nexus_one_list_ars-thumb-640xauto-10960Well the rumors proved true even in regards to the name of the new Google Phone – The Nexus One. Google fans are overwhelmingly excited about the Nexus one but even more excited about what the Google Store means for the new and refurbished cell phone industry.

The Nexus One is running the newest Android 2.1 software and comes with all of the awesome, pre-loaded apps like: Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube and Google Talk, and additional goodies like Maps Navigation and Google Voice. Its processor is insanely fast, it’s got a five-megapixel camera, and it shoots video as well. The Nexus one also has a really cool new feature, which is a voice-enabled keyboard for any text field. This means you don’t have to type at all anymore. Searching for a YouTube video? Just tell your phone what video you are looking for, and the Nexus One will type the search for you. It works the same for composing texts and emails. You can find more specs for the Nexus One here.

The craziest part of the Nexus One announcement is that it’s for sale at Google’s new web store as unlocked. For the first time ever in the US, you can purchase an unlocked phone from the manufacturer’s website and then pick the phone plan you want from any of the carriers that support the phone. Google’s store could seriously shake the pillars of what is the current mobile phone market in the US. It will be interesting to see how long companies like AT&T play along.

Tikinotes_0001I recently did a little review of Swype, but a new app from Tiki’Labs is challenging Swype for the fastest touch texting app title for your new or refurbished cell phone. They’ve even put a video in which Tikinotes wins (by a very small margin).

Tikinotes seems to be focusing on the idea that the bigger the “button” on the touch screen, the quicker you can type. They have designed a two-touch system where the initial screen shows you six large boxes, four containing six letters and two containing a combination of letters and symbols. To type, you first tap the box containing the letter you need, which changes the six boxes of multiple letters to six boxes, each containing only one letter. You then tap the letter you need. It sounds tedious but if you watch their tutorial video, you’ll see that it actually looks pretty quick. Again, the idea is that you eventually memorize where the letters will appear and can type really quickly because the buttons are so big, so you don’t have to worry about hitting the wrong letter.

I’m still not entirely sold, but I think that if I try it out, I will be. I still swear I could text faster on the old two-letter-per-button layout of the Blackberry Pearl than I can on a full QWERTY because the buttons were just a little larger, so maybe Tikinotes is what I need. You can get the app at iTunes for, I belive, $1.99.

goggles_landmarkGoogle never ceases to blow my mind with what we will soon be able to do from our new and refurbished cell phones. Google has recently released Google Goggles (currently available for only Android phones like the Motorola Droid), which allows you to use the camera on your cell phone to perform Google searches.

All you have to do is open Google Goggles, point at the building, book, business card, painting, etc., snap a picture, and the Google search results appear. It gets even better when you use it with local businesses. Just open Goggles, point your camera at the business and without even having to take the picture, Goggles will display the name of the business, which you can tap for more information like contact info and reviews. There is a nice little video on the Google Goggles page, where you can get more information about Goggles.

There has been some backlash about Goggles, however, as Google has been working to incorporate face recognition into Goggles. Face recognition means you could literally point your camera phone at someone walking by and if there is information about that person online, the search results for them would pop up. I admit, I’m not sure if this feature is scary or cool. Maybe scary cool.

mifiVerizon has recently released Mifi, their new mobile broadband device, which now allows you to carry your own high-speed Wifi hotspot. At $60 per month, Mifi could save you some series cash by allowing you to consolidate your bills for high speed Internet and your new or refurbished cell phone.

Mifi is about the size of six credit cards stacked on top of each other and unlike other mobile broadband devices, Mifi does not need to be physically connected to any of the devices (you can connect up to five at once) drawing high speed Wifi from it. Think about the possibilities it allows. You no longer need to limit where you eat and drink based on who has Wifi (adios five dollar coffees), you can be online during car trips, you can be online in the park, and, best of all, you can eliminate your Internet bill and reduce your cell phone bill because Mifi gives you the option to use voice over IP calling everywhere you go.

Let me paint you a scenario. You already have Google Voice, which allows you to make free calls and texts over the Internet when you are in a Wifi hotspot. With Mifi, you will always be in a mobile hotspot. Hypothetically, you could reduce your cell bill to the cheapest plan (just so you still have a phone number) and strictly use voice over IP calling.

If you have a Skype account, you don’t even need a cell phone any more. You could just buy an iPod touch and with Mifi, you could make and receive all of your calls via Skype for a fraction of what you pay for your current cell phone bill. After you cancel your high speed Internet bill, which is about $45 per month on average, and reduce your cell bill, which I would assume is at least $60 per month, you could literally save your self almost a hundred dollars a month and never have to worry about where to find Wifi again.

htc3I just came across a video that is really interesting and seems to represent the future of text messaging on your new and refurbished cell phones. The software is called Swype and what it enables you to do is text on a touch screen without having to lift your finger, allowing a trained user to text a much quicker speeds than are possible with traditional texting (I think the guy in the video texts a something like 55 words per minute).

The way the system works is you slide your finger from letter to letter, and the software instantly figures out the word you are intending to type. It’s kind of hard to explain, so check out the video for a demonstration.

When the video first started, my initial reaction was, “That’s stupid,” but as the video went on, I began to see the possibilities that this system offers. It seems undeniable that Swype allows you to text faster (once you get used to it) but being a traditional touch typist, I am not sure that I want to train myself to text with one finger. I guess I’d have to try it to really know.

Picture 1There are now hundreds of thousands of apps available for your new or refurbished cell phone, and we don’t normally like to write negative reviews, but this new app for the iPhone blows – both literally and figuratively. When switched on, the app makes a noise so loud that it blows air out of the bottom of the iPhone.Picture 2

The app is being advertised as wonderful because you can use it to blow out birthday candles, herbs, and refresh your skin… wow. What does it even mean to blow herbs? There’s a video of the app that does a wonderful job showing how incredibly annoying the noise that the thing makes is. Making this horrible app even worse is that it actually has a price tag.



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