Category Archives: Google

How Do You Rate the Quality of an App?


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Over on Lockergnome, CiphersSon asked simply: “How do you rate an app’s quality?” The way I rate the quality of an app may be different from how you rate it. It’s frustrating to me at this point in time. We have services such as iTunes and the Android Marketplace. We are all looking for something different – from features to aesthetics. Therefore, we will rate apps in different ways for different reasons. This means that something with a lower rating may actually end up being exactly what you were looking for.

This is why you should always be careful when reading ratings about apps, hardware, gadgets, and software. You never know if people have the same eye as you do. Some people only care about features. An app could be as ugly as a baboon’s ass and they’ll still give it five stars. I’m sorry, an application has to LOOK good if I’m going to give it a perfect rating.

The point I’m trying to make is that you need to keep in mind what is more important to you. When you look at ratings, you need to look at the bigger picture.

For me, an app needs to have good design, nice looks, full functionality and good features. That is the only way I will ever rate an app with five stars. Instead of me seeing what everyone rates something as, I try to gain perspective and connect with those who rate apps in a similar way to me. The chances of me really valuing their rating is far greater than I would value something by Joe Show.

Five out of five stars mean nothing to me. I guarantee that by now, the YouTube haters have down-rated this video. That’s okay, because YOU may still like it. That’s the beauty of it, folks. It’s your choice.

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EVO 4G First to Have Froyo – Coming Tuesday

It’s official! The EVO 4G will be the first in a long line of phones to be updated to Android 2.2 Froyo, beginning August 3rd. The release will be rolled out in stages according to Sprint. However, they will provide a manual download link for those of you who cannot wait another moment. According to further reports, both the HTC Desire and the original Droid phones will be hit with the update later in the week.

The list of features and fixes is a long one, and owners couldn’t be more excited. Given the list I’ve been seeing, it’s no wonder you’re chomping at the bit to get Froyo onto your devices. The update boasts new preloaded widgets, flashlight mode for your LED flash, light-assisted 720p video with improvement to the quality of your video captures. Going by the image that Engadget has up on their site, you’ll see a heck of a lot of updates in other areas, as well.

Mail will see groups tabs and auto-saving when you press the back key. Additionally, your email will be saved as a draft automatically should you lose connection in the middle of composing a missive. You’ll enjoy a large composition area and the capability to send a Contact card via SMS.

There are a lot of enhanced features for the social media addict in you, as well. Your calendar will display birthdays and events from Facebook. The Gallery will now support the Facebook “Comments” function. And… you’ll be able to quickly link a contact to a Plurk or Twitter contact.

Are you planning to wait it out until the update is rolled to your phone, or will you be rushing to download manually?

Google Chrome 5 Beta


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Marques has created several excellent screencasts for us in the past. This time, he wanted to show off how fast and stable the latest beta release of Google Chrome is. He feels that it’s the fastest browser to date. Additionally, Marques loves that the Extension integration has been made much simpler to use, and is instantaneous when you install or remove them.

There is quite a large collection of Extensions available. You’ll find categories for web development, blogging, shopping, sports, fun and accessibility. They install to your browser instantly with just one click, and remove themselves even faster. All you have to do is click on the little wrench icon at the top right of the browser, and choose Extensions.

The Acid3 Test is a fantastic way to test your browser’s speed and capability. It works with any browser you might have installed. It will determine not only the speed of the browser, but also how well it renders things. As you saw in the screencast, this version of Google Chrome rated 100 out of 100. The rendering wasn’t perfect… but again, it’s still a beta release. Apparently, my assistant Kat tested her Firefox browser, and only received a score of 94/100. That should tell you something, folks, about how much better this iteration of Chrome really is.

Thanks, Marques, for another great screencast.

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YouTube Increases Max Upload Length to 15 Minutes

You have all begged repeatedly, and YouTube is finally listening. The Google-owned website announced today that they are increasing the uploaded length allowed to fifteen minutes for all users. The site has limited non-partner users to videos of ten minutes and under for many years as a way to help combat piracy. Thanks to their ContentID system, they are now able to offer you larger time slots for your content. ContentID is used to flag videos that may contain copyrighted material.

In order to help celebrate the new limits, YouTube is going to help you get your 15 minutes of fame. “Imagine that this video is all the world will ever know about you: what would you want to communicate? What will be the enduring stamp you’ve left on us all? Tag your video with yt15minutes, upload it by Wednesday, August 4, and we’ll select a handful of people to truly gain their 15 minutes of fame by featuring them on the YouTube homepage in a future spotlight.”

What would you put into your video? How do you hope the world will remember you when you’re no longer here?

Samsung Galaxy S Initial Impressions


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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Samsung Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Samsung Galaxy S will be available soon in the AT&T network. I’ve been able to play with it for the past week or so. Despite moderate usage, I haven’t had to charge it since first turning it on. The battery astounded me, to be quite honest. I’ve been pretty happy with this phone. Despite a few negative remarks I’ve seen elsewhere about this phone, this is the best Android device I’ve tried to date. This will definitely be my default Android phone from now on.

It is extremely lightweight. It feels good in the hand, and the screen is large and gorgeous. The screen is super SUPER bright and vibrant. It’s so bright, in fact, that I had to turn the brightness down. The touch screen is extremely responsive. This means that the processor is fast, and everything is speedy out of the box. I feel this is quality hardware on a quality operating system.

In terms of resolution and capabilities, the camera on the Galaxy S is fantastic where HD video is concerned. If you didn’t already notice, I had uploaded a video review of an iPhone screen protector that I wasn’t happy with. That video was shot using this Galaxy S phone. For some reason, in a low-quality setting, I tend to get these “bars” on the video. I’m not sure if you detect that, but I did through the viewfinder. This is some small lines that appear in videos and photos. I’m not sure if this is a hardware or software issue, though. Hopefully Samsung will look into it.

This phone is running the TouchWiz interface, which is nice for helping you to quickly connect up your social networks. The out-of-the-box experience is honestly very good. For instance, swiping the screen in any direction will automatically open up the lock screen. Hello! That, my friends, is what intuitive is all about.

This is a fantastic Android device, no doubt about it… especially when it will only cost you $200 with a new contract. What I like beyond the price and screen is that Samsung paid attention to what a user might actually want when they turn their phone on for the first time. They added some very popular apps right into the phone, including Layer. Layer is so good that it will get a future video all of its own.

More than anything that impressed me, when I launched the Apps application, I saw a few of these default apps. Normally, apps pushed through a manufacturer’s site or service kind of suck, to put it bluntly. However, I was pretty impressed with many of the ones that I found within Samsung.

Again, my summary is that this is the best Android device I’ve used to date. There are a few negatives, but in my opinion they do not detract from the overall performance of the phone. Yes, there is a replaceable battery. However, in order to get the back of the phone off to GET to said battery you’ll need long fingernails or some type of very thin tool to pry it open.

As Apple pointed out, many other phones lose signal when using a “death grip.” It’s honestly not just the iPhone 4 that does this. The same thing happens with the Galaxy S, as shown in a video on YouTube.

Just about anything you would want in an Android device can be found in the Galaxy S. Are you thinking of grabbing one for yourself?

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Google Music Service Coming to Android

According to an executive at Google, their much-anticipated music service will be launching later this year. It’s also purportedly going to be a big part of the next version of Android. This move by Google follows shortly after Apples announcement that it too will be launching a new streaming music service of its own linked to iTunes in the near future.

There is sadly not much more information to be found. I ran a check on about thirty other blogs. All of them say pretty much what you found in my first paragraph. The good news here is that info should start trickling in soon. The new music service is slated to hit during the 4th quarter. The first half of this year is already a thing of the past – yes, seriously. Time has flown by that fast.

Android has built a user-base that is growing rapidly. There are around 160,000 new Android devices being activated on a daily basis. Even though those numbers are nowhere near that of the new iPhone 4, it still shows that Google is steadily gaining ground. I fully believe (as do others) that a Google music service could give a similar Streaming iTunes application a run for its money.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that you will become a dedicated listener to a music service from Google? Does having this capability baked into Android “Gingerbread” make you think about purchasing a device for that reason alone?