Monday, June 30, 2014

Is Google Cardboard Oculus Thrift?

After the I/O Keynote speech, Google's gift to developers seem to be a strange little cardboard box you would find an book shipped from Amazon in. As developers opened the box and saw cutout that could be similar to what you would find in a cereal box, the developers put them together and turns out, it was a mock VR headset similar to Oculus Rift. While Facebook is pouring in billions of dollars developing the VR headset, Google not only released a cardboard pizzabox cutout of a headset, they released an APK and an app that runs a game, Youtube and photospheres for this app.

So who cares right?

Google just gave developers a green light to dabble in the realm of Virtual Reality. Google has always had the model to give developers and consumers more than they need and ask for and see what sticks (give more than what Apple gives consumers); what doesn't go away and what does stick gets developed into something. What may have started as a mock to Facebook and also Oculus may as well turn into something worth developing.... and this is brilliant... if the product and also the idea fizzles out and fails, well it was a gimmick and it wasn't supposed to be taken seriously. But what happens if it did catch on and there is something there? Well then this changes a lot and gives developers something new to give the consumers as well as  new ideas and creative space. Seeing this and exploring what it can do, it doesn't seem like the
Google Glass Technology and also Project Tango is that far away and different where we have a merger in the technology.

CNETs Article for Google Cardboard

This is an interesting program because there is so much upside to this without it really being heldback by price and cost to consumers. Similarly the Chromecast was released as a dongle to stream content from your device to your TV, was that a Gimmick? No, is it a revolutionary device? No, was a convenient and price affordable? Yes!! And the consumers everywhere bought into it and volumes sold of this product and you could get one for the first couple months of the release. The consumers said "Well if this thing doesn't work, I'm only out 30 bucks...So hpw bad can it really be" turns out, this device is widely used and is growing everyday.

Am I comparing Chromecast to Google Cardboard... No... but what I am saying that there will be something there. Is this the same as suggesting that a girl should go out with you as a joke so you don't feel bad when you get shot down... what's the worse thing that could happen, she says no... But what happens when she says yes???!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Evolving Glass - Glass evolves your memories like the cell phone evolved the camera

As a current Google Glass Explore we are currently still in Beta test mode and trying to mold and shape Glass to be the best product on the market when it releases to the public. As we have been coming along in the Glass Explorer Program, we all have experienced many revisions to Glass XE Software as well as a hardware refresh swap done a while back for original explorers. After using Glass and trying to evolve the product through surveys and feedback, the data and experiences create while doing is what only history and use of Glass can provide to the users and Google. As an Explorer I found that majority of my pictures we not only taken on Glass but a video was captured in lieu of a picture.

Yes a picture is worth 1,000 words how much is a 10 second snippet worth? Seeing the snippets of video not only lets me relieve my moments in a better experience but also the videos captured was authentic, raw and in the moment, this is something that a hand held device can not replicate. So as Glass Explores are taking more and more content, we are creating more and more videos which we as children did not have and cannot recreate. So now with taking pictures, we are now taking videos that complement the moments and enhances the user experience. Though this seems like this article is a no brainer, surf your Google+ auto backup and you can see the amounts of footage that probably would not have been captured otherwise, this footage is not only irreplaceable but moments never to be relieved again.

This is what brings me to my original point. Glass is giving you the capacity to change the way you remember the moments and also change the way you experience them because you are not missing the live moment to capture it on your phone. With the way phones are today, fragile and bulky, by the time you want to capture a great moment or something brief and unexpected, its fades away, unless you have Glass. Now Glass is in a way upgrading the way we will remember our photo stream, our soon to be massive Youtube Channels will log 1,000s of Glass videos and archive them for you to have later and share with your kids instead of #Selfies.

In my opinion, what will push Glass to where it needs to be and also make it better product is Google+, Glass will store all the moments in the hard drive but with the recent upgrades to Google+, the introduction of Auto Awesome video stitching, Panorama and Stories. Stories and Auto Awesome and the updates to this function of Google+ is what Facebook and Twitter are not only missing but cant recreate or produce, well maybe Facebook. As of today all the stories can only be share throughout the Google+ Network and not cross social media apps, and the way Google can develop this function, ability of share and archive and put together multiple moments and pictures will push the Glass experience beyond anything Samsung Gear and Tizen can do.

So as we now rarely capture our pictures using film and a camera, even a digital slim sony one, having the ability to see, point and capture is something can an iPhone can not compete with. Apple once stated in their keynote (Maybe it was Steve Jobs) the best camera is the camera that you use (or something like that). After you pull it out, wake it up, pin you password tap the photo icon, load and shoot, not only did you become oblivious to the world for 10 seconds you missed everything, forget missing the oppoutunity of capturing it, you just flat out missed it.....What?? What did happen?

Thanks for reading! and create more content!
Podcast coming soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Amazon Fire Phone... or Flicker Phone

Today Amazon released a phone today called the Fire Phone which will be be featured along the Kindle Fire tablet line and Fire TV. Now I always have stated that the world is a two horse race between Samsung and Apple and LG creeping up in the distance, while Google/Android also duking it out via platform/software, the hardware is between the iPhone and Galaxy. For a phone to break into the scene of the smart phone market and make an impact, it truly has to change the game, be functional, useful and we have to fall in love with it because not every company shouldn't have the right to be our phones because of the sub par quality of the handset.

           SIDEBAR - Please think about this, A phone company like Apple or Samsung battle it out to   get your money to be your phone for 2 Years. So be very picky because even marriages can end quicker without consequences, so how is Amazon going to earn its way into your pocket and pocket book?

Amazon delivers the sale pitch at their keynote that Steve Jobs perfected and Apple is successful at, so the fact that even their sales pitch looks and sounds like Apple, tells me you should buy an iPhone. Amazon is also tell you that you can store pictures and giving up Cloud drive space and throwing in Amazon Prime membership for free. I guess these are perks if you are a regular subscriber and Amazon did just beef up its App Store and added a music streaming service.

What you are going to get with this handset is a quality build product, Amazon's flagship devices are not going to cut the quality of the build, the phone  features Gorilla Glass and chamfer edges throughout the phone, the screen is quality and the cameras are also pretty impressive to power the gimmicky 3D experience. Amazon introduced "Fire Fly" an app that can scan items and give you the option to buy it from Amazon instead of standing in line for the product that is right in front of you. If you live entirely in the Amazon Marketplace and if you are too lazy to type the item you want, well then this is the phone for you!

This is the major drawback, if you are going to be married to this device for 2 years, you are paying the same amount to AT&T because Amazon has an exclusive carrier deal to only be offered with this service (sorry Verizon). Also if you don't already have a Kindle, then you probably do not know that the app store is extremely limited, the Google Apps that everyone in the universe uses, even on Mars and Jupiter because Google has been there, so the productivity that your current phone is, except for you flip phoners out there!

So in closing why would you buy this phone? for the same dollar you get a refined phone from Apple, a superb phone from Samsung with better cameras and the best screen ever tested, a Google built phone such as a Nexus that has the purest Galaxy Experience which can connect to smart watches and Glass. By choosing this phone you are giving up all the utility, all the refinement of the many versions of iOS, you are stuck with something that is super limited and doesn't offer much that you couldn't get with a free phone. I guess if you really need to save money to get streaming services and Prime for a year (but what about year 2, now your stuck with a garbage phone and you have to pay for Amazon Prime - FML!). The only thing that can sway my opinion is if you can manage the inventory of your Amazon Store and improve you Amazon Store... well then that right there is a game changer!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Styles Make Fights.... How Yosemite and iOS8 give Apple a Fighting Chance Against Google and Andriod

Thanks for reading another blog posting and welcome!!!

If you just read my previous blog recently then you know how excited I am about the announcements at #WWDC last week (sarcastic of course). Well after reading posts and articles and seeing the event multiple times to examine what was announced and trying to digest the nuts and bolts of it.... There will some nice surprises in the works coming soon to users.

Lets not look at the surface of the announcements because we can all understand that iOS can relay to OSX... but what does that mean and why do I care???

Looking beneath one step further I am seeing that Apple is developing an entirely different #ecosystem for iOS.... maybe a true ecosystem for the user. Previously we all judged and considered Apple vs Google strictly on software and hardware and stock applications and the abilities of the applications to get you deeper and more personal information and data, knowing what you want before you knew it or knowing exactly what you searching like 2 people finishing up each other (sentences)<=== thats supposed to be blank BTW...

Apple has Numbers and Pages to compete with Excel and Word and that is failing while Google integrated a Docs and Pages program for free into their Cloud Drive application which is super convenient and also FREE!! Apple has push integrated new features in iOS that WOW'd iOS users and was heavily mocked by Android users who have been using similar features in previous builds....

Well enough with the obvious... As far as Innovation and ground breaking, few of us believe Apple is capable of this anymore... well until last weekend. Watch the WWDC carefully and notice not only the new features, but this is describing a totally new ecosystem that is not seen on specifications and pixels, but in userability and convenience to do things better.

In my opinion Apple has now taken the back seat in introducing innovation and is going off the beaten path of perfection, perfection of the user experience that people have been missing and don't know about. Apple has just redefined ecosystem and what you can do with it, you Macbook knows what your iPad/iPhone is doing and can finish emails, features are crossed integrated not only in applications and also in devices. Multiple devices have multiple uses before that have not been available before. You phone is now a "hotspot" for your Mac, automatically, your Mac is now your phone, you can start an email in iOS and finish it on your Mac.

To productivity people these are the things that are going to change and affect our lives and a daily basis. These are the features that are not easily found in specs and these are the things that can make 1 person as productive as two. Now Google and Android have dominated the phone market, activations, technology, camera phones and social networking.. but now at least Apple can something to get them back into the game and can begin to be a little exciting again..

Thanks for reading!

Podcast coming soon!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WWDC - Am I Impressed? No… Am I Disappointed? No…

WWDC - Am I Impressed? No… Am I Disappointed? No…

This is my general feeling now....

After watching the WWDC and seeing the Apple hype of what is coming out of Headquarters this year I can tell you that I am not overly excited as I used to be when I watching this, and I not disappointed either. As I have blogged about Apple for a while now, I have accepted that their is new direction and this is not the Apple of old that got us to risk getting fired because we lost productivity for an entire day or in my case, weeks. The tech-arms race between Samsung vs. Apple and Google vs. Apple is long decided and I no longer hope, I just accepted this is the way it is, this is similar to Maywether and Pacquia. I will give break downs of WWDC and what is going to be new with OSX - Yosemite in later blogs so users can understand the little things about it and see how this integrates into their lives, but is it innovative and is this upgrade going to change anything? Nope. 

As Apple develops the iPad and refines and refines and refines this product, it just has become essential to our everyday use. The fact that this device changed the landscape of electronics altogether and was once innovative is now just perfected for our convince and use. To me Apple does not go out on the limb anymore, it does not risk anymore, I just don't see the creative minds at it used to have in making new technology anymore. It seems to me that now Apple is taking the approach to see what everyone else is doing, sit back and observe what start ups and up and coming tech is doing and integrating it into the ecosystem, which is great for them and great for the users too. 

WWDC has shown us that Apple is putting all their resources into making thing beautiful and simple, transparent and evolving apps and functions such as Spotlight, Toolbar and Mail. The displays and the way the notifications alerts you for appointments is becoming better and better and using the iOS functions and integrating it into the new OS. I am not going to bash the new upgrade and since it is free, I'll take it… however its not something that I am overly excited and going to check on an hourly basis of when the release will appear, and I am not even going to sign up for the Public Beta Program. 

I always say that innovation is when you bring to different things together from different fields and make it work and create something new, something fresh and something better. Apple is giving us a new OS, something more functional and better than OSX Mavericks, however, these functions are nothing new and nothing to get excited about and nothing that I need to have right now and I don't even know why it is worth blogging about…. but I am. I am no longer disappointed, because we have seen this over and over and this is becoming their new trend and brand.. So it is expected. Windows isn't good enough for me to jump platforms, the Macbook is still built better than the Windows Laptop, the screens and hardware of the iMac are still superior to anything Dell, Toshiba and whoever is putting out hardware, so we stay by default. Google has the better and more innovative software, platform and ecosystem, however their current model isn't about perfection it is about innovation so producing a product through as many refreshes as a Mac… This is not going to happen, sorry Chromebook Pixel, maybe I may consider it in about 4 more revisions when it is right for consumers and can compete with the Retina Macbook Pro I am using now..

I guess I am one more WWDC away from being disgruntled and complacent….. Tim Cook tells us to be prepared as Apple will unveil the most innovative products in the next upcoming WWDC, we all now what it is going to be, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Phablet and a new iPad and most likely a Retina on an iMac, the release of the iWatch, which is so late i don't even care because wearables are failing, and the new AppleTV. I should have started with "Spoil Alert" but the way Apple is going, what is there to spoil?

Thanks for reading as the Podcast is being reformatted and released on Thursdays!