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Weekly Update - June 16, 2018: YouTube, VR180, #pride2018

Well there's so many things taking place That it's hard to keep up with it all Keep your eye on the ball And to make the right call When we're longing for fall On this evening in June ~ Evening in June, Van Morrison  Have you ever seen an ad that made you wonder, why the !@#$ am I seeing that? Google wants to help you more easily understand and control how ads are personalized for you. The revamped Google Account Ads Settings ( There you can turn off targeted ads or adjust your interests. As an aside, Google’s ad targeting is much better than Twitter’s, where I sometimes see ads targeted at locations thousands of miles from my actual location (I see truly local ads too, so Twitter “knows” where I am). YouTube is rolling out automatic captions on live streams to channels with at least 10,000 subscribers. This is really a cool feature for your fans who might be hard of hearing, watch with the sound off, or who otherwise could use assistance u…

Weekly Update - June 9, 2018: Hangouts, Project Fi, Google AI

There’s news inside and outside the Googleverse this week:updates to Hangouts Chat and Meet, Googlelaid out their principles for developing Artificial Intelligence, new Facebook Live features for gamers and lip syncers, and a look at the highlights of Apple’s announcements at WWDC 2018. And much more!
Hangouts Meet video calling will be compatible with existing meeting room hardware, including Polycom and Cisco. Plus Microsoft Skype for Business users will be able to join a Meet video call directly from the Skype app. And if Hangouts Meet isn’t your thing, third parties will be able to create add-ons for Google Calendar to let join video calls for services like Webex, GoToMeeting, Vidyo and more, right from a Calendar Event.Hangouts Chat will (finally) be able to include people from outside of your G Suite organization in Chat. That will be available in the “coming months”.YouTube will be removing private Messages ( on July 9. They suggest two alternatives: ad…

Weekly Update - June 2, 2018: Project Fi, Hangouts Meet & More

There aren’t many updates this week. After the excitement of Google I/O and the mad rush to comply with the GDPR, June looks like it may be a quiet month.
All G Suite domains are being migrated from Hangouts Video Calls to Hangouts Meet for new Google Calendar events. Hangouts Meet has an updated user interface, and some additional features for Education and Enterprise accounts, including video recording and up to 50 people in a meeting. The down side of the change for some folks is that it requires an updated Chrome browser or Firefox version 60 or higher on desktop. Older computers won’t be able to use Meet.Project Fi announced that it supports three new phones, the budget moto g6, and the high end LG G7 ThinQ and V35 ThinQ. That’s in addition to the moto x4, and Google’s phones: Pixel, Pixel2 and the older Nexus 5X, 6P, and 6.Google Photos turned three this week. No cake, just stored memories.If you need to get away, or have the urge to explore, AR tours are now available to anyone…

Weekly Update - May 26, 2018: Google Photos, GMB, GDPR

Monday is Memorial Day in the US, a day for remembering the people who died while serving in the US armed forces, and barbecuing. Start your holiday weekend with some nice updates and be glad the flood of GDPR-related privacy updates should be down to a trickle.
You can now “give some love” by ❤️ing photos shared with you in Google Photos, and ⭐ your favorite photos to add them to a special “Favorites” album. Google Lens got a bit smarter, with real-time search and smart text selection.This week YouTube mentioned they had been testing algorithmic sorting of the subscription feed, and they got an earful of (mostly negative) feedback. Business owners are regularly targeted by companies claim to represent Google, promising high search result rankings or charging money for Google’s free services. This week Google took legal action against some of the scammers, and rolled out new tools for businesses, including a way to report scammy practices and policy violations, and a new Google My Bus…

Weekly Update - May 19, 2018: YouTube Music, Google One, Blogger Spring Clearning

This week some of the new product features announced at Google I/O are starting to roll out. But not to be outdone, there were big updates from YouTube, Google Drive and Blogger. Read on for details.
YouTube announced two new subscription services that replace YouTube Red: a new improved YouTube Music (which was originally launched in 2015) and the new YouTube Premium. Currently a YouTube Red subscription gets you both Google Play Music, plus ad-free, background and offline video watching and YouTube Originals. Under the new plans a Google Play Music or YouTube Music Premium subscription will get you organized and personalized music, plus the revamped YouTube Music app and website. A YouTube Premium subscription will cost $2 more per month, and will additionally include access to the ad free and offline videos and YouTube Originalis. Availability will expand from the five countries where YouTube Red is currently available to 19 countries.

Note that if you are a current Google Play Mus…

Weekly Update - May 12, 2018: Google I/O, Google Photos, Google Maps

This week was the Google I/O annual developer conference, where Google announces new products and major updates. There were two big themes: artificial intelligence (and Google Assistant) and machine learning everywhere, plus a new focus on “wellbeing”, with new tools to help users make sure that technology is not “detracting from life”. There are links to all the news and updates below, but for a general overview see the list of “100 things Google announced at I/O ‘18”.
The Google Assistant is speaking “more naturally” , with six new voices (including John Legend), the ability to mimic the subtleties of human speech, and “Continue Conversations”, so you don’t need to say “Hey Google” every time. The culmination is Google Duplex, which will be tested starting this summer. Duplex allows the Google Assistant to make phone calls on your behalf to businesses to set appoints or check open hours. The announcement has created a fair amount of controversy, with people uncomfortable with the i…

Weekly Update - May 5, 2018: Facebook F8, Google Assistant, AdSense Metrics

This week was Facebook’s F8 developer conference, with a whole bunch ofnew features announced for the Facebook Platform, Instagram, and WhatsApp. There weren’t many updates in the Googleverse, but stay tuned for announcements from Google I/O in the coming week.
YouTube wooed advertisers at its Brandcast NewFronts event, announcing four new YouTube Originals shows and touting last year’s successes. There are also new advertising opportunities, with more music and originals in “Google Preferred” and TV advertising options. AdSense has changed the way it counts impressions - instead of “served impressions”, counted when the ad is requested on the server, it’s now counting “downloaded impressions”, counted when the ad downloads for the viewer. Publishers may see reported impressions decrease, and click through rate increase. There were several Google Assistant updates this week, presumably setting the stage for more announcements at next week’s Google I/O developer conference. Google As…