Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2020

Weekly Update - December 19, 2020: YouTube, Meet, Photos

It's the last Weekly Update for 2020! Not surprisingly, much of the news this week is about communication. Google Meet is rolling out live captions in more languages; unlimited Zoom calls will be available for Christmas and New Years; and Duo has holiday AR filters.  Google Photos has new automatic creations, including Cinematic Photos, and new themes for collages. And if you have your location history turned on, you can see a map of your daily travels along with your photos. If your YouTube channel has at least 1000 subscribers you can now manage your Community posts in YouTube Studio, and now most channels in the YouTube Partner Program can offer Memberships. And Twitter announced is shutting down Periscope, the last of the live streaming apps that made a big splash in 2015. Finally, there won’t be a post on December 26 as I will be celebrating the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and working on my year-in-review post. Thank you for being loyal readers, and on to 2021!  More bes

Weekly Update - December 12, 2020: YouTube Live, Pixel Camera, Duo

As we move rapidly towards 2021, Google is rolling out its final updates for the year. YouTube now supports HDR for live streaming, Duo lets you screen share in group calls, Pixel phones have new filters in the Google Photos editor and the Camera on the Pixel 4a(5g) and Pixel 5 now has Portrait mode in Night Sight. And there’s more for publishers, webmasters, video creators, and even Microsoft Office users. ‘Tis the season! There are holiday scenes for your next video get-together in Facebook Rooms and Microsoft Teams. And Google’s Santa Tracker is up and running. 2020 in Review Google Search has dubbed 2020 “The year the world asked why?” They have looked at lifestyle trends , trending TV shows and movies , You can see all the trends here . The top global searches: coronavirus, election results, Kobe Bryant, Zoom, IPL, India vs. New Zealand, coronavirus update, coronavirus symptoms, Joe Biden, Google Classroom. Not surprising, although I had forgotten Kobe died in 2020 - that s

Weekly Update - December 5, 2020: Hangouts, YouTube, Maps

So this week is not off to a great start. My county is implementing new stricter stay-at-home rules as COVID-19 cases surge, so the new Explore local feed in Google Maps is nothing but takeout and parks. I’m looking forward to a time when there are actually local things to do. But for now I’ll take YouTube videos and video calls to keep me entertained. This week there are also tips and updates for business owners, YouTubers, photographers and more. Plus highlights of the “best” of 2020. This week’s tutorials Group conversations are migrating from classic Hangouts to Google Chat, so they will be available in both places. Google Chat should be available to everyone in the first half of 2021. YouTube is working to decrease (or at least decrease the impact of) hateful comments . Commenters using the Android app may see a reminder to be respectful if YouTube detects their comment is offensive. And in YouTube Studio the “Held for review” comments and “Likely spam” comments are now on

Improving YouTube comments: respectfulness reminders, improved automated removal, moderation updates

YouTube is making changes that will (hopefully) reduce the number of hateful comments . Or at least make them less visible. The goal is to make YouTube a more welcoming space for both creators and viewers. The old joke is that if you find a great video on YouTube "don't read the comments!"  It's true that there are a subset of of YouTube viewers who seem to be dedicated to posting hateful comments. And this has been made worse by creators who don't moderate the comments on their channel, or worse, actually encourage bad behavior.  This has lead to many creators turning off the comments so that they don't have to deal with hateful content, harassment and abuse.  But YouTube has been working to improve this. Since the beginning of 2019 YouTube has "increased the number of daily hate speech comment removals by 46x."  That's a relative increase, of course, so it might be that the starting point was very

Ten Cool Google Keep Features

The end of the year is a busy time, and I like to keep track of what I need to do by keeping a checklist. I've done it with pencil and paper and with various apps, but the one I find most useful is Google Keep.  Keep lets you easily create free-form notes and checklists with attached links, images and audio recordings that are available anywhere you can access your Google account.  Here are my favorite Google Keep features: 1. Keep notes synchronize between desktop and mobile apps. It's all free. 2. Integration with Google Docs, Calendar and Gmail on desktop. 3. Attach photos or other images to a note or list.  4. Add a drawing (or handwritten note). 5. Grab the text from a photo, image or drawing.  6. Add an audio recording, with a transcription of voice recordings in English. 7. Use Google Assistant to create a note or add to a list. 8. Save web pages using the Chrome Keep extension. 9. Collaborate with other users.

Hangouts group conversations migrating to Google Chat

Classic Hangouts group conversations are migrating to Google Chat beginning December 3 . This is part of the larger migration from classic Hangouts to Chat (for conversations) and Meet (for video calling).  If you use Google Chat, either with your Google Workspace account, or because you have been added as an external user to a Room or Chat conversation, your Hangouts group conversations will start appearing in Chat as well. The group conversations should be available in both classic Hangouts and Chat. Note that if you are using a personal Google account your migration from Hangouts to Chat will be in the first half of 2021.   You will also be able to add and change members of new Chat group conversations. For Chat group conversations created before December 3, you can start an updated conversation with the same group of people, using the "Start a new chat" in the conversation settings. A couple of additional notes: First group Hangouts conversations will be available, follow

Weekly Update - November 28, 2020: Hangouts, Meet, YouTube

This week there are updates to classic Hangouts and Meet, new features being tested on YouTube, and more for YouTubers, business owners, web creators, and social media mavens. I posted a couple tutorials:  Quick tip: Blogger offers more than 1000 fonts for your posts. Learn how to use them (or watch the video ). Tutorial: How to use Google Meet video calling in classic Hangouts (or watch the video ). If you have been using classic Hangouts video calling, try Meet. I think you'll like it. YouTube YouTube is testing automatic video chapters . This uses machine learning to automatically create the chapters. You can opt out or send feedback using this form . YouTube is also testing a way to add automatic timestamps when you comment on a video . That way if you want to say “this is the awesome bit” people can see what you are referring to. Creator Insider answers 8 user questions about how YouTube’s algorithms work. You can now report bad YouTube ads on mobile , in addition t

Start a Google Meet video call from classic Hangouts

  Google is replacing Hangouts video calling in classic Hangouts with Meet. Meet has some great features, but it doesn't work quite the same way as Hangouts video calling, so it's worth understanding the differences.   This is just one change coming to classic Hangouts, which is also  removing the option to place phone calls through the Hangouts app or website. On personal Google accounts Meet video calls can have up to 100 participants,  grid view with up to 49 people ,  closed captions ,  high-quality audio and video screen sharing , and  background replacement . You should see a notice in your Hangouts account when this change goes into effect. In group Hangouts conversations you will only have the option to share a Meet video call link.  In one-to-one Hangouts conversations you will have the choice between sharing a Meet video call link or starting a Hangouts video call.  There are several functional differences bet

Quick Tip: Find and use Blogger's 1000+ Fonts

You can add some character to your Blogger blog posts by using one of the more than a thousand fonts it offers. The fonts are the from the Google Fonts collection , which has open source fonts that can also use for your own non-Blogger website or blog.  The fonts can be classy, like Tangerine Or dramatic, like Bungee Shade Or fun, like   Butterfly Kids Or add some comic book style like Bangers There are fonts in more than 20 different language scripts, from Arabic to Vietnamese. Note: if you want to change the font of your entire blog, customize your blog's Theme instead. Click the Theme  tab on the left menu, then the orange Customize button to change how your blog's theme looks. Watch the video to learn how to quickly add fonts to your Blogger posts editor or read on for detailed instructions. How to add a font to the Blogger post editor Open the Blogger post editor:  1. Click the Font Type button 2. Sel