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Saturday, 13 February 2010

Google Sync vs MobileMe

Google are really treading on Apple's toes with some of their latest features - it's making MobileMe look very expensive! A year ago Apple's MobileMe service was fairly good value, keeping all your personal information in sync across multiple devices with over the air updates to/from your iPhone & Mac & PC & iPod Touch, it was great for £59 a year. Calendars, contacts and emails all synced with a single point, www.me.com, which works really well. Also you get web space for an iDisk which saves you carrying around a USB Flash drive. Unfortunately for Apple though, Google now offer many equivalent services. Google Sync is the main equivalent product, it uses Microsoft Exchange Server to push email, contacts and calendars.

I never really used my MobileMe email address because I didn't want to be tied into a contract to keep my email address. Google's GMail service is free for personal users and funded by advertising. A point to make about GMail's advert's is that although they are text based and discreet (unlike Windows Live Mail), Google's server reads your email in order to show you adverts that you may be interested in due to the content of the email. With MobileMe emails are pushed to your iPhone, but with Google Sync you can get your emails from any device that works with Microsoft Exchange Server. So push emails arrive on your Windows Phone or iPhone.

Verdict: Google

MobileMe syncs contacts seamlessly over the air, perfectly. Google Sync only allow a limited number of fields per contact, but it is free! Contacts work with Blackberry, Nokia S60, Windows and iPhone using Google sync. Apple's service is limited to the iPhone.

Verdict: Apple

The MobileMe calendar is really good but I wish you could edit which calender an event sits in on an iPhone. Google calender doesn't look half as slick as MobileMe, but it costs way less than half as much! As with the Contacts above Google Sync supports many more devices.

Verdict: Google

Bookmarks (Favourites in Internet Explorer)
Google Chrome offers a Bookmark Sync service with their super fast web browser. You can sync Safari bookmarks over MobileMe. The system works well - but the Google version is free!

Verdict: Google

The MobileMe web galleries are really slick and sync fast with iPhoto. They don't always work in Internet Explorer though, which is a shame. Picasa web albums are uploaded via Picasa 3, which isn't available for Mac.

Verdict: Apple

The iDisk is the best MobileMe feature and has no direct competition from Google. The much rumoured GDisk is almost inevitable one day with web storage already available through Google Docs and the much anticipated of web based storage for the Google Chrome OS netbooks.

So the choice is yours! Most likely a mixture of services from different websites/companies will give the best end user experience. For example flickr is probably the industry standard photo sharing site, but it won't push emails to your smart phone!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Google Buzz Launched

Google have released a social networking service integrated into their popular email service, GMail. The social networking service is called Google Buzz. Twitter is currently trending tweets about Google Buzz here. Should Facebook and Twitter be scared? Rory Cellan-Jones doesn't think so on his BBC blog.

I have tried the service and it's a bit confusing? It allows public "tweets" so why not use Twitter and private "tweets" so why not use Facebook, particularly as all my facebook friends don't use Google Mail. Facebook now lets you post links/status etc to a public version of your profile anyway.

The location based element boasted by Buzz has crept into Twitter but doesn't work as well as Google Buzz which integrates with Google Maps. I'm not convinced by Google Buzz yet. I much prefer Google Wave (even though it is only a preview) and would like to see the kind of GMail integration for Wave as Buzz as been privileged to.

So the jury is well and truly out with this one - please feel free to comment below with opinions.

Here is the Google Promotional Video for Google Buzz

Monday, 1 February 2010

Sky launches 3D TV

Sky has launched 3D TV by broadcasting football in 3D to 9 pubs across the UK. The Sky 3D service will be coming to Sky+ HD subscribers during the year. 3D viewing will require special glasses. Sky will continue to build moment between now and the launch of the public service by showing to rugby games in 3D in cinemas during February. For more information click here to read the BBC News article or click here for sky.com