While the first generation of keyboards and, of course, physical keyboards are generally designed for a specific language, digital keyboards have some neat tricks up their proverbial sleeves, tricks that let you gain access to dozens of different letters and vowels that are either unique to a specific language or shared across multiple languages. iOS does a very nice job of this, actually, whether you’re using an iPhone or iPad for data entry.
Better, the subtleties of diacritical usage, like whether a capitalized “U” retains its umlaut versus the lowercase letter (that varies depending on region) is left to you, the user. Smart, those Apple developers.
The trick to getting the special characters is to tap and hold your finger on the virtual keyboard. After a second or two, the available alternative versions of the letter are displayed. At that point, you need to drag your finger to the version you want, then pull your finger off the screen. Easy enough with a bit of practice!
For example, here I am entering a note to myself about getting coffee for señor garcia:
So how do I get the “ñ” when it’s not shown as an option on the keyboard?
Tap and hold the “n” key, and…
Again, from this point, drag your finger to the letter you desire, then release.
What other options are there? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s a subset…
First, “s” variants:
and “u” variants:
and “i” variants (though I don’t recognize this: is it Czech?):
and “e” variants:
and the popular letter “a” variants including the cool “ae” dipthong:
and letter “y” variants:
and letter “z” variants:
and, finally, letter “c” variants:
Quite a range. And we haven’t looked at upper case or symbols. I’ll leave that one up to you…
If you see a clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of a Street View image, click on it and move the slider through time and select a thumbnail to see that same place in previous years or seasons.
Now with Street View, you can see a landmark's growth from the ground up, like the Freedom Tower in New York City or the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil. This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history, like the reconstruction after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan. You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter.
Construction of the Freedom Tower, New York CityDestruction in Onagawa, Japan after the 2011 earthquake
Forget going 88 mph in a DeLorean—you can stay where you are and use Google Maps to virtually explore the world as it is—and as it was. Happy (time) traveling!
Posted by Vinay Shet, Google Street View Product Manager
Today, we’re taking another step towards a clean energy future with a major new investment. Together with SunPower Corporation we’re creating a new $250 million fund to help finance the purchase of residential rooftop solar systems—making it easier for thousands of households across the U.S. to go solar. Essentially, this is how it works: Using the fund ($100 million from Google and $150 million from SunPower), we buy the solar panel systems. Then we lease them to homeowners at a cost that’s typically lower than their normal electricity bill. So by participating in this program, you don’t just help the environment—you can also save money.
A home sporting SunPower solar panels
SunPower delivers solar to residential, utility and commercial customers and also manufacturers its own solar cells and panels.They’re known for having high-quality, high reliability panels which can generate up to 50 percent more power per unit area, with guaranteed performance and lower degradation over time. That means that you can install fewer solar panels to get the same amount of energy. And SunPower both makes the panels and manages the installation, so the process is seamless.
This is our 16th renewable energy investment and our third residential rooftop solar investment (the others being with Solar City and Clean Power Finance). Overall we’ve invested more than $1 billion in 16 renewable energy projects around the world, and we’re always on the hunt for new opportunities to make more renewable energy available to more people—Earth Day and every day.
Posted by Rob Parker, Renewable energy team
Last year, WWF started exploring how smart eyewear could help further its conservation mission in the Arctic and the Amazon as part of the Giving through Glass Explorer program. Now they’ve brought it to Nepal to see how it could help monitor wild rhinos. Take a peek:
Rhino monitoring can be a slow process, especially in habitats with tricky terrain, but data collection is crucial for making the right conservation decisions. Most parts of Chitwan National Park are inaccessible to vehicles, so Sabita and her team ride in on elephants, and have been collecting health and habitat data using pencil and paper.
Now custom-built Glassware (the Glass version of apps) called Field Notes can help Sabita do her work hands-free instead of gathering data in a notebook. That’s helpful for both accuracy and safety when you’re on an elephant. Using voice commands, Sabita and other researchers can take photos and videos, and map a rhino’s location, size, weight, and other notable characteristics. The notes collected can also be automatically uploaded to a shared doc back at the office, making it easier to collaborate with other researchers, and potentially a lot faster than typing up handwritten notes.
This is just one example of a nonprofit exploring how Glass can make their critical work easier. Today, we’re looking for more ideas from you.
If you work at a nonprofit and have an idea for how to make more of a difference with Glass, share your ideas at g.co/givingthroughglass by 11:59 PDT on May 20, 2014. Five U.S.-based nonprofits will get a Glass device, a trip to a Google office for training, a $25,000 grant, and help from Google developers to make your Glass project a reality.
To learn more about Google.org's ongoing collaboration with World Wildlife Fund, visit this site.
Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org
Min Seung Song's Car UX site captures elements of car interiors with photos of instrument panels, gear boxes, and wheel buttons.
Via Swiss Miss
Screen 1 Caption: Filtering by mood. Includes an option for exclusions when clicking twice on a button. Screen 2 Caption: Adding a BPM range filter. Screen 3 Caption: A pre-defined filter based on previously followed artists or labels is provided as a link. This is further filterable by other categories. Screen 4 Caption: Search results for an artist, showing track details inspector in the right sidebar, and player at the bottom. Clicking in the highlighted waveform in the player lets you needle-drop to that part of the track.
Beatport's Pro app for the Mac offers a shopping experience that's tailored for the way DJs shop for music. The app lets users analyze their music (tracks, sounds, and playlists) to prepare sets and add music to their playlists. Here are some of the elements of the version 2 interface related to shopping in the app.
Beatport comes close to the experience of shopping in a record store, breaking down music into genres and sub-genres. Beyond that, they provide filters to offer some of the experience you would expect in a boutique shop of having someone select tracks by mood and type of venue/set. Hand picked charts round out the experience of having the in-the-know shop owner as curator to recommend tracks.
The interface for needle-dropping on the track waveforms gives you a decent way to judge a track over the selected preview. They provide a nice small representation of this in the track details inspector and the player at the bottom of the app. The track details show all the metadata I could imagine wanting—BPM, key, duration as well as those genre/mood/venue categorizations—along with purchase buttons. It would be useful if they made the metadata in the details inspector linkable as well.Screen Name: beatportpro Number of screens: 4 URL: http://pro.beatport.com/ http://pro.beatport.com/
Google Trends — at google.com/trends — is pretty darn interesting, a sort of breaking news version of the company’s long-running zeitgeist. The latter shows what’s been happening with user searches, but on an annual basis. Trends shows that same sort of information, but based on current data, updated in real time. Right now, for example, the top searches are Transcendence (the movie), Mexico earthquake, Mt Everest (where there was a n accident and a dozen sherpas died), Lindsay Lohan list and the TV show Orphan Black, each of which is seeing over 50,000 searches in the previous hour from the US alone.
New things bubble up rather quickly in our hyper connected era so you’re right that paying close attention to Google Trends is a good way to reveal what’s breaking, what’s new and what’s suddenly popular in contemporary culture, what’s the zeitgeist. But by going to the page? Not so much.
Fortunately you can now subscribe to updates via email, which makes Trends even more useful.
Let’s start on the Trends home page, which looks like this:
Well, it’s going to look a bit different because it’s constantly updated, but it’ll look similar to this!
Look closely at the very top and you’ll see the little tip:
… wait for it …
… … wait for it … …
Click on “Try it now”.
Yeah, kinda obvious, right?
It’ll explain that you can go just about anywhere now in Trends and you’ll find a handy “subscription” button, like here, in Hot Searches:
Click on “Subscribe” and…
You can choose “Hottest”, “Hotter” or “Hot” to set up what will trigger an email being sent from the trend analysis side, but it’s also smart to set up the frequency option too:
I opted for “Once a day” and we’ll see how that works out.
So that’s it. Easy enough. Now you can set it up for yourself and tweak things to meet your own information needs. Good luck!
From afikomen to 1040EZ
People were looking for information on Palm Sunday and Good Friday ahead of Easter; searches for both days were even higher than searches for the Pope himself. Turning to another religious tradition, with Passover beginning on Monday we saw searches rise over 100 percent for Seder staples like [charoset recipe], [brisket passover] and of course [matzo balls]. Alongside these celebrations, U.S. citizens observed another annual rite of spring: taxes were due on April 15, leading to a rise in searches for [turbotax free], [irs] and (whoops) [turbotax extension].
But what made this year different from all other years? A rare lunar eclipse known as the “blood moon,” when the Earth’s shadow covers the moon, making it look red, and which occurred on Tuesday. There were more than 5 million searches on the topic, as people were eager to learn more. (Hint: if you missed seeing the blood moon this time around, keep your eyes on the sky in October. This is the first lunar eclipse in a “lunar tetrad,” a series of four total lunar eclipses each taking place six lunar months apart.)
Say goodbye and say hello
This week marked the first anniversary of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, and commemorations led searches for the term [boston strong] to rise once again. And just yesterday, we were saddened by the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian writer best known for his masterpiece “100 Years of Solitude”—not to mention responsible for high schoolers across the U.S. knowing the term “magical realism.” On a happier note, former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton announced she’s expecting.
Entertainment that makes you go ZOMG
“Game of Thrones” fans—at least those who hadn’t read the books—were treated to a bombshell in this past Sunday’s episode when (spoiler alert) yet another wedding turned murderous. Searches for [who killed joffrey] skyrocketed as people struggled to process the loss of the boy king we love to hate. On the more sedate end of the Sunday TV spectrum, we welcomed back AMC’s “Mad Men,” which continues to provide viewers with plenty of innuendo, allusion and fashion to chew on—and search for—in between episodes.
The trailer for the highly anticipated film version of “Gone Girl” dropped this week—vaulting searches for [gone girl trailer] nearly 1,000 percent—as did a clip from another book-to-movie remake, “The Fault in Our Stars.” Between these two films we expect no dry eyes in June and no intact fingernails come October. At least we’ve got something funny to look forward to: as news broke this week that Fox 2000 is developing a sequel to the 1993 comedy classic "Mrs. Doubtfire," searches on the subject have since spiked.
And that’s it for this week in search. If you’re interested in exploring trending topics on your own, check out Google Trends. And starting today, you can also sign up to receive emails on your favorite terms, topics, or Top Charts for any of 47 countries.
Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [gossip girl vulture recaps] and [tron bike lights]
It’s been a great success, but there is still much more to do. So this year, we’re taking the first steps toward extending CS4HS across the globe. We’re piloting CS4HS projects in Latin America for the first time—an area where computer science education is often mistaken for computer literacy (think word processing, typing, or changing settings on your operating system rather than robotics or coding a game). We’re also introducing eight new online workshops, so teachers no longer need to be located near a CS4HS event to get quality training.
It’s not just the “where” we’re expanding, but the “when,” as well. We’re now providing new resources for teachers to get ongoing, year-round help. Our Google+ Community page hosts Hangouts on Air with CS industry leaders, Googlers, and top educators on a regular basis. And we’ve added a new Resources page with online workshops, tutorials and information on computational thinking, robotics and more. Finally, if you happen to be in the neighborhood at the right time, sign up for one of our in-person workshops available around the world in these locations:
Posted by Erin Mindell Cannon, Google Education Program Manager
I know what you mean about the size of the screen and text, actually. I marvel at how my kids can watch movies on these little screens that are not much bigger than a playing card, but for them the privacy and convenience of the unit far outweighs the limitations of the screen. Then again, the resolution and brightness are great, so on the positive side it’s small, but it looks terrific.
Still, the screen on an iPad is expansive, and doubly so when compared to an iPhone screen. But at this point you can’t use an iPad Mini or iPad as a phone (though other companies like Nokia and Samsung have tablet-size smartphones, called “phablets” (phone + tablet) if you really wanted to switch.
Apple’s iOS 7 system supports different font sizes, however, though increasing the size doesn’t mean that absolutely everything on the device is bigger. Just the text where it can be resized, like in your text messages.
Let’s have a look!
Here’s my default text size with a back-and-forth via iMessage. Pay attention to how much dialog appears on the screen:
Nice, but it’s pretty small on the screen.
To fix that and make the text bigger, tap on “Settings” and look for the General settings:
Tap on General and look for “Text Size”:
You can see the entry you want: “Text Size”. Tap on it to make the text bigger or smaller on your messages, etc:
My default is pretty small, but sliding it all the way to the right will make everything bigger.
Adjust the slider, then go back to the text message screen:
As you can see there’s less on screen when you compare it to the first text message but the messages are bigger and easier to read.
Hope that helps you enjoy your iPhone more with its smaller screen. A little birdie suggests that by the end of the year there’ll be iPhones with bigger screens too, so stay tuned for that…
This is a new thing I'm doing. During work breaks I'm mixing and recording. I'm rediscovering mixing music and realizing how much I've missed it, so I'm making it part of my life again as a bedroom/studio DJ.
This is my first baby step in. Be gentle. Headphones on? Let's go.