29 Jul 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

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

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

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

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

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



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

Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 logo


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

Supporters hold signs to cheer on athletes


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

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

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



Audio description available here

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

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director Google.org

29 Jul 2015 8:23pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Visual Translation Supports 20 New Languages

Google bought Word Lens last year and brought a very useful feature to Google Translate: real-time visual translation. Use a phone or a tablet running Android or iOS, point the camera at a sign or text in a foreign language and Google will translate the text almost instantly, while preserving all the other details. It's like using a magic camera that translates text and lets you read street signs, restaurant menus, user manuals, newspaper articles even if they're written in foreign languages.

Visual translation now supports 20 additional languages. "You can now translate to and from English and Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. You can also do one-way translations from English to Hindi and Thai." Back in January, the feature was launched with only 7 supported languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.



This feature requires to pick the right languages before tapping the camera button and one of the languages must be English. You'll probably be prompted to download a small language pack, since you can use Word Lens offline.

Google Research Blog has more information about Word Lens. After finding the text regions in the picture, Google recognizes the letters using a convolutional neural network. "Letters out in the real world are marred by reflections, dirt, smudges, and all kinds of weirdness. So we built our letter generator to create all kinds of fake 'dirt' to convincingly mimic the noisiness of the real world-fake reflections, fake smudges, fake weirdness all around." After recognizing the letters, Google translates the text taking into account that text recognition might include mistakes, then it "renders the translation on top of the original words in the same style as the original". Google actually erases the original text using the colors surrounding the text and draws the translation using the initial foreground color. It's quite clever.

Here's a funny demo:

29 Jul 2015 8:14pm GMT

feedOfficial Google Blog

See the world in your language with Google Translate

The Google Translate app already lets you instantly visually translate printed text in seven languages. Just open the app, click on the camera, and point it at the text you need to translate-a street sign, ingredient list, instruction manual, dials on a washing machine. You'll see the text transform live on your screen into the other language. No Internet connection or cell phone data needed.

Today, we're updating the Google Translate app again-expanding instant visual translation to 20 more languages (for a total of 27!), and making real-time voice translations a lot faster and smoother-so even more people can experience the world in their language.

Instantly translate printed text in 27 languages

We started out with seven languages-English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish-and today we're adding 20 more. You can now translate to and from English and Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. You can also do one-way translations from English to Hindi and Thai. (Or, try snapping a pic of the text you'd like translated-we have a total of 37 languages in camera mode.)

To try out the new languages, go to the Google Translate app, set "English" along with the language you'd like to translate, and click the camera button; you'll be prompted to download a small (~2 MB) language pack for each.

Ready to see all of these languages in action?


And how exactly did we get so many new languages running on a device with no data connection? It's all about convolutional neural networks (whew)-geek out on that over on our Research blog.

Have a natural, smoother conversation-even with a slower mobile network
In many emerging markets, slow mobile networks can make it challenging to access many online tools - so if you live in an area with unreliable mobile networks, our other update today is for you. In addition to instant visual translation, we've also improved our voice conversation mode (enabling real-time translation of conversations across 32 languages), so it's even faster and more natural on slow networks.

These updates are coming to both Android and iOS, rolling out over the next few days.

Translate Community helps us get better every day
On top of today's updates, we're also continuously working to improve the quality of the translations themselves and to add new languages. A year ago this week, we launched Translate Community, a place for multilingual people from anywhere in the world to provide and correct translations. Thanks to the millions of language lovers who have already pitched in-more than 100 million words so far!-we've been updating our translations for over 90 language pairs, and plan to update many more as our community grows.

We've still got lots of work to do: more than half of the content on the Internet is in English, but only around 20% of the world's population speaks English. Today's updates knock down a few more language barriers, helping you communicate better and get the information you need.

Posted by Barak Turovsky, Product Lead, Google Translate

29 Jul 2015 1:12pm GMT

28 Jul 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Popular Times Added to Google's Local Search Cards

Google has a new feature for local search cards. When you search for restaurants, stores, museums and other places, you can now see the busiest times of the day or week. The new "popular times" section shows when it's a good time to go to a certain place and when it's best to avoid it because it's too crowded.


"Now, you can avoid the wait and see the busiest times of the week at millions of places and businesses around the world directly from Google Search. For example, just search for "Blue Bottle Williamsburg", tap on the title and see how busy it gets throughout the day," informs Google.


For now, it seems that this feature is only available in the mobile interface. Google says that the data is based on historical visits, so I assume it uses Location History and other location services for mobile devices. Google Maps has a similar feature that shows typical traffic.

28 Jul 2015 11:01pm GMT

Google Photos Search Filters

Google+ Photos has a few search filters that are pretty useful. You can find them if you click the small arrow from the search box: Auto Backup, Hangouts, Google Drive, Posts, Auto Awesome, Videos and more. The nice thing is that most of them are also available in Google Photos.


Google Photos has a search page that shows a few filters: Creations (replaces Auto Awesome), Google Drive, Video, Recently Added. Here are some searches you can use to bring back the filters from Google+ Photos:

#AutoBackup - shows all the photos automatically backed up from your mobile devices and desktop computers

#Desktop - shows the photos automatically backed up from your desktop computers

#Posts - shows the photos added to your Google+ posts

#All - shows all your photos

#PhotosOfYou - photos you've been tagged in

#CAMERANAME - replace CAMERANAME with the your camera's model or brand to see all the photos taken with that camera. Some examples: #Nexus5, #Canon, #iPhone.

28 Jul 2015 10:33pm GMT

27 Jul 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google+ Profiles, No Longer Required

After so many years of promoting Google+ and integrating it with other services, Google realized that Google+ doesn't mean a lot for many Google users and it started dismantling Google+. Google Photos is now a standalone service and other Google+ features will follow suit.

In a blog post, Google announced that Google+ profiles will no longer be required and YouTube will be the first service that will make this change in the coming weeks. "A Google Account will be all you'll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google. Your underlying Google Account won't be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles. And for people who already created Google+ profiles but don't plan to use Google+ itself, we'll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles."

A lot of YouTube users complained when YouTube switched to a new commenting system which required Google+ profiles, but YouTube comments are much better today. Now YouTube comments will no longer appear on Google+ and Google+ posts that share a YouTube video will no longer be added as YouTube comments. "In the coming weeks, YouTube will no longer require a Google+ profile when you want to upload, comment, or create a channel," mentions the YouTube Blog.

Google reassures users that Google+ will continue to exist and will become "a place where people engage around their shared interests". It's a much smaller goal for a service that used to tie all the other Google services, add unified sharing and identity information. Google+ used to be more than a service, it was a layer that was supposed to make Google products work together.

Here's what Bradley Horowitz said back in 2011:

"Until now, every single Google property acted like a separate company. Due to the way we grew, through various acquisitions and the fierce independence of each division within Google, each product sort of veered off in its own direction. That was dizzying. But Google+ is Google itself. We're extending it across all that we do - search, ads, Chrome, Android, Maps, YouTube - so that each of those services contributes to our understanding of who you are."


Bradley Horowitz is now the Google VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing. That's "Streams, Photos, and Sharing" and not Google+. Ever since it was launched back in 2011, Google+ meant 2 things: the stream and the sharing platform. It looks like Google+ now focuses on the stream, which was less successful than the sharing platform.

It's not clear how Google+ will continue to exist if Google removes important features like photo sharing and starts to remove the integration with YouTube and other Google services. It just makes it easier for Google to discontinue Google+, now that fewer people will use it.

27 Jul 2015 7:21pm GMT

feedOfficial Google Blog

Everything in its right place

When we launched Google+, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life. While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we've needed to rethink. So over the next few months, we're going to be making some important changes. Here's more about what you can expect:

A more focused Google+ experience
Google+ is quickly becoming a place where people engage around their shared interests, with the content and people who inspire them. In line with that focus, we're continuing to add new features like Google+ Collections, where you can share and enjoy posts organized by the topics you care about. At the same time, we'll also move some features that aren't essential to an interest-based social experience out of Google+. For example, many elements of Google+ Photos have been moved into the new Google Photos app, and we're well underway putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps, where it really belongs. We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+.

Using Google without a Google+ profile
People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we've also heard that it doesn't make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.

So in the coming months, a Google Account will be all you'll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google. YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change, and you can learn more on their blog. As always, your underlying Google Account won't be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles. And for people who already created Google+ profiles but don't plan to use Google+ itself, we'll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles.

You'll see these changes roll out in stages over several months. While they won't happen overnight, they're right for Google's users-both the people who are on Google+ every single day, and the people who aren't.

Posted by Bradley Horowitz, VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing

27 Jul 2015 4:00pm GMT

Rising to the climate challenge

In less than five months, policymakers from around the world will gather in Paris to finalize a new global agreement on combating climate change. Already, many governments are putting forth ambitious emissions reduction goals. And companies are taking action, too, by reducing their own footprints and investing in clean energy.

Reaching a strong deal in Paris is an absolute and urgent necessity. The data is clear and the science is beyond dispute: a warming planet poses enormous threats to society.

Public health experts recently warned that climate change threatens to "undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health," through forces like extreme weather, drought, malnutrition, and disease. The U.S. government has asserted that climate change poses "immediate risks to U.S. national security," as increased natural disasters and humanitarian crises fuel instability and violence. And many studies have revealed that critical infrastructure, like electricity and water, is vulnerable to rising sea levels and intensifying storms.

Climate change is one of the most significant global challenges of our time. Rising to that challenge involves a complex mix of policy, technology, and international cooperation. This won't be easy, but Google is committed to doing its part.

Google has been carbon neutral since 2007. Our data centers, the physical infrastructure behind web services used by billions of people, now get 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of electricity, as compared to five years ago. We are also the biggest corporate purchaser of renewable power on the planet. Just today at the White House, we pledged to triple those purchases over the next decade. In addition, we're a major climate-minded investor, so far committing more than $2 billion to clean energy projects, from America's largest wind farm to Africa's largest solar power plant.

We're serious about environmental sustainability not because it's trendy, but because it's core to our values and also makes good business sense. After all, the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use in the first place. And in many places clean power is cost-competitive with conventional power.

We're making progress, but averting catastrophic climate change will require significant investment and bold innovations. Google and our private-sector peers are ready to lead. But something fundamental is required: clear policy. The global business community needs certainty to bring climate solutions to scale. We need the world's political leaders to confirm that investments in clean energy are sound, and that the laws and policies meant to enable such investment will be designed for the long term and rooted in what science tells us needs to be done.

It's encouraging to see the world's major economies set ambitious climate targets, but it's time to get a strong international climate agreement on the books. This December in Paris, it's imperative that policymakers reach a deal that moves us toward a zero-carbon economy. That's the kind of future that we're committed to helping build, and that future generations deserve.

Posted by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman

27 Jul 2015 3:23pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Gmail's Mobile Site Promotes Inbox App

I'm not sure if this is new, but I've noticed that Google now promotes the Inbox app when opening Gmail in the mobile browser. "Get Inbox by Gmail, a new email app from the Gmail team," suggests the interstitial page, which still lets you "go to the mobile Gmail site".

Here's a screenshot from an iPad:


And another screenshot from a Nexus 5:


Google used to promote the Gmail app.

27 Jul 2015 2:42pm GMT

YouTube's Updated Notifications

YouTube has recently changed the settings for notifications. When you subscribe to a channel, there's a box that says "Send me all notifications for this channel". The settings page has a new label for the email digest checkbox: "Occasionally notify me of new videos and activity from my subscriptions" and you can choose if you want email notifications, mobile notifications or both email and mobile notifications.


Mobile apps for Android and iOS have a notification section in the settings, which lets you disable or enable notifications, customize notification types (subscription activity, recommended videos, comments and replies) and also see all your notifications.

27 Jul 2015 10:28am GMT

Named Places in Google Maps

The latest version of the Google Maps app for Android lets you add private names for places. Search for an address or drop a pin on the map, tap the 3-dot menu icon and pick "Edit name". You can add a name that lets you quickly find the place on the map, just like you can find "home" or "work". The private name is saved to your Google account and you're the only one who can see it.

Here's an example for a local business (this feature is even more useful for places that don't have a name in Google Maps):





To edit a name or delete it, open the side menu and tap "Your places". At the top of the section, you can find the named places, including "home" and "work".

Google Maps also has a new interface for location history: it's called "your timeline" and it's available on the web and in the Android app. "Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you've taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time. And if you use Google Photos, we'll show the photos you took when viewing a specific day, to help resurface your memories," informs Google. You can customize the timeline by removing places or adding private names. This feature still requires Location History, which can be enabled or disabled from Google Maps, Google Settings or My Account.

27 Jul 2015 8:24am GMT

25 Jul 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends July 17-24

Anyone up for a look back at the last week on Google Search? We are! Read on to find out what the world was looking for this week.

Bad Blood
Phew, where to start with this one. Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj had a spat over VMA nominations (Taylor was nominated for Video of the Year; Nicki was not), worked through it and made up -- all on Twitter. It was a good lesson in the art of the subtweet, as well as the "sincere apology after responding to a subtweet that wasn't directly about you" tweet. Searches about the incident topped 500,000.

But Minaj v. Swift wasn't the only music-related drama to make the list of Trending Searches. Meek Mill, hip hop artist and Nicki Minaj's significant other, started a Twitter rant of his own, alleging that rapper Drake doesn't write his own material and inspiring more than a million searches. The two artists haven't settled up yet, so stay tuned for more on that front.

Last but not least, country stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are calling it quits after four years of marriage and guess what - they both had stuff to say about it on Twitter. More than 1 million searchers took to Google to find out more.

But wait, there's more
It was the week of the sequel. (The weequel?) James Bond is back -- the trailer for the upcoming "Spectre" was released this week, which got more than 100,000 people searching for the movie. And nearly as surprising as the idea of a shark-filled tornado itself, the Sharknado is back. "Sharknado 3" -- featuring 90s all-stars Tara Reid and Ian Ziering -- aired on Wednesday night and pulled in a cool 500,000 searches.

CKicx4HUMAAvQ9I.png


Speaking of all-stars (and also of the 90s) remember the days when an NBA superstar could star in a wide-release film with his Looney Tunes pals? Well, it's happening again. This time, it's not Michael Jordan, but Lebron James who inked a deal with Warner Bros. The company announced the partnership on Wednesday, leading to 200,000 searches. Reports suggest that while Michael Jordan will be replaced, Bugs Bunny will play himself, though there has been speculation about a case of cartoon patellar tendonitis he's been coping with quietly for years.

Posted by Megan Slack, who searched this week for [public pools in San Francisco].

25 Jul 2015 12:52am GMT

23 Jul 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Neon prescription... or rather, New transcription for Google Voice

You may have been there before...open your voicemail transcriptions in Google Voice to find that at times they aren't completely intelligible. Or, they are humorously intelligible. Either way, they might not have been the message the caller meant to leave you.

So, we asked users if they would kindly share some of their voicemails for research and system improvements. Thanks to those who participated, we are happy to announce an improved voicemail system in Google Voice and Project Fi that delivers more accurate transcriptions. Using a (deep breath) long short-term memory deep recurrent neural network (whew!), we cut our transcription errors by 49%.

To start receiving improved voicemail transcriptions, you don't need to do a thing -- just continue to use Google Voice as you have been. For those not using Google Voice but want to give it a try, sign up for a Google Voice (or Google Voice Lite) account here, it's quick and easy to get started.

Many thanks to the Google Voice users who shared their voicemails, they really helped us make the product better. While this is a big improvement, it is just the beginning and with your input, we will continue improving voicemail transcriptions over time. We hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing what you link-er, think!

Posted by Zander Danko, Software Engineer

23 Jul 2015 9:00pm GMT

21 Jul 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Hangouts Photo Sharing, Powered by Picasa Web

Now that Google+ Photos is discontinued, Google Apps admins received a message which informs them that Google Hangouts will only use Picasa Web Albums for photo sharing.

"The photo-sharing functionality in Hangouts is changing. Going forward, the ability to share photos and other multimedia in Hangouts Chat will be set by the Picasa Web Albums service rather than by the Google+ service. If Google+ is enabled in your domain, no further action is necessary. Google+ requires Picasa Web Albums so you can continue to share photos using Hangouts Chat just like you always have. If Google+ is not enabled for your domain and you want to use the photo-sharing functionality in Hangouts Chat, you must turn on the Picasa Web Albums service in your Admin console."


This change also affects regular Google users, since photos shared using Hangouts aren't added to Google Photos and you'll only find them in Picasa Web Albums when Google+ Photos will shut down. The same thing will happen with Blogger photos.

Picasa Web Albums and Google+ Photos served as a central hub for almost all the photos uploaded using Google services. This was great, since you could find all your photos in one place, but it also cluttered Picasa Web and Google+ Photos with albums automatically generated by Blogger, Google Hangouts and other services.

It looks like Picasa Web Albums is here to stay, at least for now.

{ Thanks, Petr Man. }

21 Jul 2015 7:36am GMT

Google+ Photos, Discontinued

Google announced that Google+ Photos will no longer be available in a few weeks, so everyone will have to switch to Google Photos. "In an effort to ensure everyone has the best photos experience we can deliver, on August 1st we'll start to shut down Google+ Photos - initially on Android, and soon thereafter on the Web and iOS." Google has recently discontinued the Google+ Photos app for Chrome.


Google Photos was launched 2 months ago and there are many missing features. For examples, some powerful editing features from Google+ Photos for desktop are not yet available in Google Photos, global Auto Enhance is missing and you can't cast photos, organize albums, edit location and date taken or tag people in Google Photos.

Since both services are 2 interfaces that show almost the same photos and videos, you can find most of your files in Google Photos. Apparently, photos shared in Blogger and Hangouts are only available in Picasa Web Albums, for now. If you don't like Google's new service, there's always Google Takeout, which lets you export all your photos and videos.

21 Jul 2015 6:18am GMT

19 Jul 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends July 10-16

It's Friday, which means it's time for a good, old-fashioned Search trends round up. Read on to see what the world wanted to know this week.

To Pluto and Beyond
It may have lost its planetary title, but Pluto officially became the most distant solid object to be visited by spacecraft as NASA's New Horizons successfully completed its "flyby" this week. The mission to explore the dwarf giant took a mere nine years and 3 billion miles of space travel and has already returned some truly incredible high-resolution images of Pluto and its moons, including the most epic vacation Instagram of all time. Searches for news about the mission topped 5 million, plus another 100,000+ searches for photos.



Oh baby
In other historic and out of this world news, Louis Tomlinson is the first member of One Direction to announce he's going to be a dad. While this was likely upsetting news for many 1D fans, it didn't stop the searches--Louis racked up more than 500,000 of them this week. And, we've all got Jimmy Fallon to thank for this week's most disgusting search trend, a truly horrifying finger injury called ring avulsion. Fallon, who was sporting a bandaged hand from behind "The Tonight Show" desk, explained that he had surgery following a freak accident involving a kitchen counter and his wedding ring. Searchers took to Google to find out more and with search interest in images of ring avulsion up 50x over the last week, we're willing to bet at least a few of them probably wish they hadn't.

Awards season...again
Nominations for the 2015 Emmy Awards were announced this week, inspiring more than 200,000 searches. Gone but definitely not forgotten "Parks and Recreation" was the most searched Emmy nominee for a comedy series, though Amy Schumer (whose new movie "Trainwreck" opens today) edged out Amy Poehler as the most searched lead actress in a comedy. In a potential preview of the 2016 Emmy Awards, Rachel McAdams, who co-stars in the new season of HBO's "True Detective," was searched more than 50,000 times this week.



It was a good week all around, and to play us out, we recommend Wilco's new album, Star Wars. The surprise, free-to-download release this week resulted in more than 50,000 searches--and a lot of excited Tweedy fans.

Posted by Megan Slack, who searched this week for [ring avulsion].

19 Jul 2015 6:08pm GMT

16 Jul 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

The New Google Patents

There's a new version of Google Patents that's available at patents.google.com. The interface now uses Material Design, there's a checkbox that lets you search Google Scholar, advanced search options are available in the sidebar and you can quickly navigate between search results, which are now grouped by category. The prior art finder is now properly integrated and no longer uses a different interface.



You can now click the navigation icons at the top of the page to go to the previous or the next search result. Keyboard shortcuts also work: use the left/right arrow keys.


"The new Google Patents helps users find non-patent prior art by cataloguing it, using the same scheme that applies to patents. We've trained a machine classification model to classify everything found in Google Scholar using Cooperative Patent Classification codes. Now users can search for [autonomous vehicles] or [email encryption] and find prior art across patents, technical journals, scientific books, and more," informs Google.

Another change is that you can search for foreign patent documents using English keywords. Patents without English full text are translated using Google Translate, so it's easier to find them.

It's interesting to notice that the old Google Patents is still available if you use this URL: https://www.google.com/?tbm=pts.

{ Thanks, Florian Kiersch. }

16 Jul 2015 10:29pm GMT

15 Jul 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Dive into Ocean Week at Camp Google

Today is the start of Camp Google-an online summer camp built to spark and satisfy kids' curiosities, with four weeks of live adventures for students ages 7-10. This post comes to us from Sylvia Earle, marine biologist and Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic and the host of the first week of Camp Google. Tune in to Sylvia's live event at 12 p.m. PT today. -Ed.

The ocean first got my attention during a family visit to a New Jersey beach when I was three years old-a wave knocked me over! At age 12, a move to the Florida coast made the ocean my backyard, and I loved the abundance of life there-every day I encountered new creatures like starfish, sponges, horseshoe crabs, seaweed, and a wondrous array of small fish that I'd never seen before. I knew from then on that when I grew up I would be a scientist so I could keep exploring, no matter what.

Now I get to share my love for the ocean with a new generation of adventurers as part of Camp Google, a new online camp for curious kids, starting. During each of the four weeks of Camp Google, kids 7-10 can explore different subjects by joining live adventures-from the depths of the Atlantic to the top of one of the world's most active volcanoes-and doing fun science projects. Today at 12 p.m. PT, National Geographic diver Erika Bergman and I will take kids on the first adventure-a live dive in the Atlantic Ocean. We'll head to the northernmost part of Florida Reef Tract, the most extensive living coral reef system in North America. Whether it be the Hammerhead Reef or shipwrecks like the Jay Scutti, it will be exciting to see what we'll find down there!

After the dive, kids can get hands-on with a range of activities to help them understand the science behind what they've seen underwater. The activities are designed by the Google engineers who map the oceans with Google Earth, and can be done with simple household supplies. For example, we'll learn about buoyancy and how things float in the ocean in an experiment with eggs, water and salt, and we'll explore how dolphins use sounds to see underwater by building a sonar system. As kids complete these projects, they'll earn camp badges to celebrate the new skills they learned, like conquering echolocation (not bad for summer vacation!). The activities are designed for kids to do on their own, in groups with their friends, or with their families.

Following Ocean Week, kids can jump into Space Week with a NASA astronaut and VSauce where they will help cook up space food and learn how astronauts eat in space. After that, they'll head to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park with a National Park Ranger and Derek Muller to learn more about how volcanoes form. And camp ends in style with Music Week, where kids can jam alongside Zendaya to learn about why music makes us want to bust a move. We hosts can't wait to explore with you this summer, wherever you might be!


The ocean is vast and a lot of it is unexplored-every time I dive into the ocean there's the possibility of finding something new. I'm excited to share this spirit of discovery with kids everywhere this summer. I hope through our dive and the rest of Camp Google, we can inspire kids to continue asking questions... and get out there to find answers.

Update July 15: We heard that some of you weren't able to see the live stream-sorry about the rocky waters. But you can now catch the video at http://goo.gl/7pJJUv. After you've heard from Sylvia and Erika, you can learn a bit more about buoyancy and try to make things float yourself!

Posted by Sylvia Earle, your first host of Camp Google

(Cross-posted on the Google for Education Blog)

15 Jul 2015 5:21pm GMT

13 Jul 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Redirect Gmail to Google Inbox

If you like Google Inbox and you're wondering why it doesn't replace Gmail, there's a setting that redirects Gmail to Inbox. Just go to Inbox, open the settings box, switch to the "Other" tab, enable "Redirect Gmail to inbox.google.com" and click "Done". The next time you type mail.google.com, gmail.com or click on a Gmail shortcut or bookmark, you'll be sent to inbox.google.com.


You can still open Gmail: just click the new "Gmail" menu item, which is placed below "Contacts" in Inbox's sidebar. The URL that temporarily disables redirects is https://mail.google.com/mail/?ibxr=0.


"If you often go to Gmail in your web browser when you really mean to go to Inbox, you can turn on a setting so that you'll automatically be taken to Inbox when you visit gmail.com or mail.google.com on a computer. You can always get back to Gmail using a simple link in Inbox," informs Google. The setting was added a few weeks ago.

13 Jul 2015 8:27am GMT

10 Jul 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends July 3-9

This week people had the goal of searching for info on the U.S. victory in the Women's World Cup, as well as a hat trick of technical difficulties at three major organizations. Let's kick off the trending topics on Google this week:

Victory for the U.S. women
The U.S. Women's National team claimed a 5-2 victory over Japan in the final of the World Cup this week, and took home a slew of searches along with their trophy. In fact, U.S. search interest in the final match surpassed interest in Game 6 of this year's NBA Finals! Keeper Hope Solo and forward Alex Morgan topped the trends charts on Sunday with more than 1 million and 500,000+ searches, respectively. But people were also interested in midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat trick in the final, including one goal from midfield that sent searches for "carli lloyd goal" spiking more than 1,000 percent. The team was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City today.

Ground to a halt
Wednesday, a slew of technical issues caused trouble across the U.S., starting with United Airlines. A network outage grounded planes for more than an hour, affecting almost 5,000 flights, and frustrated travelers turned to Google to learn more, making the airline the top searched term on Wednesday with more than 1 million searches. Meanwhile, trading was suspended for hours at the New York Stock Exchange after a software glitch. Top questions during the outage included "How many times has the NYSE closed?" and "When was the last time the NYSE suspended trading?" Completing the triumvirate of tech troubles, the Wall Street Journal's website crashed this week as well. The (sort of?) good news is that the three incidents seem to be unrelated to each other-or to hackers.

From plane delays to train delays: In the U.K. Thursday, a strike by London Underground workers caused the first complete shutdown of the Tube in over a decade. As Londoners trudged home or crowded into buses, searchers asked "How much do tube drivers earn?" The strike was over a failed agreement about pay and a new "night Tube" service scheduled to start running in September.

Comic-Con
The annual Comic-Con International started yesterday, bringing comic, superhero and sci-fi fans together in San Diego, Calif. for a long weekend of panels, events and other celebrations of all things (proud) nerd. The top Comic-Con topics this week include "Doctor Who" and the new "Black Ops III: Zombies" video game, but there are movie trailers and TV show previews to appeal to even the least geeky among us. A new clip from the final installment in the "Hunger Games" movie franchise drew 50,000+ searches, while the new trailer for the live-action "Goosebumps" movie coming next year has already garnered more than 6 million views on YouTube.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched for [flights from sf to rome]

10 Jul 2015 11:33pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

A Privacy Reminder From Google

After signing in to my Google account, Google showed a new page called "a privacy reminder from Google." Here's Google's explanation: "To be consistent with data protection laws, we're asking you to take a moment to review key points of Google's Privacy Policy. This is not about a change we've made - it's just a chance to review the key points below."


The page shows a list of information processed when you use Google and a list of reasons why it's processed. Google also explains how it uses data to improve user experience and lets you adjust some privacy controls (account history, ads settings, opt out of Google Analytics data collection). "These features work because of the information you choose to store with Google. But that's up to you. The controls in your Google Account let you decide what information you want Google to put to work on your behalf," informs Google.



The "other options" link at the bottom of the page shows some advanced features. "You're in control of the information in your Google Account. You can edit or delete some or all of it. In other words, you can shape your experience how you like." Google lets you pause or delete your Web & App Activity, delete a Google service like Google+, YouTube or Gmail and even delete your whole Google account. "If you don't want Google to store your data at all, you can delete your entire Google Account. And you can download your data first and take it with you."

10 Jul 2015 5:51pm GMT

My Account, Added to Google App Launcher

When Google launched My Account, a new interface for Google Account Settings, it added a shortcut to the app launcher, but only users who weren't logged in and for those who haven't customized the app launcher. Unfortunately, Google didn't provide a way to add the shortcut for all the other users.

Now the "My Account" shortcut has been automatically added to the app launcher at the bottom of the "More" section, so you need to click "More" to see it. You can always customize Google's navigation menu using drag and drop.

10 Jul 2015 5:35pm GMT

Gmail Promotes Google Inbox

Gmail changed the text that's displayed when you don't have any message in your inbox. Now Gmail promotes Google Inbox: "No new mail! Want to hit inbox zero more often? Try our new app, Inbox by Gmail."


So why can you hit inbox zero more often if you use Google Inbox? You can snooze emails until you're ready to deal with them, you can open attachments, watch videos, open news articles and read important information extracted from a message without having to open it. For example, Google Inbox shows flight status next to flight reservation emails and package tracking links next to order updates from Amazon or other shopping sites.

{ Thanks, Ryan Goldstein. }

10 Jul 2015 5:19pm GMT

02 Jul 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Old Google Drive Goes Missing

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

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


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

{ Thanks, Frodo Baggins. }

02 Jul 2015 7:49pm GMT

Customize Gmail Themes

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



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


My favorite feature is the vignette effect:


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


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

02 Jul 2015 7:28pm GMT

29 Jun 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Google Earth turns 10 today

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

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

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

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


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

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

Different imagery types in Voyager are shown by color


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

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


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

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


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

Islands surrounding Cuba seen in the Earth View Chrome Extension


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

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


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

Posted by Sean Askay, Engineering Manager, Google Earth

29 Jun 2015 3:45pm GMT

26 Jun 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends June 19-25

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

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


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

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


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

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

26 Jun 2015 11:02pm GMT

24 Jun 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24 Jun 2015 7:43pm GMT

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

Tommy Caldwell climbing the sheer face of the Dawn Wall


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

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


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

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


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

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


Posted by Tommy Caldwell

24 Jun 2015 4:01pm GMT

23 Jun 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Music for everything you do

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

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

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

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

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


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

Posted by Elias Roman, Product Manager

23 Jun 2015 11:24pm GMT

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

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

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

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

Click to find out more about last year's finalists

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

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

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

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org

23 Jun 2015 3:01pm GMT

22 Jun 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Introducing the News Lab

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Steve Grove, Director, News Lab

22 Jun 2015 1:00pm GMT

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