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Today, Google unveiled a new logo and a completely redesigned navigation bar that effectively removes the black bar that resides at the top of the screen when visiting any of Google's online services. The new logo is much flatter and removes the glossy embossing that it featured for so long. Additionally, the font is a little bit different and the colors are a little more subdued.
The other major change is the removal of the black navigation bar we first hated but quickly grew to love. It has been replaced by an icon that opens up to reveal a Chrome Launcher-style window that lets you choose which service you would like to navigate to. I don't know how I feel about this yet as it seems to add an additional click into my workflow. I'm sure that as time progresses I will learn to love it just like I did the black bar.
The new logo and navigation bar will roll out to all users in the coming weeks and will be featured on mobile devices as well. Google says that these changes have been made to help streamline user workflow and to bring the company's UI up to date with current trends.
Yahoo is continuing its image revamp by continually rolling out new products and redesigning existing ones that have become stale. Today, Yahoo released an update to its My Yahoo service that completely refreshes the personalized homepage.
I understand that in today's era of multiple tabs, smartphones, and tablets, the idea of an all-in-one home page seems kind of pointless to some, but there was a time that the homepage ruled supreme. Services like Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and even iGoogle popped up to fill this niche, but they almost all slipped into a stagnant state as tabbed browsing and mobile computing took over.
Yahoo is hoping that its completely redesigned My Yahoo service will once again resurrect the now all but defunct all-in-one home page. With iGoogle nearing its end of life, this does appear to be a smart move on Yahoo's part as Google refugees can equate to big money. Just ask the little-known RSS service Feedly about its increase in traffic since Google Reader shutdown.
Yahoo's newly refreshed My Yahoo allows users to custom tailor their homepage with widgets to access their various email accounts, calendars, stocks, and even sports scoreboards. Weather, Flickr, and and other Yahoo-based content is also available to put into your homepage and the company says that content from around the web can be added. Head over to the source below to check out a new animated GIF from Yahoo that shows how things might work.
We've seen Yahoo recently change its logo and now it is Microsoft's turn, the Redmond-based giant has just unveiled a redesigned Bing logo. The new Bing logo throws its older curly blue logo for a more modern, yellow look.
Microsoft's Lawrence Ripsher, a design lead for Bing's User Experiences, said during an interview with The Verge: "The logo, obviously, is a big deal for us, a lot more angular and fresh and sharper than we've used in the past. Bing has typically been kind of curly, softer, so this fits much more with the modern kind of approach we've taken on some of the other logos."
Google acquired Snapseed close to a year ago, and it looks like the Mountain View-based giant is finally using its acquisition by adding some photo editing tools based off of Snapseed's technology.
You can use these photo editing tools by looking at one of your photos in a lightbox in Google+ and clicking the new "Edit" button above the image which will then display a sidebar with a bunch of options. These tools give you the ability to adjust, crop, rotate, add borders, selectively adjust, tilt-shift, apply several filters and more.
Once you've finished editing your photo, you can either save it or replace the original, if you've made a mistake, you can revert the changes and go back to the original photo. The new Snapseed-like tools should have rolled out to most Google+ users, but if you can't see them yet, give it another couple of days.
Google did something great for the United States when they decided to make the Moto X smartphone on US soil, but now anyone in the world can visit the factory that Google's latest smartphone is made in.
The Mountain View-based everything giant opened the doors to its Moto X factory in Fort Worth, Texas, unveiling a bunch of 360-degree panoramic images of the Flextronics factory that pumps out over 100,000 Moto X smartphones each and every week. Sensitive information is of course blurred out, but you can still check out the factory which looks quite cool.
The images coming in from Google's Trekker backpack loan program are simply breathtaking. Adventurers, historians, and people from all over the world are taking advantage of the company's generosity and are capturing Street View-like images of some of the most spectacular and amazing places on earth.
Today, Google added images from the 800-year-old Wieliczka Salt Mine in Wieliczka, Poland, to the company's Street View product in Google Maps. The imagery is part of the company's UNESCO World Heritage series and takes us inside the 187 mile long, 1,000 foot deep salt mine. The imagery that has been posted includes three hand carved full-size chapels and a massive cathedral that is carved from the natural gray salt deposits.
Today, Microsoft announced on its Bing Blogs page that it has added an additional five million square miles of satellite imagery to its Bing Maps service. The update amounts to 316TB of aerial imagery from around the world being added to the service. In the image below, each yellow dot represents the new imagery that was added.
This is the first major update to Bing's imagery since June 12 of this year when the company added 270TB worth of high resolution satellite imagery of tourist location, including Rome, Milan, Stravanger, and Kaanapali. Today's update marks the largest addition to the search engine's map service since it was first launched. Head over to Bing.com and check out some of the new imagery, and if you spot something cool, be sure to post a link to it in the comments.
In between all of the IFA 2013 news, Yahoo has chosen to unveil its new logo. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has tried to provide some fresh visual interest in the Yahoo brand, so let's hope that the new logo helps.
As you can see, it retains its color, in a way, as well as keeping the exclamation point. The video above shows the work that went into the new logo, but I don't know if I'm convinced so far. Sure, a logo doesn't make a company, but it goes a long way for first impressions. What are your thoughts on Yahoo's new logo? Let us know in the comments.
Google dominates so many services it's not funny, but Microsoft isn't going down without a fight when it comes to search engine wars. The Redmond-based software giant is very much committed to Bing, and it seems like that is a relationship that will keep on keeping on.
Since 2005, Bing has cost Microsoft's Online Services Division a hefty $11 billion, but the company are still continuing to maintain it, and pump money into the search engine. AllThingsD's Kara Swisher says that all of Microsoft's board members, including recently appointed activist shareholder firm ValueAct, think that Bing is a key part of Microsoft's future in online revenues.
I guess we'll see going into the future, but Microsoft's recently acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services division might just have a helping hand in the future of Bing, or vica versa.
Have you ever ordered a paperback or hardcover book from Amazon and wished that you could get the digital copy for your Kindle in the same purchase at a discounted price? If so, an announcement today is sure to make you quite happy. Amazon today announced a new initiative called Kindle Matchbook that will allow customers to include the Kindle edition of physical books in with their order at a highly discounted price.
Customers will now be able to pick up the Kindle edition of their book for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or for free anytime they purchase the physical copy of the book. Amazon has made this feature retroactive as well, and any books you have purchased since Amazon first opened its online bookstore now qualify for this deal. This means that you can go back through your Amazon purchase history and pick up the Kindle edition of your favorite books at a highly discounted price.
"If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase-18 years later-to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. "In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish."