It maybe time to sell your Garmin stock! Here is a look a the upcoming (free with the right phone) Google navigation. It has some great features. One major problem is that it requires and cell connection and I am guessing a nice speedy 3G connection at that to work. That could be a problem in many areas of the U.S. Still looks cool and points to the future.
The Google Mobile app has been out for a while. I find that I actually use it and it works pretty well even if only for quicklinks to google docs, cal and others for both personal and company versions.
Google today is publicly introducing Google Voice. Interesting service. I have been using it for a couple years back to the Grand Central days. Before Google officially renamed it and got behind it I only used it for salesman and trade shows. It has some nice features including the ability to send annoying salesmen to your spam folder and have anyone not in your address book announce themselves before ringing through to you. Read all about it at TechCrunch or Google Voice. This is a video from the Today show that talks about a couple features but lacks most of the details.
Location apps seem very interesting to me. I generally don’t go to places that I would be embarrassed to be seen but something still seems a little Orwellian about sharing my location at all times.
Since I work at home people tracking me would probably become bored rather quickly. Google dove into the location game today with a new app for mobile devices called Latitude. Looks kind of cool. I wonder how soon they will start showing you ads based on your location?
Google just updated their mobile app by adding voice recognition. I see a new Apple commercial coming on soon. Is this the killer app for the iphone? In my limited testing it works well if you know what to say.
Today Google added a cool new feature to Google Docs called form view. This is a super easy way to collect data on the web. Simply create a form and send someone the link or the form embedded in an email. As people fill out the form your Google Docs spreadsheet is populated with data. Read more about it at the google docs blog.
When this came out I thought it was cool but wondered how I would use it. I made up a form and shared it with my company. It seems like a great way to easily get feedback for something. Then I thought of another use. I could use it for a prototype of an application that I thought of building in another technology. A simple replacement for the “While you were out” slips that I surprisingly still see on desks across America. Well at least Michiana.
So I first did a google search to get the right questions to ask. I searched google images for “While you were out”.This turned up a couple examples of the form. From there I added fields to the form.
Here is how I see it working. You have a URL that takes you to the person you are leaving the message for. Next you just fill out the form. A combination of free form entry, check boxes and pull down menus. Here is the form I created. Fill it out and leave me some comments. Next you create a URL bookmark for the person you are taking messages for. They can just click the link in their browser wherever they are and get their messages. They can even do it from an iphone and click on the number to return the call immediately. This is obviously a crude prototype but it took longer to write this blog post than to create the form and test it. A little modification to the html and you could create a nice view on the iphone.
Android the true geek phone platform from Google. Android is not a phone but a platform. This is what makes it a great geek phone. Geeks can never agree on what makes the best device. With Android every geek can have his own phone and customize it at the hardware and software level to their hearts desire. The Android platform reminds me of something Microsoft would do. Take some of the cool features from the iPhone and release a mobile OS. The twist here is Google made the whole thing open source and that makes a huge difference. You can modify the operating system anyway they want with no restrictions. Watch the video from my favorite muppet Sergey Brin.
You can definitely see some resemblance to OSX and the iphone. From the Webkit browser (from Apple) to the icons.