Posted on January 26th, 2012 No comments
Months have gone by, many months. No Rock Band news or rants. No updates on my gadget obsessions. No shameless plugs for online deals to support our sponsors. Nuthin! So what gives?
Our first four years were very active (2007-2010), with multiple writers and sometimes many articles per day. (Remember, we run this site pro bono, make gilch, for free). Well not entirely true. It cost us money to keep it running. We do on a very rare occasion make a coin or two if you check out our sponsor links or buy from one of our Amazon links.
2011 had a turn (not for the worse, no one died or anything), just a turn. Shawn started a side-project in the smartphone security space (of course MyGGGo was already a side-project). He also started another side-project developing technical training courses. And finally started another side-project playing drums in a couple bands. Oops…I think that’s 3 too many side-projects.
Where are all the other writers from MyGGGo? They have faded into their lives, and we haven’t worked at replacing them. Our bad.
MyGGGo has suffered. I can’t say 2012 will return us to previous levels, but here’s a first ditch effort. Coming this week, will be our new feature, known as App-A-Day.
Since we have literally hundreds of apps (from business to games to time wasters) for many platforms, We are bringing (sexy) back all three G’s to MyGGGo (Gadget, Game, and Gizmo Obsession) with this new feature. We will have a standard format for App-A-Day and will walk through the details of an app, the good, the bad, the malicious, the free, the ridiculously expensive.
Get ready for stuff from the Android Market, iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Chrome Apps, Xbox 360 games, Xbox 360 Dashboard apps, BlackBerry apps, Wii games. We will go all over the map. Why the whole map, well we actually use them all.
Join us later this week for the first real blast-o-news for 2012 with App-A-Day. If you have any preference of platform, type of app, or a specific app you’d like us to highlight on App-A-Day, drop us a line below.
Posted on January 22nd, 2011 1 comment
Unless you have been under a rock this month, you know the illustrious iPhone 4 will be heading to Verizon on February 10. This will be the first time, since the original release of the iPhone in 2007, that the phone has been made available on a CDMA carrier (Verizon and Sprint are both CDMA carriers in the U.S.) This will also be the first time that an iPhone will get 3G data speeds outside of AT&T, in the U.S. (T-Mobile users have been able to use unlocked iPhones, but unable to get 3G speeds).
There is a lot of rumbling that many people unhappy with AT&T’s service issues (that’s phone/data service, not customer service), will likely jump ship from AT&T for the greener grass of Verizon. If you are one of those people, there are a few major considerations you should be aware of before you make the big move.
Posted on January 6th, 2011 No comments
My favorite online streaming music service is Slacker Radio. If you are unaware of Slacker, think of Pandora or Last.FM. I believe the Slacker offering has the best user interface, a great selection of music, nice free (and relatively cheap paid) offerings, and was the first to offer on-device mobile applications with caching of music for offline use. I have my custom Rock Band Radio station over there too.
Today, at CES, the folks at Slacker announced the next generation of their web-based and mobile applications. Most of it has been expected for a while, but good to see that they are pushing the marketing on it. Let’s get into the announcement.
This has been quietly announced on Slacker.com for many months. This is a paid offering allowing users to select any song in the Slacker library on-demand for immediate listening. I have heard that this paid offering will cost users a scary $9.99 per month, which is an extremely expensive cost in my opinion. This new offering will compete immediately with Zune Pass, Rhapsody, Napster, and similar services. It could also compete with iTunes and Amazon’s download services.
Posted on October 28th, 2010 No comments
Now, as my interest in mobile technology is increasing, I’m getting my programming skills sharpened and focusing first on iPhone development. This is a very new space for me, since iPhone development takes place on a Mac (I’m a Windows purist), and is written in a language called Objective-C, which is heavily based on the C programming language (see my background above to identify the discrepancy). That said, my iPhone skills are getting sharper each day, and I have some projects to work on (which I will announce at a future date).
I may also work on apps for the other devices, including Android, Palm, and BlackBerry. Though, that would take me in a very different technical direction, so don’t expect it soon.
To keep up with my mobile development activities, for now you can follow me @JavaDevelop on Twitter. Sometime in the future, I will revive the website with all that I’m working on.
If you have any app suggestions with the platform you’d like to see an app on, let me know. Maybe I will take community suggestions for future direction.
Posted on April 8th, 2010 No comments
- 4 is not fully compatible with the iPhone 3G. Are you kidding me? Phones have had multi-tasking and enterprise support for years now but Apple doesn’t think 2 year old 3G hardware can handle it? How elegant and ‘best in class’ can your design be if the 3G can’t handle multi-tasking. This is a pure money grab plain and simple. Jobs even said as much when he referred to the new features being an incentive to upgrade as “terrific.” Sorry, but there’s no way I can justify buying a phone simply to get Multi-tasking, advanced mail, enteprise support, iBooks, GameCenter, etc. all in one shot. I’m sure some of those will port to the 3G but that it all won’t is absoutely crazy. I’ve lived with my iPhone for 2 years now and loved it, so clearly I don’t ‘need’ any of these features. I don’t see Apple getting money from me for a new model phone just on principle. The iPhone 3G is a large portion of Apples install base that’s now been alienated. Not the best move in my view.
- Enough with the marketing nonsense Apple. The whole ‘we’re not first with multi-tasking, but we’re the best’ is the same garbage lines all companies use when they’re late to market with something. Quit trying to make this out to be more than it is. A lot of these features should have been in from the beginning, so don’t treat us like we’re dumb now w/ clever slides and marketing lingo. Call it like it is. These features are great and put you on par in these areas with your competition. You clearly shine in areas like UI, usability, App Store, etc. and those put you at the top of the hill. There’s no need to disparage to cover up the fact that you’re late to the game with this. You have a great phone/device. In these feature sets, you’ve now caught up and added a little more. Implemented well, these features put you at the top. But lets not get crazy and forget that phones have had multitasking, folders, advanced mail, enterprise support, etc. for a long time before todays preview. You’ve copied/caught up in some areas, and lead and been frontrunners in others. Call a spade a spade.
Overall, I’m excited about the features that will be coming to the iPhone/iPad. GameCenter (think Xbox Live on smartphones) appears to be the one ‘new’ thing, but the other features that are now coming to the table look good. The iPhone just got better, and the iPad just became even more of an option for many users. I am, however, slightly worried about the direction this is all going. Apple has always done their ‘walled garden’ thing but it seems to be going even more in that direction if possible. With iAds, App Store inconsistencies, lack of true file storage access, etc., we’re increasingly only able to do the things Apple wants (or gets a cut from) on our devices. If this path continues, there’s only so many restrictions I’ll stomach for access to great UI and hardware. So far, I’m good and intrigued by Apple products, but I worry/wonder what my feelings will be in the future.
Posted on February 10th, 2010 No comments
I’m just learning what Google Buzz is all about today. I like to keep things short and simple here. Think of Gmail mixed with all the social aspects of Facebook and Twitter. Photo sharing, status updates, posts/blogging, geolocation, etc. All this in the simplistic Google interface.
Who doesn’t have a Gmail account? Just about no one. Who doesn’t use Twitter and/or Facebook? Just about no one.
Google Buzz is rolling out today to Gmail users. The coolest part, is it’s not only rolling out for desktop users, but also smartphone users. At first rollout, a bunch of dekstop (Windows, Mac, etc) users already have the Buzz features enabled, plus iPhone and Android users have access just by navigating to http://buzz.google.com from the browser. No word yet on BlackBerry or WebOS support.
Knowing that Gmail already has a huge install base, would you give Buzz a try? I know I will.
Posted on October 14th, 2009 1 comment
THIS WEEK IN ROCK BAND! As can be expected, there’s a redonculous amount of news surrounding the rhythm game genre this week, and in particular, our favorite franchise…Rock Band. Let’s talk about some epic DLC over the next couple weeks, a new iPhone game, the inaugural podcast, and more. It’s time for THIS WEEK IN ROCK BAND!
More Beatles Rock Band News
- Abbey Road DLC coming October 20
In less than a week, we will get all the remaining tracks from the album Abbey Road. Along with that, a new Challenge will be added to the game, allowing play of the album from beginning to end without stop. This new DLC is promised to bring new dreamscapes to the game. So, it’s great to see some DLC for TB:RB, but to add additional visualizations is going to be a treat to this already beautiful game.
What’s next for Beatles DLC? Two other albums are already in the works, but past that…it all depends on how stuff sells, according to Harmonix. So, if you want more Beatles for your game, buy what they offer now. Don’t hold out for your favorite album (like I might do for The White Album).
As far as fun to play, I have personally seen parents and grandparents interested in, at least, watching the game in action. I still haven’t seen the 50+ crowd interested in playing the game, but they sure love watching the game and listening the great sounds of The Beatles.
Lego Rock Band Update
- Entire track list revealed (biased opinion, it’s a great list too)
All American Rejects, “Swing, Swing”
The Automatic, “Monster”
Blink-182, “Aliens Exist”
Blur, “Song 2”
Bon Jovi, “You Give Love a Bad Name”
Boys like Girls, “Thunder”
Bryan Adams, “Summer of 69”
Carl Douglas, “Kung Fu Fighting”
The Coral – “Dreaming of You”
Counting Crows, “Accidentally in Love”
David Bowie, “Let’s Dance”
Elton John, “Crocodile Rock”
Europe, “The Final Countdown”
Everlife, “Real Wild Child”
Foo Fighters, “Breakout”
Good Charlotte, “Girls & Boys”
The Hives, “Tick Tick Boom!”
Iggy Pop, “The Passenger”
Jackson 5, “I Want You Back”
Jimi Hendrix, “Fire”
Kaiser Chiefs, “Ruby”
Katrina & The Waves, “Walking on Sunshine”
The Kooks, “Naïve”
KoRn, “Word Up!”
KT Tunstall, “Suddenly I See”
P!NK, “So What”
The Police, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”
The Primitives, “Crash”
Queen, “We Are The Champions”
Queen, “We Will Rock You”
Rascal Flatts, “Life is a Highway”
Ray Parker Jr., “Ghostbusters”
Razorlight, “Stumble and Fall”
Spin Doctors, “Two Princes”
Spinal Tap, “Short & Sweet”
Steve Harly, “Make Me Smile”
Sum 41, “In Too Deep”
Tom Petty, “Free Fallin”
T-Rex, “Ride a White Swan”
Vampire Weekend, “A-Punk”
We the Kings, “Check Yes Juliet”
The Zutons, “Valerie”
- 45 tracks for $50 = 90¢ per song (a bargain)
- 100% tracks exportable to RB2
The game appears to be a bargain, at $50 (that’s $10 off the typical game right now). You get 45 songs, working out to 90¢ per song. That’s 10¢ less than the cheapest DLC in the Music Store. Plus, you get a new game with new types of game play. Though, it’s not really a deal if you plan to do the import/export thing. It’s $10 to export the Lego songs to RB2, and you actually get the entire set list exported. What’s really cool about this feature, is any “kid friendly” song from your current and future DLC songs, will immediately be importable into Lego Rock Band. You can give the kids the Lego disc and have no fear they are playing Aqualung when you are away, but you can gank all their Lego songs for your RB2 playing pleasure. It’s a win-win to me. For a total of $60 ($50 for game, $10 for export), it’s typical retail pricing after all.
- Iggy Pop and David Bowie in game (I do not understand this idea. I would think Taylor Swift or other less ancient characters would be in the game).
Honestly, why the hell are these old guys getting the Lego makeover and going in to a kids game? Where’s Taylor Swift? Where’s the American Idol stars? Why are they using rock stars from yesteryear in a game that’s designed for kids and purposely using the E10 rating?
Link to the Harmonix Announcement.
U2: Rock Band Rumor
The world is saying “what’s next?” after The Beatles: Rock Band. There is the quick answer: RBN, Lego Rock Band, the yet to be announced Rock Band 3, and of course more DLC. But, what about full band games. Harmonix has already stated in interviews this year that they are working on another band game. Rumor after rumor (including many wish lists) have popped up all over the Intertubes. The one rumor that seems to be sticking the most, is U2.
Think about it. U2 definitely has the catalog to support a full game, with 12 albums. They have the standard 4 person band that would fit nice with the available plastic instruments. Their 4 members have been with the band since the early days. They have a 30 year history to share. Plus, they have yet to put a song in Rock Band.
Though, don’t forget that Harmonix and Pearl Jam sent out an announcement to fans (just after the release of the album “Ten” on DLC, for help selecting live PJ songs for an “upcoming Rock Band project”. So, the PJ announcement leads me to believe that we will see even more PJ in the future. Though, I don’t know if it will be a full game or just DLC. I’d take a guess at Pearl Jam being just DLC.
Rock Band Mobile Goes iPhone
The official announcement came last week that the iPhone version of Rock Band is coming. It’s as beautiful as the PSP version, and allows multiplayer up to 4 players, via WiFi. 20 songs make it in the game, plus there (of course) will be a Music Store to buy more. The DLC train never stops.
The game allows play for all four instruments, via screen taps. For vocals, you tap the screen where the vocal line is drawn. The game is destined for gigantic success on iPhone. The only thing I ask (as a BlackBerry user), where’s the BlackBerry love?
Here’s the initial setlist:
Attack-30 Seconds To Mars
Girls Not Grey – AFI
Move Along – All-American Rejects
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
All The Small Things – Blink-182
Hanging on the Telephone – Blondie
Learn To Fly – Foo Fighters
Everlong – Foo Fighters
Bad to The Bone – George Thorogood & the Destroyers
Hymn 43 – Jethro Tull
Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Ace of Spades ’08 – Motorhead
Debaser – Pixies
Ladybug – Presidents of The United States of America
Give It All – Rise Against
Lazy Eye – Silversun Pickups
Cherub Rock – Smashing Pumpkins
Take The Money and Run – Steve Miller Band
We Got The Beat – The Go Go’s
Link to the Harmonix Announcement.
Official Harmonix Rock Band Podcast, Episode 1
We were treated to the inaugural podcast last week, hosted by HarminoxSean, community manager. It was a very impressive first podcast too. Great sound quality, several different segments, and top notch interviews from Thim Schaffer (maker of Brutal Legend) and more. I won’t spoil the whole thing, but if you have an hour to kill and want to get a little more personal with the HMX staff, I suggest you subscribe to it in iTunes, or your favorite RSS reader. By the way, within a few hours of its release, the podcast became the #2 highest downloaded music podcast on iTunes.
Link to the Harmonix Announcement.
With that, what’s NWIRB? NEXT WEEK IN ROCK BAND!
- Queen and Beatles DLC gets released.
- Chatter leading up to the release of Lego Rock Band.
Posted on March 17th, 2009 No comments
So the details surrounding the upcoming iPhone software came out today. Looks like the phone will now be even with the Motorola ROKR or the 1st version of the Q. What’s tough is that I love my iPhone, but have to be honest and write lines like the previous one.
Here are the highlights:
- Multiple photos in one email
- Spotlight (sort of like Desktop search on PC)
- Stereo bluetooth
- Notes Sync
- Turn by turn capabilities
- Wi-Fi autologins
- YouTube accounts
- Landscape for mail and texts
- Text forwarding
- Peer to Peer
- A bevy of developer features that are going to lead to really slick apps (I refuse to count the apps until they exist)
Does anyone see any other ‘basics’ now missing from the iPhone?
Posted on February 4th, 2009 No comments
We got word early this morning (thanks CrackBerry) that Slacker has released an official version of their FREE Slacker Radio Mobile application for the BlackBerry Storm. As you may know, Slacker on other BB’s has been a huge hit; and those of us who put the unofficial version on our Storms, were praising it.
Now, the official release is here. All issues with the unofficial have been resolved.
* Buttons are now big enough for touchscreen.
* Album art is now huge and beautiful.
* No more flaky application lockup/crash issues.
* No more songs cutting out with 10 seconds left.
Free Slacker Personal Radio Mobile Application Features Touch Screen Navigation and Station Caching
SAN DIEGO, CA – February 4, 2009 – Slacker, Inc. today announced the availability of the free Slacker Mobile application for the BlackBerry® Storm smartphone from Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM). BlackBerry Storm users* can now listen to their favorite Slacker radio stations anywhere they go, whether they are connected to a wireless network or not – a Slacker Mobile feature exclusive to BlackBerry® smartphones. The application, which is optimized for the handset’s unique touch screen, is available as a free download by visiting Slacker.com from your BlackBerry Storm.
I’ve got some of my own photos of the app in action. There are the install screens, menu screens, & playing screens in portrait and landscape. Just awesome! We love Slacker! Oh, slacker stations can be cached for offline play on BlackBerry’s.
So, you can play when you have no data coverage (i.e planes, trains, etc) and will save a ton of battery. There is also an app for the iPhone in the iTunes store, but no caching capabilities for iPhony’s.
Posted on January 28th, 2009 1 comment
You may have read an earlier post where I was comparing three fitness software apps for the BlackBerry Storm; Ascendo Fitness for BlackBerry, PumpOne Mobile, and Gym Technik. Well I haven’t gotten around to writing up a full comparison yet. In fact, I still haven’t seen what PumpOne can do. I have ruled out Ascendo since it was not Storm-friendly when I tested and was more app than I needed. I will cut to the chase and say that I use Gym Technik for my daily (wishful thinking) exercise tracking.
Gym Technik is completely web-based, with a web client for the desktop and a web client for the BlackBerry. You are due for a full review, but work (the job that pays me, not this one) has been busy and I haven’t been able to write the review. So, instead I will post the news update verbetim from Gym Technik announcing their new features. In short, I love the new desktop features, and like the BlackBerry Storm features. It’s available for all BlackBerry models, and yes you iPhone guys can use it too.
Here’s the announcement, with my review coming sometime in the not-so-distant future:
The team at Gym Technik has a big announcement that we’re excited to inform you about. We’ve just upgraded the Gym Technik application and added a slew of new features, all of which were requested by you and your team – other Gym Technik members!
New Features Now Live
Gym Technik has just been upgraded and we’re excited to bring to you the following new features that so many of you have requested the last few months. This upgrade is automatic and free so all you have to do is just login and continue using Gym Technik as normal and you will see all the new changes. Below is a quick rundown of our new features:
·New home page when you login
Instantly view informative summaries about both your workouts and body stats as soon as you login on your home page. You will also see a much more intuitive navigation to other portions of the site
·Articles at your fingertips
Informative articles, both featured and latest, displayed to you on your home page as we update them. Now you’re always in the loop on the latest informative articles from Gym Technik
·Workout and Routine Library
This is probably our most exciting new feature. We’ve built out a workout library section where you can find pre-built workouts and routines each within its own category. So if you’re looking for a new routine or just need some guidance in building out your workouts, browse all the categories within our workout library and in one click add any of our 60 published routines to your own workout library and begin to track on your calendar and your smartphone.
As an extension to our workout and routine library, we’ve built out a content driven library where you can browse through for fitness tips, nutritional advice, lifestyle articles, and smartphone tips. So if you’re looking for that extra bit of motivation or want to learn a few tricks on the latest integrations with your smartphone – The Gym Technik library will have what you need in here.
·More exercises and more images
Gym Technik has extended it’s already extensive exercise list with new exercises requested by many of you. We’ve also added videos and images for almost all of our exercises so you can now get the guidance you need for any new exercises you add to your routine.
·Edit or delete your custom exercises
This was probably the most requested feature so this is sure to excite many of you. Now you can edit or delete any of your custom exercises that you’ve already created
Now with Gym Technik, you can track both your workout stats AND the progress of your body through photos. Upload photos of yourself using your smartphone or directly from the web site and tag each photo to a body part to visually watch yourself get closer to your goals.
·Enhanced user interface for smarthones
We have taken a lot of your suggestions and improved the user interface of the smartphone application. Improvements will be seen across all smartphone handsets.
·Faster experience on mobile
We have optimized the way images load up to give you a faster experience on the mobile application. And to make it even faster, you can turn images off in your mobile settings.
We are proud to announce that Gym Technik is now multi-lingual, with our first language launched in German at www.gymtechnik.de
With the launch of all these new features and the enhanced user interface, Gym Technik no longer supports Internet Explorer 6.0. So if you’re using IE 6, you will have to upgrade to version 7.0 or use Firefox, Chrome, or Safari to enjoy all of our new features.
Again, this upgrade has only been possible thanks to the overwhelming submission of feature requests we’ve received from all of our members and we sincerely appreciate this feedback. We are already planning for our next upgrade which will contain more exciting features which are once again driven by exactly what you’ve asked for – so stay tuned!
And if you haven’t taken the opportunity to get in touch with our team to share your ideas, then make sure you do by visiting the “Support” section of our website and letting us know how you feel we can improve. We’re always listening.
The team at Gym Technik wishes you a great 2009 and a year in health.
Team Gym Technik
My Gadget, Game & Gizmo Obsession …blogging about mobile stuff, gamer stuff, and other stuff since 2007 (MyGGGo.com)