News > Google
Category: Google | May 15, 2013
This morning, we kicked off the 6th annual Google I/O developer conference with over 6,000 developers at Moscone Center in San Francisco, 460 I/O Extended sites in 90 countries, and millions of you around the world who tuned in via our livestream. Over the next three days, we’ll be hosting technical sessions, hands-on code labs, and demonstrations of Google’s products and partners’ technology.
We believe computing is going through one of the most exciting moments in its history: people are increasingly adopting phones, tablets and newer type of devices. And this spread of technology has the potential to make a positive impact in the lives of people around the world—whether it’s simply helping you in your daily commute, or connecting you to information that was previously inaccessible.
This is why we focus so much on our two open platforms: Android and Chrome. They enable developers to innovate and reach as many people as possible with their apps and services across multiple devices. Android started as a simple idea to advance open standards on mobile; today it is the world’s leading mobile platform and growing rapidly. Similarly, Chrome launched less than five years ago from an open source project; today it’s the world’s most popular browser.
In line with that vision, we made several announcements today designed to give developers even more tools to build great apps on Android and Chrome. We also shared new innovations from across Google meant to help make life just a little easier for you, including improvements in search, communications, photos, and maps.
Here’s a quick look at some of the announcements we made at I/O:
- Android & Google Play: In addition to new developer tools, we unveiled Google Play Music All Access, a monthly music subscription service with access to millions of songs that joins our music store and locker; and the Google Play game services with real-time multiplayer and leaderboards. Also, coming next month to Google Play is a special Samsung Galaxy S4, which brings together cutting edge hardware from Samsung with Google’s latest software and services—including the user experience that ships with our popular Nexus devices.
- Chrome: With over 750 million active users on Chrome, we’re now focused on bringing to mobile the speed, simplicity and security improvements that we’ve seen on the desktop. To that end, today we previewed next-generation video codec VP9 for faster video-streaming performance; the requestAutocomplete API for faster payments; and Chrome Experiments such as “A Journey Through Middle Earth” and Racer to demonstrate the ability to create immersive mobile experiences not possible in years past.
- Google+: We unveiled the newly designed Google+, which helps you easily explore content as well dramatically improve your online photo experience to give you crisp, beautiful photos—without the work! We also upgraded Google+ Hangouts—our popular group video application—to help bring all of your real-life conversations online, across any device or platform, and with groups of up to 10 friends.
- Search: Search has evolved considerably in recent years: it can now have a real conversation with you, and even make your day a bit smoother by predicting information you might need. Today we added the ability to set reminders by voice and we previewed “spoken answers” on laptops and desktops in Chrome—meaning you can ask Google a question and it will speak the answer back to you.
- Maps: Today we previewed the next generation of Google Maps, which gets rid of any clutter in order to put your individual experience and exploration front and center. Each time you click or search, our technology draws you a tailored map that highlights the information you need. From design to directions, the new Google Maps is smarter and more useful.
Technology can have a profound, positive impact on the daily lives of billions of people. But we can’t do this alone—developers play a crucial role. I/O is our chance to come together and thank you for everything you do.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps
Category: Google | May 9, 2013
Today, we’re making it possible for you to go back in time and get a stunning historical perspective on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time. Working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and TIME, we’re releasing more than a quarter-century of images of Earth taken from space, compiled for the first time into an interactive time-lapse experience. We believe this is the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public.
Built from millions of satellite images and trillions of pixels, you can explore this global, zoomable time-lapse map as part of TIME’s new Timelapse project. View stunning phenomena such as the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon and urban growth in Las Vegas from 1984 to 2012:
The images were collected as part of an ongoing joint mission between the USGS and NASA called Landsat. Their satellites have been observing earth from space since the 1970s—with all of the images sent back to Earth and archived on USGS tape drives that look something like this example (courtesy of the USGS).
We started working with the USGS in 2009 to make this historic archive of earth imagery available online. Using Google Earth Engine technology, we sifted through 2,068,467 images—a total of 909 terabytes of data—to find the highest-quality pixels (e.g., those without clouds), for every year since 1984 and for every spot on Earth. We then compiled these into enormous planetary images, 1.78 terapixels each, one for each year.
As the final step, we worked with the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, recipients of a Google Focused Research Award, to convert these annual Earth images into a seamless, browsable HTML5 animation. Check it out on Google’s Timelapse website.
Much like the iconic image of Earth from the Apollo 17 mission—which had a profound effect on many of us—this time-lapse map is not only fascinating to explore, but we also hope it can inform the global community’s thinking about how we live on our planet and the policies that will guide us in the future. A special thanks to all our partners who helped us to make this happen.
Posted by Rebecca Moore, Engineering Manager, Google Earth Engine & Earth Outreach
Category: Google | May 8, 2013
Developers today have the power to introduce powerful, breakthrough technologies to the world through their code. That’s why we look forward to bringing Google developers together year after year at Google I/O, our annual developer conference. In one week, we’ll welcome more than 6,000 developers to I/O through the doors of Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco, Calif.—and many more via our event’s live streams. If you’re looking for inspiration and want to learn more about the future of our products, we hope you’ll tune in to our live keynote and technical sessions.
Starting on May 15 at 9 a.m. PT (16:00 UTC), join us as Google Developers Live (GDL) powers multiple channels of live streamed content from Google I/O on developers.google.com/io. On this page, you can:
- Stream the keynote on your computer, tablet or phone. Get in on the action, and listen to product and technology announcements straight from our teams. Live streaming will run on developers.google.com/io from 9 a.m. PT (16:00 UTC) to 7 p.m. PT (2:00 UTC) on May 15 and 16.
- Watch exclusive interviews with the Googlers behind the latest product announcements. This year, GDL will broadcast one-on-one product deep dives, executive interviews and Developer Sandbox walkthroughs from our onsite stage.
- Get the latest news in real time. We’ll post official announcements during I/O. You’ll be able to see the feed on the Google I/O homepage, in the I/O mobile app (coming soon), and on +Google Developers.
- Never miss a session. The keynote and all sessions will be recorded and made rapidly available on GDL and the Google Developers YouTube channel.
Whether you’re joining us from the comfort of home for Google Developers Live at I/O or at an I/O Extended event, tune into developers.google.com/io at 9 a.m. PT (16:00 UTC) on May 15 for the latest from Google product teams. Add +Google Developers to your circles and follow #io13 to stay updated on official conference announcements and connect with the community.
Posted by Mike Winton, Director of Developer Relations
Category: Google | May 8, 2013
If you took a quick snapshot of content available on the web, you might think that everyone around the world spoke English, Chinese, French or Spanish. But in fact, millions of people around the world speak an incredible array of languages that currently have a small presence across the web.
Google Translate helps bridge the divide between the content available online and people’s ability to access that information. Starting today, you can translate another five languages using Google, which combined are spoken by more than 183 million people around the globe:
- Bosnian is an official language in Bosnia and Herzegovina that’s also spoken in regions of neighboring countries and by diaspora communities around the world.
- Cebuano is one of the languages spoken in the Philippines, predominantly in the middle (Visayas) and southern (Mindanao) regions of the nation.
- You can hear the Hmong language spoken in many countries across the world, including China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and throughout the United States.
- Javanese is the second most-spoken language in Indonesia (behind Indonesian), with 83 million native speakers.
- Marathi is spoken in India and has 73 million native speakers. Google Translate already supports several other Indian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
With the exception of Bosnian, these new languages are “alpha,” meaning while the quality isn’t perfect, we will continue to test and improve them over time.
You can access Translate via the web at https://translate.google.com, on your Android or iOS device, or via Chrome and in Gmail. We’re excited to reach the 70+ language milestone, and we look forward to continuing to add more languages.
Bosnian: Google Prevodilac sada podržava više od 70 jezika!
Cebuano: Google sa Translate misuporta na karon sa kapin sa 70 ka mga!
Hmong: Google Translate nim no txhawb nqa tshaj li 70 hom lus!
Javanese: Google Translate saiki ndhukung luwih saka 70 basa!
Marathi: Google भाषांतर आता 70 पेक्षा जास्त भाषांचे समर्थन करते!
Posted by Sveta Kelman, Program Manager, Google Translate
Category: Google | May 7, 2013
As both a daughter and a mom, Mother’s Day gives me the opportunity to tell my mom how much I appreciate, respect and admire her. It also reminds me to aspire to do my best for my own kids, just as my mom did for me. My best almost always begins with a hug.
As families search for new ways to make the most important women in their lives feel extra special, we have some suggestions to help you celebrate your mom, or another great mom in your life.
Visit our special page for Mother’s Day for gift ideas, to find local flower delivery options, and for tips on how to stay connected—and to just say “thank you.”
We also encourage you to share your favorite photo or video of mom (or a note to mom) and tag your post with #HeresToTheMoms.
Starting this week, you can also tune in to Mother’s Day Google+ Hangouts from +AskMen, featuring editors from +Parenting.com that will provide you with creative ideas about how to make this a day your mom won’t forget. Join the Mother’s Day Guide Google+ community to ask questions and hear what others are planning.
From all of us at Google, we wish moms everywhere a happy Mother’s Day!
Posted by Sabrina Ellis, Director of Product Management, Google+, loving daughter, and proud mom of 11-year-old Vivian and 8-year-old Ryan
Category: Google | May 6, 2013
Computing’s early days are full of stories about great technical leaps forward. But sometimes what matters most isn’t a shift in technology so much as a change in the way it is used. The “Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator” (EDSAC)—64 years old today—is a stellar example.
Entry from log book marking the first day that EDSAC was in operation: “May 6th 1949. Machine in operation for first time. Printed a table of squares (0-99), time for programme 2 mins, 35 sec. Four tanks of battery 1 in operation”. Reproduced with kind permission of Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
EDSAC is noteworthy for marking the transition from “test to tool” in civilian computing. Maurice Wilkes, EDSAC’s designer, sought to build a multi-purpose, reliable workhorse that would bring unrivalled calculating power to University of Cambridge researchers. His aim wasn’t to be at the cutting edge of engineering; rather to be at the forefront of delivering a computer-powered general calculation service. Above all else, Wilkes wanted EDSAC to be a practical computer, useful and accessible to a wide range of researchers.
Short film celebrating the work of EDSAC’s team, led by Maurice Wilkes, produced by Google
In May 1949 EDSAC became the world’s first general purpose stored program computer to enter regular service, transforming scientific research at the University of Cambridge by making it possible to speedily tackle analyses of previously impractical scale, across disciplines as varied as astronomy, economics, biology and more.
But EDSAC’s legacy stretches far further. Subroutines—a central tenet of programming today—were invented by David Wheeler to make it easier to program EDSAC by re-using lines of existing code. The world’s first computer science diploma had EDSAC as its foundation. The world’s first business computer was built with EDSAC as a prototype.
Sadly, little remains physically of EDSAC today. That’s why a team of U.K. volunteers have embarked on an ambitious project to construct a working replica of the original EDSAC, in partnership with The National Museum of Computing. We’re delighted to support the EDSAC Rebuild Project, and we look forward to welcoming it back to regular service—as a reminder of the U.K.’s illustrious computing past.
Posted by Lynette Webb, Senior Manager, External Relations
Category: Google | May 3, 2013
Recently we sent our Street View cars driving through the historic seaport town of Kaliningrad (the modern name for Koenigsberg) in Russia as part of our quest to keep Google Maps comprehensive, accurate and useful. While there, we were reminded of a classic mathematical problem: the Seven Bridges of Koenigsberg.
The mathematical problem posed an interesting challenge: find a route through Kaliningrad—which was once separated by the Pregel River—by crossing each of the seven bridges in town. The catch? One could only cross each bridge exactly once.
In 1735, Leonhard Euler, one of the most prolific mathematicians of all time and our recent Doodle subject, concluded that there was no solution to the problem because it was impossible to find a route that would cross each bridge only once. This famous problem and Leonhard Euler’s non-resolution paved the way for important discoveries in the field of mathematics including graph theory and topology.
Fast forward 278 years to today where we still rely on Euler’s findings to calculate optimal driving routes for our Street View cars. We use sophisticated algorithms, based on graph theory, to determine the best route through a city or town—helping us capture all the images we need in the shortest amount of time. Though these algorithms are complex, in simple terms, it’s equivalent to solving the problem of drawing a house without lifting your pen and never going over the same segment twice. Like this:
(Source: Vincent Furnon, Google Operations Research Team)
While the bridges of Koeningsberg may be one of Kaliningrad’s most famous landmarks, you can also explore other parts of this historic town with Street View—including the oldest building in the city, the Juditten Church, which was built before 1288, and King’s Gate, one of the city’s original six gates built during the 19th century.
Today, it’s traditional for newly married couples to hang engraved padlocks on one of the original seven bridges of Koenigsberg
In other words, leave the mathematics to the mathematicians and just enjoy the scenery with Street View!
Posted by Daniele Rizzetto, Operations Manager, Street View
Category: Google | May 1, 2013
Students from across the country sent in more than 130,000 doodles for our 2013 U.S. Doodle 4 Google competition. Today, we’re proud to share with you our 50 amazingly talented state winners. Exploring their “Best Day Ever…” from life down under to flying from planet to planet in outer space, we were wowed by the imaginations and talent of young aspiring artists from coast to coast.
To reveal the local winners in all 50 states, we’ve sent Googlers to their schools, where they’re celebrating the winning artists along with their parents, classmates, teachers and friends.
Now it’s time to make your voice heard. Starting today and through May 10, we’re inviting the public to vote for their favorite doodle from each of the five different grade groups. Your votes will determine the five national finalists, from which the national winner will be selected and announced at our May 22 awards ceremony in New York City.
We’ll display the winning doodle on the Google homepage on May 23 for millions to see. In addition, you’ll be able to see all 50 doodles created by our state winners in person at a special exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City from May 22 to July 14.
We’d like to send a special thank you to the parents, teachers and administrators who supported young artists and helped students across the country bring their “Best Day Ever” to life. We’ve loved looking at each and every entry that came in this year, and we hope you all enjoy the talent and creativity these 50 students have shared with us.
Posted by Ryan Germick, Doodle Team Lead
Category: Google | Apr 29, 2013
Today is International Dance Day, a celebration of a universal art form that spans cultures and countries. But dancing isn’t just limited to holidays. Since 2003, Matt Harding has famously been dancing his way across the globe with people from all walks of life and sharing to millions on his YouTube channel. His mission is simple: Dance. Dance with everyone. Dance everywhere. Dance to spread joy.
Matt’s journey began with a serendipitous, single dance step in Hanoi. While traveling through Southeast Asia, his friend encouraged him to dance for the camera—and he just kept dancing. At first, he was amused by the idea of capturing himself dancing in front of famous landmarks and in famous cities around the world. Since then, Matt’s videos have evolved beyond a single man dancing; his videos now focus on individuals that gather together to share in the fun of dance, as you can see in his 2012 YouTube film.
The joy that goes into Matt’s work is apparent—and well documented. However, there’s also a fair amount of planning involved to choreograph his efforts. Matt relies on Google Maps for comprehensive, accurate and useful tools to execute and track his steps.
Before he sets off on each adventure, Matt uses Google Maps to scout various locations. Using Street View and photos in Google Maps, he finds landmarks and points of interest around the globe that are prefect dance spots. For instance, he came across Piazza del Popolo while exploring Rome with Street View. These tools come in handy to help Matt choose a backdrop to highlight his assembly of exuberant, local dancers.
Scouting is only part of the process. Once Matt has coordinated a group in a city, he helps everyone get to the designated destination by creating a customized My Map and sharing it with the participants so they can easily navigate to the planned meetup location. The end result is something everyone around the world can relate to.
Follow Matt as he continues to travel the world on his site www.wherethehellismatt.com.
Posted by Dave Kim, Google Maps Marketing Manager
Category: Google | Apr 29, 2013
Many of us can no longer imagine life without our smartphones. We use them for all sorts of things, like getting reminders of important calendar appointments (say, a first date), and driving directions to the Italian restaurant where your table for two awaits. Today, with the launch of Google Now on iPhone and iPad, your smartphone will become even smarter.
Google Now is about giving you just the right information at just the right time. It can show you the day’s weather as you get dressed in the morning, or alert you that there’s heavy traffic between you and your butterfly-inducing date—so you’d better leave now! It can also share news updates on a story you’ve been following, remind you to leave for the airport so you can make your flight and much more. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most—and the more you use Google Now, the more you get out of it.
Google Now for iPhone and iPad is available as part of the updated Google Search app. Together, Google Now and voice search will make your day run a little smoother.
In addition to the handy cards in Google Now, the Google Search app still gives you instant answers to all your questions. Try tapping the microphone and speak to your phone—you’ll get quick answers spoken back to you. For example, ask Google, “Do I need an umbrella this weekend?” and you’ll get the forecast. Or ask “Who’s in the cast of ‘Oblivion’?” to decide if you want to see it. Voice Search is particularly handy on the go—try “Show me nearby pizza places” and you’ll see a map of restaurants around you with directions, phone numbers, ratings and hours.
Get the Google Search app with Google Now from the App Store. Drag it to the tray, open it, sign in and you’re ready to go.
Posted by Andrea Huey, Engineer