Category Archives: Reviews

Reviewing the new Google Play Movies Second Screen Experience

Last night I sat down with Mrs H last night to watch Kingsman (an except film, highly recommended) on Google Chromecast. The film was pay per view, which was selected on my smartphone and then ‘transferred’ to Chromecast.

Kingsman - a great film, and the real life gadgets are almost as good as the fictional ones
Kingsman – a great film, and the real life gadgets are almost as good as the fictional ones

I noticed a new feature last night – while the film was playing I looked at my phone and the screen showed the characters and actors currently on the TV screen, as well as the music soundtrack. It was like Shazam on steroids!

How many times have you been watching TV and wondered who a specific actor was? If this happens to you regularly, you’ll love the experience.

Continue reading Reviewing the new Google Play Movies Second Screen Experience

Favor: This is going to be the next big mobile app

Favor app. Someone in my office thought this guy looks like me. I'm not so sure.
The excellent Favor app. Someone in my office thought this guy looks like me. I’m not so sure.

Whilst I was in the US last week I heard about Favor, a new app which provides a concierge/ delivery service. Although Favor is only available in half a dozen US cities, it seems to be growing very quickly and it’s only a matter of time before it’s available internationally.

Favor enables a customer to order an item from a nearby shop and have it delivered straight away. The average delivery time is 35 minutes. It costs $5 plus 5% of the product(s). The product can be food, dry cleaning, clothing, groceries, etc., although this being America, they won’t deliver alcohol.

Continue reading Favor: This is going to be the next big mobile app

Windows 10 – six month review

The Windows 10 start menu. It's back!!
The Windows 10 start menu. It’s back!!

I’ve run Windows 10 as the Operating System on my work laptop since the start of January.

I’ve been through some ups and downs with the latest version of Windows, and came very close to uninstalling it. Six months on though, I’m delighted with Windows 10. It’s evolved a fair bit, and Microsoft claim it will be ready for general release during this summer.

Before I go into detail, note that I’m running Windows 10 on some pretty beefy hardware – a Surface Pro with an i7 processor, 8Gb memory and 500Gb solid state hard drive. I don’t know how Windows 10 will perform on lower spec hardware. I’m on build 10162 which has been very stable (as in, one blue screen in a fortnight – more details below).

The two key areas I think Microsoft have improved upon are the Start menu and notifications. The rest feels a bit like some simple repainting on previous features. Continue reading Windows 10 – six month review

20 Internet Trends in 2015

One of my favourite annual Internet reports is out. It’s the KPCB report, from the Venture Capital company based in the US.

It’s 196 pages of fact-packed charts, and here are my favourites.

The US makes up ‘only’ 10% of the 2.8bn online users. 73% of the World has a phone, of which 40% are smartphones. So there are 2 billion smartphones.

The top 15 Internet companies (by capitalisation) consist only of American and Chinese companies.

The only company featuring in the top 15 companies in 1995 and 2015 is Apple, which has increased its capitalisation by over 190 times! The combined capitalisation of the top 15 has increased by 141 times.

ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) on Facebook is $9.36, based on advertising alone. Continue reading 20 Internet Trends in 2015

Reading list for June

The latest Marketplace Innovation report
The latest Marketplace Innovation report is available on Slideshare

During the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with clients across different industries – a key advantage for these clients, and something I love about my job.

It’s also been London Technology Week – a series of events showcasing you guessed it, Technology in London’s firms, including a great event at Goldman Sachs.

As well as these links I’m midway through reading Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo which is easy to read and proven quite useful so far, although it would score high on the American cheesiness scale.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Continue reading Reading list for June

The Guardian newspaper Supporter Membership model

The Guardian supporter membership model
The Guardian supporter membership model

This is a neat idea from the Guardian with some clever language – instead of pushing more traditional subscription models, they are offering “Guardian supporter membership” for £5/ month.

Whilst competitors are pushing many more adverts over their well designed pages, or moving to a pure subscription model, the Guardian have sharpened their copywriting pencils (err, keyboards?) and produced a more enticing product offering – as shown here https://membership.theguardian.com/about/supporter?INTCMP=MEMBERSHIP_BANNER_TEST_A

Continue reading The Guardian newspaper Supporter Membership model

Reading list for May

The Buffer outdoor office - customer service Buffer style
The Buffer outdoor office – customer service Buffer style

Lots of interesting links below, across a whole host of subjects from SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), crypto-currencies, Minecraft and an amusing (inept) bank robbery.

Meet the Egyptian Repairman who outranked Google and doesn’t even know! – A lovely story about accidental SEO (optimisation is an understatement)
11 Things About The Apple Watch That May Surprise You – Content Loop – Some of these points are items to look out for in the next few years across other devices
How Big is Minecraft? Really, Really, Really Big – thanks to a colleague for pointing this out. Minecraft really is extraordinarily big

Continue reading Reading list for May

A Review of Google Inbox

New Google Inbox - the names and subjects have been blurred to protect the guilty
The new Google Inbox. The names and subjects have been blurred to protect the guilty

Last week one of my Endava colleagues came over to my desk in the office and caught a glimpse of my Outlook Inbox. The way I organise my email is really simple – unread emails in my Inbox constitute my Items To Do. Once I’ve acted upon the email, or strictly speaking, the item-to-do, I then delete the email. I could just rename the Deleted Items folder as Done – to me it’s the same thing because I keep all the emails in my Deleted Items anyway.

To my Endava colleague, my extra simple organisation of Inbox and Deleted Items was alien – they preferred multiple folders, and Follow Up flags, and categories (which I do use in the Calendar, but not email). In fact, she was most upset that most of her emails appeared in my Deleted Items folder – because I’d acted upon them, and not filed away in a project folder .

Continue reading A Review of Google Inbox

Windows 10 one week on

Last week I handed over my perfectly working Surface Pro 3 to our IT department who upgraded it from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Here’s my report after spending a week with Microsoft’s latest operating system on Microsoft’s latest tablet/laptop.

Firstly, it’s stable. I have used beta versions of Windows before, from XP to Vista to Windows 8. They all have their own niggles, but Windows 10 is fine. I haven’t had a single crash, despite plugging in all sorts of displays, docking stations, printers and USB devices. Continue reading Windows 10 one week on

Happy Tenth Birthday to YouTube

This weekend was Valentine’s Day, and it was also the tenth anniversary for YouTube. On 15 February 2005, the domain name youtube.com was first registered.

Today, YouTube has more than 1 billion users, and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views – and this is growing 50% each year. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

20 months after the domain name was registered, the site became incredibly successful and the founders Chad and Steve sold YouTube to Google for $1.65 billion.

Continue reading Happy Tenth Birthday to YouTube