Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Alternatives to Google Reader



Google has announced the closure of Google Reader and we need to find an alternative to read RSS feeds. After my research, I have narrowed down the top 3!!

Feedly!

Feedly is an RSS Reader for the Google Chrome browser, as well as, iOS and Android platforms. 
Much like Google Reader, Feedly allows you to sort your feeds, use keyboard shortcuts and share stories to friends via Facebook and Twitter. This also has an auto "mark as read" feature. Below will be a first look at Feedly in the form as a video. Carry on reading for more alternatives.
video


Pulse is a picture based reader where the first thing you see is a picture from the post and a title. When reviewing it didnt work and you were unable to change the layout and I couldnt import my Google Reader data. Carry on reading to see the last alternative.
video







The Old Reader is designed to look like the old Google Reader, this is perfect if you prefer the retro over the modern look. The only problem is, it doesn't yet have a mobile app, but they are working on it. Another major flaw is that since the announcement of Google Reader shutting down it no longer works properly, so my review of The Old Reader is actually a tutorial of how to export subscriptions on Google Reader found here.


Goodbye Google Reader :'(

I apologise for this blog being dormant over the past few weeks, I have been overloaded with school work.
But now it is the holidays, I can get on with posting here!!

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Hey Guys,

A sad moment on the interweb has happened, Google has announced the retirement of Google Reader and many other applications. But more importantly, the retirement of Google Reader.

I and many others will be sad to see it go. I use Google Reader almost constantly, it's where I get my technology news to talk to you about. Luckily, all hope is not lost as they are giving 3 months, until the 1st of July to find a new RSS reader. Google will let you export you feeds via Google Takeout so you can import them into an alternative reader. Click here to view alternatives to Google Reader.

Google will also be saying goodbye to:

  • GUI Builder and five UiApp widgets, the GUI builder will be available until September
  • CalDAV API, except this will be whitelisted
  • Google Building Maker, also known as, Google Sketchup. Which is perfect for creating 3D models of houses
  • Google Cloud Connect, which is a plugin that automatically backs up Microsoft Office files. Seeming a bit useless with the existence of Google Drive
  • The Google Voice App for Blackberry
  • Snapseed Desktop, but the iOS and Android Apps will still be avaliable

Many of these applications have been completely unused by me, but nevertheless, people will be missing them. Google state that "These changes are never easy. But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives.And I agree!

For more information, visit the Google Blog to more information on this matter.

For help on exporting your subscriptions view the video below!
video

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Google Play Gift Cards Now Available in the UK, Tesco and Morrisons Confirmed as Retail Partners

Hey Guys,

Google launched it's gift cards for its for the Play Store in US retailers just over six months ago, now they are finally arriving in the UK. You'll be able to pick them up in the same categories in the US - £10, £25 and £50. The confirmed retail outlets for the cards so far are Tesco and Morrisons supermarkets, but it would be surprising if that list didn't grow quite soon. As for online retailers, none have been spoken. There will be no restrictions on what type of content you can redeem them against, with books, movies, music, magazines and  apps are usable too.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Nokia Reveals the Budget Smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 520

Hey Guys,

Nokia showed off the Lumia 520 at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and it’s shows that the Finnish giant has its sights set firmly on the budget smartphone sector. Following on from the reasonably-priced and pretty awesome Lumia 620, the 520 model offers even more bang for your buck, with an estimated retail price of around £120.

Surprisingly, the budget phone runs on Windows Phone 8. Most recent and lets admit it, the most favourable version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system. It also boasts a five-megapixel autofocus camera, 8GB of internal memory, microSD card support and a 4-inch touchscreen which is so sensitive it even works through gloves, this will possible lead to destruction of the new touchscreen, but will be a prime consideration during those cold mornings that hit my face everyday.

So... is there any bad things about this? Well to be honest, the only problem I have found is that the Lumia  isn’t coming to Europe right away. It will be first released in the Far East. But, with those kind of specs and that kind of price, I'm pretty confident that it will be worth waiting for, and it should make the 2013 smartphone decisions much harder to make.

There is also a beautiful promo vid below!


This is one of the best promo vids I have ever seen. It is perfectly composed will bright colours and happy music. It's just one of those videos that just make you smile and make the phones look elegant and more personalisable with all the different colours. I really think Apple just their book and learn how to create adverts, rather than creating monotonous ads with no life to them at all.

But that's just my opinion, and I want to know yours. What kind of ad makes you want to buy a product? Thinking of getting this phone? Please comment below to share your views.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

BBC iPlayer FINALLY Coming to a Windows Phone Near You

Hey Guys,

Whilst Windows Phone's are cool, there’s no doubt that even two and a half years after launch, it’s still missing many apps, all the way from Instagram to Google Maps, but at least they have more than BlackBerry. Anyway here’s some good news for the mobile Windows users, at last, BBC iPlayer is finally coming to the platform... ish.

Shown on the BBC’s blog, business development manager, Cyrus Saihan, has announced that the BBC is teaming up with Microsoft to bring BBC iPlayer video streaming to Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8. There’s no timeframe for a release just yet, but he says to look out for updates in the “coming months”.
There’s a catch though, BBC iPlayer on Windows Phone won’t be a full app. Instead, you’ll be have to download a Live Tile shortcut to your homescreen, which will then let you jump to the mobile website and catch up on your missed TV which you haven’t been able to do on Windows Phone until now.

This means the BBC are doing a quick botch job in order to make it's Windows Phone customers a little happy buy created a mobile website rather than taking the time to develop an app. I feel that the BBC should spend a little more time and to create an app rather than a mobile website, an application is a lot easier to navigate than an app and will make customers a lot more happy.

What are your thoughts?? Please leave your opinions in the comments below!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

YouTube for Android Updated!!



Hey Guys,

The YouTube app for Android was updated recently and along with it came some long awaited features. One of these features includes Google+ integration that allow users to +1 videos from within the app itself. You can now pause and skip videos in your playlist via through the notification bar. This is most useful for the Smart TV app for YouTube. I would am also very happy to reveal that the full screen button bug has been fixed!!

So, If you haven’t already, click the link here and update your YouTube app now. OR if preferred use the QR code below


QRCode

Google Play Celebrates It's First Birthday! Free and Discounted Downloads For Everyone!!

Hey Guys,

It has been a whole year since the Google Play Store first got it's new name from Android Market exactly 1 year ago.

Back when it was called the Android Market, it only offered Games and Apps with a not so amazing UI. Google Play now has a great new UI and has allowed us to purchase films, books, music and even devices. It has definitely caught up with Apple's iTunes and will go beyond

To celebrate, Google are offering an assortion of party favors throughout the week, basically more cheap stuff. Unfortunately, unlike in the US, there are only 12 discounts available in the UK, but that may be only for today.

To join the party get most discounted apps, books, films and games Click Here. Or for exclusive free games, Click Here

There is also a celebration video below! (Which was only released one hour ago)




BBC Sports Finally Arrives On Android


Hey Guys,

Over a month after the iOS version, but the BBC's dedicated Sports app has recently made it onto Google Play store. The free mobile app has been designed to work best with screen sizes up to 7-inch tablets, meaning you 10-inch screen owners may not get the best experience.

It'll work with all versions above Android 2.2 (Froyo) onwards. If you're still lagging on Eclair (2.1) then you should've installed a custom ROM about a year ago. Like I did

Like the iOS app before it, the Android app brings sporting news, live scores, commentary and analysis as well as live and on-demand video because seeing sport happen is much more exciting than just reading about it. But reading technology news is super duper fun. Right?

The video and audio features may require you to download the BBC's Media Player app too, depending on your handset.

To get the app. Click Here

There may be a review if I have time. If you want to express your thoughts on the app, please comment below

Sunday, 3 March 2013

"Retina" Macbook Air to Come Up Again

Hey Guys,

I've heard Apple is working on a new "MacBook Air" for later this year, according to a new report. That’s not too surprising, but what’s got most people excited is the suggestion that the next stupidly thin laptop from Apple will pack a super sharp "Retina Display." They don't use that phrase too much at all do they?

The Economic Times says Apple is prepping a new MacBook Air for the third quarter of this year (July to September), and it’ll come packing Intel’s speedier Haswell processor, and some new “external features”.
But unfortunately, the report doesn’t specify what exactly those might be.

Apple first introduced the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 back in 2010, but later rolled it out to the iPad and MacBook Pro as well, so Apple’s popular Ultrabook rival would be the next logical step.

Want a Retina MacBook Air? Retina or Super Amoled? Please express your wonderful opinions in the comments section below!