25 May 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

10 things you may have missed at Google I/O

Last week thousands of developers joined us at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA, at Google I/O, our annual developer conference, for three days of talks, sandboxes, and some festival fun. Here's a look at I/O beyond the keynote:

1. It's not just for grown-ups.
A day before Google I/O officially began, we hosted I/O Youth. Over the course of the day, 120 students from Bay Area-based schools engaged in four hands-on activities focused on storytelling, designing, and coding. They heard from inspiring speakers that bring creative solutions to their jobs like Brent Bushnell, CEO of the entertainment company Two Bit Circus, and Pavni Diwanji, who leads our Google-wide efforts to create a better experience for kids online. Check out 11-year-old Cindy Zhou's coverage of I/O Youth for Time for Kids.

2. Machine learning is already making products smarter.
As Sundar said during his keynote, machine learning and artificial intelligence are changing computing in incredible ways. One of the biggest uncracked nuts in A.I. is understanding natural language. But we're making progress, and we can see people are eager for it-on the Google app on Android, over 20 percent of the searches we get in the U.S. are now by voice. Ok Google!

3. ATAP is bridging the physical and the digital.
On Friday, ATAP took the stage to share a glimpse of what's going on in the ATAP garage. In "Pearl," an interactive 360 story made for mobile by Academy award-winning director Patrick Osborne, a girl and her dad crisscross the country in their beloved hatchback. Project Jacquard introduced a twist on the iconic denim jacket-the Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket, with Jacquard's interactive fabrics woven in. With the LG Electronics Inc. smartwatch and JBL by Harman speaker prototypes Project Soli demonstrated, you don't have to touch a screen to view a message or change a song. And Ara showed off a developer version of their modular phone and provided a peek into a future where phones can be customized for function and style.

The Soli smartwatch prototype (developed in collaboration with LG Electronics Inc.) is controlled without touching the screen

4. We're working to make I/O more inclusive for everyone.
As in past years, we made an effort to make I/O a diverse and welcoming conference for women and minorities who are underrepresented in technology. Women at I/O made up 23 percent of our 7,000+ attendees (at last year's conference, women made up a similar percentage of our 5,000 attendees). We partnered with 13 community groups for women in technology, and offered travel grants to attendees making the trip. On Tuesday night, we hosted a Women Techmakers dinner for 1,000 women.

Women Techmakers dinner

We also want I/O to be more accessible for people with disabilities. To that end, we worked with Googlers and attendees with disabilities to provide things like real-time captioning for all breakout sessions at the conference.

Finally, this was also the first year we released ethnicity and race information for a Google conference.

5. We've made custom hardware for machine learning.
We designed and built a chip (of the silicon variety) that's specifically made for machine learning. We call it a Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) because it's tailored for TensorFlow, our machine learning software that's openly available to all. A TPU is an order of magnitude (10x) more power efficient than a traditional computer chip-and TPUs were also the secret hardware sauce for AlphaGo, our machine learning system that played and won 4 of 5 matches with Lee Sedol in Korea.

6. The Google Play Music experience blended Google smarts with musical discovery.
Not far from the dancing paint robot, I/O's Google Play Music room brought Google Search and Google Play Music together in perfect harmony. On the Play Connections Wall, you could explore connections between different artists, albums, and songs, powered by the Knowledge Graph. Nearby, a display with 3,000+ earphone jacks let you listen to songs from Google Play Music's many different playlists, complete with LED lights that matched the mood of each song. The audio cables powering the display added up to 18,000 feet (3.4 miles)-almost as tall as Mount Kilimanjaro.

7. Android Pay is powering commutes in the U.K. and ATMs in the U.S.
Last week we announced the first countries outside of the U.S. to get Android Pay, starting with the U.K. Londoners will also be able to use Android Pay across the Transport for London network, including on the tube, bus, and rail. That's 13 million journeys where you can now just tap and pay. In the U.S., Bank of America customers will be able to start using their phones to withdraw money in ATMs across the country starting in June.

8. Your favorite Google apps are coming to Daydream.
As part of our effort to make VR even more accessible and immersive, we're planning to bring some of your favorite Google apps to Daydream, including Play Movies, Street View, Google Photos, and YouTube. The YouTube VR app will provide an easier, more immersive way to find and experience virtual reality content on YouTube. Look out for it sometime later this year.

9. Android apps are coming to a Chromebook near you.
Chromebooks are now the #2 most popular PC operating system in the U.S., and soon you'll be able to do even more with them. We're bringing the Google Play Store to Chromebooks, so you can download and use all your favorite Android apps, right on your Chromebook.

10. It was full of festival fun.
Bringing I/O to Shoreline Amphitheatre meant a conference with a festival feel. Interactive experiments let people from around the world send paper planes and splashes of virtual paint zooming onto the keynote stage. That night, Charli XCX and Kygo performed for a crowd lit up with glow sticks. And at After Hours, acrobats mingled alongside a karaoke rickshaw, DJs spun from the tops of art cars, and domes that held tech talks during the day were converted into underwater discos and a planetarium.

For more from #io16, check out this photo album from the event or take a tour of the sandbox in 360 degrees:

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, Google Blogs https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DMY1ngwflog/V0Xz0RRWipI/AAAAAAAASWU/CMfpXcIfbLwu-GkW2XOFI1s-XkRSXa-rgCLcB/s1600/Copy%2Bof%2BCopy%2Bof%2BDSC_0615.jpg

25 May 2016 8:06pm GMT

Passionate Google users helping others with Google products

If you've ever asked a question about a Google product in the Google Product Help Forums or on Twitter, chances are you've encountered a Top Contributor-passionate Google product experts who enjoy sharing their knowledge with their fellow users. Last year, Top Contributors helped more than 55 million people with 30 different Google products, answering questions and providing tips.

The super users in the Top Contributor program come from 60+ different countries. Their passion for our products and willingness to help others make them a community. To showcase the faces and stories behind this group of helpful users, we asked a few Top Contributors to share a bit about themselves. This is the first of two posts-come back tomorrow to learn more.

Jo says: As a writer, editor, and all-around book enthusiast, I spend a lot of time using word-processing programs. I first discovered Google Docs when I saw a Chromebook ad on TV. I was intrigued by the idea of working in the cloud and not needing an external hard drive to backup my work.

I use Docs for both my professional and personal writing and have completed works of nonfiction as well as novels in it. As senior editorial director at Book Publishing Co., I use Docs for reviewing and editing manuscripts, writing copy, and communicating with authors and colleagues. My authors and colleagues are fascinated when we're in a document at the same time and they see me making changes. It looks like magic to them!

Helping others navigate Docs might seem like an unusual hobby, but I love it. I like exercising my brain by exploring all that an app can do. It's rewarding to answer users' questions and help them solve conundrums, especially knowing that my reply could potentially reach hundreds or even thousands of others users who visit the forum with a similar issue. The occasional "thank you" or "you saved the day" is icing on the cake.


Kojo says: I grew up in a small town in the central region of Ghana, the oldest of five children-which meant I learned how to work hard. Being the oldest meant I had to set a positive example for my siblings and cousins. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry with honors from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where I'm now a teaching and research assistant.

I first got involved with Google products as a Google Student Ambassador, a program that gives students the opportunity to be a liaison between their university and Google. During that time, I gave tutorials to anyone from first year students to senior faculty in my department, teaching them how to incorporate Google apps like Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides into their day-to-day.

When I became a teaching and research assistant, I started using Google Forms to create short quizzes and Google Groups to send assignments and notes to the students in my lab experiment groups. Those experiences inspired me to start helping out in the forums, where I specialize in Nexus and Photos-products I don't often get to use in the classroom.

I love troubleshooting issues with products because it challenges me to pinpoint issues given very little information. It not only teaches me to solve problems, but it also shows me how I can interrelate things when teaching in order to help students. My experience there inspires me to take on more challenges elsewhere. Next up: grad school.

Get involved with the Top Contributor Program
We're always looking for people around the world who have strong Google product knowledge, a friendly attitude, and enjoy helping others. If you're interested in becoming a Top Contributor, start participating in a Google Product Forum or on social media, and let us know you're interested. Once you're helping people on a regular basis, you may be invited to become a Rising Star, the first level in the Top Contributor program.

Posted by Brenna Robertson, Program Manager https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5ZWYMlLdPW8/V0X2xnTn2wI/AAAAAAAASWg/9MKD-Ka9qYggMXKdzHsYjIr8QgSC3G8wgCLcB/s1600/Contributor.jpg

25 May 2016 7:33pm GMT

Saying 👋 to Allo and Duo: new apps for smart messaging and video calling

Whether it's welcoming a new baby, celebrating the winning shot in overtime, or discovering the best taco stand ever-we all want to share these moments with friends and family the instant they happen. Most of the time, this means picking up our phones and sending a message or starting a call. Today we're sharing a preview of two new apps that take a fresh look at how people connect.

Allo, a smart messaging app
Allo is a smart messaging app that makes your conversations easier and more expressive. It's based on your phone number, so you can get in touch with anyone in your phonebook. And with deeply integrated machine learning, Allo has smart features to keep your conversations flowing and help you get things done.

Emojis, stickers, Ink, and our Whisper Shout feature in Allo

Allo has Smart Reply built in (similar to Inbox), so you can respond to messages without typing a single word. Smart Reply learns over time and will show suggestions that are in your style. For example, it will learn whether you're more of a "haha" vs. "lol" kind of person. The more you use Allo the more "you" the suggestions will become. Smart Reply also works with photos, providing intelligent suggestions related to the content of the photo. If your friend sends you a photo of tacos, for example, you may see Smart Reply suggestions like "yummy" or "I love tacos."

Smart Reply suggestions in Allo

Allo also features the Google assistant, bringing the richness of Google directly into your chats-helping you find information, get things done, and have fun. You can chat one-on-one with the assistant, or call on Google in a group chat with friends. Either way, you no longer have to jump between apps to do things like book a dinner reservation with friends, get up-to-date sports scores, settle a bet, or play a game. The assistant in Allo lets you bring things like Search, Maps, YouTube and Translate to all your conversations, so that you and your friends can use Google together.

The Google assistant in Allo understands your world, so you can ask for things like your agenda for the day, details of your flight and hotel, or photos from your last trip. And since it understands natural language patterns, you can just chat like yourself and it'll understand what you're saying. For example, "Is my flight delayed?" will return information about your flight status.

Google assistant in Allo

Privacy and security are important in messaging, so following in the footsteps of Chrome, we created Incognito mode in Allo. Chats in Incognito mode will have end-to-end encryption and discreet notifications, and we'll continue to add new features to this mode.

Duo, a video calling app for everyone
Duo is a simple, fast one-to-one video calling app for everyone-whether you're on Android or iOS, a fast or slow connection, in New York or New Delhi. Like Allo, Duo is based on your phone number, allowing you to reach anyone in your phonebook. And its simple interface fades away when you're in a call, so it's just the two of you.

Video call in Duo


One of our favorite features of Duo is Knock Knock, which shows you a live video preview of the caller before you pick up. Knock Knock invites you into the moment, making calls feel spontaneous and fun. Once you answer, Duo seamlessly transitions you right into the call.

Duo calls are in crisp HD video (up to 720p) and audio. We've optimized Duo to work well even on spotty networks, so if bandwidth is limited it gracefully adjusts quality so you're still able to connect. We also seamlessly transition calls between cellular and Wi-Fi, so you don't need to worry about what network you're on. Finally, we built Duo with privacy and security in mind and all calls on Duo are end-to-end encrypted.

Both apps will be available this summer on Android and iOS. Head over to Google Play and register to be notified when Allo and Duo are available. We can't wait for you to try them.

Posted by Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager, Google, and Yariv Adan, Group Product Manager, Google https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-47-j2kEFlx8/V0X4ZbW2IDI/AAAAAAAASWs/q9lHbpBtkEob2BUaa_nWlvXOsRVI5L4iACLcB/s1600/AlloDuo.jpg

25 May 2016 7:10pm GMT

I/O: Building the next evolution of Google

This morning in our Mountain View, CA backyard, we kicked off Google I/O, our annual developer conference. Much has changed since our first developer event 10 years ago, and even more since Google started 17 years ago. Back then, there were 300 million people online, connecting through desktop machines; today that number is over 3 billion, with the majority using mobile devices as their primary way to get information, organize their day, get from point A to point B, and stay in touch. In a world in which the mobile phone has become the remote control for our daily lives, Google's mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" is truer and more important than ever before.

The Google assistant
When we think of the Google search experience today-a rich panel of information on [Zika virus], or an alert telling you your flight is delayed-it's striking to see how far things have come from the early days of 10 blue links. Many of these advances have been thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence-specifically, areas like natural language processing, voice recognition and translation-and they have helped us build an increasingly useful and assistive experience for users. They are the ingredients that make Google speech recognition the most accurate in the world, and that let you take a picture of a sign in Chinese and see it translated into English.

Progress in all of these areas is accelerating, and we believe we are at a seminal moment. People are increasingly interacting naturally with Google, and aren't just looking for the world's information but actually expecting Google to help them with their daily tasks.

Which is why we're pleased to introduce...the Google assistant.

The assistant is conversational-an ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done. It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater. It's a Google for you, by you.

The assistant is an ambient experience that will work seamlessly across devices and contexts. So you can summon Google's help no matter where you are or what the context. It builds on all our years of investment in deeply understanding users' questions.

Today we gave a preview of two new products where you'll soon be able to draw on the Google assistant.

Google Home
Google Home is a voice-activated product that brings the Google assistant to any room in your house. It lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and get answers from Google-all using conversational speech. With a simple voice command, you can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight, or turn on your lights. It's designed to fit your home with customizable bases in different colors and materials. Google Home will be released later this year.

Allo and Duo
Allo is a new messaging app that also comes complete with the Google assistant, so you can interact with it directly in your chats, either one-on-one or with friends. Because the assistant understands your world, you can ask for things like your agenda for the day or photos from your last trip. If you're planning a dinner with friends, you can ask the assistant to suggest restaurants nearby, all in one thread.

Allo includes Smart Reply, which suggests responses to messages based on context, and comes with fun ways to make your chats more expressive, including emojis, stickers, and the ability to get creative with photos. There's also an Incognito mode that provides end-to-end encryption, discreet notifications, and message expiration.

In addition to Allo, we're introducing Duo, a companion app for one-to-one video calling. With Duo, our goal is to make video calling faster and more reliable, even on slower network speeds. We also introduced a feature called Knock Knock, which gives you a live video of the other caller before you answer.

Best of all, both Allo and Duo are based on your phone number, so you can communicate with anyone regardless of whether they're on Android or iOS. Both apps will be available this summer. Read more here.

Android N, Wear, VR, and Instant Apps
Today we shared details about what's coming in Android N, including better performance for graphics and effects, reduced battery consumption and storage, background downloads of system updates, and streamlined notifications so you can power through them faster, and updated emojis including 72 new ones. And we want your help coming up with a name for N that can be a sweet successor to Marshmallow. Read more and help us #NameAndroidN at Android.com/N.

On top of Android N, we've built a new platform for high quality mobile VR called Daydream. Together with Android manufacturers, we're working on upcoming phones, and sharing designs with them for a VR viewer and controller that will be really immersive, comfortable and intuitive to use. Your favorite apps and games will be coming to Daydream too, including Google's-like YouTube, Street View, Play Movies, Google Photos and the Play Store. More to come this fall.

We also previewed Android Wear 2.0, including a revamped user experience and standalone apps that run right on the watch, no matter where your phone is or even if it's off.

Finally, we're introducing Android Instant Apps-which let you run Android apps instantly, without requiring installation.

Firebase
Today we launched a big expansion of Firebase, our most comprehensive developer offering to date. Going beyond a mobile backend, the platform helps developers quickly build high-quality apps, grow their user base, and earn more money across iOS, Android and the mobile web.

Tackling global challenges with smarter tools
Machine learning and AI are changing not only computing, but also the way in which we tackle problems we've never been able to solve before. The opportunities are even greater when we harness the powers of open-source tools to make them available to the broader developer and researcher community. Imagine what we could do if we work together and use these technologies to tackle challenges in climate change, health care or education. As our machine learning and AI capabilities get smarter and more versatile, these possibilities are starting to appear on the horizon. These are very exciting times indeed.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Nilr6F7t1AU/Vzx1LP1d1SI/AAAAAAAASUc/rkjvgsCCl3kH3k331gHAWxMC05MZWxNiwCLcB/s1600/GH_Livingroom.jpg

25 May 2016 6:46pm GMT

20 May 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Translate Autocomplete

Google Translate's site for desktop and mobile now shows suggestions and autocompletes your text, much like Google Search. This works for English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, but you have to manually pick the input language instead of relying on automatic detection.


The new feature helps you translate faster common phrases, words and expressions, but it's not very useful for long texts.


For example, I picked French as the input language, typed "k" and one of the suggestions was "kinésithérapeute", which means "physiotherapist".


It also works when you use the mobile site:


{ Thanks, Emanuele Bartolomucci. }

20 May 2016 6:35pm GMT

The Ever-Expanding Knowledge Graph Cards

Sometimes Google's Knowledge Graph cards use more real estate than all the other search results combined. I've searched for [from Paris with love] in the experimental mobile-like desktop interface and got a huge card with images, information about the movie, ratings, cast. Then Google displayed 10 search results and 3 other cards with John Travolta movies, Luc Besson movies and action movies, followed by another list of related searches.



Somehow, the list of search results felt like a placeholder for future Knowledge Graph enhancements. Here's the entire page:

20 May 2016 2:24pm GMT

Google Tests Card-Style Search Interface for Desktop

Google experiments with a desktop search UI that looks more like the mobile interface. The experiment uses the same white cards on a gray background for both search results and ads.


When the card-style layout was launched for the mobile site back in 2013, Google mentioned that the new look was "cleaner and simpler, optimized for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers you're looking for".

20 May 2016 2:01pm GMT

Google Works Better With Chrome

When you open google.com in Firefox, Safari or any other browser than Chrome, you'll sometimes see an ad for Chrome. Usually, Google's promotional messages suggested you should try Chrome because it's fast, but now Google has a new ad: "Google works better with Chrome". Clicking "Yes, get Chrome now" sends you to the regular Chrome homepage, which promotes Chrome as "one browser for your laptop, phone and tablet" since "Chrome brings your open tabs, bookmarks and recent searches from your computer to your phone or tablet, and vice versa".

Chrome has many features that integrate Google services (translation, spell checking, reverse image search, Safe Browsing, Cloud Print) and many Google features only work in Chrome (voice search, offline Google Drive, Google Play Music uploading).

Maybe Google should link to a page that explains why "Google works better with Chrome", since it's not exactly obvious. A Twitter user says that "if you can't get a 1 field 2 button form & list of results working cross-browser, you're doing it wrong", while another one finds that "'@google works better with Chrome' sounds like a bug report. Can you just fix it please?". F. Nonnenmacher thinks that "Microsoft was sued for less than that".

20 May 2016 1:25pm GMT

feedOfficial Google Blog

Introducing Spaces, a tool for small group sharing

Group sharing isn't easy. From book clubs to house hunts to weekend trips and more, getting friends into the same app can be challenging. Sharing things typically involves hopping between apps to copy and paste links. Group conversations often don't stay on topic, and things get lost in endless threads that you can't easily get back to when you need them.

We wanted to build a better group sharing experience, so we made a new app called Spaces that lets people get people together instantly to share around any topic.

With Spaces, it's simple to find and share articles, videos and images without leaving the app, since Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome come built in.

When someone shares something new to a space, the conversational view lets you see what the group is talking about without missing a beat.

And if you ever want to find something that was shared earlier-articles, videos, comments or even images-a quick search lets you pull it up in a snap.

You can create a space with just one tap for any topic and invite anyone via messaging, email, a social network, or whatever way you like.

We'll also be experimenting with Spaces this week at Google I/O. We've created a space for each session so that developers can connect with each other and Googlers around topics at I/O, and we've got a few surprises too. If you're joining us in person at I/O, make sure you install Spaces on Android or iOS before you arrive!

Spaces is rolling out today on Android, iOS, desktop, and mobile web for all Gmail addresses. Give it a try and create your first space today.

Posted by Luke Wroblewski, Product Director Luke Wroblewski Product Director

20 May 2016 12:45am GMT

19 May 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Android Instant Apps

Back when the desktop was king, Google used to be all about the Web and the browser. As mobile devices got more popular, browsers were no longer the most important application for many users. Specialized apps for music, video, photos, messaging, maps were much more popular because they were better suited for mobile.

Google pushed the boundaries of the mobile web with Chrome, but a few years ago it started to move on. New services like Inbox no longer have mobile web apps, Google Play Music no longer works from a mobile browser, the Google Docs mobile app no longer lets you edit documents etc. Google started to index mobile apps and link to the apps directly from Google Search. More and more sites push users to install their mobile apps, some of them display limited content and force users to install the apps to read the entire content (example: TripAdvisor).


Now Google announces a new Android feature that will make apps even more powerful. Android Instant Apps will let you launch apps without even installing them: your device will only download the required modules for displaying the content.

"With Instant Apps, a tap on a URL can open right in an Android app, even if the user doesn't have that app installed. As a developer, you won't need to build a new, separate app. (...) You modularize your app, and Google Play downloads only the parts that are needed, on the fly. And when you do upgrade, your app will be available to more than a billion users on Android devices going back to Jelly Bean," informs Google.


Right now, Google works with a small number of developers from BuzzFeed, B&H Photo, Medium, Hotel Tonight, Zumper and Disney to refine the experience. Instant Apps will be available later this year as part of a Google Play Services update.

Instant Apps will be limited to the content you want to display (a Medium article, a B&H camera), but you'll be able to install the full app if you like. It's like launching a personalized trial version of the app.

While the new feature is impressive and has many potential uses, I think it will make the mobile web even less important. If Apple launches a similar feature, developers will start to close their mobile sites and the mobile web will disappear. That's quite dangerous, since it will limit the mobile OS choice to Android and iOS. It's much easier to create a site than an app and many apps are completely unnecessary, not to mention that web apps use open standards, while mobile apps use proprietary APIs and have to rely on closed app stores. The open web ecosystem made Google what it is today.

19 May 2016 2:23pm GMT

Google Assistant

Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, mentioned in this year's Founders' Letter that "the next big step will be for the very concept of the 'device' to fade away. Over time, the computer itself - whatever its form factor - will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day. We will move from mobile first to an AI first world."

Right now, Google has an assistant, but it's not that conversational. You can find it in the Google Now cards and the voice search feature. It's there for answering quick questions, but it's not that good for having meaningful conversations.

This is about to change, now that Google will launch its answer to Amazon's Echo device later this year. It's called Google Home and it's a "voice-activated product that brings the Google assistant to any room in your house. It lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and get answers from Google - all using conversational speech. With a simple voice command, you can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight, or turn on your lights".


Google Home is always listening for the "OK Google" hotword, much like the Google app from your phone. It's also a WiFi speaker with Google Cast support, so you can tell it to play music on other speakers or group it with other speakers. Google Home can even send video to your TV if you use a Chromecast or you have an Android TV.

Google Assistant is not only available in Google Home: it will also be added to the new Allo messaging app and to the Google Search app. "The assistant is conversational - an ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done. It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater."


Google starts to build its own ecosystem of devices that work together: smart routers, smart speakers, smart TVs, smartwatches, home automation devices, car dashboard integration. As people use more smart devices, the Google experience is about to change and Google Assistant will become the main "interface" for interacting with Google.


{ via Google Blog }

19 May 2016 1:00pm GMT

Allo and Duo: Google's New Messaging Apps

Hangouts was supposed to be Google's unified messaging solution, but things didn't go as planned: Hangouts was buggy, lacked features and many people hated it. After releasing a separate app for SMS (Messenger), Google will soon launch 2 other apps: Allo for group chat and Duo for video calling.

Both Allo and Duo use your phone number, much like WhatsApp, so you can chat or talk with anyone from your phonebook. Allo includes a special version of the Smart Reply feature from Google Inbox and it suggests replies for both text messages and photos. Smart Reply learns over time and adapts to your style, suggesting replies you are likely to send.


There's also a Google Assistant you can add to a conversation to answer quick questions, show search results and even perform actions like reserving a table at a restaurant. "The Google assistant in Allo understands your world, so you can ask for things like your agenda for the day, details of your flight and hotel, or photos from your last trip. And since it understands natural language patterns, you can just chat like yourself and it'll understand what you're saying," informs Google.

Allo lets you share photos, add text to photos, add emojis and stickers. There's also a Whisper Shout feature that lets you resize the text before sending it.


Allo has an incognito mode for private conversations. The incognito mode features end-to-end encryption and discreet notifications. Much like in Chrome, you'll need to manually start an incognito conversation and some features aren't available in incognito mode.

Duo is a simplified one-to-one video calling app that uses your phone number, works well on slow Internet connections (it uses WebRTC) and has a Knock Knock feature that shows a live preview of the caller before you answer. Hopefully, users will be able to block those who abuse this feature.


"Duo calls are in crisp HD video (up to 720p) and audio. We've optimized Duo to work well even on spotty networks, so if bandwidth is limited it gracefully adjusts quality so you're still able to connect. We also seamlessly transition calls between cellular and Wi-Fi, so you don't need to worry about what network you're on. Finally, we built Duo with privacy and security in mind and all calls on Duo are end-to-end encrypted," explains Google.


Allo and Duo will launch this summer and will be available for Android and iOS. For now, Hangouts will continue to exist, since Allo and Duo lack many of the features from Hangouts.

Google doesn't have a good track record when it comes to messaging services, so it's hard to tell whether the new apps will be successful. It looks like Allo and Duo will be simple, fast and more focused.

{ via Google Blog }

19 May 2016 12:16pm GMT

17 May 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

An eye for detail: Zoom through 1,000 artworks thanks to the new Art Camera from the Google Cultural Institute

So much of the beauty and power of art lives in the details. You can only fully appreciate the genius of artists like Monet or Van Gogh when you stand so close to a masterpiece that your nose almost touches it. As you step back from the brush strokes, you wonder how it all comes together. At the Google Cultural Institute, we know that people love experiencing art in close detail. Millions of people spend time exploring our ultra-high resolution "gigapixel" images, inch by inch-spotting something new every time, like a hidden signature or the individual dabs of paint that give the impression of shimmering, turbulent waters.

Zooming into these images is the closest thing to walking up to the real thing with a magnifying glass. This is why we're so excited about our new Art Camera-a custom-built camera ready to travel around the world to bring people more of these ultra-high-resolution images than ever possible before.

The Port of Rotterdam by Paul Signac, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

A gigapixel image is made of over one billion pixels, and can bring out details invisible to the naked eye. So creating digital images in such high resolution is a complex technical challenge. You need time, highly specialized and expensive equipment, and only a few people in the world can do the job. In the first five years of the Google Cultural Institute, we've been able to share about 200 gigapixel images. But we want to do much more. That's why we developed the Art Camera.

The Art Camera is a robotic camera, custom-built to create gigapixel images faster and more easily. A robotic system steers the camera automatically from detail to detail, taking hundreds of high resolution close-ups of the painting. To make sure the focus is right on each brush stroke, it's equipped with a laser and a sonar that-much like a bat-uses high frequency sound to measure the distance of the artwork. Once each detail is captured, our software takes the thousands of close-up shots and, like a jigsaw, stitches the pieces together into one single image.

Many of the works of our greatest artists are fragile and sensitive to light and humidity. With the Art Camera, museums can share these priceless works with the global public while ensuring they're preserved for future generations. We want to give museums the tools they need to do this important work, so we're sending a fleet of these cameras from museum to museum around the world-for free.

The Art Camera will dramatically increase the scale and depth at which museums are able to provide access to our shared cultural heritage to anyone around the world. For example, if you wanted to see Van Gogh's six famous portraits of the Roulin family up close, you'd need to travel across the Netherlands then over to LA and New York. Now the Art Camera can travel for you. It's already captured the Portrait of Armand Roulin, which you can explore alongside the rest of the family, all in one place.

Today, we're sharing the first thousand ultra-high resolution images of artworks from artists including Pissarro, Signac, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet and many more from museums across Australia, India, the Netherlands, Brazil and everywhere in between. As we prepare to celebrate International Museum Day and welcome more than 25 new museums on the Google Cultural Institute, we want to thank everyone who worked with us to test the new camera in the recent months. Thanks to their work, today you can start zooming and explore more art in the details than ever before!

Posted by Ben St. John, Engineer, Google Cultural Institute Ben St. John Engineer Google Cultural Institute

17 May 2016 1:00pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Ads

Google's product listing ads are now available in mobile Google Image Search. They're placed above the list of image search results and look much like the shopping ads from web search. Google also shows a colorful list of related keywords you can add to your query: brands, colors, categories and more.


"Whether they're looking for a new sofa or the perfect pair of earrings, people who search and shop on their smartphones at least once a week say that product images are the shopping feature they turn to most. And it turns out, the top questions Google Images users ask us are 'What's the price of this?' and 'Where can I buy it?'. That's why we are introducing Shopping ads on image search," informs Google.


Here's the "shop on Google" section from web search.

17 May 2016 11:36am GMT

Shopping Snippets in Mobile Google Image Search

Google's image search engine now shows rich snippets for shopping sites like Amazon and eBay, but only when you use the mobile interface. Google displays the name of the product, the price, the rating and the number of reviews, stock information and a short description. There's also a message that asks users to "check website for latest pricing and availability".


Google Image Search is pretty useful for finding products and the new snippets include even more information. I'd like to see a filtering option for products in web search and image search, now that Google Product Search only shows paid listings (also known as ads) and "payment is one of several factors used to rank these results".

17 May 2016 10:56am GMT

12 May 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

Introducing The Data Center Mural Project

Whether it's sharing photos, searching the web or translating languages, billions of requests are sent to "the cloud" every day. But few people think about how all this information flows through physical locations, called data centers. Because these buildings typically aren't much to look at, people usually don't-and rarely learn about the incredible structures and people inside who make so much of modern life possible.

To begin to change that, we created the Data Center Mural Project: a partnership with artists to bring a bit of the magic from the inside of our data centers to the outside.

We're starting with two data center locations.

In Mayes County, Oklahoma, digital artist Jenny Odell's mural is made up of Google Maps satellite imagery. Her mural artwork focuses on types of infrastructure that enable the flow of goods, power and information-not unlike data centers themselves.

Belgium local street artist Oli-B took inspiration from "the cloud" for his colorful mural on the outside of our St. Ghislain data center. He's painted clouds that include elements specific to the region, the data center and the people who run it-including the sheep that roam the data center grounds and a balloon from the annual festival L'Ascension à Saint-Ghislain.

Soon, we'll add murals at two more data centers, and eventually we hope to bring the project to more locations around the world. Check out photos, videos and more at g.co/datacentermurals.

Posted by Joe Kava, VP Google Data Centers https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-x6bAhXfUGcM/VzSicUl9qII/AAAAAAAASR8/qfqskRgB2Kov5cbQzqF8ibFw9LL7eXZCACLcB/s1600/Launch-Thumbnail%2B%25281%2529.jpg Joe Kava VP Google Data Centers

12 May 2016 4:22pm GMT

Meet Gboard: Search, GIFs, emojis & more. Right from your keyboard.

iPhone users-this one's for you. Meet Gboard, a new app for your iPhone that lets you search and send information, GIFs, emojis and more, right from your keyboard.

Say you're texting with a friend about tomorrow's lunch plans. They ask you for the address. Until now it's worked like this: You leave your texting app. Open Search. Find the restaurant. Copy the address. Switch back to your texts. Paste the address into a message. And finally, hit send.

Searching and sending stuff on your phone shouldn't be that difficult. With Gboard, you can search and send all kinds of things-restaurant info, flight times, news articles-right from your keyboard. Anything you'd search on Google, you can search with Gboard. Results appear as cards with the key information front and center, such as the phone number, ratings and hours. With one tap, you can send it to your friend and you keep the conversation going.

Search in Gboard

You can search for more than just Google search results. Instead of scrolling to find💃 or 👯 , search for "dancer" and find that emoji you were looking for instantly. Even better-you can search for the perfect GIF to show people how you're really feeling. Finally, Gboard has Glide Typing, which lets you type words by sliding your finger from key to key instead of tapping-so everything you do is just a little bit faster.

Emoji search, GIF search, Glide Typing

Gboard works in any app-messaging, email, YouTube-so you can use it anywhere on your phone. Get it now in the App Store in English in the U.S., with more languages to come.

Posted by Rajan Patel, Principal Engineer

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GCs6Xsu4vcA/VzQuO8yAUqI/AAAAAAAASRk/wtwox1uffrc8r3r9KLaUNfo3jz--QwvtACLcB/s1600/gboard_still_emojiGifSearch.jpg Rajan Patel Principal Engineer

12 May 2016 1:00pm GMT

11 May 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

Translate where you need it: in any app, offline, and wherever you see Chinese

Of the 500 million+ people who use Google Translate, more than 9 in 10 live outside the U.S. We've talked with thousands of you in India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Thailand to learn what works and what doesn't-and today we're rolling out some big improvements.

First, say hello to Tap to Translate on Android. We know millions of you painstakingly copy-paste text between Google Translate and other apps. Now, you can just copy the text of a chat, comment, song lyric, etc. in whichever app you're using, and a translation will pop up right there-no need to switch apps:

Watch the video to learn more. Tap to Translate works for all 103 of Google Translate's languages on any Android phone running Jellybean (4.2) and above.

Next, Offline Mode now works on iOS, and joins Android in using small offline packages. We know that many of you found the previous packages too big to download on unreliable data connections or to keep on your phone's limited storage. That's why we shrunk them by 90 percent, to a much more manageable 25 MB each.

Offline Mode is easy to set up: Just tap the arrow next to the language name to download the package for that language, and then you'll be ready to do text translations whether you're online or not-and it works with Tap to Translate too. We've just added a Filipino language pack, bringing our total number of offline languages to 52.

Finally, we're adding Word Lens in Chinese. It's our 29th language for instant visual translation, and it reads both to and from English, for both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Try it on menus, signs, packages, and other printed text. As with all Word Lens languages, it works offline.

With Tap to Translate, improved Offline Mode, and Word Lens in Chinese, we hope you'll find the latest version of Google Translate a helpful companion. These updates are rolling out over the next few days.

Posted by Barak Turovsky, Product Lead, Google Translate
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SyxzlzaC5j0/VzLVZd7IgVI/AAAAAAAASRM/4vJfEfa48II27sPklESN_hse40ohePabwCLcB/s1600/Milk_Chinese-English.gif Barak Turovsky Product Lead Google Translate

11 May 2016 3:00pm GMT

07 May 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

Digital #LoveLetters from children of the incarcerated

Back in February, we announced a new effort from Google.org focused on racial justice, including support for organizations working to end mass incarceration. This is a critical issue in the United States, which represents 5 percent of the world's population, but 25 percent of the world's prison population. And Blacks are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites-in fact, the United States imprisons a larger percentage of its Black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid.

An often overlooked fact of mass incarceration is that many first-time, nonviolent offenders who receive prison sentences are parents. There are 2.7 million American children with a parent behind bars, and Black children are 7.5 times more likely to have a parent behind bars than their white counterparts. The experience of having a parent in prison is traumatizing to a child: a new study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that the incarceration of a parent can have as much impact on a child's well-being as abuse or domestic violence.

So this Mother's Day and Father's Day, in an effort to raise awareness of the impact of mass incarceration, we've partnered with NGOs on Love Letters: a series of videos that contain children's messages of love for a mother or father in prison. These digital love letters are demonstrations of the unbreakable love between parent and child, and of the pain of growing up without a parent present.

The videos reveal a side of mass incarceration that many people don't get a chance to see. They allow us to bear witness, to be proximate to the very human costs of incarceration. Before I joined Google, I spent years as a human rights lawyer working on criminal justice reform. When I visited women's prisons, I saw how broken women prisoners were because almost all were mothers to small children. Few received visits from family or children because of how remote women's prisons usually are. When children did visit, some weren't allowed to hug or touch their mothers. I also visited detention centers for girls, where many were the daughters of incarcerated mothers. The girls had been trafficked or arrested for running away from group homes or abusive foster placements, and they shared with me the pain of not having a mother there to teach them and protect them.

The impact of mass incarceration is generational and devastating. I hope that after watching these videos, you'll choose to learn more about the critical work organizations like The Osborne Association, Hour Children, and Google.org grantees Essie Justice Group, the Ella Baker Center and the Equal Justice Initiative are doing to support children affected by incarceration and to advance criminal justice reform. You can also learn more about mass incarceration on vera.org and contribute to the conversation with #LoveLetters on social media.

Posted by Malika Saada Saar, Public Policy and Government Relations Senior Counsel - Civil and Human Rights Malika Saada Saar Public Policy and Government Relations Senior Counsel - Civil and Human Rights

07 May 2016 4:00pm GMT

03 May 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

Helping for the long term in Flint, Michigan

Access to clean drinking water is a concern all over the world, but in the United States it's often a foregone conclusion. That is not the case recently for the residents of Flint, Michigan, many of whom we now know have been exposed to lead in their tap water. It's a crisis, one to which the American people readily responded by donating water and resources to help alleviate the immediate pain. But the problem won't go away quickly, and understanding its extent is both challenging and an absolute necessity. Today, Google.org is providing $250,000 to partners in the Flint community to help, with a special focus on a technical solution for understanding and resolving the crisis for the long term.

First, we're making a $150,000 grant to the University of Michigan-Flint to enable the University of Michigan-Flint to develop a comprehensive data platform that will assist government and community leaders in making more informed decisions about the crisis and providing critical information to citizens. The funds will support student researchers at the University of Michigan, Flint and Ann Arbor campuses, to do this work under the leadership of Professors Mark Allison (Flint) and Jake Abernathy (Ann Arbor) to answer key questions about the crisis and response, such as the probability of lead levels before they are tested. The team plans to develop a platform and app that visualizes the data and also provides the ability for citizens to seek out and request key services, such as reporting concerns about water and requesting testing kits. Google volunteers will provide guidance and mentoring on the technology and product design.

We're also making a $100,000 donation to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint for the Flint Child Health & Development Fund. The Flint Child Health & Development Fund was founded to ensure the long-term health of Flint families, especially newborns to children 6 years old-the group most vulnerable to developmental issues from lead. The Fund is a supplemental resource to state and federal funding and gives grants for childcare-related initiatives such as early childhood education, student support services, continuous access to a pediatric medical home, access to infant and child behavioral health services, and research.

With Google offices in Ann Arbor and Birmingham, Flint and its residents are also our neighbors. In the immediate aftermath of the crisis, a group of 20 Google volunteers went to Flint and volunteered at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, where they helped with distributing bottled water and food in the greater Flint area. Around $35,000 has been donated through employees and Google's gift match program to the United Way of Genesee County and the Flint Water Fund to aid in the crisis, and our employee groups, like the Black Googler Network, continue to explore more ways to help.

As a native Michigander, I'm proud that we can help our neighbors in Flint. We hope we can support a resolution to this crisis and assist the residents of Flint in getting the resources they need and deserve, both for the short and long term.

Posted by Mike Miller, Head of Google Michigan

03 May 2016 10:00am GMT

01 May 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Automatic Translation in Google Search

If you search for a word in a foreign language, Google now automatically shows the translation. For example, you can search for [amanecer] to get the English translation of the Spanish word, instead of typing [translate amanecer] or [translate amanecer to english].


This only works for words, and some expressions, not for longer texts. It works for [buenas noches], but not for [buenas noches señora], so you'll still have to search for [translate buenas noches señora] or [buenas noches señora to english].

01 May 2016 9:22am GMT

30 Apr 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Import Chrome Bookmarks Into Google Save

If you install the "Save to Google" extension for Chrome, you can now import your Chrome bookmarks into the Google Save site. Just open the sidebar menu from the Google Save site, click "import Chrome bookmarks" and wait a few minutes until all your bookmarks are saved online. Reload the pages and you'll see all of your Chrome bookmarks next to the pages and images you've previously saved.


Folders and subfolders are converted into tags. Let's assume that the folder "Google" has a subfolder called "Blogs". The two folders are converted into two tags: "Google" and "Google > Blogs", while the bookmarks from the "Blogs" subfolders get both tags.


For now, there's no way to sync Google Save with Chrome bookmarks and the Bookmark Manager extension doesn't integrate with Google Save, even if they're closely related.

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }

30 Apr 2016 3:25pm GMT

29 Apr 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

This year’s Founders' Letter

Every year, Larry and Sergey write a Founders' Letter to our stockholders updating them with some of our recent highlights and sharing our vision for the future. This year, they decided to try something new. - Ed.


In August, I announced Alphabet and our new structure and shared my thoughts on how we were thinking about the future of our business. (It is reprinted here in case you missed it, as it seems to apply just as much today.) I'm really pleased with how Alphabet is going. I am also very pleased with Sundar's performance as our new Google CEO. Since the majority of our big bets are in Google, I wanted to give him most of the bully-pulpit here to reflect on Google's accomplishments and share his vision. In the future, you should expect that Sundar, Sergey and I will use this space to give you a good personal overview of where we are and where we are going.

- Larry Page, CEO, Alphabet



When Larry and Sergey founded Google in 1998, there were about 300 million people online. By and large, they were sitting in a chair, logging on to a desktop machine, typing searches on a big keyboard connected to a big, bulky monitor. Today, that number is around 3 billion people, many of them searching for information on tiny devices they carry with them wherever they go.

In many ways, the founding mission of Google back in '98-"to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful"-is even truer and more important to tackle today, in a world where people look to their devices to help organize their day, get them from one place to another, and keep in touch. The mobile phone really has become the remote control for our daily lives, and we're communicating, consuming, educating, and entertaining ourselves, on our phones, in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

Knowledge for everyone: search and assistance
As we said when we announced Alphabet, "the new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google." Those opportunities live within our mission, and today we are about one thing above all else: making information and knowledge available for everyone.

This of course brings us to Search-the very core of this company. It's easy to take Search for granted after so many years, but it's amazing to think just how far it has come and still has to go. I still remember the days when 10 bare blue links on a desktop page helped you navigate to different parts of the Internet. Contrast that to today, where the majority of our searches come from mobile, and an increasing number of them via voice. These queries get harder and harder with each passing year-people want more local, more context-specific information, and they want it at their fingertips. So we've made it possible for you to search for [Leonardo DiCaprio movies] or [Zika virus] and get a rich panel of facts and visuals. You can also get answers via Google Now-like the weather in your upcoming vacation spot, or when you should leave for the airport-without you even needing to ask the question.

Helping you find information that gets you through your day extends well beyond the classic search query. Think, for example, of the number of photos you and your family have taken throughout your life, all of your memories. Collectively, people will take 1 trillion photos this year with their devices. So we launched Google Photos to make it easier for people to organize their photos and videos, keep them safe, and be able to find them when they want to, on whatever device they are using. Photos launched less than a year ago and already has more than 100 million monthly active users. Or take Google Maps. When you ask us about a location, you don't just want to know how to get from point A to point B. Depending on the context, you may want to know what time is best to avoid the crowds, whether the store you're looking for is open right now, or what the best things to do are in a destination you're visiting for the first time.

But all of this is just a start. There is still much work to be done to make Search and our Google services more helpful to you throughout your day. You should be able to move seamlessly across Google services in a natural way, and get assistance that understands your context, situation, and needs-all while respecting your privacy and protecting your data. The average parent has different needs than the average college student. Similarly, a user wants different help when in the car versus the living room. Smart assistance should understand all of these things and be helpful at the right time, in the right way.

The power of machine learning and artificial intelligence
A key driver behind all of this work has been our long-term investment in machine learning and AI. It's what allows you to use your voice to search for information, to translate the web from one language to another, to filter the spam from your inbox, to search for "hugs" in your photos and actually pull up pictures of people hugging ... to solve many of the problems we encounter in daily life. It's what has allowed us to build products that get better over time, making them increasingly useful and helpful.

We've been building the best AI team and tools for years, and recent breakthroughs will allow us
to do even more. This past March, DeepMind's AlphaGo took on Lee Sedol, a legendary Go master, becoming the first program to beat a professional at the most complex game mankind ever devised. The implications for this victory are, literally, game changing-and the ultimate winner is humanity. This is another important step toward creating artificial intelligence that can help us in everything from accomplishing our daily tasks and travels, to eventually tackling even bigger challenges like climate change and cancer diagnosis.

More great content, in more places
In the early days of the Internet, people thought of information primarily in terms of web pages. Our focus on our core mission has led us to many efforts over the years to improve discovery, creation, and monetization of content-from indexing images, video, and the news, to building platforms like Google Play and YouTube. And with the migration to mobile, people are watching more videos, playing more games, listening to more music, reading more books, and using more apps than ever before.

That's why we have worked hard to make YouTube and Google Play useful platforms for discovering and delivering great content from creators and developers to our users, when they want it, on whatever screen is in front of them. Google Play reaches more than 1 billion Android users. And YouTube is the number-one destination for video-over 1 billion users per month visit the site-and ranks among the year's most downloaded mobile apps. In fact, the amount of time people spend watching videos on YouTube continues to grow rapidly-and more than half of this watchtime now happens on mobile. As we look to the future, we aim to provide more choice to YouTube fans-more ways for them to engage with creators and each other, and more ways for them to get great content. We've started down this journey with specialized apps like YouTube Kids, as well as through our YouTube Red subscription service, which allows fans to get all of YouTube without ads, a premium YouTube Music experience and exclusive access to new original series and movies from top YouTube creators like PewDiePie and Lilly Singh.

We also continue to invest in the mobile web-which is a vital source of traffic for the vast majority of websites. Over this past year, Google has worked closely with publishers, developers, and others in the ecosystem to help make the mobile web a smoother, faster experience for users. A good example is the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which we launched as an open-source initiative in partnership with news publishers, to help them create mobile-optimized content that loads instantly everywhere. The other example is Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which combine the best of the web and the best of apps-allowing companies to build mobile sites that load quickly, send push notifications, have home screen icons, and much more. And finally, we continue to invest in improving Chrome on mobile-in the four short years since launch, it has just passed 1 billion monthly active users on mobile.

Of course, great content requires investment. Whether you're talking about Google's web search, or a compelling news article you read in The New York Times or The Guardian, or watching a video on YouTube, advertising helps fund content for millions and millions of people. So we work hard to build great ad products that people find useful-and that give revenue back to creators and publishers.

Powerful computing platforms
Just a decade ago, computing was still synonymous with big computers that sat on our desks. Then, over just a few years, the keys to powerful computing-processors and sensors-became so small and cheap that they allowed for the proliferation of supercomputers that fit into our pockets: mobile phones. Android has helped drive this scale: it has more than 1.4 billion 30-day-active devices-and growing.

Today's proliferation of "screens" goes well beyond phones, desktops, and tablets. Already, there are exciting developments as screens extend to your car, like Android Auto, or your wrist, like Android Wear. Virtual reality is also showing incredible promise-Google Cardboard has introduced more than 5 million people to the incredible, immersive and educational possibilities of VR.

Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the "device" to fade away. Over time, the computer itself-whatever its form factor-will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day. We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.

Enterprise
Most of these computing experiences are very likely to be built in the cloud. The cloud is more secure, more cost effective, and it provides the ability to easily take advantage of the latest technology advances, be it more automated operations, machine learning, or more intelligent office productivity tools.

Google started in the cloud and has been investing in infrastructure, data management, analytics, and AI from the very beginning. We now have a broad and growing set of enterprise offerings: Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Google Apps, Chromebooks, Android, image recognition, speech translation, maps, machine learning for customers' proprietary data sets, and more. Our customers like Whirlpool, Land O'Lakes and Spotify are transforming their businesses by using our enterprise productivity suite of Google Apps and Google Cloud Platform services.

As we look to our long-term investments in our productivity tools supported by our machine learning and artificial intelligence efforts, we see huge opportunities to dramatically improve how people work. Your phone should proactively bring up the right documents, schedule and map your meetings, let people know if you are late, suggest responses to messages, handle your payments and expenses, etc.

Building for everyone
Whether it's a developer using Google Cloud Platform to power their new application, or a creator finding new income and viewers via YouTube, we believe in leveling the playing field for everyone. The Internet is one of the world's most powerful equalizers, and we see it as our job to make it available to as many people as possible.

This belief has been a core Google principle from the very start-remember that Google Search was in the hands of millions long before the idea for Google advertising was born. We work on advertising because it's what allows us to make our services free; Google Search works the same for anyone with an Internet connection, whether it is in a modern high-rise or a rural schoolhouse.

Making this possible is a lot more complicated than simply translating a product or launching a local country domain. Poor infrastructure keeps billions of people around the world locked out of all of the possibilities the web may offer them. That's why we make it possible for there to be a $50 Android phone, or a $100 Chromebook. It's why this year we launched Maps with turn-by-turn navigation that works even without an Internet connection, and made it possible for people to get faster-loading, streamlined Google Search if they are on a slower network. We want to make sure that no matter who you are or where you are or how advanced the device you are using ... Google works for you.

In all we do, Google will continue to strive to make sure that remains true-to build technology for everyone. Farmers in Kenya use Google Search to keep up with crop prices and make sure they can make a good living. A classroom in Wisconsin can take a field trip to the Sistine Chapel ... just by holding a pair of Cardboard goggles. People everywhere can use their voices to share new perspectives, and connect with others, by creating and watching videos on YouTube. Information can be shared-knowledge can flow-from anyone, to anywhere. In 17 years, it's remarkable to me the degree to which the company has stayed true to our original vision for what Google should do, and what we should become.

For us, technology is not about the devices or the products we build. Those aren't the end-goals. Technology is a democratizing force, empowering people through information. Google is an information company. It was when it was founded, and it is today. And it's what people do with that information that amazes and inspires me every day.

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google Sundar Pichai CEO Google

29 Apr 2016 2:02am GMT

28 Apr 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

Ten years of Google Translate

Ten years ago, we launched Google Translate. Our goal was to break language barriers and to make the world more accessible. Since then we've grown from supporting two languages to 103, and from hundreds of users to hundreds of millions. And just like anyone's first 10 years, we've learned to see and understand, talk, listen, have a conversation, write, and lean on friends for help.

But what we're most inspired by is how Google Translate connects people in communities around the world, in ways we never could have imagined-like two farmers with a shared passion for tomato farming, a couple discovering they're pregnant in a foreign country, and a young immigrant on his way to soccer stardom.

Here's a look at Google Translate today, 10 years in:

1. Google Translate helps people make connections.
Translate can help people help each other, often in the most difficult of times. Recently we visited a community in Canada that is using Translate to break down barriers and make a refugee family feel more welcome:
2. There are more than 500 million of you using Google Translate.
The most common translations are between English and Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Indonesian.

3. Together we translate more than 100 billion words a day.
4. Translations reflect trends and events.
In addition to common phrases like "I love you," we also see people looking for translations related to current events and trends. For instance, last year we saw a big spike in translations for the word "selfie," and this past week, translations for "purple rain" spiked by more than 25,000 percent.

5. You're helping to make Google Translate better with Translate Community.
So far, 3.5 million people have made 90 million contributions through Translate Community, helping us improve and add new languages to Google Translate. A few properly translated sentences can make a huge difference when faced with a foreign language or country. By reviewing, validating and recommending translations, we're able to improve the Google Translate on a daily basis.

6. Brazil uses Google Translate more than any other country.
Ninety-two percent of our translations come from outside of the United States, with Brazil topping the list.

7. You can see the world in your language.
Word Lens is your friend when reading menus, street signs and more. This feature in the Google Translate App lets you instantly see translations in 28 languages.

8. You can have a conversation no matter what language you speak.
In 2011, we first introduced the ability to have a bilingual conversation on Google Translate. The app will recognize which language is being spoken when you're talking with someone, allowing you to have a natural conversation in 32 languages.

9. You don't need an Internet connection to connect.
Many countries don't have reliable Internet, so it's important to be able to translate on the go. You can instantly translate signs and menus offline with Word Lens on both Android and iOS, and translate typed text offline with Android.

10. There's always more to translate.
We're excited and proud of what we've accomplished together over the last 10 years-but there's lots more to do to break language barriers and help people communicate no matter where they're from or what language they speak. Thank you for using Google Translate-here's to another 10!
Posted by Barak Turovsky, Product Lead, Google Translate https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zgn9UxvjSb4/VyGkFV1XZTI/AAAAAAAASPY/E2_FbLDul3gFhDfmQ4KtsTjrPFzTHjv6gCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-04-26%2Bat%2B4.19.42%2BPM.png Barak Turovsky Product Lead Google Translate

28 Apr 2016 3:12pm GMT

Expeditions career tours can take kids to work, virtually

Soledad O'Brien is a broadcast journalist and founder of Starfish Media Group. She is also CEO of the Starfish Foundation, which provides financial assistance and mentoring to help kids go to college. Recently, the Starfish Foundation launched virtual career tours using Google Expeditions, about which O'Brien joins us to talk about today. To become part of the Expeditions Pioneer beta program, sign up via this form. -Ed.

Kids dream about what they want to be when they grow up, but these dreams are often limited-built around the few professional people they know. What if children don't know a veterinarian, an airplane pilot, a paleontologist, or someone in dozens of other careers? What if they lack access to internships or mentors? Can they ever dream big?

I know from watching my own kids visit me at work, and from the scholars I mentor, that exposure to all kinds of professionals is the key to inspiring young people. When I first found out about Expeditions, I saw its potential for broadening the horizons of the student scholars we help at Starfish Foundation. I envisioned creating virtual reality Expeditions that let kids step into someone's work day, simply by using phones and Google Cardboard viewers. So that's what we did.

Soledad O'Brien with scholars from the Starfish Foundation.

Working with the Google Expeditions team, we created virtual reality tours that show kids the ins and out of careers they might not ever learn about otherwise. From flying an airplane to testing fossil samples, kids can see with their own eyes exactly what people do in many different scenarios. They can watch Carolyn Brown, director of surgery for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, perform a procedure on a cat. Or join Mark Norell, a paleontology professor with the American Museum of Natural History, as he examines a velociraptor specimen up close. And today, schools participating in the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program and Expeditions beta will be able to go on an Expedition of the Google Mountain View campus to see what it's like to work at Google.

A career Expedition on American Airlines Pilot, Pam Torell. The view is from the cockpit of one of her scheduled flights.

These Expeditions reveal what professionals like about their jobs, what they studied in school, and how they apply their knowledge to their work. Regular field trips are logistically challenging, and they don't usually focus on careers. But with Expeditions, teachers can share an experience with students right in the classroom. You can't fit 30 students in the cockpit of a plane, but you can get a virtual reality tour of one using Expeditions. And today, on "Take Your Kids to Work Day," there's no better time to get creative about exposing students to different types of jobs and workplace environments.

Children won't know what jobs are possible if they don't know the careers exist. Rather than just telling them, teachers can actually show them. With these career Expeditions, students can travel outside the classroom walls and be exposed to more ideas, places and opportunities than ever before.

Posted by Soledad O'Brien

(Cross-posted on the Google for Education Blog)


https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KP8iBDEQkQI/VyInM3bFYbI/AAAAAAAASPw/Ae89NIr84L0cv5VSZTeUEs2df68M2uWlwCLcB/s1600/EDU-Expeditions-b-13.png Soledad O'Brien

28 Apr 2016 3:09pm GMT

27 Apr 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

A new digital stage for The Sydney Opera House

Just say the word Australia, and people immediately think of the elegant sails of the Sydney Opera House, jutting out into the water of Circular Quay. An Australian icon, this architectural wonder transcends its location. And starting today it's easier for anyone, anywhere in the world to experience the many sights and sounds of this masterpiece, with the opening of the Sydney Opera House on the Google Cultural Institute.

The Google Cultural Institute provides a new digital home for the Sydney Opera House, bringing together more than 1,000 artifacts and 60 years of history in a single online platform. From architect Jørn Utzon's early designs, to the inner workings of the world's biggest mechanical organ, to spectacular late night shows, these 50 online exhibits capture the Sydney Opera House from every angle.

"The Story Begins Here" exhibit explores the history of the building, the performances and events that have taken place on Bennelong Point.

This new collection showcases the variety of culture on offer at one of the world's busiest performing arts centers, and brings many treasures out of the archives and into the spotlight for people to appreciate. Some of the rare content includes photographs of the opening with Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, roof design sketches from master builder and lead engineer Ove Arup, the diaries of architect Peter Hall, and Utzon's personal collection of photographs from the project, spanning nearly a decade.

The sculptural elegance of the Opera House has made it one of the most recognizable buildings of the 20th century. In addition to exhibits which tell the stories of the history and development of this architectural masterpiece, today's launch includes a brand new 360° experience offering insights into the between-the-acts magic of the House. Starting at dawn beneath the sails, you can continue on to enjoy incidental performances by Soprano Nicole Car and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and then journey to many seldom seen areas of the House.

See the Opera House as never before-from dusk till dawn in an immersive 360° experience


With new Street View imagery, you can virtually wander in and around the Opera House at your own pace, taking in stunning views from all angles. Gaze at the white sails overlooking Sydney's picturesque harbor, feel what it's like to stand on the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage and look up at the acoustic clouds of the Concert Hall.

The iconic acoustic clouds of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall


The new collection opens today at g.co/sydneyoperahouse on the Google Cultural Institute website and is available for anyone on mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers. You can also view it via the new Google Arts & Culture mobile app from your iOS or Android device. We hope you enjoy experiencing the past, present and future of this World Heritage masterpiece.

Posted by Kate Lauterbach, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TnmEizYVMP4/VyAIxNRpBcI/AAAAAAAASPA/8yZNyjpTQgghp7DVngmJLS9WlISJwzJxwCLcB/s1600/dusktodawn.png Kate Lauterbach Program Manager Google Cultural Institute

27 Apr 2016 3:40pm GMT

25 Apr 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Bolder YouTube Player

YouTube's HTML5 player looks different. There are new icons, text is bolder, menus are much bigger and the settings menu no longer closes when you pick an option, unless you change video quality.


When you click "copy video URL", "copy video URL at current time" or "copy embed code", the player copies the text to the clipboard and no longer displays it.


Here's a screenshot of the old UI for the contextual menu:

25 Apr 2016 9:21pm GMT

24 Apr 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Play Music Still Requires Flash

I uninstalled Flash Player on my computer, now that most sites no longer need it. Adobe's Flash Player is still bundled with Chrome, so I had to disable it from the chrome://plugins/ page.

One of the only Google services that still requires Flash is Google Play Music, but only if you don't use Chrome or Internet Explorer 11. I tried opening Google Play Music in Firefox and Safari and got this message: "Missing Flash Player. You need the latest Adobe Flash Player to listen to music."


There's actually a Lab experiment called "HTML5 audio" in the settings and it's grayed out and disabled. It claims that it allows you to "listen to your music without the need for Flash. Support for this lab is still experimental, and it may not work in all cases," informs the description.


Well, it looks like the Lab experiment only works in Chrome, not in other browsers. It's hard to tell why HTML5 audio is still an experiment and not a regular feature that works in all browsers. YouTube's HTML5 player works well in most browsers and Google Play Music uses the same back-end.

24 Apr 2016 3:11pm GMT

20 Apr 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Chrome Extension for Google Keep

There must be an internal contest at Google for creating Chrome extensions that save links. After "Save to Google" and "Save to Inbox", there's now a Chrome extension for Google Keep that lets you create notes about the page you're currently visiting. "The next time you're on a website that you want to remember or reference later on, use the new Keep Chrome extension to add it - or any part of it - to a note in Keep. Just click the Keep badge to add a site's link to a note, or select some text or an image and create a new note from the right-click menu," suggests Google.


If you have an Android device, you can now create notes directly from your favorite browser: just use the sharing feature and pick Google Keep. You'll be able to write your note right inside Chrome and other browsers, without having to open Google Keep.

Another useful feature in Google Keep: you can now add labels to your notes as #hashtags. For example, you can write: "#work #todo #readlater" and Google Keep will add 3 labels to your note. The nice thing is that Google Keep uses autocomplete, so you can quickly select an existing label. If the label doesn't exist, you need to click the "create" option and the hashtag will become a link.



{ Thanks, Allan Medeiros de Azevedo. }

20 Apr 2016 8:12pm GMT

Save Links to Google Inbox

Google Inbox has a new bundle called "saved". When you click it, you get this description: "Don't forget the articles, videos and other links you want to get back to. Use the Inbox Chrome extension or mobile share button to add links here."

The Inbox Chrome extension has been launched today and it's only useful for saving links and sharing pages via email.



Now you no longer have to send yourself messages with links to pages you want to read later. The links are added to the inbox and they're also saved as reminders. It's strange that you can't add links from the Google Inbox interface and you have to use a Chrome extension or the share feature from Android.

Another interesting feature groups the messages related to a Google Calendar event. "Inbox now gathers emails from a single event together and shows you what's changed at a glance. When you tap on an event, you'll see a comprehensive overview, all in one place," informs Gmail's blog.


Inbox has a new interface for newsletters, which highlights the articles, so you can open them faster. Apparently, the new interface is only displayed for newsletters you read often and it also includes a preview that's hidden after you've opened the newsletter.


{ Thanks, Allan Medeiros de Azevedo. }

20 Apr 2016 7:45pm GMT

19 Apr 2016

feedOfficial Google Blog

Helping people stay informed and connected in Japan and Ecuador

Over the last few days, Japan and Ecuador have been affected by significant earthquakes. Hundreds have been killed, and many thousands injured or displaced. We're doing a few things to try to help.

Find and call loved ones
To help people post and search for family or friends affected by the disaster we activated Person Finder in Spanish and Japanese. We're also offering free calls via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer or Google Voice to and within Ecuador to help people communicate with loved ones.

Learn more on the ground
For people in and around the affected areas, we have Google Now cards with critical crisis-related information like missing person resources, safety zones, and aftershock safety tips. We've made the same information available on search for earthquake-related searches. In Japan, we launched a landing page and crisis map showing accessible roads and places where people can get disaster resources like fresh water. In Ecuador, we updated Waze with more than 90 safe place locations, including local shelter information.

Support for the response
Given the scope of the damage and need in Ecuador, Google.org has committed $250,000 to support relief efforts on the ground. We're also providing up to $250,000 in Google employee gift-matching for both Japan and Ecuador.

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org Jacquelline Fuller Director Google.org

19 Apr 2016 6:11pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Adds 360-Degree Live Streams, Spatial Audio

YouTube gets closer to virtual reality. Last year, it added support for 360-degree videos and now it supports 360-degree live streaming. "And after years of live streaming Coachella for fans around the world who can't attend the festival, this year we're bringing you the festival like never before by live streaming select artist performances in 360 degrees this weekend," mentions YouTube's blog.

The new interactive live streaming feature will be especially useful for concerts, news and sport events. You can better understand what happens there by customizing your viewing experience and changing your perspective.



YouTube also added support for spacial audio, but only for on-demand YouTube videos (not for live streams). "Just as watching a concert in 360 degrees can give you an unmatched immersive experience, spatial audio allows you to listen along as you do in real life, where depth, distance and intensity all play a role," informs YouTube. There's a playlist of 6 immersive videos with spatial audio. "Enjoy these 360° and VR videos with spatial audio on Android devices. Spatial audio lets you listen to audio from all directions just as in real world. Put on headphones for the best listening experience," suggests the description of the playlist.

19 Apr 2016 12:47pm 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

09 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Berkshire Hathaway

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

09 Apr 2015 6:47am GMT

01 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My next project: AutoSEO

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

01 Apr 2015 12:23am GMT

01 Mar 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Next 30 day challenge: social media/news cleanse

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

01 Mar 2015 4:40am GMT

19 Feb 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fixing “full path disclosure” issues

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

19 Feb 2015 6:43am GMT

23 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Lessons learned from the early days of Google

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

23 Jan 2015 8:44pm GMT

02 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My two favorite books of 2014

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

02 Jan 2015 4:08am GMT

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

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