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Meet the Google Earth and Google Trends Live Cases

Category: Google | Nov 17, 2016

Meet the Google Earth and Google Trends Live Cases 

Considering the amount of time we spend with our phones, it’s no surprise that they’ve become one of our most personal possessions. They allow us to not only connect with those we love, but also to explore and discover the world around us, from getting the latest news to finding inspiration for our next adventure. We think the cases we choose should reflect our style and interest.

Today we’re excited to launch a new line of Live Cases designed exclusively for Google’s new Pixel phones that do more than just protect your phone. The Google Earth and Google Trends Live Cases enable you to experience new places around the world and stay up-to-date with the latest trends, with the companion live wallpaper. 


Always know what’s trending

The Google Trends Live Case comes with a companion live wallpaper that charts the top trending Google Searches right on your home screen. Topics like the newest movie releases, hottest sports teams, and the latest social trends are brought to life through a visualization that represents its popularity during the last 24 hours. Double-tapping the screen surfaces additional trending topics, and pressing on the Live Case’s shortcut button takes you to the Google Search results for that topic.


See the world in the palm of your hand

The Google Earth Live Case wraps beautiful imagery from Google Earth all around your Pixel phone. From the ice formations of Antarctica to the beaches of the South Pacific, the Live Case designs extend to your home screen through Live Case’s companion wallpaper. The wallpaper updates everyday with a new location from a curated collection of images from Google Earth, and when a landscape piques your interest, just press the shortcut button to explore the location in more detail on the Google Maps app.


Exclusively for Pixel, Phone by Google

Discover the world with your own Google Earth and Google Trends Live Case. Available starting today  from the Google Store, Verizon and Best Buy in the US.


Google and Intel announce strategic alliance to accelerate cloud adoption in the enterprise

Category: Google | Nov 17, 2016

Today, the Google Cloud team is excited to announce a strategic alliance with Intel to support and accelerate enterprise adoption of the cloud. We’ve worked closely with Intel for years on datacenter processor technology, and are now expanding our collaboration to help enterprise customers move from legacy infrastructure to an open, secure and future-proof cloud. The alliance will focus on technology integrations and joint market education efforts.

Google and Intel have been working closely for many years to engineer and validate processor technology within the data center. With this new alliance, we’ll explore technology solutions for our enterprise customers in the areas of Kubernetes, machine learning, IoT and security, combining Google Cloud software capabilities with Intel’s advanced hardware. The alliance will focus on:

  • Kubernetes – Optimizing Kubernetes for Intel architecture to support a broad range of workloads. Intel is a major contributor to the Kubernetes ecosystem and enables enterprises to run OpenStack as a managed Kubernetes workload. Intel and Google engineers have already delivered code optimizations that have improved feature transparency on Intel architecture. This work is also expected to improve workload capabilities, including virtual network performance and prioritization of shared resources.

  • Machine Learning – Accelerating TensorFlow performance on Intel processors, for example by allowing TensorFlow to leverage all CPU cores and vector lanes for improved parallelism, integrating high-performance libraries such as the Math Kernel library (MKL) into TensorFlow, and optimizing memory allocation and data layer operations across a range of topologies.

  • IoT – Creating a secure platform for connecting Intel’s IoT edge devices to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), where the data can be analyzed to inform better decisions — a critical capability for industries like retail and manufacturing.

  • Security – Enhancing security integrations between Intel hardware and GCP infrastructure that will further improve security for enterprise customers.

In addition to exploring a number of new joint cloud solutions, with Intel we’re focused on developing technical education and market development materials that support the IT practitioners who are managing the transition to a multi-cloud world.

By deepening Google’s unique relationship with Intel, we can better help enterprises transition to the cloud.


Digital News Initiative: second funding brings €24M to 124 projects across Europe

Category: Google | Nov 17, 2016

We are thrilled to announce the second round of funding of the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund, Google’s €150m commitment to spark new thinking and give European news organisations of all sizes the space to try some new things, experiment and innovate in the digital space. Today, project leaders are being notified of funding offers that total €24 million to 124 projects originating from 25 European countries.

In October 2015, we issued the first call for applications to the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund. Since that time our team has had the opportunity to speak to thousands of ambitious European newsrooms, individuals, traditional publishing houses, startups and academics and to discover the stunning amount of research and development going on across the news sector here. With today’s funding announcement, the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund has so far distributed €51M to these efforts, and we’re just getting started.

In this second round of funding, in addition to the main criteria of impact, innovation and project feasibility that were set out as parameters from the outset of the Fund, we looked for projects focused on collaboration. The projects that stood out prioritise collaborative approaches between publishers, academics, designers and entrepreneurs, both within a single country and across Europe.

We received more than 850 project submissions from 25 countries, and of the 124 projects funded today, 43 are committed to the spirit of collaboration and partnership. And among the 30 Large projects selected for funding, 15 are collaborative. We see this collaboration–across countries, across newsrooms and across specialties–as an amazing display of the intent to energise the European news ecosystem with new ideas, new technologies and more.

While the list is long–happily so–a few projects are highlighted here as a sampling of this funding round:

Spiegel Online – Germany – in collaboration with Institut für Spielanalyse & TU München
What happens when you mix sports reporting and data science? With EUR 689,116 from the DNI, Spiegel’s collaborative project aims to create an entirely new way for readers and journalists to experience and analyze soccer games. With a goal of using new approaches in data collection, data interpretation and player analysis, Spiegel Online plans to help fans become experts–using novel applications of artificial intelligence.

Corriere della Sera: The Vocal Bot – Italy
With EUR 300,000 in funding, Corriere della Sera will pursue the design of a digital assistant where Corriere della Sera can answer users’ news-related questions on a variety of devices. The ambition is to be able to answer natural language queries such as “Please, tell me the latest on the Brexit” or “Who won today’s GP?.” The “Digital Assistant” will read headlines and articles, search Corriere della Sera’s archives, and scrape the publisher’s digital content for material.

Le Temps SA – Switzerland
The industry agrees that exceptional content increases loyalty and engagement. So with EUR 45,000 in funding, Le Temps is pursuing a tool to resurface and republish the newsroom’s best ‘evergreen’ articles when they relate to current events. Called “Zombie,” the tool will analyse articles on Le Temps’ website using data from both Chartbeat and Google Analytics and apply a score to each piece. At the same time Zombie will analyse web activity for trending topics–which can be matched to Le Temp’s database of content. If so, the tool will alert the newsroom.

The full list of projects offered funding to date can be found at The Fund is one arm of the Digital News Initiative, which today meets for its annual conference in Berlin. The two additional pillars of focus are Research & Training and Product Development that includes the Accelerated Mobile Pages project and the YouTube Player for Publishers.

The Digital News Initiative now counts 180+ members from across the European news industry and is focused on three pillars of advancement: product development, research and training, and the funding of new journalistic approaches via the Fund.


Android Pay says Cześć to Poland

Category: Google | Nov 17, 2016

Whether you’re doing your daily shop or heading for a night out, your Android phone is all you need as you walk out the door — thanks to Android Pay. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Poland, helping you pay for everything simply and securely with your Android phone.

Android Pay arrives in Poland

You will be able to use Android Pay at more than 400 thousand retail locations throughout Poland that accept contactless payments. This includes your favourite shops like Carrefour and Rossmann, cafes like Costa Coffee and much more – take a look here for more places where you can use Android Pay.

Polish Featured Stores

How does Android Pay work?

Using Android Pay is simple. Just wake up your phone (you don’t even have to open an app or unlock it), hold it to the payment terminal, and voilà — your payment is done. After you check out, you’ll get helpful information on your phone about your recent transactions.

Using Android Pay in Poland

Android Pay will also let you breeze through checkout when you shop in your favorite mobile apps. There’s no need to enter your payment or address details every time. Look for the Android Pay purchase button when the feature launches soon in apps like Allegro, Ceneo, Fancy, and Uber, with many more to come.

Polish Featured Apps

To get started, download Android Pay from the Play Store and add an eligible Mastercard or Visa card (credit or debit) from Alior Bank, Bank Zachodni WBK or T-Mobile Banking Services.  mBank will be supported soon, along with more banks in the coming months. Android Pay is available on all Android devices that are NFC-enabled and running on KitKat 4.4 or higher.

Polish Featured Banks

Because Android Pay doesn’t share your actual credit or debit card number with stores when you pay, it’s even safer than using a plastic card. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or wipe it clean of your personal information.

We’ve teamed up with many leading payment platforms, processors, and technology providers such as Braintree and First Data to make it even easier to accept Android Pay in stores and apps. Visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn more.

Polish Feautured Processors

Get started with Android Pay in Poland today: download the app on Google Play, add your card and start shopping. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.


Introducing a smarter and more beautiful Google Play Newsstand

Category: Google | Nov 16, 2016

Since 2013, Google Play Newsstand has provided a single destination on your phone or tablet for browsing thousands of the world’s leading news sources and magazines. More than 100 million users trust Newsstand every month to follow the stories, topics, and interests they care about.

Today, we are announcing a complete redesign of Newsstand that focuses on three big improvements: personalization, rich media, and the extension of our platform to the web.

A fully personalized news and magazine reader for you

We are applying the power of Google machine learning to Newsstand’s rich catalog in order to find and recommend the most timely, relevant stories for you based on your individual interests.

When you open the app, a personalized briefing shows you a blend of the top stories you need to know, including major headlines, local news, and personal interests. It’s perfect to start your morning, or to get caught up in under one minute during the day.


Below the briefing, Newsstand also recommends a stream of stories from your favorite topics and sources, allowing you to go deeper into the day’s news or to simply feed your curiosity. Each recommendation includes a justification and an option for providing feedback. This way you always know why we’re showing you a story, and you can easily tell Newsstand whether to continue showing you similar stories. In other words, it gets better the more you use it.

Rich images and videos make the feeds come to life

We have improved our support for multimedia content building on the AMP support we launched earlier this year. Scroll through your feed, and you will see autoplay videos, easy podcast controls, and high-resolution, full-bleed images. Every story and topic in Newsstand now comes to life in a more engaging, beautiful presentation. And our Data Saver mode allows you to enjoy it in a way that is aware of data and bandwidth preferences.


Available anywhere you want it, including the web

Finally, we know how important it is to provide access to the news and stories you care about, wherever you are. And that’s why we have not only included Android and iOS in this update, but have extended Newsstand 4.0 to the web with our brand new web app. No matter which platform or device you use, all of your personalization and favorite sources are just a tap or click away.


Altogether, we believe that these changes contribute to a much more engaging and delightful experience for staying on top of the news.

“Newsstand just got better and CNN is happy to be a part of it. Video is more visible and integral, aligning with CNN’s expertise and enabling us to reach audiences around the world in a more visual AND more personal way.”

— Meredith Artley, SVP & Editor In Chief, CNN Digital

“The Telegraph is committed to ensuring that our readers are able to access the content they want, on the platforms they prefer. As part of this, we have been working to grow the Telegraph’s presence on Google Newsstand. Over the last year, this has seen a trebling of our traffic on the platform. As Newsstand continues to evolve, it offers ever better user experiences and more monetisation opportunities for publishers. We welcome the launch of the latest version of Newsstand and look forward to being part of its ongoing success.”

 — Melinda Rogers, Lead Product Manager, The Telegraph

We will be rolling out these changes on AndroidiOS and the web over the next couple of days.


Save time with new custom templates in Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms

Category: Google | Nov 16, 2016

We recently launched new tools in G Suite like Explore, Action items, and other features to help your teams save time and focus on what’s important: creating impactful work, quicker. We know time spent re-creating files in the workplace takes away from the time your team can spend collaborating and achieving results.

That’s why, today, we’re rolling out custom templates in G Suite for the Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms files your teams use the most.

With this new feature, your team can simply submit files to shared template galleries in the Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms home screens for your co-workers to adapt and use as needed. With these customizable templates, your teams can focus less on formatting and more on driving impact and sharing success.

submit a template gif

G Suite for Business and Education customers can require templates be approved before they appear in the gallery or restrict who can submit new templates. Admins can learn more about enabling and using custom templates on the G Suite Apps Updates Blog.


Google Earth VR — Bringing the whole wide world to virtual reality

Category: Google | Nov 16, 2016

The world has so many beautiful and amazing places to visit. If we’re lucky, we’re able to travel and see a few of them. But even the most active travelers can only see a fraction. What if we could see them all?

Ten years ago, Google Earth began as an effort to help people everywhere explore our planet. And now, with more than two billion downloads, many have. Today, we are introducing Google Earth VR as our next step to help the world see the world. With Earth VR, you can fly over a city, stand at the top of the highest peaks, and even soar into space.

Now, at 196.9 million square miles, we know the world is pretty big, so we’ve made it easy to find great places to visit. Earth VR comes with cinematic tours and hand-picked destinations that send you to the Amazon River, the Manhattan skyline, the Grand Canyon, the Swiss Alps, and more.

Google Earth - Flying

Flying in Earth VR

You can download Google Earth VR today in the Steam Store for free. Like Tilt Brush, Earth VR is launching first on the HTC Vive. Stay tuned for more updates on Google Earth across other platforms next year.


Investing in the UK, building for everyone

Category: Google | Nov 16, 2016

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, gave a talk at our new campus in King’s Cross, London, where he spoke about the UK’s digital heritage, our investment in the country, and ensuring everyone is part of the digital economy:

Building a new London campus:

“It’s great to be in the UK, a place where innovators have changed people’s lives on a mass scale—from cracking the Enigma code, to inventing the world wide web. The UK is also home to institutions that improve the lives of people from every walk of life. Think about the BBC or the NHS—even the Premier League. The inclusiveness of these institutions may at times be taken for granted in the UK, but they greatly impress those of us looking in.

In the UK, it’s clear to me that computer science has a great future with the talent, educational institutions and passion for innovation. That’s why we’re investing in London in both engineering talent and infrastructure. 2,000 people—mostly engineers—moved into our current building in October, and we’re excited to continue our investment in King’s Cross with a brand new building right across the street. We plan to start construction in 2018, and when complete we’ll have more than a million square feet of space across three offices in the King’s Cross campus—enough for more than 7,000 employees.”

Announcing 5 hours digital skills training for everyone:

“We understand there’s uncertainty around topics like Brexit and the pace of technological change in our times. But we know for certain that the web and digital technology will be an engine of growth for years to come. As in most countries, many people in the UK lack the digital skills to feel a part of this fast growing economy. They need to learn skills like building a web presence, driving online growth and reaching customers over mobile and video. And to provide that support, we’ve been investing in digital skills training programs across Britain, and already visited more than 80 towns and trained 250k people.

And I’m pleased to announce our pledge to provide five hours of digital skills training to every person and every small business in Britain. Starting in 2017, no matter where you’re based, you’ll be able to get free training from our online academy. And for those who prefer to do these things face to face, we’ll bring our experts to more than 100 cities and towns so you can get the advice that matters to you.”

Announcing Expeditions for a million school children:

“Beyond reaching people currently in the workforce, we also see an opportunity to reach students earlier in the educational process—where technology can help acclimate the next generation to new tools and enrich the educational experience itself.

Take Expeditions, our collection of virtual reality content that can be used alongside existing curriculum to deepen learning. Think of these as virtual field trips, where no school bus alone could transport students. From the Great Barrier Reef to a firsthand encounter with dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum. It’s an amazing experience that electrifies the learning process. We’re also bringing Expeditions at no charge to a million British children by the end of 2017. We hope this not only brings science and the natural world to life, but inspires children to think about an emerging field like Virtual Reality.”

The UK is a tech leader:

“We believe the ingenuity and enterprise of the UK will ensure it remains a leading hub for discovery and opportunity. Taking a step back—just like Google in its early days, I know somewhere in the UK a couple of kids are tinkering with software and gears in a garage. While unknown to all of us, chances are, they may actually be inventing the future. By bringing the information, tools, and skills to serve them, our hope is that their ideas aren’t left to chance alone, but can someday take off—and make as positive a contribution to the world as UK inventors have consistently proven is possible.”


Indonesia’s PicMix: Editing and sharing photos made easy

Category: Google | Nov 16, 2016

Indonesian developer Inovidea Magna Global might not be a household name, but their photo sharing and editing app PicMix is nothing short of a global social phenomenon. When the team got their start in Jakarta in 2012, they had no idea that their problem-solving idea would one day grow into an app that had 27 million users worldwide. 

As part of our series of interviews with people across Asia-Pacific who use the Internet to create, connect, and grow, we spoke to their CEO, Calvin Kizana, and co-founder Sandy Colondam, to find out all about the secret sauce behind the team that makes those little stickers people just can’t get enough of. 

How would you describe the PicMix app in just one sentence?
PicMix is a photo and video editing and sharing app, that’s evolved into a global sharing community powered both by content and commerce.


Why did you choose to become developers?
We really wanted to do something that had the potential to bring joy to people. Compared to some more traditional career paths, building cool mobile apps can enrich people’s lives through delight. We wanted to find a mix of passion, tech and impact in our careers — this made becoming a developer an obvious choice. 

What inspired you to create PicMix?  
Back when we started our company in 2012, we were spending a lot of time editing, sharing and creating photo collages. We wanted to save time and create a one-stop-shop for all of this. That’s how the idea for PicMix was born. We set out to answer the question: what if we could create a single app that could do all of this and still be easy enough for everyone to use? 

What lessons have you learned along the way?
Never. Stop. Innovating. One of the greatest things about being a developer is that things are always changing. We have to keep up with new trends pretty much on a daily basis. If PicMix had remained a simple photo editing tool, it would have died an early death. By keeping up with how people were spending their time online, we we knew that PicMix needed to become social. Being flexible about your product, taking on user feedback and analyzing trends are the key factors to stay afloat in a competitive market.

What has been your biggest challenge?
The global app market is a pretty competitive place, and back when we got our start, Indonesian developers lacked access to a lot of the resources and education available in some other countries. We solved this problem by using the Google Play Developer tools. This ensured that our apps are the highest quality and have the potential to go global. 

For example, we needed an intuitive and appealing interface that people around the world would not only know how to use, but enjoy spending time in. We decided to apply the Material Design guidelines which are the same principles that the Android OS is built on. Material Design is a visual language that merges principles of good design with technology. After implementing these guidelines, the time our users spent in Picmix jumped from 2 minutes to 8 minutes. The number of likes and comments we got also skyrocketed. 

What is your advice for anyone who wants to get started as a developer?
Keep challenging yourself, explore the best in you and don’t be afraid of failing Success is 99% failure. 


Bringing Expeditions to 1 million students across the UK

Category: Google | Nov 15, 2016

Earlier today in a year 5 classroom in London, Sundar (our CEO) led 23 students on a field trip to the International Space Station, giving them the chance to learn about astronauts and space scientists.

Google Expeditions enables teachers to bring their students on virtual trips to places like museums, heritage sites, underwater, or even outer space — immersing students in experiences that bring abstract concepts to life and giving them a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom. Through partnerships with education companies such as TES and Twig, we’ve created more than 300 Expeditions and over 100 new lessons, which can be used alongside existing curriculum.

In addition to the 1 million students who have already taken an Expedition with Google Cardboard since we first introduced the Pioneer Programme, today we’re announcing our aim to reach another one million students in thousands of UK classrooms by the end of this school year.

Google Expeditions for the UK: Take your students around the world in VR

We’ve already received feedback from thousands of teachers in the UK who believe that Expeditions can help improve literacy and writing skills, and create excitement that complements and enhances traditional teaching methods.

The Google Expeditions team will be hitting the road to visit thousands of schools across Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Newcastle and Inverness in the next few months. The programme is free for any school in the UK and teachers are encouraged to sign up here.

Virtual reality can spark students’ imagination and help them learn about topics in an engaging and immersive way.

Sundar Pichai

CEO, Google

[edu] expeditions UK sundar