If you’re a Google user like me you probably noticed what seemed to be “rapid fire” changes this past year. All of which were great changes too. Let’s take a look:
- Google+ – A lot of people have mistakenly approached Google+ as simply a competitor to Facebook. In all honesty, Google+ is what Facebook has been attempting to become. Don’t believe me? Remember Facebook messaging and create a Facebook email address? Store all your photos and video on Facebook? The truth is that Google has had all these services for a few years now but they were all scattered and basically treated separately such as YouTube, Picasa, Gmail, etc. Google+ becomes tied in with these services and allows for using your content either socially or separately with an easier way to navigate through. Things like Circles available in the Gmail interface for managing contacts.
- Google Music – As a music lover this service is like a dream come true for me. Users can upload 20,000 songs for free with a simple little application install. This puts your music in “the cloud” and can be streamed through PC’s in the browser, Android devices with the Google music app, iOS devices by going to the mobile site for Google Music and signed into your Google account. Get new MP3’s from where ever you buy them and simply save them to the folder(s) you designated and the file is automatically uploaded. You can even download the files to use offline. If you’ve ever wiped an iPod with over 1,000 songs on it before, you can probably see how great this service is. The music store on the Android Market Place is nice too and instead of buying and waiting for the download, you can play immediately through streaming.
- Gmail redesigned – I stopped using Outlook a while ago because Gmail had everything I needed with email, calendars, contacts, etc. The design wasn’t pretty and was a common complaint for my wife since we use it for business. The new design is still simple but much easier to read, more organized, and much more efficient. I love the integration of Google+ into the service as well which makes it far easier to manage contacts by having the Circle dropdown access right there in the contacts area. This way you don’t have to worry about maintaining multiple sets of contacts.
- Chrome browser – This browser is simple, quick, and really powerful. And it just keeps getting better. Not only can I quickly pull up the browser on my PC and surf where ever; I can pull up Chrome on any PC, sign into my account, and my Chrome browser with my settings and info comes up by using Chrome Sync.
- Blogger redesign – Blogger has always been a popular blogging platform and just got a whole lot better. The redesign makes it much easier to use and adds in some really nice new theme capabilities like “Dynamic themes”.