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New Google Bar Features Quicker Navigation Across Google Products and Google+

Continuing with their roll out of a new look and feel to create a beautifully simple and intuitive user experience across Google Properties such as: Search, News, Maps, Translate, Gmail and a bunch of other products.

Google has today announced the “next stage of redesign”–a new Google bar that will enable you to navigate quickly between our services, as well as share the right stuff with the right people easily on Google+.

“Instead of the horizontal black bar at the top of the page, you’ll now find links to your services in a new drop-down Google menu nested under the Google logo. We’ll show you a list of links and you can access additional services by hovering over the “More” link at the bottom of the list. Click on what you want, and you’re off,” blogged Eddie Kessler, Technical Lead.

New Google Bar with Google+

“Above each of Google’s products, the gray bar has three main regions. On the left, the Google logo contains a drop-down menu with links to Google services that displays when you hover over or click on it. The central area contains a search box for the Google service you are currently using. The right side features a share box and notifications to participate on Google+ from any Google page.”

Even if you are not signed in to your Google account, you can still navigate to Google’s services through the drop-down menu displayed under Google’s logo.

When visiting the Google homepage, the Google bar’s product menu may be expanded, displaying top Google products. Click the “More” section to reach additional properties.

To sign out, switch accounts or manage your account, click your picture on the upper right hand side and select the appropriate action.

The Google bar’s notifications icon displays the number of alerts on your Google+ account, which can show you new people who added you to a circle, activity on your stream, or posts shared directly with you. You can view these notifications by clicking on the number in the red box.

“You can share to your circles on Google+ from the Google bar, no matter what Google property you are using,” explains Help Center article.

new google bar: drop-down menu displayed under google's logo

new google bar: expanded product menu

google+ circles on new google bar

Here is the video demonstration:

To try out the new Google Bar; If you use Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+, open google.com in a new tab, load Chrome’s JavaScript console (Ctrl+Shift+J), Firefox’s Web Console (Ctrl+Shift+K), Safari’s Web Inspector (how to do that?) or IE’s Developer Tools (press F12 and select the “console” tab) and paste the following code:

document.cookie="PREF=ID=03fd476a699d6487:U=88e8716486ff1e5d:FF=0:LD=en:CR=2:TM=1322688084:LM=1322688085:S=McEsyvcXKMiVfGds; path=/; domain=.google.com";window.location.reload();

Then close the console. If you’re not in the US and you’re using a different Google domain, replace “.google.com” with your domain in the code (for example: “.google.co.uk” in the UK).

In other Google Products news, the settings page of Google Reader now has a new section where you’ll find “experiments you can choose to opt-in and try out”. It’s like a small Google Reader Labs that only has a single experiment you can enable: smooth scrolling. This feature makes the transition between items smoother and it’s especially useful in the expanded view.

“While this feature is more difficult to find, you’ve probably noticed the colorful ball that’s displayed when Google Reader loads new posts. The animation is one of the few colorful elements from the new Google Reader interface,” revealed Alex.

smooth scrolling in google reader

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