NOKIA and Microsoft release the best smartphone ad ever.

In this recent advertisement of the Windows Phone OS based Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia and Microsoft showcased to us the reality of the Android vs. iOS scene.

The woman in the ad who said “I think they kind of like fighting” is definitely correct; I know this from personal experience as an Android user and fan that – as you can guess – gets into reckless arguments with iOS users and iPhone fans quite often. Upon seeing this commercial I was delighted at how many of the arguments people are using are quite correct!

Many iPhone users are mad that Android “copies” most of iOS and iPhone features (although that is really only a perception, and based on my research I have put into my Apple Hypocrisy website project it is actually not true) I regularly label iPhone fans as “iSheep” in my mind when I’m in a debate, because many of them chose the iPhone using a limited criteria; usually one that did make features and productivity a top priority.

That “wheeeeeee” before the commotion while the person showcased S-Beam again was just too perfect! All that an Android user needs to showcase the Android advantage of better features and catch the attention (or provoke) an iOS user is to show one in action.

As the ad is probably meant for, some people are going to be tempted to switch to Windows phone (especially those who really hate the arguments between iOS and Android users). For me, this sadly won’t do. Although I really like Windows 8 for desktop and for tablets (though I have an Android tablet now, a Windows 8 tablet in the future – perhaps like this ASUS transformer all-in-one – is something I look at with a keen eye), I’ve already chosen Android for my mobile phone and moving to Windows phone just something I am, sadly for Nokia, not going to do for reasons of inferior productivity and customization on Windows phone, Android-specific apps like Google Now and features like home-screen and lock-screen widgets.

My recommendations for most people looking for smartphones are probably also going to stay Android, but Nokia and Microsoft just earned a huge amount of respect from me for this awesome show of entertainment, and so there will definitely be more Lumia 920s going around in my smartphone talks and recommendations soon.

The real message behind Apple’s new iPhone 5 ad

I think that this new iPhone 5 advertisement is silly.

It doesn’t tell me that there is anything special about the iPhone other than the fact that a lot of people take a lot of photos with it. There’s really no distinguishing factor.

Photos on the go can be done with just about any smartphone on the market with a camera, and there’s really nothing special nor advertisement-worthy about the fact that the iPhone has a camera. In terms of photo quality, the iPhone’s camera isn’t even close to the best. Here’s a comparison between several new flagship smartphones, taken from the website Digital Phtotography Review:

Comparison 1: Crop/detail. From Digital Photography Review
Comparison 1: Crop/detail. From Digital Photography Review
Comparison 1: Low light/night shots. From Digital Photography Review
Comparison 2: Low light/night shots. From Digital Photography Review

If Apple had any sense in luring in new customers through its advertisements, then the company would be showing us what unique things you can do with the iPhone camera that no other competitor can do.

The problem is that Apple has never really innovated in the camera sector. Many of the features that are present in the iPhone camera now (or will be in the future) are actually taken from competitors that introduced those features. Some of these features include:

With no innovation in the camera sector, it’s obvious that this advertisement isn’t being targeted to potential iPhone users who are choosing between alternatives, or luring Android smartphone users to switch or switch back. No, it is actually being targeted at existing iPhone users.

The question to be brought up is: why is Apple doing this? I suspect that Apple is in a state of desperation, because it is currently in a risky position. It is in a risky position because it is currently at huge risk for losing a lot of iPhone market share to competing smartphone makers are introducing more and better innovations, especially in cameras, like this one showcased in an ad for the LG Optimus G Pro:

(don’t be fooled by the first 30 seconds, watch the whole thing one minute through – you’ll understand it even if it’s in Korean)

Photo sphere is a component of the camera app in Google’s Android version 4.2 Jelly Bean, and – like the other features that were listed above – it’s something that might break a lot of expectations of Apple fans, because the iPhone wasn’t the one to have that feature first.

As more people notice that competitors like Samsung, HTC, Blackberry and others are innovating faster than Apple in the smartphone sector in terms of features and hardware, they’re going to have more reasons (including the standing reasons of better price and other built-in features like Google Now) to opt for buying better smartphones and not iPhone. That’s going to be bad for Apple’s business… not that I care, since I favour anything that’s better for consumers; better products and more money into companies that will offer better products is going to be great for everyone.

“Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera.”

There is only one thing that this advertisement acclaims: the quoted statement above. This is a call-out to existing iPhone users. It’s a reminder that they are part of a global community of iPhone users that takes more photos than any other. I can see how it might make a deciding consumer stop his or her thoughts of getting that new Galaxy S4 and contemplate staying and feeling in-place with the iPhone community.

Even then, I think it’s going to have a limited reach. What it’s essentially saying is to “stay with iPhone because iPhone is popular and cool!” yet, if it is supposed to be targeted at users who are considering switching to competing smartphones for better features, then “popular and cool” are probably not (or no longer) part of the primary criteria in that consideration.

It’s time to face reality, iPhone. Your time as the king of the mobile smartphone space is done.

iPhone and Galaxy
The Apple iPhone 5 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S4 (right), head to head competitors in the high-end smartphone space.

“Samsung School” program in Port Coquitlam paves way for affordable, effective technology in classrooms

Port Coquitlam, B.C.'s Riverside Secondary School is the first Samsung School classroom in Canada. The classroom of the future, Samsung School is a complete digital education package that seamlessly connects Samsung software and hardware. Students are joined by Samsung Canada's executives HT Kim (President and CEO) and Philippe Lozier (Director of Business Solutions) as well as Port Coquitlam dignitaries. (CNW Group/Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.)
Port Coquitlam, B.C.’s Riverside Secondary School is the first Samsung School classroom in Canada. The classroom of the future, Samsung School is a complete digital education package that seamlessly connects Samsung software and hardware. Students are joined by Samsung Canada’s executives HT Kim (President and CEO) and Philippe Lozier (Director of Business Solutions) as well as Port Coquitlam dignitaries. (CNW Group/Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.)

I’ve always been displeased with the uprise of Apple iPads in schools across British Columbia. For their high cost, iPads provide less flexibility than cheaper laptops when typing is a necessity in school projects and provide less features and lower productivity than Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7, Galaxy Note 10.1 and other competitors. High costs in technology means there’s usually less to go around for students than with alternative, less costly options – which can create challenges, especially in an era where many schools face budget shortages and do not come close to being able to afford giving every clasroom technology for every student.

When I heard about this pilot program, it occured to me that the school where this program was put into a place is one where a good friend of mine I used to go to school with now goes to, so I contacted her immediately about it. She told me that while she wasn’t part of the class taking part in this program, she did know about it, and did manage to meet the president of Samsung Canada when he had visited the school.

If I had the same opprtunity to meet the president of Samsung Canada, I would have given him quite a handshake. I couldn’t be happier in knowing that the introduction of a program in a North American schools involving Samsung tablets is happening in my province, and in my metropolitan area. The per-unit cost of a Samsung Galaxy Note is less than an iPad, despite better specifications and better features that are suited to students like the S-Pen for writing and S-Note, Android 4.1 features like Google Now and split-screen multitasking. That means that more units can be purchased by a school for more students, and each unit can do far more than a usual iPad, improving educational output.

The below article on MobileSyrup (link) says that Riverview Secondary is currently the only North American school to be going through this pilot program, but I hope other schools follow suit soon. There is a video in this that contains a lot of positive comments from teachers, students and parents about the program.