Google Labs All-Stars: 8 must-see projects

The experiments we'd like to see go mainstream

  • Goggles

    [[xref:|Google Goggles]] is a photo-based search tool that is accessible from any Android device. After installing the tool, snap a photo (Google heeds that right now it works best with pictures of books, DVDs, landmarks, logos, business cards, artwork and bar codes) and wait as Goggles scans the image, analyzes it and identifies it. You'll receive information based on the image, such as details about a landmark or price comparisons for a certain book. Bar code matches will provide a link to Google Product Search to allow you to compare prices.
  • News Timeline

    This [[xref:|Web application]] organises information on a topic chronologically, allowing you to view it in a timeline. For example, a search on Twitter will organize clickable news blurbs based on the time and date that the story was published to the Web. You can also customize your search based on the news sources from which Google aggregates information—i.e. newspapers, magazines and blogs—as well as the type of media you want displayed—photos, videos and quotes.
  • Undo Send

    When your fingers are quicker than your mind, Undo Send helps you out. By enabling this feature (located in Gmail Labs) you're given an extra few moments to stop the delivery of your e-mail.
  • Follow Finder

    [[xref:|Follow Finder]] is the first Twitter tool that Google has released. The tool analyses public social graph information (which includes following and follower lists) on Twitter to find people you might want to follow. You'll receive two different results from the tool. "Tweeps you might like" is a list generated by looking at who you follow, and finding others with similar lists. If people with similar lists tend to follow accounts that aren't in your list, Follow Finder will recommend those accounts to you. "Tweeps with similar followers" is a list generated by looking for people with similar public lists of followers. For example, if Follow Finder sees that you are followed by 10 people, and the same 10 people are following another user, Follow Finder will include the second user in the list.
  • Public Data Explorer

    Google's [[xref:|Public Data Explorer]], a data visualisation tool, aims to make datasets easy to communicate and explore. Google has compiled a list of datasets that you can explore and embed into blogs and webpages now, such as government debt in Europe, GDP and US personal income, mortality rates and cancer cases.
  • Gesture Search

    [[xref:|Gesture Search]] is a Google Labs tool specifically for Android phones designed to help you quickly find a contact, bookmark, application or music track from all the items stored to your phone when you draw a letter of the alphabet on the touch screen. This tool eliminates the need to rely on the keyboard for search purposes. Wipe the query by drawing a horizontal line in the bottom query display area, or insert a space into your query by adding a horizontal line on top the search result list. There are several other [[xref:|tips and tricks for using this application]].
  • Google Reader Play

    [[xref:|Google Reader Play]] is a new way to browse articles, blogs and more on the Web. To get started, visit the site and scroll through the items by clicking the arrow on the right, or just use the right and left arrow keys on your keyboard to browse. Reader Play uses the same technology as the "recommended items" feed in Reader to identify the most interesting pages on the Internet. When you use the tool, Google keeps track of what you star, like or share, and will show you similar items the next time you visit the site. It also transfers these items to your Reader account. Another cool feature: Reader Play also has a built-in TV icon button that begins a slideshow of the items in your queue, taking the guesswork out of navigating.
  • Aardvark

    [[xref:|Aardvark]], a social search tool, was acquired by Google in February. The way it works is easy: Submit a question to the site, and in about five minutes you'll receive a response from a person in your network, instead of a list of possible answers from a search engine.
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