App of the Week- Awesome Note

Awesome Note or anote is an elegant, feature rich, dynamic , secure and highly customizable note taking application with todo.Awesome note allows you to create categories, delete them, edit them, password protect them and even customize them. You could have different backgrounds for different notes, different colors for your categories which makes it so customizable. It is a note cum to-do manager and does it’s job perfectly.

There are many other note taking applications which I tested including Evernote, Todo etc. But this one seemed to dazzle me. You could export and import notes from Google docs which is very unique. In other note apps you upload it to their servers but out here you do that to the Google server which makes it more unified. In case of damage or data loss you could backup from Google docs.

Password protection makes anote very secure. You could set a password for a category and lock it. Set up alarms for different notes, view notes in list or grid view, add quick memos, view notes from all categories, choose different fonts for your notes , put down the keyboard by a single tap of a button, apply different themes , choose icons for categories, reorganize your categories are some of it’s eye catchy features.

With the latest version you could further add diary view and calendar view in every folder, attach map locations, delete completed todo’s at once and even manage multiple notes at a time.

“With no flaws, Awesome Note is the best note taking app ever”

Performance – 10/10
Features – 10/10
Design – 10/10
Overall – 10/10
Platforms – iPod touch/iPhone
Price – $3.99 ( Lite version available too)

SCREENSHOTS

Apple – Amazon War

The coming of the Kindle made a huge impact on publishers, authors and all the users around the globe. Kindle as we all know is an Amazon product which already has revived the book industry. Before the coming of the print culture, the society used to listen to ballads and folklore along with poetry. Then came in the print culture which sought to revolutionize the world. And then we could say came in the Amazon Kindle which was a huge milestone for books. You could read books, listen to books, carry multiple books around with you anywhere and anytime.
By seeing the Kindle flourish, many tech firms wanted to try their hand on ebook readers.

This year is the year of ebook readers. Sony, Barnes and Nobles and now even the Apple iPad is in the market.

Apple’s iPad will yet once again change the way we read books. Recently there has even been a controversy that the iPad would be able to read out loud all books in the EPUB format, which is quite unique.

The dynamic UI along with the revolutionary iBooks store will definitely give Amazon quite a lot of heat. Amazon even owns Audible.com which provides audio books. But as the iPad would be able to read all the EPUB books, audible is sure to go down.

iPad even boasts a huge 9.7 inch screen and has signed up five of the worlds best publishers. Amazon’s kindle is only an ebook reader whereas the iPad is an all in one device. And if Apple allows the Kindle app to be there on the iPad then people could have all their already purchased ebooks on the iPad. Great , isn’t it?

Amazon would have to come up with something new in order to compete with the iPad.

Awesome Bar – Does it enhance the Google experience or develop Google Fatigue?

Mozilla Firefox is one of  the most popular browsers in today’s era. It is highly customizable, secure, stable, fast and Mozilla claims it to be “The World’s Best Browser”. Awesome Bar is one of its most popular and unique features yet. Firefox gets you around your favorite sites in minutes. It is a sort of ” I’m Feeling Lucky” feeling. It searches up Google and takes you to the site without even putting Google in front of you. It just skips Google. Though this isn’t how it works , but to an end user it would appear to do the same thing.

Recently I made a switch from Chrome to Firefox to just give it a try and it turned out to be terrific. I played around with its features and tweaked some to improve performance. It was good.

I am not trying to promote Firefox here, but instead want to talk more about the Awesome bar feature . So, Awesome Bar usually keeps you out of Google. This in turn does affect revenue generation for Google. For example – If you search for a term in Firefox say “Good Directions YouTube” , it would redirect you to the YouTube page and play the video. But if you searched for the same term in Google Chrome’s address box, it would return search results on Google, which would enhance Google’s revenue generation.

Though you have a separate Google bar beside the Awesome Bar but people usually type in their query into the address bar itself. Mozilla still tries to maintain its terms with Google, by making Google its default search engine and using a customized Google page for its startup. Sometimes it even does not render the page which we were wanting to go to. But it tracks user details and customizes it according to your needs.

What do you feel? Are you developing a Google fatigue ? Seems that Mozilla has.

Apple’s Tim Cook awarded

Apple has awarded Tim Cook a whooping 22 Million Dollars as bonus. Tim Cook took care of Apple and managed day to day operations when CEO Steve Jobs was away for 6 months due to ill-health. This was Steve Jobs personal recommendation that he be awarded . Jobs feels that Cook was the right man for the job, and he didn’t let Apple feel his absence.

“The bonus is a reward and is also to stay competitive,” said Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu.

“Cook has been targeted by other companies, and he’s proven to be very adept and capable at leading Apple. I think they need to keep the conversation competitive to keep him from getting lured away,” he said.

Cook could succeed Jobs for Chief Executive position at Apple. Earlier he worked for Compaq until Jobs hired him for Apple. On January 2007, he was promoted COO. Till date he remains COO but is seen as a very capable person who could succeed Jobs.

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Pre-order an iPad

iPad is going to be released and shipped on April 3 but if you can’t wait that long or wanna reserve an iPad ( in-case they run out of stock) then you could pre order it.

The pre orders for the iPad start at 8:30am EST Friday.( 5.30 am , Pacific).

UPDATE – Apple now accepts pre-orders. You could go to apple.com/ipad and pre-order one right away. The WiFi only version will be delivered at your doorstep on April 3, but the WiFi + 3G versions would be available late April. Or you could reserve an iPad – select a store near you and Apple will reserve one for you. Then you could visit that store on April 3 and get your hands on it.

Google Reader Play – A new feature to play with

Google announced a new feature to their Reader application. Google Reader now boasts a great new look and a magazine like start-up page where all your feeds are properly divided and it enriches the looks of that boring and dull feed reader. It is called ” Google Reader Play” .

It is kind of buggy and slow when you first launch it, but then you’ll get a hang of it. It was even frustrating as it kept on saying ” Oops, something went wrong …retrying”. Finally it launched and was pretty neat . There are many other applications and extensions which do a similar kind of thing – that is, bring Reader to life. Feedly is one such extension which does the job perfectly.

According to Garrett Wu, a software engineer at Google, Play is designed to make reader more accessible and easier to use and try. One item is presented at a time and you have the ability to choose whether to display all feeds, read feeds, unread feeds or starred items. YouTube videos could even be played on Play.

At the end of the day, a good try by Google but has a long way to go.

Google Maps adds Bicycling as Mode of Transportation

Almost everyone uses Google Maps to get directions. There is an option to choose whether you are traveling by car, public transit or walking to the destination. By choosing a particular mode of transportation it would then give you the directions and the estimated time. Now even Bicycle has been added to the list.

Thus for all bike lovers, now Google Maps is Bike Friendly. Though it doesn’t seem to work everywhere, but mostly does in and around San Francisco. I wanted to head from Golden Gate Bridge to the Golden Gate Park, so I selected Bicycling and it gave me the directions and even an estimated time.

It is currently in BETA and Google is asking user feedback on the directions listed and any unmapped bike routes that is not suited for cycling.

UPDATE : Google posted a video of how bicycle directions work.

Google Ads before video on YouTube

There is a popular saying about ads and Google that if ads are a bubble then so is Google. Google’s maximum revenue comes from advertisements . Infact 90% of their income is due to ads. Google has tasted success when dealing with ads and this time they placed ads on YouTube.

You might think that YouTube already hosts quite a few ads on the top right corner of the browser, which is quite true. But now in some videos , a Google Ad will play before the actual video. After the ad , the video will be played as normal.

Though Google claims to keep ads and content separate but this time the concept went haywire.The better part being that it does not play third party ads. For example : While watching an ad related to the Oscars, a Google Chrome ad was played before the video and then came in the video ( Sandra Bullock Interview ) .

Guess this was just an experiment by Google and not a permanent feature.