Yes, I am still here and playing with consumer tech/mobile gadgets. I’ve also gone off the deep end in building my boardgame collection. The majority of which, have gotten their start in Kickstarter (that I’ve purchased through retail channels by coincidence) and many others I’ve personally backed. 2015 was a huge year in crowdfunded boardgames, and for me, a big year in consumer tech.
Just an update in the tech space:
I’m still married to Samsung, not so much as a fanboy. But as it turns out, those of us who have only experienced the best in Touchwiz (notably in the Note 3 and beyond), there’s a lot to be enjoyed in the most recent Samsung devices. I went from a Note 3 and skipped ahead to a Note 5. There are still no other phablets that can support one-handed use as well as Touchwiz and their latest flagship phones. I’m loving the improved battery life (I never really took full advantage of removable batteries, though I had 3 at one point) and even having my 32Gb Note 3 + 32Gb microSD card wasn’t much advantage since the majority of the time, KitKat effed up apps installation on the memory card. I have of course, picked up the 64Gb Note 5 and while I’ve only had it since September 2015, it is almost always more than half full of photos and home videos. That’s very easily manageable with cloud storage, but now I’m wishing for the optional external card slot which I hope Samsung will being back for future phones. Meanwhile, I am searching for my next phone *without a stylus. The S-pen is awesome. It really is. Even for an occasional user as myself. But I would prefer to not feel tethered to any particular brand.
Since my interests have shifted mostly to boardgaming, I’ve since broken my last, remaining iOS device. Not intentionally, mind you. Who would do that, except those stupid people doing incredulous drop and abuse tests? I did drop something on my iPad…. twice. It’s a short story to tell, but too long to type out. Just know it wasn’t on purpose and I would be elated to have a hand in both major app stores again (Android/iOS). I have owned 3 wearables. I believe my first was the 1st gen Samsung Gear, which I thought was a novelty and turned out to be very impractical for my own use. I went on to get a 1st gen Pebble, which I think is still the best wearable accessory in the market. It’s a great addition to having a smart phone (intercepts sms/texts, alternate controls for other apps/functions like Pandora and photo/vidcam triggers). I’m currently sporting a Gear S2 which I have mixed feelings about. I think Samsung had a great product that they ruined by sticking Tizen onto it. I mean, what a truly garbage OS. Seriously Samsung. At least allow Android sideloads…. I’m not touching the latest Gear S “round” or whatever it’s called. The first Gear S is still better, even if Tizen sucks. And let’s see…. my latest tech device is another proprietary Samsung toy – the Oculus/Gear VR. If you *already own a recent/current Samsung flagship phone and you like 3d games but are not quite ready to plunge into current gen consoles, the Gear VR is a no-brainer. If you don’t plan on upgrading to a newer flagship S-phone, don’t bother. It’s not worth even finding a used flagship phone + $100 (cost of G-VR). Wait another 6+ months for something similarly priced that can accommodate most other phones (or get Google Cardboard). The games are pricey, like something you’d buy from Steam for PCs. Most are the same type (spaceships and/or shooter games). 3d movies are possible to watch, but is not a method readily accessible to just anyone. There are videos on YouTube you can watch how to allow such viewing. But for me, it’s too much trouble than it’s worth. Hopefully Samsung will make that easier in the future. Also 360 video, as hi-res as they’re recorded as – by the time 360 playability is applied, the final image is so disappointingly lo-res. It’s still quite a gimmicky experience but it’s also such a fun gimmick.
I want to stop here. You can probably tell, I’m not a professional writer. But I hope it was somewhat informative. I will certainly return with more personal commentary on my current slough of devices. I will likely add a section of boardgame reviews/commentary that entails learning new games (new to me), that will supplement my unboxing videos. Yes, I have a YouTube channel where I unbox my latest acquisitions! If they become somewhat popular at all, maybe I’ll link those videos here.
If you’ve read all through my ramblings, thanks for doing so.