Monday, December 27, 2010

Google TV for Kids!

Peter Sherman, (Marketing Team) says

We all love the holidays, but it's always a challenge to entertain the kids, especially when the excitement of gift giving has died down. A popular way to keep them occupied is in front of the TV, but this often leads to endless channel surfing, the occasional cry of "I'm bored," and a high likelihood that your kid will end up watching "whatever's on."

While we can't guarantee that your kid will choose to watch the most educational content every time (we're partial to YouTube EDU), we are sure you'll find that Google TV helps in many ways.

The least that Google TV can do is to end the era of mindless channel surfing. Using Google's search functionality, your kid (or my nephews) can find the show or movie they are looking for immediately, whether it's on TV or the web. A search for "Santa" just brought up 24 movies and 30 episodes on TV and services such as Amazon Video On Demand or Netflix. Once my nephews are through with those, we can get started on all the great Santa-related web videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and the rest

If your kids want truly interactive TV (who can blame them?), then Google TV can really help out. There are great websites optimized for the TV suited for the kits in our Spotlight Gallery. Some of the most kid friendly sites are:

  • MeeGenius: Read your kids beautifully illustrated books (a huge array of classics and more modern tales). You can customize some of the content to make it more personal and the app will then read the story out loud, with the relevant words highlighted on screen for you kids to follow along.

  • Fraboom: There is so much going on at Fraboom (from educational videos to games) that they are right to describe it as a museum. Look out for the battle against Baron Von Boredom.

  • PBSKids: A really simple interface means that kids can navigate around their favorite videos of PBS KIDS shows like Curious George and Dinosaur Train.

  • Cartoon Network: Quickly and easily find all your favorite shows from Cartoon Network.
see also:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Its easy to edit photos from orkut

Virginia Roman, (Picnik writer and orkut site editor) says

Orkut has an exciting new feature to share with you all: Now you can edit all the photos in your orkut albums with Picnik, the online photo editor. Picnik makes your photos fabulous! It's an award-winning photo editing application that lives online, in your browser, with nothing to download. It's fast, easy and fun.

And now it's right in orkut! Just open any photo in your orkut photo albums and click on the "Edit with Picnik" button above it:

Picnik will load right inside of orkut. You can do basic fixes with easy but powerful editing tools, tweak to your heart's content, then get creative with oodles of effects, fonts, shapes, frames and more:

When you're done turning your photo into your perfect picture, just click the "Save to my album" button in the top right-hand corner to add your new photo right back into the photo album it started in. It's never been easier!

The best part is, this is all happening right in time for the Holidays! Picnik has a whole suite of Holiday tools for cheerful costumes, wintery effects, and all the decorations your photos could ever need to ring in this merriest time of year. So even if you live in the southern hemisphere and you're on your summer vacation enjoying the beach, you can turn your photos into the perfect Winter Wonderland.

Everyone here on both orkut and Picnik teams wishes you all Happy Holidays and Happy Picniking!

see also: /

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Free call option in gmail until newyear :)

When we launched calling in Gmail back in August, we wanted it to be easy and affordable, so we made calls to the U.S. and Canada free for the rest of 2010. In the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year, we're extending free calling for all of 2011.

In case you haven't tried it yet, dialing a phone number works just like a regular phone. Look for "Call phone" at the top of your Gmail chat list and dial a number or enter a contact's name.

To learn more, visit Calling in Gmail is currently only available to U.S. based Gmail users.

Happy New Year and happy calling!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Safer plug-ins. Fastest Chrome

Carlos Pizano, Software Engineer says (from

Last week, we previewed several upcoming features that will be available to users on Chrome and Chrome OS. Today we’re excited to introduce a few of these new security, speed, and open web platform features into Chrome’s beta channel.

As one of the engineers working on Chrome’s sandbox, I’m happy to announce that we’re bringing Chrome’s existing sandboxing technology for web pages to the Flash Player plug-in in Chrome for Windows. The sandbox adds an additional layer of protection to further guard against malicious pages that try to hijack your computer or steal private information from your hard drive. Based on this groundwork in the beta, we’ll be bringing the sandboxed Flash Player to Chrome for Mac and Linux in future releases as well. For an explanation of how sandboxing technology makes Chrome safer, check out this animated video:

With the latest beta, you can turn on Chrome Instant (à la Google Instant), which lets you view web pages and search results faster than ever. With Instant enabled, web pages that you frequently visit will begin loading as soon as you start typing a URL in the omnibox, faster than you can say ‘Jack Robinson!’ (or in this case, faster than you can hit Enter). In addition, if supported by your default search engine, search results appear instantly as you type queries in the omnibox, and in-line predictions will also appear to help guide your search. Give it a whirl by enabling it on the Basics tab of Chrome’s options and see how you like it!

Finally, this beta will include WebGL, a new web technology for bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. For more on WebGL in Chrome, check out the Chromium blog. If you’d like to learn more about 3D in the browser and what hardware-accelerated graphics, read on in ouronline guidebook to browsers and the web.

We hope you’ll enjoy this safer, faster, and more powerful version of the Chrome beta!

Dual View in Google TV!

Dual View
Google TV brings the TV and web together in one seamless experience so you can easily watch your favorite TV show and browse your favorite website together at once. With the feature, you can do things like watch Conan while tweeting about him on Twitter at the same time. Since launch, we've had users give us feedback that they want even more customization options for this feature, and so today we have enhanced it to allow you to re-size and move the window however you'd like. 

Standard capability
New capability to move and re-size

Say you're searching for a movie like 'Harry Potter'. Google TV now has a movie results page that shows you all films associated with the title so you can quickly watch what you want, wherever it's available -- ranging from sources like live TV, Netflix, and Amazon Video on Demand. You can also read a quick summary, see photos, and find the cast list. Click on the name of a cast member and we'll take you to a new search landing page where you can find other movies featuring that actor. Trust us, you'll never leave the couch again.

We've partnered up with our friends at Netflix to upgrade the app so that you can search, browse and watch any movie or show that is in the Netflix streaming catalog. You can even add these titles to your DVD queue if you want them mailed to you. Not sure what to watch? The new Netflix app will also give you personalized recommendations based on what you've watched before. Your TV is now an unlimited source of entertainment.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Google TV Remote App available in Android market

The Google TV Remote app is available today (click here from your Android device or scan the barcode below) but all features may not work until your device has received the update.

Scan from your Android phone

We are continuously listening to feedback and are excited to bring you more Google TV updates in the future. Please leave your feedback in the comments, on Twitter, or on our Facebook page. Don't have a Google TV device yet? Submit a video telling us why you should receive one and you might just end up with a 46" HDTV to kick off the new year right.

Granting access to your Gmail account!

I use two Gmail accounts: one is my personal account and the other I share with my family (we use it to subscribe to groups like my children's classroom mailing list). Checking these two different accounts used to mean I had to sign out and back in to Gmail all the time. Not anymore. Instead, I can grant my personal account access to my shared family account and view, organize and send mail on behalf of our shared account.

We've offered email delegation for Google Apps accounts for a while — it's super useful for people who want their assistants to have access to read or respond to mail on their behalf. Now this functionality is available for anyone using Gmail. To grant access to another account, click the Settings link in the top right corner of Gmail. On the "Accounts" tab, you'll see a new section where you can "Grant access to your account." For example, below we've given access to the account.

The account you add will get a verification email with links to accept or deny access. Once the account accepts and you've refreshed your browser or logged in and out again, you'll see a small down arrow beside the email address at the top right corner of Gmail which can be used to toggle between accounts — in this case and

Each account will open in a different browser tab or window so you can view both accounts simultaneously, all while signed into your primary account. When you send a message from while signed in as, it will appear as being sent by on behalf of

Signing out of any one of the accounts will sign you out of all the accounts you're currently viewing, and, of course, you can revoke access at any time.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Announcing the “I Want my Google TV!” contest

If you're like most people, you probably love watching YouTube videos on your computer. But what if there were a full-screen, HD version of YouTube available a channel flip away on your TV? Now there is, made possible by Google TV.

Google TV brings television, apps, and the entire World Wide Web directly to your living you can watch even more YouTube, only now on the biggest screen in your home. And because it's the season of giving, the crew here at YouTube and Google are excited to announce a contest to give away 100 free 46" Sony Internet TVs powered by Google TV.

To enter to win, create and upload a video telling us and all your friends on YouTube why you're pumped up about Google TV. Winning submissions will be selected based on originality, creativity, entertainment factor, technical execution, and how well you explain why you are excited about Google TV and watching YouTube on Google TV. View the contest rules and full list of judging criteria here.

Don't forget to upload your video by December 22, and tag it with "ytgtv" so we can showcase your creations. Winners will be announced by January 20, 2011.

Good luck!

see also

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gmail Now available in 44 more Languages in iPhone & Android

Scott Eblen, Product Manager say's

There are many ways to get your Gmail on your phone. The mobile webapp version of Gmail (which you can get to by going to in your browser) is the best way to get the most Gmail features on your iPhone or Android-powered device. Features such as search, stars, labels and threaded conversations all work in the mobile webapp just as they do in the desktop Gmail experience. Today, we're bringing the latest version of our HTML5 webapp to 44 new languages.

Before today, this new version was only available for U.S. English, but we're now expanding to Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (UK and American), Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian (Bokmal), Polish, Portuguese (for both Portugal and Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (for both Spain and South America), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, Urdu and Vietnamese.

If your phone's default language is one of those listed, go to in your phone's browser and the new interface will appear in your language automatically. We've been rolling these changes out, so some of you may have already seen them. You'll get a bunch of new goodies including offline support, smart links (titles will appear in links for Google Maps, YouTube and Google Docs), the ability to add and remove labels, layout improvements and more—in addition to the existing features like starring, better threaded conversations and search.

This new version works for iPhones running iOS 2.2.1 and above, and all versions of Android. Go to in the browser of your iPhone or Android-powered device to try it out, and if you have any feedback, let us know in our forum.

Youtube link: (Mobile web Gmail in 44 languages)
see also I

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Best of Google TV series : How to Get Your Family on TV

Ambarish Kenghe (AK), Product Management Team says

As the holidays get into full swing, I am spending more and more time with my extended family, getting in to all kinds of fun. Like any self-respecting embarrassing dad, I love capturing these precious moments by making tons of great little videos and taking even more photos. I no longer need any fancy equipment to do this – most smart-phones now take great photos and videos (I love my Nexus S, if you're interested.)

The best part is that we can all slump on the sofa and re-live the best moments on my TV whenever we want, because it's powered by Google TV. In the not-so-distant past, your family would only get on TV if they were (un)lucky enough to get onto a TV show. More recently, you would have to find the right lead, plug your high-end camera into your TV and navigate though impossible menus and settings.

Now, you don't need any fancy equipment to do this, either. My preference is to do a little editing, then save the best photos and videos to a Picasa Web Album, which I can do straight from my phone. Using the Gallery app on my TV, which syncs to Picasa, I immediately have a slide-show on a 46" photo-frame right in the living room. We've had a lot of fun using Picnik to add silly effects to our photos.

I tend to upload the very best videos to YouTube, so that the world can share my family insanity. Watching these in Leanback mode on TV makes it feel like we've almost got our own TV channel – it's even in HD, which is pretty incredible for something recorded on a phone.

The most important point is that you don't need to use the same services I do. Because Google TV has a full web browser, it can access any website you want to use. For example Flickr looks great on the big screen and Vimeo Couch Mode is optimized for viewing on Google TV.

When I say you can get your family on TV, I mean all of them, wherever they are in the world. If you have the Logitech TV Cam, you can video chat with friends and family on the big screen (no more huddling around a tiny laptop screen).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good news for android users! improved priority Inbox and compose

Paul Westbrook, (Gmail for Android team) says
When we first released Gmail in Android Market back in September, we said that you'd be getting new stuff faster, and we meant it. After getting thousands of comments on that release, we made a bunch of updates based on your feedback and today we're launching Gmail for Android 2.3.2.

Priority Inbox

First of all, you told us that you love Priority Inbox and expect much better support for it on your phone. Now you can see important messages in a new Priority Inbox view.

This view includes all important messages in your inbox, regardless of whether you've read them or not. You can archive and delete conversations or mark them unimportant from there. You'll notice the importance markers you're used to seeing in the desktop version of Gmail, and you can also change a conversation's importance using the menu. To switch between inboxes or labels, try tapping on the current label.

Ever wanted to know that you got an important message without taking your phone out of your pocket? Now you can set up your phone to notify, vibrate, or ring on just your new important mail (check out Menu > Settings > Priority Inbox).

While Priority Inbox on your Android phone doesn't have all the features offered in the desktop version of Gmail, we think this is a good start and plan to add even more functionality moving forward.

Improved Compose

Since our last Market update, we adopted a few features related to composing messages from the desktop version of Gmail. Many of you asked for a better way to switch between replying to the sender to replying to all. Now, you can easily switch between reply, reply all, and forward while composing your response.


If you moved to Gmail from another webmail provider and want to continue to send email from that address, now you can send from any address you've configured in the desktop version of Gmail.

In addition, you can now respond to messages in-line.


You won't need to wait for Gingerbread to get these updates. This version of the Gmail app works for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and newer releases in most countries. (Not sure if your device is running the right version? Check here.) Get the update from Android Market (just scan the QR code below, or click here if you're on a phone) and check out the new Gmail. And don't forget to send us your feedback from within the new version of the app (from your Inbox: Menu > More > About > Feedback).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dont worry about time zones! google calendar can help you!

Oleksandr Kyreiev, Software Engineer from gmail blog

Dealing with time zones can be a headache. Whether you're a regular traveler or trying to plan ahead for your weekend in Paris, it's often difficult to keep track of time differences. We've heard your feedback and are pleased to announce a new addition to Google Calendar: event time zones.

With event time zones, you can specify the time zone for a given event. So when you're home in Florida, you can more easily set up dinner with your friend in Paris for the following week. Events will appear on your calendar according to the current time zone you're in, and when you change to your destination time zone they'll be in the right place. Just click the "Time zone" link to the right of the date and time fields on the event page. You can even set up events which start in one time zone and end in another, ideal for those of you who fly often.


Google Wave until Dec 31, 2010!

As we announced back in August, we are not continuing active development of Google Wave as a stand-alone product, but have been working hard on the open source Wave in a box project and on making waves accessible through Google Docs.

We wanted to let you know that we will keep running past December 31, 2010 until a suitable replacement to host all your waves is available. In the meantime, you can now use the new export feature to download a zipped version of up to ten waves at a time. Learn more in the Google Wave Help Center.

Additionally, Wave in a Box, the project to make it easy for anyone to host their own wave server, has made significant progress on both functionality and community growth. Just last week, the Apache Software Foundation accepted Wave into its incubator for new projects.

Thanks yet again to all our users for giving Wave a try with your schools, businesses and organizations and to the developers who are working on the next steps for the open source project!

Wave on,

see also: Waving in 2011 (from google wave blog) |  A Priority Inbox update: time savings, new features, and your feedback (from gmail blog)

New Priority Inbox : Less time, more features!

Pal Takacsi-Nagy, Engineering Manager (from gmail blog)

It's been a couple of months since we first launched Priority Inbox. Since then, we've heard from a number of you who've found it helpful in combating information overload, and we've seen evidence of this in aggregate too. Looking at median time in conversation view, we noticed that typical Priority Inbox users spend 43% more time reading important mail compared to unimportant, and 15% less time reading email overall as compared to Gmail users who don't use Priority Inbox. We're excited about the impact Priority Inbox can have, and we're listening to your feedback in order to make it even better.

For example, one thing we heard is that you wanted to know why Gmail classifies certain messages as important. So starting today, when you hover over an importance marker () you'll see a short explanation (e.g. "Important because you marked it as important" or "Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.").

You also told us that you thought Priority Inbox didn't learn fast enough, so we've made it much more responsive to your manual corrections.

If you have more ideas for improvements, please share them with us on our new product ideas page — or just vote on ideas that others suggest. Your feedback will help us make Priority Inbox work for even more Gmail users.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Google TV Rocking Out for the Holidays

It's the first week of December -- time to get ready for the holidays! What better way to get into the spirit than to listen to holiday music? And why listen to it on your computer or your iPod when you can listen to it from your TV, which is likely connected to the best speakers in your house? Here are the Google TV team's top music recommendations for Google TV:
  1. Pandora* - pick a song or artist you like, and Pandora will magically create an endless playlist of similar music for you.
  2. VEVO** - a TV-optimized set of back-to-back HD music videos featuring your favorite artists.
  3. Napster* - grab a subscription and get unlimited music.
  4. Grooveshark - millions of streaming songs online.
  5. - stream music and keep a record of what you listen to from any player.
In the Spotlight
Want even more? Here are some new websites that have been optimized for Google TV. If you have a device, you can try them out in the Spotlight folder linked from your home screen.
  1. - free uncut movies & TV shows.
  2. - online children's museum - it's like a live classroom in your living room.
  3. - Public Media serving Northern California featuring news, food, arts, and science.
  4. video - mSpot Movies brings the newest on-demand movies to your TV.
  5. PartyCentral - a fun game where you can socialize with guests, earn popularity, and customize your house to host the hottest party.
Check them out and let us know what you think! And if you're a Google TV owner, please add a comment below, Facebook us, or tweet at us with your own favorite things to do. Who knows - we just might feature it in an upcoming post!

* Available in the Applications folder linked from your Google TV home screen.
** Available in the Spotlight folder linked from your Google TV home screen.

see also
Rocking out for holidays
I Call credits for military families this holiday season

Friday, December 3, 2010

$10 Call credits for military families this holiday season

Michael Bolognino, Product Marketing Manager (from gmail blog) says

Keeping in touch with family during the holiday season can be challenging for anyone, but it's especially difficult for military families with loved ones serving around the country or overseas.

Gmail's built in video chat and free calls to the U.S. and Canada can help keep friends and family in contact regardless of how far apart they may be. To make staying in touch this holiday season even easier for military families, we're offering a $10 calling credit to help them reach their loved ones serving abroad.

These international call credits can be used to make calls with Google Voice or from right insideGmail, and will provide families with roughly 30 minutes of call time to Afghanistan, 60 minutes to Iraq, or hundreds of minutes to many countries in Europe and around the world.

To make this possible, we've partnered with Blue Star Families and Sesame Street, two organizations dedicated to supporting service members and their families.

Photo by Sesame Workshop, 2010

To be eligible for $10 calling credits, military family members must:
  1. Be a member of either Blue Star Families or Sesame Street Family Connections — registration is free for all military families
  2. Provide their Gmail address
  3. Enable calling in Gmail and accept the terms of service OR have an existing Google Voice account
  4. Complete this registration form by December 22, 2010

We recognize the sacrifices military family members make when loved ones serve abroad, and we're proud to help make it a little bit easier for families to stay connected over the holidays.

At this time, Google Voice and calling in Gmail are available in the U.S. only.

Make Money using Google Affiliate Network

original post from Google Affiliate Network (GAN)

There are lots of great ways to make money from your blog. One of those ways is to use an affiliate network. Put simply, an affiliate network is a way to promote products from some of your favorite retailers; you get paid when any of those retailers makes a sale based on a promotion you ran on your blog. Our friends at the Google Affiliate Network have a great program and have agreed to make a special offer to our users—so if you haven't heard of GAN already, have a read, and be sure to sign up!

With Google Affiliate Network, you can access affiliate ads for top retailers. If the ad or text link you post on your blog results in a sale, you earn a commission. This means that you can start working with advertisers who will pay you a performance fee for driving a sale or other conversion.

Google Affiliate Network gives you access to a diverse range of affiliate programs for advertisers including Barnes &, Red Envelope, Sears, ProFlowers, Abe Books and Puma. Once you have access, you can apply to create advertiser programs, promote ads, search for links to specific products, sign up to access product feeds, and utilize Link Subscriptions that deliver the latest links and promotions directly to you each day.

Google Affiliate Network is featured in the Monetize tab in your Blogger account or you can apply using the link below (please note that you'll need an AdSense ID to join).

Here's how to get started:
  1. Sign up for a Google Affiliate Network account with your valid AdSense Publisher ID.
  2. As soon as you're approved for Google Affiliate Network, sign in and apply for advertiser programs.
  3. Follow the instructions to start displaying cost-per-action ads.
Check out our Beginner's Guide to help you through the process of becoming a successful publisher and continue reading for the answers to our frequently asked questions.

Apply before December 13th and take advantage of affiliate exclusive holiday offers from select Google Affiliate Network advertisers. The special offers will be available for Monday, December 13th, from over 20 advertisers including Barnes &, Sears, Red Envelope, Arden B and 6ave. For more information, please visit this blog post or apply now with your valid AdSense Publisher ID.

see also: