Google’s glasses: How do they work, and what do they mean?

There’s been a ton of talk this past week about Google’s Glass, the augmented reality project that essentially puts a smartphone on your face! My appearance on HLN about Google’s augmented reality project generated a lot of interest, and even landed a clip of me on the Daily Show! Did you miss the hype and don’t know what this is all about? Then check out the video below.

Regulators Green Light MotoGoogle – “Official” Google Phone On Its Way?

Here comes Motogoogle! Even though regulators claim they will keep a “close eye” on Google, I don’t think anyone is surprised that U.S. and European regulators approved Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the arm that focused on portable devices. Most people think that this is Google finally getting into the patent war that has thus far been dominated by Apple and Microsoft. Those people are probably right, as Motorola has a ton of mobile patents (upwards of 17,000) that are included in the 12.5 billion purchase. But nobody really wants to talk about patents – Well, not me anyway. What I think is on everybody’s mind is will Google tap the Motorola talent to finally develop its own mobile device to coincide with its own mobile platform? Read More

How to Manage Your Small Business Reviews

Just about every review site has a mobile app and many small business owners have a love/hate relationship with these apps.  On one hand, a slew of negative reviews could wreck a budding entrepreneur’s vision.  On the other hand, well-placed positive reviews could sway a potential client and gain their trust.  Online reviews are a big part of any small business’s web presence, and can require careful, attentive management.  This task is made more difficult when online review sites don’t play nicely with each other, causing headaches for even the most tech-savvy owners.

Take my sister, for example.  She just started her own small photography business, and of course wants to generate good initial buzz.  So, several of her happy clients offered to post positive reviews to get her off on the right foot.  Pre-July 2011, this was simple – Google embedded reviews from other review sites (Yelp, Trip Advisor, Yahoo! Reviews etc) directly on a business’s “Google Places” page.  So, she could just smile, thank her customers for their help, and let them review on any site they wished – no muss, no fuss.  Post-July 2011, however, Google stripped out all reviews from other sites, leaving only reviews left by Google users.   Read More

Google Voice extends Free Calling Through 2012

From the Google Voice Blog:

As the holiday season approaches, we’re happy to announce that we’ve extended free domestic calls within the US and Canada for 2012…

Call it Google’s gift to all of us small businesses who depend on Google Voice as our primary number that we use to make us look “professional” when somebody calls my office phone (which is also my smartphone). If you’re not familiar, Google Voice is a service that offers free phone numbers and free calls over a data connection that can be forwarded to any phone. Additional features include, text messaging, voicemail (audible and transcribed to text), and custom greetings.

To me, Google Voice is a great disguise to give callers the perception that I have an official office phone. Read More

Oops! Looks like the Samsung Nexus Prime is out the in the wild!

As we close out a long and eventful week, one last little tech tease to keep you busy this weekend. While the public hasn’t been able to play with a phone running Google’s long-coming Ice Cream Sandwich version of their Android operating system—the combination of their Honeycomb tablet operating system with their previous work on Gingerbread for cell phones—it seems that the first phone running Android 4.0 has somehow slipped through the cracks. Mobilissimo has a hands-on video on their YouTube channel today, and you can see a lot of the new animations and features we’ve long been expecting finally running on a phone. Say goodbye to those stupid buttons you’re always accidentally hitting on your Android device, and say hello to navigating your smartphone via the touchscreen interface. This looks cool, and we obviously can’t wait to play with one ourselves!

Google+ Open To The Public: Business Profiles Still Uncertain

Even though it wasn’t too hard to get an invite into Google+, Google’s social networking site that is still in “Field Testing”, you now should be able to access and edit your Google+ profile the next time you log in to your Gmail account. Google has made the brand-spanking new social networking site available to the everyone with a Google account despite the fact that the site is still under construction.

Yeah, Google+ may be new, but it has been able to much more than its counterparts in the same amount of time. According to The Next Web, it took Twitter 780 days and Facebook 852 days to reach 10 million users – Google+ achieved that same feat in only 16 days. So there is no question that the site will round out the “Big Three” social networking sites once it’s finally ready for production. Google admits to not being nowhere near done, and is constantly adding features, some per user request and others as a means to differentiate itself from other social networking sites. Read More

Can You Make Money Selling Directly Through Facebook?

Is your small business conducting e-commerce directly through Facebook?  According to a recent study by Ability Commerce, only 10% of the Web’s largest retailers sell products directly through Facebook.  Are retailers simply not hip to the sell-through potential of the world’s most popular social media site?  Or, as I pointed out in my early review of Google+, is this just indicative of Facebook’s long-standing difficulties in integrating e-commerce into its social networking architecture? Read More

Offline Google Mail Service: Get to your Emails Sans an Internet Connection

If you’re a mobile warrior and have been known to set up shop at your local coffee shop to get some things done, you are at the mercy of that businesses Wifi to connect to the outside world. If for whatever reason, you can’t get a decent signal or no signal at all, you may have to relocate. If you use Gmail (or Google Apps) to send and receive emails and prefer the Google Chrome browser, you may just be able to read emails and do serveral additional functions by downloading the Offline Google Mail app from the Chrome Web Store. Read More

Google is Acquiring Motorola—But What Does it Mean?

This week’s big news is Google’s proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.  There’s been a barrage of news and analysis surrounding this announcement, so we here at SmallBizGoMobile are going to distill it all down, and try to separate the facts from the hype, and the PR buzz from the players’ “real” motivations. Read More