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Googleholic for June 7, 2008

Welcome to Googleholic, your bi-weekly fix of everything Google!

In this, day late, dollar short edition:

  • Inside the Google favicon redesign
  • Get transit schedules from Google Maps for mobile
  • Explore the Magic Kingdom in 3D
  • Location-aware Applications now available to 3rd party developers
  • Round-up of other Google stories we covered this week

Inside the Google favicon redesign

Last week, we noted that Google redesigned their favicon. This week, the Official Google Blog sheds some light on the decision to change the icon, the design process and additional changes to how the favicon is displayed.

A unique logo set has been created and specific favicons have been formatted for different types of devices. So the favicon you see on your iPhone is different from the favicon that appears in a mobile browser like Opera or a regular web browser.

[via Official Google Blog]

Get transit schedules from Google Maps for mobile

Google Maps for mobile, which is available for the BlackBerry and other Java based phones, has just received a pretty cool upgrade: transit maps and directions.

In more than 50 cities worldwide, you can get instant access to bus and train schedules, directions to the nearest station using the My Location feature, find out how late the bus or trains are running on a particular day and more.

BlackBerry and other Java-based phones have access to the new features now and Google says they are working on bringing it out to other platforms soon.

[via Official Google Mobile blog]

Explore the Magic Kingdom in 3D

Many of us have fond childhood memories of spending our summers vacationing at Disney World in Orlando, Fl. Alas, the high-cost of gasoline (and the fact that we're 25, unmarried and without children) will probably keep us away from the Magic Kingdom this year. Physically anyway.

Google Earth has teamed with Disney to recreate the Walt Disney World Resort in 3D. After installing the latest version of Google Earth (which we managed to get working in OS X 10.5.3 by setting the Java settings to Java SE 6), type in "Disney World" and then click on the golden Mickey Mouse ears.

There are 3D models of all four parks and more than 20 of Disney's hotels, for more than 1500 3D models that can be zoomed in on and viewed from every angle. We found it to be surprisingly cool -- it totally brought out the kid in us!

[via Official Google Blog]

Location-aware Applications now available to 3rd party developers

We already discussed one application of Google's location-aware software in our item about Google Maps for mobile and transit maps. Now, Google is opening up that technology to 3rd party developers as well.

Google Gears for Windows Mobile and Android already have the location API built-in, but other phone platforms, especially the iPhone, can expect to see programs taking advantage of the My Location function in the coming months.

Google has a video explaining the feature and expects to see more and more uses of the technology in the future.

With the 3G iPhone and the 2.0 firmware launch just around the corner, it will certainly be interesting to see how the technology can be used in mobile applications.

[via Official Google Mobile Blog]

Round-up of other Google stories we covered this week

  • Google launches Gmail labs -- Gmail users have probably noticed the new "Labs" tab under Settings. The new feature allows users to beta-test new features. There are 13 so far and more will be added in the future.
  • Google Gadgets for Linux -- Google Desktop for Linux finally catches up to the Mac and PC counterpart by getting support for Google Gadgets. These gadgets are essentially desktop widgets that can do things like show the latest weather forecast, control media software and act as an instantly available calculator.
  • YouTube adds annotations -- Taking a cue from Viddler, YouTube now allows users to add annotations in a variety of formats (including speech bubbles) to your own videos.
  • Goosh: Unix shell style Google interface -- Unleash your inner-geek with Goosh, a shell interface for Google that mimicks Unix. Not only can you access tons of different Google services from one page, you get to totally nerd-out in the process.

Tags: google, google earth, google maps, google mobile, GoogleEarth, googleholic, GoogleMaps, GoogleMobile