Tag Archives: Google

How Google+ Has Morphed Over The Past Year & What We Can Expect in 2013 via @RWW

The fact that Google+ has 75 million daily users is testament to it being such a key part of Google’s more established and bigger properties – such as search and YouTube. As a standalone social network, Google+ still struggles to achieve the user engagement that Facebook and Twitter have. Facebook is where you go to see what your friends are up to, Twitter is the daily virtual water cooler. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a ghost town, but as a social network Google+ isn’t where the action is. The action is on Facebook, Twitter, … and YouTube, Google search, Blogger and other Google products.

One year ago, I think we all expected Google+ to turn into a better standalone product than what we’ve got now. But despite that, Google+ has turned out to be incredibly useful to Google. If I was to project what Google+ will be like in July 2013, I’d guess it will be even less about being a standalone social network and even more about supporting YouTube, Google search et al. One hopes it will also have a better API, so that more third party services can utilize that Google+ glue.

via readwriteweb.com

I know I haven’t logged into G+ in over a month, so I guess I’m no longer an ‘active monthly user’ unless you count seeing G+ integration into my search results. I wonder how many of their reported 150M AMUs are auto-signed in by Google services, as opposed to explicitly slogging over to the actual Google+ site?

Twitter Confirms Photos, Hashtags & More Added to Facebook Integration

A Twitter spokesperson told us that the firm has fixed a number issues with the integration and added features that include support for business pages, images and — as we earlier highlighted — links to hashtags and Twitter usernames:

We have fixed many issues with the Twitter for Facebook integration, including the ability to post to Facebook Pages, and added some new features.

The updated Twitter for Facebook integration now includes additional rich media experiences related to the first photo, URL, @mention or #hashtag in the cross-posted Tweet.

Those who already linked their Twitter and Facebook accounts and want to take advantage of the new features need to visit their Twitter profile settings page (here), and then disconnect and reconnect their accounts. That’s a bit of an inconvenience but well worth the effort.

The resulting integration is pretty impressive. When a tweet includes a photo, for example, the corresponding Facebook status update includes a thumbnail and link to click through to view the full photo, and other images from the user, on Twitter:

hello hummer2 horz1 520x157 Twitter: Yes, weve added photos, hashtags, usernames and more to our Facebook integration

via thenextweb.com

Sweet! Especially exciting given the news of Facebook’s integration with Apple products in the next iOS update.

Now… when will Facebook wise up and realise it’s got to play nice with Google too?

What Google’s Acquisition of Motorola Means for Android

In many, many ways, the best thing to ever happen to Android will be Google’s acquisition of Motorola. Google can now defend its mobile operating system with Motorola’s patents and create dynamic devices with Motorola’s hardware. At the same time, the E.U. and U.S. have put in measures concerning litigation around essential patents and China has ensured that Android will remain open and free. There will be losers in the Android ecosystem, among them several mobile manufacturers and maybe mobile carriers, depending on how much control Google can exercise over the sale of the devices. 

When the Motorola deal was announced last August and Page said that Google wanted to “supercharge” Android, he was not being facetious. Google has a tremendous opportunity in front of it. The path is paved with daggers but the benefit to the entire ecosystem at this point outweighs the risks. 

via readwriteweb.com

Google Docs is Being Swallowed by Google Drive

Google always pitched Google Drive, which launched in April after a considerable period of hype, as a replacement for Google Docs. What many users didn’t realize, it seems, is that Google will indeed completely replace Google Docs with Drive later this year. While Drive is still opt-in at this time, it looks like the forced transition is coming soon, as Google has started to alert users that their Google Docs account will soon be “upgraded to Google Drive.”

What’s coming next, according to Google’s official transition documents, is an opt-out phase similar to what the company has done when it transitioned to the new Gmail interface recently. Judging from the messages that many users are now seeing in Google Docs, this phase is going to start soon.

Finally, Google says, “users will be fully transitioned to Google Drive, with no ability to opt out.” Overall, Google expects the transition from what it calls the “Google Documents List” to Google Drive by late summer 2012.

via techcrunch.com

Google Outs Google Drive On Its French Blog: Here Are All The Details | TechCrunch

Update: Google Drive is now live.

Assuming the post is genuine – and we have no reason to believe it is not – here is what we now know about Google Drive:

  • as expected, users will get 5GB of free storage space
  • additional space can be bought, of course, starting at 20GB for $4/month
  • Google Drive will be deeply integrated into Google Docs. Indeed, Google calls it the “next evolution” of Google Docs.
  • the web-based file viewer will be able to handle 30 file types, including Photoshop, Illustrator and HD video
  • PC, Mac and Android apps will launch today. An iOS app will launch in the coming weeks.
  • Google promises a 99.9% uptime
  • there will be a focus on search, including some support for OCR and image recognition

If Android is a “stolen product,” then so was the iPhone

Apple revamped its notification system in iOS 5, introducing a Notifications Center that was strikingly similar to Android’s notification scheme. Apple added its own refinements, such as the ability to add widgets displaying the weather, stock prices, and other frequently-updated information. But the basic approach—notifications displayed at the top of the screen accessible through a pull down gesture—is virtually identical to the approach Google invented.

Users benefit from this kind of copying. Google’s notification scheme was better than the original iPhone notifications, so it is in iOS users’s interests for Apple to copy the idea. The alternative—a world in which companies scrupulously avoid using each other’s ideas—would be much worse. It would become impossible to buy a smartphone incorporating the best innovations from across the industry.

Inventing in the dark

Legally, the question is whether Google infringed on Apple’s patent, copyright, or other possessions. Google appears to be on safe ground from a copyright perspective. Android is built on Linux and uses a Java-like virtual machine; iOS is built on Darwin and uses NeXT-derived Objective C frameworks. We don’t know of any allegations that Android was developed with literal copies of iOS code.

But whether Google infringed on Apple’s patents is a harder question. And it would have been especially difficult to answer as Google was creating the first versions of Android.

Patent law generally gives a firm like Apple one year from the public disclosure of an invention to file for a patent on it. Apple unveiled the iPhone in January 2007, so the filing deadline for iPhone-related inventions would have been in January 2008. After filing, there is an additional 18-month delay before applications are made public. So if Apple filed an iPhone-related patent application on the last day before the deadline, Google wouldn’t have learned of its existence until July 2009—almost a year after the first Android phone hit the market.

Who does this benefit, other than board members and shareholders? Patent / copyright laws are absurdly out of date, a remnant hundreds of years old which no longer makes sense for today’s climate of innovation.

Why Google+ Doesn’t Care If You Never Come Back | TechCrunch

Maybe when it first launched, Google+ had aspirations of stealing away some of your content feed reading time from Facebook and Twitter. While it needs a lot of work, the design and features Google+ have launched are solid, and I have the utmost respect for a team doing the best it can. The problem is that it doesn’t solve a problem. Facebook owns the social graph and the relevance-sorted news feed of your friends’ activity, and Twitter owns the interest graph and the firehose of news and real-time updates.

But that was not why Google made building social functionality a priority. Nor was improving its already dominant search feature. It’d would love this engagement but it doesn’t need it. Google scrambled to build Google+ because it watched Facebook and saw users were willing to volunteer biographical data to their social network, and that data is crucial to serving accurate ads users want to click. Search keywords and algorithmic analysis of your Gmail and other content weren’t enough. It had to start the journey to identity after shortsighted years of allowing users to sign up without asking who they really were. 90 million signups is a good start.

How to Remove Your Google Web History Before The New Privacy Policy Change

Turning off search history is one of the top Google settings you may already know about anyway if you didn’t want Google recording any sensitive searches (health, location, interests, religion, etc.), but with Google becoming more like AOL these days, now’s as good a time as any to check if you’ve got your web history paused or not.

If you’re not logged into Google already, log in. Then, go to https://google.com/history. Click “remove all Web History” and “OK”. Doing so will pause the recording of your searches going forward until you enable it again.

How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect | Electronic Frontier Foundation

I’m about to do this – it’ll be interesting to see how my instant searches and location based stuff is affected. I consider myself very particular about monitoring my privacy controls, but honestly I’m one of the people who really trusts Google, and in my trust I’ve neglected to pay attention to the kidns of data they save from web searches and how it’s integrated. The pervasiveness of Google in my life definitely has me questioning exactly what they’re tracking, and if/how it makes my online life easier.

Google tracks consumers’ online activities across products, and users can’t opt out

The Web giant announced Tuesday that it plans to follow the activities of users across nearly all of its ubiquitous sites, including YouTube, Gmail and its leading search engine.

Google has already been collecting some of this information. But for the first time, it is combining data across its Web sites to stitch together a fuller portrait of users.

Consumers who are logged into Google services won’t be able to opt out of the changes, which take effect March 1. And experts say the policy shift will invite greater scrutiny from federal regulators of the company’s privacy and competitive practices.

Sounds creepy, and while beneficial, I still find it a little jarring to see advertisements pop up in my GMail account that are clearly generated by a keyword search of the email I’m looking at.

It’s also not very smart. No, Google, I’m just talking to my friend Victoria — not looking for sexy panties.

Pages With Too Many Ads “Above The Fold” Now Penalized By Google’s “Page Layout” Algorithm

Do you shove lots of ads at the top of your web pages? Think again. Tired of doing a Google search and landing on these types of pages? Rejoice. Google has announced that it will penalize sites with pages that are top-heavy with ads.

Top Heavy With Ads? Look Out!

The change — called the “page layout algorithm” — takes direct aim at any site with pages where content is buried under tons of ads.

From Google’s post on its Inside Search blog today:

We’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away.

So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience.

Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.

Interesting. Take that, /Film!