To Google or Not To Google

To Google or Not To Google

Although I recently switched back to the Apple iPhone from Android, I am still a big Google user. I use Drive for some storage (I say some because I only keep in there non-sensitive data that I need to share across some devices), Calendar is used for sharing dates and reminders with the wife, Contacts is where I keep all my personal contacts and of course Chrome which is the browser I use for 95% of my browsing.

First off, consolidation is the key to organization. If I had files here, and contacts there, and favorites in another browser, etc. I would never find anything. Plus having a single sign-on for different services is nice – just use a secure password and 2FA.

All of Google’s services tie nicely with the phone and are accessible from anywhere in the world. Now there are drawbacks of course to using these services, especially when they are free. First off, the ads. Whenever you use Google to search you are going to get bombarded with ads but face it, that’s how search engines make money. If they didn’t, then they would go out of business, and guess what, no more searching. Secondly, privacy – there is a huge concern regarding the “Overlord” having too much insight into our daily lives. I have nothing to hide and don’t store any passwords for sensitive sites – banking, health insurance, etc. in my password manager. But for the sites that are less sensitive or not frequented often, it’s nice to have passwords stored, especially when I forget to save them in KeePass. The calendar is great because now my wife doesn’t have to badger me every day to remember appointments or plans with friends – well she does anyway but at least the calendar is nice to have. Too many times I have had my contacts all stored in one location and “boom went the dynamite” and they were all wiped out for one reason or another. With Google Contacts – not only do I not have to worry about losing important phone numbers and email addresses, but I can even restore old contacts that I might have deleted by accident.

Granted, all of these services can be found elsewhere and with less intrusion into my personal life but again, the convenience of having everything in one place out ways down the downsides. Sadly we’ve seen that even with the best safeguards, we are still subject to security threats. Look at Sony, Anthem, Home Depot and Target, just to name a few. Billion dollar companies with IT budgets bigger than some school budgets and still, data was breached.

 

Why I Switched Back to the iPhone

Why I Switched Back to the iPhone

Since the release of the Galaxy Note – I have been a staunch Android advocate. The fact that I was given better customization options, better access to hidden functions and the ability to proudly proclaim I was not an Apple lemming were just a few of the reasons I was pro-Android. In retrospect, the real and only reason I liked the Note was due to the large screen size. The iPhone 3 and 4 screen sizes were just too limiting. It was nearly impossible to get any real work accomplished and remote controlling a PC was just not realistic. Therefore I stayed with the Samsung line of Android phones with my most recent being the Galaxy S5. Then out came the iPhone 6 Plus and all bets were off.

Here are just a few of the reasons I gave up on Android and switched back to Apple:

  • Although Google was good about releasing updates to the Android OS – there was still that waiting period until the carrier adapted it and of course, loaded it with tons of bloatware that couldn’t be removed without rooting the phone.
  • The car –  I found I was having a lot of trouble using the phone over the hands-free and of course the Maxima I was driving had better native iPod support. I also really grew to love the Apple Radio which is not an option in Android. Of course, there is always Pandora but I really liked the music they were playing on Apple.
  • iTunes –  need I really say more? Now Samsung has Kies for backing up your Android phone, but I never had much success with it. Also, to get apps through the PC you had to use the Google Play store – which was a separate location. Also, iTunes just rocks.
  • Discussing apps – the apps. Granted, most companies have made great headway in porting their original made for iPhone apps to the Android market but there were many that were still unavailable, and let’s face it, the apps work so much better on the iPhone. Teamviewer on the iPhone is so much more responsive and crisp. Of course, now that I have more screen landscape to work on, it’s an all-around better experience.
  • iMessage – most of my contacts carry iPhones and iMessage is such a great messaging app. Reminds me of the BBM days.
  • Google Apps – I am a big Gmail user and also use Google calendars, contacts and Drive. They work seamlessly with the new iPhone iOS.
  • Battery Life – As of writing this my iPhone is still at 86% having been disconnected at 7:30 am – it is now 3:15 pm. My Samsung would’ve been down in the 40’s. Granted I am no longer wearing a Bluetooth watch which I am sure would help preserve battery life.
  • Hardware – I loved the phone on my friend’s iPhone and I use my phone for all my photos. I don’t really want to carry a separate camera around with me but value high-quality photos.
  • The Hype – when all you hear about are how wonderful the iPhone is – how could you not switch?

There are a few things I miss from the Samsung phone – one being the LED indicator on the front telling me I had a missed call or message. In hindsight – not having the notification is a blessing as I am not as glued to my phone as I was before. I do like Apple’s notification center better. Customization is obviously not as flexible but thinking back to my Android days, I tried everything to make the Galaxy look like an iPhone.

I do miss the ability to proudly announce to the world that I was an anarchist and refused to succumb to social pressures and carry an iLemming but I noticed Android fans were becoming as infused as Apple fans, so unless I was going to switch to Windows phone (which I have no intent on doing) I was damned if I did and didn’t.

All in all – a phone really is a minor part of one’s life or at least it should be, but I am very glad I made the switch back. The iPhone – I feel – is a superior product and “just works”.

Thank you to androidcommunity.com for creating the awesome graphic.

To nTLD or not to nTLD – good question.

To nTLD or not to nTLD – good question.

When converting company names from North Shore Data to a more generic business name due to an eventual relocation, some thought had to be given into the new name. West to East Consulting seemed like a great choice, especially for people in the know. Right at the time of the forming of the new LLC, the new Top Level Domains (nTLD’s) were being released. No chance we were going to get a short enough .com to make it worthwhile, so we jumped at the chance to grab a .consulting domain. (For a list of the newest TLD’s see http://www.name.com/new-gtld).

Seemed like a great idea at the time. Nice short domain name, w2e fit the logo and .consulting is exactly what do. Now that we’ve switched to w2e.consulting email addresses, an unexpected problem has arisen. When filling in online forms that require an email address, many do not recognize name@w2e.consulting as a valid email address. These programs are coded to look for a .com, .net or any of the other TLD’s. We’ve therefore had to resort to keeping our old email addresses until the rest of the internet catches up.

So, to answer the question, should I get a nTLD? Sure, it will make branding of your business that much easier in the future, but don’t get rid of that old .com or .net email address. You will need it until the rest of the world fully adapts to the new domain structure.