Feb 11th, 2010
Would you like some Android with that……..
What a difference a year makes in the technology stakes department.
After exploding out of the gate in 2009, Android devices continue their astounding marketshare rampup.
- Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2010
- (Thousands of Units)
Actually, if you check out the above graph, you can see that even application developers have no choice, on a purely business basis, to also join that march.
Gartner (Feb 2011) report;
In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, ”Android grew 888.8 percent in 2010 and moved to the No. 2 position. Android sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 continued to be driven by broad availability of many high-end products from HTC (Desire range, Incredible and EVO), Samsung (Galaxy S) and Motorola (Droid X, Droid 2).
Maybe iPhone 5 will change that, but something tells me, maybe ……
Question – Westpac & realestate.co.nz, ANZ, National Bank, NZPost, Kiwibank, etal plus others like FixmyStreet. ….. isn’t it about time for an Android version of your apps?
DISCLOSURE – I do not own an iPhone, I happen to be in the Samsung Galaxy space.
February 11 2011 | New Zealand and photography and Technology | 2 Comments »
Jan 29th, 2011
After holding on to my Palm Treo 650 for over 5 years (actually I’ve gone through 4 of them, 1 unfortunately met its end between the car & the car door – not a pretty sight) I’ve finally taken the plunge.
Every year I’d upgrade to the latest fan-dangled unit, and although I’d try over 1-2 weeks to get the “hang of it”, each one just didn’t seem to offer what seemed to be the Treo’s ease of use and functionality. So I’d get rid of the new upgrade and find / source another T650. However Telecom are going to shutter the CDMA network soon so this time I was under a bit more pressure to upgrade to XT.
So with the arrival of the Galaxy I thought I’d give it a good go this time around. Lo and behold I was surprised….its a delight to use and so far I’m loving it. I still long for the ease of use of the Treo when it comes to texting or inputting characters, but most other things work well.
In light of my experience, & perhaps the shuttering of the old network it set me wondering whether there might be some other baby boomers out there going through a similar experience.
With this in mind, I thought it pertinent to cobble together the most helpful apps I’m using and let you know about them…so that if you were to upgrade to an Android phone you too, could hopefully see & experience some tangible benefits. Here we go….
Great little app that displays via an overlay over a Google Map, where the sun rises and sets, where it is now….winter & summer sunshine rise and set angles……and
according the many apps sites from where you can download it…..
It can be used to
- plan photo shoots
- plan trips and holidays
- position flowers and plants on the sunny side
- choose a real estate
- calibrate orientation and inclination of solar panels
- estimate exposure to sunlight
Click on Image above for further details.
As the English say in the UK “where is the South….”
So it is down under, all home buyers are always asking “where is north?”
If you are a bit geographically challenged then this is a quick & simple program that does just what you think it will do.
For Nelson we’re fortunate in that most locations are hemmed in, and you can practically always get a idea of a landmark somewhere, but appreciate it some really built up areas it might not be so easy. Could imagine that for an inner city apartment dweller, this would be quite a neat aid when viewing downtown apartments.
Obvious one by its name……
for when you are asked “that doesn’t look right does it, is it level?”
Keeping in mind it’s as the “crow flies”, but you can change that and enter your own “track”…this tidy little app will do your measurements all for you.
And it definitely comes in handy every day.
Your intro to reading and sending tweets + photos from your phone.
Great App – Click for further details
As well as this app Tweetcaster that I use, there’s also an official Twitter app and plenty of others too.
NZ Road Info
Unfortunately it doesn’t cover the whole of New Zealand at this stage, just traffic cam images from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Tauranga.
Click for more info
Still, if you live in one of these places and don’t prefer to purposely sit in the car for an unnecessary extended period, this site might just be worth a look.
Android Date Wheel
Helps if you are “chronologically impaired”….in a calendar type of way I mean.
Very handy when you are working out unconditional and possession dates for a buyer or seller.
So that you can ensure you co-incide your viewing inspection appointment with the High Tide. Not pretty because its not a graphical representation mainly just a list of numbers, but it does the job. Also assist with finding the right time of day to get fabulous listing photos of your new seaside/estuarine property.
Check it out here.
Dig The Planet
This is for when you get overseas folk asking that same old question every viewing appointment……… “If I I dug a hole here….where would I come out?”
click for the download details
Ok, …..so its not really from the “useful” real estate agent section, but it is a fun one you must admit?
And there you have it.
To add to this there are plenty of mortgage assessment / calculators out there, and although not in New Zealand yet, plenty of Android Apps worldwide that allow you to search for property based on your GPS estimated location…..or so called “location aware” apps.
Android……says is now outselling the iPhone
I’m aware that realestate.co.nz has an iPhone app….but with US researchers like Gartner Inc’s comment above…… forecasting increasing Android uptake, it must only be a time factor until we see an equivalent Android one.
I’m sure there equivalents to these apps here in iPhoneland, however I have personally found these to all be really useful and quite relevant in day to day real estate work.
One thing I have come to appreciate on this Galaxy S / I9000 is the brightness of the fancy named Super-OMOLED screen, its brilliant when trying to read the screen outdoors in the especially sunny skies we are accustomed to here in Nelson.
January 29 2011 | General and New Zealand and photography and Technology and Uncategorized | 8 Comments »
January 1st, 2011
Wonder if this has ever happened to you?
You spot a property for sale, say in Nelson, yet the advert doesn’t mention the property for sale’s address.
So because there is no obvious address associated with the advert, you have to phone the telephone number advertised adjacent.
Then you patiently conduct an interview just to find out that address.
(Must point out here that there are very good reasons why us real estate marketers do in fact ask those questions….buts that a story for another time.)
Much has been written over the last few years about the assistance that the World Wide Web is offering home buyers. And it keeps getting better!
The good folks over at makeuseof.com have pointed out this fabulous site called showmystreet.com.
Yes, I’ll admit there are other sites out there that do a similar job….but this site scores 9.5 on the “iPod Shuffle” ease of use scale.
Even though the initial landing page doesn’t look too exciting….its really all that you need.
The only thing you need is the street address.
So you look up an address like this listing here BR30014.
Type that into the box and you find yourself at this Brightwater address here…..just across the road from Centennial Park.
Click to enlarge
Whilst typing an address in you’ll spot the API going through its paces live before your eyes…..filtering all sorts of addresses from distant corners of the globe (strangely I found this part quite interesting) until you get down to the suburb level and then its pretty quick to zero in on your choice (as its using Google Maps data that shouldn’t be too hard)
Not quite the Hill St I had in mind (click to enlarge)
When searching for addresses in a place such as Nelson, Stoke, Richmond or surrounds then you’ll probably need to go the extra step and plug in New Zealand too……
Otherwise you’ll end up in some other part of the world that also has just as equivalently named english street and road names as our region does?
Another use of the site could be for property investor scouting?
is off street parking available....?
Perhaps a photo like this could tell you quite a bit about the neighbourhood already, off street parking facilities, etc – without the need to hop on a plane and fly there to see for your self why, for example, at first, it might be advertised at what seems like a bargain price?
January 01 2011 | Buyers and General and Nelson and New Zealand and Technology | No Comments »
July 13th, 2010
Sometimes folks can’t see what’s right in front of their eyes. Oftentimes it needs more of an overview look, a helicopter plane view if you will.
In fact, up above, now that’s the perfect way to see whats going on down there, and show homeowners what they aren’t doing right about insulation?
Cue the Christchurch City Councils just fabulous thermal overlay with Google Earth.
Standard Google Earth Photo (...click to enlarge)
Going to an sample area in the Christchurch City Councils catchment ….we see…things just as we normally do in Google Earth.
However, once we activate the thermal imaging overlay, a totally different story emerges now…doesn’t it?
Same photo - thermal overlay activated (...click to enlarge)
I feel all councils in New Zealand should use our rates for such useful info.
This sort of thermal imaging info should be available to every homeowner in New Zealand not only because it would be useful in your current home owner status, but it would be a fantastic tool for when the time comes when you find yourself looking to buy another home.
Now, if you are lucky to be in the Christchurch City Councils zone, you can do just that…..
click here to try it out......
…..see exactly how that home you were thinking of buying stands up in the energy leakage/retention stakes.
Lately the Belgians have shown the way with their “Zoom into your Roof” online project, covering populated areas of the whole country!
As shown in the presentation (see source credit below), Sydney has had a go at it too, yet Christchurch in the good ole South Island is the first to do this in New Zealand. (they have been talking about it for a while though)
Until the local Nelson City Council flies a plane at night in wintertime, something like this will just be a dream for any Nelson Real Estate buyers.
Come to think of it, with the record frost of the year so far…this morning in Nelson, around about now would’ve been good.
Likewise as we don’t yet have a New Zealand wide equivalent rating system like the UK’s Predicted Energy Assessments (PEA) Certificates that I spoke about here just a few days ago, it’s the next best thing short of a full blown thermal inspection of the property, and as I’m sure you are aware, those aren’t free.
SOURCE – Thermal Map of Christchurch Presentation (Energy Awareness Week. 3 – 8 May 2010)
July 13 2010 | Buyers and General and New Zealand and Sellers and Technology | No Comments »
May 15th 2010
Now we know why.
Under the heading “Google Cars gathering home internet data without telling” yesterdays Dom Post, and again, on last nights TV One news, was featured the story about those new rooftop arrangements on the cars.
StreetView Vehicle 2008 Version
We all know the main reason the vehicles arrive in our town traveling our streets is to compile panoramic views from curbside to go with Google’s map service, specifically StreetView.
Back in December you may recall I was asking the question about why-fore the massive size increase (in these times of miniaturization) in the latest generation of Google StreetView camera atop the Holden Astra, the same car that had been in town just a year earlier with a much smaller arrangement on top.
Streetview Vehicle Dec 2009 version
After concerns from privacy watchdogs in Germany, Britain and Australia, the reason for that extra “gear” up there has been told.
I’ll let Wellingtons “Dominion Post” explain;
Google has collected personal wireless internet data from New Zealand homes through cars sent around the country for its Street View project.
The internet giant confirmed the fact last night, after privacy watchdogs in Germany, Britain and Australia raised concerns about the practice. Fears include the possibility that Google could match people’s mobile devices and internet behaviour to home addresses.
In the article, an Australian Google representative states;
The data, which is publicly available, was used to give precise readings of people’s locations if they were using Google’s mobile map services.
Google “did not collect any information about householders” and could not identify individuals from information collected by its Street View cars, he said.
Full article here.
UPDATE: even an article in the New York Times “Business Day” section about it today.
UPDATED: comment now from Google on their official Google Blog, in which Alan Eustace, Senior VP, Engineering & Research makes the statement “In addition, given the concerns raised, we have decided that it’s best to stop our Street View cars collecting WiFi network data entirely.”
May 15 2010 | General and Nelson and New Zealand and photography and Technology | No Comments »
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