17 May 2014

Knowledge Graph Card in Google Maps

Google Maps for desktop added a "quick facts" card that uses information from the Knowledge Graph. If you search for a country, a state, a city, a district, a museum or any other important building, you'll find some information from Wikipedia.

Google Maps cards include a lot of useful information, depending on the context: events, transit information, hotel booking.

{ via +Google Maps }

Mobile Interface for Chrome Web Store

One of the most annoying things about Chrome Web Store was that it didn't work if you used a mobile phone or a tablet. Google only displayed a message that allowed you to send a reminder to download the app or extension from the desktop Chrome.

Chrome Web Store now has a mobile interface, but only for individual apps and extensions. The homepage, category pages and the search feature still aren't available. If you find a link to a Chrome app or extension, you can now open it in your favorite mobile browsers, read the description, check the screenshots and some other details. You can't read or write reviews, install extensions remotely, find related extensions, go to the homepage or to a category.

{ via Fran├žois Beaufort }

PayPal Billing in Google Play

Google Play added support for a very popular payment service: PayPal. "We're making it possible for people to choose PayPal for their Google Play purchases in 12 countries, including the U.S., Germany, and Canada. When you make a purchase on Google Play in these countries, you'll find PayPal as an option in your Google Wallet; just enter your PayPal account login and you'll easily be able to make purchases," informs Google.

Here's the full list of countries where PayPal is now supported: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United States, United Kingdom. One important notice: "PayPal can't be used to purchase devices or accessories on Google Play or for other purchases that use Google Wallet outside of the Play Store."

Google has always tried to promote its own payment service, whether it was called Google Checkout or Google Wallet, so why would Google add support for a competing service? Google offers an answer: "Sales of apps and games on Google Play are up by more than 300 percent over the past year. And today, two-thirds of Google Play purchases happen outside of the United States, with international sales continuing to climb. We're hoping to fuel this momentum by making Google Play payments easier and more convenient for people around the world."

In addition to supporting PayPal, Google also added carrier billing to 7 more countries (including Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan) and Google Play gift cards to 13 more countries (including Japan and Germany). "Developers based in 13 new countries can now sell apps on Google Play (with new additions such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey), bringing the total to 45 countries with support for local developers."

16 May 2014

Advanced Gmail Filters That Aren’t Available in Gmail

Gmail filters help you automatically sort email messages based on rules. So if your boss has sent an email message, the filter can mark it as important. If the email has the word “Unsubscribe” somewhere in the message body, it can be marked as a promotional message and so on.

How to Create Advanced Gmail Filters

While the built-in Gmail filters are powerful, they do have certain limitations.

For instance, you cannot have a Gmail filter that does case-sensitive search. It will treat WHO and who as same. Gmail filters won’t do pattern matching (regular expressions) so you cannot have a filter for messages that contain phone numbers.

We often get spam messages that have a few dozen addresses in the TO and CC fields but there’s no filter to automatically redirect such messages to the SPAM folder of Gmail. That’s where Google Scripts can help. You can setup advanced filters that aren’t available in the native version of Gmail.

Advanced Gmail Filters

What you see above is a set of 10 Gmail filters that were created with Apps Script. You can have a filter to process messages that contain tons of links. Or messages that have too many attachments. Or messages that have just a word or two in the message body.

The best part is that you don’t have to know scripting to use either of these filters. Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click here to copy the Gmail Filters sheet into your Google Drive. You can write OFF to deactivate any of the available rules.

  2. Go to the Gmail Filters menu in the sheet, choose Initialize and grant the necessary permissions to the script.

  3. Now choose Turn-on Gmail Filter to activate your filters. You may close the Google sheet now.

Here’s what happens behind the scenes. The script will run in the background every 10 minutes and monitor any new unread messages in your Gmail inbox. It will then run the various rules against these messages. The native filters in Gmail take precedence and then your custom rules specified in the sheet are applied.

You can also look at the source code to understand how the various rules were created.

Awesome Google Scripts → Custom Google Scripts →

This story, Advanced Gmail Filters That Aren’t Available in Gmail, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 15/05/2014 under GMail, Internet

13 May 2014

The Best Places to Find Free, High-Res Images for your Website

Good, high-quality images add visual interest to your website. Another reason why photos have become so important is because web pages that include good photos get better engagement when shared on social sites like Twitter and Facebook.

high quality photo

Download High Quality Images for Free

The web offers billions of photos that are just a Google search away. The images that are in public domain, or licensed under the Creative Commons license, can be used without any copyright issues.

The only problem is that Google may not always surface the best content that is free. Their algorithms, at least for image search, prefer pages from premium stock photography websites and the free listings thus lose out. If Google isn’t helping in your quest for images, here are some of the best websites where you may find high-quality photos for free.

1. unsplash.com (Unsplash) – This is my favorite website for downloading high-resolution photographs. Subscribe to the email newsletter and you’ll get 10 photos in your inbox every 10 days. All images are under the CC0 license meaning they are in public domain and you are free to use them in any way you like.

2. google.com (LIFE) – The Google images website hosts millions of historical photographs from the LIFE library. You can add source:life to any query in Google image search to find these images and they are free for personal, non-commercial use.

3. flickr.com (The British Library) – The national library of the UK has uploaded over a million vintage photographs and scanned images to Flickr that are now in pubic domain and they encourage re-use.

4. picjubmo.com (Picjumbo) – Here you’ll find exceptionally high-quality photos for your personal and commercial use. The pictures have been shot by the site owner himself and all he requests for in return is proper attribution.

5. pixabay.com (Pixabay) – All the images on Pixabay are available under the CC0 license and thus can be used anywhere. Like Flickr, there’s an option to browse photographs by camera model as well.

6. publicdomainarchive.com (Public Domain Archive) – This is an impressive online repository of public domain images that are neatly organized in categories. It contains only high quality photos though the collection is limited at this time.

7. commons.wikimedia.org (Wikimedia Commons) – The site hosts 21+ million images under some kind of free license or in the public domain. The images are arranged in categories or you can find images through search keywords.

8. superfamous.com (Super Famous) – Another great resource for finding high-res images for your websites and other design projects. The images are licensed under Creative Commons and require attribution.

old historical photos

9. nos.twnsnd.co (New Old Stock) – Here you will find a curated collection of vintage photographs from public archives that are free of any copyright restrictions. If you are trying to create a twitter feed like @HistoricalPics, this might be a good source for images.

10. freeimages.com (Stock Exchange) – This is one of the biggest repositories of free images and graphics that you can use for almost any purpose. You do however need to sign-in to download the images. The site, previously hosted on the schx.hu domain, is now part of Getty Images.

11. morguefile.com (Morgue File) – The site hosts 300,000+ free images and you are free to use them in both personal and commercial projects even without attribution. The image gallery has a built-in cropping tool and you can even hotlink the images from your website.

Related: Protect your photos from Casual Copying

12. gettyimages.com (Getty Images) – If you are looking for professional images for your website but without the expensive license fee, Getty has something in store for you. You can embed pictures from Getty Images for free on your website though in future, the embeds may carry ads.

13. pdpics.com (Public Domain Photos) – The website contains thousands of royalty free images that can be used in both personal and commercial projects but with attribution. Unlike other sites that merely curate content, the images found here have been clicked by their in-house photographers.

14. imcreator.com (IM Free) – A curated collection of outstanding high-quality photos on all subjects that are also free for commercial use. The images have mostly been sourced from Flickr and require attribution.

15. photopin.com (Photo Pin) – Flickr is among the biggest repository of photographs on the web and Photo Pin helps you easily find photos on Flickr that are available under the Creative Commons license. You get the embed code as well so you don’t have to host the images on your own server.

Tip: How to avoid common photos

You may have found a great photo that is perfect for your project but there’s a probability that several other websites are using the same image. It will therefore help if you do a reverse image search using Google Images to estimate the relative popularity of that image on the Internet.

Also see: Sell your Instagram & Facebook Photos

This story, The Best Places to Find Free, High-Res Images for your Website, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 12/05/2014 under Creative Commons, Images, Internet