18 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

More Directions in Google Search for Mobile

When searching for [directions from A to B] or [distance from A to B] from your mobile device, Google now shows an updated card with multiple tabs for driving directions, public transit, biking directions and walking directions. Until now, Google only displayed driving directions.

This isn't Google Maps for Android or the mobile Google Maps site, it's just a Google Search card.




18 Aug 2014 8:36pm GMT

15 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 8-14

Demonstrations in Missouri and the death of Robin Williams had people searching for a greater understanding this week.

Losing a Hollywood legend
First up, the news of Robin Williams' death sparked tens of millions of searches about the beloved actor's life and career. Legions of fans searched for every one of their favorite films from Williams' decades-long career; top topics include Hook, Jumanji and Good Morning Vietnam. Many were looking up his most memorable quotes and roles, including the "O captain, my captain" monologue in Dead Poets Society, Genie's first scene in Aladdin, and a standup bit about golf. Others searched for tributes by Williams' fellow actors and comedians, like Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien. And just yesterday, news that the actor had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease led people to the web once again.

Two days after Williams' death, Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89, inspiring people to search for more information on the actress, in particular her marriage to Humphrey Bogart back in Hollywood's golden age.

Unrest in Missouri
Protests ignited in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri this weekend after an unarmed teenager named Mike Brown was shot and killed by police on Saturday. People turned to search to learn more about the conflict, and searches for terms like [ferguson riot] and [ferguson shooting] rose by more than 1,000%.

Math and science phenomena
Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford, was awarded the 2014 Fields Medal this week for her work on understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres. She is the first woman and first Iranian to win the prize, considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

Turning from one sphere to a celestial one, two astronomical events led searchers to the web to learn more. The Perseid meteor shower had its annual peak this week-and got a doodle for the occasion-and the brightest super moon of the year had everyone a little lun-y.

Ice ice bucket
This week saw a rise in searches for [als] thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral campaign to raise money to fight what's better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. From Martha Stewart to Justin Timberlake to your college roommate, odds are you know someone who's dumped a bucket of icy water on themselves for the cause. The ALS Association has received millions of dollars in donations as a result, though we don't have any numbers on how many brave folks took the plunge.

Tip of the week
Still basking in the glow of that super moon? Learn more about our familiar friend in the sky by asking your Google Search app on iPhone or Android, "How far away is the moon?" and get an answer spoken back to you. You can then ask, "How big is it?" Google will understand what "it" you're talking about and give you the 411.



Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [is handedness genetic] and [play it again dick]

15 Aug 2014 8:03pm GMT

08 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 1-7

We may be hitting the last days of summer but the heat is still picking up, especially on search. Read on to learn what sizzled on the trends charts this past week.

Trouble in paradise
Would you turn down a free trip to Hawaii? Julio and Iselle aren't. The two hurricanes are barreling towards the islands, bringing 90 mph winds, flash floods and hordes of searches with them. If Iselle makes landfall, she'll be the first hurricane to hit the Big Island since 1950. Julio, like the tag-a-long younger brother, is right on Iselle's tail. You can review tips on how to stay safe during hurricane season here.

A Hawaiian hurricane isn't the only trouble brewing in the air. Searchers had a virtual panic attack when Facebook went down for a couple hours last Friday. In a state of shock, some people even called the police to assist with their social media emergency. Meanwhile, a toxin called microcystin is contaminating the waters in parts of Ohio, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to stockpile bottled water and look for answers on the Internet.

But there's only one thing that can distract us from the craziness of real life… and that's the sheer absurdity of reality TV. Viewers and searchers tuned in to watch the premiere of the Bachelor in Paradise, an elimination-style show where contestants compete for love. This is probably not what Cervantes meant when he wrote that all's fair in love and war.


First let me take a selfie
As if the world couldn't get any more litigious, a British photographer is taking on Wikimedia over a selfie-and not just any selfie, a monkey selfie. After a curious crested black macaque came upon David Slater's camera equipment and fulfilled nature's call by taking a selfie, the photo went viral and was eventually uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, an online repository of free to use images, sound, and other media. Slater asked Wikimedia to take it down on copyright infringement grounds, and Wikimedia said no. Their argument: the photo wasn't Slater's work -- it was the monkey's. We'll leave it up to you to decide who you think is right.

Fortunately, at least one dispute this week was resolved: The stars of the hit science geek themed show, The Big Bang Theory, signed new contracts that would pay them $1 million per episode. We're betting that somehow the line "Show me the Money" is going to make it into the script. A real-life scientist also managed to crack the trends charts when our doodle celebrating John Venn, the creator of the Venn Diagram, got searchers excited to discover what the intersections between sea-life and something with wings.



Who runs the world? Girls!
Let's be honest, can anyone really get enough Beyonce in their life? Her "On the Run" tour with that other mildly successful artist/mogul just topped $100 million in ticket sales and now the remix of her song "Flawless" featuring Nicki Minaj is getting searchers into a frenzy. This woman can do no wrong (except maybe).

Beyonce may cast a shadow that dwarfs us all, but two other women are holding their own on the search charts. WBNA star Becky Hammon became the NBA's first female assistant coach when she joined the staff of the San Antonio Spurs. (We'll call that a crack in the glass backboard.) And First Daughter Malia Obama nearly stole the show at Lollapalooza following her appearance among fellow festival-goers in Chicago.

Tip of the Week
Taking a hike is one of the best ways to enjoy the last days of summer. But it's always safer to hike in the daylight hours. Before you head out, remember to ask the Google App, "When is sunset?" to help you plan accordingly.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [reality tv is better than sitcoms] and [fomo].

08 Aug 2014 7:00pm GMT

07 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Knowledge Graph Winners

If you search for [oscar winners], Google shows a long list of winners in the Knowledge Graph sidebar. You can scroll down to see all of them, switch to a different year or click a category and see all the nominees. Search for [oscar 1995] to find the winners from 1995, for example.


You can also try [Grammy], [Emmy], [Cesar winners], [Goya Awards], [Tony awards], [Golden Globes], [Brit Awards], [Pulitzer], [Nobel awards] and many other queries. It works for more specific queries like [nobel peace prize] or [nobel prize physics].

07 Aug 2014 10:26pm GMT

Google Query Tricks

This isn't some new Google Search feature, but I thought it's worth sharing. Google has some smart algorithms that process your queries and can determine what you intended to type even if it's not properly formatted.

1. You can separate all the characters of your query by space. For example: [h o t e l c a l i f o r n i a l y r i c s].


2. You can separate all the characters of your query using dots. For example: [h o t e l c a l i f o r n i a l y r i c s].

3. You can type your query without using space to separate words. For example: [hotelcalifornialyrics].


4. You can separate the words from your query using various characters like "+", "*", "&", "^" and more. Here's an example: [hotel^california^lyrics].

07 Aug 2014 10:05pm GMT

Moon and Mars in Google Maps

Google Maps for desktop added 3D imagery for Moon and Mars. Just switch to the Earth view in the new Google Maps and zoom out until you see Moon and Mars at the bottom of the page or use these URLs: Moon and Mars.

"Spin Mars and watch the atmosphere change around the red planet; tilt the Moon and imagine yourself gliding along its peaks and craters; and to brush up on your astronomy, click on one of the thousands of labeled topographic features," informs Google.



Google still has the old standalone pages for Google Moon and Google Mars launched in 2009 and you can still use Google Earth to explore Moon and Mars.

Here's a video about the new features:

07 Aug 2014 9:08pm GMT

HTML Tags Supported in Gmail

Google doesn't provide a list of HTML tags supported in Gmail, but the ex-Googler Mihai Parparita came up with an unofficial list. "This list was determined by sending an HTML email with all HTML elements and seeing which came through," explains Mihai.

The list of supported tags is pretty long, so it's probably more interesting to know the tags that are not supported by Gmail. Here are some of them: <embed>, <audio>, <video>, <iframe>, <object>, <script>, <canvas>, <html>, <head>, <body>.


You can also find some sites that show what CSS features are available in Gmail, as well as in other mail services like Yahoo Mail, Outlook.com and mail software like Outlook, Apple Mail and Gmail app for Android.

07 Aug 2014 8:41pm GMT

Unsubscribe Link in Gmail

Gmail continues to make it easier to unsubscribe from newsletters, social updates and other similar messages. After adding an unsubscribe option when marking messages as spam, Gmail now includes an unsubscribe link next to the sender's email address.

"Now when a sender includes an Unsubscribe link in a Promotions, Social or Forums message, Gmail will surface it to the top, right next to the sender address. If you're interested in the message;s content, it won't get in the way, and if not, it'll make it easier to keep your inbox clutter-free. Making the unsubscribe option easy to find is a win for everyone. For email senders, their mail is less likely to be marked as spam and for you, you can now say goodbye to sifting through an entire message for that one pesky link," informs Google.


The unsubscribe link has already been used for Google+ messages. When you click it, Google shows this message: "Google+ provides a page at plus.google.com where you can manage your email subscriptions." Google links to a page that lets you unsubscribe from certain Google+ email notifications, like the ones sent when someone shares or comments on your content.


{ Thanks, Herin. }

07 Aug 2014 8:04pm GMT

06 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Fifteen ways to change the world: the 2014 Google Science Fair Global Finalists

Kenneth Shinozuka, from New York City, wants to help people with Alzheimer's Disease, like his grandfather. Kenneth developed a small, wearable sensor to be worn on his grandfather's foot. When pressure is applied to the sensor, it alerts his family via a mobile app, which allows them to monitor when his grandfather is on the move. By monitoring this behavior, Kenneth hopes to understand the causes of wandering brought on by Alzheimer's, and to ultimately find a way to mitigate or prevent it.

Samuel Burrow, from the U.K., wants to improve the environment by reducing pollution. Taking inspiration from the chemical used in sunscreen, Samuel created a special coating that reduces waste chemicals in the air when subjected to ambient light. And Cynthia Sin Nga Lam, from Australia, thinks everyone deserves access to clean water and created an eco-friendly and economical device to do just that.

These are just a few examples of the 15 incredible projects we've named as the global finalists for 2014 Google Science Fair. This is our fourth time hosting the competition as a way to encourage the next generation of scientists and engineers. From Russia to Australia, India to Canada, this year's finalists (ages 13-18) are already well on their way to greatness. See all 15 projects on the Google Science Fair website.

Special recognition also goes to Kenneth, who has also been awarded the Scientific American Science In Action Award. The prize celebrates a project that addresses a health, resource or environmental challenge, and comes with a year's mentoring from Scientific American and a $50,000 grant toward the project.

What's next for our young scientists? Well, next month, they'll be California-bound to compete at Google HQ for the three Age Category Awards (ages 13-14, 15-16, 17-18) and of course, the overall Google Science Fair Grand Prize Award. The competition will end in style with an awards ceremony, which will be live streamed on the Science Fair YouTube channel and on our website. Tune in to be one of the first to find out this year's winners!

But first, you get to have your say! We need you to pick your favorite project for the 2014 Voter's Choice Award. Show your support for the finalists and cast a vote on the Google Science Fair website beginning September 1. Every year, we're blown away by the projects and ideas these young people come up with, and you will be too.

Posted by Clare Conway, on behalf of the Google Science Fair team

06 Aug 2014 2:30pm GMT

05 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

64-Bit Chrome for Mac

Chrome 37 brings 64-bit support for Windows and now Chrome 38 brings 64-bit support for Mac OS. Chrome 37 is currently in beta and requires reinstalling the software in Windows, while Chrome 38 is available in the Dev and Canary channels, but it doesn't require reinstalling the browser in Mac OS. The Canary build runs alongside stable/beta/dev Chrome and it's updated daily.


In addition to better performance and fewer crashes, 64-bit Chrome for Mac also lets you use 64-bit plugins like Java. Until now, you had to use a different browser to load Java content. "Chrome does not support Java 7 on Mac OS X. Java 7 runs only on 64-bit browsers and Chrome is a 32-bit browser," informs Oracle's site.

Don't get too excited. Chrome will soon remove support for NPAPI plugins, so you'll still have to use Safari or Firefox to open pages that include Java applets.

05 Aug 2014 8:08pm GMT

Google Domains Screenshot Generator

Google Domains has a cool feature that generates a small screenshot for your site (379x283 px) when you use the web forwarding feature. The nice thing is that Google doesn't use signatures or complicated parameters, so you can change the URL.

Here's an example: https://domains.google.com/thumb?u=http://500px.com/photo/78702255/lone-tree-of-wanaka-by-james-gladwin. Unfortunately, the URL only works if you are logged in to a Google account and Google Domains is enabled. There are many other services that generate site screenshots: ShrinkTheWeb, PagePeeker and more.



Google Domains is still in beta and requires an invitation. It's a service that allows you to register domains and manage them.

05 Aug 2014 7:25pm GMT

Gmail Policy Changes

With all the news about Google giving child pornography evidence to police and helping arrest a Gmail user, I decided to check Gmail's terms of use. Apparently, a few months ago Google changed Gmail's program policies page from this to the currently available version.


There are many changes:

* this text was added: "Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child sexual abuse imagery. If we become aware of such content, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and may take disciplinary action, including termination, against the Google Accounts of those involved."

* this text was added: "You can report abuse by using this form. Google may disable accounts that are found to be in violation of these policies. If your account is disabled, and you believe it was a mistake, please follow the instructions on this page."

* this text was removed: "Google may terminate your account in accordance with the terms of service if you fail to login to your account for a period of nine months."

* this text was removed: "You must promptly notify Google of any breach of security related to the Services, including but not limited to unauthorized use of your password or account. To help ensure the security of your password or account, please sign out from your account at the end of each session."

* the list of prohibited actions no longer includes: "conduct or forward pyramid schemes and the like", "transmit content that may be harmful to minors", "impersonate another person", "use Gmail to violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others", "create multiple user accounts in connection with any violation of the Agreement or create user accounts by automated means or under false or fraudulent pretenses", "sell, trade, resell or otherwise exploit for any unauthorized commercial purpose or transfer any Gmail account", "modify, adapt, translate, or reverse engineer any portion of the Gmail Service", "remove any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notices contained in or on the Gmail Service", "reformat or frame any portion of the web pages that are part of the Gmail Service", "use the Gmail Service in connection with illegal peer-to-peer file sharing".

The policies about child sexual abuse imagery have already been added to Picasa Web Albums back in 2008 and Google actually used them last year. "The FBI says the investigation began in March when Google's hashing technology found two child porn pictures in his Picasa library. Picasa is a cloud-sharing platform for images owned by Google."

"Since 2008, we've used 'hashing' technology to tag known child sexual abuse images, allowing us to identify duplicate images which may exist elsewhere. Each offending image in effect gets a unique ID that our computers can recognize without humans having to view them again," informs a Google blog post from 2013.

So it seems like an existing Picasa Web Albums policy was added to Gmail and other Google services: Play Store, Build with Chrome, Blogger, Google Drive and probably other services. Google has also "fine-tuned Google Search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in search results."

05 Aug 2014 6:35pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

A first step toward more global email

Cross-posted on the Official Gmail Blog

Whether your email address is firstname.lastname@ or something more expressive like corgicrazy@, an email address says something about who you are. But from the start, email addresses have always required you to use non-accented Latin characters when signing up. Less than half of the world's population has a mother tongue that uses the Latin alphabet. And even fewer people use only the letters A-Z. So if your name (or that of your favorite pet) contains accented characters (like "José Ramón") or is written in another script like Chinese or Devanagari, your email address options are limited.

But all that could change. In 2012, an organization called the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) created a new email standard that supports addresses with non-Latin and accented Latin characters (e.g. 武@メール.グーグル). In order for this standard to become a reality, every email provider and every website that asks you for your email address must adopt it. That's obviously a tough hill to climb. The technology is there, but someone has to take the first step.

Today we're ready to be that someone. Starting now, Gmail (and shortly, Calendar) will recognize addresses that contain accented or non-Latin characters. This means Gmail users can send emails to, and receive emails from, people who have these characters in their email addresses. Of course, this is just a first step and there's still a ways to go. In the future, we want to make it possible for you to use them to create Gmail accounts.

Last month, we announced the addition of 13 new languages in Gmail. Language should never be a barrier when it comes to connecting with others and with this step forward, truly global email is now even closer to becoming a reality.

Posted by Pedro Chaparro Monferrer, Software Engineer

05 Aug 2014 3:59pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Mobile Internet Explorer's New User Agent

I've bought a Nokia Lumia 520 a few months ago to try Windows Phone and it turned out to be a pretty good phone. Windows Phone shines on low-end hardware and Nokia's hardware is great for a phone that costs about $100. There are many issues with Windows Phone and some of them have to do with its late release (2010) and low market share (about 3%). Many companies, including Google, continue to ignore Windows Phone, many sites aren't optimized for Mobile IE.

If you use Google services and products like Gmail, Google Maps, Google+, Google Drive, Chrome, it's hard to switch to Windows Phone. There are some third-party apps for Google services, but they're far from Google's apps for Android and iOS. Google doesn't want to make Windows Phone more popular, so it doesn't release apps for Windows Phone. Google also serves inferior versions of its mobile apps in Internet Explorer Mobile. Gmail's mobile site for Windows Phone has a lot in common with Gmail's site for feature phones.

The entire thing reminds me of Opera's early days. Opera struggled with its low market share and had to spoof its user agent to identify itself as Internet Explorer. The sites that required Internet Explorer worked in Opera, but developers continued to ignore Opera.

The latest Windows Phone 8.1 update changed mobile IE's user agent to mimic mobile Safari. Microsoft added "like iPhone OS 7_0_3 Mac OS X AppleWebKit/537 (KHTML. like Gecko) Mobile Safari/537", but also "Android 4.0". The sites that check the user agent for strings like "iPhone", "Android" or "Mobile Safari" are supposed to work well in the latest Internet Explorer for Mobile. While the browser still has the same Trident rendering engine, Microsoft used some workarounds that improve WebKit compatibility.


WebKit is the most used rendering engine for mobile browsers. Apple used it in Safari for iPhone and iPad, Google used it in the mobile browser for Android and later in Chrome for Android. Google forked WebKit and now uses Blink. Since WebKit dominates the mobile space, many developers optimize their sites for WebKit and use non-standard WebKit features. Firefox and Internet Explorer don't have a lot of mobile users, so developers don't bother optimizing their sites for these browsers.

"Unlike the mostly standards-based desktop web, many modern mobile web pages were designed and built for iOS and the iPhone. This results in users of other devices often receiving a degraded experience. Many sites use features via a legacy vendor specific prefix without supporting the un-prefixed standard version or only support vendor prefixes for certain devices. Other sites use non-standard proprietary APIs that only work with Safari or Chrome. Of course there were also bugs or missing features in IE that became particularly apparent on mobile sites designed specifically for our competitors' browsers," informs the IE blog.

It's ironic to see Microsoft complaining that sites use non-standard features and aren't compatible with Internet Explorer. I still remember the sites that required Internet Explorer 6 and didn't work well in other browsers.

The good news is that many sites now works properly in Windows Phone's browsers. Microsoft "tested more than 500 of the top mobile web sites and found that the IE11 update improves the experience on more than 40% of them." Here's a screenshots for Gmail in the new IE version:


... and a Gmail screenshot in UC Browser, which still uses the old IE user agent:


User agents are a mess and developers should use feature detection instead of relying on a meaningless string. Chrome's user agent includes "Mozilla", "Gecko", "AppleWebKit" and "Safari" for backward compatibility. Now mobile IE's user agent includes "Android", "iPhone", "AppleWebKit", "Mobile Safari", "Gecko".

05 Aug 2014 1:08pm GMT

03 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

More YouTube Comments

The Google+ integration managed to improve the quality of YouTube comments (or at least the top comments). Sometimes you find YouTube videos with interesting comments, but it's not that easy to read all of them.

YouTube only displays 20 comments or threads and you have to click "more" to read 20 other comments. There's also a page that only displays comments: click "all comments" below the video description and you'll be able to read the top 100 comments.


When you click "more", YouTube fetches 100 other comments. For example, the page lets you read 300 comments with only 2 clicks on "more", while the standard YouTube video page requires 14 clicks.


Here's an example of comment page that shows the top 100 comments. You can click the drop-down below "all comments" to sort comments by date. Another example here.

03 Aug 2014 8:55am GMT

Offline Android Games

Google Play Store has a collection of games that work offline. It's a hand-picked list of free and paid games like Despicable Me, Asphalt 8, Dots, Minecraft, Riptide GP, Temple Run 2 and more.


"Whether you're in airplane mode or stuck with zero bars, all these games require is your thumb. Now you can play your heart out from anywhere with our selection of off-line games," says Google.

Maybe Google should allow users to create their own collections they could share with other people. A Google search reveals a lot of Google Play collections: Get Things Done, Essential Games, Abstract Puzzlers, MMORPGs, Hidden Gems, Mood Boosters, Picture Taking, For The Power User and more. There are also music collections, movie collections, books collections, Newsstand collections.

03 Aug 2014 8:06am GMT

02 Aug 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google on Windows 8.1

Google's homepage continues to promote Chrome when using a different browser. Until now, the ad promised "a faster way to browse the web". Now there's a more specific ad in Internet Explorer: "a faster way to browse on Windows".


When clicking "install Google Chrome", Google sent me to this page: "Get Your Google Back. Take two minutes to make Windows 8.1 more familiar." The page suggests to install Google Chrome ("It's the fast, free browser that's built for the modern web") and get the Google Search app for Windows 8 ("It's the quickest, easiest way to access Google Search").


This seems to be an updated version of the "Get Your Google Back" page launched in 2012 for Windows 8 users. Google tries to explain that you can continue to use Chrome even from the Metro/Modern interface and there's even an optimized Google Search app.

02 Aug 2014 10:24pm GMT

Removing the Plus from Google+

3 years ago, Google+ was launched in an effort to make Google more social. It's the most successful social service created by Google and the main reason is that Google promoted it a lot and switched a lot features to Google+.

Google Talk morphed into Google+ Hangouts, Picasa Web Albums became Google+ Photos, YouTube comments require Google+, Android reviews and Google Maps reviews require Google+. When you create a Google account, you need to join Google+. There are Google+ features in Google's notification bar and Google+ is the first service displayed in the app launcher.

Google+ was supposed to be a new version of Google, an upgraded Google that's more personal, has better tools for sharing content and better ways to filter information. "This is just the next version of Google. Everything is being upgraded. We already have users. We're now upgrading them to what we consider Google 2.0," said Vic Gundotra 2 years ago.

Vic Gundotra left Google a few months ago and since then Google+'s importance has diminished. Google no longer released some information about the number of active Google+ users and barely mentioned Google+ in the Google I/O keynote. Google+ no longer requires real names, Google Apps users no longer need to join Google+ to use Google Hangouts video calls and there are rumors that Google+ Photos will be renamed Google Photos and will no longer require Google+. "The move would enable the photo service to stand more independently and be accessible for consumers who aren't part of Google+, potentially spurring more growth," suggests Bloomberg.


Google launched some of its best features inside Google+ to attract users. Now it's time to set them free and make them more popular instead of using them to make Google+ more popular.

For many people, Google+ was an artificial barrier. Having to use your real name to write comments and reviews, to share photos, to write blog posts was an obstacle. The Google+ integration improved YouTube comments, but made many users unhappy.

Google+ is not dead, but Google seems to extract the "+" and split into standalone apps and services. The stream could become less important.

02 Aug 2014 9:15pm GMT

Google Drive Viewer Changes

I've mentioned a few weeks ago that there's a new interface for Google Drive previews and Gmail attachment previews. There's more space for content, the toolbar disappears when you're not using it, you can click "open" to open the file using the default app.

If you use the new Google Drive UI, Google Drive Viewer is no longer available in the "open" menu and you need to click the "pop-out" icon next to the "x" icon to open Google Drive Viewer. Most of its functionality is available from the preview interface, but there are some missing features. For example, adding comments.


The Google Apps blog mentions that "as part of this change we will remove support for adding file-level commenting of non-Google file formats. This change doesn't impact comments in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, and existing comments on non-Google formats will be retained and available to view." The commenting feature is still available for me in the "Edit" menu when opening a PDF file or other non-Google file types:


02 Aug 2014 8:12pm GMT

How Many Android Apps You've Installed?

You can find a list of all the Android apps you've ever installed from the Play Store using your current Google account in both the Google Play Store app (My Apps > All) and the Play Store site. For some reason, the site doesn't use pagination and doesn't load content as you scroll, so you need to wait until Google displays a long list of apps.


Google doesn't offer a way to filter the list of apps you've installed or downloaded, but you can use your browser's find-in-page feature (Ctrl+F or Cmd+F for Mac). The list is sorted alphabetically in the Play Store site, while the Play Store app displays recently installed apps first.

Google Play doesn't even show the number of Play Store apps you've installed on your Android devices over the years. If you're curious to find the actual number, go to Google Dashboard and scroll to Play Store.


The Play Store app lets you remove apps from the list, but the Dashboard number is still accurate.

02 Aug 2014 7:23pm GMT

01 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends July 25-31

The dog days of summer are upon us (just look at the last time we posted on this here blog), but there's still plenty of excitement to keep search buzzing. From big baseball news to blockbusters, here's a look at the last seven days in search:

Baseball bombshells
This season's MLB trade deadline was yesterday, and as news of surprise trades emerged, people were quick to catch the latest via search. More than half of the day's hot trends were baseball-related, and searches for the blogs [mlb trade rumors] reached their highest volume all year. From the three-way trade that landed David Price in Detroit and Austin Jackson in Seattle to the A's-Red Sox swap of Jon Lester and Yoenis Céspedes, it was quite the active Deadline Day.

Searchnado
Thanks in large part to nerdfest Comic-Con, it was a week of sneak peeks for movie fans. First up: the reboot of Mad Max. The long-awaited remake of the Australian classic premiered its trailer at the conference last weekend, and fans got their first real glimpse of Bane Tom Hardy as Max. Meanwhile, a sneak peek of Israeli actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the forthcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice made waves. And a new teaser trailer for Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 gave us a new glimpse at Katniss as the face of the rebellion.

Though neither film will be in theaters for some time, fans are keeping busy in the meantime: searches for new releases Guardians of the Galaxy, Lucy and Hercules were all high on the charts. And those who prefer their movies with a hefty serving of camp to go with their popcorn had more than enough to satisfy them with Sharknado 2: The Second One. Searches for [sharknado 2 trailer] were up 95 percent over the past month, and the movie was one of the top topics Wednesday when it premiered on Syfy. Simply stunning. Finally, the trailer for the movie version of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods had musical theater lovers ready for more.

Searching for symptoms
An ebola outbreak in West Africa has people concerned about the spread of the deadly epidemic. Searches for [ebola] are at their highest ever, up 2,000%, and related searches like [ebola in nigeria], [ebola symptoms] and [what is ebola] grew too. Worldwide, Liberia had the highest search volume of any country.


Tip of the week
Next time you're invited to a summer barbecue, let Google help you remember to pick up a snack or six-pack to contribute to the fiesta. On your Android or iPhone, just say "Ok Google, remind me to buy a watermelon when I'm at Safeway." Next time you're near the store, you'll get a prompt. No more showing up with empty hands!

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [beyonce surfboard] and [arcade fire tour costumes]

01 Aug 2014 10:49pm GMT

25 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends July 18-24

Based on search, it seems like a lot of you spent the last seven days slurping ice cream cones, jamming to pop parodies and starting the countdown to a certain February flick. Could be worse. Here's a look at what people were searching for last week:

Fifty shades of search
Searchers were "Crazy in Love" with the new trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey, set to a special Beyonce recording of her 2003 hit. There were more than a million searches this week for the ….ahem… hotly anticipated movie, which comes out next Valentine's Day. In addition to the trailer, people were also looking for information on stars [jamie dornan] and [dakota johnson]. Beyonce was in the spotlight for other reasons too, following rumors that her marriage to Jay-Z was on the rocks.

"Mandatory" and musical marriages
After three decades in the biz, Weird Al has finally made his way into the Billboard No. 1 spot with his latest album, "Mandatory Fun." Though his shtick hasn't changed, when it comes to promoting his parodies, the artist has adapted to the Internet era, releasing eight new videos in as many days to generate buzz-and more search volume than at any other point in the past five years. As an editor, of course, I'm partial to "Word Crimes" (which has more than 10 million views on YouTube), but it's just one of the many "breakout" titles searchers are looking for, along with [tacky], [foil] and [first world problems].

In other musical news, Adam Levine's bride [behati prinsloo] was trending this week after the two got married in Cabo San Lucas. And another Mexico wedding had people searching for information on [ryan dorsey], the new husband (after a surprise ceremony) of Glee star Naya Rivera.

Foodie ups and downs
A national fruit recall at stores like Costco and Whole Foods led people to the web to learn more about [listeria]. For many, the possible contamination may have been an extra incentive to celebrate several less than healthful food holidays: Last Sunday (or should we say sundae?) marked National Ice Cream Day, and people were searching for their favorite flavor. National Hot Dog Day took place just a few days later, though sausage searches paled in comparison. And just in case all that junk food made you thirsty, yesterday's National Tequila Day had searchers looking for the perfect margarita recipe.

Tip of the week
Overindulged on ice cream last weekend? It's easy to get back on the healthy eating train with a quick search. Just ask Google "how many calories in hummus?" or "compare coleslaw and potato salad" to get nutrition info on your favorite summer foods.

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [coming of age in samoa] and [how old is weird al]

25 Jul 2014 9:59pm GMT

22 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Little Box Challenge opens for submissions

These days, if you're an engineer, inventor or just a tinkerer with a garage, you don't have to look far for a juicy opportunity: there are cash prize challenges dedicated to landing on the moon, building a self-driving car, cleaning the oceans, or inventing an extra-clever robot. Today, together with the IEEE, we're adding one more: shrinking a big box into a little box.

Seriously.

Of course, there's more to it than that. Especially when the big box is a power inverter, a picnic cooler-sized device used to convert the energy that comes from solar, electric vehicles & wind (DC power) into something you can use in your home (AC power). We want to shrink it down to the size of a small laptop, roughly 1/10th of its current size. Put a little more technically, we're looking for someone to build a kW-scale inverter with a power density greater than 50W per cubic inch. Do it best and we'll give you a million bucks.

There will be obstacles to overcome (like the conventional wisdom of engineering). But whoever gets it done will help change the future of electricity. A smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world. Or allow you to keep the lights on during a blackout via your electric car's battery. Or enable advances we haven't even thought of yet.

Either way, we think it's time to shine a light on the humble inverter, and the potential that lies in making it much, much smaller. Enter at littleboxchallenge.com-we want to know how small you can go.

Posted by Eric Raymond, Google Green Team

22 Jul 2014 2:00pm GMT

18 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends July 11-17

The World Cup is over and order has finally been restored to the universe. Now that football mania is behind us, searchers are getting the latest info about the world off the pitch. From Tesla announcing their cheapest car ever, the $35,000 Model 3 (OK, so "cheap" is relative) to the tragic events surrounding Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, read on to see what trended this week.

Cutting the cord … but not really
Netflix binge-watchers had a near-panic attack when rumors swirled that beloved show Orange is the New Black was getting the axe. But have no fear, friends-the show lives to see another 13 episodes and quite humorously reassured us of its existence. On the other side of the entertainment galaxy, comic book fans were shocked to learn that Marvel's Thor is now a woman-and a rather ripped one at that! "Thorita" won't be taking up her hammer against Ultron, the new villain in the upcoming Avengers movie-that role will still be held by Chris Hemsworth. Still, if producers do decide to change it up, we're pretty sure Kacy Catanzaro deserves the role after her performance on American Ninja Warrior left searchers pumped for more.

The sports stars are out tonight
Athletes put on their best three-piece suits and gowns for the ESPYs on Wednesday, and people turned to search to see which of their favorite stars took home the honors. (FYI OKC Thunder star Russell Westbrook, as usual, won the red carpet battle for fashion supremacy, hands down.) While Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe couldn't make it to the awards show, he still managed to make a splash on the trends charts when he came out as gay. Back on the field, it was the end of an era in baseball as New York Yankees legend Derek (er, Michael?) Jeter played in his last all-star game.

Seeing double
It was a tale of two Brookses this week as searchers were surprised to find out Brooks Wheelan got the boot from Saturday Night Live after just one season-tough crowd. Garth Brooks, on the other hand, had a great week when he announced his upcoming fall tour to much fanfare ("searchfare"?). In the reality TV scene, Claire Leeson from England spent more than $30,000 (so, basically a Tesla Model 3) to look like her celebrity idol Kim Kardashian. And another Kardashian lookalike made it to the trends charts when Lilit Avagyan married Kim's ex-boyfriend Reggie Bush-six degrees of Kim Kardashian anyone?

Tip of the week
Didn't catch the ESPYs? Just ask Google, "who won best male athlete?" to see who took the crown this year and find a list of past winners.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who's [on the run] and searching for [crazy eyes] and [dandelions]

18 Jul 2014 10:00pm GMT

17 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

America's businesses are using the web to grow

Over the past few months, we've had the chance to talk to businesses all over the country and hear stories of how they've become successful. For many, it's pretty simple: the Internet. The web is helping businesses and communities across the U.S. to grow and succeed. In fact, last year Google's search and advertising tools helped provide $111 billion of economic activity for more than 1.5 million businesses-advertisers, publishers and nonprofits-across the U.S.

Take Go2marine, a boat supply company located on Bainbridge Island, off the coast of Washington State. Because of their remote location, bringing traffic to their website using Google AdWords plays an important role in their ability to sell their 250,000+ boat supplies to customers in 176 countries. When it's winter in the U.S., they rely on customers located in other parts of the world where it's boating season, with the web bringing them business from any place, in any season.

Or meet Don Morton, who taught reading, writing and language in lower-income neighborhoods in my home town of Chicago for nine years. In 2005, he began creating his own materials to supplement what the school system provided. Realizing that his worksheets could be useful for students and teachers everywhere, he created ereadingworksheets.com to provide his worksheets for free. Don started using Google AdSense to offset his costs by placing ads next to his content, and today he's able to work full-time on his website and make an impact on students around the world.

These are just two examples of enterprising people making the most of Google tools to find new customers, connect with existing ones and grow their businesses; you can find plenty more of them in our Economic Impact Report. Our tools help connect business owners to their customers, whether they're around the corner or across the world from each other. And when businesses flourish, it's good news for the rest of us. Recent data shows that businesses that are online are expected to grow 40 percent faster and hire twice as many workers as businesses that aren't. Every year, it gets clearer that the web helps lead to more successful businesses, stronger economies, more vibrant towns, and more prosperous communities.

Learn more about our economic impact in all 50 U.S. states, and how businesses are finding success through the web. Whether it's a part for a boat or a grammar worksheet, we're proud to play a role in giving businesses the tools they need to do more--to grow and thrive and connect with customers and communities all over the world.

Posted by Jim Lecinski, Vice President, Customer Solutions

17 Jul 2014 4:07pm GMT

15 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

From superheroes to the battle of the battles—the World Cup through search

Yesterday, Germany won their fourth world championship, and, over the course of the last month, the world watched them do it-in Brazil, in bars and living rooms around the world, on their phones and laptops and tablets. This World Cup was the most digital, most connected, and most searched global event we've seen to date. There were more than 2.1 billion tournament-related searches on Google, many of which we shared on our trends hub.

Looking at the trends from each match, you'll see some topics that you'd expect to catch the world's attention, such as top players and highly-anticipated matches. But who would have guessed that there were 10x more searches in the U.S. for the World Cup than for the NBA Playoffs? Or that Clint Dempsey, American soccer star who also has a rap single, had 2x more search interest than Jay-Z? Or that after Ángel di María's divine goal against Switzerland, he netted 4x more global searches than his fellow countryman, Pope Francis?

Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa was the most searched goalie in the tournament, but Tim Howard's heroics could hardly be forgotten. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer not only snagged third place in search, but took home the 2014 Golden Glove award and a World Cup championship to boot.

The Germany vs. Brazil semifinal was the most searched match throughout the tournament, leaving many people around the world asking, "What is the biggest win in World Cup history?" Meanwhile, some countries were ready to move on to the next opportunity: after the third place game, Brazilians searched more for "World Cup 2018" than for the final game between Argentina and Germany.

No World Cup would be complete without a few surprises-and the creative people of the web were ready to weigh in. Uruguay's Luis Suarez was the most searched player meme, and at the time of the Uruguay-Italy game, there were 20x more searches globally for "Suarez Bite" than for snake, spider, tick, fly, dog and mosquito bites combined.

And if a search Dream Team was created, you'd see these 11 players strutting their stuff on the field. While German star Mario Götze didn't make this list, he was a favorite on search. Even before his goal won it all in the final, he attracted 4x more search attention than Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who presented Germany with the championship trophy.

Beyond the impressive stats on the field, we've got some numbers of our own to share:
Our team watched 107+ hours of football (we didn't even need a water break!) and spent 250+ hours bringing you regular insights from our first ever World Cup trends hub. We hope you enjoyed the excitement of the tournament as much as we did, and for more trends, visit google.com/worldcup or check out our Google+ album.

Posted by Roya Soleimani, Communications Manager, who searched for [iran vs. argentina], [brazil's 12th player], and of course [world cup schedule] throughout the tournament

15 Jul 2014 1:24am GMT

11 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends July 4-10

Though the World Cup continued to draw search attention, this week it had some company. So in addition to Neymar, people were searching for Lebron James (who's taking his talents back to Cleveland) and Roger Federer (who lost at Wimbledon after a tough match). And following the announcement of this year's Emmy Award nominations, people turned to search to learn more about the snubs and surprises, including Laverne Cox, the first openly transgender nominee. Here's a look at some more top trends in search this week, from the Quidditch World Cup to the world's highest-valued potato salad:

A literary thrill
Author J.K. Rowling was in the news this week after she posted a new Harry Potter story to the fan site Pottermore.com. There were more than 200,000 searches for the site itself (an increase of more than 100 percent over 30 days), as people speculated about whether the new tale signified the coming of more stories about Harry, Hermione and the rest of Dumbledore's Army. Meanwhile, people turned to search to find the new trailer for another, very different book-turned-movie: the twisty, turny Gone Girl. Searches for [gone girl trailer] have nearly doubled in the last month.

And baby makes three
The Internet experienced a collective shock on Wednesday when news emerged that beloved actor/meme Ryan Gosling and girlfriend [eva mendes] are expecting. (With apologies to Mila Kunis.) Hundreds of thousands of people turned to search in denial, determined to find out the truth. Oddly enough, the phrase [ryan gosling father] had already spiked in June, after a recent Father's Day hoax that claimed the Gos had previously adopted a child. And there's no doubt that many were fervently hoping this, too, was merely a rumor and that they still had a chance with His "Hey Girl"-ness. Disappointed fans will have to console themselves by (re)watching The Notebook, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and generated a few searches of its own. Oh, and congratulations to Ms. Mendes, too.

Summer snack time
Finally, during a week of Fourth of July barbecues, it's only fitting that there was an unusual number of food-related subjects among this week's trending topics, starting with a picnic table classic. Last week, a fellow named Zach Danger Brown set up a [kickstarter] project to raise funds for… potato salad. Literally. Despite some controversy over its merits, fundraising for Zach's project is now $45,326-and counting-past the original $10 goal, and searches for potato salad were nearly as high on Tuesday as on Independence Day itself. But that's nothing compared to another Kickstarter project focused on a summer staple. With more than $1.5 million raised so far, the [coolest cooler] promises not just to keep your drinks chilled (elementary, my dear Coleman), but also offers a bevy of bells and whistles worthy of "Pimp My Ride." Not only have 50,000+ searches been done on the subject, but the campaign is well on its way to Kickstarter records. Finally, [joey chestnut] won hearts as well as the mustard winner's belt at this year's Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island when he proposed to his girlfriend at the event. More than 100,000 people searched to learn more about this champion of chowing down.

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [seersucker etymology] and [dragons love tacos]

11 Jul 2014 10:54pm GMT

Searching for the right balance

In May, the Court of Justice of the European Union established a "right to be forgotten." Today, we published an op-ed by David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, in the U.K.'s The Guardian, Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, France's Le Figaro and Spain's El Pais, discussing the ruling and our response. We're republishing the op-ed in full below. -Ed.

When you search online, there's an unwritten assumption that you'll get an instant answer, as well as additional information if you need to dig deeper. This is all possible because of two decades worth of investment and innovation by many different companies. Today, however, search engines across Europe face a new challenge-one we've had just two months to get our heads around. That challenge is figuring out what information we must deliberately omit from our results, following a new ruling from the European Court of Justice.

In the past we've restricted the removals we make from search to a very short list. It includes information deemed illegal by a court, such as defamation, pirated content (once we're notified by the rights holder), malware, personal information such as bank details, child sexual abuse imagery and other things prohibited by local law (like material that glorifies Nazism in Germany).

We've taken this approach because, as article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

But the European Court found that people have the right to ask for information to be removed from search results that include their names if it is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive." In deciding what to remove, search engines must also have regard to the public interest. These are, of course, very vague and subjective tests. The court also decided that search engines don't qualify for a "journalistic exception." This means that The Guardian could have an article on its website about an individual that's perfectly legal, but we might not legally be able to show links to it in our results when you search for that person's name. It's a bit like saying the book can stay in the library, it just cannot be included in the library's card catalogue.

It's for these reasons that we disagree with the ruling. That said, we obviously respect the court's authority and are doing our very best to comply quickly and responsibly. It's a huge task as we've had over 70,000 take-down requests covering 250,000 webpages since May. So we now have a team of people individually reviewing each application, in most cases with limited information and almost no context.

The examples we've seen so far highlight the difficult value judgments search engines and European society now face: former politicians wanting posts removed that criticize their policies in office; serious, violent criminals asking for articles about their crimes to be deleted; bad reviews for professionals like architects and teachers; comments that people have written themselves (and now regret). In each case, someone wants the information hidden, while others might argue it should be out in the open.

When it comes to determining what's in the the public interest, we're taking into account a number of factors. These include whether: the information relates to a politician, celebrity, or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet "spent"; and if the information is being published by a government. But these will always be difficult and debatable judgments.

We're also doing our best to be transparent about removals: for example, we're informing websites when one of their pages has been removed. But we cannot be specific about why we have removed the information because that could violate the individual's privacy rights under the court's decision.

Of course, only two months in, our process is still very much a work in progress. It's why we incorrectly removed links to some articles last week (they have since been reinstated). But the good news is that the ongoing, active debate that's happening will inform the development of our principles, policies and practices-in particular about how to balance one person's right to privacy with another's right to know.

That's why we've also set up an advisory council of experts, the final membership of which we're announcing today. These external experts from the worlds of academia, the media, data protection, civil society and the tech sector are serving as independent advisors to Google. The council will be asking for evidence and recommendations from different groups, and will hold public meetings this autumn across Europe to examine these issues more deeply. Its public report will include recommendations for particularly difficult removal requests (like criminal convictions); thoughts on the implications of the court's decision for European Internet users, news publishers, search engines and others; and procedural steps that could improve accountability and transparency for websites and citizens.

The issues here at stake are important and difficult, but we're committed to complying with the court's decision. Indeed it's hard not to empathize with some of the requests we've seen-from the man who asked that we not show a news article saying he had been questioned in connection with a crime (he's able to demonstrate that he was never charged) to the mother who requested that we remove news articles for her daughter's name as she had been the victim of abuse. It's a complex issue, with no easy answers. So a robust debate is both welcome and necessary, as, on this issue at least, no search engine has an instant or perfect answer.

Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

11 Jul 2014 1:40pm GMT

Google Cloud Platform predicts the World Cup (and so can you!)

In 2010, we had Paul the Octopus. This year, there's Google Cloud Platform. For the past couple weeks, we've been using Cloud Platform to make predictions for the World Cup-analyzing data, building a statistical model and using machine learning to predict outcomes of each match since the group round. So far, we've gotten 13 out of 14 games correct. But with the finals ahead this weekend, we're not only ready to make our prediction, but we're doing something a little extra for you data geeks out there. We're giving you the keys to our prediction model so you can make your own model and run your own predictions.

A little background
Using data from Opta covering multiple seasons of professional soccer leagues as well as the group stage of the World Cup, we were able to examine how activity in previous games predicted performance in subsequent ones. We combined this modeling with a power ranking of relative team strength developed by one of our engineers, as well as a metric to stand in for hometeam advantage based on fan enthusiasm and the number of fans who had traveled to Brazil. We used a whole bunch of Google Cloud Platform products to build this model, including Google Cloud Dataflow to import all the data and Google BigQuery to analyze it. So far, we've only been wrong on one match (we underestimated Germany when they faced France in the quarterfinals).

Watch +Jordan Tigani and Felipe Hoffa from the BigQuery team talk about the project in this video from Google I/O, or look at our quarterfinals and semifinals blog posts to learn more.

A narrow win for Germany in the final
Drumroll please… Though we think it's going to be close, Germany has the edge: our model gives them a 55 percent chance of defeating Argentina. Both teams have had excellent tournaments so far, but the model favors Germany for a number of factors. Thus far in the tournament, they've had better passing in the attacking half of their field, a higher number of shots (64 vs. 61) and a higher number of goals scored (17 vs. 8).

(Oh, and we think Brazil has a tiny advantage in the third place game. They may have had a disappointing defeat on Tuesday, but their numbers still look good.)

Channel your inner data nerd
Now it's your turn. We've put together a step-by-step guide (warning: code ahead) showing how we built our model and used it for predictions. You could try different statistical techniques or adding in your own data, like player salaries or team travel distance. Even though we've been right 92.86 percent of the time, we're sure there's room for improvement.

The model works for other hypothetical situations, and it includes data going back to the 2006 World Cup, three years of English Barclays Premier League, two seasons of Spanish La Liga, and two seasons of U.S. MLS. So, you could try modeling how the USA would have done against Argentina if their game against Belgium had gone differently, or pit this year's German team against the unstoppable Spanish team of 2010. The world (er, dataset) is your oyster.

Ready to kick things off? Read our post on the Cloud Platform blog to learn more (or, if you're familiar with all the technology, you can jump right over to GitHub and start crunching numbers for yourself).

Posted by Benjamin Bechtolsheim, Product Marketing Manager, Google Cloud Platform

11 Jul 2014 1:24pm GMT

10 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

GoogleServe 2014: More opportunities to give back globally

In June, we celebrated the seventh annual GoogleServe, where employees come together and volunteer in our communities. This year, we doubled GoogleServe from one to two weeks so we could involve more volunteers and serve more community organizations. And it paid off-more than 12,000 Googlers from 70+ offices participated in 800+ projects, making this our biggest GoogleServe to date. Here's a look at how we gave back to our communities this year:

Making tech more accessible
At our Mountain View headquarters and in Hyderabad, India, Googlers volunteered in three SocialCoding4Good events. Googlers participated in an Accessibility Code Sprint with Benetech's Global Literacy Program to improve Go Read, a free mobile app for people with visual impairments and reading disabilities. A team of Googlers also worked with Bookshare to write descriptions for nearly 1,400 images in five STEM textbooks, making charts, graphs, and diagrams more accessible to blind and visually impaired students.

Helping veterans build their resumes
Googlers helped 475 veterans build their resumes as part of our "Help a Hero Get Hired" workshops in 14 cities: Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Austin, Boulder, Cambridge, Chicago, Kansas City, Moncks Corner, Mountain View, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. This was our fourth year partnering with Student Veterans of America to help veterans take the next steps in their careers.

Volunteering at local schools and community centers
In Oakland, volunteers canvassed the community with Hack the Hood, a Bay Area Impact Challenge winner that trains youth from Oakland's low-income communities to build mobile-friendly websites. In San Francisco, Googlers visited the Presidio YMCA, where they repaired picnic tables, cleaned toys and organized closets, and worked with the YMCA's marketing specialists to redesign their corporate partnerships materials. In Kampala, Uganda, Googlers painted a nursery at Sanyu Babies' Home, helping brighten the living space of the Home's young residents.

Building houses and preparing meals
Googlers in Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Valparaiso, Chile, partnered with Techo to build houses for low-income families, while volunteers in Singapore prepared, cooked, and distributed 3,000 meals at Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen. In Milan and Mountain View, Googlers packaged 16,500 meals with Stop Hunger Now, a nonprofit that ships food to schools, orphanages and clinics in more than 70 countries.

Protecting the environment
A group of Googlers in Auckland, New Zealand, cleared three kilometers of coastline at Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve, and Ann Arbor Googlers collected trash as they paddled down the Huron River with the Huron River Watershed Council. And volunteers in San Jose, Calif., mulched, weeded and cleared leaves in the beautiful gardens of the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy.

Click the image below for photos from this year's GoogleServe.

GoogleServe is part of our larger commitment to giving and volunteering throughout the year; employees have 20 hours of work time a year to volunteer with approved charitable organizations. In 2013, Googlers volunteered 130,000 hours with 1,390 nonprofits around the world. If you want to learn how you can give back to your community, visit All for Good or VolunteerMatch.

Posted by Seth Marbin, on behalf of the GoogleServe & GooglersGive Teams

10 Jul 2014 9:26pm GMT

Google Ventures invests in Europe

Wander through the excellent Science Museum in London, and you'll see inventions that transformed history. Like Puffing Billy, one of the world's first steam locomotives; or Charles Babbage's difference engine, a Victorian predecessor to the modern computer; or penicillin, the wonder drug that revolutionized the treatment of disease. These marvels from the past still influence our lives today, and are tangible examples of how fearless exploration and entrepreneurship can literally change the world.

To help support the next generation of European entrepreneurs, today Google Ventures is launching a new venture fund, with initial funding of $100 million. Our goal is simple: we want to invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs, and help them bring those ideas to life.

When we launched Google Ventures in 2009, we set out to be a very different type of venture fund. Startups need more than just capital to succeed: they also benefit from engineering support, design expertise, and guidance with recruiting, marketing and product management. Five years later, we're working with more than 250 portfolio companies, tackling challenges across a host of industries. For example, the team at Flatiron Health is improving the way doctors and patients approach cancer care, SynapDx is developing a blood test for the early detection of Autism in children, and Clean Power Finance is making solar energy affordable for homeowners.

We believe Europe's startup scene has enormous potential. We've seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond-SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others.

We can't predict the kinds of inventions the Science Museum might showcase 10+ years from now, but we do know European startups will be essential to this future, and we can't wait to see what they create.

Posted by Bill Maris, Managing Partner, Google Ventures

10 Jul 2014 6:12am GMT

09 Jul 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Meet the five Giving through Glass winners

We believe technology can help nonprofits make a difference more easily, and connect people to the causes they care about. It's with this in mind that we launched Giving through Glass-a contest for U.S. nonprofits to share ideas for how Google Glass can support the impact they're having every day.

Today, we're announcing the five winners: 3000 Miles to a Cure, Classroom Champions, The Hearing and Speech Agency, Mark Morris Dance Group and Women's Audio Mission. The winners were selected from more than 1,300 proposals, and each will take home a pair of Glass, a $25,000 grant, a trip to Google for training, and access to Glass developers who can help make their projects a reality.

Here's what our winners are planning to do with Glass:

Classroom Champions will give students in high-needs schools a look through the eyes of Paralympic athletes as they train and compete, helping kids build empathy and learn to see ability where others too often see only disability. Bay Area-based Women's Audio Mission will give instructors Glass to use in its music and media-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math training program for women and girls, creating a more immersive lab experience for students online and in person.

U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist Josh Sweeney visits a Waller, Texas school
as part of a Classroom Champions program


Two programs focus on using Glass in therapeutic settings. The Hearing and Speech Agency will use Glass to pilot new ways to improve communication access for people who have speech language challenges, hearing loss and autism-and support those who teach and care for them. And the Mark Morris Dance Group will create a Glass app that will build on their award-winning Dance for PD® initiative to help people with Parkinson's disease remember and trigger body movements in their daily lives.

Finally, Glass will head across the U.S. by bicycle to help raise money and increase awareness for brain cancer research. For the first time, supporters of participants in the 3000 Miles to a Cure Race Across America will be able to see and experience it through a racer's eyes and the racer will be alerted to every message of encouragement and donation supporters send.

Developers are already working with these inspiring groups, and next week these five nonprofits will descend on Google Glass' Base Camp in San Francisco for training, and to connect with their Google mentors. Stay tuned for updates on how the projects unfold!

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org

09 Jul 2014 12:00pm GMT

03 Jul 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

On Leave

I wanted to let folks know that I'm about to take a few months of leave. When I joined Google, my wife and I agreed that I would work for 4-5 years, and then she'd get to see more of me. I talked about this as recently as last month and as early as 2006. […]

03 Jul 2014 8:15pm GMT

09 Jun 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fun summer book reading suggestions?

Hey everybody, I'm looking for some fun books (mostly fiction) to read this summer. What would you recommend? One book I recently enjoyed was The Martian, a novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars who needs to figure out how to survive and get home with minimal supplies. It was a little heavy on the […]

09 Jun 2014 7:30pm GMT

02 Jun 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

30 day challenge for June: treadmill desk!

Okay, it's been a while since I've blogged. Let me tell you about the 30 day challenges I've been doing and what I learned: - March 2014: I went back to doing no external email, and I learned this one weird, simple trick that helped. In previous "no email" challenges, I relied on sheer force […]

02 Jun 2014 6:40am GMT

26 Feb 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

30 day challenge for March: no external email

In January 2014, my 30 day challenge was to limit my social media. That was a productive month. In February 2014, my 30 day challenge was to eat more slowly. I did that by counting to ten between chewing bites of my food. I tend to wolf down my food, which doesn't give my stomach […]

26 Feb 2014 8:41am GMT

20 Jan 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO

Okay, I'm calling it: if you're using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it's become a more and more spammy practice, and if you're doing a lot of guest blogging then you're hanging out with really bad company. Back in the day, guest […]

20 Jan 2014 7:51pm GMT

28 Dec 2013

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Bluetooth garage door opener

Today I made a Bluetooth garage door opener. Now I can open my garage from my Android phone. There's a short how-to YouTube video from Lou Prado. Lou also made a website btmate.com that has more information, and you can watch an earlier howto video as well. The project itself was pretty simple: - Acquire […]

28 Dec 2013 12:39am GMT

16 Dec 2013

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

I’m matching funds for cancer research!

I'll keep it short: this week when you donate for cancer research, I'll match your donation (up to a limit of $5000 total for all donations). We've already raised almost $8,000 dollars to help stop cancer, but I'd love to get to $10,000 or even higher. If anyone has ever wanted to take money out […]

16 Dec 2013 5:57pm GMT

02 Dec 2013

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

30 day challenge update: stretching!

I like to set myself different challenges every 30 days. In October 2013, I tried to eat better and exercise more. I did alright on that, but without a specific daily goal, I had a hard time deciding how well I did. I mostly got back into the habit of exercising daily, so that was […]

02 Dec 2013 5:45am GMT

21 Nov 2013

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

What would you like to see from Webmaster Tools in 2014?

A few years ago, I asked on my blog what people would like from Google's free webmaster tools. It's pretty cool to re-read that post now, because we've delivered on a lot of peoples' requests. At this point, our webmaster console will alert you to manual webspam actions that will directly affect your site. We've […]

21 Nov 2013 3:44pm GMT

20 Nov 2013

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

On vacation the rest of November 2013

For the folks that don't know, I've been out for a couple weeks and I'll be on vacation the rest of November. If you've tried to contact me recently and haven't heard back, that's probably the reason. Added: if you enjoy watching our webmaster videos, you can follow @googlewmc to hear as soon as we […]

20 Nov 2013 9:46pm GMT

26 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

The Emperor's Garden

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

26 Aug 2011 12:12pm GMT

15 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

15 Aug 2011 4:00pm GMT

25 Feb 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google drops reverse phone number lookup

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

25 Feb 2011 11:23am GMT

16 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Idea: Topical Chat

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

16 Dec 2010 2:55pm GMT

Idea: CrowdChat

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

16 Dec 2010 7:26am GMT

Google Body Browser

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

16 Dec 2010 2:17am GMT

10 Dec 2010

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