In this episode we discussed voice search:
Social Media Usage stats:
Google’s “Backup and Sync”
Adobe’s Scan App
Can you imagine performing a search on Google without a screen? It sounds crazy, but thanks to tools like Alexa and Google Home, many of you are doing it already, and the number of screenless searches is rising very quickly.
Before we get into that, though, this is A Brighter Web, Episode number four, brought to you by all of us at GreenMellen, which includes me, Mickey Mellen, and some of my awesome co-workers and friends that you’ll hear in future episodes. Our goal with this podcast is to share news, products, and ideas with you, so we can all make the web a brighter place to be. These might be actually web tips, talking about strategy, WordPress plugins and UX, or it might be productivity ideas to help you more done, and free up your time to do great things.
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Today, we’ll be talking about the rapid rise of voice search, some great updates to Google’s mobile keyboard, getting certified as a mobile website developer, some new social media trends and stats, and some useful new apps from Google and Adobe. Let’s dig in.
As of a few years ago, 55% of teens and 41% of adults were using voice search at least once a day. Gartner’s predicted that by 2020, 30% of all web browsing will be screenless. Again, thinking about Google Home, or Alexa devices. This is largely driven by Google’s answer box that you’ll see in the search results on your computer. For example, if you ask, “How tall is Barack Obama?” on your phone or your watch, it simply tells you, “Six foot one.” These kind of searches are going to become more, and more popular, and getting your page into those answer boxes will be more, and more crucial. We’ll have a link in our show notes to the full article, which includes some tips for getting your content to appear inside of those answer boxes.
We tend to think of mobile keyboards as being pretty simple. We type stuff in, it autocorrects it for better or worse, and we move on. Google, however, thinks much deeper than that. In our show notes is a link to a research paper from Google, that shows how they’re using machine learning to make keyboards faster, and much more accurate. Some of this is already showing up in the new Gboard update for Android, where it now has phrase prediction that can help predict multiple words at a time. As that gets smarter, over time it will become increasingly useful. This new update will be coming to iPhone, as well, fairly soon but today you can get it on Android and help make that mobile typing even easier.
Google has long had online certifications you could get for AdWords and for Analytics, but they recently added one for Mobile Website Development, and if you’re a developer you should check it out. If you’ve been doing mobile sites for a while, it should be fairly easy. You get 90 minutes to answer 65 multiple choice and true or false questions, so it’s realistically like a 30 minute test. You only need 80% to pass, and they have a pretty good study guide. I’ll have a link to that in the show notes, and if you build websites for a living, I encourage you to check it out, add that certification, and become that much more knowledgeable and proficient at what you’re doing.
Thanks to some research from the folks at Duct Tape Marketing and The Dash, there’s some good new social metrics to look at. The main thing to take from it is that 68% of Americans are using Facebook. Whereas, for Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Twitter, they’re all in the 20 to 30% neighborhood. In short, you could take any other two social networks, and more people are on Facebook than any other two combined, across all ages. These numbers hold true, regardless of age or income level, though certainly there are some exceptions. Pinterest, for example, is used by about 45% of wealthy Americans, and Instagram is used by about 59% of younger Americans. But in general, Facebook is still dominating the scene, and you can’t be ignoring that. Details to that article, and that have a great infographic and some more resources can be found in our show notes.
If you’re a Google Drive user, which most of you probably are, an update is coming on June 28th that could really change the way you use Drive. It’s a new app called Backup and Sync, which will back up your entire computer, not just the files that you put inside of Google Drive. If you use this service, it will replace Google Drive. You’ll still have a Drive section, but your whole computer will be backed up. We don’t quite know all the details yet, such as how it might sync to other machines, and the data will almost certainly go against your space limits, which could add up. Google does have very generous space limits. I believe you can get one terabyte of storage for $9.99 a month. But it will add up quickly, if you’re backing up your entire machine. So, something to keep an eye on. But still, June 28th they’ll be releasing that. It’s something you should take a look at, if you need back up for more than just what you put inside of Google Drive or Dropbox.
Lastly, we have our tip of the week. This is a pretty neat one. This is the new Adobe Scan app from Adobe. This is available on iPhone or Android, and very simply lets you scan documents with your phone. Now, there are other apps that do this. I often will just snap a picture with my phone and throw it in Google Photos and crop it out and stuff. But this does a neat job in a couple ways. One, you don’t actually have to take the picture. You hold your phone over the document, as it recognizes that it’s a document, it’ll capture it. What I like even better, is you can do multi page documents very easily. Capture one, capture the next one, capture the next one, and it’ll package it together for you in a PDF, and you can mail it to whoever you want. Nothing magical about the app. Again, there’s other apps that do similar things, but it does a great job, it’s free, it’s cross-platform, so I encourage you to check out the Adobe Scan app for yourself.
So that’s all we have for this week. You can find me on Twitter @MickMel, M-I-C-K-M-E-L, or learn lots more at GreenMellenMedia.com and you can find out more about the podcast including the show notes and links at ABrighterWeb.com or on Facebook or Twitter at A Brighter Web. If you’re in the Atlanta area, come check out our meetup this week, where we’ll be having a panel of experts come in to discuss legal, financial, and tax issues with your creative business. If you’re not in the Atlanta area, we’ll be posting a recap on the site soon after the meetup. Either way, you can learn more about that at ABrighterWeb.com/meetup. Thanks for listening.