The wonders of Google
July 19, 2008 11:33 PM
333 days to go
I just realized how amazing Google and its little widgets are. We know we’re lazy and we want things done in an instant, if possible. We love technology. We love the easy-way-out-on-things kinda stuff. Google just gave me all that.
First off. Gmail.
What I love about gmail — LABELS. You can put on labels to your mails, making it easier to search for some important ones. Plus, the colors are undeniably cool. You can filter out incoming mail messages and automatically apply labels to it. It makes surfing through hundreds of your mails easier and more colorful. Opening up mail messages in Gmail is f’ing fast, that is, compared to Yahoo!’s new mail system. I find myself looking at error messages when I login to my Yahoo! Mail account, well most of the time.
My new found friend — Google Reader.
I browsed on wikipedia to learn how Google Reader started. So here it goes. It came to life as one of those little applications from Google Labs. You can access the Google Labs through Gmail by the way. Well, Google Reader is a “web-based aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds online or offline”. I don’t know for sure as to how the reader works offline but its great. It’s got out of its beta status already so no need to worry about those freaky little bugs. I love reading through blogs through Google Reader because I don’t like to read anything but posts — this one goes to those unflattering advertisements.
I read on and found out that Google Reader uses the beta application Google Gears enabling users offline access to applications that are normally available online. The power of Google — and some help from SQLite.
I am currently trying out Google Documents. As far as its name is concerned, it is Google’s very own “Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application”.
Google Documents is friggin cool. Well, it is not at par with Microsoft Office 2007, interface-wise. But all the basics and more, the practical features which most often than not are the only ones we use, are there. Plus, you can download the documents as pdf, zip, etc. One major up-factor of this application is, you don’t have to pay for licenses and you don’t have to install anything. There are limitations but who cares? It’s FREE!
iGoogle formerly Google Personalized Homepage.
It is an AJAX-based (so?) start page, features include web feeds, customized themes (which is actually so cool), weather, how-to’s (How to Make a Slip Knot, How to Cook a Snake, and much more), games (Hangman, Super Mario Bros, Tetris, cool huh?), and much more cool stuff. Compare this with
- Pageflakes – much fancier than iGoogle, not that all popular here in the Philippines.
- Netvibes – again, much fancier than iGoogle, step-by-step instructions included. I’ll be looking at it later. Seems really interesting.
- Live.com – its from microsoft. Need not say anything.
- Yahoo.com – fancy. cool. easy. feast-your-eyes kinda startpage. flashier than iGoogle.
Just as long as it’s free, it’s good! 🙂
One more thing, and it’s actually useful. Gmail Drive.
If you’re looking for that convenient way to upload important files, this one does just the right trick. According to my friend Wikipedia, Gmail Drive “is a free third-party Windows Shell namespace extension (“add-on”) for Google’s Gmail. GMail Drive is not supported by Google. It allows a user to access a virtual drive stored in a Gmail e-mail account by causing the contents of the Gmail account to appear as a newnetwork share on the user’s workstation. In order to use this add-on, the user needs a Gmail e-mail account. The add-on enables the user to use the standard Windows desktop file copy and paste commands to transfer files to and from the Gmail account as if it were a drive on the user’s computer.” I just want to add, you can also drag and drop files to Gmail Drive.