February 25, 2015

5 New Google Gadgets and Apps to Spice Up Your Life


By Justin H.

Far from content with sitting on their search engine throne, Google continues to blaze trails in other technological fields. Although a few endeavors in the past have been hit or miss, (like Google Glass), it is important to still maintain a small business mentality and keep plowing forward. After all, every large business was a startup at one point. You can’t knock such a large successful company for still pushing the envelope.

As a business owner, you’d prefer to have one dollar as opposed to 20 nickels, right? Just like any business owner, Google sees the prospect of earning a nickel, so it does everything it can to turn it into a dollar. This mindset leads Google to provide consumers with a bevy of features to enhance their experience both on and offline.

Whether you are yearning for something that will make your day a little simpler, or a gadget to add a few notches of fun to your life, here are five Google products you can get on board with.

Tablescape


photo courtesy of phonedog.com
Throw this one into the ambitious category. Google is allegedly working on a project called Tablescape, which is another swing for social media stardom after Google+ settled into a slightly different niche than it first intended. They are aiming to create a community all about pictures of food for people to share and make on their own.

With Tablescape, Google tries its hand in the kitchen. Tablescape would focus 100 percent on food. It is hard to imagine anything strictly concerning food not becoming popular. It would also give users a solid outlet where they can tap into Local Guides.

The caveats with this app include its probable reliance on Google+, Yelp and Pinterest. However, it looks like Tablescape is almost ready to be served, and would certainly be worth a taste.


Google Cardboard


photo courtesy of 9to5mac.com
Virtual reality has been all the rage lately, so you know Google had to tap into that market. However, they did it in the most unconventional way.

Google Cardboard is a do-it-yourself virtual reality headset made quite literally out of cardboard. The contraption’s setup instructions have been downloaded by users over 500,000 times already. If you don’t have a spare pizza box lying around to build one, you can even buy one of these bad boys online for about $25. There are also dozens of games and other apps you can download for both iOS and Android devices that are VR compatible.

Since Facebook is knee-deep in the Oculus Rift, and Samsung has its VR headset, Google has apparently targeted the clumsy niche market of pepperoni lovers. Cardboard might not set the world on fire, but it is still quite the fun and affordable gadget.


Google Glass


photo courtesy of discovermagazine.com
If pizza-scented goggles aren’t your thing, you could always save up a few bucks until Google Glass returns. The critically-acclaimed spectacles proved to be more novelty than essential on their first go-round, but it was recently announced that Google organized a new engineering team for Glass.

There aren’t many public details yet about what sort of changes might be on the horizon, but you can bet that Google is not thrilled with the negative reception that Glass got. They have gone back to the drawing board and coming up with a new strategy to make Glass 2.0 a resounding success.

Glass is still an unknown, but could prove to be a dark horse if Google irons out the kinks.


Primer


photo courtesy of marketingland.com
This lesser-known marketing app was launched by Google in October of 2014. Its main goal is to help startups market themselves online by providing the user with lessons, quizzes and case studies.

With Primer, you can watch mini 5-minute lessons on content marketing, PR and media, and search advertising. It is compatible on iOS and Android, but probably not with cardboard glasses. Its quick and concise lesson plans cater to those who are lacking in the attention span department, as well as those who demand instant gratification. In other words: all smartphone users, in general.

If you own a startup, Primer is a sure-fire way to help your business make that first entrepreneurial step.


Photo Sphere Camera


photo courtesy of axeetech.com
Photo Sphere Camera is an app that was originally indigenous to Android, but was added to iOS in 2014. It allows you to create stunning 360-degree panoramas. The best part is your ability to publish the photos right to Google Maps when you are done, as well as browse uploads from other users.

The shots from this app are similar to photos you might be accustomed to on Google Street View, but it allows the users to feel much more interactive. Think of this as a sort of panoramic Instagram. It is definitely not an essential app, but it is phenomenal if you’d like to be a tangible part of Google Maps.


Whether you are hankering for a new gadget to play with, or just want some new apps to make the most of your smartphone, Google has plenty to offer. All of these would be a great addition to the arsenal.


Do you use or plan to use any of these apps and gadgets? Which ones are you looking forward to? Start a conversation in the comment section below!


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