What you must know about Google I/O 2018

Google I/O 2018 is over, and the conference was packed with announcements. After CEO Sundar Pichai started the event by reminding the tech industry to be responsible for the services and tools they build, the updates on Google’s new creations and the upcoming version of Android got everyone excited. Find out what announcements stole the show.

What happened at Google I/O 2018?

While the primary focus of the Google I/O conference was on the developers, every tech enthusiast in the audience had the opportunity to see what the future holds for their favorite Google products and the upcoming Android P. This year’s developer conference focused on software and new mobile technologies that will be released later in the year.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

The keynote was kicked off by CEO Sundar Pichai, who talked about Google’s mission and how it is linked to AI. He stated that AI will help industries like healthcare predict certain events.

Pichai also stated that machine learning will play a major role in enhancing closed captioning’s ability to figure out who is talking when there are multiple people speaking on-screen.

However, tech enthusiasts were extremely excited when the Google CEO announced the following features and upgrades:

  • Google Assistant will soon get 6 new voices, including one from singer and songwriter John Legend. Users will only need to say “Hey Google” to start a conversation with the product, instead of each time it is addressed. Google Assistant can now process more than one request at a time, and it can make phone calls to book reservations and appointments for the user with a feature called ‘Duplex.’
  • Google Maps can now suggest restaurants and other noteworthy locations for the user, differentiate between car and motorbike routes, and add businesses to the map by combining satellite images and AI. Augmented reality will be integrated into Street View so that users can easily track the direction they are facing or heading toward.
  • Google News will display its top five stories as soon as the app opens. Advanced AI will push stories that it thinks are relevant to the user.
  • Google Photos will have the Suggested Actions feature which offers to add color to images that are black and white, convert documents to PDF, tweak the brightness on underexposed photos, and instantly share images with the people who are in the picture.
  • Gmail will get the Smart Compose feature that will utilize machine learning to suggest phrases when writing an email.

Public beta of Android P

The test version of Android P is currently available on Oppo, Sony, Mi, OnePlus, Essential Phone and Google Pixel handsets. The search engine giant announced that they will release the first retail version around summer this year.

Beta testers enjoyed the refreshing look of Android P, where most interactions such as switching between apps were done by gestures. A new Dashboard feature shows how long the user has been on the device, including the number of notifications received, how many times the phone was unlocked, and the time spent in a particular app. Users will also be able to set a time limit if they want to stop themselves from habitually staring at their phones.

Availability of Google Lens

In last year’s event, Google announced AI-powered technology called Google Lens which uses a mix of machine learning and the smartphone’s camera to detect a specific object, know what the object is, and provide results based on what it knows about the object.

At the time, this feature was available only in Google Pixel phones, but the search engine giant announced that more smartphones will soon have this feature built in.

Google continues to innovate and improve on its products, and we are here to help you make sense of all the tech so you can adapt it to your lifestyle. Get in touch with us today so we can discuss this tech and how you can benefit from it.

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Highlights from Google I/O 2018

The Google I/O event brings major executives, engineers, and platform developers together to talk about the latest features and developments. This year’s conference just ended, and it looks like consumers have plenty to look forward to.

What happened at Google I/O 2018?

While the primary focus of the Google I/O conference was on the developers, every tech enthusiast in the audience had the opportunity to see what the future holds for their favorite Google products and the upcoming Android P. This year’s developer conference focused on software and new mobile technologies that will be released later in the year.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

The keynote was kicked off by CEO Sundar Pichai, who talked about Google’s mission and how it is linked to AI. He stated that AI will help industries like healthcare predict certain events.

Pichai also stated that machine learning will play a major role in enhancing closed captioning’s ability to figure out who is talking when there are multiple people speaking on-screen.

However, tech enthusiasts were extremely excited when the Google CEO announced the following features and upgrades:

  • Google Assistant will soon get 6 new voices, including one from singer and songwriter John Legend. Users will only need to say “Hey Google” to start a conversation with the product, instead of each time it is addressed. Google Assistant can now process more than one request at a time, and it can make phone calls to book reservations and appointments for the user with a feature called ‘Duplex.’
  • Google Maps can now suggest restaurants and other noteworthy locations for the user, differentiate between car and motorbike routes, and add businesses to the map by combining satellite images and AI. Augmented reality will be integrated into Street View so that users can easily track the direction they are facing or heading toward.
  • Google News will display its top five stories as soon as the app opens. Advanced AI will push stories that it thinks are relevant to the user.
  • Google Photos will have the Suggested Actions feature which offers to add color to images that are black and white, convert documents to PDF, tweak the brightness on underexposed photos, and instantly share images with the people who are in the picture.
  • Gmail will get the Smart Compose feature that will utilize machine learning to suggest phrases when writing an email.

Public beta of Android P

The test version of Android P is currently available on Oppo, Sony, Mi, OnePlus, Essential Phone and Google Pixel handsets. The search engine giant announced that they will release the first retail version around summer this year.

Beta testers enjoyed the refreshing look of Android P, where most interactions such as switching between apps were done by gestures. A new Dashboard feature shows how long the user has been on the device, including the number of notifications received, how many times the phone was unlocked, and the time spent in a particular app. Users will also be able to set a time limit if they want to stop themselves from habitually staring at their phones.

Availability of Google Lens

In last year’s event, Google announced AI-powered technology called Google Lens which uses a mix of machine learning and the smartphone’s camera to detect a specific object, know what the object is, and provide results based on what it knows about the object.

At the time, this feature was available only in Google Pixel phones, but the search engine giant announced that more smartphones will soon have this feature built in.

Google continues to innovate and improve on its products, and we are here to help you make sense of all the tech so you can adapt it to your lifestyle. Get in touch with us today so we can discuss this tech and how you can benefit from it.

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The future of Android at Google I/O 2018

Google’s major conference has come and gone. Its keynote speech gives consumers a sneak peek at Google Assistant and the next version of Android. This will help developers get their integrations, services and apps ready before the search engine giant releases its new stuff. What is Google planning for 2018 and beyond? Read on to find out.

What happened at Google I/O 2018?

While the primary focus of the Google I/O conference was on the developers, every tech enthusiast in the audience had the opportunity to see what the future holds for their favorite Google products and the upcoming Android P. This year’s developer conference focused on software and new mobile technologies that will be released later in the year.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

The keynote was kicked off by CEO Sundar Pichai, who talked about Google’s mission and how it is linked to AI. He stated that AI will help industries like healthcare predict certain events.

Pichai also stated that machine learning will play a major role in enhancing closed captioning’s ability to figure out who is talking when there are multiple people speaking on-screen.

However, tech enthusiasts were extremely excited when the Google CEO announced the following features and upgrades:

  • Google Assistant will soon get 6 new voices, including one from singer and songwriter John Legend. Users will only need to say “Hey Google” to start a conversation with the product, instead of each time it is addressed. Google Assistant can now process more than one request at a time, and it can make phone calls to book reservations and appointments for the user with a feature called ‘Duplex.’
  • Google Maps can now suggest restaurants and other noteworthy locations for the user, differentiate between car and motorbike routes, and add businesses to the map by combining satellite images and AI. Augmented reality will be integrated into Street View so that users can easily track the direction they are facing or heading toward.
  • Google News will display its top five stories as soon as the app opens. Advanced AI will push stories that it thinks are relevant to the user.
  • Google Photos will have the Suggested Actions feature which offers to add color to images that are black and white, convert documents to PDF, tweak the brightness on underexposed photos, and instantly share images with the people who are in the picture.
  • Gmail will get the Smart Compose feature that will utilize machine learning to suggest phrases when writing an email.

Public beta of Android P

The test version of Android P is currently available on Oppo, Sony, Mi, OnePlus, Essential Phone and Google Pixel handsets. The search engine giant announced that they will release the first retail version around summer this year.

Beta testers enjoyed the refreshing look of Android P, where most interactions such as switching between apps were done by gestures. A new Dashboard feature shows how long the user has been on the device, including the number of notifications received, how many times the phone was unlocked, and the time spent in a particular app. Users will also be able to set a time limit if they want to stop themselves from habitually staring at their phones.

Availability of Google Lens

In last year’s event, Google announced AI-powered technology called Google Lens which uses a mix of machine learning and the smartphone’s camera to detect a specific object, know what the object is, and provide results based on what it knows about the object.

At the time, this feature was available only in Google Pixel phones, but the search engine giant announced that more smartphones will soon have this feature built in.

Google continues to innovate and improve on its products, and we are here to help you make sense of all the tech so you can adapt it to your lifestyle. Get in touch with us today so we can discuss this tech and how you can benefit from it.

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Keeping files secure with Windows 10

Ransomware brings a world of trouble to any business. From operational disruption and revenue loss to total shutdown, no company is spared. That is why it’s wise to regularly back up your business data in multiple locations, including the cloud. Which is where Windows 10’s backup and restore tools come in handy.

File History Is Back for Windows 10

Users would be glad to know that Windows brought the same functionality of File History from Windows 8 (and 8.1) to Windows 10. Apart from the slight design changes, there really isn’t much difference, which is fine.

Serving as the main backup utility, File History enables users to regularly schedule backing up of files on their PC and store them on an external drive. That means you can connect your PC to a network or USB drive and make backups as needed.

However, you must be sure to regularly connect the external drive if you opt to set File History to back up to it. Otherwise, Windows will prompt you that your files have not been backed up for every day that you forget. You can neglect this warning at your own risk. If you back up to a mapped network that is unavailable, File History will back up to the local disk, until the network drive becomes available.

Setting Up File History

Turning File History on is not rocket science. After all, it was designed to make data backup and recovery easy for users. By default, File History backs up the main file folders, but you may also pick which folders you want to back up and bring in folders from other parts of the PC to back up.

From the Start menu, click on Settings > select Update & Security > click on the Backup section

You will see an option for Back Up Using File History. Below it is an option to Add A Drive. Click on + to see a list of external hard drives connected to your PC and choose one.

When you return to the Backup section, you will see that the Add A Drive option has changed to Automatically Back Up My Files (by default). This allows backups to be created at periodic intervals, which you can set to anywhere from every 10 minutes to once a day (default option is once every hour). You may also set how long to keep the backups (default option is forever).

Restoring files that have already been backed up is just as easy. Simply click on the Start menu and type File History in the Search bar. Then, you will see the Restore Your Files With File History option. Select this, and a new window showing the folders backed up onto your external drives will appear. A word of advice: Be sure to back up files using a network drive or the cloud, not locally.

Making System Image Backups

Backing up your entire operating system, along with all the programs, settings, and files, is possible with Windows 10. To use this feature, you need to access the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) option from the Control Panel. Click on Create a System Image and choose where to store the backup (external hard drive, network drive, or DVD) and which drives to back up. You will then be asked to make a system repair disc which you can use to start a PC and restore the image backup.

Setting Up Your OneDrive Backup Option

Use OneDrive to store and sync your files in the public cloud. While it isn’t exactly a backup solution, OneDrive can serve as a destination for your backups. Microsoft offers plans ranging from at least 5 GB to 50 GB (monthly) and 1 TB (yearly) of storage space.

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Back up files using Windows 10 tools

Ransomware attacks are in the headlines again, and thankfully, business owners are becoming more aware of the malicious software’s damaging effects. Companies realize that without safe and reliable data backup, important business information can fall into the wrong hands. This is why Windows offers easy-to-use tools like File History and OneDrive.

File History Is Back for Windows 10

Users would be glad to know that Windows brought the same functionality of File History from Windows 8 (and 8.1) to Windows 10. Apart from the slight design changes, there really isn’t much difference, which is fine.

Serving as the main backup utility, File History enables users to regularly schedule backing up of files on their PC and store them on an external drive. That means you can connect your PC to a network or USB drive and make backups as needed.

However, you must be sure to regularly connect the external drive if you opt to set File History to back up to it. Otherwise, Windows will prompt you that your files have not been backed up for every day that you forget. You can neglect this warning at your own risk. If you back up to a mapped network that is unavailable, File History will back up to the local disk, until the network drive becomes available.

Setting Up File History

Turning File History on is not rocket science. After all, it was designed to make data backup and recovery easy for users. By default, File History backs up the main file folders, but you may also pick which folders you want to back up and bring in folders from other parts of the PC to back up.

From the Start menu, click on Settings > select Update & Security > click on the Backup section

You will see an option for Back Up Using File History. Below it is an option to Add A Drive. Click on + to see a list of external hard drives connected to your PC and choose one.

When you return to the Backup section, you will see that the Add A Drive option has changed to Automatically Back Up My Files (by default). This allows backups to be created at periodic intervals, which you can set to anywhere from every 10 minutes to once a day (default option is once every hour). You may also set how long to keep the backups (default option is forever).

Restoring files that have already been backed up is just as easy. Simply click on the Start menu and type File History in the Search bar. Then, you will see the Restore Your Files With File History option. Select this, and a new window showing the folders backed up onto your external drives will appear. A word of advice: Be sure to back up files using a network drive or the cloud, not locally.

Making System Image Backups

Backing up your entire operating system, along with all the programs, settings, and files, is possible with Windows 10. To use this feature, you need to access the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) option from the Control Panel. Click on Create a System Image and choose where to store the backup (external hard drive, network drive, or DVD) and which drives to back up. You will then be asked to make a system repair disc which you can use to start a PC and restore the image backup.

Setting Up Your OneDrive Backup Option

Use OneDrive to store and sync your files in the public cloud. While it isn’t exactly a backup solution, OneDrive can serve as a destination for your backups. Microsoft offers plans ranging from at least 5 GB to 50 GB (monthly) and 1 TB (yearly) of storage space.

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Windows 10 makes it easy to back up files

Businesses rely on computers for their daily operations, so getting afflicted by ransomware is devastating. It blocks access to all data, which can result in financial losses and the company closing down temporarily or permanently. Fortunately, Windows offers built-in tools and cloud storage options so you won’t have to fear data loss.

File History Is Back for Windows 10

Users would be glad to know that Windows brought the same functionality of File History from Windows 8 (and 8.1) to Windows 10. Apart from the slight design changes, there really isn’t much difference, which is fine.

Serving as the main backup utility, File History enables users to regularly schedule backing up of files on their PC and store them on an external drive. That means you can connect your PC to a network or USB drive and make backups as needed.

However, you must be sure to regularly connect the external drive if you opt to set File History to back up to it. Otherwise, Windows will prompt you that your files have not been backed up for every day that you forget. You can neglect this warning at your own risk. If you back up to a mapped network that is unavailable, File History will back up to the local disk, until the network drive becomes available.

Setting Up File History

Turning File History on is not rocket science. After all, it was designed to make data backup and recovery easy for users. By default, File History backs up the main file folders, but you may also pick which folders you want to back up and bring in folders from other parts of the PC to back up.

From the Start menu, click on Settings > select Update & Security > click on the Backup section

You will see an option for Back Up Using File History. Below it is an option to Add A Drive. Click on + to see a list of external hard drives connected to your PC and choose one.

When you return to the Backup section, you will see that the Add A Drive option has changed to Automatically Back Up My Files (by default). This allows backups to be created at periodic intervals, which you can set to anywhere from every 10 minutes to once a day (default option is once every hour). You may also set how long to keep the backups (default option is forever).

Restoring files that have already been backed up is just as easy. Simply click on the Start menu and type File History in the Search bar. Then, you will see the Restore Your Files With File History option. Select this, and a new window showing the folders backed up onto your external drives will appear. A word of advice: Be sure to back up files using a network drive or the cloud, not locally.

Making System Image Backups

Backing up your entire operating system, along with all the programs, settings, and files, is possible with Windows 10. To use this feature, you need to access the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) option from the Control Panel. Click on Create a System Image and choose where to store the backup (external hard drive, network drive, or DVD) and which drives to back up. You will then be asked to make a system repair disc which you can use to start a PC and restore the image backup.

Setting Up Your OneDrive Backup Option

Use OneDrive to store and sync your files in the public cloud. While it isn’t exactly a backup solution, OneDrive can serve as a destination for your backups. Microsoft offers plans ranging from at least 5 GB to 50 GB (monthly) and 1 TB (yearly) of storage space.

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How much does Apple know about you?

Google. Facebook. Amazon. These tech giants collect data from us the moment we sign up for their products and services. Some information we willingly surrender (like our name and email address) and others they collect from the services we use (like the sites we visit or the people we contact). Does Apple collect as much information about you as other companies do?

What Facebook & Google Know

Let’s first look at what Facebook knows about you. As the biggest social network in the world, Facebook makes a lot of money through advertising. The more data it gathers about you, the more able they are to target you with relevant ads. Aside from the information you provide when you open an account, Facebook also tracks your browsing history, knows your social circle, and keeps note of your general interests.

Facebook also retains the names and numbers of people in your contact list who are not yet on Facebook to create “shadow profiles.” When they sign up for the social network, these contacts appear in your “People You May Know” recommendations.

Facebook’s Messenger app keeps a record of all your conversations, contacts, and even SMS messages (if you give Messenger permission to manage them).

Google also gathers data to target users with promotions and advertising. But they have more data to collate and play with, thanks to their other services like Google Maps, AdSense, and YouTube. They know the places you’ve been, the things you buy online, and the music you like.

What Apple Knows

Compared with Facebook and Google, Apple knows little about you. They know your name, home address, email address, all the apps and songs you’ve downloaded, and anything you’ve purchased in the Apple Store.

Facebook, Google, and Apple all allow you to download a file that reveals what they know about you. The files from Facebook and Google are often massive, sometimes containing gigabytes’ worth of data. Apple’s files are a lot smaller, and they make it more difficult for you or a hacker to download and see all the information they have on you.

Protecting your privacy online doesn’t mean you have to swear off Facebook or stop using Google’s services, but knowing how these companies collect information about you is the first step. If you want to learn more about how Apple collects information on you, don’t hesitate to give our experts a call.

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