I'll admit it - I tried to avoid signing into apps using Facebook back when doing so first became a thing. I figured the company already had enough information about me, and I didn't want them getting more. Now I wager that consolidating my information is probably no less safe (or unsafe?) than leaving my contact information scattered across many different servers, each maintained by scattered companies of varying size that may or may not exist this time next year.
Remember the "Zap" feature that Motorola and Verizon hyped up during their latest press conference? You could be forgiven if you don't - the local sharing app is a solution looking for a problem, and it's only for the new DROID phones. Like the previous Moto-exclusive apps, Droid Zap has popped into the Play Store long before the launch of the DROID Ultra, DROID MAXX, or DROID Mini.
Why have it in the Play Store?
Ever since its inception in Android 4.2, end-users have wondered why the multi-user function has been restricted to tablets. While switching between profiles desktop-style certainly makes the most sense on tablets, there's no technical reason why it couldn't be enabled for phones as well. Yesterday an official Android engineer took to Reddit to explain the reasoning behind the limitation.
"...it is not at all clear how it should work on a phone, specifically with respect to SMS and phone calls," writes Dan Morrill, Google Engineer and a regular on the popular /r/Android subreddit.
So I was sitting around this weekend using Gmail, Google+, and Google Drive thinking, "Gee, I wish there was a way I could give Google even more information about me." It turns out, there soon will be. The mad scientists at Mountain View are currently preparing a new service entitled Google Mine that is totally not a private sector arm of PRISM. It allows users to share their belongings with friends in their Google+ circles, letting people see both what others own and what they want.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not much of an e-mag guy. I tried Google Currents for a while, but never quite saw the utility of it, and so quickly transitioned back to my beloved Feedly and Google Reader. That's not to say I haven't realized the limitations of RSS many times, though, especially as certain websites I follow look to integrate more multimedia into articles. (Having to use Chrome to listen to audio or video in a weird custom player is really frustrating.) And concededly, apps like Currents look a thousand times better than feeds, which are traditionally text-heavy.
Talkray, from the makers of the incredibly popular touch-talk app TiKL, is an ambitious app – it looks to be your one-stop shop for mobile communication on the go, communicating through text, pictures, videos, and voice all for free. Until now, though, the app has had a fatal flaw – its design. While not the worst design we've seen, Talkray had, shall we say, unfortunate looks. Inconsistent styles, gradients mixed with flat elements, and Gingerbread-style tabs abound.