Tag: Google

Google’s Introduction spell…

Starting this week, as Google has officially announced that users will be noticing a lot of design changes across the board of Google products.  Though it did not mention that Google will also be unveiling some new products, which being Google+ for public offering.

Google+ has been released for limited public with invitations being the only method as of now, by which you can get on the bus.

Techcrunch reported today, that Google has silently released another product – Google Takeout, which gives you the ability to download your data from Buzz, Contacts and Circles, Picasa Web Albums, Profile, and Stream.

The application creates an archive of your data from these apps, and lets you download it on your machine. I tried exporting Buzz data, coz it’s a small set, just to see how it works and the format, in which data gets downloaded. The archive is made up of HTML files, with one HTML page for one buzz. It includes the comments which someone might have made on that post of yours.

This comes as a nice addition to Google suite of products and offerings.

Speech recognition on Google homepage

Just noticed that Google homepage is now equipped with speech recognition, so that you can speak your search string to it. This coming to web is a great thing!

You just need to click on the microphone and then speak your search string! Viola!

Google, always FTW!

Edit: This is currently only working or better say available on Chrome! I just tried on Firefix 5, and am seeing the normal homepage there.

New features added in Gmail

This morning as soon as I opened up an incoming mail in Gmail, I noticed a new feature which they unveiled. The feature is named People

New Feature in Gmail
People pane

When you open up the mail, on the right hand side, you’ll notice a pane, titled People, which will mention people who are in the To list of the mail AND also are in your contact list. Each such contact can be clicked upon to show recent activity for that user. When you click on any one user, the resulting pane in the same space, will display the last mails you send/received from that contact, along with options to send mail, call, chat and others.

The feature (algorithm working behind the scenes) also captures if something is being talked about some event, meeting, and neatly grabs the related details, and gives you the option then and there to add the event to your Google Calendar.

Nice neat additions Gmail. Keep up the good work.

HTML5 and the browsers

Google Chrome released its latest version this morning, which is 7.0.517.41. With this release,   Chrome has added more support for HTML5.

Notable features with this release are:

  • Full AppleScript support on Mac OS X for UI Automation
  • Implementation of HTML5 parsing algorithms, File API and directory uploads
  • New dialog for managing block cookies in bulk

As I always do with every new release, I checked the compatibility of the browser with HTML5 on http://html5test.com/ and Chrome scored a neat 231 out of 300. Chrome 6 had 217 out of 231. I have not installed IE9 on my machine for some reason and don’t even intend to do that for some time, but I used it on some other machine and IE9 scored a pathetic 91 out of 300! I was thinking all the way that through IE9, Microsoft will try to enter browser war once more. Nevertheless, it seems they are aiming for something else. At the same time, Mozilla Firefox is still at 139 points out of 300. I hope they must be aiming for there next release to address more and more of HTML5 support.

In the meantime, did you guys visit http://www.apple.com/html5/ for some cool demos related to HTML5? If not, maybe you can spend a minute or two right now.

[Update: Just installed Firefox 4 Beta 6 and they have changed a lot from UI perspective. Still have to explore it. BTW, the new version as I said above, does support a lot of HTML5 features and scores 204/300]

Google Apps Out of Beta

Many of you would not have noticed that the word beta is no more coming with a lot of Google apps like Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Talk. Google finally decided to take these google apps including Gmail out of Beta.

It has been more than 5 years since Gmail’s launch on April 1, 2004. Millions of users are already using it and a larger percentage of that have been loyal to Gmail to the point that Gmail has become the primary email service for them. I am one of those. I have been using most of Google Apps frequently in my daily life. Google Docs have replaced my dependence on MS Word, MS Excel. It’s not that I am using that in Office but for everything personal, I prefer to use Google Docs. When Gmail and Google Talk were launched, it pulled me away from my then primary Yahoo account. I no more log on to YM, except occasional for the sake of it.

A new Wave to hit the web

At the recently concluded Google IO 2009 (Google’s developer conference), Google unveiled Google Wave. It is a new communication service which integrates conversation and documents. It will be a one stop solution offering mail, instant messaging, document sharing – which includes photos, documents, maps, videos and more. Wave is going to be the next generation of collaboration tool which will redefine everything it’s going to touch. You will be able to write documents collaboratively, mail, talk, play games together, plan events, take polls, and an n number of other activities.

Google Wave is the brainchild of Rasmussen brothers of Google Maps fame. Lars Rasmussen while delivering the preview address at the IO told that after Maps, he and his brother Jens were thinking of something new to work on and then Jens had this idea about integrating conversation and documents and offering the same through a website.

In Google Wave world, you don’t send a mail or do an IM, what you actually do is create a WAVE. Some of the cool features are Live transmission of the messages you are typing character by character, which means no more waiting for “someone is typing” But for some of the folks, who prefer writing to themselves before transmitting the same to the other party, there is a check box to enable/disable this feature at their ease. You can start email or IM type conversation in the same app….easily add mew people to the existing conversation/mail. And the best feature here,is playback functionality for the folks who joined conversation late. They can use this feature to actually see message by message concersation from where all it started and which messaged followed! This is simply amazing as per me. They thought of everything in such a detail. There are hell lot of other features to explore and adore! The messages which are recieved as reply to some messages are usually structured in a tree shape.

For adding attachment, be it – pictures, documents just drag them into you Wave window. What’s more is the collaborative editing feature. Just share a document with others and start editing different sections of the same document at the same time and yes you will able to see the changes made by others at run time, remember that cool live transmission thing. This will come very handy when discussing and planning for an outing and everyone needs to come out with suggestions. It will all be there at one place for everyone to see. Again the same Wave window supports multiple languages, so you can edit that document I shared in English while I can decide to add some lines in Hindi and someone else decided to add some lines in Chinese. All this in the same window.

Next comes games, you can play collaborative games and solve those puzzles and crosswords with your friends. That’s another cool feature I will say. It’s not playing as opponents but collaborating for the same cause! The games they previewed where Sudoku and puzzles (I guess). I will go for both of them, even crosswords and jumbled letters. It will all be so great!

Among all this, MS Bing lost its shine in the media world that day as Wave stole all the limelight and it deserved to do so! Waiting for Google Wave and to ride the Wave! Google FTW as always!

MS to replace Live with Bing

Microsoft is soon going to unveil its new search engine named Bing. It will replace the current search platform, Live. So far MS has constantly staggered behind Google in the search market. It always tries to catch on but Google in no way looks to relent and take a breath in this race. Google continues to be the leader in the game with 64% share of US search market!

Bing at its core is a decision engine which intially aims at users trying to find something related to shopping, travel,health & local business. It’s not that it will not respond to other search terms, it will. Nevertheless, users trying to find something in above 4 categories will feel a richer experience. I have still to try hands on it as after the intial rollout they have taken it back and all you can see now is the video.

Let’s see how it shapes itself up for the users who are waiting to try hands on it. Only time will tell whether it’s going to present stiff competition to Google or the bubble will burst like Cuil