The Search engine giant has been busy over the last few months, announcing a plethora of new services, products & ideas, here’s a quick summary.
- Google TV – View »
- Google Tries to Simplify Fonts on the Web – View »
- Google Chrome Web Store to Create a Marketplace for Web Apps – View »
- Google Chrome Version 6 in the Works – View »
- Google Wave Now Open to All – View »
- Google Introduces the WebM Video Format – View »
The Google TV initiative has been around for quite some time and although scant few details have emerged since then we can now look forward to a full reveal at the I/O Developer Conference.
The idea is that Google TV allows users to surf online video from the comforts of the couch, and will compete with the likes of the Boxee Box and the Popbox, and to some extent video game consoles that have the ability to stream content from Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, and others. Beyond straight up video, the idea is to give users an interface to access popular social sites like Twitter and browse photos on sharing sites like Google-owned Picasa on their TVs as well.
Google Tries to Simplify Fonts on the Web
Google unveiled the Google Font Directory and the Google Font API on May 20th to help bring dynamic and selective typefaces to the web.
The issues surrounding fonts and the web are complicated and can be tricky to navigate. Google is hoping to make it easier for developers to integrate more distinctive typefaces into their designs.
Google’s cross-browser solution is similar to what companies like Typekit and Fontdeck are doing, that is, providing users with a library of available fonts that they can easily embed into their sites. Typekit has partnered with lots of commercial foundries and is priced affordably for designers who want to use lots of commercial typefaces legally.
While Google’s font library isn’t as robust as some competing solutions, it is open source. In fact, the fonts in the library can even be downloaded and used in other ways including print.
Google Chrome Web Store to Create a Marketplace for Web Apps
Google has announced the Chrome Web Store, an open marketplace for web applications, at Google I/O. It’s like the Android App Market but for apps on the web.
Like the App Market, developers will be able to sell their apps through the store via Google’s secure payment system. Google is effectively bringing the mobile app store model right onto the web, which could be huge news for app developers, publishers and others who have been looking to this model to generate revenue in addition to the traditional method of advertising support.
The Chrome Web Store will reportedly be supported on all major platforms, including Windows, Mac and Linux as well as, of course, Chrome OS. Both free and paid apps will be available, as well as support for 40 languages in 70 countries. Google also notes that thanks to the standards support baked in to the store, apps written for the Chrome Web Store should additionally work on other modern web browsers.
Google Chrome Version 6 in the Works
The move to a Chrome 6 branch for Chromium means that the final tweaks and polishes on Chrome 5 are almost complete. Chrome 5 is a big release — not only is it blazingly fast, it’s also going to be the first stable release for Mac and Linux users.
So what can we expect in Chrome 6? Well, not too much right now. However, Download Squad found a new addition to the latest Chromium developer nightly build: predictive pre-connections. Escorts SA | Female Escorts | Male Escorts The inclusion of predictive pre-connections means that as soon as you type in a search query in the browser, it goes ahead and opens up a connection to a search engine. Thus your data will transmit faster when you press enter.
If you are searching for an image or something else that Chrome thinks you are likely to click on based on your searching history, the browser will go ahead and open up connections to the ports where the image resides. When you click on the image, the entire site will load more quickly.
Google Wave Now Open to All
Last year at the Google I/O conference, the search giant created a tsunami of interest when it revealed Google Wave. This year the company is making the invite-only, real-time communication tool available to everyone — including Google Apps users — at wave.google.com.
Google has made a number of important tweaks to the preview stage product, including e-mail notifications, read-only wave access and undo/redo options.
Google Introduces the WebM Video Format
Google officially announced the forthcoming release of an open source, royalty-free video format called WebM. Using the VP8 codec that Google acquired from On2 last February, the format is backed by fellow browser makers Mozilla and Opera.
In April, rumors about the open sourcing of VP8 started to take off, but the implications of what VP8 — and now WebM — might mean has been somewhat clouded by the bigger battle between Apple and Adobe over HTML5, Flash and the future of mobile platforms.
While WebM is not currently part of the HTML5 spec, it will be added as a supported part of the <video> tag for the Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers.
In addition to announcing WebM, Google also told the audience that WebM support will be coming to YouTube as part of its HTML5 experiment. All video that is in 720p or higher uploaded to YouTube from today onward will be encoded in WebM in addition to H.264.
One issue that has been raised in the debate over HTML5 and Flash, in terms of web video, is the issue of what video codecs HTML5 supports. Right now, HTML5 supports both H.264 and Xiph’s Ogg Theora. While free for end users and for users who upload video to the web, H.264 is not a royalty-free technology. A consortium called the MPEG-LA, which includes Microsoft, Apple, Panasonic, Nokia, Sony and many other technology companies, oversees license requirements.
Google is still brainstorming more ideas that we have yet to uncover, I wonder what’s next?