Google’s New Look Spotted

After months of testing, Google plans to officially release a re-designed home page. The Google Logo is re-designed to give out a better glowing look with larger fonts and better graphics. The Search bar has been taken for a ride too and looks very plain and neat.

The results and the ads look the same but the results page has got a sidebar to the left allowing you to improve your search. The left sidebar has a drop down menu which lets you jump from Web Search to Images, News etc efficiently. Images, Videos, Blogs and every other Google Service mentioned in the sidebar now has a new icon to the left of the text.

Basically, the left sidebar is the “Show Options” of the earlier design but in a more graphical manner. Google automatically detects your location based on your IP Address and displays it on the top below the Search Bar.

The links to the bottom of the search results are now actually click-able which would lead you to the homepage of the site. The color which would be green remains the same. Jump to pages bar, which is ideally located at the bottom of the page, looks and feels great with the new Google Logo.

Google keep stepping up the competition.

What do you feel about this new look? Do share your thoughts in the comments.

Google Analytics Adds App Gallery


Today, Google added an App Gallery for Google Analytics. The App Gallery contains about 32 very interesting apps for Google Analytics and developers could even submit their own apps for inclusion in the gallery.

The App Gallery has 12 categories including Data Collection, Mobile Solutions, Content Management among others. Google would eventually offer AdWords support in Google Analytics to help those who have an AdWords Campaign. The App gallery even has an App known as Google Analytics HD which is for the iPad.

Google also mentions that the Apps are mostly developed by third parties or Google users in general and not by Google, thus the Apps could be a bit buggy, but we surely see another market emerging. Almost every website owner has the Analytics tracking code installed on their site and Apps would further enhance Analytics.

Picasa Web Albums Extends Sharing Options

We all love to share pictures online. Whenever we return from a picnic, vacation or a holiday, we share our pictures with our friends and colleagues online. Sharing pictures online has become so much fun with the help of services such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogger. Picasa Web Albums is another great way to share and save your pictures on the cloud.

Picasa Web Albums now gives you better ways of sharing your pictures with just a single click. Upload your albums to the cloud (Picasa Web Albums) and share your pictures easily via Twitter, Blogger or even Google Buzz.

Picasa Web Albums now has a new option in the sidebar – Post on. The ‘Post On’ option allows you to share a single picture or even a complete album on the above mentioned services.

The ‘Link to this Photo’ option is updated and you could allow your friends to view a particular picture only, without revealing the complete album.

LabPixies Acquired by Google

LabPixies, a leading developer of personalized web gadgets “widgets” including iGoogle, Android and the iPhone has been acquired by Google. Widgets help users improve their experience with a website and LabPixies was the very first developer to develop widgets for iGoogle. Later on, with the coming of the Android platform, LabPixies even started to invest in it and contributed by developing widgets for the Mobile platform by Google.

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Top 5 Google Wave Extensions

Google Wave, a complete collaboration tool launched by Google has reached a point from where neither success nor failure is guaranteed. Though many users including Google fan-boys hate the collaboration tool launched by Google, there are still some who seem to use it regularly. The slow, buggy and incompetent UI brought sadness to a lot of users. Google still seems to be working on the project. It has brought in Extensions for Wave in the hope that it would improve the user interaction and would probably win back the hearts of at-least some.

The Top 5 Extensions for Google Wave which could improve your experience ONLY a bit with Wave are –

1. AccuWeather.com – Install this extension and you could share the weather of your location or any other location with your friends and colleagues. The extension would ask you for a zip code, on entering which it would display the weather of that area. By determining the weather of a location, you and your friends could decide whether to meet there or not.

2. Goo-gly – This Extension uses the Google URL Shortening Service to shorten URL’s inside Wave. Highlight a URL in Wave and use this to shorten it. Works flawlessly!

3. Word Count – An excellent little extension which displays the word count of the selected words. If you are writing an article with your friend and need to put a Word Count at the end, nothing could be better.

4. Grocery List – Allows you to create the list of products which you have to purchase. Has three bars – Quantity, Name and Notes. This could also be used as a task manager for managing your daily tasks.

5. Draw Board for Google Wave – Let’s you draw in Wave, just like paint. Share with users and even draw together. It offers basic features like brush, pencil, eraser, paints etc.

Do let us know about your favorite Google Wave Extension.

Gmail – Drag and Drop Attachments

Now you could drag and drop attachments from your local computer to Gmail without ever hitting the attach button and then browsing for your file. This feature is also available on the Mail application on a Mac. Just open the folder which contains your file and drag the file to the compose mail box. Gmail would recognize your attachment and would come up with a message advising you to drop your file in the box. Just drop it and the file would be attached.

The Gmail Team plans to enable this feature on other browsers too, but currently it is only active on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Buzz integrated with Gmail for Mobile

Google Buzz is now incorporated within Gmail. If you go to Gmail from your Android or iPhone browser you would see a Buzz bar below the inbox bar, just as you would observe in the desktop edition of Gmail. When Buzz was launched, Google had a web app of Buzz for mobiles, but now you could access it right from your inbox.

When you open a Buzz post from your inbox, you can perform all the standard functions, such as liking the post or commenting, just as you can from the desktop Gmail inbox.

You could try it by simply navigating your iPhone or Android browser to gmail.com .

Awesome Bar – Does it enhance the Google experience or develop Google Fatigue?

Mozilla Firefox is one of  the most popular browsers in today’s era. It is highly customizable, secure, stable, fast and Mozilla claims it to be “The World’s Best Browser”. Awesome Bar is one of its most popular and unique features yet. Firefox gets you around your favorite sites in minutes. It is a sort of ” I’m Feeling Lucky” feeling. It searches up Google and takes you to the site without even putting Google in front of you. It just skips Google. Though this isn’t how it works , but to an end user it would appear to do the same thing.

Recently I made a switch from Chrome to Firefox to just give it a try and it turned out to be terrific. I played around with its features and tweaked some to improve performance. It was good.

I am not trying to promote Firefox here, but instead want to talk more about the Awesome bar feature . So, Awesome Bar usually keeps you out of Google. This in turn does affect revenue generation for Google. For example – If you search for a term in Firefox say “Good Directions YouTube” , it would redirect you to the YouTube page and play the video. But if you searched for the same term in Google Chrome’s address box, it would return search results on Google, which would enhance Google’s revenue generation.

Though you have a separate Google bar beside the Awesome Bar but people usually type in their query into the address bar itself. Mozilla still tries to maintain its terms with Google, by making Google its default search engine and using a customized Google page for its startup. Sometimes it even does not render the page which we were wanting to go to. But it tracks user details and customizes it according to your needs.

What do you feel? Are you developing a Google fatigue ? Seems that Mozilla has.

EU Anti Trust or just Extra United (EU) Plain Jealousy?

The opening of the probe by the European Union on enquiries made by three European Internet companies against Google has many undertones.

Firstly, this development tests the level of maturity of Google in taking scathing criticism positively. By covering this negative event in its blog posting, Google has proved that it would like to bring unpleasant news in the open rather than hide it. This is a sign of the confidence of the organization in handling the “resistance posts” squarely and in a transparent manner.

Secondly, it is only when personalities become important and organizations become successful that they attract the attention and jealousy of others. For Google, this is just the case. And it should be prepared for even more as with the passage of time the number of challenges from the environment in form of cases against it through the use of international dispute mechanisms, is only expected to increase.

Thirdly, those companies who have filed their complaints must be prepared to go up to the last mile themselves and stand to public scrutiny themselves. It would have been better if they could have concentrated their efforts in beating competition by way of enhancing their technological edge rather than pursuing litigation.

Top 5 Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome finally has the ability of adding extensions which brought joy to a lot of users. We lay down the top 5 extensions which enhance Chrome and make it fun to use.

1. Chromed Bird – Chromed Bird is an awesome Twitter extension for Google Chrome with lots of features. You could compose a new tweet, check out tweets from your friends, create short URL’s, Notify user whenever new tweets arrive and lots more , all without even going to twitter.com

2. Feedly – Feedly is the best Chrome extension so far. It is even available for Firefox . Feedly is a magazine like startpage for reading your feeds.

3. Wikipedia – Access Wikipedia in a drop down box.

4. Dropbox – DropBox as we all know is the easiest way to store, sync, and, share files online. Now, there is even a chrome extension for it. With the extension, you could view your upload, manage them and even download them to your computer.

5. SimpleNotes – This is as simple as the name sounds. It is a note taking extension whereby you could just quickly take a note without opening NotePad or stuff.