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10 Influential Announcements From Google I/O 2015

10 Influential Announcements From Google I/O 2015

The 2015 Google I/O, Google’s 2-day developer conference, featured several significant announcements that will impact users in some pretty exciting ways. Here are ten of the most influential announcements that were made.

1. Android M

Android M is the forthcoming update to Android’s operating system, and with it comes improvements on permissions, battery usage, and fingerprint recognition. The updated operating system features a new opt-in permissions system, allowing users to set app permissions on an individual basis. A new feature called Doze increases battery time by shutting down background processes when the device isn’t being physically handled. Improved fingerprint recognition means that users can use fingerprints to authenticate purchases made in the Play Store or with Google’s new Android Pay, as well as providing authentication in other applications.

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2. Android Pay

Although Apple Pay has been out for several months, Google announced its own mobile payment service that will replace Google Wallet. Google announced that Android Pay is already accepted by 700,000 merchants. Android Pay will allow users to make purchases in-app as well as at physical stores.

3. Google Photos

Users can now store photos and videos in Google’s new Photos storage and sharing service. Photos and videos are stored in the cloud and accessible from any device. Google Photos features unlimited storage and some impressive organization and search features that eliminate the need for tags. Users can make videos and collages within the app.

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4. Jump

Partnering with GoPro, Google’s goal with Jump is to create a system by which users can create their own virtual reality content. Google itself is developing a 360-degree camera rig with GoPro, but Google’s goal is that users will be able to use any combination of cameras to create VR content. Jump serves to expand upon Google’s Cardboard VR platform

5. Inbox

Developed by the team behind Gmail, Inbox is designed to make email organization work more efficiently for its users. Features such as Undo Send and Reminder suggestions based on email content will undoubtedly save time and make users lives a little easier. A new feature that Google announced for Inbox is Trip Bundles, which collects all emails related to a trip into one easy-to-access location.

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6. Polymer 1.0

Polymer 1.0 is a new Web App toolkit made available to developers, which allows them to create impressive “app-like experiences” on the web. The toolkit gives developers the tools they need to create web applications faster and supports both desktop and mobile browsers.

7. The Family Store

Google introduced a new section of the Play Store designed specifically for children and parents. The Family Store isolates apps for children 6-8 and 9-12. In addition to the many apps that have already been available for children on the app store, The Family Store will feature many new apps that are designed for children for families to choose from.

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8. Google Maps Offline

Google announce offline accessibility of apps like Maps and YouTube. With Maps, users will no longer run the risk of having a drop in connectivity cause the disappearance of the directions they’ve pulled up. Making apps available offline is Google’s strategy for making app accessibility available in countries where the internet isn’t always readily available.

9. Android Wear

Google makes usability of their Android Wear more prominent by introducing features such as “Always On,” which allows users to select an app still stay open on the screen so that users can get information at a glance. Google also introduced gestures, such as flicking of the wrist, that aids in hands-free navigation.

10. Project Brillo

Brillo is Google’s new operating system designed specifically for the Internet of Things and will run on connected devices that have low memory and small processors. Google also announced a common language by which these connected devices will communicate with one another called Weave. Brillo will allow Google to get Android onto many more devices.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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