10 New Google Products We Want to See in 2011

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10 New Google Products We Want to See in 2011

by Clint Boulton

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Google + 1

Google Me. Emerald Sea, Emerald City. Google + 1, as Google's social network initiative is currently called, is supposed to be the big challenger to Facebook. Instead, Google CEO Eric CEO Eric Schmidt said Google is building layers of social tools throughout Google's Web services. We've been talking about it since summer 2011. Now we want to see it.

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Contextual Discovery

Serendipitous Search. Autonomous Search. Contextual Discovery is Google geolocal chief Marissa Mayer's latest term for search that targets mobile phone users on the go. Mayer, pictured here, said at Le Web: "Take a user's location as a piece of context for finding what they want without them actually searching for anything. We have a couple of things we're experimenting with, but it will be out in the next year." Privacy must be included.

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Google Fiber

We've been greatly anticipating this launch since Google unveiled its project in February 2010. Google Fiber is Google's bid to launch a blazingly fast 1G-Bps mesh network in a community or several communities to test for free. Ideally, this will help Google build new, fast and better applications for the Web. A successful deployment could be a goldmine for Google and communities. Given the importance of this endeavor, Google has delayed its choice of community until 2011.

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Chrome OS

Yes, Chrome OS has been released to open source since 2009. And yes, Google launched a pilot program for the Web operating system this month with the release of thousands of Cr-48 test machines. But the company missed its 2010 holiday deadline for shipping official Chrome OS machines. Those are forthcoming from Samsung and Acer in 2011. We can't wait to see how they do in a market rapidly being saturated by tablets such as Apple's iPad and Google Android tablets.

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Google Tablet

To that end, 2010 saw the release of two Google-branded smartphones, the Nexus One and the newly arrived Nexus S, which we just reviewed. Now that Apple has almost single-handedly defined the tablet market for Samsung and the rest, we want to see a Google-branded tablet computer based on the forthcoming Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. Maybe it's this Motorola machine Android head Andy Rubin showed off this month. Or maybe Google wants to launch a Chrome OS tablet to accompany its Cr-48 notebook. We think a Google-branded tablet with the latest Google software could play well as an iPad alternative.

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Augmented Reality Using Street View

In a conversation with eWEEK, Google Maps creator John Hanke mentioned that Google really wants to jazz up its Street View feature. Specifically, he mentioned the augmented reality technology of Layar, which could be used to enhance the information provided to consumers in Street View. Sounds like a match made in heaven to us.

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Google Voice—Everywhere

Google tweaked Google Voice to enable calls to mobile and landline phones in Gmail this summer. In the true spirit of the network, it would be great if Google laced Voice capabilities throughout all of its Web services. Imagine working on a document on Google Docs then clicking a button to initiate a call to discuss it with a team member.

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Google Apps Goes Social

Google Apps should get some enhanced social functionality. Take the same Google Docs example. Instead of just being able to e-mail a document, you can blast it out to folks on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This could be part of or independent of the Google + 1 efforts. But it would be fun to broadcast some Apps content to popular social network services.

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Google Instant Expansion

We love Google Instant predictive search, and that it's now available on mobile devices. But now that Google has set the bar so high, we want Instant functionality across all of Google's searchable properties, including Images, Maps and YouTube.

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Google TV Double Down

Many believe Google launched a half-baked Google TV product. We think the $300 price for Logitech Review, $400 for Sony Blu-ray players and $1,000+ for Sony Internet TVs biased a lot of our media colleagues. Sure, the product can get better and it already is. The Netflix app on Google TV is becoming more than just a dumb app, and the search capabilities are being improved. But we want Google to spend some of that $33 billion in cash on striking partnerships to get Google TV on all networks and Websites. That means making sure Chrome is compatible with many Websites, too.

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