By Marc Arbesman

Google just announced a flurry of new products and new services. The goal is to improve their current offerings, add some new ones, and make your personal and professional lives a little easier.

The question becomes are they useful and will someone actually use them to enhance their own productivity.

If you use Google+ for networking and news feeds, and the company says its Stream function has 190 million monthly active users, you could be excited to learn the social network has boosted its photo storage capability. High resolution photos are up to 15 gigabytes. While low-res remains the same.

Google’s map function should also be a plus for both business and personal use. It will enable the user to generate more personalized maps of places they like to frequent. This can include restaurants for example. Google claims you will be able to zoom in and even see the inside of the establishment. If you use the higher quality variety this news should be well received.

The map function can also be customized to where you want to go. The map gets redrawn every time you use it. Looking for a business? Google says you will see the streets and some landmarks to help you find it.

The map will feature labels too with some recommended places you may wish to check out. The map will also indicate the best mode of transportation to get there whether it be by public variety (train or bus) or car. Google Earth 3D views are also built into the map to assist in any search.

For those afraid they are forgetting something, Google has an answer. It’s a Google Now search feature called “Reminders”. This function is available on both Apple iOS and Android devices.

Company executives say you will be able to set reminders that will come up at the right place and exactly at the right time.

“Now” could work on a trip to an office supply store. Simply tell it to remind you to pick-up paper, tape and ink at Staples. It should remind you about your shopping list when you arrive at the store.

Many are buzzing about some new conversational options Google will be making available. Operating hands-free through a browser you can ask Google a question and get a verbal response. Then ask it a follow-up question or two. Say you are on the East Coast you can ask Google, “How far is it to here from Boston?” Then you can follow-up with another question such as “What will the weather be like in Boston this Thursday?”, or “What’s the fastest way to Providence?”

While these new products seem appealing most folks will curb their enthusiasm until they can test them for themselves.

Much like the excitement built around “Glass” many of us are waiting for these products to actually reach the general marketplace. Then, and only then, will you be able to judge whether Google has hit a home run or has just stroked a few foul balls.

Marc Arbesman is a founder and CIO of ThrottleNet, Inc. ThrottleNet offers an array of technology services and products to help business owners achieve their corporate goals, while reducing overhead. This is accomplished through outsourced Managed Network Services which helps companies improve their technology uptime and IT capabilities while, at the same time, reducing costs. The firm offers custom software development and mobile applications to help companies accelerate their business growth. For additional information contact ThrottleNet online at or call 866-826-5966