Monday, January 7, 2013

Handi-capable: Your Device is Not Supported

"Your Device Is Not Supported"

I've been seeing this a lot lately while searching for apps...  Device Not Supported, This Version Is Incompatible With Your Device/OS Version, Upgrade Required.

That is, if a particular app is even available for my chosen platform.

You'd think I'd be used to it.  After all, the vast majority of my computer or communications gear is out of date or completely obsolete.  However, with a bit of creativity, nine times out of ten I'm able to come up with a workaround to accomplish a specific task.

Years ago, I was able to post pictures to Facebook and Twitter from a coffee shop, using my ancient 1994-vintage Powerbook 540c running at a brisk 25MHz.  I had the rare PCMCIA slot adapter for the machine, as well as a supported WIFI card and software, and figured "Why not?".  Not even the most up-to-date browser for the 540c can render Facebook's or Twitter's sites, however it will display the mobile versions of each site, provided you enter the correct URL (m.twitter.com, or m.facebook.com).  I also had an old Kodak DC-210 digital camera with a Compact Flash-to-PCMCIA adapter, so getting pictures off the camera to my old laptop was easy, and Photoshop 3 (68k version) installed so I could edit the photos.

It wasn't the fastest, prettiest, lightest, or most elegant solution, but it worked.  It was like a retro-version of Instagram - a testament to ingenuity and creativity.  As a proof-of-concept/test-of-endurance it was an interesting experiment, however, it wasn't something I'd recommend doing on a daily basis, unless you have the patience of a saint... it was slloooowwww.  Slower than a tranquilized snail sliding uphill in Winter.

Saaaaay "Cheeeeese!"


My wife recently got hooked on Instagram, and yesterday I decided I wanted to try it out for myself.  Unfortunately for me, there's no Instagram app for Blackberry, and my Android Tablet (a Kobo Vox e-reader) lacks a camera (its version of Android is also unsupported).

Right away, my brain sprung into action.

I could try to hack the Kobo to run the latest (or at least a newer) release of Android, then download Instagram.  Take pictures with my regular digital camera, save 'em to a Micro SD card, then upload via the Kobo!

But that's risky, and I may lose all the ebooks I've purchased by trying to update...

Instead, I checked Blackberry App World for something similar to Instagram... nada!  There was an unofficial Instagram app that didn't seem to work, and a few photo editing apps that claimed to produce "Instagram-like" results.  I bought one called "CAMultimate", which isn't bad for what it does, and the price of $2.99 can't be beat.

But it's no Instagram.

Gettin' too old for this shit


Another thing on my wishlist was a decent blogging app.  There's no official Blogger app for Blackberry, not even any third-party apps that use the Blogger API.  There is an official Blogger app for Android, but it's not compatible with my Kobo.  There are a few third-party apps that'll work with Blogger's API, but they uniformly suck.

So, in order to blog on the go, I'm stuck with using Blogger's Email-To-Blog interface.  I can either type out posts using my Blackberry's cramped keyboard, or my Kobo's onscreen keyboard that'll obscure half the screen while I'm trying to type, edit, etc.

While I can do everything I need to do with the equipment I have at hand, things are starting to require too many workarounds and compromises for my liking.  Much like the straight-man in a buddy cop movie, I'm gettin' too old for this shit.  Time for a new partner.

I'm looking at buying a new Android tablet, one with a camera and Bluetooth capabilities.  One that'll stay somewhat supported for a couple of years.

Time to do a bit of research.

My current machines are one day away from retirement.