It only took a week after Google’s I/O conference to get our invite to try the new Google Maps. Maps has been a regular go-to for over a decade now, besting Mapquest’s directive abilities long ago, and has only gotten stronger since with the acquisition of Keyhole (Earth) and Street View, the you-are-there feature that launched thousands of shutterbug cars and almost as many privacy lawsuits. Well, Google’s made it even better by integrating many of these features into one sleek-looking package. So how does it work (and what are parts that don’t work quite as well? Let’s dive in.
Rumors abound! While HTC is, apparently, dissolving at its very core with their Facebook phone a non-starter and their flagship One device being vastly overwhelmed by Samsung’s Galaxy S4. The thing is, people really like the HTC One, but what if it ran stock Android and what if you could buy it?
Out of Google I/O came Google Play All Access, an unlimited streaming service almost identical to Rdio, Spotify and a handful of others. Google offered a free 30-day trial and although I’m pretty happy with Rdio, I decided to give it a try. Why not, right? At work, I stream music all day over 4G without an unlimited data plan so after a few days with Google Play All Access, I was surprised to see the dreaded text telling me that I hit my monthly data allowance. Read the rest of this article…
There are some sensical reasons to not be a Tesla fan. Purely electric vehicles are still expensive, early going and not terribly practical for people with long commutes. They take all night to charge, they won’t cross country, Tesla’s Supercharger stations are hardly anywhere. Still, even if you can’t fall in love with the company’s progress, its ability to cut us from our oil dependence or the high quality of their Model S sedan, you can keep this in mind: they paid off their government-issued alternative fuels loan super early. Nine years early.
Last week, I talked about how Google Now could squish the tar out of Apple’s Siri in ways that Apple probably hasn’t been thinking enough of. It seems hyperbolic, but Siri is pretty underwhelming as a search companion, even when it can understand you. The reason why Google is taking the lead is because they’ll be able to have a conversation with you over multiple related inquiries. Google brought this out today and I got to mess with it just a little bit. It’s going to be very interesting, but there wasn’t much to brag about, yet.
When FMyLife.com arrived out of nowhere a few years ago, I pored over page after page of anonymous tales for hours on end. Reading candid confessions from mundane to criminal was fascinating and voyeruristic and strange and exciting. As the site got popular (which wasn’t long) the stories became too outrageous to believe so I lost interest. Whisper, an anonymous social networking app that debuted just a few months ago on iOS is now landing on Android. So, like, what is it?
Windows Phone had a sad little debut nearly three years ago; a party that Microsoft paid billions of dollars for and no one showed up. Their strategy of taking their time to release a follow-up to their competition’s big splash -namely, the iPhone and Android – didn’t work this time. Releasing a 1.0 product against the competitions 2.0 and 3.0 products, despite having created the smartphone market with their Windows Mobile OS, seemed more backwards than ever. This time, it didn’t give them any of the success they wanted. Well, it’s been a long fight and Microsoft is still far behind, but with their competition faltering, Ballmer’s company can now claim third place in the smartphone wars.
It didn’t take much arm twisting to get me over to Google’s Music service to give their new All Access subscription service a try. I’ve spent the past two years messing with the service without committing, but it may be time to finally give my monthly music allowance to Google. How does it compare to Spotify? Let’s take a look.
If you’re still using Siri, chances are you’ve gotten over its initial personability and gotten used to just how limited it is. Whether it’s understanding what you say or providing the correct information, it can feel very limiting despite the charming voice droning out of your phone. Google’s response was to produce Now, a service that predicted what you wanted to see before you searched for it. Today, they’ve announced some pretty incredible upgrades.
For Google watchers around the world, the company’s I/O keynote is kind of a big deal. The conference brings in thousands of Android developers and Google announces a variety of cool new aspects, tools, and components available to them and, subsequently, users down the road. What developers make is ultimately what we’ll get. So what did they show off today for Android? Some pretty cool stuff. Let me show you the highlights.