Last week, few people were surprised to see Google launching their latest Nexus 7 tablet. That was rather expected. What surprised us all was the launch of the $35 Chromecast, a HDMI dongle to steam internet video from apps and the Chrome browser to your TV. The feature set and price were interesting, of course, especially after the failure of last year's Nexus Q and Google TV. But what was more interesting, perhaps, was the Chromecast's branding — with the Chrome browser's name, not Android — especially after it was discovered that the Chromecast is powered by a stripped-down Android.
AppleInsider has published a rather interesting piece speculating that Google will eventually drop the Android brand and focus everything on Chrome. Google already makes the majority of their money from search, and Android — despite its popularity and prevalence in smartphones, tablets, and even refrigerators — has yet to make much at all. The Chrome browser, though, is more directly aligned with Google's web interests since it keeps you on the web, where Google's already monetized their services.
It seems an unlikely stretch of imagination to think that Google would drop Android now, but the lack of a new version this year does seem odd. So what do you think? Will Google focus more on Chrome going forward, or will Android continue to be an equally significant part of Google's interests?
Your team has dreamed up a great app, and worked day and night to get it released. Launch day came, and it was a total success. There’s only one problem: everyone’s sending you bug reports, and you don’t know how to keep track of them. You’ve got new features you want to add in the next version, and issues to fix, and your team needs to keep track of them and discuss the best ways to fix them.
Sounds like your team needs Sifter, our sponsor this week.
With its brand-new Github integration, Sifter is designed to help you track bugs and follow up on them the way you’re already used to working. It gives you a clean dashboard where you can easily see the issues in each of your projects, and filtering tools to find the most important things to work on. You can discuss bugs and find solutions with your whole team, get notified by email when anything’s added — or just get a summary email at the end of the day, and can even add issues via email. It’s got everything you need to track — and fix — all the issues in your app, with brilliant customer support to help you out if you get stuck.
Best of all, the Sifter team keeps adding features that make it an even better tool for your team. You can look over their Changelog to see all the features and improvements they’ve added — from the aforementioned Github integration to a new file uploader, UI improvements, better HTML email notifications, and more — since we originally reviewed Sifter.
It’s one of the best ways to track bugs in your apps, and if your team has been looking for a way to keep track of everything you need to fix, you should definitely give Sifter a try.
Get Your Team on Sifter This Week!
No matter how many projects and apps your team is working on, Sifter can help you keep track of bugs and help you push your projects forward. Give Sifter a try this week with a free 14-day trial, then get the plan that works best for your team starting at $29/month for up to 10 active projects. You’ll get all of Sifter’s great features, no matter which plan you choose, so you can worry about fixing your bugs instead of fixing your bug tracking app.
Right at the end of 2011, when everyone was gearing up for New Year celebrations, I looked at Lightspeed, a Mac-based POS (point-of-sale) designed for large retail businesses. It’s a mighty impressive piece of software but at over a grand for a single user licence (they start at $1,098 each — and that’s without the POS hardware!), it’s certainly not a cheap piece of kit.
However, since then, some major transformations have gone on within Lightspeed Retail, the developers. A few days ago, they acquired MerchantOS (a former rival company) and merged the two products into a new one called LightSpeed Cloud. Unlike the former product, which was confined to a single Mac, the new version now allows users to access their retail data from whatever device they are using — a real boom for retail businesses who use devices such as tablets and mobile phones in their day-to-day life.
I’ve been a CloudApp devotee for years now. I’ve tested all the alternates — perhaps more than most, since I review apps for a living — and even called it a solid tie between Droplr and CloudApp in my in-depth comparison of them last year. But, as I had every other time, I returned to using CloudApp quickly after finishing the article. Nothing else could win me over.
It’s not that I’m so picky, per se. I used CloudApp to share images and files (mainly screenshots), and to shorten links (and then track their view stats). And CloudApp worked perfectly for that, so perfectly that I didn’t want to replace it.
The problem is, CloudApp has been standing still, while Droplr has been continuing to improve their apps and service. When Droplr announced their new iOS app — complete with an iPad version — at the same time that I was bumping into CloudApp’s free account limits and needed to consider upgrading, I knew I had to give Droplr another shot first. Several weeks later, I put the money down for a pro Droplr account. (more…)
Our friends at Quote Roller are running a giveaway this week that you might be interested in: they’re giving away two iPad Minis, one to their existing users and another to new users who try out their app this week. Quote Roller was designed to help you be productive, no matter where you are, and they have a brand-new iOS app update coming this summer that’ll make it an even better on-the-go companion for you. And, they’re celebrating its release by giving away the iPad Minis.
You just might be able to try out Quote Roller, find how much time it’ll save you, and then get an iPad Mini for free to make you even more productive on the go!
But why are you still here? Head over to the Quote Roller site, sign up for a free trial, then like the Quote Roller Facebook page and share the giveaway photo with your Facebook friends to get entered in the giveaway. That’s not too much work for a chance at a free iPad Mini, now is it? And hey — you’ll likely find that Quote Roller will save you time and keep you from having to work too hard on making quotes and proposals for your clients, even on the go with their new iOS app.
I have a Dropbox account with about 50GB of storage space. There’s also a Box account with the same size. Then there’s Google Drive with 15GB, Flickr with 1TB, and so on and so forth. With so many different cloud storage services, there’s bound to be some confusion.
- Which account did I save this file on?
- Man, this document is on both Dropbox and Google Drive, but I can’t remember which one I updated last.
- I need to edit this file but it’s on my Box. I sure wish it was on my SkyDrive right now!
- Hmm, half this photo album is on Picasa and the other half on Flickr. How do I get the two together?
There had to be an easy way to take the stuff from one account and dump it into another. And I wanted a way where I could set up an IFTTT-like rule, where new files or changes from one folder are automatically synced to another. Mover.io promised those things, so I took it for a spin. (more…)
Recent statistics show that Chrome is solidly in third place in the “browser wars”. Perhaps the main reason for Chrome’s rapid growth over the past four plus years is the Chrome Web Store. The plethora of extensions and apps available for Chrome packaged in an accessible online store has enticed many users to make the switch.
I recently switched back to Chrome specifically for the productivity extensions. There were a few extensions I couldn’t live without and some I recently encountered having a good ol’ time perusing the Web Store. The result is a set of 15 extremely handy productivity extensions for Chrome. So, in some kind of order, here they are…
Nearly all of the apps, platforms and services we write about on AppStorm are pretty specific in their purpose. Twitter sticks to restricted-length communications, YouTube focuses on video clip-based entertainment, and Evernote does nothing other than document filing. One app, one task. It works pretty good.
Given that we use many of these apps on a daily basis, you have to wonder why there haven’t been more attempts to combine some of these services. FriendFeed was, perhaps, the most prominent and successful entry into the mashup genre, although it fell by the wayside, despite a peak of 1.2m unique visitors per month.
The makers of Needly clearly feel that the fusion of web-apps is an idea worth revisiting. Billed as “Google Reader + Basecamp + WordPress,” it seems intent on providing a hub of browser-based services. Is this the plain madness it sounds like, or rather some kind of genius idea that should have been done already? Read on to find out.
Stripe is an awesome way to take payments for virtual and physical goods. For anyone tired of having to run all payments through PayPal, it’s a breath of fresh air that makes payment processing easy and cheap. However, the service doesn’t offer an easy way to sell your products to customers. And while you can always code your own web store that works with Stripe, this takes time and money that could be used towards developing the product that you’re planning to sell.
If you find yourself in a situation like I’ve written above, you’re probably a perfect candidate for Spacebox: a product manager and payment acceptor that works with Stripe. It’s one of the simplest ways to sell your products — digital and physical alike — online. (more…)