Here Are “Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops”

Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, at ZDNet makes a good argument with “Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops“.

I can honestly attest to being a Windows user all my time being associated with computers, until last year when I purchased my first Chromebook. Yes, Windows can be a powerhouse; but, there are so many negatives with Windows vs. the positives of a Chromebook that I came to the conclusion for home-based users, a Chromebook is all you really need.

Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip 12.5-Inch Touchscreen Convertible Chromebook, Intel Core M3, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash Storage, All-Metal Body, USB Type C, Corning Gorilla Glass, Chrome OS

I encourage you to read Steven’s article to see the five reasons he listed. In his final closing summary to his article, he said this (for which I totally agree):

“If you want a laptop that does all the bread-and-butter internet and office work, get a Chromebook. If you have a friend or relative who needs a safer machine, give them a Chromebook. If you need a flexible system that can juggle Android, Linux, the web, and a bit of Windows, get a Chromebook. You’ll be glad you did.”

Source: ZDNet – Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops


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A New Gmail Feature Will Soon Be Checking Your Grammar

According to an article posted by Taylor Kerns, at Android Police, “Gmail will soon let you know just how bad your grammar sucks” with a new built-in grammar checker (and enhanced spellcheck that will auto-correct spelling errors). The rollout of these features are scheduled in September for G Suite users; with no rollout date set at this time for regular Gmail account users at home (like you and me). For us at home, be patient, it will come; and, when it does this will be a welcome addition.

Source: Android Police – Gmail will soon let you know just how bad your grammar sucks


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Quick Tip: The Chrome OS Launcher Is A Powerful Universal Search Tool

For you Chromebook user’s out there, here is a powerful Chrome OS tip that is many times overlooked.

When you tap the “Search Key” (on your keyboard) or hit the circle icon in the lower left corner of the screen (on the app launcher), you are given the power to search for anything. All you need to do is start typing and whatever it is you are searching for will appear. You can search for and find websites, get answers to specific questions, open apps, find files on your Chromebook, etc… For example, in the screenshot below, I clicked on the circle icon and started typing “What’s On My PC” and immediately search results started to populate.

Get More “Quick Tips” Here

Quick Tip: Learn To Google Search With Your Voice

You will need a microphone attached to your computer in order to take advantage of this overlooked “Google Search” feature. When performing a search, on your computer using Google, teach yourself to click on the microphone to dictate what you want to search for. You will soon find that this is much faster than typing and is fun to do.

 

Google can delete your account when you die. Here’s how | CNET

Think about all the photos you have stored that your family and friends would like to have — or personal account information that your beneficiary will need to know about in the event of your death. There may be important files that you have stored on your Google Drive that someone will need access to. For those reasons, it’s a good idea to take five minutes and let Google know what to do with your data.

Source: Google can delete your account when you die. Here’s how – CNET

Quick Tip: If You Use An Android Phone You Have A Google Account (i.e. Gmail)

When you purchase and set up an Android phone, you initially are prompted to establish a Google Account. Many home-based users who are just getting into the Android smartphone arena do not know that. By establishing a Google Account (with a username and password) you now have access to many of Google’s apps and services such as Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, etc… that can be accessed from any web-based device (i.e. computer and tablet). Anything that is Google related, you will be able to access with your username and password. There is a great benefit to this on the upside, but on the downside, you essentially have sold your soul to Google…

There are workarounds to this, but for most folks at home just want their phones to work and do not think about workarounds. Just want to point that out…

cropped-logo.png

Is YouTube down? Google Cloud outage hits popular websites and services like YouTube, Gmail, Snapchat, others | CBS News

A widespread Google Cloud outage hit Sunday, rendering popular sites and apps like YouTube and Gmail unusable for many users for a few hours, CNET reports. Google’s Cloud Computing Engine and Cloud Networking services began experiencing issues as of 4 p.m. ET, according to the status page on company’s website.

Source: Is YouTube down? Google Cloud outage hits popular websites and services like YouTube, Gmail, Snapchat, others – CBS News

How Google’s rift with Huawei could change Android and smartphones forever | PCWorld

A bad month has just gotten a whole lot worse for Huawei. According to a Reuters report and confirmed by the two companies, Google is preparing to cut off the China-based smartphone maker’s Android license, preventing future Huawei phones (such as the upcoming Mate 30) from using the Play Store and Google’s popular apps and services.

google android

The bombshell comes just days after President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms that “pose a national security risk.” While the order didn’t single out Huawei, the Commerce Department simultaneously added Huawei to its Entity List, effectively banning the smartphone maker from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without explicit government approval. Together, the two moves make it extremely difficult for any U.S. company to do business with Huawei.

To read this article in full, please click here

 

Quick Tip: How to block a Nuisance Gmail Sender

Getting a rampant amount of email from a specific sender in Gmail?  If so, simply block them. When you block the nuisance sender, their emails sent to you will land in your spam folder.

Follow the instructions below to block a sender in Gmail. You can use the same steps to unblock them, as well.

When you block a sender, messages they send will go to your Spam folder.

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Open the message.
  3. In the top right, click More More.
  4. Click Block [sender].

Quick Tip: How To Quickly Switch Between Multiple Gmail Accounts

Today, many of us have multiple Gmail Accounts (i.e. personal account, work account, account for shopping purposes, etc…).  Here is a line of instruction that will help you toggle between these accounts while in your default (main) account without having to go through the task of signing in and out of each account.

  • Open your browser and sign into your Gmail account.
  • Click on your profile picture, located in the upper right-hand side of your Gmail dashboard screen. If you do not have a profile picture setup, what you will be looking for is the circular icon at the top right side of the Gmail window. When you click on this a new window will pop up.
  • Click on the “add account” button within that new window.
  • Enter your second Gmail address in the box and type in that account’s password.
  • Click on “sign in.”
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

multiple gmail accounts in web

Once all of your Gmail accounts are linked, you can switch between your accounts by clicking on your profile picture and selecting the account you wish to access from the drop-down menu that appears.

 

Quick Tip: How To Save A Gmail Message To Your Computer

The best way I have found to save a Gmail message to you computer (in its’ original format) is to do this:

In Gmail, open the message you desire to save to your computer.

At the top of the message (right side) you will see a printer icon. Click on that icon.

When the “Print” window pops up, click on the drop-down box next to “Destination” and select “Save to PDF”, then click on “Save”, and you will be prompted to save the result to your computer. The saved file will be in the “PDF” file format.

Note: There is also another option on the drop-down menu where you can also “Save to Google Drive” that is handy when you do not want to save the file to the computer that you are working on.

The NEW “Schedule” Email Option Now Rolling Out To Gmail

Gmail users, the NEW “schedule” email option is now rolling out. Go into your Gmail, click on compose, enter a recipient’s email address and if you go to the bottom left corner where it displays the send button (see below) you will see a small down arrow. Click on the down arrow and then click on “Schedule Send”.  From that point forward it is self-explanatory. You can then select a date and time that you wish for the email to be sent.

Gmail send later

gmail-schedule-send.png

I am thinking of scheduling and sending an email for far out in the future, beyond my demise, to let everyone know, I am spiritually still with them and that there is Gmail in Heaven.

Quick Tip (Android): Access ALL of YOUR Photos Wherever You Go

On your Android smartphone or tablet, look for “Google Photos”. With “Google Photos” you can back up any photos you take and see them online from any device at the “Google Photos” web site.  To make this an automated process, do the following:

  1. Open the “Google Photos” app on your device and tap on the (menu)…
  2. Tap on “Settings”
  3. Select “Backup & Sync”
  4. Toggle “Backup & Sync” to the “on” position. At this point on the selections under “Backup & Sync” you should see your Google (Gmail) account.
  5. Scroll down to “Upload Size” and select “High Quality” (free unlimited storage).

Note: Google will allow you to upload unlimited images providing you let Google convert the images to the “High Quality” setting. If you select “Original”, you will eat up your online space at Google.

Very easy; and will allow you to see your photos online. You can then, at your convenience, delete the photos on your phone when space becomes an issue.

Note: A Google account is required. Typically, you should already have a Google account when your Android phone was set up for your personal use.

Quick Tip: How To Define Words In A Google Search

When using Google to perform a search you can use what is called “qualifiers” (or common search techniques). One such qualifier that I often use is the word “define”. For example, let’s find the definition of the word “cognitive”.

Go to Google Search and type in the box the following:

define:cognitive

Then, hit “Enter” on your keyboard to get the result(s) or definition for “cognitive”.

If you notice there is no space between the qualifier “define” and “cognitive”. They are separated by a colon (:). You can also leave out the colon, but I have gotten into the habit of using the colon due that I use other qualifiers.

Here are examples of other qualifiers or common search techniques – click here.

Photos: 15 years of Gmail | TechRepublic

Wow…  How Gmail (and Us) have evolved. I worked in IT at a time when the internet was ramping up and online services were in their infancy. My very first email account was a Hotmail account, that I still have to this day, and AOL was a favorite of many people. What was your first email account?

With its launch on April 1, 2004, many people thought Gmail was an elaborate April Fool’s prank. It was anything but that, and the past 15 years have proven how serious Google is about email.

Source: Photos: 15 years of Gmail – TechRepublic

Write Now, Send Later – Not Seeing This on Gmail (at home) Yet…

I am hoping this feature hits our Gmail Accounts that we privately use at home. The feature will allow you to compose an email and schedule it to send later.

SCHEDULE_SEND_DESKTOP.gif

Write now, send later

We understand that work can often carry over to non-business hours, but it’s important to be considerate of everyone’s downtime. We want to make it easier to respect everyone’s digital well-being, so we’re adding a new feature to Gmail that allows you to choose when an email should be sent. Just write your email as you normally would, then schedule it to arrive in your recipient’s inbox at a later date and time.

Source: 15 years and counting—making Gmail work faster and smarter for businesses | Google Cloud Blog

A Preview of the NEW Microsoft Edge Browser That Is Coming To Windows 10

Just to let folks know, the browser that ships with Windows 10 is called Microsoft Edge. The developer and underlying code of the Microsoft Edge browser is a Microsoft engineered product.

It appears, in the near future, we are going to see a change in the Microsoft Edge browser in appearance and in the underlying code (the foundation) that makes the browser work. The appearance and underlying code are going to be based on Chromium, which is a (see Wikipedia) Google open-source web browser project. It is a fully functional browser on its own and supplies the vast majority of code for the Google Chrome browser.

So what does this mean to you at home?  It means you should eventually see a new web browser still called “Edge” that will replace the current version of “Edge”; that will have a cleaner and faster interface (see video below)…

An early build of Microsoft’s upcoming Chromium-based Edge browser has recently leaked online. This browser, which despite carrying the same name as it’s predecessor, will be built from a completely different foundation, and therefore, provide a completely refreshed experience for those who are already familiar with the current manifestation of Microsoft Edge. This new browser…

Source: Microsoft’s got a new Edge- and it’s made of Chromium (Hands-on video) OnMSFT.com

‘OK Google’ will no longer fully unlock your phone | Engadget

Google has come up with a compromise to make its “OK Google” feature more secure. Rather than allow users to unlock their Android devices completely (a security risk), the Voice Match command will soon limit “OK Google” to open the Assistant interface on the lock screen. There, interactions will be limited to “personal results,” things like Google Calendar, email, reminders and shopping lists.

Source: ‘OK Google’ will no longer fully unlock your phone

Thinking of buying a new Chromebook but not sure which one to choose?

I love my Chromebook… As a matter of fact, I drafted this article using my Chromebook. If you are unfamiliar with Chromebooks, let me explain in simple terms. The Chromebook is not a Microsoft Windows OS-based laptop; instead, it is a Google Chrome OS-based laptop (or notebook). DO NOT let that scare you. If you have ever used the Google Chrome web browser, then using a Chrome OS-based laptop is super easy. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend Chromebooks for our Mom’s and Pop’s out there because of their ease of use, portability, low maintenance, built-in security, and affordability. Many of the schools have gone to these for the same reasons. Not only that; Google is on a mission to make Chromebooks a mainstay and work hard to upgrading and improving the operating system (to include Android apps and the ability to run Linux). Interested? Check out some of the Chromebooks at Amazon (CLICK HERE)

If you are considering purchasing a Chromebook and want to learn more, take a look at this recent article about “Chromebook Specs & Performance Comparison Chart (2019)” that provides a specs comparison table and buying guide to quickly see the differences between each model, and find the best Chromebook for your needs.

chromebook-specs

Source: Zipso – Chromebook specs & performance comparison chart (2019)

Web Based Version of “Google Tasks” Is Eventually Going Away

I actually use the web-based version of Google Tasks via a browser extension; but apparently, I am one of the few… This news does not mean “Google Tasks” is going completely away. It will still be available via the Google Calendar, Gmail and Mobile version interfaces. The current web-based version is sort of dated and here is to hoping that Google comes up with a more modern standalone version.

Google is shutting down the classic Google Tasks web interface – gHacks Tech News

Google informs users who open Google Tasks using a web browser that the classic version is going away.

google tasks deprecation

Source: Google is shutting down the classic Google Tasks web interface – gHacks Tech News

Did you know that “Soon, you might be able to use Google Duo on the web” | Android Authority

Google Duo is a Google product (app) that allows you to make video calls… If you are not using it, I encourage you to give it a try…

So far, using Google Duo has been limited to smartphones, tablets, and the majority of Chromebooks. In the near future though, the Google Duo video chat service could work on your laptop or desktop computer through your internet browser.

Source: Soon, you might be able to use Google Duo on the web – Android Authority

TechRepublic Instructs You “How to enable Night Light in Chrome OS”

I have to admit, I love my Chromebook… The Chrome OS keeps getting better and offers options that make good sense. One such option now baked into the Chrome OS is the “Night Light” feature. The goal of the “Night Light” feature is to help reduce your exposure to blue light for good eye health and to help you sleep better.

So, how do you get to this feature? Below is a brief summarization on how to activate this feature; however, to get the full blown tutorial on this I encourage you to visit TechRepublic (see source link below).

To enable Night Light in Chrome OS, open Settings, and look for the Displays section, where Night Light can be enabled. Adjust the slider to turn Night Light on, and then you’ll also be able to adjust two other features: Color temperature of the display and the schedule.

Screenshot of Night Light setting enabled, with color temperature (cooler to warmer) and schedule options drop-down shown.

Reduce exposure to blue light from your Chrome OS device screen at night by changing these settings.

Source: How to enable Night Light in Chrome OS – TechRepublic

Android Authority on “How to set up a new Google account on your Android device”

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Head into the Settings of your device.
  2. Scroll down and tap on the “Accounts” option.
  3. Tap on the “Add account” option at the bottom of your screen.
  4. Select “Google”.
  5. Choose “More options”.
  6. Tap on “Create account”.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions by entering your personal info, selecting a username, etc.
  8. Tap the “I Agree” button to create your Google account.

Read More @ Android Authority

According to Android Police, Google Keep gets expanded canvas for hand-drawn notes…

Google’s note-keeping app, called “Google Keep”, just “keeps” getting better… This is by far one of my favorite, most used, apps on my devices…

According to the Android Police, “Google Keep is getting a small update today on both Android and the web, but it’s an important one if you use hand-drawing notes a lot. From now on, you won’t be constrained to a single screen for your drawing — instead, Keep will add more space at the bottom of the note so you can keep going. The first time you get to the bottom of the screen while drawing, you’ll see a pop-up explaining that more space has been added.”

Source: Google Keep gets expanded canvas for hand-drawn notes [APK Download]

How to check if you have a Google+ account — and delete it | by INSIDER

Google is shutting down Google+. If you have a Google+ account, I highly recommend you delete it. Steps to delete the account can be found by clicking on the source link below…

After a Wall Street Journal report revealed that Google accidentally exposed personal information of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users, you might be thinking about deleting your account before the social network formally shuts down. We’ve got you covered.

Source: How to check if you have a Google+ account — and delete it – INSIDER

Google+ to shut down after security bug – CNN

In a blog post, the company admitted Google+ had failed to achieve “broad consumer or developer adoption” since it launched as a would-be Facebook rival in 2011. However, the announcement came moments after The Wall Street Journal reported Google had opted not to disclose a bug affecting hundreds of thousands of Google+ users at least in part to avoid additional regulatory scrutiny.

Source: Google reportedly hid Google+ security bug – CNN

Spotify vs. Google Play Music: Which should you subscribe to? | Android Central

I am currently looking at Google Play Music and Spotify as an online music service subscription… So which one is the best?

Spotify is one of the most popular music services on the market today, but is it more deserving of your money than Google Play Music? Depending on your musical habits, the answer may be easier than you think.

Source: Spotify vs. Google Play Music: Which should you subscribe to? | Android Central

Didn’t Know This, But Google Released A Few Enhancements to Google Sites (back in Aug 2018)

What is Google Sites? Google Sites is a FREE and EASY way to create a personalized website; whether for private purposes or to post for everyone in the world to see. If you have a Google Account (or Gmail Account), you are good to go. Simply visit Google Sites to start working on your own website.

To read more about the enhancements, click on the source link below.

Screenshot of new Google Site, with section layouts and button option shown on right, and an embedded Google Form on the Google Site page (to the left).

Google released a few enhancements to Google Sites in August 2018

Source: How to take advantage of Google Sites updates to page layout, navigation, and forms – TechRepublic

Say What? “Windows on Chromebooks? Stay tuned.” | Computerworld

Having always been a die-hard user of Windows and now favoring the Google Chrome OS; I have to agree with the ComputerWorld author here on this one…

dell chromebook 13 lid half open

Chromebooks have become all-purpose, do-everything, productivity machines. Gartner and IDC both agree that the PC market is finally growing again, and Chromebooks get much of the credit for this.

Could you soon see Windows running on a Chromebook? Clues are pointing that way. But why would Google do it? Here’s my take.

Source: Windows on Chromebooks? Stay tuned. | Computerworld

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