This Week’s Top Story
Google introduced an overhaul of various products, cross-platform. The biggest success seems to be the alteration to Google TV, which now runs on Android 3.1 and includes a better UX design and integration with YouTube, Chrome and the Android market. The new Movies and TV app shows promise with increased search functionality, but the limited selection is a detriment. For the time being, Google TV can only stream content from Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. But Google TV wasn’t the only product that got a facelift this week. The new Google Reader launched to the dismay of many avid users. Reader mirrors the new Gmail design but with less color (the new layout is 98 percent black and white). Additionally, Google has pulled the “People You Follow” feature completely. But it seems the most outrage came from Wednesday’s release of Gmail for iPhone, which was pulled several hours later after numerous complaints of bugs (and more complaints of aesthetic displeasure).
But Google had to end the week on a positive note and amused users everywhere with their “Do a Barrel Roll” Easter egg on Thursday afternoon, a fun little trick meant to “showcase the power of CSS3.”
Amazon gained further support for video streaming with a new partnership with Disney/ABC. While Netflix got a similar deal, it’s certainly good news for Amazon as it begins to curate enough content to compete with Hulu and Netflix. The Disney/ABC deal for Netflix will allow the streaming company to post episodes as soon as 30 days after they air.
Yahoo launched Livestand, a social newsstand tablet app to compete with AOL’s Flipboard, and added a social component to Yahoo News that allows users to share stories and comments with Facebook friends.
Google made an algorithm change to their search engines that will move more recent information to the top of the search page.
Twitter launched a Stories page (and @TwitterStories account) to accentuate the positive influence of Twitter and how it has changed the lives of users.
The stock for Research in Motion continues to tumble, falling below book value for the first time in nine years.
Be on the Lookout:
Nook Color 2 is slated to be released next week.
AOL announced that it would be launching a new social ad format.
YouTube will be launching 100 new celebrity channels, which should be live next year.