Google Pixel

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love (and depend on) Google. It keeps my appointments, my emails, my documents and now, my photos. Because first time ever, I have a Google phone – the Pixel.

I’ve had the Pixel for almost four months now and our journey has been a bumpy one. The first device I picked up started restarting once I began loading apps. I had to return it for a new one. Then, in January, I dropped it, right on the face! It had a long – but light – crack, that you could only see if the screen was turned a certain way. I was going to get it replaced, but I kept putting it off because it wasn’t unusable – and part of me was in denial that I cracked my screen after only two months!

Then, one fateful day in March – a cold, grey, Monday – I shattered the screen. I was placing a letter in the postbox and I pulled my phone out to check to see if I would make it on time for the next train, and it fell. Face down. On the pavement. Shattered.

Of course, now it was unusable! While I knew it was working because I could feel the buzzing, the screen was nonoperational. So, I took it to uBreakiFix, and they fixed it in a matter of minutes. Now, I have a screen protector and a warranty.

Nevertheless, my bad luck aside, the Pixel is by far my favourite phone. There’s a smoothness to the display and the apps that I can only describe as delightful, and the pictures it takes are astounding1. And of course, the unlimited cloud storage space is a huge plus!

It’s much lighter than my last Android and I love the Live case – mine is the lower half of Manhattan. The battery life is great! I don’t have to charge it multiple times a day like I did my last phone, once is enough. And the rapid charging is a plus.

I know there was some concern with the fingerprint sensor is on the back of the phone, but I think that’s the perfect place. This is the first time I’m using a fingerprint sensor on a phone, and I have no issues with it being on the back, especially since I could use multiple fingerprints to unlock the phone, thus being able to easily use both my left and right hand – one-handed – without fumbling around the front. Overall, a really well-designed phone. I’m curious to see where Google goes with this.


1My Instagram has more photos taken with the Pixel.

 

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The day the internet goes dark

Wordpress.com's front page

Today, a lot of sites will be “going dark” in protest against SOPA and PIPA. (these can be viewed on Wikipedia, even though the rest of the site is on blackout)

Wikipedia's redirect page

I am fascinated with the way social media has created an avenue for protest and will be following this to see where it goes. A lot of user generated social sites will be affected if these bills get passed and I wonder what the world will be like without sites like YouTube, or Etsy or Flickr.

Google stands up to SOPA and PIPA

What are your thoughts on these bills?

The Best Google Doodle Ever.

I woke up this morning to Google’s newest Doodle and I have to say, they’ve outdone themselves. In a tribute to Les Paul, Google has put out a playable instrument as their doodle. You can use the middle row of keys on your keyboard to strike each of the 10 strings. But, what makes this exceptional is that you can record what you are playing and they generate a link to it so you can share! Go ahead, play your heart out.

Best.Google.Doodle.Ever.

Google Doodles Mr. Roger Hargreaves

I really like Google’s Doodles today =)

I remember reading these books …. last year … when I bought them for a little girl’s library collection. All children should have a library started for them! That way they have a lot of books to read when they are ready.

I don’t recall reading them when I was younger. I read other things, I’m sure. These books are fun for kids though. Is there a Little Miss Clueless? That might have fit me well growing up.

[images from Google]

Time spent online

I’m online a lot. Sometimes I wonder, where do I spend my time online? Luckily, Chrome allows you to see your most visited sites and so I present, Shanella’s Most Visited Sites.

Not surprisingly, Google is the most visited site. I check Google for everything! If I need to figure out a word’s spelling – Google. If I need to look up a definition – Google. If I want to do a search – Google. Want to check the news – Google. Want to look up the weather – Google. Want to find a picture – Google. Looking up a movie – Google. Want to access all other Google sites – Google. It’s just the launchpad for everything else.

Facebook is the next used. I’m usually logged into Facebook on Chrome, however, the interesting thing about this is, while Facebook might be second used, I hardly go to the page for personal things! Sure, when I get an alert on TweetDeck I rather view the post on Facbeook, however, 80% of the time spent on Facebook is work related!

Next after that is WordPress, and this is probably because of BEDA. It might also have to do with the fact that I just got shanella.com and went through a lot of late night and weekend testing this past weekend.

After that I have Gmail*. Now with Google’s switching account implemented, I have three Gmail accounts that I check throughout the day.

Following closely behind – and a surprise site – is Yahoo Mail. I didn’t realise that I checked Yahoo almost as much as I check Gmail, mostly because I get a lot of junk email to that address. Perhaps it’s because of that and my constant clearing out of that account that I check it as often as it says.

I’m not too surprised at this next site. When I first got a tumblr I was on it 24-7! Now I’ve calmed down a bit, but I still do have two sites on Tumblr so it’s not surprising that it’s in the top 8 most visited.

Next up is Twitter. This is probably because I have two twitter accounts, one that is personal and one for the book tumblog so while the personal account is logged into all the Twitter apps, the book blogging twitter is logged on via the Twitter webpage. I wonder how many people actually go to the twitter page versus just using a Twitter app.

Finally, I visit Goodreads a lot. Which I understand. I love reading the reviews/comments/status updated on Goodreads. I also love updating the books that I’m currently reading. Love it! =D

* Gmail took up two entries because of the address mail.google.com and gmail.com. I’m sure if those were all counted together it would be right behind google.com.

Google Maps; Still Fun on Android

[This week it’s all about my fave Android Apps]

I’m a huge fan of Google — if you couldn’t already tell — and Google Maps is probably the only map I use. Even more so now that my GPS is in need of a car charger. So having it integrated in my phone is wonderful.

It has all the different layers that you would usually see online.

My favourite layer (yes, I have one of those) is the Traffic layer. This is especially good for the days you want to avoid rush hour, or you are stuck in a crazy traffic jam in the middle of the day and want to figure out why.

The map usually updates with accidents and road work, and I’ve found that it’s close enough to real time to be helpful. Once I was stuck in a traffic jam and we weren’t moving, when I pulled up the map to see how much longer I’d be in traffic, it showed me an accident ahead so I knew how many lanes were blocked and could then decide whether I should try to leave the highway or not. Since it was just an exit away I waited it out.

Of course you can use the map for directions. You can go from your location — based off of the GPS — or you can go from an address.

I’ve always wondered, why a kayak to cross the ocean? Why not a sailboat, or even a canoe? It doesn’t matter, I wouldn’t be going to Australia by car anytime soon. However, I will be going other places by car, so I’m happy to report that I will not be upgrading my GPS nor will I be buying a car charger for it, as long as I have my phone I should be fine.