Google Allo – smart messaging app

Google finally launched its Google Allo mobile app which uses Google Assistant, a feature that Google announced at the I/O developers conference. Its interesting to see how Google will acquire any considerable market share which is already filled with popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, WeChat and its own Hangout!

Google Assistant: USP of Google Allo
While we chat with a friend(one-to-one) or when in a group chat, (in the same chat window) we can ask the assistant for the nearest pizza store or find restaurants nearby – just mention @google and ask your question and Google Assistant will do its best to help you out. Remember, Google Assistant takes time to learn about you so that it can answer you accurately.


Google Allo Features
1. You can chat with Google Assistant and its artificial intelligence will try to give you natural looking answers and search results for things you ask for.
2. Once you start using Google Assistant, it’ll learn about you and try to give answers you can appreciate.
3. You can form groups for chat and share videos, photographs etc.
4. You can edit pics and draw random things before sending it.
5. Based on your location Google Assistant will help you locate nearby restaurants, ATM, Banks etc.
6. You can emphasis words by making it capital and increasing its size.
7. Lot of Emoji and stickers to express!
8. Predicts your replies and has texts showing up before you type anything – you can simply select these replies.
9. Other features include but not limited to incognito mode, WhisperShout(text-capitalizing, increasing font size), Ink(doodle the image), end-to-end encryption to name some.

Google has launched Google Allo to both android and iOS platforms simultaneously. You can follow the link below and download.

Google Play Store
Apple App Store

Over time Google would want to enable developers to integrate their tool/software with Google assistant bot and help Google Allo users to get information from your software/bot straight into their personal smart messaging app. For example, if you have pizza store and user types in your pizza store along with name of the pizza he or she must be presented with the price and availability right inside Google Allo.

Going forward we can see some stiff competition from Facebook Messenger(which will also be enabled with AI shortly) and Google Allo. All I can say is, give developers more facility and you’re already a step ahead in the game, step on their foot(like Twitter did), and you’ll feel the heat.

Let us know what you think about Google Allo.

Google Chrome’s Offline Hidden Game

Did you know there is a hidden game in your regular Google Chrome browser? And it works on your computer, android and iOS devices too, when you’re disconnected from the internet.


The Game
In this simple game, there is a T-Rex dinosaur and you need to avoid hitting cacti which comes on T-Rex’s way. After every 100 points you score there is some music variation to mark the celebration. The background music is somewhat similar to our old video games and the game itself is quite refreshing and sometimes addictive.

Watch on YouTube.

How to Play?
You need to avoid the obstacles on T-Rex’s way by jumping – use your keyboards SPACE bar key to jump. That’s it.

Note that your score won’t be saved, it’ll be lost once you refresh the chrome browser. This game seems to be in place just to keep the user engaged while the internet connection is back!

Google AdSense Launches: Matched Content

Google Adsense has come up with a new tool for publishers – Matched Content. It’s a recommendation tool, which shows related content to your visitors – much like a related content widget with images.


Works best when used at the bottom of each article. Since visitors might be looking for more content after they have consumed the content of your article.


Eligibility to use Matched content
The Matched content feature is not available to all publishers. To be eligible, you must have a site that meets our minimum requirements for traffic volume and number of unique pages. We’ve put these requirements in place to ensure that Matched content provides a great experience for you and your site visitors. Once your site is approved, you’ll have access to the Matched content feature in your AdSense account.

Create an ad unit
Create an ad unit in the usual way, making sure to choose an ad size that fits your layout, and to select “Matched content” from the Ad type drop-down in the process.
To get the best fit for your layout, you might want to use a custom ad size. When using a custom size, we recommend choosing an ad size with a width:height ratio of around 2:1 for a horizontal layout, or 1:2 for a vertical layout.

Check if your site is approved for matched content
1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
2. Click the gear icon and select Settings.
3. In the sidebar, under “Account”, click Site management.

Under the “Owned” tab, check the “Matched content” column to see if your site has been approved. If the status of your site is:
Approved: You may place Matched content units on any of the pages of this site.
Not approved: You may not place Matched content units on this site.

If there is no column called “Matched content“, then your account is not yet eligible for it and you’ll have to wait for some months before it is rolled out to every publisher.

Going forward am sure Google will roll content matching ads into this widget and help publishers generate more revenue from their site. For example, apart from your own sites content, the widget might show some relevant content and link of an advertiser. This way, advertiser gets traffic and the publisher gets his cut!

Related Read: New AdSense Ad format — Widget Ads

YouTube: New HTML5 Video Player for Desktop

YouTube is testing a new HTML5 based video player for its browser based desktop application. Some of the changes looks like being inspired by its own mobile app.

In the new video player, the controller disappears once you take the focus out of the player or once you take out the mouse pointer out of the video player.

Old YouTube Video Player

New YouTube Video Player

In the new video player the toggle buttons, autoplay and the annotations are brighter and well designed.

How to preview YouTube’s new html5 video player?
Download, Install and open Google Chrome Browser.
Install editthiscookie browser extention/adon.
After editthiscookie is installed, refresh the browser. And you’ll see a cookie icon on the browser – to the right hand top corner. Click on it.
Now goto, VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE and change the value to Q06SngRDTGA.
Click on the green check mark to apply the changes.
Now refresh the browser and congrats, you can now make use of YouTubes new HTML5 based video player 🙂

Update: Some people asked me how it’s done in Firefox
If you are on Windows, open Firefox -> press F12 or open developer console
type the following without quotes “cookie set VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE Q06SngRDTGA” and hit Enter.

Wire Transfer(EFT) In India: Google Adsense

Finally Google Adsense team made EFT available for all the accounts which are eligible for payment. I can already see the joy of publishers when they see their adsense account payment system being upgraded to receive their earnings via EFT(Electronic Fund Transfer).

Payment Hold


Once your account is upgraded, your payments will be on hold until you fill the payment method form.

Bank Information
To start with wire transfer we must obviously first give Google our bank details. So after we enable our payment mode we must fill:


Account holder name, Bank name, Account number are the ones every one of us understand. Along with this we also need to provide our branch IFSC code and SWIFT code.

Indian Financial System Code (IFSC)
An IFSC is an identification code for your bank and branch. It should contain 11 letters and numbers. For more details, contact your bank.

SWIFT Bank Identifier Code (BIC)
A SWIFT-BIC is a unique identification code for a particular bank or branch. It should contain 8 or 11 characters. For more details, contact your bank.

Not All Branches Have Swift Code
Every branch in India has its own, unique IFSC code. But not all branches have SWIFT code. When I contacted our bank’s( SBI – State Bank of India ) branch manager, he told he has no idea about SWIFT code ..and continued to tell me that we can receive money from other country just by using IFSC code and MICR code.

MICR – Magnetic Ink Character Recognition
Typically MICR code can be used to extract following informations:
Cheque Serial Number
Account Number
Branch or city code of a bank
Transaction code

So MICR isn’t of much use in EFT.

SWIFT Code Solution
Swift code is available only in branches which facilitates currency conversion services – like Forex trading etc. So get the Swift Code from your banks nearest branch which facilitates currency conversion service.

That is, go to your bank branch and ask which is the nearest branch of that bank which facilitates currency conversion or which has a Swift Code. Now ask nearest branches Swift Code and enter it in your adsense payment form. Done. [ You need not fill the ‘intermediary bank details’ and other credit details – they are optional ]

Note: With this introduction of EFT to Indian publishers, Google has removed paying via Cheques. So no monthly snail mails any more 🙁

+1 Button Live On Adsense Ads

Google had previously announced about this +1 button on Adsense ads to publicly promote the ad. It was said to go live in October 2011. But we are seeing it live on almost all the rich image ads these days. Maybe from Christmas.

It’ll show the faces of people who liked it, only if they happen to be your friends(on your list: GMail, Circle contact).

Here is a live video of the ads with +1 button, which we could spot on our blog:

You can read more about this here: Google’s +1 On Adsense Ads: Demo Video!

Official Google Site Verification Plugin

Recently at webmasters tool, the site verification interface has been changed. They have implemented the tabbed interface with the intention of making it easy for the users. But still many people find it difficult to verify their site(s). Keeping this in mind, Google has officially come up with a WordPress plugin to help verify your site(s) and to provide some very useful information.

Benefits of verifying your site

Verify your blog with Google with only a couple clicks! No need to copy and paste tokens anymore; this plugin makes calls to the Google Site Verification API to automate the entire verification process.
Once your blog is verified, you can then view search statistics and diagnostic information for your blog in Google Webmaster Tools or use a growing number of other Google services.

This plugin needs WordPress 3.0 (or higher), PHP 5.2.0 (or higher), the JSON PHP extensions, and the CURL PHP extensions. The plugin won’t activate if these requirements aren’t met.

1. Activate the Google Verification plugin on the Plugins control panel.
2. Navigate to Google Verification under Settings on the left sidebar.
3. Click “Start Verification”.
4. Follow the authentication prompts. Click “Grant access” when you are prompted to give your blog access to the Google Site Verification API.
Congratulations, your blog is now verified!

Below are some screen shots to illustrate the procedure




Then I got this error message:

Verifying your blog…failed, due to an error:
Error calling (400) The necessary verification token could not be found on your site. Try Again. 🙁


I just kept on trying for 3 or 4 more times and for my surprise, the verification process was successful.


Connecting your Webmasters Tool account with your Google Analytics account


Linking to the right analytics profile..


Why verify your site?
Once you’ve verified your site to Google, you get easy access to a wealth of tools and data from all these Google products:

Webmaster Tools: Improve your site’s performance in Google’s organic search results.
Google Accounts: Unified sign-in for Google products.
AdPlanner: Get the data to make better-informed advertising decisions.
Profiles: Control how you appear in Google.
Knol: Share your knowledge with the world.
Blogger: Publish yourself.
AdSense: Monetize your site by displaying targeted Google ads.
Sidewiki: Contribute helpful information alongside your web page.
Apps: Get reliable, secure collaboration tools.
Merchant Center: Upload product listings to Google.

Note: Your WordPress installation will just authenticate your Google username and password and it will not store it. So it’s safe to provide access to your Google a/c.

WordPress Plugin link: Google Site Verification Plugin