Saturday, February 22, 2014

Moto X - Was It Worth the Wait?

In 2011, Google made a move that no one expected, they bought their own OEM: Motorola Mobility. Now it took about a year for that purchase to become realized and official, but the geek world could hardly stand the wait to see what would come out of this newly united couple.

Jump forward to August 2013, just a hair over two years since that acquisition, Motorola takes the stage to announce the Motorola Moto X. There is back and forth controversy as to how much influence Google had on the development of this phone, both hardware and software. Motorola continues to point out that they run independently of Google, but truth be known, there is only a firewall that separate the two. They even shared a Google officer to be the new the CEO, Dennis Woodside.

I read all the rumors and leaked info on this phone for almost a year. The hype was building up for so long. I even debated on dropping my Verizon unlimited data plan to go to ATT (because they released the custom version first). The question is though, was the wait for the Moto X worth it? Hang around after the break, and I'll give you my answer to that question.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Google Glass Expo, Atlanta GA

One of the most intriguing things about technology is that it continuously evolves, and Google is one of those companies that has been very good about putting information right at our finger tips in an innovative way. In one of their latest innovations, they literally put the information right in front of our eyes. Google's newest technology is a wearable called Glass.

In the easiest explanation, Glass is basically a screen attached to a set of frames that you wear on your face like glasses. These screen is inside a small prism which rests just above the line of vision of the wearer's right eye. The explanation for the invention of Glass is to allow users to interact with both technology and people with their heads up, rather then looking down at their smartphones.

On February 8 & 9, 2014 Google Traveled down south to Atlanta GA as part of their Google Glass On the Road Expo. Since I don't get to attend expensive conferences like CES or MWC, I jumped all over this opportunity when I learned there was no entrance fee. In fact, they allowed me to bring 1 guest, so I talked my wife into joining me. Hesitantly, she agreed. What can I say, she loves me.

The conference was nicely planned. As you walk in the door you are greeted with your choice of hot chocolate or cappuccino. The crowd is not over whelming, but there are stations of lines you must stand in to wait your turn. The first line is your typical waiting line to get to the sign in
table which you do on a Google Chrome Pixel laptop. Then you are waved to a group huddle. In this huddle, there are ladies with Glass on and holding Nexus 10 tablets. With the view of her Glass connected to the tablet, we get to see what she is seeing in her eye. She talks through the basic concept of Glass (which is to be more socially available with your head up) and through some basics of how to use Glass.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Google Chromecast Review - 4 months later

In late July 2013, Google released a new piece of hardware called the Google Chromecast, or just Chromecast for short. The thought process behind this new piece of hardware is to allow users to push, or cast, media to their television from their computing hardware so that it can be enjoyed on a larger screen or to share it without passing around the tablet or huddling around the smartphone or laptop.

The Hardware

The Google Chromecast is a small dongle that plugs into an HDMI input port in your television. It is 72(L) x 35(W) x 12(H) mm and its shaped to look like a house or car key. It displays 1080P output. It only weighs 34 grams and it ships with 2 extra accessories in the box: a 4 inch extender that will allow it to fall flat against the back of the television set and not protrude out the 3 inches in length, and a USB plug. Yes, the Chromecast has to be plugged in for electricity. It’s not as annoying as it sounds but we’ll talk more on that later.