Archive

Posts Tagged ‘google logo’

Google’s New, New Nav Bar

February 9th, 2012 02:24 admin View Comments

googlelogo150.jpgWhen RWW webmaster Jared Smith sent me screenshots of yet another change to Google’s top navigation bar, I thought it was a bug. Then I got it, too. It’s a weird hybrid of the old, black nav bar with plain, gray text and the new, light one with the icons and Google search box. Sure enough, just now, Google announced the change, so it will be rolling out to all users soon.

The black bar, sometimes called the “sandbar,” only appeared in the middle of last year as Google began to redesign its interfaces, and the gray Google Bar was launched in November. Some users still have the sandbar, and others have the gray one. Now there’s a strange hybrid appearing, and it’s sort of the worst of both worlds.

The New Google Bar:

newnewgooglebar.jpg

Old Google Bar:

googlebar1.jpg

The black bar worked because it was simple. The text links were clear, and the important services were all easily visible, with a drop-down at the end for the rest. It wasn’t pretty, but it was inoffensive and functional.

Old-New Google Bar:

googlebar2.jpg

The gray Google Bar was more visually intensive. When Google introduced it, it sounded like the point was to give the user back some space by removing the black band at the top. The gray bar contained a search box for the Google service you were currently using, and to navigate to other Google apps, you used this crazy dropdown menu:

googlebar_dropdown.jpg

The icons helped, but it still wasn’t fast to navigate, because you had to open the drop-down menus.

New-New Google Bar:

weird_googlebar.jpg

What we’ve got now is some kind of hybrid. The search box is still there, but the black bar is back now, too. Instead of the drop-down under the Google logo, it’s among the text links at the top, and the drop down is just a list of black words that descends in the middle of the screen.

weird_googlebar_dropdown.jpg

This inconsistency is starting to get crazy. Google’s navigation bar gets a lot of use, and it’s impossible to form habits with it constantly changing. The changes are inexplicable, too. Now the Google Bar is bigger than ever, but it doesn’t seem any easier to use.

What do you think of Google’s new, new Google Bar?

Source: Google’s New, New Nav Bar

Google Ditches The Black Bar, Puts Search Atop All Pages

November 29th, 2011 11:21 admin View Comments

google_logo_150x150.jpgGoogle has replaced that ubiquitous black bar with a Google search bar that more closely matches the gray, red and blue design scheme that has rolled out across so many of its Web properties this year.

Instead of text links to the various Google services across the bar, they now appear in a drop-down menu under the Google logo. The new bar still displays the Google+ notification box and share button. There’s also a search box right in the toolbar now, restoring Google’s core product to the very top of all its pages.

Google Bar before:

googlebar1.jpg
Google Bar after:

googlebar2.jpg

Though there are some functionality problems with Google’s new design on its more involved interfaces, these changes to the nav bar are for the better. The black bar took up space for no reason, and this bar fills that space with a search box to search the contents of whatever Google product you’re using.

The drop-down launcher for the Google Web apps requires a click or two more for the most popular services, like Mail, Calendar and Documents, but it’s still easier to navigate with the icons. Plus, it’s more consistent with other Google products, such as Chrome’s New Tab page and the new Google iPad app

Source: Google Ditches The Black Bar, Puts Search Atop All Pages

More Than 300 Patents In Steve Jobs’ Name Stand Testament To His Attention To Detail

August 26th, 2011 08:30 admin View Comments

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’ attention to the finest of details is well known throughout the tech world, the latest testament to that is Google VP Vic Gundotra’s recollection of his phone call with Jobs in 2008 about an imperfection in the Google logo on the iPhone when pinned to the homescreen.

Another example of Jobs’ immense attention to the finer aspects of product design and everything else is Apple’s patents, 313 out of which list Jobs as an inventor.

These patents cover a broad range of products including Desktop Computers, iPods, iOS devices, product packaging, power adaptors and even the glass staircases you would find in Apple stores.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates has 9 patents to his name while Google’s Larry and Sergey have a dozen patents, which is nowhere near Steve’s 313.

Some of the filings date back to the 1980s, when Apple was a relatively young company, which was about to challenge the might of IBM, and in the future a lot of other companies as well. We have a look at some of Jobs’ most remarkable patent applications, some of which made their way into the consumer market while some stay buried inside Apple’s offices.

Jobs’ First Patent Filing – The Design For A Personal Computer

Apple I

This patent covers the design of the Apple I, the company’s first product which was hand built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, which sold for $666.66 because Woz liked repeating digits. The patent claim reads “The ornamental design for a personal computer, substantially as shown”. To get an idea of how complicated the process of getting the Apple-I to work as compared to present day computers was, have a look at the Apple-I manual (PDF link), which also features the earliest Apple logo with Newton sitting under an Apple tree.

Macintosh

Apple Macintosh

This device, which was unshered in by the famous “1984″ commercial, was the first successful computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface. The patent however doesn’t say anything about the GUI, it instead talks about the all-in-one design of the computer which can be found even in today’s iMac models.

The Dock

Dock

This patent was filed on behalf of NeXT Computer Inc., which later went on to merge with Apple. The patent, filed in 1991, describes the concept of a dock found in modern day operating systems like OS X and iOS. Although the idea of a dock may seem trivial right now, twenty years ago it wasn’t all that common. The patent has various flowcharts describing different tasks like launching applications, rearranging icons and adding new applications to the dock.

Power Adapters

Steve Jobs’ desire for perfection showed not just in software but even in accessory design. The iPad 2 smart cover, USB cables and power adapters are all examples of excellent design. (In some cases however the priority given to design makes the product more vulnerable to wear and tear, for example iPhone and iPod cables.)

Apple Adapters

Apple has multiple power adapter patents to its credit, each of which illustrate a different kind of design. The first patent filing showed a circular adapter, which later changed into a rectangular avatar and finally became the roundrect Magsafe adapters we all know of.

iPod

ipod patent

This was Jobs’ way of revolutionising the music industry. First a device, then a digital store both with a large number of users forced music companies to sell their songs for a dollar resulting in a win for customers. Steve’s name appears on 85 iPod patents, most of them dealing with the design of the product.

Pre-iPhone Patents

Pre iphone patents

A number of patents filed in 2005 give us a glimpse into the iPhone’s birth stages. The patent applications nowhere explicitly mention the iPhone, but familiar UI elements like table views, battery indicators and page indicators make an appearance in the images. One of these filings also reveal that at one point of time Apple envisioned an iPod clickwheel style of phone as well.

iPhone UI And Hardware Design

iPhone Patents

Numerous iPhone patents have been filed by Apple since its launch, perhaps foreseeing that it would have to battle out other hardware manufacturers in the future. An interesting image found in one of these patents, embedded above shows a trial option in a mockup of the AppStore.

Glass Staircases

Apple Glass Staircases

Like Apple’s products, its stores have been constant subjects of admiration. Turns out the glass staircases found in many Apple Stores has also been patented, with one of its inventors being Jobs himself.

Jobs has been named an inventor in more than 300 other patents pertaining to iPod headsets, packaging, laptops, displays and keyboards. While products like the “Clickwheel phone” didn’t hit the shelves, many of these inventions were and still are critical to Apple’s success. As New York Times points out, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design guru, shares more than 200 patents with Jobs hinting that Steve and Ive share the same design instincts.

The New York Times has a nice interactive feature on Steve’s patents, hit the source link to have a look at it.

[via NYT]

Source: More Than 300 Patents In Steve Jobs’ Name Stand Testament To His Attention To Detail

Google’s Vic Gundotra Recalls Steve Jobs’ “Icon Ambulance” Story

August 25th, 2011 08:15 admin View Comments

Steve Jobs Cover

Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice-President of Engineering shares an interesting story of Steve Jobs’ on Google+, which highlights Steve Jobs attention for even the minutest details.

He recalls how he got a call from Steve Jobs on a Sunday in January 2008 to discuss an urgent issue.

Vic Gundotra writes:

“Hey Steve – this is Vic”, I said. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn’t pick up”. 

This is what Steve Jobs had to say to :

“I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg [Christie] fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”

Steve Jobs later sent Gundotra an email with the subject line “Icon Ambulance”.

MacRumors reports that the Google icon being discussed was probably for Apple’s 2008 Macworld San Francisco keynote speech as seen below, where Steve Jobs introduced webclips and custom home screen icons for the iPhone, before the App Store was launched.

Gundotra ends his post with a tribute to Steve Jobs:

But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.

Thanks Gundotra for sharing!

[via Vic Gundotra+]

Source: Google’s Vic Gundotra Recalls Steve Jobs’ “Icon Ambulance” Story

Google’s Revamped iPhone App Now Worth Using; Could Be Better Still

March 15th, 2011 03:57 admin View Comments

Google’s flagship native app for the iPhone has always been a little odd. First of all, it was called “Google Mobile App”, which seemed a bit redundant. More importantly, it just wasn’t really worth using instead of google.com in the Safari web browser itself. But a big update today fixes both issues — and showcases how it could be ever better still.

What was the “Google Mobile App” is now simply “Google Search”. And as you can see, it looks completely different. The homescreen is now a nice big Google logo with the search box. It also allows you to easily sign in to your account. And when you do a search, this graphical interface rolls upward to reveal the results. And a swipe to the left reveals different categories to filter your search.

In other words, Google’s native iPhone app finally feels pretty native, rather than just feeling like their mobile website crammed into a native shell. And the swipe-activated filters, voice search, and Google Goggles all bring the native awesomeness. And the Push Notification options for Gmail and Calendar finally seem to be speedy enough to actually use.

But again, it could be even better.

At the bottom of the screen in the app is an “Apps” bar. This both gives you one-click access to Google’s entire list of mobile apps and shows you Gmail unread counts, which is great. But the apps themselves are still mobile apps, not native ones. So when I see I have unread Gmail messages, I’m kicked out of the app and into Safari to load it on the web.

Mobile Gmail is just about as good as a mobile app can be in my opinion, but it could still be much more powerful as a native app. HTML5 just isn’t there quite yet. Now, who knows if Apple would even approve a native Gmail app, but if this new Google apps had native Gmail built-in, it would become my most-used app immediately.

Calendar and Docs would be better too in a native skin, rather than a mobile web one for now.

Still, the app is definitely an improvement, and a great upgrade. I anticipate actually using it now. Now if only Google could fix the bugs and slowness in the native Google Voice app…

Source: Google’s Revamped iPhone App Now Worth Using; Could Be Better Still

Google Logo Changes Again, Hinting RT Search?

September 8th, 2010 09:13 admin View Comments

siliconbits writes “The Google homepage is sporting a new logo that changes color as you type, and it is likely a big hint as to what the company will announce at its search event on Wednesday. When you arrive on the search giant homepage today, you will be greeted with a gray Google doodle.”

Source: Google Logo Changes Again, Hinting RT Search?

YOYOYOOYOYOYO