02 4 / 2013
22 3 / 2013
I love Readmill, guys.
It’s super simple. Essentially, it’s an app with a folder in it, but it makes the time between opening ReadTracker, selecting the book you want to read, starting the timer and opening whatever app you read in shorter. Tapping the icon opens ReadTracker and swiping up on the icon opens a folder of book shortcuts - which were purchased from Google Play. I also read ePubs in Moon+ Reader, for that I added a shortcut to a Dropbox folder with ePubs to it. I’m using Nova launcher for this, but Apex and Go launcher may also have this functionality.
Step 1: Select custom for your folder’s background.
Step 2: Add ReadTracker to your home screen, hold the icon and press edit. Select “swipe to open folder” and make sure ReadTracker is the Tap Action. Tap the image of the ReadTracker icon and choose which icon you want. I chose an icon from the Prime Infinity HD icon set - it doesn’t match, but it looks good.
Step 3: Select which books to add to the home screen. Hold them over the ReadTrackier icon - it acts like a folder so drop them in.
Step 4: That’s it. Pretty cool, right?
The shortcuts open right into the books, you don’t have to use Play Books’ menu. It’s faster than opening two apps - even though you kind of are. It’s a little quicker and a little more useful, so I like it.
14 3 / 2013
Alongside the additions and iterations to their S-[word] line of pre-installed applications, they introduced a prototype Samsung-brand Bluetooth controller. The controller, in my opinion, might as well be the S-Pebble of 2013. It isn’t Samsung being particularly innovative with a product (which they don’t have to be, but there are many better alternatives) as much as it is them aping a specific look and trend, on both the hardware and software side.
To start, the software, probably some S4-specific variant of Game Hub, is reminiscent of tile-based UI for Steam Big Picture mode - something that it and the Gamestick share. Secondly, the look that it’s impersonating is the Xbox 360 controller, no question. It would seem flagrant from any other company, but it isn’t unexpected coming from Samsung.
On the hardware, the sliding mechanism it uses to expand and fit devices seems identical to the one used on the Gametel, which really doesn’t bother me, it’s just something I noted. Another mobile-gamepad-nerd thing I noticed was that it stores batteries in the same way the PowerA MOGA does. Which is, again, not a problem. It also really looks like a Drone controller.
The real sticking point, for me at least, was how well this - an OEM sanctioned controller - could be done elsewhere. It coincides nicely with the Xperia Z launching with Playstation Mobile and poorly that service is handled. The Z is Sony’s flagship, touting “The best of Sony in a smartphone”, but the S4, essentially, is the best of Samsung in one device, which has an accompanying set of peripherals and hardware features that neither Sony or HTC possess (T-Mobile was all but bundling the Note 2 with the MOGA, just go to a T-Mobile store). One of the most important among them, is gaming, and if this product ever gets released (it is a big if), Samsung will have a leg up on both of them.
I mention HTC because the One line - excluding Wikipad - is the only non-Sony device blessed with the presence of Playstation Mobile.
If Sony had chosen Samsung over HTC for the Playstation Mobile deal, do you think that it’d be more popular? Or that it would be a failing initiative desperate for attention and support?
(I admit that this is the blogger-iest thing I’ve done recently, and I apologize. But this is just too up my alley)