Google strives to add-on and perfect its already existent features and tools, and that is exactly what this week has focused on for the most part. Here are the most recent updates to the world of Google within the past 7 days!
New Google Plus Features
Google Introduces “Handwrite” as Newest Mobile Search Tool
When searching for something on a mobile device, it may be difficult to hit the exact keys that you want (especially on a phone screen) when in certain situations: riding in a car, subway, or just walking around. Google has seen this inconvenience and found a way around it.
With Handwrite, the user can bring up the Google Search page in their browser and simple write the words using their finger on the screen itself. There will also not be a keyboard that pops up and takes up half the screen either. To ensure that the user has even more room to write, once you pause after writing a word, the previous word is erased from the screen and placed in the search bar, giving you the entire screen again to write the next word if needed. As with previous Google searches, the search will update as you write. This new feature is available for any Andriod of iOS mobile device and must be turned on in the settings section of Google.com.
New Zoomable Google Earth Tool
Google Earth has added a feature that will allow users to access photographs of the entire Earth taken by NASA over the past 13 years. The gimmick of this new release is that one can zoom in on a specific area of the Earth and actually progress or regress in time for that exact spot.
Not only will this be an amazing tool to use just to get a feel of how the world has changed over the last decade, but it also gives us the opportunity to look at such problems as land control, deforestation, and changes in the climate. With over 1.5 million separate pictures taken, the amount of immersion users can find in this new feature is amazing. Check out the zoomable timeline of the Earth here.
Gmail Video Chats Replaced with Hangouts
In a new move to combine Gmail and Google Plus even further, Google has replaced the video chat function released in 2008 for Gmail with Google Plus Hangouts. The new Hangouts will have the same features that can be found in Google Plus, such as video chatting with up to 9 people, collaborating on Google Docs, and sharing screens, but can now be accessed directly from your Gmail page. When mousing over your contact list, the previous video chat button is simply replaced with the Hangout button, just click it and select who you want to be invited to the chat!
To unlock all of the features available to Google Plus users by using the new Gmail Hangout, users must have a Google Plus account connected to their Gmail account. Also, users need to download the necessary plug-in to access the feature. Click the video above to learn more.
Google Plus News
Fantasy Football Comes to Google Plus Hangouts
In a smart move by the NFL, they have partnered with Google Plus on Wednesday to allow fans and Fantasy players to use Google Plus Hangouts throughout the entire season. Fantasy Football is already a social game, and the Hangouts platform is the perfect addition.
Anyone who has a Google Plus account and who signs up for Fantasy Football through NFL.com/fantasy will have the option to start a Hangout right on the NFL website at any time. Hangouts can be used during the Fantasy Draft, trades, and also watching NFL games as a group. Also, Google Plus has upped the number of Hangout participants from 10 to 12 just for this feature. It also may be noted that this is the first time that Google has integrated Hangouts directly on any of their partners’ websites.
Join us back here in 7 days to get caught back up on everything that has happened in Google next week!