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Memes In Allo

This feature rolled out with no fanfare, probably because of how hidden it is. Just write a phase that you think might have memes associated with it, tap the smart smiley icon and scroll all the way to right and you get the option for memes.

Me and my partner have had so much fun going back and forth with these.

Little features like these feel fun, modern and useful. I may be in the minority but I'm loving Allo more and more.

If they add multi device support I can see alot more people jumping onto the platform.
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The top 7 reasons why you should be using Google Photos

The number one Technology News I'm Excited about is Google Photos, I went from Picasa, to Google+ to Google Photos and couldn't live with this service.

I'm sure you're all using Google Photos but if you're not, then please watch this video and mend the error of your ways :-)

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Google Maps Gets Questions & Answers

Google Maps is getting more social features all the time, this update adds very a useful social feature, real time questions and answers.

Got some questions about a location before you set off? Just check the app and see if that questions already been answered, if not just ask and hopefully someone will give you the right answer.

This really makes sense in Google Maps, you can find out everything you need to know about a place, then get turn by turn directions to actually get there.

This update makes me think of this blog post from two years ago:

Before this announcement Google+ was the social spine of Google, after the post any app was allowed to add social features that made sense. Google Maps is taking the lead here and is a far better service because of this.

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Android Google Docs Gets Suggested Editing & Other Cool Features

I've been wanting suggested edits on mobile for ever, it's been available on Docs on the web for a long time but it's now rolling out for Android.

For those that don't know how this works, you can share a doc with someone to get their feedback on it, they can make as many changes as they like but they won't go live until you tick on them.

This is such a killer feature for a collaborative editor and I can't wait to play with it.

You can find all the other changes here: and in the link below but I was so excited about suggested edits that I had to share straight away :-)

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Flurry of Updates coming to improve the Android experience on Chrome OS

The Chrome OS team have been very busy recently, they had a complete direction change over a year ago when they announced they were bringing Android apps to Chrome OS.

This wasn’t the original plan as they had planned for only web technology to work on the platform:

Now they’re scrambling to make Android Apps on Chrome OS feel native to the system and not the afterthought that they were. They’re doing this without losing any advantages of the larger screen and mouse and keyboard of the desktop.

Here are the links to the updates from this week showing what is being worked on, these changes will make Chrome OS and Android feel like part of the same family even more so than iOS and Mac.

Back Button From Android Apps Being Integrated Into Chrome OS -

Play Store Search Replacing Chrome Webstore Search on Chrome OS -

SMS Coming to Chrome OS -

Assistant Key, Play/Pause and Menu Button Coming to Chrome OS Keyboards -

Android Clock and Wallpaper Apps coming to Chrome OS -

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Windows Story Remix

Microsoft announced new software at their keynote and right at the beginning was their new video editing software.

It can do some powerful things, anchoring items to moving parts on a video peaked my interest. I also liked the idea of the crowd sourced animations you can add.

I'll try this out when it launches because it looks really good.

Here's another video showing how it works:

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Day Dream 2.0

Some cool things have just been announced for Google's VR platform Daydream at Google Conference in San Francisco;

One of the biggest annoyances with the Daydream platform was when you got a notification and you couldn’t do anything with it, you’d first have to take your phone out of the headset then fiddle with the touchscreen before putting putting your phone back in, this was doubly annoying when that notification was asking you to grant permissions for a VR game you’re trying to play. In the Daydream 2.0 update, due out later this year, Google are fixing this, allowing you to accept any prompts without having taking off the headset. You’ll also be able to reply to ANY messages whilst in VR, which will help keep you immersed in the experience.

Chrome VR:
Another annoying thing was not being able to view web content in VR. In Cardboard Google’s budget version of VR you could go to a website and then strap your headset in. Not a elegant way to do it but it was possible.

Google are looking to solve this problem in Daydream by adding a full Chrome browser that you can control in the Virtual world. They’re making Android a full virtual reality operating system, this makes sense as they’ve also announced a standalone Day Dream headset, it wouldn’t make sense asking the user to take the phone out of the headset because in the new models there won’t be a phone.

Inside a Virtual Reality headset can be an isolated experience, in the update due later in the year you can cast your virtual world to the TV screen so everyone can see what you’re doing, apps like Twitch and YouTube Gaming show that people enjoy watching games so it’s nice to see this being added. They’re also going to include saving screenshots and recording video to make it easier to showcase games.

YouTube VR:
The YouTube VR experience is nice, they have 360 videos and a big resizable screen to watch videos on, later this year they’re going to add the ability to watch videos with another person in this virtual world. Whilst no-where near as advanced as Facebook's VR world

I think about how great would be for partners and family who can’t be together, they'll be able watch video and chat about what's happening like they’re in the same room.

Roll on later this year :-) Lots of things to look forward to, I've included a few animated gifs below showing how this'll all look.
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7 Photos - View album

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Google Photos At IO 2017

It was great to see Google Photos back on the main stage at IO. They really stole the show this year with what they announced. Making sharing your important photos completely effortless was their main focus;

Suggested Sharing: Using image recognition Google Photos will now suggest sharing important photos featured in the photos. There's going to be a new shared tab in Google Photos to help manage this.

Shared Libraries: What's even easier than Suggested Sharing? How about automatically sharing certain photos with family members. You'll be able to automatically share photos that are automatically tagged as a certain person with anyone you choose. I would use this feature with my kids and partner all the time. Can't wait to test this out.

Photobooks: Google Photos going old school on this, this is US only for now but you can select a bunch of photos, instead of making a creation from them you can now send for them to be printed in a book. What parent or grandparent wouldn't love one of these for their birthday or Christmas. Brilliant idea.

Google Lens: This is coming later in the year but the smarts from Google Search is coming to Photos. It'll do Smart things like tell you information from the monument you took the photo of our extract words from a poster or business card you took a photo of and give suggestions what you want to do with the information. Brilliant stuff:

I can't wait to get my hands on all this, each one of these announcements has me very excited.

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Cartoon Selfies In Allo

Whist this update doesn't fix any of the issues in Allo, it makes for a fun little toy to play with whist they work on it.

This has just rolled out to my account after I updated the app, I've just tried it and can say it worked well. So you click the new icon under your chats, line up your face with the glasses and take a picture. You now have a new cartoon sticker pack with cartoon characters that look like you. If the charicture it's not to your liking, you can go in and edit it in a similar way you edit a Mii on a Nintendo system.

It's the sort of feature I'd expect to see in a app like Snapchat and not a Google product, but I think that's the idea, a fun little feature that appeals to the younger audience and is playful in its design.

Now this has launched its back to campaigning for the more serious features like; multi device support and true backup support to a Google account, we'll see if anything is announced at Google IO on May 17th, fingers crossed.

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Mother's Day Video's

This is brilliant, go to then let Google Photos know who which mother you want to create a movie for, then select her kids.

Then just wait for Google to create you a lovely video, it'll appear in the assistant of your Google Photos app ready to share with a couple of taps.

I love stuff like this where the technology takes all of the hard work out something that can take a long time to make manually. It makes something very easy when before it was out of reach for the average person.
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