A few of these new interface overhauls require option adjustments, so we’ll tell you exactly how you can give them a test drive. However, the rest of them are right there in the open and ready for you to use. Some of these have been around for a little while longer than others, but this should serve as a good round-up for what you might have been missing out on.
Google’s most basic tool that brought it fame and fortune – its search engine – has received a basic revamp that heavily incorporates a black unibar that provides quick access to your Google+ account. Furthermore, the traditional sidebar displays a brand new distinct red and black design. These are just simple theme changes, so you won’t be seeing anything totally different, and the theme itself is used with most other Google products (such as Google Maps), effectively bringing all of these tools together.
In addition to these graphical changes, the Google search function has recently implemented a few Chrome-only features such as voice search, a Tineye-like image search, and Instant Page. You can read more about these functions with this MakeUseOf news article – Google Adds More Innovative Search Features.
Here’s one of latest Google design changes that you may or may have not already accessed. You can change the look of Google Calendar by simply going to your options at the top right corner of the Google unibar and clicking “Try the new look”. The tool will function exactly like the Google Calendar that you know and love, and on top of that, it looks a whole lot nicer. Granted, you can always revert to the old layout by going through the same process.
As far as functionality goes, you may want to make use of the calendar’s Appointment Slot feature. It’s a fairly simple function, and it is designed for others to open up a personalized URL that you provide, view a pre-selected section of your personal calendar, and request appointments by selecting specific time blocks. In addition to this, users can see what times other individuals have blocked off for appointments. You can access it by setting up an event on the weekly view of your calendar.
If you want to dive into Google’s new look using Gmail, you should go to your options, click “Mail Settings”, and then select the “Themes” tab. At the very bottom of the theme selection, you will be able to find two recently-added ones – “Preview” and “Preview (Dense)”. Both options reflect Google’s products-wide theme changes, but the latter seems to place lines of text closer together (think double-space versus single-space). The design’s goal is to provide a less cluttered page space, and although it succeeds in doing this, Gmail provides no new real options to play with.
The new YouTube user interface – dubbed Cosmic Panda – features a cinema-style display as well as four templates for your personal channel. Each template coordinates with what kind of user that you may happen to be whether that is a creator, a blogger, a network, or even someone that just likes to post a little bit of everything.
You may have already noticed that YouTube’s remote player has a sleek black-themed design that provides a nice neutral color when posting on website. However, you can try out the rest of the on-site features by going here and clicking “Try Now”. For more info, check out YouTube “Cosmic Panda” Revamp Now Available To Try.
As I’ve said before, Blogger is the way to go if you are creating a personal blog due to its low-cost domains and fully-customizable designs. However, if you have used WordPress or Tumblr, you probably are aware that Blogger just doesn’t seem to be up to par with its main user interface. That can be a real turn-off for some potential users, and that is understandable.
As mentioned previously on MakeUseOf, Google has provided a feature entitled “Blogger In Draft” which enforces a total graphical overhaul to the Blogger user interface. Presenting itself as a feature that is merely being tested, the interface can be accessed by simply going to and opting to make it your default view of Blogger. This too is just a design change, so don’t expect anything more than just a pretty face. However, the one element that I truly appreciated was the much cleaner post editing area that takes up most of the browser window.
Google’s invasion of new user interfaces has yet to end, so be on the look-out for more products and products redux. If you’d like to take another peek at other Google projects-in-the-making, be sure to take a gander at MakeUseOf’s Other Google Labs That Will Help To Keep You Informed About Google Developments.
What are your favorite Google makeovers? Which ones could you do without? What existing features could be improved upon?