Google is offering some deals this week, and they can be found here. Some caveats. The low price listed for movies is generally the price of a movie rental. If you don't usually listen to your music or read your books through Google, your favorite vendor is probably offering price matching, so double check. Unlike Black Friday "door busters," where there are only a few of an item available, everyone has time to do some comparison shopping before buying a digital download.
Another holiday favorite activity is going to the movies. I used to have to drive by the theater or phone them up to see what was playing, but I've been able to Google it for years now. I can find out what shows are playing nearby, when the show starts, and even movie reviews. All with one simple search. With Google Now, I usually just ask for "movies near me."
One of the holiday conundrums is what to do with all that food. I like using Cookin' With Google to find recipes. Type in a list of the ingredients you have on hand, and it will list a bunch of recipes that use that ingredient. It's really good for year round cooking, but I tend to think of it in the winter when I am sick of eating reheated turkey and stuffing, again, but feeling too lazy to go drive to the store to buy some new ingredients.
I lean yes, unless you already have a streaming player you like or don't have an HDMI port or Android device. If you volunteer to set it up for them, you might end up being a real hero to your parents this holiday season. Google is also currently offering a free movie rental with purchase, although, be warned, they also charge shipping when you buy from the Google Play store. You might want to head to Best Buy or check out Amazon to avoid the shipping charge.
If you check out the Google Play store, they're offering a free movie rental with the purchase of a Chromecast and a $25 credit with the purchase of a Nexus 7. I actually got three free months of Netflix when I bought my Chromecast, so this is actually a slightly less sweet deal than their introduction, but it's still a nice perk to be able to try out your new movie caster with a movie rental.
Cyber Monday is also a traditional time to offer a lot of online deals, so if you're not thinking of a Nexus 7 or Chromecast, check back to see what they offer next.
Google made an amazing Chrome app to promote The Hobbit movie. This is a combination of a Google Map of Middle Earth and slides of movie info. It works with either your computer mouse or touchscreen device running Chrome, although certain aspects seem more touchscreen oriented than others. Be sure to visit all the unlocked locations and see what adventures you can find.
Holiday shopping time. Did I mention that my family has three out of four birthdays in December? It's a bit of a mess. However, you won't catch me waiting in the cold for Black Friday specials. I'm lazy and figure that this is why they invented Google Shopping. (Although I really wish they'd kept the name Froogle.) This year, Google has set up some curated shopping lists for your non-line-waiting shopping pleasure. I suggest donning pajamas and fuzzy slippers for the occasion.
If you were waiting for the return of custom profile URLs, you're in luck. Now instead of telling everyone they can find you on Google+ by using a string of random numbers, you can tell them to use your very own Google+ custom URL. Here are the instructions for setting it up.
It will go great with the Google Glass. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is very near a launch of a watch that runs on Android. Motorola had such a device (it wasn't a huge hit) and Samsung and other companies are trying out the approach. None of this should be a huge surprise, but so far none of it has been a huge hit.
Google will have to solve battery life problems, but the problem of usefulness may finally be solved. By using Google Now, users can use their voices and their locations to find useful and relevant info, such as appointments, weather, and traffic conditions.
I'm actually wearing an old school Casio watch right now. I look forward to finding something that can finally replace it.
Google is still running into anti-trust problems in Europe. Google promotes their own services as a solution to a user query as opposed to a competing product. Look for a location, and you will see a link to Google Maps, not a link to a competing product. This has Google in hot water in Europe. One possible solution may be to offer cut-rate pricing for competing map or other slighted apps.