News > 2010

A Priority Inbox update: time savings, new features, and your feedback

Category: Gmail | Dec 6, 2010

Posted by Pal Takacsi-Nagy, Engineering Manager

It’s been a couple of months since we first launched Priority Inbox. Since then, we’ve heard from a number of you who’ve found it helpful in combating information overload, and we’ve seen evidence of this in aggregate too. Looking at median time in conversation view, we noticed that typical Priority Inbox users spend 43% more time reading important mail compared to unimportant, and 15% less time reading email overall as compared to Gmail users who don’t use Priority Inbox. We’re excited about the impact Priority Inbox can have, and we’re listening to your feedback in order to make it even better.

For example, one thing we heard is that you wanted to know why Gmail classifies certain messages as important. So starting today, when you hover over an importance marker () you’ll see a short explanation (e.g. “Important because you marked it as important” or “Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.”).

You also told us that you thought Priority Inbox didn’t learn fast enough, so we’ve made it much more responsive to your manual corrections.

If you have more ideas for improvements, please share them with us on our new product ideas page — or just vote on ideas that others suggest. Your feedback will help us make Priority Inbox work for even more Gmail users.


Google Nexus S con Android Gingerbread 2.3

Category: Android, Google Mobile | Dec 6, 2010

Nella giornata di oggi Google ha ufficialmente presentato la nuova versione di Android 2.3 Gingerbread ed il nuovo smartphone brandizzato dal noto motore di ricerca, il Google Nexus S, realizzato in collaborazione con Samsung per garantire il più efficace connubio tra hardware e software.

A livello hardware il Google Nexus S è dotato di una CPU da 1 Ghz, due fotocamere (quella posteriore da 5 megapixel con registrazione video in HD), 16 GB di memoria integrata, sensore NFC. Il display è un Super Amoled da 4″ con risuoluzione di 480 x 800 pixel.

A livello di connettivià e sensori il Google Nexus S supporta HSPA, giroscopio, accelerometro, bussola digitale, sensori di luce e prossimità, Wi-Fi b/g/n, A-GPS, Bluetooth. La batteria integrata ha la capacità di 1.500 mAh. Il telefono verrà venduto sbloccato ad un prezzo di 529 $ a partire dal 16 dicembre negli USA.

Per quanto riguarda invece Android 2.3 Gingerbread tra le novità più significanti che introduce ricordiamo una migliore usabilità della tastiera virtuale, una più efficiente gestione energetica, maggiore velocità generale del sistema, copia/incolla con singolo tocco, miugliorati gli effetti audio e nel gaming, nuove API per gli sviluppatori.

Per vedere invece il nuovo Google Nexus S all’opera potete guardare il seguente video, non si conosce ancora quando il telefono sarà disponibile in Italia:

From: Android Planet

Satellite Tracking with Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Dec 6, 2010

NASA App HD for iPad

NASA have released a new application for the iPad. The application brings to the iPad a large range of features including mission information, images, videos and Twitter feeds.

The application also features a satellite tracker that uses Google Maps to show the paths of satellites. Using the satellite tracker you can view the visible passes of satellites for any location.

If you don’t have an iPad don’t worry. Sight Space Station is an amazing satellite tracking website that allows anyone to track satellites on Google Maps, with the Google Earth Browser plug-in and even in Google Street View.

The Google Map view shows the path of the satellite around the Earth and the Google Earth option allows you to view the path of the satellite as if you were looking down from space.

The most stunning feature, however, is the Street View option that allows the user to view the satellite superimposed on top of Google’s Street View imagery. This is really useful as it shows the elevation of the satellite as it passes overhead.

Via: Le Technoblog du LAC



SAP joins the Google Apps Marketplace with a collaborative decision-making app

Category: Google | Dec 6, 2010

Today SAP, the leading provider of business software to more than 100,000 customers in more than 120 countries, is launching their SAP StreamWork collaborative decision-making app in the Google Apps Marketplace. SAP StreamWork brings together people and information—from the web, the desktop or business systems—and applies structure to discussions with business tools including pro/con tables and polls to drive fast, meaningful results.

Just like the other 200+ Marketplace applications, users will be able to login to their StreamWork account with their Google Apps account and navigate to it from the Google universal navigation bar. SAP will bring deeper integrations in the near future.

To learn more, read the guest blog post on the Google Enterprise blog by David Meyer, SAP’s senior vice president of On-Demand, Productivity and Sustainability Solutions and register to attend our live webinar with SAP discussing tools to optimize your business processes at 11:00 a.m. PT on December 14.

Posted by Harrison Shih, Google Apps Marketplace Team


Introducing Nexus S with Gingerbread

Category: Google | Dec 6, 2010

The very first Android phone hit the market in November 2008. Just over two years later, Android’s vision of openness has spurred the development of more than 100 different Android devices. Today, more than 200,000 Android devices are activated daily worldwide. The volume and variety of Android devices continues to surpass our wildest expectations—but we’re not slowing down.

Today, we’re pleased to introduce the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread, and unveil the next Android device from the Nexus line of mobile products—Nexus S. And for developers, the Gingerbread SDK/NDK is now available as well.

Nexus S is the lead device for the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 release; it’s the first Android device to ship with the new version of the Android platform. We co-developed this product with Samsung—ensuring tight integration of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform. As part of the Nexus brand, Nexus S delivers what we call a “pure Google” experience: unlocked, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest and greatest Android releases and updates.

Take a look at our backstory video for more on the vision behind this product and to understand why we think “a thousand heads are better than one”:

Nexus S is the first smartphone to feature a 4” Contour Display designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. It also features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front and rear facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory, and NFC (near field communication) hardware that lets you read information from NFC tags. NFC is a fast, versatile short-range wireless technology that can be embedded in all kinds of everyday objects like movie posters, stickers and t-shirts.

Gingerbread is the fastest version of Android yet, and it delivers a number of improvements, such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

Here’s a glimpse of the “magic” of Google on Nexus S:

You can find more Nexus S videos and information at or follow @GoogleNexus on Twitter for the latest updates. After December 16, Nexus S can be purchased (unlocked or with a T-Mobile service plan) online and in-store from all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores in the U.S. and after December 20 at Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy retailers in the U.K.

We’ll be open-sourcing Gingerbread in the coming weeks and look forward to new contributions from the Android ecosystem in the months ahead.

Posted by Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering


Discover more than 3 million Google eBooks from your choice of booksellers and devices

Category: Google | Dec 6, 2010

Today is the first page in a new chapter of our mission to improve access to the cultural and educational treasures we know as books. Google eBooks will be available in the U.S. from a new Google eBookstore. You can browse and search through the largest ebooks collection in the world with more than three million titles including hundreds of thousands for sale. Find the latest bestsellers like James Patterson’s Cross Fire and Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, dig into popular reads like Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken and catch up on the classics like Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and Gulliver’s Travels.

We designed Google eBooks to be open. Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks—everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa—using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.

In addition to a full-featured web reader, free apps for Android and Apple devices will make it possible to shop and read on the go. For many books you can select which font, font size, day/night reading mode and line spacing suits you—and pick up on the page where you left off when switching devices.

You can discover and buy new ebooks from the Google eBookstore or get them from one of our independent bookseller partners: Powell’s, Alibris and participating members of the American Booksellers Association. You can choose where to buy your ebooks like you choose where to buy your print books, and keep them all on the same bookshelf regardless of where you got them.

When Google Books first launched in 2004, we set out to make the information stored in the world’s books accessible and useful online. Since then, we’ve digitized more than 15 million books from more than 35,000 publishers, more than 40 libraries, and more than 100 countries in more than 400 languages. This deep repository of knowledge and culture will continue to be searchable through Google Books search in the research section alongside the ebookstore.

Launching Google eBooks is an initial step toward giving you greater access to the vast variety of information and entertainment found in books. Our journey has just begun. We welcome your feedback as we read on to the next chapter.

Update 8:11 AM: Some of you may be having trouble watching the YouTube video. We’re working on the problem and will update here again when it’s fixed.
Update 10:37 AM: The video should be working for everyone now—thanks for your patience.

Posted by Abraham Murray, Product Manager, Google Books


Google Earth Engine Launched

Category: Google Maps | Dec 6, 2010

Google Earth Engine

Google Earth Engine uses Google Maps and Google Earth to present satellite imagery and current and historical data to enable global-scale monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth’s environment.

Using Earth Engine you can browse though the data catalog and select to view satellite imagery from MODIS and Landsat 5. If you then select ‘workspace’ you can view the satellite imagery overlaid on Google Maps.

Each satellite imagery data set comes with a timeline slide control, so you can select the date of the imagery you wish to view. The Map Gallery section allows you to browse through maps created by Google’s launch partners and the Earth Engine team.

Hat-tip: Mapperz



Holy Bouncing Map Markers Batman!

Category: Google Maps | Dec 6, 2010

Google have today released two new new animations that developers can add to Google Map markers. Firstly there is BOUNCE which simply bounces a marker indefinitely to draw attention to it. The other is DROP which adds a marker to the map by dropping it from above with a small bounce.

For more details on how to trigger animations check the Google Maps API V3 documentation. If you want to see the animations in action then head over to this example.

Via: Google Geo Developers Blog



California Schools Ranked on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Dec 5, 2010

API Scores

API Scores is a Google Map of California schools color coded by their state rank and Academic Performance Index score. Using the map parents and home buyers can explore the performance of their local schools.

The map can be filtered by type of school and rank and includes a location search bar to quickly find different areas of interest. Markers on the map show each school in that neighborhood and are color coded by school performance.

When you click on a school’s map marker an information window opens displaying the performance results for that school. The two numbers represent the school’s performance in statewide standardized testing.

The data for the map comes from the 2009 Base API Reports from the California Department of Education API page.



Google Maps Testing New UI

Category: Google Maps | Dec 4, 2010

Google have been testing a new user interface for Google Maps for a couple of months now. The new design has been tested with a number of users, including Justin from 41Latitude, who has managed to create this video of the new design.

The biggest change is in the appearance of the map buttons. The buttons have been changed to larger thumbnail images. In the new design when you roll over the satellite thumbnail the layer options appear in a drop-down list.

The list of your recent map searches is also displayed in the layer panel. Another change is that the small map panel, which in the old design is shown in a small window in the bottom corner, now appears in the new thumbail button.

Hat-tip: Street View Funny & Google Operating System