Finding that one important file hidden in a sea of unrelated documents is never fun. Thankfully, Google is seeking to help solve that problem - at least for Google Drive users. Starting today, the Google Drive search bar on the web app can use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help you find documents. For example, searching "show me presentations from last year" brings up all your documents modified in last year with a presentation file type.
Google claims that this feature will only become more accurate as time goes on, so don't get your hopes up for perfect results quite yet. For example, I have a collection of old operating systems on ISO files, and when I search "iso files," a single JPEG file appears. Read More
Ugh, I have to think of another way to respond to this inane email. People always expect me to take care of their problems, but they never include enough information for me to have any idea what they're talking about.
Huh, what are these buttons at the bottom of the email? "Leave me alone." "Not this again." "You broke it, you fix it."
Google, you know me so well. But, this is a little creepy. Where are these responses coming from? Read More
Stop me if you've heard this one before, Google+ on the web now lets you pin posts to the top of your profile page. Okay, maybe you have. See, when Google recently redesigned the web interface for its version of addition (still available as a preview, not an official launch), the company left off some previous functionality. These days it's working on bringing some of those things back. Read More
The Google+ redesign from last week may look pretty, but it's also missing a lot of features that were available in the classic layout. This is true of every product revamp or relaunch: there will always be a tradeoff between getting all the bells and whistles of the new version and keeping the things you're used to on the old one. There's a whole help page that lays out most of the changes and features that the redesign still lacks, ranging from the simplification of profile pages to the (temporary) removal of polls from the web version. Fortunately, upgrading is still entirely optional, so for now you can stick with the classic version of Google+ if that suits you better. Read More
Another long design test appears to be drawing to a close for Google. After apparently beginning a wider rollout for the new mobile search UI (in testing since April), it seems that Google is making the revised image results UI final too.
This layout has been popping up since at least May, with a brighter, more crisp interface that offers more iconography, refined typography, and - yes - a section for related images. Read More
If you have opened a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation in a web browser on your mobile device in the past week, you may have noticed that Google is rolling out a new look.
The updated interface is simpler, and the changes are consistent across all three services. An action bar stretches across the top that lets you go back or start editing. The title of the document sits in the center. In most cases the bar is gray, but it turns dark when viewing slides.
Google is taking this time to phase out the ability to edit Docs files on the web. Read More
A few days ago, we wrote about Google's new My Account interface, which had its material design debut coinciding with Google I/O. The new interface makes checking and adjusting your security and privacy settings both beautiful and easy.
The My Account page wasn't the only account management tool that got some material love though - Google's account history interface has also received a facelift. The account history page now ties together all your history from various Google services - history is broken into Web & App, Voice & Audio, Device info, Location, YouTube Watch, and YouTube Search, along with a general heading to turn on or off history for each of the above sections. Read More
As Googler Andy Bohm notes on G+, Google's Privacy team didn't appear on stage during the I/O keynote this year, but that doesn't mean the team didn't have anything awesome to talk about. Specifically, Google has launched a revitalized account management interface. The new My Account page injects privacy and security settings with simple navigation, easily understood explanations, and tons of awesome illustrations to walk users through checking, changing, and otherwise managing their account/privacy settings.
Chances are your Google account has a lot of information about you, and managing that information is important, so it's nice to see continued efforts from Google to make that process easier to understand and execute (Google's privacy checkup took me <60 seconds before finishing this post). Read More
Google just rolled out an update to Play Music, but not for the app. This time it's the web interface that is getting a fresh coat of paint—an interesting shade of Android app. Yes, the web interface looks almost exactly like the app now.
In every popular album there always seem to be one or two songs that get the vast majority of attention, no matter the relative quality of the other songs. Google, for whatever reason, has decided to give this phenomenon a bit of visual representation. Head on over to the Google Play Store and click "music" (not the Google Play Music player interface), then pick any of the various albums featured on the front page. You'll see a new column in the track listing, ranking each song in popularity, presumably in relation to the others on the same page.
Oddly, some albums seem to be excluded, multi-artist compilations and extended plays in particular. Read More