Cr-48: Win, Mac, Lin and CrOS

Google’s new notebook, called Cr-48, is now capable of running any major operating system of your choice!

News came out last month that Cr-48 was able to run not just Googles new Chrome OS, but also Ubuntu!

Now, you can apparently also run Windows 7 or Mac OS X!

Gmail Priority Inbox

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I just noticed the Priority Inbox feature being announced at the top of my Inbox in red today and decided to give this fascinating new feature a test drive. Surely you’ve heard the news, but if now, this should fill you in.

I was really hoping to give this feature a thorough test right away after hearing of it a couple of days ago, but unfortunately I keep my Inbox far to clean and have to wait until tomorrow morning to test it out for real.

As you can see, I didn’t have enough mail to truly test the new feature out. I usually go through around 100 message throughout the course of the day, but at this point I’d already filtered through them all. :(

I’m excited to try this out, as about 80% of the emails that I receive are skim-able and not all that dire. I like the idea of Gmail learning to sort these as you correct it from the beginning and am curious to see how well it works, but also a little concerned on privacy (thanks to my brother for the link!).

I’ve developed a sort of skill for parsing through the emails in my chaotic inbox every morning and am wondering if the new Priority Inbox will actually feel more chaotic, but I’m willing to give it a try for a while. Compare the Priority Inbox above to the regular Inbox below.

One of the best features of this new feature for me is that it doesn’t replace the regular Inbox. As you can see in the screenshots, you’re still able to select either view you prefer easily from the list on the left.

Now I’m curious. Have any of you used this feature yet? And if so, do you find it useful?

Making Calls From Gmail

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If you’ve somehow managed to miss this one in the news then you must be hiding in one deep dark hole. :P

Here are some pictures for your entertainment. If you’d like to use this, you need to install the Google Voice plugin first and then restart you web browser.

Keep in mind that you need the plugin to do this (and obviously a microphone) and that you’ll be calling friends or family using a number provided to you by Google Voice (so they may not recognize it at first).

The best thing going for Google’s new calling feature (if you ask me) is that its completely free for me to call any phone in the USA. While this pricing may not be permanent, it should at least last through the course of this year (my source for that is linked somewhere up above :P ).

Google Voice and Video Chat Comes to Linux!

Video chat in action (Source)

Straight off the press, Google announces official native support for Voice and Video chat in Linux.

If you’ve been wanting to use voice and video chat on Linux (our top video chat request), then we have good news for you: it’s now available! Visit gmail.com/videochat to download the plugin and get started. Voice and video chat for Linux supports Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions, and RPM support will be coming soon.

Video chat in action..

That’s one small step for Google; one giant leap for the Linux community. :P

Google Buzz

Now that news has spread about a potential “Twitter-Killer” coming from Google as early as 10:00am tomorrow (according to trending topics on Twitter), its time for my own dish of speculation.

Around a week ago, I read a blog post mentioning that Google’s Gmail has restricted the use of the label “Buzz”. Reading this, I immediately attempted to create a label named “Buzz”in my own Gmail account and the rumor was confirmed.

Playing off of this small find, I wonder if Google will release a product named “Google Buzz” that integrates into Gmail so you can follow “Twitter-like” updates by simply clicking on the Buzz label.

According to TechCrunch, the new product will be integrating at least two existing Google products, while one is highly speculated to be Gmail. This is where my theory with the Buzz label comes into play. ;)

What do you think this new Google product will be? Any speculation? We’ve all got until 10am Feb. 9, 2010 to guess!

UPDATE (2009-02-09):
It looks like my speculations were correct. TechCrunch has a short write up regarding Google Buzz.

UPDATE 2:
If you want to start using Google Buzz right away and its not integrated into your Gmail account yet (it should appear between the Inbox and Starred tabs once its been integrated, but it will take some time for most people to receive the update) you can use it on your mobile (iPhone/iPod Touch/Android device) by opening your browser and navigating to “buzz.google.com“. That’s it! Hope your busy buzzing!

Google Wave + Maintenance = ..Day at the Beach?

gwave-maintenance

So I recently noticed a small box at the top of my Google Wave account that mentioned something about being “offline”. I knew this wasn’t true, so I clicked the simple “Connect now” link in the same box.

With no success, I decided it would be easier to just close the tab and go to the address again (as this fixes Gmail sometimes).

Here is what I was presented:
gwave-maintenance

At least their maintenance page has some moving clouds and rolling waters…unlike Twitters. :P

If you’re looking for a Google Wave invite, I’ve still got some left!

Free Google Wave Invites!

If you want a Google Wave invite, sign-up for Dropbox using my referral for free. After you’ve completed the registration and installed Dropbox I’ll send you an invite! It’s as simple as that!

Note: If you’ve previously installed Dropbox then the referral may not work if you try using an e-mail address that is already in their system or if Dropbox has been used on your computer previously.

After I get an e-mail informing me of a successful referral then I’ll immediately send you an invitation to Google Wave! :D

I currently have 06 invites left! So hurry!

Google Chrome OS

google-chrome-os-cartoon

We’ve all heard the rumors about Google secretly building an operating system…or was it just my imagination? ;)

Now that the news about Google Chrome OS is out, I’d like to be the first to start a few new names for the operating system.

From the Unix side of the naming ideas I come up with Google ChrOS which would be pronounces Google Crow-S (similar to the idea of BeOS). It could be shortened to read GOS, making it “short and cool” like Mac, but it just doesn’t have the same cool ring to it. Or how about Google COS? Or GhrOS?

I’m not a big fan of the current name Google Chrome OS. Some would say that this is a very Mac naming system, but I think Google OS 1 would have been perfectly fine. Even if Chrome is later evolved to a point in the operating system that later barely resembles Chrome as we know it today it could still continue with this naming system as Mac OS did with 8/9 and then X which was completely different.

News of Google Chrome OS has been spreading like wild fire through my Google Reader feeds and even via Twitter reaching at least 6th place on Trending Topics.

With Google’s experimental project called Native Client (NaCl) in the works, it appears that Google is attempting to do something similar to what Microsoft attempted to do ages ago with ActiveX. Where Microsoft has (in my opinion) failed, it appears that Google’s Native Client may succeed at allowing support for web browsers to natively execute code for a deeper integrated position with…Google Chrome OS.

With all of this news about Google finally graduating their entire suite of web apps (from what seemed like and eternal Beta stage to what is now considered final and safe for public usage) it seems all too clear that they have an evil plot to take over and dominant the PC world.

The general idea of Google Chrome OS is similar to what I have been want to create for nearly two years now. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t originate this idea, but then again neither did Google. ;)

Basically, Google will be using the Linux kernel to start up and run in the background and to handle hardware and software interactions. That is all in the background, things you won’t see all that much of.

What you will see is that when you turn on your computer, instead of seeing the dominance of applications in the sense of executables, your applications will be web based applications that integrate nicely with the rest of the system.

In fact, if Google is able to implement this operating system as I would love to have been able to do myself (had I of been able to of found the time) then it will integrate so tightly with the web applications that you will (hopefully) not notice a difference between the two.

This is important for any operating system. The sense of integration is clearly important. Take a look at Mac OS X for example and their strict code of proper layout and design with a balance of clean and elegant user interfaces. If Google Chrome OS is able to bring this level of integration from the web and merge it with the general set of tools and applications provided then it just may be a success.

With so much of our time being spent on the web already, will it really be that difficult to make a move to a web based operating system?

Several tools are also available straight from the web, just proof that the web is the future! Take this web based screen recorded for screencasts provided by Screenjelly!

You can watch most anything video-wise from the web already! The one thing that I’m really waiting for is for large amounts of storage in the clouds for a super cheap price!

Just a neat little cartoon to leave you pondering. :)

google-chrome-os-cartoon

A Brand New Google Favicon

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I’m not sure how long this has been online, but tonight I noticed an updated Google favicon. –> google-icon

google-favicon

If you’re unsure of what I’m talking about, the favicon is the little icon that you see in your browser’s address bar or in the tab.

I’m assuming that the change is an effort to reinforce the branding of the Google Chrome browser which has a very similar looking application icon.

From a design perspective I have to say, well done Google!

Google Translator v2.4pre1

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I’ve spent some time today improving my Google Translator widget for Opera. You can find the changelog here, but I’ve uploaded a screenshot of the tab changes that I made.

Basically, I just made it follow the layout of the Google Chrome browser a little more closely. In version 2.3 I was going for more of a Gmail design with the folder style, but it was difficult to work with since I had to make it hide a little to make more room. This change will actually help me with my next big feat…making the widget resizable.

Here is the screenshot comparing v2.3 to v2.4pre1:

I’ve had a lot of good feedback on this widget with over 114,000 downloads (currently at 114,174). The one feature request that continually comes up is for a resizable version.

Unfortunately it’s not as easy as one might think so it’s taken some time to change my code. It’s been completely rewritten for a third time now as each time it becomes more and more optimized and fluid.

I’m hoping to satisfy everyone with v2.5 which should be the first resizable build so stay tuned.

Google Chrome: First Look at a First Release

Details regarding Google Chrome, which if you haven’t heard yet is Google’s new web browser, were recently leaked through a comic that Google released to a selected crowd of people and then the the world when it was leaked online.

The comic images show many different features of the Google Chrome browser and help to explain what’s different about Google’s browser compared to other browsers that are already available. It’s worth a read and you can read it here.

After refreshing my browser for nearly an hour, Google’s Chrome web site finally became live and I jumped at the chance to download this brand new product and give it a review.

Well the review will come shortly, however, I will go a head and reveal some screenshots of the browser and a first look response: shockingly impressive, simple and very stable!

If you want to download Google Chrome and try it for yourself then just navigate over to http://www.google.com/chrome and download and install away. Google Chrome is currently only available for the Windows platform, but Macintosh and Linux should be available soon!