Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Google Brings New Messenger and Separate Video App - Allo and Duo

So now we have it.
Google's new messenger app and video calling. Allo for messaging and Duo for video.
End-2-end encryption and the messenger with a chatbot and chat suggestions.
Will be released this summer for Android and iOS.

Photos: Screenshot from Google I/O Livestream. © by Alphabet. All rights reserved 

So what I feared came true. Hangouts is dead. That explains why there was no feature boost for long.
I don't know why there is a separate app for video. But well, that is not important.
Or? People need to install those. I really hope they replace Hangouts via an update with the two new services automatically or both will go nowhere.

Heres the official blog post from Google: Say hello to Allo and Duo

Only Hours Before Google I/O 2016

Today it's the day. Google once again showing us the way it heads at the Google I/O. Under the Alphabet label now, it has been a distracting ride so far. And with the reason introducing to "Google Spaces", it just might go on like that.

The question is will we see more of these redundant services, splattering all over the place. Recently it felt like if a product needs improvement, Google comes up with just another service. If there is a plan, Google should quickly tell us about. At the moment i feels like a Asylum for ideas from geniuses and no evolving anymore.
Features that Google requests for ages in Google+ comments? Now available in Spaces. A totally new product. And not enough, it has a chat feature. Well, what was about Hangouts and the audio message? Well every major messenger has this feature now, except Hangouts. End-2-end encryption? Nope.
Now that could be announced today, right? RIGHT? I mean at the moment is one of the most insecure service for your chat, after even WhatsApp turned full end-2-end encryption. Google must follow now. But I'm frustrated. Yes, I lost my faith in Google. They make illogical decisions at the moment. Even if there is a master plan, it is harmful that people are not getting informed.

So what is to be expected from the I/O this year?

-> The real name of the Doctor... umm I mean of Android N.
Yeah, you know that is probably the most exiting thing :). Speculation will end.

->VR stuff
Very of the projects that gives me question marks in my eyes. Do really think someone that mass market is ready for it? Just when the world goes mobile? Okay, I wanted this 20 years ago, now it's no longer relevant to me.

->Nexus devices
No. This would be very unlikely. It's too early. However it would be awesome.

->Google Spaces
They better give a hell of a demonstration. Right now I'm rubbing my eyeballs. Why? Google Docs, Hangouts,Google+ light.

->Project Chirp
This is interesting. Google's answer to Amazon Echo. Bring it on. NOW and in all major countries right away.

Seriously, I'm going to wait for something unexpected. Just like it was in recent years.
I sound very skeptical this time. But the last Google-Year I was disappointed extremely. Let's do it better from now on Google, will ya?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Google Trips is Pretty and Useful

Google Trips is out. I'm glad I'm in the first line in this beta test. I made some experience with it, and I really hope this will emerge soon for everyone.

Google Trips collect all you reservation from Gmail or Inbox and makes it accessible. You can add locations around from recommendations you'll get automatically within the app, you can save favorites and you'll find out about places to eat near you. A great feature is to download the whole info package for a location to use it offline.

You can also add any trip manually, which is a real great thing, since you're not always book a hotel for a trip. Now you can manage your trips in one place. Nice idea.

The UI is very nice and easy to understand. However this is an early beta and the team wants feedback. I'll gave them and will continue to try out stuff.
One little thing that could get better are restaurant recommendations. Have a sort of filter for price range or vegan/vegetarian options to show would be much better.

All in all I really like what I see here and how the app works. Let's hope it's out of beta soon, so anyone can enjoy it.

Those funny ads for the Xiaomi Mi Max

Wow, these are hilarious.
This could be one of my favorite phones this year. Not because of the ads, even as they are great. Nope, I want a big screen and decent performance for a great price.
Of course I'll wait for Google to introduce new nexus models, but I have not much hope for a good price after that last disaster.

Anyway here are the teaser-ads :) You really don't need to learn Chinese to get what they are saying mostly ;)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Threema and the lost business model

I had to have a coffee to discover that Threema is trying to sell the lack of basic messenger features as an advantage over WhatsApp. *doh*

I'll guess that's not the last milligram caffeine for today O.o., but at the moment I don't need more. I'm wide awake after reading a pathetic statement from Threema about WhatsApp encryption by showing what DOESN'T work right on Threema and saying they respect "metadata".
I don't know where to start. First there are always metadata, secondly Threema is, like WhatsApp, not open source, so we only have their word. And that's not good enough when trying to show the advantages about the competition. and third and most important, a lot of features they say produly "not with us" are basic messenger features. I wouldn't use it without that ability to see if someone is online, or see when they received a message.
I have important stuff to talk about with my friends. And it is essential to know if they can, and when they received a message. And I need to see when they are online.
Even with the free and opensource XMPP + OTR you can see this. It's that important. Much more important than the weak try to badmouth the competition when the own "security model" is out of business.
I will talk about it in detail at tomorrow's AndCast episode. Get the popcorn ready!

Update: The EFF sees it a bit differently than Threema:
Photo: Screenshot from EFF Website. Creative Commons License BY 3.0 US
(Crosspost from MicroRyo)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bloggeroid is still the best app

And that's a shame. The official app for blogger from Google seems dead in the water. I don't know. It's frustrating, and I keep asking myself how long it will take before blogger will be abandoned.

Thankfully there is Bloggeroid.
It has all basic features. You have to deal with wiki-style format options, which is kind of strange if you are not used to it. I'll guess that's why it not very popular. However, it's very stable and posts can be saved to sdcard when you have bad reception somewhere.
A few settings for images and inserting are available. So, there is now alternative on the market.

Blogger is a sad chapter of Google now. I can only hope that it will remain available for a long time. Maybe an overhaul of Bloggeroid would be a good thing. Would you donate to the developer for a more modern app to post to blogger?