Sunday, January 22, 2017

Blogger tip: Insert an image from Google+ or Hangouts into a post

One of the advantages of using Blogger is that it's part of the Google ecosystem. You can easily insert any image uploaded through your Google account into a Blogger blog post, including images you have shared on Google+ or in a Hangouts chat.

Blogger can access any image in your Google Album Archive, which includes all images uploaded to Google through Google Photos, Google+, Hangouts, Blogger, Google Drive and other Google services (Learn more about Album Archive).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weekly Update - January 21, 2017: Google+, YouTube, Presidential Social Media Transition

My top updates this week:
Plus there are tips and updates for Google+, YouTube, Blogger, Google Docs, Google Search and more.

Image: My Wife’s Lovers by Carl Kahler (1893) “Dubbed by Cat Magazine as "the world's greatest painting of cats".”

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Blogger tip: Insert emoji, symbols and other special characters into your blog post

Sometimes you need to insert characters into your blog post that aren't available on your computer's keyboard.  You can use the Blogger "Insert special character" tool to insert arrows (↑→), mathematical symbols (⺟∫), accented (éü) or non-Latin characters (禁𓁗) and even emoji (🐦✋).

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Live streaming to YouTube on an Android phone: the best and worst apps

I wanted to try live streaming on my Pixel phone, but I don't have access to the YouTube Mobile live stream app, which is still only available to a limited group of Creators (you can watch YouTube mobile live streams here). I decided to try a few of the most popular Android live streaming apps to see how well they work.

What I was looking for:
  1. Easy to use interface
  2. Direct live streaming to YouTube
  3. High quality video
  4. Portrait or Landscape mode
I've excluded apps like Livestream, which focus on their own live streaming community, and don't have any way to export the video file or stream to YouTube directly.

The results were mixed. The easiest to use was Periscope, but that doesn't broadcast to YouTube directly and the recorded video is not high definition.  And I couldn't get InstaLively to stream at all.

However, Live in Five (recommended by +Ileane Smith) is a promising option - it broadcasts directly to YouTube and seems pretty easy to use. It lets you stream either from your camera or from your screen if you want to broadcast your game play.

You can see a playlist of my test videos here or embedded at the end of the article.

Note that to use any app to live stream to YouTube, your channel must have live streaming enabled.

As a technical note, I'm using my Pixel phone running Android 7.1.1 My internet connection is my home wifi with a current speed of ~11.5Mbps upload and 30-50Mbps download.

Read on for links and my first impressions:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Weekly Update - January 7, 2017: Google Assistant, Advertising, Hangouts

This week was the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where new computers, smart devices and other electronics were shown, from the silly to “put that on my wish list”.  The best Google-related updates:
And there were a few other non-CES updates that have sparked interesting discussions:
Plus tons of tips for YouTube, Google+, AdSense, Webmasters, Google Calendar, Google Maps and more..

Image: Impression, soleil levant by Claude Monet (1872) Public Domain

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Weekly Update - December 31, 2016: Happy new year!

Happy New Year readers! I know this is posted a day late, but the upates are through the end of 2016.

I've posted my yearly reviews of the different Google products I follow, so if you want an overview of the year, that's the place to start:

The big themes: better communication from the different Google support teams (YouTube, AdSense),  re-designed interfaces (Google+, AdSense, Blogger, YouTube), benefits for Creators (YouTube and Google+) and finally, products finding the own way after Google+'s pivot (YouTube, Blogger, Hangouts, and yes, Google+ itself).

There weren't many updates this week, but there are still some tips for webmasters, Google+ers, YouTubers, Android fans, live broadcasters and more.

And a wee plug: Did Santa bring you a Pixel? Planning to try Project Fi? Get $20 off!