Google FINALLY Combines Google+ Photos and Drive Cloud Storage

It’s been a perplexing division. Uploading photos online to services like Google+, you get a bucket of cloud storage to use. Using a service like Drive, you get a bucket of cloud storage to use. Why have these been separate buckets?

Google is finally addressing and rectifying this division. Announced via the Google Drive Blog, now you can open your Drive app on Android and iOS, or jump into a web browser, where you will now find a new menu option for Photos. This also means you’ll have better tools for organizing your photos in folders.

After relying on services like OneDrive and DropBox, it seemed such a simple solution to organize files online, and now Google is finally joining the club.

You can read Google’s full press release below.

Continue reading “Google FINALLY Combines Google+ Photos and Drive Cloud Storage”

Breaking: Google to End Glass Explorer Program January 19

I found it curious that we heard nothing about a follow up to Google’s Glass program. It was moved to open BETA last year, so anyone willing to part with $1500 was able to secure a face computer of their very own, but the rumored announcement of a consumer edition never materialized in 2014.

The plot thickens however as this was posted publicly on the Glass Explorer Google Plus page today:

We’re graduating from Google[x] labs
It’s hard to believe that Glass started as little more than a scuba mask attached to a laptop. We kept on it, and when it started to come together, we began the Glass Explorer Program as a kind of “open beta” to hear what people had to say.

Explorers, we asked you to be pioneers, and you took what we started and went further than we ever could have dreamed: from the large hadron collider at CERN, to the hospital operating table; the grass of your backyard to the courts of Wimbledon; in fire stations, recording studios, kitchens, mountain tops and more. Continue reading “Breaking: Google to End Glass Explorer Program January 19”

Google Separates Hangouts from Google Plus

hangouts update google plus somegadgetguyGoogle is doing something interesting with their services of late. Instead of continuing to try and tie everything together, apps are being sliced back out to stand as their own services. Recently we saw Google splice out Docs and Drive again. Photos stands as it’s own app, and now we see an interesting tweak to the most recent update to Hangouts.

When you used to tap on a profile pic in Hangouts, it would take you to a Google+ profile. Now, if you have that person in your contacts, it shows you a contact card. If you don’t have that person in your contacts, you wont see anything.

Following Google’s recent turn of not forcing people into combining Youtube and Google+ profiles, it would seem they are changing direction on what they expect of G+. What that will finally be remains to be seen, and we’re still waiting to see if Hangouts will eventually adopt Google Voice to become Google’s primary communication app.

Have you used the new Hangouts update? Has this contact change affected your use?

Google Plus App Updated! Feature Walk Through of the New UI!

new google plus app on HTC one m8

We normally wouldn’t make such a big deal out of an app update, but Google has made some pretty significant changes to the Google Plus UI for Android.

Utilizing a sleeker and bolder interface, the whole experience feels a little snappier too. We go hands on in the video below to compare it to the older G+ app, and show off all the goodies!

You can now upload pics to Google+ using IE on Windows Phone 8.1

google plus photo upload windows phone 8_1This has been a long time coming.

Even as recently as a week ago I was kvetching about not being able to share pics from my Windows Phone to Google Plus while on a recent trip.

It looks like I can finally stop whinging about it, as the updates to Internet Explorer have finally included file management support for sites like G+. We no longer have to jump through hoops, or transfer our photos to other devices to participate!

If you’re rocking Windows Phone 8.1, and you’re on the Googles Plus give it a shot. The best camera phones on the market can now properly share on one of the best photo sharing services on the net.


Set your Calendar! Experts Q&A Episode 2: Android Boogaloo!

experts round table androidThis will be a Hangout on Air event. Link will be provided here before the broadcast goes live.

Our first Experts Q&A was a hit, and now we’re ready to follow it up with our next topic! For this next round table, we’re going to chat all things Android! Phones, Tablets, Apps, Updates, Services. You bring the questions, we’ll bring the experts! Chat with us live while we’re on the air! It’ll be fun. I promise.

Mark your calendars! We’re a GO for Wednesday December 11 at 8pm Pacific. Hope to see you there!

Google Plus event page.

Experts Q&A 1: Live Tiles are the Future! –

Google announces TONS of new features for Hangouts, Google Plus, Photo & Video sharing!

morning with google plusA whole suite of new features for the folks using Google Plus!

In the Hangouts app, users will now be able to share location with a simple button press. I’ve been in situations where people have asked “where are you” and now a simple tap can share a Google Map location with them.

hangouts where are you location sharingWhat most people have been itching for though is SMS integration, and now the Hangouts app is including the ability to add text messaging to chat.

For people broadcasting with Hangouts on Air, you’ll now have the ability to plan a Hangout ahead of time, and this will create an event page you can use to promote the Hangout. It’s a nice one-piece solution as we’ve been doing this manually to share our Hangouts with people online.

hangout spotlight background blurNew broadcast tools allow hosts to control the microphone volume of HOA participants. Increase or decrease their chat volume, and now we can finally remove someone from a Hangout. This is welcome control for those of us trying to create professional videos during live broadcasts.

For standard Hangouts video calls, users now have more creative tools to play with, like blurring the background behind themselves. Also we’ll be able to see animated gifs, for all our stop motion photo animation needs.

Moving to Google Plus, over 1.5 BILLION photos are uploaded every week. Google will be unleashing new organization and editing tools to help back up and share your experiences.

auto awesome google plus photo editing 3Photo scanning will allow for searching the content of a picture without tags. If there are pics of your dog un-tagged, searching for “dog” on G+ will bring up your pet pics. New photo editing tools can help improve the look of your pics. Either via “Auto-Awesome” or Snapseed integration, you’ll be able to touch up your pics before sending them out. Snapseed is introducing a new HDR filter to help improve pics which might be a bit under or over exposed.

auto awesome google plus photo editing 4Auto-Awesome will now track through multiple exposures to create animated gifs, composite images, or use the new Eraser tool to eliminate moving objects from your photos. Say you have a series of shots from a vacation, and someone walks in front of your frame, Eraser can scrub that distraction out of your shot. This’ll pretty much encourage people to take series of photos for every set up instead of just one pic and done.

auto awesome google plus movie editingLastly a new auto movie feature is being added. Collecting all of your pics and vids from a time or place, Google will auto-magically combine them all and add background music to present you a share-able highlights reel of your latest adventure. Users can manually edit elements, or select themes which will change up the music, editing, and effects.

If you’ve been jamming on G+, there are going to be a bunch of new features to play with. You can catch the whole announcement video below!

So Many Tablets! I Join BooredAtWork to chat iPads, Lumias, and Surfaces

iPadAir-iPadMini_34B2B_lock-blue_home-nebula-PRINTMany, yesterday was a pretty full day. Microsoft started selling the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Apple showed off sleeker iPads. Nokia unleashed a Windows Phone phablet and a Windows 8.1 RT slate. Plenty to keep a solo tech blogger like myself busy. Thankfully I have a few friends in the tech blog community to help me out. I joined in hangout last night to chat about all the exciting developments.

It was a lively discussion, chatting up all the news. What was your favorite announcement yesterday? Are you looking forward to a Retina iPad Mini? LTE on a Nokia tablet? Drop us a comment!