Spreadsheets are an integral part of nearly every business. There is a high chance that most businesses use these more than word processors. The major Achilles heel of these programs however is that it can take a long time to set them up and populate them with data. Google Spreadsheet users have a function that can help however – Auto-fill.
Auto-fill is arguably one of the most useful features of any spreadsheet program. It helps reduce the time it takes to layout a spreadsheet, and can even help you populate it with data by simply clicking and dragging. Here’s how Auto-fill works in Google Spreadsheet.
If you do this right, you should see the dates advancing, A5 will be the date four days from now. The cool thing about Google’s auto-fill is that if it recognizes a pattern, it will fill cells in, in relation to that pattern. This function works as long as there is a pattern recognized and the original cells are beside/above each other – A2 and B2 for example. If no pattern is recognized, Auto-fill will just repeat the information.
Auto-fill options a plenty There are a number of useful patterns that auto-fill recognizes. Say you want a list of mobile electronics manufacturers. Simply enter the names of two companies that you know e.g., Apple and Samsung, followed by selecting the two cells and clicking and dragging the blue square, and you should get a list of the major manufacturers.
Other options include different kinds of beer, car makers, cities, tech blogs, days of the week, months, years, countries, etc. This should work for almost any pattern, you should take some time to discover available patterns, who knows what you will find! If you would like to learn more about Google’s apps and how they can help make your job more efficient please contact us.
Android users are most likely to be invested in the Google ecosystem, using a wide variety of Google apps. One of the more popular apps is Chrome, which is available for both Android and desktop. Being Google, these two versions can sync information between themselves, allowing for the same experience across devices. There has recently been an update to the Android version that introduces even more features still.
Here’s a brief overview of the two new features added in the recent Chrome Beta for Android update. Take note that there are two versions of Chrome for Android – Stable and Beta. If you search for ‘Chrome’ in the Google Play store, you will find the stable version. The Beta can be found here (Google Play link).
This version contains features that Google would like users to test before eventually integrating them with the stable version of Chrome. To most users, there is no visual difference, however those with Beta installed will get access to new features before others.
Autofill and Password sync The update introduced one useful feature that business users need to be aware of. This centers around the idea that you have Chrome installed on your computer and have linked it to the Google account you use for your phone. You can ‘Sign into Chrome’ on your desktop by clicking on the three bars in the top right-hand corner and selecting Sign into Chrome and entering your account information.
This will sync Chrome with the version on your Android device, and also bring over all of the autofill information from the desktop version. If you’ve entered information on a form on your desktop, entering similar information on a form on your phone will trigger Chrome to automatically fill in that information.
A secondary feature is that if you have had Chrome remember your passwords, they will now be synced on your phone. While this is convenient, it isn’t a good idea to have Chrome remember your passwords, as it just makes it easier for hackers to get hold of your information.
By default, these two options are turned on. You can, and should, turn this feature off by:
Data compression steps on the gas The second feature introduced in the new version of Chrome Beta is data compression. This is a neat little function that increases the speed with which browser data is transmitted from and to the browser on your phone. This is a big benefit to users who have a mobile data plan, as the amount of data used to load a website is decreased, and subsequently, your mobile bill.
By default, data compression isn’t activated, but can be by:
Google has noted that the data used to load websites could be reduced by as much as 50%, which will result in either lower data bills or the ability to use more data. You can see how much data is being saved by entering chrome://net-internals and tapping Bandwidth. There should be a counter of how much data you have used and saved. These two features are useful but it is advisable to be aware of the password saving option. If you would like to download this app, you can find it here. If you would like to learn more about Android in the office, give us a shout, we can help.
When it comes to mobile operating systems, the major manufacturers – Apple, Google – have been releasing new versions of the software on a near yearly basis. This has led to many to expect updates in a timely manner. When Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 7.5 users would have to purchase a new phone to get Windows 8, people were understandably upset. Now that the number of phones using Windows Phone 8 is increasing, the question being asked is if these too will be left out of the update cycle?
While Windows Phone 8 is hardly more than six months old, the next version of the OS is rumored to be in production behind closed doors. Microsoft hasn’t made any public announcements, or shown off any updates so far. However, from leaks and news channels we know that the new update is code named Windows Phone Blue.
This is inline with Microsoft’s rumored update scheme for Windows 8 – also codenamed ‘blue’ – which has proposed yearly updates. Chances are that future updates to mobiles will follow this as well. This speculation about future updates has some Windows Phone users a bit worried. Understandably so, you wouldn’t want to purchase a new phone just to have to buy another a year later if you want an upgrade.
Speaking at a recent conference Microsoft’s Senior Marketing Manager put users’ minds at ease by saying, “we’re going to have an upgrade path going forward.” He also noted that the hardware and OS capabilities allow for upgrades.
What does this mean for my company? If you use an older version of any Windows Phone and are looking to upgrade, but have been hesitant to look at a newer version because of the lack of updates, this news is somewhat reassuring. We would recommend waiting until Microsoft officially announces this is in fact the case before you do upgrade. However. Any confirmations will likely be in the late spring, with an update appearing sometime after, or at the same time as the PC update.
If you would like to learn more about the Windows Phone, contact us today!
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