Snapseed for Android released, iOS version now free

Nik Software’s Snapseed has been released for Android devices and the updated iOS version, previously a $4.99 paid app, is now free.

Nik Software’s Snapseed has been released for Android devices and the updated iOS version, previously a $4.99 paid app, is now free. Google acquired Nik Software back in September after Facebook announced their acquisition of the popular photo sharing service Instagram. Many saw the move as Google’s attempt to make Google+ more attractive to mobile users. Snapseed won Apple’s iPad App Of The Year award in 2011 and the acquisition by Google raised hopes for an Android version.  Today, Snapseed made its appearance in the Google Play store. The updated iOS app for is now free while the desktop version for Windows and Mac is $19.99. Continue reading “Snapseed for Android released, iOS version now free”

Google forces Google apps users to use multiple accounts and locks some out of Google+

I am the victim of a not so smart Google Skynet

By now most have heard of Google+. One of the selling points or failures (depending on where you stand) of Google+ is their insistence on integrating as many Google services as possible. So when you sign up for Google+, you are not signing yourself up for a single social networking site but rather plugging yourself into the matrix or turning on Skynet. If you have used the internet in the last 5 years, you probably have at least one Goggle service. It might be gmail, Picassa, Youtube, Google Reader, or some other service you signed up for and probably forgot about. One thing you should know up front is Google+ will not work with a Google apps email.

Sign of things to come

Google, in their infinite wisdom, assumed everyone on the internet uses a single email address. That is simply not the case. Like many, I have multiple email addresses I use for various Google services. Before Google+ was even on the drawing board, I was already having problems with this as I used a gmail account for Adsense and my own domain email for other Google services. Google did not allow me to change or merge the Adsense account so I had to log in and log out every time I wanted to check Adsense. This was not big a deal since I don’t need to check Adsense on a daily basis.

The foundation was laid years ago

The beginnings of my current problems started years ago when I used my domain email to sign up for various Google services. When I decided to sign up for Google Apps I used the same primary email. Last week, Google decided that was not going to work with their future plans to integrate all my Google services. Since my personal Google account used the same email as my Google apps company account, they insisted I migrate the data to a new personal account.

Migrating data creates new headaches

I was not given any choice, the migration had to occur if I wanted to continue using Google services. So I create a new personal Google apps account using my initial.domain.com and Google migrated some but not all of my data. The stuff that didn’t get migrated due to compatibility issues included Google+. That data is now attached to a temporary account Google assigned to me. Had I known that, I would have used a non Google apps email to receive the new data but I didn’t so the result of this mess is I now have four separate emails associated with four different Google accounts and Google+ wants me to create a fifth email account to move my data off the temporary account.

No simultaneous logins

So what’s the big deal? Well, Google does not allow simultaneous logins so I cannot have email open in one tab, Adsense open in another, Analytics open in another, and Google+ opened in yet another. Trying to do anything in one account forces a logout in all other accounts and requires a new login.  To add insult to injury, every time I login to Google+ with the temporary account, I am prompted to migrate the account to a new account and it specifically does not allow migration to an existing gmail account, hence the need for a fifth account if I want to continue with the migration. So far, I’ve been ignoring the prompt and have continued to use the temporary account for Google+ but who knows how long that will last.  Of course, there is no effective way to get help from anyone at Google and many people have posted the same problem in the support forum without any replies from Google.

The net result of all this is that none of the four accounts talk to each other. If I +1 something while logged into any Google account other than the temporary account, it is not reflected in my Google+ profile. This is exactly the opposite of what Google was trying to achieve. The only solution is for Google to fix it so Google+ works with Google apps emails since that’s where most of my activity lives. For others, the solution may lie in allowing migration to work with existing gmail accounts so those users don’t have to create a second gmail account just for Google+.

Google+ tips and tricks

Use circles to your advantage. Circles serve to both filter who you share with and also what you see. Don’t go crazy creating too many circles. Start simple and add as you need. You can create a special circle called ‘preferred stream’ and add only those people whose stream you want to appear on your home page. This is an easy and effective way to cut down the noise.

Basic tips for new users

Circles

  • Use circles to your advantage. Circles serve two functions. They filter who you share with and also what you see. Think of them as send and receive. Unlike Facebook where you have one to one relationships with your friends. Circles can be a one to one mutual relationship if you choose or it can be a one way relationship where someone follows you or you follow them.
  • Don’t go crazy creating too many circles. Start simple and add as you need. You can create a special circle called ‘preferred stream’ and add only those people whose stream you want to appear on your home page. This is an easy and effective way to cut down the noise.
  • Don’t panic. Names of circles are known only to the creator. You have no control who adds you to what circles just like you can’t stop people from making a paper list of ‘most awesome’ and putting you on it.
  • When someone adds you to a circle, you are under no obligation to add them to a circle. If you don’t, they are essentially a follower. They can see your public posts in their stream but you will not see them in your stream unless you click on Incoming circle.
  • You cannot “approve” or “accept” who adds you to their circles. If you do nothing when they add you, it is like them bookmarking your Google+ profile. It has zero impact on you. If you don’t want your name displayed along with others in their circle, you can hide that following the video below.
    Continue reading “Google+ tips and tricks”

Google+ privacy issues

Ongoing list of Google+ privacy issue.

Google+ is still in the testing phase so things are constantly changing. Here is a list of ongoing privacy issues. Please suggest new entries in the comment section.

The biggest discussions are centered around photo privacy. There are multiple issues.

  1. Be careful what you include in albums when tagging a single photo. When you tag someone in a photo, that person is notified and given a link to that photo but they will also have access to your entire album, not just that single photo.
  2. Joining Google+ changes the privacy settings of your Picasa albums. You’ve recently joined Google+. Note the following changes to Picasa Web Albums:
    • Albums you’ve shared can in turn be tagged and shared by others.
    • For new albums, anyone an album is shared with can see who else it is shared with.
    • When you tag someone, they receive a notification and can see the photo and the related album.

    Learn More

  3. Albums you share within your circle can be reshared with those outside your circle if someone in your circle reshares them.
  4. Using Chat may expose your email address. Users are warned when they enable Chat for the first time. When you appear in someone’s chat list in Google+, it’s possible that person could discover your email address. While your email address won’t be displayed in the chat list in Google+, it is displayed in the chat lists of other Google products (Gmail and iGoogle, for instance). The members of chat lists are consistent across Google products. Continue reading “Google+ privacy issues”

Google + vs Facebook: A comparison

By now, many have no doubt heard the buzz created by Google for Google +, their latest attempt at social networking. Google pulled out and dusted off the old “you need to be invited” marketing trick. It’s gone public but for now, you still need to be invited due to “insane demand” according to Google.

By now, many have no doubt heard the buzz created by Google for Google +,  their latest attempt at social networking. Google pulled out and dusted off the old “you need to be invited” marketing trick. It’s gone public but for now, you still need to be invited due to “insane demand” according to Google. This is not the first time Google has tried their hand at social networking. They failed with Google Buzz, Google Wave, and Google Orkut is only relevant in Brazil and India. Nobody knows how this venture will fair since Facebook has such a huge head start. Google certainly has their work cut out for them. Continue reading “Google + vs Facebook: A comparison”

Google rumored to have bought Groupon for $2.5 billion

Various unconfirmed sources including TechCrunch and Vactor.tv are speculating that Google may have bought daily deal site Groupon.com for $2.5 billion. If true, this is a great acquisition as Google has been pursuing other revenue models while they own the adwords market

Various unconfirmed sources including TechCrunch and Vactor.tv are speculating that Google may have bought daily deal site Groupon.com for $2.5 billion. If true, this is a great acquisition as Google has been pursuing other revenue models while they own the adwords market. Google knows the future of ad revenues is in social media. Microsoft’s partnership with Facebook allowing integration of Facebook with Bing may prove to be their biggest challenge. Integrating Groupon with other Google properties such as Google Places will allow them to build a social media base to serve relevant ads with social integration.

Now if Google really wants to go for the kill, they can round out the purchases by buying Foursquare and San Francisco based Yelp.

Gmail to offer more security with a six digit verification code

Google Inc. began rolling out a new security feature on Monday to provide more security for Gmail users. Account holders will be asked to enter a six digit code sent to their phones when they log in the first time from an unknown computer.

Gmail security
Gmail security

Google Inc. began rolling out a new security feature on Monday to provide more security for Gmail users. Account holders will be asked to enter a six digit code sent to their phones when they log in the first time from an unknown computer. This feature offers an additional layer of security and will make it harder for hackers to use brute force methods or social engineering to guess a user’s password. It will not, however, prevent a wife or husband from gaining access to their partner’s account if they have access to their mobile phones.

Continue reading “Gmail to offer more security with a six digit verification code”