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On day one of its annual I/O developers conference, Google launched a couple of new services and showed off improvements for many of its existing ones. Here are a few highlights:
The SFGate reported, "Google is making its strongest push yet to go after Facebook by revamping its Google+ social network with dozens of new features and enhancements, including self-editing photos, automatic hashtags and improved messaging. The changes, which were announced at Google’s developer conference Wednesday morning and began rolling out later in the day, show how Google is trying to use all of its technological heft against Facebook."
Computerworld's Martyn Williams noted, "Google is adding a new level of personalization and a cleaner interface to its popular Maps product. The next version of Google Maps, which will begin a limited rollout this week, will automatically add a layer of personalized landmarks for each user as long as they are logged into the service. For example, a restaurant a user frequents will be added as one of the landmarks. It might not appear to a different user, who may see a store they visit often instead."
ReadWrite's Owen Thomas added that Google revealed two new uses for Wallet: "The first, Google Wallet Instant Buy, allows developers—the focus of Google's efforts of late—to build Wallet as a checkout option on mobile apps, sparing the agonizing dozens of steps required to input a credit-card number, billing address, and other information needed to buy. The other, like eBay's PayPal service, lets Google Wallet users send money via email."
Alexei Oreskovic and Edwin Chan with Reuters observed, "Google Inc launched a music service on Wednesday that allows users to listen to unlimited songs for $9.99 a month, challenging smaller companies like Pandora and Spotify in the market for streaming music."
And CNET quoted Google CEO Larry Page who summed up the day, saying, "Technology should do the hard work, so people can get on doing the things that make them happiest in life."