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December 29, 2010

Top Google Apps in 2010

Here's a subjective list of Google services that were launched or were significantly improved in 2010:

10. Google Scribe - a service that shows autocomplete suggestions as you type. It will probably become as popular as Google Suggest and Google Translate once its integrated with other services.

9. Voice Actions for Android - an application that lets you control your phone using your voice. You can call your contacts, send email, get directions, listen to music, write notes and go to a website.

8. Gmail added many business-related features (Priority Inbox, email delegation, turning off conversation view), improved Gmail Chat (calling phones, video chat for Linux), added a new contact manager, more ways to attach files, Gmail for iPad, Buzz integration, search autocomplete, YouTube previews and rich text signatures.

7. Google Buzz - despite the initial privacy brouhaha, Google Buzz is the best Google service released in 2010. Even if it's less than one year old, Buzz already has an impressive set of features, a powerful API, it's integrated with many services and has a cool factor that's missing from other Google social products. Unfortunately for Google, Buzz is not yet very popular.

6. Blogger added a lot of important missing features: comment management, comment spam filtering, dynamic templates, a new post editor, better post preview, real-time stats, static pages and much more.

5. Google Docs - a new document editor, faster Google Spreadsheets, a collaborative drawing editor, a new equation editor, mobile editing, a more consistent interface, uploading any kind of files.

4. Google Maps - vector-based maps for Android, Google Latitude for iPhone, a new local search service (Google Places), social local business reccomendations, biking directions, walking navigation, Google Earth as a tab in Google Maps, search suggestions.

3. Chrome - 5 major versions released, support for Mac and Linux, a simplified interface, faster browsing, autofill, sync, Google Translate integration, bundled sandboxed plugins for Flash and PDF files, Chrome Web Store.

2. Google Search has changed a lot this year and there were many user interface changes: from Google Instant to Instant Previews, from interactive doodles to custom backgrounds for the homepage, from vertical navigation menus to a consistent interface for most Google search services. Google also launched a completely new interface for image search that lets you explore more images and a new search index with real-time updates.

1. Android - two important releases (Froyo, Gingerbread), huge growth (from 1.4 million smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2009 to 20.5 million phones one year later - according to Gartner) and a lot of new devices, including tablets, TVs, consoles, media players and e-book readers. It's probably the fastest growing product released by Google.

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