Leo has the newest Google product, which is made of cardboard. All of the attendees at Google I/O received a cardboard box that, once assembled, fits an Android smartphone. The box acts as a viewer for virtual reality, and the smartphone runs a cardboard app that will give each eye the appropriate image. Since the smartphone has an accelerometer in it, it will move with your head as you look around. This does the exact same thing as the Oculus Rift headset, which Facebook paid $2 Billion to acquire.
Google has announced its Android Wear platform for smart watches. LG and Samsung have announced Android Wear watches, and Motorola will be doing another one this summer. These watches will let you know when you have an incoming call, and even will allow you to respond because it has a built in microphone. They'll also have Google Now, so it can provide contextual information when you need it, right on the watch face. These watches also have sensors to track your health statistics, like many of the fitness bands that are already on the market.
Ron hears that Amazon offers apps for free every day. Is that safe or should he just buy them from Google Play? Leo says that Amazon is not only safe, but probably safer than Google Play itself because they vet every app. And it's not like he's getting his apps from "Joe's apps" or anything.
Ron will have to go into the settings and enable the ability to get apps from other stores. That's safe to do as long as he is careful. Amazon is perfectly safe, though.
Google I/O is coming this week and Leo says we'll likely see more about Google's new Android Wear initiative, which will include health monitoring watches powered by Android. It'll join a ton of other companies, including Samsung, that are going into fitness watches ahead of what everyone thinks will be an Apple iWatch. Leo says that Apple has already previewed where it's going with iOS 8, but they have yet to announce a device, leaving everyone to wonder when, or if, they even will. But Apple's recent hires hint at it, plus Kobe Bryant has been hanging out at the Apple Campus.
Google bought NEST, the programmable digital home thermometer with the aim to get into home automation. Then, the NEST division bought DropCam for a half a billion dollars. Leo uses six DropCam cameras at the BrickHouse studios in Petaluma and you can view the cameras online here. Leo says that the acquisition makes sense for the home automation track that Google is on with NEST.
Whenever Netflix has been having buffering issues, they have been checking with other customers of the same internet service provider to verify that they also are having problems. If they are, Netflix has been displaying a message that puts the blame on that internet service provider for being too congested. Verizon sent Netflix a cease and desist letter to get them to stop doing this, though.
Google has wired Portland, OR for gigabit internet and Wi-Fi as part of their Google Fiber high speed broadband initiative. Leo says that this is a good trend as Google is working to not only make faster internet more affordable, but also give customers better access to streaming. It's the exact opposite of ISPs, which are acting as gate keepers buffering streaming traffic unless content providers pay more.
Andre has a podcast based on DragonBall Z, but his podcast doesn't appear in the first few pages of the Google search results. Leo says that's because Andre's podcast is so new with only two episodes, and doesn't have the page rankings yet. That takes time and effort to get others to link to it. Andre will get ranked higher as higher ranked sites link to him. Andre shouldn't make inorganic links or artificial links, though. Google hates that and are very sensitive to people trying to game the system.
Violet Blue from ZDnet put out a very strongly worded opinion piece blaming Google's Sergey Brin about the woes of the world. She says that in 2011, Brin was telling all of us that Google+ was the future of Google. But just earlier this week, Brin confessed that his involvement in anything tangentially related to social media was a mistake to begin with. She goes on about how Google sees the users as a "little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of salable data."
Sandra wanted to know if Leo recommended using Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer. Leo says he doesn't really like Internet Explorer, and uses Chrome instead. If she's using Internet Explorer, she should make sure to have version 11 or later to stay secure. Leo prefers Google Chrome because it has Flash built in, it sandboxes each tab, and is generally a more secure browser.