Google+ Growth

Yesterday, one person in my ‘friends circle’ of Google+ re-posted the graphic below. It’s about the initial-instant growth of Google+, as compared with Facebook and Twitter.

Of course, the graphic does not tell the full story for at least 2 main reasons: Continue reading

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What Google & Facebook Are Hiding

So everyone is becoming more and more aware of Google’s challenge to Facebook, known as Google+ (which I posted about last week).

But check out this recent video (posted 15 July 2011) from Ted Talks. The premise is that Facebook and Google are beginning to tailor searches in a way that they think would be best for you. Internet information, searches and social networking are not so general these days, but very suited to, again, what they believe you want to read about and hear.

This can create challenges to internet searches, really creating challenges to the reason the internet was created in the first place.

See this video below for more info, and share some thoughts if you would like.

Google+ Mania. Not Just Yet.

Most people are starting to hear about Google+ these days. Though it is not available to everyone just yet, there is no doubt it is starting to get out and about with hundreds joining each and every day (if not thousands). I joined this week and invited quite a few friends. I think that for everyone who joins, they can invite up to 500 people to join as well.

But Google+ is still in testing mode.

The big question is whether Google+ will take over Facebook. Most people are skeptical and I think it mainly comes down to not wanting to learn how a new social network works. We are all up-to-date on Facebook, after the great switch from MySpace a few years back or more. We don’t want to go through another change, do we? Continue reading

Google Translate App

Earlier this week, a friend of mine let me know about an application on iTunes called Google Translate.

Many of you will know I live in Belgium and am currently learning Dutch, as it is one of two main languages in Belgium (the other being French, though German is the official third language). On my iPhone, I had downloaded an app that translates Dutch to English, and vice versa. I think I probably paid $1.99 for it.

But this Google Translate app has to be the best translation app by far, mainly for 4 reasons:

  1. It’s free.
  2. You can translate text for 57 languages.
  3. For 15 of the languages, you can translate by speaking the text instead of typing it.
  4. For 23 of the languages, you can listen to your translation spoken aloud.

So, for me, this was great because English and Dutch (and French for later on) were included in the speaking and listening components of the translator. It’s not that I am going to be pulling this out to translate Dutch into English (or the other way around) every moment of the day. But I was simply fascinated that the voice recognition software clearly picked up my voice. I was doing test words, phrases and sentences that I already knew in Dutch, and they were spot on in translation! The only time it didn’t get it perfect was when I switched to a very southern, country American accent.

Anyways, if you have an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, do a search on iTunes for Google Translate and download the app. And you can read about it more here.

Google eBookstore

The world is becoming more technologically savvy by the day. From Apple to Microsoft to Google to Facebook to Amazon to Twitter to Blackberry to Samsung to Sony. It is truly amazing what we can do with technology today.

Well, just this week, Google launched their very own eBookstore, Google eBooks, which goes in competition with Amazon’s eBooks via Kindle. But whereas you need your Kindle or Kindle application for iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad or other smart phone device to read an Amazon ebook, you can read your Google eBook from anywhere – all those devices mentioned above, your laptop, your desktop, your friend’s computer, etc. All you need is a Gmail account. This is what makes Google eBooks quite interesting.

As one reporter notes:

Google e-books is offering access to more than 2 million free public domain digital titles and hundreds of thousands of for-pay e-books—the exact figure is hard to pinpoint—giving the service an inventory of e-book content equal or at least potentially equal to Amazon.com’s more than 700,000 e-book titles. In addition, Google eBooks is partnering with independent bookstores and consumers can buy e-books through local stores that have signed on to offer titles through Google eBooks.

Anyone with a gmail account—roughly about 200 million people—has immediate access to buying and downloading books through Google eBooks.

And, Google eBooks has also made available a free application for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android. So check it out. Unfortunately, for me living in Brussels, you cannot yet purchase Google eBooks. But I have already begun to download free texts they are offering such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Below is also a short video to explain more.