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Bringing digital citizenship into the school curriculum

Category: Google | Sep 5, 2017

Educators around the world have embraced digital literacy in the classroom, encouraging their students to create and engage on the the internet. They recognize digital literacy as an important future skill for their students, and also understand the importance of teaching kids how to be good digital citizens. And yet, teaching digital citizenship isn’t always straightforward—and can be pretty intimidating—given the many ways in which young people use the internet today.

This is why we are releasing a free online training course that helps educators equip their students with the foundational skills they need to create a safe and positive experience online. By reading, watching videos, and doing different activities in the Digital Citizenship and Safety Course, they can learn how to integrate digital citizenship and safety activities into their school curriculum.

The course includes five interactive units:  

  • Teaching students about internet safety and privacy, including setting strong passwords and privacy settings
  • Staying safe on the go by securing your mobile device and avoiding harmful downloads on your smartphone
  • Savvy searching, to help students evaluate the credibility of online sources of information
  • Staying safe from phishing and other scams
  • Managing online reputation, including protecting sensitive information


Upon completion, educators will receive a downloadable Digital Citizenship and Safety Curriculum that they can use to introduce these critical lessons to their students. And teachers who successfully complete the course will receive a Digital Citizenship and Safety Educator recognition badge.

The online training course is now on the Google for Education Training Center, and available in 15 languages: Chinese, Danish, English, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.

We want to help ensure that today’s young people will become smart and responsible citizens both online and off. This is why we’ve developed programs like Be Internet Awesome and the Online Safety Roadshow that teach kids how to be safe, confident explorers online. But we also recognize that it’s important to partner with educators too, so we really look forward to seeing how the Digital Citizenship and Safety Course will help teachers tackle this important topic in the classroom.


Typing Greek has never been so easy

Category: Google | Sep 5, 2017

Did you know that many words in a vocabulary of an educated English speaker are borrowed from Greek? Hundreds of scientific, medical, and technical terms have been coined from Greek words, being either the root that creates a word or prefixes / suffixes of words used in daily language. From physics to photography, from microscope to telephone, from biology to zoology and many more – these are now part of almost all European languages.

Today, for all Greek users and Greek enthusiasts we are excited to introduce Greeklish support in Gboard, a Google keyboard for your device. Gboard gives you all the things you expect from a great keyboard—GIFs, emojis, and Glide Typing—with Google Search built in.

The Greek alphabet, made of ​24 letters (+ diacritics) is amongst the most fascinating ones, to me at least :) I remember about ~15 years ago, the only option I had when it came to text messaging was to type on a Latin-character keyboard (a-b-c-…), since it was hard to input Greek (α-β-γ-…). As a result, Greek users like me got used to typing romanized Greek on a Latin-character keyboard—a writing style known to many as “Greeklish.”

You can try it by following these steps:

First, select the “Greek (abc -> Ελληνικά)” keyboard from the Gboard menu on your Android device.

Greeklish 1

Open an app that allows you to type and then either tap or long press the Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 2.32.40 PM.png icon in order to select the “Greek (abc -> Ελληνικά)” keyboard.

Greeklish 2

Once the model downloads, you’ll be ready to start using the new keyboard! You can either tap or glide type.

Greeklish gif 1

Greeklish Gif 2

We believe that this new keyboard will help users keep on writing in the Greek script, preserving our culture and our language in the digital world.

Gboard for Android regularly gets new languages and tools, as we work towards our vision of creating an intelligent mechanism for faster input, word-completions and suggestions on mobile–in any language you choose.


Funding 75,000 Udacity scholarships to bridge the digital skills gap

Category: Google | Sep 5, 2017

Ildiko Fekete is a mother of two from Hungary, who had moved to a small town to raise her family, taking time out from her career as a literature teacher.  Earlier this year she applied for and completed an Android scholarship. As a result she has built an eco-footprint app, Greenfeet, and plans to pursue freelance developer work.

Today in Krakow, at Google Developer Days – Europe, our biggest European developer event, scholarship recipients like Ildiko will join 2000 other developers from all over Europe to learn about the newest developer technologies and improve their skills.

Despite this enthusiasm, the growing digital skills gap has lead the EU to predict that half a million ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) jobs will remain unfilled by 2020.

Last year, along with Bertelsmann and Udacity we offered 10,000 Android developer scholarships to help people like Ildiko reach their goals. We were humbled by the overwhelming demand for these courses, so I’m happy to announce that together with Bertelsmann & Udacity we’ll be offering 75,000 more people the opportunity to benefit from free developer courses.

Today, we’re opening our 60,000 Scholarships Challenge, for both absolute beginners and for existing programmers, which will include both Android and Web development courses. For more details and to apply, please see:

Later this year, Bertelsmann will also offer an additional 15,000 Scholarships Challenge for beginners and advanced students in the field of data science. We’ll share more details on these in the coming weeks.

We hope that this initiative will help scholarship recipients get the in-demand skills needed to get a job or advance their career.


Taking the next step with Android One

Category: Google | Sep 5, 2017

When we launched Android One in India back in 2014, the goal was to get the next billion people online by providing them with high quality, affordable phones. Since then, the larger community has told us they value what Android One stands for across a range of phones—a refreshingly simple software experience that is accessible, always fresh and stays ahead of the curve, with improvements to battery life, usability, and of course, security.  

As phone manufacturers continue to innovate by delivering high quality devices at accessible price points, keeping the inside of one’s phone innovative, fresh and secure is critical to a great experience. We’re extending our commitment to Android One by working with more partners to build phones that run a software experience designed by Google.

In the past year, we’ve expanded the program to new partners, geographies and price points. For example, in Japan, Android One devices are among the top selling phones in Softbank-owned Y!Mobile stores. General Mobile has committed a full portfolio of Android One devices in Turkey, and recently released their fourth offering, the GM 6

Today, our newest program partner Xiaomi just launched Mi A1. This phone is a great example of what Android One represents: a collaboration between Google and our partners to deliver a software experience designed by Google. For example, users can capture moments in stunning detail on Xiaomi’s dual camera with 2X optical zoom. They can then seamlessly save unlimited photos at high quality with Google Photos. Mi A1 will be available in dozens of countries, including India, Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

All Android One phones are powered by a Google designed software experience that is:

simple smart

Simple and smart
  • Simple: All Android One phones consistently run a pure Android experience with a clean design and a small, carefully curated set of preinstalled apps.
  • Smart: The latest technology from Google is built right into Android One phones and core to the experience. For example, all devices will be optimized for the Google Assistant for a personalized experience. Google Photos will also be the default gallery for Android One phones to help users avoid running out of space, by providing free and unlimited storage of high quality photos and videos.


Secure and fresh
  • Secure: With multiple layers of protection, Android One phones are kept safe and secure with regular security updates. Devices will also stay secure with Google Play Protect: built-in malware protection that keeps phones clean, fast and high-performing.

  • Fresh: Android One devices will receive timely upgrades to the latest Android OS, so people can quickly gain access to the latest platform innovations on their device. Users of the new Mi A1 will receive an upgrade to Android Oreo before the end of the year and next year they will also be one of the first to receive an upgrade to Android P.

Android One phones are Google endorsed devices that run a simple, fresh, and secure experience. We look forward to bringing more Android One partner phones to more consumers around the world. Check out to learn more.


The (real) Internship: catching up with our summer interns

Category: Google | Sep 1, 2017

They came, they saw, they interned.

Each summer, Google and Alphabet welcome thousands of interns to our offices around the world. Now that it’s time for the interns to head back to school, we sat down with a few of them to hear about the highlights from their experience.


Jacob Schaider, YouTube TV

Tell us about the work you did this summer:

I worked on an internal tool for YouTube TV. It was an amazing experience seeing how Google engineers solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before. I would do it over again in a heartbeat!

What was the highlight of your project/work:

It happened about halfway into my work. I finally accomplished the first part of my project and seeing my work pay off had never felt better. Another highlight was seeing actual Google engineers use my project as an internal tool. Something that I made was actually being used to help improve YouTube TV!

After spending a summer at Google, what does “Googleyness” mean to you?

Googleyness is the possession of qualities that Googlers strive for. It describes a collaborative, ingenious, passionate, friendly, genuine person, and I was privileged to work with so many people like this. My coworkers helped me through every problem I had and took the time to explain the answer. If I was working at my desk during lunch time, they would ask me to join them for food. They wanted to spend time with us outside of work. Googleyness is honestly the best compliment someone can receive.

What was your favorite snack in the microkitchen?

The microkitchen fueled me all day long—I can’t pick a favorite snack! When I first got into work, the only thing on my mind was a bowl of nice hot oatmeal with strawberries. My go-to afternoon snack was Babybel cheese and a cup of chocolate pudding.

What are you going to do next?

I’m a Sophomore year at University of Southern California. I play drums in the marching band here so my fall semester will be taken up by rehearsals, game days, and traveling with the football team. I also plan on getting more involved in the Computer Science community during my spring semester by joining an organization called Lavalab.


Camille Eddy, Robotics, X

Tell us about the work you did this summer:

I worked on hardware projects in the robotics team at X.

What was the highlight of your internship?

I really enjoyed working with my team, and getting an inside view on an X project.

Can you share a particularly special moment from your internship?

As a woman of color in tech, it’s important for me to find role models in other women and people of color. I found that at X, and feel a sense of privilege to work at a company that values inclusion. I sat down with other female engineers, learned from their stories and challenged myself based on their advice.

Who is the most interesting person (X’er or intern) you met during your internship?

Astro Teller, CEO and Captain of Moonshots at X. His vision for the company and his explanation of what moonshots really are inspired me and convinced me that I’m in the right place!

What does “Googleyness” look like at X ?

X’s values center around  teamwork and team spirit, doing the right thing not because you have to, but because it fosters an inclusive and safe environment. And of course, being willing to jump in and take a moonshot!

What was your favorite snack in the microkitchen?

I enjoy the Hint water a lot. My favorite flavor is green apple.

What are you going to do next?

I am continuing my internship through the fall, and I look forward to learning more from my team!


Tiam Jaroensri, Research & Machine Intelligence

Tell us about the work you did this summer:

Tuberculosis kills two million people each year. We use convolutional neural networks—the technique used to recognize pictures of cats and dogs—to recognize tuberculosis under a microscope. Tuberculosis cells are hard to find manually, which leads to misdiagnosis of tuberculosis in the developing world.

Outside of your project/work, what was the highlight of Life at Google:

Exploring Northern California. I went backpacking for the first time in Yosemite. The view was breathtaking.

After spending a summer at Google, what does “Googleyness” mean to you?

Googleyness means everyone is always willing to offer a helping hand, no matter how busy they are with their own code.

What was your favorite snack in the microkitchen?

Dried mango, definitely. It reminded me of home in Thailand.

What are you going to do next?

Going back to school to finish my PhD. Hopefully I’ll get to come back to Google one day!


The High Five: top searches from the week of August 28

Category: Google | Sep 1, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

This week, attention in the U.S. turned to Hurricane Harvey and its devastating impact in Texas and Louisiana. People are searching for how to help, as well as for information about future storm Hurricane Irma—which was upgraded to a Category 3 and is moving across the Atlantic. The top queries regarding the storm were “How to donate clothes to Hurricane Harvey,” “How to help Houston,” and “How much money has been raised for Hurricane Harvey?”

Search never felt so good

If you were searching for Michael Jackson this week, You are Not Alone. It was the King of Pop’s birthday on Tuesday, and search interest in “Michael Jackson birthday” was 1,750% higher than “Michael Jackson songs.” Listening to his hits in honor of his birthday? I Can’t Help It either. Top-searched Michael Jackson songs were: “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Smooth Criminal,” and “Man In The Mirror.” We’ve Got a Good Thing Going in Nevada, where the most searches for Michael Jackson occurred.


The iconic series “Gossip Girl” turns 10 this month. While Chuck Bass was the most searched character this week, Blake Lively was the most searched actor from Gossip Girl. Top searched questions about the show were: “Who is Gossip Girl?” (no spoilers here) “How many seasons of Gossip Girl are there?” (six) and “Who does Serena end up with on Gossip Girl?” (we said we’re not spoiling it!).

Getting better with age

A former Catholic monk has filed a lawsuit against L’Oréal, claiming that the company stole his patented formula for an anti-aging cream. One of the top related searches was “L’Oréal skin cream monk” (can’t say we’ve ever heard that phrase before), and the most search interest is coming from New Jersey. While we’re on the subject of beauty products, the top trending makeup searches from this week are “feather eyebrows,” “lipstick,” “best foundation for oily skin,” “blush” and “makeup brushes.”

It’s never too early

The hallmark of the Fall season—pumpkin-spiced food and drinks—is officially back. Search interest in “pumpkin spice” spikes every September and October, and this week people were most interested to find out when the Pumpkin Spice Latte returns to Starbucks, and (the question on everybody’s mind), “Is it Pumpkin Spice Latte season?” The love for pumpkin spice goes beyond lattes: top searched pumpkin spice recipes this week were pumpkin spice cake, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin spice poke cake, and pumpkin spice muffins.


How to fix a toilet (and other things you couldn’t do without Search)

Category: Google | Sep 1, 2017

Every year, millions come to Google to search for news and information that helps illuminate the world around them. While people often search for breaking news, the latest sports scores, or what’s playing at a local movie theater, they also often look for answers on how to fix the more mundane items around them.

Recently, we noticed that “how to…” searches have increased by more than 140% since 2004, and much of that search interest is directed towards how to “fix” things—whether it’s a lightbulb, window, washing machine, or even the toilet. In fact, “How to fix…” is consistently near the top of the list of most common queries, year after year, around the world. That’s why the Google Trends team teamed up with award-winning designer Xaquín González Veira —formerly of “The Guardian”, “National Geographic” and “the New York Times”—to create our latest visual: How to fix a toilet…and other things you couldn’t do without Search.

The first data visualization shows household items people ask Google how to fix, and how those searches vary by country. For instance, in the United States, the top “how to fix” items are doors, followed by windows, toilets, washing machines and refrigerators. While in Japan, the order is:  windows, doors, washing machines, and toilets.

Check out the map of the world below, to see how it shifts:


Xaquin noticed some neat (and weird) patterns in the data. Searches for “how to fix a toilet” and “how to use chopsticks” follow a very similar pattern. Wonder why that is? Just check out the site. You’ll be surprised what tops the list in each country and which places need to fix the same things (washing machines in Russia and Colombia and windows in Brazil and Eritrea).

The visual also showcases data for the top searched “how to’s” around the world. The top ten are:

  1. how to tie a tie
  2. how to kiss
  3. how to get pregnant
  4. how to lose weight
  5. how to draw
  6. how to make money
  7. how to make pancakes
  8. how to write a cover letter
  9. how to make french toast
  10. how to lose belly fat

Check out the interactive guide here, to explore more of this fascinating data.


This data visualization is the latest in the Google News Lab’s series of collaborations with designers, working alongside the University of Miami’s Alberto Cairo to re-examine how news designers can tell stories using new types of data (including new sources of Google data)  and by experimenting with new kinds of data visualizations. You can see some more of the projects we’ve launched so far here.

We’ve loaded the top how-to’s data on our GitHub page for you to download and explore. And if you do, tell us more about you’re using the data at


Travel photography 101 with #teampixel

Category: Google | Aug 31, 2017

We’ve traveled far and wide with #teampixel this summer but not as far as Jeremy Foster, this week’s Pixel expert. He’s been globetrotting the world for the past seven years and offers some sage advice on taking photos with your Pixel. So whether you’re a weekend warrior or a seasoned explorer, check out his tips for travel photography:

Tip #1: All about HDR

Use for: Those glorious sunsets you only seem to find when traveling.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is is best utilized when you have an uneven exposure in your photo—that is to say, when some of the photo is bright and some is dark (for example, a landscape shot with a bright sky and dark foreground). When you activate HDR, your Pixel will take three photos in burst mode, at different exposures, and blend them all together for a well-balanced photo.

Tip #2: Turn up the volume

Use for: Street photography in crowded places. 

Hardware buttons (like the volume button) are easier to access than software buttons (like in your camera app). For a more discreet shooting experience, skip the on-screen shutter button and opt to use the volume button instead. You’ll also have a sturdier grip on the phone, which means there’s less chance for motion blur in your photos. Pro tip: If the phone is in sleep mode, double-click the power button to open the camera and slide your finger over by an inch to the volume button to snap a photo! You don’t even need to look at the screen.

Tip #3: Let’s get down to details

Use when: Your photo of that gorgeous mountain range doesn’t look like the real thing.

A camera can only capture one-third the amount of detail as the human eye, but editing your photos can bring the other two-thirds of that stunning landscape into view. Tap the “Auto” filter for the Pixel’s best guess, or, for more fine-tuned control, and to create your desired effect, tap the slider icon to adjust Light, Color, and Pop. Want to get even more granular? Tap the down arrows next to Light and Color for full control over exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, saturation, skin tone, and more.

Tip #4: Anyone can be a videographer

Use when: pictures just won’t do.

The Google Pixel has the remarkable ability to capture 4K video—the sharpest video that exists. Go into your camera settings and make sure your back camera video resolution is set to “UHD 4K (30 fps)”—that stands for “Ultra High Definition 4K” (30 frames per second). Not bad for a piece of hardware that sits in your back pocket.

And here’s another weekly roundup of our favorite photos! Keep crushing it #teampixel ✌️


Our very own Pixel expert Jeremy Foster (@travelfreak_) is about to get some air.


Locals enjoying a game of volleyball by @earnestedison


Turning a new leaf at the Royal Botanic Gardens with @mattscanna and “eye” spy flowers at Descanso Gardens by @patgraziosi

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.11.56 PM.png

Just hangin’ at the New York Public Library with @vrinda.b.mohan and a blood orange sky in Mumbai, India by @kumar_jishu

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.05.08 PM.png

Perfect symmetry at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele by @paulngui and a soft neon sky behind the Washington Monument by @aamirhatim

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.02.42 PM.png

Grand Teton National Park by @pvtejasvi and Catherine Street in Montreal, Quebec by @kendrick.umstattd


Automatic protections in Android: Q&A with a security expert

Category: Google | Aug 31, 2017

Editor’s note: The Android security team works to keep more than two billion users safe, and with the release of Android Oreo, they’ve rolled out some new security protections. We sat down with Adrian Ludwig, Director of Android Security to learn about his team, their approach to security, and what Oreo’s new protections mean for people who use and love Android.

Keyword: Talk to us a bit about what your team does.

Adrian: We build security features for Android that help keep the whole ecosystem safe. Our software engineers write code that encrypts user data, helps find security bugs faster, prevents bugs from becoming security exploits, and finds applications that are trying to harm users or their information.  

How do you build these protections?

It starts with research. Because security is constantly evolving, our teams have to understand today’s issues, in Android and elsewhere, so we can provide better security now and in the future. Researchers in and out of Google are like detectives: they find new stuff, work to understand it deeply, and share it with the broader security community.

We then use those findings to make our protections stronger. We’re focused on tools like Google Play Protect and efforts like “platform hardening,” incremental protections to the Android platform itself. We’re also starting to apply machine learning to security threats, an early stage effort that we’re really excited about.

The final step is enabling all Android users to benefit from the protections. I’m really proud of the work our team has done with Google Play Protect, for example. Every day, it monitors more than 50 billion apps in Play, other app marketplaces, and across the web for potentially unsafe apps. If it finds any, we’ll prevent people from installing them and sometimes remove them from users’ phones directly. Users don’t need to do anything—this just works, automatically.

What are the challenges to protecting Android?

In security, we often talk about the trade-off between usability and protection. Sometimes, you can protect a device more effectively if there are certain things users can’t do on your device. And security is always much easier when things are predictable: for instance when all of the devices you are protecting are built the same way and can basically do the same thing.

But, Android security is different because the ecosystem is so diverse. The variety of use cases, form factors, and users forces us to be open-minded about how we should secure without limiting Android’s flexibility. We can’t possibly protect Android users with a single safeguard—our diversity of protections reflects the diversity in the Android ecosystem.

What are some of the new ways you’re protecting users in Android Oreo (not in robo- speak, please)?

Hang on, I gotta turn on Google Translate.

There are a … 0101100110 … sorry … a bunch! We’ve invested significantly in making it easier to update devices with security “patches,” fixes for potential safety problems, more commonly known as vulnerabilities. As a sidenote, you may have heard about “exploits.” If a vulnerability is a window, an exploit is a way to climb through it. The vast majority of the time, we’ll patch a vulnerability before anyone can exploit it. We have a project called Treble that makes it easier for us to work with partners and deliver updates to users. We want to close the window (and add some shutters) as quickly as possible.

We’ve also worked to improve verified boot, which confirms the device is in a known good state when it starts up, further hardened the Android kernel, which makes sure that hackers can’t change the way that code executes on a device, and evolved Seccomp which limits the amount of code that is visible to hackers.  Basically, we’re moving all the windows higher so any open ones are harder to climb through.

You announced Google Play Protect earlier this year. Tell us a bit about that and why it’s important for Android users?

For several years, we’ve been building “security services” which periodically check devices for potential security issues, allow Google and/or the user to review the status, and then use that information to protect the device. These services interact with Google Play in real-time to help secure it, hence the name “Google Play Protect.”

Our goal with Google Play Protect is to make sure that every user and every device has constant access to the best protections that Google can provide. Those protections are easy to use (ironically, for many people, Google Play Protect is so easy to use that they didn’t even know it was turned on!) and they benefit from everything Google knows about the security of Android devices.

Google Play Protect isn’t available just for users with Oreo — it guards any device with Google Play Services, running Android Gingerbread, or later.

Updates are a challenge with Android, especially in regard to security. Why is that so hard? What are you doing to improve it?

What makes Android so cool and unique—its flexibility and openness—also presents a really big security challenge. There is a broad and diverse range of devices running Android, operated by a complex collection of partners and device manufacturers around the world. It’s our responsibility to make it easy for the entire ecosystem to receive and deploy updates, but the ecosystem has to work together in order to make it happen. One approach to the problem is to make updates easier through technical changes, such as Project Treble. Another is to work with partners to better understand how updates are produced, tested, and delivered to users.  

What’s the toughest part of your job?

Prioritization. Often we need to balance researching super cool, extremely rare issues with more incremental maintenance of our existing systems. It’s really important that we are laser-focused on both; it’s the only way we can protect the entire ecosystem now and longer-term.

What’s your favorite part?

I’m amazed and humbled by how many people use Android as their primary (or only) way to connect to the internet and to the broader world. We’ve still got a ton of work to do, but I’m incredibly proud of the role my team has played in making those connections safe and secure.  

Ok, last question: How do you eat your Oreos?

In one bite. (But I can’t handle the Double Stufs).


Coding gets easier with new series of books on Google Play

Category: Google | Aug 31, 2017


Girls Who Code wants to close the gender gap in technology.

In order to do that, they help kids develop an interest in science and technology at an early age. This is where Google Play comes in—we’re putting together a new collection of 13 books on Google play that will get kids excited about coding.


We’re releasing the first two books today: Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World explains coding in a way that’s actually easy to understand, and shares real-life stories of women working at places like Pixar and NASA. In Girls Who Code: The Friendship Code #1, you’ll get to know Lucy as she joins the coding club at school and needs your help translating cryptic coding messages.

The next 11 titles—to be released over the next two years—will range from board books and picture books for children, to coding manuals, activity books and coding-themed journals for young adults. While you’re waiting for the remaining titles to be released, this is a list of books recommended by Girls who Code.

Get reading and start coding!