Chromecast is the first media player I know of that has no remote control and no hardware buttons (except for a reset button, but that doesn’t really count. It’s – literally – a plugin for your TV that adds “Google”. Unlike other media players and Smart TVs, it does not have its own interface. Your Android or iOS device is used to browse media and control playback.
More Google Chromecast first impressions
Recently, iPazzPort – known for their wireless media remotes – launched the Pearl. This little plastic ball (seen on the right side of my TV in the image above) and its accompanying remote are designed to be put in your living room and act as a central hub in your digital life. The people at iPazzPort were kind enough to send me one, and I’ve spent some time with it over the last weeks. Here’s what you need to know.
More Ten things you should know about the iPazzPort Pearl
In October of last year, Samsung sent me a Galaxy Note 2 phone to try. I blogged about it a couple of time, and have been using it as my primary device since. I like it a lot, and was getting used to its large dimensions.
But then it started to act up. Random reboots and freezes, crashing apps. Not good. I did some research, and my unit appears to be suffering from “Sudden Death Syndrome”. Here’s what I’ve found out so far.
More Note 2 update: Sudden Death Syndrome
Recently, I discovered Rando, a photo sharing app for Android and iOS that’s pretty much the opposite of every other app in that category. With Rando, you don’t build a social network of fellow photographers, nor are there buttons to like, share or retweet photos. All you do is take pictures, and get pictures in return. You images are each delivered to a single random stranger, and the ones you get in return are from other random strangers. And somehow, all this randomness is fun.
More Rando: Send pictures to strangers, get pictures from other strangers
Now that Samsung has unveiled their Galaxy S4, all candidates for “Top Android Handset” are now out in the open. It’s up to us consumers to decide which, if any, we’re going to get. I’m going to be really unfair to Sony and LG, and discard their efforts straight away. I’ve never been a Sony fan, and I haven’t played with an LG phone since the “Viewty”, which was terrible in every way. I think the real fight is between the current champion Samsung, and the most audacious challenger, HTC.
More HTC One vs. Galaxy S4, which is your favorite?
Yesterday, HTC announced their new flagship phone, simply called the “One”. Not to be confused with last year’s One X(+), One S and One V models. In what looks like an Apple-like move, HTC now has one high end smartphone, available in two colors and with either 32 or 64 gigabytes of storage. I really hope that there won’t be a “One+”, a “One Mini” or a “One Ace II”. Simple is better, and from the looks of it, the new One is the new optimum in smartphone design.
More HTC One: Could this be the One?
When Ubuntu moved from the Gnome desktop environment to Unity with version 11.04, I wasn’t one of the many people who thought it was a bad move. Gnome was starting to feel old, and I like many of Unity’s interface choices. But there’s one thing that makes no sense to me, and it’s driving me crazy.
The launcher bar in Unity is always positioned on the left side of the screen. You can choose to have it “autohide”, set its sensitivity, its icon size, but not it’s position on the screen. And Canonical has made it very clear that they’re not willing to reconsider this. Here’s why I think they should.
More Unity’s fixed launcher position is terrible for multi-monitor setups
A while ago, I read an article on Mac360 about how Apple is supposedly destroying Android “from the inside out“. It’s a “fairly biased” piece, and it somehow seems to argue that Apple’s ability to make money off of content is a good thing for end users. But that’s not what caught my eye (since we all know the iPhone is essentially a shopping cart). Here’s what did.
The question that tech media and stock analysts should be asking is, ‘How long before Android and Google’s partners give up the chase?‘
More I really hope Blackberry and WP8 succeed, and here’s why
When I decided to no longer maintain my WP-Cumulus plugin a while ago, one of the reasons was that the project was in disarray. I wanted to improve so many things at once, that I ended up finishing none. One of the plugin’s parts however, the actual Flash movie, was 99% done. That’s why I’ve decided to put it on Github.
Note that this is “Cumulus”, without the “WP-“. It’s a new version of the movie, that uses a different, more generic XML format, and supports new things like unicode and device fonts. It’s not a WordPress plugin. If you’re looking to revive WP-Cumulus or incorporate the effect into other projects, it’s the ideal start. It’s the best incarnation of the effect, and I invite you to write stuff around it.
One of the things I really like about Android is the enormous momentum the platform has. New phones come out almost daily, and it’s become completely undoable to keep track of new app releases. I find that my devices are usually full of apps that were the absolute best at the time when I bought the device. Apps that aren’t necessarily the “current champions”. I guess that’s why it important to share app tips. Here are couple of apps that I recently discovered, that are real gems.
More Five excellent Android apps that I recently discovered