01 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Contacts Preview and Gmail

If you switched to the new Google Contacts interface and select Contacts from the Gmail dropdown, you'll no longer see the old Google Contacts. Google will open the Contacts preview in a new tab and not inside Gmail, which doesn't use Material Design yet.


You can switch back to the old Contacts by clicking "Leave the Contacts preview" in the "More" menu. Another option is to use this permalink for the old Google Contacts: https://mail.google.com/mail/#contacts or this keyboard shortcut: press g then c in Gmail (assuming that keyboard shortcuts are enabled).

01 Apr 2015 3:33pm GMT

Using Google Photos in Google Drive for Desktop

As previously announced, Google Drive has a new section for Google Photos and the new feature is gradually rolled out. Here's how it looks in Google Drive for desktop.

You should see a message which informs you that the new feature is enabled: "New! Access your Google Photos from Drive".


There's a Google Photos section in the sidebar. Click the new menu items and Google suggests to add the folder to My Drive to make it easier to organize your photos.


Click "Create folder" and Google Drive shows a strange message: "You have given Google Keep access to your files in Google Drive. Creating the Google Photos folder in My Drive will give the app access to your photos and videos from Google Photos, as well (including photos and videos from your mobile device if you've turned on AutoBackup)."


Google adds a Google Photos folder to My Drive, which groups your photos by year and month. For some reason, Google Drive doesn't show your albums. You can preview photos, download them, delete them, rename them, get permalinks, share photos with other people, move them to other folders.


Photos and videos aren't imported instantly. Google Drive only shows a few recent photos and this message: "Stay tuned! Your older photos are coming soon."


01 Apr 2015 2:53pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Smartbox by Inbox: the mailbox of tomorrow, today

Mail is a wondrous thing. From the early days of the homing pigeon to the herculean efforts of the Pony Express, mail has connected us for generations. The advent of email brought the world even closer together. And yet, despite this leap forward, physical mail still just sits there. In a box. All day.

So today we're excited to introduce Smartbox-a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind:
Smartbox is currently in field trial-stuck in the ground, in a field-for Inbox by Gmail customers. If you're not yet using Inbox, simply email inbox@google.com anytime before April 2 to be invited, and to reserve your spot on the Smartbox waitlist.

Posted by Merrill Anovick, Project Manager

(Cross-posted from the Gmail Blog)

01 Apr 2015 1:00am GMT

31 Mar 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Spam

After reinventing Gmail with Google Inbox, Google is about to release a new invite-only service that will change the way you manage your mail. It's called Google Spam and it shows the most popular spam messages sent to Gmail users. That's right, Google Spam will go beyond your inbox and show what you've been missing all this time: the spam messages received by other people.


To protect user privacy, Google Spam will only show messages received by at least 10,000 Gmail users. You'll be able to star your favorite spam messages, label them, forward them to your friends and even find their true meaning.

Gmail will highlight important spam messages, so the next time you receive messages from "the office of the US Ambassador to Nigeria", "Mr. Lee Kun-hee of Samsung Group chief and the Hyundai chaebol" or from Gmail Security Maintenance, you'll know if they're featured in Google Spam.

31 Mar 2015 9:08pm GMT

Google Play Store Adds Fire Warning Icon

The latest version of the Google Play Store app brings a new feature for those who own a Snapdragon 810 phone. Many people complained about the overheating issues of Qualcomm's flagship SoC, so Google decided to add a fire warning icon next to the apps and games from the Play Store that require a lot of resources.


The good news is that the new icon will only be added for HTC One M9 and other Snapdragon 810 devices, so those who use older phones and tablets won't see the warnings.

Google even considers releasing a special version of Android optimized for Snapdragon 810, which disables advanced features like OpenGL and the new Android runtime (ART), so that the octa-core CPU doesn't overheat. It will be called "Lollipop Ice Cream", as it will try to cool down the latest Android devices, while also bringing back the features from Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

31 Mar 2015 7:40pm GMT

Google April Fools' Day 2015

April Fools' Day is here, so it's time to list all the pranks, hoaxes and funny Google features that make this day so special.

Google Japan announces Google Panda (translation), a cute toy that answers your questions using the power of Google Search.



There's also a "keyless" keyboard for Japanese (translation). Piropiro uses a party horn and measures your breath to convert it into words.



Google Maps lets you play Pac-Man. "Play the classic arcade game PAC-MAN in Google Maps with streets as your maze. Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, (and Clyde!) as you swerve the streets of some famous places around the world."


You can also play Pac-Man in the real word using Ingress, Google's augmented reality game.


Google Australia found that Australia is at risk of becoming a Northern Hemisphere country by 2055. "Over the past two months, Google Maps engineers in Sydney have discovered that the Earth's equator is slipping south at rate of 25km per year - much faster than previously thought."


Gmail launched Smartbox by Inbox, "a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind".


Chrome for mobile added a new feature that lets you share reactions about the pages you visit. "With #ChromeSelfie you can share sites with your family and friends on social media and via instant messages, along with a handsome selfie instead of cumbersome text."


There's a self-browsing extension for Chromebooks. "With just one click, you're off surfing the web - no input needed. Just lean back, and we'll take you there - quickly, simply, and securely." The extension also writes emails automatically, sends roses to your significant other on Valentine's Day, buys and sells stocks and plans your vacations. "This new functionality has been tested for weeks, browsing the whole web from classifieds to news, music to cat photos - and now, these Chromebooks are responsible for the majority of ALL CAPS comments on the web," says François Beaufort.


Google launched a new domain: com.google, which is just like google.com in the mirror. Similar to elgooG, the entire content of the page is flipped around. "We're always thinking about what's ahead, but sometimes it's important to look backwards. In that spirit, we're proud to introduce http://com.google, available today. Made possible by new gTLDs," informs Google.



YouTube's player has a new button you can use to play some music. Just click "add music" and YouTube starts to play Darude's Sandstorm for a few seconds. Click again for more.


If you enable "Auto-Darude" in the settings, the AutoPlay feature will only play Sandstorm.



YouTube search results also include suggestions like this one: "Did you mean: Darude - Sandstorm by Darude".


Google Fiber added the dial-up mode, just in case you want to go back in time. "As we've rolled out Google Fiber in Kansas City, Provo and Austin, we've learned that Fiber has been impacting our subscribers in ways that we didn't expect. Loading bars used to give people an opportunity to pause and take care of the little things - like making a cup of coffee, taking a bathroom break or playing with the dog. We've been told that Fiber's seemingly instant connections have taken away that precious time."


Google Italy made an experiment (translation): "50 gamers, comedians, designers, beauty experts and many others have exchanged their respective channels, working together to bring the spirit of April Fool's on YouTube."

/div>

... TO BE CONTINUED ...

31 Mar 2015 6:14pm GMT

Play Pac-Man in Google Maps

Google Maps has a cool Easter Egg for April Fools' Day: a Pac-Man mode. Just click the Pac-Man icon at the bottom of the Google Maps window if you're using a computer. You can also search for a place you think Pac-Man might be, especially if you use a mobile device. Google offers some hints like: "Chomp your way to independence down seven lanes of July" or "Previous PAC-MAN lives don't get to rest in a white marble mausoleum".

"You can now play the classic arcade game PAC-MAN in Google Maps with streets as your maze. Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, (and Clyde!) as you swerve the streets of some famous places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while," explains Google.





{ Thanks, Ken Drori. }

31 Mar 2015 5:35pm GMT

Chrome Selfie: Share a Reaction

Angelo Giuffrida, a reader of this blog, noticed a new feature in Chrome for Android. There's a new menu item that lets you "share a reaction". You're supposed to take a selfie, Chrome adds a screenshot of the page you were reading and then you can share the #ChromeSelfie with your friends.

This looks like a special feature for April Fools' Day. In fact, you can enable this feature by changing the date of your Android phone or tablet to April 1st.





Update: Chrome's blog announced the new feature. "With #ChromeSelfie you can share sites with your family and friends on social media and via instant messages, along with a handsome selfie instead of cumbersome text."

{ Thanks, Angelo. }

31 Mar 2015 3:02pm GMT

30 Mar 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Unified Inbox in Gmail for Android

Gmail's app for Android is actually a mail client and it lets you add all your email accounts, including those from Yahoo Mail and Outlook.com. The main benefits of integrating the stock Email app are that it can now be updated faster and you only need to use a single app instead of two apps. The latest version of the Gmail app for Android brings a lot of new features: unified inbox, conversation view for non-Gmail accounts, better search suggestions, larger attachment previews and more.


The "all inboxes" section shows the messages from all your accounts, so you can quickly read them and write replies without having to switch between your accounts. Threaded conversations are no longer limited to Gmail accounts: conversation view is available for all your email accounts.

"Today's update also includes more responsive animations (like when you open and close a conversation), larger attachment previews to help you see what's inside, and the ability to save to Drive with a single tap," informs Google.

30 Mar 2015 8:57pm GMT

Chrome Data Saver

If you're using the compression proxy from Chrome for Android or iOS and you'd like to see a similar feature in Chrome for desktop, there's a Chrome extension from Google that adds this feature. Data Saver is still in beta, but it works well and it's pretty useful: it reduces data usage by using Google servers to optimize the pages you visit.


"When this extension is enabled, Chrome will use Google servers to compress pages you visit before downloading them. SSL and incognito pages will not be included," informs Google.

It's nice to see that Google Web Accelerator is brought back to life. Even if Data Saver only works in Chrome and it doesn't have all the features from Google Web Accelerator, it's less controversial than Google's Labs project.

30 Mar 2015 8:21pm GMT

Google Photos in Google Drive

For the past 4 years, Google+ was the place where you could find some of the most interesting and innovative Google features. From powerful photo editors to automatically enhanced photos and auto awesome effects, from video conferencing to live streaming, Google+ integrated and upgraded many standalone Google services. Google now wants to set free some of the Google+ features and make them available outside Google+.

Google Drive now lets you browse the photos and videos uploaded to Google+ Photos. There's a new Google Photos section inside Google Drive and it's interesting to point out that the name is Google Photos and not Google+ Photos.

"To get started, just look for the new Photos menu in Drive for Android, iOS and the web. From there you'll be able to manage your photos and videos alongside other types of files. For example, you can now add pictures of wedding venues and cakes to the same Drive folder as your guest list and budget," suggests Google.


You can add Google+ photos and videos to Google Drive folders, print, download, share, delete or rename them.

The new feature is gradually rolled out in Google Drive for the web and the mobile apps, so you may not see it yet.

{ Thanks, David King. }

30 Mar 2015 7:56pm GMT

27 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends March 20-26

Searches for March Madness are still surviving and advancing, but this week brought with it a host of other stories to spur your search questions. Here's a look at what people were searching for this week:

Germanwings Flight 9525
On Tuesday, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 people who were onboard. In the wake of the tragedy, people around the world have turned to search to learn more about the crash and subsequent investigation. Early searches included questions about Lufthansa, Germanwings' parent company, and about the type of plane that had crashed; search interest in the Airbus A320 family spiked 100x in the first four hours. But after investigations revealed that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to have deliberately locked himself in the cockpit and flown the plane into a mountain, the questions got more specific. People asked questions like "How do you access the plane's cockpit?" and worried: "Is it safe to fly after the Germanwings crash?" and "Is flying becoming more dangerous?"

Presidential politics
Election Day 2016 is more than a year-and-a-half away, but the presidential race is already underway. On Monday, Senator Ted Cruz announced his candidacy. The Texas Republican is known for his fervent opposition to the Affordable Care Act, in particular a 21-hour filibuster-style speech on the floor of the Senate in 2013 (at one point, he read aloud from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham). Searchers turned to the web to answer all kinds of questions about Cruz and his beliefs, sending searches for [cruz liberty], [cruz obamacare] and [cruz wiki] to spike more than a thousand percent in the last 30 days. The top questions, though, were around whether Cruz is eligible to become President because he was born in Canada. (The answer is yes, BTW.)

Pop culture mania
This week Zayn Malik confirmed he is leaving boy band One Direction, sending teens worldwide into a tailspin as they asked (and searched): "Why is Zayn leaving One Direction?" The British star said that he is leaving to "be a normal 22-year-old...out of the spotlight," which may be tough given there were more than a million searches for him on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the rest of the band will go on without him-in fact, search interest in One Direction tours spiked 5x in the U.S. the day of the announcement.

If freaking out about Zayn isn't your thing, maybe freaking out about "A" is? The mysterious villain of the ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars was revealed-sorta-on Tuesday night, leading to hundreds of thousands of searches for the show. We won't spoil it here, even though it was frankly a little hard to miss amidst the outcry. Let's just say, the truth is out there. ;)

Finally, it's barely spring but it's already time to start thinking about your summer festival agenda. The line-ups of both San Francisco's Outside Lands and Chicago's Lollapalooza music festivals were announced this week. The top festival searched in each state breaks down almost exclusively along geographic lines and leaves us wondering: Are Massachusetts residents big Elton John fans?

Taking charge of your health
In a New York Times op-ed, Angelina Jolie revealed that she had undergone surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent cancer. This was the second preventative surgery for Jolie (she wrote about her double mastectomy in 2013), who made this decision because she carries a mutation in her BRCA1 gene, putting her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. There were more than 100,000 searches for Angelina Jolie on Tuesday, and people turned to the web to ask related questions about women's health and cancer prevention.

Tip of the week
Who says National Puppy Day has to be just once a year? When you're need of a furry pick-me-up, just ask the Google app "Ok Google, show me pictures of puppies." Smiles are practically guaranteed.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [rural studio] and [izombie]

27 Mar 2015 10:48pm GMT

26 Mar 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Keep Labels

Google Keep now lets you add labels to your notes. Just click the 3-dot icon below the note and select "add label". There are 3 default labels (inspiration, personal, work), but you can add your own labels.


Google Keep's navigation menu shows your labels, so you can quickly find related notes.


You can now export notes to Google Docs: just click "copy to Google Doc" and Google will create a document from your note.


Reminders are more useful. Google Keep lets you create recurring reminders, just like in Google Calendar. You can create reminders that repeat daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or use the custom option for more complex reminders


The new features are available in Google Keep's web app, Chrome app and Android app (Google Keep 3.1).

26 Mar 2015 4:24pm GMT

25 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

It's time to put America’s small businesses on the map

If you searched for "Dependable Care near Garland, TX" a few months ago, you would have seen a lot of search results-but not the one that mattered to Marieshia Hicks. Marieshia runs Dependable Care Health Service in Garland, and it was her business that was missing. But that all changed last month when she attended a workshop at the Garland Chamber of Commerce called Let's Put Garland on the Map.

The workshop, run by our Get Your Business Online team, showed her how to use Google My Business-a tool that allows business owners to control the info listed about their business on Google Search and Maps-to help more people find Dependable. Marieshia added an updated phone number, hours of operation, and a description to her business listing. Within a few months, she had more customers come through the door and referrals from doctors who could reach her. This one simple adjustment made a difference. In Marieshia's words: "It's huge."

Huge might be an understatement. Four out of five people use search engines to find local information, like business hours and addresses, and research shows that businesses with complete listings are twice as likely (PDF) to be considered reputable by customers. Consumers are 38 percent more likely to visit and 29 percent more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings. Yet only 37 percent of businesses (PDF) have claimed a local business listing on a search engine. That's a lot of missed opportunities for small businesses.

With this in mind, our Get Your Business Online team set out in 2011 to help businesses like Marieshia's get found online. We've gone to every state in the U.S. and worked with thousands of business owners to create free websites and update their Google Search and Maps listings. But there's a lot more work to do to help businesses take advantage of the vast opportunities yielded by the web. So today, we're introducing Let's Put Our Cities on the Map, a new program to help 30,000 cities get their local businesses online.

If we want to help every business in the U.S., we need to reach businesses where they are. So this tailor-made program provides each city with a custom website where local businesses can find helpful resources, including a new diagnostic tool that shows businesses how they appear on Search and Maps, a step-by-step guide for getting online with Google My Business, and a free website and domain name for one year with our partner, Startlogic.

We're also forming partnerships with local organizations-like chambers and small business development centers-and equipping them with free trainings and customized city materials to run workshops just like the one Marieshia attended in Garland. These local partners know the challenges for local businesses more than anyone-and they recognize the value of getting businesses online. After all, getting Dependable's information online not only means the world for Marieshia, it means even more for the city of Garland. Complete business info can help generate economic value up to $300,000 a year for a small city or up to $7 million for a large one (PDF). So when our local businesses are online, our local economies benefit.

If you have a favorite local business-a day care, a dentist, a dry cleaner-show your support by helping them get their info online and on the map. Visit your city's website at www.gybo.com to find out how you can get involved.

Let's put our cities on the map!

Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online

25 Mar 2015 11:00am GMT

22 Mar 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Colorful Knowledge Graph Cards

Last month, Google tested some colorful cards for mobile search results. Now Google's mobile site shows Knowledge Graph cards with colorful backgrounds, but only if you're not signed in.


It's not clear if Google uses random colors or they're related to the image search results.

{ Thanks, Shinohara Makoto. }

22 Mar 2015 10:56pm GMT

YouTube Autoplay, Enabled by Default

As previously anticipated, YouTube's autoplay feature is no longer an experiment and it's now a regular feature enabled by default. YouTube automatically plays related videos until you pause videos or you disable autoplay. "When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next," explains Google.


You can disable autoplay by unchecking "autoplay" in the right sidebar or in the player's settings menu. YouTube saves the setting in a cookie, so it will no longer play related videos automatically until you enable the feature again or clear YouTube cookies.

YouTube has a video and a help center article that offer more information about this feature:

"Once a video is over, you'll see a 10 second countdown that tells you what's going to play next. The next video that plays is determined by your viewing history. If you want more time before the next video starts, pause the countdown by scrolling down past the video player. You can also pause the countdown by typing, either a comment or something into the search box. Also, you can click 'Cancel' on the countdown screen to stop the next video from playing."


22 Mar 2015 10:11pm GMT

20 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends March 13-19

Whether you're glued to the small screen or you've got your eyes on the sky this week, search is there to answer your questions. Here's a look at this week in search:

TV gold
FOX's "Empire" has built a kingdom of fans during its first season on the air. This week's finale not only brought the TV show its highest number of viewers-it also had its largest spike in search interest to date with 200,000+ searches Wednesday night. The two-hour finale delivered a king-sized serving of soap opera-esque surprises, ending in a cliffhanger that had fans eager for more ("When does 'Empire' season 2 air?" was trending question this week). And "Empire" is making waves in the real-life music industry too: its soundtrack debuted at number one on Billboard's Top 200 list this week. Here's a look at the top searched songs:

Moving from TV fiction to fact, news broke last Saturday that real estate scion Robert Durst had been arrested in connection to several unsolved murders. Durst was the subject of "The Jinx," the HBO documentary that aired its final episode Sunday night-in which Durst appears to confess to the crimes. Needless to say, though the police said the arrest was not connected to the show, the timing was great for HBO. Search interest in Robert Durst increased by 1,700 percent in the U.S.

Spring fever
March Madness tipped off this week, with fans across the nation rushing to fill out their brackets and come up with excuses to be out of the office. Ten of the top 20 searches yesterday were related to college basketball, and people are turning to search to ask important questions like "Who can beat Kentucky?" (They're undefeated this season.) And everyone wants to know who President Obama is rooting for: his is the most searched celebrity bracket so far.

If your bracket is already busted, you've got something else to be happy about: today marks the first day of spring, and the vernal equinox. Even though it's still cold or even snowy in some spots today, the arrival of spring has people very excited. There were more than 2 million searches for [vernal equinox] yesterday-even more than searches for [march madness live].

Still, the sun's position over the Equator isn't the only celestial event that's got people searching. On Friday, we'll see both a Supermoon as well as the only total solar eclipse of the year-the first since 2013. Searches for [solar eclipse glasses] are up more than 2,000 percent as people figure out how to catch a glimpse. And an intense solar storm brought the aurora borealis south on Tuesday night, making the Northern Lights visible as far south as Oregon and as far out as outer space. The green lights lit up search as well as the skies: search interest went up more than 1,250 percent this week!

Good eats
Who says it needs to be hot out to eat ice cream? Dairy Queen kicked off its 75th anniversary celebrations on Monday by treating everyone to a free cone, and more than 200,000 searches followed. And it turns out that when it comes to comfort food, ice cream was a better choice this week than the good ol' blue box. Kraft announced a recall of more than 6 million boxes its classic macaroni and cheese after metal was found in some boxes. There were more than 100,000+ searches for [kraft mac and cheese recall] as people tried to determine whether their pantries were affected.

Tip of the week
Keep up with the NCAA tournament with the Google app. Just say "Ok Google, show me the latest on March Madness" to get real-time scores, in-game and recap videos, and live streams for each game.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [heisler beer tv] and [little women reboot]

20 Mar 2015 10:56pm GMT

17 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Bringing street art to your daily life

For more than 20 years, New Yorkers and street art lovers worldwide made the pilgrimage to 5Pointz, a building in Long Island City called the "Graffiti Mecca" because of its brightly colored, ever-changing walls. Artists from around the world covered every inch of the 200,000-square foot exterior with more than 350 technicolor murals. But last summer, this building on Davis Street was whitewashed over by developers, then demolished.

Street art like that at 5Pointz transforms public spaces into open-air galleries, adding vibrancy to urban landscapes. But using the city as a canvas often means these artworks are here today, gone tomorrow. With the Google Art Project, we're working to preserve this ephemeral art form and make it available to fans around the world, anywhere and anytime.

Last June, we added street art from all over the globe-including 5Pointz-to the Google Art Project. Today, we're doubling the number of public artworks to more than 10,000 high-resolution images. Eighty-five art organizations from 34 countries are sharing pieces, ranging from Sweden's most famous street festival, to water tanks wrapped with art among New York city's rooftops, to the abandoned walls of Buenos Aires that are a source of inspiration for street artists from all over the world.

A water tank in New York City. Photo by TF Cornerstone


You don't need to be tied to your desktop to enjoy these fantastic collections. All these images are now available on a device near you with Chrome, Chromecast, Android Wear and your mobile devices. Turn your TV screen into a vibrant backdrop and add some color to your smartwatch with our new Street Art Watch Faces. On your phone or tablet, browse through our partners' new apps to take a tour of Melbourne's famous laneways or visit the multicolored murals in Delhi, Lima and Honolulu.

Wall by Brendan Monroe and Candybird. Photo by Pow! Wow! Hawaii


Street artists have also been using technology to play with their medium. Our collection includes animated "GIF-iti" images by artists like INSA and Cheko. The walls come to life with murals that are painted, filmed, and re-painted to create captivating moving images.

GIF-iti by Cheko


So much goes into making a piece of street art. Yet its transient nature puts it at risk of being scrubbed out and lost forever. The Google Art Project allows these works of art to transcend the walls, be transported to your screen and live on. Follow @googleart to discover more.

Posted by Lucy Schwartz, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute

17 Mar 2015 3:30pm GMT

Celebrating 30 years of .COM and the future of .DOMAINS

When you visited Google today, we're pretty sure you didn't type 173.194.113.18 into your browser. This string of numbers separated by periods-an IP address-isn't nearly as easy or memorable as typing google.com. Domain names ending in things like .COM, .NET and .EDU make browsing the web and telling people where to find you online easier. Since this month marks the 30-year anniversary of .COM and several other domain endings, we're taking a minute to celebrate these often-overlooked suffixes that have changed the way we use the web.

Though they were introduced in 1985, domain names didn't gain much awareness and use amongst the public until the World Wide Web became available to all during the '90s and it became clear they were an important part in unlocking its power. Using these online addresses, people began to spread messages, start businesses and access information that otherwise would have been nearly impossible to find. Popularity and demand for these names grew so much that people were soon willing to pay millions of dollars for the perfect one.

Today there are 270+ million registered domain names; in fact, about 17 million were added just last year. To create more naming options for people online, hundreds of new top-level domains are being added, and many, like .TODAY, .NINJA and .BIKE are already available. We wrote about this back in 2012, and since then we've launched three of our own: .HOW, .SOY and .みんな.

As .COM turns 30, we're looking back on the history of domain endings and all they've made possible. Today there are more choices than ever before for people to find the perfect name for their businesses, projects and ideas on the web. If you're interested in learning more about this history, or you'd like to register your own piece of the web, head over to Google Domains to claim your .DOMAINS from a .COM to a .GURU.

Here's to .COM's 30th, and all that's yet to come in how we name destinations on the Internet.

Posted by Ben Fried, CIO

17 Mar 2015 2:00pm GMT

16 Mar 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Feud: Guess Google's Suggestions

Google's suggestions are sometimes surprising, weird, funny. Google tries to guess what you are about to type and uses other people's searches to autocomplete your query. "Apart from the Google+ profiles that may appear, all of the predictions that are shown in the drop-down list have been typed before by Google users or appear on the web," informs Google.

Have you ever tried to anticipate Google's suggestions? Google Feud is a simple game based on Family Feud that shows the first part of a query and asks you to guess how Google autocompletes it. "Google Feud is a web game based on the Google API. We select the questions, then the results are pulled directly from Google's autocomplete," informs the site, which is not affiliated with Google.

Google Feud uses the top 10 suggestions for a query. You can get more points if you guess a suggestion that is more popular and you can only make 3 mistakes. There are 4 categories of queries: culture, people, names, questions.



{ via Techcrunch }

16 Mar 2015 9:56am GMT

15 Mar 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Global Search

For some reason, when you search YouTube for [site:youtube.com], you're actually requesting a list of all the YouTube videos, playlists and channels. If you combine this query with YouTube's filters, you can obtain a lot of interesting results:

1. Most viewed videos of all time. Use these filters from the dropdown: type:video, sort by: view count.


To add a filter, click the Filters dropdown and select one of the filters from the 5 columns. You can add multiple filters, but you can only pick a single filter from a column. To remove a filter, click the "x" next to the filter. There's also an option that lets you "clear all filters".


2. Most viewed videos uploaded in the past 30 days. Use these filters: type:video, upload date: this month, sort by: view count.

3. Most viewed videos uploaded in the past 12 months. Use these filters: type:video, upload date: this year, sort by: view count.

4. Most viewed videos uploaded in the past 24 hours. Use these filters: type:video, upload date: today, sort by: view count.

5. Most viewed HD videos of all time. Use these filters: type:video, features: HD, sort by: view count.

6. Most viewed 4K videos of all time. Use these filters: type:video, features: 4K, sort by: view count.

7. Most viewed 3D videos of all time. Use these filters: type:video, features: 3D, sort by: view count.

8. Most viewed playlist. Use these filters: type:playlist, sort by: view count.

9. Random videos with no dislikes. Enable these filters: type:video, sort by: rating.

10. Random popular videos. Enable these filters: type:video, sort by: relevance.

15 Mar 2015 6:48pm GMT

360-Degree YouTube Videos

YouTube added support for 360-degree spherical videos and they're impressive. "You could let viewers see the stage and the crowd of your concert, the sky and the ground as you wingsuit glide, or you could even have a choose-your-own-adventure video where people see a different story depending on where they look," suggests YouTube.

For now, 360-degree YouTube videos are only fully supported in Chrome for desktop and the YouTube app for Android. In Chrome you can use your mouse to drag the point of view, while in the Android app you can move your device around or manually change the point of view. If you watch these videos in other browsers or apps, you can see the entire panoramic images.

Here's a playlist with 360-degree videos:


If you want to upload your own photosphere-like panoramic videos, there's a help center article that offers more information. YouTube supports 5 cameras: Bublcam, Giroptic 360cam, IC Real Tech Allie, Kodak SP360, Ricoh Theta. For now, you need to run a script to insert metadata, but YouTube will try to make it easier to upload videos in the future.

15 Mar 2015 2:26pm GMT

13 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends March 6 - 12

This week, runways, verdicts and diapers were the the talk of the town on search. Read on to learn more.

Preachin' papas
"Dude, where's my baby changing table?" That's what actor Ashton Kutcher was wondering on social media after he observed a lack of diaper-changing facilities in men's restrooms. Kutcher offered to give a shout-out on his Facebook page to the the first business he could find with diaper-friendly bathrooms. While the actor's call to arms might not move the needle in terms of shifting societal perceptions on parenting, it did get the celebrity trending on the search charts.

Runways and sun tans
Peering into our search crystal ball, we think we see a little more breakdance fighting in our future. This past Tuesday, actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson surprised fans and fashionistas everywhere when they unexpectedly took to the catwalk during Valentino's display for Paris Fashion Week-all just to announce the sequel to their cult classic Zoolander. The news cracked the top 10 on trends for that day as searchers looked for videos of Stiller and Wilson strutting their stuff in full Zoolander and Hansel persona. One thing is clear: Blue steel is back in season.


You know who else is excited right now? College kids, thanks to a little annual tradition called spring break. Students are all packed up and ready to hit the sun-drenched beaches of Panama City and South Padre Island, and searches for last-minute destinations and travel suggestions are heating up.

Boiling over
Ferguson, Mo., is in the headlines again, and the reasons aren't getting any better. First, the city's police chief resigned following an investigation into his department that found evidence of racism. Then, two police officers were shot and injured during a demonstration at the Ferguson Police Department. Both officers are out of the hospital, but no arrests have been made, and protests are erupting in a city still traumatized by recent events-stirring people to get on the web to find the latest updates and causing sustained interest in the small city.

Imitation is the sincerest form of payment
Musicians Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were found guilty of plagiarism after a jury determined that the duo infringed on soul singer Marvin Gaye's track "Got to Give it Up" in 2013's summer jam "Blurred Lines." The artists were hit with a whopping $7.4 million fine and generated 200,000+ searches. Some are already deriding the decision as a vote against creative expression and a terrible precedent to set for the music industry. But the fight is far from over as both Thicke and Williams plan to appeal the verdict.


Tip of the week
This spring break, skip the overpriced frozen pina coladas and jello shots and make your own cocktails with help from Google. Just say, "Okay Google, how do I make a Snakebite?" and you'll be making tips in no time.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [there's a lot more to life than being good looking] and [spring breakers]

13 Mar 2015 8:19pm GMT

12 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Protecting people across the web with Google Safe Browsing

Online security is on everybody's minds these days, so we want to give you updates about various ways Google keeps you safe online. Today, on the web's birthday, we're highlighting recent improvements to Safe Browsing, technology that protects more than 1.1 billion people all over the world. -Ed.

As the web continues to evolve, it's important that user protections develop in lockstep so that people stay safe online. Our Safe Browsing technology may not be quite as old as the web-which celebrates its 26th birthday today-but ever since Safe Browsing launched nearly eight years ago, it's continually adapted to protect web users, everywhere.

Safe Browsing gives users-both on Google and across on the web-information they need to steer clear of danger. The dangerous sites detected by Safe Browsing generally fall into two categories: sites that attack users intentionally with either malware, phishing, or unwanted software that is deceptive or hard to uninstall, or sites that attack users unintentionally because they have been compromised, often without the site's owner realizing this has happened.

Once we detect these sites, Safe Browsing warns people about them in a variety of ways. You've probably come across a warning like this in Chrome, Firefox or Safari; it's powered by Safe Browsing:

Today, Safe Browsing shows people more than 5 million warnings per day for all sorts of malicious sites and unwanted software, and discovers more than 50,000 malware sites and more than 90,000 phishing sites every month. If you're interested, you can see information about the dangerous sites that are detected by this technology anytime in our Safe Browsing Transparency Report.

We also use Safe Browsing technology to warn website owners or operators about issues with their sites so they can quickly fix them. We provide basic site maintenance tips, as well as specific Safe Browsing notifications in Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Often site owners don't realize there are issues with their sites until they get these notifications.

Recent developments
Since its earliest days, Safe Browsing has been widely available, and free-for users, site owners, and other companies-to use and integrate into their own products. In the early days, we focused on detecting dangerous sites and then showing people warnings:

An early Safe Browsing notification, c. 2007. These would appear in the top right corner of people's web browsers when they visited a site that had been flagged by Safe Browsing as potentially dangerous.


But, just as attacks become more sophisticated, we've made sure our own technologies have kept up. Over the years, we've built Safe Browsing into other Google products to help protect people in more places:


As the web grows up, Safe Browsing technology will, too. We're looking forward to protecting the web, and its users, for many birthdays to come.

Posted by Panayiotis Mavrommatis, Safe Browsing Team

12 Mar 2015 4:00pm GMT

11 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Meet the updated Chromebook Pixel and the new Google Store

Two years ago, we introduced the first Chromebook Pixel. The idea was to bring together the best in hardware, software and design to inspire the next generation of Chromebooks. It's been exciting to see how the entire range of Chromebooks-from classroom-proof to high-end-has made a difference to people at school, at home, and at work. Today, we're introducing an updated and more powerful Pixel to fuel the imaginations of another wave of Chromebook enthusiasts. Plus, we've created a new, online Google Store where you can get the Pixel and other devices made with Google, all in one place.

One charger for all your stuff
These days, packing for a trip means remembering to bring all your different chargers-for your phone, laptop, tablet, watch, etc. We think you should be able to use just one charger for all your electronics. So for the new Pixel, we've joined forces with some of the biggest names in the industry to create a new standard for charging, called USB Type C. The Pixel is one of the first products to launch with this new standard, with more Chromebooks and Android devices following suit soon.

Not only does Type-C enable multi-device charging, but it also allows high-speed data and display over the same connector and cable. It's small enough to work with smartphones, powerful enough to charge computers, and conveniently symmetrical (no more guessing which side is up!). Speaking of symmetry, the new Pixel doesn't just have one Type C port-it has two, one on each side, so you can plug in wherever is convenient.

Thoughtful design
Like the original Pixel, the new Chromebook has a high-resolution touchscreen, a sleek aluminum body, and smooth glass trackpad. We've also made a few other enhancements, including a new wide-angle camera lens.

Of course, the Pixel is also great on the inside. It's got a powerful Intel® Core™ i5 with 8GB RAM and a 32GB SSD. If that's not enough for you, we're making an LS (yup, that stands for "Ludicrous Speed") version that's even faster. And even with the new charger, you probably won't be carrying it around much, since the new Pixel has 12 hours of battery life.* When you do need to top up, it's fast-you'll get up to two hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.*

Shop for the Pixel and more at the Google Store
We've been selling our devices on Google Play for years, but as we've added more products to the family, we thought it was time to make it easier for you to learn more about them. So today we're also launching the Google Store, the new home for the latest devices made with Google.

At store.google.com, you can shop Nexus phones and tablets, Chromecast and Chromebooks, learn more about newer technology like Android Wear, Nexus Player and Nest, and stock up on accessories like cases, keyboards and chargers. You'll see how the Google apps you already know-like Search, Maps and YouTube-work seamlessly with all these products. The Google Store is available on your phone, tablet, or laptop, and right now you'll get free shipping on everything** (consider it our way of saying hello).

Once you've found the right device at the Google Store, you can still head to Google Play to find apps, games, music, movies, TV shows and more. If you recently bought a device on Google Play, don't worry-your order info will automatically be transferred to the Google Store. See our Help Center for more information.

The Chromebook Pixel is available for purchase starting today in the U.S. on the new Google Store for $999 and $1299 for the LS version. Come check it out, and see what else is in store.

Posted by Andrew Bowers, Director of Consumer Hardware

*Battery life tested using Chromium standard PowerLoadTest at default brightness. The PowerLoadTest was created to emulate average user behavior and measure the resultant battery life. Charge time testing is measured by battery capacity increase with lid closed divided by average energy usage during PowerLoadtest. Battery life and charge time may vary depending on usage and other conditions.

**Free shipping applies to the lowest cost shipping option. Free shipping promotion may be modified or discontinued at any time.

11 Mar 2015 6:00pm GMT

08 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Connect. Create. Celebrate women in technology.

Ask Liz Liao what accomplishment she's most proud of, and she'll tell you it's not her master's degree in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, her numerous published articles, or even the autonomous industrial robot she helped develop as a senior software engineer at Seegrid. Nope-according to Liz, her greatest achievement is co-founding Girl Develop It Minneapolis, a chapter in the national non-profit Girl Develop It, which provides hands-on programs and a network of support to women interested in learning web and software development.

3D imaging from the industrial robot, designed and built by Liz and her team
Source: "Seegrid Vision Guided Vehicle: Pallet Truck"


Liz often remembers being the only woman engineer on her team, but it wasn't until she moved to a new city and spent more time working remotely that she began to feel isolated-and realized how important it was for her to have a community of like-minded people to connect with. She started volunteering with a few local organizations and started the local Girl Develop It chapter in 2014. In just seven months, her chapter has more than 500 members and Liz has found a network of people she can connect to.

There are many women like Liz who never find that sense of community and instead end up leaving tech permanently. Not only does that mean our industry is less diverse than it should be, but it also leads to less innovative products. That's why it's so important for Google to do our part in creating environments, programs and policies that help women in technology thrive. We've partnered with organizations like Girl Develop It, Women Who Code, Anita Borg Institute and the National Center for Women & Information Technology to create a more supportive environment for women in tech. And this International Women's Day, we're building on our efforts to empower women to become makers of technology. Here's a look at what we're up to:

Women Techmakers
Last year, Google started our Women Techmakers program to provide visibility, resources and a community for women in technology worldwide. This month we kicked off our second annual Women Techmakers Global Event Series, and we encourage you to attend an event to meet incredible women from around the world who are leading the technology industry. Create the future of wearables at a summit or from home with a brand new Android Wear Watch Face Codelab, and engage with the community using our hashtag #WTM15. For event highlights, photos and more check out Women Techmakers on Twitter and YouTube.

Share your wisdom with a #DearMe video letter
For many young girls, the path to finding themselves is filled with uncertainty. It's hard to figure out what you want to do or who you want to be when you're dealing with gossip, self-doubt and pressure from all sides. As part of our International Women's Day celebration, we're encouraging you to think back on the advice you wish you'd gotten when you were a young, and to share those words of wisdom with today's teenage girls. Submit a video letter on YouTube tagged with #DearMe telling your younger self what you wish someone had told you. We're looking forward to what you have to say.


A Doodle honoring women who transform the world
Finally, we couldn't let International Women's Day pass without a Doodle. So our homepage today celebrates the many ways women scientists, engineers, athletes, doctors, artists, explorers and more are changing the world.


Happy International Women's Day!

Posted by Pavni Diwanji, VP of Engineering

08 Mar 2015 5:00am GMT

06 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends February 27- March 5

This week we saw troll hunting, email drama and flying weasels top the trends charts. Read on to learn the details.

Yes, you did just see that
What's furry, has wings and hits the trends charts with 50,000+ searches? A weasel woodpecker...or more accurately a weasel riding a woodpecker. Nature's most unlikely pair was a top search on Monday after amateur photographer Martin Le-May snapped an incredible photo which went viral. Like most online phenomena, this one has its dissenters: many are speculating that the photo is a fake.

That wasn't this week's only unusual sight. Actor Jared Leto stepped out without his trademark flowing locks, instead sporting platinum blond short hair for his role in the new movie Suicide Squad. Leto's new look leaves behind strands of ombre hair, the tears of thousands of fans, and 100,000+ searches.


Email: more trouble than it's worth?
There was a spike in searches for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after news broke that she used her private email rather than an official government account while she was in office. The potential Democratic presidential candidate's actions are drawing criticism from the media, although Republicans have remained surprisingly silent on the issue. To quell fears that she's got something to hide, Clinton tweeted: "I want the public to see my email"-guess there aren't any skeletons in this inbox.

Trolls exit here
Karma, meet Internet trolls. This week several prominent figures struck back at their online harassers, starting with baseball player Curt Schilling, who called out on his personal blog cyber bullies who had made offensive comments about his daughter on Twitter. Two of the commenters have already lost their jobs due to Schilling's response, leading some people to dub him an "Internet Vigilante." The situation has certainly raised Shilling's profile: Searches for the former Red Sox player have hit their highest in years.

American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson was next to take a swing at the haters. When British TV personality Katie Hopkins tweeted multiple derogatory remarks about Clarkson's weight, the singer stood up for herself and against body shaming. Clarkson responded saying, "I'm awesome," and that she doesn't seek acceptance from others. The social media universe gave the singer a collective "You go girl," and pushed Clarkson to the top of the search charts.

Tip of the week
Daylight Savings Time is upon us! If you have a tendency to forget to change your (analog) clocks, just tell Google, "Remind me to change my clock," and handle the issue while it's still fresh in your memory.


Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [how to bleach] and [texts from hillary]

06 Mar 2015 10:28pm GMT

27 Feb 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends February 20-26

If you're the kind of person who loves the Internet when it's at its most Internet-y, you had a good week. From llamas to retro cartoons to that darn dress, here's a look at the past week in search:

Internet gold
Is it white and gold? Or blue and black? That's the question that had everyone searching, tweeting and generally freaking out Thursday after a Tumblr user posted a photo of a dress that seemed to appear different colors to different people. Debate over the true color of the dress raged for hours, while others tried to solve the mystery of its divisiveness. All we know is, there were more than two million searches for [white and gold dress] yesterday-more than for [blue and black dress]-proving once and for all that it's white and gold… right?

Before #thedress, though, there were the llamas. In Phoenix, Ariz., yesterday, two llamas got loose from their handlers and took off on a trot through neighborhood streets, yards and sidewalks. Searchers were captivated by the "llama drama," which ended when police (l)lassoed the animals after a low-speed chase.

Obama says (K)nope
Armed with waffles, Lagavulin and a lot of tissues, we said farewell to NBC's Parks and Recreation on Tuesday after a seven-year run. Searchers turned to the web to revisit favorite characters, quotes and episodes from the show that brought us "Treat Yo' Self" and the Cones of Dunshire, while (wackily) celebrating the value of hard work, friendship and public service.

Moving from the small-town politics of Pawnee to the big-time in D.C., this week President Obama issued his third-ever Presidential veto, rejecting a bill that would have approved the Keystone XL Pipeline project. People turned to the web to learn more about Presidential veto power throughout history and the pipeline itself. What would Leslie and Ron make of all this, we wonder?

Heroic comebacks
Woo-oo! Nineties kids are rejoicing following news that the Disney cartoon DuckTales is getting a reboot. Searches for the show spiked 8x the day after the announcement. Sounds like a lot of you are ready for some tales of derring-do in 2017.

And Madonna had a bit of a shaky week, after she fell backwards down a flight of stairs during her first performance at the Brit Awards in 20 years. But the Queen of Pop recovered quickly to finish her song "Living for Love." She's still an icon for a reason.

Tip of the week
This will be illuminating: if you have an Android device running Lollipop, you can flip the on/off switch on your phone's flashlight just by saying "Ok Google, turn on my flashlight." You can do the same trick to turn on or off WiFi or Bluetooth.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched for [lil sebastian] and [duck tales real ducks]

27 Feb 2015 11:26pm GMT

Rethinking office space

Not the sexiest title for a blog post, I know. But as we've inhabited a variety of workplaces-including a garage in Menlo Park, a farmhouse in Denmark and an entire New York city block-we've learned something about what makes an office space great. And we're excited to put that into practice, starting here at our home in Mountain View.

Today we're submitting a plan to redevelop four sites-places where we already have offices but hope to significantly increase our square footage-to the Mountain View City Council. It's the first time we'll design and build offices from scratch and we hope these plans by Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio will lead to a better way of working.

A rendering of our proposed new campus. See more images on Google+


The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we'll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas. (Our self-driving car team, for example, has very different needs when it comes to office space from our Search engineers.) Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.

Of course, this project is about much more than just office space; it's about doing more with the local community as well. So we're adding lots of bike paths and retail opportunities, like restaurants, for local businesses. We also hope to bring new life to the unique local environment, from enhancing burrowing owl habitats to widening creek beds. And we're committed to do everything we can to save energy-our recent agreement to offset our energy consumption in North Bayshore with renewable energy includes the development of this proposal.

We chose Mountain View for our headquarters 15 years ago because we love the beauty of the bay, the close proximity to great universities, the family-friendly environment and the chance to work in a city at the heart of Silicon Valley. Today, we want to create office spaces that don't just provide a great home for Google, but which also work for the city that has given us so much.

We look forward to working with our neighbors at the City Council on this proposal-and the future of Mountain View's North Bayshore.

Posted by David Radcliffe, Vice President, Real Estate

27 Feb 2015 6:00pm GMT

25 Feb 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Get away with Google Flights

While winds howl, frost bites and snow falls, people dream of getting away from it all. Every year around this time, we see an uptick in searches for spring and summer travel from people who have had it up to here with winter. And in the middle of one of the coldest, snowiest, iciest winters on record in the U.S., you better believe people are gearing up to grab their suntan lotion and their carry-ons, and hop on a plane. Enter Google Flights, which makes it easy to plan the trip that's right for you. Here are a few tips to help you book this year's dream vacation.

Flexibility is key when finding great deals
There's a travel myth that you can always find the best deals on Tuesday. But actually, you can find good deals any day of the week-especially if you're flexible with your travel dates. Though it's sometimes hard to pull the trigger because you're afraid the price will drop tomorrow (or next Tuesday, maybe?), our experience shows it's usually best to book right away.

Regardless of which day you sit down to plan your trip, you can use the calendar in Google Flights to scroll through months and see the lowest fare highlighted for each day. If you're planning even further out, use the lowest fares graph beneath the calendar to see how prices may fluctuate based on the season, holidays or other events. You can also set preferences (such as direct flights only) and our calendar will adjust to show you just those flights and fares that fit the bill. Finally, if you can save more by using a nearby airport or flying on a different day, we'll show you a tip at the top of your results.

Not sure about your destination? No problem
Sometimes, you know exactly where your destination needs to be-say, when you're taking a business trip, or headed to a wedding or family reunion. But there are times when all you know is that you want to go somewhere. Maybe you want to go somewhere with a beach, but don't care if it's in Greece or the Caribbean. Or you want to visit Southeast Asia, but aren't sure which countries to visit.

Our research shows more than half of searchers don't know where they're going to travel when they sit down to plan. With Google Flights, you can search for regions or whole countries, like "Flights to Europe" and "Flights to Mexico." Or, expand the map to scan the entire world and see accurate prices for all the different cities you can fly to, along with filters for your flight preferences. If you're in a particularly adventurous-or lazy-mood, select the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on the map and we'll suggest ideas for where to go based on popular destinations and your past search history.

But… cheaper isn't always better
We all love a good deal, but when it comes to choosing flights, cheaper doesn't always win-and no wonder, when sometimes that means two connections instead of none. On Google Flights, the vast majority of people choose one of the Best flights-considered to be flights that are the best combination of price and convenience. Try it out next time you're looking for something that fits your schedule, not just your budget.

So once you've warmed your hands on that cup of hot cocoa, put them to work on your keyboard or phone. Google Flights is ready to find the best destinations, dates, fares and flights for you to get away from it all.

Posted by Eric Zimmerman, Product Manager, Google Flights (dreaming of warmth from my Boston ice prison)

25 Feb 2015 2:00pm GMT

23 Feb 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Expanding opportunities through computer science education

One student celebrated Martin Luther King Day. Another created a music video with a nod to a Frozen princess. A third invited a cold polar bear in for holiday cheer. All these students are participants in Google CS First, a program that teaches 9- to 14-year-olds how to use computer science (CS) to express themselves and their interests. In the process, they get a window into the world of coding and learn skills that may be useful to them in the future.

We launched CS First back in 2013, and since then more than 19,000 students have participated at one of 1,300+ CS First clubs around the country, most run by teachers, parents and volunteers. All our CS First materials are free and available online, and the curriculum is designed for everyone to work at their own pace, meaning it's accessible even to people who are new to technology. It's also designed to tap into students' existing interests, showing them how CS can integrate with the rest of their lives. Inspired by fashion, art, music, politics and more, students have used code to build videos, games and stories on topics big and small, from how they met their best friends to solving global hunger.

CS First participants at Sedgefield Middle School in Goose Creek, SC look over a friend's shoulder at her project


Now, we're partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Corporation for National and Community Service to bring CS First to even more students across the country. A new group of 20 AmeriCorps VISTA members will spend a year helping local Boys & Girls Clubs incorporate CS First and other educational programs into their slate of activities, giving more young people, especially those who might not otherwise be exposed to coding, greater access to computer science education.

Computer science is increasingly important to building a successful career, in fields varying from medicine to architecture to music. But today, there aren't enough computer scientists to fill the available jobs-and on top of that, many populations aren't equally represented in the field. According to code.org, only 8 percent of people who take the Advanced Placement Computer Science Exam are students of color, and only 15 percent are women. And while women earn 57 percent of all bachelor's degrees, only 12 percent of computer science degrees are awarded to women. We want to expand the pool of technologists, and make sure that all young people, regardless of background or resources, have access to high-quality CS education from an early age.

That's what this new effort is all about. Our partners have long been committed to supporting young people and communities. Boys & Girls Clubs of America gives young people access to opportunities to help them become productive and responsible citizens during out of school time. And AmeriCorps VISTA taps the skills and passion of more than 7,000 Americans annually to support community efforts to overcome poverty. Working together, we can empower more young people with the technical know-how they need to succeed in today's society and economy.

Join us in making CS more accessible to more kids, and apply on the AmeriCorps website by March 1. If accepted, you'll come to the Google headquarters in Mountain View for training before spending a year in one of six cities. Best of all, your year of service will make a real difference in the lives of young people.

Posted by Kate Berrio, Google CS First Program Manager

23 Feb 2015 5:00pm GMT

Our first building block in tech for tykes: YouTube Kids

When we were kids, if we wanted to learn more about gorillas or how to make friendship bracelets, our parents pointed us to an encyclopedia, or took us to the library. When we wanted to watch cartoons, we eagerly awaited Saturday morning. Today's kids have it even better-they have all of these options, plus a world of knowledge and information at their fingertips via the Internet. That opens up wonderful opportunities, but also can cause some worry for those of us who are parents.

So over the past year, teams across Google-including many passionate parents-have been looking at how families are using our products, and how we can make it easier for children and parents to explore and play together. We decided to start with YouTube.

For years, families have come to YouTube, watching countless hours of videos on a variety of topics. And today, we're launching YouTube Kids, a new family-friendly app that makes it easy for kids to explore a vast selection of videos on any topic.

In the new YouTube Kids app, available on Android and iOS in the U.S., videos are narrowed to focus on content that is appropriate for the whole family. You might explore DIY arts and crafts, learn how to find the circumference of a circle, or watch favorites from Mother Goose Club to Minecraft, as well as new series from National Geographic Kids and Reading Rainbow. And there are more train videos than even you can count.

We've designed the app to be easier for kids to use, with a brighter and bigger interface that's perfect for small thumbs and pudgy fingers. For parents, we've built in options that let you decide how your family uses the app, including the ability to set viewing limits with a timer.


Head over to YouTube's blog to learn more. This is just our first step-we'll keep tinkering and hope to have more great products for your family soon.

Posted by Pavni Diwanji, VP of Engineering, and Shimrit Ben-Yair, Product Manager, both moms of two

23 Feb 2015 2:33pm GMT

01 Nov 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Grow a moustache and fight cancer!

For my next 30 day challenge, I'll be growing a mustache to raise awareness and money for men's health issues, and specifically prostate cancer research. Men of search and SEO, please join our team. You can raise awareness, or raise cash. And it's super simple: just don't shave your moustache for 30 days. The name [...]

01 Nov 2011 6:16pm GMT

31 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween costume: stickman from xkcd

For Halloween this year I asked people on Google+ what I should be for Halloween, and someone suggested going as the blackhat stick man from xkcd. You know, this guy: That sounded like a good challenge. I finished the costume and taped a video, but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to get the video [...]

31 Oct 2011 5:16pm GMT

24 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween Pumpkin: Portal Turret!

I made a Portal turret for my Halloween pumpkin! I was trying to think of things to carve: vampire Android? R2-D2? Zoidberg? Then I thought: I could do a character from Portal 2! I was going to carve something like GLaDOS or Wheatley, but then I realized that a portal turret would be perfect: To [...]

24 Oct 2011 3:26pm GMT

02 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

New 30 day challenge: going vegan!

Okay, I'm starting up a new 30 day challenge: I'm going to eat vegan for the next 30 days. That means no meat, dairy, or eggs. I'm curious to see how it will go.

02 Oct 2011 5:58am GMT

20 Sep 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

What cool new websearch ideas should Google launch in 2012?

Even though this year is nowhere near finished, a lot of people at Google are already thinking about things to launch next year. So I wanted to put the question out: what cool things would you like to see Google launch in 2012? For example, in 2011, we launched hundreds of search quality changes that [...]

20 Sep 2011 2:40pm GMT

Busy few weeks

I've been out of town (hiking in Yosemite and traveling to the East Coast) for two out of the last three weeks, so things are a bit crazy. Besides the usual email overload, there's a project at work-not related to webspam-that will need some attention for the next 4-5 weeks. I'm triaging email as best [...]

20 Sep 2011 1:55pm 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

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Traveling for a week

For the next week or so, I'm going to be hiking in the back country of Yosemite. That's assuming that my legs hold up: after finishing the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July, my knees and ankles have been a little creaky recently. I've been trying to get my email under control in [...]

26 Aug 2011 6:15am 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

11 Jul 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Submit video topics for mid-2011

This submission round is now closed-thanks! Sometime soon I'm planning to record some new webmaster videos. I created a Google Moderator page where you can post video suggestions and vote topics up and down. Instead of short 1-2 minute video answers to quick questions, I'd like to try something new this time. I'd like to [...]

11 Jul 2011 10:21pm GMT

27 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Good Books for Summer Reading?

It's summertime, so I'm looking for a bunch of fun books to read. I just ordered two books by John Scalzi (Fuzzy Nation and The God Engines), two books by Dean Karnazes because I'm training to run a marathon (Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss and Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner), plus [...]

27 Jun 2011 3:54pm GMT

23 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Goal: getting email under control

Each year I try to settle on a small set of big goals for the year. Last year my big goal was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. This year, I settled on 2-3 goals I wanted to achieve: 1. Go skydiving. I was with a group of ~15 people in January and we realized that no [...]

23 Jun 2011 7:08am 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

Chromedroidpad

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