If you’re launching a new service that you want people to rely upon, it’s not the best idea to get everybody excited by, er, killing off a service that lots of people rely upon. That’s exactly what Google has done, though: no sooner had it rubbed out Google Reader than it introduced Google Keep.
"Keep" is of course short for "We’ll keep this running forever, unless we change our mind like we did with Google Reader and Google Notebook".
According to Google engineer Katherine Kuan, Keep is for people who "often discover that the desk, fridge or magazine wasn’t such a clever place" to leave things they want to remember. Better, surely, to rely on something more permanent.
Like Google Reader. Ho ho!
Phone it in
Last week was dominated by the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch and the associated "world’s best smartphone" chat, but are we looking at the wrong phone? Could HTC’s confusingly named HTC One – not to be confused with the One X, One X+, One SV or defunct pop magazine Number One – be the best Android device money can buy?
Gareth Beavis is on the case, giving the One four and a half out of a possible five stars. It’s "the best HTC phone ever, without a doubt," he says – and "it’s the best phone on the market full stop." Not only that, but it managed to launch without offending anyone.
That’s more than you can say about the Galaxy S4, whose launch made Joe Hanlon wonder whether the tech industry is still too sexist. The S4 has also been a bit of a let-down this week in the UK as it was discovered the nation wouldn’t be getting the octa-core version of the phone. Instead the handset will be powered by a still-mighty quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon. As John McCann explains, it’s all for 4G.
Pictures and tweets
While McCann pondered the big picture, we were pondering big picture takers: Canon’s 100D, a tiny SLR, and the high-end Canon 700D, which is an upgrade to the current 650D. Our early verdicts on both cameras? We think Canon has a pair of winners on its hands. Fuji also revealed the hardy XP200.
Another winner is Twitter, which is celebrating its seventh birthday this week. Author Michael Marshall calls it "a punch in the face for modern friendship" while TechRadar’s own Gary Marshall reckons that if it served beer, it’d be the world’s best pub.
They’re both right, of course: Twitter is as good or as bad as the people using it. As Smith says, tech is "bringing thousands of people we don’t actually know into our new-tech caves. And disappointingly few are bringing hostess gifts, or bottles of fine wine."
Next week Twitter’s going to be full of games chat, because the annual Games Developers Conference, or GDC for short, kicks off on March 25. We’ve been polishing our crystal balls to predict the highlights, which should include PS4 playtime, Xbox 720 details and a glimpse of gaming’s future.
And then a few weeks later it’s E3 time again, a spectacle of sound and fury where we’ll see the games we’ll be playing later this year and next.
Apparently at E3 2013 we’ll even see Unreal Engine 4 "really rip the seams of reality". That sounds rather like the beginning of Doom to us, but it’s not the only odd thing happening in tech right now: as Hugh Langley reports, Apple has been reverse engineering cats to create phones that land on their feet, or something.
Apple’s patented invention "essentially shifts the insides of a device when it’s falling in order to reduce chances of damage." That’d be handy to have in an iPhone, but it’d be even better in toast.