Google Doodle – Playable, Recordable and Sharable Synthesizer for Robert Moog’s Birthday

In celebration of Robert Moog’s 78th birthday, Google launched a new interactive doodle on Wednesday (23 May 2012).  This synthesizer allows users to play and record tracks and share them on Google+.

Google Doodle Moog synthesizer

Robert Moog (May 23, 1934 – August 21, 2005), commonly known as Bob Moog, is one of the key people in electronic music.  He invented the Moog synthesizer, one of the first widely used electronic musical instruments.  This is why today’s Google Doodle is a synthesizer.

You’ll notice that apart from the clickable knobs that you can play with, there are also play, record, link and Google+ buttons.  It is quite obvious that you can play and record your own tracks, just like the Les Paul guitar Google Doodle.  This time, Google added a Google+ button, it seems that users can share their masterpieces on Google+.  This button will only appear if you are logged into Google.

If you want to know more about this gentleman, you can check out his Wikipedia page, or knowledge graph that appears in Google search result page:

bob moog - Google Search

Chrome Web Store Trending Apps – Find Hottest Web Apps Easily

Chrome Web Store just received a new update.  A major new feature is the “Trending” tab which to let users know what web apps are hot now.

 

Trending Chrome Web Apps

In the past we could only see “popular” web apps but this list is not frequently updated.  The new “trending” tab lists out the hottest web apps and sort by the popularity.  Apps are ranked as “on fire”, “hot” and “warm”.

Chrome Web Store - Trending Web Apps

The purpose of this “trending” tab is to highlight web apps that are popular in recent time.  These apps may not be found in the “popular” tab that shows all-time hot apps.  For example, while YouTube is definitely a “popular” web app (over 1,000,000+ users installed it in Chrome), it is not even “warm” in “trending”.  This is obvious because the user count of this web app is stable.

Apart from the trending tab, now you can also sort web apps in each individual category to find out the trending web apps.  This is very useful for finding out the hottest web apps such as latest games.

Chrome Web Store - Trending Web Apps in Categories

 

Offline and Playable on Google+ Identification

The second change to Chrome Web Store is the new mark-ups showing particular features of web apps.  In the following screenshot, you see a Google+ mark for Diamond Dash, meaning that this game is playable on Google+ (and trending mark for BrowserQuest too).  You can also find a lightning mark for apps that run offline.  Google said that more marks for other features would follow.

Chrome Web Store - Playable on Gogle Plus Mark

 

Read more about this update here: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2012/04/zap-finding-right-app-and-extension.html

How to Backup Your Online from Google? Use Google Takeout

No matter how reliable the cloud is, sometimes we do want to save a backup of our data stored online.  Right?  We have introduced how to backup your Facebook data, do you want to do the same with Google?  No, you don’t have to manually save everything one by one.  Let’s have a look at Google Takeout, a handy tool that packs your data stored on Google’s server under your identity.

 

Google Takeout: Backup Your Online Data In Just A Few Clicks

Google Takeout is a native service developed by Google, unlike third-party web apps this one is authentic, so there should be no compatibility issues.  You can choose to create archive for the following services in one go:

Google Takeout: Backup Your Online Data

These are pretty much everything I have ever wanted to download, including Buzz which is no longer active.  You could also choose to download an archive for any individual service:

Google Takeout - Create Archive for Individual Service

For each download, you would be shown the estimated size of the package.  Different services have different configurations to make.  For example, you can choose the format of download for your Google Contacts and Circles in Google+.  For Google Voice, you can download your greetings and recording and specify the file format.

Google Takeout - Configure

It will take a while for Google to pack your data.  Check the “Email me when ready” box to receive notification when it’s done.  Once completed archive creation, you can download the file to your hard disk.

Google Takeout - Download

Google Takeout: http://www.google.com/takeout

Top 10 Posts of Cloud High Club in 2011

2011 was a terrific year.  I started this blog in March and wrote 368 posts, that is more than 1 post a day.  I just did a little data mining to find out the most popular blogposts in the last year.

Below are the top 10 blog posts in 2011:

  1. How to integrate Google Plus with Facebook and Twitter
  2. Start G+: Sync your posts in Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter, show FB and Twitter streams in Google+
  3. 10 popular Japanese anime Chrome themes, Metal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Bleach, One Piece…
  4. How to search Google Plus posts and profiles: a missing feature
  5. 15 essential Chrome add-ons for Google Plus beginners
  6. Who to follow on Google Plus? Expand your circles by adding recommended users!
  7. Complete guide to migration from Facebook to Google+, transfer your contacts, photos and videos
  8. 10 Awesome Game Themes for Chrome, Super Mario Bros, Angry Birds, Mega Man and more
  9. Chromebook vs Android Tablet: Does Touch UI Matter?
  10. Top 10 Google Chrome movie themes, Harry Potter, Transformer, Kung Fu Panda and more

I definitely think that 2011 was the “year of social network”.

 

2011: The Year of Social Network

Google Plus

6 out of the top 10 posts are related to social networks.  And the majority of them talks about Google Plus tips and tools.  This is certainly not an objective truth about the social network market shares, but more due to my personal preference of writing about Google’s services and products (Google+, Chromebook, Chrome).

2011 was not the first year when social networks are invented.  It is however the year when a major market player, Google+, was released and when different social networks received major changes to the user interface and features (e.g. Facebook and Twitter).  We internet users are so eager to share, making social sites the hottest market in the IT field.

The popularity of social sharing will definitely continue to grow in 2012.  If you count the time you spend on the internet, you would find that at least half (or mroe) of the time is spent on social sites.

 

You Like Chrome Themes?  I Give You More.

Megan Fox Google Chrome Theme

A little surprise is that 3 Chrome theme review posts got into the top 10.  I started introducing and reviewing Chrome themes to build a regular column on Sunday.  It turned out that people like giving their Chrome browser a new look once in a while.  An even greater surprise is that Japanese anime themes occupied position #3 on the top 10 list.  I was not aware of the fact that there are so many Japanese anime fans in the English world.

Chrome themes would definitely be a major topic that I’ll write more in 2012.  (BTW, the above is my favorite Chrome theme in 2011)

 

Mobile Internet Devices

Chrome OS Tablet Conceptual Design

#9 goes to Chromebook vs Android Tablet: Does Touch UI Matter?, a blog post that I compared my Chromebook and my 7″ tablet.  I am not sure how you people categorize these two kinds of machines, but I’ll take them as “mobile internet devices” (what an old school term by the way).  I said “internet” instead of “computer” because I believe most tablet uses surf the web and use apps to connect to the internet (Facebook, YouTube, emailing…).  Chromebook is certainly even more web-centric.

To me, the reason I use Chromebook and tablet is they are fast and direct routes to the internet.  Besides, they are lightweight and not power-demanding.  Unlike my Macbook that I have to charge the battery everyday, my Chromebook could last for a week given approximately the same usage.

Obviously all IT giants know about this, so Apple has already released iPad and produced the smallest Macbook Air (only 11″).  Google is said to have their own branded android tablet this year.  Amazon also has Kindle Fire that rocked the market.

 

Summary

Cloud High Club

This is a wrap up of what my readers liked the most in 2011.  I will be writing more about these topics in Cloud High Club.  Are you one of the “social-network-Chrome-theme-mobile-internet-device”-holic?

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