Apple Watch reviews have been mixed. Some functions are unnecessary, and others take too long to learn. The $349 price isn’t too appealing either, and you have to have an iPhone to go with it. We wondered what the alternatives were, so tried out three Android watches. You have to have an Android phone. Of the three, we liked the $179 “Motorola Moto 360” best. It’s half the price of the new “LG Watch Urbane” and $20 less than the new “Asus ZenWatch.” The round-faced Urbane gets high marks for stylishness, though, with its metal rim and a handsome band. The rectangular ZenWatch is also attractive. But for Joy, our master tester, these two lost out to the less-expensive Moto […]
We recently switched from Google’s “Chrome” web browser to “Opera” because Chrome started giving us problems. Now there’s a solution from Google called “Software Removal Tool.” Get it at google.com/chrome/srt. What it does is scan your browser for anything that slows it down. This includes extensions; these are small programs like “AdBlock” or “Gmail Offline.” Extensions slow your browsing. If there’s one you have to have, you can always put it back on. Chrome seemed to work slightly faster after we tried this. (We get so impatient sometimes.)
When we wrote about Roku and Amazon Fire Stick for bringing in extra movie channels, games, and apps on your TV, we neglected to talk about Google’s Chromecast, which is cheaper: $35 online or $30 at Walmart. The $49 Roku stick easily won our test against the $39 Amazon Fire Stick. But we didn‘t have a “Chromecast.” So last week we went out and bought one and tested it thoroughly. The results were disappointing. Chromecast sounds great in theory: just about anything you see on your phone can theoretically be mirrored on your big TV. They call it “casting.” In our tests, however, it didn’t always work and was highly frustrating to handle. Now we’re sorry we gave two Chromecasts […]
Sales of Google “Chromebooks,” computers that run the Chrome operating system instead of Windows, Mac or Linux, were up 67 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm ABI Research. ABI predicts this year’s Chromebook tally to be double last year’s.
MadeWithCode.com, a Google-operated site, let anyone design a small custom bracelet that they made and mailed out for free. Honest! – We got one. Ours is green and says “Bob and Joy.” It took a couple of months to arrive. Now they have other projects, such as animated “Yeti” figures. Click “Projects” to choose. Many are free, like the animated greeting cards.
Joy just created a map of the best vegetarian restaurants around town. Now she can put that map into the Google Maps Gallery. Previously, the Google Maps Gallery only showcased maps from heavy hitters like the National Geographic, NASA, or the World Bank. Now you can do one too.
Laptops with Google’s Chrome operating system, an alternative to Windows or Mac, are Chromebooks, and they are selling big. Sales are expected to reach 5.2 million units this year, up 79 percent over last year.
We first wrote about these laptops …