Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Google Search Experience for Tablets

Originally posted by Xiaorui Gan, Software Engineer

As part of our effort to evolve the Google design and experience, we’ve improved the search experience on tablets. We’ve simplified the layout of search results pages and increased the size of page contents like text, buttons and other touch targets to make it faster and easier to browse and interact with search results in portrait or landscape view.

The search button located below the search box provides quick access to specific types of results like Images, Videos, Places, Shopping and more. Just tap to open the search menu and select an option to see results in one category.

For image results, we focused on improvements that enhance the viewing experience such as enlarged image previews, continuous scroll, and faster loading of image thumbnails.

This improved search experience is rolling out in the coming days to iPad and Android 3.1+ tablets across 36 languages. Give it a try by going to in your tablet’s browser.

see also:

Google+ vs Facebook vs Twitter vs LinkedIn [Infographic]

(click the image for larger view)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Feedback for Gmails New Look

Originally posted by Mark Striebeck, Engineering Manager (from gmail blog)

A few weeks ago, we released a preview of Gmail's new look via two new themes. We asked you to try them out and send us your feedback. So far, less than 5% of Gmail usage is happening through these themes, but we're getting some good feedback on what's working and useful advice about what to improve from you early adopters. 

What you like

  • The clean and minimalist look of the new design
  • Seeing a consistent "look" across Google products
"The new Preview theme is wonderful! It's clean and crisp, easy to read and really focused on the one thing that matters most in Gmail — the mail! Thanks!"
What you want to change
  • Too much whitespace and not enough information (though interestingly, many people reported that they appreciated to lower information density after a while)
  • Not enough contrast
  • Darker theme options
"Even with the 'dense' version, I still have listings of about 30% fewer messages. The lack of visual differentiation between content and UI chrome is also harder to process (e.g., where does the conversation list end and the toolbar begin)."
We're working on improvements for the final release, but it is very encouraging that a visual update like this was generally greeted with such a positive response. If you haven't tried out the new themes yet, give them a go and tell us what you think.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What is Google+ [Awesome Video]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Google to Shutdown Google Labs (Not Gmail or Maps Labs)

Originally posted by Bill Coughran, SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure

Last week we explained that we're prioritizing our product efforts. As part of that process, we've decided to wind down Google Labs. While we've learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we're to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.

In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments—in others we'll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas. And many of the Labs products that are Android apps today will continue to be available on Android Market. We'll update you on our progress via the Google Labs website.

We'll continue to push speed and innovation—the driving forces behind Google Labs—across all our products, as the early launch of the Google+ field trial last month showed.

Update (from google blog) 3:36pm: To clarify: we don't have any plans to change in-product experimentation channels like Gmail Labs or Maps Labs. We'll continue to experiment with new features in each of our products.

Google+ Users May Hit 18 Million Today

Paul Allen wrote in a Google+ post last night that Google+ had just under 18 million.

"The viral growth of Google+ has slowed somewhat over the past few days, but my new-and-improved 1,000 surname model shows that more than 750,000 people joined the site on Monday, bringing the total user base to just under 18 million.

Last week we saw two days where more than 2 million signed up in a single day. If that rate had continued, Google+ would have reached 20 million users by last Sunday night. But the last four days have averaged only 948,000 new users and yesterday the site added only 763,000. Yesterday's growth of 4.47% was the slowest viral growth since Google opened up invites back on July 6th..."

Allen also included the following graph

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Google+ iPhone app hits Apples App Store [Screenshots]

Google+ has an iPhone app, and it's now available for free download in Apple's App Store.


Note: The Google+ iOS app works with any iPhone and iPod Touch running iOS 3.1 or newer

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Improved Gmail gadget for iGoogle

Originally posted by David Yonge-Mallo, Software Engineer, Gmail (from gmail blog)

With iGoogle, you can personalize your homepage with the information on the web that's most useful and relevant to you. You can check email, watch videos, catch up on the latest news, check the weather, and more. One of the most common iGoogle requests we've been hearing is to update the iGoogle Gmail gadget. Because the Gmail gadget has to share space with other gadgets on the screen, the Gmail experience can be limited to an area not much larger than the size of a business card. Since we've already built an experience optimized for small screens withGmail for mobile, we decided to adapt the mobile web version for iGoogle and are now rolling out an updated gadget.

The new Gmail gadget is pretty similar to the mobile experience — it's fast, looks good in small spaces, and includes popular features like search and labeling. By default, it appears in a minimized window (shown above); if you expand it into canvas mode by clicking on the maximize button in the upper right hand corner, you get the two pane view until now provided only on tablet devices (shown below). Going forward, the Gmail gadget will be updated with new features in tandem with the mobile edition.

We'll be rolling out the new Gmail gadget over the next couple weeks. If you're already using the gadget, it will update automatically. If you're not, you can add it to your iGoogle page here. Keep in mind that the new gadget currently requires a WebKit compatible browser, such as Chrome or Safari. the official URL shortcut for Google

In 2009, we helped shrink up long, unwieldy URLs by launching our public URL shortener, Today, we’re announcing a new URL shortcut that will only link to official Google products and services:
The shorter a URL, the easier it is to share and remember. The downside is, you often can’t tell what website you’re going to be redirected to. We’ll only use to send you to webpages that are owned by Google, and only we can create shortcuts. That means you can visit a shortcut confident you will always end up at a page for a Google product or service.

There’s no need to fret about the fate of; we like it as much as you do, and nothing is changing on that front. It will continue to be our public URL shortener that anybody can use to shorten URLs across the web

Blog Link:

Originally posted by Gary Briggs, VP Consumer Marketing

Monday, July 18, 2011

Introducing Google News Badges [VIDEO]

Video Description: With Google News badges, you can keep track of what you're reading, create a more personalized experience on Google News, and share what you love with friends. To get started with badges, visit

Video Link:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What do you love? [VIDEO]

Description: Get more of what you love by searching across numerous Google products with one click.

New Android Market for Phones, Books & Movies

Originally posted by Paul Montoy-Wilson, Product Manager (via google mobile blog)

Recently, we’ve been hard at work improving Android Market to give you new ways to find great applications and games, purchase books, and rent movies. Today, we’re releasing a new version of Android Market which makes all of these available on phones (Android 2.2 and higher).

In the U.S., you’ll be able to rent thousands of movies, starting at $1.99, right from Android Market on your phone. With the Videos app, available in Android Market, there’s no more waiting for downloads, syncing, or worrying about storage space. Simply sign into Android Market with your Google account, and you can rent movies from anywhere – the web, or your Android phone or tablet – and start watching instantly. You can also download movies to your device so they’re available for viewing when you don’t have an internet connection.

Also in the U.S., you can now purchase books from Android Market on your phone. Like movie rentals, books are linked to your Google account, so they’re instantly available across all of your devices – computer, phone, or tablet – without the need for wires or downloads.

You’ll be delighted to find we’ve overhauled Android Market to make it faster, easier, and more fun to discover great apps, movies, and books. We’ve created more space to feature some of the most interesting content of the week on the home page. We’ve added more top charts, with newer, more relevant items, and we’ve made it easy to swipe through these charts as you browse the store. We’ve also introduced new collections of great content, like staff picks and Editors’ Choice apps.


The new Android Market will be rolling out in the coming weeks to Android 2.2 and higher phones around the world. You don’t need to do anything - the update is automatic on supported phones. If you’re in the U.S., you’ll also be able to download the Videos app, rent movies, and buy books once you receive the new Android Market.

Your phone is about to get a lot more interesting! Enjoy the new Android Market.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Google Science Fair final event LIVE

The young scientists of the world have proven themselves truly impressive people — inventing technologies to improve the accuracy of prosthetic devices, developing video-audio memory aids for dementia patients and improving switch designs to prevent train derailments. These are just three of the top 15 projects competing for the grand prize in the inaugural Google Science Fair final tonight, which we’ll be live streaming at 7pm PDT at

Friday, July 8, 2011

Its easier to filter your mails in inbox from gmail

Originally Posted by Andrew Moedinger, Software Engineer (from gmail blog)

Ever felt like there should be a better way to manage your inbox? There are already lots of different ways: some people read everything, some mark messages they need to take action on with stars, and others like to have their important email separated from the rest automatically — something Gmail started offering last year with Priority Inbox

Over the coming weeks, we're rolling out several new inbox styles to help you manage your mail in the way that works best for you. Once it's turned on for your account, you can easily choose a style from the tabs at the top of your inbox: 

  • Classic - This is the default inbox style most people are used to. In the Classic inbox, messages are ordered chronologically, with your most recent email at the top.
  • Priority Inbox - Important and unread messages appear at the top of your inbox, then starred messages, then everything else. Each section can be customized further, so you can create your own inbox style.
  • Important first - This style puts important mail at the top of the page (both read and unread messages). Everything else is in its own section at the bottom of your inbox. You may have noticed that we turned on importance arrows for everyone a few weeks ago; this inbox style separates messages with these arrows from those without.
  • Unread first - Simple: unread mail at the top; everything else at the bottom.
  • Starred first - Starred messages at the top; everything else at the bottom.
After you've settled on a style you like and used it for about a week, these tabs will go away, You can always change your inbox style from the drop down menu next to the Inbox label or from theSettings page.

So try on a new inbox style and see what fits you best!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Google+ : 39 Things You Should Know

Orginal post by Chris Crum from

1. Google+ is currently available on an invitation-only basis.

2. Google does not consider it a Facebook competitor (at least publicly).

3. Google+ is currently available for download as an app in the Android Market.

4. When you download that app, it splits off the "Huddle" feature as a separate app.

5. Users can post status updates, and these appear on the Google Profile under a tab called "Posts". The +1′s and Buzz tabs remain separate. I have to wonder if we'll see Buzz and Posts merge eventually.

6. What is available now is "just the beginning" according to Google. These are just the first features or presumably many more to come.

7. Circles is one current feature. It lets you share things with different people (kind of like Facebook Groups) but with a very different user interface.

8. Another feature is Sparks. This looks for videos and articles it thinks you'll like, so "when you're free, there's always something to watch, read, and share.

9. Hangouts is another feature. It's basically group video chat. Google describes it as "the unplanned meet-up."

10. Instant uploads is a mobile-specific feature. Photos upload themselves as you take them, and are stored in a private area on the cloud.

11. Huddle is another group-conversation feature for mobile. Essentially, it's group chat.

The Stream

12. The stream is basically the equivalent of the Facebook news feed.

13. When you share something with Google+ it's added to your stream and the stream of everyone you shared with.

14. The stream shows you what all of your Circles have shared with you.

15. If you mention a user, using the "+" or "@" symbols, the person may receive a notification that you mentioned them.

16. You can see who specific posts were shared with in the stream – whether they were shared publicly, to extended circles, or a limited group.

17. You can filter the stream by specific Circles.

18. You can chat directly in the stream

19. You can report inappropriate content.

20. You can search for people from the search box at the top of the stream.

21. Soon, Google says you'll be able to search the stream itself from the search box.

22. If you leave comments on a post, you can edit or delete them.

23. The same goes for posts, but you can't edit a post's sharing settings after the post has been shared. However, you can delete the post and share again to different circles.

24. You can "reshare" posts made by others (like retweeting).

25. You can "mute" a post. This will let you stop receiving updates from a post, like if the comments get out of control for example.

The Google Social Network

26. You can use the "Google+ Bar" that appears at the top of various Google products as your connection to the social network.

27. When you're signed in you'll see your full name or email address displayed with a photo or avatar next to it, to help you identify which account you're currently signed in to.

28. If you've enabled multi sign-in you can sign in to two different Google accounts and switch between them using the Google+ bar.

29. When you sign up for Google+, you're also signing up for Picasa Web Albums, so all photos and videos uploaded to Google+ (including from your phone via Instant Upload) will also be available in Picasa Web Albums.

30. You can use the Google +1 button from the stream.

31. You can have a ton of friends on Google+. Robert Scoble quickly added over 1,000.

32. The central user interface is very Facebook-esque.

33. Google+ quickly became the butt of a lot of jokes (and even cartoons), but has also received a great deal of praise thus far.

34. With Google+ Google adds a "You" link to the recently redesigned (painted black) navigation bar across Google properties

35. You can view public Google+ content without actually being invited (Danny Sullivan has a guide on how to view it )

36. China is already blocking Google+. That didn't take long.

37. Invitations have been listed on eBay.

38. There are already privacy concerns about Google+ but the Privacy Guide can be found here.

39. According to the Financial Times article, you can share something within a closed "Circle," but somone from that circle can then reshare it with anyone, and even make it public.

(post via

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Google+ sounds like Facebook- ?

Original post from Amrutha Gayathri from

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg is clearly disturbed. In an apparent effort to retain Facebook users from exporting their friends lists to Google+ and setting up their online social hub there, Zuckerberg has said that the company is set to "launch something awesome" next week, without divulging what exactly is that "awesome something."

Google+ is poised to overshadow Facebook for two apparent reasons.
The first major anti-Facebook factor is the seamless integration of Google products with a single Google account which will force users to spend time on Google+, even if they are die-hard fans of Facebook.
If you are browsing through Google-powered sites (which are almost omnipresent), a little red notification pops up on the top right of your browser window if a friend has added you in his/her circles, or an acquaintance has shared some interesting links, or someone has commented on a photo you have shared. Your natural response will be to click on the notification and ... you are not checking Finance news anymore, but planning to "Hangout" with friends available on Google Plus video chat!
Facebook users invariably stay on the site for over half-an-hour a day (the bare minimum), which is one of its greatest strengths. Since the online time allotment by a user generally remains a constant, Google Plus is bound to eat into the Facebook's time share, reducing it gradually. Keeping track of friends through two different social networks is cumbersome, which means Facebook has greater chances of losing out on users.
Google's tactic may not be subtle. But it's a sure way to increase traffic for Google products, especially for Google+.  
The second powerful boost factor will be Google's ability to attract developers to their new platform (They have a great history; think about Android, it is a self-sufficient ecosystem in itself). Facebook is now taking a 30 percent cut of every game developer's business. Google, being a bigger giant ($30 billion in revenue each year) can afford to make it a 100 percent profit deal for developers by not taking any cuts. What more would they ask for?
If an extremely popular social network game like "Zynga" would switch platforms, it is sure to lure users to the newer network. Loyalty is not something Facebook can expect from developers right now.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gmail New Look. Its Clean & Bold

Original post from Jason Cornwell, User Experience Designer (from official gmail blog)

Starting today, you'll see the "Preview" and "Preview (Dense)" themes in the Themes tab in Gmail Settings. Why two themes? Our new interface will eventually expand dynamically to accommodate different screen sizes and user preferences, but until then you can pick the information density that you prefer. 

Here's what one of the new themes currently looks like:

And in conversation view:

If you poke around you'll hopefully find a lot to like and a much cleaner, modern look but also few rough edges. In particular, some Labs features may look a little strange in the new themes. We plan to fix these issues as we roll out changes in the coming months. You can also expect some updated themes that embody the same design principles but are better suited to working in a dark environment, use a different color palette, or include the illustrations that we know many of you love to see around your inbox.

Convert SWF files to HTML5 [TIPS / LABS]

Swiffy by Google

Swiffy converts Flash SWF files to HTML5, allowing you to reuse Flash content on devices without a Flash player (such as iPhones and iPads).

Swiffy currently supports a subset of SWF 8 and ActionScript 2.0, and the output works in all Webkit browsers such as Chrome and Mobile Safari. If possible, exporting your Flash animation as a SWF 5 file might give better results.

Swiffy (Labs):
Gallery (example workouts):