26 Aug 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Play Solitaire and Tic Tac Toe in Google Search

Google Search now comes with 2 games you can play right from your desktop or mobile browser: Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe. Just search for [solitaire] or [tic tac toe] and you can quickly start the games.

Solitaire has 2 difficulty levels: easy and hard. The game has realistic sounds and animations (you can mute sounds) and it also shows your stats, just like any other Solitaire app. Unfortunately, Google doesn't save your state, so you can't resume a game later.


Tic-Tac-Toe is much simpler and less pretty. You can choose between 3 difficulty levels (easy, medium and impossible) or pick an option that lets you play against a friend. The easy level always lets you win, the medium level lets you win sometimes, while in the impossible level you can never win.


An older game you can still play from Google Search is Pac-Man. It's actually the interactive doodle from May 21, 2010.



{ via Google Blog }

26 Aug 2016 11:05am GMT

25 Aug 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Search is a Jack of all trades

Today we're dealing two new hands from the Google Search deck: solitaire and tic-tac-toe. Now you can play two of the oldest and most popular games for all ages, on desktop and in the Google app.

It's been said solitaire's roots are in fortune telling. If that's true, today your fate rests on your quick wit and the luck of the draw. When you search for "solitaire" on Google, the familiar patience game may test yours!

If you're looking for something a bit simpler, tic-tac-toe is your best bet. In this game of naughts and crosses, you can select your level of difficulty or even go head to head against a friend. Xs and Os to the winner (hugs and kisses, that is!).

For some other fun tips, try asking Google, "what sound does a pig make?" Or if you're looking to settle a bet and feeling lucky, "flip a coin" may come in handy.

These are just a sample of the delightful surprises that await you on Google. After all, Search is for so much more than research and practical matters -- it's for fun, too!

Posted by Stephen Cognetta https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NkREXMwAQag/V8CYADahj6I/AAAAAAAAS1Q/rRCQ0IIpB28aZcll71MWIHYBrl3SRTMpQCLcB/s1600/Solitaire_hero.jpg Stephen Cognettan

25 Aug 2016 2:00pm GMT

Explore the hidden worlds of the National Parks

In the Kenai Fjords, the ice is so dense it forms blues brighter than the clear Alaskan sky above. The molten rock around the (very) active Kīlauea Volcano appears to swirl and move - and sometimes it really does! At Bryce Canyon, one of the darkest places in North America, you can see the massive Milky Way glittering across the night sky.

The U.S. National Parks are full of wonders, but most people don't get the chance to visit in person. While nothing beats the real thing, for this month's 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service, we wanted to see if we could use Google's technology to help share the parks with everyone.
Starting today anyone can take a virtual tour of some of our most breathtaking National Parks, no matter where you are, with Google's The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks.

This Google Arts & Culture exhibit and interactive documentary in honor of this month's NPS Centennial is available on the web and in the Google Arts & Culture App on iOS/Android. You can immerse yourself in 360-degree video tours through some of the most remote and breathtaking places in five different National Parks. And if you want to learn more about what you're seeing, you can browse the fascinating archive of artifacts from the National Parks' many museums.

At each park, a local ranger guides you through places most people never get to go - spelunking through ancient caves at Carlsbad Caverns, flying above active volcanoes in Hawai'i, and swimming through the coral reefs of the Dry Tortugas in Florida.

We've also created the Hidden Worlds Expedition for educators to help open up new learning opportunities and share these experiences with even more people. The Expedition can be accessed on the Expeditions App (available on Google Play in the U.S.).

Today's Doodle celebrating U.S. National Parks & monuments. More info at google.com/doodles.


The National Parks are American treasures, and everyone should see what they have to offer. We hope that by making it easy for people to get a taste of the wilderness, we can encourage a new generation of parks goers to head out and explore in person. Get ready for an adventure!

Posted by Nick Carbonaro, Creative Lead https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5HXhhpSveDo/V8CUhSpQP7I/AAAAAAAAS1E/dizFEZU6_M4hvuSnjs7ngJ3GhWfTHbyVQCLcB/s1600/NPS.png Nick Carbonaron Principal Software Engineer

25 Aug 2016 4:00am GMT

16 Aug 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Meet Google Duo, a simple 1-to-1 video calling app for everyone

Video calling is the next best thing to being with someone in person, but too often it can be a frustrating or complicated experience. You shouldn't have to worry about whether your call will connect, or if your friend is using the same type of device as you are. It's no wonder that nearly half of us never make video calls on mobile*.

Today, we're releasing Google Duo - a simple 1-to-1 video calling app available for Android and iOS. Duo takes the complexity out of video calling, so that you can be together in the moment wherever you are.

Google Duo works across Android and iOS - all you need is a phone number

Simple interface

Duo is simple from start to finish. To get started, all you need is your phone number and you'll be able to reach people in your phone's contacts list. No separate account is required, so you can sign up in just a few steps. From there, you can instantly begin a video call with a single tap.

Fast and reliable
We all know how it feels when a call fails to connect or when video gets choppy. We've built Duo to be fast and reliable, so that video calls connect quickly and work well even on slower networks. Call quality adjusts to changing network conditions to keep you connected - when bandwidth is limited, Duo will gracefully reduce the resolution to keep the call going smoothly. For video calls on the go, Duo will switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data automatically without dropping your call. You can start your call at home, and continue seamlessly even when you head out the door.

Human design
We designed Duo to feel warm and inviting, focused on just you and the person you're calling. To make calls feel more like an invitation rather than an interruption, we created a feature in Duo called Knock Knock which lets you see live video of your caller before you answer, giving you a sense of what they're up to and why they want to chat. Knock Knock makes video calling more spontaneous and welcoming, helping you connect with the person before you even pick up.

Knock Knock in Duo lets you see who's calling before you pick up

Finally, we built Duo with an emphasis on privacy and security, and all Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted.

Give your friends a wave with Duo! We're beginning to roll out Duo for Android and iOS today, and it will be live worldwide in the next few days.

Posted by Justin Uberti, Principal Software Engineer

*Google YouGov Survey, July 2016, U.S., Among 18+ online population, n=1,058

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yrKJX9bE9ss/V7IQn5bM1NI/AAAAAAAASy0/rBzwE6rPqBc3ZxHpFnAQ4GkY1CU5qt6iwCLcB/s200/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-08-15%2Bat%2B11.56.08%2BAM.png Justin Uberti Principal Software Engineer Google

16 Aug 2016 4:01am GMT

09 Aug 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Dive (or run, swim, vault…) into the Olympics with Google Trends

This year's Olympics in Rio brings together 10,500 athletes from 200+ countries to participate in 306 events, from archery to wrestling. To help you get even more out of the Games, we've created a Google Trends Olympic Hub where you can find fun facts, data insights, feature pages on sports and athletes, and more.

Olympics Trends Hub
Throughout the next few weeks, Google Trends will give you a unique view into the games with a new Trends Hub just for the Olympics. There, you'll be able to see which athletes, events and moments are captivating audiences-and searches-worldwide. For example, which country is searching for beach volleyball the most? Landlocked Switzerland. And the title of most searched grandmother in the world goes to British swimmer Adam Peaty's nan.


Here's some of what you can expect from Trends over the next few weeks:



Explore Trends in a new way
As you explore the site, you may notice something else-a new Google Trends Explore page. With a fresh design and features like a color-coded map, you can analyze search data in new ways. For example, you can compare interest in previous Olympic Games over the years:


Every four years, the Olympics captivate the world's attention. We're excited to be able to help fans get even more out of the Games with insights from Search.

Posted by Lisa Creed, Product Manager https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-D5UDPGAdyDU/V640qipN7lI/AAAAAAAASyQ/iQBncnYeHUMOCrKIBRRoAX_qBjbA5GA9gCLcB/s1600/Rio_Trends.jpg Lisa Creed Product Manager

09 Aug 2016 3:00pm GMT

05 Aug 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Go bananas for the 2016 Doodle Fruit Games

The summer just got sweeter. Today marks the season opener of the 2016 Doodle Fruit Games. For the next couple of weeks in the latest Google app for Android and iOS, journey to an otherwise unassuming fruit stand in Rio, where produce from all over the market are ripe to compete for the title of freshest fruit.


The name of today's featured game is to see who's the fastest fruit on the track in this berry special race. Don't be MELONcholy if your sprint turns into more of a smoothie.


If you like the taste of that, be sure to weave your way through the ice cooler to see if you're the chillest lemon around. Remember: No one likes sour losers!



We hope you find these fruits as apPEELing as we do. And don't forget to share your cherry impressive results with friends to see who claims the top seed. These two games are just a taste of what's in store, so come back to the Google app throughout the week to catch the featured game of the day.


Posted by Matt Cruickshank, Google Doodler https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xausnUUeFZw/V6OLFnHPhAI/AAAAAAAASwg/7tqruAhwtdsVJhjIBFTqutNRgoYctAH9gCLcB/s1600/peach_autograph.gif Matt Cruickshank Google Doodler Google

05 Aug 2016 3:01am GMT

01 Aug 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Let Google be your guide to Rio de Janeiro

The modern Olympic Games have been a defining moment for athletes and fans alike dating back to 1896. Next week, the 2016 cauldron will be lit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where thousands of athletes will come together to represent the strength and pride of their home countries with the world as their audience.

In celebration of the next chapter in Olympics history, we're bringing the best our products have to offer to help people around the world stay up-to-date with the Olympic Games Rio 2016:


On Google, searching for information about your favorite athletes and sports, the medal race, or your country's schedule has never been easier. Pro tip: if you search on the Google app on Android and iOS, you'll also see an option to get automatic updates on top event and medal wins, so you'll never miss a beat.


To give you a glimpse into the Games, watch official broadcasters' video highlights on YouTube in more than 60 countries around the world. And as an added bonus, YouTube is sending 15 top creators to Rio, giving you a taste of what it's like to be there with mobile live streaming.

With Street View in Google Maps, everyone can enjoy the magic of Rio de Janeiro. Even if you're a world away, preview the places where the world's most talented athletes will make history and explore the breathtaking beauty of Brazil.


Google Trekker operator captures 360-degree imagery from inside Rio's Olympic Park


Great triumphs, victories and stunning surprises await us all this summer. This is just a hint of what's to come-we hope you'll let Google be your guide.

Posted by Jonathan Livni, Product Manager https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/76qfDkapREe1f6uKxqP8OD2FWwLPpbs7U_sojTc9-VgzDlMoy99BQSVkkGltjrWdERaLjSB-0ZfVjXPkBO8uQJkLeRfLYBmlY1p_zsHpYRZkJfkizjOO87hC-Zpbc_JM0iZgTsLo Jonathan Livni Product Manager

01 Aug 2016 7:01am GMT

30 Jul 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Album Archive

Picasa Web Albums will be discontinued on August 1st, but you can still access your photos from the new Google Album Archive. "The album archive is where we keep all the photos that have been shared or stored on Google products, like Picasa, Google+, and Blogger," informs Google.

As you probably noticed, Google Photos doesn't show photos uploaded using other Google services, so it can't fully replace Picasa Web Albums or Google+ Photos. Google Album Archive lets you see, download or delete photos from Picasa Web Albums, Google+, Blogger, Hangouts, Google Drive and Google Photos.




Album Archive doesn't have a search feature, but there are separate sections for Google services. For example, you can find all the photos uploaded to Hangouts in one place.

If you're wondering what's happening with Picasa Web Albums links, this article has some answers:

Links that will continue to work
* Links to photos and albums whose URLs use your user ID number (and not your username).
* Links to Public Galleries whose URLs use your user ID number (and not your username).

Links that will stop working
* Slideshows embedded on websites.
* Picasa Web Albums & photos embedded on websites.
* Links to photos, albums, and Public Galleries whose URLs use your username (and not your user ID number).


{ Thanks, Brandon Giesing. }

30 Jul 2016 9:34am GMT

Google Image Labeler Is Back

Google Image Labeler used to be a game that helped Google categorize images and improve image search. It was launched in 2006 and discontinued in 2013. Now Image Labeler is back, but it's no longer a game.

If you go to get.google.com/crowdsource/imagelabeler/category, you'll see this message: "Ready to help Google Image Labeler? Look at a few public images to see if Google is organizing them right."


Then you can pick a category like birds, cats, dancing, concerts, food, cars, mountains, sky. If you use this URL: get.google.com/crowdsource/imagelabeler?label_str=Dogs, you can add your own category (replace "Dogs" in the address bar with something different like Rainbows, Stairs or Moon).


Google shows Creative Commons images from Flickr categorized by Google's algorithms. You only need to answer to questions like "Does this image contain dancing?".


30 Jul 2016 8:54am GMT

29 Jul 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Explore Rio from every angle

With its beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscape, Rio de Janeiro is a city that appears on every traveler's bucket list. Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, you can now explore the "Marvelous City" and its rich cultural heritage even if you can't make the trip. We partnered with eight of Rio's top cultural institutions to create an interactive online collection of some of the city's most famous art exhibits and landmarks, including some inspiring real-life stories from the city's favelas, all available on Google Arts & Culture. Bem-vindos ao Rio!

Arts, monuments and more
The collection includes 360° panoramas with Street View technology, some 3,000 images from photo archives and art exhibits, virtual reality tours with Google Cardboard and videos showcasing a new generation of Cariocas making their mark in the city's cultural landscape. From iconic monuments and spectacular views, to the history of Guanabara Bay and the majestic Theatro Municipal, these online exhibits capture Rio from every angle.

Take an interactive tour of Rio's best-known monument-the Christ the Redeemer statue perched atop Corcovado mountain-or explore its storied musical history through album covers designed by Elifas Andreato.


Left: Bronze statue of Carlos Drummond de Andrade Right: Exploring Elifas' album covers through time

You can also go back in time by taking a peek at one of the richest collections of archival photographs of Rio, or tag along on a guided tour of the works of Rio-based artist and author Ziraldo, whose comics and children's books have marked the lives of generations of Brazilians.

Take a virtual reality tour with Cardboard

Mapping the whole city
A huge part of Rio's history and culture resides in the hillside favelas that dot the landscape. In fact, one in five Rio residents live in favelas, but only 0.001 percent of the city's favelas appear on the map. That means 1.4 million people have no addresses to list on job applications or bank accounts, and aren't able to access many economic opportunities, essential services, even basic rights as citizens. So we teamed up with local NGO Grupo Cultural AfroReggae to map the favelas. Two years later, streets and 10,000+ local businesses in 26 favelas now appear on Google Maps, thanks to "Tá no Mapa," our "On the Map" project.

The Rocinha favela before and after our mapping project

Beyond the Map

Along the way, we met some amazing people with remarkable stories, so we decided it was time to go "Beyond the Map" and shine a spotlight on an often overlooked side of Rio. With AfroReggae's help, we brought Street View and 360° technology to favelas for the first time, creating an immersive experience that lets you go beyond GPS coordinates and get to know the people and culture of communities that many people otherwise wouldn't get the chance to visit. You can even experience what it feels like to zip through the narrow streets of a favela on a motorcycle taxi!

This new online collection opens its virtual doors today at g.co/riodejaneiro on Google Arts & Culture. It is available on the web on mobile, tablet and desktop, and on the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS and Android devices. The Beyond the Map project can also be viewed at g.co/beyondthemap.

With the world's eyes on Rio, we're excited to give you a glimpse of all the splendor and creativity the city has to offer!

Posted by Alessandro Germano, Global Product Partnerships
Alessandro Germano Global Product Partnerships https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZnsjBGqEP3k/V5rGIC2KcZI/AAAAAAAASvM/dkja-J0UdA0DaVMm4r8ERbFB1wrdZlX1wCLcB/s1600/Conservac%25CC%25A7a%25CC%2583o%2BRio%25282%2529.jpg

Update Aug 1: Added information about the "Beyond the Map" experience.

29 Jul 2016 3:00pm GMT

27 Jul 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Google Play Family Library: Share what you love with the ones you love

Friday night is movie night at our home, and my wife and I look forward to our weekly ritual of putting the kids to bed, getting some takeout, and catching up on our movie wishlist. Whether it's making the BLUE STEEL face from Zoolander, swapping tips on playing Monument Valley, or reading Dragons Love Tacos to the kids at bedtime, these shared moments bring us closer together.

For families like mine, who bond over shared entertainment, we're introducing Family Library, a way for up to six family members to share purchases on Google Play. When you buy an eligible app, game, movie, TV show, or book in the Play Store, you can now share it with your family-across devices-with no additional sign-up fee.


Share across your family's devices
Today's families have a lot of devices, and it should be easy to share content no matter where we are or what we're doing. Everyone in my family loves the Star Wars movies and we all want to be able to watch them, on our phones, tablets, laptops, or TV. All purchases added to Family Library are available across Android devices, and movies, TV shows, and books can be enjoyed on iOS devices and the web.

Easily manage sharing and family purchases
As with most family matters, flexibility and choice is important. With Family Library, you can choose which items you want to share and which to keep to yourself-for example, I'll probably keep my collection of comic books in my personal library. Flexibility is also built into your purchasing options. When you sign up, you'll select a credit card to share as your family payment method, but your family members will always have the option of buying stuff with their personal credit cards or gift cards. And for your younger family members, you'll have the option to approve each of their purchases.

Share a Music subscription with your family
Finally, if your family loves music, you can also subscribe to the Google Play Music family plan. On this plan, up to six family members can stream millions of songs on demand for $14.99 a month. We launched the family plan late last year, and today we're expanding it to Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and New Zealand. And you can now sign up on the web, in addition to your Android device.

Starting today, Family Library will be rolling out over the next few days and will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. To get started, sign up in Google Play, invite your family members, and start sharing what you love!

Posted by Raj Iyengar, Product Manager, Google Play https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3j_0lZ3pI-w/V5ejW8jcoJI/AAAAAAAAStw/ht0F9TZzSeM5ssT7p3rZSoJCiIWb7LReACLcB/s200/FamilyPlay.jpg Raj Iyengar Product Manager Google Play

27 Jul 2016 3:30pm GMT

20 Jul 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

The art of collaboration: from Sheets to the streets

Warhol & Basquiat. Buñuel & Dalí. Rauschenberg & Johns. There are countless examples of artists collaborating to bring a shared creative vision to life. So we wondered: Could technology help bring together two artists who might not otherwise meet? What would they create…if their canvas were a spreadsheet? And how could we celebrate and share their work of art with the world?

In partnership with Refinery29, a lifestyle digital media company, we linked up with renowned illustrators Marina Esmeraldo in Barcelona, and Mallory Heyer in NYC. We gave them a simple creative assignment-to "break the grid"-which literally can mean pushing the "grid" of Google Sheets to its limits, but also taps into the idea of supporting and celebrating women globally who break free of confined roles and ways of thinking, which is core to Refinery29's mission.


Marina and Mallory connected a handful of times on Google Hangouts to plan and sketch out ideas, and creatively "hack" Sheets in order to make art: resizing cells into thousands of pixel-like squares, merging cells to create color blocks, creating vibrant color gradients with conditional formatting and cell values, and other cool things we had no idea you could do with Sheets.

The result was a bright, beautiful design that celebrates the diversity and strength of women, and we wanted to share their finished project in a BIG way.

The final step was to convert Marina and Mallory's final piece from the cells of a spreadsheet to the bricks of a giant wall-to go from Sheets to the streets. So, we turned to Colossal Media, a Brooklyn-based company that hand-paints murals all over the world.


After hand-mixing each of the colors and prepping the artwork for large-scale painting, Colossal spent five days painting each cell, letter, and gradient by hand, to create a 13' x 34' mural of the spreadsheet.

And that's how art was #madewithGoogleSheets.

To see it for yourself, check out Marina & Mallory's spreadsheet or head to Bogart & Thames in Brooklyn to visit the wall in person (until August 14). We're delighted by the creativity and imagination brought about by artistic collaboration, and proud to be associated with the work's inspirational message supporting strong women everywhere.

Posted by Michael Bolognino, Product Marketing Manager https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vRe-ft-r0iY/V46Ozzy8odI/AAAAAAAAStQ/DPYSe13mMeEQ5mT0YbTqiGHl9st864NowCLcB/s200/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-07-19%2Bat%2B1.33.29%2BPM.png Michael Bolognino Product Marketing Manager Google

20 Jul 2016 4:00am GMT

19 Jul 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

The new Google Arts & Culture, on exhibit now

Just as the world's precious artworks and monuments need a touch-up to look their best, the home we've built to host the world's cultural treasures online needs a lick of paint every now and then. We're ready to pull off the dust sheets and introduce the new Google Arts & Culture website and app, by the Google Cultural Institute. The app lets you explore anything from cats in art since 200 BCE to the color red in Abstract Expressionism, and everything in between.

Our new tools will help you discover works and artifacts, allowing you to immerse yourself in cultural experiences across art, history and wonders of the world-from more than a thousand museums across 70 countries:
• Search for anything, from shoes to all things gold
• Scroll through art by time-see how Van Gogh's works went from gloomy to vivid
• Browse by color and learn about Monet's 50 shades of gray
• Find a new fascinating story to discover every day-today, it's nine powerful men in heels



With a virtual reality viewer like Google Cardboard, you can use the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS and Android to take a virtual tour of the street art scene in Rome; step inside a creation by famous street artist, Insa; or even travel 2,500 years back in time and look around the ancient Greek temple of Zeus.

You can also subscribe to the new Google Arts & Culture YouTube channel. Find out what Kandinsky and Kanye West have in common and meet the New York-based "cyborg artist" Neil Harbisson.



We're sure you'll want to see some of the artworks in real life too-and the Google Arts & Culture app is there to help. Click "Visit" on a museum's page to get opening times, find out what's on that day and navigate there in one click. We've also been experimenting with a new feature. The Art Recognizer is now available in London's Dulwich Picture Gallery, Sydney's Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Just pull up the app, point your phone's camera to a painting on display and find all the information you want to know about the artwork. We're planning to roll this out to museums around the world-so stay tuned.


There's much to learn about our shared cultural heritage. Download the app for iOS and Android to unlock a world of experiences, every day.


Posted by Duncan Osborn, Product Manager, Google Cultural Institute https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i-NlpIDu4cU/V41iDtvxXwI/AAAAAAAASss/nUeudu0ftYAvYiQCqCfseyUUyLG9sEH5ACLcB/s200/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-07-18%2Bat%2B4.10.35%2BPM.png Duncan Osborn Product Manager Google Cultural Institute

19 Jul 2016 3:00pm GMT

15 Jul 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

A voice for everyone in 2016

Every election matters and every vote counts. The American democracy relies on everyone's participation in the political process. This November, Americans all across the country will line up at the polls to cast their ballots for the President of the United States. With states' varied deadlines and methods, the voter registration process can be tricky. So starting on Monday, we're introducing a new tool in Search to simplify the voter registration process to make it easier for you to have your voice heard.

Now when you search for "register to vote" or similar queries, Google will display a detailed state-by-state guide providing information on how to register, general requirements, and deadlines.


No matter which state you're in or how you plan to cast your ballot, you can find the step-by-step information you need to register correctly and on time-right at the top of your Search page and in the Google app.

And for the kickoff of the Republican National Convention next week (and coming in time for the Democratic National Convention the following week), when you search for these events on the Google app, you'll find a summary of the event, nominees and the lineup of speakers. You'll also find a livestream video from YouTube, and relevant social media posts, so you can stay up-to-date with both the political parties and the public.

We hope these new features in Search will help keep you informed this election season and make it easier for you to make it to the ballot box in November.


Posted by Jacob Schonberg, Product Manager https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-w6HLf-zWS8o/V4koXZyA7GI/AAAAAAAASsY/GSdKGgAxABw3GJ7X77XwIJFsj1bA9Ha-ACLcB/s200/registerConvention.gif

15 Jul 2016 4:59pm GMT

14 Jul 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Promoting gender equality through emoji 🙌 🎉

More than 90 percent of the world's online population use emoji. But while there's a huge range of emoji, there aren't a lot that highlight the diversity of women's careers, or empower young girls. There are emoji like these for men:

but with options like these for women:

… the emoji representing women aren't exactly, well, representative. So we've been working to make things better.

In May, we proposed a set of new emoji to the Unicode Technical Committee that represent a wider range of professions for women (as well as men), and reflect the pivotal roles that women play in the world. Since then, we've worked closely with members of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee to bring the proposal to life.

Today, the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee has agreed to add 11 new professional emoji, in both male and female options and with all the skin tones. That's more than 100 new emoji to choose from!


Unicode is also adding male and female versions to 33 existing emoji. For example, you'll be able to pick both a female runner emoji and a male runner emoji, or a man or woman getting a haircut:

These additions can be included in future versions of Android and other platforms-because Unicode helps make sure that people with different phones can send and receive the same emoji.

These new emoji are one of several efforts we're making to better represent women in technology, and to connect girls with the education and resources they need to pursue careers in STEM. One such effort is Made with Code, which helps girls pursue and express their passions using computer science. Ahead of World Emoji Day this weekend, Made with Code is releasing a new project that teaches coding skills through the creation of emoji-inspired stickers.

We hope these updates help make emoji just a little more representative of the millions of people around the 🌎 who use them.

Posted by Nicole Bleuel, Marketing Lead & Diversity Champion, Emoji https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uEzz2dZuHkk/V4cNj059kSI/AAAAAAAASqs/5Q5cY0u7euEgpBtfAaZshbCYpguOd0C8ACLcB/s200/Skintones.gif

14 Jul 2016 4:03pm GMT

30 Jun 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Focusing on diversity

It's been two years since we first shared our workforce demographics and helped spark a conversation about the need to improve diversity at Google and across the tech industry. Today we're updating google.com/diversity with our 2015 demographics, and sharing some areas where we've seen progress in building a more diverse and inclusive Google.

More women in technical and leadership roles
Women now comprise 31 percent of all Googlers, and we've seen strong growth of women in technical and leadership roles. Similar to last year, one in five of our technical hires in 2015 were women, helping bring the total number of women in technical roles from 18 to 19 percent. Additionally, women now hold 24 percent of leadership roles across Google-up from 22 percent.


Overall hiring progress
For the first time this year, we're sharing the percentage of our hires who are Black and Hispanic. In 2015, our hiring for Black, Hispanic, and female Googlers grew faster than our current demographic representation for each of these groups. And our Hispanic Googlers in technical roles increased from 2 to 3 percent.

This data reflects the gender composition of Google's global technical workforce and the race & ethnicity composition of Google's U.S. workforce as of January 1, 2016. For more stats, visit google.com/diversity.

Building an Inclusive Culture
Hiring is important, but it's equally important to make workplaces inclusive, fair and supportive for all employees. We're continuing to build a culture where Googlers can grow, thrive and want to stay. We want to build a place where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions-and empowered to grow their careers.

We check and recheck processes like promotion and performance reviews to make sure they're producing equitable outcomes, and address any gaps we find. For example, Googlers in engineering or product management roles are able to nominate themselves for promotion, and in 2010 we discovered that women in technical roles were less likely than men to self-nominate. We found that with a small nudge-emailing these findings to all technical Googlers-the rate of women self-nominating went up and now the gap between men and women has closed.

Compensation is another example. We've long had gender pay equity in our workforce, and we recently shared our approach to compensation with the hope that other companies will adopt similar fair pay practices.

We also continue to invest in our unconscious bias trainings. Over 65 percent of Googlers have participated in our unbiasing workshops, and all new Googlers take the workshop as part of their orientation. We've shared these materials and research on our platform re:Work with Google so anyone from any industry can create unbiasing trainings for their team.

We saw encouraging signs of progress in 2015, but we're still far from where we need to be. To learn more about our diversity and inclusion efforts, hear from leaders across Google:



Posted by Nancy Lee, Vice President, People Operations https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7_k6HVjLL74/V4b4XDBY2jI/AAAAAAAASpc/_SOLvVbaay4qyUgjoXTIACW1Zj-CT-SvACLcB/s320/Diversity.jpg

30 Jun 2016 9:17pm GMT

29 Jun 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Supporting Bay Area nonprofits focused on homelessness

"How many homeless people are in San Francisco?" "How do people become homeless?" "How can I help homeless people?"

These are just some of the questions people ask Google about homelessness in San Francisco, according to Google Trends. Many of these questions don't have simple answers, and decades of efforts have not significantly moved the needle. There are more than 6,600 homeless people in the city, many of whom are children. People who experience homelessness often struggle from chronic stress, trauma, and frequent moves, and are unable to take advantage of many educational or economic opportunities.

We want to do our part in tackling this complex issue. Since 2014, Google.org has invested more than $5 million in Bay Area nonprofits who are working to combat homelessness, and today we're committing an additional $1.2 million for these efforts. The Google News Lab is also joining the San Francisco Chronicle and 70+ news outlets across the country to help raise awareness as part of the Beyond Homelessness initiative, launching today.

The organizations we're supporting are tackling the issue of homelessness in new ways and from multiple angles, and include Hamilton Family Center, Larkin Street Youth Services, HandUp, First Place for Youth, Lava Mae, LifeMoves, Abode Services - Project Welcome Home, GLIDE, Downtown Streets Team and Destination: Home.


In San Francisco and across the Bay area, these 10 organizations provide a range of services and programs focused on rapid re-housing and prevention, basic services, job training and more. Our newest grantee, Destination: Home, plans to use their $1 million grant to build a rapid re-housing system for homeless families in Mountain View and Sunnyvale in the form of security deposits, motel stays, time-limited rental assistance, move-in assistance, and a support system to make sure individuals and families find stable housing.

HandUp has helped both homeless and low-income individuals and families overcome poverty via a giving platform that connects donors directly with neighbors who are struggling to meet basic needs. The Downtown Streets Team provides a work experience program for homeless men and women through beautification projects in San Francisco's Civic Center/Mid-Market neighborhoods. And Lava Mae is expanding their mobile showers for the homeless to Los Angeles with an additional $200K in Google.org grant funding.

The Downtown Streets Team helps people like Norman "Will" Williams gain work experience. Learn more on their website.

One in 25 kids in San Francisco Unified School District are homeless, and many families face at least a nine-month wait list for temporary shelter. In 2015, we supported the Hamilton Family Center (HFC) with a $1 million grant aimed to reduce the homeless family wait list for shelter by creating direct lines of communication with SFUSD teachers and staff to report and respond to new and potential cases of homelessness. HFC has already seen a 25 percent reduction in the family wait list, and hopes to continue that momentum.
Homelessness in our cities is a challenge decades in the making-and will require continued innovation and dedication to solve. We're committed to helping, through financial support, volunteering and raising awareness. Find out more about this issue on our Google Trends site and join us in finding solutions by visiting Beyond Homelessness or contributing to any of our grantee organizations.

Posted by Justin Steele, Bay Area Giving Lead, Google.org https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t51u82Gg5pg/V4cJDtzfrZI/AAAAAAAASpw/c4xslSQpcrw7xK8Tdcly5_sAPrgxhaZwACLcB/s200/10-1.jpg

29 Jun 2016 4:00pm GMT

27 Jun 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Technology to help teachers do what they do best

This week our Google for Education team will be joining thousands of educators at the annual ISTE conference. Follow along on their blog and Twitter for the latest news and updates. -Ed.


Great teachers inspire us, listen to us and learn from us; they bring the most mundane subjects to life. Technology can help great teachers do what they do best-stimulating minds and fostering skills in the next generation-and make learning even more rewarding for students. So we're excited by the updates and improvements to our tools for the classroom we're announcing this week at the ISTE conference, one of the largest education technology gatherings in the world.

Expeditions for all
Since we launched the Expeditions Pioneer Program last September, more than a million students from 11 countries have taken one of our 200+ virtual reality trips-from the Great Barrier Reef, to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Today, we're making Expeditions available to everyone. To get started, all teachers need to do is download the Expeditions app onto a set of devices and choose where in the world they want to take their class. The app is available today for Android and will be available for iPhones and iPads soon.

While Expeditions can be used with many of the devices schools or students already have, Best Buy Education will also be making Expeditions kits available for schools to purchase. These kits will contain everything teachers need to bring their classes on amazing Expeditions: a tablet, virtual reality viewers and a router to connect them all.

Google Cast for Education
Sharing information on the classroom's big screen helps students learn from one another. But today, students have to physically connect their computers to the projector to share their screens with the class. To open classroom collaboration and bring projecting into the 21st century, we're announcing Google Cast for Education, a free Chrome app that lets students and teachers share their screens wirelessly from everywhere in the classroom, no new hardware required. Cast for Education carries video and audio across complex school networks, has built-in controls for teachers, and is integrated with Google Classroom.

Quizzes in Google Forms
Getting feedback helps students learn and teachers teach. But grading tests and quizzes is time-consuming; teachers often have to take time away from other tasks to do it, and if it's not done promptly, everyone misses out on the opportunity to learn from the things students got wrong. Starting today, Quizzes in Google Forms will grade multiple choice and checkbox questions automatically-so teachers can spend less time grading work and more time teaching.

Teachers can set correct answers in Forms and even add review materials in the form of explanations, supplemental websites, or review videos-so students can get quick, informative feedback on how to improve. Plus, teachers can get an instant snapshot on what their students understand, so they know which lessons need more explanation or what to teach next.

Creative apps on Chromebooks
Teachers tell us educational apps on Chromebooks help them improve skills like problem-solving, teamwork, communication and creativity. In collaboration with teachers at EdTechTeacher, we're announcing a collection of creative apps on Chromebooks that schools can now purchase at a discount: Explain Everything, Soundtrap, and WeVideo. These apps let students demonstrate their understanding of curriculum in their own way by creating unique animations, music, and videos.

Students use creative apps at Muller Road Middle School in South Carolina


As technology becomes an integral component of our classrooms, we also want it to be so easy to use that it fades into background, allowing teachers to spend their time doing what they love: engaging and inspiring students.

Posted by Bram Bout, Director, Google for Education https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0W6hCYoTSzc/V3RKu90C3GI/AAAAAAAASnc/Bih4KnjUc6kwNRHhxH1k8AMjQ6roMEg3QCLcB/s1600/Expedition.jpg

27 Jun 2016 4:00pm GMT

23 Jun 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Be who you are. Love who you love. #prideforeveryone

Everyone has the fundamental right to express who they are, yet all too often we bear witness to hatred and violence directed at people who peacefully and lovingly pursue happiness. The mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month is a horrifying example.

Google's mission has always been to make information universally accessible. And within that mission lies the belief that the more knowledge we have, the more tolerant, inclusive and respectful the world ultimately will be.

Pride is a time when those who have access to vibrant LGBTQ communities take to the streets to celebrate the freedom to live and love. Yet there are still multitudes of lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in the U.S. and around the world who are lonely and ostracized-who cannot participate in Pride due to strict anti-LGBTQ laws or social stigma.

To bridge this gap, we've created #prideforeveryone-a virtual reality Pride experience that anyone can access. For the past several weeks, Googlers from 25 countries have been marching in their local Pride parades to document the truly global face of the LGBTQ community in 360 degrees. This VR montage, available via YouTube 360 and Google Cardboard, is the result.

Google has a long track record of leadership in LGBTQ rights, including taking a stand against discrimination in sports at the Sochi Olympic games, becoming one of the first companies to provide full coverage of transgender employee healthcare, and standing up for same-sex and domestic partner rights and benefits in places around the world where they may not otherwise exist.

Even in the U.S., where we've achieved greater levels of equality, only 52 percent of the LGBTQ population have ever participated in a parade. Transgender people face legislation that effectively dehumanizes them. In Orlando, the LGBTQ community bore the brunt of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. This is simply wrong.

With #prideforeveryone, we stand prouder than ever in our embrace of the LGBTQ community. As always, we invite others to stand with us.

A 360 camera is anchored on a moving float in the São Paulo Pride parade. The trans flag and a crowd of more than 2 million people can be seen in the background.

Posted by Arjan Dijk, VP Growth Marketing and Executive Sponsor of Gayglers https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TuDJnjLs77s/V3RKu0jhGlI/AAAAAAAASnY/C84SumWLZKoprh-TpgQdqakz9bXpNciQACLcB/s1600/Pride.jpgArjan Dijk VP Growth Marketing and Executive Sponsor of Gayglers

23 Jun 2016 11:30pm GMT

18 Jun 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

A brief update

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

18 Jun 2016 1:57am GMT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pictures of the Cr-48

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

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

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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

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Device Evolution

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

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

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How to Disable Google Instant Previews

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

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

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

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

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

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

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

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

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

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

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

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

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

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See a Random Street View Location

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

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT