Google’s Gmail app has now combined all inboxes into one. Where this might seem like a commonplace change it comes as a long awaited feature. Now rather than having to select-through each inbox, individually, you can see them all at once.
If however you’re a Google Inbox user, you may or may not feel left out as this change is merely for the users of the Gmail app. But then not so many people have more than just two accounts. It is common enough now that many may have both a work and personal account and this inbox combo feature will allow you to see all, like some desktop programs have had the capacity to do for years.
Just when you thought you’d make it through the end of March with out incident, April Fools Day happens. Google has always contributed to this odd holiday and this year is no different. The latest prank / joke is where Google Maps becomes a tribute to PacMan.
How to Play
Go to Google Maps (http://maps.google.com) and mouse-over the Pacman image in the lower left-hand corner of the frame. Once you’re ready, click this and the map will change to a Pacman layout with Ghosts on one side and Pacman on the other. Remember to save up those larger dots for when you’re either in trouble or got the Ghosts cornered. The controls are pretty much the same, just Up, Down, Left, Right using the arrow keys .
Google Pacman is no less fun that the original and if anything a bit more interesting because of the sometimes bizarre layout of roads. Per the image, I chose Lombard Street in San Francisco, but then realized that SF Airport might be a bit more fun. Either way, you may spend more hours playing this game than working, so maybe just once more.
Update: For a real challenge position the map over Vatican City or San Francisco Airport.
Google has officially announced Android 5.1. This is the first update to the Android Lollipop version of the mobile OS. This update hopes to conquer the slew of bugs that came with Android 5.0 while bringing a few upgrades.
Device protection appears to be number on on the list in this release. Now your Android device will stay locked when lost, even if someone else reboots it or resets to factory settings. You will need to sign in with your Google account to unlock it. The other major feature is High Definition Audio calling. No all carrier yet support the feature, but at least users on T-mobile and Verizon can experience the awesome. An icon “HD” will show in the call screen when the call is in High Definition.
Additional features include WiFi network stability enhancements, and more control of Bluetooth devices. Also, if your device supports more than one SIM card, Android 5.1 will support them too.
If you haven’t seen the city in the film Logan’s Run, don’t worry you may soon see it in a redone version at the New Google Campus in Mountain View, California. The 1976 film reflected the idealism of the time where buildings would meld into the local environment preserving it and working with it. If architects Thomas Heatherwick and Bjarke Ingels have their way, we may yet see it again.
Working with the environment rather than forcing it to work with humanity is the model that appears to be the new standard offered by the two impressive individuals of Architecture, Thomas Heatherwick and Bjarke Ingels. You may not know Heatherwick’s work, but you have certainly seen it in the 2012 London Olympics Torch. Whereas Bjarke Ingels’ company is known by it’s moniker “BIG”, which stands for the Bjarke Ingels Group. Together these men will be creating a work environment that appears to have only occurred in the fantasy future mind’s eye of film director Michael Anderson and writers William Nolan and George Clayton Johnson.
And what of this future building, why build it at all, why now? From the video, the two architects explain that reconfiguration and environmental facsimile are key features. Buildings as they stand now are not easily changeable and usually conform to their own standards not those of the environment. Google is very interested in keeping efficiency high and environmental impact low, as well as to be as renewable as possible.
To take a hint from a recent project that Google’s ATAP group is working on, modularity, adaptability are key not merely to software, but now to hardware. Why not take the whole thing to the next level with the entire campus. Maybe this architectural style will spark a whole revolution in corporate structures and what better place to start than in the heart of a place where new ideas have been happening for the last 50 years.
It’s yet another sad day that Google has decided to remove yet another service. Google Helpouts is being shut down. Starting on April 20th you will be able to access your Google Helpouts history, but by November 1st the service will be gone.
Google Helpouts was a short lived service with the intent offer assistance from knowledgeable people to those who sought help. The service began in 2013 with individuals whose skill could be transferred via a YouTube interface to give customers live support from anywhere in the world. Those who had services to offer would sign up and create a professional profile and those who needed these services would then select the user that they felt would offer the best service.
Services available on Google Helpouts ranged widely from Medical doctors to Fashion advice, from Computer help to Home and Garden. Alas, the tool never seemed to pick up as many customers as enthusiastic service providers. And although many people it seems, had many good reviews, the service did not appear to meet the needs of the masses as Google may have expected.
However, it is likely that we will see some semblance of Google Helpouts incorporated into another Google product in the future, much the way that Google Wave and Buzz have found their way into other aspects of Google services.