A look at Apple's Ping

Apple launched a new Social Networking service along with a few new products last week. I signed up on Ping when it was announced, or when iTunes 10 went live and have been using it since a week. So whats Ping? Just your own profile with activity of accounts you follow. More like facebook status updates where you can write comments. Apple’s intention was to allow people to discover music by following people and encountering new music that they like. Another thing with Ping is that you can follow music artists and get updates from them directly. This is one of the popular features of Ping. However the down side is that only a handful of artists are on Ping and most of the artists are not registered. This is one of the things that breaks Ping’s usability. Another issue is finding people you know or adding friends. Initially Apple had Facebook Connect that allowed you to see your facebook friends who use Ping and add them. But due to some issues, Apple silently pulled that feature out of Ping. So what’s left? Well.. you can follow people who you know are on Ping and see what they like in iTunes Store or what they purchase from iTunes Store, if at all they use iTunes Store. In a nutshell, I think Ping is a failure as most people I asked about Ping said that its useless so they have turned it off. The only people using it right now are techies. They are just testing the new service out. Other than that, Apple, I think you should keep out of the social networking business…

JoliCloud climbs to 1.0

While netbook was the ultimate gadget, a lot of Cloud based OSes were being developed. The JoliCloud OS has moved quiet ahead since the review and has now hit version 1.0. This version is stable, has build-in touch screen support and a whole new interface which is much more intuitive along with better performance and wider device support.

Some of the other features include use of HTML 5 for application launchers and a greater range of pre-installed applications with include Gmail and Skype. The App Directory is also expanded to over 700 applications.

When is it available? Right now! Just head to jolicloud.com and get the free OS!

Hulu announces Plus subscription

Hulu has finally announced its Plus subscription. News about Hulu Plus was out back in April and the service was anticipated to be announced in May. We did not hear anything about it in May but Hulu has now unveiled its Plus subscription service.

So what does Hulu Plus get you?

You can browse through the archive of all TV show episodes and watch any of them. Free users have restriction on the archive. With Hulu Plus, you can also stream video to your mobile device (by mobile device, I mean Apple device - iPhone, iPod touch or iPad) and to your TV. And of course, Hulu Plus users get the shows in HD.

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Postbox Mail Client goes Express

Postbox was released last year as beta and had received great responses from users. It was the perfect E-mail client with all features you would ever need and an intuitive interface. However, when the product got out of beta, they set a price tag of $39.95 for the mail client.

Now the makers of Postbox have released Postbox Express. Yes, a free version of the Postbox mail client with stripped down features. But if you are just looking for a basic mail client with a great interface, then look no further. Postbox Express is here.

You can see a comparison of Postbox and Postbox express here.

The Eee Pad is a Windows 7 tablet

While everyone is fancying the iPad, other manufacturers are also coming up with tablets that are similar to the iPad. The Eee Pad is one promising tablet that was announced at the ASUS Press Conference. The Eee Pad is a tablet that would run on Intel Cure 2 Duo CULV processors with Windows Embedded Compact 7 Operating System and a battery lift of up to 10 hours. It would be released in 10 inch and 12 inch versions. ASUS would also roll out a dock for the Eee Pads which would allow mounting of the tablet on the keyboard, giving a notebook experience.

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Google TV Announced

It was the third Google I/O and there were many exciting announcements. From the new 2.2 Android firmware to Chrome’s AppStore with rich web apps. But the one announcement that caught everyones attention was Google TV.

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Ubuntu Light is another Netbook OS

Netbook had become the most popular computer of the age. It was a new era in Computing. All manufacturers had all kinds of netbooks, from Acer aspire one to Lenovo to Sony Vaio P. This boom gave a rise to tons of new Operating Systems that make the “net”book more net friendly. In other words, make it rely on the cloud. So we started getting “Cloud OSes”. There came Google Chrome OS which I reviewed here, then JoliCloud OS and many different Linux distros.

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Hulu Plus subscriptions arrive in May

Hulu has been there for quite a while with lots of TV shows from various networks and now even some Movies. The way hulu ran was through Ad revenue from commercials. However, news has spread that hulu is now “expanding” their business by starting their much anticipated Paid subscription service. This is going to be called Hulu Plus, according to the LA times.

Hulu will continue to allow free access for the 5 most recent TV show episodes and will charge $9.95/month for access to older episodes. More details to roll out soon. Subscriptions starting late May.

Goodbye Gears....

Google was very innovative when they launched Google Gears. It allowed users to access all their data offline. Right from Gmail to Google Reader to Google Docs. Even third parties like Remember The Milk started implementing Gears to provide offline data access to users.

However, Google has announced that they are pulling out Gears support from Google Docs and would be implementing new ways to achieve offline data access, not surprisingly HTML5. They might soon remove Gears support for other products as well and use HTML5 to achieve the offline functionality.

So long Gears….

iBooks store launches!

Apple just pushed the iTunes 9.1 update that adds iPad and iBooks support as iPad shipping starts this Saturday, which is just a couple of days away. It is going to be interesting to see iBooks sales as Amazon Kindle is currently the leader in eBooks with the massive Kindle Store.

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