Practically everyone on the Internet uses Google for one of its many services. Once only a search engine, today it offers a variety of online tools and software titles that enable the user to write text, create presentations and websites, host their videos, work with e-mail and much more.
With all these offerings, getting the best out of them and discovering cool features can sometimes be time consuming. Fortunately, there's "Google Apps Hacks", a typical O'Reilly title that cuts to the chase, eliminates the tedious introductions and makes the reader say: "I never thought you could do that!"
About the author
Philipp Lenssen runs Google Blogoscoped at blogoscoped.com, a daily news source starded in Malaysia covering all things Google, from Gmail, Orkut and web search to Google Docs, usability issues, YouTube and everything in-between.
Inside the book
Since its live debut in April 2004, Gmail has quickly become the preferred online e-mail service, taking users from industry giants such as Hotmail and Yahoo. Users flocked to the simple yet effective interface, unobtrusive ads, POP support, several gigabytes of storage and nearly perfect spam protection. What's great about Gmail is its flexibility and there are many features (both supported and unsupported) you can take advantage of. Among many other things, this book teaches you how to organize messages, forward messages to your cellphone, use pseudographical signatures and even use Gmail as your online hard drive.
Webmasters have many hacks at their disposal since this book also deals with Google Analytics in general, customizing your website for search engines, promoting your website using Google Gadgets, visualizing traffic with DIY vector graphics, and many more.
Organization junkies will be able to take Google Calendar by the horns and take advantage of a plethora of options after just a few pages from this book. Lenssen shows you how to access your calendar on the go with a mobile phone, how to keep track of other people by subscribing to public calendars, put a calendar XML widget on your blog, give your calendar a unique style, etc.
Besides all these topics, the author goes deep into a variety of other Google services and even though the book is all about Google, Lenssen does give alternatives and mentions several other services and software packages the reader may be interested in.
There's so much information in this book that you're bound to learn new ways of working with Google Apps and taking your productivity on another level. Lenssen does a good job with a clear writing style and tips for both novice and seasoned users.
All in all, O'Reilly once again delivers a great title from the Hacks series, one that every Google user should take a look at.