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Google testing broader bookmarking service called Stars

Google lets people click a star icon to flag interest in particular Gmail messages, Android address book contacts, Chrome bookmarks and Google Apps documents. Now it seems the company is testing a service called Stars that could centralize the whole idea.

Google+ user and Google watcher Florian Kiersch has spotted graphics, code snippets, and other tiny bits about Google Stars since April. Last Monday, he posted a Google Stars video showing how some of the service could work, based on access to Google's "dogfooding" test framework.

"Use the star in the address bar to save anything across the Web," the interface said. People can also organize starred elements through a folder interface and can set up rules to automatically organize them, it said.

The effort appears to be aimed at refreshing the idea of browser bookmarks -- once a central part of using the Web, but one that's been partly replaced by fast, effective Internet searching and by more sophisticated address management within browsers. But it could extend well beyond just Web pages, too, to personalize and organize other types of data people store through Google and Android.

Google Stars presents starred items in a grid of thumbnails and lets people search them, according to the materials shown thus far. It'll hide away Web pages that have disappeared or been infected with spam. And -- as is de rigeur these days on the Net -- people will be able to share them with their contacts.
It's not clear exactly how far, if at all, Google's plans for Stars will extend beyond browser bookmarks -- or indeed what Google's exact plans are for the service at all. CNET contacted the company for comment and will update this post with any response.

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