Improving Google Now [Opinion]

Google Now

Google Now is great at putting certain pieces of information in front of you before you realize you need it. A traffic report for your drive home is there just before you leave work. You’re notified about a package’s location after you’re emailed about it. Recent searches appear to remind you about your bad decision to try and understand what happened in the Clone Saga.

Google wants to continue to empower our cell phones and turn them into truly useful person assistants. I believe Google Now is the best way to do that, but I also believe Google Now needs to get a lot better. In particular, Now needs improve its use of contextual information, have more of a personality, and display information better.  (more…)

An Open Letter to Google: It’s Time to Take Gaming Seriously [Opinion]

google gaming android

This is a guest post written by DL reader Karl Ludwinski, a gaming enthusiast that wants to see Google and Android fully invest in the gaming movement, something they have so far, barely attempted to do.

First, let me say that I am not a developer or programmer of any kind, nor am I a writer. I am merely a tech and gaming enthusiast and a big fan of Android. I believe that by embracing gaming in a few key ways, both the Android platform and gaming as a whole can go further than they ever could by themselves.

To be clear, I’m not looking for any kind of credit for any of this. Most of these ideas (possibly all) have been discussed before in one way or another. I merely want to consolidate them into one list and increase awareness. I’d also love to hear other ideas that people have, any thoughts about these ideas I list, and any explanations of why they would not work as I have explained them or ways to improve them.  (more…)

Google Apps on iOS and Android [Opinion]

Google Apps on iOS

In the past few months it has become abundantly clear that Google intends to support three platforms: the web, Android, and iOS. Google’s support for the web and Android should not come as a surprise; Google has always been a web company and Google bought Android to fight Microsoft in the mobile space. Even Google’s support of iOS is not all that surprising since the iPhone was essentially the Google phone before the G1. What is surprising, however, is that Google isn’t just making apps for iOS; they’re making really good apps for iOS.

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Instagram is Not at War with Twitter [Opinion]

Instagram’s move to no longer support Twitter cards was not an act of war. More importantly, according to Instagram’s CEO, it was not a move influenced by Instagram’s new owner, Facebook. You can choose to buy into the hype that Instagram is fighting against Twitter so that Facebook will win a numbers war it has already won, or you can consider what Instagram is accomplishing by doing this.

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Likes, Retweets, Double Taps and Smiley Faces: The Economy of Social Networks [Off Topic]

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Lately I have been trying to be more conscious of the reasons behind why I post something on a social network. As I near 19,000 tweets I am keenly aware that I share my thoughts more than most people. I am certainly not anywhere near having the most tweets, but as I have participated in social networks like MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Path, Instagram, and others over the past few years I have adjusted how much I share and how I share it.

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Nexus 4′s Glass Back, the Worst Idea Since the Last Phone With a Glass Back

The LG Nexus 4, Google’s newest Nexus device, such a thing of beauty, isn’t it? That brilliant 4.7″ display on the front, the Crystal Reflection pattern tucked under a piece of glass on the back, those cascading edges, and that soft touch plastic housing, all make up for one of the more interesting smartphone designs of the last couple of years. Unfortunately, for those that purchased one or plan to purchase one, you may have to cover it up with a bumper or case, as it may also be one of the most fragile smartphones ever made.  (more…)

The Nightmare of Maintaining Your Music Library [Opinion]

Like many in my generation, I started listening to music on CDs. I used to sit in a rocking chair with my “skip free” portable CD player (I can’t remember if it was a Walkman or not) listening to Now 4 or No Doubt. Around the age of 16 or 17 I was given my first iPod: a 30 GB 5th generation iPod Classic (although at that point it wasn’t called “Classic”). I can vividly remember sitting down at my computer and slowly importing dozens of CDs into iTunes and syncing my iPod. I remember when Tri-tone meant that my CD had been imported, not that I had a new message. I began buying music straight from iTunes instead of visiting the then large, now non-existent CD section at my local Best Buy.

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Apple’s Comparison of the iPad Mini to the Nexus 7, What a Joke.

If you joined us during our live chat of the Apple iPad mini event, then you probably saw the point of the presentation where Phil Schiller compared the new smaller iPad to Google’s Nexus 7. He went through slide after slide, clever quote after clever quote, to trash the Nexus 7 in as many ways as possible, all while touting the new iPad as a far superior product. The thing is, at $329 and with a bigger display, the comparison doesn’t make any sense. We have seen Apple play their childish comparison game with fake stats and their own made-up buzzwords numerous times in the past, but this has got to be the worst one yet.  (more…)