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Recent posts

Weekly Update - August 18, 2018: Photos, Voice, One

Now in the heat of the dog days of summer, there aren’t many significant updates. Now is probably a good time to learn some new tricks, like how to use Google Data Studio or complete more YouTube Creator Studio courses. Or maybe take a trip to the beach?
Here’s what’s new this week:
Google Photos photo books are now available in Germany. And you can now add captions to your photo books (assuming you are in a country where they are available).A redesigned Google Voice app is available for iOS devices, with Google Calendar and Contacts-linked “Do Not Disturb” for G Suite users. This appears to be the related to the enterprise version of Google Voice for G Suite announced at Google Cloud Next.The new Gmail “confidential mode” is now available on mobile devices. This lets you set an expiration date and passcode for the messages you send. In the YouTube Android app you will be able to mention someone when you reply to their comment. This should “improve readability” and the person you me…

Weekly Update - August 11, 2018: Android Pie, Digital Wellbeing, Policy Enforcement

Lemon, cherry, apple, pumpkin, pecan - so many delicious flavors of pie!
This week Google officially introduced Android 9 Pie. There are improvements in navigation and notifications, and AI-powered features including Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, Smart Text Selection and App Actions. So far I’ve found it delicious.One of the themes at Google I/O this year was digital wellbeing - features integrated across Google products to help balance their time online with their time offline. Now if you have a Pixel phone with Android 9, you can preview the beta version of these features. It includes a dashboard to give you an overview of the time you spend on your device, app times to limit your use, and a “wind down” option that gets you ready for bedtime by putting your phone in do not disturb mode and fading the screen to grayscale. (Facebook and Instagram also offer tools to help you manage your time on those platforms).Controversial radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones…

Weekly Update - August 4, 2018: Google+, GMB, Brand Accounts

This week there are updates and tips for Plussers, Business owners and managers, VR video watchers, along with tips for YouTubers, AdSense Publishers and more.
You can now embed a Google+ Stream from a Profile, Community, Community Category, Collection or search result on a Google Sites web page. I’m hoping this option will be available to other types of websites as well.If you own or manage a Brand Account for a YouTube channel or Google+ Page, you can now see the email addresses of other owners and managers.Google My Business launched Post Insights, which lets you see views, clicks and the percentage change for individual posts and all posts over the past week or month.Google announced several updates for the DayDream VR viewer, including the ability to watch YouTube videos with other people.Google Maps no longer shows the Earth as flat in 3D Globe mode.Google is reportedly working on a censored version of its search engine for China, and employees are in an uproar. And there are to…

Weekly Update - July 28, 2018: Chrome & HTTPS, Google Cloud Next and more

This week Google announced a number of new AI-powered updates for G Suite, which will hopefully eventually trickle down to us consumer users. Plus Chrome started marking “Not Secure” sites, YouTube is testing a new “Explore” feature and tech companies released their second quarter earnings reports (good for Alphabet, not good for Facebook & Twitter).
This week was Google Cloud Next ‘18 (, the annual Google conference focused on Google Cloud and G Suite offerings for enterprise customers. Announcements (coming soon!) include AI-powered features like smart reply in Hangouts Chat, smart compose in Gmail, grammar suggestions in Google Docs, and voice commands in Hangouts Meet hardware. Google is also bringing an enterprise version of Google Voice to G Suite, with its own AI features to “facilitate voicemail transcription and spam filtering”. See the links below for details about all the announcements for G Suite, Google Cloud Platform and more.Chrom…

Weekly Update - July 21, 2018: YouTube Creators, Learning, Emoji

This week YouTube focused on Creators, the blobs are back and both Google and Facebook had a bad week.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki posted a mid-year update (and video!) on how YouTube is progressing on the five priorities for creators announced at the beginning of the year. Those priorities are better transparency and communication, better support creator success (i.e. make money), more options for viewer engagement, tightening and enforcing policies, and investing more in learning and education. If you’ve been following my YouTube updates, there wasn’t much new, except the announcement of a brand new initiative called “YouTube Learning” that will provide grants and promotion in support of educational content. No details as yet, but that sounds promising. Sometimes YouTube makes nice changes with no fanfare For example, now #hashtags from the video description are now visible above the video title. Before you go hashtag crazy, keep in mind that YouTube does have a number of policies ab…

Weekly Update - July 14, 2018: YouTube Copyright, News Initiatives, Google Ads

Man, it's a hot one. Like seven inches from the midday sun. Hope you’re staying cool! This week there’s copyright tools for creators, YouTube and Facebook initiatives to fight the spread of misinformation, announcements from Google Marketing Live 2018 and more.
YouTube is trying to help creators protect their content. The new Copyright Match tool allows creators to find their videos that have been uploaded to other channels, and then contact the uploader or ask YouTube to take down the video. This isn’t quite the same as Content ID - it only finds full matches, not clips or audio alone, and there is no option to monetize the detected video. It’s currently rolling out to channels with at least 100,000 subscribers, and YouTube hopes to eventually provide this tool to all channels in the YouTube Partner Program.YouTube also now has a special troubleshooter for help with copyright issues. It’s definitely makes it easier to find the information you need rather than navigating through…

Weekly Update - July 7, 2018: YouTube Removals, EU Copyright, Account Security

The themes this week were privacy and policy. With the US Independence Day holiday in the middle of the week, it’s not too surprising that there weren’t many updates from Google and other US companies. But what we do have are some news and discussions of content removal stats, potential privacy issues, and an update on the EU copyright policy reform proposal.  Google’s Transparency Report for the first quarter of 2018, with stats for videos removed for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Most videos were removed by automated systems. And it turns out the vast majority of human-flagged content was actually not removed, and individual Trusted Flaggers were responsible for most of the successful removals.YouTube also made it easier to moderate comments on your videos and channel. Instead of having to choose between holding all comments for review, or allowing all comments, you can now have YouTube hold potentially inappropriate comments for review. YouTube says that the system shou…