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Google I/O reveals new features – Adwords enhanced date unveiled – Funeral phones

Google I/O reveals what's in store

Google I/O 2013 got underway on Wednesday, with the search engine giant unveiling a whole host of changes that it hopes will improve some of its most well known services.

Highlights have included Google Play Music All Access, its much anticipated rival to Spotify. Users can enjoy a free 30-day trial of the streaming service before a $9.99-a-month fee kicks in.

Google Now has also been upgraded in what looks like a direct challenge to Apple's Siri, with voice command searches supposedly more accurate than ever before.

Social network Google+ has also been redesigned, while the expected changes to Google Maps had already been leaked before the event.

Google Glass received plenty of attention on Day Two, with the announcement that big names such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and CNN will all be creating apps specifically for the device. More are expected to follow as the public release of Google Glass gets closer. Currently, just 2,000 have been sent the device in order to test it.

Those attending the event also took part in an impromptu Q&A with Larry Page, who took to the stage despite suffering from a bout of vocal paralysis. Google I/O concludes today with further discussions centred Android, Chrome and the Cloud platform.

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Adwords enhanced campaign date set

Google has finally set a date for users to upgrade their Adwords accounts, as enhanced campaigns move a step closer. All accounts will need to be switched over by 22 July.

The search engine originally unveiled the plans in February, which will allow businesses to manage their Adwords account all in one place, implementing strategies for desktop and mobile simultaneously and putting plans in place to deal with a range of contexts.

For example, you can now schedule different ads to go out at varying times of the day, and bid higher for mobile ads than desktop if you want to try and attract customers walking past your shop at peak times. This allows multiple tasks to be accomplished at the same time in one place, rather than flitting between accounts.

Account managers still have plenty of time to switch all the data over on their own terms, while those who leave it too late will be converted automatically. The rollout started as soon as Google Adwords announced the shift, and it has already introduced a customised toolbar and begun suggesting to users which upgrades they might like to make.

Advanced reporting will also allow for easier, better conversion tracking in what Google calls "a multi device world".

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Smartphones invade funerals

One in six Britons has admitted using their mobile at a funeral in order to make and receive calls and texts or check social media, according to a study by Co-operative Funeral Care.

Forty per cent of those questioned said they wouldn't turn their phone off during a funeral, while ten per cent of those went a step further and asserted they wouldn't even turn the sound off.

Furthermore, one in 25 respondents said they would have no problem checking their work emails while at a funeral, and just under one in 20 claimed they had taken a call from their employer.

Others explained that their funeral-based phone activity was often accidental, with six per cent indicating their device has inadvertently interrupted a service with the arrival of a call, text or email. Sixteen per cent also reported seeing someone at a funeral scrambling to silence their phone after it went off at an inopportune moment.

These stats are slightly at odds with one of the main questions found in the survey, which asked people what they thought was the least appropriate place to use a mobile phone. Funerals were way ahead with 70 per cent, considered even more of a faux pas than using a phone while driving.

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Written by James Riches

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