Here’s how to save money on flights using Google’s new Flight Insights

Here’s how to save money on flights using Google’s new Flight Insights

In a bid to lock horns with the booming online travel portals, Google has updated its search functionality with the addition of new feature ‘Flight Insights’ under its Google Flights search, making it easier for travellers to choose flights as well as hotels.

Flight Insights- The Google Flights search now features a new tab which lets users see recommendations and tips about how they can make their air travel cost-effective.

How to use Google’s Flight Insights

When users search for flights on Google and select Flights, they’ll see a Flight Insights tab. Upon choosing that tab, users can see how their fare rates will change if they opt to fly on a different day, from any other airport and the best time to book the tickets during the day.

Google’s Flights service has reduced traffic on websites such as Expedia, or the more widely used Ibibo, MakeMyTrip and Cleartrip.

The feature allows a user to search for available flights, see fares and book their choice through Google Flights tab built into the search.

The Google Flights Insights feature will also show fares in a calendar format so that choosing the fare is easier.

“Tap on ‘Dates’ to see the calendar view of date combinations with the cheapest prices highlighted in green and the most expensive in red,” says Google in a blog post explaining the process to the users.

Like travel sites, the Flights Insights service lets users choose the number of passengers, a seat class, and more options.

The Flights Insights sources its data from the flight information Google has compiled to give users idea of the exact date and time to get the best deal on a flight.

The exact savings amount will vary depending on the trip users have outlined.

As per a report in The Verge, Flight Insights is rolling out to mobile Google Search users now. The feature will be available to computer users later this year.

Not Just for Flights

If your travel also includes a stay, Flight Insights will also show you the prices of hotels and inns on a weekly or monthly basis, and will let you know the cheapest day to check in. Also, once you land, it will show you the hotel prices on a map and choose which one to stay in.

hotel prices google maps

“When you’re trying to choose a hotel, you can now see hotel prices on a map to quickly identify the best areas and hotels for both your budget and itinerary needs. You may find that a hotel just around the corner from a museum you’re interested in is available at a great price,” Google said in its blog post.

[“Source-moneycontrol”]

Google’s cord cutter app YouTube TV reaches 2 million downloads

Approximately 2 million people have installed the YouTube TV app, Google’s live TV service aimed at a younger generation of cord cutters, as well as those who never signed up for traditional pay TV in the first place. That download figure comes from app store analytics firms Sensor Tower and App Annie, which both also noted that installs are evenly split between iOS and Android devices.

Of course, 2 million downloads doesn’t necessarily translate into subscribers — many users may have simply installed the app out of curiosity; others could be on free trials that never convert to paid subscriptions.

Still, it’s a number that should give YouTube TV competitors — in particular, telco rivals — pause. YouTube TV is the youngest arrival in the over-the-top live TV space, and it’s growing rapidly.

Sensor Tower said that YouTube TV added about 700,000 new installs of its app since its announcement last week that it was entering several new U.S. markets, tripling its footprint.

Yes, that’s right — YouTube TV has 2 million installs and isn’t even available across all of the U.S. at this point.

That’s a promising start for a newcomer in this race, even if many of those are still trial customers.

That’s not to say YouTube TV is without serious competition.

This April, YouTube TV entered a crowded market, where numerous services compete to deliver live TV to consumers over the internet. Before YouTube TV arrived, Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and AT&T’s DirecTV Now were battling for cord cutters’ attention. Following the launch of YouTube TV, Hulu rolled out its own Live TV service. And this week, Comcast said its Xfinity Instant TV service could hit the U.S. before the end of the year.

The live TV rivals

Dish’s Sling TV live TV service has been around the longest, allowing it to move quickly into new areas — as it recently did with pay-per-view. Its service has more than 2 million subscribers, according to comScore’s latest report, released last month.

AT&T, meanwhile, can push DirecTV Now on its wireless customers by offering deals, and Sony can market Vue to its millions of PlayStation users. But Vue and DirecTV Now combined only have 1.1 million subscribers, says comScore. (Separately, AT&T announced this week DirecTV Now was nearing half a million subscribers.)

Then there’s Hulu, whose brand is well-known to consumers who think of it as a place to watch the broadcast and cable TV shows Netflix doesn’t offer. Hulu can upsell live TV to its existing customers. While the company doesn’t release subscriber figures, it said in May it had 47 million total unique viewers. (comScore didn’t release numbers for Hulu, YouTube TV or FuboTV.)

YouTube TV’s advantages

For the telcos, in particular, the streaming market is a tough business. As AT&T and Dish’s earnings have revealed, these newer internet TV services aren’t able to onboard customers fast enough to offset the losses from those dropping residential pay TV subscriptions.

For instance, AT&T in its most recent quarter lost a record number of traditional TV subscribers, and while DirecTV Now “helped” offset those losses, it couldn’t close the gap.

But for YouTube, there’s no legacy TV biz to shore up. It can move into the space freely, without worrying much about the slim margins of its low-cost $35 per month subscription offering. And its margins could be very slim, indeed. One analyst had estimated that $29 per month of affiliate fees would eat up the $35 subscription, before regional sports networks came in, adding $4 to $5 more.

Or, in other words, YouTube TV would be an ad-supported business.

Good thing for YouTube, then, that its user base grew up watching ads alongside their videos.

Though an optional YouTube Red subscription can remove those ads across regular YouTube, the mere existence of ads on YouTube TV — (and they’re everywhere — live, on-demand, DVR, etc.) — won’t necessarily be a deal breaker for the live TV service’s subscribers.

YouTube also has the benefit of selling TV to an existing and massive user base. The company announced in June it had grown to 1.5 billion logged-in monthly viewers. (YouTube doesn’t break out its U.S. monthly viewer numbers, but eMarketer says 185.9 million.)

Plus, YouTube TV has original content of its own, catering to its young viewers. Its 37 original programs, which are included with both YouTube TV and the ad-free paid subscription, YouTube Red, have now generated nearly 250 million views.

Also worth noting, YouTube itself appeals to the next generation of “TV” viewers — the kids who know their favorite YouTube stars better than they do Hollywood A-listers.

YouTube doesn’t have to convince these kids to cut the cord in favor of YouTube — they never planned to buy the cord in the first place.

Sensor Tower’s figures for YouTube TV — 2 million downloads, 50/50 split — were also confirmed by App Annie, which added that if time spent in the YouTube Kids app is any indication, then YouTube TV should do well among streaming apps for user engagement. YouTube TV may be in its infancy, but its download levels show significant traction, App Annie said.

YouTube Kids launched in 2015 and now ranks No. 7 by total time spent among Entertainment apps, as of June 2017 on Android phones in the U.S., behind giants like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Meanwhile, YouTube itself is No. 3 out of overall apps for time spent on Android phones in the U.S. — or nearly 17 times the average total time spent of the next three highest ranking video streaming apps, said App Annie.

Reached for comment, YouTube declined to confirm the new download numbers.

[“Source-techcrunch”]

Google’s safeguard against rogue Android apps is now available

Google is acting on its promise to further guard your Android phoneagainst rogue apps. The company tells us that it’s rolling out its Play Protect home screen to every Android device running Google Mobile Services 11 or newer. If you see it (it’s in in the Google section of your settings, under Security), you’ll know that your device has scanned apps to make sure they’re clean. You probably won’t need to look at this page very often, but it’s there if you’re ever wondering whether a sketchy-sounding Play Store app poses a threat.

As for that Play Protect card in the Play Store app? For that, you’ll have to wait. It’s starting to roll out as we write this, but it’ll take it a while before you get this at-a-glance look at your app security. When it does hit, though, you’ll have frequent reminders that Google is keeping an eye on your apps. It’s not a surefire security method (especially if you tend to download apps from outside the Play Store), but it’s an improvement.

[Source:-engadget]

What Does Google’s Pixel Phone Line Offer Small Business Users?

What Does Google's Pixel Phone Line Offer Small Business Users?

Smartphones are key communication tools in the personal and work life of the connected world we now live in. And with every new phone entering the marketplace, more features are added that increase our reliance on these devices. The long-awaited new Pixel and Pixel XL phones from Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) come with some premium hardware and applications that will undoubtedly increase this reliance for Android users looking for a premium device.

For small business owners full-featured premium smartphones are not always an option, mainly because of the price. The new phones from Google are made to compete with flagship phones from Apple, Samsung and others, and they are priced accordingly. While the Pixel phones may price many customers out, businesses and otherwise, the features in the phones make a strong case for the price tag.

Here are some of the specs for both phones, which are very similar, giving you the option of having a powerful smartphone in a large and small form factor.

A Look at Google’s Pixel Phone Line

Features the Pixel and Pixel XL Share

The approach Google has taken for these phones should be commended, because the guts of the Pixel are almost identical. The Pixel and Pixel XL have the same following specs:

  • Rear Camera: 12.3-megapixel, large 1.55?m pixels, phase detection autofocus + laser detection autofocus, f/2.0 aperture,
  • Front Camera: 8-megapixel, 1.4µm pixels, f/2.4 aperture, fixed focus,
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Quad Core 2x 2.15GHz / 2x 1.6GHz,
  • RAM and Storage: 4GB RAM, 32GB or 128GB storage,
  • Ports and Slots: USB Type-C, USB 3.0, 3.5mm headset jack, Single Nano SIM,
  • Connectivity: GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC,
  • Fast charging: up to 7 hours of use from only 15 minutes of charging,
  • Aerospace-grade aluminum unibody, and
  • Built for VR: You can get the new Daydream View VR headset for free if you pre-order.

What Does Google's Pixel Phone Line Offer Small Business Users? They're Built for VR

The phones also share the same sensors, which includes a fingerprint sensor, Android 7.1 Nougat, and skins with new colors the company calls Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue.

The differences are very few, and it is mostly based on the size of the phones.

Pixel XL

  • Screen Size: 5.5 inches QHD AMOLED at 534ppi with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and 2,560×1,440 pixels,
  • Battery: nonremovable 3,450mAh battery with talk time of up to 32 hours on 3g/WCDMA and Internet use time of up to 14 hours on LTE and Wi-Fi. It also has an impressive video playback of up to 14 hours, and
  • Form Factor: 6.0 x 2.9 x 0.2 ~ 0.34 inches or 154.7 x 75.7 x 7.3 ~ 8.5 mm.

Pixel

  • Screen Size: 5.0 inches, FHD AMOLED at 441ppi with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and 1,920×1,080 pixels,
  • Battery: nonremovable 2,770mAh battery with up to 26 hours talk time on 3g/WCDMA and LTE and Wi-Fi Internet use time of up to 13 hours, and up to 13 hours of video playback, and
  • Form Factor: 5.6 x 2.7 x 0.2 ~ 0.3 inches or 143.8 x 69.5 x 7.3 ~ 8.5 mm.

Differences

While you can find these features on many phones, there are some ways in which the Pixel phones differentiate themselves. They are the first phones to have built-in Google Assistant and a live 24×7 customer care support with integrated Screen Share. And you get unlimited cloud storage, a feature most, if not all, phone manufacturers charge for.

What Will Pixel Phones Offer Small Business Owners?

Unlimited storage is a great option, because virtually every small business with an online presence can use it to store video, audio, and data they capture on their phone without any worries.

Google Assistant uses the latest technology in AI to deliver a more intuitive experience to get answers, manage everyday tasks, be entertained, find photos faster, keep tabs on travel and much more. The AI also integrates Now on Tap, which will give you contextual information based on what is on your screen.

If you happen to own an iPhone, a new fast switch feature lets you quickly migrate to Pixel in three simple steps and a long battery life that will come in handy for any small business owner.

What Does Google's Pixel Phone Line Offer Small Business Users? Migrating from an iPhone

Last but definitely not least is the 24/7 customer care support with integrated Screen Share. As any small business owner knows, customer service will make or break your business, and this feature is a winner. Being able to access care support with integrated Screen Share means you will never be at a loss of what to do when something goes wrong.

According to the company, no matter where you are, day or night a Google expert is just a tap away. All you have to do is open the Settings app on your device and tap the Support tab and simply accept the “View screen share request” sent by the agent.

What Does Google's Pixel Phone Line Offer Small Business Users? 24/7 Support

Price and Availability

The smartphone segment is heavily populated, and the trend seems to be going to medium priced phones with high end features, which is currently being dominated by Chinese manufacturers like ZTE and its Axon7, Huawei and others.

This doesn’t seem to have factored in for Google, because the Pixel line is not cheap, as a matter of fact they are expensive. The Pixel with the 32GB storage starts at $649 and the 128GB model will cost you a wallet crunching $749. If you want the XL, you will have to pay $769 and $869 respectively for the 32GB and 128GB models.

You can pre-order the phones now, and they will be arriving at retail and online stores by October 20. 

Conclusion

The Pixel phones will not win the most innovative design, specs or app awards, but the sum of all its different parts would seem to suggest a useful phone for the small business owner — that is if you want to part with what it will cost to get it.

Images: Google

[“source-smallbiztrends”]