Google Docs Adds New Features for Videos

For as long as I have been using Google Docs you have been able to play videos from within it.  But, now, according to Google, “you can now insert your videos into Google Sites, embed them anywhere on the web, and caption them for your viewers.”

Google Sites has added “Google Docs Video” to it’s insert menu, to go along with Google Video and YouTube.  From within Google Docs you will now be able to get an embed code, just as you can on a YouTube page.  The code will work exactly the same embed code does from other video services.  Finally, you can caption videos to make them more accessible for the hearing impaired.  This has the added bonus of creating a transcript of your video, which will make it available from within search.  According to the Google announcement you can “give it a try, choose Manage caption tracks from the Actions menu for your video, then click Upload caption track… Anyone who has edit access can upload a track.”

There is mention of a gradual roll-out, as these Google releases frequently have.  So, it should be available for everyone right now.  To check it out you can just visit the Google Docs site.

Google Sites get Automatic Mobile Rendering

Everyone is talking about the mobile revolution, but today Google announced the next step in it.  All of Google Sites properties are now receiving automatic mobile rendering.  The new update is compatible with iOS 3.0+ and Android 2.2+ devices.  According to Google’s announcement:

By going to General settings under More actions > Manage site and clicking on Automatically adjust site for mobile phones, your Google site will be automatically adjusted whenever it’s viewed from an iOS or Android 2.2+ device:

The most noticeable automatic adjustments include:

  • Aligning the header layout and top bar
  • Fitting the width of the site to match the device’s width
  • Smart handling of sidebars, horizontal navigation, and dropdown links

After you’ve enabled this feature, you can preview the page from your computer as a mobile viewer using More actions > Preview as viewer (Mobile).

In addition to that, Google says that you can hide links in your site’s footer to save vertical space, as well as a search option for your Site and Site categories.

To access the new capability you can use either iOS 3.0+ or Android 2.2+ to navigate to Google Sites.  It’s a nice, but probably not huge, step in the march forward to more and more wireless access.  It’s also likely to prompt other web heavyweights to move in this same direction.