Google Friends Newsletter - September 2009
We hope all of our Google friends had a great September. Here is the
month's update on our products and services.
Introducing Google Sidewiki
We're excited about the release last week of Google Sidewiki, a new
way for you and others to contribute helpful information alongside any
page on the web. Google Sidewiki is a sidebar in Google Toolbar where
you can add text entries, links, and embedded videos. To make sure you
see the most relevant entries on top, we use an algorithm to rank
entries by quality. It takes into account your feedback as well as
many other signals. We also have the first version of our API
available to let anyone work freely with the content that's created in
Google Sidewiki. Google Sidewiki is a feature of Google Toolbar for
Firefox and Internet Explorer — support for Chrome is coming.
NEW PRODUCTS & UPDATES
Google Fast Flip
Google Fast Flip, recently launched in Google Labs, is a way to read
news that combines the best elements of print and online articles.
Like a print magazine, Fast Flip lets you browse through recent news,
headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top
publishers. At the same time, we offer search over many top newspapers
and magazines, and the ability to share content with your friends.
Fast Flip also personalizes your experience by taking cues from
selections you make to show you more content from sources, topics and
journalists that you like.
Place Pages in Google Maps
Last week we launched Place Pages. A Place Page is a webpage for every
place in the world — not just businesses, but also points of interest,
transit stations, neighborhoods, landmarks and cities. Each Place Page
organizes information about that a place, including a summary,
reviews, photos and videos, related maps and much more — all in one
page. To get to a Place Page, click "more info" in either the search
results or the display bubble that pops up on the map.
Picasa 3.5, now with name tags
With Picasa 3.5, the newest version of our free photo editing
software, you can organize your pictures by what matters most: the
people in them. Using the same facial recognition technology that
powers name tags in Picasa Web Albums, it identifies and groups
similar faces so you can add name tags to dozens of pictures at once.
Then, you can do creative things with your pictures, like quickly find
all the photos with the same two people in them, make a face collage
with just one click, or upload and share people albums with friends.
Picasa 3.5 also has integrated Google Maps for faster geotagging, and
there's a totally redesigned import process so you can import photos
and upload them to Picasa Web Albums in one step. Picasa 3.5 is
available in English for both PC and Mac.
New Features in Google SketchUp
We just released Google SketchUp 7.1 with a bunch of new features and
functionality to make SketchUp even more useful for everyone. We
overhauled our rendering engine to make it faster, built in a
connection to Street View imagery in Google Maps, and added support
for even more 3D file types. Plus, LayOut 2.1 (which is included in
SketchUp Pro 7.1) now includes a simple but surprisingly powerful tool
for creating dimensioned drawings from your models; especially helpful
for architects, woodworkers and other designers.
Recently, you might have seen our mysterious series of Google
"doodles" (our special homepage designs) in honor of H.G. Wells, the
author and "father of science fiction." These are just three of the
many doodles that decorate the Google homepage to commemorate notable
individuals and discoveries, holidays and events in history.
Occasionally, such as for our 11th birthday this month, a doodle
graces the Google.com homepage worldwide. Other times, a doodle
appears on a particular Google country domain. But you don't have to
travel to see all the doodles there are — we archive them for your
viewing pleasure. You can also subscribe to a feed to see new doodles
whenever the archive is updated. Enjoy!