It's easy to underestimate the importance of the review process. When considering a purchase, we scour Amazon for well-written reviews, YouTube for thorough comparisons, and (obviously) Android Police for insightful hands-on articles. We do it for everything from smartphones to cars to vacuum cleaners. Sometimes we even enjoy reading reviews for things we don't want to buy, simply for our own amusement. So why do we generally ignore app reviews on Google Play?
If I had to guess — and it isn't really much of a guess at all — I'd point my finger at the overwhelmingly poor quality of app reviews in general.
Twitter isn't particularly welcoming to newcomers, and the company knows this. It has long worked to help users discover which accounts to follow and how to turn their feeds into something interesting. Part of this effort has included churning out daily summaries called Highlights. Now it's making a move to keep you tapped into what's going on across the network and the world regardless of whom you follow.
Twitter can be intimidating to new users. The same can be said for experienced users. A timeline is only as good as the content you follow, and even then, you may miss the good bits over the course of a day unless you commit to scrolling through every single tweet.
So the company is introducing Highlights, push notifications that put what's hopefully interesting content directly into your notification shade.
After its update to 5.0 on iOS about a week ago, Pocket has been upgraded for Android as well. I'm a long-time user of Pocket, and while my use case is probably different from the typical user's (there are probably only about 10 items in my list at any given time), it's clear to me that Pocket is always trying to find new ways to make simple save-and-read functionality better and more convenient. To that end, Pocket's new update offers users a new "Highlights" selection, which will pull and organize the best stories from your list, placing them in categories like "quick reads," or sorting by source, trending status, or subject matter (like "#photography").
Just two short days ago, Samsung unveiled the massive Galaxy Note 2 at IFA in Berlin. They briefly showed off some new features of the Note II, like Air View and various note-taking and image editing tweaks. Still, this left anyone who may be interested in this next-gen phablet wanting more.
And now you've got it.
Samsung just released a note-tastic 13 minute video detailing several new features of the Note II, including the video player and Gallery applications, Air View, the ability to natively record the screen, and so much more. Even if you're not into the whole oversized phone thing, it's still worth a watch just to see some of the cool technologies that Sammy built into the Note II with the S Pen.
Google's keynote address on day 2 of Google I/O was all Chrome, all day. Now that Chrome is the default browser for Android, combined with the company's continued push behind Chrome OS, you can expect to see the browser everywhere from now on. Including in the hour-and-twenty-minute video below featuring all the new (and old) features and developments in Chrome.
If you're short on time, or I/O is just overwhleming, Google's done you the favor of piecing together all the best parts of day 1 and 2's keynotes in a single, easy-to-digest four minute video. There are even a few snippets of some of the exhibitors at the keynote.
March Madness officially begins tomorrow (March 13), and before all is said and done on April 2, a whopping 67 games will have been played. It's tough to keep up with the sheer number of games going on, but it just got a whole lot easier thanks to the fresh-on-the-market official app, NCAA March Madness Live.
The app is free, and offers an impressive list of features:
- Live game radio of all 67 games - Live social chatter for teams in every game - Fill out your official NCAA Bracket Challenge bracket right from your Android - Track the entire bracket live throughout the tournament - Get alerts for upsets, overtimes, crunch time (close games), and your favorite teams - Post directly to Facebook and Twitter - Use My Channels to see where each game is on all four networks – TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV
You can also upgrade the package in-app for $3.99, which allows you to:
- Watch the NCAA Basketball Selection Show live on Sunday, March 11 - Watch LIVE streaming of all 67 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games - Watch a live stream of team practices for the Final Four® - Watch highlights of all 67 games; highlights available right after each game - Take it with you: Buy it once and use the March Madness Live account you create to login and watch on your computer.
Anticipating the fact that some folks prefer information presented to them visually, Google just dropped the first official promo video for the new Galaxy Nexus, powered by Ice Cream Sandwich. Tron-style racing and a rundown of new ICS features are practically begging you to click that Play button below:
In the words of the top YouTube comment: "Shut up and take my money, Google!"
Ahh, Google I/O, how we'll miss you for the next 365 days or so. The last 2 days have been filled with anticipation, knowledge, surprises, excitement, and fun - the perfect recipe for happy developers. As a developer myself, I've picked up heaps of new information, especially from the SDK Tools and ADT session by Tor Norbye and Xavier Ducrohet, and viewing the keynotes was simply a blast.
As you may have seen yesterday, day 1 keynote and sessions were already posted last night, and now the same fate reached the sessions and keynote from day 2. As before, you can view the whole list by visiting the YouTube page of GoogleDevelopers or simply watch the embeds on this page.
The first day of Google I/O 2011 is now over (see our highlights) - in fact, the next one is starting in mere 7 hours (4 hours of sleep - check). That doesn't mean, however, that the information presented was lost forever - on the contrary, Google has archived most, if not all, of the footage and made it available to you on YouTube via the GoogleDevelopers channel.
You can find the full keynote, filled with Android goodness to the brim, along with the most interesting Android sessions below.
Keynote Day 1:
Fireside Chat with the Android Team:
How to NFC:
And, of course, Jane's Addiction live in concert at the after party (this was awesome):