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Preview: The Official Google Blog

The Official Google Blog

Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture.

Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 16:00:00 -0000


Early explorations with ARCore 1.0Early explorations with ARCore 1.0Product Manager

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 16:00:00 -0000

We recently launched ARCore 1.0 to give developers the ability to build powerful augmented reality apps that make your phone’s camera smarter. It works on over 100 million Android devices, on more than a dozen different device models, so now more people can use AR to interact with the world in inspiring new ways. While it’s only been a few weeks since launch, developers are already publishing new ARCore experiences on Google Play, across gaming, shopping and home, and creativity.GamingFor gaming, AR weaves the action right into the world around you, making the experience more immersive and unlocking a whole new way to play. Here are new titles built with ARCore:My Tamagotchi ForeverBANDAI NAMCO has released “My Tamagotchi Forever,” an experience in which players can raise Tamagotchi characters while building Tamatown, a virtual town you can play with in the real world.Walking Dead Our WorldImmerse yourself in the zombie apocalypse! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to defend your surroundings by fighting zombies in real-world environments. Walking Dead Our World is a great example of how to use Google Maps APIsand ARCore together to build a location-based AR game. It’s currently in pre-registration on Google Play, with a broader release planned soon.TendARTender Claws created TendAR, a game that features Guppy, a virtual fish that responds to users’ facial expressions and survives by “eating” other people’s emotions. The game was created by combining ARCore with Google Cloud APIs, which provides computer vision and object recognition. You can read more about how they created the experience in this case study. TendAR will be available to download starting in July 2018.Shopping & HomeAugmented reality can bring anything into your space, which helps when you’re trying to understand the size and scale of things before you buy or ship them. Here are a few experiences built by our retail partners to aid you in making smarter decisions:Pottery Barn 360 Room ViewWith Pottery Barn’s AR app, you can view furniture in your room to see how it pairs with your existing pieces, change the color and fabric of furniture before deciding which looks best, and can purchase what you’ve picked out directly from the app.eBayeBay is using AR to solve a specific challenge facing their community of sellers: what size shipping container is needed to send that product? With the “Which Box” feature in eBay’s app, sellers can visualize shipping boxes to determine which container size they need to send any product.Curate by Sotheby's International Realty, StreemIf you’re shopping for a new home or need help maintaining yours, AR can also come in handy. With ARCore, Sotheby’s International Realty is changing the way people stage furniture in the real estate world, and the Streem app connects customers with professionals to solve household maintenance requests.CreativityOver the last few months, we’ve been tinkering with experiments that show how AR can be used as a new creative medium for self-expression. We’ve worked with creators across different disciplines to explore what happens when AR is used by illustrators, choreographers, animators and more.Now, we’re inviting more people to experiment with this technology through an app that lets you make simple drawings in AR, and then share your creation with a short video. The caveat: it’s “Just a Line.”We’re open sourcing the core code of the app so developers can use it as a starting point for their own ARCore projects, and we’re excited to see what people create with Just a Line. Download it on Google Play.Anyone with an ARCore-enabled phone can jump into most of these experiences from the Play Store right now, and developers can get started building their own apps today.[...]While it’s only been a few weeks since launch, developers are already publishing new ARCore experiences on Google Play, across gaming, shopping and home, and creativity.

Furthering our New York investmentFurthering our New York investmentVP

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:15:00 -0000

It’s been 18 years since Google NYC first established our single-person sales “office” in a Starbucks on 86th St. After moving from 86th St to a more official space in Times Square, we settled into our current home at111 8th Ave in 2006. It’s been eight years since we purchased the building but not before taking on additional space as a tenant in Chelsea Market and 85 10th Ave. Today, we’re excited to announce we’ve closed a deal with Jamestown Properties to purchase the Manhattan Chelsea Market building for $2.4 billion.

Chelsea Market is a cornerstone of the Chelsea-Meatpacking district and has been serving the local community for over 20 years. The iconic ground floor market attracts visitors from all around the world and provides a great experience for foodies and shoppers alike. With our purchase of the building, we’ve agreed to work together with Jamestown to ensure a smooth transition with little or no impact to the community and tenants of the building. As part of this effort, Jamestown will continue to manage the retail and food hall.

Since our first days in New York, we’ve grown to roughly 7,000 employees, representing more than 70 countries and speaking 50+ languages. A broad range of Google’s engineering, product and business operations groups are represented at our New York office, with large teams focusing on projects including Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube, Cloud, Technical Infrastructure, Sales and Research.

This purchase further solidifies our commitment to New York, and we believe the Manhattan Chelsea Market will continue to be a great home for us and a vital part of the neighborhood and community. We're proud to be part of a city that's a cross section of so many industries and cultures, and as we look ahead to the next 18 years and beyond, we’ll continue to invest in our growth and commitment to the city.

(image) We’ve closed a deal with Jamestown Properties to purchase the Manhattan Chelsea Market building for $2.4 billion.

Elevating quality journalism on the open webElevating quality journalism on the open web

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:00:00 -0000

Over the past 20 years, we’ve grappled with the tension between the freedom of information the web enables and the need to ensure trust in information. Elevating accurate, quality content, and stemming the flow of misinformation is a challenge that requires collaboration across the news industry, the research community, and digital platforms.Here are some of the steps we're taking on the issue.Increasing the integrity of information we display during breaking newsDuring breaking news or crisis situations, stemming the tide of misinformation can be challenging. Speculation can outrun facts as legitimate news outlets on the ground are still investigating. At the same time, bad actors are publishing content on forums and social media with the intent to mislead and capture people’s attention as they rush to find trusted information online.To reduce the visibility of this type of content during crisis or breaking news events, we’ve improved our systems to put more emphasis on authoritative results over factors like freshness or relevancy. This builds on the search quality improvements we announced last year. At the moment, this is in only in the U.S. but we’ll roll it out globally in the coming months .There are comparable challenges on YouTube, which is learning from and adapting some of the work done by Google Search. YouTube now highlights relevant content from verified news sources in a “Breaking News” section on its homepage and in a “Top News” shelf in search results.   Collaborating with the industry to surface accurate informationGiving publishers the ability to better structure their data or embed quality signals can help platforms like Google more easily recognize quality content.  That’s why we’re involved in the Trust Project, which  developed eight indicators of trust publishers can use to better convey why their content should be seen as credible.There’s proof that applying these indicators helps builds trust and counters the negative impact of misinformation. For example, after the Trinity Mirror in the U.K. implemented the Trust Project, consumer trust in the newspaper increased by 8 percent.Building on that work, we’re partnering with the Credibility Coalition to drive the development of technical markers that can enable third party assessments of online content. This summer, in partnership with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s newly created community group, the Credibility Coalition will explore new approaches to analyze and assess the credibility of information online.In 2016 we introduced Fact Check tags in Google Newsto help people understand what they are clicking on and reading.  We’ve since expanded to other products like Google Search.  Today we’re  partnering with theNational Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,The New York Times Health team and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to focus on the integrity and accuracy of health information found on the web.  And starting on April 2—International Fact-Checking Day—the Google News Initiative alongside theInternational Fact Check Network will offer advanced trainings on tools to distinguish misinformation online to more than 20,000 students globally.Many countries will hold elections in 2018, including Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and the U.S. As part of our broader election work at Google to combat mis- and disinformation during election cycles and beyond, we’re providing support to our partner First Draftin the launch of a “Disinfo Lab.” Based at Harvard, the lab will employ journalists to leverage computational tools to monitor misinformation in the run-up to and during elections.We also want to support the global research community in their efforts to train new models to detect synthetic, computer-generated voice and video files. Soon we’ll release datasets that can be used to train such models to detect synthesized audio content, and make them available to  journalism and research communities.Helping young people distinguish[...]

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Introducing Subscribe with GoogleIntroducing Subscribe with GoogleProject Management Director

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:00:00 -0000

If you’ve ever subscribed to a news site, you know that it can sometimes be an onerous task. This isn’t the publisher’s fault, it’s just the way websites work. You’ll have to type in your name, your email, maybe a username (no, not that username; it’s taken) and then make up a new password (no, not that password; you’ll need one with the special character and the two non-repeating numbers), and it doesn’t end there. You’ll have to fill in a bunch of credit card fields, which you probably don’t have committed to memory.Just like your password.Like you, we love journalism, but we’re less excited about filling in web forms and clicking on “forgot password” links. So today we’re announcing Subscribe with Google—the simple way to subscribe to news publications and maintain access everywhere: websites, apps, even search results.Making it easier to subscribe to premium contentSubscribe with Google lets you buy a subscription, using your Google account, on participating news sites. Select the publisher offer you’d like to buy, click “Subscribe,” and you’re done. You’ll automatically be signed in to the site, and you can pay–securely and privately—with any credit card you’ve used with Google in the past. From then on, you can then use “Sign In with Google” to access the publisher’s products, but Google does the billing, keeps your payment method secure, and makes it easy for you to manage your subscriptions all in one place.  Here’s a look at just how easy it will be on the Miami Herald:You’ll soon be able to subscribe with Google on any one of our launch partners, including Les Échos, Fairfax Media, Le Figaro, the Financial Times, Gatehouse Media, Grupo Globo, The Mainichi, McClatchy, La Nación, The New York Times, NRC Media, Le Parisien, Reforma, la Republica, The Telegraph, USA TODAY NETWORK andThe Washington Post—with more publishers coming soon.  Making it easier to enjoy your subscriptionsAfter subscribing, you’ll be able to access your subscription content whenever you’re signed in to your Google account. No more irritating paywalls popping up when you’ve already paid, and no more struggling to stay logged in when you switch from laptop to mobile device. Paying for a subscription is a clear indication that you value and trust your subscribed publication as a source. So we’ll also highlight those sources across Google surfaces, beginning with a dedicated module on Search. When you search for a news topic for which your subscribed publication has relevant results, we’ll showcase these so they’re easy for you to see and access—without disrupting search ranking for the rest of the page.But how can we help you get access to the subscriptions you already bought? Our goal is to make news subscriptions work better regardless of who you bought your subscription from. So Subscribe with Google will also allow you to link subscriptions purchased directly from publishers to your Google account—with the same benefits of easier and more persistent access.Calling all news publishers: let’s make subscriptions simple, togetherBack in October, we previewed our initial thoughts around Subscribe with Google. For the last six months, we’ve been holding working groups with participants from nearly 60 news organizations across 18 countries to review our ideas and collect feedback. We’ve experimented directly with a smaller number of partners to understand some of the implementation challenges they face, and we’re committed to building a product that works for publishers of various shapes and sizes.Our hope, shared by our early development partners—McClatchy, the Financial Times, and The Washington Post—is that the user benefits of Subscribe with Google will also manifest as publisher benefits. Craig Forman, President and CEO of McClatchy, notes that Subscribe with Google will help them in “creating a simple and frictionless way to welcome new subscribers.” And Dave M[...]Making digital subscriptions simple by making it easier to subscribe and enjoy premium content

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The Google News Initiative: Building a stronger future for newsThe Google News Initiative: Building a stronger future for newsChief Business Officer

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:00:00 -0000

People come to Google looking for information they can trust, and that information often comes from the reporting of journalists and news organizations around the world. And while the demand for quality journalism is as high as it’s ever been, the business of journalism is under pressure, as publications around the world face challenges from an industry-wide transition to digital.That matters deeply to Google. After all, our mission to build a more informed world is inherently tied to the reporting of journalists and news organizations. Our shared mission also reflects shared business interests. Platforms like Search and YouTube depend on a healthy ecosystem of publishers producing great digital content. That’s why it’s so important to us that we help you drive sustainable revenue and businesses. Last year, we paid $12.6 billion to partners and we drove 10 billion clicks a month to publishers’ websites for free. It’s also why over the years, we’ve worked closely with the news industry to address key challenges. We worked with the industry to launch the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to improve the mobile web, YouTube Player for Publishers to simplify video distribution and reduce costs, Flexible Sampling to help with discovery of news content on Google, Google News Lab to provide newsrooms with trainings and editorial partnerships, and the Digital News Initiative to drive innovation in the European news industry.We invested a lot time and energy in these collaborations. But the hard truth is—all of this might not be enough. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish what’s true (and not true) online. Business models for journalism continue to change drastically. The rapid evolution of technology is challenging all institutions, including the news industry—to keep pace. We need to do more. That’s why we’re launching the Google News Initiative (GNI), our effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. The GNI signifies a major milestone in Google’s 15-year commitment to the news industry, and will bring together everything we do in collaboration with the industry—across products, partnerships, and programs—to help build a stronger future for news.The GNI will build on these efforts and deepen our commitment to a news industry facing dramatic shifts in how journalism is created, consumed, and paid for. It’s focused on three objectives: Elevate and strengthen quality journalism  Evolve business models to drive sustainable growthEmpower news organizations through technological innovationElevate and strengthen quality journalismOver the past few years, we’ve worked with publishers to elevate accurate, quality content and stem the flow of misinformation and disinformation.On our own platforms, we’re focused on combating misinformation during breaking news situations.  Bad actors often target breaking news on Google platforms, increasing the likelihood that people are exposed to inaccurate content. So we’ve trained our systems to recognize these events and adjust our signals toward more authoritative content. There are comparable challenges on YouTube, and we’re taking a similar approach, highlighting relevant content from verified news sources in a “Top News” shelf.But we’re also working directly with news organizations to combat misinformation. We’re launching the Disinfo Lab alongside the First Draft to combat mis- and disinformation during elections and breaking news moments. Finally, to help consumers distinguish fact from fiction online,  we’re teaming up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, and the Local Media Association to launch MediaWise, a U.S. project designed to improve digital information literacy for young consumers.Disinfo Lab continues our work with First Draft, which includes last year’s CrossCheck FR. This is a photo from a verification training in the runup to the French elections last year.Evolve busin[...]

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YouTube Director onsite helps small businesses make video adsYouTube Director onsite helps small businesses make video adsGroup Product Manager, YouTube

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:00:00 -0000

Every small business owner has a story to tell—whether it's how they started out, why their product or service is unique, or why customers buy from them. Video ads are an authentic and engaging way to reach your customers and show them what makes your business unique through the power of sight, sound, and motion.

For business owners, creating a video ad to tell your story can be time-consuming, expensive, and challenging. Starting today,YouTube Director onsite is available in over 170 cities across the U.S. to help every business leverage YouTube's power and reach—over one billion users, which is almost one-third of all people on the internet.

We created YouTube Director onsite to shorten the time and cost it takes for businesses to advertise on YouTube. When you commit to spending at least $350 advertising on YouTube through Google AdWords, YouTube Director onsite will set you up with an expert to film and edit a 30-second professional YouTube video. This video service—which typically runs anywhere from about $1,000 to $5,000—is free. You’ll only pay to promote your video ad on YouTube.


Since we first launched YouTube Director onsite, we’ve produced many video ads for small businesses, saving each business countless hours of finding equipment, writing a script, and filming and editing the video. Aaron Cheney, the Marketing Director of Warmoth Guitar Products, started using YouTube Director onsite to reach new customers online. The video ad was a success with their target audience of guitar players on YouTube looking to repair or build a custom guitar. Aaron has seen a 13x return on ad spend and 130 percent increase in revenue from the video ad.

By running video ads on YouTube, you’ll reach potential customers when they watch or search for videos—and you’ll only pay when they engage with your video. With TrueView for action, our new direct response video ad format announced last week, you’ll be able to customize a call-to-action to drive the outcome that’s most important to your business, like leads or referrals.

Here’s how YouTube Director onsite works:

  1. Plan.Tell your filmmaker about your business—they’ll help you write a script and plan your video.

  2. Shoot.Your filmmaker will come to you to shoot your video. After, they'll edit the film and deliver the final cut in approximately 7-10 days.

  3. Advertise.A Google advertising expert will help you set up your video ad so you can reach the right customers for your business.

We’re passionate about making video advertising possible for every business and helping businesses like Warmoth Guitar Products reach more customers. Be one of the first to try YouTube Director onsite in your city by scheduling a shoot with your filmmaker today.
(image) Starting today, YouTube Director onsite is available in over 170 cities across the U.S. to help every business leverage YouTube's power and reach.

Introducing Google Play Instant, a faster way to try apps and gamesIntroducing Google Play Instant, a faster way to try apps and gamesProduct Manager, Google Play Instant

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 17:00:00 -0000

People all over the world come to Google Play to discover great games. In the last year, the number of Android users who installed a game has more than doubled. To help you discover new games or get to the ones you already love, we’ve redesigned our Google Play Games app. In the new “Arcade” tab, you can check out game video trailers or use tags like “New” or “Action” to find a particular type of game. We’ll also show you news and YouTube videos related to your favorite games to help you boost your skills and become a game master.


To make it even easier to dive right in and enjoy new apps and games on Android devices, we’re also introducing Google Play Instant. With Google Play Instant, you can just tap and try a game without having to download it first—whether you’re looking to storm a castle on Clash Royale or become a wordmaster with Words with Friends 2. Google Play Instant experiences will be available in the Google Play Store, the Google Play Games app, or wherever game links are shared. Today you can check out some of the titles from the Instant Gameplay collection. Love what you’re experiencing? Just tap the “Install now!” button to install the game.

To start, we’ll have a handful of games to play instantly on more than 1 billion Android devices worldwide. Check back later this year as more games become available to play right away.
(image) Introducing Google Play Instant, the newest, fastest way to try apps and games

Zendaya and help a community school bloomZendaya and help a community school

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 17:00:00 -0000

In 2015, Roses in Concrete Community School opened in East Oakland, California. With a name inspired by a book of poetry written by Tupac Shakur, the school aims to create a model for urban education that prioritizes the needs of youth and families in the community it serves. It’s founder, Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade, believes education is the way to help young people understand that they can transform not only their community, but the world. By creating the conditions for our youngest change-makers to flourish, this education model can be a pathway to building healthy and sustainable communities across the U.S.In the school’s first year, provided $750,000 to help launch its unique vision. And last Friday at Google’s San Francisco community space, teachers, students, artists, education advocates, Googlers and Oakland-native actress Zendaya celebrated the announcement of our additional $650,000 grant to help the school build a first-of-its-kind computer science (CS) curriculum, which will serve as a model for other schools across the U.S. The curriculum will be culturally and community relevant, building on Duncan-Andrade’s philosophy that education shouldn’t push students out of communities, but should instead help students transform them.Research shows that Black and Latino students are interested in learning CS, but are underrepresented in the field due to limited access to learning opportunities, coupled with the lack of relatable role models. Through this new program, Roses in Concrete helps students see the connection between CS and their communities, and hopes to equip them with the skills they need to solve real problems, starting in their own neighborhood.The purpose of education is not to escape poverty, but to end it. Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade Founder of Roses in Concrete Community SchoolDuring the evening’s events, Roses students shared dance, art, and poetry performances for the crowd, which included Zendaya, an avid supporter of the school. Growing up in Oakland as the daughter of two teachers, she has fond memories of spending time in the same classrooms that now make up the Roses in Concrete campus, and credits pretending to grade papers as some of her earliest acting experience. During a student-led interview, Zendaya shared her appreciation for organizations like this progressive community school that are thoughtfully closing equity divides in her hometown. She encouraged the students to “Always lead with your heart and chase the happiness that fuels you,” and reminded them that technology is one possible medium for them to express themselves and make a positive difference.Jeff Duncan AndradeRoses founder Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade shares his philosophy that education shouldn’t push students out of communities, but should instead help students transform themZendaya interviewActress and Oakland-native Zendaya was interviewed by a Roses student and his motherZendaya audienceZendaya joined teachers, students, artists and education advocates to celebrate the announcement of a $650,000 grant to help Roses build a first-of-its-kind computer science curriculumZendaya artworkStudent artwork adorned the walls of Google’s San Francisco community space, where last week’s event was heldRevelationsThe night concluded with a moving performance set to Alvin Ailey’s ‘Revelations’As a lab school, Roses in Concrete will share this new curriculum with national school leaders, policy makers and researchers. And alongside Roses, we can identify more ways to provide meaningful CS experiences to students of color, and by doing so, provide pathways for them to grow, thrive, and create change—in their own communities, and around the world.[...]

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Google Cloud Next '18—Registration now open!Google Cloud Next '18—Registration now open!VP of Marketing

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:00:00 -0000

Registration for Google Cloud Next ’18 isnow open—we hope you’ll join us July 24-26, 2018 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Each year at Next, we bring together a community of leaders, developers, and entrepreneurs to explore the ways we can build the future of the cloud, together. Join us to hear an inspiring line-up of industry innovators and Google executives including Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud.

Building on the energy of Next ‘17 with over 12,000 attendees, Next ‘18 will bring even more interesting keynotes, hundreds of hands-on learning opportunities, and 400 breakout and spotlight sessions on topics ranging from accessible machine learning to advances in security. We look forward to hearing from customers and partners building their businesses with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), G Suite, Maps and the latest technology across all of Google.

Space is limited, so we encourage you to secure your spot early and take advantage of the early-bird rate of $999, a savings of $500 off full-priced admission. You can learn more on the Next ’18 website.

We can’t wait to see you in July!

(image) Registration for Google Cloud Next ’18 is now open—we hope you’ll join us July 24-26, 2018 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

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Security in the cloudSecurity in the cloudSenior Vice President

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:00:00 -0000

Security is one of the biggest issues of our time. Countless companies and governments have lost data because of security incidents. And just one breach could cost millions in fines and lost business—and most importantly, lose customer trust.As a result, security is increasingly top of mind for CEOs and Boards of Directors. That’s why, this week, I’ll join Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene and many of our colleagues in New York, where we’ll meet with more than 100 CEOs to discuss security in the cloud.At its most basic level, security is a human issue. Whether performed by individuals or organizations, cybersecurity attacks are ultimately carried out by people, regardless of motive.Often these attacks rely on exploiting human nature, such as through phishing emails. And it’s people that they ultimately affect. By some accounts, 179 million personal records were exposed just in 2017 through data breaches.And as a human issue, security is something we can tackle together.Leveraging the cloud to protect against threatsCloud providers offer a vast army of experts to protect against threats—one far larger than almost any internal team a company could invest in. In fact, if businesses were to go it alone, there wouldn’t be enough security professionals in the world to adequately protect every single company and their users.In industries from financial services to healthcare to retail, companies are relying on the automation and scale offered by the cloud to protect their data and that of their customers—allowing their employees to focus on building their business. Many are coming to the same conclusion we have: In many cases, if you’re not moving to the cloud, you’re risking your business.Take the CPU vulnerabilities that were disclosed in January, for example. These were major discoveries; they rocked the tech industry. But for the most part, cloud customers could go about their business. Here at Google Cloud, we updated our infrastructure through Live Migration, which required no reboots, no customer downtime, and did not materially impact performance. In fact, we got calls from customers asking if we had updated our systems to protect against the vulnerabilities—because they experienced no impact.These won’t be the last security vulnerabilities to be uncovered; humans will never write perfect code. But the cloud makes it much easier to stay on top of them. The scale of the cloud security teams that find and mitigate emerging threats, the ability to update many systems at scale, and the automation to scan, update and protect users all contribute to cloud’s unique position to keep information and people secure.Security at Google CloudSecurity has been paramount to Google from the very beginning. (I would know!) We’ve been operating securely in the cloud for almost 20 years, and we have seven apps with more than a billion users that we protect from threats every single day, and GCP itself connects to more than a billion IPs every day. We believe that security empowers innovation—that if you put security first, everything else will follow.Security is in the details—and we pay attention at the most granular level. We were the first to introduce SSL email by default in 2010, we created the U2F security token standard in 2014, Chrome was the first browser to support post-quantum crypto in 2016, and in 2017 we introduced Titan, a purpose-built chip to establish hardware root of trust for both machines and peripherals on cloud infrastructure. These examples show the level of depth that we go into when thinking about security, and the role we take in pushing the industry forward to stay on top of evolving threats.In addition, Google’s Project Zero team hunts for vulnerabilities across the internet, and have been behind the discoveries of “Heartbleed” as well [...]

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Google Pay’s got your transit ticket, starting in Las VegasGoogle Pay’s got your transit ticket, starting in Las VegasGroup Product Manager, Google Pay

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:00:00 -0000

Crowded public transportation can completely derail your day—especially when you're standing in line to buy a ticket and the train whizzes by. But the next time you’re traveling around Las Vegas, you can skip the line and get there faster with Google Pay. Today, we’re launching mobile tickets for the Las Vegas Monorail, which is powered by NXP’s MIFARE contactless technology. Now you’ll be able to purchase your ticket online, save it to Google Pay instantly, and use your phone to ride—no need to open the app.


The Las Vegas Monorail is the first transit agency where you can use prepaid tickets or passes with Google Pay instead of a credit or debit card, and it's coming to more cities soon. Once you’ve saved your ticket, you’ll find info in the app to guide you along your journey—you can see recent transactions, trips, or the location of the nearest Monorail station.


Ready to give it a go? Make sure you have the latest version of Google Pay, then purchase a ticket on the Las Vegas Monorail site and save it to the app. If you bought your ticket on a mobile device, you’re ready to ride! Just hold your phone near the fare gate. Once you see a check mark, you’re good to go.

(image) Crowded public transportation can completely derail your day—especially when you're standing in line to buy a ticket and the train whizzes by. But the next time you’re traveling around Las Vegas, you can skip the line and get there faster with Google Pay.

Team Pixel is in bloom this springTeam Pixel is in bloom this springPixel Team

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 18:45:00 -0000

Our community of photographers is on the rise, and the #teampixel tribe is officially 35,000 members strong (and counting)! This week’s highlights range from colorful plum blossoms in Sakura, Japan to a confetti-filled wedding.teampixel_315_2.jpgLeft: @archibajda - Upside down in Kraków, Poland. Right: @tanyakhanijow - confetti party in portrait mode, Indiateampixel_315_4.gif@zuvamart - tea time in Hyperbad, Indiateampixel_315_.jpgLeft: @motivates - plum blossoms in Sakura, Japan. Right: @juicegee - Gardens by the Bay, Singaporeteampixel_315_3.jpg@peter.hudston - neon skies in Annapolis Royal, Nova ScotiaIf you’re looking for a daily dose of #teampixel photos, follow our feed on Instagram and keep spreading the loves and likes with fellow Pixel photographers.[...]Check out photos from our growing community of #teampixel photographers.

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The High Five: “A Brief History” of this week’s searchesThe High Five: “A Brief History” of this week’s searchesOn-air trends expert

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 18:45:00 -0000

Sifting through the week’s news can feel like sinking into a black hole. Luckily, we have some standout trends this week, gathered with data from Google News Lab. They start with a tribute to legendary physicist and black hole escape artist Stephen Hawking, who passed away Wednesday at age 76.

“Look up”
Stephen Hawking’s intelligence was a cut above the rest, in life and in Search: interest in “Stephen Hawking IQ” was 170 percent higher than “Stephen Hawking quote” over the past week. But of his many memorable quotes, here’s the most searched: “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

Turbulent times
“What happened on United Airlines?” was a trending question this week. The company faced scrutiny after a French bulldog—the second most searched dog breed this week—suffocated in an overhead compartment and a pet German Shepherd was accidentally shipped to Japan. For those searching for canine breeds this week, Rhodesian Ridgebacks were top dog.

A cue from teens
Search interest in “walkout” has reached an all-time high in the U.S. this month. On Wednesday, students around the country participated in a walkout to call on elected officials to take action on gun laws—the top cities searching for “walkout” were Charlottesville, VA, Fort Smith, AR, and Madison, WI.

It’s bracket season 
March Madness is in full swing, especially for North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky fans, whose teams have been the most searched in the past week. The top-searched celebrity brackets are from basketball commentator Jay Bilas, former President Barack Obama, and Warren Buffett. And the winner is anyone’s guess: Michigan State, favored by both Bilas and Obama, wasn’t among the top 10 teams being searched this week.

Go green
Saturday marks St. Patrick’s Day and, in true spirit, corned beef and cabbage is the top trending St. Patrick’s Day recipe this week, followed by … jello shots 🤔. If you’re feeling lucky, you might be among those searching for lucky horseshoes, lucky cats and lucky clovers (the top searched “lucky” items in the past week). And although New York has the biggest parade and Boston the biggest reputation, the top states searching for the holiday are Connecticut, Kansas, and Delaware. Illinois, where Chicagoans annually dye their river green, comes in at number four.

(image) Check out what’s trending on Google with a look at a few of the top searches from this week.

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OK Go makes some noise in the classroomOK Go makes some noise in the classroomLead singer and video director for OK Go

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 17:00:00 -0000

Editor’s Note: Many of us on Google’s Science Journal team are huge fans of OK Go, the popular rock and YouTube sensation. Their music videos are a spectacular blend of science, engineering, and creativity—a great formula for engaging classroom activities. So when professor AnnMarie Thomas approached us about the OK Go Sandbox, a collection of materials for K-12 educators, we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity. OK Go frontman Damian Kulash tells us more in this guest post.I’m always so proud and excited when I hear from a teacher who uses an OK Go music video in the classroom, and over the years, I’ve heard it more and more frequently—from pre-school teachers to grad school professors. We know our videos are joyful and nerdy (we’ve done a Rube Goldberg machine and a dance in zero gravity, for instance), but we didn’t plan them for the classroom environment. It’s a wonderful surprise to hear they’re sneaking in there on their own, and we want to support that in any way we can.Last year I met Dr. AnnMarie Thomas, who leads the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas. Together we brainstormed ways to open up our videos for classrooms, and we set up a survey to ask educators for their ideas. Within just a few days, nearly a thousand teachers sent us their thoughts, and, with support from Google, we took this feedback and together developed our new OK Go Sandbox. It’s a collection of materials created for and with K-12 educators: design challenges, educator guides, and more.Here’s Dr. AnnMarie Thomas and me meeting with teachers to go over OK Go Sandbox materials.It was especially cool to work with Google’s Science Journal team to develop tools that allow students to explore the world around them through music. Their new pitch detection feature makes it possible to make sounds using glasses of water (like we did in the Rube Goldberg machine for “This Too Shall Pass”, and in the musical performance of a robotic car for “Needing/Getting”), and there’s now an option to play data values as pitches which lets students use their phone’s sensors to compose new sounds and interpret their data in a new way.So whether we’re exploring frame rates by making flip books, or using a light sensor to make music (with Google’s Science Journal app), we hope that the challenges in the OK Go Sandbox help stoke curiosity and encourage learning through joy and wonder. And we particularly look forward to learning more from educators as this stuff gets into the world.Educators! Please reach out to us at hello@OKGoSandbox.orgwith your input and ideas so that we can grow and adapt this to be maximally useful in inspiring your students. The best part of a sandbox is that we can try building lots of new things, even if we occasionally have to knock some things down and start over.[...]Q&A with OK Go frontman Damian Kulash about the OK Go Sandbox, a collection of materials for K-12 educators.

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Keeping cloud entry points secure with Google Chrome EnterpriseKeeping cloud entry points secure with Google Chrome EnterpriseProduct Manager

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:00:00 -0000

When we introduced Chrome Enterprise last August, our aim was to provide a single solution that connected employees while giving admins the flexibility and control they needed to keep their businesses protected. Since then, security has only become more of a priority for enterprises. In fact, last year alone, 98% of businesses were affected by malware, and employee endpoints—like laptops, tablets, and smartphones—were increasingly the target of attacks.Enterprise IT admins know this all too well. With hardware, firmware, browsers, apps and networks to protect, admins now face more risks than ever, while managing more devices than ever. We built our Chrome Enterprise ecosystem with this complex landscape in mind, and today we’re adding new enhancements and partnerships as we continue to make Chrome Enterprise the most secure endpoint solution for businesses in the cloud.Here’s a look at how these updates can help protect businesses, and their data, at every cloud access point.Offering more ways for businesses to manage their devices from a single unified management solutionFor many businesses, managing a broad range of devices within one unified endpoint management solution is a necessity. Last year, we announced our first enterprise mobility management (EMM) partnership with VMware AirWatch, the first third-party solution with the capability to manage Chrome OS. Today, we’re expanding this with four new partnerships with EMM providers, which gives IT admins the ability to manage and implement security policies across their full fleet of devices from a single place.Cisco Meraki offers a comprehensive set of solutions that includes wireless, switching, security, endpoint management, and security cameras, all managed through Meraki’s web-based dashboard interface.Citrix XenMobile provides device and application management for comprehensive mobile security, and pairs well with other recent Citrix integrations.IBM MaaS360 with Watson delivers a cognitive approach to unified endpoint management, enabling the management of endpoints, end users and everything in between.ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus (a division of Zoho Corp) is a unified endpoint management console for configuring, managing and securing mobile devices, desktops and apps.With these partnerships in place, enterprises can pick the solution that fits their business best.Helping enterprises manage Chrome OS alongside legacy infrastructure with more Active Directory enhancementsBuilding on our initial integration with Active Directory last August, we’ve added a number of enhancements to help admins manage Chrome OS alongside legacy infrastructure. Administrators can now configure managed extensions directly through Group Policy Objects. Users can authenticate to Kerberos and NTLMv2 endpoints on their local network directly from Chrome OS. We’re also expanding our support for common enterprise Active Directory setups like multiple domain scenarios. And we’ve improved our existing certificate enrollment flows with Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS).Continuing to deepen and expand management capabilities in Chrome Browser and Chrome OSThe less time IT has to spend on mundane, manual tasks means more time to focus on business critical projects. That’s why Chrome Enterprise was designed to give IT admins the ability to grant, manage and adjust user permissions at scale, with fewer repetitive tasks. Chrome Enterprise already lets admins fine tune more than 200 security policies and grant secure, authorized employee access to online resources, and we’re continuing to add additional controls to help. In recent months, we’ve added the following controls to h[...]

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Android Wear, it’s time for a new nameAndroid Wear, it’s time for a new nameDirector of Product Management

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 15:45:00 -0000

Android Wear was founded on the belief that wearable technology should be for everyone, no matter what style you wear on your wrist or what phone you have in your pocket. Since then, we’ve partnered with top watch and electronics brands to create more than 50 watches to help you manage your fitness, connect with the people who matter most, and show you the information you care about. The best part: We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible with wearables and there’s even more exciting work ahead.

As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users. In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone. So as the watch industry gears up for another Baselworld next week, we’re announcing a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all—the people who wear our watches. We’re now Wear OS by Google, a wearables operating system for everyone. 


You’ll begin to see the new name on your watch and phone app over the next few weeks.

(image) Android Wear is now Wear OS by Google—a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and the people who wear our watches.

Introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigationIntroducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigationProduct Manager, Google Maps

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:00:00 -0000

Google Maps was built to help people navigate and explore the world, providing  directions, worldwide, to people traveling by car, bicycle or on foot. But in city centers, buses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs. Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn’t always readily available or easy to find. To make public transit work for everyone, today we’re introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs.Adam, Lucy, Omari and Meridyth shared their experience using public transportation.To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon. Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, you’ll find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type. When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration.  Starting today, this feature is rolling out in major metropolitan transit centers around the world, starting with London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney. We're looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps.In addition to making public transportation more accessible, people around the world have been helping us add accessibility information to Google Maps. Last September, Local Guides from around the world gathered at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions—like whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom—for more than 12 million places. Additionally, we’ve been busy capturing and updatingStreet View imagery of transit stations and city centers so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time.Tokyo Station We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you’re on crutches or pushing a stroller. With the help of transit agencies around the globe and people like you who contribute local knowledge, we’re making progress toward a more accessible world for everyone.[...]Today we’re adding “wheelchair accessible” routes to Google Maps transit - making getting around on public transportation a bit easier for those with mobility needs.

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Helping 1 million Europeans find a job or grow their business by 2020Helping 1 million Europeans find a job or grow their business by 2020President, Business & Operations

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:00:00 -0000

The world is undergoing a digital transformation, offering enormous opportunities for growth, innovation and jobs. However, digital skills and tools can still seem out of reach to many.That’s why we’re renewing our commitment to the EU Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, with a new pledge to help 1 million Europeans find a job or grow their business by 2020. This commitment goes beyond our previous pledge to help people develop digital skills to ensure that we support trainees as they put those skills to use in building careers and businesses.We’ve now trained 3 million Europeans, and more than 2 million people in Africa, in digital skills. This is our “Grow with Google” project, launched in 2015 and localized with expert partners in each country to maximize relevance and results. Our digital skills work, a reflection of the talents of people we have trained, was recognised by the European Commission in 2016 and2017.But does digital skills training really translate into economic impact and improved prospects for those people who invest their time?  To answer that question, we launched an independent research starting in 2016, and asked Grow with Google trainees about the impact they saw on their career or business 14 weeks after their training.The research shows that following Grow with Google training, so far over 190,000 Europeans have found a job or started a business—like Ildikó in Hungary, a mother of two who learned how to code and now manages her own business from home. More than half a million European businesses have grown their business through new customers or revenue, like Ntina from Greece, who during the recession opened up a hotel business which now welcomes people from all over the word. And 32,000 small and medium sized businesses have taken on more staff, such as Mark & Andersfrom Denmark who have grown from two to 30 people in the last year.Our new Grow with Google Impact Report gathers together stories of people such as Ildikó, Ntina, Mark and Anders who have found a job or grown their business. Going forward, we will work with our research Partner Ipsos to measure impact and we’ll publish quarterly updates showing how new skills can translate into opportunities for business owners and job seekers alike.Grow with Google aims to help everyone in Europe get access to training and products to grow their skills, career, or business, and we’ll continue to partner with governments, city councils, universities, private-sector businesses and nonprofits through the support of to achieve this. In Italy, Crescere in Digitale, a partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Chamber of Commerce, will activate 5,000 more internships for young unemployed people at SMBs by 2020, which can lead to full-time employment for people like Cristina at Lux Made-In, a traditional jewellery store. In Spain, we just launched a digital skills employment program with the Government and in Germany, we continue to work with Fraunhofer IAIS on their Open Roberta program, teaching young women how to code.Today anyone with a smartphone and an idea can be an entrepreneur, reach customers around the globe, can hire, grow and export. Technology is the toolkit for a world of opportunities—and Grow with Google is about helping everyone put those tools to work.[...]We’re renewing our commitment to the EU Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition with a new pledge to help 1 million Europeans find a job or grow their business by 2020.

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Pinkoi: Sharing love for local craft in a global marketplacePinkoi: Sharing love for local craft in a global marketplace

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 02:00:00 -0000

Pinkoi’s founders (from left to right): Mike Lee, Maibelle Lin and Peter Yen.Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with people across the Asia-Pacific who use the internet as a tool to connect, create and grow, we spoke with Peter Yen, the CEO of Pinkoi, Asia’s leading online marketplace for original design and art products. Peter founded Pinkoi seven years ago along with Mike Lee, Pinkoi’s Chief Technology Officer and Maibelle Lin, Pinkoi’s Chief Product Officer. From a staff of three, Pinkoi has grown to a business of 82 employees serving more than two million customers in 88 countries. The platform is now home to more than 50,000 artisans and designers.Why did you start Pinkoi?My wife loves craft fairs and vintage markets. That’s where I first connected with artisans and designers. They produce great original products, but are often unsure about how to promote them or connect with their customers. I also thought that the designer community lacked an online space to share their creative and business experiences.Some of the 50,000 designers and artisans on Pinkoi.How did you meet your two co-founders Mike and Maibelle?  It was the internet that brought us together. When I got the idea for Pinkoi, I researched developer blogs extensively and that is how I came across Mike. We chatted and exchanged ideas for the business on Gmail and Hangouts. We connected to Mai through a mutual friend who introduced us online.With the help of the internet, we gradually conceived and developed the idea for Pinkoi, although we did not live in the same place at the time. Although we are all tech geeks at heart, we also shared a common passion for design and helping the designer community. Our passion resulted in us becoming not just business partners, but also good friends!A few of the 980,000 items for sale on Pinkoi.What impact do you think the Internet has had on your business?The internet is the reason why a platform like Pinkoi can work. Pinkoi gives anyone in the world easy access to our designers’ quality products. We think beautiful design is a universal language and should be shared. It’s not just our business, but also the livelihoods of all our designers. With the Internet,  our designers have the opportunity of making a living while pursuing their passions. Most designers are hobbyists when they join Pinkoi, but quite a few become full-time entrepreneurs after receiving training from us. In particular, Google is like our oxygen and our business wouldn’t survive without it. Our online business relies on Google’s solutions. We use Google Analytics to understand performance across all acquisition channels and to gain insights into what people are searching for. We also have the ability to advertise to relevant segments of the population with Google Adwords. GSuite and Google Calendar are the backbone of our daily communications.What’s the best part about working with artists and designers from around the world on Pinkoi? It’s really empowering to know that you can have a positive impact on livelihoods and lives, even across borders. Our designers also pay that positive impact forward to their customers. Many of them have told us about online customers finding them at offline events to express their appreciation for products they bought on Pinkoi. Pinkoi isn’t just an online marketplace for transactions, it’s a platform to connect real people across the world.  Pinkoi_CEOPeter, CEO of Pinkoi: Early on my engineering career, my goal was to become a software architect. I didn’t think entrepreneurship wa[...]

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Open sourcing Resonance AudioOpen sourcing Resonance AudioProduct Manager

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 21:00:00 -0000

Spatial audio adds to your sense of presence when you’re in VR or AR, making it feel and sound, like you’re surrounded by a virtual or augmented world. And regardless of the display hardware you’re using, spatial audio makes it possible to hear sounds coming from all around you.Resonance Audio, our spatial audio SDK launched last year, enables developers to create more realistic VR and AR experiences on mobile and desktop. We’ve seen a number of exciting experiences emerge across a variety of platforms using our SDK. Recent examples include apps like Pixar’s Coco VR for Gear VR, Disney’s Star WarsTM: Jedi Challenges AR app for Android and iOS, and Runaway’s Flutter VR for Daydream, which all used Resonance Audio technology.To accelerate adoption of immersive audio technology and strengthen the developer community around it, we’re opening Resonance Audio to a community-driven development model. By creating an open source spatial audio project optimized for mobile and desktop computing, any platform or software development tool provider can easily integrate with Resonance Audio. More cross-platform and tooling support means more distribution opportunities for content creators, without the worry of investing in costly porting projects.What’s included in the open source projectAs part of our open source project, we’re providing a reference implementation of YouTube’s Ambisonic-based spatial audio decoder, compatible with the same Ambisonics format (Ambix ACN/SN3D) used by others in the industry. Using our reference implementation, developers can easily render Ambisonic content in their VR media and other applications, while benefiting from Ambisonics open source, royalty-free model. The project also includes encoding, sound field manipulation and decoding techniques, as well as head related transfer functions (HRTFs) that we’ve used to achieve rich spatial audio that scales across a wide spectrum of device types and platforms. Lastly, we’re making our entire library of highly optimized DSP classes and functions, open to all. This includes resamplers, convolvers, filters, delay lines and other DSP capabilities. Additionally, developers can now use Resonance Audio’s brand new Spectral Reverb, an efficient, high quality, constant complexity reverb effect, in their own projects.We’ve open sourced Resonance Audio as a standalone library and associated engine plugins, VST plugin, tutorials, and examples with the Apache 2.0 license. This means Resonance Audio is yours, so you’re free to use Resonance Audio in your projects, no matter where you work. And if you see something you’d like to improve, submit a GitHub pull request to be reviewed by the Resonance Audio project committers. While the engine plugins for Unity, Unreal, FMOD, and Wwise will remain open source, going forward they will be maintained by project committers from our partners, Unity, Epic, Firelight Technologies, and Audiokinetic, respectively.If you’re interested in learning more about Resonance Audio, check out the documentation on our developer site. If you want to get more involved, visit our GitHub to access the source code, build the project, download the latest release, or even start contributing. We’re looking forward to building the future of immersive audio with all of you.[...]Resonance Audio is transitioning to an open, community-driven development model.

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