Google Maps Adds Wheelchair Info

Some of Google’s employees have put the company’s 20 percent policy to good use. The policy grants employees the right to spend 20 percent of their work time on projects unrelated to their main assignment.


For forward-thinking employees, such as Google Drive’s Rio Akasaka, that meant making Google Maps more useful for people with disabilities. He and a small team took time away from their main projects to come up with accessibility guidelines for the map tool.


Now, alongside business hours and reviews, Google Maps will show information about how suitable a venue is for those who need wheelchairs and other accessibility tools. Akasaka believes that this feature benefits everyone who has special access needs, whether that’s being in a wheelchair or using a cane or walker. The information also helps parents with strollers and people who require medical equipment like oxygen tanks, since wheelchair ramps are useful for them too.


The information comes from Google’s local guides. In addition to answering questions about cost, atmosphere and hours, users now comment about accessibility. Google synthesizes info from the majority of respondents and adds it to the listing.


While this might seem like a small thing, it’s immensely helpful for people who struggle with disabilities. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 2.2 million United States citizens use wheelchairs, with another 6.5 million needing mobility devices such as canes, scooters, walkers or crutches.


This comes on the heels of Google’s 2015 Impact Challenge: Disabilities. The tech giant gave more than $20 million in grants to nonprofits that focus on using technology to make life easier for people with accessibility issues. One of the companies, Wheelmap, is working on a similar project to Akasaka’s. With their grant from Google, Wheelmap is creating a tool to collect accessibility information from a variety of sources. They plan to bring it together in one central spot.


Google dropped “don’t be evil” as their motto, but Akasaka and his team prove that a few employees still use it as their guiding principle.


Why Google will not introduce an ad-blocker on Chrome

While most browsers today have aimed at fighting additional ads, Google has followed a different approach. The company has sworn it will include an ad blocker feature on its Chrome software. Even though this is actually surprising, information from Google’s revenues sheds light on the subject. On the first quarter of 2015, Google managed to bring in profits of $15 billion just from the ads. Most of the company’s money comes from ads and it is not ready to stop the ad feature.


There are fortunately tons of third party extension features meant to block ads. According to recent statistics, about 2/3 of internet users use ad block features. Most of the sites today come with annoying ads. Everything in the computer goes slowly, and the user experience is damaged. Google’s user experience with ads has not been friendly in the recent past. The company’s major sites such as YouTube and its official page comes with tons of annoying ads.


However, like all companies out there, Google is out to make money from advertising. But it needs to account for user experience too, or it may have to deal with ad blocking companies available out there. The whole dilemma faced by Google shows that there is a lot of challenges in advertising. Information from reddit technology at shows that there are two ways to advertise, the bad way and the good way. Most of the advertising we see today are wrong ways. When a company does advertising correctly, it is going to be ideal for the users as it enhances a greater user experience.


Multiple strategies have been laid out for Google to fix its advertising mess. In an attempt to solve the advertising problem, the company has tried to make ads specific for an internet user. By noting an individual’s favorite site through their IP, Google has managed to bring in the most relevant ads, according to one’s particular location and to block other irrelevant ads. Google today has a feature where you can block a some kinds of ads. Other companies using excess ads in their pages are Facebook and News Corp. For mobile users, the companies are adopting a new AMP result; it removes the need of all the access web pages and caches in the site.



Google Instant Apps Are Changing How App Developers Think

These days apps aren’t a convenience so much as they are a way of life. We use them for just about everything. And now Google is in the process of testing a way to make access to apps faster and easier with Instant Apps. This allows people to stream quick, temporary versions of apps to gain access to only the core features of the app. Sounds great, right? A method of gaining fast access to the features of an app that are used regularly without wasting data and phone storage on other features. But this can also be a potential problem for app developers.


Like everyone else in the world, app developers have to make money. It’s why you pay for some apps, while others have those annoying pop-up ads. But Google Instant Apps makes this a bit harder. You don’t pay for temporary versions, and there is not enough time for in-app purchases and pop-ups to take place. This poses a big problem to developers. How do you make money if people can just stream your product for free?


There is actually a way around this. Sort of, anyway. In the current system, app developers still have a problem with making money. One is app retention. That is, how long we tend to use apps. This is not long time, three months on average. This puts a limit on how much income can be brought in from each user. The second problem is getting noticed. We all know how many apps there are on the market. Calling it competitive is an understatement.


While Instant Apps might cause some problems in the sort term for app developers, they can help deal with at least one of those two problems. It is much easier for an app to get noticed if someone sends you a quick version of the app, which means there is a higher chance of the app being downloaded.


It is not a perfect system yet. Instant Apps is only in its testing stages, so there is no way to tell how much staying power it has. But app developers will still have learn to use it effectively, for better or for worse.


Google To Introduce Wi-Fi Router

One thing that has been very innovative in the past few years is WI-Fi. Wi-fi has made it a lot easier for people to access internet without having to pay for some extra service. With tablets and cellphones, people have gained the ability to access Internet from almost anywhere. It has also become very convenient for users when they have an emergency that they have to take care of. As a result, they are able get into contact with people they know on social media as well as sending text messages. Also, Wi-Fi is good for those that don’t have unlimited data.

Google has decided to add to the convenience with a router called Google Wifi. This device will be for sale for only $129. This is going to be only one device in a series of other devices that are being released such as Google Pixel, and 4k Chromecast which will be released on Oct 4, 2016. Google is making sure that they offer a lot to their customers so that they could enjoy some of the greatest technological advancements that provide them with entertainment and productivity. There is a lot of advantages that this wireless network has over others.

Among the features that Google Wi-Fi has is that it can link two or more access points together in order to form one giant network for wireless access. This will make it very powerful for people that have a need for internet access a lot of the time. The concept that Google is working with is comparable to OnHub. As of right now, it is uncertain whether a lot of the features that are announced are going to be available at launch.

There are plenty of other pieces of hardware that is planned for audience. For one thing, Google continues to make things easier for people to access the internet and other software. Google has made it easy for people to connect their devices so that if it gets lost, they could more easily find it.

PayPal’s Newest Struggle with Apple and Google

PayPal is making new moves in the tech field of electronic payment systems. PayPal’s 2013 acquisition of Braintree gave it access to some of the newest technology in the field used by massive companies like Uber and Airbnb. This promises to be a new source of growth and market share for PayPal in the field of payment collections.

Being able to buy things online is great, especially if you’re in college and don’t have a car to get to a big box retailer like Target or Kmart, take care of someone and don’t often have the time to go to the store, or just want to lay in bed or enjoy a day doing something other than going to a store, getting stuck in long lines, and dealing with parking. Online commerce is a continually growing section of the economy, and the tech that must be strong enough to support that massive infrastructure is growing and changing as well.

For years, PayPal had fallen by the wayside alongside other tech companies like Yahoo!. It fell into the trap of industry leader that never changed to meet the changing times, but it got out, and Braintree is helping it do that. It’s a fruitful business partnership, and a 300% growth rate in payment volume for Braintree in one year can speak to that. Let’s see what the continued growth and change of this industry means for consumers.

Google Discontinues Selling Nexus Player On Its Website With New Trends Emerging

The Nexus Player, the best TV media player by Google and Asus that never made it to the market. The Nexus Player was introduced in November 2014 and was one of the first Android TV devices and a more-than-capable device. However, despite the weight Google handed on this device, it has never hit the success projected especially when compared to other devices such as Chromecast. Google’s strategy was to show OEMs what they could do with the Android platform. However, it is also important to consider that Nexus Player was competing with the Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and other Android TV devices in the market.

If you haven’t used one, Nexus Player is an excellent way to stream shows such as the Netflix app and watching the YouTube videos while controlling the queue from using your phone’s YouTube app. Most users of the device are replacing it with the most recent Apple TV. However, this is not to say that Android TV has failed to be competitive in the market. Google has instead sort to release and iterate updates for its TV operating system. The idea is to target new devices running the Android TV.

The recent trend is the Sony’s smart TVs that now comes with Android TV. The French ISPs such as Bouygues Telecom are offering their customers with Android TV boxes. Nvidia Shield is coming with new trends that will allow users to have more control with Android TV. Xiaomi just unveiled the MI TV that can only be compared with 4K Nexus Player. Although Google has stopped selling the Nexus Player on its website, new trends will make Android TVs even better to watch.

Google Wins the Oracle Copyright Fight

Google and Oracle have had their own fight relating to an Application Programming Interface (API) developed and owned by Oracle. This API allow outside programs (including android applications) to easily interact with Java programs. Google on the other hand had utilized the same API to have its software interact with Java programs.

Oracle had therefore sued Google for the breach worth $9 billion, with a federal a court ruling that Oracle had a valid claim regarding their API code, potentially putting Google on the edge of billions of dollars in damages. Although the Supreme Court declined to hear the case in the first appeal, Google argued that Android’s reimplementation of the API constituted fair utility, which would allow any party to use the code without nullifying Oracle’s copyright.

The Verge reports that the antagonism had shifted to Andy Rubin, the gentleman who developed Android Operating System who after selling the product to Google, continued to develop it. Andy seemed to criticize any company that thought of building on top of Java’s API, previously owned by Sun Microsystem. In an email, Andy wrote that ‘Java.lang.apis’ are copyrighted and that Sun Microsystem ought to say who they license it to.

However, in a recent ruling held at California’s Northern District, the jury of the federal court proclaimed that Google’s use of the copyright protected API code was fair use, freeing it of any liability.

Google Is Making Its AdWords Platform More Location-Based

Google’s is making significant changes in its AdWords platform. The search made the announcement on May 24, 2016, that it has already done several updates to make its advertising tools suitable for the mobile devices. The update was mainly in response to the fast growing location-related mobile searches, a category that Google says is growing in more than 50 percent faster than other searches. Therefore, Google has realized the need to introduce new local search ads across and Google maps. The way it works is that when a customer searches for a product or store in a particular area, businesses can pay for their location to be shown by Google.

To achieve the new location-related ads strategy, Google will introduce "promoted pins," where the company’s logo will appear on the map to make it easier for the customers to identify nearest Walgreens location. Google has already tested these ads for Google Maps in Japan but has not enrolled them in the wider market. According to Google, the new changes are designed to help many business people and owners to increase their traffic to their stores. The new strategy is meant to offer more local information into these business pages and searches.

The new location-based text ads in AdWords will allow more content to be visible to the consumers before one decides to click on a link. To implement the new strategy, the 25-character headline will now be expanded to 30 characters and the 35-characters headline will get upgraded to 80 characters. Google believes that more preview information will increase the click-through rates by 20 percent.

Half of Americans Surveyed Had No Clue what Cloud Computing Actually Is

Technical terms are notoriously difficult to understand. Cloud computing isn’t just technical; the name is also a little misleading. A recent survey of over 1000 men and women showed just how much Americans actually know about cloud computing.

Nearly one third of respondents in the survey thought that cloud computing was a meteorological term. Only about one in seven actually knew that it had anything to do with computers at all. Many people who took the survey even admitted to pretending to know what cloud computing is.

Mark Ahn was shocked to find that the real kicker is that over half of the people taking the survey thought that a storm could have some impact on cloud computing. I suppose this would be true if lightning were to take out a major data center. Other than that cloud computing is safe from the weather.

The lack of knowledge about cloud computing certainly isn’t keeping anyone from using it. Cloud computing is more than just a buzzword. Many companies including banks, social media sites and many other applications are already in the cloud. You could be using the cloud right now and not even be aware of it at all. How scary is that?

Google Makes it Even Easier to Order Takeout Online

Google is making getting food delivered even easier. The company has announced that they have partnered with sixdelivery service companies to allow for ordering directly from the Google search results page.

Google will be teaming up with Seamless and Grubhub, among other providers, to make deliveries quick and ease. Sam Tabar agrees that the concept is fairly simple. When users search for a particular restaurant, an ordering menu will be displayed, if the eatery works with one of the delivery sites that Google is partnered with. Users can then directly order from that screen, pick which delivery service they’d like to work with, and hit order. Their food will be delivered just as it would be if they had gone directly to the participating provider’s website.

The concept is still in its early stages, and Google hopes to expand the offering to more delivery service websites. Google could potentially expand the concept into more than simple food delivery. If the infrastructure works, there is little that can’t be ordered using the same system. For now, Google will be trying it out with food, and for their part in the partnership they’ll gain valuable data about users shopping, eating and online behaviors.

Seamless and Grubhub have yet to comment on the partnership.