22 Nov 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Videos in Google Play Music

A side effect of the YouTube Music Key service is that the Play Music app for Android/iOS and the desktop site started to show relevant YouTube music videos for the songs you are playing. There's a "watch video" button placed on top of the album art and a "start video" menu option (it's called "watch video" in the iPhone app).





Google Play Music for Android shows the video inside the mobile app, so it doesn't launch the YouTube app. Google Play Music for iOS opens the YouTube app.


In the desktop site, the YouTube player is overlaid. Press Esc or click outside the player to hide it.


I've checked a long list of songs and the "start video" option is available for many popular songs that have music videos. You can also find YouTube videos when searching for artists and albums.

22 Nov 2014 6:36pm GMT

21 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends November 14-20

Devastating snowstorms, bizarre interviews and addictive podcasts? It was an unusual week on the search charts this time around.

A frosty reception
If you looked on Maps for Buffalo, you wouldn't find it. OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the city is buried underneath six feet of snow… literally. While people across the country are just getting ready for Turkey Day, Buffalonians are dealing with a snowstorm that's set to break several records and may keep them trapped in their houses for a while-white Thanksgiving, anyone?

In the court of public opinion
People were searching for more information about famed comedian Bill Cosby this week after sexual abuse allegations made headlines.

And in the political world, Democrats in the Senate blocked the Keystone XL proposal, a hotly contested initiative to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Nebraska. While searchers were wondering how this bill would affect gas prices, the door is closed on the issue at the moment.

Teens Aren't What They Used To Be
A toymaker with a mission decided it was makeover time for Barbie, the doll everyone loves to hate. Nickolay Lamm created "normal Barbie," a doll that everyone could relate to -- less "material girl" and more "girl next door"-non-size zero waist included. Reflecting the body of the average 19-year old woman, both parents and kids have taken a liking to the fact that toy actually...looks like a real person (she looks like my sister!) Complete with freckles and acne sticker expansion packs, we think Lamm's got the awkward teenage years down pat.

Speaking of teenagers: 16-year-old and 14-year-old celebrity siblings Jaden and Willow Smith, heirs to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air's throne, were in the spotlight this week after giving what some might describe as a pretty spacey interview to the New York Times' T Magazine. The wide-ranging piece covered their thoughts on topics like Prana energy (what?), the duality of the mind (how??) and goals of imprinting yourself on everything (why???) - and baffled social media and searchers alike. Time Magazine got in on the fun and released a poem generator made from the interview's most interesting quotes. Here's our Jaden and Willow Smith haiku (spoiler: it doesn't make any sense).

Babies remember

The most craziest person of all time
Driver's ed? What's up?

Colonel Mustard in the library
There's always time for a tale of murder and mystery. This week the Internet played the role of detective as people were curious to learn more about NPR's new serial Podcast which explores a 15-year-old real life homicide case. The series is insanely popular, hitting the 5 million downloads and streams mark more quickly than any other podcast before it, but not without its fair share of controversy. The victim's family members have expressed concern about the sensationalization of the case.

Tip of the week
Bored on the bus or subway? Just say "OK Google, flip a coin." What do yo have to lose?

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [the opposite of apple] and [cellulite stickers].

21 Nov 2014 9:19pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Using YouTube Music Key

Thanks to my Google Play Music All Access subscription, I've been able to try YouTube Music Key, the new feature that transforms YouTube into the music streaming service with the largest collection of music videos.

If you use All Access and you have the latest version of the Play Music app for Android, you should see this message in Play Music:


Open the YouTube app and the most obvious new feature is the download button that lets you save almost any music video.


The "add video to Offline" dialog lets you pick the video quality: normal (360p), HD (720p). You can click "remember my settings" to no longer see this dialog.



The Offline section shows all your offline videos and playlists.


You can download entire playlists. The music tab from the "what to watch" section features a lot of music playlists, including Songza playlists.



The "background & offline" section from the settings lets you customize background listening, video quality, offline storage and lets you disable downloading videos when you're not using Wi-Fi.


By default, YouTube continues to play music videos in the background, but you can disable this feature or only enable it when using headphones or external speakers.


Use the music controls from the notification bar or from the lock screen. Pause a song, play the ext song from the playlist or go back to the YouTube app.



When you're offline, you can only use the Offline section and play the music videos you've previously downloaded.



Another benefit: whether you're playing music videos online or offline, the YouTube app won't show ads. It's important to keep in mind that the new features (offline playing, background listening, ad-free experience) are only available for music videos, not for any YouTube videos. In fact, they don't even work for all music videos, probably because of licensing issues. You'll find many videos that show this message: "background listening unavailable - this video cannot be played in the background".

21 Nov 2014 6:55pm GMT

New UI in Google Maps for Mobile Browsers

The new interface from the Google Maps mobile apps is now also available in the mobile browser. Just go to maps.google.com in your favorite mobile browser for Android and iOS and you should see an interface that closely resembles the UI from the native mobile apps.


"Bold colors and textures are in - and Google Maps is on trend, with a slick new style to make traveling with Maps even easier. Over the next few days, when you open up Google Maps on your Android or iPhone, you'll be greeted by bright colors and a fresh new design. This new look is all about creating surfaces and shadows that echo the real world; with Google Maps' new material feel, layers and buttons come to life so you know just where to touch to get directions, recommendations and imagery," explained Google a few weeks ago, when the new versions of the mobile apps were launched.



The mobile web app even has a "hamburger" menu that lets you enable layers like traffic, transit, bicycling and satellite.

21 Nov 2014 4:47pm GMT

20 Nov 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google, No Longer the Default Search Engine in Firefox

"Choosing Firefox isn't just choosing a browser. It's a vote for personal freedom online." This is one of the messages from Firefox's start page. Here's another one: "Firefox is celebrating 10 years! Help us keep the passion for a free and open Internet burning forever bright."


10 years ago, Firefox was the main alternative to Internet Explorer, which was the dominant browser at that time. "Before July 2004, according to WebSideStory, Internet Explorer was used by about 95% of web surfers. That figure had remained static for years," reported BBC.

Ever since its launch, Google was the main source of revenue for Mozilla, thanks to a lucrative partnership that made Google the default search engine in Firefox. Now Mozilla partnered with Yahoo, which will be the default search engine in the US for the next 5 years.

"Google has been the Firefox global search default since 2004. Our agreement came up for renewal this year, and we took this as an opportunity to review our competitive strategy and explore our options. Today we are announcing a change to our strategy for Firefox search partnerships. We are ending our practice of having a single global default search provider. We are adopting a more local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web, with new and expanded search partnerships by country," informs Mozilla. "Starting in December, Firefox users will be introduced to a new enhanced Yahoo Search experience that features a clean, modern interface that brings the best of the Web front and center. Under this partnership, Yahoo will also support Do Not Track (DNT) in Firefox."


Firefox will use different default search engines, depending on the country: Yandex in Russia, Baidu in China. Google will continue to be one of the preinstalled search engines and the Safe Browsing and Geolocation features will still use Google.

Why switch to a different search provider? Firefox's main competitor is no longer Internet Explorer, it's now Chrome. Mozilla wants to show how it differs from Google: it'a a non-profit organization, it focuses more on privacy and it has a different mission. "This is why our independence matters. Being non-profit lets us make different choices. Choices that keep the Web open, everywhere and independent. We think today is a big step in that direction," says Chris Beard, CEO of the Mozilla Corporation.

Update: According to ExtremeTech, "Google will remain the default search provider in Europe".

20 Nov 2014 7:54pm GMT

Google Advanced Search Brings Back the Black Bar

I checked Google's advanced search page and noticed something strange: after clicking the "advanced search" button at the bottom of the page, Google sent me to a search results page that included the old black bar navigation menu.

One of the culprits is the "as_qdr" parameter that somehow triggers the old interface. This URL sends you to the old Google interface: https://www.google.com/webhp?as_qdr=all. You can bookmark it if you miss the black bar.


Another way to bring back the black bar is to use the "noj" parameter like this: https://www.google.com/?noj=1.

20 Nov 2014 7:19pm GMT

Embed Street View and Photosphere Images

You can now embed Street View imagery and photospheres in the new Google Maps. Find the Google Maps imagery you want to embed, click the gear button at the bottom of the page, pick "share and embed image" and copy the code generated by Google. Google lets you change the size of the embedded image and preview it.



Here's an example from Googleplex:



Google also added support for Street View and photospheres to the Google Maps Embed API. "These embeds use the new imagery viewer technology that powers Street View in the new Google Maps. Embedding a Street View or Photo Sphere works similarly to the Street View Service in Google Maps JavaScript API v3 - specify a lat/lng or panorama ID to pick your location, plus heading and pitch to determine direction of the scene and angle of the camera," informs Google.

{ via +Google Maps }

20 Nov 2014 6:11pm GMT

19 Nov 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Chrome Web Store Adds Support Tab

Chrome Web Store has a slightly different interface for apps and extensions. The overview and details tabs have been merged and there's a new support tab that lets you share your feedback without writing a review. You can ask questions, send suggestions and report bugs. The support feature already existed, but it didn't have its own tab.



If the support feature is not enabled, you'll see this message: "If you are experiencing any problems with this extension or have questions or suggestions for the developer, please check out the developer's support site."


OMG Chrome found some other changes. "The horizontal strip of 'Related Apps' and 'More from this developer' no longer appear beneath listings. In the Reviews section the entry form has been shunted from left of the page to the right."

{ Thanks, Stefan. }

19 Nov 2014 3:28pm GMT

New Footer in Mobile Google Search

Google's mobile search results pages have a new footer. Pagination elements are now centered and there's a Google logo at the bottom of the page.


Here's how it looked before:


When I first noticed the big logo at the bottom of the page, I assumed it was a bug. The logo doesn't link to the homepage and that's strange. What do you think: is it a bug or a feature?

{ Thanks, Sterling. }

19 Nov 2014 3:06pm GMT

Google Highlights Mobile-Friendly Results

Google announced that it will roll out the new mobile-friendly label in the coming weeks, but I've already noticed the new feature. The label is placed somewhere between the search result URL and the snippet.


Search results from the first pages of results are usually optimized for mobile devices, but there are also pages better suited for desktop. After the first 2-3 pages of results, you'll find more and more results that don't have the mobile-friendly label.


Google's footer links to a page that offers more information about mobile-friendly pages. "This message shows under search results when Google thinks the site works well on a phone (mobile-friendly). The site works well because it doesn't make you zoom to see parts of the page, or it doesn't use features like Flash that you don't usually have on your device," informs Google.

19 Nov 2014 2:50pm GMT

Google Maps Smart Search

One of the coolest Google Maps features is the integration with Google's Knowledge Graph. Besides providing useful information about different places, Knowledge Graph makes the search feature smarter.

You can search for [Canada capital], [Tom Cruise birthplace], [Amazon river where does it start], [largest city in India] and many other queries that return a location in Google Search.



It's much easier than using Google Search to find a place and then switching to Google Maps and searching for it.

This also works in the Google Maps mobile apps for Android and iOS:


It works in the classic desktop interface too:

19 Nov 2014 10:47am GMT

Weather in Google Maps

Google Maps used to have a cool weather layer that displayed temperatures and weather conditions around the globe. This feature is no longer available, but Google Maps now shows weather information and local time when searching for cities, just like in Google's Knowledge Graph cards. For example: London, Mountain View.



To switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit degrees, click the icon that illustrates weather condition and click °C or °F in the weather card from Google Search. You can always click the icon to find temperatures, wind and rainfall forecasts for the next 7 days.

19 Nov 2014 12:19am GMT

18 Nov 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Knowledge Graph Links to Social Profiles

Here's another sign that Google+'s importance is diminishing: Google's Knowledge Graph cards now include links to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and sites like YouTube and Instagram. Google also adds links to Google+. Some examples: Björk, Kirsten Dunst, Barack Obama.


Knowledge Graph cards still include the most recent Google+ post and don't show updates from Twitter or Facebook.

{ via Search Engine Land }

18 Nov 2014 11:37pm GMT

Mobile-Friendly Label for Google Search Results

Google tested various ways to highlight if search results are optimized for mobile devices. Some of the experiments displayed icons next to mobile-friendly results, other experiments placed icons next to the results that aren't optimized for mobile devices.

Google announced that it will add in the coming weeks a "mobile-friendly" label next to the mobile search results that are optimized to be viewed on a mobile phone. Google will only add this label if the pages don't use plugins like Flash, if text is readable without zooming, content is properly adjusted so that users don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom and links are placed far enough apart so you can tap them.


There's a page that lets you test if a site is mobile-friendly. Google also has some articles that help you create a mobile site.

I think that adding a small icon is a better idea than using the label "mobile-friendly" next to search results. It uses less space and it's easier to find mobile-optimized results.

18 Nov 2014 10:13pm GMT

Google's Coin Flipper and Dice Roller

Google tries to add more and more quick answers and interactive widgets to Google Search and its mobile apps. They're useful on the desktop, but they're even more useful on a smartphone or smartwatch. Now you can ask Google to "flip a coin", "roll a die" or "roll dice" by typing these queries or using voice input. From what I noticed, it's likely that this only works in the US.

Google shows a realistic animation when searching for "flip a coin" and then it shows the result: "heads" or "tail".



Google's desktop site no longer uses animations when searching for "roll a die" or "roll dice" (singular die or dice, plural dice).


This also works when using a mobile device.


These images are from Google's Google+ posts, but they're only promotional images. You won't see these animations.


18 Nov 2014 11:52am GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Seven traffic tips to get you to the Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving means gearing up for a turkey feast, Thanksgiving Day parades, local Turkey Trots and annual football showdowns. It also means braving some of the worst holiday traffic conditions of the year.

You've got enough on your plate this Thanksgiving without having to worry about traffic, too. So, Google Maps looked at Thanksgiving traffic conditions over the last two years for 21 cities across the U.S.1 to find the most useful information to make your holiday trip a little easier.

Whether you're traveling near or far, Google Maps' traffic tips will help you navigate the roads like a pro, so you'll be feasting on Turkey Day delights with friends and family in no time. Here are seven tips in pictures to guide you through the holiday:

1. Avoid traveling on Wednesday:


2. But if you must leave on Wednesday:


3. Good news for local travelers-Thanksgiving Day traffic is a breeze:


4. Travel back home on Sunday, not Saturday:


5. Expect to spend more time in traffic than average if you live in these three cities: Philadelphia, Austin and Washington, D.C. saw the three biggest increases in traffic during Thanksgiving week.


6. Get these three items ahead of time: Last-minute runs to the corner store can be unavoidable as you prep for the big day, but not all last minute trips are created equal.


7. Leave extra time for Christmas shopping:

Your biggest worry this Thanksgiving should be whether to go for the cranberry sauce or gravy. And with these traffic tips in hand, plus real-time traffic info provided by Google Maps on Android or iOS, you'll be spending less time in traffic and more time with the people you care about this Thanksgiving. Now that's something to be thankful for!

Posted by Aaron Nelson, Google Maps Product Manager



1 Google Maps looked at 21 cities across the U.S. from the Monday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after Thanksgiving for both 2012 & 2013: Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, D.C.

18 Nov 2014 11:00am GMT

17 Nov 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Updates Recent Activity Section

Google updated the Recent Activity card from the account settings page. There's a new interface, the information is grouped by devices and the main page is now called "devices & activity".

Google now shows a simplified list with all the devices you've used to sign in to your Google account. Next to the device's name, you'll also see your location.


Click a device to find more information: a list of browsers, the device model, the account access type and more. If there's no Google Account activity in the past 28 days, Google suggests to remove its account access "if you're not currently using this device or you've reset it".


It's interesting to note that Google no longer displays useful information like IP addresses and browser versions. Here's the old interface:


You can find additional information in the new "notifications & alerts" page. "You can see security-related activity from the past 28 days. For example, it will show if you changed your password or added a phone number to your account," informs Google.


{ via Florian Kiersch. }

17 Nov 2014 11:47pm GMT

Google Keep Adds Note Sharing

Google Keep has a new interface powered by Material Design. Google also added some new features: sharing notes, real-time collaboration and search filters.



Just like in the old Google Notebook, you can share notes with other people and allow them to read your notes and edit them. Notes update automatically when other people edit them and there's no way to revert the changes. You can't share a note in read-only mode.


"Searching for your notes is simpler now too. You can filter notes by color and other attributes such as whether they're shared, have a reminder, are lists, or have an image or audio," explains Google.


Google started to roll out the new version of the Google Keep app for Android, but the new features are also available in the desktop web app and the Chrome app.

17 Nov 2014 10:26pm GMT

14 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends November 7-13

Taylor, Kim, Kobe-this trio of familiar faces was all over search this week.

Oh my God, look at that face
She may not have broken the Internet, but Kim Kardashian certainly got our collective attention this week with her saucy Paper magazine cover shoot showing off her famous derriere. Millions of searches, memes and (unsuccessful) imitators were not far, um, behind. Even Kim, however, had some company in the trending ranks from Taylor Swift, who has come close to breaking the Internet a few times herself. This week, Swift released a new video (and app) for her song "Blank Space," putting a new spin on the "boy-crazy" meme and garnering more than 25 million YouTube views-that's more than 10 times as many as last week's viral video sensation "Too Many Cooks."

Sky high
Ten years after leaving Earth, on Wednesday the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission achieved history. It successfully landed its Philae probe on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and began sending pictures of the surface back to scientists. People turned to search to learn more, including "what is next for the probe?" It's a good question, since the probe bounced twice before settling into a position about 1km off its target, and may not be able to get enough battery life from its solar panels to continue operating as intended.


Our doodle celebrated the Philae landing on Wednesday


And all eyes were on the New York skyline this week-or at least on 1 World Trade Center, where a pair of window washers were trapped 69 stories high on the side of the building for over an hour on Wednesday before being rescued. The 1,776-foot tall skyscraper had just opened for business last week, more than a decade after the September 11 attacks.

Numbers game
Kobe Bryant set a new record on Tuesday night, but he might wish he hadn't. The shooting guard missed his 13,418th career field goal in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, earning him the dubious honor of the most missed field goals in the NBA. Of course, Bryant also has the fourth-most points in league history-and five championship rings. So, he's probably doing OK.

Tip of the week
For those times you've gotten an email about something (say, "dinner with Shari" or "brunch with Aaron") but forgotten to follow up, Google can help. Keep an eye on your Google app, which can now catch buried plans in your Gmail, prompt you to add them to your calendar, and remind you to stay in touch.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [two eagles flying together/being friends] and [birdman tracking shot]

14 Nov 2014 11:28pm GMT

11 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

The doors are open for veterans at Google

My father was a Tuskegee Airman, one of the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. military. He got his wings in 1944 and stayed in the Army for 30 years. When I think of him-and all the other veterans I grew up knowing-I'm reminded of the unique characteristics they shared: their innate courage, sense of purpose, and their ability to lead under pressure. Most remarkable to me, though, is their belief in the power of sacrificing and fighting for something bigger than yourself.

For everyone who has served our country, I join 1,000+ members of the Google Veterans Network in celebrating Veterans Day today. And I am incredibly proud of what Google has done to honor veterans, including two initiatives new this year.

Veterans make great Googlers
We hire leaders, team builders and problem solvers and many veterans are already doing amazing things at the company. But we also know that not all veterans have the same skills and interests; there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution and it can be hard to understand how you might fit into a corporate environment. So we've created a new Veterans Careers website to help servicemembers and veterans find the right role to apply for at Google. The site breaks down some of the ways our own veterans are succeeding in both technical and general roles. In their own words, they explain how their skills translated and how they are continuing to serve through their work at Google.

And for those who have other career goals in mind, we've included a few resources-like mentoring programs and virtual classes-to help veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.

Sharing veterans' stories
In addition to making Google a great place to work for veterans, we want to use our technology to build greater awareness and understanding of their achievements and sacrifices. Last Friday, the 9/11 Memorial opened a new exhibit that explores the immediate and heroic actions of U.S. servicemembers, alongside those of the emergency workers who responded on and after September 11, 2001. "The Call to Serve," an interactive installation powered by Google Tour Builder, follows the stories of nine veterans and military personnel to honor their service and that of all who followed in their footsteps. You can visit the exhibit in person at the 9/11 Museum during Veterans Week or online at 911memorial.org/calltoserve.

This effort also builds on other historical preservation projects we announced earlier this year, including bringing Arlington National Cemetery, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and The Eternal Flame, to Street View; and commemorating the 70th anniversary of the landings at Normandy in partnership with museums and archives in the U.S., U.K. and France.

We're proud to pay tribute to veterans' service and and to support them in their careers. Veterans have unique skills and experience, and arrive with a devotion to teamwork that goes a long way around here. They're among our greatest assets, both as a company and as a nation. And after all they've given us, we need to give them every opportunity to succeed.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer; Founding Executive Sponsor, Google Veterans Network

11 Nov 2014 2:00pm GMT

10 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

With Chromebooks, students find new ways to learn

Cross-posted on the Google for Education blog

Students and schools have done some amazing things with Chromebooks since we first launched in 2011. At the Urban Promise Academy in Oakland, Calif., students are using the Scratch program to create their own video games on Chromebooks. In Chesterfield County, Virginia, students get access to feedback and support from teachers after school hours using their Chromebooks. And in Fairfield County, South Carolina, schools saw double-digit gains on their state performance tests after they started to offer Chromebooks, Google Apps for Education and other technologies to their students, who often don't have Internet access at home.

A student at Urban Promise Academy uses a Chromebook to design video games


Schools tell us that Chromebooks fill three big needs: they're easy for students and teachers to use, they're easy to share, and they're easy to manage. That's critical for schools that often want to give their students the best technology, but don't have a large IT department to support it. And it's part of what has made Chromebooks such a hit in schools. In fact, according to IDC's latest report on tablets and laptops in K-12 education, Chromebooks are the best-selling device in the U.S. this year. And they're continuing to grow in popularity-in districts like Montgomery County, MD (more than 50,000 devices), Charlotte-Mecklenberg, NC (32,000 devices) and Cherry Creek, CO (26,000 devices), who have all begun using Chromebooks in 2014.

Beyond the U.S., countries are looking at how they can use technology in the classroom on a large scale-like in Malaysia, where the entire national school system is using Chromebooks. This week, we're hosting the Global Education Symposium, a gathering of education ministers from 18 countries working to implement technology that will help them meet their country's educational agenda. We'll hear from education leaders who are exploring new educational models, and look at how innovative local schools are using technology to help teachers and students excel.

It's been thrilling to see how Chromebooks-alongside Android tablets, Google Play for Education, Classroom and Google Apps for Education, which is now used by 40 million students and teachers around the world-can help students meet their learning goals. We can't wait to see what's ahead as more students around the world gain access to new learning opportunities through technology.

Posted by Cyrus Mistry, Lead Product Manager, Chromebooks for Education

10 Nov 2014 5:35pm GMT

Doubling down on Ebola donations

Today, Google is launching a public giving campaign to fight Ebola. For every dollar you give, Google will donate two dollars. In addition, we're donating $10 million right away to support nonprofits such as InSTEDD, International Rescue Committee, Medecins Sans Frontieres, NetHope, Partners in Health, Save the Children and U.S. Fund for UNICEF. These organizations are doing remarkable work in very difficult circumstances to help contain this outbreak, and we hope our contribution will help them have an even greater impact.

Separately, our family foundation will also be giving $15 million. Our hearts go out to everyone whose lives have been touched by this tragedy.

Posted by Larry Page, CEO

10 Nov 2014 2:36pm GMT

09 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

25 years ago today ... The fall of the Berlin Wall

I was seven years old when thousands of East German signature cars arrived in my hometown of Hamburg and filled the air with odd-smelling blue smoke. I saw strangers hugging each other, tears in their eyes, their voices tired from singing. I was too young to understand it all, but I had a very strong sense that life was different now--and that different was better.

A quarter-century later, it is our obligation to tell this story to all those who couldn't be there, who could not feel the spark of the peaceful revolution and, more importantly, who are fortunate enough not to know the feeling of an incarcerated, divided existence, trapped behind concrete walls. It is a story that demands to be told today, and for generations to come.



I'm excited to have been part of making this doodle commemorating such a pivotal moment in history - to learn more about the making-of, check out the doodle team's post here. We should all take the time to celebrate 25 years of unity.

Posted by Nils Frahm, composer

09 Nov 2014 7:47am GMT

07 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends October 31 - November 6

"Who won Pennsylvania?" "Who's that guy?" "He's getting married?" These are just a few of the questions that wracked people's brains on search this week. Read on to find out what everybody wanted to know.

The call of duty
As Americans went to the polls this past Tuesday, the Internet was abuzz with politics-left and right. Searchers turned to the web for the election night play-by-play, trying to get the latest figures on who won hotly contested states like Florida and Colorado. The results? A nearly full sweep by Republicans as they won control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House.

Even though Americans remain politically divided, they can still rally together to support our troops. As Veteran's Day approaches, peopled searched for ways they could celebrate the holiday and show support for those who served in the armed forces. (Hint: our homepage loves soldiers too!)

I'm a little bit country
The Country Music Awards had everyone talking this week. Nashville power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert took home five awards between them, and Lambert scored her first trophy for "Single of the Year" for her song "Automatic." And first-time winner Luke Bryan landed the night's top honor for "Entertainer of the Year"-not a bad way to start.

YOOOOOOOOOO
One night, a boy named Alex went to sleep. The next morning he woke up famous...and we're talking screaming-tween-girls, One Direction-famous. Was this a dream come true or a scene from a bizarre Kafka novel? Well, with more than a million tweets, #AlexfromTarget has this photo and the Internet to thank for his newly acquired stardom. As the story goes, an admirer watched Alex bag her groceries, fell under the spell of his boyish good looks and just had to share a photo with her 14,000 followers. The photo spread like a wildfire and next thing you know our red- and khaki-clad Alex is trading jokes with Ellen Degeneres on her show. We're eagerly awaiting Alex's entrance to the teeny bopper hall of fame.

And the fangirl news just keeps coming. People this week went bananas as actor and heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch announced his engagement to little-known theater director Sophie Hunter. Searchers were asking questions like "Who is this girl?" and "Why not me?" Sorry, friends, but this mystery has been solved.

This one's for the bold
It was a week for the bold and the brave as the Internet reacted to inspiring news stories. Brittany Maynard, a young woman diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, ended her life on November 1. After doctors told her she only had six months to live, Maynard and her family moved to Oregon in order to have access to the state's Death with Dignity Act. Her decision garnered national media attention and stirred the debate over the "right to die."

And American acrobat and tight-rope specialist Nik Wallenda made headlines as he performed a high-wire walk across the Chicago skyline. Wallenda walked between three skyscrapers without a harness or safety net and conducted one of the walks blindfolded-and it was all broadcast live. His stunt left viewers in shock and minted Wallenda two new world records.

Tip of the week
Feeling a bit homesick? Whenever you're in need for a little motherly love, just tell the Google app to "Call Mom" (you set who that is). Except for mom's home cooking, it's almost like you're there.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [where is the nearest target] and [rock the vote].

07 Nov 2014 10:06pm GMT

03 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Get ready for Election Day with Google

Tomorrow is Election Day in the U.S.-are you ready to vote?

In the weeks leading up to Election Day, more and more voters turn to Google to get the information they need in order to have a say on the issues they care about. And in the days before Election Day 2012, we saw a huge spike in search traffic around terms related to voting and how to vote. To make it easier for citizens to access information to make a well-informed decision and cast their ballots on Election Day, we've built a number of tools to help. From Governor and Senate to City Council and local referenda, and from what materials you need to bring to vote to making sure you know who is on your ballot, Google has you covered.

Make sure you know how and where to vote-and who's on your ballot!
For the first time ever, simple searches for [how do i vote], [where to vote], [what identification do i need to vote] and [who is on my ballot] will give you all the information you need-tailored by state-to find your polling location, confirm what identification you need to bring, and see who and what is going to be on your ballot on November 4. If you use Google Now, you can also get reminders on where to vote on Election Day.

We also make this important data available for developers, nonprofits, and others to use. From Rock the Vote to League of Women Voters, organizations of all shapes and sizes are using the Google Civic Information API to create civic engagement tools for everyone. We've also partnered with The Pew Charitable Trusts and The Internet Association to launch Get to the Polls, a get out the vote campaign with Amazon Web Services, AOL, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Lyft, Meetup, reddit, SurveyMonkey, Tumblr, and Twitter to make sure registered voters in the United States have the information they need to vote on November 4.

Keep your fingers on the political pulse-and find out who won
People turn to search to find last-minute information not only about where to vote, but also about the candidates. To find out what your fellow voters are interested in, visit Google.com/+GooglePolitics to see data from Google Trends on what Americans are searching in the final hours of the election.

And after the polls close tomorrow, you can track all the real-time election results by searching [election results]. If you use Google Now, you'll get updates on your new representatives straight from the app. Or tune in to the latest live news coverage from a wide range of news organizations at YouTube.com/Elections. While you're there, check out this special video from some of YouTube's top creators on the importance of heading to the polls.

Be informed, be prepared, and be ready to vote tomorrow!

Posted by Kate Sokolov, Program Manager, Google Politics & Elections

03 Nov 2014 9:38pm GMT

31 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends October 23-30

Grab some candy corn and a caramel apple and settle in for a look back at another week in search trends:

Time for trick or treating
With today's Halloween holiday, people are turning to the web to look for
last-minute costumes and pumpkin-carving tips. Top costume searches include Elsa from Frozen, Anna from Frozen, Olaf from Frozen (people can't just let it go, can they?) and Maleficent. Whether you're trick-or-treating or not, get the most out of the twilight hours tonight-Daylight Saving Time comes to an end on Sunday, which means it will be getting darker earlier. At least you get some extra sleep out of the deal.

Sports endings and beginnings
The World Series came to a thrilling conclusion on Wednesday night with Game 7 in Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium, as the San Francisco Giants took home their third victory in just five (even) years. The star of the night-and the series-was undoubtedly Madison Bumgarner, the Giants' 25-year-old ace starting pitcher who came into the game in relief in the fifth inning and more than earned both the save and his MVP trophy, capping off a postseason performance for the history books. He was the top topic in search Wednesday, with more than 1 million searches. Fellow teammates Buster Posey and "Panda" Pablo Sandoval were also on the list.

As baseball fans put their caps and gloves in storage and look longingly at the calendar for March (pitchers and catchers report in 114 days!), fans of the NBA are just getting going. Basketball season started this week and the web was full of searches for the Cleveland Cavaliers (who are welcoming hometown hero Lebron James back to the fold), Miami Heat (the team LeBron left behind) and Chicago Bulls.

Trouble in the skies
There was a spike in searches around NASA when an unmanned rocket erupted into flames seconds after liftoff on Tuesday. The spacecraft and its cargo were lost, and the launch pad suffered heavy damage. Also this week, there was a breakthrough in the mystery of Amelia Earhart's final flight. A piece of debris located on a tiny island has been identified as a piece of her lost plane.

Movie marvels
Marvel this week revealed a lineup of nine new movies to be released over the coming years, along with some casting details. Alongside familiar faces like Captain America and Iron Man, we'll soon see a film about the Black Panther, who will be played by Chadwick Boseman. Marvel also revealed that Sherlock star (and Internet fave) Benedict Cumberbatch will play Doctor Strange in the 2016 movie.

Tip of the week
Don't get caught off-guard by the changing of the clocks. With the Google app, you can set a reminder to reset the clocks on your microwave, in your car and on your wall as soon as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end on Sunday. Just open the app and say "Ok Google, remind me to change the clocks on Sunday." Now relax and enjoy that extra hour of sleep!

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched for [madison affeldt save] and [katniss everdeen costume]

31 Oct 2014 7:30pm GMT

24 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends October 17-23

So what's the word on the (internet) street these days? Search trends has you covered with the latest news that had everyone talking this past week.

The hard goodbye
This week, searchers paid their respects to legendary clothing designer Oscar de La Renta, who he passed away on Monday at the age of 82. Once called "The Sultan of Suave," De la Renta was known for evening gowns that regularly graced the red carpets of Hollywood-and the closets of the White House. From Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, de la Renta dressed every First Lady since the 1960s.

Speaking of Washington bigwigs, we also said goodbye to Ben Bradlee, storied editor of The Washington Post. Bradlee is remembered for his courageous journalism; during his tenure as editor of the Post, the outlet published the "Pentagon Papers" and reported on the Watergate Scandal. Always chasing a good story, Bradlee coined the term "mego" ("my eyes glaze over") for any reporting that bored him-unknowingly foreshadowing Internet-speak.

Is that you Betty Sue?
Back from a long career hiatus, Renee Zellweger stepped back into the spotlight in L.A. and came out with a bang-or shall we say, a new look. People were shocked to see Zellweger… looking a bit different from what they remember. The star's reemergence caused a spike in searches for her hit movie Bridget Jones's Diary (that was her, right? ) But Zellweger is taking the stares and comments in stride, stating she's happy that she looks different because she's living a happier and more fulfilling life-no shame in your game, Renee-whatever makes you feel complete.

Gone in sixty seconds
If you blinked, you already missed this trend. Toys "R" Us decided to pull a line of Breaking Bad action figures after an online petition asking the store to stop selling the toys received more than 9,000 signatures. So what was all the hoopla about? Susan Schrivjer, the Florida mom who started the petition, felt the dolls-which came with a plastic sack of cash and mock drugs-deviated from the company's family values. Toys "R" Us agreed and put the figures on an "indefinite sabbatical"-Walter White-style.

Crime and Punishment
It was a week of crime on the trends charts as people were searching for more information about a gunman who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a soldier of the Canadian army, at Ottawa's National War Memorial. This was the latest assault on a member of the Canadian armed forces in recent times and has stirred debate about extremism in the West.

...As the Black Eyed Peas would say
With the World Series underway, people were ready to scream and shout for their favorite team. Searches for the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals hit a high as the two teams began their battle for The Commissioner's Trophy. And that's not the only party going on these days. Diwali, a Hindu holiday also known as the "Festival of Lights," started this past Tuesday. The celebrations will continue until this Saturday-so you still have time to check out photos of the stunning light displays around the world.

Tip of the week
First there was Angry Birds, then there was Candy Crush, which was swiftly followed by Flappy Bird-it's kind of hard to stay on top of the latest video game trends. Now when you search for video games on Google, a panel will appear with all the info you need to stay in the know.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [designer for the stars] and [play ball].

24 Oct 2014 7:18pm GMT

22 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

An inbox that works for you

Today, we're introducing something new. It's called Inbox. Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it's not Gmail: it's a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.

Email started simply as a way to send digital notes around the office. But fast-forward 30 years and with just the phone in your pocket, you can use email to contact virtually anyone in the world…from your best friend to the owner of that bagel shop you discovered last week.

With this evolution comes new challenges: we get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks-especially when we're working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do-rather than helping us get those things done.

If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you. Here are some of the ways Inbox is at your service:



Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you'd like to see grouped together.

Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn't in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.

Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do's on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.

A sampling of Assists

And speaking of to-do's, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists-handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store's phone number and tell you if it's open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.

Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you're in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.

Get started with Inbox
Starting today, we're sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends. If Inbox can't arrive soon enough for you, you can email us at inbox@google.com to get an invitation as soon as more become available.

When you start using Inbox, you'll quickly see that it doesn't feel the same as Gmail-and that's the point. Gmail's still there for you, but Inbox is something new. It's a better way to get back to what matters, and we can't wait to share it with you.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps

Cross-posted from the Official Gmail Blog

22 Oct 2014 5:00pm GMT

20 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

DISTRICT VOICES: Inside Panem with our finest citizens

Meet District Voices, the latest campaign in our Art, Copy & Code project-where we explore new ways for brands to connect with consumers through experiences that people love, remember and share. District Voices was created in partnership with Lionsgate to promote the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. -Ed.

Greetings, Citizens of Panem!

The Capitol has joined forces with Google and YouTube to celebrate the proud achievements of our strong, lively districts. Premiering today on YouTube, a new miniseries called DISTRICT VOICES will take you behind the scenes to meet some of Panem's most creative-and loyal-citizens.

At 4 p.m. EDT/ 1 p.m. PDT every day this week, one of your favorite Citizen creators from YouTube will give you a never-before-seen tour of their districts. First, the Threadbanger textile experts of District 8 will show how utility meets beauty in this season's fashion-plus, you'll get a look at a new way to wear your Capitol pride. Tomorrow, District 2's Shane Fazen will provide a riveting demonstration of how we keep our noble peacekeepers in tip-top shape. On Wednesday, Derek Muller from District 5-Panem's center of power generation-will give you a peek at a revolutionary new way to generate electricity. Thursday The Grain District's own Feast of Fiction will show you how to bake one of beloved victor Peeta Mellark's most special treats. And finally, iJustine, District 6's liaison to the Capitol, will give you an exclusive glimpse at the majestic and powerful peacekeeper vehicles in action.

Tune in at CAPITOL TV. And remember-Love your labor. Take pride in your task. Our future is in your hands.

Posted by Vikram Tank of The Capitol, devoted to excellence, progress & unity

20 Oct 2014 4:05pm GMT

17 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends October 10-16

Diet secrets from Zach Galifianakis, and cord cutting from a cable company?! Here's a look at another topsy-turvy week in search.

A cast of characters
Search will always have its fair share of characters and this week was no different. First up, moviegoers learned who's next in line for Hollywood's superhero treatment when Ezra Miller, star of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, landed the title role in the 2018 film The Flash. And whispers are swirling in Tinseltown that Gal Gadot's already impressive resume-she's set to play the world's most famous Amazonian, Wonder Woman-will soon get another stellar addition, the lead female role in a remake of Ben-Hur.

But they weren't the only celebrities to get the Internet buzzing. Comedian and fan favorite Zach Galifianakis caused a stir on the trends charts after he revealed a much thinner version of himself on the red carpet of the New York Film Festival. When a reporter asked Galifianakis if he had made any lifestyle changes to lose the weight, he responded with a straight face, "No, I'm just... I'm dying." Clearly Galifianakis isn't sharing his weight loss secrets.

Out with the old, in with the new
HBO has seen the light! This week the premium television network announced that they will launch a new stand-alone service for fans of its TV shows. Soon, homes without a cable subscription can sign up for HBO Go and get their fill of Game of Thrones and other HBO shows with just an Internet connection-leading people to wonder if this is the beginning of the end for cable providers.

Consumers also had a lot of new mobile devices to choose from this week, starting with our own line of Nexus gadgets like the Nexus 6 running the latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop. Meanwhile, Apple announced an updated version of the iPad.

The show's just getting started
Is it awards show season already? It's not-but that's not stopping searchers from looking ahead. The Internet rejoiced when How I Met Your Mother and Gone Girl star Neil Patrick Harris said "Hosting the 2015 Academy Awards? Challenge accepted!" But with the Oscars red carpet still months away, searchers had their sights set on another celebrity bash: Paul Rudd's keg party… at his mom's house… in the suburbs of Kansas City. What else are you supposed to do when mom's out of town and the KC Royals just punched a ticket to the World Series after a nearly 30-year hiatus?

Tip of the week
'Tis the season for pumpkin spice beers? Next time you're in a new town and looking to grab a cold one just say "Ok Google, show me pubs near my hotel" and find your new favorite haunt.


Posted by, Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [tv a la carte] and [yo yo diets]

17 Oct 2014 8:33pm GMT

15 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Android: Be together. Not the same.

Good things happen when everybody's invited. A few years ago, we had the thought that phones (and stuff that hadn't even been invented yet like tablets and smart watches) would be way more interesting if everyone could build new things together. So we created Android as an open platform, and put it out there for everyone to imagine, invent, make, or buy whatever they wanted.

Since then, all kinds of people-from companies big and small to folks on Kickstarter, kids in schools, and crazy smart developers-have been innovating faster, together, more than we ever could alone. And the best part is that every time someone new joins in, things get more interesting, unexpected, and wonderful for all of us.


Getting everyone in on the party is the same spirit behind Android One-an effort recently launched in India (coming to other countries soon) to make great smartphones available to the billions of people around the world who aren't yet online. It's also why we're excited about Lollipop, our newest software release, which is designed to meet the diverse needs of the billion-plus people who already use Android today.

Joining the party: Android 5.0 Lollipop
As previewed at Google I/O, Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it's designed to be shared.

Lollipop is made for a world where moving throughout the day means interacting with a bunch of different screens-from phones and tablets to TVs. With more devices connecting together, your expectation is that things just work. With Lollipop, it's easier than ever to pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other ones.

As you switch from one screen to another, the experience should feel the same. So Lollipop has a consistent design across devices-an approach we call Material Design. Now content responds to your touch, or even your voice, in more intuitive ways, and transitions between tasks are more fluid.

Lollipop also gives you more control over your device. You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you're out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly from the lockscreen.

And because we're using our devices a lot more, there's a new battery saver feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes-helpful if you're far from a power outlet. We've enabled multiple user accounts and guest user mode for keeping your personal stuff private. And you can now secure your device with a PIN, password, pattern, or even by pairing your phone to a trusted device like your watch or car with Smart Lock. But this is just a small taste of Lollipop. Learn more on android.com.

Meet the Nexus family, now running Lollipop
Advances in computing are driven at the intersection of hardware and software. That's why we've always introduced Nexus devices alongside our platform releases. Rather than creating software in the abstract, we work with hardware partners to build Nexus devices to help push the boundaries of what's possible. Nexus devices also serve as a reference for the ecosystem as they develop on our newest release. And for Lollipop, we have a few new Nexus treats to share with you.

First, with Motorola, we developed the Nexus 6. This new phone has a contoured aluminum frame, a 6-inch Quad HD display and a 13 megapixel camera. The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work. It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.

Next, a new tablet built in partnership with HTC. Nexus 9, with brushed metal sides and 8.9-inch screen, is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on. And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.

Finally, we're releasing the first device running Android TV: Nexus Player, a collaboration with Asus, is a streaming media player for movies, music and videos. It's also a first-of-its-kind Android gaming device. With Nexus Player you can play Android games on your HDTV with a gamepad, then keep playing on your phone while you're on the road. Nexus Player is Google Cast Ready so you can cast your favorite entertainment from almost any Chromebook or Android or iOS phone or tablet to your TV.

Nexus 9 and Nexus Player will be available for pre-order on October 17. Nexus 9 will be in stores starting November 3. Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in late October and in stores in November-with options for an unlocked version through Play store, or a monthly contract or installment plan through carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Specific carrier rollout timing will vary. Check out google.com/nexus for more details on availability.

Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes on Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, will also be available on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

The party's just getting started
With this latest release of Android Lollipop, we're excited to continue working with our developer community, hardware partners, and all of you. More ideas and more creators is what gets us all to better ideas faster. And since everyone's invited to the party, we hope you'll join in the fun by creating and sharing an Android character that captures a little bit of who you are-one of a kind. Enjoy!


Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps

15 Oct 2014 4:04pm GMT

14 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

OMG! Mobile voice survey reveals teens love to talk

"Ok Google, do I need an umbrella today?" "How tall do you need to be to ride the Cyclone?" "How long does a goat live?" People of all ages are starting to talk to their devices more regularly-in fact, our data also show mobile voice searches more than doubled in the past year. But how, why and where do people use voice search? To find out, we commissioned a study, conducted by Northstar Research, surveying 1,400 Americans across all age groups. Here are the results:

We weren't surprised to find that teens-always ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology-talk to their phones more than the average adult. More than half of teens (13-18) use voice search daily-to them it's as natural as checking social media or taking selfies. Adults are also getting the hang of it, with 41 percent talking to their phones every day and 56 percent admitting it makes them "feel tech savvy."

Both teens and adults are asking their phones for directions and using it to help skip the hassle of typing in phone numbers. And it's pretty clear a lot of people are relying on voice search for multitasking: they talk to their phones while watching TV (38 percent) and 23 percent of adults use voice search while cooking. Apparently, it's becoming common kitchen etiquette to ask your mobile device: "Ok Google, how many ounces are in a gallon?"-all while making sure your screen stays crumb-free.

While people of all ages ask practical questions, it's teens who are exploring all angles, with nearly one-third talking to their phones to get help with homework. I see my kids asking my phone questions like: "Ok Google, who was the sixth president of the U.S.?" or "what's the tallest mountain in Europe?" On the bright side, teens are ditching voice search in the classroom: 74 percent of them think using voice search at school is unacceptable. In fact, most admit to using voice search "just for fun"-I know my daughter finds it pretty amusing to tell her phone: "Ok Google, play Olivia Holt's 'Fearless'" to start a dance party.

And teens don't seem to associate any stigma with using voice search while hanging out with friends, whereas only one-quarter of adults speak to their phones when in the company of others. Teens don't mind talking to devices in private as well, with more than one in five admitting to using voice search while in the bathroom! Maybe they're merely setting reminders like "Ok Google, remind mom to buy toilet paper next time we're at Safeway."

Though it's already helping a lot of people save time and simplify their days, there's also potential for voice search to do a lot more in the future. So we asked people what they wished voice search could one day deliver. And I have to say, I agree with the results! it would be great to rely on my voice to easily find my car keys or TV remote, both of which somehow always end up under the couch cushions.

And I'm not alone in wishing a simple voice command could save me from having to cook dinner. Forty-five percent of teens-and 36 percent of adults!-wish they could place a pizza delivery order using voice search on their mobile device. We're not quite there yet, but next time you don't feel like cooking, just pull out your phone, tap the Google app, and say: "Ok Google, call Round Table Pizza." You'll still have to place your order over the phone, but we're getting closer!

The small print: The study was commissioned by Google and executed by Northstar Research, a global consulting firm. It examined the smartphone voice search habits of 1,400 Americans, 13 years of age and older (400 ages 13-17 and 1,000 adults ages 18+). Voice search is part of the Google app (available on iOS and Android) and is the best way to access Google for helpful assistance throughout your day. Learn more about the Google app.

Posted by Scott Huffman, VP, Conversational Search

14 Oct 2014 9:16pm 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

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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