Mar 04

blogimageGoogle phones just keep getting better and better. Google released Gesture Search for Android phones today, which allows you to quickly search through your contacts by simply drawing on the screen.

Say you want to call your buddy Chris, just open your contacts and draw a ‘C’ on the screen. Instantly, your address book will scroll to the Cs. For a more refined search, draw ‘CH’. Swiping left to right will cancel the search, and swiping right to left acts like a delete key.

Gesture Search is intuitive as well. After you search and call your friend Chris, the next you search by drawing a C, your address book will go straight to Chris.

To download Gesture Search, just search for it in the Android Market.

Feb 24

earthand2Google released the Google Earth App for your new or refurbished Android cell phone today. The app is claimed to be the fastest mobile version of Google Earth yet with “a smooth framerate and a beautiful 800 x 480 screen.” The people at Google are thrilled with the way the Nexus One is handling Google Earth.

With the release of the app for Android comes a nice little improvement to Google Earth, which is the Roads Layer. You can now have the names of roads layered over the satellite imagery view to get a better understanding of where are you are or are going.

Like always, Google has packaged the best of their technologies with their newest release. With this Android app, you can now use voice search to locate things in Google Earth. Just say things like “Empire State Building” or “Romantic getaway Santa Barbara” and watch the pin marks pop up.

I think the app is only available for the Nexus One right now, but Google says it will soon be available for all Android devices running 2.1 software.

Feb 19

google-shopper-1Yet another ridiculous application from Google for your new or refurbished cell phone. Google released a new app called Google Shopper today for Android devices. The app allows you to quickly and easily locate product information by using your phone’s camera. Simply take a picture of product or of its barcode, and you will be provided with information about the product, about how much it should cost, and about where you can buy it. The app also recognizes cover art for books, CDs, DVDs, and Video Games.

The shopper app also allows you to search by voice if, say, there is no barcode on a product. You can also star products in order to save the information to be viewed at a later date. Because starred information is saved, you can view it whenever you like, even if you have no service on your phone. To download the app, just search for “shopper” from your Android device.

As usual, Google has provided a nice little video demonstration. Enjoy.

Feb 18

goggles_landmarkIn December, I did a post about what Google Goggles can do for your new or refurbished cell phone. I just read a post from Google today that was pretty impressive. Google is working to integrate their translator program into Google Goggles so that you can take pictures from your phone of things written in a foreign language, and, within a fraction of a second, Google Goggles translates the text for you.

In the video below, you can actually see it working with a menu written in German. According to Google, German is the only language that Goggles can translate as of now, but they plan on making it compatible with 52 languages in the near future.

Google’s online translator does work incredibly well (with, I believe, 52 languages), but Google Goggle with the translator will save you the time of having to enter the foreign text, and, being an avid traveler, I can tell you that the few seconds it takes to enter the foreign text into your phone usually costs you the entire conversation.

Feb 16

GBuzzBBLast week, I posted about Google Buzz and how it integrates with your Gmail account, but I didn’t really get into what it means for your new or refurbished cell phone. As opposed to Google Buzz on your PC or Mac, you don’t need to have a Gmail account to use Buzz on your mobile. If you have a smart phone running Android or an iPhone, you should be pretty excited about what Buzz will bring to your world.

What I find coolest about Buzz for your mobile is that when you press the “Nearby” button, your are shown all the recent Buzz posts, from everyone – not just people you know, in your vicinity, listed in order of proximity. Okay, so it’s Friday night, you live in the city, and you’re bored. You hit the “Nearby” button, and you see posts pop up all around you like, “Drink Up Buttercup goes on in 15 minutes,” and, “The new Frida Kahlo exhibit is beauuutiful,” and, “Open Bar at Las Vegas Lounge till midnight,” etc, etc.  Because the Buzzes are tagged with GPS, you see from exactly where the person posted the Buzz. You now have a list of things to do of which you were previously unaware.

Think of what that means if you’re a business owner. Because you don’t have to be “following” people to see their Buzzes when you’re using the Nearby feature, you could Buzz your nightly promotions, and they’ll pop up on mobiles all around your vicinity.

The possibilities are really endless. Say your power goes out – post a Buzz like, “Anyone else’s power out?” and your neighbors may immediately respond, “Not on our side of the street.” How about, “HELP! Our dog Boomer ran away!” Someone down the street might reply saying they found him. What if you’re new to a city and you’d like an insider’s perspective? It’s as simple as Buzzing: “Where can I get the best cheesesteak around here?” “Tony Jr’s on 8th, duh.” Done deal.

To get Google Buzz for your phone, visit http://www.google.com/buzz and click on the button at the bottom right that says: “Get Buzz for your Phone.”

Again, happy Buzzing.

Feb 04

Picture 2Some friends in NYC have a great blog called Born Tired, which consists of nothing but images captured from their new and refurbished cell phones. Most of the members reside in New York, but many of the contributors travel frequently, so photos get posted from around the world. The pictures range from funny and ridiculous to beautiful and artsy, but what makes Born Tired so awesome is that the photos are nothing more than glimpses of everyday life.

The dominant theme of the blog is photos of people sleeping in public/random places (hence the name Born Tired), but a bunch of other themes have developed as the blog gained popularity. A lot of them are kind of inside jokes, but if you frequent the blog, you’ll start to pick up on them.

Born tired has gained so much popularity over the past year that there’s a sandwich named after the blog at Hana Food Corporation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the the blog is now actually being made into a book.  The book will be a collection of the most popular photos as well as sections for the most common themes, and it will be published by &Press sometime this year. Born Tired the book is rumored to be approximately 150 pages in length and should retail for $10 – $15. We’ll keep you updated on the release.



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