Archive for November, 2011


Loren | aka @mr_internet | Melbourne Australia
30 November 2011

I originally posted this months ago, when the Samsung 10.1 tab and Motorola Xoom had gone on sale in the USA but had not in Australia.
The Samsung Tab 10.1 has still not gone on sale yet in Australia, accept via the grey market (some ok some more risky).

With the buying season upon us, and more pertinent now than ever, so hope you enjoy.

Is An Android 10.1” Tablet on Your List ...

I had a friend ask me recently, a simple question in theory.

What type of  Tablet PC to get?

I use the word ‘PC’ loosely as these currently aren’t quite replacements for the
Personal Computer for most people at least not yet. I have to admit I
have multiple Android devices as well as Apple and a Windows Home
Server / PC, so offer no bias to a brand.

Well having an iPad2 already, my thoughts were there initially with Apple, but
having just bought my first Android phone (the Atrix 4G by Motorola) to try it
out before the launch in Australia, my thought then turned to considering
that perhaps the OS of the phone might make the OS transition (if
there was one) initially easier. In my friends’ case, husband has an
Android and wife and iPhone. I quickly ruled out a Windows Tablet (don’t get me
started there).

With Apple having a single design of iPad2 (barring colour and capacity of course),
it was hard not to make a case for the iPad2 (e.g. I have one and there are
some things it does very well). Unfortunately for me
the realization that the iPad2 is really running a 5 year old
Operating System

But knowing what is out within the last 4 weeks or will be soon, in the Android
Tablet space I would be remiss had I not mentioned the Android Tablets. I go on
about this as the Android Tablet Space of 10.1″ tablets, is perhaps more
fast pace than Sebastian Vettel is around an F1 Grand Prix race track, with so
many models coming out a review is a bit confusing.

Instead of taking away from the great detail other have offered, I am looking more at a
top level view comparing more the aesthetic pros and cons of various models
compared to each other PHEW

Here are the 4 Android Tablets

Acer
A500 32GB with MicroSD Card, WiFi Only 5x2MP Camera
(10.1″)
Samsung
Galaxy Tab 10.1G (or GT or GTp7510) 32GB with No MicroSD Card , WiFi Only ,
3x2MP Camera-
Samsung
Galaxy Tab 10.1V 3G/4G / WiFi Only 16GB no MicroSD Card 8x2MP Camera
Motorola
Xoom WiFi Only with WiFi Card , 5x2MP Camera 10.1″
Apple
iPad For Size Comparison – & it is getting jealous and
nervous
Part One – Does Size Matter?

Part Two – Tell Me more Pros and Cons

Part Three – Summary

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When Does a Mobile Phone Size Make it a Tablet ?

Launched in September 2011, many have yet to see this unique new powerhouse phone from Samsung,

About the same thickness and weight  of the new iPhone 4S , but much bigger, with a spectacular quality screen, and specifications, the 1.4GHZ, Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000, is the first 5.3 in.  mobile launched with mixed coverage and a bit ahead of its time.

This was partly due to the patent war  between Apple and Samsung.

The result of this saw Samsung announcing, then removing than relaunching the Galaxy Note the from sale in different parts of the world.

Similar to many other Samsung phones like the S2, all but larger. This phone has a removable huge capacity 2500mAH battery

Warning: This is a little confusing as Samsung is known to do , there are now 2 models of the Galaxy Note, first announced during  IFA 2011 in Berlin in September 2011,
It was released to the public starting with Germany in late October 2011, with other countries following shortly after that. On 18th November 2011, Samsung announced GT-N7003, a cheaper variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8255T ,a single core processor compared to GT-N7000 which is running Samsung Exynos 4210, a dual-core processor 1.4GHZ.

Other Comments:
One of the great accessories for the Galaxy Note is that there are metal and different coloured back panels for the Galaxy Note if you prefer to avoid the standard plastic feel of this device, but will add more weight.

It will be especially interesting to see what the Android OS (IceCream Sandwich) looks like on this device

The Galaxy Note is Available Globally, and in Australia from Mobi City (online), Expansys, and Oz Digital (online and in Sydney, NSW) for around  $770.

Technical Spec:

SIZE         Dimensions          146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm

Weight  178 g

Cameras : 8MP x 2MP

DISPLAY Type      – Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors

Size         800 x 1280 pixels, 5.3 inches (~285 ppi pixel density)

               – Gorilla Glass display

– TouchWiz UI v4.0

– Multi-touch input method

– Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate

– Touch-sensitive controls

– Proximity sensor for auto turn-off

– Gyroscope sensor

MEMORY               Phonebook- Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall

Call records –      Practically unlimited

Internal-                16GB/32GB storage, 1 GB RAM

Card slot –            microSD, up to 32GB, 2 GB included

WLAN    – Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot

FM Radio

Color: Black or White


Buying a Cheaper Unique Mobile Phone or Tablet for Less Might Cost you More in the Long Run

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By mr_internet
28 November 2011
Melbourne, Australia

When I bought my new Canon Camera Recently (the lovely 7D) I was shocked to find out the RRP was $2300 in Australia, $1600 in the USA and $1300 in Hong Kong. The result is I bought it from a grey or parallel importer in Melbourne (ironically across the street from Canon Australia’s head office.

If I have a problem with the camera I have to send it not to Canon, but the grey importer, a risky business at best.

I am personal friends with a buyer from Harvey Norman that was unable to price match the camera as my buy price of $1500 for the imported model in Melbourne is  less than Harvey Norman’s own buy price. Canon is well aware of this but there is nothing they can do. Here the consumer benefits but the retailer loses out. Luckily for retailers the volume for these sorts of purchases is still the exception rather than the rule.

However, when a device is not supported in Australia, and the company  is grey importing a device (like a mobile phone or tablet ), then the issue gets a bit riskier for the consumer. What happens when you need support and the device is not supported in Australia. Usually a mess and the consumer can suffer.

A good example of this model is Expansys UK Doing business as Expansys Asia for Australia.

They will sell you a mobile phone that is either not available in Australia (due to legal issues perhaps) but may also not be supported by the manufacturer in Australia. This can be a real problem for tablets and mobile phones, unlike cameras where there are no updates.

I good example is I have the Samsung 10.1 P7510 tablet, one of 3 Samsung 10.1 models with only the 10.1V being supported in Australia. Currently there is a problem getting support and updates in Australia.

Smaller companies like Expansys a company many are not aware of in Australia are not doing consumers a great service as many do not know the device they are buying is a grey import and updates and when service is likely to be a problem.

All you have to do is Google, ‘Problem Expansys’  to see some of the problems companies like Expansys are offering consumers and one to definitely be aware of in 2011 and 2012

Companies like Expansys should let consumers know when items are being grey imported and support may (and likely will) be an issue. Worse still if / when they quit doing business in Australia the consumer can be left high and dry with no support and no warranty.

This is not in the long run good for the retailer that cannot service the customers or the consumer that is not aware of their likely challenges

Update / Disclosure : 
Firslty there are other grey selling sites other than Expansys.
I have not used Expansys asia so do not know if they are good or not.
I chose Expansys Asia  they offered to send me something they did not, and it messed me about.

I used Expansys UK when I lived there and was a delighted customer and even set up a corporate account.
I wanted to review a phone, and offered to buy it (before they told me they were shipping me one and did not (they said that on multiple occasions).
This is NOT about their customer service/delivery. This is about the issue of buying grey products when consumers do not know know they are grey.

However, as time goes on I do now have concerns if they treat a fan-boy this way, once they offered a product, how must their customer service be to the rest of their customers.

I have said on a few occasions I am pro grey market buying, but for the uninitiated to can be a mine field and I am more concerned by the tweet.
I told Expansys about some negative press and questions that were out there, as they were kind enough to send me a phone, I was not going to run the story.
Had they told me they were not interested I also would not likely run the story.
But they said they were going to send me a unit, and it messed up by reporting time when they did not but also removed the conflict of interest I would have had otherwise, and it shows to be deceit by them (slopiness or both) .

Anyone else would have said yes (and meant it) or said no and meant it.

Saying yes and meaning no could be confusing and what Expansys did here, 

Have I got my facts wrong?

Expansys claims yes, but refuses to address a single specific, but instead choose to attack a now once loyal customer, geez


So Easy to Fix- Consumers Not Aware How Much They are Being Overcharged For Home Internet

by Loren W
22 November 2011
Melbourne Australia

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What’s the Deal

There are 2 Issues;

1. If you have had an Internet Service unchanged in 6 months or longer than you are likely over paying for your service, sometimes these costs are dramatically more than they should be.

2. Also worse you would have data usage that might go over your usage allowance, incurring excess charges that are very high, or degradation of service. This overcharging can be hundreds of dollars per month (not per year per month).

 

Why Now ?

With more and more videos and music in the cloud for us to download,  or upload, the world is downloading and uploading more than ever. In Australia we are no different but most are over paying for their Internet sometimes dramatically for years.

What Caused This?

Actually greed and the refusal to think outside the box by the Internet Service Providers, from a market perspective.

The problem has been ongoing for years but the overcharging was worsened in September 2010. At the time the wholesale cost of Internet dramatically reduced.  Internet Service providers big and small Telstra, Optus TPG, iiNet, etc. all faced the problem of how to maintain profits and revenue. When this happened to in the UK (I was working for British Telecom at the time), this actually put some smaller (and not very good) Internet providers out of business. I did some research on how you could offer existing customers lower prices proactively, and increase revenue as well, the US and UK adopted that pricing model, Australia did not.

The result of this is the monthly charge of the Home Broadband Internet Service you bought 1 year ago  has not changed but what you get for itis a fraction of what a new customer would get for the same price today.

‘It is like going to get fuel and there are no prices advertised, as everyone gets a different price for the same fuel depending when they signed their contract’. 

The practice is common.

Yet many Australians have not spent the 30 minutes it takes to sometimes save 50% or more by knowing what service they have, and adjusting their bandwidth appropriately. This means in most cases being able to call your existing supplier and letting them know from their website that new customers are paying less for their new service, than I am paying as an existing customer, can I please have my bandwidth upgraded to the current rate, or move to a new service etc. Most Internet providers will be happy to do this if you hint you prefer not to shop around.

Why So Serious ?
So, if the price is the same then do I care if my service is ok? Well it does not work that way, There are 2 scenarios,

1.  The amount of bandwidth you are using is more than your allowance was a year ago.

In that scenario, when you exceed your data allowance either your Internet speed will get really slow, or if you defaulted to pay for extra bandwidth, then you could be hit with extras more than your monthly bill (we are all downloading more than we did a year ago remember)

2.  You might not be using all your data allowance so the plan you have is right, or you bought a new plan in the last 6 months, then you might be fine.

What To Do ?

1.  This is all so easy, check your bill online to see what your service is you are paying for (something like a 25GB plan on ADSL with or without telephone bundled in for $xx per month ),

2.  Go to the website of your current Internet Provider, or call them if you have to, and see what the comparable product is today.

3.   Phone your ISP and get that lower price.

4. Check a website like Whirlpool.net and see what broadband services you can get in your area from others. Your ISP might be overcharging  everyone.

Why is a Smaller ISP Potentially so Much Cheaper than a Big ISP like Bigpond/Telstra

There are a few reasons for this;

1. Financial Overhead Cost Allocation – FOCA this means in a big company they allocate costs to the service you buy, that cover part of the parent company costs

2. Ease  – It is easier to let customers over pay on services than to update them, if they are unhappy and you have been proactive they might leave (customer churn)

3. Greed – Let’s face it if consumers are happy (or blinded) to not know the right questions to ask, then why lower your prices.

How Can they Get by With This

1. Smoke and Mirrors – The Internet is a commodity like gas or electric (and just as important for many of us), yet ISPs still make it a bit confusing when ordering a service. If you know what you want then it is easier, if you need advice, it is sometimes so forthcoming. If you know what you want but the ISP has a better deal they might not always offer it as it might not be the most profitable service they they offer.

The Bad News

If you have incurred any excess charges for your Internet service and again you have had a service unchanged for some time, then the lack of proactivity by your Internet Provider could have meant you paid higher prices as a result, sometimes twice as much as you regular rent.

Example 1: My friend has been on BigPond for 2 years they are paying $90 for a 25GB download internet and phone bundle. Today for that same price other Internet Providers are offering 500GB or an unlimited service. This a difference of 20 x not a small amount

Example 2: By friend in on an Internet Service that charges excess (pay as you go) when you exceed your otherwise allowed usage). These charges have been a lot,  and going on for some time. On further review it turns out a new service would have a huge difference in the data allowed, but because the customer does not know this and their ISP Telstra did not tell them they could upgrade for free, the result was the customer having regular $200 and $400 in over charges bills for a $60 per month service.

Here Telstra failed to disclose to the customer by not being upfront on pricing, that the customer could upgrade for free and save $200-$400 per month in excess charges also to Telstra. I suggested a pert call to Telstra on this lack of Duty of Disclosure Issue before sending a letter to the Ombudsman,  Telstra was happy to change the plan and credit the yet unpaid $400 in excess fees.

Recently is was reported that many Australians are planning to look at changing  Telcos in 2012.
Not a big surprise.

Why Don’t More Consumers Upgrade or Move

It was recently reported that only 16% of Australians will move or upgrade their mobile phone plans, due to the perceived complexity of doing so.
The excess customers are paying on their mobile service is often a fraction of what they are being over charged for their home Internet connections.

Moving an Internet Connection can be more complicated as with mobile phones you can often keep your number, with home Internet consumers lose their email address from their ISP, this requires a lot more preparation, ahead of time like moving all their Email to gmail or their own domain name so the loss of their ISP email address is transparent.

This is not widely known, so ISPs will often use this to get customers to stay, almost bullying them into staying.

Not All Bad News

Internet Providers like TPG and others are offering unlimited Internet to many areas for $60 per month

What about the ACCC – Austraila Competition & Consumer Comission

If all of this is true (it is) then surely the Australian Government would act ?

Hmm, This seemed obvious to me, if you are being overcharged or have a complaint, about Internet Services then the ACCC will act.
Recently they acted against one of the few ISPs actually doing a good job and that is TPG. TPG offers unlimited Internet Services for $29.99 per month (plus a $30 phone), or $59.99 per month without (the same price either way). The ACCC took exception to TPG as they were not being as upfront about the phone cost. Silly really.

So I raised a complaint to the ACCC about the ACCC on this (more to prove the point and raise the issue formally). My point was simple they investigate singular acts of consumer problems what about the widespread fact that most customers do not know they are getting over charged then paying for these over charges with yes more overcharges.

The ACCC was clear on this, (and very polite) they do not regulate an industry,specfically on their web site here  they say The ACCC does not regulate voluntary industry codes of conduct, only individual complaints. I understand I worked closely with OFCOM, in the United Kingdom for the better part of a decade on these same issues. OFCOM did try to regulate  an industry and not very well. However, some folks did not overcharge the customer the way Australians are being over charged.

What Now?

If nothing else the ACCC  should add this information to their website, on this page for instance . But I think it needs a show like a current affair to look at this as it is so blatant and a topic they covered recently on mobile phones that is nothing compared to this.

Twitter: @mr_internet

Note: Loren is a 17 year veteran of the Internet Community, and introduced Business broadband in the UK in 1998  for British Telecom and has been evangelizing and introducing new products and Services on the Internet / Cloud / and Online Services in Australia for the last 6 years. since. His blogs and twitter following is around 10,000 at any time (8700 on twitter alone)


When iTunes Match launched, the world celebrated. Apple offering cloud services we could all use.

Uniquely, iTunes Match, lets you use your own music library and Apple, looks at the music and if it already exists in Apples extensive cloud library, it moves none of your music but associates your music in the cloud so you can listen to it on any of you iOS devices like the iPad, Mac, iPhone,  and AppleTV.

This is a better way for those that have broadband (with sometimes slow upload speeds) and especially if you have a large existing music library. Amazon and Google offer similar choices, but require you to upload all your own music. Amazon charges for storage above 5GB.

Unfortunately iTunes Match does not work outside the USA.

Actually that is not correct, it does not work unless you have a US address, & US credit card. The assumption is you must therefore live in the USA.  Apple has not said why.  However there are companies offering these minor details, allowing iTunes Match access for all across the globe.

It is believed Apple did not want to launch the service globally as it does not have the cloud infrastructure in place to handle the traffic this would cause if used in mass.

How it works: Once you log into to your iTunes account and register your US credit card and details, you can pay the $25 per annum to apple.  iTunes uses any outstanding vouchers or credits you have before it uses your credit card. There are only 3 steps after that

As it says you can use iTunes whilst iTunes Match is doing its thing. I have just under 10,000 songs, and this takes up 53GB of space. Apple is limiting space to 25,000 songs, so I find this very generous.

That aside there are downsides, though they are few but the first one is a biggie.

1)      Your Own Corrupt Music Data – It is believed many people will have corrupt data (or meta tags) associated with their music tracks. This means in the traditional garbage in and garbage out world of IT, that Apple might miss associate some of your music library with the wrong songs. This can be dangerous if you over write your master library with that from your new found cloud friends Apple. Note there are some good programs that fix the meta tags either automatically or manually (like Tag and Rename and Tune Up Companion, with the later attaching itself to iTunes so you can drag and drop your music into it to cleanse and correct meta tag issues) . So it is worth backing up your music library so it cannot be over written. If you can wait it is worth cleaning you music tracks to make sure all your meta tags are in order.

2)      Music Quality–  Audiophiles that enjoy the new remastered tracks of everything from the Beatles to the Who, may have ripped their music in raw or high quality that is better than the 255k that Apple is offering (that is overall better than most have with 64k and 128k tracks), but an issue none the same (it might be possible to keep the higher-definition tracks in the cloud I am still testing that now). I estimate 5% of my music is above 255k, or around 25 albums or 500 songs).

Time: This is not a quick process but I hope well worth it. I am currently over 2  hours in and will update this after it is complete.  Step 1, The diagnosis phase took 1 hour, Step 2, the matching phase took an hour also matching about 3 songs a second Competition: The Google Music Service as mentioned is similar but it took 21 days to upload half my music, a daunting task indeed, but the service works very well, also globally, and on any browser (phones, tablets, pcs, or macs)

 


21 November 2011

Melbourne, Australia

When OXX Digital a Danish Company introduced their ‘Classic’ Internet Radio, into Australia a true legend was born, with a very appropriate name. A  little ahead of its time, that many did not fully appreciate, very few people were yet streaming their music, knew what DAB+ was and even fewer had a personal NAS (network attached storage). Today there are many NAS devices to choose from and many are using their PC’s or Macs to stream music and podcasts across their homes. The Classic is a radio that few are  yet to fully appreciate. The Classic introduced not only a great looking radio with modern Scandinavian design,  but one with DAB+ the best in radio quality, Combined with Internet Radio (able to access over 10,000 radio stations across the globe), wireless music streaming, and obvious FM Radio. This at a time for finding a DAB radio alone was more expensive than this full featured hi-tech marvel, that still years later has  stood the test of time with few competitors when comparing like for like features, price and design. Time moves on and the classic if it lacked anything was portability. The ability to take a DAB+ radio with you, not requiring a power connection was also lacking in the marketplace.

OXX Digital has addressed this with the OXX Vantage, here they have changed the look for this portable model, added a ruggedized rubber feel on a nice retro looking radio.

The OXX Vantage has the same features as the classic with DAB+ Radio, FM Radio, but as it is portable the WiFi, and Internet Radio is not needed.  The OXX Digital Vantage is a welcome addition to the impressive OXX Digital line up.

I for one cannot wait to see how OXX impresses us next.


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6 December 2011
Melbourne, Australia

by Loren W

 

 

Love or hate porn, is not at issue per se. 
By it’s own definition, a domain name is attract visitors to a web site

Now for the first time a URL is being used mainly to detract visitors, nuts. 

When the debate started many years ago about launching a XXX domain name, it did not seem so silly. It gave the opportunity to create a red light district on the Internet. Perhaps forcing every adult site to use the .xxx domain name, it did not fly. Years later and many discussions later on how much money it might make and surprize .xxx has been launched.

The fly in the ointment was that corporations, businesses, and individuals,  realised their own brand could be used to launch a fake adult website, so the XXX monetisation model was born.

It addresses 3 groups;

·         Those in the Adult Industry that will use XXX for their new adult site.

·         Larger companies that could pre-register their .xxx domain name (and not use it), just block it from hijackers.

·         Now the rest;   On 6 December 2011 anyone can register their company.xxx / name.xxx and block others form using the XXX domain name, and not use it either.

With the revenue generated from the blocking of. xxx sites expected to far exceed   those actually using it many are asking why is it needed, now.

However there are many that feel the .xxx domain should be forced on the adult industry.  The civil rights’ group, the EFA (Electronic Frontiers Australia, ) has been quoted as saying having a website with XXX gives consumers the ability to know what they are going to.  

 

American IT Consultant and 17 year Domain / Cloud / Hosting Veteran CEO Loren Wiener of Melbourne Australia’s

Australia Internet PTY Ltd, Melbourne, disagrees. ‘

I appreciate what the EFA is saying but if adult sites are not forced to use .XXX domain names, then there will be more confusion not less.  Adult sites already adhere to principals laid out in the CPOEA (Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act) of 1988), a US Department of Justice enforced control, that forces strict guidelines Adult sites and allows strict enforcement or similar. Worse still it gives governments leverage that say the adult industry is out of control.  Parents have many tools available to block adult sites from their children if they choose to do so, and do not need XXX domain names or government intervention to protect the unwanted viewing of web sites if they are not able to monitor their children’s Internet usage any other way. I personally believe this is a mistake and ICANN and other domain naming bodies, will face the wrath of the industry in the future over this and closer scrutiny.’ he says.

Music Cloud Wars 2011 is over

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Misc Tech

Apple just released iTunes 10.51 with iTunes Match

Microsoft just released outside the US Zune Music Pass

Google has theirs , Amazon has theirs who wins

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The Drama of Living in an Australian Fibre ‘Only’ Connected Community.

Melbourne Australia
8 November 2011

by Loren

I recently spent some time helping a friend of mine build a new house in Melbourne. At the end of it all came managing the telecommunications aspect (my specialty). The bottom line of it all was this.

A new community of hundreds of homes, the developer in Point Cook, Melbourne chose Opticom vs. Telstra to provide connectivity for IPTV including Internet.

The hypothetical upside is the whole area has fibre. The downside, the whole area has no copper; the fibre is managed by the developer that has set themselves up as ISP and they are offering a high price for a poor product (they are contending the product so the product is the same as DSL but at 400% of the price).

This means they are offering 12mb for $200 per month with 100GB download. I currently pay $60 for unlimited download via TPG.

Calls to try and get any copper or alternative seem to be fruitless thus far. The next route, includes local MP, and Telstra might be able to offer help via thorough cost analysis, and then it might be down to a class action law suit, not just in Melbourne but nationally, a mess at best.

So will it be any different with the NBN. I spoke to them recently with all of this in mind, they were vague but my understanding (needs to be verified) is it could happen again if another developer was to do what this developer did with Opticom.

The developer said the only role Opticom apparently had here was offering an infrastructure, where Telstra refused.

I suggested to the developer that they are trying to get their money out of their investment (customers) too fast, not the right sort of ROI. This is falling on deaf ears so far.



Update:

SPB 3D has landed on honeycomb (video at 3pm EST 23 Dec 2012)

Requiring a bit more power than the early Android phones, this UI is a sight to behold on a 10” tablet

 

This might be very special on ICS as well 

One reason I bought my first Android Phone the Atrix 4G was also due to my bad timing.

I had the iPhone 3G but was bored with it, was too late for an iPhone 4 (with the 5 or 4s looming),  and I had an iPad2 so had my iOS fix.

I purchased the Samsung Omnia 7 WP7 phone (pre-mango) but got  quickly frustrated with the lack of eco-system, and pre-mango issues.

I am a strong believer as well that if you are a truly connected soul, then the mobile operating system you have should be mirrored by the desktop or tablet OS.

Based on that, WP7 was homeless to be as it best goes with windows 8 (was not out in beta yet), but still has some syncing issues for me.

This meant  choosing the Apple OS model, once the 4S was released giving me the iPhone 4S, a Mac, and iPad2, so I have followed my own model mentioned above.

I just sold my Atrix 4G (as the Atrix 2 has just been announced), but kept my Samsung 10.1 Google i/o Tablet running Android Honeycomb, and to be honest I still find Android OS Gingerbread on the phone a bit ugly, to the point of despair, and mind boggling at the lack of  Apple-esque ‘updatablity’ to a new OS on Androiddevices, painful,  never knowing when or if with ease a phone / tablet will get updated having to deal with the 3 way pain of carrier, google/android and hardware manufactuer.

Here in Australia we have been let down in the past by the likes of Samsung with their 1st 10.1 Tablet (the 10.1V P7110)  not getting the same updates as the first USA released 10.1 the P7500 series.

The other reason I bought my 1st Android app, and what pushed me over the edge, like a moth drawn to light was the SPB Software 3D Shell. A  Russian company I have been fascinated with their beautiful products for years, when they were offering apps for windows mobile phones.

Their Android offering of the SPB 3D shell, though not without its own issues (like being a bit CPU hungry), did beautify an otherwise ugly Android phone.

Enter Ice Cream Sandwich a unifying OS from Android, that will offer the same OS on the tablet as it does on the mobile phone.

This also means (as confirmed in an exclusive conversations with the SPB Software devleoper), that  Android tablets running IceCream Sandwich, will also benefit enjoy running, SPB 3D Shell. SPB is currently working on their ICS version, and scaling issues to the larger size.

I cannot wait

Here is a video of their mobile app