Google, as ever, has been rolling out the changes across its range of products with more integration betweern Gmail and Google+ and many other additions. As we wait for the big Drive unveiling (will it be this week? Will it, will it?) we catch up on all the Googling fun that's gone in the past few days.
Gmail Gets Tighter With Google+
Slowly tightening the net around those still unaware of Google+, the company has linked some useful G+ features into your Gmail account. Not long ago, YouTube got the facility to share top videos with your friends; now a similar feature is added to Gmail, so videos or images from your email messages can be passed around.
Now, you can mouse over on a video or image from your email and share it on Google+. That's just one more way the service is being meshed into all the company's other products. Even if you don't actively use Google+, it could become one of those useful places just to have a browse through to see what everyone else is sharing -- another way Google can drive growth in the face of the Facebook juggernaut. The feature is rolling out now., helping to kill the time as we all wait for Google Drive to appear.
Analyze Your Gmail Stats
With the vast amount of storage in Google's Gmail service, why care about your usage statistics or mailing preferences? Well, that information could be useful to business users, heavy mailers or others. It comes from a Google user who has devised a useful spreadsheet (a Google Docs script) that can provide an automated report on your usage.
Once installed, it sends you a regular email message that shows off your usage patterns, who you mail most, how long you take to reply, how long your messages are and more. That info makes a little treat for the stats-obsessed Google user, given its recent output has tended to the high end, appealing to tech heads with those prototype techno glasses and to the web marketing fraternity with Active View.
Launch Android Apps Without Icons
Google (and all tech companies) patent many things that never come to life, but this could be an interesting one, and a further way for Android to differentiate itself from iOS. It has just had approved a new patent that allows users to launch apps by making a certain motion with their phone, or based on a how the user is moving.
It would use the phone's accelerometer to create profiles. These are stored and when you do the same wiggle, it will launch that app. It could also launch a particular app if you start running (Nike+, for example), arriving home (it could detect your location and launch your favorite news app) , or -- if the patent is extended to automotive -- launch a traffic update report when you're crawling along what should be a clear road. Read more detail over at the USPTO.
Bloggers Get Affiliate Ads
Users of Google's Blogger service can now get targeted affiliate adverts in their pages. This addition makes it easier for readers to find products related to what you're writing about, and for you to earn some money if they buy those products. Read more on the official Buzz blog.
So, those with a fishing blog can make a little extra income with some appropriate ads, with less hassle. It has been possible to drop targeted Amazon product adverts into your blogs, but this ties in to your existing AdSense account. All you need is AdSense enabled and (currently) a U.S.-addressed account and an appropriate product category.