Check your internet speed by typing into Google “Internet Speed Test”

October 17, 2017

Did you know that an easy way to determine if your internet speed is up to par is to perform an internet speed test by simply going to Google and typing, “Internet Speed Test”?  Not only does this work on your computer, it will also work on your smartphone and tablet. The test and the results are provided by a company called M-Lab (for which Google has a partnership).

The graphics below and information is courtesy of Google to help you understand how this works and what the results mean. This is a good way to determine if you are getting the bandwidth speed you are paying for.

How the test works:

The test takes about 30 seconds. It figures out your Internet speed by measuring how much data can move through your connection in that time.

Understand the results:

The Internet speed test measures your connection’s download speed, upload speed, and latency. The best Internet connections have high download and upload speeds but low latency.

  • Download speed is how fast information can be transferred to you. It affects things like how long it takes to download large files or display webpages with lots of images. Download speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Upload speed is how fast information can be transferred from you. It affects things like how long it takes to post pictures to social media. Upload speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Latency measures how quickly you get a response from the server. Low response times are important for real-time apps, like video calls and online gaming. Latency is measured in milliseconds (ms).

SOURCE: Google – Internet Speed Test


Set Up Reminders With Google Keep

October 8, 2017

Google Keep is Google’s cross-platform note keeping app that is an electronic version of sticky notes. If you don’t use Google Keep, you are missing out on a great application. It is one of the most used apps on my computer and smartphone.

One feature I personally use (especially on my smartphone) is the reminder feature built into Google Keep. After I create a note and set the reminder (see steps below), the reminder will pop up in the notification section of my phone when the reminder comes due. I have a note called “Reminders” that I have configured to pop up every day at 8AM to jostle me in completing various tasks.

You can set a reminder from your phone (Android and iOS), but the easiest way is from your computer.

How To set up reminders for your notes:

Go to keep.google.com.

Click a note.

At the bottom left, click Remind me Remind me.

You can set reminders to go off at a certain time or place:

Time reminder: Click one of the default times, or click Pick a date & time Pick a date and time. You can also set the reminder to repeat.

Location reminder: Click Pick place Pick a place. Then enter the name or address and click Done Done. You’ll need to let Keep access your location.

Click Save.

To close your note, click Done or click outside the note.

To change your reminder, click the reminder time or place at the bottom of the note.

Tip: To delete a reminder, in the bottom right, click Delete reminder Delete reminder.

View upcoming reminders:

Go to keep.google.com or open the Keep app.

At the top left of Keep, tap or click Menu Menu > Reminders.

You’ll see all notes with upcoming reminders.

Change default reminder times

You can change the pre-set reminder times for morning, afternoon, and evening. Learn how to change your default reminder times.

You do need a Google account in order to use Google Keep. As I indicated, Google Keep is a cross platform application and will run from your computer, Android smartphone and iOS smarphone. Once installed on your computer and other devices, the notes are kept in sync.


SOURCE: Google Keep


Gmail Can Now Convert Text To Interactive Links (whenever phone numbers, addresses or emails are detected)

September 19, 2017

Gmail on the web, Android and iOS can now convert text to interactive links whenever a phone number, address or email is detected. If a phone number is detected in Gmail, you can now click on the phone number and the default phone app will launch to initiate the call. If a postal mailing address is detected in Gmail, you can now click on the address and Google Maps will be launched. If an email address is detected in Gmail, you can now click on the email address and the default email app will launch. The objective of this new feature is to save you time from having to copy/paste this information from one application to another.


SOURCE: G Suites Updates Blog


Control, Protect and Secure Your Google Account Information, ALL IN ONE PLACE

August 22, 2017

If you have a Gmail (Google) account you need to bookmark the link provided below that gets you to a dashboard (called “My Account”) that gives you quick access to settings and tools that let you safeguard your data, protect your privacy, and decide how your information can make Google services work better for you. You can even use the dashboard to help find your phone if you lose it; or,  to see how much Google Drive space you have left.

Many Gmail (Google) account users are unfamiliar with this dashboard. I highly recommend that you put this one on your bookmark list and periodically visit the dashboard site to review your settings.

From the “My Account” dashboard you can manage (and control) things such as:

Sign-in and Security – Control your password and Google Account access (Signing in to Google, Device activity & security events and Connected apps & sites).

Personal Info and Privacy – Manage your visibility settings and the data we use to personalize your experience (Your personal info, Manage your Google activity, Ads Settings and Control your content).

Account Preferences – Set language, accessibility, and other settings that help you use Google (Language & Input Tools, Accessibility, Your Google Drive storage and Delete your account or services)

Security Checkup – Protect your account in just a few minutes by reviewing your security settings and activity.

Privacy Checkup – A quick checkup to review important privacy settings and adjust them to your preference.

Find Your Phone – Whether you forgot where you left it or it was stolen, a few steps may help secure your phone or tablet.

My Activity – Discover and Control the data that’s created when you use Google Services.


SOURCE: Google – My Account


A Quality Chromebook For Work Or School

August 11, 2017

Chromebooks are often described as a “browser in a box” due that they run the Google Chrome operating system and browser where the apps are internet dependent. Chromebooks are often seen in the schools these days due to their low cost and ease to maintain (and use). The Chromebooks I have tested boot fast, have long battery life, brighter screens and built in protection against malware and viruses. I have always loved the Windows operating system, but Chromebook computers makes great computers for grandparents due to their simplicity.

A Chromebook I am looking at is the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4. This Chromebook is on the high end when it comes to price and specs. If you want to explore cheaper Chromebooks, then CLICK HERE

The two reason I am looking at the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 is that it is one of the first Chromebooks that comes with native Android app support and the fact that ASUS builds great computers. This particular brand of Chromebook is an Amazon Choice and was most recently featured at ZDNet. Also, this Chromebook is, so far, carrying great customer reviews at Amazon.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

  • Flexible 360 degree hinge and 12.5” Full-HD touchscreen lets you use the C302 in tablet or laptop mode.
  • Extremely lightweight at 2.65 pounds with the protection of a sleek aluminum metal body.
  • Unlock the power of Chromebooks with access to your favorite Chrome Web Store apps like Google Docs and it is Google Play Store/Android app ready.
  • Starts up in seconds and lasts all day, thanks to a long battery life rated up to 10 hours*.
  • Work anywhere online or offline regardless of your internet connection. Enjoy your favorite games, entertainment, and keep up with work, wherever you go.
  • Intel Core Processor with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM for fast and efficient performance.

SOURCE: Amazon – ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4


How To Setup AND Share A Google Calendar

August 11, 2017

My brothers and I have been in a situation where we are caring for our Father. We needed a way to schedule when we were available to assist with his care. What I did, since I have a Google account, was setup a calendar that could be shared with each of my brothers. In this case, each of us had a Google account which made setting this up all the more easier; PLUS I was able to give each brother rights to edit (add or delete) events on the calendar. You can also make the calendar public (with viewing rights only) for those who do not have an account or those who need to see the calendar. Setting this up literally took me less than 10 minutes.

Image result for google calendar

Here are the steps to setup and share a Google Calendar:

You can create a new calendar and invite other people to view or edit it. When you create an event, you’ll see an option to choose which calendar to add the event to.

  • On your computer, open Google Calendar. You can’t create or share calendars from the Google Calendar app.
  • On the left, next to “My Calendars,” click the Down arrow.
  • Click Create a new calendar.
  • Add the calendar name.  In my case, I named the calendar “Family”
  • Under “Share with specific people,” add the email address of the person you want to share with. This is where it is beneficial that each recipient has a Google account.
  • Under “Permission Settings,” choose an option in the drop-down menu. In my case, I selected the option “Make changes to events”; which allows the people you are sharing with to edit, add or delete events. They can also restore events from the trash that have been deleted.
  • If someone isn’t already added, click Add person.
  • Click Create calendar and you are done. Each recipient will receive an email to announce that a shared calendar has been created for which they can edit.

If you shared your calendar with an individual email address, they’ll see your calendar in their “Other calendar” list. If you shared your calendar with an email group , they’ll see the calendar in their “Other calendars” list once they click on the link in the email invitation from Google Calendar.

Important: To get your new calendar to show up on your Android phone or tablet, you’ll need to turn on sync for that calendar.


SOURCE: Google – Share Your Calendar With Someone

 


Google Duo – New Version 14.1 Bug Fixes and Product Improvements

July 23, 2017

I have posted about Google Duo in the past and noticed that Google is still working to make it better. Google Duo is a very simple to use video conferencing app. I have found it to work very well over a cell data network, even when you are not connected to a wi-fi network. If you are a grandfather like me, Google Duo is easy to use and to setup on the Android, iPhone and iPad app platforms, that will give you the ability to do a virtual visit with the grandkids. There are many uses for Google Duo and the example I gave is just one example of how I use it. What sells me on this messaging app is that it is simple. If you already have a Google account, you are ready to go… Simply install the app on your device and follow the prompts.

  • Duo is all about ease of use. There’s no separate account to create, no need to build a new contact list: the app can use your phone’s contact list already, and start a video call with a click.
  • Duo’s “Knock Knock” feature means users will see live video of any caller before they pick up, giving a quick idea of where they are and what they’re doing.
  • The app does its best to keep you connected, seamlessly switching between mobile data and wifi as necessary, and automatically adjusting resolution to match available bandwidth.
  • Google hasn’t forgotten about security, either– end-to-end encryption keeps snoopers out, even on insecure wifi hotspots.

SOURCE: Download Crew – Google Duo 14.1