Google Chromecast first impressions

chromecast-box

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.
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Roy | August 20, 2013 | English,Gadgets | Comments (8)
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I really hope Blackberry and WP8 succeed, and here’s why

Blackberry_Z10A 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?‘

Huh, what?
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Is Google moving away from the Android brand?

Yesterday, Dutch media guru @erwblo tweeted an interesting question. Erwin wondered whether Android users are aware that their phone runs Google’s mobile OS. People around me usually are, and in my experience, they usually consciously choose Android over other options.

But others chimed in and it seems that at least a portion of Android users are unaware that their Samsung or HTC phone is powered by the cute little green robot.
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Google’s Nexus 7: Epic want!

It’s been a while since I really blogged about gadgets. A couple of years ago I used to get really excited about upcoming products, and I just couldn’t shut up about things like the CrunchPad and the Eee-PC. Lately, that hasn’t happened much, and I’ve been wondering why. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that I don’t have time to blog, or lost interest in gadgets. It’s just that everything released lately has been “incremental”. Almost everyday there’s a new laptop or tablet that’s thinner, lighter, faster than the previous one. Evolution, not revolution. The first thing that’s really tickled my fancy in a long time is the Nexus 7.
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Roy | July 4, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (4)
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Two years in, the HTC desire is still a great phone

Usually, I write about newly announced gadgets. Things I’m contemplating spending money on, because they’re cutting edge and boast impressive specs. I can spend hours comparing different products trying to find the absolute best fit for my needs. But sometimes it can be equally interesting to look back on a previous purchase and see if it lived up to your expectations.

Almost two years ago (and on a two-year contract), I got an HTC Desire. The Desire is basically HTC’s own version of the Google Nexus One. They manufactured Google’s flagship “superphone”, and somewhere along the line decided to introduce a slightly modified version as the Desire.
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Roy | March 18, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (18)
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A dystopian future of the mobile internet

A couple of days ago, I had an interesting dicussion on Twitter with Dutch media guru @erwblo. He noticed a trend at SxSW, where all exciting new developments seemed to be centered around apps. I tried to argue that apps are “evil”, but found that I needed a lot more than 140 characters to explain myself. Hence this post.

Right now, there’s a war raging. Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft and others are caught up in a bitter fight over supremacy on the mobile internet. And the stakes are high. The web is about to go mobile. Smartphone sales are up, and dumbphones are getting smarter. Tablets are replacing part of the laptop market, and will soon represent a big slice of overall internet consumption.
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My thoughts on the Nokia Microsoft deal

Over the last couple of days, rumours that Nokia would adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform started gaining momentum. I wasn’t suprised when they turned out to be true today. The leaked internal memo by Stephen Elop had made it very clear that drastic measures were in order, and this seemed like the most likely scenario.

Ever since the news was announced, I’ve been reading bitter tweets and blog posts in which Nokia developers and fans detail why they think this deal is a bad move for Nokia. But as understandable as their frustrations are, almost all of those messages are based on a single assumption. That Nokia would be able to maintain market share in the smartphone market with Symbian and/or MeeGo.
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Roy | February 11, 2011 | English,Gadgets | Comments Off
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Am I the only one who sees things like this?

Just look at the image below. The left version is the bottom right corner of my Chrome browser window (version 8.0). This logo appears on every new empty tab, and I can’t help but wonder why Google didn’t spend 15 seconds making it look nicer. The version to the right literally took that long to make. I added a little padding, made it more subtle and changed the way the text aligns with the logo.

Looks much better, doesn’t it? I think it went from “Hey, there’s room for a logo there” to “all this awesomeness os powered by Chrome”. If I were a company trying to promote a new browser, I’d try to get these things right. And it’s not like they can’t afford it, right?

Roy | November 17, 2010 | English,Internet,Software | Comments (10)
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Is anyone actually using an Android tablet yet?

Even before Apple’s iPad came out, there was talk of “a tsunami of cheap, Chinese Adroid tablets”. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to actually see one in real life. Or even in stores. The only real reviews I’ve seen are of Samsung’s ludicrously expensive Galaxy Tab, which with it’s small screen I’m not at all interested in. Meanwhile, Google has announced that it considered Froyo (Android 2.2) “not ready” for tablet use. All this makes me wonder. Has anyone out there actually used an Android tablet? What’s it like? How does it compare to Apple’s offering?

If you’ve got a tablet that uses Google’s OS, and would like to do a guest post/review type of thing, please contact me.

How to get the most out of your Android phone

I’ve been using an Android phone since April, and it took me a while to get used to Google’s OS. I’d had two Symbian devices before getting the HTC Desire, and as it turns out, I made a few mistakes in getting used to my new phone that ended up keeping me from fully enjoying my new phone. I found myself needing to unlearn old habits in order to use Android as it was intended. Here’s what I learned.
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