Saturday, December 22, 2012

App Review: Falcon Pro

I am a Twitter app maniac.  I try almost any Twitter app I can get my hands on and to be honest I have more than likely tried every one currently available in the Play Store (at least all the ones with decent ratings).

This being the case, I have seen many different UI's, formats, color schemes, and gimmicks. But what I have really been looking for is a fast, clean, powerful client that doesn't attempt to do more than the rest, but rather do what Twitter does, and do it well.

That app is Falcon Pro. Hands down the best Twitter app I have used to date.  With its super clean UI, amazingly fast built in browser, and quick loading times (both app loading and Twitter feed updating time) I believe its one of the best Twitter clients on any OS. Period.

So if you are looking for something new to spice up your Twitter life, check out Falcon Pro. Its only $.99 in the Play Store, and worth every penny.  Oh yeah, not to mention it works on your tablet as well.  No extra charge.

Falcon Pro in the Play Store.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Way It Should Be?

Are we finally starting to see companies make some smarter decisions when it comes to the patent wars?  It appears so. And whats even more interesting is that the deal includes Apple, one of the greatest patent war companies in the market today.

With the completion of a 10 year cross licensing deal, Apple and HTC can now breathe a whole lot easier and get down to what really matters, innovation.

This is exactly what the mobile industry needs, companies working together for a common goal and the sharing of information. Whether its fear of litigation, or just finally realizing how stupid patents really are, this has been necessary step forward for some time now.  The best part is it will breed only good things for consumers and open the flood gates once again for true innovation of products.

Let hope other companies can make deals like this as well.

Posted Nov 11, 2012
HTC AND APPLE SETTLE PATENT DISPUTE. All Patent Litigation Between The Companies Dismissed

1.Date of occurrence of the event:2012/11/11
2.Company name:HTC Corporation
3.Relationship to the Company (please enter “head office” or
“affiliate company”):Head Office

4.Reciprocal shareholding ratios:N/A
5.Cause of occurrence:HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement
that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year
license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents
held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

7.Any other matters that need to be specified:There is no material
adverse impact on the financials of the Company.

All Patent Litigation Between The Companies Dismissed
TAIPEI and CUPERTINO, California – November 11, 2012 – HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
“HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC.
“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”

[via Cult Of Mac]
[Image via Cult Of Mac]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Google Buys Out Snapseed

Our favorite Internet search giant Google recently bought out Nik Software the developers beyond the popular iOS image editing app Snapseed.

Snapseed is a comprehensive image editing application available for Windows, Mac, and iOS. Nik Software was working on an Android version before it was bought out. Snapseed attempts to set itself apart from the competition with its rich set of features including the standard cropping, tilting, and image filters along side intuitive white balance, contract, and saturation editing tools.

This latest acquisition should go nicely along side Google's other image program Picasa and the also recently bought out Picnik. What this means for end users has yet to be seen but you can probably expect Nik Software to run business as usual until purchase is official. Most likely we should see the code in Snapseed folded into Picasa or Google+ for a better overall user experience but we won't truly find out for a while.

To keep up to date on all things Google be sure check Gone Googling regularly. Also remember to follow us twitter. @bdfull3r @thejdubb02

Monday, September 3, 2012

App Review: Analytix

Whether you are a small time blogger, or a large company with multiple properties to manage, analytics are important.  From gauging advertising campaign effectiveness, or simply how many people read my stories, analytics can tell us everything we want to know about whats happening and where to go in the future.

There are a lot of big names in analytics these days and they all offer a lot. Some are free and some are premium.  Perhaps one of the largest out there today is Google Analytics.  With so much offered for free users, its quick an easy to setup. The detail reporting is also amazing with a ton of great features for reporting, all the down to the most intricate details.

With all of this power its an amazing tool that many of us want to take on the road.  Sure, Google Analytics has released an app of their own, but if you want beauty and power all in one place, look no further than Analytix.

Analytix takes all the data from all of your properties in Google Analytics and organizes in an easy to use system with every major report at your fingertips.  Not mention, the way it displays your data is easy to digest visually.  This makes it super easy to find the information you are looking for quick to find an analyze.

With color coded reports, and bar graphs style reporting, looking over your analytics data has never been easier. Check out more screenshots below.

Check out Analytix in the Google Play store in its phone version, and the HD version for tablets.  Learn more about Analytix on the developers website.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

App Review: Reddit News

I have to admit I have become an addicted. It is not to a drug or a game, but to Reddit. If you have never used Reddit, you can't stop. Reddit is essentially a link sharing social network where users gather to waste time look at a few hundred million meme photos and other socially curated piece of information from all over the net. Users can up vote ones they like and down votes ones they don’t. The entire network is essentially a revamped Like button system to determine rank. The concept is insanely simple and massively addictive.

Being part of the digital and mobile generation, I need to feed the need to look up Futurama memes on the go. While Reddit doesn’t have an official application, there are easily a dozen to choose from. My favorite has to be Reddit News Free.

Available for the low price of free with a paid version that removes ads. Reddit News Free is an aggregator that will gather the listing from Reddit’s front page and to any sub categories you are subscribed to. The application is simple to use and (like the site) doesn’t require a Reddit account to use. Users can fire up the app and start losing hours clicking link after link after link after link.

Reddit News Free offers all of the same features as the reddit website. Users can sign into their accounts, manage the sub categories they follow, up vote awesome pics, and down vote horrendous gifs. They can check their personal feeds and read their messages.The application will open up links for you with the option to use the browser instead. If the bars on top and bottom take away precious space on your small screen (Optimus V like) device, the app has a full screen function. If the link is a straight picture link it will pull that image without the need for a browser. Users can also pinch to zoom to get a better look at the in app browser or displayed pictures.

If you are a fan or a user of Reddit, then you need an application to bring that world with you wherever you. If you snap a cute picture of your pet on vacation how else will it make it to the front page if you can’t share it with the universe? So instead of trying to imagine vacationing (or working, we don’t judge) without Reddit, download Reddit News and enjoy it.

Reddit News Free:
Reddit News (Ad-Free):

Friday, August 24, 2012

Courts Rule In Favor Of Apple Against Samsung

The United States federal court ruled in favor of Apple in its patent infringement lawsuit with Samsung. The found all of the seven Apple patents valid and ruled Samsung “willfully” infringed on five of those seven. Samsung was originally ordered to pay over 1 Billion dollars, or $1,051,855,000.00 to be exact, however the judge later lowered that to a measly $1.049,343,540. The reduction was attributed to an adding error, (the jury ruled the Samsung Intercept and Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE didn’t infringe on the patents but were accidentally including in damage calculations). 

The jury look just 21 hours over three days to rule in favor of Apple. THe ruling included the Pinch to Zoom patent, the double tap to zoom patent, the one finger scrolling patent, and the elastic scrolling patent among others. Samsung was also found to be infringing upon the trade dress of Apple products. In Laymans terms, Samsung deliberately designed their product to look like Apple products. It is hard to argue for Samsung on trade dress infringement. If you have ever see that image below before, you know what i'm talking about. Samsung had a long shot of winning that patent argument.

In a completely unrelated court ruling, the South Korean High Court ruled that both Apple and Samsung infringed upon each others patents. Apple was ordered to pay $35,000.00 or $35 thousand in damages while Samsung was only ordered to pay$ 22 thousand. In addition to damages, The South Korean court placed injunctions barring the sell or certain Apple and Samsung devices until a cross licensing deal is reached or the products are manufactured in a way that doesn’t infringe upon these patents.

Samsung has filed to a dismissal and is expected to appeal the ruling once that fails. Samsung and Apple have both released official statements.

Samsung’s Official Statement
“Today's verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple's claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer”
Apple’s Official Statement
“We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung's behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right.”

App Review: PressReader

Lets face it, newspapers and periodicals have been around for a long time.  They are older than the oldest person alive and date back to the beginning of early human civilizations.  As a matter of fact the first 'newspaper' is said to date back to daily news reports posted around cities under the rule of Emperor Julius Caesar around the years 100–44 B.C.  So its safe to say, the newspaper helped shape humanity and the way we stay connected.

Age being the issue, you may have also noticed its decline in the recent years as the digital media machine is rapidly changing the game on how we report and acquire our news.  With services like Twitter, blogs, and RSS feeds that turn out more up to date news than ever before and in almost real time, we are seeing less and less need for the conventional media sources and there inability to keep up.

However, there is some deep seeded pleasure that one gets holding a periodical that you just cant get from an RSS aggregation service or a blog post on a mobile device.  From the layout, the ads, the headlines, and even the traditional obituaries, there is a lot to be said about how news is delivered in print that just can't be replaced.

Enter PressReader, the Android/iOS app that is looking to change the game and bring back the feeling of actually picking up an old school printed periodical but tailoring it to the fast paced digital age.

PressReader brings the good old printed press to the digital screen with so many features it will appeal to both new age technologists and old school paper flippers alike.  And with access to over 2,100 periodicals from around the world, it is truly an international app for everyone.

Upon opening this app you will quickly find that the app is free, however you do need to give a little to actually get access to this amazing service.  Fear not, the prices are great.  For the casual reader $.99 gets you any periodical you would like from the entire catalog from 95 countries and in 54 languages.  Or for you news lovers, there is actually a price planned named after you which gives you  unlimited access to the entire library for $29.95/month.

The true beauty behind this app (other than its immense collection) is how many options you actually for viewing your publications.

Once you pick a country, language, favorited periodical or recent issues from the drop down menu, you get a small thumbnail of the front page of each periodical.  Simply click on one that interests and you are given a small calendar to choose the issues you want to view and in seconds (depending on internet speed/connection of course) and you are presented with a fully interactive PDF version of your choice.

One of my favorite parts of this app and one of the most powerful happens now.  You can choose to read the newspaper old school by just scrolling around and going from page to page with a flick of the finger.  On a tablet, this serves as a very conventional feeling experience and allows the paper flipper in you to flourish.  But what this?!  You see the highlighted headings... yeah?  Go ahead, give it a click. 

Once you click a highlighted header you are brought into a more modern age of reading news.  With clean digital fonts, formatted to fit your screen beautifully, as well as inline images straight from the pages of the paper itself.  Whats more, now with a click of a button you can change font size, navigate from story to story, share what you are reading to Twitter or email, and even save the articles for later consumption on services like Evernote or Instapaper to name a few.

Oh and I almost forgot (not really, you can't overlook this), if you are feeling the need to hit the road or just want to enjoy a good audio form of your news just click the little audio button at the bottom right of you screen and you are taken to the built in audio player, yeah that's right, it reads you the news!

With so many features and sources, its no wonder PressReader for Android and iOS is one of the best apps I have ever seen for mobile.  Breathing new age technology into old school news reporting mediums its amazing what this service has accomplished.

If you haven't already left this review because it was so long or because you couldn't wait to dig into PressReader for yourself, here are a few useful links to get started using the service:

Download the phone and tablet Android apps here, iOS app information here, and general about the service and to create an account here.

PressReader is also available on Blackberry Playbook and Windows Phone 7.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @thejdubb02 and let us know what you think of PressReader in the comments below.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WoW Remote Goes Free

For you World Of Warcraft players out there, keeping in contact with guildies, and keeping an eye on your auctions just got a whole lot easier, and cheaper.

Blizzards previously subscription World Of Warcraft Armory app just went free for all.  Now you can get all of the great features just ahead of the latest expansion pack release.

Some features include, full character profiles, 3D Viewer,  Remote Auction House,  Remote Guild Chat, Realm Status, and Talent Calculator.

Check out the official announcement here and download the Android app here.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @thejdubb02 and let us know what you think of the Wold of Warcraft Armory app in the comments below.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

App Review: Fotor

Out of all of the image editing apps out there its sometimes hard to filter out the stuff thats worthy of simply a look or actual implementation in your photo processing future.

I myself have used many apps and have found that I have more than on for all of my different needs.  I use one app to create a collage of a trip or event to share on Instagram and Twitter. I have a completely different app to add stupid chat bubbles to weird pictures of my friends for a laugh.  And if I want to make a HDR... you guessed it, another app.

When I scrolled through my apps drawer I discovered a total of 8 different apps for various image editing purposes.  That might sound a bit strange but a quick check with my friends and it appears I am not the only one, 5 seemed to be the average.

So what do you do as a smartphone image editing master to compile these apps into one app?  Fotor.

Fotor is so far the best app I have found in the app market for photo capturing, editing, and sharing.  It combines powerful editing tools, filters, HDR capture, chat bubbles, text layovers, and even makes collage making fun and ultra customizable with drag and drop controls.  I can't say enough about it, and its free.

Check it out in the Android app store here, and learn more about the app and other services made by Fotor on their website here.  Oh and I forgot to mention that its even available to you all you iPhone lovers as well.

Monday, August 6, 2012

SMS Backup and Restore

In the world of ever evolving mobile devices, one of the biggest problems that most people run into is the need to move all information from their old device to another. It seems that people are always getting the newest, latest device on the market, so today I'm going to start a new section on GoneGoogling with short how-to's and recommendations to make the transfer from your old device much smoother.

Being in the wireless industry for a long time, you run into people with a lot of very unique ideas on what is ans is not important to move from one phone to their next. Most are looking for pictures, music and apps to be transferred, but for many others one major part of their device's are the ongoing conversations via SMS.

After scouring the Internet I believe I found one app that can make this prospect of SMS transfer extremely simple. It's called, SMS Backup & Restore. This free, small, lightweight, easy to use application makes it simple to back up and restore all of your SMS conversations for later use or importing to a brand-new device.

The app takes you existing SMS conversations and exports them to an XML format and saves them to your SD card or in some cases your internal memory. You can then e-mail them to yourself, transfer them via external SD card or simply save them for safekeeping to access in the future.

Check it out in the Google Play store, and get more detailed information and support at the developers website here.

If you are checking this app out for the first time, already use this app, or have any other recommendations to transfer SMS messages please leave your comments or feel free to hit me up on Twitter @thejdubb02.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Google Wallet Now Accepting All Credit and Debit Cards

Google’s NFC payment system received an update last week that finally open the service to all credit and debit cards. Previous versions of the application required the use of a Mastercard or the Google Wallet Prepaid Card.

The way the application works now, is that the majority of the information is now stored in the cloud. Google didn’t get explicit permission from every card company (more of that in a moment), instead it went around some by performing in a very similar manner to paypal. Purchases are made with a third party platform and charges are passed onto the payment card on record. This allows Google wallet to use the information users had already been using to buy apps inside the Google Play Store to make real world purchases if they had the one of seven phones that supports Google Wallet.

It should be known that not all retailers were happy with this announcement. Credit Card company American Express said Google never officially got their support for the application and is looking into settling the matter.

As of this moment, NFC still isn't a wide spread technology. Even though Google Wallet takes all types of cards after the update, in order to use it, your retailer of choice needs to have the MasterCard PayPass system installed. For a full list of PayPass locations, check out either the Google Wallet Support Map, or the more updated PayPass Locator from MasterCard

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