The Best of MV Tech Blog: 2012 Edition

If you have WordPress Jetpack plugin installed you should have your 2012 Annual Report by now. Below is the summary.

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WordPress only reports the top 5 in the annual report so I used Google Analytics as well to get the top 10.

My top referring sites in 2012 are mostly social networks  – Twitter, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Youtube and  XDA Forums.

Also, according to WordPress some of my most popular posts were written before 2012 so my writing has staying power. Sounds awesome! Now, here\’s the list:

10. Windows 8 Consumer Preview VirtualBox Installation Step-by-Step: It seems that many people interested to test Windows 8 in virtual machine. VirtualBox is free so it\’s not surprising it is popular.

9. iGoogle Alternatives – Find a New Start Page Before Google Shutdowns iGoogle in 2013: After all, many people still use a start page. I\’m not sure if it was a good move for Google.

8. BlueStacks on Windows 8 to Run 400,000 Android Apps: BlueStacks is getting better and better and if they continue to make more Android apps run with 100% compatibility on Windows 8 it might become the best way to run Android on x86 machines.

7. Google Black Navigation Bar: Remove, Disable or Change It: People are still not stopping to make Google black navigation bar a facelift. Maybe Google should consider giving more options to people like how Microsoft gives more option to customize Windows start menu and Apple, OS X dock.

6. Windows 8 Release Preview VirtualBox Installation and Error Troubleshooting: This is a surprise because I have three Windows related blog posts in top 10.

5. 8 Blogging Lessons from Game of Thrones (Part 1): Game of Thrones is one of my favorite show this year and it will return on March 31, 2013 as  hinted in HBO teaser.

4. Browser Wars Illustrated: From #7, up to #4. I never thought browser wars is that popular.

3. Free Facebook Mobile Access (Philippines Promo): While the promo is not available anymore, some people are still looking for free Facebook access using their mobile phones. With the increasing availability of LTE phone I could see that it will stay on my top posts for quite a while.

2. Kindle Comparison Chart – Kindle Fire vs. Others: Same as last year, still in #2. I really think I should write more about gadgets.

1. How to Wisely Use DFA Passport Appointment System: Still my #1 post. I hope it still serves as a helpful guideline for many Filipinos who are confused on how to get the new Philippine e-passport.

I wrote a total of 83 posts this year and this is my most active year in blogging yet after my long hiatus in 2008.

I know I can do more next year so I am excited to start 2013 already. In just a few hours, it\’s already 2013. Happy New Year !

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iPad Resolution: 7 Good Reasons You are Not Buying or Upgrading to the New iPad

This post is not just about iPad resolution but your own resolution. If you are still weighing your options and you don\’t have a firm decision not to buy the 3rd generation iPad yet, here is a list of reasons why you should really not buy the new iPad.

Of course there are many wonderful features on the 3rd generation iPad but that is not the point. Notice how Apple is marketing the new iPad, it\’s more of the aesthetics that is highlighted not much on the functionality. I will focus on what the new iPad is and what it is not so you\’ll know whether it\’s for you and if you really need to buy it.

1. Retina display is too much

Sure, it is gorgeous but do you need it?

To give you a perspective let\’s use Apple\’s comparison.

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With 3145728 pixels packed on a 9.7-inch LED-backlit glossy IPS display, it has 4x pixel density than the older iPad 2. The new iPad resolution is called QXGA  – it still has 4:3 aspect ratio, and it is NOT wide screen. Apple puts \”widescreen\” on the specification but it\’s not wide screen at all.

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QXGA is currently the highest non-experimental and non-widescreen resolution — not very common but it will be, soon, due to iPad. The only other company that I know to release a mobile device with QXGA resolution  is NEC which sold laptops with QXGA monitors in the Japanese market.

If you watch non-HD Youtube videos, expect it to appear blocky. Think watching SD television on your HDTV.

If you play mobile HD games, watch HD videos on the go, browse ultra high resolution photographs from DSLR outdoors then perhaps it is worth the upgrade from iPad 2 alone. Otherwise the retina display is probably too much for you.

Also if you do not have the tools to edit or produce great materials from the new iPad, you might as well do those activities on a desktop computer.

2. You\’re not savvy on tablets or not a power user

If you intend to use the new iPad mostly for note-taking, using Facebook, browsing the internet, playing Angry Birds, reading novels or recipe, showing interactive stories to your kid or anything that does not require HD at all, then iPad 2 or any other tablet will serve you for quite a long while.

This boils down to what you really need. If you just need a simple tablet then you are probably better off using Kindle Fire. It\’s cheap and it does what a typical 7\” tablet can do.

3. Looks the same but heavier and thicker!

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Disappointing? Yes, to a certain extent.

It might be necessary for the new 11,666 mAh battery inside to support the IPS display power requirement but are you kidding me? This makes iPad 2 more attractive.

Although  every major features were upgraded, the 3rd generation iPad is virtually the same as the older iPad 2 but the new iPad seems to be downgraded because it\’s ticker by 0.6 mm and heavier by 51  g  (Wi-Fi only model).

Get an iPad 2 if you are after the thinnest and lightest iPad available.

4. 4G LTE what?

Maybe having 4G is compelling enough reason to buy the new iPad but are you willing to pay the premium? Take note that you are most likely going to download bigger files from the Apple app store due to increased resolution, and it\’s probably the reason why Apple included 4G LTE on the new iPad anyway.

The new iPad uses either 700 Mhz and 2100 Mhz frequencies for 4G and for some countries that means 4G LTE is not supported at all. Your best hope is that it is compatible with HSPA+ network on your carrier. Apple needs to make separate models to support different 4G frequencies in US alone and it is misleading that 4G is supported worldwide. Again, it\’s not!

The good thing is, Apple still sells Wi-Fi only iPad and you can totally avoid the frequency mess.

If you can get unlimited and unthrottled data plan it might be a great deal but your battery probably won\’t last longer on 4G anyway so you might wish you have bought the Wi-Fi only version or probably something else.

5. You already bought an iPad 2 or other tablet

If you are happy with what you already bought and you don\’t wish to dive  immediately on a new purchase, that\’s totally fine. It is safer to wait and see what other consumers think of the new device after it is used and tested by typical consumers like you and me.

Also, you might wish to get more mileage out your device if it is less than 6 months. Don\’t pity yourself if you are not getting the new iPad soon. You\’re just fine without it.

6. No Siri

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I don\’t blame you if you love Siri so much. The new iPad has a dictation feature but it is not as flashy or entertaining as Siri could be. Maybe it is coming to iPad in the feature but if you are dying to see Siri in the new iPad, better luck next time.

7. Need to save money

Let\’s make this quick. If you don\’t have enough money then don\’t buy the new iPad. You can consider iPad 2 because it is cheaper now and the awesomeness to price ratio is still relatively high compared to other tablets.

If you really want to save, why are you even looking at the new iPad?

 

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The Best of MV Tech Blog: 2011 Edition

It\’s almost the end of another year and just like in the previous years this is the time for me to reflect on what happened in 2011 as we prepare to  move forward and welcome 2012.

I have written 79 articles this year; not my most active year in blogging but it is one of the most consistent one because I tried to write an article at least once a week to cover a great topic.

Based on stats, here are the top 10 favorites in MV Tech Blog in 2011:

10. Top 10 Business Models in 2010:  \”A compilation of successful business models in 2010.\” In this article the business models of successful startups such as Airbnb, Groupon and Spotify were revealed.

9. Does Texting Affect Your Spelling?:  \”When you use a lot of abbreviations or text speak, does texting really affect your ability in spelling? There are still debates whether this is true or not.\” I did a lot of research on this subject and I found out that it is still best to use proper spelling. I this article I showed my stand against improper abbreviation and spelling as a result of technology.

8. Run Android on PC with BlueStacks App Player and Cloud Connect: In this article I showed how easy it is to run Android on PC using BlueStacks App Player and sync Android apps from your mobile using Cloud Connect. Not all apps work out of the box because it is still in alpha.

7. Browser Wars Illustrated: \”So true and funny. This art is compelling beyond words.\” This is about an illustration depicting Firefox and Chrome fighting along with IE eating glue.

6. Facebook Japan Unique Feature: Blood Type: \”In Japan, users can post their blood type on their profile. Why can\’t we have this feature globally?\”

5. Free Facebook Mobile Access (Philippines Promo): \”You don\’t need to own a smartphone running iOS or Android to enjoy Facebook mobile. It is free for up to 90 days on Globe and Smart promo.\”

4. Google Black Navigation Bar: Remove, Disable or Change It:  \”Google Black Menu Bar (codename \’Sandbar\’) is a toolbar that attempts to unify all Google properties. Don\’t want the black bar? Remove, disable or change it.\”  Apparently many people wish to change its color.

3. Bluetooth Problems with Ovi Suite on Windows 7: \”Dear Nokia, screwing up your software will seriously discourage more people to buy any Nokia phone in the future.\” I hardly used any Nokia phones nowadays but this article is popular.

2. Kindle Comparison Chart – Kindle Fire vs. Others:  \”Kindle comparison chart comparing all Kindle versions, and Kindle Fire against iPad 2 and Nook.\” This is not a surprise. Kindle Fire is the only significantly successful Android tablet that came out this year.

1. How to Wisely Use DFA Passport Appointment System: \”For first time Philippine passport applicants and for those who are renewing their passport, here are my tips from my experience on DFA appointment system.\” This article turned out to be very helpful.

Well, as I reflect on these articles I noticed that there is no Apple headline at all. I\’m not sure why but I did cover Apple.

I wish I have the luxury of time to collate the best tweets and retweets that I received this year but I can\’t.

To all the readers and online buddies, thank you very much for being part of this wonderful year.

So long 2011. Let\’s welcome 2012!

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Kindle Comparison Chart – Kindle Fire vs. Others

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Update (September 7, 2012): If you are looking for Kindle Fire HD, I have updated the Kindle Comparison Charts featuring the new Kindle Fire HD vs. the latest premium tablets.

Amazon did not only unveil the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire tablet yesterday but it also revealed 3 new e-ink Kindles – the new $79 Kindle, $99 Kindle Touch and $149 Kindle Touch 3G. That\’s right, there are 4 new Amazon gadgets that are very competitively priced. Don\’t know the best one for you? You can find the Kindle Comparison Chart below.

According to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, \”There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.\”

If you\’ll do the math you can buy Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch 3G and the Kindle Touch, all in for the price on one iPad 2 tablet. And to think that you can read your e-book in all devices, that offers a lot of value for digital nomads and bookworms around the world.

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If you compare Kindle Fire against iPad 2, you will immediately see that is it not really a direct competitor but it is a competitor nonetheless. Kindle Fire is directly competing against Barnes and Noble Nook which at this point looks very outdated compared to the current offer of Amazon.

Take note that many features were removed from Amazon Kindle Fire to trim down the price of this device. It has no camera and no 3G, but you get a wi-fi connectivity anyway.

Look at the comparison chart for Kindle, iPad 2 and Nook to get the picture (from The Verge). The comparison between Nook and iPad is very much the same with Kindle Fire except that Kindle Fire has a faster processor than Nook.

 

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I am a little disappointed with the short battery life of Kindle Fire compared to its e-ink siblings. Obviously, Kindle Fire is not just an e-book reader. It can play games, playback music and videos and do pretty much every Android table can.

If you are just inclined in reading e-books or magazine, look no further than Kindle Touch 3G if you want to download e-books anywhere in the world. The $149 Kindle Touch 3G is cheap because it has special offers and sponsored screensavers.  In other words, it has ads. But for any e-book lover this is the best Kindle you can get with the longest battery life.

For all the keyboard lover, the old Kindle is renamed as Kindle Keyboard and is still available at a discounted price.

So after looking at the Kindle comparison chart, if you haven\’t got a Kindle yet, which one will you buy?

 

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