writing about tech

Month: August 2015

I want a Google-powered Amazon Echo

I have an Amazon Echo, and it’s actually pretty great. It’s a bit overpriced for what it is right now, but the $99 I got it for was basically perfect. The big problem is, as a heavy Google services user, the potential of it is, for me, largely crippled by its lack of Google support.

For example: I have several upcoming trips, and Google’s Inbox has kindly created ‘Bundles’ for each of them. It’s borderline-creepy, but it’s also too useful for me to care – it gives me all the relevant details about my upcoming flights and hotels in a single place for quick reference.

I’d love the idea of an Echo-like device that could tie into that data, so that I could ask “Hey , what’s going on?” and it would provide not just news and weather, but also remind me about upcoming trips, etc. based on the context that Google already knows about me.

“Hey Google, what’s up?”

“The weather in Tucson will be warm, but it looks like you’ll get a break from that while you’re in Salt Lake City next week. Do you want me to set a reminder for you to pack 5 hours before your trip?”

“Yes, thank you. Can you also shuffle my favorite songs so that I have some music to pack to?”

“Of course.”

That, my friends, is the future.

A 2-minute review of 2 hours of using Windows 10

I’ve used Windows 10 for all of two hours total so far, on a single machine (a Bootcamped MacBook), so obviously I feel confident giving an overall review at this point.

I’m only being half-facetious, because it’s Windows, and you probably already love it or hate it or tolerate it at this point, and Windows 10 isn’t likely to change your mind all that much. Personally, I never had much issue with Windows 7 – it was just starting to feel long in the tooth. My experience with Windows 8 was pretty limited, suffice it to say, I never felt a need to install on my laptop or desktop, because Windows 7 was Fine™.

Windows 10 is basically Windows 7 + a (great) new coat of paint and polish + the best ideas from Windows 8 + a native package management tool for us nerds (finally!) + the Mission Control view from OS X + a fun virtual assistant.

Overall, I’m digging it so far.  Honestly, if I wasn’t somewhat dependent on Apple’s services like Continuity and iMessage, I would seriously consider running Windows 10 full-time,  even if it was just for the novelty of using something new. If Windows 10 represents Microsoft’s direction for the next 5-10 years, I’m actually pretty excited to see where things go.

Score:  Fine/10, would install again.

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