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Let’s pause for a moment of silence to remember Google Wave, a service that has gone off to greener pastures. Google confirmed the news late yesterday, saying the service hadn’t seen the type of user adoption it had been hoping for.
The news is not all bad for Google, though; just this morning, iSuppli released new Android sales stats, and the numbers look pretty good. In fact, they look great. iSuppli’s researchers say that Android’s market share will surpass that of Apple’s iOS by 2012, at which point Google’s mobile OS will be used in 75 million smartphones.
Google is known for its ambitious experiments. While some are notable successes — in addition to Android, there’s Gmail, Google Docs, Google Voice, and more — others are less so. Here are four Google services, both rumored and real, that I think will soon go the way of Google Wave.
Picking on Google Buzz is almost too easy; this Twitter-wannabe has been plagued with problems since its launch earlier this year. First, Google Buzz was criticized for disclosing your Gmail contacts to other Buzz users. Then, it was criticized for automatically linking to other activities in Google services — like Reader and Picasa — also used by Buzz users. Google was even hit with a lawsuit over Buzz.
But you know what’s worse than all of that? The fact that no one seems to care. No one is buzzing over Buzz these days. I took a peek at my Buzz account this morning, and the most recent post I see is from May…and that post is one that asks if anyone is still using Buzz. I guess we know the answer.
Google Fast Flip
Google News is one of the handiest services to come from Google. It aggregates a ton of news content, giving you access to a virtual newsstand right on your computer. I can’t, however, say the same about Google Fast Flip. This service, now just about a year old, was designed to speed up the process of browsing through news stories online. Fast Flip presents you with an online news story laid out in such a way that it’s supposed to look more like the content does on its originating site.
Google TV is the search giant’s ambitious plan to bring its Android platform to TVs and set-top boxes as soon as this fall. In partnership with Intel and Sony, Google will deliver Android software that allows you to search for and view Web-based content from your TV. You’ll also be able to control the system with your Android-based phone, play with Android apps (like Pandora) on a big screen, and access content stored on a DVR.
But to do so, you’ll have to buy a new TV or set-top box — and no one knows how much that will cost. You’ll also need to have that TV set up in range of a very strong Wi-Fi connection or near an Ethernet connection, otherwise all that Internet content will be inaccessible. No one knows how much a Google TV-enabled set or set-top box will cost, but I can tell you this: it won’t be cheap enough to sway me. I’ve tested devices that let me access Internet content on my TV, and you know what I’ve found? Crappy YouTube videos look even worse on a big screen.
Google Me (The Rumored Facebook-Killer)
We don’t know for sure that there is a project called “Google Me.” And we don’t know for sure that Google is working on a social networking site designed to compete with (or perhaps kill) Facebook. But if Google is working on such a project, I think it’s destined to fail. Here’s why.
If the purpose of a social network is to connect with other people, you need a social network that has plenty of members. And Facebook definitely has plenty of members, despite all the negative publicity it has received lately about its privacy problems. Will all 500 million Facebook users migrate to Google Me? I doubt it — and those 500 million members are what makes Facebook so attractive.
You may argue that those people who abandoned Facebook because of its privacy problems might make the move to Google Me, but unless they’re bringing millions of their closest friends along with them, they’re not going to do much good. And Google doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to social networks and privacy (see the aforementioned section on Google Buzz), so it may have trouble winning people over there.
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Google has launched a new device under its Chromecast lineup with the release of the Chromecast with Google TV. The new Chromecast device comes with useful features like a personalized home screen with recommended content from all your streaming subscriptions, an app store to download new apps and services, Google Voice assistant, and many more.
In this post, we’ll be discussing everything that’s new with the Chromecast with Google TV, what it offers, how it compares with previous Chromecast devices, how and where to buy it, and should you buy it or not. Let’s get started.
What is Google TV Stick aka Chromecast with Google TV?
The Chromecast with Google TV is Google’s latest Chromecast device that moves beyond just screen-casting and welcomes a new way to interact with your television using an Android-TV like experience that the Mountain View company calls Google TV. What this means is Google TV is Google’s version of an Android TV but with a dedicated user interface that is fully-equipped with media streaming features.
Think of Google TV as Google’s version of Android TV. If Android TV is the stock UI for all TVs running on Android like stock Android on smartphones, Google TV is like the Android UI running on Google’s Pixel phones. Just like other Android TVs, Google TV also supports access to YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, Hulu, and Disney Plus. You can access content from other sources by installing apps like you would on your Android phone.
Google’s new Chromecast device also comes with its own remote control that has a dedicated Google Assistant button to call up the Assistant at any time or screen. There are also quick access buttons that let you open the YouTube and Netflix apps. Other features include 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, a live channel guide, browsing movies and TV using Google Play.
Chromecast with Google TV is available for an asking price of $49.99 in three colors – Snow, Sunrise, and Sky.
How does it compare with older Chromecast devices?
If you wish to know what’s different between the new Chromecast with Google TV and the previous generation of Chromecast devices, then the following table should explain it to you.
Feature Chromecast with Google TV Previous-generation Chromecast
Video Resolution Supports up to 4K HDR Supports up to 1080p HD
Voice Remote Yes, with a dedicated Google Assistant button No
Content Streaming Uses Google TV to let you browse content from the home screen, install apps and search within them, get personalized recommendations Not available
Manage smart home devices Yes Not supported
Ability to pair with Nest devices Compatible with Nest displays and speakers Compatible with Nest displays and speakers
Cast from Android/iOS Yes Yes
Play games via streaming Supported with Google Stadia (coming in 2023) Not supported
What do you get with Chromecast with Google TV out of the box?
When you buy the Chromecast with Google TV, you get the following accessories inside the box.
Chromecast with Google TV: Plugs directly into the TV using an HDMI port; comes with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity; supports 4K HDR, 60 FPS, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos.
Voice Remote: Comes with Integrated microphone for Google Assistant; Bluetooth connectivity; IR to control TV, soundbar, or receiver; has an Accelerometer sensor
2x AAA batteries
What can you bundle along with Chromecast with Google TV?
While you can buy it individually for $49.99, Google is offering the Chromecast with Google TV with different bundles. You can take a look at all the bundles below:
Double the Entertainment Package for $129.98: 2x Chromecasts with Google TV + Netflix for 6 months
Around the House Package for $243.99 or $10.17 monthly: Includes Chromecast with Google TV + Nest Hub Max
Home of Entertainment Package for $423.97 or $17.67 monthly: Comes with 1x Chromecast with Google TV + 2x Nest Audio speakers + Nest Hub Max
Google is also offering a Nest Wifi router and point as an add-on for $239 where you might be able to save $30 when adding it to one of these bundles.
Where can I get the new Chromecast with Google TV?
The all-new Chromecast with Google TV and Voice Remote can be purchased on the Google Store in the US and is currently on pre-order for users in the UK, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe.
What do you need to use Chromecast with Google TV?
Before you can start using the new Chromecast with Google TV, you need to make sure that you have the following things:
Chromecast with Google TV, of course!
A TV with an HDMI port
A Wi-Fi network
An Android or iOS smartphone
A Google account that you actively use
Google Home app installed on your phone
How to use Chromecast with Google TV
If you have already bought the new Chromecast with Google TV and are finding it hard to understand the basics of using it, the guides below will help you use the new streaming device and make the most of it.
How to set up ‘Chromecast with Google TV’ and pair Chromecast remote
So you’ve brought home the new Chromecast with Google TV and you’re looking to pair your remote and Chromecast to set it up for the very first time. Worry not! The guide below should help you get your new Chromecast device up and running.
▶ How to set up ‘Chromecast with Google TV’ and pair Chromecast remote
How to Cast to Google TV Chromecast From Your Android, iPhone, and Windows PC
In case you didn’t know, while the new Chromecast offers to be able to stream content, it still offers you easy casting from your smartphone to your TV like all previous Chromecast devices. You can take a look at how you can cast to the all-new Google TV from your mobile device by going through the guide below.
▶ How to Cast to Google TV Chromecast From Your Android, iPhone, and Windows PC
How To Add a Movie or TV Show to Watchlist
Chromecast with Google TV streamlines your home screen with personalized recommendations and content from the services you’re subscribed to but also lets you add items to your watchlist on your own.
▶ How To Add a Movie or TV Show to Watchlist on Google TV Chromecast
How to remove the lock icon on Google TV Chromecast
If you’re already using the new Google TV Chromecast, then you might have noticed a lock icon that appears below certain movies and TV show thumbnails. What this lock essentially means is that you aren’t subscribed to a particular service yet and will have to pay to watch that content on your TV. Follow the guide below to remove the lock icon on the Chromecast with Google TV device.
▶ How to remove the lock icon on Google TV Chromecast
How to fix Voice Remote pairing with Google TV Chromecast
Some users have been reporting problems while pairing the Voice Remote with the new Chromecast with Google TV. If you are having this problem too, then fear not as we have a fix for it in the guide we’ve prepared below.
▶ Can’t pair Voice Remote with Google TV Chromecast? Here’s how to fix the issue
Can’t Cast to Google TV Chromecast? Here’s How to Fix It
The new iteration of Google Chromecast brings with it a new remote, a new UI, and a bunch of new features to use but like any new electronic device comes with its own set of issues, bugs, and caveats. If you’re having trouble while casting your videos and shows, then take a look at the guide below to get your new Chromecast with Google TV running like it’s meant to be.
▶ Can’t Cast to Google TV Chromecast? Here’s How to Fix It
Why should you buy the Chromecast with Google TV?
The following are some reasons that make the Chromecast with Google TV something that you should buy:
It’s cheap at just $49.99
Supports 4K HDR streaming
Can play HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision video formats
Watch live TV with YouTube TV
Comes with a remote offering dedicated Netflix and YouTube buttons
Offers Google Assistant
Screen-cast from iOS or Android phone
Shows you recommended content based on your watch history
Can be paired with Nest displays and speakers
Can manage other smart home devices
Why should you NOT buy the Chromecast with Google TV?
With the extent of its options, Google’s new Chromecast device still fails to impress for a few reasons like:
Doesn’t come with Google Stadia support out of the box
Doesn’t feature buttons for play/pause, forward, or rewind
Support for 4K upscaling not available like the Nvidia Shield TV
8GB of inbuilt storage is quite low in this day and age
Don’t expect to watch Apple TV+
Can’t remap the Netflix button
Earlier in 2023, Google proudly declared that Photos had crossed the sacred 1 billion users milestone, becoming its ninth product to do so. Most smartphone users already know all about the blessing that is Google Photos. But if you’re only finding out about the free app, there are a couple of things you must know.
First, it is one of the most versatile gallery apps out there, fully capable of whatever stock gallery app you’re using. And second, it offers unlimited free storage for your photos and videos, as long as your photos and videos don’t go above 16MP and 1080P, respectively.
The two aforementioned factors have already made Google Photos one of the most-used applications in the world, but Google still believes there’s room for improvement. In an attempt to make the Photos app more social, Google is introducing a new private messaging feature on all platforms — Android, iOS, and Web. And this piece is all about exploring whether this addition is making the already great Photos app even better.
RELATED: Why Google Photos is the Best Photo Editor App on Android
What is Chat in Google Photos
Google Photos automatically backs up all the photos in your stock gallery app, but there are still some photos, usually shared on instant messaging services, that don’t make their way into Google’s repository. So, in an attempt to remedy the situation, Google has introduced private messaging in the app, which would allow you to share your photos with any individual or group in a heartbeat.
RELATED: How to save photos online for free using Google Photos
How to use Chat in Google Photos
Follow these simple steps to start sharing your photos.
Step 1: Open the Google Photos app. Now, open any photo.
Step 2: Tap on the share icon at the bottom-left corner.
Step 3: Select recipients.
Step 4: Add a message (optional).
Step 5: Hit Send.
You can access an open thread by going into the Sharing tab.
RELATED: Best Google Photos tips you MUST know
What can you share in Chat
Everything you can store, you can share. Yes, that means both photos and videos. To share a video, simply follow the steps mentioned in the previous section.
What’s the quality of photos and videos
Google Photos will maintain the default backup quality. If you were backing up in High quality, your photos will be shared in high quality, as well. If you had opted for Express, your photos will have a lower resolution.
How it is different from live albums, shared albums and shared libraries
As Google clarifies, this new private messaging option is a lot more straightforward and social. Most of us like to have the option of sharing instantaneously, especially when we are considering a single snap. Creating a shared album or shared library, with pre-selected participants, can feel a lot more tedious on such occasions. Google has understood the need of the hour and wishes to rectify it with the help of this reworked messaging option. Select a photo, choose participants, open a thread — it’s that simple.
Can you group share in this?
Yes, group share has also been made simpler in Google Photos. At the time of sharing a photo/video, simply pick the participants, add an optional message, and start chatting. You can also add participants by tapping on the ‘+’ icon adjacent to the last group member’s name.
How to download photos and videos from chat?
Saving a photo/video from a private conversation is also pretty straightforward. Simply tap and hold a photo, go to the three-dot menu, and save to device. The photo will be ready for offline viewing in your gallery.
If you have any questions for Google Photos, let us know.
Will it ever be possible for Google to create an index of audio content that users can search through like web pages?
Results of early testing, which Google published in a blog article, indicates audio search is harder to accomplish than it might sound.
Details of these tests are shared in an article penned by Tim Olson, SVP of digital strategic partnerships at KQED.
Google is partnering with KQED in a joint effort to make audio more findable.
With the help of chúng tôi an AI services provider, Google and KQED ran tests to determine how to transcribe audio in a way that’s fast and error-free.
Here’s what they discovered.The Difficulties of Audio Search
The greatest obstacle to making audio search a possibility is the fact that audio must be converted to text before it can be searched and sorted.
There’s currently no way to accurately transcribe audio in a way that allows it to be found quickly.
The only way audio search on a worldwide scale would ever be possible is through automated transcriptions. Manual transcriptions would take considerable time and effort away from publishers.Limitations of Current Speech-to-Text Technology
Google conducted tests with KQED and chúng tôi by applying the latest speech-to-text tools to a collection of audio news.
Limitations were discovered in the AI’s ability to identify proper nouns (also known as named entities).
Named entities sometimes need context to be understood to be identified accurately, which the AI doesn’t always have.
“KQED’s local news audio is rich in references of named entities related to topics, people, places, and organizations that are contextual to the Bay Area region. Speakers use acronyms like “CHP” for California Highway Patrol and “the Peninsula” for the area spanning San Francisco to San Jose. These are more difficult for artificial intelligence to identify.”
When named entities aren’t understood, the AI makes its best guess of what was said. However, that’s an unacceptable solution for web search, because an incorrect transcription can change the entire meaning of what was said.What’s Next?
Work will continue on audio search with plans to make the technology widely accessible when it gets developed.
David Stoller, Partner Lead for News & Publishing at Google, says the technology will be openly shared when work on this project is complete.
“One of the pillars of the Google New Initiative is incubating new approaches to difficult problems. Once complete, this technology and associated best practices will be openly shared, greatly expanding the anticipated impact.”
Today’s machine learning models aren’t learning from their mistakes, Olson of KQED says, which is where humans may need to step in.
The next step is to test a feedback loop where newsrooms help to improve the machine learning models by identifying common transcription errors.
“We’re confident that in the near future, improvements into these speech-to-text models will help convert audio to text faster, ultimately helping people find audio news more effectively.”
Google Maps Alternatives: Which One Will You Try?
The user always thinks of using an app that can be more accessible and is robust enough just like Google Maps or even more than that. What is the best alternative to Google Maps? Is it MapQuest, Waze or any other?
We will discuss both online and offline maps and navigation apps for your devices offering you the best of features and helpful information. Here’s the list of navigation apps other than Google Maps, if you face Google Maps not working problem or just want to ditch Google entirely.
Google Maps Alternatives To Try In 2023 (Android and iOS)
One of the best Google Maps alternatives is MapQuest especially for people using public transport for their daily commuting. This is an amazing turn-by-turn navigation app where you can even use voice navigation while walking, driving or exploring. You can even compare local transportation services amidst your route and book cabs or so from the app itself.
Up-to-date satellite imagery and maps.
Turn-by-turn voice navigation for walking and driving directions.
Real-time traffic updates.
Live traffic cameras that lets you view road conditions.
2. Pocket Earth
One of the rapidly growing navigation apps for iOS platforms, Pocket Earth is a Google Maps alternative that uses OpenStreetMap data for up-to-date navigation. This amazing application is available for offline maps and navigation. The app is free for use and has covered more than 1,00,000 places and all of them are
Access maps online and offline and save data roaming costs.
Personalize maps to show the info you want.
Online Routing with directions of your multi-stop itineraries.
Online street address search and contacts integration.
Platform: Android, iOS
If you are looking for offline maps and navigation apps, OsmAnd tops the list. This Google Maps alternative gives you free access to high-quality offline maps available all across the world. With its amazing features, voice and visual navigation, and other notable points of interest, you can use GPS navigation along with turn-by-turn voice guidance.
Turn-by-turn voice guidance.
Driving routes get rebuilt whenever you deviate from them i.e. Rerouting.
Massive lane guidance, street names, and ETA will help along the way.
Shows speed limit and get reminders if you exceed it.
Platform: Android, iOS
Another alternative to Google Maps in the list is chúng tôi Get this awesome navigation apps for your device with turn-by-turn navigation. Available for iOS and Android platforms, this location navigating app is trusted by millions of travelers all across the world. This free GPS app is worth checking out for its full-featured search function, voice navigation and much more.
Along with the location, you can check for restaurants, ATMs and places of interests.
Maps.me is ad-supported and you can pay to remove them.
Directions to points of interest (POI), hiking trails and places missing from other maps.
Maps are updated by millions of OpenStreetMap contributors daily.
Platform: Android, iOS
Instant route changes to avoid traffic and save you time.
Listen to your favorite music, podcasts & more right from Waze.
Get ETA based on live traffic data.
Choose from a variety of voices to guide you while you drive.
Summing Up: Which Google Maps Alternative Will You Choose?
Next You May Like To Read:
Fix For Google Maps Not Working On Android Problem
How To Use Google Maps Offline On Android
Feel free to share your experience with us. Also, don’t forget to like us on Social Media.
About the author
Google Safe Browsing is a service that allows developers and browsers to check if a URL contains malware or phishing content. The service relies on a list of URLs that are regularly updated based on data collected from users.
The list of browsers that rely on the Google Safe Browsing service includes Chrome, Safari, Vivaldi, Firefox, and GNOME Web. As you can see, Google Chrome is not the only browser using the service.How Does Google Safe Browsing Work?
To use Safe Browsing, Chrome saves a series of mandatory cookies on your machine. Every time you visit a website, Save Browsing compares that URL against the list of URLs from its database. If any matches are found, you’ll get an alert. The type of alert you receive depends on the threat detected: malware, potentially unsafe scripts, phishing scripts, and other threats.How to Enable Safe Browsing in Chrome
On Android and iOS
Launch Chrome and tap More (the three dots).
Then select Settings → Privacy and security.
Tap Safe Browsing and enable the option.
Then go to Settings.
Select Privacy and security, and then Security.
After that, select the Safe Browsing protection level you want to use.
Refresh the browser to apply the changes.
There are three protection levels available. Each level brings its own specific security features. Of course, if you don’t want to take any risks, enable Enhanced Protection.Safe Browsing Enhanced Protection
This level offers proactive protection against malicious websites. In other words, Chrome will nip threats in the bud. Or as Google says:
Predicts and warns you about dangerous events before they happen.
You’ll receive alerts about potentially unsafe webpages, download files, and extensions. You’ll also get alerts about password breaches.
If you enable this option, keep in mind that Chrome will send your browsing data to Google. As Google explains:
If you want to learn more about Enhanced Safe Browsing Protection in Chrome, check out this blog post from Google.Safe Browsing Standard Protection
URLs are analyzed and compared against the most recent copy of the Safe Browsing list stored locally on your system. So, there’s no direct connection to Safe Browsing’s servers for now. But if a website is trying to inject malware into your computer or steal your credentials, Chrome will send that URL to Safe Browsing’s servers.
You can enable a series of additional options, including alerts about password breaches.No Protection
By checking this option, you basically turn off Safe Browsing. Your computer won’t be protected against malicious websites. And Chrome won’t alert you about any cyber-threats.
We don’t recommend disabling Safe Browsing. If you’re worried about your browsing data being sent to Google, you can enable Standard Protection.Safe Browsing Lookup API
Google also maintains the Safe Browsing Lookup API. Developers can use this security protocol to check URLs against Google’s lists of unsafe webpages. If an URL has been flagged as a phishing and deceptive website or as a webpage hosting malware, the API will return an Unsafe result.
Many users expressed their privacy concerns in regards to the Lookup API. This is because the protocol does not hash the URLs to be analyzed. As a result, the server knows what URLs API users have analyzed.Safe Browsing Update API
Furthermore, when Chrome sends a verification request to Google, it sends only the first 32 bits of an SHA-256 hash of that URL. Google cannot determine the complete URL based only on a partial URL fingerprint.
If you want to learn more about the Safe Browsing API, check out this support page from Google Developers.
⇒ Fun Facts:
Did you know that Google updates the Safe Browsing list every 30 minutes?
Google Safe Browsing protects over four billion devices every single day. Thanks, Google!
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