Nathan Strang

Apples and Androids [Gay Geeks]

Filed By Nathan Strang | November 01, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Geeks, Living
Tags: Android, Apple, gay geeks, iPhone

Hey all! Once a week, I'll take you on a trip through the Digital Valley, shedding light on the latest tech news for all the gay geeks out there. Concise, snarky, and full of shiny new gadgets to drool over and impress your friends. Trying to date a geek, but can't understand a word he says? This helpful weekend round-up will get you in his/her pants faster than you can say "Large Hadron Collider." You ready? Strap-on, and lets go nerdin'!

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Apple: Facelifts all around!

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Apple recently updated nearly their entire product line, out of the blue and without warning. Whats new? For starters, the iMacs got a boost, and lost a little bit of bulk as well. The result looks more like a fancy display than a computer, but behind the screen lies a whallop of power. A new 27-inch model, powered by a 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (read:fast), with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics (read:faster), and the possibility to add a blistering 16GB of ram (read:virgin fast). All that sexy desk power starts at $1,199.00 for the 21.5".

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But wait, there's more! Apple also updated the previously ill-fated Mac Mini, and now this little halt pint Mac can run with the best of them. A 2.26GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo, ram expandable to 4GB, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics brings the Mac Mini back into the fold. The fun starts at $599. If yer really a gay geek, Apple finally listened to the hacker community and released a Mac Mini Server, replacing the SuperDrive to double the storage to 1TB, and comes pre-installed with Snow Leopard Server. That little powerhouse server costs a reasonable $999.

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If that wasn't enough, Apple decided we needed a new mouse too. Apple users are familiar with the pebble shaped mighty mouse, but that has been stripped of its "Mighty" title, replaced by the aptly named "Magic Mouse." What's so magic? nothing really, but the top two-thirds of the mouse has a capactive multitouch surface, allowing you to click, swipe, and scroll, just like on a trackpad. The reviews are positive, and this sexy little feat of genius costs just $69 (giggle).

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As we leave the realm of Apple, its important to note that the classic white MacBook also recieved an update, getting a plastic unibody shell, LED backlit display, glass multitouch trackpad, and comfortable rubber padded bottom. Its been a long time coming for the MacBook, and its still just $999.

Google Android: the phones of the future are here today

While blog daddy Jerame and I have constant iPhone/Android fights, pretty soon he's going to have to eat his words. It's been a little over a year since the first Android powered phone launched; the G1 was admittedly ugly and underpowered, but a steady stream of refinements,(free) updates, and new devices have helped Android to be a serious contender in the smartphone world.

Have you seen that iDont commercial? Have no idea what its about? Watch it below and I'll tell you what a Droid is.

Droid is Verizon's first Android phone, Motorola's first Android phone, and Google's first Android phone to feature the heavily improved 2.0 software, affectionately called "eclair."

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The Motorola Droid could save the world... alright, I'm kidding. However, Droid is Motorola's Hail Mary; no one wants a shitty Razr phone anymore and Motorola's cellphone division has been hemorrhaging money of late. The good news is that the Droid is a powerful device, fun to use, and will be available for sale November 6th, for $199 on a two year contract on Verizon. Specs include Android 2.0 software, 5MP camera with LED flash and 24fps video recording at 720x480, POP3/IMAP email access with Exchange support, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, GPS (not Verizon's Navigator BS), webkit (like the iPhone) browser with HTML5 and Flash10 support (flash will come out shortly after the phone launches, if not at launch) all wrapped up into a sexy metal CDMA phone with a 3.7" capacitive multitouch screen. We all know Verizon can rape a customer into wallet submission, but this handy comparison chart from Billshrink shows it matches up quite nicely to the iPhone 3GS...

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All-in-all, Android is now a serious competitor in the smartphone world. There are over 50 devices rumored/confirmed/available, and in 2010 you are going to see a whole lot more of Android. Give one a try, you just might like it.


I hope you liked your first weekly Gay Geeks Tech Round-Up, I'd love some feedback as to what you liked, as well as what kind of stuff you'd like us to cover. Cheers, and happy Nerdin'!

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Great stuff, Nathan! Thankfully, I'm a Windows user (though not necessarily proud of it), or my son's college fund might look a little sparser this month.

And a "Magic Mouse" sounds like it belongs in a vibrator catalog. (Though I've never personally understood the fascination with making vibes that look like animals.)

I was an early Android adopter with the G1, and I couldn't be happier. My ONE issue with the G1 is that it was syncing too often, and when it would sync, it would slow other processes down. I learned how to switch that off and get it to sync only when I wanted. When its not syncing, its lightning fast, and really intuitive and user-friendly. Copy and paste is a little slap-dash (sometimes you can, sometimes you can't), but I'm sure that's coming down the pipes. Biggest problem with the G1 is the battery life--but that's a phone issue, not OS.

I use my phone TONS, and I run down the battery fast, but I always have MANY applications running, and two or three things going on at once, which Android handles BEAUTIFULLY. I can use Google voice RIGHT ON THE PHONE to make all of my calls, as well as text and receive calls. Its awesome.

Google is looking to come out with its own netbook OS soon, which is great--I'm looking forward to that. I love everything Google does... though I did abandon Chrome after 6 months of use because Ad-ons I needed for school and work were only available for Mozilla (sad). I still have it on my computer and play with it every once in a while...

Eclair? Well, that's certainly gay... *snickers* How can you take a phone seriously when it's named after a puff pastry?

And I really want the new mouse. Dana, I believe, is the only member of the Ed Team who still uses Windows. Maybe we'll have to send her one too so she can taste the Mac goodness. Do they work with Windows, Nate?

All Android builds are named after pastries. The last one was called Cupcake.

hahahahahahahahahaha

No wonder it's in the gay geeks column then.

Cupcake. Eclair.

*giggles*

pantherfarber | November 2, 2009 2:37 PM

actually the last update was doughnut. it goes alphabetically.

I'm so happy you've done a review of the new Droid 'cause it's definitely a step up from the G1 which, like you said, is great except for the battery life. But what's the most tempting thing about the new Google 2.0 software is the updated Google maps which can double as a turn-by-turn GPS for your car.

Now THAT is something the other phones can't do...yet.

Can we start a petition for the next updated software to be titled "muffin"?

Andy Ihnatko dissects that Droid commercial and concludes its whack: http://www.suntimes.com/technology/ihnatko/1864473,ihnatko-droid-iphone-commercial-110409.article

and the Flickr set with side-by-side pics showing the Droid camera is deficient at best:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyi/sets/72157622609402533/

It's definitely a step up from that shitty G1 talking brick, don't get me wrong...But MOTO and Google have a lot of catching up to do before they match the polish and quality of the iPhone.

You know who's going to produce the iPhone killer? Apple will. Just like they produced the iPod mini killer (the nano) and the iPod classic killer (iPod Touch). By the time MOTO, HTC or whomever catches up on hardware, Apple will have something newer and shinier running iPhone OS 5.0 and comes with its own unicorn herd and a replica of Steve Jobs' iLiver.

You know what Android beats? Windows Mobile. Kicks its ass up and down the information superhighway (ahh, I miss the 90s - thought I'd bring in some old school lingo).

Android is comfortably in second place, but very much eating iPhone dust. That's not gonna change due to the Droid for sure.

The keyboard is roundly hated. The virtual keyboard is way shittier than iphone. The battery life doesn't live up to the hype. The camera takes shitty gray pictures. The Android apps still suck (OK, a few are decent, but most suck compared to iPhone apps.)

For what amounts to an equal total cost of ownership, the only advantage the Droid has over the iPhone is that it's not on AT&T's shitty ass network and has a bigger screen.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | November 7, 2009 7:53 PM

I'm saving my pennies now for a new Macbook. My current Macbook is three years and it still runs fine, but I want a new one.

Thanks for the recap Nate. I'm looking forward to what's to come.