Tag Archives: Chrome

Ok Google, you win!

Google Magnifying GlassAfter months of working on options to pull myself away from my reliance of Google products I’ve thrown in the towel – my apologies to all those out there who were hoping I’d reach escape velocity.

Folks that have wandered around the site know that I’ve always been big on Google products and the fact that I couldn’t just drop them all and walk away shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, but there are a few things I’ve observed.

  1. The world loves Chrome. There are some other great browsers out there (firefox comes to mind) but, they don’t really seem to get the love when it comes to add-ins. Yes, I have a few that are specific to Google services but there are others that I can’t seem to find an equivalent for, and since I don’t want to give my the functionality – Chrome it is.
  2. Gmail just rocks. I realize that might not sound professional but it’s the best way to describe it. I rarely have an issue accessing it and the spam filtering is fantastic – hard to give those up. I’m also on an apps domain which I share with others so I can just summarily take it down without impact them so that’s also a blocker for me as well. (By the way, the new inbox app for Android is pretty solid as well.)
  3. Google Voice. I’ve been using a number through their system since before it was their system (anyone remember GrandCentral?) and while it hasn’t gotten as much love as it could have over the years the voicemail system works well for what I need it to do.
  4. Mobile. Other than Apple there aren’t a lot of choices beyond Android and while I carry an iPhone for work (and everyone else but me at home does as well) I didn’t want one for my personal phone. I opted for the 2nd generation Moto X and, to be honest, have been very happy with it to date.

I could go one by I really don’t want this to turn into a Google fanboy post (it might already be there anyway).

Am I all in with Google? No, there are a few areas where the giant G taken over.

  1. Notetaking. As I mentioned previously I’ve moved to OneNote for my notetaking setup. These are the notes that I want to have for the long haul such as projects I’m working on.
  2. Social media. Yes, I’m still on Google+ and post things there from time to time and belong to a number of communities but my focus of late has been twitter and I’ve recently setup a facebook page for those that would like to use that platform to follow me (please be sure to like it as I’m just getting it rolling).
  3. Photos. While there is plenty of love for pictures inside of Google, I’m setup with flickr and don’t see that changing. It does make it easier to share over with family who primarily use facebook.

Does this mean that I’m going to look to the mighty G for a solution to everything and stop exploring other avenues? Absolutely not, if I’ve learned one thing on this journey is that there are never enough solutions to a problem and rarely are they all from the same source.

So the question has to be asked, are you all in with Google? Avoid them likely the plague? Or are you somewhere in the middle? Please share in the comments below.

 

Goodbye Chrome, Hello Opera

Opera BrowserIn my last post, I talked about how I was going to look at the tools I use and diversify them a bit as I have come to rely on one company, Google, for nearly everything I do.

And that’s not good.

So, since a large percentage of my time is spent online I figured the logical place to start is with my browser. I’ve been a Chrome user almost since the day it came out. I’ve enjoyed the tight integration with their other products and the speed at which is runs but it’s also the basket that holds all the other eggs so out it goes.

With Chrome off the table I looked at the other possible browsers out there. I crossed Internet Explorer off the list right away as I wanted to maintain a certain decoupling with my operating system and as I work in Windows most of the time I also decided to cross off Safari as well (that whole Apple vs. Microsoft thing).

Next on my list was Firefox. Before my days as a Chrome user I was a Firefox user and spent many hours toying with the different extentions and add-ons, constantly tweaking it. I’m also concerned with the way that Firefox has hogged memory in the past (like Chrome does now) as I typically have a lot open on my desktop. So while it stayed on my list for a while and is installed as my backup browser I decided to pass on it as my primary browser.

So, where did that leave me? With a list of off-shoot browsers and the one that I decided to go with – Opera.

If you read the above statement and don’t know anything about the Opera browser, don’t feel bad, according the stats over at Netmarket Share Opera has about a 2% market share – that’s right not a lot of folks are using it.

So why go with the #5 browser in the market? I think it goes back to this older post. In that post I mentioned that I needed to get back to what I enjoy, puzzling things out, solving problems and trying new things. I’ve used all of the browsers mentioned above and had never really tried Opera so I thought I would make a go of it on this switch.

To be honest, as I write this I’ve been on Opera for my personal browsing for over a month now (I still use Chrome at work) and other than a few minor inconveniences things are going well. I’ve had to adjust to not having instant access (via extensions) to some of the services I use but that also made me take a look at those services to determine if I really needed to have that access or use them at all.

Do I miss some of those things? I did at first, but as I use Opera more, adjust my work flows and change up my tools, the pain of those changes lessens.

I’m still learning my way around Opera and haven’t really dug into all it’s capable of yet but I’m peeling back the layers a bit at a time and so far I’m happy with my decision.

So, what browser do you use? Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, something else? Why not share about it in the comments below.

Goodbye Chrome – Hello Firefox!

As readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of Google products and mention them but I have to say goodbye to my beloved Chrome browser.

The choice was partly mine and partly due to a change in computing platform – a move to the Motorola ATRIX.

For those that haven’t seen it, the ATRIX is an Android based phone that can be plugged into a lapdock, which allows it to be used as a laptop, or into a smaller dock where you can connect a keyboard, mouse, and monitor so you can work at a desk. Here’s a 30 second spot on it.



When the ATRIX is in any of the docks you can invoke the webtop which gives you a Firefox based environment to work in, all browser based – similar to the environment I think you’d find with a Chrome OS book. Unfortunately I can’t do a direct comparison as I didn’t rate one in the beta testing.

Up until now I’ve just been an advocate for both cloud and mobile computing and now armed with my iPhone and ATRIX I’m going to be moving headlong into it, I’m looking forward to the challenge and will be sharing the add-ons, software and tools I find useful along the way.

Is your game in the cloud? Do you spend more time away from a desk or at it? Why not share in the comments.

Full disclosure: I work for Motorola, but not in the cellular phone division. Any comments made by me relating to their products are my opinions only and should be viewed as such.

Still want a Chrome Notebook?

If you’re like me you made the attempt to get into Google’s Cr-48 program when they first announced it. They had 60,000 of those notebooks to hand out and if you really are like me, you didn’t get on.

All is not lost however as it would appear that there is another round of chances for those that would like to fill out the forms again. The folks at Google in conjunction with Box.net, Zoho and a few others are giving users of those online services a chance at getting a Chrome notebook.

So if you want to try and take the plunge again check out the post Living on the web with the Chrome Web Store (and the Cr-48!) for the details.

If you decide to give it a shot, I wish you the best of luck.

Xmarks no longer marks the spot

Xmarks, a very popular bookmark syncing tool is closing its doors and shutting down the service on January 10, 2011.

I was a user of the service but when I made the nearly wholesale change over to Google Chrome it was no longer needed – I could sync what I needed through my Google account. That said the service was great and while I did use it I was very happy with it.

Todd Agulnick, the Co-Founder and CTO of Xmarks wrote up a great blog post covering the history of the company and how they came the decision to close the doors, including a mention of the browser syncing tools.

I’m sorry to see this company go – while I may not be a user of the service it did fit a need for folks that use more than one browser and I wish everyone an Xmarks the best of luck in the future.

Be sure to check out the Xmarks Shutdown page which has links to FAQs and further information along with suggestions on syncing services you can use in the future.