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3/19/2010
11:40 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Widget Actually Makes Buzz Usable On Android Handsets

If you're a user of Google's Buzz social networking service, creating posts from your Android smartphone just got a whole lot easier. Rather than accessing Buzz from the browser, Google has created a widget that lets users share directly from their home screen.

If you're a user of Google's Buzz social networking service, creating posts from your Android smartphone just got a whole lot easier. Rather than accessing Buzz from the browser, Google has created a widget that lets users share directly from their home screen.The new Google Buzz widget can be downloaded directly from the Android Market. There are other widgets in there for Buzz, make sure you pick the one published by Google. It downloads and installs in a snap.

Once installed, the Buzz widget looks similar to a Facebook or Twitter widget in that it has a text bar for users to begin writing posts. Users can also use the widget to open the camera or photo gallery to post pictures. Location is automatically included in each post, but users can choose to delete the location information if they so wish. It's a much faster way to access Buzz and post to it when compared to opening the browser version.

What the widget doesn't appear to offer, at least in my time playing with it, is a way to read through your Buzz content. The widget can only be used to post content. That's a disappointing limitation. The browser version of Buzz is still far richer than this new widget, but browser-based apps are only so good. I find the way Google has organized Buzz in the web app to be a bit confusing and not intuitive.

What bugs me is that Google didn't offer this widget from the start. It is a sorely needed tool that makes the service much easier to interact with. Why wait three weeks? (Obviously it wasn't ready at launch.)

The new Buzz widget is available for Android devices running system 1.6 and up. It only works in English for now.

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