Google Love for Firefox, Videos, and Locations
Article by George Norman
On 09 Jun 2009
We all pretty much know what the Mountain View-based company is all about and consequently when we hear the name Google the words “search” and “engine” automatically come to mind. But the aforementioned company has a lot more going on, and here are three pieces of news I’ve decided to intertwine in order to showcase Google’s other interests.

Google Love for Firefox: Page Speed
Google and Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, have a long history of collaboration – which only started to go sour when Google brought out its own web browser, Chrome, but that is the topic of another article (mainly the one here). With Chrome, Google has touted one feature above all others: speed. As a matter of fact, Chrome 2.0 is reportedly 30% faster than Chrome 1.0. It seems that Google likes speed so much that it has open-sourced a Firefox add-on called Page Speed.


On behalf of the Page Speed Team, Richard Rabbat and Bryan McQuade, explain: “Page Speed is a tool we've been using internally to improve the performance of our web pages -- it's a Firefox Add-on integrated with Firebug. When you run Page Speed, you get immediate suggestions on how you can change your web pages to improve their speed. For example, Page Speed automatically optimizes images for you, giving you a compressed image that you can use immediately on your web site. It also identifies issues such as JavaScript and CSS loaded by your page that wasn't actually used to display the page, which can help reduce time your users spend waiting for the page to download and display.”

A download location with additional details on Page Speed is available here.

Google Love for Videos: Advanced Search
Google Videos, the part of Google Search that focuses on locating visual media, now features advanced search options – all you have to do is click the “Show options” tab after performing a search. Perhaps a visual example is in order. Below are two images: one for the search query “work”, the other for the same search query, but after having clicked “Show options”.

If you would like to get started with Google Videos, just click here.

Google Love for Locations: Places Directory Android App
If you thought that Google Maps and Google Earth are proof enough that the Mountain View-based company has a fondness for geographical locations, then you would be partially correct – you must not forget about the Android operating system and the multitude of apps that can run on it. The development team at Google Labs came with an Android app entitled Places Directory that identifies the “places” near your location and displays them in a neat and organized directory format.

Software Engineer Aries Hsieh explains: “As the name implies, Places Directory allows you to browse nearby places in categories like Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Hotels and Banks. You'll see distance and directions to the destination, and if you tap on the listing, we'll show ratings and photos. You can also call the business or view its location on Google Maps. To download Places Directory to your Android-powered phone, search for "Places Directory" on Android Market. We currently support US English and Chinese.”

Tags: Google, Page Speed, Firefox, Google Videos. Places Directory, Android, App
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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