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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Posts Tagged ‘google’

Google Nexus 7 Review: A Media Machine

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Google Nexus 7

We got the pleasure of getting our grimy little fingers on Google’s impressive new 7-inch tablet – the Nexus 7.  Google’s first attempt at designing and building a tablet from the ground up was essentially everything they said it would be; smooth like butter.

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Google Nexus 7 Will Kill The Fakers

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Before I started writing about this stuff I sold all of it, not at Abt, but I sold it all – computers, televisions, stereo systems, and every other home electronic on the shelf. This included the shockingly large amount of sub-standard tablets that, being priced under $100, attracted a lot of attention, and consequently, a lot of returns.

The issue was simple, when you hear “tablet” you automatically expect more than you are probably going to get. These low-end tablets run a watered-down version of Android that’s essentially a 2010 cell phone on knock-off, expired steroids.  They just simply didn’t deliver and customers (and customer service) quickly found this out.  However, we’re saved; the introduction of the Google Nexus 7 (although not under $100) will forever alter the tablet market landscape by delivering a premium experience at a price that has those posers shivering in their polycarbonate. (more…)

Google Glasses: Ugly friend or ugly foe? Either way they are still ugly.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Gizmodo.com posted today about the potential upcoming release of Google’s new augmented reality glasses. Bascially, from what we’ve gathered from the video (below) is that the glasses have all the functions of a smart phone but are displayed directly to your line of sight and can be navigated and commanded using your voice. If you can look passed the obnoxiously geeky design, you can see some potential positives from these bad boys.

Those who brave the inevitable harassment this style will bring on will be able to text message, check the weather, video chat, receive directions and interact with social media using their voice. The video even shows the glasses taking and sharing pictures. The big drawback (besides people laughing at your ridiculous looks) is the potential for the pesky Google Ads to make their way into your augmented world. Will we walk by a place and business and get distracting pop-ups asking us to come try out their new falafel? Or will Google track everything we see? Hopefully, we will see some application integration like discovering new Groupons or directions to the Girls Around Me. Could we even see Google Contact Lenses?

Whatever you think, this is a pretty cool thing and seems to be pulled right out of science fiction. Would you wear these? Let us know what you think!

Google Play is…

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

As consumers, we are forced to accept “new” products as the latest and greatest but the truth is, a few hardware upgrades and higher resolution don’t exactly constitute true innovation. I digress, but seriously, remember when the iPad first surfaced? It was something we had never seen before, it changed the way we do business, communicate, and interact with the world around us. Lately, it seems like manufacturers are just trying to pump out new models to turn more profit rather than push the limits and create something truly inspirational and socially-cataclysmic. For those of your Google-oids, I apologize but this new “Google Play” is just that, a technically new product that is a combination of smoke and mirrors surrounding a bunch of features we are already familiar with.

I know what you’re saying, “But it’s Google!”—I get it; their name on a product has some level of clout but is that enough? Shouldn’t be. Let’s take a closer look at Google Play and see how the sum of the parts does not equal innovation.

Content

Movies, music, books and apps—seems simple enough.  “450,000 apps, millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies” says Google but it’s the quality of content is what we care about. What’s “thousands of movies” mean if 200 of them begin with “Earnest goes to the…” I guess we’ll have to see what kind of licensing Google has pulled off. There is also a selection of free and paid content. Are these 450,000 apps the same we have seen for years? Hopefully some original content will improve the experience.  All in all, we can’t fault Google here, in a world where content is king we have to appreciate the diverse selection they bring to the table.

Just like Netflix, Pandora, and any other media providers with decent programmers, Google Play provides users with media recommendation based on perceived preferences. Nothing special here—just another feature that we have seen a billion times before. However, it would be nice if they made recommendations based of what we like AND what we have already experienced. It would be nice to be recommended only content I have never seen/listened to before.

Sharing

Anyone surprised that the only social network Google Play can share on is Google+? This monopolistic approach to online social sharing is really disheartening and is a factor that could definitely push a lot of users away, but who knows, maybe this integration will be the Chipetto that turns Google+ into a real boy in the social network world. Of course, there are other options to share via text message and email, but those are so last year…right? One interesting feature is the ability to share individual “listens” with friends. Friends get one free listen one of your music and then have the option to purchase the content from Google Play.

Cross Platform/Cloud Compatibility

This is something I think we will be seeing more and more of as operating systems become increasingly cross-functional. Content is stored in the cloud and is accessible on a variety of devices. Google Play users can download content on their android device on the post-work commute (at a stoplight of course) and access it later on their PC. Again, this feature isn’t ground breaking by any means, but is nice if you don’t believe that the cloud is really Skynet monitoring all your media usage. This all fine and dandy, but what if I want to enjoy my content offline? Users can “pin” the content to a device for hours of offline enjoyment.

Nothing is more of a hassle then starting a new season of Dexter and then having to pack up and leave mid kill-scene to head to the dentist. Just like we saw on the Playstation Vita, Google Play users can pause content on once device and continue on another. Again, nothing original but definitely a nice addition.

Bottom line is that although this is just a combination of features found elsewhere with the big G on it, Google Play has some potential to convert a few iTunes users, and it definitely provides a solid media hub for Android users. The question is, as it starts to take off will we see some true invention and game-changing moves from the developers at Google Play? I hope so.

What do you think? Are you an Android user who jumped for joy when a common-ground media hub was released for your device? What do you think would make Google Play a serious innovator in the online media content market? Maybe you’re critical of the whole thing like me, either way we would love to hear what you think.

 

The CES 2012 Attendance Numbers Are In!

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

This year’s 2012 International CES was the largest in the event’s 44-year history, with a record numbers of attendees, exhibitors and show floor space, according to its owner and producer, the Consumer Electronics Association.

Initially the figures are projected at 153,000, including more than 34,000 international visitors, according to CEA, which conducts an independent audit of attendance at the International CES.

CEA estimated that more than 20,000 new products were launched at the 2012 CES, which also featured top executives participating in keynote sessions, including those from Mercedes, Wal-Mart, Intel, Ford, Verizon, Ford, eBay, GE, Google and Facebook.

The Nexus One – Google's New Flagship Android Device

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Yesterday, Google announced the long awaited Nexus One. This phone could be the first to give the iPhone a run for its money.

Nexus One operates on an updated version of the Android operating system. It has a 3.7-inch touch-screen, a 5-megapixel camera for video and photos, GPS, stereo Bluetooth connection for headphones, LED flash, Wi-Fi, and a noise cancelling mic for clearer conversations. The wow-factor? The Nexus One has speech dictation, eliminating the need to type. Users can speak and compose e-mail without touching the keyboard.

The Nexus One will retail at $179 with a two-year contract with T-Mobile or $529 with no contract. In the Spring of 2010, Verizon and Vodafone (a European wireless carrier) service will be also be available.

-Kelly B.