Google Labs: our top nine favourite experiments
by Keris Lahiff
Thank you Google. Not just for your search engine (which answers every conceivable question short of ‘What is the meaning of life?’) and not only for your help in directions and maps, getting us from A to B to Z. No, this thank you is for understanding the evolving nature of technology and giving us tech-hungry public an insight. This is a thank you for Google Labs.
What is Google Labs? When faced with these questions (or any question, really), it’s best to consult Google.
“Google Labs is a playground where our more adventurous users can play around with prototypes of some of our wild and crazy ideas and offer feedback directly to the engineers who developed them,” says the Google Labs’ website.
It may not be game-changing but Google Image Swirl sure is a fun way to farm through all the images in Google’s image library. Instead of displayed in a grid, Image Swirl groups similar images together into a kind of brainstorming map for your viewing pleasure. Convenient!
Like autocorrect on your iPhone, Google Scribe suggests word as you write, so you can type near to the speed of light.
If you’re travelling, or simply want to spend a day discovering your own city, Google City Tours allows you to input a starting destination and will then suggest walking tours and places of interest around your location. It will even create an itinerary for your mini-adventure.
Got a hard-to-answer question? Google’s Aardvark gives you access to a database of users who can answer your head scratcher within minutes.
So much news, so little time. If you find your information-consumption habits are taking their toll, Fast Flip allows you to scan the top headlines in an easy-to-read content slider.
Like the previous app, this one displays the top headlines but allows you to backtrack the top stories on any given day. Want to know the top stories of August 2004? No problem. 1908? Let’s not get carried away.
And, if you want to keep up-to-date with what’s hot on the World Wide Web, Google’s Reader Play gives access to images, video and news of interest. As you use and ‘like’ articles, Reader Play will source personalised content of interest for you.
8. Browser Size
For those with a website, knowing what grabs a user’s attention is important. Google’s Browser Size lets you see your website through your visitors’ eyes.
Google Squared is an aggregator of information – type in your search and it will collate and grid the facts from across the web. Type ‘Sydney restaurants’, for example, and it will pull and grid top restaurants, including location, a picture and a brief description.
Thank you Google. You’re making the world a better place in 0.09-second intervals.
Published on: Thursday, May 19, 2011