Archive for April 2010

How to get free turn by turn navigation on your Motorola Milestone in Singapore?

Ever since the Motorola Milestone arrived in Singapore, lots of people were asking why is it that the turn by turn navigation is only available in US. It seems like only the maps in US belongs to Google. The maps outside US belongs to other mapping companies like TeleAtlas, INEGO, Europa Technologies. That’s why they can’t provide free turn by turn navigation outside US.

The Motorola Milestone that you buy in Singapore comes with MotoNav. MotoNav is Motorola’s version of turn by turn navigation for countries outside US. But according to 1 of my readers, the MotoNav provided is a 60 days trial version. You will need to pay in order to get turn by turn navigation after 60 days. Personally, I think it is not worth paying for turn by turn navigation. I feel that it is a matter of time before Google enable free turn by turn navigation worldwide for all Android 2.1 phones.

I do know some friends who had turn by turn navigation on their Android phone outside US. There are several methods in doing it. I’ve Googled and found this:

1. Open Market – search SpeechSynthesis Data Installer – install
2. Download maps3.3.1-by-directions-root-2.apk from here to your computer
3. Copy maps3.3.1-by-directions-root-2.apk to Milestone with USB cable
4. Install it on Milestone ( use any file explorer to open it, Example: AndExplorer )

All credits to XDA-Developers and jkkmobile.

As usual, try the above method at your own risk. I don’t have a Milestone to try it out myself. Let me know if you succeed in getting turn by turn navigation on your Motorola Milestone.

Abusing the iPad

The Apple iPad is now available in US. As usual, you’ll always get some people who are rich and have some spare time on their hands to do this sort of things.

Warning: Not suitable for iPad fanboi.

Oh, in case you are wondering, it blends too.

Multi-tasking FINALLY coming to iPhone

Apple just announced their iPhone 4.0 firmware a couple of hours ago. One of the biggest addition is multi-tasking. Yeap, Apple is finally adding multi-tasking to iPhone/iPod touch/iPad. But its not the usual multi-tasking you see on most smartphones. Instead, only 7 types of services are allowed to be multi-tasked.

Disclaimer: I don’t have much information about the iPhone 4.0 firmware. Here are the things I hear from the live blogging. Please correct me if I misunderstood any of the points.

Audio Streaming
This service is like the iPod feature. Currently, applications like Pandora or internet radio can only play when the apps is running. Come iPhone 4.0, these application can play audio in the background while you are on other application, just like the iPod player.

Voice Over IP
This service allows users to use applications like Skype to chat while using other application. It also allows applications like skype to run in the background and receive calls. This would make VOIP applications like skype very useful.

Background Location
Background location service allow navigation application like Tom-Tom to provide turn-by-turn navigation while running in the background. This would also be great for Latitude. BUT as we all know, Latitude is not approved in Apple Appstore.

Push Notification
This is the same push notification service that we have been using since iPhone 3.0.

Local Notification
Local notification is somewhat like push notification but different in the sense that it does not requires communication with server. Finally, developers can write applications like alarm clock. OK, it’s not just alarm clock. There are a lot of other uses for local notification.

Task Completion
Task completion allows applications to do a task like upload photos in the background. I think this is extremely useful for applications like Flickr and Posterous. In the past, the application needs to be open when you are uploading photos. Now you can let them run in the background.

Fast App switching
This is the most interesting service of all 7. It effectively save the current state of the application when you leave and restore the state when you come back. Think of it as a pause button for you to check emails or browse the web.

Apple claims that their multi-tasking will not drain battery life or choke up resources. If I’m not wrong, this is possible because only 7 type of services are allowed to multi-tasked. Free for all multi-tasking (which most smartphone OS are doing) will consume too much unnecessary resource. Apple basically disallowed unnecessary things from running in the background and controls how resources are being used. Developers will need to make changes to their codes to make their applications able to “multi-task”.

Other new addition to the iPhone 4.0 includes Game Centre (something like Xbox Live and PSN), folders for you to install more applications, iBook Apps (which I think Singapore users won’t be able to purchase Ebooks) and iAd (which is like Admob).

Open Feint and PLUS will be in some trouble because their service is something like Game Centre. Admob will be in direct competition with iAd which is no surprise since Admob now belongs to Google. Looks like the war between Google and Apple is just heating up.

The new iPhone 4.0 will be available this coming Summer. iPad users will get it this coming fall. But iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2nd Gen below will not be able to multi-task. BOO!!! Well, this is somewhat expected since the hardware is almost 2 years old. I guess it’s Apple’s way of telling us to upgrade our iPhone.

While there is no new iPhone announcement today, I strongly believe Apple will release a new iPhone by June to tie the iPhone 3G users who contracts are ending.

OK, off to bed for me! It’s almost 3:30am here in Singapore.

Lonely

Lonely Guy. Taken using a Canon 500D

Lonely Gal. Taken using a Canon G11

Review: Fujitsu LifeBook P3110

Note: This is a ultra-delayed review. I’ve review the Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 in February. But only found time to sit down and write the review now. Paiseh.

It seems like the netbook war is over. PC makers seems to be slowing down on their netbook production and focusing on laptop using ultra low voltage (ULV) processors. When laptop with ULV first came out in mid last year, they appears to be in a disadvantage over netbook in terms of performance due to the fact that ULV laptop are running Windows Vista while netbook are running Windows XP. Windows Vista requires much more processing power and is clearly not suitable for ULV. Which is why I don’t recommend people to get a ULV on Windows Vista.

But the game changed significantly after the release of Windows 7. Windows 7 requires less processing power and is pretty suitable for ULV laptop. Suddenly, the ULV laptop category looks very attractive. Low cost, slightly bigger screen and more processing power than most netbooks. In fact, at some point during the review, I almost forgotten that I’m using a ULV laptop. Everything seems to run smoothly. But of course I won’t recommend you using a ULV for processor intensive stuff. But for normal surfing and word processing, the ULV laptop should suit most people’s needs.

Sorry, I digressed a little. Back to the Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 review. The Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 is running on a Intel Pentium Processor SU4100 1.30GHz processor with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium. The unit I reviewed comes with 2GB RAM (support max 4GB), 320GB harddisk and Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD. The display screen is 11.6-inch WXGA Back Light LED capable of 1366×768 pixels. The Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 has 3 USB port, 1.3 megapix camera, WIFI, Bluetooth 2.1, SD/MS card reader, VGA port, 1 mic jack and 1 headphone jack. Pretty standard stuff here. But like most ULV laptops and netbooks, it doesn’t comes with a optical drive. The P3110 weighs about 1.6kg.

The keyboard is Spill-resistant although I don’t have the chance to try that out. It’s very comfortable to type on the keyboard. Feedback is good, feel is great. I certainly don’t mind writing old grandmother stories with this keyboard. The wrist rest is a little too small for my liking but I soon got used to it. The touchpad is also a little too small for my liking. And the only one thing that I dislike about the LifeBook P3110 is the 2 touchpad buttons. It’s shiny silver. Those that you can use to check your makeup if they are bigger. I have no idea why Fujitsu choose to use a fingerprint magnet material for the touchpad buttons.

Personally, I wish Fujitsu would also include some physical buttons for volume controls and mute. But judging from the size of the device, I guess it would be a bit hard for them to squeeze these buttons without affecting the form factor or compromise the keyboard size. If you notice, there is a huge gap between the keyboard and the screen. That’s the battery in case you are wondering. Yes, the 6 cell battery provided is huge. And I can understand that because the Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 is able to deliver roughly 6 hours of battery life. (Published 6.7 hrs) That is one killer feature.

The Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 is a great ultra low voltage laptop. If you don’t need the processing power of a full fledged laptop and want more processing power than a netbook, the Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 is definitely worth considering. The Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 is retailing at S$1388.

In short:
Great value, long battery life and fantastic keyboard.

Likes:
Long battery life
Comfortable Keyboard
Great value

Dislikes:
Shiny, fingerprint magnet touchpad buttons

PS: Fujitsu also released the LifeBook P3010 which is running on a AMD Athlon Neo processor 1.6GHz. The remaining specs are more or less the same as the P3110. But 1 huge difference is that the P3010 only has a published 3.47hr battery life compared to the P3110’s impressive 6.7 hrs battery life. The P3010 retails at S$1,188. Honestly, I’ll recommend you pay $200 more for the better P3110.