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Google Talk – Instant Messaging and VOIP App from Google?

When Google talks, the world listens. People get ready to open your ears, because Google is about to speak loud and clear as the Internet anticipates the release this week of Google Talk – the Google Instant Messaging service. Google executives have hinted that the company will be releasing a new communications tool on Wednesday and most clues and leaks point to the messaging and/or VOIP tool from Google – Google Talk.

Unlike most net rumors, the buzz around Google Talk has legs to stand on. First reason is that the subdomain chúng tôi is live and redirects usersto chúng tôi which now serves a 404 error message. For the most part, if Google is not using a subdomain it does not exist at all and would not redirect or serve any message.

Additionally, Google is currently running a Jabber server which was picked up by a Neowin member. Om Malik explains how Jabber is a voice-over-IM technology which is growing rapidly in popularity:

Jabber already has a deal with AOL, and from the looks of it, is fast becoming a platform of choice for voice-over-IM. Jabber’s deal with AOL is all about offering “federated IM” service that can also connect to ICQ and Apple’s iChat. And now Google. And this is the worst possible news for someone like Skype, because now they will up against not two but three giants who want to offer a pale-version of Skype.

Chances also exist that the Google offering will go beyond messaging or chat and be a total voice operated communications system, offering VOIP technology with the ability to do VOIP to telephone calls as well. Google’s recent acquisition of Android may also point to the new Google Talk tool also being mobile friendly.

Oh yeah, adding to the notion of Google targeting feeds such as AdSense or Web Clips to its Jabber based messaging client : Jabber is XML based, using XMPP programming.

Google, time to speak up, the world is listening.

Additional info : I was sitting here thinking to myself why the build up to Wednesday August 24th. After checking out the “This Day in History” information on the 24th of August I found this : August 24th, 1891 : Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera. Given Google’s past of commemorating little-known days in science history, I’m wondering if there might be a little something to this date, Thomas Edison, the moving picture, and Google IM / VOIP – AND Google Video.

Could Google be adding video capabilities to its Google Talk Messenger that would make the software worth downloading and using?

Would the video chat service be via webcam? Hmmm… the more I’m thinking the more the PR person comes out in me. What if Google sent every computer user in the US a Google Webcam and easy install disc of Google Talk on August 24th? That’s not too far out there is it?

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Google Talk Spins Google In New Direction

Google Talk Spins Google in New Direction

Some believe that Google’s main target in this new web communications market is Skype, the VOIP messaging company which built VOIP as a household communications tool from the ground up. Although Google’s Google Talk offers VOIP computer to computer calling services, its overall offering is quite white bread.

Besides, keeping Google Talk simplified for now makes sense if Google is planning on adapting another technology. The transition from Google Talk’s current Jabber platform to Skype would be quite simple as the only thing differentiating Google Talk from other open apps is the Google GMail member identification.

Additionally, a video feed subscription service may be another future add on – and not just a rumor. Google is currently looking for a Sr. Video Conferencing Engineer to develop a digital video conferencing application for Google to roll out on a global scale according to a HotJobs posting. By adding video conferencing to the mix, Google would bring a unique offering to the Instant Messaging table to move it beyond the other Skype, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL offerings.

Critics of Google have always said that its popularity could crash as easily as it grew without a strong offering beyond search. Until recently, the stickiest user base Google had was its Orkut social network, which took off like wildfire in Brazil but never really reached the capacity of LiveJournal or Friendster in the United States.

Google Analytics Filters Bot Traffic From App + Web Properties

In an update to Google Analytics, bot traffic will be automatically filtered out of reports for Web + App properties.

“In App + Web properties, traffic from bots and spiders is automatically excluded. This ensures that your Analytics data, to the extent possible, does not include events from known bots.”

This news was first shared by Charles Farina on Twitter:

New feature: bot filtering just launched for @googleanalytics App + Web properties.

— Charles Farina (@CharlesFarina) June 29, 2023

Google identifies bot traffic using a combination of internal research and the International Spiders and Bots list, which is maintained by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Automatic filtering of bot traffic from Web + App properties is now enabled by default and cannot be turned off.

Google notes that site owners will not be able to see how much bot traffic was excluded.

There’s no mention of why Google is suddenly deciding to crack down on bot traffic for Web + App properties.

Google also didn’t say why site owners won’t be able to see how much bot traffic those properties are receiving.

Filtering bot traffic by default, without letting site owners choose otherwise, is a fairly notable contrast to how bot filtering is handled for other GA properties.

If you have a Web + App property in your Google Analytics account you should make an annotation about the switch to automatic bot filtering.

Bot Filtering in Google Analytics

Bot filtering is available for regular web properties in Google Analytics, but it’s a setting that site owners need to turn on manually.

Site owners can also set up separate views in Google Analytics to compare their data with and without bot traffic.

Google is typically more transparent about bot traffic, while also giving site owners the flexibility to filter it how they wish.

For more information about filtering bot traffic in Google Analytics, see our guide:

What Are Web + App Properties?

Web + App properties in Google Analytics are fairly new, having only been introduced last summer.

They’re specifically for websites that also have have mobile apps. They’re designed to track users’ journeys across the two platforms.

With Web + App properties site owners can measure data across their app and website all in one place. The properties can support up to 50 data streams across apps, websites, and web apps in a single property.

This data can be used, for example, to see how many users started on your app then visited your website to make a purchase.

Site owners can also use Web + App properties to quickly compare how users engage with their app versus their website.

Or, just rely on GA’s automated insights, which use machine learning to identify key trends and anomalies in data.

Before these properties were introduced site owners had to use multiple products in order to measure app and website engagement. Now it can all be done in Google Analytics.

Depending on how many streams of data you have connected to one property, the difference in traffic without bots could be substantial.

So keep that in mind as you analyze month over month data.

Source: Google Analytics Help

How To Remove Devices And Customize The Google Home App

The Google Home app is a versatile and user-friendly application that serves as a centralized hub for managing various smart devices within your home. It allows users to control and monitor compatible devices such as smart speakers, smart displays, thermostats, lights, and more, all from a single interface. In addition to its device management capabilities, the Google Home app offers customization options to tailor the user experience according to individual preferences.

While the Google Home app provides seamless integration and control over smart devices, there are instances where removing devices becomes necessary. Removing devices from the app allows users to declutter their list and maintain a more organized and efficient setup.

How to Remove Devices in the Google Home App

Whether replacing a device with a new one, experiencing connectivity issues, or simply no longer using a particular device, removing it from the Google Home app ensures that only relevant and active devices are displayed, streamlining the management process. Additionally, removing devices can help resolve conflicts or troubleshoot problems that may arise when multiple devices are connected to the same app.

Open the Google Home app on your phone.

Locate and long-press the device that you want to remove.

At the bottom of the page, tap the Remove device button.

When prompted, tap Remove to confirm.

By removing unnecessary devices, users can optimize their experience and focus on controlling the devices that are actively in use.

How to Reorganize and Customize the Google Home App

Customizing the Google Home app allows users to personalize their smart home experience and tailor the app’s interface to their preferences. With the option to customize the app, users can optimize their interaction with smart devices, ensuring that the most frequently used features and controls are easily accessible.

Whether rearranging device tiles, creating custom room groups, or setting up routines and shortcuts, customization empowers users to create a personalized and streamlined interface that aligns with their unique needs and usage patterns. By customizing the Google Home app, users can enhance convenience, efficiency, and overall satisfaction in managing their smart home ecosystem.

Create a New Room

Creating a new room in the Google Home app enables users to categorize and organize their smart devices based on their physical location or function. Users can efficiently control and manage multiple devices within a designated space by assigning devices to specific rooms, enhancing convenience and simplifying their smart home experience.

Open the Google Home app on your phone.

Locate and long-press any device listed in the app.

Tap Room.

Scroll down to the Create new section.

Select one of the pre-created room suggestions.

You can also scroll to the bottom and tap Add a custom room…

Enter the name of the room.

Tap the Save button in the top right corner.

Of course, this isn’t something you’ll need to mess with unless you add an addition to your home. But more than likely, you’ll find yourself creating a new room in the Google Home app when you start adding devices and accessories to a room that didn’t already have any.

Move Devices to a Different Room

Moving a smart home device to a different room in the Google Home app allows users to update its location and ensure accurate device organization.

Open the Google Home app on your phone.

Locate and long-press any device listed in the app.

Tap the Settings icon in the top right corner.

Tap Room.

Select a different location under the My rooms section.

Tap the Save button in the top right corner.

By easily reassigning devices to the appropriate room, users can maintain a well-structured and intuitive layout within the app, making it more convenient to control and manage their smart devices according to their desired locations.

Add Favorites For Quick Access

Another great feature of the updated Google Home app is the new “Favorites” tab. This is the first screen you are taken to whenever you open the app, giving you quick and easy access to the smart home devices you control most. Plus, if you have any security cameras, you can add them to your Favorites page and take a quick glance at them.

Open the Google Home app on your phone.

Tap the Favorites tab in the bottom toolbar.

At the bottom of the page, tap the Edit button

Tap the checkbox next to the devices that you want to favorite.

Once selected, tap the Save button in the bottom right corner.

The new Google Home app also makes it easier than ever to rearrange the layout of devices from the Favorites page. All you need to do is tap the Reorder button at the bottom of the Favorites screen. Then, drag and drop the devices in the order you want them to appear.

Check the “Linked To You” Section

You may have skipped over or forgotten to add a smart home device to a specific room. This doesn’t mean those accessories and devices aren’t available, but they aren’t currently assigned. Thankfully, there’s a dedicated section for these types of accessories, and here’s how you can move them to their appropriate rooms:

Open the Google Home app on your phone.

Tap the Devices tab in the bottom toolbar.

Scroll to the bottom until you reach the Linked to you section.

Long-press the device you want to move.

Tap the Settings button in the top right corner.

Tap Room.

Select a different location under the My rooms section.

Tap the Save button in the top right corner.

This is a nice way to keep your Google Home app clean and organized. Plus, you might find some older devices that are no longer in use but still appear in the app. The “Linked to you” section is quite convenient, so long as you remember to look for it if you can’t find a recently added device.

What Is The Google Home App And How To Use It

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The Google Home app is one of the most effective tools for managing your smart home. Given the increasing adoption of smart home devices and Google’s prevalence in that space, the app is increasingly one of the go-to hubs for controlling all aspects of domestic tech.

But what is the Google Home app, how does it work, and what can you do with it? We’ve answered all of these questions in this handy guide.

What can you do with the Google Home app?

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The app can be used to control an almost endless list of smart devices, such as cameras, lights, and speakers. Multiple devices can be activated at once, and you can even set them to be automated. It’s also useful for managing services like calendars, to-do lists, and media subscriptions.

There are dozens of types of devices that can be controlled by the app, and each one has a range of functions that can be performed remotely. This adds up to hundreds of actions you can perform with the app. Listing those functions would be endless, but we’ve summarised the features of the app that you can explore.

Google Home app features

Here’s a rundown of the general features that the Google Home app offers:

Set up Google devices — From the Google Nest Mini to your Google Nest Wi-Fi router, Google Home is the app you use to configure them when you’re first setting them up.

Control and manage compatible devices — Thousands of smart home devices from many brands are compatible with Google Assistant. The Google Home app can detect what type of device they are and give you the means to control them in-app or with your voice. Popular actions include adjusting the thermostat, making calls, changing the music, and much more.

Quick actions — These make controlling your devices easier via shortcuts in the app. This could be a link to your camera feed or access to your smart thermostat. You could also set routines for multiple devices, such as having several lights turn on at a scheduled time in the evening.

Group devices — Your devices can be organized into groups. This could be a connected set of speakers, or it could be every smart device in one room.

Alerts and notifications — The app has a feed of notifications about important device activities and reminders.

Adjust settings — Find and manage settings for all of your devices, services, and home members.

New features

On top of the usual features above, the Google Home app recently got a revamp to include some new additions. You can already preview this version of the app with these new features, some of which are:

Spaces — Quickly view and control groups of similar devices such as compatible lights, cameras, and thermostats.

Media mini player — Be better placed to adjust settings on video playing in your home by actually viewing what’s on the screen through the app.

Automation — Go beyond routines and build your own automation, such as one smart home device detecting movement and triggering the activation of other devices.

The Google Home app is available on your phone or tablet as with any app. It has recently also become an option on the Pixel Watch and other Wear OS 3 wearables.

You’ll then be asked to set up a device, which you can do at this point or any time afterward. You can either select New Device to add a device, or you can link one of your existing devices already previously identified in the app.

When adding a new device, you’ll be asked to give the app permission to detect and connect to nearby Bluetooth devices. Do this and follow the subsequent prompts to locate and add the device or devices of your choosing.

As you add devices, you’ll see them accumulated on your home screen, which should now show your home’s name. To add more devices, create speaker groups, manage your services, and more, you’ll find all of the options you need in the Add and Manage menu. This is accessed by tapping on the + symbol in the top left of the home screen.

Now that you’ve connected your account, created a home, and added your devices, you’re all set. The possibilities from here are limited only by the functionality of your devices.

FAQs

Yes, the app is free to download and use. But if you are using it to control services that require a subscription such as Spotify, you will have to pay for that subscription.

If you don’t use the app and want to delete it then nothing will happen. If you use it to control your smart home devices then deleting it will remove that ability, and you may lose any settings or configurations from within the app for your smart home devices.

New Google Featured Snippets Combine Content From Multiple Publishers

Google is now displaying featured snippets that pull content from multiple publishers and combine it into one result.

The featured snippet answers questions for searchers by creating a listicle of sorts.

Here’s an example shared by Cyrus Shepard for the query “seeds with highest omega 3:”

This is an incredible search result from Google:

— Cyrus (@CyrusShepard) February 23, 2023

As Shepard points out, the trouble with these featured snippets is they do not do the best job of directing traffic to publishers.

However, if the searcher decides to expand the snippet with one of the drop down menus they’ll see not one but multiple links to other sites.

You can get a better look at how the snippet functions in this example shared by Jon Henshaw:

— Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) February 24, 2023

Many still share the same concern of publishers not getting enough credit in these snippets.

The concerns prompted Google’s Danny Sullivan to respond and explain the company’s line of thinking behind these snippets.

In a series of tweet, Sullivan states:

“Since I got asked about this, a couple of things.

Most important, the future of Google Search is to continue supporting the ecosystem. We don’t thrive & users don’t thrive unless the ecosystem thrives.

Support of the ecosystem is constantly raised in meetings I’m in. It always comes up. It is a front-line concern with everyone involved with search. Any feature you see, impact on ecosystem has been considered. The hope is that overall, as Google grows, so does the ecosystem….

Sullivan continues by adding that these snippets are not brand new and have been out for months.

Personally I have not encountered them and, judging by the amount of attention this is getting on Twitter, many others haven’t either.

Ultimately, these snippets are designed to let users explore and find information.

Although it’s a different way of finding information, it’s still what search has always strived to do for users.

Sullivan concludes his train of thought with a rhetorical question:

“Does search not become search if you can scan and scroll through results horizontally rather than vertically? Does search only remain search if it looks and acts like it’s 1998.”

Search has evolved since inception and this is a sign of its continued evolution.

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