REVIEW: Livescribe Echo smartpen

A significant step up from a trusty old Bic, the Livescribe Echo smartpen takes note taking to a whole new level by allowing you to sync audio to your scribbles and send them all over the web in just a few simple steps. But can it achieve results any more accurate than a fast hand and attentive ear couldn't manage just as well with a humble biro? Read on to find out.

Google Docs to get redesign


Google docs, the world’s most successful online word processor, is to get a redesign, or revamp, or rejig. Well it’ll be one, other, or most probably, an almalgm of these.

The ‘pre-announcement’ announcement on the Google Docs Blog (which isn’t very interesting), comes hot on the heels of Microsoft unveiling its plans for Office 2010. Plans that include a new web-based component, designed to directly take on docs.

Google’s counterpunch comes in the form of a promise that their redesign will make sharing more intuitive. The practical upshot of which is that users might notice some malfunctioning modules over the next couple of days.

Do you think that Office 2010 will claw back the market share they’ve lost to Docs? I’m writing this article, about Docs, on Docs, which is frankly, not as weird as it sounds. Will you be moving back to Office? Answers in the comments chums.

(Via TechCrunch)

Gmail comes out of beta

Gmail out of beta(2).png

I know, I know. Pick up your jaw. We’d all rather got used to the fact that Gmail and all the Google apps were in some sort of permanent beta over the last five years. Google has now decided that the time is right for their web software to be fully-fledged in its own right but not because it’s passed a bunch of tests.

It seems that all sorts of potential users – largely in the corporate world – might have been put off by the idea of using software that was only half ready or half safe or experimental or whatever the connotation might have been. So, by removing the label, Google hopes to be removing the stigma too.

They promise to continue developing their mail and office products all the same but those of a nervous disposition may now use the joy of the software in piece. If you haven’t, I heartily recommend you do.