Quick! Where you were last Wednesday at 7.30 PM? If you carry any Android phone or tablet, Google now can automatically figure out where you work and warn you about traffic.
Google launched the first version of this tool around the same time that they launched Latitude. After they killed latitude off, they kept their location browser around, polishing it up and adding new little tricks as time went on.
Google released Android device manager for locating and remotely wiping your missing phones and tablets. At that time, the service was available only on the web. Now it’s available to your mobile devices. Android device manager contains all the functionality from the website in a mobile friendly package and it is of course free.
The same functionality came to Android devices in August, but it was a cumbersome browser based solution that wouldn’t help anyone in a panic. The setup forced users to visit a website with an extremely long URL and it didn’t have the option to lock the phone or tablet at first. It was either “ring” or “erase everything” with no in-between locking measure.
Google shared some product updates with new features for responsive ad units and a multi-screen optimization score to complement and strengthen your strategy.
Following are the new features for responsive ad units:
Google+ updated its Auto Awesome feature to automatically add snow to winter photos, and today is rolling out a fun holiday-themed feature. Take any picture you’re viewing and shake your Android device to give it that snowy look. If you like what you see, give it another shake to save a copy with the snow built in.
You need not go outside to get the snow effect, instead opting to never leave our warm dens of solitude. Also, be careful when shaking your device we’d hate for you to destroy your phone or tablet.
Google+ also announced several other new features:
The update is being rolled out in batches so it can take a few days to show up on your Android device.
Twitter announced a new feature that it calls “broad match for keyword targeting” which allow advertisers running keyword targeted campaigns to reach users who are using synonyms alternate spellings, or “Twitter Lingo.”
For instance, if the coffee shop sells lattes but not espressos, it can use the “+” modifier on the broad matched terms to prevent broadening and targeting the wrong users. Targeting “love + latte” will match to users who tweet “luv latte,” but not those who tweet “luv espresso.”
Google has provided few suggestions in a new webmaster help video regarding how to recover from Google penalty due to spammy links.
Matt Cutts answered to the question
“How did Interflora turn their ban in 11 days? Can you explain what kind of penalty they had, how they fixed it, as some of us have spent months trying to clean things up after an unclear GWT notification?”
Google announced that it is adding a feature to Gmail and Google calendar that will let users download their data from the services. Google also offers the option to download a single archive of all account data across Gmail calendar, Google+, YouTube, Drive and more.
As announced in a post over at the official Google blog, users can now export their calendar data in the iCalendar format and Gmail archive in the MBOX format, both readily acceptable by Apple’s OS X/iOS calendar app and the stock OS X Mail program respectively.
Google bought seven robotic companies in the past six months-Schaft, Industrial Perception, Meka, Redwood Robotics, Bot & Dolly, Autofocus and Holomni-for an effort to create manufacturing and logistics robots under former Android Head Andy Robin.
Andy Rubin will be in charge of quite the budget, it seems although Google didn’t disclose numbers, as Larry Page himself took the Google+ to congratulate the ex-Android chief for his future strokes of genius on the way to creating our robotic overloads. It’s not clear what kind of robots the group will build, but several of the companies involved previously built humanoid robotic arms and it seems like Rubin is suggesting that Google’s creation might be able to move, reach and grab things like a person.
In an interview with the New York Times, Rubin said that he had convinced Google founder Sergey Brin and Larry Page that now was the time to make a move into robotics, even though such a plan might not deliver results in short term. “Like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor we need enough runway and a 10-year vision” Rubin told the paper.
The robotics efforts will not be aimed at consumers, but rather industrial applications with Rubin pointing to opportunities in manufacturing and logistics, highlighting frustrations with the complexity of the consumer electronics industry, which is dominated by labor-intensive assembly.
With Rubin at the helm, it looks like Google’s robotics hobby is going to turn into a full-fledged business. After tackling search, advertising, e-mail, mapping, browsers, video, social networks, internet access, mobile phones and laptops, perhaps robotics looks to be next big business for Google.