News > Google
Category: Google | Jul 31, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, I took a summer trip with friends. I found myself using plenty of Google tools while we were on vacation: from finding the best flight there and a last-minute hostel reservation, to discovering hidden gems in each city we visited, even I was surprised by how much Google made everything easier and smoother.
With that inspiration, we’ve created a one stop shop at g.co/summer with tips to help you also make the most of these last few weeks of summer.
Here are a few tips you might find useful too:
Meanwhile, my mom back home in New York found some great local activities and museum exhibits, like the MOMA Rain Room, using Google Now in her Google Search app. She even tried some Google+ MakerCamp classes, which inspired her to create her own DIY projects at home.
Post about your summer using hashtag #SummerTimes, and see what other folks are up to.
Posted by Liz Wessel, Marketing Manager and Summer Traveler
Category: Google | Jul 31, 2013
Coffee shop + Internet—it’s a pairing that many of us have come to rely on. WiFi access makes work time, downtime, travel time and lots of in-between times more enjoyable and productive. That’s why we’re teaming up with Starbucks to bring faster, free WiFi connections to all 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the United States over the next 18 months. When your local Starbucks WiFi network goes Google, you’ll be able to surf the web at speeds up to 10x faster than before. If you’re in a Google Fiber city, we’re hoping to get you a connection that’s up to 100x faster.
Google has long invested in helping the Internet grow stronger, including projects to make Internet access speedier, more affordable, and more widely available. The free Internet connection at Starbucks has become an important part of many communities over the years, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or for students without Internet at home who do their homework at Starbucks.
We’ll start rolling out the new networks this August. We appreciate your patience if it’s still a little while before we get to your favorite Starbucks—you’ll know your new network is ready to go when you can log in to the “Google Starbucks” SSID.
Posted by Kevin Lo, General Manager, Google Access
Category: Google | Jul 29, 2013
Today we’re launching a new Zagat website and mobile app for Android and iPhone that puts the very best restaurants and nightspots right at your fingertips. And for the first time, our trusted Zagat ratings and reviews are available for free with no registration required.
The new Zagat features the latest news and video content from our expert local editors, curated lists (think “10 Hidden Restaurant Gardens Around DC”), powerful search and map-based browsing to help you find the local gems.
These days, the challenge in deciding where to go is not about about a lack of information or user reviews, but finding accurate information and trusted opinions so you can quickly make informed decisions. Through our digital products—and the Google products you use every day like the new Google Maps for Mobile—you can rely on Zagat’s curated lists and summary reviews to cut through the clutter so you can find the perfect spot.
The new Zagat covers restaurants and nightlife in nine cities, and over the coming months we plan to expand to 50 U.S. and international destinations and cover shopping, hotels and other places of interest. We know that many of you are eager to have continued access to our content in these markets, so in advance of this expansion, we’ll soon make our existing ratings and reviews available on Zagat.com.
For more than 34 years we’ve been surveying passionate locals about the places that matter to them most. This is the foundation on which Zagat was built—and we hope that through our featured surveys on Zagat.com, you’ll continue to share your opinions with us as you rate and review the places you visit.
Posted by Gannon Hall, Group Product Manager and Head of Zagat
Category: Google | Jul 24, 2013
When I was growing up, my family had a single screen we huddled around every day: the television set in the living room. Nowadays, we “huddle” around multiple screens—laptops, smartphones and tablets—using them almost interchangeably as we navigate through our day. In a world of ubiquitous computing, life would be a lot simpler if we didn’t have to learn new behaviors and interfaces each time we switched screens—if we could have one consistent, intuitive experience no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Today, with the launch of Chromecast and the new Nexus 7 tablet, it’s even more effortless to enjoy content you care about—whether it’s video, music, movies, games—wherever you are, across your devices.
To help make it easy to bring your favorite online entertainment to the biggest screen in your house—the TV—we’re introducing Chromecast. Chromecast is a small and affordable ($35) device that you simply plug in to your high-definition (HD) TV and it allows you to use your phone, tablet or laptop to “cast” online content to your TV screen. It works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music, with more apps like Pandora coming soon. With Chromecast, we wanted to create an easy solution that works for everyone, for every TV in the house.
Once your Chromecast is set up, you can use your phone, tablet or laptop to browse and cast content to your TV, play and pause, control the volume, and more. But unlike other streaming solutions, you can still multitask—send emails or surf the web—while enjoying what’s on the TV screen. It works across platforms—Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Chrome for Mac and Windows (more to come), so your personal device is also now your remote control.
Cast the web to your TV
In addition to apps like Netflix, you can use Chromecast to bring a broad range of content available on the web to your big screen, thanks to a new feature in the Chrome browser that allows you to project any browser tab to your TV. From sharing your family photos to enjoying a video clip from your favorite news site, it’s as simple as pressing a button. This feature is launching in beta, but we’re excited for people to try it out and give us their feedback.
Google Cast SDK preview for developers
To ensure a great Chromecast experience over time, we’ve built Google Cast, a technology that enables developers to build consistent, intuitive multi-screen experiences across mobile devices and TVs. Today, we’re launching a preview version of Google Cast with more information for developers on our Google Developers blog. A handful of early developers are already working on enabling Google Cast technology in their apps, so more supported apps are coming soon. And while the Chromecast device is the first instantiation of Google Cast, we expect the technology to be embedded in a range of hardware from our partners in the future.
The new Nexus 7—the sharpest 7” tablet screen ever
Together with ASUS, we took what you loved about the original Nexus 7 and made it even better. The first thing you’ll notice is the sharpness of the screen: the 323 pixels packed into every inch of the screen makes it the world’s highest-resolution 7-inch tablet. It’s lighter than ever, with more than nine hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or reading. Nexus 7 now features stereo speakers and virtual surround sound from Fraunhofer (the inventors of the MP3 format), giving you rich and immersive audio.
Android 4.3—a sweeter Jelly Bean
Nexus 7 is the first device to ship with Android 4.3, the newest version of Android. Tablets are perfect for sharing with others, so in Android 4.3, we’re introducing restricted profiles, which let you limit access to apps and content. For example, restricted profiles enable parental controls, so certain family members are prevented from accessing mature content. Likewise, retail stores can use tablets to show off product information, and shops can use tablets as point of sale systems. Android 4.3 also now supports Bluetooth Smart technology, opening the door to mobile apps that connect to new devices like fitness sensors. Android 4.3 is rolling out to Nexus devices starting today.
Ready to Play
The new Google Play Games app brings your friends together with the games you love, where you can invite a friend and start challenging gamers around the world, compete for top achievements, and race to the top of the leaderboard. You can also enjoy the world’s largest collection of eBooks, listen to millions of music tracks and immerse yourself in thousands of movies, TV shows, magazines and apps on Google Play. Plus, Nexus 7 comes loaded with your favorite Google apps, like Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Gmail and Google Now.
How to get Chromecast and the new Nexus 7
Starting today, the Chromecast device is available for $35 on Google Play, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. It will be available in Best Buy stores across the U.S. starting July 28. For a limited time, you also get three months of Netflix included. More info available in Google Play.
Nexus 7 starts at $229, and is available in the U.S. beginning July 30 (with more countries coming soon!). Buy Nexus 7 online on Google Play, or check it out at Best Buy, Gamestop, Walmart, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Amazon, Home Shopping Network, Radio Shack, J&R and B&H Photo. Nexus 7 (LTE) is coming soon with support for T-Mobile and Verizon in the coming weeks.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps
Category: Google | Jul 17, 2013
Since opening our Campus Tel Aviv last December, we’ve hosted thousands of promising entrepreneurs and developers at events, workshops, lectures and hackathons. Many of these entrepreneurs refer to their start-ups as their “baby,” and it’s easy to understand why. Like having a newborn, a start-up is super-exciting, yet the days are hectic and the nights are… sleepless.
What’s really inspiring (and just a little bit crazy) is that some people do both at the same time. Take, for example, Israeli entrepreneur Hilla Brenner, who raised $5 million for her first start-up when she was nine months pregnant. Earlier this year, I had the chance to meet Hilla and we began talking about how juggling work and kids doesn’t leave much time to invest in learning and developing new skills. We also discussed how maternity leave can be one of the few times when women can stop and think about their career. We asked ourselves: what could we do to help women with young children get access to self-development and career support and, in doing so, to help more women become tech entrepreneurs?
Campus for Moms is a baby-friendly start-up school for new moms, run by Google in partnership with Yazamiyot, a networking group for Israeli women entrepreneurs. The first course, which ended this week, included nine sessions led by successful entrepreneurs, investors, technology experts and others. The sessions covered personal success stories, finance, legal and presentation skills, and tech knowledge, like cloud computing. We arranged mattresses, bean bags and diaper-changing facilities so that the moms could take care of their young ones during the sessions. Four babies were born during the course and one new mum returned to the program less than a week after giving birth!
At the end of the course, participants presented their initiatives to venture capital funds and the course speakers. Their ideas are exciting—including a platform for teachers to create apps for their students, a fashion-tech meet up to encourage cooperation between local fashion-related start-ups, a 2G mobile ecommerce gateway for emerging markets and a bunch of other great initiatives.
The participants are continuing to develop their skills: two of the start-ups have joined the Campus Tel Aviv “Launch Pad” program, an intensive week-long bootcamp for entrepreneurs, and another will be visiting Campus London to meet with U.K.-based entrepreneurs.
The first course of “Campus for Moms” is over, but we’re gearing up for another course in October. We’re also looking forward to sharing the tools and best practices we’ve developed at Campus for Moms with others, so they can help entrepreneurial moms in their communities. After all, whether they’re moms or not, entrepreneurs can always do with a helping hand with their “baby.”
Posted by Tal Sarig-Avraham, Product Marketing Manager
Category: Google | Jul 16, 2013
Since its construction in 1889, more than 250 million people have visited Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower. The highest monument in the world for more than 40 years (today that title is held by Burj Khalifa in Dubai), the Eiffel Tower remains the most visited monument globally. But not everyone has been or can hope to go—until now. If you’ve ever wondered what the view is like from above the City of Light or wanted to learn more about the Tower’s history, now’s your chance to find out.
The Google Cultural Institute and the Eiffel Tower Operating Company have teamed up to create three immersive online exhibitions which blend fascinating historical material with a sprinkling of technological magic. In order to capture the imagery, the Street View team followed in the footsteps of 7 million annual visitors and ascended multiple floors of the Tower. Using the Street View Trolley (designed especially for monuments and museums) they filmed 360-degree views of the monument’s architecture and its views over Paris.
These modern-day Street View panoramas sit alongside nearly 50 archival images, plans, engravings and photos telling the story of the Eiffel Tower’s development and social impact in the 19th century. Some of the archive material is quite rare and precious such as a recording of Gustave Eiffel’s voice by Thomas Edison.
The first exhibition presents the birth of the Eiffel Tower from the initial idea until its realization. You can then follow the construction of the monument step-by-step through photos and sketches. Details on the inauguration and the first visitors lie in the third exhibition, with photos of people admiring the Paris vista on the opening day leading into today’s Street View imagery from the top floor. Did you know that during the Tower’s inauguration for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, the elevators were not yet in service but 12,000 people per day rushed to climb the 1710 steps leading to the top?
As a product manager and designer, it’s been awe-inspiring to get to see the spectacular vision and the detailed architectural capabilities exemplified by the plans more than 100 years ago. It required tremendous knowledge of special planning and physics to ensure that 18,000 separately made pieces would come together as one. So if you’ve never visited the Eiffel Tower before, want to get insider knowledge or simply want to re-discover it in a new way, visit our site and immerse yourself in one of the most well-known attractions on the planet.
Posted by Mark Yoshitake, Head of Product & User Experience, Google Cultural Institute
Category: Google | Jul 15, 2013
Entrepreneurs have transformative power to build great products and companies that change our communities and improve our lives. With Google for Entrepreneurs, we’re working in more than 100 countries, in cities from Raleigh to Ramallah, Krakow to Cairo, to fuel the global entrepreneurial movement.
One of our goals is to connect our thriving partner network of entrepreneur communities worldwide with one another, and back to Silicon Valley. Today we’re taking another step in that direction with a partnership with Blackbox, a global startup accelerator.
Blackbox Connect brings founders from top accelerators around the world to take part in a two-week, fully immersive program where they live and work at the “Blackbox Mansion” in Silicon Valley, collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, experts and executives from the Silicon Valley community. They then return home to their native countries to scale their big ideas.
Google for Entrepreneurs is teaming up to power Blackbox Connect’s summer 2013 program. Several of our partners around the world have each nominated a top startup from their program, and eight startups have just arrived for the program kickoff today. Over the course of the next two weeks, they’ll receive pitch coaching, hear from over a dozen founders and investors, pitch their companies to the Silicon Valley community, even cook and dine together.
We’d like to congratulate the selected teams:
These companies represent the thriving startup communities growing around the world. For example, EgzoTech is a Polish startup designing robots to help patients doing muscle recovery. They’ve developed robots integrated with video games to motivate patients to test and improve muscle control. You can check our EgzoTech’s product video and learn more about all the selected startups on YouTube.
We’ve already seen the power that individual communities have in elevating successful entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to see the impact of bringing these communities together to live, learn and share insights. Stay tuned for more updates this week on our Google+ page.
Posted by Mary Grove, Director of Google for Entrepreneurs
Category: Google | Jul 10, 2013
Today we’re introducing a new Google Maps app for Android smartphones and tablets, also coming soon to iPhone and iPad. It’s a new mapping experience that makes exploring the world and getting to the places that matter to you a lot faster and easier. The app is gradually rolling out globally in Google Play and will be available soon in the App Store.
The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design we released for iPhone last December and improves on it with a few useful search and navigation features. And it’s the first dedicated app for Android tablets and iPads. We’re also retiring Latitude and are making some changes to offline and My Maps which we’ll explain in more detail below.
First, here are a few highlights that make this release stand out:
Explore: Explore is a fast and easy way to visually browse and discover new places without even typing. Simply tap the search box and you’ll see cards showing great places to eat, drink, sleep and shop.
Enhanced navigation: In addition to current traffic conditions, we’ve added two new features to help you navigate around traffic. You can now see reports of problems on the road that you can tap to see incident details. While on the road, Google Maps will also alert you if a better route becomes available and reroute you to your destination faster. This feature is available only on Android and is coming soon to iOS.
Designed for tablets: A dedicated tablet design brings all the features of this new app to Android tablets and iPads, which makes exploring the world from the comfort of your living room much more fluid, smooth and fun.
Reviews, Zagat and Offers: There’s a new 5.0 star rating system that gives you a quick read on how your friends and others rate places like restaurants, bars and cafes. For an expert’s opinion, the Zagat badge of excellence and curated lists are integrated into search results so you can quickly spot the very best places. From “Best Restaurants to meet for a drink in NYC” to “Best Restaurants in the Mission” in San Francisco, Zagat’s there to help you uncover the local gems.
And finally, Google Maps for mobile is a great way to discover valuable Offers from national brands like Macy’s, Michael’s and Toys “R” Us, labeled right on the map.
One important change you should know about is that Latitude and check-ins are no longer part of the new Google Maps app, and will be retired from older versions on August 9. We understand some of you still want to see your friends and family on a map, which is why we’ve added location sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android (coming soon to iOS). More details about Latitude and check-in changes can be found in our help center.
The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available. Instead we’ve created a new way for you to access maps offline by simply entering “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing the area you want for later. Finally, My Maps functionality is not supported in this release but will return to future versions of the app. People who want to create powerful custom maps can still do so with Maps Engine Lite on desktop.
Helping you find great places is what we love to do. And as more of us use mobile phones and tablets in our daily lives, information that’s useful to you isn’t just about what you need, but also where you might find it. Today’s update is an exciting step forward for Google’s maps—one that we hope will make it faster and easier for you to explore and discover places you want to go.
Posted by Daniel Graf, Director, Google Maps
*The new Google Maps for mobile is compatible with Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean Android devices and iOS 6+ when available. Please note some of the features mentioned in this post aren’t available in all countries.
Category: Google | Jul 9, 2013
Getting together for meals and laughs, telling stories, and simply spending time with loved ones—this is what holidays mean to many of us.
This year, as families around the world celebrate Ramadan, we have some tips on how you can more easily keep in touch and share moments with the people you care about.
Check out our new page for Ramadan 2013 for suggestions on how to catch up with friends and family no matter where you are, drop in to live cook-along Hangouts with celebrity chefs from around Southeast Asia, easily discover and watch videos on YouTube, and find the best commute routes that will get you home in time to share a meal with loved ones.
You can also experience the atmosphere of Al-Masjid Al-Haram by tuning in to the live stream from the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information’s YouTube channel, also available directly on our new page.
And if you’d like to see how people around the world are celebrating Ramadan, search for #ramadan2013 on Google+ to see the latest stream of posts and photos. You can also send through your own special moments: Simply share your favorite photo or post on Google+ and tag your post with #ramadan2013.
Posted by Hadi Raad, Head of Marketing, Emerging Arabia
Category: Google | Jul 9, 2013
This summer we’re posting regularly with privacy and security tips. Knowing how to stay safe and secure online is important, which is why we created our Good to Know site with advice and tips for safe and savvy Internet use. -Ed.
Summer is here, and with kids out of school it is a great time for families to explore the web together—from learning what makes fireflies glow to playing online games together. But while there is a lot of entertaining, educational content online, there are also materials I’d rather not see when I’m surfing the web with my family. Google has built a number of tools that parents can use to help keep content they would rather not see from popping up on the family computer. It takes less than five minutes to turn them on, so follow the steps below to help make your search results more family-friendly this summer.
1. Turn on SafeSearch in Google Search
Turning on SafeSearch is an easy way to help you hide images, search results and videos intended just for adults. It’s especially helpful if you’re concerned about the content that might pop up on your family computer, and it’s easy to turn on. Just visit the Google Search Settings page, go to the “SafeSearch filters” section, and check the box to filter mature content from Google Search result pages. These preferences will apply for any searches done using that browser on your computer. If you have multiple browsers on your family computer, you might want to turn SafeSearch on for each one.
2. Save and lock your preferences
Once you’ve set your preferences, make sure to click the Save button at the bottom of the page. And if you’re signed in to your Google Account, you can also lock the SafeSearch filter so others can’t change your preferences—just click “Lock SafeSearch.” Now the setting is protected with your Google Account password. While no filter is 100 percent perfect, with SafeSearch on you can feel more confident browsing the web with your family.
3. Turn on YouTube Safety Mode
YouTube Safety Mode helps you and your family avoid videos that might be OK with our Community Guidelines, but you might not want popping up on your family computer. Turning on Safety Mode in YouTube takes just one step. Scroll down to the bottom of any YouTube page and click on the button that says “Safety” at the bottom of the page—now you can choose your preferences for Safety Mode.
Click the button that says “Safety” at the bottom of any YouTube page, and then choose your preferences
4. Lock your Safety Mode preferences
Just like with Safe Search, you can also log in with your Google Account and lock YouTube Safety Mode on each one of your computer’s browsers. It will filter videos with mature content, so they won’t show up in video search results, related videos, playlists, shows or films. YouTube Safety Mode will also help hide objectionable comments.
5. Turn on SafeSearch on mobile
SafeSearch is available on your phone or other mobile device, as well as the web. You can turn on SafeSearch for Google on your mobile device by opening your phone’s browser and visiting google.com/preferences. Scroll to the SafeSearch Filters section to select what level of filtering you would like to enable. Be sure to tap “Save Preferences” after you’ve made your selection.
To enable SafeSearch on YouTube’s mobile app, first open your settings, then press “Search.” From there, select “SafeSearch Filtering” and select moderate or strict filtering.
Helping your family have a positive and safe experience with Google is important to you, and it’s important to us, too. That’s why we’ve partnered with parents and experts on free and easy to use tools and resources to help your family stay safe and secure when browsing online. If you’re interested in even more of our tools and tips, please see our Good to Know site, and stay tuned for more security tips throughout the summer.
Posted by Matthias Helier, Staff Software Engineer