Aaron Boodman, a Google Gears developer, put together a dead-simple Gears application to show how easy it is to create one. Go to GearPad, enter a username and password, and you have a notepad that works whether you have an internet connection or not. Sure, Notepad in Windows works offline, but you can get you GearPad notebook that you wrote at work when you get home. If you need a real simple way to store and send yourself some text, and understand that emailing yourself is a stupid solution 99% of the time, check it out.
Google really needs to central control panel for Gears, so I can tell it to update all my Gears apps with a single click before I go offline, and manage my Gears permissions. Most importantly, direct links to my Gears apps, so I can load them offline without writing down all the URLs.
Engadget reports that Google Video is working out quite nicely for iPhone users. While video can’t be watched on Google Video, and embedded Google Videos don’t work as well, because of the iPhone’s lack of Flash support, Google Video is the rare video service that lets you download the videos. You can download most videos, but not all, and get them in “iPod/PSP” format, and play them in the iPhone’s video player. Pretty convenient, and just another reason I like to upload videos to both YouTube and Google Video.
Two things I’m wondering:
- What does Google gain by building these applications for the iPhone? I mean, two of the best and unique things on the iPhone are the improved Google Maps application and YouTube, and in the case of YouTube, Google is giving up bandwidth from a money-losing service, in a method that makes even less money than the standard website!
- Why hasn’t Adobe gotten Flash on mobile devices? Flash was going to become the de-facto standard for easy internet video, but the lack of Flash on smartphones is forcing YouTube to re-encode into H.264. I think Adobe just missed their chance, big time.
Ionut Alex of Google System found some references in the Google Docs code to integration with some good reference products. The lines in the code read:
var MSG_MERRIAM_WEBSTER_DICTIONARY_DIALOG_TITLE="Merriam Webster Definition: \"%1\"";
var MSG_MERRIAM_WEBSTER_THESAURUS_DIALOG_TITLE="Merriam Webster Thesaurus: \"%1\"";
var MSG_ENCYCLOPEDIA_BRITANNICA_DIALOG_TITLE="Encyclopedia Britannica: \"%1\"";
var MSG_GET_DICTIONARY_DEFINITION="Dictionary definition for \"%1\"";
var MSG_GET_THESAURUS_RESULTS="Thesaurus tool for \"%1\"";
var MSG_GET_ENCYCLOPEDIA_ARTICLE="Encyclopedia article for \"%1\"";
Strangely, there’s also code in there about “update your blog post now”, but that could just be related to some feature I’m not paying attention to.
Anyway, it appears Google is adding integration with some popular dictionaries, thesauruses (thesaurusii?) and the Encyclopedia Britannica, presumably to let you look up the definition of a word, the encyclopedia article about it, or query the thesaurus for better ways to say something. Should be very useful to current Docs users.
Google ran this holiday Doodle logo yesterday, in honor of Canada Day:
I celebrated Canada Day yesterday with another of our great barbecues, this time hosting 28 people in our yard. Okay, I live in New York, so I wasn’t celebrating Canada Day, but rather “Good Weather toDay”, but the barbecue was great!
Canada Day is, of course, the celebration of the establishment of Canada as a self-governing province on July 1, 1867. People normally get off work and have fun in the sun on Canada Day, but since it was a Sunday this year, did they make today a national holiday? Canadian readers, let us know!