Posts Tagged ‘Web Apps’

Google TV Gaining Network Support

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Google TV is coming this Fall, and it is picking up some speed. Google announced some new partners today.

Along with Sony, Logitech, Best Buy, Dish Network, and Intel, Google now has Turner Broadcasting, NBC, HBO, and the NBA.

These weren’t the only names dropped today. Amazon Video on Demand, Netflix, USA Today, Vevo, Pandora, Napster, Twitter and blip.tv were among those listed. It looks like Google TV is going to hit the ground running. You can check out some of the apps in the video below.

Google shared some more information about the service as well. Google TV will be based on the Linux version of Chrome, version 5. This means that apps that work on Chrome should work on Google TV. The Android Market will be made available after launch. Google says it will come in early 2011. Google TV will start with Android 2.1, but will get an over-the-air upgrade to make it compatible with the Android Market. This is interesting, as Chrome OS is coming this fall as well. This could be a bridge between Chrome OS and Android, though nothing has been said regarding this possibility.

There are two ways to enjoy Google TV. You can either get a “smart” tv from Sony or soon from other manufacturers, or you can get a companion box, the Logitech Revue for use with your current TV. You’ll be able to use the Revue or your own Android phone as a remote for Google TV, which is a pretty convenient feature.

I’ve been looking forward to Google TV since it was announced at the IO conference. It looks like it will start out pretty strong, and then the doors will open for developers to do what they will with it. Google has said from the beginning that Google TV will be heavily influenced by developers. There is enough flexibility to offer a lot of opportunity. In other words, this should keep getting better. With a pretty strong starting lineup, Google TV apps are going to make TV exciting again. At least that’s the plan. You can learn more at the new Google TV page, google.com/tv

What do you think? Does this blow Apple TV away? What features are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments.

Microsoft is Getting Smarter

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Microsoft announced on its Windows Phone Blog that the new Office Mobile 2010 is available for free. There is, of course, a catch. You have to own a previous version of mobile Office. Even with the catch, it seems that Microsoft has finally figured out what Google has known all along. People like FREE apps.

Microsoft has been terribly slow on the uptake when it comes to free products. It’s flagship Microsoft Office Suite is the priciest of the popular productivity suites, and there were no signs of letting up on the steep entry fees. Google Apps, Zoho, Open Office, and even WordPerfect were able to take full advantage of Microsoft’s lack of free options. It seems that Microsoft has finally gotten smart and is offering its software as a free upgrade.

Does this mean that Microsoft will start offering more stuff for free? Hopefully, but unlikely. Microsoft has been fragmenting its products for years, offering dumbed-down versions for lower prices, yet still hard to reach for many consumers. If Microsoft insists on having three home versions, a couple enterprise versions, and other high-cost software, it will take a long time before they recover from their current freefall.

This may very well be a case of too little, too late. Microsoft took way to long to join the free app movement. Even now, this is just a free upgrade to a paid product. While this is certainly a smart move, Microsoft has a long way to go.

Web Apps and Google Chrome

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

This post was previously featured on the Pepperdine SOLIS blog. I wrote it in May, but I use it all the time so I think it is still relevant.


For the readers out there that aren’t aware of it, Web Applications (Web Apps) are entering the mainstream in a major way. One can find scores of apps that do a variety of different fun – or even useful things. Take, for instance, Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome allows you to make your own web app as simply as adding a bookmark. What would one do with a Chrome App? A number of things.

One way I use my Chrome Web App is with Dictionary.com. I am a frequent visitor of Dictionary.com. When I learned what Chrome could do, it was one of the first Apps I made. What Chrome does is create a modified browser window that sits on your desktop. You get to see the web content but the traditional menu bar and navigation buttons are missing. See the image as an example.

When I need to look up a word, I just click the icon I saved to my desktop, and am instantly on the Dictionary.com page. I look up my word and simply close the app, just as I would close Microsoft Word when I am done with it. This is extremely useful to me, and Dictionary.com isn’t my only Chrome App. The load speeds are superior to a similar desktop application, and I can take it with my wherever I go, without worrying about licensing and user privileges.

I use Chrome to make a variety of apps, from Dictionary.com to HootSuite (Twitter) and Facebook. Give it a shot and see how it suits you.

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