Google+ or Google Plus – Free Internet Apps – Follow up Information

Google+ or Google Plus  – Free Internet App Review & Follow up. Why use Google Plus and Difference between other Social Networks – Google+

Not our normal post but we have really received a lot of positive feedback and Google+ invite requests since our original post on the subject.

Here we aim to provide how you can get your Free Account without an invitation (if you already have a Google account, use Gmail, etc).  We also found a nice short video that describes what Google Plus is, what is a Circle and the concept behind and why you should consider creating your own Google Plus account or ask to receive an invite… as stated in our original posting, we been using Google+ since the early days of tetsting and have inviations to send out if you would like an invite and do not already have a Google account.

First – how to setup your Free Google Plus account – if you already have a Google account, use Gmail, etc

  • No invitation necessary
  • Go to https://plus.google.com 
  • Sign in with your account username and password
  • Make sure to create a publicly visible profile
  • You are now set and can begin using Google+
  •  Google+ is not available for Google Apps accounts just yet… sorry
  • Anyone can create a Free Google account which will also grant you access to Gmail, Google Docs, Sites, Calendar, GTalk, Google Voice and many more….but you do NOT need to use any of these in order to setup your Free Google Plus account

Second – what is Google+, what are Circles, How is Google+ different, why should I create an account?

Short video to help answer your questions

If you would still like an invite and cannot create or do not already have a Google account, feel free to comment to this post or our origianl and request an invite. We will try to respond within 24 hours.

To read our original post about Google Plus Free Google Plus Account & Invite Info

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Free Google Plus Account & Invite Information

Google’s New Social Networking site – Google+ or Google Plus

If you have not heard recently, Google has launched it’s latest attempt at the social networking market (you might remember Google Buzz) but at first glance, and after using for a couple of weeks and reading through many Tech reviews…. they may have got it RIGHT this time. Google Plus offers more control, flexibility, security, integration with other platforms and options than currently exist with many others (Twitter, FriendFeed) and even the powerhouse Facebook.

Here are the main features provided in Google Plus that we find the most useful:

CIRCLES:
This is designed with our RL (real life) friendships and acquaintances in mind. We do not have one large group of ‘friends’ but rather groups (or circles) of people that may co-exists within other (sub)groups such as family members, close personal friends, co-workers, business acquaintances, etc. Google Plus allows you to group members within your network in any circle that YOU create. You get to design how communications will be addressed, what type of information you wish to share and with whom. There is no limit to the number of circles that you can create and you can even create a circle with just one person. You can also place the same person within as many different circles as like. After all, it is very likely that you may have a childhood best friend that is just like (and knows) your family or a co-worker that is also a close personal friend so now you can include them in both circles. The circles you create and how they are ‘named’ is visible only to you. When someone is accepted by you, they do not know what circle you have created and placed them in and will only see any information you post ‘publish’ to this particular circle. Sharing of photos, videos and URLs are also the same. Only the information you wish to share with a particular circle will be able to ‘see’ this information and members of other circles will never have access.

Circle of friends that do not have Google Plus accounts:
A member you have placed in a Circle does not have Google Plus account BUT they can still receive a message from you. You may write something that you want to share with a Circle of Friends some of your ‘friends’ do not have a Google Plus account (yet). No problem, simply compose your message and select the option to send via email. Now all of your Circle members can keep up with what is going on even if they don’t have an account.

HANGOUTS:
Think in equivalent terms of meeting up with a members or a specific circle for lunch. You can select to “Start a Hangout” and members can join you for a video conference using their webcam. You control the interactions on your own terms by signify that you are Available and allowing others to Join you. If your hangout involves more than one person, the app automatically features the person “doing the talking” while other are displayed lower and smaller in the window view. You can use this feature with up to 10 different users and you can also share YouTube videos together.

SPARKS:
Is a way to start and collect ideas and information about topics with members. This options allows users to select and identify things of interest or to find out more information. As an example, you could start a Spark about Free Internet Applications. Users are then presented with the latest news, articles, blogs, postings, etc containing links about free internet apps. Now users can collect, sort and share any of this information from their profile or to a select group of friends or within Circles.

INSTANT PHOTO & VIDEO UPLOAD:
No more taking pictures or videos at the birthday party and then going home and plugging in your device to your computer and uploading. Now you can auto sync your Android devices (not just yet for Apple) which include your phones and tablets so that when you take a picture or video, they are automatically uploaded and waiting for you to share. You can still edit and select which photos you would like to share, to certain individuals or to full Circles or you can still decide not to share with anyone.

Security features:
Google Plus makes it easy for you to delete your account… not just suspend the name and the feeds, postings, photos, etc but to delete the information.
Members within any Circle, friends, followers, etc must receive permission from you BEFORE they can TAG you in a photo or a video.
You can select to tag someone in a post and share only with that person and no one else can see the tag, not even your mutual friends (members of the same circle).
No SPAM links within your feeds and postings because there is no “Wall” to allow such activity to be posted on your profile.
Select how you can be notified and what type of information you want to receive. Select to receive notifications when you are mentioned in a post, someone comments on one of your posts, when someone wants to start a conversation, etc. But you can also limit how you allow others (even specific members) to be able to send information to you.

Review of Basic App Features:

  • Create Circles of friends and networks – control and manage conversations
  • Send email to Circle contacts without requiring accounts
  • Create unlimited number of Circles and even a circle of one
  • Conduct online meetings & discussions with up to 10 users
  • Share videos, links and discussions online with members
  • Create, share and discuss different topics of interest with Circle members or select individuals
  • Control notifications and contact information
  • Auto picture & video uploads

Summary Review and Grade

  • Free Registration Required – Invite or use Google Account (see below)
  • No Downloads
  • No Installation Required
  • Works on All Web-browsers
  • No Technical Experience Necessary
  • Works Cross-platform – on all computer platforms – (Linux, Macs, Windows)
  • Control over many types of groups and communications to include

You can get a Free Account a couple of ways:

First Option:
Through your Google account – no invitation necessary. (anyone can also sign up for a Free Google account which will gain you access to Gmail, Google Docs, Sites, Calendar, GTalk, Google Voice and many more….but you do NOT need to use any of these and create an account to get your Free Google Plus account)

If you already have a Gmail account that is part of Google Apps – sorry but your Google apps Gmail account will not allow you to participate in Google Plus just yet. This is expected to be released later this year but currently Google Apps does not allow for the creation of a public profile which is required.  If you use Yahoo or Windows Live (Hotmail) and signed up for a Google account using one of these other services, you are also able to begin using Google Plus (just make sure you have created a publicly visible Google profile).

Considering the above applies to you – all you need to do is to go to https://plus.google.com and Sign in with your account. Again, make sure to create a publicly visible profile

Second Option:

Receive an invitation from someone that already has a Google Plus account (hint – we have an account) or Request an Invite at https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googleplus/

Below are a couple of additional links providing more deatils about this new and exciting social networking service offered by Google:

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Office Suite Programs in the Cloud – Create, Edit, & Share

With Anyone from Anywhere – Google Docs
A web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form, and data storage service from Google. Upload and save documents from your desktop, edit them online from any computer, and invite others to read or edit your documents collaborating together in real-time. Data storage for individual accounts is currently up to 1GB.

Google Docs is Google’s “software” version of an office suite but is accessed online and no need to download and install or update as you would on a traditional software program such as MS Office. Documents, spreadsheets, forms and presentations can be created within the application itself, imported through the web interface, or sent via email. They can also be saved to the user’s computer in a variety of formats (ODF, HTML, PDF, RTF, Text, Word, etc).

Uploaded and New Documents
Once uploaded from your local computer or created online, documents are automatically saved to prevent data loss, and a revision history is automatically kept. Documents can be tagged and archived for organizational purposes.

Operating Systems and Browsers
The service is officially supported on recent versions of the Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome browsers running on Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, and Linux operating systems.

User Accounts
Individual user accounts can have documents that do not exceed 1GB, embedded images must not exceed 2MB each, and spreadsheets are limited to 256 columns, 200,000 cells, and 99 sheets. What this amounts to is roughly a total of 5,000 documents and presentations, 5,000 images, 1,000 spreadsheets, and 100 PDFs without the need to delete or place on an external drive resource.
To get a Free Google Docs account you will need to create a Google Account but this is also free and will entitle you to many more applications and services available from Google for Free.

Cloud Computing – Business & Educational Popularity
Google Docs one of a handful of cloud computing document-sharing services but is among the leaders and is FREE.  The majority of similar document-sharing services require user fees, which has also enhanced Google Docs growing popularity amongst businesses. In addition, Google Docs has become very popular among students and educational institutions.

Mobile Google Docs
Mobile phone users can browse their Google Docs documents in a mobile browser. Users can view documents and view and edit spreadsheets. Versions of Google Docs for the iPhone and Android include ability to edit spreadsheets and view presentations, along with an interface designed specifically for the mobile device.

Updated Features:
Real time collaboration: See updates from other collaborators as they edit the document.
Higher-quality imports: More consistent imports from your desktop into Google Docs.
Chat with other collaborators: As you make your edits, you can chat with other document editors about the changes, from within the document.

Brief Demo Video Below

Learn More @ Google Docs Home Page

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