Archive for ‘Google’

June 19, 2011

Apple releases iCloud!

BY THE APPLE GIRL

Last week, Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s new iCloud service to be released this Fall. iCloud stores your email, calenders, contacts and automatically pushes them to all your devices. The new digital hub ensures all your devices – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac – are instantly synced and updated when anything changes on any device. The best part of it all is that it is FREE (5GB of free storage for mail, documents and backups; purchased music, apps and books don’t count)! and of course, as Jobs says, “it just works” (effortlessly)
The free iCloud service includes:
  1. Email, Calenders, Contacts – The former MobileMe services which previously cost $129 per year is now free. All your email, calenders, contacts are uploaded to the cloud and synced with all your devices. 
  2. Backup – iCloud backs up your purchased music, apps, books, camera roll, device settings and app data on all your iDevices. No need to spend an entire sunday afternoon on a backup project! 
  3. Documents in the cloud – Any document you edit will be automatically pushed to the iCloud and you can access it on any of your other Apple devices instantly. 
  4. App Store and iBookStore – Simply tapping the iCloud icon will download any apps or books you have downloaded earlier on any iOS device. 
  5. Photo Stream – uploads all your photos to the cloud and is built into all the iOS devices, Mac, PC and Apple Stream.The last 1000 photos photos are stored on each device and all the photos on your Mac or PC. Apple stores the photos on the cloud for up to 30 days. In other words iCloud doesn’t save all your photos, it only ensures that all your devices are in sync.
  6. iTunes in the cloud – It automatically saves all your new music in the cloud and downloads all your iTunes music to any Apple device at no additional charge.
  7. iTunes match – Apple also offered up a new service called the iTunes match for music not bought through iTunes. It basically scans all your music and matches it with the version of the song available through the iTunes store and uploads the rest to the cloud, thus cutting down the upload time from weeks to minutes. The pricing on iTunes match is $24.99 for upto 20,000 songs. Finally, a music upload service that GoogleChic will be happy to compare Google with 🙂 (Watch out for our cloud music war blog!)

Watch Apple’s keynote video here (Skip to 79:00 for the iCloud update). 

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

Overall, iCloud has a couple of features that I would like to see on Android. However, a lot of the features are not new for Android users 🙂

Here’s the breakdown comparing iCloud to Android.

1. Email, Calendars, Contacts -This is nothing new for Android users, we’ve had this FREE (yes FREE) feature since day one. All these items have always been on the cloud for us. 

2. Backup– Being able to sync everything to the iCloud is pretty nice. Right now on Android, music, apps, books and  pictures are all stored on the SD card (well most of the apps). Since it’s stored on the SD card,  even if your device dies, you’re able to pop the SD card out of your device and place it on your new device. However, just in case the SD card gets corrupted, I wouldn’t mind having all these items sync to the cloud.

3. Documents in the cloud  – Google Docs have been around for quite awhile.  If I update my docs on my laptop, I can see the changes instantly on my phone 🙂

4. App Store and iBookStore  -I do have to say that being able to purchase an app and have it automatically distribute/sync on all your devices is pretty cool. Hopefully we’ll see this feature on Android in the near future. 

5. Photo Stream – Sounds like Picasa to me. Right now we have to manually upload our photos to Picasa, so having an automatic feature would be nice. However, once it’s uploaded to Picasca, the pictures can be accessed across different devices. If I log onto to a tablet device, as soon as I sign in it pulls all of the pictures I’ve uploaded to Picasa and downloads it to that device.

6. iTunes in the cloudMusic Beta was recently introduced by Google and I have to say it’s super sweet! It syncs all your music to the cloud server so that you can access it on any device. It even syncs your playlist across all of your devices which I find pretty kool. If you’re offline, it has the ability to play recent songs which you have listend to.

7. iTunes match – This is what iTunes match sounds like to me. For all those songs you got for “free”, just pay Apple $25 instead and you won’t have to upload it. Hmmm, Jobs must have made a pretty good deal with the record companies. I’m sure Apple isn’t keeping the full $25. Sorry, I rather take “weeks” to upload my music than pay any $$! Oh, and why hasn’t Google released their pricing for storing the music? Well, because it’s free for now!


May 22, 2011

Lady Gaga in a new Chrome ad!

BY THE APPLE GIRL 

It’s a Google ad, but it has Lady Gaga. So I’m going to forget the Apple Google war for just this one post 😀

The Mother Monster illustrates the power of the web through this 90 sec ad. I like it. What about you?

 

Source: Idolator

May 15, 2011

Google ChromeBook vs. iPad

BY THE APPLE GIRL

Google has officially announced the ChromeBook, with partners – Samsung and Acer. ChromeBook is dual core with 11 to 12 inch display and limited on board storage of 16 GB. Here’s my breakdown on why you should buy an iPad instead of a ChromeBook.

1. ChromeBook boots up in seconds, but so does the iPad (and new MacBook Air too!)

2. On the ChromeBook, your apps, games, photos music, movies are in the cloud and are accessible wherever you go. The same with the iPad. In fact, on the iPad you can do many of the above without an Internet connection.

3. ChromeBook has a long battery life. iPad has a battery life of 10hours. 

4. You can have an optional 3G connection on ChromeBook. That’s not a biggie. iPad has been doing it from day one.

5. The ChromeBook looks and feels like a laptop except that it is lighter than a laptop. The iPad is a portable tablet which does all and more than the ChromeBook. 

6. The ChromeBook will be priced around $350 to $500. The iPad is thinner, lighter, faster and  starts at $499. 

7. The one thing I do like about the ChromeBook is the monthly subscription plan of $20 for students and $28 for business users.  Let’s see how that fares in the market.

8. I like the hardware on GoogleChic’s beta edition Chrome, and of course its not as as slick as the iPad 🙂

Check out our Chrome OS hands on  blog!

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

Comparing an iPad and a Google ChromeBook is like comparing apples to oranges. They’re nothing a like.

The idea behind the ChromeBooks is cloud computing. It is about the ability to pick up any ChromeBook device and within a matter of seconds being able to log on and have everything already configured to your liking. Unlike the iPad, there’s no need to sync your device to the cloud in order to pull down you music or movies. 

In this week’s episode of GPS with Fareed Zakria, Eric Schmidt talks about could computing. Schmidt makes a really good point “as an experiment, turn off all your devices and disconnect from your internet for 6 or 7 hours, you’ll realize how dependent you’ve become on it.” So to AppleGirl’s point, yes there are things that the iPad can do offline but eventually most of what we do these days depends on internet connectivity.

Bottom line, there are pros and cons with both the iPad and a ChromeBook device. It ultimately is dependent on what experience the user is seeking. Personally, I would prefer a Android tablet device. However, if I’m on the go and traveling I’m not going to complain if there is a ChromeBook for me to log onto 🙂

Check out Eric Schmidt’s interview via this link. Forward to 02:37 for info about cloud computing.

Tags: ,
May 15, 2011

The Oona – Anything you want your phone to be!

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

The $25 kickstarter project, The Oona, is a versatile smart phone stand. How can you use it? The ad says it all! Check it out.

March 26, 2011

Google instant preview goes mobile!

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC 

Here’s something Google that AppleGirl may actually like.

Google has enabled the instant preview for Android and iOS devices! It’s as simple as clicking the magnifying glass on the search results and you’ll be able to compare the results visually.


source: google mobile blog

BY THE APPLE GIRL 

GoogleChic, you are right! I like it 🙂 Google is innovative in its web search features and exactly why it should stick to searches only 🙂

Yahoo decided to take Google’s Instant search challenge and released Yahoo Search Direct. It is similar to Google Instant Search except that results are placed in a drop down from the search box. As the user starts to type a search, it shows 10 most likely search terms.

I have never been a Yahoo fan, but if Yahoo comes out with an Instant search this late after Google, it should at least give us something more.


March 8, 2011

Apple iOS vs. Android 3.0 – HoneyComb

BY THE APPLE GIRL 

Here are some of the key new features in iOS 4.3, which will just be an overlay on the existing iOS on the iPad.

  • Improved Safari Performance: Apple moved the Nitro Engine Javascript engine from the Mac OS to iOS making it twice as fast.
  • iTunes home sharing: lets you share your media and Apps across all your iDevices wirelessly over Wi-Fi. This is a no brainer and I’m surprised that Apple released this feature so late in the iOS lifecycle.
  • Airplay improvements: Apple lets you stream video and audio using third party apps from your iOS 4.3 device to your Apple TV. Yes, no configuration needed. GoogleChic, you may not understand the phrase “No configuration” since you haven’t had the Apple kool-aid 🙂
  • Preference for the iPad switch: If you prefer the switch on the top right of the iPad to act as a rotation lock or to act as a mute switch, you now have the option to set your preference in iOS 4.3.
  • FaceTime, Garage Band, iMovie, Photobooth: let you video chat, create and edit your own music, movies and pictures.
  • Multi touch features: The iOS 4.3 will also support four or five finger gestures to give quick access to the home screen, multi tasking bar and to switch between Apps. Yes, everything is very intuitive.

Here are some HoneyComb features that you should consider before deciding on either device

  • Apps: iPad 2 sports over 65000 Apps designed to run on iOS while HoneyComb sports just over a 100 Apps. GoogleChic is happy with only a 100 Apps, but are you? 🙂
  • Native Video Chat: Finally, a native video chat client (FaceTime on iOS) comes to Android. You should experience both before deciding on your device of choice.
  • Widgets: Android has gone over board with the widgets on Honeycomb while complicating user experience for non geeks. Why do you need a grid widget, a stack widget and why do you need visual previews of the Apps while switching between Apps? Eww reminds me of my Windows Vista!
  • Notifications: Seriously, the notification was annoying the hell out of me in the demo video. Its like someone repeatedly IM’ing you on GMail when you are typing that work email.

All in all, if you are geek and like to twist your brain around how to get your tablet to work best for you, then Android is the way to go.  If you want a tablet which is intuitive and hassle free with the best user experience, then iOS is your obvious choice.

P.S: Check out the demo from the Android Honeycomb release. I would’nt blame you if you can’t get past 10 mins of the hour long video. Really, Google you need to learn how to get past your geekiness and reach out to the customers!!

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC 

I would have to say that the most exciting feature of iOS 4.3 is the personal hotspot. I thought AppleGirl would be jumping up and down for this since she won’t have to tether off of me anymore 😉

The only downside to this is that it’s available only for the iPhone 4 and it looks like AT&T is putting a 3 device limit on this 😛 Apple is just a little behind in the game on this!

As for the intuitive multi touch features, if there’s one button on the device of course you would need an “intuitive” gesture to go home. What’s more intuitive than a home button on the device ?:)

As for the Honeycomb features here are the highlights I pointed out the other day.

  • UI – new UI with a holographic theme, improved home screen customization, widgets, and notifications that has been integrated into a 3D experience (yes, 3D support!)
  • Browser – Tabbing is now supported. A new feature “incognito mode” will let you browse without this history being record ;) (I’m  just saying)
  • Gmail – will be displayed in two columns including an action bar
  • Visual multi-tasking – provides a image of the last view state when switching between programs
  • Multiselect mode – ability to select multiple items

I guess AppleGirl, just doesn’t understand the concept of customization since it’s not available on iOS. Apple users are given what Steve Jobs says it’s good for the masses. I could see how having options would be confusing and frustrating for an Apple users. Most people would welcome the fact that you can choose which ever widget you would like to use whether it’s a grid or stack widget. No, I don’t think it’s for the geeks, if you don’t like it, simply don’t put it on your desktop.

The notification looks pretty seamless to me. If I’m working on something I can easily see gtalk messages coming in. It’s much better than a number over an App icon 🙂

Lastly, Steve Jobs must feel pretty insecure about iOS to have to distort the truth when it comes to number of apps available for  Honeycomb. A majority of the apps on the Market will work on Honeycomb. There is a smaller percentage which has been optimized for Honeycomb but I wouldn’t take Job’s number as a fact considering his known distortion reputation.


March 5, 2011

The possibilities with Android

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC 

No, Android hasn’t taken over the world yet. Check out the video below. It sure reminds us how fast Android has grown and what the future may hold.

P.S I’m sure AppleGirl will say Apple had dominated the world 😉

via: androidcentral

BY THE APPLE GIRL 

It’s funny that people equate quantity with quality. Growing Android numbers only indicates cheap devices and a multi vendor ecosystem, not how great the device is by itself!

We all agree that Windows sucks? (Even Bill Gates thinks so) 🙂 Here’s something to ponder over.. Is Android taking the Microsoft path? Check out the tribute to Bill Gates at his retirement. Could this be Larry Page in a few years? 🙂

March 2, 2011

An Everything Proof iPhone

BY THE APPLE GIRL  

Here’s an awesome case for all the clumsy iPhone users out there. Life Proof iPhone case is sleek, adds only 1/16 inch (1.5mm) and weighs less than an ounce (28g). Compared to the other military spec cases (which turn the iPhone into a monster!) this one looks ultra slim. More importantly for $69, it is water proof, dirt proof, shock proof and snow proof.

Now you can use your iPhone without worrying about shattering it and hey you could even double it as an underwater camera!

[via iPhoneGuru]

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC  

The Life Proof case is a pretty sweet deal, and reasonable priced. If they made it for Android phones, I would buy one for sure!

So what are the options if you’re an Android fan? There’s always the Motorola Defy. Otherwise, there the Aquapac for $25 which will protect your phone up to 5 feet. There’s always the ZipLock bag option which is what the Aquapac looks like 😉


February 20, 2011

Just for kicks – Who is Obama’s favorite techie?

BY THE APPLE GIRL  

Check out this picture from Obama’s dinner with the tech titans! He is flanked by the techie darling Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs! 🙂

Do you see Eric Shmidt at the far end of the table? Just saying 😉

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC 

President Obama this week announced, in his weekly address that education is the key in the creation of the “next Intel, next Google or next Microsoft”.

“That’s how we’ll ensure that the next Intel, the next Google, or the next Microsoft is created in America, and hires American workers.”

There’s no mention of Apple, hey I’m just saying 😉


February 18, 2011

Chrome OS – CR-48

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC 

Finally, two months later after receiving the Cr-48 laptop (thanks Google!) and dragging it half way around the world we’re now blogging about it.

The Cr-48 laptop is the first Chrome OS laptop that Google gave away as part of a pilot program to get Chrome OS circulated and feedback from testers.

Overall, for a free laptop it’s not bad. The hardware is actually pretty slick. It looks like a black matted finish Mackbook. Instead of a glossy display, it has a 12 inch matted screen. The mousepad is actually a clickpad which took me sometime to get use to. It also sports a webcam and the quality is decent.

The boot up time is lightning speed, it takes about 20 sec max. If it’s in hibernation mode it’s instant on.  Otherwise, there’s not much to the software. If you’ve used Chrome, you’ve used Chrome OS. Everything is cloud based so if you live on Gmail, Gtalk, Picasa, and all you do is surf the web, then this is the laptop for you!

Honestly, I have to admit, I see the uses for Chrome OS but there’s also quite a bit of limitation. If I have to VPN into work, or print a Word document (which is pretty rare, but it happens) I find myself reaching for the Windows laptop. Also, youtube videos on Chrome OS can be pretty choppy. Adobe is working on Flash 10.1 for Chrome OS which should resolve the issue. One last caveat is that without internet connection the laptop is pretty much useless. I hauled the laptop half way across the world, had a 9 hour layover, but didn’t have internet access so I felt like I was hauling a brick 🙂

All things considered, it’s not a bad concept. After using it for two months, I can get by with my day to day surfing and blogging on this laptop. However, if I had to pay for a Chrome OS laptop, I would probably choose a Android tablet over the Chrome OS.

P.S Keep in mind, the CR-48 laptop is a testing laptop. I’m sure by the time the Chrome OS laptop releases mid 2011 it’ll be much more powerful than this one. Although there’s not been much



BY THE APPLE GIRL 

The Cr 48 is Google’s first attempt at designing an operating system. I think Google Chrome is the best browser out there and the Cr 48 capitalizes on just that, but falls short as a laptop replacement!

If everything is cloud based then I’m wondering what (as GoogleChic puts it :)) “brick” Google wired up inside the laptop. Because I would rather have an iPad or any tablet to perform the same functions and much more (consider the thousands of Apps you get on an iPad or an Android tablet). Think about dragging around a 2.8 pound device when you could have been carrying a 1.5 pound iPad or even a 2.3 pound Macbook Air at the very least.

Despite its size, weight and usage shortcomings, I like the matte finish, the keyboard and track pad that it comes with. But as GoogleChic mentioned, Cr 48  is still a Pilot program so let’s give it the benefit of doubt.

Apart from browsing the web and using Google freebie software (Google Docs etc), you can hop on to theChrome Web Store to download Apps (like App Store or Android Market).

Here are the specs for you tech geeks:
  • 12.1 inch screen
  • Oversized trackpad
  • Qualcomm Gobi 3G chip for Verizon data in the US, your carrier of choice internationally
  • 802.11n dual-band WiFi.
  • 8+ hours of active use with 8+ hours of standby
  • Flash Storage

If you are a hacker, this should interest you! Google recently announced a $20,000 prize offer for cracking into Cr 48.

Want to be the first to know when its released? Go ahead register with Google! And if you are one of those lucky ones like GoogleChic here, you will wake up with 100 spam emails from Google 🙂


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