Tag Archives: google

Bring Your Phone Number to Google Voice – for a Fee

You will soon be able to port your current telephone number over to your Google Voice account – for a small fee, that is. For the nominal cost of twenty bucks (payable via Google Checkout), you can terminate your current service plan – and likely rack up some early termination fees. Think about it, though… you’ll never ever lose your current number! Is that worth paying out a few extra (hundred) dollars in the form of those cancellation fees when you look at the grand scheme of things?

Photo credit to Engadget.

The feature is still being tested and isn’t quite available to everyone as of yet. According to an official statement from Google, “We’re continually testing new features to enhance the user experience. For a limited amount of time, we’re making the Google Voice number porting process available to users. We don’t have any additional details to share at this time, but plan to offer this feature to all users in the near future.”

I find it ironic that Google is making it easy for AT&T haters (such as MG Sigler) an easy way out. I know many of you are planning to suck up those fees and cancel your current contracts in favor of Verizon’s iPhone. By using the new port feature on Google Voice, you won’t lose your current number – and can have calls to it forwarded to your new device. How handy is that? MG has already done it, and I think many more will follow suit.

If you already have a Google Voice number that you regularly use, this newly ported number will wipe that out (though you’ll have access to both for 90 days as you transition). And yes, you will still need another service plan from another carrier that you can then forward your old number to — Google is still not a carrier (at least not yet). So be careful.

What are your thoughts? Do you plan to port an existing number over to Google Voice? Are you jumping onto the Verizon bandwagon? Is your head stuck in the wrong Cloud – not allowing you to see the potential beauty in what Google is trying to do?

Google CR-48 Mini Review


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Lamarr is a lucky dude. He got his hands on a Google CR-48 laptop. I’m pretty sure the one that was delivered to his house is the one that was meant for me. I can’t help but wonder how he managed to divert the shipment. He’s just sneaky that way, I suppose.

In any case, Lamarr is the proud owner (and tester!) of the hot new machine from Google, featuring the Chrome operating system. This video details his thoughts on the machine and the OS.

Lamarr is quick to point out that this is simply a plain laptop with a browser… and that’s all. Google’s Chrome OS resides completely within a browser, folks. This is likely going to take some getting used to for many of us, but I have no doubt we geeks will adapt pretty quickly.

The machine comes with built-in 3G from Verizon… 100MB per month free for two years. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Of course, it can be used with a standard WiFi connection, so you shouldn’t hit that 100MB cap.

This operating system is not for everyone. All it does is – Internet. But if you’re like Lamarr (or me!), this will work really well for you. This machine is clearly not a desktop replacement. If you do a lot of work online, then this is going to be the machine for you.

Lamarr felt the machine is a bit sluggish. He cannot pinpoint WHERE the lag is coming from, though. Could it be the unnamed hardware in the test machine or the beta operating system itself? Only time will tell.

Have you gotten your hands on this sweet little device yet? What are your thoughts thus far?

Android Text Message Bug

The newly discovered SMS bug in Android sure makes “Antennagate” look like it was much ado about nothing. This interesting little snafu will have you sending messages to the wrong contacts. Think about it for a moment – this could be disastrous, depending on who your intended message ends up going to. This issue has been going on for about six months already, so why are we just hearing about it?

On the Android Developer’s Forum, this issue is rated as “Priority – Medium.” MEDIUM? Seriously? Let’s say you called off of work today and want to brag to your BFF about it – but your Android device wings the message to your boss, instead. How fun would that be? I can only imagine all sorts of scenarios in which this wouldn’t be good.

The problem is perhaps not only limited to Android, though. My assistant Kat is a proud iPhone 4 user, and tells me that she’s had this happen on her phone at times, as well… both with the 4th gen and the 3GS she had up until late October. Could this issue be something that just sometimes happens on all operating systems?

This is a very serious issue that Google seems to have been ignoring for the past six months. For a flagship mobile OS capturing such a big market in such a short space of time, this reluctance to acknowledge and fix such a critical issue reflects badly on Google’s stewardship of the Android platform.

Have you ever had this occur on your device? What phone and operating system are you using? Has anyone been able to help resolve the problem?

Has Facebook Topped Google?

According to at least one source, Facebook received more UK Internet visits than Google’s UK search portal on Christmas Day, accounting for 10.50% of all UK Internet visits on that day. This trend shows that people were more interested in connecting with their friends and family during the holiday than in finding out what the latest tech news was. In the grand scheme of life, though, I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot more reports like this in the near future.

As each day passes, we are becoming more social. There are about a bajillion people already on Facebook. It’s not that I think Zuck and company will “kill” Google – I simply think we are going to put more emphasis on getting advice and information from our connections. We will start to turn to them for recommendations and reviews by slapping a question on our Wall. Think carefully about what you use Google for – and what you do on Facebook all day long. Can the two become interchangeable?

Is it possible that you may just leave all search engines behind in the future?

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what’s new today.

Why Do You Use Google Chrome?


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Someone in our live community recently asked what I feel the advantages – and disadvantages – are for using Google Chrome. We are talking about the web browser in this instance, not the operating system. Google Chrome is built upon the Chromium foundation, as are Flock and RockMelt.

One advantage of Chrome is that they are constantly releasing new versions. It’s not going to disappear into obscurity. Google’s entire business model IS “the Web.” They are going to do their best to continue to try and build the best browser possible. There’s seemingly always a new beta version available, proving further that they are evolving on a regular basis.

I honestly can’t come up with a disadvantage, unless someone doesn’t want statistics sent back to Google. There are occasional crashes, as well, but yeah – EVERY browser has that problem at times. Is there anything you can think of?

What are YOUR thoughts? Is Chrome a good choice – or not?

Call for Free Using Gmail Through 2011

Google has caught some of the holiday spirit floating around the world right now, or so it seems. When Google launched Gmail Calling back in August, they offered it up for free for the remainder of 2010. Today, the team announced that “In the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year, we’re extending free calling for all of 2011.” This is fantastic news for many loyal fans, and will likely attract brand-new ones, as well.

Dialing a phone number in Gmail works just like a regular phone does. Look for the “Call Phone” icon at the top of your Gmail chat list and dial the number – or enter a contact’s name. It’s that simple – and it’s going to be free for another entire year.

Are you a fan of Gmail Calling?

Don’t forget to stop by and check out what’s new in our software center today.

Holiday Charity: Chrome for a Cause


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Bowman is using his time this week to urge you to help donate to charitable organizations – without giving up a single cent of your own money. From now until December 19th, Google will donate money on your behalf for every Chrome tab you have open. You’ll need to install the free Chrome for a Cause Extension in your browser. Google has said they will donate up to one million dollars in this venture.

The Extension will keep track of how many tabs you use each day. At the end of the day, choose where you would like your donation to be sent: The Nature Conservacy, Charity: Water, Doctors Without Borders, Un Techo para mi País or Room to Read. That’s all you have to do – choose. Google will do the rest, including writing those checks.

Do You Want Google Fiber?

Milo Medin has joined Google as the Vice President of Access Services. Essentially, he is now heading up the team behind Google Fiber. You remember that story, don’t you? Google wants to bring Fiber internet connections to homes all over the country… at speeds of up to 100 times faster than many people have now. In order to test their offering, Google launched a contest to find just the right community to launch in. Today, Milo is telling us that too many towns jumped at the chance. The company needs more time to make a decision.

Why is the Internet giant getting into providing access, anyway? “The purpose of this project is to experiment and learn. Network providers are making real progress to expand and improve high-speed Internet access, but there’s still more to be done. We don’t think we have all the answers – but through our trial, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone.”

Would you want to have your tubes connected by Google – even if they do promise unheard-of speeeds?

What is the Chrome Web Store?


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This week, Marques is talking about the new Chrome Store. The things you’ll find here are sort of a cross between web apps and desktop apps. The Chrome Web Store is an online marketplace where you can discover thousands of apps, extensions and themes for Google Chrome.

Every item in the store has its own page, where you can read and contribute reviews and ratings. If you use multiple computers, synchronize your apps, extensions, and theme across all your computers with browser sync.

Web apps are advanced interactive websites. They may provide a wide-ranging set of features or focus on a single task like photo-editing or shopping. Extensions let you add new features to your browser. For example, an email notifier extension can show an email alert in your browser toolbar so you don’t have to log in to your email in a separate window to check if you have new messages. Themes allow you to you customize the look and feel of your browser, including themes from leading artists and designers around the world.

Thanks for another excellent screencast, Marques!

How do You get Your News on the Go?


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I am fortunate to be a YouTube partner. This video was made for – and paid by – Google as a part of the Google Demo Slam project.

If you’re like me, you love links and like looking at things, such as iconic representations of news stories. If you’re on the go, it’s easy to get information quickly from your desktop browser to your phone using the free Site to Phone Google Chrome extension. Not only can you send links to your devices with ease, it will allow you to do so much more.

Youtube, Mail, Phone and Maps links open directly in the corresponding apps on iOS. Send any page, link, image or even text via the right-click menu. Settings are synced between multiple installs of Chrome and can be set up on multiple devices.

Getting the news from my workstation to my phone has never been easier, and it’s all thanks to Google.