Google Goggle gets Update-Faster, Smarter & Awesome

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One of the best mobile apps I have used till date is Google Goggles. It allows you to search about things just by taking their pic. It works great and has been able to recognize almost 95% of the books on which i have used it so far. Given the 5% were local language rare books, i can say it worked great.

Google today announced two major addition & one improvement over last version. It can now read barcode better, can return search results for print ads & can play Sudoku….yes, you read it right.

Both Android & iPhone version will have the updates for Print Ad recognition & Sudoku playing capability. Faster barcode reading ability was confirmed only for Android version.

Here is update from Google blog:

 

Barcodes
When shopping offline, it’s helpful to be able to learn more about a product by scanning its barcode. With the new Android version of Google Goggles, scanning barcodes is much faster. Open Goggles and hover over the barcode or QR code. Within a second the phone gently vibrates and presents results, without requiring a button press. Simply tap on the result to read product reviews, check in-store availability and compare prices.
Print ads in magazines and newspapers
We’re excited to take another step in our vision of connecting offline media to online media. The next time you’re flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine, try taking a picture of an ad with Goggles. Goggles will recognize print ad and return web search results about the product or brand. This new feature of Goggles is enabled for print ads appearing in major U.S. magazines and newspapers from August 2010 onwards.

 

This feature is different from the marketing experiment that we announced in November. We’re now recognizing a much broader range of ads than we initially included in our marketing experiment. And when we recognize a print ad, we return web search results. While in the experiment, we return a specific link to an external website.
Sudoku
Our favorite weekend distraction is a quiet 15 minutes spent solving a Sudoku puzzle. But even that can be an frustrating experience if (like us) you make a mistake and are unable to solve the puzzle. Now, Goggles on Android and iPhone can recognize puzzles and provide answers to help make you faster than a Sudoku champ. So if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we’ll tell you the correct solution. Check out this video to see how it works.

 

 

Google Goggles 1.3 with improved barcode scanning is available for download in Android Market. Recognition of print ads and Sudoku solver is now enabled for the Google Goggles app on Android, as well as the Goggles component of the Google Mobile App on iPhone.

What you think about the updated app ? Let us know

Google releases Nexus S-Android 2.3 “Gingerbird”

Google today released Google Nexus S, manufactured by Samsung, with the new Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” operating system. This is a phone that was designed with direct input from the Google Android team. And like its predecessor, the Nexus One, which was released in January 2010, it has a “clean” install of Android. That means there is no additional software layer from third party OEMs or carriers to interfere with the user experience. Like the Nexus One, this will become the reference phone for this generation of Android.

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Nexus S is the lead device for the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 release; it’s the first Android device to ship with the new version of the Android platform. Google co-developed this product with Samsung—ensuring tight integration of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform. As part of the Nexus brand, Nexus S delivers a “pure Google” experience: unlocked, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest and greatest Android releases and updates.

Take a look at backstory video for more on the vision behind this product and to understand why we think “a thousand heads are better than one”:

Nexus S is the first smartphone to feature a 4” Contour Display designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. It also features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front and rear facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory, and NFC (near field communication) hardware that lets you read information from NFC tags. NFC is a fast, versatile short-range wireless technology that can be embedded in all kinds of everyday objects like movie posters, stickers and t-shirts.

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Gingerbread is the fastest version of Android yet, and it delivers a number of improvements, such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

Here’s a glimpse of the “magic” of Google on Nexus S:

Gmail releases 5 new themes

Gmail has launched 5 new good looking themes for its users. Here is a post from official gmail blog:

Manu: Hey, how would you fancy some new Gmail themes?
Jake: Sure, I would love that! How usable are they?
Manu: Huh, usable? Well, there’s a flishy-flashy theme that blinks every…
Jake: What? I don’t want things to flash, I want to read my email.
Manu: No? Well then, what about this fluorescent pink theme that will make your screen look very special when your friends are looking at…
Jake: No pink please!
Manu: Oh. Then maybe this hyper dynamic and playful theme that makes all links on the page jump away each time you try to click on…
Jake: Are you insane? Please, just give me something usable. If I want flashy game-like graphics, I can use High Score. If I want something dapper for my friends to look at, I can use Shiny. If I want cartoon characters hanging out here and there in my Gmail, I can use Zoozimps. I just want something dead simple.
Manu: What about stripping the Gmail interface to the bare bones, like these two new themes, Basic Black and Basic White?


Jake: That’s better. The dark one may be good for my eyes.
Manu: Great! Do you have an Android phone?
Jake: Yes.
Manu: Then you may like this Android theme too. How about that?


Jake: Nice! Some graphics but still subtle. Give me more.
Manu: Relaxing tree tops? This one ain’t blinking.


Jake: Not bad! What about something that would feel more handmade?
Manu: You’re in luck, sir. I have this cool Marker theme in store for you. Very unprofessional.


Jake: Nice — I’m gonna stick with this one for now.
Manu: Good choice! See you next time for some more.