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Google Opens 'Mac Developer Playground'

The Web site houses open source code and demos from Google's Apple-oriented engineers.

Google on Tuesday launched the Google Mac Developer Playground, a Web site that houses open source code and projects from Google's Apple-oriented engineers.

"We've always had a place to showcase our consumer products," said Amit Singh, a Google engineering manager, and Karen Grünberg, a Google product manager, in a blog post. "Today, we're unveiling the Google Mac Developer Playground, a Web site where the Mac community can look for new and interesting open source projects and demos from our Mac team."

The site includes a variety of works-in-progress to help Mac developers and general users. Statz, for example, allows you modify your status -- away, available, etc. -- across multiple IM apps like Adium, Colloquy, iChat, and Skype. There's an Objective C Client Library for using Google's data APIs. There's MacFUSE, an add-on file system for the Mac, and iPhone Disk, an implementation of MacFUSE for reading and writing data on an iPhone.

Other projects include Cover Story, a UI for a code testing program called gcov, Quartz Composer Patches, which let programmers create graphics that interact with ambient and motion sensors on certain Macs, and Telekinesis, which lets users access their Macs through their iPhones.

Google appears to be paying more attention to the Mac community lately, with the release of a new iPhone interface on Wednesday and the new ability of Google Gadgets to run as Mac Dashboard widgets.

In another developer-related announcement, Google on Thursday announced a new API for creating chart graphics on any Web site. Though aimed at developers, the Google Chart API allows anyone with a moderate degree of Web savvy to generate pie charts, bar charts, and the like using only a URL and a few parameters.

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