by George Heymann

Google Drive, Great start but room for improvement!

by George Heymann | @techeadlines

It’s been nearly a week since Google released Google Drive, and it’s off to a great start. Drive is available for Android, Mac and PC with an iOS and Linux client promised soon. The cloud storage drive comes with 5 GB of free storage which is upgradeable to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

I’ve been using Drive to replace Dropbox for many functions and have been satisfied with its initial implementation. I share my gDoc files as well as an assortment of other files between several of my devices.

Google Docs is integrated with Drive and I would like to see a shared Synced Google Music Folder that would replace the Google Music Manager for Up/Downloading music files. A shared Photo folder would also be a welcomed addition.

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Filed under: Android, General technology, Google, Services, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ho-Ho-Ho(ld) the phone, Santa’s calling

Christmas is one of my favorite Holidays. It’s a time to celebrate with friends, family and colleagues. Google is also in a festive mood this year.
Gmail is sponsoring a Christmas website, that allows you to send a personalized greeting in Santa’s own voice.

The site is very easy to use, simply fill in the blanks and make a few selections from the available drop down menus. The choices on the subsequent screens are varied enough to be both fun and interesting for the recipient as well as the sender.

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Filed under: Google, Services, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What are the most popular Android apps? Unsurprisingly the majority are Google properties according to Nielsen report.

by George Heymann


Nielsen released a report today that analyzes Android app usage for the past 30 days. Nielsen broke down the usage data gathered from its proprietary software installed on thousands of consumer phones who agreed to be part of Nilsen’s ongoing smartphone research.

Unsurprisingly five out the top six Android applications were Google properties, with Facebook being the notable exception across all three reported age categories. I say unsurprisingly from looking at my own “most frequently used” apps list.

Click to enlarge

Personally my top five Android apps are:

  1. Google Voice
  2. Gmail
  3. Browser
  4. Google Search
  5. Android Market

Rounding out my most used list is Dropbox, KeePass Droid, PandoraDoggCatcher and Amazon AppStore. What are your most frequently used apps? How do they compare to the Nielsen List?

Filed under: Android, Media, Services, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GrowlVoice – A Google Voice Client for Mac

by George Heymann


I don’t usually start a product review with a recommendation, but in the case of GrowlVoice for Mac, I’m going to make an exception. If you have a Google Voice account and a Mac do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of GrowlVoice.

The $4.99 application developed by Eric Horacek, is one of my favorite and most used Mac utilities. The excellent Google voice client lets you send and receive texts right from the Mac menu bar quickly and easily.

The threaded text replies makes it extremely easy to view and respond to recent messages in your Google Voice inbox again from the convenience of your Mac menu bar.

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Filed under: Apple, General technology, Review, Services, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Google and Samsung officially announce the Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

by George Heymann


Google and Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) at its press event in Hong Kong last night and there is a lot to report.

Let’s begin with Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), the latest version of the Android OS by Google, it looks fantastic. The user interface (UI) appears to be heavily influenced by Matias Duarte the Director of Android user experience at Google. Matias was formerly the VP of User experience at Palm and led the interface design teams at both Helio and Danger.

The ICS user interface is elegant in its simplicity, its emphasis on typography starting with ICS Roboto font and layout stands out as a divergent path in Android development. ICS unified gestures throughout the UI and applications should make navigation simpler for new and experienced users alike.

The capacitive buttons are gone, ICS uses full touch screen controls that automatically orient themselves to match the orientation of the phone. The buttons can also be adapted for specific functions that are context sensitive within application sub-menus.

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Filed under: Android, General technology, Google, Hardware, Media, Services, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Primer: Advantages of Using Gmail for Internet E-mail

Courtesy of Christine Kane

Shopping for an e-mail service is akin to shopping for detergent at SuperDuperMart: a mile aisle with 5,000 products that don’t differ very much. The little differences, however, are what make the BIG difference, and e-mail shopping is the same way. Gmail might be termed “new and improved”, to the point where someone who feels trapped in a Hotmail or Comcast account might wish to consider a change. Some of the more salient advantages of gmail are listed below.

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Filed under: Google, Services, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Calling from Gmail available in more countries, with lower rates!

by George Heymann

Calling from within Gmail to any mobile phone or landline is now accessible outside the U.S., in 38 languages. In addition to the service being available in more countries you can now buy calling credits in four currencies (Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars or U.S. dollars) with no connection fees.

 “To help reduce the cost of staying connected, we’re also lowering our calling rates to over 150 destinations around the world. For example, it’s now only $0.10 (or €0.08) per minute to call mobile phones in the U.K., France or Germany (landlines are $0.02/min), $0.15/minute to call mobile phones in Mexico and $0.02/min to call any phone number in China and India” according to Pierre Lebeau, Product Manager, Gmail team.

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Filed under: General technology, Services, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TouchType is celebrating its one year anniversary with the launch of Swiftkey X for phone and Swiftkey Tablet X for Android tablets (previously in beta)

by George Heymann

Swiftkey is celebrating its “first birthday” by launching two new apps, Swiftkey X and Swiftkey Tablet X. Swiftkey is making Swiftkey X for phone available as a free upgrade to users who purchased Swiftkey from the Android Market in the past year.

Swiftkey is also making SwiftKey X and SwiftKey Tablet X available for $1.99 to new customers — over half off each app – until Saturday at 6am PDT.

If you are not familiar with Swiftkey X, its one of our favorite virtual keyboard replacements for Android. It has the best predictive text algorithm I’ve seen for any virtual keyboard and I’ve tried most of them. We’ve done at least three different reviews in the past year for the various versions, you can see our latest review here.

If you want to take advantage of the limited time offer just click

Filed under: Android, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Preview: CrossTxT send and receive text messages from any internet connected PC

by George Heymann

CrossTxT is an Android application that allows you to send and receive text messages from any Internet connected computer. Once you set up your CrossTxt account, you will be able to send and receive texts and optionally synchronize your contacts to the CrossTxt database.

If you are familiar with texting through your Gmail account with Google Voice, it’s similar with some additional features and caveats.

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Filed under: Android, Google, Preview, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Swiftkey X : If you’re not already a TouchType customer you soon will be

by George Heymann

If you are a Swiftkey user Touchtype has opened its private VIP only beta to the public. The Swiftkey X beta is now available from the Android Market.

If you haven’t tried the excellent Android replacement keyboard before you’re in for a treat. TouchType has taken its already class leading predictive text algorithm to the next level with the introduction of its next generation cloud based fluency inference engine.

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Filed under: Android, Beta, Preview, Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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