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Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Are you using Apple’s Ping

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Ping is Apple’s first earnest foray into the social network game. Introduced with iTunes 10, Ping lets users see the music their friends are buying from the iTunes Store, leave comments and point out what they like.

There are also several musicians participating. The more active among them post photos and videos, stories and so on. It’s a young network with lots of potential, but for now some folks are less than impressed. A recent update to iTunes put Ping in your music library (it used to be limited to the iTunes Store) and added a big ‘ol sidebar.

Our question to you is: Are you using it? I’ll admit that my interest has waned, and that’s because nearly all of the updates I see are of the “[Person X] is now following [Person Y]” variety, which isn’t very interesting. Perhaps if the artists I followed were a bit more active.

Google Voice due in the App Store soon

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm

TechCrunch has reported this morning that the Google Voice iOS app has been approved and should be in the App Store soon. They quote “sources” who claim that the app simply needs some tweaks for iOS 4 multitasking, and should be out within “the next few weeks.” This is potentially huge news for Google Voice customers.

Getting to this point wasn’t easy to say to the least. Here’s a brief recap of the saga. First, Apple pulled all Google Voice related apps from the App Store in July of 2009, which prompted an FCC inquiry. Apple responded by saying, in so may words, “Uh, we were just studying Google Voice.” Google shot back with, “Uh, that’s not true.”

Since then a mobile web version of the service has been released, and it’s quite clever, but not a native app. Several native apps, GV Mobile + ($2.99) and GV Connect ($2.99) have made it to the App Store and are filling the niche until the official Google Voice app appears.

Perhaps the development guidelines Apple released on September 9th allowed Google to identify just what they needed to do to win approval. If TechCrunch is right, we’ll find out in a few weeks.

AOL Acquires TechCrunch

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

So today September 28,2010 AOL has officialy acquired TechCrunch and its network of various tech sites (including MobileCrunch, TechCrunchTV etc). Now this move came out of no were to me, I wouldn’t see AOL as needing to acquire a site such as TechCrunch since they already own tech giant Engadget. With this acquisition AOL will basically dominate the tech reporting on the web. The acquisition was formally announced in rather dramatic fashion earlier this afternoon at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, where AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and TechCrunch Founder and Co-editor Michael Arrington took the stage to announce and sign the agreement, as well as answer a few questions from members of the audience (Armstrong actually published the news to TechCrunch from the stage too). Arrington, who founded the site in 2005 and still breaks many of its biggest stories, will remain a part of TechCrunch for at least three years as part of the deal, thanks in part to what he described on-stage as “incentives.”

iPhone 3GS (Mid 2010) Full Review

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 11:48 pm

The iPhone 3GS was re-released in June of 2010 along side the iPhone 4. The were both announced at Apple Inc’s World Wide Developer Conference held every June. Now when I walked into my local Apple Store I knew I would be purchasing the iPhone 3GS, why you may ask. I thought that the iPhone 4 would be a little too much as too what I am looking for really all I use my iPhone for is running simple apps Ffacebook, Twitter, and the occasional MySpace) and text. I do not have many family members with iPhones let alone the iPhone 4 so I knew I would be paying for capabilites that would be of no logical use to me. Now to get started with this review. First up is call quality. I am not going to lie when I say I have not been completely impressed with the call quality over At&t’s network. I have dropped several phone calls, and have on some occasions been asked “Why did’nt you pick up the phone” and I was forced to say that it never rang. Now as to AT&T’s capped data plans, I have had no issues so do not let that affect your purchasing of the iPhone. As for the iPhone’s keyboard I can honestly say that I have never seen any better on a smartphone (well for a touch screen smartphone atleast).  I have found myself typing insanely fast and accurately, which brings me to the point the iPhone has an amazing autocorrect that will autocorrect as you type. The web speeds on the iPhone are incredibly fast whether on AT&T’s network or connected to your own work/personal wireless network.

New Gmail For Android Continues To Decouple Key Apps From Core OS

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 1:39 am

It’s no secret that one of the biggest issues Android has faced is fragmentation — there are many devices running older versions of the OS, and carriers are generally painfully slow about upgrading older phones (only around 30% of handsets are currently running the current version, Froyo). One way that Google has been working to mitigate this problem has been to decouple key Android applications from the core operating system, allowing it to update its apps more frequently, without having to worry about carriers getting around to distributing OS updates. And today, it’s put one of Android’s most essential applications on this fast track: Gmail.

You can now download a standalone version of Gmail from Android Market (use the QR code below if you don’t want to have to go looking for it). The app includes some nifty new features, including a menu with options like ‘Reply’ that follows you down the screen as you read a message.

It also includes what Google is calling “limited support” for Priority Inbox, which basically means you can browse the ‘Important’ label (“limited” is definitely an appropriate choice of words here).  Fortunately the fact that this is now a standalone app means we can probably expect more frequent updates in the future

This isn’t the first key Google application to get the standalone release treatment: Google Maps, Voice Search, and the main Google Search application have all been released separately as well.

MerchantCircle Acquires Online Meeting Scheduler TimeBridge

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 1:34 am

Online marketing network for small business owners MerchantCircle has acquired meeting scheduler TimeBridge, we’ve learned. We’ve confirmed the acquisition with MerchantCircle. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2005, TimeBridge provides a web app and an iPhone app that allows users to coordinate and schedule meetings easily. The company, which has over 500,000 users, also offers a number of features that allow users to conduct meetings, including web, phone and video conferencing. The app will send attendees email and SMS reminders and allow users to upload documents and capture notes.

Ben Smith, co-founder of MerchantCircle, says that the startup plans to use to TimeBridge to allow merhcnats on its network to schedule appointments with consumers. Merchant Circle, which has been steadily growing, provides a business directory for merchants in smaller towns and currently lists 1.3 million small businesses. MerchantCircle has long targeted merchants in small locales versus catering towards the consumers, as sites like Yelp and CitySearch do. MerchantCircle has local business members in 95% of the 24,600 U.S. cities and towns with populations over 200.

While the company will continue to operate TimeBridge’s scheduling platform, TimeBridge’s technology will also eventually be integrated into small businesses’ profiles to allow consumers to schedule appointments and calls with merchants (see picture below). Smith said that the acquisition was also a talent acquisition; and says TimeBridge’s Yori Nelken will bring both his technical skills and business acumen to MerchantCircle.

Another asset of TimeBridge that was attractive to MerchantCircle was the patent portfolio that TimeBridge has in the online scheduling space. TimeBridge has raised $14 million in funding to date. MerchantCircle has been steadily adding new features, expanding to international markets, and increasing traffic to its site, perhaps in preparation for a possible IPO in the coming year.

Evernote iPhone App Review

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 12:29 am

Evernote is a notes application for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The main things that will set this incredible application apart from the native notes app are that it allows voice notes that will store in the app itself as well as on an online server that you can simply access by logging on to your account at www.evernote.com. It also allows you to take notes by using images. Now that I have given you all the details on this incredible application you can try it for yourself. It is free in the Apple App Store and signing up for a free account on evernote.