Searching Stories July 27, 2014

How-to: Use Spotlight and Smart Folders to search for anything on your Mac

In OS X, Spotlight is an effective way to search your entire hard drive for a file or folder, email, or any other file. There are many other things Spotlight can do, and searching for files is just one of them. Spotlight is also capable of looking up dictionary definitions, launching apps, performing calculations, previewing audio, video, documents, and other files. This article will outline some of the benefits of using Spotlight and how to use Smart Folders, which allow you to search for a file even if you don’t know its name.

Searching Stories May 21, 2014

Google tells the SEC it could soon be serving ads on thermostats and other devices (Update: Google says no ad-based Nest)

 

Those who expressed concern about Google’s acquisition of Nest may have have been right: the company has told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it may choose to serve ads on “refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google made the statement in support of its contention that it shouldn’t have to break out ad revenue from mobile devices.

Google argued that it doesn’t make sense to break out mobile revenue since the definition of mobile will “continue to evolve” as more “smart” devices roll out.

“Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future,” the company said in the filing.

While the statement is purely a defensive one – the company not wanting to share more data than it has to with competitors – the specific thermostat example seems unlikely to have been chosen completely randomly.

Google added the Nest smart thermostat to Google Play three months after purchasing the company. Nest remains on sale in Apple stores, both retail and online.

Nest was created by former Apple engineer Tony Fadell, the man dubbed ‘father of the iPod.’ Fadell sought to allay concerns about Google’s acquisition of the company soon after it was announced, promising that all data collected by Nest was used only to improve the product, and that any changes to that policy would be opt-in. Nothing was said about serving non-personalized ads, however.

Update: Google gave the following statement to Engadget

We are in contact with the SEC to clarify the language in this 2013 filing, which does not reflect Google’s product roadmap. Nest, which we acquired after this filing was made, does not have an ads-based model and has never had any such plans.”

Searching Stories May 11, 2014

Google Play Music iPad app hidden inside iPhone version, public release likely soon

We’re hearing that Google Play Music for iPad is getting close to release and a tipster has sent in a few videos showcasing what he/she claims is a pre-release of the new app. We’ve heard independently that Play Music for iPad was getting close to delivery and our tipster says this is a development build (see update below). The app will function similarly to the iPhone version, but redesigned for iPad.

We are still somewhat skeptical of the screenshots below, but the app’s functionality (shown in the videos) seems to be very similar to the iPhone version and it would make sense for Google to release it for iPad. Though we’re still unsure if the update will arrive as a universal build or if Google will have separate versions available in the App Store.

Searching Stories November 14, 2013

Google Music for iOS launch reportedly is ‘imminent’

All the way back in May, Google announced that its new Google Music “All Access” service will be arriving on iOS in the coming “weeks.” However, months have gone by and nothing has launched for iOS. A report last month indicated that the app would arrive at the end of October, and @evleaks has now claimed that the launch is “imminent.” If the app does indeed arrive soon, you can expect full coverage on 9to5.

Searching Stories October 15, 2013

Google’s Sparrow mail app updated for the first time in months with new icon, iOS 7 fixes

Despite being bought out by Google, the replacement mail app Sparrow has now been updated for iOS 7. Whilst the developers behind Sparrow never said that work on the app had ceased, this was the implied meaning of Sparrow’s thank you letter still visible on the Sparrow website. Until today, the app had not been updated since December 2012, nearly a year ago.

This update brings compatibility bug fixes for iOS 7 as well as a new flatter icon, shown above.  Even so, work on Sparrow is obviously not a priority for the team. Apart from a new icon, the point-fix update brings no new visual appearance to the app’s interface or any new features for users.

Searching Stories October 3, 2013

Oops – watch those ‘Incognito Mode’ web searches, Chrome’s latest iOS upgrade no longer forgets

If you’ve been carrying out any dodgy searches in Incognito Mode in the iOS 7 version of Google Chrome, you may want to wander casually into settings to delete the search history (looking toward the sky and whistling helps): it appears that Incognito Mode currently isn’t. All searches performed in the private browsing mode are available in search history once you return to normal browsing.

The above video is rather swift, and has no commentary, but what it shows is erasing history to start with a clean slate, entering Incognito Mode, visiting a website, returning to normal browsing and then viewing search history at Google – where the supposed private web session shows up.

Note that you do need to visit Google to see the history: it doesn’t show up when simply using the combined URL/search bar.

Google updated the app last month. The company has not yet made any statement on the bug.

Thanks, Robin

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