During its Google I/O 2013 conference on Thursday, Google announced that Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr sharing apps would be coming to Google Glass today. The apps are enabled for sharing just like any other contact using the Glass Mirror API.
One of the first games for Glass, called Icebreaker, is also available today. It was created by several programmers who met at a Glass Foundry developer event.
You can install any of the apps from Google.com/MyGlass if you’ve got the hardware.
Google on Monday announced a change to how it offers free cloud storage to its users: 15GB will now be shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+. This change will start rolling out over the next couple of weeks.
Previously, Google offered 10GB for Gmail plus another 5GB for Drive and Google+ Photos. Now the company has decided that it makes more sense to unify the free storage across its three services.
As part of the change, Google is tweaking its Drive storage page to show a pie chart that breaks down your storage use across the trio. Here’s how it looks:
As before, you can still upgrade your storage space. Plans range from $4.99 per month for 100GB to $799.99 per month for 16TB.
What is most interesting for Gmail users here is that the 25GB upgrade is no longer the limit. Any additional storage you purchase will also apply to Google’s email service.
The Google Apps story is only slightly different: Google is offering its business customers 30GB of unified storage across Drive and Gmail. Storage will also be shared with photos customers upload to Google+ larger than 2048px, and just as before, files created in Docs, Sheets and Slides don’t count against this storage quota.
Here’s the updated Google Drive storage page for enterprise customers:
Google Apps customers are also no longer limited to 25GB for their inboxes. Once again, additional purchased storage can be shared and used by Gmail.
This unification will help Google market how much storage it offers by default, as well as push its storage plans to existing users. It’s not so much a smart move, as a necessary and obvious one.
Top Image credit: Pawel Kryj
The app works from the Google Search app on either iPhone or iPad, and is fully opt-in (also see demo video below).
Because of the unique partitioned nature of iOS, Google Now can only be activated from within the Search app, and it must be turned on by a user, who will be prompted on launch of the updated app and must sign in to a Google account. Once you’ve given Now permission to turn itself on, it can be accessed inside the Search app only.
This is one of the differences between Now in iOS vs Now on Android, but it’s mitigated a bit by the fact that you can swipe up in the Search app to activate Now, a gesture reminiscent of the way that you bring it up on Android. But, of course, you can’t simply do it from any system-wide location on iOS.
This may limit the accessibility of Google Now on iOS, but it doesn’t limit its utility. All of the same signals are still being leveraged as they are on Android, including Gmail, calendar, location, search behavior and more. Those signals are mined to give you a contextual picture of not only what you’re doing now but what you will be doing.
That’s what Google Now Product Management Director Baris Gultekin sees as the strength of the work they’re doing. ”You’re searching with your context, and constantly searching to find anything of relevance [with Google Now],” Gultekin says.
The way that you use Google services, and how much you use them, will have a lot to do with how helpful Google Now is to you.
“As you use those products more, Google Now will have more chances of understanding what your information needs are,” Gultekin adds. “Also, as you use the product more we’ll learn what types of contents you find valuable and tune the product, it’s a nice virtuous cycle.”
Gultekin, alongside Google Maps folks Andrew Kirmse and Ben Gomes, was on the team that created Google Now originally. The feature started as a ’20% time’ project, a provision that allows Google employees to hack away on side projects on a portion of their work hours. Many mainstay Google projects like Gmail have come out of this, so it’s not too surprising to see something like Now arise from the same sense of curiosity.
Many of the Cards that Google has created for Now on Android have been ported over, with some notable exceptions. The following cards are not available on Google Now for iOS:
That still leaves more than two dozen others including the major stuff like weather, traffic, flights, hotels, appointments, packages, restaurant reservations, public transit, movie tickets, currency conversions and translation. There’s still a lot to love here.
Google Now remains a uniquely compelling experience that only Google is gathering and parsing enough data to replicate. There’s simply nothing that compares on iOS yet, including Siri. A lot of this power lies in Now’s predictive nature.
The iOS version of Now uses WiFi location only, not GPS, this will conserve battery by recognizing entrance and exits from locations of importance. This lets Now keep track of things like the route that you have to travel on your way to work in the morning, letting you know when the best time to leave would be to get there with current traffic conditions in play.
Unfortunately, at the moment, Now does not utilize push notifications on iOS at all. This means that you’re going to need to visit the Google Now app in order to get those predictive notices. Gultekin says that this is something that they’re investigating, but that they want to do it right without bombarding users with notices.
In reality, Google Now is just another permutation of Google’s expertise with search. But now, instead of waiting for you to issue a query, it’s predicting what information you need to know and when. It’s one of those things that really couldn’t have been done without this host of signals that Google has to tap into. It’s a product created out of the coalescing of smartphone and Internet connection ubiquity and large cloud stores of information that say a lot about us and our lives.
That may be daunting or even frightening to some, but the truth is that the amount of data being gathered on all of us via purchasing, email, calendar applications and information systems around the world is growing by the day. That’s going to happen whether we like it or not for the most part, and Google Now is one of the products actively looking to hook all of those together to create a powerful tool that we can use to make our lives easier.
I’ve been using Google Now for about a year on various Android devices, and I’m consistently delighted and impressed with it. In fact, it’s powerful enough for it to have become my main reason for keeping an Android device on my person. Now, it’s on iOS and in my pocket regardless of what device I’m on. Which is pretty much what Google is up to with all of its services, and I’m fine with that.
For now, the Android version of Now features enough cool conveniences for me to wait and see, but if Google ramps up this version to keep it in parity with Android then iOS users are in for a treat.
Image credit: Getty Images
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Originally posted here: Google Now comes to iOS, missing a few options but none of the utility
In February I found myself seeking air-conditioned sanctuary in the Dar Es Salaam offices of Kinu, a co-working space and business accelerator, talking with Co-Founder and Community Manager John Paul Barretto. In a stream of conscience verse reflecting his holistic thinking on the subject, John Paul outlined the numerous challenges facing the development of a tech. industry in Tanzania.
Riding the wave of global awareness for the need to stay competitive, Tanzania has taken some positive steps forwards, including government investments in a fibreoptic backbone as well as strategic initiatives around promoting start-ups.
Still, there are hindrances to the overall development of the ecosystem, including under-developed infrastructure, limitations of the education system, lack of protection for intellectual property, all of which found their place within JP’s analysis of the problem. Indeed, when buildings are literally falling apart as a result of poor oversight and regulatory enforcement, one might be forgiven for feeling slightly pessimistic about Tanzania getting the formula right to develop a strong tech scene, and yet John Paul continues to be cautiously optimistic.
Of all the obstacles, the biggest stumbling block, (according to JP) is one that is entirely within the tech community’s capabilities to solve. In one word, that issue is trust.
Fast forward a few months and I’ve returned to my adopted country of Ecuador with the objective of helping to develop a thriving tech scene. Ecuador’s socialist government has prioritized the tech sector, even going so far as to create an entirely new city focused on the development of knowledge industries.
I’m sitting in a dimly-lit bar where waiters dressed as cowboys serve overweight cat-sized beers that are extra-potent at Quito’s 2800 meter altitude. Across from me is Ivan Lasso, a Spanish-Ecuadorian veteran of the country’s tech scene and an at editor at Genbeta, a Spanish tech blog.
“The main problem,” he tells me, prompting a sensation of deja vu that could easily be mistaken for altitude sickness, “is trust. No-one wants to talk about their ideas for fear that the person sitting next to them will steal them.”
The distrust that haunts both the Tanzanian and Ecuadorian tech scenes is not without precedent. In many emerging economies capitalism has slowly developed out of the shadows of communism, feudalism or dictator-style mashup economies, and its current incarnations haven’t entirely shaken themselves of the dusty vestiges of the past.
Thrust into a constant state of either too much or too little regulation, entrepreneurs in emerging economies are keenly aware of how the success of one enterprise often leads to a copy-cat setting up shop across the street. The legacy then of the offline local markets stalls the development of industries that are primarily online and focused on regional or global markets.
Though many governments are trying to align the stars to develop the next Silicon Valley so as to not be left behind by the onslaught of the modern equivalent of the industrial revolution, these governments are quickly discovering that only so much can be orchestrated through top-down intervention.Indeed, their top down efforts need to create the conditions to encourage grass-roots efforts to surge upwards.
Aside from the required infrastructure, labor conditions and ease of doing business, etc., there needs to be a community which in turn creates a culture and eventually leads to a self-supporting ecosystem.
Similar to the emergence of wine industries outside of traditional markets, local competitors must begin to see each other as collaborators whose ability to succeed is dependent on each other’s success.
Just as the first California wine to win a blind-tasting in France in 1976 created legitimacy for all wine producers in Northern California and created hope for producers in places such as Chile, Argentina and Australia, the success of one tech entrepreneur in an emerging market can lead to a new valuation for all who follow.
With seed funds, angel investors and late-stage venture capitalists flocking to all corners of the earth looking for both proven models applied in new markets and new innovative web services yet to grace the mature markets, the mantra of “if you build it they will come” continues to hold true.
Indeed, now is the time: in countries such as Ecuador mobile penetration is over 100%, meaning there are more cellphones than people, not to mention toilets.
In Tanzania the ubiquity of platforms such as M-Pesa have given millions of poor people access to financial services for the first time and created the potential for entering the online marketplace. With exponential growth continuing and transaction costs remarkably low, opportunity abounds for young tech. entrepreneurs eager to experience the benefits of being first-movers in what will eventually become mature industries.
To get there, however, local tech entrepreneurs need to share skills, ideas, know-how, and market knowledge. They need to create competition for each other and in doing so provoke each others’ creative and innovative juices.
In other words, they need to import not only the can-do attitude of Silicon Valley, but also the culture of cross pollination that continues to beckon aspiring entrepreneurs from across the country and the world.
In the cases of Ecuador and Tanzania, the early pioneers have seen the transformative power of low-cost devices and ubiquitous connectivity.
Motivated by the possibility of changing the fate of their nations and, to quote Mohammad Yunnus, consigning poverty to museums, these entrepreneurs face a unique challenge in shepherding the benefits of technology into their countries.That challenge is to begin to question the assumptions that have until now underpinned much entrepreneurial activity in their local markets.
Marshall McLuhan wrote that “we shape our tools and then they shape us.” In the case of Tanzania and Ecuador and many emerging economies, the order will first need to be reversed or re-phrased. First we will need to transform ourselves by ushering in a new era of competitive collaboration. Only then can we create the tools which can change not only who we are but who we are capable of becoming.
The past 24 hours have just flown by for the hundreds of hackers here at the Disrupt NY Hackathon, but the sun is finally up and it’s time to pass judgment on their caffeine-fueled projects. As it turns out, there’s a ton of them here — with 164 registered projects this is our biggest Hackathon yet, and each presenter only had 60 seconds to wow our judges (not to mention the rest of the audience). As you might guess there was no shortage of amazing projects that came together in a single day, but our judges could only choose one team to take home our $5,000 grand prize.
Anyway, that’s enough out of me — meet our newest Hackathon winner!
Rambler, created by William Hockey, Zach Perret and Michael Kelly, is a web app that lets users view their credit and debit card transactions on a map. During the dev process, the team tapped the Foursquare API for locations and the Plaid API to access user spending data.
Learn To Drive, created by Jared Zoneraich, Jemma Issroff, Kenny Song, and Nicholas Joseph, is an app for the GM vehicle platform that acts as a virtual driving instructor by speaking driving instructions aloud and display driving statistics like miles driven, hours driven, and hours driven at night.
Radical, created by Sam Saccone, Carl Sednaoui, and Jeff Escalante, allows users to create attractive calendars and embed on webpages with a single line of code.
These three teams will also demo their projects on the main Disrupt stage on Wednesday afternoon, but that’s not to say everyone else is going home empty-handed. Hackathon sponsors Appery.io, AT&T, CrunchBase, General Motors, Microsoft Bizspark, Microsoft Skydrive, NewAer, Pearson, Samsung, Twilio, Visa, Wrigley and Yammer have also graciously doled out prizes of their own for the most innovative and interesting uses of their APIs and services.
And just who decided the fate of these sleep-deprived hackers? Our panel of judges includes Mahaya CEO Tarikh Korula, Path101 co-founder Charlie O’Donnell, founder/CEO of The Muse Kathryn Minshew, bit.ly chief scientist Hilary Mason, FuturePerfect Ventures founding partner Jalak Jobanputra, and TechStars NYC Managing Director David Tisch.