Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Adds Contact Restoration Feature

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Google announced a very welcome feature this morning. Google Contacts now has a restoration feature to undo any mistakes or deletions within the last 30 days. Using a pretty simple form, you can restore anywhere from 10 minutes ago to the full 30 days.

This feature would have been really useful recently when I made the classic error of forgetting Google tags things and doesn’t use folders. I managed to delete a lot of “duplicate” entries only to discover I had erased all of my family and friends. A few imports later and some time spent re-organizing my Google Contacts and I was back up to speed. Had this feature existed I could have rolled back to 10 minutes prior and saved myself a lot of work.

The restoration feature is not as smart as one might hope at this point though. If you’ve added new contacts since the date you are restoring you will lose them. This feature sets your account to the exact state it was in on that date. This brings back the deleted contacts, but deletes new ones too. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to set it up this way, but it would be nice to see this feature get tweaked a little. Google allows you to undo a restoration too if you need to get back one of the newer contacts deleted by the restoration. This will ease any fears of permanently deleting your current address book as well.

The feature is already live, so you can go about your day knowing you won’t wipe your contacts clean by accident and find yourself without recourse. Hopefully we won’t ever have need of this, but it is nice to know it is there. I for one am glad Google added this restoration capability, as I’m sure all of Google’s other customers are.

Google Announces Nexus S and Gingerbread

Monday, December 6th, 2010

This is going to be a big week for Google. Not only has it launched a new eBookstore, it has officially announced the new Samsung Nexus S and Gingerbread. Rumor has it that Chrome OS will be debuting this week as well. First, a quick note about Gingerbread, in Google’s words.

“Gingerbread is the fastest version of Android yet, and it delivers a number of improvements, such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.”
Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering

You can check out a nice teaser video below. The Gingerbread SDK/NDK is available now for developers, and will be going open-source after launch on the 16th of December.

On to the rumored (and now confirmed) Nexus S from Samsung. Here are the specs:

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor
  • 4″ Super AMOLED (235 ppi) capacative touch screen display
  • 16GB iNAND flash memory
  • Quad-band GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900/Tri-band HSPA: 900, 2100, 1700
  • HSPA type: HSDPA (7.2Mbps) HSUPA (5.76Mbps)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 n/b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • A-GPS
  • microUSB 2.0
  • Anti-fingerprint display coating
  • Haptic feedback vibration
  • Three-axis gyroscope
  • Accelerometer
  • Digital compass
  • Proximity sensor
  • Light sensor
  • 5MP Rear-facing camera (2560×1920) with auto focus and flash
  • 720 x 480 video resolution/H.264, H.263 MPEG4 video recording
  • VGA Front-facing camera (640×480)
  • 3.5mm, 4-conductor headset jack (stereo audio plus microphone)
  • 1500 mAH Lithum Ion Battery

It looks like Google stuck with the pattern set with the Nexus One. This looks like a pretty powerful phone. I find it interesting though, that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 seems to have little competition by way of the digital camera. 8.1 megapixels with a couple new phones rumored at 10+ megapixels make Sony Ericsson the first choice in camera phones. Other than the camera, the Nexus S looks pretty good. It will be the first phone launched with Gingerbread as the native OS.

Of particular note is the Near Field Communication (NFC) feature. The NFC hardware is in short an NFC tag reader. At a glance, it is similar to QR code technology. You can use the NFC reader to scan t-shirts, movie posters, signs, or anywhere else someone thinks to stick the code.

As with the Nexus One, T-Mobile gets first crack at the unlocked GSM phone. It will be available December 16 online and in Best Buy stores in the United States. U.K. fans can pick it up December 20 at Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy’s U.K. locations. Want to see a side-by-side comparison? The Nexus S is available for comparison via Google’s Android Phone Gallery.

Google Launches eBookstore

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Update:The Android app is for Eclair and above only.

Google announced the opening of the new Google eBookstore this morning citing an interest in providing easier access to the world’s knowledge repositories, known as books. With three million available titles, and hundreds of thousands of those titles for sale, Google is in a prime position to run a bookstore.

Google’s ebooks are already available on a variety of devices, from netbooks, tablets, cell phones, e-readers, and computers. Google is adding a Web Reader and an Android & iPhone Reader app to the mix as well, making this bookstore quite versatile. You’ll get cloud-based access to all your books wherever you are. Google sweetens the deal by offering unlimited book storage as well.

Google’s ebook collection has already been useful to me in my educational persuits, and this new eBookstore looks like it will kick it up a notch or two. You can check out Google’s introductory video below. You can find the Google eBookstore at books.google.com/ebooks.