01 Oct 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Open Gmail Images in Google Drive Viewer

Gmail now treats embedded images just like image attachments. You can mouse over an image and click "Download" and "Save to Drive" or you can click the image to open it in the Google Drive viewer, which has additional features like printing, Google+ sharing, zooming, opening the file in a Google Drive app and more. It's also great for opening the image in full-screen mode. You can use the arrow buttons or press right/left arrow keys to open the next/previous image.




"Similar to attachments, you can now click on large images within a message to see them full-screen in Gmail on the web," informs Google. It didn't work for a 384 x 103 image and a 266 x 210 image, while it worked for a 300 x 153 image. I assume that the minimum image size required is 300 x 150.

{ Thanks, Herin Maru. }

01 Oct 2014 2:27pm GMT

29 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Tests Icon for Smartphone-Optimized Results

A Google experiment shows a special icon next to smartphone-optimized search results. Obviously, the icon is only displayed when searching from smartphones.


Back in 2012, Google ran a similar experiment, but it never became a regular feature.

Google has a few articles about building smartphone-optimized sites. Google supports three different configurations: responsive design (same code, same URL - Google's recommended configuration), dynamic serving (different code, same URL) and separate mobile sites (different code, different URL).

{ Thanks, Herin Maru. }

29 Sep 2014 3:23pm GMT

Bonus Storage for Google Maps Views

Sushubh Mittal noticed 8GB of bonus storage in his Google account. The bonus storage is for Google Maps Views and doesn't expire.


Other users got 15GB, 67GB, 72GB of free storage, so it looks like Google's bonus is not the same for everyone. It's not clear how you can obtain the Google Maps Views bonus, but I assume it could be influenced by the number of photos and panoramic images you add to Google Maps Views, the number of photos approved to be displayed in Google Maps and their popularity.

All the photos you've publicly shared in Google+ and they're also tagged with a location and have the "Show location" setting checked are automatically added to Google Maps Views and some of them are added to Google Maps. "Google Maps tries to algorithmically choose a variety of interesting, high-quality photos that give you a sense of place. To keep the focus on the location, photos that have people in them are typically not chosen," explains Google.

You can check your storage here: mouse over the chart to see the breakdown.

Update: Stephen Shankland from CNet found a post from the Panoramio group which says that Panoramio users will receive bonus Google Drive storage: "We will provide an easy way for you to migrate all your Panoramio photos, their metadata, and their viewcounts to Views. Your photos will be saved into public albums in Google+ and we will provide you a Google Drive storage bonus to cover the additional data usage."

29 Sep 2014 2:47pm GMT

27 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Android Verification Code for Google Accounts

When you're signing in to a Google account from a different country, Google asks you to confirm your identity. You can enter your recovery email address or phone number, enter a verification code received in an SMS messages or voice call and now you can enter a code generated by your Android device.


"If you're signing in from a different location than you usually do, we may ask you to enter a code from the Google Settings app on your Android phone or tablet to make sure you own the account. You don't need an internet connection or phone/SMS connectivity to get codes using this app."


The Google Settings app is the UI for Google Play Services, Google's framework that delivers new features and APIs without installing a new Android version. It has nothing to do with the built-in Settings app, which is part of the operating system and can't be updated by Google.

The verification code has 8 digits and it can be obtained by opening the Google Settings app, tapping the menu button and selecting "Get verification code".

{ Thanks, Herin Maru. }

27 Sep 2014 9:50pm GMT

Chrome's Offline Easter Egg

Chrome's latest Canary release has an updated offline error page. It still includes a small dinosaur image, a funny way to show how quickly your computer can become a relic from the past without an Internet connection.


The error page has an Easter Egg: if you press space, it lets you play a game. "Your only goal is to avoid hitting cacti. The T. Rex jumps by hitting the space bar. Fret not if you do hit an obstacle, because Chrome T. Rex doesn't stay down for long. (Hit the game-over refresh icon, and you're back at it.) The game tracks your progress and high score, but stats are lost if the window closes or is refreshed," reports Mashable.


27 Sep 2014 9:30am GMT

Google's 16th Birthday Doodle

Google has an animated doodle for its 16th birthday. It's not a game like last year's doodle, but it's still funny. This time, Google shows the world how much it has grown.


"When's Google's birthday? I'm not sure even we know - we've celebrated on September 7th, 8th, 26th, and, most recently the 27th. Still, while there're some differing opinions about when to bust out the candles and cake, one fun fact is that our first doodle was posted even before Google was officially incorporated," says Google.

You can find Google's previous birthday doodles on this page.

Happy Birthday, Google!

27 Sep 2014 8:25am GMT

26 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends September 19-25

Spoiler alert! Those of you not caught up with Scandal might want to skim this one. -Ed.

This week, searchers learned how to get away with murder-and how not to get away with public criticism of prominent figures with important business relationships with your employer.

Shonda, Shonda, Shonda
TV fans, rejoice! This week brought premiere episodes for old favorite shows as well as hotly anticipated new ones. Top returning shows on search include CBS's The Big Bang Theory (natch), and NBC's The Blacklist and Chicago Fire. New shows that shot up the search ratings include Batman prequel Gotham and new family comedy black-ish.

But premieres week really came to a head on Thursday night, which we prefer to call the Night of Shonda. Producer Shonda Rimes has got ABC's lineup locked up with Scandal, Grey's Anatomy (in its final season this year) and the new How To Get Away With Murder, starring Academy Award-nominee Viola Davis. All three shows were in the top 10 hot searches the day of their premiere. True to form, Scandal's season 4 debut left people with more questions than answers. Here's a sampling (spoiler alert!) of what searchers were asking during the show:

The end of an era
Derek Jeter first took the field as a New York Yankee in May 1995. Five World Series, more than 3,000 hits and nearly 20 years later, this weekend he will take to the diamond for a final game at Fenway against his archrivals, the Boston Red Sox. Though neither the Yankees nor the Sox made this season's playoffs, anticipation for Jeter's farewell at-bat was already high. But last night, after giving baseball fans so many memorable moments over the years, he gave us one more. In his final game at Yankee Stadium, Jeter's ninth-inning walk-off single gave the Yankees a win over the Orioles, provided the world another excuse to search for the star shortstop, and was a fitting ending to Jeter's fairy-tale career.

Over on the political field, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday that he is stepping down. Holder will leave behind a large and sometimes complicated legacy on issues including same-sex marriage, voting rights, criminal justice, national security and government secrecy. He'll go down in history as the fourth longest-serving and first black AG.

NFL in the news
The NFL continues to be in the news for more than just its games. First, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave a press conference on Friday addressing the league's issues with domestic violence. Then, on Monday, prominent sportswriter Bill Simmons was suspended for three weeks by ESPN after he called Goodell a liar in his podcast "The B.S. Report." Simmons is prohibited from tweeting or other public communications until October 15, but Sports Guy supporters took to the web on his behalf, fighting to #FreeSimmons. Finally, this week's season premiere of South Park featured a malfunctioning "GoodellBot" and a plotline about the controversy over Washington's team name.

Happy 5775
Shana Tova! That's what a lot of people were saying (and searching) as people worldwide dipped apples in honey and celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The holiday was the fourth hottest search trend on Wednesday.

Tip of the week
Google can help you get a good deal on your next airplane ticket. When the price drops on a flight you've been researching on Flight Search, you may see a Now card letting you know. Just tap the card to quickly and easily book your trip. This works on the latest version of the Google app on Android in the U.S.

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [where do kiwis grow] and [reign season 2]

26 Sep 2014 9:36pm GMT

25 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

New Interface for Google Takeout

Google Takeout has a new interface. It's easier to pick the services you want to include in an archive and you can now store archives in Google Drive.

"After we finish creating your archive, we will add your archive to Drive and email you a link to its location. These archives will count against your storage quota," informs Google.


Some services let you select the data you want to export: Gmail labels, calendars, Google Drive folders, Blogger blogs, Google+ photo albums, books.



Google can create a download link that expires after a month or save the archive in Google Drive.





Imagine exporting your data, saving the archive to Google Drive and then exporting your data again. This time, you'll also export the archive you've previously created. It's a good idea to exclude the Takeout folder from Drive, which stores your Takeout archives.

{ Thanks, Florian Kiersch. }

25 Sep 2014 10:15pm GMT

Mobile IE Doesn't Show Google Suggestions

If you've changed the search provider to Google in Internet Explorer for Windows Phone and you're wondering why search suggestions aren't that great, there's an explanation: Internet Explorer shows suggestions from Bing even if you're using Google.

Let's say I type in the address bar: "the best way to". Here are the suggestions:


And here are Google's suggestions:


If you go to IE's advanced settings, you'll notice that you can enable or disable "get suggestions from Bing as I type". To get Google's suggestions, you can go to google.com, install Google's app for Windows Phone or install a different browser.



So why would Microsoft show Bing suggestions if you've changed your search provider to Google? Maybe it's an excuse for Microsoft to send all your queries and partial queries to Bing, so that it can improve its search engine.

Update. Hadrien Zero-Un has an explanation in the comments: "Internet Explorer for Windows Phone can't have Google as a search engine. BUT Nokia modified the browser to allow the change of the search [engine]."

25 Sep 2014 6:29pm GMT

Google Structured Snippets

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Google shows facts next to some Wikipedia results. This feature is called Structured Snippets and it's not limited to Wikipedia results.

"Structured Snippets is a new feature that incorporates facts into individual result snippets in Web Search. As seen in the example below, interesting and relevant information is extracted from a page and displayed as part of the snippet for the query [nikon d7100]," informs Google.


"Structured Snippets is the latest collaboration between Google Research and the Web Search team employing that data to seamlessly provide the most relevant information to the user. We use machine learning techniques to distinguish data tables on the Web from uninteresting tables, e.g., tables used for formatting web pages. We also have additional algorithms to determine quality and relevance that we use to display up to four highly ranked facts from those data tables," mentions the Google Research blog.


You don't need special formatting: Google extracts information from existing tables. It's interesting to notice that Google has always used tables from web pages to extract useful data. Google Sets, one of the earliest Google Labs services, used lists and tables from web pages to generate lists of related terms. Google also built a search engine for tables and shows data from tables in cards and snippets.

25 Sep 2014 5:59pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

You don’t know what you don’t know: How our unconscious minds undermine the workplace

When YouTube launched their video upload app for iOS, between 5 and 10 percent of videos uploaded by users were upside-down. Were people shooting videos incorrectly? No. Our early design was the problem. It was designed for right-handed users, but phones are usually rotated 180 degrees when held in left hands. Without realizing it, we'd created an app that worked best for our almost exclusively right-handed developer team.

This is just one example of how unconscious biases influence our actions every day, even when-by definition-we don't notice them. These biases are shaped by our experiences and by cultural norms, and allow us to filter information and make quick decisions. We've evolved to trust our guts. But sometimes these mental shortcuts can lead us astray, especially when they cause us to misjudge people. In the workplace, for example, the halo effect can cause us to inflate performance ratings or in-group bias can lead us to overlook great talent.

Combatting our unconscious biases is hard, because they don't feel wrong; they feel right. But it's necessary to fight against bias in order to create a work environment that supports and encourages diverse perspectives and people. Not only is that the right thing to do, but without a diverse workforce, there's a pretty good chance that our products-just like that early YouTube app-won't work for everyone. That means we need to make the unconscious, conscious.

The first step is education; we need to help people identify and understand their biases so that they can start to combat them. So we developed a workshop, Unconscious Bias @ Work, in which more than 26,000 Googlers have taken part. And it's made an impact: Participants were significantly more aware, had greater understanding, and were more motivated to overcome bias.

In addition to our workshop, we're partnering with organizations like the Clayman Institute and the Ada Initiative to further research and awareness. We're also taking action to ensure that the decisions we make at work-from promoting employees to marketing products-are objective and fair. Here are four ways we're working to reduce the influence of bias:


As we shared back in May, we're not where we should be when it comes to diversity. But in order to get there, we need to have this conversation. We have to figure out where our biases lie, and we have to combat them. Tackling unconscious bias at work is just one piece of making Google a diverse workplace, but it's absolutely essential if we're going to live up to our promise to build technology that makes life better for as many people as possible.

Posted by Laszlo Bock, SVP of People Operations, and Brian Welle, Ph.D., Director of People Analytics

25 Sep 2014 3:00pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Obscure Google Maps Results

When you add "google maps" or "map" to a Google query related to a location, it's likely that you'll see a Google Maps card. For example, searching for [google maps bop], [map bop] or [bop map] returns a map for the Bouar Airport (BOP) from the Central African Republic.


Sometimes this feature doesn't work very well. I searched for [google maps location history] and Google returned this map for Location History Collection, a museum from Hungary that appears to be permanently closed. It's obvious that the Google Maps Location History page is more important and should be displayed first.


What about [google maps 2014]?


And it's not just about Hungary.


There's even a map for Street View:


And maps for "distance" and "navigation":



Even Larry Page has a Google Maps card.


Android too.

25 Sep 2014 11:47am GMT

Updated Dictionary Card in Google Search

Google updated the dictionary card and it now includes a message next to the big arrow at the bottom: "Translations, word origin, and more definitions". Probably many users didn't realize that the card can be expanded to show even more definitions and some additional information.


25 Sep 2014 11:23am GMT

23 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Creating Google Accounts No Longer Requires Google+

When you create a Google account, Google no longer forces you to join Google+. Google only asks you to create a public Google+ profile, but you can click "No thanks" and avoid upgrading to Google+.


A Google spokesperson confirmed the change to Quartz: "Users can now create a public profile during signup, or later, if and when they share public content for the first time (like a restaurant review, YouTube video or Google+ post)."


Google has removed the "real names" policy and made Hangouts available to Google Apps users who don't have Google+ accounts. It's likely that Hangouts and Google Photos will become standalone apps that don't require Google+. As Google+ fades into the background, it's time to open Google's apps to everyone and transform Google+ into a social enhancement instead of a requirement.

Back in 2012, creating a Google account from the Google homepage meant joining Gmail and Google+. Some time ago, Google added the option to use an existing email address and now you can bypass Google+.

23 Sep 2014 11:55am GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

For those who dream big: Announcing the winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair

Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow became interested in addressing the global food crisis after learning about the Horn of Africa famine in 2011. When a gardening project went awry, they discovered a naturally occurring bacteria in soil called Diazotroph. The girls determined that the bacteria could be used to speed up the the germination process of certain crops, like barley and oats, by 50 percent, potentially helping fulfill the rising demand for food worldwide. Oh-and they're 16 years old.

Today, Ciara, Émer and Sophie were named the Grand Prize Winner and the 15-16 age category winners of our fourth annual Google Science Fair. They are some of thousands of students ages 13-18 who dared to ask tough questions like: How can we stop cyberbullying? How can I help my grandfather who has Alzheimer's from wandering out of bed at night? How can we protect the environment? And then they actually went out and answered them.

From thousands of submissions from 90+ countries, our panel of esteemed judges selected 18 finalists representing nine countries-Australia, Canada, France, India, Russia, U.K., Ukraine and the U.S.-who spent today impressing Googlers and local school students at our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. In addition to our Grand Prize Winners, the winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair are:

Hayley, Mihir, Kenneth, Ciara, Sophie and Émer


As the Grand Prize winners, Ciara, Émer and Sophie receive a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands provided by National Geographic, a $50,000 scholarship from Google, a personalized LEGO prize provided by LEGO Education and the chance to participate in astronaut training at the Virgin Galactic Spaceport in the Mojave desert.

Thanks to all of our young finalists and to everyone who participated in this year's Google Science Fair. We started the Science Fair to inspire scientific exploration among young people and celebrate the next generation of scientist and engineers. And every year we end up amazed by how much you inspire us. So, keep dreaming, creating and asking questions. We look forward to hearing the answers.

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

23 Sep 2014 3:30am GMT

19 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends Sept 12-18

-Welcome to this week's search trends. May I take your order?
-Can I have a referendum on independence, a totally inappropriate flight passenger with a Hollywood baby on the side?
-Coming right up!

Flag and country
"They may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!" That was Sir William Wallace battlecry for Scottish independence in the film Braveheart. While this week's events in Scotland weren't quite as cinematic, the results could have been revolutionary. On Thursday the world watched and searched as an unprecedented numbers of Scots went to the polls to answer the question, "Should Scotland be independent from the United Kingdom?" Turns out the majority of people don't think it should, and voted to stay a member of the U.K. Party leaders have now promised significant constitutional changes for the entire kingdom. What would Wallace have made of that?

The comeback kings
Everybody loves a comeback and search had its fair share this week. First up, nostalgia for the 90's brought Surge soda back from the dead. Thanks to a Facebook campaign called "The SURGE Movement," Coca-Cola will now sell its "fully-loaded citrus" soft drink for a limited time on Amazon. And the Chicago Bears denied the 49ers a win in their brand-spanking-new stadium when they rallied to overturn a 13-point deficit in the last quarter to beat San Francisco 28-20.



Airing dirty laundry
Hard plastic-y seats, broken recliner adjusters, zero leg room-flying economy isn't always the most pleasant experience. And depending on who you're sitting next to, your easy two-hour flight could turn into a nightmare before you even take off. But the passengers of the world aren't having it, not anymore. This week, "passenger shaming" went viral on social media as traumatized travelers shared photos of the most absurdly obnoxious unconscientious things some passenger do on flights-we're talking bare feet, bare skin... well, you should just see for yourself.

But at least those offending fliers were shielded in anonymity. Singer Robin Thicke wasn't afforded the same luxury, revealing in a court deposition this week that he had little to do with the creation of last year's song of the summer "Blurred Lines." As part of his defense against a copyright infringement lawsuit, Thicke admitted that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol for most of 2013-bringing a whole new meaning to the song's title.

And the winner is ...
The hipster revolution has finally taken over the United States! Need proof? Searchers don't. When New Yorker Kira Kazantsev won the the title of Miss America, the Internet discovered that the U.S.A's new leading lady is a former food blogger. She's even reported on her state's crown foodie jewel, the cronut. Miss America wasn't the only who got to bask in the limelight; boxing world champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. won his rematch with contender Marcos Maidana by an unanimous decision. The victory brings his undefeated tally to 47… somehow the title world champion is starting to sound like an understatement.

Love on the set!
For Orange is the New Black screenwriter Lauren Morelli, life imitated art a bit more than she probably expected. While writing the hit program, Morelli decided to divorce her husband and start a relationship with Samira Wiley, an actress from the show. Meanwhile, searchers learned that Mindy Kaling considers former The Office castmate and on-screen boyfriend B.J. Novak "the love that got away." But while not all on-set relationships last, some couples not only make it work but also take their relationship to the next level. That's the route taken by Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who met while making the movie The Place Beyond the Pines. The power couple welcomed baby girl Gosling earlier this week.

Tip of the week
The NFL season's just getting started so it's time to hunker down and plan your football viewing schedule. Just say, "OK Google, show me the NFL schedule" to coordinate your life for the next four months. We'll see you back in the spring.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched this week for [hey girl] and [no shirt, no shoes, no service].

19 Sep 2014 9:34pm GMT

18 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Quick Unit Conversion in Google Search

Here's a simple way to use Google's unit conversion feature, while typing shorter queries. Instead of searching Google for [6 lbs to kg], you can use [6 lbs =]. Just add the equal sign to the value you want to convert and Google will use the right measurement unit most of the time.


Here's another example: [68 f =]. The query is shorter than [68 f to c] or [6 fahrenheit to celsius]. Unfortunately, [20 c =] doesn't convert temperature, since c is the speed of light, so you'll have to use [20 c to f].


You can use Google's dropdown to pick other measurement units or you can edit the value and the result will change as yo type.

This trick also works in Chrome's omnibox, Firefox's search box, Safari's address bar:


18 Sep 2014 1:06pm GMT

17 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Blogger Updates Photo Picker

Blogger updated the dialog that lets you insert photos. Now it uses horizontal tabs, just like in Gmail. You can upload photos, add photos from Picasa Web Albums/Google+ Photos, capture photos from your webcam or paste URLs. Blogger's dialog has special sections that restrict Google+ Photos to images from your blog or from your phone (Auto Backup).


When you select "from your phone", you can rotate photos or even delete them:


It's interesting that Blogger still uses Picasa Web Albums instead of Google+ Photos, while also including a feature that's only available if you use Google+: Auto Backup.

Blogger, Gmail and other Google services use the same Google Drive picker and customize it by adding a long list of parameters.

17 Sep 2014 7:08pm GMT

Google Maps Views to Replace Panoramio

Google acquired the photo sharing site Panoramio back in 2007 to add high-quality photos to Google Maps and Google Earth. Last year, Panoramio's team launched Google Maps Views, a community site that lets you upload panoramic images and geotagged photos. Now Google Maps Views uses publicly shared Google+ photos and it will replace Panoramio.

"Over the past year, we've developed a similar community in Views, which lets you publish geo-relevant content (photo spheres and traditional photography) on Google Maps. In the future, we plan to migrate Panoramio into Views, creating one destination where you can publish and peruse imagery from around the globe. Before migrating any imagery, we'll make sure that Views reaches a level of feature maturity that supports the needs of the community," says Evan Rapoport, Product Manager for Google Maps Views.

Most likely, Google hopes to add more photos to Google Maps and to build its own community of users that make the Google Maps better by uploading great photos.


"Views is a Google Maps community where you can share photos that help other people explore the world and decide where they want to go. If you publicly share photos with a location on Google+, they may also appear on your page," informs Google.


{ Thanks, Jordan. }


17 Sep 2014 6:40pm GMT

16 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Maps Engine Is Now Called My Maps

From a Google email:

"We want to let you know that in the coming months, we're upgrading the content you created in My Maps. All of the maps that you've created will automatically move to the new Google My Maps (previously called Google Maps Engine). Classic My Maps on maps.google.com will no longer be available."

So all the custom maps you've created in the old Google Maps interface will be automatically migrated to the new My Maps. If you don't want to wait, you can go to My Maps and click "upgrade now".



"Upgrading your maps is permanent and takes just a minute or two," informs Google. "The new My Maps is a more powerful maps creation tool that makes it easier to edit and share maps you've made. Just like with classic My Maps, you can work on a map with others, save driving directions, add photos and videos, and more." There are some limitations and restrictions, since Google also has a paid version called My Maps Pro, which is better suited for big maps.


The new My Maps (previously known as Maps Engine Lite) is more powerful than the old My Maps as it uses Google Drive sharing, has support for layers, it lets you import locations from spreadsheets and more. The main difference is that My Maps is a standalone site and you can't create custom maps inside Google Maps. You can see a list of recent custom maps and there's a button that lets you create maps.


Google has an Android app for My Maps and a gallery that features publicly shared custom maps. "The possibilities are pretty much endless-students have photographed and mapped a city's public art installments, authors have laid out their stories' locations on the map, and activists have plotted out shelters and distribution centers during emergency situations," mentions Google's Lat Long blog.

16 Sep 2014 8:41pm GMT

15 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

For the next five billion: Android One

Knowledge is a game changer. I've long been inspired by the Internet and how it opens the doors to opportunity. It provides access to knowledge, no matter who you are or where you are. For instance, it doesn't matter if you're a Nobel Laureate at a world-class research center or a young student at a rural school in Indonesia, with Google Search, you have the same information at your fingertips as anyone else.

If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it's through a smartphone. While 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world's population-over five billion more-do not. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people.

That's where Android One comes in. At I/O, we first talked about this initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. And today we're introducing the first family of Android One phones in India.

Addressing key barriers-hardware, software and connectivity
There are three big reasons why it's hard for people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone. First, is the hardware itself. Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250). Second, many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications. Finally, even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.

Android One aims to help tackle these challenges. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we're making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. They have lots of processing power, so you can get information quickly. They have high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. And for all those pictures, along with your apps and videos, Android One phones will have expandable storage. We also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.

To help ensure a consistent experience, Android One devices will receive the latest versions of Android directly from Google. So you'll get all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up. It also means Android One devices will be some of the first to be updated to the Android L release later this year. For our hardware partners, they'll be able to create customized experiences and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.

In an effort to reduce data costs, if you have an Airtel SIM card, you'll get these software updates for free for the first six months. As part of this same Airtel offer, you'll also be able to download up to 200MB per month worth of your favorite apps (that's about 50 apps overall) from Google Play-all without counting toward your mobile data usage.

More to come
This is just the beginning of the Android One journey. The first phones, from our hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are available starting today in India from leading retailers starting at Rs 6,399. We're also excited to welcome more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. We expect to see even more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors, hardware configurations and customized software experiences. Finally, we plan to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.

Access for access's sake is not enough. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.

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

15 Sep 2014 9:12am GMT

12 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends Sept 5-11

New phones, new games, new looks. Let's take a peek at all the happenings this week in search:

All you can eat?
The Olive Garden learned this week that it's risky to get between people and their food. The restaurant chain's new "Never Ending Pasta Pass" offered up to 1,000 people seven weeks of unlimited pasta, salad and those sneaky-good breadsticks for just $100. The rush of pasta lovers eager for a deal crashed the Olive Garden website before the pass was even for sale-and thousands more turned to search to learn more about the debacle.

The latest edition
It was a big week for our neighbors from Cupertino. Apple's latest announcement this week flooded the search trends, with more than 10 million searches for the new iPhone 6, along with its release date and price. People were also curious about the new Apple Watch, the band U2-whose latest album Apple gave away for free to all iTunes users-and how the announcement was affecting AAPL stock.

And baby makes four for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, who announced this week that they're expecting a little brother or sister for one-year-old Prince George. People turned to the web to learn more about the news. Start your office naming pools now!

Football frenzy
A full 15 out of 20 top searches on Sunday were related to the first Sunday of football season, with the Cowboys, Steelers and Broncos topping the pack-on search, at least. But unfortunately, it was events off the field that had many people turning to the web this week. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely from the league on Monday, after TMZ released a video that appears to show him assaulting his then-fiancee in an elevator. More than 2 million searches for Rice followed-the highest spike ever. People were also looking for more information on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in an effort to understand whether the league's leadership had knowledge of the incident earlier in the year.


POTUS and ISIS
Just a day earlier, President Obama announced that the U.S. military would expand its air strikes in Iraq and now Syria, against the extremist group ISIS. Searches for ISIL, the term the President used for the group, climbed the day of his speech as people looked for more information on the news.

Transformations
The latest season of "The Biggest Loser" premiered yesterday with new trainers and a new concept-"Glory Days," in which former athletes compete to regain their former fitness-leading people to the web to learn more. And "The Sixth Sense" star Haley Joel Osment was in the news this week-but we won't blame you if you missed it, since he was nearly unrecognizable from his former self. Osment is filming a new Kevin Smith movie "Yoga Hosers," in which he plays Canadian fascist journalist Adrien Arcand.

Tip of the week
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. With the Google Search App, you can get warnings from Google Public Alerts when bad weather is on its way. Take a few minutes to get prepared by learning more about Alerts, which are available on Google Now, Search and Maps.

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [ducktales intro] and [adichie city arts]

12 Sep 2014 8:15pm GMT

11 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Google Drive and the Docs editors: designed with everyone in mind

Imagine trying to keep track of another person's real-time edits in a document-using only your ears. Or trying to create a table from spreadsheet data-without being able to clearly see the cells. Whether you're backing up a file in Drive or crunching some numbers in Sheets, it should be easy to bring your ideas to life using Google's tools. But if you're blind or have low vision, you may need to rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers and Braille displays-and that can make working in the cloud challenging. While screen readers can parse static webpages (like this blog) relatively easily, it's much harder for them to know what to say in interactive applications like Google Docs because the actions they need to describe are much more complex.

With these reasons in mind, today we're announcing some improvements to Drive and all our editors-Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms-specifically designed with blind and low-vision users in mind.
Improved screen reader support in Drive and Docs
In June, we introduced a new version of Drive that's sleeker, easier to navigate and much faster. But just as importantly, the new Drive also includes better keyboard accessibility, support for zoom and high-contrast mode and improved usability with screen readers.

Across Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings and Forms, you'll find that it's now much easier to use a screen reader, with nicer text-to-voice verbalization and improvements to keyboard navigation. You'll also notice other updates, including:

Collaborating with others is easier too: in Docs, Sheets, Slides or Drawings, screen readers announce when people enter or leave the document, and you'll now also hear when others are editing alongside you.

Refreshable Braille display support
If you use a Braille display, you can now use it to read and enter text in Docs, Slides and Drawings. Even if you don't use a Braille display, with Braille support, your screen reader's settings for character echoing are automatically followed. Enabling Braille also dramatically reduces the lag between when you press a key and when it's announced by your screen reader, and improves the announcements of punctuation and whitespace. Learn how to enable Braille support in our Help Center.

Get up and going faster
The first time you use a screen reader or a Braille display, getting up to speed can be a daunting task. But it's simpler with new step-by-step guides for Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings.

You can also access the in-product "Help" menu at any time without interrupting your work, or use the updated shortcut help dialog to easily search through keyboard shortcuts if you don't remember them.

Finally, we're offering phone support for Google Drive accessibility questions. If you get stuck, visit support.google.com/drive to request a phone call and someone from our team will reach out to you.

What's next
Referring to recent updates to Google Drive, Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said at this year's National Convention: "The progress...during the last few months has just been positively extraordinary." We're pleased the community has welcomed these improvements, and will continue to work with organizations like the NFB to make even more progress.

Everyone, regardless of ability, should be able to experience all that the web has to offer. To find out more about our commitment to a fully accessible web, visit the new Google Accessibility site at www.google.com/accessibility.

Posted by Alan Warren, Vice President, Engineering

11 Sep 2014 5:00pm GMT

10 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Call me maybe? Introducing free voice calls from Hangouts

We know how important it is to keep in touch with friends and family, especially when they're spread around the world. Hangouts already makes it easy to send a quick message, or start a group video chat. But sometimes it's best to just call to say "I love you," and with the new version of Hangouts you can.

Starting today you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web. It's free to call other Hangouts users, it's free to call numbers in the U.S. and Canada, and the international rates are really low. So keeping in touch is easier and more affordable than ever.

To get started on Android, just grab the new version of Hangouts (v2.3, rolling out over the next few days), then install the accompanying dialer to turn on voice calls. On iOS and the web, voice calls will be available the next time you open the app.

Voice calls in Hangouts: call history (left); dialer (middle); in a call (right)


Whether it's your sister in Paris, your best friend in Boston or Jenny at 867-5309, Hangouts lets you call the people you care about at little or no cost. So download the app and dial your loved ones today!

Posted by Amit Fulay, Product Manager

10 Sep 2014 3:03pm GMT

A solar project on top of an old oil field in California’s Kern County

We recently finalized an investment that will put a 82MW solar power plant on top of an old oil and gas field in Kern County, Calif. The new deal with SunEdison will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes.

Our investment in the Regulus solar project will give new life to a long-valued piece of land, and there's something a little poetic about creating a renewable resource on land that once creaked with oil wells. Over the years, this particular site in California has gone from 30 oil wells to five as it was exhausted of profitable fossil fuel reserves. The land sat for some time and today we're ready to spiff things up. With the help of our $145 million equity commitment, SunEdison is draping it in high-tech, sleek panels that collect energy from the sun, while bringing 650 jobs to the Kern County area and 82MW of clean energy to the grid.

Like many states, California has a goal of increasing the amount of energy procured from renewable sources. This project helps support that quest and marks 17 renewable energy investments for Google since 2010, including five here in the Golden State.

We're continually looking for newer, bigger and better projects that help us create a clean energy future. The more than $1.5 billion we've brought to these projects to date not only helps provide renewable energy to the grid and to the public, but as they perform, they allow us to invest in more renewable energy projects. This cycle makes financial sense for Google and our partners while supporting construction jobs in local communities and clean energy for the planet we share.

Posted by Nick Coons, Renewable Energy Principal

10 Sep 2014 11:00am GMT

Walk like an Egyptian with Street View in Google Maps

Candlelight flickering on a stone wall covered in hieroglyphs. A proud queen brought low by the bite of a snake. Reeds rustling along a river, waiting to be turned into papyrus, or maybe a basket. The civilization of ancient Egypt stood for thousands of years and left behind a rich legacy of architecture, art, medicine, politics, culture and more. Today, it looms large in our imagination as the home of Cleopatra, Ptolemy, Tutankhamun, people who worshipped cats as gods and buried their embalmed dead in tombs filled with treasures and sustenance for the afterlife.

Now the Egypt of your imagination can be brought to life with new Street View imagery in Google Maps, and you can take a virtual walk among the stunning monuments and rich history of this ancient civilization.

Start where most tourists do: at the Pyramids of Giza, which rise from the vast expanse of the Sahara like man-made mountains. Just kilometers from the bustling, modern city of Cairo, the Pyramids have stood for nearly 5,000 years, a testament to the ingenuity and ambition of the ancient Egyptian people.

The Giza Necropolis is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, and is home to the last standing wonder of the ancient world: the Great Pyramid. Built as a tomb and a symbol of eternity for the Pharoah Khufu, it stands 139 meters high (the height of the world's highest roller coaster!) and was the tallest man-made structure on Earth for 3,800 years. Look beyond it to the west, and you'll see the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, built by Khufu's son and grandson.

The Great Pyramid


Now turn east to the Great Sphinx, the oldest and largest known monumental sculpture in the world. With the body of a lion and the head of a human, it measures a grand 73 meters long and 20 meters high. Literally translating to "Father of Dread," this mythical creature is believed to resemble Pharaoh Khafre, who was the ruler at the time of construction.

The Great Sphinx


In addition to the Giza Necropolis, you can explore The Pyramid of Djoser, the ancient site of the world's very first Pyramid designed by the great Egyptian Architect Imhotep in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara.

Other sites you can check out on your virtual tour include: Abu Mena, one of the oldest sites of Christianity in Egypt-the church, baptistry, basilicas and monasteries; the Hanging Church, one of the oldest Coptic Churches in the world; the Cairo Citadel, a medieval Islamic fortification and historic site; and the Citadel of Qaitbay, a 15th-century defensive fortress on the Mediterranean coast.

If wandering through the imagery of these historical sites has piqued your interest in Egyptology, head over to the Google Cultural Institute, where you can explore the treasures of ancient Egypt through a series of drawings, historic photographs and artifacts from the famed sites.

The Pyramids of Giza have survived nearly five millennia and are the planet's oldest man-made wonder. Now their legacy-and the legacy of many other sites of ancient Egyptian culture-are preserved in a new way with panoramic and immersive Street View imagery. We hope you'll take a moment to step back in time and explore what was once known as the Gift of the Nile.

Posted by Tarek Abdalla, Head of Marketing - Middle East and North Africa

10 Sep 2014 9:00am GMT

05 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 29 - September 4

This week search had three weddings, one real-life funeral, another on social media (we'll explain later) and a 20th anniversary. Sounds like a packed week to us!

Heaven is a funny place
"I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action ... I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents." Those are words from the great comedian Joan Rivers, who passed away yesterday. People across the web commemorated Rivers' almost 50-year career by reliving her best punchlines and jokes (she was pretty hard to top). Meanwhile, people worked themselves into a panic when rumors swirled that TV's favorite Golden Girl, Betty White, had passed on as well. Thankfully, the Internet is no soothsayer and Betty is alive and kicking-despite what the trends say.

Tales from the endzone
People were eagerly searching for info about the NFL's opening game last night between the Green Bay Packers and reigning champions the Seattle Seahawks. And if you were still frantically finalizing your roster for your fantasy football team this week, you were in good company. Searchers looked for the latest player stats to fine-tune their lineups and were doing so at higher rates than previous years. One player not on fantasy rosters but on fans' minds was Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL, as he was cut from the St. Louis Rams. He ended up finding a home on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, so we'll have to wait just a little bit longer for him to make history on the field.


She looks great in white (and on TV)
Search was singing "The Wedding March" this week as famous brides walked down the aisle-and up the trends charts. Angelina Jolie and her wedding dress went where no other woman (except Jennifer Aniston) had gone and tied the knot with Brad Pitt. And we're guessing Jenny McCarthy's got the right stuff since she and former New Kid on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg decided to get hitched (may they hang tough for years to come). Finally, basketball star Dwayne Wade stepped away from the court and onto the altar to wed Gabrielle Union. Bethany Mota celebrated a different kind of milestone as she joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars, becoming the first YouTube star to ever be invited on the show. But not everyone had a happy ending in Hollywood. Hackers were able to break into the phones of several actresses, leaking their private photos to the world-and stirring a debate in mainstream culture about privacy and cloud security.

Oldie but a goodie
We now present to you a short interlude down memory lane. This week, the cast of the 1994 hit comedy, The Little Rascals, reunited to reshoot the movie's iconic poster-we're still trying to come to terms with the whole "20 year anniversary" thing. And if you grew up in the 90's, you're more than familiar with Zack Morris and his antics at Bayside High on the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. But do you know what happened when the cameras were turned off? That's what searchers were looking for when Lifetime's new TV movie The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story aired this past Monday. The movie had a somewhat chilly reception on social media, with people tweeting their various issues with its portrayal.

Tip of the week
Summer may officially be over but that doesn't mean the beach is closed. Just ask Google, "Where is the nearest beach?" to enjoy a little fun in the sun...because you know what they say, winter is coming!

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [the alfalfa] and then had to call the [fashion police].

05 Sep 2014 10:31pm GMT

Android Wear, moving forward like clockwork

Earlier this year, we launched Android Wear, bringing Android to wearables. Since then, the first watches powered by Android Wear, the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, have gone on sale, developers have already built thousands of apps enhanced for Wear, and great new watches are becoming available from more partners.

Our goal with Wear is to build technology that helps you connect with others and get stuff done. So often, technology can become something that gets in the way of everything else. But we want to build devices that you can use when you need and forget about when you don't-technology that's built for your sake, rather than its own sake. Coming throughout the rest of this year, we're making some updates to Wear that will help you get even more out of your watch-and the rest of your life, too.

First, we're bringing offline music playback and GPS support to Android Wear. Go for a run or bike ride with your Android wearable and leave your phone at home. You'll be able to listen to music stored on your watch via Bluetooth headphones. And if your watch includes a GPS sensor, you can track your distance and speed too.

The second update will enable downloadable watch faces, so you can customize the visual design of your watch's home screen to show the information you want to see most-like your calendar or fitness sensors. Developers will soon be working on watch faces, making them available on Google Play.

We're also continuing to work with manufacturers to bring you even more watch options, with different shapes, styles and sensors.

These watches, as well as those unveiled earlier this summer, will all get the new software updates described above as soon as they're ready in the coming months. We're also working with our partners on even more improvements, which means your device will continue to get better, with updates provided directly to you.

Whether it's giving you directions, letting you stay in touch more easily or keeping track of your steps so you can stay fit, Wear is designed to help you out without getting in your way. With new features and many new devices to choose from, chances are there's a watch that's just right for you.

Posted by David Singleton, Engineering Director, Android Wear

05 Sep 2014 4:27pm GMT

04 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Art, Copy & Code: EA Sports “Madden GIFERATOR”

Bring on the heart-pounding highs and the gut-wrenching lows; the crazy rituals and the bitter rivalries. Football season is back!

Whether you're a "12th Man" or wearing a cheesehead, chances are you'll be watching the game with smartphone in hand. Eighty-four percent of us now watch TV while multi-tasking on other devices nearby. And today, the language of fan rivalries is a visual one. Just look at the resurgence of search interest for GIFs on Google Trends. Why say it in words when you can throw shade with a meme?

This year, there's a way for mobile-clutching NFL fans to take their smack talk to the next level. Madden GIFERATOR is a new project created by our Art, Copy & Code team, in partnership with EA Sports and agencies Heat and Grow, to help launch EA Sports' signature football game Madden NFL 15.

During every NFL game, the Madden GIFERATOR will create a live stream of memes using Madden NFL 15 video game footage (as GIFs), triggered by the action on the field. The GIFs will appear in real time on MaddenGIFERATOR.com, on social media, as well as in ads on popular sports and gaming related apps and sites across the the Google Display Network. For example, if Seattle's Richard Sherman picks off Aaron Rodgers tonight, you might see a GIF of Sherman with the headline "Weren't you supposed to catch that? Aawwwwwkward" in the stream, alongside a real-time update on the score and game clock.

You can also take control of the GIFERATOR and design your own GIFs, choosing the team, the player, the background and the headline, ready for sharing across the web.


The Madden GIFERATOR is the latest in our Art, Copy & Code series, where we partner with brands and their agencies to create useful and fun experiences, powered by Google technology. We wanted to tap into the growing trend for fans to comment on and interact with games from their phones-plus, we have a weakness for GIFs. The GIFERATOR fuses live NFL game data with a database of Madden images, players, backgrounds and headlines to create relevant memes on the fly.

So this season, when your team delivers those clutch plays, head over to MaddenGIFERATOR.com, choose the perfect image, customize it with your best smack talk, and send it to your fellow fans (if you want to be nice) or your rivals (if you've got a wicked streak). Here's a little inspiration before tonight's Seahawks vs. Packers standoff:


Posted by Mike Glaser, Marketing Manager, Creative Partnerships

04 Sep 2014 1:00pm GMT

03 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Making of Maps: Reaching a milestone

The is the first of several posts taking you behind the scenes of how Google makes its Maps. Stay tuned to the Lat Long blog over the next few days for the rest of the series. -Ed.

When you head out your door, you've got directions in your pocket-whether you're driving to your aunt's place in the mountains, cycling to a new biergarten or taking the train downtown. For Google Maps to get you there, it needs to be a digital mirror of the real world. But the real world is always changing. So to make sure your map is an accurate reflection of your world, we started Ground Truth, a project that brings the freshest, most relevant information to Google Maps.

Today, we've reached our 50th Ground Truth country with the addition of five new countries: Taiwan, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, and the last regions of Russia. We're also rolling out Google Map Maker and Report a Problem-our crowdsourcing map tools-to Taiwan, Russia and Malaysia, giving anyone in those locations the ability to share and contribute their local knowledge directly to Google Maps.

Drive over Malaysia's new Penang Second Bridge


For these countries, that means clearer, more detailed depictions of points of interest like walking paths in parks or department labels in universities, a reworking of the road network with new street names and turn restrictions, and faster updates to the map. In the unique case of Poland and Romania, both of which have Map Maker communities that were instrumental in building the map from scratch, it also means providing more resources to bring the same level of map detail to all regions in these places.

Explore the campus of National Taiwan University


Over the next week, we're pulling back the curtain to show you how Ground Truth and Map Maker work together to build Google Maps. Much of the magic behind Maps comes from people-from the Googlers who spend hours perfecting every road in the world, to the users who come together to improve the quality of maps in their local communities. To build the map, we have to gather high-quality information; in the next post, we'll show you what that process looks like-and show off a new mapping technology. Stay tuned to the Lat Long Blog for more on how Google Maps is made!

Posted by Manik Gupta, Group Product Manager, Google Maps

03 Sep 2014 4:00pm GMT

02 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Introducing Google for Work (the artist formerly known as Enterprise)

Work is where you spend a lot of your time. So we've always believed that it should be meaningful-not a daily grind, done in isolation on an old desktop in a sea of cubicles. Even more, we believe that technology should make work better. It should make it easy not just to get things done, but to get things done with people who inspire you, at the times and in the places where you work best, and in a way that lets you make an impact, no matter what your job is, or what industry you're in.

Ten years ago, we started bringing Google's consumer technology-along with the features, controls and services businesses need-to work. We first brought search and then Gmail to businesses. Today we also offer the scale and reliability of Google's infrastructure to developers with Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform, and have extended into hardware with Android and Chromebooks. Along the way we've invested in what matters to our customers and partners-security, transparency, compliance and customer support. And our team, the breadth of our offerings, and our commitment to business customers have all increased substantially.

Work today is very different from 10 years ago. Cloud computing, once a new idea, is abundantly available, and collaboration is possible across offices, cities, countries and continents. Ideas can go from prototype to development to launch in a matter of days. Working from a computer, tablet or phone is no longer just a trend-it's a reality. And millions of companies, large and small, have turned to Google's products to help them launch, build and transform their businesses, and help their employees work the way they live. In other words, work is already better than it used to be.

But technology for the workplace isn't just about a better way of doing business. It's about empowering anyone, whether they're a developer with an idea in their basement or a baker with a better cupcake or a company with thousands of employees, to have an impact. We never set out to create a traditional "enterprise" business-we wanted to create a new way of doing work. So the time has come for our name to catch up with our ambition. As of today, what was called Google Enterprise is now, simply, Google for Work. When we use the tools that make our lives easier-Google Apps, Maps, Search, Chrome, Android, Cloud Platform and more-work gets better. And that's what we're working on-the best of Google, now for work.

Posted by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman

02 Sep 2014 5:38pm GMT

29 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 22-28

It was a busy week for entertainment junkies with the Emmys and VMAs, and the cat was out of the bag for Sanrio fans after a surprising piece of news. Read on for more on the last week in search:

And the Emmy goes to…
Though Breaking Bad took home the top honors at Monday's Emmy Awards, people searched less for the acclaimed drama than for some of the event's other, more unexpected happenings. American Horror Story's Jessica Lange proved she's still got it-she was the top search of the night. Meanwhile, Hayden Panettiere accidentally revealed the gender of her forthcoming baby, leading people to search for information about the actress and her fiancé Wladimir Klitschko. And it was a night of funny women: Julia Louis-Dreyfus did justice to her award for best actress in a comedy with a Seinfeld-inspired bit on stage… and a Seinfeld-throwback kiss just offstage; and Sarah Silverman won an award for best variety special (and showed off some unusual accessories). Other popular Emmys searches included HBO's The Normal Heart, which was nominated for 16 awards and won two, and True Detective, which won for directing but did not capture the acting awards some expected.

I want my MTV
The other awards show making news this week was MTV's Video Music Awards. As can only be expected at this point, Beyoncé's performance was the highlight of the night; the day after the show, there were more than 50,000 searches for [beyonce vma performance] as people scrambled to re-live (or catch up with) the spectacle. But part of Bey's appeal this time was actually her daughter, Blue Ivy, who appeared on stage (as well as in multiple GIFs, natch) to steal the show like only an adorable child can. Searchers were dazzled by performances by Ariana Grande (in a crystal onesie), Rita Ora (with diamonds in her manicure) and Iggy Azalea. Finally, Katy Perry and Riff Raff's double denim red carpet tribute to that VMA power couple of the past, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, had people giggling-and searching.

Trouble out west
After a nine-year-old in Arizona accidentally shot and killed her shooting instructor with an Uzi, people came to Google to learn more about the incident, which has sparked debates throughout the country. And the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 20+ years shook up Napa and surrounding counties this weekend, leading people to the web to learn more about the damage.

Raining [searches for] cats and dogs
Sanrio fans worldwide got some startling news this week: Hello Kitty is not a kitty. According to the Japanese company, she is a little girl. Whatever her species, she was a top trend in search this week. And for those of you who aren't cat fans (in which case, do you even like the Internet?), there was National Dog Day, Tuesday's top search and-if you ask us-a great excuse for thousands of people to share photos of their own favorite man's best friend.

Tip of the week
Don't let delays ruin your long weekend. To help you decide whether it's faster to bike or take transit to your Labor Day destination, Google Search can show you all of your transportation options and estimated travel times on a single card. Just tap the mic and say "Ok Google, what's the traffic like to AT&T Park" and easily switch between transportation modes to determine which route works best for you.


Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [brandy creek beach] and [delirium series]

29 Aug 2014 8:33pm GMT

01 Nov 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Grow a moustache and fight cancer!

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

01 Nov 2011 6:16pm GMT

31 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween costume: stickman from xkcd

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

31 Oct 2011 5:16pm GMT

24 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween Pumpkin: Portal Turret!

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

24 Oct 2011 3:26pm GMT

02 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

New 30 day challenge: going vegan!

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

02 Oct 2011 5:58am GMT

20 Sep 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

What cool new websearch ideas should Google launch in 2012?

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

20 Sep 2011 2:40pm GMT

Busy few weeks

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

20 Sep 2011 1:55pm GMT

26 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

The Emperor's Garden

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

26 Aug 2011 12:12pm GMT

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Traveling for a week

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

26 Aug 2011 6:15am GMT

15 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

15 Aug 2011 4:00pm GMT

11 Jul 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Submit video topics for mid-2011

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

11 Jul 2011 10:21pm GMT

27 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Good Books for Summer Reading?

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

27 Jun 2011 3:54pm GMT

23 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Goal: getting email under control

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

23 Jun 2011 7:08am GMT

25 Feb 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google drops reverse phone number lookup

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

25 Feb 2011 11:23am GMT

16 Dec 2010

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Idea: Topical Chat

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

16 Dec 2010 2:55pm GMT

Idea: CrowdChat

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

16 Dec 2010 7:26am GMT

Google Body Browser

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

16 Dec 2010 2:17am GMT

10 Dec 2010

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Pictures of the Cr-48

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

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

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Chromedroidpad

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

09 Dec 2010 12:40pm GMT

08 Dec 2010

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Device Evolution

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

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

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How to Disable Google Instant Previews

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

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

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

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

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

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

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

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

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

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

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

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

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

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See a Random Street View Location

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

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT