Category Archives: Google

pixel 2 verizon unlock

How to Unlock your Verizon Pixel 2’s Bootloader (Yes, really!)

As somebody who has switched over to Android wanting to get the most out of my phone, I was rather disappointed after having figured out that Verizon wanted absolutely none of that on Google’s shiny new flagship phone, the Pixel 2. Thanks to an oversight by the very same phone carrier that disabled this option, you can unlock the bootloader on your phone right now. Continue reading How to Unlock your Verizon Pixel 2’s Bootloader (Yes, really!)

Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8 web searches surge after announcement of iPhone 8, iPhone X

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Apple’s iPhone, which has forever changed the way people communicate, work, and play. While the innovation of the device has created an industry worth over $470 Billion, it seems that Apple may no longer be the center of attention.

After the initial announcement of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the amount of Google searches for both the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8 surged around 75%, tailing off at 50%. What this means is the competitor’s phones are now being searched on average 25% more prior to the announcement of this year’s iPhones. Continue reading Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8 web searches surge after announcement of iPhone 8, iPhone X

Google I/O 2017 Overview For The Average Joe

The 2017 Google I/O just wrapped up with their roughly 2 hour presentation that discussed their endeavors for the following year. Android O, YouTube improvements, and AI were all covered in their most recent presentation. But some of the content that they released doesn’t pertain to the average user. Let’s go through some of the highlights, and explain how it will benefit the average Joe like you and me.

Continue reading Google I/O 2017 Overview For The Average Joe

Essential Google Chrome Extensions

Chrome is a great, fast browser. It was a game changer when it first came out, and it is still my browser of choice. One of the greatest features of Chrome is the fact it allows for plugins. These plugins can enhance your user experience and really make the browser feel like your own. I’m going to discuss my personal favorite Chrome Plugins below. Continue reading Essential Google Chrome Extensions

A World Run By Google – Are We Ready For It

As time progresses, I find that we are slowly being consumed by the technology giants of the day. Microsoft and Apple with firms such as Samsung and LG having their own slice of the pie. One firm, I personally feel, towers over them and does its best to stay innovative, yet accessible the the Average Joe and that is Google. Continue reading A World Run By Google – Are We Ready For It

Jotterpad – Writing Has Never Been Easier!

I am trying out a new layout for my reviews so tell me what you guys think!

Introduction

When it came to writing longer pieces of works on my phone, I found there were very few places I could turn to. There were mock Microsoft Word applications and a bunch of ‘writer’ apps that I felt fell short for what I needed. The apps were too clunky, too laggy, and not efficient. Not to mention, half of them lacked a proper way to link to synchronize to cloud storage. When I saw Jotterpad by 2 App Studio, it immediately caught my eye due to its simplicity and file architecture. It looked really clean and efficient. There were tons of features under the hood, but the exoskeleton had enough information for me to like it.

The Interface

Once I started using the app, I began to really like the interface. I love using night mode and was glad that they had one to begin with since a lot of apps lack it. The contrast between black and white was great and it looks very material. The FAB icon creates a new document and swiping from the left to the right lets me seamlessly switch from my local files to my Dropbox files, and it also lets me edit my typography. The folder architecture interface that Jotterpad offers really drew me to the app as well. What’s the point in having a great app if you can barely navigate it at all? It appears to be very clean and it is very fast to use. Navigating my 20+ Dropbox Folders and then navigating to my files is extremely simple. The app overall is smooth and has a layout that is completely uncluttered.

Easy to use layout
Easy to use layout

Features

I mentioned Night Mode, but that is not the only cool and useful feature that they have. 2 App Studio have also implemented research, grammar and spell check. I seldom use these features due to the type of writing that I do in the app, which is never school or research based, but it is nice to know that they are available to me. The typography layouts are something that I really like since I tend to write lyrics and poems as well as reviews for products in this app. Typography layouts have arbitrary font settings, but the app lets you increase and decrease the font size.

The best part of this application for me though is that they have Dropbox integration. I love using Dropbox and the fact that I can write on my phone and then it will be backed to my Dropbox reassures me that I am in good hands. In addition to the Dropbox feature, I recently synchronized a Bluetooth keyboard to my phone to do some note taking for class and was happily greet with the fact that Jotterpad has integrated keyboard shortcuts as well. Everyone’s favorite CTRL + C and CTRL + V are useable and effective in this app. CTRL + S also works which is great for quick saving while I write my reviews.

Jotterpad also implemented a small edit bar that is presented as an overlay for the users. This bar effectively adds some quick edit items for the user such as an asterisk or ellipses. For those quick edits, it has left and right arrows that move the cursor one letter in either direction.

Premium Features

Now, I am not a big fan of the pay gate that some developers put in front of you in order to unlock necessary features for a wonderful experience. Thankfully, Jotterpad is not like that, and their app is very useable without the premium features. I was surprised to see that their premium features cost so much in total (I believe $5.00 or something in that price range) and I was a little skeptical to buy it because I didn’t think I would need the extra features. The main two that stuck out to me during my decision making was that I could export my writings in a docx format into my Dropbox, meaning that I could literally copy and paste my contents into my blog for quick posting. This was a big deal to me, and made me ultimately buy the app, but the other feature that made go buy premium was that I was able to customize the typographies to get a one of a kind layout. I really enjoyed this and felt that although it was an aesthetic feature, it really made the app feel personal to me and it makes me want to use it more. Lastly, the app saves “Snapshots” of your writings which are basically various save states of the piece. This way, if you liked the way something was written before, you can go back to that version. I have never needed this feature before, so I can’t say for certain that if you loaded up an older save state, that you would lose every other save state from that one to the present, but it is still a pleasant feature to have

2015-09-23-2B08.33.22Overall

The app is great. If this article did not explain that concept well enough, than please go check the application out for yourself. It is not meant to be a Google Docs replacement in my opinion, just like it isn’t a Notes or Evernote replacement. It meant for substantial writing. That is not to say that it cannot be used for making a grocery list, or taking notes in class, but I find that there are other apps that could be much more efficient in their usage.

 

Check out Jotterpad here 

I Love Apple and Google Watches, But Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Buy One

The iPhone is a great phone: it’s easy to use and gets me through the day without any hassle. I used to blindly think that Apple was the only way to go when it came to portable electronics, since everything was so neatly organized into one package, so how could they possibly go wrong with a new piece of wearable technology?

Back in 2013, the Apple Watch was just a rumor, and as far as the general public was concerned it was called the ‘iWatch’. Lately Google has proven themselves pretty worthy with their latest Android software update, Lollipop, otherwise known as ‘Android L’, which bares its teeth with fantastic new features and a materialistic new user interface. With Google’s release of the beautiful new Moto 360 and recent steel version, I became extremely jealous of Android users, including my friend that just recently placed an order for one. But last year, there was no Moto 360, and there was no Apple Watch, and I was getting pretty sick of not having a magical watch sitting on my wrist. So I did what any logical nerdy guy would do: buy what was available to me, the Pebble Smartwatch.

Source: Phys.org
Now I’ve spoken about the Pebble Smartwatch before and even did a nice little review on it, but now that the Apple Watch has been announced and there is plenty of competition among smartwatches, I can definitely say with confidence that you shouldn’t buy Apple’s new watch. To be honest, I would never have expected myself to deny one of Apple’s products, but the Pebble has definitely set standards as to what a smartwatch should ultimately be. After having worn the Pebble for almost a year now, I’ve gathered some thoughts about what really make the Pebble so great.
It sounds cliche, but seriously, having 4-7 days of battery life on my watch has got to be the greatest thing ever. Whenever I charge my watch I’m always asking myself when it was last charged, and I always forget the day. Sure it’s easy enough to simply just throw the charger on and forget about it as we do with our phones, but I won’t ever forget to put my watch on and it expands my watch into the ability to do sleep tracking, which can technically be done on the Moto 360 but would be a struggle as it would have to be plugged in while you sleep. While you may be fantasizing about what can be done with your fancy new Moto 360 or Apple Watch, whether it’s tracking your heart rate or giving it spoken commands, how often are you really going to utilize that sort of stuff? I will admit that in the times that I do forget to charge my watch, the worst that happens is I flick my wrist to view a text and there’s nothing there, but other than that there’s nothing I’m missing.

Text, e-mail, and other various push notifications should be the main concern when it comes to a smartwatch. I’ve never told myself I needed anything else, other than maybe some turn-by-turn navigation for when I’m walking through the streets of NYC, which I think is already possible with PebbGPS on iOS. Occasionally I will check in on Foursquare or check the weather on Smartwatch+ in the morning, but really I don’t use many of the apps because there’s simply no need to. Of course developers will come up with some ingenious app ideas and watch faces, for example the Goldeneye 007 or Fallout 3 watchface on the Moto 360, but they’re not really needed, but of course they’re things you can grow attached to. Overall, the trade off is do you want 5-day battery life or do you want an AMOLED touch screen with more app support? I truly feel that the hype of a smartwatch app will die off within a week, and you’ll just be left using it to check time and notifications in the end.

Why haven’t I talked about the Apple Watch yet? Well, because it’s not out yet, and the Moto 360 is the easiest to compare for the basis of what to expect from it. Let’s just throw this out there and really let it simmer in your mind, because this is one of my main points: the Moto 360 is $249, not bad right? The Apple Watch starting price is $389. You can argue that the iPhone is $600+ off contract, that many high-end watches are expensive and that Apple products in general are just very expensive, but this is the FIRST generation Apple Watch. What’s going to happen the year after you just burned $389, spend $389 again on the next generation? Some people definitely don’t have a problem with that, but when you put it into perspective, it is 1.5x more expensive than the Moto 360 and nearly 2x more expensive than the Pebble Steel.

Source: TheNextWeb.com

Maybe it’s unfair to compare it to the Pebble since it doesn’t sport a fancy screen, heartbeat sensor or conductive charger, but the Pebble, Apple Watch and Moto 360 all do basic notifications when it comes down to it. It may seem like the Pebble is “behind” on its place in time, but the truth is that it’s right up to speed with current technologies. It is Apple and Google that are trying to push too far ahead by attempting to release watches with one-day battery life, which will likely never improve since battery technology only progresses as much as the technology within the watch does. So long as smartwatch manufacturers keep thinking that putting the latest technology into their watches is a good idea, battery may extend to two days at best.

By the tone of what I’ve already said, you already know that I’m loving my Pebble, and I do think you should buy one before you think about going out and buying a Moto 360 or Apple Watch. If rumors are any indication of what’s to come with new versions of the Pebble, the modular aspects of the new Pebble will likely be customizable watch bands, body colors, and body shapes (e.g. squared and circular). The Moto and Apple Watch are both beautifully designed watches and definitely blow away the Pebble in terms of functionality outside of notifications, but I just don’t think they are needed, although they are very cool pieces of technology that will change the way we interact with our phones. Once the next-generation of smartwatch arrives, I’m sure my opinion will change, but as for now I’m going to stick with my Pebble.

Samsung Puts Android Devices To Shame

Usually when you think about an Android phone, what comes to mind is the Galaxy S3. Believe it or not, the reason for this is the butt-loads of money Samsung spends on advertising, and comparing their devices to competitors. Not only do they consistently brag about the specifications of their devices, they’re so hell bent on doing so that they go as far as cheating on their benchmark scores, and then denying accusations despite getting caught in the act.

It can be agreed upon that Samsung devices are relatively fast phones. I would post the benchmark scores here to prove that, but they deem inconclusive. For years, they promised innovative new products, but instead they give us rushed almost dysfunctional products, poor build quality and slow gimmicky interfaces. The thing that flusters me is that despite all of this, people still buy their phones, because Samsung inherently distorts reality by placing themselves as ‘the best, fastest Android smartphone out there’. This would be completely and entirely false.

There are many Android smartphones currently in the market that are developmentally miles ahead of Samsung’s poorly built phones. Take for example the HTC One or Google’s Nexus 4. HTC’s phone is made with a full aluminum body, which may make the phone a little bit heavier although it keeps the phone from feeling like a flip phone out of 2001. With Google’s Nexus, you’re still getting a plastic phone, but this is built of a substantially higher quality plastic: in essence, it doesn’t feel like crap.

What I’m really trying to say is, Android devices can be pretty awesome so long as they’re not manufactured by companies lacking quality and innovation in their products, and capitalizing off their products by advertisment through besmirchment of other well-rounded companies. I can’t view their stuff as even ‘good’ or ‘decent’ because they clearly don’t care about their products. All they care about is manipulating their users into buying sub-par quality phones and tablets. While their phones may be useable pieces of technology, I feel that there are better options out there for the Android user.

What’s Up With Glass, and Will It Beat the iWatch?

Google Glass, photo by Cnet

The end of the year is going to be an exciting time, with a bunch of new stuff for us to play around with like the new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, as well as the possible pubic release of Google Glass by the end of 2013. Although, things have quieted down for Apple, and Forbes has stated that the iWatch may not make it until next year. Uh-oh!
2013 has been a great year so far. We’ve gotten tons of new tablets, smartphones, TV’s, and other fancy electronics to hold us over until 2014. Although undoubtedly, 2014 will be the year of wearable technology. Many of the major tech companies have been rumored or confirmed to be working on their own version of a smartwatch, but it can be assumed that these watches won’t be officially announced until around Q2 2014. That hasn’t stopped small startups like Pebble or GlassUp from taking a shot at making their own wearable tech before the huge market comes pouring in. But now with Apple possibly a step behind in releasing their iWatch, we won’t be able to see what is on the table for us, pointing my full attention straight at Google Glass.

This is not to say that one product may be better than the other. While both Google Glass and Apple’s iWatch will deploy similar functions, they are still two different pieces of technology that relay the information to you in different ways. While both visual, Glass relays the data straight into your eyes, almost like a cyborg when you think about it! A smartwatch will relay the information to you through vibrations and flashing signals on your wrist, which will require more of an effort on your part but definitely won’t attract as much unwanted attention of passers-by. You’re probably wondering why I mention all of this, and it’s pretty simple actually. Glass has been making a lot of buzz in the tech world, and if Google is the first to release their wearable tech, people are going to most likely buy Glass first leaving no room on anyone’s wrist for the iWatch. Not only that, but people will grow accustomed to the way Glass relays information as opposed to the way a smartwatch may relay information. Essentially they are (or at least should end up being close to) the same thing, but I guess in the end it’s just a matter of preference.

Yeah, there are of course some people that would rather wear a watch around their wrist than have expensive plastic attached to their head. Personally, I’m among one of the people that would proudly wear a screen-projecting piece of plastic to my head. Why? Because it may look a bit silly now, but our societies have to adjust to new technology. People will start by jumping to conclusions, wondering as to how why anyone would wear a computer on their head, but over time Glass will become more prevalent in the media and on peoples faces, and they will begin to understand why.

Super Hexagon

I cannot remember where I saw this game first. It may have been in a Youtube video somewhere, but I was interested by it and bought in on the Google Play store. I played it for a while, but I didn’t think much of it. I found it difficult at the time and I put it on the shelf for a while. I recently picked it up on Steam after a friend gave me a key on a forum for the game. Upon playing it on the PC, I realized how good the game really is. On Android, I traditionally have the sound muted, so I didn’t hear the retro/ spacy music Super Hexagon had to offer. Plus I didn’t really like the controls on the Android. I felt that touch feature was inconsistent in the game.

These walls and neon colors add
to the difficulty of the game

Upon playing it on the PC, it felt like a completely different game. It is a very straight forward game where you are a triangle that is stuck in a hexagon with walls coming at you at each of the six sides of the hexagon. The game speeds up and gets faster as the player progresses through the patterns and colors. What makes the game so difficult is that the colors throw off the player. They are bright and neon like, which can cause the player to observe the colors more than the walls progressing at the player.

Another factor is the fact that game spins which makes the game harder to follow. An enticing factor for the game is the simplicity of it. There is no aiming a sniper scope in between two barrels to kill someone or slaying a bronze dragon with a bow. It’s simplicity makes the user want to play more, to progress more and beat their old records. It is a super fun game and I recommend it to anyone who wants to kill a couple of minutes or a complete hour. It has a huge replay value and is very addictive. Although there are only six levels, they retain good replay value because the patterns of the walls always change and the colors add a cool dimension to it as well.It is overall a fantastic game and it is well worth the purchase. 

Google Glass: A Geek’s Toy, or Product of the Future?

Google’s Glass has been a few years in development, and I honestly never thought the thing would even make it past its conceptual stages. I could barely conceive the idea of transparency projectors in Elementary School. Who would have thought that it would be possible to project an image an inch away from our eye, streaming information pulled straight from our phones? Yet here we are in 2013, and pre-production units have already gone out to everyday people testing it as I write this article. Although considering your average person doesn’t know what Google Glass is, you’ll look pretty nerdy wearing one out in the public. The real question is, will people ever grow used to the idea of people wearing and using the Google Glass? Is it really plausible for Glass to become the next big thing?
Pictures and videos taken from the device have surfaced on blogs such as Lifehacker, Gizmodo, The Verge, Engadget, and just about every other tech blog on the planet. And, thanks to Jay Saurik, creator of Cydia for iOS, Google Glass is completely rooted before it’s official release. Glass is the future, isn’t it? GPS on our way to work, reading text messages, emails and notifications in less than a second of your time, and of course taking pictures and videos whenever you want so as not to miss the most candid moments of your life. How can’t something as innovative and intelligent as this not work?

What’s on your face…?

No, that’s not a piece of plastic taped to your glasses, it’s Google Glass. Sure, it looks beautiful… I love how it looks! But honestly speaking, does the average person really know what the thing on your head is? It’s almost inevitable to bring questions to you wherever you walk, turn heads, trigger stares, and arouse curiosity in everyone and anyone around you. Of course when you tell them what it’s capable of, they will definitely hopefully understand why you would want to wear a computer on your head. In a similar concept, when the iPhone was released back in 2006, not many people knew what it was and it was a piece of technology that was sure to grab attention. Now, I’m a college student, and it’s a tendency for college kids to own a smartphone, usually an iPhone. This is just one of the pieces of technology that set standards across the world. If the same logic is applied to Google Glass, so long as it gets popular enough, wearable technology, including things like Apple’s Smartwatch, will become a standard. Think of it as another great revolution in technology.

Google Glass and $1,499 later

Don’t get me wrong, Google Glass is cool stuff. But who the heck wants to pay $1499 on technology less sophisticated than the phone in their pockets? Nobody… except the ones invited to Glass Explorer Edition, apparently). With $1499, I can buy the latest in cutting edge technology like a GeForce GTX Titan, MacBook Pro, a bunch of Solid State Drives, you know… the usual household items. Sure, the price should drop down to just around $499 when it is officially released, but the current edition of the glasses are just way out of bounds of being affordable or even worth the money.

A Breakthrough in Mobile Technology, but…

Yes, Google Glass is definitely a breakthrough in mobile technology, and in this case it is considered wearable technology. It can certainly do things that the average smartphone is capable of doing, such as taking pictures or videos, but this is the first consumer device that will allow you to have information streamed directly to your eyes. While this is definitely a useful gadget to have, is it really necessary to own a device like this? How much more could we possibly do with Google Glass as compared to any other smartphone currently on the market right now? Well technically speaking, not much. The most compelling feature, obviously, is the screen which displays the information right before your eyes, allowing you to display your GPS for hands-free and non-distracting driving, or even allow for augmented reality applications to have computer generated elements project onto the real world right before our eyes. Personally, I feel as if my smartphone is good enough for doing passive things like checking my emails or keeping up with the latest weather forecast. But if given the opportunity to buy one at a reasonable price, I would almost surely take up the offer. Do you need one? No, you definitely don’t! Will it reduce the amount of time spent doing remedial tasks you’ve previously been pulling your phone out of your pocket for? Hopefully, yeah. I’m not so sure it’s worth hundreds of dollars to achieve this, but it’s definitely something to think about.