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Tessa Nichols

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Wanna FaceTime? Why I love my iPhone 4!

Drum roll please'?¦.I got the iPhone 4! This is only going to be relevant if you read my previous post on Oct 26th where I was debating between my next major purchase: the iPhone 4 or the Droid X. Less than a week after that blog post, I met someone who had the iPhone 4. I fell hard for its sleek, sexy look and the quality of the HD videos. I felt like my little 3G was inferior and was also completely fed up with having to constantly charge it for it to last through one day. The next day I went to the Apple store in Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA with a determined look in my eyes. When I walked in I said to the nearest employee, so tell me why this phone is better than the 3G. She didn't know I had just written a blog about why it was better. The Apple store employee was as bubbly as ever and sweetly, but a bit unconvincingly, showed me how to do a video'she filmed me talking about why I was fed up with my 3G. We watched it together and I must say I was very impressed with the quality (sound and picture) of this video. I asked her to explain FaceTime, which she did. She showed me the functionality of being able to listen to Pandora while reading e-mail, using google maps, etc. This is key in my life! The Pandora application on my iPhone may be one of the best things to happen to me. Besides maybe the Facebook application. Did I just admit that? Although, she was unconvincing, I had my mind made up the moment I walked into the door. I have used FaceTime a few times and find the interaction to be very intimate and very real'sometimes a little too real. It is pretty incredible how close you can feel to someone even when they are hundreds of miles away. The downfall with FaceTime? As vain as this may sound, unless you hold it a high angle you are capturing a not-so-attractive, double chin shot. You all know what I am talking about. In turn, you end up holding the phone up fairly high and your arm gets tired. Funny thing is that FaceTime has now become a verb in my life. Hey, you wanna FaceTime? Just add it to all the other technological verbs which have been added to our vocabulary. Did he friend request you? Did you e-mail him? What are you tweeting about? Have you checked in yet? Did he DM you? We are in a poking war. The videos have been my favorite addition. I live quite far from my 5 month-old niece and 3 year-old nephew and I have up close videos of them interacting and talking. Anytime I want I can just watch them to feel closer to them! Also, I haven't tried it out yet but supposedly anyone with a newer Mac laptop or desktop can also download FaceTime and I can talk with them on their computer from my iPhone. I have also being able to continue my most recent addiction--words with friends (free). It is basically scrabble which you can play with anyone who has the application on their iPhone. You play real time with friends but there is no pressure to make the next move. You play on your own time. It keeps me sane on my commute to and from work every day. Other pluses for the iPhone 4: the Nike + is built in. I just need to put the sensor in my shoe, calibrate my walk and run and it records all my workouts including time, distance, calories burned, etc (while jamming out to my Daft Punk station on Pandora). Also, there is a way to view all your emails from various accounts at once, which is a pretty cool addition. Work and personal e-mail all in one thread? Some people have issues with that--but I appreciate it. To each their own. So I am sure you are wondering about the big question: service? My service is better with the iPhone 4 than the 3G. It does randomly drop calls but that is because the service in my apartment isn't fantastic. To be completely honest, my roommate, as you know, has the Droid and sometimes she doesn't get my calls or my text messages'lost in Verizon cyber space? That isn't cool. I stand by my decision for the iPhone 4. I spoke with a friend who just got the Droid X. So far she loves it but said 'they could have made it a bit more direct/user-friendly when it comes to personalizing contacts and doing simple tasks.'? Which phone do you have? And what do you have to say about it? Do you want one? Are you getting one for someone as a gift this Holiday? Until we meet again'?¦

Wireless Battleground Key in iPhone, Droid War

BACKGROUND Someone call a techie. I am having a technological crisis. On December 30, 2010, I will have officially had my 3G iPhone for 2 years! Surprisingly, it is in pretty good cosmetic condition. However the battery life is soon reaching its death. People told me that eventually my iPhone battery would die but I didn't want to believe it. The phone was a gift so my financial guilt about my phone battery being mortal one day was slim to none. I also thought to myself, it will take forever for this to die for good. Or will it? I must say I have loved my iPhone for many years; however recently my service has been particularly bad (little to no bars in big metro areas, dropped calls, etc). To top it off, the day of my battery dying for good is rapidly approaching. Today, I pretty much need it plugged in 24/7 to be able to take it out for a few hours. The worst is when I am driving and my Google maps fail me. Me with no GPS = lost in the woods. It is times like this that I say to myself 'I should upgrade to the 4G.'? Since my contract is approaching 2 years, I am definitely up for the $199 (16GB) or $299 (32GB) upgrade (by signing another 2 year contract). This of course seems like the next logical answer. However, recently a little green alien caught my eye; my roommate has the Droid Incredible 3G. I will say I am attracted to its bigger screen, the weird vibrations it makes upon actions and the crazy alien-like alerts and ring tones it beeps out. I should note that these small superficial benefits may only be applicable to me so let me get a bit more into the technical components. For those of you who aren't concerned with alien noises, here is the breakdown: BREAKDOWN Similarities: Both have 1GHz Processors, Video Recording (720p), Noise cancelling, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, Multi-tasking, WebKit and Tethering Plus for Droid X: Larger Screen (5.0 X 2.6 x .4 inches versus iPhone's 4.5 X 2.3 X .37 inches), Expandable Storage via microSD (16 GB included), 4.3 Display (versus the iPhone 3.5), 8 MP camera (versus iPhone 5MP), Dual LED Flash, Noise cancelling has 3 microphones (as opposed to 2), Talk time is 8 hours (as opposed to iPhone's 7 hours), Wi-Fi Hotspot, HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) Plus for IPhone4: Lighter than the Droid (4.8 ounces versus Droid's 5.4 ounces), 16GB or 32GB on board storage (versus Droid's 8GB storage), Retina Display (640 x 960 pixels versus Droid's 480 x 854 pixels) Video Call Camera, App Store consisting of 225,000 plus apps (as opposed to Android Market with 100,000 apps) and to put it bluntly, more pleasing to the eye TESTIMONALS My roommate broke it down quite simply: She feels that major pros for her Droid are that there are multiple home screen interfaces (7 total), a good camera and the kicker ' it's Verizon so she generally has better service. She believes the major cons are: Not as many apps as the iPhone (yet), weak battery life, occasional freezing, iPhone has the classic interface, user-friendly look. An old colleague simply put it: 'We own both. I like iPhone as a gadget and droid as a phone. Voice search on droid is better than iPhone.'? I actually confirmed this tonight testing the word 'baseball'? into both Google voice applications. I can't help but remember all the articles that came out when the iPhone 4 launched stating that it was dropping calls and had bad service. When this all started happening, my iPhone service got worse. However, anyone I know who has a 4G now just continues to say positive things about it. iVerizon? Unfortunately, an article on Tech Crunch yesterday is making me considering putting off the purchase of either phone right now, perhaps until 2011. Steve Cheney writes, 'Last week we saw the carriers' growth numbers for Q3 2010, and AT&T completely blew away Verizon with new subscribers. Despite mass availability of Android phones, Verizon only added 1 million subscribers in Q3, its lowest total in years. AT&T added 2.6 million'? Although there have been Verizon/iPhone rumors floating around the tech world for years, Cheney seems to think the recent announcement of the Verizon/iPad partnership signifies a much bigger and albeit (brighter than AT&T) partnership. He is also baffled by the fact that AT&T subscribers strengthen in numbers while Verizon lags behind. Cheney avidly feels that an iPhone user on Verizon will not experience the same issues as an iPhone user on AT&T. 'If you don't believe me, this will become clear for everyone when the Verizon CDMA iPhone becomes available,'? he states. CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is another cell phone service technology which competes against GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications). GSM is used by most of the world and is the more popular cell phone standard used by Sprint, Virgin Mobile and Verizon. On the flip side, GSM is used by carriers such as T-Mobile and AT&T. The big difference between the two: GMA has better global coverage. Am I willing to sacrifice CDMA capability over GSM? Will I even be able to notice as a cell phone user/consumer? Can I wait until 2011 to get a new phone? You all will be the first to know where I land. Then I will judge my new gadget for myself and either be bashing/trashing it or absolutely loving it in no time. Fingers crossed for the latter of the two.

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