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Weekly Update - November 18, 2017: Google+ Profiles, Google Maps Icons, YouTube Kids content

This week there are updates for Plussers, YouTubers and much more:
Google+ has a new Profile “About” card on desktop, which nicely formats your personal details, and provides buttons to contact the profile owner directly. Check yours today to see if your profile needs tweaking.Google Maps updated its look to make it easier to identify businesses, services and landmarks. There are new color-coded icons and the icons you see are more context dependent - if you’re using driving navigation, you will see gas stations, while if you are using public transit, you’ll see train stations.YouTube announced that in-video notifications of a featured video or playlist will be discontinued December 14 . It turns out, very few people follow those links, and those who do sometimes are taken to a non-existent live stream. YouTube is encouraging using Cards and End Screens to promote your videos and playlists instead.YouTube also came under fire this week as media outlets noticed that there were “startl…

Weekly Update - November 11, 2017: Google Docs & Slides, AdSense, Chrome & Ads

This week Google Top Contributors from North and South America (and a few other places) met in Mountain View, California to learn, shmooze, and have some fun. It was a great time, and it was awesome to see everyone in person. In the past few weeks, there were also meetups in Dublin, Ireland and Singapore for Top Contributors around the world.

Check out the photos of all three TC Summits on Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.
As a result, the Weekly Update will be a bit shorter than usual this week. Here are my top updates:The image insertion process for Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings has been redesigned. Now you can more easily add one of your own photos or a photo from the web to your document or presentation.Google Docs and Slides now has fonts to support 62 languages, including non-Latin scripts like Cyrillic and DevanagariThe AdSense ad balance tool is back - it lets you reduce the number of ads you show to visitors to your website without significantly decreasing your income (hop…

Weekly Update - November 4, 2017: YouTube Live, Google+ Notifications, Hangouts Meet

Fortify yourself with leftover Halloween candy and a cup of tea, and take a look at this week's updates for YouTubers, live streamers, Google Plussers, Hangouts Meeters, business owners, Local Guides and more.
Live stream events are now easier to manage on YouTube. You can now copy settings from previous events, auto-start and there is automatic resolution detection.Small YouTube channels can now join in on the mobile live streaming fun - you only need 25 subscribers to stream from the YouTube mobile app.There was a big update for Google Hangouts Meet for G Suite Enterprise accounts. Now you can record your video calls to Google Drive and include up to 50 participants. And all Hangouts Meet users can use the new Meet hardware, which includes a 4k camera, speakermic, Chromebook and controller.The Google+ desktop notifications page now lets you open notifications in a new tab (hooray!!) and includes hovercards, so you can see more about the person who +1’d you right from the notific…

Weekly Update - October 28, 2017: Gmail Add-Ons, Google Lens, Nik Collection

This week there are updates and tips for photographers, Bloggers, YouTubers, and more. This week’s top updates:
YouTube announced that they have improved the technology for classifying videos for monetization, and are rolling out an update, significantly reducing the number of videos receiving limited ads (the dreaded yellow $). That means millions more videos will become fully monetized.The new Gmail Add-Ons let you complete tasks right from your email inboxEarlier this year, Google announced that they would no longer be updating popular Nik Collection of photo editing software. But it’s been rescued: DxO buys Nik collection from Google, and will resume developmentIn May, Google Lens was announced at Google I/O. Lens lets you take a photo, and have Google Assistant tell you more about what you are looking at. Google Lens is built into the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL, and it’s now rolling out to first-gen Pixel and Pixel XLsThe new Pixel 2s have unfortunately been generating a lot of complai…

Weekly Update - October 21, 2017: Google Calendar Makeover, Google Photos Pet Face Recognition, Advanced Account Security

This week’s updates should be especially interesting to folks interested in account security and abuse prevention. But that’s not all:
Google Calendar for web (finally) has a new look and features. This is Calendar’s first redesign since 2011! New features include the ability to add rich formatting and hyperlinks to your Calendar invite, and the ability to manage multiple calendars side by side in “Day” view. If you want the new look, you can opt in now!Google Photos face recognition can now recognize your cat or dog. That’s especially nice if you want to create an album, movie or photo book featuring your pet.October is National Cyber Security Awareness month, and Google is celebrating with some new features. The new Advanced Protection Program provides extra account security for those most at risk of attack, such as journalists, political workers, celebrities, folks seeking safety from an abusive relationship. And Google Account Security Checkup now has personalized advice - review…

Weekly Update - October 14, 2017: YouTube Creators Hub, Android Video Calling, WordPress & Google

This week there were nice updates for video creators, bloggers, and more:
The YouTube Creators Hub got a makeover, and has launched a series of Master Class videosYouTube has expanded their “harmful and dangerous content” policy to prohibit videos “that demonstrate how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly”. Some in the firearms community aren’t happy with the changeIf you use WordPress for your blog or website, you can now easily insert Google Photos images and the new VCP Events Plugin lets you easily embed YouTube live streams + Google+ comments on your site.Google is making video calling from the Phone, Contacts, and Messages apps easier on Android phones. If your carrier supports ViLTE (e.g. T-Mobile), no app is required, otherwise you will need to install Google Duo.Local Guides are getting new badges on Google MapsMedium has opened its Partner Program to everyone. They call it “the internet’s first open paywall”. You can make your articles members-only. Non-member…

Weekly Update - October 7, 2017: Made By Google, Google Assistant, Fake News

There was a lot happening in the Googleverse this week, with some cool new hardware and updates for Hangouts, Webmasters, and Google+.
On October 4th Google had it’s big hardware event, where they introduced “a few new things made by Google”, showcasing their focus on an “AI-first” world. Google Assistant is everywhere!
New products include the new Pixel 2 phones with an excellent new camera and eSIM, earbuds with Google Assistant, Google Home Mini and Max, more integration of Google Assistant with Nest, new AR and VR experiences, the Google Clips AI-enabled camera and the shiny new Pixelbook Chromebook. Google+ got two excellent new features: the web image lightbox now emphasizes captions and comments  and Community moderators can now remove recent content from banned members.You may have noticed a change to Google Hangouts Contact Search. There are no longer suggestions from across Google and Google+ - all you will see in the resules are people from your contacts or organization. I…