Google Currents

google currents logo

Do you remember when Google shut down their RSS application Reader earlier in the year? I was quite upset at the time, but have since started using Digg Reader and have come to forgive them in my heart.

Google has something called Google Currents that appears to have been around for a couple of years now. I think I have it on my Nexus 7, but I never really knew what it was until my friend Parin wrote about it on Facebook just now.

To cut a long story short, you can now subscribe to this blog on Google Currents, by following this link. Or for even more personal service, sign up for email delivery in the box at the top right of this page.

If you want to know more, including how to set up Google Currents to publish your content from WordPress, the video below is very clear.

Google Reader: the end of an era

google reader

This is only going to be of interest if you use Google’s excellent Google Reader service to consume your web content via RSS feeds.

If you have no idea what that means, stop reading now 😉

I logged into Google Reader a couple of days ago to discover that Google is planning to discontinue the service in July. Seems like they weren’t able to monetize it sufficiently, or there weren’t enough users, or something data-driven like that.

While I’m sure they have their reasons, I was unpleasantly surprised. I’ve been using Reader for years now to read blogs and webcomics and really like the simplicity, and how well it syncs across computers and mobile devices.

Fortunately I am not the only one with this problem, and it seems as though Feedly has decided that they would like to snap up all of the Google Reader customers. If you go to their website, you can sign in with your Google account and when the time comes they will migrate all your settings to their system.

I’ve been playing with Feedly on Windows and my iPhone since yesterday and so far it seems like a good solution. It’s not the same as Reader, but it comes close, and I’m sure it will be fine once I get used to it.

So as a public service announcement, if you need a replacement for Reader, Feedly seems like a relatively painless solution.

Google Maps App for iPhone

google maps

Another tangent, I’m afraid. If you don’t have an iPhone you can probably stop reading now. If you have an iPhone that is running iOS 5 or less, this may be of interest. But if you have an iPhone running iOS 6 and you haven’t downloaded the Google Maps App yet, keep reading.

I’ve been playing with the new Google Maps App on my iPhone 4S for a couple of weeks now. The short version is that it is amazing.

(it’s not just me that thinks so, either: here’s the Wall Street Journal version)

The long version:

  • all the accurate data from before
  • better interface
  • amazing driving instructions (it’s better than any dedicated satnav I have used)
  • sharpened up graphics

I’ve used it a few times while driving, and the app is amazingly user-friendly. Clear voice directions, simple screen, very user-friendly (I particularly like the way you can scroll around the map then get back to your route with a simple ‘resume’ button).

The local transport functionality is there too: this is probably the thing I use my phone for the most. When in an unfamiliar city, the app gives accurate local train and bus times and connections -so much so that I use it instead of the official websites to find times.

No negatives I have found at this time. If you don’t have it get it now -it’s free.


*this review is only talking about the Google Maps App in Japan. I haven’t had the chance to test it abroad yet 🙂


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