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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Google Nexus 7- The Kindle Fire starts to feel the heat.

In the beginning, there was the Kindle Fire. It cost $200 and delivered the kind of experience that made it a runaway bestseller. It could do all kinds of light duty computing- more than enough for most people who weren't looking for the high-zoot power of an Apple iPad (or the high-zoot price either).

Well, it took awhile but competitors are starting to appear in the marketplace to challenge the Fire for a prime place under the tree next Christmas. This week, Google introduced the Nexus 7, a small form tablet sized like the Fire and priced like it too- a mere $200 for a 8G version ($250 for the 16G). The screen is 7" inches across and is as thin as an iPhone.
If my wife is reading this, here is my hint for Christmas.
The Nexus 7 can do most of the things other tablets can do like display ebooks and magazines, play movies and install more than 600,000 Android Apps from the Google Play market of apps. But, The Nexus 7 comes with the next generation of the Android operating system called Jellybean that boasts features like Google Now and 10 hours of e-reading and web browsing (but "only" 8 hours of HD video).

But does it seems that 8G or 16G may not be enough to store books, music, apps and the other ephemera required to make the tablet experience satisfying? No worries- the Nexus 7 uses "tons of free" (Google's words) cloud storage to hold most of your data so you never have to worry about running out of space for all of your Grateful Dead bootleg tapes or having to pick only a few of your favorite Scooby Doo episodes. Now, you can keep them all ready, as much as you want, whenever you want.

The good news is you can preorder now and get $25 of Google Play credit to add the apps of your choice and be the first on your block to get what looks to be the start of a beautiful friendship. Go to Google's announcement here for a better look at all the specs, accessories and the preorder page so you can get your Nexus 7 by the end of July.

Want to read a review of the Google Nexus 7? has both a video and text review here. 

The ball is now in Amazon's court. We know there's a new Fire in the works and you can be sure the next year is sure to be interesting for the winners.

Winners? Sure. You know, people who buy these things like you and me. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Apple's New Products for 2012- Newer, Better, Faster but where's the iPhone?

You know, for a company that holds just a small percentage of the electronics industry market share (from 11%-17% depending on who you ask) Apple sure gets a lot of attention. And who can resist listening when Apple talks? Personally, I don't own a single Apple product so I have no dog in this fight, but I can help but pay attention when Apple starts to make announcements on future products.
Remember this? I think the new products
are a wee bit more advanced.

At the 2012 WWDC (World Wide Developer's Conference), Apple has started to release the first post-Steve Jobs products. Undoubtedly, these products were set before the passing of Apple's legendary leader, so this is the consumer's chance to see what's coming for the next 12 months and what they might find under the tree in December.

The list is a little long for complete coverage, but here's some things you can expect from the conference:

  • A new MacBook pro, updated with speedier processors and more oomph, including the ability to use USB 3.0 (lightning quick data transfers)
  • Retina displays on some computers (as an option or standard? Not sure) 
  • A new iPhone and/or iPod? (probably not, but...) 
Engadget has complete coverage details and posts breaking news as it happens. Go over to their site now for analysis and insight into Apple's latest offerings and, who knows? I might just ask Santa for a new Apple gizmo this Christmas. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Windows 8- Your Most Common Questions Answered.

Windows rules the world.

Despite the huge (and loud) Apple fanbase, the fact remains that the Microsoft Windows operating system is the predominate computer system by a factor of 10 or more. Since the 1980's, the majority of the world's computers run on the system begun by Bill Gates and a few others in a small storefront in Albuquerque, New Mexico decades ago.

Windows Phone 7 with
a look towards the future.
And as each new version of Windows emerges for the consuming public, new methods of computing and the human/machine interface gets a little bit better each time. Until recently, changes were evolutionary- a little bit better each time, but still recognizable as the same ol' Windows- just a bit more grown up.

Not this time though. For 2012, Microsoft is debuting a brand new system called Windows 8 with some deeply interesting elements sure to catch the eye of Windows lovers all over the world. If you've seen the Microsoft smart phone operating system Windows Phone 7, you get the idea. Tiles on the home screen are "alive" with information like e-mails, weather, Facebook postings, sports scores, etc.

Looks different, doesn't it?

Much of what gives Windows 8 its unique appearance is what gives Windows Phone 7 its appearance and that's on purpose. The thinking is, if you become used to the W8 system, then you'll be more likely to see the WP7 system as comfortable, familiar and you'll be more likely to buy one or the other due to this familiarity. I don't pretend to understand this approach, but Microsoft seems to believe the concept has merit.

No release date is available but it's almost sure to be in the 4th quarter of this year. For those of you who still have questions, has the answers to some of the more common queries users have been asking. But, if we all wait just a couple of months, all of our questions will be answered when the systems premieres. Click here to see if your question was answered. 

By the way, work has already begun on Windows 9. Some would call that too soon.

I call it job security.