18 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Web History Removes Filters

Google Web History used to have a sidebar that allowed you to restrict search history to Google Images searches, Google Videos searches, Google AdWords clicks and also to results from Google Maps, Google Shopping, Google Finance, Google Travel, Google Books, Google Blog Search, Google News and Visual Search.

Unfortunately, the sidebar is no longer available. Activity stats are still placed at the top of the page, above the list of searches.


Here's a screenshot from 2012 that shows the old sidebar. This article has a more recent screenshot.


18 Apr 2015 9:30pm GMT

Export Google Search History

I've mentioned last year that Google tested a download feature for search history. It looks like this feature is available for everyone. Just go to Google Web History, click the gear button and select "Download".


"You can download all of your saved search history to see a list of the terms you've searched for. This gives you access to your data when and where you want," informs Google. "When you download your past searches, a copy of your history will be saved securely to the Takeout folder in Google Drive. You can download the files to your computer if you want a copy on your computer."

Google will send you an email when your archive is ready to download.


The download dialog is pretty unusual. It includes a warning message: "Please read this carefully, it's not the usual yada yada." It suggests users to enable 2-step verification and it informs them that the archive includes sensitive data. "If you have decided to take your data elsewhere, please research the data export policies of your destination. Otherwise, if you ever want to leave the service, you may have to leave your data behind."

Here's the email message you'll receive when "your Google search history archive is ready".


You'll get a ZIP archive with a lot of JSON files:

18 Apr 2015 8:45pm GMT

Chrome 42 Brings Better Integration With iOS 8

Chrome 42 for iOS brought a lot of new features. Some of them use the APIs introduced in iOS 8, while others make it easy to use Apple's bigger phones.

You can now reload a page, open a new tab or close a tab with one swipe. Go to the top of a page, pull down and you'll see three buttons: a reload button (pull straight down), a plus button for opening a new tab (pull down and left) and a button that closes the current tab (pull down and right).



Chrome for iOS 8 now has support for the Today View. You can open a new tab, use voice search or open copied links. For example, you can copy a link from Safari, open the Notification Center and tap "open copied link" to open the page in Chrome.


Chrome has its own app extension for the Today View, but it also supports third-party app extensions. For example, you can now use password managers like LastPass and 1Password right inside Chrome. Here are the instructions for LastPass. Basically, you need to tap the share button from Chrome's menu, enable LastPass in the extensions menu and then you can quickly log in using LastPass.


Another new feature allows you find answers more quickly. When you're searching from the address bar, Chrome now shows answers related to weather, stocks, unit conversions and more. Chrome also shows the latest URL copied to the clipboard.

18 Apr 2015 9:09am GMT

17 Apr 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends April 10-16

To kiss Madonna or not...that was the big question on search this week. Read on to find out more.

Best I ever had?
In the land of music festivals, Coachella is the biggest of them all. With thousands of fans and celebrities swarming to the California desert to party, there's bound to be a couple of surprises throughout the weekend's shenanigans. This year, rapper Drake got a little more than he expected when he brought Madonna on stage as a guest performer. The pop singer, never one to shy away from scandal, decided it was entirely appropriate to make out with Drake-on stage, in front of everyone and, apparently, without his consent. The shocking liplock swept the Internet off its feet (mainly because Drake seemed horrified by the experience). Nonetheless, searches for Madonna hit 500,000+ and Drake reached his highest peak in queries so far this year. But everything's still good between the two: Drake responded to the commotion on Instagram. "Don't misinterpret my shock!!" he wrote in a comment. "I got to make out with the queen Madonna and I feel 100 about that forever."

We're willing to bet that pro golfer Jordan Spieth is having the best week of his life after he won the Masters Tournament and became the competition's second youngest winner after Tiger Woods at the age of 21. Spieth took home $1.8 million in prize money and more than a half million searches-sounds like a good day on the greens to us.


I approve this message
Campaign season is back in full force this week. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed America's worst kept secret, announcing her presidential run with a YouTube video. Meanwhile, the list of contenders for the Republican nomination grows every week -Senator Marco Rubio threw his name into the hat ring as well. Queries for both nominees nearly crossed a million as people turned to the web to find more details about their political positions and track records.

Back in D.C., the latest distraction came in the form of a gyrocopter. In a bid to stir the debate about campaign finance reform, pilot Doug Hughes (illegally) landed a gyroplane on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The stunt is getting people talking about how much money candidates raise and spend during elections and boosting searches for gyrocopters to an all-time high.


Show me the money
Ever thought about working in the credit card business? Maybe you should reconsider your future plans. This week the CEO of Gravity payments, a credit card processing company, informed his employees that he was raising the minimum salary to $70,000-seriously! CEO Dan Price told the media he made the change as a way to confront income inequality. Buzz for the little-known company skyrocketed since the media caught wind of the announcement, with searches topping more than 100,000.

Tip of the week
Can't find your phone and starting to feel desperate? If you're computer is nearby you can now ask Google to find your Android phone from your desktop. Just say, "find my phone" on Voice Search and Google will ring the phone for you. Just make sure you've got the latest version of the Google app installed on your device!

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched this week for [dradonna] and [can i get a raise]




17 Apr 2015 9:11pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Breadcrumbs in Google Mobile Search

Google's mobile search site replaced URLs for search results with breadcrumbs that reflect the structure of the URL. "To help mobile searchers understand your website better when we show it in the mobile search results, today we're updating the algorithms that display URLs in the search results to better reflect the names of websites, using the real-world name of the site instead of the domain name, and the URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs-like format," informs Google.

For example, instead of URLs like www.google.com/about/company/history, you'll see something like this: Google > about > company > history.


Google added support for schema.org structured data for websites, so webmasters can include the site's name and the URL structure as breadcrumbs. You can include multiple site names, but they have to be unique and closely related to the domain name.

Breadcrumbs are already used in desktop SERPs. When they were released, you could click each link to navigate the site's hierarchy, but this feature is no longer available. Google also shows the site's name next to the URL and you can click it to find more information about the site.


Mobile SERPs will add a similar feature and the most important change is that Google will replace the domain name with the site's name. Regular users don't understand web addresses and that's why they use search engines to navigate to sites they visit often like Facebook or Amazon.

Mobile breadcrumbs will gradually roll out worldwide, but site names will only be displayed in the US. I assume that Google will use domain names outside the US, at least for now.

In my opinion, the war against URLs is a bad idea. More and more browser partially hide URLs, Google replaces search results URLs with breadcrumbs and even tests removing them. URLs may be meaningless for many people, but they're unique and they give some information about the site's identity. It's hard to come up with unique site names, especially when you consider that there are many companies, products and sites that have the same name.

17 Apr 2015 11:12am GMT

16 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Export Classic Custom Maps

The old My Maps is no longer available, even if you use the classic Google Maps interface. Your custom maps were upgraded to the new My Maps, which has more advanced features.

You can still download the original KML files for your custom maps until June 1st, just in case they weren't properly converted. To export a map, go to My Maps, click "open a map", pick the map you want to export and click "Download classic My Maps data" in the settings menu. If this feature is not available, then the map was created using the new My Maps. There's also an option to "export to KML", which downloads the current map.


"If you aren't happy with the way that your maps upgraded, you can download the original, pre-upgrade version of your maps as KML files from within the new My Maps. These files will be available only until June 1st, 2015. After June 1st, the pre-upgrade version of the KML files will be removed," informs Google.

16 Apr 2015 10:37pm GMT

Google Removes Search Filters for Visited Pages

One by one, Google's advanced search features disappear. Google's search tools menu used to include a lot of filters and now there are only 2 filters.

Google has quietly removed the features that allowed you to restrict results to visited pages and pages you haven't visited yet. "Visited pages" and "not yet visited" are no longer included in the search tools menu.

Here's a screenshot from 2013: 9 search tools.


A screenshot from 2014: 4 search tools.


And here's the same menu today: only 2 search tools left, at least for now.


I'm sure that Google will soon remove "reading level" and "verbatim", since they're probably used by a small percentage of Google users, just like all the other advanced search features. Google now focuses on answering questions and natural language understanding, so these features for power users are no longer important.

Here's a list of cool features removed by Google in the past 5 years:

* finding sites with images
* finding search results in foreign languages ("translated foreign pages")
* restricting results to forums, reviews, blogs
* finding recipes (the feature is still available here)
* removing shopping sites from the list of search results
* blocking search results
* quick view for PDF files and Office files
* timeline view for search results.

16 Apr 2015 9:40pm GMT

Find Your Android Phone Using Google Search

Android Device Manager is now available in Google Search for desktop. If you search for [find my phone] or [find my tablet] and you're logged in to your Google account, you can see a map that shows the most recent location of your Android phone or tablet. If you have more than one Android device, there's a dropdown that lets you select other phones and tablets connected to your account.


The location is not displayed instantly, so you may see the message: "locating your phone" for a few seconds. Obviously, your phone or tablet needs to have a working Internet connection, location needs to be enabled and the setting: "remotely locate this device" has to be enabled in Google Settings / Security.

If your Android device is nearby, you can also click "ring" to quickly find it. "Your phone will ring at full volume for 5 minutes. Press its power button to stop the ringing."

Click the map from Google Search to open Android Device Manager and use other features that let you lock your device and erase all your data.

{ via +Google }

16 Apr 2015 12:36pm GMT

Google Handwriting App for Android

Google has a new Android app that lets you input text using handwriting. "Google Handwriting Input allows you to handwrite text on your phone or tablet in 82 languages. It supports printed and cursive writing, with or without a stylus. Google Handwriting Input also supports hundreds of emojis, so you can express yourself in any Android app."

After you select your favorite languages from the settings, Google downloads the language packs. The English files are preloaded, so there's nothing to download. By the default, handwriting recognition works offline, but you can tap the cloud button to switch to the online recognition mode. Here's a help center page that offers more information about Google Handwriting Input.


Google Handwriting Input works like a regular Android keyboard, so you can use it any Android app that lets you input text. Google automatically converts your handwriting to a text and shows some other candidates (long press the centered candidate to see even more suggestions). If you try to write a word that's too long, you can type the first part of the word and then continue entering the rest of the word, as Google's app is smart enough to merge them. You can also write two lines or switch to the landscape mode.


"By building on large-scale language modeling, robust multi-language OCR, and incorporating large-scale neural-networks and approximate nearest neighbor search for character classification, Google Handwriting Input supports languages that can be challenging to type on a virtual keyboard. For example, keyboards for ideographic languages (such as Chinese) are often based on a particular dialect of the language, but if a user does not know that dialect, they may be hard to use," informs the Google Research blog.

Google's app claims to support even terrible handwriting, but that's not always the case. Sometimes a poorly written letter can make the app return incorrect results, especially for less common words.

Google Handwriting Input requires Android 4.0.3 or later and works for both phones and tablets. It integrates many features that were previously available in other specialized Google apps and services (Mobile Google Search, Google Translate for Android and iOS, Google Input Tools for Gmail, Google Docs and Google Translate, Gesture Search for Android, Input Methods for Chinese, Cantonese and Hindi).

16 Apr 2015 9:28am GMT

15 Apr 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

The Search for Harm

In the summer of 2010, Google announced plans to acquire the flight search provider, ITA. As we said at the time, while many people buy their airline tickets online, finding the right flight at the best price can be a real hassle. Today Google Flight Search has made that much easier. Search for "Flight CDG to SFO" and you get the different options right there on the results page. It's a great example of Google's increasing ability to answer queries directly, saving people a lot of time and effort-because as Larry Page said over a decade ago "the perfect search engine should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want."

At the time of the ITA acquisition, several online travel companies-Expedia, Kayak, and Travelocity--unsuccessfully lobbied regulators in the US and the European Union to block the deal, arguing that our ability to show flight options directly would siphon off their traffic and harm competition online. Four years later it's clear their allegations of harm turned out to be untrue. As the Washington Post recently pointed out (in an article headed "Google Flight Search, four years in: not the competition-killer critics feared") Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity account for 95% of the US online travel market today. It's a similar situation in Europe too, as this graph for Germany neatly shows:

Travel sites in Germany

Source: ComScore MMX and Google data (for Google), desktop traffic, unique visitors ('000s)

We've seen similar allegations of harm from competitors in other areas. And the European Commission today confirmed that it is sending Google a Statement of Objections (SO) regarding the display and ranking of shopping results.

While Google may be the most used search engine, people can now find and access information in numerous different ways-and allegations of harm, for consumers and competitors, have proved to be wide of the mark.

More choice than ever before
In fact, people have more choice than ever before.


Of course mobile is changing things as well. Today 7 out of every 8 minutes on mobile devices is spent within apps-in other words consumers are going to whichever websites or apps serve them best. And they face no friction or costs in switching between them. Yelp, for example, has told investors they get over 40% of their searches direct from their mobile apps.* So while in many ways it's flattering to be described as a gatekeeper, the facts don't actually bear that out.

Thriving competition online
Which brings me to the competition. Companies like Axel Springer, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Yelp (all vociferous complainants in this process) have alleged that Google's practice of including our specialized results (Flight Search, Maps, Local results, etc.) in search has significantly harmed their businesses. But their traffic, revenues and profits (as well as the pitch they make to investors) tell a very different story.


Indeed if you look at shopping-an area where we have seen a lot of complaints and where the European Commission has focused in its Statement of Objections-it's clear that (a) there's a ton of competition (including from Amazon and eBay, two of the biggest shopping sites in the world) and (b) Google's shopping results have not harmed the competition. Take a look at these graphs:

Shopping Sites in Germany (unique visitors, '000s)


Shopping Sites in France (unique visitors, '000s)


Shopping Sites in the UK (unique visitors, '000s)



Any economist would say that you typically do not see a ton of innovation, new entrants or investment in sectors where competition is stagnating-or dominated by one player. Yet that is exactly what's happening in our world. Zalando, the German shopping site, went public in 2014 in one of Europe's biggest-ever tech IPOs. Companies like Facebook, Pinterest and Amazon have been investing in their own search services and search engines like Quixey, DuckDuckGo and Qwant have attracted new funding. We're seeing innovation in voice search and the rise of search assistants-with even more to come.

It's why we respectfully but strongly disagree with the need to issue a Statement of Objections and look forward to making our case over the weeks ahead.

Posted by Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President, Google Search

*Update: An earlier version of this post quoted traffic figures for Bild and The Guardian, researched on a third-party site. The Guardian data were for the domain guardian.co.uk, which is no longer the main domain for the paper. We've removed these references and we're sorry for the error. Yelp has pointed out that they get 40% of their searches (not their traffic) direct from their mobile apps. They don't appear to disclose their traffic numbers. We're happy to correct the record.

15 Apr 2015 10:23am GMT

Android has helped create more choice and innovation on mobile than ever before

It's hard to believe, but smartphones barely existed ten years ago. People used feature phones, which had very basic functionality, and were a nightmare for developers. The only way to build apps was device by device and platform by platform-Google had a closet full of hundreds of phones that we tested one by one each time we wanted to launch new software.

Android was born from this frustration. We hoped that by offering a great, free open-source operating system, we could turbocharge innovation by allowing manufacturers and developers to focus on what they do best. At the time, most people thought this plan was nuts.

Fast forward to today. The pace of mobile innovation has never been greater. Smartphones are being adopted globally at an increasingly fast pace, with over hundreds of millions shipped each quarter, and the average smartphone price fell 23% between 2012 and 2014. It's now possible to purchase a powerful smartphone, without subsidies or contracts, for under $100. And the app ecosystem has exploded, giving consumers more choice than ever before.

Android has been a key player in spurring this competition and choice, lowering prices and increasing choice for everyone (there are over 18,000 different devices available today);


The European Commission has asked questions about our partner agreements. It's important to remember that these are voluntary-again, you can use Android without Google-but provide real benefits to Android users, developers and the broader ecosystem.

Anti-fragmentation agreements, for example, ensure apps work across all sorts of different Android devices. (After all, it would be pretty frustrating if an app you downloaded on one phone didn't also work on your eventual replacement phone.) And our app distribution agreements make sure that people get a great "out of the box" experience with useful apps right there on the home screen (how many of us could get through our day without maps or email?). This also helps manufacturers of Android devices compete with Apple, Microsoft and other mobile ecosystems that come preloaded with similar baseline apps. And remember that these distribution agreements are not exclusive, and Android manufacturers install their own apps and apps from other companies as well. And in comparison to Apple-the world's most profitable (mobile) phone company-there are far fewer Google apps pre-installed on Android phones than Apple apps on iOS devices.

We are thankful for Android's success and we understand that with success comes scrutiny. But it's not just Google that has benefited from Android's success. The Android model has let manufacturers compete on their unique innovations. Developers can reach huge audiences and build strong businesses. And consumers now have unprecedented choice at ever-lower prices. We look forward to discussing these issues in more detail with the European Commission over the months ahead.

Posted by Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering, Android

15 Apr 2015 10:22am GMT

Opening the doors to the world-famous Abbey Road Studios

On a leafy street in north London, next to a popular zebra crossing, is one of the world's most celebrated music landmarks: Abbey Road Studios.

Most people probably associate Abbey Road with the Beatles album of the same name. In fact, the studios have played a role in music history: if you can hum the theme to "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" or "Indiana Jones," or you've sung along to tracks by Pink Floyd or Oasis, or even if you own a pair of stereo headphones, then you've been impacted by the work of Abbey Road. Since opening in 1931, the studios have pushed the boundaries of music and sound, reinventing the recording process at every step. But until now, the famous crossing was as close as most of us could get to the studios.

Now, for the first time, the doors at Abbey Road are open to everyone. In partnership with Abbey Road Studios, we've created Inside Abbey Road, an experience that lets fans around the world step inside the studios and explore this renowned institution.

Accessible via desktop, tablet and phone, you can explore every nook and cranny of Abbey Road with more than 150 different 360-degree panoramic images. As you walk through the studios, you'll see YouTube videos and archival images from Abbey Road's history-right where they originally happened. You can also play with pioneering equipment in specially designed interactive gadgets, such as the J37 4-track recorder that was used to record the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Throughout the studios you'll find more than 30 stories, full of anecdotes and facts about the studios, like the story of Abbey Road engineer Alan Blumlein. Alan was annoyed after a trip to the movies, because the sound in early cinemas only came from one side of the screen. He went on to invent the concept of stereo audio-and sound and screen have matched ever since. Or, if you feel like being guided around the studios, there's an audio tour you can join in every studio. Narrated by producer Giles Martin, engineer and Head of Audio Products Mirek Stiles, and broadcaster Lauren Laverne, the audio tours let you see the studios through their eyes. Think of it as your own personal tour.

Inside Abbey Road is part of our broader effort to help people experience worldwide culture and places from wherever they are, whether it's visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Google Maps or getting up close to the brush strokes of Van Gogh in the Google Art Project. Now, we're taking you behind the doors of one of the most famous music studios in the world. Take a step Inside Abbey Road and see for yourself.

Posted by Tom Seymour, Creative Lead and audiophile, Google Creative Lab London

15 Apr 2015 5:00am GMT

11 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Tests New Video Player for Desktop

YouTube tests a new HTML5 video player with a transparent control bar that hides when you're not using it, just like mobile video players.



After a few seconds, controls disappear.


This screenshot shows both the experimental player (at the top) and the regular player (at the bottom). As you can see, the "watch later" button is not available in the new player. Another change is that the seek bar is thinner and it's enlarged when you mouse over the bar.


The experimental player has bigger and bolder icons. Toggles for autoplay and annotations look better, while dropdowns for speed and quality are replaced by mobile-inspired menus.


If you want to enable the experimental player, you need to change the cookie value for VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE to Q06SngRDTGA. If you use Chrome, install EditThisCookie, open youtube.com, click the extension's button and change the value for VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE. Make sure that you're using the English (US) interface.


{ Thanks, Angelo Giuffrida and Sterling Alvarez. }

11 Apr 2015 8:25pm GMT

10 Apr 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends April 3-9

If you've ever searched Google for the lyrics to Don McLean's "American Pie," this was your lucky week. The manuscript of the classic song sold for $1.2 million this week, prompting its writer to speak publicly for the first time ever about what it all meant-giving searchers some new answers. There was plenty else to search for this week, though, with drama taking place on the diamond, in the courtroom, and on TV screens.

Take me out to the ballgame
When one door closes, another opens. The same could be said of sporting seasons. March Madness came to a nail-biting close on Monday with a Duke victory over Wisconsin, and on Tuesday UConn took their third win in a row in the women's tournament. But while the Blue Devils and Huskies were celebrating, the focus shifted to Major League Baseball, which kicked off its new season on Sunday. As bats cracked across the country, people searched for their favorite teams, players, and game schedules.

If baseball's not for you, maybe the grass is greener on the golf course? This year's Masters Golf Tournament is now in full swing in Augusta, Ga. There were more than a million searches for the "tradition unlike any other" on Wednesday alone-and search interest in [hole in one] increased by more than 1,000 percent after six-time Masters champ Jack Nicklaus scored an ace at the tournament's par-3 contest.

Crime and punishment
A white police officer in South Carolina was charged with the murder of an unarmed 50-year old black man this week. The officer, Michael T. Slager, claimed that he fired at Walter Scott because he feared for his safety, but a bystander's video of the shooting showed Slager fire eight shots at Scott's back as the man ran away. The video reignited debates about the use of lethal force by police, particularly against black men-a topic that has been in the news for months following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York. Search interest in police brutality increased by 150 percent, and there were more than half a million searches for Walter Scott as people turned to the web to ask questions about how and why the event unfolded:

On Wednesday, a jury found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 charges for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. People turned to search to learn more about the trial and what's next for Tsarnaev, who could face the death penalty. Between the trial and the upcoming 2015 Boston Marathon, it's no surprise the term "Boston Strong" is trending on search as well.

Drama on demand
It was a good week for TV fans. On Sunday, "Mad Men" returned for its final season, bringing people to search for the show's history, cast and more. Then, on Tuesday, cord cutters rejoiced-and searched-when HBO introduced its long-awaited standalone streaming app HBO Now just in time for the fifth season of "Game of Thrones." Plus, trailers dropped for the upcoming seasons of both "True Detective" and "Orange is the New Black." And finally, when news broke that David Lynch won't be part of Showtime's "Twin Peaks" reboot, the cast protested with a video campaign that just happened to overlap with the 25th anniversary of the show's premiere. Whew. Now you just have to find time to watch all that.

Tip of the week
"Ok Google, when do the Nationals play?" Stay up to date with upcoming games and scores for all your favorite teams this baseball season with the Google app.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [brian krakow mad men] and [vhs covers modern movies]

10 Apr 2015 10:28pm GMT

08 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Shared With Me, Removed From Google Play Music

Google Play Music had a special playlist called "Shared with me", but it's no longer available. The playlist included all the songs shared with you by Google+ users.


Here's how Google described this feature: "Share a free play of the songs and albums you've purchased on Google Play with your friends on Google+. They can share their purchases with you too. Forget the name of that song shared with you last week? No problem, you can find all of the music shared with you in your 'Shared with me' auto playlist."

The auto playlists section from the sidebar only has 4 auto playlists: "queue", "thumbs up", "last added" and "free and purchased".


{ Thanks, Boris Larson. }

08 Apr 2015 12:34pm GMT

07 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

ARC Welder: Run Android Apps in Chrome

Google added support for Android apps in Chrome OS, but there are only a few Android apps in Chrome Web Store. Developers tested the apps and tweaked them to work well in Chrome OS, even if they were created for phones and tablets.

Now there's an app for Chrome and Chrome OS that lets you run Android apps. It's called ARC Welder (ARC = App Runtime for Chrome, Weld = to unite) and it's mostly for Android developers that want to test their apps before submitting them to Chrome Web Store. You can select any APK file, but not all of them work, especially if they use Google Play Services APIs.


I've tried various APK files from APKMirror.com. A few of them worked properly (IMDb, BBC News, Wikipedia), while others crashed (for example: Amazon and Yahoo Weather), required Google Play Services (like YouTube and other Google apps) or didn't work that well (like Aviary). ARC is still in beta, so there are still many bugs that need to be fixed.

07 Apr 2015 10:25am GMT

Google Now Card for Google+ Stories

Google Now shows a new card for Google+ Stories. Google automatically generates stories using the images you upload to Google+ Photos. "Your best photos are automatically chosen and arranged in a fun timeline to show the highlights of your trip or event," explains Google.


Until now, users only received Google+ notifications.

{ Thanks, Angelo Giuffrida. }

07 Apr 2015 9:45am GMT

03 Apr 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends March 27 - April 2

From political drama to the mobile resurrection of Pac-Man, here's what trended on search this week.

If you can't stand the heat...
This week, the hammer came down on the state of Indiana after Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would have allowed businesses to refuse service to individuals based on their sexual orientation. The law quickly drew a firestorm of criticism from the public- Apple CEO Tim Cook and the NCAA condemned it, while Walmart spoke out against similar legislation in Arkansas. Amidst outcry against the law, searches for [indiana law] passed 200,000+ and left state officials squirming. Eventually, the attention forced Pence to pass a "fix" to the bill that would prohibit businesses from using the law as a justification to deny people services based on race, disability, religion and sexual orientation.


Over in California, an ongoing four-year drought is pushing the state into a near-crisis. This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order calling for water supply agencies across the state to reduce their use by 25 percent-a first in California history. News of the mandate is drawing interest online with the term [california drought] spiking on the web after the announcement. People are also looking for alternative methods to get through the dry spell-searches for drought-resistant plants spiked three times in the past seven days.

The joke's on you
The Internet is normally a funny place, but on April Fools' day it takes the gags and laughs to a whole new level. Searches for the best pranks and jokes topped out at more than 200,000,
with Petco's dog selfie stick and Cottonelle's toilet paper for the left-handed earning top honors from the media. Even our own "PAC-Maps" got the web chomping-searches for the game soared to 2 million.

This week was no joke for comedian Trevor Noah, who was introduced as the new host of The Daily Show on Monday. The Twitterverse criticized the decision after discovering several old distasteful jokes the comedian had made on Twitter. Calling the tweets anti-semitic and sexist, some are already threatening to boycott the show. But not everyone is pulling out their pitchforks just yet: The network is standing by their choice while others are labeling the tweets a case of bad jokes. Either way, searches for the comedian hit an all-time high.

Mark your calendars
As Easter and Passover begin this weekend, people turned to the web to look for desserts, recipes and activities to celebrate the holidays. Searches for Easter-related topics like egg hunts, the Easter bunny and Easter brunch trended across the U.S. And people wore their lightest blue this past Thursday to mark Autism Awareness Day-which made it to the top 10 on the search charts that day.


Tip of the week
Struggling with your Easter egg decorations? Tell Google to, "Show me picture of Easter eggs," to find a little design inspiration.


Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched this week for [new host new problems] and [pranksters]

03 Apr 2015 9:58pm GMT

02 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Colorful Help Centers

Google's help centers have switched to Material Design. Help centers use different colors, much like the mobile apps. Gmail's help center uses a red background for navigation elements and it's annoying because it distracts you from the article.


Chrome's help center uses blue and it's interesting to notice that the sidebar stands out more than the article. There are many other services that have blue help centers: Search, Calendar, AdWords, AdSense, AdWords, Maps.



Here's the homepage for Google Drive's help center. The transition between Google's help centers is jarring because they look so different now. Colors should be used sparingly and shouldn't distract from the main content.


{ Thanks, Mohamed. }

02 Apr 2015 8:20pm GMT

01 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Contacts Preview and Gmail

If you switched to the new Google Contacts interface and select Contacts from the Gmail dropdown, you'll no longer see the old Google Contacts. Google will open the Contacts preview in a new tab and not inside Gmail, which doesn't use Material Design yet.


You can switch back to the old Contacts by clicking "Leave the Contacts preview" in the "More" menu. Another option is to use this permalink for the old Google Contacts: https://mail.google.com/mail/#contacts or this keyboard shortcut: press g then c in Gmail (assuming that keyboard shortcuts are enabled).

01 Apr 2015 3:33pm GMT

Using Google Photos in Google Drive for Desktop

As previously announced, Google Drive has a new section for Google Photos and the new feature is gradually rolled out. Here's how it looks in Google Drive for desktop.

You should see a message which informs you that the new feature is enabled: "New! Access your Google Photos from Drive".


There's a Google Photos section in the sidebar. Click the new menu items and Google suggests to add the folder to My Drive to make it easier to organize your photos.


Click "Create folder" and Google Drive shows a strange message: "You have given Google Keep access to your files in Google Drive. Creating the Google Photos folder in My Drive will give the app access to your photos and videos from Google Photos, as well (including photos and videos from your mobile device if you've turned on AutoBackup)."


Google adds a Google Photos folder to My Drive, which groups your photos by year and month. For some reason, Google Drive doesn't show your albums. You can preview photos, download them, delete them, rename them, get permalinks, share photos with other people, move them to other folders.


Photos and videos aren't imported instantly. Google Drive only shows a few recent photos and this message: "Stay tuned! Your older photos are coming soon."


01 Apr 2015 2:53pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Smartbox by Inbox: the mailbox of tomorrow, today

Mail is a wondrous thing. From the early days of the homing pigeon to the herculean efforts of the Pony Express, mail has connected us for generations. The advent of email brought the world even closer together. And yet, despite this leap forward, physical mail still just sits there. In a box. All day.

So today we're excited to introduce Smartbox-a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind:
Smartbox is currently in field trial-stuck in the ground, in a field-for Inbox by Gmail customers. If you're not yet using Inbox, simply email inbox@google.com anytime before April 2 to be invited, and to reserve your spot on the Smartbox waitlist.

Posted by Merrill Anovick, Project Manager

(Cross-posted from the Gmail Blog)

01 Apr 2015 1:00am GMT

31 Mar 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Spam

After reinventing Gmail with Google Inbox, Google is about to release a new invite-only service that will change the way you manage your mail. It's called Google Spam and it shows the most popular spam messages sent to Gmail users. That's right, Google Spam will go beyond your inbox and show what you've been missing all this time: the spam messages received by other people.


To protect user privacy, Google Spam will only show messages received by at least 10,000 Gmail users. You'll be able to star your favorite spam messages, label them, forward them to your friends and even find their true meaning.

Gmail will highlight important spam messages, so the next time you receive messages from "the office of the US Ambassador to Nigeria", "Mr. Lee Kun-hee of Samsung Group chief and the Hyundai chaebol" or from Gmail Security Maintenance, you'll know if they're featured in Google Spam.

31 Mar 2015 9:08pm GMT

27 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends March 20-26

Searches for March Madness are still surviving and advancing, but this week brought with it a host of other stories to spur your search questions. Here's a look at what people were searching for this week:

Germanwings Flight 9525
On Tuesday, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 people who were onboard. In the wake of the tragedy, people around the world have turned to search to learn more about the crash and subsequent investigation. Early searches included questions about Lufthansa, Germanwings' parent company, and about the type of plane that had crashed; search interest in the Airbus A320 family spiked 100x in the first four hours. But after investigations revealed that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to have deliberately locked himself in the cockpit and flown the plane into a mountain, the questions got more specific. People asked questions like "How do you access the plane's cockpit?" and worried: "Is it safe to fly after the Germanwings crash?" and "Is flying becoming more dangerous?"

Presidential politics
Election Day 2016 is more than a year-and-a-half away, but the presidential race is already underway. On Monday, Senator Ted Cruz announced his candidacy. The Texas Republican is known for his fervent opposition to the Affordable Care Act, in particular a 21-hour filibuster-style speech on the floor of the Senate in 2013 (at one point, he read aloud from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham). Searchers turned to the web to answer all kinds of questions about Cruz and his beliefs, sending searches for [cruz liberty], [cruz obamacare] and [cruz wiki] to spike more than a thousand percent in the last 30 days. The top questions, though, were around whether Cruz is eligible to become President because he was born in Canada. (The answer is yes, BTW.)

Pop culture mania
This week Zayn Malik confirmed he is leaving boy band One Direction, sending teens worldwide into a tailspin as they asked (and searched): "Why is Zayn leaving One Direction?" The British star said that he is leaving to "be a normal 22-year-old...out of the spotlight," which may be tough given there were more than a million searches for him on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the rest of the band will go on without him-in fact, search interest in One Direction tours spiked 5x in the U.S. the day of the announcement.

If freaking out about Zayn isn't your thing, maybe freaking out about "A" is? The mysterious villain of the ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars was revealed-sorta-on Tuesday night, leading to hundreds of thousands of searches for the show. We won't spoil it here, even though it was frankly a little hard to miss amidst the outcry. Let's just say, the truth is out there. ;)

Finally, it's barely spring but it's already time to start thinking about your summer festival agenda. The line-ups of both San Francisco's Outside Lands and Chicago's Lollapalooza music festivals were announced this week. The top festival searched in each state breaks down almost exclusively along geographic lines and leaves us wondering: Are Massachusetts residents big Elton John fans?

Taking charge of your health
In a New York Times op-ed, Angelina Jolie revealed that she had undergone surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent cancer. This was the second preventative surgery for Jolie (she wrote about her double mastectomy in 2013), who made this decision because she carries a mutation in her BRCA1 gene, putting her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. There were more than 100,000 searches for Angelina Jolie on Tuesday, and people turned to the web to ask related questions about women's health and cancer prevention.

Tip of the week
Who says National Puppy Day has to be just once a year? When you're need of a furry pick-me-up, just ask the Google app "Ok Google, show me pictures of puppies." Smiles are practically guaranteed.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [rural studio] and [izombie]

27 Mar 2015 10:48pm GMT

25 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

It's time to put America’s small businesses on the map

If you searched for "Dependable Care near Garland, TX" a few months ago, you would have seen a lot of search results-but not the one that mattered to Marieshia Hicks. Marieshia runs Dependable Care Health Service in Garland, and it was her business that was missing. But that all changed last month when she attended a workshop at the Garland Chamber of Commerce called Let's Put Garland on the Map.

The workshop, run by our Get Your Business Online team, showed her how to use Google My Business-a tool that allows business owners to control the info listed about their business on Google Search and Maps-to help more people find Dependable. Marieshia added an updated phone number, hours of operation, and a description to her business listing. Within a few months, she had more customers come through the door and referrals from doctors who could reach her. This one simple adjustment made a difference. In Marieshia's words: "It's huge."

Huge might be an understatement. Four out of five people use search engines to find local information, like business hours and addresses, and research shows that businesses with complete listings are twice as likely (PDF) to be considered reputable by customers. Consumers are 38 percent more likely to visit and 29 percent more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings. Yet only 37 percent of businesses (PDF) have claimed a local business listing on a search engine. That's a lot of missed opportunities for small businesses.

With this in mind, our Get Your Business Online team set out in 2011 to help businesses like Marieshia's get found online. We've gone to every state in the U.S. and worked with thousands of business owners to create free websites and update their Google Search and Maps listings. But there's a lot more work to do to help businesses take advantage of the vast opportunities yielded by the web. So today, we're introducing Let's Put Our Cities on the Map, a new program to help 30,000 cities get their local businesses online.

If we want to help every business in the U.S., we need to reach businesses where they are. So this tailor-made program provides each city with a custom website where local businesses can find helpful resources, including a new diagnostic tool that shows businesses how they appear on Search and Maps, a step-by-step guide for getting online with Google My Business, and a free website and domain name for one year with our partner, Startlogic.

We're also forming partnerships with local organizations-like chambers and small business development centers-and equipping them with free trainings and customized city materials to run workshops just like the one Marieshia attended in Garland. These local partners know the challenges for local businesses more than anyone-and they recognize the value of getting businesses online. After all, getting Dependable's information online not only means the world for Marieshia, it means even more for the city of Garland. Complete business info can help generate economic value up to $300,000 a year for a small city or up to $7 million for a large one (PDF). So when our local businesses are online, our local economies benefit.

If you have a favorite local business-a day care, a dentist, a dry cleaner-show your support by helping them get their info online and on the map. Visit your city's website at www.gybo.com to find out how you can get involved.

Let's put our cities on the map!

Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online

25 Mar 2015 11:00am GMT

20 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends March 13-19

Whether you're glued to the small screen or you've got your eyes on the sky this week, search is there to answer your questions. Here's a look at this week in search:

TV gold
FOX's "Empire" has built a kingdom of fans during its first season on the air. This week's finale not only brought the TV show its highest number of viewers-it also had its largest spike in search interest to date with 200,000+ searches Wednesday night. The two-hour finale delivered a king-sized serving of soap opera-esque surprises, ending in a cliffhanger that had fans eager for more ("When does 'Empire' season 2 air?" was trending question this week). And "Empire" is making waves in the real-life music industry too: its soundtrack debuted at number one on Billboard's Top 200 list this week. Here's a look at the top searched songs:

Moving from TV fiction to fact, news broke last Saturday that real estate scion Robert Durst had been arrested in connection to several unsolved murders. Durst was the subject of "The Jinx," the HBO documentary that aired its final episode Sunday night-in which Durst appears to confess to the crimes. Needless to say, though the police said the arrest was not connected to the show, the timing was great for HBO. Search interest in Robert Durst increased by 1,700 percent in the U.S.

Spring fever
March Madness tipped off this week, with fans across the nation rushing to fill out their brackets and come up with excuses to be out of the office. Ten of the top 20 searches yesterday were related to college basketball, and people are turning to search to ask important questions like "Who can beat Kentucky?" (They're undefeated this season.) And everyone wants to know who President Obama is rooting for: his is the most searched celebrity bracket so far.

If your bracket is already busted, you've got something else to be happy about: today marks the first day of spring, and the vernal equinox. Even though it's still cold or even snowy in some spots today, the arrival of spring has people very excited. There were more than 2 million searches for [vernal equinox] yesterday-even more than searches for [march madness live].

Still, the sun's position over the Equator isn't the only celestial event that's got people searching. On Friday, we'll see both a Supermoon as well as the only total solar eclipse of the year-the first since 2013. Searches for [solar eclipse glasses] are up more than 2,000 percent as people figure out how to catch a glimpse. And an intense solar storm brought the aurora borealis south on Tuesday night, making the Northern Lights visible as far south as Oregon and as far out as outer space. The green lights lit up search as well as the skies: search interest went up more than 1,250 percent this week!

Good eats
Who says it needs to be hot out to eat ice cream? Dairy Queen kicked off its 75th anniversary celebrations on Monday by treating everyone to a free cone, and more than 200,000 searches followed. And it turns out that when it comes to comfort food, ice cream was a better choice this week than the good ol' blue box. Kraft announced a recall of more than 6 million boxes its classic macaroni and cheese after metal was found in some boxes. There were more than 100,000+ searches for [kraft mac and cheese recall] as people tried to determine whether their pantries were affected.

Tip of the week
Keep up with the NCAA tournament with the Google app. Just say "Ok Google, show me the latest on March Madness" to get real-time scores, in-game and recap videos, and live streams for each game.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [heisler beer tv] and [little women reboot]

20 Mar 2015 10:56pm GMT

17 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Bringing street art to your daily life

For more than 20 years, New Yorkers and street art lovers worldwide made the pilgrimage to 5Pointz, a building in Long Island City called the "Graffiti Mecca" because of its brightly colored, ever-changing walls. Artists from around the world covered every inch of the 200,000-square foot exterior with more than 350 technicolor murals. But last summer, this building on Davis Street was whitewashed over by developers, then demolished.

Street art like that at 5Pointz transforms public spaces into open-air galleries, adding vibrancy to urban landscapes. But using the city as a canvas often means these artworks are here today, gone tomorrow. With the Google Art Project, we're working to preserve this ephemeral art form and make it available to fans around the world, anywhere and anytime.

Last June, we added street art from all over the globe-including 5Pointz-to the Google Art Project. Today, we're doubling the number of public artworks to more than 10,000 high-resolution images. Eighty-five art organizations from 34 countries are sharing pieces, ranging from Sweden's most famous street festival, to water tanks wrapped with art among New York city's rooftops, to the abandoned walls of Buenos Aires that are a source of inspiration for street artists from all over the world.

A water tank in New York City. Photo by TF Cornerstone


You don't need to be tied to your desktop to enjoy these fantastic collections. All these images are now available on a device near you with Chrome, Chromecast, Android Wear and your mobile devices. Turn your TV screen into a vibrant backdrop and add some color to your smartwatch with our new Street Art Watch Faces. On your phone or tablet, browse through our partners' new apps to take a tour of Melbourne's famous laneways or visit the multicolored murals in Delhi, Lima and Honolulu.

Wall by Brendan Monroe and Candybird. Photo by Pow! Wow! Hawaii


Street artists have also been using technology to play with their medium. Our collection includes animated "GIF-iti" images by artists like INSA and Cheko. The walls come to life with murals that are painted, filmed, and re-painted to create captivating moving images.

GIF-iti by Cheko


So much goes into making a piece of street art. Yet its transient nature puts it at risk of being scrubbed out and lost forever. The Google Art Project allows these works of art to transcend the walls, be transported to your screen and live on. Follow @googleart to discover more.

Posted by Lucy Schwartz, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute

17 Mar 2015 3:30pm GMT

Celebrating 30 years of .COM and the future of .DOMAINS

When you visited Google today, we're pretty sure you didn't type 173.194.113.18 into your browser. This string of numbers separated by periods-an IP address-isn't nearly as easy or memorable as typing google.com. Domain names ending in things like .COM, .NET and .EDU make browsing the web and telling people where to find you online easier. Since this month marks the 30-year anniversary of .COM and several other domain endings, we're taking a minute to celebrate these often-overlooked suffixes that have changed the way we use the web.

Though they were introduced in 1985, domain names didn't gain much awareness and use amongst the public until the World Wide Web became available to all during the '90s and it became clear they were an important part in unlocking its power. Using these online addresses, people began to spread messages, start businesses and access information that otherwise would have been nearly impossible to find. Popularity and demand for these names grew so much that people were soon willing to pay millions of dollars for the perfect one.

Today there are 270+ million registered domain names; in fact, about 17 million were added just last year. To create more naming options for people online, hundreds of new top-level domains are being added, and many, like .TODAY, .NINJA and .BIKE are already available. We wrote about this back in 2012, and since then we've launched three of our own: .HOW, .SOY and .みんな.

As .COM turns 30, we're looking back on the history of domain endings and all they've made possible. Today there are more choices than ever before for people to find the perfect name for their businesses, projects and ideas on the web. If you're interested in learning more about this history, or you'd like to register your own piece of the web, head over to Google Domains to claim your .DOMAINS from a .COM to a .GURU.

Here's to .COM's 30th, and all that's yet to come in how we name destinations on the Internet.

Posted by Ben Fried, CIO

17 Mar 2015 2:00pm GMT

13 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends March 6 - 12

This week, runways, verdicts and diapers were the the talk of the town on search. Read on to learn more.

Preachin' papas
"Dude, where's my baby changing table?" That's what actor Ashton Kutcher was wondering on social media after he observed a lack of diaper-changing facilities in men's restrooms. Kutcher offered to give a shout-out on his Facebook page to the the first business he could find with diaper-friendly bathrooms. While the actor's call to arms might not move the needle in terms of shifting societal perceptions on parenting, it did get the celebrity trending on the search charts.

Runways and sun tans
Peering into our search crystal ball, we think we see a little more breakdance fighting in our future. This past Tuesday, actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson surprised fans and fashionistas everywhere when they unexpectedly took to the catwalk during Valentino's display for Paris Fashion Week-all just to announce the sequel to their cult classic Zoolander. The news cracked the top 10 on trends for that day as searchers looked for videos of Stiller and Wilson strutting their stuff in full Zoolander and Hansel persona. One thing is clear: Blue steel is back in season.


You know who else is excited right now? College kids, thanks to a little annual tradition called spring break. Students are all packed up and ready to hit the sun-drenched beaches of Panama City and South Padre Island, and searches for last-minute destinations and travel suggestions are heating up.

Boiling over
Ferguson, Mo., is in the headlines again, and the reasons aren't getting any better. First, the city's police chief resigned following an investigation into his department that found evidence of racism. Then, two police officers were shot and injured during a demonstration at the Ferguson Police Department. Both officers are out of the hospital, but no arrests have been made, and protests are erupting in a city still traumatized by recent events-stirring people to get on the web to find the latest updates and causing sustained interest in the small city.

Imitation is the sincerest form of payment
Musicians Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were found guilty of plagiarism after a jury determined that the duo infringed on soul singer Marvin Gaye's track "Got to Give it Up" in 2013's summer jam "Blurred Lines." The artists were hit with a whopping $7.4 million fine and generated 200,000+ searches. Some are already deriding the decision as a vote against creative expression and a terrible precedent to set for the music industry. But the fight is far from over as both Thicke and Williams plan to appeal the verdict.


Tip of the week
This spring break, skip the overpriced frozen pina coladas and jello shots and make your own cocktails with help from Google. Just say, "Okay Google, how do I make a Snakebite?" and you'll be making tips in no time.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [there's a lot more to life than being good looking] and [spring breakers]

13 Mar 2015 8:19pm GMT

12 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Protecting people across the web with Google Safe Browsing

Online security is on everybody's minds these days, so we want to give you updates about various ways Google keeps you safe online. Today, on the web's birthday, we're highlighting recent improvements to Safe Browsing, technology that protects more than 1.1 billion people all over the world. -Ed.

As the web continues to evolve, it's important that user protections develop in lockstep so that people stay safe online. Our Safe Browsing technology may not be quite as old as the web-which celebrates its 26th birthday today-but ever since Safe Browsing launched nearly eight years ago, it's continually adapted to protect web users, everywhere.

Safe Browsing gives users-both on Google and across on the web-information they need to steer clear of danger. The dangerous sites detected by Safe Browsing generally fall into two categories: sites that attack users intentionally with either malware, phishing, or unwanted software that is deceptive or hard to uninstall, or sites that attack users unintentionally because they have been compromised, often without the site's owner realizing this has happened.

Once we detect these sites, Safe Browsing warns people about them in a variety of ways. You've probably come across a warning like this in Chrome, Firefox or Safari; it's powered by Safe Browsing:

Today, Safe Browsing shows people more than 5 million warnings per day for all sorts of malicious sites and unwanted software, and discovers more than 50,000 malware sites and more than 90,000 phishing sites every month. If you're interested, you can see information about the dangerous sites that are detected by this technology anytime in our Safe Browsing Transparency Report.

We also use Safe Browsing technology to warn website owners or operators about issues with their sites so they can quickly fix them. We provide basic site maintenance tips, as well as specific Safe Browsing notifications in Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Often site owners don't realize there are issues with their sites until they get these notifications.

Recent developments
Since its earliest days, Safe Browsing has been widely available, and free-for users, site owners, and other companies-to use and integrate into their own products. In the early days, we focused on detecting dangerous sites and then showing people warnings:

An early Safe Browsing notification, c. 2007. These would appear in the top right corner of people's web browsers when they visited a site that had been flagged by Safe Browsing as potentially dangerous.


But, just as attacks become more sophisticated, we've made sure our own technologies have kept up. Over the years, we've built Safe Browsing into other Google products to help protect people in more places:


As the web grows up, Safe Browsing technology will, too. We're looking forward to protecting the web, and its users, for many birthdays to come.

Posted by Panayiotis Mavrommatis, Safe Browsing Team

12 Mar 2015 4:00pm GMT

11 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Meet the updated Chromebook Pixel and the new Google Store

Two years ago, we introduced the first Chromebook Pixel. The idea was to bring together the best in hardware, software and design to inspire the next generation of Chromebooks. It's been exciting to see how the entire range of Chromebooks-from classroom-proof to high-end-has made a difference to people at school, at home, and at work. Today, we're introducing an updated and more powerful Pixel to fuel the imaginations of another wave of Chromebook enthusiasts. Plus, we've created a new, online Google Store where you can get the Pixel and other devices made with Google, all in one place.

One charger for all your stuff
These days, packing for a trip means remembering to bring all your different chargers-for your phone, laptop, tablet, watch, etc. We think you should be able to use just one charger for all your electronics. So for the new Pixel, we've joined forces with some of the biggest names in the industry to create a new standard for charging, called USB Type C. The Pixel is one of the first products to launch with this new standard, with more Chromebooks and Android devices following suit soon.

Not only does Type-C enable multi-device charging, but it also allows high-speed data and display over the same connector and cable. It's small enough to work with smartphones, powerful enough to charge computers, and conveniently symmetrical (no more guessing which side is up!). Speaking of symmetry, the new Pixel doesn't just have one Type C port-it has two, one on each side, so you can plug in wherever is convenient.

Thoughtful design
Like the original Pixel, the new Chromebook has a high-resolution touchscreen, a sleek aluminum body, and smooth glass trackpad. We've also made a few other enhancements, including a new wide-angle camera lens.

Of course, the Pixel is also great on the inside. It's got a powerful Intel® Core™ i5 with 8GB RAM and a 32GB SSD. If that's not enough for you, we're making an LS (yup, that stands for "Ludicrous Speed") version that's even faster. And even with the new charger, you probably won't be carrying it around much, since the new Pixel has 12 hours of battery life.* When you do need to top up, it's fast-you'll get up to two hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.*

Shop for the Pixel and more at the Google Store
We've been selling our devices on Google Play for years, but as we've added more products to the family, we thought it was time to make it easier for you to learn more about them. So today we're also launching the Google Store, the new home for the latest devices made with Google.

At store.google.com, you can shop Nexus phones and tablets, Chromecast and Chromebooks, learn more about newer technology like Android Wear, Nexus Player and Nest, and stock up on accessories like cases, keyboards and chargers. You'll see how the Google apps you already know-like Search, Maps and YouTube-work seamlessly with all these products. The Google Store is available on your phone, tablet, or laptop, and right now you'll get free shipping on everything** (consider it our way of saying hello).

Once you've found the right device at the Google Store, you can still head to Google Play to find apps, games, music, movies, TV shows and more. If you recently bought a device on Google Play, don't worry-your order info will automatically be transferred to the Google Store. See our Help Center for more information.

The Chromebook Pixel is available for purchase starting today in the U.S. on the new Google Store for $999 and $1299 for the LS version. Come check it out, and see what else is in store.

Posted by Andrew Bowers, Director of Consumer Hardware

*Battery life tested using Chromium standard PowerLoadTest at default brightness. The PowerLoadTest was created to emulate average user behavior and measure the resultant battery life. Charge time testing is measured by battery capacity increase with lid closed divided by average energy usage during PowerLoadtest. Battery life and charge time may vary depending on usage and other conditions.

**Free shipping applies to the lowest cost shipping option. Free shipping promotion may be modified or discontinued at any time.

11 Mar 2015 6:00pm GMT

08 Mar 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Connect. Create. Celebrate women in technology.

Ask Liz Liao what accomplishment she's most proud of, and she'll tell you it's not her master's degree in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, her numerous published articles, or even the autonomous industrial robot she helped develop as a senior software engineer at Seegrid. Nope-according to Liz, her greatest achievement is co-founding Girl Develop It Minneapolis, a chapter in the national non-profit Girl Develop It, which provides hands-on programs and a network of support to women interested in learning web and software development.

3D imaging from the industrial robot, designed and built by Liz and her team
Source: "Seegrid Vision Guided Vehicle: Pallet Truck"


Liz often remembers being the only woman engineer on her team, but it wasn't until she moved to a new city and spent more time working remotely that she began to feel isolated-and realized how important it was for her to have a community of like-minded people to connect with. She started volunteering with a few local organizations and started the local Girl Develop It chapter in 2014. In just seven months, her chapter has more than 500 members and Liz has found a network of people she can connect to.

There are many women like Liz who never find that sense of community and instead end up leaving tech permanently. Not only does that mean our industry is less diverse than it should be, but it also leads to less innovative products. That's why it's so important for Google to do our part in creating environments, programs and policies that help women in technology thrive. We've partnered with organizations like Girl Develop It, Women Who Code, Anita Borg Institute and the National Center for Women & Information Technology to create a more supportive environment for women in tech. And this International Women's Day, we're building on our efforts to empower women to become makers of technology. Here's a look at what we're up to:

Women Techmakers
Last year, Google started our Women Techmakers program to provide visibility, resources and a community for women in technology worldwide. This month we kicked off our second annual Women Techmakers Global Event Series, and we encourage you to attend an event to meet incredible women from around the world who are leading the technology industry. Create the future of wearables at a summit or from home with a brand new Android Wear Watch Face Codelab, and engage with the community using our hashtag #WTM15. For event highlights, photos and more check out Women Techmakers on Twitter and YouTube.

Share your wisdom with a #DearMe video letter
For many young girls, the path to finding themselves is filled with uncertainty. It's hard to figure out what you want to do or who you want to be when you're dealing with gossip, self-doubt and pressure from all sides. As part of our International Women's Day celebration, we're encouraging you to think back on the advice you wish you'd gotten when you were a young, and to share those words of wisdom with today's teenage girls. Submit a video letter on YouTube tagged with #DearMe telling your younger self what you wish someone had told you. We're looking forward to what you have to say.


A Doodle honoring women who transform the world
Finally, we couldn't let International Women's Day pass without a Doodle. So our homepage today celebrates the many ways women scientists, engineers, athletes, doctors, artists, explorers and more are changing the world.


Happy International Women's Day!

Posted by Pavni Diwanji, VP of Engineering

08 Mar 2015 5:00am 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