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Providing more comprehensive results to your questions in Search

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

Many of us come to Search with questions about intricate topics. When we ask about “heat from the center of the earth,” for example, we could be asking about what causes it or how hot it is. And if we ask about “ears popping on a plane,” we might be looking for the cause or for remedies. To provide more actionable results to nuanced queries like these, today we’re starting to roll out multifaceted featured snippets.

Sometimes the words we use to ask a question are broad and there could be several different interpretations of the question. With multifaceted featured snippets, we’re able to better understand your query and recognize when there could be multiple interpretations of that query. In the example below with the query “garden needs full sun?” we’re able to recognize that it could be interpreted as “what garden plants need full sun?” or “what counts as full sun?” and offer featured snippets for both.

Multifaceted featured snippet

There are several types of nuanced queries where showing more comprehensive results could be helpful. We’re starting first with “multi-intent” queries, which are queries that have several potential intentions or purposes associated. The query “tooth pain after a filling,” for example, could be interpreted as “why does my tooth still hurt after a filling?” or “how long should a tooth hurt after a filling?”

As we shared before, we aim to expand multifaceted featured snippets to cover a broader set of nuanced queries beyond just “multi-intent” queries. For example, guidance-seeking queries like “is it worth fixing my foundation?” have several components that could be important, such as cost, duration, methods and financing. We’ll continue to experiment with multifaceted featured snippets over this year to expand coverage.  

With any new feature we introduce in Search, we work to ensure that we’re providing a helpful experience. In addition to extensive testing to determine whether a change has a positive effect on search quality, we also take into account feedback from you. If you see a result that you have feedback on, we encourage you to submit your thoughts through the feedback link on the search results page.


Applications for Round 5 of DNI Innovation Fund are now open

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

Since its introduction in 2015, the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund has offered more than €90 million to more than 460 ambitious projects in digital journalism, across 29 countries. The fund, our €150 million commitment to supporting innovation in the European news industry, is designed to provide no-strings-attached funding to those in the news industry looking for some room—and budget—to experiment. Today the DNI Innovation Fund is open for a fifth round of applications—the deadline to apply is April 9, 2018.

How the Fund works

The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news startups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries. There are three categories of funding available: Prototype (up to €50k of funding), Medium (up to €300k of funding) and Large (between €300k and €1 million in funding). For more information on eligible projects, criteria and funding, see our website.

We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism, support the development of new business models, or even change the way people consume digital news. Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the long-term sustainability of the news business.

New for Round 5: Diversifying revenue streams

As with Round 4, all Medium and Large track applications will need to demonstrate that they have a monetisation component within the idea to be eligible. This year, we’re also looking for ideas outside of the well-known approaches around paywalls. So in Round 5 we welcome a range of experimental and innovative approaches which diversify revenue streams.

Apply now

See the DNI Innovation Fund website for full details and and application forms. Applications must be made in English by April 9, 2018 at 23.59 CEST. We’ll announce recipients by mid July.

New approaches have never been more needed so it’s time to experiment, innovate and try something new. We’re ready and waiting to help you bring your ideas to reality—submit your applications now!


New research: How to evolve your security for the cloud

Category: Google | Feb 27, 2018

This week, McKinsey released a report titled “Making a secure transition to the public cloud,” the result of interviews with IT security experts at nearly 100 enterprises around the world. Leveraging the expertise of Google Cloud and McKinsey security experts, the research presents a strategic framework for IT security in cloud and hybrid environments, and provides recommendations on how to migrate to the cloud while keeping security top of mind.

The research shows what many already know: that public cloud adoption is accelerating thanks to increased technical flexibility, simpler scaling, and lower operating costs. What’s exciting is that the research also reveals that many Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) no longer view security as an inhibitor to adoption but instead an opportunity—“In many cases [CISOs] acknowledge that cloud service providers’ security resources dwarf their own,” the authors write—and now these companies are focused on how to best adopt and configure cloud services for increased security.

When implemented properly, public-cloud adoption can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for IT security.

This requires enterprises, cloud providers, and third-party service providers to work together collaboratively and transparently within a shared security model. Google Cloud has long believed in creating trust through transparency, previously releasing a detailed overview of our infrastructure security, explaining our shared responsibility model, and how we already protect our users and customers at the lower layers of the stack—and we’re thrilled to see McKinsey’s detailed endorsement of the same approach.

Common security approaches, and their tradeoffs.

Every company has different IT needs, but the report found two common security decisions companies take when adopting cloud services: (1) defining the perimeter, and (2) deciding whether to re-architect applications for greater manageability, performance, and security in the cloud (interestingly, only 27% of companies surveyed actually do this—change is hard).

The research identifies three common archetypes for perimeter security: backhauling, cleansheeting, and adopting cloud provider controls by default.

  • Backhauling allows companies to continue managing IT security on-prem, with an external gateway connecting the data center to the public cloud. Approximately half of the companies surveyed currently use this model, but only 11% plan to continue doing so, since it can keep companies from realizing certain cloud benefits, such as agility.

  • Cleansheeting requires greater investment and expertise, as it calls for redesigning IT security around a “virtual perimeter” and leveraging multiple cloud-native tools and services.

  • Using cloud provider controls is the most cost-effective solution, but—depending on the cloud provider—can limit autonomy and may offer limited capabilities.

McKinsey uses these three models, along with the decision to re-architect applications for the cloud, to identify six “archetypes” for cloud security. Each archetype has its own tradeoffs:


There isn’t a “right answer” for security when making a move to the cloud—it depends on your company’s expertise, flexibility, and cost decisions.

And, you don’t have to use only one archetype. For example, Evernote describes in their migration story to Google Cloud Platform:

“For most of our controls we found an equivalent, cloud platform version. For data encryption at rest, we gained a security control that we hadn’t engineered on our own. For some controls, like IP whitelisting, we had to adapt our security architecture to not rely on traditional network controls.”

— Rich Tener, Director of Security, Evernote

The economics of cloud security.

Relying on cloud service provider security controls is “the most cost-effective approach,” the authors write. “As organizations move more and more applications to the public cloud and lean towards using native CSP controls, a decrease in security operating and capex costs is likely.” Eighty percent of companies that choose to rely primarily on the cloud provider’s controls and re-architect their applications in parallel see cost savings.


So, if you’re planning a cloud migration, where should you focus your security efforts? McKinsey asked respondents about their approach to applying cloud security controls in several areas to find out what companies are doing:

  • Identity & access management (IAM): 60% of enterprises are using on-premises IAM solutions; in just three years respondents expect that number to be cut in half. At Google, we provide a tool called Google Cloud Directory Sync, which helps users bring existing identities to Google Cloud and manage cloud permissions natively with IAM.

  • Encryption: The majority of respondents encrypt data both at rest and in transit—and even more (upwards of 80% in both categories) will do so three years from now. Google Cloud already encrypts data at rest by default, and in transit when it crosses a physical boundary.

  • Perimeter security: Today, 40% of enterprises are backhauling data traffic and using existing on-premises network security controls—but that will decrease, with only 13% expecting to be using the same approach in 3 years. To help enterprises make the move to cloud-based perimeter control, Google Cloud lets users connect to their on-premises environment using Dedicated Interconnect, an IPsec VPN tunnel, direct peering or carrier peering. Google Cloud users can also control their perimeter with a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

  • Application security: 65% of respondents define security configuration standards for cloud-based applications, but less than 20% are using tools or template-based enforcement. To address this, Google Cloud offers Cloud Security Scanner, an automated way to scan apps for common vulnerabilities.

  • Operational monitoring: 64% of respondents use existing SIEM tools to monitor cloud applications rather than creating a new set for the cloud. Google Cloud users can export logs from Stackdriver to the SIEM of their choice.

  • Server-side endpoints: 51% of respondents have a high level of confidence in their cloud service provider’s approach to server-side endpoint security. Google Cloud customers can use a variety of partner tools for endpoint security.

  • User endpoints: 70% of respondents believe that public-cloud adoption will require changes to user endpoints. Google created the BeyondCorp enterprise security model to allow its employees to work from anywhere, and our customers can do the same with Identity Aware Proxy. In addition, Chromebooks provide automatic software updates, and run applications in a restricted sandbox.

  • Regulatory governance: When adopting public cloud, companies must navigate governance and compliance requirements, with data location and financial regulations topping respondents’ list of concerns. Google Cloud has a broad spectrum of compliance, including PCI, SOX, and HIPAA.

The report also includes a tactical 10-step plan for successful cloud migration. To learn more, download the full report.


Capture more of your favorite moments with Google Clips

Category: Google | Feb 27, 2018

Many of our favorite photos are very hard to get: they’re the candid, natural moments that happen in between the posed photos, like the fleeting yet adorable looks our pets or kids give us. Last October we shared that we’ve been working on Google Clips, a lightweight, hands-free camera that uses on-device machine learning to help you capture beautiful and spontaneous moments of family, friends, pets, and yourself. Simply turn the camera on and it will capture and edit clips of these moments, while letting you join in as well.

Starting today, Clips is available in the U.S. for $249 from the Google Store, Best Buy, B&H and Verizon.

Clips collage v2

Clips isn’t designed to replace your smartphone camera or your DSLR. It’s a new type of camera that captures the moments that happen in between posed pictures by using on-device machine learning to look for great facial expressions from the people—and pets—in your life. It turns these into short clips without you having to use video editing software. Clips comes with a companion app on Android or iOS that lets you share your content with friends or other apps. You can also pick any frame from these clips to save as a high-resolution still photo.

Designed for privacy and control

From day one working on Clips, we knew privacy and control were extremely important, and we’ve been careful to design and engineer Clips to uphold those principles:

  • It looks like a camera and has an indicator light, so everyone around knows what it does and when it’s on. It also works best when it’s less than 10 feet away from what it’s capturing so you can see where it is in the room.
  • It doesn’t need a data connection to function, nor does it require an account. We miniaturized machine learning models to run locally on the device.
  • Just like a traditional point-and-shoot camera, none of your clips leave your device until you decide to save or share them. If you decide to save clips to Google Photos, then clips will be backed up to your Google Account if you have Backup and Sync turned on in the Google Photos app.

Tips for using Clips

We think you’ll find that the camera is one part familiar to the point-and-shoot you’ve used in past, and one part brand new. Here are a few pointers on how it works:

  • Clips looks for stable, clear shots of people and then looks for good facial expressions, such as joy. We also trained it to recognize dogs and cats, and it prefers when there’s some motion in the scene. Once the lens is twisted clockwise, it’ll turn on and start capturing.

  • People and pets look best when they’re three to eight feet away from the camera—think playroom, not soccer field.

  • The Clipstand that comes with the Clips device makes it easy to set down, hold, or clip the camera to things like a chair or vase to get unique vantage points. There’s also a feature called Live Preview in the Clips app to provide a clear view of the action as it happens.

  • Clips comes with a shutter button on the device (and in the app) which lets you capture something specific. Clips understands faces, smiles, dogs and cats, but doesn’t know a surfboard from a ski slope (there’s a great phone for those pictures!). For those times you want to capture a photo manually, you can use the button on the front of the device or in the Clips app.

  • Over time, Clips will learn who you want to photograph frequently. You can also give it a head start by letting it learn from photos downloaded from your Google Photos library, or by taking a portrait using the shutter button.

  • Use the Clips app to view, save, delete and share your clips, and to choose any frame to save as a high-resolution still or motion photo. If you use Google Photos, finding your clips and stringing them into beautiful movies is a snap. And Pixel users get unlimited backup.

Since Clips has machine learning at its core, it will keep getting better over time. We’re excited to help you capture more of the moments you love with Clips.


In case you missed it: Android announcements at Mobile World Congress

Category: Google | Feb 27, 2018

Android’s mission, from day one, has been to bring the power of computing to everyone. We’re proud that the platform has made mobile technology accessible and useful to billions of people over the last 10 years. While we continue to celebrate Android’s open platform, we’ve been working closely with our partners to bring a consistent hardware and software experience that meets the expectations of users all around the world.

This week at Mobile World Congress, a new generation of smartphones were announced through our two programs: Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One.

Here’s a recap of all the announcements, straight from Barcelona:

Android Oreo (Go edition)

Android Oreo (Go edition) offers a fast and smooth experience optimized for devices with 1GB of memory or less, while still making sure you have a high-quality experience with the current version of Android and Google Play Protect. Thanks to optimizations to the platform and apps, Android (Go edition) provides double the storage available for use out of the box. At Mobile World Congress, we welcomed some of the first global smartphones to run Android Oreo (Go edition):

  • Alcatel introduced its first Android Oreo (Go edition) phone with the Alcatel 1X, featuring the latest Alcatel smartphone design language and technology.
  • General Mobile announced the “GM 8 Go,” its first product with Android Oreo (Go edition), as part of the company’s plan to bring computing to more people in Turkey and around the world. 
  • HMD Global announced the Nokia 1, a high quality Android Oreo (Go edition) device that delivers smartphone essentials with the reassuring quality users expect of a Nokia phone in a refreshingly familiar design to fans around the world. 
  • Huawei has also committed significant resources to supporting Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphones and will be bringing a device to all major emerging markets in the near future. 
  • LAVA International Limited introduced the LAVA Z50, which will soon be available at over 100,000 retail stores in India.
  • Micromax Informatics gave a first glimpse of BHARAT GO, its first Android Oreo (Go Edition) smartphone, with the goal to convert millions of feature phone users onto these smartphones.
  • TRANSSION announced it will release Android Oreo (Go edition) phones across its brands, TECNO, itel and Spice, which will cater to a wide range of consumer groups across a diverse set of international markets, particularly Africa.
  • ZTE featured the ZTE Tempo Go, an unlocked smartphone running Android Oreo (Go edition), that looks to provide an optimized and powerful entry level smartphone experience.

Android One

Following the 2017 launches from HTC, Kyocera, Motorola, Sharp, and Xiaomi, we added several new devices to our global Android One portfolio. Each of these devices pairs high quality hardware from our OEM partners with a software experience designed by Google to deliver an experience that is smart, secure, and simply amazing.

To kick off the show in Barcelona, HMD Global unveiled the new Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco, a range of new premium and mid-tier Android One devices. With the latest Google innovations out of the box and two years of OS upgrades, these devices will deliver an easy to use experience that gets better over time. With Google Play Protect and three years of regular security updates, these will be among the most secure devices available.

Android One Nokia Phones (6, 7 plus, 8 Sirocco).png
Nokia’s Android One line up: the Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 8 Sirocco

In addition, BQ recently previewed two Android One devices, the Aquaris X2 Pro and Aquaris X2, both committed to security and a great Android experience. General Mobile also unveiled their fifth Android One device, the GM8, which will be available in the coming months.

In the decade since the launch of Android, we have achieved amazing things due to the open nature of the platform and the vibrant ecosystem of partners. Looking ahead to the next 10 years, we’re committed to strengthening our partnerships to foster innovation, and bringing consistent and high-quality experiences to everyone.

We would also like to congratulate our existing partners on launching their latest flagship phones, including Samsung Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, at Mobile World Congress. Together with the new partners of Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One, Android will continue to offer great choice and diversity of devices that meet the needs of our users.


Bringing online safety education programs to UK schools

Category: Google | Feb 26, 2018

At Google, we believe in technology’s ability to unlock creativity and create opportunity, but it’s our duty to equip our users with the tools and resources to make safe choices online. 

Last year, we surveyed more than 200 teachers in the UK to learn about their experience with online safety in the classroom. We found that teachers believe children should start learning about online safety at age seven, and 99% of the teachers we spoke to felt that online safety should be part of the curriculum. More than one in three teachers also reported that they’d witnessed an online safety incident (sharing personal information or cyberbullying, for example) in their classroom.

Global teachers survey_infographic.jpg

However, the majority of the teachers we spoke to said they didn’t feel they had the necessary resources to teach online safety to their students.

To help teachers empower their students to navigate the online world safely, today we’re launching our Be Internet Legends and Be Internet Citizens educational programs. We’ll visit primary and secondary schools across the UK where we’ll train 60,000 young people face-to-face through assemblies and workshops, and aim to reach one million young people through our free training resources created for teachers and youth workers. Both programs have been awarded the Quality Mark of accreditation by the PSHE Association, the national body for Personal, Social and Health Education in the UK.

Be Internet Legends

In partnership with family internet safety experts at Parent Zone, we created the Be Internet Legends program for Key Stage 2 primary school students to help them be safe, confident explorers of the online world. And UK primary school teachers can download or order their free Be Internet Legends teaching resources packs to bring the program to their classrooms. Vicki Shotbolt, CEO of Parent Zone says, “We’re delighted to be working with Google on Be Internet Legends because we know how important it is to provide children with the knowledge they need to stay safe online and we have to inspire them to want to act on that knowledge.”

Introducing Be Internet Legends

Be Internet Citizens

Be Internet Citizens, which is part of YouTube Creators For Change, teaches 13-15 year olds media literacy, critical thinking and digital citizenship with the aim of encouraging them to have a positive voice online. Created in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), the program empowers children to produce online content to express their identities, share their stories, make social impact, and bring communities together. “We’re incredibly excited to be working with Google to scale Be Internet Citizens in 2018,” says ISD CEO Sasha Havlicek. “As online spaces play an increasingly vital role in our social, cultural and political lives, it is vital young people feel confident to make their voices heard, stay safe and play a positive role as digital citizens.”

Starting next week, our teams are excited to hit the road visiting schools across the UK.


Updating our “right to be forgotten” Transparency Report

Category: Google | Feb 26, 2018

In May 2014, in a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice established the “right to be forgotten,” or more accurately, the “right to delist,” allowing Europeans to ask search engines to delist information about themselves from search results. In deciding what to delist, search engines like Google must consider if the information in question is “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive”—and whether there is a public interest in the information remaining available in search results.

Understanding how we make these types of decisions—and how people are using new rights like those granted by the European Court—is important. Since 2014, we’ve provided information about “right to be forgotten” delisting requests in our Transparency Report, including the number of URLs submitted to us, the number of URLs delisted and not delisted, and anonymized examples of some of the requests we have received.

New data in the Transparency Report

Today, we’re expanding the scope of our transparency reporting about the “right to be forgotten” and adding new data going back to January 2016 when our reviewers started manually annotating each URL submitted to us with additional information, including:

  • Requesters:We show a breakdown of the requests made by private individuals vs. non-private individuals—e.g., government officials or corporate entities.

  • Content of the request:We classify the content that the individual has asked us to delist into a set of categories: personal information, professional information, crime, and name not found, meaning that we were not able to find the individual’s name on the page.

  • Content of the site: When we evaluate a URL for potential delisting, we classify the website that hosts the page as a directory site, news site, social media, or other.

  • Content delisting rate:This is the rate at which we delist content by category on a quarterly basis.

Looking back: analyzing three years of delisting requests

In addition to updating the Transparency Report, we’re also providing a snapshot of our efforts to process these requests over the last three years.


We’re also releasing the draft of a new research paper called Three Years of the Right to be Forgotten, which has been submitted to the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium for peer review. This paper uses our manual reviewers’ annotations to provide a comprehensive analysis of the ways Europeans are using the “right to be forgotten.”

We hope the new data we’ve added to the Transparency Report and our research paper will help inform the ongoing discussion about the interplay between the right to privacy and the right to access lawful information online.


The High Five: cheer(s)ing for red wine and women’s hockey

Category: Google | Feb 23, 2018

When a recent study revealed that red wine can be good for oral hygiene, the searches for “red wine health benefits” poured in (it was searched 400 percent more than “white wine health benefits”). And while we’re at it, is red wine good for other things? Two of the top health-related searches for red wine were “How many carbs in red wine?” and “Which red wine makes you lose weight?” Other than red wine, the most searches for “Is [insert food] healthy?” were sparkling water, trail mix and cottage cheese.

Here’s a peek at a few other top searches from this week, with data from Google News Lab.

Olympics-mania: The U.S. Hockey team won the gold this week and people went puck-wild for Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (search interest in Jocelyne increased more than 7,000 percent) after she scored the winning goal. Women’s Super Combined, Ice Dancing, Women’s Downhill Skiing and Women’s Figure Skating were the top searched Olympic events this week.

At the box office: “Black Panther” has been a roaring success, and people are so engrossed in its fictional world that a top-searched question was “Is Wakanda real?” Michael B. Jordan has been searched the most of all the Black Panther cast members, while Nakia is the top-searched character.

Tote-ally fashion:A $590 grocery bag-style tote from the French brand Céline was a top-searched trend that emerged from Fashion Week. Anna Wintour, who sat with Queen Elizabeth at Fashion Week, was also top of mind—search interest in the fashion icon went up 500 percent.

Missed a beat: After Fergie’s sultry rendition of the national anthem at the NBA All Star Game, search interest in the singer-songwriter increased 1300 percent. Though Fergie was in the spotlight this week, Lady Gaga is the top-searched “Star Spangled Banner” singer in recent years (she sang at Super Bowl 50).


Announcing ARCore 1.0 and new updates to Google Lens

Category: Google | Feb 23, 2018

With ARCore and Google Lens, we’re working to make smartphone cameras smarter. ARCore enables developers to build apps that can understand your environment and place objects and information in it. Google Lens uses your camera to help make sense of what you see, whether that’s automatically creating contact information from a business card before you lose it, or soon being able to identify the breed of a cute dog you saw in the park. At Mobile World Congress, we’re launching ARCore 1.0 along with new support for developers, and we’re releasing updates for Lens and rolling it out to more people.

ARCore lockup

ARCore, Google’s augmented reality SDK for Android, is out of preview and launching as version 1.0. Developers can now publish AR apps to the Play Store, and it’s a great time to start building. ARCore works on 100 million Android smartphones, and advanced AR capabilities are available on all of these devices. It works on 13 different models right now (Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8+, Note8, S7 and S7 edge; LGE’s V30 and V30+ (Android O only); ASUS’s Zenfone AR; and OnePlus’s OnePlus 5). And beyond those available today, we’re partnering with many manufacturers to enable their upcoming devices this year, including Samsung, Huawei, LGE, Motorola, ASUS, Xiaomi, HMD/Nokia, ZTE, Sony Mobile, and Vivo.

Making ARCore work on more devices is only part of the equation. We’re also bringing developers additional improvements and support to make their AR development process faster and easier. ARCore 1.0 features improved environmental understanding that enables users to place virtual assets on textured surfaces like posters, furniture, toy boxes, books, cans and more. Android Studio Beta now supports ARCore in the Emulator, so you can quickly test your app in a virtual environment right from your desktop.


Everyone should get to experience augmented reality, so we’re working to bring it to people everywhere, including China. We’ll be supporting ARCore in China on partner devices sold there—starting with Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung—to enable them to distribute AR apps through their app stores.

We’ve partnered with a few great developers to showcase how they’re planning to use AR in their apps. Snapchat has created an immersive experience that invites you into a “portal”—in this case, FC Barcelona’s legendary Camp Nou stadium. Visualize different room interiors inside your home with Sotheby’s International Realty. See Porsche’s Mission E Concept vehicle right in your driveway, and explore how it works. With OTTO AR, choose pieces from an exclusive set of furniture and place them, true to scale, in a room. Ghostbusters World, based on the film franchise, is coming soon. In China, place furniture and over 100,000 other pieces with Easyhome Homestyler, see items and place them in your home when you shop on, or play games from NetEase, Wargaming and Game Insight.

  • PorscheAR
  • SIR2
    Sotheby’s International Reality
  • GBWorld
    Ghostbusters World
  • SnapAR4

With Google Lens, your phone’s camera can help you understand the world around you, and we’re expanding availability of the Google Lens preview. With Lens in Google Photos, when you take a picture, you can get more information about what’s in your photo. In the coming weeks, Lens will be available to all Google Photos English-language users who have the latest version of the app on Android and iOS. Also over the coming weeks, English-language users on compatible flagship devices will get the camera-based Lens experience within the Google Assistant. We’ll add support for more devices over time.

And while it’s still a preview, we’ve continued to make improvements to Google Lens. Since launch, we’ve added text selection features, the ability to create contacts and events from a photo in one tap, and—in the coming weeks—improved support for recognizing common animals and plants, like different dog breeds and flowers.


Smarter cameras will enable our smartphones to do more. With ARCore 1.0, developers can start building delightful and helpful AR experiences for them right now. And Lens, powered by AI and computer vision, makes it easier to search and take action on what you see. As these technologies continue to grow, we’ll see more ways that they can help people have fun and get more done on their phones.


The Google Assistant is going global

Category: Google | Feb 23, 2018

Over the past year and a half, the Google Assistant has grown from being available on just one device in one language to across many types of devices, including speakers, phones, Android Auto and TVs, in many languages all around the world. We’ve been focused on making the Assistant useful throughout all parts of your day, and earlier this year we showed the latest features we’re bringing to the Assistant in homes and in cars.

As we head into Mobile World Congress, the mobile industry’s largest trade show, we’re sharing more about how we’re working closely with the mobile ecosystem to bring the Assistant to more people around the world. Similar to Android, where we’ve partnered closely with mobile carriers and device makers to build great products for people everywhere, we’re taking an ecosystem approach to the Assistant on mobile. Here’s a look at what’s coming.

Bringing the Assistant to more than 30 languages

Android users are all around the world, so from the start, our goal has been to bring the Assistant to as many people, languages, and locations as possible. The Assistant is already available in eight languages, and by the end of the year it will be available in more than 30 languages, reaching 95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide. In the next few months, we’ll bring the Assistant to Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai on Android phones and iPhones, and we’ll add more languages on more devices throughout the year.

We’re also making the Assistant multilingual later this year, so families or individuals that speak more than one language can speak naturally to the Assistant. With this new feature, the Assistant will be able to understand you in multiple languages fluently. If you prefer to speak German at work, but French at home, your Assistant is right there with you. Multilingual will first be available in English, French and German, with support for more languages coming over time.

Building a great Assistant for phones

Since MWC last year, we’ve been working closely with device makers (OEMs) to bring all the capabilities of the Assistant to life on Android phones. This year, we’re bringing these efforts together as the Assistant Mobile OEM program, which will enable OEMs to build deeper integrations between the Assistant and device features, using natural language understanding and the conversational interfaces of the Assistant. We’ve already been working with OEMs for more than a year and continue to work together so they can build device-specific commands with the Assistant, develop integration with hardware-based AI chips, ensure “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” work when the screen is off, and build other custom integrations. Coming soon, we’ll also have new integrations from LG, Sony Mobile and Xiaomi.

Mobile carriers also play a critical role in delivering great mobile experiences to people through their networks and services. Our Assistant Carrier program helps mobile carriers use capabilities in the Assistant to give their customers more insight and control over their service. This includes helping people learn more about their plan, add new services (like international data roaming), get customer support and more. This gives carriers a new way to support their customers while reducing response time. Carriers Sprint, Koodo, Telus and Vodafone are already developing integrations with the Assistant, with more coming soon.

A better experience across devices

The Assistant can already help you keep track of your day, control your smart home devices, make calls, find recipes and more. Starting over the next week, we’re adding two new features that help you use the Assistant across all the devices in your life.

  • Routines: We first announced Routines last year, which help you get multiple things done with just a single command. In the coming weeks in the U.S., you’ll be able to use six routines that help with your morning, commutes to and from work, and evening at home. For example, say “Hey Google, I’m home” and the Assistant on your Google Home or phone can turn on the lights, share any home reminders, play your favorite music and more, all with just four words.
  • Location-based reminders: You can already set reminders based on a location with the Assistant on your phone. In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to set them with your speaker. Want to make sure you pick up the milk at the grocery store? All you have to do is ask the Assistant on your smart speaker, like Google Home—and when you get to the store, the Assistant on your phone will remind you.

With more languages, more features and closer integrations with phone makers and carriers, the Assistant is getting better for you.