Category Archives: Software And Services

What is Smart TV?


My latest article for TechyTalk: A guide to just what Smart TV means and what to look out for when buying one.

For the full article head to TechyTalk

Walking Distance Tube Map

A walking distance tube map has been created to help travellers disrupted by the latest London Underground strikes.

Designed by London-based creative team, Joe Watson and Aryven Arasen, the map shows the walking time between each station, allowing users to easily calculate their total walking travel time.

Although touted as a solution for regular London travellers, it is perhaps most useful for more occasional visitors who haven’t learned the lay of the London land.

Either way, it’s something I’ll be checking every time I now plan travel to London.

New Google Camera App Review

Google has just released a new Android Camera app that’s free to download from the Play Store for any phone running Android 4.4 KitKat or later. I’ve taken it for a spin to see how it performs compared to the previous standard Android camera app and several others that are available, including the standard Samsung Galaxy S4 camera app.


The first thing you notice with this new app is that Google has stuck largely with the clean design ethic of the previous Android camera app. After briefly appearing for a moment to hint at where they can be found, the main menu controls disappear off screen leaving just the shutter button (which will either be black if the camera aspect ratio is 4:3 or semi-transparent if 16:9) and the ‘…’ that signifies the settings menu.


Tapping the settings menu brings up options for turning on a guidance grid, toggling the flash and switching to the front camera. Just tap on the image to choose your focus point or let the autofocus do its thing.


Further options can be brought up by swiping in from the left edge. Here you can access the photo sphere mode, panorama and lens blur modes, as well as select the normal camera and video modes.

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Android TV revealed

Google has revealed its latest attempt to takeover the TV, following the flop of Google TV, with Android TV.

The new interface, as the name suggests, leverages all the content deals and interface know-how of Android and simply ports them to the big screen. Movies, TV, Music and of course apps will all be available at the touch of a remote button.

As Google puts it “Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform […] It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction.”

The interface will also support voice recognition and notifications, though Google is encouraging developers to keep things simple to ensure users actually use the products.

All told Android TV is very similar to Amazon’s just released Fire TV, once again marking how the TV is being seen as the next big battle ground.

A key part of the experience will also be that content from different apps is pushed to the homescreen, allowing for the user to skip having to open specific apps to get to their content.

The interface will also support resuming of content, allowing for seamless switching of screens, from an Android tablet or phone to a TV.

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YouTube paid music service delayed over design problems

YouTube’s planned paid-for music service is being delayed as Google executives are insisting the product launches in a competitive state.

Somewhat contrasting with the Google release philosophy of old, whereby products were simply released in beta and then worked on in a live state, it would appear Google doesn’t want to show its cards too early on this occasion and is holding back.

The service was originally earmarked for release earlier this year but the service has now been delayed until “the second quarter or beyond.”

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