Tag Archives | Google

Is Google Keep Better Than Evernote?

Google KeepOn the heels of announcing the demise of Google Reader (and several other services), Google has launched a new note-taking app called Google Keep, which has as its tagline “save what’s on your mind.” Keep is currently an Android app, which requires Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher, and a web app (under the Google Drive brand). I imagine an iOS app is forthcoming, but there’s no word from Google on that yet.

Most are comparing Google Keep to Evernote (and, to a lesser degree, OneNote). While there is some overlap, Evernote is still a much more robust product with a bigger feature set and far greater device compatibility. Google Keep has an attractive user interface and is being met with a pretty positive response—an average rating of 4.4/5 stars in the Google Play store so far, but it’s presently nowhere near Evernote’s capabilities.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of Google Keep vs. Evernote:

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The Best Google Reader Replacement

Google ReaderGoogle Reader has long been the best RSS aggregator available. It arrived on the scene in 2005 and quickly overtook the competition. I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader shortly after it was released and never looked back.  Their web app is excellent, and their Android app is pretty solid too, even if not as advanced as some of its competitors’ offerings. Its robust API is also the foundation for most mobile RSS apps.

Although RSS has never really taken off with the masses, those of us who are more technologically inclined consider it one of the most useful and efficient ways to keep up with content from multiple sources.

The End of Google Reader

Unfortunately, Google announced that they’re retiring Reader.

We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

It’s not because a better product came along and stole their market share. It’s not because RSS is dead. Rather, Google is cleaning house and refocusing its resources.

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7 Things I Love about the Nexus 7

Nexus 7I’ve been using a Nexus 7 (from Google and Asus) for the last seven months, and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s a nearly perfect device—at least for my needs. It replaced my third generation iPad (which my wife and daughter now share) and my HTC Evo phone.

Here are seven things I love about it, in no particular order:

  1. It’s fast. When I tap, it responds. It doesn’t get sluggish or laggy like other Android tablets I’ve tried. It’s performance is on par with the iPad.
  2. It’s sharp. One of my primary uses is reading (primarily using the Vyrso, Bible, and Faithlife apps), so it’s important to me that text looks crisp. The 1280×800 screen delivers well.
  3. It’s comfortable. It’s light, feels good, and can be used with one hand. That makes it ideal for extended use and multitasking (like holding my wife, daughter, or son with my other arm).
  4. It’s portable. I can easily carry it with me in the back pocket of most of my jeans and the front pocket of my dress pants. If I’m wearing a coat, it fits in any pocket. One of my biggest frustrations with the iPad was its portability.
  5. It’s affordable. What you get for the price—around $200 for the 16 GB version—is well worth it.
  6. It’s Google. I love the Google ecosystem. I use most of Google’s services, and it brings them all together nicely—including the new Google Now. Unlike other devices, there’s no extra junk that I don’t want and can’t remove. As Google releases new OS updates, Nexus 7 owners are among the first to get them.
  7. It’s compatible. Since it’s sold really well, most app developers make sure their apps work well on it. There have been very few issues with compatibility, and most have been addressed fairly quickly.

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Subscribe to Any Page with Google Reader

Have you ever come across a webpage that you wanted to subscribe to in your RSS reader only to be disappointed to discover that it didn’t have an RSS feed? Perhaps it’s the occasional “blog”1 that for some strange reason lacks RSS (e.g., Tim Keller’s or David Alan Black’s).

Well, Google Reader has come to the rescue with a new feature that allows you to subscribe to any page even if it lacks an RSS feed. Simply click on the “Add a subscription” button and input the URL for the page that you want to subscribe to. If Google Reader can’t find an RSS feed, it will offer to create one.

Create a Feed in Google Reader

Once Google creates a feed for that page, the next person who tries to subscribe to that same page will be able to do so automatically without being asked if they want to have Google create a feed.

What pages are you going to start subscribing to now that you couldn’t before?

HT: Mashable


  1. I put quotes around it because I’m not sure I’m willing to recognize a site without an RSS feed as a true blog. I’m half joking.

GAudi: Google’s Audio Indexing

Google’s new audio indexing, GAudi, looks very promising. Finally the ability to find what you’re looking for in audio or video without listening to the whole thing! This has huge potential for sermons and lectures and could really make audio and video more accessible sources for academic research.

I wish I had access to this technology when I was running down this quote.

Check it out: http://labs.google.com/gaudi.

Read more:

Before You Buy Online . . .

Before you make your next online purchase, you may want to use Live Search Cashback. Microsoft will pay you anywhere from 2–10% cash back—those are the numbers I’ve seen—on any qualifying purchases from participating stores. No strings attached. Before cashing in on your rewards you have to wait 60 days and accrue at least $5 of cash back rewards. Once you meet both of those stipulations, you can get your funds sent to you via (1) PayPal, (2) a bank account, or (3) a paper check in the mail.

This is Microsoft’s attempt to get Googlers to start using their Live search. I’m not about to switch permanently from Google, but why not save a little more on my online purchases?

Update: Just got an email, 60 days after my purchase, notifying me that my $13.74 in cashback rewards are ready to be claimed. I visited my page, clicked Pay Me, entered my bank information, and got this message:

Your cashback is on its way! Microsoft will initiate a payment of $13.74 to your Bank account XXXX in approximately 14 days. We will send an e-mail message to you at [email protected] with these details.

Google Reader Gets Search

For all you Google Reader users out there, you’ll be glad to know that you can finally search your feeds—both read and unread items! This is especially handy if you don’t tag an item and can’t remember where you read it. I use Google’s Web History to look up stuff like this, but it doesn’t work with feeds unless you actually visited the site. I will put this feature to good use.

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Bible Geography Meets Google Earth

The folks at OpenBible.info have done a real service to the Christian community by tagging every identifiable location in the Bible for Google Earth. You can download the KMZ file and explore any place in the Bible. They even give you all of the passages where each location occurs—hyperlinked to the ESV. I love being able to see the places about which I’m reading, and being able to zoom in and interact with them in a 3D environment beats a 2D map or image as far as I’m concerned, though being able to preview and link to these locations in Google Maps is still pretty cool. Here’s an example of all the locations in Galatians. And here’s a neat post that traces the locations in the Bible through six historical periods. I’m hoping Logos will implement my suggestion and use this data to link to these locations from within their software.

OpenBible.info and Google Earth

For more info visit:

HT: ESV Blog

Update: This blog post gives simple instructions for using the data in Google Earth.

Welcome to My New Blog

I’ve been blogging with Google’s Blogger for several months and have enjoyed it. It’s a great tool, and the new Blogger has added several helpful new features. But having used WordPress for the last couple months at work, I was compelled to make the switch. Since WordPress is open source and has hundreds if not thousands of free plugins, it is a much more customizable tool and has many advantages to Blogger.

Theological Ruminations is now officially closed. Please remove it from your blogroll and subscribe to my new feed. If you care to hear what I have to say, this is the place to come!

$20 off $50 Purchase and Free Shipping

I just bought three books from Buy.com for a little over $30. The same three books would have cost me closer to $60 at Amazon. If you use Google Checkout, you save $20 instantly. There is no limit to the number of orders that you can place. This really is a phenomenal savings (that’s 40% off for those of you who were reaching for your calculator). Plus you get free shipping on orders over $25. I highly recommend checking this out.