Monday, November 18, 2013
I'll be showing you the general process, but of course you should make these whatever size or shape you require.
You will need:
Fabric for your shell
Fabric for your lining
Fabric for your interlining, if your other fabrics are very lightweight
Cardstock or construction paper
Snaps (the pound-in kind, not the sew-in kind; I used Dritz 3/8" Snap Fasteners)
A closure of your choosing, or two buttons and some thin elastic cord
And miscellaneous sewing stuff, like thread, scissors, pen/pencil/chalk, ruler, etc.Decide on the length, width, and depth of your bag. Sketch the shape of the front of the bag (which is the same as the back without the lid) onto cardstock, remembering to add 1/2" seam allowances all around. For example, I want my bag to be 8" wide and 6" tall, so I sketched it 9" by 7". Then I rounded the bottom corner, but you don't have to. Don't worry about symmetry right now.
Next, sketch the lid. Start with a rectangle as tall as the depth (or thickness) of your bag, and add 1/2". This is the minimum needed to cover the top of the bag. I forgot to add 1/2" to mine, so my bag is a little wonky. Above the rectangle, sketch the shape of the lid that will overlap onto the front of the bag. Again, don't worry about symmetry.
Fold your templates in half, with the fold running from top to bottom. Cut out your templates. Place your front template with the fold on the fold of your fabric. Trace and cut one from the shell and one from the lining fabric. In this case, my shell is purple and my lining is green.
Lay the fold of your front template and your lid template on the fold of your shell fabric, with the templates lined up to make one contiguous back piece. Trace and cut, then repeat with lining fabric.
Measure around your front piece: down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side, but not across the top. Add one inch to that measurement for wiggle room. This is the length of the rectangular piece that will give your bag depth. The width can be whatever width you like, plus one inch for the seam allowances. Cut one piece each from the shell and the lining.
That said, the Google engineers saw what we were talking about in our photos, and they are doing more testing, but they believe we have a faulty device. So who knows! Hopefully it's just a glitch with our One. We'll be getting a new one shortly and will update.There are a few other quibbles, too, some small things you may have taken for granted with Sense that you don't get with stock. In HTC Sense's dialer app, you can start punching a friend's name into the number pad (using the superscript letters) and it will quickly pull up contacts. The stock dialer doesn't do this, so you have to scroll through your long list of contacts.HTC Sense also offers built-in profiles—an easy way to switch between Normal, Vibrate, and Silent modes. Not so in stock. Also, the HTC One has a built-in IR blaster for using your phone as a remote control. Not only does the stock version not come with a preinstalled app that lets you use it, but as of right now there are no apps in the Play Store that can take advantage of it, either. We were told that capability would be coming in the next software build, though APIs will still have to be released, and someone will still have to make an app that uses them.There's also the rather steep sticker price of $600, but that sounds like a bigger number than it actually is. For an unlocked, unsubsidized phone it's pretty standard. If you're used to paying $200 for a high-end phone and have your wireless carrier subsidize the rest (as a part of a two-year contract, typically) may experience some sticker-shock. That might sound like it all adds up to a lot of negative, but it's really negligible, especially assuming we were dealing with an abnormal camera. And we haven't even mentioned the biggest advantage of a Google Edition phone yet: Updates. The stock version of the HTC One will all but certainly be upgraded to the newest version of Android right along with (or at least close to) the Nexus program. The One with Sense, by contrast, is still running Android version 4.1.2, which is now more than a year old. For people who want the latest and greatest coming out of Google HQ, this is huge. And trust us, you want the latest and greatest.The stock HTC One runs on AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM carriers (i.e. not Verizon or Sprint), and yes, LTE works. We tested it on AT&T's network in NYC, and when we had four bars of LTE we averaged download speeds of over 20Mbps and upload speeds of over 12Mbps. We did have some problems with our radio, initially, but after talking with Google it appears that was unique to our particular test unit. And once we worked out the bug (it chose the wrong APN, for you geeks out there), it performed flawlessly. So, really, our only major gripe here is the camera. We've reached out to Google about it, and will update if we hear anything back.In our initial review of the Galaxy S4, almost all of our complaints about it were software-related. So you would think that replacing TouchWiz with stock Android would fix almost all of its problems, right?Yep. That's pretty much true. Samsung's TouchWiz is such a heavy skin that it slows things down despite the super-fast 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor in its belly. But while stock Android makes the HTC One a little faster, it's a serious change in the Galaxy S4. Scrolling through menus and across screens is faster and smoother. Apps generally open more quickly, and most importantly, there is now almost zero shutter lag on the camera, whereas the TouchWiz version can lag behind by as much as a second. TouchWiz is also just a clusterfrak of settings and bells and whistles, most of which sit there unused, clogging up menus. Stock Android is starkly minimalist by comparison. The stock apps look better and are more intuitive to use almost without exception. Desktop customization is way simpler. We were also able to install and use Google Wallet on it (not so on the HTC One Google Edition), which is typically blocked by AT&T. Why it worked on the S4 and not the One despite using the same SIM card for both, we do not know. On the hardware side, thankfully, photos the 13MP camera took look almost identical to those on the TouchWiz version. Again, the camera app is much simplified, and though you gain PhotoSphere and easier access to HDR, you do lose a lot of the fun camera modes that Samsung came up with, like Drama Shot (which superimposes several images of a subject in motion into a single shot) and animated GIFs. As you know, the Galaxy S4 features a micro SD card slot, and while you can read files off of it (photos, etc.) you can't take full advantage of it. For example, there is no native way to move apps over to your SD card, as there is in the skinned versions of Android. There are, of course, things you lose that you will miss. Again, TouchWiz's dialer lets you punch in numbers to get to your contacts quickly, stock Android's dialer doesn't (please fix this, guys!), and you lose TouchWiz's profiles feature as well. TouchWiz has some handy shortcuts to settings within the notification screen and some people may miss those, but for our money, the way stock Android handles it is better, and keeps your notification panel looking cleaner and easier to read. Also, while the IR blaster is technically ready to be used, the API hasn't been released yet, and so there are no downloadable apps that can take advantage of it yet. And, the S4 too, will only work on GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile (not Verizon or Sprint). And as with the HTC One, the sticker price might be tough to swallow. At $650, it ain't exactly cheap, but again, that's not bad for a high-end, unlocked, unsubsidized phone. As we suspected, putting stock Android on the Galaxy S4 made one of the very best smartphones even better. So, you've decided you're going to go with one of these stock phones. Now that the software is essentially identical, here's how the two phones compare.The HTC One is still arguably the best-designed phone we've ever used, and its build quality is unmatched. It was cut from a solid block of aluminum and it feels amazing. The Galaxy S4 is by no means bad, but with its slippery plastic back, there's no comparison. The One is slightly narrower and is a bit easier to handle, too. Winner: HTC OneThe screens are definitely two different looks, as you can see in the video above. They're both 1080p. The S4 is a full 5 inches which gives you a little more real estate, whereas the One's 4.7-inch screen means the pixel density is every so slightly higher, making it look very slightly sharper.
"The camera hardware and underlying software (image processing, etc.) are the exact same between the Stock and Sense UX versions of HTC One, so there should not be any differences. Our camera tests show that the quality is consistent between the two."
In the whites HTC One skew a bit on the rosy side, whereas the whites on the Galaxy S4 skew blueish-green. Which is "better" is more a matter of personal preference, though we slightly prefer the One.In the blacks, there's no contest. The Galaxy S4 is like looking into the cold, black vacuum of space, even at full brightness. At full brightness, the HTC One's blacks are very slightly gray. It's still very good, but it's definitely not as good as the S4. Winner: TieAs you can see in the video above, the stock HTC One locks focus and snaps shots faster than stock Galaxy S4. But, as we mentioned above, the camera on the stock HTC One was under-performing compared to the original. As a result, the camera on the Galaxy S4 is much sharper, has better color, and better contrast. The One does, however, still stomp the S4 in low light. Hopefully we just got a bum HTC unit, but for now the Galaxy S4's camera is better. Click here for a gallery of comparison shots. Winner: Galaxy S4 (pending)The HTC One is the hands down winner here. It's not even close. The stereo front-facing speakers are loud and clear. The S4's external speaker (on the back) is quiet and terrible by comparison. Also, the pre-amp in the HTC One makes listening to music through headphones noticeably better. Winner: HTC OneUnlike full on Nexus phones, the One and the S4 both have hardware navigation buttons. The One has two capacitive buttons: One for Home, and one for Back. You double-tap home to bring up the task-switcher, and you long-press it to bring up Google Now. The Galaxy S4 on the other hand has three navigation buttons: Back and Menu are both capitative and there's a home button in the center which is press-able. You press it once to go home, twice quickly for multitasking, and long press for Google Now.The capacitive buttons on the HTC (for home and task switching) are simply faster and easier to use. Also, because there is no physical menu button, that puts the menu options on screen in apps, which we find to be more intuitive. Winner: HTC OneNavigating around the OS, the HTC One is just a hair quicker. Considering it has the same software and the same processor but it's clocked 0.2 GHz slower than the S4, that shouldn't be the case. But it is. Go figure. We're talking about a very small difference, though. Even in benchmarks, the two were dead even, with one or the other coming out a hundred or two hundred points ahead of the other in both Quadrant and Geekbench 2 tests, but the One came out ahead two out of three times. Go figure. Winner: HTC OneToo soon to tell. More testing required.Winner: TBDOptionsYou want expandable storage? The S4's got it, the HTC One doesn't. Want a removable battery? Ditto. If you like to tinker, you're going to get frustrated fast with the HTC One's lack of fungibility. Similarly, while there are some accessories available for the One, Samsung has built itself a much more robust third-party ecosystem. If you want your phone with a side of stuff, the S4 is the way to go.Winner: Galaxy S4Last but not least, the price. The HTC One is $600, and the Galaxy S4 is $650.Winner: HTC OneHonestly, these are both terrific phones, and you'd be happy with either. If an SD card slot and removable battery are a big deal for you, go ahead and get the Galaxy S4. Otherwise, the HTC One is our favorite by a nose. Most of all, though, just be glad that you can finally get the best possible versions of the best possible phones on Android. It's about time.You can get the stock Android HTC One here and you can get the stock Android Samsung Galaxy S4 here. They should ship out by July 9th.