Here's a list of my favorite Google services that were launched or were significantly improved in 2009.
10. Google Public DNS - a DNS resolution system that doesn't offer too many features, but it's free and fast. Very fast.
9. Google Fast Flip - a service that lets you quickly browse news. It's easy to use and it's a better way to discover interesting news articles than Google News.
8. Google Squared - an innovative way to dynamically generate collections and facts about each item. It's an extension of Google Sets and you can use it to create lists.
7. Google Wave - an online platform for collaboration in real-time. While there are many interesting features in Google Wave, Google's implementation of the Wave protocol is too confusing and difficult to use.
6. Google Translate added new languages, made it easier to find web pages written in other languages and to translate web pages in real-time. You can now use Google Translate in Gmail, Google Docs, Google Groups and many other Google services.
5. Google Maps aggregated information about locations in place pages, started to show more search results and to use its own mapping data in the US. Google also launched Google Maps Navigation, "internet-connected GPS navigation system with voice guidance. It is part of Google Maps for mobile and is available for phones with Android 1.6 and higher." Unlike other navigation apps, Google's Android app is free, but it's limited to the US.
4. Google Image Search added many advanced search options: color filter, size filter, Creative Commons search and an option that lets you find similar images. There's also a great Android app that helps you search the web visually: Google Goggles.
3. Google Search added a toolbelt with many options that help you refine search results: you can restrict the results to forums and recent web pages, find pages shared by your friends, view page thumbnails and explore related searches. Other changes include a redesigned homepage with bigger buttons and less links, Google Suggest as a standard feature and more sitelinks.
2. Android, Google's mobile operating system, had 3 major releases and it's now used by more than 20 devices. Companies like HTC, Motorola, Samsung bet on Android and there are many cool applications that are only available for Android: Goggles, Sky Map, Google Navigation.
1. Google Chrome, the most innovative Google software released last year, continues to be a trendsetter when it comes to simplicity and great performance. It now supports themes and extensions, it has a bookmark sync engine and you can download native versions for Linux and Mac. Chrome is the most significant component of Chrome OS, a browser-centric operating system for notebooks, and a strategic project that helps Google push the web forward. Even if that means improving Internet Explorer.
Matt Haughey retires from Metafilter
3 hours ago