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Now your photos look better than ever – even those dusty old prints

Category: Google | Nov 15, 2016

Photos from the past, meet scanner from the future

Google Photos is a home for all your photos and videos, but what about those old prints that are some of your most treasured memories? Such as photos of grandma when she was young, your childhood pet, and that hairstyle you wish you could forget.

We all have those old albums and boxes of photos, but we don’t take the time to digitize them because it’s just too hard to get it right. We don’t want to mail away our original copy, buying a scanner is costly and time consuming, and if you try to take a photo of a photo, you end up with crooked edges and glare.

We knew there had to be a better way, so we’re introducing PhotoScan, a brand new, standalone app from Google Photos that easily scans just about any photo, free, from anywhere. Get it today for Android and iOS.

PhotoScan gets you great looking digital copies in seconds – it detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and removes glare. Scanned photos can be saved in one tap to Google Photos to be organized, searchable, shared, and safely backed up at high quality—for free.  

See how the PhotoScan technology works behind the scenes by watching this video from our friends Nat & Lo.

Pro edits, no pro needed

After all that time in the attic, your photos might need a few polishes. Or you might even want to edit that selfie from this morning. Getting the right look can take a lot of time and with so many editing tools it’s tough to know where to begin.

Today we’re rolling out three easy ways to get great looking photos in Google Photos: a new and improved auto enhance, unique new looks, and advanced editing tools. Open a photo and then tap the pencil icon to start editing. First, for auto enhance, just select Auto, and see instant enhancements a pro editor might make – like balancing exposure and saturation to bring out the details.

Second, our 12 new looks take style to the next level. These unique looks make edits based on the individual photo and its brightness, darkness, warmth, or saturation, before applying the style. All looks use machine intelligence to complement the content of your photo, and choosing one is just a matter of taste. 


Third, our advanced editing controls for Light and Color allow you to fine tune your photos, including highlights, shadows, and warmth. Deep Blue is particularly good for images of sea and sky where the color blue is the focal point.


The Google Photos app with the new photo editor will begin rolling out today across Android, iOS and the web. Just in time for your next set of holiday memories.


Community college pathways to a four-year computer science degree

Category: Google | Nov 15, 2016

Editor’s note: This piece was authored in collaboration with our research partners, Shanna Jaggars, Research Affiliate, Community College Research Center and Louise Ann Lyon, Senior Research Associate, ETR

Our latest research shows that students who attend community colleges on the way to computer science (CS) bachelor’s degrees encounter many challenges and obstacles along the way. But there are many ways for community colleges and four-year colleges to work together and with industry to remove these obstacles and support students seeking to transfer into CS majors.

Today, we are releasing two complementary research reports that explore the pathways that community college students follow to a bachelor’s degree in CS. The reports also examine the experiences of these students and the opportunities that exist or that might be created to ensure their successful career advancement. Longitudinal Analysis of Community College Pathways to Computer Science Bachelor’s Degrees investigates the national landscape of CS students at community colleges in order to better understand student behaviors and institutional characteristics that support or hinder community college students’ efforts to attain a CS bachelor’s degree. The companion report, Student Perspectives of Community College Pathways to Computer Science Bachelor’s Degrees, takes a complimentary in-depth and qualitative look at the experiences of students from underrepresented groups at community colleges in California, a state that enrolls one quarter of all community college students in the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics by 2024 nearly 4.6 million high wage jobs will be in CS and related fields, yet there has not been enough graduates to meet demand. The shortage of CS bachelor’s degree earners is particularly severe among groups historically underrepresented in the field, where in 2013–2014, only 18% were awarded to women, 11% to Black students, and 9% to Hispanic students (National Center for Education Statistics). To address these gaps, the national spotlight has focused on the K-12 and university levels.

But unfortunately community colleges are often overlooked in efforts to increase diversity for the CS field despite the fact that these institutions serve large numbers of traditionally underrepresented students–45% of all U.S. undergraduates are educated at community colleges, including 57% of Hispanic and 52% of Black undergraduates (American Association of Community Colleges). That’s a large and diverse population.

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However, plenty of work still remains, as our research shows the community college pathway to a CS bachelor’s degree is not universally accessible. For those community college students that do go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in CS, we found that they were:

  • Focused and fortunate from the start. Of the the nearly 1.8 million students who entered higher education for the first time through a community college in the 2007–2008 academic year, 235,388 of them earned a bachelor’s degree by August 2014. Among the bachelor’s degree earners, 3,290 earned a CS bachelor’s degree. The CS bachelor’s degree earners didn’t change schools as much as their peers; and, many grew up near tech hubs and in high socioeconomic neighborhoods where their community college had strong transfer supports and their four-year college had strong programs for CS transfers.  

  • Male and transferred before earning a community college degree or certificate. Only 12% were female, compared with 50% of other STEM and 56% of non-STEM transfer bachelor’s degree earners. CS bachelor’s degree earners were also less likely than their peers to earn a community college associate degree or certificate.

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The potential for large and diverse populations to transfer and complete CS bachelor’s degrees is not being fully realized. Below are some of the key barriers that contribute to this phenomenon:

  • Lack of clear pathways are a major hurdle. The 3,290 CS bachelor’s degree earners in our dataset followed 1,213 distinct paths to graduation, and with insufficient information on pathways and requirements, many struggled to efficiently move through the prerequisite chain of classes in preparation for transfer.

  • Capacity constraints and strict requirements thwart progress. Limited capacity at both two- and four-year colleges, as well as strict requirements for CS majors that can’t be fulfilled at all community colleges limits progress for most students.

  • Students have limited knowledge about the application of CS. Community college students often have limited knowledge of “real world” CS settings and careers in CS, but are encouraged by “real world” exposure through projects, internships, and role models.  

In order to better support the diverse pool of community college students, including those who expressed an interest in CS and related fields or switched their major away from CS, we suggest the following strategies:

  • Develop program maps between two- and four-year colleges. Local two- and four-year institutions should work together to create CS-specific program maps with guidance on the courses that will transfer with guaranteed acceptance if requirements are met.

  • Provide institutional support and flexibility for community college students. Community colleges should provide students with academic and financial supports while also working with industry to redesign their CS programs to minimize required courses while offering programs that shorten remediation time.

  • Broaden knowledge of CS careers. Both community colleges and four-year colleges should proactively recruit students, especially female and minority transfer students, into CS by informing students of the salaries that can be earned, the number of job openings, and the variety of jobs that use CS skills.

To reach the diverse pool of students that community colleges already serve, universities and industry must work with community colleges to ensure the needs of community college students are met. Today’s reports illuminate opportunities to support collaboration efforts to increase successful participation in CS for all students, no matter where they start.


Thanksgiving turkey and traffic tips from Google Trends and Maps

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2016

Next week tens of millions of Americans will hit the road to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones near and far. So now’s the time to start planning your Thanksgiving celebration of food, family and football. From figuring out the best time to leave for grandma’s house to searching for the tastiest pumpkin pie recipe to wow your guests – Google’s your guide to a successful (and gluttonous) turkey day. Here’s a look at some of the top Thanksgiving searches on Google along with some handy holiday traffic tips and destination trends from Google Maps. For more, check out Google Trends.

Getting to the feast

To enjoy the Thanksgiving festivities, first you have to get where you’re going. We looked at historical Google Maps traffic data to help you hit the road and avoid Thanksgiving traffic gridlock. 


If you’re flying this Thanksgiving or just dropping off or picking up loved ones, get ready for the airport traffic. In cities with busy airports, airport traffic can be up to 60 percent worse than a normal workday. Here’s a cheat sheet on the best and worst traffic times around the top five busiest airports in the country.


Once you’re there, it’s all about the food (and drink)

Search interest in Thanksgiving-related terms has tripled since October, and within the next week, we expect it to more than double again. For a foodie holiday like Thanksgiving, we looked at the top trending recipes searches in the US and by state. If top searches are any indication of what you’ll find at your Thanksgiving dinner this year, get ready for roasted turkey with dressing, green bean casserole (love it or hate it), mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.




But there’s more to a meal than just the food. A great drink pairing can elevate any meal – a culinary secret that people using Google Maps know well. On the day before Thanksgiving, wine shops and liquor stores are the most queried  food and drink shopping locations on Google Maps.


Whether you’re hosting a friendsgiving, flying across the country, or just driving across town. Whether you’d rather bite into a pecan pie than a pumpkin pie. And whether you’re roasting a turkey, cooking a ham, or going meatless with a tofurkey. Happy Thanksgiving from Google.


Get practical ideas for innovating in schools at Education on Air, Dec 3rd

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2016

Editor’s Note: As part of the #ItTakesATeacher movement, we’re hosting a free, online conference on December 3 – Education on Air: It Takes a Teacher – to celebrate educators around the world and allow teachers to learn from each other. Register today.

At Education on Air: It Takes a Teacher, we’ll be celebrating educators and exploring the future of education and technology. Here’s a glimpse at the sessions we’ve lined up for December 3rd:

Keynotes from change makers and thought leaders around the globe

Tune in to hear a welcome from Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet and Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Lady of the United States. Learn the story of how Jahana Hayes became the 2016 US National Teacher of the Year, and get tips on how she keeps her students engaged.

You’ll hear from Julia Gillard, 27th Prime Minister of Australia and chair of the Global Partnership for Education, who will talk about the importance of teaching and change, and Linda-Darling Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and Stanford University Professor, will present research on the impact of technology in the classroom.

These are just some of the amazing speakers. You can check out the full schedule here.

Breakout sessions, led by educators for educators

Regardless of the age of the students you teach, you’ll learn practical tips and tricks from other educators that you can apply right away. Here are just a few of the over 100 sessions for educators:

  • “Fantastic feedback tools for Google Docs” led by Eric Curts, Technology Integration Specialist at SPARCC

  • “Meeting the needs of 21st Century learners – Google Classroom, Learner Agency and Universal Design for Learning” led by Claire Hobson,Deputy Principal, Hobsonville Point Secondary School

  • “Explore your world with Expeditions” led by Jennifer Holland, Google for Education program manager

  • “A chromebook for every student at Wheatley Park School” led by Chris Bateman, Head of Technology & Enterprise at Wheatley Park School

Get PD credit

After the event, you can fill out a form to receive a certificate that verifies your attendance at Education on Air, which you can use to apply for PD credit in your state or region.

We hope these sessions get you excited for Education on Air. Even if you can’t make the whole conference, register now and we’ll let you know when the recordings are available.


Introducing the new Google Play Music

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2016

Whether reminding you to leave to catch your flight, helping you find pictures of your daughter’s recital, or suggesting the right Smart Reply, Google builds tools that help you make the world of information more accessible and useful. And at Google Play Music, we strive for the same.

Building on our commitment to help you find the right music for any moment, today we’re introducing the new Google Play Music — a fresh take on our music streaming service that is smarter, easier to use, and much more assistive.

To deliver that, Google Play Music uses machine learning to figure out what music you like and then mixes in signals like location, activity, and the weather along with hand-picked playlists to personalize music for wherever you are and whenever you want tunes. Starting this week on Android, iOS and the web, the new experience will roll out globally (62 countries, to be precise).


To provide even richer music recommendations based on Google’s understanding of your world, we’ve plugged into the contextual tools that power Google products. When you opt in, we’ll deliver personalized music based on where you are and why you are listening — relaxing at home, powering through at work, commuting, flying, exploring new cities, heading out on the town, and everything in between. Your workout music is front and center as you walk into the gym, a sunset soundtrack appears just as the sky goes pink, and tunes for focusing turn up at the library.

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The new Google Play Music has a brand new home screen built just for you. Think of it as the ultimate personal DJ—one who listens not only to what you like, but also when you like it, so the music that you care about now is always at the top of your screen. Maybe that’s your favorite new release on Friday, the dance party playlist you listen to after work, or more music from a new artist you’ve just fallen in love with. Regardless, it will be there waiting for you to press play. Powered by Google’s machine learning systems and honed by our team of expert music curators, your experience will keep evolving (and improving) as we get to know you better.


No connection? Lost in the desert? No problem. Well…except for the lost part (try Google Maps for that). When you subscribe, you’ll always be prepped with an offline playlist based on what you’ve listened to recently. As long as you remember to charge your phone, you’ll have your favorite tunes, even if you forgot to download them ahead of time.

From parks to airports to bars, whether you’re walking, biking, or driving, the right music makes any moment better. With the new Google Play Music, we’re here to help with the perfect soundtrack for the things you do every day. After all, the only thing better than finding the perfect music is the perfect music finding you.


#transvoices: Celebrating transgender changemakers

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2016

Here’s a Google hot-tip: if the quiz night question starts: “In what year did…”? The answer is probably 2016. For the transgender community 2016 was the year that trans storylines broke into mainstream US cinema and TV, and Jeffrey Tambor celebrated his Emmy by hoping that it would be the last time a trans-female role was played by a non-trans actor. 2016 saw the first transgender person to address a major party convention, and another take a staff role in the White House. The trans movement has come a long way on the back of tireless individuals making the case for trans-equality and visibility. That activism has been reflected in the response of people around the world, who have chosen to tune in and pay attention.

However, we are also reminded of the many struggles that continue for the transgender community. 2016 is also the most deadly year on record for transgender people with 23 reported murders in the USA and counting. This year also saw non-transgender legislators begin to pass laws about where transgender people can use a bathroom.

At the start of Transgender Awareness Week, we both celebrate the progress that has been made and reflect on the important work that must continue. To help share stories of transgender people as regular people, doing regular things, while also shining a light on the extraordinary daily challenges that community still faces we created #transvoices. This is a series of short films showcasing three remarkable individuals: Mara Kiesling, Evan Young and Jasmine Morrell, who are all using technology to support their communities, build their businesses, and help improve the lives of trans people.

#transvoices: Transgender American Veterans Association

Click to see Jasmine’s and Mara’s stories

There are many trans-people that work at Google as well. 2016 saw the first internal trans-conference in New York and trans-Googlers and their allies even created a Trans@Google education program for non-trans employees. As a transitioning Googler people tell me I’m brave, but really I am very lucky to be  surrounded by supportive colleagues in an organization committed to creating a workplace where you can bring your whole self to work – even when you’re learning who that self is.

In making our films we wanted to give the stories an authentic voice so #transvoices has a trans Director and Consulting Producer in Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker, who are well known for their trailblazing work on the set of Transparent. Many of the crew who worked behind-the-scenes in making the films for #transvoices identify as transgender.

We also skipped the normal focus on transition. Transitioning is a crazy, difficult period in any trans person’s life, but just like you, trans people would far rather be remembered for their work, for the families they nurture, and the businesses that they build. In #transvoices we showcase three of those (unusually awesome) everyday lives.

Nov 14-20 is Transgender Awareness Week. Please take a moment to watch, or to find out more about trans lives. We hope that Mara, Evan and Jasmine’s #transvoices stories can inspire you and yours, as much as they inspire us, and we are really proud that Google’s products have been able to play some part in helping them on their journey.


Honoring Veterans Day with Google Expeditions

Category: Google | Nov 11, 2016

Editor’s Note: Google Expeditions has a number of lessons to help students learn about our military history this Veterans Day. Students can experience the history of World War I, World War II, and the Civil War, understand the key events that shaped those moments, and visit the memorials that commemorate them. Other Expeditions, such as the Artifacts of the Tuskegee Airmen and Pearl Harbor, let students explore planes, submarines, and ships from these historical periods. In addition to these Expeditions, Google Arts & Culture has a dedicated online collection of artifacts, archives, locations and dozens of stories related to World War II, including an online exhibition, Veterans Day: Reflections on Service, where students can hear stories from our veterans.

My days as a history instructor at the United States Military Academy are filled with reflections on military history. Having spent 12 years in the United States Army, I find that the lessons we teach can be deeply personal for me.

Each year in my History of Military Arts course, the students spend time learning about the history of the Civil War. The cadets work through a writing exercise that follows a brigade through a Civil War battle using primary sources. This year, to culminate the project, I incorporated Google Expeditions into the lesson. With Expeditions, the cadets were able to visit key locations in the Battle of Antietam and immerse themselves in the physical locale, all while learning key facts about the event. Reading accounts of a battle is always powerful, but showing my students the battlefield helped to paint a richer picture of this important piece of history. The cadets gained an understanding of the role of terrain in the battle that isn’t possible from written sources alone. Seeing historical images of the battlefield in the immediate aftermath of the battle, side-by-side within the current-day, 360-degree panorama, was especially powerful.

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I remember the emotional impact of visiting Arlington National Cemetery on a past Veterans Day. Visiting the graves of over 400,000 active duty service members, veterans, and their families on a day of remembrance brought out a profound feeling of connection. It made me realize how powerful these hallowed places are for our cultural heritage. This year, with the help of Google Expeditions, students learning about our history and honoring those who have served will also be able to experience the poignancy of battlefields and landmarks memorializing those who sacrificed so much for our country.


It takes a teacher to bring the real world into the classroom

Category: Google | Nov 10, 2016

Editor’s Note: At Education on Air, Google’s free online conference December 3, we’ll be celebrating educators and exploring the future of education and technology. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing stories and tips from some of the speakers. Register today.

Ben Thomas, a learning and digital pedagogy coordinator at Xavier High School in Albury, New South Wales, Australia, talks about his mortgage payments, tax returns, and mobile phone plans when he teaches math class. No, he’s not oversharing – he’s using his finances to explain money and economic concepts in a way that resonates with students and encourages them to take part in the conversation. We spoke to Ben to learn more about his philosophy on getting students excited about connections between what they learn, and the real world.

It takes a teacher to create a classroom that students want to be in

Ben teaches math, information technology and software design to students in grades 7-12 at the Catholic high school. With a deep desire to help young people reach their potential, teaching has always been his calling. “I considered becoming an engineer, but the thought of sitting in an office all day didn’t appeal to me,” says Ben. “Now I get to engage with students every day.”

In every lesson, Ben’s goal is to create relatable moments with students. He offers personal stories to explain concepts better than traditional lessons would. To illustrate how interest rates work, he tells students about his own mortgage and how paying it down faster helps his family save money. He’ll also tell them about the value of taking deductions on a tax return, and why it’s smart financial planning to track expenses that can become tax writeoffs.

“It’s about making your classroom a place they want to be,” Ben says.“You can see the level of engagement increase when we talk about real-world stories.” In a recent lesson, he asked each student to find out if their mobile phone plan was a good deal. By encouraging the class to compare phone plans and calculate how much data they used, Ben sparked a discussion about saving money and being smart consumers.

It takes a teacher to share stories that illuminate lessons

When building a lesson around a real-life story, Ben looks for a moment that tells him the students want to hear more. “Maybe when you start, you have a few students looking out the window, or some of them working on assignments for their next class,” Ben says. “But when you discuss a shared experience that they can relate to, all eyes are on you – and the students become the ones asking questions.”

Since Xavier is a 1:1 school, Ben also uses Chromebooks to get students to work together on projects and share their insights. He’s a fan of “app smashing,” or pulling together several apps and tools so students can create work that’s shareable and rich with insights. For example, he’ll ask students to use Google Slides paired with, an app for taking notes on the same screen as watching videos, to create presentations based on their shared research.

The activity involves having students create a presentation, then using a screen recording extension, such as SnagIt or Screencastify, to record them giving their presentation. Students can leave their classmates feedback on the presentation using


It takes a teacher to spark student reflection

Much of what Ben tries to achieve with his students is reflection – that is, the ability to think about what they’re learning and consider how it impacts their lives. In mid-October, Ben, a teaching colleague, and a small group of students traveled on a week-long “immersion experience” to Barmah, Victoria where, in the 1930s, indigenous people, forced onto a reserve with poor living conditions, staged a walkout. The experience is designed to connect students to present-day indigenous people to hear about their history first-hand.

The trip, says Ben, is a perfect example of teaching that’s based on storytelling. Afterwards, one student described the lesson as “making sure that the wrongs of the past don’t happen again.” That’s the kind of reaction, Ben says, that tells teachers they’re doing a great job.

To connect with and learn from teachers like Ben, join us for Education on Air on December 3rd.

We invite you to join this movement by sharing what teachers mean to you with #ItTakesATeacher and seeing your own and others’ stories re-shared at


From the Runway to the Pixel: The Jeremy Scott Live Case

Category: Google | Nov 10, 2016

Today, we’re excited to announce that celebrated American fashion designer Jeremy Scott has teamed up with Google to create a line of limited edition Jeremy Scott Live Cases for our new Pixel phones.

Phones and cases have become an extension of our personal style. Scott, the creative mind behind fashion labels like Moschino and his own collection, has brought his distinctive vision to this new line, turning your Pixel into the ultimate accessory. And we didn’t stop there. Why not add a bit more style to the other ways you express yourself?

Jeremy Scott Live Case by Google — Game Over

Introducing the Jeremy Scott Live Case

It’s no secret that we Heart - Android 7.1.png emojis. Scott does too, but always felt like a few were missing. So together, we worked to create and bring his emojis to Pixel through a new customized Live Case and its companion live wallpapers.


Designs to make your own

Scott created nine different canvases for Live Case that feature his cast of emoji characters. Fans can make the case their own by zooming and rotating the designs, creating the perfect layout for their phone case.

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The GIFs that keep on giving

Each Jeremy Scott Live Case comes with a companion wallpaper that updates daily with new characters. And with a shake of your Pixel, the characters come to life.

Lastly, to liven up your conversations in Allo, Messenger, or Hangouts, the Jeremy Scott Live Case comes with its own GIF keyboard that features the full line-up of 24 characters. Best friend scores free tickets to tonight’s concert? Nothing says “that’s amazing” like a GIF of a rabbit pulling itself out of a top hat.


See the emojis #IRL

To celebrate the collaboration, we created real-life versions of Scott’s emojis that are currently popping up around the country. If you see one, snap a photo and use the hashtag #JeremyScottxGoogle. You never know where they might show up next.


Exclusively on the Google Store

To make your Jeremy Scott Live Case now, head to the Google Store. Available in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Germany, for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X phones.


Experience Daydream today

Category: Google | Nov 10, 2016

From seeing a dinosaur come back to life, to traveling to the farthest reaches of Pluto, to saving a runaway goat from dangerous traps, Daydream brings you on immersive virtual reality adventures powered by a smartphone. And now you can experience it all with Daydream View, a VR headset and controller made by Google available in stores today:

Fresh featured content front and center

The Daydream app, available on any Daydream-ready phone starting with Pixel and Pixel XL, lets you launch your favorite VR experiences and browse from an ever-growing collection of apps, games and videos. Plus, the app brings new featured content front and center so there’s always something fresh when you put on your headset.

Daydream Home

Enjoy the best of Google in VR

With Daydream, you can experience some of the most popular Google apps like Google Photos and Google Play Movies in virtual reality. Visit 150 of the world’s most amazing places like the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal with Google Street View. And with YouTube VR, you can watch the entire library of YouTube videos on a virtual big screen and experience hundreds of thousands of immersive videos from top creators.

YouTube VR

Google Photos VR



And we’re also bringing Google Arts & Culture to Daydream. Step inside a virtual gallery and view masterpieces from over 50 world-renowned museums. Whether it’s Vincent van Gogh’s landscapes from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rembrandt’s works from the J. Paul Getty Museum, or a collection of the Most Beautiful Cats from RMN-Grand Palais, you can zoom in to see brushstroke-level details. The app is launching today as a Preview Edition with more enhancements to come in future updates.




Explore, watch and play

In addition to Google apps, there are many other experiences available on Daydream. Explore new worlds, kick back in your personal VR cinema and get in the game with an intuitive controller that puts you at the center of action.






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Demo the magic in thousands of locations

Head over to one of thousands of retail locations to demo Daydream View. The demo includes an exclusive Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them experience where you can wave a wand (a la the Daydream controller) to explore the magic in virtual reality.


Our goal with Daydream is to bring high quality, mobile VR to everyone. And this is just the beginning. There will be even more apps and games coming to Daydream in the next few weeks and even more Daydream-ready phones available over the next few months.