Google Announces New Nexus Devices on October 29

As a late adopter of a Nexus product, I couldn’t be more excited by this news! I currently own a Galaxy Nexus phone (unlocked GSM version) and I’ve had my eyes focused on the new Nexus 7 tablet, but with next week’s announcement right around the corner, I’ll just wait and see what Google has in store for us.

It’s rumored that Samsung will be the manufacturer of a new Nexus 10″ tablet (likely to be called the Nexus 10) while LG will be making the new Nexus phone to be called the Nexus 4. Along with these items will come the latest version of Android, version 4.2 which up until last week was being called Key Lime Pie. It appears that Google has dropped that name and instead will be releasing 4.2 as a slight update to Jelly Bean.

Nexus 10 tablet

Nexus 10

Samsung already produces some quality Android tablets with their Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 devices, but as with all manufacturer’s versions of Android devices, they both come with that lovely Samsung “overlay” of extra software and features that tie you to them for updates and product support.

With the Nexus 10, Samsung will only be making the hardware and Google will ensure that the end user gets only the purest Android experience possible. It’s speculated that version 4.2 will allow for multiple user accounts on the tablet devices so it’ll be much easier to share your device without worrying about your friends buying new apps on your account or messing up your home screen layout.

Preliminary specs include:

  • 2650 X 1600 display with 300ppi which beats Apple’s Retina iPad at only 264ppi
  • 10.1″ screen
  • Possible wi-fi and cellular models

Nexus 4 Smartphone

LG Nexus 4I love my Nexus GSM phone and even though it’s considered outdated by most standards, the phone is amazing! There are a few things I wish it had like external storage, a better camera and 4G compatibility, but overall I love it. I’ve never owned an LG device, but from the photos I’ve seen of this new device, I can say that I like what I see.

According to CNET,

The smartphone will have a quad-core SnapDragon processor from Qualcomm, 2 gigabytes of RAM, a 1,280×768 display, 16GB of internal storage, and an 8-megapixel camera. Unlike the Optimus G, the Nexus 4 won’t be an LTE device, according to a person familiar with the announcement.

I can’t believe that this phone won’t be a 4G device. However, from what I’ve heard, this is merely a tech issue with the quad-core processor. Apparently, they don’t play well on LTE networks. This was the reported reason why the Galaxy SIII U.S. version was downgraded to a dual-core.

My Thoughts

I’ve wanted a Galaxy Tab 2 for the longest time since getting rid of my iPad, but once again I feared that I would be paying a hefty price for something I really couldn’t find a valid use for. Then the Nexus 7 came out and I figured it was cheap enough to justify, but it seemed too small.

With this announcement, it’ll be interesting to see the 10 in version of the Nexus tablet as well as seeing how much it will sell for.

Making the switch from iOS to Android…and feeling good about it

If you listened to everyone around you, you’d probably be under the impression that everyone has an iPhone or an iPad and they are the greatest devices in all the world. These people no doubt love their products (which is a good thing), but for them to imply that Apple has this leading edge over the competition in both quality and quantity is just absurd.

The Numbers

Android vs iOSThe fact is that Apple only has a 17% U.S. market share of phones as compared to Samsung who has 25.7%. Even LG beats out Apple with their 18% share. So why do we all believe that everyone has an iPhone?? Maybe they’re including the total products that have iOS installed…nope…it looks like Google wins that battle with 52.6% of all tablet and phone devices running Android leaving Apple’s iOS with only a 34.3% stake. Ok, maybe they’re counting mobile shares worldwide?! Again, not a chance; together, Samsung and Nokia share 41% of the international smartphone market while Apple only has 5%.

What Apple does have is the “it” factor. They have everyone believing that they do have the greatest product in all the world and that Apple is so innovative and chic that if you don’t own something with their logo on it, you’re somehow not hip. To me, this is similar to when celebrities wear certain clothes, eat certain food or drive certain cars; immediately the sales of these specific products go up. Does this mean Apple is a sham; pushing products that don’t meet expectations? Not at all…it just means that you don’t have to own an iPhone because you think it makes you look cool. And it also means that not everyone has an Apple device.

So what are your choices? Well, if we stick to talking about phones and tablets, the amount of choices is astounding. And if for the sake of this conversation, we push aside smaller competing phones such as Windows Phone, Blackberry and Nokia phones with their meeGo software (which I think is pretty much defunct), then we’re left with two titans: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

The Smartphone

One glaring problem for Apple is that they only have one device (not counting older models). The iPhone 5 is the latest version and offers the first iPhone with 4G data speeds. Making the switch here is very easy considering that you have tons of devices running Android software with Samsung being the reinging king here.

What to look for: Android devices come in a vast range of styles, specs, designs and features. No two Android devices look or work the same. This causing confusion among consumers because people who aren’t too tech savvy don’t know why one device is better than the other. This is why I think Apple holds an edge…they provide one device with one way to use it.

As with any purchase, you want to find something that fits your needs. If you need a file manager on your phone, you need Android. Apple doesn’t have it. If you want a better voice recognition program, Siri has Android beat…for now. If you plan on torrenting downloads on your phone, get Android because Apple won’t allow it.

In other words, there’s hardly anything (if anything) that an Android device can’t do that an iPhone can, but I think of plenty of things iPhones can’t do that Androids can!

The Tablet

There’s no doubt that the iPad is one sexy beast. But the problem is that there was a thought process long ago that dictated tablets would be used to replace computers. Unfortunately, iPad comes up short on this because it’s nothing more than a super-sized iPhone. Still no file system, still no mouse support and certainly no easy way to move files from computer to computer.

Android tablets fair a lot better in most cases, but are plagued again with the fact that there are too many choices. The reason I say this is a problem is because what happens when one manufacturer decides to stop making the device? You lose support and upgrades to the software. Look what happened to HP’s TouchPad (although it didn’t originally run Android). As an aside, Android has practically saved the underground support for the defunct TouchPad with users replacing its original OS with Android!

What to look for: Again, the same rules apply as do for the smartphones. The one difference with the tablets would be the screen size. Android tablets currently come in 7 and 10in sizes with a few manufacturers choosing a less than standard size. So until Apple releases a smaller (and larger) iPad, Android takes the cake on this one as well.

The Ecosystem

One of the number one reasons why Apple fans choose to stay with Apple is because they’ve invested time and money into setting up iTunes and iCloud just the way they like it. I don’t blame them…it’s a nice system and if you’re someone who has dropped hundreds of dollars on apps, music, tv shows and movies over the years, making a switch to Android and having to do the same thing all over is a daunting idea!

But for those of you who aren’t heavily invested and are just questioning whether Google and Android can compare with Apple and iTunes, then you’d be happy to know that once again, Google can do anything Apple can do.

So instead of iTunes, iOS and iCloud, you would use Google Play, Android and Google Drive. Many of you probably already have a Gmail account, so you’re already 99% ready for the switch! But how do these three compare?

iTunes and Google Play

iTunes vs Google PlayGoogle doesn’t have a dedicated software program that you install on your computer like iTunes. They believe that applications are headed to the cloud anyway, so why not start there?

  • Music, movies and tv shows — I’m sure there are some things you’d find on one, but not the other, but overall, you can just about the same content.
  • Apps — Apple touts how many apps they have, but they tend to leave out one important detail: many of those apps are duplicates of others. I mean really, how many flashlight apps do we need? While Google counts apps in the same fashion, they don’t seem to bank on the number as an indicator of their quality. However, there are many apps that iPhone users have that Android users don’t with just as many that Android users have that iOS users don’t. It comes down to which apps and games are more important to you, so head on over to and take a look if it’s there.

iCloud and Google Drive

Both services offer the same features…store items and device backups in the cloud. So what’s so different? Well for music storage, Apple offers iTunes match which is a feature that allows you to “match” your current music library of songs that weren’t purchased from iTunes on all your devices. In other words, instead of uploading 5,000 songs from your personal collection, iTunes Match will scour your library and give you free access to the songs for all your devices. It only costs $24.99 per year.

Google’s answer to this is to allow you to upload all of your music (up to 25,000 songs) to your Google Play account for free with no hits to your Google Drive 5GB storage limit. Cost per year: $0. The only drawback is you have to actually upload all of your songs…which for someone like me, could take a week.

Other than that, these two services are practically the same.

Final Thoughts

As some of my readers already know, I was a huge Apple fan for many years and this website was biased toward all products Apple at one point. However, I got a little put out when Apple kept releasing the same OS over and over again without really adding anything new. My brother being over on the Android side of things always showed me the features that his phones had and slowly but surely, I made the switch.

If anything, it was more of a test, but so far I’m about a year into it and I can honestly say I’ll never look back. Since I had already used Google for most of my services like email and all sorts of features used on my websites, it just made perfect sense.

Google Chromebooks For Your Business

It’s been just over a year since Google released the Chromebook, which they are marketing as a lightweight laptop that doesn’t run a traditional operating system, have a cd drive or any of the frills you’d expect from even the most modest of netbooks. Essentially, it’s a computer that has Google Chrome and some Office®-type software that allows you to work on documents, browse the net and well that’s about it. Then again, on a cheap laptop, what do you really need it to do anyway?

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Galaxy Nexus – Best Phone Ever?

Ever since I got rid of my iPhone and moved farther away from iTunes and the whole Apple ecosystem, I’ve tried quite a few different devices. Because I was funding my transition from device to device out of my own pocket, it hasn’t been a fast or cheap adventure. As an AT&T customer since the early 2000’s, I’ve fulfilled my fair share of contracts and purchased many subsidized phones. Today, I couldn’t be less interested in 2-year contracts and cheap upgrade prices. Enter the Galaxy Nexus…

iPhone users are quick to point out that while Android devices do have very similar functionality, the Android landscape is very complex. For the most part, they are correct. Here you have Google handing out a free operating system and a plethora of manufacturers waiting to destroy it. By “destroy”, I simply mean that they decide to add their own software which sits[pullquote_right]A 2-year contract carries over more than your promise to stay onboard with just cell service.[/pullquote_right]
on top of Android like a heavy fog in a city park. In most cases, this extra software adds a great deal of functionality that jives perfectly with the physical features of the phone. For the most part, the lines between Android and the add-ons are blurred, but once you pick up a Samsung device and compare it to an HTC device and then compare it again to a Motorola device, you start to feel like you’re holding three very distinct Android versions. In fact, you’re probably looking at the same version, but aren’t used to seeing the vast differences between manufacturer-skinned Android software. On top of this, you have the carriers adding their own software, network logos and other features all while blocking certain apps and hardware functions. This is simply unfair marketing.

Bloatware Abounds

For example, Google Wallet is a really sick piece of software that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to allow you to pay for products at supporting retailers simply by choosing a digitally saved copy of your credit card information on your phone and touching the phone to the receiver at the register. This is a perfect marriage between hardware and software, but AT&T and Verizon block the app from being used on all their Android devices!! Why?! Because they are in a joint venture with T-Mobile to create a competing service called ISIS that does the same thing. The problem I have with this is what if I prefer to trust Google with my account information or maybe I like their software better…why can’t I choose what service to use? Apparently, the carriers feel that a 2-year contract carries over more than your promise to stay onboard with just cell service.

Another example of unfair marketing is how AT&T adds their versions of maps, navigation/GPS services and other software that is completely un-removable from the device. Granted, I don’t have to use them if I choose, but why can’t I remove them from MY device?! They just have to sit there taking up space. It doesn’t even end there…AT&T’s partnership with Yellow Pages has placed a permanent entry into my contacts list for the Yellow Pages directory service! It’s at the top of the list and cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

Lastly, getting the latest Android updates are a nightmare! Because of all this extra software, the Android updates have to come down from Google, get approved and tweaked by the manufacturer, then sent over for the same process at the carriers. The entire process adds months and months onto the expected release time.  So while all the iPhone users are getting their updates on the same day, the Android users are all using different versions for a very long time.

But I digress. Wasn’t I supposed to be chatting about the Galaxy Nexus?!

Galaxy Nexus

Samsung Galaxy NexusOk, so the Galaxy Nexus is a Samsung device that is part of Google’s Nexus program. If you’re unfamiliar with it, WikiPedia has a nice spread about it, but I’ll summarize here. Google contracts with a hardware manufacturer to make a device worthy of a pure Android experience. Up until recently, this program has selected one manufacturer to make one device that is void of any software tweaks and hacks. The manufacturer is only allowed to make the hardware and cannot touch the software.

The Nexus phone came out last November and was only available on Verizon. I have to say that this single device almost made me switch to Verizon, but I stayed on AT&T due to my remaining contract. Needless to say, I was excited when I found out that Google began selling an unlocked GSM version on their website. I can’t seem to locate information on when the GSM version began selling, but I hadn’t seen it until about four months ago. The device sells for $349 + tax and comes unlocked and ready to use on any GSM carrier worldwide. I secured a 3-week old one on CraigsList for $300 tax free about a month ago.

I can’t explain it, but there is nothing like a pure Android experience on a phone! Having come from a Galaxy SII Skyrocket, which is technically a better phone spec-wise, I can say without a doubt that the Nexus is the best phone I’ve ever used. I have just two complaints. One, it’s not 4G and two, it’s stuck at 16GB with no SD card slot. However, the HSPA+ speed is very comparable to 4G considering that 4G isn’t even available in a lot of places yet and the memory issue doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.

But the best part is that there’s no carrier branding, no locks on Google Wallet and no bloatware to laugh at me as I try unsuccessfully to remove. Also, just the other day I discovered that the built-in wi-fi hotspot tethering feature is not blocked either! Normally, AT&T requires you to upgrade to a tethering data plan before they allow you to hook it to your laptop or tablet. This can set you back $60 per month and remove your unlimited data plan if you’re lucky enough to still have one…like I do. The Nexus simply allows me to turn it on, configure a wireless network and be off and running. AT&T has no way of blocking this because the Nexus is not a device that’s registered on their network. In fact, when I log into my AT&T account manager, it doesn’t even recognize what kind of phone I’m using and that pleases me to no end.

For the first time, I feel like I’m on my own terms and have not fallen victim to whatever biddings AT&T and Samsung would like me to follow. I also love the fact that I can take this phone to another country, install a locally serviced SIM card and have cell service without having to pay international roaming fees. As for those pesky software updates that never seem to come…well the Nexus updates come directly from Google so there’s no more waiting.

All of this freedom comes at a price however. Gone for me are the days of subsidized pricing (but then again, so are the contracts) and it appears my device choices are limited, but that’s ok…I was an iPhone user for many years so I’m used to it. I can’t wait for the Nexus 2.

Google+ Brand Pages Compared to Facebook's

The battle started when Google launched Google+ and now it’s going to get even more heated with the introduction of brand pages just like the ones that Facebook allows businesses to manage. There’s not an official name for it at this time, but it’s coming in a month or two.

I love how Google does business. Most companies out there would spend countless amounts of cash and resources to try and bring people toward their product or service, but not Google. They simply create something and just leave it alone. The statement, “If you build it, they will come.” is more than true for Google and in the case of branded pages, Google is actually telling businesses NOT to create Google+ profiles at this time!

Google+ Product Manager Christian Oestlien says that Google is in the process of building a business-side of Google+ that will “creat[e] a unique experience for businesses that includes deep analytics and the ability to connect to products like AdWords.

First of all the problem with Facebook’s brand pages is a matter of advertising. Companies want to know whether their advertising dollars are being spent well and Facebook simply doesn’t have the capacity to track post-click engagement of non-Facebook ads driving to Facebook. Google+ will attempt to solve this problem through the inherent connections between all of Google’s services like AdWords and actual searches. Here are three other reasons why Google+ brand pages are likely to beat Facebook’s.

  1. Better search opportunities – Advertisers paying for sponsored search results on Google’s search results have to pay for these clicks to go through to the domain which is pretty generic when compared to their business. generates a lower click-through ratio (CTR) because people won’t automatically associate with any particular business.

    With Google+ already showing in search results, it’s likely that businesses setup with Google+ pages will be in better positions in the general search due to the relation between content and search query.

  2. Customization – If you look at a current Google+ page, you’ll notice right off the bat how customizable it could be based on ad placements and such. If an advertiser could customize their ads to better brand themselves. This would be similar to how an advertiser can customize an entire YouTube experience or what MySpace has been allowing users to do for some time now.

    Facebook pages still look like profiles and while this creates consistency, it doesn’t do much for user interaction and participation.

  3. Analytics – Google already has a major head start here with Google Analytics and they will no doubt integrate this service with Google+ to make it much easier (and possible) to track detailed information about a company’s fans among other things.

    These tools will allows companies to make better content decisions much like they already do with their main websites.

My two cents

I have a Facebook page for my photography business and while it’s functional in terms of engaging interested Facebook users with everything I offer, it still feels like just another Facebook profile. I spend enough time just managing one and now I have two. I’m not saying Google+ will be much different, but what I like (so far) is the thought of how integrated it will be with the functions of Google itself.

Since I already spend time getting Google to play well with my websites and whatnot, it just makes sense to keep these processes going in a seamless transition. Of course, only time will tell if all of this will be truly seamless, but so far, everything sounds appealing.

Apple and Microsoft Teaming Up Against Google?

Nortel logoWhether this is the reality or not, Google seems to think it’s happening. When bankrupt Nortel decided to sell its approximately 6,000 patents and patent applications covering a broad range of wired, wireless and digital communication technologies back in April, the plan was to offer a stalking horse deal to Google for a cash purchase price of $900 million. The intention with this was to place a starting value on the patents for inclusion in a public auction with Google in position to bid on the final package.

What happened was that bidding finally raised the price to $4.5 billion! These 6,000 patents seemingly cover the entire spectrum of mobile computing and telecommunications which would put any buyer at the helm of the technology industry. This “buyer” ended up being a consortium of tech companies that banded together in order to share the patents, thus eliminating possible costly licensing fees. This consortium is comprised of Microsoft, Apple, Ericsson, EMC, Sony and RIM. Originally, Google was invited by Microsoft to be a part of it as well, but Google declined.

Novell logoAdding into that mix, another set of tech patents, this time from Novell was cleared for sale to a slightly different group of companies: Microsoft, Oracle Inc., Apple and EMC Corp. This sale contained 882 patents. All of these patents were also made available to Google at some point in the last 2 months, but Google again declined to be a part of it.

As a result, Google is now claiming that Microsoft and Apple have teamed up together in an effort to bring down the Android market. The way this works is if Google is making phones that use technologies covered by any of the aforementioned patents, they would be subjected to licensing fees controlled by Microsoft, Apple and the rest of the bunch. Google claims that this would give their competitors an unfair advantage in the smartphone arena.

While this is very true, can Google really complain? Considering they had the chance to partake in these deals and the fact that Microsoft invited them to be part of the consortium, I can’t really say I side with Google on this! However, Google is already paying Microsoft licensing fees on Android phones for patents they own, so it’s very possible that Microsoft would use this as a way to bring down Android. In fact, Microsoft just recently asked Samsung to fork over $15 per Android phone they make—presumably due to the fact that Samsung also makes Windows Phone and Microsoft probably wishes they didn’t deal with Android.

It’s estimated that there are some 250,000 patents involved in making an average smartphone so it seems no matter who owns what patents, the only real losers in this case will be the customers. Afterall, we’re the ones having to pay upwards of $600 to own the latest tech gear. This price of course is not including any subsidized cost of buying a phone with a contract. One possibility for lowering prices would be the ownership of a majority of patents that go into making a smartphone. In a perfect world, there’d be no licensing fees and the phones could become dirt cheap.

Extend Your Blog's Functionality Through Google Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome is quickly gaining popularity as the perfect alternative to other heavyweights like Internet Explorer and Firefox. The browser war has been going on since the mid-1990’s and choosing a ‘side’ has always come down to a few factors: who’s faster, who’s lighter and who’s the most compatible. Google Chrome seems to beat the other two on all three fronts. And with Extensions, functionality just keeps getting better and better.

For those of you with WordPress blogs, you can now offer your readers the ability to install a Chrome Extension right into their browser that allows them to see your latest RSS feeds without even having to go to your site! This is a great tool for people who don’t regularly subscribe to RSS feeds, but want to know when you create new content. Once I create my own extension, I’ll post a guide here, but for now, check out the detailed one over at

Viewing WordPress Stats

You can now install a Chrome extension that will show you live stats for your blog! After you install it, all you need to configure it is your blog domain and your API key. To get your API key if you already have it, go to, login and view your profile. If you’re using Akismet for blocking spam comments, you can get that API key by clicking on the Akismet plugin configuration under Plugins in your WordPress admin.

WordPress Stats Extension

Once this information is entered, Google Chrome will display a number counter in the upper right corner of your browser. This count will update periodically with the latest stats on your site. When you click on this number, you get a drop-down box that displays the following:

  • Referrers – These are the website links that have forwarded a visitor onto your site.
  • Top Posts – This list shows you the top posts on your site for the day.
  • Search Terms – This is a handy list that shows you what search terms brought people to your site.
  • Clicks – Now you see the actual clicks that people used to get to your site right from your browser!

Note that this extension only works if you have WordPress Stats enabled on your site. It also only supports one blog at the moment. In time, there may be options to input data from multiple blogs.

Get the WordPress Stats Extension now!

Comment Moderation

Now here’s a extension worth getting if you’re having trouble moderating all those post comments! With this extension, you can moderate blog comments on one or more blogs directly from Chrome. You no longer have to login to your WP admin to filter out the bad from the good.

WordPress Comments Extension

With it, you can see all comments that are marked as approved, pending or spam. It also shows you the total comments you have and compares them right on screen to your other blog sites.

Get the WordPress Checker extension now!

My two cents

These are just three of the quickest ways to interact with your blog and to allow your readers to stay updated at all time with your site. I hope that in time, multiple blogs will be fully supported by these extensions with the ability to manage all of them through a simple interface. I also like the fact that extensions are less-intrusive than browser toolbars and seem to be more user-friendly.

Google Banning Users From Google+

The Internet is full of anonymity with people hiding behind fake names, creative monikers, edited photos, etc., but apparently not on Google+. It seems as though Google has stepped in and banned a number of accounts that have been using fake names. How Google has determined who’s real and who’s not is anyone’s guess, but it’s safe to say that they probably just focused on the obvious ones.

Google has been enforcing their strict policy of using a real first and last name to sign up for the service in an effort to ward off spammers and other Internet trolls. I for one, agree with this approach. Otherwise, Google+ will turn into what MySpace and Twitter have turned into—an isolated online community of spammers and advertisers. Watch out Facebook; you’re heading in the same direction too.

The concept of using real names also adds the benefit of making it easier for people to find you because after all, isn’t that the point for signing up to a social network? If you plan on using a fake name just so people can’t find you, why even join at all?

All of the weekend banning has caused quite a stir in the social network community and some users are outraged that their legitimate accounts have been banned. Google+’s VP Bradley Horowitz says that the previous naming policy is under review and in the meantime, offending accounts will no longer be banned outright, but will receive a warning. Should that warning not be heeded, the account will disappear. Make note that this “banning” will only occur on the Google+ service and will not affect that individual’s Gmail account or any other Google services he or she may have.

For those of you who use Google+ but have a legitimate nickname or other name that people can search you by, you can add these names right into your account. When editing, locate the section called “Other names” and enter them as needed.

The controversy continues while Google decides the fate of this naming policy—some users feel that it’s too rigid because they wish to use their Google+ account to be found on the Internet by other Internet users and they might not be known by their real name online.

My two cents

This issue is not one of privacy. If anyone feels that it is, they should not be on Google+. While you’re at it, delete your Facebook profile too. If you sign up for these services, expect people to find you, expect people to search for you and then expect people to add you as a friend. For all of you who sign up for a public profile just to go and make it private and then complain when something like this happens, get offline. The reason I agree with Google’s naming policy is because it allows the rest of us to keep our reputations of being real while adding some value to the community.

I have no problem with my name being out there because I control everything I put on the Internet. If I don’t want someone to see a photo of mine, I don’t upload it. I say to Google, keep up the good work and rid your service of the spammers and advertisers. Let’s just hope some other online services will follow suit.

Google+ Already Expects its First 20 Million Users

The Google+ Social network hasn’t even launched yet and it’s already expected to hit 10,000,000 users today with that number doubling by next week. So far the service has been open for invitees to participate. Google intended the slow-opening to help keep server loads in check. Unlike previous “beta” programs that Google has launched, Google+ is as easy to get an invite as it is for your friend to add you to their Circle.

There’s no doubt that Google+ has a lot of catching up to do with Facebook, who still has over 750 million users, but nobody can doubt that Google is off to a great start. Only Google can get 20 million or more users in 2 weeks on a beta program! It seems that everyone just wants to be a part of the next big thing. From what I can see, Google+ has a lot to offer and in my opinion, operates a little more organized than Facebook.

Only time will tell how the spammers and advertising moguls mess it up, but I guess we can expect that from any social networking site, right?

As for catching up, Google+ should have no worries about Facebook. With Google’s other services like YouTube and Gmail, I can bet most people will join this service just because it’s super convenient to have all their Google accounts and services under one roof. Google+ is set to go public within a month and I have a feeling that this is going to be a big deal.

Google+ Versus Facebook

I have always been wondering when the demise of Facebook would start just like how MySpace quickly came and went along with other social networking sites like Bebo and Friendster. The old saying, “Nothing lasts forever” couldn’t be more true in the Internet world. In fact, you could easily change that to, “Nothing lasts 4 years.” Experts have already predicted that Facebook has already reached its peak and in time, members will slowly dwindle away. So what causes this? Well, a number of things could contribute to a website losing popularity. They could reach the pinnacle of their innovation, people can lose interest as they get older, younger people might find other things to do or maybe there are too many spammers and ads.

Whatever the case may be, we can guarantee that corporate America will always be there to ride the money-train as long as there are tracks to roll on. Enter Google Inc.


The latest competition to Facebook is by none other than Google. Of course like every other beta service they launch, it’s by invitation only and they are currently “at capacity”, but you can check out the Google+ Tour on their site. I won’t go over everything here, but I do want to touch on 3 of Google+’s features.


Google+ Circles
Circles is a way in which you can group your contacts into various categories. As an example, you can have your school friends, your drinking friends, your co-workers and your family members all in different circles. This is a neat feature that allows you to share specific information only with certain people.

On Facebook, if you write something on your wall, everyone gets to see it and we all know what kind of trouble that can cause!

Google describes circles as:

You share different things with different people. But sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle. Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life.


Sparks allows you to tell Google about the things you’re interested in and as you would have guessed, they will bring you the latest search results and news updates related to these items. I like Google’s explanation much better:

Remember when your Grandpa used to cut articles out of the paper and send them to you? That was nice. That’s kind of what Sparks does: looks for videos and articles it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something to watch, read, and share. Grandpa would approve.


Google+ Hangouts
I really like this feature because it allows you to join in conversations that your other friends are having at any time. It’s kind of like running into a friend at the store only now it’s online!

Bumping into friends while you’re out and about is one of the best parts of going out and about. With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let buddies know you’re hanging out and see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until we perfect teleportation, it’s the next best thing.

My two cents

If there ever was a worth challenger to Facebook, I would imagine Google would be it. Google has just about every other service under the sun so it only seems fitting that they add a social networking site to the mix. After looking at what Google+ promises to offer, I think the experience will be far better than that of Facebook, but I also think Google will have a lot of catch up to do. As far as customers dropping off of Facebook in exchange for Google+—I don’t think that will happen. Personally, I’ll have a Google+ account and we’ll see how things go.

As for right now, I placed my name on the waiting list to be invited into the exclusive club. We’ll see what happens.