News > Google
Category: Google | Dec 24, 2014
After 23 days of preparation, the elves are finally ready for Santa’s annual journey around the globe. They’ve taught each other how to say “Santa Claus” in Swedish, guided their friends through mazes with code, brushed up on their geography, and learned about organizations making a difference worldwide. It’s been a busy month, but Santa’s sleigh is now ready for lift-off!
The elves brushed up on coding fundamentals with blockly maze games
The elves decorated their trees with ornaments about organizations making a difference
Each stop on Santa’s journey offers more to explore—discover 360-degree imagery, Wikipedia snippets, geography facts, and updates on how far Santa’s current location is from yours (take note—Santa’s path is not a direct one!). Come back and visit google.com/santatracker throughout the night for more surprises, like sleigh selfies or a latitude and longitude game to deliver presents.
Follow Santa on any screen—desktop, phone, tablet, or TV
If you’re on the ho-ho-go, download the Santa Tracker App for Android to keep track of Santa on your phone or tablet. With the Android app, watch Santa’s journey on your TV using Chromecast, or on your wrist with Android Wear (especially handy when wrapping last-minute gifts). And, you can always search for Santa on www.google.com or on Google Maps, and get real-time location updates with Google Now in the Google App.
Santa’s available at the flick of the wrist with Android Wear
Santa’s got a long and exciting night ahead of him before heading back to the North Pole. Grab some eggnog, set out the cookies, and join Google Maps on Google+, Facebook and Twitter to #tracksanta!
Posted by Brendan Kenny, Reindeer Platform Engineer
Category: Google | Dec 19, 2014
It’s the season of giving, and there are a lot of ways to give—by donating, by volunteering, by surprising a stranger with a random act of kindness. And we’re joining in to help spread the holiday cheer. This month, Google.org is giving more than $15 million in grants to organizations using technology to address some of the world’s biggest problems. From San Francisco to Western Africa, these organizations are making a direct impact on people around the world, every day.
One of our grants will go to Feeding America. Each year, billions of pounds of surplus food are sent to landfills, while 49 million Americans (including one in five children) go hungry. Our grant will help support their newest food rescue initiative called the Online Marketplace, a program that connects local retail and foodservice businesses who have excess food to those in need. Feeding America serves 3.3 billion meals annually and the Online Marketplace is projected to lead to the recovery of an additional 740 million meals, significantly reducing food waste while giving more families access to food.
Two of our other grantees are working on the front lines to help ensure lives aren’t lost to preventable diseases. Nexleaf Analytics works to get life-saving vaccines to children in India and Mozambique by preserving these vaccines before they spoil by installing low-cost refrigerator sensors in clinics. Malaria No More is fighting to save lives by better understanding the spread of malaria using newly available mobile data to map malaria cases and how they are being treated.
To learn more about additional nonprofits we’re supporting through these grants, and to see how you can get involved with their efforts, visit g.co/happyholidays and see our slideshow below:
These are only part of our annual philanthropic efforts. Over the course of the year, we strive to make the world a little bit better through our technology and giving programs, including more than $100 million in grants, $1 billion in technology resources, and 80,000+ volunteer hours donated to causes around the world.
We’re inspired by all the people out there who are working to make a difference—whether it’s one of these organizations or simply one person doing a good deed for another. We’re glad to do our part spreading some love this holiday season, and look forward to seeing more world-changing work in 2015.
Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org
Category: Google | Dec 16, 2014
Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us laugh, smile from ear to ear, or stay gripped to our screens in our annual Year in Search. In 2014, we were struck by the death of a beloved comedian, and watched news unfold about a horrific plane crash and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by the beautiful game, and had fun with birds, a bucket of ice, and a frozen princess.
Watch our video to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:
Wishing the genie goodbye
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” The passing of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams shook the world, bringing many people online to search for more information and to remember—and putting Williams in the #1 spot on our global trends charts. There was even an uptick in searches related to depression tests and mental health in the days following his death. We revisited his iconic roles in movies like Aladdin and Dead Poets Society and found solace in gifs and memes that captured Williams’ spirit.
All the world’s a stage
Nothing brings people together like sports, and 2014 had one of the biggest athletic events in recent memory. The World Cup in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had everyone glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez’s bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard’s superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany’s incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts.
While sports brought people together, so did a good cause. This year, awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reached an all-time high around the world due to the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As celebrities and everyday people alike braved a bucket of ice cold water for a cause, donations to help find a cure for the illness hit almost $100 million.
Into the unknown
How could a plane just vanish into thin air? In the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, that question propelled the mystery to the global trends charts. As the investigation continued on the ground and online, people stayed hopeful for a happy ending despite the dim odds: searches for “mh370 found” outnumbered searches for “mh370 lost.”
Here’s the full list of our top 10 global trending searches:
Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
On our Year in Search site, you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for “how” more than “why,” each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.
We’ve also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It’ll be 2015 before you know it.
Category: Google | Dec 12, 2014
From The Colbert Report to astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, here’s a look at this week’s search stars.
The presidency is just my day job
Being the President of the United State is no easy task, but Barack Obama may have just faced his toughest test yet…a seat on The Colbert Report. This is the Commander-in-Chief’s third time on the show, but it’s still no cakewalk with every topic up for grabs—including Obama’s less than ideal approval ratings and his graying hair. Obama proved himself up for the challenge, though, kicking Colbert off his segment and making it his own.
Winners and losers
Competition on The Voice is heating up; the three finalists were revealed this week. But there’s a twist in the show’s seventh season: to spice things up, its creators introduced a new wildcard spot, bringing the total number of potential finalists to four. Now the nine remaining contestants who didn’t make it to the top three will duke it out for that fourth spot and a shot at singing glory.
While The Voice contestants still have a chance to take home the grand prize, other stars were left out in the cold this week when the Golden Globe nominations included several snubs. Names left off the selection sheet were Angelina Jolie and her upcoming film Unbroken, Christopher Nolan and his much-hyped Interstellar, and Bradley Cooper, who gained 40 pounds to portray Chris Kyle in the biopic film American Sniper. Oh well—there’s still the Oscars. Meanwhile, movies Birdman and Boyhood snapped up seven and five nominations, respectively—and the TV category is staying interesting with nods for several Netflix original series, Amazon’s first appearance with Transparent, and two surprise nominations for the CW’s quirky Jane the Virgin.
The sky above
This week, searchers spent a good chunk of their time looking up. The weather was top of mind as the Pineapple Express—no, not the film—hit the San Francisco Bay Area, causing flooding and power outages. The phenomenon gets its name from its origins in the waters near Hawaii, a.k.a. the Pineapple State, where it develops before heading towards the U.S Pacific Coast.
Even for those of us trapped indoors, searchers got a chance to look at the stars…on our homepage at least. Searchers looked for more information about astronomer Annie Jump Cannon after a Google doodle marked her 151st birthday. Cannon—who was deaf for most of her adult life, and often overshadowed by her colleague Edward C. Pickering—was instrumental in the development of the Harvard Classification system, which categorizes stars by their temperature (whether or not they were nominated for a Golden Globe).
Tip of the week
Need to find something in the apps on your Android phone? Now you can ask your Google app for help—even if it’s in another app. Just say “Ok Google” and then “search YouTube for holiday decorating ideas” or “search Tumblr for Taylor Swift” and jump straight to those results within the other app (if you have it installed).
And come back next week for Google’s Year in Search—a review of the people, moments, and events that captured the world’s attention.
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [comedian-in-chief] and [team adam].
Category: Google | Dec 10, 2014
Deciding what to wear is a really personal thing—it’s one of the ways you show people what you’re about. Wearable technology is no different, so Android Wear offers a wide selection of apps and watches to suit your taste. It’s about expressing who you are, however you want, right on your wrist.
Today there’s even more ways to show your style with Android Wear, including dozens of new watch faces (powered by an official Watch Face API), a full collection of devices on Google Play, and lots of other improvements based on your feedback. So try ‘em on for size, and let us know what you think.
Watch faces for whatever you’re into
Starting today you can download watch faces from Google Play, just like you do with apps. We’ve got dozens of examples to get you started—from the unpredictable Minions in Despicable Me to the X-Ray artistry of Hugh Turvey. And because the new Watch Face API is available to all developers, you can expect even more choices in the weeks and months ahead.
We’ve also updated the Android Wear app on your phone to make browsing, downloading, and switching watch faces really easy. So pick the one you like the best, or pick a new one every day.
(Both updates are rolling out over the next week, so don’t worry if you don’t see them yet.)
Examples of Android Wear watch faces
A family of watches to choose from
In only a few short months, the Android Wear collection has grown to include six unique watches—the ASUS ZenWatch, the LG G Watch, the LG G Watch R, the Moto 360, the Samsung Gear Live, and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Some are circular, others are square. Some are traditional, others are sporty. And that’s exactly the point. With different shapes and styles, it’s really easy to make your watch your own.
So by all means: wear what you want.
Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear
Category: Google | Dec 9, 2014
2014 was chock full of YouTube moments that vaulted into pop culture. We got pranked by a spider dog in Poland, learned what it’s like to walk the street for 10 hours as a woman in NYC, and watched total strangers share a first kiss. We laughed, we cried, and yes, we sang along to “Let It Go” roughly a bajillion times.
In celebration of the people, memes and moments that made up an epic year, more than 100 YouTube creators gathered together for our annual Rewind video: a giant, global mashup looking back at the best of 2014 on YouTube. With creators from Japan, Germany, Israel, Mexico, France and beyond, it’s the biggest and most international Rewind video yet.
And here are the top trending videos for 2014, based on views, shares, comments, likes and more. This year, the list represents the amazing variety of creativity brought to YouTube each day, which can include social commentaries, pranks, advertisements, and thrilling moments from traditional media and big names on YouTube. Collectively these 10 videos have hundreds of millions of views from creators, with more than 21 million cumulative subscribers.
1. Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega) by SA Wardega
2. Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimović, Iniesta & more by Nike Football
3. FIRST KISS by Tatia PIlieva
4. The Voice IT | Serie 2 | Blind 2 | Suor Cristina Scuccia – #TEAMJ-AX by TheVoiceOf Italy
5. iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test by Unbox Therapy
6. Bars & Melody – Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer act | Britain’s Got Talent 2014 by Britain’s Got Talent
7. Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial — “Puppy Love” by Budweiser
8. Devil Baby Attack by DevilsDueNYC
9. Goku vs Superman. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 3. by ERB
10. 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman by Street HarassmentVideo
When it comes to music, it was a year of powerful female artists, as you can see from our list of top music videos: Women artists took eight of the top 10 spots (Shakira took two!). 2014’s top 10 music videos were collectively played billions of times from channels with 55+ million subscribers.
1. Katy Perry – Dark Horse (Official) ft. Juicy J
2. Enrique Iglesias – Bailando (Español) ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona
3. Shakira – Can’t Remember to Forget You ft. Rihanna
4. Shakira – La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown
5. Jason Derulo – “Wiggle” feat. Snoop Dogg (Official HD Music Video)
6. Iggy Azalea – Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX
7. Sia – Chandelier (Official Video)
8. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
9. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
10. Nicki Minaj – Anaconda
…and check out even more top music videos.
Check out our YouTube Rewind channel for more top videos of the year from around the world, and our YouTube Brand channel to see a mashup of the top branded videos of the year and a list of the top ads on YouTube for the year. You can also visit google.com/2014 next week for Google’s annual look at the people, places and events that captured the world’s attention.
Posted by Kevin Allocca, Head of Culture & Trends
Category: Google | Dec 5, 2014
The end of the year is almost upon us, but just like the rest of your life, search isn’t slowing down. Here’s a look at what was trending this week on Google:
Signs of the season
Now that the turkey’s been carved, and even the leftovers have been gobbled (pun intended) up in the form of sandwiches and soup, the holiday season is officially underway. People shopped Cyber Monday sales, and others were excited to learn that USPS would be delivering packages seven days a week in some cities.
Plus, holiday movies and songs are trending as people get into the spirit. And even if you didn’t watch Love Actually (for the 14th time) this week, chances are you heard a peep of Mariah Carey’s now-classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which the singer performed live at Rockefeller Center’s tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Mimi missed a few notes, leading searches for her to spike as a result.
Citizens speak out
On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, who died in July after being placed in a choke hold. Across the country, people spoke out and demonstrated against the decision, which came just days after nationwide riots and protests about what happened in Ferguson, Mo.
Good news for Thin Mint fans: you no longer have to wait with bated breath for the day your co-worker shows up with an order form, or for that card table stacked with colorful boxes to show up outside your grocery store. Girl Scout Cookies have gone digital. Scouts will have personal cookie webpages where people can place orders online; the idea is that girls will learn more about online marketing and e-commerce while satisfying the sweet teeth of the rest of us. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Internet cookies.”
If you weren’t at the mall last weekend, then chances are you were on YouTube, watching the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The first teaser for the J.J. Abrams-helmed “Episode 7” has racked up tens of millions of views since it came out a week ago and people are saying it could become the most viewed trailer ever. Fans have intensely scrutinized and discussed each one of the trailer’s 88 seconds in detail; and there are already spoofs and recreations galore, including Wes Anderson and LEGO versions. The movie won’t be out until December 2015, so you have plenty of time to build your crossguard lightsaber for the premiere.
But even after two years, there’s no video in the YouTube galaxy that’s quite like “Gangnam Style.” It’s the first video to ever get more than 2 billion views, and this week, its view count crossed 2,147,483,647. That happens to be the highest number that can be represented by a 32-bit integer, and also—until recently—the highest number that the YouTube view counter could display. Luckily, our friends at YouTube saw this one coming: They upgraded the view counter to use a 64-bit integer, capable of representing numbers up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. Yup, that’s 9 quintillion. Consider this gauntlet thrown.
Tip of the week
Between holiday parties, gift shopping and the end-of-year scramble at work, it’s no wonder some errands start to slip your mind. Let Google help keep track—just say “Ok Google, remind me to pick up ribbon when I’m at Target” or “Ok Google, remind me to chill the champagne when I get home” to get a reminder.
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [sweet tooth plural] and [what was the name of the monkey in aladdin]
Category: Google | Dec 2, 2014
Carol-singing, hot chocolate, latkes and ice skating are all things that get us into the spirit of the holidays. But now there’s a new way to deck the halls: with code.
Earlier this year, we introduced a program called Made with Code to inspire millions of girls to try coding, and help them understand the creative things they can do with computer science. Starting today on madewithcode.com, girls can use the introductory programming language Blockly to animate the lights of the state and territory trees that will decorate President’s Park, one of America’s 401 national parks and home to the White House, through the holiday season.
The programmed lights will debut at the 92nd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, which will be livestreamed by the White House on Thursday and air on PBS nationally throughout December in partnership with the National Park Foundation and National Park Service. The tradition of the tree lighting ceremony dates back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit the first fir tree outside the White House, and this is the first year kids from across the country will be in control of the state and territory holiday tree lights!
As the mom of two girls, I know that technology is a pathway for their future success. Still, even as coding becomes more important, less than 1% of high school girls say they’re interested in pursuing computer sciences in college. But I’m also an engineer, so I’ve seen firsthand how exciting CS can be. I fell in love with code early—my dad was an engineer and he encouraged me to enter a programming competition in the seventh grade. I gave it a shot, and I’ve never looked back. Ever since that day, I’ve known that when I program something, I’m creating something totally new for the world.
That’s what Made with Code is about: discovering that creating something new and exciting—whether it’s a holiday tree, a video game or a driverless car—can be accomplished with the power of code.
But it’s also about building an ecosystem of support for girls through parents and teachers, and to show girls other women who are using CS to achieve their dreams. This challenge also kicks off Google’s commitment to CSEdWeek, a week dedicated to inspiring students to get interested in computer science that’s become one of the biggest education initiatives online. Over the coming week, thousands of Googlers will join the hour of code, and announce a few other special projects that we will fund through the holiday season and coming year.
I’m heading to Washington, D.C. this week to be a part of the ceremony, and I’m looking forward to watching the designs from girls across the country lighting up the nation’s capital—and inspiring my daughters and so many others with the power of code.
Posted by Pavni Diwanji, Vice President, Engineering
Category: Google | Dec 1, 2014
December may mean snow days in Denver, Colo. or beach days in Sydney, Australia, but in Santa’s Village, it means the countdown to Santa’s big night. Starting today, the elves are back on the clock in the North Pole—and throughout the month of December, you can join the elves as they unlock a new project or game each day in preparation for Santa’s annual journey around the world.
Throughout the holiday celebration, our own developer elves here at Google have also been hard at work getting the sleigh tracking algorithm ready for prime time. They’ve been adding finishing touches to the Santa Tracker App for Android so Santa’s just a tap away on phones, tablets, and TVs. The developer elves have been busy, so check out the chrome extension and keep a watch out for Santa surprises throughout the month.
Whether you’re wearing snow goggles or sunnies this December, come back to
www.google.com/santatracker each day to join in on present parachute practice and reindeer races, or to send a call to friends from Santa. There’s only 23 days to go, so follow Google Maps on Google+, Facebook and Twitter in the countdown to #tracksanta!
Posted by Sandy Russell, Santa Launch Strategist
Category: Google | Nov 24, 2014
It used to be that heading out to stores on Black Friday — one of the biggest holiday shopping days of the season — was the best way to find great deals. Now, we may be carrying the best tool for finding deals in our pockets.
This coming weekend, expect to see many of your fellow shoppers checking for deals on their smartphones while braving the lines and crowds at the mall. Nearly 50% of 25-34 year-olds use their phone to shop online while standing in line at a store. And because we want to help you research products more easily this holiday weekend, we’re rolling out new mobile features to Google Shopping.
Starting this week, when you search for a specific product on your smartphone or tablet you’ll see more detailed information about the product and where to buy it, like which stores have it available and product reviews from customers. You’ll also be able to rotate selected products on Google Shopping in 360 degrees to see them in more detail.
Getting a head start on Black Friday
Shoppers are already prepping for Black Friday shopping by researching purchases and deals online. We found that 27% of shoppers have already begun hunting for Black Friday deals online. Here are the top questions people are asking about Black Friday on Google Search. For more trends, visit our Shopping blog.
- what time do stores open on black friday
- what time does black friday start
- when does black friday end
- what to buy on black friday
Let Google Shopping and your smartphone help you check off what’s on that shopping list of yours and go enjoy everything else about the “most wonderful time of the year.”
Posted by Jennifer Liu, Product Manager, Google Shopping