Friday 12 October 2012

Mobile Google homepage gets sidebar

Type on your mobile browser, and you will see that the Google homepage now has a new look. Among the first things to catch the eye is the side button at the top left corner. Tap on it, and it pulls down a vertical side bar on your mobile screen. In an official blog post Google says that the sidebar has been introduced to let users access their choice of Google products -- Search, News, Images, Maps, etc quickly and easily. For those who have already upgraded to Google+, the new look means that you will also be able to view notifications at the top right corner of the screen, and the share button. On the whole, the homepage now looks noticeably uncluttered.

In a post published on the Google Blog yesterday, Google declared to have added over a hundred new virtual keyboards, transliteration tools, and input method editors (IMEs) to its email service, Gmail. With the new additions you can type in the language and keyboard layout of your choice. The languages can be changed with a single click. This update takes the count of input languages supported by Google to 75.

To enable the feature, check the box located next to 'Enable input tools' under Language in Settings. Once you have enabled it, you’ll see the 'input tools' icon next to the Settings button in the toolbar, and you can turn on or off any input tool from there.

Earlier this year, Google has just officially pulled the wraps off Google Drive, its own take on cloud storage solution. Google Drive is available to anyone with a Google account; you get 5GB of storage free of cost at start-up. Google Docs has also been integrated into Google Drive allowing users to share, edit, and access all their Office documents and PDFs in real time.

Google recently shared that as part of a spring cleaning exercise, which started in the fall last year, it will bring the shutters down on a couple of more services, taking the total count of retired services to 60. Among the services that Google will be closing are -- AdSense for Feeds, Classic Plus, Storage, Spreadsheet Gadgets, Places Directory.

Google storage in Picasa and Drive, reveals the post further, will be consolidated over the course of the next few months. This means that users will have 5GB of free storage across both services. So, if you are paying for storage, your free storage will now be counted towards your total. If you buy, say, a 100GB plan, then you get 100GB of total storage, instead of adding to what you already had. “We believe this approach will make it much easier for users. For both free and paid storage, people at or near their current storage limits will have the same amount of storage after this change,” elaborates Google.

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