iPhone / iPad / Mac

Taking sides

It’s normally the case when Apple release some new tech. As an unashamed fan of their products there’s normally a queue of people waiting gleefully to try to derail whatever modicum of excitement or interest folk such as me may show. Who knew aluminium would bend under sustained pressure? Did you know that a Samsung something or other could perform that new feature x years ago? Yawn.

None of this really bothers me (although sometimes I bite on Facebook ūüėČ ) but it’s interesting and got me thinking more widely about such motivations, and how people still readily jump to polarities with little provocation or need.

It seems to me as a species we seem very prone to irrational polarities. Which has always sat rather uncomfortably with me, I’m a creature of comfort when people are in harmony. If someone especially loves whatever flavour of Android phone they have then I’m pleased for them – indeed, as a selfish consumer of shiny things the more the competition up their game then the pressure remains on Apple to keep improving too – and vice versa, of course.

At secondary school people were divided into liking Rock or Rave – before the needless subsubsubgenrefication of music took sway, I secretly liked a bit of both. On the tech front you either liked Commodore Amigas (naturally!) or Atari ST’s (urgh!). The meagre differences in their merits built up to gigantic gulfs during bolshy playground debates (I was pretty entrenched in camp Amiga on this one – although when networked up together the ST always seemed to win on Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge 2!).

In the sixth form we were told we must either like Blur or Oasis by an overexcited Britpop obsessed media, I liked both with a slight preference for Blur, although Pulp were and are better than both. It’d be around this time that I’d begin an enduring affair with the Levellers of course which quickly resolved that ‘debate’ for me in a different direction – but even then (and still now amazingly) rather than focus on the frankly amazing music they produced (and indeed, continue to produce) instead people make snide tabloid-inspired remarks about dogs on bits of string or being a crusty.

This is a band who’ve endured 25 years of being, have a veritable string of hits so are even validated somewhat by the facile trappings of the music industry, and continue to tour to thousands of people every year and run their own festival as well as appearing at countless others. They must be doing something right! If you doubt me, grab their recently released Greatest Hits album and decide for yourself.

People who like similar music even fall into the division trap – I always imagine a continuum of folky-indie style music (now who is subgenreing?!) starting (this won’t be an exhaustive list!) with bands like The Wonder Stuff and 3 Daft Monkeys – plenty to say, but with a sense of fun and not taking themselves too seriously through to say, New Model Army who I’ve always found more serious and sometimes bleak (that’s not a critique, I really like NMA too!) – the Levs sit somewhere in the middle with aficionados of the former group finding them too serious, those of the latter too frivolous.

I guess being a football fan is the ultimate expression of our tendency to polarise things that are fundamentally very similar – being a staunch Forest fan obviously the city of Derby is the worst place in the world, and its fans are remorselessly moronic. Which is palpably absurd – I’ve had some great nights out in Derby and count a number of ‘sheepshaggers’ as my dearest friends. Obviously that all goes out the window for 180 minutes or so per season, but normally I can be pretty rational even on this most divisive of topics.

Politics of course is like football fandom taken up a notch – although because I don’t really feel much affinity for any of them – and vote generally tactically to try to thwart the one I like the least – but I see staunch supporters of either red or blue passionately debating what to me seem like minuscule differences between the policies, performance and conduct of their respective parties – whereas I’m left thinking they’re both a bit pants really.

I’m not sure what conclusion I was leading to here really – I’m sat in a hotel room having been on a course for the last few days and I’m bored blogging on my phone! But wouldn’t it be nice if – certainly for trivial differences such as these – people didn’t leap to create division and conflict?

Okay, maybe not for the football, as that’s fun (so long as it doesn’t lead to genuine abuse or violence). In truth though, even the footy ‘banter’ (god I hate how that word has been misappropriated!) is probably symptomatic of a fairly fundamental flaw in our collective nature which leads to cataclysmic consequences particularly in the political and religious spheres.

This is all probably a residual tendency from our more tribal past. Or something. It’s worrying though because it’s precisely these motivations that organisations like Britain First or even UKIP leap upon to exploit – fortunately for me my Facebook feed is relatively clear of such bilious content but I see plenty of folk complaining about theirs.

So what started as a covetous piece about my desire for shiny capitalistic consumerism has started to make me reminisce about manipulation of needs and other university time heavily left-leaning learning – goddammit, maybe I’d be less of a schizophrenic paradox if I had more of a proclivity to just irrationally pick a side and stick with it!

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Gratuitous cockatiel photography..

This is Lloydie being all comfy and snoozy and wondering why I keep pointing my phone at her. Made with Giffer on my iPhone which is a pretty nifty little app for making animated gifs.

And here’s a non-animated picture of her doing an impression of Bruce Forsyth, just because it made me chuckle.
20130429-222241.jpgAnd that’s it – just gratuitous cockatiel photography! I did warn you in the title..

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Life’s a (Pebble) beach..

After more than a week of Pebble ownership it’s definitely as awesome as I hoped it would be pending the inclusion of further apps and watch-faces. ¬†Having already covered the basics of that initial moment of acquiring the watch and first use (I should note that the Pebble support team did respond to my premature pleas of anguish via email and had found the blog post to ascertain that I was in fact okay and happy with my Pebble).

On battery life – mine’s been happily running non-stop since I charged it overnight from Sunday to Monday. ¬†So that’s almost a full week of use, I did have a strange screen issue where the display had become scrambled in the middle of the week. ¬†I wondered if that might be a flat battery, but it wasn’t as I shut down and switched on the watch and it’s been normal ever since. ¬†So that’s pretty impressive stuff in my book!

Having your phone constantly connected via Bluetooth inevitable rinses the battery more than it would if you didn’t (well, duh!). ¬†Generally I have my phone plugged in in the car as part of my music/navigation set up anyway, and will often have it plugged in at work or at home. ¬†If you’re going to be out and about for extended periods without the opportunity to charge then you are going to struggle (as, in fairness, you would without the Pebble connection for many Smartphones).

It’s easy enough just to pop Bluetooth off on your phone for a spell, your Pebble will retain the time quite happily – obviously you will miss out on notifications or music control but you will have a functioning timepiece which is of course the primary function. ¬†With festival season upon us too it’s good to know it will comfortable go a long weekend on a single charge, indeed, if you disabled Bluetooth on the watch too in the settings I’m assuming you’d extend the battery life a bit on the watch too.

IMG_5406

91 Dub watch face – retro-tastic.

I’ve definitely preferred the text-based watch faces and the Wordsquare one I chose for my previous post wins, I also rather like this one – called ’91 Dub’ it has a deliciously retro vibe that reminds me of the first watches I regularly encountered at school. ¬†The drawback of the word-based faces is the lack of accuracy as it rounds time to five minutes (fine for day to day, less so if you’re timing a pizza cooking in the oven!). ¬†That’s where switchability of watch faces is rather useful.

On notifications, texts and iMessages worked right away for me, subsequently tweaking my notification settings on my iPhone seems to have also enabled email notifications on my Pebble too. ¬†In both cases the sender, subject (for emails) and body text is displayed on the screen and is scrollable. ¬†It’s understandably truncated for larger messages. ¬†I’m not sure how I managed to activate email notifications, but my primary account has banners enabled on my phone which seems to translate through to the watch.

Other notifying apps like Facebook or Twitter don’t pass through to the watch (which is probably a good thing considering frequency!). ¬†In future firmware updates it would be nice to be able to choose which notifications to receive on the watch itself, with a list of those available selectable through the settings menu. ¬†It’s a nice-to-have really though rather than a deal breaker – but at the moment it seems you have an all-or-nothing option (the VIP option in iPhones is good here – you could disable notifications for all emails except those you deem important).

IMG_5407

Missed call!

Considering the primary function of a mobile phone is, well, a phone I receive a tragically small number of calls. ¬†In an age where text-based communication seems to be preferred (I prefer it too, admittedly) – the only calls I’ve had have mostly been from blocked numbers, the one I received from a contact in my address book displayed the number initially then resolved the name of the contact from my phone, as well as the type of number I’d classified in my contacts, and remains as a flag if you miss the call.

Once firmware tweaks kick in (a battery life status option somewhere would be useful – although I’m now comfortable that I could have a weekly charge cycle) and additional apps and watch-faces start to filter through and the Smartphone app evolves to cope with this extra functionality then the watch could continue to throw in a few new surprises, but as it stands it’s a robust bit of kit both in terms of hardware and software and well worth the money and wait for it.

My colleague Ade picked his up last week too so I will be comparing notes with him when he’s back in the office next week, but he’s certainly not sent me loads of messages asking for support so I’m going to assume he’s been having a similarly happy time with his Pebble!

Categories: blog, iPhone / iPad / Mac | 4 Comments

Pebble-dash..

IMG_5336[1]After almost a year since I first backed the Kickstarter campaign, I finally have my Pebble watch on my wrist.¬† It’s been a long wait, and it’s worth it, just about!

It was the middle of March when I got the long-awaited “Confirm your address, please” email, at the end of March came the shipping notification – although being on a slow boat from Singapore gave a lead time of two weeks – despite getting a tracking code that the receiving Royal Mail system understood, it would only give me information upon delivery – which is, well, kinda useless!

Of course, I checked it anyway and discovered a delivery attempt had indeed been made Рit was small enough to fit through the letter box, but it required a signature and Рannoyingly Рa customs payment plus associated Royal Mail fleecery totalling a smidge over £25.  So it was off to the collection office armed with cash to retrieve my prize.

I resisted the urge to open it immediately, instead I took it to work and did so at my desk.¬† The box is neat, but minimalistic – there’s a URL to visit, a watch and a charge cable – nothing else, no instructions or anything else.¬† Emblazoned on the back panel is ‘Kickstarter Edition’ along with the serial number to indicate it was one of the original batch thanks to the Kickstarter campaign.

I had assumed it would come with some charge in it as seems to be normal for devices these days, but it wouldn’t power on (achieved by pressing any button for 2 seconds).¬† A quick google search didn’t find any other users reporting similar issues, so naturally tried pressing the buttons for longer to no avail.

A little worried, plugged it into the USB port on my PC at work and opted to let it get some juice.¬† Still no response to the buttons, oh no – I’ve got a duff!¬† A little panicked I fired off a support email via the Pebble website and sent them a Tweet to ask for advice – their overwhelmed status is confirmed because as I type I’ve had no response to either of them!

Sure enough, around half an hour later – still connected to the charger – the watch had indeed powered up and was asking to be paired with something!¬† The process to connect to my iPhone 5 was absolutely fine, I enabled notifications in the iPhone’s bluetooth profile for the Pebble, and duly fired open the Pebble app to connect and copy some watch faces over, to be immediately asked to update the Pebble’s firmware to the latest version which went without a hitch.

The watch has three faces by default – an analog face, a simplistic digital one and ‘fuzzy time’ which gives you the time in ‘language’ rather than numbers, for example – if it’s 9:53am it will say “Five to ten” – quite nifty.¬† My favourite watch face is ‘Wordsquare’ which operates on a similar principle to fuzzy time, but does it by highlighting the words to give you the easy-read version of the time.¬† Not one for people who crave precision.

As well as telling the time in a myriad of funky ways, the watch also picks up your phone’s music that is currently playing, it will display id3 tag info in its’ music app and enable you play/pause or skip backward or forward through whatever playlist/album you have playing.¬† Fairly rudimentary, but clever nonetheless – potentially useful for times when your phone might be stowed in a bag and you want to skip a track or stop your music playing or as a remote control when using a docking speaker system.

Perhaps the most exciting feature is the coupling with your phone’s principal functions – ie, phone calls and text messaging.¬† If a call is received it is displayed on the watch with the caller id and the option to either answer or hang up, whereas text messages are displayed along with sender’s name on the watch itself.¬† Alerts are signalled via a fairly robust vibration from the watch unit, it doesn’t make any sounds.

Currently the only other function is an alarm which also is restricted to vibrations (unless you opt to download the game ‘Snake’ from the Pebble app on your phone! The novelty of this wore off quite quickly for me though, despite loving the game on my old Nokia phones!)¬† In the future there should be further applications which you can deploy via the Smartphone app you use to connect to the watch, so it could be pretty exciting.

As for the watch itself, the build quality looks solid and well constructed – it is, by definition, plasticky and the buttons a bit clunky but it works nicely and I’m pleased with the finish.¬† The strap is sturdy, comfortable and has a nice rubberised finish which is better than I was expecting.

Whilst charging I didn’t find a means of determining how full the battery is, which seems a bit daft.¬† I’ve not had it long enough to accurately judge battery life – only having one charging lead could be a challenge, they are bespoke designs held to the watch by magnets to enable the water resistant nature of the Pebble to remain intact – a nifty design but of course unique and as such if you wanted one for work, home, car etc then you’ll need to buy them from Pebble.

All in all, worth the wait – clearly Pebble was a victim of its’ own success and the way the manufacturing, shipping and communications has been conducted is symptomatic of a small company taking on a gigantic task and – frankly – struggling a bit.¬† But it’s resulted in a product to be proud of, which I’m sure will probably be amongst the pioneers in a slew of ‘smart’ wearable technology which is quite exciting for a geek like me.

Recommended if you’re not in a hurry to get your hands on one – those Kickstarter backers who opted for anything other than a black watch are still waiting for theirs to arrive, so heaven only knows how long it will take them to fulfill their pre-orders they’re now taking over on their website.

Categories: blog, iPhone / iPad / Mac | 2 Comments

I kept them with me, babe. I put them with my own.

December photo

Where’s Wally (aka Alan?)

I’m not quite sure how 2012 has gone through quite so quickly – it’s bloody Christmas Eve already (well, it’s five minutes old). ¬†Christmas Eve isn’t my favourite day of the year these days, so it’s perhaps apt that I’ll be off to work later ostensibly for a normal day’s slog. ¬†It should be quiet, which is good as it’ll give me a chance to get stuff finished off.

So as 2012 draws to a close without the world ending, it seems a natural point for pausing and reflecting a bit. ¬†I ended the year in style on the musical front, as well as lots of Ferocious Dog gigs there’s also been Levellers, Wonder Stuff and New Model Army at the back end of this year, not to mention The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and The Moulettes. ¬†Some damn fine awesomeness upon the stage, and indeed, I made it backstage for the Levs!

On the football pitch Forest have undergone rather a few changes in this last year too, and well, probably need to undergo a few more to kick on to try to claw their way back to the top flight. ¬†I must admit that whilst I have many excellent friends thanks to football, I’ve found the experience of going less motivating this last year. ¬†I’m not quite sure why, but it quite often doesn’t quite live up to the exuberance you get from live music – maybe that shift in emphasis has given me an obvious basis for comparison.

Maybe it’s also that increased exposure to music that seems to have awoken that stark regret I’ve always harboured that I never picked up any musical ability at all, aside from my half-arsed didge-playing ability. ¬†Our school had some really talented musicians in it, right from primary school and through secondary school and I either never really showed much interest, or perhaps somehow missed out opportunities to learn. ¬†I’m not sure. ¬†Knowing me it was probably my own doing, though!

I do remember embryonic guitar lessons courtesy of an enthusiastic primary school teacher and an acoustic guitar borrowed from my Grandad, but I don’t think the club lasted very long owing to a few genuinely talented players who perhaps understandably drew the focus of the teacher with the remedials being left very much behind! ¬†I’m really tempted to buy a guitar and see if I can learn to play it a bit though – not to live performance standards, but for my own indulgence more than anything.

We shall see. ¬†If there’s anything I’m very good at then it’s procrastinating! ¬†I am watching a guitar on eBay though, and can be quite an impulsive so and so when I want to be.

Speaking of indulgences it was over the middle of 2012 that saw me drop from a 16.5 stone behemoth to a snake-hipped 12.5 stone dude. ¬†It’s true a few Christmas pounds have already snuck back on but that’s something I’m not too fussed about, once 2013 is underway I can get back on to being sensible and shedding any results of over-indulgence. ¬†The trick isn’t total denial, it’s not letting things slide quite as badly as they did last time!

Work too has changed at the back end of this year too, so there’s some adaptation and consideration to put in to there. ¬†Sufficed to say I’m pleased to be preparing for a healthy slug of time away from the place to relax a bit, and eventually to start to think about some degree of future planning for my career. ¬†I’m not very good at that, so I really do need to work out how to go about doing that. ¬†It’s tricky when work itself has been so busy.

Still, one more day of that to get through then ’tis officially the season of good will for me. ¬†Once Cat and I have shifted our confounded colds then it should be ace. ¬†Rich and Em are hosting Christmas this year, so for me it will be the first ever time I’ve not been at a parental-hosted Christmas Day, having said that, the family will all be present – I’m really looking forward to some quality time with them before Forest inevitably bring me back down to Earth on Boxing Day!

But to be positive, there’s two Ferocious Dog gigs in the bank for next year already (including one they’ve kindly agreed to play on my birthday in the Rescue Rooms (for those wanting to ‘come dogging’ for my birthday, then tickets can be acquired here!)), and we’re off to Krakow at the end of February for Paul’s stag do which will be awesome. ¬†So a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to anyone bored enough to have read to the end of this introspection.

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Excitement..

So I’ve got my iPhone 5.

I’m very pleased with it indeed. ¬†I wasn’t expecting a revolution, I was expecting significant evolution from my previous phone that was 2 generations older. ¬†That’s what I’ve got, and it’s splendid. ¬†Once the Three network resolves whatever gremlins prevent me sending MMS messages, I’ll be sorted – even then, I don’t send them that often. ¬†Three doesn’t have a great signal at home though, so I might be lured into spending a bit more on Orange who do have decent coverage here – and of course offer the promise of 4G in the future.

In terms of the silly hype that comes with Apple devices, I won’t deny I was excited by the prospect of the phone – but it seemed to me that there was more fervour from people who laud other devices to disparage it. ¬†Odd behaviour. ¬†It reminds me of the kind of ‘banter’ we indulged in as children when some of us had Amigas and other kids had Atari STs. ¬†Of course, back then it was excusable as after all we were children. ¬†And Amigas were clearly vastly superior and if you had an ST you smelled of wee.

Anyway, I digress.. I was excited to get my nice shiny iPhone 5, and having had a week of using it I feel that excitement was justified – and if anyone wants to try to piss on that particular bonfire then that’s their prerogative.

To build upon this excitement I’ve got an awesome weekend lined up – tomorrow Cat and I are off to Buxton where I’ll hook up with lots of my Levellers friends to see, unsurprisingly – the Levellers – play an acoustic gig at the Opera House there. ¬†We’ve booked lunch on the way, and got a hotel to stay in once we get to Buxton. ¬†They’ve just played Exeter and Salisbury cathedrals – I kinda wish I’d made the effort to get down to one of those, what a great opportunity to see them in an unusual and dramatic setting! ¬†Mustn’t be greedy, though!

Saturday is a return to Nottingham, and with Rich, Rich and Chris and assorted Ferocious Dog friends I’m off to see Ferocious Dog play the Bodega which will be awesome. ¬†I’ve seen them rock that venue before when supporting 3 Daft Monkeys, now they’re headlining it and it’ll be brilliant. ¬†Then of course there’s the small matter of Forest hosting our dear neighbours Derby County on Sunday.

Hopefully good things come in threes and the Reds can get a favourable result to make amends for last season!

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Gimme Five..

The countdown is on for the iPhone 5 arriving – according to my order from Apple it should be delivered on launch day when, helpfully, Cat will be at home so able to take delivery of it. ¬†It seems to be most uncool to consider the launch exciting, but I am anyway – so there. ¬†I’d planned to upgrade to this version for some time, and saved up the cash to do it direct from Apple rather than tying myself into a lengthy contract.

With that in mind, I’m going to move away from Giffgaff and use Three. ¬†Giffgaff were okay, but the coverage where I live isn’t that good – and since they’ve started considering capping their data allowance, and they can’t get hold of nanosims for ‘a week weeks’ it would render me unable to use my new phone. ¬†Annoyingness unbounded! ¬†Three’s coverage looks like it should be okay (home might be sketchy, but we are in a dip), and they offer all-you-can-eat data for ¬£13 a month.

I was cunning enough to sign up to a phone recycling place before Apple announced the iPhone 5 so got a decent price for my iPhone 4. ¬†Whilst my phone is in good nick and working okay, the home button does get sticky so I’ll be glad to upgrade. ¬†iOS 6 looks to have added some nifty features – not least I’ve enjoyed using Siri on my iPad. ¬†That’s probably something that will have the novelty wear off, but I’m not so sure – I found a few genuine uses.

It does have an annoying voice though. ¬†I think, much like with sat nav, I would prefer the ladies voice – the trouble is the only way to do that would be to switch to Australian or American – in which instance Siri would respond best to me speaking in an American or Australian accent. ¬†Damn! ¬†Ya flamin’ galaar… hmm, it could be tempting, after all!

The other idea I liked was the option for shared Photostreams – Photostream is something I’ve found quite useful for not having to worry about moving photos between my own iDevices, but if I were to – for example – set up shared Photostreams with friends with common interests it could be a really nifty way of us sharing photos of common events – e.g., football matches, gigs, nights out, etc. ¬†iPhones are becoming quite ubiquitous amongst my assorted social groups so it could happen.

So even for those of you not partaking in iPhone 5 action later this week, wednesday’s iOS 6 update should give you a few interesting tidbits to play with too. ¬†The 3D maps look ace (if limited on locations – New York looks nice though, which is sod all use to me!), the default map views look not dissimilar to Google Maps. ¬†One thing, a small thing, but something that has delighted me – you can finally reorder your mailboxes if you are using several of them.. that was a serious vexation.

So yeah, lots of gadget ponderations. ¬†I’m such a fascinating person, aren’t I? Sigh!

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Giffgaff, not naff?

Since my post yesterday laid into Giffgaff it seems only fair to offer some praise – they promised to resolve the SIM activation issue within 24 hours and sure enough, this morning my account was working as it should.¬† Reassured by friends who’ve been using the service a while, I’m content to put the considerable teething trouble down to some exceptional circumstances that hopefully aren’t the norm.

I’ve been impressed by the community spirit on the forums (obviously there were fractious times in the threads relating to the technical problems, but having gone ‘off-piste’ and looked around some of the other areas there’s a great group of helpful people who are largely voluntarily sparing their time to help and advise new users on matters both relating to the network and more general off-topic areas.

The only thing that Giffgaff doesn’t deliver service wide that O2 did was visual voicemail on my phone – I’m not really bothered about that, although I’ve decided to use this trial period to also trial an app called HulloMail which basically is an enhanced version of voicemail.¬† If I like it I might opt to subscribe (¬£6 a year), if I think it’s just okay I’ll keep the freebie version with ads – otherwise it’s no hardship to use the old skool method of ringing up your voicemail to retrieve messages.

Of course, if my scheduled number-change for tomorrow goes tits up then I reserve the right to go all George Osbourne on your asses and make a U-Turn denouncing the service again – but so far, so good.¬† Yesterday’s rant was, it seems, a product of bad timing in that I chose to sign up at a time when they underwent a technical crisis.

Watch this space.  And if you are thinking of joining them, use the link on the right to order a sim card and earn me some points!  Thanks!  For me the jury is now out as I start using the service in earnest.

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Giffguff..

It’s certainly not run by me. And seemingly not FOR me either.

I was pretty excited to join up with Giffgaff – my contract with O2 is up, and I’ve decided that rather than tie myself to 18 or 24 month commitments I’d rather save money and buy my next handset outright.¬† So the proposition of Giffgaff was quite exciting – a tenner gets me all the minutes I could ever need, unlimited texts and unlimited data.¬† Awesome, I think, I’m on it.

It took around four days for the free sim card to arrive, along with instructions on how to activate it Рit all sounded very straight forward.  I did this on Saturday morning, even with a hangover it was pretty easy Рpop the activation code and SIM card number into a form, top up with a £10 goodybag and then wait around half an hour (but on rare occasions up to 24 hours) for confirmation of your new number etc.

So, that was a bit over 72 hours ago – and logging into my Giffgaff dashboard reveals the same message about activation.¬† I took some time to peruse the community – after all, that’s what the network is supposed to be about – there’s lots of excellent users who advise and help their fellow users there, but aside from disparate and inaccurate updates there’s very little news of this problem from the Agents (people who can access your account details) nor the mysterious technical team who have some kind of firewall to protect them from end users (as a former technical support worker I can understand the desirability of that!).

As well as the community forum you can seek 1:1 support through raising a ticket with an agent – I did this after the 24 hour was exceeded but alas the only updates I’ve had have been “It’s with our technical team” and “It should be working tomorrow”.¬† It’s all rather frustrating for me, let alone the burgeoning list of people like me, many of whom seem to not have an alternative of just sticking with their contract a while longer.¬† I’m glad I didn’t cancel O2 just yet, that’s for sure!

Given how crotchety I can be for fairly trivial misdemeanors in customer service I’ve been surprised at how relaxed I’ve felt about this, maybe it’s because I still have use of my phone – but I find myself reluctant to give up on them just yet (helped by the fact I’ve a couple of friends who use it with no problems, and maybe because they sponsor The Big Bang Theory on E4 (sic)).¬† I am starting to lose my patience though, not because there’s a problem, problems happen – but the lack of information, timescales or just ongoing acknowledgement is very poor customer service.

I’m finding myself increasingly tempted to go for a sim only deal with 3.

Categories: blog, iPhone / iPad / Mac | 4 Comments

Drawsome..

I’ve become somewhat addicted to the Draw Something app on my iPhone and iPad (also available on lesser operating systems, apparently). ¬†It’s kind of like Pictionary, you draw something to represent a word, your opponent guesses and you both get virtual coins when guessed correctly, then it’s your opponents turn to guess – repeat ad nauseum.

Of course, generally clues can be executed with efficient and deft skill using stick-men, arrows or even half-cheating and using verbal clues by writing (some people unfeasibly actually write the word out, frustratingly!), but occasionally my inner scribbler gets a bit carried away and completely over-engineers the drawing for the lucky (or probably bored opponent who has to sit and watch it be drawn in real time!).

It’s a really fun game, it will link in with your Facebook account to find you people to play against who you know, you could opt for random games within the app or find people by their username. ¬†I would definitely recommend it if you have a creative yen – although I’ve ended up with so many games on the go I’ve had to delete the app from my phone and stick to iPad playing otherwise I’d be sat playing it at work and probably get sacked!

Also, a stylus is a big help if you do want to indulge in more complicated drawings. ¬†Below are a few random examples of drawings that I’ve either been pleased with or have amused me on a more childish level.

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