Essential Apps for Business Phone Users

Essential Apps for Business Phone UsersWhen your company hands you a smartphone for office use, you may want to maximize its capabilities to help you out with work. You shouldn’t consider it as just a status symbol for your position within the company or as a way for your boss or colleagues to contact you. What you have in your hand is actually a tool for multitasking and making your work easier. You may not realize it, but with the right mobile applications, it could very well be a great personal assistant.

To help you understand just what your smartphone can do, here are some great apps for you to have:

Evernote

When you attend meetings, one of the most important things you can have is a note pad. What makes Evernote an awesome note-taking app is that it consolidates all media you can record that’s related to a meeting or event into virtual notebooks that you can peruse later. You can take pictures, record voice or sound, and even store videos of presentation as part of your “notebooks.” Another great thing about this app is that you can access it from your work or home PC afterwards.

Dropbox

When you’re working with a lot of files that people need access to all the time, this file-sharing app may be a great choice for your office. You can give all your staff access to this account and let them see work files even from their own PCs and mobile phones.

RingCentral

Communication through smartphones doesn’t stop with mobile phone networks. You can actually make and receive calls for your company through a smartphone. The RingCentral app comes free with its cheap business phone system. You can manage all the phones in your office through a simple mobile app. You can answer calls using your business phone number at the office with your smartphone as if it were two phones in one.

JotNot

Your smartphone can let you scan documents and send them directly to your email or even file-sharing apps like Dropbox. JotNot can let you copy notes, magazine articles, and other documents easily and upload them to the cloud for shared viewing. You can send large files in a variety of formats as well. This makes things much easier for you and cuts down on time you need to write down details.

SlideShark

You no longer have to lug a heavy laptop around just to be able to plug into a projector. With the right adaptor and app like SlideShark, you can use or handheld device to make presentations at meetings. You can even share or send the presentations via Bluetooth. What’s more, you can also actually edit the presentations right on your smartphone.

What apps increase your business productivity? Can you suggest any that I missed? Please leave a comment and let us know!

How I Fell in Love with Google Chrome Apps

How I Fell in Love with Google Chrome AppsWhen a new browser came out, I was always right there. I was reading dev logs and peering over the new details of bug fixes and what modifications we’d see in future releases. To me, an Internet browser was the window to our digital life and, if it’s done wrong and it’s complicated to use, I can’t live. I worked my way past Internet Explorer and leapt at Opera, clamored for Firefox, and when Chrome came out and introduced me to something so simple and clean, I was in love. Absolutely.

After some slow-going roll-outs, Chrome finally introduced us to apps. Much like you could get on your phone, Chrome apps were a way that we could take the applications we loved on our phones and put them on our second most-used interface: Our Internet browser. This gave us a wealth of possibilities and none of these slid past me for even a second as I was right there to absorb all of the productivity enhancers and possible time drains that Google Chrome had to offer me.

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of scaling back and tweaking my experience to be one of customized heaven. What’s wonderful about the app selection in Google Chrome is that it doesn’t want you to take anything you don’t want. The app screen for your Chrome browser isn’t meant to fit a ton of items on one page and clutter up your screen if you don’t want it that way, you know? It just says: “Take what you want until you’re happy, but know you can always go back.” And I needed to see that. I remember when I got my first iPod touch and I knew I could download apps there — I went insane. I needed everything on there and, with a hard drive like you have on a computer, that can get kind of crazy. Nobody wants to see half of a terabyte devoted to silly apps, do they? No, they don’t.

What kind of apps did I choose? Why, I’m glad you asked! Among my favorites, I chose the ones I use on a nearly daily basis — and repeatedly. Check them out for yourself:

TweetDeck

Most of you who use Twitter are already familiar with TweetDeck and how spot-on it has always been for us desktop users. Sure, it has its home on mobile devices, but I always loved it here on my PC. As soon as I pop my browser on, this button is right here and waiting to be clicked.

Dropbox

I was a bit late in the game when it came to understanding cloud storage and became a full on supporter once I mastered the Amazon cloud storage and its possibilities. Dropbox offers just what I need plus an easy way to invite people to share the files I put there. You might be thinking: “But Google Docs?” And, no, until Google Drive is ready to go — bug free — I’ll be safe here at Dropbox with my several gigs of cloud storage at the touch of a finger.

PicMonkey

Now I’m well-versed in Photoshop and have been for years, but what about those quick shots you don’t want to have to edit in Photoshop? Maybe they’re just quick snaps of your breakfast or a new gadget? Not worth the trouble? Well, PicMonkey knew I would love it for simplifying color correction, minor editing, and sophisticated filters put into button format. It’s easy to use and it tends to even come in as a finishing stroke after I edit in Photoshop now. I absolutely love it.

Do It (Tomorrow)

This little program is my lifesaver in a world filled with Google Calenders, BaseCamps, and complicated scheduling utilities. I don’t need them because my life is already pretty streamlined and I like it that way. It’s like giving someone a Maybach to drive to the grocery store around the corner, you know? This is where Do It (Tomorrow) eases in and says “Look, you just need to remember what to do tomorrow. That’s it. Don’t go crazy.” and leaves you with it! Simple format, absolutely free, and has one of the sweetest little journals inside with handwritten fonts, coffee stains, and page-turning sounds. I love it. It loves me. End of story.

How I Fell in Love with Google Chrome Apps

Mibbit IRC

Once in a while, I frequent some modification and emulation chatrooms that revolve around imported video games from the ’80s and ’90s and, when I go there, I need a quick shot into those rooms. Mibbit grabs that IRC link and turns your browser into a streamlined IRC chat client in the blink of an eye. Merely slap your nickname into the window and you’re off and running, regaling in stories about when the Sega Master System was the beginning of an amazing era of gaming.

WordPress

True, it’s really easy to just go ahead and type in your blog’s name and access the WP-Admin login system, but this little app knows you’re busy. It knows you’re obviously using WordPress for something personal and close to your chest and it gives you the ability to log in and get it all out. It’s simple, quiet, and without distractions of sidebars and craziness. Sure, I don’t really use it for work, but for my personal blog, it’s perfectly suited there on my app bar.

Pixlr Editor

Remember up there when I was going on and on about Photoshop and PicMonkey? Well, Pixlr Editor is in between those two worlds. Yes, when you edit as many photos as I do, you need a few middle men in the mix. Pixlr Editor is when I’m not quite finding what I want with PicMonkey but I’m on the go. It’s as sophisticated as one can imagine for being absolutely free and gives me the right amount of quick-fire detailing that I need to get to before getting into my Adobe mindset. If I’m going to boot up Photoshop, I know I’ll be there for days working and tweaking. Pixlr is a beautiful little app that cuts those processes down dramatically.

How I Fell in Love with Google Chrome Apps

These programs are ones I use to keep my sanity at a reasonable level and you’ll notice that none of these have anything to do with the rich, casual gaming environment that Google Chrome has ventured into with its apps. You’re right. Why? Because I choose to do my gaming on a console or through Steam. I use Google Chrome to stay as productive as I can and leave the gaming for outside browser windows.

I’m curious what apps you use and if you find yourself drifting towards productivity or casual entertainment. Show off what you use and if you think (or don’t think) that including apps in browsers is far better than just simple extensions and add-ons. Our phones are like small computers in our hands that offer applications on-the-go, and Google actually gives us the opportunity to use those same tools on our computers. Excited? Elated? You know I am.

5 Must Have Free Apps For Your Apple iPad

We got our Apple iPad about 6 weeks ago, so the newness hasn’t worn off as of yet. The more my wife and I explore the applications available for this device, the more we are impressed. Here are five free apps we have found that are fun and enjoyable to use.

The Amazon Kindle free app for the Apple iPad is one of the best apps on the market for those of us who are avid readers. Amazon offers a huge selection of free and paid e-books on the Internet. Though the Amazon Kindle is a great e-book reader, I believe that the Apple iPad does an equally good job, except for the glare factor. The iPad does have a glare from the screen when viewing an e-book, but a slight tilt of the iPad usually cures this quickly.

Even though we have a book case full of cookbooks and printed recipes stacked up under one kitchen counter, my wife still struggles with finding the perfect recipe for the perfect meal. Epicurious has solved this problem by providing thousands of tested recipes right at her fingertips. Using the free Epicurious app for her iPad she is able to save and even email recipes to other family members. This app is a must have for those who enjoy cooking or who, like myself, enjoy trying and eating new cuisine.

Netflix offers a free app for your iPad for those of us who are Netflix members. You can stream your favorite flicks right to your device and use it as a mini-TV. When the iPad is not being used for viewing recipes, it now doubles as an entertainment device.

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking on my work computer and it works fairly well. It does make mistakes and I need to correct some misspelled words on occasion. But the free edition of Dragon Dictation actually works very well on the iPad. When sending email messages and for short notes, Dragon Dictation is definitely worth trying for yourself. Just remember that all voice recognition programs still have issues so do not expect perfection.

Flipboard is a free app that allows any Apple iPad user to obtain all of their favorite news and information in a fun and easy to read format. Flipboard provides access to your Twitter, Facebook and RS feeds in one simple and convenient location in what looks like a magazine. I used the app last evening and this afternoon and I can only give this app a one word description and that is fantastic.

The more I use the Apple iPad with apps such as these, the more I can see an Apple iPad in my future.

Amazon Appstore Launches For Android

In a release today from Amazon, they have launched the Android Appstore, which is the equivalent to the Apple iTunes App Store.

Amazon, which has deep roots in e-commerce, is looking to expand into the mobile marketplace. It is looking to sell apps better than Google can do on its own platform, which it could possibly do. We are all well aware of Google’s Android Marketplace and the reputation it has. Amazon’s Appstore has a great potential to outsell Google and take on Apple in the near future.

Starting tonight, Amazon Appstore will be accessible at amazon.com/appstore. Android device owners will be able to download the mobile version of the store to their device. With the store supporting hundreds of mobile providers and a variety of different devices, it will spread like wildfire very quickly.

We got a hint of this back in January when Amazon began to recruit a high amount of developers and persuade them to work on this project. With its initial launch, the Appstore will be loaded with 3,800 applications for users to download.

Amazon seems to be just dipping its feet into a slew of different content like music and e-books. This could potentially hurt its efforts due to the company having its attention split amongst other projects and aspects. However, the company seems to be confident of a huge payout at the end.

Currently Amazon cannot compete with the big boys just yet with Android Market and Apple iTunes spanning over 150,000 and 350,000 applications in their libraries. Amazon’s is taking aim at quality over quantity and launching with its biggest app being Angry Birds outfitted for the movie Rio.

Aaron Rubenson, leader of the Amazon Mobile Services division, said:

“The developer response has been really strong. We’ll be launching with a broad range of paid and free and the customers will find lots of best selling titles from Doodle Jump to Call of Duty to Zagat and Tweetcaster. The list goes on and it’s just day one. We are adding more every single day.”

All users and developers of mobile applications are having a common problem when publishing their apps, getting their apps discovered, and monetizing what makes their apps great. Amazon has promised that it will do four things to help with this problem:

  • Amazon will offer one free app a day to help with promotion.
  • Amazon will offer a feature called Test Drive, which allows a customer to try before they buy. Users will be able to open and use the app from within their computer browser. It will last for about 30 minutes before they are prompted to buy it.
  • Amazon will drive recommendations based on a user’s purchase history.
  • Amazon is also enabling one-click purchasing for anyone with a credit card on file.

Amazon is also proposing to do some unheard of things to drive app downloads:

For instance, if the developer recommends the app be sold at $1, and Amazon agrees, they’ll make 70 percent, or 70 cents on each download. If Amazon decides to make it free for a day, the developer will make 20 percent off their original recommendation of $1, or 20 cents. The developer will always make whichever is greater.

Amazon will mostly be relying on traffic and downloads by its own referrals to get the service going. After it has been out for a while, it plans to partner with carriers and device makers to get the Appsore natively on the device. Amazon said its first third-party partnership will be with Cellular South, which will make the Appstore available to its customers through preloads and other methods.

[Amazon Press Release]

5 Great Free iOS Apps

Modern mobile platforms have changed the way many look at mobile computing. Your social interaction, finances, planning, time management, and entertainment can travel with you in your pocket instead of forcing you to use a bulkier notebook computer. To date, the iOS platform has brought millions of users to this environment previously dominated by pricey PDAs and business-class smartphones.

Below is a quick list of five apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) that have become a big part of my daily routine.

Pandora Radio
Everyone has their own taste in music, and in the past we used to rely on local radio stations to hear something new. With the growing popularity of the Internet, music took on a new form and online radio stations began bringing new sounds to people all over the world. Even with this fantastic leap forward, the music you heard was typically limited by the disk jockey’s selection and personal preferences. This is where streaming music services like Pandora come in.

Pandora uses an algorithm to match your personal musical taste to a specific style. It learns what you like and what you don’t through a Digg-like up or down system allowing you to tell it when you like a particular song or don’t care much for it. You can also tell it the name of an artist or song and it will find similar matches and work from there.

With their iOS app, you’re able to take this customized music stream on the road with you and enjoy it wherever you are as if you were listening to a purchased song collection of your very own. If you really like a particular track, you can purchase it with a click.

TweetDeck
Being able to manage one social network account is easy, two is more difficult, three is a big hassle. TweetDeck allows its users to manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts in a format that’s a little easier than having to switch between multiple programs.

While TweetDeck, in my opinion, certainly isn’t the best Facebook client, it does a good job of keeping the news feed in order. Being able to post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously without having to use apps that can send updates meant for a single network to both accidentally is another big plus of the program.

WordPress
Managing your blog from the road can be a real pain if you have to drag the notebook out, find a Wi-Fi signal, and make sure you have an outlet nearby because your notebook is constantly running low on power. One solid solution to this for me has been the WordPress app. It allows me to moderate comments, edit old posts, create new ones, change publishing options, and view articles on the fly.

In some ways, this app on the iPad is easier to manage and use than the WordPress administrative dashboard you log in to from a desktop or notebook PC.

Wikipanion
Out of all the reference apps currently installed on my iPad, none has had more impact on how I do quick checks than Wikipanion. Wikipedia is a giant source of information and having an app optimized to present its information on a mobile platform is incredibly useful.

Dropbox
This app is a quick way to get to your files from the road when you’re away from your system and need to check something on the go. The free 2GB of storage Dropbox offers customers allows you to sync your photos, documents, and other important files in the cloud as well as on your local drive. Using this app, you are able to access all of these files from your iOS device without having to open a laptop, remote in to your home machine, or bother with maintaining a home server.

I’ve used this app on numerous occasions to transfer a file from a private folder on Dropbox to a public one allowing me to download the file from a machine I didn’t trust with the password to the entire account. Once the file was downloaded to the machine, I got back on my iPad and moved the file back to its original place secured on the Dropbox server.

While these are my top 5 free iOS apps, they may not be everyone’s favorite. It comes down to the individual and what they want to get out of their mobile experience. Comments are more than welcome.

What are your favorite free iOS apps?

What is the Chrome Web Store?

This week, Marques is talking about the new Chrome Store. The things you’ll find here are sort of a cross between web apps and desktop apps. The Chrome Web Store is an online marketplace where you can discover thousands of apps, extensions and themes for Google Chrome.


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Every item in the store has its own page, where you can read and contribute reviews and ratings. If you use multiple computers, synchronize your apps, extensions, and theme across all your computers with browser sync.

Web apps are advanced interactive websites. They may provide a wide-ranging set of features or focus on a single task like photo-editing or shopping. Extensions let you add new features to your browser. For example, an email notifier extension can show an email alert in your browser toolbar so you don’t have to log in to your email in a separate window to check if you have new messages. Themes allow you to you customize the look and feel of your browser, including themes from leading artists and designers around the world.

Thanks for another excellent screencast, Marques!

3 Apps to Show Off Your iPad

So, you’ve just picked up a fancy new iPad and all of your friends want to check it out. Sure, you could show them the iBooks, email or browser apps that they’ve all seen in demos and TV ads, or you could really blow their mind with a few apps that seem tailor made for those “WOW!” moments. Inexpensive or free, these are three apps that every iPad user who wants to show off a little bit should have loaded up on their home screens.

1. Uzu

Uzu calls itself a “kinetic multitouch particle visualizer,” but it can be more accurately summed up as an LSD trip on your iPad screen. Uzu’s an app that presents you with particles that float around the screen and respond to your touches. The concept is simple, but it’s easy to spend hours just playing with the particles and discovering all the cool things you can make them do.

Uzu responds differently based on the number of fingers you’re touching the  iPad screen with, all the way up to 10, and contains a control panel that lets you tweak settings like motion blur, amount of particles, color, and much more. The different patterns of particles will follow your fingers around the iPad screen, and you can even set it to automatic mode and simply watch the particles fly around and change shape and color without doing anything.

Immediately engaging and easy to use, Uzu is great to simply hand your friends and say “look how awesome this is!” It’s singlehandedly changed people’s opinion of the device.

2. Flipboard

Plenty of iPad Apps have tried to emulate the print newspaper and magazine layout with varying degrees of success, but Flipboard does the best job of taking content that’s interesting to you and formatting it in a way that’s perfect for the iPad. Flipboard can take your Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds and transform them into an elegant, magazine-style layout.

Just plug in your login information to your social media sites and get ready to experience Twitter like you’ve never seen it before. Twitpic images are blown up and displayed alongside your tweets, linked content is scraped and displayed like you’re reading a newspaper, and all of this happens automatically. Your Facebook feed becomes a morning newspaper, and your Twitter feed becomes a magazine made entirely of content that you’re interested in. Flipboard isn’t hugely useful if you’re monitoring a large amount of information on Twitter or RSS, but it’s a quick way to skim your tweets in the morning and an even better way to show off how powerful and innovative the tablet form factor can be for reading content.

3. NFL 2010

This app might cost a little bit more than the others ($10), but if you’re a fan of football at all or enjoy sports games, you’re getting as much value here as you’d be getting from a $60 Xbox or $50 Wii game of the same name. NFL 2010 shows off just how powerful the iPad can be as a gaming platform, with innovative controls, full 3D graphics and pick-up-and-play gameplay.

NFL 2010 has all 32 NFL teams and stadiums, the best graphics I’ve seen on the iPad platform, and game modes that will entertain football newbies as well as players and coaches alike. The game offers full touch controls–just tap the receiver you’d like to pass to, for example, and even allows you to draw custom routes for your players via a neat multitouch interface. The touch interface feels like what’s always been missing from football games, and showing this off to any football fan will have them impressed in no time.

Bankers With iPads Signals The End For RIM

If I was Research In Motion, I’d be selling the farm. Despite every new phone, every valiant effort they’ve pushed forward to make their phones and devices to look more business friendly that iOS offering, Apple continues to destroy them.

Don’t misunderstand me, I have much love for the BlackBerry devices…of yesterday. But rather than doing something completely new and different like Windows Phone 7, the latest RIM devices feel like a bad replica of something using Android. Worse, was the invention of the app store. Something RIM has to compete against with both Apple and Google now.

The takeaway here is that bankers with iPads is signalling the end of RIM and I am fairly sure the stock market is going to be reflecting this in a strong way here very soon despite apparent gains made today. The problem isn’t so much the devices themselves, rather the walled garden for messaging that is BES and the competition with mobile apps. An area where the biggest competitors were once Palm, Microsoft and RIM has blown up to Google, Microsoft, RIM and Apple. RIM cannot compete and even Microsoft, has their work cut out for them.

At this point RIM’s only prayer in my book is to make a Palm like move and dump the BlackBerry experience as we once knew it. But unlike Palm’s (now HP) WebOS approach, logic would dictate begging Microsoft for access to their wares or at best, look to Android. Why? Simple, because RIM needs a real app market place in order to have a hope in the world of competing. Apps are now defining the success of mobile devices, not just the experience and usability they provide.

Windows Phone 7 Unlocked

One thing that the Windows Phone 7 folks seem to be getting early on is allowing people to mod aka hack their phones to a certain extent, is good for everyone. It’s great from a PR perspective as it provides Microsoft with plenty of free positive press. There is also value in allowing users to decide how they installed their mobile software.

With Windows Phone 7 unlocked, users will find that it is possible to do something called sideloading. The idea with sideloading software is that people can install mobile apps without needing to rely on a centralized software store. USB, tethered mobile devices, etc are all examples of sideloaded installation options for sideloading software.

What is awesome about this is that you can actually unlock your Windows Phone 7 device simply by using a simple executable. Nothing fancy, but it works easily. Why does this matter? Because it means that potentially ordinary users may be able to share apps easily.

Now clearly there are some downsides to this platform over Android or the iOS. But more and more, I am seeing advantages that are difficult to ignore.

Open Web App Ecosystem

One of the biggest gripes among those who want to use more web apps is that there is no centralized, standard means of discovery, management and even just installation. Seems like everyone has a different way of handling web apps. And there can be little doubt that this poses a real problem for everyone looking to succeed within the web app space. Enter Mozilla’s proposal for dealing with the problem.

According to this article, Mozilla wants to create an open web app ecosystem of sorts. I like the idea, as it would provide a set of rules for others to follow which would provide for more cross-brand opportunities without the usual headaches of Microsoft-like lockdown that make the Web, suck. Obviously, this is a bit of a poke at Apple’s way of doing things where it’s all Apple, all the time. But with mutual cooperation, this open web app ecosystem could very well be a real hit.

After examining the criteria for where Mozilla wants to go with their open web app ecosystem concept, I think the biggest factor that will need to be addressed is making sure that we see a strong community develop early on. Without such a community, I don’t believe there will be enough participation for anyone to really benefit here. Oh, one other area that needs to be addressed. Getting developers involved. With so many being bent on doing things their way, we may see some friction here. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have to kiss a few frogs before finding devs who are on board.

Lost Your Roku Remote? There Is An App For That

Thankfully, I have yet to lose my original Roku remote. But after looking into something called DVPRemote for the Apple iPhone, it might  be time to put the old remote control up on a high shelf. On the surface, it’s just another over Wi-Fi remote control much like we’ve seen in the past with Boxee’s Wi-Fi remote on the mobile platform. But DVPRemote provides so much more. Not only can I search for stuff with the real iPhone on screen keyboard, but I can also organize my Roku channels from the remote itself!

Now for the really cool part. Add Netflix movies to your queue, from the remote interface, select the order you want them to appear in… the list of cool options just keeps going. When you find a Netflix title you like from the remote interface list on your iPhone, select it and it will automatically scroll to that selection on your TV screen. Clearly this is the only way to enjoy Netflix in my household now.

Organizing channels, complete control over your Netflix instant videos, and the ability to search for stuff on Netflix and Amazon OneBox makes this one of the most valuable apps I’ve purchased in a long time. Even on my older Roku box, which has HDMI but is of the previous generation, the remote control application works like a rockstar. Just set it to find new Roku boxes and boom, you’re all set. Even if you have multiple boxes in your home, this application has you covered.

The final tidbit I liked about this app is, after my recent manual upgrade to the latest Roku update, I found myself wishing I owned one of the remotes that come with the new Roku boxes. Why? Because they provide instant replay, info, and other buttons not provided with the previous generation. Not to worry though, Roku’s extended functionality works with this software despite my old remote not offering me these features. Best part of it all, this app is only $3 US. Seriously, I spend more than this most weekends at the Amazon OneBox anyway. Might as well get something worthwhile with my $3 this time around!

Introducing The Amazon Android Store

We all know about Google’s own Android marketplace for apps, but that is expected. After all, it’s Google’s mobile OS. So it fits. But what about a company like Amazon stepping into the right, offering Android apps of its own? Now that would be something.

According to this article by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is going to be launching an Android Marketplace of its own. This, of course, further pins it against Apple as it is already competing with video and music content. Now Amazon is looking to take it on with the app market.

Clearly, this is going to be a bold move for Amazon. Why? It’s not only Apple that Amazon is taking on here; to a lesser degree, Amazon is also going to be tackling Google even though it is using Google as a springboard for its app efforts. Everything considered, it should be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Google TV – Who Cares?

There should be an image here!As I continue to follow the concept of Google TV and how it is supposed to work, the less impressed I become. I mean if Hulu Plus, Roku, among others didn’t existing, the news of Google TV might be something worth following. But outside of the introduction of HBO content, who cares. Feels like Google TV is simply trying to get “apps” in front of the TV watching crowd.

Truth is without a massive partner push of TV content, this is going to be as exciting as Google Wave was. And we all remember what a confusing snooze that mind cluster of confusion was. Again, Google TV has a lot to prove. Thus far, all I see is a vehicle for content partners and developers. There is next to no reason why anyone in the right mind is going to care about this.

Okay, that might be a little harsh. Those who created it and perhaps some curious geeks, will find Google TV interesting perhaps. Maybe that will be enough to get more content partners on board and for Google TV to distinguish itself from other TV content providers. What people want is simple. Kill my cable bill, provide me with an ala carte solution to content. Whichever provider gets this, wins. Simple as that.

Android Apps Sending Covert GPS Data

There should be an image here!Most people are totally fine with approved applications using GPS data. After all, many popular apps on Android rely on GPS data to provide the level of function promised by the app being used at the time. But what about when an application is using GPS data and sending it elsewhere without your knowledge?

According to this article, it seems that some popular Android apps are sending user GPS data to remote servers without the user being aware of it. This means, unbeknownst to them, confidential data is being broadcast to who knows where.

It’s called a privacy policy, folks — that’s all anyone is asking for. If you have an app collecting data on someone, letting the end user know about it is all that anyone really expects so they can allow or deny such a thing. It just doesn’t seem all that unreasonable.

[Photo above by Eric Fischer / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Friend Or Foe – Let The iPhone Be Your Guide

There should be an image here!I’ve never been much into simulated combat type stuff myself, but I can see the potential for fun with outdoor events such as paint-ball and other related activities. But what if when you were “attacking” the enemy fort you were able to determine, safely, who the “bad guys” actually were? With a new app for the iPhone called Layer, games such as paint-ball and real life combat situations alike may very well be on the forefront of changing forever.

Now obviously trusting the safety of the men and women in uniform is not too likely to fall into the hands of a consumer level iPhone app, especially considering the need for it to access a Wi-Fi network. And this article does a good job at pointing out that this kind of software is best left for backyard gaming and not real combat situations. But the undeniable fact of the matter is that this sort of thing is best left to backyard fun and theory.

Despite not being ready for the real world perhaps, the idea of using this kind of technology might have other possibilities. Maybe locating stuff throughout the house by eliminating what is not junk. Or perhaps there are some other fun ways to make this sort of thing work.

[Photo above by jurvetson / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:Spyder Victor Paintball]