Google users may notice a new top navigation bar across Google search, Gmail, and possibly other Google services.
Google’s statement: "Last week we tested a new top navigation bar, which increases consistency across most of Google’s properties and is a visual update over the previous top navigation bar. We are now rolling this new bar out widely."
MG Siegler at TechCrunch suggests that this could be related to the Google social toolbar it is supposed to be releasing, tentatively called Google+1. This seems like a reasonable assumption, based on previous reports.
The bar isn’t on YouTube at this point, which would presumably be one of the most important pieces of Google’s social initiative, but that doesn’t mean it won’t appear there sooner or later.
Strangely, I’m not even seeing it on Google Reader (another important piece of the company’s social pie), which falls more in line with the design of the Google products that do have the bar. The same goes for Google Docs, Calendar, and Picasa Web Albums (all potentially very social).
There’s really not much to the bar at this point. It just displays your name with a drop down menu revealing your Gmail address and a sign out option, along with the standard settings menu, which now has a more Chrome-like feel.