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Explore and eat your way around town with Google Maps

Category: Google | May 8, 2018

Google Maps has always helped you get where they need to go as quickly as possible, and soon, it’ll help you do even more. In the coming months, Google Maps will become more assistive and personal with new features that help you figure out what to eat, drink, and do–no matter what part of the world you’re in. So say goodbye to endless scrolling through lists of recommended restaurants or group texts with friends that never end in a decision on where to go. The next time you’re exploring somewhere new, getting together with friends, or hosting out-of-towners in your own city, you can use Google Maps to make quick decisions and find the best spots.

Find new things to do

The redesigned Explore tab will be your hub for everything new and interesting nearby. When you check out a particular area on the map, you’ll see dining, event, and activity options based on the area you’re looking at. Top trending lists like the Foodie List show you where the tastemakers are going, and help you find new restaurants based on information from local experts, Google’s algorithms, and trusted publishers like The Infatuation and others.


The redesigned Explore tab

We’ll even help you track your progress against each list, so if you’ve crossed four of the top restaurants in the Meatpacking District off your list, you’ll know that you have six more to try.


Events and activities, options around you, and top lists

Your match

Tapping on any food or drink venue will display your “match”—a number that suggests how likely you are to enjoy a place and reasons explaining why. We use machine learning to generate this number, based on a few factors: what we know about a business, the food and drink preferences you’ve selected in Google Maps, places you’ve been to, and whether you’ve rated a restaurant or added it to a list. Your matches change as your own tastes and preferences evolve over time—it’s like your own expert sidekick, helping you quickly assess your options and confidently make a decision.


Your match

Group planning made easy

When you need to corral a group for a meal or activity, there’s a new feature that makes it easier to coordinate. Long press on the places you’re interested in to add it to a shareable shortlist that your friends and family can add more places to and vote on. Once you’ve made a decision together, you can use Google Maps to book a reservation and find a ride.


Add places to a shortlist


Vote on where to go

Never miss a thing

The new “For you” tab is the best way to stay on top of the latest and greatest happening in the areas you’re into. You can choose to follow neighborhoods and dining spots you want to try so you’ll always have an idea for your next outing. Information about that new sandwich spot downtown, the surprise pop-up from your favorite chef, or that new bakery shaking up the pastry scene in Paris will now come straight to you.


The For you tab

You’ll start to see these features rolling out globally on Android and iOS in the coming months. Get ready to rediscover your world with Google Maps.


Android P: Packed with smarts and simpler than ever

Category: Google | May 8, 2018

Ten years ago, when we launched the first Android phone—the T-Mobile G1—it was with a simple but bold idea: to build a mobile platform that’s free and open to everyone. Today, that idea is thriving—billions of people around the world rely on their Android phone every day.

To make Android smarter and easier to use than ever, today we’re unveiling a beta version of Android P, the next release of Android.

A smarter smartphone, with machine learning at the core

Android P makes your smartphone smarter, helping it learn from and adapt to you. Take battery life, for instance—I think all of us often wish we had more of it. In Android P, we partnered with DeepMind to build Adaptive Battery, which prioritizes battery power only for the apps and services you use the most, to help you squeeze the most out of your battery. We also used machine learning to create Adaptive Brightness, which learns how you like to set the brightness slider given your surroundings.

Across the platform, your phone will help you better navigate your day, using context to give you smart suggestions based on what you like to do the most and automatically anticipating your next action. App Actions, for instance, help you get to your next task more quickly by predicting what you want to do next. Say you connect your headphones to your device, Android will surface an action to resume your favorite Spotify playlist. Actions show up throughout Android in places like the Launcher, Smart Text Selection, the Play Store, the Google Search app and the Assistant.

Actions are a simple but powerful way for helping you get what you need quickly; but what if we could surface part of the app itself, right when you need it most? Slices do just that, giving you an even deeper look into your favorite apps. If you search for “Lyft” in Google Search, you can see an interactive Slice that gives you the price and time for a trip to work, and it’s interactive so you can quickly order the ride.

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    Adaptive Battery

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    App Actions

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We want the entire device experience to be smarter, not just the OS, so we’re bringing the power of Google’s machine learning to app developers with the launch of ML Kit, a new set of cross-platform APIs available through Firebase. ML Kit offers developers on-device APIs for text recognition, face detection, image labeling and more. So mobile developers building apps like Lose It!, a nutrition tracker, can easily deploy our text recognition model to scan nutritional information and ML Kit’s custom model APIs to automatically classify over 200 different foods with your phone’s camera.

A simple, more approachable Android

With Android P, we put a special emphasis on simplicity. The look and feel of Android is more approachable with a brand new system navigation. In Android P, we’re extending gestures to enable navigation right from your homescreen. This is especially helpful as phones grow taller and it’s more difficult to get things done on your phone with one hand. With a single, clean home button, you can swipe up to see a newly designed Overview, the spot where at a glance you have full-screen previews of your recently used apps. Simply tap to jump back into one of them. If you find yourself constantly switching between apps, we’ve got good news for you: Smart Text Selection (which recognizes the meaning of the text you’re selecting and suggests relevant actions) now works in Overview, making it easier to perform the action you want.

new system navigation

Changing how you navigate your phone is a big deal, but small changes can make a big difference too. Android P also brings a redesigned Quick Settings, a better way to take and edit screenshots (say goodbye to the vulcan grip that was required before), simplified volume controls, an easier way to manage notifications and more. You’ll notice small changes like these across the platform, to help make the things you do all the time easier than ever.  

Awareness and control of your digital wellbeing

Technology should help you with your life, not distract you from it. So we’ve been working hard to add key capabilities right into Android to help you achieve your desired balance with technology. Our focus is on giving you a greater understanding of how you use your phone, as well as more controls. A new Dashboard, for instance, shows you how you’re spending time on your device, including time spent in apps, how many times you’ve unlocked your phone, and how many notifications you’ve received. App Timer lets you set time limits on apps, and will nudge you when you’re close to your limit and then gray out the icon to remind you of your goal. The new Do Not Disturb mode silences not just the phone calls and notifications, but also all the visual interruptions that pop up on your screen. And to make it even easier to use, we created a new gesture: if you turn your phone over on the table, it automatically enters Do Not Disturb so you can focus on being present.  Finally, Wind Down will switch on Night Light when it gets dark, and it will turn on Do Not Disturb and fade the screen to grayscale at your chosen bedtime to help you remember to get to sleep at the time you want.

Digital Wellbeing

Dashboard, App Timer, Wind Down

Beyond smarts, simplicity and digital wellbeing, there are hundreds of additional improvements coming in Android P, including security and privacy improvements such as DNS over TLS, encrypted backups, Protected Confirmations and more.  

Android P Beta is available today on Google Pixel. And thanks to work on Project Treble, an effort we introduced last year to make OS upgrades easier for partners, a number of our partners are making Android P Beta available today on their own devices, including Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, and Essential PH‑1.  

Since we first launched Android ten years ago, we’ve been focused on how to build a platform for everyone. Android P is an important step toward bringing machine learning to everyone with an operating system that learns from you, adapts to you and helps you with everyday tasks.


The new Google News: AI meets human intelligence

Category: Google | May 8, 2018

In the nearly 30 years since the world wide web launched, more than 2 billion websites have been created. It can feel impossible to keep up with the hundreds of thousands of tweets, tens of thousands of pages, and hundreds of hours of video that come online every single minute.

Amid this deluge of information, important new voices are constantly emerging. There’s more diverse content to discover and more great journalism being produced than ever before. In order to make it easier to keep up and make sense of it all, we set out to bring our news products into one unified experience.  

Today we’re rolling out an all new Google News, which uses the best of artificial intelligence to find the best of human intelligence—the great reporting done by journalists around the globe.

Using real-time AI/ML to organize the news

When we created the original Google News 15 years ago, we simply organized news articles to make it easier to see a range of sources on the same topic.  

The reimagined Google News uses a new set of AI techniques to take a constant flow of information as it hits the web, analyze it in real time and organize it into storylines. This approach means Google News understands the people, places and things involved in a story as it evolves, and connects how they relate to one another. At its core, this technology lets us synthesize information and put it together in a way that helps you make sense of what’s happening, and what the impact or reaction has been.

A news experience that keeps you fully informed

For many of us, news comes from dozens of different places—sports from a favorite website, politics from TV, and news about your community from your local paper.

When you’re in the app, “For You” makes it easy to stay up to date on everything you care about all in one place. We start with a briefing of five stories that Google News has organized for you—a mix of the most important headlines, local news and the latest developments on the topics you’re interested in.  


And the more you use the app, the better the app gets. We’ve also built easy-to-use and easy-to-access controls so you can decide if you want to see more or less of a topic or publisher.

As we built the app, we focused on letting the stories speak for themselves with great images and videos from YouTube and across the web. To help you quickly get you up to speed, we’re experimenting with a unique visual format called newscasts. Here, the latest developments in natural language understanding bring together a collection of articles, videos and quotes on a single topic. Newscasts make it easy to dive right into perspectives to learn more about a story—plus, it’s easy to read on your phone.

Full Coverage: Understanding the full story

If you want to get a deeper insight into a story, the “Full Coverage” feature provides a complete picture of how that story is reported from a variety of sources. With just a tap you’ll see top headlines from different sources, videos, local news reports, FAQs, social commentary, and a timeline for stories that have played out over time.

Having a productive conversation or debate requires everyone to have access to the same information. That’s why content in Full Coverage is the same for everyone—it’s an unpersonalized view of events from a range of trusted news sources.

To find out what the world is reading, head over to Headlines for an unfiltered view of news from around the world. Additional sections let you dig into more on technology, business, sports, entertainment and others.


The best journalism from around the web

Of course Google News wouldn’t exist without the great journalism being created every day. The Newsstand tab makes it easy to find and follow the sources you trust, as well as browse and discover new ones. You can also access more than 1,000 magazine titles in a mobile-optimized reading format.  


And if you want to support your favorite news sources, we’ve made it simple to subscribe with your Google account. This means no more forms, credit card numbers, or new passwords. And soon, thanks to the new Subscribe with Google platform (launched as a part of the Google News Initiative), you’ll get access to your paid content everywhere—on all platforms and devices, on Google News, Google Search, and on publishers’ own websites.

What’s next

The all-new Google News replaces Google Play Newsstand on mobile and desktop and the Google News & Weather app on mobile. It’s rolling out starting today and will be available to everyone on Android, iOS and the web in 127 countries by next week.  


The future of the Google Assistant: Helping you get things done to give you time back

Category: Google | May 8, 2018

We announced our vision for the Google Assistant just two years ago at I/O, and since then, we’ve been making fast progress in bringing the Assistant to more people around the world to help them get things done. As of today, the Google Assistant is available on more than 500 million devices, it works with over 5,000 connected home devices, it’s available in cars from more than 40 brands, and it’s built right into the latest devices, from the Active Edge in the Pixel 2 to a dedicated Assistant key in the LG G7 ThinQ. Plus, it’ll be available in more than 30 languages and 80 countries by the end of the year.

Today at I/O, we’re sharing our vision for the next phase of the Google Assistant, as we make it more naturally conversational, visually assistive, and helpful in getting things done.

Naturally conversational

Language is incredibly complex—people ask about something as simple as the weather in over 10,000 ways (our favorite: “Will it be cats and dogs today?”). We’ve dramatically improved our language understanding so you can speak naturally to your Google Assistant and it will know what you mean.

New voices

One of the most important parts of the Assistant is its voice—it needs to feel both personal and natural. Up until now, creating a new voice took hundreds of hours in a recording studio. But with advancements in AI and WaveNet technology from DeepMind, we can now create new voices in just a few weeks and are able to capture subtleties like pitch, pace, and all the pauses that convey meaning, so that voices are natural-sounding and unique. Starting today, you can choose from six new voices for your Google Assistant. And John Legend will lend his melodic tones to the Assistant later this year—who wouldn’t want him wishing you A Good Night?

Continued Conversation
Soon you’ll be able to have a natural back-and-forth conversation without repeating “Hey Google” for each follow-up request. The Assistant will be able to understand when you’re talking to it versus someone else, and will respond accordingly. This feature has been one of our top requests and you’ll be able to turn on Continued Conversation in the coming weeks.

Multiple Actions
A key part of having a natural conversation is being able to ask about many things at once. With Multiple Actions, which is already starting to roll out, the Google Assistant will be able to understand more complex queries like “What’s the weather like in New York and in Austin?”

Pretty Please
Assistant features for families—powered by Family Link—provides free family-friendly games, activities, and stories from content partners like Disney. (Families have listened to over 130,000 hours of children’s stories in the last two months alone.) To help you give your little ones some positive reinforcement when they ask nicely, later this year we’ll introduce Pretty Please, so that the Assistant can understand and encourage polite conversation.

Custom and scheduled Routines
Earlier this year we launched six ready-made Routines to help you get multiple things done with a single command. Starting today, we’re rolling out Custom Routines, which allow you to create your own Routine with any of the Google Assistant’s one million Actions, and start your routine with a phrase that feels best for you. For example, you can create a Custom Routine for family dinner, and kick it off by saying “Hey Google, dinner’s ready” and the Assistant can turn on your favorite music, turn off the TV, and broadcast “dinner time!” to everyone in the house. Later this summer, you’ll be able to schedule Routines for a specific day or time either using the Assistant app or through the Google Clock app for Android.

Google Assistant: 6 new voices

Visually Assistive

So far the Assistant has been centered on the verbal conversation you can have with Google, but now we’re bringing the simplicity of voice together with a rich visual experience.  

Smart Displays
Smart Displays are a new category of devices built for the home that let you quickly glance at responses provided by the Google Assistant. You can access the Assistant hands-free by voice, but you can also tap and swipe the screen when that’s easier. You can follow along with a recipe, control your smart home, watch live TV on YouTube TV, and make video calls with Google Duo. Smart Displays come integrated with all your favorite Google services like Calendar, Maps, and YouTube. The first Smart Displays will be available for purchase starting in July.

New visual experience for the phone
We’re also redesigning the Assistant experience on the screen that’s with us all the time—our phones. The Assistant will give you a quick snapshot of your day, with suggestions based on the time of day, location and recent interactions with the Assistant. To provide a summary of tasks and list items, we’re integrating popular notes and lists services from Google Keep,, Todoist and many more. We’re also bringing a new food pick-up and delivery experience to the Assistant that isn’t constrained by a chat-style interface, so you can order your favorites from Starbucks, Doordash and Applebee’s, in addition to existing partners like Dunkin’ Donuts and Domino’s. The new visual design will be available in the Google Assistant app later this year.

Google Maps
The Assistant is coming to navigation in Google Maps later this summer, with a low visual profile so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. You’ll be able to send text messages, play music and podcasts, and get information without leaving the navigation screen. For example, say “Hey Google, read me my messages” and you can get a summary of unread texts with the option to respond by voice.

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    Smart Displays 

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    The Assistant’s new visual experience on mobile

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    Partners that will help you keep track of your notes and lists 

Getting more done in the real world, powered by Google Duplex

The Google Assistant helps you save time by taking tasks off your plate, whether that’s ordering a coffee or buying movie tickets online. But sometimes you need to pick up the phone and call a business to get something done. This summer, we’ll start testing a new capability within the Google Assistant to help you make restaurant reservations, schedule hair salon appointments, and get holiday hours. Just provide the date and time, and your Assistant will call the business to coordinate for you. If a business uses an online booking service, the Assistant will book through that. And if not, the Assistant will call the business on your behalf.

Powered by a new technology we call Google Duplex, the Assistant can understand complex sentences, fast speech, and long remarks, so it can respond naturally in a phone conversation. Even though the calls will sound very natural, the Assistant will be clear about the intent of the call so businesses understand the context. Once your reservation or appointment is booked, the Assistant will add a calendar reminder for your appointment and allow you to cancel if needed.

This technology will be helpful to the many small businesses that rely on phone calls to book appointments today—our research shows that 60 percent of small businesses who rely on customer bookings don’t have an online booking system. And many people simply don’t reserve with businesses that don’t take online bookings. With Google Duplex, businesses can operate as they always have; and people can easily book with them through the Google Assistant. We’re just getting started, but we’re excited for how Google Duplex can connect small businesses with Google Assistant users.

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Here’s how the Assistant can help make a phone call 

Bringing the Assistant to 80 countries by the end of the year

We’re bringing Google Home and Google Home Mini to seven new countries later this year: Denmark, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. We’re also launching the Google Assistant in Spanish for Android Oreo (Go edition) phones soon. And to make it easier for you to have conversations with others, wherever you are, Google Translate will soon be available on all headphones optimized for the Google Assistant.

We’re excited to give you a preview of some of the latest developments we’re bringing to the Google Assistant across your devices. You can start trying some of these today in the Google Assistant app for Android and iOS. And your smart speaker devices like the Google Home will be automatically updated with the latest features once they’re available. We have lots more in store this year, stay tuned!


One-tap actions and more places to experience Google Photos

Category: Google | May 8, 2018

Three years ago, we introduced Google Photos as a home for all of your pictures and videos, organized and brought to life. Today, we’re announcing a few new ways you can get even more out of your favorite memories.

Take action on your photos, right as you view them

People look at 5 billion pictures in Google Photos every day, but there’s more to do with your photos than just view them. You might want to share a photo with a friend, brighten a dark picture, or hide a screenshot from your library in just a few taps.

Today, you’ll start to see a range of suggested actions show up on your photos right as you’re viewing them, such as the option to brighten, share, rotate or archive a picture. These suggested actions are powered by machine learning, which means you only see them on relevant photos. You can easily tap the suggestions to complete the action.

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See your photos in a new light

Starting today, you may see a new photo creation that plays with pops of color. In these creations, we use AI to detect the subject of your photo and leave them in color—including their clothing and whatever they’re holding—while the background is set to black and white. You’ll see these AI-powered creations in the Assistant tab of Google Photos.

color pop

As mentioned in the keynote at I/O, our annual developer conference, we’re also working on the ability for you to change black-and-white shots into color in just a tap.  

Experience Google Photos in more places

People interact with their photos across different apps and devices. As we work to make it easier for you to do more with the photos you take, we also want to make sure these moments of convenience extend beyond the Google Photos app and web experience. Maybe you’d like to enjoy your photos through a connected photo frame in your living room or save the funny moments from a photo booth. We think it should be easy for you to safely access and organize those photos, too.

That’s why we’re introducing a new Google Photos partner program that gives developers the tools to support Google Photos in their products, so people can choose to access their photos whenever they need them. Look for apps and devices that work with Google Photos in the coming months.

Three years in, and we’re as excited as ever about making Google Photos the easiest, fastest and most useful home for a lifetime of photos and videos. We look forward to bringing you more helpful ways to experience those memories.


SUBJECT: Write emails faster with Smart Compose in Gmail

Category: Google | May 8, 2018

Email makes it easy to share information with just about anyone—friends, colleagues and family—but drafting a message can take some time. Last year, we introduced Smart Reply in Gmail to help you quickly reply to incoming emails. Today, we’re announcing Smart Compose, a new feature powered by artificial intelligence, to help you draft emails from scratch, faster.

Draft emails quickly with confidence

From your greeting to your closing (and common phrases in between), Smart Compose suggests complete sentences in your emails so that you can draft them with ease. Because it operates in the background, you can write an email like you normally would, and Smart Compose will offer suggestions as you type. When you see a suggestion that you like, click the “tab” button to use it.

Taco Tuesday Smart Compose

Smart Compose helps save you time by cutting back on repetitive writing, while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors. It can even suggest relevant contextual phrases. For example, if it’s Friday it may suggest “Have a great weekend!” as a closing phrase.

Get started

Over the next few weeks, Smart Compose will appear in the new Gmail for consumers, and will be made available for G Suite customers in the workplace in the coming months.

To get started, make sure you’ve enabled the new Gmail by going to Settings > “Try the new Gmail.” Next, go to the general tab in your settings, scroll down and enable “experimental access.” If you want to switch back, you can always uncheck the box.


Google Cloud and NetApp collaborate on cloud-native, high performance storage

Category: Google | May 8, 2018

From application scalability, to developer productivity, to access to services unavailable on-premises, enterprises benefit in many ways from migrating their workloads to the cloud. However, some enterprise IT leaders tell us that they struggle to find technology partners that truly understand how to move workloads with minimal disruption. One critical challenge is access to high-performance, scalable and shared file-systems.

That’s why we’re announcing our partnership with NetApp, including the private preview of NetApp Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud Platform (GCP). With NetApp Cloud Volumes, our customers get a fully-managed, cloud-native file storage service integrated with GCP.

NetApp Cloud Volumes can deliver:

  • NetApp’s robust management features in the cloud. Customers can sync datasets automatically, take snapshots of their data, and quickly create full copies of their datasets.

  • Tight integration with GCP for a seamless experience. Manage Cloud Volumes in the cloud console with integrated GCP billing and support.

  • High performance storage. NetApp is a leader in powering EDA workflows, scientific computing, and SaaS applications where file storage requirements are critical.  Customers can now access these NetApp file services with GCP.

  • Hybrid cloud capabilities. Cloud Volumes is ideal for lift and shift of workloads like file services, analytics, databases, disaster recovery and DevOps models, making it easier to move data back and forth between the cloud and on-premises.

We’re excited that this partnership brings a powerful, fully-managed storage service to GCP that can make it easier for enterprises to run new and existing workloads in the cloud. Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud Platform is available now in private preview, with public preview planned for later this year. To learn more, and sign up for the private preview, visit NetApp’s website.


The winners of the 2018 Google Play Awards are …

Category: Google | May 7, 2018

As Google I/O kicked off, we hosted our third annual Google Play Award ceremony to recognize the best apps and games on Google Play over the past year. These apps and games battled it out across nine categories, and proved not only to deliver delightful experiences to fans, but also have larger positive impact in their communities.

Congrats to this year’s winners:

Standout Well-Being App

Apps empowering people to live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies.

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Simple Habit by Simple Habit, Inc.

Best Accessibility Experience

Apps or games enabling device interaction that serves people with disabilities or special needs.

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Be My Eyes by Be My Eyes

Best Social Impact

Apps or games that create a positive impact in communities around the world (focused on health, education, crisis response, refugees, financial health and fundraising functions).


Khan Academy by Khan Academy

Standout Indie

Games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics and overall polish.

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Old Man’s Journey by Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH

Best Community Building Game

Games built to connect gamers, encouraging social interaction and community building.


Episode by Pocket Gems

Best AR or VR Experience

Apps or games offering highly engaging and immersive experiences with optimal use of ARCore or Daydream UI.

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BBC Earth: Life in VR by BBC Worldwide (Ltd)

Standout Build for Billions Experience

Apps or games with optimized performance, localization and culturalization for emerging markets.


Flipkart by Flipkart

Standout Startup

Apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth.


Canva by Canva

Best Breakthrough Hit

New apps or games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong organic install growth.

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Empires & Puzzles by Small Giant Games

Try out these great apps and games and see the rest of the finalists at


We’re live (streaming) from Google I/O

Category: Google | May 7, 2018

This year’s annual developer festival is here, and you can catch all the fun on our Google I/O livestream at

Thousands of developers are joining us in Mountain View, CA, to hear about the latest product and platform updates at Google. But since the more the merrier, we’re making it possible for you to stream the event starting with Sundar’s keynote on Tuesday, May 8 at 10 a.m. PDT.

To stay in the loop throughout the conference, you can also follow @Google and @GoogleDevs on Twitter and @Googleon Instagram.

Ready, set, stream!


To all the teachers

Category: Google | May 7, 2018

Editor’s note: Teacher Appreciation Week starts today, and we’re honored to have the recently-named 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, as our guest author. We’re enormously grateful for the hard work that teachers like Mandy do everyday to ignite curiosity in the next generation. Stay tuned here and follow along on Twitter throughout the week to see how we’re celebrating.

Becoming a teacher wasn’t part of my original plan. I went to school to become a screenwriter and producer, but after my first job working at a local TV news station, I realized it  didn’t quite fit my personality. I needed to have a different kind of impact. 

That’s when I found a job as a paraeducator (teaching assistant), then taught for two years in the Peace Corps. But it wasn’t until I moved to the tiny town of Spearman, Texas—where I taught theater and communications and coached speech and debate—that I seriously considered pursuing a career in teaching. From the first moment I stood in front of a classroom of nervous but curious teenagers, I was hooked. Looking at their faces, so full of hope and potential, I knew I’d found my purpose.

Nineteen years ago, I could never have imagined being named National Teacher of the Year. Now, in this position, I’m humbled by the opportunity to raise the experiences of educators, and share my students’ voices.


National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning poses with her students on graduation day.  

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has run the National Teacher of the Year program since 1952. Google helps sponsor this program, and as part of their partnership, they hosted my 54 fellow State Teachers of the Year and me at their Mountain View headquarters this past February. The experience was inspiring and validating, reinforcing how educators across our nation are putting students at the center of their work, and how much direct impact we can have on our communities.

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Here are the 55 of us (2018 State Teachers of the Year) enjoying our time with Google in February.

In one session, we had the honor of collaborating on this year’s Doodle celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, which is live on Google homepage in the U.S. today. It was powerful because it gave each of us the chance to talk about what it means to be a teacher, and to bring those concepts together into a single image. We were especially lucky to have help from Jonathan Juravich, Ohio’s 2018 State Teacher of the Year, who is a talented artist and art teacher (learn more about his experience as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Doodle).

We also had the chance to share thoughts and ideas across a range of topics, including the teachers who inspired us, the future of education, and advice for aspiring educators, which are now part of a new video series called “Lessons from Teachers of the Year.” Starting today, these videos will be available on YouTube and I hope they serve as a source of inspiration for educators.

Other influential individuals in education—like Sal KhanCharles Best, and Angela Duckworth—answered some of Google’s most-asked questions about education and shared their thoughts on the profession of teaching. Their words of gratitude show the impact that teachers have on their students and the broader community. Check out these videos and trending education-related queries on a Google Trends hub dedicated to Teacher Appreciation Week.

Over the years, Google has listened to and supported educators through its products, programs and investments, and this week is providing $500,000 to to match donations to classroom project requests. Google has been working with since 2012, providing more than $20 million to fund over 23,000 projects, reaching one out of every ten public schools in the U.S.

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Every day I’m thankful my path led me toward teaching. I look forward to my year ahead as National Teacher of the Year and the opportunity to elevate my colleagues and students’ stories. In the most turbulent of times—and especially in those times—the importance of a good teacher cannot and should not be taken for granted. This week, give a shout out to the teachers who have made a difference in your life. You can even try coding a note of thankswith Made with Code!

So make sure to #ThankATeacher today—they deserve it.