Google wants you to ‘like’ search results using new feature called “+1s” (also, Kansas City gets ultra high-speed network)
So you know how you can ‘like’ websites, in the same way you can ‘like’ a friend’s status update on Facebook? Well Google wants a slice of the social recommendation pie, and they’re doing that by introducing a new Google Search feature called +1s. El Goog describes it as “the digital shorthand for “this is pretty cool.”" If you understand the ‘like’ concept invented by Facebook, you’ll immediately get what Google is going for with +1. When you tap the new +1 button, which is located at the end of every search result right next to the Instant Preview magnifying glass icon, you are instantly recommending that site to friends and the public at large. Need a concrete example to fully comprehend what’s going on here? Google explains…
“Say, for example, you’re planning a winter trip to Tahoe, Calif. When you do a search, you may now see a +1 from your slalom-skiing aunt next to the result for a lodge in the area. Or if you’re looking for a new pasta recipe, we’ll show you +1’s from your culinary genius college roommate. And even if none of your friends are baristas or caffeine addicts, we may still show you how many people across the web have +1’d your local coffee shop. … The beauty of +1’s is their relevance—you get the right recommendations (because they come from people who matter to you), at the right time (when you are actually looking for information about that topic) and in the right format (your search results).”
Currently the search giant requires you to be logged into a Google Account to see the +1 results. The new feature will already rolling out to English Google search results and ads. Once you see them appear, start +1-ing and let the great social search experiment begin!
In related Google news, the company has selected Kansas City, Kansas to be the inaugural recipient of the fiber-based ultra high-speed 1 gigabit broadband network. Back in February of last year Google began a country-wide search looking for a U.S. to use as a test subject for its broadband network installation plans. The mayor of Topeka, Kansas went so far as legally changing the name of the town to “Google” for the entire month of April to gain the attention of the company; but in the end, Google selected Kansas City and things are about to get blazingly fast there. But don’t fret, towns that didn’t get selected. Google assures everyone that “today is the start, not the end of the project. And over the coming months, we’ll be talking to other interested cities about the possibility of us bringing ultra high-speed broadband to their communities.”
Look after the break to watch videos summing up the +1 and Kansas City news bites.
Today turned out to be an announcement-filled day for the hardworking team at Google. The next true “Google phone” was formally unveiled, the next version of Android dubbed Gingerbread was detailed, Google Maps Navigation received a major upgrade, and now the search giant is the latest company to offer a vast eBooks store and ecosystem. Let’s jump right to the facts, shall we?
Nexus S: The Nexus S, a collaborative effort between Google and hardware manufacturer Samsung, is the follow-up device to the Nexus One. In similar fashion to its predecessor, the Nexus S promotes a “pure Google” experience, meaning that it runs the pure vanilla version of Android; you wouldn’t dare find an inkling of customized UI overlays like HTC’s Sense, Motorola’s Motoblur, or even Samsung’s own TouchWiz. Unfortunately the specifications do not push conventional boundaries, although there are some new welcome additions that complement the new Android platform: 4-inch WVGA (480×800) Super AMOLED display (Samsung is touting the new “Contour Display” that’s “designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face”), 1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor, 512MB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-focus, flash, and HD 720p video recording, front-facing VGA camera (640×480), Wi-Fi 802.11 n/b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, A-GPS, Near Field Communication (NFC), accelerometer, proximity sensor, three-axis gyroscope. Ports-wise there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microUSB 2.0 port. The 1500 mAH Lithum Ion battery boasts the following life support: Talk time up to 6.7 hours on 3G (14 hours on 2G), Standby time up to 17.8 days on 3G (29.7 days on 2G). Interestingly the phone only supports tri-band HSPA, so there’s no 4G support here. Of all the tech specs listed, you may be pondering about NFC. Essentially NFC works like QR codes but better; companies can place NFC chips into objects like movie posters and the user can hold up their phone to the tagged object to extract information from it (there’s no need to open an app or bring up the camera).
So the spec sheet isn’t all that impressive, but there are two things that save this phone from being just another Android device: it’s sexy Galaxy S looks (good job Samsung) and it’s the very first device to run Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread (more on that in a bit). Let’s talk release date and pricing. The Nexus S ships December 17 for $199 with a new 2-year contract with T-Mobile (or $529 unlocked) and it’ll be available for purchase online and in-store from all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores in the U.S. It lands in the UK on December 20 at Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy retailers.