Google+ Accounts Closing in April 2019

Sometimes, even the big companies can create a flop, which is why all Google+ Accounts are closing in April 2019.

In December 2018 Google announced the decision to shut down the Google+ platform due to low usage from members. This means that from the April 2, 2019 all content and accounts will be deleted.

But what does this mean for you?

Most people won’t be too affected by this shut down, however if you or your business have used G+ you could lose:

  • Photos, videos and other content
  • Comments on your website
  • Your current login methods on some sites

What do I need to do about my Google+ Account Closing in April 2019?

Any content you want to save, such as photos and videos, you will need to download and save (click here for instructions).

If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your website, this feature will be removed. However, if you are a community owner or moderator you will be able to download additional data, for all posts, including the author, body and photos posted.

Signing in to accounts might be different – if you’ve using the Google+ sign in button you will no longer be able to use this. It will instead be replaced by a google account sign in button.

Google+ for G Suite accounts will remain active. Google are also planning updates for this feature for all G Suite Customers.

Key Dates – Google+ Accounts Closing in April 2019

If you have been using Google+, here’s the timeline of key dates ahead of the closure:

  • 4 February: No Longer able to create Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events
  • 4 February: Google+ Commenting feature will be removed from Blogger
  • 7 March: Google + commenting feature will be removed from other sites
  • Early March: additional date will be available for download by community owners or moderators
  • 2 April: Comments on all sites will start being deleted
  • 2 April: Accounts will be shut down and google will begin deleting content

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Set your Google Plus Custom Short URL

To get your custom URL:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. Click Brand Pages at the top of the page, then click Manage this page for the page you’d like to manage.
  3. Click the three dash menu 3dash and choose Google+ page.
  4. Click the About tab, and under “Get your custom URL”, click Get URL. (If your page isn’t eligible, you won’t see the message.)
  5. You’ll see the custom URL you’ve been approved for, which you aren’t able to change. You may also need to add a few letters or numbers to make it unique to you.
  6. Check the box next to “I agree to the Terms of Service.” Then, in the bottom left corner, click Change URL.
  7. You may be asked to verify your account using your mobile phone number. To do this, you’ll need to:
    1. Enter your mobile phone number when prompted, and click Send code in the lower left corner.
    2. Check your phone for the code that was sent to you.
    3. Enter that code in the box on your screen, then click Verify in the lower left corner.
  8. When you’re ready to permanently add your URL to your profile, click Confirm choice.

Google wristband could give doctors constant stream of patient data

Google has developed a medical-grade wearable device that can stream patient data like pulse and heart rate to doctors. The device is designed for use in medical settings and won’t be geared toward consumers looking to track fitness activities

The wearable can measure a patient’s pulse, activity level, skin temperature and heartbeat rhythm. It’s also able to monitor light levels and light exposure. This data could be used to learn more about patient behavior outside of the hospital and better treat ailments, Google said Tuesday. For example, data showing that a person isn’t moving around frequently or spending limited time outdoors could indicate illness, Google said.

Don’t expect to use the device to track sleeping patterns or count steps. Unlike consumer-focused health and fitness wearables and smartwatches, Google’s “cardiac and activity sensor” device is designed for medical settings, the company said.

Health-monitoring features are available in smartwatches running Android Wear as well as the Apple Watch and fitness trackers from companies like Fitbit. However, doctors are reluctant to incorporate these wearables into patient care because the devices’ sensors haven’t been validated for accuracy. In order to accept wearables, physicians need devices with medical-grade sensors that take precise readings, critics have said.

The search giant’s life sciences group, which is part of the Google X research division, developed the wristband, which resembles a smartwatch with a square display with rounded corners attached to a wristband. Google didn’t immediately reply to questions about the wearable’s battery life and if it runs Android Wear.

Google is working with several research partners on medical studies to determine if receiving a constant stream of data can help doctors better treat disease, said Jacquelyn Miller, a Google spokeswomen. The company didn’t provide details on what conditions it is studying.

Gauging the device’s usefulness in clinical settings could take several years, Miller said. If the wearable proves beneficial to care givers, Google will look for partners to build the device, she said.

Google’s other life sciences projects include a contact lens that can monitor a person’s blood sugar levels. The company is also contributing its sensor technology and imaging technology to a robot-assisted surgical platform.

By Fred O’Connor, IDG News Service
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Google goes after Apple with its own free music service

Google is launching a free ad-supported music service that pits it against Apple, Pandora and Spotify.

The company today unveiled a free, ad-supported version of its service, Google Play Music. U.S.-based customers will be able to stream music based on genres, their mood, decades and even activities like working out, chilling and studying – all for free.

“Google Play Music … is giving you a new way to find just the right music and giving artists another way to earn revenue,” wrote Elias Roman, a Google product manager, in a blog post. “Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don’t have to.”

The service is available today on the Web, and Google said it’s rolling out apps this week for Android and iOS.

This is a direct attack on the likes of Pandora and Spotify, which both offer streaming music services.

It’s also an attack on Apple, which is preparing to launch its own subscription music service next week.

Google has had its own subscription service, charging U.S. users $9.99 per month.

Google, which reportedly tried to buy Spotify late in 2013, is giving users a chance to get the service for free – as long as they don’t mind putting up with the occasional ad in between songs.

“This is a strong move into the streaming music market and puts Google, once again, squarely up against Apple,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. “With the free service, it gives Google another audience to offer up to advertisers.”

Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said streaming is the way people are consuming music so it makes sense for Google to push hard into this area, especially if it will take a bite out of Apple’s plans.

“Both Apple and Google are going after Pandora and Spotify, as well as absorbing new entrants into the streaming music space,” he said. “Google and Apple will be competing, but if the services are close in quality, they’ll simply each get their brand loyalists.”

Olds, though, said Google is a threat to all contenders – Pandora, Spotify and Apple.

“Google is always a real threat to Apple, and vice versa. They’re both trying to carve out the same territories,” he explained. “For Pandora and Spotify, it means that they’re going to see more competition for their customer base. I don’t know that Google’s service is sophisticated enough yet to be a solid alternative, but this does up the competitive tempo in the market for sure.”

By Sharon Gaudin
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Gmail now lets users retrieve career-ending rants

Google has added an “undo send” option to Gmail from a browser, letting users retrieve messages they wish they’d never sent.

Google yesterday added an “undo send” option to Gmail from a browser, letting users retract messages they wish they’d never sent.

The feature must be enabled by the user from Gmail’s Settings screen, where the grace period can be set up to the maximum of 30 seconds.

Undo send was previously limited to Google Labs, the invite-only program where the Mountain View, Calif. company tests new features and prototypes before they’re released to the general public. Late last month, Google added undo send to its Inbox by Gmail apps for Android and iOS.

When switched on, undo send does just that: Lets Gmail users recall a message. The only requirement is that the action must be taken within the grace period.

To turn on undo send in the Web-based Gmail, users should click on the gear icon at the upper right, select “Settings,” then click on the General tab. The feature is listed about a third of the way down the page.

By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld US
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