Tagged: Google

New Google logo & icons in vector format

Google logo & icons

EpicPxls has provided the new Google logo, and icons for Google, Google+, Maps, News, Business and Translate in vector format. They look great. At first glance, anyway.

The bad news is that EpicPxls chose the most convoluted and sloppy way to provide the icons to you. The file you will download is a single tiny PSD file. Each icon is saved in a Layer Group in the layers panel that contains various Shape layers for each color in the icon. So technically they are vector art. They’re just not the easiest to work with.

If you choose to select the appropriate shapes and paste them into Adobe Illustrator to save them as individual proper logo files (as I have), you’ll also notice that you may need to do some cleanup work on the paths.

Still, this is much easier than trying to find the official vector files on Google’s own Developer site.

How to disable Flash in Google Chrome browser for Mac

If you’re like me and find Flash to be an annoyance with its constant crashing, slowing down your browsing, security risks, and ramping-up of your Mac’s cooling fans when in use, you’ll no doubt want to turn off/remove Flash from your Mac. If you use Firefox or Safari, you simply have to remove the System Preference Pane item by right-clicking the icon and choosing to remove it.

If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, it’s a bit more difficult. That’s because Google includes Flash as part of the browser itself. Thankfully, they’ve included it as a plug-in which can be turned off.

Disable Flash in Chrome

Type about:plugins in the URL bar and hit Return/Enter. A list of the plug-ins you have installed is displayed. Note that these are plug-ins, not extensions you install from the Chrome Store. Find the Adobe Flash Player plugin in the list and tick the Disable checkbox. After restarting Chrome, Flash will be off.

The downside is that Flash will be re-enabled the next time Google updates Chrome, which is quite often. You can download Flash blocker extensions, but I prefer to completely remove it and save myself the overhead of having yet another extension installed.

Recent acquisitions should make you wary of buying new apps

The headline sounds a bit over-the-top, I know. But it sums-up my point best. With Google acquiring Sparrow (the extremely popular email client software for OS X and iOS), and Facebook buying out Acrylic (makers of the popular RSS reader, Pulp), and Instagram, it’s clear that no matter how small or large your favorite app or service is – it’s entirely possible that it will cease to exist at any time.

Software acquisitions

With Instagram, Facebook chose to allow it to live-on for now – but I suspect it will eventually get fully integrated into Facebook’s brand apps. Unfortunately, Google has not been as kind. They’ve made it clear that they have no intention on adding features to it in the future. It’s dead. And while Facebook only hired the developers and not purchased the apps themselves, they’re essentially dead as well.

I’m not suggesting that you should not buy apps from independent developers. They’re what makes the Apple community great. And I absolutely do not blame any developer for selling their company for large sums of money. They worked hard to create a great app or service and they deserve the rewards.

But you should take these recent acquisitions into consideration when you purchase your next app that may be a mission-critical one. Let me give you an example. (more…)

Why Google+ is losing the battle with Facebook: It’s simple

Facebook vs. Google+

If you’re using a Mac (and you probably are if you visit this website), one reason you do is probably because it’s simple to use and maintain. If you’re a designer in the advertising business you know that the simpler the ad, the better the results.

Simple is always better. Simple-to-use always beats feature-rich-but-complicated. If you believe that, then you know why Facebook is beating the digital pants off Google+ in the social media arena.

Facebook is a fairly simple service:

  1. You sign up
  2. You search for friends or companies you want to follow
  3. You click a “Like” button on their page
  4. You get a feed of everything they post (text and photos)

There’s very little thinking or learning-curve involved with using Facebook. Finding new friends is dead simple using Facebook, as is finding brands you wish to follow, and sharing photos and video. There is very little in the way of techy lingo used on the site, and outside of the privacy controls, the entire site is easy for even the most non-geek user to navigate and use. Now let’s look at Google+. (more…)

Check your website’s Page and Alexa rank easily

For those who are interested (or obsessed) in knowing their website’s Google Page Rank and Alexa ranking, as well as keeping up with competing website rankings, Rranks is a quick and easy way to do so.

Rranks

Click to check your website's Page & Alexa rank

Simply type the web address of the site you want to check into the box and you’re instantly given the site’s Page Rank, Alexa rank, and age of the site right down to the day.