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Dorothy Allen

Dorothy Allen

It's a cold, hard fact: Apple iPhone owners spend a lot more money on apps than people with phones running Google Android.

The net result is that it's increasingly uncommon to find a developer who only works with Android.

The massive reach of Google's Android operating system is good, but it's almost always better to hedge your bets with a web browser or iPhone app, as well, if you actually want to make money.

That's why a cheer went up from the crowd at this week's Google I/O conference when the search giant announced a huge upgrade to its Firebase product — a popular service, now with 450,000 users, that provides the crucial behind-the-scenes plumbing for iPhone, Android, and web apps.

That update brings lots of new features, many of which will make life easier (and more profitable) for developers. That includes a new Firebase Analytics product, the evolution of the popular Google Analytics, and a bunch more features that bring Firebase into parity with its soon-discontinued competitor Facebook Parse. Plus, it's now completely free.

It's a smart move that turns a weakness — the difficulty making money from Android apps — into a potential strength for Google and its increasingly important cloud computing business.

Unification

"This has been a massive effort across the company to unify our efforts for app developers," Google analytics head Russ Ketchum tells Business Insider. "The result is that Firebase is now these full suite of integrated products designed to help developers build their apps, grow their user base, and earn more money."

The Firebase sales pitch is simple: Developers may have a lot of skill at building slick, sweet, interactive apps for the smartphone and the web. But those skills don't necessarily translate into maintaining the server infrastructure that an app needs on the backend for stuff like storing user data or sending push notifications.

Facebook's popular Parse service used to do much of that, before the social network announced that they were shutting it down in 2017. With these upgrades, Firebase now does everything that Parse used to, plus its original killer feature of super-speedy database synchronization across devices.

Real genius

The real genius, though, is that Firebase can act as kind of a gateway to the Google Cloud Platform, where customers can rent supercomputing power and services from the search giant just by punching in a credit card.

After all, Firebase is simple and powerful, but it won't be enough for every app. At a certain point, some customers are going to need some extra juice and flexibility. When that threshold is passed, it's designed to be easy to go from Firebase to the more robust, but more technically-demanding, Google Cloud Platform.

google firebase features

The official chart of Google Firebase features.

Maybe not every Firebase customer will upgrade to Google Cloud Platform. But to go back to Android apps, the situation is kind of like Clash of Clans on Android: Not every player needs to spend money to make it a smash hit; only a relatively few spending a lot of money make the whole enterprise worthwhile.

And so, it gives Google a path to cloud revenue growth, whether developers are writing their apps for Android, iOS, or just the web browser. No matter where they are, or whether or not they're making money from the Android app store, Google will help developers now, in the hopes that they pay up later.

Source:  http://www.businessinsider.com/google-launches-firebase-analytics-2016-5

Purchases on Google testing continues, Product Listing Ads are getting access to more inventory and brick-and-mortar retailers running local inventory ads see some new features. These are among the announcements from Google at Shoptalk in Las Vegas on Monday.

 

Product Listing Ads in image search

Ads in Google image search first started appearing in the fourth quarter of last year. First noticed by Merkle, the ads are officially launching Monday. On mobile, they display in a carousel format above the organic images. Image search is considered part of the Google Search Network. If your Shopping campaign is opted in to Search partners, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) will automatically be eligible to show in image search results.

 

 

google plas in image search

 

 

Store pickup promotion in Local Inventory Ads


Retailers using Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) can now include a “store pickup” link for shoppers who want to buy online and pick up their orders in store. The option appears on the local product landing page hosted by Google after a user clicks on an LIA.

 

Inventory search from local Knowledge Panel
Also new for advertisers running local inventory ads, users will be able to click a “Search items at this store” link in the retailer’s local Knowledge Panel to see whether particular items are in stock at their local stores.

 

 

local inventory search for local inventroy ads

 

 

Update on Purchases on Google


There isn’t any news here other than to say the pilot is still alive. Google launched the test for Purchases on Google — the “buy button” feature that allows users to buy products right from a product listing ad on their phones through a commerce experience hosted by Google — last July. Google said on Monday that Ralph Lauren, Ugg, Staples and others are continuing to test Purchases on Google.

 

Faisal Masud, EVP of Global E-Commerce at Staples, says 95 percent of Staples products are now included in Purchases on Google.

 

John Kalinich, senior vice president, global digital commerce at Deckers Brands, told Google that UGG is seeing a nearly 50-percent increase in conversion rates with Purchases on Google and a 25-percent lower cost per conversion compared to mobile PLAs.

 

Source: http://searchengineland.com/google-shopping-image-search-local-inventory-buy-button-249647

 

 

 

 

 

Movidius on Wednesday announced that it's working with Google to put deep learning on mobile devices.

 

Google will source Movidius' latest flagship chip -- the MA2450 -- and software development environment, and will contribute to Movidius' neural network technology road map in return.

 

That could result in smartphones and other mobile devices that will be able to understand images and audio swiftly and accurately.

 

The Movidius Technology

 

The MA2450 is the most powerful iteration of Movidius' Myriad 2 vision processor unit, which the company said is the only commercial solution available to perform complex neural network computations.

 

The Myriad 2 is the first always-on vision processor, Movidius said.

 

It has a programmable architecture and comes with the Myriad Development Kit, or MDK, which includes a software development framework. That lets developers incorporate proprietary functions and build arbitrary processing pipelines while leveraging the vision, imaging, and linear algebra software libraries and reference vision processing pipeline examples Movidius provides, all as source code.

 

The MDK includes all necessary programming and debugging tools.

Movidius's Myriad VPU processor powers Google's Project Tango.

 

What to Expect

 

"We can expect to see run-time deep neural networks for speech-to-text, vision and many other smart machine applications running in phones, cameras, automobiles, medical devices and others because the DNN models can be downloaded and run disconnected from the cloud," Gartner Fellow Tom Austin said.

 

"Remember that working with Google on a project doesn't necessarily translate into products," cautioned Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research. "However, this has the potential for almost any device and extends well beyond just facial recognition; this is machine learning."

 

Facial recognition and retinal scans the technology enables "could significantly increase the level of security over fingerprints and even help identify people," he told TechNewsWorld.

 

Facial recognition could be used in two-factor authentication, and Google could bake it into Android as it did with fingerprint IDs, suggested Wayne Lam, a principal analyst at IHS Technology.

Google also could apply the technology to home security platforms, he told TechNewsWorld. "Think Nest and other IoT uses."

 

Potential Uses for the Technology

 

Banks will begin using smart machines widely, and a report Gartner's Austin co-authored suggests most banks will invest in six main types of smart machines during the next few years.

The smart machines resulting from Google's team-up with Movidius could make wireless banking more secure, he told TechNewsWorld.

 

Other possible uses include authenticating users or admins signing in remotely to an enterprise network, and tracking and authenticating users for security purposes and for provisioning or deprovisioning as needed.

 

"Facial recognition and retinal scans are much more secure and user-friendly than any of the more common security solutions," Tirias Research's McGregor said. "This could allow users to log in and begin using platforms in a secure manner effortlessly."

 

The technology also could be used in wearables and industrial applications in the medical and industrial automation fields, where the Internet of Things might come into play, he suggested.

 

A New Trend Emerges

 

"This capability is not limited to the Movidius solution," McGregor pointed out. "Qualcomm is doing it in conjunction with its image signal processor, and this could be done within most SoCs by leveraging the ISP, DSP, GPU, VPU and CPU resources."

 

Microsoft, Apple "and a whole range of social sites like Facebook, ... Amazon, Baidu, IBM and a few thousand other firms" might follow suit, Gartner's Austin suggested.

 

As global smartphone sales slow, noted IHS's Lam, "we'll see more and more efforts to create differentiated value for platforms such as Android and iOS just to keep up with the furious pace of competition and innovations."

 

Source:  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/83052.html

The French data protection authority said it has fined Google (GOOGL.O) 100,000 euros ($111,720) for not scrubbing web search results widely enough in response to a European privacy ruling.

The only way for Google to uphold the Europeans' right to privacy was by delisting inaccurate results popping up under name searches across all its websites, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) said in a statement on Thursday.

In May 2014 the European Court of Justice ruled that people could ask search engines, such as Google and Microsoft's Bing (MSFT.O), to remove inadequate or irrelevant information from web results appearing under searches for people's names - dubbed the "right to be forgotten".

 
 
 

The U.S. Internet giant has been at odds with European Union data protection authorities over the territorial scope of the ruling.

Google complied, but it only scrubbed results across its European websites such as Google.de in Germany and Google.fr in France on the grounds that to do otherwise would have a chilling effect on the free flow of information.

In May last year the CNIL ordered Google to expand its application of the ruling to all its domains, including Google.com, because of the ease of switching from a European domain to Google.com.

"Contrary to Google's statements, applying delisting to all of the extensions does not curtail freedom of expression insofar as it does not entail any deletion of content from the Internet," the CNIL said.

A spokesman for Google, now a unit of holding company Alphabet Inc, said the company had worked hard to implement the "right to be forgotten ruling thoughtfully and comprehensively in Europe."

"But as a matter of principle, we disagree with the CNIL’s assertion that it has the authority to control the content that people can access outside France, and we plan to appeal their ruling," Al Verney, Google's spokesman, said.

The company did try to assuage the regulator's concerns in February by delisting search results across all its websites - including Google.com - when accessed from the country where the request came from.

That meant that if a German resident asks Google to de-list a link popping up under searches for his or her name, the link will not be visible on any version of Google's website, including Google.com, when the search engine is accessed from Germany.

But the CNIL rejected that approach, saying that a person's right to privacy could not depend on the "geographic origin of those viewing the search results."

"Only delisting on all of the search engine's extensions, regardless of the extension used or the geographic origin of the person performing the search, can effectively uphold this right," it said.

($1 = 0.8951 euros)

Source:  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-google-france-privacy-idUSKCN0WQ1WX

 

In today’s ever-changing, fast-paced digital world, information overload is the name and stress is the game.

When it comes to handling workloads, many of us are faced with a seemingly unsolvable conundrum: How do you complete all of your personal and work-related tasks on time without going crazy?

The abundance of information online that we’re drowning in is certainly a contributing factor to our (partially self-induced) stress problems. We are more connected than ever, which often means we can’t switch off from the constant stream of tasks that demand our attention.

Yet the internet also offers some solutions to reduce anxiety and beat the ticking clock. From communication, project management, and accounting to keeping your content close at hand and increasing your productivity, there are online tools that can spare you a headache or two. Here is a list of 28 to help you get your workload under control.

Masters of Communication

#1. SaneBox

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

What’s the archenemy of effective communication? Most people would probably vote for email. That’s why SaneBox exists. Over time, the service learns what emails are significant to you. Then, it filters out the emails you don’t need, so you can focus on the most important communication and get rid of the anxiety that comes from unanswered emails.

#2. Checker Plus for Gmail

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Checker Plus for Gmail substantially expands Gmail’s functionality in Chrome by providing not only pop-up notifications when someone opens your message, but also notifications for incoming correspondence. All this means you can sort your mailbox without ever having to open it. The best part is that you can use it with multiple Gmail accounts, so it takes away the strain of switching between different mailboxes.

#3. Followup.cc

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Both a Gmail plugin and a standalone app that gives you full control over the timing of your communication, Followup.cc is a salesperson’s best friend—and saves you a great deal of anxiety. How? You can take advantage of a variety of easy-to-set-up reminders to follow up with someone, not to mention a bunch of other highly customizable settings (group and personal notifications and cancel-on-first-response are just a few of them).

#4. Slack

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Working within a team can be complicated. Thankfully, Slack takes the pressure out of work-related communication by letting you upload and share documents and organize communication by topical channels. Plus, it integrates with practically all of your work tools.

#5. TeamViewer

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Another great solution for streamlining communication within a team isTeamViewer, which provides remote access and support for online group meetings. You can collaborate via the platform, plus easily transfer files. Access is possible from any browser or device, so it is as stress-free as it gets.

#6. Join.me

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Join.me promises better meetings for everyone, and there are good reasons to believe them. The service offers free screen sharing, video conferencing, and team collaboration, and the paid plans add advanced capabilities for an even better experience. Your team meetings will run more smoothly and online talks with clients will be more efficient with screen sharing and audio tools.

Organizing Like a Pro

#7. Asana

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

You’ve taken care of your personal, team, and customer communication, but organizing your work can be twice as hard. Asana is a project management app that boasts a constantly evolving interface. It helps make the lives of you and your team better—and less stressful—by allowing you to track your work and move ahead on projects together.

#8. Wunderlist

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

What about organizing your own tasks? Well, you don’t need to be a wunderkind to use Wunderlist. The easy-to-use app helps manage your tasks, plans, and errands. It has notifications built-in, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting crucial tasks. Just write it down in the app, straight from your mobile device.

#9. Thrive Day Planner

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

How can you organize your day like a pro? The Thrive Day Planner was created for business owners and entrepreneurs to set major goals so you don’t get bogged down by day-to-day responsibilities. The Planner promises to help you grow your business while you do the things you love most.

#10. MyLifeOrganized

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

MyLifeOrganized is yet another nail in the coffin of procrastination and ineffectiveness: it claims to be the most flexible task management tool out there. Besides creating to-do lists, you can outline the hierarchies between tasks by breaking them into subtasks. You also get location reminders, plus the app syncs to the cloud.

#11. FullContact Card Reader

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Admittedly, the name FullContact Card Reader is not the most appealing at first glance, but the functionality of the app more than compensates for it. The app allows you to scan business cards and upload them into your Google and iPhone Contacts, as well as to more than 250 other places. If living with a pile of business cars on your desk is not your idea of happiness, it can save you a ton of time.

#12. Teamweek

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Teamweek is a sweet team project planning tool that adapts to the unpredictability of teamwork. It gives you a clear overview of what different team members are working on this week. This allows you to distribute work evenly among people, which means less pressure and smoother team operations. And let’s not forget: it’s accessible from any device.

Everything You Need for Your Written and Visual Content

#13. Evernote

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Evernote is the king of note-taking for both your business and individual needs. It improves your workflow by giving you a single place to keep all your text-based documents, so you don’t need to frantically browse through 10 different places to find that critical report. It is especially useful for taking notes during meetings, since you can easily add checklists and turn notes into tasks.

#14. MiniNote

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

If you don’t need extensive note storage, MiniNote is a checklist app that can do a great job for you. Visible yet unobtrusive, it stays right on your desktop screen and nudges you to take care of important tasks, while also protecting any information you input.

#15. Pocket

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Ever wanted to save an article to read later? Maybe you even added it to your browser bookmarks, but you never remembered to go back to find it. Pocketis here to change that. This digital library lets you save articles, videos, and whatever else you might find online, so you can view it later (online or offline) on any device.

#16. Hemingway App

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

If your daily work involves writing, the Hemingway App is your literary buddy that takes away the stress of sending out an error-filled document. The service identifies typos and grammatical errors, as well as other syntax issues in your content. By identifying phrases that are difficult to read and offering better alternatives, it ultimately makes your writing clearer. You can even see the readability grade of your piece.

#17. Pixlr Editor

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Do you need to quickly brush-up an image? Pixlr Editor is the best online tool for that. It is a browser-based photo editor that lets you create and edit images and optimize them for the web. It works with Photoshop PSD files and supports multiple layers. You can make everything from social media cover images to charts for a blog post in no time. And the best part? It’s free.

Accounting and Other Administrative Pains

#18. FreshBooks

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Who doesn’t hate accounting? Well, maybe accountants, but even that’s not always true. If you have a small business, FreshBooks can save you up to two days of paperwork each month. Also, you can track expenses, log time, and issue invoices. Having all these tools in one place instead of scattered throughout multiple places will reduce your stress.

#19. Freckle

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

If you can relate to the quote in the image, you might need to look intoFreckle. Known for being a “friendly online time tracking software”, it distances itself from that unpleasant feeling connected with inputting your work hours for the week. The solution is flexible and saves managers the pain of nagging employees to track their time.

#20. Toggl

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

It might be difficult to imagine how “timesheets” and “sexy” have anything to do with each other. But Toggl has achieved that, taking the strain out of time tracking. It claims to be an instant productivity booster, allowing for one-click time tracking for teams. You can even divide teams into separate user groups and color-code your projects.

#21. LastPass

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

We all know how hard it is to come up with a password that is both unique and strong enough to be secure. Thankfully, LastPass solves all your password problems by remembering them and filling in forms automatically, while keeping your sensitive data safe thanks to an encrypted master password.

#22. Dashlane

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Dashlane is another worthwhile solution for your password saving needs. With Dashlane, you can automatically log in to every website you have saved, on any device you might be using. This especially comes in handy for preventing the chaos that managing multiple accounts often leads to. Dashlane also monitors your security to keep your sensitive information safe.

Productivity Boosters

#23. Producteev

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Producteev is a task management software to keep your team organized and on the same page, while making sure your overarching goals don’t fall by the wayside. Its focus is on tracking the progress of individual tasks completed by different team members, so that overall productivity goes up, while stress levels plummet.

#24. IFTTT

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

The hardest part of using this tool is guessing what IFTTT stands for: “If This, Then That”. IFTTT connects the rest of your apps to ensure they work better together. It’s particularly useful for handling recurring tasks, so you can automate your own work processes. Not only will it improve your productivity, but also it will reduce the anxiety of managing multiple apps.

#25. TopTracker

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

TopTracker is more than just a time-tracking app: it enables you to create projects and track your productivity to see which areas still need work. Although it was originally made for the freelance community, it is convenient for anyone who wants to improve how they handle their workload.

#26. StayFocusd

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Multitasking may be killing your productivity, but taking a break from work to surf the web always brings temporary (albeit guilt-ridden) relief. Cut away the unhealthy habits with StayFocusd. This Google Chrome extension helps you in the battle with distractions by blocking websites from your browser for certain amounts of time so you can focus on your work. Bonus: there is a “nuclear” option, so you can block the whole internet if the need arises.

#27. RescueTime

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

With RescueTime, you can remove the distractions from your day for good, get a better understanding of your own working habits, and take advantage of your most productive times of day. RescueTime gives you a complete picture of your internet usage and work patterns, so you can regain control over your productivity once and for all.

#28. SERPS Redux

28 Online Tools to Streamline Your Workload and Decrease Stress | SEJ

Finally, if you deal with SEO on a regular basis, SERPS Redux will save you a lot of time by giving you links, titles, and HTML listings on your Google searches—and converting URLs from SERPs in a list that is much easier to use. Also, it helps you avoid extra manual work, enabling you to find the titles of pages that rank for your target keywords twice as fast.

So are you ready to cut down the amount of stress in your life? These tools alone can’t do it all for you, but they’re a great place to start. With their assistance, you can streamline your communication, manage your content output, take care of tedious tasks, get better organized, and boost your productivity. The sky is the limit.

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/28-online-tools-to-streamline-your-workload-and-decrease-stress/162746/?ver=162746X2

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