Motorola Moto X – it’s made of bamboo! And some chatter about battery life at the end…
Sadly I smashed my Nexus 5 by throwing it out of my pocket onto the tarmac whilst riding my newly acquired second hand BMX (thank you Gumtree). Screen repair was possible because the device still worked, but it was getting a little slow, and so a new handset was required. I have an EE SIM only deal that includes calls, texts and 10Gb of data for £10.00 pcm with no contractual obligation. Therefore, I buy my handsets outright. In the past, I was aware of all the handsets on the market; the latest and greatest shiny!
Not now though. So, I needed to do a little research using the web and twitter and facebook to ask my friends and acquaintances what they were aware of. Suggestions of the Linux phone and iPhones came in, but the best value handset out there at the moment appeared to be the Motorola Moto X with Android. This appeals because it has the most *vanilla* android experience on the market, as well as a serious attempt to provide a top-end handset for less money, as documented here. So, I sourced the best price I could find on Amazon, but I noticed another seller was based 20 miles from where I live, so off I trundled to part with £285.00 for my new phone from HandTec.
One of my pupils is going to repair the Nexus 5 and then I’ll sell it to offset some of the cost of the new shiny.
I’m really pleased so far. All features seem good enough for me. Also, it has a couple of clever Moto tricks, for example, whenever it suspects I want to use it – pulled out of pocket, or picked up, or my hand passes over the screen – the lock screen comes on so there is no need to press the power button. Simple and efficient. It also locks quickly by itself but keeps checking to see if I am looking at the screen and remains active whilst I am.
I’m enjoying not having to be overly concerned about battery time. Isn’t it pathetic and manipulative that batteries are not replaceable in handsets? Battery life seems the most frequent complaint and, there is no doubt that battery performance deteriorates with time. Why are retailers not offering a battery swap? I presume because they are often selling new handsets and they would rather encourage you to part with more cash. A quick search shows how I could replace my own Nexus 5 battery, for less than £20.00. You can do it for iPhone 5 too with instructions on YouTube. But if you’d rather not do it yourself, you can search for a repair centre to do it for you.
Often I receive puzzled looks when I say the word twitter. And I think I understand why. But maybe I don’t. It’s hard to see why non-tweeters are non-believers. Also, many twitter users I know do not use the service like I do. So, for tweeters and non-tweeters alike, I thought I’d explain my twitter workflow.
I read tweets during incidental/transtion moments unless I am following a hashtag for a conference or something that has piqued my interest.
A link grabs my attention and I follow it.
I like what I see/read and want to save it somewhere to recall it later (for me that’s evernote or diigo bookmarks)
I retweet it using the *quote tweet* option, including some #hashtags that will turn into #tags in my bookmarks. [NB: quote tweet does not exist on twitter’s web app, but on it’s mobile app as pictured below, and on major twitter clients like hootsuite]
It saves into my diigo account (using packratius). [NB: I used packratius first, then switched to ifttt but they stopped doing it – can’t remember how I do it now but packratius works]
The last slide in the deck below shows diigo and evernote integrated into my google searches on chrome – pretty nifty when you are retrieving material at a later date.
This makes sense to me because, if I want to save it, then it is likely that some people who follow me would like to see it as well. Some fellow tweeters favourite their tweets to save them to evernote or their bookmarking service or for future reference. But this model works well for me. I pay careful attention to the tags so I can retrieve the material when I come to do some work in that area. You need to be careful with tags. It’s not as obvious as you might think. Develop a consistent approach and stick with it. For example, if you are researching ipads and save lots of ipad links, the tag ipad will quickly have dozens of results which don’t help you much. Here is where tag combinations come into play: e.g. #ipad #app #geography.
If I want to read/watch the content in more detail later, I also include @myen (how to) in the retweet so it saves into my linked evernote account. This will put the tweet into my workflow from where I will process it. [NB: If I retweet a link it always saves in diigo, whether I want it to or not.] The slide deck below shows tweeting to evernote.
Popped over to Google+ for a quick hello to that stream. Saw this cool little share from Danny Silva who works for CUE and was one of the lead learners at GTAUK10 where I earned my Google stripes.
I wondered what CK-12 was so clicked through – looked legit (which it is). So, I re-shared his post. I tweeted it. All good…
And then I actually clicked all the way through to get a copy of one of the free titles. They were free because CK-12 is a non-profit shared under creative commons licence.
But to get here, I had to make sure my Google Wallet is active. It didn’t cost me anything but my bank details had to be up-to-date. Am I being cynical or is this Google Play FREE book share a teaser to get your Google Wallet in good order? Or to get users into Google Play?
BTW: the book is 610 pages long (who studies basic algebra for 610p?) and one of many free titles in Maths and Science. If you want to browse them please don’t let me stand in your way – after all they cost you nowt! Links to iPad and Kindle versions here. Possibly no wallet required…
A company called PixelBit builds apps for schools using Frog.
They sent out a half price offer for their smartphone app solution which includes android as well as iOS, and mobile web friendly access to make sure any device can use the handheld functionality that might well prove a game changer for Frog because it’s strengths are in communications – pushing the right data to the right person at their convenience. They are developing refinements to the app all the time, and unlike a lot of other development companies, they use the app for their day jobs. In my mind this means they are designers and users which always helps to make a good product.
First up is a set of iPhone screenshots I took.
After that is the video from their website.
I can’t shake the feeling that if we spent circa £1500.00 on an app for our Frog launch in September, we would be backing a winner. I hope our management agree to release the funds.