Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A new smartphone

A week's leave for me this week. Even though I'm not going anywhere I just feel I need to get away from the University for a few days. I got TMA03 in on time yesterday. I found it hard to get motivated to put a huge amount of effort into it, given that the marks don't count for the final assessment, but nevertheless I found it useful in focussing the mind for the ECA.

Once that was submitted I had time to play with my new toy – a new smartphone. The contract on my iPhone finished at the end of June which meant I had the option of upgrading or simply moving on. I looked at the iPhone 4, but I found it hard to justify the expense of getting it (around £200) and O2's new tariffs mean that you have to pay an additional fee for 3G internet access – what a rip off! This caused me to look at alternatives and I decided to consider some of the iPhone's competitors. Although I've really loved the iPhone since I've had it, there are a few things about it that really niggle me. The refusal of Apple to support Flash player is one thing, and I was also getting fed up with the whole Apple approach which ties you into the Apple brand.

So – I went for an Android phone – the HTC Desire - and I'm really delighted with it. What's more, my new contract with Orange costs £5 a month less than my previous contract, gives me unlimited internet access, miles more minutes and texts, AND there was no charge for the phone!

The interface is slightly different to the iPhone but I'll soon get used to it, and there are loads more features on it. I set it up easily for the Exchange server at work, so I had access to my emails, contacts and calendar within about 10 minutes of switching the phone on. It also runs Googlemail automatically, as well as Facebook and Twitter. The internet is much faster than on the iPhone and it's got a much better camera (5MP) with a flash, which also records video. You can set up RSS feeds and it's even got a SatNav. Although there aren't as many apps available as for the iPhone, the Android Market does have thousands of apps and I've already found most of the ones I had previously on my iPhone, and so far they've all been free!

I feel like a kid with a new toy at Christmas, and I know everyone will be getting annoyed with me now as I go on about it. Hopefully it should provide lots of opportunities for m-learning!

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