A Brighter Web, Episode 004 – Voice search, mobile keyboards, mobile web certifications, and more
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A Brighter Web, Episode 004 – Voice search, mobile keyboards, mobile web certifications, and more

Can you imagine performing a search on Google
without a screen? It sounds crazy, but thanks to tools like
Alexa and Google Home, many of you are doing it already, and the number of screenless searches
is rising very quickly. Before we get into that, though, this is A
Brighter Web, Episode number four, brought to you by all of us at GreenMellen, which
includes me, Mickey Mellen, and some of my awesome co-workers and friends that you’ll
hear in future episodes. Our goal with this podcast is to share news,
products, and ideas with you, so we can all make the web a brighter place to be. These might be actually web tips, talking
about strategy, WordPress plugins and UX, or it might be productivity ideas to help
you more done, and free up your time to do great things. We also want to thank our sponsor ClickHOST.com. ClickHOST provides top rated web hosting with
prices as low as five dollars a month. Visit ClickHOST.com/abw for an exclusive 20%
off discount for listeners of A Brighter Web. Today, we’ll be talking about the rapid rise
of voice search, some great updates to Google’s mobile keyboard, getting certified as a mobile
website developer, some new social media trends and stats, and some useful new apps from Google
and Adobe. Let’s dig in. As of a few years ago, 55% of teens and 41%
of adults were using voice search at least once a day. Gartner’s predicted that by 2020, 30% of all
web browsing will be screenless. Again, thinking about Google Home, or Alexa
devices. This is largely driven by Google’s answer
box that you’ll see in the search results on your computer. For example, if you ask, “How tall is Barack
Obama?” on your phone or your watch, it simply tells you, “Six foot one.” These kind of searches are going to become
more, and more popular, and getting your page into those answer boxes will be more, and
more crucial. We’ll have a link in our show notes to the
full article, which includes some tips for getting your content to appear inside of those
answer boxes. We tend to think of mobile keyboards as being
pretty simple. We type stuff in, it autocorrects it for better
or worse, and we move on. Google, however, thinks much deeper than that. In our show notes is a link to a research
paper from Google, that shows how they’re using machine learning to make keyboards faster,
and much more accurate. Some of this is already showing up in the
new Gboard update for Android, where it now has phrase prediction that can help predict
multiple words at a time. As that gets smarter, over time it will become
increasingly useful. This new update will be coming to iPhone,
as well, fairly soon but today you can get it on Android and help make that mobile typing
even easier. Google has long had online certifications
you could get for AdWords and for Analytics, but they recently added one for Mobile Website
Development, and if you’re a developer you should check it out. If you’ve been doing mobile sites for a while,
it should be fairly easy. You get 90 minutes to answer 65 multiple choice
and true or false questions, so it’s realistically like a 30 minute test. You only need 80% to pass, and they have a
pretty good study guide. I’ll have a link to that in the show notes,
and if you build websites for a living, I encourage you to check it out, add that certification,
and become that much more knowledgeable and proficient at what you’re doing. Thanks to some research from the folks at
Duct Tape Marketing and The Dash, there’s some good new social metrics to look at. The main thing to take from it is that 68%
of Americans are using Facebook. Whereas, for Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest,
and Twitter, they’re all in the 20 to 30% neighborhood. In short, you could take any other two social
networks, and more people are on Facebook than any other two combined, across all ages. These numbers hold true, regardless of age
or income level, though certainly there are some exceptions. Pinterest, for example, is used by about 45%
of wealthy Americans, and Instagram is used by about 59% of younger Americans. But in general, Facebook is still dominating
the scene, and you can’t be ignoring that. Details to that article, and that have a great
infographic and some more resources can be found in our show notes. If you’re a Google Drive user, which most
of you probably are, an update is coming on June 28th that could really change the way
you use Drive. It’s a new app called Backup and Sync, which
will back up your entire computer, not just the files that you put inside of Google Drive. If you use this service, it will replace Google
Drive. You’ll still have a Drive section, but your
whole computer will be backed up. We don’t quite know all the details yet, such
as how it might sync to other machines, and the data will almost certainly go against
your space limits, which could add up. Google does have very generous space limits. I believe you can get one terabyte of storage
for $9.99 a month. But it will add up quickly, if you’re backing
up your entire machine. So, something to keep an eye on. But still, June 28th they’ll be releasing
that. It’s something you should take a look at,
if you need back up for more than just what you put inside of Google Drive or Dropbox. Lastly, we have our tip of the week. This is a pretty neat one. This is the new Adobe Scan app from Adobe. This is available on iPhone or Android, and
very simply lets you scan documents with your phone. Now, there are other apps that do this. I often will just snap a picture with my phone
and throw it in Google Photos and crop it out and stuff. But this does a neat job in a couple ways. One, you don’t actually have to take the picture. You hold your phone over the document, as
it recognizes that it’s a document, it’ll capture it. What I like even better, is you can do multi
page documents very easily. Capture one, capture the next one, capture
the next one, and it’ll package it together for you in a PDF, and you can mail it to whoever
you want. Nothing magical about the app. Again, there’s other apps that do similar
things, but it does a great job, it’s free, it’s cross-platform, so I encourage you to
check out the Adobe Scan app for yourself. So that’s all we have for this week. You can find me on Twitter @MickMel, M-I-C-K-M-E-L,
or learn lots more at GreenMellenMedia.com and you can find out more about the podcast
including the show notes and links at ABrighterWeb.com or on Facebook or Twitter at A Brighter Web. If you’re in the Atlanta area, come check
out our meetup this week, where we’ll be having a panel of experts come in to discuss legal,
financial, and tax issues with your creative business. If you’re not in the Atlanta area, we’ll be
posting a recap on the site soon after the meetup. Either way, you can learn more about that
at ABrighterWeb.com/meetup. Thanks for listening.

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