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Trying to wrap my head around Android (Page 7)
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Nov 20, 2013, 09:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Been messing with the Samsung Note 3 and Galaxy Gear watch (I hear you snickering) and you know what? As a combo, they don't suck, they're actually very nice. They work together just like Samsung claims and it doesn't take very long before you adjust to talking to your wrist, Dick Tracy style. The speaker phone on it is surprisingly good, and with a little training you're simply tapping the screen, giving a command, and it does what you ask, whether it's; dialing a number, composing a text, receiving turn-by-turn directions, etc. etc.. It just works... within its limited scope.
I got my hands on a Pebble and I see what you mean. Although the Pebble is a different beast - it does some things the Gear doesn't and doesn't do others the Gear does - the idea is sound and works well. My phone lives in it's bag for most of the day now, I answer calls with an earpiece and check email and messages with the watch. It sounds weird, but it's actually damn convenient.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 05:34 PM
 
The Smartwatch is an idea whose time has come and developers are almost there, now they need to put all the little pieces and functions together and miniaturize it ~40% more (thickness and weight, not screen size). It's such a logical extension of personal connectivity, that I'm baffled Apple hasn't knocked it out of the park yet (rumormill reports notwithstanding). They've dropped the ball on this in a major way.
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Nov 20, 2013, 06:15 PM
 
Remember that Apple are rarely market leaders. They tend to wait and observe, then take an existing product and make it better than anybody dreamt it could be.

The mp3 player existed long before the iPod. Smartphones existed way before the iPhone. Even tablets existed way before the iPad. They were just devices nobody wanted to use, because they were designed by engineers.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 06:52 PM
 
They've waited too long this time. Smartwatches in their current form are nearly "there", I'd say only one generation off, while Apple is nowhere in sight.
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Nov 20, 2013, 07:06 PM
 
By all accounts (except their own), nobody currently gives a shit (yet). The Galaxy Gear is a complete flop, and the Pebble is not in any way on the road to "must-have" accessory, so far.

Nobody wants them.

In fact, the market is perfectly poised for Apple to swoop in and explain to people in a 30-second TV commercial exactly why they WANT such a product, and to follow up that statement with "because this is what it needs to be" in their classic maneuver.


FWIW, I'm not convinced yet, either. Siri will read me my incoming text messages while I'm driving. She will let me do stuff without touching, or even looking at the phone.

The simple convenience of not pulling the phone out of my front pocket for checking things when I'm not wearing the headset isn't winning me over, yet. I have a wristwatch for the primary concern.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 08:15 PM
 
Nobody wants them because nobody's used them, it's one of those things that you can't imagine being useful until you've tried it. Then it's "holy shit, this is great". For its limited production, the Gear isn't a flop, it's largely been a proof of concept that's available to the public, like the Google Glass. Only, unlike the Glass, it isn't absurd in it's implementation, only in its 3rd party support (which is on purpose, because Samsung still wants strict control over the API during this phase of development). The next generation is the tipping point, that's when they'll take off.
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Nov 20, 2013, 08:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Nobody wants them because nobody's used them, it's one of those things that you can't imagine being useful until you've tried it. Then it's "holy shit, this is great". For its limited production, the Gear isn't a flop, it's largely been a proof of concept that's available to the public, like the Google Glass. Only, unlike the Glass, it isn't absurd in it's implementation, only in its 3rd party support (which is on purpose, because Samsung still wants strict control over the API during this phase of development). The next generation is the tipping point, that's when they'll take off.
I'm not holding my breath.

At current, nobody's using them because nobody knows why they should, and Samsung channeling Dick Tracy futurism isn't helping set expectations straight.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 08:57 PM
 
I still say the glass part is the least relevant part of Glass.

Glass is about being a vector for Google data. Things like the Pebble are vectors to other pieces of hardware.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 09:20 PM
 
Vector "blah blah", Glass is shit because it doesn't work half the time and Google isn't sure where to go with it. I don't give two shakes about what other people are watching and combining that with what I'm seeing, or overlapping my regular vision with persistent data and advertiser push content, but I do care about not having to dig my phone out of my pocket to; see who's calling, check an appointment, or do a quick web search.
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Nov 20, 2013, 10:17 PM
 
Samsung has sold over 800,000 Gear watches - far more than they thought they would. I would not call that "nobody wants them". The Pebble was the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever and has, so far, sold 250,000+ watches, without any traditional marketing. Seems like a fair number of people do "give a shit", especially for a product that's first generation.

There's a thriving, growing developer community doing really cool shit with the Pebble. When the Pebble first arrived, it was a simple wearable notification centre. Now it displays the weather, hooks into the calendar, answers calls, controls music. All this on a very simple, relatively low-tech device that retails for $150. And the best thing? The set-up is so simple, my mom could do it.

Despite some functional deficiencies at launch, it seems Samsung has had little trouble selling its Galaxy Gear smartwatch over the past two months. This morning Reuters is reporting that the company has sold 800,000 of the wearable devices since its late September launch — all the more significant as for much of that time it required a Galaxy Note 3 to operate. Initial sales of the device exceeded Samsung's own expectations, according to the report.
They also recently scrambled to update the software, addressing the most glaring shortcomings of the launch version in the process and now offering rich notifications from any app. The Gear might be a proof of concept, but its a damn impressive one. I am not generally a fan of Samsung phones, but this time they did good.

Apple will have an incredibly hard time beating this, simply because almost all the functionality one would expect from a smart watch exists in these early devices. Notifications? Check. Camera? Check. Voice control? Check. Make a call? Check. These devices are useful, they're easy to use and they're available. Today.

Unlike with all the other products that Apple revolutionized, the Gear, the Pebble and other upcoming devices are all good. They all work. They're products you want to use, they don't need Apple's magic touch. Any progress will come from manufacturing, smaller size, better batteries. But the foundation that we see in today's devices is already solid.

What it comes down to is the fact that it's damn silly that we, in 2013, still hold a computer to our face and call it a phone. There has got to be a better way, and wearable computing is one option that's moving things in the right direction. Glas is another one, but it's too intrusive - I don't want a permanent digital overlay altering reality. The watch model is perfect - always there if needed yet easily ignored if not.

I agree with Shaddim, you need to have worn one to get it. Wearing either a pebble or a Gear moves the phone to where it belongs 99% of the time - out of sight. Because you know you will receive notifications as they arrive, you stop checking for them. I actually have hopes that this will improve people's manners around mobile devices. One immediate change for me has been that I have switched my phone's ringer off permanently. It's not needed anymore to alert me to phone calls.

I was in a client meeting today, client saw me check my Pebble when a call came in. I declined the call, followed by a one click auto SMS to tell the caller I was in a meeting and would call him later. Two presses, took about a second. At the end of the meeting, he went online and ordered his own immediately.

Use one and I am pretty sure you'll change your mind. The "people don't care" comments remind me of some of the posts I've read, on this forum, when the iPod was first launched. I don't get all that excited about tech anymore these days, but wearable computing has got my attention.
( Last edited by Phileas; Nov 20, 2013 at 10:48 PM. )
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 11:01 PM
 
Holy shit, I was thinking ~100k Gears sold, 800k is a bona fide hit.

I did order a Pebble last week, but they're backordered in gray/titanium so it'll be a little while.
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Nov 20, 2013, 11:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Vector "blah blah", Glass is shit because it doesn't work half the time and Google isn't sure where to go with it. I don't give two shakes about what other people are watching and combining that with what I'm seeing, or overlapping my regular vision with persistent data and advertiser push content, but I do care about not having to dig my phone out of my pocket to; see who's calling, check an appointment, or do a quick web search.
A rant about the hardware sucking somewhat obliquely intersects an argument about the hardware not being the point.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 11:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
A rant about the hardware sucking somewhat obliquely intersects an argument about the hardware not being the point.
No, it isn't the hardware, it's the software and the inconsistent focus of the applications. The Glass itself is well made. It's just a crappy idea to overlay all that info in your field of vision, too intrusive.
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Nov 20, 2013, 11:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Holy shit, I was thinking ~100k Gears sold, 800k is a bona fide hit.

I did order a Pebble last week, but they're backordered in gray/titanium so it'll be a little while.
I'd perhaps wait for this instead - the Toq watch from Qualcomm. Very much a tech experiment from the chip maker, but worth watching.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 11:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
No, it isn't the hardware, it's the software and the inconsistent focus of the applications. The Glass itself is well made. It's just a crappy idea to overlay all that info in your field of vision, too intrusive.
It's 1.0.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 11:23 PM
 
Glass is a strange beast. At the same time intrusive and weird to interact with it doesn't feel particularly natural to use.

The watch model works because it builds on established behaviour. We're conditioned to expect an information device on our left wrist, the smart watch just takes that model and runs with it.
     
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Nov 20, 2013, 11:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I'd perhaps wait for this instead - the Toq watch from Qualcomm. Very much a tech experiment from the chip maker, but worth watching.
Not so sure about that display technology, but I do like the layout.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
It's 1.0.
but so far nearly 4 years in development and it's still flaky. The main issue is the entire premise of constant visual overlay, once the cool factor wore off it wasn't something I wanted to use anymore. Whereas the Gear was the opposite, it became "cooler" the more I used it, and now I'd feel odd not wearing it, especially when out and about.

Oh, and being able to change faces to whatever you want is pure awesome, if you're a watch guy. Now I just need one that's more upscale for special occasions, like half IWC daVinci, half Gear.
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Nov 20, 2013, 11:55 PM
 
How is the overlay constant? Do you have to have the screen on constantly?

As for watches, I personally can't stand the things, but that's me. I understand the appeal.
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 12:16 AM
 
If you use it the way Google intends, as an overlay for reality (a "life enhancement"), it'll pop up shit all day. ex; you see a Baskin-Robbins, but so does it, and then it shows you an advertisement and tells you the place is offering $1 cones for a limited time. Remember that part in Minority Report where Cruise walks into the store? It's eerily similar if you leave it on the Glass default. You can leave them in a pocket and switch to voice activation only, but most of the time you forget to use it.
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Nov 21, 2013, 12:39 AM
 
I also firmly disagree Google doesn't know where it's going with Glass.

They want it to spy on you. This is an impossible sell, so they're being as wishy-washy about what you're supposed to do with it and still sound plausible.

A watch is, well... a watch. Maybe I lack imagination, but I don't see quite the same SkyNet potential going on.
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 12:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
If you use it the way Google intends, as an overlay for reality (a "life enhancement"), it'll pop up shit all day. ex; you see a Baskin-Robbins, but so does it, and then it shows you an advertisement and tells you the place is offering $1 cones for a limited time. Remember that part in Minority Report where Cruise walks into the store? It's eerily similar if you leave it on the Glass default. You can leave them in a pocket and switch to voice activation only, but most of the time you forget to use it.
If you can alter that, rejecting the technology because that's the default seems extreme.
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 01:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
Samsung has sold over 800,000 Gear watches - far more than they thought they would. I would not call that "nobody wants them".
Yes, I saw their claim. That's why I said "by all claims except their own".

And given that they only posted it in response to a real-world suggestion of 50,000 sold, and reports of over 60% return rates, and given their history, and the fact that they NEVER report actual sales, but merely "shipments", I'm going to stick with the 50,000 and continue to call it a complete flop for the time being.

They may have MADE 800,000, and even shipped all of them, and maybe even have placed a number of them into Samsung employees' hands to bolster sales number the way they usually do, but I'm just not going to believe that 800,000 people actually bought and kept them.
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 02:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How is the overlay constant? Do you have to have the screen on constantly?

As for watches, I personally can't stand the things, but that's me. I understand the appeal.
I missed that. Since you hate watches, I can see how you'd be biased against a Smartwatch. Usually, if I'm awake I'm wearing a watch, so it's more natural to me (I have ~50 watches).
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Nov 21, 2013, 03:15 AM
 
How exactly am I being biased against them? Did I say they suck or something?
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 05:06 AM
 
I'm saying I understand why you'd think the Gear, or any Smartwatch, is uninteresting, since you can't stand watches.
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Nov 21, 2013, 05:21 AM
 
I didn't say it was uninteresting, in fact, I said the opposite. Despite the fact I can't stand watches, I can still see the appeal.

     
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Nov 21, 2013, 08:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Yes, I saw their claim. That's why I said "by all claims except their own".

And given that they only posted it in response to a real-world suggestion of 50,000 sold, and reports of over 60% return rates, and given their history, and the fact that they NEVER report actual sales, but merely "shipments", I'm going to stick with the 50,000 and continue to call it a complete flop for the time being.

They may have MADE 800,000, and even shipped all of them, and maybe even have placed a number of them into Samsung employees' hands to bolster sales number the way they usually do, but I'm just not going to believe that 800,000 people actually bought and kept them.
I honestly believe that you might let your dislike of Samsung colour your judgement in this case.

I am no fan of Samsung either - I think most of their phones look cheap and TouchViz is a little bloated - but I do believe them when they publish a number of 800,000 sold. Mainly because I think they are genuinely surprised by this themselves. This doesn't seem like a gloat, this seems like a "holy ****, we tried something we weren't sure about and it worked" moment.

The highest return rate that I can find published is just below 30% in the early days, a far cry from 60%, when key functionality was simply missing. This has since been addressed and because the Gear is powered by the kind of hardware that would have been found inside a high-end phone just a year ago, Samsung has space to improve the software experience without running out of horsepower.

I played with a Gear and liked it immensely. It looks and feels like a solid, high quality machine - especially remarkable given that it started life as a tech experiment. The only reason I went with the Pebble was that the Gear currently requires a Samsung phone and I am not prepared to go there just yet*. I am however on the list for the Toq.

Anyway, whatever brand one chooses, after wearing the Pebble for a week I know that the smartwatch will be a permanent, and immensely useful, addition to my personal tech collection. So much so that I can see it push the "phone" part into the background, almost completely.

For me, the next logical step would be to take the talking to people part and make that specific to the watch, i.e. remove it from the phone part completely, reducing them to what we today call tablets. Need to go out and just have access to email, messages and calls? Take the watch and be done with it. For anything else, take the tablet in the size of your choice.

*My wife however would like to move from her iPhone 5 to a Note 3.
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 08:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I honestly believe that you might let your dislike of Samsung colour your judgement in this case.

I am no fan of Samsung either - I think most of their phones look cheap and TouchViz is a little bloated - but I do believe them when they publish a number of 800,000 sold. Mainly because I think they are genuinely surprised by this themselves. This doesn't seem like a gloat, this seems like a "holy ****, we tried something we weren't sure about and it worked" moment.

The highest return rate that I can find published is just below 30% in the early days, a far cry from 60%, when key functionality was simply missing.
You're right; I remember now being surprised that over 60% KEPT the thing.

Maybe it's just my dislike of Samsung.

But if someone's been caught lying too many times over one specific issue, I see no reason to trust them at all, the next time.
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 11:36 AM
 
Ars Technica: Samsung "ships" 800,000...which means very little

They certainly have not sold anywhere near that many.

I like the idea of wearable phones....but I still internally make fun of anyone I see walking around with a BT ear-set, and no way in hell you would get me wearing eyeglases (seriously...there's a reason everyone would rather wear contacts if they could). So there is that.
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Nov 21, 2013, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
and no way in hell you would get me wearing eyeglases (seriously...there's a reason everyone would rather wear contacts if they could). So there is that.
Eye-5 contact lenses in Torchwood .
Eye-5 - Tardis Data Core, the Doctor Who Wiki

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Nov 21, 2013, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post

I like the idea of wearable phones....but I still internally make fun of anyone I see walking around with a BT ear-set, and no way in hell you would get me wearing eyeglases
When I got my first mobile phone, my then girlfriend would not walk with me when I received a call when we were out and about. Things change. (But I agree to a degree, I too refuse to wear a bluetooth headset in public.)
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I didn't say it was uninteresting, in fact, I said the opposite. Despite the fact I can't stand watches, I can still see the appeal.

You know what? While juggling different tasks, I inadvertently associated a post made by Spheric with you. Mia culpa.
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Nov 21, 2013, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
When I got my first mobile phone, my then girlfriend would not walk with me when I received a call when we were out and about. Things change. (But I agree to a degree, I too refuse to wear a bluetooth headset in public.)
I wear my BT headset sometimes, but only because I forget to take it off after a call. I don't know how many calls a day you guys get, but after the 30th-35th one I say screw it and just leave the damned earpiece in, fashion be damned.
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Nov 21, 2013, 03:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I wear my BT headset sometimes, but only because I forget to take it off after a call. I don't know how many calls a day you guys get, but after the 30th-35th one I say screw it and just leave the damned earpiece in, fashion be damned.
My iPhone tells me 0-3 per day for the past week.
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Mia culpa.
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Nov 22, 2013, 08:17 AM
 
Nexus 4, no KitKat update. Nexus 7 (old one) updated to KitKat last night.

WTF?
     
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Nov 22, 2013, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Nexus 4, no KitKat update. Nexus 7 (old one) updated to KitKat last night.

WTF?
KitKat updates are slow all round. Sideload, if you're impatient, the factory images are available.
     
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Nov 22, 2013, 06:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Nexus 4, no KitKat update. Nexus 7 (old one) updated to KitKat last night.

WTF?
It's 3rd or 4th in the order of rollout. Be patient for a couple days.

Oh, and I'm not really seeing much of a difference at all, except icons. BIG change...
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Nov 22, 2013, 06:16 PM
 
Nestlé got the change.
     
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Nov 23, 2013, 12:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Oh, and I'm not really seeing much of a difference at all, except icons. BIG change...
You need to look a little deeper. KitKat is a huge step forward for Android.

ART is replacing Dalvik and can be enabled under developer options. One instant benefit for me was that the battery of my Nexus 5 now lasts up to three days with normal use. If you do enable it keep in mind that some apps will crash, until they're updated.

Apps running under ART will use more memory at install, but from there on it's all buttery smoothness.
     
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Nov 24, 2013, 06:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
KitKat updates are slow all round. Sideload, if you're impatient, the factory images are available.
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
It's 3rd or 4th in the order of rollout. Be patient for a couple days.
Actually got it yesterday. As a pretty normal user I haven't seen any difference.
     
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Nov 24, 2013, 12:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Holy shit, I was thinking ~100k Gears sold, 800k is a bona fide hit.
Not necessarily, you mistake what Samsung has put in the channel (800k units shipped) vs. what has actually been sold (estimates say ~50k units sold).
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Nov 24, 2013, 04:43 PM
 
Covered three days ago.
     
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Nov 25, 2013, 02:29 AM
 
You know what that means? There will be a lot of bargains on those soon.


"Gang Violence"
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Nov 25, 2013, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
You know what that means? There will be a lot of bargains on those soon.
Wasn't the HP Touchpad just $99 in the end?
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Nov 25, 2013, 07:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Wasn't the HP Touchpad just $99 in the end?
I think $80 at one point, and it was pretty decent with CM9 on it.
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Nov 25, 2013, 08:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I think $80 at one point, and it was pretty decent with CM9 on it.
I thought that webOS was up there, it led the way with many firsts, e. g. its contact merging (synergy I think Palm called it) and of course the card metaphor for multitasking. But if you need to sell the device far below cost to make it sell in appreciable numbers, it's just not a viable product.
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Nov 25, 2013, 08:38 PM
 
webOS was the best mobile OS I've seen so far. It's a real shame it never made it.
     
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Nov 25, 2013, 08:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I thought that webOS was up there, it led the way with many firsts, e. g. its contact merging (synergy I think Palm called it) and of course the card metaphor for multitasking. But if you need to sell the device far below cost to make it sell in appreciable numbers, it's just not a viable product.
It was a fine product, support simply wasn't there and HP bungled its rollout horribly. In college marketing courses they actually study the disastrous TP launch now, as a teaching aid showing what not to do.

Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
webOS was the best mobile OS I've seen so far. It's a real shame it never made it.
That's what happens when you delay/shun 3rd party support.
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Nov 25, 2013, 09:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
It was a fine product, support simply wasn't there and HP bungled its rollout horribly. In college marketing courses they actually study the disastrous TP launch now, as a teaching aid showing what not to do.
Certainly, Apotheker was a madman of a CEO, I would have run HP into the ground for half of what he got

But coming back to smart watches: Samsung's lackluster sales are indicative of the fact that they haven't cracked the problem yet (for most): why is it useful? Certain other factoids don't help either: as far as I understand, the Gear only works with the Note 3. Why doesn't it work with any recent Samsung Android handset? Samsung has a history of this, e. g. with NFC functionality which sporadically appears and vanishes in products.
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