Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Friday, April 16th 2010

Drag and Drop Attachments in Gmail

This is really cool.

The Gmail team have implemented drag ‘n’ drop for attachments, if you’re using Firefox 3.6 or Chrome.

I gave it a try and it works beautifully! This is the first real implementation of Firefox’s drag and drop support that I know of.

Tuesday, September 29th 2009

The Big Problem with Google Chrome Frame

Google recently announced Chrome Frame, a plug-in for Internet Explorer which lets web sites use the rendering engine from Google Chrome instead of IE’s default rendering engine, Trident.

Before I understood how this was meant to work, i thought Wow! Google are going to rid the web of Internet Explorer! My happiness soon came to a screeching halt though.

If we ignore all the difficulties of making Chrome’s rendering engine (Webkit) play nicely with the Internet Explorer interface, there is one fundamental problem that stops Chrome Frame from becoming the web saviour that everyone was hoping for.

The problem that Chrome Frame aims to fix – the large user base of Internet Explorer coupled with its stone-age rendering engine – exists mainly due to lack of knowledge.

People who keep using Internet Explorer do so largely because they don’t know about the alternatives, or what a huge problem IE is for web developers.

The number of IE users who have made a conscious decision to stick with IE, but still are knowledgeable enough to understand the benefits of a modern rendering engine, can probably be counted on a few thousand left hands.

So, along comes Chrome Frame. But, the essential factor knowledge is just as lacking now as it has been before. Chrome Frame still requires IE users to knowingly install it, which I really can’t see happening.

Google Wave Logo

However, Google may have another card up their sleve. A card known by the name Google Wave.

Google Wave is, drasticly simplified, a replacement for e-mail. It is an online tool for communication and sharing. Now this sounds like something we’ve all heard a million times before. It isn’t.

Anyway, Google have given up on trying to get Wave working properly in Internet Explorer. Wave relies heavily on modern standards, and IE is just too far behind. Instead, Google Wave will ask IE users to install the plug-in Chrome Frame. Or another browser.

If Google Wave catches on properly it may well give IE users a healthy nudge in the direction of better browsers and/or Chrome Frame. And having seen the demo of Wave, I think it may very well become the next big thing.

However, having followed the browser market for ten years or so, I’ve seen how slowly it shifts. I doubt Chrome Frame and/or Wave will introduce any dramatic changes.

Thursday, March 12th 2009

Fun with Google

Google Suggest can be pretty funny …

screenshot of Google suggesting funny options

Wednesday, January 28th 2009

What's going on here?

I’ve noticed this a few times now. When I do a Google search using Internet Explorer the first few results are high-jacked by various spam-ish sites.

google screenshot

Anyone have any idea what’s happening here? I’m guessing my computer has been infected somehow. I doubt very much this is Google’s fault.

I’ll let Spybot loose and see what it finds.

Edit: After running Spybot and fixing all the problems it found, Google now behaves as it should in Internet Explorer. (There was never a problem in Firefox.)

Friday, September 5th 2008

Nice, Google

This is just what I was hoping for. Google is promoting their new web browser Chrome on google.com:

Screenshot of Google.com with Chrome promotion

This should hopefully get a heap of IE users to switch over. What a smack in the face for Microsoft. Just out of nowhere Google releases a browser and then they start pushing it on the most visited page in the world… Me smiles.

Tuesday, September 2nd 2008

New Web Browser: Google Chrome

This morning I was very surprised to read that Google was just about to launch their own web browser: Google Chrome.

First impressions

Just now it went online so I went and downloaded it right away. First impressions are that it seems pretty solid. Not at all buggy, as the 0.2.149.27 version number would suggest. And I really like the way it looks, very sleek.

It feels like a mix of all the other browsers:

  • The blue look from Internet Explorer (but nicer!)
  • Tab layout from Opera
  • Speed-dial feature from Opera. (Though I don’t know if Opera’s speed dial is automatic?)
  • Password saving (info-bar style) from Firefox 3
  • User interface simplicity à la Safari
  • Smart location bar à la Firefox 3, recently also copied by IE8 beta 2
  • Hidden/minimized menus like IE8
  • New tab button like IE8
  • Private browsing, implemented just like IE8. (Safari had it first though.)
  • Find in page similar to Firefox. (Also copied by IE8)

Also, it copes with the Acid 2 test. (The Acid 3 test seems to have taken a dive, presumably from all the geeks hammering it with Chrome.)

Meanwhile, it’s kind of hard to say exactly what is unique about this browser. It has plenty of neat features under the hood, but not many that are obvious to the user.

I guess the main selling point is the extreme simplicity of the browser. It feels very easy to use and is very easy on the eyes. For instance, there are no menus, just two buttons over to the right (like in IE7 & 8). The theme is very smooth and feels physically light.

But I’m thinking this browser will need quite a marketing push from Google to get out to the masses, even if it is a very good browser. Beacause, by now, most people already have their favourite.

Anyway, as many others have already said: The more the merrier in the browser wars.

Tuesday, April 10th 2007

Google Humour

Ask a silly question, get a silly answer. (Click for the fun.)

Cropped screenshot of Google Maps showing driving instructions from New York to London

Saturday, January 28th 2006

Google Clarifies Their Chinese Censoring

The Google Blog has a good post about their Chinese launch and why they think they did the right thing.

Thursday, January 26th 2006

Google AI Not Quite There Yet

The artificial intelligence of the Google search engine is not perfect. Not yet anyway:

Google mistake

Click the suggested search and you, logically enough, got no results at all.

Tuesday, January 3rd 2006

Google Maps Made Useful

I was searching around for a way to map a certain combination of long/lat coordinates on satellite images, and came across Power Maps. Power Maps is based on Google Maps, but gives you much more control, as well as possibilities. It gives you the long/lat coordinates of the map center, and lets you specify a long/lat to go to. Great stuff!

It also gives you a tonne of options. You can even make it draw red tracks of your movement over the map! (Useful?)

Wednesday, August 24th 2005

Google Talk Slightly Disappointing

If you didn’t already know, Google has released their own instant messanging client, called Google Talk. However, I’m a little disappointed. I thought Google, in their usual spirit, would completely leave the competition in the dirt.

A screenshot of Google Talk.

Sure, the client is nice and simple, and has a good-looking interface. It also has Skype-style VoIP. But there are a few things it lacks in my eyes:

  • Compatibility with the other major IM protocols. (MSN, AOL, Yahoo, etc.) If they added this, I would probably switch to Google Talk from Gaim, my current IM program. And I don’t think Google can expect any serious success with Google Talk until they add this.
  • That little extra something, that we’ve grown used to with Google’s various services. Something that really makes it worth the switch. That (r)evolutionary feature that just makes it so much nicer to use than the competing alternatives. (I’m thinking 2.5 GB free webmail storage, saved searches, class-leading desktop search, revolutionary advertising program, etc.)

Sure, there are also things that already make it look very good:

  • No ads.
  • Clean look. (A googley look!)

Hopefully we’ll see an improved version out soon!

Update: According to this developers FAQ page, Google are hoping to add compatibility with other clients. However, if they succeed in persuading Microsoft to let them add MSN remains to be seen. Sounds unlikely to me.