Android Auto

I’m only a little late to the game here, but I’ve been trying out the Android Auto phone app, and it’s pretty great. Just what I need when I’m driving with my phone dash mounted, nothing more. Also some major improvements in voice control for texts and reading of texts when on the road. Finally puts Android up to par with Cortana for driver friendly notification and response. Very pleased so far!

Bing

I’m a sucker for points and experiments, so I’m going to try Bing instead of Google for the next 30 days. Bonus – Microsoft is giving people who use Bing rewards points that can be redeemed for actual money at Amazon and the like. You can too, sign up here.

USA Today had a little write-up on how MS is trying to catch up with G. 20% market share for March 2015 is more than I expected.

Oneplus One

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Not really sure why you’d buy a Nexus 6 with this thing on the market. The reviews look pretty good – better battery life than Nexus, 64GB for $349… camera kinda sucks, but still… $349 – compared to $649 for the Nexus 6. That’s a no-brainer. I also personally really like Cyanogenmod – I use the latest version on my rooted Kindle Fire HD 7. Once they got the auto-update thing working, it’s just as good as stock Android IMO. If anyone has OnePlus One invites to share, let me know! It looks like I just missed the open sale.

UPDATE: Android Central is doing a giveaway – enter to win.

Google Spreadsheets / Forms tip

I love the form feature, but it’s still very simple and can be difficult to work with. But I did find a good trick to updating a sheet with a form attached (which is surprisingly not a standard feature):

To edit a form and columns so that they continue to match-up:
First make a backup if you are not sure about the following:
1. Make receiving sheet the left-most sheet (according to ahab above)
2. Open the form in the form editor
3. Make changes to the form and do not save or close yet.
4. On the receiving SS do Form > Delete
5. In form editor do Save: The SS columns will change to reflect the new form questions.
6. Test the form
7. Move the earlier data on the SS left to match the appropriate columns

Hooray for Google Maps London!

If you’re looking at a map of London and you’re zoomed in far enough, then you click the little More button top right and select Transit, you get this really nice colored tube map overlay. And it’s the actual lines, not the quasi-realistic representation that you see on official tube maps.

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Cuil (pronounced ‘cool’)

Some ex-Googlers have started a new search engine that seems promising. It’s hard to beat the big G, but I’m all for alternatives – a little more diversity in the search engine market can only be a good thing, especially when it seems the big only get bigger and tend to gobble each other up.

Cuil – The World’s Biggest Search Engine
Cuil searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.

Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.

Though oddly, searching for ‘cuil’ in Cuil returns no results relevant to the site itself:

– as opposed to the Google results. Kinda weird. Their servers also seem to be hiccupping a bit right now.