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  • Gerrit Eicker 09:29 on 1. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Android Apps, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Reader 

    Google Reader gets redesigned and plusified: Google Plus now on Search, Blogger, Google Apps; http://eicker.at/GoogleReaderPlus

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:29 on 1. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Today we’re rolling out the new Reader design, and the Google+ features that we mentioned just over a week ago. Before the day’s over, all Reader users will be able to enjoy the following improvements: A new look and feel that’s cleaner, faster, and nicer to look at. The ability to +1 a feed item (replacing ‘Like’), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (replacing ‘Share’ and ‘Share with Note’). … Updates to Google Reader on the web are rolling out gradually and should reach all users by end of day. A new Android application will follow soon. If you have questions about today’s announcements, please check out our Help Center.”

      RWW: “After announcing on October 20 that Google Reader would be annexed by Google Plus, Reader has gotten the ol’ +1 today. Google is rolling out the new, clean Plus theme that has already come to Gmail, Docs and elsewhere, and it is replacing the Reader ‘Like’ function with the +1 button. Sharing from Google Reader now produces a +snippet. I guess we no longer need that nice workaround. … For anyone who doesn’t use Google Plus, there are some amazing RSS clients that use your Google Reader as the back-end but let you share however you’d like. And you know you can still add all your preferred sharing services to the ‘Send To’ tab, right? The same settings we showed you before to add Google Plus as a Reader service will let you add anything else, too.”

      RWW: “Google has made very clear over the past month that Plus will be integrated into all of Google’s products over time, so this wasn’t a surprising move. However, rather predictably, there has been a user backlash anyway. … I believe that comment was a little disingenuous from Gray, because he knows that Google dominates what’s left of the RSS Reader market. There are always alternatives, but the reality is that relatively few people will use them. What’s more, most of the alternatives rely on Google Reader for content. … The RSS Reader market has declined because reading content is a very fragmented experience these days. … Even despite all of the changes in the way people consume content on the Web, Google Reader had been the holdout as a specialist RSS Reader product. It has (had?) a passionate community of RSS Reader fanatics.

      TNW: “The new look falls in line with the rest of the changes that we’ve seen from Google over the past few months, specifically after the launch of Google+. You’ll see a new preview pane that shows you all of your stories, with subscriptions along the left in a list like before. – Sharing in Google Reader is now considerably different than before. Instead of having a network in and of itself, anything that you share is now going to happen via a +1 to Google+, as detailed in a blog post last week. Google says that it has done this in order to ‘streamline Reader overall’, but the changes aren’t as welcome by everyone. … Ultimately it doesn’t take away from the usefulness of Google Reader as a product, and it’s not the first time that Google has pushed its way into your social life, either (remember the launch of Buzz?). At the end of the day it will be up to users to figure out if they want to share content via a +1, but chances are that Reader fans aren’t going to be adversely affected overall.”

      TC: “As expected, Google has ignored the cries of the niche community of Google Reader sharing enthusiasts [as well as what seems to be the entire online population of Iran], and has pushed forward in its plans to remove Google Reader’s native sharing features to promote deeper integration with Google+. While the ability to share with Google+ is an obvious important step forward for Google’s social agenda, it will be disappointing change for at least some of the Google Reader community – a community that even went so far as to create a petition to save the old features. The petition is now pushing 10,000 responses.”

      Blogger: “In fewer than 4 months since its launch, more than 40 million people have joined Google+, making it a living, breathing space for social connections and sharing to thrive. – Today we’re excited to announce the first way you will be able to leverage Google+ – by making it possible to replace your Blogger profile with your Google+ profile. – In addition to giving your readers a more robust and familiar sense of who you are, your social connections will see your posts in their Google search results with an annotation that you’ve shared the post.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:33 on 2. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Winer: “People should know that there is more than one way to do an RSS reading app. Google Reader is one approach. A thousand flowers should bloom to fill the gap it’s creating in the market. There is a way to do plumbing that’s open, that people can subscribe to, independent of Google. That does what Google Reader just stopped doing. I would try to make it work as much as I could without inventing new formats. … I love when people like Richard put awful ideas out there like the one he did. You’re trapped inside Google’s silo, even for something that was open from the start like RSS. Well I think there are a lot of people who are smart enough to know that that’s not true. Those are the very people I want to work with.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:18 on 28. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Amazon Appstore, Amazon Appstore for Android, , Amazon Prime, , Android Apps, , , , , , BlackBerry PlayBook, , , , Brand Recognition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Kindle Fire 

    Amazon’s Kindle Fire might finally change the whole publishing industryirrevocable; http://eicker.at/KindleFire

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:19 on 28. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “On Wednesday morning in New York City, Amazon will unveil the Kindle Fire. Yes, this is the name Amazon has settled on, to help differentiate the product from the e-ink Kindles… It will be a 7-inch backlit display tablet that looks similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook. … [H]aving played with a DVT model myself, I can assure you that it’s better than the PlayBook because the software is better and, more importantly, the content available is much better. … We also originally heard that Amazon Prime would be included, as a big enticement for would-be buyers. That may be off the table for now as well – but it’s not yet clear. It’s possible Amazon will release one version with Prime included for $300 and a version without it for $250. Getting Amazon Prime for $50 would still be a deal, since it’s normally $79 for the year.”

      pC: “The success of the Kindle shows Amazon is prepared to think differently from others and to disrupt its own products – in the Kindle’s case to disrupt the cash cow of print book sales – in order to be innovative and seize early advantage in digital markets. If Amazon’s hardware is undifferentiated and virtually the same as RIM’s PlayBook then Amazon has to differentiate elsewhere with content, experience and business models. Otherwise it will suffer the same fate as RIM’s PlayBook. … Amazon will build a true media tablet. The first true media tablet. The Kindle tablet will focus on the future of all media – TV, movies, music, books, magazines – to enable Amazon to become the dominant digital media retailer. That is Amazon’s ambition.

      Guardian: “Amazon hopes its brand recognition and loyal book-buying customer base will enable it to do battle with Apple, which produced 75% of the tablets sold this year. – Research firm Forrester reckons the Kindle tablet could sell between 3m and 5m units in its first year.”

      VB: “The timing of Amazon’s announcement might have something to do with competition from Barnes and Nobel, which is also allegedly scheduled to announce a new Nook Color tablet that will also retail for $250.”

      ATD: “In 2010, magazine publishers got giddy about the prospects of selling their stuff on the iPad. This year’s version of the story: Lots of enthusiasm, tempered with a little bit of skepticism, over Amazon’s new tablet. … Publishers will keep around 70 percent of all Amazon sales, and the retailer will share some customer data with the publishers. … The publishers who are on board with Amazon view their decision to link up as a no-brainer: They want more distribution channels for their stuff, not fewer. And they’ve been begging, unsuccessfully, for a credible competitor to the iPad since April 2010.

      TC: “With the launch of the Kindle Fire tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to write a little bit sci-fi and imagine what the publishing market will look like in the next ten or so years. I’m a strong proponent of the ebook and, as I’ve said again and again, I love books but they’re not going to make it past this decade, at least in most of the developed world. … 2025 – The transition is complete even in most of the developing world. The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance. Book collections won’t disappear – hold-outs will exist and a subset of readers will still print books – but generally all publishing will exist digitally.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:33 on 28. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “Amazon Fires $199, 7-Inch Tablet At Apple – The Fire itself is rather characterless and dull. It looks a lot like the 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook (probably for good reason) and features just enough tech to pass as acceptable. There’s a two-point multitouch screen (the iPad has a 10-point screen), and an unspecified CPU… The most notable change is obviously the multitouch 7-inch LCD rather than an e-ink display, but moreover, the Kindle Fire is a complete storefront for the retailer rather than just an ereader. The tablet features apps for Amazon’s Android Appstore, Kindle store, Amazon MP3, and Prime Instant Video. … Amazon is pricing this model aggressively. Bloomberg is reporting prior to Amazon’s official event that the Kindle Fire hits at just $199 and comes with 30-days of Amazon Prime.”

      TC: “Amazon has revealed a new line of E-Ink Kindles that looks to bolster their ‘traditional’ eReader lineup. The three new models have taken the stage: the $79 Kindle, the $99 Kindle Touch, and the $149 Kindle Touch 3G. – The new super small, non-touch Kindle was announced to appeal to Amazon’s legion of eReading purists. It’s small enough to fit in a pack pocket, and will cost users a scant $79 – customers can order today, and Amazon says it will ship today too.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 11:57 on 29. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      GigaOM: “They say Apple has met its first real tablet competitor. And no, it is not Samsung or Motorola. Instead it is from a company that started out selling books on the Internet: Amazon. And while there is some truth to that assertion, I wouldn’t put a lot of weight in the argument. … With the new Kindles, Amazon has been able to define the hybrid retail environment. … Given that we are increasingly shifting away from buying physical media and are instead opting for digital goods, Amazon is smart in its introducing the new Kindle tablet. … Amazon’s primary business is selling us things – lots of them – and getting them to us as cheaply as possible. And that includes physical and digital goods and services. That is its corporate DNA, and that DNA is going to influence all of its decisions – whether it is redesigning its website or defining new tablets. … The bottom line is that Amazon will be successful – at least more successful than Motorola or HTC – but it won’t come at the expense of Apple’s iPad or Samsung’s Android-based tablets.

  • Gerrit Eicker 19:17 on 20. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , +Hangouts API, , , Android Apps, , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Plus Hangouts API, , , , , , Google+ Hangouts API, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus Opens 

    Google opens Google Plus for everyone: Google Plus Hangouts goes mobile and gets an API; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusOpens

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 19:18 on 20. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “The Google+ project has been in field trial for just under 90 days, and in that time we’ve made 91 different improvements (many of which are posted here). Google+ is still in its infancy, of course, but we’re more excited than ever to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. Today we’re releasing nine more features that get us that much closer. … In life we connect with others in all sorts of places, at all different times. And the connections you make unexpectedly are often the ones you remember the most. We think Hangouts should keep pace with how you socialize in the real-world, so today we’re launching it on the one device that’s always by your side: your mobile phone. To get started, simply find an active hangout in the Stream, and tap ‘Join’… Hangouts currently supports Android 2.3+ devices with front-facing cameras (and iOS support is coming soon). … If field trial has taught us anything about Hangouts, it’s that the community is overflowing with creative individuals. So in the wake of last week’s Google+ API launch, we’re also releasing a basic set of Hangouts APIs. If you’re a developer who wants to build new kinds of apps and games (and who-knows-what-else), then you can find more details on the Google+ platform blog. … For the past 12 weeks we’ve been in field trial, and during that time we’ve listened and learned a great deal. We’re nowhere near done, but with the improvements we’ve made so far we’re ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce our 100th feature: open signups. This way anyone can visit google.com/+, join the project and connect with the people they care about.”

      Google: “Today we’re launching the Developer Preview of the Hangouts API, another small piece of the Google+ platform. It enables you to add your own experiences to Hangouts and instantly build real-time applications, just like our first application, the built-in YouTube player. … The integration model is simple – you build a web app, register it with us, and specify who on your team can load it into their Hangout. Your app behaves like a normal web app, plus it can take part in the real-time conversation with new APIs like synchronization. Now you can create a ‘shared state’ among all instances of your app so that all of your users can be instantly notified of changes made by anyone else.”

      GigaOM: “All of these integrations show that Hangouts may just be the killer feature of Google+ that helps to get users excited about using Google+ circles to get more use out of other Google services. With Hangouts becoming part of the Google+ API, this effect could even reach beyond Google’s core properties.”

      RWW: “Conspicuously absent? There are still no brand pages, and Google Apps accounts still can’t use Plus. The latter is especially frustrating, since Google Docs in Hangouts will dramatically expand the possibilities of using Google Plus for work.”

      TC: “First and foremost, Google+ finally has search. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe that a service built by Google launched without it, but it did. Now Google+ allows you to search for people and posts simply by using the search box at the top. Of note, you can filter results by either ‘Best of’ or ‘Most recent’. This also allows you to search the Sparks feature, which is still underdeveloped.”

      TNW: “This is a welcome change to the simple, profile-only search that Google+ was using before and is only one of several big changes that Google is implementing in Google+ today. It has also made major improvements to its Hangouts service, bringing enhancements and a move to mobile devices. The Google+ service is also now available to all so anyone interested can start trying it out.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:04 on 20. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , American Express, , Android Apps, , , Belgium, , , , , Citi, Citi MasterCard, , , , Daily Deal, Discover, , , , , , Google Offers, Google Prepaid, Google Prepaid Card, , Google Wallet PIN, , , , , , , Loyalty Programs, Luxembourg, , , MasterCard, , Mobile Checkout, , , Near Field Communication, , Netherlands, , Nexus S 4G, NFC, NFC Specifications, NFC World Congress, , , Scandinavia, , , Sprint Nexus S 4G, , , , Visa,   

    Google Wallet 

    Google launches Google Wallet on Sprint: checkout wirelessly via Citi MasterCard, Pepaid Card; http://eicker.at/GoogleWallet

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:05 on 20. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “In May we announced Google Wallet – an app that makes your phone your wallet – with Citi, MasterCard, Sprint and First Data. With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC). – We’ve been testing it extensively, and today we’re releasing the first version of the app to Sprint. That means we’re beginning to roll out Google Wallet to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over-the-air update – just look for the ‘Wallet’ app. … Google Wallet enables you to pay with your Citi MasterCard credit card and the Google Prepaid Card, which can be funded with any of your existing plastic credit cards. As a thanks to early adopters, we’re adding a $10 free bonus to the Google Prepaid Card if you set it up in Google Wallet before the end of the year.”

      Google: “Google Wallet is a mobile app that will make your phone your wallet. It stores virtual versions of your existing plastic cards on your phone, along with your coupons, and eventually, loyalty and gift cards. Our intention is that Google Wallet will be an open mobile wallet holding all the cards and coupons you keep in your leather wallet today. … NFC is a wireless technology that enables data transmission between two objects when they are brought within a few inches of each other. Smartphones enabled with NFC technology can exchange data with other NFC enabled devices or read information from smart tags embedded in posters, stickers, and other products. … Google Checkout is a service that enables merchants to accept and process online payments. Google Wallet, on the other hand, is a mobile app that enables users to tap and pay at physical, brick and mortar stores. … The Google Prepaid Card allows you to use Google Wallet even if you don’t have an eligible Citi MasterCard. It is a virtual card powered by MasterCard and Money Network. You can fund this prepaid card with any of your existing plastic credit cards. And since it’s purely virtual, you won’t get a physical plastic card in the mail. You can tap and pay immediately after funds are added.”

      TC: “Bummed by the limited launch? Don’t be. This somewhat-cautious approach is really the only way they could do it: NFC is still a relatively new technology, with a complicated network of partners, and, most importantly, involves your money. Google is really the first company with the power to move the world towards NFC – but even for them, it’s going to be something of an uphill battle, and they’ll have to take things one small step at a time. – Fortunately, Google also just announced their next (small step) huge leap: support for Visa, Discover, and American Express cards.

      pC: “For the moment, Google Offers is only available in cities in the U.S. That means the purchase of the Daily Deal site could give Google an easy route to ramping up the service in Europe as well. … In May, when Wallet and Offers were announced by Stephanie Tilenius, Google’s VP of commerce, she described how Wallet would be about more than just payments, and would also be used for loyalty programs, check-ins and other transactions. … Google is not the only one working in these areas: on the deals front it is already competing against dominant Groupon, big LivingSocial, and fast-rising Amazon, among many others.”

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