Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wish Google Wave for 1st Birthday :)

Earlier today, we posted about our first birthday on the Official Google blog.
Here on our team blog, we wanted to add a big "THANK YOU!" to all of the developers, students, teachers, journalists, screenwriters, video producers, analysts, entrepreneurs, robot builders, musicians, dentists, gamers, community organizers, veterinarians, hotel managers, engineers and everyone else who have been using Google Wave and sharing feedback and stories to help us continue building and improving the product, platform and protocol.

Here's to you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reshare buzz's if you Like!

Sam Goto, (Software Engineer) Say's

The other day I posted this video to the version of Buzz we use inside of Google. A few people commented on it, 13 liked it, and 68 of my coworkers thought it was interesting enough that they wanted to share it with their own followers. Collectively, thousands of people watched it, many of whom were many degrees away from me.

For the last couple weeks we've been testing reshare — and today we're excited to roll it out to everyone. If you don't see the "Reshare" link quite yet, hang tight. It should be on for everyone by the end of the day.

How reshare works

When you find an interesting buzz post you want to reshare, instead of copying and pasting it (and maybe attributing the original poster with an @reply along the way), you can now reshare posts with two clicks.

First, click "Reshare":

Then type up anything you want to add and click "Post":

Your post will include a link to the original post:

Note that this only works for public posts; private posts won't have the reshare link since the original poster intended to limit the audience of their post.

A little more background

Reshare has been one of our top user requests, so we hope we've made a number of you happy. We realize that just as many will likely wonder why we decided to implement it the way we did. So, here's a bit more background for those who are curious:
  • First, back to those two clicks: one click vs. two click reshare was a hard choice (I know, it doesn't sound so hard, but we spent a lot of time on this!). Ultimately, we chose to go with two clicks because we want people to be able to reshare publicly or privately and also encourage resharers to add their own new content to the post.
  • If you follow a bunch of people who all reshare the same thing, the last thing you want is for that same post to appear over and over again. When this happens, similar posts get collapsed, so you should only see each thing once.
  • You'll notice that resharing creates a new post, effectively forking the conversation. To fork or not fork was a decision we debated for a while. Ultimately, we think forked conversations help create more varied, intimate discussions around a single item. We realize people may want a non-forking version too, so we're thinking about how to do that as well.
  • When there is a chain of reshares, the names of all of the people who publicly reshare the post appear on the original item, even if they're not directly connected to the original author. If you share something that ends up getting passed around by lots of other people, it's pretty cool to see that.
  • If you "like" a reshare, you don't automatically also "like" the original post. Imagine what would happen if I reshare a very positive movie review and write "What a joke! This movie was terrible!" Someone who likes my post probably doesn't want their "like" showing on the original post praising the film, too.

Overall, we've made a lot of progress since my original ASCII mockups...

...and after a lot of debate, we even settled on what to call it...

...but reshare is still very much a work in progress. We wanted to launch and iterate so be sure to let us know what you think in the forum or on Buzz.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

10 Tips for Gmail to use more flexible

Michelle Lisowski, (Product Marketing Manager, Google Apps) Say's

Working with a lot of small business owners who have moved their email over to Google Apps, we've found that many started out managing their work email through their personal accounts. So, in honor of National Small Business Week and the estimated 27.2 million small businesses in America, we wanted to share some tips we've picked up from them (and other people at Google) on how to get the most out of using Gmail at work.

1. Get a Gmail account at your own domain (e.g. with Google Apps. Google Apps is a suite of communication and collaboration tools, including Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs, which run on your own domain, so instead of using your email address, you (and other employees) can have email addresses Using a customized email address can help build an identity around your business and make you look more professional along the way.

2. Add a custom signature to the bottom of your email messages. Email signatures are automatically inserted at the bottom of every message you send, and can be a great place to add your title, contact information, and even the latest news from your company. Just go to Settings at the top of your inbox and enter your signature text in the box at the bottom.

3. Manage multiple email accounts from a single interface. If you're like a lot of business owners, you probably regularly receive email in several different accounts. By centralizing your correspondence in Gmail, you'll be able to keep track of it all more easily. To do this, either forward your other email addresses to your main Gmail account or route them there using Gmail's Mail Fetcher, which downloads messages via POP from up to five other accounts. To set it up, visit the Account and Import tab under Settings.

4. Set up custom "From" addresses. This feature allows you to send messages from Gmail with one of your other email addresses listed as the sender. Once you set it up, you can choose the address you want to reply from while composing messages in the "From:" address drop down. This too is under Settings on the Account and Import tab.

5. Embrace labels. Folders are familiar, especially when it comes to work email. If you want to organize your emails in a similar way, make sure you're using Gmail labels. Combined with filters, they can be a powerful tool to manage your mail. Create labels for projects, vendors, customers, weekly reports, launches, to-do's -- the list goes on. You can also add custom colors to your labels, order them based on priority, and search the contents of specific labels. And don't forget that you can drag messages into labels, just like you can with folders.

6. Use chat and video chat to communicate with colleagues, or provide real-time customer support.
No matter where everyone is located, you can communicate in real-time as though you were in the same room with video chat or just chat via voice or text. Try using "Reply by chat" at the bottom of each message if you want to reach the sender quickly. To add video chat capabilities to Gmail, all you need is this small plugin and a webcam.

7. Keep track of your to-do's with Tasks.
You spend a lot of time in your inbox, so why not keep track of what you have to do there too? Tasks allows you to create multiple lists, add notes to each task, assign due dates, and get the satisfaction of checking off completed items.

8. Use offline Gmail anytime you're not online. Despite having Internet access almost everywhere, work may take you to places where you just can't get online. Turn on offline Gmail from the Offline tab under Settings, and Gmail will download a local cache of your mail which synchronizes with Gmail's servers while you're connected. When you lose connectivity, Gmail automatically switches to offline mode, so you can continue to work, and your replies are automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection.

9. Create canned responses and quickly reply to common questions. When it comes to emailing at work, you're probably used to sending out weekly reports, or answering the same questions from customers or colleagues multiple times. That's where canned responses can save precious time: turn on this feature in Gmail Labs, compose your response once, save it, then use it over and over again.

10. Make sure you have the right Bob before hitting send. If you've ever accidentally sent a personal email to the wrong co-worker, or emailed your internal meeting notes to an external contact, then you'll want to turn on "Got the wrong Bob?" from the Labs tab under Settings. Based on the groups of people you email most often, Gmail will try to flag when you've accidentally included the wrong person.

For more tips, check out To keep up with the latest news on using Gmail and other Google products at work, follow us on the Google Enterprise Blog.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Orkut getting new features :)

Gustavo Moura, (Google interaction designer) Say's

Have you noticed how the top of your orkut page is nicer now? Yes, that small bar with links to other Google products (such as Gmail, Maps and Books) just got new features!

The main change is a link to the new orkut settings window that you can open at any time:

Now all your orkut settings will be there in one easy place. Simply open the four tabs (Profile, Privacy, General and Notifications) to check your current settings. It will be faster than ever to change them the way you really want!

We also added to the top of the page a new link to change your profile color or theme:

Later, if you visit someone else's page and (totally) crave their theme, just grab it for yourself with the "get this theme" link that will also show up at the top of the page when you visit other orkut profiles:

I hope you enjoy both these new features!

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Google Chrome Supports Mac and Linux!

In our most recent beta release, we fired up all engines to bring to life our fastest version of Chrome to date.

Today, we're bringing all this beta goodness to the stable channel so that it's available to all Chrome users. We're particularly excited to bring Chrome for Mac and Linux out of beta, and introduce Chrome's first stable release for Mac and Linux users. You can read more about the Mac and Linux stable releases on the Google Mac and Chromium blogs respectively.

Today's stable release also comes with a host of new features. You'll be able to synchronize not only bookmarks across multiple computers, but also browser preferences -- including themes, homepage and startup settings, web content settings, preferred languages, and even page zoom settings. Meanwhile, for avid extensions users, you can enable each extension to work in incognito mode through the extensions manager.

Our stable release also incorporates HTML5 features such as Geolocation APIs, App Cache, web sockets, and file drag-and-drop. For a taste of HTML5's powerful features, try browsing through websites developed in HTML5 such as, dragging and dropping attachments in Gmail, or by enabling the geolocation functionality in Google Maps. We've also given Chrome's bookmark manager a facelift with HTML5:

In recent weeks, we've been beta-testing Adobe Flash Player integration into Chrome. While Flash Player integration in the browser is not included by default in today's stable release, we're excited to enable this feature with the full release of Flash Player (version 10.1) soon.

If you're already using Chrome for Windows, Mac or Linux, you'll be auto-updated to this latest release soon. You can also try out these new features on our speedy browser now, by downloading Chrome from

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New in GMail Labs : Find the new location for icons

The icon column in Gmail helps to easily distinguish the various types of items in your inbox (e.g. messages with attachments, chats, calendar invitations, Buzz posts, and more). It's usually all the way over on the right of the screen, but with screen sizes becoming increasingly wider, I chose to make a very modest addition to Gmail Labs to try and give these icons greater visibility.

I found it much more useful to have this column situated on the far left of my inbox -- and it turns out that many of my colleagues did too.

If you'd like try out "Move Icon Column," simply visit the Labs tab under Gmail Settings, find this new Lab in the list, hit enable, and then save. It's not big and it's not clever but hopefully this lab might just be helpful for you too; it's the little things in life after all.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

30th Anniversary PAC-MAN doodle

We've been overwhelmed — but not surprised :) — by the success of our 30th anniversary PAC-MAN doodle. Due to popular demand, we’re making the game permanently available at

Thanks to NAMCO for helping to make this wonderful collaboration happen. Enjoy!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Google Helps Webmasters with Fonts

The Google Font Directory lets you browse all the fonts available via the Google Font API. All fonts in the directory are available for use on your website under an open source license and served by Google servers.

View font details to get the code needed to embed the font on your web site. Please also visit our quick start guide and FAQ page. For more help and suggestions, use our moderator page

The Google Font API helps you add web fonts to any web page.

Benefits of the Google Font API include:

  • A choice of high quality open source fonts.
  • Works in most browsers.
  • Extremely easy to use.

Google Font Directory

To give developers a choice of high-quality fonts when using the Font API, we have created the Google Font Directory. There you can browse our catalog of available fonts, learn about the font designers who created them, and copy the code required to use them on your web page.

The fonts in the directory are all released under open source licenses; you can use them on any non-commercial or commercial project.

Visit the Google Font Directory now

Applying a font is easy: just add a special stylesheet link to your web page, then use the font in a CSS style.

For details, see the quick start example.

Announcing the New Google TV

If there’s one entertainment device that people know and love, it’s the television. In fact, 4 billion people across the world watch TV and the average American spends five hours per day in front of one*. Recently, however, an increasing amount of our entertainment experience is coming from our phones and computers. One reason is that these devices have something that the TV lacks: the web. With the web, finding and accessing interesting content is fast and often as easy as a search. But the web still lacks many of the great features and the high-quality viewing experience that the TV offers.

So that got us thinking...what if we helped people experience the best of TV and the best of the web in one seamless experience? Imagine turning on the TV and getting all the channels and shows you normally watch and all of the websites you browse all day — including your favorite video, music and photo sites. We’re excited to announce that we’ve done just that.

Google TV is a new experience for television that combines the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet. With Google Chrome built in, you can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the web. This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web. Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.

Google TV uses search to give you an easy and fast way to navigate to television channels, websites, apps, shows and movies. For example, already know the channel or program you want to watch? Just type in the name and you’re there. Want to check out that funny YouTube video on your 48” flat screen? It’s just a quick search away. If you know what you want to watch, but you’re not sure where to find it, just type in what you’re looking for and Google TV will help you find it on the web or on one of your many TV channels. If you’d rather browse than search, you can use your standard program guide, your DVR or the Google TV home screen, which provides quick access to all of your favorite entertainment so you’re always within reach of the content you love most.

Because Google TV is built on open platforms like Android and Google Chrome, these features are just a fraction of what Google TV can do. In our announcement today at Google I/O, we challenged web developers to start coming up with the next great web and Android apps designed specifically for the TV experience. Developers can start optimizing their websites for Google TV today. Soon after launch, we’ll release the Google TV SDK and web APIs for TV so that developers can build even richer applications and distribute them through Android Market. We've already started building strategic alliances with a number of companies — like and Rovi — at the leading edge of innovation in TV technology. is a next-generation TV application working to provide semantic search, personalized recommendation and social features for Google TV across all sources of premium content available to the user. Rovi is one of the world's leading guide applications. We’re looking forward to seeing all of the ways developers will use this new platform.

We’re working together with Sony and Logitech to put Google TV inside of televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes. These devices will go on sale this fall, and will be available at Best Buy stores nationwide. You can sign up here to get updates on Google TV availability.

This is an incredibly exciting time — for TV watchers, for developers and for the entire TV ecosystem. By giving people the power to experience what they love on TV and on the web on a single screen, Google TV turns the living room into a new platform for innovation. We're excited about what’s coming. We hope you are too.

*Nielsen, Three Screen Report, Fourth Quarter 2009

Update(from google blog) 2:26PM: Updated to include more information about other developers.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google Wave is open for Everyone

Starting today, we are making Google Wave openly available to everyone as part of Google Labs. You no longer need an invitation to wave -- simply visit and sign right in. Likewise, if you are a Google Apps administrator at a business, school or organization, you can now easily enable Google Wave for all your users at no extra cost (more on our Enterprise blog).

We began previewing Google Wave with individuals and a handful of Google Apps customers six months ago. Since then, Wave has been used in a great many interesting ways. It's clear from the invaluable feedback we've received that Wave is a great place to get work done, in particular for teams working together on projects that involve lots of discussion and close coordination. Here are a few examples:

Business: Co-workers at companies large and small are using Wave, from writing software code at Lyn and Line and coordinating ad campaigns at Clear Channel Radio, to international project communications for Deloitte's As One project.

Education: University students and professors worldwide have used waves within and beyond the classroom to collaborate on Latin poetry translations, write academic research papers and even build new functionality with Wave's APIs. An ICT teacher also enjoyed having her 5th-graders do their class research in Wave.

Creative collaboration: From virtual art classes to writing the Complete Guide to Google Wave itself, waves make it easier for groups to review and critique multimedia content like images and videos. (We've heard that Wave is fun for gaming, too.)

Organizations and conferences: The Debatewise Global Youth panel explored climate change across 100 countries and waves at eComm (Emerging Communication Conference), LCA 2010 conference and HASTAC 2010 helped track speaking sessions. We are using waves in the same manner at today's Google I/O conference.

Journalism: Mashable used Wave to interview journalists on the future of journalism, and The Seattle Times experimented with a public Wave to develop their Pulitzer Prize-winning news coverage.

And here's a brief video to illustrate how groups can work together in Wave:

If you tried Google Wave out a while ago, and found it not quite ready for real use, now is a good time to come back for a second try. Wave is much faster and much more stable than when we began the preview, and we have worked hard to make Wave easier to use. For example, you can now get email notifications when waves change, easily navigate to unread parts of a wave, and remove participants added by mistake. We have also added permission management options and an extensions gallery.

Today, we are also launching several improvements to the Wave APIs and open sourcing additional components for developers building their own Wave services. Read more about these updates on our developer blog.

Wave on!

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This is new Google Calendar

Joe Ashear, (User Experience Designer) Say's

When I came to Google four years ago, a small group of engineers was putting the finishing touches on a calendar application. A few of us started using it, and I remember thinking, "Wow! It's so fresh and shiny and new!"

But over time the shiny new Calendar started to feel a little bit old, a little out of step with other Google Apps. So we rolled up our sleeves and we tweaked the layout, we twiddled the colors and we tuned the text...and this week we're pleased to show off a fresh new look for Google Calendar.

If you use Tasks in Calendar, you'll discover another change: we've removed the old Tasks link. Now to turn Tasks on and off, just click the Tasks calendar in your calendar list. If you only want to see tasks with due dates — the ones above your calendar — you can hide the task list by clicking the tall blue bar that separates the calendar from the task list.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Drag & Drop images into messages

Recently, we launched a feature that allows you to drag an attachment from your computer right onto Gmail.

I've always been a fan of the inserting image lab, so I naturally wondered if it would be possible to combine the two.

Today we're launching a feature that allows you to drag images from your computer into a message. You don't have to have the insert image lab enabled for it to work. Just drag the image in, resize it if you want, and send.

Currently, this feature only works in Google Chrome, but will be coming soon to other browsers.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Comment from email to google buzz

Henry Wong, (Software Engineer) Say's

One of the things people like best about Google Buzz is the ability to have conversations in the comments. But until now, if you were reading a post in an email client (like the native mail app on your phone or Outlook), you couldn't easily join in on the conversation -- you could only email the original poster. Today, we rolled out a new Google Buzz feature for you to try out: comment via email. Now, you can comment on the post simply by replying to the email message.

Plus, last week we made it possible to view entire photo albums in Buzz (rather than the handful of photos from a given Flickr or Picasa album you could see before). So if you share an album with tons of photos, people can now click through all of the photos in the Buzz photo viewer.

We're chipping away at the feature requests we've been receiving, so keep them coming. And if you want to keep up with everything Google Buzz related, follow our team at

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So now you can insert maps into Orkut scraps!

Rodrigo Almeida, (software engineer) Say's

A few weeks ago we announced the option to add photos to scraps on the new orkut. Now, we're thrilled to tell you that you can also add maps to you scraps!

To add a map to a scrap, first click the text box to write and edit a scrap. You'll then see customization options on the top. Just click the red placemark icon to add a map to your message, like this:

You can search for a specific address or place (anywhere in the world!), or you can manually drop a placemark onto the map. Both options are easy, even if you're unfamiliar with Google Maps.

Once you select an address, your scrap draft will look like this:

Just post it and your friend will see the map you added. If the map is clicked, it loads the Google Maps page for that same spot, so your friend can further explore the area, check Street View photos, and even find public transit, driving or biking directions to get there.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 becomes

As a Brit, my friends and family often tell me they're miffed that they get an address instead of Today I have good news for them: Google Mail is soon becoming Gmail again in the UK.

If you already have a Google email account in the UK, you'll soon have the option to switch your existing address to the matching one, but you're also free to stick with And starting later this week, anybody who signs up for a new account in the UK will get an address. Since "gmail" is 50% fewer characters than "googlemail," we estimate this name change will save approximately 60 million keystrokes a day. At about 217 microjoules per keystroke, that's about the energy of 20 bonbons saved every day!

We'll be making this transition over the next week, and will update this post as the changes roll out. So to Aunty Pamela, Uncle Maurice, and everyone else in the UK, welcome to Gmail!

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