02 Jul 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Old Google Drive Goes Missing

Last year, Google launched a new desktop interface for Google Drive. If you missed the old interface, the "settings" menu allowed you switch to the old interface by clicking "Leave the new Drive". The classic Google Drive also added a link to the new interface, so you could click "Experience the new Drive" and switch back to the new UI.

Now the "Leave the new Drive" option is missing and you can no longer switch to the old Google Drive. Even the URL for the old Google Drive doesn't work: https://drive.google.com/?srtp=0&authuser=0.


Google still has a help center article about "switching between versions of Google Drive", which is now outdated. "Have you noticed that your Google Drive looks different? Or are you trying to do something in Drive and the instructions don't work? This may be because there are now two versions of Google Drive on the web - a new version and a classic version. The new Google Drive is gradually rolling out to all users, but you can switch to the new version, or back to the classic version, at any time," mentions the article.

{ Thanks, Frodo Baggins. }

02 Jul 2015 7:49pm GMT

Customize Gmail Themes

Gmail's theme gallery added hundreds of new high-resolution photos and many of them were taken by Google employees like Romain Guy and Greg Bullock. Click "more photos" in the "pick your theme" dialog to find all the new photos. You can still use your own photos, upload photos or paste a URL.



After you select a background image, Gmail lets you customize it using 3 features: select light or dark text background, add vignette to make borders darker or you can blur the background image. The nice thing is that Gmail remembers your settings for each theme, so you don't have to adjust them every time you select a new theme.


My favorite feature is the vignette effect:


The "theme" tab from Gmail's settings page is no longer useful, now that there's a separate theme picker. All the themes used to be displayed there, but now the tab only includes a link to "set theme".


"Your inbox is home to some of your most meaningful and entertaining messages - from that acceptance letter, to those throwback photos - so we think it's important for Gmail to feel just as personal (and fun!)," says Google. To make Gmail more fun, Google also added emojis for almost every occasion.

02 Jul 2015 7:28pm GMT

29 Jun 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Earth View Update

Google has a cool Chrome extension called Earth View, which replaces the new tab page with a stunning satellite image from Google Earth. The latest release brings a lot of new features: there are 500 new images, you can see the images from the last 10 tabs you've opened, there's a download feature in the menu and a sharing button. You can share images on Google+, Facebook, Twitter or copy the URL and paste it somewhere else.



How to see the images from the last 10 tabs you've opened? Just mouse over the bottom of the new tab page and click "recent imagery". You should see a list of 10 clickable thumbnails.



If you don't want to install the extension or you use a different browser, there's a web gallery that shows all the 1500 images. Click the arrow button or use the left/right keyboard shortcuts to navigate between images. There's also a slideshow feature called "leanback mode".


"Earth View is a collection of the most striking and enigmatic landscapes available in Google Earth. The colors, shapes, textures and patterns all contribute to the strange beauty of our planet, reminding us of nature's uncanny geometry and bewildering simplicity. Each of the 1500 images featured in this collection was hand curated and available for download as wallpaper for your desktop or mobile," informs Google.

Google Earth celebrates its 10th birthday and the desktop software adds a new layer called Voyager, which integrates Earth View, Street View highlights, 3D cities, a map of recently published satellite images and a tour that shows a few of the thousands of Voyager locations to choose from.

29 Jun 2015 6:21pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

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

29 Jun 2015 3:45pm GMT

26 Jun 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends June 19-25

From eagerly-awaited U.S. Supreme Court rulings, to the ongoing debate over the Confederate flag, here's a look at some of the topics that got people searching this week.

#LoveWins
Whether the query was "marriage equality," "fourteenth amendment," or "love wins," searches related to today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples nationwide have a right to marry are spiking, with more than 2 million searches for the term "gay marriage" alone. Interest goes beyond the U.S., with "What countries allow same-sex marriage?" and "where is gay marriage legal?" among the top questions.


While today's "thunderbolt" ruling is capturing most of the attention around SCOTUS, searches for the court have in fact been big all week. Yesterday, news that the Court had upheld a key portion of the Affordable Care Act was met with a 200,000+ search spike, and renewed questions like "How does Obamacare work?" and "Why do Republicans dislike Obamacare?"

Confederate flag
We noted last week that searches related to the Confederate flag increased sharply following the tragic shooting in Charleston, S.C.; and this week, interest in the flag reached an all-time high. Searches were most concentrated in South Carolina, where Governor Nikki Haley has called for the flag's removal from the state Capitol, followed by Alabama, where Governor Robert Bentley ordered the flag's removal from the Capitol grounds. But searches have been popular throughout the South as people ask questions like "Is the confederate flag racist" and "How many states fly the Confederate flag?" As companies pulled Confederate flag merchandise from their sites and stores, the search terms "confederate for sale" spiked more than 1,000 percent.


Rising stars
Thursday's 2015 N.B.A. Draft also attracted more than 2 million searches this week and half of the top 20 searches yesterday, with queries for first pick Karl-Anthony Towns spiking more than 1,000 percent. Looks like Minnesota Timberwolves fans had done their research ahead of the selection; Towns was the most-searched prospect in the state ahead of the draft. Other breakout names of the week included actor Tom Holland, who saw 500,000+ searches after he was cast as Spider-Man for the next film in the Marvel franchise. Holland's home country of the U.K. topped the list of countries looking for details, but Spidey searches from people in the Philippines to the Netherlands show the global popularity of this character, even two years before the movie's 2017 release.

Posted by Abbi Tatton, who searched this week for [how do you pronounce Obergefell]

26 Jun 2015 11:02pm GMT

25 Jun 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Listen Again in Google Translate

Emanuele Bartolomucci, a reader of this blog, noticed an interesting feature in Google Translate. If you click the "listen" button next to the text you want to translate or the translation, Google converts the text into speech. Click "listen" again and the speed decreases, probably because Google assumes that you are listening again to better get the correct pronunciation. It's like asking Google: "Could you speak more slowly, please?"


If you click "listen" the third time, Google goes back to the normal speed. Click again and the speed decreases. The two text-to-speech versions alternate.

I've checked Google Translate's URLs and the second version has the following parameter: "ttsspeed=0.24", which changes the text-to-speech speed.

{ Thanks, Emanuele. }

25 Jun 2015 10:15pm GMT

Classic Google Maps, No Longer Available

Classic Google Maps has been replaced by Google Maps Lite back in April, but there were a few URLs you could use to access it. Now they no longer work, so you'll have to get used to the new interface or switch to a different service like Bing Maps or Here.com. There are still various sites that use features from the Classic Maps, including Google's own Map Maker.


Last week, I had to print some directions in Google Maps and I realized that the classic Google Maps had a much better printing feature. You could include a map for each step or add Street View imagery. The new Google Maps offers two options: print text only or print including maps. There are fewer maps included since directions are now grouped and you can no longer customize each step.

25 Jun 2015 1:03pm GMT

Google's Updated Privacy Policy

Google has recently changed its privacy policy and there's a page that shows the differences. It's not clear if there are actual changes or the updated privacy policy only clarifies some existing features.


The new privacy policy states that information like your name, email address, phone number or credit card could be stored with your Google account, which is not something new. Another change is that the "cookies and anonymous identifiers" section is now called "cookies and similar technologies", which is a broader title.

The following text:

We and our partners use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit a Google service, and this may include sending one or more cookies or anonymous identifiers to your device.

... has been replaced with:

We and our partners use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit a Google service, and this may include using cookies or similar technologies to identify your browser or device.

Basically, Google removed all the references to "anonymous identifiers" from the privacy policy and replaced them with "similar technologies", which includes anonymous identifiers, but also HTML5 Local Storage, local shared objects (Flash cookies), Web beacons and more. The privacy policy clearly states that Google can use cookies and similar technologies to identify your browser or device. Google says that it uses "these technologies to collect and store information when you interact with services we offer to our partners, such as advertising services or Google features that may appear on other sites."

There's also a new paragraph:

Information we collect when you are signed in to Google may be associated with your Google Account. When information is associated with your Google Account, we treat it as personal information. For more information about how you can access, manage or delete information that is associated with your Google Account, visit the Transparency and choice section of this policy.

25 Jun 2015 10:27am GMT

24 Jun 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Undo Send Graduates From Gmail Labs

After spending 6 years in Gmail Labs, "undo send" is now a regular Gmail feature. You can find it in the settings, bellow "send and archive". The feature is disabled by default, but it's enabled if you've already used the Gmail Labs feature.

So what's so great about "undo send"? Gmail doesn't send email immediately and there's a short delay that lets you undo sending the message, just in case you changed your mind, you noticed a mistake or you picked the wrong sender. There are 4 options for the cancellation period: 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds and 30 seconds.


After sending a message, you'll get an "Undo" link next to "Your message has been sent". If you click the "Undo" link, you can edit the message, save it as a draft or delete it.


"Undo send" has been recently added to Google Inbox for desktop and mobile. Mashable reports that Gmail's mobile apps will also add this feature: "Google said it will roll out the feature to mobile in the future but didn't elaborate on the timeline."

24 Jun 2015 9:31pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

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 Jun 2015 6:00pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Add Google Drive Files to Google Calendar Events

The latest version of the Google Calendar app for iOS brings a few useful features, catching up with the Android app.

You can now add Google Drive files to calendar events in the iOS app, as well as the desktop Google Calendar site. This feature was already available in the Android app since February and in Google Calendar Labs since 2009. "Event attachments" graduated from Labs and it's now available for everyone (including developers).

If a Drive file isn't shared with all the guests, you'll see a prompt and you can change how the file is shared.


Here's a screenshot from the desktop site (the feature may not seem new if you've used the Event Attachments feature from Google Calendar Labs):


Another feature already available in the Android app is the 7-day view, which lets you see more events at a glance. You can now switch to the 7-day view in the iOS app and customize your calendar with week numbers in the settings.


Google takes advantages of the improved notification features from iOS8 and adds interactive notifications for events, so you can email guests or view the map without having to open Google Calendar first.

24 Jun 2015 9:00am GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

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 Jun 2015 7:01am GMT

23 Jun 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Picasa Web Albums, Back to the Future

Picasa Web Albums is fully functional again. The site no longer redirects to Google+ Photos and the search feature works, at least for personal photos and videos. The search feature was removed in 2013.



I thought that Google will discontinue the service and replace it with Google Photos, since Google+ is no longer required. For now, Picasa Web Albums is here to stay and that's surprising.

23 Jun 2015 9:02pm GMT

Google+: Then and Now

Here are 2 screenshots that show the importance of Google+ today and a few years ago. Back in 2013, Google changed the navigation bar and added an app launcher: the first shortcut was for Google+.


Google has recently tweaked the app launcher. The first shortcut is now for "My Account", followed by Search, Maps, YouTube, Play, News, Gmail, Drive and Calendar. Google+ is now the 10th shortcut, right next to Google Translate and Google Photos. This is the default app launcher for new users and those that haven't customized it:


Here's the 2013 app launcher for logged-in users:


And the same app launcher today:

23 Jun 2015 8:34pm GMT

Google Wallet, Rebranded as Google Payments?

A few weeks ago, I posted about Google Payments, a service that could replace Google Wallet. If you open Google Wallet's site, you'll notice that the name of the service is now Payments. There are still references to the Wallet Card and Wallet Balance.

Another change is that payments.google.com no longer redirects to wallet.google.com, but shows the same site.

Google says that "the Services offered by Google Payments are covered by the Google Wallet Privacy Notice. The Google Wallet Privacy Notice will be updated effective June 30, 2015." The link sends users to this page, which is the Google Payments Privacy Notice.

Update: Android Police asked Google about this. "Google has confirmed to us that Wallet will be re-branded primarily as a money transfer service, and will no longer process in-app or online payments, and that Google Payments will pick up the management and overview aspects of Wallet's functionality. It was also implied that Android Pay will replace Wallet on Android devices for tap & pay and other purchase functionality."

{ Thanks, Kevin. }

23 Jun 2015 8:08pm GMT

Free Google Play Music Radio

Google Play Music is a great music streaming service, especially if you pay for the All Access subscription. If you're not a subscriber, you can only listen to the music you uploaded/matched using Music Manager or the Chrome app and the music you bought or got for free from Google Play.

When Apple launched iTunes Radio in 2013, it seemed ironic that Apple offered a free ad-supported service, while Google had a paid subscription service. Now that Apple Music is ready for launch, it's time for Google to offer the missing free radio feature.


"Google Play Music now has a free, ad-supported version in the U.S., giving you a new way to find just the right music and giving artists another way to earn revenue. Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don't have to. If you're looking for something specific, you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music."


The free radio feature is already available if you're using the Play Music website and it's rolling out this week to the mobile apps for Android and iOS. It's US-only, for now.

You can skip video ads, just like on YouTube:


Here's the message you see after 6 skips in an hour or less: "you're out of skips, get on-demand and offline access to millions of songs for $9.99 per month". You can always start a new radio and you'll get your 6 skips back.


The main limitation is that you can't play a certain song. If you click a song from the new "top charts" or "new releases" sections, Play Music will start a radio with similar songs.

Whether you're using the free Google Play Music in the US or you're an All Access subscriber, you get thousands of new radio stations grouped by genre, activity, mood, decade, and more. Music for sleeping, dark music, 1950s music, world music, car ride music for kids - these are only a few examples.


23 Jun 2015 6:41pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Music for everything you do

Need some music right now to make whatever you're doing better? Even if you're not already a Google Play Music subscriber, we've got you covered. Google Play Music now has a free, ad-supported version in the U.S., giving you a new way to find just the right music-and giving artists another way to earn revenue. In less time than it takes you to read this sentence, you could be exercising with Drop-a-Beat Workout, cooling off with Poolside Chic, or spending quality time with Songs To Raise Your Kids To.

At any moment in your day, Google Play Music has whatever you need music for-from working, to working out, to working it on the dance floor-and gives you curated radio stations to make whatever you're doing better. Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don't have to. If you're looking for something specific, you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music.

We hope you'll enjoy it so much that you'll consider subscribing to Google Play Music to play without ads, take your music offline, create your own playlists, and listen to any of the 30 million songs in our library on any device and as much as you'd like. You'll also get ad-free, offline and background features for music videos on YouTube. And with or without a subscription, you can store and play up to 50,000 songs from your own collection for free.

To help you get started, check out the top 10 most popular activities on Google Play Music, each of which offers several radio stations to choose from based on what you like:

  1. Brand New Music
  2. Driving
  3. Working Out
  4. Boosting Your Energy
  5. Having Friends Over
  6. Having Fun at Work
  7. Entering Beast Mode
  8. Waking Up Happy
  9. Unwinding
  10. Bedtime


The new free, ad-supported version of Google Play Music is launching first in the U.S. It's available on the web today, and is rolling out this week to Android and iOS. And while you're checking it all out, we'll be catching up on our Blogged 50.

Posted by Elias Roman, Product Manager

23 Jun 2015 4:00pm GMT

Building even better communities with the Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area

What if low-income kids had the same opportunity for jobs in the tech sector as students from the best computer science departments? What could that mean for their futures, or the future of their communities?

That's the question asked by Oakland-based Hack the Hood, whose mission is to inspire Bay Area kids to pursue careers in technology. Hack the Hood trains young people by hiring them to build websites for small businesses in their communities. After applying for the Google Impact Challenge last spring, Hack the Hood went to work with $500,000 in Google.org funding and nearly 100 Googler volunteers. In the past year they've expanded their programs in SF, Oakland and Richmond to reach six times as many young people.

Last year we awarded $5 million to help "hometown hero" organizations like Hack the Hood make a greater impact. Today we're announcing the 2015 Challenge, and issuing an open call for nonprofits who are asking big "what ifs" about how they can improve their communities and put innovative solutions to work in the Bay Area.

Click to find out more about last year's finalists

The Bay Area region has always been defined by the people who live here: people who question the status quo to help move our communities forward. From Harvey Milk's fight for LGBT rights to Alice Waters' movement for sustainable food to the technological advances of Silicon Valley, the Bay Area has long been at the forefront of positive social change.

We saw this passion in the 1,000+ nonprofit proposals we received for the 2014 Impact Challenge, and we see it in the 25 finalists. We see it in C.E.O., which is training formerly incarcerated people to reenter the workforce; in Lava Mae's commitment to bringing showers with dignity to the homeless; and in Mission Asset Fund's providing low-income people with zero-interest loans. We see it in our neighbors who are striving for a better Bay Area for all.

As this is our home, and thousands of Googlers live and work here, we want to work together towards an even better Bay Area. The Google Impact Challenge will be accepting proposals from nonprofits through Thursday July 23, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. To learn more or to nominate a nonprofit visit g.co/bayareachallenge.

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org

23 Jun 2015 3:00pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Mobile Google Search Tests Oversized Header

I'm not sure if this is a bug or a new Google experiment, but I've noticed a different mobile search interface that uses more space for the header. There's a Google logo, a search box and a list of specialized search engines below the search box. It's based on the experimental interface I've mentioned in a previous post.


If you enable the search tools and restrict results to a certain date range, the new header uses even more screen real estate.



For some reason, this experimental interface is only used when searching from Google's homepage. Chrome's search box sent me to the compact UI.

23 Jun 2015 10:49am GMT

Google Promotes Privacy Checkup

There's a new promotional message that's displayed when you sign in to a Google account. Google encourages you to use the Privacy Checkup feature from the new My Account page and "take control of your Google privacy settings".


The page lets you "review and adjust what data Google uses to personalize your experience, and update what information you share with friends or make public."


You can choose what Google+ profile information you share with others, manage what you share on YouTube, personalize your Google experience by enabling or disabling features like Web & App Activity, Location History, YouTube Search and Watch History. You can also manage ad settings and opt out of ads based on your interests.


All of these features were previously available, but this is a simplified step-by-step guide, just like the Security Checkup. Google wants to make sure you are "always in control of your data and information".

23 Jun 2015 10:28am GMT

Google Apps Menu

When you mouse over your name in Google's navigation bar, there's a tooltip that says: "Looking for Google+? Click the Google Apps icon to the right."


Mouse over the grid icon and there's a new tooltip: "Google Apps".


This used to be called Google App Launcher, since it was similar to Chrome's App Launcher. Google's help center articles still use this name: "To switch between Google products, click the App launcher icon and select the one you'd like to use."

Google Apps is the name of a suite of productivity tools for business, education, nonprofit organizations and more, so it's a bit confusing to use the same name for the launcher feature.

23 Jun 2015 10:06am GMT

Google Notifications Settings

Google's notifications box from the navigation bar has a new settings button. For now, it shows only 2 services (Google+, Google Photos) and it lets you enable or disable notifications from Google+ and Google Photos.


Here's a screenshot that shows the option that's currently available: "allow notifications here from Google+". For the first time since Google+ was launched, you can now disable Google+ notifications from the navigation bar.


Google Photos was also added to the settings section. When I first checked the settings, Google+ was the only service available, but Google Photos was added after a few hours. If you enable "Suggest new creations" in Google Photos settings, the Assistant feature will automatically create animations, collages and videos from your library and will trigger notifications.


Maybe in the future Google will show notifications from other Google services: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, YouTube. The title is now "Google Notifications" instead of "Google+ Notifications".

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }

23 Jun 2015 6:31am GMT

22 Jun 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Introducing the News Lab

It's hard to think of a more important source of information in the world than quality journalism. At its best, news communicates truth to power, keeps societies free and open, and leads to more informed decision-making by people and leaders. In the past decade, better technology and an open Internet have led to a revolution in how news is created, distributed, and consumed. And given Google's mission to ensure quality information is accessible and useful everywhere, we want to help ensure that innovation in news leads to a more informed, more democratic world.

That's why we've created the News Lab, a new effort at Google to empower innovation at the intersection of technology and media. Our mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media. And we're tackling this in three ways: though ensuring our tools are made available to journalists around the world (and that newsrooms know how to use them); by getting helpful Google data sets in the hands of journalists everywhere; and through programs designed to build on some of the biggest opportunities that exist in the media industry today.


Tools for better reporting
From Maps to YouTube to Fusion Tables to Earth to Search, we offer many tools that newsrooms can use in their reporting and storytelling. Now, journalists around the world can access tutorials on these products created specifically for newsrooms, at g.co/newslab. We'll post short written and video tutorials and case studies that highlight best practices from top newsrooms around the world. As Google develops new products that help journalists, we'll update these resources regularly. You can also get updates by following us on Twitter and Google+, and by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

Data for more insightful storytelling
There's a revolution in data journalism happening in newsrooms today, as more data sets and more tools for analysis are allowing journalists to create insights that were never before possible. To help journalists use our data to offer a unique window to the world, last week we announced an update to our Google Trends platform. The new Google Trends provides journalists with deeper, broader, and real-time data, and incorporates feedback we collected from newsrooms and data journalists around the world. We're also helping newsrooms around the world tell stories using data, with a daily feed of curated Google Trends based on the headlines of the day, and through partnerships with newsrooms on specific data experiments.

Programs focused on the future of media
We're also working with partners to build a series of programs focused on imagining the future of news and information, as well as on empowering new voices in media. One of the opportunities we're focused on is increasing the number of media startups in the marketplace. We've launched partnerships with Matter, a media accelerator in San Francisco, and Hacks/Hackers, a global community group for developers and journalists, to provide financial support and mentorship from Google engineers that will help these organizations expand their impact to more startups around the world. We're also holding a series of TechRaking summits with the Center for Investigative Reporting: hackathons focused on developing new investigative tools such as drones, online databases, and more.

Another area we've focused our programs on is citizen reporting. Now that mobile technology allows anyone to be a reporter, we want to do our part to ensure that user-generated news content is a positive and game-changing force in media. We're doing that with three projects-First Draft, the WITNESS Media Lab, and the YouTube Newswire-each of which aims to make YouTube and other open platforms more useful places for first-hand news content from citizen reporters around the world.

The News Lab is a global effort, with teams in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany to start-and we're also powering the training and research arm of Google's Digital News Initiative in Europe.

Google has created many technologies and platforms that have engaged the media industry. As both the media landscape and technology continue to evolve, we believe we can create a more informed world if technologists and journalists work together-and we're excited to be part of the effort.

Posted by Steve Grove, Director, News Lab

22 Jun 2015 1:00pm GMT

19 Jun 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends June 12-18

The shooting in Charleston, S.C., was the top topic in search this week. Here's a look at what people were searching for after the tragedy, plus a glimpse into what else was on searchers' minds this week.

Tragedy in the south
On Wednesday night, a gunman shot and killed nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. The suspect, Dylann Roof, was arrested Thursday morning, and charged today with nine counts of murder. As people tried to make sense of the story, many turned to the web, leading searches for "Charleston shooting" to climb to more than 5 million. Top questions in the early morning after the shooting include "What was the motive of the hate crime shooting in Charleston?" Many were also interested in the Confederate flag, which still flies above the S.C. Capitol building; interest in the flag spiked 20X in the past week in the U.S. as people asked questions like "What does the Confederate flag stand for?"

Presidential politics
We're still well more than a year away from the 2016 election but the presidential race is already crowded, and getting more so. This week two new candidates joined the fray: Jeb Bush and Donald Trump both announced they plan to run, bringing the total number of Republican candidates to a cool dozen. Though Bush was the most searched candidate in more than 25 states after his announcement, it didn't last long. Following Trump's announcement Tuesday, he became the most searched Republican Presidential candidate in every state in the U.S. Top questions on the newest candidates include "Is Jeb Bush related to George Bush?" (that would be a "yes") and "What is Donald Trump's net worth?" (he says more than $8 billion; the numbers are disputed).

Must-see TV
This week was big for sports, with Google's own hometown team Golden State Warriors beating the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their first NBA Championship title since 1975. The Warriors were at the top of the search charts on Tuesday with more than 2 million searches. Meanwhile, in hockey, the Chicago Blackhawks edged out the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons. Winning never gets old, though: interest in Blackhawks apparel spiked 8X in Chicago between June 9-16, and there were more than 20,000+ searches for the Blackhawks parade route, which took place Thursday with more than 2 million attendees.

Hockey and basketball not your game? Then perhaps you were one of the 8 million people watching the fifth-season finale of HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Spoilers for the show follow.) The show was the subject of 2 million searches on Sunday night, as people watched with baited breath to find out what gruesome ends the show had in store for their favorite characters this season. One of the top questions about the show was simply "Who died on 'Game of Thrones'?", while others expressed their disbelief by asking "Is Jon Snow dead?" and "Is Stannis dead?" There were also more than 200K searches for Lena Headley, who plays Cersei Lannister, and another 20K later in the week for Rebecca Van Cleave, Headley's body double for a scene where Cersei is forced to walk naked through the streets. Finally, there was a lot of interest in Arya Stark, one of few surviving Stark children, whose path on the show has also been one of the strangest.

Tip of the week
This weekend marks the first official day of summer, and that means BBQ season. If you're watching what you eat, Google can help you figure out what to choose at the picnic table. Just ask Google to "compare coleslaw and potato salad" or "compare burgers and pulled pork."

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [jurassic world showtimes]

19 Jun 2015 11:12pm GMT

18 Jun 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Join our global Pride celebration: #AndProud

Pride is one of the world's greatest celebrations of diversity, one that we're excited to support every year. For 2015, we're doing something a little different: we've created an online parade, #AndProud, so that people from around the world can celebrate Pride together.


To join the global parade, visit Androidify, where you can create your own Android character with a fun new Pride wardrobe. During the weekend of June 27-28 your character will party side-by-side with others from around the world in the online parade.

But the celebration doesn't end there. While the virtual parade happens online, thousands of Googlers will hit the streets of San Francisco, London and New York to show their support in those citywide Pride festivals. Some of the best #AndProud characters will appear on big screens as part of Google's pride floats in all three cities.

From left to right, Sam Smith, Tom Daley and Jessie J celebrating the #AndProud parade


In addition to #AndProud and our floats in SF, London and NYC, we're celebrating Pride in our offices around the world, and in all sorts of ways across our products. We're excited to be able to extend the celebration and give people around the world a new way to share their Pride.

Hope to see you at the parade!


Posted by Eddie Kalletta and Rich Terry, #AndProud parade marchers

18 Jun 2015 5:37pm GMT

Your Google companion awaits you this Ramadan

Today, more than a billion people around the world begin observing the holy month of Ramadan, fasting from dawn to sunset, gathering with families and loved ones for meals, laughs and stories.

Growing up, the best part about Ramadan was eating way too much lentil soup with my family and catching up on the latest episode of our favorite series, "Bab Al-Hara." Today, living more than 1900 miles away from my family, I rely on technology to get close with them during Ramadan. Whether it's sharing moments on Hangouts, my sister sending me pictures of the iftar spread of the day, or receiving an avalanche of recipes from my mother for me to save and try out, technology helps us stay connected and celebrate Ramadan together even when away.

In fact, technology helps more than 200 million Muslims living away from their families connect and share moments with loved ones. People look to Maps to navigate traffic and make it home from work for Iftar, download Google Play apps to plan their day around the sunset and sunrise, and look up Ramadan opening hours of their favorite local shops and restaurants.

To help you get the most out of Ramadan, we've launched My Ramadan Companion (g.co/Ramadan), which gives you customized and locally relevant information, tips, and other content highlighting the richness of what the web can offer during Ramadan around you. You can find out the sunset time in your location and plan your day accordingly, check out the traffic in your area, navigate to the closest charity Iftar, find and share recipes, and enjoy Ramadan content on YouTube ranging from drama series and comedy sketches and health tips to stay fit during the 30 days of fasting.

Depending on your location, Google Now will show you a range of relevant cards with popular YouTube videos, latest Ramadan news and information, and recommendations for apps that alert you to wake up for Suhur, enable you to design greeting cards for Ramadan to share with the family, find Halal restaurants around you, and countdown to Iftar time.

With My Ramadan Companion, we hope we can help you take care of the little things, so you can focus on the big things. Ramadan Kareem!

Posted by Zain Kamal Masri, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Middle East and North Africa

18 Jun 2015 1:00am GMT

17 Jun 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

A new window into our world with real-time trends

Every journey we take on the web is unique. Yet looked at together, the questions and topics we search for can tell us a great deal about who we are and what we care about. That's why today we're announcing the biggest expansion of Google Trends since 2012. You can now find real-time data on everything from the FIFA scandal to Donald Trump's presidential campaign kick-off, and get a sense of what stories people are searching for. Many of these changes are based on feedback we've collected through conversations with hundreds of journalists and others around the world-so whether you're a reporter, a researcher, or an armchair trend-tracker, the new site gives you a faster, deeper and more comprehensive view of our world through the lens of Google Search.

Real-time data
You can now explore minute-by-minute, real-time data behind the more than 100 billion searches that take place on Google every month, getting deeper into the topics you care about. During major events like the Oscars or the NBA Finals, you'll be able to track the stories most people are searching for and where in the world interest is peaking. Explore this data by selecting any time range in the last week from the date picker.

A new story-centric homepage
On the new google.com/trends, you'll find a ranked, real-time list of trending stories that are gaining traction across Google. In addition to Search, we now look at trends from YouTube and Google News and combine them to better understand what topics and stories are trending across the web right now. The redesigned homepage is now available in 28 countries around the world, and we'll continue to add more locations in the coming months.

Better coverage for deeper insights
We've also increased the breadth and coverage of Google Trends data to allow for in-depth research on more niche topics in smaller geographies.

Curated data sets
To help you understand the data behind the headlines, our News Lab team examines trending topics every day and finds interesting nuggets of data that bring news stories to life. You can follow us on Twitter to stay up to date. And for data journalists who want to do their own analysis, starting today we'll publish data sets on specific topics to our Github page.

Many newsrooms are already using Google data to inform and shape their reporting. Here are a few examples:

We're excited to contribute to the growing trend of data-driven storytelling. Watch our video to hear from some of our partners about the role data plays in their work, and how they're helping shape the future of the field:

Without further ado, we're going to dive into the minute-by-minute search interest around Steph Curry after last night's Warriors' win. No matter what your interests are, we hope you'll visit the new Google Trends to explore your favorite topics and better understand the world around us.

Posted by Nimrod Tamir, Google Trends Team

17 Jun 2015 4:07pm GMT

12 Jun 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends June 6-11

LeBron and Steph. Marge and Homer. Matt and Sweat. These duos had people searching this week. Read on for more:

Jailbreak
Two prisoners made headlines this week after escaping from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. People are coming to Google to learn how the two broke out of the prison and about the status of the manhunt, which is still ongoing. In addition to more than 100K searches each for [prison escape] and the facility itself, people are asking questions like "How often do prisoners escape?" and "How many prison escapes are there per year?" The incident has also sparked interest in other prison escape tales; search interest in "The Shawshank Redemption" spiked 8X in the past week. And in happier, more fictional prison news, Netflix dropped the third season of "Orange is the New Black" six hours early yesterday, leading to a jump of 500,000K searches for the hit show.

High stakes
Next, the NBA Finals are heating up as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are now tied at two games apiece, and searchers can't get enough. There were more than 2 million searches for the Finals on Saturday, when the Cavs beat the Warriors in Game 2, and another 5 million when the Warriors went down 2-1 in Game 3 as people looked for scores, news, and players. There were more than 500K searches on Thursday for LeBron James, who got stitches after colliding with a cameraman during the game. Meanwhile, league MVP and Warriors point guard Steph Curry has been a hot topic on Search throughout the playoffs, but as his performance in the Finals faltered in the first few games, search interest in several of his teammates has risen. People have been looking for info about Curry's fellow "Splash Brother" Klay Thompson and about Andre Iguodala, who started his first game of the season on Thursday and may have poked some fun at LeBron James in the process.

Off the court and onto the pitch, it's also a great time to be a soccer fan, between the Champions League final, the Copa America, and the Women's World Cup. The latter drew more than 5 million searches on Saturday alone, and as the U.S. faced off against Australia Monday, interest was high in players like Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux. Finally, we'd be remiss to write about sports this week without mentioning the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, American Pharoah, who won the Belmont Stakes last weekend and ran home with a million searches in the bargain.



Change is in the air
Beyonce was trending this week after revealing that she has adopted a vegan diet on Good Morning America. Many of Queen Bey's fans were disappointed that her announcement was about her eating habits, and not the release of a new album or baby #2. Giving up cheese would be hard enough. But this week pop culture fans confronted the potential loss of something else dear: the long-running (fictional) marriage between Homer and Marge Simpson. With the 27th season of "The Simpsons" on deck in the fall, the show's executive producer had hinted that TV's longest-running couple might separate. Amidst the outrage and worry, searchers turned to the web to ask "Why are the Simpsons getting divorced?" Luckily, it seems the rumors are just that-the show cleared the air on Twitter and in chalk.

Tip of the week
Keep up with Hope, Alex and the rest of the Women's World Cup on your phone. To get updates on all the matches, just open the Google app and click Customize (Settings in iOS) → Sports → Add a team. Goooaaalll!

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [flights from sfo to lhr] and [izombie max rager utopium]

12 Jun 2015 11:39pm GMT

A YouTube built for gamers

As a kid, I spent hours on the living room couch playing video games with friends, taking turns trying to beat Ganon in "Ocarina of Time" and trading Pokémon until I had all 151. Soon controller passing and Game Boy link cables gave way to network multiplayer and PC LAN parties. Eventually, my living room became a virtual one, with a network of gamers sharing experiences and discoveries.

Today, the gaming world is much more diverse than the one I grew up with, and the community has created new formats that have made gaming more collaborative and interactive. On YouTube, gaming has spawned entirely new genres of videos, from let's plays, walkthroughs, and speedruns to cooking and music videos. Now, it's our turn to return the favor with something built just for gamers.

This summer, we'll launch YouTube Gaming, a brand new app and website to keep you connected to the games, players, and culture that matter to you, with videos, live streams, and the biggest community of gamers on the web-all in one place.



YouTube Gaming is built to be all about your favorite games and gamers, with more videos than anywhere else. From "Asteroids" to "Zelda," more than 25,000 games will each have their own page, a single place for all the best videos and live streams about that title. You'll also find channels from a wide array of game publishers and YouTube creators.

Keeping up with these games and channels is now super easy, too. Add a game to your collection for quick access whenever you want to check up on the latest videos. Subscribe to a channel, and you'll get a notification as soon as they start a live stream. Uncover new favorites with recommendations based on the games and channels you love. And when you want something specific, you can search with confidence, knowing that typing "call" will show you "Call of Duty" and not "Call Me Maybe."



Live streams bring the gaming community closer together, so we've put them front-and-center on the YouTube Gaming homepage. And in the coming weeks, we'll launch an improved live experience that makes it simpler to broadcast your gameplay to YouTube. On top of existing features like high frame rate streaming at 60fps, DVR, and automatically converting your stream into a YouTube video, we're redesigning our system so that you no longer need to schedule a live event ahead of time. We're also creating single link you can share for all your streams.

YouTube Gaming will be available this summer, starting in the U.S. and U.K. We're building this just for gamers-so we want to hear from you about how we can make it the best way to connect with your community. If you're at E3 next week, come by our booth for an early look at everything we've been working on. If not, tune in live from home at youtube.com/e3, head over to gaming.youtube.com and follow us @YouTubeGaming and you'll be the first to know when YouTube Gaming is ready for you to play with.

Posted by Alan Joyce, Product Manager

12 Jun 2015 7:00pm GMT

05 Jun 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends May 29 - June 5

From a seriously groundbreaking "Vanity Fair" cover model to a sporting trifecta, see what the Internet was searching for this week.

"Call me Caitlyn"
Caitlyn Jenner topped the trends this week, with more than 10 million searches since she introduced herself to the world on Monday with a "Vanity Fair" cover story. Her high-profile transition has put Jenner at the center of an active national dialogue about transgender equality and rights. The news dominated headlines and news feeds for several days-in fact, searches for Jenner were nearly seven times higher than than searches for Kim Kardashian, who announced her second pregnancy with husband Kanye West over the weekend.


Remembering Beau Biden
Another well-known family shared the search spotlight this week, although for very different reasons. Beau Biden, Delaware attorney general and son of Vice President Joe Biden, died of brain cancer on May 30. Searches for news about his life and death topped 100,000 ahead of memorial services held in his honor on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

All the sports
With the NBA and Stanley Cup finals underway, and the Women's World Cup set to kick off over the weekend, it was a particularly sports-heavy week on search. People wanted to know where and when to tune in for the NBA games, and while "How many times has Lebron James been to the finals" was one of the top questions, searches for Warriors star Steph Curry were higher than searches for James in nearly every state.


On the hockey front, the Chicago Blackhawks, who currently lead the series 1-0, are also dominating the search trends over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Meanwhile, soccer fans are heading to Google to search for Women's World Cup teams and players as they await to see who emerges from the tournament's group-stage.

Summertime sadness
It may not be June 21 yet, but school is out, temperatures are up and Memorial Day weekend is practically a distant memory. Summer is here, and for everyone looking to get out of town, Southwest Airlines had just the thing: a 72-hour sale. With plane tickets at less than $100, turns out too many people wanted to get out of town-traffic from would-be travelers crashed Southwest's website for two days, while searches about the sale and the site topped 500,000.

Tip of the Week
No time to watch the game this weekend? Find out what you missed-just ask the Google app, "Who won the Warriors game?" to get box scores, video highlights and more.

Posted by Megan Slack, who searched this week for [Biden photo gallery] and [can you make fried rice in the microwave].

05 Jun 2015 11:23pm GMT

A changing playing field for women

There's no question the world is wild about football. Last year, we watched in awe of the 2.1 billion search queries related to the World Cup. And regardless of whether it's a tournament year, football (or soccer if you please) crushes the competition as the most-searched sport worldwide.

But here's something that surprised us: the world searches three times more for girls' soccer (and football) than for boys' soccer-yet, only 1 percent of global searches for professional soccer are for women's teams, while the other 99 percent are for men's teams. That's not for a lack of amazing performance on the field by women athletes-rather, it's because women's sports have historically been paid less attention than men's. For instance, women's football was banned by the English FA (and other European organizations) until the 1970s, and it didn't become an Olympic sport until 1996.

We care deeply about inspiring the next generation of girls to become leaders-whether they're in the technology field or on the soccer pitch. So we got to thinking about how Search can help people discover all the amazing stories of women's soccer that have historically been overlooked. During the 2015 Women's World Cup, we'll share search trends, stats and more to help you get to know these athletes and their talents on the field.

Here's how to follow along and cheer on the remarkable women of pro soccer:

Check out our homepage Doodle. Today's Doodle celebrates the start of the Cup. Check back for more as the tournament progresses.

Follow the tournament in search. Search for [womens world cup 2015] on your Android phone to get brackets, game times and updated scores.

Keep up with the latest. Follow us on Twitter and Google+ to find out more about women's soccer, its history, rising stars and the major trending moments during the tournament. Google Search can also help you discover more about women's football, past and present. For instance, try asking the Google app "when was the first Women's World Cup held?" The answer may surprise you.

That's just the start-we're also teaming up with official sponsor Adidas to share more from the players throughout the tournament. See you at the games!

Posted by Madeline Kane, Social Impact Team

05 Jun 2015 4:00am GMT

01 Jun 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Keeping your personal information private and safe—and putting you in control

We've all been there at some point or another…
You just lost your phone and want to wipe your personal information.
You attend an event, and you want to share your photos with some people (but not everyone).
You hesitate as you download another app that's asking for a lot of information.

Everyday, we make choices that affect our privacy and security online. Most people, however, don't feel they have the right level of control to make these important decisions. According to a recent Pew study, 93 percent of people think it's important to control access to their personal information, and 90 percent care about the type of information that's collected about them. But only 9 percent feel they have "a lot" of control over it. We want to change that.

Google builds simple, powerful privacy and security tools that keep your information safe and put you in control of it. At Google I/O, we announced that people will have more control over the information they provide to mobile apps in the M release, the next version of Android. Today, we're rolling out two significant improvements to our privacy and security tools: a new hub for managing your Google settings called My Account, and a new site that answers important questions about privacy and security on Google.

Privacy and security controls, all in one place
Privacy and security are two sides of the same coin: if your information isn't secure, it certainly can't be private. My Account gives you quick access to the settings and tools that help you safeguard your data, protect your privacy, and decide what information is used to make Google services work better for you. It also provides more context to help you understand your options and make the right choices for you.

Here are some of the things you can do with My Account:

We built My Account to be a resource for everyone, even if you don't have a Google Account. Check out your controls at myaccount.google.com.

Answering your questions about privacy and security
We listen to feedback from people around the world to better understand their concerns about privacy and security. In addition to My Account, we want to help people find answers to common questions on these topics, such as: "What data does Google collect? What does Google do with the data it collects? What tools do I have to control my Google experience?"

Our new site, privacy.google.com, candidly answers these questions, and more. We also explain how we show relevant ads without selling your personal information, how encryption and spam filtering help keep your data safe, and how your information helps customize your experience on Google. Visit this site often to learn about new tools, features, and information that can help you make the choices that are right for you.

When you trust your personal information with us, you should expect powerful controls that keep it safe and private as well as useful answers to your questions. Today's launches are just the latest in our ongoing efforts to protect you and your information on Google. There's much more to come, and we look forward to your feedback.

Posted by Guemmy Kim, Product Manager, Account Controls and Settings

01 Jun 2015 10:00am GMT

01 Nov 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Grow a moustache and fight cancer!

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

01 Nov 2011 6:16pm GMT

31 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween costume: stickman from xkcd

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

31 Oct 2011 5:16pm GMT

24 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween Pumpkin: Portal Turret!

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

24 Oct 2011 3:26pm GMT

02 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

New 30 day challenge: going vegan!

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

02 Oct 2011 5:58am GMT

20 Sep 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

What cool new websearch ideas should Google launch in 2012?

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

20 Sep 2011 2:40pm GMT

Busy few weeks

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

20 Sep 2011 1:55pm GMT

26 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

The Emperor's Garden

The Emperor instructed the gardener to set up the new court's garden. "I want you to plant five trees growing the Crataan fruit," the Emperor said, "Because we asked people what fruit they like best, and most named the Crataan fruit!" The gardener replied, "Emperor, that is excellent thinking! But let me make some suggestions: First, how about we make one of the five trees bear the Muran fruit. Only one out of ten citizens loves it, but those peculiar citizens tend to love multiple times as much!" "Second," the gardener continued, "How about we make one of the five trees bear the Dratean fruit. No one loves it, but that's because no one knows it yet!" "Third," the gardener said, "How about we leave one spot in the garden empty. Who knows what new type of tree we'll discover that we can put there in the fut ...

26 Aug 2011 12:12pm GMT

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Traveling for a week

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

26 Aug 2011 6:15am GMT

15 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Color Sound Machine (and what else I've been doing lately)

For those of you who've been wondering whether I had turned to stone, fallen into a bottomless pit, or been climbing the Himalaya... no, none of that is true, even though you probably did notice I'm not actively blogging about Google here anymore*! Just now, a new iPad app I've been working on called Color Sound Machine went live, and this -- and all the other apps and games at Versus Pad** -- are actually what I am doing while not blogoscoping. *I've drafted unpublished posts explaining much more about past, present and future of Blogoscoped, and the history of Google news reporting, but ... oh, for now le ...

15 Aug 2011 4:00pm GMT

11 Jul 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Submit video topics for mid-2011

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

11 Jul 2011 10:21pm GMT

27 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Good Books for Summer Reading?

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

27 Jun 2011 3:54pm GMT

23 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Goal: getting email under control

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

23 Jun 2011 7:08am GMT

25 Feb 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google drops reverse phone number lookup

One of the earliest specialist services provided by Google was reverse phone number lookup. If you used the "phonebook:" or "rphonebook:" operators together with a 10-digit US phone number, Google would show you the owner of that phone number, unless the number was unlisted. Google no longer provides that service. Not surprisingly, there was no press release marking the closure, but Google employee Daniel Russell has acknowledged the closure of the service in his blog. He hints at the possible pressures leading to the shuttering of the service: "As you can imagine, this was an endless source of hassles for people (who were surprised to see themselves searchable on Google) and for Google (who had to constantly de ...

25 Feb 2011 11:23am GMT

16 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Idea: Topical Chat

This website would take the top headlines from a tech or political site for that day -- at first just from Reddit (you gotta start somewhere), but later, from other sites too, in aggregated form, similar to Techmeme, but across different topics you can navigate to from the frontpage (entertainment, politics, technology etc.). It would present them in some sort of list of headlines with a link to the discussion source. Below every headline on the frontpage there's an expandable chat box window. You log-in once into the site and then you can expand any one of these chat boxes, and see who's in there, and read the chat log, and join yourself with remarks by typing them in a box, similar to IRC and others. The chat wouldn't be a replacement of the discussion going on at the other site, but an addition to it. One benefit: a discus ...

16 Dec 2010 2:55pm GMT

Idea: CrowdChat

Two groups have a text chat using a web interface, arguing about a certain topic. For Group B to reply to what Group A says, each member of Group B proposes a sentence. Then, each member of Group B quickly votes on which sentence of another member of their group they like best. (You don't have to propose a sentence, and you don't have to vote on one; both proposing a sentence as well as voting on one are time-limited to just a certain amount of seconds, though.) Then, the highest-voted sentence will be shown to Crowd A as answer. Crowd A now goes through the same process to formulate a reply directed at Crowd B, and so on. To join, you can pick any of the two crowds based on reading the chat log, provided this group hasn't reach its limit of X members (beyond just group size that limit may also depend on how active current me ...

16 Dec 2010 7:26am GMT

Google Body Browser

If you're using the Google Chrome developer channel (or Firefox 4 Beta) have a look at the new Body Browser to explore a body in 3D. [Via Google OS.]

16 Dec 2010 2:17am GMT

10 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Pictures of the Cr-48

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

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Chromedroidpad

Using open source technologies from Google, could someone create a tablet that would let you add both Chrome Web Store apps/ web apps in general, as well as Android Market place apps, and you as user wouldn't even need to bother much about which comes from where as you'd only see a single merged Store, and apps would all be added to a nice homescreen with icons like on the iPad, and apps would always open full-screen no matter if the app maker made it that way or not, and Flash would work too? And would anyone want that thing?

09 Dec 2010 12:40pm GMT

08 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Device Evolution

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

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

How to Disable Google Instant Previews

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

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

See a Random Street View Location

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

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT