The Latest on Google Keep, ‘Mesh’ Wi-Fi Solutions and More Functional Flash Drives

John Vrooman | December 2016

 

John Vrooman
John Vrooman

How do you maintain and manage your notes, reminders, and to-do lists? If you’re not already deeply invested in an app such as Evernote or Microsoft’s OneNote (or, some other app) you may want to give “Google Keep” a try. Since Google Keep is a Google product/service, if you use other Google services, Google Keep may be a particularly good app for you to consider as it integrates with other Google products/services to varying degrees. I came across an article titled “Why you should start using Google Keep right away” at the Computerworld website. I would encourage you to read it as it provides both a decent overview of the product’s features as well as some insight about how, by using artificial intelligence (AI), the product will likely become better and more useful/capable over time. Here’s a courtesy link to the article

Here’s a link to the Google Keep service.


Additional ‘Mesh’ Wi-Fi Solutions

In last month’s column, I provided some information regarding Eero, Inc.’s innovative “mesh” Wi-Fi product/solution. Very recently (scheduled on December 6, 2016, if things go as announced) Google’s new “Google Wifi” mesh Wi-Fi product/solution will formally enter the market. The good news is that the Google Wifi solution is coming to market at a lower price point than eero’s. Which is better/faster? I think we should all wait until some more independent testing and reviews are done before making any conclusions. In the meantime, you can learn more about Google Wifi by visiting the products home page

Note: In addition to the eero and Google Wifi products, other mesh Wi-Fi solutions exist. This wirecutter.com article discusses mesh networking, offers some product reviews and makes some recommendations. I think the article is a worthwhile read for those who have or maybe should have an interest in mesh Wi-Fi networking solutions for their home (or office).


More Useful USB Flash Drive Options

Your computer likely has some USB (Type A) ports. Some newer computers/devices may have one or more of the new USB type “C” ports. More recent iPhones and iPads have “Lightning” connections/ports, and many other phones and devices have micro or mini USB ports. I think that when most people think of flash drives (think portable data storage devices), the image that comes to mind is a typical USB (Type A) flash drive that can only directly connect (without an adapter) to computers and devices that have USB, USB 2.x or USB 3.x Type A ports. Today, I want to bring to your attention that there are USB flash drives available that offer more flexible connectivity options. For example, you can find flash drives that (without needing an adapter or an additional cable) can connect to two (or more?) types of ports. Flash drives that have this capability can make data transfer from/between devices much easier and convenient. Yes, wireless and/or Internet-based data transfer between computers and devices is quite easy and common these days. However, there are situations where wireless or cloud-based data transfer isn’t possible or for some reason isn’t the most desirable way to move data to and from devices.

Here’s how you can try to find a flash drive that offers the connectivity options that you need? Simply do a search at Google.com or other Internet search engine using the search keywords “Flash drive” and the two types of computer/device port connectivity options that you want. For example, my computer has both USB 2.x and USB 3.x ports and my Android phone has a micro USB 2.0 port. Since USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0, I did a search for “USB 3.0 micro flash drive” and the search results identified some dual connectivity (USB 3.x and Micro USB) flash drive product options. You can try similar searches at shopping sites like Amazon, too. If you have an iPhone or iPad that has a Lightning port, you should be successful in finding a suitable dual connection flash drive by doing a search using the following keywords “USB flash drive Lightning” (you don’t need the quotes when you perform the search). Hopefully, you’ll soon have a new and much more functional flash drive on your keychain.

Here’s a courtesy link to one of the USB 3.0 + Micro USB flash drives that I found at Amazon.

Here’s a courtesy link to one of the USB 3.0 + Lighting iPhone/iPad flash drives that I found at Amazon.


Windows 10 System Tweak

Do you have a computer that runs on battery power? Is that computer running the Windows 10 operating system? If you want to increase the amount of time that you can run that computer on battery power, this ZDNet.com article will guide you through a simple Windows 10 system configuration setting change that should help you to achieve that goal…possibly by quite a lot!


Windows Update Issues

Does your Windows 7 computer continuously check for Windows updates (for hours), but not install them? Not too long ago Microsoft updated its Window Update software. Unfortunately, for many Windows 7 users, the update hasn’t gone well. Apparently, many Windows 7 users have been reporting that their computer’s Windows Update service is no longer working properly. If you’re a Windows 7 user and are experiencing the above-mentioned Windows Update issue, please visit the web page below (an article at askvg.com) that may provide you with a fix to the problem. Note: It’s important that your computer’s Windows Update service operates correctly because if it’s not, you’re likely not receiving important updates, and that can leave your computer vulnerable to various types of undesirable security-related issues. Here’s the link to the webpage/article that hopefully will provide you with the fix you need to get Windows Update working properly again…

 

If you would like to share any comments, suggestions, tips or questions with me, you are invited to contact me at john@johnvrooman.com. (I always enjoy hearing from you!)

 

John Vrooman
John Vrooman is an experienced Realtor who enjoys staying on top of real estate, technology, gadgets, marketing, new media, and small business trends/developments. He gathers information from a diverse range of resources and enjoys sharing tips, thoughts, and discoveries with others – using a “something for everyone” approach. John has been authoring this column since August 2000 and enjoys receiving comments and suggestions from his readers.