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Google Books Rolls Out A Series Of New Features

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google booksHave you ever bought a book online? Chances are you might have used Google Books before and now Google Books has rolled out a series of updates you just might love. The main new features address some new updates like navigation of contents of the books and sharing of previews of the books. And this pretty much sums up a few things — Google books is turning into a mega online book store as well as some social service. We are anticipating more on such updates coming to other Google products. Here are the main highlights of the new features in Google Books:

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1. Embeds and links – This new toolbar option allows you to embed a preview of a full view or partner book in any of your websites or blogs–all with a simple html snippet. It’s a lot like the embed tag that makes it so easy to share YouTube videos. Programmers comfortable with API tools could accomplish this via our Embedded Viewer API, but this new solution is much easier for everyone to use. You can also choose to grab a URL link to email or IM to friends that takes them to the same book and page on Google Books. For readers, this means they can more easily share pages from books you love, while publisher partners can gain even more awareness across the web to promote their books.

2. Better search within each book – You’ve always been able to search inside books you find on Google Book Search. Now, for public domain and partner books, we’ve made it easier to see exactly where your search term appears within the book by showing you more context around the term, including an image from the part of the page on which it appears. You can click on those images to navigate directly to the pages inside the book. You can also sort your search results by relevance in addition to page order in the book or magazine.

In the search results bar, you’ll find ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ buttons that allow you to browse through search hits quickly and easily.

3. Thumbnail view – Click on the thumbnail view button in the toolbar to see an overview of all the pages in a public domain book or in a magazine. Clicking on a thumbnail image will take you to that page in the reading view (available for “full view” books).

4. Contents drop-down menu – Above the book itself, you’ll find a Contents drop-down that allows you to jump to chapters within the book–or articles within a magazine. (In case you’re wondering, we built this using the same structure extraction technology that supports our mobile version of Google Books.)

5. Plain Text Mode – We’ve made it easier to find our plain text versions of public domain books. If a book is available in full view, you can click the ‘Plain text’ button in the toolbar to see our HTML version of the text (derived via OCR for full view books). This is especially useful for visually impaired Google users, who can use this format for text-to-speech and other types of software.

6. Page Turn Button and Animation – In addition to scrolling through the book, you can now also click the page turn button at the bottom of the screen, even if you haven’t yet finished the page. An animated line moves with the page turn to make it easier to keep track of your location in the text.

7. Improved Book Overview Page – On the Overview page you’ll find an assortment of useful data about the book, including reviews, ratings, summaries, related books, key words and phrases, references from the web, places mentioned in the book, publisher information, etc.

Written by straw000

June 18, 2009 at 4:40 pm

New In Google Latitude: Share Your Location On The Go

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google-latitudeWant your readers and buddies to know what location you are at- anytime, anywhere? Now Google Latitude, a newly launched Google extensions has just the apps for it, and we are talking about two really neat and interesting applications called Google public location badge and Google Talk location status (beta) which are really easy to use. Just plug your mobile phone in by pointing towards google.com/latitude and you are good to go. Here are the details on what exactly Google Latitude does for you:

  • See where your friends are and what they are up to
  • Quickly contact them with SMS, IM, or a phone call
  • Control your location and who gets to see it

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The new public location badge lets you publish your latest latitude position to your website or blog after you embed them on your site by putting some code while on the other hand, Google Talk location status lets you share your Latitude location with all your Gmail chat and Google Talk contacts which will update automatically when you are on the move. These applications are only available in the US for now but they should be coming to other countries pretty soon.

Putting aside the usual privacy issues, these apps could just prove useful to people who are reaching out to a large audience on a regular basis while on the move, like someone biking around the world or traveling elsewhere while updating their latest location almost in real-time. And in all that midst of the newly launched Google Latitude, we would be keeping an eye for the latest developments and updates on this cool and interesting app.

Written by straw000

May 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm

New Gmail Feature: Google Search In Gmail Just Made Searching A Whole Lot Easier

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Do you ever feel the urge to google anywhere and at anytime? Now here is one more way you can google: the fast and easy way from inside your Gmail account. Google has apparently launched a very obvious but great function which lets you google from within your Gmail account without ever leaving it. The interface is neat and easy to use and it offers additional features as well. Here is what the Gmail blog has to say:

You can click on a search result and it’ll open up in another window (or another tab) so you can make sure it’s what you’re looking for. Once you’re sure it’s a result you need, moving your mouse over the result back in Gmail reveals a pull-down menu that lets you do stuff with the search result.

What’s in the menu depends on what you’re doing in Gmail:

  • If you’re reading a message, you can start a reply to the message with the search result as the first thing in your reply.
  • If you’re writing a message, you can paste the result, or just the URL into your message.
  • If you’re chatting with someone, you can send the result via chat.
  • You can also always compose a new message to send the search result.

If you have keyboard shortcuts turned on, typing g and then / will take you to the search box when you’re not composing, and Ctrlg will do it when you’re composing (that’s gfor Mac users).

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Does that sound neat and useful to you? We sure think so, so if you want to try out this cool addition, be sure to go to Google Labs in your Gmail account and enable it for the google-anytime-anywhere experience!!

Written by straw000

May 1, 2009 at 12:35 pm

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