Stuff I’ve Bought

I seem to be buying a lot of technology products lately. Here’s what I’ve bought and why:

  • iPad (retina, 3rd generation)
  • Samsung Galaxy SII
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10″
  • Nexus 7
  • Roku 2 XD
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • Apple iPod touch 32GB (5th generation)

The problem with being a programmer is that I am constantly buying devices. The two Samsung devices and the Nexus were specifically to test our new Android version of powerOne, for instance. For Android this “buying devices to test on” thing is a never ending battle. There are way more devices then I could possibly own. For the most part, these three devices sit on a shelf. I pick them up periodically to play around, although the Galaxy SII also serves as the old Infinity Softworks phone line. Of these three, the Nexus 7 is probably my favorite. If I didn’t have so much of my world already geared to work seamlessly with iOS, I could see using this more often at least as a reading device for blogs and basic web browsing. It’s too small to use for note-taking or any sort of long form typing, though, which is the other thing I do with my iPad.

Speaking of iPad, yes the iPad was a long ago purchase, way back in April when it came out. Of all the devices I’ve received so far it is my favorite. I use it hourly and generally is the first thing I grab in the morning and the last thing to get tucked away at night. The display is amazing. I recently had to do some testing on the second generation iPad. I forgot how much better the retina display is. I like smartphones but the technology I’ve waited my whole life for is definitely the iPad.

Roku is a device like Apple TV. I hooked it up to the television and it lets me watch movies, tv shows and stuff like that, streamed rather than live television. There’s a lot of crossover functionality with the Apple TV, which is the one I use most the time as it streams my personal content as well as has Netflix and MLB.tv. I probably wouldn’t have bought a Roku again but we added Amazon Prime after we canceled cable and needed some method to watch its content. Apple TV does not offer an Amazon Prime app yet. I’m still hopeful Apple will open that device for development soon.

The two recent purchases, neither of which I’ve received yet, is the Kindle and iPod. As mentioned before we need devices to test on. Apple and Google give us simulators, replicas of these devices that run on a Mac or PC, but they aren’t exactly the same. Speed is different, there can be differences in how the UI handles, and it is really hard to get the feel for how a device reacts to a finger press without the device itself. We usually try to collect one of each generation of Apple hardware. We have iPhone 3Gs, 4 and 4s, iPod touch 4th and 5th generation, and iPad 1, 2, and 3. The 5th generation iPod lets us test for the taller 4″ screen.

Probably the device I am most excited about getting is the Kindle Paperwhite. While owning a Kindle has allowed me to read more fiction than I have in years, I found the current model, Kindle Touch, a little too dark compared to paper and don’t like to carry and attach a light. At the same time, I don’t like using my iPad for reading at night since the light glows in my face and keeps me awake. The Paperwhite is supposed to fix this as it is not backlight but has lighting all the same. For $120 I’ll find out.

Conspicuously missing is the iPhone 5. I have concerns about my personal use of this device. For one, I want my phone to be smaller, not larger, and I have some concerns about the iPhone 5’s taller screen. I think I’d like to see one before buying. Now this would have been a moot point if I qualified for a discount right now, but for some reason we don’t until December. For $200 I would buy one sight unseen; for $600 I can wait.