An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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December 26, 2007

Predictions for Google's 2008

Some of these items are obvious, others are mostly wishful thinking.

1. Google will try to unify its application and transform them into a big social network. The Maka-Maka project (or Google's activity stream) will enhance the already existing profiles. If Google doesn't understand that your Gmail contacts aren't necessarily your friends, we'll see a huge privacy backslash.

2. Google should finally go beyond indexing text and start to use image analysis and speech recognition in Google Image Search and Google Video. The NevenVision acquisition should produce visible results in the image search engine and we could see better results for famous people or the option to find similar images.

3. Google won't give up on universal search, but we'll see a different interface that separates standard search results from OneBoxes and other additions. Google's snippets will become smarter and they could include information about authors, locations, concepts.

4. Gmail will add another batch of new features, one of the most important being task management, and will finally go out of beta. Gmail will launch a Google Labs-like site with experimental features that could be added by those who are curious to see the next features before they are officially launched.

5. The first Android phones will be a disappointment, but developers will create a lot of interesting applications that could compensate for the poor designs.

6. Most Google applications will work offline using Google Gears, even if the functionality will be limited. Google Gears will also work on mobile phones and could become a part of Firefox.

7. Google Maps will be redesigned and could include more space for user-generated content. We'll start to see user's locations, important events from our area, recommendations from friends. Google Maps will become more personal.

8. OpenSocial won't work as well as expected and Google will focus on its own social network(s). iGoogle gadgets are about to become social and aggregate data from your contacts.

9. Google will launch a people search engine that gathers data from the web, especially from social networks.

10. Google Books will be more present in search results and Google will start to sell access to the full content of some of the books.

11. One word: sync. At the end of the year, Outlook and most mobile phones will be able to synchronize with Google Calendar and Gmail's contacts. Google Docs will have plug-ins that let you edit documents in Microsoft Office or OpenOffice and save the changes online. Google Toolbar will integrate Browser Sync and start to synchronize your bookmarks, cookies, passwords and your browser's history.

12. Multi-faceted search, searching from different points of view (objective information vs positive/negative opinions, official information vs comments from blogs, forums).

13. Google will differentiate commercial search results by integrating data from Google Base. Google will continue to try to promote Checkout, this time by showing small badges next to the search results from sites that accept Google Checkout.

14. Google Talk will move completely online: the embeddable gadget will let you create custom chat rooms, talk with other people and maybe even see them if they have webcams.

15. Picasa Web Albums will add some of the photo editing features from Picasa and will increase the free storage.

16. GDrive will finally launch, but it won't offer infinite storage or advanced features. It will let you access the files stored in different Google applications and upload new files from a single interface. Storage: 20 GB.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.