Tag Archives: Google News

New Google Chrome Beta Gets Tab Syncing Across Devices

One of the coolest features of Chrome for Android is its ability to sync tabs with its desktop counterpart. You can start researching a topic on your desktop, leave for work, and continue researching from your phone while in the subway. Now, Google is taking this feature to its logical next level. The latest Google Chrome beta supports tab syncing across multiple operating systems and devices.

Google-Chrome-Tab-Sync

The new beta makes all of your tabs from one system available on all other systems. You can simply click on the “Other devices” link in the “New Tab” page to access open tabs from any system on which you are logged in with your Google account. This feature was first spotted in the bleeding-edge versions of Chrome (including the Dev Channel, Canary, and recent Chromium snapshot builds) by Geek.com. Now, Google will be gradually rolling out the “Other devices” menu to Beta channel users over the coming week. If you want to take tab syncing for a spin, download the latest Chrome beta from here.

Editorial: Using Google Adsense On Your Website? Be Careful Of External Links To Third Party Download Sites

No doubt Google Adsense is still the most popular and easiest way to monetize online content, considering its high conversion rate and residual benefits. But at the same time, it is also surrounded by risks and newbie webmasters often find the program policies lacking adequate details. You create a website, work hard, use legitimate ways to build traffic and one day, that infamous email from Adsense arrives in your inbox stating that your website has violated one or more program policies.

On rare occasions, Google sends a warning email and gives the publisher 72 hours to fix the issues that are not in accordance with Adsense program policies. I have received it once and I know how terrible it feels (a state of shock, to be honest). But there is no guarantee that you will get that warning email and Google reserves the right to enforce a permanent ban on your account without giving you any warning in the first place.

This can be disastrous, as once you’re kicked out of Adsense, you can not sign up for a new account using the same Payee name, email account, residential address amongst other details. There are a few workarounds but none of them are legitimate, so I would not discuss them in this post.

Now here is a case where Google stopped serving ads because the website in question has a blog post which linked to a third party file download site.  The publisher in question has requested to kept his name withheld, below is a copy of the email he received from Google a few weeks back:

adsense-email-example

An excerpt from the email (highlights by me):

Adsense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on sites involved in the distribution of copyrighted materials. This includes hosting copyrighted files on your site as well as providing links for or driving traffic to sites that contain copyrighted material.

Hosting copyrighted material on the site is certainly not the reason why Google stopped serving ads on this publishers website. The problem is that this publisher has a blog post (posted 3 years ago) and the page in question linked to a file on a free file download site. The file in question is free from copyrights, it was just a press report in .doc format. There is no copyright infringement involved with the document itself, no DMCA claims whatsoever.

According to me, the reason why Google took action on a page after three years of its publication is as follows:

When the blog post was published in early 2009, the third party file download site was nascent and it did not have many pirated files on its server. During these three years, the third party download site got greedy, allowed users to upload porn and pirated files in bulk, thereby earning a bad name in Google’s eyes. It is impossible to remember each and every site you have linked to from your pages, so what happened is that the publisher completely forgot about that blog post and kept building his website, as we all normally do.

Suddenly, this third party download site got out of its line and Google had to flag it. Meanwhile, Google found out the sources that are linking to this third party site and driving traffic to it. As a consequence, my friend’s website got flagged somehow and Google stopped serving ads on his website. His Adsense account is still active but Google has disabled serving ads to that particular site for linking to another site that is hosting copyrighted or pirated content.

This is ridiculous, at least the publisher should get a warning email but Google acts otherwise.

Now you may argue why the publisher used another website for hosting a simple word document and not his own site or FTP server for that matter. All I can say is that there are numerous occasions when you are left with no other choice. Considering a blogger blog which was created in 2009, there is no way you could upload a file on a Blogsot blog and link to it from your blog post (e.g a PDF document).

I will share another example case where nothing much is in control of the publisher.

Let us assume that I have a blog which is monetized using Google Adsense. I found a really interesting story on another site, wrote a response post on my blog and linked to the source. I also linked to one of his PDF report that his hosted on his web server.

5 years later, the owner of that site decided to not keep the PDF file on his website and he uploaded that file to a third party download server (e.g Rapidshare, Mediafire). Additionally, he did a 301 permanent redirect of the PDF file in his server to the new location, now available on the third party download site. Here is the pictorial representation:

example-case

Now the question remains, what am I supposed to do? How would I know when someone changes the destination of a link that is, in some ways, beyond my control?

In the legal picture, it is the publishers fault. If it is your website, it is your responsibility to maintain it, perform quality checks and provide a good user experience. And if you are using Google Adsense, you have to make sure you’re not breaking the rules, whether directly or indirectly. But as you would agree, it is impossible to scan and check all those links every other week, especially if your website is large and has thousands of pages or blog posts.

The only option we have is to perform a credibility check before linking to any external website or blog:

  • Is this source considered an authority in its subject?
  • How frequently this site updates?
  • Who is writing the stories? Check the Twitter and Facebook profile of the author, see whether his words are authentic or fake.
  • Have you seen any other mention of the site on another reputed blog or news directory? e.g Techmeme, Google News.

I also recommend using Xenu link sleuth to scan all external links and check their destination once in a while. The way Google enforces ban on Adsense publishers is very scary and other than fixing things on your side, you’ve no other choice.

The expectation that Google will always send a warning email, is equivalent to “Titanic can’t sink”.

Further reading:
1. Google Adsense new application procedure
2. Tips and tricks to grow your Adsense income.

Google Pad Coming Up In July

Google had initially planned to launch an iPad competitor in May, but the release of that device has been delayed till at least July to give it a competitive price. Said to be priced at around $200 (down from the original $250), this device is almost a steal when compared to the reduced-price iPad versions.

There were always strong rumors about Google releasing its tablet in the first half of this year. Currently,  the company plans to seek approval from Chinese authorities to go ahead and use Motorola facilities to manufacture hardware products that it will release in future.d to the reduced-price iPad versions. As Google already offers phones co-
stared by Samsung, moving into the tablet market will not be a random move as it partners with Asus in this venture.

Techie-buzz has already broken the news that the tablet will be available through the Google online tablet stores. Google has recently rebranded their market place as Google Play, which collates its app stores, ebook stores, and so on. As its ecosystem is setting up, hopefully, this product will not be a fiasco like the Google phone (though there are claims that it was a pilot test for Google anyway). It remains to be seen if that product was just a dry run for mass deployment of future Google hardware products.

Some features that are rumored to be part of the Google tablet are:

  • 7-inch display
  • Wifi
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor (or dual-core processor)

The question on my mind is on which features will Google compromise on save costs; the hardware quality or the processor?

This device would also be a strong competitor for the Kindle Fire. It seems to target the market segment where volume sales are a higher priority than quality features (as is the iPad’s focus). It is already hard enough for other devices like the Kindle Fire to even come close to matching the iPad’s popularity primarily because of its lack of hardware features like the camera, in addition to the relatively smaller repository of apps. It remains to be seen what the “Google Pad” will bring to the market.

Sprint Rolling Out Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich Update For The Nexus S 4G

Last weekend, the folks over at BriefMobile had leaked the official Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich version of the Nexus S 4G. If you own a Nexus S 4G, and have not yet installed the leaked update on your phone until now but are planning on doing so, wait! Beginning from today, Sprint has officially started rolling out the Android 4.0.4 update for the Nexus S 4G.

The NS 4G never got the original Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update, so quite a lot of users will be jumping directly from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0.4. For the unknown, the Android 4.0 update is possibly the biggest update ever in the history of this open-source mobile OS.

The ICS update includes a new and polished UI, GPU rendering, a new launcher with a sliding menu drawer, the ability to monitor data usage of individual apps, Android Beam, Holo theme for apps, a new and enhanced notification bar, new lock screen, a new camera app, an enhanced version of the Contacts app known as the People’s app, a new multi-tasking UI and a magazine like swipe UI throughout the OS.

If you have not already received the OTA update from Sprint on your handset, it should pop-up on your handset in the next few days.

 

Google Announces its New Augmented Reality Glasses

Remember the ultra-futuristic Google Goggles we had reported a couple of months back? Well, they just moved a couple of steps closer towards becoming a reality. A short while back, Google officially acknowledged the existence of the top-secret project, and offered the world a glimpse of its grand vision. Check out the somewhat poetically titled Project Glass video embedded below.

We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t.

A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.

Google-Glass-Male

Initial speculation had suggested that Google Glass is going to be similar to an Oakley Thump. Thankfully, the design that Google showed off today is a lot more slick and practical. The new pictures suggest that Google Glass is simply going to be a heads up display (HUD) instead of a full on goggles. As far as functionality is concerned, Google Glass behaves like something right out of a sci-fi flick. Google will tap into several of its services to power the glasses. Google Maps, Latitude, Gmail, Calendar, Picasa, GTalk are some of the obvious ones.

Google-Glass-Female

I would absolutely love to get my hands on one of these uber-geeky gadgets. However, whether or not I will use it daily is another question. For the gadget to be practical, Google will have to make it reliable, intuitive, and unobtrusive.

Google Rolls Out Host Of Innovative Features As The Month Starts Off With A Bang!

Google is awesome! You already knew that, but there is new reason to think so! Google is ushering in the future. The newest innovation from Google will allow you to experience infinite possibilities, be it using your mobile phone (Android) or your laptop(Google Chrome) or just the good old reliable Google Search Engine. Here’s everything you need to know in order to get on this brand new bandwagon!

Gmail Tap – The Smartest Way to get the maximum out of your smart phone!

The basic problem that Google wanted to address is the pet peeve of every smartphone user – and there are a lot of those guys now. So here’s Google’s solution – you just use two buttons. What can be simpler than that?

A new app will allow you to use Morse code to write actual words. Each letter or digit is represented by a specific sequence of dots-and-dashes. On the screen you’ll see two large buttons, one for the dot and the other for the dash. Then on, it’s just two fingers to type out an entire text within a few seconds. Of course, there is a spacebar and a backspace key too. You even have a way to access the original QWERTY keyboard. Sure, Gmail Tap will require a bit of practise, but then, once you’re set, you’ll be blazing away.

This is the interface. Note the dual key set on the right, meant exclusively for power users.

There is also an option of dual tap – the advanced version of this app, made exclusively for power users (Picture above, right). This will create another set of buttons – dot, dash, space etc. – which will allow you to use two hands simultaneously, doubling your typing speed! Now, ain’t that cool?

Says David Brooks, Communication Services, Google :

You can say two things with your finger, that your mouth can say only one of!

Here’s the promo page: https://mail.google.com/mail/help/promos/tap/index.html
And here’s the download link: https://mail.google.com/mail/help/promos/tap/download.html

Google’s Really Advanced Search

Google, the synonym for internet search, just got more synonymous with internet search. In a wonderful new move, Google introduced the Really Advanced Search loaded with features you’d have to think really hard to come up with! Genius these guys!

So what’s new, you ask? Obviously, you have to enter the search phrase. Then, you can enter various other fields that might be useful to Google for providing you with just the information you’re looking for. You might enter a slang with the search word, or an innuendo. What do you do when you want to search a sentence you read the other day, but just can’t recollect? Just enter the phrases and you’ll be greeted with the results!

Of course, being really advanced, you can narrow down the search results by providing any grammatical faux pas that someone made or even by putting in the chromatic number of the background. In addition to all this, Google will definitely allow you to tickle a unicorn or search out things by their odour, thus fulfilling your long-time need for a virtual dog.

Really Advanced Search Team: https://www.google.com/js/reallyadvanced.html

Multi-tasking Mice

Google Chrome now uses two mice, instead of one. Why? The philosophy is quite simple really! Google realises that you use just one of your hands, instead of two. So that you can use both, you can now go to the Chrome Multitask Mode where you can use two mouse cursors, instead of the ordinary one. Now, two people can use the same computer. Again, it’ll take a bit of time to get used to, but you’ll soon grow into it, becoming a pro very soon!

Chrome Multitasking Mode is something to grow into. I am hooked!

Promo Video: https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/multitask.html
Try Chrome Multitask Mode: https://www.google.com/chrome/multitask.html

Simply brilliant from Google!

Or it would be, if any of this were true. If you haven’t realized this as yet, this entire post has been an April Fool Joke. Of course, we are just riding piggy back on Google. Do have fun clicking on the links and forwarding the news of the latest breathtaking innovations from Google. And don’t forget to laugh!

Happy April Fools’ Day Everyone!

Google Drive to Offer 5 GB of Free Online Storage

Google’s free cloud based storage service – Google Drive – has been rumored to be in development since years now. However, speculation that it may finally be close to launch has intensified in the last week, after a report by GigaOM stated that it will be launched in April 2012.

While the report stated that it will offer 1 GB of free storage – much less than what Dropbox or Microsoft Skydrive offer, a new leaked screenshot by TalkAndroid suggests that Google Drive will offer 5 GB of free online storage to all users. It also says that it may be launched on April 16.

By offering 5 GB, Google Drive is offering much more than Dropbox officially does, but only a fifth of what Skydrive offers.

Google Drive will work on desktop, tablets, mobiles and also have a web based interface at drive.google.com (which currently throws a 404 error).

It will also offer integration with Google Docs and Google Apps, and will be targeted at individual users, as well as small businesses with multi-user support. It may also be integrated with all Android smartphones going forward, to boost market share and make it the default option for the average Joe.

Google Drive

Google Planning to Launch Online Tablet Store

Google may be planning to launch its own online tablet store, according to a report by the WSJ.

Google is rumored to be working on its own Nexus tablets, to target the budget segment and capture more share of the tablet market, since it clearly hasn’t been able to do very well in competing with the iPad in the premium segment.

Speculation suggests that it may sell not only its own Nexus tablets, but also other co-branded tablets directly to consumers through its store.

With its Motorola acquisition, Google now has the capabilities to manufacture its own hardware, besides working with hardware partners.

Google has tried the direct online sales model before in the smartphone market, with the Nexus One, but it didn’t do very well in the U.S., where most smartphone sales are driven by carriers. However, the tablet market is quite different, with sales driven by retailers.

Like smartphones, Google doesn’t intend to make money directly from tablet sales, but by mobile advertising on tablet devices. Having an online store will allow it to lower costs, and offer its tablets for even lower.

Unlike the smartphone market, which is currently dominated by Android, Google has failed to capture much market share in the tablet space, which is still ruled by the Apple iPad.

With Windows 8 still months away from launch, Google has a good window of opportunity to capture a majority market share at least in the budget segment.

Why Android Tablet Makers are Screwed and Apple Will Have the Last Laugh

Working title: Why Android Tablet Makers are Screwed and Apple Will Continue to Capture Most of the Tablet Industry’s Profits

It’s clear now that Apple is positioning the iPad as a reasonably priced tablet, which provides the best experience to users. Initially, almost all Android tablets were priced much higher than the iPad, but once that strategy failed, most of them are now focusing on the budget segment to capture tablet market share.

The iPad, which was one of the best priced tablet just a couple of quarters ago, now seems like one of the most relatively expensive ones. However, it remains one of the most low priced Apple products, and the best tablet you can buy. This is why despite the flood of cheap Android tablets, Apple still commands a majority market share, and an even higher proportion of the tablet industry’s total profits.

Apple iPad
The iPad. Being smug. Rightfully though.

Amazon was the first tablet maker to kick off the race to the bottom, with the $200 Kindle Fire. It has been a hit in terms of sales, but has weighed on Amazon’s profit margins, with Amazon taking a small loss on each sale.

Now, almost everyone is competing with each other to launch a cheaper Android tablet. Google itself is rumored to be working on a $199 Nexus tablet, which would force other tablet makers to price their products even lower. Once you start competing on price, with no other differentiating feature, it doesn’t take long for the whole segment to become loss making as a whole.

The only tablet maker which isn’t competing on price is Apple, and they don’t really need to, with iPads selling like hot cakes, and selling way more than all Android tablets combined, despite being priced much higher.

Windows 8 is still at least 6 months away from launch, and Windows 8 tablets will likely be priced higher than the entry level iPad, which now starts at $399.

In the meanwhile, while Android tablet app support remains pathetic, Apple continues to improve the iPad ecosystem, further bolstering its position as the best tablet on the market, increasing the gap between the iPad and every other tablet on the market.

This is why, despite having a lower profit margin for the iPad relative to its other products, Apple seems to be the only tablet maker which can remain largely profitable in the long run, while Android tablet makers fight amongst themselves and bleed each other with losses, with only a few biggies like Samsung and HTC possibly standing till the end.

PS: Even Amazon is positioned well, as it never intended to make money by selling the Kindle Fire hardware, but on digital content that it could sell to Kindle Fire users. Most other Android tablet makers are screwed, because selling hardware is the only way they intend to make money, and that seems to be a game in which the only winning move is to not play at all.

Amazon Kindle Fire
This little guy spoiled it for everyone. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Facebook to Go Public in May

Facebook which filed its S-1 statement with the SEC on February 1, is planning to go public in May, according to a report by the WSJ.

Facebook’s IPO is expected to be the biggest internet IPOs of all time. It is aiming to raise $10 billion at a valuation of around $100 billion. It generated $3.7 billion in revenue in 2011, with a net profit of around $1 billion. Its earnings are expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years, as it monetizes its massive user base of more than 845 million users more effectively.

Facebook also halted trading of its shares on the secondary market earlier this week, which sparked off speculation that the IPO may be very near.

Facebook’s IPO is expected to create more than a 1000 new millionaires, with most of its early employees and executives hitting pay dirt. We could see the emergence of the Facebook Mafia, which would spark off the next wave of startups and boost angel investing in the valley.

We should also see more patent litigation activity against Facebook, right before its IPO, from the likes of Yahoo and others looking to make a quick buck.

Here are some interesting facts about Facebook’s IPO – Facebook IPO: Here’s What You Need to Know

Google Drive May Finally Be Coming in April 2012

Google’s rumored cloud storage service – Google Drive – has reportedly been in development since 2006, with rumors of an imminent launch surfacing every 2-3 months. However, according to a report by GigaOM, it may finally be launched this April.

Google’s Gdrive will reportedly offer 1 GB of free storage, and charge for additional space, which is less than what Dropbox or Microsoft’s Skydrive offer.

It will come with a local client for all major platforms, and also support a web based interface which will be similar to the Google Docs interface. It may be integrated with Google Apps and Google Docs, with multi-user support, and sync capabilities across multiple devices.

To maximize its reach, Google may bundle it with Android devices.

Google has been too late to this space, which it could have easily dominated had it launched something a couple of years ago.

While Google Drive may not generate a lot of revenue directly for Google, it may help it gather more data about users, and improve its search results in some way.

With its massive data centers lined up across the globe, it is one of the few tech giants which could provide cloud storage services at a low cost. It will be interesting to see how Dropbox, Box and other competitors respond to Google’s entry in the space.

Google I/O 2012 Completely Sold Out in 20 Minutes

Google I/O 2012, one of the most awaited developer conferences of the year, opened the doors for registration today, and has sold out completely in aroudn 20 minutes.

Vic Gundotra of Google confirmed this in a post on Google Plus:

Google I/O has officially sold out! It took just a bit over 20 minutes!

The Google I/O event had sold out completely in less than an hour last year. This year, it has sold out in around a third of that. The only other conference that could rival Google I/O in terms of developer frenzy would be the Apple WWDC.

Vic also added:

While we’re overwhelmed with the interest and enthusiasm around Google I/O, we know it can be very disappointing and frustrating when an event sells out this quickly.

So here is what we are going to do:

1) Keynote will be streamed live
2) All key sessions will be streamed live
3) All session videos will be available after 24 hours
4) Google I/O Extended viewing parties will be happening all over the world

One of the main reason why Google I/O sells out so quickly is because it gives away a lot of swag at the event, including free devices. At Google I/O 2011, it gave away a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to all attendees. In 2010, it distributed the HTC EVO 4G, and in 2009, it gave away the Google Ion smartphone. Since the value of the free devices is more than the price of registration, the event attracts a lot of scalpers who flood the event at the expense of developers.

Google I/O 2012 will be held from June 27 to June 29, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Attendees could possibly get the Nexus Tablet, which is rumored to be launched this year.

 

Microsoft Aiming to Bring All Top Apps to Windows Phone

Despite having more than 70,000 apps, Microsoft’s Windows Phone is still far behind Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android in terms of sheer numbers. That is probably the biggest hurdle that Microsoft needs to cross, now that it seems to have figured the hardware conundrum, with its new focus on budget smartphones with Tango.

Microsoft has been surprisingly friendly to Windows Phone developers until now, and apparently has plans to become even more friendly, to attract more of them to its platform.

Nokia and Microsoft will be spending up to $12 million each to fund a new program called AppCampus at Aalto University in Finland. They will fund app developers who build apps for Windows Phone, as well as other Nokia platforms.

More details about Microsoft’s plans to address the lack of top apps were revealed in some leaked slides today. Apparently, Microsoft plans to set aside $10 million and use it to “ring-fence” top iOS and Android app developers who aren’t currently building for Windows Phone. Even if Microsoft isn’t able to match the numbers of iOS or Android, if it is able to get the top apps to Windows Phone, that might do it for most users. It also plans to reduce average app pricing to bring it in line with other platforms, and try to offer more exclusive titles on Windows Phone.

Microsoft plans to bridge the gap in terms of top apps by Q2 2012. We should know how it works out in the next three months.

Go Dev Team Releases Go Backup; Titanium Backup Just Got a Very Serious Competitor!

Despite’s Android ‘open’ nature, there is no way for non-rooted Android handset owners to make a complete backup of their phone’s data. To take a complete backup of your Android handset, including your installed apps along with its data, users must have root access on their handset.

Titanium Backup is the app for all rooted users to make a backup of their phone. The app is one of the most popular paid apps in the Android Market, and is updated frequently. Sadly, Titanium Backup is not an all in one backup solution since it does not make a backup of user’s personal data like contacts and SMS’s.

Last week, the popular Go Dev team has released a new app in the Android Market, which looks to dethrone Titanium Backup from its position. The app, GO Backup, allows users to make a complete backup of their contacts, SMS, installed apps (only for rooted users) and much more. Another advantage of the app is its ability to backup the settings and preferences of any other Go app installed on your system, which will definitely be appreciated by Go app users.

Two of the biggest advantages of GO Backup over Titanium Backup are its UI and price. Unlike Titanium Backup, which looks down right horrible and confusing, GO Backup has a very polished UI and is very easy to use. The final nail in the coffin of Titanium Backup by the Go Locker is its price – Free. Yes, like every other Go app released by the Go. Dev team, even GO Locker is available as a free download!

Asus Wants to Be the Top Tablet Maker… After Apple

Samsung is currently the top Android tablet maker, thanks to its assortment of Galaxy tablets of various hardware configurations and sizes. However, Asus is aiming to become the top non-Apple tablet maker.

Asus has seen some amount of success with the Transformer and Transformer Prime tablets, which have been appreciated for their innovative form factors. It is rumored to be the manufacturer of the upcoming Google Nexus tablet, which will be a budget Android tablet priced at $149 to $199.

With the Nexus tablet, Google plans to regain control of budget tablet market, which is currently dominated by Amazon and Chinese tablet manufacturers who don’t use Google’s official version of Android, contributing to further Android fragmentation.

While Apple dominates the tablet market by a huge margin, there is no other competitor with a significant market share. With the Nexus tablet and Google’s backing, Asus has a good chance of becoming the #2 tablet maker globally.

Microsoft also plans to launch Windows 8 by summer 2012, with devices launching starting October 2012. It will probably compete with Apple in the premium tablet segment, as there is unlikely that any manufacturer will launch $200 Windows 8 tablets, at least initially.

It’s interesting how most tablet makers are realistically aiming for the number two spot in the tablet market. With Apple’s brilliant operational setup and economy of scale, it is almost impossible to beat it on price while offering a tablet nearly as good as the iPad, even if they sacrifice Apple’s generous profit margin.