The week started with the viral spread of the Developer’s edition and teasers of the new kid from Microsoft, the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. I am yet to use the new OS but it is worth noting that I can’t wait for the personal edition to roll out. From my interaction with Windows 7 and Apple’s Mac OS X Lion, I am looking forward to using Windows 8. Oh! Windows 8 should be able to boot up in 8 seconds on a proper PC!
I ain’t done with Microsoft yet. The eagerly awaited products of its partnership with Nokia, phones running Windows Phone 7 (7.5) code named Mango, are set to debut early in the coming month. Let’s see what the highly hyped Mango brings to the high alter of competitive mobile phone operating systems. Can it beat Blackberry OS, iOS and Android?
Google+, the social networking service from search giant Google, finally rolled out to the general public on 20th. I have a very harsh review of Google+ and I’ll analyse it properly soon. With the public launch came added features on the Google Plus app for Android. It’s now possible to start hangouts on the android application. I’ve tried the updated G+ app(version 1.0.7) and it is well above the mark. Add the newly included features and those included in v1.0.6 like the ability to reshare posts and you have a nice app. The mobile site has also been tweaked and its great though alot can still be done.
The queen of sideshows and things to attract attention realized that she was getting old and got a redesign. Yes I am referring to Facebook, the dominant social network. In a major redesign, users can now subscribe( FB style of Twitter-like following) to receive updates from other people who they are not friends with. In other words, Mark Zuckerberg and company have made it easier for stalkers to be getting updates from you. There’s also the Tickle which updates posts and activities in real time. The profiles too got a makeover. People can also comment on Facebook pages they’ve never Liked. The introduction of a Twitter-like timeline just sucks. Of cause there was an overwhelming negative outcry but does Zuckerberg care about your hues and cries or the revenue from sponsoring and other corporates?
On the Kenyan twitterverse we call it iTorch, yet it is widely used in tweeting. I mean text-tweeting. Twitter seems to have learnt of user retention because it is now possible to send photos direct to your Twitter timeline using text messaging.
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Last week search giant Google unveiled it’s new social network dubbed in various technology blogs as a potential Facebook killer, Google+. Earlier on, Google’s rival in the mobile phone operating system platform, Apple, had unveiled its new cloud service, iCloud. And just yesterday, another Google competitor, Facebook, launched live video chat powered by Skype. Ladies and gentlemen, the digital revolution is rolling while we witness.
I was not lucky to get a hands on experience with the products released by Google and Apple since I don’t have an iOS device to test the new cloud service(it rolls out to the general public later this year) nor was I lucky to get the few invites to test Google+ beta. However, I had the chance to try out live video chat on my Facebook profile. This is such an “awesome” product, just as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had described it prior to its official release. Of course I experienced some sound issues but I can blame those on my ISP and network related problems. I was having a conversation with a geek friend of mine, who was lucky to get an early invite to Google+, and he brushes away my great experience with Facebook video chat saying unlike it, which allows only one friend per chat, Google+ allows chat connections of upto 10 friends. Anyway who said I want to chat with ten people at a go? Of course Google+ is a great social network going by the positive reviews it has gotten from top bloggers, technology analysts and critics. Apart from the multiple friend video chat feature, Google+ also has a feature called Circles which allows one the privacy that Facebook has been missing, having your boss and weekend buddies on the same social network with each only seeing the appropriate content without going through the tedious process of manually creating friend lists. I have already spotted the sleek, “killer” Google+ android application and I just can’t wait for the public roll out of the great social network from the makers of my favourite mobile operating system, Android!
Turning to the cloud, everyone is talking about “the cloud” these days. I have been using a couple of cloud services on my android device and there’s no lying that this is the future of computing more so in terms of data storage. How secure the data stored in the cloud is is another discussion altogether(remember the Sony PlayStation network and Qriocity service hack?) but the advantages are enormous. Let my brothers and sisters using iOS devices gladly look forward to the rolling out of iCloud and the new iOS 5. For us in Android the seamless syncing of our contact lists, Gmail, Google Music and cloud tied service applications like m-Spot, Netqin antivirus, Dropbox etc we are also enjoying the benefits that come with emerging trends in the technology world.
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Also posted on ECHENZE KENYA
I recently acquired an Android smartphone. Android, being the most popular mobile operating system, is a developers heaven. As such, I would have expected the Android Market to be overflowing with local applications but that’s not the case, there very few apps made by Kenyans and even fewer apps specifically offering Kenyan content. The big question is: where are Kenyan developers? Nokia’s premier app store, the Ovi Store, is awash with many local applications, which is a good and commendable thing considering that Nokia is still the market leader in cellphone sells and manufacturing in East Africa. However a part of the Kenyan population, like myself, are slowly moving away from the traditional Symbian platform fronted by Nokia to other new players. There’s the iOS, Windows Phone 7 and the Android OS. I know Kenyan developers are working round the clock to develop quality applications on all these major platforms but this has to be hastened.
For every proud Kenyan, it’s a shame to navigate through tens of thousands of applications in the various app stores without finding one local app or any app developed locally.
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