Share those friends and family party photos!

Share those friends and family photos!

You know the deal: everyone shows up at a priceless family party and takes tons of photos, each on their own phone (or worse, for each group shot, 10 different phones take turns at shooting the picture).  Unfortunately, when the party is over, all you end up with are your own photos.

Google is attempting to solve this problem by allowing you to create “shared albums”.  Send your friends a link via email or text and they can easily all add their photos to one place.  Let’s hope this works!


Sharing photos and videos between friends and family after your birthday bash or holiday gathering shouldn’t be difficult. But between the great shots your brother has buried on his iPhone and that friend who keeps forgetting to email you her pics, you’re often left reliving the event through just the photos and videos you took yourself.

Source: Official Google Blog: Shared memories made easy with Google Photos

Improved Google Drive Search is here

Google Drive/Apps users rejoice!  Search is improved. Just click on the dropdown in the Search box and you’ll see lots of new options, including the ability to separate searching of the file name vs. content in the file.

I still wish I could search within a folder only (for those of us still stuck in folder paradigms) but this is a marked improvement. Check it out.


Source: Google Drive Blog: Because it’s gotta be super easy to find your files

Chrome Browser on Android reduced mobile data usage up to 70%

Back in the good ‘ol Internet days of dial-up, a common trick was to turn off graphics in the browser by default and only once you arrived at the desired page would you manually press a button and show all the graphics. (Anyone remember Netscape?)

Well, what was new in the ’90s is once again new in the ’10s.  The latest Chrome browser on Android essentially lets you do the same thing. You’ll not only save on your data plan by not downloading images you don’t really care to see anyway, but in addition you’ll get lightning fast downloads of websites since you’re only pulling down the text.

All we need now is the Macarena playing in the background to give us that complete 90s experience.


Straight from Google’s blog:

Now, we’re updating this mode to save even more data – up to 70 percent! – by removing most images when loading a page on a slow connection. After the page has loaded, you can tap to show all images or just the individual ones you want, making the web faster and cheaper to access on slow connections.

Source: Google Chrome Blog: A new way to save data with Chrome on Android

Chrome now lets you mute a tab and all its annoying sounds.

My biggest pet peeve online is when a background tab suddenly starts playing some kind of video ad (with sound) or even worse, starts playing lousy music.

Your only choice was to mute your whole computer. No longer!  If you’re using the version 46 or greater of Chrome, just right-click on the tab and you can mute it. Yippie!

Now instead of hunting for the mute button on autoplaying videos or looking for the audio player on the website of that restaurant who feels the need for mood music, you can just right-click on the guilty tab, select mute, and kill sound on the entire page.

Source: Chrome now lets you mute individual tabs | The Verge

Google Hangouts easier, faster: no need Google+ or Gmail


I’m a huge fan of Google Hangouts and use them any time I need a video connection. Hangouts are fabulous for holding meetings where you want the face to face connection.  The only problem was that actually starting Hangout required  traversing a labyrinth of clicks.

That’s no longer the case. Now, you just go to and get started. Finally!

The only requirement is that you have a Google Account. You don’t need to have a Gmail address; you can register your existing email address as a Google account.

If you have the webcam hardware and haven’t tried videoconferencing, you don’t know what you’re missing. If you have used Google Hangouts in the past, it’s now easier than ever to start a Hangout.


Do it!

Send that Google Map location to your iphone

Google Maps iPhone users can rejoice.  Next time you’re at your desk and you find that restaurant on Google maps, just send it to your iPhone, jump in your car, and let the sexy voice nav lady take over.

The latest version of Google Maps, now in the App Store, lets you send any place you search for with Google Maps on your desktop browser right to an iPhone or iPad. Your phone receives it as a notifcation, and once you tap on it, the mobile app will automatically take you to that spot.

Source: Google Maps now lets you send places from desktop to your iPhone | The Verge

You won’t be disappointed with Google Photos

I’ve been using Google Photos for only a few days and I’m already hooked on it. This is much, much more than a photo uploading service. Once uploaded, you can browse your collection according to people (via facial recognition), places, and even events.  I love the added feature whereby it attempts to create animations when you take a few photos in one spot.

It’s a must. Get it, use it, love it!  Mossberg’s review below goes into great detail.

The new Google Photos brings the company’s expertise in artificial intelligence, data mining and machine learning to bear on the task of storing, organizing and finding your photos. And that, combined with its cross-platform approach, makes it the best of breed.

Source: Google Photos: The Mossberg Review | Re/code

Google Mobile Phone Service coming to Hawaii?

While it’s not in Hawaii yet, bringing more choices to Hawaii is always a good thing for consumers.

Hawaii regulators have granted permission to a subsidiary of Google Inc. to provide its new wireless phone service in Hawaii as part of a nationwide plan, according to a public filing this week.

Source: Google gets approval to offer mobile phone service in Hawaii – Pacific Business News

Store all your photos online, free, with Google

We live in a digital photo world, snapping hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures per month. You can safely back them all up, for free. Nice job, Google!

With Google Photos, you can now backup and store unlimited, high-quality photos and videos, for free. We maintain the original resolution up to 16MP for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos, and store compressed versions of the photos and videos in beautiful, print-quality resolution.

Source: Official Google Blog: Picture this: A fresh approach to Photos

This may be the next car that drives you around town

A world of self-driving cars is right around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited. Google’s car is going to start driving itself on public streets and it will have a “safety driver” aboard to take over if anything goes wrong.

Each prototype’s speed is capped at a neighborhood-friendly 25mph, and during this next phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed.

Source: Official Google Blog: Green lights for our self-driving vehicle prototypes