What’s New at Google – May June July 2017

What’s New at Google – May June July 2017

What's New at Google | Web and Beyond

In the past few months, Google has been busy! Google added some fancy charting features to Google Sheets, Android Pay partnered with PayPal, Google NoCaptcha reCaptcha arrived, Backup and Sync from Google became available, and easy HIPAA compliance showed up for G Suite (with help from partner, Virtru). I’m going to highlight the important ones in this installment of What’s New at Google (WNAG). I’m restarting these WNAG posts again, and since it’s been a while, I’m mashing together a few months’ worth of news.

Google and G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work) constantly changes and some of it’s pretty important to the overall productivity of a Small Business. Other changes, not so much. This ongoing Web and Beyond blog series, What’s New at Google parses through the chaff so you know what’s going on at Alphabet and its most powerful Search Engine subsidiary, Google. These posts update you about new updates to the Google ecosystem that affects you as a Small Business owner and entrepreneur. These are the exciting and frequent enhancements that Google makes to deliver better products for you, as well as danger zones to avoid when they fall short.

Backup your Computer Files and Photos Easily with Google – What’s New at Google

It’s really important for Small Business owners to secure their business data. Laptops and mobile devices break, get lost, and are stolen. And, when (not if) these incidents happen, Small Businesses are put in catastrophic positions. Don’t let this happen!

Google has finally released its anticipated backup solution (for Windows and Mac OS X) and it’s available for G Suite too, so this is going to be really great for Small Business. It uses the data of your Google or individual G Suite user account storage space for the data you backup. It allows you to selectively choose which folders to backup in Google Drive, and which folders to backup to Google Photos.

Head over to Google’s Backup and Sync for Google Photos and for Google Drive and get your computer data securely backed up to the cloud.

What’s next for Google payment and loyalty experiences – What’s New at Google

Google’s The Keyword blog, which is the omniblog for all of Google’s products and services, wrote an article about its new payment and loyalty upgrades it’s making across the Google and Android ecosystems. This may seem technically trivial and summarily benign to you but if you’re a local Small Business, this is incredibly important.

As Google upgrades it Google Payment API and Card Linked Offers API (the services that connect Google tools to your eCommerce websites and mobile apps), the more you’ll have the ability to drive retail traffic into your business.

Here’s an example that will be possible someday very soon, and even sooner if you’re using a Clover Small Business Point of Sale solution:

Jane Shopper is searching for a yoga school to join. Up pops not just yoga studios in her area, but Google now surfaces a list of classes and the ability to “Book” a class today, right now from Google Search or Google Maps. (As a business owner, this currently works if you’re using one of several scheduling services in a supported industry, including Genbook, SalonRunner, Rosy, Yocale, and WellnessLiving. In short speed, Google will be also bring on board Booksy, Envision, MyTime, Schedulicity, Setmore, Shore, SimpleSpa, SuperSalon and TimeTrade.)

Now Jane walks into that yoga class and has a great experience. Before leaving, you, the savvy yoga studio owner, let’s call her Yogi Jill, have Jane sign-up for your loyalty program. If she comes to a few more classes, then she’ll get a discount on a monthly package going forward. Every time Jane uses Android Pay for touchless payment at the yoga studio, Yogi Jill is able to track data about Jane and push new offers to her when they’re earned. This keeps the relationship warm, Jane getting her asanas sharp, and the retail traffic continuous.

And, if you’re selling products, note that this works similarly for retail stores as well. My advice to Small Business owners right now is to make sure that you’re using the technology that connects to Google and don’t invest in any Point of Sale solution provider that isn’t going to integrate with NFC payment (i.e., Android Pay and Apple Pay), as well as connecting to your loyalty program, and Google Payment and Card Linked Offers APIs.

Google adds some fancy charting features to Google Sheets – What’s New at Google

Visualize data instantly with machine learning in Google Sheets

Image: www.blog.google

Google Sheets has introduced machine learning into its skill-set through the Explore feature. You can use natural language searches for data you have in your spreadsheet workbook and get that data visualized more easily.

Learn more in Google’s article, “Visualize data instantly with machine learning in Google Sheets.”

If you’re a Small Business trying to make better decisions, the more you can centralize your data into Google Sheets and make it visual, the easier those decisions can be. You can export data from Google Analytics, your CRM, and recent purchase information from your Point of Sale or invoicing software, then import those into one Google Sheets workbook. From there, you can use the Google Sheets Explore feature to unearth insights that will help you create stronger customer relationships.

Google NoCaptcha arrives – What’s New at Google

So, we all know the bane of Internet’s existence are spammers, hackers, and trolls. But, for the average user, the most prevalent annoyance are the images that you need to decipher and complete in order to complete forms, known as CAPTCHA/reCAPTCHA.

As Google explains it,

reCAPTCHA is a free service that protects your website from spam and abuse. reCAPTCHA uses an advanced risk analysis engine and adaptive CAPTCHAs to keep automated software from engaging in abusive activities on your site. It does this while letting your valid users pass through with ease.

reCAPTCHA offers more than just spam protection. Every time our CAPTCHAs are solved, that human effort helps digitize text, annotate images, and build machine learning datasets. This in turn helps preserve books, improve maps, and solve hard AI problems.

Of course, this is less than ideal, because the onus is on your fickle website visitor to have the patience to complete the reCAPTCHA puzzle in order to submit a contact or other types of forms on your website. Google is solving this with invisible NoCAPTCHA. With the new NoCAPTCHA, the common website visitor won’t see a reCAPTCHA puzzle unless they’re identified as a likely spammer. The website publishers and visitors the world over all exhale a collective sigh of relief.

As a business website publisher, all you need to do is setup Google reCAPTCHA on your website, and the rest is taken care of for you by Google.

Google brings Smart Reply to Gmail on Android and iOS so you never have to type again – What’s New at Google

The last update I wanted to cover is Google’s update to its mobile apps for Gmail. They’ve implemented Inbox by Gmail’s Smart Reply functionality into Gmail Mobile. This is great for those one word to one sentence responses that comprise of many email messages we receive on a daily basis. This is available in the consumer-side Gmail and in G Suite Gmail, so check it out and see if it’s helpful to your productivity.

More Updates – What’s New at Google

Here are some other highlights over the past few months, if you want to dig deeper:

Until next time on What’s New at Google!


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Google Keep, Voice Search, and Voice Typing in Google Docs – What’s New at Google

Periodically, I will be writing a What’s New at Google post here to update you about new updates to the Google ecosystem that affects you as a Small Business owner. These can be warnings as well as the many frequent enhancements that Google makes to make its products better for you. This week, I’m going to be writing about Google Keep, Voice Search, and Voice Typing in Google Docs in this What’s New at Google update.

Google Keep Comes to iOS

Google Keep on Apple iOS | Google Keep, Voice Search, and Voice Typing in Google Docs

A thorn in my side for a long while, Google Keep (a part of Google Drive by visiting drive.google.com/keep) on Apple’s iOS platform (i.e., iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) was only accessible by logging into the mobile website for Google Keep, or using a third-party app to access Google Keep notes but they were merely shells of the mobile website. Now, Google has launched a Google Keep app for iOS. This means that if you have an Apple iPhone or other device, you can now access Google Keep notes just like those on Android smartphone and mobile tablet users have.

Google Keep allows you to create text notes, checklists, voice / audio notes, and you can store images as well. It’s quite versatile for short notes that you want to share with others.

If you’re using Google Apps for Work*, your users can now share notes and collaborate on these notes from the Web desktop and mobile device across Android and iOS equally.

Google Voice Search Just Got Getter

Google Voice Search | Google Keep, Voice Search, and Voice Typing in Google Docs

You may or may not have noticed, but with Google’s new logo came a new voice search icon as well. Google Voice Search has been around for a while, and now that it’s baked into Android and iOS Google Search apps as Google Now, people are using Google to search in many ways. As of this week, though, it’s even better! Why? Google developed a new acoustic model (basically, DNN (Deep Neural Networks) to RNN (Recurrent Neural Networks)–more geekiness can be found here) that makes Google’s voice recognition technologies more accurate (including in noisy environments) and faster. It may not sound like a lot, but when time matters the difference in Google’s voice search translation and speed matters.

You should also be able to use this same voice search functionality on your Web desktop. As pictured above, if you see that little icon on your desktop or laptop computer, all you need to do is click on it and ask Google what you’re looking for. Stock quotes. Mathematical equations. How tall is the president? Google’s got you covered on all bases. Note: you may need to update your browser to the most current version, and give your browser access to the microphone likely built into your device.

Voice Typing in Google Docs

Google adds Voicing Typing to Google Docs | Google Keep, Voice Search, and Voice Typing in Google Docs

Extending the ability to speak to our computing devices–desktop computers and laptops, smartphones and cellphones, mobile tablets, smartwatches and more–Google has upped the ante with the inclusion of voice dictation now in Google Docs. If you open up Google Docs, under Tools in the navigation bar, you now have a “Voice typing…” option in the drop-down menu. Once you click this option, you will see (as pictured above) a new option that once you click it, engages your microphone and you can speak to Google Docs. You can speak naturally as it types what you say, and you should also practice speaking out the punctuation. Sadly, there is no keyboard shortcut. However, even with that minor lacking, Google Docs voice typing brings a powerful new functionality to Web-based word processing.

 

 

 

 

 

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