Apple dropped the ball on photos. Big time.
For years, Apple products were my default photo locker, gallery, and sharing tool. Now I’ve switched to Google, but only because Apple forced my hand. My workflow was simple: shoot photos on my iPhone and dSLR, sync everything to Aperture and share from there.
Here’s a brief timeline on how Apple went off the rails with photos:
In summary, After leaving customers hanging without photo galleries, Apple dropped support for its professional photo app (Aperture), jacked up its cloud storage prices, then released an inferior Photos app that didn’t support Aperture projects (whoops!). My six year investment in organizing my photos in Aperture is basically gone and I’m now locked into using an End-Of-Life (EOL) software application if I want to see my projects.
No thank you.
At I/O 2015 Google announced that Google Photos now includes unlimited free photo storage (up to 16MP for photos, and 1080p for videos). The best part? You can easily auto-upload your entire photo library to Google Photos in the background. Here’s how: (more…)
The service will be available on personal computers as well as smartphones running Google’s Android operating system to start. Beginning November 17, 2014 users will be able to listen to music without ads on the YouTube site. On smartphones, they will be able to play music in the background while they browse in other mobile apps, and store music for offline playback.
I’ve previously written about the OBi100 from ObiHai, it’s a cool Voice Over IP (VOIP) device turns your Internet connection into a traditional telephone line, complete with dial tone.
I can almost hear you saying, “I cut the cord a long time ago, what on earth do a I need a landline telephone for?”
As it turns out, a wireless phone can come in quite handy some times, especially in places where you spend a lot of time (like your home or office.) For example, I love using a cordless phone (and a corded boom headset, natch) when I’m working around the house, cooking, and making long phone calls to call centers.
Traditional landline phones are also great for when your iPhone battery dies, or you just can’t find it because it’s lost in the couch or a jacket.
What you don’t need is the outrageous monthly fee that the telephone company charges you for the privilege of providing you with dial tone service at your home or office. When I turned off my AT&T home telephone service a couple years ago, it was costing me around $50 per month, which is completely outrageous, of course.
I’m not holding my breath that the Apple vs. Samsung patent war will end any time soon, but perhaps there is hope that one day in the future, we won’t have to read any more posts or articles about the never-ending ruling appeals filed by Apple or Samsung, or at least not as many. As of last Friday, Apple and Google have agreed to drop all current patent infringement lawsuits between them and move on with their lives.
Earlier this week, Google put Google Glass back “on the shelves”, so to speak, as it made the wearable device available for public purchase again. Still at the premium price of $1500, Google hopes it can get its Explorer program to expand by making it available again. Google posted the following on its Google+ account;
“We’re still in the Explorer Program while we continue to improve our hardware and software, but starting today anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition, as long as we have it on hand: google.com/glass
We’re ready to keep meeting new Explorers, and we can’t wait to hear all your experiences and feedback to continue to make Glass even better, ahead of our wider consumer release.”
That last part is of particular interest as 9to5Google suggested a month ago that maybe a more affordable version is down the road;
“In addition to the insane price tag ($1,500 for Galaxy Nexus specs is crazy, Google), a consumer release of Glass is still expected to take place this year. That means improved hardware and a far cheaper price should be on the horizon.
That release should come this fall, with Glass news hopefully being a major point at the upcoming Google I/O developer conference.”
Hopefully soon, we’ll also see some kind of development toward the ongoing privacy concerns regarding wearables in general, of which Glass is in the spotlight.
This isn’t the first time Google has invaded the desktop space of other operating systems. Who remembers the train-wreck that was Google Desktop? However, this time Google might have it right…or at least close. Some of you may be aware of Chromium, the open-source project behind Google Chrome, which has nightly builds of the app which may squash bugs, introduce new ones, or add new “cutting-edge” features, which may not be ready for the general public. When a particular stable version gets the ok, Google cleans it up and releases it as an update to Google Chrome.
I think it’s safe to say that it was Amazon that did the removing, but the fact remains that a major feature of the iOS app was removed. For the Android version, there were also some changes, but not as drastic. Comic purchases are now routed through comiXology instead of Google. The move is intended to avoid paying Apple and Google a premium for making purchases through their systems. For Apple, that means loosing 30 percent of each purchase, something it has charged for in-app purchases since 2011. Instead of buying within the app, in the iOS case, customers will now have to make purchases via the comiXology website. Purchases will then be downloaded to the app once the user opens it, much like e-books do on Amazon’s Kindle for iOS app.
Do you ever feel like Siri is just not living up to its potential? Do you wish there was more that Siri could do? Well, you aren’t alone. Some students at the University of Pennsylvania felt the same way and decided to do something about it, and the result was Googolplex. The four students, Alex Sands, Ajay Patel, Ben Hsu and Gagan Gupta, entered their creation into a hackathon and won third place. So, how does this work? Keep reading and we’ll tell you.
After five years, it looks like Google Voice is going away…at least as an independent service and app. In 2007 Google acquired GrandCentral (started in 2005) and eventually rebranded it and launched it as Google Voice in 2009. Very little was done for the switchover, from a user standpoint, other than to incorporate the service into Google’s infrastructure. I had a GrandCentral account and it was nearly identical to how Google Voice works and looks today. According to 9to5Google, sometime in the coming months, Google plans to depreciate and eventually phase out the service with its features to be rolled into the Google Hangouts app.