Google’s Christmas Marathon

Google has updated the majority of its services and mobile apps in the past couple of weeks - it almost seems Google wanted to make Christmas presents to all of its users. Even though not all services (like the music identification feature in Google Search) can be enjoyed everywhere in the world, there are plenty of new nice features for everyone. Here are my favourites:

Mobile apps:

  • Calendar app: finally Google has come up with a calendar app people really want to use
  • YouTube app: remote control addition for Google TV/PC
  • Google Drive: much improved editing of spreadsheets
  • Gmail app: swipe and pinch features adding more user friendliness
  • Currents: the magazine app is now a real competitor for the like of Flipboard
  • Google Earth: new 3d tours
  • Google Play Books: read aloud, dictionary, translation and notes (finally a competitor to the likes of the Kindle app and iBooks)
  • Google Now: lets you know how much exercise (walking, running, cycling) you have done (though this one probably still needs a lot of improvement it has a potential to decrease obesity)
  • Android camera: addition of photospheres (360 panoramic images); here is a Christmassy example
  • Google+ app: user interface improvement to an already excellent app; addition of communities and photospheres

The web and the cloud

  • YouTube: create slideshows from uploaded/imported (Picasa, Google+) photos
  • Chrome: Save to Drive from the web (images, texts)  addon for the Chrome Browser
  • Google Drive: improved Google Presentations/Slides (as it is called on my Chromebook) with a very handy presentation mode; integration of third party webapps
  • Gmail: attach files from Google Drive (up to 10GB - this one is a real killer feature)
  • Google+: communities: even though you can create communities with circles, this one comes more naturally

To heighten the Christmas spirit, Google has furthermore created its own Santa Tracker, both as a web app and as a mobile app:
Google Play Link

To mind Google has more than deserved the title of most innovative tech company awarded by The Economist (both in 2011 and in 2012).

I would like to finish my Christmas post with a “Happy Christmas to everyone!”

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