Google Chrome not cutting it for me…

January 24, 2011

I’ve been using Google Chrome for the last few months and I really like it. The best features are its speed in loading pages and the clean, minimalistic appearance. I really like the URL address bar can be used for both URLs and for Google search terms. But unfortunately, I’ve found that the Chrome browser seems to hang when loading some pages, or when I hit the “Submit” button on a form. Not so cool.

I’ve tried installing the latest beta version of Chrome on my iMac but I still have the same issues. Also, some web sites just don’t render correctly with their elements (e.g., the http://www.marriott.com site).

So, I’ve decided to switch back to using the Firefox browser. I’ve also installed a few add-ons in Firefox to make it look more Chrome and give me the same features. Here’s what I’ve installed:

  • Omnibar – Integrates the search bar to to the URL location bar
  • Tabs on Top – Put the tabs in Firefox at the top of the window

I’ve also installed the theme called Chromifox Extreme which gives the Firefox interface a “Chrome” appearance

With theses add-ons and theme installed, my Firefox browser now looks and operates much like Google Chrome. So I’m back to web browsing with everything working as before… 🙂

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The Verizon Apple iPhone

January 8, 2011

Looks like the Apple iPhone will be available on the Verizon network sometime at the end of this month. Hurray, Hurray! the iPhone is no longer restricted to the well-known crappy AT&T Wireless network, right? At least that’s what most people believe.

It seems to be common knowledge that the AT&T network is slow and just simply sucks, dropping calls and transferring Internet data at snail speeds. You hear that all the time, but after reading several forum postings I’m not too sure. It seems that a lot of AT&T users are reporting that their smartphones work great on the AT&T network, with no excessive dropped calls or slow data connections. Anecdotal comments are stating that it’s the Apple iPhone that is the culprit for the dropped calls and slow data transferring, not the network. The Android and WP7 phones work great on the AT&T network while the iPhones drop calls.

So with the iPhone soon to be appearing on the Verizon network, we’ll get a 2nd opinion. Verizon is regarded to having a good high-speed network, so if the iPhone exhibits the same dropped call performance as on the AT&T network, then there’s your smoking gun. If not, then I would concluded that the problem is with the AT&T network.

Also, I think it’s good to have the very popular iPhone available on multiple networks. It’s good for consumers and for Apple, Inc. I love using my iPod Touch (which is basically an iPhone without the phone), but for what I use it for it’s somewhat useless without a WiFi data connection. As such, I’m sure I’d really like using an Apple iPhone. So when the iPhone appears on the Sprint network, it will be a hard decision for me to get either an iPhone or a Windows Phone 7 device…

Update: One thing to note, is that with the AT&T Network you can do voice and data connections at the same time (so you could be talking with someone and then bring up Google maps or check your email at the same time). With Verizon, you can’t do this. You can only use one or the other. This is a big limitation with any CDMA network, so you’ll see the same restrictions on the Sprint network as well. So for some current iPhone users, this might be a big enough reason to not jump ship to Verizon.


This was a bit Techie week….

January 8, 2011

With the Consumer Electronics Show ending this week, there was a lot of cool high tech stuff being presented to the public. Lots and Lots of Tablet devices apparently about to be released, and nearly all of them running the Android OS. From what I’ve heard, the current incarnation of Android is designed for phone-devices and doesn’t work very well with the larger tablet devices. So, I’m not sure how successful the new batch of tablets will be in the hands of the consumer. Also, most of these tablets are prices fairly steeply in my opinion ( around $500-700) which seems too high. At those prices, I would definitely get the proven Apple iPad.

Lots of smartphones also being announced at CES, along with the Apple iPhone for the Verizon network rumored to be announced on Tuesday by Verizon. That rumor is pretty much a sure thing, and that will open up the iPhone for many, many more users. AT&T will certainly take a big hit in iPhone sales, while Verizon will be selling them like hotcakes.

On the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 front, it appears that Sprint and Verizon users will need to wait until June 2011 before the WP7 phones are available on those networks. That’s a big bummer for me, as I’m an existing Sprint user and am waiting for the WP7 phones. So another 5 months of waiting… maybe by that time the iPhone will be available on Sprint as well? 🙂


Thumb board typing

January 2, 2011

I’m a keyboard touch typist (and that’s a physical keyboard) and I don’t do much thumb board typing. By that, I mean typing on a handheld device keyboard like a smartphone. If I had a choice over a real thumb board (with raised keys) or a virtual screen keyboard I would normally choose the physical raised keys. I guess that goes back to using a real physical keyboard with my desktop/laptop computer. Nevertheless, I always avoid typing emailsor messages on my Palm Pixi WebOS smartphone because I’m prone to spelling errors and being slow at pressing down the physical keys.

Lately I’ve been using my Apple iPod Touch for writing notes to myself and I’ve found the iPod’s virtual keyboard remarkable easy to use. It must be the auto corrective spelling checker on the iPod which corrects nearly all of my miss-spelled text. As such, I can really fly at typing messages on my iPod Touch making it totally acceptable and actually fun! It is amazing how quickly I can type text using the iPod Touch, making me a believer in virtual keyboards.

I do have to remember that the technology which I based this opinion may only apply to the Apple iPod and iPhone products, so typing correction may differ on other devices (like the Android and Windows Phone 7 devices). This really makes me want to get an iPhone when they are available on the Sprint network (hopefully not too far in the distant future).

FYI, I typed this entire posting on my iPod Touch using the WordPress app and it was effortless and quick using the virtual keyboard.