Google’s Still All Over the News

Google is still popping up on the news sites. The first thing is that they’re very slowly (much slower I would assume than the IMAP rollout) rolling out a new version of the Gmail interface. The differences that I’ve read about are an improved contacts management page and more integration and improvement of Google Talk/chat. It’s also supposed to make Gmail faster. Now I don’t know how anyone will notice it since Gmail is already very responsive and smooth, but faster wouldn’t hurt.  Screenshots are here.  Official word from Gmail Blog.

The second thing they’re in the news about is about an open social networking API, which they are expected to announce tomorrow. It’s not a social network, like Facebook, Myspace, or Google’s own Orkut. Instead, it’s a set of API’s designed to make writing applications and tie-ins for the social networks more accessible using JavaScript and HTML.  It will create a single API for several social networking sites, leaving developers responsible for learning only one new language rather than several.  And since it uses JavaScript and HTML, there’s probably not a whole lot of new learning for most web developers.  It’s called OpenSocial.

Finally, this popped up on Slashdot as I was writing this.  The GooglePhone has long been rumored to be in the making.  Google has said it isn’t, others have said they’re lying and there is one.  Apparently, it’s not actually a phone, but a mobile operating system for a phone.  This, unfortunately, does not tie together with their interest in the 700 MHz spectrum.  However, there is now talk of Google talking to Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile about providing phones that run their mobile operating system.  This would give Google a large established customer base.

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