El Estoque

Google is feeling lucky

Karishma Mehrotra

Teenagers have a growing addiction: Google  

 
It began as just a clever "I’m feeling lucky button" but it turned into an international icon of… everything.
Literally, Google has created everything. We have the maps, the browser, the make-your-own sites. Try to imagine your life without Google. Where would you go after your teacher assigns you a research project? The library? Alright, then how will you find directions to get to the library? Yahoo Maps? Yeah, right. And when you want to share your research paper with your friend? Print it out? Email it? As if.

Having to work without Google (using libraries and Yahoo Maps); who does that anymore? Anything else besides Google becomes is a nuisance in the midst of Google. And now they come up with yet another couple of dozen tools that add to our ever growing addiction of their geeky-cool technological world.
Google Voice: A new system for communication via phone

The most impressive tool is the ability to stream all your phone calls to any of your phones (landlines, cellphones, etc) to one phone. Sure, you could just tell everyone to call your cell phone, but, of course, Google just takes away that nuisance.

You didn’t know listening to voice mail was annoying until you realized you simply don’t need to listen. Google Voice can transcribe your voicemails into email and SMS text. Or, you know, you could just tell you mother to stop leaving you voice mails telling you to call her back.

What is the point of having one boring voice mail for everyone to hear? Google Voice allows you to have custom greetings. As in, your arch nemisis gets an "I don’t want to talk to you" and the stalker from history class receives an "I never want to talk to you" by your own creative means.

And if separate voice mails won’t drive people away, Google Voice has different levels for annoying people. You can either send them straight to voice mail every time, hear what they have to say while they leave a message, and then decide to pick up, mid-message. Or callers are asked their names before you pick up; you listen to that name and decide whether they are worthy of a conversation. Or, when you just can’t bear their voice, every time they call, they will be tricked when they hear, "We’re sorry, you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service." If that doesn’t work, your caller is clueless.

Another perk is the cheaper fees for international calls. Now you can hit up that summer fling in Italy for two pennies per minute!

All of it sounds great but, as always, there is a drawback. You will have to create another one of those Facebook events called "new number" because for many of the features, you will need to create a Google phone number. Let’s all cross our fingers, hoping for Google’s many geniuses to come up with a way for our original phone number to have all the Voice benefits.

Google Wave: A new system for communication via the internet

On June 15, 2006, ‘Google’ was added to the dictionary and became a legitimate verb. Soon enough, "a wave" will be a legitimate noun. 

Wave (noun): a shared and live space with conversations and/or documents via Google Wave. Essentially, "real time collaboration communication" as promoted by Google. Planning events, trips, projects, and basically anything else with other people is a hundred times smoother when all the information is in one place.

Again, you wouldn’t know that any other way to communicate was old-school until Google invented new-school. The messages you add with ideas, pictures, events, notes, maps, links, menus, itineraries, emails, videos, agendas and overwhelmingly much more are called "blips"—another one of Google’s additions to the English language (if they keep this up, we will have a modern Google code against our outdated grandparents). Much of Google Wave is learned on-the-go, thanks to the company’s welcoming way of easing you into the new age. Some criticize it for various reasons but truthfully, it is apparent that it is still in the beta phase of development. One should realize that Google has the confidence to test its products out with its customers instead of concluding a final draft on their own. Test it out yourself by applying on the Google site.

Nexus One: The new system for communication

Expectations have a whole new meaning when it comes to the latest Google cellphone, The Nexus One. However, even before the name was created public excitement brewed over the short but intense phrase "Google phone." First, it was exclusively released to employees for a test-run with rumors here and inside-pictures there. Then, it came out to the awaiting fans with a bang. 


At the length and depth of a used Number 2 pencil and the weight of 53 pennies, the Google phone’s hardware is on par with the iPhones, the Pres and the Androids of the world. With curvy and sleek edges, the gadget presents a simple but elegant appeal that satisfies owners and causes jealousy among spectators. Not too heavy and not too light, the phone packs in a ton in an organized manner: a touchscreen, four buttons and a trackball to navigate the inner communication universe. While other phones can only flaunt a mere 3.0 mega pixel camera, the Nexus camera struts 5.0 mega pixels. 

Tiny issues in the phone are not deal breakers but are still apparent. Even though the display screen is remarkably high resolution, critics point out the difficulty in using the Nexus in sunlight, where the glare becomes too much to bear. In addition, in a WiFi browser test, the iPhone loads considerably quicker than the Google phone. 

Overall, Nexus seems to excel when it comes to aesthetics (like the "Live wallpapers", which are moving home pages, and the 3-D fold pages, which curve into the phone). Other than a couple of new widgets and speech-to-text ability, there don’t seem to be any excessively major improvements in the functionality of the device (and a slight detraction in the fact that there is no multi-touch feature).

Sure, it is pretty, but does the phone meet your expectations when it comes to inner beauty? Truthfully, whether there is inner beauty or not, Google will predictably succeed. 

Soon enough, Google will take over the world.

 

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