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aol

RSS seems to be a seriously hot technology again. In recent weeks, there has been an extraordinary deluge of apps being released in response to Google Reader’s shutdown. Some of these are trying to tempt prospective users by offering innovative extra features, but many are happy to provide a clone-like experience. There are, however, some apps which have built on Reader’s foundations, but have added their own refinement, particularly in the direction of minimalist design, Digg and AOL being prime examples.

A new invite beta service named MnmlRdr, which has somewhat stayed under the radar thus far, is a promising new entry in this last category. I’m trying to find out whether it is an undiscovered gem, or whether it should be left in the shade. (more…)

I often proclaim myself to be platform agnostic and as one who doesn’t belong to any popular fanboi groups. In reality though, I have a soft corner to all things Google. I use many of their services even when there is a competent alternative in the offing. I strongly believe that Google is one of those companies that get things right most of the time.

That’s all changed with their announcement of shutting down Google Reader on July 1. It’s not a mass market product that was making money hand over fist for Google, but was used by thousands of vocal advocates of Internet and technology. By shutting it down, Google has unwittingly reinforced the notion that free services from Internet giants aren’t always in the best interest of the users.

I could cry a river about the loss of a faithful companion that brought sanity in this era of information overload, but thankfully, a handful of worthy big name alternatives have emerged in the past couple of weeks. I tried and dumped most of them and finally settled down with AOL Reader.

After the break, I’m gonna tell you how the popular choices – Feedly, Digg Reader, Ino Reader, and more fared in my evaluation and why I went with AOL instead. Read on!
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When I think of AOL, I cannot help but also think about the “You’ve Got Mail” tone that they made famous. As you take a look back on email, AOL was a pioneer in the field as they were one of the first companies to offer it to the masses, way back in the late 90′s. But outside of that and Instant Messenger, they have been very quiet now for quite some time.

Well, that all has changed recently, with their newly, upgraded email client called Alto. Yes, email has come a long way since AOL last came out with a client, and some would even say it is an already crowded space. When I got into the beta for this, the main thing that I wanted to see was whether or not this could replace the apps I currently use for email. I tried to use it by itself for the last couple of weeks and I came away with some interesting thoughts about it.

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Aol practically invented the internet as we know today. From email and IM to social networking, they’ve done it all decades ago in varying sizes and forms. After a high profile merger that went tragically wrong, Aol is no longer the giant it used to be. People have slowly migrated to more friendly and sophisticated tools from Yahoo, MSN and of late, Google.

With a sudden realization that a reboot is critical to survival, Aol has undergone a rebranding under a new leadership. Several of its products have either embraced a new identity or are in the process of getting one. One such property is Aol mail. After the jump, we’ll take a look at their email reboot, appropriately named Project Phoenix.

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