Stop Freaking Out About the Facebook Messenger App

Facebook Messenger Icon

There has been a lot of noise about Facebook’s move to remove messaging from its main app and “force” people to use the Messenger app on mobile devices to send messages. Today, no less than four people on my Facebook feed made proclamations about not using the app. Here’s why you shouldn’t be freaking out.

Issue #1

The first issue here is that Facebook is removing the messaging features from its mobile apps.  Many people use their inbox regularly, and many are still using the Facebook app to do this. Personally, I hate the little chat bubbles and found them intrusive, but I do agree it is convenient to be able to do all your Facebook-related activities within one app.

So, everyone that had avoided downloading the separate Messenger app can it avoid it no longer if they want to perform messaging via Facebook.

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As Heard on Maritime Morning: Weekend Edition (Jan 26, 2013)

This week was focused on some retail products, how we buy them, and the volatile nature of Apple’s stock.

Amazon Prime in Canada

First up, Amazon Prime was recently announced for Canadian users on $79/year gets you unlimited two-day shipping to most Canadian locales, regardless of the price of the item. That means you can buy a $9.99 CD and have it in two days without paying $3-4 for shipping. No more adding items to your cart to reach $39 and get the free Super-Saver Shipping that takes 5-8 business days.

Light Amazon users will balk, but this could really change how some people shop.’s catalogue has been expanding rapidly over the past couple of years. You can now grab kitchen appliances, gifts, electronics, and other goods along with the staples like books, movies, and music. Amazon’s prices are often hard to beat, so throw in free, fast shipping, and that $79 Prime account is looking pretty good.

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RIM’s Nosedive

The story of RIM and its iconic BlackBerry devices reads like a fairytale – complete with a dramatic twist that leaves the hero in a sticky situation. It all started out so great. RIM essentially created the smartphone market, cornered government and business customers with its innovative network and technologies, and then finally began releasing phones for the masses. Then the competition woke up and started breathing fire.

Unfortunately, the co-CEO’s (yes, they share the CEO moniker – just about the only company in the world that has this arrangement) have not been up to the battle. That is most likely because the battle is not with one specific dragon or evil maniac – it has almost become an inward battle, with the company unable to get out of its own way to bounce back and be competitive.

Once the king in the government and business sector, RIM’s share has declined and the iPhone now commands the lion’s share of business users.

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iOS vs. Android

Several months ago, I wrote Part 1 of what I thought was going to be a 4-part series comparing the HTC Desire to the iPhone 4. Those other three parts never got written. Here’s why.

The HTC Desire HD was announced soon after that post, so I thought I might wait until its release to compare all three. I also quickly realized the HTC Desire did not hold a candle to the iPhone 4. With such a small amount of internal memory, the phone became very sluggish once apps were installed. The ability to transfer apps to the SD card came with a software update, but the process does not work for every app. There is too much required of the user to move apps and try and clean up the phone’s memory. If you install even just a few apps, you can easily fill the phone and get low memory warnings.

This is the complete opposite of the iOS experience. A big benefit most Android users talk about is the ability to insert extra memory, usually SD cards. Please tell me what good this is if you cannot move all of your apps to the card? I could not use the Desire as I wanted to because I kept hitting a wall with the internal memory.

Though the Desire is a great phone, the limitations of its hardware have really showed. The Desire HD fixed a lot of these problems, but its size and other software and wifi issues have made it a non-competitor as well. I dumped the HD for an LG Optimus 7, and more recently an LG Optimus Black. I still have yet to use an Android device that would really sway me from using an iPhone.

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HTC Desire vs. iPhone 4 – Part 1

I have been an iPhone user since the 3G came to Canada in 2008. At that time, there were simply no other mobile phones that could hold a candle to the iPhone. Fast forward to 2010. I stood in line for five hours to pick up an iPhone 4. It is the most amazingly piece of technology I’ve ever used. I was still of the opinion that no one could come close to touching Apple’s stranglehold on making amazing mobile devices.

My opinion is slowly changing. After some failed attempts like the Palm Pre, Blackberry Storm, and the Samsung Instinct, other manufacturers are finally making phones that are nearly worthy of the “iPhone killer” moniker. What has changed? Well, the main reason competitors weren’t able to keep up was because of the rock-solid, innovative iOS that Apple built from the ground up (basing it on OSX). The operating systems still being used in most phones were just too dated and needed an overhaul. So that’s what most companies have done.

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