Hi, Google Photos!

Google Photos logo

After leaving Flickr, it took few weeks to have all photos organised in Google Photos as my primary photo storage (and sharing!) service.

What’s the difference?

Using Google Photos, I upload more photos. I think, this is because of some key factors:

  1. It’s easy to upload photos. I almost always upload my photos directly from my Android phone.
  2. It feels fast to upload. Besides photos, I also upload some videos.
  3. It’s addictive. Because it’s not only about having all photos stored in the cloud, but also how Google handles my uploaded photos. The “Assistant” which helps me to create animation, collages, and also movies makes me feel more engaged with what I have uploaded. And, let’s not forget also its face recognition and face grouping feature.

Secondly, it’s nice to share memories with others. Even I have lots of private photos, I also have thousand of photos I took in my daily with friends at the office, church during Saturday services, and other occasions.

So, it’s not only about me, not only about my family, but it’s also about friends, coworkers, relatives, and those who we care about. I create hundreds of albums to keep all photos organised. I label those faces, and created shared albums so that my friends can also see their photos.

I already have around 28K photos uploaded for free to Google Photos. Let’s see how many photos I have at the end of the year. 20K? We’ll see.

Killed by Google

Killed by Google, a Free and Open Source list of dead Google products, services, and devices.

Melihat dan Menambah Acara/Events di Google Maps

Walaupun belum mendapatkan fitur untuk menambahkan acara/events di Google Maps, namun kalau fitur ini nanti sudah tersedia untuk publik, saya rasa akan lebih membuat Google Maps lebih baik lagi.

Aplikasi Google Maps merupakan salah satu aplikasi yang sering saya pakai. Selain untuk navigasi, fitur ulasan dan foto sebagai salah satu informasi dalam sebuah lokasi menjadi penting, bahkan tak jarang menentukan keputusan apakah saya perlu ke tempat tersebut atau tidak.

Itu juga yang menjadi alasan saya juga kadang ikut memperkaya informasi dari sebuah lokasi dengan menambahkan foto, merevisi informasi, dan kadang memberikan ulasan atau rating melalui Google Local Guides.

Fitur sinkronisasi dengan Google Calendar juga menurut saya membantu. Misalnya, informasi pemesanan hotel saya muncul juga di Google Maps berupa tanggal, dan lokasinya. Memudahkan.

Acara/Events di Google Maps

Sudah ada yang melihat bahwa ada fitur penambahan acara/events melalui Google Maps. Ketika saya coba melalui aplikasi di ponsel Android saya, ternyata belum ada. Namun, di halaman muka pada tab Explore, saya sudah menjumpai ada blok informasi Acara/Events disana.

Informasi yang ditampilkan cukup sederhana. Mungkin karena memang belum dimanfaatkan seluruh fiturnya, atau ini masih fitur percobaan. Untuk menambahkan acara, saya rasa juga tidak terlalu sulit. Kalau sudah terbiasa menambah atau mengusulkan revisi untuk lokasi di Google Maps, saya rasa menambahkan acara tidaklah sulit.

Kalau nanti acara sudah, mungkin selanjutnya bisa melakukan pemesanan tiket untuk acara yang memang membutuhkan pemesanan/reservasi tiket?

Solution: Brain freeze Chromecast

I have a positive experience using Chromecast. Mostly, I use it to cast YouTube, and Spotify (sometime). But, recently I use Netflix more.

I did not how it was started, but yesterday I could not cast Netflix on my Chromecast. Nothing was changed. I used the exactly the same setup.

When I tried to cast YouTube, it worked without any issues, but not with Netflix. After few attempts, I finally have it worked again by reinstalling the Netflix app on my Android phone. Everything is back to normal again now.

Thank You, Flickr! Hello Google Photos!

When Flickr was acquired by Smugmug, I was happy. Rather than comparing between the two services, they finally under one team, even Flickr and Smugmug are still two separated services. I believe that Smugmug will work hard and listen to Flickr community to bring Flickr back with better features.

But, I decided to leave Flickr for Google Photos. Thank you, Flickr!

Flickr and I

Before Instagram era, or mobile-first photo sharing becomes so popular, Flickr was on the top service if it’s referring to photos/photography. Especially when there was Yahoo behind it.

I created my personal Flickr account back in 2004 — it’s 15 years ago — and I started uploading and sharing photos. When I was having close discussion with Public Communication Center of Ministry of Health and they asked me what kind of platform to choose to share photos, I recommended Flickr. The best part is they’re still using it until now!

Thomas Arie presenting flickr #ytownhall
Me sharing about Flickr during Yahoo Community Townhall event in May 2011 in Jakarta. I even still have the presentation slides with me. Thank you, Della and Gage!

Dear Flickr,

Probably, it’s just me. But, I wish you offer better experiences in — in my opinion — some of the key features.

First, help me to organise my thousand of photos. For me, it’s not that easy to put multiple photos into multiple albums. I am not sure about how you handle exactly-the-same photos, or…. duplicate photos. As far as I remember, it will be treated as different photos.

I wish you can also help me to organise my uploaded photos… automagically. There are lots of faces in my photos. Help me to organise them by faces so that I can easily and quickly find photos of my wife, my sister, and also my friends.

I know that sometimes it’s not about you. But, I feel that it’s slow to send my photos to you. I know, it’s also because you can also secure my photos in their original sizes.

I will stop talking now. I don’t hate you at all. I need something that works for me better now.

Google Local Guides (2017)

Ternyata sepanjang tahun 2017 kemarin, saya memberikan sedikit kontribusi dalam Google Local Guides. Ini lebih kepada supaya siapa tahu informasi yang saya ikut bagikan bermanfaat bagi orang lain. Karena, saya sendiri sering kali terbantu dengan kontribusi orang lain melalui Google Maps.

Kalau secara umum (dalam rentang waktu keseluruhan), saya paling banyak memberikan answer (jawaban atas pertanyaan sebuah lokasi seperti ‘Apakah tempat ini hanya melayani pembayaran tunai saja?’), kemudian memberi rating, dan terakhir adalah mengunggah foto.

Kalau tentang apa untungnya, sebenarnya ini lebih kepada ikut berbagi, dan siapa tahu dapat membantu pengguna lain (di Google Maps) yang mungkin sedang mencari informasi tambahan dalam membuat keputusan. Saya sendiri kadang sebelum menentukan apakah saya mengunjungi suatu tempat, saya melihat ulasan dan foto-foto yang dituliskan dan diunggah oleh pengguna lain.

Sebenarnya, Google Local Guides ini juga memberikan beberapa perks kepada penggunanya. Misalnya, tambahan media penyimpanan di Google Drive sebesar 1 TB, kupon diskon hotel/penginapan, kalau tidak salah juga pernah ada diskon pembelian tiket, dan juga pernah berupa saldo GO-PAY dari GO-JEK sampai dengan senilah Rp150.000,-.

Untuk perks yang pernah diberikan, saya cuma klaim yang saldo GO-JEK sebesar Rp150.000,- karena saat itu kebetulan saya sudah ada di Level 5, dan juga tambahan penyimpanan sebesar 1TB dari Google Drive. Namun, 1TB tentu saja tidak dapat saya gunakan maksimal, karena total penggunaan Google Drive saya baru sekitar 10GB saja.

Mi A1

Mi A1 — Flagship dual kamera, 2x optical zoom Layar Full HD 5,5″ (13,5cm), body full metal. Created by Xiaomi, Powered by Google.

Hugo Barra is leaving Xiaomi

Hugo Barra is leaving Xiaomi and going back to Silicon Valley

A former star at Google who oversaw the development of Android, the Brazilian native shocked the tech industry when he announced he would join Xiaomi in 2013, then a three-year-old company. At the time, the company was making waves in China for its then innovative model of selling phones online only. Yet the company was barely known outside of Asia.

Fabric joins Google

Fabric is Joining Google

Turkey Blocks

Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive cloud services blocked in Turkey following leaks.

Bye Google’s Panoramio

Google Local Guides

Google will shutdown its Panoramio in November 2016. It’s a photo sharing application in which all photos can be accessed on Google Earth and Google Maps. But, its popularity is left behind since Google Photos and Google Maps are more favorable in a way how photos will be functioning as the primary contents or additional information.

I almost never look at Panoramio since I’m more on Google Maps. Google Maps already has deep integration with photo contents especially using its Google Local Guides. And, I have started contributing few months ago. Google Maps and Local Guides integration is just seamless and I have nothing but enjoyable experience.

#MadeByGoogle

Google just announced about Pixel, Google Wifi, Google Home, Chromecast Ultra, and Daydream.

Pixel — Phone by Google

Google Pixel phone is not yet officially revealed. But, there are already some leaked images and information.

Both devices — Pixel and Pixel XL — will have 32GB or 128GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, Qualcomm’s latest 821 processor, AMOLED screens, fingerprint scanners on the back, an eight-megapixel selfie camera and a 12-megapixel camera on the back with optical image stabilisation, according to the smartphone retailers listings which have since been removed.

G Suite

Google Apps for Work now has a new name. It’s G┬áSuite.

G Suite is a set of intelligent apps — Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, and more — designed to bring people together, with real-time collaboration built in from the start. And there’s a lot more on the way. Because we believe that when organizations break down silos, connect people and empower them to work together, we get the speed, agility and impact needed to compete in today’s market.

Google's AI Object Recognition Accuracy: 93%

How’s the accuracy of Google’s AI to identify objects in an image? According to the research report, it’s more than 93%. It’s 93.9% to be precise.

Today’s code release initializes the image encoder using the Inception V3 model, which achieves 93.9% accuracy on the ImageNet classification task. Initializing the image encoder with a better vision model gives the image captioning system a better ability to recognize different objects in the images, allowing it to generate more detailed and accurate descriptions. This gives an additional 2 points of improvement in the BLEU-4 metric over the system used in the captioning challenge.