22 Jun 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

Meet the 2018 Google News Initiative Journalism Fellows

In 2013, we began a News Fellows program, as an investment in the next generation of digital reporters. The fellowship is an important part of the Google News Initiative's commitment to strengthen the quality of journalism and empower news organizations to make use of technology, through pairing students interested in journalism and technology with prestigious media organizations around the world.

Since its launch, the program has expanded into 12 regions with an alumni network of over 300 journalists and innovators across the world. This month, we welcomed the 2018 U.S. Google News Initiative Fellows to Mountain View ahead of their summer fellowships at journalism nonprofits across the country:


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    Yan Wu, Northeastern University, Center for Investigative Reporting. Yan Wu is a designer and coder turned interactive storyteller. As a graphic intern at The Boston Globe, she had not only worked on projects like 11 months, 1 president, 2471 tweets independently, but also collaborated with the Pulitzer prize winning Spotlight team and other developers on the race series.

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    Julie Christie, Temple University, Investigative Reporters & Editors. Julie Christie is almost a senior at Temple University in the Klein College of Media and Communication, where she's studying journalism. She's currently the Enterprise Editor at The Temple News, the university's independent student newspaper.

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    Marlee Baldridge, University of Missouri, Nieman Journalism Lab. Marlee is a senior studying entrepreneurial journalism at the University of Missouri. A native of Harrisburg, Missouri (population 289), she joined the inaugural Potter Digital Ambassador program and helped integrate sustainable video and social strategies into the reporting of a rural Missouri newspaper

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    Pankhuri Kumar, Columbia University, Pew. Pankhuri is currently completing a dual degree in Journalism and CS at Columbia University. With a math and CS background, she hopes to pursue a career in interactive and computational journalism.

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    Taylor Blatchford, University of Missouri, Poynter. Taylor Blatchford graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in investigative and international journalism. She leads a team focused on bringing community engagement into the reporting process at the Columbia Missourian, a daily city newspaper.

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    Riley Wong, University of Pennsylvania,ProPublica. Riley Wong conducts machine learning and data science research for healthcare. They graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 in computer science. Their passions include social impact, QTPOC community building, music, and art.

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    Corinne Osnos, Northwestern University, Matter. Corinne is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied media innovation and entrepreneurship. As a research assistant for The Membership Puzzle Project, Corinne performed UX research on public radio sites and is now conducting qualitative research on Burning Man.

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    Erin McAweeney, University of Washington-Seattle,Witness. Erin is a researcher and technologist working in data journalism, information ethics, and algorithmic bias. In her undergrad she was an editor for a non-profit street paper that provided employment and an outlet for the marginalized homeless population in her community.

22 Jun 2018 8:00pm GMT

With summer ahead, what the world searched for this week

Each week, we take a look at the top trending topics in Search for a sense of what the world is thinking about. Here's a look at a few of the trending searches this week-some playful and some serious-with data from the Google News Lab.

[Insert header pun here … punalty intended]

This week, fans around the world put the Gooooooooooogle in goooooooooooal!, making the World Cup the single biggest topic in Search. Everybody loves a home team, but it's Brazil that's leading searches globally. Meh about the players but love the game? Get in on the action with "Drills and skills" videos on YouTube; their views have increased six times since the last FIFA World Cup. And you can keep track of all your favorite teams and players with Google Trends.

The best part of the world's best lasagna

Amid searches for "best in the world," the top contenders were "best soccer player in the world" (because World Cup, see above) and "best restaurants in the world," since the list of top 50 restaurants in the world was released this week. Topping the list is an Italian eatery whose menu listings include "an eel swimming up the Po river" and "the crunchy part of the lasagna." Clearly they're onto something ... the top searched "world's best" food is lasagna, which maybe you'd pair with the next item on the list, "world's best beer."

The sun never sets on party ideas

If you found that beer, hopefully you sipped it on it yesterday-it was summer solstice, the longest day of the year. And if that lager rendered you pensive, you may have joined those who wondered, "what is the summer solstice?" and, soberly, "when does summer end?" Perk up while the sun's up: "summer solstice party ideas" was the top related query to the phenomenon, and no place searched for the solstice more than the U.K., where nearly 10,000 people gathered to celebrate at Stonehenge.

Summer solstice playlist

Queen Bey and the queen's consort Jay-Z reign again, dropping a surprise album, "Everything Is Love," last weekend. Search interest went up for both Bey and Jay in the U.S., 92 percent and 130 percent respectively, but Beyoncé was searched more than Jay-Z in every U.S. state. Jay-Z's streaming platform Tidal also got its own wave of searches: interest in Tidal spiked 267 percent in the past week. The album release included a masterpiece of a music video at the Louvre, prompting people to search "How much does it cost to rent out the Louvre?" and "Where is the Mona Lisa?"

Crisis at the border

On a more serious note, the world turned its attention to the U.S.-Mexico border this week, as anger erupted over immigrant children being separated from their families and held at migrant detention centers. A viral photo of a young girl caused a 3000 percent spike in searches for "crying toddler at border." Searches for the Secretary of Homeland Security spiked by over 5000 percent, as did searches for former First Lady Laura Bush, who spoke out against the separation. The top "how to help" questions this week were "How to help immigrant children?" and "How to help families separated at the border?" as people searched for ways to contribute.


22 Jun 2018 6:30pm GMT

Get verified to manage your presence on Google

When you search for well-known people, organizations and things on Google, you'll often come across a Knowledge Panel on the results page-a box with an overview of key information and links to resources to help you go deeper.


Individuals and organizations with Knowledge Panels can use our verification process to claim their panels and provide authoritative feedback on the information and images presented. Now we're updating that process as well as extending verification eligibility to more entities.


Any person, organization, sports team, event and media property with a Knowledge Panel is eligible to get verified and suggest edits to the information shown. Simply search for your name or organization on Search and click or tap the prompt below the Knowledge Panel to begin the verification process.
Verified on Google

Once you're verified, you can suggest factual changes to information in your Knowledge Panel and suggest a featured image. You can learn more about how to provide this feedback in our help center.


We're always working on ways to improve Search to ensure you find the most relevant, accurate information possible. We hope that by giving individuals and entities an improved way to help us get it right if something's off, we get closer to that goal.


22 Jun 2018 5:00pm GMT

Save dinosaurs from extinction in a game world built with Google Maps

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Back in March we announced a product to help developers build games using the information Google Maps knows about the world around you. It enables game studios to easily reimagine our world as a medieval fantasy, a bubble gum candy land, or a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic city. It even helps them find the best places for gameplay--whether it's a landmark where a player refuels or a park where they must go to complete a mission--no matter where in the world players are.


Just in time for summer and the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom™, you can explore a virtual world built with Google Maps while saving dinosaurs from extinction. Ludia and Universal's Jurassic World™ Alive is available for free on Google Play and the App Store now.


Ludia used Google Maps' rich and accurate data to create a game world where dinosaurs have escaped Jurassic World on Isla Nublar to roam freely in cities and neighborhoods around the world. As a member of the Dinosaur Protection Group, your mission is to save dinosaurs from another extinction--and you do that by exploring the world around you. Nestled among 3D buildings, roads, landmarks, and parks, you'll find dinosaurs, track them with drones, collect DNA samples to level up, and create hybrid dinosaurs in your lab. Once you've assembled your own roster of prehistoric animals, you can battle other players to defend against threats to your mission.

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To perform your duties as part of the Dinosaur Protection Group, you'll need to earn rewards like in-game currency and battery life for your drone by finding supply drops--all strategically placed in fun (and appropriate) places using Google Maps' in-depth understanding of real world places.

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The game uses ARCore, Google's platform for building augmented reality experiences, to power an exciting (and terrifying!) AR mode that lets you get up close and personal with dinosaurs in your collection. To get to the AR mode, tap the collection icon at the bottom of your screen, select a dinosaur, and then tap the round AR icon on the right hand side.

So if you're still bummed that dinosaurs went extinct millions of years ago, try Jurassic World Alive and spend some quality time with prehistoric beasts in your own natural habitat.

22 Jun 2018 4:00pm GMT

21 Jun 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

Chatting up your Google Assistant just got easier

One of the most important things we learn as children is how to communicate with each other. We start with "goo goos and gaa gaas," then on to baby sign language, a few simple words like "momma," and our conversations get more complex from there.

For the Google Assistant to have a natural conversation, it should be able to understand when it's being spoken to and should be capable of responding to several requests during an interaction. We're taking another step forward in making your interactions with the Google Assistant more natural with Continued Conversation, available starting today on Google Home, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max.

We've heard from a lot of people that adding "Hey Google" before each follow-up question for the Assistant doesn't feel as natural as they'd like. We announced Continued Conversation at I/O as an optional setting which lets you have a natural back-and-forth conversation with the Assistant without repeating "Hey Google" for each follow-up request. The new feature is starting to roll out today, and you can turn it on in the Google Assistant app by going to Settings → Preferences → Continued Conversation and hitting the toggle.

With Continued Conversation turned on, after you ask the Assistant a question, you can ask a follow-up, set a reminder, or add something to your shopping list without having to say "Hey Google" each time. You can say "thank you" or "stop" once you're done, or we'll end the conversation once we detect that you're no longer talking to the Assistant. You'll still need to activate your Assistant devices with "Ok Google," "Hey Google," or with a physical trigger, but with this new optional setting turned on, the Assistant will stay active for long enough to respond to follow up questions so you don't have to say "Hey Google" as often.

So next time you wake up and the skies are grey, just ask "Hey Google, what's the weather today?"... "And what about tomorrow?"... "Can you add a rain jacket to my shopping list"... "And remind me to bring an umbrella tomorrow morning"..."Thank you!"

Continued Conversation

With today's update, your conversations with the Google Assistant will be more natural and intuitive than they've ever been-your Google Assistant is growing up!

21 Jun 2018 3:00pm GMT

#IMakeApps: Meet Niek Bokkers, a Dutch adventurer and creative director

Editor's note: To celebrate the hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of app makers around the world, this week, and over the coming months, we'll celebrate our Android community by featuring founders, product managers, designers and developers from around the world. We'll showcase their passions and also hear about what they do when they step away from their computers. Meet our next app maker, Niek Bokkers, a Dutch adventurer, co-founder and creative director of Polarsteps. And check out more #IMakeApps stories on g.co/play/imakeapps.

Niek is an adventurer by heart. He started traveling with his dad and twin brother when he was six and hasn't stopped since, going on epic adventures to Africa and Asia. His travels inspired the idea for Polarsteps, a travel tracking app that automatically captures every place you visit.

Niek Bokkers

We caught up with Niek during his latest trip to Nepal:


When did you get into technology?
With a dad in IT, I grew up with technology. I first started applying it myself at university. After a few years of building websites and other interactive concepts, I combined my passion for travel with the possibilities of technology.


How did you come up with the idea for Polarsteps?
The first setup I made years ago when I crossed the Atlantic on a catamaran with my father. I wanted to find a way to keep my family and friends up to date on our progress on the ocean. We bought a satellite phone that allowed me to send GPS coordinates to a cellphone that I had connected to a server. The GPS coordinates were calculated into an X and Y value that were plotted on map. Every day at 6pm we would send out an update to make it easy to see if we had made some progress. Back at home I decided to build the first real prototype of the Polarsteps app and brought it with me on my bike trip from Amsterdam to Capetown. I was getting so much positive feedback during the trip that I decided to professionalise the app.


What is your role at Polarsteps?
My responsibility is to make sure that travelers love our app and our company. Part of that means coming up with cool new features and of course, validating them.


What has been your experience with Android & Google Play?
It has been a great! From the 1st prototype we built, to our most recent challenges around scaling up, we have found Android and Google Play to be incredibly developer-friendly. Without it I couldn't have made my dream come true!


How has your app business grown since you started?
Soon after we started Polarsteps, we found the means to work on the product full time. First we were with 4, now we're about to hire our 9th employee. Our app has more than 600k downloads from all over the world and is used in more than 180 countries.


21 Jun 2018 3:00pm GMT

More transparency and control in your Google Account

Several years ago, we brought our privacy and security settings together in one place to make it easier for you to choose the options that are right for you. Billions of people have now visited their Google Account and over 20 million people do so every day.

Today, we're announcing an improved Google Account experience. It includes new features to more easily navigate your account, more prominent security and privacy options, and detailed summaries of relevant information associated with it-like your personal info, your devices, payment methods, purchases, subscriptions, reservations, and contacts. The new experience is available today for all Android users and will launch on iOS and web later this year.

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New ways to find what you need

We've added new features in your Google Account to make it even easier to review and control this data. We've introduced a new search functionality that enables you to find settings and other info you might be looking for in your account, like how to change your password.

When you have a problem but don't quite know what to look for, you can access a new dedicated support section as well. There, you'll find help with common tasks, like upgrading your account storage, and get answers from community experts.

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More helpful privacy and security information

We know that when it comes to data and privacy, one size does not fit all. To help you better understand and take control of your Google Account, we've made all your privacy options easy to review with our new intuitive, user-tested design. You can now more easily find your Activity controls in the Data & Personalization tab and choose what types of activity data are saved in your account to make Google work better for you. There, you'll also find the recently updated Privacy Checkup that helps you review your privacy settings and explains how they shape your experience across Google services.

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In October, we updated our Security Checkup to provide you with an overview of your account security and personalized recommendations. The new Google Account experience builds on this and will show you prominent notices if we detect there's something you can do to improve your security. For example, we might suggest you remove your account from old devices you're no longer using or remove unverified apps you had granted access to your account data.

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We are committed to providing you with the controls you need to choose what's right for you. For years, we've built and refined tools to help you easily understand, protect, and control your information. As needs around security and privacy evolve, we will continue to improve these important tools to help you control how Google works for you.

21 Jun 2018 11:00am GMT

20 Jun 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

Supporting migrants and refugees on World Refugee Day

Every minute of every day, 31 people are displaced from their homes, seeking sanctuary from global crisis, conflict and violence. No region of the world is immune. These events can have a particularly gut-wrenching impact on children, as we've seen up close recently along the U.S. border. In response, Google.org is matching employee contributions to four organizations working with migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border: Texas Civil Rights Project, The Florence Project, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, and Kids in Need of Defense.

Today, World Refugee Day, we're reminded that this crisis goes well beyond our border. As displacement hits new records, it has never been more urgent to work together to find long-term solutions. Since September 2015, we've donated more than $25 million in Google.org grants to organizations that support refugees, including a $5 million grant last year to help the UN Refugee Agency and nonprofit Learning Equality improve refugees' access to information and education.

As part of that, we gave $2 million in grant support to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Mercy Corps to create Refugee.Info, a simple set of webpages with helpful information for refugees as they establish new lives in new locations. This past April, Google designers and engineers collaborated with the IRC on a soon-to-be released next version of the platform based on human-centered design and adapted into Arabic. The tool currently serves 800,000 refugees in five countries. With the expansion into Jordan, thousands more refugees will have access to timely and accurate information.

World Refugee Day 2018

Google volunteers traveled to Jordan to expand Refugee.Info. Learn more about the process on Google Design: https://yt.be/centered

Last month another group of 10 Googlers traveled to Jordan to improve and expand Edraak, an Arabic-language online learning platform created by the Queen Rania Foundation. With support from a $3 million Google.org grant, Edraak has already reached over 1.6 million learners across the Middle East and North Africa. Now, it hopes to reach 13 million children in the Middle East who have limited access to education, including refugees.

Googlers and Edraak staff at a park in Amman, Jordan

Googlers (Tejas Peesapati and Nadja Dudek) and Edraak staff meet with children at a park in Amman, Jordan to learn more about what they need in terms of educational resources.

This week has brought a stark reminder of the consequences of displacement for the world's most vulnerable populations, particularly for children. As we continue our work to help migrants all over the world, we also hope for a more humane way to ensure that children, at the U.S. border and elsewhere, can reach a more promising future.

20 Jun 2018 3:00pm GMT

AI takes root, helping farmers identify diseased plants

Editor's note: TensorFlow, our open source machine learning library, is just that-open to anyone. Companies, nonprofits, researchers and developers have used TensorFlow in some pretty cool ways, and we're sharing those stories here on Keyword. Here's one of them.

At Google I/O this year, we saw how high school students Shaza Mehdi and Nile Ravenell developed PlantMD, an app that lets you detect diseases in plants using TensorFlow. These young researchers are not alone in their mission to help farmers. PlantMD's machine learning model was inspired by a dataset from PlantVillage, a research and development unit at Penn State University. PlantVillage created an app called Nuru, Swahili for "light," to assist farmers to grow better cassava, a crop in Africa that provides food for over half a billion people daily.

Though cassava is tolerant to droughts and capable of growing with minimal soil-making it an ideal crop in harsh weather conditions-it's also susceptible to many diseases and pests. The symptoms of a diseased plant develops slowly, so it can be difficult for farmers to diagnose these problems in time.

PlantVillage and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) developed a solution using machine learning that could help farmers better identify and manage these diseases quickly. They annotated thousands of cassava plant images, identifying and classifying diseases to train a machine learning model using TensorFlow. Once the model was trained to identify diseases, it was deployed in the app. Farmers can wave their phone in front of a cassava leaf and if a plant had a disease, the app could identify it and give options on the best ways to manage it.

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    An example of a diseased cassava leaf. Cassava is a crop that provides for over half a billion people daily.

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    Farmers in Tanzania are using the Nuru app to better manage their cassava crops.

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    Nuru the app works by waving your phone in front of a cassava leaf and identifying specific diseases.


PlantMD and Nuru are part of a larger trend in the agriculture industry. Whether it's dairy farmers in the Netherlands, cucumber farmers in Japan, cassava farmers in Tanzania, or your neighborhood gardeners, AI is taking root in agriculture and is helping farmers around the world.

20 Jun 2018 3:00pm GMT

Augmented Reality: a new creative canvas for brands

Since the global advertising and creative communities first came together for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the 1950s, advertising and creative content have expanded across all sorts of media, from print to film to digital and social. We believe augmented reality (AR) will take its place among these media as a powerful canvas for brands and agencies seeking to engage more deeply with their audiences.

AR lets creators project 3D objects into the physical world so you can interact with them as if they were real. This means that virtually any room can be a virtual playground or showroom, opening up infinite new creative possibilities.

At this year's Cannes Lions, we wanted to inspire the creative community to give AR a try. So we brought AR to Google's annual interactive showcase, the Google Beach. Festival attendees can learn how to create great brand experiences with AR at our lightning talks (which viewers at home can watch via live stream). And to bring AR experiences to life, we partnered with Ogilvy, an advertising agency, as well as MediaMonks, a creative production house.

Augmented Reality: a new creative canvas for brands

Together, they used ARCore-Google's platform for building AR experiences-to break new ground on some well-loved campaigns. In one of my favorite examples, they reimagined an existing PERRIER & Juice TV campaign with AR, bringing it to life by making the ingredients in your beverage appear to jump out of the bottle and into your physical surroundings.

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As Perrier's Global Brand Director, Marion Taisne, put it, "AR offers immersive experiences in real life that bring people into our brand universe. This experience allowed us to go beyond traditional ads to demonstrate that when fruit juice mixes with PERRIER, 'extraordinaire' happens."

We can only imagine how creators must have felt when campaigns at Cannes Lions first used radio or television. We hope creators today feel a similar sense of excitement as they find ways to bridge the digital and physical worlds using AR.

20 Jun 2018 11:00am GMT

Investing in Investigative journalism

Investigative journalists depend on a number of digital techniques in their work-from analyzing data on a shared spreadsheet, to identifying the original source of a photograph or picking through the minutes of a public meeting on a local website. As part of the Google News Initiative's efforts to support high-quality journalism, we want to enable journalists to discover how digital tools can help them delve deeper or get to the facts more quickly. That's why we're working with the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) to provide a new program, called "Access to Tools."

Over the coming months a team of expert trainers will provide up to 20 free workshops across the U.K., each designed to help newsroom and freelance journalists sharpen their digital newsgathering and research skills. The practical workshops will feature technology from a range of providers and include real-life examples, including how individual journalists have traced original sources. We'll also support the CIJ to host a conference in northern England for the first time, offering advanced skills for journalists living and working outside of London.

Established in 2003, The CIJ offers real expertise in investigative journalism standards and shares the Google News Initiative's ambition to widen access to tools and training. The director of the CIJ, James Harkin, says: "Our leading concern is to put the best tools in the hands of investigative journalists, and then grow their expertise in using them. Building on our 15 years of expertise in data journalism, advanced internet research, financial search, and internet-powered fact-checking and our relationships of trust with the corporate and independent local media, 'Access to Tools' is the perfect way to extend the already impressive reach of our regional network and to get out there into more regional newsrooms, communities, and universities."

In addition to our work with CIJ, we'll continue to provide a free range of training workshops directly to newsrooms and journalism schools. Since the launch of the News Lab in 2015, we've trained nearly 7 thousand journalists in the U.K. alone-but there's more to do.

You can learn more about the free U.K. workshops on the CIJ website. For those further afield, our Google News Initiative Training Center has a specific course on Investigative Reporting.

20 Jun 2018 7:00am GMT

19 Jun 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

Powering up connected game development through our alliance with Unity

Whether they're outwitting opponents in the latest mobile game, exploring massively multiplayer online worlds, or navigating 3D spaces in VR, players want to be connected-to new stories and experiences, to their favorite game creators, and to their fellow gamers.

But it can be challenging to build connected games. Developers find they need to spend valuable time and resources managing infrastructure when they should be doing what they are most passionate about-building great games. We want to help.

Today, we're announcing a strategic alliance with Unity, a leading real-time 3D game and content creation platform, to simplify game development. Working together, we're building a suite of managed services and tools for creating connected games, the first of which will focus on real-time multiplayer experiences.

As part of this, Google Cloud will be the default cloud provider for developers building connected games with Unity, helping them to easily build and scale their games. This means developers will be able to take advantage of Google Cloud right from the Unity development environment-from our robust global network that enables low-latency player connectivity, to the ability to quickly scale game servers, to multi-TB memory nodes that can hold massive 3D environments-all without needing to become cloud experts.

We're also collaborating with Unity to co-found an open source project to connect players in multiplayer games. This project deeply embodies our philosophy for gaming-open source, community-driven solutions built in collaboration with the world's leading game companies. This project will launch publicly for downloads and code contributions this summer-stay tuned for more in the coming months.

In addition, Unity has announced that it's currently migrating all of the core infrastructure powering its services and offerings to Google Cloud. Unity will be running its business on the same cloud that Unity game developers will develop, test and globally launch their games.

We hope this alliance helps developers build more connected experiences that delight gamers. We'll roll out new products and features over the coming months, and in the meantime, you can learn more by visiting the connected games page on Unity's website. If you're attending Unite Berlin this week, don't miss the keynote featuring Google Cloud's CEO Diane Greene on June 19 at 9:00 AM PT, or watch the live stream online.

We can't wait to play what you build.

19 Jun 2018 6:15pm GMT

Our 10th Doodle 4 Google winner is dino-mite

Ten years ago, for the very first Doodle 4 Google contest, we asked students "what if?" A decade later, we've been privileged to receive hundreds of thousands of submissions for our annual contest-submissions that reflect the dreams, hopes and talents of students across the country. These young artists help us to see the world through their eyes and find inspiration in unexpected places.

This year was no exception. We asked students to respond to the theme "What Inspires Me…" and received doodles depicting everything from a love of family and food to a passion for intergalactic roller coasters (!).

Now we're thrilled to announce the winner of the 2018 Doodle 4 Google contest: first grader Sarah Gomez-Lane, who drew delightful dinosaurs to highlight her dream of becoming a paleontologist. Sarah was our K-3 finalist, and the Virginia state winner. We fell in love with Sarah's rendering of her dinos, and were blown away by her big (you might even say "dino-sized"!) ambitions for her future, especially at her young age.

When asked how she felt upon hearing she was a finalist, Sarah exclaimed that she was "surprised!" Her advice to students interested in submitting to future Doodle 4 Google contests? "Try your best and have fun!"

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Sarah, first on the left in front, at the Doodle 4 Google award ceremony at Google's headquarters June 18.

For the first time in Doodle 4 Google's 10-year history, the National Winner will have the opportunity to turn their submission into an animated, interactive Doodle featured on the Google homepage. Over the summer, Sarah will collaborate with the Doodle team to bring her artwork to life. She'll also receive $30,000 toward a college scholarship, and her elementary school in Falls Church, VA, will receive $50,000 to spend on technology to help students like Sarah continue to pursue what inspires them.


Thank you to everyone who participated not only this year, but throughout the past decade. And, of course, a huge congratulations to all of the talented 2018 winners. From all of us at Google: keep dreaming-and keep doodling!


19 Jun 2018 5:00pm GMT

Now kids can learn to Be Internet Awesome en Español

Be Internet Awesome helps kids be safe, confident explorers of the online world. Today, we're launching a number of enhancements to the program, including curriculum expansions, updates to the Interland game, and interactive slide presentations to bring program lessons to life, created in partnership with Pear Deck. We're also excited to make these important lessons accessible to more families by expanding the Be Internet Awesome program into Spanish as Sé genial en Internet. We've invited Araceli Gomez, a STEM educator at South Gate Middle School in Los Angeles, CA, to talk about why these resources are so important for her community.

My career in education began in 1997 at Tweedy Elementary School, in the city of South Gate, CA, where the population is 99 percent Latino. The best part of being an educator in the same city for over 20 years is the relationships I've built with families and students in the community. When former students stop by to simply say hello or to share their education and career success, it's inspiring to know I played a little part in helping them reach their full potential.

Most of the students I work with are bilingual, but their parents predominantly speak Spanish at home. These parents are often seeking guidance and looking for online safety resources. According to new research commissioned by Google, Latino parents in Spanish-speaking households are almost twice as likely as their English-speaking counterparts to favor talking about online safety at home, as a family (39 percent to 21 percent). I'm starting to see more information about internet safety in English, but for most of the families I work with, that information might as well be nonexistent because of the language barrier. That's a big reason why I'm really excited that Google's Be Internet Awesome is now available in Spanish as Sé genial en Internet.

With Sé genial en Internet, Spanish-speaking parents in my community and all over the world will now be able to use the program's tools and resources to help their kids become good digital citizens. Not only will they be able to reinforce at home the lessons we're teaching, they'll be able to do so in a language they feel comfortable with.

Over the time I've been teaching, advances in technology have changed many of the ways learning takes place. Research today is done online, and assignments and homework are given, completed and graded through online accounts. And as a STEM educator, I'm always looking for programs that address the current needs of my students. The Be Internet Awesome curriculum is a great resource because it empowers students with the fundamentals of digital safety in a fun, engaging way they really respond to.

Just as we teach kids right from wrong in the real world, we also need to show them how to interact on the internet. To help make the internet safer for everyone, all families need to be equipped with the right information, resources, and tools to keep the discussion going at home. I'm excited to see Google recognize that need and expand their programs to reach even more kids, families and educators with Sé genial en Internet.



¡Explora el Nuevo "Be Internet Awesome" en Español!

"Be Internet Awesome" ayuda a los niños a ser seguros y confiables exploradores del mundo en línea. Hoy, estamos lanzando una serie de mejoras al programa, que incluyen expansiones de planes de estudio, actualizaciones del juego Interland juego y presentaciones de diapositivas interactivas para dar vida a las clases de aprendizaje del programa, creadas en asociación con Pear Deck. También nos entusiasma hacer accesibles estas importantes lecciones a más familias al expandir el programa "Be Internet Awesome" al español con "Sé genial en Internet". Hemos invitado a Araceli Gómez, educadora de STEM en la South Gate Middle School en Los Ángeles, a hablar sobre por qué estos recursos son tan importantes para su comunidad.


Mi carrera en educación comenzó en 1997 en la escuela primaria Tweedy, en la ciudad de South Gate, California, donde la población es 99 por ciento latina. La mejor parte de ser educadora en la misma ciudad por más de 20 años es la relación que he desarrollado con las familias y los estudiantes de la comunidad. Cuando los exalumnos se acercan para decir simplemente hola o compartir su éxito educativo y profesional, es increíble saber que jugué un pequeño papel en ayudarlos a alcanzar su máximo potencial.


La mayoría de los estudiantes con los que trabajo son bilingües, pero sus padres hablan predominantemente español en casa. Estos padres a menudo buscan orientación y recursos de seguridad en línea. Según una nueva investigación auspiciada por Google, los padres latinos en hogares de habla hispana tienen casi el doble de probabilidades que los que hablan inglés de preferir conversar sobre seguridad en línea en el hogar, como familia (39 por ciento comparado con 21 por ciento). Estoy comenzando a ver más información sobre seguridad en Internet en inglés, pero para la mayoría de las familias con las que trabajo, esa información prácticamente no existe por la barrera del idioma. Esa es una gran razón por la que estoy muy emocionada de que "Be Internet Awesome" de Google está ahora disponible en español: Sé genial en Internet.

Con "Sé genial en Internet", los padres hispanohablantes en mi comunidad y de todo el mundo podrán usar las herramientas y los recursos disponibles en su idioma para reforzar lecciones importantes en casa y ayudar a sus hijos a convertirse en buenos ciudadanos digitales.

Durante el tiempo que he estado enseñando, los avances en la tecnología han cambiado muchas de las formas en que se aprende. La investigación de hoy se hace en línea, y las asignaciones y tareas se llevan a cabo y son calificadas en línea. Y como educadora de STEM, siempre estoy buscando programas que beneficien y satisfagan las necesidades actuales de mis alumnos. El plan de estudios "Be Internet Awesome" es un gran recurso porque ayuda a los estudiantes los fundamentos básicos de la seguridad digital de una manera divertida y atractiva.

Del mismo modo que enseñamos a los niños a diferenciar entre el bien y el mal en el mundo real, también debemos mostrarles cómo interactuar en Internet. Para hacerlo, todas las familias deben contar con la información, los recursos y las herramientas adecuadas para aprender y continuar la comunicación al respecto en el hogar. Estoy emocionada de ver a Google reconocer esa necesidad y expandir sus programas para llegar a más niños, familias y educadores con "Sé genial en Internet".

19 Jun 2018 4:30pm GMT

Listen up: Google Podcasts is now on Android

Whether we're listening to history lessons on the commute, news stories at the gym, or gripping mysteries while preparing dinner, podcasts have become an essential part of life. But, it can still be difficult to get started and find new shows you'll love-and work still remains in making podcasts accessible and discoverable for all.

Today, we're releasing the Google Podcasts app for Android, available globally in the Play Store. Integrated with the Google Assistant across your devices and packed with personalized recommendations, Google Podcasts is designed to make it easier than ever for Android users to discover and listen to podcasts. We're also announcing a partnership with industry experts to improve diversity in podcast creation, and sharing a peek at how AI can help transform podcasting for the better.

Google Podcasts screenshots

Smarter recommendations with Google Podcasts

With Google Podcasts, you can listen and subscribe to any podcast, including popular shows like The Daily, Cyrus Says, Modern Love, Lage der Nation, The Bill Simmons Podcast, and literally millions more. Beyond the podcasts you already know, Google Podcasts uses AI to offer recommendations based on your listening habits-such as your interest in sports or true crime, or podcasts from a particular network.

Google Podcasts seamlessly syncs across a variety of Google products, including the Google Assistant. So if you're listening to a podcast on your phone during your commute home, you can resume it on your Google Home when you arrive. Over time, we'll integrate Google Podcasts into more places you use Google.

Podcasts on Google Assistant

How podcasters can optimize for Google

With Google Podcasts, we're focused on helping podcast creators reach a broader audience. To ensure inclusion in the Google Podcasts app, creators should follow our updated developer guidelines, which you may already be familiar with for other Google apps. In today's update, a few new sections cover how to:

  • Prompt Google to index new podcasts as quickly as possible

  • Generate a direct link to your podcast

  • Download the Google Podcasts brand assets for sharing on your website

  • Track analytics that come from Google Podcasts

Promoting inclusive storytelling in podcasting

Podcasting holds unbounded promise as a storytelling medium, but its future depends on a rich array of stories, voices and creators. While there are more podcasts than ever before, there continues to be an imbalance in who is creating them. Looking at top charts, only about a quarter of the most popular podcasts tend to be hosted by women, and even fewer by people of color.

That's why we're also partnering with the podcast industry on a program to increase the diversity of voices and remove barriers to podcasting. The program will be guided by an advisory board from around the world, with the primary goal of enabling skills development and experimentation from underrepresented voices, as well as cultivating ideas and processes that can scale throughout the industry. We'll be rolling out more details this summer, and we encourage you to fill out the online form if you are interested.

The future of Google Podcasts

We couldn't be more excited to help people around the world discover podcasts they'll love, and this is just the beginning. Looking forward, Google Podcasts will be a launchpad for building an even better podcast listening experience using AI.

For example, as speech-to-text technology continues to improve, we'll be able to provide new features like automatic subtitling, which is especially helpful if you are hearing impaired or in a noisy area without headphones. Powered by Google Translate, subtitles can then be made available in a wide variety of languages, further improving access to podcasts.

We're excited about where we're heading with Google Podcasts. To try out the new experience today, visit the Play store.

19 Jun 2018 4:00pm GMT

#IMakeApps: Meet Faith Ringgold, an 88-year old artist and game maker

Editor's note: To celebrate the hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of app makers around the world, this week, and over the coming months, we'll celebrate our Android community by featuring founders, product managers, designers and developers from around the world. We'll showcase their passions and also hear about what they do when they step away from their computers. Check out more #IMakeApps stories on g.co/play/imakeapps.

Faith Ringgold, an 88-year old artist and creator of Quiltuduko has been a pioneering figure in American art for six decades. She is a painter, mixed media sculptor, performance artist, author, educator and activist. She's had exhibits in museums and galleries around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

In her 80s she came up with the idea for Quiltuduko, an art making game inspired by the Japanese number game, Sudoku. The rules are simple, the game can be a challenge, but the solution makes art.

This is what she told us when we caught up with her at ACA Galleries:

Why did you decide to embark into the world of technology?
The moment computers became available, I bought one for myself and one for each of my two daughters. When my granddaughter was very young I acquired a computer for her as well. I didn't want them to get lost in the TV and ignore their work. Computers allowed them to get information easily and learn about anything, anywhere, anytime.

After I received my BA I considered the possibility of getting a masters degree in computer science rather than art. The computer field was new and opportunities were abundant for those interested. To clarify my dilemma, I went to Europe to meet with a group of artists who had left America. I wanted to see if I should do this too as I considered changing my major. In the end I received my Masters in art and art education.​ I love art​.

How did you come up with the idea of Quiltuduko?
I played the game Sudoku often and was impressed. I've always loved games and was good at solving puzzles. As I played Sudoku it became apparent to me that it would be better if color and images were used and not just numbers. When the game was finished I wanted to have something to look at​, not just numbers​.

Early on, I discovered the Kuba design in Africa which repeats colors and images in a similar way as Sudoku. It introduced triangles as well as squares. I love design and decor. I've traveled all over the world being inspired by the designs of other cultures​, especially Africa​. When I created Quiltuduko, 9 images and different colors were used rather than just numbers.

What was it like for you to work on the game?
Computers are getting more complicated and I'm still keeping up. I was good at computers and loved working on the game. It combines my love of art with my love of computers and puzzles. I love design and figuring things out and wanted to ​embellish the concept of ​Sudoku​ as an art game​.

Do you think mobile apps and games are a form of art?
Yes, definitely. Quiltuduko is an art game. This game is an expansion of my own art. These are my original designs and I consider them art, especially when the game is finished you have a work of art that can be printed, framed and enjoyed!

It's all about art and design. I have created original designs for the game but have also used existing works of art that I created in the pattern of Quiltuduko.

What has been your experience with Android and Google Play?
I like both Android and Google Play. I played Sudoku on these platforms which gave me the idea of Quiltuduko. This game is great for adults to keep one's mind clear and active and it's also good for children​, and people who love art​.

19 Jun 2018 4:00pm GMT

08 Mar 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Some terrible personal news

Cindy Cutts, my wife and best friend, passed away earlier this week. While I was traveling for work recently, Cindy went to visit her family in Omaha, Nebraska. On Sunday, while enjoying time with family, Cindy started having trouble breathing. Her family quickly called 911 and paramedics took Cindy to the hospital, but Cindy lost […]

08 Mar 2018 12:17am GMT

22 Jan 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Talking to Mr. Money Mustache about the US Digital Service

Last week, I passed my one year anniversary as head of the US Digital Service (USDS). So when Mr. Money Mustache asked for an interview, I was delighted to talk about some of the work that the USDS does. If you aren't familiar with Mr. Money Mustache, he writes about a philosophy of badassity in […]

22 Jan 2018 6:58pm GMT

01 Apr 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google April Fools' Day 2017

April Fools' Day should probably be called Google Fools' Day, since there are so many Google hoaxes.

Google Japan developed a "bubble wrap" version of the Japanese keyboard. "The Google Japanese input bubble wrap version is a keyboard that realizes 'I want to press in my mind, I want to keep pressing'," according to Google Translate.



Another product for your smart home? Meet Google Gnome, "a voice-activated, hands-free tool designed to make backyard living effortless. Need to know what animal is squeaking in your bushes? Stay still and ask Gnome what sound an opossum makes. Running low on birdseed? That's where Gnome comes in. You can even use Gnome's proprietary high-intensity lasers to trim your hedges into whatever shape your heart desires."



The Chrome OS team brings the most popular mobile accessories to the Chromebook, which already blurs the line between mobile and desktop. Chromebook Groupie Stick, Chromebook Cardboard, Chromebook Workout Armband will soon be available in the Google Store. "To take advantage of beautiful, high-resolution displays, as well as great photo editing apps, we've carefully engineered the first Chromebook-sized selfie stick. Never again will you miss the perfect groupie."


Haptic Helpers make VR even more immersive. "We're taking VR to the next level with Haptic Helpers. Using a modest set of everyday tools, these VR virtuosos can simulate more than 10,000 unique experiences, all from the comfort of your own home. Smell the roses. Listen to the ocean. Feel a fluffy dog!"


You can now play the classic arcade game MS. PAC-MAN in Google Maps. "Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue as you swerve the streets of real places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while." Just go to the Google Maps site or open the Google Maps app for Android or iOS and click or tap MS. PAC-MAN at the bottom.


Google Cloud Platform expands to Mars. "By opening a dedicated extraterrestrial cloud region, we're bringing the power of Google's compute, network, and storage to the rest of the solar system, unlocking a plethora of possibilities for astronomy research, exploration of Martian natural resources and interplanetary life sciences. This region will also serve as an important node in an extensive network throughout the solar system. Our first interplanetary data center - affectionately nicknamed 'Ziggy Stardust' - will open in 2018," mentions Google.


Google Netherlands came up with Google Wind, a machine learning technology that controls the weather. "The Netherlands has many windmills, some no longer in use, we can connect to Google Cloud Platform. So we use the existing Dutch infrastructure, machine learning, weather patterns to control the network of windmills when rain is approaching. The first test results are very promising: we seem to be able to provide sun and clear skies for everyone in the Netherlands," mentions Google Netherlands blog.



Google's search app for iOS is now optimized for cats and dogs. "On the Google app for iOS, you can now use 3D Touch on the app icon or head to settings and select I'm Feeling Woof or I'm Feeling Meow to let your dogs and cats get info on topics they care about-whether that means squeaky toys or a bowl of milk!"


Google also launched Google Play for Pets, a new category of Android games designed for cats, dogs and other pets.


Google Translate's Word Lens feature supports a new language: Heptapod B, the alien language from the movie "Arrival". "The challenge with understanding Heptapod B is its nonlinear orthography. Fortunately, Google's neural machine translation system employs an encoder/decoder system that internally represents sentences as high-dimensional vectors. These vectors map well to the non-linear orthography of the Heptapod language and they are really the enabling technical factor in translating Heptapod B."

01 Apr 2017 7:25am GMT

19 Feb 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Gmail Blocks JavaScript Attachments

If you try to send a JavaScript attachment using Gmail or if you want to download a .js attachment, you'll get a new anti-virus warning: "Blocked for security reasons", "1 attachment contains a virus or blocked file. Downloading this attachment is disabled".


.JS has been added to the long list of file types that are blocked by Gmail for security reasons. The full list: .ADE, .ADP, .BAT, .CHM, .CMD, .COM, .CPL, .EXE, .HTA, .INS, .ISP, .JAR, .JS (NEW), .JSE, .LIB, .LNK, .MDE, .MSC, .MSI, .MSP, .MST, .NSH .PIF, .SCR, .SCT, .SHB, .SYS, .VB, .VBE, .VBS, .VXD, .WSC, .WSF, .WSH. "To prevent against potential viruses, Gmail doesn't allow you to attach certain types of files, including: certain file types (listed above), including their compressed form (like .gz or .bz2 files) or when found within archives (like .zip or .tgz files), documents with malicious macros, archives whose listed file content is password protected, archives whose content includes a password protected archive."

The GSuite Blog informs that "for inbound mail, senders will get a bounce message explaining why the email was blocked. If you still need to send .js files for legitimate reasons, you can use Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, or other storage solutions to share or send your files."

You can still send JavaScript files using Gmail if you change the extension. What about downloading old .js attachments? Try the workarounds from this post.

19 Feb 2017 10:39am GMT

25 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Shows Colorful Suggestions

Google Image Search has a different way to display suggestions: it now shows a long list of colorful boxes with related searches. You can click one or more boxes to dynamically refine search results.


For example, when searching for [sportswear], Google shows suggestions like: [women basketball], [tennis], [badminton], [golf], [volleyball], [nike woman], [alexander wang], [adidas], [fashion], [performance], [vintage], [trendy], [urban], [school], [gym], [90's], [70's], [vogue], [luxe], [avant garde], [korean], [italian], [french] and more. It's interesting to notice that each category of suggestions has a different color.




Here's the old interface, which had fewer suggestions and displayed thumbnails next to suggestions:

25 Jan 2017 9:39pm GMT

19 Jan 2017

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Staying with the US Digital Service

A few months ago, I took a leave of absence from Google to do a stint with the US Digital Service. A lot of people know about the US Digital Service because they helped rescue the healthcare.gov website. But you might not realize that the US Digital Service has helped veterans get their health benefits, […]

19 Jan 2017 3:47am GMT

16 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Starts Playing YouTube Videos

Google Image Search's mobile interface tests a new feature that starts playing snippets from a YouTube video at the top of the search results page. It's not disclosed as an ad, there's no sound and you can't stop or hide the video, which continues to play on repeat.



Right now, the experiment seems to be limited to fashion-related queries like [men jackets], [lookbook], [winter outfit], which match videos from YouTube channels like New Look and River Island. "New Look is a South African-owned British global fashion retailer with a chain of high street shops. (...) The chain sells womenswear, menswear, and clothing for teens," according to Wikipedia.

Google only shows labels like: "New Look on YouTube", even though this looks like an experimental ad format. I hope it will never become a regular feature, as it's pretty annoying and it wastes Internet bandwidth.

16 Jan 2017 10:49am GMT

13 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Desktop Notifications, Now For Everyone

It looks like YouTube's notification experiment is now a regular feature and you can no longer disable it by clearing cookies. When sign in to your Google account, YouTube's desktop site no longer shows Google+ notifications in the navigation bar: it replaces them with YouTube notifications.

"Your notifications live here. Subscribe to your favorite channels to get notified about their latest videos," informs the new notification box.


13 Jan 2017 2:08pm GMT

29 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Notifications in the Navigation Bar

YouTube has recently started to experiment with replacing Google+ notifications in the navigation bar with YouTube notifications. You get notifications for recently uploaded videos from your subscribed channels, but only if you've enabled notifications for those channels. For example, you can go to the subscription manager and click the bell icon next to a channel to enable or disable notifications.

The settings button sends you to the Notifications section from YouTube's Settings page and the 3-dot icon next to each notification lets you turn off notifications from the corresponding channel.


If you don't like this experiment, you can always clear cookies for youtube.com in your browser's settings and opt out.

29 Dec 2016 12:24pm GMT

Google's New Mobile UI for Recipe Search

Just in time for New Year's dinner, Google has a new mobile interface for recipe search. I searched for [avocado mayo] and noticed a long list of keywords below the search box and ads: salad, chicken, shrimp, vegan, bacon and more. You can select more than one keyword and this helps you refine the results.


When selecting a related search, you get a completely different interface that only shows recipes: bigger expandable cards, bigger thumbnails, infinite scrolling.



29 Dec 2016 11:09am GMT

08 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Translate's 5000 Character Limit

For some reason, Google Translate now has a limit of 5000 characters per translation. There's even a character counter at the bottom of the input box. If you happen to paste a long text that has more than 5000 characters, you'll get an error message ("maximum characters exceeded: X characters over 5000 maximum") and a "translate more" option that lets you translate the rest of the text.


I don't understand the purpose of this restriction, considering that Google doesn't impose any limitation when translating web pages. It's worth pointing out that Google Translate's API has a similar limitation: "the maximum size of each text to be translated is 5000 characters, not including any HTML tags". Google's translation card from Google Search has a different limit: about 2800 characters.

08 Dec 2016 6:18pm GMT

Google Tests Movie Ratings

Google's knowledge graph card tests a feature that lets you like or dislike movies and TV shows. For example, when you search for "It's a Wonderful Life", you can click like or dislike and check the percentage of Google users who liked it.


The same buttons show up when you search for a TV show like "Saturday Night Live".


Search Engine Land reports that Google confirmed this experiment, which was first spotted last month.

08 Dec 2016 11:45am GMT

06 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Holiday Decorations

When you search Google for [Christmas], [Hanukkah], [Kwanzaa], [Festivus] or other related queries, you'll see some special decorations related to each holiday. Festivus is "a holiday celebrated by those seeking an alternative to the commercialism and pressures of the Christmas holiday season."

Christmas trees, Santa Claus, the Christmas star adorn the Google search page and bring the hoiday spirit.


The Hanukkah menorah and Kwanzaa's Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) are lighting up Google's search pages.




Here are the decorations from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

06 Dec 2016 2:21pm GMT

New Interface for Google Search

Google's desktop search pages have a new interface for navigating between search results. The search box is bigger, there's a new search icon and Google now only shows 2 or 3 specialized search engines next to "all", down from 4. Apps and shopping seem to be missing from the list of search engines, so you can only pick from image search, video search, Google News, Google Maps, Google Flights and Google Books.


The settings dropdown is now placed below the search box and it includes the option that lets you hide private results. You can still change search settings, languages, turn on or turn off SafeSearch, use advanced search options, open Web History or go to the help center.


Search tools are now simply called tools and they include the same options: search by date and verbatim.


Image search lets you quickly go to the saved images page and change SafeSearch setting.


Google Shopping is broken. While the homepage still loads, when you click a product image or search for something, Google shows an empty page.



Here's the old Google Search interface, via Wikipedia:

06 Dec 2016 1:31pm GMT

17 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Random Facts About Animals in Google Search

Did you know that "male lions defend the pride's territory while females do most of the hunting"? Did you know that "the name humpback whale describes the motion it makes as it arches its back out of the water in preparation for a dive"? What about this one: "ostriches have the largest eyes of any land living animal and they measure 50 mm (2 inches) in diameter"?

Google now shows random facts about animals in the "did you know" section of the Knowledge Graph card. They're extracted from various sites and Google actually links to the source.



Some example of queries that return random facts: [cat], [lion], [tiger], [alpaca], [giraffe], [ostrich], [duck], [elk], [raccoon], [shark]. It's worth pointing out that you can get another random fact by reloading the page or searching again for the same animal.

17 Oct 2016 9:00pm GMT

15 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Found in Related Searches

Google Knowledge Graph has more than one billion entities and more than 70 billion facts about these entities (people, places, things). It's huge and it brings a different dimension to search: understanding concepts and the relation between them.

Mobile Google Search now has a section called "found in related search", which shows a few entities frequently mentioned in other related searches. For example, I searched for [ethanol molar mass] and Google showed 2 lists of organic and inorganic compounds: one of them was found in the related search [properties of alkanes] and the other was for [polar solvents]. Ethanol is a polar solvent which can be obtained from alkenes, while alkenes can be derived from alkanes, so Google's suggestions are somewhat useful.


This feature is not limited to chemistry, it also works for other topics. Here's a different query: [tour eiffel design], which shows other "towers of the world" and "tourist attractions in France".



15 Oct 2016 7:34am GMT

14 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Converts Queries Into Questions

I noticed an interesting Google Search experiment in the mobile/tablet interface. When searching for [alcohol with the highest boiling], Google converted my query into a question: "Which alcohol has the highest boiling point?", then it tried to answer the question using a snippet from a web page and then it added a "more results" link. Google's link sent to me to the search results page for the question inferred by Google.

14 Oct 2016 10:29pm GMT

Google's Card for Directions

When you search Google for [directions] or [get directions], you get an error message: "No results for that place. Try entering it below to get suggestions." Google shows a special card for directions with cool features like autocomplete, but the error message is out of place because you haven't typed a location.


Suggestions aren't very smart. For example, I typed "Brisbane, Australia" as the starting point and then I started to type "Mel" as the destination. Google suggested 3 places from California, strictly based on my location, while ignoring that Melbourne is a much better suggestion.


Google shows directions inside the card and you can pick between driving, walking, cycling or using public transportation.


To see the directions, just click the text that describes your favorite route. If there is only one route, pick that one. Another option is to click "directions" and go to the Google Maps site.

14 Oct 2016 9:27pm GMT

Add Home Screen Shortcuts to Google Maps Directions

I'm not sure if this is a new feature, but it must be pretty recent. Google Maps for Android lets you add home screen shortcuts to directions directly from the app. Just search for directions, tap the menu icon and pick "add route to Home screen". This works best when you select the current location, but it's not a requirement.



You may also see this message: "Go here often? Add this route. Tap here to add a Home screen shortcut to this route."


Another option is to add the directions widget, which lets you pick the shortcut name, whether to start turn-by-turn navigation and more.

14 Oct 2016 8:48pm GMT

18 Jun 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

A brief update

Over the last couple years, I've seen more and more people in technology trying to make government work better. They're idealists who are also making a large impact. These are people that I respect-some of them worked to fix healthcare.gov, for example. From talking to many of them, I can tell you that their energy […]

18 Jun 2016 1:57am GMT

03 Feb 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Thanks, Amit

Amit Singhal just announced that he's retiring toward the end of the month. Amit has been a formative part of Google's search team, but he's also a good friend. Last year, after he marked 15 years with Google, I wrote this about Amit's contributions: Amit Singhal, one of the unsung heroes of Google, just celebrated […]

03 Feb 2016 7:49pm GMT

19 Jan 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Solving a Verizon issue (Nexus 5X)

I solved a problem today and figured that I'd document it for the rest of the world. Every time someone left me a voicemail on Verizon, I would get a cryptic text from Verizon at 900080006202 that looked like "//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=NM;id=1;c=1;t=v;s=1XXXXXXXXXX;dt=18/01/2016 13:40-0900;l=13;dev_t=5" or "//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=MBU;dev_t=5". Here's what happened. It turns out that Verizon has three kinds of […]

19 Jan 2016 2:00am GMT

31 Oct 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween 2015: USB Drive

I went a little overboard for Halloween last year. And as you can tell from my the Halloween category on my blog, sometimes I get a little too excited about Halloween. So this year I decided to go quick, easy, and lo-fi as a USB drive: To make a thumb drive/USB key, I just took […]

31 Oct 2015 8:02pm GMT

24 Sep 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Give Google Contributor a try

Recently I've seen several interesting conversations about ad blocking, and I wanted to remind people about a great offering called Google Contributor. With Google Contributor, you contribute a certain amount of money each month. That subscription means that you see fewer ads on the web, and you support the sites that you visit with your […]

24 Sep 2015 3:09pm GMT

09 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Berkshire Hathaway

My taste in financial advice runs toward the simple and the lessons I've learned the hard way. But I still like reading about investing/finance, and I recently read through the 2014 annual report for Berkshire Hathaway. Given that it was the 50th anniversary of Warren Buffett taking charge of Berkshire, I have to admit that […]

09 Apr 2015 6:47am GMT

01 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My next project: AutoSEO

This was an April Fool's joke. I've been working really hard with some friends on a project to handle SEO automatically. Now we're ready to take the wraps off it over at seo.ninja. One of the ideas that helped the World Wide Web succeed was that it separated presentation and content. You could write your […]

01 Apr 2015 12:23am 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

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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