Saturday, June 27, 2009

AdSense for Mobile Apps being tested

Google announced a new beta AdSense program that allows developers of mobile applications for iPhone and Android. Now, approved applications can make on-going revenue with advertisements through AdSense.

Currently, it’s not open to just any developer — you have to have an application that gets over 100,000 page views per day. In addition to that, the new program is available only for free applications — thankfully double dipping isn’t allowed.

Applications accepted into the program are also locked into a 3 month contract, and must be implemented withing 4 weeks.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Google Flipper Is About To Jump Out Of The Water

Google is about to launch a new Google Labs project it calls Flipper, we’ve learned. No, it’s not a dolphin. As you can see in the screenshot, it looks like the project is a more visual way to read Google News, or to “flip through it,” as it were.

While we have yet to use it, what looks nice about it is that you can not only browse by sections, but also by sources, keywords, and most importantly by elements such as “most popular” and “recommended.” The visual representation probably won’t revolutionize Google News’ often sub-par performance, but the better filters could.

The URL currently takes you to a Google log-in page, but when you sign-in you’re greeted with:

Please visit this page from any computer on the corporate network to automatically enable access for your account.

Which means this remains internal to Google right now. But look for it soon. Click on the image below for a slightly larger version.

Google Voice is close to launch

Google had announced earlier this year their new service named Google Voice.

Google Voice is based on the GrandCentral service that they acquired a couple of years ago.

The company has apparently already reserved 1 million phone numbers with Level 3 as they are nearing the public launch of the service.

Google Voice has been designed to provide users with a single unified number which can be used to divert calls to multiple phones.

The beta testers are pretty happy with the service.

The service would include some really useful features like call transfer between a user’s devices, multi-party conferencing, conversion of voice calls to text messages, cut-rate international calling, and call transcription.

It is also going to be integrated with the user’s contact list on Gmail for a unified address book.

Google has officially declined to reveal any launch date. But it is pretty clear that they are pretty close to the launch in the US market.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Google announces Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook

Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, announced on Tuesday, is a plug-in that lets companies adopt Google Apps mail infrastructure as the back-end for their email and personal information management systems while still using Outlook as the desktop interface. The Gmail interface can also then be used for web-based access.

Google has designed the plug-in for use by companies making the transition from Outlook to Google Apps. Robert Whiteside, head of Google Enterprise UK, told ZDNet UK on Monday that the plug-in "allows an organisation that's moving from Microsoft [to Google] to swap the back end very quickly and take some huge cost advantages".

"[Companies] can phase the roll-out to users over time and give users the choice of where they want to stop," Whiteside said. He added that users could, for example, move only their contacts functionality across, if they preferred.

A 'two-click' migration tool is also being introduced to let employees copy existing data from Exchange or Outlook into Google Apps, Google said.

The plug-in uses the offline Gmail protocol for synchronisation, which Google says is faster than Internet Message Access Protocol (Imap), a standard protocol for email retrieval. The company said meeting-invitation and global address-book functionality would work across both systems, so companies can move one department across to Google Apps while keeping another on Outlook.

Whiteside pointed out that Google Apps and Outlook have been partially interoperable for some time through the use of Imap synchronisation, but the new plug-in made synchronisation faster and added the ability to see whether someone was free or busy at a certain time.

Asked how the Outlook front-end would be able to handle the capacity of a Google Apps back-end — Gmail, for example, allows for a 25GB inbox but Outlook struggles with such volumes — Whiteside said Google "would expect most people to use the Google Apps interface" outside particularly large deployments.

Google has not yet said whether archiving and folder rules set by the user in Outlook will work across a Google Apps-Outlook hybrid deployment.

Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook is available now for subscribers to the Premier and Education editions of Google Apps.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Google Plans Significant Improvements to Docs Suite

Google Docs, a hosted suite of office productivity applications, still has a ways to go in its development, but users can expect dramatic changes in the next 12 months.

So said Dave Girouard, president of Google's Enterprise unit, at the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch 2009 U.S. Technology Conference on Thursday.

After acknowledging that Google has "a lot of work to do" to improve Docs, and that the suite isn't yet a "full on" replacement for Microsoft Office, nor the open-source OpenOffice, Girouard said big improvements are coming.

"In a year, those products will be night and day from what they are today," he said, referring to the word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation software in Docs.

While Google has always acknowledged that Docs doesn't match all of the Microsoft Office features, it also has pointed out that, as Web-hosted software, it offers collaboration capabilities its PC-based competitor can't.

Girouard wasn't specific about what Docs features need to improve, but his comments sounded like a general acknowledgement that, even with its collaboration advantages, Docs has to improve its user experience to get people to view it as a more credible alternative to other office suites.

Girouard, whose presentation was webcast, said that Gmail and Calendar are much more mature products and thus drive the decisions of most businesses to adopt the Appscollaboration and communication suite, which also includes Docs.

Apps customers will also see more effort by Google to attract enterprise developers to its App Engine hosted application development environment, which recently gained Java support and became generally available, after a period of limited release.

Google will also continue enhancing the Gmail and Calendar components with improvements aimed at CIOs and IT managers, including the upcoming Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server, he said.

Ironically, the economic downturn and the ensuing reductions in IT budgets have caused a spike in interest in the Premier version of Apps, which can cost between five and 20 times less than Microsoft's Office and Exchange, he said.

Apps Premier costs US$50 per user, per year and, as the most sophisticated version of the suite, is geared toward businesses with more than 50 end-users, which is the maximum for the Standard version, which carries ads in Gmail and is free. There is also a free Education edition designed for schools and universities. Most Apps users are small businesses.

While happy with the gradual but steady growth of Apps' adoption by large enterprises, Girouard acknowledged that security concerns about Web-hosted software remain a big obstacle.

"We're very early in this thing and most CIOs are still scared to death with the idea of their data being outside of their firewall in someone else's data centers," said Girouard, who answered questions from a financial analyst and from audience members.

Google maintains that those concerns are unwarranted, saying data is more secure in one of its data centers than in an organization's data center.

Another challenge for Apps' adoption is CIOs' reluctance to change software that tens of thousands of employees use, Girouard said. "The thought of moving 50,000 end-users to an entirely new experience for something they use every day is very daunting," he said.

Every few weeks, a large enterprise with 10,000 end-users or more migrates to Apps, and every time that happens, momentum continues to build, as well as confidence in the suite itself, as well as in the SaaS (software-as-a-service) model, he said.

One thing that doesn't help CIOs understand SaaS specifically and cloud computing in general is the sudden appropriation of the terms by myriad vendors in order to benefit their marketing efforts, he said.

"It's interesting that everybody is in cloud computing now. In most cases, I view it as a re-labeling of what they were doing five years ago," he said.

Girouard has a particular beef with the term "private clouds" to refer to customer data centers that have been optimized through the use of virtualization technology.

"By no means would I describe that as cloud computing. I'd call that more efficient data centers and getting more out of the servers you buy," he said.

Among the few vendors doing true cloud computing at scale are Google, and, he said.

"If you're still selling large up-front buildouts of X, Y or Z, regardless of what virtualization is involved, that's not in my mind cloud computing," he said.

Google's Enterprise unit generates "a few hundred million dollars" in revenue, is profitable and is growing, Girouard said.

Its revenue is just a small fraction of Google's total revenue, which mostly comes from online advertising, but growing that percentage isn't his focus.

"I'm not competing with the rest of Google. I'm looking to build a very large business over a long period of time," he said.

The opportunities in IT enterprise search and Web-hosted business software are big. "We can be a first-tier player in IT," he said.

"We're not driving Google's top or bottom line in 2009, and probably not in 2010, for that matter. Having said that, we can grow for many years in this business and build a very large business over time," he said.

Google Tests Scripting Feature for Online Apps

Google will add scripting capabilities to Google Docs, allowing organizations to customize its online applications and automate tasks, the company said Wednesday.

Google plans to sign up about 1,000 customers over the next few weeks to test the feature, called Google Apps Script. It isn't saying yet when Apps Script will be widely available. Google Docs users can apply here to try it out.

It will be tested initially in Google Spreadsheets and extended to other Google Docs applications over time, said Jonathan Rochelle, product manager for Google Docs, in a press briefing at the Google I/O conference.

The scripting will allow organizations to build custom functions in spreadsheets, like translating figures from inches to millimeters, or translating text from one language to another. It will also enable applications to be linked together, allowing a user to send an email from within a spreadsheet, for example, or access a calendar from a list of addresses.

The company posted a video and some information about Apps Script in its Enterprise Blog.

The scripting should help Google to compete better with Microsoft's widely used Excel spreadsheet software, but it will also open a new front for security attacks and other potential issues.

"The nature of scripting is such that it could be easily abused," Rochelle acknowledged. "We want to make sure people can't make a mistake [such as] they coded something they don't know is happening."

Google will work to make it "bulletproof" before it's released to the public, he said. The company described it as "a puppy who's still in training," suggesting it has more work to do on it.

Google Apps Script is based on JavaScript, with object-based extensions added by Google, making it easy to learn, according to Rochelle. "It really is JavaScript, except there are certain things we don't let you do," he said.

There is not currently a way to import Excel macros, he said, but Google is considering that for the future. It expects Apps Script to appeal especially to systems integrators, who have been asking for it, he said.

Excel still has many more features and capabilities than Google Spreadsheets, but Rochelle argued that "user satisfaction" is a better measure by which to compare the products. "If 80 percent of people don't use the features then it doesn't matter" he said.

Several partners are at the show who offer integration services and develop add-on tools for Google Docs. Ed Laczynski, CTO of LTech, said his company has migrated "hundreds of thousands" of users from on-premise software to Google Apps. The company just released a tool that lets users download and backup their documents to a local disk.

Oracle is also in on the act. The company is about to release a beta tool that will let users of its Siebel customer relationship management software import and export data from Google Docs, said Dipock Das, a senior director with Oracle's CRM group.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Google Wave: A Complete Guide

Today has been dominated by news and excitement surrounding Google WaveGoogle Wave reviews, GoogleGoogle reviews’s new real-time communication platform that will launch to the public later this year. In fact, there’s been so much buzz that you might just not have enough time to read the thousands of articles being released on Google’s biggest product launch in recent memory.

To make sense of it all, we have compiled key information, definitions, and links related to the launch of Google Wave. This in-depth guide provides an overview of Google Wave, discusses the terminology associated with it, details information on Google Wave applications, (i.e. the Twitter Wave appTwave), and goes over ways to keep yourself informed. We know you’re excited about Google Wave, so here’s what we think you should know:

What is Google Wave?

Google Wave Image

While we suggest reading our article on the launch of Google Wave for more detailed information, here’s the sum of it: Google Wave is a real-time communication platform. It combines aspects of email, instant messaging, wikis, web chat, social networking, and project management to build one elegant, in-browser communication client. You can bring a group of friends or business partners together to discuss how your day has been or share files.

Google Wave has a lot of innovative features, but here are just a few:

- Real-time: In most instances, you can see what someone else is typing, character-by-character.

- Embeddability: Waves can be embedded on any blog or website.

- Applications and Extensions: Just like a FacebookFacebook reviews application or an iGoogle gadget, developers can build their own apps within waves. They can be anything from bots to complex real-time games.

- Wiki functionality: Anything written within a Google Wave can be edited by anyone else, because all conversations within the platform are shared. Thus, you can correct information, append information, or add your own commentary within a developing conversation.

- Open source: The Google Wave code will be open source, to foster innovation and adoption amongst developers.

- Playback: You can playback any part of the wave to see what was said.

- Natural language: Google Wave can autocorrect your spelling, even going as far as knowing the difference between similar words, like “been” and “bean.” It can also auto-translate on-the-fly.

- Drag-and-drop file sharing: No attachments; just drag your file and drop it inside Google Wave and everyone will have access.

While these are only a few of the many features of Google Wave, it’s easy to see why people are extremely excited.

Google Wave was the brainchild of a team based out of Sydney, Australia. The core team members are two brothers, Jens and Lars Rasmussen, and lead project manager Stephanie Hannon, all of whom were involved in Google MapsGoogle Maps reviews previously. Google Wave was announced today at Google’s I/O Developer conference, although the product will not be available to the public for several months.


Wave Entitles Google Image

Google Wave actually has its own lingo - yes, you have to learn a few definitions if you’re going to really understand this new communication platform. Having knowledge of these terms will help you understand more about Google’s newest project.

- Wave: A wave, specifically, refers to a specific threaded conversation. It can include just one person, or it can include a group of users or even robots (explained below). The best comparison I can make is that it’s like your entire instant messaging (IM) history with someone. Anything you’ve ever discussed in a single chat or conversation is a wave.

- Wavelet: A wavelet is also a threaded conversation, but only a subset of a larger conversation (or a wave). It’s like a single IM conversation - a small part of a larger conversation and a larger history. Wavelets, though, can be created and managed separately from a wave.

- BlipBLIP reviews: Even smaller than a Wavelet, a Blip is a single, individual message. It’s like a single line of an IM conversation. Blips can have other blips attached to them, called children. In addition, blips can either be published or unpublished (once again, it’s sort of like typing out an IM message but not yet sending it).

- Document: A document actually refers to the content within a blip. This seems to refer to the actual characters, words, and files associated with a blip.

- Extension: An extension is a mini-application that works within a wave. So these are the apps you can play with while using Wave. There are two main types of extenisons: Gadgets and Robots

- Gadgets: A gadget is an application users can participate with, many of which are built on Google’s OpenSocial platform. A good comparison would be iGoogle gadgets or Facebook applications.

- Robots: Robots are an automated participant within a wave. They can talk with users and interact with waves. They can provide information from outside sources (i.e. TwitterTwitter reviews) or they can check content within a wave and perform actions based on them (i.e. provide you a stock quote if a stock name is mentioned).

- Embeded Wave: An embeded wave is a way to take a Google Wave and the conversation within it and place it on your website. Users could use this as a chatroom, as a way to contact you, or for something more.

Wave Gadgets

Google Wave Gadgets Image

A Wave Gadget is one of two types of Google Wave extensions. Gadgets are fully-functional applications. According to Google, gadgets are primarily for changing the look and feel of waves, although this seems to only scratch the surface of the potential of a wave gadget.

First: almost any iGoogle or OpenSocial gadget can run within Google Wave. That means thousands of applications that have been already created will work in Google Wave. Second: a gadget built within Google Wave can take advantage of live interaction with multiple users. This means something like a live online game with active participation from all users. In that way, it has similarities to Facebook or MySpaceMySpace reviews applications, which take advantage of your friend network to make games, quizzes, and applications more meaningufl and useful.

Gadgets are specific to individual waves, rather than to specific users. Thus, it’s not like having a Facebook app on your profile - the gadget belongs to everyone within the wave. They also do not have titles, to better integrate with the actual conversation. Some of the gadgets already built include a Sudoku gadget, Bidder (which turns your wave into an auction), and Maps (which allows for collaboration on a Google Map).

For a more technical explanation, be sure to check out Google’s Wave Gadgets Tutorial.

Wave Robots

Google Wave Robots Image

Robots are the other type of Google Wave extension. Robots are like having another person within a Google Wave conversation, except that they’re automated. They’re a lot like the old IM bots of the past, although far more robust. Robots can modify information in waves, interact with users, communicate with others waves, and pull information from outside sources.

Because it acts like a user, you can define its behavior based on what happens in the chat. You could build one as simple as “change the word dog to the word cat” or one as complex as a fully-functional debugger. We’ll probably start seeming some very advanced robots in the near future.

Some of the robots already in service include Debuggy (an in-wave debugger), Stocky (which pulls stock prices based on stock quote mentions), and Tweety (the Twave robot, which displays tweets inside of a wave).

A more advanced explanation is available at Google’s Wave Robots Overview.

Wave Embeds

Google Wave Embeds Image

Wave embeds are a little more complex than embedding a YouTubeYouTube reviews video onto your blog, yet in the end, that’s really what Google Wave Embeds are: a way to take Google Waves onto a third party website. Embedded Waves support many of the functions of the actual Google Wave client, including dragging-and-dropping files.

While the Wave Embeds is still very early stage, Google has already built two: YouTube Playlist Discuss and Multiple Extensions Embed. The former allows you to discuss a YouTube video via a wave and the latter allows for interaction with multiple waves on the same page.

One possibility: Google Wave Embeds may be a real-time replacement to static comments. If Google perfects wave embeds, you could even see comments replaced with waves, although it is way too early to make any calls on the potential of this.

Google’s Wave Embed Developer’s Guide has more advanced information embedding waves.

Furthering your Google Wave education

Google Wave Logo

The Google Wave Logo

Still can’t get enough of Google Wave? While information is sparse, hopefully this collection of links will help you understand this new product even more.

- MashableMashable reviews’s Google Wave Coverage: We highly suggest bookmarking our Google Wave coverage and checking Mashable consistently for the latest information on Google Wave.

- Google Wave Federation Protocol: Google has provided some community principles, architecture information, and more detailed definitions on their Wave protocol webpage.

- Google Wave API: For developers interested in building applications for Google Wave, be sure to check out the Wave API website.

- Google Wave Updates: Want to be informed the second Google Wave is available? Here’s the sign-up form.

Google Wave : Future of Communication

Google Wave is a new communication service previewed today at Google I/O. "A wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more."
The service seems to combine Gmail and Google Docs into an interesting free-form workspace that could be used to write documents collaboratively, plan events, play games or discuss a recent news.

Google Wave has been designed by the founders of Where 2 Tech, a start-up acquired by Google to create a cutting-edge mapping service, which later became Google Maps.
"Back in early 2004, Google took an interest in a tiny mapping startup called Where 2 Tech, founded by my brother Jens and me. We were excited to join Google and help create what would become Google Maps. But we also started thinking about what might come next for us after maps. As always, Jens came up with the answer: communication. He pointed out that two of the most spectacular successes in digital communication, email and instant messaging, were originally designed in the '60s to imitate analog formats — email mimicked snail mail, and IM mimicked phone calls. Since then, so many different forms of communication had been invented — blogs, wikis, collaborative documents, etc. — and computers and networks had dramatically improved. So Jens proposed a new communications model that presumed all these advances as a starting point; I was immediately sold," explains Lars Rasmussen.
"In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content -- it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave to see how it evolved."
You can see some screenshots of the service and find some details about the API that could be used to extend the service and the Wave protocol that allows anyone to run a "wave" server. Google promises that Google Wave will be available later this year.

Google Launches New Search Tool : Google Square

Google yesterday officially (Relatively Quietly) launched on experimental search tool called Google Squared, Just released in Google Labs. Its different to Google traditional search engine. Google Squared search results based on table with cells.
It is an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. That is, It is display base on table format quick review. For example, quick research of products provide table columns are Item Name, Item Image, Description, Genre, Director and Publisher on the table cells.

Google Squared shows only the first 7 results, but you can always add new results and even new attributes. If you Clicking on the first blank column, Google Squared suggests 5 new columns. Check out Google Squared FAQ Help.
Watch Google Squared Introduction Youtube Video: