Just like every other week, Google’s been busy flooding the digital universe with new goodies. This week a new web app store, a cloud based operating system and cloud printing, to name a few. The TechCrunch team has put out a list of posts they consider to be gems, Google Wave got a new lease of life, Neflix is planning to go HTML5 for devices, YouTube is allowing longer video uploads and Dropbox now allows people to work in teams.
Read on for some of this week’s best web app news and updates you might’ve missed!
Remember Google Wave? The revolutionary communication tool that was supposed replace email? Google shut it down due to poor response and low adoption rate. This week, acting on a proposal from the Apache Foundation, Google has permitted Wave to enter the Apache Incubator program. Renamed as Apache Wave, the foundation will continue development of the Wave Federation protocols and Wave in a Box product. The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects and rest assured, Wave is in safe hands.
Started as a blog to bring startups to limelight, TechCrunch has turned into a new media powerhouse. Even after entering the corporate jungle after being acquired by Aol, they continue to publish posts like an independent blog with a tone of their own. TechCrunch has identified some of the posts they’ve published over the years that they consider to be classics. It’s nothing fancy, just a list of memorable and favorite posts that’s constantly updated. If you’re into Internet and its evolution, go take a look!
Google Cloud Print
Printers can often be a real pain in the wrong place, particularly the ones connected to a network. By connecting your printer with the Google Cloud you will be able to print to your printer from any computer or smart phone, regardless of where you are. Just activate the Google Cloud Print connector in Google Chrome and your printer will automatically be available to you from Google Cloud Print enabled web and mobile apps. There’s a catch though, the printer in question has to be connected to a Windows PC (for now). What an irony!
I’m always wondering which one is the best company—Apple or Netflix? Netflix just keeps on setting the bar higher and higher in the online streaming and home video verticals. Last month, they introduced a new UI for Playstaion 3 which was received well by users. The rich, dynamic experience of the new UI is credited to the use of HTML5. To bring the same level of awesomeness to all devices, Netflix will now use HTML5 to create the user experience for their iPhone, iPad and Android applications as well.
Office Web Apps
Whether you’re in the office, at home, or on the road, Microsoft Office Web Apps help you get more things done virtually anywhere and anytime. Thanks to the convenient online companions to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote you can easily access, view, and edit documents directly from your Web browser. This service isn’t available across the globe and just last week, Microsoft added 15 more to the list bringing the total to 26.
Back when HTML5 wasn’t on the scene, there was Google Gears to help you download, edit and sync documents from Google Docs. To avail this offline feature, one had to download and install the Gears plugin. It wasn’t the ideal solution Google was hoping for and the feature was discontinued. Taking advantage of advancements in modern browser technology like HTML5, Google is bringing back offline support to Google Docs in early 2011. Nice!
So far I’ve not met or heard of anyone who isn’t in love with Dropbox. Since a lot people near and dear are using this awesome file syncing solution, it’s only natural to find a way to allow them to work together. Dropbox for Teams combines the synchronization, sharing, and security features of traditional Dropbox with new administrative and group capabilities. Storage quotas are shared by the team and not by individual accounts. Premium subscription billing is centralized for groups and there is also a new version system.
The ten minute only rule of YouTube is a major limitation when it comes to enjoying this wonderful service in its full glory. To be fair, it is necessary to keep pirated content away from mass circulation. Google has mastered the art of taking down copyrighted videos using digital forensics and is now allowing select users to upload longer videos. It’s not an indication that everyone will get the feature soon, but a promising gesture indeed.
Share Your Thoughts!
What news from the app universe grabbed your attention in the past few days? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section. Thanks!