An Option To Fix Google Assistant On Your Android Phone

Google Assistant is Google’s new artificial intelligence personal assistant that allows you to ask Google questions (or give commands) and engage in a two-way conversation with Google. I have been playing around with it and it is very cool. I especially like that I can do hand’s free texting using Google Assistant when driving or I can ask Google about my day or any question for that matter. To determine if it is on your phone, simply hold down the “Home” button on your phone and you should be greeted with the “Hi, How can I help?”. In my case, I was waiting patiently for the Google Assistant to download to my Android phone and when it finally did, I ran into an unusual problem. I decided to do a blog post on this describing the problem I ran into and how the problem was resolved.

Google Assistant

The problem I ran into (in short summary) is that after I had determined Google Assistant was on my phone, by checking the version numbers of the Google App, it simply was not working correctly. When I held down the home button nothing would happen. If I tapped the home button it took me to the old Google Now screen.  At the Google Now Screen when I went into the settings, I noticed that it was the settings for Google Assistant (and not for Google Now). At first I thought that my phone being a mid-ranged phone wouldn’t support all of the Google Assistant settings; therefore, I only was entitled to maybe a lite version of Google Assistance.

Finally, after suspecting there was a software (or app) conflict and after searching the internet for a solution (with no luck), I found the Google Search and Assistant Help ForumForum’s are great for troubleshooting problems. After searching and browsing the forum I was unable to find a solution that matched the problem I was experiencing; therefore, I had to join the forum and describe the problem with hope that someone may be able to help. Part of the problem, when describing an issue, is finding the right words. When it comes to computers, electronics, smartphones, etc…; they all have a language of their own.

In this instance, I described the problem as follows:

Why is it when I launch Google Assistant it appears to launch Google Now?

When I launch Google Assistant via the home button it appears to launch Google Now.  I am not seeing the Google Assistant launch screen “how can I help”…  I also noticed that some of the Google Assistant features work and some do not.  For example, if I say “OK Google” , “read me the news” (from my customized list), it takes me to Google Play and plays a song from “the news”...

Within 24 hours a “Community Specialist” in the forum (named Lucas) came back at me with some things to try:

Lucas – Community Specialist said:

Hi Ramblinrick,

Welcome to the Google Search and Assistant Help Forum!

Just to confirm, is your Google app updated to the latest version? To check, visit Play Store and go to the Google App page. If you see update button, try updating the app that may help resolve this issue.

If that doesn’t help, try to reset the app and then try to update again. To reset go to device Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data. This step will reset the app to factory condition and all the personalization and preferences will be reset to original.

Please let me know how that works.

Best,

Lucas

The solution:

I followed the instructions and found that by doing a reset of the app was the solution (Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data).  Google Assistant is now performing flawlessly and we are now having conversations with each other on a daily basis. A big thanks to Lucas, whoever and wherever you are, for your assistance.

New Tappable Shortcuts Coming To The Mobile (google.com) Search App

On your mobile phone you should soon start seeing when performing a Google search (google.com), shortcuts peppered on the home screen for quick access to in-depth experiences associated with sports, eat & drink, entertainment and weather.

Google Search is taking the next step forward: providing in-depth, tappable search experiences within the Google app, keeping you in the know about the things that matter to you.

Source: New shortcuts in Search help keep you in the know

What Is Google Chromecast? | Tom’s Guide

I encourage you to visit Tom’s Guide (see source link below) for FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) when it comes to the Google Chromecast. I own several of these and especially love that I can mirror my android smartphone screen to the TV in addition to all the apps (such as YouTube) that can be cast to the big screen. The Chromecast is an inexpensive way to turn an older TV into a Smart TV…

The Google Chromecast is a cheap, simple way to stream video content right to your TV. Competing with the likes of Roku and Apple TV, the $35 Chromecast plugs into your TV and grants easy access to multiple streaming services, from Netflix and YouTube to Hulu and Google Play. You can even throw content from your Chrome browser to the big screen. Use this FAQ to get up to speed on the Chromecast and decide if it’s right for you.

Chromecast plugs into your TV and grants easy access to multiple streaming services, from Netflix and YouTube to Hulu and Google Play.

Source: What Is Google Chromecast? – How Chromecast Works – Tom’s Guide

Did You Know You Can Send and Receive Money With Gmail?

I’ve been seeing article’s today to indicate that you can now send and receive money with Gmail for Android AND that this feature has been available on the web version of Gmail for some time.

I did not know, until today, that there was an option in Gmail to transfer money. From what I understand, a Google Wallet account is required.

On the web version, to send money to another recipient, see the following steps. For other options, such as receiving money, click on the source link below for further instructions.

Send money with Gmail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click the Compose button.
  3. Enter the email address of the person you want to send money to.
  4. Add a subject and message text (optional).
  5. Click the $ icon (£ for UK users).
  6. Enter the amount you want to send and choose a payment method or add a new one.
  7. Click Review.
  8. Click Attach.
  9. Look over your message one more time and click Send.

To learn more about sending & receiving money using Gmail, click on the source link below…

Source: Send & receive money with Gmail – Computer – Gmail Help

To learn more about sending money using the Android version of Gmail — CLICK HERE  …

Did you know that Google knows almost everything that you do on their services?

You need to see this article that Phandroid has posted (see source link below) that will show you what Google knows about you, how this information is collected, where you can find this information and how you can opt out. Google collects this information, as a form of profiling, in order to better improve their products and services.

You may have already opted out of this collection of information; but, my guess is, you did not.

Did you know that Google knows almost everything that you do on their services? Find out what they know and how you can do something about it.

Source: Here is everything Google knows about you

A FREE Software Solution To Backup Your Gmail

Many of us at home rely on Google’s Gmail, as our email service provider. Gmail, for me, has been a very reliable service; however, I do often think, what would happen if my account was hacked and I lost years and years of accumulated emails???

To give some level of comfort there is a software solution called “Upsafe Gmail Backup” that gives you the ability to backup your email and even the option to restore email(s) that you may have deleted.  All backups are stored local to a folder on your computer. The first time you run the software, the backup may take awhile depending on the amount of emails you have stored in your Gmail account. Subsequent backups are incremental and are much faster.

To get a feel how “Upsafe Gmail Backup” works, check out the video below. If further interested in taking a look at this and trying, click on the source link below.

Backup your mailbox with our free Upsafe solution. Restore your Gmail emails even when you deleted them from your trash box. Download it for free now!

Source: Upsafe Free Gmail backup

Log Into Another Google Account Using Incognito Mode

When I use my personal Gmail account, from Google Chrome, I typically log into two other Gmail sub-accounts that I can easily access or toggle to, from my main account.  The problem I run into with this is that one of the sub-accounts I use I often need to get to Google Drive and a Google Website (Blogger) that is associated with that account.  Google will not allow me to “EASILY” access those services from a sub-account when logged into my main account. As a result, I would typically have to log out of my main account and then log back into Gmail for the sub-account.

Incognito Mode

A workaround for this that I now use, is to go to the Google Chrome Menu (top right corner) and click on “New Incognito Window”. From the incognito window I simply log into the account I need to access (to get to Google Drive and the Blogger site) to perform the tasks that I need to perform. Since I am in an incognito window, I don’t have to log out of my main account and lose the login credentials for the other two sub accounts.

If you are wondering what the “Incognito Mode” is in Google Chrome???

“Incognito mode opens a new window where you can browse the Internet in private without Chrome saving the sites you visit. You can switch between an Incognito window and any regular Chrome browsing windows you have open. You’ll only be in Incognito mode when you’re using the Incognito window”.

This Gmail Phishing Attack Is Even Fooling The Tech-Savvy 

This Gmail Phishing attack (see source link below) has been making tech news and is very important that you are made aware. It has been known by Google since March of 2016. This deceptive sneaky attack is currently only targeting Gmail accounts. The cybercriminals trick you into giving away your Google or Gmail Login Credentials. It is even fooling those who are tech-savvy and very familiar with phishing schemes.

Once an account has been compromised, the attackers immediately access it and start targeting the victim’s contacts.

 

Gmail phishing attack: cybercriminals use cleverly designed URLs and they immediately access the hacked accounts

Source: Phished Gmail Accounts Immediately Accessed by Hackers | SecurityWeek.Com

Addictive Tips | Turn Your PC Into A Chromecast Receiver

If you are a “Teacher” and familiar with “Chromecast”, this article may be for you… Make sure you visit the source link below to learn “how to” turn your PC into a Chromecast receiver by simply installing a Google Chrome App.

Chromecast is a very affordable way to turn a normal TV into a smart TV. The $30 device lets you get more use out of a monitor and a television set without needing a cable set-top box. Just imagine…

Source: How To Turn Your PC Into A Chromecast Receiver

Handy Graphic That Illustrates All The Known Gmail Search Operators

Gmail is no exception when it comes to the plethora of search operators that it supports to assist you with finding that elusive email that literally can be buried in thousands and thousands of emails. Below you will find a handy graphic that I want to share with you that illustrates all the known search operators. I received this graphic in my government work email account and thought I would share it with you here on the blog.

A search operator (sometimes referred to as a search parameter) is a character or string of characters used in a search engine query to narrow the focus of the search. [source: Whatis.com].

To apply one of the search operators, you simply enter the search operator parameter (or command) in the Gmail search box for whatever it is you need to track or narrow down. For example, let’s say I wanted to find all unread emails in my account. I would simply enter in the search box, is:unread from the list below and like magic, all unread emails will instantly appear.

 

 

Haystack TV For Your Chromecast

On Black Friday I took advantage of the $25 Chromecast and installed it on my TV in my garage. My wife hasn’t seen me since. You can still take advantage of the $25 Chromecast at the official Google site (click here), until December 24th. After getting the Chromecast I was like a kid with a new toy and it wasn’t long before I was looking for Chromecast ready apps (that you install on your Android phone or tablet then cast or display on the TV).  

One of my favorites so far, is Haystack TV… In a nutshell it is like a high-def visual feed reader that specializes mostly in news; however, I found that you can customize (search for and save sources & topics) that can be quite entertaining (like late night TV segments).  Even if you do not have a Chromecast, Haystack TV is worth downloading on your smartphone or tablet.

   Haystack TV: Daily News- screenshot

 

Haystack TV is a free and Google Cast™ Ready app, a great alternative to cable news. Haystack has featured repeatedly for Chromecast and Android TV the latest politics, local, national and world news from top news organizations such as CNN, AP, MSNBC, NYTimes and the BBC.

 

Google Keyboard Update (to Gboard)

If you are an Android user, you will soon see a noticeable change to the Google Keyboard. One change is in the name. Following the update, it will be called Gboard with all the features that came to iOS users earlier this year. Apparently, Gboard has been big hit with the iOS users. One feature I am seeing that is nice is that you will be able to perform searches directly from the keyboard.

Source: Gboard FINALLY comes to Android and replaces Google Keyboard

How To Check If Your Google Account Has Been Breached by “Gooligan”

Gooligan is a new malware campaign that has been engineered to infect Android phones by stealing your Google Account Credentials. Anyone who owns a device running Android 4 and 5 that includes Android Jelly Bean, KitKat, and Lollipop — is most at risk  The infection typically occurs via Gooligan infected apps or links in phishing email messages. Once infected, attackers are able to gain access to your sensitive information from Google apps, like Gmail, Drive, Photos, etc… Once attackers hack into the device, they’re buying apps on the Google Play store and writing reviews posing as the phone’s owners. To get the skinny on Googligan please read this article, “More Than 1 Million Google Accounts Breached by Gooligan” at a site called Checkpoint.

To determine if your account has been compromised, go to Checkpoint’s “Gooligan Checker” and enter your Gmail address…

Googligan

Google Keep: Ultimate guide | Android Central

Google Keep is a note-taking app (like an electronic version of sticky notes) that was developed by Google (in 2013) that is available as an Android and iOS app; AND, also available on the web. It is, by far, one of my favorite “go to” apps.  You can Create lists, transcribe recordings, doodle, collaborate on to-do lists, and so much more with Google Keep.

To get you started with Google Keep, Android Central has compiled the following guide to get you started:

 

 

Source: Google Keep: Ultimate guide | Android Central

Get The Android Auto Experience On Your Smartphone

Two years ago Android Auto was launched and was available only in certain model cars. Soon, through the Google Play Store, you will be able to get Android Auto for your Smartphone (Android 5.0 and later) as an app. Android Auto provides a “driver friendly interface to access the key stuff you need on the road ― directions, music, communications ― without the distraction of things that aren’t essential while driving”.  You can read more about this HERE and when it will become available.

Android Auto

Having Issues With Google Chrome?

If you are experiencing issues with Google Chrome, such as frequent crashes, unexpected ads, unusual start pages or a toolbar mysteriously appears; then, you may want to download the Chrome Cleanup Tool. Simply download to your desktop (or a folder) AND run… This tool is made by Google to help track down issues with the Google Chrome browser. One important point to make here is that this tool will give you an option to set your browser settings to the default (original) settings; so, be aware of that. Otherwise, this is worth a shot if your are in a dilemma…

Chrome Cleanup Tool

Chrome Cleanup Tool 

You Can Now Use Natural Language Processing When Searching For Files In Google Drive

What in the world is Natural Language Processing? 

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.” You can type things like “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” or “show me presentations from Anissa.” Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results. Drive NLP will get better with each query — so keep on searching. 😉 — Source: Google Drive Blog

ALSO, if you cannot spell very well…

When you’re trying to find a doc fast, it’s easy for typos to slip into your search. Drive now has a new autocorrect feature that suggests corrections to misspelled search terms — which can really help when your brain is moving faster than your fingers. — Source: Google Drive Blog

Save Webpages To Google

Google recently came out with a Google Chrome Extension called Google Save that gives you another way to bookmark webpages and images (similar to Pocket). I have been playing around with Google Save for approximately a month now and I am already seeing some improvements.  After you install the extension you will see a star type icon. If you want to save a webpage for later viewing simply click the star.  You can also use tags to categorize and organize the pages you save. To get to your saved pages, simply go to google.com/save …

Geek Squeaks (#2015-42) FEATURING — An Easy To Use Backup Program — and MORE GREAT STUFF

An Easy To Use Backup Program – Nearly every home based computer user that I have encountered do not backup their personal files. Most of what files people have stored on their computers they feel are files that are unimportant; until the moment comes that they lose those files. An example being, many people store family pictures on their computers. At the moment they may seem unimportant; however, when the computer fails (and it will), all of the sudden you realize that you lost precious memories. If you fall into this category, which most likely you do, please take the time to purchase an external hard drive (click here) and establish a backup plan. Finding an external hard drive and connecting it is the easy part. Finding a software solution is another matter. To help you along, a software solution that I use is called

To help you along, a software solution that I use is called Bvckup 2. If you visit the site you will see that it is software that you have to buy; however, to get around that option, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page where the download button is located, you will see “Looking for the last beta?”.  If you click on that link you can download the last beta version of Bvckup, which is FREE. By trying out the beta, you may be encouraged to purchase the software; however, I have found the beta’s of BVCkup 2 to work perfectly fine for our purposes. Bvckup 2 is easy to use (and learn) and it does not compress, encrypt or FTP files. It’s not a two-way sync nor is it a full system backup software. It simply makes a copy of your personal files from your computer to a designated location on the external hard drive; AND, the best part (by default), Bvckup will automatically perform these backups for you in real-time.

Bvckup 2

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Turn Your Android Smartphone Into A Digital Bubble Level – Our smartphones have many other purposes other than making calls and texting. For example, did you know you can turn your smartphone into a bubble level that comes in handy when you need to make sure a picture is hung straight on the wall, or a length of lumber is level, etc… If you search the Google Play store you will many bubble level apps available. The one that I settled for is an app developed by a company who actually makes levels, called Rigid. The app that they have developed is called Rigid Digital Bubble Level. This app features a calibration mode that will allow you to use this app in three views: Bubble View (the standard bubble level you’re used to); Horizon View (a horizon line that twists as you rotate. Enable the camera feature in this view to level things from afar.); and, Flat View (placing the phone on a surface activates this view where an optional beep can indicate how level the surface is without needing to look at the screen.)…

Rigid Digital Bubble Level

Cover art

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A Gizmodo Field Guide To 9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone – I am sure, if you own a Google based Android phone, you have used the “ok Google” feature where you speak to your phone by saying “ok google” and then tell (speak to) the Google Now Assistant to perform searches, etc… I am still trying to get used to this, but when I do use it I am really amazed of the accuracy and the results. Along with performing searches there are other commands you can give. Gizmodo has put together a nice field guide to “9 Google Now Voice Commands To Take Control Of Your Smartphone” that you need to learn. Commands such as turning your wi-fi on/off; the flashlight on/off; read text messages; etc…

9 Google Now Voice Commands
To Take Control Of Your Smartphone

9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone

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verykool Sleek, Contemporary Unlocked GSM Phones – I was focused on smartphones when I visited Amazon and what I came across is a smartphone brand that I have never heard of (called verykool). What caught my eye and made me look more than twice was the unbelievable super low pricing. Based on the low number of customer reviews (which, by the way are high ratings), verykool must be a newcomer at Amazon. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this smartphone brand that just may change the whole landscape of things when it comes to smartphones.

 verykool

verykool

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-36) FEATURING — Control What People See About You On Google Services — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Control What People See About You On Google Services – If you are a subscriber to any of Google’s services, it is important to know that you can control what people see about you at aboutme.google.com. While you are there, click on the privacy checkup where you can review and adjust what data Google uses to personalize your experience, and update what information you share with friends or make public.

Google About Me

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Safely AND Quickly Hide Files and Folders – If you are looking for a way to hide a file or folder, then take a look at WinMend. I can tell you that I have used WinMend for the past several years and I have never lost a file.  The WinMend site states it, like this; “While ensuring the absolute system safety, this application can quickly hide files and folders on local partitions and/or on removable devices. The hidden files/folders will be safely hidden whether the drive is accessed in another operating system on the same computer or reinstalled on another computer”. I have added WinMend to the downloads page, located under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm…

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Using The Disk Cleanup Tool In Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 – Cnet has a nice tutorial (click here), on how to clean up the junk in Windows using the built-in cleanup tool. The tutorial covers each aspect of what the tool removes and cleans from your system such as the browser thumbnail cache, system files, system restore files, the hibernation cache, and the recycle bin.

Cleaning up system files

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A Tool To Reset And Repair Windows Update Related Components – The Windows Club posted this article, Reset Windows Update to default in Windows 10, that features using the Windows Update Component Tool (aka Reset Windows Update Agent) to reset and repair the components to the Windows Update service. The tool itself is available from Technet – click here

Reset Windows Update 1

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MORE Quick Links To Amazon Holiday Deals – As you probably have noticed I have an obsession with Amazon and the challenge of locating their best deals. As Christmas gift giving (and receiving) nears, I really go on the hunt to bookmark links to their holiday deals.  Below is my latest collection to share with you.

Quick Links

Today’s Deals

Cyber Monday

12 Days of Deals

Last-Minute Deals

Year-End Deals

Black Friday

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Geek Squeaks #2015-15 (Featuring: 70+ Useful Google Now Voice Commands— and MORE STUFF)

70+ Useful Google Now Voice Commands – I am a big Android smartphone and tablet user. I am finding more and more of using Google’s version of a virtual personal assistant called Google Now. What amazes me is how accurate Google Now is in interpreting what I am saying. If you are like me and you find Google Now to be very useful, then check out trendblog.net’s infographic on their “Awesome List Of 70 Google Now Voice Commands“.

Google Now Commands

DSpeech Upgraded DSpeech is a portable app program that will read text back to you. I find it very helpful when composing documents where I can have the document read back to me. Really makes a difference in the final product of the document when you can actually hear what you have written. 

Dspeech

Wunderlist Has A New Design – Just plucked this off of the Wunderlist blog site that indicates there is a new user interface for Wunderlist. “The new-look Wunderlist is available on Web, Chrome and Windows 7 today and will be coming to iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android and Windows 10 this year, plus a host of new updates too”… — READ MORE

Wunderlist

Quickly Search For Files On Your Android Smartphone or Tablet – What I find when using Google to search my phone, the search is limited to my contacts and apps. If you would like something that will dig a little deeper then take a look at the app called Andro Search. This app when installed will create an index of the files on your computer to make searching for files fast. Andro Search can be described as a full-text instant search over your Documents/Files, Contacts, and Apps – An efficient powerful search engine and launcher on your Android.

 Andro Search (

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How To Setup The NEW “Undo Send” Option In Gmail

Google recently added an optional setting in Gmail that will allow you to auto delay sending an email, for a period of 5-10-20 or 30 seconds, so that if you have second thoughts (after hitting “send”) you can retract or undo the sending process. This sort of option had been available through the Google Labs, but many people are not familiar with the labs’ options or add-ons; therefore, Google has made this a permanently embedded option in the Gmail settings.

To get to the undo settings, click on the cog wheel on the top right side of your Gmail and click on “Settings”. Under the “General” tab, you will find “Undo Send” (see screenshot below). Click the box next to “Enable Undo Send”; then select the amount of time for the “Send cancellation period”. After you have made your changes, scroll down and click on “Save Changes”.

Gmail - Undo Settings

Also, now that you know how to get into the Gmail settings, go back into the settings you will find a tab that is labelled “Labs”. Some pretty neat add-ons are available there.

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See The First Monthly Report For Google’s Self-Driving Car Project

As Google continues to refine the technology that is behind the self-driving car, you can see their May 2015 report HERE (which if the first report of its’ kind)… If you want to follow along as this technology evolves, you can visit Google’s self-driving car project web site HERE …

We’ve made a lot of progress with our self-driving technology over the past six years, and we’re still learning. Every day we head out onto public streets so we can keep challenging and refining our software. HERE are some highlights from our recent testing; all metrics are as of June 3, 2015.

In the six years of our project, we’ve been involved in 12 minor accidents during more than 1.8 million miles of autonomous and manual driving combined. Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident. — source: Google

Google's Self-Driving Car

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Deal of the Day

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Send Notes and Send Directions To Your Phone From Google Search

This week’s hot Google news is similar news from last week, with a different twist, where you can go to the Google Search page (or the Google Chrome’s omnibox) and type in “find my phone” (see article here).

This week Google revealed you can go to the Google Search page (or the Google Chrome’s omnibox) and type  “Send Directions” (to push driving directions to your phone) or “Send Note” (to push a note to your phone). Appears you have to be signed into your Google account through your web browser (Google Chrome) to make this work. READ MORE…

Send Directions

Send Note

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Google Keep – Keeps Getting Better

Recently I posted an article [click here], that gave you some insight about Google Keep and how it has become one of my favorite apps. If you do not know about Google Keep I encourage you to read the article. Google Keep has become a very popular note keeping app that is available on the web (in your browser) and as an app on your mobile devices.

Google Keep

This past week Google added two NEW features to Google Keep. The one feature, that was definitely on my wish list, is that you now have the ability to add labels to your notes. This is a very powerful feature that gives you the ability to organize and categorize your notes. The second NEW feature is the recurring reminders where you can configure notes to repeatedly remind you of matters so that you never miss a beat.

As the title of this blog post suggest, “Google Keep – Keeps Getting Better”… I can’t wait to see what Google has up their sleeve in the future for this very popular and useful application.

To help get you started, Google Keep for the Google Chrome Browser is available [here] and Google Keep for the Android tablet and smartphone platforms is available [here] …

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Android Police Reports That “Google Releases Preview Of The New Google Contacts Web Interface”

You can try out the preview of the new Google Contacts page.  My first visit, it took a bit for the page to load; but, once it did I liked the cleaner user interface. Supposedly the NEW interface will be made available in the coming weeks through out Gmail accounts. To see the preview, and give credit where credit is due, visit the Android Police page by clicking the “read more” link below.

Contacts preview 1.5

To learn more:

Anyone who has used Android and Google services for long enough will probably notice how much junk has accumulated in their contacts. There’s a new version of Google Contacts in the works to fix that, and you can try a preview of it right now. Unless you have a Google Apps account. Duh…. [READ MORE]

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Hurry! Good Deal On An Acer Chromebook 11

At the time of this posting, this Acer Chromebook was at $159.99 at Amazon, which is at an excellent price point for a Chromebook. Also, check out the near 5 star customer reviews

Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-111-C670 (11.6-inch HD, 2GB, 16GB)

Acer Chromebook 11

  • Intel Celeron N2830 Dual Core 2.16 GHz Processor
  • 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 16 GB Internal Storage
  • 11.6-Inch Screen 1366×768 Active Matrix TFT Color LCD, Intel HD Graphics
  • Chrome, 8.5-hour battery life

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Google Earth Professional Now FREE

If you enjoy Google Earth, then you will like the news that Google Earth Professional is now FREE. To read more about this, to download and to get your FREE registration key, CLICK HERE… Google Earth Professional originally carried with it a price tag of $399 per year. One notable feature of Google Earth Pro is the advanced measuring and drawing tool (see video).

Google Earth Pro gives you access to Google’s comprehensive globe, including aerial imagery, street data, panoramic Street View images, historical imagery, and points of interest. In addition, Google Earth Pro offers tools and capabilities designed specifically for business users, including:

  • Print high resolution screenshots
  • Map large GIS datasets
  • Quickly map thousands of addresses
  • Create custom movies to share with clients and customers
  • Measure area with a polygon or circle
  • View demographic, parcel and traffic data displayed in colorful layers

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I Noticed At Google Play An Interesting List Of Must Have Android Apps

While checking out some of the Android apps at Google Play, I came across a section, in Google Play, carrying the title of Must-Have Apps. In this section there is a listing of a 127 apps that Google is apparently promoting as being some of the best…  If you are an Android user, this is not only a “must have”, it is a “must see”…

Google Play - Must Have

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Checker Plus for Gmail – One Of The Highest Rated Google Chrome Extensions Out There

When I see a five star rating at the Google Chrome Web Store I know it has to be something good. If you are a Google Chrome browser fan and use Gmail then you must download the Google Chrome browser extension called Checker Plus for Gmail.

Before I go further, if you click this link (Checker Plus for Gmail) you will be taken to the Chrome Web Store; however, if you want to meet the author of this fantastic creation and learn more in detail about this extension, CLICK HERE …  The author’s main site also provides a forum, frequently asked questions, and other goodies that is an indicator (as a software reviewer) that the author is serious about what they do (as a trusted developer) and will continue to develop and fine tune their work. I can’t get over how good this extension is…

Due to this browser extension being very featured rich, I am going to cut to the chase and post the highlights, features and video (verbatim) as posted on the author’s site (see below); but there is one feature that I really love and that is you can configure Checker Plus for Gmail to read an incoming email to you (which is very unique).

I encourage you to take a look at this extension. It is definitely number one on my list of Chrome browser extensions at this time and is now added to my list of “Top Ten Google Chrome Browser Extensions I Can’t Live Without“…

Highlights...

  • The fastest and easiest way to manage multiple email accounts
  • One of the highest rated Chrome extensions – featured many times on PCWorld
  • Trusted developer of many extensions – more than one million satisfied users worldwide
  • Lots of features, options and updates – just read the version changes in the logs below
  • Personal tech support from me (the developer) – very fast response times, 5-30 minutes
  • Supports “Inbox by Gmail”
  • I’ll add your suggestions
  • Safer – requires less permissions and only access to Google Mail’s website

Features…

  • See the people emailing you just like in the Gmail chat notification, with an option to show their contact photos or your assigned photos for them.
  • Voice notification: If you get an email while you’re busy watching a movie or cooking dinner this extension can optionally read it out loud ie. “Jason says, dinner at my place”. It’s great for the visually impaired.
  • Option to monitor any Gmail or custom labels
  • Option to run in background when Google Chrome is closed and still get new email alerts
  • Zoom in and out of emails which have large images
  • Popup mail preview window to read, archive, mark as read or delete emails without leaving the current tab (or option to go directly to your Gmail tab)
  • Can also be used as a widget for the extension “Awesome New Tab Page” (ANTP) which supports multiple accounts
  • Desktop sound or voice notifications when new mail arrives (or add your own sounds)
  • Support for multiple Gmail and Google Apps accounts
  • Option to open “Mail to” links in your Gmail instead of your regular mail client
  • This Gmail notifier has more than 10 different icon sets, choose your favorite!
  • You change the generated voice by adding TTS (text to speech) voice extensions
  • The fast way to inbox zero. Yes that’s a thing.

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A 5 Star Google Chrome Screen Capture Utility

I love screen capture applications due they are very useful in drafting articles for the blog and for everyday computing. I have featured other capture programs on the blog, and every I time turn around I stumble across another one. The one I present today, called FireShot, I somehow missed on my radar. FireShot currently is carrying a 5 star rating (from over 7500 reviews) and was selected in 2013 as “The Best Free Google Chrome Extension for 2013″ by PCMAG.COM”. FireShot is available as a Google Chrome Extension from the Chrome Web Store.

FireShot Screen Capture Utility

FireShot typically performs like many of the other screen capture utilities; however, it offers more features than what else is out there. For example, one feature that really jumped out at me is that you can capture a page (or part of page) with FireShot and save it as a PDF file.

This is only one of the features and is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to FireShot.

Other features are:

✓ Capture web pages entirely

✓ Capture only visible part of the page

✓ Capture selection

✓ Save screenshot to disk as PDF, PNG, and JPEG

✓ Copy screenshot to clipboard

✓ Print screenshot

Additionally, users on Windows can do the following:

✓ Edit screenshot: crop, resize, add text and arrow annotations, blur areas and apply other effects

✓ Print

✓ Save screenshot to PDF files

✓ Save screenshot to disk as PDF, PNG, GIF, JPEG, BMP

✓ Send to OneNote (Pro version)

✓ Upload to Twitter, Google Picasa, Facebook, ImageShack, Flickr, EasyCaptures

✓ Copy screenshot to clipboard

✓ Print screenshot

✓ E-Mail

✓ Export to external editor

Google Chrome Tip – How To Open Links In New Tab In Background

Google Chrome TipGoogle Chrome user?  Try this handy tip. Not sure if this will work in the other browsers; but, you may want to give it a try. To me this tip is pretty handy, especially if you are researching something and you need to open another browser tab in the background.  I found two ways this will work:

1 – Hover your mouse on a link on a web page and CLICK your MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON and the link will open in a new tab (in the background). For some reason, the type of mouse that I have, this did not work; however, other mice I have used, this does work.

2 – A workaround, if your middle mouse button does not work (like in my case), is to hover your mouse on a link, is to push down the CTRL key on the keyboard and LEFT MOUSE CLICK the link. Again, this will open the link in a new tab (in the backgound).

 

Get The NEW Chrome Bookmark Manager Extension (by Google)

You can make the Google Chrome Bookmarks and the Bookmarks manager more powerful by incorporating the intelligence of Google Search with a NEW modern user interface (called Bookmark Manager). This extension is a “must have” extension… You will especially like the “auto folders” feature that will automatically categorize your bookmarks for you. I never cared much for bookmark managers built into browsers, but this one has me thinking differently.

Google Chrome Bookmark Manager

Here is what you get with this extension:

One-click save: When you bookmark, you can now save an image and note to make your bookmarks more helpful. Also, Google will suggest a folder if it seems like it could be a fit.

Improved search: Quickly find that elusive page with search powered by Google, which looks not only at the bookmark title and snippet, but also the bookmarked page’s content.

Collect bookmarks by topic: Your bookmarks will automatically be organized by topic, like “Tokyo” and “Photography.” If you’d rather, you can still organize them into folders yourself.

Familiar bookmarks, new look: Your existing bookmarks will automatically get updated with images and descriptions, wherever possible.

Share: Have a folder of favorite bookmarks? You can make it public and share the link with whomever you’d like to access it. Everything else will remain private.

Access your bookmarks anywhere: Bookmarked an article on your phone to finish reading on your laptop? Chrome will continue to sync your bookmarks across all of your devices, just like it does today.

 

HOT TECH NEWS – Google Gearing Up To Handle All Your Email Accounts With Gmail

This is something I know will excite many people. Google is gearing up to handle all of your email accounts with Gmail (for Android). From what I am reading you will be able to setup Gmail (when the new version is released) to pull in mail from other external accounts you may have (such as Outlook and Yahoo).

New Gmail

…the new Gmail will be able to handle email accounts from other providers like Yahoo or Outlook, switching between them with either a simple swipe or by touching the account drop down. Here’s the new onboarding video Gmail will show for returning users upgrading to the new version. Source: Android Police

You Can Pre-Order The HTC Nexus 9 At Amazon

You have probably seen all of the recent hype on the Google Nexus products. The Nexus that is catching my eye is the Nexus 9 featuring Android’s new OS called Lollipop.

At a glance the Nexus 9 features an 8.9” IPS LCD display with 4:3 aspect ratio constructed from Gorilla Glass 3; 1536 x 2048 pixels screen resolution; Dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSound; 8MP rear camera – 1.6MP front camera; 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 Dual Denver @ 2.3GHz CPU; 2 GB DDR3 RAM; Quad-band GSM, CDMA, Penta-band HSPA, LTE; and 3.5mm audio.

Amazon currently has a pre-order page up — CLICK HERE

HTC Nexus 9 Tablet 

HTC Nexus 9

A Geek Squeak of the Week – Android 5.0 Lollipop Quick Look! (by Android Authority)

Android 5.0 “Lollipop” is a version of the Android mobile operating system developed by Google. Unveiled on June 25, 2014, the operating system will be first made available in November 2014 for selected devices that run distributions of Android that are serviced by Google, including Nexus and Google Play edition devices…. source: Wikipedia

Here is a nice video put together by the Android Authority on the Android 5.0 Lollipop version:

 

 

Quick Note – The Brain Fart Class Of Note Keeping

In the heavyweight class of note keeping apps, we have Evernote and OneNote that are exceptional in that they can perform a higher level of note keeping that are best suited when researching something or we want to store something of importance (for future reference).

In the lightweight class of note keeping we have Google Keep, that is exceptional in that you can keep notes in a manner for which we keep sticky notes (for grocery lists, to do lists, reminders, etc…), that are at a lower level of importance, but we feel necessary in order for us to exist.

Each of these heavy weight and light weight apps can be quickly accessed from all of our computing platforms (such as the Windows and the Android platforms); but, did you know that there is another class of note keeping called the “brain fart” class of notekeeping?

The brain fart a class of notekeeping is where you need to make notes quickly (on the fly), as they come to mind and are only around for the short term. This is the class of note keeping where another note keeping app called Quick Note comes into the picture.  Quick Note is like having a piece of paper and pencil with you at all times; and, in appearance, Quick Note looks just like the canary yellow ruled line notepads that we all have used at one time or another.

Quick Note

Quick Note is installed as a Google Chrome App that you can make a shortcut to so that your Quick Note notepad is easily and quickly accessible at all times. To use Quick Note you need to sign up for a diigo.com account so that you never lose your notes, as they are then synchronized (and stored) to your diigo.com account.

Quick Note is especially designed for lightweight note-taking. You can use it as a simple notepad,  scratchpad, clipboard, or to record todo lists. 

★ Quick to add and edit ~ Add note in the app or from right-click menu

★ Quick to search ~ Instant search for all notes

★ Quick to access ~ One-click to access your notes

★ Sync to cloud and access your notes anywhere

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