Google Images Gets a New Look As Competition Builds

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Google's logo echoes Manhattan Records' Mondrian-inspired label

Google is becoming an ever-present part of my use of technology, for both fun and business.  I use such services as  Gmail, Documents, Maps, Calendar, Voice, Images, Scholar (and maybe a few others) in increasing amounts.

As competition increases between Google, Apple, Bing, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter and other major sites, their use of the content they have cataloged is beginning to add more bells and whistles.

If the most desirable things on the web are video, music and photos, YouTube, the forthcoming Google Music (also known as Google Audio) and Images are vital to the company maintaining its preeminence as a search engine and building itself into an entertainment destination that will compete with iTunes, etc.

I am constantly using image search in my quest to restore the artwork of my 4000 albums in iTunes, and in the past day or two, Google Images has been given a major update where most text is removed from the results page.  Linking to a site where the image originates replaces the frame with “see larger image” with a superimposed image over the site, as if Google Image knows you are only there for the image, not the text!

We would all chose Google’s offices and design scheme over the clutter and stench of CBGB’s, but somehow it feels a bit sterile as an entertainment hub.  Gymboree might be the only entertainment venue which have a similar feel as Google’s art, but there is also precedent in the Mondrian-esque logo of Manhattan Records in the early 80s.

Gmail is something I wouldn’t want to do without.  It protects my mailing lists in the cloud (supposedly), is accessible from any device; is fast and reliable; includes a chat function and consolidates addresses.  As a result, my paid account with Earthlink will end after 15 years.

Calendar provides the ability to organize as well as publicize and share info about events easily.

Documents and Wave allow collaboration on a variety of formats.  Buzz and YouTube are social tools and you could say Google Voice takes it to another level (and back at the same time with old school answering machine functions).

I hope they aren’t spreading themselves too thin.  As (GM and) Google goes, so goes the USA!

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