Monday, October 26, 2015

Ok Google

I have been a long-time fan of Google. I signed up for a gmail account when it was in the beta testing. I like the way the software makes my life simpler. I enjoyed having ways to organize my life with the original calendar. When document and sheet editors were made available I started using those. But something wasn't perfect. I'm am happy to say that things have come a long way and Google has recently changed my life.

When my iPhone was on its last legs, my husband suggested checking out the new Google Fi plan. It was time to consolidate our phone billing by me dropping my service off my fmaily plan with my sister and mom, and he would drop his t-mobile account, then we would streamline our monthly bills by both having Google phone plans.

I was apprehensive because the Google Fi was only available on an Android and I definitely did NOT like my husband's old device. However, when the monster-sized device arrived I had no clue how things were about to change...all for the better.

First of all, the Android experience on the Google phone is more streamlined and much more intuitive than my husband's old Android. Second of all, Google has made sharing and creating so simple. My husband and I can share notes, our calendars, documents, spreadsheets and more quickly and easily. We update our grocery list over the course of the week. We update our family budget spreadsheet on the fly. And it has all the modern niceties like "quiet time" nightly, when only my "Priority" contacts will ring me and a camera for snapping pictures to send to our far-away families.

But I had no idea how the voice-activation would change life for my children! When the phone is on and just sitting there, you can say "Ok Google Call Regina" and it calls the Regina in your contacts. Or you can say "Ok Google Home Depot" and it will search for the nearest Home Depot. Or even "Ok Google 15% of 80" and it will calculate a tip for you. My children have listened to me do these types of voice commands for my phone and now they are talking to Google in their play.

Listening to them talk to Google surprised me. Voice recognition is a novel thing for me, one that I have not really imagined ever becoming part of my life. But these young children, who still believe that we are only limited by our imaginations, they take this new technology in stride. They just think it is silly that I talk to my phone and then it does what I want. They are just pleased that we finally have a "robot" to talk to and boss around. And it makes me wonder what these young engineers will grow up to invent...because like Bob Ross wisely said, "We have no limits to our world. We're only limited by our imagination."

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