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"The best phone you can buy right now"
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-08-07 20:29:35

The Verge does this thing where they list what they consider to be the best laptop or phone or whatever, and they state the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best phone for most people.

Samsung's Galaxy S8/S8 Plus is the best phone for most people. It's available across all four US carriers and unlocked. It has the best display on any smartphone right now, a head-turning, premium design, a top-of-the-line camera, reliable battery life, and fast performance. Thanks to Samsung's popularity and the support of all four carriers, the S8 also has plenty of accessories, from cases to battery packs to wireless chargers, available to it.

You can definitely make a case for the S8 being the best phone for most people, but personally, I still consider the iPhone to be the best, safest choice for most non-geeky people. Personally, I prefer Android, and for my personal use, iOS on the iPhone is an exercise in frustration - but iOS provides a more consistent, all-around phone experience that remains fairly static from phone to phone, it's a little simpler to grasp than Android, and Apple has an excellent support system in many countries that's far better than Samsung's hands-off let-the-reseller-handle-it approach.

I wonder - what do any of you consider the best phone for most people? If one of your non-geeky family members seeks your advice, which phone do you suggest they get?

The Verge named the Surface Laptop the best laptop, which I find a baffling choice. It's new and unproven, so we have no idea how it'll hold up over the next few years. An odd choice for sure.

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RE[10]: iPhone
By woegjiub on 2017-08-10 23:30:00
Which is why you use a terminal-based slack client. Not seeing the issue here.

Needs graphics? Belongs in a browser.
Doesn't need graphics. Belongs in the terminal.
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RE[12]: iPhone
By woegjiub on 2017-08-10 23:33:58
CATs, the very opposite is true: I'm an extremely advanced computer user, so I don't need to use GUI apps.

I use a tiling window manager and terminals, with most of my computing being programming server-side software (hence, no UI).

It pisses me off to see people with multiple tabs or multiple windows open at once. Open something, work on it, close it. You've got a fast computer for a reason. If something takes more than 5 seconds to open, throw it away (see: IDEs, etc.)
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RE[14]: iPhone
By woegjiub on 2017-08-10 23:43:06
What needs do you have that require your software to run outside of the browser?

Client-side javascript (and soon, wasm) can definitely run offline and access local files. It's likely a matter of your tools of choice not having been written as webapps yet, as opposed to it being a shortcoming of the platform.
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Comment by gan17
By gan17 on 2017-08-10 23:49:31
RE: MS Surface
Coincidentally, I came across this article yesterday;
https://www.consumerreports.org/l...

RE: Best smartphone for most people
If most people are either like my mom or teenagers, then I suppose the iPhone would be the obvious winner. The iPhone is the only computing device my mom has ever felt comfortable using. As for teenagers, I've heard that iOS handles that pokemongrel game better than Android. Problem with the iPhone would be price, obviously. "Most people" in rich first-world neighbourhood doesn't equal "most people" in the whole world.
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RE[15]: iPhone
By woegjiub on 2017-08-11 02:50:50
Actually, I've just been looking, and it's better than I'd anticipated.

There's extremely featureful tools for web-based 3D modelling, CAD, graphic design, photography, video editing, and office.

Unless you're locked into a platform from proprietary filetypes, what's missing?
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[11]: iPhone
By Alfman on 2017-08-11 05:05:00
woegjiub,


> Which is why you use a terminal-based slack client. Not seeing the issue here.

Needs graphics? Belongs in a browser.
Doesn't need graphics. Belongs in the terminal.



This distinction is totally arbitrary - there's nothing exceptional about a terminal. I personally implemented a terminal emulator in the browser. The problem of course is that browser networking is more limited than native applications. For example the terminal connection had to be proxied through a server. This was not a design goal, in fact it was an "anti-goal" but forced by browser limitations.


The same goes with VNC clients. There are times I'd very much like to be able to run a VNC client in the browser (which by the way is a "graphical" app), but it isn't possible to run it as a pure web app because of browser limitations. While there are HTML5 VNC clients, they are forced to overcome browser limitations by offloading functionality to code running elsewhere. In practice this is problematic because while a client can connect to the remote server, but the remote server may not be able to connect to other devices on the local LAN as a native app could.

> What needs do you have that require your software to run outside of the browser?

Bittorrent is an example.

Other applications don't work because they don't have access to the file system. For example, a media player that automatically indexes your files. Heck, we can't even get browsers to agree on codecs.

SIP is another example of a protocol that can't be implemented in a browser because of browser limitations. Browsers are limited to WC3 standards (and proprietary extensions), but the world is full of standards that aren't covered by WC3.

If I want to write an app that displays SNMP status messages, I have to rely on out-of browser code to do it.

I was working on an SDR project, where I needed to access a USB radio, HTML5 doesn't have a radio API.


I develop HVAC software for one of my clients, and we've actually been moving to HTML5 for the UIs, but we're forced to sideload a local native daemon because the browser can not access the SQL database and is unable to access the HVAC control units directly. It's absolutely crucial these systems work without internet (they don't even have internet access).

There was an effort to standardize websql, but the WC3 reached an impasse. It would never be as feature-rich as a native database anyways.
https://www.w3.org/TR/webdatabase...

In theory, even if you were fully committed to keep adding more and more APIs to the browser to address it's limitations:
1) This will never cover 100% of the use cases.
2) The browser will grow more and more bloated, will become as complex as a whole operating system
3) The attack surface will end up growing much larger than it is today.


I don't mind that you'd like to promote HTML5 for more things, but for better or worse people do more with computers than just use the browser. Even if you personally don't, you cannot speak for others. This really is my main gripe with your posts.


> It pisses me off to see people with multiple tabs or multiple windows open at once. Open something, work on it, close it. You've got a fast computer for a reason. If something takes more than 5 seconds to open, throw it away (see: IDEs, etc.)

You keep making the same mistake of thinking what's good enough for you is good enough for everybody in every case...but it's not. I like tabs and find them useful, and I could not work efficiently without multiple windows because many of my tasks require me to go back and forth or examine data side by side. It would be unproductive to close windows constantly rather than simply keeping them open and switching between them.


> Client-side javascript (and soon, wasm) can definitely run offline and access local files. It's likely a matter of your tools of choice not having been written as webapps yet, as opposed to it being a shortcoming of the platform.


Yes, but again with major caveats and limitations
https://www.html5rocks.com/en/tut...

https://stackoverflow.com/questio...

I'd be impressed if you could point me to a backup application that works 100% from a standard browser with no native helper processes. Or even just a local file search utility would be useful.


Edit: To be clear, browsers could solve all of these limitations, however it's at odds with their goal to make untrusted code run safely on the local machine. Consider how "old java" and activeX were shunned for their large attack surfaces. This is the reason why browser apps are unlikely to ever become as capable as native apps. While you may not care about these native capabilities, there are some of us who do. Fair enough?

Edited 2017-08-11 05:17 UTC
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[10]: Apple == expensive
By Kochise on 2017-08-11 05:25:10
You see how Google or HTC manage security, then. I cannot bear to have faults falling on my shoulders.
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RE[13]: iPhone
By CATs on 2017-08-11 06:32:12
> CATs, the very opposite is true: I'm an extremely advanced computer user, so I don't need to use GUI apps.
I am sorry, I find it extremely hard to believe that you are advanced computer user. Well, unless you are just trolling here.

> I use a tiling window manager and terminals, with most of my computing being programming server-side software (hence, no UI).
Well, let me tell you something: you are not "advanced" computer user. You are just a very basic user who uses computer for a single, extremely narrow use case and are completely blind to all other possible ways to use it. Just because you think you know how to do some server-side programming does not make you "advanced user". You might be advanced programmer in that particular language, but you are still a very basic user. I know long time "programmers" who cannot tell HDD and RAM apart if you put both on the table before their eyes. As much as they're unable to re-install OS on their own computers.

> It pisses me off to see people with multiple tabs or multiple windows open at once. Open something, work on it, close it. You've got a fast computer for a reason. If something takes more than 5 seconds to open, throw it away (see: IDEs, etc.)
It pisses you off to see people multitasking on computers??? :-O And you still have the audacity to call yourself "advanced computer user"? That's just hilarious... Why don't we all just go back to non-multitasking operating systems then? And while we're there, why not go back to single-core processors? Multitasking is the essence of productivity. I'm sorry, but you just proven yourself to be a very ignorant computer user. There's no way anyone would believe you are "advanced", even if you somehow learned one very narrow specialty and one very narrow and extremely limited way of using computers.

Edited 2017-08-11 06:37 UTC
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[12]: iPhone
By woegjiub on 2017-08-11 07:41:24
For most of those use cases, I use terminal apps (especially music, searching, torrents etc.), but there are certainly users who sit in a middle zone, not satisfied with what web apps can do, but not comfortable with using terminal daemons and tools.

I do see the majority of users being able to be completely satisfied with web apps in time, but I'll admit that there is a subset that will want GUI apps that have native functionality.
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RE[14]: iPhone
By woegjiub on 2017-08-11 07:52:40
> Just because you think you know how to do some server-side programming does not make you "advanced user"

That's extremely belittling. Please keep your tone civil.
My job is literally programming. I don't "think I know some programming".

It's far more advanced to use daemons and software I've written to do the things I want than it is to f--k around with GUIs. I don't need to click buttons and use menus, instead I can directly modify files, databases, etc. It's more efficient, and more difficult. How is that less advanced?


I see coworkers with multiple monitors and hundreds of tabs and apps open, yet at the end of the day I'm more productive with vim and almost nothing else. Remember that the human brain can't actually multitask; we serial single task.
If you think you need multiple things open at once, chances are you'd be better served with a higher level single task that abstracts them both away and gets what you need from each.

Edited 2017-08-11 08:11 UTC
Permalink - Score: 2

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