Friday, May 7, 2010

Google Keg Party

Google has so many excellent utilities and gadgets on their site that it’s hard to narrow down which ones to highlight but I’ve chose a couple of my favorites here. I hope to revisit other nifty applications things in the future. One of the handiest is their online calendar. This calendar allows your co-workers, family, and friends to see your calendar and you can view schedules that others have shared with you. Once configured, you can view the calendar simply by logging into your free Google account from any internet-connected device including mobile phones. Mobile phone users can set up customizable reminders that will send a timely reminder in the form of text message or email so that you will never forget another event.

Offices or people who work in groups will find this sharable calendar very valuable to keep track of who’s doing what where. It can also be used to organize group events such as keg parties or team sports I do not recommend mixing the two.

With Google’s “Calendar Sych” application, mobile professionals can synchronize the calendar between Microsoft Outlook’s calendar and the calendar built into a smart phone. When properly installed, you can enter a calendar event into your phone, or Outlook or Google calendar and the event will be automatically synchronized between all three calendars giving you access to your updated calendar no matter where you are.

I use this service to synchronize my iPhone calendar, home calendar and office calendar so that no matter where I am I can input an event and view it at any location.

Shutterbugs will love Google’s Picasa application. This free application provides basic photo-editing tasks and will scan your computer for all your pictures and organize them for you. Once installed, you can use Picasa to backup all your pictures directly to Google’s website. Once they are uploaded to Google, you can easily share the pictures and galleries with friends and family.

A side benefit of this ability is that you will always have a backup of all your pictures in case your computer bites the dust. One drawback here is that Picasa only allows a maximum of 1GB of free storage space. If you want more, you have to pay. Google recently partnered with a company called Eye-Fi that simplifies uploading pictures to you computer and Picassa. When you purchase 200GB of online storage from Google, they will send you this cool little wireless device that fits in the SD card slot of your camera. The card provides 2, 4 or 8GB of temporary storage space for pictures. The cool thing about this card is that it automatically uploads all your camera’s pictures to your computer or Picasa (or both) whenever you are within range of your home’s wireless router. This makes transferring pictures from your camera to your home computer as easy as turning the camera on. The card is available for about $50.00 retail of you can get a free one by purchasing 200GB of online storage from Google for $50.00.

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