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At this year’s SXSW Interactive conference, Google’s Timothy Jordan delivered a demonstration on a first look at Google Glass and its supporting Mirror API. In addition, Google showed attendees how it is working with early partners to write dedicated apps for the new device. Path, Evernote and The New York Times have all created a range of “mini-apps” to work with Google Glass.

The New York Times app, for example, shows top story headlines and then lets you listen to the full article by telling Glass to “read aloud”. Google’s own Gmail app has also been ported over to Glass and uses voice recognition to answer emails, as well as a visual indicator of who is sending you email. Along with Gmail, Google+ is also built directly into the Glass experience as a platform for sharing. However, Google’s Jordan stated that developers would be able to add their own sharing options. Glass also features Google’s text to speech technology, a camera for taking pictures and recording video and also voice recognition software built directly into the hardware.

Glass works by connecting to Google’s Cloud servers with a dedicated app, which pulls and pushes data to Glass through Google’s new APIs. All of this data is then presented on Glass through what Google calls “Timeline Cards.” Timeline cards can include text, images, video and rich HTML. Besides single cards, Google has also developed a new concept which it has named ‘bundles’. Bundles are a set of cards that users can navigate using the mini touchpad on the side of glass, or using their own voice to navigate the menus.

As Glass is a new form factor, Google is pushing a new set of rules to make the user experience enjoyable and uncluttered. For example, for a news app, users would not expect to see full news stories; rather the key headline would be pushed in front of a relevant picture from the story. Google’s doesn’t want to make Glass distracting for the user.

There is no confirmed availability of Google Glass, but you can see a full action demo below:

 

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Avi Charkham has created a wonderful site called http://mypermissions.org/ which helps users to manage the ever growing list of apps, that we are associate our social accounts too.  It is good to practice to prune services and apps that you no longer use for good security best practice. To make life easier, I’ve posted the direct links below:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=applications

Twitter: http://twitter.com/settings/connections

Google: https://www.google.com/accounts/IssuedAuthSubTokens

Yahoo: https://api.login.yahoo.com/WSLogin/V1/unlink?.intl=us&.scrumb=oGuZry/Yg97

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/secure/settings?userAgree=&goback=.aas

Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/account#applications

Instagram: https://instagr.am/oauth/manage_access

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/services/auth/list.gne?from=extend

 

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I’m surprised its taken Google so long to launch Realtime (social) search. Last year, their Updates feature was very cool, especially at monitoring hashtags. I don’t feel this new feature will replace proper sentiment monitoring tools such as Radian6 or Scoutlabs. But it’s certainly not a bad free tool. Now, I wonder what monitoring realtime goodness Microsoft will add to Bing?

Remember, be careful what you tweet. They are being archived for a very long time to come.

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Google are set soon to release “Wave” and I predict it will be a major game changer. Imagine email, instant messaging, wikis, forums, blogs, mobile, SMS all being replaced with Google Wave.  Check out at least the first 40 minutes of video for an introduction to the developer preview. I can’t wait to try it out.

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 Gmail Soap

I’m not sure whether to continue laughing, or to be truly grateful to Google for a new innovative Gmail Labs app which has just been launched entitled, Mail Goggles.

Google Engineer, Jon Perlow posts on the Gmail blog

“Sometimes I send messages I shouldn’t send. Like the time I told that girl I had a crush on her over text message. Or the time I sent that late night email to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together. Gmail can’t always prevent you from sending messages you might later regret, but today we’re launching a new Labs feature I wrote called Mail Goggles which may help.

When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you’re really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you’re in the right state of mind?

By default, Mail Goggles is only active late night on the weekend as that is the time you’re most likely to need it. Once enabled, you can adjust when it’s active in the General settings Hopefully Mail Goggles will prevent many of you out there from sending messages you wish you hadn’t. Like that late night memo — I mean mission statement — to the entire firm.

I guess we have all sent emails over the years when we shouldn’t have. Some fuelled by alcohol, some fuelled by anger. I do think that for many people, this app will be truly useful. Though I’m still undecided if I like my email client controlling yet another part of the way I use my mail. I already have rules, spam and content filtering.  Can I no longer be trusted to send emails after a few beers, late at night?  Probably not.

Mail Goggles can be enabled in the Settings section of your Gmail.

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Great insight, via Armano’s blog. The above video is a presentation given by the staff of an experience design consultancy called Adaptive Path to employees at Google.  The presentation highlights the key points that are made in the book entitled, "Subject To Change". 

Google obviously invests heavily in its brand. Its home page may have nothing but a search box and links to Google’s services — which means the company is forgoing tens of millions of dollars in advertising — but it’s doing something more important: putting its customers first. Untargeted ads, even simple text links, goes the rationale, would put too steep a cost on its users.

This decision is "revolutionary," wrote Havas Media Lab director and London economist Umair Haque on Harvard Business Online in February. "By choosing to invest in consumers over advertising, Google is a living example of a deeper truth: The future of communications as advantage lies in talking less and listening more."

The biggest challenge that today’s marketers face is understanding HOW to overcome the obstacles that get in the way from creating user/customer/consumer experiences that people want to make part of their everyday lives.  Everything has changed.  Years ago, Starbucks was celebrated as a brand that understood this—today, it’s customers are less loyal and it’s stock price is reflecting this.  Blockbuster promised to transform our living rooms into home theatres—today, media consumption including movies is fragmented.  Marketers today are faced with a choice.  As Seth Godin points out, we can choose to become liars—spinning fabrications around inferior products and services who depend on traditional marketing to make themselves appear more appealing.  Or we can be honest, and figure out how to actually make the product, service, and brand better—so marketing initiatives will become a natural extension of the experience a customer has with that brand.

Is this the job of the company, the consultant, the agency, the brand?  If you want to thrive in an age where basically we’re all spoiled and demanding—then the reality is, it’s all of our jobs.  So watch the video and think about which side you choose to be on.

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Google’s acquistion of Writely last year was interesting. An online, word processor, that can do all things MS Word does and its FREE? Sounds great and indeed it was! Since then, Google Labs worked on an online spreadsheet application, Google Talk (Instant Messaging) and Google Calendar. Well today, Google finally announced what I’ve thought for ages – They are gunning for Microsoft Office’s share of the market.

Well, what does mean for you?

With Google Apps, you can give your employees the next-generation communication and collaboration tools they need to manage electronic communications, share and publish information and stay connected while on the go. Whether you’re looking to transition from or complement your existing messaging infrastructure with more advanced collaboration tools, Google Apps gives you full control while requiring minimal investment. Google Apps can also make it easy to meet deskless employees’ email and calendaring needs. Best of all, it’s all hosted by Google, so there’s no hardware or software to download, install or maintain. With Google, you can afford to provide each and every employee with the tools they need to succeed.”

Google Apps Premier Edition is the promised offering for small businesses. It includes 10 gigabytes of mail storage, 99.9% uptime guarantee for email, APIs to integrate with the existing infrastructure of a business (single sign-on, user management, email gateway), 24/7 phone support. Everything for $50 a year per user (there’s a free trial until April 30th).

Google continues to offer two free editions of Google Apps:

* a edition for schools, that includes the APIs and 24/7 phone support

* a edition for families and groups that has all the features that were available until now.

All editions of Google Apps* include Google Docs & Spreadsheets and are compatible with the BlackBerry version of Gmail’s mobile application.

Google’s intention is to convince it can deliver “simple, powerful communication and collaboration tools for your organization without the usual hassle and cost” and the package can integrate into an existing environment. Google has learned a lot since last August, when it first introduced Google Apps, and has adapted to fit the needs of a corporate environment. Will businesses adapt to use Google’s web applications and trade some features for an always-available online interface?

If you are interested in this, also take a look at: Zoho.

Microsoft are due to launch their own versions of online based Office apps – Microsoft Office Live! later this year. This is going to be interesting to watch.

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