Google unrolled a major update to its Maps app for iOS and Android Tuesday, with improved on-the-fly navigation instructions, offline maps, and Uber integration in select cities.
A few weeks ago, I asked Jon Wiley, the lead designer for Google Search, if the Google homepage would ever fundamentally change, or if it would always be a white box beneath the Google logo.
He wouldn’t commit either way, but admitted a particular fondness for the design, citing its “iconic simplicity,” and pointing out that among other tweaks, Google had actually made that search box larger over the years, a seemingly small change that made a huge difference to usability.
Now, student Jake Nolan has taken Google’s bigger box evolution a step further.
“For instance, 4.4K people per month educate themselves on how to use Google by Googling ‘How do I Google something.’”
“So where does all this leave what is, on the surface, a rudderless social network like Google+? Unlike Google Reader (which had a small but passionate audience) or Google Wave (which almost no one used), the Plus profile is now baked into Google on an infrastructure level. You need the Plus login for everything from Google’s apps on Apple’s iPhone to next-gen technology like Google Glass. Google’s footprint isn’t just across the web anymore. It’s everywhere.”
As Chief Creative Officer for Google Creative Lab, it’s Robert Wong’s job to live and breath inspiration. From how he finds his to how he encourages his people to attain theirs, he tells us the best ways to feed creativity. Read more>
“You want your image to be consistent and thoughtful and what comes up at the top of a search to match that. So, go ahead and Google yourself.”
"I’m not drinking the Google Kool-Aid. But it’s the most mature wearable platform that’s out there. And we need to be proactive and figure it out." Read more>
“[Google] could just be pulling the wool over our eyes.”
Google’s offices, though always Google-y, tend to take inspiration from their location. The original campus in Mountain View is sprawling and sunny, like an alternate-universe Stanford. The New York offices, on the far West Side, are industrial and loft-like. (More examples: London, Pittsburgh, Dublin.) And the new Amsterdam offices have stroopwafel ceiling panels.
"Most people won’t even realize that this is all a website." - Google Suspends One Of The World’s Largest Textile Sculptures Above Vancouver For TED
“All these people [at Google] were telling me that it was a bad idea and it would fail. But I didn’t really care, I thought they were all wrong and tried it anyway—and it worked.”
Project Tango is an experimental new smartphone with built-in 3-D sensors that, according to Google, allow wielders to digitally map the world around them. Its spatially aware motion-sensing powers work using a “revolutionary” new Myriad 1 vision processor, which harvests a fraction of the computing power needed for something like, say, Microsoft’s Kinect. It’s like cramming a 3-D scanner into a Pop Tart.
"Every year the editors of Fast Company pick 50 of the world’s Most Innovative Companies. We pick them not just for financial reasons, these aren’t just good businesses, but because we think they’re changing the way we live.”