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Google+ Community Guides; Google+ badge Available to All; Gmail with Dynamic Screen Densities, HD Theme Support

Google+ logoGoogle+ badge is now out of preview and available to all users on all sites. “Today, we officially begin our roll out of that badge by making it available to Google+ platform preview group,” revealed Todd Volkert, Technical lead, Google+ badge.

“To get the Google+ badge, sign up for the group and then visit our configuration tool and choose the badge size that’s best for your site. If you’re in the group, you may also begin to encounter the badge as you browse around the web.”

Also, Google has launched a series of community guides to help organization thrive on Google+. “There are thousands of vibrant communities on Google+. We hope these new community guides will help you and your organization connect, follow and share with the communities you care about the most,” stated Steve Grove, Head of Community Partnerships, Google+.

Grove notes, “On the site, you can find out how to get your organization started on Google+, and learn how other groups like yours–universities, political organizations, nonprofits, sports, media companies and celebrities–are using the platform.”

“You’ll also find case studies and ideas for how organizations or individuals in each of these communities have used Google+ effectively. For example, you’ll see how NBC’s Breaking News Google+ page is using the platform to deliver breaking news; or how the Dallas Cowboys are using hangouts to connect with fans; or how celebrities like Conan O’Brien are announcing their Google+ pages to the world,” revealed Grove.

Google+ Community Guides

Google+ has also made a few tweaks to how its search function operates, and has added the obligatory trending topics its search results pages.

The first change is right in the search box itself — as you begin typing a search query, Google+ now separates possible matches in a pop-up window with People or Pages that may match your query.

Google+ Search Box

Now, the search resuts have two tabs with different options. The first tab has “Everything, People, Google+ Posts and Sparks”, while a second tab adds filtering options for what content sources you might want to search: “From everyone, From your circles and From you.”

And as you see on the far right, trending topics is now part of the search results page, too.

Google+ Search

Google has quietly added a “trending topics” to Google+ which shows up when you perform a search on Google Plus, reports Richard Lusk.

The new “Trends” section appears on the right-hand side of the page, and currently lists the top 10 items under heavy discussion like “Natalie Wood” and “Breaking Dawn,” for example.

Because the feature only appears after you perform a search, Lusk and others are suggesting that “Trends” should appear next to the homepage’s main stream, where the feature would be more obvious.

Google+ Trending Topics

In other Google new, the new look Gmail user interface makes it easier to follow conversations and spot the sender with profile pictures for each message.

The new look also supports dynamic screen densities, so Gmail displays properly whether you’re viewing on a large desktop monitor or a smaller mobile screen.

“We added a density setting to the gear menu in the toolbar to make sure that everybody can find a setting that works for them: Comfortable, Cozy, or Compact,” revealed Jason Cornwell, User Experience Designer.

Cornwell explains “Comfortable is the spacing that we recommend for most people. With your density set to Comfortable, the display adjusts fluidly based on screen size.”

And, “Compact is the densest setting and matches the line spacing that existing Gmail users are used to. With your density set to Compact the display will stay dense no matter what size your window is.”

While, “Cozy is somewhere in the middle. With your density set to Cozy the display will get a little denser when you make your window small but the changes aren’t as dramatic.”

“You can try this out yourself if you are using Gmail’s new look. Open up Gmail and make your browser window much smaller. Everything should crunch down as you adjust to give you a better experience in a smaller window. No matter what size your browser window is, Gmail should look and feel great out of the box,” Cronwell explained.

Google also added a selection of beautiful HD themes to the existing gallery. You can browse what some of the new themes look like below:

Finally, the Gmail team also made it easier to perform advanced email searches using a panel of powerful search options that reveals with a single click.

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