OnePlus One Mini

If the regular model is 5.5”, and the mini model is 5”, it should be $50 less, or so.

Besides that, I am sure that the Snapdragon 615 will be competitive in that price range, considering the quad-core Snapdragon 400 is good enough in the Moto G.

Uncarrier 8: Data Stash

What a strange name. Anyway.

This perk is only available for select postpaid customers that have purchased 3GB or more of data. T-Mobile could have made this better – let any customer take advantage of it, even their prepaid customers – and the goodwill would be overflowing.

Facebook: Auto-enhance your photos

Google+ has been doing this for quite some time. The improvements are generally acceptable. The fatal flaw for Facebook though is their insane compression of uploaded photos.

No one is asking too much when they ask for full resolution1.

  1. I understand in a mobile first world, full resolution on 13MP phones might be tough to swallow, either on Facebook’s end (storage, bandwidth, etc), or on their consumer’s end (mobile latency, download speed), but Google+ handles it without flinching. 

Xbox One breaks the PS4’s winning streak

For months, the Xbox One has been a few million units short of the PS4.

It’s good to see that cutting the Kinect and holiday bundling works for sales1.

  1. The numerous experience enhancing updates the Xbox One also likely helped. I haven’t seen same the acclaim from the PS4 crowd. 

Nexus 5 production has stopped

According to a Google rep, production of the Nexus 5 has stopped.

Update: Rumors are like this: they develop throughout the day, The Verge reports that a different Google rep says otherwise.

Tech Radar cites a Google spokesperson warning that production of the Nexus 5 has been discontinued and “once they are gone, they’re gone.” In an emailed statement to The Verge, however, Google disputes that claim by saying that the “Nexus 5 will continue to be available for sale on Google Play and through select retailers in Q1 2015.”

Clearly, the message is: the Nexus 5 will end eventually, and it is possible that forewarning will not come.

President Obama writes Javascript

The worst part of this initiative is it will slick the slope. Math and reading are not fun for most kids in school.

When I was a kid, I found solace that I knew how these computer things worked. Turning it into another rote subject is just asking for kids to despise it.

Windows 10: Late Summer or Early Fall

The thing I want to tell you about on Windows 10 is in the Windows 10 timeframe, which we plan to talk about the end-user consumer experiences in the early spring, we’ll have a developer preview and be able to talk to that in depth in the early summer timeframe. And then by next late summer and early fall we’ll be able to bring out this particular OS. That’s the current plan of record.

Matt and I predicted that Windows 10 would target an official launch for right after BUILD, which was in late April, sometime in June – just early enough to finally hit the back-to-school.

Late Summer would break out June, so maybe July, but probably August – or – just Fall in general then. Microsoft as usual1.

  1. Another late product in the typical release cycle. 

Chromebook Killer

I tend to disagree. When I think of a Chromebook, I think of a continuous version of the OS that does one thing pretty much very well. When I think of Windows, I have nothing to think of, especially on the precipice of Windows 10 – why would I lock my poor grandparents or kids into an OS that is about to be eclipsed1? Besides, if you have used $400 laptops, you should cringe at a $200 laptop even harder.

  1. On the other hand, if you want to test Windows 10 realistically (not on a VM, and not on a desktop), then this could be a decent solution. 

Giant Solid-color Header Bars

Material Design is more than just a giant solid-color or image-background header bar.

There really is no reason to waste so much space with that header bar just to contain the search terms the user just entered.

Android Development now on DVD ROM

In the context of Android One and bandwidth-capped and starved locations, that’s fine – but it does cast a strange light on the broader ecosystem. How do normal users then, under the same conditions, even function with their One handsets?

And then there is the SDK itself. A nightmare. Remember all of that pretty Material Design design? Not much of it is actually implemented in API Level 21, so these DVD ROM enthusiasts will using StackOverflow quite a bit.

Another iPhone in 2015

The iPhone 6s and 6s+ should come in 2015, but what niche would a smaller iPhone play? A cheaper model – the handset the industry has wished Apple would make for years1? Even if it is not significantly cheaper, it is $100 on contract or $500 off contract, it might still appeal to enough people to be worth it2.

What would Apple call a smaller iPhone in a refresh year? iPhone Air? It would be smaller, but the others are thin and light. iPhone mini?

Or, more likely, we will accept that phones get bigger and move on.

  1. Perhaps Apple would enjoy an offset tick-tock model, the refreshed large iPhones come out in even years and the refreshed tiny iPhone comes out in odd years. 
  2. Apple could use an iPad mini 2 / iPad Air 2 approach – the smaller model would just a previous generation processor even though it is new

20 Years of PlayStation

In 20 years, there have been four major versions of the PlayStation and numerous updated builds. It’s an impressive history.

But most importantly, it’s also 20 years of likely the best handheld game controller. Sony made the first controller right and only now, with the PS4, have they decided to intensify the gimmicks.

Second Generation Glass, Coming 2015 with Intel Chip

TI made the current Glass chip. Well, they made it four years ago and it’s pretty much over.

(Incidentally, the Moto 360 also has a TI chip in it, so I wonder if we’ll see a difference next year.)

The Verge: Radio of the future

When Matt and I had to describe what we did in our free time to non-technical people, we would say we make something like a talk radio show. I am not industry deep nor am I out of it entirely, so it’s particularly hard for me to judge the state of the industry itself. But allegedly, we’re in the second golden age of “radio”.

Alex Blumberg told David this quote, “do you read books?”. He went on to say that, of course, everyone reads books. But do they really?

It might be a little more complicated than just hitting play though.

Sony’s E-ink Smartwatch

The benefit of e-ink is battery life longevity. But that’s about it. The refresh rate will cripple the on-screen utilities the watch can offer.

For something like a Fitbit, where there are merely four “screens” shown on the watch, this screen technology is adequate, but for a smartwatch (running Android Wear or the like), well, not so much.

$199 FirePhone

If this was the at-launch price with some enhanced usability, it might have worked out.

Functional Programming with JavaScript

When I learned Scheme a few years, I told my friends that it was similar to JavaScript. I never had a problem with it. Now I am working with SML and it features a lot (if not all) of the concepts shown in Scott’s slides here.

Functional Programming, turns out, is pretty neat.