Posts Tagged Google

Maps for Outlook Add-in

Not content with the four Office Add-ins that I currently have in the Microsoft Office Add-in Store, I’ve gone and created another one just to keep myself honest.

Maps for Outlook Add-in is a map generation tool that you can use to create and insert a Google Map into your email or appointment.

Being honest, this isn’t much of a stretch from the existing Maps for Office Add-in that has been in the store for a number of years now. However, the major difference is, that this add-in is for use only in Microsoft Outlook. As mentioned above, you can  easily insert a Google Map into your new Emails or Appointments via a useful ribbon bar icon.

Much like Maps for Office, you can search, resize, pin and change the theme of the map that you wish to insert into your email or appointment. Additionally, the add-in will include a link to allow anyone who receives the email to get instant directions to the location in the map via Google Maps.

Why not go get yourself a free trial of the app today! Download from the Microsoft Office Add-in Store

 

TRY MAPS FOR OUTLOOK(15 Day Free Trial)
OR
TRY MAPS FOR OFFICE (15 Day Free Trial)

 

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How to insert a Google Map into a Word Document

Maps for Office : Apps for Office

There are many ways to “skin a cat” as they say. But if you’re looking to do something a little less barbaric such as inserting a Google Map into a Word document, it may not be that straight forward.

If you’re lucky enough to be using the latest version of Word from Microsoft’s Office 2013 suite – things can’t get any easier than using the great Maps for Office app that we recently published to the Office Store. The Maps for Office app allows you to search for a location, add a pin, choose your preferred size and insert the map directly into your document. You can’t really get much easier than that now can you? If you’re interested in finding out more about this app, visit the Office Store and download it today.

TRY MAPS FOR OFFICE (15 Day Free Trial)

If you’re not lucky enough to own a copy of Word 2013, you’re not really out of luck since there are a number of other ways to insert a Google Map into your Word document.

I’ve outlined what I feel is the easiest way to achieve this (without using our app of course!).

First, create your map!

  1. Go to http://maps.google.com and search for the location you wish to use for your map in the search box at the top of the page.
  2. When you’ve found your desired location, it’s time to position it and choose your desired zoom level.
  3. You can click the map and drag it to centre the location on screen.
  4. Click the “+” and “-” buttons on the maps slider to zoom in and out on the map as needed to get the map exactly as you’d like it to appear.
  5. Once you’re happy with how the map looks, you’re ready to insert it into your Word document.~

 

Insert Google Map into your document…

  1. Open the Snipping Tool program in Windows. Do this by clicking the Windows key on your keyboard and typing “Snipping Tool”.
  2. When the Snipping Tool window opens, select “New” and your mouse cursor will change into a cross hair.
  3. Select the map by clicking, holding and dragging the mouse cursor across the area of the map you’d like to copy
  4. Open your Microsoft Word document, select the location where you would like to place the map into your document and press “Ctrl-V” to paste the map into your document.
  5. And that’s it!

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Maps for Office – App for Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)

Maps for OfficeI’m sure most of you have at some stage wanted to include a map in a document that you want to send to your customers or friends. This tends to be a tedious process. First, you visit your mapping website of choice, i.e. Bing Maps or Google Maps. After searching for the location you want to display, you’d probably take a screenshot, copy the it into paint and crop it to the size you wanted, before then inserting into your Word document.

Well now that process has got a whole lot easier.

If you have a copy of Microsoft Word 2013, you can visit the Office Store and download a free 15 day trial of Maps for Office. Maps for Office is a Google Maps generator that allows you to create maps using Google Maps. All the features you would expect from zooming, Satellite and terrain views and of course searching by location are available in a very neat task panel. From here, you can generate the map exactly as you want it, before clicking a button to insert it directly into your Word document.

This app will also work with Excel 2013 & Powerpoint 2013. Unfortunately you will not be able to insert the generated map into Excel or Powerpoint due to the API limitations of apps for Office.

Maps for Office uses the Google Maps API and although not required, it is recommended that you generate your own Google Maps API key before using the app. You can get your own Google Static Maps API key by following the steps below.

 

Step 1 : Get a Google Account

Firstly, you will need a Google Account. If you do not have one, you can create one here https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount

Step 2 : Create Your Key at the Google API Console’

  1. Visit the Google APIs Console https://cloud.google.com/console 
  2. Log in with the Google account you just created
  3. Click “Create Project”
  4. Give your project a name and click “Create”
  5. On the resulting page, in the left-hand menu, choose “APIs & Auth -> Registered Apps”
  6. Click “Register App”
  7. Give your App a name and choose “Web Application” under platform.
  8. In the left hand menu, choose “APIs” and Enable Static Maps API.
  9. Return to the Registered Apps page and select the App you created.
  10. Click the “Browser Key” option and you will see your API Key.

 

Step 3 : Enter API Key into Maps for Office

  1. Copy the API Key value from the “API Access” page in the Google API Console
  2. Click the “Change API Key” link at the footer of the Maps for Office App
  3. Paste your API Key into the “Enter Your API Key” field and choose save
  4. You should now be able to use the Maps for Office app!

This app is also available for purchase  at https://store.office.com/maps-for-office-WA104150524.aspx

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Google Suspended my Android Market Developer Account

For the past month, I’ve been developing Android Apps to see if there is any opportunity for an Irish company to make a decent living via creating and selling apps through the Android Play Store.

After weeks of research, I opted to develop apps for the personalisation category of the market as it appeared that this area was the one that most people who used the Android market were likely to part with their cash. It took a couple of weeks to get going, but when it did, I was very impressed.

When I finally figured out what would sell, I was making over €100 per day. This run lasted for a solid 12 days. I was very content that there was a living to be made out of the market, but it was still such early days that I was still pretty much testing the water.

Unfortunately, my run ended late last night. I got an email from Google which said:

“Your Android Market developer account has been suspended due to prior developer account suspension violations of our developer agreement and policies. “

One of my strategies was to offer free apps, which I would use to cross sell my paid for apps. This was ultimately what I thought led to my account being suspended.

I had stupidly used a copyrighted image in one of my free apps. Thinking that because my free app was benefiting no-one monetarily, I thought it would be OK. But I was clearly wrong. My free apps were suspended.

Well that is my assumption of course. Because three of my free apps were suspended prior to me receiving the notification of the account suspension. When I received those suspensions, I spent hours making sure my other Apps were 100% compliant with the Android Market Developer agreement and policies.

However, it turns out that I was not in fact banned for this – but in fact, it was that Google believe I have had other accounts suspended in the past (which I don’t) and I was trying to beat the system by creating another account.

Looking around the web for others who were banned, it seems that Google have a very strict, no retribution policy. It appears that it’s a waste of time to even question the reason for this suspension as I’m unlikely to get a response. Of course, I have tried to get in touch, to no avail as of yet.

But what does that mean for anyone trying to make a serious go at becoming an Android Developer?

In one foul swoop your whole business could be taken from under you, without any explanation from Google. Google don’t seem to offer you the chance to prove your innocence, nor the opportunity to change anything that is against their  Android Market Developer agreement and policies.

The fact that they believe my account is another account by someone who was suspended before is quite frightening. I have an idea how they have come to that conclusion – but I will keep that to myself until I know they are not willing to discuss it with me.

The sad reality is that I had hoped to build a business in this area. Creating jobs and an export market for the haggered Irish economy.

I would be extremely worried and cautious as to how viable it actually would be when you take these actions into consideration. Can you imagine walking into your workforce following a suspension by Google and saying “You’ve lost your jobs, Google has suspended our account because they believe we had an account before… Oh and they won’t respond to our requests to reconsider.” ??

The initial attraction to the Android market for me was its openness. Unlike the Apple App Store, you didn’t have to go through an approval process before your app appeared on the market. This was appealing as it allowed you to test the market before putting a huge amount of effort into something that just isn’t going to work.

Of course, from a user experience, the Android Market process isn’t ideal. It means that there is a lot of low quality apps available on the market. But on the other hand, it also means there are a lot more free apps available.

I’m now at a cross roads. I’m half way through an app that I believe will do really well on the Android Market, but not sure if I should change my focus now to iOS. Obviously, I can’t open another Android Developer account so I will need to partner up with someone on that front – but it really has left me with a dilemma.

Another issue is the fact that they didn’t just ban apps they felt were in violation, but also apps that were perfectly legit. I had some basic apps outside the personalisation category that were doing quite well and now they too are not available.

How Google think this is a good way to treat their Android Market Developers is beyond me. They should at least offer an appeal process or change their terms and conditions to allow people open more than one account.

Maybe if they brought in an approval system similar to the Apple App Market it would prevent users uploading apps that they shouldn’t be.

Either way, I’m extremely dismayed by the whole episode. It would be really nice to get some feedback from Google and find out exactly where it all went wrong. We can only learn by our mistakes!

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