Googly bits

Google Spreadsheets now has an autofill box, meaning I can drag a cell to automatically extend a series. So if I enter ‘Monday’ and ‘Tuesday’ in consecutive boxes, then highlight and drag the node, it’ll fill in the rest of the days of the week. This is a useful feature in offline applications, and will undoubtedly come in handy online, but there’s a hidden payload: press control while dragging and it’ll look for correlations in Google Sets. I entered ‘monkeys’ and ‘cats’, and it extended the third box with ‘iguanas’. ‘Han’ and ‘Leia’ produced ‘Luke Skywalker’, ‘C3PO’ and ‘R2D2’. Now that’s pretty cool.

GS also added support for external data. Online XML, HTML, RSS feeds, and .csv files can all be referenced, with imported data updated every few hours. That’s extremely powerful, especially when you combine it with the ability to publish – I can now link directly to the data in another user’s Google Spreadsheet. Since the code’s already there, I imagine this’ll be extended to Google Docs pretty soon.

Google Reader now finally has a search box, and also maxes out counts at 1000 rather than displaying ‘100+ items unread’. That’s pretty much all the missing functionality I wanted.

Finally, Gmail and ‘Picasa Web Albums’ users can now buy more storage space, with 6gb costing $20/year. 250gb is $500/year. Clearly, nobody needs 250gb for email and pictures…Google drive, anyone?