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Google Voice rolling out new invites
Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:51 AM
In March of this year we announced the launch of Google Voice for existing GrandCentral users. Google Voice helps you manage your phones and voicemail by unifying all your telephones - including mobile, home, and work phones - with a single phone number and letting you access voicemail via phone, email, or the Web. Today we're pleased to announce that invitations for Google Voice are starting to roll out to everyone who requested an invite. Check out more details on the Official Google Blog.

Posted by Deng-Kai Chen, Associate Product Marketing Manager
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Announcing the AdSense for Mobile Applications beta
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:44 AM
(cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

You don't have to be a mobile expert to see how smartphones are revolutionizing our daily lives. Lower prices, faster network speeds and unlimited data plans mean that people often reach for their cell phone rather than their computer when they are seeking information. As a result, mobile applications have become more and more popular, helping people find music, make restaurant reservations or check bank balances — all on their phone.

We want to contribute to the growth of these mobile applications, which is why we're happy to announce our beta launch of AdSense for Mobile Applications. After all, advertisers are looking for ways to reach potential customers when they are engaged with mobile content, and application developers are looking for ways to show the best ads to their users. We have already had a successful trial of this service with a small number of partners, and are excited that we can now offer this solution to a broader group.

AdSense for Mobile Applications allows developers to earn revenue by displaying text and image ads in their iPhone and Android applications. For our beta launch, we've created a site where developers can learn more about the AdSense for mobile applications program, see answers to frequently asked questions and sign up to participate in our beta. Advertisers can also learn about the benefits of advertising in mobile applications.

We're excited to open up this beta to more developers, and look forward to offering new features for our mobile advertisers and publishers in upcoming releases. We also want to say a big thank you to the partners who worked with us on the trial stages of this project including Backgrounds, Sega, Shazam, Urbanspoon and more.

Check out this short video of Howard Steinberg, Director of Business Development at Urbanspoon, discussing his experience with AdSense for Mobile Applications.

Posted by Susan Wojcicki, Vice President, Product Management
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The Iterative Web App: Swipe-to-Archive and Expanded English Language Support
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:42 AM
On April 7th, we announced a new version of Gmail for mobile for iPhone and Android-powered devices. Among the improvements was a complete redesign of the web application's underlying code which allows us to more rapidly develop and release new features that users have been asking for, as explained in our first post. We'd like to introduce The Iterative Webapp, a series where we will continue to release features for Gmail for mobile. Today: Swipe-to-archive and expanded English language support. --Shyam Sheth, Product Manager, Google Mobile.

When we first released the new Gmail for mobile web app, we designed the floaty bar to make it easy to quickly manage your inbox and take action on multiple emails at once. However, we wanted to make it even easier to perform one of the most common actions: archiving.

After reading the subject of an email and the first line of the message, I often know if I don't need to open the email to read the rest. With swipe-to-archive, I can simply swipe my finger across the email in the inbox, either from left-to-right or right-to-left, and then tap on the red 'Archive' button when it appears. Please note, this feature is only available for the iPhone.

We've also expanded the availability of the new Gmail for mobile app to English users in the United Kingdom as well as India. To try out swipe-to-archive and Gmail for mobile, visit gmail.com in your device's browser. To easily access your Gmail account, try creating a home screen link.

Posted by Bikin Chiu, Software Engineer, Google Mobile
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YouTube Mobile Application in more languages
6:49 AM
A few months ago, we launched the YouTube Mobile Application for Windows Mobile and Symbian Series60 phones in US English. Today we're excited to release the app in French, UK English, Italian, Spanish, German, and Dutch. YouTube users who speak these languages can now enjoy features such as faster app start-up and search, faster video streaming, and easier viewing. So now when you watch your favourite videos like Charlie bit my finger, you'll know the interface around them will be spelled properly!

Posted by David Stewart, YouTube marketing manager
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Search by voice and transit directions come to Google Maps on Android
Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:23 PM
Today we're releasing an upgrade to Google Maps for Android-powered phones. We've added a whole host of new features and fixed a few issues with Google Latitude.

You can now search Google Maps for Android using your voice, making it easier than ever to look up places while on the go. Whether you're searching for an address, a business, or nearby windsurfing spots, just speak your query and Google Maps will find it. Our voice recognition engine currently understands English in American, Australian, and British accents. After you search, you'll see a map of places. To help you decide where to go, we've improved our business listings to include content such as store hours, prices, ratings, and reviews.

We also added transit and walking directions to Google Maps for Android. You can now get directions using public transportation in over 250 cities, including New York City and San Francisco. If you're looking for the best route on foot, use walking directions to take advantage of pedestrian-only pathways and to avoid one-way restrictions - just in time for summer!

Google Maps for Android includes some big improvements to Google Latitude. We fixed an issue that caused background location updates to periodically stop for some of you. Now, once you select "Detect your location" from the Latitude privacy menu, your location will continue to update as long as your phone is on.

You may also notice a new experimental feature called Updates that lets you communicate with friends and post messages. Start Latitude and click the "Updates" tab to shout out updates at friends when they're at interesting locations, start a conversation when you're at your favorite restaurant, or just add more details to your Latitude location for your friends to see. Your friends will also need to download this new version of Google Maps for Android in order to use this experimental Updates feature -- they will not get your messages otherwise.

Unlike past Android software updates for the T-Mobile G1 or HTC Magic, the new Google Maps release won't be automatically pushed to your phone over the next few days. Instead, the upgrade is available for download in the Android Market. Just search for "Google Maps" and install today.

UPDATE: For those of you looking for Street View in Google Maps on Android, you'll find that we've integrated it more tightly with the rest of the app. Street View is no longer its own map mode. You can now check out Street View directly from any search result where imagery is available. You can also long-press any point on the map, in map view or satellite view, and you'll see a Street View thumbnail wherever imagery is available.

By Ole CaveLie and Chandan Pitta, Software Engineers
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Snack time with the new iGoogle for Android and iPhone
Thursday, June 11, 2009 8:55 PM
We like iGoogle because it lets us "snack" on interesting information all day long. We can read a little bit of news here and there, glance at finance portfolios, take a look at the weather forecast, and then do a Google search. It doesn't require a big commitment of time and energy — it's simply there for us whenever we need it. This kind of availability is even more important on a phone, where it can take a long time to surf. That's why iGoogle is so convenient on mobile devices. When you're waiting in line, you can check iGoogle on your phone for a quick "info snack" — even in areas with mediocre network coverage.

But speed isn't everything. Many of you have told us that you wanted to use more of your iGoogle gadgets on your phone. You wanted to see your tabs, too. We read your blog comments and forum posts and put your requests at the top of our to-do list.

Today, we're excited to roll out an improved beta version of iGoogle for the iPhone and Android-powered devices. This new version is faster and easier to use. It supports tabs as well as more of your favorite gadgets, including those built by third-party developers. Note that not all gadgets — like those with Flash — will work in mobile browsers.

One of our favorite new features is the in-line display of articles for feed-based gadgets. That means you can read article summaries without leaving the page. You can also rearrange gadget order or keep your favorite gadgets open for your next visit. None of these changes will mess up the layout of gadgets on your desktop computer, so feel free to play around and tune your mobile experience.

The new version of iGoogle for mobile is available in 38 languages. To try it out, go to igoogle.com in your mobile browser and tap "Try the new Mobile iGoogle!" Bookmark the page or make it your home page so you can return to it quickly. Finally, please fill out our survey by clicking on the "Tell us what you think" link at the top of the new home page. We'll continue to use your feedback to make iGoogle even better.

Update on 6/12 @ 8:35 AM: Video added. Check it out!

Posted by Dan Zivkovic and Zhen Wang, software engineers, Google mobile team
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Display your public Latitude location on your Google Profile
3:22 PM
Last month, we launched the new Google public location badge, which lets you publish your Latitude location to your blog or website. Starting today, you can choose to display your badge location on your Google profile. Your Google profile can include online photos, links to your blog or other online profiles, and ways for people to contact you. It also gives you greater control over what people find when they search for your name on Google. Don't have a Google profile? Go to www.google.com/profiles to get started.

To add your location to your Google profile, you first need to enable the Google public location badge. Please keep in mind that your location will be shared publicly with anyone who visits your public profile page, for as long as the badge is enabled. Once you've enabled the Latitude badge, go to the Edit profile page and check the box next to 'Display my Latitude location.' Your Google profile will now display your most recent location if it was updated in the last 24 hours. Note that only your location, not the badge itself, will appear on your profile.

The badge is currently only available in the US, but will be available in more countries soon.

Posted by Peter Harbison, Product Marketing ManagerPermalink | Links to this post | 
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