'Back on Broadway' (Image credit)
While we took a break last month, Google announced product changes, new features and service upgrades that affect our family web sites. In this post, we highlight changes in five areas we believe you'll be most interested to learn about:
- Cloud Computing (includes Google Docs)
- New Google Drive allows you to upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond (YouTube). Read The New York Times review.
- Google Drive makes it easy to create, store and share with just one click. Read PCWorld review.
- You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download Google Drive to your Android phone or tablet.
- Google Docs will soon be upgraded to Google Drive. Learn more. Once you add Drive to your Google Account, Docs automatically disappears and is replaced by Drive. Read Will Google Drive leave DropBox in the dust?
- You can now use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to search Google Docs text in PDF, image or PDF files obtained using flatbed scanners, and photos taken with digital cameras or mobile phones.
- Google Docs has 450 new fonts and 60 new templates in the gallery. Donut Charts are available (help center update).
- Google Drive will be 'seamlessly integrated with the File Manager and support offline access with the next release of Chrome OS by July 10, 2012.'
- Google Earth Builder renamed Google Maps Engine
- Google Maps Engine overview
- In the USA, you may store music, movies, books and apps online at Google Play. Content roll-out is different in other countries.
- ISO 27001 certification
- There are hundreds of offline-capable web apps in the Chrome Web Store.
- Become a Gmail Ninja
- Free storage increased from 7.5 to 10 GB
- New ways to share and manage your Contacts
- Automatic Message Translation is available (help center)
- Autocomplete predictions will be tailored to the English content in your email for Gmail search box (more languages over the next few months)
- Use 3rd party app Gmail Meter to get your Inbox statistics (tutorial)
- If you've upgraded to Google+
- You now have quick access to contact details when viewing past conversations.
- Circles are now supported in search and filters.
- You can now reply to G+ notifications from Gmail.
- You can select Welsh and Latin American Spanish as your default language in Settings.
- Follow an Email's journey with The Story of Send (YouTube)
- All of Zagat’s accurate scores and summaries are now highlighted on local Google+ pages (Google owns Zagat).
- Google+ Local integrates local info across Google
- Business owners may continue managing local listing info at Google Places for Business.
- Managing business owners' local listing info will be simplified to take full advantage of the social features provided by local Google+ pages.
- You can reply to Google+ notifications from Gmail.
- Google overhauled its Google+ iPhone app. Download Version 188.8.131.5288 here.
- Use data commissioned by Google, Inc. for Our Mobile Planet to gain a deeper understanding of the mobile consumer and make data-driven decisions on how to use mobile to help grow your business faster.
- Read Google's smartphones Global Findings from 2012 report.
- Download smartphone consumer behavior Full Data Sets and Country Reports here. Our Mobile Planet provides free access to unique data for a total of 40 countries in 22 languages from the 2011 and 2012 waves of research.
- Faster, simple Google search app is available for iPhone & iPad
- Download free Google Search App 2.0 for iPhone and iPad from iTunes.
- Internet domain space will increase as Google introduces new gTLDs
- Google's Chrome browser now enables TLS 1.1 by default
- Blogger In Draft is retired; now go to Blogger G+ and Blogger Buzz.
- Cancel running scripts from the Google Apps Script editor
- Automated domain verification for accessing Google services is available for 2 ICANN-accedited registrars. More to come.
- Webmaster Tools Home page, Dashboard, and Navigation has changed.
- Structured and modular curriculum available for beginner webmasters
- Webmaster Academy here
- Google is increasing frequency of Instant Pages.
- Images uploaded to Google Sites are now searchable using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
For more information about products and services that we use, check our list of Help Centers at the bottom center of this page.
What do you think of the Google product updates? Let us know in the comments.
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Last Updated June 10, 2012