Google Friends Newsletter - February 2009

Google Friends Newsletter - February 2009

Winter greetings to all of our Google friends. We hope you enjoy this
month's update on our products and services.


Syncing for iPhone, Windows Mobile and SyncML devices

One of the hardest parts about switching phones is getting your address book and calendar to your new device. We're making that process a little easier with the release of a beta version of Google Sync for the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones, as well as a contacts- only version for phones that support SyncML. Google Sync lets you get your Gmail contacts and Google Calendar events onto your phone so your address book and calender are always up-to-date.


Doodle 4 Google 2009: "What I Wish for the World"

This month we launched our second annual Doodle 4 Google competition where we invite K-12 students to play around with our homepage logo and see what new designs they come up with around the intriguing theme "What I Wish for the World". The National Winner will win a $15,000 college scholarship to be used at the school of their choice and have their design displayed on on May 21. We'll also award the winner's school a $25,000 technology grant. The 40 finalists will travel to Google's New York office and have their doodles in an exhibition at the Smithsonian's, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

Collaborative Annotations on YouTube

The YouTube team has just completed a major upgrade to to annotations, the interactive commentary you can add to videos. Now you can add annotations to other people's videos (with permission from the video owner, of course). And if you want to let your friends add annotations to your video, simply view the video and you will see a special URL in the "Video Owner Options" on the right (you can also access this URL from the annotations editor). You can disable the URL at any time, and you can always delete annotations added by others.

Ocean in Google Earth 5.0

We recently launched the next big step forward in 3D geo-browsing. Google Earth 5.0 includes the long-awaited launch of Ocean, which offers a way to drop below the surface and learn about one of the world's greatest natural resources. Other features in the latest version of Google Earth include Historical Imagery, which lets you travel back in time with imagery from years past, and Touring, which lets you create an easily sharable, narrated tour of your destinations. You can also take a tour of the Red Planet by visiting Mars in Google Earth.

See where your friends are with Google Latitude

Google Latitude is a new Google Maps for mobile feature, as well as an iGoogle gadget that lets you share your location with your friends, and vice versa. Use your Google account to sign in, and then easily invite friends from your existing list of contacts, or by entering their email addresses. It's currently available on Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile devices; we will have support for other handsets soon.


Our co-founder Larry Page published the very first edition of Google Friends Newsletter using eGroups in April 1998. Thanks to fans and readers who keep coming back, it's a tradition we're proud to continue. Since then, of course, new resources and tools have come into being, giving us more ways to help interested folks understand how we work and what we do. Our network of corporate blogs is a fast, immediate way to share news as it happens, covering everything from new product launches and features to some of the plain old silliness that transpires in our offices around the world. And we regularly post videos on the Google Channel on YouTube, where you'll find presentations and talks given by Googlers as well as visits from newsmakers. If you're hungry for more of the goings-on at Google, we encourage you to check out some of these additional resources.

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