Owened

Perpetually in search of what’s next. Marketing Manager at Hoist Apps and Weekend Editor @ The Next Web

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Windows 8 may be ‘great’, but it’s not quite what we want

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Microsoft is really pushing this Metro-bonanza hard. Not only is the interface on phones, but now it’s on the Xbox, the internet, PC’s, tablets, laptops….

I don’t know if Microsoft has entirely thought this through. The promise of a tablet PC that can do everything a desktop or laptop can do is beautiful, yet flawed if it’s not done correctly from the beginning. The concept of a tablet that can literally replace my desktop is a tantalizing one, but Microsoft appears to be removing key features of what could make it killer.

Windows on ARM was initially heralded as full-on Windows on a Tablet PC. Then, it was slightly backpedaled from that. Actually, Windows on ARM is limited; you can’t run third party applications on the desktop.

Ah, alright, everyone sighed. ‘Metro’ is the future anyway. Businesses will adopt these in record time, unlike the slow-but-steady adoption of...

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Finally, a hands on with Windows RT

It looks like there really isn’t much choice to use the desktop a lot of the time. I really do wonder how consumers are going to react to this kind of tablet; if they’ll embrace it, or it’ll just be considered the iPad alternative.

I’m still pretty frustrated at the lack of enterprise controls and management solutions for businesses.

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Please, do tell me the definition of ‘revolutionary’

The pressure to be revolutionary in the mobile market is an ever-present one. From the very first iPhone, which changed the way we thought about how we interacted with mobile devices (from us prodding at them with stylus' to prodding at them with our fingers instead) to the idea of a notification drawer that keeps track of all possible alerts that could happen on a device.

With the next iPhone due to be announced in just under two weeks and many consumers declaring that the next iPhone had better be earth-shattering, it begins to make me wonder what needs to happen to satisfy users that enough has changed. Does Apple need to completely overhaul their UI? Do they need to use a completely different shaped phone? Or are under the hood revolutions enough? Not every change is visual, and many of those rumoured to be a part of the next iPhone aren’t obvious to the user.

A bigger...

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All Windows 8 hardware just looks the same

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So much for something new to shake up the market (that last device is running Android, by the way). It seems like the biggest point of differentiation is the keyboard, that’s it.

This is part of Microsoft attempting to force OEM’s to use a standardized design, but I wonder if this is how they expected it to turn out. There’s nothing here that would make me know which device out of this line up to actually pick.

I’ll update this more as additional tablets are announced.

All images via The Verge.

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Here’s our great new phone you can’t buy for at least three months

I don’t even understand the point of this. Just don’t even bother announcing it until you’re ready to let the world at it.

Seriously, stop it.

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Beautifully designed Android Twitter app

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I don’t usually post about applications, but Boid for Android is a beautiful Holo-themed Twitter application. When I found out that it’s built by a group of seventeen year olds, I was even more impressed. It doesn’t have push notifications yet, but that’s all it needs to be perfect (and they’re coming in the next release). These guys seriously know what they’re doing.

Having switched from iOS to Android in April, if there’s one remark I have about the platform is there really aren’t that many great applications for it. If it’s not buggy and slow, you can be sure as hell that it’ll be ugly. It’s nice to find something that defies both of those from time to time.

Lets just hope that Twitter doesn’t stop things like this from happening.

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Samsung’s designers have no taste

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If you still didn’t think Samsung doesn’t know how to create their own ideas, just a look at their new “S Dock” for Windows 8 should set off alarm bells. They’re either douchebags who just copy others' ideas in the hope of getting away with it, or, they don’t understand the meaning of “innovation.”

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Why doesn’t my smartphone integrate with my tablet?

I don’t understand how we have these great products in the market that synchronize and do everything ‘magically’ in the cloud, yet they don’t even talk to each other properly yet. I still can’t read my Twitter notifications on the internet and then not have to read them a second time on my phone and I still can’t read and reply to text messages from my computer, nor can I receive calls using it.

For a long time, I’ve been wishing my phone and my PC could talk to each other a bit better, but it still hasn’t really happened. When Windows 8 was announced, that hope was renewed in a slightly different way. Leaks talked about support for missed calls and SMS support. This got me imagining a world where I could use my phone and tablet interchangeably, never having to double up.

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A tablet seems like a natural extension for my phone. When...

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Windows 8 tablets aren’t really tablets

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Great piece by Alex over at The Next Web on what the Windows 8 tablet form factor is shaping up to be. It seems like Microsoft’s specifications politely suggest OEM’s should include a easily disconnected keyboard, and at a guess, that it should fold around and protect the screen when not in use. So far, every single manufacturer that’s unveiled a tablet provides a screen with the device.

What’s more interesting, is that this essentially binds Microsoft’s position that their tablet OS be a landscape-only affair. Metro applications – so far – don’t seem to offer a different layout for when the tablet is rotated into portrait, very similarly to the experience in Windows Phone. It’s not a bad move necessarily, just a by-product of a OS that scrolls across rather than down.

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Faux happiness

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There’s something about a photo. It holds a thousand memories. A moment that we couldn’t possibly recreate in our minds as accurately. It reminds us of how happy we once were.

Except… maybe we’re all lying to ourselves. This past weekend, I spent most of my time curiously observing people taking photos of each other smiling. It’s odd, isn’t it? As soon as we point a lens at someone, smiles come out.

Why is that? I am definitely not ‘happy’ every time a camera is pointed at me. Do we do it to try and remember those moments as happy? Perhaps to tell our kids about all of the amazing times we had? Maybe we are trying to convince ourselves that we’re having so much fun by taking lots of photos? Or, even worse, are we trying to convince others (on the internet) that we’re having fun?

Perhaps it’s all of the above. It’s not always been this way. I stumbled upon a fascinating...

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