15 Jun 2021

feedThe Official Google Blog

6 new features on Android this summer

From keeping your account password safe to scheduling text messages to send at the right moment, we're constantly rolling out new updates to the 3 billion active Android devices around the world. Today, we're welcoming summer with six updates for your Android that focus on safety - so you're protected at every turn.

1. Android Earthquake Alerts System is rolling out globally

Earthquake alert screen that clicks through to an earthquake safety info screen

Last year, we embarked on a mission to build the world's largest earthquake detection network, based on technology built into Android devices. With this free system, people in affected areas can get alerts seconds before an earthquake hits, giving you advance notice in case you need to seek safety. We recently launched the Android Earthquake Alerts System in New Zealand and Greece. Today, we're introducing the Android Earthquake Alerts System in Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

We are prioritizing launching Earthquake Alerts in countries with higher earthquake risks, and hope to launch in more and more countries over the coming year.

2. Star what's important with the Messages app


With tons of messages from family, friends, colleagues and others, it's easy for information to get lost. Now, you can star a message on your Messages app to keep track of what's important, and easily find it later without scrolling through all of your conversations. Just tap and hold your message, then star it. And when you want to revisit a message, like your friend's address or the photo from your family reunion, tap on the starred category.

Starred messages will start to roll out more broadly over the coming weeks.

3. Find the perfect Emoji Kitchen sticker at the perfect time

After typing a message, relevant emoji mixes are proactively displayed at the top of the keyword

In May, we introduced a new section in your recently used Emoji Kitchen stickers so you can quickly get back to the ones you use most frequently. Soon you'll also start to see contextual suggestions in Emoji Kitchen once you've typed a message. These will help you discover the perfect emoji combination at the exact moment you need it.

Contextual Emoji Kitchen suggestions are available in Gboard beta today and are coming to all Gboard users this summer for messages written in English, Spanish and Portuguese on devices running Android 6.0 and above.

4. Access more of your favorite apps with just your voice


Ask Google to open or search many of your favorite apps using just your voice - you can say things like, "Hey Google, pay my Capital One bill" to jump right into the app and complete the task or "Hey Google, check my miles on Strava" to quickly see your weekly progress right on the lock screen. See what else you can do by saying "Hey Google, shortcuts."

5. Improved Password Input and gaze detection on Voice Access

A gaze detection icon on a screen changes from crossed out to active when a character turns its head towards the device to speak the "scroll down" command in Voice Access

Built with and for people with motor disabilities, and helpful for those without, Voice Access gives you quick and efficient phone and app navigation with just your voice.

With gaze detection, now in beta, you can ask Voice Access to work only when you are looking at the screen - so you can naturally move between talking to friends and using your phone.

Voice Access now has enhanced password input. When it recognizes a password field, it will let you input letters, numbers and symbols. For example, you can say "capital P a s s w o r d" or names of symbols (like "dollar sign" to input a $), so it's faster to safely enter your password.

6. More customization and new app experiences on Android Auto

After a user taps on the Messages app icon and + New, Google Assistant is activated to help send a new message from the launcher screen

You can now customize more of your Android Auto experience for easier use, like personalizing your launcher screen directly from your phone and manually setting dark mode. It's also easier to browse content with new tabs in your media apps, a "back to top" option and an A to Z button in the scroll bar. And, if it's your first time using Android Auto, you can now get started faster in your car with a few simple taps.

We've also added new app experiences to help enhance your drive. EV charging, parking and navigation apps are now available to use in Android Auto. Plus, we've improved the messaging experience, so you can access your favorite messaging apps from the launcher screen. You can easily read and send new messages directly from apps like WhatsApp or Messages - now available globally.

These Android Auto features are available on phones running Android 6.0 or above, and when connected to your compatible car.

15 Jun 2021 4:00pm GMT

All I Want: The stories behind Portuguese female artists

What's the place of female artists? How much of their art is known, spoken or internationally recognized? There is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality, but making sure we open space to talk about the ones who already broke barriers is definitely the first step. "All I Want: Portuguese women artists from 1900 to 2020" is a feminist exhibit and a space of dialogue and affirmation. Even more, it is a collection to show the historical and artistic relevance of Portuguese female artists -- and certainly an exhibit that we want everyone to have access to, even amid travel restrictions. That's why we're excited to have partnered with Google Arts & Culture to bring this exhibit to the world.

More than 240 artworks by 40 Portuguese artists, from 1900 to 2020, come together in a large exhibit that we are making available to an international audience thanks to technology. Artists like Aurélia de Sousa, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Rosa Ramalho or Sarah Affonso gain life through 14 different stories transposing the physical exhibit and 40 stories telling the biographies of each selected artist.

All I Want questions where women are in art today, and reinforces the need to celebrate women artists from history. The exhibit highlights artists that deserve recognition, putting forgotten women back in the frame and exploring concepts, styles, colors, feminism and how the artists reflect their individuality.

  • Self-portrait of artist Aurélia de Sousa

    Understand Aurélia de Sousa and her work as awoman at the turn of the 20th century.

  • A work of art by Helena Almeida, featuring a black-and-white portrait of a woman with her mouth open. The inside of the mouth is painted blue.

    The work of Helena Almeida essentially deconstructs the two-dimensional nature of painting.

  • An exhibit featuring white fabric hanging from the ceiling with chairs and other furniture painted on it in blue.

    Learn about the symbolic relationship between women and their living space.

  • An abstract painting featuring blue, pink, orange and green colors.

    Explore important artworks from a new perspective with augmented reality.

The stories are divided into topics that will take people through a journey that spans from understanding generations to considering the place of women in art history, as well as discussions about the body and literary production. The curators, Helena de Freitas and Bruno Marchand, worked to make sure this exhibit would not only fill a gap in the art world, but also explain why this disparity started in the first place.

All I Want is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, in partnership with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, presented on the occasion of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021. After its period in Portugal, the physical exhibit will travel to France, but on Google Arts & Culture this project will be preserved and able to reach every corner. In my ideal world, every female artist would have recognition and space for their art. For now, I am happy we are starting with these exceptional Portuguese women artists and I hope this inspires other institutions in the world.

15 Jun 2021 7:00am GMT

14 Jun 2021

feedThe Official Google Blog

Meet Milo, this year's Doodle for Google winner!

A few weeks ago we announced our five national Doodle for Google finalists. They all beautifully showed us their answers to this year's contest prompt, "I am strong because…". One young artist stood out to us with his words, symbolism and art. We're excited to announce our 2021 winner is 11th grader, Milo Golding from Lexington, Kentucky! Milo's Doodle titled "Finding Hope" spoke to the resilience and hope that lives in all of us. Let's get to know this year's Doodle for Google winner:

Has art always been a part of your life?

Ever since I can remember, I've been drawing and creating - to the point where my parents had to apologize to my relatives because I used to draw on their walls when we would visit their homes! From that point on they always carried sketchbooks and pencils for me.

Photo of a young man looking into the camera and smiling.

What message do you want people to take away from your Doodle?

Regardless of life's hardships and uncertainties, hope is always there. It's our job to find that hope in order to move forward.

Tell us a little bit about your family and your community.

Both of my parents are immigrants. My father immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica and my mother from China. I grew up in a rural community in eastern Kentucky, and after my dad passed away my purpose in life really shifted. It's important to me to help other children in need in my community who might have gone through something similar.

I started a charity a few years ago called Sanguine Path. We serve children 18 and under who have lost loved ones or been affected by challenging experiences by providing them with Christmas and birthday gifts, care packages and back-to-school kits. Family members, school staff, grief counselors or parents and guardians can refer children to the program.

What has it felt like being this year's Doodle for Google winner been like?

It's been a really fun experience so far! The other day my mom was telling me how happy and proud she was. She told me I'm becoming the person my dad would have definitely wanted me to become. I often use art to advocate for things I find important and this competition showed me that I can keep using art to spread the message of hope and love.

I'm so happy my message of hope came through in my art, that's what's most important to me.

I'm also very grateful for this opportunity. It really allowed me to not only reflect upon my life but also reaffirm what I want to do - which is help people. And I truly appreciate that.

Congratulations to Milo. We are thrilled to have you as our 2021 winner. We can't wait to see all of the amazing things you do!

14 Jun 2021 1:30pm GMT

Google Workspace for everyone

Since the launch of Gmail in 2004, and Google Docs two years later, we've been building flexible, helpful and innovative solutions that allow people to connect, create and collaborate securely - from anywhere on the planet and on any device. When we debuted Google Workspace last October, we not only introduced a new brand, but also our vision for a single, integrated experience for everyone: Everything you need to get anything done, now in one place. Across apps like Gmail, Chat, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Meet and more, our consumer, enterprise and education users choose Google Workspace to stay in touch, share ideas and get more done together every day.

Over the last year, we've delivered innovations that bring together the content, communications and tasks that help millions of businesses, nonprofits and classrooms transform how they collaborate, make the most of their time, and have more impact. Now we're bringing those same innovations to everyone else. Starting today, all of Google Workspace is available to anyone with a Google account.

Bring your projects and passions to life in Google Workspace

By bringing Google Workspace to everyone, we're making it easy for people to stay connected, get organized and achieve more together, whether it's advancing a cause, planning your family reunion, assigning next steps for the PTA or discussing this month's book club pick.

You can create a secure collaboration space in Google Chat to keep everyone up-to-date, share ideas, and keep track of all your important info in one place, from videos and pictures of your last trip, to a Google Sheet of your family's annual budget. Smart suggestions help you bring in recommended files and quickly include the right people with @-mentions, whether you're drafting a message in Gmail to the whole group or scheduling a meeting invite in a shared Calendar. To keep things moving, you can use smart canvas to generate a checklist in Google Docs and quickly assign roles and next steps. And if your project calls for a spontaneous conversation, you can present the Doc, Sheet or Slide you're working on together directly into a Google Meet call with just one click.

What's more, you'll have peace of mind as you work with others knowing that we designed Google Workspace to operate on a secure foundation, with the protections needed to keep you safe, your data secure, and your information private.

Screenshot of Spaces in Google Workspace, showing a family planning a reunion

Planning the family reunion in Spaces

Starting today, you can enable the integrated experience in Google Workspace by turning on Google Chat. Use Rooms in Google Chat as a central place to connect, create and collaborate with others. Over the summer, we'll evolve Rooms to become Spaces and introduce a streamlined and flexible user interface that helps you stay on top of everything that's important. Powered by new features like in-line topic threading, presence indicators, custom statuses, expressive reactions, and a collapsible view, Spaces will seamlessly integrate with your files and tasks, becoming your new home in Google Workspace for getting more done - together. Learn more about our vision for collaborating in Spaces.

Introducing Google Workspace Individual

For some people, pursuing their passion and getting involved in the community leads to great business ideas. For other entrepreneurs, a single Google account is the basis for managing their long-established businesses or getting the word out about their next big endeavor. With Google Workspace Individual, we're delivering a powerful, easy-to-use solution that was built to help people grow, run and protect their business.

With this new Google Workspace subscription offering, individual small business owners can get more done, show up more professionally and better serve their customers. Building on the integrated Google Workspace experience now available to everyone, the solution provides premium capabilities, including smart booking services, professional video meetings, personalized email marketing and much more on the way. Within their existing Google account, subscribers can easily manage all their personal and professional commitments from one place with access to Google support to get the most out of their solution.

Workspace Individual was created to help people focus their time on doing what they love - like meeting with customers and designing personalized services - and less time on everyday tasks like scheduling appointments and emailing customers. Workspace Individual is rolling out soon to six markets, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Japan.Sign up to receive updates on Google Workspace Individual.

GIF of appointment booking page in Calendar

Easily set up and share appointment booking pages in Calendar

Google Workspace: How it's done

Every day, the world's most innovative companies, schools, nonprofits and governments use Google Workspace to transform how people work and achieve more together. It's a daily part of how leading healthcare providers revolutionize patient care, schools turn remote learning into an immersive, personalized experience, and aerospace companies rethink flight. Now, with Google Workspace for everyone, you can organize your junior sports league with ease, take that fundraiser to the next level, or even turn your hobby into a business. Whatever it is, Google Workspace helps people (teams, families, friends, volunteers, neighbors...) connect, create and collaborate. Google Workspace is how it's done.

14 Jun 2021 10:00am GMT

11 Jun 2021

feedThe Official Google Blog

Meet Barbara Hepworth, her art and life with Google Arts & Culture

Barbara Hepworth was one of the most important artists of the 20th century,and on this day in 1964 she unveiled her iconic sculpture Single Form at the United Nations in New York City. The piece is a dedication to her friend, UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjöld. To mark the decade since the opening of her namesake gallery - the Hepworth Wakefield - Google Arts & Culture's latest collaboration brings thelargest retrospective of Hepworth's work online, for audiences everywhere to explore.

Perhaps what one wants to say is formed in childhood and the rest of one's life is spent in trying to say it. Barbara Hepworth

Born and raised in the Yorkshire town of Wakefield, Hepworth worked at the forefront of contemporary art during her lifetime. Learn about Hepworth's relationship with Yorkshire, and see how its influences can be seen throughout her career. The exhibition emphasizes how her work spanned across disciplines including space exploration, music, dance, politics and religion, while also reflecting her personal experiences.

  • Archival photograph of Barbara Hepworth with a plaster, 1961

    Archival photograph of Barbara Hepworth with a plaster, 1961

  • Large and Small Form by Barbara Hepworth, 1934

    Large and Small Form by Barbara Hepworth, 1934

  • The Hepworth Wakefield, by David Chipperfield, 2011

    The Hepworth Wakefield, by David Chipperfield, 2011

  • Itea, by Barbara Hepworth, 1971

    Itea, by Barbara Hepworth, 1971

  • Spring, by Barbara Hepworth, 1966

    Spring, by Barbara Hepworth, 1966

Seminal sculptures such as Mother and Child, Springand Single Form have been captured in ultra high resolution using the latest technology, to allow viewers to get up close with the texture of the materials and see the carefully created marks Hepworth made during creation. Audiences can also discover more about the artist's lesser-known artworks including her printmaking and designs for theaters.

And if you aren't able to make it to Yorkshire, art fans everywhere cantake a virtual walk around the stunning exhibition using Google Street View. A selection of Hepworth's iconic sculptures can also be experienced using Augmented Reality to see them up close in your own space with the Google Arts & Culture app.

For a more contemporary fix, discover the newly commissioned works by Tacita Dean and Veronica Ryan, made especially for the anniversary exhibition. Or, if you are feeling creative, perhaps you could have a go at creating a Hepworth-inspired artwork yourself. There are activities for all agesand interests available, with videos, quizzes and more.

Visit g.co/BarbaraHepworth to explore more, and discover the incredible exhibition online. The Google Arts & Culture app is free and available online for iOS and Android.

11 Jun 2021 7:00am GMT

Our commitments for the Privacy Sandbox

We all expect a more private and secure web. The Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to help build it by developing new digital advertising tools to protect people's privacy and prevent covert tracking, while supporting a thriving ad-funded web. From the start of this project, we have been developing these tools in the open, and sought feedback at every step to ensure that they work for everyone, not just Google. As many publishers and advertisers rely on online advertising to fund their websites, getting this balance right is key to keeping the web open and accessible to everyone.

So when the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced its formal investigation of the Privacy Sandbox in January, we welcomed the opportunity to engage with a regulator with the mandate to promote competition for the benefit of consumers.

This process has also recognized the importance of reconciling privacy and competition concerns. In a first-of-its-kind review involving converging regulatory authorities and expertise, the United Kingdom's privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), is working collaboratively with, and providing direct input to, the CMA on Google's approach.

Today we are offering a set of commitments - the result of many hours of discussions with the CMA and more generally with the broader web community - about how we'll design and implement the Privacy Sandbox proposals and treat user data in Google's systems in the years ahead. The CMA is now asking others in the industry for feedback on these commitments as part of a public consultation, with a view to making them legally binding. If the CMA accepts these commitments, we will apply them globally.

The commitments

Consultation and collaboration

Throughout this process, we will engage the CMA and the industry in an open, constructive and continuous dialogue. This includes proactively informing both the CMA and the wider ecosystem of timelines, changes and tests during the development of the Privacy Sandbox proposals, building on our transparent approach to date. We will work with the CMA to resolve concerns and develop agreed parameters for the testing of new proposals, while the CMA will be getting direct input from the ICO.

No data advantage for Google advertising products

Google has always had policies and practices to safeguard the use of people's data. And we have explicitly stated that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use such identifiers in our products.

Building on this principle, the commitments confirm that once third-party cookies are phased out, our ads products will not access synced Chrome browsing histories (or data from other user-facing Google products) in order to track users to target or measure ads on sites across the web.

Further, our ads products will also not access synced Chrome browsing histories or publishers' Google Analytics accounts to track users for targeting and measuring ads on our own sites, such as Google Search.

No self-preferencing

We will play by the same rules as everybody else because we believe in competition on the merits. Our commitments make clear that, as the Privacy Sandbox proposals are developed and implemented, that work will not give preferential treatment or advantage to Google's advertising products or to Google's own sites.

What's next

We appreciate the CMA's thoughtful approach throughout the review and their engagement with the difficult trade-offs that this process inevitably involves. We also welcome feedback from the public consultation and will continue to engage with the CMA and with the industry on this important topic. We understand that our plans will be scrutinized, so we'll also continue to engage with other regulators, industry partners and privacy experts as well.

We believe that these kinds of investments in privacy will create more opportunity, not less. The Privacy Sandbox seeks a way forward that improves people's privacy online while ensuring that advertisers and publishers of all sizes can continue to succeed.

11 Jun 2021 6:00am GMT

10 Jun 2021

feedThe Official Google Blog

Improving Search to better protect people from harassment

Over the past two decades of building Google Search, we've continued to improve and refine our ability to provide the highest quality results for the billions of queries we see every day. Our core principles guide every improvement, as we constantly update Search to work better for you. One area we'd like to shed more light on is how we balance maximizing access to information with the responsibility to protect people from online harassment.

We design our ranking systems to surface high quality results for as many queries as possible, but some types of queries are more susceptible to bad actors and require specialized solutions. One such example is websites that employ exploitative removals practices. These are sites that require payment to remove content, and since 2018 we've had a policy that enables people to request removal of pages with information about them from our results.

Beyond removing these pages from appearing in Google Search, we also used these removals as a demotion signal in Search, so that sites that have these exploitative practices rank lower in results. This solution leads the industry, and is effective in helping people who are victims of harassment from these sites.

However, we found that there are some extraordinary cases of repeated harassment. The New York Times highlighted one such case, and shed light on some limitations of our approach.

To help people who are dealing with extraordinary cases of repeated harassment, we're implementing an improvement to our approach to further protect known victims. Now, once someone has requested a removal from one site with predatory practices, we will automatically apply ranking protections to help prevent content from other similar low quality sites appearing in search results for people's names. We're also looking to expand these protections further, as part of our ongoing work in this space.

This change was inspired by a similar approach we've taken with victims of non-consensual explicit content, commonly known as revenge porn. While no solution is perfect, our evaluations show that these changes meaningfully improve the quality of our results.

Over the years of building Search, our approach has remained consistent: We take examples of queries where we're not doing the best job in providing high quality results, and look for ways to make improvements to our algorithms. In this way, we don't "fix" individual queries, since they're often a symptom of a class of problems that affect many different queries. Our ability to address issues continues to lead the industry, and we've deployed advanced technology, tools and quality signals over the last two decades, making Search work better every day.

Search is never a solved problem, and there are always new challenges we face as the web and the world change. We're committed to listening to feedback and looking for ways to improve the quality of our results.

10 Jun 2021 6:08pm GMT

Why coming to Google was a package deal for Belle Sun

Welcome to the latest edition of "My Path to Google," where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today's post is all about Belle Sun, one of the Googlers behind the packaging design for Google products. Belle deep dives into her role and shares how her career has taken her from Shanghai to the U.S. and from working on baby products to high tech.

What's your role at Google?

As a Packaging Engineering Program Manager I facilitate Google consumer products packaging design - from engineering to manufacturing. We design packaging that not only protects the product, but also provides the best experience for people as packaging is the first interaction our customers have with a product. No matter how challenging the development phase is, nothing beats the sense of achievement when I see our products packaged on the shelf.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I first check my emails and sort out the priority level. I then set up meetings to share project status, analyze risks and impact due to the changes requested - changes can be everything from adding a warning label to packages to adding additional screws so people can secure something like the Nest Cam onto their walls. Besides my daily work, I enjoy reading daily newsletters from the company to know what exciting things other Googlers are doing. I'm also a part of the "Dogfood" program where I test out new features and products and provide feedback.

Belle at her desk at home.

Can you tell us a bit about your move from Shanghai to the U.S.?

I grew up in Shanghai, China as an only child. I had no clue what I wanted to do, and solely focused on grades and getting into college - hoping to find a decent job in the future like many Chinese children of my generation. English was always my favorite subject. I went to the "English Corner" every week to practice and persuaded myself to be brave whenever I had an opportunity to speak with people from abroad. Fast forward to 2013, I moved to the U.S. at the age of 29.

As an immigrant, I was at a loss. I wondered if I was ever going to do well here from life to career because I didn't speak perfect English and it was so different from where I grew up. However, I never gave up and encouraged myself everyday that I could do it. I went from being too shy to say "hi" to a stranger to being a Googler. I learned you can do anything as long as you believe in yourself and work hard toward your goal.

Why did you decide to apply to Google?

I was working long days and nights prior to joining Google. One night my son held my arm to be with me while I was still in a meeting at a very late hour. At that point, I knew I needed to move onto something new for myself and my family.

A friend of mine told me about a role at Google Nest. Google is known for providing a good work life balance and caring for its employees. Above all, it is a company that leads the future of technology development. So I decided to go for it.

Belle and her son posing on Halloween in front of an Android pie statue.

Belle and her son at a Googleween event.

What was your path to your current role?

When I lived in Shanghai I was a product planner - I tracked orders and maintained on-time shipments from factories. That's when I became interested in product development and landed a role for baby products where I first learned about project management and how products were developed from concept to manufacturing. When I first moved to the U.S. I worked at BuyBuy Baby, then I moved into the packaging industry and developed packaging for consumer products.

What inspires you to come in (virtually) every day?

Designing and developing thoughtful packaging is exciting. Nowadays, packaging is not only used to protect the product during the transportation, but also a means to celebrate the company's values such as sustainability and inclusiveness.
Pixel 4 box sitting on a table indoors.

Packaging Belle worked on for the Pixel 4.

What was your application experience like?

I applied for the role directly online. Before the interviews, I was concerned with answering the questions correctly. I researched on the web, consulted with others in similar roles, and learned about Google's values. That's when I realized that there would be no right or wrong answers. Instead, what Google valued the most was the thought process and the creative way to resolve problems.

What advice would you give your past self?

I wish I told myself to apply earlier rather than thinking things like, "Am I qualified enough to compete with others since Google is a company so many people want to join?" I should have focused on the fact that my experience matched what the role requested.

10 Jun 2021 3:00pm GMT

Catch all the big plays with sports web stories

Aren't able to catch the game and watch your favorite team live? We've all been there before. But now, when you come to Google looking for the latest updates on your favorite team or game scores from around the league, with Google Web Stories you can also instantly catch up on the big moments and in-game action you might have missed. And with the start of UEFA EURO 2020 just around the corner, football fans in countries across Europe, Africa and Asia can also get in on the action - just search for your team or the name of the tournament.

Web Stories is an online tappable storybook curated with videos, GIFs and images, bringing you real-time, in-game sports highlights easily accessible from Google Search. Through collaborations with sports leagues and broadcasters from around the world, you can quickly catch up on what you have missed, or re-watch key plays in just a few taps. You can already find these Web Stories for some of the world's most popular sports leagues including baseball, basketball, cricket, golf, hockey and now football. With the addition of more leagues and broadcasters in the coming months, soon you'll have access to even more great sports content.

Screen recording of someone viewing an MLB Web Story through Search

Major League Baseball was one of the earliest adopters of Web Stories, launching in time for the 2019 Postseason and expanding ever since. This season, MLB Game Stories are available globally for every game, in both English and Spanish. Fans in different countries can now catch up on baseball highlights from their devices within one to two minutes of the play happening on the field. The end result: fans are connected to the information they're looking for through unparalleled access to real-time content and our partners expand their reach -- talk about a home run!

Screenshot of a MLB Web Story in Spanish

MLB Web Stories are available in Spanish too!

We are excited to be rolling this feature across select countries for UEFA EURO 2020 and can't wait to continue to expand. So whether you want to see every game-defining play that led to your team's win, or begrudgingly try to understand how your team could have possibly lost to their biggest rivals, Web Stories can connect you to all the action on Search.

10 Jun 2021 1:00pm GMT

Get privacy-safe customer insights with Google Analytics

At this year's Google Marketing Livestream, we shared the latest updates coming to the new Google Analytics, the next generation of Analytics designed for the future of measurement.

Get privacy-safe customer insights using machine learning

With new privacy-safe solutions, Google is helping advertisers preserve marketing measurement while respecting user consent choices. This includes using machine learning to model conversions in Google Ads, so you can continue to optimize performance in a privacy-safe way when observed conversion data is not available.

Later this year, we'll extend our modeling capabilities to certain reports in Google Analytics 4 properties to enhance your understanding of the customer journey when observed behavioral data is not available. If users don't consent to analytics cookies, you'll still be able to generate important customer insights while respecting your users' privacy preferences.

For example, if there is incomplete data in your User Acquisition report, modeled data (in addition to observed data) will offer a more complete picture of the number of new users your campaigns have acquired.

Easily discover relevant insights

We want to make the new Analytics experience as intuitive to navigate as possible, so you can discover key insights with unprecedented speed and ease. In a new modular left navigation, we've organized important use cases into workspaces that will guide you to the reports, analyses, or data - like advertising conversions - you're looking for.

Static image of new workspaces in left navigation

New workspaces in left navigation

The new Advertising Workspace is designed to quickly address everyday advertiser needs and unlock deeper insights into your campaign performance. In the snapshot, you can see relevant campaign and performance insights at a glance. You'll get automated insights notifying you of things like performance spikes in your campaigns, where the majority of your customers are converting from, or what channel is performing the best that week.

With an intuitive and easily accessible home for these insights, you'll be able to quickly improve campaign performance when you want to make real-time optimizations.

Static of advertising snapshot in the advertising workspace

Advertising Workspace snapshot

Beyond easier navigation, it's also important to be able to tailor Analytics to the specific needs of your business, and even your role. To allow flexibility, we're launching an entirely new set of customization options to reporting.

For the first time, within the Reports Workspace, users with admin access will be able to curate the Analytics interface and reports to suit the specific needs of their teams. Admins can make simple edits to existing reports or even create entirely new custom reports. They can also customize the left navigation to group reports into collections, and create custom overviews to highlight information. You can showcase these overviews in the Reports snapshot, the new homepage for the Reports Workspace.

Animated UX of custom reporting options

Custom reporting options

Once admins set up customized reporting preferences for your organization, you can reduce time spent on reporting and surface the most relevant insights faster than ever before.

Better understand the value of your marketing

We know how valuable it is to have attribution reporting for your campaigns directly within Analytics, so we're bringing new cross-platform attribution capabilities into the Advertising Workspace.

Data-driven attribution models will soon be available in all Google Analytics 4 properties, so you can use Google's machine learning to understand the contribution of each touchpoint in your marketing funnel, alongside your other customer journey insights. We've also introduced two new attribution reports: the Conversion Paths report and Model Comparison report.

Similar to Multi-Channel Funnels in Universal Analytics properties, the Conversion Paths report allows you to view the customer journey by channel, assigning credit to touchpoints from when your customers first arrive to your site or app through conversion, based on a selected attribution model. It also includes a new conversion credit visualization that helps you understand your ROI by channel.

Static UX image of Conversion Paths report in the Advertising Workspace

Conversion Paths report in the Advertising Workspace

The Model Comparison report allows you to assess campaign performance using various attribution models, and compare how each affects the value of your marketing channels so you can determine which model best suits the needs of your business.

Static UX image: Model Comparison report in the Advertising Workspace

Model Comparison report in the Advertising Workspace

Prepare your measurement foundation for the future

The new Google Analytics will help ensure your measurement foundation is reliable and ready to meet the demands of an evolving ecosystem.

Get started with Google Analytics 4 properties today, and stay tuned for more enhancements coming soon.

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10 Jun 2021 9:00am GMT

Rediscover your city through a new Lens this summer

With warmer weather upon us and many places reopening in the U.K., it's the perfect time to go out and reconnect with your surroundings. Whether it's soaking up that panoramic view of a city skyline that you've really missed, or wondering what that interesting tree species was that you pass every day on your park walk, many of us feel ready to reconnect with our cities in new ways.

British cities are especially ripe for rediscovery. As the country emerges from a long lockdown and people start to reintegrate with their cities this summer, we're launching a campaign called Behind the Lens with Google Pixel, which aims to help people rediscover their cities using Google Lens on Pixel. We'll do that through a series of events over the coming weeks, alongside some very special guests in London, Bristol and Liverpool.

Vibrant orange and purple flower shown on a Google Pixel 5 using Google Lens, which has identified the flower as a bird of paradise. The result shows information about the plant: “Strelitzia reginae, commonly called a crane flower or bird of paradise, is a genus of perennial plants, native to South Africa…”

Vibrant orange and purple flower shown on a Google Pixel 5 using Google Lens, which has identified the flower as a Bird of Paradise.

Behind the Lens with Google Pixel encourages people to search what they see using the magic of Lens, and rediscover some forgotten pockets of their city using its updated features. Identifying the species of that bird you keep seeing in the communal gardens of London has never been easier, while discovering new, secret ingredients at a farmer's market in Liverpool can also be done in a snap. Or, perhaps you've always wanted to know more about that forgotten landmark from a viewpoint in Bristol. Lens can give you on-the-spot information about a subject with a single long tap on the Pixel camera viewfinder, which is handy since we often have our cameras open and ready to capture the moment.

With restrictions being lifted in the U.K. this summer, Search trends reveal that there is an opportunity to rediscover our cities through the interests we have acquired over lockdown. From March 23, 2020 through April 21, 2021, Google searches incrementally increased for new skills and classes: Hiking trails near me (+200%), Online gardening courses (+300%) and Online cooking classes (+800%).

This suggests not only that some of the hobbies the nation nurtured during lockdown are still very much of interest, but also now people can rediscover these within the backdrop of their city, alongside their communities and friends.

Within Google Lens, the Places filter is selected and the view is showing a clock tower against a bright, cloudy sky. Lens identifies the clock tower as Big Ben and gives results, including a star rating, two alternative views of the tower and an option to search Google.

Within Google Lens, the Places filter is selected and the view is showing a clock tower against a bright, cloudy sky.

A new tool for rediscovery

Google Lens is now used over three billion times per month by people around the world, and with many ready to explore this summer and rediscover their cities, we're officially launching the new Places filter in Lens. Now available globally, the Places filter makes it easy to identify buildings and landmarks using your phone camera, combining 3D models from Google Earth and Lens' powerful image recognition technology to create an in-depth, real-time AR experience, similar to Live View on Google Maps.

The Google Lens app Places filter is open on a black Google Pixel 5, showing a view that scans the River Thames and settles on a large bridge with two towers. Upon identification of the structure as Tower Bridge, Lens results show the star rating, alternative images of Tower Bridge to scroll through, and the option to search Google for more information.

The Google Lens app Places filter is open on a Google Pixel 5, showing a view that scans the River Thames and settles on a large bridge with two towers.

Just open the Google app on your phone and tap the camera icon in the search bar to open Lens. Then, switch to the Places filter and point your camera at notable places around you.

We hope Lens makes rediscovering and learning about your city even more enjoyable.

10 Jun 2021 1:00am GMT

09 Jun 2021

feedThe Official Google Blog

A change of pace: Get more from your walks with Google Fit

Everyone wants to be healthy and stay fit, but some days, it can be incredibly difficult to get a workout in. But there is something many of us do everyday that has huge health benefits: walk.

For years, walking has been measured by the number of steps we take. While seeing this count can be motivating, not all steps are equal. Think about it this way: There's a difference between wandering through the garden and dashing to catch the bus. That difference is intensity, and scientists have found increased health benefits associated with walkingfaster. Everyone has a preferred walking speed - a pace that feels natural - and picking up that pace has health benefits similar to riding a bicycle. Plus, if you start walking faster, your natural pace will get faster over time.

I learned a lot about this from Rob Harle, a research scientist for Google Fit. In fact, we worked together and used this research to introduce a new Google Fit feature called Paced Walking, which is already available for most Android phones now. "The idea is simple: Pop in some headphones during a Paced Walking session and we'll play an audio beat - a gentle background tick - for you to fall in step with," Rob explains. "You can use the app to change the beat speed and vary the intensity of your walks. The beat plays on top of other audio, so you can still play music or podcasts while you walk.

Another motivation for launching Paced Walking was to meet people where they are. "Studies show there is a lot of disparity when it comes to fitness; many people don't have access to gyms or workout studios, or can't afford equipment or online classes," Rob says. "Walking is something almost everyone has access to, and picking up the pace can increase the health benefits."

Once you start picking up the pace using Paced Walking, you'll earn more Heart Points in Google Fit - for every minute that you walk at a pace of over 100 steps per minute, you'll earn one Heart Point. This will help you get the American Heart Association® and the World Health Organization recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, all while you are doing something that you routinely do - walking. And a bonus to using Paced Walking? You'll arrive at your destination a little sooner!

09 Jun 2021 4:00pm GMT

WooCommerce merchants can now list their products across Google

Last week we announced that all of WooCommerce's 4.4 million merchants would soon have the ability to easily integrate their product inventory across Google in just a few clicks, and for free. Today, the product is live and ready for WooCommerce merchants to use globally.

Making it easier for retailers who work with partners like WooCommerce to integrate with Google shopping features across Search, Shopping, Image Search and YouTube means that retailers of all sizes will have even more ways to get discovered. And shoppers will have even more choice as they make their shopping decisions.

WooCommerce merchants can upload their products to Google, create free listings and ad campaigns, and review performance metrics - all without leaving their WooCommerce dashboard.

With over 1 billion shopping sessions happening per day across Google, this integration will help merchants make more connections with shoppers who are eager to discover new brands.

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09 Jun 2021 11:00am GMT

New tools to support vaccine access and distribution

While over half of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated, vaccine uptake is slowing across the country. Research shows a variety of factors are preventing people from getting vaccinated - from physical access issues, like transportation challenges and not being able to take time off work, to concerns about safety and side effects.

To help public health officials and researchers in the U.S. reach people facing these challenges, we're introducing new tools to better understand the vaccination needs of a community. This builds on our work of providing data, insights and tools to public health, epidemiologists, researchers and policymakers since the early days of the pandemic.

Equitable access to vaccinations

For some people getting vaccinated is as simple as walking a few blocks to their local pharmacy. For others, it may be much more difficult and involve a long drive or navigating public transit. If public health officials, researchers and healthcare providers can identify areas where vaccination sites are inaccessible or hard to reach, they may be able to implement measures like pop-up vaccine sites or transportation support like ride vouchers.

Our COVID-19 Vaccination Access Dataset, which is available to the public today, calculates travel time to vaccination sites to identify areas where it may be difficult to reach a site whether someone is walking, driving or taking public transportation. We prepared this dataset using Google Maps Platform Directions API, the same API that powers navigation in Google Maps. This dataset does not contain any user data.

This dataset will help power a new Vaccine Equity Plannerdashboard from Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham & Women's Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Boston Children's Hospital, the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. This dashboard integrates our dataset with data from other organizations, such as the CDC's social vulnerability index, to identify "vaccine deserts," or areas where people have little or no convenient access to a vaccine site, to inform interventions such as pop-up clinics or new sites.

Vaccine Equity Planner dashboard for New York and Mississippi

Vaccine Equity Planner dashboard for New York and Mississippi.

Understanding vaccine information needs

Public health organizations have been the go-to sources for authoritative information throughout the pandemic, and have provided educational campaigns about the safety, efficacy and availability of vaccines. We've heard from public health organizations and researchers that they want access to localized and timely data about what information their communities are seeking so they can tailor their communication to people not yet vaccinated.

In the coming weeks, we'll introduce a COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights tool to help public health officials and researchers explore vaccine-related concerns and the information needs of local communities. The tool will show trends representing the relative search interests across three search categories: all vaccine information, intent to get vaccinated (such as eligibility, availability and sites), and safety and side effects. Insights will be provided at the county and zip code level and updated weekly.

The trends are based on aggregate and anonymized Google Search data so that no user information is included. The process to anonymize the COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights is powered by differential privacy, a technique that adds noise to the data to provide privacy guarantees while preserving the overall quality of the data. The data can be compared across different regions and over time, without sharing the absolute number of queries in any given area.

Both tools will initially be available in English and for the U.S. As we get more feedback from public health organizations, researchers, and the community at large, we'll evaluate expanding these tools internationally.

With these insights, we hope that public health organizations and healthcare providers can more easily and effectively reach their communities. Google will continue to do its part by providing timely and accurate vaccine information and appointment availability to people in Search and supporting organizations focused on vaccine equity.

09 Jun 2021 10:00am GMT

08 Jun 2021

feedThe Official Google Blog

News Brief: May updates from the Google News Initiative

Last month, we supported new programs to drive business development, media literacy and elections reporting around the world. We're collaborating with news partners through virtual events, supporting innovation in journalism through new tools, and much more. Read on for May updates.

Providing new resources to drive Advertising revenue

Starting June 1, the GNI Digital Growth Program is launching Advertisingworkshops in six languages. Workshops will be available in English in North America and the Asia Pacific region, as well as Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian. Register today to join them live or on-demand.

Developing LGBTTQI+ leaders in Latin American media

We partnered with Chicas Poderosas to launch a Leadership Incubator aimed at addressing workplace dynamics in Latin American newsrooms. The program will provide mentoring and training to journalists at local and hyperlocal startups founded by women and people who identify as LGBTTQI+. Participants will work with experts to create a plan to strengthen innovation, collaborative work, diversity and gender perspectives on their teams.

Strengthening Media Literacy in Spanish-speaking Latin America

We've launched DigiMente - the first major media literacy program for young people in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Over 12 months the project will provide 20,000 students with the skills to sort fact from fiction online using relevant topics such as memes, video games and music, among others. Building on the foundational work of Google-supported projects such as Civic Online Reasoning (Stanford University) and EducaMidia (Brazil), this new effort was developed in partnership with Movilizatorio and Teach for All.

Celebrating GNI Innovation Challenge recipients

Building on the Digital News Innovation Fund in Europe, GNI Innovation Challenges have supported more than 150 projects that inject new ideas into the news industry. Around the world, we're learning from former Innovation Challenge recipients who are using their funding to drive innovation in news.

Daily Maverick’s membership team posing for a team picture

Daily Maverick's membership team

Daily Maverick, an online national South African publisher, combined multiple data sources from within its organization - from newsletters, website analytics, memberships and newsroom - to create one essential data hub. The "RevEngine" (short for relevancy engine) then displays daily reports and alerts in easy-to-use dashboards, which have become an essential resource for the publisher's membership and editorial teams. Membership grew 110% year over year in 2020 and highly engaged readers doubled, thanks to actionable insights derived from RevEngine. Meanwhile, it has also saved the Daily Maverick more than $50,000 in 3rd party SAAS fees.

Young people and educators at a DocsScale event in Oakland

Attendees at a DocsScale event in Oakland

Independent Television Service (ITVS), a California-based public broadcasting partner, has producedDocSCALE, an interactive survey tool designed for both engaging audiences and generating data. It allows viewers to share feedback, and the chance to interact with fellow audience members in response to programming. The platform has improved the depth and diversity of membership engagement, increased opt-in email subscriptions and filled a qualitative data gap for public television stations. See DocSCALE in action at thisevent from May 27 withMaryland Public Television.

The Reveniu Team meets virtually

The Reveniu Team

Chilean consortium Mecenas Spa has signed up 20 newsrooms to its Reveniu platform, which enables publishers to sell memberships, solicit donations and easily collect payments. As a result, one membership client raised more than $30,000 dollars in six months - almost a third of its entire budget - using the platform. Investors have jumped on board, with expansion to Peru, Colombia or Mexico due later this year.

Supporting Germany's election with resources for journalists

In the run up to Germany's national election in September, we partnered with dpa (the German Press Agency) to launch FaktenCheck21. The program will support local and national newsrooms, establishing fact-checking teams through training bootcamps, an open learning platform called dpa factify and a Slack community to encourage collaboration. Journalists from more than 100 newsrooms across Germany already participated in the training and 400 are collaborating on Slack. GNI also launched the GNI live training series for German journalists on online security, verification and data journalism.

Enhancing media literacy in Germany

In partnership with German publisher DIE ZEIT, we sponsored and co-hosted ZEIT for teachers, a digital unconference as part of the learning platform ZEIT for schools. More than 950 German-speaking teachers from 26 countries including Brazil and Argentina participated in the two-day virtual conference with panels, workshops and networking opportunities. We tackled topics such as media and information literacy, new teaching tools, resilience and disinformation.

Connecting European publishers through News Impact Summits

As part of its ongoing partnership with the GNI, the European Journalism Centre (EJC) will host twoNews Impact Summit events in 2021. One will be devoted to diversity, equality and inclusion, while the other will focus on data journalism. On June 15, "Democratising data: Making data a tool of effective journalism" will explore how data visualisation can impact public debate. "Diversity, equity and inclusion in the media industry: How can journalism better cover our changing societies?" will follow on September 23.

Innovating with AI in Asia Pacific

The London School of Economics, GNI's partner within theJournalismAI initiative, hasannounced the five selected newsrooms for this year'sCollaborative Challenge in Asia Pacific: Fuji Television (Japan), Initium Media (Hong Kong), Singapore Press Holdings (Singapore), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and The Quint (India). They will work with theTimes School of Media and the Computer Science Engineering Department of Bennett University to explore how AI-driven audience insights can help newsrooms produce more relevant coverage. The outcome of their work will be presented at theJournalismAI Festival later this year.

Checking Vaccine Misinformation in India

In India, our longstanding training partnership with DataLEADS continues with a specific fact-checking Town Hall Series to help journalists explore tools and strategies they can use to identify and combat vaccine-related misinformation. VaxCheck will hold 30 workshops for journalism students and media professionals across the country. The program runs through June 8th.

Convening industry leaders at Newsgeist

We co-hosted Newsgeist 2021, an "unconference" organized by Google along with leaders and thinkers across the news industry. The virtual event series, which held sessions on May 18-20 with more scheduled for June 15-17, features discussions about the future of news with a program crowd-sourced by the attendees themselves.

Setting startups on a sustainable path

10 participants of the first NorthAm Startups Lab, which is being run in association with LION Publishers, completed an in-depth curriculum on business sustainability. GNI will now fund revenue and audience growth experiments for each participant, to be designed by each publisher alongside their experienced Startups Lab coaches, Lizzy Hazeltine, Lillian Ruiz and Brian Boyer.

Growing the Tiny News Collective

After launching an ambitious outreach plan this spring, Tiny News Collective received 43 organization applications from 53 aspiring and diverse founders hoping to start their own Tiny News businesses. An experienced team of industry experts and veteran startup founders narrowed the applicants to a finalist round of eight publishers. Six entrepreneurs will ultimately be invited to join the Tiny News cohort in June.

That's all for May updates. Follow along on social and sign up for our newsletter for more.

08 Jun 2021 4:00pm GMT

Five steps to create your first Web Story

Creators everywhere have embraced stories, the new tappable storytelling format made up of videos, GIFs, images, text and other visual elements. Audiences love engaging with stories content - and the best part is that they're not just limited to social platforms. Web Stories are available on the open web, meaning they're crawlable by search engines and you can share them - and link to them - just like any other webpage. Web Stories also don't automatically disappear and can stay live as long as you like.

It's easy to create your own Web Story - and takes just five steps. Here's a deeper look at the process.

1. Choose a visual editor

A visual editor is a program that enables you to produce and customize your photos, videos and graphics. They often come with simple functionality and built-in templates, so you don't need to be an expert at video editing or design to make beautiful and engaging content. Web Stories for WordPress, MakeStories and Newsroom AI are just a few examples that might work for you. See more suggestions here.

2. Draft the story

The best Web Stories tell a complete narrative from the moment they are published to keep the reader engaged. Since all pages of a story are published at once, it's important to think through the narrative of your Web Story in the same way you would for a blog post or video.

Although the creative process varies from person to person, we recommend outlining your Web Story in Google Docs. The Storytime team uses this script template to plan each page's content and any text, videos, photos or animations we plan to use.

3. Find the visual assets

Choosing the right imagery or videos is essential to creating a compelling Web Story. This can be the most time-consuming task, but if you've been blogging, you probably already have videos or other images you can use. It's important to remember all full-page videos should be formatted vertically. That way your Web Story will use less bandwidth and load more quickly.

screenshot of storytime episode with dog

How to convert a video into a Web Story helps you repurpose your existing videos.

4. Create the Web Story

Once you have your story drafted and all your assets in one place, it's time to start building. When you're first starting out, using your visual editor's pre-made templates is the fastest and easiest method to build your Web Story. To begin, you'll want to drag in an eye-catching video or image into the tool and add a call to action that will motivate your audience to click to learn more.

Stories are an inherently interactive form of media. Viewers can click forward and backward through the pages and follow links to engage. You can also try including quizzes and polls to increase engagement and interaction.

5. Publish the Web Story

Once you feel good about your Web Story's media, layout and text it's time to send it out into the world. When you're using a visual editor, this is as simple as clicking the Publish button.

And that's it! Once you work through these steps you will have created your first Web Story. To see this process done live, check out our video Creating your first Web Story in less than 5 mins, from start to finish. And if you want inspiration from other web creators, here are some examples of best-in-class Web Stories.

storytime episode photo with mobile screenshots

The Grand Web Story showcase features 10 great examples of Web Stories.

08 Jun 2021 4:00pm GMT

21 Oct 2019

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

All the Fitbit activity badges

Fitbit has discontinued their Fitbit One step trackers, which seems like a good opportunity to step back and reflect on wearing one for the last decade or so. I've enjoyed using Fitbit trackers, but the One devices seemed like they broke down too often. I'm pretty proud that I ended up earning all the activity-related […]

21 Oct 2019 3:06am GMT

04 Nov 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween 2018: Crab claws!

Do you need something to cheer you up? You got it: I should explain this costume a little bit. At the US Digital Service, we do a thing called "crab claws." Crab claws is like visual applause-you pinch your fingers up and down to say "great job" or "congratulations" or "way to go." We do […]

04 Nov 2018 8:02pm GMT

08 Mar 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Some terrible personal news

Cindy Cutts, my wife and best friend, passed away earlier this week. While I was traveling for work recently, Cindy went to visit her family in Omaha, Nebraska. On Sunday, while enjoying time with family, Cindy started having trouble breathing. Her family quickly called 911 and paramedics took Cindy to the hospital, but Cindy lost […]

08 Mar 2018 12:17am GMT

22 Jan 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Talking to Mr. Money Mustache about the US Digital Service

Last week, I passed my one year anniversary as head of the US Digital Service (USDS). So when Mr. Money Mustache asked for an interview, I was delighted to talk about some of the work that the USDS does. If you aren't familiar with Mr. Money Mustache, he writes about a philosophy of badassity in […]

22 Jan 2018 6:58pm GMT

01 Apr 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google April Fools' Day 2017

April Fools' Day should probably be called Google Fools' Day, since there are so many Google hoaxes.

Google Japan developed a "bubble wrap" version of the Japanese keyboard. "The Google Japanese input bubble wrap version is a keyboard that realizes 'I want to press in my mind, I want to keep pressing'," according to Google Translate.

Another product for your smart home? Meet Google Gnome, "a voice-activated, hands-free tool designed to make backyard living effortless. Need to know what animal is squeaking in your bushes? Stay still and ask Gnome what sound an opossum makes. Running low on birdseed? That's where Gnome comes in. You can even use Gnome's proprietary high-intensity lasers to trim your hedges into whatever shape your heart desires."

The Chrome OS team brings the most popular mobile accessories to the Chromebook, which already blurs the line between mobile and desktop. Chromebook Groupie Stick, Chromebook Cardboard, Chromebook Workout Armband will soon be available in the Google Store. "To take advantage of beautiful, high-resolution displays, as well as great photo editing apps, we've carefully engineered the first Chromebook-sized selfie stick. Never again will you miss the perfect groupie."

Haptic Helpers make VR even more immersive. "We're taking VR to the next level with Haptic Helpers. Using a modest set of everyday tools, these VR virtuosos can simulate more than 10,000 unique experiences, all from the comfort of your own home. Smell the roses. Listen to the ocean. Feel a fluffy dog!"

You can now play the classic arcade game MS. PAC-MAN in Google Maps. "Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue as you swerve the streets of real places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while." Just go to the Google Maps site or open the Google Maps app for Android or iOS and click or tap MS. PAC-MAN at the bottom.

Google Cloud Platform expands to Mars. "By opening a dedicated extraterrestrial cloud region, we're bringing the power of Google's compute, network, and storage to the rest of the solar system, unlocking a plethora of possibilities for astronomy research, exploration of Martian natural resources and interplanetary life sciences. This region will also serve as an important node in an extensive network throughout the solar system. Our first interplanetary data center - affectionately nicknamed 'Ziggy Stardust' - will open in 2018," mentions Google.

Google Netherlands came up with Google Wind, a machine learning technology that controls the weather. "The Netherlands has many windmills, some no longer in use, we can connect to Google Cloud Platform. So we use the existing Dutch infrastructure, machine learning, weather patterns to control the network of windmills when rain is approaching. The first test results are very promising: we seem to be able to provide sun and clear skies for everyone in the Netherlands," mentions Google Netherlands blog.

Google's search app for iOS is now optimized for cats and dogs. "On the Google app for iOS, you can now use 3D Touch on the app icon or head to settings and select I'm Feeling Woof or I'm Feeling Meow to let your dogs and cats get info on topics they care about-whether that means squeaky toys or a bowl of milk!"

Google also launched Google Play for Pets, a new category of Android games designed for cats, dogs and other pets.

Google Translate's Word Lens feature supports a new language: Heptapod B, the alien language from the movie "Arrival". "The challenge with understanding Heptapod B is its nonlinear orthography. Fortunately, Google's neural machine translation system employs an encoder/decoder system that internally represents sentences as high-dimensional vectors. These vectors map well to the non-linear orthography of the Heptapod language and they are really the enabling technical factor in translating Heptapod B."

01 Apr 2017 7:25am GMT

19 Feb 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Gmail Blocks JavaScript Attachments

If you try to send a JavaScript attachment using Gmail or if you want to download a .js attachment, you'll get a new anti-virus warning: "Blocked for security reasons", "1 attachment contains a virus or blocked file. Downloading this attachment is disabled".

.JS has been added to the long list of file types that are blocked by Gmail for security reasons. The full list: .ADE, .ADP, .BAT, .CHM, .CMD, .COM, .CPL, .EXE, .HTA, .INS, .ISP, .JAR, .JS (NEW), .JSE, .LIB, .LNK, .MDE, .MSC, .MSI, .MSP, .MST, .NSH .PIF, .SCR, .SCT, .SHB, .SYS, .VB, .VBE, .VBS, .VXD, .WSC, .WSF, .WSH. "To prevent against potential viruses, Gmail doesn't allow you to attach certain types of files, including: certain file types (listed above), including their compressed form (like .gz or .bz2 files) or when found within archives (like .zip or .tgz files), documents with malicious macros, archives whose listed file content is password protected, archives whose content includes a password protected archive."

The GSuite Blog informs that "for inbound mail, senders will get a bounce message explaining why the email was blocked. If you still need to send .js files for legitimate reasons, you can use Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, or other storage solutions to share or send your files."

You can still send JavaScript files using Gmail if you change the extension. What about downloading old .js attachments? Try the workarounds from this post.

19 Feb 2017 10:39am GMT

25 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Shows Colorful Suggestions

Google Image Search has a different way to display suggestions: it now shows a long list of colorful boxes with related searches. You can click one or more boxes to dynamically refine search results.

For example, when searching for [sportswear], Google shows suggestions like: [women basketball], [tennis], [badminton], [golf], [volleyball], [nike woman], [alexander wang], [adidas], [fashion], [performance], [vintage], [trendy], [urban], [school], [gym], [90's], [70's], [vogue], [luxe], [avant garde], [korean], [italian], [french] and more. It's interesting to notice that each category of suggestions has a different color.

Here's the old interface, which had fewer suggestions and displayed thumbnails next to suggestions:

25 Jan 2017 9:39pm GMT

19 Jan 2017

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Staying with the US Digital Service

A few months ago, I took a leave of absence from Google to do a stint with the US Digital Service. A lot of people know about the US Digital Service because they helped rescue the healthcare.gov website. But you might not realize that the US Digital Service has helped veterans get their health benefits, […]

19 Jan 2017 3:47am GMT

16 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Starts Playing YouTube Videos

Google Image Search's mobile interface tests a new feature that starts playing snippets from a YouTube video at the top of the search results page. It's not disclosed as an ad, there's no sound and you can't stop or hide the video, which continues to play on repeat.

Right now, the experiment seems to be limited to fashion-related queries like [men jackets], [lookbook], [winter outfit], which match videos from YouTube channels like New Look and River Island. "New Look is a South African-owned British global fashion retailer with a chain of high street shops. (...) The chain sells womenswear, menswear, and clothing for teens," according to Wikipedia.

Google only shows labels like: "New Look on YouTube", even though this looks like an experimental ad format. I hope it will never become a regular feature, as it's pretty annoying and it wastes Internet bandwidth.

16 Jan 2017 10:49am GMT

13 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Desktop Notifications, Now For Everyone

It looks like YouTube's notification experiment is now a regular feature and you can no longer disable it by clearing cookies. When sign in to your Google account, YouTube's desktop site no longer shows Google+ notifications in the navigation bar: it replaces them with YouTube notifications.

"Your notifications live here. Subscribe to your favorite channels to get notified about their latest videos," informs the new notification box.

13 Jan 2017 2:08pm GMT

29 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Notifications in the Navigation Bar

YouTube has recently started to experiment with replacing Google+ notifications in the navigation bar with YouTube notifications. You get notifications for recently uploaded videos from your subscribed channels, but only if you've enabled notifications for those channels. For example, you can go to the subscription manager and click the bell icon next to a channel to enable or disable notifications.

The settings button sends you to the Notifications section from YouTube's Settings page and the 3-dot icon next to each notification lets you turn off notifications from the corresponding channel.

If you don't like this experiment, you can always clear cookies for youtube.com in your browser's settings and opt out.

29 Dec 2016 12:24pm GMT

Google's New Mobile UI for Recipe Search

Just in time for New Year's dinner, Google has a new mobile interface for recipe search. I searched for [avocado mayo] and noticed a long list of keywords below the search box and ads: salad, chicken, shrimp, vegan, bacon and more. You can select more than one keyword and this helps you refine the results.

When selecting a related search, you get a completely different interface that only shows recipes: bigger expandable cards, bigger thumbnails, infinite scrolling.

29 Dec 2016 11:09am GMT

08 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Translate's 5000 Character Limit

For some reason, Google Translate now has a limit of 5000 characters per translation. There's even a character counter at the bottom of the input box. If you happen to paste a long text that has more than 5000 characters, you'll get an error message ("maximum characters exceeded: X characters over 5000 maximum") and a "translate more" option that lets you translate the rest of the text.

I don't understand the purpose of this restriction, considering that Google doesn't impose any limitation when translating web pages. It's worth pointing out that Google Translate's API has a similar limitation: "the maximum size of each text to be translated is 5000 characters, not including any HTML tags". Google's translation card from Google Search has a different limit: about 2800 characters.

08 Dec 2016 6:18pm GMT

Google Tests Movie Ratings

Google's knowledge graph card tests a feature that lets you like or dislike movies and TV shows. For example, when you search for "It's a Wonderful Life", you can click like or dislike and check the percentage of Google users who liked it.

The same buttons show up when you search for a TV show like "Saturday Night Live".

Search Engine Land reports that Google confirmed this experiment, which was first spotted last month.

08 Dec 2016 11:45am GMT

06 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Holiday Decorations

When you search Google for [Christmas], [Hanukkah], [Kwanzaa], [Festivus] or other related queries, you'll see some special decorations related to each holiday. Festivus is "a holiday celebrated by those seeking an alternative to the commercialism and pressures of the Christmas holiday season."

Christmas trees, Santa Claus, the Christmas star adorn the Google search page and bring the hoiday spirit.

The Hanukkah menorah and Kwanzaa's Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) are lighting up Google's search pages.

Here are the decorations from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

06 Dec 2016 2:21pm GMT

New Interface for Google Search

Google's desktop search pages have a new interface for navigating between search results. The search box is bigger, there's a new search icon and Google now only shows 2 or 3 specialized search engines next to "all", down from 4. Apps and shopping seem to be missing from the list of search engines, so you can only pick from image search, video search, Google News, Google Maps, Google Flights and Google Books.

The settings dropdown is now placed below the search box and it includes the option that lets you hide private results. You can still change search settings, languages, turn on or turn off SafeSearch, use advanced search options, open Web History or go to the help center.

Search tools are now simply called tools and they include the same options: search by date and verbatim.

Image search lets you quickly go to the saved images page and change SafeSearch setting.

Google Shopping is broken. While the homepage still loads, when you click a product image or search for something, Google shows an empty page.

Here's the old Google Search interface, via Wikipedia:

06 Dec 2016 1:31pm GMT

17 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Random Facts About Animals in Google Search

Did you know that "male lions defend the pride's territory while females do most of the hunting"? Did you know that "the name humpback whale describes the motion it makes as it arches its back out of the water in preparation for a dive"? What about this one: "ostriches have the largest eyes of any land living animal and they measure 50 mm (2 inches) in diameter"?

Google now shows random facts about animals in the "did you know" section of the Knowledge Graph card. They're extracted from various sites and Google actually links to the source.

Some example of queries that return random facts: [cat], [lion], [tiger], [alpaca], [giraffe], [ostrich], [duck], [elk], [raccoon], [shark]. It's worth pointing out that you can get another random fact by reloading the page or searching again for the same animal.

17 Oct 2016 9:00pm GMT

15 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Found in Related Searches

Google Knowledge Graph has more than one billion entities and more than 70 billion facts about these entities (people, places, things). It's huge and it brings a different dimension to search: understanding concepts and the relation between them.

Mobile Google Search now has a section called "found in related search", which shows a few entities frequently mentioned in other related searches. For example, I searched for [ethanol molar mass] and Google showed 2 lists of organic and inorganic compounds: one of them was found in the related search [properties of alkanes] and the other was for [polar solvents]. Ethanol is a polar solvent which can be obtained from alkenes, while alkenes can be derived from alkanes, so Google's suggestions are somewhat useful.

This feature is not limited to chemistry, it also works for other topics. Here's a different query: [tour eiffel design], which shows other "towers of the world" and "tourist attractions in France".

15 Oct 2016 7:34am GMT

14 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Converts Queries Into Questions

I noticed an interesting Google Search experiment in the mobile/tablet interface. When searching for [alcohol with the highest boiling], Google converted my query into a question: "Which alcohol has the highest boiling point?", then it tried to answer the question using a snippet from a web page and then it added a "more results" link. Google's link sent to me to the search results page for the question inferred by Google.

14 Oct 2016 10:29pm GMT

Google's Card for Directions

When you search Google for [directions] or [get directions], you get an error message: "No results for that place. Try entering it below to get suggestions." Google shows a special card for directions with cool features like autocomplete, but the error message is out of place because you haven't typed a location.

Suggestions aren't very smart. For example, I typed "Brisbane, Australia" as the starting point and then I started to type "Mel" as the destination. Google suggested 3 places from California, strictly based on my location, while ignoring that Melbourne is a much better suggestion.

Google shows directions inside the card and you can pick between driving, walking, cycling or using public transportation.

To see the directions, just click the text that describes your favorite route. If there is only one route, pick that one. Another option is to click "directions" and go to the Google Maps site.

14 Oct 2016 9:27pm GMT

Add Home Screen Shortcuts to Google Maps Directions

I'm not sure if this is a new feature, but it must be pretty recent. Google Maps for Android lets you add home screen shortcuts to directions directly from the app. Just search for directions, tap the menu icon and pick "add route to Home screen". This works best when you select the current location, but it's not a requirement.

You may also see this message: "Go here often? Add this route. Tap here to add a Home screen shortcut to this route."

Another option is to add the directions widget, which lets you pick the shortcut name, whether to start turn-by-turn navigation and more.

14 Oct 2016 8:48pm GMT

18 Jun 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

A brief update

Over the last couple years, I've seen more and more people in technology trying to make government work better. They're idealists who are also making a large impact. These are people that I respect-some of them worked to fix healthcare.gov, for example. From talking to many of them, I can tell you that their energy […]

18 Jun 2016 1:57am GMT

03 Feb 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Thanks, Amit

Amit Singhal just announced that he's retiring toward the end of the month. Amit has been a formative part of Google's search team, but he's also a good friend. Last year, after he marked 15 years with Google, I wrote this about Amit's contributions: Amit Singhal, one of the unsung heroes of Google, just celebrated […]

03 Feb 2016 7:49pm GMT

19 Jan 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Solving a Verizon issue (Nexus 5X)

I solved a problem today and figured that I'd document it for the rest of the world. Every time someone left me a voicemail on Verizon, I would get a cryptic text from Verizon at 900080006202 that looked like "//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=NM;id=1;c=1;t=v;s=1XXXXXXXXXX;dt=18/01/2016 13:40-0900;l=13;dev_t=5" or "//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=MBU;dev_t=5". Here's what happened. It turns out that Verizon has three kinds of […]

19 Jan 2016 2:00am GMT

31 Oct 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween 2015: USB Drive

I went a little overboard for Halloween last year. And as you can tell from my the Halloween category on my blog, sometimes I get a little too excited about Halloween. So this year I decided to go quick, easy, and lo-fi as a USB drive: To make a thumb drive/USB key, I just took […]

31 Oct 2015 8:02pm 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

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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped


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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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