Connect with us

Real Estate Technology

Back up your photos, Google may delete them

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Google is halting image backups on certain types of files to reduce bandwidth. However, this could lead to permanent deletion of these images, if you’re not careful.

Published

on

Well, Google has went and done it again. In the wake of numerous changes to its Google Photos app, the tech giant has made one more teeny-tiny announcement about how it’s going to manage your stored images and files moving forward. And by tiny, we mean the announcement itself was tiny, not the impact it’s going to have on literally billions of users. The impact it’s going to have, to say the least, can have a major effect on how you think about file storage on your phone.

Yep. What kind of changes are we looking at here, exactly? Let’s go ahead and break it down together, shall we? We’ll call it the “good,” the “meh,” and the “well, this stinks.”

Well, for starters, there’s the good. Google has completely overhauled its Photos interface. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you thought the old style was clunky and unwieldy. I mean, I never really had a problem with it, but hey. Google thought it could benefit from a revamping, so I’m not complaining. According to their updates, the Photos tab now boasts larger thumbnails. They’ve also made changes to their “Memories” carousel, making it easier to pursue your awkward selfies and random minutiae of your life. This can be pretty fun, so I’m feeling pretty happy with this new update. Nice. Good job, Google!

What’s next? Okay, so then they did something that was definitely a little bit strange. About four months ago, and with little fanfare, they started offering a new photo printing service. This one is kinda a head scratcher, if I have to be entirely honest. This new feature was offered about four months ago, and it was a neat idea on paper. (No pun intended. Okay, I lied. I totally meant a pun here.) The gist was that select users could pay a fee of $7.99 to get ten random pics from their photos printed out and mailed to them.

This was a disaster from the start, though. For starters, it was ridiculously expensive for what it was (especially considering that most printing services are less than a quarter a pop, and these were almost a dollar each). And then there was the weird issue of them mailing completely irrelevant pics to users, leaving them wondering what exactly they took a picture of and why Google thought to print it out and send it to them. It was kind of like when your cat brings you a half-dead mouse, and you want to praise them and thank them for the sentiment, but you undoubtedly did not want that dead mouse on your duvet cover.

Well, if you’re not a fan of dead mice in your bed or getting random photos mailed to you from Google (which, in retrospect, seems strangely ominous — to me, it conjures up creased manila envelopes without a return address), then your time to rejoice has come. While Google had big plans of making this an ongoing service, they abruptly pulled the plug on it this month, stating that they will no longer be offering this option at the end of June.

And then there’s the bad. What makes this announcement so troublesome isn’t the fact that it could lead to the permanent deletion of sentimental and valuable pics on your phone, but the fact that it was almost like an anti-announcement. In short, Google will no longer be automatically backing up your images from certain apps to their online cloud-based storage service. These apps include messaging apps such as Kik, WhatsApp, and Messages. Failure to manually turn the backup back on could mean that if you lose your phone or accidentally wipe it somehow, then those pictures are lost forever. Gone. Donezo.

Look, I totally understand why Google is doing this. They’ve already made similar announcements to a similar tune, citing an overall goal of reducing bandwidth. This is a fairly smart decision, as bandwidth usage had skyrocketed after the coronavirus pandemic kept people sequestered at home with no other source of entertainment. The issue arises that they really didn’t warn anybody about this new change, which could lead to permanent loss of these pics if your phone hiccups.

Long story short, friends? If you don’t want to lose these pics forever — and they will undoubtedly be done for, no more, bereft of life, ceased to be — then please make sure you double check your backup settings on your phone. Otherwise, you may find yourself unexpectedly disappointed if you go to recall a happy memory from your messenger app, only to find the picture of the said memory deleted forevermore.

Karyl is a Southern transplant, now living on the Central Coast with her husband. She's proud to belong to two very handsome cats, both of which have made it very clear as to where she ranks on the social hierarchy. When she's not working as an optician, you can either find her chipping away at her next science-fiction novel or training for an upcoming race. She holds an AAT in Psychology, which is just a fancy way of saying that she likes poking around inside people's brains. She's very socially awkward and has no idea how to describe herself, which is why this bio is just as dorky and weird as she is.

Real Estate Technology

This asynchronous meeting tool centralizes your meeting notes

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Hugo integrates calendars and note taking with over 20 work apps to keep virtual teams organized during meetings.

Published

on

Hugo is a hub for meetings that allows users to collaborate on agendas, meeting notes, and tasks in real-time. It integrates with Slack, Salesforce, Asana and over 20 other work apps.

Started by native Australian co-founders, Josh Lowy (CEO) and Darren Chait (COO), Hugo is described as a way to become deeply aligned and more efficient through centralizing meeting notes, sharing them and integrating them into a tech stack.

Lowy stated, “The inspiration for Hugo struck while building another app. Like so many teams, we were massively distributed. Our team was partly remote, and my co-founder and I were out of the office all the time.” He described the challenge of building a transparent team while working asynchronously across time zones and how Hugo addresses the obstacles remote teams face. Lowy said that with the software’s prompts to set meeting agendas, take notes, and share through Slack, “the team was in sync and already full of ideas. We were on to something. Plus, by linking meeting notes to the calendar, we didn’t have to organize anything anymore.”

The way it works is to start by clicking on a template appropriate for a user’s meeting type. During a meeting, users can collaborate directly with internal and external teams, allowing everyone to be on the same page. Tasks and notes can be synced with integrated tools directly from Hugo. After the meeting, notes are automatically indexed based on participants, company name, meeting name, tags, and note content. Notes can be shared publicly or with a private log-in.

The key features of this product are: Notes are automatically categorized by meetings and attendees, integrations to create tasks/tickets in project management apps directly from user notes, auto-sync notes to CRM records that match the meeting, post notes to Slack channels and DMs, collaborative agendas and notes for the whole team, free agenda template library for best practices, and @ mentions to notify teammates. Hugo claims that Nike, Dropbox, iHeartMedia, Twitter, and Shopify are among their current clients.

There is a free version for up to 40 users, Pro version for a flat $399 a month for up to 100 users, and custom pricing for 101 users or more. A video intro to Hugo is available here.

Continue Reading

Real Estate Technology

Zillow may be on its way to becoming a patent troll

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Zillow was granted yet ANOTHER pretty vague new utility patent last month, which leaves us wondering: what are they planning?

Published

on

We’ve got our eyes on you, Zillow.

The real estate listing website has been nabbing utility patents left and right. Their most recent one, awarded last month, is for the “automated control of image acquisition via use of acquisition device sensors.”

Basically, they claim to have invented a technique for automatically mapping a space in 3D using imaging sensors in real time, all controlled by an app on a phone or another device. This technology might even have applications like quickly building virtual reality environments using real life references. While Zillow filed for this patent in late 2018, it could prove to be a useful tool for them to have in their back pocket during the COVID age.

But looking at the whole picture, Zillow must be gearing up for something major. They’ve had 17 successful patents in the last ten years, all for inventions that seem a bit extraneous for the humble real estate listing page. Either they’re planning to start punching above their weight very soon, or they’re just well on their way to patent trolling with the best of them.

Quick refresh: A patent troll is a company that secures patents they do not need or use with the primary goal of suing “competitors” that unknowingly reproduce their copyrighted works. This behavior effectively creates a minefield for small businesses that are engaging in good faith product development.

As an aside, Zillow is currently involved in a drawn out drama where accusations of trolling have abounded in both directions. IBM recently filed a lawsuit in response to seven of Zillow’s patents, claiming that they are the original inventors and that Zillow has cost them billions of dollars in losses (note that this is small potatoes for IBM. They have over 110,000 patents, and the US Patent and Trademark Office has given them more patents than they’ve given to any other company in the world). Clearly, they see Zillow as an important rival to keep in check.

However you look at it, the takeaway here is clear: Don’t underestimate Zillow. Even though they’re not an IBM-sized giant right now, they’re still making serious moves with serious implications.

Continue Reading

Real Estate Technology

Rate your meetings and create more efficient work teams

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) SurveySparrow has a plugin that allows you to rate meetings. It could help you and your team evaluate and improve future meetings.

Published

on

meetings

We love data. We are in a data driven world. We like giving our feedback via customer reviews, social media comments, surveys, and Twitter (yes, Bob, everyone knows your flight was delayed). Tell us what the data says. Well, it might be a great time to finally get some data on all those meetings you’ve been having.

Many people are sick of meetings; we sit in a lot of them that then need follow ups because either we didn’t have an agenda, or we didn’t get through the agenda. There also may be additional meetings because no one really knows what is going on, or people are unable to have a solid plan in place (thanks to the global pandemic) and require more frequent check-ins/status updates.

Perhaps we’d all dread meetings less if they could be improved and justified as a much better use of time. G suite just made available a free plugin, by SurveySparrow, that could possibly help your company improve your meetings:

RateTheMeeting helps you improve meetings by collecting feedback to understand what works and what doesn’t for your teams, divisions, or company. With this data (feedback), it might be possible to stick to agendas and the purpose of the meeting, prevent topics that require a separate discussion, and make sure that everyone’s time is well spent. It syncs to your calendar and automatically follows up with attendees to collect feedback after each meeting. You can see how it works on YouTube here.

While this seems like a helpful tool, the biggest hurdle may come from management first. They may not want feedback on meetings if they feel that meetings are necessary and the most valuable way to communicate for their teams. It also might be one more data set that they have to sort and mine.

Next, employees may not want to rate each meeting on top of their already busy schedules. They likely would only want to do this if it would make real change within the meeting culture of the organization. Either way, it might be nice to just offer a thumbs up or thumbs down for each meeting (for funsies?).

It’s always hard to please everyone, so you’ll just have to decide if adding this function is more trouble than it’s worth.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Partners

Get The Daily Intel
in your inbox

Subscribe and get news and EXCLUSIVE content to your email inbox!

Still Trending

Get The American Genius
in your inbox

subscribe and get news and exclusive content to your email inbox