New Year’s Resolution? Chrome might do the trick…
Sorry for my absence of posts lately! The holiday season was hectic as usual.
Just wanted to briefly mention an online service I’ve gotten more and more involved with over the past year, Google’s Chrome interface. It is the only browser I ever consider using because a) it is screaming fast (usually) and b) because it is so compatible with everything else technological I use. I don’t have it for iOS, but my Dell PC is practically a Chromebook with all the Chrome related stuff I’ve put on it. These features include:
- Integration with Google Apps such as Drive and Calendar- I love the fact that all my Drive files are in a folder on my PC. It’s very seamless integration for an altogether awesome online service, Google Drive. Check it out at drive.google.com. Also, Google Calendar directly syncs with iOS Calendar, which has been remarkably useful.
- Chrome Extensions- A lot of browsers have extension capabilities these days, but none like Chrome. Almost every legitimate web service has an extension for Chrome, it seems, with some of mine being Avast Online Security, Skype. EasyBib, TechSmith Snagit (tool for screenshots), Swagbucks, and Pocket. Plus, these extensions are available at the click of a button at the top right of the screen.
- Apps- Chrome has thousands of apps, from games to productivity to image and video editing. All Google features come as apps from the start, including YouTube, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Gmail, to name a few.
- A Google Chrome App Launcher and search box available for desktop and the toolbar in Windows.
- The countless other features that you would have to look at a full review to read……..
To be honest, I can’t think of a reason not to download Chrome, unless you’re a Get-Rid-Of-Google or a Firefox Fanatic. Now to convince Apple to put Google back into iOS…
Bike Baron- App Review
This past week I came across an app called Bike Baron through the Starbucks app. I got the full version, which costs $0.99 on the iOS App Store, but there is a free version with less levels. This game is basically your standard extreme biking game, with some nice twists. The first one is the graphics. This game has 2D gameplay, but it feels like 3D because of a neat depth aspect added by the developers to make it look real. Here’s a screenshot I took while playing:
The second twist is the In-App Purchases, or should I say purchase. There is only one In-App Purchase in this app, for the Santa Pack. This pack gives you more characters and also more levels. Unlike most racing games, the in-app purchase is cheap at $0.99, and the game does not restrict too many features with in-app purchases.
This is one of those apps that I wouldn’t actually buy based on my personality without the promo code, but some of you might like it.
For Android users, I don’t know if there is an Android version, but feel free to comment and say if there is.
So, check it out and let me know what you think!
iOS App Review: Newsstand
On all currently sold iOS devices there is a built-in application called Newsstand.
This feature allows you to buy or subscribe to digital versions of popular magazines and newspapers, such as The Wall Street Journal, Time, and National Geographic. This feature may seem like heaven at first. You may be thinking that you can get neww issues of your favorite periodicals for free. However, this app comes with a price. Literally.
When you subscribe to magazines on the App Store, like the magazines in the photo above, the latest issues will automatically go into your Newsstand app. But when you open the magazine, it will either lock certain articles or the whole magazine, restricting this content to subscribers only. Some, like The Wall Street Journal , allow you to view most articled, but magazines like National Geographic will not show you any content unless you prove yourself to be a subscriber through a detailed login process. So, in a sense, these apps just extend the requirement for a subscription to the digital world.
Overall, I think that Newsstand has both pros and cons. You need to be careful which apps you get, so that you don’t waste memory on an app that doesn’t give you any informative articles. Also, I wish there were more periodicals available on iPhone. Magazines have sought to publish their digital issues exclusively on iPad for want of a bigger screen and more content availability. However, with a little more development and, in a way, usefulness, Newsstand could be an extremely productive iOS feature.
New Facebook Newsfeed Update
Last Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg revealed a significant update to Facebook’s News Feed.
As you can see above, News Feed is now media based, displaying graphically rich aspects of a post large while making text captions small. Zuckerberg himself compared this new feature to an online newspaper, while other commentators around the tech world are making comparisons to Google+ and upstart social network Pinterest.
However, this is not the only option for News Feed. Facebook will contain multiple ways to view your friends’ posts that can be switched easily. One view is a unique feed that allows you to see the posts of all your friends at one time, instead of showing only the most recent posts.
I believe that this update, which is scheduled to come out later this spring, will help Facebook in that it will encourage people to showcase updates in media content.
Wired Gadget Lab Video Podcast #167
The Wall Street Journal report on the Facebook update