Google I/O was this week and the keynote had a bunch of new products and services including Google Home, an Amazon Echo killer that has amongst it's many features the ability to make unlimited phone calls anywhere for FREE. Should you then get rid of your home phone? Leo says no because if the power or internet goes out, you have no phone for emergencies.
Rick would like to locate an old friend through his Android phone. Can he do that? Leo says if they turn on a friends feature called Trusted Contacts, that will enable him to see where they are. Other than that, since he's missing, he should go to law enforcement or adult protective services and request they do a welfare check via a PIN registry request of the phone's carrier. That will give him an exact location. There's also Android Device Manager.
Mike is worried that Google has all of his banking information. Leo says it's not to worry about. They don't have it. If anything, his browser has that information and that's much more dangerous. It may be a good idea to reset his browser to get rid of all that. Then turn on second factor authentication to make sure that any attempt to change his password or access his account will be stopped. Mike shouldn't worry about Google, though. They're quite secure, and Chrome is a secure browser.
Quarterly earnings came out this week and Microsoft, Google, and Amazon all posted record earnings in cloud services. Leo says that sadly, hardware earnings fell short for Microsoft whose tablets and laptops fell short. Leo says that's unfortunate because they make some nice hardware these days.
Leo also says that Google made a lot of money, up 49%, on their Pixel Android phone and their Google Home devices. Google's advertising revenue was also up 29% with nearly $2 billion a month in profit.
William bought a Motorola G5 Plus and all his windows have vanished. Leo says that in the new version of Android, they got rid of the app drawer button. If he looks in the app dock at the bottom, he'll see a series of ellipses. If he touches that, it'll bring up his app drawer with all of his installed apps in it. The launcher also has pages and he can have as many pages as he wants. He should go into the launcher settings. Or he can squeeze the screen and add pages to the right there.
Robert signed up for Google Fi and bought a new Google Pixel phone, but Google is having issues activating his account. Leo says that's disappointing, especially when they don't know what the problem is. Leo says it's a good system and Robert shouldn't give up on it yet.
Can he use it on Verizon until it does? Leo says yes. He should just ask them for a SIM and he'll be able to use it. It shouldn't add any software overlays, but it may download some apps. He'll be able to uninstall them, though.
April Fool's Day usually brings a host of silly products to tempt gullible internet users. From Google Gnome's outdoor home assistant, to Google Cardboard for your Chromebook, to a selfie stick for a tablet. Google also has PacMan, which you can play on Google Maps. You can also see a data center on Mars complete with solar panels. And that's just on Google.
Vic recently lost his son and he is trying to get into his computer and accounts, but only he had the passwords. Leo says that LastPass has a feature that will enable survivors to gain access to the data. The cellphone may be a more difficult proposal, though. The dangerous thing is that there is a setting in both Android and iOS that could erase the phone if he fails 10 times to open it up.
The police department in Edina, MN has secured the right to look at people's Google Search history to look for information about a fraud case they were investigating. The legal brief is to cover anyone who searched for the name of the suspect and case, and it could be the entire community.
Leo says it's crazy and that Google should fight this tooth and nail. It's classic government overreach. Leo says he doesn't mind Google's algorithm putting custom ads on his search results, but for a government to ask who searched for something and to get a list is frightening.