[#032] i haven't posted a blog in a while so here's 3 related topics:
I. KitKat VS Lollipop
II. Nexus 7 VS Nexus 7
III. Bluetooth Controllers
I. KITKAT vs LOLLIPOP
i don't know what the hell they were thinking. Lollipop blows. i actually broke my Nexus 7 trying to downgrade back to KitKat. i replaced said Nexus 7 with the 2013 model (which ships with Jellybean). I upgraded the OS to KitKat 4.4.4 and turned off the notifications nagging me to upgrade to Lollipop.
then i had to redownload all my apps (and 200+ digital comics, mostly IDW's TMNT) and set up my screens the way i want. what pissed me off is that I lost all my game data and purchased content for three games: Nimble Quest, Jetpack Joyride, and MinuteQuest. i sank HOURS into all three of them and had just about everything unlocked.
apparently there's an app for that, called Helium. it backs up app data (not the app itself, because you an always redownload stuff from Google Play).
so what don't i like about Lollipop? all the new features suck and are unnecessary. in KitKat, you can downswipe the left side to look at notifications or downswipe the right side to access toggles for user, bluetooth, airplane mode, and other shit. in Lollipop, there's only one downswipe which shows you notifications, then you have to tap the top to see the rest of the stuff. notifications (and the keyboard) are now bright white, which annoys the hell out of me. they changed the Back/Home/Recent icons at the bottom, and for some reason that really irked my soul. the new Recent Apps screen sucks too. but the worst part was that Lollipop crashed a lot of my apps, ran my system super slow, and sometimes crashed it. it also drains the battery faster than KitKat does. Fuck Lollipop.
II. NEXUS 7 vs NEXUS 7
After owning both the original 2012 model and the 2013 remake, there are some pros and cons of each. Both shipped with the Jellybean OS, but that is neither here nor there. Obviously the newer model is going to have a faster processor, more RAM (2GB vs 1GB), and a better display resolution. It also has better speakers and better speaker placement. However, the new model has an inferior touchscreen which gets littered with smudges (the old model used Gorilla Glass, which is much better). The new model is slimmer/thinner and narrower, which I personally do not like. It's harder to use in portrait mode, and to me thinner means more fragile. Also only the old model has the option to use a mobile carrier's SIM card for 3G/4G access. The new model has a smaller battery, but I'm not sure if that's because the motherboard is smaller and doesn't need enough power, or if Google/Asus was trying to be cheap. So far the battery is lasting 30+ hours, but it is a brand new unit and I'm sure that number will decrease over time. I remember when my 2012 unit was new It could also go for 1.5+ days without a charge...
III. BLUETOOTH CONTROLLERS
now let's talk about two bluetooth controllers. neither are specific to Android (they both work with iOS and others as well). both are charged via micro USB.
i've been using my Kickstarter impulse bluetooth controller:
(mine isn't the one pictured below, i have the limited Copper edition, which is starting to turn blue/green from sweat/holding it)
this controller has only 6 (four face and two backside "shoulder") buttons and a D-pad. the triangular thing is a sync button and can't be used otherwise.
back when the Kickstarter campaign was going, this stuff was a relatively new concept and wasn't in stores. its tiny size was a great idea for on-the-go gaming and shoving it into my pocket or the pocket of a travel bag. but it's too goddamn small to use in decent-length play sessions before the hand cramps start. if you're interested in one, you'll have to go to eBay or Amazon because the webstore at impulsecontroller.com is temporarily down.
but then i just ordered this for just under $44:
an NES30 Pro bluetooth controller. 8 buttons (A/B/X/Y/L1/L2/R1/R2) plus D-pad and two sticks that click (totaling 10 buttons). the two buttons on the bottom are for power and resync.
the NES30 Pro should be in on Wednesday. it's a Father's Day present to myself (but I won't wait till Sunday to try it out). if you want one, there's currently only 12 left from this Amazon reseller (who is the cheapest in price).