Google Keep, the Evernote-like content storing app for Android, is now available for the desktop as well as a Chrome web app, bring offline support to the desktop and keeping with its web app initiative.
Google announced today that it updated the mobile web app for Gmail and the Gmail Offline Chrome app with a refreshed UI and new features similar to recent enhancements to its iOS apps. On top of the redesigned visuals, Google also included improvements to search and Google Calendar integration:
Today we’re rolling out a similar refreshed look to the Gmail mobile web app as well as Gmail Offline (http://goo.gl/0f1ae) that includes many of these same changes. Try it out at gmail.com in the browser of your Android, iOS, Blackberry or Kindle Fire device.
Google noted it decided to implement a design for its web apps similar to its iOS offerings after receiving positive feedback since first launching the new iOS design in December.
Google today announced on Google+ that it is introducing a new Chrome extension that will allow users to save content from on the web directly to their Google Drive account. Using the new Chrome extension, users will be able to select which part of a webpage they want to save, such as “an image of a page, the HTML source code, or a Web archive.” Once installed, users will also get an option to save images, links, or files directly to Drive when right clicking.
Google also explained it has made enhancements to the photo viewer in Google Drive that allows users to zoom, fit to page, and comment:
We’ve also added a few new ways to work with images that are already stored in Drive. You can now zoom by scrolling or using the new fit to page and 100% buttons. And if you have something to say about a specific part of an image, you can select a region and add a comment to it.
The Google Drive Chrome extension is available from the Chrome Web Store here.
The Chrome Web Store is now Google+ integrated.
“You can now share all of your favorite Chrome Web Store items with people in your Google+ circles by finding them in the Chrome Web Store and clicking the +1 button located in their store detail page,” wrote Software Engineer Hui Guo on the official Google Chrome blog.
Users can also review app, extension, and theme recommendations from friends in their Google+ circles by hitting up the ‘From your circles’ link under the left category menu on the Chrome Web store. If apps have been +1′d by people in a user’s circles, the indication will appear respectively on the Chrome Web Store to help folks pick an app. Those new to Google+ will notice suggestions from the Chrome team instead.
Google just revealed over 500 school districts in the United States and Europe use Chromebooks on a regular basis, while also naming a few new districts to adopt the technology in both North Carolina and Wisconsin.
In a post on the Official Google Blog, which is appropriately titled “In schools, all you need is web,” Google talked about the functionality of Chromebooks coupled with Google Apps and educational apps available on the Chrome Web Store. The company clearly wants the world to know its marketplace and lineup of notebooks are ideal for teaching, learning, and exploring the Web.
“There are tens of thousands of apps in the Chrome Web Store, and today we’re adding some new ones: ST Math, VoiceThread and Acheive3000,” wrote Chromebooks for Education Product Manager Vidya Nagarajan. “To give you an idea of what’s possible on the web: Leyden High School District from Illinois is rolling out Chromebooks to their 3,500 students and are using apps like WeVideo,EasyBib, Vernier Labquest2, SlideRocket, Geogebra and Pearson’s OpenClass as part of their 1-to-1 learning initiative.”
The Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s Vice President of Engineering and Director of Product Management Linus Upson reminded the world about the launch of Google’s Chromebooks last year, and then he unveiled the new Chromebook and the industry’s first Chromebox.
“Like its predecessor, the newest Chromebook is a fast and portable laptop for everyday users. The Chromebox is a compact, powerful and versatile desktop perfect for the home or office,” explained Upson in the blog post.
Google partnered with Samsung to produce the Series 5 550 Chromebook starting at $449. It boasts a 12.1-inch 1,280-by-800 display, six hours of battery life, 4 GB RAM, built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11, an optional 3G modem, an HD camera, two USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 memory card slot, and a DisplayPort compatible with HDMI, DVI, VGA.
Samsung manufactures the $329 Chromebox with similar specs as the Series 5 550, but it carries six USB 2.0 ports, a 2x DisplayPort, a DVI single link output, and Bluetooth 3.0 and Kensington key lock compatibly. However, it lacks the 3G modem option and HD camera.
A gallery is available below.