ABOUT this time of the year, when the Christmas season is approaching, which is the biggest shopping season of the year, the companies will normally announce new toys or new models.
In quick succession, Samsung announced their Galaxy 8, Apple their new iPhone 8, and iPhone X, and just this week, Google their Pixel 2.
What is so great about these phones? Should you upgrade? Obviuosly, there are lots of talk of bigger and clearer screens with smaller edges. There are also some other features, like having dual cameras. Comparisons between these phones fill up the tech web sites, so I will just focus my comments on specific parts of it.
Having two cameras for Galaxy 8 and iPhone 8 ensures that the phones can produce cool-looking portraits with sharp subjects, but with a blurred background, or backgrounds that can easily change. However, Google’s latest Pixel 2 phones decided to use single cameras.
And surprise, it seems to be as good as the dual ones. What Google did was create software that understands what the subject is, and what the background is, and produce the same effect. Unless they can find new uses for having two cameras, maybe it’s a luxury that might soon disappear.
Google phones, which are supposed to be the standard for future Android phones, removed the audio jack. Apple did it on Apple 7 and gave the alternative to use headphones or speakers that can connect to its standard interface, or through wireless Bluetooth. The new Google phones recommend that you listen to music or sound through standard wireless Bluetooth.
This is a hassle. Standard headphones are cheaper, but Bluetooth headsets are not only more expensive, but are battery powered and need to be charged. I have been in many circumstances where I could not use the Bluetooth headset because of low battery. But I guess as the convenience of wireless kicks in, and batteries last longer, wireless accessories do have an advantage.
But just as notebook computers started to remove the network adapter, or the standard display adapter, or the disk drive and the DVD drive to make it thinner, so does the smartphone need to become thinner and easier to carry around.
For sure, smartphones are the gadget that everybody needs to have in the future, as technology makes it easier not only to be in touch, but also to transact business like pay through the smartphone.
I am currently in a tech conference right now, and everybody agreed that tablets are somewhat on the way out, and the main productivity tool in the office and workplace will continue to be the personal computer desktop or notebook computer.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 06, 2017.
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