Join over 120+ tech professionals by guest blogging for CitizenTEKK. We encourage submissions. If you’re a startup, developer, programmer, investor, mentor, or other thought leader in the startup and developer community, please don’t hesitate to apply!




Build forms to make smarter, faster decisions with WizeHive

Category: Google

There are 44 posts published under Google.

Mobile Pay: The Digitization of Money

For years the smartphone has made life simpler. It has given us the power to make phone calls, send text messages, send and receive emails, surf social networks, and more – all in the palm of our hands. For many people, the smartphone is something that they simply “can’t live without.” And if you’re one of those people, the latest developments in the mobile world are only going to make it that much harder to drop your device. Specifically, you may find that by this time next year your wallet will have also been replaced by your smartphone.

According to mobile technology firm NN4M, mobile payments are primed to be the next major defining moment in the world of payments, signaling a boom in the number of virtual transactions and a significant shift in how consumers pay for goods. While person-to-person payment options such as Venmo and SquareCash have grown in popularity over the last few years, 2015 is expected to be the year when widespread adoption of mobile payment practices finally takes hold.

The Three Major Players

One of the biggest indications that mobile payment is here to stay - and grow – is the adoption of these technologies by the biggest players in the mobile world – Apple, Samsung and Google.


In 2014, Apple announced the release of Apple Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service that lets users make payments using the latest Apple devices, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and more. Apple Pay allows users to make in-app purchases with one click, and also allows users to make real-world purchases by hovering their device over specified readers. While the announcement didn’t come as a complete surprise, Apple’s adoption of the technology accelerated interest in mobile payments and is just one of the reasons why mobile payment is expected to be a touted topic in 2015. One challenge with Apple’s approach to mobile payments, however, is that it is largely dependent on adoption by retailers, as a specialized card reader is needed. While Apple Pay is already accepted at thousands of retailers worldwide, it will take continued consumer demand for the service for all retailers to adopt it.


Another indication that mobile payments will be on the rise in 2015, is Samsung’s recent acquisition of LoopPay, a mobile-payments technology start-up. Samsung announced the merger early last week, and buzz around how the tool will work has garnered much attention. LoopPay seeks to replace your wallet entirely by storing your credit cards, debit cards, rewards card, and even your ID. And, unlike Apple’s method which requires retailer adoption, LoopPay works with nearly all existed credit card readers. Though the tool does require users to open an app to make the payment, once the app is open users can hover their device, click a button and get on with their day.  Without the need for specific technology to be adopted by retailers, LoopPay has already made its way into 10 million locations, and has been voted as one of the top mobile payment options in America.

Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay is not only an indication of their desire to compete in the mobile payment world, but to their commitment to make a smart life for everyone. This acquisition is the latest in their line of moves that encourage synced devices, intuitive usability and a seamless blend between technology and human interaction.


Google Wallet, which was originally released in 2011, is another mobile payment option that is expected to spur the growth of mobile payment popularity. Though the application has garnered criticism for perceived security concerns, the app received a push in 2014 with the announcement of its Gmail sync feature – which allowed users to send money to other via email. Those individuals who receive money via Google Wallet payment, can use the money instantly for in-app purchases, or can “cash-out” and have the amount sent to their bank account.

The End of The Traditional Wallet?

While wallet manufacturers don’t have to worry just yet about declining sales, the latest developments in mobile payment options are certainly exciting, and showcase the deep interest that both consumers and tech companies have in this avenue. And though security and privacy concerns may slow complete adoption of mobile payments, 2015 is certainly poised to be the year where it all begins. The only question now, is which mobile payment will you use?


Stories Behind the Apps - Botpocalypse

Tell us about your app! Botpocalypse is a fast-paced, survival-style arcade game where gamers can compete against friends for the highest score or longest survival time, acquire new characters, and unlock achievements.



Stories Behind the Apps – Sudoku in Space

Tell us about your game! Sudoku In Space launches the classic paper-and-pencil game into orbit with its sleek design and stellar graphics and sounds. Its colors-only mode is a brilliant alternative to the traditional sudoku with numbers, providing an entertaining twist to both novice and experienced players.



Does Google Glass Have a Place Behind the Wheel?

Who would have thought that a speeding ticket could have such a large impact on the tech community?


When a California judge recently dismissed a ticket that was handed out to a driver wearing Google Glass behind the wheel, eyes were opened. While the ruling is limited to this particular case (and there is still much to be debated on the legality of utilizing Google Glass while driving) such a decision could potentially open the door for a number of integrated applications on this and similar platforms. We will touch on a few interesting developments and highlight some differing opinions on whether this new technology is a distraction or step forward for driver safety.


An Optimistic Outlook


According to a story from, Google Glass could be “the most beneficial gadget to ever enter the vehicle.” While it could certainly be argued that increased connectivity for a vehicle operator might lead to increased distraction (checking email, internet browsing, watching videos), the flipside is that some applications could be likened to a highly sophisticated heads-up display (HUD).


Navigation, weather conditions and car functionality could all be fed to the driver without their eyes ever leaving the road. When you compare this to turning knobs, pressing buttons and averting your focus to a smartphone, it is definitely seen as an improvement. What will still be debated, however, is whether “eyes on the road” directly correlates to increased concentration. Studies have previously shown that, even with a hands-free device and focus straight ahead, talking on the phone is still a dangerous distraction.


Backlash and Debate


While Google Glass is still only the hands of developers, the impending release to consumers will certainly drum up a lot of debate on how safe it really is for you to operate a vehicle and this device at the same time. Several states and the United Kingdom have already hinted at banning Google Glass while behind the wheel. Like anything else, the technology could and certainly will be abused, but along the same vein as cell phone blockers and other add-ons, ways to restrict use while operating a fleet vehicle could be made available.


Potential for the Future


The potential is obviously huge for what could be done with this increased connectivity, especially when it comes to business applications and a fleet of vehicles. Just as companies today have been in a rush to utilize smartphone applications in their daily routines, we could soon see custom apps for the connected driver.


You can use your imagination when it comes to the possible uses for a HUD that is easily controlled with eye movement. Routing instructions could easily be updated on the fly. Vehicle diagnostics and trouble codes could be sent directly to your vehicle maintenance software and the right mechanic could be found in seconds. When it comes to the potential for added safety, there is already an app available for Google Glass that keeps drivers awake and alert. Hyundai has even gone as far as adding a Google Glass app that allows for advanced interaction with their 2015 Genesis model.


What will the long term impact be for consumers, companies and fleets? Only time will tell…


The Future is so Bright, I Gotta Use Android

Coke vs. Pepsi, Ford vs. GM, Gates vs. Jobs, Nike vs. Reebok and Android vs. Apple.


Throughout time there have many many high profile corporate competitions, but the battle had always fueled innovation and progress. Like the cola wars and PC battles, the latest battle exists between the two most dominant mobile operating systems, Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS.


Apple vs. Android


Having launched first, Apple’s operating system had an advantage in the marketplace. But because of it’s closed platform (like it’s computer OS, the Apple iOS only runs on Apple devices), the sales numbers of devices running Android are destined to outpace and overtake it’s competition. But there is more than just the variety of phones and tablets to keep Android’s future looking bright.


The Power of Google


While Apple has split is innovative efforts on both hardware and software, Google quickly realized it’s true calling was software. Google is one of the biggest players on the Internet, and since smartphones and tablets are basically your mobile gateway to the online world, using its online power to boost the mobile operating system will help Android’s future immensely. One huge advantage that the search giant has is it’s experience in mapping and tracking the world. Until the 6th version of the Apple iOS, Google was the power behind mapping features on both smartphones, with Google Maps. Apple has its own offering now, but Google Maps is still available on both platforms. According to, the debut of mobile map competition only added fuel to the innovative fire. More choices means that Google’s map offerings on Android will have to continue to improve in order to stay competitive.


Test Drive an Android


Another space that Android will continue to innovate is in automobiles. TechTimes discusses the Open Automotive Alliance, which is an initiative to bring the Android platform to cars. The goal is to use collaboration and innovation to make us safer, more connected and to create more outlets for Android. The operating system is already offered on devices from a wide variety of manufacturers.




Storage and data backup is another feature that gives many Android devices an advantage. Apple devices do not include removeable memory. According to, most Android devices are designed wiht additional storage on miniSD cards, giving them the ability to store larger files like video, photos and apps externally, freeing up space on the internal memory and preserving battery life. Pair that ability with cloud solutions like Mozy online backup, which will ensure you do not lose your precious data should your device have issues, and Android becomes a very powerful tool for storing and accessing important information on the go. And that is really the whole point of mobile devices, to give you what you need, when you need it.


Google’s Attachment with Drive — Why Choose One?

Recently, Google announced an upgrade to its Gmail and Google Drive integration. With 425 million active users worldwide, Gmail is Google’s most popular productivity app and the union with Drive (120 million users) helps users be even more productive. However, you have more flexibility between email and cloud services and can choose what best fits your needs.


What is the Google attachment integration with Drive?


Previously, Gmail allowed you to send files as links from Drive. Now, any email attachment you receive in Gmail can also be moved directly to Google’s cloud storage service. This workflow eliminates the need to download the file to your computer desktop before re-uploading it to your Google Drive account.


Google completes the two-way information flow between Gmail and Google Drive, creating a smooth experience between cloud services that will greatly increase productivity.


Gmail and Google Drive integration seems like a no-brainer — why did it take so long?


Chrome OS is the foundation for integrations between Google’s cloud services. With an operating system that no longer relies on large amounts of hard drive space, we can expect Google to increasingly make its cloud services work nicely together, which benefits users by making it easy to work across cloud services without relying on downloading things to a desktop first.


Gmail and Google Drive are two key components in Google’s productivity suite. Given email’s centrality to our workflows, it makes sense that Gmail and Drive should work well together. This is one of the theses on which Kloudless was founded — that email and the cloud should work well together.


However, integrating technologies isn’t trivial — the larger and more complicated the system, the more time and effort integrations can take. To the Drive team’s credit, they’ve continued to innovate on Drive since it was released in April 2012, with new features that include preview-from-email.


What does this integration mean for email users and for the cloud industry?


Google is strengthening their cloud ecosystem by getting their services to work better together. It’s key in their long term cloud strategy and fits perfectly with their Chrome OS initiatives. By enabling users to do more right in their email inboxes, Google ups the usefulness and engagement within the Gmail interface.


If we were to spend 100% of our time in the cloud, how might we work across our various programs as easily as we currently do on our desktop programs today? Maintaining ease of use requires that cloud services work well together, and the Gmail and Google Drive integration is a good example of that.


Other companies are offering integrated solutions via APIs/platform strategies (e.g. Salesforce) or via partnerships (e.g. Yahoo and Dropbox). Since Google owns both Gmail and Google Drive, the two working well together simply makes sense.


Unfortunately at this point, users can not use other cloud storage services like Dropbox or Box in Gmail. Since Google is unlikely to have any incentive to integrate with Google Drive competitors, a third-party will be needed to enable non-Google integrations with Google’s cloud services.


Will this encourage more adoption or engagement for either Gmail or Google Drive or both?


Gmail and Google Drive will increase the amount of data going into Google Drive, giving the cloud storage service a strong boost over its competitors. With email still as one of the most popular hubs for file sharing, we expect to see some of those file-shares moving over to Google Drive. This integration fuels the fact that cloud storage just keeps getting bigger, with Gartner predicting that roughly one-third of the world’s digital content will be stored in the cloud by 2016.


For people who want easy access to cloud storage from within their email, and use additional cloud services (e.g. you use Google Drive for documents and Dropbox to share photos and videos, though you sends and receives both of these file types via email), there are only a few solutions, including Kloudless, that allow you to add other storage services to Gmail. This is especially useful if you don’t want to be tied to using Google-only services.


With the historic reliance on email and the current proliferation of cloud services, you should be able to put your favorites together in a cloud workflow that works best for you. Services that enable cross-platform content access will give you that freedom and flexibility.


The Most Incredible Addition to Power up Your Inbox: Multi-Account Support

It’s now 8 months since the Mailbird beta launch and, already, thousands of new users join the beta program every week, predominantly coming from the U.S. and Europe, and a few in Asia. And here is one thing that will surely turn those thousands into millions very soon: the newest and long awaited addition to the Mailbird email platform – multi-account support!


Multi-account support is what separates web mail from desktop email clients. This is the number 1 reason people migrate from web mail to native email clients. This is how people gain more control and get a beautiful email experience that is fast and fully integrated with their PC and laptop OS. Finally you can eliminate having to keep annoying multiple tabs open, constantly having to log in and out of different accounts. You can now have a productive work flow while easily managing tons of information that come through your multiple email accounts each day. Starting today, all those online inboxes now have a solid central hub inside Mailbird – the email client that is often, and rightfully, referred to as “probably the best email client for Windows.”


The cool, international email team of Mailbird and many native email client users on Windows know that this is the biggest launch since the Mailbird beta went public. In a billion dollar market for native email clients for Windows, this one hits the nail on the head. Other email products out there today are either too expensive, don’t work properly, don’t support IMAP or have multi-account support. There is an underserved market for really great email clients on the Windows platform.


Current email clients for Windows OS today include Outlook, Thunderbird, Postbox, Inky, Opera Mail, Em Client and more. With pros and cons to all, a lot of these clients take a particular focus on changing the way email looks, reprioritizing how emails are sorted, creating an actionable to do list from the inbox and other features that desktop email users are keen of. It will be interesting to watch where email goes in the future and how these email client companies will compete on improving email for the world.


Additionally, with email as a global product, retargeting the Asian market for the first quarter of 2014 should unveil behavioral interaction differences. When it comes to email, Mailbird among other email clients are ready to stir things up with growing email trends on mobile and web. A prominent market in Asia is Indonesia. With a population of approximately 250 million who are extremely active online, more so than Western markets, there is a large potential for email client game changers that are innovating with today’s online social and productivity culture.  Mobile and web environments for email are the desktop’s sidekicks and only further boost that awesome “in control” feel you only get with a rock solid email client.


With tens of thousands of Mailbird signups since the beta launch, it speaks volumes to the many problems with email today. Some of the typical email problems we hear about today include complaints about how email is sluggish, old technology that hasn’t changed, it is distracting when you are working, it is ugly and the list goes on.


Exploring the Asian market for email is sure to bring many new insights into native email client behavior.


Marketing Hacks Using Google+

In this post, I am not going to discuss about the social networking aspects of Google+ at all, but I want to share how small and large businesses can gain immensely from Google+.


Google+ came to being with much fanfare and with speculations to kill Facebook, but it ended up becoming a big ghost town! Over time Google has looked into much deeper integrations of its current products with Google+ and this is a trend which is going to continue in future. It is this integration that you can leverage very strongly by simple use of Google+.


Get more from emails!


60% of people who own an email account have a Gmail account. In October 2012, Gmail surpassed Hotmail to become largest Email Service Provider. What’s more, 5 million businesses use Gmail for their official emails through Google Apps.


There are some neat ways that Google+ is integrated with Gmail, and now you can use it to your advantage.


I sent a test mail from my official id to my personal id, and see how it looks on web:




There are two specific ways you can benefit:


1. Your profile photo: Human photographs increase responses. You might have heard and read a lot about it from website designers and A/B testers – and it’s true for emails too! If you have a profile photo in your Google+ account, your photo would be displayed alongside the email. This gives the reader a sense of connect and familiarity with you.


2. Recent Updates: I see this as a free advertisement I get to place right next to the person reading my email. It is a great way to send additional information to users, something which might not have been suitable to include in the email. It could be the latest customer testimonial, your white paper, your discount offer etc. Try this consistently, and you will see results.


And here is how typically an updates folder looks at one of my client’s mobile, who gets emails from me and others:


Now which are the emails which would catch your attention if you are browsing through emails on mobile?




In short, if you are emailing your customers or clients, spend just 10 minutes a week to get the right post for the upcoming week on Google+!


Get more from Search!


I don’t think I need to convince you about the dominance of Google’s search engine and the importance of getting more clicks from search results.


Now see this search result, which story stands out?




Even though you might not have the first rank for a search term, you can still stand out and get more traffic from searches. The photo here is picked from your Google+ profile, and you need to “Verify Authorship” for this to happen. (Read how to do it here:


There is another way you can use search to standout from the rest. Your business page on Google+ is also shown alongside the search, and just like in emails, you get to showcase your recent posts here. See some examples below:




For this to work you need to complete your Business Page on Google+ and keep it updated. (Note: This is a Business page on Google+ and not Google Local Business Listing. Google Business Listings and Google+ is currently undergoing deeper integrations, and it may change in future). With a clever update you can gain a lot.


Lastly, add the +1 button to your page. It’s okay to be shameless and get your friends to click on it. The  +1 button sends social signals, which are embedded much more widely in the search results/ While I can’t pinpoint the exact effect, one thing that is sure is that it doesn’t hurt to get +1.



When I search, Google shows my other friends who +1 the website as well.


I hope you try these hacks and have a greater impact from your existing efforts of marketing. Do you have any inputs, comments, or questions? Do share in the comments below.