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JR Raphael
Works at Computerworld, Android Power, et al.
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JR Raphael

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A note from Mr. Obvious:

If Google were currently plotting the demise of Google+ -- as some are now speculating, given reports that G+ Photos may morph into a standalone service at I/O next week -- the company probably wouldn't have bothered creating, implementing, and promoting the intricate new Collections feature for the G+ social stream this very month.
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Maybe Google is just trying to turn Google+ into Pinterest. ;)
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JR Raphael

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R.I.P. Ripples

Remember Ripples? They were interactive charts that made it easy to see how any post or Web page had been shared on Google+.

As recently as yesterday, you could load them either by clicking the down-arrow on a G+ post or by using a bookmarklet to view the Ripples for any external page (see https://plus.google.com/+JRRaphael/posts/Sn1zUBPXiWG). 

Today, though, the option is gone from the G+ dropdown menu and the URL from the bookmarklet leads to a 404 page. I was surprised to notice that when I tried to view the Ripples for an external article this morning. Turns out Google quietly announced the discontinuation of the feature in a community post last night: 

Starting today, the Ripples feature in Google+ is no longer available. Page owners can continue to get post performance analytics through the Google+ Insights tool, located in the My Business dashboard. Thanks for your support as we continue to make Google+ a simpler, more streamlined experience for all.
(https://plus.google.com/+googleplus/posts/dbVpERPaqYA)

Damn shame. Maybe the feature wasn't widely used -- I honestly don't know -- but it was an incredibly handy way to see how a post or page was spreading on G+ and how exactly it was being shared. I looked at it in one way or another almost every day.

But alas, Ripples' time has evidently expired. So farewell, old friend. May you ripple happily through the rivers of the digital beyond.
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Jose Luis Santana Blasco's profile photoPaulo Daniel's profile photoM. Hashiem's profile photoBrian Dukes's profile photo
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+Google+ did a very good job of hiding this great feature. This just means it'll be harder to know what to share successfully. Really too bad they hidden it three levels deep, violating the 'highly seen so click' rule
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JR Raphael

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Android Wear support is on the way to Shazam

A new way to identify songs via your smartwatch -- and get a glimpse at lyrics, too.

The update doesn't seem to be live in the Play Store yet (for me, anyway), but hopefully soon.

I've been using Sony's TrackID app for this same purpose. Will be interesting to see how the two compare.

• Shazam: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shazam.android&shsocial
• TrackID: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sonyericsson.trackid
High five, Shazam is now on Android Wear! Keep your phone in your pocket – see what’s playing with 2 taps Songs are added to My Shazam, and to your My Shazam Tracks playlist for connected Rdio or Spotify users Watch lyrics unfold in real time, right on your wrist Update Shazam for Android, and […]
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+Price Fisher Try "Okay, Google, start Shazam." Not quite as catchy but gets the same job done! 
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JR Raphael

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Things that are not cool:

1) Selling a standalone smartwatch charging cradle and not including the wall adapter 

(See also: Moto 360 charging dock)
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+Grant Wilson it is by law that phones should charge from USB. They can sell the wall adapter if they want.
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JR Raphael

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A brand new profile in my "How I use Android" series...

This latest entry focuses on one of Google's Android VPs, Brian Rakowski -- his favorite apps and devices and an up-close look at how he sets up his own personal home screens.

More profiles on the way!
One of Google's Android VPs gives us the skinny on his favorite apps and devices -- plus an up-close look at how he sets up the home screens on his own personal phone.
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Ewa Ako
 
Good job more of this please!!!
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JR Raphael

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Of all the mobile tech habits for which I silently judge people, having a Galaxy S phone with the default whistle sound is definitely the worst.
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That's one, but talking on one's speakerphone while in public.... Or worse, on public transit...is inexcusable.
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JR Raphael

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A hint of steel for your smartwatch

Nice-looking new minimalist face here by +Dale Drechsler. Tapping the weather icon brings up detailed weather info along with your watch's current battery level.

This is a face for Watchmaker, so you'll need either the free (https://goo.gl/fbxsd1) or premium (https://goo.gl/ijnTXg) version of that app in order to use it.

Once you have Watchmaker installed, open the appropriate link below from your phone, download the face, then select to open it with the Watchmaker app. That's it!

For Moto 360: http://facerepo.com/app/faces/details/dd-steel-14d76af067c
For any other round watch: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5vc38ahg11ppv80/dd-steel-v101-round.watch?dl=0
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Hiram G. Tovilla's profile photoVijay Pradhan's profile photoJames Simpson's profile photoLai Citron's profile photo
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+JR Raphael thanks for checking. I bought the premium version without even checking to see if the free version allowed imports, since that's how the description reads. Regardless, its a good app for the cost.
BTW, thanks for the watch face review. I appreciate that your articles are fair and informed from your actual use of these things. 
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JR Raphael

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Some very interesting stuff on the way, gang. Get ready...
Android and Chrome OS are destined to come together -- but not necessarily in the way you might think.
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+Paolo Amoroso I've not heard anything either way, but we can always hope!
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JR Raphael

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Technology rule #487: If you're able to have a conversation on your phone while working out, you aren't working out.
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That's why I don't take my phone to the gym, it's me-me-and-only-me time ;_)
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JR Raphael

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The grades are in -- and it's not a pretty picture.

My detailed six-month analysis of how the major manufacturers fared with the Android 5.0 upgrade:
Six months after Lollipop's release, how have the major Android manufacturers done at delivering upgrades to their devices?
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I have a Galaxy Trend 2 and it runs on kitkat4.4.2,I can't even get a 4.4.4 upgrade.Google phones are best for upgrading
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JR Raphael

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Sudden realization: The obnoxious Samsung whistle sound bears a striking resemblance to Woody Woodpecker's laugh.

Compare: 

(1) Samsung: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvewGmGO06Q
(2) Woody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s637-5A9Gro

That might at least partially explain why that sound is so damn annoying.

(Context: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JRRaphael/posts/F731rVubRJf Thanks to  +Kevin Gault for bringing this to my attention and enabling this "ahah!" moment.)
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Xucuc vo
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JR Raphael

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A tale of two smartwatches...

An in-depth comparison based on extended real-world use.
LG Watch Urbane or Moto 360 -- which Android Wear watch to get? An in-depth comparison based on extended real-life use.
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Joe Wilcox's profile photoMarkus Eyrich (nEUTR0n)'s profile photoErik Graul's profile photoYuya Otake's profile photo
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+Shad Hussain More consistent performance and a screen that's actually capable of remaining on all the time would go a long way.

Something could be said for actual display quality, too, particularly in comparison to the Urbane. But the first two areas are probably the most significant, I'd say.

(We could also argue about the "flat tire" business, but that's more of a design tradeoff than anything -- a sacrifice that allowed Moto to achieve that sleek and bezel-free design. That being said, if Moto could find a way to eliminate it, that'd take away one of the inevitable cons attached to any watch-to-watch comparison.)
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Syndicated writer. Author of Android Power. Occasional exotic dancer.
Introduction

I write about Android, Chrome OS, and other titillating technology. You may have seen me in such places as PCWorld, Computerworld, and SeaWorld (hey, that Shamu is all right). I'm the guy behind Android Power and eSarcasm, voted 0.2 times as the best geek-humor website in the world. I also make one hell of a turkey sandwich.

In my spare time, I enjoy flossing, staring blankly, and writing about flossing and staring blankly.

If you'd like to stalk me, consider these helpful starting points:

• My website: jrstart.com
• My Twitter account: @JRRaphael
• The webcam installed on my left fibula [not yet available]

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I was once honored by the American Mustache Institute. Seriously -- see here: http://goo.gl/DOv36
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