Google Buzz

Google today announced Buzz, which is kind of an uber-mashup of Twitter, Facebook, Four Square and just about any other social network you can think of. Share photos, locations -- whatever -- all in real time. It's built in to gmail (some people are already seeing it live), and also plays a big part in the mobile space (natch).

Google BuzzFor starters, go to buzz.google.com, and you'll be taken to a Web app that lets you see and create Buzz messages. You can see messages from people you "follow" or interact with often, or you can see messages from people nearby.

It's also tied into Google Maps. There will be (I don't see it yet -- anybody else?) a Buzz layer that will let you see Buzz messages anywhere on the map. And then there's a voice shortcut for Android phones that support the feature. Just say  "Post buzz" and then say your peace.

It looks like Buzz may take a little getting used to. Or it might remain as vague as Wave. We'll see. In the meantime, check out a couple of videos detailing Buzz after the break. [Google]

Update: As Skritt points out in the comments, check for an update to Google Maps (We're now at Version 4.0, people) and you'll now see the Buzz layer.

 

Reader comments

Google launches Buzz - it's like FaceTwitterSquare ... with gmail

53 Comments

hahaha you must have been posting this as i was sending it to you! I looked in my maps right away no luck here (have a droid with the latest maps update).. any thoughts on this coming with the droid software update this week or is it going to be a separate maps update/in the labs?

Do we have to enable something on gmail, because I dont see the buzz label on my gmail account. And i'm using Chrome

Yeah, me too. I clicked the big "Try Buzz in Gmail" button, and it takes me to my inbox... with no Buzz. Also using Chrome.

I'm using a Hero, stuck at 1.5 for now, and while I know that I'm not going to see it in my map application (which doesn't support layers) I'm surprised to not see it in the browser either. Although, perhaps I shouldn't since 1.5 also does not support "Near me now" in the browser which I'm sure is using some similar tech. While I know that an update is coming, I'm becoming increasing frustrated that my android phone, which is currently sold by Sprint, is not supported by Google as well as they support my original iPhone which is now almost 3 years old.

I know that ultimately updates are the business of the handset maker and the carrier, but Google needs to step up and provide some leadership in this. It's not in the best interest of their platform to have the vendors drag their feet pushing out updates and while I enjoy the Sense and MotoBlur UIs, I can't help but see them now as just more to get in the way of timely updates.

I was within 1 week of buying the Hero from Sprint, when the Droid with 2.0 came out. I thought I would wait until it was confirmed the Hero would be updated. Well after waiting until CES, I just felt the Android platform was too fractured.

At CES, Palm announced their 7th update to the Pre. I was sold. While my Pre may not be as cool as the Droid or N1, it is being well supported by the phone company, not the service provider. I hope to see Android succeed as I think the competition makes all the phone better. I just wish there was more consistency. PS, I am a phone nerd so Android Central and PreCentral are required reading.

A bonus on this buzz update, I got pinch to zoom on the maps app before the 2.1 update drops for Droid!

Anyone have an idea how to get google maps to update when going to the m.google.com/maps page doesn't have that option. I can either launch the version I have or search online maps.

I have a Samsung Moment running 1.5 (cupcake)

As far as I know, the maps application can not be updated. When they talk about maps updates I think they are talking to the crowd running 1.6+. I wish they would be a lot more clear about that as I'm sure there are a LOT of 1.5 users in the market right now wondering where that maps update is.

Great. So my brand new Samsung won't run any of this new stuff. Fabulous. I DESPISE when companies do this...between Google and Sprint I end up with the short end of the stick and get to twiddle my thumbs while I wait for one of them to catch up or realize the other one hasn't yet.

Sigh. Sometimes I HATE technology.

Well said! This gets me. They had the G1 and I thought, "I'm going to wait because I know something better is coming." Then the MyTouch FINALLY came out. I get the MyTouch, get locked into another 2 year contract with TMo...then frickin' BAM! They come out with the Droid...then the N1. And everyone who bought the MyTouch, locked into a 2-yr contract, and don't have deep pockets, get to sit back and watch the N1 take all the updates and cool new features.

I have a freakin' GOOGLE MyTouch and I can't even access buzz.google.com from the browser. It keeps taking me to a compatibility chart that shows what Buzz will work on what device. I HAVE Android! WTF!?

Cell phones are becoming no better than computer companies. You buy a new computer and then 6 months later it's obsolete because your processor, RAM, and HD aren't adequate enough. Same with phones. They lock you into a new contract to get the good price on the phone and then ditch you 6 months later with a new phone that they cater to.

UGH - freakin - UGH!!!

Actually to be more depressing those computers you buy on market shelves are already outdated. Best bet is to buy directly from the manufacturer...at least that way you get SOMEWHAT updated technology :)

"UGH - freakin - UGH!!!"

Easy, tiger. I was happily using a G1 and now upgraded to a MyTouch3G just last week. It's a very good phone. I was running Android 2.1 on the G1 and soon will be on the MyTouch as well. See the Open Eclaire project http://www.openeclair.com/

Secondly, the T-Mobile rep informed me that T-Mobile will begin to offer phone upgrades after 12 months instead of 24, provided you renew a 2-year contract at that time. This means that I can get a phone upgrade at the discount rate in Feb. 2011 if I push the end date of my current 2-year contract from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013 at that time. If you bought your phone 12 months ago, you should ask if you can get an upgrade.

@ballPointPenguin

"T-Mobile will begin to offer phone upgrades after 12 months instead of 24..."

I take it you're not one of the suckers who went for all the luster around the Even More Plus plan?

Sign up for Even More Plus and get unlimited talk text and web - and NO contracts. Remember that one? The one they called "Project Black"? I have 4 lines on a family plan and switched to this. Thinking I would save money. But what they didnt tell you is that if you get the unlimited, it only covers the first 2 lines. So I found out - on my bill - that they were charging me $29.99 for the unlimited web on the other two lines. AND the other two lines can only share 200 minutes while the first 2 lines get unlimited talk. This did not fit me. So when I wanted to go back to what I had because TMo's first rep told me everything wrong, I got the standard "sorry, you had a grandfathered plan and we can't give that back to you once you've opted out of it." Whatever. So now I have 1400 shared min between 4 lines, unlimited texting, and unlimited data for the first 2 lines. No more contracts [once these ride out]. All for $159/month. HOWEVER, I don't get the phone discounts because I no longer have contracts.

My beef really isn't all that much with the OS update itself, the spotty coverage, or even with the phones themselves. My beef is that they charge ridiculous amounts for these phones and then render them almost obsolete 6 months later. And by then you're already into a new contract and have to wait, or drop several hundred on a new phone. If you're going to make something and charge people all of this money, at least support the f#@king thing!

@LisandRodu - it said when I went to log in to my gmail that they were still rolling the buzz out to people, and if you don't have it, to check back later. But I did what someone else suggested and went to it on my phone, and it let me update a status just to see - it still doesn't show up on my computer though (and I'm also using Chrome). Hopefully it shows up soon!!

I am also very sick of this nonsense.
Sprint HTC Hero stuck on 1.5 until potentially JUNE !!!!

Sprint, HTC AND Google need to pull their fingers out.

So what this says to me is HTC and Samsung both hate their Sprint users!

I am so frustrated with the lack of support for Sprint Android phones. 1.5... really? And no set date for the supposed 2.1 update? Could be till the end of June before gmaps gps, ggoggles, and now buzz? Why bother having Android phones Sprint if half of the apps are incompatible with your phones!

And Google why not support all products with your os or push the manufacturers to update.

Sorry for the rant, just a frustrated Sprint user.

Wrong Hero... you keep making this mistake. That is the Euro hero, not the CDMA Hero. The Sprint/Cell South Hero's will most likely be waiting even longer than that.

But it's JUST a social networking site. How hard can it be?

And what about us developers with the dev phones, not attached to a specific network? You can't blame the networks----besides, it's Google's name all over my phone and apps, not Sprint or AT&T, etc.

If you can't get your social networking site to work on day one on your operating system, that's bad quality control. It's even more embarassing that the site DOES work from all of the competition devices.

http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=171494 has been updated to show that this is all for Android 2.0+

Considering that the typical mobile contract is two years, shouldn't a company be expected to support the OS for at least that long? This is really insane. Not even Apple has the Cojones to release apps at this point that require Snow Leopard. Shoot, it's was a big deal in recent news that Mozilla is dropping support for Tiger which is almost 5 years old.

Well, really they are supporting the older versions of software. If you have a NEW phone you should be getting updated to 2.x in the near future, in which case your complaint will be mute. If you are using a G1 and complaining, well, you're being retarded. You can't expect old phones over a year old to get all the recent updates when the hardware alone probably can't handle it all to begin with.

@Ryan what you just said is utter and complete BS!! "You can't expect old phone over a year old to get all the recent updates..." One of the previous posters said it best...if you commit to a 2yr contract, you should be getting the support you deserve - along with updates!

And here's what really pisses me off - my iPod Touch - which is well over a year and a half old - can get Buzz. I took my rooted MyTouch, turned on the wifi tethering app, loaded Safari on my iPod, went to buzz.google.com and got it to work. It even allowed me to put a nice app icon on my home screen! APPLE for crying out loud!! It shouldn't be like that. Google or someone [HTC, TMO, Sprint] should be liable for pushing updates. It doesn't matter how old it is. My ancient Dell laptop running Windows XP STILL gets service pack updates!

So the retardedness lies in the brains of the ignorant who fail to use common sense.

Apple has been doing the very thing you said can't be done on a G1 for 3 years now. The G1 is quite capable of running Buzz. It's the same processor that's on the Hero and Eris being sold RIGHT NOW.

Android needs to get their updating and version bull sh** straightened out.

I agree. You don't see new microsoft products released that don't work on a microsoft o/s. If you did, people would be upset. If you bought a PS3, it shouldn't matter WHEN you bought it----all the games should work for it, certainly the Sony-made games.

But with the google phones, that's exactly what happens.

You can say it's not google's fault all you want, but they're the ones putting their branding on all of it. You don't see GE putting thier bradning on NBC and all the other entities under them, do you?

But this is even worse because it's just a social networking site. It can't be that hard to get google's social site working on google's operating system. Since they can't, it does look bad for google, definitely another tarnish to their reputation since getting into the consumer market.

Wait, you mean you don't think any Android phone users should be upset that they can't access a SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE?!

I can access Facebook from my G1.

I can access Myspace from my G1.

I can access Twitter from my G1.

I haven't found a social networking site yet that I can't access from my Google-branded G1 phone, EXCEPT for the one made by Google?!

I don't even use those sites. But this is just about the last straw for me. I've been to Google, eaten their foor, marveled at their campus, I still have every pass from every time I've visited Google. I used to love Google---the whole brand.

But the longer I have my dev G1 (given to me by a Google themselves), the more their brand has been tarnished solely by their performance.

For all the complaints my friends have about Apple having too much control over their devices, it sure feels like Google doesn't have enough control over theirs, as in "quality control." It's unacceptable.

The irony is the number of Google-branded functionality my girlfriend can do on her iPhone I can't do on my G1 Google Android phone. And yes, that includes Google Buzz...

Below is the link we get when we click on google.com/buzz

http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=171494

here here!

As a linux user and an aspiring hacker (the good kind) the primary appeal of the android project is the open source linux-based development model. If you want to live in a world carefully manicured by a big corporation and abide by their petty rules, buy an iPhone. If, on the other hand, you want to take more responsibility over your own device and be willing to customize it and learn some basic linux hacks, and enjoy a thriving community of other geeks who are daily improving the functionality of this device via good old fashioned open source collaborative development, then Android is awesome. Even the "old" G1 is still the choice phone of many hackers because it is so easy to customize. The open eclaire project made it quite easy for me to run Android 2.1 on my G1. Please check out www.androidspin.com and take the plunge into the world of custom ROMs.

sprint user here who is also very frustrated, contract runs out in six months, when it does I am not looking back.

Wow, I agree with cynomyso. Very well said. I do not need or want Sense UI if this is how we get treated as a Sprint User. We are forced to wait potentially upto 6 months for our updates because HTC and Sprint have their heads up theirs. All these recent service updates from Google are not making it to the older operating systems. I do not know if I should be mad at Google for not supporting the other systems or angry with Sprint and HTC for not pushing this out quicker. Very very frustrating. As much as I hate Big Red and despise paying the over priced fees to them I am considering a hard look at them when my contract is up. Terrible terrible business Google and Sprint.

Nexus One is currently the only phone with all the latest updates, and it only runs on T-Mobile. Many Droid users have been complaining that they will not get the App drawer or live wallpapers that the Nexus One has.

If I were you, I'd consider switching to T-Mobile, get the latest updates and save yourself 30% on your monthly bill.

Actually, TMO costs more than Sprint for the vast majority of people. And their coverage is horrible. I am very happy with Sprint and my Samsung Moment (Android 1.5), but like the others I am frustrated with the incredibly slow update time coming from Sprint / Samsung.

2.0 was coming out on the Droid and 1.6 had been out for a few months when they were still releasing new phones with 1.5. They should have had updates out within a month to get you to AT LEAST 1.6 or 2.0, and 2.1 needs to come before the end of February or I'm going to be seriously upset.

Seriously, HTC has a SLIGHT argument giving us extra goodies for waiting, Samsung has no excuse. The moment runs on friggin VANILLA. Even then, with all the screen shots of phones running Sense and 2.1, I doubt that is really holding back the release at this point.

ummmmm... here's my question... there's already a bunch of buzzes on the map and it's been half a day. What's gonna happen in a month? will the old buzzes disappear? Maybe they'll let us filter them... like "most recent" etc. I hope.

I can't remember where I read this (I want to say googleblog.blogspot.com, or engadget, or the Google mobile help forum? but aparently Buzz has an algorithm that keeps something like this from happening. It also, somehow, keeps out all of the "taking a nap" or "I'm eating ____" so that more useful information is shown. I could have also seen this in one of Google's video tutorials concerning Buzz

Also, there is a way to delete your buzzes by going to google.com/profiles/me. I was told by the Google employee in the Mobile Support Forums that this is a way to somewhat get around the fact that I have 1.6 on my G1 and couldn't use the web app.