What You Missed This Week in Web Apps

Last week was a great one for data lovers who were waiting for a bird’s eye view of 2010 as it comes to a close. Google and Twitter published the trends they’ve spotted based on user engagement at their sites, Bing tweaked flight travel search, Hunch lent a helping hand to find gifts, Chrome crossed 10,000 extensions and Posterous launched groups.

Read on for some of this week’s best web app news and updates you might’ve missed!

Top Trends on Twitter

Trends on Twitter

Trends on Twitter

As the year draws to a close, everybody who is somebody on the internet came out with their top trends or topics and so has Twitter. From earthquakes and politics to popstars and hashtags, Twitter Trends are a window into what the world is talking about. The top most topic to trend all through the year was the Gulf oil spill, followed by FIFA World Cup and Inception (the movie). While at it, do check out the gorgeous tree view of important people who joined Twitter this year.

Hunch Gift-O-Matic Predicts Gift Ideas for Twitter Users

Picking up gifts is an art; to master it, you have to actually listen to people what they are saying (tough task!). Now that the conversation has spilled over into the internet universe, you can actually look for clues as to what a person wants only when have to. The ultra reliable recommendation engine Hunch has launched Gift-o-Matic to make your task even simpler. Enter any Twitter username into the Gift-o-matic and it will predict specific gifts that the person might like. Voila!

Chrome Crosses 10,000 Extensions

Chrome Extensions

Chrome Extensions

While Google Chrome has no respect for version numbers, they did take time out to boast about their extensions count. Apparently Chrome now has over 10,000 extensions (themes and plugins put together) that enhance the capability of the browser. While Chrome extensions are not as fully featured as their counterparts and competitors at the Firefox Plugin repository, they help get the job done.

Google Zeitgeist 2010

Google Zeitgeist

Google Zeitgeist

Nobody processes (snoops) data as Google does. Based on the aggregation of billions of search queries people typed into Google this year, Zeitgeist captures the spirit of 2010. If not for anything, check out the neatly designed page that makes data consumption so much simpler.

Find and Book Flights Faster With Bing

After Google’s acquisition of airline software maker ITA, a lot of folks in the online travel and search verticals are worried. If the deal gets regulatory nod, there’s a very good chance that Google gets a lion’s share of the travel search market, worth billions of dollars. Bing is the first one from that list to announce faster flight search and booking for its users. You can use a number of different combinations including airline names, number of stops or time of year in your searches. Should be useful for planning trips for the holidays!

Email Delegation Comes to Gmail

Gmail Delegation

Gmail Delegation

People who use email more often mostly prefer Gmail, mainly for its powerful features and simplicity. If you’re a Gmail user, there’s a pretty good chance that you have multiple Gmail accounts. Until now, accessing multiple accounts means you will have to log out of one and login to another—not anymore. With the new email delegation feature, you  can grant your personal account access to a shared account and view, organize and send mail on behalf of that shared account. Sounds nice and easy!

Teach Parents Tech

Teach Your Parents Tech

Teach Your Parents Tech

Parents, however learned they are, are often wary or slow to adopt new technology, in particular computers and internet. Yes, you can teach them how to do it, but everyone has their learning curve (and patience!). Why not let people who actually know a lot about Internet teach them with professionally created videos? For free. And how convinced would you be if it were Google? Should really be a fun learning experience for parents and computer newbies as well.

Restore Your Contacts

Restoring Contacts

Restoring Contacts

The great thing with the advent of smartphones is the manner in which they moved contacts to the cloud and simplified navigation with digital maps. Google Contacts is the primary mode of syncing contacts to the cloud if you are using an iOS or Android mobile. Accidental edits and deletions happen while on the go and at times can be so devastating. Thanks to Google, now we get to restore contacts by date and time. Visit Gmail’s Contacts section, select “Restore contacts” in the “More actions” menu, and choose the time you would like to revert to. You can go back for about 30 days.

Introducing Posterous Groups

Posterous Groups

Posterous Groups

Posterous lets you run a blog by just sending an email to a preset email address. While not as huge as Tumblr, they do have a sizable userbase. Posterous Groups is a new service for communicating privately with your friends, family and colleagues.  Every time you post to the group, all members will receive the full content as an email and the default privacy setting is set Private. This should comfort people that their content is sent only to the hand picked audience.

Share Your Thoughts!

What news from the app universe grabbed your attention in the past few days?


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