With ChromeOS, Google will soon launch an operating system that makes web apps the center of the user experience. No other vendor currently offers a similar experience, but with Webian Shell, there is now a project that plans to offer a full-screen web browser “for devices that don’t need a desktop.” Developer by Ben Francis, a member of the Mozilla community and a contributor to the Chromeless project that Webian Shell is based on, says that the idea behind the project is to “replace your computer’s interface with something much simpler, which treats web applications as first class citizens and does away with all the un-necessary clutter.”
It’s a big day for buttons today. Twitter just introduced its new Follow button and thanks to an unfortunate leak, we also know that Google is planning to launch it’s +1 button for third-party sites tomorrow. Twitter’s Follow button has long been overdue. It allows site owners to give their visitors a chance to follow their accounts with just a few click. Google’s +1 button is part of the company’s efforts to add more social signals to its search results. Whenever somebody +1s a story on a third-party site, this information will appear in their friends’ search results if that page appears (and can also push sites up on their friends’ search results pages).
Microsoft today released a number of major updates to the Streetside feature in Bing Maps. Streetside used to be very similar to Google’s Streetview, but Microsoft just mixed things up a bit and included an important twist. Instead of showing you the street from a car driver’s perspective, Streetside shows you pictures of the buldings…
In what, as far as I know, is an unprecedented move for Apple, the company this morning announced what it plans to announce during its keynote at the company’s Wordwide Developer Conference (WWDC) next week. Typically, these events are shrouded in mystery and the days ahead of the conference are ripe with rumors and speculations as to what will be announced and who will announce it. Not so this year. Apple didn’t just announce the obvious – that we will see a preview of iOS5 and OS X Lion, but also that it will indeed launch a new suite of cloud-based services under the rumored iCloud name. While the Apple Kremlinologists will continue to speculate whether the fact that Apple announced that its “CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off” the event means that Steve Jobs is coming back from his medical leave or not, the fact that Apple pre-announced Jobs’ presence at the event is also unprecedented.
Managing email isn’t just about wading through incoming messages, writing replies, filing messages into different folder, but it’s also about managing the expectations of the people who are writing to you. Courteous.ly, a new research project by Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing professor Eric Gilbert wants to make it easier for you to manage these expectations by giving those who want to email you a better idea of what your inbox looks like right now and when they can likely expect a response. The service, which currently only works with Gmail, regularly scans your inbox for incoming, unread and answered email. Based on this data, it then decides whether your current email load is light, normal or high and publishes this info to your personal Courteous.ly page (here is mine). Users can then add this page’s address to their email signatures and websites to advice people about the current state of their inboxes.