Archive | Google RSS feed for this section

Android. So how’s it going?

3 Nov

It’s been over a month since I made the switch from Windows Phone to Android as my main daily driver, so how’s it going?

I’ll write a full review of my thoughts soon, but overall quite well. I never took my eye entirely of Android so there’s very little surprising going on, but as my main phone it’s mostly been a good experience with a few distractions. That’s only fair to expect, any platform switch is going to experience some hiccups.

Surprisingly, my main frustration has been trying to find a decent alternative to the brilliant NextGen Reader, an RSS app that uses Feedly as its backend. If I ever get that one sorted things would be much easier.

Anyhow, I’ll report back soon with a more in depth progress report.


It’s Started…

3 Aug

So I made the first step towards moving back to Android. I ordered a Moto G5 Plus for my partner (one day before the G5S variants were announced, typically) to replace her two year old Lumia 640XL.

I managed to find an online store selling them for £50 less than anywhere else, but I’m not going to tell you the store name as it’s been a few days now and the order is still in “processing” status (so I’m beginning to get a little bit concerned about the site being just a scam).

For years I sold family members on Windows Phone/Mobile as I still genuinely believe that for non tech savy people it’s the simplest mobile OS out there. But Hayley was increasingly asking about apps that didn’t exist on the platform. These same apps are not going to magically appear even if the C-Shell variant of Windows ever appears either. And what with Microsoft yet again seemingly abandoning the platform, using an alternative is now regrettably a no-brainer.

Good work Redmond.

So now I find myself going into the Google play store and seeing what’s new, checking what I already have in my library, and what I can spend my money on.

That’s money that Microsoft won’t get to see…

The loss of my beloved OS will be a bitter pill to swallow initially, and I mourn the loss of the one app running everywhere future, but I’m actually starting to look forward to the change in some ways.

Right now I wonder if I’ll ever find a reason to go back to a Mobile Microsoft solution.

Perhaps if they really do have something magical up their sleeve. But right now I very much doubt it.

Decisions, Decisions…

7 Apr

So I’m very happy with my Lumia 550 purchased at the end of last year…

…but it is starting to feel a little slow and underpowered.

Since it looks like Microsoft won’t be releasing any new Windows Phone hardware this year, it leaves me with a difficult choice:

1. Stay with the L550 for a while
2. Get a 950 XL (shopping around I’ve seen £299)
3. Get a Nexus 6P (more expensive than the L950)

So why option 3?

Well, I like to think Windows phone is hibernating rather than dead, and that once all those lovely UWP apps have built up with the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft will go full throttle on this great phone OS…

But that’s clearly not going to happen in the near future, if at all.

So that leaves Android as my preferred alternative, and with the recent news around Xamarin, it could be useful to have an Android phone to develop against (and I’ll still have the 550 to test mobile UWP issues)

But then the L950 will let me play with Continuum… and I do love Windows Mobile.

I need more money so I can just by both.


17 Jun

Facebook also announced Thursday it will begin tracking its users’ browsing and activities on websites and apps outside Facebook, starting within a few weeks.

Facebook said it will begin to disregard its users’ choice of using their in-browser "Do Not Track" setting: Soon, anyone who clicks "ask websites not to track me" in Safari (or any other browser) will be completely ignored by Facebook.

Google and Yahoo already ignore people’s Do Not Track settings; fortunately, Twitter, Microsoft and Pinterest still respect the browser setting.

Quoted from

Fair enough you need to make a living guys, but if I tell you not to track me (I do) then at least respect this or restrict access to your service in some way. I expect nothing for free (if it is then I understand that “I am the product”), but this is underhand.


And you wonder why I don’t trust Google…

2 Apr

Here’s another example of why I don’t trust Google:

“Google wants the Supreme Court to reverse a decision concluding that the media giant could be held liable for hijacking data on unencrypted Wi-Fi routers via its Street View cars.”

Read the whole article here at Ars Technica and you may agree with them.

Frankly, I don’t.

Breaking up isn’t that hard to do…

23 Aug

Google, you suck. 

Google supposedly has a motto of “Do no evil”, but as I write they continue to block the YouTube app for Windows Phone for the oddest of manufactured reasons: They want it written in HTML 5. 

Even Google itself doesn’t have a decent HTML 5 version of a YouTube app. None. Not on iOS or Android. If they had, this would be a non-issue. 

Even third party iOS developers have openly stated that the HTML 5 APIs for YouTube are sub par. 

But Google wants an HTML 5 app to ensure users get the best experience. 

Microsoft and Google worked together on this and both came to the conclusion that it was going to take a long, long time and would probably be below par compared to native apps. 

So while they are working on it Microsoft re-released their native app, which displays adverts as previously requested by Google. It should be noted the Google apps themselves do not do this… 

But it is not written in HTML 5, so Google have blocked it claiming it breaks their terms, which they are apparently enforcing as they want “the best experience for users”. 

So apparently. according to this thinking by Google, no access is better than an app that’s equal (some say better) than that which is being offered on other platforms is it? 

This is a silly fight between Microsoft and Google, and for once it is Google who are harming consumers. Of course, they are well within their rights to do this, it’s their product after all. But in this case I’m one of the consumers being affected. 

Then we have the recent issue where Google considers itself above uk privacy laws and the fact that Gmail users should not expect privacy!  

We should get one thing straight, Google is not a search company, and hasn’t been for some time. Google is an advertising company. It uses your private information to target advertising to you which allows it to offer a premium service to advertisers, and it is also able to sell on the information it has on you. 

Google is a massive business and it has to make money somehow. This is the primary means to do it. That is fair enough, just be aware of how they get their income and consider this when chosing your providers. 

Remember, if the service is free to use, you are the product. 

Conversely, Microsoft makes the vast majority of its money from selling software and services (their advertising arm is one of their billion dollar businesses, but this mostly comes via adverts in apps, and they openly declare the only reason they read your emails is to reduce spam). 

So it really comes down to if you are happy with the business practices of a particular company. 

For me, Google has blown it. I don’t care how much they know about me, but I don’t feel comfortable with the methods they choose to get this information. But if you’re happy with them, good luck to you. 

So much has changed since I wrote Google Quite Possibly Owns my Soul – Part 1 and Google Quite Possibly Owns my Soul – Part 2 just over two and a half years ago. 

Now, I think their actions stink. 

So what can I do? 

Well, I already mistrust Google enough that I’ve moved away from their services as my primary email provider for example. But with this action I’m looking into using Vimeo going forward (there’s things I don’t like about this service, but I’ll give it a go and see how I get on) 

Additionally, this old tech blog is hosted on BlogSpot, as owned by Google. If you’re reading this post you can see I have transferred this over to Wordpress (who already host my personal blog). I’ll live the other blog posts as there are some comments, etc. that I don’t know how to migrate. 

As an aside, I own a couple of Android tablets and an old Android phone. I will continue to use these occasionally as I already have paid apps for them and they are good devices, but they are by no means my primary devices and will become even less important from here on in. I shall be thinking very hard before purchasing any more apps for them. For the same reason I can’t close my Google account, but that gets little use these days anyway. 

Yep, time to move on.