Samsung Galaxy S II

I have for two years have been a happy iPhone user, and still consider that iPhone provides the best overall user experience. But the iOS is getting old, and particularly Android has been able to pass it on certain areas. My new work phone is Samsung Galaxy S II, which is running Gingerbread (Android 2.3). In the hardware area, it has a dual core processor (1,2 GHz), SuperAMOLED+ screen (4,3″), and 8 megapixel camera, to provide the key details. This thing can run all the games I have thrown at it without any hiccups, and it can record and play Full HD video when used to document events. In terms of user experience and competitive relationship to iPhone, comparison gets a little difficult. There are things like Swype sliding text input in Android/Samsung, but I still find text editing and web browser to work a bit better in iPhone. On the other hand, there is much more room for tinkering, configuring and modification in Android, so it can be set up to fit the actual user needs in a much more flexible manner. The Android app ecosystem is vast, but I feel iOS has generally better quality apps. Almost every search produces tens of different competing apps in Android Store, and it is sometimes really difficult to find something that actually fits your needs. Apple keeps tighter controls of their app-universe, and have already filtered out rubbish. In some cases though, it is impossible to find the feature or function you need from the Apple side, whereas Android is much more open and provides flexibility. It is also easy to fill your screens and data transfers with dozens of non-optimized processes in Android – iOS is more controlled and balanced environment also in this respect. There will be the new iOS 5 released later this autumn, which will bring some key elements that Android already has (like the notification centre, over-the-air updates) to iOS. It will be interesting to see how comparison will turn out then. At the moment, iOS is better for “general user”, while Android shines as a “power user” toy and tool of choice.

Samsung Galaxy S II

Liikuntaa ja pelaamista

[In Finnish] Allekirjoitin osaltani Manifestin lasten ja nuorten liikkumisesta — lupasin että tulemme satsaamaan tutkimukseen joka yhdistää pelaamisen liikunnalliset, sosiaaliset ja leikilliset ulottuvuudet. Hyvinvoivaan ja energiseen tulevaisuuteen päästään yhteisillä ponnistuksilla; keskustelen mielelläni aiheesta enemmänkin kaikkien kiinnostuneiden kanssa, ota yhteyttä.

Announcement for DiGRA Nordic 2012

Here we go, please spread the word (cross-posted at Finnish Game Cultures site and DiGRA mailing lists.)

Announcement for DiGRA Nordic 2012

The second Nordic DiGRA conference will take place in Tampere, Finland, in June 6-8, 2012. Titled “Global and Local: Games in Culture and Society”, it will bring together researchers, experts and students from various disciplines, all driven to understand better the roles different games, players, game design and industry have in our culture and society. The conference venue will be located at the new Technopolis building, next to the University of Tampere main campus. You can already learn more about activities and attractions of Tampere from address: .


The full call for papers will be circulated in September 2011, with submission deadlines set at the beginning of 2012. This event also celebrates the 10th anniversary of game studies conferences in Finland, as introduced by CGDC in June 6, 2002. We hope you will take this opportunity to mark the event already into your calendars – see you all in Tampere next year!


– Nordic DiGRA 2012 organizing team

Apple goes cloud

The full ramifications of today’s Apple WWDC event announcements remain to be seen, but one thing is clear: the “era of the cloud” is here to stay. Apple is making huge efforts in replicating some of the core functionalities that companies like Google or Amazon have been offering with their cloud-based services. In some areas Apple seems to be taking the lead position. It is particularly their emphasis on the ease of use and integration of data and services that go seamlessly across devices that make cloud approach finally go mainstream. Already, email solutions like Google’s Gmail, Calendar, plus their integration of the online contact database with the Android devices makes it easy to restore all necessary daily information to a new device by just entering one’s Google account details. Now, Apple promises to deliver your contacts, photos, documents, applications, music — basically your entire digital life seamlessly synced to all Apple/iOS devices, so they are available anywhere you go, regardless what was the last device you used to access them. With the Mac OS X integrating even tighter with iOS, the boundary lines between device categories are quickly melting, which is a very welcome point in digital ecosystem evolution, if true.

Here are some links to videos and more information:

Magic Trackpad on Vaio

I have chronic wrist pains, like too many other active computer users, and I have been testing various mouse replacements in order to alter the movements that cause repetitive strain. Laptops and touchscreen devices are nice since they allow for more flexibility in manipulation, and also since you need not reach far looking for the mouse. Touch interface gestures are also powerful and after you have got used to them, a regular mouse starts to feel awkward and a bit antiquated.

The Apple hardware is often of high quality, but I do not like the restrictions of the Mac OS. Today I have been experimenting with connecting the Apple Magic Touchpad with my Sony Vaio Z series computer. Extracting and installing the required drivers to Windows is a bit tricky, but not too complicated (see the instructions here), and after that, the bluetooth trackpad appears to be working just fine. The sensitivity and feel of Magic Touchpad is great; however, you do not get the full set of multitouch gestures you could use on Mac OS X. But even with the limited single, and two-finger gestures this is a very nice peripheral, and great for example in home theatre use – I would not want to use a regular mouse while browsing and clicking through content while lying on a couch.

Magic Trackpad with Sony Vaio

ZTE Blade battery

I have been using the Chinese, entry/economy-level android phone ZTE Blade as my main work phone (all my actual work phones are Nokia ones, and broken in various ways, this was a free side-offering to my iPad data plan from Saunalahti). I have been pretty happy with the small, light-weight smartphone — proving that the latest and greatest is not needed for every need (I carry my personal iPhone for most media needs), but now we have a problem. I have kept the Blade pugged into a charger every night, but suddently the battery has started dying out really fast, and even after hours of charging, the battery can be at 10-20 percent level.

I have tried out the battery reset/calibration instructions, see e.g. here:

I do not seem to get the battery reset to work in the way it should; maybe the battery is just almost dead, maybe there is something wrong in the phone’s electronics, don’t know. Probably it would be possible to get the phone fixed by the professionals, but I am not sure if it is worth it. There are some pretty serious usability problems due to the inprecise touch screen and sub-standard processor — ZTE Blade is successful enough to convince you that Android is interesting and viable as an OS and a software ecosystem, but this might be the time to have another work phone. Maybe Samsung, like the new Galaxy S II? My actual needs require the phone to have a fast and responsive keyboard (a good virtual one might do as well), reliable phone and calendar functions (both my contacts and calendar are Google-synchronized) and email are the things that me, like I guess most business users value in their work phones. But it would be nice to be able to access the application sphere that I am actually researching using also the same device I use for daily communications. Currently it is my personal iPhone where I run all the games, read my Twitter and Facebook streams and do the Foursquare check-ins. I had installed all those apps to the Blade, too, but it was too uncomfortable and unresponsive to actually be usable as a rich media/gaming mobile internet device. But I suppose the best current Android devices are up for the challenge?

%d bloggers like this: