Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Upgrade: Android HTC G2

Android HTC G2I’ve recently upgraded to the T-Mobile Android HTC G2.  So, I am going to do somewhat of a product review from a domainers perspective.  I upgraded from the original G1 which I got when it first came out a couple years ago.  The G1 has 3g speed, touchscreen, apps and pretty much all bells and whistles that smartphones boast.  Well, as the customer salesperson said when I was checking out the product in the store “..the G2 is a big upgrade from the G1”.

First upgrade to mention is the 4g speed – browsing the Internet, running apps, downloading attachments, watching videos and listening to podcasts just became a lot faster and more feasible to do.  I am really happy with the 4g speed and it does make a noticeable difference.

One of the first things I noticed when I started using this device is that it has lots of pre-loaded apps on it, most of which were Google Apps.  A lot of these apps make web browsing unnecessary and even replace popular apps that I had installed on my previous smartphone.  For example, the “Places” app comes pre-installed on the HTC G2 and will replace the Yelp app I had on the G2 since it’s pretty much exactly the same app and just as effective.  Google apps that are already on the G2 include the YouTube, Gmail, Google Earth, Google Goggles, Google Maps, Google Voice, Google Talk, Google Sky Map, Google Listen and Android Market.  Goggles is pretty neat, it’s a search tool that starts searching for something you take a picture of.  Earth and Skymap are also both very fun apps to play with when bored or researching!

My favorite pre-installed app so far is the “Listen” app which is a program that lets you search through thousands of podcasts for things to listen too.  Well I was stoked when I found that WebMasterRadio.fm shares it’s podcasts on this platform.  That means I now have access to every episode of DomainMasters Radio at my fingertips to listen to whenever I want.  It’s been great, I’ve listened to lots of shows some that date back to when Victor Pitts was the host and even a few when Monte Cahn, the founder of Domain Masters was hosting the show.  Awesome!

Something I noticed which I didn’t like is that the browser shortcut that was on the ‘desktop’ of the G1 was replaced by an app called Web2Go that is supposed to help you get around the web – blah.  I had to search for the web browser icon and add it to my phone’s home environment because I still prefer to type in some websites that I want to visit, yea, even on the smartphone. The five pixel camera on the G2 is another nice upgrade, it comes with auto-flash which I am happy to have.

It’s no secret that like the iPhone and other web enabled smartphones, the HTC Android is decreasing the need to use domains on your mobile device.  In most cases, you just need to use a voice command to find the site you are looking through via Google search.  Example, if you want to access Dictionary.com what’s easier – opening the browser and typing it in or opening the voice search app and saying “Dictionary.com”.

Google Blocks Facebook from Accessing Gmail Contacts Via API

Google made a change this week in its Terms of Service which will require any entity that uses Google contacts API to also offer reciprocity.  Google/Gmail users will still be able to export their contacts and save them on their own computers and then use them however they choose. However, the availability of using the API is not an option for those sites that do not allow the export of contact information – like Facebook.

I imagine this will be a significant setback for the growth of Facebook as I know that a good chunk of new Facebook users utilize the Gmail API to locate and or invite friends to join Facebook.

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Android Mobile Phones Outsell iPhones in the U.S.

A Nielsen Wire blog post broke the news that for the first time Android mobile phones (powered by Google) have outsold the iPhone in the United States this year.  In fact, Android sales are really heating up worldwide with almost a 900% increase in sales from a year ago.  I think that the power of branding with Google on your side is a real plus as more mobile customers make the move to more web capable smartphones.  Many new customers are also coming from the annoyed Blackberry customers who are making the switch to a device better suited for apps and browsing, not just email.

Companies that have embraced partnerships with Android are also seeing big their investments pay off in spades.  For instance Motorala’s HTC really got a boost when they decided to start producing Android devices.  Mobile service providers like T-mobile and Verizon in the U.S. are seeing lot’s of new customers attracted to their service because they want an Android phone.

I will say that I am very happy to have gone with Android myself. I am going on the third year with the original device (G1).  It’s funny that I am still discovering new features on my phone and really just now getting more into using apps.  I will say that I dread the day I have to replace this device with something that doesn’t have real keys.. I hate touchscreen keyboards.

Google Unveils Social Search (beta)

This is a really cool feature that Google will be integrating into it’s search result pages.  The idea is that users will begin to fill out their profiles at http://google.com/profiles.  Profiles should be completed with all your social networking tools, blog, etc.  After a bit of time once your profile propogates and as you continue to add news, etc. to your social networks, google will begin to pull results from social networks of connections you have chosen and adds them into your search results.  This sounds a bit confusing which is why I included the video below:

Google Launching it’s Own URL Shortener, Goo.gl

Google announced yesterday the newest addition its toolbar, a URL shortener called goo.gl.  You may have already clicked the link and thought “..What kind of url shortener is this with no entry field for my links..?”  Unlike bit.ly and other popular URL shorteners, goo.gl is not a standalone URL shortnener.  To use it you must install the new Google toolbar to use it or use it via feedburner.  *I have actually installed my new toolbar and the share button is not yet sharing goo.gl links yet, I’ll update this post when that changes.

So within 24 hours Facebook announces the launch of it’s shortener, fb.me and google announces the rollout of goo.gl.  Sounds like bad news for the competition.. mainly bit.ly.  However, for now I’m sticking with bit.ly since it is the easiest way for me to track traffic stats to links that I shorten and share.

[edit] My tool bar is still not sharing with goog.gl however I have found this link shortening site that provides links with goo.gl

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