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Now on iOS: one-tap access to real-time commute info and places around you

Category: Google | Feb 15, 2018

Whether we like it or not, sometimes life just flies by. And in the moment, every minute counts. Just one minute can be the difference between catching the last train or walking home in the rain. Or getting to that new restaurant in time to snag the last table. Last year we updated Google Maps for Android to provide access to helpful everyday info–in real time–at the bottom of the home screen. Now we’ve rolled out that same useful update to Google Maps for iOS as well.

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Just swipe up and you’ll see three tabs–the explore tab, driving tab and transit tab–that will help you find a nearby restaurant, beat traffic, or catch the next bus. No matter what iOS device you’re using, Google Maps can get you where you’re going and help you explore the world around you.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/bByfmufG3gg/

It’s easier than ever to travel with Project Fi

Category: Google | Feb 15, 2018

When it’s time to get ready for a trip, you want to focus on the adventures ahead, not the hassle of figuring out your phone coverage. Bill Protection already lets you use your data, including when you travel, without running up your bill, and today we’re giving travelers some extra peace of mind by expanding our international coverage and introducing a new way to figure out if you’ll be covered with Project Fi on your next trip.

Coverage from Argentina to Zambia

Starting today, you can enjoy data coverage in 170 countries and territories. Like always, the data you use abroad costs the same as the data you use at home. You’ll continue to enjoy the same high-speed international coverage, now in more places like Belize and Myanmar. And if you need some extra data when you travel, don’t sweat it—your data is still just $10 per GB or free with built-in Bill Protection.

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Here’s what’s new to our international coverage.

Know before you go

Project Fi will now let you know whether you’re covered on your next trip based on your upcoming international flights from Gmail. You’ll receive a notification in your Project Fi app shortly before your trip that allows you to easily see your coverage options and costs. These notifications will be enabled by default, but you can turn them off in your account settings.

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Know when you’ll be covered on your upcoming trips.

If you’re already on Project Fi, you don’t have to do anything to activate your international coverage—it’s all part of your phone plan. If you’re considering joining Project Fi, for a limited time you’ll score $80 Fi service credit with the purchase of any new Fi-friendly phone. You can learn more about Project Fi on our site.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/uUXe8YnAoWY/

Two #teampixel photographers say "I do" to Pixel 2

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

Jenny and Colin Hayles are professional photographers (Jenny does weddings and Colin captures nature and wildlife) and proud #teampixel members. Knowing that a Pixel 2 can take high-quality photos, they wanted to see how their phones would fare in the most picture-worthy setting: a wedding. We spoke with Jenny and Colin about their experience using a Pixel 2 at an experimental wedding photo shoot.

Tell us about your wedding experiment. How’d you come up with the idea?
Colin: The concept developed when one of my shots was featured on #teampixel, and I realized just how amazing the Pixel camera was. At first, I wanted to show that wedding guests have no excuse for taking lousy pictures if you have a Pixel. But Jenny and her creative team (shout out to our planner from Jaqueline Rae Weddings) went to the next level—she wanted to shoot professional wedding photos with a Pixel. Before we tried it out at a real wedding, we had to see what the Pixel was capable of—from details, to portraits, to action shots. We simulated the details of a wedding day—the gown and tux, rings, stationery, cake and flowers—and recruited our friends Michele and Tom (a real-life couple) to be our models. We used only a Pixel 2 (no reflectors, lights, or tripods) for the entire photo shoot. The results were, I think, better than any of us dared to hope.

Which Pixel features did you use most during the shoot?
Jenny: We used the portrait feature the most—it’s pretty much like shooting with a high-end prime lens with a large aperture. In other words, it beautifully blurs the foreground and background to create that fine art look. Shooting macro shots without an extra lens is fantastic for the details that brides love to see (like shots of their wedding rings).

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Colin and the models

What’s the biggest pro of shooting a wedding with a phone?
Jenny: I loved being able to send images to the couple right away. Often brides and grooms see poor-quality images first, as guests begin to post on social media, but shooting with a Pixel, I can share beautiful images right away.

Did the couple feel more comfortable and natural when the photos were taken on a Pixel, rather than a big professional camera?
Colin: Shooting with a Pixel 2 was a novel idea, so there was some curiosity. We shared images throughout the shoot with the team and bride and groom. There were comments that the next phone they get will be a Pixel 2! It made me think that it is an invaluable tool for non-photographers who work in the wedding industry—like florists—to take high-quality images of their work as well.

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Behind-the-scenes at the wedding shoot: here’s Jenny with her Pixel 2 (decor and furniture came from @modernluxerental)

What other big events you’re going to tackle next?
Colin: We’d love to use the Pixel 2 for a honeymoon or engagement shoot. The idea of not taking along a heavy and conspicuous camera bag and coming away with high-quality images is an exciting and back-saving idea. We traveled to Cuba last year and used our first-generation Pixels to capture the bulk of the photos we took and I was so impressed. I only brought my camera gear along on one day of the whole trip.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/2OPCLFvBs9o/

Meet the couple that guides together

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

Local Guides come from all over the world, and they form a community of people who share their knowledge on Google Maps—everything from photos and reviews of local restaurants to accessibility information.

And for one long-distance couple, the Local Guides community helped bridge the miles between Malaysia and Bangladesh. Sumaiya Zafrin Chowdhury and Pavel Sawar got married in 2013 and became Local Guides in 2015. Nine months ago, Pavel moved to Malaysia to study information technology, and Sumaiya stayed in Bangladesh to pursue her career as an entrepreneur, community leader and social worker.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re spotlighting this Local Guides love story. We spoke to Sumaiya and Pavel about how they enjoy the community together, and how Local Guides helps them stay connected while they’re apart.

Tell us where it all began: how did you meet?

Pavel: I first saw Sumaiya at a social work event in 2012…first look, fell in love. One day I went to visit a slum, and saw her there serving underprivileged people. I am fascinated by her work.

You’ve been apart for nine months. How do you make a long-distance relationship work?

Sumaiya: I went to Malaysia twice and we had great fun together. We discovered many places. We try to meet every three months. We manage our relationship through social media, especially via video call and chatting through Google Hangouts. We share songs and pictures also.

When you’re in the same place, what are your favorite things to do together?

Pavel:Sumaiya and I love to travel very much. As Local Guides, we also love to arrange meet-ups together and do social work and community activities.

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    Pavel and Sumaiya’s wedding in March 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh
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    At a Local Guides get-together in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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    Having some fun at Mohammed Ali Palace Museum & Park in Bogra, Bangladesh.
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    Celebrating the new year with coconut water at Inani Beach in Bangladesh.

So you connect over Local Guides together?

Sumaiya:Yes, we use Local Guides community and Maps to plan activities and date nights. Sometimes, we celebrate our special days through mapping. We plan to visit new places and compare our points. Mapping and meet-ups are our favorite part.

Pavel: Every day we discuss Local Guides. When Sumaiya arranges a meet-up, I try to help her. When I arrange one Sumaiya helps me lot. We discuss our contributions, photo views, quality reviews, etc. Local Guides helps us to spend more time together. Local Guides makes our relationship closer.

Why did you both decide to join Local Guides?

Pavel:Personally I love traveling, taking photos, and eating at different restaurants. As a traveler and explorer, I use Google Maps almost every day. I love to discover new places and I love to take photos. With Local Guides, I can help any other travelers also. I feel I am helping people in my community. Local Guides are like my family. It’s now part of my life.

Sumaiya: Pavel introduced me to Local Guides back in 2015. I joined in March 2015 because I love technology, traveling and photography. With Local Guides, I can do something positive for my society; that’s why I was interested to join.

We recently did a post about seven kinds of Local Guides. Which ones do you identify with?

Pavel: The Visualist and the Trailblazer.

Sumaiya: I identify as a Fact Hunter because I want all to know real information about a place…and Trailblazer because I love to discover and add new places.

For those that are new to Local Guides, what advice do you have for someone just getting started?

Pavel: First, spend some quality time on Local Guides Connect. See how others in the community are doing. Arrange meet-ups. Please contribute on Local Guides to be a good citizen. Don’t focus on points.

Sumaiya:Upload proper pictures in proper places. Post useful and informative reviews that one can easily understand. Do meet-ups so that people can know about this community. And for the people of my own country, I want to advise them: please contribute more, add new places, and do your best reviews so that tourists can understand that our country is very beautiful.

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Sumaiya: Pavel is very punctual. This is the part of his character I like the most. He’s also a very trustworthy and hard-working person. He is very caring…he always supports me and appreciates my work.

Pavel: I can’t appreciate Sumaiya in a single sentence. Sumaiya is not only a good wife, she is also a good mentor for me. She gives support to me for my every good work. Without her I am nothing.

To discover a few beautiful (and unusual) places this Valentine’s Day, check out these lists of romantic restaurants around the world, and film locations for famous love stories.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/7iSWlM4-Lkc/

Looking for Europe’s top entrepreneurs: The 2018 Digital Top 50 Awards

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

Tech entrepreneurs are changing the world through their own creativity and passion. To celebrate Europe’s thriving entrepreneurial scene and honor the most promising tech companies, in 2016 we founded the Digital Top 50 Awards, in association with McKinsey and Rocket Internet. The 2018 edition of the awards are now open for applications.

Now in their second year, the awards are organized, once again, under the patronage of Mr. Carlos Moedas, Member of the European Commission, and supported by strategic partners INSEAD, Ashoka and Tech Open Air. Companies with a digital product or service from the EU and from EFTA countries can apply on the Digital Top 50 website until April 1, 2018.

All top 50 companies will receive free tickets and showcase space at Tech Open Berlin on June 20-21 2018, where the final winners in each category will be announced. The winner in the Tech for Social Impact category will be granted a cash prize of 50,000 euros, and all five winners will be provided with support from the founding partners to scale their businesses further—through leading professional advice, structured consulting and coaching programs, as well as access to a huge network of relevant industry contacts.

 

Helping people embrace new digital opportunities is at the heart of our Grow with Google initiative in Europe. With the DT50 awards, we hope to recognize a new generation of entrepreneurs, and help them grow further and realize their dreams.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/pLbxyRG4bSM/

Celebrating five years at Campus Tel Aviv (and many more to go)

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

Five years ago Campus Tel Aviv opened its doors. It’s a hub to support Israel’s strong and growing startup community, where entrepreneurs from different walks of life and at different stages of their journey can come together to learn, share and connect.  

And connect they have. Our members have hosted over 3,200 events with more than 250,000 participants, met with distinguished guests including the President and Prime Minister of Israel, and used Campus as a platform to empower their own communities and build ambitious new companies.

Startups like Syte.AI, SaferVPN and Veed.me have come to Campus to learn from Googlers and get help taking their businesses global. Tal Gadot, Omer Kenet and Tomer Mesika of RapidUI joined Tel Aviv’s Campus Experts Summit in 2017. They sought help to launch their website builder and, after two weeks of working with Google mentors from the U.S., they decided to change their positioning and shift the focus of their go-to-market strategy, with great success.

We’ve worked hard over the last five years to support underrepresented entrepreneurs and create a more inclusive startup ecosystem. For example, women make up around 40 percent of participants in our education programs and we heard from many women who were on maternity leave that they would love to fulfill their dream of starting a business. So we created Campus for Moms, where mothers can bring their babies to work. We’ve expanded this program to our fellow Campuses in London, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Madrid and Warsaw. We’ve also helped support other community programs through marketing, free space and mentoring, such as She Codes, a women’s coding bootcamp, which has grown from 10 members to more than 16,000.

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A participant of the Campus for Moms program takes part in a mentoring session.

We also created APPlicable, a program that helps startups make their mobile apps more accessible to people with disabilities. We connected more than 50 startups with groups of people with disabilities, who tested the app and provided feedback on the app’s accessibility. Through this program, a product lead at Fiverr realized how parts of their app were difficult to navigate using voice-over and incorporated recommendations from a tester. We’re looking forward to bringing the APPlicable program and our learnings to our other Campuses around the world in the coming months.

Nearly every day we hear about Israeli entrepreneurs building exciting new technologies that can have a positive impact on the world. We’ll continue to support the startup community in Israel; later this year Campus Tel Aviv is moving to a larger location, and we’re also bringing on board a Head of Campus to lead our efforts there. I’m also excited to lead a number of new programs, both at our expanded space and globally.

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far! Here’s to the next five years, and the great stories and successful companies that we’ll create together.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/ESpZM6smqAI/

The next billion users are the future of the internet

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

In the late 1990s, I moved from Delhi to Stanford for a master’s degree in computer science. Getting off the plane in San Francisco, I was ecstatic about the amazing computing power, lightning-fast internet and easy access to knowledge available at an American university. Back home, most people across Asia could only get online at an internet café or over dial-up modems, and internet speeds weren’t great. Computing power was still a luxury.

Today more than 3 billion people, more than half of them in Asia, own smartphones—devices many times more powerful than those top-of-the-line workstations at Stanford I was so excited to use. But despite this huge shift, many of us in the tech industry often find ourselves stuck in a previous way of thinking, where we assume that “computing” is something that starts with the privileged few in places like Silicon Valley and trickles down slowly to everyone else.

This isn’t just an old idea, but one that has become completely wrong.

The future of the internet is in the hands of the next billion users—the latest generation of internet users to come online on smartphones in places like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria. As time goes on, the average internet user will be more like these “next billion users” than the first billion who started on PCs. That means we need to look not at Silicon Valley or London but to places like Sao Paulo, Bangalore, Shanghai, Jakarta and Lagos to truly understand where the internet is going.

The next billion users are already changing the internet in three key ways: a mobile-only mindset, an instinct for ubiquitous computing, and a demand for localized content.

First, let’s start with the mobile-only mindset. Most of the next billion users have never used a PC and may never use one. They don’t think of the internet as something you access with a mouse and a keyboard. A computer is not a terminal where you type in queries. A computer is a smartphone, and it also doubles up as a television, a wallet, a classroom, and a portal for government services. Their expectations on how mobile apps should work is also completely different. When building our India-first, mobile payment app Tez, for example, we focused the app around “people and conversations” rather than the financial features, to reflect familiarities with chat apps. All successful global apps in the future will need to speak the universal design language of people who grew up on mobile phones rather than PCs.

This brings me to the second point: ubiquitous computing. This means having natural interactions with a computer that can hear, see and understand—for example, asking “Do I need an umbrella today in Delhi?” rather than typing “Delhi weather forecast.”

Because the breakthroughs that make ubiquitous computing possible rely on cutting-edge work in artificial intelligence, we tend to think that advances will start in the most prosperous parts of the world and expand from there. But we’ve found with the Google Assistant, for example, that the next billion users adopt cutting-edge technology astonishingly quickly. Since we launched the Google Assistant on the first feature phone in December, the Reliance JioPhones, usage of the Assistant in India has grown six times over the past four weeks. This isn’t just due to many semi-literate or illiterate users, but also the fact that typing is difficult for people who never grew up with a computer keyboard. The next billion users will be the first to truly embrace ubiquitous computing, expecting apps to work in a natural way rather than having to learn all the artificial commands that we did on PCs.

Which brings me to the third way the internet is changing: local languages. There are estimates that web content is more than 50 percent English. Hindi, the #4 language in terms of global speakers, is not even in the top 30 languages for web content. And in countries like India, the generation coming online now is more comfortable in their native language than in English, and so language can be a big blocker to expanding internet access.

You should not have to learn English to use the internet. The next billion users expect more content in their languages. And video is turning out to be the medium where they create and enjoy this content. Anyone can turn on a camera, share stories in their own tongue, and find huge audiences online. YouTube has seen an explosion of non-English content, such as the Telugu film channel TeluguOne, with 1.8 billion views. Going forward, we believe the demand for local content will reverse the language imbalance, leading to an internet more inclusive of the entire world’s language diversity.

At Google, we build technology with these three insights in mind—and we find that they don’t just help the next billion users, but the first billion as well. For example, the Google Maps team built Maps Offline for motorists in India who could not afford the data for navigation while they drive, but now the feature is used across the world, from commuters going through lots of tunnels to tourists visiting a new country.

For a long time, we talked of a “responsibility” to make our technology work for the next billion users. But as the internet follows their lead, serving people in India, Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria has become necessary for companies that want to stay at the cutting edge of consumer innovation, and the future. The next billion users are not becoming more like us. We are becoming more like them.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/3ya_V9tmjyE/

With love, from your Google Assistant

Category: Google | Feb 13, 2018

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No matter how you like to spend your Valentine’s Day—with romantic gestures or like any other Wednesday—the Google Assistant is here to help you celebrate and have some fun. Just say …

  • Hey Google, serenade me
  • Hey Google, will you be my Valentine?
  • Hey Google, tell me a love story
  • Hey Google, I’m single
  • Hey Google, I hate Valentine’s Day

So happy Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or Wednesday to you and yours!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/xNryG_bdeLU/

The browser for a web worth protecting

Category: Google | Feb 13, 2018

The web is an incredible asset. It’s an engine for innovation, a platform for sharing, and a universal gateway to information. When we built Chrome, we wanted to create a way for people to interact with the magic that is the web, without the browser getting in the way. We created a browser that took up minimal space on your screen, made the omnibar so you could quickly search or get directly to a website, and built our pop-up blocker to help you avoid unwanted content. Since then we’ve also added features such as Safe Browsing, pausing autoplay Flash and more—all aimed at protecting your experience of the web.

Your feedback has always played a critical part in the development of Chrome. This feedback has shown that a big source of frustration is annoying ads: video ads that play at full blast or giant pop-ups where you can’t seem to find the exit icon. These ads are designed to be disruptive and often stand in the way of people using their browsers for their intended purpose—connecting them to content and information. It’s clear that annoying ads degrade what we all love about the web. That’s why starting on February 15, Chrome will stop showing all ads on sites that repeatedly display these most disruptive ads after they’ve been flagged. 

To determine which ads not to show, we’re relying on the Better Ads Standards from the the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving the experience of the ads we see on the web. It’s important to note that some sites affected by this change may also contain Google ads. To us, your experience on the web is a higher priority than the money that these annoying ads may generate—even for us.

The web is an ecosystem composed of consumers, content producers, hosting providers, advertisers, web designers, and many others. It’s important that we work to maintain a balance—and if left unchecked, disruptive ads have the potential to derail the entire system. We’ve already seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren’t doing anything disruptive. By focusing on filtering out disruptive ad experiences, we can help keep the entire ecosystem of the web healthy, and give people a significantly better user experience than they have today.

We believe these changes will not only make Chrome better for you, but also improve the web for everyone. The web is a vital part of our day-to-day. And as new technologies push the web forward, we’ll continue working to build a better, more vibrant ecosystem dedicated to bringing you only the best experiences.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/D0qYzl2El1Y/

Bringing the power of AMP to Gmail

Category: Google | Feb 13, 2018

For the past few years, we’ve worked to make mobile pages load faster through an open-source framework called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP started as an effort to help publishers, but as its capabilities have expanded over time, it’s now one of the best ways to build rich webpages. With this came the opportunity to modernize one of the most popular places where people spend their time: email.

Today, we’re bringing the power of AMP to email through the Gmail Developer Preview of “AMP for Email.” This new spec will be a powerful way for developers to create more engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences.

For example, imagine you could complete tasks directly in email. With AMP for Email, you’ll be able to quickly take actions like submit an RSVP to an event, schedule an appointment, or fill out a questionnaire right from the email message. Many people rely on email for information about flights, events, news, purchases and beyond—more than 270 billion emails are sent each day! AMP for Email will also make it possible for information to easily kept up-to-date, so emails never get stale and the content is accurate when a user looks at it.

Companies like Pinterest, Booking.com and Doodle are developing new experiences for consumers using AMP for Email, and we’re excited to see what others will do soon.

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    Browse and save your favorite items in Pinterest
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    View hotel rooms and up-to-date deals on Booking.com
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    Share your availability with Doodle

The AMP for Email spec is available today and we’re planning for support in Gmail later this year. To get developer preview access to AMP for email in Gmail, sign up on our site.  By bringing AMP to email, we’re opening up new possibilities for companies to engage with their audiences, and we can’t wait to see what developers will build. Because AMP for Email is an open spec, we look forward to seeing how other email clients will adopt it, too.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/kqXKKcM4u2k/