Google Friends Newsletter - August 2009


Power Readers on Google Reader

Where do Arianna Huffington and Thomas Friedman go to get different perspectives on the news? Which economics sites does Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman read? What sites and blogs do the editors of Lifehacker, Boing Boing and Kottke read? In an effort to help people find great stuff to read in Google Reader, we approached leaders across a variety of fields and asked them what they read online. We got lots of great responses, which we've collected into our second edition of Power Readers. In this edition, we've expanded from Power Readers in Politics to include journalists, techies, fashion critics, foodies and more. We hope this will be a good place for you to find more great things to read, whether you're new to Google Reader or already have an extensive reading list.


OpenSocial gadgets in iGoogle

We've added new social gadgets and features to iGoogle. Not only can you play, collaborate and share with your friends using 20 social gadgets, you can also get a feed of updates about your friends' activities on iGoogle. There's a little something for everyone: You can compete with others in Who Has The Biggest Brain?, Chess or Scrabble; keep up on the latest buzz with media-sharing gadgets from NPR, The Huffington Post and YouTube; or check things off alongside your friends with the social To-Do list gadget. These gadgets and more are available for users in the U.S. and Australia.

Collaborate on Picasa Web Albums

If you've used Google Docs, you know that it makes collaborating on documents easy. We've just introduced a similar idea for photo albums — now, every album on Picasa Web Albums is potentially collaborative, meaning multiple people can add photos to the same album. Contributors' photos will be attributed to them, and they can rotate, delete, and add captions to the pictures they've uploaded. To make an album collaborative, click the "Share" button in Picasa Web Albums, select the people you want to share with and make sure the "Let people I share with contribute photos" checkbox is selected. When contributors visit your collaborative album and sign in, they just need to click the "Add Photos" button to start uploading.

Improved health information in search results

Now there are new ways to search for health conditions on If you type in a condition, such as [asthma], into the search box, it will show you a new Health search result snippet and image with a summary of the condition and links to popular health sites like Google Health, Mayo Clinc and WebMD. If you click the Google Health link, you'll find a combination of information on that specific condition (such as overview, symptoms, causes, tests, diagnosis and prognosis) as well as results from Google search properties such as Google News, Google Scholar and Google Trends. So start searching today to easily get info about the health conditions you or a loved one may want to know more about.


As the summer comes to a close and schools start to reopen, we know some of our friends out there are dusting off their books and donning their backpacks. If you're a student, you're probably familiar with some of our tools that can help you excel in the classroom, including Google search, Google Books, Google Scholar and Google Docs — just to name a few. We're always thinking of new ways to use our products to help you study, research or just get more organized in your schoolwork. For ongoing Google tips and tricks tailored just for students, check out the Google Students blog. Even if you aren't a student, you might learn something new!

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