite the clever marketing approach, I have to admit the 2-D game looks a bit underwhelming.

Why I Chose the T-Mobile G1 Over the iPhone

My order for the T-Mobile G1 (a.k.a. Google Phone, a.k.a. gPhone, a.k.a. Android Phone, a.k.a. HTC Dream, a.k.a. iPhone Killer) is in. As luck would have it my 2-year agreement was expiring so I was able to get the G1 at the upgrade price of $179.99—with tax and the other obligatory fees it rings up at about $202 bottom line. So why, with an expiring contract, would I choose the G1 over the iPhone? Android. One word; simple as that.

The iPhone is an elegant device that is maturing nicely thanks to its dedicated following and growing application library. That noted, the reason I opted not to get the iPhone is the same reason I don't own an iPod or a Mac—I feel as though I have no control over the device, its OS or its software. In justification to the previous comment, I've used Macs extensively, I've used iTunes, and I just don't get that sense of freedom that I get with other non-Mac devices. I realize there are (warranty voiding) options that will allow me to make modifications (jailbreak) to the iPhone, but I prefer to avoid anything with a connotation to jail.

In all seriousness, a perfect example of the freedom empowered by Android was illustrated during T-Mobile's G1 unveiling. During the Q-and-A session of the press conference, a reporter asked whether the G1 would be capable of acting as an Internet gateway for a laptop or other device (also known as tethering). The panel suggested that the G1 wasn't intended to be tethered, however, since both Google and T-Mobile have confirmed they will not be policing the Android application store it's possible for someone to develop an application capable of allowing device tethering. And tethering is just the beginning of the possibilities thanks to the flexibility of the open source operating system.

In the end, my decision to go with the G1 instead of the iPhone was based on my newly-discovered fondness of open source software. I'm finding myself to be a firm believer that the community is better at addressing the needs of its users than a proprietary entity is at calling the shots. Yeah, the iPhone is a sleek and attractive device, but the beauty of the T-Mobile G1 isn't on the outside, it's the Android on the inside.

Wait 'Til You Get a Load of These

  • Hot Toys Batman
  • Hot Toys Batman

My Hot Toys Batman and Joker figures, based on The Dark Knight, arrived yesterday from Action HQ in Hong Kong. I was amazed when I pulled them out of the box so I snapped a pair of photos to give you an idea of the level of detail on these. Both the sculpts and accessories are absolutely incredible. I'll have more photos and will review the pair later in the week.

What Can Brown Do for You?

  • Damged UPS Shipped Box
  • Damged UPS Shipped Box
  • Damged UPS Shipped Box
  • Damged UPS Shipped Box

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of UPS as I've had countless parcels delayed, damaged or lost in transit for weeks at a time through their service. So you can imagine what I was thinking when this mess of cardboard was left on my doorstep, yesterday. As you can see from the photos, the box is crushed, torn and the contents are visible through the gaping hole on the corner. What shocked me is that the carrier left the parcel at the door, rang my doorbell and bolted for his truck without giving me the option of examining the parcel and deciding whether or not to decline it. I understand it didn't require a signature, but give me a break. I'm guessing he must have peeked in the corner and realized that, miraculously, nothing had been damaged.

Olympic Observations

In honor of the Orympic (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose) games in Beijing, I plesent (that one, too) my thoughts from the first three days of competition.

  • My cousin Dan, who just returned from China, corrected my pronunciation of Beijing. Phonetically it's pronounced Bay Jing not Bay Zhing. Say it right Bob Costas!
  • And1 Mixtape Tour : NBA :: U.S. Olympic Team : FIBA
  • Team Handball—think soccsketball—looks like a sport I would have loved to play in middle school, which by default would make it a great adult, co-ed league sport.
  • Brian McBride is the United States' best soccer player (sorry Landon).
  • I probably can't swim 50 meters in the time the U.S. Men's 4x100 Freestyle Relay team finished their race.
  • Gymnasts can perform gravity defying routines during audible ruckus (music, cheering, concurrent events), yet tennis players and golfers can't hit a ball without complete silence. It makes no sense.
  • Synchronized diving? Uhm...are you serious?