Google introduces a number of new features such as Similar Images, a graphical Google News Timeline and some tweaks to the Google Labs Web site. The search engine giant has continued to roll out new products and features as part of its core offerings in a bid to retain users and make certain features, such as Gmail, more robust applications for the enterprise.
announced two new Google Labs features on its blog April 20: Similar Images and
the Google News Timeline.
Google's Similar Images site can be found here.
When a query is typed in
a search bar, Google feeds the user a variety of images associated with the
term. For example, typing in the term "jaguar" will produce images of
both the jungle cat and the luxury vehicle.
Click on the "Similar Images" link beneath one of the images of a
Jaguar car, and the user will receive images of similar vehicles-other models
of Jaguars, or similar sports cars.
The tool theoretically allows researchers to refine a query, search quickly
for more useful images or else find images of objects they don't quite know the
"Using visual similarity, you don't have to refine the text of your
search; instead, you can just click on the link of an image you like,"
said the Google corporate blog post.
In addition to Similar Images, Google announced Google News Timeline, which
will organize Google News information chronologically along a "zoomable"
graphical timeline. This timeline integrates a number of different sources,
including new and archived news, blog posts, and media such as music and
Google Labs now has a new address,
RSS feed and an "iGoogle gadget" designed to provide up-to-date news.
The company said it intends to have more features engineers commenting on the
site about Google products.
Google has rolled out a number of granular innovations to its various
applications over the past few months. On March 30, the Google
announced that Gmail Labs would be available in 49 languages.
June 2008, Labs allows users to enable a number of experimental features for
Gmail, including YouTube previews.
Other new features have included offline Gmail and Google Calendar access,
designed to make the application more robust in competition with e-mail
offerings from Microsoft, Yahoo Zimbra and others. In addition, Gmail now comes
with an integrated "unsend" feature that allows users 5 seconds to
repeal a message, similar to Microsoft Outlook's "Recall" button.
However, Google's attempts to deepen its offerings are not always greeted
with fanfare. The company's attempts to expand Google
Street View, a feature of Google Maps that allows users to see a particular
location from the ground, has met resistance
from residents not anxious to
have their environs displayed for the world to see. For example, on April 1, a
group of English villagers formed a human chain to turn back a car shooting
images for Street View.