Thursday, September 08, 2011

A New World, A New Life

It's been an amazing couple of weeks, with the birth of our daughter topping the list of great events here at NET9. We've seen Google gaining ground in mobile with the Motorola deal, as well as Google Plus jump into gaming, while the iPhone 5 is on the horizon from Apple. Speaking of Apple, we were surprised with the news of Steve Jobs stepping down as CEO. Of course many more Android smart-phones and tablets have made it on the mobile scene since our last post as well.

HTML5 is beginning to shape the new web and cloud computing is one of the big topics in development right now. The patent wars are in full force, and social networking royal rumble between Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter is changing the way people communicate forever. No one really knows how these conflicts in tech will end, but one thing is for sure, the events developing now will impact what mobile computing hardware and software we use and how we use it in ways we never imagined.

There's plenty more great tech news just waiting over the horizon, and the year is not over, but coming close to an end. We believe there are a lot of big surprises in store and we're making the most of every opportunity to be a major part of this bold new mobile future.

Cr-48 Update: Offline Apps
Lately, there has been a good deal of work being done by Google and other developers to make Chrome OS useful offline. This work has resulted in several apps that make using Chromebooks offline a bit more enjoyable. I've only just started to find some of these new offline apps, and will be adding more to the list as they become available. Right now, these are my favorites.

Offline Gmail
Using Gmail offline works just as expected, with a slightly unfamiliar appearance than the web version. Reading and replying to email and even composing new mail is possible. Once online, everything is synchronized and works like any other e-mail client. It's not the most elegant solution to e-mail, but it does make using a Chromebook away from Internet access a bit more useful.

I've been using Scratchpad to take notes and compose this blog post, and so far it works well for my needs on the Cr-48. Until Google Docs becomes usable offline (editing and not just viewing documents), this app will have to do. This is one of my most favorite Chrome apps at the moment thanks to its simplicity and functionality.

Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader
Sure this is a no-brainer application, but I love the idea that I can pick up a book where I may have left off reading on my iPod Touch or PC and have yet another device I can read my books on. The interface is sleek and simple, and there's nothing to get in the way while reading. And while I'm no advocate for reading on a laptop or PC, the Cr-48 display is quite good for the occasional burst of e-reading.

File Manager
Probably the most important offline app for me has to be the file manager for the mere fact that I can save web pages for later viewing, organize pictures, listen to music, and even watch some video when offline. Utilizing a fairly large usb stick, I can work with all my files even when I'm not connected to the web.

So, these are just some of the great apps and tools we take for granted on the more well established OSes we all know an love (or love to hate), but Chrome OS is coming along quite nicely. I look forward to seeing how these and future apps evolve over time into foundations for cloud computing.

New Apple Devices And Software Soon
One post for all the exciting news that has been breaking is just not realistic, so I want to focus on the few items we are most excited about.

iOS 5: This is a big one. Finally, iPod Touches, iPhones, an iPads will be free from needing the initial connection to a computer before using it. That's the one feature I've been waiting for, and all the others are just icing on the cake.

iPhone 5: This iPhone could be the one that gets me to upgrade from my current smartphone, the N97. Considering I use my iPod Touch 4G more than even my desktop these days, the logical progression is to move to an always connected and more powerful mobile device. I see the iPhone 5 being the perfect "next phone" for me.

iPod Touch 5: Here's where things get interesting. I've heard rumors that there may not be a successor to the current iPod Touch this time around, and some that say not only will there be one, but it will include a 3G radio to become that always connected mobile device I want. Depending on what path Apple takes, I could be moving to iPhone territory, or I could upgrade again to one of the best no-contract mobile device coming to market. Either way, Apple will be getting some of my money soon. How exciting.

And speaking of exciting...
First Weeks As A New Dad
My beautiful daughter Amai was born August 19, 2011 and it's been like a wonderful dream I never want to wake up from. She's been keeping her mom and I pretty busy, but every moment with her is a blessing. Our daily activities have shifted to revolve around her and it's an adventure for sure. I've learned to squeeze as much time out of the days, and learning new tricks to getting things done efficiently. So, although we have less time to ourselves (a lot less time), we are getting to the point where Amai's world is running like clockwork. I even had time to write this post without many breaks. We are really looking forward to our future as a family and we hope Amai can look back on this writing when she's older to see all the events that were happening as she grew up in this amazing time.

So, we have a great future ahead, and we are so very excited to still be here to share our thoughts, ideas, and moments with this brave new world.