Tag Archives: Google

Google Moonshots

Immortality

live-forever-jason-tester-flickr-streamishmc-cc-by-nd
Photo by Jason Tester on Flickr under CC

Who won’t like to live forever? Although it looks impossible today, you have to take notice, when a company like Google starts pursuing something. Google has just formed an independent Biotech company called California Life Company (Calico for short), headed by Apple Inc and Genentech Chairman Art Levinson, to develop technologies to tackle health issues related to aging.

“While this is clearly a longer-term bet, we believe we can make good progress within reasonable timescales with the right goals and the right people,” says Google CEO Larry Page.

Driverless Cars

Google has been working on self-driving cars for 5 years now and their 3rd car model called GX3200 has been approved for commercial use in USA. Fully electric GX3200 can seat 4 passengers and can travel 750 miles on a single charge. It also has its own wifi for passengers. Global Taxi Company Uber, which just launched in Bangalore and Delhi, has already committed to purchase 2500 cars from Google.

Balloon Powered Internet for everyone

Official website for Project Loon says – “Many of us think of the Internet as a global community. But two-thirds of the world’s population does not yet have Internet access. Project Loon is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.”

Google Glass

Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that is being developed by Google with a mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format and can communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands. Google Glass was made available to developers earlier this year and will be launched for general public next year.

List of moonshots Google is currently working on also includes Google Fibre, which is a 1000 Mbps Internet infrastructure and flying wind turbines to tap into airborne wind energy.

If you want to check out more similar Moonshot projects you can visit www.solveforx.com and give your inputs and discuss existing projects. You can also recommend a moonshot project of your own there.

Google for Windows Mobile

Google Mobile App started supporting Windows Mobile last week. It allows you to perform a google search right from your Today screen without need for opening a browser first. It also gives you quick access to other google applications like maps, reader, blogger, orkut, documents, calendar etc.

Google is regularly releasing applications for Windows Mobile platform. In the recent past it has released Google Latitude and Google Sync as well. Latitude allows you to see where your friends are on Google Map and Sync allows you to sync your phone contacts and calendar with Google. 
To check out all these cool Google applications for Windows Mobile click here. And to all the readers of this blog once again, you can contact me at- sachin AT palewar DOT com for any Windows Mobile software development requirement.

Free Group SMS and Google SMS Search


I am going to talk about 2 interesting but India specific Google offerings here. Although Indians don’t SMS/text as much as they used to in good old days, there are reasons to chear courtesy Google. These 2 SMS services are called:

1. Google SMS Channels – Here you can create a Channel or SMS Group and all the subscribers will be getting the channel content by SMS for free. Now this Channel can pull content from Google News and Google groups so once you point your channel to any group or news, you will be getting new content automatically by SMS. Cool isn’t it? But it does not end there – You can even pull content from your or any blogger powered blog or any RSS source, but the best part is that you can use the channel to send same SMS message to all your friends and contacts. You can just create a personal channel and invite all your contacts to it and when you post message to channel via web or by SMS it will reach everybody. So practically you can now send multiple SMSes at the cost of one sms or even for free if you use web option. Try now
2. Google SMS Search – Google SMS search is plain, simple and straight-forward like all things Google. You just need to send you search query as sms to Google India No.  9-77-33-00000 and they send you search results by sms immediately. I have tried it and it really works and here is one more Google advantage for you – since this is a normal 10 digit no and not a special no, probably you will be charged for sending only a normal sms, which is as low as 10 paise with some SMS plans. So probably Google is not looking to rip you off by having a special 4 or 5 digit no. 
BTW you can use Google search for many useful things beside search like – cricket scores, Indian Railways train schedules & ticket status, PNR, horoscopes, movie showtimes, restaurant information and more. For more info you can go here.
Oh I forgot to tell you, you can subscribe to my blog by SMS from here 🙂

Google Chrome: Not just another browser

Google released beta version of its open source web-browser last week. The browser is called Chrome and those interested in contributing to it or having a look at its code can head here.

First thing which I noticed in Chrome is that it is simple and straight-forward like most of other Google Products/Website. So there is no menu bar, no toolbar and tabs utilise conventional title bar area. All this leaves you with more browsing space, which I think is really innovative.
Chrome uses code from other browsers like Apple’s Safari and Mozilla Firefox so you find many useful features from other browsers already present in Chrome. Chrome is loaded with many interesting and useful features like:
  1. Floating tabs – You can drag and rearrenge tabs, convert tab into window and move tabs between multiple Chrome windows.
  2. Tab does not crash Browser – Since tabs run in separate memory process of their own, if one tab crashes, it does not take the whole browser and other tabs down with it. What a relief 🙂
  3. Incognito Mode – If you don’t want to leave trace of your browsing in history, cookies etc, you have the Incognito window to help you out.
  4. Application Shortcuts – With the increasing use of many websites as applications, you can create their Shortcuts on your desktop so when you want to open them next time, you can just double-click on their icons and they will open like an application installed on your desktop. You need to try it to really understand how useful this feature is.
For a complete understanding of all the features please visit this link and to read Google’s official reason on why they chose to do a browser, click here.

Gphone is here…

While I am waiting to finally lay my hands on iPhone when its launched in India in a few months, I am also very excited about what I would like to call a Gphone.

Technically there is nothing called a Gphone, instead there is a mobile OS called Android released by Google. T-Mobile USA is expected to launch first Android device this year and reportedly its manufactured by HTC which is numero uno windows mobile device manufacturer. Interesting 🙂

Android Community released first live images and videos of Android demo phone last month and I was really impressed by the great user interface on that phone. In many ways its looks quite similar to iPhone’s interface where you can do most of the stuff using your finger, but you expect Google to do some innovations, don’t you? And that’s what Google did.

I really liked the phone unlock option on the demo phone, you can just slide your finger in a preset pattern to unlock the phone. They also demonstrated how the built in compass in the phone lets you pan-around the location based images just like you are into some kind of virtual tour of that location. That’s very cool I must say. Anyway to check out all the images and videos you need to click here.

So go ahead and see for yourself what Google has to offer and let me know what do you think.

Google Search using SMS

Just read on Alootechie about the launch of Google SMS in India. You can now search by simply sending an sms to 54664 (5GOOG) from your mobile. It will cost you upto Rs. 3 for each sms you send, however BSNL postpaid subscribers pay just 80 Paise for sending sms.

Some example of queries include: pizza andheri west mumbai, movies hyderabad, translate hello in french, weather Delhi etc. You can perform 9 types of searches/queries using Google SMS which makes it very very useful in my opinion. Currently this service is available only in Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

As an Google admirer I welcome Google SMS in India and await their rollout in more cities and with more service providers. Incidently google is also experimenting with mobile advertising and it will be interesting when google starts inserting ads in SMS and shares revenue with service providers and mobile users can use the service for free, I mean they don’t even pay for sending the message. That will surely be a google way to do the things. I am keeping my fingers crossed till then.

Touch iPhone and Dream Gphone

On 5th September 2007 Apple reduced the price of iPhone 8GB model by $200 to $399 just 2 months after its much hyped launch. It has also dropped the 4GB model. Many early buyers are accusing Apple of unfair pricing and feel cheated. Apple is offering them $100 credit to pacify. Financial analysts didn’t like the news as well and Apple stocks fell next day.

If you can’t wait for iPhone to be available at a store near you, I will suggest you to buy HTC Touch, which many believe is an iPhone killer. And another news doing the round is that HTC may sue Apple for naming its latest iPod model as iPod Touch. iPod touch looks quite similar to iPhone and has most of the same features minus the Phone.

Also in past few months rumors about a phone from Google aka Gphone gained momentum and some believed that it can be launched any day. Rediff.com, the numero uno Indian portal even went ahead and claimed Gphone will be launched from India. Only if there would have been some truth in the rumors, Gphone would have been launched by this time and probably I would have started considering switching my Palm Treo 680. Google’s head of research has denied Google’s interest in any hardware development a few days back so probably this will end any speculation about a Gphone now.

Anyway I am sad but I am happy with google for making the world (read cyber-world) a better place to live in so even if they don’t really launch the Gphone, I think they have done enough and continue doing some pretty innovative things in technology like DNA database, face and speech recognition, digitization of libraries etc. etc.

Update on 7th Many 08: Vodafone bringing iPhone to India in September 2008