22 May 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Discontinued Service in Google's App Launcher

For some reason, Google's app launcher doesn't let you remove Google services. You can add Google products, change their order, move them to the "More" section, but you can't delete them.

Helpouts was discontinued last month, but it's still included in Google's navigation menu. If you've added the Helpouts shortcut to your navigation menu, you can still click it and find that "Helpouts is no longer available."


Fortunately, there's a Chrome extension that lets you add almost any Google service to the app launcher and also remove shortcuts.

22 May 2015 2:17pm GMT

From Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console

Google Webmaster Tools has a new name: it's now called Google Search Console. Why change the name? "It turns out that the traditional idea of the 'webmaster' reflects only some of you. We have all kinds of Webmaster Tools fans: hobbyists, small business owners, SEO experts, marketers, programmers, designers, app developers, and, of course, webmasters as well," explains Google.


Google Search Console will continue to offer the same features, including Google Search analytics, information about external and internal links, mobile usability issues, crawling and indexing issues, security and spam.

There are some other consoles for Google services: Google Play Developer Console for Android, Google Developers Console for projects that use Google APIs and Google Cloud, Google Admin Console for Google Apps.

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }

22 May 2015 1:47pm GMT

21 May 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Tone

Google Tone is an experimental Chrome extension for sharing the URL of the current tab with other computers. It doesn't use Bluetooth, NFC or WiFi: it only sends audio tones. "Google Tone turns on your computer's microphone (while the extension is on) and uses your computer's speakers to exchange URLs with nearby computers connected to the Internet."

For some reason, Google requires to be logged in to a Google account and to be online. Your Google Profile name and picture are displayed next to the notification. I'm not sure why this feature isn't optional.


Google Research Blog has more information about this experiment. "Tone provides an easy-to-understand broadcast mechanism that behaves like the human voice - it doesn't pass through walls like radio or require pairing or addressing. The initial prototype used an efficient audio transmission scheme that sounded terrible, so we played it beyond the range of human hearing. However, because many laptop microphones and nearly all video conferencing systems are optimized for voice, it improved reliability considerably to also include a minimal DTMF-based audible codec. The combination is reliable for short distances in the majority of audio environments even at low volumes, and it even works over Hangouts."

The extension doesn't work all the time, so make sure to turn up your volume, turn on your computer's microphone and unplug your headphones. When it works, it's a cool way to share the current tab with all the computers around you, assuming that they use Chrome and this extension is installed.

21 May 2015 7:59pm GMT

Fast Is Slow in the New Google Maps

Sometimes even Google makes mistakes. The new version of the desktop Google Maps has an updated interface for layers like traffic, transit, bicycling and terrain. If you enable the traffic layer, Google shows a legend at the bottom of the page and claims that red = fast-moving cars and green = slow-moving cars. Obviously, the labels are reversed.


Here's the previous interface, which uses the proper labels:


This mistake was spotted by Ken Drori, a reader of this blog. Fortunately, it's quite easy to fix.

{ Thanks, Ken. }

21 May 2015 7:09pm GMT

20 May 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Tweets in Google Search: the End of the Google+ Era

Google announced that it will start to display tweets in Google Search for mobile. "When you're searching on the Google app or any browser on your phone or tablet, you can find real-time content from Twitter right in the search results," informs Google.

There are two Twitter-related cards. One of them shows popular tweets related to your query and it's only displayed for news-related searches.


The second card enhances Twitter results with recent tweets. For example, when you search for [nasa twitter], Google displays the most recent tweets, including those that were posted a few seconds ago.


Basically, Google has access to Twitter's Firehose API once again, 4 years after Google Real-Time Search was discontinued and Google+ was launched.

Twitter's blog says that "the desktop web version is coming shortly, and we have plans to bring this feature to more countries in the coming months." Right now, this feature only works in the US. "By deeply integrating Twitter's real-time content into Google search, we hope you find it easier than ever to explore your interests across both Twitter and Google."

It's the end of the Google+ era. Even if Google+ will continue to exist in one way or another, Google will stop promoting it aggressively and will probably use it as a backend service. Bloomberg reports that Google "is set to reveal an online picture sharing and storage service that will no longer be part of the Google+ social network" and "will let users post images to Facebook and Twitter".

20 May 2015 9:59am GMT

More Related News in Google's Mobile App

I'm not sure if this is a new feature, but Google's search app for Android shows a list of recent articles from a news site below some search results. The list uses big thumbnails and you can swipe right to find more articles.


For examples, searches for [sports], [weather], [obama] trigger the visual list of recent articles.


Google shows related news articles.


This feature also works for news-related YouTube videos.


20 May 2015 9:34am GMT

19 May 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Tweets take flight in the Google app

Starting today, we're bringing Tweets to Google Search on mobile devices. So now when you're searching on the Google app or any browser on your phone or tablet, you can find real-time content from Twitter right in the search results.

Whether you're interested in the latest from Taylor Swift, news about the #MadMenFinale, or updates on the NBA playoffs, you'll have access to it directly from Google. Let's use NASA as an example-just ask the Google app about "NASA Twitter," and in the search results, you'll see Tweets from @NASA:


Or if you heard today was Malcolm X's birthday, you can ask the Google app and see what various people and organizations in the Twitter community are saying about it.


It's a great way to get real-time info when something is happening. And it's another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.

To start, we're launching this on Google.com in English in the Google app (on Android and iOS) and on mobile browsers, rolling out gradually. We're working on bringing it to more languages and to desktop, so stay tuned.

Posted by Ardan Arac, Senior Product Manager

19 May 2015 6:00pm GMT

17 May 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Material Design Update for Google Product Forums

Google Product Forums have a new interface that uses Material Design. "Our new design is focused on making it easier for you to find the answers you need and ask questions across all Google Product Forums," informs Google.


The new interface has removed display density settings and topic list options. Unfortunately, the new interface for topic lists uses a lot more space, so you'll see fewer topics in the same space. Here's a screenshot that compares the old UI with the new one: 12 topics vs 3 topics using the same window size. The compact view is no longer available and Google now shows the entire title of the topic, followed by a snippet from the first post and some information about the author, the number of posts and views.


To star a topic from the list view, you need to select it and use the Actions menu (or you can use the 's' keyboard shortcut). Now you can select multiple posts and star them or mark them as read.


Topic pages use more white space, bigger thumbnails and have some new buttons that let you jump forward or backward a few posts and go to the top or bottom of the page.



Many features from the old interface have been removed. I couldn't find a way to switch to the tree view or paginated view, to collapse or expand all the posts. You can only vote up a post, the downvote feature has been removed.

Google uses a funny message which lets you know that you can go back to the old interface: "Welcome to the new version of Google Product Forums! You can switch to the old design if you'd like (but really why?)."

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }

17 May 2015 9:55am GMT

15 May 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends May 8-14

This week people said goodbye to a blues legend, and hello to a (possible) new face of American money. Read on for more on this week in search:

Amtrak's tragic accident
First up, we saw a rise in searches for Amtrak after a train that was traveling at more than 100 miles an hour derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The accident killed eight people and injured more than 200, and led people to the web to ask questions about the derailment and about train safety in general. There were more than 500,000 searches for Amtrak on Tuesday, and top questions included "How fast do Amtrak trains go?" and "When will Amtrak resume service?"

Madness down under
"Mad Max: Fury Road" comes out in theaters today, and anticipation for the fourth film in the classic series is running high. The movie, a dystopian thriller set in Australia starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, appeared on the Hot Trends list twice this week, with more than 500,000 searches yesterday.

While a battle for survival in the Outback takes place on screen, a real-life high-stakes story was playing out this week in Australia. The government told the actor Johnny Depp that he had to remove his two Yorkie dogs from the country by Saturday or they would be euthanized. Australia has strict laws about bringing animals into the country, and Boo and Pistol hadn't followed proper procedure. There were more than 50,000 searches in the U.S. for the actor as people followed the doggie drama. But that's nothing compared to searches in Australia:

Sing the blues
Today, people are saying goodbye to B.B. King, who died yesterday at the age of 89. The blues guitarist (the name "B.B." comes from "Blues Boy") was a legend in music circles, and influenced stars like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. More than half a million searches and an outpouring of memories followed the news of his death.

"American Idol" fans are saying farewell to the popular Fox show. "Idol" crowned its 14th winner this week, Connecticut-based Nick Fradiani, and announced that next season will be its last. There were more than 200K searches for the show the day of the finale and announcement. And elsewhere in long-running Fox TV series news, "The Simpsons" voice actor Harry Shearer (the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and many other beloved yellow characters), won't be back for the show's 27th season. Show co-creator James L. Brooks isn't giving up hope, though, and neither, it seems, are searchers, who sent Shearer into the top charts yesterday.

Ladies in green
Searches spiked for Harriet Tubman this week after the abolitionist and Underground Railroad hero won an online poll about who should be the new face of the $20 bill. More than 600K people voted in the Women on 20s campaign, in the end choosing Tubman over Eleanor Roosevelt by a slim margin. The petition would need to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Regardless of whose face is on the front, you'd need 8 million 20s to buy "Women in Algiers," the Picasso painting that broke records this week at Christie's in New York when it sold for $160 million. The anonymous buyer made the cubist painting the most expensive to ever sell at auction, and now it's the top Picasso painting in search to boot.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [the craft] and [when did the twilight zone start]

15 May 2015 9:55pm GMT

Green lights for our self-driving vehicle prototypes

When we started designing the world's first fully self-driving vehicle, our goal was a vehicle that could shoulder the entire burden of driving. Vehicles that can take anyone from A to B at the push of a button could transform mobility for millions of people, whether by reducing the 94 percent of accidents caused by human error (PDF), reclaiming the billions of hours wasted in traffic, or bringing everyday destinations and new opportunities within reach of those who might otherwise be excluded by their inability to drive a car.

Now we're announcing the next step for our project: this summer, a few of the prototype vehicles we've created will leave the test track and hit the familiar roads of Mountain View, Calif., with our safety drivers aboard.

Our safety drivers will test fully self-driving vehicle prototypes like this one on the streets of Mountain View, Calif., this summer.


We've been running the vehicles through rigorous testing at our test facilities, and ensuring our software and sensors work as they're supposed to on this new vehicle. The new prototypes will drive with the same software that our existing fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs uses. That fleet has logged nearly a million autonomous miles on the roads since we started the project, and recently has been self-driving about 10,000 miles a week. So the new prototypes already have lots of experience to draw on-in fact, it's the equivalent of about 75 years of typical American adult driving experience.


Each prototype's speed is capped at a neighborhood-friendly 25mph, and during this next phase of our project we'll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed. We're looking forward to learning how the community perceives and interacts with the vehicles, and to uncovering challenges that are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle-e.g., where it should stop if it can't stop at its exact destination due to construction or congestion. In the coming years, we'd like to run small pilot programs with our prototypes to learn what people would like to do with vehicles like this. If you'd like to follow updates about the project and share your thoughts, please join us on our Google+ page. See you on the road!

Posted by Chris Urmson, Director, Google Self-Driving Car Project

15 May 2015 7:00am GMT

14 May 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

New data, more facts: an update to the Transparency Report

We first launched the Transparency Report in 2010 to help the public learn about the scope of government requests for user data. With recent revelations about government surveillance, calls for companies to make encryption keys available to police, and a wide range of proposals, both in and out of the U.S., to expand surveillance powers throughout the world, the issues today are more complicated than ever. Some issues, like ECPA reform, are less complex, and we're encouraged by the broad support in Congress for legislation that would codify a standard requiring warrants for communications content.

Google's position remains consistent: We respect the important role of the government in investigating and combating security threats, and we comply with valid legal process. At the same time, we'll fight on behalf of our users against unlawful requests for data or mass surveillance. We also work to make sure surveillance laws are transparent, principled, and reasonable.

Today's Transparency Report update
With this in mind, we're adding some new details to our Transparency Report that we're releasing today.


In addition to this new data, the report shows that we've received 30,138 requests from around the world seeking information about more than 50,585 users/accounts; we provided information in response to 63 percent of those requests. We saw slight increases in the number of requests from governments in Europe (2 percent) and Asia/Pacific (7 percent), and a 22 percent increase in requests from governments in Latin America.

The fight for increased transparency
Sometimes, laws and gag-orders prohibit us from notifying someone that a request for their data has been made. There are some situations where these restrictions make sense, and others not so much. We will fight-sometimes through lengthy court action-for our users' right to know when data requests have been made. We've recently succeeded in a couple of important cases.

First, after years of persistent litigation in which we fought for the right to inform Wikileaks of government requests for their data, we were successful in unsealing court documents relating to these requests. We're now making those documents available to the public here and here.

Second, we've fought to be more transparent regarding the U.S. government's use of National Security Letters, or NSLs. An NSL is a special type of subpoena for user information that the FBI issues without prior judicial oversight. NSLs can include provisions prohibiting the recipient from disclosing any information about it. Reporters speculated in 2013 that we challenged the constitutionality of NSLs; after years of litigation with the government in several courts across multiple jurisdictions, we can now confirm that we challenged 19 NSLs and fought for our right to disclose this to the public. We also recently won the right to release additional information about those challenges and the documents should be available on the public court dockets soon.

Finally, just yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 338-88 to pass the USA Freedom Act of 2015. This represents a significant step toward broader surveillance reform, while preserving important national security authorities. Read more on our U.S. Public Policy blog.

Posted by Richard Salgado, Legal Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security

14 May 2015 10:22pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Play Music for Desktop Has a New Interface

Google Play Music's web app switched to Material Design and has a new interface that closely resembles the mobile UI. The left sidebar is now a hamburger-style menu, photos are bigger, there's more white space and everything looks like a mobile app stretched out to fit a much bigger screen.







"We're moving towards making the web feel more like an app and less like a series of web pages strung together by links," said Google UX designer Bryan Rea. "The new header, the slick transition as you scroll, the collapsible nav, new animations, these all feel like things you expect in an app not on the web. For the increased focus on big, immersive artwork, when you're listening to music, you can get lost in it (in a good way). With the new album and playlist pages, you enter an immersive world focused on the music you're enjoying."

14 May 2015 9:54pm GMT

YouTube Discontinues Collections

YouTube had a feature that allowed you to group subscriptions and create collections. This feature will soon be removed: "on 5/20/15, we'll discontinue Collections, as we'll focus on other efforts to make your subscriptions more enjoyable."


"A collection is a group of subscriptions you can create to help you organize and view content from the channels you're subscribed to. Collections can be created by themes (like 'basketball' or 'music')," explains YouTube.


Collections could be created, deleted and edited from the subscription manager. In many ways, YouTube collections were just like folders in a feed reader.

If you want to use a feed reader to manage your YouTube subscriptions, you can export them to OPML and import the file into your favorite feed reader. Open the subscriptions manager, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Export subscriptions". Another options is to use this link.

14 May 2015 9:20pm GMT

YouTube Switches to Roboto

After a few months of experiments, YouTube changed its font from Arial to Roboto. In addition to Android, many other Google apps and services use Roboto, a typeface designed in-house at Google by Christian Robertson.

Here are some screenshots from Firefox for Windows:



I've switched back to Arial and got this GIF animation:


Here's a screenshot from Chrome for Windows: it looks quite different.


Browsers like Firefox and Chrome show a lot of information about fonts: you can select some text, right-click, pick "inspect element", switch to the Fonts or Computed tab and find the fonts that are used.


9to5Google.com says that "the font comes in several weights, but the one Google has gone with is slightly lighter than what users may be used to compared to the Arial font. This will surely lead to some complaints about it being harder to read".

14 May 2015 8:34pm GMT

12 May 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

New Gmail Login Page

Gmail has a new login page. When you first sign in, Google only asks you to enter you email address. Click Next to enter your password and Google might show your name and your Google+ profile photo.


It's not clear if Google only shows the name and the profile photo for your Gmail accounts. I tried various email addresses and Gmail only displayed a generic image.


{ Thanks, Maurice Wahba. }

12 May 2015 6:33pm GMT

11 May 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Translate Community Uses Material Design

Google Translate Community has a new interface powered by Material Design. It's a site that helps Google improve the quality of Google Translate. "Your help will enhance translations for millions of users," informs Google.

The new interface is more colorful and uses more images. There's a hamburger-style menu, a section that shows your stats and the badges you've earned. You can select 2 to 5 languages, including a few languages that aren't yet available in Google Translate like: Cantonese, Cherokee, Corsican, Tibetan, Guarani, Hawaiian and more. Then you only need to translate some phrases or rate translations.





Google also offers a simplified version of the Translate Community site, which uses the old interface.

11 May 2015 10:17pm GMT

08 May 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends May 1-7

From new moms to dads in disguise, here's a look at the week on Google Search:

The princess and the Parliament
The Duke and Duchess welcomed their second child, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge, this week-setting off a wave of royal baby fervor worldwide. Searchers were quick to turn to Google to learn more about Princess Charlotte, who is fourth in line to the throne. Search interest in the "meaning of Charlotte" spiked 15X worldwide in the 24 hours following the reveal. In the U.S., Dallas and New York were the places searching the most for the baby's name.

While U.K. citizens celebrated their new princess, they had something else on their minds: yesterday's national election. Weeks of polling had predicted a close tie between the Conservatives and the Labour Party, but in the end David Cameron's Conservative party walked away with the majority in a victory that surprised many. The election dominated search in the U.K.-all but one of the top 20 search terms Friday were election-related-and even in the U.S., it was the second-most trending term on Thursday.

From Jedi robes to couture gowns
Fans around the world donned their best Princess Leia and Stormtrooper costumes for Star Wars Day on Monday. Celebrated on May 4 (May the Fourth Be with You, get it?) thanks in large part to the Internet, the holiday has been growing for the past few years in search, but we saw the biggest spike yet in 2015. In addition to Leia and Stormtrooper, top costume searches on Monday include [yoda dog] and [female jedi costume]. Interest in the upcoming movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" doubled, and other popular questions include "Is Star Wars on Netflix?" and "What order should you watch Star Wars?"

That same night, the Met Gala brought people to Google to see some of the daring fashion choices from the event. Searches for the red-carpet affair reached 500K. Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez dominated search as people looked for photos of their sheer, jewel-encrusted gowns. Rihanna's stunning yellow dress, Anne Hathaway's coppery hood and Sarah Jessica Parker's headdress inspired memes as well as searches; and Jason Derulo stumbled into the trends charts after rumors that he'd fallen on the Met's stairs.

The mascot and margaritas
There were more than a million searches in the U.S. on Tuesday for Cinco de Mayo-in fact, for the past two years more searches for the holiday have taken place in the U.S. than in Mexico. As people looked into the history of the holiday, common questions include "Who won the Battle of Puebla?" and "What caused the conflict that led to the Battle of Puebla?" But for the most part, people seem to be in it for the food (and, we assume, the margaritas).


If tacos aren't your thing, maybe hamburgers are? This week McDonald's unveiled its new, updated Hamburglar character-and he's very different from the masked mascot you remember from the 80's and 90s. The new Hamburglar is being called the "hipster Hamburglar" and a "hot dad"; others are saying he looks "creepy" or like he's in a "midlife crisis." Whether you think the new Hamburglar is well done or a little undercooked, he's stolen our attention to the tune of 20,000 searches.

Celebrating moms
Finally, Mother's Day is this Sunday, and search interest around the holiday has been on the rise since April as loved ones look for recipes, DIY gift tips, Mother's Day quotes and more.

Tip of the week
Sunday's not the day to forget a phone call. Set a reminder to call your mom with the Google app now. Then give her a ring just by saying "Ok Google, call mom." Find more Mother's Day tips at google.com/mothersday.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [phantom menace podcast] and [fug girls met ball]

08 May 2015 10:02pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

New Menu for Desktop Google Maps

If you like Google Maps' mobile apps for Android and iOS, there's a good news: the desktop site now has a similar interface. The search box has a small icon for directions and another icon for the navigation menu, which lets you enable layers for satellite imagery, traffic, transit, bicycling, terrain, use My Maps, share maps, print maps and more.



The new hamburger-style menu adds features that were previously scattered in at least 4 other places: 2 menus at the bottom of the page, a satellite thumbnail and the search box.


Here's the old interface: the "getting around" card for layers, a small thumbnail for switching to satellite imagery (still available in the new UI), a help menu and a gear menu for sharing maps, Google Web History and search settings.


Another change is that you can switch to the lite mode, which replaces the old Google Maps:

08 May 2015 1:31pm GMT

Google Removes Reading Level Filter

Last month, Google removed search filters for visited page. Now it's time for a new advanced search feature to be removed: reading level. This feature was introduced back in 2010 to let you find search results that are better suited for you. "Sometimes you may want to limit your search results to a specific reading level. For instance, a junior high school teacher looking for content for her students or a second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic reading level. A scientist searching for the latest findings from the experts may want to limit results to those at advanced reading levels," explained Google.

In February, I noticed that the reading level feature had a bug and no longer allowed you to restrict results to "advanced reading level" pages. Instead of fixing the bug, Google removed yet another advanced search feature.


Reading level is no longer available in the search tools dropdown or in the advanced search page. Verbatim is the only remaining filtering option and I'm sure it will be removed soon. Hopefully, Google won't remove time filters, which are more popular and easier to understand.


Here are some screenshots from last month:


08 May 2015 12:20pm GMT

05 May 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Doing more on diversity

When we released the composition of our workforce almost a year ago, it confirmed what many people suspected: the tech industry needs to do a lot more when it comes to diversity. Since then, the question I get asked most is-so what are you doing about it?

You may have heard about some of the work we've been doing: embedding engineers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities; partnering with Hollywood to inspire girls to pursue careers in computer science; building local initiatives to introduce coding to high school students from diverse communities; and expanding our employee unconscious bias training.

But these programs represent only a sampling of all the work that is going on behind the scenes. If we're really going to make an impact, we need a holistic plan. Today, we want to share our diversity strategy, which is focused on four key areas:

Hire diverse Googlers: In the past, our university-focused hiring programs have relied heavily on a relatively small number of schools. But, we know those schools aren't always the most diverse. For example, while 14% of Hispanic college enrollment is at 4-year schools, Hispanics make up just 7% at the 200 most selective schools. In the past two years, we've doubled the number of schools where we recruit, to promote student diversity. This year, nearly 20 percent of the hires we make from a university are from these new campuses.

Foster a fair and inclusive culture: We want to ensure that we have an environment where all Googlers can thrive. We've raised awareness around unconscious bias-half of all Googlers have participated in our unconscious bias workshops-and we've now rolled out a hands-on workshop that provides practical tips for addressing bias when we see it. We're also drawing on the idea of 20 percent time to enable employees to use their time at work to focus on diversity projects. In 2015, more than 500 Googlers will participate in Diversity Core, a formal program in which employees contribute-as part of their job-to the company's diversity efforts.

Expand the pool of technologists: Making computer science (CS) education accessible and available to everyone is one of our most important initiatives. Our CS First program is designed to help anyone-a teacher, a coach, or volunteer-teach kids the basics of coding. And since research tells us that to inspire more girls, we need to show them that computer science isn't just for boys, we started Made with Code-and we're working with the entertainment industry to change the perceptions around CS and what it means to be a computer scientist.

Bridge the digital divide: We also want more underrepresented communities, including women and minorities, to share the benefits of the web, and to have access to the economic engine it provides. The Accelerate with Google Academy helps business owners get online, grow and drive economic impact.

With an organization of our size, meaningful change will take time. From one year to the next, bit by bit, our progress will inch forward. More importantly, our industry will become more inclusive, and the opportunities for currently underrepresented groups will grow. We'll share our updated diversity data for 2015 soon. We're gradually making progress across these four areas, and we're in it for the long term.

Posted by Nancy Lee, Vice President, People Operations

05 May 2015 9:00pm GMT

Appreciating our teachers

When I was in 5th grade, I complained to my teacher, Mr. Tomazewski, that there must be more to mathematics than simple arithmetic. He concurred and gave me a 7th grade algebra book because he believed in me. I spent the summer working through every problem! With that simple act, Mr. Tomazewski had set me off on a career path that eventually led to the invention of the Internet.

Me at age 11 in 1954


As students, we have the potential to be or do anything-whether and how we fulfill that potential is largely determined by the guidance and encouragement of our teachers.

That's one reason why Google is so committed to improving teaching and learning through the use of technology. One year ago this week, we announced Classroom, a tool that helps teachers manage assignments, communicate with students and parents, and stay organized. Since then, we've continued to add features that teachers and students tell us they need, and if you stay tuned to the Google for Education Blog this week, you'll hear about a few of our newest additions.

In the spirit of listening to our teachers, we're also continuing to improve our CS First materials-free online computer science content developed by educators and computer scientists-to help introduce the art of programming to students in grades 4-8 through after-school, in-school and summer programs.

We also realize the importance of what teachers can learn from one another. So with that in mind, this week we're hosting Education on Air-a free online event with 100+ sessions led by educators from 12 countries and 29 U.S. states. We'll cover themes that include empowering students, practical innovation, CS and STEM, and building community. Speakers include LeVar Burton and Google Science Fair 2012 winner Brittany Wenger. We hope you can virtually join us May 8-9 for this online education conference, and make sure to register so you can catch recorded videos of all the sessions.

Our lives would be profoundly different without the Mr. Tomazeskis of the world. Please join us in saying thank you to our teachers this week-in person, online, in a handwritten note, or even a meme-for all that they help us to achieve.

Posted by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist

05 May 2015 3:00pm GMT

What Girls are Good For: Happy birthday Nellie Bly!

In 1880, the Pittsburgh Dispatch published an article titled "What Girls Are Good For." In dismissive terms, the column's author wrote that women shouldn't be allowed to work because their place was at home.

Days later, a pseudonymous rebuttal appeared in the paper. The response, by a 16-year-old girl whose real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran, argued how important it was for women to be independent and self-reliant. Within a decade, the author of that response would become known worldwide as Nellie Bly: a hard-hitting young journalist who went undercover at a lunatic asylum and traveled around the world in a record-breaking 72 days.

Throughout her life and career, Nellie Bly spoke up for the underprivileged, the helpless and minorities, and defied society's expectations for women. We love her adventurous spirit, and we share her belief that women can do anything and be anything they want (we like to think if she were around today she'd be a fellow fan of trailblazing women like Ada, Anita and Ann). So when it came time to honor Nellie with a Doodle, we wanted to make it special. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs wrote, composed and recorded an original song about Nellie, and Katy Wu, the artist who created this doodle, created an animation set to Karen O's music celebrating this intrepid investigative reporter.


Nellie was born on May 5, 1864 in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pa. After her response was published in the Dispatch in 1880, the editor, George Madden, tracked her down and hired her as a reporter. At the time, women reporters commonly used pen names; hers came from a song by fellow Pittsburgher Stephen Foster. She spent several years at the paper before moving to New York for a job at New York World, which was owned by Joseph Pulitzer. In 1887, she went undercover at the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island to write an exposé about the conditions there. Her resulting book, "Ten Days in a Mad-House," made her famous.

But Nellie is best known for her trip around the world. Inspired by Phileas Fogg, the hero of Jules Verne's novel, "Around the World in 80 Days," Nellie set sail from New York in November 1889 determined to beat Fogg's time. Traveling by steamships and sailboats, she sent dispatches back to her newspaper as she circled the globe. Instead of sitting idly and just observing, she was always a part of the action and conversation, despite the fact that public spaces were typically reserved for men at the time.

Storyboard for today's Nellie Bly video doodle, by Katy Wu


When creating the Doodle, we took inspiration from Karen O's lyrics and Nellie's journey around the globe. Throughout the video, Katy used newspaper as a unifying theme-with paper tearing, folding and crumpling as the story goes along. And though the video is mostly black and white, she added some color to represent Nellie's energy and vibrancy.

Back in the 19th century, Nellie fearlessly showed a generation of people "what girls are good for." We're excited to tell her story in today's Doodle-and we hope Nellie inspires women and girls everywhere to follow in her footsteps and show the world what they can do.

Posted by Liat Ben-Rafael, Program Manager, Google Doodles

05 May 2015 4:00am GMT

01 May 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends April 24-30

This week was a sobering one on search and worldwide, as people looked for news out of Nepal and read up on the demonstrations in Baltimore. But as we welcome the month of May, searchers are also gearing up for a weekend of superheroes-in the ring, on the track and on the big screen.

All eyes on Nepal and Baltimore
People around the world came to Google for information about the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal this week. The 7.8 quake killed more than 6,000 people, triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest and destroyed several historical sites, including Katmandu's Durbar Square. As rescuers continue to look for survivors, searchers turned to Google for news about the relief efforts and to ask questions about how to help, including: "How do I volunteer in Nepal?" and "Where can I donate to Nepal?" See the scope of the world's response to the tragedy in this visualization:

In the U.S., a crisis of a different kind erupted in Baltimore this week. Starting last Friday, people protested in the streets in response to the death of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who died on April 19 while in police custody. As demonstrations intensified on Monday and Tuesday, officials imposed a curfew and called in the National Guard. Searchers around the country turned to Google with their questions about the events, including: "Why is there a curfew in Baltimore?", "What is the National Guard?" and "What happened to Freddie Gray?" And we saw big spikes in searches for topics like martial law, Baltimore Sun, Mondawmin Mall and the Baltimore Orioles.

The Sport of Kings and the Sweet Science
Tomorrow, 20 racehorses will line up for the 141st Kentucky Derby, but oddsmakers are insisting this is really a two-horse race between heavy favorites American Pharoah and Dortmund. Search interest in horse racing spiked 4X in the last week, with the Derby appearing in Hot Trends three out of the last four days. People are also turning to search to gear up for the festivities: interest in dress hats has spiked, and searches for [mint juleps] have spiked 4X.

After American Pharoah and Dortmund's battle for the roses, two other fierce opponents will go nose to nose: the hotly anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao takes place Saturday night in Las Vegas. The boxing match is being called the "fight of the century" with a reported $300 million at stake. As people get ready for the fighters to put their gloves on, they're turning to search to answer questions like "Where can I watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight?" and "How much will Mayweather make from the fight?" So far, Mayweather, who is undefeated, is winning the match in search-he's being searched for more than Pacquiao in all U.S. states except Hawaii.

A cast of characters
The blockbuster "Avengers 2: Age of Ultron" has finally hit theaters, and people are turning to Google to find information about their favorite superheroes and where to see them in theaters. There were more than 500,000 searches for the movie on Thursday, and early box office estimates suggest that fans are putting their money where their searches are. Take a look at the top searched characters from the movie:


Tip of the week
Donning a hat for Derby Day tomorrow? Make sure you've got a southern beverage to match. Just ask Google, "how do I make a mint julep?" and you'll get directions for how to mix up a winner.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [email debt forgiveness day]

01 May 2015 10:41pm GMT

30 Apr 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Flights Uses Material Design

Google Flights, one of the most underrated Google services, has a new interface powered by Material Design. There's a new hamburger-style menu that lets you quickly find your saved flights, explore a clever map with potential destinations, change currency and language.





Google shows the best flights at the top of the list of results. "We chose these itineraries to give you the best trade-off between price, duration, number of stops, and sometimes other factors such as amenities and baggage fees," informs Google.


This video from 2014 shows the old interface:


{ Thanks, Emanuele Bartolomucci. }

30 Apr 2015 6:23pm GMT

29 Apr 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Protect your Google Account with Password Alert

Would you enter your email address and password on this page?

This looks like a fairly standard login page, but it's not. It's what we call a "phishing" page, a site run by people looking to receive and steal your password. If you type your password here, attackers could steal it and gain access to your Google Account-and you may not even know it. This is a common and dangerous trap: the most effective phishing attacks can succeed 45 percent of the time, nearly 2 percent of messages to Gmail are designed to trick people into giving up their passwords, and various services across the web send millions upon millions of phishing emails, every day.

To help keep your account safe, today we're launching Password Alert, a free, open-source Chrome extension that protects your Google and Google Apps for Work Accounts. Once you've installed it, Password Alert will show you a warning if you type your Google password into a site that isn't a Google sign-in page. This protects you from phishing attacks and also encourages you to use different passwords for different sites, a security best practice.

Here's how it works for consumer accounts. Once you've installed and initialized Password Alert, Chrome will remember a "scrambled" version of your Google Account password. It only remembers this information for security purposes and doesn't share it with anyone. If you type your password into a site that isn't a Google sign-in page, Password Alert will show you a notice like the one below. This alert will tell you that you're at risk of being phished so you can update your password and protect yourself.
Password Alert is also available to Google for Work customers, including Google Apps and Drive for Work. Your administrator can install Password Alert for everyone in the domains they manage, and receive alerts when Password Alert detects a possible problem. This can help spot malicious attackers trying to break into employee accounts and also reduce password reuse. Administrators can find more information in the Help Center.
We work to protect users from phishing attacks in a variety of ways. We're constantly improving our Safe Browsing technology, which protects more than 1 billion people on Chrome, Safari and Firefox from phishing and other dangerous sites via bright, red warnings. We also offer tools like 2-Step Verification and Security Key that people can use to protect their Google Accounts and stay safe online. And of course, you can also take a Security Checkup at any time to make sure the safety and security information associated with your account is current.


To get started with Password Alert, visit the Chrome Web Store or the FAQ.

Posted by Drew Hintz, Security Engineer and Justin Kosslyn, Google Ideas

29 Apr 2015 1:54pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Classic Google Maps, Replaced by Lite Mode

If you're using the new Google Maps for desktop and you're trying to switch to the old version, Google now sends you to Google Maps Lite Mode. "To make Maps load faster, you can use a version of Google Maps called Lite mode. In Lite mode, some features are turned off so that Maps can run faster." Some examples of missing features: 3D imagery and Earth view, showing your computer's location, setting home and work, searching nearby, measuring distances, coordinates, draggable routes, embedding maps, My Maps integration.

If you're in Lite mode, you'll see a box in the bottom left with a lightning bolt and this message: "You're in Lite mode." You can click: "Switch back to full Maps" if your browser supports it.


The Lite interface uses a hamburger-style menu, just like the mobile apps.


For now, the old Google Maps is still available if you use this link: www.google.com/lochp, but there's a message which says that "this version of Google Maps is updating soon".


29 Apr 2015 10:36am GMT

24 Apr 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: Search trends April 17-23

Everyone wants to know what D.J. Tanner and Target are up to. Read on for all the search scoop from this week:

The earth in focus
Wednesday marked the 45th annual Earth Day celebration. People came to search to get more information on the origins of the holiday and learn about ways to conserve-oh, and find out what animal they are, of course. In addition to searches for [earth day slogans] and [earth day worksheets], searchers asked questions like "When was the first Earth Day?", "How do we stop climate change?" and "Is styrofoam recyclable?"

Just when we were feeling all warm and fuzzy about our planet, we got a reminder that nature can be a little scary as well as awe-inspiring. In Chile, the Calbuco volcano exploded for the first time in more than 40 years, sending clouds of ash into the air and causing thousands to evacuate. There were 100K+ searches for [chile volcano] as people sought to learn more about the eruption.

Prized Pulitzers
Sunday morning, people lined up outside Target stores around the country for the launch of the store's new Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. But many fans waited in vain, as the affordable line of clothes and home decor sold out within hours both on and offline. Shoppers vented on social media, and searches for Lilly Pulitzer reached an all-time high this month. Meanwhile, persistent types have driven searches for [lilly pulitzer ebay] up 1000% in the last seven days.

But lucky Lilly fans weren't the only ones thanking the stars for their Pulitzer this week. This year's Pulitzer prizes were announced on Monday, leading people to the web to learn more about the winners across categories ranging from fiction to investigative reporting to poetry. (And in case you were wondering: Lilly Pulitzer, who died in 2013, was once married to the grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, who established the eponymous Prize.)

Everywhere you look...
...there are reboots. First "DuckTales," then "The Muppet Show," and now "Fuller House." This week Netflix announced a spin-off of the 90s family sitcom "Full House," to debut in 2016, and 200,000+ searches followed. The new show will feature oldest sister D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure), and several other stars from the original series are signed on to return, including Jodie Sweetin-the subject of some 50K+ searches this week-and John Stamos. Still, it's yet to be seen whether the rest of the cast will participate or decide to cut it out. Though searches for Mary-Kate Olsen reached more than 50,000 this week, she and her sister have said that they were surprised by the news. So you might want to wait a bit before saying "TGIF!"

Tip of the week
Keep that good Earth Day momentum going. Just ask Google, "Where can I recycle electronics near me?" for a handy list of places to drop off your old wires and devices.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [gilbert blythe] and [nba playoff schedule]

24 Apr 2015 8:02pm GMT

22 Apr 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Say hi to Fi: A new way to say hello

In today's mobile world, fast and reliable connectivity is almost second nature. But even in places like the U.S., where mobile connections are nearly ubiquitous, there are still times when you turn to your phone for that split-second answer and don't have fast enough speed. Or you can't get calls and texts because you left your phone in a taxi (or it got lost in a couch cushion for the day). As mobile devices continually improve how you connect to people and information, it's important that wireless connectivity and communication keep pace and be fast everywhere, easy to use, and accessible to everyone.

That's why today we're introducing Project Fi, a program to explore this opportunity by introducing new ideas through a fast and easy wireless experience. Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what's possible. By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. Two of the top mobile networks in the U.S.-Sprint and T-Mobile-are partnering with us to launch Project Fi and now you can be part of the project too.

Our three focus areas include:

Helping you get the highest-quality connection
Project Fi aims to put you on the best network wherever you go. As you move around, the best network for you might be a Wi-Fi hotspot or a specific 4G LTE network. We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it's Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks. As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we've verified as fast and reliable. Once you're connected, we help secure your data through encryption. When you're not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places. Learn more about our network of networks.

Enabling easy communication across networks and devices
Project Fi works to get technology out of the way so you can communicate through whichever network type and device you're using. Wherever you're connected to Wi-Fi-whether that's at home, your favorite coffee shop or your Batcave-you can talk and text like you normally do. If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will seamlessly transition from Wi-Fi to cell networks so your conversation doesn't skip a beat. We also want to help phone numbers adapt to a multi-screen world. With Project Fi, your phone number lives in the cloud, so you can talk and text with your number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop. So the next time you misplace your phone, you can stay connected using another screen. Check out how it works.

Making the service experience as simple as possible
Project Fi takes a fresh approach to how you pay for wireless, manage your service, and get in touch when you need help. We offer one simple plan at one price with 24/7 support. Here's how it works: for $20 a month you get all the basics (talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 120+ countries), and then it's a flat $10 per GB for cellular data while in the U.S. and abroad. 1GB is $10/month, 2GB is $20/month, 3GB is $30/month, and so on. Since it's hard to predict your data usage, you'll get credit for the full value of your unused data. Let's say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You'll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use. Get all the details about our plan.

Be part of the project from the start
We're beginning Project Fi's Early Access Program to invite people to sign up for the service. Project Fi will be available on the Nexus 6, which we developed with Motorola and is the first smartphone that supports the hardware and software to work with our service. If you live where we have coverage in the U.S., request an invite at fi.google.com to get started.

We look forward to connecting!

Posted by Nick Fox, VP of Communications Products

22 Apr 2015 5:34pm GMT

Which animal are you? Take the Google Doodle Earth Day Quiz

You can search Google for answers to all kinds of animal questions: What does an aye-aye eat? Where do narwhals live? How long is a toco toucan's beak? And this Earth Day, you can turn to Google for the answer to something that you've always needed to know: which animal are you???

Clicking on this year's Earth Day logo (or searching for "Earth Day quiz") presents one of the Internet's favorite pastimes: a totally scientific and 1,000% accurate personality quiz. Take the time to answer a few questions to determine and share your Earth Day animal. And, of course, you're only a search away from learning more about nature's precious pals and interesting inhabitants (FYI: kakapo is the heaviest parrot).

If you need proof of the accuracy of our quiz, look no further than the testimonials of some of our wildlife-loving, quiz-taking friends like Ed Norton, Jared Leto, and Maggie Q. Dame Jane Goodall took the quiz and had this to report:


Once you've gotten to know your deepest self (and animal avatar), we hope you're inspired to help make a real difference this Earth Day. For the month of April, we're partnering with our friends at Google.org, who will match donations to the following animal-loving organizations up to $20,000. That means every $1 you donate to one of these great groups is worth $2 to protect wildlife around the world. Chip in what you can at the Jane Goodall Institute, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, World Wildlife Fund, WildAid, Zoological Society of London and Virunga Fund.

Happy Earth Day!

Posted by Ryan Germick, Doodle Team Lead, Giant Squid

22 Apr 2015 1:38pm GMT

Walk in the footsteps of South Africa’s freedom fighters

On April 27, 1994, Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa in the country's first democratic, post-Apartheid election. Known now as "Freedom Day," that date has become a symbol of hope in South Africa and around the world. To commemorate this historic day, we've partnered with the Robben Island Museum and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to bring the story of this UNESCO World Heritage Site online for the world to explore. The Maps gallery and Cultural Institute online tour allow people everywhere to see the island where Nelson Mandela and many of South Africa's freedom fighters were imprisoned during their quest for equality.

As a symbol of South Africa's struggle for freedom, Robben Island has become a destination for people to connect with Mandela and other freedom fighters. Standing in Mandela's 8 x 7 foot prison cell, it's hard to believe someone could spend 18 years here. Exploring the historical artifacts on the tour, you can also see photographs of his cell during the time of his imprisonment. You can imagine Mandela sitting at the cramped desk, surrounded by books and papers, working towards a future of freedom for all.

Photograph of Mandela's Cell c.1971


Robben Island was also where activist Robert Sobukwe was imprisoned, kept in solitary confinement for more than three years after taking a stand against the Pass Law, which required black citizens to carry an internal passport and severely limited their mobility. Exploring Sobukwe's home on Robben Island, you can learn more about the man who didn't let prison halt his attempts to make equality a reality. You can even view the pages of his notebook, which is still kept on his desk today.

Robert Sobukwe's house of solitary confinement on Robben Island


In the new online exhibitions on the Cultural Institute platform, you can also listen to prisoners' personal anecdotes about life at this infamous prison, including memories of where they were forced to work as well as how they studied and came together to create a unified vision for freedom in South Africa. You can see some personal items donated by former political prisoners, including a football trophy from the their FIFA-recognized league, hand-drawn table tennis awards, a treasured trumpet, and a duplicate master key fashioned by a prisoner from lead.

View of the Lime Quarry, the site of enforced prison labor at Robben Island


Once a symbol of the oppressive Apartheid regime, Robben Island is now a memorial and a reminder of the human spirit's irrepressible search for freedom. We hope you'll take a moment to step back in time to explore and be inspired by the island's story of hope and humanity.

Posted by Luke McKend, Country Director for Google South Africa

22 Apr 2015 8:00am GMT

20 Apr 2015

feedThe Official Google Blog

Myth or monster? Explore Loch Ness with Street View

Like the world's best legends, the Loch Ness Monster transcends the everyday and exists at the edges of possibility. It rises above the sightings and the hoaxes; the claims and counter-claims; the tourism, the nationalism-and even the assassination plots. It lives in the telling of stories. Whether or not you believe, most people hold a romanticized vision of the creature that, legend has it, plumbs the depths of the Loch. Affectionately known as "Nessie," she exists in folklore, dances in childrens' imaginations, and seeps into our society and teachings, inspiring everything from pop music to pop culture to pulp fiction.



In 1934, the "Surgeon's Photograph" was released, claiming to show the monster in the misty waters of the lake. It's the most iconic photo in the history of Loch Ness-and may be one of the most elaborate hoaxes of our age. Today, to celebrate the anniversary of its release, we're bringing 360-degree Street View imagery of Loch Ness to Google Maps, so you can go in search of Nessie yourself.

Loch Ness, Scotland

Sail across the freshwater lake and take in its haunting beauty, made darker still by the peat particles found in its waters. Let the Loch unlock the spirit of your imagination, where the rippling water, tricks of the light, and drifting logs bring the legend of Nessie to life. Adrian Shine, leader of the Loch Ness & Morar Project, has been engaged in fieldwork in the Highlands since 1973 and was an integral part of the Street View collection. As a true Loch Ness expert, Shine has logged more than 1,000 Nessie sightings and offers scientific explanations for why people claim to have seen Scotland's mysterious cryptid.




Formed of a series of interrelated bodies of water, including the River Oich to the south and the Bona Narrows to the north, Loch Ness stretches for 23 miles southwest of Inverness. Although it's neither the largest Scottish loch by surface area nor depth, it is the largest by volume, containing more freshwater than all the lakes of England and Wales combined. And at almost 800 feet deep, there's an entire world below the surface, giving rise to the Nessie legend.

Underwater in Loch Ness

To take you on a tour of what lies beneath, our partners at the Catlin Seaview Survey dived deep under the surface of the lake, collecting imagery along the way. You can imagine Nessie nestling within these dark, peat-filled waters, waiting for the right moment to breach the surface into the Scottish sunlight above.

A diver from the Catlin Seaview Survey collecting underwater imagery of Loch Ness

Wherever you stand on the Nessie debate, the legend lives on-even in the digital era. There are more searches for Loch Ness than there are for other U.K. institutions like Buckingham Palace and the Peak District. And as we celebrate Loch Ness with today's Doodle, we hope you can enjoy some of the most history-laden and breathtaking imagery the highlands have to offer with Street View in Google Maps.


By Sven Tresp, Program Manager, Street View Special Collections


20 Apr 2015 11:01pm GMT

Android Wear: wear what you want, get what you need

Architect and artist William Morris once said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." Turns out that's also good advice for deciding what to wear. So Android Wear offers a range of watches and apps that are fashionable as well as functional.

Over the past few months we've added lots of ways to express your style-from custom watch faces to a rainbow of bands. Today we're making Android Wear more helpful as well-getting you what you need, right on your wrist.

Always-on screen, always-on apps

When you buy a watch you want it to, well, tell the time. So most Android Wear watches include an always-on screen-no tapping, twisting or shaking required to see what time it is. Now we're expanding this option to apps, so they can stay visible as long as you need them, instead of disappearing when you drop your arm. In either case the screen is only full color when you're actively looking at it-so you get the info you need, and you save on battery life.


Wi-Fi support

With GPS and offline music support, you can already leave your phone at home, then go jogging and jamming like normal. Now Android Wear supports watches with built-in Wi-Fi. As long as your watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network, and your phone has a data connection (wherever it is), you'll be able to get notifications, send messages, and use all your favorite apps. And if you really do forget your phone, you can always ask your watch where it is.

Simpler, faster, and more smiley

When it comes to your watch, using apps should be as simple as checking the time. So today we're making a number of Android Wear improvements to help you access your info, and express yourself more easily:


These updates are coming to all seven Android Wear watches over the next few weeks, starting with the new LG Watch Urbane. In the meantime, there are plenty of useful apps and lots of beautiful watch faces-so find your favorites, and wear what you want.


Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear


(Cross-posted to the Official Android Blog)

20 Apr 2015 2:00pm 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

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Pictures of the Cr-48

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

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

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Chromedroidpad

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

09 Dec 2010 12:40pm GMT

08 Dec 2010

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Device Evolution

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

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

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How to Disable Google Instant Previews

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

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

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

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

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

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

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

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

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

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

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

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

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

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See a Random Street View Location

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

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT