30 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Bring virtual reality field trips to your school with Google Expeditions

At the Bronx Latin School in New York City, teacher Katrina Roman says the topic of ancient history doesn't usually set students abuzz. But this week, they took a field trip to ancient Aztec ruins using Google Expeditions, a virtual reality teaching tool built with Google Cardboard. Normally, their assignment would involve poring over photocopied photographs, but instead, they stood at the top of Chichen Itza, then examined detailed carvings at Tenochtitlan. Amid "oohs" and "aahhs," the students shouted out details they noticed and shot hands up to answer Ms. Roman's questions.

Katrina Roman's class at the Bronx Latin School fills out their assignment after visiting Aztec ruins with Expeditions. The class is part of a history and geography pilot with New Visions for Public Schools.

Starting today, we're bringing this experience to thousands of schools around the world with the new Expeditions Pioneer Program. During the 2015/2016 school year, we'll be bringing "kits" containing everything a teacher needs to run a virtual trip for their class: ASUS smartphones, a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour, a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection, and Google Cardboard viewers or Mattel View-Masters that turn phones into virtual reality headsets. Although nothing replaces hopping on the bus for a field trip, there are some places that are just out of reach (hello, Chichen Itza!). Virtual reality gives teachers a tool to take students places a school bus can't.
To help teachers learn how to use Expeditions, we'll be visiting thousands of schools around the world and bringing the kit for teachers to use in their classes for the day. Up first: Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S., followed by more locations as the school year progresses. At each school, our team will show teachers how Expeditions works and help set it up before class.

Right now, teachers can choose from a library of 100+ virtual trips to places like Mars, the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Wall of China. But we're constantly adding more trips with the help of partners like PBS, educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, British documentarian David Attenborough in collaboration with Alchemy VR, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. We're also working with the Starfish Foundation to help students explore future careers by showing them a virtual day in the life of professionals including a veterinarian and computer scientist. And to help students achieve those career goals, we're working with First Lady Michelle Obama to support her Reach Higher initiative by taking students on virtual college tours.

And if you see one of these cars on the road, that's us! The folks at Subaru, who invest in education as part of their Love Promise initiative, have created a fleet of Expedition Pioneer Program rides that we'll be using to bring kits to schools.

If visiting Mars, trekking on the Great Wall of China or exploring what it's like to work at a veterinarian's office sounds like something your class would be interested in, head to the Expeditions Pioneer Program site and sign up.

Posted by David Quaid, Software Engineer, Google Expeditions

30 Sep 2015 7:24pm GMT

29 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

S’more to love across all your screens

From your watch to your phone to your TV, we want to help you stay connected, entertained and informed across all your screens. Today we're introducing a few new things that do just that: two Nexus phones, a tablet for work and play, updates to Chromecast and features for some of your favorite apps-all working together to make your day a little bit easier and more fun.

New Nexus phones
We made Android to be an open platform that anyone can build on, and today there are 4,000+ Android devices in all shapes and sizes. Android's diversity is why it's become the most popular mobile platform in the world, and the latest version, Marshmallow, takes Android to a new level of performance.

While we love all the Android devices out there, every year we build Nexus devices to show off the latest and greatest, directly from the people who built Android. Today we're introducing the latest Nexus treats, both running Marshmallow, sweetened by amazing apps and sandwiched by some cutting-edge hardware (see what we did there?):

Both phones include a new fingerprint sensor, Nexus Imprint, which gives you quick and secure access to your phone, as well as use of Android Pay (in the U.S.). They are available for pre-order on the Google Store from a number of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Japan, and come with a free 90-day subscription to Google Play Music. In the U.S., pre-orders include a $50 Play credit to help you stock up your favorite music, apps, games and shows. And, finally, for you Project Fi fans out there, you'll be happy to know Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will work on your favorite network. Request an invite to our Early Access Program at fi.google.com.

Pixel C
We're expanding the Pixel family by introducing the first Android tablet built end-to-end by Google. The Pixel C brings together the benefits of a full-size keyboard with the portability of a tablet. The tablet and keyboard attach magnetically (no docking mechanism FTW), so it's easy to switch between typing and using the touch screen.

And if you're familiar with the Chromebook Pixel, you'll immediately see the family resemblance: the Pixel C has the same beautiful aluminum design, great display and USB Type-C port. The Pixel C will be available in time for the holidays on the Google Store.

Cast ALL the things
Today we're introducing two new Chromecast devices. The new Chromecast has a fresh design, and is easier to plug into TVs with crowded ports. It supports the latest Wi-Fi standards and adapts more easily to changing Wi-Fi conditions in your home, so you get higher quality video with less buffering. Most importantly, we added two new colors. ;)

Chromecast Audio is a small device that plugs into your existing speakers, so you can stream your favorite music, radio and podcasts over Wi-Fi, similar to Chromecast. It works with tons of apps, including Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music. Just like Chromecast, it works from anywhere in your home with your favorite devices, including Android, iOS, and laptops. And it's available on the Google Store and other online retailers for just $35-way less than most Wi-Fi speakers today.

We've also updated the Chromecast app to make it easier for you to find great things to watch or to play, across the thousands of apps that work with Chromecast-whether you feel like browsing or want to search for a specific TV show or movie. For Cast-enabled apps that aren't already on your phone, we'll suggest one for you. The updated Chromecast app is rolling out on Android and iOS over the next few weeks.

Your favorite apps... for the whole family
All your shiny devices get even better when you have great apps to go with them. So we're making a few updates to Google Play Music and Google Photos.

First, Google Play Music will offer a new family plan later this year. Up to six people will be able to use one account for a shared fee of $14.99 a month (instead of $9.99 per person). Get the dance party ready.

Sharing is a theme of today's Google Photos updates, too. We're adding Chromecast support to give you that old-school slideshow experience-dimmed lights optional. In the U.S., you can now add private labels to your photos to make it easier to search for specific pics of people with things, places or other people-say, that photo of Mom at the Grand Canyon, or of your daughter with her pet bunny. And soon you'll be able to pool all your photos and videos with friends and family in one place, and get updates as soon as new photos are added. Best of all, there's no setup involved, and you can use any device. So that dance party we mentioned earlier? Now it's easier to gather all the memories from everyone who was there.

More to love, for more people
From Nexus to Chromecast to Pixel C to Photos, these updates are more than the sum of their parts-they unite great apps with devices that are designed to support them. They're built to work together, so they do-seamlessly, across all your screens.

Posted by Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP Android, Chromecast and Chrome OS at Google

29 Sep 2015 6:56pm GMT

Big ideas for an even better Bay Area

Converting a liquor store into a community-based learning and tutoring center. Providing millions of dollars of 0% interest loans to small businesses. Breaking the poverty- to-prison cycle by building a residential alternative to prison for young adults. This is just a sampling of the big ideas that local nonprofits submitted for our second annual Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area.

Today, after reviewing hundreds of submissions, we're unveiling 10 finalists chosen together with our panel of advisors-a group that includes the San Francisco Chronicle's Editor-in-Chief Audrey Cooper, The Golden State Warriors' Harrison Barnes, The San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence, and CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, Fred Blackwell.

Representing San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Clara, San Mateo and more, these organizations span the Bay Area. Learn more about these groups and their ideas for change:

This year, finding and funding new ideas will be just one part of the Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area. We are also reinvesting in a few of our 2014 finalists. The Ella Baker Center, Beyond12, Lava Mae, and Bay Area Community Resources in collaboration with Instituto Familiar de la Raza all were funded last year, and will receive between $250,000 and $1,000,000 in additional funding this year. We're very pleased to continue supporting organizations focused on homelessness, youth employment, and racial justice-big problems that Google.org works to tackle with local organizations, year-round.

What happens next is in your hands! Anyone can vote for the new projects they think will have the most impact on the Bay Area. Again, the top four will receive $500,000 in grant funding, the remaining six will get $250,000 each. 15 additional organizations will each receive $100,000 and all nonprofits will be connected with Googler volunteers and coworking space in San Francisco. We'll announce winners on October 21.

To vote, visit g.co/bayareachallenge or check out one of our voting stations across the Bay Area.

When creative, socially-conscious minds and the Bay Area's innovative spirit join forces, big things can happen. Congratulations to all finalists, and best of luck the rest of the way!

Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Alphabet

29 Sep 2015 2:49pm GMT

27 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Bringing the Internet to more Indians—starting with 10 million rail passengers a day

When I was a student, I relished the day-long railway journey I would make from Chennai Central station (then known as Madras Central) to IIT Kharagpur. I vividly remember the frenetic energy at the various stations along the way and marveled at the incredible scale and scope of Indian Railways.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Googleplex today
I'm very proud to announce that it's the train stations of India that are going to help get millions of people online. In the past year, 100 million people in India started using the Internet for the first time. This means there are now more Internet users in India than in every country in the world aside from China. But what's really astounding is the fact that there are still nearly one billion people in India who aren't online.

We'd like to help get these next billion Indians online-so they can access the entire web, and all of its information and opportunity. And not just with any old connection-with fast broadband so they can experience the best of the web. That's why, today, on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to our U.S. headquarters, and in line with his Digital India initiative, we announced a new project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India.

Working with Indian Railways, which operates one of the world's largest railway networks, and RailTel, which provides Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fiber network along many of these railway lines, our Access & Energy team plans to bring the first stations online in the coming months. The network will expand quickly to cover 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016, with the remaining stations following in quick succession.

Even with just the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day. This will rank it as the largest public Wi-Fi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users. It will also be fast-many times faster than what most people in India have access to today, allowing travelers to stream a high definition video while they're waiting, research their destination, or download some videos, a book or a new game for the journey ahead. Best of all, the service will be free to start, with the long-term goal of making it self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and other places, with RailTel and more partners, in the future.
This map shows the first 100 stations that will have high-speed Wi-Fi by the end of 2016

We think this is an important part of making the Internet both accessible and useful for the more than 300 million Indians already online, and the nearly one billion more who are not.

But it's not the only piece. To help more Indians get access to affordable, high-quality smartphones, which is the primary way most people there access the Internet, we launched Android One last year. To help address the challenges of limited bandwidth, we recently launched a feature that makes mobile webpages load faster and with less data, and we've made YouTube available offline with offline Maps coming soon.

To help make web content more useful for Indians, many of whom don't speak English, we launched the Indian Language Internet Alliance last year to foster more local language content, and have built greater local language support into our products-including Hindi Voice Search, an improved Hindi keyboard and support for seven Indian languages with the latest versions of Android. And finally, to help all Indians reap the benefits of connectivity, we've been ramping up efforts to help women, who make up just a third of Internet users in India today, get the most from the web.

Just like I did years ago, thousands of young Indians walk through Chennai Central every day, eager to learn, to explore and to seek opportunity. It's my hope that this Wi-Fi project will make all these things a little easier.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

27 Sep 2015 7:28pm GMT

25 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 18–24

Even if you weren't trying to keep up with all your fall shows returning, this week was a busy one. Here's a look at what captured our attention the past seven days-from the Pope to a little rat with a big dream.

Also, we're changing up this series, so this will be our last regular Friday post for a while. We'll be back soon in a different format. Until then, keep on searchin' on.

Pizza rat is all of us
Let's start with the important stuff. This week the Internet was captivated by a YouTube video showing a rat carrying a slice of pizza down the stairs of a New York subway station. There were more than 50K+ searches for "Pizza Rat" on Monday, and the 14 second-video has more than 6 million views at last count. But while #PizzaRat memes multiplied across the web, New Yorkers had some more unsettling questions in mind, like: "How many rats are in New York?" and "What is the rat to people ratio in New York?" (Are you sure you want to know?) Whether Pizza Rat is a hero or a quitter, something about him spoke to us. Because in a way, aren't we all just rats trying to find a slice of pizza in the subway station of life?

Hello, Pope Francis
This week Pope Francis became the fourth pope to visit the United States, in a highly anticipated tour that took him from D.C. to New York, with a Philadelphia stop still to come. Every day of his visit has brought headlines and curious searches (more than 500K on Tuesday)-and he's been busy. He met with President Obama (and the President's dogs) at the White House, stopped by the Capitol to give a joint address to Congress (the first time a pontiff has ever done so), canonized Junipero Serra, visited the 9/11 Memorial, spoke at the United Nations and made statements on everything ranging from climate change to the refugee crisis.

Meanwhile, people have been asking all sorts of questions about the Pope and his visit. Perhaps the most interesting-and inspiring-searches about the Pope's visit are those looking for information on what he has said. Notably, people wanted to learn more about Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day, whom the Pope described in his joint address to Congress as Americans who had "built a better future" through "hard work and self-sacrifice" (the other two Americans he mentioned? Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.). In fact, searches for Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and an advocate for social justice, spiked 1700x after the Pope discussed her in his speech.

It ain't over 'til it's over
This week baseball fans and others said farewell to Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, who died at age 90. A Hall of Famer who appeared in 21 World Series as a player, coach and manager, Yogi was perhaps best known for his nonsensical, sometimes koan-like statements (some of which it's disputed he actually made, but all of which you've probably said without even knowing their origin), and as the namesake for the cartoon bear. As news spread of his death, people searched for him more than 1M times, asking "What number was Yogi Berra?" and "How did Yogi Berra get the name Yogi?" (It's a good story.)

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [pontifex] and [postpositive adjective]

25 Sep 2015 11:05pm GMT

24 Sep 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Give Google Contributor a try

Recently I've seen several interesting conversations about ad blocking, and I wanted to remind people about a great offering called Google Contributor. With Google Contributor, you contribute a certain amount of money each month. That subscription means that you see fewer ads on the web, and you support the sites that you visit with your […]

24 Sep 2015 3:09pm GMT

22 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Supporting our young scientists through the Google Science Fair

Mariette DiChristina is the Editor in Chief and senior vice president of Scientific American-the first woman to hold the role in the magazine's 170-year history. She has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2011 and served as president of the National Association of Science Writers in 2009 and 2010. She joins us here today to share her perspective on the Google Science Fair, which is in its fifth edition this year. -Ed.

This marks my fifth year with the Google Science Fair. In October 2010, when I had my first conversations with my friends at Google about their idea to create a global online science fair that any kid 13-18 could participate in, I thought it sounded pretty cool. But I couldn't then imagine just how inspiring and powerful such a competition would turn out to be in reality.

At the time, I hadn't even been editor in chief of Scientific American for a year, but I had real ambitions to try to do something to make a difference in educating our young people about science. You see, I believe that science is the engine of human prosperity-it's the way we grapple with some of the world's most challenging problems, from cures for diseases to living sustainably in a finite world. So I've always seen the idea of fostering evidence-based thinking in our next generation of global citizens as vital.

Now, five years later and working with partners LEGO Education, National Geographic and Virgin Galactic, the Google Science Fair has an impressive track record of enabling our world's young scientists to shine. Over the years, they've tackled serious issues, like world hunger and the energy crisis. Their projects have worked on how to diagnose and treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. They've engineered flashlights powered by their hands and plastics made of banana peels. And to date, the fair has provided almost $1 million in scholarships, and sent four grand prize winners on trips around the world to further their scientific passions.

Tonight we added some new winners to that list as we recognized and celebrated the 2015 top 20 finalist projects and the bright young scientists behind them:

If you didn't get to tune in, you can still watch the Awards Show live stream and check out the complete list of impressive finalists and winners, including our first ever Inspiring Educator, Aydan Meydan from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In all of these finalists and the thousands of submissions from students in 100+ countries, we see something common. These students are inventive, thoughtful, and determined to help make the world a better place. All they need is a chance and a platform to do so. And, unlike some of us adults, they are ready to try things that other people think are "impossible." I find them inspiring.

It's imperative for us to support and encourage our young people to explore and challenge the world around them through scientific discovery. So we're especially glad that Ahmed Mohamed-the 14-year-old clock maker from Texas-took us up on our invite to attend this year's event. Curious young scientists, inventors and builders like him should be encouraged and empowered.

The past decades have brought tremendous innovations and challenges, and none of us knows what the future of scientific discovery holds. But I can tell you one thing: it's going to be better thanks to these kids. They will be part of building a brighter future for us all-and as they do, those of us at Scientific American, Google, LEGO Education, National Geographic and Virgin Galactic will be cheering them on.

So start thinking of your ideas for next year! We can't wait to see what you'll try next.

Posted by Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief of Scientific American and Chief Judge of the Google Science Fair

22 Sep 2015 5:09am GMT

18 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Matching your donation to humanitarian relief for refugees and migrants

My name is Rita Masoud and I am a refugee. I was born in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan. When I was seven, my family and I fled to Europe with our belongings in a single suitcase, hoping for a safer and better future. Our journey involved many dark train and bus rides, as well as hunger, thirst, cold and fear. Fortunately, we received asylum in The Netherlands, where I grew up in a safe environment and was able to find my way in life. Today, I work for Google in California.

I was lucky. But as the refugee and migrant crisis has grown, many people like my family are desperate for help. Last week, Google announced a €1 million (~$1.1 million) donation to organizations who are providing front-line humanitarian relief to refugees and migrants around the world. Today, we're inviting you to join us. To double the impact of your contribution, we'll match the first €5 million (~$5.5 million) in donations globally, until together we raise €10 million (~$11 million) for relief efforts.

Your donation will be distributed to four nonprofits providing aid to refugees and migrants: Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and UN High Commissioner for Refugees. These nonprofits are helping deliver essential assistance-including shelter, food and water, and medical care-and looking after the security and rights of people in need.

Visit google.com/refugeerelief to make your donation. Thank you for giving.

En route from Afghanistan, with my family and some belongings. You can read more about my journey on my blog.

Update September 18: In just two and a half days, you've helped us reach our goal to raise €10 million (~$11 million). Thank you for your contributions to help refugees and migrants in need.

Posted by Rita Masoud, Product Marketing Manager, Google.org

18 Sep 2015 10:19pm GMT

Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 11–17

Another week flown by-sometimes the pace is enough to make you need a dislike button. Here's a look at the past seven days as seen through Google Search:

Tick tock
A 14-year-old teenager named Ahmed Mohamed found himself in the spotlight this week, with searches for his name soaring above 500K. Mohamed, who lives in Texas and is Muslim, was arrested on Monday after he brought a clock that he'd made himself to school and it was mistaken for a bomb. In the days that followed, thousands of people expressed their support for Mohamed online with the hashtag #IStandwithAhmed, and he received invitations to visit the White House, MIT, Facebook-and yes, even Google. As more and more people heard about the story, they turned to search with questions like "What did Ahmed's clock look like?" and "What was Obama's response to Ahmed's clock?"

Nature's ways
California has been battling brutal wildfires this year, as the drought has dried up fields and forests across the state. Last week's Butte Fire threatened thousands of acres and burned hundreds of homes, and it seemed like as soon as it was contained the Valley Fire in Lake County was blazing. Searchers turned to the web with questions like "How does a wildfire create its own weather?" and "Why are the wildfires getting worse?" But while firefighters worked around the clock up north to stop the inferno, southern California was breaking records for rainfall. Really. Tuesday was the second-wettest day in L.A. in September since 1877, with 50,000+ searches for [weather Los Angeles] as astonished Angelenos looked to learn more about this unfamiliar wet stuff falling from the sky.

Mother Nature wasn't through with her surprises, though. Wednesday, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, forcing 1 million people to evacuate-and causing 2 million searches for [Chile earthquake]. Tsunami warnings were in effect as far away as California, Japan and New Zealand. Despite some casualties and billions of dollars' worth of damages, experts say that Chile's investments in structural reinforcements and other earthquake preparedness prevented the disaster from being much worse.

Debate club
The Republican presidential debate was the subject of more than 5 million searches this week as people looked for more about the candidates and issues. While Donald Trump was the most searched candidate both overall and in nearly every state, he had some competition from former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Fiorina drew attention for her performance in the debate, in particular her opposition to Planned Parenthood (the subject of more than 200K searches this week) and her reaction to comments Trump had made about her in the press. Taking Trump to task for past comments was a theme on Wednesday; in fact, the top searched moment of the night was when Jeb Bush asked Trump for an apology to his wife.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [drywall anchors] and [pine state biscuits]

18 Sep 2015 10:17pm GMT

15 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Walk alongside the elephants of the Samburu National Reserve in Street View

Today for the first time, we're releasing Street View imagery of Kenya-including the Samburu National Reserve, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust-in partnership with Save the Elephants and with the support of the Samburu County Government. We'll let Save the Elephants' David Daballen take it from here. -Ed.

It's a wild life at the Save the Elephants research camp in Samburu, in the heart of northern Kenya's wilderness. For the last 15 years at Save the Elephants, I've spent my days among the elephants, working alongside my fellow Samburu people to study and protect them. Research shows that 100,000 elephants across Africa were killed for their ivory between 2010-2012, but thanks to our work in the Samburu National Reserve their numbers are now slowly increasing. Today, a visit to Samburu is a chance not only to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, but also discover a uniquely beautiful landscape where people's lives are interwoven with the landscape's wildlife. It's my honour to invite you on a journey to my homeland with Street View in Google Maps.

Every time I drive into the Reserve, I can see the trust on the elephants' faces and feel a warm welcome. When I'm out and about, I never know which of my fellow citizens I'll bump into next. It could be some of the 600+ elephants I can recognize-like the Hardwood family-frolicking together, a group of Samburu warriors walking along the Ewaso Nyiro River, a pride of lions enjoying a bit of shade, or a leopard crossing the path. While you make your journey through Street View, you may be surprised what awaits.

Hardwood family of elephants, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

South of Samburu, up into the hills of Kenya, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy awaits exploration. In this greener landscape, you can cross the open savannah, where animals like zebras and rhinoceroses live protected from poachers and hunters. Every day, the Lewa radio command center plots the movements of elephants (and other GPS-collared wildlife) onto Google Earth to help rangers determine where elephants are and when they might be in danger. If an elephant's GPS collar sends an alert to indicate the elephant has stopped moving, a team of rangers and tracking dogs will investigate. Save the Elephants was one of the first organizations to use this technology, having collared 266 elephants across Africa since 1998.

Elephants and zebras graze in the open plains of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Visiting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, you can see the devastating effect of poaching and other causes of elephant deaths in Kenya. Founded in 1977, the Trust provides lifesaving assistance to wild animals in need, including orphaned elephants and rhinos. At their Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi, elephant caretakers stand in for an elephant's lost family, providing 24/7 care and specially formulated milk. As the orphans grow, they are gradually reintegrated back into the wild, where they are protected by the charity's Anti-Poaching and Aerial Surveillance Teams. To date, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has hand-raised more than 180 orphaned infant elephants, including little Sokotei, who I helped to rescue in Samburu after his mother died of natural causes when he was six months old. He's just one elephant amid thousands that have been lost across the continent, but when you're up against a challenge of this scale, every elephant counts.

Orphaned elephants play in the mud at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya

I hope this glimpse into life in Samburu has inspired you to learn more about elephants' plight and how you can help. Samburu is my home and is full of life. To ensure it remains that way, please consider supporting the research of Save the Elephants, making a donation to the anti-poaching efforts of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, or fostering an orphaned elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. After exploring in Street View, come and see us here in Kenya in person-we'd love to have you!

Posted by David Daballen, Head of Field Operations at Save the Elephants

15 Sep 2015 3:29pm GMT

Through the Google lens: Search Trends August 28–September 3

With the long Labor Day weekend beckoning, we'll spare you the introduction and dive right into the past week of search trends.

Party at the VMAs
It's been nearly a week since it all went down, but given the number of trending topics related to the Sunday evening spectacle known as the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, we feel almost obligated to recap how it played out on Search. So, here are the highlights: bizarre but wonderful host Miley Cyrus pulled in a cool 5 million searches, while her onstage confrontation with Nicki Minaj (which may or may not have been planned) got another 500,000+. Kanye West accepted the show's highest honor-the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award-in a rambling 13-minute speech (during which he may or may not have committed to running for president in 2020), racking up more than 200,000 searches.

Justin Bieber cried while performing his new single, "What Do You Mean," inspiring 500,000+ searches for the performance and another 500,000+ for the song; and finally, Taylor Swift-no stranger to VMA drama featuring Kanye West and acceptance speeches, as well as public spats with Nicki Minaj-premiered her video for "Wildest Dreams," (100,000+ searchers wanted to know more). For more trends from the show (and to find out which of these artists claimed the "Most Searched" title), check out the trends page.

Kentucky courthouse drama
A Kentucky county clerk found new notoriety this week, appearing in Hot Trends not just once but three times. Kim Davis has repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claiming it would infringe on her religious beliefs. Multiple couples sued her, and Judge David L. Bunning ordered her to issue the licenses. Finally, after her request for a stay from the Supreme Court was denied, yesterday Davis was held in contempt of court. With Davis in jail, her deputies began issuing licenses to couples today. As the saga played out in Rowan County, people turned to the web with inquiries ranging from "What religion is Kim Davis?" and "What law did Kim Davis break?" to more broad questions like "Why do we need marriage licenses?" and "How long have there been marriage licenses in the U.S.?"

Fall fun
The days are getting shorter (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) and the long Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. In the U.S., people have turned to the web to learn more about the origins of Labor Day and to ask an important fashion question: "Why can't you wear white after Labor Day?" Our advice: don't let anyone tell you you can't.)

Autumn may make some melancholy, but for football fans it's a time to rejoice. Tomorrow marks the first college football Saturday of the season, and searchers are gearing up in anticipation. Yesterday's Michigan game against Utah drew 500,000+ searches as people looked to find more about the game. As the debut game for new Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, expectations were high, but deflated (see below) when Utah won 24-17. But it's Michigan rival-and defending national champs-Ohio State that lit up the scoreboard as the most searched team over the past month:

Finally, though the NFL season doesn't officially start until next Thursday, the league is in the news after Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension for "Deflategate" was overturned. Brady was the top trend Thursday, with 1 million searches, as people asked questions like "Is Tom Brady suspended?" and "What does 'nullified' mean?"

Posted by Emily Wood, who searched this week for [elena ferrante vanity fair]

15 Sep 2015 3:28pm GMT

Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 4–11

Alongside star athletes, royals and vice presidents, an unpronounceable village in Wales had its moment in the search spotlight this week. Read on for seven days of search trends.

That interview
Stephen Colbert took to the air as the new host of CBS' The Late Show Tuesday, with an impressive 6.6 million viewers and half a million Google searches for the premiere, and a search spike every night since. The week's star-studded line-up included actors George Clooney and Scarlett Johanssen, but by Friday morning it was guest Vice President Joe Biden who was driving the search buzz for the frank and emotional conversation he had with Colbert about the family tragedies both have suffered. The interview wasn't all serious-the VP joked about the host's 2008 run for the presidency, and proposed joining forces for 2016. A Colbert-Biden ticket would be tough to beat (in searches, at least).

Venus vs. Serena (vs. Roberta)
Game on. As Venus and Serena Williams faced each other this week in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, the sisters generated a combined one+ million searches from people following the action online. Serena ultimately beat out older sister Venus both on the court and on Google-topping Venus Tuesday in search volume. Heading into the weekend, all eyes continued to be on Serena and her bid for the first tennis Grand Slam win since Steffi Graf's in 1988. But it wasn't to be. As Serena suffered a shocking semifinal upset by Roberta Vinci of Italy this afternoon, people from Jamaica to Romania to Zimbabwe followed the action on Google.

Congrats, Ma'am
This week, Queen Elizabeth II became Britain's longest-reigning monarch, surpassing the record set by great-great-grandmum Queen Victoria. (According to the BBC, this happened at 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes … but who's counting?) This milestone was popular across the pond-the U.S. was the top country outside the Commonwealth searching for information about Her Royal Highness. But her loyal subjects in the U.K. also had questions. Besides some basics like the Queen's age and her cash flow, one question Brits repeatedly searched on Google this week was: Why does the Queen celebrate two birthdays? The lengthy official answer on the royal website references the weather, King Edward VII, and horses. An alternative answer? Because she can.

It's Welsh, and it starts with an L (two, actually)
At 58 letters, the Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch has the longest and most notoriously difficult-to-say place name in the United Kingdom. And after Welsh weatherman Liam Dutton nailed its pronunciation live on air Wednesday (and subsequently on YouTube), people around the world turned to Google with a collective "Whoa!" Along with wanting to know if this is a real place (yes, indeed), and how it got its name (unconfirmed, but one YouTube commenter suggests it was named by a cat taking a walk on a keyboard), the top search on Google was, of course, how to pronounce it. With 7 million views and counting, here's weatherman Dutton with the answer. Show-off.

Posted by Abbi Tatton, who searched this week for [the war of 1812]

15 Sep 2015 3:28pm GMT

Dressed in code

Increasingly, the worlds of fashion and technology are becoming intertwined-from wristbands that track your heart rate to responsive fabrics that adjust to your temperature. And just like you can sew together different pieces of fabric to make a dress, or choose different items from your closet to create an unexpected outfit, you can also put together code to make something that's never existed before.

Today, as New York's Fashion Week kicks off, fashion and technology are coming together in a new way. Made with Code and ZAC Zac Posen are teaming up to show how computer science can push the boundaries of what's possible in the world of fashion. A dress designed by Zac Posen and with designs coded online by teen girls will debut as the finale look of Zac's show-and hopefully inspire young girls who have an interest in fashion to see what code can help them create.

Made with Code started with the mission of inspiring girls to try coding and to see it as a means to pursue their dream careers-regardless of what field those careers are in. For this project, girls from organizations like Black Girls Code, the Flatiron School, Girls Who Code and Lower East Side Girls Club, coded designs for an LED dress using an introductory coding project online. Fashion engineer and Made with Code mentor, Maddy Maxey, coded and fabricated the LED technology of the dress, working alongside Zac as he designed. When the dress goes down the runway, it will displays girls' patterns in 500 LED lights, using a micro controller specially tuned to match Zac's Spring Summer 2016 runway collection-from Catalina Blue to Acid Yellow. Meanwhile, 50 girls will get seats at the show to see their designs light up the runway.

In the past year, we've seen many encouraging signs that more girls are exploring computer science. More than 5 million coding projects have been tried since Made with Code began a year ago. And Googlers, teen girls and partners like Girls Inc, Technovation and Girl Scouts have thrown 300+ Made with Code parties across the U.S., reaching tens of thousands teen girls in person. But with less than one percent of high school girls still expressing interest in computer science, it's obvious we have so much more work to do-so, let's start now. After today, girls all over the country can also head to madewithcode.com to create their own design. We hope the digital dress inspires more teens to discover what they can make with code.

Posted by Pavni Diwanji, VP of engineering for Kids and Families

15 Sep 2015 3:07pm GMT

What makes us Human?

Over the past three years, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand travelled to 60 countries, interviewing more than 2,000 people in dozens of languages, in an attempt to answer the question: What is it that makes us human? The result is HUMAN, a documentary film that weaves together a rich collection of stories from freedom fighters in Ukraine, farmers in Mali, death row inmates in the United States, and more-on topics that unite us all: love, justice, family, and the future of our planet.

Now we're partnering with Arthus-Bertrand, the Goodplanet Foundation and Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, to bring HUMAN to you on Google Play, YouTube and the Google Cultural Institute so we can share this project with the widest audience throughout the world.

Watch an extended version of the film on YouTube and Google Play
We're making HUMAN available on YouTube starting September 12, and later on Google Play. This "director's cut"of three 90-minute films will be available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. On YouTube, you can also watch extra footage including interviews with figures like United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, animal rights activist Jane Goodall and actress Cameron Diaz, all of whom participated in the film.

Explore HUMAN with the Google Cultural Institute
Over at the Google Cultural Institute, you can learn about the origin of the film and listen to anecdotes from the people who brought it to life. You can also meet the characters in and around the movie in their daily lives, with six exhibits of behind the scenes photos and videos that let you explore how HUMAN was made over three years. This includes a collection highlighting how the director shot the aerial views that are a signature of Arthus-Bertrand's filmmaking.

Exhibitions on Google the Cultural Institute platform

Learn more about this project at g.co/humanthemovie or on the HUMAN Behind The Scenes mobile app, available on Google Play. With HUMAN, we want to help citizens around the world connect together. So we'd like to hear your answer to the question of what makes us human. Add your voice to the conversation with #WhatMakesUsHUMAN.

Posted by Raphael Goumain, Head of Consumer Marketing, France

15 Sep 2015 3:06pm GMT

10 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search Trends August 14-20

Inspirational women. A surreal theme park. And a third-party candidate we can all get behind. This week had a little of everything-read on for a look at the top topics on Google Search.

Top tabs
Lieutenant Shaye Haver and Lieutenant Kristen Griest are the first women to break a major gender barrier and graduate from the rigorous Army Ranger School this week. The course is known for its tough physical challenges and a high dropout rate, and this was the first year women were admitted. Search interest in Haver and Griest has spiked more than 150X since Tuesday; at today's graduation, they earned their tabs-and a place in history.

This Presidential campaign is Nuts
The Republican Presidential candidates continue to draw headlines in the long lead-up to the 2016 election. One of the top topics this week? Immigration, after Donald Trump said in an interview that he would overturn the law that grants citizenship to people born in the U.S.-a law better known as the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It didn't take long for the other candidates to take a stand one way or the other on the "birthright citizenship" issue, while searchers turned to the web to learn more about the Amendment and the ongoing debate. In less political political news, Trump also drew ire this week when he said that supermodel Heidi Klum-a knockout at 42-was "no longer a 10." More than 200,000 searches-and a smart comeback from Heidi-weren't far behind.

Meanwhile, there's a new presidential candidate on the scene in Iowa. A 15-year-old high school sophomore named Brady Olson made quite the splash after he submitted his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission as "Deez Nuts." Not only is he polling at a not-too-shabby 9 percent against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in North Carolina-Nuts was a trending topic on Twitter and he's surpassed Clinton in search interest, too.

Cheater, beware
The cheating site Ashley Madison was a top trending term this week, after hackers stole user account and payment information and posted the data online. There were more than 1 million searches for [Ashley Madison] on Tuesday, with more than half a million for [Ashley Madison List] as people tried to find out whether someone they knew had a profile. But questions about the hacking were myriad, and sometimes innocent. Many wanted to know "who is Ashley Madison?" (spoiler: not a real person) while others asked "What is the dark web?" in an effort to find out more about the anonymous and hidden network where the data was released.

Be careful what you wish for
A new tourist attraction in the U.K. is already living up to its name. "Dismaland," an art exhibit by the elusive Banksy, and "the U.K.'s most disappointing new visitor attraction," features a derelict castle with a dirty moat, gloomy park attendants, and bizarre works by 50+ artists. After being shrouded in secrecy, the "bemusement park" debuted this week to the tune of 200,000+ searches, and today search interest in Dismaland surpassed that of Disneyland's. (One of searchers' top questions: "What does Disney say about Dismaland?") Unfortunately (or, appropriately, depending on your viewpoint), the park has also had its fair share of troubles already. As its website crashed under the weight of 6 million hits, and hundreds of people lined up outside the resort, many are wondering whether they're on their way to see a conceptual art work, or already a part of one.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [best restaurants bon appetit]

Inspirational women. A surreal theme park. And a third-party candidate we can all get behind.

10 Sep 2015 11:35pm GMT

Through the Google Lens: Search Trends August 8-14

It's Friday, which means it's time for an A-through-Z of the week's Google Search trends (see what I did there?)

Per-see … what is it?
As the skies lit up with the Perseid Meteor shower this week, there were more than a million Google searches around the topic from people on the hunt for shooting stars. Along with questions on how to pronounce it (that would be something in the region of "percy-id"), people were asking where to watch and how to photograph the summer show, with NASA promising up to a hundred meteors an hour if you got up early enough. These meteors streak through the Earth's atmosphere for our viewing pleasure every year -- check out the annual spike in Google searches over the last decade for a record of when we spotted them.

Headlines from China
Shocking images of destruction continue to come out of China's northern port city of Tianjin after a massive chemical explosion Wednesday. This eye-witness video posted on YouTube by Daniel Van Duren -- who says he was watching for shooting stars when the explosions happened -- has more than 60,000 views in 24 hours. With news outlets reporting that smoke is still rising from the industrial area where the blasts occurred, the million Google searches about Tianjin are focused on the "who, what, where, when, why" of the disaster.

This was the second time news from China appeared in the world's Hot Trends this week. China's surprise decision to devalue its currency prompted an additional 50,000 searches Tuesday.

Because there's apparently a day for everything
It was an awesome week for left-handed middle children everywhere. Wednesday was National Middle Child Day, where the top rising search on Google was for this meme, which pretty much sums it up. Then Thursday was Left Handers Day, prompting a spike of more than 100,000 Google searches. Looking at the top questions asked on Google around this important day for southpaws, you all wanted to know how many people in general are left-handed, and how many US presidents in particular (hard to confirm, but the White House tweeted that President Obama is one of them). Which brings us, naturally, to the next burning question on people's minds: "Is Donald Trump left-handed?" File that one under "August."

Posted by Abbi Tatton, who searched this week for [left-handed kangaroos].

It's time for an A-through-Z of the week's Google Search trends (see what I did there?).

10 Sep 2015 11:33pm GMT

Android Wear now works with iPhones

Editor's note: As of September 2, you can check out new watches from Huawei, ASUS, and Motorola that all work with iPhones.

When you wear something every day, you want to be sure it really works for you. That's why Android Wear offers countless design choices, so you can find the watch that fits your style. Want a round watch with a more classic look? Feel like a new watch band? How about changing things up every day with watch faces from artists and designers? With Android Wear you can do all of that. And now, Android Wear watches work with iPhones.

Android Wear for iOS is rolling out today. Just pair your iPhone (iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2+) with an Android Wear watch to bring simple and helpful information right to your wrist:

Today, Android Wear for iOS works with the LG Watch Urbane. All future Android Wear watches, including those from Huawei (pictured above), ASUS, and Motorola will also support iOS, so stay tuned for more.

Dr. Seuss once said: "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." We agree. So whoever You are, and whatever You like-Android Wear lets you wear what you want.

Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear

10 Sep 2015 11:23pm GMT

04 Sep 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Photos and Free Storage

There's something I don't understand about the new Google Photos. The settings page lets you choose between uploading high quality photos and videos for free, at reduced sizes (16MP or less for photos, Full HD or less for videos) or uploading original photos and videos at full resolution, but that counts against your quota.

This doesn't make sense. Google+ Photos had a different policy: "Only photos over 2048x2048 pixels and videos longer than 15 minutes count toward your storage limit." Google+ even had a setting that resized your photos to 2048x2048 or less, so they stayed under the free storage limit.

Google's new policy doesn't seem fair to those who pick the "original" option. If you upload photos that are 16 MP or less or videos that are 1080p or less, you should be able to store them for free, regardless of the Google Photos setting you choose. The distinction between "high quality" and "original" should only be made for photos and videos that don't fall under Google's limitations.

04 Sep 2015 9:19am GMT

Google Drive Bonus Storage Is Expiring

2 years ago, Google offered 10 GB of free storage for installing the Quickoffice app for Android or iOS. Unfortunately, Google's bonus storage is about to expire.

"We wanted to let you know that you have bonus Google Drive storage expiring on Oct 3 2015. While this bonus period is coming to an end, you can always purchase additional storage," informs Google. "Rest assured that your files in Google Drive remain safe and accessible by you and the people you've shared them with. You just won't be able to add or sync any files unless you are using less than your current available storage or you've purchased additional storage."

Basically, Google won't delete your files, but you'll have to delete some of them or purchase more storage if you actually used the 10 GB bonus storage. Since the storage is shared between Gmail, Google Photos and Google Drive, all of these services are affected and you can also delete Gmail messages with large attachments or photos and videos from Google Photos that use your Google storage. Here's how to find Gmail messages with big attachments and a list of Google Drive files sorted by size.

04 Sep 2015 8:18am GMT

More About Google's New Visual Identity

Google Design's site has an interesting article about Google's new identity. Google's designers started by "distilling the essence of the brand down to its core" and built 3 elements that work on any platform: a sans serif logotype, the dynamic dots that respond to users and a compact version of the Google logo.

Some people said that Google's new logo is childish and it really is. "The Google logo has always had a simple, friendly, and approachable style. We wanted to retain these qualities by combining the mathematical purity of geometric forms with the childlike simplicity of schoolbook letter printing. Our new logotype is set in a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface and maintains the multi-colored playfulness and rotated 'e' of our previous mark-a reminder that we'll always be a bit unconventional," mention Google's designers.

The dots are a brilliant way to convey the full Google logo in a Material Design approach. "The Google dots are a dynamic and perpetually moving state of the logo. They represent Google's intelligence at work and indicate when Google is working for you. We consider these unique, magic moments. A full range of expressions were developed including listening, thinking, replying, incomprehension, and confirmation."

Google now uses pixel-perfect SVGs for base assets and generates thousands of vector-based variants. For example, there's a version of the logo that's optimized for low-bandwidth connections and is only 305 bytes. Google's old approach was to serve a text-based approximation of the logo.

All in all, the new logo is more flexible, works better for devices with small screens and there's an animated abstract version. For the first time, Google's logo becomes a user interface control that communicates information and connects users to Google.

{ Thanks, Brendan Early. }

04 Sep 2015 7:34am GMT

03 Sep 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Templates, Insights and Dictation in Google Docs

Google's standalone web apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides now show a list of templates you can choose to quickly create a document, spreadsheet or presentation. For example, Google Docs shows templates for resumes, reports, letters and you can expand the list to see even more templates (essays, class notes, project proposals, meeting notes, brochures, newsletters).

Google Sheets has templates for to-do lists, budgets, calendars, schedules, invoices, time sheets and more.

Google Slides also has a few templates for photo albums, pitches, status reports, lesson plans, portfolios, weddings, party invites and more.

Another new feature lets you get insights on a spreadsheet by simply selecting a range of cells and clicking Explore. This feature works in the desktop web app and the Android app and it shows trends, patterns and even charts for the data you've selected. It's surprisingly useful.

Google Docs now shows the new changes in a collaborative document. "If there are new changes, click the New changes button to the right of the Help menu. You can also click the File menu > See new changes."

Voice typing lets you dictate a text in Google Docs for desktop, but only if you use Chrome. Activate this feature from the Tools menu and speak in one of the 40 supported languages. You can say "period", "comma", "question mark", "exclamation mark", "new line", "new paragraph" to add punctuation to your text.

You can customize your forms by picking a theme or adding a photo. Google chooses the right color palette to match your photo. Insert images and YouTube videos to illustrate your questions.

{ Via Google Docs Blog. Thanks, Brendan and Jérôme. }

03 Sep 2015 12:35pm GMT

02 Sep 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Updated Mobile UI for Google's Related Searches

Google Mobile Search has a new interface for related searches. Google usually shows up to 8 related searches at the bottom of the search results pages, but now the list looks different: there's a table with white rows and small arrows next to each related query.

Click a related search and you can see the search results for that query and even more related searches. You can start with a generic query like [nightingale] and create a more specific query by only clicking on related searches. For example, you can find searches like [sound of a nightingale singing], [Yanni nightingale live] or [how do you become a nightingale in Skyrim?].

02 Sep 2015 12:18pm GMT

Google's New Colorful Favicon

Google has a new logo, but it also has a new favicon. It's now a capital G that uses the four Google colors: blue, red, yellow and green.

Here's a screenshot that shows the old favicon launched in 2012 and the new one:

This is the new favicon, which is also used as an icon for Google Search:

You can find it in Google's app launcher and soon in Chrome's app launcher and in Android, as an icon for the Google Search app.

02 Sep 2015 6:36am GMT

Google Photos, The New Home for Your Private Photos

I've clicked the Photos link from the Google+ navigation menu. The page redirected to Google Photos and it displayed a new message:

"Welcome to Google Photos, the new home for all your private photos. The photos you've shared on Google+ are still available in the photos tab of your Google+ profile."

The message links to https://plus.google.com/me/photos, which is the photos tab from your Google Profile. Until now, Google Photos linked to Google+ Photos, bypassing the redirect.

You can still go to Google+ Photos using this link: https://plus.google.com/photos/highlights, but I don't know for how long. Most likely, Google+ Photos will disappear soon.

02 Sep 2015 6:20am GMT

New Mobile Google Homepage

Google's mobile homepage looks different. The tabs for web search and image search are now blue and you can finally use the app launcher. Just click the grid icon to see the same app launcher from the desktop site. Many shortcuts will open the corresponding mobile apps instead of the mobile sites.

For now, the app launcher is only available from the Google homepage and from Google Image Search's homepage.

Google has recently changed the color of the tabs from red to blue for both the desktop site and the mobile site. There's now a bigger Google logo at the top of the page and the header uses more space.

02 Sep 2015 5:47am GMT

01 Sep 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

The New Google Logo in Google Maps

The new Google logo stands out more. The latest version of the Google Maps app for Android replaced the gray Google logo from the bottom left corner with a bigger logo that's now colorful.

Here's a screenshot from an old version of Google Maps. You need to look carefully to see the logo at the bottom:

This screenshot is from the latest version of the Google Maps app. The new logo doesn't blend in with the map and it's more distracting.

A similar logo was also added to the desktop site:

01 Sep 2015 9:20pm GMT

App Launcher Shortcut for Google Inbox

Ever wanted to quickly switch between Gmail and Inbox? You can add Inbox to Google's app launcher: just go to inbox.google.com, click the grid icon at the top of the page and then click "add a shortcut". Drag and drop the icon to change its position.

I placed the Inbox shortcut next to Gmail's shortcut.

Inbox has a setting that lets you redirect Gmail to inbox.google.com, just in case you want to switch to Inbox.

01 Sep 2015 7:42pm GMT

Smaller Google Search Button

Google has recently changed the search button from the desktop site. It's now much smaller, just like the search button from the mobile UI.

You don't have to click the search button: it's much faster to press Enter, since you're already using the keyboard.

Here's a recent screenshot that shows the bigger button:

01 Sep 2015 7:23pm GMT

A New Google Logo

Google's homepage has a clever animation that announces a new Google logo. "These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices - sometimes all in a single day. (...) Today we're introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens," informs Google.

It's not just about the Google logo: many other Google icons will change. "New elements like a colorful Google mic help you identify and interact with Google whether you're talking, tapping or typing. Meanwhile, we're bidding adieu to the little blue 'g' icon and replacing it with a four-color 'G' that matches the logo."

Google's app launcher already has new icons for Google Search, Google Maps, Google Translate, Google News and Google+:

The new icons are better suited for small screens and manage to convey the Google identity using colors and playful cues. Google's logo hasn't changed a lot since 1998: it's still simple, colorful, playful and unintimidating.

{ Thanks, Gopinath. }

01 Sep 2015 7:09pm GMT

24 Aug 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Quickly Copy Google's Translations

Google Translate added a few years ago a "select all" button that automatically selected the translation, so you could easily copy the text and paste it in an email message, a document or somewhere else. In Chrome, the "select all" has been replaced with a new "copy" button that selects the entire translation and copies the text to the clipboard. The nice thing is that this feature uses HTML5, not Flash. Unfortunately, the new feature is only available in Chrome and all the other browsers still get the old "select all" button.

You can still click the star button to save a translation to the phrasebook or copy the URL generated by Google Translate, which includes the original text.

{ Thanks, Alireza Eskandarpour Shoferi. }

24 Aug 2015 9:02pm GMT

YouTube's Red Settings

To make it more obvious that a certain option is enabled, YouTube player's settings menu changes the color of the menu item to red. For example, if annotations are enabled, the "annotations" menu item is red.

Mouse over a red setting and it temporarily becomes black. Disable the setting and it switches to black. Previously, only the radio box was red and I think it looked better.

24 Aug 2015 8:42pm GMT

19 Aug 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Blue Tabs

Google lets you switch between its specialized search engines and check image results, video results, news articles, books, Google Maps results and more. The active tab was red, but now it switched to blue.

Here's a screenshot that shows the blue tab:

... and a screenshot that shows the old red tab:

Back in June, I posted about a Google Mobile Search experiment that tested an oversized header and the active tab's color was blue.

19 Aug 2015 8:01pm GMT

Inline Search Results in Mobile Google Search?

Google's goal used to be sending users as quickly as possible to the best sites that answered their questions. Smartphone's popularity changed this and Google started to show detailed answers that used information from other sites. On-the-go users don't have much time to check multiple search results and find their answers, many sites aren't optimized for mobile, mobile data is still expensive and users have to deal with slow Internet connections.

Brandon Giesing noticed an interesting question from Google Opinion Rewards: "Imagine you're Googling on your phone. Compared to tapping on a regular search result, would tapping on a result that expanded to reveal content below where you tapped would be... much worse/worse/similar/better/much better?" It looks like Google considers adding a feature that loads the content of a search result inline, probably from Google Cache.

{ Thanks, Brandon. }

19 Aug 2015 7:49pm GMT

09 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Berkshire Hathaway

My taste in financial advice runs toward the simple and the lessons I've learned the hard way. But I still like reading about investing/finance, and I recently read through the 2014 annual report for Berkshire Hathaway. Given that it was the 50th anniversary of Warren Buffett taking charge of Berkshire, I have to admit that […]

09 Apr 2015 6:47am GMT

01 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My next project: AutoSEO

This was an April Fool's joke. I've been working really hard with some friends on a project to handle SEO automatically. Now we're ready to take the wraps off it over at seo.ninja. One of the ideas that helped the World Wide Web succeed was that it separated presentation and content. You could write your […]

01 Apr 2015 12:23am GMT

01 Mar 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Next 30 day challenge: social media/news cleanse

For January 2015, I tried to declutter around the house for 15 minutes a day. We now have a couple rooms that are much cleaner, and I gave away a bunch of magazines. For February 2015, my 30 day challenge was to go on daily 15 minute walks with my wife. That was nice. Lately […]

01 Mar 2015 4:40am GMT

19 Feb 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fixing “full path disclosure” issues

Whether you're running a web service or a blog, you should always keep your software fully patched to prevent attacks and minimize your attack surface. Another smart step is to prevent full path disclosures. For example, if your blog or service throws an error like "Warning: require(ABSPATHwp-includes/load.php) [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file […]

19 Feb 2015 6:43am GMT

23 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Lessons learned from the early days of Google

Earlier this month I did a talk at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about lessons learned from the early days of Google. The video is now online and watchable, or you can watch it on YouTube: We did the talk in a pretty large room, and the camera at the back of […]

23 Jan 2015 8:44pm GMT

02 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My two favorite books of 2014

I'd like to mention two books that stood out for me in 2014: Nonfiction: The First 20 Minutes. Gretchen Reynolds is a New York Times columnist who distills health and exercise research down to practical, readable advice. I've never dog-eared as many pages in a book as The First 20 Minutes. Reynolds writes about why […]

02 Jan 2015 4:08am GMT

14 Dec 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fun mosaic effect with Go

A few months ago I saw a cool mosaic effect in a Wired ad for CA Technologies. Here's what part of the ad looked like: I liked the ad, so I wondered how they did it. Can you see out how to create a similar effect? Take a minute to figure it out as an […]

14 Dec 2014 11:54pm GMT

01 Dec 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

An investment reading list

If you've read Scott Adams' financial advice and my financial tips in case you win a startup lottery, then you might be interested in a few more pointers to good resources. Some web pages and books: - Don't Play the Losers' Game, by Henry Blodget. This is a short, accessible piece that explains why picking […]

01 Dec 2014 7:54am GMT

New 30 day challenge: “hermit mode”

I've been spending more time surfing the web on my laptop than I'd like to. I've also noticed more emails that lure me into short tasks, but eventually eat up a large chunk of my day. I'd prefer to be spending more time working on projects, reading, and unplugging. So my new 30 day challenge […]

01 Dec 2014 5:07am GMT

26 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

The Emperor's Garden

The Emperor instructed the gardener to set up the new court's garden. "I want you to plant five trees growing the Crataan fruit," the Emperor said, "Because we asked people what fruit they like best, and most named the Crataan fruit!" The gardener replied, "Emperor, that is excellent thinking! But let me make some suggestions: First, how about we make one of the five trees bear the Muran fruit. Only one out of ten citizens loves it, but those peculiar citizens tend to love multiple times as much!" "Second," the gardener continued, "How about we make one of the five trees bear the Dratean fruit. No one loves it, but that's because no one knows it yet!" "Third," the gardener said, "How about we leave one spot in the garden empty. Who knows what new type of tree we'll discover that we can put there in the fut ...

26 Aug 2011 12:12pm GMT

15 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Color Sound Machine (and what else I've been doing lately)

For those of you who've been wondering whether I had turned to stone, fallen into a bottomless pit, or been climbing the Himalaya... no, none of that is true, even though you probably did notice I'm not actively blogging about Google here anymore*! Just now, a new iPad app I've been working on called Color Sound Machine went live, and this -- and all the other apps and games at Versus Pad** -- are actually what I am doing while not blogoscoping. *I've drafted unpublished posts explaining much more about past, present and future of Blogoscoped, and the history of Google news reporting, but ... oh, for now le ...

15 Aug 2011 4:00pm GMT

25 Feb 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google drops reverse phone number lookup

One of the earliest specialist services provided by Google was reverse phone number lookup. If you used the "phonebook:" or "rphonebook:" operators together with a 10-digit US phone number, Google would show you the owner of that phone number, unless the number was unlisted. Google no longer provides that service. Not surprisingly, there was no press release marking the closure, but Google employee Daniel Russell has acknowledged the closure of the service in his blog. He hints at the possible pressures leading to the shuttering of the service: "As you can imagine, this was an endless source of hassles for people (who were surprised to see themselves searchable on Google) and for Google (who had to constantly de ...

25 Feb 2011 11:23am GMT

16 Dec 2010

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Idea: Topical Chat

This website would take the top headlines from a tech or political site for that day -- at first just from Reddit (you gotta start somewhere), but later, from other sites too, in aggregated form, similar to Techmeme, but across different topics you can navigate to from the frontpage (entertainment, politics, technology etc.). It would present them in some sort of list of headlines with a link to the discussion source. Below every headline on the frontpage there's an expandable chat box window. You log-in once into the site and then you can expand any one of these chat boxes, and see who's in there, and read the chat log, and join yourself with remarks by typing them in a box, similar to IRC and others. The chat wouldn't be a replacement of the discussion going on at the other site, but an addition to it. One benefit: a discus ...

16 Dec 2010 2:55pm GMT

Idea: CrowdChat

Two groups have a text chat using a web interface, arguing about a certain topic. For Group B to reply to what Group A says, each member of Group B proposes a sentence. Then, each member of Group B quickly votes on which sentence of another member of their group they like best. (You don't have to propose a sentence, and you don't have to vote on one; both proposing a sentence as well as voting on one are time-limited to just a certain amount of seconds, though.) Then, the highest-voted sentence will be shown to Crowd A as answer. Crowd A now goes through the same process to formulate a reply directed at Crowd B, and so on. To join, you can pick any of the two crowds based on reading the chat log, provided this group hasn't reach its limit of X members (beyond just group size that limit may also depend on how active current me ...

16 Dec 2010 7:26am GMT

Google Body Browser

If you're using the Google Chrome developer channel (or Firefox 4 Beta) have a look at the new Body Browser to explore a body in 3D. [Via Google OS.]

16 Dec 2010 2:17am GMT

10 Dec 2010

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Pictures of the Cr-48

MBegin in the forum writes: I ran home for lunch today and was VERY pleasantly surprised to find a Cr-48 Chrome OS Notebook at my doorstep!! -Thanks Google! I took a few quick pics and I'll post more about my experiences later... Feel free to bug MBegin with questions in this post's comments, just in case he finds time to get around answering them!

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

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Using open source technologies from Google, could someone create a tablet that would let you add both Chrome Web Store apps/ web apps in general, as well as Android Market place apps, and you as user wouldn't even need to bother much about which comes from where as you'd only see a single merged Store, and apps would all be added to a nice homescreen with icons like on the iPad, and apps would always open full-screen no matter if the app maker made it that way or not, and Flash would work too? And would anyone want that thing?

09 Dec 2010 12:40pm GMT

08 Dec 2010

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Device Evolution

Watching evolution is fun, especially when it happens right around you, and happens so fast. A mutation we saw yesterday was a new animal scientists gave the name "Chrome OS Notebook", but it's surrounded by other smart animals of all kinds and shapes. What do they fight for? Their nature are our offices, living rooms, cafes and parks; their food are our individual interests. Computing devices: the more we have, the less we notice them. Sneaky things, changing the color of their skin on different backgrounds... we don't even know they're computers anymore! The sneakier they fade in, the more likely they'll hunt down our interest when it appears. You're in your room, and you just had the idea of going to a cafe to read a newspaper, and perhaps chat with some friends. You can now hear small leafs crack, the surroundin ...

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

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How to Disable Google Instant Previews

If you find Google's Instant Previews feature as useless as I do -- you know, those images popping up near search results, often similarly unwanted (when triggered by a wrong click) as Snap site previews -- maybe this User script is for you. I use several machines and browsers, though, so always installing add-ons when Google rolls out something unwanted is suboptimal in the long run (opening links in a new window is something else I don't like, for instance, and whenever I disable it -- even if I would do so across browsers and machines -- it'll come back the next time I empty my cache, because Google thinks that's best for people located in China; another feature which I practically never use is the left-hand side bar... perhaps one day we'll need a Simple Google add-on to get r ...

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

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Google's Newest Q&A Service: "baraza"

Google's newest Question and Answer service is Google baraza beta, launched on 25 October 2010. Baraza is offered in English and French, although Google's links to the French questions aren't working for me. Baraza operates on a Points basis. You get 20 points for signing up, and 4 points each day you log in. If you are already logged into your Google account, there isn't actually any signup process. Your name and photo from your Google profile are automatically used, although you can change your username and avatar if you like. Asking a question costs 5 points, and you earn 5 points for choosing a "best answer" for your question, so you can use the service on an ongoing ...

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

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Taped an iPhone to my remote-controlled car and hit the Record button

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

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Playable JavaScript app of my new iPad game Knights vs Knightesses (Google Chrome/ Safari needed)

Here's a fully playable web demo of my new free iPad two-player game Knights vs Knightesses... it runs in Google Chrome and Safari. Note the graphics load much slower than the iPad app because it's online. If you're interested, the full source is viewable. It's all JavaScript because I'm using the PhoneGap wrapper for this one.

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

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Which of your websites, deleted or lost years ago (or on a backup in a box you can't seem to find), would you most like to get back?

The release of a massive but not complete Geocities archive made me wonder about all the past stuff we probably can't recover anymore (and the usage of stylesheets over time makes design changes so easy that they're also easily undocumented) -- so my question: Which of your lost websites would you most love to get back?

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

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See a Random Street View Location

Click the MapCrunch Go button and you'll be transported to a random (Google Street View covered) place in the world. [Via Reddit.]

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT