Text Messaging with Google Home

December 19, 2016 Keith 44

You may have recently purchased a Google Home device and are now wondering what’s next. For starters, I suggest you unlock some home automation capabilities by coupling your Google Home with SmartThings, IFTTT, and the Harmony Hub. Take a look at my previous post for insight into how to get started. In the meantime, if you have interest in sending text messages via voice commands and your Google Home device, I have an option to consider. Out-of-the-box, Google Home does not provide the ability to send text messages. In fact, when you ask it to send a message, Google Home will reply back with “Sorry, I can’t send texts yet.” Fortunately, there is a work-around available, and it is quite simple. The video below highlights the work-around in action. By leveraging a Google Home and IFTTT integration, I can text virtually any message to a pre-defined contact via IFTTT applets […]

Google Home Smart Home Integration (Google Home, SmartThings, Harmony Hub, and IFTTT)

December 3, 2016 Keith 42

I recently posted a video on YouTube demonstrating several smart home integrations I configured with Google Home, SmartThings, Harmony, and IFTTT.  The video was created, with quick turn around, based on a recent exchange I had with the fine people at SmartThings @credendino Hey Keith, we’d love to highlight your #GoogleHome and SmartThings set up! Would you mind sharing a video? ? — SmartThings (@smartthings) November 8, 2016 I’ve since received several requests, via the YouTube comments, to detail my configuration/setup. As a result, I’ve decided to put together this post to help answer the many questions received. Before I jump into the details, I’ll first list out the different components used within the demonstrated ecosystem. (I do have other smart-capabilities configured, but I will keep this post centered on only those demonstrated in the video. I’ll save other integrations, such as my garage door or alarm system, for possible […]

iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8, BB 10: Where should I turn?

September 16, 2012 Keith 0

I don’t believe a week goes by without someone making a remark about the phone I carry. I currently pack a BlackBerry 9900 (Bold 2), but, after listening to the comments, you would think I carry a tin can with a string. I have always been of the belief that function trumps form and that tools took priority over toys. As one that has made a career in the mobile business, I’ve had the pleasure to pressure test my beliefs. I have had great exposure to many iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7 devices. Considering I have been rocking a BlackBerry since 2002, the desire to switch to something new has grow. No mater what device I test drive I, without fail, keep coming back to my BlackBerry. In fact, when I return to my 9900, it feels better than ever. I would find myself getting used to the […]

Priority Club Rewards Windows Phone 7 App Launched

July 6, 2011 Keith 1

I’m proud to announce the launch of IHG’s first Windows Phone 7 application. I personally believe there is a lot of potential for the Windows Phone OS. They may be late to the game, but their initial release, coupled with what they have done with Mango, clearly demonstrates Microsoft’s capabilities and commitment. The agreement Microsoft made with Nokia is going to pay tremendous dividends; Nokia has traditionally provided some great hardware and I expect them to continue that trend. The first Nokia WP7 device, dubbed Searay, looks great. Rumor has it they are working on a QWERTY device as well. (That will be big for users like me.) I’m not the only one thinking Microsoft has a great opportunity ahead. The IDC is forecasting Windows Phone 7 sales to bypass iPhone sales by 2015. I continue to be impressed with Microsoft’s aggressiveness as it relates to Windows Phone 7 and […]

Windows Phone 7 NoDo Update

March 22, 2011 Keith 3

It is finally here. Microsoft has started their official rollout of the ‘NoDo’ update, which brings along with it stability improvements and copy/paste functionality. What didn’t go unnoticed by me is the fix for the Exchange 2003 Global Address Lookup (GAL) problem I noted in my original WP7 post. Here is the official word from Microsoft regarding the specific fix: Outlook improvements. We’ve improved the experience of viewing iPhone photo attachments you receive from a non-Exchange-based email account (such as a Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail account), using the Global Address List (GAL) when connecting to Exchange Server 2003 using Exchange ActiveSync, and working with email display names that contain brackets (for example, “David Alexander [Contoso]”). Read more about their update here. The next big milestone, of course, for Windows Phone7 is the ‘Mango’ update due at the end of the year. I really hope Microsoft gets it out […]

It is not where we stand, but which direction we are going

Leadership: Challenging the Process

December 16, 2010 Keith 1

A recent memo I distributed to my team that applies to all walks of life and leadership in general (semi-edited for this audience): Over the last few months I have read and listened to numerous articles, books, and podcasts regarding change and leadership. A book titled The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, and some writings from Andy Stanley really stood out to me. They spoke about the need to challenge the status quo. The biggest item I took away from all of these readings is this: Progress is preceded by change, and change is preceded by challenge. Therefore, you must challenge the status quo for change and progress to occur. Taking this all into consideration, it is important that I, and we, create an environment that provides the freedom to challenge the current process. I am one person and the way I interpret things and […]

Best Virus Email Ever

December 13, 2010 Keith 0

Just received this spam email at my work address. Priceless! DEAR RECEIVER, You have just received a Taliban virus. Since we are not so technologicaly advanced in Afghanistan, this is a MANUAL virus. Please delete all the files on your hard disk yourself and send this mail to everyone you know. Thank you very much for helping us. Thanks & Regards Miss Helen Would love to know if anyone actually executes on this request.

My Windows Phone 7 (WP7) Experience

December 10, 2010 Keith 2

I have always been an outspoken BlackBerry fan. If it is not evident by my extreme BlackBerry usage, then it is by the crick in my neck. And if that isn’t enough, I will wear my BlackBerry cufflinks to drive the point home. My journey began with RIM in 2002 with the BlackBerry 957. It was a data-only device and it is a dinosaur, compared to today’s devices. Today I can be found attached to my BlackBerry Bold 2 9700, sporting the latest BlackBerry OS 6. With that said, I will be the first person to try out the latest devices in the market, especially since I am responsible for the mobile team within our technology organization. In addition to all of the BlackBerry devices I have owned (including the recently released Torch, for which I am not a fan), I have had the iPhone, several Android devices (HTC EVO […]

Muddy Buddy 2010

June 20, 2010 Keith 1

I had the pleasure of participating in my first Muddy Buddy event this past weekend. My best friend, Daryl, and I hit the Georgia International Horse Park bright and early Saturday morning to take on this awesome challenge. The event consists of a mix of mountain biking and trail running. You can read more at their site, but it is important that I note that they don’t let you leave the event until you get…muddy! At the end of the course there was a big mud pit that Daryl and I had to traverse to get to the finish line; we did it in style and crossed the finish line with nothing but smiles. Unfortunately, being we were new to the race, we didn’t know they would take your picture around the corner from the finish line. We were so eager to get cleaned up and hit the beer garden […]

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IHG Launches Priority Club Rewards iPhone App

April 27, 2010 Keith 1

Hooray! We just launched our first iPhone application and it is now available via the App Store. I must say that for our first release, the application is quite impressive. It is branded Priority Club Rewards, which is our loyalty program, and the key features include: Enroll to become a Priority Club Rewards member Find and book rooms at over 4,400 hotels worldwide Use Priority Club Rewards account information to expedite bookings Use GPS and interactive maps to easily find hotels near you View and cancel upcoming reservations View photo galleries and amenities for each hotel Click-to-call for each hotel View Priority Club Rewards points balance and membership status Get access to special offers Update your Priority Club Rewards profile information The team worked extra hard on delivering and I couldn’t be more proud. Well done, folks. Here is a screen grab from an iPhone for more information. What are […]