31 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends October 23-30

Grab some candy corn and a caramel apple and settle in for a look back at another week in search trends:

Time for trick or treating
With today's Halloween holiday, people are turning to the web to look for
last-minute costumes and pumpkin-carving tips. Top costume searches include Elsa from Frozen, Anna from Frozen, Olaf from Frozen (people can't just let it go, can they?) and Maleficent. Whether you're trick-or-treating or not, get the most out of the twilight hours tonight-Daylight Savings Time comes to an end on Sunday, which means it will be getting darker earlier. At least you get some extra sleep out of the deal.

Sports endings and beginnings
The World Series came to a thrilling conclusion on Wednesday night with Game 7 in Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium, as the San Francisco Giants' took home their third victory in just five (even) years. The star of the night-and the series-was undoubtedly Madison Bumgarner, the Giants' 25-year-old ace starting pitcher who came into the game in relief in the fifth inning and more than earned both the save and his MVP trophy, capping off a postseason performance for the history books. He was the top topic in search Wednesday, with more than 1 million searches. Fellow teammates Buster Posey and "Panda" Pablo Sandoval were also on the list.

As baseball fans put their caps and gloves in storage and look longingly at the calendar for March (pitchers and catchers report in 114 days!), fans of the NBA are just getting going. Basketball season started this week and the web was full of searches for the Cleveland Cavaliers (who are welcoming hometown hero Lebron James back to the fold), Miami Heat (the team LeBron left behind) and Chicago Bulls.

Trouble in the skies
There was a spike in searches around NASA when an unmanned rocket erupted into flames seconds after liftoff on Tuesday. The spacecraft and its cargo were lost, and the launch pad suffered heavy damage. Also this week, there was a breakthrough in the mystery of Amelia Earhart's final flight. A piece of debris located on a tiny island has been identified as a piece of her lost plane.

Movie marvels
Marvel this week revealed a lineup of nine new movies to be released over the coming years, along with some casting details. Alongside familiar faces like Captain America and Iron Man, we'll soon see a film about the Black Panther, who will be played by Chadwick Boseman. Marvel also revealed that Sherlock star (and Internet fave) Benedict Cumberbatch will play Doctor Strange in the 2016 movie.

Tip of the week
Don't get caught off-guard by the changing of the clocks. With the Google app, you can set a reminder to reset the clocks on your microwave, in your car and on your wall as soon as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end on Sunday. Just open the app and say "Ok Google, remind me to change the clocks on Sunday." Now relax and enjoy that extra hour of sleep!

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched for [madison affeldt save] and [katniss everdeen costume]

31 Oct 2014 7:30pm GMT

30 Oct 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's PDF Reader for Android

The latest version of Google Drive for Android added a lot of new features: a new interface based on Material Design, a better search feature that shows results as you type, custom message for sharing files. "You can also turn on link sharing to make the file public and set access to view, comment, or edit. This automatically copies the link to the clipboard and allows you to paste it wherever you want."


Google Drive for Android now also includes a PDF reader. The application still uses the default PDF reader installed on your device, but you can now select Drive PDF Viewer. It works offline and it can be used from any other Android application, not just from Google Drive.


Google's PDF viewer is pretty basic: it has a search feature, it lets you select and copy text, upload files to Google Drive, print files and share them.




Updates are gradually rolled out, so you may not be able to install the latest version of the Google Drive app from Google Play. Android Police has a link to the APK file.

30 Oct 2014 12:28pm GMT

Chrome's New Bookmark Manager

Google has been working on a new bookmarking manager for Chrome. For now, it's available as an extension in the Chrome Web Store that replaces the regular bookmark manager, but it will probably become a standard Chrome feature.

The updated bookmark manager includes a new interface, search powered by Google, sharing and automatically generated folders.

"When you bookmark, you can now save an image and note to make your bookmarks more helpful. Also, Google will suggest a folder if it seems like it could be a fit," informs Google.


Here's the welcome screen, which suggests that some features are disabled if your bookmarks are encrypted:


Some of the existing bookmarks are updated with images and descriptions.


The card-based interface lets you remove images, edit titles, descriptions and URLs, select bookmarks just like in Google+ Photos, move them to a folder or delete them.


The new bookmark manager uses Google to search the full content of your bookmarks, but this doesn't work if your bookmarks are encrypted.


Other features that didn't work for me: sharing folders and topics, which should automatically group your bookmarks into categories like "Tokyo" and "Photography".

{ Thanks, Herin Maru. }

30 Oct 2014 9:57am GMT

25 Oct 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Tests Material Design Mobile Search Interface

Opera Mini had a cool feature: when disabling images, the browser still displayed some placeholders with the dominant colors of the images. Google tests a similar feature for mobile image search: while waiting for the search results to load, placeholders are no longer gray, they use colors from the images.


Google also tests a Material Design mobile search interface with fluid animations and smoother interactions.




Update: Android Police has more screenshots from a Mechanical Turk account.


{ via Nedas }

25 Oct 2014 8:57pm GMT

Google's Pac-Man Card

I'm not sure if this is new, but I thought it's worth mentioning. When searching for [pac man], Google shows a card that links to the doodle from 2010 that celebrated 30 years of Pac-Man.

Google doesn't have a card for doodles, so this was manually added. The card has two calls-to-action: "Play PAC-MAN Doodle" and "Click to Play", it includes the source of the doodle: "Google homepage, May 21, 2010", a large promotional image and some copyright information: "PAC-MAN™ & ©1980 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc."


The game plays inline and there's a permalink for the game.

25 Oct 2014 8:06pm GMT

Knowledge Graph Cards for Video Games

Google's Knowledge Graph cards now include information about video games. You can find all about Pac-Man, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Candy Crush Saga, Grand Theft Auto, Need for Speed, Minecraft, Halo, Counter-Strike or any other game for mobile devices, desktop computers or consoles.

Google shows links to app stores and gaming sites. Cards also include ratings, screenshots, initial release date, developer information, supported platforms, publishers, awards and more.



{ via +Google }

25 Oct 2014 7:35pm GMT

24 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends October 17-23

So what's the word on the (internet) street these days? Search trends has you covered with the latest news that had everyone talking this past week.

The hard goodbye
This week, searchers paid their respects to legendary clothing designer Oscar de La Renta, who he passed away on Monday at the age of 82. Once called "The Sultan of Suave," De la Renta was known for evening gowns that regularly graced the red carpets of Hollywood-and the closets of the White House. From Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, de la Renta dressed every First Lady since the 1960s.

Speaking of Washington bigwigs, we also said goodbye to Ben Bradlee, storied editor of The Washington Post. Bradlee is remembered for his courageous journalism; during his tenure as editor of the Post, the outlet published the "Pentagon Papers" and reported on the Watergate Scandal. Always chasing a good story, Bradlee coined the term "mego" ("my eyes glaze over") for any reporting that bored him-unknowingly foreshadowing Internet-speak.

Is that you Betty Sue?
Back from a long career hiatus, Renee Zellweger stepped back into the spotlight in L.A. and came out with a bang-or shall we say, a new look. People were shocked to see Zellweger… looking a bit different from what they remember. The star's reemergence caused a spike in searches for her hit movie Bridget Jones's Diary (that was her, right? ) But Zellweger is taking the stares and comments in stride, stating she's happy that she looks different because she's living a happier and more fulfilling life-no shame in your game, Renee-whatever makes you feel complete.

Gone in sixty seconds
If you blinked, you already missed this trend. Toys "R" Us decided to pull a line of Breaking Bad action figures after an online petition asking the store to stop selling the toys received more than 9,000 signatures. So what was all the hoopla about? Susan Schrivjer, the Florida mom who started the petition, felt the dolls-which came with a plastic sack of cash and mock drugs-deviated from the company's family values. Toys "R" Us agreed and put the figures on an "indefinite sabbatical"-Walter White-style.

Crime and Punishment
It was a week of crime on the trends charts as people were searching for more information about a gunman who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a soldier of the Canadian army, at Ottawa's National War Memorial. This was the latest assault on a member of the Canadian armed forces in recent times and has stirred debate about extremism in the West.

...As the Black Eyed Peas would say
With the World Series underway, people were ready to scream and shout for their favorite team. Searches for the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals hit a high as the two teams began their battle for The Commissioner's Trophy. And that's not the only party going on these days. Diwali, a Hindu holiday also known as the "Festival of Lights," started this past Tuesday. The celebrations will continue until this Saturday-so you still have time to check out photos of the stunning light displays around the world.

Tip of the week
First there was Angry Birds, then there was Candy Crush, which was swiftly followed by Flappy Bird-it's kind of hard to stay on top of the latest video game trends. Now when you search for video games on Google, a panel will appear with all the info you need to stay in the know.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [designer for the stars] and [play ball].

24 Oct 2014 7:18pm GMT

22 Oct 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Inbox by Gmail

Reinventing email is not an easy task, especially when you have a successful service like Gmail. 10 years after creating Gmail, Google is back at work to bring "an inbox that works for you". The new service is called Inbox by Gmail and it's not just a new interface for Gmail, it's a productivity service that helps you get things done.


"We get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks - especially when we're working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do - rather than helping us get those things done," says Sundar Pichai.

Inbox syncs with your Gmail account and uses all your labels and filters, but adds some new labels that automatically categorize mail: travel, finance, purchases. Google groups messages from the same category into bundles, so you can quickly review them.

There are some new concepts: pinning messages, marking them as done, sweeping messages, highlights, assists, snoozing messages.

* Pin emails you need to get back to: Google moves them to your inbox and they'll stay there even when you mark all the emails as done.

* When you're done with an email, mark it done to move it out of your inbox.

* Sweep marks all unpinned emails in a section as done.

* Snooze emails to remove them from the inbox until later: you can pick a time when they'll be added back to the inbox or you can snooze emails until you you arrive at a place (for example: home).

* Highlights show important content from emails directly in your inbox: images, documents, events, flight information.

* Assists add relevant information like phone numbers, maps, check-in links, package tracking links.




In many ways, pinning replaces starring, mark as done replaces archiving, but they're something new. They're the building blocks of a smarter inbox. You can create reminders and Google adds them to your inbox and sync them with Google Now.

Inbox by Gmail is a work in progress. There's a desktop web app for Chrome and there are mobile apps for Android and iOS/iPhone. You need an invitation to use Inbox, but you can get one by sending an email to inbox@google.com. "Starting today, we're sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends," informs Google.


Inbox doesn't replace Gmail yet, it's more like a new take on email for power users. Mobile optimized, context aware and task oriented. Surprisingly, not yet available for Google Apps.

22 Oct 2014 8:10pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

An inbox that works for you

Today, we're introducing something new. It's called Inbox. Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it's not Gmail: it's a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.

Email started simply as a way to send digital notes around the office. But fast-forward 30 years and with just the phone in your pocket, you can use email to contact virtually anyone in the world…from your best friend to the owner of that bagel shop you discovered last week.

With this evolution comes new challenges: we get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks-especially when we're working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do-rather than helping us get those things done.

If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you. Here are some of the ways Inbox is at your service:



Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you'd like to see grouped together.

Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn't in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.

Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do's on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.

A sampling of Assists

And speaking of to-do's, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists-handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store's phone number and tell you if it's open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.

Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you're in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.

Get started with Inbox
Starting today, we're sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends. If Inbox can't arrive soon enough for you, you can email us at inbox@google.com to get an invitation as soon as more become available.

When you start using Inbox, you'll quickly see that it doesn't feel the same as Gmail-and that's the point. Gmail's still there for you, but Inbox is something new. It's a better way to get back to what matters, and we can't wait to share it with you.

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

Cross-posted from the Official Gmail Blog

22 Oct 2014 5:00pm GMT

21 Oct 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

New Google+ Share Button

The share button from Google's navigation bar looks different: it now uses an icon instead of text and it's more compact. It's interesting to notice that Google used a text label only in the English interface.



Here's the old Share button:

21 Oct 2014 7:37pm GMT

Move Content From an iOS Device to Android

It's easy to switch between iOS and Android, especially if you use Google's services. Google published a guide that helps you switch from iOS to Android, while also highlighting the advantages of Google's services.


You can upload the photos from an iPhone or iPad to Google+ Photos by downloading the Google+ app and enabling the Auto Backup feature. You can also upload the songs from the iTunes library to Google Play Music for free, but you'll have to use a computer.

Transferring contacts is more complicated if you don't use Gmail. You'll have to export contacts from iTunes or from the service you're using and upload them to Gmail.

Transferring apps is the most time consuming step. "Google Play has over 1.3 million apps to choose from so you can find all your favorites and discover new ones. For apps where you're a subscriber, like Netflix, you can simply transfer your service over to Android for free. Just download the same app from Google Play and sign in to your app."

Google's guide doesn't help you migrate SMS messages, call history, calendars and notes. If you use iCloud for calendars, you can export them using this trick and then import them to Google Calendar. Exporting iCloud notes is a manual process: "Open the Notes app at iCloud.com. Copy the text of each note and paste it into a document on your computer, such as a Pages or TextEdit document. Save the document to your computer."

Apple has recently published a similar guide for switching from an Android device to an iOS device. Apple links to various apps that automate the process.

Unlike Apple, Google makes it easy to export your data. You can export your mail, calendars, documents, notes, photos, videos, messages with only a few clicks. If you use Google apps like Chrome, Google Maps, Google+, Google Play Music, Hangouts, Google Drive, Google Search, Gmail, Google Keep for both Android and iOS, you can quickly switch between Android and iOS devices.

{ via Droid Life }

21 Oct 2014 7:04pm GMT

Google Play Music Adds Songza Radio Stations

Google bought Songza and now it brings its features to Play Music, but only for All Access subscribers. The Listen Now section recommends radios based on moon, time of the day or activity. You can play music for working out, unwinding, having friends over, spending time with your family and more. "Each station has been handcrafted-song by song-by our team of music experts (dozens of DJs, musicians, music critics and ethnomusicologists) to give you the exact right song for the moment," informs Google.


I picked Unwinding and then Electronic Chillout and Bedroom Chillout.



Google creates a regular radio station and you can remove songs, reorder them, create playlist or listen offline.


"As part of this update, we've also redesigned the 'Listen Now' page so you can more easily discover new music. Now you'll see cards for all of your recently played music, new releases you might be interested in, and radio stations based on what you like to listen to. You'll also notice that the new app uses Google's material design, with bigger images, bolder colors and slick transitions," explains Google.



Songza-powered radio stations are only available in the US and Canada, probably because Songza is restricted to these countries. You can find the new radio stations in Google Play Music's web interface and the mobile apps for Android and iOS.

{ Thanks, Theo Winter. }

21 Oct 2014 6:26pm GMT

20 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

DISTRICT VOICES: Inside Panem with our finest citizens

Meet District Voices, the latest campaign in our Art, Copy & Code project-where we explore new ways for brands to connect with consumers through experiences that people love, remember and share. District Voices was created in partnership with Lionsgate to promote the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. -Ed.

Greetings, Citizens of Panem!

The Capitol has joined forces with Google and YouTube to celebrate the proud achievements of our strong, lively districts. Premiering today on YouTube, a new miniseries called DISTRICT VOICES will take you behind the scenes to meet some of Panem's most creative-and loyal-citizens.

At 4 p.m. EDT/ 1 p.m. PDT every day this week, one of your favorite Citizen creators from YouTube will give you a never-before-seen tour of their districts. First, the Threadbanger textile experts of District 8 will show how utility meets beauty in this season's fashion-plus, you'll get a look at a new way to wear your Capitol pride. Tomorrow, District 2's Shane Fazen will provide a riveting demonstration of how we keep our noble peacekeepers in tip-top shape. On Wednesday, Derek Muller from District 5-Panem's center of power generation-will give you a peek at a revolutionary new way to generate electricity. Thursday The Grain District's own Feast of Fiction will show you how to bake one of beloved victor Peeta Mellark's most special treats. And finally, iJustine, District 6's liaison to the Capitol, will give you an exclusive glimpse at the majestic and powerful peacekeeper vehicles in action.

Tune in at CAPITOL TV. And remember-Love your labor. Take pride in your task. Our future is in your hands.

Posted by Vikram Tank of The Capitol, devoted to excellence, progress & unity

20 Oct 2014 4:05pm GMT

19 Oct 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Inbox?

Ryan Goldstein, a reader of this blog, noticed a new addition to Gmail's SSL certificate: a reference to inbox.google.com in the Subject Alternative Name field. Subject Alternative Names allows you to secure multiple host names with a single SSL certificate.


When visiting inbox.google.com, Google redirects to https://inbox.google.com/?pli=1 and returns a 403 Forbidden error message. This suggests that the site exists, but it's not yet publicly available.


It's not clear if inbox.google.com will be a used for a new Gmail interface, a different service that uses Gmail data, a mail client or something else.

Update: There's a Chromium bug report about "Inbox (BigTop) desktop freezing in Chrome Canary".

What steps will reproduce the problem?
1. Navigate to inbox.google.com
2. Click on any email message to expand the message

What is the expected result?
Email message expands to show full text of most recent email in the thread, as well as number of other emails in the thread.

What happens instead?
No activity. Inbox application appears frozen. Cursor remains small hand with pointed finger.


Update 2: Mihai Parparita spotted other references to BigTop in Chrome's bug tracker: "I clicked on it from my corp Bigtop account. I was signed in to Mirror with my personal account as the sync account." There are also many reference to inbox_app.

Update 3: Android Police reports that the Gmail app for Android will handle email accounts from Outlook, Yahoo Mail and other email providers. You can already use Gmail's mail fetcher, but the new feature will work better and Google will be able to replace the Android Mail app with Gmail. Maybe this has something to do with Google Inbox?


Update 4: The service is now available.

{ Thanks, Ryan. }

19 Oct 2014 6:25pm GMT

Remove Images From Google Maps Views

If you've added photos to Google Maps Views and you'd like to remove them, Google offers a few options: removing photos from Google Maps Views and Google Maps or deleting photos from all Google products, including Google+. Photos are stored in Google+, not in Google Maps.


Open the photo page in Google Maps Views, click "Remove from Google Maps and Views" and you'll see this confirmation dialog: "Your image will remain in Google+, but will be removed from Google Maps products. This may take up to 24 hours."


If you click the "delete" button instead, your photo is deleted from Google+ and all the Google services that use it.


"When uploading your photos to Google Maps Views, your content will be publicly visible to other users. Geolocated photos that are shared on Google Maps may also be displayed in a variety of Google products and services, such as Google Maps for mobile, Google Earth, Google Search, Google+, Google+ Local, and third party sites using embeddable widgets or the Google Maps API," informs Google.

There are other ways to remove photos from Google Maps Views: make the Google+ album private or uncheck the "Show location data" setting in the album properties.

{ Thanks, Jordan. }

19 Oct 2014 2:11pm GMT

Earth View, New Tab Page Powered by Google Maps

"Earth View displays a beautiful and unique Satellite image from Google Maps every time you open a new tab." It's a Chrome extension that replaces the new tab page with a random Google Maps image.


If you want to find more the satellite image, click the globe icon at the bottom of the page and you'll open the current view in Google Maps. To see a new image, open a new tab or refresh the page.

While the Earth View images are fascinating, you'll probably miss some of the features from the standard new tab page: bookmarks bar, frequently visited pages, Google's doodles and navigation links. Earth View only shows a link to Chrome's apps page.


I've checked the extension's source code and there are almost 1000 satellite images. They're not bundled with the extension, they're loaded from JSON files like: https://www.gstatic.com/prettyearth/1003.json.

19 Oct 2014 12:48pm GMT

Translate Selected Text in Chrome

Chrome has a built-in translation feature, so why would you install an extension for Google Translate? You can select text from a page, click the small Google Translate icon and get the translation almost instantly.


You can also click the extension's button and type some text you want to translate or click "translate this page".


The nice thing about the extension is that you can change your primary language in the extension's settings without changing your browser's interface language or your operating system's language. For example, Chrome for Mac "determines the browser interface language by the Language & Text setting in System Preferences."


"The Translate team is working hard to connect people by breaking language barriers across computers, mobile devices and Internet browsers. Our users make more than 1 billion translations a day," informs the Google Translate blog.

19 Oct 2014 12:28pm GMT

17 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends October 10-16

Diet secrets from Zach Galifianakis, and cord cutting from a cable company?! Here's a look at another topsy-turvy week in search.

A cast of characters
Search will always have its fair share of characters and this week was no different. First up, moviegoers learned who's next in line for Hollywood's superhero treatment when Ezra Miller, star of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, landed the title role in the 2018 film The Flash. And whispers are swirling in Tinseltown that Gal Gadot's already impressive resume-she's set to play the world's most famous Amazonian, Wonder Woman-will soon get another stellar addition, the lead female role in a remake of Ben-Hur.

But they weren't the only celebrities to get the Internet buzzing. Comedian and fan favorite Zach Galifianakis caused a stir on the trends charts after he revealed a much thinner version of himself on the red carpet of the New York Film Festival. When a reporter asked Galifianakis if he had made any lifestyle changes to lose the weight, he responded with a straight face, "No, I'm just... I'm dying." Clearly Galifianakis isn't sharing his weight loss secrets.

Out with the old, in with the new
HBO has seen the light! This week the premium television network announced that they will launch a new stand-alone service for fans of its TV shows. Soon, homes without a cable subscription can sign up for HBO Go and get their fill of Game of Thrones and other HBO shows with just an Internet connection-leading people to wonder if this is the beginning of the end for cable providers.

Consumers also had a lot of new mobile devices to choose from this week, starting with our own line of Nexus gadgets like the Nexus 6 running the latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop. Meanwhile, Apple announced an updated version of the iPad.

The show's just getting started
Is it awards show season already? It's not-but that's not stopping searchers from looking ahead. The Internet rejoiced when How I Met Your Mother and Gone Girl star Neil Patrick Harris said "Hosting the 2015 Academy Awards? Challenge accepted!" But with the Oscars red carpet still months away, searchers had their sights set on another celebrity bash: Paul Rudd's keg party… at his mom's house… in the suburbs of Kansas City. What else are you supposed to do when mom's out of town and the KC Royals just punched a ticket to the World Series after a nearly 30-year hiatus?

Tip of the week
'Tis the season for pumpkin spice beers? Next time you're in a new town and looking to grab a cold one just say "Ok Google, show me pubs near my hotel" and find your new favorite haunt.


Posted by, Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [tv a la carte] and [yo yo diets]

17 Oct 2014 8:33pm GMT

15 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Android: Be together. Not the same.

Good things happen when everybody's invited. A few years ago, we had the thought that phones (and stuff that hadn't even been invented yet like tablets and smart watches) would be way more interesting if everyone could build new things together. So we created Android as an open platform, and put it out there for everyone to imagine, invent, make, or buy whatever they wanted.

Since then, all kinds of people-from companies big and small to folks on Kickstarter, kids in schools, and crazy smart developers-have been innovating faster, together, more than we ever could alone. And the best part is that every time someone new joins in, things get more interesting, unexpected, and wonderful for all of us.


Getting everyone in on the party is the same spirit behind Android One-an effort recently launched in India (coming to other countries soon) to make great smartphones available to the billions of people around the world who aren't yet online. It's also why we're excited about Lollipop, our newest software release, which is designed to meet the diverse needs of the billion-plus people who already use Android today.

Joining the party: Android 5.0 Lollipop
As previewed at Google I/O, Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it's designed to be shared.

Lollipop is made for a world where moving throughout the day means interacting with a bunch of different screens-from phones and tablets to TVs. With more devices connecting together, your expectation is that things just work. With Lollipop, it's easier than ever to pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other ones.

As you switch from one screen to another, the experience should feel the same. So Lollipop has a consistent design across devices-an approach we call Material Design. Now content responds to your touch, or even your voice, in more intuitive ways, and transitions between tasks are more fluid.

Lollipop also gives you more control over your device. You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you're out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly from the lockscreen.

And because we're using our devices a lot more, there's a new battery saver feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes-helpful if you're far from a power outlet. We've enabled multiple user accounts and guest user mode for keeping your personal stuff private. And you can now secure your device with a PIN, password, pattern, or even by pairing your phone to a trusted device like your watch or car with Smart Lock. But this is just a small taste of Lollipop. Learn more on android.com.

Meet the Nexus family, now running Lollipop
Advances in computing are driven at the intersection of hardware and software. That's why we've always introduced Nexus devices alongside our platform releases. Rather than creating software in the abstract, we work with hardware partners to build Nexus devices to help push the boundaries of what's possible. Nexus devices also serve as a reference for the ecosystem as they develop on our newest release. And for Lollipop, we have a few new Nexus treats to share with you.

First, with Motorola, we developed the Nexus 6. This new phone has a contoured aluminum frame, a 6-inch Quad HD display and a 13 megapixel camera. The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work. It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.

Next, a new tablet built in partnership with HTC. Nexus 9, with brushed metal sides and 8.9-inch screen, is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on. And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.

Finally, we're releasing the first device running Android TV: Nexus Player, a collaboration with Asus, is a streaming media player for movies, music and videos. It's also a first-of-its-kind Android gaming device. With Nexus Player you can play Android games on your HDTV with a gamepad, then keep playing on your phone while you're on the road. Nexus Player is Google Cast Ready so you can cast your favorite entertainment from almost any Chromebook or Android or iOS phone or tablet to your TV.

Nexus 9 and Nexus Player will be available for pre-order on October 17. Nexus 9 will be in stores starting November 3. Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in late October and in stores in November-with options for an unlocked version through Play store, or a monthly contract or installment plan through carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Specific carrier rollout timing will vary. Check out google.com/nexus for more details on availability.

Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes on Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, will also be available on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

The party's just getting started
With this latest release of Android Lollipop, we're excited to continue working with our developer community, hardware partners, and all of you. More ideas and more creators is what gets us all to better ideas faster. And since everyone's invited to the party, we hope you'll join in the fun by creating and sharing an Android character that captures a little bit of who you are-one of a kind. Enjoy!


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

15 Oct 2014 4:04pm GMT

14 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

OMG! Mobile voice survey reveals teens love to talk

"Ok Google, do I need an umbrella today?" "How tall do you need to be to ride the Cyclone?" "How long does a goat live?" People of all ages are starting to talk to their devices more regularly-in fact, our data also show mobile voice searches more than doubled in the past year. But how, why and where do people use voice search? To find out, we commissioned a study, conducted by Northstar Research, surveying 1,400 Americans across all age groups. Here are the results:

We weren't surprised to find that teens-always ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology-talk to their phones more than the average adult. More than half of teens (13-18) use voice search daily-to them it's as natural as checking social media or taking selfies. Adults are also getting the hang of it, with 41 percent talking to their phones every day and 56 percent admitting it makes them "feel tech savvy."

Both teens and adults are asking their phones for directions and using it to help skip the hassle of typing in phone numbers. And it's pretty clear a lot of people are relying on voice search for multitasking: they talk to their phones while watching TV (38 percent) and 23 percent of adults use voice search while cooking. Apparently, it's becoming common kitchen etiquette to ask your mobile device: "Ok Google, how many ounces are in a gallon?"-all while making sure your screen stays crumb-free.

While people of all ages ask practical questions, it's teens who are exploring all angles, with nearly one-third talking to their phones to get help with homework. I see my kids asking my phone questions like: "Ok Google, who was the sixth president of the U.S.?" or "what's the tallest mountain in Europe?" On the bright side, teens are ditching voice search in the classroom: 74 percent of them think using voice search at school is unacceptable. In fact, most admit to using voice search "just for fun"-I know my daughter finds it pretty amusing to tell her phone: "Ok Google, play Olivia Holt's 'Fearless'" to start a dance party.

And teens don't seem to associate any stigma with using voice search while hanging out with friends, whereas only one-quarter of adults speak to their phones when in the company of others. Teens don't mind talking to devices in private as well, with more than one in five admitting to using voice search while in the bathroom! Maybe they're merely setting reminders like "Ok Google, remind mom to buy toilet paper next time we're at Safeway."

Though it's already helping a lot of people save time and simplify their days, there's also potential for voice search to do a lot more in the future. So we asked people what they wished voice search could one day deliver. And I have to say, I agree with the results! it would be great to rely on my voice to easily find my car keys or TV remote, both of which somehow always end up under the couch cushions.

And I'm not alone in wishing a simple voice command could save me from having to cook dinner. Forty-five percent of teens-and 36 percent of adults!-wish they could place a pizza delivery order using voice search on their mobile device. We're not quite there yet, but next time you don't feel like cooking, just pull out your phone, tap the Google app, and say: "Ok Google, call Round Table Pizza." You'll still have to place your order over the phone, but we're getting closer!

The small print: The study was commissioned by Google and executed by Northstar Research, a global consulting firm. It examined the smartphone voice search habits of 1,400 Americans, 13 years of age and older (400 ages 13-17 and 1,000 adults ages 18+). Voice search is part of the Google app (available on iOS and Android) and is the best way to access Google for helpful assistance throughout your day. Learn more about the Google app.

Posted by Scott Huffman, VP, Conversational Search

14 Oct 2014 9:16pm GMT

Google Express: more cities, more stores and a new name

One year ago, the first Google Shopping Express order was delivered-a box of granola. Our idea was to make shopping your favorite local stores as easy and fast as shopping online, and to help you get what you need delivered the same day. Since then, you've told us how we helped you restock diapers in the nick of time, made sure you had Bananagrams for family game night, and even made you feel connected to the outside world when you were home sick. Along the way, we've expanded to new locations, brought on more merchants, and offered more products. And now, we're adding to the program you love.

More cities, more stores and more products
Starting today, we're expanding to three new cities: Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Across all our cities, more than 7 million people can now access our same-day delivery service, and in Northern California almost 12 million can use our next-day service.

We're also adding more merchants: 16 in total over the last couple of months. We've added national brands including 1-800-Flowers, Barnes & Noble, Nine West, PetSmart, Vitamin Shoppe and Sports Authority, and regional merchants such as Paragon Sports in New York and Vicente Foods in Los Angeles. In our new markets, we've added regional brands including Stop & Shop in Boston; Giant Food in D.C.; and Lux Roses, TigerDirect, Treasure Island Foods and Wrigleyville Sports in Chicago.

Additionally, customers in the Bay Area who are 21 and over can now order alcohol. Cheers (and please drink responsibly)!

Express membership
Starting today, shoppers who decide to become Google Express members will enjoy:


Membership costs $95/year or $10/month. Or you can choose to pay as you go, at $4.99 per eligible order. Learn more on our Help Center. Either way, we don't add any hidden markups, so you pay the same price for your stuff on Google Express as you would in-store.

New shoppers can try the first three months of membership for free. You can cancel it at any time, so it's easy to test it out and decide if you like it.

A shorter name
We've also noticed people referring to us as "Google Express"-and we love it. So as of today, we've simplified our name. Plus, we've added a punch of color to our parachute:

With more cities, more merchants, and more of your favorite items, Google Express is on its way toward making your life easier by helping you get even more errands out of the way. We hope to give you more free time-and we can't wait to hear about all the things you do with it.

Posted by Brian Elliott, Head of Partnerships, Google Shopping

*Free delivery means no shipping & service fees. Same day or overnight depends on availability of delivery windows. Eligible orders are $15+ before taxes/fees in select delivery areas and exclude restricted items. Service fees apply to ineligible orders. Pricing may change. Requires active membership subject to terms & conditions.

14 Oct 2014 4:01am GMT

11 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends October 3-9

The Royals are in the playoffs, Carlton's doing the Carlton and a Cosby Show star is in the news… what decade is this anyway? Here's a look at a week of search trends so weird, it's almost a Twin Peaks experience:

Play ball
The National League and American League division series thrilled fans of October baseball this week. KC fans gave their brooms a workout as the Royals swept the Angels. They're in the playoffs for the first time in almost 30 years and at an all-time high in search as a result. And after the Cardinals beat the Dodgers to make it to their fourth straight NLCS, the only Midwest team that's not happy is the Tigers, who lost to the Orioles (also a sweep). Meanwhile, the Giants beat the Nationals in a four-game series that was really almost like five games, since Game 2 went an epic 18 innings. The next round starts today.

Flashbacks
Fans of 90s TV shows were breaking out some celebratory dance moves this week, starting, of course, with The Carlton. This week Alfonso Ribeiro-former Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor and current Dancing with the Stars contestant-did what we've all been hoping for and broke out his famous Carlton dance moves on the show. Not only was Ribeiro wearing a Carltonesque sweater and bowtie, the show's set was decorated to look like the sitcom.

News also broke that cult classic Twin Peaks is coming back to the screen. Creators David Lynch and Mark Frost will write nine episodes of the murder mystery for a limited run on Showtime. If you're one of those people who's like, "Laura Palmer, who?" don't fret-the new episodes won't be on the air until 2016, so you have plenty of time to catch up with Agent Dale Cooper between now and then.

Finally, former Cosby Show and Disney channel star Raven Symone was top of mind this week after an interview with Oprah in which she discussed personal identity and labels. Oprah told the actress not to "set up the Twitter on fire," but it didn't do much good as people took to the web to read more about the actress' declaration that she is "not African-American."

Wings, shmings
For nearly two decades, "Red Bull gives you wings" has been the energy drink company's slogan. This week, Red Bull agreed to pay more than $13 million after settling a U.S. lawsuit accusing the drink maker of false advertising claims. The plaintiffs argued that Red Bull's ad campaigns claim the drink gives people special energy benefits. Scientific reports, however, show it offers about the same benefits as a cup of coffee and does not, in fact, give you any wings at all. Searchers looked to find out more about the settlement, which may entitle them to $10, or alternatively, $15 worth of free Red Bull.

Tip of the week
Next time you're on vacation and looking for a nice place for dinner, let Google be your concierge. Open the Google app and say "Ok Google, show me restaurants near my hotel" to see a variety of options. When you find the one you like, you can say "Ok Google, make a reservation there for 7 p.m." If the restaurant is on OpenTable, you'll see a reservations screen pop up with the details already filled out-no need to waste time on the phone when you could be enjoying your time off!

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [attendance hardly strictly bluegrass] and [matilda musical]

11 Oct 2014 12:49am GMT

06 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Campus, coming to a tech community near you

When entrepreneurs are empowered to dream big and take action, they're capable of tackling significant problems-and they can be an important pillar of a thriving economy. As a former startup ourselves, entrepreneurship is still part of Google's DNA. That's why two and a half years ago we opened our first Campus in London, a space designed to help entrepreneurs learn, connect, and build companies.

Campus is a hub for the startup community, where entrepreneurs can fuel up on caffeine at the Campus Cafe, gather in our free event space, rent coworking space, and connect with mentors, accelerators and Google teams. So far, we've seen great results at our first locations, Campus London and Campus Tel Aviv. In 2013, startups at Campus London raised more than $54 million in funding and created more than 570 jobs. They've also created great products and services that are reaching consumers and customers. For example, Borrow My Doggy, which began at a Startup Weekend in London and also received funding from Seedcamp, one of our partners, lets dog owners with limited time for walking share their pooches with city dwellers who can't have their own. Eyetease, which created a HD digital taxitop and high-speed WiFi system for taxis, has been a resident at Campus since their launch and have grown their revenue 100X during that time. In Tel Aviv, local community groups have hosted more than 1,000 events at Campus (and consumed 6,000+ slices of free pizza!).

Building on the success of these spaces, this year we've announced new Campuses in Warsaw, Poland, São Paulo, Brazil, and Seoul, South Korea. And today, we're welcoming another new member to the Campus family: Campus Madrid. We're excited to open doors in all these new locations in 2015. Each of these cities has a growing startup community, as well as a Google office so our teams can get directly involved with supporting Campus. We hosted more than 1,000 Google mentoring sessions through our Campus Office Hours Program in London, and are planning similar efforts at our other locations.

We're also trying out new programs at all our locations to help even more aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. For example, Campus for Moms is a baby-friendly startup school for new moms on maternity leave. CampusEDU offers courses for founders both in person and streamed for free online, like this Friday's session, Hiring Rockstars and Keeping Them.

As with all our Google for Entrepreneurs programs, we hope Campus will provide a home for entrepreneurs and startup founders, and put resources at their fingertips to help them build transformative products and companies around the world.

Posted by Mary Grove, Director of Google for Entrepreneurs

06 Oct 2014 4:25pm GMT

03 Oct 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends September 26 - October 2

Diseases, protests and DUIs? Search wasn't a pretty place this week.

Somebody call a doctor
This week, searchers went into a frenzy following news that someone had been diagnosed with Ebola on U.S soil-causing a surge in interest for the deadly disease. While this hopefully will remain an isolated case in the U.S., the virus is taking its toll on the people in West Africa. The region is experiencing its worst outbreak in history, with more than 3,000 people dying from the illness.

An indefinite break
It was a bad day at the office for several prominent figures this week as they were asked to step down from their positions. After a couple of bizarre security breaches like allowing the President to share an elevator with an armed man or when a person literally jumped the White House fence and walked inside the building (knife in tow), Secret Service director Julia Pierson handed in her resignation.

American Olympian and swimming icon Michael Phelps was arrested on charges of a DUI after he was pulled over for going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone. Amidst a firestorm of bad behavior from athletes, some are calling for USA Swimming to suspend Phelps, who had a previous DUI in 2004, for at least a year. Across the Pacific, students in Hong Kong staged massive demonstrations against the country's Chief Executive, C.Y. Leung, seeking to oust him from office. The government has proposed talks with the students in order to calm the chaos, but so far Leung has refused to quit.


Crossovers
Searchers were saying "what the?" this week as we were hit with a couple of crossovers on TV and in music. First up, two classic American cartoons came together for one night to give viewers double the laughter. The famed Simpsons appeared in an episode of Family Guy. Unfortunately, the laugh track was off this time around and the show received negative reviews, perhaps thanks to an awkward seven-minute fight scene between Peter and Homer (d'oh!). And we heard a new take on a popular tune as "The Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin made a breathtaking cover of pop-soul star Adele's song "Rolling in the Deep." Listen to it and prepare to have your mind blown.

Who's got game?
The MLB playoffs are in full, um, swing. The Kansas City Royals and their fans had something to cheer about as team made the playoffs for the first time in 29 years, ending the longest postseason drought in North American sports history-and then eliminating Oakland in an extra-inning thriller. And, after an 8-0 stomping of the Pittsburgh Pirates behind ace Madison Bumgarner, the San Francisco Giants are hoping to keep their every-other-year World Series streak alive.

Tip of the week
It's beginning to look a lot like winter. Before you head out, make sure to check the weather by saying, "Ok Google, what's the weather like outside?" and you'll be ready to go-mittens or umbrella in hand.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [hypochondriac] and [one day you're in, the next day you're out].

03 Oct 2014 9:44pm GMT

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

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

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

23 Sep 2014

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

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

01 Nov 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Grow a moustache and fight cancer!

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

01 Nov 2011 6:16pm GMT

31 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween costume: stickman from xkcd

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

31 Oct 2011 5:16pm GMT

24 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween Pumpkin: Portal Turret!

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

24 Oct 2011 3:26pm GMT

02 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

New 30 day challenge: going vegan!

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

02 Oct 2011 5:58am GMT

20 Sep 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

What cool new websearch ideas should Google launch in 2012?

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

20 Sep 2011 2:40pm GMT

Busy few weeks

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

20 Sep 2011 1:55pm GMT

26 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

The Emperor's Garden

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

26 Aug 2011 12:12pm GMT

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Traveling for a week

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

26 Aug 2011 6:15am GMT

15 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

15 Aug 2011 4:00pm GMT

11 Jul 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Submit video topics for mid-2011

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

11 Jul 2011 10:21pm GMT

27 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Good Books for Summer Reading?

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

27 Jun 2011 3:54pm GMT

23 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Goal: getting email under control

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

23 Jun 2011 7:08am GMT

25 Feb 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google drops reverse phone number lookup

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

25 Feb 2011 11:23am GMT

16 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Idea: Topical Chat

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

16 Dec 2010 2:55pm GMT

Idea: CrowdChat

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

16 Dec 2010 7:26am GMT

Google Body Browser

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

16 Dec 2010 2:17am GMT

10 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Pictures of the Cr-48

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

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Chromedroidpad

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

09 Dec 2010 12:40pm GMT

08 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Device Evolution

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

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

How to Disable Google Instant Previews

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

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

See a Random Street View Location

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

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT