You'd be forgiven for forgetting that Google used to have an app called Sky Maps on the Play Store. As the title points to, it was a nice digital planetarium that you could carry around your pocket back in the Froyo and Gingerbread days of Android. Like many similar apps, Sky Map used your location and the direction you were pointing your phone at to map the space elements around you, from stars to planets to constellations and more. In January 2012, Google open sourced Sky Map, but development had ceased a while before, in August of 2011.
It looks like someone at the Sky Map Devs team has found the lost github repository and decided to give the app a breath of life.
We've been seeing bits and pieces (and fully functional prototypes) of Google Stars for a long time now. The tool, which for now acts as a replacement for Chrome's bookmark manager, has been in development even longer, but it looks like the Chrome extension might finally be ready to roll (assuming it doesn't get pulled again) as Google released "Bookmark Manager" to the Chrome Web Store earlier today.
Despite the new name, the extension takes over chrome://bookmarks just as before, with options to organize bookmarks into folders, give those folders descriptions, and even share folders with others. Of course the interface for adding a bookmark is also updated.
Google's reinvention of the Chrome bookmark system, called Google Stars, was first spotted by Florian Kiersch nearly a month ago. Today, it looks like the Chrome extension and web interface are already live for the public, preceding any official word from Google about the burgeoning bookmarking service. For now, it looks like Stars is still in a dogfooding or testing phase.
Users who install the Chrome extension (linked at the bottom of the post) will be able to access the service's web interface, which will automatically "add the Google magic to your data," collecting a history of topics you're interested in or things you've bookmarked, arranged automatically by date.
Well, this one sure is going to bend your brain a bit. Avoider is a puzzle game with a very basic premise. You have to move two colored squares to opposite corners of the screen without hitting any obstacles. The catch? They're movement is locked together, and you only control the blue one. When you move your box, the red one moves in perfectly-synced symmetrical motion. Yeah, it gets convoluted. Though, reading this site, I'm sure you're used to that.
While the concept is great, this game does have one fatal flaw: touchscreens. As you may or may not be aware, fingertips are often attached to hands, which are themselves attached to arms.
Friday seems to be the Android web Market team's favorite day to release new features, no matter how incrementally small they may be. Today is no exception, as the web Market now includes a neat little breakdown chart of application ratings on each app page, together with a prominent average score. Have a look at the ratings for the Facebook app, which got an update today:
Every little bit counts, so thanks for this pre-weekend present, Google!