An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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March 30, 2015

Google Photos in Google Drive

For the past 4 years, Google+ was the place where you could find some of the most interesting and innovative Google features. From powerful photo editors to automatically enhanced photos and auto awesome effects, from video conferencing to live streaming, Google+ integrated and upgraded many standalone Google services. Google now wants to set free some of the Google+ features and make them available outside Google+.

Google Drive now lets you browse the photos and videos uploaded to Google+ Photos. There's a new Google Photos section inside Google Drive and it's interesting to point out that the name is Google Photos and not Google+ Photos.

"To get started, just look for the new Photos menu in Drive for Android, iOS and the web. From there you'll be able to manage your photos and videos alongside other types of files. For example, you can now add pictures of wedding venues and cakes to the same Drive folder as your guest list and budget," suggests Google.


You can add Google+ photos and videos to Google Drive folders, print, download, share, delete or rename them.

The new feature is gradually rolled out in Google Drive for the web and the mobile apps, so you may not see it yet.

{ Thanks, David King. }

March 26, 2015

Google Keep Labels

Google Keep now lets you add labels to your notes. Just click the 3-dot icon below the note and select "add label". There are 3 default labels (inspiration, personal, work), but you can add your own labels.


Google Keep's navigation menu shows your labels, so you can quickly find related notes.


You can now export notes to Google Docs: just click "copy to Google Doc" and Google will create a document from your note.


Reminders are more useful. Google Keep lets you create recurring reminders, just like in Google Calendar. You can create reminders that repeat daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or use the custom option for more complex reminders


The new features are available in Google Keep's web app, Chrome app and Android app (Google Keep 3.1).

March 22, 2015

Colorful Knowledge Graph Cards

Last month, Google tested some colorful cards for mobile search results. Now Google's mobile site shows Knowledge Graph cards with colorful backgrounds, but only if you're not signed in.


It's not clear if Google uses random colors or they're related to the image search results.

{ Thanks, Shinohara Makoto. }

YouTube Autoplay, Enabled by Default

As previously anticipated, YouTube's autoplay feature is no longer an experiment and it's now a regular feature enabled by default. YouTube automatically plays related videos until you pause videos or you disable autoplay. "When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next," explains Google.


You can disable autoplay by unchecking "autoplay" in the right sidebar or in the player's settings menu. YouTube saves the setting in a cookie, so it will no longer play related videos automatically until you enable the feature again or clear YouTube cookies.

YouTube has a video and a help center article that offer more information about this feature:

"Once a video is over, you'll see a 10 second countdown that tells you what's going to play next. The next video that plays is determined by your viewing history. If you want more time before the next video starts, pause the countdown by scrolling down past the video player. You can also pause the countdown by typing, either a comment or something into the search box. Also, you can click 'Cancel' on the countdown screen to stop the next video from playing."


March 16, 2015

Google Feud: Guess Google's Suggestions

Google's suggestions are sometimes surprising, weird, funny. Google tries to guess what you are about to type and uses other people's searches to autocomplete your query. "Apart from the Google+ profiles that may appear, all of the predictions that are shown in the drop-down list have been typed before by Google users or appear on the web," informs Google.

Have you ever tried to anticipate Google's suggestions? Google Feud is a simple game based on Family Feud that shows the first part of a query and asks you to guess how Google autocompletes it. "Google Feud is a web game based on the Google API. We select the questions, then the results are pulled directly from Google's autocomplete," informs the site, which is not affiliated with Google.

Google Feud uses the top 10 suggestions for a query. You can get more points if you guess a suggestion that is more popular and you can only make 3 mistakes. There are 4 categories of queries: culture, people, names, questions.



{ via Techcrunch }

March 15, 2015

YouTube Global Search

For some reason, when you search YouTube for [site:youtube.com], you're actually requesting a list of all the YouTube videos, playlists and channels. If you combine this query with YouTube's filters, you can obtain a lot of interesting results:

1. Most viewed videos of all time. Use these filters from the dropdown: type:video, sort by: view count.


To add a filter, click the Filters dropdown and select one of the filters from the 5 columns. You can add multiple filters, but you can only pick a single filter from a column. To remove a filter, click the "x" next to the filter. There's also an option that lets you "clear all filters".


2. Most viewed videos uploaded in the past 30 days. Use these filters: type:video, upload date: this month, sort by: view count.

3. Most viewed videos uploaded in the past 12 months. Use these filters: type:video, upload date: this year, sort by: view count.

4. Most viewed videos uploaded in the past 24 hours. Use these filters: type:video, upload date: today, sort by: view count.

5. Most viewed HD videos of all time. Use these filters: type:video, features: HD, sort by: view count.

6. Most viewed 4K videos of all time. Use these filters: type:video, features: 4K, sort by: view count.

7. Most viewed 3D videos of all time. Use these filters: type:video, features: 3D, sort by: view count.

8. Most viewed playlist. Use these filters: type:playlist, sort by: view count.

9. Random videos with no dislikes. Enable these filters: type:video, sort by: rating.

10. Random popular videos. Enable these filters: type:video, sort by: relevance.

360-Degree YouTube Videos

YouTube added support for 360-degree spherical videos and they're impressive. "You could let viewers see the stage and the crowd of your concert, the sky and the ground as you wingsuit glide, or you could even have a choose-your-own-adventure video where people see a different story depending on where they look," suggests YouTube.

For now, 360-degree YouTube videos are only fully supported in Chrome for desktop and the YouTube app for Android. In Chrome you can use your mouse to drag the point of view, while in the Android app you can move your device around or manually change the point of view. If you watch these videos in other browsers or apps, you can see the entire panoramic images.

Here's a playlist with 360-degree videos:


If you want to upload your own photosphere-like panoramic videos, there's a help center article that offers more information. YouTube supports 5 cameras: Bublcam, Giroptic 360cam, IC Real Tech Allie, Kodak SP360, Ricoh Theta. For now, you need to run a script to insert metadata, but YouTube will try to make it easier to upload videos in the future.

Shared With Me, Back in Google Drive

Google Drive has recently changed the name of the "Incoming" section, which is now called "Shared with me", just like in the old Google Drive interface.

"With the launch of the new Drive UI last year, we renamed the 'Shared with me' section to 'Incoming' and tweaked the functionality a bit. We've since heard feedback from people using the new UI that they miss the 'Shared with me' functionality, so today, we're bringing it back," informs Google.


"Incoming" was shorter, but "shared with me" is easier to understand. It's more obvious that the section includes the files and folders that other people have shared with you.

YouTube Caches Videos

I noticed that my Nexus 5 uses a lot of storage for cache and I wanted to see which Android app caches so much data. It turns out that YouTube used 269MB for cache. I didn't use YouTube's offline feature for music videos, so it seemed strange to see that YouTube suddenly caches a lot of data.


It turns out that YouTube's mobile app for Android now caches the videos you watch. If you watch a video again, YouTube no longer has to download the same chunked files: it uses the cache. After watching a video, I switched to the airplane mode and I could play the video offline, even if it's not supported by YouTube Music Key.


Even YouTube's desktop site started to cache videos again. Since switching to adaptive streams (DASH) in the HTML5 player, YouTube downloaded videos every time you watched them, wasting a lot of bandwidth.

March 12, 2015

Google Inbox Links to Google Contacts

When Google Inbox launched, many people wondered why it doesn't have a contact manager. Now that Google Contacts has a new preview version powered by Material Design, Google Inbox's desktop site added a Contacts link to the sidebar. It only opens Google Contacts in a new tab, but it's still useful.


{ Thanks, Paolo Amoroso. }