Google is never far off from a new big announcement and of late, some of their updates, changes and improvements seem to be coming at a faster rate than ever before. Google searches are now enhanced for Google+ images and YouTube videos but what else is new?
Google Trends Search Updates
In the old days, one could search for up to 100 trends but those trends were cut to twenty. Now, what’s trendy or hot is narrowed down by ten on the Trends’ homepage using arrows to click to the next recommended trend.
A click on the “Hot Searches” reveals a more in depth look into each hot topic along with the number of searches and recommended source links. The sidebar easily allows the user to change countries in a snap for different top trends.
If you’re a fan of Google News, these new search pages for hot trends are similar in design—nothing fancy, just one image and a couple links but to many, simple is best.
Google has announced 41 updates to Google+. If you haven’t visited your Google+ page in a while, doing so will walk you through some of the new features.
There’s a new look and a click on the “home” button at the top left of your page offers a drop-down list of menu items. This new menu is where you’ll find your profile, what’s trending right now, communities, events and on-air hangouts broadcasted in real time.
You can also enlarge your Google+ banner and storage space for photos and videos is now 15GB (up from 5GB).
Google+ is also hopping on the hashtag bandwagon by using what they call “automatic” hashtags where Google+ scans posts adding hashtags to top subjects. There’s actually so much new on Google+, head to a Google+ hangout (now integrated with Google chat) and learn more about what you can do.
Apple Maps just couldn’t stand up to Google Maps and now there are even more options. Getting a map and driving directions remains the same but now you get street view images. This new feature called Google Street Views includes not just the destination but photos of the surrounding areas.
For travelers, this feature is to die for especially when traveling in foreign countries as the street views actually show you what’s near to spark your interest—even from your mobile device.
Google Maps Navigation is also competing with some other navigation favorites and it even offers clear turn-by-turn voice directions.
All Access Music Streaming
To compete with other music streaming platforms, Google has created Google Play Music All Access. Users pay a small monthly fee around $10, and can access music with a twist. Google is using what they call the Explore/Listen Now feature where the search engine suggests music based on your Google+ profile—scary or genius?
Of course you can also choose your own music, weed out tracks you don’t like and pick or block music by type or artist. A must for Google’s All Access is a fast web connection from InternetProviders.com to ensure music flows without interruption. This new Google features is so new, if users sign up prior to June 30, 2013, they benefit from two dollars off monthly subscription rates.
Google continues to surprise, improve and reinvent and some of these features will enhance your time on Google and the Internet.