Office Hackery

Useful Hacks, Reviews, Tips and Tricks of anything under the moon and the sun.

Google Re-Org Illustrated

If you'll ask me now which company I love to work for, of course I'll go with the biggest and coolest there is and definitely Google is on top of my list. But because of the announcement of a massive organizational overhaul, my dream to work with Google became one step below the top. With the re-org, Google just became a subsidiary of Alphabet, a newly created company. Now I have to dream bigger and aim for Alphabet if want the coolest there is. If your curious how will the new structure will look like, here is a simple illustration.

Google Re-Org Illustrated


  • Nest is a home automation system company acquired by Google in 2014.
  • Calico is a research and development biotech company that experiments with combating aging and related diseases.
  • Sidewalk Labs is all about improving modern cities.
  • Google X is the secret laboratory of Google working on ambitious projects such as Google Glass, Project Loon, Self-driving cars and etc.
  • Fiber builds high-speed internet connections.
  • Google Capital is its investment arm, which is distinct from Google Ventures, the search giant's venture-capital investment vehicle.
  • Google includes Search, YouTube, Android, and Maps. 

Avid Note users are not happy with Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Avid Note users are not happy with Samsung Galaxy Note 5

After a very long silence due to new responsibilities from my day job, I am officially back. Although I've been so busy with work, I still monitor tech news and trends everyday so I'm definitely up-to-date with mobile world and with the recent official announcement of Samsung's latest phablet version: The Galaxy Note 5, and I can honestly say I'm not happy with it. The new Note 5 is undoubtedly more beautiful with its premium glass and metal build compare to my almost one year old  Note 4. This newest version of Note is also more faster and more powerful than ever with its Exynos 7420 64-bit octa core processor and 4GB RAM. But what I don't understand is why Samsung choose to let go of features that made it the most popular phablet in the world.


Galaxy Note 5 has no microSD

No more MicroSD

Yes. Samsung decided to go with iPhone 6 plus direction by dropping the microSD slot. Honestly this is one of major reason I choose Note 4 over iPhone 6 plus. I don't like paying for additional thousand pesos just to double my phone's storage. I wanted my new phablet to be able to use my existing microSD where I save my important files. Now with the new Note 5, Samsung is forcing me to dispose my external disk. It is not fair :-(


Galaxy Note 5 has lower-capacity battery and non-removable back

Lower-capacity Battery and Non-removable back

Ouch. From 3,220mAh, Note 5 has now 3,000mAh. Although it is just slight lower and usually not a problem with Galaxy Note because of its removable back that make switching battery easy. But the Note 5 doesn't have a removable back anymore, which means no more battery switching. Well that sucks!

Summary

These shortcomings might be just minor on paper but it is important for hardcore Note users like me. A smartphone with a microSD slot, gives me flexibility in terms of storage and transferring files. While bigger battery and removable back give me longer mobility and freedom from an electric outlet. To omit these not so minor features is a clear indication to me that Samsung is directly competing with Apple's iPhone 6 Plus. Why would they playing catchup with Apple? It should be the other way around. The Galaxy Note is the first of its kind in a crowded smartphone market. Instead of mimicking competitors, Samsung should focus on enhancing the Note's strengths and not removing them. Samsung, please try to listen to your existing users. We are using Note over other phablets in the market because of these small reasons.


Transform Windows 8 to OSX Yosemite

I am using two laptops at work. One is a Macbook Pro running the latest OS X Yosemite and the other one is a Toshiba Protege running Windows 8.1. Whenever I switch from my Macbook to Toshiba notebook, I find Windows 8 interface ugly and complex. Don't get me wrong, I use both platforms for years already and on my book, nothing beats the simplicity and pretty interface of OS X. So I decided to take action and bring OS X interface to my lousy Windows 8 workstation. Fortunately, it is easy through Mac OS X Yosemite Skin Pack.



Once you have downloaded the skinpack, just follow the installation process presented on the following video.



The Mac OS X Yosemite Skin Pack supports Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 technical preview. Try it yourself and let me know your experience about it.

Math Problems? There is an app for that

Can't solve a math equation? I have 3 answers for you. One, you can call your math geek friend and let him/her help you. Two, type the equation at Wolfram|Alpha and it will give you different forms of answers. And three, use PhotoMath app, the smart camera calculator. To solve a math equation using option three, just follow these easy steps:

Math Problems? There is an app for that

1. Hold your phone and place the equation inside the red frame.
2. Boom! The solution should appear below the frame.
3. You can adjust the view by swiping your finger in all directions. Keep only the part of equation you want to solve.

Based on my brief testing, the app can solve simple math equations quickly. It is not perfect and probably won't solve complex equations. But considering the idea behind the app, the potential of it really excites me. It could be a start of something bigger.

FingerSecurity: An app locker that use biometrics security to lock any app

Biometrics security is now a common feature with most of the flagship smartphones today. It is more secure and convenient than entering PIN code. You don't need to remember complicated passwords and change them frequently to ensure no one can figure it out. If your keeping sensitive data on your phone, you might have tried using app locker programs. The problem with most of app locker today including my favorite AppLock is that they don't support fingerprint scanner yet.

Thanks to Rick Clephas, his app can do what other app locker can't, FingerSecurity allows user to use the built-in fingerprint scanner of devices such as Galaxy S5 and Note 4 to replace complicated passwords and PIN codes to secure apps that are sensitive for you. It uses all your registered fingerprints which you can manage from Settings > Finger Scanner.


Follow these 3 easy steps to secure any app with your fingerprint.
1. Make sure that your fingerprint is now registered with your handset's fingerprint manager.


2. Download and install FingerSecurity from Google Playstore.

3. From the App List, scroll down to any app and tap it to lock the app.

 


There you have it. If you know similar apps like FingerSecurity, please post it in our comments section.

Google Now + GMail = Google Inbox

Google Now + GMail = Google Inbox

Since GMail users have ample of email storage, deleting email or cleaning inbox is rare nowadays. The downside of it is that your mailbox gets too crowded which makes searching for specific emails an overwhelming task. Good thing that Google wants to solve such problem. And they probably did it already by introducing Google Inbox. It is not a replacement of GMail but rather serves as an auxiliary app for GMail. Here is quick video preview of Inbox.



Take note that as of this writing, Google Inbox is invitation only.  You can request an invite by emailing inbox@google.com.

Microsoft's Next Lock Screen for Android

Microsoft's Next Lock Screen for Android

Do you know that Microsoft is also developing apps for competing platform? Probably not but it is true. Microsoft Garage, a division of the company that allows their employees to work on any project they wish (yes similar to Google Labs) created a lock screen replacement for Android called Next Lock Screen. The app brings the concept of getting things done right on the handset's lock screen. All notifications such as missed calls, received texts, and appointments are shown as list on the lockscreen and you can swipe each notice to take action on it. In short, it was designed for busy people. Here are the features of Next Lock Screen:
  • Calendar. Shows upcoming appointments for the day.
  • One swipe to dial. Enables you to quickly call back missed call.
  • Quick app launch. Shows you the most commonly used apps based on your location.
  • Dynamic background. It changes the lock screen wallpaper depending on your location.
The following video shows more about this lock screen replacement from Microsoft.

Security Key, a new way to secure your Google account

Today, Google is beefing up their security protocol with another method called Security Key. It is similar to a typical 2-step verification method but instead of manually typing a code that is sent via SMS, you'll have to use a compatible USB device to complete the verification process. When you sign-in to your Google Account using a Chrome browser, just insert the Security Key USB device to your computer's USB port when prompted to finish the login as shown on the picture below.

Security Key, Google added a new way to secure your account

The security key uses Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) protocol from Fido Alliance. Other developers can also use the same protocol for their own login system for Chrome browser. The Security Key has no cost but you need to buy a compatible USB device directly from a U2F accredited vendor.  To know more about this new way to secure your Google account, read here.

Source: Google