While surfing the web on your iPad, we expect many of you will want to check your Gmail. If you go to gmail.com in your browser, you’ll see something different than what you’re used to on the desktop. We’re releasing an experimental user interface for the iPad built on the Gmail for mobile HTML5 web app that we launched last year for the iPhone and Android devices. Those devices have large screens compared to other phones, and tablets like the iPad give us even more room to innovate. To take advantage of the iPad’s large display, we’ve created a two-pane view with your list of conversations on the left and messages to the right.
To try this new interface, go to gmail.com in your browser. We recommend adding a homescreen link for easy access. As this interface is experimental, expect changes as we continue to develop and optimize. Also, please let us know any ideas or feedback that you have. You can also access Gmail on the iPad through the native Mail app using the IMAP protocol.
Additionally, the iPad ships with a number of Google services pre-installed. As with Mac computers and the iPhone, you’ll find Google Search in the top right corner of Safari. The YouTube app for iPad is built-in, so you can watch HD videos and read and write comments. The new Maps app on iPad takes advantage of high-resolution satellite and Street View imagery, includes a new terrain view, and lets you search for local businesses and get directions. Just like on the iPhone, you can also go to the App Store to download Google Mobile App with search by voice. Of course, Google Mobile App was originally designed for the iPhone’s screen dimensions, but we’ve adapted it to work on the iPad and we’re looking into new ideas to make the app even better.
As you use Google’s web-based applications on iPad, you’ll notice that you sometimes see the desktop user interface and other times you see the mobile interface. We’ve evaluated the behavior of each Google web app using the iPad Simulator, and we are serving the interface we feel works best. If you’d like any help using our products on iPad, please click the ‘Help’ link within the product.
We’re particularly excited by how tablet computers create the opportunity for new kinds of user interaction. Here on the mobile team, we often talk about how mobile devices are sensor-rich: they can sense touch through their screens, see with a camera, hear through a microphone, and they know where they are with GPS. The same holds true for tablet computers, and we’re just starting to work through how our products can become even better on devices like the iPad.
The new crop of HTML5 web browsers are capable of some pretty amazing things, and several of our engineers decided to take some 20% time to see how far we could push them. The result? An HTML5 port of Id’s Quake II game engine!
It’s still early days for WebGL, so you won’t be able to run it without a bleeding edge browser, but if you’d like to check out the code and give it a whirl yourself, you can find it here. Enjoy!
The principle behind the advertising products we build at Google is simple: ads are information. But the type of information that ads provide is getting more varied and inventive all the time, and as a result ads are getting more interesting, social and useful.
As advertising evolves, we want to build the tools that make it possible for marketers to connect with customers in meaningful, creative ways. We’ve found that the best way to do that is to focus on the user, test new approaches regularly and listen closely to the feedback of the advertisers using our products. To work closely with advertisers on what comes next, today we’ve launched Google Ad Innovations, where we’ll show you some of our latest ideas around advertising technologies and get your feedback.
One of the new features we’re showcasing is a set of AdWords reports, launched last week, called Search Funnels. These reports can help an advertiser understand whether there are keywords in her account that are helping to drive sales at a later date. At Google Ad Innovations, you can read more about this feature, watch a video walking you through how it works and send us your ideas on how to improve it.
If you’re interested in the future of advertising with Google, pay Ad Innovations a visit
Have you ever wanted to quickly send a file to a friend who’s online? Now you can share pictures, documents and other files directly with your friends while chatting in iGoogle and orkut, without having to switch to email to send the file as an attachment. File transfer works directly in the browser so you don’t need to install anything. Just start a conversation with a friend and click “Send a file…” in the “Actions” menu. After you select a file, your friend will be asked if they want to accept the transfer. You can learn more on the Google Talkabout Blog.
You might have noticed that we recently gave iGoogle and orkut chat a face lift. Several tools now have a new home at the top of the chat window. From the new toolbar, you can click the blue camera and phone icons to start video and voice chats with your friends or the group chat icon to add additional friends to a text chat. If you’ve never used video or voice chat before, all you need is a webcam and microphone attached to your computer and a small plugin application available for free at www.google.com/chat/video.
We’re working to bring file transfer and the new toolbar to Gmail too. In the meantime, you can continue to access voice, video and group chat in Gmail from the “Video and More” menu in a chat window.
One way we love to help you make iGoogle your own is with our artist and designer themes — ranging from food and fashion to games and comics. Today, we’re excited to announce a set of new themes, tailored to the world traveler in all of us. These new themes, focused on destinations all over the globe, allow you to experience beautiful landscapes, historic monuments, stunning beaches, iconic cities and other picturesque sites — right from your homepage.
The opportunity to view World Heritage sites, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Old City of Dubrovnik in Croatia, provided by UNESCO.
Hopefully, you’re as eager to try out these new themes as we are. Whether these themes remind you of one of your favorite places or allow you to experience a global destination on your homepage, we hope you enjoy them. Bon voyage!
Posted by Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience
Improved Google Suggest interface & internationalization
In 2008, we launched Google Suggest to help you formulate queries, reduce spelling errors and save keystrokes. Since then, we’ve made a number of visual changes to Suggest for English-speaking users of google.com, including:
Boldface search suggestions to make it faster to scan the list of suggestions and find what you’re looking for
Adding the “Google Search” and “I’m Feeling Lucky” buttons to the box so they’re still accessible even when the Suggest box is open
Removing the result counts, which previewed the number of results for each search, to simplify your experience
Given the popularity of these changes, we’ve just rolled them out in 50 languages across all 170 domains where Google Suggest is available. No matter where you are, we hope you find that Suggest is now faster and easier to use.
Real-time search in more languages
As you’ve probably noticed, on our search results page for Google.com in English now includes a dynamic stream of real-time content from popular sites like Facebook, FriendFeed, Jaiku, Identi.ca, MySpace and Twitter. Since we launched real-time search, we’ve continued to make significant improvements in the relevance technology. As of today, real-time search is available in 40 languages. Now when you’re visiting family in Puerto Rico, or if you speak German and live in Switzerland, you’ll be able to see live updates from people on these popular sites as well as news headlines and blog posts published just seconds before.
Refinements for local searches
Whether you’re looking for info close to home or while you’re traveling, it’s now easier to find things to do in the cities you’re searching for on Google. Now when you search for a city name, we’ll show you popular query refinements for places in those cities. We’ve found that people like to explore several places during a trip, so when we show one point of interest, we’ll also show you related points of interest. For instance, if you’re looking for food or a place to stay, you’ll also see some of the top category and neighborhood refinements to help you choose a place. This new feature will be rolling out over the next couple days for 200 U.S. cities, and in the coming weeks we’ll expand coverage to more cities internationally.
Lists in Bookmarks
This week we introduced lists in Google Bookmarks, an experimental feature that helps you easily share sites with friends. With lists, you can sort and categorize your Google Bookmarks or starred search results. Once you’ve created a list, you can share it with specific friends or make it publicly visible and searchable (lists are private by default). Based on the content of your list, we’ll also generate suggestions for related links, so you can discover more helpful info related to a list you’re already building. We’re launching lists as an experimental feature, and it is available at www.google.com/bookmarks or by clicking the “Starred results” link on your search results page. From there, select the links you want to share and click “Copy to list.”
Back in January, Google announced that it would follow Mozilla’s lead and start offering cash bounties for bugs found in the code of Chromium (the open-source browser behind Chrome), or Chrome by the community. Google both matches Mozilla’s $500 and ups the bounty all the way up to $1,337 (yes, 1337) for “particularly severe or particularly clever” bugs. This week, they rewarded the first of those.
This crowd-sourced bug hunting seems like a great idea, especially for a browser moving through development as quickly as Chrome. Chrome has only existed for a year and a half and already they’re testing version 5.0. Stable builds of both the Mac and Linux version of the browser are likely to launch at some point over the next few months.
When using mail delegation in Gmail, you can now allow a delegate to see your contacts in addition to your email.
All languages supported by Gmail
How to access what’s new:
Administrators must first enable mail delegation by checking the ‘Mail Delegation’ checkbox under ‘Email Settings’ in the administrator control panel. Note: This option will only be visible if your control panel is set to ‘Next generation (US English)’.
To enter a delegate, users can select the ‘Accounts’ tab under ‘Settings’ in Gmail and click ‘Add another account’ to enter their delegate’s email address.
Once the delegate is signed into their own own Gmail account, they can then access their manager’s account from the account selection menu at the top of Gmail. The delegate can access their manager’s contacts by clicking the ‘Contacts’ link. Clicking the ‘To’, ‘Cc’, or ‘Bcc’ links in the mail compose window will also bring up the manager’s contacts.
It’s been two years since we completed our acquisition of DoubleClick, a leading provider of display advertising technology. This is the first in a series of posts over the next few weeks about our vision for online display advertising in the years ahead. Today, Susan Wojcicki previews the series and looks back at how we’ve brought Google and DoubleClick technologies together over the past two years. -ed.
The first online display advertisement — a simple, clickable image — appeared online over 16 years ago. Fast forward to 2010. You’re likely to see display ads — image, text, video and rich-media formats — on most of the websites that you visit. These ads are crucial to the Internet. They provide information about thousands of products, services and businesses. They help to fund the web content and services that we all use. And they enable large and small advertisers to reach new customers, increase sales and grow their businesses.
I’ve watched display advertising evolve from a series of simple, static images, to the incredible creative units that we see today. The best display ads today are often like mini-websites with complex animations, stunning graphics or videos, interactive and social elements. As technology enables better ways of matching ads, they’re becoming more relevant to the audience that views them and the website that hosts them. In addition, they’re bought and sold across the web more seamlessly than ever before.
Our belief in the potential of display advertising has spurred our investments in this area. We started investing seriously nearly six years ago, by offering display ad formats on our AdSense partner sites in the Google Content Network (which now comprises over a million online publishers). About three years ago, we acquired YouTube and began to offer various display advertising options.
And two years ago, we acquired DoubleClick, a leading provider of display advertising technology. Since then, we’ve been busy integrating the DoubleClick and Google technologies, and unveiling new features to improve display advertising for users, advertisers and online publishers alike. I thought this was a good opportunity to look back on what we’ve done over the past two years by bringing Google and DoubleClick together.
Helping our advertisers get better results
By combining Google and DoubleClick technologies, we’ve made significant enhancements to advertising on the Google Content Network. For example, we’ve offered support for third party vendors, enabled ads to be frequency capped so that users don’t see the same ad over and over, introduced view-through conversion reporting and opened a beta of interest-based advertising. Through these enhancements, we believe we can deliver more relevant, measurable ads that create more value for everyone — users get more useful ads, and these ads generate better results for advertisers and higher returns for publishers.
We’re also working to provide an integrated solution that enables advertisers and agencies to plan, buy, create, serve and measure display ads across the web, in a single interface. For the longest time, getting a display ad campaign up and running has been inefficient and cumbersome. We’ve made significant upgrades to DoubleClick’s ad serving technology, DoubleClick for Advertisers, adding new measurement and planning technologies, including Ad Planner and Google Analytics. These improvements streamline advertisers’ and agencies’ online advertising campaigns.
New ways of buying display ads: the Ad Exchange
In September 2009, we launched the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange. The Ad Exchange is a real-time marketplace that helps large online publishers, ad networks and agency networks buy and sell display advertising space. The new Ad Exchange is a major step towards creating a more open display advertising ecosystem for everyone. The technologies in the new Ad Exchange — principally “real-time bidding” and “dynamic allocation” — are already delivering great results for participants. AdWords advertisers can run ads on sites in the Ad Exchange, using their existing AdWords interface. This gives AdWords advertisers more high quality sites to run display ads on. Similarly, our AdSense publishers are benefiting from more high-quality display advertisers coming through the Ad Exchange.
Maximizing revenue for online publishers
A few weeks ago, we launched the upgraded DoubleClick for Publishers, to help publishers get the most value out of their online content and improve the process of selecting the ads to appear on their websites. In making this upgrade, we’ve been focused on combining the best of Google’s technology and infrastructure with the best of DoubleClick’s ad serving expertise to help generate more advertising revenue for major online publishers. For these publishers, managing, delivering and measuring the performance of ads on their websites can be a hugely complicated process that can have a significant impact on how much money they make from their online content. Ad serving is the core technology that underpins this process.
Unleashing creativity in advertising
There’s no shortage of creative marketers with brilliant ideas to engage and reach consumers — from remarkable rollerblading baby videos, to customizable ads featuring interactive Twitter feeds. We launched DoubleClick Studio, a rich media tool that makes it easier for agencies and advertisers to design interactive rich media ads. We’ve also continued to invest in DoubleClick Rich Media, which enables complex and creative ads to be easily trafficked and served. Ads created with these DoubleClick products are engaging users every day, and frequently appear on the homepage of YouTube, on sites in the Google Content Network and all across the web. To further help marketers run engaging ads across the web, we recently acquired a company called Teracent that developed technology that can tailor literally thousands of creative elements of a display ad, in real-time.
To date, we’ve put hundreds of thousands of engineering hours into building our display solutions and have partnered closely with advertisers, agencies and online publishers to help them get the best results; and to help users see more engaging and relevant ads. We’ve also developed controls like the Ads Preferences Manager and a specially-engineered opt-out plugin, so that users have transparency, choice and control over the ads they see.
However, our work in recent years is really only the beginning of what’s possible in this area. Across the board, we’re building and seeing vast improvements in display advertising technology. These technology improvements will make it far easier to buy ads across the web at scale, create engaging ad formats, measure the impact of ad campaigns in innovative and insightful ways, deliver relevant ads to precisely the right audiences in real-time and maximize the value of publishers’ online content. With these advances, we think that display advertising, as a category, can grow dramatically.
Over the next few weeks, we’re looking forward to exploring these themes on this blog, and explaining some of the ways that new technologies are helping to move display advertising forward for everyone.
Posted by Susan Wojcicki, Vice President of Product Management