August 5, 2012

The Roundup: YouTube Redesign, More Cancelled Services And Much More

You would think for a blog focused on a single company we wouldn't have that much to report on each week. Ha! You'd be wrong! Here's what the Big G's been up to lately.

YouTube Homepage Redesign

YouTube has prettied up its home page with bigger thumbnails. They've also given you more control over your subscriptions right from the feed. Now, without leaving the homepage, you can unsubscribe from a channel, request to only see video uploads from a channel, or simply hide that particular post. In another nice visual touch, YouTube will also grey-out videos in your feed that you've already seen, so you won't do an accidental rerun. They are also switching to "Highlights" view by default. This option lets YouTube selectively show you different videos from your favorite channels. This way, if some of your subscriptions post only once a week and others several times per day, the rare posters won't get drowned out. You still have the option to switch back to the "Everything" view any time you choose.

Spring Cleaning Continues, With No Regard For The Actual Season

I like to start these segments using the same trusty template, "Remember [blank]?" In keeping with tradition, remember Google Listen? You know, the service that allowed you to subscribe and listen to podcasts. What about Google Apps for Teams? That project that let businesses use Google apps without signing up for a Gmail account. Maybe you remember Google Video for Business? That one let businesses host and share videos for internal use. No, don't remember these? Then you won't miss them, since they're all being retired with extreme prejudice. In the same blog post, Google also said they'll be shutting down many of their 150+ blogs, but didn't specify which ones yet.

Blogger+: Google+ Takes Over Blogger

This one's been in the making for a while. You've long been able to use your Google+ identity to digitally sign your blogs. (Just check out the author info below this post.) Now you can directly connect your Google+ profile or your Google+ page to your blog. If you were not previously using your Google+ Profile on Blogger, you'll be prompted to start. But since The Daily Google has already done so, the biggest change we saw was a new Google+ tab on the dashboard. Clicking it allowed us to connect this blog to our Google+ page and to automatically share every new blog post to Google+.

And Everything Else...

  • Google Wallet can now be used with all credit and debit cards.
  • Google Play Store changed its policies regarding app design. Google is requiring apps to remove intrusive ads and will punish apps that copy or look too similar to other apps.
  • All six of the people who own a Chromebook or a Chromebox will soon receive 100 GB of free storage on Google Drive. Just because they're awesome.
  • Verizon is no longer cock blocking Google Wallet. So, if  you've got a Verizon Galaxy Nexus, you can get your Wallet on without any tedious hacking.
  • Google Street View now lets you take a virtual 3D tour of the entire Kennedy Space Center.
  • Google PageSpeed is a beta project that lets web developers instantly optimize their site using Google's servers and caching technology. The new update speeds up the apparent load time for your page by prioritizing visual content. In other words, your pages will appear to load faster.