Thursday, December 10, 2015

Google News Roundup for Thursday, December 10, 2015

Here is the Google News Roundup for Thursday, December 10, 2015:

Android Wear app updated with return of watch battery statistics
- 9to5Google

Celebrating the year on YouTube: The top trending videos of 2015
- Official Google Blog

Chrome to Phone app marked deprecated, will be disabled in March 2016
- 9to5Google

Chromecast Audio gets hi-res audio and synchronized multi-room streaming
- Phandroid

CS in media: we are what we see
- Google for Education Blog

Easier account syncing with the latest version of the Google Calendar app for Android
- Google Apps update alerts

Google Code-in: may the source be with you
- Google for Education Blog

Google Demo Day: shining a light on female entrepreneurs
- Official Google Blog

Google for Work security: Announcing Data Loss Prevention to wrap up 2015
- Official Google for Work Blog

Google Play Movies & TV on iOS updated w/ AirPlay support, cellular streaming, more
- 9to5Google

Google Play Music: Now playing for your family
- Official Android Blog

Google Wallet gains ability to send money to any contact using just a phone number
- 9to5Google

Google: We have proof that our quantum computer really works
- Engadget

Shared memories made easy with Google Photos
- Official Google Blog

The movies you love are Made with Code
- Google for Education Blog

The Pixel C was probably never supposed to run Android
- Ars Technica




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Google News Roundup for Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Here is the Google News Roundup for Tuesday, December 8, 2015:

Add to-dos to your Google Calendar using Reminders
- Official Google for Work Blog

Computer Science tips for parents
- Google for Education Blog

CS Education Week is All About Making a Difference
- Google for Education Blog

Google Authenticator updated with support for Android Wear
- Android Community

Google begins consideration for bringing Fiber to LA and Chicago
- Phandroid

Google Safe Browsing now official on Chrome for Android
- Android Community

Google uses Pixar's 'Inside Out' to teach girls programming
- Engadget

Google’s life sciences arm now officially known as ‘Verily’
- Android Community

Hello. It’s the best of 2015 on Google Play.
- Official Google Blog

Make your home Internet look like your home with OnHub
- Official Google Blog

Meet the Pixel C, our take on the tablet
- Official Google Blog

New Android distribution numbers show Lollipop gaining more ground than Marshmallow
- 9to5Google

Nexus 6 unsurprisingly no longer available from the Google Store
- Android Central

Pixel C review roundup: Good hardware, but Android on tablets needs serious work
- 9to5Google

Supporting the development of excellent computer science teachers globally
- Google for Education Blog

United Biscuits prepares for another Christmas sales rush with help from Google Apps
- Official Google for Work Blog


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Google News Roundup for Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Here is the Google News Roundup for Wednesday, December 2, 2015:

Android's new emoji arrive next week on Nexus devices
- Engadget

Google Apps for Work: POPSUGAR’s secret weapon in the shifting media landscape
- Official Google for Work Blog

Google Cultural Institute brings 360-degree tours of famous performing arts venues
- 9to5Google

Google image search now lets you save photos to your browser
- Mashable

Google is now redirecting some ‘Inbox by Gmail’ users from Gmail by default
- 9to5Google

Google puts two more stock Android apps on the Play Store: Phone & Contacts
- 9to5Google

Google Will Shut Down Songza App, Songza.com To Fold Into Google Play Music
- TechCrunch

Increased account security via OAuth2 token revocation
- Google Apps update alerts

Jingle all the way to Santa's Village
- Official Google Blog

Privacy group accuses Google of snooping on students via school-issued Chromebooks
- Android Central

PSA: Verizon customers can get a free Star Wars-themed Cardboard viewer on Wednesday in stores
- 9to5Google

The facts about student data privacy in Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks
- Google for Education Blog

The new Certified Innovator Program is here (and better than ever!)
- Google for Education Blog

The 'Star Wars' VR experience for Google Cardboard is here
- Engadget

YouTube reportedly looking to license TV shows & movies to take on Netflix and Hulu
- 9to5Google

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Google News Roundup for Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Here is the Google News Roundup for Tuesday, December 1, 2015:

Bricocenter’s own improvement project: staying in touch with customers and employees using Google Apps for Work
- Official Google for Work Blog

Chrome 47 released to stable channel, removes rarely used notification center
- 9to5Google

Chrome for iOS adds 3D Touch shortcuts, better hardware keyboard support
- 9to5Google

Easier user management in the Google Admin mobile app for Android
- Google Apps update alerts

Google Chrome’s new Data Saver tool removes images to cut data use by up to 70 percent
- 9to5Google

Google could soon allow you to use partial Google Play credit to buy stuff
- Phandroid

Google Glass could come back with a less intrusive, flexible design
- Mashable

Google Hangouts now lets you reply on the Apple Watch; Twitch brings Whispers to iOS
- 9to5Mac

Google Turns Image Search Into Pinterest With New “Collections” Feature
- TechCrunch

Google’s November Self-Driving Car Report Details Learnings, A Pull-Over, And A Rear-End Collision
- TechCrunch

Join Google.org to help make education more inclusive for students with special needs
- Google for Education Blog

Santa's village comes to life as Google's holiday tracker goes online
- Engadget

Step on stage with the Google Cultural Institute
- Official Google Blog

What's New in Google Apps newsletter - November 2015
- Google Apps update alerts

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lenovo 100S Chromebook Review


I have a Lenovo 100S Chromebook (2GB model) that I have been trying out for a few weeks. How does it stand up to other Chromebook models that are currently popular in schools?


Specs:

-  Intel N2840 (Bay Trail) processor
-  An 11.6" anti-glare TN Panel with a 1366x768 resolution
-  2GB or 4GB of RAM
-  16GB or 32GB SSD
-  1x HDMI, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 4-in-1 combo card reader
-  1MP HD front camera with dual digital microphone
-  Dual-channel High-Definition integrated audio
-  Wireless 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0
-  Height: .78" x Width: 11.81" x Depth: 8.23" and weighs 2.6lbs
-  2-cell Battery (34 Wh) for 8 hours of use


Overall Build Quality:

The lid and bottom of the Lenovo 100S are encased in a black plastic that has a slight weave texture to it.  The bezel around the screen and casing around the keyboard is a flat matte black plastic with a very fine texture to it.  The casing around the trackpad is metal, which gives the Lenovo 100S a nice feel when you rest your palms on it to type.  For being a budget Chromebook, the overall design of the Lenovo 100S does have a nice professional look and feel to it.



The Lenovo 100S is not as rugged as some recent Chromebooks, but it does have reinforced ports, hinges and corners to help provide some durability to it. The hinges only go back 135 degrees, which could still allow for damage to occur to them if the lid is pushed too far back.  There are also dual speakers on the bottom of the Lenovo 100S that are not as good as some other Chromebooks I have reviewed, but are acceptable for the price range of this device.  

Processor/Speed:

The Lenovo 100S uses an Intel N2840, which is the same processor in the Lenovo N21 and other Intel-based Chromebooks that were released throughout last fall and spring of this year.  Lenovo obviously stayed with this processor to help keep the budget pricing they were aiming for with this Chromebook.  It is part of the Bay Trail line of processors, which are not as fast as Intel's newer Celeron options.  The Intel N2840 still works well in a Chromebook for classroom use.  The Bay Trail processor also allows for a longer battery life and fanless design, which is great in a school setting.  For those who like to see Octane scores, the Lenovo 100S Chromebook with 2GB of RAM scored an 8673 when I ran it.


Screen:

The screen is a typical 11.6" matte TN panel with a 1366x768 resolution that you find in most Chromebooks in this price range.  The quality is acceptable for student use, but they do not have great viewing angles.  In an education setting, it is nice to have these screens in student devices though as they are usually cheaper to replace if broken.


Keyboard/Trackpad:

The keyboard on the Lenovo 100S is not a water-resistant one.  Typing on it felt good and I had no issues using it.  The trackpad on the Lenovo 100S is also a nice size to work with.  However, I did find the trackpad a little stiff when pressing down for a click unless you were in the bottom area of it.




Power Adapter:

The power adapter for the Lenovo 100S is a more compact design that is really nice for carry cases. It could be an issue though if you plan to put the Chromebooks in a cart.  The connector that plugs into the Chromebook still uses a thinner connector that could possibly bend or break easier under student use. 




Battery Life:

The Lenovo 100S has a 2-cell Battery (34 WHr), that is supposed to give 8 hours of battery life.  In my Nyan Cat test to gauge the battery under a heavier use situation, I found the Lenovo 100S to actually get around 9 hours on a full charge with the screen at a 75% brightness.  From this test, and my own usage experience, you should have no problems getting more than 8 hours of standard classroom use with the screen being dimmed.


Conclusion:

The Lenovo 100S is a nice device for being designed and promoted as a budget Chromebook.  If you were considering a budget Chromebook for any staff members in your district, then this is one to take a look at.  It has a more professional look and feel to it than some other Chromebooks in this price point that I think staff will like.  It's not a terrible device for student use, but I would still personally prefer the Lenovo N21 for them due to some more protective features on it.  Especially when the Lenovo N21 is available for a similar price point at the moment.

The Lenovo 100S Chromebook starts at $179 for the 2GB model.  Additional model pricing is as follows:
- Lenovo 100S /w 32GB SDD and 2GB RAM for $199
- Lenovo 100S /w 32GB SDD and 4GB RAM for $229 











Google News Roundup for Thursday, November 19, 2015

Here is the Google News Roundup for Thursday, November 19, 2015:

Google exec predicts its cloud business will bring in more revenue than ads within 5 years
- 9to5Google

Google Fit: Step up your fitness
- Official Android Blog

Google Shopping Gets A Mobile Makeover With A Focus On Local Commerce
- TechCrunch

Google to move all of its cloud services under one umbrella
- Engadget

Guest access to Hangouts video calls without a Google account
- Google Apps update alerts

Meetings made simple with guest access
- Official Google for Work Blog

PSA: Android Studio 1.5 now available in the stable channel
- 9to5Google

YouTube foots the bill for video makers to fight copyright takedowns
- Engadget