Google 2013 holiday roundup: Santa tracking, voicemails and AutoAwesome

December 24, 2013
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Google offered up a few holiday themed goodies this year, and what better day to round those up than Christmas Eve. The regular news is slow, you are likely getting ready to spend some time with loved ones, and well, some of these items may help to keep the younger ones amazed. Here we are looking at the AutoAwesome Snow and Year in Review video as well as the Santa Tracker app and getting a call from Santa.

Both of the AutoAwesome announcements came earlier in the month. The first, the snow option, allows the user to add falling snow to an image. This one is simple, take a picture on your smartphone and then shake to add snow. Additionally, a second shake will then save the snow and a second (the edited) image with snow will be saved in your gallery. The one catch with these, they are great to look at on your phone or tablet, and great to share on Google+, but otherwise a bit limited.

Next up is the AutoAwesome Year in Review videos. Google announced these last week and while not everyone will be getting one -- those who regularly upload items to Google+ should be on the lookout. Google said these highlight videos will be coming for those who have been sharing pics and video on Google+ all year long. We also learned there is more to this and that whether you get a video also depends on the quality of your pictures and the Google algorithms. That said, a scan of my Google+ feed shows several of these have arrived so if you think you fall in to the qualified-to-get-one category -- you may want to be on the lookout.

santa-tracker-screen

The third item here is the Google Santa Tracker app. This one can be found in the Google Play Store and aside from keeping the kids entertained by having them follow his progress throughout the day, the app also has a few games. And thanks to a recent update, the Santa Tracker app has Chromecast support which means you can stream this to the big screen for the whole room to watch. Those interested can grab the app using this Google Play Store link.

Last up is arranging a call from Santa. You will be able to have Santa send a personal voicemail and it will take just a few minutes of your time to get started. You will have to fill out some specifics based on who will be receiving the call, but the process is simple and perhaps key here -- you are taken though step-by-step. Those looking to get a personal voicemail from Santa should hit up this Santa Tracker page from Google.


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  • Pete

    Got my Auto-Awesome review today though I hasn’t seen any news about them. It was a very nice and slick way to show off G+ to friends and family.