Mobile Phones

Mobile Me… The Hunt for the Perfect Phone!

This is such a First World Problem but then, as this is a blog about wasting my life playing computer games, please feel free to register you vote of disgust here

My problem is that I can’t find a new phone.

There’s nothing really wrong with my current one except it’s old. It still does what I want it to – browse the web, send emails, take pictures, film stuff and make the occasional phone call – but I can’t shake the feeling I want a new one. Now partly this is down to the desire for a new toy to play with, but there is also the very real (1st World – see here if you’ve forgotten how to complain) problem that I running out of app space on it. I don’t have that many apps but the fact Google make all of theirs unable to move to the SD card means I’m constantly having to delete apps to install their updates.

But I can’t find a new bloody phone.

Oh, I can find a phone obviously, just not one I want and it’s really grating away at me (complain here). I don’t ever want an Apple anything in my life and I can’t bring myself to even consider a Windows phone. I’m an Android lad through and through but the choices in Android come down to the following:

  • Over-sized, over-priced, bloat-ware filled horrors from Samsung, HTC, etc.
  • Poxy under-powered pieces of crap from everyone and his dog
  • The Nexus line from Google which don’t have any bloody SD card slot. Ever. FFS.

Do I want the latest slab from Samsung that will try to monitor my very bowel movements before I’ve even had them? No. Do I want a tiny piece of crap that fell out of a cracker? Take a guess. Do I want a Google-experience only Nexus. Yes! With 16GB memory and no SD slot? What? NO! Stick it up your jacksie! Sideways!

After those options it all get’s a little pointless even looking.

So what do I want from a phone? Well it’s simple really. I have a Galaxy S2 and I like it a lot. It’s fast and light and feels good to use. I want a phone the shape and size of the S2 but with more power, a much, much better battery and none of the Samsung shite I never, ever use on there. And I want it to have the voice activation of the Moto X. And some fancy NFC capability like the Skip 2. And a whole heap more app space because I’m sick of deleting Maps, G+ and Chrome every time Google Now needs an update. Oh, and I want it for no more than £150. Now someone snap to it and make it so before I have to come out there and start slapping you all senseless.


I’m the best phone ever. Stop whining and buy me, you loser.

Entering Ingress…

I heard about Ingress sometime last year, I’m not sure when but I’m guessing around July or later and I was sufficiently interested & intrigued to request an invite.

And then I heard nothing and forgot all about it.

Until November when my activation code came through and I finally got the app working on my phone, at which point I realised I didn’t actually know much about the game. Frantic googling ensured and I found the slick Niantic Project website where the board of clues had been largely filled up. I flicked to the start of the timeline and read/watched every item pinned to the board in order. by the end I was totally drawn in to what seemed to be an exciting game layered on the world I actually inhabited.

Once I had devoured the marketing, the reality of the game’s beta status hit me when I found nary a portal anywhere near me! I live in suburbs of a small town and not only was the area around me empty, but the town itself was devoid of any Ingress action at all! By Xmas I was deep in Minecraft Pocket Edition and Ingress slipped from my mind.

Until last week when I found myself working in London in glorious weather (inclement weather is a bit of a ball ache for playing this game – waterproof phones and contact gloves are a must in wet, old Britain) and I set to trying to get my head around how exactly to play. Its not that it’s difficult, more that without actually doing it it can seem confusing. Well it did to me but once I found some portals near the hotel and began hacking them like a man possessed to get at their goodies hidden within 😀

This was my first portal hack, a statue in Russell Square Park. It gave up a resonator (needed for opening portals), some XM bursters (weapons to destroy resonators and allow portals to be taken from the enemy), and a media file which turned out to be a rather entertaining weekly need update produced to Google’s usual high standards.

Ingress - First Portal Hack (London, 23 April 2013)

Ingress – First Portal Hack (London, 23 April 2013)

I spent the next few days as I travelled between meetings hacking every portal I came across, friend or foe. I didn’t bother attacking much as every bugger in London seems to be a Level 8 and I hadn’t really got passed the start of 1.

Anyhoo, I can report I really enjoyed the spy-lite-like fun of Ingress and I’ll be playing it more over the summer, assuming/hoping we have more than two weeks of sunshine this year of course!

Have you tried it? If so what did you think? If not, let me know why as I’d be interested to know what you guys think of it.

By the by, I’m on the side of the Enlightened… 😉