Google just launched Google App Engine 1.8.1 with a host of new features, most notable among them a long-awaited search API and push-to-deploy feature similar to pushing code to a Git repository. The new features follow a busy Google I/O that witnessed the company showing its strongest push ever into the cloud services market. Until the announcements, Google had been quiet about Google Cloud Platform. But now with general availability, the team is pushing out new features weekly and connecting different parts of the organization in a way it had not done before.
Google will soon launch Google Web Designer, an HTML5 development tool for “creative professionals.” The service, Google says, will launch within “the coming months” and is meant to “empower creative professionals to create cutting-edge advertising as well as engaging web content like sites and applications – for free.”
HTC will sell a Google Edition version of its flagship One smartphone with the stock Android operating system, CNET has confirmed. Word of a version of the phone without its trademark Sense user interface popped up earlier Friday on Geek.com, with a reported time frame of two weeks. HTC is indeed planning to launch the phone, but the only indication of timing was summer, a person familiar with the company's plans told CNET.
Google is enabling a more naturally spoken question-and-answer interface to its search service for people with a new version of Chrome. Google demonstrated conversational search at Google I/O a week ago, a style of search designed to be more like natural human speech than the technically constructed search queries that people often use today to retrieve information from a search engine.
One of the many announcements flooding out of Google I/O that may have gotten lost in the shuffle is Android's expected support for Bluetooth Smart technology. This may seem like an odd development, especially if you know that many Android devices already feature Bluetooth 4.0, the version in which Bluetooth Smart (that is, Bluetooth Low Energy) first appeared.
Google announced a small but cool update to Gmail. For emails where the developer has enabled this feature, Google will now show action buttons next to emails in your inbox that let you take actions without even opening the message. The cool thing about this, however, is that it’s open to developers, who can now use the schema.org markup language to add their own actions to Gmail messages.
Google says it has rebuilt Google Maps for the Web with a new version that's more immersive and social. The new version takes a page from Google's mobile efforts by putting the search box inside the map and making use of cards - Google's take on interactive information widgets. "It's simple and powerful. The map is the user interface," Google's Bernhard Seefeld told attendees at the company's annual developers conference, where the new Web service was unveiled.
After last year's Google I/O conference, the Google Cloud Platform Developer Relations team started to think about how attendees experienced the event. They wanted to help attendees gain more insight about the conference space and the environment itself. Which developer Sandboxes were the busiest? Which were the loudest locations, and which were the best places to take a quick nap? They think about data problems all the time, and this looked like an interesting big data challenge that we could try to solve. So this year, they decided to try to answer their questions with a project that's a bit different, kind of futuristic, and maybe a little crazy.
Google continues to increase the reach of its Google+ platform, and today the company is launching a new mobile content recommendation service powered by Google+. These recommendations will appear as small widgets at that bottom of the screen as users browse a news site that has enabled this service. Google’s launch partner for this service is Forbes, but others can implement these recommendations by just adding a single line of code to their mobile sites. Recommendations, Google says, can appear regardless of whether a users are signed in to Google+.
Over the course of the last week, Microsoft started a very negative anti-Google Docs campaign that fits the mold of its more general Scroogled anti-Google ads. But why the sudden focus on Google’s productivity tools? Quickoffice, which Google acquired last June, allows users to read and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the iPad, iPhone and Android.