Yes, that’s not an iOS device, but the offline navigation feature works in a similar fashion on iOS devices.
If you happen to be spending this Christmas season travelling overseas without a mobile data plan, you might want to consider updating the Google Maps app on your iOS device to the latest version before you embark on your escapade, as it will allow you to download offline maps for future use.
Once downloaded, you’ll be able to search for local destinations (along with all their contact details and operating hours) and get turn-by-turn navigation without requiring an active Internet connection. And that means you won’t be needing to constantly depend on free Wi-Fi hotspots to get your bearings straight.
The good thing about these offline maps is that you won’t have to worry about them occupying too much of your iOS device’s internal storage over time, as they will automatically be deleted a month after you’ve downloaded them.
Google has already implemented offline navigation into the Android version of Google Maps last month, so there’s really no reason for you to end up losing your way in a foreign country anymore.
A new password-free system is currently being tested by a small group. The project, which was launched by Google, aims to remove what is often the weakest link of any login system, the password, while providing an alternative secure login method that is less troublesome than the current two-factor authentication.
The system is similar to Account Key launched by Yahoo, and once you boil it down, it actually isn’t all that different from the two-factor authentication. Here is how it works: When you log into your account, rather than entering your password, you select a button that sends a push notification to your phone. You then select the push notification, open the app, which asks you if you are attempting to log in. Once you approve the log-in on your phone, the account opens in your browser.
But what if your device is stolen or if your password has been phished? According to Google, your lock screen or Touch ID should be more than enough to activate your phone (You do lock your phone, don’t you?). As a pre-cautionary measure, Google also advises that you sign into your account from another device and remove account access from the device which you no longer in your possession of.
In April, Google unveiled Project Fi — a new wireless service the company claims will deliver faster speeds and better coverage with a unique, economical approach to pricing. Today, we’re going to take a look at what Google wants to do, and how they plan to pull it off.
What Is Project Fi?
Project Fi is Google’s effort to ensure that everyone has access to a high speed wireless network all the time. Because, even in today’s connected world, there are still times when we need information quickly but don’t have a fast enough connection to get it. Project Fi aims to make sure that never happens.
In addition to offering high-speed data service, Google also wants to make Fi more affordable, by billing differently than most mobile plans. Instead of paying for a monthly data plan, with outrageous fees if you exceed it, Google will charge you only for the data you actually use, at a predictable flat rate.
Don’t be mistaken, though: Project Fi is not a wireless carrier in the traditional sense. Google has made it very clear that it’s not interested in competing with established carriers. In fact, it has partnered with two of the top U.S. mobile carriers — Sprint and T-Mobile — to make Project Fi possible, and it relies on their towers for cellular connectivity.
How It Works
Project Fi is a network of networks. It makes sure you’re connected to the best possible network wherever you are. If you’re on Verizon’s network and Fi detects that Sprint has a stronger signal, you’ll be moved over to Sprint to give you the fastest available speed. Throughout a given day, you may be passed between two 4G LTE networks and various public WiFi hotspots — and, in theory, it will be totally seamless.
Project Fi makes heavy use of WiFi, connecting your device to “free, open networks that do not require any action to get connected.” So, as you step into the range of a public WiFi network, you’ll be automatically connected — and when the signal begins to weaken, you’ll be passed back over to the fastest available cellular network. And don’t worry: all data sent through open WiFi hotspots is secured through encryption.
Google also wants to make you device-independent. With Project Fi, your phone number “lives in the cloud.” You can call and text over WiFi, and you can talk, text, and check voicemail using your phone number on just about any device — Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, or Chromebook. In a sense, Project Fi is Google Voice’s big brother. In face, you’ll be asked to either use or throw out your Google Voice number when you sign up.
Project Fi takes a “fresh approach” to plans and pricing. There’s only one available plan, and it really couldn’t be much simpler. There’s no annual contract, and the charges are based on usage.
The first part of the plan, “Fi Basics,” costs $20 per month. This includes unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international text, “low-cost” international calls,Wi-Fi tethering, and coverage in more than 120 countries.
Beyond that, it’s $10 per gigabyte of data. That is, $10 for 1GB, $20 for 2GB, etc.
But wait — it gets more interesting. You only pay for the data you actually consume, and you’ll be credited for any rollover data in the next payment period. For example, if you’re on a 2GB data plan ($20/month) and only use 1GB in a particular month, you’ll get $10 back the following month.
What’s The Catch?
There’s no catch per se — but there are a couple of drawbacks for early adopters.
First and foremost, you have to have a Nexus 6. Google says it’s keeping Project Fi exclusive to Nexus 6 owners because the device supports a wide array of LTE networks. Users of other devices will have to wait, sadly.
Project Fi also only supports individual accounts at first, and there’s no support for family plans – for now, at least.
How To Sign Up
For the time being, Project Fi is an invite-only program — but you can get on the waiting list today! If you have a Nexus 6 and want to give Google’s network of networks a try, you can request an invite here.
Say you’re in a faraway place on holiday, and you’ll be there for less than a week. You have your first couple of days already packed with activities, and on the remaining day you decide to go to this famous restaurant that is said to blow the minds of even the pickiest of food connoisseurs. And when you get there, you’re greeted with a closed sign on the restaurant, leaving you and your traveling companions feeling gutted and miserable for what remains of the trip. This is inconvenient and frustrating to say the least, and each time it occurs is one time too many. Fortunately, Google intends to prevent this from happening with a recent update to Google Maps.
You’ll see this when you start your journey so you can decide if you want to call it off. This saves you from potential disappointment, and we all know we want to be saved from that dreaded feeling.
With the new update, Google Maps will now warn you if where you’re going to is going to be closed when you get there. This means taking into account the store of your destination’s operation hours and factoring in your travel time. You can dismiss the warning and continue heading there anyway if you’re just using the place as a landmark, or are meeting someone in the area instead of inside the store itself.
When you’re there, keep your location services active and you can ask Google about details on that place without specifying what that place is. The Google search box will take words like “here” or “this place” instead of proper nouns, as long as you’re in or near the place which details you are after. Here are some of the ways you can use this geocontextual features:
What is this museum?
When does this restaurant open?
How tall is this? (when standing next to a tower)
When was this built? (for monuments)
What’s the name of this church?
What’s the phone number for this pharmacy?
Unless you are using it in or near globally known landmarks, this may not always work here in Malaysia.
This may be a feature added in a previous Google app update, the rolling out process may be slow, and some countries – like Malaysia – may not be given the full blanket coverage yet, so expect some bummers when giving this one a go.
Emails are one of those things you double- and triple-check before you hit the ‘Send’ button. However careful you are though, the nature and definition of ‘accident’ dictates that every once in a blue moon, you will inadvertently send that cake recipe to your employer instead of your cousin, or send a rant about one of your colleagues to said colleague themselves, or send to a prospective employer an email without your CV attached. And then spend the next few seconds mumbling profanities repeatedly before denial kicks in, and you hope the unintended recipient missed the one you sent in the mountain of other mails that they have to deal with everyday.
Do you wish there was an undo button for emails?
If you use Gmail, there is now. Or rather, there has been for the past six years as part of Gmail Labs, only now it’s a regular part of Gmail. You can now tone down that strongly worded email that you sent and fix that misspelling that you only spotted immediately after you clicked on the ‘Send’ button.
So how do you make use of this panic button? Go to ‘Settings’ after signing into your Gmail account, and halfway through the list you will see the ‘Undo Send’ section. Enabling it gives you the option to choose between 5, 10, 20 and 30 seconds window of buffering. Save the changes and you should be good to go.
The next time you send an email and you have second thoughts immediately after, you’ll have the number of seconds you selected to hit the undo button and decide if you’re changing your mind about something. Remember that this undo feature only adds a delay between the time you hit the ‘Send’ button and when Gmail sends out the email. Gmail can’t take back mails that has already gone into the recipients’ inbox, so if it’s going to take more than 30 seconds before you notice something’s amiss with your mail, then you’re out of luck.
If you use this URL to open Gmail’s basic HTML interface, you’ll probably see this message:
“Do you really want to use HTML Gmail? You’re about to use a version of Gmail designed for slower connections and legacy browsers. To get all of Gmail’s features, including inbox categories, images, and quick actions, please use the latest version of Gmail (recommended).”
You can click “Take me to latest Gmail” or “I’d like to use HTML Gmail” if you really, really want to use it.
No, we’re not joking. Google is seriously proposing hot air ballon-powered internet access, and has already launched a pilot project in New Zealand with 50 testers trying to connect via a helium-filled, solar powered balloon. One of the Google[X] moonshot projects, there are a couple of videos embedded after the break explaining the issue, and the technology Google wants to use to address it. Project Loon’s playful logo reflects the custom designed antennas users will use to receive their signal from balloons floating twice as high as commercial airplanes fly. The signal goes from ground based antennas, up to the balloon, which use their high-altitude placement to broadcast much further than other methods. In the future, the company envisions cell phone users connecting to the balloons to extend service where none exists today.
According to Google, in “more than half” of the countries in the southern hemisphere and for two out of three people on earth, internet access is far too expensive. It’s trying to set up pilot projects in other countries on the same latitude as New Zealand, so interested 40th parallel south residents should forward this info to the appropriate officials immediately. Meanwhile, curious Kiwis can sign up to take part in the project on its website, or attend the Festival of Flight in Christchurch on Sunday to meet the team and learn more about it.
Update: Check out another video of the launch of the first balloons embedded after the break, shot via Google Glass by Trey Ratcliff and see even more photos on his site Stuck in Customs.
I lose my phone in more stupid places than I can possibly count. I seriously considered installing a landline so that I can call my phone the three times per day it goes missing. But Google just made something even better. Type three magic words into search, and you’ll find your missing handset.
Type “find my phone” into Google, and provided you’re logged into your browser with the same Google account as your phone, you’ll instantly get a map of its location, along with the option to ring it.
To get at more serious settings — like the option to wipe your phone, before anyone can Facebook those nudes — you’ll still need Android Device Manager installed. But if you’ve lost your phone down the back of the couch (or had a particularly immemorable night out), a Google browser is all you need from now on.
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries. It actually help you to monitoring the web for interesting new content that you request.
The tools a actually available for long time but may forgotten by most of us. Because of the content on the Internet is so much and we are too busy to reading or searching for new content that we are interested everyday, so an auto alert sent to our email is a best way to keep us update.
For example, you want to follow a celebrity news on the Web no matter on blog, news, or any other website, than you just create an alert regarding the celebrity name. If you want to follow every content regarding the Fifa world cup 2014, than you just create another alert regarding that, Google will send the alert and summary to your email once the search engine found any new content.
Some of the major usage for Google Alert are:
find out what is being said about their company or product.
monitor a developing news story.
keep up to date on a competitor or industry.
get the latest news on a celebrity or sports team.
find out what’s being said about themselves.
Alerts are pretty easy to set up, but in case you need a little help understanding the various options, take a look at this step-by-step guide.
Enter your search query. This would be exactly what you’d type into a Google Search box. And you can use the same search operators, too. So, for example, if you want to get an alert on the Fifa World Cup 2014, than just enter the keyword “Fifa world cup 2014”
Decide how often you want to receive this particular alert. Google can send you notifications once per day or once per week, but if you’re tracking a particularly important topic, you can choose “As-it-happens.” Be warned that this can result in a flood of e-mails. Fortunately, you can easily edit an Alert to reduce the frequency.
Choose between “all results” and “only the best results,” the latter giving you what Google thinks are the best matches to your query (kind of an expanded “I Feel Lucky”). Again, if one setting isn’t providing the kind of results you want, you can easily toggle to the other.
By default, Alerts will arrive via e-mail, but if you use an RSS reader, you can also choose Feed, then copy that feed to your reader.
With all your choices made, click Create Alert. You’ll immediately land at your Alert-management page, where you can edit or delete alerts as needed.
The desktop Google Search has a cool feature: search for [timer for 5 minutes] and you’ll see this interactive timer box. You can stop the timer, reset it and Google even has a notification sound you can disable.
Here are some examples of searches you can use: [set timer for 30 seconds], [set timer for 10 minutes and 10 seconds], [set timer for an hour and a half], [timer for 30 seconds], [timer 30 seconds], [timer 30 sec], [timer 23 hours 59 min 59 sec]. If you search for [set timer] or [timer], Google defaults to 5 minutes.