Google Updates: YouTube Movie Rentals, Google Goggles for Business Cards, and Image Search Sort

Yesterday was a busy day for Google going by their announcements and with Google I/O, a developer’s conference, starting today there will probably be more announcements this week. Yesterday’s announcements included YouTube is now renting movies, Google Goggles gets another update, and searching with Google Images now allows you to sort by subject.

YouTube Rentals

YouTube and Google announced the next step in YouTube’s evolution. I think the industry has seen it coming for a while now.

Today, we’re going to start adding around 3,000 new movie titles for rent available to users in the U.S. (more on this in a post later today) that will be accompanied by reviews and behind-the-scenes movie extras. Whether it’s short movie trailers, funny movie parodies or full-length blockbuster films, we encourage you to sit back and settle in to the YouTube movies experience.

Prices at seem to fluctuate between $3.99, $2.99, and Free. A rental gets you a 24 hour window to watch the movie and you have 30 days to start watching the movie after renting it.

In the coming year, we’ll bring even more content to YouTube. Building on the success of Partner Grants and YouTube NextUp, we’re providing even more resources to creators who you’ll know from TV or Hollywood, and to existing YouTube partners who have already built loyal audiences on the site. Look out for more details on this in the coming months.

While six years ago you had to move device, room and platform to get all the video that matters most to you, today you can find it all on YouTube. By expanding our content partnerships worldwide and stimulating the success of budding filmmakers, artists and entrepreneurs, we’ll ensure that YouTube remains the best place for the world to see and discover rich talent. So stay tuned—there’s much more to come.

Google Goggles Updates

Google Goggles has been updated to improve three functions of the Goggles app for your Android smartphone or iPhone. The last update brought us Sudoku solving and better recognition of barcodes and advertisements. This update, the new features include improved business card recognition, the ability to suggest a better search result, and enhanced search history that allows to take notes with what you search.

Sort by Subject in Google Images

I find myself using the tools on the left side of Google searches more and more these days, trying to narrow down the search to the results I want. So when Google announced another means to sort those results for Image Searches, I was happy. In addition to the default “Sort by relevance”, you can now also “Sort by Subject” to look at the images a different way.

Sorting by subject uses algorithms that identify relationships among images found on the web and presents those images in visual groups, expanding on the technology developed for Google Similar Images and Google Image Swirl. By looking at multiple sources of similarities, such as pixel values and semantic relationships, and by mining massive amounts of data, we can make meaningful connections and groupings among images.

Sorting will be rolling out globally to nearly every domain and language over the next week. Whether you have a particular image in mind or you’re just exploring a general topic, sort by subject can help you find the image you need—even if you don’t have the exact words to describe it.

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