GoodReads a popular social network for book readers and authors has been acquired by e-commerce giant Amazon. GoodReads is mainly a website that allows users to list books they have read and add reviews.
GoodReads is also social network because users can follow the book reading activities and review of your friends. This really took off with Facebook integration which allows people to follow their Facebook friends.
This was a great acquisition for Amazon as GoodReads could have been for usual to Google and Apple who are also selling books. For being a social networking product, I am sure Facebook might have been interested too.
Though GoodRead's has a user-base of 16 million which might seem insignificant compared to the hundreds of millions of users registered on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
But these users are typically people (includes me) who buy books online (print and digital) so it will be great opportunity to sell books to these users. Also more importantly a lot of these users are authors who also keep a close eye on book reviews and ratings of their books. Overall GoodReads will be a data gold mind for Amazon.
Thankfully according to GoodReads blog, it looks like Amazon will keep the GoodReads branding and features intact and keep it an independent platform for book readers.
Saturday, 30 March 2013
Thursday, 28 March 2013
It looks like Google is finally taking India seriously as a consumer market. Today Google unveiled a double for users, one was making movies available on Google Play and also many movies made available on rental with YouTube.
Google Play has started listing local movies that can be downloaded for Indian users. I saw that a quick search of Hindi movies brought about a few popular movies that can be purchased.
Mostly the prices are lower for older movies while newer ones are expensive. Foreign language movies are a lot more expensive.
So was not surprise that Google Play has started renting out movies.
Link: Google Play – Movies
YouTube Movie Rentals
The movies are up for rental on YouTube with their new featured channels that allow Indian users to not just stream full length movies free but also rent them online. This option of renting movies is newly introduced in India. The listings and pricing seems similar to Google Play movies.
Link: YouTube Movies
What is in store for the future?
Apple has already launched Apple TV in India. I can see Google now is preparing the ground for something similar. It is reasonable to expect Google TV being made available in India at some point of time.
Though one major drawback in India are broadband speeds are not exactly blazing fast all over but if more people rented movies online, ISPs will see an opportunity to improve broadband speeds.
Bonus Tip: If you are having trouble using or registering your bank card to buy apps, books and movies on Google Play, check our guide on using Entropay's virtual credit card.
-- This Post Indian movies are available on rental at Google Play and YouTube is Published on Devils Workshop .
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Flipboard today updated its app for the iPad and brought in a new feature. This feature allows users to create public or private magazines with their favorite collections. While many users who use Flipboard actually use it to consume their social and RSS feeds, they could not really interact with other users.
This is basically a collection of webpages that can be bookmarked and saved with other Flipboard users. We can create these personalized magazines using a bookmarklet too. This makes it useful as we can bookmark some pages into magazines from your desktop browser and then get back to them on a tablet.
Flipboard also displays publicly available magazines prominently. This in reality makes Flipboard into a social network of content curators.
At the moment this update is available only on iPad but should be available on Android soon.
Google Reader's deathwatch impact
Just the other day, Flipboard unrolled a new setting for Android users to cut down their data plan bills with a setting that disables automatic loading of images. Our in-house Android fan Vibin yesterday came across Press for Android – which is a alternative RSS reader app to Google Reader.
There are also many Google Reader alternatives ramping up their plans. Also Digg which once specialized in social bookmarking is promising a new RSS feed reader. This is a great time for smaller companies who are specializing in tracking content publishing and feeds. The problem with companies as large as Google is they might not be able to dedicate innovative minds on a fulltime basis to smaller projects but that is not a problem with smaller companies.
At the moment, Flipboard is really coming out with some innovative features but its only downside is it does not have a web application to use from the browser.
-- This Post Flipboard Allows Users to Curate Content as Public Magazines is Published on Devils Workshop .
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
When everyone was predicting that RSS will die, Google shut down one of its oldest and less-popular products i.e. Reader. Even after weeks later, people still continue to rant about it.
That's because, it's not just Reader which has shut down, but it has broke so many RSS reader apps on iPhone, Android which rely on it for sync. But from an optimistic view, now that Reader is no more, many new RSS readers will start to pop up in app stores.
Press is one such RSS reader which might even replace Google Reader for you. Read on.
Unlike most of the news reading apps on Android/iOS, Press sports a traditional RSS look while still looking pretty and well designed. This is probably the biggest difference between it and other readers. Apps like Feedly don't feel like an RSS reader in any way, but Press does.
It has an in-app browser, which is good to have. You can choose between fonts like Roboto, Source Sans Pro, Open Sans etc. for body of blog post. The default is Source Sans Pro which looks beautiful.
You can navigate between articles in the app using phone's volume rocker.
If you want to save data, you can have the app to sync only on Wi-Fi and not on cellular data.
Though it uses Google Reader for sync, the app developers have made it clear that sync will work without problems even after July 1st. They have plans for rolling out a web/desktop version too.
The app costs 1.99$ and is available in the Play Store both for phones as well as tablets.
Link: Press for Android
-- This Post Press for Android: The Google Reader alternative you can bet on is Published on Devils Workshop .
Facebook has started prompting page owners and admins to choose threaded comments. They do not call it threaded comments or threaded conversations and like most things Facebook, it has a complicated name like "Reply links".
So if you own a Facebook page you might get this prompt when you visit it.
Turn on replies and every new comments will show up with "Reply" link. Clicking on it will allow you to reply to a comment. Replied comments do not show a reply link. This makes sense as sometimes a big discussion can really end up looking difficult to read. Here is a screenshot of threaded conversation on our Facebook Page.
Will Reply Links reduce notification spam?
One major issue with Facebook pages is that popular updates get a lot of "Likes" and comments. Every time a user comments on an update they get notifications when someone else comments. This can be annoying if those comments are unrelated to your comment and can cause notification spam.
Also threaded conversation might help with blogs using Facebook comments on their blogs. What are your views on Facebook comments getting a reply link? Do drop in your comments.
-- This Post Facebook Prompts Page Admins to Switch On Threaded Comments is Published on Devils Workshop .
Monday, 25 March 2013
We knew Google was prepping something to serve up Nexus products in India. This was done with India being listed on the Nexus page. The Nexus 7 tablet was available in some India retail outlets but it was more or less a limited launch. Today, Google has listed Nexus 7 on Google Play store for India.
This means users can now order a Nexus 7 tablet from Google Play directly.
The Nexus 7 listed in India is not exactly the latest version. It the WIFI only version with 16GB storage space. It will have Android 4.1 running on it but I guess it can be upgraded online once you buy it.
Should we buy Android tablets?
After buying an iPad Mini, I am not very keen on buying an Android tablet. I still think Android as an OS is miles ahead of Apple's iOS from a user perspective. But the app ecosystem for tablets specifically is still a lot superior on app store rather than Google Play. But with more tablets being sold, I am sure Android app will catch up fast. Also Android based tablets tend to be a lot cheaper.
Link: Google Play – Nexus 7
-- This Post Google Play makes Nexus 7 available in India for Rs. 15,999 is Published on Devils Workshop .
Saturday, 23 March 2013
If you are using Flipboard, they you must be aware of its great magazine like format for mobile platforms. It basically allows users to quickly skim through hundreds of updates on Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds withing minutes. It is one of my favorite apps on my iPad Mini while I am on a Wifi network but I use it often on my Android phone too. But Flipboard can really burn through your data plan if you are using 3G to browse. The feeds load up with images and those really consume a lot of data.
This is where you can make a change to the settings of Flipboard and stop images from loading automatically.
How it works:
That is it and you should be able to save up significantly on your data plan.
Great time for Feed Readers!
It is a great time for Feed readers, especially on the mobile platform. Google has pulled the plug on its Google Reader. Since Google Reader will vacate a big space, it will allow its alternatives to really innovate in this space and come up with better products. Flipboard is one such product and I won't be surprised if they really start focusing on how to attract Google Reader users to them.
-- This Post Disallow Flipboard to Load Images Automatically While on a Data Plan [Android] is Published on Devils Workshop .
Thursday, 21 March 2013
Are you a blogger or a Facebook Page owner? Then the most trending thing these days on Facebook for you must be Facebook ads and sponsored posts. Lots of websites, bloggers and bigger brands are promoting their products using Facebook ads. It's a good way to interact with customers of similar interest.
As expected the rolling in to this ad program is easy but it's difficult to opt out. The only reason why I am saying this is that they will store your Credit Card Details and you cannot delete it without providing details of another payment method. Even if you don't have any active ads there but there's always a risk that they might charge you for your ads if you click something mistakenly or you have selected "promote my latest post" while creating an ad campaign.
To avoid this you have following two options in which you don't need to enter another payment option:
1. Closing your ads account completely:
First option that you have is to close your Facebook ad account. This will suspend your Facebook Ad account and indirectly all your payment options associated with it will be deleted. To do this, click on the Gear icon on the header of your Facebook page and select "Manage Ads" from the list.
Just confirm your suspension after that and you account will be closed. This will also delete all your payment and credit card details.
2. Directly deleting your Credit Card:
You can also delete your credit card details directly but not by visiting "Ad Manager", rather you can delete it from the account settings itself. This method is simple but I recommend you to suspend your Ads first as given in the above method.
You can directly delete it by going to your account settings page. After that click "Payments" from the left sidebar and check your payment methods by clicking "Manage" on that page as shown below. Click remove to delete your payment method.
That's it, by using these two methods you don't have to enter alternate payment details and you can easily opt out of Facebook ads program. Please drop a comment below for any assistance regarding Facebook ads.
-- This Post Delete your Credit Card details from Facebook ads without adding a new one [How-to] is Published on Devils Workshop .
Chrome was one of the first browsers to have address bar and search bar as a single feature, which they call it Omnibox. It makes Chrome look much better in design with less 'chrome'.
There's a weird problem, though. Most of the people still visit Google.com and type in the search box. That's why Google has revamped Chrome's new tab page, placing a search box in the center.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the Google logo and search box grabs more attention than the Most Visited websites' thumbnails.
There are just 4 websites listed under Most Visited list and you can't rearrange them either.
As you focus the search bar and start typing, Google will show suggestions and will load the results page in almost a blink of eye. It's powered by Google Instant (which you can turn on/off in search settings).
It also won't show the long URL you generally see in address bar when you search on Google.
There's no way to navigate to Apps page from the new tab, except that you can pin it to Bookmarks bar for quick access.
If you want to try these features, get Chrome Canary (bleeding edge version of Chrome). None of these features are final and they're yet to be added to stable build of Chrome.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Google a couple of days ago, leaked out info about a new note taking service. This was called Keep and today it had formally unveiled it. The note taking service allows users to create small notes, reminders, to-do task lists and save images as a note. The service seems bare bones at the moment with only the Android app being released. It is available as part of Google Drive and it seems Google Drive will allow users to sync these notes.
Google Keep – Android App
Why Google needs an Evernote competitor?
There is a strong emphasis on note taking and list making apps on mobile platforms. Google itself has something to manage tasks on Gmail. Google Keep can have great potential in the future when it rolls out Chrome extensions and also apps for other mobile platforms. Also since laptops running Chrome OS are now a big deal, Google pretty much needs to have something of a note taking app maintained by themselves.
Evernote is still far ahead with its ability to integrated with various features but it will surely be starting to get nervous.
What is your favorite to-do or note taking service? I personally like using Any.do for tasks which integrates with Chrome and Gmail but I will surely choose Google Keep if and when they roll out a Chrome extension for it.
-- This Post Google unveils note taking app "Keep" as rival for Evernote is Published on Devils Workshop .