Google just announced that it is finally launching offline access to Gmail, Google Calendar and Docs. Once upon a time, Google allowed users to access their data offline through Gears, but the company shelved this effort in xxx and never replaced it. Now, Chrome users can install a new plugin from Google that will give them offline access to their Gmail emails once again and Docs and Calendar will use HTML5's ability to cache content on a local machine without the need to install a plugin.
Google+ just added a bit of nuance to its blocking function. Instead of just having to cut off people completely and ensure that they will never see any of your posts, you can now also choose to just “ignore” people.
Google has been taking its Street View cars and trikes to some interesting locations lately. You can already get a close-up look at Stonehenge and meander through the National Museum of Iraq. The next project for Street View, though, looks like the most adventurous Google has taken this technology, though: the Amazon. As part of this new project, Google will "pedal the Street View trike along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and maneuver it up close to where civilization meets the rainforest." In addition, the Street View team will also take pictures from a boat as it travels down the river.
Google today announced that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobility - the Motorola's cellphone and set-top box division - for about $12.5 billion. This is obviously a major deal and suddenly turns Google from a company mostly focused on software into a hardware manufacturer as well. While Google aims to run both businesses separately - and stressed that even Motorola will have to compete for Google's business - the fact that Google's headcount just grew by about 60% shows that this acquisition will have a massive impact on the company in the long run.
Google just announced that you can now easily share links to Google Books on its new social network Google+. That, by itself, isn’t really the most exciting news of the day – and the implementation could still be improved - but I think it is a sign of what’s to come once Google gets around to integrating Google+ sharing into more of its products.
When Google first announced the idea of Chromebooks, a series of small, Internet (and Chrome)-centric laptops made by manufacturers like Samsung and Acer, its engineers touted the fact that - unlike other laptops - Chromebooks would actually get faster over time. Chromebooks, Google said, would see the same kind of performance gains that users of its Chrome browser have gotten used to. Now, with the release of the latest stable version of the ChromeOS operating system that powers these devices, Google is starting to fulfill this promise.
Google seems to have a special interest in Pakistan these days. After hosting a number of events for map makers in the country earlier this year, Google today announced that is providing a seed grant of $250,000 for the P@SHA Social Innovation fund. P@SHA is looking for 25 entrepreneurs, social activists and non-profits who want “to use technology to meet social needs in education, culture, medicine, environmental or any other community problem.”
Just a few weeks ago, Google announced Instant Pages, a service that pre-renders and then quickly loads some of the top search results for Chrome users. Today, Google announced the next step in its drive to make all of the web - and not just Google's own sites - significantly faster. Page Speed Service wants to bring speed-ups to any site on the net that points its DNS entry to Google.
Anyone who has used Google+ for more than a few hours has, no doubt, discovered a very high level of engagement. Users are sharing great content and are eager to share opinions on just about any topic, and there are many ways to share and connect. One can share, re-share, comment, +1, tag others, and even comment on comments and re-share re-shares. How, then, does one effectively participate? Are there established rules of etiquette for all of this communication?
It's no secret that AdWords ads are still responsible for the vast majority of Google's revenue and that local ads in particular are a major growth area for the company. Today, Google launched AdWords Express, a new product that will make it even easier for local businesses to launch AdWords campaigns. AdWords Express boils the relatively complex AdWords interface down to the basics and makes setting up a new campaign as easy as filling out a basic web form.
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.