The rates have been cut quite a bit. For example, you can make calls to a landline in France for $0.02/min, while it will only cost you $0.10/min to call a mobile phone in UK and chat up your British friends. Calls to the U.S. or Canada placed within those countries will continue to be free for the rest of 2011. Calls to the U.S. or Canada placed from outside these countries will be charged $0.01 per minute. That’s a bargain.
Archive for Google
Google has unveiled another enhancement to its Google+ social network with stars which can be used to bookmark memorable posts with Google+. It works like an internal bookmarking system for personal use rather than using the +1 button which is more for public bookmarking.
The new star is located in the top right hand corner of each post with a “Starred” option added to the bottom of the circles list in the left menu list.
Do you use Google to search for stuff while using your tablet? Well, if so, Google has a reward for you. The search giant has just announced that they’ve improved the google search experience on tablets. It becomes more tablet-friendly, since they have simplified the layout of the results pages.
Other improvements include the increased size of the page content and other tweaks so that users will have an easier and faster way to get the info that they want.
Google’s new social network, Google+ is already off to a good start with more than 10 million users announced as of last week. That number is only going to grow. There’s a Google+ Android app of course and now Google has released an iPhone app.
The Google+ iPhone app will play nice with the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4, and it works in a similar way to the Android version. The Google+ iPhone app is available as a free download right now from the iOS App store.
Google has launched its new Google page shortener which will of course work with all Google services. The new g.co shortening service follows the launch of Google’s public URL shortener back in 2009 goo.gl.
They would like you to use it for all your url shortening needs. Google says “Whenever you see a short “g.co” link, you can trust that it will always take you to a Google product or service. We also have a public URL shortener at goo.gl. You can use this to shorten up URLs across the web.”
Looks like Google is taking this social networking thing seriously. The company is reportedly trying to put all of its products under one brand. According to Mashable, Picasa and Blogger may become something like ‘Google Photos’ and ‘Google Blogs.’
Blogger will get a UI overhaul, but otherwise, both services should function exactly the same as they do now. The move may take place within the next six weeks and unify Google’s offerings. Youtube is safe however.
You might have noticed that Google had no tweets in their Google search results yesterday. That is because the company has temporarily suspended the Realtime search feature, as part of its Google+ launch. Google explained that it needs time to integrate Google+ within its social network-based search tool.
And their deal with Twitter has expired. While Google will not have access to this special feed from Twitter, information on Twitter that’s publicly available to their crawlers will still be searchable and discoverable on Google.
Google’s latest push into the social network arena is different than their previous attempts. It wants to take on one of the problems social networking has had from the beginning. The fact that you don’t want to share everything with everybody and you don’t want to constantly make lists of friends to share certain things with. That’s a good place to start.
Google’s new Circles service seems to take care of this problem by making those lists easy. Hangout can be seen as an always on video conference that you or your friends can join. Sparks is a service that aims to deliver fresh content on certain subjects like an RSS reader that you don’t have to set up. We will know in time how well people like it, but Google seems to have done a better job this time.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin says that as many as 80 percent of Google’s employees are no longer using Windows computers. The comments came from an interview with All Things Digital, and suggests that the majority of Google employees are working with the company’s own Chrome OS rather than other platforms. And why not? If you work for Google, you might as well use Google’s OS.
“I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with Windows,” Brin said. “It has a lot of great security features. But I think the complexity of managing your computer is really torturing users.” He claims that Chrome OS does not “put the burden of managing the computer” on users. By next year he hopes that even more employees are using the company’s OS.
Google has taken its first steps into cloud media today with Music Beta, which allows users upload up to 20,000 songs that they can then stream from either a web browser or an Android device. Listeners can even “pin” music to a mobile device to have a permanent copy of those songs to play while “offline”. I wonder what Apple thinks about all of this.
There’s also a new playlist feature called Instant Mix, where Music Beta ‘listens’ to the music and uses the sound of the music to automatically generate a playlist. A Music Manager desktop app for Macs and Windows PCs will allow users to automatically grab and upload their iTunes or Windows Media Player collections to the cloud as well.
We’ve seen variations of it over recent months and years through Google Webmaster Tools and Labs, but the full official tool is now here. Google reminds users that page load speed impact not just their own site conversion rates but also their AdSense offerings and their standing in Google search results.
Google had decided to pull the plug on Google Video, but now it seems that the company has had a change of heart and has put that plan on hold. They are telling users that they are looking for “an easier way” to migrate all of those videos to YouTube.
Originally, Google gave users a choice between downloading these videos or Uploading them to YouTube before it erased them for good, but now they plan to automatically transfer content to YouTube themselves. Seems like that should have been the way to go from the start. Well at least you can rest easy as your videos should live to see another day.
I’m not sure who would have videos stored at Google’s Video service at this point, but if you do, you better get over there and get them quick. This weekend, Google sent a notice to users that it was shutting down the hosting service. They had already stopped taking uploads two years ago.
Google suggests that you migrate your material to YouTube, which is Google owned of course and doing quite well for itself in case you haven’t heard. Google Video began in 2005, the year before Google bought YouTube and now it is time to clean house.
+1 is making its way into Google search results. This means that soon you will be able to “rate” links or ads you find useful and this will be used to tell your friends about the value of that site. Recommendations are filtered to make them as relevant as possible, while people within your social sphere (Gmail etc) get a higher priority.
This will no doubt help Google to improve their social network side and maybe stick it to Facebook just a little bit. The +1 button will start with English Google search and ads soon. Me? I give it a -1. Are we replacing relevancy with popularity? Probably not since Google wouldn’t want to kill it’s moneymaker, but still, this seems like a road better not taken. Popularity does not equal relevancy. I guess we will all see how this goes.
Google has made its pick for the Google Fiber project today and said that it will first roll out the 1Gbps Internet access in Kansas City, Kansas. Good news for folks there. The city was picked from about 1,100 candidates in all. The service should go live in 2012 if the Board of Commissioners signs on.
The project is basically a real-world way to test the future of high speed Internet connections. We need to prepare and a 1Gbps connection has more than enough bandwidth for streaming 3D video and other tasks that lie ahead. More bandwidth opens up a lot of possibilities. Real-time telemedicine, remote education, and perfect quality video conferencing to name a few.