Welcome to Googleholic, your weekly fix of everything Google!
In this edition:
- YouTube adds new features
- Gmail, the Google Toolbar and SMS messaging
- View Office Open XML files in Gmail and Search
- New Chrome release
- Random Roundup
YouTube has been busy adding new features to its service. One of the coolest features is the new “auto translate” option for videos with captions or subtitles.
Because 44 percent of YouTube users watch content from an embedded video, rather than the YouTube site, YouTube is also improving the embeddable player. The start images are now higher quality, which makes it easier to tell what you will actually be watching. Additionally, you can now search for other videos through the embedded player and then view those videos in the same player window.
The newer video annotation feature is now available to viewers using embedded players, as are closed captions and captioning translations.
YouTube is still behind Vimeo and Viddler on the video quality front, but they are now starting to catch up, feature wise.
[via Official YouTube Blog]
Last week, Gmail Labs briefly added the ability to send SMS text messages directly from Gmail. Unfortunately, the feature isn’t fully baked, and Google pulled it until it is rock solid, so look for it in about a week. In the meantime, Google has added some functionality to the custom Gmail button on the Google Toolbar. Now, not only can you check your mail from the Toolbar (you have to add the Gmail button in the Toolbar preferences), you can also easily send a web page or a bit of text to someone else, using Gmail. Click on the “Send To” button and a new window will open up with a new message, complete with the page link and any text you have highlighted. You can then automatically send it to any of your Google contacts.
Google gadgets can also be added to the Toolbar, which can be especially helpful if you use Google Calendar and want to stay update of all of your events, without having Gmail open 24/7.
[via Official Gmail Blog]
Although Google Docs does not currently support Microsoft’s Office Open XML file format (the *.docx, *.xslx, *.pptx extensions that debuted with Office 2007), you can now view those attachments as HTML files within Gmail and Google Search.
Hopefully, this is a sign that full support for Open XML files will be coming to Google Docs soon. As more and more people upgrade to either Office 2007 or Office 2008 (Mac), the *.docx format is going to become more common. With so many big companies competing for the online office space, it is imperative that Google keep up.
[via Google Operating System]
On Monday, Google pushed out the first update to its web browser, Chrome. Brad discussed some of the changes and improvements last week and the Chromium Blog went into some detail on some of the causes and solutions to some of the problems with the first beta.
The newest version of Chrome has better performance with large PDF files and Flash video, as well as other bugs and security fixes.
[via Official Google Blog]
Random Google News that didn’t quite make the Googleholic cut:
- New Google Help Forums - Google is revamping its Help Forums
- AdSense Improves ad quality - Google has rolled out improvements to Ad Sense’s Quality Scorecard and Ad Rank systems.
- Street View expands - Baltimore, DC and Seattle residents now join the ranks of Street View cities.
- KML Handbook now available - If you have wanted to learn more about Google’s KML markup language, which is what powers Google Maps, a new officially endorsed KML Handbook is available now.
- Android source management tools - I didn’t post about this in Googleholic, because Android or not, this gets pretty specific and geeky, but the Google Open Source blog details the two tools Android uses for source code management, and explains why its tools (which were also released open source) are better than existing solutions, like Git, for this type of project.
- OpenSocial Birthday Party details - On Thursday, November 13, Google’s OpenSocial platform is celebrating its first birthday with an official event at MySpace’s San Francisco offices. This blog post details the agenda for the event. Incidentally, my 26th birthday is on Wednesday, November 12. (yes, that is me shamelessly plugging my birthday)