The day Google unvieled Google+, TakeOut, and launched a new design, they also released something called Swiffy with minimal fanfare.
Swiffy is a Google Labs product and allows developers to convert Flash SWF files to HTML5, allowing reuse of Flash content on devices without a Flash player.
You can easily convert simple animations and ad banners but since the tool is still in early stages, don’t expect it to convert all flash content. You can check out the power of the tool in these examples. To use the program, you simply upload a SWF file and Swiffy returns HTML5 output. Swiffy will be really helpful for devices such as iPhone and iPad which doesn’t support Flash content. Steve Jobs has famously resisted Flash on iOS products, saying it crashes and is a battery hog. With Swiffy, that problem can be solved, allowing users access to more compatiable content on devices, which don’t support Flash.
It’s interested to note that Adobe released a similar tool called Wallaby, earlier this year. Swiffy is different from Wallaby, as explained by Google.
Wallaby is an installable tool that converts .fla files, whereas Swiffy is a web-based tool that converts .swf files. Wallaby focuses on reusing parts of a Flash file in HTML, and thus produces code that can be edited by the developer, whereas Swiffy generates an efficient format that is not that easily editable.
What does Adobe thinks of Swiffy? Google has an answer for that as well.
Adobe is pleased to see the Flash platform extended to devices which don’t support the Flash player. The result is that anyone creating rich or interactive ads can continue to get all the authoring benefits of Flash Pro and have the flexibility to run the ad in the Flash Player or HTML depending on what’s available on the system. Google and Adobe look forward to close collaboration around efforts like these.
Swiffy still has a long way to go, it looks promising. You converted a Flash file using Swiffy? Don’t forget to share it with us.
Back when I was in school, we had a skeleton in our laboratory which we would use during our Biology classes. Of course, I didn’t explore any more than bones, but it looks like I will be exploring much more than that now, thanks to Google’s Body Browser.
Google’s "Body Browser" is a Google Labs feature which allows users to browse a human body and get familiar with the human anatomy. The Body Browser is a detailed 3D model of a human body and allows you to peel back anatomical layers and zoom in and navigate through the different parts.
The Body Browser showcases the new 3D features in Google Chrome and allows you to easily rotate the 3D figure by clicking and dragging it. In addition to that it also allows you to drill down deep into the human body.
Body Browser is a amazing way to showcase what a web browser can do, and you should definitely try it out. Interested? Head over to http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com to experience it for yourself.
Google has been introducing several tools to help webmasters out like the speed test for checking your website load time. They have now released a new Google Labs project called Browser Size which will allow you to view your site in different screen resolutions.
To help you understand how everyone sees your website, we created a tool called Browser Size in our 20% time. Browser Size is based on a sample of data from visitors to google.com. Special code collects data on the height and width of the browser for a sample of users. For a given point in the browser, the tool will tell you what percentage of users can see it. For example, if an important button is in the 80% region it means that 20% of users have to scroll in order to see it. If you’re a web designer, you can use Browser Size to redesign your page to minimize scrolling and make sure that the important parts of the page are always prominent to your audience. We hope people will use this tool to make their websites better, in turn making the web better for everyone.
Browser Size allows users to view their websites behind a ruler which shows different percentage areas. According to the data collected by Google, the content appearing with the 80% area is more visible to the users and may lead to more actions from the users.
The tool definitely looks interesting and come in handy to webmasters to decide on placement of important content and links on their websites.
For more info on the Browser Size project visit the Official Google post and the Google Code post on Browser Size.
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Looks like lots of engineers in Google are making use of their 20% to work on personal projects. After the success of Gmail Labs, the folks at Google have now launched Labs for Google Calendar.
To access Labs feature in Google Calendar, you will need to go to settings and click on the Labs tab.
There are 6 new Labs features available right now for Google Calendar.
The available features include:
- Ability to add background images to your Google Calendar
- Ability to attach Google Docs document, spreadsheet or presentation to a event.
- World Clock for displaying time across the world.
- A feature to jump to any given date.
- A feature to display the next meeting that is coming up on your agenda.
- And a ability to set your status as free or busy.
The available features already look pretty interesting and like Gmail we are pretty sure to expect more exciting features.
What do you think of the new Labs features in Google Calendar?
Introduction Google Calendar Labs [Official Google Apps Blog]
Google has been coming up with several features, however many of them are usually in the Labs, where they go through rigorous testing before they some of them finally graduate to become stable products.
Once such interesting product in Gmail Labs was Google Tasks which allowed you to quickly take notes or add your emails to notes.
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Over a period of time Google Tasks was integrated into Google Calendar and you also had the option to access Google tasks from your desktop, it was getting more and more useful over a period of time.
The Gmail team has finally graduated this feature out of labs, however surprisingly this was the shortest period we have seen a feature graduate out of labs, which would mean that is more stable and widely used.
Starting today you will see a link for tasks under the contacts link in Gmail, the feature no longer requires users to enable it in Gmail Labs.
If you have not yet been using this, we definitely recommend you give it a try.
Tasks graduates from Gmail Labs [Official Gmail Blog]
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