Google Gears has been around for a while now and it has been one of my favorite features of Google Reader. But now Google has added similar functionality to Google Docs allowing users to edit and view there documents offline, just as they would if they were online, and when they reconnect the Google Gears plugin will resync all of your changes back up to Google’s servers.
This is the next step in trying to take some of the office application market from Microsoft and I think Google did it right. I would still love to see more features added to Google Docs but for now I think they’re doing just fine.
Last night Google rolled out a brand new interface for Google.com built specifically for the iPhone.
When you visit Google.com with your iPhone you get a toolbar at the top of your screen listing:
Home (search box) Gmail Calendar Reader More (docs, sms, goog-411, news, photos, blogger, and notebook)
I have tried it out on my iPhone and it works wonderfully, switching between the various web apps (Gmail, Calendar, Reader, etc.) is incredibly fast and seems like the other apps load in the background so when you need them they are already there (most likely an addition because of the slower EDGE network).
I have a feeling that I will end up using this incredibly often since I seem to live inside of the mobile versions of all of the Google apps while using my iPhone.
If you have an iPhone you really need to check this out because it truly is a great looking and very functional interface.
I know that this is still fairly early in the game but I’m not really that impressed by Android, I think that it has a long way to go but it is going to be a few years before the mobile operating system space really becomes mature. I don’t really know what operating system will stand on top in the end but I think that all of them have an equal shot at this point.
So here are some videos showing off Google Android:
No, Google didn’t develop a phone, instead they started the Open Handset Alliance which is a group of over 30 companies who are coming “together to accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience” –Open Handset Alliance.
The companies have together developed “the first complete, open, and free mobile platform,” Android. They say that they are committed to commercially deploying handsets and services using the Android Platform sometime in the second half of 2008. An early look at the SDK will be available on November 12th.
Android is described as “a fully integrated mobil software stack that consists of an operating system, middleware, user-friendly interface and applications.”Handset makers will be able to customize the platform as they see fit and the “developer-friendly open source licenses” will make it easy for developers to make great applications for the platform. It seems to be similar to Google’s OpenSocial which allows developers to make applications for many different web sites while only writting the code once, but does that mean that Android will be able to run on many different kinds of handsets? Or will it only be able to run on specific hardware? The questions will hopefully be answered soon but I guess we’ll all have to wait until the early SDK comes out when we will get some more answers.
I just have one question about this… How do the guys from OpenMoko feel about this?
Gmail has been many peoples favorite email service since it launched. One of the major criticisms against Gmail has always been its lack of IMAP support, well that is all over. Google started rolling out IMAP into Gmail accounts last night, at the time of writing this I do not have IMAP in any of my Gmail accounts but I can point you to a Gmail help document about IMAP showing you that it is indeed true.
This is great news for me, ever since I got my iPhone I’ve been doing a crazy forwarding trick to get sudo IMAP access into my Gmail account but no longer, now I can enable IMAP in my Gmail account and skip the forwarding.
The internet was going crazy last night about this story and at the time of writing this many of the people that I’ve talked to do not yet have IMAP in their accounts, hopefully that will change by the time this post goes up.
Google today announced that there will be an addition of a presentation app to the Google Docs suite. This is what everyone has been waiting for, the last piece of the puzzle, now if they would just improve it and add some features it would be a real competitor. At its current feature set it can’t compete with Microsoft office but for those who don’t need all of those features it is a great option.
Here is a paragraph from the Official Google Blog talking about some of the features of the collaborative features in the presentation app:
“Starting today, presentations — whether imported from existing files or created using the new slide editor — are listed alongside documents and spreadsheets in the Google Docs document list. They can be edited, shared, and published using the familiar Google Docs interface, with several collaborators working on a slide deck simultaneously, in real time. When it’s time to present, participants can simply click a link to follow along as the presenter takes the audience through the slideshow. Participants are connected through Google Talk and can chat about the presentation as they’re watching. Not wanting anyone to feel left out, we’ve made the presentation feature available in 25 languages; Google Apps customers can also access it as part of Google Docs.”
Here is a video presenting the new presentation app.
Recently the internet has been buzzing about the rumored Google Phone. I almost wish I could say that this was just not true because why would Google try to compete with Apple in consumer electronics. Apple of course just got into the Cell phone business but has made quite the splash and I would have to guess that if Google does come out with a phone Apple would be one of the biggest competitors. What is strange about that is Google is all over the iPhone especially with the very prominent YouTube and Google Maps.
Google has never made a consumer electronics device they have always stuck to making software. All of the rumors have been pointing to HTC making the actual phone and Linux being the phones operating system with Google supplying the integration of all the popular Google apps, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and maybe even Google Talk. Most of the rumors also say that GPS will be integrated into the phone for Google maps. The rumors point towards Q1 of 2008 as the launch date.
Now that I have said my peace about how I don’t think that this is something that Google should be getting into I also want to say that it would still be cool. It will especially be cool if the rumors are true about it only being $100 (“is less about beating the iPhone and more about beating the $100 Laptop”-Rizzn), I could buy one for my girlfriend at that price and get her off that god awful Razr of hers. One has to wonder however how the heck they plan on getting the price down so freaking low, most would guess that they would be serving ads on the phone but how would they do that without being obtrusive in any way.
Maybe if they had a small text ad at the top of the screen near the clock or something it wouldn’t be too bad or maybe a few words at the bottom of the phones wallpaper but at the same time I would wonder exactly what information they are using to target those ads to me, remember Google is all about contextual advertising. Would the ads that are served to me depend on where I am geographically such as local advertising or would they be similar to the online ads, the phone is of course hooked up to a data network meaning I can view web pages.
These are all questions that probably won’t be answered for a while but they are all things that need to be answered. Let’s all hope that this is going to be the best thing since sliced bread but I would guess that it won’t be.
I was looking around on Google’s web site recently and found a page titled: Benefits of Google Search. I thought to myself “self, why do you use Google Search.” The answer was obvious, because it is the best search I’ve ever used, but, it isn’t like I haven’t used other search engines, I just recently spent a few days looking at other search engines and sure enough, Google was still the best.
Then I was curious, what does Google say to be the benefits of using Google?
Your search covers billions of URLs.
You’ll see only pages that are relevant to the terms you type.
The position of your search terms is treated with respect.
You see what you’re getting before you click.
You can feel lucky and save time doing it.
You can get it, even when it’s gone.
These are all pretty good reasons. I do think that it is funny that they even still have the “I’m feeling lucky” button, let’s be honest who actually using that stupid button?
So as many of you know I have an iPhone and some of you know, I use Gmail. Gmail is a great email service with a clean interface and just the right amount of features but there is still one problem with it. The single problem that Gmail has is a lack of imap support.
What are you thinking Google? If you put imap support in Gmail you would make millions of people happy (maybe not millions but you get the idea). I don’t really understand why they haven’t put it in, they have pretty much every other feature you would want.
I mentioned my iPhone above, and I mentioned it for a reason. I decided to use my iPhone as my primary email device the only problem is, Gmail. I tried just going through the interface on the iPhone and I go to my Gmail inbox and it is telling me that I have 73 messages (I didn’t have any messages in my inbox online). Not only that but as I deleted messages more and more got downloaded, my iPhone was trying to download every email I have ever received on my Gmail account. How could I fix this problem?
I figured it out, it is kind of hacky but it allows you to get imap access with Gmail (kind of). What I did is set up an email account using this domain. I then had Gmail forward all new emails to this new cybersurge.org email address. When setting up the iPhone I had it receive email from cybersurge.org using imap. Then I set up the outgoing mail server using Gmail. This way you still get your emails at your Gmail account and when you email out to someone it still comes from your Gmail account.
Recently there was a buzz around the blogosphere about Google adding StarOffice being added to the Google Pack.
My question is: Who Cares?
I don’t know anyone who downloads the Google pack and I don’t know why anyone would. Out of the 12 programs in the Google pack I would only suggest people use 4 of them, Google Earth, Firefox, Skype, and Picasa. Why wouldn’t you just download them separately? Alright maybe if you have a family member who isn’t so tech savvy you can just tell them to download the Google pack but who actively goes out and downloads it?
Ok so let’s get to StarOffice, StarOffice is basically OpenOffice.org with some proprietary stuff in it. So why wouldn’t you get OpenOffice? OpenOffice is actually my favorite office suite out there, I like Microsoft Office 2007 but I hate the price.
So I guess my major issue with this news is, who downloads the Google pack?
“Google now offers a way to purchase more storage space to use with some Google services (currently Gmail and Picasa Web Albums). This extra storage acts as overflow when you run out of free storage space in either service. If you’ve filled your free storage (2.8 GB and counting for Gmail or 1 GB for Picasa Web Albums), you’ll automatically use your purchased space to store more pictures and messages up to your new storage limit.”
So Google has begun charging for storage in its services. That surprises me since I figured that Google would just continue to give you more and more storage for free like they have been since they launched it. The pricing is pretty good starting at $20 per year for an extra 6GB of storage.
I won’t be purchasing it however because I am only using 5% of my Gmail storage and I’m not even using Picasa so it wouldn’t be worth it for me. But if you are tight on storage space you can go purchase more storage at the link below.