News and notes from Google Down Under
Docs and Android come together in Sydney
Thursday, April 28, 2011
For the past couple of years, a team of engineers in Sydney has been improving and adding new features to Google Docs. Recently, our team started working to enhance the mobile Docs experience, starting with today’s
launch of Google Docs for Android
. Together with the design team in Tokyo, we crafted a simple user experience to deliver the best of Google Docs to your phone.
This new app will give you another way to collaborate on documents with your friends or colleagues while you're on the go. You can quickly find, create, edit and share documents, and you can open Docs from Gmail without having to enter your login credentials each time.
We were able to work with other members of the local Google Docs team in Sydney to pack extra features into the Android application too. The engineers here were instrumental in creating
Optical Character Recognition
(OCR) in Google Docs, which converts uploaded images to text. They helped us integrate that functionality into the Android app so that you can take a photo with your phone's camera, then extract the text from that into a new document. This is useful for things like collecting info from a poster or flyer, or making your own changes to a recipe your friend gave you.
The app is currently available in English and works on Android 2.1+ phones. The Sydney team is also working on more features for Google Docs that we can’t wait to share with you.
Posted by David Loxton, Product Manager, Google Docs
The Royal Wedding live on YouTube
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Cross-posted from the
Official Google Blog
As the historic day approaches, the much-anticipated wedding of Britain's Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton has people around the world buzzing with excitement.
While millions will be in London for the big day, it's clear that people around the world have wedding fever.
Google search trends
show that in addition to the UK and the US, the top ten countries searching for “Royal Wedding” include places like Singapore and the Philippines. In response, we've been working to make as much of the big day as possible accessible to everyone. We
announced the expansion of our Google Earth 3D imagery to offer a “Royals’-eye” view of the entire wedding procession, complete with 3D images of iconic landmarks and five species of digital trees that can be seen along the route.
Today, we’re thrilled that the Royal Household has just announced that footage of the entire ceremony will be live streamed on their official YouTube channel:
The live stream will begin at 10:00a BST (9:00a GMT, 2:00a PT, 5:00a ET) on Friday, April 29, and will follow the wedding procession, marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey and balcony kiss. Alongside the live stream, The Royal Channel will also feature live blog commentary of the event to give timely updates and insights as the day unfolds. For those of you in different time zones, the footage will be reshown in its entirety directly following the event and will be available in full on the site to view afterward.
You don’t have to wait until the big day to "attend" the wedding, though. A video guest book has just been opened on
The Royal Channel
for anyone in the YouTube community to upload messages of congratulations, inspiration or well wishes to the happy couple.
More than 50 years ago, the marriage of The Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, and Antony Armstrong-Jones was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on television and had over 20 million viewers. This one is already heralded as the first of the Internet age, where for the first time in thousands of years of royal history, the moment will be captured online and preserved forever.
Posted by: Rachel Ball, Partner Development Associate
Improving finger dexterity for faster web browsing
Friday, April 1, 2011
This is a cross-post from the
Google Chrome Blog
Three weeks ago, we
a new stable build of
which featured our biggest speed improvements to date—a 66 percent lift in
performance on the
V8 benchmark suite
However, the Chrome browser can only process data as quickly as users can tell it how to do so—i.e., type. In 1946,
set a world record by typing at a blistering 216 words per minute. Once we learned that the average Internet user ambles in at 33 words per minute—just 15.2778 percent of the existing milestone—we decided to conduct our own research into the state of finger speed and performance.
Browsing the web involves two key finger movements: the up-and-down motion of a finger pressing a key and the back-and-forth movement of a finger scrolling the wheel of a mouse. To reach a standard measurement for speed and performance, we combined eight key metrics from both movements to produce the Finger Dexterity Index (FDI), which we’ve mapped below against the V8 Benchmark:
As you can see, there have been relatively few advances in finger dexterity since
, which is why we’re excited to bring you
, a new exercise regimen for your hands and fingers. Some existing finger exercise programs focus on upgrading your digits’ cardiovascular strength and musculature; others focus on dexterity. Chromercise’s unique blend of aerobic motion and rhythmic accompaniment covers all of the above while simultaneously tightening and toning your fingers’ actual appearance.
A few words of caution: be sure to stretch before and after your Chromercise workout, and only attempt the complex moves at the end of the workout video after mastering the core movements from the first half. In fact, we strongly encourage
throughout your workout for your comfort and the safety of those around you. And as with any fitness program, don’t forget to consult your physician before committing to a rigorous Chromercise regimen.
To learn more visit
Posted by Chris Wright, certified Chromercise Instructor
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