Google Pixel

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love (and depend on) Google. It keeps my appointments, my emails, my documents and now, my photos. Because first time ever, I have a Google phone – the Pixel.

I’ve had the Pixel for almost four months now and our journey has been a bumpy one. The first device I picked up started restarting once I began loading apps. I had to return it for a new one. Then, in January, I dropped it, right on the face! It had a long – but light – crack, that you could only see if the screen was turned a certain way. I was going to get it replaced, but I kept putting it off because it wasn’t unusable – and part of me was in denial that I cracked my screen after only two months!

Then, one fateful day in March – a cold, grey, Monday – I shattered the screen. I was placing a letter in the postbox and I pulled my phone out to check to see if I would make it on time for the next train, and it fell. Face down. On the pavement. Shattered.

Of course, now it was unusable! While I knew it was working because I could feel the buzzing, the screen was nonoperational. So, I took it to uBreakiFix, and they fixed it in a matter of minutes. Now, I have a screen protector and a warranty.

Nevertheless, my bad luck aside, the Pixel is by far my favourite phone. There’s a smoothness to the display and the apps that I can only describe as delightful, and the pictures it takes are astounding1. And of course, the unlimited cloud storage space is a huge plus!

It’s much lighter than my last Android and I love the Live case – mine is the lower half of Manhattan. The battery life is great! I don’t have to charge it multiple times a day like I did my last phone, once is enough. And the rapid charging is a plus.

I know there was some concern with the fingerprint sensor is on the back of the phone, but I think that’s the perfect place. This is the first time I’m using a fingerprint sensor on a phone, and I have no issues with it being on the back, especially since I could use multiple fingerprints to unlock the phone, thus being able to easily use both my left and right hand – one-handed – without fumbling around the front. Overall, a really well-designed phone. I’m curious to see where Google goes with this.


1My Instagram has more photos taken with the Pixel.

 

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October’s Loot Crate!

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When I was thinking about what sort of boxes I should sign up for, Loot Crate was one of my top picks. My first one came yesterday and it had quite a few great things inside, just in time for Halloween.

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The first thing I pulled out was this skull t-shirt, but look carefully and you’ll see that it’s really a bunch of kittens.

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The next thing I was How to Survive a Sharknado. I haven’t seen this show but this book looks like it contains some funny anecdotes.

Seeing as I just started watching The Walking Dead, I’m curious to see what the comic book is all about.

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Probably my favourite item in the box, this chainsaw/sledge hammer pen will be a great Halloween kind of pen!

There were a few more things but these were all the pictures I took. I’m actually very pleased with this box, looking forward to November’s!

My First Cell Phone

Do you remember your first mobile device? Meet mine, it’s a Sony Ericosson. The phone that started my journey into the world of mobile devices.

The phone I had after this, I lost, first and last time (I hope) to ever lose a phone. Following that I had an old Nokia that featured the popular Snake game.

Next was a Kyocera Slider phone that made a fun sliding sound when you opened and closed it. After that one, I believe the LG Chocolate was next.

Then I moved on to my first personal smart phone, the Blackberry Tour. I had a Blackberry for work, but that didn’t count as mine, this Tour was my first official smart phone.

Almost two years later I am now the proud owner of an HTC Thunderbolt. Smart-phone. 4G. Awesome. My, how time flies.

Stuff I’m Liking

As Blog Every Day in April comes to an end – I can’t believe I actually did it – I wanted to wrap things up with a post about the things I’ve found myself liking during the month of April.

Stuff I’m Liking — BEDA Edition

Steampunk Jewelry. In particular, my new Golden Snitch with working clock necklace. I don’t know what it is about this sort of jewelry that appeals to me. Perhaps it’s because it looks delicate, while still being tough. Perhaps it’s that antique vibe that it gives off. I don’t know, I just like them.

I’ve also found out that one of my favourite jewelry makers has opened a new website with jewelry based on Holly Black’s Curse Breakers trilogy! I loved Vivian Hebel‘s Mortal Instruments shop, now I’m loving her Curse Breakers shop. I’m especially liking her White Cat pendant, I might be getting it in the near future. Though the Curse Breakers shop isn’t steampunk, I’m still loving her designs.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that I have a new phone and that I LOVE IT! My HTC Thunderbolt is by far my favourite gadget this month! I have been finding new ways to make it work for me, from reading books to counting calories, this phone almost does it all.

I love the camera, it takes some really great shots! I also love the different Google apps that integrate seamlessly with the phone. If you’ve been living at the top of a mountain all alone, you might not know that I do almost everything with Google, so having a phone like this is a major advantage for me. My new favourite Google app? Why, that would have to be the Google Goggles. It’s a lot of fun to play with, I can’t wait to use it some more!


Twice. That’s the number of times I’ve been to Alice’s Tea Cup. Thrice. That’s the number of times I’ve had tea this month. Scones, tea, sandwiches and sweets. Those are a few of my favourite things all rolled up into the Tea Time Meal, how could I not like it!? I even got myself a bag of loose leaf so that I could make my own tea at home and yes, I do own one of those tea balls


Some great things happened at my book review blog this month. First I decided to do a Maureen Johnson themed week, since I follow her obsessively on twitter, and I was looking forward to the release of her Last Little Blue Envelope book. Also, she’s the creator of BEDA, so, I suppose that pretty much means that I think she’s cool.

Themed week was a great success! First, I was able to see Maureen’s craziness in person when I attended the Zombies vs. Unicorns debate and so I posted that video to the blog and Maureen retweeted it! Also, I created a map showing all the places Ginny went during 13 Little Blue Envelopes which she loved and retweeted as well. So with the help of Maureen, my little book blog had 1,035 unique visitors during that week! That might not seem like a lot to all the popular bloggers out there, but to an obscure blog that’s just a pet project for a year, it’s golden.


As a person not quite into fashion, I still found this site to be so much fun that once I stumbled on to it I signed up!

Polyvore allows you to create layouts with different fashion styles as though you were doing a magazine spreads. It’s really fun just to play around in and think of different outfits and pieces that go together. You can even try to search for things you’ve recently purchased and find accessories for them. Definitely a time waster for me, but a fun one nonetheless.


Did you watch the Royal Wedding? Were you up at 4a.m. to do so? Well, hats off to you, I preferred to sleep in a bit and look at pictures/video clips later. It was a cute wedding, but for some reason, even though it was a public affair, I didn’t feel fascinated by it. They don’t care about me, just the revenue I give to them by supporting the wedding. It wasn’t amazing in any way, just a normal ceremony and service steeped in tradition. I suppose my mind wasn’t blown by anything that went on there, and I think the biggest reason for that was that it wasn’t a wedding for someone I know and love. People get married every day, so what’s the big deal here?

There is one aspect of the Royal Wedding that I did find interesting and that was the parade of hats! I’ve always loved hats. I wish they were back in style, I’d wear them everyday! But in lieu of hats, I love the fascinator! The one pictured there is from Dillards.com. I hope this is one style that begins to trend again.


So it’s been a long month, I’ve posted a total of 38 posts, at least one post every day so I deem this a success. I have successfully completed BEDA.

There were days where I struggled to figure out what write about and would browse my RSS feed for some inspiration. There were days where I had so much that I wanted to write but not enough time to do so. I doubt I’ll be able to keep this every day momentum up. However, it’s been fun. April has been better for it. So much so that I finally got the domain shanella.com! Woot!

Fare thee well and have a lovely May.

2D Glasses

I’ll be frank, I’m not a fan of the trend towards 3D movies. There are few movies that I like in 3D, those tend to be the cartoons. Action movies in 3D? Not so much.

When I saw these, I thought they were a joke, but they aren’t! The idea that you can wear glasses to readjust the 3D images to 2D is WONDERFUL! Why didn’t I think of this!? The great part? It costs $10 (including shipping) and you can purchase it on Amazon.com!

To learn more about it, check out 2d-glasses.com

Battery Status …

In the clock view, in charge mode, you can see the charge of the battery.

Quite a few folks have been asking what I think of the battery life. Will I get a larger battery? How often do I have to charge it.

Before I answer those questions there is one thing I want to explain. Before my love story with the HTC Thunderbolt, I had a Blackberry Tour. I chose Blackberry over any other smartphone because it was something I was accustom to, it was efficient and it did what I wanted it to do at the time — check email, browse the internet and some SoMe here and there. However, the more I used it the more I realised that it really was just an email machine. The browser – though better than before – was still lacking and the social applications were subpar. Yet, I kept it because it was a good phone.

Then disaster.

The trackball got stuck – a known issue – and they replaced it, but for some reason the ball behaved strangely when it got cold and it sometimes decided to be sensitive and other times not. I had an unlimited data plan and I barely used it because the phone itself turned out to be a bad investment.

Then it got worse.

The battery was losing charge within 5 minutes of talk and 15 minutes of data usage. The phone would restart on its own and even though it had a full battery it would be completely drained. If it wasn’t plugged into a power supply it was just a paper weight. Or a weapon. Whatever way you want to look at it.

I waited this out for six months, just waiting for the 4G phone to come to Verizon. There were rumors of a new HTC Incredible, then the Thunderbolt, then the 4G and I just kept waiting. That was 6 months of a useless phone.

So the battery life of the Thunderbolt?

INCREDIBLE. I charge it before I go to sleep. Unplug it (so it doesn’t overcharge like the Blackberry did) while I’m asleep. Let it charge to 100% while I get ready to go out.

I use it nonstop on the train. Sometimes I use it for watching YouTube videos in HQ, or checking out blogs/tweets/facebook and other times I use the Kindle or Evernote apps. By the time I get to work — depending on what I use — it’s either 90 – 60% charged.

I usually plug it into the wall or the USB port around 2 or 3pm and let it charge until 100% or until I leave. If I’m going out after work this is sufficient for me until I get home.

I think this is normal behaviour, especially since I’ve used 2Gigs of data in 21 days of having the phone. I don’t think I’ll get a larger battery. I think that when you have a smart phone you need to be practical and understand that the more data you use, the more apps you use, the more battery you use. It’s like a mini laptop without the mega battery.

So yes, I’m satisfied with the battery life. I’m satisfied with the phone (thus far) and I’m SUPER glad that I’m not throwing away money each month because my phone is inefficient.

 

allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner

[This week it’s all about my fave Android Apps]

I really like the spinner …

I don’t like cooking (my mom says, amen!). In order for me to cook, it’s almost as though the idea has to be planted in my head, either through a friend or some random advert, that makes me wonder how something is made. Then I’ll go about looking it up and trying it out.

However, when I do cook, one of my favourite sites to use is allrecipes.com and one of my favourite apps is the Dinner Spinner. You select your options (and there is even a slow cooker option) and then you can view the matches.

If you like a recipe you can add it to your favourites to go back to form time to time. Absolutely fun!