Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Google Solves Problems

There is a single simple solution for a whole host of problems encountered by seniors with computers. Again and again I am approached to solve problems where there is a Swiss Army knife for all of them.

These problems include printer problems, document creation problems, email problems, document storage problems, backup problems, photography problems, information overload problems, vision problems, and many more.

The single solution is Google. This is not the Google search but the battery of Google targeted solutions.

To use these invaluable tools, the hardest part is simply signing up with Google. Google needs to know your identity and protect it with password in order to maintain the central files. 

For example, they need to know what printer or printer you are using. To sign up it is simply necessary to obtain a Gmail account. You do not need to use email for that but you do need that ID and password. With that ID and password you'll be able to access all these solutions anywhere. 

To sign up, just Google "sign up for email". 

I said the hard part is signing up and I meant it. I find it annoying myself. The benefits, though, are so great that everyone needs to suffer it through. 

For example, the setup for printers is greatly simplified and eased. There is no need to deal with installing printers , and they are accessible from anywhere where you login. This makes them accessible from tablets . You do not need to be at your computer to use your printer. 

Google Gmail has become the most popular email tool. Gmail is also accessible from anywhere, as are your contacts, also kept safely in the cloud. Gmail is actually the whole assortment of tools for organizing and using communication. 

With Google drive you have not only a safe place to keep documents, but also a word processor usable anywhere without exposure to problems if your computer goes down. The same applies to spreadsheets and presentations . These applications are always kept up to date on Google's server. You do not need to update them from time to time. 

Like all Google applications, they are free.

Using Google's cloud Drive for your documents avoids the need for backup, although a second backup is always desirable. 

Your photos can be kept on Google's photo website, Picasa, where they may also be edited. They are easily transferred from camera or tablet.

Information overload is addressed with Google Reader, which will keep you posted on new information in your areas of interest . Google also offers Currents for tablets which give you a graphic magazine access to publications. 

Vision and typing problems are addressed with Google speech dictation, now widely available with Google's browser. I am using that tool to write this posting. 

Google News will provide you with the latest news. 

Again, all these tools are available to you at any computer or tablet, once you log in with your password. 

Your contacts, and other information, are synchronized across multiple devices. The same applies to your event calendar.

With Google Maps you can actually navigate or just check traffic.

Google Chrome is a very advanced browser with its simple interface. It keeps your bookmarks accessible anywhere. Using Google Chrome, you can access a whole world of so called apps. These include flow charts audible books, music such as Pandora, e-books, and the like. 

Google Voice enables you to monitor your telephone calls through a special number and direct them to your home phone, cell phone, and computer, where you can listen to messages or read them from Google's text conversion from voice. 

Google Talk allows you to create text messages and also conduct video conversations. 

Google Books makes it possible to find and read books and maintain your library on your device. Google is busy cataloging and digitizing the books of the world. If you wrote a book, this would be a place to keep it. Last, Google provides a place to create a blog or website such as this one.  For more information, click or tap here.