Google Making Powerful Moves

Google has been doing a lot of stuff for us lately. Last week Google shipped “Latitude” which lets you track your friends and lets them track you (at least if you have a phone that works with the service — my Nokia N95 worked, but my iPhone is not yet supported). I used it with Microsoft’s Jeff Sandquist last Thursday as I was meeting him for breakfast and he said he could see my icon moving closer to him and knew exactly when I would walk through the door for breakfast. I find that kind of technology pretty fun and useful. I know lots of other people are thinking “privacy problem” too, but Google lets you decide who gets to stalk you. In fact they designed it so that it would only work with your closest friends. I, of course, opened it up to the world, and quickly added more than 200 people. That promptly caused it to crash on starting up, which made it totally useless for me. The team wrote me and said they’ll fix that bug in next release.

Then, also last week those smart people at Google released eBooks onto iPhone. More than a million public domain books are now readable on your iPhone. That’s pretty cool, although I still can’t see reading long books on my iPhone. That’s why I ordered the Amazon Kindle 2.0. It’ll be interesting to compare the two, that’s for sure.

Yesterday Google announced that it is bringing power to the people and is making a bunch of services to track and manage electricity usage, both in your home and your business. That’s an effort that’s a little further out than the other stuff I’m talking about here, but will probably have a huge impact on our power bills as we get devices (and solar panels) that can use energy at more efficient and cost-effective times.

But the one thing that hasn’t gotten a whole lot of hype yet is already the most useful for me. Google now is syncing my calendar and my contacts onto my iPhone thanks to Google Sync. It would also work with Windows Mobile and a few other phones.

I loaded this up last night and it’s magical. No longer do I have to hook up my iPhone to sync up my calendars. I set it up, which was just a touch geeky, required going into my iPhone’s email settings and following some directions. It’s a bit scary, because they say your contacts will go away. They do, so make sure you have them backed up. But I trusted in the Google and within a few seconds I had all my contacts from Gmail and all my calendars from Google Calendar all synced up. I already had other ways of syncing up my Outlook with Gmail and Google Calendar. So, now my life is all synced up and I’m happy. You can see how it is going for other users over on friendfeed in this discussion about Google’s new sync.

Thank you Google for all the fun stuff. What are you going to release in the next week? :-)

21 thoughts on “Google Making Powerful Moves

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  2. Powerful stuff? It’s just the usual undercooked Google Labsish spew and bad iPhone thingies, that still needs Microsoft sync tech to be Exchangeified functional. And smart meters, will be a successful as their, cough, municipal wifi projects.

    They talk big, but never deliver. I think that one-trick pony game is starting to wear off.

  3. Powerful stuff? It’s just the usual undercooked Google Labsish spew and bad iPhone thingies, that still needs Microsoft sync tech to be Exchangeified functional. And smart meters, will be a successful as their, cough, municipal wifi projects.

    They talk big, but never deliver. I think that one-trick pony game is starting to wear off.

  4. Parrotzmom is a M$ shill repeating the same FUD all over google news.

    A lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie.

  5. Parrotzmom is a M$ shill repeating the same FUD all over google news.

    A lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie.

  6. Yes, that is great – but what if you use Thunderbird as your main mail client? It took me awhile, and I had given up. But the completely by accident found a post at a mozilla asite for the Zindus add-on https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/6095. Look at the review by Louis Parra. This links ThunderbirdGoogleiPhone. Bidirectional sync. Enter data on any of the three platforms and it syncs with the other two – about 1-2 minute lag time.

    Hope this post will help anyone struggling with the same issue

  7. Yes, that is great – but what if you use Thunderbird as your main mail client? It took me awhile, and I had given up. But the completely by accident found a post at a mozilla asite for the Zindus add-on https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/6095. Look at the review by Louis Parra. This links ThunderbirdGoogleiPhone. Bidirectional sync. Enter data on any of the three platforms and it syncs with the other two – about 1-2 minute lag time.

    Hope this post will help anyone struggling with the same issue

  8. Cool.
    I did not know about the public domain ebooks being available on the iphone. that should be fun for quick reads.

    Gonna fire up latitude today. thanks for the reminder

  9. Cool.
    I did not know about the public domain ebooks being available on the iphone. that should be fun for quick reads.

    Gonna fire up latitude today. thanks for the reminder

  10. Some of these tools are fantastic, and very typically Google…

    However I do have one concern – how “iPhone-y” they are, much of it seems geared towards the iPhone and not Android or the masses of us on Windows Mobile! Is that just my imagination?

  11. Some of these tools are fantastic, and very typically Google…

    However I do have one concern – how “iPhone-y” they are, much of it seems geared towards the iPhone and not Android or the masses of us on Windows Mobile! Is that just my imagination?

  12. Syncing google calendar? Yet another reason to despair of not having purchased the iphone. I still don’t know that I want to Trust the Google with my email, my calendar, my contacts, AND my physical location.

  13. Syncing google calendar? Yet another reason to despair of not having purchased the iphone. I still don’t know that I want to Trust the Google with my email, my calendar, my contacts, AND my physical location.

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