Viber – Another Skype competitor

While I like the idea of another Skype competitor, I don’t really get the competitive difference between Skype and Viber. The most prominent differences as outlined in the Techcrunch article are less power hungry than the current Skype iPhone app and that it is a product that leverages your phone number instead of an ID. 

In my mind, those aren’t strong advantages. It is quite conceivable that Skype could change their app to leverage the Apple Push Network. I can’t imagine it being impossible or overly expensive to do if there were enough drop off of mobile usage of Skype’s mobile product.

I see leveraging a phone number instead of an ID to be a severe disadvantage for Viber instead of an advantage. Considering that the product is targeted to smartphone users, I’d think that most smartphone users today generally don’t remember phone numbers. If anything, the reason why most people use smartphones is to generally to contact people by means other than the mobile phone. In fact, there are actually quite a few people whom I communicate with whom I don’t have phone numbers for. Secondly, while not too many people have multiple mobile phone numbers like I do, most people have multiple devices. I think the most common scenario is having a mobile phone, a work computer and a home computer. Having a communication product that forces me to be tied to one device makes it quite unattractive for me.

As I’ve never tried the product and don’t have an iPhone any more, I’m actually quite curious to see how good is this product for it to be given the rating of “amazingly amazing” from TechCrunch. 

SPB Mobile Shell coming to Android

I’m quite excited to see SPB Mobile Shell product come to market. One of the glimmer of hopes when I was on the Windows Mobile platform was SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 which breathed some life back to the Windows Mobile at least for a little while. The good news for the Android is that there are quite a few very vibrant home replacement projects that produce very slick results. It would be interesting to see how SPB Mobile Shell will do against them.

HTC Desire Z review posted

My HTC Desire Z review is finally posted on Howard Forums. Here’s the quick overview of my thoughts on the HTC Desire Z. I like the device a lot and I’ve since purchased it. I’ve always had a “thing” for HTC devices largely because they generally are well supported by the xda-developers community. The device is larger than the Nexus One or the Samsung Galaxy S series but over all it performs well. I was quite surprised on how difficult it actually was to try to purchase the device outright. If you are looking to purchase one, check out Costco. I had attempted to purchase one from Best Buy but they would not sell one without a contract which surprised me quite a bit given that their sales people supposedly don’t get commission. CyanogenMod works wonderfully on this device! If you’re looking to root your device, this is the link that I used.

Official Google Reader Android app now available; Newsrob still better

I love Google Reader as a web app and was quite curious to see what the official Android app would be like.

I installed it, played with it and promptly moved back to Newsrob. Newsrob is still my favorite Google Reader app and I find myself living on it to manage and keep up with all of my interests.

The Google Reader app feels primitive. It didn’t look as though it could handle feeds offline which is a big deal for me. In its current release, it also doesn’t handle the ability to share with other apps. This is nice for when I want to generate a blog, send from my non-gmail accounts or through other tools like Yammer or WordPress. I have a laundry list of things that I think that the current Google Reader lacks but then it would become a post about Newsrob which deserves its own dedicated post.

For now, the official Google Reader Android app is a simple tool that gets the job done. If you want something that helps manage your RSS feed productivity, you’ll find Newsrob to be a much richer client and more suited for that task.

Potential Good News with Netflix

I begrudgingly like Netflix because it’s a good service that has the potential to be great. My biggest disappointment is that it lacks a good selection of shows. At 7.99, I can’t really complain though. I watch the most obscure of TV shows like the newest Robin Hood series which is surprisingly good.

This news, however, would be really welcomed.

I don’t need to have the show play at the same time or even the day of. The reality is that I’m more than happy to watch the show a day or two after the fact. It would be worth it even at double the price it costs right now for those of us who have alternative to Rogers or Bell as internet providers.