Google Is Rolling Out G Suite Gmail Integration Soon

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home is a part of life for many in 2020. And Google wants its suite of services to be the one you rely on most while working remotely. As such, the company is rolling out its G Suite Gmail integration across both the web and Android.

Basically, from now on, when you find yourself using Gmail, you’ll also get a heavy dose of Meet, Chat, and Rooms. This only applies to G Suite customers, so regular Gmail users won’t see any changes for now.

Meet, Chat, and Rooms Get Integrated Into Gmail

Google posted about the heavy G Suite Gmail integration on its G Suite Updates blog.

The company revealed that Gmail will now feature four distinct components, the first of which is Mail. This is the Gmail experience users already know and love. Google says nothing will change about the email experience for G Suite users with this update.

Where things change is the addition of Chat, which is G Suite’s service for sending messages to friends and colleagues. There will also be a tab for Rooms. This section is for shared chat, files, and tasks for groups. The final new section is Meet, which is Google’s Zoom competitor for face-to-face meetings.

g suite gmail integration

Obviously, these aren’t new services to G Suite, but having them integrated into Gmail is a big change. Some users might be a little annoyed if they don’t use Chat, Rooms, or Meet. However, it makes sense for Google to push its other services into its popular email app in order to leverage that popularity.

As part of this update, you’ll be able to open and co-edit a document with your team without leaving Gmail. This will make it so that you and your co-workers can get more done without needing to switch between different apps.

G Suite Gmail Integration Availability

If your team is looking forward to having G Suite integrated into their email, Google says that the new features will launch to all domains with Chat preferred enabled.

The company also said that there will be a gradual rollout, with Rapid Release domains getting it starting August 12 and rolling out over 15 days. For Scheduled Release domains, the company will roll out the updates over 15 days starting on September 1.

If you’re not sure about using Google Meet, but you don’t like Zoom, check out our list of Zoom alternatives you can use right now.

Read the full article: Google Is Rolling Out G Suite Gmail Integration Soon


Google Search Gets New Sports and Entertainment Features

Google Search is already incredibly powerful, but Google is making it even more useful. The company is adding some incredibly helpful features for anyone who regularly watches sports or entertainment on TV.

The new features are all about showing users where they can watch whatever they search for. It was always easy to find what time your favorite team was playing using Google, but you had to dig a little deeper to find out what channel was carrying the game. This update answers that.

What’s New in This Google Search Sports Update?

As announced on The Keyword, Google has made it so you can simply search for where to watch an upcoming game on your phone to find out what channel is carrying the game in your area. For example, you could type “where to watch the Clippers game” to find live TV options and how to tune in across a variety of cable services.

google search sports update

You could also search for something like “Yankees game” to see all of the usual features like live scores, top stories, and standings. However, with this new update, that same search query will also show you where to watch the game. All you need to do is click the Live on button to get that information.

Currently, Google is only adding this feature for MLB and NBA games, but the company intends to integrate it into other leagues as well. Additionally, Google says that it includes a variety of cable and network channels, but it will add streaming services soon.

What Do Entertainment Fans Get?

Google isn’t just limiting its Search enhancements to sports fans. If you enjoy watching TV shows, Google has something special for you.

Building upon its update that made it easier to find TV shows and movie recommendations in Search, Google is adding carousels of live content from cable and broadcast providers. You can simply type something like “what to watch” on your mobile device, and you’ll get results featuring both streaming and live TV content.

The update adds an On TV Now carousel and On TV Later carousel, which will help you find new content that’s currently airing or content coming up in the near future.

Both updates only work on mobile devices as of now.

How to Find What to Watch Next

Google is definitely offering some great new features that’ll help you find what to watch. Whether it’s live sports or television shows. However, Google Search is far from the only option. Check out the A-Z of Netflix to find the best content to watch on the streaming service.

Read the full article: Google Search Gets New Sports and Entertainment Features


6 Free Online Tools to Combine Photos Together

There are many reasons why you might want to combine photos. Maybe you’d like to merge two photos of your pets, children, or family members. Or, if you’re a business, you might want to put two pictures together of your office locations or related products.

You don’t have to be an expert at photo editing to turn two pictures into one. With these easy-to-use online tools, you can combine photos vertically or horizontally, with or without a border, and all for free.

1. PineTools


PineTools lets you quickly and easily merge two photos into a single picture. If you want a fast tool that lets you add a border and is super simple to use, this is it.

Upload each image to get started and use the available zoom or move tools for each if you like. Then choose to position the photos next to each other either vertically or horizontally. You can adjust the sizes of the images next. This lets you magnify the smaller one, crop the largest, or constrain the proportions if you prefer.

Then you can add a border to the combined image. Use the slider to select the thickness and choose the color. PineTools gives you the option to select an exact color using the Hex code or RGB values.

When you finish, click Merge. Your combined photo will pop into the Output Image section of the page. From there you can download the image as a PNG, JPB, or BMP file.

2. IMGonline


IMGonline is another good site that lets you combine two images into one with extra settings to make your finished photo perfect.

Start by uploading each photo and selecting the position from vertical or horizontal. Then move onto the helpful settings. You can set an automatic adjustment for the sizes so that the images adapt to each other. For instance, you can have the larger of the two adapt to the smaller one. You can keep your images sized the way they are as well.

IMGonline also lets you rotate the photos if needed, trim them using values for each edge, and apply a mirror reflection for something different.

Select the file format you’d like to use from JPEG or PNG-24 and mark if you’d like to copy the metadata from the first photo. Then click OK and you’ll see and be able to download your merged photo.

3. OnlineConvertFree


It doesn’t get much easier to merge two photos than OnlineConvertFree. Similar to the other tools mentioned so far, this site gives you the basic option to combine two images.

You simply upload each photo, choose the position from vertical or horizontal, select the size adjustment, and pick the thickness of the border. Choose your image format from the dropdown box and then click the Save and Download Image button. It’s that easy!

As you may have guessed by the name, OnlineConvertFree offers additional features such as file conversions along with more image tools like a resizer, cropper, and rotator. So be sure to check those out as well.

4. PhotoFunny


If you’re interested in doing a bit more with the two photos you want to combine, take a look at PhotoFunny. On this site, you can choose from templates for your merged picture. So, if you’re looking for rainbows and hearts, wedding rings, or even Pokémon, there’s a fun theme for you.

Start by selecting your theme from the dozens available and then upload your photos. Optionally, you can check the boxes to add text, adjust the photos, or add a filter. Click Next and, depending on the theme and options you select, you’ll finish off your merged photo.

Click Download when you finish. You can then share the image on social media or download the JPG file. If you want a unique image, PhotoFunny gives you plenty of options.

For other fun ways to merge photos online, take a look at how to morph faces and create face merges.

5. Make Photo Gallery

Make Photo Gallery

If you want to combine more than two photos, check out Make Photo Gallery. This site lets you create more of a column collage type of image, which might be just what you need.

You can upload your photos by selecting them from your computer or by dragging them onto the page. Once they appear, you can rearrange them in a different order if you like.

Head to step two in the process and choose your background color, number of columns, maximum width, and margin size. You can also pop your own name into the Made By field. This will display on the bottom-right corner within the border of the finished photo.

Hit the Combine Photos button and almost instantly, you’ll see your new image. Click the Download button and you’ll receive your JPG file courtesy of Make Photo Gallery.

6. Photo Joiner

Photo Joiner

Another free website that lets you merge more than two photos is Photo Joiner. This site gives you an editing screen, so you can preview your finished project as you adjust the settings.

Click the Add Images button on the top-right and select your photos. They will display on that right side for you to drag onto the canvas. This lets you arrange them how you like. If you need to rotate, flip, or zoom in on a specific image, select it on the canvas and then click the Eye icon.

Once your photos are ready, you can use the settings on the left of the canvas. You can also start with the settings if you prefer. Choose the number of columns or rows, pick the finished image size, and if you’d like a border, select the thickness and color. You can use the settings on the far left to add text, change from vertical to horizontal, or create a Facebook cover.

When you finish, click Save right above the canvas. You can then download your photo as a JPG or pick a social network to share it directly from the Photo Joiner site.

Combine Photos to Create a Unique Picture

Whether you want to put two pictures side-by-side, on top of each other, or inside a fun frame, there is sure to be a free online tool here for you. And since it’s so easy to combine photos using these sites, you might want to try creating more than one merged picture. Just imagine the possibilities!

For other ways to get creative with your photos, take a look at these free online collage makers.

Read the full article: 6 Free Online Tools to Combine Photos Together


You Can Use Chrome Apps for a Little While Longer

Google was planning to shut down Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux by June 2020. The company also said that it would kill Chrome apps for enterprises and educators by December 2020.

If you’re one of the few people who actually use Chrome apps on any of the above platforms, or you’re part of an enterprise or an educator, you can keep using your apps for a while longer.

When Will Google Shut Down Chrome Apps?

Google has announced on the Chromium Blog that Chrome app users on Windows, Mac, and Linux can keep taking advantage of them until June 2021. While there aren’t many people who still use these apps, the few who do should appreciate this announcement.

Organizations that rely on Chrome apps can keep using them for even longer. Google says organizations will be able to keep working with them until June 2022.

google chrome apps

Chrome OS users will also lose access to apps in June 2022.

Google first announced that Chrome apps would go away in 2018, but the company keeps pushing that date back. Even though Google announced that Chrome apps will go away soon, it’s possible the company will decide to delay their demise again. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

What Will Replace Chrome Apps?

Obviously, Google isn’t doing away with Chrome apps without having something in mind to offer similar functionality. Google’s answer is extensions, which the company says it will continue to invest in as time goes forward.

Google addressed the future of extensions on the Chromium Blog, saying:

“Google will continue to support and invest in Chrome Extensions on all existing platforms. Fostering a robust ecosystem of extensions is critical to Chrome’s mission and we are committed to providing a useful extension platform for customizing the browsing experience for all users.”

For developers, Google made a page that will help migrate from Chrome apps to progressive web apps, extension-enhanced web pages, extensions, or Android apps through Chrome OS.

We can certainly help you as well. Check out these Chrome extensions that will vastly improve your browsing experience and you won’t even notice that Chrome apps are missing in action.

Read the full article: You Can Use Chrome Apps for a Little While Longer


5 Search Engines to Find More Than What Google Shows

Google is synonymous with searching the web, but did you know there’s a lot that Google isn’t showing you? Here are some alternative search engines to search the internet in a way Google won’t.

There is nothing wrong with Google Search when it comes to finding web pages. But Google can’t search within your computer and cloud accounts to find a file. Google also restricts itself to the language you’ve set. And why are we helping a corporation get bigger by handing over data in exchange for them earning ad revenue?

Break the habit and try one of these search engines instead.

1. Command E (Windows, macOS): Lightning Fast Search for Local Files and Online Apps

Command E might finally replace Everything and Spotlight as the fastest way to find any file on your computer. Available for both Windows and macOS, this universal search bar is lightning fast and hooks into oft-used cloud services.

Currently, Command E connects to accounts on Google Suite, Github, Slack, Salesforce, Jira, Zendesk, Notion, Hubspot, Asana, Figma, Evernote, Dropbox, Trello, and other popular online productivity suites. Once you’ve authorized access, give it a few minutes to index, and then fire up the console by pressing Command+E or Ctrl+E.

The console enables instant universal search across all accounts. Type a few characters and you’ll start seeing results, changing on the fly as you type. It’s super-fast, and a treat for keyboard warriors. All your data’s file indexes are stored in an encrypted database on your computer, to quell privacy concerns. Try it out, you’ll fall in love.

For download links to the Command E apps for Windows and macOS, you’ll need to register on their website, which triggers the auto-download.

2. Million Short (Web): Search the Less Popular Results

Million Short removes the most popular websites from search results to find fresh and undiscovered web pages

Do your Google search results look a little too similar each time, as if the same websites keep showing up? Search engines prioritize big and popular sites. While that often gives good results, it also hides the serendipitous finds of gems in the deep recesses of the internet. Million Short wants to help you search these overlooked websites.

The idea of Million Short is to search by eliminating top sites. When you search any keyword, you have the option to remove the top 100, 1000, 10,000, 100K, or one million websites from the results. This will show you results that you wouldn’t easily find on Google or other big search engines.

Million Short provides further filters to only show or fully remove e-commerce and live chat sites. You can also filter results by date and location. It’s a fantastic way to find unique search results that others won’t come across, which is especially useful when you’re researching for an assignment or trying to make an impression with trivia.

3. Hopely (Web): Help Charities by Searching the Web

Hopely is a search engine that donates half its earnings from advertisements to charity causes

Hopely is on a mission to help the world using an activity we all do every day: search the internet. The idea is so simple. Every search you do results in ad revenue for Hopely. The organization will keep half of that revenue, and donate the other half to charity. Can you imagine Google or Microsoft Bing promising that?

On the main page, you can choose which charity causes you’d like to support. The main organizations are Bread for the World, Doctors Without Borders, and the World Wildlife Fund. You can pick all three, or only the one you want to donate to.

The search results are not too different from what you’d get on Google or other pages. You can even sort results by images, videos, news, and maps. Hopely doesn’t have additional filters though, like date, video length, type of site, image resolution and other options that you’d get on Google.

Still, for a basic regular search engine, Hopely does the job well enough to consider switching to it and helping the world. It’s an excellent Google search alternative that feeds real people rather than large corporations. On the rare occasion that Hopely doesn’t give you what you want, you can always Google it instead.

4. Sourceful (Web): Search and Discover Public Google Docs, Sheets, Slides

Sourceful indexes and searches publicly available Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Google Docs gives you the option to make any Doc, Sheet, or Slide into a publicly viewable file on the internet. Sourceful finds these files and indexes them to make a library of public documents, which anyone can search.

You can refine the search by document, spreadsheet, or slideshow, and further sort results by Hot, Best, or New. There are a few popular search results already available to browse. For example, click “coronavirus” to find publicly available files about it, like trackers and statistics, toolkits and checklists, advisories and presentations, and more.

Sourceful users can also refine the description of each file, and add tags to make it easier to search. You can also comment on the results to start a discussion.

If you have an interesting file to share, whether your own or someone else’s, add it to Sourceful.

5. 2Lingual (Web): Search in Two Languages Simultaneously

2Lingual searches Google for two languages simultaneously, so you can see results from different language web pages side-by-side

The world speaks way more languages than English alone, and so does the internet. But when you Google search for an English keyword, you don’t see pages in Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, and several other languages. 2Lingual is here to fix that, by searching in two languages simultaneously.

Powered by Google, you can select from a range of languages from Arabic to Vietnamese. The results appear side-by-side in two panes, which lets you see the difference between simple English results and how much more there is to the subject.

In most cases, you’ll need to know how to read the second language as well. But if you’re searching something regional, you could turn on “automatic query translation” and try to parse the results. You’ll probably get better local insights that way.

Protect Your Privacy While Searching

Google and Bing are the leading search engines in the world, but both are notorious for how little they value your privacy. They track all your searches, use it to feed advertising, and you’re never in control of where your data might finally end up.

There are a few other choices for search that protect their users. DuckDuckGo is the most famous name among them, with plenty of integrations across platforms. But you might want to also check out some of the other best privacy focused search engines if you’re ready to dump Google for good.

Read the full article: 5 Search Engines to Find More Than What Google Shows


Save Money Shopping Online With CouponX

Shopping online and want to save money? Coupons are a great way to apply discounts and save money, but they’re often out of date. Coupon sites typically promise much but deliver expired or irrelevant coupons.

Aiming to change this is CouponX, a site offering over 100 exclusive coupons from over 100 merchants for all types of online shopping, including major stores.

Get 100% Working Coupons

Coupons are becoming an integral part of the online shopping experience. But sometimes, they disappoint. Outdated or simply fake coupons are a huge issue for shoppers looking to apply coupons at online stores.

Although online stores almost always offer a field to apply a coupon (and some sites even give you a coupon for visiting for the first time or signing up for a newsletter), finding a working coupon to use is harder.

coupon x

To combat this CouponX confirms the authenticity of its coupons, aiming to update its collection of coupons before competitors. Its coupon content curation works to remove expired deals and coupons on a weekly basis.

The result: you get the latest, 100% working coupons.

What Is the CouponX Dealbox?

Get buying tips from CouponX

Offering coupons from major players from online health shops, designers, and even web hosts, CouponX breaks down its available coupons by category. You might find cars, bread machines, video editing tools—the list goes on.

Supporting the wealth of coupons on offer, CouponX also offers the Dealbox blog, which provides buying guides, shopping tips, and tricks. Deals here include eCard ideas, robot vacuums, subscription boxes—they are based on timely occasions and trending gift ideas.

Don’t miss an update from CouponX’s Dealbox blog—sign up to the newsletter for regular updates.

Sign Up to CouponX for the Best Personalized Deals

Another problem with finding the latest coupons for online shopping is that they’re often intended for different territories. CouponX operates for shoppers in the US, UK, Japan, France, and Russia to ensure the right coupons are used in the right regions. Non-English-speaking countries can also see the CouponX site in the regional language.

coupon x

To ensure you find the best available deals, you can sign into CouponX with Facebook or Google. This provides personalized deals and lets you save favorite coupons and stores for later.

And don’t forget to check the site around the time of big holidays and events. On days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll find the site bursting with personalized money-saving coupons and special deals.

Don’t Miss the Latest Coupons With the CouponX Browser Extension

Obviously, it can be a pain to have to open a new tab in your browser to find a coupon website. CouponX offers a smart solution: a Chrome browser extension that helps you find the best coupons to save money.

With your privacy in mind, the extension doesn’t track your activity online (unlike other companies’ extensions). Instead, it simply shares the best coupon to use on the corresponding website.

Find the best discounts for your with CouponX

Simply visit a site where you plan to buy from, then click the extension to list the available coupons. Click one to apply it to your shopping basket, then checkout.

CouponX Will Help You Save Money Today

Everyone needs to save money and buy as much as possible within their budget. A great way to do this is with coupons, which is where CouponX comes in.

With an easy to use site, handy search tool, and even the ability for online stores to submit their coupons, CouponX offers a comprehensive and professional couponing experience. Signing up with Facebook or Google delivers a personal aspect and the Chrome extension makes finding a suitable coupon east.

Meanwhile, if you’re short of inspiration when the holidays come around, the Dealbox will surely highlight a great gift idea.

If you haven’t tried CouponX already, head over there now and check the latest coupons and codes—and maybe bag yourself a bargain.

Read the full article: Save Money Shopping Online With CouponX


10 Awesome Educational Websites for Kids Worth Bookmarking

If you’re a parent or a teacher looking for resources to help your kids take their education a notch higher, you don’t have to look too far. There are lots of great free learning websites for kids to keep them entertained and educated.

Here are some of the best free educational websites for kids that they will want to keep returning to, keeping them out your hair and ensuring they use their computer time productively.

1. BrainPOP


BrainPOP tackles every subject from math to music with humorous animated movies. It breaks down even the most complex concepts into easy-to-understand chunks and uses relatable, real-life scenarios as examples.

The videos come with relevant interactive quizzes, activities, and games that help drive each concept home. Kids are sure to love Moby, the funny robot who appears in the videos.

The website is subscription based, but there’s some interesting free stuff as well. Don’t miss the daily spotlight feature that teaches children about various timely and relevant topics, from U.S. presidents to cyberbullying to American Indians.

2. DOGO News


It’s good to help kids stay informed about the goings-on in their world, but regular newspapers may not be the ideal way to do that. Child-safe news websites are much better, and DOGO News is one of them. The site doesn’t skirt around the facts or talk down to children but makes it easy for them to understand.

DOGO News brings news and other non-fictional content for kids. You can filter stories based on categories (science, sports, entertainment, etc.) or grades that the material is suitable for.

3. Funology


Want to limit your child’s screen time? Keep them occupied and entertained with offline activities from Funology. The website may be designed as an idea toolbox for parents and teachers, but there’s no reason it can’t double up as an online laboratory and playground for the kids themselves.

Funology has instruction sets to help kids to try their hand at science experiments, arts and crafts projects, and even magic tricks. It also has plenty of games, jokes, and trivia that you can stock up on for later.

The site includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, and they come with quirky names and descriptions to entice little chefs. Now, who wouldn’t want to snack on melon rainbow salad, a leprechaun’s favorite dish?

4. BBC Bitesize

bbc bitesize

While BBC Bitesize is aimed at the UK curriculum, it’s perfect for children around the world of any age. It has lessons, games, and resources for all the common school subjects: History, Math, English, Science, and more.

BBC Bitesize also has topical learning to help children understand the news and educate them about the world generally, like how to spot fake news or how to prepare for getting exam results.

5. Funbrain


Games are one language that every kid seems to understand without needing to learn it. Funology makes full use of this fact to help children master math, spelling, reading, and more.

Funbrain has hundreds of interactive games designed to educate and entertain kids. Some popular books and comics, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Brewster Rockit, are available as free reads on Funbrain.

If you have a preschooler, head to the Playground section for games that will teach your little one mouse and keyboard manipulation. Bright colors, funny graphics and games, and a safe online environment make FunBrain the perfect online playground for kids.

6. National Geographic Kids

national geographic kids

Like its magazine counterpart, the interactive National Geographic Kids website gets children excited and curious about the world around them. The website’s home page is a mosaic of colorful, clickable content designed to appeal to young minds. Stunning photos and videos of a wide variety of places, flora, and fauna keep both kids and adults hooked.

National Geographic Kids uses cool materials like facts, games, quizzes, and polls to teach young explorers various concepts related to geography, natural science, archaeology, and more.

7. Scratch


Coding is one of the best tech skills that you can encourage your kids to take up. But you won’t have much success getting them to explore it if you don’t make programming fun. Leave that job to Scratch—a web app that teaches coding with visual tools and an easy-to-use interface.

The website teaches coding via a “cause and effect” approach. You click on various color-coded instructions to see their impact on cute animal sprites. For example, by clicking on a specific button, you can make a sprite move 20 spaces to the left.

Scratch ensures that your child’s introduction to programming is far from boring. They can create and share animations, games, and interactive stories, learning to reason and think creatively along the way.

If this takes your child’s fancy, here are the best coding apps for teaching programming to kids.

8. Science Bob

science bob

Award-winning educator Bob Pflugfelder (aka Science Bob) is on a mission to make science fun for kids. He explains various scientific concepts using video demos of experiments.

Kids won’t find any “don’t try this at home” warnings playing spoilsport. They get detailed instructions to recreate the experiments—an approach that fosters a hands-on approach to science.

Kids can satisfy their curiosity about stuff like “why do we cry when we chop onions?” and “why do our toes get wrinkled in the tub?” via the Q&A section.

9. Rich Kid Smart Kid

rich kid smart kid

Like it or not, money often makes our world go around, and learning how to handle it is a vital skill to have. Give your kids a head start toward financial literacy by teaching them some key concepts about money. Rich Kid Smart Kid (RKSK) does all the work for you.

RKSK uses free interactive games to explain ideas like cash flow, saving, investing, and business. Two adorable cartoon characters, Reno and Toki, are in charge of guiding the kids through the website.

10. Mission US

Mission US

As much as kids dread math, they seem to dread history even more. What if they had a chance to “be there” when the events from our collective past unfolded? Wouldn’t they want to learn more about those times? The folks at sites like MissionUS certainly think so.

With its collection of free video games, MissionUS gives kids a way to immerse themselves as protagonists in US history. They can choose from different missions to complete. Each mission introduces them to a different time and aspect of history, like the Boston massacre and the anti-slavery movement.

Get More Edutainment With Math Games

Hopefully, these websites can not only solve your kid’s cries about being bored but also teach them a thing or two along the way.

If you’d like some more edutainment to keep your little ones occupied, check out these cool and fun math games for kids.

Image Credits: Production Perig/Shutterstock

Read the full article: 10 Awesome Educational Websites for Kids Worth Bookmarking


No Algorithms! 5 Ways to Discover Music Recommended by Real People

Tired of bots and algorithms recommending “popular” songs you don’t like? Music makes a human connection, so it’s best to hear song recommendations from real humans.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like AI is terrible at recommending music based on your tastes. But your ‘guilty pleasure’ track suddenly can mess up your algorithm, as can an earworm. There’s nothing like a friend who tells you, “Hey, you might enjoy this, try it out.”

So forget about bots, and check out these real people recommending really good songs.

1. Auditory Musings and Song Per Day (Web): Daily Song or Album Recommendation

Auditory Musings recommends a new album to listen to every day

Two music curators are sharing their picks worth listening to on the internet. Song Per Day sends a newsletter to your inbox with a cool track that you probably haven’t heard before. Auditory Musings recommends full albums to stream. Along with the pick of the day, both also write a short blurb about why you should listen to it.

Auditory Musings tends to dive into music history and context, which is often important when you’re listening to a full album. Heck, how often do you listen to a full album these days anyway, and for that matter, how many artists put out albums instead of singles? Click the album cover to find a link for your preferred music streaming service.

One Song Day focuses on the style of the song, and a few things to watch out for, like the vocals or an instrumental section. You’ll find links to stream it on Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube. You can browse the entire catalog of past recommendations on the website, and even suggest songs to the creators.

2. Electronic Music for People Who Don’t Like Electronic Music (Web)

Electronic Music website for People Who Don't Like Electronic Music

The name is a mouthful, but it’s self-explanatory too. For those who never found electronic music to be to your taste, this website promises to change your mind if you give it a shot.

Electronic Music for People Who Don’t Like Electronic Music (EMFPWDLEM) sports a Tron-like design, tipping their hat at Daft Punk. You’ll find buttons for your taste: rock, hip-hop, metal, or if you like Daft Punk itself. Click any one to get a recommendation.

This recommendation screen will have a full album by an artist on Spotify, along with a few more buttons based on the songs. For example, buttons might say “I like the beats” or “I like guitars in electronic music, more like that!” Listen to the songs or song previews if you don’t have Spotify, and click a button to refine your discovery.

The whole website comes from a popular flowchart on Reddit, but it’s so masterfully executed that the music discovery itself is fun. The simple, normal-language captions for the buttons make it feel more natural to pinpoint what you like and don’t like.

3. Music Genre Tree (Web): 1,111 Essential Recordings of Every Genre

Music Genre Tree lists the 1,111 essential recordings of every musical genre

This is one of the most comprehensive and exhaustive musical charts you’ll ever see. Music Genre Tree tries to include the original quintessential album of every musical genre, and they mean every genre. It includes medieval, renaissance, baroque, jazz, hip-hop, R’n’B, rock, classical, and much more. Genres also include regions like Sub-Saharan African, South Asian, etc. In total, it adds up to 1,111 essential recordings for every musical genre out there.

But what does “essential” mean? Well, the chart prioritizes the earliest classic instead of the “best ever” or “most popular” from each genre. The idea is to listen to the album that first popularized a genre, to really understand how it impacted that style of music.

Genres further branch out into styles, like rock having psychedelic, metal, punk, alternative, etc. Click any album cover to launch a YouTube search for it. You could always search for it on your favorite streaming service too.

The main Music Genre Tree homepage has a few more links if you like this. You’ll find places to discuss the choices on different online forums, where you can also suggest changes. There are a few outdated Spotify playlists as well, and you can download posters too.

4. Rate Your Music (Web): Active and Passionate Community of Music Lovers

Rate Your Music is an active and passionate community of music aficionados

Rate Your Music, popularly abbreviated to RYM on the web, is the closest alternative to Rotten Tomatoes for music. It’s a strong community of music aficionados who put their passion into words, reviewing every song and album. If you’re looking for a forum to discuss music and get recommendations, you can’t do better than this.

While you can use RYM without registering, it’s best to sign up and get involved. Browse the topics, contribute your thoughts, and make friends, because that is where it truly shines. RYM starts giving you both a general rating as well as “friends’ rating” to see what people with similar tastes thought about a song or album.

Apart from that, dive into the many curated lists made by the RYM moderators and members. For example, there are the decade-by-decade charts, or the massive RYM guide to everything and the Ultimate Box Set. No AI and algorithms here, these are real people discussing and voting to form lists of the best music recommendations.

If you love your music, it’s hard not to fall in love with RYM. And the homepage is a great way to track and discover new music releases.

5. Song Exploder (Podcast): Find a Song and Learn How the Musician Made it

Song Exploder is a fascinating podcast to dive into how a song is made

Song Exploder is a unique combination of song recommendations and music appreciation. Each episode is only 15 minutes long on average, so it’s easy to get into. And it embraces all genres, so it’s great for anyone.

Host Hrishikesh Hirway speaks to a new musician in each episode to talk about one of their greatest hits. The musician picks apart the song piece by piece, talking about the composition, the lyrics, the production, and other fascinating insights into how a song is made. It’s an easy, well-edited conversation that values your time, after which you can go listen to the song they talked about, and perhaps others by the same artist.

How do you get into Song Exploder? Hirway recommends you listen to one episode about a song you love. And then listen to one episode about a song you have never heard before. Between those you, you’ll get what the podcast is all about, and probably be hooked for life.

More Goodies for Spotify Users

None of the websites in this article make you switch to a particular streaming service. But given the global popularity of Spotify, users of that streaming music app have an advantage. There are a host of websites to discover music through Spotify accounts, including the fantastic Moodify. It’ll auto-create playlists based on musical features, and you must try it out to discover new tunes.

Read the full article: No Algorithms! 5 Ways to Discover Music Recommended by Real People


It’s Getting Much Harder to Uninstall Microsoft Edge

To keep up with the competition, Microsoft has revamped its Edge browser with new features and a Chromium base. However, Microsoft Edge is now being delivered via Windows Update. Which means it’s becoming much more difficult to uninstall Microsoft Edge. Unless you know your way around the Command Prompt.

Why Microsoft Edge Is Sticking Around

Microsoft discusses this change in a Microsoft Support note. Previously, users had to manually download the new version of Microsoft Edge. However, to ensure everyone is using the same version, Microsoft is now delivering the new Microsoft Edge via Windows Update. Some people will have it already, with everyone else due to get it soon.

Microsoft states that this move will ensure all users receive critical Microsoft Edge updates:

“We want to ensure all Windows customers have the latest Microsoft Edge browser for the performance, privacy, security, productivity, and support features it offers.”

As such, if you installed Microsoft Edge manually, you can still uninstall it. However, once the update lands on your computer, Microsoft Edge will be bundled with it.

Because this version of the browser is part of a system update, it’s not regarded as normal software, so you cannot remove it by conventional means.

As Microsoft states:

“The new version of Microsoft Edge is included in a Windows system update, so the option to uninstall it or use the legacy version of Microsoft Edge will no longer be available.”

This includes uninstalling it from the Add or Remove Programs menu. Instead, you’ll have to uninstall Microsoft Edge via a workaround only suitable for experienced users.

Microsoft’s Fight Against the Competition

For years, Chrome and Firefox have usurped Microsoft’s offerings to become the most used web browsers. However, on January 17, 2020, Microsoft released the Chromium-based version of Edge. This version reaped all the benefits of a Chromium base and took a significant step in the right direction.

Now it seems that Microsoft is trying to scrub out the legacy version of Edge.

Rolling Out the New Microsoft Edge

With this update, everyone will be forced to use the new Chromium-based version. And not only is it impossible to uninstall Microsoft Edge without delving into the Command Prompt, you’ll also be unable to use the legacy version.

If you’re still in the dark about the new Chromium version of Microsoft Edge, be sure to read how the new Microsoft Edge compares to the legacy version.

Read the full article: It’s Getting Much Harder to Uninstall Microsoft Edge


How to Legally Search for Any Book Using Google

What would you do if you knew a million books were waiting for you?

Thanks to their tireless work, Google Books puts over ten million books at your fingertips. Plus, with Google Book’s Library Project and Partner Program, users can enjoy a growing online collection.

If you’re ready to learn more, here’s how to search for any book with Google.

What Is Google Books?

Google Books helps you discover books that interest you. It offers both a basic and advanced search to help you find what you’re after. Then you can preview, read, download, borrow, or purchase books that fit your need.

Plus, Google Books goes beyond books since you’re able to search for magazines and newspapers. It’s a growing resource for both everyday readers and scholars.

What Is the Google Books Library Project?

While Google Books’ platform lets you connect with new books, it’s thanks to the Library Project that much of this knowledge is available. The title comes from Google Books’ original intent of partnering with major libraries to digitize their collection.

Simply put, the Library Project pioneered the scanning in and creation of searchability for millions of books. Thanks to this, many rare and hard to access titles now are searchable for everyone.

How Does Google Books Library Project Work?

While the Google Books Library Project focuses on expanding its digital library, it does have limitations. By default, it’s only able to grant full access to public domain works. If the work does not fall into the realm of the public domain, only a snippet is displayed, but this may vary based on the rightsholder’s decision.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of the public domain or need another example of its use, check out the best sites for public domain movies.

How Does Google Books Display Books?

google books access options

On Google Books, there are four levels of access for books:

  • Full View
  • Limited Preview
  • Snippet View
  • No Preview Available

With Full View, you’re able to read the entire book’s contents for free, search its contents, and download it as a PDF file. Limited preview only lets you look at a part of the book’s contents. The amount of a preview you get will vary per title; its contents are also searchable.

Snippet view occurs when no preview for the book exists, but you can still search inside. Once you’ve searched, you’ll see a few lines surrounding your keyword to give you an idea of its mentions and their context. No preview available titles don’t allow for any searching, but you’ll have access to information such as ISBN, publication date, publisher, and page count.

Why the Legal Battle Over Google Books?

It’s important to note that the Library Project didn’t always go smoothly. Google engaged in an eleven-year long legal battle with the Author’s Guild. The Author’s Guild alleged Google had broken copyright laws by digitizing books without permission.

Without explicit permission, Google Books never shows full pages of in-copyright work. Instead, what’s displayed would be safe in other settings such as book review.

As such, the Supreme Court decided to go with Google on the side of fair use. The Supreme Court ruled they would hear no appeal, and this solidified the growth of Google Books.

What Is the Google Play Books Partner Center?

google books play account

Due to the legal ruling, Google is safe to continue scanning in content. So it’s no surprise that Google included a way for a direct book submission. The Google Play Books Partner Center lets authors and publishers submit, publish, promote, and sell their book.

How Does Google Play Books Partner Center Work?

To start using the Books Partner Center, it’s as easy as signing up for an account. When signing up, you just need to give the following details:

  • An associated Google account
  • Publisher type (publisher, self-published author, distributor or service provider)
  • Publisher name
  • Your country of residence (for banking purposes)
  • A phone number
  • A website

Afterward, you can upload your work to Google Play Books and begin earning revenue as long as you hold the copyright claim. In addition to this, anyone with a Partner Center account can claim ownership of their book scanned by the Library Project.

After proving your ownership, you can choose to set how much of the book you want to display. Google Books lets you select between 20 percent and 100 percent for a preview. Finally, you choose whether you want your book available as a downloadable PDF.

You can also choose to remove your book as a search result or preemptively ask that it’s not scanned in.

How to Search on Google Books

google books default search

When you search on Google Books, the basic search works like any other. You enter either a book’s title or a keyword, and you’ll find results based on the four access layers.

While this is effective if you know what you’re looking for, you can always perfect your search. If you use Google Books’ advanced search, you can further tailor your results. Plus, if need more ideas on what to search, you can consult these fuss-free websites to find what book to read next.

How to Use Google Books Advanced Search

google books advanced search options

Using the advanced search on Google Books helps you narrow down your search to any specific need. If you’re looking for certain words or phrases, then scan millions of books for those. Furthermore, you can filter your search results to certain access levels and types of content.

While those options are incredibly effective for discovery, if you need a specific book then Google Books’ advanced search has you covered. You can still search by title, author, publisher, subject, publication date, ISBN, and/or ISSN.

Remember if you have a full view title, you can read the entire book, download it as a PDF, or save it to your My Library for later reading and categorization.

Search and Find Your Ideal Book on Google Books

With the Google Books Library Project, you can search for any book with Google. Best of all, it’s completely legal! With plenty of tools and options such as Google Book’s advanced search, information has never been more accessible.

If you want to start saving your new books, learn how to download books from Google Books.

Read the full article: How to Legally Search for Any Book Using Google