Google

Why Android is Important

Posted by Mike Brittain on January 20, 2009
Google, Mobile / 2 Comments

I was in a conversation the other day about mobile platforms and the topic of Android, Google’s mobile OS, came up.  The general outlook was: new, interesting, but too few devices to be concerned about.

I’ve read a modest amount of material about Android, but the sense I have is that Google is at the tip of the iceberg right now.  Sure, only one device has been rolled out to date, and only through T-Mobile (bleegch).  But more devices seem to be in the works, currently abroad, but certainly more in the United States soon.

The thing that is interesting, however, is that this is an OS that is (or can be) geared for devices other than cell phones, including netbooks, TVs, and kitchen appliances.  It has great reach potential, which has not been demonstrated (yet) by other players.  That is something to be considered by developers who are thinking about the next big mobile application to develop — because you might just find yourself playing Scrabble on your fridge while you’re waiting for the water to boil.

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Syncing Google Calendar and Apple iCal

Posted by Mike Brittain on December 05, 2008
Apple, Google / 3 Comments

At long last, there is CalDAV support in Google Calendar so that it can properly sync with Apple’s iCal.  This has taken so long that I’ve pretty much moved completely into using Google Calendar 100%, and don’t even bother opening iCal.  In the end, that’s what I believe Google wants — total reliance on web-based apps.

In any case, the announcement was made a few days ago on Google’s Mac Blog.  There is a small app that Google is distributing for making the setup process super easy.  I’m going to give it a shot and see whether this will get me using iCal again.  It certainly would be nice to have this calendar available on my iPhone, especially when I’m somewhere that Google Calendar won’t load due to lack of network connectivity (which seems to happen pretty often for me).

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Making Application Shortcuts for Chrome

Posted by Mike Brittain on September 09, 2008
Google, WWW / Comments Off on Making Application Shortcuts for Chrome

Google has a page listing some details for webmasters about their new web browser.  My favorite part is in regards to handling application shortcuts which I figured out from Gmail’s site.  It’s a simple addition of “application-name” and “application-url” meta tags, along with a meta description and link to an icon file, which you probably already have on your site.

Application shortcuts are probably my favorite feature of Chrome, and the reason why I think that it is an important browser.  These shortcuts will help users and businesses to change their mindset about software-as-a-service applications.  They make web applications look like real software.  We used to have a desktop icon for Eudora or Outlook Express.  Now we have one for Gmail.  In the future, I suspect we’ll see more people replacing their installations of Microsoft Office with a shortcut to Google Docs, Zoho, ThinkFree, or Live Workspace.

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