November 22, 2015

Travel jitters

In 2010, I visited Leh, Ladahk and saw the Himalayas for the first time1 in my life. Planning for the trip was a lot of work, but I was so excited it didn’t feel like work. After I had returned, a friend of mine commented that it takes courage to wish a wish and make it happen. Back then I thought no one needs courage for something trivial like travelling.

I have been travelling fairly frequently for over 8 years now. Even now, every trip is a bit daunting. I sometimes even consider cancelling the trip. But every single time, the trip ends up being a great experience, irrespective of whether we have already been to the place several times, or if it’s a totally new place.2

Next week we are off to Salt Lake City for Thanksgiving. As usual I feel a little uncomfortable about the trip. It’s going to be cold in Utah; it might even snow. For the first time we are taking a train which provides food; I am not sure how good the food will be. Like every trip ever, the cost seems to run a bit more than what I’d like. I am a little nervous although deep down I know the trip will be a fulfilling experience in the end.

Maybe that friend of mine was right all along. Even simple things like travel takes courage.

1 and the only time so far, although I want to go there again some day.
2 I am often inflexible when friends ask me to reschedule my trips so they can come along. My usual response is “I’ll go alone this time; let’s make a new plan for all of us together.” Often we don’t make a new plan because they often can’t find the right time to travel. It’s always easy to say No, but finding reasons to say Yes makes our days a bit brighter.

November 04, 2015

Apps lurking on a phone

I noticed that my Nexus 6P had Project Fi app was installed on my phone by default. It was disabled, but it was there. Once I put the Fi SIM card in, it automatically activated itself and prepared my phone to register with Fi’s network.

It’s sure better than asking users to install the app separately. But I am not sure how I feel about random apps lurking in the phone and auto-activating without my knowledge.

November 03, 2015

A few months ago, I dropped my 2014 Moto X and ended up with a shattered screen. While the phone was out for repair, I used a Galaxy Nexus for a few days. Typing on the smaller screen was so painful I realised I couldn’t go back to a smaller phone.

When I was in India a couple months ago, my brother bought a Moto X Play. The Play has a 5.5-inch screen. When I was in India, I used that phone once in a while, and the size didn’t seem all that unmanageable. Actually, it didn’t feel much larger than the 5.2-inch Moto X I was using.

In the context of both of these experiences, I decided getting a Nexus 6P will not be such a bad idea. And I received my 6P today.

Nexus 6P in box

My initial impressions after having the phone for about 5 hours:
  • I’m already missing Moto X’s Active Display feature. (It’s a shame new Moto X uses an LCD display. Active Display with the whole screen lighting up is much less nifty.)
  • I was thinking that the official case sold by Google would inhibit the use of NFC. But it looks like it really may not. I only wish they offered the case in more colours. Both the black and grey are boring colours.
  • As expected, the phone doesn’t feel too big on the hand. But the real test is when I put it in my pant pocket and ride a bicycle. I’ll know it in a few days. Good so far, though.
  • Setting up the phone was super-easy with the new ‘Set up nearby device’ option. It copied over all my apps and almost all settings. Installing all the apps took about an hour or so, but I didn’t have to hunt for apps, so it’s a win.
  • Moving WhatsApp messages to the new phone was a pain. I copied over WhatsApp’s entire folder and still WhatsApp only restored messages till last week. Messages from the past few days are just gone.
  • Fingerprint reader is nice, but I do find the placement a bit hard to use. Hopefully I’ll get used to it in a few days.

In short, nothing spectacular, and also nothing terrible. Let’s see how this goes!