Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rock On with Orkut!

Original post by Ariel, Orkut Marketing Team

By popular request, last week we released a set of new music themes on Orkut:PopRapNew Rock and Rock Teen. Here's a preview of New Rock: 

Enjoy, and keep your suggestions coming for the kinds of themes you'd like to see!

Let share you thoughts in below ;)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Make your phone your wallet - Coming soon

Posted by Rob von Behren and Jonathan Wall, Founding Engineers on Google Wallet on 26th May,

Today in our New York City office, along with Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint, we gave a demo of Google Wallet, an app that will make your phone your wallet. You'll be able to tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC). We're field testing Google Wallet now and plan to release it soon. 

Google Wallet is a key part of our ongoing effort to improve shopping for both businesses and consumers. It's aimed at making it easier for you to pay for and save on the goods you want, while giving merchants more ways to offer coupons and loyalty programs to customers, as well as bridging the gap between online and offline commerce.

Because Google Wallet is a mobile app, it will do more than a regular wallet ever could. You'll be able to store your credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift cards, but without the bulk. When you tap to pay, your phone will also automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points for you. Someday, even things like boarding passes, tickets, ID and keys could be stored in Google Wallet.

At first, Google Wallet will support both Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card, which you'll be able to fund with almost any payment card. From the outset, you'll be able to tap your phone to pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted. Google Wallet will also sync your Google Offers, which you'll be able to redeem via NFC at participating SingleTap™ merchants, or by showing the barcode as you check out. Many merchants are working to integrate their offers and loyalty programs with Google Wallet.

With Google Wallet, we're building an open commerce ecosystem, and we're planning to develop APIs that will enable integration with numerous partners. In the beginning, Google Wallet will be compatible with Nexus S 4G by Google, available on Sprint. Over time, we plan on expanding support to more phones.

To learn more please visit our Google Wallet website at www.google.com/wallet.

This is just the start of what has already been a great adventure towards the future of mobile shopping. We're incredibly excited and hope you are, too.
see also

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Google TV Puzzle

Original post from google tv official blog

If you didn't make it to the Building Android Apps for Google TV session at Google I/O or don't follow our Twitter updates, you may not have seen the puzzle we posted.

We're happy to announce that we have 3 winners, one for each Google TV device, who will be receiving the Honeycomb version of Google TV one week before we send it to all Google TV devices. Congratulations to Benji Hertel, Alecia Householder, and Jan Jorgensen on their quick wit in solving the puzzle! The winners will receive early access to Android 3.1 Honeycomb on Google TV.

We saw a lot of interesting methods being used in an attempt to solve the puzzle and were impressed by the creativity displayed (e.g. http://yfrog.com/z/h2s0sjhj). Our puzzle masters Rich Bragg and Erica Baker even planted a number of signposts with a few subtle hints along the way (http://goo.gl/bgyrygbrg, http://goo.gl/ygbgbrryg, http://goo.gl/ovtotrntv).

Ultimately, they designed the puzzle to be slightly easier to solve if you happen to own a Google TV device. Here's how it worked:

Justin Koh, a Google TV engineer, hid an Easter Egg in the Google TV home screen. If you've ever clicked the white Google TV logo at the top left of the Home screen, you may have noticed that the little boxes change colors. What you may not have realized (unless you already solved the puzzle) is that the boxes flash in a specific timing pattern: Morse code!

The flashing boxes spell out two messages that Google TV fans may recognize:



If you plug those letters into the puzzle, you get something that looks like this:


I A M N O T A L O N E L Y T V .

If you isolate the colored boxes on their own, you see the following:

O V T O T R N T V .

Do those colors look familiar? They should! The are the colors from our logo, which you can see below.

Of course the colored boxes in the puzzle are not in the same order as the colors in our logo. Re-arrange the boxes from the puzzle with the letters inside and this is what you'd find:

T V O .

R N O .

T T V .

Make it a bit easier to read and...

T V O R N O T T V .

TVorNotTV, that is the ques...er..solution. Ok, technically the solution was to visit http://goo.gl/tvornottv but that doesn't roll off the tongue nearly as well.

Now that this cat's out of the bag, we'll be putting on our thinking caps to come up with something even trickier for Honeycomb.

Thanks for your participation!

see also:

Friday, May 27, 2011

People Widget - New from GMail

Original post by Zohair Hyder, Software Engineer

Email is just as much about the people you communicate with as it is what you communicate about. We think it can be helpful to view relevant information in context, which is why over the next two weeks we're rolling out a new people widget located on the right hand side of your messages. The people widget surfaces content from friends, family and colleagues that is already available to you but may be hard to find and makes it easier to connect with them. 

Next to every email message you can now see contextual information about the people in that conversation including recent emails you received from them, relevant Buzz posts, shared documents and calendar events. You also have quick access to a variety of ways to communicate with individuals, start a group chat or schedule a meeting with groups of people. 

We hope the people widget will improve your Gmail experience and we're eager for you to try it out.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Google Maps on your mobile browser

Original post by Alireza Ali, Software Engineer

With 40% of Google Maps usage on mobile devices, we want you to have a consistent Google Maps experience wherever you use it. So, today we're announcing our updated Google Maps experience for mobile browsers on Android and iOS.

Now, when you visit maps.google.com on your phone or tablet's browser and opt-in to share your location, you can use many of the same Google Maps features you're used to from the desktop. This will allow you to:

  • See your current location
  • Search for what's nearby with suggest and auto complete
  • Have clickable icons of popular businesses and transit stations
  • Get driving, transit, biking, and walking directions
  • Turn on satellite, transit, traffic, biking, and other layers
  • View Place pages with photos, ratings, hours, and more
  • When signed into your Google account, access your starred locations and My Maps
This past weekend, I was at a team off-site at a ropes course and needed to find a good deli spot to grab lunch. I opened Google Maps on my mobile browser and searched to locate a popular deli nearby. A few finger taps later, I had viewed photos and reviews on the deli's Place page and found the quickest way to get there using driving directions- all from my mobile browser.

Google Maps for mobile browsers is platform independent - you will always get a consistent experience and the latest features without needing to install any updates, no matter what phone you use.

To get started exploring Google Maps in your mobile browser, go to http://maps.google.comor any domain where Google Maps is available. Learn more in our help center.

see also

Friday, May 20, 2011

New! Connect directly to your AIM buddies

From the beginning, we designed Google Talk using open standards so that you could connect to your friends and family using any chat product, making communication as easy as possible. A few years ago, we announced our partnership with AOL which made it possible for people to chat with AIM users right from inside Gmail. Today, we're happy to report that AOL has now made it possible to chat with AOL contacts across a variety of Google services: not just Gmail, but also iGoogle, Orkut, and Google Talk on Android phones. 

If you chat with AIM buddies in Gmail, you'll notice a few changes. First, you'll no longer need an AIM account to connect to your friends using AIM. Instead you'll be able to add your AIM buddies just like you add Gmail contacts to your chat list: using their AOL screennames (for example, username@aol.com). AIM users will now also be able to add Google contacts to their AIM chat clients.

Second, you'll no longer be able to sign into your AIM account from within Gmail chat since you can now add AIM contacts directly. And lastly, if you previously had a lot of AIM contacts and don't want to re-add them to your chat list one by one, AOL has created a tool to import your AIM buddies into your Gmail account. See their blog post for more info.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger is back (from maintenance)

Original post from Eddie Kessler, Tech Lead/Manager, Blogger

Update (5/13 7:46PM PST): Nearly all posts since Wednesday are restored, now bringing back comments from last couple days. We expect the comments to be back this weekend or sooner.

What a frustrating day. We're very sorry that you've been unable to publish to Blogger for the past 20.5 hours. We're nearly back to normal — you can publish again, and in the coming hours posts and comments that were temporarily removed should be restored.  Thank you for your patience while we fix this situation.  We use Blogger for our own blogs, so we've also felt your pain.

Here's what happened: during scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night, we experienced some data corruption that impacted Blogger's behavior. Since then, bloggers and readers may have experienced a variety of anomalies including intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and arriving at unintended blogs or error pages. A small subset of Blogger users (we estimate 0.16%) may have encountered additional problems specific to their accounts. Yesterday we returned Blogger to a pre-maintenance state and placed the service in read-only mode while we worked on restoring all content: that's why you haven't been able to publish.  We rolled back to a version of Blogger as of Wednesday May 11th, so your posts since then were temporarily removed. Those are the posts that we're in the progress of restoring.

Again, we are very sorry for the impact to our authors and readers.  We try hard to ensure Blogger is always available for you to share your thoughts and opinions with the world, and we'll do our best to prevent this from happening again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Google I/O Announcements Archive Day 1

New Eclipse tools for Android

Android – Launched App Engine Tooling for Android which gives Android developers new tools to easily build cloud-aware applications. 

Text= Parameter for Google Web Fonts

Google APIs – Make web fonts faster with the Text= parameter from Google Web Fonts. 

Google Places API available for all developers

Geo – Spark a new wave of location-based app development, both on mobile and desktop, with the Places API. Read the documentation herehttp://goo.gl/BzmYI 

Peer-to-Peer NFC coming to Android

Android – Demonstrated tag reading, writing and peer-to-peer, and includes previews of advanced peer-to-peer functionality coming in Ice Cream Sandwich such as 0-click sharing.

New Eclipse tools for Android

Android – Launched App Engine Tooling for Android which gives Android developers new tools to easily build cloud-aware applications.

Build smarter apps with the improved Google Prediction API

Google APIs – The only cloud service that allows businesses to access sophisticated machine learning with only a few API calls and by utilizing the flexibility of Google Storage.

New charts and features from Google Chart Tools

Google APIs – Try out new charts like geochart, candlestick and combochart, along with new features like interactive Dashboards and ChartEditor.

ChromeVox screen reader for Chrome and Chrome OS

Chrome – Available for Chrome OS and also as an extension for Chrome on the desktop, allowing developers to test their web apps with a screen reader inside the browser so they can conduct better accessibility testing.

Google Plugin for Eclipse v2.4: Android Meet App Engine, App Engine Meet Android

Developer Tools – Build native Android apps that can take data with them wherever they go, using Google's cloud service, App Engine, to host your backend service and store your data.

Style maps and customize info windows with new additions to the Fusion Tables API

Geo – Trusted testers can try the new Fusion Tables Styling and Info Window API, which enables developers to set a table’s map colors and info windows with code.

Google Storage now open for all

Developer Tools – Introducing a host of new features and no longer needs an invitation to get started.

Style maps and customize info windows with new additions to the Fusion Tables API

Geo – Trusted testers can try the new Fusion Tables Styling and Info Window API, which enables developers to set a table’s map colors and info windows with code.

New Web Resource for Developers: The Guide to the App Galaxy

Android – Travel through the App Galaxy to learn how to promote, earn and measure your app.

Preview of +1 button for publishers

Google APIs – In the coming weeks, the +1 button will be available for publishers. Stay tuned.

Go programming language coming to Google App Engine

Developer Tools – Go will be the third language, after Python and Java, in which to write Google App Engine apps. Download the SDK athttp://goo.gl/nXu15 

Google App Engine 1.5

Developer Tools – Now with support for backends, task queues and updated Eclipse support.

Google Books API now in Code Labs

Google APIs – Write applications to query information on the more than 15 million books on books.google.com including book metadata, pricing, and more. 

Summary of Android announcements at Google I/O

Android – Music and movies in Android Market, Android @ Home, Android Open Accessory and more!

Project Tungsten

Android – Hardware reference design that runs the Android OS and the Android@Home software framework. 

Android @ Home

Android – Open source libraries that will enable developers to build apps that can discover, connect and communicate with devices and appliances in the home.

Android Open Accessory: Standardizing hardware development across Android devices

Android – Platform-level support for hardware accessory communication with Android devices - including integration with Android Market, a new USB accessory API and an open-source Accessory Development Kit (ADK). 

Music Beta by Google

Android – Upload your personal music collection and access it instantly on any web browser or compatible Android device without the hassle of wires or syncing. Currently by invitation only.

Movie rentals on Android Market

Android – Choose from thousands of movie titles and watch instantly on the web or your Verizon Motorola Xoom (support for more devices, including phones, coming soon). 

Ice Cream Sandwich preview

Android – Next major release of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich. One OS everywhere, state of the art UI, advanced app framework, open source.

Update to Honeycomb

Android – Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) will be rolling out to XOOM 3G devices over the next few weeks. 

Over 100M Android devices activated worldwide with 400K activations added every day

Android – There are now 310 Android devices from 36 OEMs on 215 carriers in 112 countries. ........

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Android Ice Cream Sandwich logo

New Android Ice Cream Sandwich logo shown on stage at #io2011.

Android, Google TV and Google Wave Expected Announcements At Google I/O [WATBlog]

original post by Rounak Jain from watblog.com | source link

Google I/O, the web giant's annual developer conference kicks off today at San Francisco. The company has a history of announcing about 2-3 new products every year at this conference. Android, Google TV and Google Wave  were all announced at this conference. Although a lot of products that have been announced at I/O like Google Wave and Google gears haven't turned out to be hits the whole web is abuzz of what will Google offer its consumers this year. The conference tickets sold like hot cakes with developers buying out all the tickets within 58 minutes.


The whole event will mainly be focused on Android and Chrome OS. So here is a round up of all the rumours over the web about Google I/O

  • A new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich: Ya you heard it right, in accordance with Google's practice of naming versions of Android in alphabetical order after desserts, the new version of Android is going to be named Ice cream sandwich. This release will bring in a lot of Honeycomb features to phone which are currently tablet device only. In addition to this Honeycomb will also receive an upgrade bringing in UI and performance improvements.
  • Google Music – The music streaming service which Google had showed off at last years I/O is finally going to be launched. A leaked build of the Music Player app floating around on the internet has already revealed cloud capabilities. This service will directly compete with Amazon Cloud Player.
  • Revamped Google TV – Google TV will receive a facelift after the flop of the current version. Looks like the idea of 'TV meets Web. Web Meets TV' didn't appeal much to the audience. The new TV will receive a hardware bump and the ability to run android apps. Apps running on Google TV would put it in direct competition with Gaming Consoles. Google aims to increase the interest of developers in this platform to create apps for the TV. To offer good web based content for the TV, youtube will be adding 3000 movies to its catalogue which can be rented.
  • NFC – Near field Communication, the wireless technology which has been included in a lot of phones lately inducing the Nexus S will also have its share of promotion at I/O. Foursquare ispartnering with Google to introduce NFC check-ins by simply hovering your phone over a poster. The interesting thing over here is that even though Google has a similar offering – latitude, it is teaming up with foursquare.
  • Chrome OS - The Chrome web store was announced last year at I/O. The Web store although available for PCs, Macs and Linux through the Chrome web browser, was mainly introduced for the Chrome OS. This year it is expected that Google will finally announce a Chrome OS netbook which will be available to customers in June or July. Though the Cr-48 netbook had come out earlier, it wasn't available to public and was more of a test run. The chrome OS has recently come out of beta and google has partnered with Acer, Sony and Samsung to manufacture these netbooks. Google is holding a lot of sessions on HTML5 and WebGL (graphics library) to help Chrome OS get the same capabilities that desktops have through web technologies.

Social is expected to take a back seat at I/O. The reason behind this is that Google doesn't want to build up a lot of expectations and hype since it has a very bad history with Social. Buzz hasn't been very successful and was initially caught up in privacy issues. The only social related announcement at I/O will be the already available '+1′ button to promote results in Google searches.

Google has also partnered with a lot of companies like Seesmic, Foursquare, Hashable and many others to demonstrate and show off their use of technologies provided by Google to developers.  With these associations Google will also attempt to address the problem of scarcity of tablet optimised apps available on the Android Market.

It will be interesting to see whether Google continues last years trend of taking digs at Apple throughout its keynote even when the open-ness of Android is in a lot of danger.

Like every year, Google will give out a free Android device to every attendee and this year it is rumoured to be the Samsung Galaxy tab. To stay in sync with all the announcements at I/O keep checking Watblog or the event live stream.

see also: 

Differentiate events by colors in Gmail Calendar

Original post by  

If your calendar ends up full of many different types of events (film nights, lunch dates, and doctor appointments, for example), there's now an easy way to categorize them using colors. 

Just click on an event, then click the colored square in the top left of the pop-up bubble and pick a new color. If you don't see this option quite yet, hang tight — it'll be there for everyone within the next day or so. 

Only you and anyone else you've given edit access to your calendar will be able to see the colors you choose. This has been a feature request from many of you for some time, and we hope you enjoy using it as much as we do.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Google Leaked Their +1 Chrome Extension?

Original post from MG Siegler (techcrunch) | link to source
If you haven’t seen Google’s new “Dear Sophie” video, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s brilliant.
And watch closely.
At various points in the video, the Chrome browser in use reveals an unreleased product: a Google +1 extension. For the best view of it, skip to the 0:51 mark. There it is, front and center, next to the Picasa button being clicked on.

The funniest part of this is that Google is actually airing this video on national television as part of their new Chrome marketing push. So Google just leaked their own new feature to millions of people. Well, those watching very closely, at least.
So what does the extension do? Hard to say since they never actually click on it in the video. But one can assume that it’s a simple way to +1 any site you’re visiting. Google formally unveiled +1 about a month ago as a way to socially share Google Search results with friends — and to help Google rank those results with social juice.
I’m also wondering if the extension doesn’t have more social functionality — such as a way to share a link on Twitter and other networks alongside +1′ing it. You may recall that as they were developing +1, we kept getting leaks about it. One of those was a +1 toolbar that was apparently a way to share with other social networks.
Google has also said that a +1 button is coming for publisher websites. But we haven’t heard any more on that since the original announcement.
Anyway, a +1 Chrome extension is clearly on the way. And Google let us know about it either by way of a brilliant subliminal marketing move, or a big mistake in front of the entire American public.
Either way, great ad. +1, really.

see also: