All entries for Thursday 23 September 2010

September 23, 2010

Thoughts on Facebook Places, and LBS in general

Facebook places went live in the UK at the end of last week. After a few check-ins “just because” I started thinking about whether or not I would actually use it. I use Foursquare a lot, checking into almost every place I go (with a few exceptions, like my house). But in general I keep that information in foursquare where it belongs. I do not post all my checkins to Twitter too. If I would tweet about the location anyway then I will cross-post, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. I assume my Twitter followers don’t want to know everytime I check-in to my place of work, or to the local DIY store.

And that’s my problem with Facebook Places. If I checked in everywhere I went I’d be spamming by Facebook friends with loads of checkins they aren’t interested in. If I would post something to Facebook anyway about the location, then I will probably checkin to the Place. Mostly, though, I think I’ll be ignoring Places.

If you have a desperate need to know my every move, go find me on Foursquare. That’s where that information is staying…

And that brings me to another reason for not using Facebook Places. I might not want all my Facebook friends to know where I am. I have just about 100 Facebook friends, 600+ Twitter followers but just less than 30 friends on Foursquare. I’m more selective about who gets to see that information, and keeping it separate allows me to be. Facebook Places doesn’t let me be selective, and that’s not a good thing.

So, although I do use LBS a fair bit, in the form of Foursquare, I don’t think I’ll be using Facebook Places. At least not in their current form.

What do you think?


The "replacement for my iPhone 3G" deliberations continue…

I’ve had my iPhone 3G since day 1. Back in July this year when the iPhone 4 came out I was looking forward to getting something a little better, but ended up being disappointed by how little better the iPhone 4 was compared to its asking price. That started me on a process of looking at alternatives, mostly various Android phones. As I looked, I kept comparing them to my iPhone 3G and coming to the same conclusion. None of them was enough better to justify the cost. Time for some serious thought – what is it my iPhone 3G doesn’t do that means it needs replacing?

I’ve eventually come to the conclusion that there are just two things. First, the iPhone 3G is too slow. Maybe it has always been this slow and I’m just noticing when it is compared to newer devices, or maybe OS upgrades over its 2+ year lifespan have slowed it down? Certainly iOD 4.0 and 4.0.1 had performance issues, but 4.1 is much better. Either way, waiting for apps to open is getting quite frustrating. Waiting for web pages to load is equally frustrating, and that’s down to CPU not network. Some apps just don’t work at all, which I imagine is down to lack of RAM.

The second thing is the lack of storage. I bought the 8GB version, not the 16GB one. 8GB seemed plenty at the time, but now I find myself having to cut back more and more on the music on the device in order to make room for apps and their data.

And that’s it. Everything else about the device, from the lowly 2MP fixed-focus, no-flash camera to the display is fine for me as it is. Yes, better would be, well, better, but I don’t need better. While the various possible replacement phones I have looked at, or would like to look at – HTC Desire, HTC Desire HD, Samsung Galaxy S, Nokia N8 – are all good devices, they are all expensive ways of addressing the problems I actually have.

This is all leading me slowly but surely to the conclusion that what I need is an iPod Touch, combined a MiFi. I liked the Mifi so much when I had one on loan that I might just get one anyway for use with laptops while travelling. That would reduce my iPhone to, well, a phone most of the time, with a few apps still on it for those times I don’t want to carry the touch too. And for things the Touch doesn’t do, like GPS.

A decision is getting close, I think…


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