Bookmarking: every web browser has it, few human browsers actually use it. Google is testing a new Chrome feature that would allow users to save any piece of content — an email, a web page, an image — and review it later as part of a searchable, organizable library.
"More beautiful than bookmarks."
The feature was first unearthed by Florian Kiersch, a German student who enjoys trawling Google code, and it's still being refined. "Thank you for dogfooding Google Stars!" reads one output in the code, suggesting that Google employees are testing the feature now. "We are working hard to make Google Stars a product you love."
Google Stars was originally called Google Collections, Kiersch writes, and it looks like a cross between Pinterest, Dropbox, and Del.icio.us, laid out in an image-rich grid. "More beautiful than bookmarks," the source code says. You can already star emails and web pages from Chrome (at one time, you could star sites from Google's search results page, but that feature was scrapped). If this feature ever deploys, expect to see the star outline on image search results, YouTube videos, Google+ pages, and even personal contacts.
Google Stars branding found by Kiersch.
According to the current source code, Google Stars will make all your bookmarks fully searchable. All stars are private, but it's possible to make a public folder to share them. Google will automatically organize your bookmarks, detect spam and dead pages, and "categorize the items you star into filters so you can discover patterns in your content." The bookmark library will also allow you to make notes on your bookmarks.
"Google specifically mentions images, videos and websites in the source code but considering that the ability to star something got added to nearly all of Googles services (mails, files on Google Drive, places on Maps, etc.), I think that you'll likely be able to find all these things under the Google Stars umbrella as well," Kiersch writes in an email to The Verge. He believes the feature will launch in June at Google's I/O developer conference.