26 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

#IRegistered to vote. Have you?

¡Hola! Desplazarse hacia abajo para leer este mensaje en español -Ed.


On the eve of National Voter Registration Day, we're doing our part to encourage American voters to get registered for the 2016 election. We've already added in-depth information in Search for registration and how to vote, and now we're adding this same information in Spanish. Now both Spanish and English speakers will be able to get custom, state-by-state information on key registration deadlines, when to get to the polls, and even steps on how to vote early or by mail. We hope this feature helps simplify the registration process for more American voters.

vote_spanish_2.jpg

By helping more people get registered, we're also helping ensure more people get to the polls and vote. The majority of Americans who register to vote end up voting - according to the US Census Bureau, in 2012, 86 percent of those who registered also voted in the November election.


Today's Google Doodle encourages people to get registered in time for National Voter Registration Day


YouTube creators also want you to head to the polls and #voteIRL. Tune in to this playlist to see how you can register to vote in the amount of time it takes Ryan Seacrest to host a radio show or The Fung Bros to shoot hoops. Surprising fact: it only takes one minute and 34 seconds! Once you've registered, join us in encouraging others along the voting process by sharing a post with #IRegistered on social media.

Registering to vote is just the first step toward casting your ballot in this year's election. We hope that you'll be inspired to learn more about the candidates, the issues, and the voting process - and make your voice heard in 2016!

Posted by Jonathan Betz, Engineering Manager, Civic Engagement


_________________________________________________________________________________

Yo me registre para votar. ¿Y tu? #IRegistered


En la víspera del Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes, estamos haciendo nuestra parte para animar a los votantes estadounidenses para registrarse para las elecciones del 2016. Ya hemos añadido información detallada en búsqueda de como registrarte y cómo votar, y ahora estamos añadiendo esa misma información en español.

Ahora, tanto los hablantes de español e inglés podrán obtener información personalizada, estado por estado sobre las fechas clave de registro, horarios para llegar a las urnas, e incluso los pasos necesarios para votar temprano o por correo. Esperamos que esta función ayude a simplificar el proceso de registro para más votantes estadounidenses.


Al ayudar a que más personas se registren, también estamos ayudando a asegurar que más personas lleguen a las urnas y voten. La mayoría de los estadounidenses que se registran para votar terminan ejerciendo su voto - según la Oficina del Censo de Estados Unidos, en el año 2012, el 86 por ciento de los que se registraron también votaron en las elecciones de noviembre.


El Google Doodle de hoy anima a la gente para que se registren a tiempo como parte del Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes


Los creadores de YouTube también quieren que acudas a las urnas y voten en vida real con la campaña #voteIRL. Te recomendamos sintonizar esta lista de videos para aprender cómo puedes registrarte para votar casi en la misma cantidad de tiempo que le toma a Ryan Seacrest presentar su programa de radio o a los Fung Bros jugar baloncesto. De hecho, te sorprenderá saber que: ¡sólo te tomará un minuto y 34 segundos! Una vez que te hayas registrado, te invitamos a acompañarnos a animar a otros a lo largo del proceso de votar, compartiendo un post utilizando #IRegistered en tus redes sociales.

Registrarse para votar es sólo el primer paso para emitir tu voto en las elecciones de este año. ¡Esperamos que te inspires a aprender más sobre los candidatos, los temas, y el proceso de votación - y al mismo tiempo hacer oír tu voz en el 2016!

Publicado por Jonathan Betz, Gerente de Ingeniería, Participación Cívica

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--AqQ1CwAvYM/V-WhgzplxLI/AAAAAAAATFE/xrmbLU7UvDYaczAVPBkSiGaE1Pl3c0eegCLcB/s1600/Google_IRegistered.jpg Jonathan Betz Engineering Manager Civic Engagement

26 Sep 2016 2:00pm GMT

21 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Change is Made with Code

What would the world look like if only 20 percent of women knew how to write? How many fewer great books would there be? How many important stories would go unreported? How many innovations would we lose? How many brilliant women would be unable to fulfill their potential?

That's not just a theoretical question. Today, only a small minority of women know how to write code. That limits their ability to participate in a growing part of our global economy. It limits their ability to affect change as entire industries are transformed by technology. And it limits their potential to impact millions of lives through the power of code.

To change this trajectory, we need to do all we can to inspire women and girls that learning to code is critical to creating a brighter future for everyone. That's why I'm excited to share that, today, Google's Made with Code, together with YouTube, is teaming up with the Global Citizen Festival and millions of teen girls to ignite a movement for young women to change the world through the power of code.

Over the last five years, millions of Global Citizens have influenced world leaders and decision makers, and contributed to shaping our world for the better. As we've seen this movement grow, we've learned about some incredible women who saw problems in their communities and realized that the biggest impact they could have was through computer science. They've used an interest in computer science and tech to help the homeless, stop sexual assault, and bridge the gender gap in technology - check out their stories here:



These women are doing big things, blazing a path for the next generation of girls, but they can't do it alone. The vast potential around using code to improve the world cannot be realized if there are only a few voices influencing how it's shaped. That's why, today, we're inviting teen girls everywhere to join the movement. Our new coding project gives young women a chance to make their voice heard by coding a statement about the change they want to see in the world.
This week, hundreds of thousands of girls from around the country have already used code to share their vision for a better, more inclusive, more equitable world:


These coded designs will be displayed onstage at the Global Citizen Festival, as symbols of the many different voices from teen girls, standing up for the change they want to see in the world.

Together with musicians, sisters, YouTube sensations and newly minted coders,
Chloe x Halle, teen girls are getting their start in code


Our efforts go well beyond this project. Made with Code is joining forces with Iridescent and UN Women to support the launch of the Technovation Challenge 2017 which gives girls the opportunity to build their own apps that tackle the real-life issues they see around them.

Please tune into the Global Citizen Festival livestream at youtube.com/globalcitizen on September 24 to catch all the action. And, more importantly, join us and encourage the young women in your life to try out coding and contribute their ideas for how to make a better future.

Posted by Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-795tCTWiCSI/V-K3lylC2OI/AAAAAAAATDY/kwzdr3Zn-Lg7n8jeXmGAeW--NqOTuVaIACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-21%2Bat%2B9.38.06%2BAM.png Susan Wojcicki CEO YouTube

21 Sep 2016 5:00pm GMT

Say hello to Google Allo: a smarter messaging app



Whether it's planning a night out or just catching up, we all rely on messaging to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. But too often we have to hit pause on our conversations - whether it's to check the status of a flight or look up that new restaurant. So we created a messaging app that helps you keep your conversation going, by providing assistance when you need it.

Today, we're releasing Google Allo, a new smart messaging app for Android and iOS that helps you say more and do more right in your chats. Google Allo can help you make plans, find information, and express yourself more easily in chat. And the more you use it, the more it improves over time.



Respond quickly with Smart Reply
Google Allo makes it easier for you to respond quickly and keep the conversation going, even when you're on the go. With Smart Reply, you can respond to messages with just a tap, so you can send a quick "yup" in response to a friend asking "Are you on your way?" Smart Reply will also suggest responses for photos. If your friend sends you a photo of their pet, you might see Smart Reply suggestions like "aww cute!" And whether you're a "haha" or "😂" kind of person, Smart Reply will improve over time and adjust to your style.


Express yourself with photos, emojis and stickers
Chat is more than just text, so we've created a rich canvas for you to express yourself in Google Allo. You can make emojis and text larger or smaller in size by simply dragging the "send" button up or down. Make photos your own by scribbling on them before you send. And we've worked with independent artists and studios around the world to create more than 25 custom sticker packs, because sometimes a "sloth riding a pizza" says it all.


Meet your personal Google Assistant
In Google Allo you'll also be introduced to a preview edition of the Google Assistant. With your Assistant in Allo, you can have a conversation with Google - ask it questions and let it help you get things done directly in your chats. You no longer need to leave a conversation with friends just to grab an address, share your favorite YouTube video, or pick a dinner spot. Just type @google to bring your Assistant into any group chat. And of course, you can also chat one-one-one with your Assistant in Allo.

Here are just a few ways your Google Assistant can help in Google Allo:



The Google Assistant is the next chapter in a journey Google has been on for many years to assist people in their everyday lives. We're starting with a preview edition to show you just one way that your Assistant will work for you in chat. Over the coming months, your Assistant will be available in more Google products, working seamlessly throughout your day at home or on the go. The Assistant will initially be available in English, with more languages coming soon.

Chat in Incognito mode
We take privacy and security seriously in Google Allo. All chats in Google Allo are encrypted using industry standard technologies like Transport Layer Security (TLS). But we went a step beyond this and we created a mode within Google Allo called Incognito (h/t Chrome). When you chat in Incognito mode, messages have end-to-end encryption and additional privacy features like discreet notifications and message expiration.


You can also message friends who aren't yet using Google Allo through SMS or, for those using Android, app preview messages.

We can't wait for you to say hello to Google Allo! We're beginning to roll out Google Allo for Android and iOS, and the app will be available worldwide in the next few days.



Posted by Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nFYF134DSlw/V-Ig4YrEAQI/AAAAAAAATDA/qBJJHW4nGaAJJ6qN_qR-aqk5irwZb-XNACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-20%2Bat%2B10.55.14%2BPM.png Amit Fulay Group Product Manager Google

21 Sep 2016 4:01am GMT

20 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Bringing education to refugees in Lebanon with the Clooney Foundation for Justice

The world is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Last September, we invited people around the world to help us in supporting organizations on the ground - with Google.org matching every dollar. Since that time, Google.org has committed more than $16.5 million to refugee relief efforts, focused on immediate humanitarian assistance, information and connectivity, and education.

Clooney Foundation for Justice Grant
Today, we're supporting the Clooney Foundation for Justice with a $1 million grant focused on education for refugee children in Lebanon. More than half of global refugees are under the age of eighteen, and in Lebanon, which is hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees per capita in the world, nearly half of those are Syrian refugee children who are currently out of school.

The Clooney Foundation for Justice is teaming up with SABIS, a global education network that has already taught many refugee children in Lebanon. SABIS is taking its accredited teaching methodology and making it accessible to more refugees in Lebanon by setting up semi-permanent schools in areas with a high concentration of refugee children. This grant will support expanding their efforts to develop a new school model, using digital tools, for up to 10,000 out-of-school children in Lebanon. Through our employee volunteering program, we'll also provide technical expertise to help with everything from connectivity to cloud storage by having Googlers helping both on the ground and remotely.



This grant builds on our work with organizations who also support refugees in Germany, France, Turkey and Greece with access to education and learning opportunities. Collectively, our efforts across humanitarian assistance, connectivity and access to information and education will help more than 1 million refugees.

Information and Connectivity
In October 2015, we granted NetHope $900,000, and our employees from around the world helped set up WiFi hotspots and charging kits at key transit points along the refugee route in Europe. So far, more than 300,000 refugees have been able to access NetHope's WiFi to access vital information. Googlers also helped build the site RefugeeInfo.eu with the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and others. The site is now accessible in 18 locations in Greece, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and is being used more than 1,000 times a day.

We're also working to help refugees in the United States get mobile connectivity by partnering with the International Rescue Committee to donate 1,000 Nexus devices and Project Fi wireless service to refugees in 24 cities across the country.

Education
In January, together with NetHope, we launched "Project Reconnect" - an effort to to equip German NGOs with 25,000 Chromebooks that help refugees learn more about local languages, resources, and job opportunities. To date, more than half of them have been delivered and used by nonprofits in Germany. Last year, we also gave a grant to Libraries without Borders to send their Ideas Boxes to create safe learning and playing spaces for children in refugee camps. These Ideas Boxes have been visited thousands of times in camps from Lesbos and Athens in Greece to the refugee camp of Grande Synthe in France and in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Discovering the resources of the Ideas Box in the Eleonas refugee camp, in Athens, Greece

A White House call to action
In June, we signed on as a founding partner of the White House's Private Sector Call to Action for Refugees, an effort by the administration to bring together a cross-section of businesses to help make significant commitments that will have a measurable impact on refugees both in the United States and around the world. We're participating in the conversation at the White House Summit on Refugees today in New York, and will continue to build on our efforts.

You can learn more about grantees and their work at google.org/refugees, and you can donate directly on our site and via the White House's AidRefugees.gov.

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ortc2qBz65s/V-CCwQEjH5I/AAAAAAAATA4/0hCOAPdRescymVIMl8Lf7bCM6qQPq_BcQCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-19%2Bat%2B5.28.26%2BPM.png Jacquelline Fuller Director Google.org

20 Sep 2016 10:00am GMT

19 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

A faster way to share photos and videos, and all-new movies

Sharing all the photos from your weekend with friends can be hard: Not everyone uses the same apps, texting can be slow, and email has attachment limits.

Now, with Google Photos, you pick the photos, tap "share" and select the people you want to share with, instead of the apps - and we take care of the rest. If your friends are on Google Photos, they'll get a notification. If you share via phone number, they'll get a link to the photos and videos via SMS. And email addresses will get an email with a link from Google Photos. So you can spend less time toggling from app to app to share photos - dealing with failed texts or email attachment limits along the way - and more time enjoying life's photo-worthy moments.



We're also upping our game when it comes to automatic creations. Google Photos has always made movies for you using your recently uploaded photos. Now we're going further, with new movies that are based on creative concepts - the kinds of movies you might make yourself, if you just had the time. And they're not only limited to your most recent uploads.

One of the first concepts is designed to show your child growing up right before your eyes. Here's an example:



We're rolling out a couple more concepts this week, with more coming soon. Look out for a concept to commemorate the good times from this summer, and another one for formal events like weddings. And you don't need to do a thing - these movies get made automatically for you.

These updates are rolling out today across Android, iOS, and the web.


Posted by David Lieb, Product Lead, Google Photos https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IT1gpc5ZUtA/V-AYz6NEw1I/AAAAAAAAS_4/zyYAY6tVVig1_jlHpAANIlW1qCyNXHR1QCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-19%2Bat%2B9.55.02%2BAM David Lieb Product Lead Google Photos

19 Sep 2016 5:00pm GMT

See more, plan less – try Google Trips

Whether you're juggling work, school, family, or just the demands of daily life, everyone needs a little break and a new adventure sometimes.

But knowing what to do once your vacation starts can turn what's supposed to be fun into a lot of work. You might get recommendations from friends, professional travel guides, or online reviews - but figuring out how to squeeze everything you want to do into a finite window of time can be stressful, especially when you're in a new place, often with limited access to the web. In fact, a GoodThink study showed that 74% of travelers feel the most stressful aspect of travel is figuring out the details.

We wanted to reduce the hassle and help travelers enjoy their hard-earned vacations. So today, we're introducing a new mobile app to help you instantly plan each day of your trip with just a few taps of your finger: Google Trips.



Google Trips is a personalized tour guide in your pocket. Each trip contains key categories of information, including day plans, reservations, things to do, food & drink, and more, so you have everything you need at your fingertips. The entire app is available offline - simply tap the "Download" button under each trip to save it to your phone.


Choose your own adventure
For the top 200 cities in the world, Google Trips shows you a variety of day plans featuring the most popular daily itineraries. We've automatically assembled the most popular sights, attractions, and local gems into a full day's tour - all based on historic visits by other travelers. Say you're visiting Barcelona. You can choose from multiple day plans, like "Eixample District," which maps out the can't-miss buildings by Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect.


Plan each day of your trip like magic
Everyone has different interests and time constraints. No matter how popular an itinerary is, there's no one-size-fits-all solution for the perfect day or the perfect trip. Google Trips can help you build your day around places you already know you want to visit.

Say your friends told you that you have to see the Sagrada Familia - and you're looking for suggestions on things to do around that spot. Press the "+" button in the day plans tile to jump into a map view containing all the top attractions in your destination. If you're time constrained, you can specify above the map whether you have just the morning or afternoon, versus a full day. Then simply tap and pin the Sagrada Familia to build your itinerary around it. Google Trips automatically fills in the day for you. If you want more options, tap the "magic wand" button for more nearby sights. You can pin any new spots you like, and if you want even more, each tap of the "magic wand" instantly gives you a new itinerary with updated nearby attractions like Palau Macaya or Parc del Guinardo, so you can build your own custom itinerary in minutes while munching on your morning churro.

For more details on how this works on our Research Blog.


All your travel info, all in one place
Keeping track of all your flight, hotel, car and restaurant reservations when you travel can be tough. With Google Trips, all your travel reservations are automatically gathered from Gmail and organized for you into individual trips, so you don't have to search and dig up those emails. They're waiting for you within the reservations tile, even without WiFi.


Vacations are a chance to recharge and experience new places and cultures. For your next trip, let us help you see all the sights you want to see, without all the work. Google Trips, available now on Android and iOS, has you covered from departure to return.

Posted by Stefan Frank, Product Manager, Google Trips https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yl145tls6Qc/V-BUTIka0fI/AAAAAAAATAI/3U0DEQu7IG4_FR6Hyu6x0zLe3-4dqDH3gCLcB/s1600/GoogleTrips_1.original.png Stefan Frank Product Manager Google Trips

19 Sep 2016 4:00pm GMT

15 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Experience British political history with Google Arts and Culture


The storied halls of 10 Downing Street aren't often open to the public. Those who want to see inside the Prime Minister's residence and office usually have to wait for a rare open house...



...until today. Visitors from anywhere in the world are now invited to experience one of the UK's most important political buildings on Google Arts and Culture.



Walk through historic rooms and hallways and get up-close looks at more than 50 photographs and works of art. Take a peek into the cabinet room, where the Prime Minister has held weekly cabinet meetings since 1735, or look around Margaret Thatcher's office. Stroll down the grand main staircase, stopping to study the carefully ordered portraits of the house's previous residents. Once you're ready for some fresh air, you can wander through the gardens, where Winston Churchill liked to nap.
There are also two brand new online exhibits. The first introduces two of Britain's most iconic leaders, Winston Churchill and Harold Wilson. The second highlights three of the building's most historic rooms: the Cabinet Room, the Study and the Grand Staircase.


And if you want the full immersive experience, be sure to try it out using a Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer, complete with the built-in audio tour, with the Google Arts and Culture app on Android and iOS.

Posted by Suhair Khan, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xwAA9SuTxGM/V9pyoi0JVYI/AAAAAAAABew/6Lye-MqHXm45qMhAz1c9czcEBkuMBW8TgCEw/s1600/image001%2B%25281%2529.jpg Suhair Khan Program Manager Google Cultural Institute

15 Sep 2016 10:32am GMT

14 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Start sketching what you see for the future

If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it: your favorite art contest is back! Today we're kicking off the 2016 Doodle 4 Google contest, where art-loving K-12 students from across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico are invited to bring their imagination to life in a doodle of the Google logo, using any medium they choose. The winning masterpiece will hang on the Google homepage for a day, where millions will enjoy it.


We like to think about what's next. So we're asking kids to imagine what awaits them in the years to come and represent that vision of this year's theme: "What I see for the future…" Yes, that means anything they see - even if it includes flying dogs, living on a shooting star, the trip of their dreams, or for the true Futurists out there - perhaps a distant world filled with dazzling new technology of all shapes and sizes.

This year's contest is going to be one for the record books; the future and the ways to depict it are limitless. That's why we'll have an all-star group of judges including our very own Google Doodlers help select the National Winner. In addition to the homepage showcase, the winner will receive $30,000 towards a college scholarship, and the opportunity to work with the Doodle team at the Googleplex in Mountain View. As an added bonus: Their home school will get to spend $50,000 on technology to help foster the next generation of professionals (and who knows, maybe future Googlers, too!).



Submissions are open until December 2, 2016. So for you parents, teachers, babysitters, camp counselors or non-profit leaders out there: Encourage your kids and students to apply. We can't wait to see what wonders await in their dreams for the future.

And now, we bid you farewell as we're Van Goghing, Goghing, Gone.

Posted by Ryan Germick, Google Doodle Team Lead https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j07reB7D8UU/V9hYQaRid3I/AAAAAAAAS98/aR1ooRkw_m4sIZqrKos8YzLfBrk7ZcO8wCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-13%2Bat%2B12.45.36%2BPM.png Ryan Germick Google Doodle Team Lead Google

14 Sep 2016 4:00pm GMT

National Museum of African American History and Culture finds a new way to tell stories

Next week marks the grand opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). A museum 100 years in the making, the NMAAHC is much more than just a collection of artifacts. Within its walls, visitors will take part in an immersive journey into the important contributions of African Americans in the United States. It's a mosaic of stories - stories from our history that are core to who we are as a nation. And we're proud to help bring these stories to life with a first-of-its-kind 3D interactive exhibit and a $1 million grant from Google.org, part of our ongoing work on racial and social justice issues.

A new way to explore artifacts
A few years ago, Dr. Lonnie Bunch, the NMAAHC's director, came to Google's headquarters and shared his vision to make the museum the most technologically advanced in the world. I immediately knew I wanted to be involved, and pulled together people from across the company: designers who focus on user interaction, members of the Cultural Institute, engineers who work on everything from Google Maps to YouTube, and members of the Black Googler Network. For the past year, we've been working to deliver on Dr. Bunch's vision.

Our team quickly learned that museums are often only able to showcase a fraction of their content and archives to visitors. So we asked ourselves: what technology do we have at Google that could help enrich the museum experience? We worked closely with the museum to build an interactive exhibit to house artifacts from decades of African American history and let visitors explore and learn about them. With 3D scanning, 360 video, multiple screens and other technologies, visitors can see artifacts like a powder horn or handmade dish from all angles by rotating them with a mobile device. The interactive exhibit will open in spring 2017.

Travis McPhail in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on one of many site visits to the museum in Washington, DC

Taking an Expedition through African American history
In addition to the interactive exhibit, we're also launching two new Google Expeditions that take students on a digital journey through African American history. Earlier this year, we formed the African American Expeditions Council - a group of top minds in Black culture, academia and curation - to help develop Expeditions that tell the story of Africans in America. The Google Cultural Institute has also worked to preserve and share important artworks, artifacts and archives from African American history. With participation from the National Park Service, the Expeditions and Cultural Institute teams captured images of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March. A second Expedition, from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, takes you around Dr. King's childhood home and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached.

Screenshot from the new Google Expedition highlighting the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March

Discovering and sharing new stories
At the end of this week, we're celebrating the opening of the NMAAHC during one of the most important weeks for African Americans in D.C., the week of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). On Friday night of ALC, we'll salute NMAAHC Founding Director, Dr. Bunch, and the Congressional Black Caucus. The iconic Congressman John Lewis will be on hand to talk about the impact of Expeditions in telling the story that the NMAAHC will bring to life in so many important ways.

Day to day, I work on Google Maps, where we help people around the world find and discover new places. Working on this exhibit has given me a chance to help people discover something else - the ways African American history is vitally intertwined with our history as a nation. I'm proud of the role Google has played a role in taking people on that journey.

Posted by Travis McPhail, Software Engineer, Google Maps, and Team Lead, Project Griot
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZlrEtjkoHm0/V9jtY68-BNI/AAAAAAAAS-g/AxeOln_ZJ0w7ZAMXP8UoHDdDi3kQtMJHwCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-13%2Bat%2B11.24.25%2BPM.png Travis McPhail Software Engineer, Google Maps Team Lead, Project Griot

14 Sep 2016 1:00pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Destinations, Now for Desktop

Google launched the "plan a trip" feature for mobile phones back in March and now it's available in the regular desktop interface, as well. "Destinations on Google helps you discover and plan your next vacation, right from Google Search," informed Google.

Search for a continent, a country or state you'd like to visit and the Knowledge Graph card has a "plan a trip" section which includes a travel guide, information about hotels and upcoming events.


The travel guide link sends you to a new Google Destinations site which shows beautiful photos, a short description of the place, links to Google Flights, Google Hotel Finder, a trip planning feature, a list of suggested itineraries, top sights, videos, related places, information about climate and the most popular months to visit the place you picked.


Google displays a list of popular itineraries which are generated from the historic visits of other travelers.





The trip planning feature is quite clever. Google shows "highs and lows for the next six months, so you can find the right price tag for you. And as you slide left or right, the results instantly update with real-time fares and rates, pulling from the trillions of flight itineraries and hotels we price every day on Google Flights and Hotel search. You can also customize results further with flight and hotel preferences, including number of stops, hotel class, and number of travelers."


Google Destinations also works for queries like [asia destinations], which shows popular destinations and lets you filter them by interest: beach, culture, golf, hiking, nature, scuba diving, shopping, skiing, wildlife.


{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }

14 Sep 2016 9:07am GMT

New Original Message UI in Gmail

Gmail has a new interface for displaying the raw version of a message. If you click the arrow icon next to "reply" and then "show original", you'll see a list of headers like "message ID", "from", "to", "subject", "SPF", "DKIM", a link for downloading the message and then the actual text of the message. Until now, Gmail only displayed the text of the message.


The new interface also displays help center links with additional information about SPF records, DKIM signatures and the DMARC standard. All of these values are useful for identifying spoofed email messages, which forge the sender address.

{ Thanks, Dirk Zaal. }

14 Sep 2016 8:23am GMT

13 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

An extinct world brought back to life with Google Arts & Culture

Many millions of years ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth and sea dragons were not just Hollywood creations, but fearsome predators that stalked the oceans. It's a world that vanished long ago, but one that continues to fascinate those seeking to understand the origins of life on our planet.

Starting today, anyone, anywhere can explore this world on Google Arts & Culture. We've partnered with 50+ of the world's leading natural history institutions to bring this lost world to life again online. More than 150 interactive stories from experts, 300,000 new photos and videos, and more than 30 virtual tours await you...



With just a few clicks, you can come face to face with a 180 million year old giant, as virtual reality raises the colossal sea dragon from extinction. Discovered in Dorset in the U.K. and residing at London's Natural History Museum. The Rhomaleosaurus - to give it its formal name - can now be explored in 360 degrees.



We also used VR to bring the Giraffatitan back to life in Berlin's natural history museum. Standing at 13 meters (42 feet), it's one of the tallest dinosaurs that ever lived. It was twice as tall as today's giraffes, and could easily put its head through a fourth floor window.


We wanted to give you a glimpse of how these colossal creatures actually looked. So we worked with ecologists, paleontologists and biologists to put virtual skin and flesh on the preserved skeletons. From the size of the eye to the position of the snout and the bend of the neck, the texture and creases of the skin were all painstakingly recreated, and verified by a team of scientists. For the best experience, use a viewer like Google Cardboard to look the beast in the eye.

In addition to the VR experiences, this global exhibition of natural history has plenty more for experts and armchair explorers alike:

The free collection opens today at g.co/naturalhistory and through the Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. And if you're a teacher, there are more than 20 new Google Expeditions waiting for you and your classroom to discover. We hope you enjoy this journey through the history of nature as much as we do.


Posted by Amit Sood, Director of the Google Cultural Institute https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yQoDsqVHEUY/V9cc-KEwxyI/AAAAAAAAS74/z5cylfCXQcYt6jm54mssXq03UVBB7yhjQCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-12%2Bat%2B2.23.37%2BPM.png Amit Sood Director of the Google Cultural Institute Google -->

13 Sep 2016 7:30am GMT

12 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Capture and share VR photos with Cardboard Camera, now on iOS

Whether you're hiking on the Olympic Peninsula or attending your cousin's wedding, go beyond the flat photo or selfie. With Cardboard Camera-now available on iOS as well as Android-you can capture 3D 360-degree virtual reality photos. Just like Google Cardboard, it works with the phone you already have with you.

VR photos taken with Cardboard Camera are three-dimensional panoramas that can transport you right back to the moment. Near things look near and far things look far. You can look around to explore the image in all directions, and even hear sound recorded while you took the photo to hear the moment exactly as it happened. To capture a VR photo, hold your phone vertically, tap record, then turn around as though you're taking a panorama.


Bugaboo Spire in B.C., Canada captured by Googler Adam Dickinson


Starting today, you can also share your VR photos with friends and family on both iPhone and Android devices. Select multiple photos to create a virtual photo album, tap the share icon, and Cardboard Camera will generate a link (like this) that can be emailed, messaged, or posted in apps and on the web. With a VR viewer like Google Cardboard, your friends can relive those moments as if they were there.

From rock concerts to real estate to mountaintop vistas, more than 5 million moments have been captured with Cardboard Camera on Android. Share your VR photos with the #CardboardCamera hashtag-we can't wait to see the world through your lens.

Posted by Carlos Hernandez, Software Engineer, Cardboard Camera
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QmaKVsluObM/V9yK2Wzv_0I/AAAAAAAAS_g/QggFGTdmzHAPephxMFis2IVcyZ1rPGGvgCLcB/s1600/Cardboard_Camera_Hero.png Carlos Hernandez Software Engineer Cardboard Camera

12 Sep 2016 4:00pm GMT

07 Sep 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Refreshing our Transparency Report for copyright removals

Back in 2012, as a part of our continuing effort to increase transparency around the flow of information online, we began disclosing the number of requests we get from copyright owners (and the organizations that represent them) to remove Google Search results because they allegedly link to infringing content.

The report hasn't changed much since 2012 and was getting a little rusty. So today, we're releasing a new version of the report that makes it easier for you to understand the data:

In addition to this major overhaul, over the last two months we've made a few updates to other sections of the Transparency Report:

Transparency reporting is an important way to shed light on the policies and actions of governments and corporations, and how they affect privacy, security, and the flow of information online. We're always exploring new ways to explain legal policies and processes and will continue to add new examples and new data to our reports. You can follow us on Google+ to get the latest on updates to the Transparency Report and news on related projects.

Posted by Jess Hemerly, Public Policy, Google Transparency Report https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eMS8soHdlbg/V9Bieemg4sI/AAAAAAAAS6E/gW0WR-kXMcIDrqXDP_LD4m5od6S0pHneACLcB/s1600/Google%2BTransparency%2BReport.jpg Jess Hemerly Public Policy Google

07 Sep 2016 9:00pm GMT

31 Aug 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

OnHub turns one today

A year ago, we introduced OnHub - a router that's easy to use, and built to be placed front and center in homes (where Wi-Fi works best). Since then, we've been busy delivering on our promise that OnHub keeps getting better.

Today, we're celebrating OnHub's first birthday and announcing a new partnership with Philips Lighting, the first connected home device you can control directly with OnHub. We know people don't like having too many apps on their phones, so we made it possible to control your home's Philips Hue lights without downloading an app. Now anyone connected to your OnHub can type "On.Here" in a computer, tablet, or mobile browser and control the most popular features of your Philips Hue lights from there. Crank up the party lights!


Apart from Philips Hue, here are 10 awesome things OnHub lets you do:

1. Be the host with the most (Wi-Fi). The OnHub guest network is a place just for guests. And since you may not want to make all of the devices on your primary network available for guests to access, you can pick and choose which gadgets you share (like your printer or TV).

2. Pinpoint what's slowing you down. OnHub's Network Check feature measures both the speed of your Wi-Fi router and the speed of the service you're getting from your ISP. This lets you pinpoint if there's a problem with your ISP or Wi-Fi.

3. Find the fastest Wi-Fi channel. OnHub constantly scans to make sure your Wi-Fi is on the fastest possible channel. In addition, OnHub automatically switches devices to whichever Wi-Fi band is faster (2.4GHz or 5Ghz) to give you a better Wi-Fi experience. Many Wi-Fi devices don't automatically select the fastest available connection, so OnHub does it for you.

4. Stay secure. OnHub gets automatic security updates from Google's cloud to help protect your network, your data, and all of your devices, without interrupting your connection. That means you'll never have to worry about missing critical security upgrades.

5. Control with a wave of your hand. Sometimes in a busy home, one device needs more bandwidth than others. With the OnHub from ASUS, Wave Control allows you to boost Wi-Fi speed for a specific device simply by passing your hand over the top of your OnHub.

6. Call your Chromebook "Game of Chromes." Or something. With so many devices online in a typical home, you'll need a clear name for each one so you can properly prioritize. Custom device naming allows you to give each one its own unique name on the OnHub network.

7. Give your network name some ❤️. Spice up your home's Wi-Fi network by giving it a name with personality, or if needed, a name with direction (i.e., "UseThisOneMom"). OnHub lets you choose whatever name you want for your router network, and you can even include emojis. 🎵 🤖!

8. Get shells to match your home design. Custom shells in white and gold, black and silver, and natural bamboo make it easy for you to place your OnHub in a central location, where Wi-Fi works best. You can find all the shells today on the Google Store.


For those who want to design their own router shell, we also created the OnHub Makers site, where you can access open source design files. With or without these shells, OnHub was created to be out in the open. Its hardware design was honored as a Top Winner at the 2016 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®), and a Gold winner at the 2016 International Design Awards (IDA).

9. Make basic tasks more… basic. OnHub is the first router to support IFTTT - a service that lets you connect different websites, apps, and other devices to create "recipes" which perform simple actions. That means you can use your OnHub to automate basic tasks and devices. For example, if a particular mobile device connects to your OnHub, then prioritize Wi-Fi on that device. Learn more at go.co/onhubifttt.

10. Share and share alike. Everyone connected to your OnHub - on both the primary and guest Wi-Fi networks - can enter "On.Here" into any browser on a phone, tablet, or computer and quickly see all of the devices that are available on the guest network. Philips Hue lights are the first connected home device you can not only access, but control, directly from On.Here. Learn more about On.Here.

As you can see, OnHub is a lot more than a router that gives you fast Wi-Fi. Watch our video to see the Top 5 Reasons Why OnHub is More Than a Router:

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has given us feedback on how OnHub is solving their Wi-Fi problems. If you'd like to see for yourself, we're offering $20 off OnHub from TP-LINK sold in the Google Store and Amazon in the next month - just grab your OnHub online between now and September 30. Happy birthday, OnHub!

Posted by Ben Brown, Product Manager

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0i6BwstWEKI/V8YvuUJASzI/AAAAAAAAS2Y/tsbFQW4k_KACjMyr3uPUDN_Sc-KPyhbbgCLcB/s1600/OnHub_Confetti.gif Ben Brown Product Manager

31 Aug 2016 4:00pm GMT

Sheep View: Where there’s a wool, there’s a way

Over the past three months, Durita Andreassen and a few friendly sheep equipped with solar-powered cameras strapped to their woolly backs set out to collect imagery of the Faroe Islands for Street View. The 18 Faroe Islands are home to just 50,000 people, but - fittingly for a country whose name means "Sheep Island" - there are 70,000 sheep roaming the green hills and volcanic cliffs of the archipelago. So when Durita decided to document the country for Street View, sheep weren't a baaad place to start.

Sheep View 360

When we herd about the Sheep View project, we thought it was shear brilliance. So we decided to help the Faroese by supplying them with a Street View trekker and 360 cameras via our Street View camera loan program. Last week, the Google Maps team arrived in the Faroe Islands to help train and equip the local community to capture even more (but slightly less woolly) Street View imagery.


Now that the Faroe Islands is supplied with a Trekker and 360 cameras, residents and tourists can assist the sheep in collecting Street View imagery of their beautiful lands using selfie-sticks, bikes, backpacks, cars, kayaks, horses, ships and even wheelbarrows. The Visit Faroe Islands office in Tórshavn and Atlantic Airways at the airport will be lending out Street View 360 cameras to visitors willing to lend a hoof.


The Faroe Islands have shown us that even sheep can contribute to Street View. If your hometown or favorite hiking trail hasn't made it into Google Maps yet, grab your own 360 camera or apply to borrow one from us through our Street View camera loan program. We're excited to see what ewe map!




Posted by David Castro González de Vega, Google Maps Program Manager https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fzv6Y0RTrws/V8YrY8mjULI/AAAAAAAAS18/qBSLmHwW310gItDLSnioxX94Z3CxkwD5gCLcB/s1600/primaryimage2_10mb.jpg David Castro González de Vega Google Maps Program Manager Google

31 Aug 2016 12:00pm GMT

26 Aug 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Play Solitaire and Tic Tac Toe in Google Search

Google Search now comes with 2 games you can play right from your desktop or mobile browser: Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe. Just search for [solitaire] or [tic tac toe] and you can quickly start the games.

Solitaire has 2 difficulty levels: easy and hard. The game has realistic sounds and animations (you can mute sounds) and it also shows your stats, just like any other Solitaire app. Unfortunately, Google doesn't save your state, so you can't resume a game later.


Tic-Tac-Toe is much simpler and less pretty. You can choose between 3 difficulty levels (easy, medium and impossible) or pick an option that lets you play against a friend. The easy level always lets you win, the medium level lets you win sometimes, while in the impossible level you can never win.


An older game you can still play from Google Search is Pac-Man. It's actually the interactive doodle from May 21, 2010.



{ via Google Blog }

26 Aug 2016 11:05am GMT

25 Aug 2016

feedThe Official Google Blog

Search is a Jack of all trades

Today we're dealing two new hands from the Google Search deck: solitaire and tic-tac-toe. Now you can play two of the oldest and most popular games for all ages, on desktop and in the Google app.

It's been said solitaire's roots are in fortune telling. If that's true, today your fate rests on your quick wit and the luck of the draw. When you search for "solitaire" on Google, the familiar patience game may test yours!

If you're looking for something a bit simpler, tic-tac-toe is your best bet. In this game of naughts and crosses, you can select your level of difficulty or even go head to head against a friend. Xs and Os to the winner (hugs and kisses, that is!).

For some other fun tips, try asking Google, "what sound does a pig make?" Or if you're looking to settle a bet and feeling lucky, "flip a coin" may come in handy.

These are just a sample of the delightful surprises that await you on Google. After all, Search is for so much more than research and practical matters -- it's for fun, too!

Posted by Stephen Cognetta https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NkREXMwAQag/V8CYADahj6I/AAAAAAAAS1Q/rRCQ0IIpB28aZcll71MWIHYBrl3SRTMpQCLcB/s1600/Solitaire_hero.jpg Stephen Cognettan

25 Aug 2016 2:00pm GMT

Explore the hidden worlds of the National Parks

In the Kenai Fjords, the ice is so dense it forms blues brighter than the clear Alaskan sky above. The molten rock around the (very) active Kīlauea Volcano appears to swirl and move - and sometimes it really does! At Bryce Canyon, one of the darkest places in North America, you can see the massive Milky Way glittering across the night sky.

The U.S. National Parks are full of wonders, but most people don't get the chance to visit in person. While nothing beats the real thing, for this month's 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service, we wanted to see if we could use Google's technology to help share the parks with everyone.
Starting today anyone can take a virtual tour of some of our most breathtaking National Parks, no matter where you are, with Google's The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks.

This Google Arts & Culture exhibit and interactive documentary in honor of this month's NPS Centennial is available on the web and in the Google Arts & Culture App on iOS/Android. You can immerse yourself in 360-degree video tours through some of the most remote and breathtaking places in five different National Parks. And if you want to learn more about what you're seeing, you can browse the fascinating archive of artifacts from the National Parks' many museums.

At each park, a local ranger guides you through places most people never get to go - spelunking through ancient caves at Carlsbad Caverns, flying above active volcanoes in Hawai'i, and swimming through the coral reefs of the Dry Tortugas in Florida.

We've also created the Hidden Worlds Expedition for educators to help open up new learning opportunities and share these experiences with even more people. The Expedition can be accessed on the Expeditions App (available on Google Play in the U.S.).

Today's Doodle celebrating U.S. National Parks & monuments. More info at google.com/doodles.


The National Parks are American treasures, and everyone should see what they have to offer. We hope that by making it easy for people to get a taste of the wilderness, we can encourage a new generation of parks goers to head out and explore in person. Get ready for an adventure!

Posted by Nick Carbonaro, Creative Lead https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5HXhhpSveDo/V8CUhSpQP7I/AAAAAAAAS1E/dizFEZU6_M4hvuSnjs7ngJ3GhWfTHbyVQCLcB/s1600/NPS.png Nick Carbonaron Principal Software Engineer

25 Aug 2016 4:00am GMT

30 Jul 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Album Archive

Picasa Web Albums will be discontinued on August 1st, but you can still access your photos from the new Google Album Archive. "The album archive is where we keep all the photos that have been shared or stored on Google products, like Picasa, Google+, and Blogger," informs Google.

As you probably noticed, Google Photos doesn't show photos uploaded using other Google services, so it can't fully replace Picasa Web Albums or Google+ Photos. Google Album Archive lets you see, download or delete photos from Picasa Web Albums, Google+, Blogger, Hangouts, Google Drive and Google Photos.




Album Archive doesn't have a search feature, but there are separate sections for Google services. For example, you can find all the photos uploaded to Hangouts in one place.

If you're wondering what's happening with Picasa Web Albums links, this article has some answers:

Links that will continue to work
* Links to photos and albums whose URLs use your user ID number (and not your username).
* Links to Public Galleries whose URLs use your user ID number (and not your username).

Links that will stop working
* Slideshows embedded on websites.
* Picasa Web Albums & photos embedded on websites.
* Links to photos, albums, and Public Galleries whose URLs use your username (and not your user ID number).


{ Thanks, Brandon Giesing. }

30 Jul 2016 9:34am GMT

Google Image Labeler Is Back

Google Image Labeler used to be a game that helped Google categorize images and improve image search. It was launched in 2006 and discontinued in 2013. Now Image Labeler is back, but it's no longer a game.

If you go to get.google.com/crowdsource/imagelabeler/category, you'll see this message: "Ready to help Google Image Labeler? Look at a few public images to see if Google is organizing them right."


Then you can pick a category like birds, cats, dancing, concerts, food, cars, mountains, sky. If you use this URL: get.google.com/crowdsource/imagelabeler?label_str=Dogs, you can add your own category (replace "Dogs" in the address bar with something different like Rainbows, Stairs or Moon).


Google shows Creative Commons images from Flickr categorized by Google's algorithms. You only need to answer to questions like "Does this image contain dancing?".


30 Jul 2016 8:54am 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

20 May 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Translate Autocomplete

Google Translate's site for desktop and mobile now shows suggestions and autocompletes your text, much like Google Search. This works for English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, but you have to manually pick the input language instead of relying on automatic detection.


The new feature helps you translate faster common phrases, words and expressions, but it's not very useful for long texts.


For example, I picked French as the input language, typed "k" and one of the suggestions was "kinésithérapeute", which means "physiotherapist".


It also works when you use the mobile site:


{ Thanks, Emanuele Bartolomucci. }

20 May 2016 6:35pm GMT

The Ever-Expanding Knowledge Graph Cards

Sometimes Google's Knowledge Graph cards use more real estate than all the other search results combined. I've searched for [from Paris with love] in the experimental mobile-like desktop interface and got a huge card with images, information about the movie, ratings, cast. Then Google displayed 10 search results and 3 other cards with John Travolta movies, Luc Besson movies and action movies, followed by another list of related searches.



Somehow, the list of search results felt like a placeholder for future Knowledge Graph enhancements. Here's the entire page:

20 May 2016 2:24pm GMT

Google Tests Card-Style Search Interface for Desktop

Google experiments with a desktop search UI that looks more like the mobile interface. The experiment uses the same white cards on a gray background for both search results and ads.


When the card-style layout was launched for the mobile site back in 2013, Google mentioned that the new look was "cleaner and simpler, optimized for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers you're looking for".

20 May 2016 2:01pm GMT

Google Works Better With Chrome

When you open google.com in Firefox, Safari or any other browser than Chrome, you'll sometimes see an ad for Chrome. Usually, Google's promotional messages suggested you should try Chrome because it's fast, but now Google has a new ad: "Google works better with Chrome". Clicking "Yes, get Chrome now" sends you to the regular Chrome homepage, which promotes Chrome as "one browser for your laptop, phone and tablet" since "Chrome brings your open tabs, bookmarks and recent searches from your computer to your phone or tablet, and vice versa".

Chrome has many features that integrate Google services (translation, spell checking, reverse image search, Safe Browsing, Cloud Print) and many Google features only work in Chrome (voice search, offline Google Drive, Google Play Music uploading).

Maybe Google should link to a page that explains why "Google works better with Chrome", since it's not exactly obvious. A Twitter user says that "if you can't get a 1 field 2 button form & list of results working cross-browser, you're doing it wrong", while another one finds that "'@google works better with Chrome' sounds like a bug report. Can you just fix it please?". F. Nonnenmacher thinks that "Microsoft was sued for less than that".

20 May 2016 1:25pm GMT

19 May 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Android Instant Apps

Back when the desktop was king, Google used to be all about the Web and the browser. As mobile devices got more popular, browsers were no longer the most important application for many users. Specialized apps for music, video, photos, messaging, maps were much more popular because they were better suited for mobile.

Google pushed the boundaries of the mobile web with Chrome, but a few years ago it started to move on. New services like Inbox no longer have mobile web apps, Google Play Music no longer works from a mobile browser, the Google Docs mobile app no longer lets you edit documents etc. Google started to index mobile apps and link to the apps directly from Google Search. More and more sites push users to install their mobile apps, some of them display limited content and force users to install the apps to read the entire content (example: TripAdvisor).


Now Google announces a new Android feature that will make apps even more powerful. Android Instant Apps will let you launch apps without even installing them: your device will only download the required modules for displaying the content.

"With Instant Apps, a tap on a URL can open right in an Android app, even if the user doesn't have that app installed. As a developer, you won't need to build a new, separate app. (...) You modularize your app, and Google Play downloads only the parts that are needed, on the fly. And when you do upgrade, your app will be available to more than a billion users on Android devices going back to Jelly Bean," informs Google.


Right now, Google works with a small number of developers from BuzzFeed, B&H Photo, Medium, Hotel Tonight, Zumper and Disney to refine the experience. Instant Apps will be available later this year as part of a Google Play Services update.

Instant Apps will be limited to the content you want to display (a Medium article, a B&H camera), but you'll be able to install the full app if you like. It's like launching a personalized trial version of the app.

While the new feature is impressive and has many potential uses, I think it will make the mobile web even less important. If Apple launches a similar feature, developers will start to close their mobile sites and the mobile web will disappear. That's quite dangerous, since it will limit the mobile OS choice to Android and iOS. It's much easier to create a site than an app and many apps are completely unnecessary, not to mention that web apps use open standards, while mobile apps use proprietary APIs and have to rely on closed app stores. The open web ecosystem made Google what it is today.

19 May 2016 2:23pm GMT

Google Assistant

Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, mentioned in this year's Founders' Letter that "the next big step will be for the very concept of the 'device' to fade away. Over time, the computer itself - whatever its form factor - will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day. We will move from mobile first to an AI first world."

Right now, Google has an assistant, but it's not that conversational. You can find it in the Google Now cards and the voice search feature. It's there for answering quick questions, but it's not that good for having meaningful conversations.

This is about to change, now that Google will launch its answer to Amazon's Echo device later this year. It's called Google Home and it's a "voice-activated product that brings the Google assistant to any room in your house. It lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and get answers from Google - all using conversational speech. With a simple voice command, you can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight, or turn on your lights".


Google Home is always listening for the "OK Google" hotword, much like the Google app from your phone. It's also a WiFi speaker with Google Cast support, so you can tell it to play music on other speakers or group it with other speakers. Google Home can even send video to your TV if you use a Chromecast or you have an Android TV.

Google Assistant is not only available in Google Home: it will also be added to the new Allo messaging app and to the Google Search app. "The assistant is conversational - an ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done. It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater."


Google starts to build its own ecosystem of devices that work together: smart routers, smart speakers, smart TVs, smartwatches, home automation devices, car dashboard integration. As people use more smart devices, the Google experience is about to change and Google Assistant will become the main "interface" for interacting with Google.


{ via Google Blog }

19 May 2016 1:00pm GMT

Allo and Duo: Google's New Messaging Apps

Hangouts was supposed to be Google's unified messaging solution, but things didn't go as planned: Hangouts was buggy, lacked features and many people hated it. After releasing a separate app for SMS (Messenger), Google will soon launch 2 other apps: Allo for group chat and Duo for video calling.

Both Allo and Duo use your phone number, much like WhatsApp, so you can chat or talk with anyone from your phonebook. Allo includes a special version of the Smart Reply feature from Google Inbox and it suggests replies for both text messages and photos. Smart Reply learns over time and adapts to your style, suggesting replies you are likely to send.


There's also a Google Assistant you can add to a conversation to answer quick questions, show search results and even perform actions like reserving a table at a restaurant. "The Google assistant in Allo understands your world, so you can ask for things like your agenda for the day, details of your flight and hotel, or photos from your last trip. And since it understands natural language patterns, you can just chat like yourself and it'll understand what you're saying," informs Google.

Allo lets you share photos, add text to photos, add emojis and stickers. There's also a Whisper Shout feature that lets you resize the text before sending it.


Allo has an incognito mode for private conversations. The incognito mode features end-to-end encryption and discreet notifications. Much like in Chrome, you'll need to manually start an incognito conversation and some features aren't available in incognito mode.

Duo is a simplified one-to-one video calling app that uses your phone number, works well on slow Internet connections (it uses WebRTC) and has a Knock Knock feature that shows a live preview of the caller before you answer. Hopefully, users will be able to block those who abuse this feature.


"Duo calls are in crisp HD video (up to 720p) and audio. We've optimized Duo to work well even on spotty networks, so if bandwidth is limited it gracefully adjusts quality so you're still able to connect. We also seamlessly transition calls between cellular and Wi-Fi, so you don't need to worry about what network you're on. Finally, we built Duo with privacy and security in mind and all calls on Duo are end-to-end encrypted," explains Google.


Allo and Duo will launch this summer and will be available for Android and iOS. For now, Hangouts will continue to exist, since Allo and Duo lack many of the features from Hangouts.

Google doesn't have a good track record when it comes to messaging services, so it's hard to tell whether the new apps will be successful. It looks like Allo and Duo will be simple, fast and more focused.

{ via Google Blog }

19 May 2016 12:16pm GMT

17 May 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Ads

Google's product listing ads are now available in mobile Google Image Search. They're placed above the list of image search results and look much like the shopping ads from web search. Google also shows a colorful list of related keywords you can add to your query: brands, colors, categories and more.


"Whether they're looking for a new sofa or the perfect pair of earrings, people who search and shop on their smartphones at least once a week say that product images are the shopping feature they turn to most. And it turns out, the top questions Google Images users ask us are 'What's the price of this?' and 'Where can I buy it?'. That's why we are introducing Shopping ads on image search," informs Google.


Here's the "shop on Google" section from web search.

17 May 2016 11:36am GMT

Shopping Snippets in Mobile Google Image Search

Google's image search engine now shows rich snippets for shopping sites like Amazon and eBay, but only when you use the mobile interface. Google displays the name of the product, the price, the rating and the number of reviews, stock information and a short description. There's also a message that asks users to "check website for latest pricing and availability".


Google Image Search is pretty useful for finding products and the new snippets include even more information. I'd like to see a filtering option for products in web search and image search, now that Google Product Search only shows paid listings (also known as ads) and "payment is one of several factors used to rank these results".

17 May 2016 10:56am GMT

01 May 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Automatic Translation in Google Search

If you search for a word in a foreign language, Google now automatically shows the translation. For example, you can search for [amanecer] to get the English translation of the Spanish word, instead of typing [translate amanecer] or [translate amanecer to english].


This only works for words, and some expressions, not for longer texts. It works for [buenas noches], but not for [buenas noches señora], so you'll still have to search for [translate buenas noches señora] or [buenas noches señora to english].

01 May 2016 9:22am GMT

30 Apr 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Import Chrome Bookmarks Into Google Save

If you install the "Save to Google" extension for Chrome, you can now import your Chrome bookmarks into the Google Save site. Just open the sidebar menu from the Google Save site, click "import Chrome bookmarks" and wait a few minutes until all your bookmarks are saved online. Reload the pages and you'll see all of your Chrome bookmarks next to the pages and images you've previously saved.


Folders and subfolders are converted into tags. Let's assume that the folder "Google" has a subfolder called "Blogs". The two folders are converted into two tags: "Google" and "Google > Blogs", while the bookmarks from the "Blogs" subfolders get both tags.


For now, there's no way to sync Google Save with Chrome bookmarks and the Bookmark Manager extension doesn't integrate with Google Save, even if they're closely related.

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }

30 Apr 2016 3:25pm 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

01 Mar 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Next 30 day challenge: social media/news cleanse

For January 2015, I tried to declutter around the house for 15 minutes a day. We now have a couple rooms that are much cleaner, and I gave away a bunch of magazines. For February 2015, my 30 day challenge was to go on daily 15 minute walks with my wife. That was nice. Lately […]

01 Mar 2015 4:40am GMT

19 Feb 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fixing “full path disclosure” issues

Whether you're running a web service or a blog, you should always keep your software fully patched to prevent attacks and minimize your attack surface. Another smart step is to prevent full path disclosures. For example, if your blog or service throws an error like "Warning: require(ABSPATHwp-includes/load.php) [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file […]

19 Feb 2015 6:43am GMT

23 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Lessons learned from the early days of Google

Earlier this month I did a talk at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about lessons learned from the early days of Google. The video is now online and watchable, or you can watch it on YouTube: We did the talk in a pretty large room, and the camera at the back of […]

23 Jan 2015 8:44pm GMT

26 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

The Emperor's Garden

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

26 Aug 2011 12:12pm GMT

15 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

15 Aug 2011 4:00pm GMT

25 Feb 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google drops reverse phone number lookup

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

25 Feb 2011 11:23am GMT

16 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Idea: Topical Chat

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

16 Dec 2010 2:55pm GMT

Idea: CrowdChat

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

16 Dec 2010 7:26am GMT

Google Body Browser

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

16 Dec 2010 2:17am GMT

10 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Pictures of the Cr-48

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

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Chromedroidpad

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

09 Dec 2010 12:40pm GMT

08 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Device Evolution

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

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

How to Disable Google Instant Previews

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

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

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

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

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

See a Random Street View Location

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

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT