Mobile Monday: Bing Rewards, iPad 2, and Fruit Ninjas
So this is the beginning of a trend I hope to continue into the future with “Mobile Monday,” a collection of news, app reviews, and general talk for the cell phone I currently own, or just news in the cell phone/mobile world I currently find interesting.
Most people know I’m immensely satisfied with my Windows Phone 7 so far, and Microsoft has pledged support for its users in order to break into the cell phone industry. I generally don’t give anyone who says that WP7 is a ‘failed venture’ seriously because it’s only been out for four months. If someone had said that about the iPhone back when it launch they would’ve been a laughingstock. Still, despite my support for the platform and belief that it has potential for great things, there are some decisions Microsoft makes that just baffles me.
Bing is the default search engine for Windows Phone 7. If I press that Search key on the bottom right hand corner of my screen, it brings me to a Bing Search homepage with a high resolution image, sometimes with little boxes telling me special facts about that particular day or whatever. Every so often, I use it! It’s not as good as a certain search engine that starts with G and ends with Oogle, but hey, they’re working it out. That Microsoft is denying Bing Rewards for Windows Phone 7, their own Goddamn platform, it really just boggles my mind. I mean, I realize that it’s a bit stretching to offer it to a device where Bing is the default search function, but it’s like they’re leaving their own customers out in the cold.
Hopefully Microsoft proves me wrong, and offers a more robust and better program for their WP7 adopters. Make me a liar, Microsoft; your customers deserve to have their loyalty rewarded.
I know, I know, the iPad isn’ttechnically a cell phone, but hey, it’s closer to a cell phone than a computer.
Has it even been a year since the first iPad? Anyway, I was never a fan of Apple’s release schedules, but I thought the iPad was kind of a cheap throwaway item; more expensive than an average laptop but without even half the functionality. I suppose I’m not the target audience for it, but after having a discussion with a rabid Apple fan who used all sorts of colorful language against me when I explained that has soured me on anything Apple puts out that doesn’t offer some sort of important application. The iPod, iPhone, OSX, and MacBooks all offer specific uses and I would hesitate to call them anything near useless; the iPad, though, seems like a glorified iPhone without the phone, that costs more than a standard laptop. Still, Apple’s products are good for consumers looking for devices that don’t require too much technical know-how; there’s a market for that, and I can appreciate that.
That being said, the release schedule for these things means that they become outdated within a year of release, and if you want to be able to use all the apps in their store you have to upgrade every year or face the fact that your $500+ gizmo has become obsolete in terms of newer apps. Call me old-fashioned, but I think that upgrades should improve form factor and design, but not fracture the consumer base like that. Either way, though, it’s doubtful I’ll ever buy any of Apple’s products if they keep doing this; I really don’t feel like having to upgrade every year. Hell, every two years is a bit much for me. Go to three and I’ll reconsider.
While I was bemoaning the lack of Angry Birds on Windows Phone 7 (that comes April 6… what a long wait that’ll be), I played around with Fruit Ninja.
I’m a little late on this, but I never really understood what the whole deal about this game was. It just seemed like some boring ass fruit slashing game. Then when I started playing it, three hours had gone by while I was trying to unlock achievements and new blades/backgrounds. With gamerpic and leaderboard support on Xbox Live, this game is addictive. I don’t know what it is about this game that compels me to play it.
All it is is an arcade style “Get a High Score” game where you avoid bombs and chop fruit. The rules vary depending on the mode selected: Classic Mode gives you three lives and a steep difficulty curve, Zen Mode throws tons of fruit at you and challenges you to chop as many of them up as possible, and Arcade Mode throws bombs and special power ups into the mix. I think I’m going crazy but this game isn’t terrible at all. It’s actually a fairly good time waster for those short periods where you’re waiting but need to kill some time. I’ve definitely spent $2.99 on worse.