Author: Richard Cartwright

Can a smartphone be too big?

Ok, our society is always bigger, stronger, faster. Mates compare the size of their respective flat screen televisions like their significant others compare the size of …other things.  The more we demand out of our smart phones, the more features the handset makers cram into the devices. In fact, most leading edge smart phones are more powerful and capable than our desktop computers of not too many years ago.  Once one makes the decision to buy either a Android, Apple, Blackberry or Windows Phone from there features are the only way for one handset carrier to distinguish itself from another. Even Apple and...

Read More

Kindle Touch arrives early to UK

The Kindle Fire may be absent from the UK but Amazon rewarded those who ordered the UK version of the Kindle Touch by besting its promised release date by a week from 27 April to the 20th. There are reports that those who electronically queued up to order on the first day got their Kindle Touch either on the 20th or the next day after. Early returns seem the mirror the American experience, except for a few forum posts claiming the touch screen is a bit laggy compared to the basic Kindle, confirming the recent review in the Telegraph. While that is true, it seems to...

Read More

Will the Lumia 900 light the way for Nokia and Windows Phone?

Nokia’s new hero phone, the Lumia 900 is up for pre-order in the UK and will be released April 27th . The new Windows Phone has been available for a little over a week in the United States and has hit a bump or two in the road over data problems with its LTE data system.  Of course, UK users need not be concerned about any LTE issues, thanks to Ofcom and the squabbling  wireless carriers we arn’t likely to see the new data standard in this green and pleasant land till 2014. Instead Nokia offers the 900 with the well used DC-HSPA data...

Read More

It’s Spring: where is my Ice Cream Sandwich?

Google released Android 4.0 , also known as Ice Cream Sandwich or ICS  in mid November to the world at large. Assuming that was the earliest date that carriers, mobile makers and developers got their respective hands on it (which is not likely as at least handset OEMs were probably getting release candidate  builds at least) then why has over four months gone by and ICS is at best dripping onto new phones? Just in the last few days are seeing Samsung releasing the Android 4.0 update on the Galaxy S2  on O2, and there are some  Nexus S devices out there reportedly getting the update. Galaxy S users are however high and dry for which you can apparently thank Touch Wiz. While the Nexus S and Galaxy S are essentially identical under the bonnet, the presence of Samsung’s Touch Wiz features means there is not enough memory for Ice Cream Sandwich. HTC is claiming several of its phones will be getting the Android update, only the HTC Sensation on Vodaphone is actually seeing an update at present. And  it is not just phones. Supposedly the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 was to release in the UK in March, but the release was pushed back to April because of problems with adapting TouchWiz. Motorola rolled out  OTA for ICS for the Xoom tablets starting in late January. Some would say that tablets can release updates far faster...

Read More

Is Amazon going to tout Handwriting Recognition on the Kindle Fire?

The biggest obstacle to purchasing a Kindle Fire for use as an everyday tablet, OTHER THAN YOU CAN”T GET IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK (apologies, but I feel much better now)  is the fact that the current Fire lacks any way to connect an external keyboard. Amazon had to keep the cost down somehow, and not adding Bluetooth or an external keyboard was apparently part of the process. Put this firmly in the speculation category, but there are some programs out there already that enable handwriting recognition for the Kindle Fire and some evidence that  Amazon may have to either tout handwriting recognition over an expensive accessory or add features to the Fire to match Apple and other Android products. Accurate handwriting recognition has been one of the Holy Grails of any hand held device. One of the most famous first attempts was the Apple Newton, but it became more well known for its flubs than its accuracy. The late, great Palm brought handwriting recognition mainstream with its easy to learn Graffiti language that made Palm PDAs the geek standard for keeping track of your personal information. The advent of the Handspring (later Palm) Treo and RIM Blackberry line and smart phones generally pushed handwriting recognition to the background in favor of keypads and texting. However, the Apple iPhone, ushered in capacitive touchscreens and until the advent of Capacitive stylus products the only way to input into recent smart phones and tablets was...

Read More