I was asked to help put together the agenda for our upcoming quarterly planning meeting. This will be my first experience of the two-day events. I’ve proposed session titles including really bad puns – e.g. ‘Getting JISC-y with it’ and ‘Plone Ranger’ (Plone powers our website…)
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. A friend of a friend, Ben Mawhinney, came to give us some training on Google Analytics at my invitation on Friday. It was really kind of him to share what he knows and help us to better focus on our core audience!
Making the most of my flexi-time
With the sunny weather and spending all week in the office, I’ve been leaving at 15.30 and using up some of my flexi-time. What. A. Great. System!
Getting the go-ahead
My proposal for a review of mobile and wireless technologies was accepted, so I’ll be spending from next week until about the end of October on a review which will inform an upcoming JISC publication.
Returning my Dell Streak
It would appear that for everyone who knows me (however slightly) my decision to return the Dell Streak on Friday after a week was entirely predictable. What can I say? I’m a sucker for well-designed tools that increase my productivity. Like the iPhone 4…
No multitouch. I didn’t realise until it was pointed out in an Android forum that this makes typing a whole lot easier.
Lack of apps I use often. Having to use the National Rail website instead of it’s £4.99 app may seem trivial but it’s important to me. Apps pretty much always come out for the iPhone first because of the huge, standardized, user base.
Lack of accessories. I could walk into almost any shop on the high street and purchase cases, speakers and other accessories for my iPhone 3G. How many cases did I have to choose from for the Dell Streak? One. And that was fugly.
Unintuitive annoyances. Holding down the camera button should bring up the camera app. The device should charge if the power cable’s plugged in – even if it is in ‘aeroplane mode’ whilst I’m asleep.
Email. Having GMail, Exchange and IMAP accounts means 3 different apps on Android. #fail
Position of headphone socket. Why put it on top of the screen? Hold it landscape and the wire gets in the way. Put it in your pocket and it’s sticking out the side. Oh, and the volume up/down switch should do the same thing in landscape and portrait. #confusing
Lack of website support. If you go to popular websites on the iPhone then you get a decent browsing experience because they’ve made sure it’s optimised for that platform. Navigating some websites on the Dell Streak was clunky, despite the lovely Opera web browser I installed.
Apps that don’t work. The number of times I purchased apps only for me to have them refunded within 24 hours was ridiculous. I had to force-close so many I lost count.
Lack of ‘magnifying glass’ function. If you’ve made a mistake in a text, tweet or email you to half-guess where to tap to get the cursor to go into the correct position. There’s no ability to ‘zoom in’. This leads to frustration.
It’s not an iPhone. Close as I was to keeping it, the fact that I was indecisive about it kind of sealed it’s fate. I would have been tied into a 24-month contract with the Dell Streak. And that’s a long time for something you only like very much rather than love!
The Dell Streak is, technically, a wonderful phone, music player and internet device. It’s almost perfect for me. I loved the ‘Rooms’ (virtual desktops) feature and the ability to add widgets to these. Spotify was amazing on the big screen and Google Navigation is better than any Sat-Nav I’ve used. The Shapewriter app made text entry fun and the camera is top-notch.
It’s just that nowadays a phone has to be much more than the sum of it’s parts. And unfortunately the Dell Streak only consists of great parts reasonably well put-together… :-p
So I’d written a blog post about my Dell Streak and how I pleased I was with it, thinking I knew what Mr Jobs was going throw at us iPhone-wise. I’d even made a video review.
He announced something that made me sit up and take notice; it made me think that I might have to return the Streak within the 14-day grace period. It wasn’t the pixel count. It wasn’t the 5 megapixel camera. It wasn’t even the video calling or the iMovie app that can edit and share 720p videos.