04 Sep 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

More About Google's New Visual Identity

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



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

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


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

{ Thanks, Brendan Early. }

04 Sep 2015 7:34am GMT

03 Sep 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Templates, Insights and Dictation in Google Docs

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



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


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


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


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

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



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


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

03 Sep 2015 12:35pm GMT

02 Sep 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Android Wear now works with iPhones

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

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

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



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

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

Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear

02 Sep 2015 10:17pm GMT

Google Docs and Classroom: your school year sidekicks

School's in! As you settle into your classes and start to juggle soccer practice, club meetings and homework, we're here to help. We've been spending the summer "break" creating new tools to help you save time, collaborate with classmates and create your best work-all for free.

Schoolwork, minus the work

Writing papers is now a lot easier with the Research tool in Docs for Android. You can search Google without leaving Docs, and once you find the quotes, facts or images you're looking for, you can add them to your document with just a couple taps. That means less time switching between apps, and more time perfecting your thesis statement.

With Voice typing, you can record ideas or even compose an entire essay without touching your keyboard. To get started, activate Voice typing in the Tools menu when you're using Docs in Chrome. Then, when you're on the go, just tap the microphone button on your phone's keyboard and speak your mind. Voice typing is available in more than 40 languages, so we can help with your French homework, too. Voilà!

Do more, together

We've made it easier for you to tell what was added or deleted in Docs-and who made the changes. Now when you've left a document and you come back to it later, you can just click "See new changes" to pick up right where your classmates left off.

Forms helps you get a lot of information easily and in one place-so when you want to vote on your class field trip or collect T-shirt sizes for your team, you don't have to sort through dozens of emails. With the new Forms, you can survey with style-choose one of the colorful new themes or customize your form with your own photo or logo, and we'll choose the right color palette to match. Easily insert images, GIFs or videos and pick from a selection of question formats. Then send out your survey and watch as the responses roll in!


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Your best work, your best you

Creating presentations, crafting newsletters and managing your team's budget is hard enough without having to worry about making everything look good. With the new collection of templates in Docs, Sheets and Slides, you can focus on your content while we make sure it gets the expert polish it deserves. Choose from a wide variety of reports, portfolios, resumes and other pre-made templates designed to make your work that much better, and your life that much easier.

With Explore in Sheets, you can now spend less time trying to decipher your data, and more time making a point. Explore creates charts and insights automatically, so you can visualize trends and understand your data in seconds on the web or on your Android. It's like having an expert analyst right by your side.


Mission control, for teachers and students

A year ago, we launched Classroom to save teachers and students time and make it easier to keep classwork organized. Today we're launching a Share to Classroom Chrome extension to make it easy for teachers to share a website with the entire class at the same time-no matter what kind of laptop students have. Now the whole class can head to a web page together, without losing precious minutes and focus to typos.


Rock this school year with Google Docs and Classroom. Your first assignment? Try these new features, which are rolling out today.

Posted by Ritcha Ranjan, Product Manager

02 Sep 2015 7:56pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Updated Mobile UI for Google's Related Searches

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


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

02 Sep 2015 12:18pm GMT

Google's New Colorful Favicon

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

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

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

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

02 Sep 2015 6:36am GMT

Google Photos, The New Home for Your Private Photos

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

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


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

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

02 Sep 2015 6:20am GMT

New Mobile Google Homepage

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


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


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

02 Sep 2015 5:47am GMT

01 Sep 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

The New Google Logo in Google Maps

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

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


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


A similar logo was also added to the desktop site:

01 Sep 2015 9:20pm GMT

App Launcher Shortcut for Google Inbox

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


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


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

01 Sep 2015 7:42pm GMT

Smaller Google Search Button

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


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

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


01 Sep 2015 7:23pm GMT

A New Google Logo

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

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


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


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


{ Thanks, Gopinath. }

01 Sep 2015 7:09pm GMT

feedOfficial Google Blog

Google’s look, evolved

Google has changed a lot over the past 17 years-from the range of our products to the evolution of their look and feel. And today we're changing things up once again:


So why are we doing this now? Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices-sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it's on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!

Today we're introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you'll see, we've taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).

It doesn't simply tell you that you're using Google, but also shows you how Google is working for you. For example, new elements like a colorful Google mic help you identify and interact with Google whether you're talking, tapping or typing. Meanwhile, we're bidding adieu to the little blue "g" icon and replacing it with a four-color "G" that matches the logo.


This isn't the first time we've changed our look and it probably won't be the last, but we think today's update is a great reflection of all the ways Google works for you across Search, Maps, Gmail, Chrome and many others. We think we've taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future.

You'll see the new design roll out across our products soon. Hope you enjoy it!

Posted by Tamar Yehoshua, VP, Product Management & Bobby Nath, Director of User Experience



Google has changed a lot over the past 17 years-from the range of our products to the evolution of their look and feel. And today we're changing things up once again.

01 Sep 2015 5:23pm GMT

28 Aug 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search Trends August 21-27

The terrible images from the WDBJ shooting in Virginia dominated Google searches over the last few days. Here's a look back at the week in search.

WDBJ tragedy
A small TV station in Roanoke, Va., is reeling after two of its journalists were shot and killed live on air Wednesday morning. Police identified the gunman as a former reporter for the station, and if his horrible crime was designed for maximum shock and attention, it worked. Searches for Bryce Williams-the on-air name former employee Vester Flanagan went by-ran into the tens of millions as people looked for information and video of what had happened.

Searches in the path of the storm
Thursday marked 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, but searchers in the U.S. over the last 48 hours have been looking ahead to another storm. Today, news outlets are reporting that Tropical Storm Erika has already been responsible for deaths in the Caribbean island of Dominica. As Florida's governor declared a state of emergency ahead of Erika's predicted U.S. landfall Monday, the city of Hialeah in South Florida is the top of the list of cities searching for information on the storm. But whether the storm searches are coming from the U.S. or the Caribbean, "Erika path" and related terms are up more than 1000 percent this week.

Reading the search tea leaves on Swift, Minaj and Styles
Get out the popcorn. MTV's annual Video Music Awards is coming up this Sunday, and all eyes will be on Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj following their much-buzzed about Twitter spat over nominations for Music Video of the Year. We turned to search to see if trends could show us whether people are leaning Team Swift or Team Minaj headed into the weekend. Tay-Tay's music video "Blank Space" is in the lead in the Best Female Video category, followed by Minaj's "Anaconda." Though "Anaconda" was not nominated for Music Video of the Year-a category that Swift also leads for "Bad Blood," according to Google searches-Minaj is top of the search pile in the Best Hip Hop Video category.


In other music news, a report that One Direction will be parting ways up brought a 200,000 search spike earlier in the week. "Are One Direction splitting up?" (perhaps we should make that "ARE ONE DIRECTION SPLITTING UP??!?! :(:(:(") was the top search question, before the band clarified they are actually just taking a break. As former band member Zayn Malik has already decided to go solo, we read the search tea leaves to see what kind of popularity the current members have should the band, well, disband. Most likely to launch a successful solo career based on search buzz? Harry Styles is the resounding winner, taking a whopping 60 percent of the 1D searches. Our advice for Liam Payne: at 1 percent, don't give up your day job.


Posted by Abbi Tatton, who searched this week for [roanoke va]

28 Aug 2015 10:37pm GMT

27 Aug 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Improving Public Alerts for hurricane season

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast of the United States, flooding cities, displacing thousands of people, and causing billions of dollars worth of damage. It is the costliest natural disaster, and one of the deadliest hurricanes, in U.S. history.

After rescue efforts began in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, some Googlers wondered how they could connect people with useful information and resources related to the storm. With the help of many third-party organizations, small groups of our employees worked to display satellite imagery of affected areas in Google Earth and helped build searchable databases so people could check on the safety of friends and loved ones. These early efforts later became some of the standard actions taken today by the Google Crisis Response Team following natural disasters, from hurricanes to earthquakes to tsunamis.

As the U.S. enters hurricane season again, Katrina remains a stark reminder of the devastation a storm like that can cause. We want to be as prepared and as helpful as possible for the next one-no matter where it hits, or how big it is. So we're always working to improve our Crisis Response efforts to help people stay safe and informed during these events.

With that in mind, we've launched some improvements to weather forecasts and Public Alerts in Google Search to track storms during this year's U.S. hurricane season. Now, when you search the web for information about particular storms or tornadoes, you may see:


The safety recommendations you receive will be tailored to reflect the current status of the event and your context. For example, if you search for a specific storm when it's still several days away, you may see a map of the developing weather event and a recommendation to start preparing an emergency kit. If the storm is only hours away from your location, you might receive a reminder to start charging your phone in case power goes out. And if you search when the storm is nearby, you'll get the most urgent information, like how to avoid injury from fast-moving water or flying debris.

Tropical storm alert with precise location, wind details and customized safety checklist. Improved tropical storm alerts like this will appear in Search on mobile and desktop.


Not every storm is as devastating as Katrina was, but they all have the potential to cause damage, disrupt lives, and uproot communities. By providing useful, accurate, early-warning information, we want to do our part to help people prepare. More information won't stop natural disasters from occurring, but it can go a long way to keeping people safe, and in some cases, could even save lives.

Posted by Pete Giencke, GIS Data Engineer

27 Aug 2015 3:24pm GMT

25 Aug 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

New (School) Year resolutions with #GoogleEdu

The tradition of ringing in each New Year with resolutions (whether we stick to them or not) is always an opportunity to reflect and start the year ahead on the right foot. As students and teachers around the world return to campuses and classrooms this fall, we're embarking on a different kind of fresh start: a New (School) Year. And we want to help you make the most of it. So we've put together a few resolution ideas, plus tips to help you stick to them. We've also made a resolution of our own: to bring the best of Google technology to education.

The best of Google, for education
Like many resolutions, ours might sound familiar-and that's because the Google for Education team has been working on it for a while. Over the last few years, we've spent a lot of time with teachers and students, witnessing firsthand how technology is helping in the classroom and learning about challenges that are yet unsolved. With feedback from schools, we've improved products like Google Apps for Education and Docs, building in new features specifically useful for education. We've also created new learning experiences like Google Classroom-a sort of mission control for teachers and students, offering a single place to keep track of all class materials, eliminating paperwork and making it easy for teachers to collaborate with students, and students to collaborate with each other.

So as part of our resolution this school year, we're launching some new features in Google Classroom. Teachers can now easily ask students questions in Classroom, alongside all the other class materials in the stream. Teachers also told us that they want more ways for students to engage with each other, and flex their critical thinking muscles. So now students can comment on each other's answers in Classroom and have open-ended discussions. In the next month, we'll also make it possible for teachers to add assignments, due dates and field trips to a shared calendar.

So what's your resolution?
We're sure you've already set some big goals for the year ahead-from acing AP Bio to landing that killer internship. Whatever your plans, it can be tough to stick with those goals once assignments and social commitments start to pile up. So we've collected 50+ tips from more than 15 Google products to help you follow through with your resolutions. Here are some ideas:

Resolution 1. Get (and stay) organized
When you're bogged down by clutter, it can be tough to get stuff done. Make this your year to be more organized. Never miss another study group with help from Google Calendar. Use Google Sheets to keep all your classmates' info in one place, and better manage your inbox by emailing everyone at once with a Google group.

Resolution 2. Get (mentally) fit
Push yourself to take your studies to the next level. Teach yourself how to code with Made with Code. Make the most of language class by saving your most used words and phrases with Google Translate or magically translating webpages with Google Chrome.

Resolution 3. Get some worldly perspective
Not studying abroad this year? No problem. You can still unleash your inner explorer with Google Maps Treks and visit the Pyramids of Giza or the Great Barrier Reef without leaving your room. Or bring your art history class to life by seeing those masterpieces up close and in perfect detail with Cultural Institute.

We hope these give you new ideas for how you can make this school year your best yet. Over the next few weeks, we'll be announcing more tips and other updates-so follow along with #GoogleEdu and on Google+. We'll be doing our homework to stick to our resolution, so we can hopefully give you what you need to do the same. Now go hit those books!

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google for Education

Over the last few years, we've spent a lot of time with teachers and students, witnessing firsthand how technology is helping in the classroom and learning about challenges that are yet unsolved.

25 Aug 2015 12:00pm GMT

24 Aug 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

G is for Google

As Sergey and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, "Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one." As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make "smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses." From the start, we've always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.

We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. And we haven't stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.

We've long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.

Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet (http://abc.xyz). I am really excited to be running Alphabet as CEO with help from my capable partner, Sergey, as President.

What is Alphabet? Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity). Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren't very related. Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence. In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed. We will rigorously handle capital allocation and work to make sure each business is executing well. We'll also make sure we have a great CEO for each business, and we'll determine their compensation. In addition, with this new structure we plan to implement segment reporting for our Q4 results, where Google financials will be provided separately than those for the rest of Alphabet businesses as a whole.

This new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google. A key part of this is Sundar Pichai. Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now, and I've been tremendously enjoying our work together. He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our Internet businesses. Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google. I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations. I have been spending quite a bit of time with Sundar, helping him and the company in any way I can, and I will of course continue to do that. Google itself is also making all sorts of new products, and I know Sundar will always be focused on innovation -- continuing to stretch boundaries. I know he deeply cares that we can continue to make big strides on our core mission to organize the world's information. Recent launches like Google Photos and Google Now using machine learning are amazing progress. Google also has some services that are run with their own identity, like YouTube. Susan is doing a great job as CEO, running a strong brand and driving incredible growth.

Sergey and I are seriously in the business of starting new things. Alphabet will also include our X lab, which incubates new efforts like Wing, our drone delivery effort. We are also stoked about growing our investment arms, Ventures and Capital, as part of this new structure.

Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.

For Sergey and me this is a very exciting new chapter in the life of Google -- the birth of Alphabet. We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity's most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for! I should add that we are not intending for this to be a big consumer brand with related products--the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands.

We are excited about…

What could be better? No wonder we are excited to get to work with everyone in the Alphabet family. Don't worry, we're still getting used to the name too!

Posted by Larry Page, CEO

Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google.

24 Aug 2015 10:59pm GMT

Through the Google Lens: Search Trends August 8-14

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

24 Aug 2015 10:57pm GMT

Through the Google lens: Search Trends August 14-20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24 Aug 2015 10:56pm GMT

Google Hangouts: now simpler, faster, more beautiful

The best conversations just flow: you barely have to think about what to say. With Hangouts, we want to help you stay in the moment, no matter what device you're using or how you're getting your voice across, from texting to talking to video. So we've been hard at work on big improvements to make Hangouts faster, simpler, and easier on the eyes.

Today, we're releasing Google Hangouts 4.0 for Android, with a fresh new look, improved speed, and features that make it even easier to reach people the way you want to reach them.


New ways to compose, attach and use your watch make Hangouts simpler than ever
Here's what's new:
  • Hangouts is sleeker. Now updated with material design, Hangouts has a new look and feel: items respond to your touch in more intuitive ways and transitions between tasks are more fluid.
  • Hangouts is simpler. The new Compose button makes it easier for you to start a new group or conversation. Our streamlined contacts list helps you find the right person quickly. And attachments have been revamped and simplified, so sharing-of emoji, GIFs, your location, even multiple photos at once-is a snap.
  • Hangouts is faster. Whether you're sending a quick message or video chatting with family, you don't want hold-ups. We've been obsessively fixing bugs and speeding up message delivery to make Hangouts faster and more reliable. Bonus: less battery consumption.

And more…
Make affordable calls from the Hangouts Dialer, now with Outbound Caller ID (so your friends won't get any more calls from the great "Unknown"). Receive and reply to group MMS messages in Hangouts using Google Voice. Use Hangouts on Android Wear when you really have an eye on the time (just say, "Ok Google, send a Hangouts message," into your watch). And if you're not around but want friends to know what's on your mind? Custom status messages are back.

The new Hangouts starts rolling out to Android users today and will be available in the Play Store (iOS users recently got many of the same updates). We hope you enjoy the new look and feel. And we look forward to keeping the conversation flowing!

Posted by Amit Fulay, Product Manager, Communications


With Hangouts, we want to help you stay in the moment, no matter what device you're using or how you're getting your voice across, from texting to talking to video.

24 Aug 2015 10:55pm GMT

Meet OnHub: a new router for a new way to Wi-Fi

Ugh...not again. You get home at the end of the day, and sit down to stream a new movie or upload vacation photos - and your Wi-Fi slows to a crawl or just stops working. Instead of relaxing in front of the screen or sharing those photos with friends, you spend it unplugging and re-plugging cords, trying to decipher blinking lights, or contemplating a call to customer support.

While we count on Wi-Fi more than ever to be entertained, productive, and stay connected, we're streaming and sharing in new ways our old routers were never built to handle. So today, with our partner TP-LINK, we're launching OnHub, a different kind of router for a new way to Wi-Fi. Instead of headaches and spotty connections, OnHub gives you Wi-Fi that's fast, secure, and easy to use.


Designed for the Home
Many of us keep our router on the floor and out of sight, where it doesn't work as well. We replaced unruly cords and blinking lights with internal antennas and subtle, useful lighting, so you'll be happy placing OnHub out in the open, where your router performs its best.

Starts Fast, Stays Fast
During setup, OnHub searches the airwaves and selects the best channel for the fastest connection. A unique antenna design and smart software keep working in the background, automatically adjusting OnHub to avoid interference and keep your network at peak performance. You can even prioritize a device, so that your most important activity - like streaming your favorite show - gets the fastest speed.


A simple mobile app
OnHub makes it simple to set up and manage your Wi-Fi, all from the Google On app, available on Android or iOS. The Google On app tells you how much bandwidth your devices are using, lets you run a network check, and if there's an issue with your Wi-Fi, the app offers suggestions to help. And, instead of lost passwords and sticky notes, it even reveals your password with a single tap and lets you text or email it to friends.

Just gets better
OnHub automatically updates with new features and the latest security upgrades, without interrupting your connection. In the future, OnHub can support smart devices that you bring into your home, whether they use Bluetooth® Smart Ready, Weave, or 802.15.4. We also plan to design new OnHub devices with other hardware partners in the future. Stay tuned for news from our second partner, ASUS, later this year.

Starting today, OnHub is available for pre-order for $199.99 from online retailers in the U.S. including the Google Store, Amazon, and Walmart.com. It will be available for sale in retail stores in the U.S. and in Canada in the coming weeks.

At the end of the day, we want our Wi-Fi to just work, so that we can do all the things we love to do online. Here's to Wi-Fi with the reliability, speed, and security you want at home, without the frustrations you don't.

Posted by Trond Wuellner, Group Product Manager



Instead of headaches and spotty connections, OnHub gives you Wi-Fi that's fast, secure, and easy to use.

24 Aug 2015 10:54pm GMT

Vertical Street View of the world’s most iconic rock wall: Yosemite’s El Capitan

Today we're launching our first-ever vertical Street View collection, giving you the opportunity to climb 3,000 feet up the world's most famous rock wall: Yosemite's El Capitan. To bring you this new imagery, we partnered with legendary climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell. Read more about the project from Tommy Caldwell, who completed the world's hardest climb in Yosemite in January of 2015. -Ed.

"That is awesome. I definitely have to be a part of that."

Maybe it was the sheer exhaustion from being in the middle of a 19-day climb of the Dawn Wall, but when the guys at Google Maps and Yosemite National Park asked if I wanted to help them with their first-ever vertical Street View collection of El Capitan in Yosemite, I didn't hesitate. Yosemite has been such an important part of my life that telling the story of El Capitan through Street View was right up my alley-especially when it meant working with the Google engineers to figure out some absurd challenges.


Climbing is all about flirting with the impossible and pushing the boundaries of what you think you can be done. Capturing Street View imagery 3,000 feet up El Capitan proved to be an extension of that, especially when you take a camera meant for the inside of a restaurant and mount it thousands of feet up the world's most iconic rock wall.

Brett Lowell and Corey Rich capturing Street View of Alex Honnold on the King Swing


Doing anything thousands of feet high on a sheer granite face is complicated, but everyone up there had spent years of their lives on a rope and knew exactly what they were doing. After some testing, we used our tried-and-true climbing gear like cams and ropes to make sure the camera wouldn't fall to the ground in the middle of our Street View collection.

Once we figured out how to keep the camera on El Cap, we created two sets of vertical Street View. First, we collected Street View of legendary Yosemite climbers-and my good friends-Lynn Hill and Alex Honnold in iconic spots up the sheer vertical face.

Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell camp out 1,140 feet up El Capitan


Lynn Hill's ascent of El Capitan changed the paradigm of climbing, and she had an extraordinary effect on my climbing career. I'll never forget when she became the first person, man or woman, to free-climb (using only her hands and feet) "The Nose" back in 1993. Now, you can see her navigate these epic moves- like climbing sideways on tiny holds of the Jardine Traverse, inventing a "Houdini" maneuver on the Changing Corners and traversing under the Great Roof.

Lynn's epic ascent up El Cap is now in Street View


Any story of El Capitan had to include my good friend Alex Honnold. He holds the speed record for climbing the Nose at 2 hours and 23 minutes - most people take 3-5 days. His unwavering confidence in himself is contagious; when I'm with him, I feel like the mountain has shrunk to half its size. As you make your way around Yosemite in Street View, you'll see Alex doing what he does best: chimneying up the "Texas Flake," racing up the bolt ladder, or getting dinner ready in the solar-powered van he calls home.

Just a normal day on on the Texas Flake for Alex Honnold


You'll also see a glimpse of yours truly on the Dawn Wall. I spent some of my rest days during my January climb of the Dawn Wall testing out the Street View technology the Google team had sent me that month. El Cap is an intimidating environment for experimentation, but years of setting ropes proved pretty helpful in figuring out how to get the equipment rigged and ready to collect Street View.

Tommy Caldwell climbing the sheer face of the Dawn Wall


Then, we really put Alex to work to collect the second set of Street View: the entire vertical route of "The Nose" on El Capitan. One of the few people that could do this efficiently and quickly, Alex took the camera and pretty much ran 3,000 feet up with photographer partner Brett Lowell. Now, anyone can get the beta (climbing speak for insider advice) before they climb the entire route.

Alex Honnold and Brett Lowell climbed 3,000 feet to get the entire route in Google Maps


Lynn, Alex and I also helped create a new Yosemite Treks page, where you can take a tour up El Cap and learn more about climbing, from what a "hand jam" is to why we wear such tiny shoes. And as a father, I'm excited kids will learn more about Yosemite when Google brings students to the park through NatureBridge later this year as a part of this project. Plus, its pretty awesome that students who can't make it to Yosemite yet will be able to go on a virtual reality field trip to the Park with Google Expeditions.

Hear the legendary Lynn Hill explain describe the gear she uses as she starts up El Cap


Yosemite's driven so much of my life that I'm excited to be able to share it with the world through my eyes. These 360-degree panoramic images are the closest thing I've ever witnessed to actually being thousands of feet up a vertical rock face-better than any video or photo. But my hope is that this new imagery will inspire you to get out there and see Yosemite for yourself… whether you travel up a rock wall or just down the trail.

Tommy Caldwell, Lynn Hill, and Alex Honnold hanging out in Yosemite


Posted by Tommy Caldwell

24 Aug 2015 10:33pm GMT

A power plant for the Internet: our newest data center in Alabama

Every time you check your Gmail, search on Google for a nearby restaurant, or watch a YouTube video, a server whirs to life in one of our data centers. Data centers are the engines of the Internet, bringing the power of the web to millions of people around the world. And as millions more people come online, our data centers are growing, too.

We've recently expanded our data centers in Iowa, Georgia, Singapore and Belgium. And today we're announcing a new data center in Alabama-our 14th site globally.

This time, we're doing something we've never done before: we'll be building on the grounds of the Widows Creek coal power plant in Jackson County, which has been scheduled for shutdown. Data centers need a lot of infrastructure to run 24/7, and there's a lot of potential in redeveloping large industrial sites like former coal power plants. Decades of investment shouldn't go to waste just because a site has closed; we can repurpose existing electric and other infrastructure to make sure our data centers are reliably serving our users around the world.

At Widows Creek, we can use the plants' many electric transmission lines to bring in lots of renewable energy to power our new data center. Thanks to an arrangement with Tennessee Valley Authority, our electric utility, we'll be able to scout new renewable energy projects and work with TVA to bring the power onto their electrical grid. Ultimately, this contributes to our goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy.

In 2010, we were one of the first companies outside of the utility industry to buy large amounts of renewable energy. Since then, we've become the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser in the world (in fact we've bought the equivalent of over 1.5 percent of the installed wind power capacity in the U.S.). We're glad to see this trend is catching on among other companies.

Of course, the cleanest energy is the energy you don't use. Our Alabama data center will incorporate our state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies. We've built our own super-efficient servers, invented more efficient ways to cool our data centers, and even used advanced machine learning to squeeze more out of every watt of power we consume. Compared to five years ago, we now get 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of energy.

Since the 1960s, Widows Creek has generated power for the region-now the site will be used to power Internet services and bring information to people around the world. We expect to begin construction early next year and look forward to bringing a Google data center to Alabama.

Posted by Patrick Gammons, Senior Manager, Data Center Energy and Location Strategy

24 Aug 2015 10:33pm GMT

Google Earth turns 10 today

When Google Earth was first introduced 10 years ago, it immediately stole my heart. Beyond the freedom to fly anywhere in the world, I was captivated by the ability to paint and visualize geographic data on this incredible global canvas.

Drawn to datasets backed by real human stories, I started making my own maps with KML a few weeks after Earth's release in 2005. For my master's degree, I used Google Earth to build a virtual representation of a high-tech biological research reserve. Vint Cerf saw my work, which eventually led to a job on the Google Earth Outreach team, turning my passion for telling stories with maps into a career.

2005 was the beginning of Google Earth's evolution, as well. In August of that year, Hurricane Katrina showed us how useful mapping tools like Earth could be for crisis response efforts. Rescue workers compared before and after Satellite imagery in Google Earth to better locate where people were stranded. And in the years after, with more than 2 billion downloads by people in nearly every country in the world, Earth has enabled people to discover new coral reefs, journey to the Moon and into deep space, find long-lost parents, clear landmines and much more.

Google Earth images of Gulfport, Mississippi's shoreline before and after Hurricane Katrina


The ability to empower groups as diverse as school children and NASA scientists to learn more about the world is what I love about Google Earth. It has the potential to make the planet a far more connected place, if you take the time to explore, discover and share what you learn. So to celebrate how far Google Earth has come and our leap into the next 10 years, we've created a few new ways to help you better see places from around (and above) the world.

Voyager
The world is a big place, and it can be hard to know where to begin your virtual journey. Now you can jump straight to the newest and most interesting imagery around the globe with a new layer, Voyager, available in desktop versions of Google Earth.

Different imagery types in Voyager are shown by color


In this first edition of Voyager, you'll find five sections to explore:

The Kemgon Gompa-available in the Street View layer-is a Buddhist monastery in Lukla, Nepal


Earth View
Looking at our planet from above is not only a reminder of how interdependent our human and natural ecosystems are-it also lays bare the Earth's staggering and often surreal beauty.

The Hammar Marshes of Iran are an uncharacteristic yet beautiful wetland feature in the otherwise arid climate


Earth View is library of some of the most striking and enigmatic landscapes available in Google Earth. It started as a 20 percent project last year by a few Googlers who enjoyed scouring satellite imagery for these gems. These images soon made their way onto Android phones, Chromecast and Chromebooks as a distinctive kind of wallpaper.

Islands surrounding Cuba seen in the Earth View Chrome Extension


For Earth's 10th birthday, we're expanding the Earth View collection to 1,500 landscapes from every continent and ocean and making it accessible to even more people. The new imagery is available with an updated version of our Chrome extension and a new web gallery. Download high-resolution wallpapers for your mobile and desktop devices, or better yet, print them up for your walls!

The coastline near Ningaloo, Australia in the new Earth View web gallery


Thank you for the last 10 years exploring your world with Google Earth. We hope Voyager and Earth View will unlock a new perspective on our planet. We look forward to seeing what the next decade brings!

Posted by Sean Askay, Engineering Manager, Google Earth

24 Aug 2015 10:32pm GMT

Five ways we’re celebrating the Special Olympics and #ADA25

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." -Special Olympics Athlete Oath

Standing in Soldier Field in Chicago, 47 years ago, Eunice Shriver kicked off the first Special Olympics in history--1,000 people with intellectual disabilities from the U.S. and Canada competed in track & field, swimming and diving. Even though it was a small inaugural event, its historical impact--giving a platform to the civil rights struggles of people with disabilities that were so often overlooked-- was massive. The Games were meant to give children with cognitive disabilities, in Eunice's words, "the chance to play, the chance to compete and the chance to grow."

Ambitious, inclusive thinking like Eunice's is contagious, and has inspired us to support this year's Special Olympics World Games as part of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities. Launched in May, this effort is focused on supporting the development of assistive technologies for people with disabilities around the world with $20 million in Google.org grants. This weekend, to mark the Games as well as the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark legislation that advanced the civil rights of people with disabilities when it was signed into law in 1990, we're honoring the community in the following ways:

Google Doodle featuring a track and athletes inspired by the Special Olympics



Google Doodle. We've created a homepage Doodle that shows a track inspired by the Special Olympics World Games' "circle of inclusion," featuring athletes of all backgrounds. In the spirit of getting moving, since we've heard from users that they love seeing doodles on the go, we're now starting to make them easier to see and share on our mobile search results in addition to desktop and the Google app.

Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 logo


Special Olympics World Games. Over the next nine days, the Special Olympics World Games will draw more than half a million spectators to cheer on 7,000 athletes from 177 countries in events from judo to powerlifting to kayaking and more. We're powering the World Games' social media nerve center, contributing as a financial supporter and are packing more than 300 Googlers into the stands.

Supporters hold signs to cheer on athletes


Cheer an athlete. If you're in Los Angeles, come visit us from July 25 until August 2 at the World Games Festival Space at USC's Alumni Park to support the athletes. For those who can't make it in person, you can visit g.co/WorldGames2015 to send a cheer to the athletes. Every day during the competition, we'll decorate the dorm walls of the athletes with your cheers to encourage them to "be brave in the attempt."

Portrait installation on the stairs at the National Portrait Gallery
Portraits, like these at the National Portrait Gallery featuring leaders Judy Heumann and Ed Roberts, who have campaigned tirelessly for the rights of people with disabilities and Tatyana McFadden, who inspires athletes today, will decorate Washington, D.C. this weekend. See the photo gallery

Painting the town. In Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, we're marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. From men and women like Judy Heumann and Ed Roberts, who campaigned tirelessly for the rights of people with disabilities, to President George H.W. Bush, who signed the ADA into law in 1990, we're telling the stories of 10 great leaders who have fought -- and continue to fight -- for equal rights of people living with disabilities. We've installed massive portraits on the stairs of historic landmarks around the nation's capital and in L.A.'s Grand Park.



Audio description available here

Telling stories. We're featuring the little-known history of a number of unsung heroes of the ADA movement at g.co/ADA. While people with disabilities benefit from their hard-won battles with every curb cut street corner and closed-caption film, their names are not widely known. We'd like to change that.

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director Google.org

24 Aug 2015 10:31pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Quickly Copy Google's Translations

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


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

{ Thanks, Alireza Eskandarpour Shoferi. }

24 Aug 2015 9:02pm GMT

YouTube's Red Settings

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


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

24 Aug 2015 8:42pm GMT

19 Aug 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Blue Tabs

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

Here's a screenshot that shows the blue tab:


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


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

19 Aug 2015 8:01pm GMT

Inline Search Results in Mobile Google Search?

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

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


{ Thanks, Brandon. }

19 Aug 2015 7:49pm GMT

18 Aug 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Help on Social: Answer Questions About Google

The more you think about it, the more you realize that Google's next acquisition could be Twitter. Why not buy Twitter, now that Google+ is an also-ran and Facebook is more powerful than ever?

After integrating Twitter with Google Search, now Google launches Help on Social, "a new way to ask and answer Google questions on Twitter". Help on Social is powered by Conversocial and brings together Google product questions from across Twitter so you can ask questions or help others. You can add #gHelp to your question to make sure that it's spotted by Help on Social, but the site shows Google-related tweets even if they don't use the hashtag.

If you want to answer questions in Help on Social, you need to create a profile, connect your Twitter account and select the Google products that interest you. You can then find tabs with answered, unanswered and pinned questions. Why would you answer questions about Google? You can win points and become a Top Contributor.



{ Thanks, Stefan and David. }

18 Aug 2015 8:42pm GMT

Google OnHub: Smart Router for Internet of Things

Google is all about the Web: it develops the most popular browser and mobile operating system, it has a public DNS service, it provides broadband Internet (Google Fiber) and wireless service (Project Fi). So why not build a router to improve your Internet connection and make your router as smart and easy to use as your smartphone?

Google partnered with TP-LINK to build OnHub (TGR1900), a next-generation router for the Internet of Things. It's not the fastest router (AC 1900 Mbps), it's not the most expensive router ($199.99) and it's not the best router for power users. Instead, Google focused on providing the best experience for regular users, much like Apple and its AirPort devices.


"We replaced unruly cords and blinking lights with internal antennas and subtle, useful lighting, so you'll be happy placing OnHub out in the open, where your router performs its best. A unique antenna design and smart software keep working in the background, automatically adjusting OnHub to avoid interference and keep your network at peak performance. You can even prioritize a device, so that your most important activity - like streaming your favorite show - gets the fastest speed," mentions Google.


There are mobile apps for Android and iOS which let you setup the router, change the settings and check the stats. A Google account is required and Google saves all the settings online, except for the WiFi password. Google's OnHub downloads and installs new versions of the firmware automatically and the best thing is that the router doesn't restart, so it doesn't interrupt your connection

OnHub is designed for Internet of Things and it supports Bluetooth Smart Ready, Weave (Nest protocol for the Internet of Things), IEEE 802.15.4 (a standard that focuses on low-speed connections between devices). The router has a dual-core 1.4GHz processor from Qualcomm Atheros (it's based on Snapdragon S4), 4GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, one USB 3.0 port, a 3W speaker, a WAN port and a single LAN port (both are Gigabit ports). You'll need a switch if you want more Ethernet ports.

You can pre-order OnHub from Google Store, Amazon and other sites in the US and it will ship in the coming weeks. It will also be available for sale in retail stores in the U.S. and in Canada. Google plans to release a second OnHub device later this year, in partnership with ASUS.

Many people will wonder if Google monitors the sites they're visiting. There's a help center article about this, which mentions that Google collects some data about your Internet usage (data speeds, historical network usage, network status, connected devices, network settings) and associates some of them with your Google account, but you can disable this in the settings. Google DNS is used by default, but you can change the DNS settings.

So why isn't OnHub a router for power users? It has a single WAN port, it uses mobile apps for setup and changing settings, it's complicated to connect multiple OnHubs because OnHub has a fixed subnet IP address that currently can't be changed.

18 Aug 2015 7:59pm GMT

08 Aug 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Through the Google Lens: Search Trends July 31 - August 7

Has it been a week or what? It most definitely has, which means it's time to kick back, relax and read on as we dig into Google's trending searches list to find out what the world wanted to learn more about this week.

The Grand Old Party
With 10 candidates on stage for the prime-time event, Thursday night's Republican presidential debate debate did seem quite a bit like a party. An estimated 24 million people tuned in to watch the broadcast on the Fox News Channel (a record for the network, and cable TV, it turns out), and searches for "Republican debate" topped 5 million.


Not surprisingly, the candidates themselves generated some serious search action. Donald Trump claimed the "most searched" position in the days before and hours after the event, and held on to the spot for nearly all of the debate itself, save a few appearances from Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Lindsey Graham.

See a full-size version of this incredible data viz here. You can also explore the most searched issues during the debate as well -- education, taxes and abortion all took turns in the top spot.

Jon-Voyage
All good things come to an end, and this week the world said goodbye to Jon Stewart -- at least as host of The Daily Show. Airing just moments after a debate that was ripe for Stewart's particular brand of editorializing, Thursday night's show was his last. Searches for the (now former) host topped 500,000 this week.


Check out another cool data viz -- this one on search interest in Jon Stewart across the United States -- right here.

The Doctor is in
Artist turned producer turned mogul Dr. Dre gave us all a gift this week -- his first new album in 16 years. Compton -- which Dre is calling his grand finale -- is self-reflective and grand in all the best ways, and dripping with appearances and collaborations from generations of other artists. It also brought in an impressive 200,000 searches.

Makeups and breakups
Continuing what seems like a very common theme this summer, the week's trending searches had no shortage of celebrity couple gossip. Jennifer Aniston, who pulled off a surprise backyard wedding to Justin Theroux, made the list with 200,000+ searches. The world panicked (and searched 100,000+ times) following news that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were divorcing -- news that turned out not to be true at all, according to the couple. Reba McEntire, however, is definitely separating from her husband (100,000+ searches for that news), as are Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale (200,000+ searches) -- and there's no doubt about that one, either.

Posted by Megan Slack, who searched this week for [japanese candy delivery]

08 Aug 2015 12:41am GMT

09 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Berkshire Hathaway

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

09 Apr 2015 6:47am GMT

01 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My next project: AutoSEO

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

01 Apr 2015 12:23am GMT

01 Mar 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Next 30 day challenge: social media/news cleanse

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

01 Mar 2015 4:40am GMT

19 Feb 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fixing “full path disclosure” issues

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

19 Feb 2015 6:43am GMT

23 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Lessons learned from the early days of Google

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

23 Jan 2015 8:44pm GMT

02 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My two favorite books of 2014

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

02 Jan 2015 4:08am GMT

14 Dec 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fun mosaic effect with Go

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

14 Dec 2014 11:54pm GMT

01 Dec 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

An investment reading list

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

01 Dec 2014 7:54am GMT

New 30 day challenge: “hermit mode”

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

01 Dec 2014 5:07am GMT

30 day challenge wrap-up: writing

So how did I do on my 30 day writing challenge? Well, the picture tells the story: Not too bad! I did miss one day, but here's a secret about 30 day challenges: if you miss a day or two, you can just keep doing the challenge for another day or so at the end. […]

01 Dec 2014 3:49am 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